Take the 12/12 Challenge!

5 Feb

After feeling that last weekend was devoid of any excitement whatsoever**, an idea came upon me:  Starting February 15, I should commit to going on 12 dates in the following 12 weeks.

Now, I do not know twelve unmarried, not-dating-anyone men (between the ages of, say, 26-44), so I am going to have to do some combination of (a) asking people I know to find someone to go out with me for at least 15 minutes, (b) approaching stranger-men myself and either outright asking them for dates or finagling a way to get them to ask me, and/or (c) joining an internet man menu man catalog dating site.  This is a daunting task, but I am up to the challenge.

The question is…are YOU?

I figure I must not be the only single person on this blog who is looking to break out of the rut.  If you want to join me in the 12/12 Challenge, let me know in the comments.  At the very least, the Challenge will give you an opener to use.

THE RULES:

  1. Twelve dates must take place between February 15, 2011 and May 9, 2011.
  2. Each date must last at least 15 minutes, i.e., NO LEMON LAWING PERMITTED.
  3. You are not limited to one date per week, e.g., if you complete twelve dates in one day, that still counts.  However, you may not go on two (or more) dates with the same person in one day.
  4. You can go on more than one date with the same person, i.e., going on two dates with Person A equals two dates for the purposes of the 12/12 Challenge.
  5. If you go on more than one date with the same person, the dates must be different activities, e.g., no buying the same person coffee on five different occasions.
  6. Double-dating is permitted; group dating (large group with no distinct pairings) is not.
  7. No going on a date with a “bro” of the opposite sex, unless the explicit goal is to break out of bro-dom.
  8. You must make it clear to the other person that you are going on a date and not just “hanging out.”
  9. If someone flakes on you, it doesn’t count as a date.  You must schedule and complete another date.

If you complete the 12/12 Challenge, I will award you a personalized prize probably a drawing by me.  Just leave a comment on May 10 listing each date you went on (calendar date, first name/initial of person you went with, and what the activity was).

MAZEL TOV!

**Minus watching the U.S. Figure Skating National Championships.***

***Okay, it wasn’t the most exciting Nationals of all time.  But high-level athletic competition is inherently compelling.

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104 Responses to “Take the 12/12 Challenge!”

  1. Joseph Dantes February 5, 2011 at 2:38 pm #

    Zomg Haley gets serious.

    I predict great success.

  2. Lover of Wisdom February 5, 2011 at 3:10 pm #

    I know what the prize is! It is a song written just for you by Haley.

  3. Aunt Haley February 5, 2011 at 3:15 pm #

    Joseph–
    Just for the record, define “success.” (And the difference between mere “success” and “great success.”)

    Lover of Wisdom–
    Way to take the wind out of my sails.

  4. Cane Caldo February 5, 2011 at 3:24 pm #

    LoW: did you see the credits? I have to think that Casey the Guitar Friend has been waiting in the wings for years.

  5. Lover of Wisdom February 5, 2011 at 4:43 pm #

    Casey the Guitar Friend got LJBMF* some time ago.

    *Let’s just be music friends.

  6. Bob February 5, 2011 at 4:58 pm #

    I’m assuming guys can get in on this – in which case, I’m game.

    It would be interesting to see the results each gender has at the end. Unfortunately, there will be too many unknown factors to make a proper set of statistics with it, but it would be fun anecdotal evidence for/against the “chicks can get dates anytime they want” meme.

  7. ASDF February 5, 2011 at 5:02 pm #

    Good luck. I trust that you will be reporting back to us the results of each date.

    You should do what aspiring PUAs do and approach a dozen strangers in the mall.

  8. Jennifer M. February 5, 2011 at 5:02 pm #

    Wow! You are braver than I. Can’t wait to hear how this turns out!!

  9. Athol Kay: Married Man Sex Life February 5, 2011 at 5:43 pm #

    /gets popcorn

  10. Augustine DeCarthage February 5, 2011 at 6:44 pm #

    Good luck, Haley. I like this idea. I’m a proponent of more people going on more dates. Guys, ask more girls out. Girls, when asked out, say yes.

  11. y81 February 5, 2011 at 7:27 pm #

    Now this is what I call a constructive plan, and sort of reminiscent of what I did when I had decided to get married. I recommend continuing the one per week pace forever, or until prevented by morning sickness.

    What’s with the 15 minutes, though? It makes me think there’s something wrong with Christians/Los Angelenos/Haley’s friends. You can’t get a guy to commit to a whole dinner? What are they doing that’s so important? I don’t think I ever had a date that didn’t involve a whole meal/concert/movie/ballgame etc.

  12. Aunt Haley February 5, 2011 at 7:49 pm #

    Bob–
    Thanks for participating!

    ASDF–
    It’s hard to approach at the mall, because men are usually not by themselves. They tend to be with a girlfriend, with a zillion family members, or with a posse.

    Of course, I could just aim low….

    Augustine–
    Telling guys to ask more girls out is like asking fat people not to have seconds at Hometown Buffet.

    y81–
    The fifteen minute minimum is to ensure a good faith effort (i.e., not bolting upon seeing what the person looks like, or other indications of potential weirdness). Also, I don’t think dinner is a necessary component of a date, plus dinner is too long to commit to someone you don’t know and have no idea if you’re actually attracted to him in the least. Better to meet someone, get a feel for whether there is ANY potential, and then go your separate ways if it’s clear it’s hopeless. And spend very little/no money doing so.

  13. Joseph Dantes February 5, 2011 at 9:47 pm #

    Haley, have you read Christian Carter’s Catch Him and Keep Him? And Lyle Lowndes’ How To Make Anyone Fall In Love With You? And Dale Carnegie’s How to Win Friends and Influence People?

    The difference between “success” and “great success” is that Borat says the latter. Niiice.

    I’m just saying you’re taking right action now, and that will yield progress. What form “progress” will take is unclear, because we actually know very little about you.

    4 dates per month isn’t much, but will be effective as a low minimum bar that overcomes inertia… if that’s how it winds up affecting your motivation.

    However, it’s quite a positive sign that you’re taking personal responsibility and scrapping some of your specious excuses, and also beginning to use self-motivation techniques.

