The Taboo of Hope in Modern Dating
The other day I was writing out a card to friends getting married, and I mistakenly penned, “I hope you the best…” Even though I’m a cheap mofo and the glossy card cost 6 bucks, I tore it up and bought a new card. I detest “hoping” anything for anyone.
The definition of hope is “the feeling that what is wanted can be had or that events will turn out for the best.” Such is a nice mantra for the spectators of the world — those who enjoy watching life from afar and “hope” to catch a stray scrap or rolling crumb of awesomeness. However, for those who want to suck the marrow from life, achieve their dreams and fantasies, and live like a first-class baller, hope just doesn’t cut it.
To focus solely on dating, I see the “hope” euphemism keeping more men single and lonely than any other word in the English language. Hope is predicated on a “feeling” that what you want will be miraculously placed within your grasp — just by dint of hoping for it. Hope precludes responsibility. It suppresses action. Hope doesn’t spring eternal—hope thwarts eternal.
In dating, how many guys “hope” to meet the right girl, or “hope” they’ll get lucky? Moreover, how many guys bloat their sense of hope by downloading gigabytes of dating advice products or posting on the internet, hoping they’ll suddenly stumble on the secret formula for attracting women? Ironically, the secret formula for attracting women is trading in hope for reality, trading a future payoff for action in the present. It’s trading thinking for knowing, experience for theory.
In our hope-obsessed culture, we don’t want to offend people with the truth. We receive most of our truth from comedians, who tell us what we secretly know in the form of jokes so that we don’t feel bad when we hear it. If you think of your favorite comedians, you’ll probably realize they say some of the realest, truest things no one else has the balls to say.
When you’re ready for the truth without the cushion of laughter, you’re ready to give up hope and start living in reality. Making this decision may be uncomfortable, but it’s the only way to improve your dating life.
The truth can be harsh and extremely unfunny — like learning the girl you were watching from afar and “hoping” would like you turns out to have a boyfriend, or doesn’t feel the same about you, or some other truth that contradicts the mirage of hope you built up in your own head. Learning the truth is not as “fun” as living in hope.
But it’s more real. And it’s the only way you’re ever going to achieve your goals.
It’s somewhat ridiculous that I can devote an entire article to deconstructing one overused word in the “Hallmark lexicon.” Unwiring the myth that surrounds the glory of hope is something so simple and obvious, yet few have the balls to attempt it. Ask yourself: how many times has hope given you an excuse not to do what you know you wanted to do? Whether it was talk to an attractive girl, ask a girl out, go for a kiss, or make a move — what talked you out of it? I’ll tell you what did: hope.
You were paralyzed by hope. By not talking to an attractive girl, by not asking a girl out, by not going for a kiss, and by not making a move, you convinced yourself that you’d rather live with your sense of hope undisturbed by reality. Rather than risk rejection, you decided to play it safe by staying hopeful. You probably rationalized, “I’ll talk to her later” or “I’ll make a move when I know exactly what I’m doing.” Your decision wasn’t focused on learning the truth about the situation—it was focused on holding on to the hope in your head.
We’ve all made such cowardly “hopeful” decisions—myself certainly included. I understand how addictive and alluring hope can be. It took me a lot of time and slaps of “harsh reality” before I finally understand the importance of shrugging off hope—once and for all. I can now write this article, casting my taboo on the word “hope.”
Although, all this article can ever be is a signpost. I can only warn you of the dangers of hope. If you’re to realize your own potential in dating, you need to learn for yourself the importance of kicking your habit of hope. And, yes, it will take some time and slaps of “harsh reality.” But in the end, I’ll tell you exactly what I rewrote to my friends getting married, “I’m confident you will find true happiness…”
To Learn More From Rob, Check Out “The 4 Elements of Game” where he breaks down game into four simple adjustments.
About Rob J. Rob J. is a writer and dating instructor in New York City. Themes that resonate in both his teaching and writing are masculinity, genuineness, rational self-interest, and general awesomeness.