Is there a science to making better dating decisions?
It’s 5.30pm on Friday night, and you have a date for 8pm. You’re really eager to spend time with this new guy you’ve met. He says he’s made a reservation at the hottest new restaurant in town, and you’ve been anticipating this since Monday when you agreed to go out with him. It’s the highlight of your long week.
You arrive home, put down your handbag and take off your jacket, wondering whether you’re going to wear that red off-the-shoulder number or the more subdued black dress. And shoes – which shoes… when the ringing of your phone interrupts your train of thought. It’s him. He says his boss called him in to help prepare for tomorrow’s client presentation. He cancels on you.
What’s the Right Thing to Do?
If you’ve ever dated, (more…)
Recently I had the pleasure of reading a very interesting book on the inner workings of the human mind.
It’s by Jonathan Haidt, and it’s called The Happiness Hypothesis: Finding Modern Truth in Ancient Wisdom. If you’re fascinated by the science behind how humans tick and how it relates to ancient wisdom, I highly recommend that you read this book.
Haidt mentions that in all cultures, human societies have been organized along two dimensions: hierarchy and closeness/liking. Call one the x-axis, the other the y-axis.
Hierarchy is simple enough: people have status according to their power, title, wealth or fame.
And closeness — what I will call kinship — is also straightforward. Society is organized according to friends, family, co-workers, acquaintances and strangers.
Haidt then introduces a third dimension: a dimension of the divine. All cultures seem to recognize some things as nobler, purer and more divine, and other things as profane and impure. (more…)
Hi Dr. Alex,
I was in a long-term relationship not too long ago. Now that I am over it, I would like to continue dating like I was, when I was younger… I have recently started college at a new University, so I don’t know too many women. I addition to that, it seems like the only plausible time for me to meet someone is when I am out with friends, and we usually end up at the bar. So, I was curious if you could give me any advice for a non-traditional student that lives off campus, and for a guy that’s trying to meet women in bars. I know that you said a bar is low on the CCC, but thats usually where I go when I am with friends. Oh, and I just started school, I was in the military for a few years. Thanks in advance.
Thanks for writing in. Well, you’re very well positioned because you’re pretty young, and you’ve gotten a hold of this material early on. You’ve got all the time in the world! In the meantime, if bars are where you end up, no worries — when the world gives you lemons, make lemonade.
Bars are an outstanding place to practice the principles, and since you already know it’s not the best place to make a connection, you’re not too worried about success or failure. So you can practice with total abandon and detachment from results, which paradoxically should make your results go through the roof. Treat it as an arena to hone your skills, and you’ll do brilliantly.
By the way, the Three C’s Jason refers to are the three criteria for an optimal venue for meeting women, as they appear in Chapter 6 of The Tao of Dating (available at www.thetaoofdating.com/order). The Three C’s are:
– Conversation-friendliness: speech is your most effective way of conveying information, and you want to be in a place where you can hear and be heard without extra effort
– Continuity: ideally, people are going to stick around for a little while in this place, or even better, return to it regularly (e.g. think evening class)
– Community: there’s a reason for all of you to be there. The more specific the reason, the better, because the more you’ll have in common just by virtue of being there.
Hey there. Recently got an interesting letter about a situation that I’m sure many of you have encountered before:
*****LETTER FROM READER*****
I don’t know if you have addressed this before, as I am new to your program. I just met a girl that has been dating a guy for about a month. I really want to steal her away from this guy. I feel like she is in to me.
We were at a party and I made a good impression the first part of the night. She told me I reminded her of a couple of other guys she had dated and her pupils were pretty big. We ended up talking one on one at one point and discovered we lived on the same small street in NYC, pretty random that happening here.
Her boyfriend (French guy) was getting really flustered by our interaction. The French guy was having a party at his house and my ex-girlfriend invited me to join. I have never pulled a jack move like this before and I didn’t tell her I thought she was beautiful or any other type of flirting besides my body language and eye contact. (more…)
The last article that I wrote, about how the concept of No-Self or anatta can empower your dating in a big way, received one of the most vigorous responses from the readers.
Here’s one of them:
“I really loved this article. The way you weave the concept of no-self into the dating pipeline, examining every step of the pipeline separately is nothing short of brilliant.
My only question is how to convince yourself that you have no self. I understand the metaphysical argument with the river molecules and the brain neuron action potentials changing constantly and all that, but how do I lose the emotional attachment? The pride? It would seem that if I don’t have ego, then I can’t be proud of myself for anything.
Is there a mindtrack that deals with this?”
– Michael, Los Angeles
This has got to be one of the most insightful articles on female sexuality I’ve ever read. It discusses some new scientific findings about female arousal with profound implications — and some very controversial interpretations.