  14. Joseph Dantes February 5, 2011 at 9:56 pm #

    I would be remiss if I failed to point out…

    Since your looks are your primary asset, followed by your personality/femininity, there is one more step I’d recommend taking:

    Get on a ketogenic carnivorous diet.

    That’s the single largest thing you can do to alter your #1 and #2 assets.

    Copious proof exists that non-meat foods are unnecessary for life, vitamins, etc, despite many assertions to the contrary.

    The staple food for a beginner would be fatty ground beef cooked with egg, in a ratio 250g beef / 1 egg. This results in zero cravings.

    I don’t expect you to take the advice, but it’s the best advice possible to give. So I gave it.

    And now that I’ve written it out, I can copy it into my notes for future redeployment. Nifty, huh?

  15. Joseph Dantes February 5, 2011 at 9:58 pm #

    Oh yeah, and I think a girl could actually benefit from the Blueprint stuff from RSD, even though it’s not intended for women.

    That would definitely give you a sick edge… and overcome a ton of your obvious social anxiety and “can’t-do-ism.”

  16. Eumaios February 5, 2011 at 10:19 pm #

    Brava.

  17. Eumaios February 5, 2011 at 10:20 pm #

    Joseph: “250g beef”

    250 gravities of beef? That will cause total colonic inversion!

  18. Eumaios February 5, 2011 at 10:21 pm #

    Haley: “Now, I do not know twelve unmarried, not-dating-anyone men (between the ages of, say, 26-44)”

    Curious. Do you know twelve unmarried, not-dating-anyone women?

  19. Joseph Dantes February 5, 2011 at 11:01 pm #

    “250 gravities of beef?”

    That’s the first 1-letter pun I’ve seen. Comedy needs you.

  20. Aunt Haley February 5, 2011 at 11:33 pm #

    Eumaios–
    Do you know twelve unmarried, not-dating-anyone women?

    Yes. (And not counting all of the 45+ year old church spinsters that I know.)

  21. AJ February 6, 2011 at 7:20 am #

    Sounds good, I’m in. Spent way too much time moping around last year after coming out of an 8year relationship.
    Plus I’m going back to university, will be interesting to see campus again, this time as a 29yo surrounded by 21/22yos :)

  22. Eumaios February 6, 2011 at 10:06 am #

    Haley, how many creepy single men do you know?

  23. ASDF February 6, 2011 at 10:21 am #

    ASDF–
    It’s hard to approach at the mall, because men are usually not by themselves. They tend to be with a girlfriend, with a zillion family members, or with a posse.

    I was mostly kidding. Your best bet in the short term is to put the word out amongst your family and friends. You’d be surprised at how many people will turn up.

    Also, I don’t know how many IOIs you give out in public, but they’re a must if you want guys to approach you.

  24. nothingbutthetruth February 6, 2011 at 11:19 am #

    Great initiative!

    If I didn’t have an amazing girlfriend, I would join it. It would be fun and educational.

    It will be interesting to see what are the result for the participants.

    Please, keep on reporting, Haley.

  25. Aunt Haley February 6, 2011 at 12:58 pm #

    AJ–
    Welcome and good luck!

    Eumaios–
    Some, but none in my day-to-day routine, thank goodness.

    ASDF–
    Your best bet in the short term is to put the word out amongst your family and friends. You’d be surprised at how many people will turn up.

    Do you speak from experience?

    Also, I don’t know how many IOIs you give out in public, but they’re a must if you want guys to approach you.

    I rarely see girlfriend-,wife-, or baby-free men that I want to approach me, but now that I have a mission to accomplish, I will make more of a deliberate effort. But I just figured I would have to cold approach most of the time. The problem with throwing out IOIs to strangers is that sometimes you get an enormous whiff of overjoyed beta from them, and then you feel guilty for wanting to get rid of them after you made them think you were interested.

  26. Feminist Lurker February 6, 2011 at 1:10 pm #

    Way to go Haley. Good luck.

    By the way, what are you doing tonight? A Super Bowl party would be a great place to kick this project off.

  27. lifeinlonglegs February 6, 2011 at 1:57 pm #

    The Beta-baiting guilt will be difficult.

    Does this The Bachelorette, Haley edition mean reinforcing men’s apparent approach apathy by going digging for dates?

    Help a gal out, guys: how else could Haley work it to get asked out by others on these dates. Aside from Dante’s hamburger trick, which might get her more dates just by virtue of hanging out in the meat aisle of the supermarket all day.

  28. Hana February 6, 2011 at 1:59 pm #

    Hm, interesting challenge–that should shake things up on your blog! I’ll be following it…and of course looking forward to many witty, entertaining write-ups of your experiences!

  29. Aunt Haley February 6, 2011 at 2:17 pm #

    Feminist–
    I’m having a couple of friends over.

    Hana–
    I’m still trying to decide how much to divulge re: the dates. Also, you should do the Challenge yourself!

  30. Rebekah February 6, 2011 at 2:27 pm #

    Ugh. Looks like I’m destined to be single forever. My first reaction when I read this was, “Wow, that sounds like a lot of work.” And then I felt really tired.

    But good luck to you, though! :)

  31. Hana February 6, 2011 at 3:08 pm #

    Haley–I’m not as brave as you. But I’m sure there’s a way to post a little about your experiences without giving away personal details!

  32. ASDF February 6, 2011 at 7:39 pm #

    Do you speak from experience?

    Yes. Everyone you know has a buddy, son, or nephew who is single. Older people especially love to play matchmaker.

    The problem with throwing out IOIs to strangers is that sometimes you get an enormous whiff of overjoyed beta from them…

    I thought we determined that half of betas were generally great guys who simply lacked the silver tongue to charm your panties off. It was also my understanding that you aren’t the female equivalent of an alpha. Why all the beta-hate?

  33. Eumaios February 6, 2011 at 8:20 pm #

    Haley, did you count the creepy men when saying, “I do not know twelve unmarried, not-dating-anyone men”?

  34. Aunt Haley February 6, 2011 at 8:31 pm #

    Eumamios–
    Are you asking if I know a dozen creepy men and am just not counting them?

  35. The Man Who Was . . . February 6, 2011 at 8:50 pm #

    Since you live in a large city (LA) with bounteous suburbs, there should be no problem finding 12 guys to meet up with using just Eharmony and Christian Cafe alone. At worst you might have to drive all the way out to Orange County or meet half way to San Diego. Contacting guys first online is pretty low risk. You will meet some frogs online, but you’ll also meet some cool guys too.

