Chance and Venus help the daring

Antique face

Chance is always powerful. Let your hook be always cast; in the pool where you least expect it, there will be a fish. – Ovid, Ars Amatoria III:ix

Chance and Venus help the daring. – Ovid, Ars Amatoria I:xv

So, two points here from our Ancient Roman dating guru.

First of all keep up your attraction skills wherever you happen to be. Be pleasant to everyone, not just to beautiful women, because it’s pleasant, because you need to keep practicing light-hearted chat, and because women can smell a false-hearted creep a mile away.

Practicing light-hearted chat with everyone, not just beautiful women, enables you to practice your skills in situations in which your fear of failure is not evoked. You will begin to experience success and get smiles. Those skills are transferable, so that next time you really do want to start a conversation with a woman you fancy, you’ll be able to do it without becoming tongue-tied.

Which brings us to the second point Ovid is making – chance and Venus help the daring. There are few things so attractive for a woman in a man as confidence. Not brashness but quiet confidence. And one way to develop this is to keep practicing light and pleasant repartee with everyone you meet!

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Is it me that I don’t get dates?

First of all, be quite sure that there isn’t a woman who cannot be won, and make up your mind that you will win her.

Thus says Ovid, our Ancient Roman dating guru.

Sooner would the birds cease their song in the springtime, or the grasshopper be silent in the summer, or the hare turn and give chase to a hound of Maenalus, than a woman resist the wooing of a youthful lover.

Maybe so, although it is my experience that if you master the secrets of attraction you don’t need to be youthful either.

Once upon a time I was love-lorn and kept falling in love without the slightest idea of how to attract and keep a woman. I would meet beautiful women or see them at a distance and have no clue how to approach them. I believed from a very young age that I was not attractive to women – and that turned out to be a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Then, through advice from friends and reading all kinds of hints, tips and strategies and actually trying them out, I began to have success, leading in the end to finding and keeping the love of my life. I started this blog and wrote Dating – the missing manual because I see too many of my male friends fail in this area – men who have good qualities any sensible woman would admire. I now know what these men are doing wrong and how they could fix it.

Think it’s because you’re too old? Wrong. Because you’re not handsome? Wrong. Because you’re not rich? Wrong again. The young, rich and handsome can and do get these things wrong. Behaviour is key. Be yourself and at the same time learn to be confident in who you are. Then learn the arts of attraction.

Ovid says:

Perhaps you think she doesn’t want to yield. You’re wrong.

Well, there will be quite a number who aren’t interested for perfectly good reasons. But if so, move on – it’s nothing to do with you and there is no shortage of attractive women out there.

Stop getting rejected on-line

Eight tips about how to stop getting rejected on-line from female blogger YoureJustADumbAss.

It’s good advice. But if you’re dating on-line you need to know how to get women to respond to your profile in the first place.

Here are some ideas to get you started. What makes you click on a profile? You are skimming tens or even hundreds of profiles. Many don’t get a second glance from you. Why not? Because of a dodgy picture, and then because of a boring profile. What if the profile is fun and a little flirtatious? Aren’t you more likely to want to respond?

Ok, there’s no point in pretending you are something you are not, because you’ll get rejected later on. But I have noticed that different pictures of the same woman can make her appear very appealing or very off-putting. A flash photograph taken in a mirror is not going to do it, because flash flattens your features and makes you look pale and ill, even if you don’t also have red-eye. A picture taken on a phone at arm’s length is unlikely to do you justice either. Lighting is important, to show off your rugged handsomeness to maximum advantage. Pose is important too – this is not a mug shot for a police lineup. Make eye-contact with the camera. More in my book, Dating – the missing manual.

Next, pay attention to what you write. The aim of your profile is not to tell women everything about you. The aim is to create attraction, to make her want to know more. Tell enough to attract the kind of woman you want to attract, but most of all make it light, make it amusing. Most of all, never appear desperate.

For more tips that from personal experience I know work, treat yourself to my remarkably inexpensive book.

Ovid’s plan of action

Mars and Venus

“You, who for the first time are taking up arms beneath the standard of Venus, find out, in the first place, the woman you are to love.”

Ovid, in his two-thousand-year-old dating guide ‘The Art of Love,’ lays out his plan  in three stages: (1) find your woman, (2) “bend her to your will,” (3) do what you need to do to make your love endure.

We shall talk about all these stages in due course, but in passing I’d like to say that we often neglect the third. Once you’ve made a conquest, don’t slack off. You need to keep the flame alive. Don’t start being a typical bloke and fart and belch in her company (sorry, but it needed to be said). Don’t neglect oral hygiene if you still want deep kisses and more. Don’t stop the behaviours that she found attractive and exciting in the beginning. Especially when married, tend the fire.

Back to the matter in hand.

Ovid goes on, “Now that you are still fancy-free, now is the time for you to choose a woman and say to her: ‘You are the only woman that I care for.’ She’s not going to be wafted down to you from heaven on the wings of the wind. You must use your own eyes to discover the girl that suits you.”

