Watching how people interact with one another has been an informative blend of interesting insights and alarming details. It’s funny how much of our lives we spend socializing, yet so few people actually analyze the ways which we interact with others and attempt to better themselves. (And, even more ironic, is that analyzing your social interactions can still be viewed as odd, weird, or strange by many, even if, doing so absolutely makes sense in all ways.) We all love to talk, but few choose their words with care. We claim to be a “good listener”, but how many people actively listen with an intent to contribute something valuable?
I’ve enjoyed the time I’ve spent people watching lately. However more specifically, I’ve truly enjoyed watching people on dates from afar. This has been my primary focus because I wanted to learn the ways in which men typically create fun in their dates, and over the course of the last week I noticed a pattern, a disconnect that was showing up in all the examples I watched.
Most men don’t understand how to flirt. They don’t understand the art of playful teasing.
Let’s get this out of the way right now – please note I said MOST men, so if you are a man who is successful in this area, props bro. However, the majority of dudes I have seen are rusty on this. I am definitely in a growth phase in my life and developing my ability to flirt effectively is something I work on often. Today I wanted to shed light on the common errors I have seen recently, and how learning this skill-set could help facilitate growth for each of you reading.
Let’s start with the perpetrators:
This guy is a confident looking dude, and is having a pretty successful date. However, every time she brings up a topic she’s sensitive about, he responds with a rude or malicious comment. He thinks he’s being funny and clever, but in reality he’s lowering her self esteem, and taking value by picking on things she clearly cares about. Don’t get it twisted: hating is not playful ribbing.
The “PA” is a funny individual. He has a natural charisma and uses his humor to work to his advantage. However, unfortunately he is a classic self-saboteur by following each joke with a firm shove, an elbow, or, as I even witnessed-in-horror, he will give his date a “noogie”. Yes, apparently some didn’t get the memo after Kindergarden that it was time to move on from the classic noogie. The positivity of his humor is immediately tied to the negative energy of the ensuing aggressive physical contact, and actually creates an unease about your joke telling. If your sweetheart gets home and feels like she just went for a walk with Mike Tyson, you’re doing something wrong.
This date was a disaster from the beginning. However, this one also filled two pages of epic material in my notebook, and will spawn another article down the road, so thanks bro wherever you are. This guy is approval seeking and externally validated by others. By seeking that validation he spends 95% of the date bragging about himself. Everything about himself, from his unreal snowboarding skills to how much beer he can drink, to how cool his friends are. If the only physical contact your date is getting is her face hitting her palm, somethings gotta give.
*Reader Submission by Nicole!*
Mr. Nervously Emotional
“This nervous gentleman over compensates by making a joke about everything. Literally everything. If you can’t take anything seriously and just turn everything into a joke, it only comes off like you don’t care. Also, as women we laugh at jokes when we think you’re funny, and we’re trying to let you know we like you, but if all you say is jokes, she’s going to get really tired of laughing all the time, and inevitably going to give up trying. This quickly makes you not funny anymore. Please stop spending the entire time asking “if i’m okay, or if I need a drink, or if I need anything, or if I want to leave or what I want to do next.” Women like Men who take control. Don’t go overboard and boss me around, but don’t sit there and ask me to make all the decisions either. If I say I don’t care or it doesn’t matter to me, then please make the decision. Stop worrying about making the wrong decision, because the only wrong decision to make is to make any decision.”
I used to be Mr. Nervously Emotional, so I can relate to how tough this is to overcome. All you want is for the date to go well, and your passion to make that happen makes you over sensitive to what’s going on. Even though you try and try hard, you always come off needy. I think Nicole hit the nail on the head in saying “just make a decision”. This was the technique I used to help elevate my confidence and subsequentially level up my dating experiences.
Now that we’ve gone through some of the common offenders, I think it’s important to realize that all four of these guys have good intentions. They are simply focusing on certain aspects more intensely than they should be, and in doing so losing the big picture of creating an amazing date. By over-focusing on certain aspects they are neglecting the basic fundamentals that create a fun, but fantastic date.
So what can a fella do?
Simply put, If you took the best parts of all four of these dudes, and left out the negative aspects, you will be a veteran in the Art of Playful Teasing. Bug her a little bit, but make sure that you are teasing her about safe things that aren’t going to hit home on a deep level. Remember, you probably don’t know her very well at this point, so stick to teasing about things that happen while on your date.
This isn’t elementary school, so there’s no need to shover her into the sandbox because you like her. A simple light touch on the back of the arm, or linking up as you leave the restaurant is enough for her to know your interested. She’s not a dummy. You want her to know you’re a badass dude, but it’s more effective if she sees that in the way you carry yourself and your conversation, rather than just straight up telling her how sweet you are and rattling off the reasons why. Finally, be sensitive, but in ways that are valuable to her. Let her know what you are passionate about and you will look like a boss, ask her how the dates going and you have sealed your fate my friend.
Please leave your comments below on things that you have found successful and have worked for you!!