Love Is Being Stupid Together

Love is being stupid together.
Paul Valéry

I love being stupid together with people I love. By “being stupid”, I don’t mean being reckless, mindless, rude, or indifferent, but I mean being playful, relaxed, and delightful.

Instead of being serious, I prefer to be stupid in this sense. What did I mean by “being serious”? Something like being tense and inflexible.

I’m often perceived as a serious person, but seriousness in the sense of being tense and inflexible is something I want to let go. Instead of seriousness, I want more of playfulness, ease, and delight in my life.

I love what Paul Valéry says about love. (If you liked the Paul Valéry quote, you might enjoy  reading my annotated collection of 65 love quotes as well.)

I agree with him that love is being stupid together; I want my love to be stupid in the sense I mentioned above rather than to be tense and inflexible.

One clue I have about how to stop being serious is to throw away the “what about me” attitude. I can understand it’s natural to worry about yourself – I do that too, but instead of being paralyzed by placing too much emphasis on yourself, you can choose to find absurdity in things you experience and choose to laugh at yourself.

When you are interacting with someone, instead of basing this interaction on the “what about me” attitude, you can choose to be curious about that person and pay more attention to him/her than to yourself. Oh, and forget about trying to impress him/her.

The idea of being stupid together applies to self-love as well, I believe.

Just like being stupid together with people you love, why don’t you be stupid together with yourself too? Instead of labelling your thoughts, feelings, desires, and dreams as silly and stupid and pinning them down, why don’t you be silly and stupid together with the part of you that you label as silly and stupid? That’s some self-love for you.

And, hey, we can be stupid together too.

Know What You’re Looking For and Don’t Be This Guy

Here’s a true story.

Once upon time, there was this young man. He kept himself busy with his life and he liked what he had been doing.

But he realized that his love life was not where he wanted it to be. He wanted to meet someone attractive. By attractive, he meant something like being cute, creative, and intelligent.

One day, he went to a party and met someone cute, creative, and intelligent. He had an interesting conversation and interaction with this girl. He did think she was cute, creative, and intelligent, but somehow he was being oblivious to the fact that he had been looking to meet someone like her.

It was only after she had left the party when he realized that she would match the kind of person he had been looking for. He felt stupid.

In fact, he felt so stupid that he realized he needed to do something about his obliviousness.

She was an attractive person that he always wanted to meet and he did nothing. He made no moves!

Many guys wonder, when they like a girl, whether she likes them or not. Since he was being oblivious, there was no room for this question to get in and to bother him. But at the same time, he had no clue about a very obvious hint she gave him.

In many cases, guys misread a woman’s behaviours and gets too excited, thinking that her behaviours indicate that she likes them. But there are cues that only fools would miss, like her saying “We should catch up some time again”.

That’s what she said before she left the party. He said, “Yeah, we should”, without getting her contact details or anything. He didn’t realize that he should have gotten her contact details and that what he did can be interpreted as “Yes, thank you, but I’m not interested”.

He had no idea at that time.

I highly recommend you not to be that guy. I’ve been there, done that, because it’s me. I’m that guy. I felt really stupid. It’s funny now and I’m glad I made this mistake though. After all this kind of mistakes is what slaps my face and to do something about what’s not working in my life.

Here’s some lessons I want to share with you.

1. Know what you want well so you can recognize it when it’s near you.
2. Pay attention.
3. Be socially intelligent (Hint: when people suggest that they want to catch up with you again, it’s very likely that they are interested in you. Of course, there are times when they are just being polite, but).
4. When you make a mistake like this, realize it’s a chance for you to do something about what’s not working for you.
5. Laugh at your mistake and turn it into a lesson.
6. When an attractive girl/guy says “We should catch up some time soon”, don’t say “Yeah, we should” and do nothing, especially when she/he is the kind of person you want to get to know.

I want to use this online space to have a conversation with great people like you. It’s not a place where only I talk to you, but it’s a place where I want to talk with you. So, I appreciate comments from you and let’s get a conversation going.

Have you ever made a silly mistake like this and turned it into a great lesson for yourself? What did you learn?

Have You Ever Wondered About Any of These 47 Questions About Social/Dating/Relationship Skills?

As a way of producing ideas for new posts that solve problems you might be struggling with, I was thinking of questions I wondered about when I decided to do something about my social/dating/relationship skills. My original plan was to write a post for a question, but the list of questions grew bigger than I expected. So, I decided to create a Q&A post, answering these 47 questions.

This post is probably more male reader focused than my other posts. I hope female readers will enjoy this post by learning about what kind of questions men tend to have and what they are worried about. If you know any guy friends who would enjoy this post, share this with them as well. I’d appreciate it!

