Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Engineering Dating 101

My mom and I were talking about miscommunication between my dad and her and I started to generalize the conversation as miscommunication between “engineers” and women. My dad, and I, want a set of rules and absolutes. For example, “I like to have a latte in the morning” or “I don’t like it when you go out with your guy friends on Saturday night because that should be our night together.” However, my mom, like many people, is very spontaneous and most of her needs and wants are based on her current state. So, she will say something like, “I don’t want you to go out with bob because I’ll feel bored.” And my dad will interpret this as a permanent condition or “rule”. The problem essentially breaks down to the fact that people are very dynamic and one must constantly reinterpret body language, moods, and language to understand what are their currently wants or needs.

I wish everyone would just say what they want, when they want it, rather than requiring us guys, especially us engineers, to be mind readers. This seems to be the problem between many people in my circle of friends. Ahh, Poor communication. People seem to have a really hard time communicating how they feel to other people…and this is especially prevalent amongst my engineering friends. Furthermore, most of the engineers I know are having a hard time “hearing” what other people have to say. This seems to be especially true when it comes to romantic feelings, interest, sexuality, or what someone wants.

To make a long story short, these events in addition to a plethora of other isolated events (such as the wingman stories told earlier) led me to believe that there really needs to be some classes in school or post-graduate that cover interpersonal skills and relationships. My particular interest is crossing the line between the extremely analytical/rule oriented people and a very dynamic/inconsistent person. Hence, the idea of the engineering dating class is born. I love challenges, and the idea of bridging the gap between these two types of people seems very intriguing to me.

So, here is the syllabus so far:

1) Women are attracted to confidence, independence, security, humor (but not homer Simpson humor), sociability, ability to think, the way they treat others, and how you make THEM feel.

2) You must have options and be able to walk away before you become addicted. Just because a girl is nice to you or works with you does not mean that she would make a good soul mate for you.

3) Notice her, listen to her, and try to understand what she is saying. I would say there is a 1/5 chance she isn’t interested, in this case, don’t waste your ego on it. Pursuing someone who isn’t that interested in you will be disastrous for your ability to appear confident and independent.

4) Make yourself interesting. And your new SEDI algorithm for learning spam signatures is NOT interesting. You must establish common ground and talk about something that you are BOTH interested in…or better yet, that you are both passionate about.

5) You must be proactive in meeting people. They don’t (usually) bite, most of them are pretty nice, and it might even be good for you.

6) Date for awhile, and multiple people, before making a decision.

7) Don’t a push over, say what you want.

8) Off limits subjects:

a. Magic, your top score in Warcraft, etc…

b. Your personal drama (at least on a first/second date). Don’t make them your personal therapist. They don’t necessarily want to hear about how dramatic your cat’s funeral was.

c. Xs on first couple dates

d. Bette says Sex … but I disagree

e. Porn

f. Negativity (unless done well)

g. Eric’s dating history ;-)

9) Good subjects for conversation cannot follow an exact guideline. It all depends. I know that engineers like rules they can follow with clear guidelines, but it doesn’t work. The most common question I get is “What should I say to her”. I’m sorry, pick up lines are LAME! Don’t think about it, just talk about something in the moment that is open ended. For example, “Hey, did you notice they moved the chocolate pretzels up here.” Or “Hey, you are usually on the first floor, what are you doing up here (said to a girl on the third floor kitchenette).” Or, if you are in a club or bar, try talking about a third party person. For example, “Dude, check out that crazy guy over there”.

So, what do you think of my idea so far?

More Bald Then Blonde

I never know how to start a story. It seems easier when you are all talking away over a good beer with friends. Perhaps I should be drinking whenever I’m writing a Blog? Anyway, I’ll start this story with the point I’m trying to get across; many old men are gross perverts and I really don’t want to listen to them talking about 20 year old girls as if they are trophies or the definition of success in life.

So I was taking a bus from “The Resort” to “The Village” to visit a friend. It turns out I was the only person on the bus and the bus driver happened to be really talkative. We were stuck at the hotel’s pickup area and he starts the conversation with “Damn, this is a great place to get stuck.” At the moment we were wedged in between a minivan and some pickup truck. I assumed he was saying this because he had been catching up with the bus in front of us and he needed to kill some time. I said something along the lines of “You trying to kill some time?” He said, “Hell no, look at all these moms.” “Moms?” “These are some serious lookers, I’d love to hook up with a mom like that. I mean, seriously, check out that one over there in black and pink.”

Okay, for starters, I think it is gross when an old guy talks about women like this, and secondly, they were married. And later, I learned he was married as well. Gross. He proceeds to ask me if I had hooked up recently. “Um, excuse me?” To make matters even more awkward, I was switching hotels to go visit a female friend. After I told him this he started lecturing me on “you better treat her with respect.” Why is it always the pigs that talk about respect?

So, to demonstrate how respectable he was he started telling me that he was married. His first line was “I got married this May to a girl 20 years younger than me; she is younger than my son.” I don’t know about you, but if I was married to someone, this IS NOT the way I would want to be described.

Then he started telling me about how women in the United States are totally superficial. He said that they wanted to see a pay check before they went on a date. I said “well, if you are going after girls 20 years younger than you, I can see how you would only attract people who were interested in your money.” He didn’t understand my comment, and I didn’t really feel like explaining it. He said they all wanted to be pampered and taken care of. I believe that many women are no different then men, they want to be successful, feel that they have purpose, be independent, self-sufficient and useful. I believe his view is old fashion, but considered that it probably has some truth. Then he started saying women didn’t see him for the great person he really was. Um, from my two minutes with him, I can tell you, women of the world, stay away.

This brings me to the bigger issue. Why are there so many perverse old men and how do I avoid becoming one? I don’t think this should be so hard…but this is seriously the fifth or sixth time this week I have watched some 60 year old guy hit on some 20-something year old girl. How can they have anything in common? “So, how did your colonoscopy go?” I personally like 30 something year old girls, the sex is generally better and there are a lot more interesting things to talk about. But, oh well, enough of my own opinions. To each there own.