  36. Eumaios February 6, 2011 at 9:51 pm #

    Haley: yes and no. It’s possible that some of the men you rule out as creepy are not actually culls. But on the assumption that they all are, this leads to an interesting discussion of the different variances in the male and female distributions of sexual desirability.

    If, as with intelligence, men have a larger attractiveness variance, the men on the extreme left side of the curve will be substantially less attractive than the women on the extreme left side of their curve. Meaning that if you were to make a one-to-one mapping of men to women in order of attractiveness, many women who are not culls would be matched with men who definitely are.

    What wrecks this model is the one-to-one requirement.

  37. Eumaios February 6, 2011 at 9:58 pm #

    Something else to consider is that “unmarried, not-dating-anyone” is usually considered by women to be a good proxy for “creepy”.

  38. Aunt Haley February 6, 2011 at 10:49 pm #

    Man Who Was–
    I know you’re a big proponent of eHarmz, but I’d rather not unless absolutely necessary to meet my number.

  39. John Rambo February 7, 2011 at 1:58 am #

    BOYCOTT AMERICAN WOMEN
    Why American men should boycott American women

    http://boycottamericanwomen.blogspot.com/

    I am an American man, and I have decided to boycott American women. In a nutshell, American women are the most likely to cheat on you, to divorce you, to get fat, to steal half of your money in the divorce courts, don’t know how to cook or clean, don’t want to have children, etc. Therefore, what intelligent man would want to get involved with American women?

    American women are generally immature, selfish, extremely arrogant and self-centered, mentally unstable, irresponsible, and highly unchaste. The behavior of most American women is utterly disgusting, to say the least.

    This blog is my attempt to explain why I feel American women are inferior to foreign women (non-American women), and why American men should boycott American women, and date/marry only foreign (non-American) women.

    BOYCOTT AMERICAN WOMEN!

  40. Kathy February 7, 2011 at 4:28 am #

    “I thought we determined that half of betas were generally great guys who simply lacked the silver tongue to charm your panties off. It was also my understanding that you aren’t the female equivalent of an alpha. Why all the beta-hate?”

    Fair question ASDF..

    Haley???

  41. terry@breathinggrace February 7, 2011 at 9:00 am #

    I think ASDF and Kathy pose a great question for personal contemplation, even if you never answer, Haley.

    And now I will take a page from Athol and grab some popcorn, :).

    This should be interesting, particularly since I do NOT envy y’all in the dating market.

  42. y81 February 7, 2011 at 10:54 am #

    I’m with ASDF and Kathy. “Alpha-dom,” in Roissyland, is measured solely in terms of psychological manipulativeness and womanizing. So, for example, Will Wilkinson is considered a “beta,” notwithstanding that he is intelligent (judging by his writing) and successful in his field (judging by the jobs he has held). By Roissy standards, David Petraeus, Tim Keller and Hank Paulson are all “betas.” I really think any woman who whose criteria lead to rejection of mates of that caliber is making a mistake.

  43. Old Guy February 7, 2011 at 11:42 am #

    y81:Roissy is devoted to enabling those who are not natural Alphas to simulate Alpha-dom. Although there is a suggestion that a more permanent change can be achieved (“Fake it ’til you make it”, etc.), what you’re calling psychologial manipulation is part of a prescription for overcoming betatude. A headache isn’t an aspirin deficiency.

    I suspect that our hostess happily expresses revulsion at “an enormous whiff of overjoyed beta” because she’s visited the website, read the book, and embraced her hypergamy. While she wishes devoutly that church-guys would grow a pair, she’s not pretending that she cares overmuch about “generally great guys” who render themselves unattractive.

    Or, I could be wrong.

  44. y81 February 7, 2011 at 12:48 pm #

    Old Guy: But why would a woman want a husband who simulates alpha-dom? I can understand wanting a husband who is in fact handsome and successful, but why would someone want a psychologically manipulative failure or a habitual womanizer? And why would a handsome, successful man who wants to get married spend his energy manipulating Haley, rather than finding a woman who wants a handsome, successful husband?

  45. The Man Who Was . . . February 7, 2011 at 4:30 pm #

    The reason I suggest it is that while I have no doubt you can find 12 single guys to go out with in 12 weeks, 12 single Christian guys may be much harder to come by, unless you plan on maniacally chasing down and asking out every single guy you run into at church (not advised). (I assume that you would only consider seriously dating a Christian guy.)

    Very few women need practice dates. Assuming you are actually compatible in substantive areas, taking care to look as nice as possible plus not being painfully boring or gruffly unfeminine are all that is really required. So, I am not sure what going out with non-Christian guys will accomplish.

  46. lifeinlonglegs February 7, 2011 at 4:43 pm #

    YEs. Dating non-Christians would accomplish nothing, except maybe a boost of confidence and decalcify the old ‘mojo’ if it’s gotten rusty, get her groove back, etc. [insert cheeky lust lingo here] – unless Haley were to have an opportunity to share the gospel, which she does with her very presence …so it could be worthwhile as long as none of the guys fall madly in love with her and expect a relationship [or vice versa, but I’m assuming that wouldn’t happen].

    From a more manipulative perspective, were Haley pining away after someone specific, she might strategically go on the best of the dates in a public location that individual might frequent… [we all want what we cannot have]. However: since that person is likely a committed Christian such a plan would potentially backfire: [none of us want what everyone else has already had].

  47. Aunt Haley February 7, 2011 at 7:59 pm #

    Man Who Was–
    Very few women need practice dates. Assuming you are actually compatible in substantive areas, taking care to look as nice as possible plus not being painfully boring or gruffly unfeminine are all that is really required.

    You make it sound like conversation and flirting are not arts and that a woman merely need to “show up” for a date to be successful. Or is the bar for women really that low?

    ASDF–
    Aren’t we overdue for an eHarmz update from you?

  48. The Man Who Was . . . February 7, 2011 at 11:51 pm #

    Or is the bar for women really that low?

    The bar is pretty low. Not so low that you can get away with being a total bore or a weirdo or a gruff mangirl. But pretty low. If you have friends, you probably have enough conversational skill for a man.

