Valentines day just passed and I saw a lot of stuff about getting friend zoned, being alone, love is a sucks and whatever else 18-30 year olds say when they have their hormones raging and nowhere to channel that energy. Having been there myself (albeit quite some time ago), I distincly remember the helplessness most dudes feel when you realize you can’t even get a hug from 50% of the population. So that being said and since I enjoy a dose of Senti in between my increasingly random comedy videos, I thought I’d pen some thoughts on why you, the average nice guy Indian male (hey I’ve lived here eight years so let’s make this specific) might be struggling with the laaaaadies.
It’s no secret that we can drink at home for a lot cheaper. But the promise of being Joey or Barney and having eye candy to stare at doesn’t exist beyond the TV screen. So naturally Friday comes around and you decide it’s time to go be around some girls. Except in most cases, the average bar in Bangalore/Mumbai/Delhi has about 70% dudes (if not more). If it does have a 50% split, chances are you and your 4 guy friends aren’t getting in without breaking the bank. So rather than dedicate all your energies to spending 1K a night (at minimum) on drinks, why not look at things more simply. Elon Musk said “if you want to try something new, you have to get things down to their most fundamental truths and reason up from there.” In this case, that truth is you’re spending money to be around women. Can anyone deny that? Yes there is alcohol and music but let’s be honest, that’s all just secondary right? So instead of the bars go other places the women might be. House parties, networking events, art classes (photography, painting, salsa, French, whatever), weddings, flea markets or the gym. Which brings me to my second point:
I don’t mean get a six pack and I don’t mean be the creepy guy who is staring at the yoga girl doing downward dog…but I mean spend time at a gym on a Friday or Saturday evening. You’ll be around people who actually enjoy dinner, conversations, movies, and have a strong enough mind to not always follow the herd of weekend = party. And while you should definitely not be that guy at the gym who seems to be only friendly with the ladies (bro who are you fooling we can all see right through you), you will make new friends and have other social activities to go to once in a while. My favorite reason for going to the gym however is that even if you lose, you win. You’re still getting in shape which is only going to further your cause regardless.
If life were a Black Mirror episode we’re probably already saying this. But I have so many friends (Girls especially) who act like they’re either too cool, too scared or just too lazy to use the apps. What’s wrong with you? Unless you’re not actively looking for a partner or a hookup why wouldn’t you put yourself out there? There’s no need to be desperate to post “I want a Girlfriend” on your social media but if nobody even knows you want to audition for the movie how will you ever get casted? And once you decide you want to use Tinder/Shaadi.com/JeevanSaathi/Bumble or whatever you’ll have a whole other set of challenges on how to design your profile, behave, and so on. Being a stand up comic I see so many guys who spend a year before they try an open mic, and then once they’ve gotten over the stage freight realize the real hustle is now beginning. They ask me “Hey bro I finally did my first open mic after a year, it was so fun. Can you get me more stage time? To which I reply “I could have a year ago, but now you gotta get in line and make it happen for yourself.” So get to it bro.
I’m glad you have that amazing job at KPMG and you make however much money. That’s great you went to that conference in New York or Singapore. Oh wow you handle foreign exchange and assist large-cap companies and zzzzzz……….
It amazes me how many people in India (and the world) who belong to the middle class kind of just think their life is defined by their 9 to 5. I’ve also never seen a girl impressed by a guy talking about his job at McKinsey beyond just knowing it’s McKinsey. While you should be proud of your job and salary and future, in the pub or the party where everybody is spending the same on overpriced food and drinks…you’re probably not that much different from the next guy.
Now that we’re living in a time where freelancers exist everywhere, there’s an app for everything and yada yada, I’m surprised that more people limit their professional aspirations to just their job. It’s so easy to do multiple things, and guys need to realize that the best wingman is accomplishments. If you have a standard IT or Finance or Consulting or your dad’s business type of job, at the very least, try to do things which make you interesting because your girlfriend isn’t going to be spending time with you at the office. Do you like traveling the Himalayas? Taking photos and using lightroom to do amazing portraits? Maybe you play the guitar, speak french, do stand up comedy, enjoy film making. Or maybe you want to start your own outsourcing firm for banking software and you’re looking for cheap 20k/month office space in Bangalore somwhere? Maybe you wanna start your own gym? Maybe you enjoy being a frequent flyer snob and love getting free deals to travel the world. Maybe your the graphic designer I asked to illustrate this blog and put this sentence here to see if he’s reading it?
If you don’t have a side hustle at the moment that’s fine, because most of us don’t even know until 25-35. But the point is start looking. More than just finding a girlfriend for you, it’s going to help you have a much more balanced and rounded lifestyle. Think of the things you’re attracted to in the opposite (or same) sex…that girl who at the office who also does Zumba, or that dude at school who treks in Nepal…or even that guy who just sings Karaoke well. Whatever it is, for the love of God find some hobbies and income streams on the side to fill your day with. You have way more time than you think.
It amazes me how simple this is. As I wrote about here, it has it’s own challenges. But regardless, life requires you speak up when you want something. And in India people are so scared of the basic “Hi Hello can I take you out for coffee sometime” that many misguided souls go right ahead straight to the bobs and vagene. Because if you’re going to get rejected, you may as well swing for the fences. Anybody who complains about being single yet has never at least, 2-3 times a year tried politely asking a girl on a date really has nothing to complain about. And if you’re the good looking guy who always gets girls messaging him, go to hell.
The best wingman is accomplishments. The second best is a female friend. In the 90s the rom-coms like When Harry met Sally said “men and women can’t be friends” but to be honest, you need to learn to make platonic female friends. They’re your best asset. Girls are out at bars and events to also meet people, but if it’s just ten of you dudes please just skip going out. If you’re struggling, go out with your buddy and his girlfriend, or keep your group to 2-3 non threatening looking guys. When you step out with 5 guys (unless it’s an Infosys work dinner), you tell the ladies “Hey, not only do I not know any chicks, all the people I hang out with don’t either.”
Evey guy honestly goes out with the same outfit. The full sleeve button up shirt and jeans or the polo and the same. I’m no fashion expert but I do know they’re small things you can do to make big differences. Wear a watch (I know, who needs one but still), clean your shoes, (and honestly in India, you can get nice pair of shoes for the price of a drink and keep cycling through them), have cufflinks, or just something that says “Hey I’m trying.” It’s amazing how many women notice a guy’s shoes. Try having socks or a belt also that while probably won’t be noticed, can have fun subtle impacts if so.
Whenever I’m with my friends who are more or less on the prowl, one thing that bothers me the most is how they scan the room. Bro, can you stop making it so obvious? A lot of people don’t realize this but everybody literally processes everybody’s face at a bar. Ask yourself this question…If Brad Pitt walked into the bar I frequent would I notice? Yup, probably. Which means you’ve also quickly processed everybody else’s face as well and done a few double takes while you were at it and your mind went “Nope, no Brad Pitt.” That being said, that cute girl you like in the corner or you think you know from work or school but never talked to probably noticed you too. Now you can either try to eye hump her the entire night and then walk over with whiskey breath after the moment has passed, or you can actually smile (fake it even) with your friends and act like your friends 10th trip to Michigan was really that exciting. The point being, if you project like you’re having fun (even if you’re not), your chances of approaches will likely increase.
I’m no expert on love but the older I get I do realize the most complicated problems have the most common sense solutions. And to be honest, the fact that billion dollar industries exist (pick up artists, nightclubs, alcohol, dating sites, self-help) in order to help you meet literally 50% of the population, or literally every other person on earth…tells me the problem shouldn’t really be that complex.
Now go meet someone and enjoy the headaches from the other side 😃