Any general do's or don't for those first few stages of learning? Any advice for us guys that made it well into adulthood without experiencing the opposite sex and are still struggling with it?
Most Helpful Guy
Read: link (get the full book if you can; written by a woman who was a psychiatrist, and specialized in female psychology).
Next, understand, accept, and come to terms with the fact that men and women communicate differently. Therefore, don't place ANY VALUE WHATSOEVER on anything women "tell" you. What women "say" is true, and what is actually true, are not always the same thing. Instead, you are more likely to discover the truth about how women think (and what their preferences, motivations, and beliefs are) by studying their actual "choices" and "actions" they take.
Next, study a little bit of moral philosophy. Definitely don't get lost in the trees, just try to appreciate the whole forest. This is important so you understand "emotional arguments" and can recognize them and respond appropriately to them in real life. Realism: seeks to find the truth; truth is the only goal. Constructivism: seeks to maximize social utility; works backwards to find a definition of what is "good" based on what will benefit society as a whole the most. Expressivism: Merely expresses one's personal beliefs or opinions on what "good" or "bad" is, and then tries to find reasons to justify who others should accept that definition as true. Expressivism also has a manipulative side to it (think religion): one can be pretending or masquerading as a realist or constructivist, in order to gather social support for what is really just their own self-interested definition of what "good" or "bad" is. (Example: little boys just want sex; real men are not afraid of commitment and aspire to marry a woman.)
Next, grab a few books:
link (learn how to be immune to these sorts of influence techniques)
link (learn how to negotiate)
link (learn how to not be afraid to ask for what you want)
link (learn how to avoid artificial road-blocks to getting what you want)0