I apologize for the lack of posts, however I am in the middle of writing my BA-thesis and because of that need to prioritize. The BA is going well but we are a bit behind on schedule. So I've been putting all of my efforts on writing the thesis rather than posting things on the blog.
I hope that you can bear with me and I'll see you soon!
The key to learning any new skill is to deconstruct it. You want to break the skill – whether it’s playing guitar, learning a new language or even dating – into its core components.
It’s entirely too easy to get distracted by side issues; the would-be martial artist wants to skip straight past the basics to where he learns how to break boards and beat people up, the cooking newbie obsesses about the perfect knife or whether he needs a food processor or a sous-vide appliance while he still hasn’t mastered basic prep.
In dating, we are often distracted – focusing on the perfect approach and opening line or how to get a one-night stand, for example – when our time is better spent learning the central concepts. After all, you need to learn to crawl before you run.
One of the keys to deconstructing a skill is to find and focus on the areas that cause people to stumble and fail. After all, it doesn’t do any good to spend your time learning bad habits that you will only have to unlearn later on.
But sometimes those sticking points aren’t where you think they are.
Worth noting (since somebody will bring it up in the comments) is that the mistakes that hold you back aren’t about technique (leaning in when talking to people, too much physical contact) or planning (forgetting to check logistics). The biggest mistakes are the ones in your head. Before you even approach someone or sit down at your first date, these are the problems that make dating so much more difficult than it needs to be.
5. Stop Overthinking Things
One of the perils of being a geek is that we live in our own heads. We’re clever and we know it… and this is often a problem. You see, when you’re clever and you know it, you’re more likely to actually make things more complicated then they truly are.
We tend to assume that things are always more than they seem whether it’s an SAT question – “That comparison of cow is to goat as BLANK is to BLANK can’t just be because they’re land mammals… maybe it’s because they’re both domesticated and give milk… what else gives milk that we domesticated? Camels? Sheep?” – to dating.
We have a hard time assuming that perhaps the most obvious answer is the right answer because we grew up believing that the obvious answer was a trap of some kind. Clearly it’s too obvious, therefore there has to be something we’re not seeing…
This is never more clear than when you see someone playing “Does she like me or not?” They start reading the tea leaves, examining a woman’s behavior as though it were the Zapruder film, looking for tiny clues that would give us insight into what she really means when she says she’s busy that weekend.
This causes many people no end of anxiety, especially those who are worried about being creepy by accident. They become so caught up in trying to find even the most minute sign of discomfort that they end up being unable to relax and actually interact with her.
Same with knowing when and how to approach someone. The only real approach invitation one needs is a genuine smile, but many guys treat approaching a woman as though they were trying to make a carrier landing – look for hair flipping, the look-away-look back AND the head nod, now call the ball….
This can cause problems even on dates: what did it mean when she declined another drink? She paused a few seconds longer when she was talking about her hobbies… is she wishing she were somewhere else? With someone else? She keeps bringing up her ex – does she mean that she wishes I were more like her ex?
I’ve gotten letters from people who have asked women out on dates – dates that women said yes to – and want me to dissect everything she said or did because there has to be more to it than she thinks they’re fun and wants to go on a date with them.
As a general rule of thumb, people say what they mean. They’re not trying to hide their real feelings and you don’t have to be a master poker-player to find their tells. Unless they’re trying to usurp the throne of Westeros, people aren’t cloaking their true intentions in subterfuge and guile.
Yes, there are assholes out there. There can be times when social conditioning – especially on the part of women – means that they will try to be sparing of somebody’s feelings. But the vast majority of the time, the correct answer is the obvious answer.
4. Stop Playing Games
This is one of my pet-peeves: people who think that the keys to dating are complicated mind-games and arbitrary rules. I split the blame between the pick-up industry (for men) and old-fashioned cultural bullshit like The Rules (for women) for perpetuating the idea that dating is more complicated than whether or not you like someone else and want to pursue a relationship with them.
The PUA industry, for example, gives the idea that women are hypergamous status-seekers who have pre-rejected men; men have to jump through hoops in order to prove that they are worth dating… and even then, women are always looking for reasons to trade in their current boyfriend for a newer, shinier model. Through social proof, compliance ladders, mind games, strategic negging to establish your status above hers, you can convince a woman that you’re not only the new shiny model but she should be seeking yourapproval.
Instead of treating her like a person and getting to know her.
Some schools within the industry take it to a darker, more psychotic place where men should be manipulative as possible, the better to keep her constantly insecure in the relationship and unsure of her standing; after all, if she’s never sure if she’s done something wrong, she’ll be that much more eager to please you. Keep her off-balance and you’ve got your own love slave.