OK, so…

1. How do I know whether she’s interested in me?
It’s another way of asking “Does she like me?” I learned that a better question to ask yourself is “do I like her?” Are you interested in her? If so, why? What makes you interested in her? These questions are more important, because you’re not there to impress her, but to find something beautiful about her. Also, you’ll have a better sense of this as you sharpen your social skills.

2. How do I attract her?
One thing to remember: you can’t make her attracted to you if she wouldn’t be attracted to who you truly are. The best thing you can do is to show up as who you are and to have fun interacting with her.

3. Where can I meet women?
Open your eyes and you’ll see women everywhere around you unless you are far away from civilization or live in an ivory tower.

4. How do I start a conversation?
Say hi.

5. How do I keep a conversation going?
Ask interesting questions and let them talk.

6. How can I talk about meaningful things with her?
Feel free to talk about such things with her. Stop talking about boring things. What do you really want to talk about? What do you really want to ask her about?

7. What do I do if I run out of things to say?
You can tell her you ran out of things to say. Again… let them talk.

8. What do I do if I feel nervous?
Enjoy feeling nervous. You can tell her that you’re nervous. When you name it, you will probably feel less nervous.

9. How do I get phone numbers?
Provided that you’ve already established some kind of connection, the best thing you can do is to let her know that you want to see her again. Nothing complicated. One thing to remember: getting phone numbers itself doesn’t mean anything.

10. How do I ask her out?
Not by a telepathy, of course. By telling her that you want to see her.

11. What can I do to stay out of the friend zone?
The friend zone is not so bad, actually. If you can be truly friends with women, that is. If you happen to hear a “let’s just be friends” speech from someone, make sure to ask her nicely why. Tell her why you want to know that as well. But, I think a common scenario is that you act like a friend and suddenly act like a lover. So, it’s more like… it’s not that she puts you into the friend zone, but you’ve put yourself into the friend zone by not showing her your interests in her.

12. What do I do if I get rejected?
If you asked her nicely and she ignored you in a rude way, then just walk away. You don’t want to interact with rude people anyway… But if you asked her nicely and she turned your offer down nicely, then that’s all good. Make it your mission to deliver a gift of authenticity to women you meet. What I mean is to show them your appreciation of who they are. Leave that gift to them and whether they’ll accept it or not is beyond your reach, so you don’t need to worry about it.

13. What do I do if she’s not interested?
That means she’s not interested. You should still appreciate who she is, but respect her choice.

14. What if she says she has a boyfriend/she’s married?
Here’s a secret. You can make this assumption that every woman is taken. There’s no magic bullet, but if something can get close to being a magic bullet, this may be it. Having this assumption will stop you from acting in a needy way (i.e. acting with the taker’s mindset). Remember your mission? It’s more about finding the beauty in her, so whether she’s got a boyfriend or not doesn’t matter at all.

15. How do I connect with women?
Be friends with them. Get rid of any misogynistic ideas you may have.

16. How can I make her feel comfortable about being who she is around me?
You need to be comfortable about being who you are around her. Have a great relationship with yourself and be light and relaxed. Smile!

17. How can I understand women better?
Talk with them and listen to them. Read this post.

18. How can I find the beauty in her?
See this post.

19. How do I get better with women?
Talk with women and understand women better. I believe that’s the most effective and educational way. It’s fun that way too. Why do you read books and blog posts (like this one) when you can actually learn from real people?

20. How can I be more confident?
1) Do something small and build things up from there. 2) See the good that you already have in you. 3) Believe in yourself.

21. How can I stop being a nice guy?
Being nice is nice, but if you are going to do nice things, do them only because you want to do them. In other words, stop being nice so you can get something nice out of nice girls you meet. That’s not nice. You can be a great guy instead.

22. Do I need to be good looking?
You probably need to be confident looking, but I believe you don’t need to be good looking like a super model.

23. Would it be a problem if I was shorter than her?
Not at all. If you don’t perceive it as a problem, then it’s not.

24. Do I need to play hard to get?
No, there’s no need for playing hard to get. But perhaps you might want to consider being impossible to get… When I say you can’t get someone and you need to connect instead of trying to possess that person, what that implies is that other people can’t get you either. It doesn’t mean you’ll be detached from people, but you’ll stand on your own and… you’ll be impossible to get.

25. Am I being too needy?
If you are there to impress her or to get something from her without giving, then what you do becomes needy.

26. What can I do to cure my neediness?
Stop focusing on yourself and start giving what you can give to her without expecting something in return.

27. How can I be sexy?
Be more confident. Be fit and healthy. Know how to make her feel sexy.

28. How can I be more attractive?
Same as above… and keep learning and don’t settle down.

29. How can I be more authentic?
Show up as who you are. Start detecting bullshits in you and get rid of them. Be honest. Show your vulnerabilities.

