The ‘things’ person vs. the ‘people’ person

13 Dec

What do the braggart, the enthusiast, and the bore have in common?

One: They are top on the list of dates that women dread.

Two: They’re what I call ‘things’ people—people who are interested in things, not people.

Consider the following dating horror stories from women.

“He went on and on about his car, his great year-end bonus, his new apartment, &c… What a show-off!”

“When the fellow asked about my hobbies, I thought, ‘Finally! Here’s a guy who’s actually interested in me as a person!’ But just at the moment when we arrived at a common interest, he just went on and on about it, like… a maniac.”

“The guy had lots to say. He was moving from topic to topic… but not in a good way. For every subject, he would talk about it a little. But he would run out of steam quickly. Then he quickly moved on to the next topic. And the next. As if he was desperately keeping the conversation ball in the air. I appreciate his effort, but I can’t imagine him keeping this up beyond the second date.”

The common thread between these three stories, is that the men were extremely preoccupied with “things”. More specifically, they thought women would be interested in them if they talked about specific subjects: The braggart thought that talking about his wealth would elevate his eligibility in the eyes of the woman; The enthusiast may have thought he was simply being himself, and the common interest he uncovered was the foundation to building rapport; As for the bore… he read somewhere that the key to a great date is great conversation, and he was trying his best to keep the conversation going for as long as possible.

While these scenarios seem quite different, all three resulted in the same thing: no second dates. And the underlying reason is the same: The men seemed far more interested in their “things” than their date sitting across them.

Women are more socially aware creatures than men. In general, they all want one simple thing in their dating life and relationships: men who are interested in them as people. So when facing the braggart, the enthusiast, or the bore, they sense the same thing: these men working towards some sort of goal, and not really interested in them. For these types of men, getting to know their date is merely a means to an end—a platform from which they can impress them, engage them, seduce them, or whatever the goal is.

This is what women mean when they say they don’t like meeting men who harbour hidden agenda—these men are more interested in “passing” the date (as if it were some sort of audition) or “attracting the girl”, than they are in actually getting to know them as people. Such dates are truly dreadful, yet women constantly run into them. Many women are turned off meeting new people because of such experiences.

It’s not always a bad thing to show your passion in things, or to explore common interests—the contrary is true. Nor is it necessarily poor form to show your financial stability—it’s actually important to demonstrate that you are comfortable with your place in life, or if not, that you are working towards your career goals. But the preoccupation with “things” denies women what they crave most: men who are comfortable enough to show their attraction, without hiding behind props like hobbies, wealth, conversation technique, or whatever “thing” it may be.

The solution? Get your date to talk. And listen to them. This simple act will make you appear more human to her than any amount of self-introduction.

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