I’m tagging in the great Rob Overman to close out 2010. For those of you who are returning to dating or have never really done it, he offers a structured plan on succeeding at it, and I think it should be required reading in schools all over America. Instead, you’ll just have to read it here. I’ll have the second and final part up tomorrow. Enjoy.
The New Year is upon us. And with it comes a slew of resolutions, many aimed at self-improvement and personal development (anyone else getting a shit ton of e-mails about the latest workout DVD?). If your New Year’s resolution is about lighting a fire under the ass of your dating life, this story of redemption is for you.
I was talking with a guy yesterday, and during the conversation he said:
“My entire goal for the New Year is to get a girlfriend. Like, a serious relationship – someone I can spend time with, ya know? Especially since it was just the holidays and my whole family kept asking ‘So is there anyone special in your life? When are you going to get a girlfriend?’”
Poor guy. Here’s a little of his back story just to give some perspective. He and his ex-GF broke up about two years ago. As far as I know he hasn’t dated anyone serious since then. In fact, I’m not sure if he’s even gone out on a date since then. And since he hasn’t really dated anyone, well, his game is probably a little rusty.
So here’s a question to the readers: How would you bounce back from this? If you’re basically starting your dating life over again after a breakup (or even if you never had a dating life in the first place) how do you do it? Seriously, I want to hear your opinions, leave ‘em in the comments below.
Here’s my take.
I’ve always said that when it comes to meeting women, you are either working or you’re playing. And if you’re not playing, then you’re working for it, and that’s not attractive.
But when you’re building a dating life from scratch, it’s going to take work. About a year’s worth of it, actually. So let’s get to it.
Get a Girlfriend Game Plan: January – April
I hope you’re ready to do some work because this is going to be your training time. Remember in “Rocky IV” when Rocky gives up his U.S. title to go to Russia and train all winter in the old barn? He lifts weights around his neck and does upside down sit-ups and jogs through the snow until he can outrun his Soviet escorts.
That’s you. You’re Rocky coming out of retirement. If you went up against Drago right now you’d get knocked out in the first round, so that means it’s time to train. Back in the day when I was younger and had just moved to the city I spent the winter slushing through the streets of NYC. I was inexperienced and outmatched.
I dressed with no style (though I didn’t realize it at the time), I couldn’t keep a conversation going, let alone make it fun or sexy, and I had no idea what to do if I actually did get a phone number.
So I trained.
1. Find a trainer. Luckily for me, I met a guy who would later become one of my best friends. He took me under his wing and showed me around the city. He was the type of guy who didn’t mince words: I remember one day I met up with him at a bar wearing a T-shirt over a button-up shirt and he said, “You look like an American Eagle store threw up on you.” It was a lesson learned.
One very important thing to look for in a trainer is someone who can help you from a position of love and respect. You want someone who will give you constructive criticism with your best interests in mind. Don’t just pick someone who, although they are good with women themselves, can’t teach it to you or just bust your balls when you go out. As the old saying goes, “Show me your friends and I will tell you who you are.”
2. Work on the Basics.You must, must, must spend the time slogging through the motions of starting a conversation. It doesn’t have to be pretty or smooth, but just get used to it. Sure, it’s scary sometimes and the pressure is all on you, but it’s important that you get used to that rush of adrenaline and work through your nerves to get the job done. Here’s a tip: don’t worry about what you say to start a conversation or even what she says back to you. Instead, think of what you’re going to say next. At this point you’re a stranger to her, so start by talking about yourself to de-strangerfy yourself. If she’s into you, she’ll start sharing stories about herself as well and after that it’s all downhill.
OK, that’s not true. There is still a lot left to work on when it comes to the basics. See the Big Four, for example. And I really recommend working with a coach to get the basics mastered, so if you have the time and are committed to it, give GK a call and tell him that you’ve got a little experience under your belt but want to know how to really maximize your time when you’re out.
3. Try, and Fail to get a Date. What? Fail to get a date? That’s crazy talk, Rob! You might think so, but I believe that we learn more from our failures than from our successes. During my own “training” phase, and especially toward the end of it, I began to notice that I was getting phone numbers every night
I went out, but very few of them ever turned into a date. What was I doing wrong? It took a few more months of trial and error to figure it out, but it eventually came down to how I “closed.” I’m not going to get into details here (again, call GK and set up a time to talk so that he can give you the best advice for your particular situation), but it turns out that I was acting too aloof when I got a girl’s number. Basically I was coming off like a player and they weren’t taking me seriously. I know, it surprised me too. Also, my phone game stunk, but eventually I smoothed it out into a formula that was pretty much foolproof. The funny thing is that I never would have gotten successful if I didn’t spend the winter walking all over NYC figuring out what I was doing wrong.
At this point you’re like Rocky running faster and stronger than his Soviet escorts. You’ve spent the winter training and getting better, but your goal might still be out of reach. In Part II, I’ll explain what I would do (and did) next.