Be yourself, that's all you need to do. That's the #1 suggestion to consistently pop up whenever dumb people discuss dating. Like the claim that canine mouths are cleaner than human counterparts or that we only use less than 10 per cent of our brainpower, this mantra gets reflexively slung at the debater whenever the conversation reaches the point for constructive critique. And just like the other examples, it is complete bullshit in dire need of dispelling.

This much is obvious: nobody can ever be anything but themselves. One is always one, from the mentally handicapped to socially-shapeshifting cliché chameleons. Even schizophrenics are being themselves! And yet, it is a public consensus on the scale of the sun revolving around the Earth that somewhere deep in everyone lurks some infinitely lovable essential entity that we somehow misrepresent and who'd be unable to die a lonely, miserable wreck anywhere if one tried to. Yeah, ain't that grand.

Besides, if you only realized how much of all the personality-defining social traits and detailing that follow exiting the womb are discreetly obtained through pure emulation (imitation!) - why, you could even realize the depths of the statement's mootness! Because that way, people aren't being themselves - EVER! I hope you love your paradoxes. I'm sure you wouldn't like that.

Now, a friend of mine once revised the dumb old tautology with a condition. His take was: "If you're the type to be found desirable, be yourself. As for the rest of you, you had better change like hell." Much better! He didn't stop there - tired of hearing women exclaim how there surely is somebody out there even for him, he laid a foundation to pre-empt this nonsense by remarking that it is rather hypocritical to blurt out something like that if at the same time you wouldn't be caught dating someone like him. You can't keep hand-me-downing people ad infinitum and expecting for there to always be someone less demanding. There are two fatal mistakes in life; one is assuming everybody isn't like you. The other is obviously assuming everybody to be like you.

So if you really want to help someone with their mojo, say something informative. Like "stop acting so stupid" or "be more aggressive", or maybe even a "crawl off and die, pity-inspiring geek." That can be worked with, unlike some religious concept that some 'untrueness' condemns you to your dating inferno. Besides, chances are you were using the useless phrase to avoid saying an obvious-to-you Unpleasant Truth, anyway, so just say what you meant in the first place. "Don't be some damn blunt with your policy of truth!"

Pegging unsuccessful people as fakers, it seems, takes your mind off the fact that not everyone has equal opportunities or maybe even a fighting chance. But you're pretending not to pretend; an insult to intelligence.

We all just want to be friends. Our past tendency for uncontrollable, dogmatic population has made meeting new people easy enough. The Gentle Art of Making Enemies aside, the problem lies in finding people that aren't off-the-bat idiotic or criminally insane (not every convict is): people who've observed the world, noticed things, accepted only some of them and what's the most important bit - have reached interesting conclusions thinking about what they saw. Following this fractal naturally reveals loads of details on the preferred attributes, and it is there that the compatibility ratio takes a sullen plummet.

So you meet fun folks. Promisingly, they aren't utter fuckwits or hostile, although they've obviously got their game faces on for now. Honestly, who thinks anyone buys them? Well, at least they appear to appreciate thinking and fine arts, certainly radiating potential, until you sadly hear one's at once a right-wing pseudo-libertarian (nooo), a pro-lifer and a staunch supporter of capital punishment! What the frip? How could have he reached THAT set of conclusions? Well, there's still the rest of the group... fun lasts 'til you notice that for such an art geek, the girl is utterly incapable of seeing anything that wasn't classified neatly in her "liberally-rigid" art-school upbringing as true art. The two brothers, on the other hand, are fucking Lutheran Christians, and in their dictionary 'facts' and 'opinions' are just spins on the same word.

It is such a lottery prize to ever wind up even with a couple of people that weren't figuratively born yesterday or with their heads offed by the guillotine of standard deviation, even with the Internet broadening the sweep, it's hardly a wonder that in history, a lot of smart people born in a wrong place have tended to slip insane. Having been born a social animal slightly smarter than your surroundings and then being forced to settle for whoever happens to live the nearest thirty or hundred kilometres around you is a cruel and unusual fate, when the best you could ever do is relocating that sphere of influence as the years crawl on.

I'm almost instantaneously categorized as a 'snob' by people. I like to think I'm not, but here I am again writing to fit the profile. The truth of the matter is, I want friends but am simultaneously bored with people with whom I have nothing to discuss. I don't want to talk about ice hockey or alcoholic beverages in most popular contexts. I want to talk about Planescape: Torment, David Cronenberg films and post-punk bands, not about some lame television show they're airing again. I get bored, and then I get defensive, and then I'm probably a snob. It's a vicious circle.

Solitude or loneliness? The world map may display even a million points of blinking light, but they're scattered across continents megametres away, while you're still stuck with the walking dead that actually regarded The Dark Knight a rather marvellous pinnacle of cinematography. My heart feels for all those whoever thought - deeply, but never got to voice their minds, or got drowned out by demands to see some tits, while the Nietzsches and Kafkas in the know with the publishers had their minute fevers and brainfarts pressed on paper, down to the least significant wet dream. Like the Nobel prizes unerringly falling for whoever knows how to play the game.

You can imagine that whenever I witness fatally tunnel-sighted quasi-humanist ladies ranting some misguided drivel on about how the Internet alienates you and isn't even a real medium for communication, I'm practically tempted to verbally revocate their oxygen license. I used to debate the point in the past, but I swear their effective intelligence has to be on ROM: some memorized and entirely immutable list of axioms, never up for dynamic discourse. Either the message would never get through or it'd be seemingly accepted and then overwritten at sleep the following night, offering me a depressing Groundhog Day whenever the matter came up again. It is so typical to mistake committing to memory for intelligence. In fact, intelligence is portrayed in most fictitious prose solely as the ability to blurt out some sort of insipid (boring) quotes and poems, verbatim.

In any case, I suppose you could compromise like couples do, but is it healthy to hang around people you barely tolerate? "I don't mind the totenkopf tattoo or his eugenics views as long as he doesn't bring 'em up while we're blasting away on the Xbox360?" Is it friendship or tolerant time usage optimization? Like playing GTA with a guy that usually plays it Elftor's way, because neither of you have else to do right now.

Then there's the matter that new friends sure won't salvage your sorry world and that's just a kind of climbing exhaustion towards interaction, followed by inaction, but that's one for all the Groundhog Days - for which there're few solutions. Nothing less than ultimate ones, it appears, will ever stem this flow of already-throughfollowed observations in their looped-tape state, each failing to mend or ever correctly view the problem at its level.