I used to be a total failure at dating.  A couple of years ago I became quite successful with women (though I still was rejected part of the time) and then I became engaged.  It was my initial lack of success that got me wondering what it was that made some people successful and some not. 

   I tried observing and learning from people who are very successful with the opposite sex.  Recently, I had the privilege to witness one of these rare beings in action.  He walked into a room walked straight toward the most attractive girl there and started talking to her.   Unfortunately I couldn't hear what he said.  He was just OK looking, he was actually quite a bit older than the girl he was talking to but they left the place together after about half an hour to a presumably happy destination.  How many men have the courage that man had?   Most men would be afraid to walk up to the most attractive woman in a room and introduce themselves.  I and I suspect other men, remember friendly overtures to women at singles events being met with silent stares that imply something like, "Are you from earth?"  and "Leave me alone you perverted sexual harrasser".  Mysteriously that did not happen to the rare being I saw that night.

    The day after witnessing the rare being in action I went to a singles swing dance.  Near one of the tables surrounding the dance floor was a very attractive woman.  I decided to attempt to emulate the rare being I had witnessed the day before and approach her.  I introduced myself and to my total surprise was not met with a hostile stare.  She was actually friendly!  After our conversation she actually told me she was glad to have met me!  Maybe Franklin Delanor Roosevelt was right when he said

The only thing we have to fear is fear itself -- nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance.

    May be the assumption I made in the past that the more attractive women are, the more likely they are to reject a man, is wrong! 

    I learned something very valuable from that rare being.  The dating pages of this self help web site include lessons about dating that I have learned from rare beings, mere mortals and my own experiences.  I also include lessons from published literature on the subject.  One more comment about that rare being.  He was wearing a suit.  I think that might have had something to do with his success although I know of exceptions to that rule.  I remember one time I went to a singles event wearing a suit and a beautiful girl acted very interested in me.  Being a dating fool at the time I didn't ask her for her number because I was afraid that if I showed too much interest she would lose interest in me.  Now she's gone and I don't have her phone number.

    A friend of mine who most of the time is without a girlfriend told me his brother is very successful with women.  Imagine having a brother who is one of those rare beings.  You'd ask him for advice wouldn't you?   That's exactly what my friend did.  My friend asked his brother how he should act around women and his brother responded that he should just be himself.  What a let down!  My friend is himself and is rejected constantly.  Not only did my friend complain that his brother gave him useless advice, he told me that his brother continued by criticizing him for thinking of dating as if it's a piece of equipment which you learn to operate by reading an instruction manual. 

    Sure a rare being as my friend's brother can just be himself, but what about you (much apologies if you are a rare being) and me and my friend?

    So what is my friend to do?  I've observed that my friend has low self esteem and that he is depressed most of the time.  He has a lot of anger toward women for rejecting him.  One thing my friend could do is to work on improving his self esteem, his outlook toward women and his mood.  The self help section of this web site has approaches to doing this.   Once he improves his outlook and his mood he may find that being himself is all that he needs to be in order to attract a girlfriend.

    Self help isn't complicated.  Some of us have self defeating self talk.  These thoughts can be classified as low self esteem, e.g. "I'm not good enough for her", paranoia e.g. "she doesn't like my type" or pessimism e.g. "she'll never like me."  When I catch myself doing that it's easy to give myself a little psychological nudge that says no, I am good enough.  The number one rule of self help is don't lie to yourself.  Sometimes you don't know if she'll like you but you do know you're good enough.  You may not know if she will make good judgements about you can't control how other people think.  The important thing is not to be sure she'll judge you negatively when you don't know that but to be open to the possibility that she might judge you favorably.

     The second thing I've learned about being attractive is don't try and hit on a girl.  Don't try and prove that you are sexually interested and don't talk to her in a sexual way.  Sexual attraction doesn't happen that way.  That doesn't mean you can't compliment her or smile at her but saying, "hey babe you are hot, let's hop in the sack" isn't likely to work.  In fact women are likely to feel uncomfortable and harassed and scared of you if you say something like that.  Here is an article about how women react to catcalls.  The men doing the cat calling may be hoping for a date but they won't get one.  I think the best way to interact is talking about anything but sex.  For some reason asking someone what they do for a living doesn't seem to be helpful.  If women ask a man that, men think they are being judged for how much money they make and that often is a turn off.  If you boast about what you do for a living that is also likely to be a turnoff.  Another thing to keep in mind is someone's comfort level.  They may not want to be quizzed about personal details if they hardly know you.  Might be better to talk about something else.  I think the important thing is not to force yourself to talk too much, just say what you would say if you weren't trying to impress her.  In the end just being friendly may be the best way to be attractive.  Advice I've heard often from women is "just be yourself" and "self confidence is attractive".  What I've said before is pretty much the same thing except I explained how to be self confident (reverse negative self talk) and elaborated that just being yourself doesn't mean scaring the girl by expressing your sexual desire for her.