  49. Kathy February 8, 2011 at 5:54 am #

    “ASDF–
    Aren’t we overdue for an eHarmz update from you?”

    Nice fluffy deflection Haley..

    Kind of disappointing though..

    I think Terry was rather prescient in her response. ;)

  50. Julie February 8, 2011 at 6:54 am #

    I believe that for most women, especially those that are not super attractive, it makes sense to try to find a greater beta. Even the super attractive might want to do this–since alphas are more likely to be noncommittal generally. You can still fall for a greater beta, though it might not happen on the first date. He is still a high caliber man, and you are more likely to capture and keep him and have a stable marriage.

  51. Yvette Francino February 8, 2011 at 7:01 am #

    I love this idea, Haley! I really am going to have to send you a copy of my book, The Laptop Dancer Diaries. I did a similar “game” only mine wasn’t nearly as challenging… I just was trying for one date a month (well… hopefully, the date would “blossom” to more) until I fell in love. And that was a lot more difficult than I thought it would be! (FYI, it IS kind of hard to write about it, too… definitely want to think about how many guys will want to date you if they know you’re writing about them… and if you don’t tell them then that seems kind of manipulative. It’s very hard to publicly write how you really feel about someone, especially if it’s bad…

    Anyway, I am single, too.. though even older than the 45-year-old “spinsters”… divorced, actually, with three kids ages 26, 23, and 16, and even a grandson. So here I am a dating grandma!

    But I’m still kickin’ and up for the challenge. (I’m a sucker for a prize) so I’m in.

  52. Aunt Haley February 8, 2011 at 7:36 am #

    ASDF–
    The bar is pretty low. Not so low that you can get away with being a total bore or a weirdo or a gruff mangirl. But pretty low. If you have friends, you probably have enough conversational skill for a man.

    Well, that can work if the man has decent conversational skills himself. But if he is very shy or has difficulty carrying on a conversation, it’s basically incumbent on the woman to do all the heavy lifting. (She’ll hate him the entire time for making her do all the work, but it’s even worse to sit in silence.)

  53. Yvette Francino February 8, 2011 at 7:48 am #

    OK, Haley, I blogged about your challenge on my blog today: http://singleagainonlinediary.blogspot.com/2011/02/i-love-words-and-haleys-challenge.html

    I’m trying to learn your secret of getting so many comments, so any of you commenters who are looking for more ridiculous look into an old lady taking this challenge, come visit my blog. BTW, I also wondered if having a virtual date with “Old Guy” would count.. Of course, first I should probably check if “Old Guy” is single (and not creepy). I should also figure out what “hypergamy” means. If it means someone who loves games, well, then, I am super hypergamy!

  54. Aunt Haley February 8, 2011 at 8:01 am #

    Yvette–
    I don’t think there is any secret other than to write things that inspire some kind of passion or strong opinion in your base. It also helps to be on the blogroll of high-traffic blogs that appeal to readers similar to the audience you’re looking for.

  55. Hana February 8, 2011 at 8:09 am #

    I don’t think the bar is all that high for a date either…if a man asks you out, that is. If he asks you out, he finds you physically attractive/nice/interesting enough to be interested in the first place (I think, as a girl, I can tell when a man is attracted). So as long you are capable of making decent conversation on the date, he will probably think it went well enough to ask you out again. That’s my experience, anyhow.

    But if a girl is asking someone out, that would be totally different…she’d have to figure out ways to get him interested. I suppose practice *would* be needed for that…it would be much trickier, considering more women than men are likely to develop attraction that way (through interesting/witty conversation).

  56. ASDF February 8, 2011 at 9:37 am #

    Haley:

    But if he is very shy or has difficulty carrying on a conversation, it’s basically incumbent on the woman to do all the heavy lifting. (She’ll hate him the entire time for making her do all the work, but it’s even worse to sit in silence.)

    According to Roissy, silences are good. During pauses in the conversation, I have been experimenting with sitting there silently and waiting for the girl to come up with something to say, rather than prattling on myself. I can’t tell if the results are any better, but it’s a lot easier on me.

    Re: Eharmony. I’m done with it. The selection of women was terrible, and any ones who were hot and socially compatible were unfit for marriage (not that they answered my e-mails anyways). I am going to start going to Church more, and am thinking of joining a really toney social club here in town and finding someone’s rich WASPy daughter to date.

  57. y81 February 8, 2011 at 9:48 am #

    I don’t think the bar for women is so low as some imply. Unless the guy is really desperate, the mere fact that you show up for a date isn’t going to get you a second date.

    In fact, I think the second date is the hardest to get. Plenty of guys can get up the energy/nerve to ask a girl out, but if there’s no spark, they go home wondering, why did I bother? So an appropriate level of charm plus IOIs is necessary.

    Of course, Haley’s standards for a “date” are so low, that what I consider the second date she might call the fourth or fifth date, after you’ve already had any number of 15 minute encounters.

  58. The Man Who Was . . . February 8, 2011 at 12:01 pm #

    The selection of women was terrible, and any ones who were hot and socially compatible were unfit for marriage (not that they answered my e-mails anyways).

    Strange, but I’ve had a lot of success on the site. I’ve found a lot of attractive marriage material girls, including some very attractive ones. Still very attractive girls are somewhat scarce, much less very attractive Christian girls. Pursuing 8+ girls takes nerves of steel; you have to be able to endure inevitable ups and downs. You might three or four girls in the 8-9 range out from the site in a year, plus a bunch of 7s. I hesitate to offer any advice as I am not sure if my success there comes because I am good looking or just that I have perfected “Eharmony game.” I’m not going to post pictures of myself or the girls I’ve met, but I have had some private correspondance with Haley over this and she’s seen some pics of both me and some girls I’ve been working on, so she might be able to offer commentary. Currently casually dating/about to meet up with some from my area, including an 8, plus Skyping with some others from more distant areas. I’d have no problem recommending the site.

    As for character issues, I had the site put up quite stringent requirements for religiosity in my matching algorithm. Less matches of course, but only a few questionable girls have slipped through. Some of them have been doosies though. Like one girl who wanted a “sexually knowledgable” male in her Must Haves.

