Friday, May 29, 2009

The Vicious Cycle

It's my belief that there's a sort of vicious cycle going on in the city of Toronto, kind of like a positive feedback, in which many women brush off men in ways that frustrate and anger them, and as a result these men come back from these experiences affected in a negative way. And in some cases this pent up frustration/anger affects their approaches/attempts when meeting other women, either by being more aggressive or less polite, and this gives more "reason" for the women to blow them off.

Now, this is not always the case. Some guys do pick themselves up, dust themselves off and start fresh. And some do meet nice girls as a result. But there's still that large percentage that cannot connect. And having lived here as a male I can say that many women in this city are not inclined to meeting men in public places and bars. However, I have met a few nice ones and the one pattern I've noticed is that these women are not from the city. They are either visiting, foreigners now living here, or back from a long vacation in which they no doubt gained some positive perspective while being away.

It seems there is something in the city that is getting in the way of people hooking up, and both sides have to share blame in that. Lots of reasons for this are tossed around including feminism, political correctness, guys are too aggressive or rude, women are stuck up, or whatever. On the one hand you hear that guys have trouble meeting women in public places, and on the other hand you hear some women say they are biased against meeting men in public places. On the one hand you hear that some women do want to pick up guys and take the initiative, but on the other hand you hear that the guys run away from them or consider them "sluts" for doing so.

Both sides are contributing to this and both sides are blind (to some extent) to the role they are playing in exacerbating this. This is a city wide problem which appears to have no other explanation other than "osmosis" - people often take on thinking/behaviour patterns with enough exposure, that don't necessarily come from their own ethical insight. So where does it come from? Well that's a chicken and egg question. I think it's partly to do with extreme feminism, a city-wide desire to be "American" by trying to emulate the U.S. (and overdoing it sometimes), media exposure, and that positive feedback thing I mentioned.

So what do you do when so many people around you are caught up in this groupthink?

I know it's hard to rise above it when you continue to run into people who don't see the problem and don't rise above it. You feel you are not being rewarded for going out on a limb. And it can get frustrating.

But there is a solution and it first starts with you. I believe that it's best to first understand that all this is happening, how it's happening, and put it in a proper perspective. Understand the role you play and keep note of your behaviour. Swallow your ego/pride if you have to. And start with a clean slate. Have the ability to consider each person separately, not as an extension of other people from your past, and not based on prejudices. Fix your relationship with yourself by making an effort to deal with your issues first before you try to include other people in your life to share good times with.

Once that's done you can start meeting people, but perhaps a bit differently than the way you've done before.

For guys, what I suggest is pretty straightforward and based on my own experiences (as a male). It may sound extreme and unrealistic but it works. When you go out somewhere, don't go out for the sole purpose of meeting women. This is very important. If you go to the bookstore for example, go there primarily to browse and read books. And if you just happen to notice someone whom you might be interested in, talk to her, assuming you aren't going out of your way of course. She could be standing next to you waiting for the bus or just browsing a book near you. Just make a comment or whatever on something. You don't have to try and be witty or use some clever line. Just open your mouth and say something. If she responds favorably then you say something else and with luck a conversation will develop, and you go from there. But if she doesn't respond favorably, either with clipped responses or lack of eye contact, or even not responding at all you must STOP right there. Don't say anything else and move on. You just go back to what you were doing. This is not rejection in the same sense because you aren't there for meeting women. You are there to do your own thing. So there's never a feeling of putting in the effort for nothing, and because it was a byproduct of you going out and doing your thing, you won't attach a lot of significance towards meeting someone or not. Also your vibe will be better because you won't have that hungry salesman look where you're always looking to close. And people in general tend to respond to that better anyway.

The same goes for bars and clubs. Go there to hang out with friends or just to unwind. But don't go there primarily to pick up. Have no expectations in this regard. Chat. Socialize. Don't linger or cling to girls. Don't force conversation. Don't try to convince or win her over. Don't use "game". Just talk a bit about whatever. Don't waste a lot of time. Know what you want from women at this stage in your life and get to the point sooner rather than later. But be friendly and not rude about it. And be prepared to move on quickly if she isn't interested. No getting upset either. And no running around the bar trying to get other girls. You either go back to your friends or resume chilling out by the bar, dance floor, or whatever. Let it happen naturally is what I'm saying.

Of course, you can also let girls come to you. Yes, they are fully able to initiate and pick up guys, especially when they aren't chasing after them. And some are craving that opportunity given that they are so used to men doing all or most of the work. Assume they are your equal in this regard. In fact they are.

Don't harshly judge women for initiating. You can even drop hints that you like women that go after what they want. Make it easy for them to pursue you if they choose.

Remember the word, byproduct. Treat meeting women as a byproduct of your life. Whether you meet someone or not. Whether you get laid or not. Treat it as secondary to you going out and having a good time using your own internal sense of happiness. I know it can be hard for some guys to switch gears and stop pursuing women like they are used to doing. But remember that girls are just as capable of pursuing men. They are your equals in this regard. You can definitely do a lot less and get more return for your efforts.

As for the women, my advice is basically a mirror of the above advice for guys, with only a few differences. The first is to be willing to take the initiative with men, if you aren't already doing so. You have to be willing to let go of your reasons not to. Know that you are not a "slut" for doing what you really want. And know that it is of no consequence to YOU if anyone does happen to think that you are. Move on if you run into such a person.

Also, have the understanding that men don't "use" women for sex the way it is often stated. It's impossible to use someone if you're both doing the same thing, with consent.

As well, be open to meeting guys anywhere. Why, because cool fun guys exist everywhere. Don't let a few bad apples poison your views.

Don't let friends run your show. Don't let them keep tabs on you and dictate what you should or shouldn't do. Choose your friends wisely. They should respect what you do, but at the same time you don't have to tell them everything.

Lastly, find fulfillment from your own life, and in the same vein try and understand deep down what role you want men to have in your life. And don't be swayed externally one way or the other what that role should be. Don't want men just for validation the same way some men want women for validation. And don't read books that teach manipulation to get a man (the same goes for guys who read books on manipulation on how to get women). The best partners are the ones who don't manipulate but also won't be manipulated. Trust your ability to figure things out on your own.

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