Friday, February 13, 2009

Internet date me!

That is right you sexy single foxy female lady girl ladies, Phil is on the meat market, and he is available rightHERE!!!

This photo is of me and lead actress Emily Chow at a rehearsal for Grace Chin's "The Quickie"; a contemporary play about speed-dating here in Vancouver. Actually, my only experience speed-dating has been virtual, which leads me to today's topic...

Online Dating!!!

Now for some, looking for romance online is no different than paying for the privilege of whacking off in front of a webcam. Others may see online dating sites as a haven for unattractive lonely people with no social skills.

But internet dating has come a long way! Now, many people don't need to pay money to whack off together on webcams! And whatever advantage unattractive lonely people with no social skills had online in the past has been demolished by the flood of HOT lonely people with no social skills.

I have a profile at Plenty of Fish: a free dating site where people from around the world can connect with others in their city or beyond. POF connects people world wide, but its humble origins are in Vancouver. In fact, in my "real" life, I actually once served food and drinks to a a few dozen members of a Plenty of Fish social-group here in Vancouver. They were mostly older, and had discovered the site as a great way to network and make friends.

Oh, and if you really do think people who date online have no social skills, then I dare you sign up today and try and get a date.

Visit POF today and you will discover it is filled with all types of men and women, of various age, size, occupation, ethnicity etc. Some are more explicit about their "size" than others. Some profiles are so well written that you may almost find yourself charmed into a metal bikini happily chained to Jabba the Hutt. Others read like a bad Babel Fish translation of a Japanese porn site. Look long enough though, and you are sure to find someone you would like to get to know. Or maybe even someone you already know!

I signed on a couple of years ago (back in the day before Facebook existed), managed to squeeze in a luke-warm date with an attractive woman, and then didn't pay much attention to it for quiet a while.

Then a year ago I revisited the site hoping to try a little social experiment. I wanted to try out some interesting pointers I read on internet dating by author and world renown PUA (Pick-up-artist) Neil Strauss . I became interested in Neil through his autobiographical bookThe Game. The story follows Neil through his twenties, where he begins as a socially awkward young man constantly seeking self-affirmation from women, and transforms into a social-dynamo that uses, interprets and develops PUA skills to connect with people and himself. In the end, his life, as well as the lives of those around him see profound change.

With great humour and insight, Neil writes about all the foolish things we men do, and all the foolish things that we really should be doing.

With Neil's advice in mind, I edited my profile and changed a my messaging tactics. Suddenly I had scores of women of all ages from different countries making first contact! There were countless messages and responses. I only absorbed a small part of his wisdom however, and as it turns out, I had little success taking any of my relationships with these women past the the stage of online flirting! I was wasting my time, and other theirs!

Where did I go wrong?

In retrospect I realize that my time on that website was spent bantering in the same way I do at a party with people I never intend on seeing again. I talk and talk and talk, but I am often reluctant to genuinely connect with new people.

When I feel like I'm connecting with someone or something new, I have a tendency to become too cognitive. My brain starts overworking. I start thinking how this or that situation or person is just like another, and before I know it, I am no longer "in the moment".

I'm not alone in this. I've met many others who let their past experiences cloud the natural wisdom that is inherent in them. It is that wisdom that allows a child, a pet, or a senile parent to show even the most jaded of us a new way to look at the world around us.

My failure to be in the now, and my habit of relying on my cognitive mind, is what makes me appear flat on stage as an actor, and what gets me beat three times by the same move in one day at the dojo.

When we are in the "now", or "in the moment", then you are experiencing that moment for what it is: a unique moment unlike any before or after it. We can not expect to treat what is "now" like what "was" or "will be". If we do, we are doomed to receive no new results, no matter what our wishes may have been.

Thinking back to "The Game" and to Neil's other writing, he continuously stresses being in the moment and making genuine human connection with people. It was odd that I let him inspire me to give POF another chance, but that I was so blind as to what I was missing in my online interactions with the girls I was in contact with.

If and when I go back to using Plenty of Fish, I will keep this in mind. Whether I'm in the dojo, on stage, with family or friends, or in the company of strangers...especially attractive strangers...I will try and meet the moment like it is no other.

Hey, why not try out Plentyoffish?

If you ask your self "why not?" and your brain gives you a dozen answers, try and think about where those answers came from. You will likely find they didn't really come from you! Hey, why not share them here with me? Maybe it will be the start of a much more interesting post?

If you let it, no matter what you try will promise to be like nothing you have ever tried before.

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