  59. Old and Creepy Guy February 8, 2011 at 12:01 pm #

    Yvette – Hypergamy is the tendency of women to be attracted to men who are attractive to other women. Those guys are the alpha males. (This summarizes and skips steps, but gets you up to speed.) What in particular makes a guy alpha to women has elements of randomness to it — think peacocks’ tails — and it isn’t immediately or invariably related to obviously-relevant characteristics like success or handsomeness. Expressions of sexual neediness are poison.

    y81- “But why would a woman want a husband who simulates alpha-dom?”

    The easy answer is “Because the difference may not be obvious to her.” Some months back Haley expressed doubt that a man could successfully pretend to significantly greater alpha-dom than comes to him naturally, due to the “truth extracting powers of time and familiarity.” This is true and important.

    Haley’s aspirations seem more modest and more achievable, I think, tending towards a man who’s watched Dog Whisperer with attention and bears himself with calm assertiveness, his pack’s leader. Not much psychological manipulation here, and the dog is optional. (Of course, I could be wrong.)

    Although much of Roissy is very sad, that doesn’t make it false. A man who lets a woman believe that she is the center of his universe rather than a moon makes himself repulsive. That’s the “whiff of overjoyed beta” that offends.

    The more complicated answer to your question is “Because the difference isn’t obvious to other women.” Perhaps sadly, appearance is reality here.

  60. The Man Who Was . . . February 8, 2011 at 12:03 pm #

    Online dating works best for those rare birds who have trouble finding their opposite sex equivalents. More average people are probably best just socializing a lot.

  61. Brendan February 8, 2011 at 1:04 pm #

    Hypergamy is the tendency of women to be attracted to men who are attractive to other women. Those guys are the alpha males. (This summarizes and skips steps, but gets you up to speed.) What in particular makes a guy alpha to women has elements of randomness to it — think peacocks’ tails — and it isn’t immediately or invariably related to obviously-relevant characteristics like success or handsomeness. Expressions of sexual neediness are poison.

    In a nutshell this is it.

    Another way of thinking about it is that for men attraction is generally more “binary” than it is for women — he’s attracted to her or he’s not. That doesn’t mean that all women in the “I’m attracted to her” category are considered to be *equally* attractive, but rather that men spend less time focusing on optimizing within the “attractive” category. In other words, once a woman is in the “attractive” category, she’s generally passed *that* test, and can only screw it up — i.e., if a man is attracted, he means that, for his purposes, you’re physically attractive enough for him to ask you out. You can still lessen his attraction or dramatically undermine it, or encourage him to discount it and instead seek out other women in the “attractive” category, by your behaviors, your demeanor and so on. But that’s just disqualifying you once you’ve passed the “I’m attracted to her” threshold test, a test which, for the most part, is appearance based for *most* men.

    For women, on the other hand, the process of which men get put in the “I’m attracted” category is much less straightforward because women are hypergamous — that means women tend to select the best they can get in terms of *attraction* (whereas men who are looking for mates are much less inclined to do so provided the woman is in the “attractive” box).

    One way I’ve conceived of this (being an amateur photographer) is that when a woman enters a room, most of the men are in monotone, whereas a few are standing out in color (think of an image which is mostly in monotone but which has been edited to highlight a few subjects by making them in color — they stand out a lot when you edit the image in that way). The guys who are in color may, through her interaction with them, revert to being the standard grey monotone, or they may begin to shine in bright color, almost blinking. This is meant to analogize the reality that most guys in most situations are “grey” to women in terms of attraction, while a few stand out, and even those few can disqualify themselves quickly through interaction, and in a way that makes them less *attractive* (unlike for men — for men that disqualification doesn’t change her attractiveness but merely her suitability for a certain *type* of relationship). And the basis of what makes these guys stand out and be “colorful” is a curious mixture of looks, charm, “social dominance” (which is itself highly contextual) and attractiveness to other women or “social proof/pre-selection”.

    Using the same analogy, when a man walks into a room, only a handful of women are in monotone. The rest of the women are in varying degrees of color, some more brilliant than others to be sure, but still in color — still noticeable, still attractive to some degree. Of course, guys will try to approach the most brilliantly colorful woman they think will respond positively, and then “work down” from there, so to speak, but that’s very different from simply finding most of the room grey and unattractive, period. And the other difference is that the attraction *itself* is based mostly on appearance and not on the curious mix above — men evaluate persona and so on in the context of suitability, whereas male persona has a lot to do with attraction itself, before women get to the suitability tests, which add yet another layer of selection to the female process, depending on the kind of relationship she is looking for (or ready to be roped into). That is — women disqualify attractive men, too, but the difference is that women are applying more factors both to determine attraction and then again at the post-attraction “disqualification for this kind of relationship” stage of evaluation.

    The bottom line: male attraction is more straightforward and binary, female attraction is more complex and hierarchical/limited, while both men and women disqualify otherwise attractive people on the basis of specific criteria that are separate from “attractiveness”.

  62. ASDF February 8, 2011 at 1:29 pm #

    The man who was…

    Strange, but I’ve had a lot of success on the site. I’ve found a lot of attractive marriage material girls, including some very attractive ones.

    Yeah, but you live out in God’s country. I could count the number of wholesome, cute girls here in Vancouver on one hand. My search parameters were ultra-religious girls from anywhere who don’t drink, and I was getting overweight Walmart greeters from Indiana. Just the worst. I am handsome, and in my opinion, had a good profile (certainly no red flags).

    Maybe you’re overestimating the hotness of your women. I think Haley should weigh in on this.

  63. The Man Who Was . . . February 8, 2011 at 5:23 pm #

    ASDF:

    1. The non-drinker clause severely limits your selection. A lot of very good women have the occasional glass of wine.
    2. There is a knack to doing well on the site. For example, unless she contacts you first, you should wait exactly 3 days after being matched up before contacting an attractive girl on the site (unless it is a free weekend and she just signed up, then just go for it). That’s just one example.
    3. You will just have to ignore all the overweight or otherwise unattractive women. There will be a certain number of those on any site.
    4. You have to focus on women who have listed some of the same interests as you. Otherwise they won’t respond unless significantly less attractive than you.

    Doing well on a site like Eharmony probably does involve a specific skill set, much like doing well in a bar environment does.

