It amazes me how many dating profiles practically list out the reasons why nobody should date you. You say you want a partner, but in the very place you should be putting your best face forward, you’re slyly convincing every new reader to skip you for someone better.
Amazing, date-able, talented, smart people do this. You shoot yourself in the foot. Repeatedly.
Sometimes, you don’t even realize you’re doing it.
You know that pain from being single? Hate to say it, but some of you are inflicting it on yourselves.
This post was inspired by Ryan Macklin (aka Ryan Fuckin’ Macklin From The Internet. He has a giant flask engraved with that title). He’s a game designer, writer, editor, publisher, podcaster & audio producer. Most recently, he’s caused a lot of buzz in the geek community for The Dresden Files RPG. Yesterday, he wrote a post entitled, Two rules I live by, or “No on No.”
Giving People A Reason To Say No
In the article, Ryan described a pesky habit of his in which he used to be whiny and insecure every time someone asked him to work on a project with them. Why him when there were “better” people out there?
When it comes to working with people, I have learned a really crucial rule: It isn’t your job to give someone a reason to tell you ‘no.’
- Ryan Macklin
Wow, have I “been there, done that.” When I’m feeling insecure, I’m full of excuses why I’m the worst possible person for the job. And do you know what? 99% of them are complete bullshit.
In dating profiles, I see these reasons to say no all the time:
- “I’ve had a hard time finding dates on here because I don’t have a car.”
- “I know I’m kinda fat, so if that’s not your cup of tea, I understand.”
- “I’m still in school at 34 and live with my parents. Yeah, I know it sucks, but I hope you can overlook that.”
- “I’m not the type of person that everyone likes.”
- “I can understand if scrawny and blond isn’t your type.”
- “I keep getting handed the Friend Card whenever I find a girl I like.”
- “If you like my profile, write me an email. If not, have a great day.”
That’s your whiny, insecure bitch voice there. Here’s what you’re really saying:
- “Tell me you like me even though I don’t have a car.”
- “Tell me you like me even though I’m fat.” or “Tell me you like me and I’m in NO WAY fat.”
- “Tell me you like me even though I’m a perpetual student that lives at home.”
- “Tell me you like me so I feel unique AND loved.”
- “Tell me you like me even though I hate my body.”
- “Tell me you like me even though I’ve struck out in the past.”
- “Tell me you like me even though I’ve given you an easy out.”
Oof. NO WONDER people move on. It’s exhausting dealing with someone who needs constant validation.
Know how I know? I used to be one. Heck, on a bad day, I still *am* one. But I recognize this as a character flaw and I work constantly to tweak my inner dialogue so less of that whiny, insecure bitch voice comes out.
Nurture Your Confident Voice
In the second half of Ryan’s article, he writes about having confidence in your skills:
Related, it’s okay to be confident. You might be worried about sounding arrogant or cocksure or whatever, and thus be afraid of that being off-putting. Stop that.
If you’re worth working with, I want to know that. And I want you to know that. I have little patience (some, but not as much as in the past) for people who need hand-holding. Have confidence in yourself and your decisions. Show me that you do. You’re only being truly arrogant if you’re throwing it in my face and refusing criticism in return.
- Ryan Macklin
If you don’t have confidence, it’s time to fake it until you make it. It will feel weird tooting your own horn if you’re not used to doing it. You may feel arrogant. You may feel dirty. But you’re NOT any of those things.
As Ryan says, unless you’re throwing your awesome in everyone’s face and refusing to take criticism, you’re not being arrogant.
How does that work in a dating profile?
- Confidence: Tooting your horn and knowing that one special person is all you need.
- Arrogance: Tooting your horn and knowing that everyone needs you.
Be In Control Of Your SUCCESS, Not Your Failure
Don’t hide behind weakness. I understand the impulse to do so — if you do, then you’re in control of your own failure and lack of progress, and there’s something to be said for being in control of *anything* in your life. All I can tell you is that three years after starting this new life, I find putting myself out there and struggling with my own success far, far more fucking satisfying than being in control of my own failure.
- Ryan Macklin
You know what makes you unique and interesting and fun to be around. You know the story of your life and how you see a partner fitting into it. Don’t be afraid to tell that story. Embrace your inner bard! Sing your tale to the world – loud, proud, and without shame. Only then will your siren song be strong enough to draw in the love you deserve.
How About You?
Admit your faults – tell us about a time you convinced someone you weren’t for them.
Share your success – what changes happened in your life when you started acting more confident?
Not into commenting? That’s cool. Click here and go read Ryan’s full post. It’s awesome.