Mort Mather Author Writer Organic Farmer Philosopher Thinker Restauranteur

How to improve your life and save the world.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Empathy and romance

I want to get to know that woman. I lust for her. I wish I could just go up to her and say, “You are very attractive. I’d like to get to know you, maybe date, maybe kiss, you know. What do you think? Do you share my interest?”
Actually, I think she might be at least a little interested in me. I see her once a week. We say “hi” to each other. We know each other’s names but the only thing we have in common that we know of is the class we take together. “How’d you like the class today?” “Good.” “Yeah.” We have also talked about the weather.
Those extremes—the weather and other inanities at one end and “wanna fuck” and any other overtly direct approach—are not likely to advance a relationship. It’s time for an empathetic approach. If I want to get into that lady’s pants, the best approach is to get into her head. What is she thinking? Who is she? What does she want in life?
When I was younger, more physically attractive and closer to her age, I would likely have used an old favorite line of the time: “What’s your sign?” How obvious and maybe even shocking coming from someone my age. I really don’t want to be thought a dirty old man. Asking someone their astrological sign is certainly advancing in the right direction, however. Even “how are you?” is better than the weather.
I need to know more about her. Does she have a job? What is it? How long has she had it? Does she like it? What would she rather be doing? What does she do with her idle time? Does she read? What is she reading? Has she been married? Does she have children? Has she traveled? Did she go to college? Now I’m cooking! It’s not all about me and my desire. I need to get to know her, what makes her tick.
I’m pretty sure there is no such thing as a mind-reader. There have been times when I felt that I knew what someone was thinking but when something important is on the line the best any of us can do is to think empathetically. The closer we can get to understanding what another is thinking, what they want, the more successful we will be in getting what we want.