Every man should read this to understand better the inner workings of the female psyche; every woman should read this to better understand herself. Two of the thought-provoking findings: women are aroused by a much broader array of stimuli than men are. And although men’s subjective reports of arousal pretty much match their objective physiological arousal, the women’s subjective reports had massive disjunction from the objective arousal, almost as if it were two different people reporting.
I encourage you to read the whole article. In the meantime, here are two passages which I found particularly thought-provoking:
“Meana spoke about two elements that contribute to her thinking: first, a great deal of data showing that, as measured by the frequency of fantasy, masturbation and sexual activity, women have a lower sex drive than men, and second, research suggesting that within long-term relationships, women are more likely than men to lose interest in sex. Meana posits that it takes a greater jolt, a more significant stimulus, to switch on a woman’s libido than a man’s. “If I don’t love cake as much as you,” she told me, “my cake better be kick-butt to get me excited to eat it.” And within a committed relationship, the crucial stimulus of being desired decreases considerably, not only because the woman’s partner loses a degree of interest but also, more important, because the woman feels that her partner is trapped, that a choice — the choosing of her — is no longer being carried out.”
That’s big. To me, it says that one of the reasons that marriage dampens sexual interest is the lock-down. Where there’s no choice, there’s no mystery. So the desire for commitment actually works at cross purposes (more…)
Hello there. Dr Alex here, your friendly neighborhood provider of insight into the single male’s mind.
I attended a pretty interesting relationship workshop this weekend where people shared their experiences very frankly. About 1/3 of the people were couples, and the rest were singles.
Several of the single women stood up and asked questions, and, the seminar leader being a direct kind of guy, he asked questions back. Now these were really lovely women — attractive, stylish, well-educated. Probably a lot like you. Which raises the question:
Why were they still single — even when they were clearly looking for a relationship?
Sometimes it was glaringly obvious why a given woman was single (e.g. way too picky). Other times, not so clear. But one thing was for sure: each woman was doing something that was keeping her single. (more…)
Subject: Approaching a Stranger of Interest
Hallo Dr. Alex,
Such good material. Sorry that I just joined you. If I knew, I could have joind you long ago. But for now Dr, a simple question here:
There is this girl in town I have been looking at for quite some time now (it’s a girl, not a woman, 20 years of age or so). She looks beautiful to me in all departments e.g. behaviours, physically, mentally… yup, so to say. The problem is, this is not my home town, I only came down here for work. So, not so many people know me yet. I mean, this girl does not know me, her friends do not know me and I don’t know them. I only noticed this girl and so, I started looking at her. I have not made her know that I’m interested in her. And I don’t think she took notice of me because I never presented myself upon her yet.
Now, I would like to make a move for this girl. She looks mature and there for taking. Could you please advice me on how to make a move for this girl?? Your opinion and wise words would be appreciated Dr.
Thanks for writing in. Sun Tzu says in “The Art of War” that the battle is won or lost before the first blow is struck. Seems to me that without really having spoken to this woman, you have already built her up far too much. So this battle is already lost — if you go into it with the mindset that she’s so great (do you really know that?) and somehow you must have her because she’s cute and ‘there for the taking.’ I would recommend going out with a few other women or just speaking to this one with the aim of finding out who she is (vs impressing her, or trying to pull off some trick to ‘get’ her). Once you want her less and know her more, you’ll be in a much better position.
All the best,
So one of the things I’ve always liked about Eastern wisdom in general and the Tao Te Ching in particular is its practicality.
Before, I associated spirituality with some guy in a long robe spewing stuff about crystal power and channeling dead ancestors and whatnot.
But here was this book — the Tao Te Ching — which gave you these paradoxical-sounding concepts that made your life better when you applied them. Crazy, huh.
Now, I’m a practical kind of guy, you see. Which means that I start out as a skeptic, test an idea, and see if it gives me results.
If it does, then hallelujah. Game on. That’s how I got into hypnotherapy, and that’s how I got into Eastern wisdom.
I call this ‘open-minded skepticism‘, and I encourage you to try it on for yourself. (more…)
Wow! I had no idea that there would be such an outpouring of support for Holly from all of the women out there.
Just to bring you up to speed if you’re not one of the subscribers to the women’s newsletter: Holly is my Harvard classmate who was recently divorced and now dating a new guy. Although he was living with her and she was supporting him financially, he wasn’t very nice to her.
It seems like Holly is indeed not alone. And it’s a great reminder of why I wrote The Tao of Dating in the first place.
In spite of all the self-doubt that I had while writing the book, I thought, “Hey. If this book can help even *one* fantastic woman snap out of her sleep and reclaim her power, then the whole exercise will have been worthwhile.” (more…)