  64. Aunt Haley February 8, 2011 at 7:40 pm #

    Hana–
    So as long you are capable of making decent conversation on the date, he will probably think it went well enough to ask you out again.

    and y81–
    Plenty of guys can get up the energy/nerve to ask a girl out, but if there’s no spark, they go home wondering, why did I bother? So an appropriate level of charm plus IOIs is necessary.

    I think Hana’s point was that most men will think there is some sort of spark if the woman can carry a decent conversation. She doesn’t necessarily have to give out a lot of IOIs.

    Brendan–
    Good points.

    ASDF–
    My search parameters were ultra-religious girls from anywhere who don’t drink, and I was getting overweight Walmart greeters from Indiana.

    Well, nobody’s perfect. Maybe you could have inspired them with your alphaness to exercise.

  65. ASDF February 8, 2011 at 8:18 pm #

    The man who was…

    The non-drinker clause severely limits your selection. A lot of very good women have the occasional glass of wine.

    I think my parameters were actually for “drinks a few times per year”. However, eHarmony would often run out of those and would give me “flex matches” who drank once a week. So I was exposed to drinkers.

    wait exactly 3 days

    Well, I am guilty of not doing that. Since it’s low-key guided communication, I’d just shoot off my 5 questions whenever a new match would come in who caught my eye.

    Haley:

    Well, nobody’s perfect. Maybe you could have inspired them with your alphaness to exercise.

    You are being sarcastic, but since you bring it up, I’ve gone down that road many times before, and it is always very frustrating. Alpha or not, getting somebody to exercise properly who is not self-motivated is damn near impossible.

  66. nothingbutthetruth February 9, 2011 at 2:14 pm #

    “But why would a woman want a husband who simulates alpha-dom?”

    Obvious, because he makes her gina tingle (also known as “chemistry”).

    “I believe that for most women, especially those that are not super attractive, it makes sense to try to find a greater beta.”

    Wrong. There are not greater beta enough. If we simplify and say:

    Alpha men 5%
    Greater beta men 10%
    Lesser beta men 70%
    Omega men 15%

    And now for women:

    Alpha women 5%
    Greater beta women 10%
    Lesser beta women 70%
    Omega women 15%

    It is obvious that non-alpha women are 90% and greater beta men are 10% so there is not enough beta men for all women to apply this strategy.

    The ugly truth is that most women would have to choose between being single or marry a lesser beta. This has always been this way and it still keeps on being this way. I know that many women who read this cringe about the idea but it is the truth.

  67. lifeinlonglegs February 9, 2011 at 3:53 pm #

    The issue affecting post marital weight gain is likely physical activity, not fatness.

    The women I know who were “fat” [see my post on larger than a size 6] before they married but still physically active [4+x per week, intense exercise or sport] never got any fatter – and many have slimmed down significantly having settled into a more solid identity and security with themselves and an even healthier lifestyle as a married woman.

    Thin girls – who aren’t fit and don’t exercise to the same extent, however, almost always balloon out after marriage.

  68. Lily February 9, 2011 at 4:32 pm #

    Man who was: “The non-drinker clause severely limits your selection.”

    “I think my parameters were actually for “drinks a few times per year”. However, eHarmony would often run out of those and would give me “flex matches” who *drank once a week*. So I was exposed to drinkers.””
    Once a week = drinkers…ROFL. You would not get far in England. Or France. Or Italy.
    I am trying to think of any good looking woman I know in any of those three countries who has a glass of wine or two less than once a week. Even the most Christian woman I know (the only one who was a virgin when she got married) as more wine than that a week. Scratch that, I can’t think of any woman I personally know, regardless of looks. Drinking a few times a year would be more worrying to me.

    America is a strange place (which it may well be, at least in comparison) or you are Very Picky.

  69. lifeinlonglegs February 9, 2011 at 6:28 pm #

    ASDF: I say stick to your guns.

    I personally never drink, not even wine at Christmas- though I have very few [hmm… none that I can think of in this moment, actually] who feel similarly who are not in recovery.

    This is something very important to me – because alcohol is directly involved in so many social evils… I can’t see that the benefits of drinking, even once a month or less, could ever outweigh the fact that alcohol is a contributing factor in almost all child molestation, violent crime, rape, etc. and couldn’t have it on my moral conscience if I drank at all – alcohol to me is a form of social oppression which directly impacts certain minorities, and youth – both of whom I work with directly.

    The companies that plaster up their billboards in the most economically and socially disadvantaged areas of town – where there are a lot of people trapped in a generational cycle of addiction and its consequences – can’t survive without the average drinker. Every dollar we spend is a vote cast – for or against those whom Christ died for.

  70. ASDF February 9, 2011 at 6:29 pm #

    Lily:

    Once a week = drinkers…ROFL. You would not get far in England. Or France. Or Italy.

    ROFL yourself. You just listed the 3 sluttiest countries on the planet.

    America is a strange place (which it may well be, at least in comparison) or you are Very Picky.

    There is no method on eHarmony to differentiate between somebody who enjoys a glass of wine with dinner and someone who gets trashed at the bar 3x per week. I figured “better safe than sorry”.

  71. ASDF February 9, 2011 at 6:34 pm #

    LifeinLongLegs:

    I actually drink quite a bit (well, not much at the moment, I’m trying to get ripped). I’m looking for a girl who doesn’t, because, as you say, drinking is correlated with lots of immoral behaviour.

  72. Aunt Haley February 9, 2011 at 6:38 pm #

    ASDF–
    I’m looking for a girl who doesn’t, because, as you say, drinking is correlated with lots of immoral behaviour.

    …but only in women?

  73. Athol Kay: Married Man Sex Life February 9, 2011 at 6:42 pm #

    Lifeinlonglegs…

    Jesus turned water into wine. Perhaps you should boycott him. :-)

  74. ASDF February 9, 2011 at 6:50 pm #

    …but only in women?

    Nope. But I’m immoral enough for the both of us. I need someone to set me on the straight and narrow.

  75. Kathy February 9, 2011 at 6:56 pm #

    ASDF a woman who enjoys a glass or two of wine with dinner is quite different to a lush..

    My husband and I often share a good bottle of wine with our meal…

    Having a drink of wine (in moderation) is not a sin.People who indulge in immoral behaviour will do so irrespective of whether they have had a drink or not..

    They may even conveniently blame their behaviour on the alcohol, to salve their consciences, refusing to take responsibility for their actions. It’s just an excuse.

