We hear it all the time. “Women want to be swept off their feet.” Those of us who don’t fall naturally into the alpha male role think, “Okay, I can do that.” Here is a way for our natural quirks to work in our favor. We make a show of overcoming our shyness in the most creative ways we can think of. We play up our quirk because it’s all we got. Dating columnist Julieanne Smolinski has a word for that — a “whimsy guy.”

Smolinski’s observations regarding this subset of single dudes are astute. “Outings with a Whimsy Guy read like a kind of Mad Lib involving a series of increasingly diabetes-y nouns,” she wrote in a recent article for GQ. “Let’s go to Coney Island to eat ginger cookie and Nutella ice cream sandwiches and make up back stories for every couple we see on the Ferris Wheel while the gelato drips onto our gingham sleeves.”

Sound familiar? (We know. It sounds like some gargutuan, irradiated, villager-stomping monster of a HowHookup date.) As a “guy with no game” it’s tough to be called out on the smidgeon of game you actually have, huh? You’re a not like other guys. You’re a vulnerable, creative soul who still believes in romance. You’re a good guy. But what Smolinski so aptly points out is that, no matter how good you think your intentions might be — it’s still game. No different than “My friend and I have a bet going — are your eyes green or hazel?” Game is game. And while the whimsy thing might have worked for you in the wake of Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s sly/shy half smile, there’s some bad news that you need to hear: they’re on to you.

Women may want to be swept off their feet. But not by a guy who makes feet-sweeping his M.O. A lady wants to be romanced by a guy who wouldn’t normally turn on the charm. If she wants a guy who pulls out all the stops, she wants him to pull out those stops because of her. Otherwise, it feels even cheaper than a “Nice shoes. Wanna f*ck?” Sleazy might actually be more sincere than “sincere.”

It’s worth considering, too, that maybe she doesn’t want to be swept off her feet at all. Maybe she want to keep her feet firmly planted while she has good conversation and great sex with a guy who understands that she’s too smart to fall for the “magic boy” routine. Maybe she’s looking for a relationship that’s built on attraction and respect first and romance second.

Maybe, it’s time to embrace that other cliche that guys so often hear and “just be yourself.”

[GQ]

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