The dating game is played out moving one square at a time. There are very few shortcuts because chemistry needs time to enact, irrespective of any charming catalysts. Compliments can work wonders as enzymes of new beginnings and being able to listen well puts some at a great advantage. What about those that lack instant appeal or are non-conforming? No amount of wealth or wisdom encourages people to stop giving them a wide berth. Other tactics need to be deployed to break down the barrier and expose their heart. Attractive people get more attention in most arenas and all of it in places where there is loud music and big crowds. Maturity alters our perspective and whether we are attracted to the status of a person or their wit we become more inclined to cast aside someone’s physical shortcomings as years go by. Lots find themselves becoming less fussy as they age and not put off so much by relatively small imperfections as they were in their formative years.

The first square on the game board is to simply say hello. Then engage and hold a conversation. Moving it forward to another date is one more big step that we have to muster the courage, skill and nerve for. And then we get rejected. Fear of rejection is very real. From butterfly twinges to extremely raised levels of anxiety that blow opportunities into the wind. People psych themselves up at home then go out and approach a target. Then back out at the last second. We have this philosophical notion in our mind that there is nothing to lose yet it can get harder and harder for some to overcome the fear. When it is faced head on, over and over, we can be transformed into an un-embarrassable being. From panicking over a mistake to turning it into a joke, pausing then recommencing as if all totally normal. The finesse is where you can stare into the eyes to show seriousness and mix in a downward all over body stare to flirt. Most people appreciate the conversation even if there is a near zero prospect of a second encounter. Some are alert to the feeling of not wanting to trouble someone. It is a balancing act. Sometimes people are glad that they were worn down by your persistence. However, if you want to win you wear rejection as a tried and failed - never mind rather than let it stew. As there are people you are not interested in, it doesn’t take much to work out that there will be many who are not interested in you either, no matter what.

Some may not fear being rejected but take offence and retaliate. Where some will spew out an insult and move on, others seek a form of revenge to get back at someone that they wanted to get together with. It works in the same way as when we tell a little lie that then leads to a bigger one. After which so many lies become major mistruths. It ends up being carnage with severe humiliation when it all comes apart. When you do find someone and end up ‘married’ the memories of rejection are over printed by your success with this partner.

A smooth dater approaches a target and talks about the mystery and brilliance of the painter of the painting hanging majestically above. What they don’t do is ask, “where are you from?”, “how long have you been here?” or any other question for that matter. Asking questions is needy and dull and tiring and leads to people wanting to move away quickly. Find something to state, say it with enthusiasm and leave the what, why, where, how and who until further into the conversation. Drop “If you pick me …” or an equivalent in somewhere.

There is a saying that women people are like cars, as they get older, they depreciate and require more maintenance. We can use a comparison such as this and wish for the latest model, fully formed brand new rather than setting our sights at a realistic level at first. However, some of those that look like they are closer to the bottom of the pile might seem more approachable and have more than likely been approached frequently even if as a last resort by the swathes of hunters just before going home. There are pros and cons with attractiveness, best is relative, and it is much more of a mental challenge than anything to do with how well-endowed you are. You can keep the vision of finding someone so long as you are prepared to widen the circle and accept compromises. Some say that before you dismiss all as unsuitable, it pays to give a good few a test drive without necessarily looking under the bonnet. Go out for a meal, have a long chat and see what your opinion of them is then. When you find that their interests are different and that their understanding seems lacking in your area of expertise, remember that you don’t have to be identical to get along really well.

“If only everyone was like me the world would be a much better place.”

This belief is further from the truth than can possibly be. Thank heavens, thank your god, thank anything you like that we are not all so stilted and so similar. There are many a person who passes way beyond the mid-life age marker retaining no clue whatsoever of what or how other people think. Not spotting other peoples’ desires or what another looks for is the ugly side of the ignorance paradox.

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