Pop quiz! Please answer True or False for each of the following questions:
If you answered True for more than zero of these questions, YOU are the problem, and you're going to have a hard time finding a woman who will take you seriously.
First of all, women like men, not boys. If you're going to whine and complain and try to find someone other than yourself to blame when something doesn't work out sexually or romantically, you're a little boy -- and that's super unattractive. Grow up. Get some perspective. Take some accountability. You'll be doing yourself a favor. If you try to hit on a woman and she's not interested in you, and your fragile ego has to blame feminism for "making women hate you"... Well, no wonder it didn't work out! Women are masters at detecting the difference between little boys and men. (It's an evolution thing).
Want to grow up a little? Then reframe your thinking. As I wrote in Dear Confused Dude: Here's Why You Didn't Get a Second Date, love is a numbers game. You are not going to fall in love (or sleep) with the vast majority of people you meet. So instead of getting your little panties all up in a bunch next time a woman rejects you (or, worse, before she even rejects you), remember that. Love is a numbers game.
It's not her fault she doesn't like you. It's certainly not feminism's fault she doesn't like you. And it's not because you "treated her too well" or because "nice guys finish last." It just didn't click this time. I know rejection is scary, and it sucks -- but you're a big boy, right? You'll get over it, learn from it, and do better next time.
Second, women like men who see them as people, not a mysterious other gender. I got my first A+ at Stanford in Gender Psychology, and if I had to summarize the whole class in one sentence, it would be this one:
Women and men are much more alike than they are different. There are actually hardly any meaningful differences between the sexes -- and a lot of the differences disappear when you make gender less salient.
So if you go around acting like women are irrational, unpredictable, confusing or difficult... well, maybe you're just projecting your own shit onto them. Or maybe you are making them that way by constantly treating them like they're overreacting. Either way... your bias will show. As I wrote in These Specific Skills Will Make You More Charismatic, Starting RIGHT NOW,
If there's one thing the human mind does well, it's interpreting human emotion... When you're with someone, but you're distracted by other thoughts or emotions, people notice. Maybe your eyes glaze over, or your reactions are a little off or delayed. Maybe there's a grimace on your face because your suit is itchy or your shoes are too tight. It only takes 17 milliseconds to register someone's emotions.
When people see negative emotions, like confusion, self-consciousness or discomfort, on your face, they will assume it's about them. If they think you don't like them, or that you feel uncomfortable around them, they won't like or feel comfortable around you.
I know confidence isn't easy for a lot of guys. But you know what you could do right now that would help a lot? Think of women as people. Because that's what they are. You don't need to "demystify" or "decode" them. Just be authentic, and treat them like you'd treat anyone else. It will make you come across as less weird, and them come across as a lot less scary -- I promise.
Third, women like men who see them as people, not algorithms. If you've read some dumb pickup artist book or gone to some dumb class that taught you a bunch of if:then statements, you're doing it wrong. Because, yes, there are certain behaviors that might mean certain things -- but they could also mean the complete opposite. If you focus solely on that behavior, and not the context, there's a huge chance you're making a lot of women very uncomfortable.
For example, "If she plays with her hair, that means she's flirting." Yes, it could mean that. But pay attention to her face. Is she smiling with her whole face (including the muscles around her eyes)? Is she making good eye contact with you, or is she looking around the room -- perhaps to signal her friends to come "rescue" her, perhaps because she's not interested in whatever you're talking about?
Playing with her hair could mean she's flirting. It could just as easily mean you're making her nervous because you're standing too close to her. Or that she's someone who likes to play with her hair. Or that it's a humid hair and she's trying to smooth flyaways. Beyond that one behavior, what else is going on? What's the context?
The WORST (in my opinion) is, "You have to kiss her goodnight after your first date, or you'll get friend zoned." First of all, no. Banish "friend zoned" from your vocabulary. The whole concept is offensive and gross. Women don't "owe" you anything for your friendship or kindness. If they like you, they like you. If they don't, they don't. Second, no. Some women are willing, or even want, to kiss after one, two or [insert preconceived number here] dates. Others see kissing as something that you do with someone you have actual FEELINGS for (imagine that!), and think it would be gross to kiss someone they barely know.
For me, if someone tries to kiss me before we know each other, I never talk to him again -- it means that he cared more about kissing me than making sure the kiss was mutually wanted. It means this guy doesn't have the social intelligence or respect for my boundaries to correctly interpret the situation based on very clear verbal and nonverbal cues. (Also worth noting: if you had to grab her by the back of the head and force your faces together, or if you had to do it quickly/sneakily, it doesn't count as a kiss. It counts as assault.)
