Dating is the bane of many a man's existence. Its very common these days to see men, calling themselves "average frustrated chumps"; no matter what they just can't seem to get it right with the ladies and can't understand what it is they're doing wrong. Unsurprisingly these same guys are taking to the internet in droves, going on forums like PlentyOfFish, GirlsAskGuys, Quora, Reddit, and even Yahoo Answers to vent their frustrations and complain about their lack of dating success while at the same time seeking answers and advice. There are likely terabytes worth of of posts on the internet from average frustrated chumps who, despite probably thinking otherwise, are telling fundamentally the same story:
- Guy meets girl
- Guy likes girl
- Some stuff happens with varying details
- Guy finds out girl does not return his affections
- Guy has no idea what to do, where he went wrong, or how to fix this
Sound familiar? For the curious, yes I was once a frustrated chump myself in that very same situation, and yes I often did take to the internet to post about those very same things. I was stuck in a vicious cycle, reliving that same familiar story over and over again.
Sometimes the details may vary: guy gets flat out rejected by his crush he finally mustered up the courage to talk to for the first time, maybe she's a friend who just sees him as a friend, maybe he's lucky enough to even go out on a date with her only for her to change her mind about him later down the road, but the story always has pretty much the same beginning and end.
1. Overthinking and Overanalyzing
Many men are prone to overthinking, particularly those who are the more logical and analytical types. There probably isn't a person in the world above the age of 16 who hasn't heard the words "think before you do things" from a parent, aunt/uncle, grandparent, teacher, or other adult mentor/authority figure in their lives, and don't get me wrong because it's often very solid advice that applies to many aspects of life. In dating, exercising common sense and thinking about your actions isn't necessarily a bad thing, it's often beneficial to think a little bit about your actions in dating. With that being said, men tend to take it to the next level and try to analyze absolutely every little thing he does, and every little thing she does.
For example, Timmy texts a girl he's seeing and she hasn't responded in 2 hours. After a while of biting his nails he immediately starts to scroll up and down the chat history reading it word for word, analyzing each text and wondering if it was something he said that could have scared her off, or if she made some hint in a previous text he missed. Timmy's mind begins to wander and he assumes the worst: maybe she's on a date with another guy? Maybe she's in the process of ghosting him? Maybe she doesn't like him after all? Maybe she blocked him? There's no doubt that these things could be plausible, but they might not even be the actual truth. Then all of a sudden, she replies after all which gives him some small relief. Now he plans his next move: what does he say exactly, how does he respond, and most importantly when should he respond? He goes on GirlsAskGuys to get some input, waits until somebody tells him what he wants to hear, then he ends up responding to her text 4 hours after she sent it, and spends the 3 hours it took for her to respond going through the exact same thoughts repeating the cycle.
In that little snippet alone Timmy literally spent 9 hours, over 1/3 of his day, troubling himself with the worst case scenarios and drawing conclusions that ultimately don't have any evidence other than what exists in his head. When a man gets into this trap, the thoughts that merely exist inside his head start to leak out into his outward behaviour, and it makes him come off as needy and lacking confidence. Inevitably this drives women away from him and his own "predictions" become self fulfilling.
What he should do instead: Switch off his overactive brain and not read into every little thing that she says or does, stop trying to find "signs" for this and signs for that, and not to play the never-ending game of "she loves me, she loves me not". While it is plausible for his conclusions to have some truth to them, its more likely that they are merely something that hasn't even come to fruition at all. A good way for a guy to avoid overthinking is to occupy himself with some other activity or hobby. When it comes to dating, there's no such thing as a textbook formula to sealing the deal every time. Even if you play all the "right" cards there's still no guarantee that it'll make a girl fall for you every time.
2. Not being direct or clear about his intentions
Let's be real, as guys when we see/meet a girl for the first time we automatically decide pretty quickly whether or not we want to have sex with her. In fact, when you meet a girl for the first time the only thing you do know for sure about her is if you find her physically attractive or not. On the flipside, the vast majority of girls are at least smart enough to have an inkling of if guy is attracted to her or not.
Where I personally believe the root of this mistake lies is that guys seem to think that being physically attracted to a girl automatically makes him some sort of disgusting pervert. This likely stems from a mixture of different factors such as past experiences, upbringing, ideology, culture, religion, stories from friends, reading articles on the internet, etc. that have conditioned him to think this way. He believes that the girl who caught his eye is a delicate flower who would be offended by what he perceives as a less than savoury intentions, so he tries to hide his intentions and oftentimes outright pretend they're something different. This is perhaps one of the deadliest mistakes that a guy can make when it comes to dating.
