Check Your Attitude
Attitude is everything when it comes to getting better with women. Hell, attitude is everything when it comes to life.
How we feel inevitably affects what we do. Having a positive outlook encourages a desirable outcome; having a negative one encourages an undesirable one. I know this is going to sound a little woo-woo “Send out positive vibes, have you read The Secret?” crap, but stick with me here.
The reason why attitude is so important is because how how it colors our perceptions and informs our actions. Having a positive outlook towards a task – improving your love-life, in this case – means that you are more likely to see things as opportunities or risks to be taken. Failure, in this case, isn’t a sign of your unworthiness or the impossibility of the task; it means that you’ve eliminated another path that just wasn’t right for you. To quote Thomas Edison: “I haven’t failed; I’ve just discovered processes that don’t work.”
Whenever I’ve seen guys struggle with their dating life, their attitude is almost always one of the issues that ends up tripping them up and holding them back. It frequently comes in two flavors: abundance and scarcity and deservedness.
A lot of men, especially geeks, come from an attitude of scarcity. Women, especially beautiful, smart, driven women are rare commodities; every failure means that they’re just one step closer to being forever alone. You often see this when men and women get caught up in the idea of The One or The Soul-Mate: the idea that there is one person out there who is your one true love, the one person in the world who is absolutely perfect for you and that nobody else could possibly measure up to them.
Can you see why this attitude is so limiting? When you take it to it’s logical extreme, it’s terrifying; you have exactly one chance at happiness, otherwise you are condemned to never knowing love.
This is the scarcity attitude taken to it’s extreme. It’s also one of the ideas that drives men to Oneitis; if the that one person is your only hope for love and nobody can ever match up, it makes sense that you’ll refuse to give up.
When it comes to dating, an abundance mentality on the other hand is an invaluable asset. Once you accept that there is no Ms. Perfect, that anyone can be The One, you lose the stress and anxiety that comes with the idea that every woman is a limited-edition collectors item. Striking out with the cute girl in Victorian Literature 102 loses it’s sting when you know there will be more opportunities that weekend when you head out to the off-campus parties. Sure, Marcie in the cubicle next to your may be everything you’d want in a woman – smart, driven, laughs at your Battlestar Galactica references – but you know that there are other women out there who are just as good as she is. That self-assuredness – that belief that your entire love life doesn’t depend on that person in front of you right now saying yes – will give you confidence. And confidence is one of the most attractive traits a man can have.
Deservedness can be a more pernicious issue. A lot of geeky guys have issues with self-esteem. Because they feel that they are inherently worth less than others, they frequently also believe that they don’t deserve the love a beautiful woman. They’ll feel that they’re so unattractive or uninteresting that sex is a foregone conclusion – nobody would ever want to share a soda with them, never mind personal space of the squishy kind. As a result, they will end up subconsciously sabotaging themselves. They’ll focus their attentions on women they know are unavailable or unattainable. Their negativity will seep into every part of their lives; they will tend towards closed off, beta-male body language, unattractive behavior, an inability – or unwillingness – to recognize attraction in others. After all, who could possibly like them?
Guys with this sort of problem need to work on building their self-confidence and their own self-worth. If you’ve had deep-seated issues with depression and self-esteem, the best thing you could do for yourself is to get professional help. You shouldn’t miss out on love when you don’t have to, especially if those issues stem from a chemical issue rather than an emotional one.
It’s worth noting that deservedness issues can run in the opposite direction too. One issue women frequently face in online dating are men who feel that they’re owed something by men. When she doesn’t react to his overtures in a “suitable” manner, a guy who feels that they don’t only deserve a beautiful woman but he’s owed one will react badly, sending scathing emails and IMs calling her a bitch and a cocktease. This attitude spills out into the real world as well. It’s one thing to proceed as though you know she already likes you. It’s quite another to act as though she’s not only obligated to but she should be grateful that you’re talking to her in the first place.
Work Your Lifestyle
In my experience, there are two ways to become good with women; you can become incredibly manipulative, or you can become a more interesting person, the kind of person who lives a life that anybody would be crazy not to want to be a part of. When a woman is considering dating a guy, she will always be thinking “What will my life be like if he were my boyfriend?” Nobody looks forward to a life of class/work – frozen dinner – The Big Bang reruns – Xbox Live – bed – repeat.
I’m not saying that you need to live a life of constant excitement and adventure where you barely have time to breathe before the next big outing. I’m also not saying that you need to be a baller, treating every girlfriend to bottle service in clubs, backstage concert passes and first class travel. You need to live a life that’s interesting, one that someone would have to be crazy not to want to share with you.
A boring life means a boring man. You may have a rich fantasy life, but unless you can translate that into your every day waking life, women aren’t going to find it appealing. Take some risks. Make a point of collecting experiences; if you’re young, your life should be all about the stories that you’ll have to tell. Which do you think women are going to find more appealing: the time you screwed up the spreadsheet at work and nearly got fired because you nearly made that project miss it’s deadline or the time that you and your buddies crashed a swing dance for W.W. II and Korean war veterans in full ’40s regalia and you got chased out when one of your friends showed up in a Marine’s dress blues that he bought at a military surplus store1?
Hone Your Skills
I can’t emphasize this enough: being good with women is a skill. Flirting is a skill. Knowing how to approach women and get a date is a skill. And skills take time and practice.
You can’t get better at anything, whether it’s Call of Duty multiplayer, writing, running, public speaking or dating without practice. If you’re neglecting the skills that it takes to get better at dating, then you simply won’t progress.
You need to make a point of getting out there and actually trying to talk to women. You need to be willing to make an approach as soon as you see a woman you’re attracted to, even if it’s just to go up and say “Hello! I think you’re cool!” before walking away.
Look, I get it. It’s intimidating. Hell, it can be fucking terrifying. Approaching someone you don’t know and trying to persuade them that you’re a cool guy they should want to go on a date with is difficult. Nobody wants to strike out. Nobody wants to be rejected. It’s hard not to take being rejected personally, not to see it as a commentary on you as a person when it may have been anything – she was having a shitty day, you just happened to say something that reminded her of an ex-boyfriend, she was late for work and didn’t have time to chat, you hovered too long and creeped her out, anything.
But failure is how we learn. Success teaches you very little. Failure, on the other hand, teaches you what you did wrong and why you should try something different next time. If you’re having consistent failures trying the same technique, then it’s clearly time to change things up and try something different.Letting the fear of failure and rejection keep you from going out and working on improving your skill will only hold you back.
Don’t let setbacks and fear keep you from your goals.
You need to keep moving forward.
Now get out there and make it happen.
- True story, that. Buy me a drink and I’ll tell you about it sometime [↩]