30. How can I be a better guy?
Have your own standard and know who you are. Dream big. Ask big questions. Never settle down.

31. How do I give compliments to women?
Learn by giving compliments. Ask women this question as well. Recently, I asked someone about the best way to give someone a compliment about her body, with which you probably need to be more subtle… Her answer was quite eye opening. Instead of making an overt compliment, simply ask something like “Do you work out a lot?”

32. How do I get started with this whole thing?
It depends on where you are right now. Are you comfortable initiating a conversation with someone you don’t know? Are you a good conversationalist? Contact me and I’ll help you with this question.

33. How can I improve my story telling skills?
Tell her what you felt and share these feelings with her. Watch Ira Glass’s videos. Practice telling stories.

34. How can I be funny?
Stop trying to be funny? One thing I know and I do is to use a dramatic pause. Stop in the middle of a sentence and create a suspense. Say the rest… preferably something mundane. That makes people laugh somehow. Also, it’s important to be laugh at yourself. Can you tell her your mistakes and laugh at these mistakes?

35. What kind of mindset do I need to have?
Have fun and let others have fun too.

36. How can I get better at sex?
1) Have fun. 2) Give her pleasure. 3) Slow down. 4) Know that it’s more psychological than physical. 5) Know what she likes (ask or observe her). 6) Be safe and responsible. 7) Be creative. 8) Be dirty.

37. Do I need a large penis? (i.e. Should I pay attention to spam e-mails I get?)
I’m sure this is everyone’s favorite question and one of the most common topics for a spam e-mail. My answer is a cliche, but I believe the size doesn’t matter much. I understand it’s probably one of the major insecurities men have, but get over it! What’s more important is to be confident about who you are.

38. Will I be happy if I find the perfect girl for me?
Start being happy rigt now instead of waiting for that perfect girl to show up. Be happy first and you’ll find someone amazing. Not the other way around.

39. What do I do if I made her angry or if she’s in a bad mood?
Hug her. Try not to argue with her. Understand her needs.

40. How can I express my emotions?
Be aware of what you feel and practice naming and describing your emotions in your daily conversations.

41. Why is attitude important?
It’s interesting, because your attitudes seem to determine how you present yourself. So, if you have the attitude of giving a gift to women, you end up presenting yourself in that way and people can sense that.

42. How can I improve my body language?
Breathe well and be confident. There are more specific suggestions like “don’t cross your arms” etc, but I think these two are more important than such suggestions. Having said that, it helps to be physically fit as well.

43. How can I throw away my assumptions about her?
Having assumptions is OK, but don’t judge who she is based on your assumptions alone. Talk with her and get to know her. Being curious about her is a good way to throw away your assumptions.

44. What does it mean to be present?
When you are paying attention to her and yourself, you are being present.

45. How can I maintain a great cross cultural relationship?
On a large scale, there can be difficulties unique to a cross cultural relationship (e.g. marriage etc), but when it comes to a relationship between you and your partner, it’s crucial to understand it’s just any other relationship between you and another person. Never use cultural differences or language barriers as an excuse not to communicate with your partner.

46. What’s love?
It’s a big question I’ve been sitting with. I have some thoughts on this question and you can read these thoughts of mine throughout this site. One thing I haven’t mentioned or elaborated much else where – I think love comes in degree (i.e. not a black or white like you love something/someone or you don’t) and loving is a skill. I have a feeling that we tend to assume we know how to love things and people, and we probably do to some extent, but that doesn’t mean we have mastered the art of loving when we’ve grown up. We can keep improving our loving skills, so to speak. It’s a slow process and it will take a whole life…

47. Can I learn all these things?
Yes, you can. I thought about what my past self would ask and came up with these questions. It took me a few years and I will keep learning for sure, but I educated myself enough to be able to give reasonable answers to these questions.

So, these 47 answers are what I-as-of-8-Nov-2011 came up with. My future self might give different answers to these questions.

What’s important is, though, to tackle these questions on your own if you are interested in improving your social/dating/relationship skills. Some of the answers may not make sense to you anyway. If my past self read these answers, he probably wouldn’t understand most of them. Or, to be precise, he would understand intellectually, but wouldn’t understand beyond that intellectual level. You need to have hands-on experiences. The only way to get such experiences is… to take action! (Need some kick? You can read this post by Niall.)

Do you have any questions that are not listed here? Or are there questions you want to hear do you want more elaborated answers for?

How To Bring Out The Beauty In People

George O’Hearn: Beautiful women are invisible.
David Kepesh: Invisible? What the hell does that mean? Invisible? They jump out at you. A beautiful woman, she stands out. She stands apart. You can’t miss her.
George O’Hearn: But we never actually see the person. We see the beautiful shell. We’re blocked by the beauty barrier. Yeah, we’re so dazzled by the outside that we never make it inside.

