Every now and then, I like to conduct dating related searches on Google. Not because I'm stuck for material, but because I find that cyberspace is an inexhaustible wealth of semi-useless, half baked, laughable information. The articles that interest me most are the ones riddled with words like 'Guarantee,' 'Secret,' and 'Power.' I found just such a gem this morning. The authors begin the article by appealing to guys who have trouble getting beyond the friend barrier, and guarantee that once they have this beguiling arsenal at their disposal, women will be clambering over one another to get to them. And it isn't just weak willed or easily charmed women who'll fall at their feet, either; they claim that any woman will want the lucky guy who happens to spend his hard earned cash on this thirteen C.D seduction course. Allow me to do a quick summary of the first five techniques on the Lothario's list, and give you an average/sober woman's point of view on them.
1. SMILING; THE BIGGER, THE BETTER. Seems an elementary gesture, I know, but apparently a lot of guys are doing it wrong. The solution? Practice smiling in the mirror! To really get that hottie to notice them, fellas should get used to smiling as widely as they can manage. Here's a scenario for you, ladies: you're sitting in a cafe, minding your own business, when the complete stranger at the table across from you flashes you a grin so wide it looks like the corners of his mouth will split. Would you think a) Gosh, that guy is sexually attracted to me, or b) Gosh, I think that guy might be the escaped homicidal maniac they were talking about on the eleven o'clock news last night?
2. LET HER CATCH YOU LOOKING. Now that the ice has been broken, the next step for our socially awkward loverboys is to wait until the object of their desire looks their way again, flash her another smile, lock eyes with her a moment, then look away. I'm tipping that the chances of success with this technique would vary, depending on the reason for the lady in question's appraising glance. Either she's sizing up his boyfriend potential, or she's trying to memorize his features for the identikit picture she plans on making at the police station later.
3. WAVING. The authors tell us that this technique is best performed in conjunction with techniques one and two, as a cheeky but non-intrusive way to say hi. I can't speak for any other woman reading this, but I'm not bothered at all when the one moment of my day when I can unwind, sip an iced coffee and forget about school, bills, appointments, food shopping, work, hastily prepared dinners and upcoming visits to the Principal's office is gatecrashed by a dude who has to resort to waving like a lunatic at unsuspecting women in order to get layed.
4. WINKING. Good news; this is something a guy can do anywhere and at any time, whether it's from across the room, or during a conversation. Winking at her from across the room says, I'm very interested in you...so much so that I've been following you for the last three weeks. If a woman says something funny, all a guy has to do is wink at her to let her know he understands this is her way of creating a moment for the two of them to share. Just when I thought that the only guys who still did this were the kind who were immortalised in films like A night at the Roxbury.
5. ASKING: 'WHAT'S THE STORY THERE?' The authors assure any guy who hasn't clicked the big red x in the corner of their screen by now that this question is an ideal conversation starter, and can be applied to anything his 'quarry' (yes, they actually use that word) is wearing or carrying on their person. If she's wearing a pretty bracelet, asking 'What's the story there?' will net the enquirer a run down on the lady's shopping habits, thus discouraging her from communicating as she otherwise would, with the back of her hand. I wonder how much further the conversation would progress if the answer was 'I stole it back from the guy who mugged me earlier, just before I bludgeoned him to death with the rock I've got in my handbag?'
My main objection with these sorts of tutorials is the motivation behind them. Given that the self-proclaimed 'Dating Coaches' flanked their article with ads for the aforementioned, thirteen C.D set seduction course and other social refresher classes, I'd say that they were less concerned with self-help than they were to helping themselves to their unwitting customer's money. I know it sounds as though I'm just being mean to get a laugh, but don't misunderstand me; I love to be flirted with. It's flattering and like any other woman, I will respond well if I'm interested, but the thought that there are actually guys out there who are so down on themselves that they will pay a so called expert to teach them how to con women into liking them genuinely saddens me. Guys: adopting a formulaic approach with a woman is more likely to piss her off than it is to woo her. Even if it does work, she will eventually see the real you, and if the sweet talking pick up artist is the guy she, inexplicably, wants to wake up next to everyday for the rest of her life, you my friends are in for heartbreak.