Monday, May 08, 2017
In the process of thinking about a problem I realized had similarities
to dating on several levels, I once ran across an advice columnist who
calls himself Dr. Nerdlove. I ended up reading a couple of
pieces of his, and found value in much of what he had to say. For
example, he discusses
the problems with a kind of dating advice offered to young men by
self-described "Pick-Up Artists" (PUA):
There isn't as much out there for men. We have precious few role-models for how to approach women we want to sleep with in a healthy, respectful way. In many cases, our major source of how to get women to like us are our peers -- and that's often a case of the blind leading the blind. Moreover, those who are blessed with a seemingly-innate affinity to women -- "Naturals" in PUA lingo -- often don't know what they're doing. They're just being themselves; they don't know how to articulate it into anything other than "I guess women just like me". It's incredibly frustrating to be a young man."Where was this guy when I got divorced back in grad school?" was my immediate reaction upon reading this. That said, I quickly remembered that all my bumbling around had a happy result: I was out there at exactly the right time to end up with Mrs. Van Horn.
But then I recalled something Leonard Peikoff once put memorably: "If things had been different, they would have been different." I was distantly acquainted with my wife early on in grad school, through the friend who would later introduce us. Maybe I would have gotten through the breakup faster and met her earlier with such advice. Who knows?
In any event, I thought I'd mention Dr. Nerdlove for any passer-by out there who might be where I was back then. I think his dating advice is good for the better part because his focus is on personal growth, which makes one a better person and, oddly enough, more attractive to worthwhile women as a result.
P.S. I mentioned the above speculation to my wife and she replied that around the same part of grad school I was thinking about, she was recovering from a big breakup, so there you go. What I said about the self-improvement aspect of Dr. Nerdlove's advice still applies.