I was having drinks with my friend April a few days ago as she was regaling me with her latest dating adventures. After having recently broken up with her boyfriend, she’d been venturing back on the market and was sharing with me her latest experiences in online dating. Her most recent date had been seemingly perfect on paper… until they met in person. “He’s nice enough and we had decent chemistry, but there was always this nagging feeling in the back of my head that I was missing some red flag. Like, he was nice enough, but he kept bringing up how be hadn’t had a date in five years but he finally got up and really underwent some self-improvement regimen and suddenly he’s ready to date. It kept feeling like he was waiting for me to be suitably impressed, like he wanted me to give him a prize for having worked so hard.”
I nodded. This was something I was used to seeing in guys who’d been working on improving their dating lives: they wanted credit for how far they’d come, as though it wasn’t real unless other people acknowledged it. Hell, I went through that stage, to the point that my friends started considering fitting me with voice-activated shock collar.
“It was when he said ‘I’m looking for a woman who’s going to call me up at 2 AM and say ‘let’s go on an adventure,'” that I realized what the problem was,” April concluded. “He’s not looking for me, he’s looking for his Manic Pixie pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.”
And there it was. Like many guys, her prospective date had focused on the outward aspects of improving his dating life… but not the inward ones. Dating is a mix of skill and mindset working in tandem. It’s a balancing act; skill without the right attitude and outlook means that you’re going to find yourself able to get phone numbers, possibly even some first dates, but rarely any second ones. The right mindset but lacking the skills means you spend a lot of time with women who think you’re a nice guy (but hopefully not a Nice Guy) but aren’t necessarily interested in you sexually.
Part of getting better at dating means adjusting your attitudes and outlook on life – and it can be difficult. You’re essentially trying to unlearn everything you’ve believed about yourself and about women. It’s a period of painful adjustment. And I’m going to be bluntly honest with you: you’re not going to like some of what I’ve got to teach you. But it will make you a better person.
So it’s time to examine what it takes to push your dating success to the next level. Learning the basic skill-set is Dating 101. Now it’s time for Dating 201: fixing your outlook.