Sunday, December 21, 2014


"Why do we live in Florida again?"
My friend Kevin and I went boating today. What I bring to boating-related events is a general capacity to enjoy being on the water, along with beer. Kevin brings the boat. Although this time Kevin also bought the beer, so I bought caramel corn from Fresh Market, which really is astoundingly good.

Here I am thinking deeply: "22 Jump Street really is one of the worst movies ever made!"
We ended up going to Shuckers, which is a great bar you can get to by boat. One of the things about dating in your thirties is that, at least in a small town like Miami, your friends will definitely meet your dates. Your dates never really go away - they're there at school or at Shuckers or wherever you are. I'm still learning how to say "Hey, it was nice to go out that one time a while back and then never talk again and now we're in some random park with our kids and what is your kid's name again?" without being super awkward about it.

I feel the same way about women meeting my kids. I'm around town with my kids almost all the time - and I'm not going to pretend to not be dating someone just because I'm with them. Kids are insanely observant and they can tell anyways. It is like trying to hide something from Sherlock Holmes who lives with you full time and sometimes when it's too dark comes to sleep with you.

Thursday, December 11, 2014


"Serious" can be defined a lot of different ways. In the case of my friend's lawyer friend, it was decided for her by evolutionary biology to imply a level of commitment that includes kids and a mutual residence to help fight off predatory lions. For her potential mates, it might be "we trust each other enough that we only use condoms with other people, and not with each other".

Look, obviously the real catch-22 in the last post for 30-something career women who are looking for a relationship with a capable and driven guy, geeky or not, is that if you have two people with careers then you have to make some "serious" compromises when it comes to climbing the rungs.

I will cheer you up with this funny Tinder image from Imgur:

"The boring kind" kills me.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Worst blog post ever!

Stephanie has a winning combination.
This is probably going to be my worst blog post ever. But I was having breakfast with a friend and she has a friend who lives in the Bay Area and wants a boyfriend - really a husband, let's be honest here. She's a blonde mid thirties lawyer, as you do, and has the additional caveat that the boyfriend should be smart and actually interesting. My friend suggested she date someone geeky.

And of course, perversely my instinct is to say "what about the downsides?" Which, let's face it, are well known to us newly-divorced geeks.

Sometimes geeks leave you and fly to Hong Kong to meet with reporters to divulge classified information abut intelligence activities they don't really understand! Then they expect you to follow them to a FSB-run Moscow apartment!
More seriously, geeks are smart and successful but they are also socially awkward and not usually pictures of physical health.

But let's say your chosen geek is reasonably fit enough for you to still want to have sex with them. There's still two downsides:

Successful geekery requires a level of focus and isolation over many years that is essentially as mentally unhealthy as eating only Snickers Bars all day long. Girlfriends and wives don't want to hear typically that their normally cheerful guy is going to be grumpy all weekend because he can't figure out how to most efficiently reverse a linked list in Erlang.

Which brings up the second point: Geeks tend to be enmeshed in a culture that you may perhaps find offputting. There's a limit to how many times you'll want to go see or even hear about the minutia of Guardians of the Galaxy or be looked at askance because you don't know what a Zerg rush is.

Likewise, your potential mate may be insensitive about things that you hold dear. Most commonly, this is religion, since your basic computer engineer will view your mildly Lutheran parents the same way you would a devout Scientologist and thanks to their social awkwardness, may actually mention that. For example, my ex-wife found it continually painful I was unable to hide my thoughts about New Zealand ("hippies without decent Internet"), the modern dance industry ("showing nipples does not make something avant guard"), and anything related to fashion that wasn't a picture of a model wearing something pretend-scandalous ("criminal waste of time and energy").

Going to all male engineering schools doesn't leave a lot of time for social preparation so you may find yourself having to be un-characteristically blunt about relationship matters (i.e. that you would like to be in one). Guys who spend so much time in isolated all-male environments communicating over the Internet Relay Chat may still have feelings, but they'll communicate them by blinking in Morse code on alternate Tuesdays.

Look, there's a reason there's so much salesguy, spook, and PUA terminology in this blog. Like many geeks I came by what social skills I have through the back door.

In conclusion: what most women say they want, especially in their thirties, is a guy who's "Normal". My technically oriented friends are many things, but normal is not one of them.

Thursday, December 4, 2014


If you're running a company of any decent size you are obsessed with Metrics, Projections, and other concrete ways of finding out how your company is doing so you can change it before it sinks, or invest in growth before opportunities pass you by. Or both.

Luckily most metrics when dating are pretty obvious, for example, height.

The only number that matters.

When using Tinder, I at first figured that girls were lying about their height because they all seemed to be 5'11. Almost all of them that listed their height seemed taller than me, and I'm not especially short (at 5'8). But my new theory is that the girls on Tinder are in fact on average TALLER than normal girls. I have my age group set to look at girls I would actually date - i.e. 38 and slightly younger. Is it harder to get and keep a husband if you are a tall girl?

There are probably other numbers, less obvious, that are skewed in the online dating crowd. If guys are selecting for girls "my IQ or less" then the girls left on Tinder are going to be smarter than average. And of course, the guys will be shorter and poorer.

I dunno - there's a lot of good data science to be done in that database. But it's interesting to try to think about hyper-rationally, because usually we are attracted to people and don't know why. Our brains have a natural camouflage that protects us from over analyzing these things the way a smoker finds a thousand rationalizations for why they deserve a cigarette without ever realizing they're rationalizing it.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Cocky Funny

"Cocky Funny" is a pick up artist term that can best be described by  a story that a friend related to me:

I was sitting at a bar and a guy came up and said, "Are you seeing anyone?" and then before I even had a chance to answer, he said, "You should call them, tell them it's over."

That's a classic cocky-funny line. You can read an insane amount on this stuff here:

There's a thin line between cocky-funny and "asshole" - and honestly that's why it usually works. 

Chicks can do cocky-funny too, of course. It's an overtly sexual technique typically but that doesn't mean you can't use it to upgrade a hookup to a relationship if that's what you really want from a guy.

However, please, for the love of all that is holy, never use the Marilyn Monroe quote. 

This quote is the meme that won't die.

Sometimes I use cocky-funny to break people's aliases as well when having counter-HUMINT fun. To do this, walk up to any Isreali "student" at a security conference and say "Which military unit are you with?" with a big smile. Basically the cocky-funny technique is that you "assume" their cover is already broken, the same way when you approach a girl at a bar you assume they already are going to sleep with you.