Tell Me A Story

If you are a bloke and can tell a story you have an advantage.

I can say this with confidence because this study concludes that male romantic potential increases with an ability to tell a story. If you can’t weave a tale to hold her interest, you’ll have to find another way to keep her attention.

But wait: the study relied on reading a piece of writing by an (alleged) possible romantic interest, not hearing it.

That’s a big difference. Seems to me that on a date, handing a woman a sheaf of papers containing your best, curated pieces of writing might strike her as odd. Unless she’s a literary agent, of course.

I’d like to see some research regarding how women view men who can verbalize a story. Experience tells me that a talker who holds her interest will do better than the legendary strong silent type, or, worse, the talker with no point.

That’s our goal then, to be empathetic listeners, creative writers and engaging conversationalists. Snack.

Addicted to Expectation

Ash

I dated a girl. She was very close to the ideal for me. At the beginning, she even said that if ever I felt it wasn’t working, I must say so, and we could figure it out – split – amicably. Respectfully.

When I told her that it wasn’t working for me, there was month of silence-filled conversations and tears enough to un-drought California.

Her expectation for the relationship and me was, sadly, misplaced. Expectation and imagination overwhelmed reality.

We love to expect, and when expectation is either disappointed or gratified, we want to be again expecting.

Samuel Johnson

Clickety Click

Elizabeth was around my age. She had bobbed brunette hair and habitually wore jeans not of the fashionable variety. Her pants were real work jeans. She had blue eyes, gold-framed spectacles and a direct gaze.

We clicked.

When I say we clicked, I mean I clicked. This is obviously not the same thing, but the conceit is that if I feel a rare connection with you, more than anything I want you to feel the same about me.

That is the pleasure and the pain of click – we know that a set of happy emotions are erupting, but how does the other person feel? And it is the nature of click that it happens upon first meeting, which means there is no history enabling the clicker to ask:

So, hotstuff, do you feel as fizzy as me?

It can be enormously frustrating this elevated awareness, the hormone rush, the desire, and the reality is that it might all be in our mind alone. She might just be being polite.

My click didn’t last. Elizabeth and I were only in the same town for a weekend. She was married to a burly farmer, with whom she had three young children, and wasn’t about to indulge a dopey city bloke.

Foolish. Starry-eyed. Illogical. Impossible. It was all of these things, and yet none the less real for being so.

A New Love Vocabulary

Having a language as flexible, complex and wide as English does us no good if we don’t use it.

The point of language is to convey what’s going on in my head to your head. The common protocol, to steal a computing term, is the words, syntax and grammar of our chosen medium; English. If we both understand the rules, our limit then becomes the number of words we know, the variation of description. Vocabulary is everything.

Given than mind-melding does not yet exist, language is the best tool for the moment. So let’s unleash its power.

The best example of ideas and language restriction that I know of is the word “love”. We throw this thing around like it’s a favorite paperback book, a story that everyone knows. Difficulties – and miscommunication – occur because we use “love” too widely. We use it as a catch-all emotional descriptor, intentionally disregarding the fact that feelings are infinitely more nuanced than one word can convey.

A New Love Vocabulary is my plan for us to begin to tease apart our emotions. There are many words we can use to more completely and accurately describe the machinations of our brains and minds. My hope is that clarity will make us all live more in the light.

For instance:

Instead of saying I love her, how about:

* she makes me smile when she laughs at my jokes

* she makes me think of her first

* I admire the way she never condescends

* when she gets up to go to work, I am proud of her determination

* I respect her faith

* I am calmed by her equanimity

All of these might indeed add up to love, but look at the more complete picture you have.

That’s the goal: Remove the fuzz, create cleaner edges.

Would You Date You?

Along with my second half-century maturity (!) came a little insight.

It arrived in the mail along with my application to join some kind of “Seniors” organization. Bah humbug.

The insight should have occurred to me long ago, but youth has blindness to such matters – species continuation relies upon ego and lack of self-assessment.

Anyway. The point I’m circling is best defined with the following question:

Would I date me?         (If I were a woman, that is.)