Then there are other cultural ideas like the three days rule (popularized by Swingers): the idea that you shouldn’t call a girl for three days after you got her number for fear of appearing too eager.
The Rules plays its own counterpoint to the misogyny that’s all too present in PUA society; it deals in slut-shaming bullshit and old-fashioned ideals with rules like “Never call first and rarely return his calls”, “don’t see him more than once or twice a week” or “no sex before exclusivity”. After all, to be too accessible or to be willing to own your sexuality means that men won’t respect you, missy.
All of these games and arbitrary rules take getting to know someone and finding out whether you’d be interested in a relationship with them – whether sexual or romantic (or both!) – and turn it into a campaign of manipulativeness and dishonesty. It means that not only are you entering into this interaction in bad faith – after all, you’re not presenting your true self – but that you’re so insecure that you can’t allow yourself to be honest or vulnerable. Moreover, it implies that you see relationships as inherently antagonistic, where only the better games-player “wins”.
Small wonder you’re having dating problems if this is your attitude.
This is something I see far, far too often amongst men: the belief that they’re helpless victims in a cold universe; poor hapless players in a game where the deck is stacked against them. It’s not their fault; women are too bitchy or demanding or only date X guys or some other reason why they should be absolved of responsibility for their lack of success.
I get the appeal. I mean, shit, I was one of those guys for an embarrassingly long time.
But it’s all smoke and mirrors. It’s a way of deflecting the truth and protecting yourself from the fact that you are the sum total of all of your choices in life, both good and bad. No matter how much you wish you could blame it on something, anything else.
It’s great when you can blame everything on someone else; women only like assholes, women are crazy, they can’t appreciate nice guys like you, it’s not your fault. But at the end of the day, the thing that every rejection, breakup and heartbreak has in common… is you.
This doesn’t mean that you’re just some loser or creep who deserves to be alone, but it does mean that you need to examine what you’re doing. Sometimes it’s a case of things you’re doing wrong – you’re coming across as too needy or being too sexual too quickly. Sometimes it’s a matter of the choices you make; you may be pursuing women that you’re not suited for or who aren’t suited for you. Sometimes it’s a matter of lifestyle or even a matter of your personality. At which point you have a choice: do you continue to just wail about the unfairness of life… or do you accept that you and you alone are responsible for your life and take control in order to make things better?
Are you going just suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune — to quote the Bard – take up arms against a sea of unending troubles and by opposing, end them?
Sure, sometimes shit happens that’s out of your control — you get laid off from your job, your girlfriend suddenly dumps you out of the blue because she’s decided to pursue her dream of living in Williamsburg and starting a throat-singing folk band, a meteor falls out of the sky and destroys your house.
That sucks. But you can either whine or you can do something about it.
If you don’t take responsibility for your life, you can’t control it. You can’t blame all of your failures on God, the Universe and everything and still take credit for your successes.
A lot of socially inexperienced guys, especially those who have low self-esteem, have a hard time setting boundaries. These are the people who let others walk all over them, who constantly put other people’s needs ahead of their own, who are always balls-deep in drama.
It can be hard to feel as though you deserve to be respected, to be willing to take a stand and say “No, this isnot my responsibility” when others try to shift it onto you. When you don’t feel as though you have anything to offer, or that you don’t have a right to refuse others, it’s difficult to draw a hard line and say “This far, no farther”.
Being overly obliging is actually an incredibly common way people try to get others to like them. In theory, it seems obvious: do nice things for people and they’ll appreciate you. In practice, it’s quite the opposite; when you don’t respect yourself enough to say “no”, then others won’t respect you. After all, you’re telling themthat you have nothing else to offer.
Not having strong boundaries leaves you vulnerable to manipulative assholes, passive-aggressive victims and emotionally abusive shitbags.
I should know. My weak boundaries left me stuck in an emotionally abusive and life-draining relationship for years. Being able to stand up for yourself and demand that people respect your limits and wishes speaks to confidence and, critically, will help ensure that you aren’t being pathetically needy in an attempt to get people to like you.
1. Stop Thinking It’s All About You.
Here’s what a lot of people don’t realize: you’re not the only one freaking out about dating. Everybody else is too.
A date isn’t a competition or an audition for a role, it’s a way of getting to know somebody. You’re not trying to prove something or meet some arbitrary and random standard to prove yourself worthy of a second date, of sex, of a relationship; you’re trying to form a connection with another person.
Every singledate you’ve ever gone on, you’ve been sitting across (or next to) someone who is just as nervousand just as anxiety-ridden as you are. They’re sitting there wondering what you’re thinking, cringing inside as they made a joke they’re convinced just fell flat, worrying that they’ve got something between their teeth, wondering what that pause in your story meant, praying that their hair looks ok, that their dress doesn’t look as bad on them as they imagine it does and that you’re not going to think that they’re some crazy, creepy loser.
