Cancer of Hope: The Cautionary Tale of Andy
Are you “hoping” for things in your lovelife?
If that’s you, then I have some pretty shocking advice for you: STOP!
Yup, I said it. STOP HOPING!
Sound rude? Perhaps. Yet, I speak from personal experience…
I saw the “cancer of hope” destroy someone.
In my early twenties I worked as magazine editor in an office in midtown Manhattan. Every morning (right around 10:15), a graphic designer named Andy would pop his head over my cubicle wall and ask, “Wanna get coffee?”
Always looking for an excuse to get away from the office, I’d pull on my coat and join him. We’d walk side-by-side—usually in silence—up the block to a little breakfast cart parked on 33rd street.
We ordered our coffees. Then we’d walk back down the block together, wordlessly sipping our steaming cups of coffee. We didn’t have much to talk about, Andy and I.
But every morning, right before we reentered the office building, Andy would throw his arm out, as if stopping me from walking into traffic, and say, “I’m gonna do it. Today’s the day.” This was the only conversation Andy and I were capable of having, and it always began this way.
“So you’re finally going to ask out Dana,” I’d smile, pretending to be excited yet again.
“I’m just going to walk over to her desk,” he’d say, the plan always exactly the same, “Pop my head over her cubicle and say, ‘Hey Dana, let’s grab drinks after work! Simple.’”
I’d say some variation of “awesome!” or “good luck!”
Then, Andy would cradle his coffee cup with both hands, gaze into the distance, and say, “If she says yes, my whole life will be different.”
Andy would then go on to explain how badly he needed a girl like Dana in his life, how happy it would make him, how he’d wake up next to her in the morning, jump out of bed, and be excited—actually excited—to start the day.
“Not like I am now,” he said. “Depressed and alone.”
We ended our coffee breaks with me offering a few more words of encouragement and him saying, “Soon as I ask her out, no matter what she says, you’ll be the first to know!”
And every day, when 5 o’clock hit, I was the first to know that Andy failed to ask Dana out, yet again. I worked at that office job for 2 years, and in those 2 years, Andy never once spoke a word to Dana…
Years and years later, long after I’d started my dating advice company, I paid a visit to my old job. I made sure to pop into the office at 10:15, just to surprise Andy. After greeting my old boss, I popped my head over Andy’s cubicle and asked, “Wanna get coffee?”
“You’re back!” Andy’s eyes almost bulged out of his head. He sprang from his chair and practically sprinted to the elevator.
“So good to see you, man!” he told me. “As you can tell, not much has changed around here.”
Looking over the office, he was right. Everything looked exactly the way it was when I left, almost half a decade ago.
Once the elevator doors closed, Andy asked the question I was waiting for: “So what have you been up to?”
I told him all about the company I started, the book I’d written, the guys I’d coached, and the massive success me and my students had achieved through learning to be proactive and approach women. I had so much to talk about that we’d already gotten our coffee and were back in front of the office building by the time I’d finished.
“Sounds really cool,” Andy said. Then, we both stood there, like we had so many times in the past, like all the times when Andy told me how he was going to approach Dana.
“Have you done it yet?” I finally asked him. “You know, have you asked out Dana?”
“No,” Andy sighed. “But I’m going to, man. Really I am. Maybe I’ll do it today. Maybe seeing you again is what I needed. Yeah, I’m going to do it today.”
“How about right now,” I smiled. It felt good to say something other than some meaningless word of encouragement. I actually knew how to help Andy now. “I coach guys to do this all the time. We can go back into the office and I can help you ask out Dana, make sure you ask her out in an attractive way.”
“What!” Andy laughed. “Why would I do that?”
“Because you’ve been talking about asking Dana out for almost seven years and you still haven’t done it yet. I thought that you’d want to finally follow through on it.”
Andy blushed. Then anger flashed in his eyes. “Why did you even come here,” he said. “Why? To torture me? To make me feel bad about myself? You think you’re some hotshot with the ladies all of a sudden? That you can tell me how to live my life.”
“You’re not living your life,” I said. “When you finally ask out Dana that’s when you’ll be living your life.”
“What if she says no,” Andy asked. “Then what? I’d have nothing to look forward to, nothing to hope for.”
That’s when I realized: nothing changed. Like the movie Groundhogs’ Day, Andy lived the same day over and over. He never had any intention of really asking out Dana, just liked the idea of it. That gave him “something to hope for” and, I guess for Andy, that was enough.
But that hope was a cancer. Worse than killing him, that cancer kept him trapped in the same day, doing the exact same thing he’d done for the last seven years.
To me, that’s my worst nightmare.
Had he asked out Dana, and even if she said no, at least Andy could move on with his life. He’d at least know the truth. Instead, he knew nothing. His life was passing him by as he let himself remain frozen in hope.
To you, it’s probably obvious that Andy should have just marched back into the office, marched right on up to Dana’s desk, and asked her out. Yet, you probably have a “Dana situation” in your own life that’s keeping you frozen in hope.
Maybe it’s fear of approaching a new woman.
Maybe it’s fear of trying a new behavior.
Maybe it’s something that only you know.
But rest assured, if you’re letting the cancer of hope stop you from living your life then you’re no better than Andy.
Stop waiting for tomorrow. Because every day you put off doing what you know you need to do today, it’s another day you’re going to be living in Groundhog’s Day. Another day you’re just going to be another Andy, who I’m sure still works in the same office, with the same thoughts of asking out Dana.
Don’t be like that. PLEASE, don’t be like that.
Embrace truth. Step into reality. Live your life.
>>>To Learn More From Rob, Check Out “The 4 Elements of Game” where he breaks down game into four simple adjustments.
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About Rob Judge Rob J. is a writer and dating instructor in Scottsdate. Themes that resonate in both his teaching and writing are masculinity, genuineness, rational self-interest, and general awesomeness. Get Coaching with Rob: https://www.tsbmag.com/private-coaching-with-rob-judge/