Of course, at the end of the day the guy knows that if he wants to successfully date the girl he likes one day he will have to make his intentions clear, but he's worried about being too forward so he delays it until he's both built up the courage and he feels like she's ready. He'll get to know her platonically and befriend her first, keeping his affections for her under wraps and possibly even denying anything if she asks. He'll spend weeks, maybe months, maybe even years wasting away being her "friend" while sharing "moments" with her, being her shoulder to cry on when she gets screwed over by other guys, all while waiting for that perfect moment to make the grand reveal of the feelings he's developed for her, a moment which may never come. If he does then most likely she'll just be confused and/or shocked since now she's in an awkward position, which in the vast majority of cases will end with rejection. If he doesn't then chances are at some point she'll just pick up on it anyway.
What he should do instead: Simply put, just man up and make his intentions clear ASAP. I won't go into detail on how to do that since that's another article (which I may write in the near future). At the end of the day hiding your true intentions is just downright dishonest and you're doing both her and yourself a disservice.
3. Being the "Nice Guy"
Ties in with 2 (and a bit with 4), I could write a whole entire article/myTake on this one. Hell, entire books have been written about "nice guys". Every minute of the day there are countless guys complaining on the internet, social media, snapchat, to their friends, etc. the exact same thing: "Why do I always fail with women? I'm such a nice guy but nobody seems to see it, I just don't get it." To sum it up, these guys have conditioned themselves to think that by showing nice behaviour towards a woman their efforts will eventually be rewarded with sex and romance. They pride themselves on being honest, caring, selfless, and well-intentioned men. In reality however, even though they might think they're well-intentioned their behaviour is in fact fundamentally dishonest, manipulative, and selfish.
The main motivation of the "nice guy" and his niceness is the ultimate hope that he will receive a favourable outcome in the end. The "nice guy" might actually keep his niceness up to the point where he'll become a doormat and let people walk all over him, not because it's what he truly wants, but because he thinks that in the end it will win him the approval of others. Unfortunately for him, things seldom ever work out with the "nice guy" getting what he wants, and over time this becomes a pent-up frustration that manifests in different "not nice" behaviours.
Does this mean that being nice is inherently a bad thing? No, being a nice person isn't inherently bad. Rather, it is ultimately the intention behind the behaviour that decides if it's inherently bad or not. Regardless of the intent behind a guy's niceness, the truth is that being nice alone does not make a woman attracted to you.
4. Thinking you have to be a douche, fuckboy, or player to get girls
Many guys, especially "nice guys" tell the often-heard story of a girl they know who complains about her exes and how they treated her poorly, cheated on her, etc. and how they wonder where all the "good men" have gone. Yet despite that all, they end up still dating "jerks, bad boys, and assholes" anyway. From this they conclude that all women must only want to date raging hyper-macho jerks.
I'll first say that this conclusion is little more than a fallacy of false dichotomy, but first I'd like to examine why one might find some truth in it. Bad boy type guys tend to be confident and charming; both traits which women do find attractive in men. These guys tend to not care so much what others think of them, play by their own rules, and live in the moment. From a woman's perspective, dating the bad boy provides a sense of adventure and fun. Where most guys get mixed up is that just because a guy has certain bad boy traits that make him come off as one, it doesn't necessarily mean he's an actual jerk. Most of the time it's simple jealousy that makes a guy conclude that the guy who gets the girl is an asshole.
While I would also agree its true that most women at some point in their lives will date a guy who is an actual jerk (in the exact same manner as most guys will date an actual psychotic bitch at some point in their lives), only a very small percentage of women are actively attracted to actual jerks.
In their quest to find love, a lot of guys will take to becoming obnoxious jackasses themselves in hopes that it will improve their dating success. The pickup artist (PUA) community has built an entire industry on teaching guys how to act like obnoxious hyper-macho jackasses, making grand promises that it will make every woman want to sleep with them, and every guy want to be them. Back in my "nice guy" days I found myself at a point where one too many girls had rejected my advances, and I'd had enough. I decided I'd start acting like a fuckboy; I'd already noticed that the nights where I met a girl and literally didn't give a flying fuck about her were the times where I actually got laid, so I concluded that I needed to become a fuckboy to channel that "not giving a fuck" state of mind. I quickly learned that it would only get me so far.
One warm Saturday night in the midst of summer, me and my boys arrived at our usual club and after a couple rounds of drinks we scoped out a group of girls celebrating a birthday. We successfully managed to "break the bubble" and strike up a conversation between our groups, and I hit it off with one of the prettier girls in the group. It mostly started with typical banter, back and forth jokes, and before long we were sitting close and she'd put her hand on top of mine. After leaving and finding each other again a few times throughout the night she eventually asked me "How do you not have a girlfriend?" At this point I'd remembered what I'd read on the typical PUA boards, that this line was a "shit test" and to pass it you had to say something witty, with the recommended "answers" being very fuckboy-ish, whereas the honest answer of "I don't have one" was the "beta male" answer. Being in full fuckboy mode, I replied "I do have one, she's inside now" then proceeded to brag about how I always flirt with other girls when she isn't looking. Not surprisingly, she gave me the biggest WTF look I've ever seen, then stopped talking to me. I spent the better part of the next week kicking myself for it, and in hindsight I might have even fared better going with the supposedly "beta male" honest answer.