Just like you are.
You know why?
Because your date wants everything to go well just as badly as you do.
People don’t go on dates with folks they don’t like, they go out with people they like and want to get to know.
If she said “yes” when you asked her out, you’re half-way there! You already know that she’s interested in you and wants to get to know you better. All you have to do is relax and let her know you are the cool, funny, charming person she’s been hoping to meet.
When you’re so caught up in your own anxieties and worries that you think that every date is a referendum on you as a person, it’s going to come out in your behavior, in your body language and in the way you speak. You need to be willing to realize that she’s right there with you. She’s cheering you on. She wants to like you and she wants you tolike her, too.
Take a deep breath. Accept that you’re nervous and that’s ok. So’s she. Accept that things can get awkward.
Accept that she wants to be there.
Stop making the mistake that you’re the only one who’s freaking out inside.
You’re both hoping for the same thing.
 If I could remove one concept out of the dating scene, negging would be it
 where X= some value of “not me”
 It never fails. Scratch an English major, get a Shakespeare reference.
 Yes there are assholes out there who are just out for sex, obligation, pity, free dinners, whatever. These are the exception, not the rule
I finally finished my last exam before my BA thesis. It's been a rough month (5 exams within 3 weeks!!) but it's all over now! Now I just need to focus on my thesis and get it done before deadline in mid-June.
I'm really scared of getting the results for all of these exams, but there's really nothing I can do about it now. Just gotta keep going
This was how my week looked through instagram. I've had an amazing brunch at Toldboden, Copenhagen with my really good friend. I don't think we've ever had this much to eat as well as handed in two exams on the same day, enjoyed the amazing weather we've had the last few days with a BBQ in the garden as well as celebrating an old friend coming home from the US for the holidays. All in all, considering all the exams and work stuff, I've had a pretty good week.
You have to check out this new video from Arcade Fire. It has Andrew Garfield (Peter Parker) starring in the video and he really does a terrific job!
The song is amazing, as always for Arcade Fire, but this video truly is spectacular and the meaning behind the song too. I love it. This video really handles the topic very well as we get to see the problems that transvestites encounter, and how they push through. It's truly moving and it basically says that we, regardless of gender, race or sexual preferences, should be loved and acknowledged for who and what we are.
1. The things you’re able to write honestly about.
I know it’s not for everybody, but I really take refuge in writing, especially in a personal journal where I’m not worried about censoring myself for an audience. It’s in these moments of vulnerability and honesty that the things I most genuinely believe and struggle with come forth. I see the trends in what these things are, and many elements of who I most genuinely am are intertwined in them. You are who you are when you’re honest and uninfluenced by the fear of being judged by others.
2. The reasons why you can’t let go of someone, not just the fact that you can’t.
Sometimes we hang around because we don’t want to be alone, or we are so concerned with being loved that the alternative seems unbearable. It’s not the fact that you’re holding on, it’s the reasons why you’re holding on… they’ll say a lot about you.
3. The things you insist on holding on to.
It’s not always a person or a relationship. Sometimes, it’s ideas about ourselves or literal, physical things or even jobs we don’t want or goals we are adamant about achieving. It’s difficult to let go of the things that you use to define yourself, but when you do, you can actually find yourself.
4. The quotes or lyrics that resonate with you and comfort you; you recognize something of yourself in them.
When people share quotes or lyrics on social media it’s usually because there is something they are trying to communicate. They recognize a truth in whatever beautiful, artistic way someone else was able to put it, and it’s easier than simply stating things that aren’t always pleasant to admit. Essentially, look for the things you are most drawn to in art. It’s touching on something inside of you.
5. The moments that you cry without wanting to.
Some very specific moments come to mind when I think of this, and it really has everything to do with recognizing the things that you are so inherently invested in that you are driven to the edge by them. You’re influenced by a force that is far greater than anything in your finite control.
6. The reasons you are crying, and the things you’re crying for.
When you’re upset about something you know is irrelevant or you keep acting out toward loved ones who have not done anything wrong, there is something deeper brewing that is coming forth with the same strength that you are using to oppress it. Try to come to terms with the real reasons you’re lashing out.
7. The thoughts that don’t lessen.
There is some saying that goes, note the things that you think about first thing in the morning and last before you fall asleep. It’s usually a person, but not always. But really, let your thoughts show you where your heart is. It’s a difficult task, because your thoughts can very often be irrational and untamed, but if you’re able, see where your heart leads your mind.
8. The moments you accept what you cannot change.
There are few things more beautiful than the day you decide to start doing this. It’s the moment you choose to be okay because you understand that you cannot control anything but how you react to a situation, and how you continue on with your life.