I definitely don’t agree that you should go up to a woman and straightaway say, ‘You are the only woman that I care for.’ She’ll run a mile unless already desperately in love with you, and that you cannot count on. You have to work on attraction – a process explained in my own book. One important principle of attraction is, let her come to you. Paradoxical. For now let’s just say, never appear desperate. But Ovid is right that your soulmate is not going simply to turn up and ring your doorbell.

Ovid goes on, “The hunter knows where to spread his nets… .” This should be part of your strategy. You need to think about where the woman of your dreams is likely to hang out. If you’re a wild party animal, don’t look for her in the library. And if you hate parties and prefer intelligent conversation, don’t torment yourself by going somewhere where the music is so loud you end up deaf. Your soulmate won’t be there anyway. However you do have to go out looking. And wherever you go, you need to keep practicing the arts of attraction until your babe magnetism is fully charged and under your control.

What makes you think you need to go to Russia?

“You who seek out the object of a lasting love, learn the places which the fair ones most haunt,” writes the poet Ovid in his 2,000-year-old poem, The Art of Love.

I have given a few tips about where to find your soulmate before.

If spam emails are anything to go by, there must be a fair number of men out there who fall for Russian woman who are very romantic and are looking for an honest man in the West for love and marriage. Now there is of course nothing at all wrong with Russian women. But if you can’t attract a woman in your own home town, why do you imagine you’ll have more luck with a woman from hundreds or thousands of miles away?

If the relationship is based on money (which it may be) then is that what you really want? Wouldn’t you rather learn the arts of attraction and find a woman much nearer home and who wants you because of what you really are? (Ok, you really like Russian women. There are probably thousands in London. You still don’t need to find the air fare.)

Ovid says, “You won’t have to put to sea or undertake any distant journeys … Rome alone will give you a choice of such lovely women, and so many of them, that you will be forced to confess that she gathers within her own bosom all the treasures that the world can show. As numerous as the ears of corn on Gargarus, grapes in Methymna, fish in the ocean, birds in the thickets, stars in the heavens, so numerous are the beautiful girls you’ll find in Rome. Venus has made her seat of empire the city of her beloved Aeneas.”

And for the benefit of us in England, note that our own Henry Purcell made a song called ‘Fairest Isle’ from John Dryden’s words, in which the poet explains that Venus has made her dwelling here, too.

Here are the words:
Fairest isle, all isles excelling,
Seat of pleasure and of love
Venus here will choose her dwelling,
And forsake her Cyprian grove.
Cupid from his fav’rite nation
Care and envy will remove;
Jealousy, that poisons passion,
And despair, that dies for love.

Gentle murmurs, sweet complaining,
Sighs that blow the fire of love
Soft repulses, kind disdaining,
Shall be all the pains you prove.
Ev’ry swain shall pay his duty,
Grateful ev’ry nymph shall prove;
And as these excel in beauty,
Those shall be renown’d for love.

If you want to be loved, be lovable

If you want to be loved, be lovable

– Ovid, Ars Amatoria (The Art of Love) II:ii

As I wrote in last week’s post Patience and attraction, “if you become a better, stronger, kinder human being then the right kind of woman will be attracted to you.”

Afterwards I found the quotation at the top of this post in Ovid’s Art of Love.

Ovid was a Roman writer (43BC – 17AD) who was friendly with Horace and may have met Virgil (the Virgil who wrote that extraordinary prediction of the coming of Jesus in Eclogues IV – some may dispute that this refers to Jesus but the coincidence is to be wondered at). Anyway, the poem Ars Amatoria (The Art of Love) is Ovid’s guide to dating and sex.

This work got him banished to a cold, wet place by the Black Sea in what is now Constanta in Romania, ostensibly because the Ars Amatoria was far too naughty.

Over the coming weeks I shall be going through Ovid’s poem at a gentle pace, seeing what is still good advice today and what perhaps should be avoided by the wise.

Patience and attraction

When I was a teenager I was rubbish at attracting girls. A wise man told me that I should be patient. When we are older it will all work out.

He didn’t just mean, wait around and it will sort itself out without you having to make any effort. What he meant was, work on becoming a better human being and there will come a time when women will be attracted to you.

The premise here is not that you’ll be wildly successful at brief encounters. The premise is that if you become a better, stronger, kinder human being then the right kind of woman will be attracted to you.

This is true. If you have no substance then the best women will not be interested in you.

Even so, a good man still needs to understand what creates attraction in women. Think of a shop. It might have the most wonderful goods inside. But if there is nothing attractive in the window display, how will anyone ever know? If you don’t know the arts of attraction, how will a woman be attracted enough to you to want to get to know you better?

To find the woman of my dreams I had to learn what attracts and doesn’t attract women.

Luckily, attraction is a skill that can be learned.