Despite what it may seem, being an obnoxious hyper-macho jerk is definitely not the best strategy to get girls. Hell, you don't even have to be a bad boy. Guys tend to fall into the trap of thinking that it's a one-or-the-other choice of "assholes get laid and nice guys get played" when in truth that's really not how it works at all.
5. Putting her up on a pedestal
She looks like she could be a model, she's the hottest girl on campus, she's got a movie star face and a porn star body. But of course she'd only even look at you if you're rich, a superstar athlete, or extremely popular. Hell would freeze over five times before a regular Average Joe would have even a remote chance of getting with her. That's what society would have us believe. Since the ancient times all cultures across the globe have created their own idealization and idolization of female beauty. Legends and myths have been written about the world's most beautiful women that are coveted by all; in these stories men have fought and killed each other just to have a chance at love with them, kings have started wars and sent men to their deaths just to have a chance at love with them. While modern times aren't quite as barbaric the idealization of female beauty is still extremely prevalent, except today with mass media such as magazines, TV, movies, and pornography, instead of painting pictures in our heads we're now actually able to see what the idealized beautiful women look like (as society tells us).
When it comes to dating the average guy often complains that the only women that are into him are the ones that he is not attracted to. One day he'll find himself lucky enough to find a girl he's attracted to that actually shows interest in him, but he'll quickly find himself in a pickle. Inexperienced guys tend to be clueless when it comes to dealing with attractive women, they fantasize about being with a beautiful woman and once their fantasy seems to be one step closer to reality they immediately start painting pretty pictures in their heads. The guy will picture dating her, sharing their first kiss, their magical Earth-shattering first time having sex, proposing to her on the Eiffel tower, getting married, what their children look like, etc. As he keeps mentally masturbating he also paints a pretty picture of the girl herself: in his head she's now the idealized perfect woman who is everything he wants and can do no wrong. Now that he's got the complete idea in his head he will now set out on his quest to turn his fantasy into reality.
Inevitably, much to his shock and disappointment, she will somehow fail to live up to the impossible standards he has set for her. If he was hoping for her to be a virgin, he might be shocked to find out that she's had 12 sexual partners in the last 3 years. If he was hoping for her to have a perfect body, he might be surprised once he sees her naked for the first time and notices scars or stretch marks on her torso. Most importantly, there might be the presence of several red flags that would otherwise be telling him she doesn't want a relationship, or she's not the right girl for him after all. Despite the latter, it's not uncommon for the guy to keep her on the pedestal anyway and waste away at trying to pursue her anyway.
In reality most women hate being put up on the pedestal. Not only do they find it irritating when men try to paint them as something they're not, it also shows a huge amount of desperation and neediness on the man's part, both of which are huge turn-offs for women. It's also worth mentioning that men who exhibit this behaviour are vulnerable to being preyed on by the more dishonest women who will exploit them for validation, attention, or even freebies (i.e. favours, money, meals, etc).
6. Complaining about their dating problems but not doing anything about them
It's human nature to complain when things don't go our way. If someone's food at a restaurant is cold, they'll complain. If someone gets stuck in traffic, they'll complain. Naturally, when we're frustrated with our dating lives, we complain. Complaining isn't necessarily a bad thing, it's often a necessary action that helps to release stress and pent up feelings, and if done right it can actually be beneficial; for example, if you receive bad service at a restaurant and complain to the management they are able to use that complaint constructively to ensure that the bad service is not repeated. More often than not people tend to complain about things when at the end of the day complaining will really do no good.
When guys experience frustrations in their dating lives, or lack thereof, they'll complain to their friends, family, and quite commonly these days they'll take to the internet. Social media, internet forums, and dating advice websites are full of men complaining about their lack of success with women. Men complain about anything and every reason that they believe women don't want to date them: they aren't tall enough, they aren't good looking enough, they don't dress well enough, they're not muscular enough, women only want men who make a lot of money, women only want deadbeats, any reason you can think of odds are it's been complained about.
Most guys tend to have a sense of entitlement when it comes to dating and women, they let their jealousy and frustration rule them and think the world owes them to compensate for where they feel they have been wronged. They wish that women would just give them a chance, they call on women to stop rejecting them, they practically call on women to fight human nature itself. They expect the world around them to do all the work while not wanting to do anything about it themselves but alas, that is not how the world works.
From a young age we're all told that we are who we are and we can't ultimately be someone we're not. It's true you cannot change the basic fundamentals about yourself, but that does not mean you cannot make other pragmatic changes here and there to become a better version of yourself. Many people have a hard time making positive changes for two reasons: they don't want to believe that anything is wrong with them, or they do not want to step out of their comfort zone. They equate improving oneself with becoming a different person completely, and they feel like part of that is admitting that they'll never be good enough, but more importantly it entails having to prove themselves wrong. For any guy whose read this far I'll challenge you: if you don't think you can improve, prove yourself wrong.