Friday, 27 August 2010

Review of last Sunday - an even damper squib of a day out than the last weekend

Well following my previous Saturday night out, explained in my last post, when I was disappointed not to see Maria, I was had hopes I would see her at another social, this one arranged for last Sunday (22nd August).

The social planned was first of all a walk, then a trip to pub in view of a local airshow, and then back to one of the member's houses for a barbecue. I was unsure during the week whether or not to go. Basically I was keen to go if Maria was there but if she wasn't going to be it wsn't worth it. There was no one else I especially wanted to socialise with, although they're all nice people, and it wasn't particularly good timing for me. In the end I decided that I would book my place on Friday night, and decide just to meet up at the pub and not do the walk in the morning as it wasn't a convienient time for me. I wanted to know if Maria would be there, as she has a tendency to change her mind a bit, so I gave her just a casual text on Saturday night at 9:00pm to ask if she'd be there. She replied at around 11:00am the next day to say she'd be at the pub around 4:00pm. So it sounded like she was doing the same as me and meeting at others at the pub.

Well I decided I would try to get to pub by about 3:00pm in any case so I got the train and walked with a map trying to find the place. Once I found the place at 3:00pm I saw no-one was there. I then texted Steve, who was organising the event to ask where they were, and it turned out they had already gone off for the barbecue. My goodness that's quick a thought! I've naturally always been a punctual person (except when it involves getting up early) and I'm used to having to adjust to other people's lateness - now it seems the tables have turned!

And this put me in a dilemma. Should I reply to Steve and ask for the address or should I just go home? My decision would depend on one person - you've guessed it, Maria. Well at least it gave me a genuine excuse to text Maria again. After all she said she would arrive at the pub at 4:00pm, and if she did she would be stuck on her own too. So I just texted to say "Hi, don't know if you're with the crowd but they've gone off for the bbq ..." just to inform her. Well I think my dilemma was over when she replied that she was "stuck in" another area close by. Sounded a bit odd to me. The neighbouring town she was 'stuck in' is a small, industrial area to my knowledge, there wouldn't have been much traffic around the area, lor any attractions on a wet Sunday afternoon as far as I could see. Anyway, it was something of a relief to find out about her whereabouts, and it meant that for me it was time to go home.

It was a real damp squib of an afternoon. The weather was cloudy with intermittent rain but very warm and humid. Fortunatly I was able to see another friend later in the evening, so it made a nice end to what had been a very unsettling weekend.

Monday, 23 August 2010

Coping With a Damp Squib of a Night Out

I was meaning to do some blogging last week but other things got in the way, and my report here is of the Saturday before last (14th August).

At this organised social there were in the end only six people due to attend, why so low a number I do not know. One of them was my friend Maria, who I mentioned in an earlier post. Now I have seen her since I last wrote about her, and I must say that I have developed a bit of a crush on Maria, although it is not a sexual thing, it's more to do with her personality. She's very useful for me as she naturally helps me along socially and takes a real interest in me, and socially, you could say she gets the best out of me. I am useful for her on a night out too, because particualarly later on she can become very spontaniously minded, losing sense of reality, and I'm useful in helping her to steady and clarify her thoughts, and I think she's recognised that before I did. We're incredibly opposite, but it's probably a case of us both naturally filling in the missing bits of each other's personalities, and as far as I'm concerned it's a case of "opposites attract" (which would have to be our wedding song if we were ever to marry!).

Unfortunatly, at this damp squib of a social, she didn't turn up. I was a little suprised, as although she often changes her mind about things, she will usually post a note on the website if she's not coming at the last minute and she didn't this time. In the end there were just four of us.

I had a bad feeling about this social as I was on my way there. I was the last of the four to arrive and it was hard to try to mix comfortably, and be friendly, whilst wondering if Maria would turn up, often looking towards the entrance to see if I could spot her. We were all wondering about it, though I think I was the only one who knew her, so I offered to text Maria to see what was happening. Now I was nervous about texting, because I didn't want to give her the impression I was only going to the organised social to see her, so I decided to use the word 'we' in the text, to make it sound more like I was a good friend looking out, rather than as a man trying to hunt her down. She replied to say she wasn't well.

I felt somewhat more after relaxed knowing that she wasn't coming. What was awkward about this event, and can be awkward about many organised socials, is that you end up having to try to socialise with people you may not wish to make the effort to talk to, or who may be hard work. I was sitting next to this lady, Jane, whom I have met a few times. I have nothing against Jane, but she doesn't appear too easy socially, I don't think we have any common ground and she's in her 40s (don't get me wrong I interact happily with people far older than this, I'm not ageist but on these nights out I hope to meet people more my own age). It was a struggle for a while. However she then commented that "it's a bit of a dull night..."and immediatly I was little relieved as this was what I (and the others) were thinking and a subject I can engage in, analysing the social dynamics.

