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Dating is full of obstacles. Even the best of us have to struggle with them at some point. In my experience, geeks tend to be good at the struggle, because they’re used to encountering obstacles and overcoming them. It comes with the territory when you play hard videogames.

It’s why I believe geeks are so well equipped to overcome obstacles that revolve around dating. You’ve done it thousands of times while playing games, it’s simply a matter of reapplying those skills to the real world.

Sometimes though, I hit an obstacle that requires some really thick elbow grease. Maybe even seems insurmountable. When that happens, I have one childhood memory that I fall back on, one that proved to me beyond all doubt that I have what it takes to win.

It’s my reference point whenever I have a problem I need to tackle, be it approaching another woman after getting rejected really harshly, or figuring out what to text someone new.

It all began with Zelda II: The Adventure of Link.

The Adventure of Link Rami

Over 20 years ago, I played Zelda II as a child, and had a blast… yet I still vividly remember one part of the game that had me pulling my hair out.

Two weeks into the game, after fighting my way through awesome baddies and genius puzzle after puzzle, I entered a village: the Town of Saria. Protip: recognize the name?

It was wonderful… until I was confronted with this piece of shit.

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It was a river that I couldn’t jump across, aka The Gap From Hell™. Even with a running start, it was impossible. This is every platformer’s nightmare.

“But… Nintendo make good games,” I thought. “There must be a proper solution.”

I couldn’t find it. The guy in the green hut by the river said only townsfolk could cross the bridge. I spoke to all the townsfolk, and none of them could help me. I tried exploring nearby villages. I tried different magic spells. I tried going into every house and pressing every button. I tried smearing peanut butter and banana on my chest and invoking a blood ritual to the almighty chicken god to give me a clue.

Nothing worked.

Frustrated to tears, covered in delicious peanut butter and banana, I asked around, hoping one of my friends could help me. Remember, this was back in 1991, before the Internet, and I didn’t have a subscription to Nintendo Power to help me out.

No results.

At this point, most people would’ve quit. To be fair, I almost did.

Then I had another thought: what if I missed something along the way?

Go Everywhere

I woke up the next day, and thought about the problem. If I missed something, then the best way to find it was to backtrack.

Only one solution then: I was going to beat the game by taking it apart, piece by piece.

That meant going through the entire world map, and exploring every single space on there, from beginning to end, until I found a solution.

In case you’re wondering how big that is, here’s the scope of what I was attempting:

z2map

Yep, it’s fucking gigantic. But that didn’t stop me.

I kept a notebook with sketches of every area I went to, and placed an X on every square of the map I visited.

EVERY. SINGLE. SQUARE.

It took days of walking, stopping, fighting random enemies, forgetting to mark an area, backtracking, and what we geeks now know as grinding.

On the 3rd day, like some kind of tired geeky Jesus, I rose from my peanut butter and banana induced sadness and stumbled upon a secret village, one unmarked on the map. Here’s where it was located.

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I walked in, and there was a guy who said:

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And just like that, the river man in the green hut built me a bridge and let me cross the gap.

Hurray!

I did it! All it took was hard work, patience, and the perseverance that only children and people with OCD can muster.

From that point on, and for the rest of my life, anytime I encountered an obstacle that seemed hard to overcome, I referred back to my childhood Zelda II adventure.

What does this have to do with ladies?

For me, there were two things that made meeting women extremely hard: fear of talking to them, and the constant rejection.

You have to talk to a lot of girls, especially at first, in order to practice being social. Knowing what to say, your body language, and all the other good stuff you learn on here, all comes with practice and experience. It ain’t easy.

You also have to get rejected a lot. It comes with the territory. If you’re not getting rejected, you’re not really going after the right kind of girl, or pushing your boundaries. But rejection sucks.

So when I started doing this, the way to power through these two problems was to follow a strict regimen: go out 4 nights a week, for 6 weeks, and talk to 10 groups of women per night. If you do the math, that’s 600 women in 6 weeks.

How the hell was I going to do that?

I knew how. I was going to use that same perseverance that I learned while wandering the Zelda II overworld and drawing a map.

And you can too. Everytime you hit an obstacle with women, remember the hardest game you’ve ever beaten, and realize it was probably harder than what you’re currently facing.

I mean seriously, if you can take down One Reborn from Bloodborne, Ridley from Metroid Prime, or the final boss from Ninja Gaiden, then you can talk to a couple of girls and get a number.

You’re a geek. Dating is a game. You do the math.

2 comments add yours

  1. This was inspiring, in theory.
    Until you realize most of us gamers probably used this approach when we were trying out dating the first time. And it’s completely demeaning to women, treating them as game tiles like any other.
    And it’s completely completely inefficient. In any decent game, they would insist that you check around the area outside the town. The forest nearby has pretty a big bullseye around it. When you job hunt, as when you try to get into the dating scene you CAN technically send in 600 job offers. People have done this. People has also remained unemployed for years, because they don’t learn the lesson. You have to apply for the job you want. Because every interview asks you “why do you want this job.” When you at least know what you are looking for, you are more likely to get the job or the date. Stuff like “this person makes me laugh like no one else”, or “I want to hear her story” or “this is someone important to me.” Versus, “maybe I’ll get lucky this time.”
    Persistance is great, and it that way the story does work. But it is better when focused on something real, not on “I will try dating 600 random women, and expect different results. So what started out as a good “keep trying, you can do it!” became “God this guy is an asshole.”

    • I think you missed the point Samantha.

      Nowhere in the article did I mention dating 600 women. The dating obstacles I mentioned were “fear of talking to them, and the constant rejection”, not “I want to date 600 random women and hope I’ll get lucky.”

      So I went out and spoke to 600 women, in order to overcome my fears of talking to them and getting rejected. Was it inefficient? I don’t think so.
      I learned to make conversation, and I learned not to take it personally or be upset when someone told me to piss off.

      There’s no good substitute for real world experience, and you don’t get that experience sitting at home.

      Now, once I had that experience, it was much easier to actually become more picky, and go out to meet the women I wanted to. At that point, I was “applying to jobs I wanted” to use your analogy 😀
      But before then, I didn’t have the job skills. I was an antisocial computer geek applying for the job of senior sales rep, and it just wasn’t working (still part of the analogy btw).

      What I always talk about on the blog, and what most scammy dating sites don’t tell you, is that meeting people and dating is a skill. It’s something that requires practice. Unless you’re naturally social and everybody loves you, this skill needs to be developed. The only way to develop it is repetition.

      I’m glad I did all that talking to different people. It meant that when I happened to meet the right woman a few years later, I knew what to say and do to present my best self to her on our first encounter. She liked it, and we’ve been dating ever since.

      If you have a more efficient way to teach geeks to be social and talk to strangers, I’m all ears.

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