I’m a 32-year-old dude. I’ve been climbing for 20 years and can send 5.14, boulder V11 and do about anything in the gym. That’s all good, but I can’t seem to stay in a relationship, and I dig the women, right? How can I find someone and how can I keep her? Help, I’m lonely.
Next to sending a proj, getting and staying in a relationship is a climber’s greatest frustration. And don’t think that this just applies to us bros. Plenty of women experience the same difficulty. Witness all the dogs that get dragged around at the crags.
Think about the one thing that is common throughout your relationships. The recurring theme is … you. You are the problem. What is it about you that no one wants? Be honest and look in the mirror. What do you see? You control who you are, so what have you done that has broken up all of your relationships? Be honest, and be willing to make some changes, but also be real. Don’t try to change yourself too much, creating a fictional self that will attract a mate, because the mask of Zorro will eventually come off, dooming the relationship. Conduct a post-mortem on your relationships. What was it about your main squeeze that attracted you (besides breasts), and what did she see in you?
Once you have an idea of what seems to always go wrong, tweak your inner and outer “you.” Now, to get hooked up, put yourself in a target-rich environment. Your local gym or dog park are good places to start. Once there, be friendly, but don’t appear desperate. Desperation smells like shit to women, unless the desperate man is rich, then it smells like truffles and Dom Perignon, 1990. If anything, women seem attracted to guys who just don’t give a rat’s ass. Who knows why?
When you do meet someone, try to talk about something besides climbing. Pulling down might be your life (now we are getting somewhere!), but to someone who doesn’t climb, your beta spew is as interesting as a blow-by-blow of Jai-Alai. If you have a dog, that’s a natural “in.” If you don’t, borrow one. Small fluffy dogs that say “I’m a man and am comfortable with who I am,” seem to work best. Keep a picture of the dog in your man purse, and whip it out asap. Make sure your dog has a name. If she has a dog, bingo! Suggest that you get your dogs together, maybe at the crag. If that doesn’t work, buy her something. Next!