“I found the dark honey I’d known in the woods (on your lips).”
— Pablo Neruda
Tonight, I’ve been going through old notebooks. This is something I do from time to time: exploring old heartspaces, seeing how well I recognize myself. (I wonder if it is like visiting a house you lived in but moved from long ago. That’s right, there was a loose board there where I could hide my secret things. Or whatever. I didn’t move around as a kid.) I’ve been finding letters I wrote but never sent — do you ever do that? If it’s a lyric to a Goo Goo Dolls song, it can’t be all that uncommon. My favorite line so far: “The way I miss you changes, like how sometimes you might want to remind your tongue what strawberries taste like.” Did she know I had an aversion to strawberries when I wrote that?
In addition to that gem, I found another: the outline of my philosophy (theory?) about how to create attraction in someone you’ve just met. Considering I criticized men for using spy tactics to get closer to women, it’s only fair to elaborate on what I think is a good way to do so. Here it is:
— Break the ice. Introduce yourself into her consciousness in a way that makes her want to keep talking to you.
— Communicate your value. Communicate — through your words and your nonverbals — the things that make you interesting, compelling and attractive. (Does it matter that interesting and compelling are synonyms?)
— Let her prove hers. If she never offers you a reason to find her interesting and attractive, you are basing your interest on superficial things alone. Whether they are consciously aware of it or not, I think women get suspicious of interest without basis, but feel secure in interest they believe they’ve earned. So let them earn it!
— Bridge to an activity. A phone number is just a string of numerals if you don’t have a valid reason to use it. Find an activity you both find exciting, and plan to do that together. Then a phone number becomes incidental, a piece of logistics rather than an end unto itself.
Though I stand by this, it feels an awful lot like an online guide to navigating job interviews. At best, it’s a mental checklist for the things you should naturally cover when you meet someone new and want to see them again; at worst, it oversimplifies things to such a degree that it might make interactions mechanical. (Besides, what woman wants to find out she was won by a formula? Every other woman may be the same, but she is a beautiful and unique snowflake. Make that step five.) Take it for what it is: a set of guidelines, not a recipe.