In the end we all left the bar at about 10:00pm. We were all disappointed with the low turnout. Maria would have made all the difference I think. However to see that no-one was enjoying the night and we could be open about it was quite a relief, as I fear that commenting about the night being dull may appear like a more polite way of saying "you're boring company" so I'm relunctant to express it myself. But it's just a fact that some occassions can turn out to be a damp squib socially, simply because you need more people to stimulate the conversation.

Wednesday, 4 August 2010

My day out in London. A talk on Relationships and an Organised Social

On Saturday 31st July I went to London for the day. I was there for two reasons. A few weeks ago I was sent an email about a talk that was to take place for men, about how to chat to women, how to approach and communicate and hold conversations with women in order to attract them, and find a relationship. It sounded just like the kind of thing I wanted to hear about so I booked my place, and went to London on Saturday to hear the talk.

Then after that, I planned to go to another organised social in London. The group which arranges the organised socials I go to operates in many cities across the UK, so I thought I'd take the opportunity to go an event in London, mainly for the purposes of practicing my social interaction skills.

Review of the Talk on Relationships

I arrived at the hotel at 12:30pm, I was the first one there, and it felt strange sitting on my own for 5 minutes or so in Suite 1 of this posh hotel. Eventually other guys turned up, about twenty five in total, and then the talk began at about 1:00pm.

The speaker gave some helpful tips during the talk on how I should communicate with women, and what not to do, things I definitely appreciated hearing and will take on board. However, there were aspects I did not like. Now I came to this event to hear a talk, I did not go to play games. Yet there was an element of role play involved which I did not appreciate and I basically opted-out of it.

Abuot 40 minutes into the talk, the speaker asked all the guys to stand up and greet each other in a monotonous, unenthusiastic way. Well I was fine with that, after all I hadn't really said Hello to many people I joined in. However, after that the speaker asked everyone to go up and greet everyone with energy and enthusiasm. Now this I was not comfortable with. I was getting quite tired after a busy morning travelling up to London, and I'm not really inclinded to greet people I don't know in such a way. So I basically stayed up my chair and allowed people to greet me.

Then thirdly came the tipping point, where the speaker asked everyone to greet others as they would greet someone they hadn't seen in years, like an old school friend. Now I was not up for this kind of acting, so I decided I would opt out. I did not move out of my chair at this point. There were two ladies in the room assisting, I don't know if they were hotel staff or the speaker's assistants, and they tried to greet me in such a way. I tried to explain I wasn't hear to role play I was hear simply to listen to a talk.

Then a bit later on the speaker tried to get everyone to jump up and down, to scream and celebrate, the idea being to help people get in the mood for chatting to girls, because, as the speaker said, you will impress women far more if you have energy and excitement and in a fun mood. Now there was no way I was going to do this. The speaker said "everybody stand up" and everyone stood up bar me. He tried to nod at me as if to get me to stand, but I just shook my head, so it went on with me opting out.

During the break, I tried to explain, politely of course, to one of the speaker's assistants that I did not apprecitate all the role-play, and that for me, far from getting me in the right mood, it would be more likely to make me feel uncomfortable and would distract my attention to what he may say next. I also made a clever point which is as follows. The speaker made the point that in approaching women we must act as men, and be seen to be in control of our decisions and be able to take the lead. I said to the speaker's assistant girls that if by refusing to join in I was acting like such a man, in control, doing what he wants rather than following another man's lead. They said it was a 'good point'.

There was also an element of mind control during the meeting that I did not appreciate. The speaker at times asked people to close their eyes and visualise themselves in different situations. Again I kept my eyes open and opted out. I came to the meeting for practical tips on speaking to women, for which I did get some useful tips. I did not come for any knd of psychological manipulation or role-playing games.

However I did take the opportunity afterwards to try to chat to a few women in Green Park and around the streets of London, taking on boards some of the things said, though I was genuinely too tired to do this properly.

The Organised Social

I booked by place on the organised social in the evening partly as a means to practice any skills I could pick up at the event. I'm not sure if I really succeeded in this as I was really quite tired by the evening and the place was very loud. Nevertheless it was nice being able to mix in with a different crowd, and the fact I wasn't likely to meet such people again enabled me just to attempt to experiment a bit socially (I don't think I experimented much though). It was hard as a visitor to London knowing what to say, but it was still a worthwhile time I had.

I would have liked to stay later, but I ended up leaving the organised social at 10:00pm, and eventually arriving home sometime soon after midnight (which tends to be about my bedtime anyway during the week). Needless to say, the following afternoon I was feeling quite shattered, after such a busy day with so much to take in.