Strategies for breaking droughts

The still under-valued Megan (non-McArdle) writes:

Moving on, Sean asked me how I flirt with the guys I like. “Well, you
know how I am usually friendly and smiley and I talk about dorky
things? Just like that, only more.” “So if you saw a guy you liked…” “I
would probably give him a hug like everyone else, and then tell him
about the things I’ve been thinking about recently. Like right now I’m
super into Geoffrey Chaucer’s blog, so I would be all ‘hah, hah, hah, and then, he makes fun of John Gower, hah hah’.”    “And you still don’t score?” said Sean.  “Remarkable.”

Here is the full and articulate post.  Here are the writer’s two (false) premonitions.  Here is some background on the competition.  Here is the author.  Please restrict your thoughts to the polite, and apply game theory if at all possible.


She claims there is a "drought," but what are we really talking about here? One month? Two months? Such a duration doesn't count as a drought in my book. Thus, she is probably used to an unusually long run of good results, or just not used to any short spells of bad results. But I'm sure to her it *feels* long.

If the duration of the drought actually is longer, say a year, then we must assume she is being more selective. Or is more unlucky and this is just a fluke expected among the thousands of blogs out there.

I'm affraid her friend is giving her bad advice as well. She should not change her actions... the old saw that you should "be yourself" actually is sound wisdom, despite being so conventional.

From one of the links above:

I feel like I only have a few standards for my men: smart, funny, and nice all the way through. Height, looks, money? I didn’t think I cared.

Maybe the problem is that she's lying to herself.

"the old saw that you should "be yourself" actually is sound wisdom, despite being so conventional"

Crap. Utter, utter crap. Sorry but I couldn't think of another way to express my feelings.

"Being yourself" works fine, IF you are a naturally flirty, attractive type whose normal behaviour attracts members of the opposite sex. Such people just act like normal, it works fine for them, and they can't see what the problem is.

If your normal behaviour doesn't reel them in, then you need to change it. I wasted years before I worked that out.

A premonition about marriage isn't a premonition, it's a crush. Likewise, a premonition about someone you already know is going on a big trip is just a heightened form of nervousness or fear of abandonment. Both premonitions make me wonder if maybe Megan is sending men signals of clinginess without being aware of it. Or, to be more polite and to bring in game theory, perhaps men follow commitment-avoiding strategies that require them to be hypersensitive to any sign of a women wanting a commitment.

Thus, my #1 dating advice to her -- and to anyone else -- is that the less you appear to need a date/relationship/marriage, the more likely you are to get one.

This is my advice to Patrick, too: it is _always_ correct that you should "act normally" or "be yourself" in the limited sense that you should act as if you are just going about your normal, fun life without trying too hard to meet someone or being too upset if you don't meet someone. Yes, like all advice, "being yourself" can be taken too far, but it is right in a specific and limited way. Perhaps "always pretend you are just being yourself" would be better.

If Megan is complaining about the lack of available single men, she ought to go to a science fiction fan convention. From what I've heard, those events are total "sausage parties," chock-full of single men. Granted, few if any of them will be typical Alpha Males, but I get the impression from her blog that Megan is not too demanding in that respect.

As a girl who has long suffered from the same problem as Megan (non-girlyness) I can somewhat relate to her difficulties.

If she is truly interested in nerdy guys then she needs to learn that nerdy guys are by-and-large too scared to make the first move (or second or third). So not only does she need to amp up her basic flirting technique, but she needs to be willing to ask guys out. Otherwise she'll find herself in only platonic relationships with men.

A cute female engineer in California can't find a guy? That's rather implausible on its face, but hamilton's theory might be true in which case she can achieve immediate success by making first moves. Another possibility is that while she may honestly think she wants a nerd, her genetic programming is subconsciously rejecting them in favor of alpha males.

"If she is truly interested in nerdy guys then she needs to learn that nerdy guys are by-and-large too scared
to make the first move (or second or third)."

Bingo. Nerds, by definition, ahrdly ever scored during the critical years in adolesence. They don't believe they're attractive to women,
so you have to hit 'em with a 2x4 to get them to realise it. And don't be discouraged if they ask you to call them. It wasn't until I was in
my mid-20s that I realised when a woman hears that from a man she thinks: "He's not interested".

However, it does defy belief that a female engineer would have a hard time finding a nerdy man.

Peter (after a lot of good remarks, said):
"I'm not particularly introverted, but if I were single I'd definitely be _very_ careful before asking a co-worker out."

I'd say never, ever, do it.

Megan is not in a drought; she lives in Sacramento! As a male, and fellow Sacramentan, I can sadly say she is working from a very limited that educated, outgoing and attractive is almost a handicap in this town.

Solution: For the next six months date EVERY person who asks (without bias). For each person you turn down - and you will - you MUST ask out up to five strangers within 24-hours and date at least two with in 72-hours.

Zach's got some good words of advice: It's much better for the guy to feel "special." Many geek guys with think "OMG! She likes me" if a woman just walks up to them and introduces herself. If they think she's acting that way to every guy they'll assume she "gets around" and would lose interest.

And Zach is also right about the other point: guys can smell despiration a mile away, and sometimes the more attractive the woman, the more the guy would fear "oh man, there must be something seriously wrong with her."

Some more advice: guys also pick up on the other guys women hang out with. Certain crowds of men can add on negative scores to the woman. It's better to hang around more "safe" guys than single guys, for example.


"So... what is *your* dissertation topic?"

As I guy interested in geeky women, I like your question better than my note. I'm writing it down now for later use.;)



Hey y'all,

I can't tell you how many times I hit refresh these past couple days. Thanks for all your thoughts and comments. Some of those ideas were new to me, some reinforced what I already thought about dorky men. Most of all, I just liked the reminder that there are cool, funny, thinkers out there for me to pass notes to. I hope we keep in touch.


P.S. You know I loved it every time y'all called me cute.

All of this has brought up some memories... (HM for 16 years)

I'm pretty far gone on the nerd/geek scale. To make matters worse, I deliberately choose to not even consider dating until I was nineteen. I found out later that I drove some poor girls crazy during that time.

I dated a total of five girls. Married #5. Only one could be considered a "pickup". The worst of the bunch. The others were all friends before.

I twice had girls/women through themselves at me. While I kinda realized it at the time, both were friends that I had ruled out. Note that I was trying to limit my dating pool to people I might marry.

Make friends. Then decide to date.

Comments for this post are closed