About Me

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I was recently set free by an amazing woman who gave me 3 beautiful children. At the ripe age of 37 years old I am currently learning about dating, in the 2011's. So much has changed and my old ways seems rusty at best, and to be honest, they were never all that good :-)But here I am, making my way.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Blog #5: Are you one of “THEM?.... -

The great part of a writing your OWN blog, is that its made up of random thoughts and stories, so if you feel like bouncing around, you can, so here goes. Recently I received some words of wisdom from  the ‘Professional’, who provided me with his insight on the subject “Rules of Engagement”. I liked his rules, they were simple, straight forward, and easy to follow. I mean after all, I have said many things about me, but I never used the word smart! As I  listened  in silence I started to wonder, what are my “rules”? So I decided I should take some time to understand what works and what doesn’t, because someday I may want to date and I don’t want miss the opportunity to speak to a great woman because I was ill prepared.

As I mentioned at the beginning of my blog “... things in life get complicated on their own” and so the Ice-breaker started his over thinking of this subject. You have to start some where, so I asked myself “Do you have any rules? If I don’t, does that make me a bad guy or a “playa” (HA!) or something else? Am I  comfortable with lying...ummm wait...no, subterfuge? (I know, right, 3 syllables, and sounds way better than the L word.) This evolved into 2 separate issues. The first was the technical issue and the second was the moral issue.

A friend asked me if I was going to become one of “THEM”. Now I’m not completely sure who THEY were, and I’m not sure I am THEM, but I think I should try out for the team and see if I like THEM or not, right? Hey, before you pass judgement, understand I came out of a long term, committed relationship, and I felt like I needed some “me time”. But not wanting to ruin my agenda I decided to put a side the “moral” debate, for now, and concentrate on the technical issues.

So here is what I was lacking, a clear methodology for my initial contact and follow through. I decided to approach this like a college research paper; problem, hypothesis, testing, results. I was hoping that I would get the right results, the first time, but I was looking forward to the testing! So I formulated a strategy, Could there be an effective set of techniques applied to my Ice-breaker routine that could be cataloged and used every time? Not that I had my question that needed answering, I put my people watching skills into action. So each time I went out I would observe and test those observations. Now I wasn’t without my own skill set. See, I have a career that requires me to meet new people on a daily basis and build a relationship that allows that person share secrets with me. I set out to  watch several people, the Dude, the Professional, along with my own  expierences, and some random crash and burns. Here is what I learned:

  • Theory #1 Corney lines; “Excuse me Miss, can I see the tag of your shirt? Oh,  I thought it said made in heaven!” Now this doesn’t work and you don’t get any points for having  the nuts to say one. But using that embarrassing story, while pointing to a random drunk idiot at the bar, saying “That guy just said...Now that does work. I tried both in one night.

  • Theory #2 Hello Hugger; You know, the guy who gives every woman he meets a hug, not the  offensive grope guy, but more of a sassy hello. I think there is fine line between a fashionable hug and becoming the  “Creeper” and you kind of have to know the girl your about to hug. See, and its a bit awkward,  if you try the Hello Hugger routine and a girl you have never met. The disclaimer is you will probably meet the bouncer, Oh wait, he liked being called a “Doorman”, either way you’ll have find a new bar for a while.And this error in judgment occurred prior to an OTB incident, several bad choices due to my friend Jack Daniels!! On a personal note I  couldn’t commit to a full time “hugger”. Its not who I am. I’m not a big emotional sharer, and honestly hugs, they seem to fit into THAT “F” as in “FEELINGS” category. So I learned about what I call  “grounding”, just make physical contact, it goes a long way.

  • Theory #3 Subterfuge; Notice I didn’t say “lying” because we all know lying is bad, but subterfuge, now thats OK!! I found it to be a tricky one though. See if I owned a boat, it worked. If I drove a Camaro, it worked. I neither own a boat, nor drive a Camaro, but I had open access to both (well maybe not actually driving the Camaro, but I could sit in it). Now if I said I was a Cop, I got the handcuff question, a welder for a nuclear power plant even worked, go figure. But if you, say have a frosty adult beverage or two or 12, and say your a cop, who drives a Camaro, while living on your boat, who welds stuff on the side,  you may have to prove something. And once you have to prove all that, well you lost! So, I found that keeping the subterfuge to a minimum and close to who you actually are, well that works just fine.

  • Theory #4 Talk, Talk, Talk vs. Listen, listen, listen; So as I explored my Ice-breaking skills I found that I would start a conversation and then keep talking. That’s my nature, I almost never shut up and I talk fast! So on one particular instance, I started speaking with a blond, because well, I have a thing for blonds. I felt I was doing well, she was head nodding, eye contact, all that stuff, but not escatly a smile on her face. Then  I was rescued from myself by The Dude. He is always helpful (except that 1 day at the rib, when I clearly “called the ball”!) Anyway he sat behind the girl I was talking to and got my attention, subtlety, thenmade the universal “zip it” sign. Then pointed to the girl and gestured that maybe I should ask her about her. So I did. Then she started talking, rather than nodding, and guess what, smiled. I said Shit because I knew that one! This is funny, because I said “shit” out loud, while she was talking, and it threw her off. I apologized for the swear, saying I was accentuating her story and she continued. So there was my reminder about Shut up And Listen!

  • Theory #5 - Mirroring techniques; Now this one is I learned at work. Its actually a way to deal with hostility or closed posture. See sometimes you find people are just not in the right frame of mind to open up to you. If, during your approach, you watch the body language, you can tell who wants to meet someone and who is out for, well, getting drunk! Now as I said, I use this at work all the time, but I gave it a field trial one night while out with friends. A girl in the group was overly quiet, arms crossed, and lost in thought. I was sitting next to her so I mirrored her posture, arms folded looking away. Then as I spoke with her,  I turned to face her. I asked questions to get her talking and then slowly opened my arms and turned my body toward her. She slowly, and without knowing, unfolded her arms, turned toward me, and began talk more freely. Then I grounded myself, further putting her at ease. Her mood changed and we had a nice talk. Then like an idiot, I pointed out what I did to her and she closed up again. Funny thing, I was able do the exact thing again with the same result, once again reminding myself to shut up and listen!

So after s few nights of bar hopping, I came up with the “Ice-breaker’s Laws of Contact” and here they are:

1. Be Confident
2. Shut Up And Listen
3. Ground early
4. Be yourself, or a close approximation
5. Use Mirroring techniques

Am I one of “THEM?” No, I'm not, or rather I haven't been before, but now that I have some idea of what I'm doing, I think it might be time for a tryout! I’ll keep you posted.....

Ice-breaker out!

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