Propinquity: A Lone Wolf’s Kryptonite

I discovered a new word that helped me understand a few things about attraction, things that I had already figured out for myself in a way, but it’s nice to see a little bit of science backing it up too.

This is why online dating is such a difficult endeavor for men, even when you’re gorgeous like me.  If there’s no visual attraction right off the bat, it’s very difficult to spark attraction, unless the effort is made to meet in real life and on a regular basis to see if we can click from there.  Most women will not bother, partly because they get bombarded by prospects and hence have to find a way to quickly filter out undesirables, so only the top alphas of the alphas are going to make the cut (and sometimes not even.)  If you don’t look good and your profile is badly written and generic, it’s out with you.  And since I’m a dude and thus especially visually oriented, if the photos don’t depict even a mildly pretty girl, it doesn’t matter what their profile says, I quickly click on to the next profile.   Propinquity?  Never heard of it.

Although sometimes I try to force myself to dig a little deeper, if a girl seems kinda cute, I’ll read their profiles to see if there’s anything that might offer the promise of chemistry:  similar interests, beliefs, personalities, etc..  This is where propinquity comes in.  The attraction is very meager, but with physical contact and compatible personalities something might eventually spark.  This is why I always want to get to the face to face meeting as soon as reasonably possible.  Online correspondence (where propinquity is weak or nonexistent) is just not a good substitute for real life.

Real life though doesn’t fare much better for me, because generally speaking, I just don’t like people.  Once I was out of college there was only the work place and the bar/social scene where one can regularly meet and interact with women.  There are no single girls at my job, and I eschew the social scenes (including church) for a variety of reasons, so the prospects of benefitting from a propinquity driven attraction were daunting indeed.  My life as a deep-seated introvert meant I’ve had to rely on the initial, immediate spark of attraction more than the average person would probably need to.

Via a combination of laziness and idealism, I let the fallacy of  believing that the right girl will simply love me for whom I am, and not based on how I looked or presented myself in public.  And I would still agree, BUT if I’m a complete stranger to her and I’m not giving her ANY incentive to get to know me better (read: make her immediately swoon before my manly presence) then it wouldn’t matter who I was.  I don’t need to be Don Juan, but I don’t have to go dousing any sexual appeal I had with a fire hose either.

I guess this means I can’t take anything for granted when I go out.  Even if it’s a midnight run to 7-11, I should still go looking my best, and not sporting say, a stained undershirt and lounge pants like I used to.  Or like I’ve seen some guys do, go out wearing SLIPPERS.  *face palm*  Although when I see that, I wonder if the competition isn’t nearly as bad as I think it is.

In the meantime I can try to find at least ONE social group or circle out there that I can participate in (whether it’s a church, book club or whatnot) but ironically, I find that an even more daunting prospect than meeting a sweet girl by chance while squeezing my melons at the local supermarket.

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5 Responses to Propinquity: A Lone Wolf’s Kryptonite

  1. Cautiously Pessimistic May 8, 2013 at 9:14 PM #

    Real life though doesn’t fare much better for me, because generally speaking, I just don’t like people. […] In the meantime I can try to find at least ONE social group or circle out there that I can participate in (whether it’s a church, book club or whatnot)

    I totally get this. My religious beliefs led me to conclude that, as this world will eventually burn, the only source of eternal meaning we have while here is interaction with others (who will presumably follow us into eternal life. I’m a bit upset by this. I don’t like being around people; but to please God, I try to find opportunities for more positive interaction than spitting at small children as they walk by.

    As for a social group, have you considered the cheerful camaraderie of your local crack house? ;)

    I do wonder if some of the problem in finding a social group might be the dearth of male-only spaces these days. A coworker of mine found refuge in a mostly male cigar club, but on the days that there are women around, he says the atmosphere is not nearly as relaxing.

    • Frank Swift May 8, 2013 at 9:54 PM #

      For me I don’t think it’s the dearth of male only groups, as I tried to make a go of being a member of a small gun club and going shooting with them twice a month. I found no real pleasure in it, mostly because the men were all much older than me and I was inclined to ask them if they had daughters who were still single than I was asking them what Glock they favored.

      Since I love to travel I thought about doing singles tours, until I looked at the pics from some of the recent trips to see a group of weird characters who looked like they were beaten mercilessly with the ugly stick. Being herded around like cattle with people who LOOKED like cattle didn’t strike me as a healthy way to interact with people, especially since I’m still in “FIND WIFE” mode. That’s why traveling alone is far more comfortable and puts me in a better frame of mind (instead of say, frantically scanning or interrogating the group for any possible prospects.)

      I’m just not wired to connect to people I don’t know. I do however connect very well to people I already know. It’s part of my nature.

      I don’t see any real solution, other than to just keep forcing myself out there while praying for a miracle.

  2. an observer May 11, 2013 at 11:49 PM #

    What happened to the older women looking out for the younger women, matching them up?

    The welloff ones are busily spending their childrens inheritance on luxury cruises and overseas trips.

    The notsowelloff women are busily hatcheting men for not making them welloff, and badmouthing their husbands – if they still have one – to all and sundry.

    In churches, this is often framed as spirituality, to maintain their moral superiority.

    “Let me tell you what Norm does, in strictest confidence, of course. So you can pray for him….”

    • Frank Swift May 12, 2013 at 11:34 AM #

      “childrens inheritance on cruises”

      LOL. I have a coworker whose parents go on cruises all the time. This is probably truer than you know.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Is there any hope when even the voice of God may not be enough to bring a couple together? - A Geek in the Wilderness - May 10, 2013

    […] for hope.  Alicia apparently starts to feel attraction, I suspect in part due to the effects of propinquity (since they were nearly always together or near proximity), and partly because it now seemed […]

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