   I really like this video about what not to do on a first date.   I was guilty of one of the faux pas, I had been dumped by my ex and was feeling bad about it and talked about her with my new date.  That was the end of that date and she was really nice and I lost an opportunity at finding a great new girlfriend.


   I was watching Miss Teen USA in 2004 and one of the beauties was discussing the problem of teenagers not being themselves in order to fit in.   She said that it's better to be yourself and love yourself and that love would shine through and others would like you.  Easy for Miss Teen USA to say, I'm sure guys would love her anyway and jealous girls will hate her anyway.  However, if you're not Miss Teen USA (all right even if you are) her advice I think is very profound.   Love Yourself and Others Will Too is actually the title of a book by a psychiatrist by the name of Dr. Twersky.  Maybe my friend should work on loving himself if he wants love from others.  You may ask, "How can I love myself"?  Isn't love a natural emotion that is either there or not there?  Just as you can't make yourself love someone you can't make yourself love yourself.  On the other hand you can be less hard on yourself and praise yourself for little things and then self love may come. 

   Women sense men's attitudes and vice versa.  If we regard women as treacherous beings who manipulate us and then dump us for men with more money we are unlikely to be attractive to women we meet.  If we view them in a positive way they are likely to sense that and view us that way as well.  If we are already in a relationship and we want it to work we need to maintain a positive regard for each other or a vicious cycle may be created.

  Our happiness and our own positive outlook is a lot of what makes us attractive.  I've noticed that when I'm happy a lot more girls say hi than when I'm not.   A lot of people are unhappy when they don't have a girlfriend.  That can create the following vicious cycle.

Unhappy because one doesn't have a girlfriend

Women reject oneself images/acycle.gif (14544 bytes) Women find one's unhappiness unattractive

   What can we do about this vicious cycle?  One thing we can do is instead of dwelling on thoughts like "things are terrible because I don't have a girlfriend" and "I'll never have a girlfriend" we can realize that we'll be more attractive to the opposite sex if we don't make ourselves miserable with thoughts such as these.  Misery does not attract girlfriends. 

  Earlier I mentioned that the self help section of this web site is meant to present information on becoming happier.  I don't want to give the impression that one has to be happy all the time to be attractive or that one has to make a tremendous effort to be happy when trying to attract a member of the opposite sex.  I don't know if someone who was happy all the time would be attractive and I don't even know if that is humanly possible.  If someone smiles that makes them attractive but if they smile all the time many people will regard them as strange or phony.

  Earlier I wrote how my friend's brother told him to just be himself.  My friend's enlightened brother was not the only person who grasped this profound fact.   Jimmy Dean (Jim Stark in Rebel Without a Cause) was asked by Esquire Magazine what advice he'd give the world.  He said:

If I could give the world any advice, I'd tell 'em exactly like my great-granddaddy told me. He said, "Jimmy, be yourself. Because if people don't like you as you are, they're not going to like you as somebody you're trying to be." Generally, I've followed that advice. In the moments I haven't, I've gotten into more trouble than a centipede with fallen arches.

   Here is a famous actor saying don't act!  There is some more good advice from actors:

'Say the lines and donít bump into the furniture.í

 Robert Mitchum and Spencer Tracy used to say that.

If we want to improve our dating lives one way may be by  improving our attitudes toward the opposite sex.  If we are asking ourselves why would a beautiful girl like her have any interest in an ugly guy like me we need to improve our attitude toward ourselves as well.   It's important not to be anxious, not to feel inadequate and to have self confidence.  It's important not to pre-judge women based on bad experiences with women one has had in the past.  Everybody is different.

