Know your enemy

The Caesars of ancient Rome used to employ small boys to stand next to them on their Triumph marches whose sole job was to gently remind the Emperor that he was merely a man and not a god. They would sit behind them and whisper it in their ears; “You are not a god. You are not a god.”

I know I am not a god.

I know I am a mere man who is able to string a sentence or two together and who can occasionally make members of the opposite gender smile. I know I am not the best looking man in the world, nor am I the funniest, cleverest or most talented. I am the iPhone of the male world – pretty good at most things but the best in none.

All this is by way of setting out that when I compare myself to other men I do so in the knowledge that I am not entitled to more than they are in terms of dating success. If I want to find success, attraction and one day perhaps love then I need to keep working hard, maximising my strengths and ensuring I compare favourably with the opposition.

I use the word opposition very deliberately here. As was pointed out on the pretty good Single Dating Diva blog, every dating app and every bar in the world is full of guys trying to find someone for themselves. They are preened and prepped and ready to make a move on anyone and everyone; especially whomever I am interested in.

It doesn’t matter that they are shallow, that they are only interested in one thing, that they are not as good a prospect as I am; they are competing with me and mostly winning.

I’ve actually had women I know who use dating apps bemoaning their luck or wondering to me why I don’t get more matches. These are good looking women who are funny and interesting and looking for someone to intrigue and amuse them. They show me pictures of the sorts of guys out there and I feel for them.

So many guy’s profiles are full of what even I would class as fugly faces, frowns, hatfishes, catfishes, awful bios, topless mirror selfies and more. My friends have shown me example after example of messages which simply say “hi”, “how are you” or “fancy a fuck?” Practically none of them personalise anything, nor do they have any attributes which make their lack of effort acceptable.

And yet I still get no matches.

I’d actually be fascinated to do some research on straight guy’s profiles and find out what they do which works so well. Is it just a numbers game, whereby you swipe right on everything and send the same old copied and pasted response until the law of averages means someone will bite? Is it about using carefully photoshopped photos to present yourself in a better light despite the fact you’ll be caught out as soon as they lay eyes on you? Is it about using certain keywords? What is their secret?!

I’m going to have to keep tweaking and training myself to up my online dating game. I’ve not really been in the position to test my real-life pickup skills but perhaps that’s the next step. Either way, I need to not sit here and bemoan my own lack of luck and wonder why I’m getting no matches; I need to keep improving, training myself, focussing on not just being a better me but presenting a better me.

Time for a Rocky montage, I reckon.

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