    One CAN love God have a glass or two of wine and not indulge in immoral behaviour, you know.

    My female friends and relatives (who enjoy wine) do. ;)

  76. Julie February 9, 2011 at 6:58 pm #

    OK, well probably marrying a greater beta worked for me because I am likely the female equivalent. I had dated several alphas before, and so for me, the challenge was being willing to givea beta, of any variety, a chance.

    I think the lesson, again, is that people are wise to seek parity. Don’t hold out too much hope of marrying someone out of your league.

  77. Kathy February 9, 2011 at 6:59 pm #

    “Jesus turned water into wine. Perhaps you should boycott him. :-)”

    Lol.. Athol..

  78. lifeinlonglegs February 9, 2011 at 7:43 pm #

    ASDF – Have you thought that maybe behavioral standards for yourself might be what needs to change to help you find that elusive woman…? Your immorality would likely weed her out; you’d be deselected. Men have to lead in relationships – setting a standard for moral and ethical conduct. Unless you’re looking for your Mom to ‘set you on the straight and narrow’ in which case you might be able to find a rules-oriented, domineering woman who would want to boss you around instead of follow your lead under your covering. :) Not wanting to be critical, just food for thought I suppose.

  79. lifeinlonglegs February 9, 2011 at 7:47 pm #

    Re: Jesus – yes absolutely He did that amazing miracle [see John 4;]
    But the wine in those times was a method of purification of water – one understanding is that this is a foreshadowing/metaphor for the work Jesus is mighty to do in each of us, we like the impure water are unusable and ‘unpalatable’ and broken for purpose – we require His transformational power to be purified and made holy and acceptable. The wedding feast where Jesus did this is also a foreshadowing of Christ’s return, until which point his Grace sustains us [rather than crush us, God – Jesus Christ – is wooing us like a bridegroom woos his bride out of deep love for us – he’s pursuing each of us right now].

    On the whole, scripture displays a balanced perspective on alcohol – evil or good does not reside from a “thing” but from people, fallen in Sin and forever separated from God who would lead us the right direction like a good shepherd. [see my post on how sin is not morality for more… or Victor Shepherd – His teachings are hilariously bold and will knock your socks off: http://www.victorshepherd.on.ca
    His audio is the BEST.

    I cannot support what people are doing with alcohol in this present age. I work with youth dealing with addictions. This is so painful, especially when I see youth without addiction but with massive neurological damage [FASD, ARND, etc.] as a result of their mother’s addiction or use of alcohol during pregnancy. Or, addicts who are using to cope with such issues, having no idea why they always feel so angry and don’t understand what is going on around them because of a few drinks their Mom consumed.

    Did they have a choice? No. Their mothers did. Did their mothers have a choice? To take the first drink, perhaps. But metabolic difference for aboriginal people and women do impact alcoholism rates and addiction’s progress. – I can’t support companies whose product is doing this. Our actions deeply affect others.

    My own extended family has been deeply affected by alcoholism. I am separating from it so as not to cause others to stumble.

    That is my conviction; I don’t have any disallusions that the rest of the world has the moral compass or self control or the same feelings and experiences I do with all this so it would be ridiculous to expect everyone to comply to my conviction. I’m not the Holy Spirit, so I’m not worried about it beyond sharing my thoughts the same way others would and letting God work out the rest in people as He wills. :)

  80. ASDF February 9, 2011 at 7:51 pm #

    You are just a peach. I’m happy enjoying myself and playing the reformable rake angle. Girls love that a lot more than a joyless moralizer.

  81. lifeinlonglegs February 9, 2011 at 9:03 pm #

    the honesty! scandalous! ;)

  82. Joseph Dantes February 9, 2011 at 9:29 pm #

    Can you take the challenge if you’re not single? And what exactly constitutes a date? For example, last night my gf washed my feet. As a reward, I beat her with her teddy bear. Does that count? I’m so confused!

  83. Athol Kay: Married Man Sex Life February 10, 2011 at 5:53 am #

    Lifeinlonglegs…

    “Re: Jesus – yes absolutely He did that amazing miracle [see John 4;]
    But the wine in those times was a method of purification of water…”

    Actually it’s John 2. Turning water into water doesn’t seem terribly impressive as a miracle though does it. I could probably manage that one a couple times a week if I put my mind to it.

    Pretty sure wine comes from femented grapes…

  84. y81 February 10, 2011 at 6:16 am #

    Indeed, God turns water into wine every year. But when the Word incarnate is at your party, His works occur before your eyes at the party, rather than according to the slower and more opaque processes He usually employs.

    I drink. But I like lifeinlonglegs’s point, that, in the conditions of first century Palestine, the Cana miracle was an act of purification, signifying the purification we will experience when we meet the true Bridegroom.

  85. rob February 10, 2011 at 11:13 am #

    ASDF, I second thinking that “never drinks” will get you more recovering addicts and alcoholics than anything else. Most ultra-religious girls don’t want a lush, at least they don’t think do.

    Lifeinlonglegs, is that you in the picture? Though I shouldn’t judge hair, for reasons that are all too obvious IRL, the braids may send more of a free-love hippy vibe than you might like.

    Are you really tall? Your handle implies it. Tall women in general should realize that men don’t have the same extreme preference for height. It’s not a flaw, but it isn’t something that will draw the 6′ -6’2” men that most other women also want.

    Haley, are you 1/12 yet?

  86. Yvette Francino February 10, 2011 at 11:41 am #

    Wow. This has gotten really long! You all are quite a talkative crew.

    Old guy, thanks for explaining hypergamy and for letting me know you’re also creepy. I will only attempt to lure you into a virtual date if I’m really desperate.

    Haley, I had thought this started on Feb 12th, not the 15th (To stick with the 12 theme I really do think that would have been more appropriate) and have already lined up dates for the 12th and 13th. I hope these “count.” In fact… I think they should count extra.

    I have a couple of other dates planned as well… I’m thinking there should be a prize for the person that finishes their 12 dates first. Whatdayasay?

    Of course, I’m using the help of online dating. Any reason why you’re against that? I’d think ChristianSingles.com (or the equivalent)would be perfect for you.

  87. Aunt Haley February 10, 2011 at 1:33 pm #

    Yvette–
    The challenge starts on Feb. 15. Your dates prior to then don’t count (but congratulations on having some dates lined up).

