Spiral Staircase
After a little Twitter conversation about dating, I found myself thinking: what kind of ridiculous conundrum have I gotten myself into? You see, I do not believe in approaching a woman based on her looks.There are more than enough attractive women out there. These women were blessed by her genetics. Beauty is not a motivation for me to approach. I am far more interested in a woman’s personality and intellect.

That is not to say that I am not attracted to women on a physical level. To paraphrase a little bit of Kung Fu wisdom, to deny one’s nature and impulses is to give them a strength far greater than any man can resist. On the same token, I recognize that physical attraction is only physical attraction.

Last night, I was visiting some friends for a late dinner. It would be the first time I went to their new home in Brooklyn. As any self-respecting gentleman would do, I would not go there empty-handed. I had already placed an order for a flourless chocolate cake at The Chocolate Room. I thought that it would also be nice if I gave them a gift basket along with the dessert. A lady who I guessed was the manager helped me put together that gift basket. I found her attractive: she had dark hair pulled back in a ponytail, and I suppose I found her to be beautiful, though it may be a misleading adjective considering its common usage. As I’ve repeated many times before, I am unaffected by the stammering that usually accompanies most men’s exposure to beautiful women. In any case, it occurred to me that if I were some average guy, I would act on this thought and ask her on a date.But I am not an average guy. I’m wired differently and have a different set of beliefs than most people. My actions and behavior are not governed by some prehistoric evolutionary impulses. I thought to myself, why should I ask this woman out on a date? Why should I spend time and money on her? As attractive as I thought she was, it felt absurd to ask her. I knew nothing about her except that she was attractive and, from her body language and non-verbal cues, was probably unconsciously attracted to me, at least to the point where she would not outright reject any dating proposals from me. What woman in her right mind can resist an impeccably dressed young man who exudes confidence, one in a bespoke suit no less?Ha ha ha, I jest, I would not presume to be so arrogant. Anyway, let’s assume I did ask thisladyout. If she did any thinking whatsoever, she would wonder why I asked her out. And there is only one reason: because she is an attractive woman. Under that assumption, I would presumably be quite a shallow individual.

As friend and frequent commenter Gary says, the world of online dating seems to magnify people’s already shallow natures. He suggested that I take a stand against all of that nonsense by dating “in real life”. But therein lies the conundrum: it is against my personal code of conduct to approach a woman based on her looks. I only make the decision to engage in any semblance of romantic pursuit once I know something about her: where she is from, what she believes in…the important things that make up a real connection. On the Internet, I have the luxury of at least gleaning some information from a prospective date’s profile. I do not move forward with any sort of communication, be it a wink or flirtation, unless there is genuine motivation and interest.

So what am I to do? I’m damned if I stick to my guns: how will I ever get to know a girl unless I approach her? But according to my self-imposed set of rules, why would I approach at all unless I knew something about her?

I suppose that I could dial down my intensity…I have a tendency to take things seriously. By nature, I feel more than others do. Would it be so bad to casually ask a girl to accompany me for a movie? In the “normal” world, it would be more than acceptable. It’s my own damned philosophy that prevents me from doing something like that. We are our own harshest critics, and in this case, I must say harsh is an accurate adjective. I’m just not used to doing things without a motivation. I’m not the type of guy who just dicks around and talks a lot of bullshit. I’m more of the focused type, occasionally driven. I have a particular economy of motion, both physically and emotionally. I do not expend my energy on anything that does not add to my life. Some people call it taking things too seriously, others call it focused or intense, I call it the cliché of artist types who wear black.

It never occurred to me that I could just simply ask a girl out to a movie, if for no other reason than for companionship and a shared interest, no matter that it’s only a passing and insignificant common interest. I suppose it’s time to reframe and try a different route. Time to improvise, adapt, and overcome.