I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve needed help when it comes to meeting and dating women. It’s not that I’m bad looking or have a problem being personable—I have plenty of female friends—but I always had a hard time connecting with women on a sexual level. Don’t get me wrong—I love my female friends and while there may be one I’d like to have see me in a different light I wouldn’t trade those friendships for anything. But that doesn’t mean I want to stay in the Friend Zone with every woman I meet. On the contrary, I’m young and looking to have some fun. That’s when I decided to turn to dating advice for help and it wound up teaching me a huge lesson.
I began my hunt by asking friends for advice. Of course, every guy I talked to had their own approach, which mostly consisted of throwing out random one-liners until someone reacted. Truth be told, talking to my guy friends about dating showed me just how many of my friends were amateur pick-up artists playing the numbers and hoping for the best instead of focusing their attention. I get that approach, but it wasn’t for me. I don’t want to talk to every woman I come across with a canned line—that just isn’t my style.
1. Girls Play Hard to Get At First
This was a piece of advice I picked up in women’s magazines. It popped up in pretty much every magazine and website for women, so I figured it was kind of their Golden Rule when it came to dating. Armed with this knowledge, I set about approaching and chatting up every woman who acted like she wasn’t interested. Meanwhile I pretty much ignored women who acted interested since I figured they were only seeing me as a friend.
Turns out, I was chasing women who genuinely weren’t interested. That had the double effect of making me look like a pervy weirdo to women who were already not into me as well as the ones that were. The end result? Women wound up actively avoiding me. Since then, I’ve learned that most women dismiss this oft-touted piece of advice as a relic from days gone by. Playing hard to get may have been the standard for their moms, but today’s women aren’t afraid to let you know when they’re interested. Bottom line—if she’s acting like she’s not into you, she probably isn’t.
2. Women Expect a Call and Plenty of Attention
This was another piece of advice that seemed to crop up everywhere I looked. In women’s magazines articles touted the ‘Three Day Rule’ that dictates men should get in touch no more than three days after a date. Online images of men blowing up their girlfriend’s phones with late-night and early morning texts under the headline “Relationship Goals” led me to believe that women essentially want nonstop attention.
Turns out there’s a fine line between the right amount of attention and being a stalker.
When I started following up with the women I was dating or interested in, they were happy and responsive at first. But getting in touch too often wound up making me look desperate at best and downright creepy at worst. As with just about everything else, how much connection and communication a girl wants varies wildly from one woman to another.
3. Be the Alpha
I’m no pushover but I’m also not naturally especially controlling or dominant. I don’t mind taking a backseat to someone else and simply going with the flow. There are plenty of dating apps, articles, and websites that tell guys to “be the alpha dog” right from the start. So I decided to push myself out of my comfort zone and be a bit more In Charge.
When dominance doesn’t come naturally, being assertive can come across like you’re being a Grade-A asshole. Sure, most women want a guy who knows his own mind, but constantly taking the lead means you never get the chance to find out what SHE wants or thinks. The bottom line was that by trying to be the Man In Charge, I wound up driving away strong, intelligent women and attracting women who didn’t want to think for themselves.
4. Stop Looking
This is the piece of advice I thought would actually work. After all, doesn’t everyone say the minute you stop looking for a relationship one will present itself? Yeah, turns out that’s a crock.
The truth is that once you stop looking, you stop noticing any and all opportunities. Once you stop looking, that means you’re not trying and so you don’t stop to think about the first impression you make. I don’t know about you guys, but looking polished isn’t exactly my default setting. So when I stop trying in general that means I’m hanging out in jeans, T-shirts and the shoes my mother keeps telling me I should throw out. It’s not that I’m a slob; I’m just a fan of comfort. But comfortable doesn’t always come across as attractive and women don’t want to be with a guy who doesn’t have his shit at least halfway together. Well, actually, some women DO want to be with a guy who looks like a wreck—but only so they can fix him up and essentially mold him into what they want. If guys are into that, fine, but it wasn’t for me.
5. Know What You Want and Go For It
Everyone has a type and we all look for that when we’re out looking for a mate. But having a type is different from sticking to only that type. Friends told me I should focus only on the women who fit my own particular set of preferences. That way I could concentrate my efforts on the women who embodied what I wanted in a girlfriend. Sounds like okay advice, right?
When I only focused on the women who met the criteria for my Dream Girl, I was cutting out nearly half the population. The fact is, I couldn’t tell if a girl was my Dream Girl simply by the color of her hair, the curves of her body or even the sound of her laugh. Following this advice didn’t help me hook up with anyone but it did make me reevaluate how I defined my Ideal Woman. In the end, it showed me that my Perfect Woman wasn’t going to be instantly recognizable based on physical characteristics and that by focusing on the women I thought were my type, I was selling other women short. After all, I like a girl with red hair, but I need a woman with a good sense of humor, strong opinions of her own and a fiery competitive spirit.
In the end, following dating advice was helpful, but not in the way I thought it would be. While every piece of advice wound up failing miserably on the face of it, they each taught me a valuable lesson in how to attract and connect with women on a deeper level. Forget the rules about when to call, how often to text, or how to assert yourself around a woman—they keys are to be open to new experiences, willing to listen to what women have to say, and act confidently. At the end of the day, it isn’t dating advice and tricks that make you attractive to women—it’s self-confidence, empathy, and a sense of adventure.