A dialogue from Elegy

How do I bring out the beauty in people?

This is one of the questions I’ve been grappling with for a while. The reason why I want to understand how this works is pretty simple: I want to experience the beauty in people, especially women I meet.

(As usual, I’m writing this post from my male point of view. I believe what I talk about here applies to finding the beauty in men as well.)

Just as watching the beautiful sunset gives me a sublime experience, experiencing the beauty in someone gives me great joy. I shared one story of mine regarding experiencing the beauty in a girl I met in Sydney, Australia in this post – It’s amazing to experience this kind of beauty and it creates beautiful moments as well.

What’s great about being able to bring out the beauty in others is that you’ll be able to give them a gift of being beautiful and this gift will make them and you happy.

But how do we do that? How do we bring out the beauty in people?

Let’s clarify what it means to bring out the beauty in people.

I’m not really talking about physical appearances here. I do get attracted to certain facial features and body types over others, but when it comes to experiencing the beauty in someone, physical appearances in the sense of facial features and body types are not that relevant.

If we are talking about physical appearances in the sense of a vibe one carries or displays, then yes, I do believe they matter. I believe your inner self influences how you look in that sense. For example, if you are not confident about who you are, you end up looking… insecure. What I’m curious about is how to get past the physical appearances in the first sense (i.e. facial&body features) and to experience what’s really attractive about her, which may well be hidden in her mind.

“Which may well be hidden in her mind”… Interesting. This sounds as if we’re on a treasure hunt!

I have a question for you, my dear female readers. What if there were men who can find a treasure in you, a treasure that you didn’t know you had? The beauty you had all along your life? And what if these guys could let you how beautiful you are… or perhaps let you be the beauty that you are?

It’s a treasure hunt, but the aim is not to take a treasure away from you, but it’s to find something you didn’t know you had and to give it back to you and to share it with you.

OK, so, back to the beauty we are looking for.

I believe this quote from Being Beauty, a blog post by Tara Sophia Mohr, describes what I’m looking for pretty well.

Every woman, when she is alive in herself, alive to her life, alive in honesty about her truth and lit by passion for what sparks her passion, is beautiful. She just is. And she is beautiful in way that speaks to the very vitality and uncontrollable-ness of the life force itself, of the earth.

I want to interact and to connect with the most authentic version of a woman. Following Tara’s description, I believe what I need to do in order to meet this most authentic version of her is to be a man who can let her be who she truly is and be “alive in herself, alive to her life, alive in honesty about her truth and lit by passion for what sparks her passion”.

Of course, there are women who are always authentic and radiate their inner beauty. But even with these women, you never know why they are that way until you interact with them and connect with them.

Now, the question is… how can you be that guy who can make women (or people in general) feel comfortable about sharing with you who they are?

Here’s 6 things that I believe are essential.

1. Have the right mindset
Everyone has something beautiful in them and you are there to discover it and to give it to them and to share it with them instead of merely taking something away from them. Also, you need to be curious about her authentic self, what makes her beautiful and why she is that way. Talk with her and find out why!

2. Be authentic
You need to show up as who you are first. If you are not being honest with yourself, how can you expect others to be honest with you?

3. Avoid empty words
I believe every sincere compliment is a gift you can give, but when you are simply saying what you are supposed to say rather than following your heart, your words become empty and they do nothing but harm you. Be careful.

4. Look for sparkle in her eyes
When people talk about what they love, their eyes start sparkling. We can’t see her inner beauty, but we can see sparkle in her eyes.

5. Listen to her
This may sound obvious, but you need to be able to listen to her really well. In order to be able to listen to her well, you need to be able to ask good questions. What I mean by asking good questions is to ask questions that allow her to express who she is by answering them. Let her talk about what she really wants to talk about.

6. Let her know that she can talk about anything
Of course, you may be one of those people who can make people feel like they can talk about anything with you, but it’s usually quicker to tell her that she can talk about anything. It’s really important for you to be non-judgemental. By being non-judgemental, what I mean is to throw away your assumptions and to avoid jumping to conclusion. Practice being non-judgemental everyday.


What I’ve shared with you above is only a sketch and you probably need to practice interacting with people with the aim of bringing out the beauty in them in order to fully understand these ideas.

What I want to do through my blog is to share with you something for you to work on or to think about on your own rather than to give you a complete package. Being proactive is the key here. I hope you will tackle the question of bringing out the beauty in others and develop your own understanding.

By the way, I’m curious to know if there is anything I can do for you to find the beauty in you. Not just my dear female readers, but my dear male readers as well. This is because I feel the needs to help you become more confident and understand what’s really attractive and beautiful about you so you can use that knowledge to fill your life with more love. Can I help you identify these qualities in you?