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I sat down at a table, where I plastered a smile on my face and stared ahead like an Oscar nominee on award night, waiting for a guy to succumb to my mysterious allure.
Unfortunately, without looking directly at anyone, it was hard to tell if a man was actually talking to me, or to someone nearby.
It’s become about me trying to be attractive to him, and either succeeding or failing.
We walked to the restaurant, which worked out well because I at least had something to do while I tried really really hard not to initiate any sort of conversation. For all the ridiculous advice, the message seems to be, “Don’t throw yourself at guys who aren’t interested and who treat you badly.” The problem is, the more I try to follow , the less self-respect I have.
I am not sure if I spoke with a man that evening or not.“But First, the Product — You!
”As I continued my research, I realized I’d missed an important first step: becoming a product. ” provides helpful hints that mostly seem to involve not eating sundaes, not dressing like a man, and having long hair, in addition to (obviously) an alternating regular schedule of manicures, pedicures, and facials, as well as plastic surgery “if necessary.”Of course, it also involves getting skinnier.
This feat was much harder as we stared silently at each other over dinner between short bouts of small talk. “You know, all this staring reminds me of an article I read recently where a couple asks each other 36 questions, then stare into each other's eyes for four minutes, and they fall in love,” I blurted, which was almost as bad as using the “M word.” “Oh, so if we keep staring at each other we’ll fall . The more I have focused on how I act around men; how I speak, and look, and every gesture I make, the more self-conscious and anxiety-prone I have become.
Dating has stopped being a mutual decision-making process about whether we want to get to know each other better.