odds of affection

a dating guide by goblinodds


why are so many friendly, ambitious nerds lonely?

- finding The One takes effort

- the process is scary

some people get lucky; some people make their own luck

the goal of this (nascent) guide is to help you make yours

it's mainly for monogamous heteros looking to get married and have kids

but a lot of this stuff generalizes

related blog post

ask goblin anything

submit questions here


'their dating life is a movie that happens to them, and watching that movie fucking sucks / but dating can be a video game, not a movie. in fact it's a multiplayer game, which is even more fun / but you gotta decide to actually play'

- yashkaf

cultivating and destroying agency (hath)

seven ways to become unstoppably agentic (evie cottrell)

how to be more agentic (cate hall)

twitter thread on agency (emmett shear)


'What % of dating toxicity is bc people are at their best with the potential partners they’re least into'

- MeatyClaus

identifying flirtation

there's no surefire way to identify flirtation but at minimum, if someone gives you special treatment (positive), that's a clue:

here's someone on twitter whose barista gave them some weird latte art that no one else in line got

even with no further information it's pretty likely this was flirtation

but turns out they were just looking at the art upside down; it was a fox

why cant i flirt w/ people i'm into?

'why does my ability to play/flirt go away when talking w someone i'm attracted to?'


higher stakes = more stress = increasing the difficulty for maintaining playfulness!

detaching from the outcome seems to help a LOT (but naturally it's pretty difficult to do)

flirting is about making bids and tends to involve playful teasing

bids can be rejected and teasing can be misinterpreted as rejection

this is much scarier when youre into someone!


swotters, slackers, and burnouts (blog post)

'if you don't impress one group of people, fuck em. there are more people on earth than seconds in your life. keep moving'

- visakanv

'the biggest lie i ever told myself was that i needed to feel a certain way [ready, fearless, confident] in order to do the things i wanted to'

- melodaysong

'your sense of self isn’t a static image, babe. it has a climate - expect mild to moderate sways and the occasional hurricane. keep an eye on the weather report and wind patterns. perhaps don’t try to force the sky to stay blue all the time.'

- keta_mean_

people as individuals

'like most people women want to be loved for the things they think make them worthy of love.'

- eigenrobot


'i dont know if ghosting is unethical but it is extremely cowardly and your ancestors would frown upon you being too weak to wish a woman good luck in her hunt for love'

- seconds_0


'aspiring starlet: what is your advice for someone who gets rejected a lot and wants to give up / chrissy teigen: get rejected 100 times'

- visakanv

'I think most dating advice is actually advice about shielding your ego from the pain of rejection / IME If your self-acceptance is totally dependent on someone else's opinion, you have to ask 'why''

- thegrandblooms

'As a teenager, I convinced myself that I was not attractive because I was so scared of romantic rejection that I needed to believe it was futile to even try.'

- adrusi

small steps

'if being yourself in public is hard, try being yourself in private first'

- univrsw3th4rt

'A key thing is that many people need to start small. The first step doesn't look like deciding to start a company, it looks like fixing the wobbly handle on your frying pan. YMMV but if you tried starting at company scale and it didn't take, try wobbly handle scale.'

- acesounderglass

the unit

'Loving someone is about seeing them as part of yourself. It's expanding your identity to include them. Your whole sense of who you are broadens to include another person. [...] So care for yourself. It's the only way to truly care for your loved ones.'

- wfenza

meeting through work

believe it or not, it's still pretty normal to meet a partner through work!

'Over the past year, nearly half of U.S. workers had a crush on a coworker, more than one in five went on a date with someone from work, and more than one in ten matched with a colleague on a dating app...'

- NPR's claire murashima (h/t pageseverian)


blogs / posts

for straight guys

advice for nerds (orthonormalist)

'dating advice for guys' (geniesloki)


knowingless (aella)

sex 101 (shakti amarantha)

paid consultants

1:1 dating/relationship troubleshooting with a literal goblin

email me at goblinodds at gmail dot com to book a remote meeting

hotness consultant rididelduol

(i trust she's good at this bc she is hot and also my friend)

dating sites

manifold.love, ingroup's prediction market-driven dating site

twitterdatingapp, tpot's dating app, built by christineist

more coming soon...