    An example of how one can not act and still do well with the opposite sex would be instead of insincerely flattering a girl in order to score making an effort to genuinely appreciate her.  If you can't find anything to appreciate about her than you shouldn't be trying to score with her.

   In the past I made the mistake of trying to act the way I thought I should and the more I failed socially the harder I acted.  If I had just been easygoing and not worried so much about acting a certain way I would probably have been much more successful.  My acting caused me to be caught in a vicious cycle which I have diagrammed below.

One puts on an act.

One believes that one is being rejected for who one is and that in order to be a social success one can't be oneself but one has to put on an act. images/acycle.gif (14544 bytes) One's behaviors become exaggerated and artificial and make other people feel uncomfortable.

One fails socially

   Maybe a lot of men who fail at dating are failing because they are acting the way they think they should and they're wrong about how they should act and they're not good actors to begin with.  Maybe worrying about how to act causes them to act worried.  Maybe their belief that they have to attract a woman makes them serious and unattractive.  Maybe their best chance of success is if they don't worry about attracting the woman.  What a concept, one can be oneself and one can be attractive at the same time.  Although that may be hard to believe for some of us (especially those of us who have a history of being constantly rejected by the opposite sex) believing we are unattractive may make us unattractive.  That is discussed more on the attraction page of this web site. 

  In my case improving my attitudes were not enough.  I had false assumptions about the opposite sex and how to attract them that are wrong.  One of those assumptions was that I had to make it very clear to a female who I was interested in that I was interested in her sexually.  I've noticed that I'm not the only fool who has operated under that assumption.  The object of your affections may not want the full force of your lust and displaying it may scare her and may cause her to want to get away from you as far as possible.  It's important to keep in mind what she wants and what she doesn't want.  Women want a man who loves and respects them not one who just wants to score and if you give the impression too quickly that you want to score, you won't.  Also women are likely to be more receptive to your attraction if they are attracted and that may take some time to grow.  Sometimes a girl is more likely to be attracted if you're just nice and friendly then if you come on to her.  Coming on too fast before attraction has grown is likely to lead to rejection.  That doesn't mean never show any interest which I also have made the mistake of doing.  I've had the experience of a very beautiful girl who I was afraid to show my feelings to, telling me years later that "You should have said something".  Britney Spears sang a great song that says to say something called "Don't Let Me Be the Last To Know" which can be viewed on youtube by clicking here

   Having said all this there are some people, maybe a lot of people, who can deceive the opposite sex into thinking they love them and into having sex with them.  The question is do you want a relationship in which you lie and manipulate and hurt someone or one in which there is mutual love and respect and caring. 

   Other than false assumptions about how to behave, people may unknowingly engage in unattractive behaviors such as not keeping up their  appearance.   When I was in my twenties a girl told a friend of mine that I had no self-respect because of the way I dressed.  I didn't see anything wrong with the way I dressed but according to her fashion standards there was.   She was wrong about the self respect part but it's important to realize that people draw such conclusions based on how one dresses and on one's hygiene and one's hair etc..  I have encountered other people who have unattractive behaviors such as talking too loud, talking with their mouth full and so on.  These are things that are easy to change and can make a difference in one's success with the opposite sex.   

    I have created many pages on different thoughts about dating which can be reached by the blue-green drop down menu at the top of this page.   If you don't see that drop down menu and you want to for some reason click here.  I don't pretend to be an expert on the subject, most of what is in these web pages are either what others have told me about their relationships or what I learned from making mistakes and I'm sure I have a lot more to learn.  There is a saying that

Good judgment comes from experience, and a lot of that comes from bad judgment.

   I've had plenty of that.

   Perhaps the most important message of all these web pages is if you want love  don't try and act a certain way but be yourself  If you have low self esteem or are unhappy, the solution is not to try and act happy or self-confident but to work on oneself so that one really is happier and more self-confident. 


Now That I'm Married I have One More Comment

Don't do it!  Only kidding.  My additional comment is that when I'm with my wife I try and make her happy and instead of trying to act a certain way in order to attract someone, maybe trying to make the other person happy is the way to attract them.  This doesn't violate the be oneself credo since one can be oneself and try and make the other person happy.


Some other web sites with information about dating are:

Romance For Real People.

Dating Tips on How to Succeed with Women

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URL: http://sweep.colbycentral.net/resources/adult-dating.htm



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