I had a post recently called The Power of Vagueness, which you can find here. In the first post, I focused mostly on vagueness when it came to the political arena and only touched on it slightly in the dating arena. This time around I’m going to go more into the topic of vagueness in dating.
In the mail, I got my issue of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Special. (I have an SI subscription.) Most of the girls in it bore me because they seem interchangeable, but this one exotic-looking black girl in it named Quiana Grant caught my eye, and I actually read her interview. One part of it really jumped out at me:
I feel a secret connection with … Chris Webber because he is mysterious to me. I love the fact that you never hear anything about him anywhere. Even when he was dating Tyra Banks, you didn’t hear anything about him. It’s the unknown. I remember living in D.C., and the Kings came to play the Wizards, and all the ladies were in the hairdresser getting their hair done and I’m like, “What’s going on?” and they told me, “Chris Webber’s coming to town, girl!” That was kind of funny, but he’s actually, um, yeah, he’s pretty great. I was supposed to go to a game when he was playing for Philly, but then he got traded and I thought, nevermind I just wanted to see him.
I love that quote, because it perfectly illustrates what I described in the last vagueness quote. Chris Webber is a good-looking, charismatic, athletic and talented athlete, but he’s intensely private. When he does make a major statement to the public, it carries that much more weight and becomes an event because he so rarely does it. In fact, for a while it even intensified scrutiny of him because the scarcity of information about him make information about him become even more valuable.
But what I really love is how you can tell Quiana Grant has used the half-blank canvas Webber has created and filled in all the blanks herself. She’s taken every dream guy trait she has and has probably assigned them to Webber.
Of course the blank canvas alone isn’t enough. You have to have something on the canvas to attract attention in the first place. If you’re too vague or nondescript you’ll just be ignored. But Webber has the fame, athleticism and good looks that get him in the door. After that, he just has to keep his mouth shut and not fuck it up.
It amazes me how often guys don’t get this. They just talk and talk and campaign with women until they just tell too much about themselves and talk themselves right into the doghouse. Several reasons why this is bad:
- Unless you are particularly gifted in smooth conversation, you are just increasing the chances you are going to fuck up a good first impression with each sentence you say.
- It puts the girl on a pedestal if you are trying too hard to impress her, thereby lowering your own value in comparison. When you are talking about how smart you are, how much money you make, how cool you are, all the things that make you great, all you are doing is subconsciously convincing the girl of how great she is because you just met her and are trying to hard to gain her approval. Think about it, you don’t try to convince an ugly person of how good you look, you don’t try to convince a dumb person of how smart you are, and you don’t try to convince an uncool person of how cool you are. You expect them to get it automatically. So if you are trying too hard to convince someone you are cool, the implication is that you consider them to be even cooler. If you are trying too hard to convince someone you are good-looking, you are implying that you already consider them better-looking than you. If you are trying too hard to impress someone with how smart you are, you are implying that you consider them smart enough to judge your intelligence. Good masters don’t openly try to impress students, students openly try to impress masters. When you are too blatant in seeking approval, you broadcast to the people you’re seeking approval from that you consider them your masters. You are now in a “one-down” position from them. They may like you, but they won’t respect you as much as you want.
- You deprive the woman of her fantasy. If for some reason you conveyed a positive first impression and got her intrigued, it’s because something about you reminded her of one of her fantasies. And each time you open your mouth to talk yourself up or impress her, you just kept painting a picture different from the one she wanted to paint. You promised her the fulfillment of a fantasy with your first impression and now you’re taking it away from her. And of course she’ll resent that, even if it’s on a subconscious level.
See, most guys have women they have no interest in that are incredibly fixated on them. They consider them pests. They make no effort to impress them, yet they stick around. Then they meet women that impress them terribly and they start campaigning hard. They call and text them too much. They watch their phones in hopes they’ll ring. They meet the girl and find her to be interested at first and get confused at why they seem to lose interest with each following interaction. What guys don’t realize is that the aloof, slightly disinterested attitude they affected with the former type of woman is the one they need to affect with the women they really like. If more men could treat the women they really like the same as they treat the ones they want to get rid of, they’d have a much better dating life. (And probably, if they pestered and tried to impress the ones they wanted to get rid of the way they do the ones they obsess over, they’d do a better job of getting rid of them.)
There’s a saying in the pimp community that touches on this concept: “The player with the right clothes can get chose with his mouth closed.” Basically, if you work on your image, whether it’s your clothing, your muscles, your body language and posture, and/or your grooming, all you have to do is work on not saying anything stupid (harder for some guys than you’d think) and being enticingly vague (but not boring) and the woman’s imagination will do all the impressing for you. As long as you don’t do anything blatantly contrary to this image, you’ll be fine.
Addendum: Something else that Chris Webber understands about vagueness: not just being vague about himself but vague about his conquests also. You never see Chris Webber brag about women he’s banging. Never. Sexual bragging is an amateurish thing the average slob does and betrays not only short term thinking but also very poor social intelligence (poor social intelligence is a huge turn-off to women).
Reputation management since time immemorial has always been of paramount importance to a woman. The sluttier a woman’s reputation is, the more her social stock drops. This is why real players rarely brag about conquests for the sake of bragging. They only bring up conquests to prove a larger point. If you get the rep of being that guy who can’t keep his mouth about conquests, women know their reputations won’t be safe with you, and no matter how much they may want you they’ll feel the risk to their reputation isn’t worth it.
Compare this to Wilmer Valderrama, who pulled a truly unmackish move in bragging on the Howard Stern show about sexual conquests. He claimed to have taken Mandy Moore’s virginity, and also:
The 26-year-old claimed Lindsay Lohan was one of the best girls he’s ever slept with, Ashlee Simpson was loud in bed and he rated Jennifer Love Hewitt an “eight” out of ten when it came to sex.
He probably thought it was cool at the time, but he must have realized his mistake because he quickly backpedaled in the press afterwards. Now what are the chances that future up and coming or established starlets are going to risk their reputations for a chance to sleep with Wilmer Valderrama. He’s proven himself to be lacking discretion and social intelligence. He should have learned the lesson of vagueness from Chris Webber.