9. The day you understand that you are in control of your life.
It is far too often that people place blame on everybody else when really, you can either sit in your misery or you can do something and change your life. You can think of a hundred excuses as to why you can’t, or why you should hold on a bit longer, or why change and acceptance is impossible, but you’re not providing any sound reasoning. It will still, and always, come back to: it won’t change until you change it.
10. The moment you choose to do what you want, because you want.
It’s when you really, honestly don’t care about what someone else will think. You’ll know you have arrived when you aren’t thinking to yourself, oh, I don’t care what they think, so I’ll do this, but rather, wow, I really want to do this, and I’m going to. It’s when you don’t even acknowledge or give your time or energy to worrying about the opinions of people who do not matter.
11. The moment that you finally understand what it is that you want.
Sometimes I struggle with the fact that I know what I want, but I don’t want to admit it. I think it sounds silly. I think it makes me sound weak. I think I have to be misguided and there is something else I could want more… but no, it’s just that I’m afraid of really acknowledging what I want, for the fear that it will never come. All that matters is that you know what it is you want more than anything. You don’t have anything to prove to anyone, and you don’t need to be ashamed. It’s something only you need to know.
12. The things you are still willing to sacrifice anything for.
Very simply put, they are the things that still matter to you, even if you feel like you’ve given up caring about everything else.
13. The ways you plead with God or the higher universe.
There is something I hear people say a lot when praying to God, whoever that is, and it’s: please God, don’t let this happen. The key there being, “don’t let.” As if God were some preventative force that could maneuver fate or what it is you’ve attracted or created in your life. Realize that the belief that God is within each person is valid in many ways, and you should tap into that expanse to do for yourself what you’re waiting for someone else to take care of.
14. The light you finally find, and what it is for you.
What does the resolution look like? When you had the breakthrough, and the epiphany, what was it? The light at the end of the tunnel is different for different people, and what it is will tell you most of what you are looking to know.
Last year I went to this course with previous work place and we learned about something called enneagram. I’ve soon realized that I was what they defined as a type 2. Type 2 personalities always wants to help others, feel needed and think of others before themselves as well as having a hard time saying no. The course has really helped me understanding myself and why I act the way I do as well as what my weaknesses are and what I need to be better at.
It was then when I realized that I was really easy to manipulate with. I always seem to believe the best in people and it sometimes has come back to bite me in the ass. Perhaps it wasn’t in the persons interest to manipulate me or at least it wasn’t something they did intentionally, but they ended up doing it and I believed every word they said, even though some of the things may not have been true. I’ve always learned to not to believe everything people say, but this person had become somewhat close to me, so of course I believed everything they said.
But after taking the course in enneagram, the cloud has lifted from my eyes and I see things more clearly. I now understand that there are things that I need to be better at e.g. learn how to stand up for myself etc.
The reason I’m writing this post is partly to tell my side of it and to inspire. If you in any way have experienced some of the same problems as me or just want to learn about enneagram, I would definitely recommend taking a course, go to a lecture about it or just read about it online. The 3 hours we sat learning about it, has really helped me a lot and I can’t thank my work enough for giving me and my colleagues the opportunity to learn about it and getting to know ourselves better.
Has any of you heard the amazing Klangkarussel remix of 'No Rest For The Wicked' by Swedish beauty Lykke Li?
It's been exactly one month since Lykke Li released the remix and I've been addicted to the song and the rest of her album 'I Never Learn' ever since.
Listen to the entire 'I Never Learn' here and be sure to follow me on Spotify for music updates here
So I did manage to get some things from Acne Archive's 72 hour pop-up shop and these were the things I bought. I've been wanting some new jeans from Acne since their jeans are absolutely AMAZING so I decided to buy two pairs (hopefully they'll fit).
Did any of you get to buy something from Acne Archive? If not, there's still time. Just click here
Did any of you see the Eurovision final last week? How amazing was the stage show??
As much as I applaud Conchita Wurst for winning, deep down I was actually rooting for Iceland, their song was just too fun and probably one of the few contestants I remember from the event.
However, my favorite song was 'Calm After The Storm' by The Common Linnets from The Netherlands. The song is really catchy and I really did not expect to like a song from Eurovision as they are usually a bit... out there. However this song is a song that you'd expect to hear on radio and various music-related platforms.
I'm sorry for keep apologizing for the lack of posts, but I'm not really sorry because I do have a life (or so I try to convince myself)
I've come to the point where I'm still convincing myself that I'll be able to keep up with the blog so let's see if it'll work out this time. I even changed the name to be more artsy to try to be more inspired. Let's see how long I'll be able to keep this up, but do not be mad if I don't constantly update with posts or if I suddenly just stop posting.