Being single on Valentine’s Day fucking sucks.
I wanted to put it in a more eloquent way considering my degree is in English, but I simply cannot be bothered to do so at this time. China is very into Valentine’s Day because it’s so commercial and an opportunity for people to publicly claim ownership of other human beings; the women here are incredibly territorial. For me, monotonous V Day plans are even worse than being alone.
Oh you got me a teddy bear, roses, and chocolate… a lot of thought must have gone into this CVS purchase.
In reality, I would really love an opportunity to go shoot some automatic rifles, cook a grass-fed paleo meal at home, and then I want to be told that I’m pretty and special and brilliant for at least 30 minutes while you scratch my head like a dog.
What an incredibly romantic evening.
And it’s not just about one person on V Day. If you’re in a relationship, it’s important to take the time to appreciate your significant other for not crushing your heart into a million pieces or giving you an STD. He or she obviously cares about you. Cherish that shit.
But if you’re trying to make the hustle in the next 7 days, here are some of my best strategies. My policy is: don’t hate the game, just be a better player.
1) Swallow your pride.
Sure people will approach you if you’re looking all fly and shit, but if you want a say in your sample size, it’s better to chase your pride with a shot of tequila and approach first. Whether or not this is before or after noon is up to your discretion. By making a conscious decision about whom you approach, you’re able to sift out the creepers and bimbos immediately and maximize your potential within the allotted time frame. You’re probably going to have some stiff competition. Stay focused people!
2) Be intentional.
Be direct and intentional with your conversations. If you’re wasting a hour talking to some girl about her hedgehog and obsessive CrossFit addiction (me) and you DON’T think it’s incredibly endearing and/or adorable, jump in front of a car…
…I mean excuse yourself to the restroom and reset. Don’t feel guilty about it. I doubt that person will even remember your name by the end of the night and this is your opportunity to be selfish.
3) Ignore the hottest person in the room.
Statistically speaking, this person is probably an asshole. Or a female asshole. Ignore them. It’ll probably make them want you more to be honest, but focus on normal human beings instead of 300 lookalikes. While you deserve the best and all that crap, you’re also going to be competing for attention and expected to preform like a circus animal. Ain’t nobody got time for that!
4) Play the odds.
When I intend on spitting game, I beeline it for groups of 3-4 dudes whom are incredibly expressive with their hands and are holding dark liquor in their hands; preferably neat. To me, this projects good vibes, fun banter, and liquor appreciation. Find your own “signals” and identify people who are projecting them wherever you are. Target medium-sized groups of men/women because the odds of “connecting” with at least one of them are greatly increased in comparison to approaching one person at a time; and it’s just more fun.
5) Be yourself.
If you couldn’t tell by my writing, I’m incredibly eccentric. I have a very unique way of expressing myself and interacting with human beings; and that’s okay. If you can’t be yourself with someone on Single Awareness Day, then what’s the point? Oh you snagged a date, but you’re miserable? You showed you.
Be weird. Be silly. Be you. And if they don’t like it, instead of going out, you can read about all my feelings on wanderonwards.com instead of scrolling through romantic photos on The Facebook. One of the articles is about how I almost got deported from China. It’s a real knee slapper.
6) Give the phone number.
I’m a bit more direct than most people, but my go-to move to secure a phone number is simply to give mine. Normally I lead with, “Give me your phone” or I pickpocket them for it. It’s a handy skill I picked up in Europe. Then I enter my digits, my first name, and the name of the place we met instead instead of my last name (otherwise they’ll internet stalk you), and hand it back. This exchange is normally followed by, “If you wish to summon me to break bread after the moon has risen, feel free to contact me via my mobile OR I’m also available by carrier pigeon.”
Be confident in the exchange! You are a sexy beast and if he/she doesn’t recognize it, then good thing you gave your digits to two other people earlier that night. If you forget names easily, this will also save you lot of embarrassment because they’ll be forced to identify themselves when they contact you.
7) Neutralize the situation.
So after winky faces are inevitability exchanged via text, you have to seal the deal. Go with something non-threatening and fun for both of you such as,
“Tons of couple will be celebrating Valentine’s Day and muploading about it all day. Want to turn off our phones and shoot automatic rifles with me?”
See here, you set the expectations low, there’s no pressure, and you get to shoot automatic rifles. Everyone wins! If guns aren’t your thing, try hiking, beer gardens, road trips, or go in search of bizarre food. I love me some alligator hot dogs in downtown LA. (Guess the reference).
I would implement my own game plan into motion, but I’m stuck at home programming for the next month and simply cannot be bothered to put on pants. Have fun for me kiddos and shatter some gender expectations for your girl!
Ye Mao Zi Photography (夜猫子摄影)
Aaron Berkovich is one of my personal friends and long-time supporters. He believed in my dreams before it was cool.
He’s been shooting in Beijing for the later year and by photographing travel, parties, people, and food, his intimate images allow him to share his own journey with like-minded people. Like his page here.