Your Goal Should Be To Break Up As Quickly As Possible

The article refers to him as the “Railway Romeo,” but actually this dude who has picked up over 500 women on the subway is more like the “Subway Stalker.”

But the bigger problem is that he is terrible at dating.

Note that the dude has met over 500 women, and is still not in a relationship.  That’s because his shtick contains this absolutely terrible advice:

“Always war (sic) a suit and carry a briefcase — it communicates strength and security, even if you live with your mom.”

“Wait 60 hours before contacting her. Most men text/e-mail immediately. Throw her off, make her wait.”

Which, summed up, basically reads:

“Pretend you’re someone you’re not in order to get her phone number.”

The problem is, what you get is… her phone number.  And maybe a couple of dates.  And then, because you’re working your ass off to appear more successful and wittier than you actually are, they get two dates behind your canned banter, and you’re back to sucking on straps to try to find that next hit.

Yet this is not unique advice in dating.  There’s all the gags: “Don’t ever fart!”  “Dress up super-nice!”  “Clean up your apartment!”  “Get your small talk good and polished!”  “Stick to noncontroversial topics!”

Yet I, the Tyler Durden of the dating universe, tell you not to do any of that stuff.

The goal of dating is to find out who is compatible with you, as quickly as possible.  Obscuring your central personality traits will get you to date the wrong people for longer – possibly up to and including a hideously dysfunctional marriage – but what it will not get you is someone who is actually good for you.  And you’ll waste months, years, maybe even decades, with someone who doesn’t actually like you but instead has generated affection for this papier-mache facade you have so carefully constructed.

But that facade is not you.

I say, show up to dates dressed nicely, but nicely for you.  If you’re only gonna wear T-shirts to fine dining, well, your date oughtta know that right away.  If you don’t brush your teeth on a regular basis, that’s fucking icktacular, but again – better to find a woman who’s okay with halitosis than to chew gum for a few weeks and then slowly have her realize your raw-onion-chomping habit is a dealbreaker.  If you’re a strident libertarian, don’t downplay that – it’s gonna come out!  Discuss the all-soothing balm of the free market!

And yes.  Many dates will be disasters.  This is not a failure, but a feature: you have successfully discovered that this person is not for you.  Many people will not be for you.  You need to get in, and get out.

Which seems insane, but dating is a lot like trying on clothes in the store.  You don’t put on a pair of too-tight jeans and go, “Well, if I suck in my gut all the time and ignore the tingling in my legs and try not to look at the unflattering things these jeans do to my ass, maybe this will be the perfect fit!” and then wear the jeans for three days straight, trying not to get lasagna stains on them just in case you need to return them, really trying out these terrible terrible jeans before you walk away.

The reason you don’t do that is because a) this would be a hideously uncomfortable way to live, and b) using this “Let’s drag this out as long as possible” approach would take you about four months of trying on jeans before you found a right pair.

No, man.  Dating is about experimentation.  Most dates don’t work out!  So the solution to a failed date is not to present some artificial front to extend the life of a terrible date, but to find more dates.

The subway stalker has 500 numbers and no solid relationships.  That’s because he’s gotten very good at lying to people in order to get them interested in him.  But that’s a lot like saying, “This new soda tastes better than Coke!” and you open it up and find a dead turtle in a can.  Sure, the advertising got them to open it up, but in the end they’re tossing the turtle.

It seems crazy to go, “CANNED DEAD TURTLE, FREE TO GOOD HOME.”  But it’s big fucking world, man.  Have you looked at what sells on Craigslist?  If you’re honest about your deceased reptile status, it may take longer to sell than a nice refreshing Coke, but by God when you find someone who opens your can they will want the dead turtle that is you.

Be honest about your tortoisy status.  Be unafraid to be rejected for who you are.  Because in the long run, it’s a lot better to be rejected for you who are than to be accepted as someone you’re not.

(Written on Fet, cross-posted here.)

1 Comment

  1. propater
    Oct 15, 2014

    It makes me think of this line in HPMOR:

    “Mr. Malfoy is new to the business of having ideas, and so when he has one, he becomes proud of himself for having it. He has not yet had enough ideas to unflinchingly discard those that are beautiful in some aspects and impractical in others; he has not yet acquired confidence in his own ability to think of better ideas as he requires them. What we are seeing here is not Mr. Malfoy’s best idea, I fear, but rather his only idea.”

    I think most people do not date enough to be able to contemplate the idea of letting a potential mate go away, fearful of the possibility that no other one will show up.

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