    Rob–
    No. Also, the challenge doesn’t begin until Feb. 15.

  88. ASDF February 10, 2011 at 3:15 pm #

    Why not start today?

  89. lifeinlonglegs February 10, 2011 at 3:31 pm #

    Sorry re: John 2 vs 4 – That’s what I get for having two bible pages open at the same time. You are correct. Oh well. maybe I’ve sent people searching through scripture on a hunt for the right text.

    It is me in the picture, yep. I don’t have that hair anymore [it takes about 8 hrs to braid that in!], but a neo-hippy vibe [minus the free love] applies to me to some extent. Not to an extreme extent, but to some extent.

    I am tall. Tall enough that 6’2″ isn’t that tall to me. :) …I’m not sure what “most men” would want me to do about my height! lol …hmm…I guess maybe I should have had that femur reduction surgery…. ;)

    Men should know that tall women are also not looking for “most men” :) I was once told to stop wearing heels because it is not very ‘feminine’ on a taller woman. Unfeminine to who, exactly? Should I wear rain boots?

    I could fit most men who say that kind of thing in my back pocket. Heels are very feminine and appealing to men who are closer to my height/taller than me [or secure in themselves]. I don’t wear heels all the time but it has never stopped any man, taller or shorter than me, who is confident in himself from asking me out – quite the opposite. I like being a girl, thanks.

    Needless to say, between the conservative Christian meets neo-hippie, meets super tall, I’m not looking for “most men” – just one that works with what I’ve got going on.

  90. rob February 11, 2011 at 10:00 am #

    …super tall, I’m not looking for “most men”

    But neither is any other woman, and men don’t give points for tall (no matter how tall the guy is) like woman do (no matter how short she is). As for what you should do, I dunno. I’m way too dysfunctional to give dating advice, really.

  91. lifeinlonglegs February 11, 2011 at 3:34 pm #

    Rob: my point was there is nothing I can do about my height and? it’s only a problem for insecure men who are shorter than me. :)

  92. Aunt Haley February 11, 2011 at 8:39 pm #

    ASDF–
    Why not start today?

    If I had a date today, I would go on one. But it still wouldn’t count toward the Challenge.

  93. ASDF February 11, 2011 at 9:26 pm #

    I meant, what is the significance of the 15th?

  94. Aunt Haley February 11, 2011 at 9:39 pm #

    ASDF–
    I thought it would be a good idea to start after Valentine’s Day.

  95. Yvette Francino February 13, 2011 at 8:48 am #

    My my, Haley, you are laying down the law! Here I was dormant for months, then have a date on the 12th and 13th and they’re not counting!

    However, I am not to be discouraged. My date last night was FANTASTIC!!!! Woo hoo! So rare that I find someone on match.com who I really like! And for all you people who think you can’t find a “good Christian” on match, this guy was very spiritual AND hot AND intelligent! AND… he wanted to go out again! Downside is, he’s newly single and wants to have some “single” time and he’s getting a ton of attention on match.com. He’s also “nice” which means he hopes to go out with everyone who is a relatively good match (which means I’ll have a lot of competition.)

    Anyway, I have a question for this talkative crew about online dating photos. What do you think when you see people with “sexy” photos online? Sexy or Sleazy? Please come let me know at: http://singleagainonlinediary.blogspot.com/2011/02/showing-off-my-rak-attention-grabbing.html

  96. yvettefrancino February 14, 2011 at 12:21 pm #

    Quick update on my pre-challenge dates.

    Date 1: Best match date I ever had. The guy was perfect. He wants to go out again “as friends.”

    Date 2: Guy was cute, funny, charming. Gave me Valentine candy and kiss at end of date. But… clearly not looking for an LTR. He asked me out again, but I gave him the same message Date 1 gave me.. I’d go out again “as friends.”

    I’m not feeling nearly as confident about the 12-date challenge as I did before the weekend…

  97. lifeinlonglegs February 14, 2011 at 4:54 pm #

    “Date 1: Best match date I ever had. The guy was perfect. He wants to go out again “as friends.”

    Yvette, how did you respond to this? [Please tell me you told him no?]

  98. yvettefrancino February 14, 2011 at 5:32 pm #

    @lifeinlonglegs… Uh… Was I supposed to say, ‘no’? Are you kidding? Best guy ever and I’m supposed to say ‘no’ to seeing him again? Hey, I’m the queen of LJBF, so I can deal with a friendship (for a little while) especially since I’m still checkin’ out other guys myself.

    What I basically said was that since he was newly single it was probably better for him to not jump into another relationship and that I’d be happy to be his friend, if that’s what he wanted. I told him the ball was in his court if he wanted to see me again but no pressure or obligation or hurt feelings if he didn’t want to.

    I’m meeting Date #3 tomorrow for lunch (yay! one that counts!) so I’m hoping this is one where we’re mutually interested… Wish me luck!

    And Happy Valentine’s Day everyone!

  99. lifeinlonglegs February 15, 2011 at 8:42 pm #

    Yvette: I’m glad you’re doing so well with the challenge!! I suppose I thought your ideal for the relationship is more than friendship – “best guy ever” or “perfect”. Now, he gets to put you on the shelf or in the back seat while he keeps hunting… like you said, the ball is in his court and you are left waiting – even if you’re chasing guys yourself that’s not ideal. If you can deal you can deal: you know yourself, and like you say you’re still hunting… however – sometimes it is wise to tell a guy that if he wants to see you it is either more than friends or nada, for the sake of guarding your heart. e.g. How seriously can you consider other candidates when you have Mr. Perfect in the background as a comparison? Will you be thinking “what if he changes his mind…”, etc. or will you be okay? Maturity brings wisdom but doesn’t remove our vulnerability and humanity :) Happy V-day to you! Have a great date 3!

  100. Miss365 February 18, 2011 at 2:07 am #

    Up for the challenge?

    Nup.

    Reason ? We just don’t ‘date’ in the same way in Australia, particularly in Christian circles. And short of signing up to RSVP and going on a series of dates with the randoms weirdos etcs who like to see if he can get the Christian girl to have sex with him while saying that he is wanting a relationship – I say no thanks ;)

    But I’m interested to see what happens with those that do though ;)

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