How to Pick Up Women and Have Casual S..

The new dating rules, for her: don't lie about your age (or looks), ditch the make-believe boyfriend baggage and ignore all other dating rules Look, I know what you're thinking. The proportion of GQ readers who have ever tried to pick up men is probably quite small (albeit valued). It doesn't even include me. Except for that one time, actually. But that was ages ago, and sort of accidental, and I don't think I want to talk about it right now, anyway.
Let's start with Rhonda Byrne. She's America's pre-eminent self-help guru, much fêted by Oprah Winfrey for her numerous crazy books, which include The Secret, which was made into crazy film. A few years ago, I had to read one of the sequels. The best way to get a boyfriend, it suggests, is to behave as though you've already got one, right down to sleeping on one side of the bed, cooking meals for two and clearing out half your cupboard. Still. There are men who surreptitiously read women's magazines in order to learn how to pick up women. (I've tried this myself; it doesn't work; women don't have a clue how to pick up women either.) In part, this is to be a column offering some honest advice to women doing the opposite.
It makes me shiver. "Where did you put my shoes?" you'd ask. "On your shoe rack," she'd say. "I have a shoe rack?" you'd say. "Oh, yes. You've always had a shoe rack. For ever and ever." And this from somebody who, mere hours earlier, you were slightly surprised to find yourself snogging in a taxi. It's the madder end of the genre, this, but it's all quite mad. When I was a student, I knew quite a lot of women who read a book called The Rules by Ellen Fein and Sherrie Schneider, offering lots of rules for how to make men like you and want to spend the rest of their life with you. There was a chapter called "Don't Talk To A Man First" and one called "Always End Phone Calls First". There was even a chapter called "Don't Discuss The Rules With Your Therapist" but, bafflingly, not one called "Don't Let Any Man See This Horrible Tome On Your Bookshelf Or Else He'll Run A F. Mile". Yeah. Millions of people bought her books. Actual, honest, millions. Can you imagine the horror of waking up after drunkenly sleeping with one of them? "I don't, uh, have a toothbrush," you'd say, perhaps eyeing the bookshelves, and wishing you'd made a run for it at dawn. "Oh, don't worry," she'd reply. "I bought you one ages ago. When you were still imaginary."
And yet, it's the lies that depress me so terribly. It's the unfailing assumption that honesty will always be your enemy. I wrote a feature about a new, quite horrible type of speed dating once, and one of the people I was paired up with was a relatively successful dating writer who was quite surprised I'd never heard of her. "You should google me," she said. Only, she also told me she was 36, and when I did google her, it turned out she was 42. Should we have had a future together, was the idea that I might never find out?
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