As I wrote in a previous post, here are some surefire ways to make sure a kiss is mutual and consensual:
When it's Okay to Kiss a Girl:
1. You don't have to physically restrain her to make the kiss happen.
2. You ask her if you may kiss her. Trust me -- if she wants to kiss you, she'll say yes.
3. You let her make the first move. It's 2015 -- she can wear her big girl pants.
4. You have a "moment." Kisses aren't supposed to be abrupt. If your kisses tend to be abrupt, you're doing it wrong. Next time, wait until you've had extended eye contact. With your faces all close together. You keep looking from her eyes to her lips, and she's doing the same to you. This is a good time to either ask if you can kiss her, or lean in, paying close attention to the "90-10" rule.
5. You follow the "90-10" rule, and NEVER go the whole hundred. If you think you've had a "moment" and you think the woman might want to kiss you, go 90% of the way to her... and let her come 10% of the way to you. As Will Smith says in Hitch, "YOU DON'T GO THE WHOLE HUNDRED!"
When NOT to Kiss a Girl
1. You barely know her. If I barely know you, I have no affection for you. There is no bond for the kiss will fortify. Moreover, you don't know anything about me. You don't know if I'm religious or from a culture where touching men I barely know is awkward, sinful or stigmatizing. If you don't know that about me, don't try to kiss me. Don't assume my background and interests are identical to yours, because they probably are not.
2. She went for the hug. A hug -- especially one she initiated -- is her way of telling you that she does not want to kiss you tonight. Don't be an idiot and try to convince yourself that she somehow misinterpreted your nonverbal request for a kiss.
3. She says she doesn't want to kiss you. Trust me. "Her eyes/tone/body language said yes" is not going to hold up in court. If a woman says no, it is absolutely NEVER up to you to interpret her nonverbal cues. Once in the rarest of whiles, maybe her no meant yes. But, in the words of Louis C.K., "Are you out of your fucking mind? Did you really want me to rape you on the off-chance that you were into that shit?"
4. She says she doesn't want you to walk her home/drive her home/go to the next bar with her/be near her anymore. If you offered to walk me home and I said no, that means I don't want you walking me home. If I wanted you to come, I'd invite you. I'd say, "I'm parked over here -- walk me to my car!"
"The girls and I are headed to Rick's Bar next -- do you want to come?"
If I don't invite you, that means you're not invited. Which probably means I don't want to kiss you.
5. You touched her hand, cheek, leg, or any other part of her, and she pulled away. I can't believe I even have to spell this out. But if she doesn't want you touching her, she doesn't want you kissing her. End of story.
The list could go on and on -- because there are so many different situations and contexts, it's impossible to simplify it down to a simple if:then statement. (Of course, there are many if:thenDON'T statements that are pretty clear-cut.) There is no list of behaviors where, "If she does X, it means Y." It could mean that. It could mean something else. So instead of thinking of women as algorithms, think of them as people in situations. Work on assessing that person and situation, so you can focus on more than, "OMG, what am I going to say next?" or, "According to the PUA book I read, the next thing I should do is touch her arm." Focus on her face. Her body language. What she's saying and how she's saying it.
Remember, social skills are just that: skills. Some people learn them automatically growing up. Others (including Steve Jobs) have to sit down and practice them. It will take a little work, and a little trial and error, but you can definitely do it.
Fourth, women like men who have empathy -- because people like people who have empathy. According to The Charisma Myth: How Anyone Can Master the Art and Science of Personal Magnetism, empathy and warmth are two key traits of charismatic people. We don't like people who are so wrapped up in their own heads that they can't understand what other peoples' experiences are like. This, too, is an evolution thing -- we evolved to like people who seem to care about and understand us. Because if they don't, why would they want to help us? Why would we expect them to cooperate or share with us?
So if you're one of those dumbass dudes who's like, "Women are bigoted for thinking I might want to hurt them, just because I'm a guy," THAT IS WHY WOMEN DON'T LIKE YOU! You're narrow minded, you lack the basic human trait of empathy, and you can't see the world any way but your own. Think of it this way:
Or this way:
Or this way:
If you're seriously going to buy into the whole pathetic victimhood culture thing because all women don't automatically assume you would never hurt them... you're self-centered at best. And, going back to point one: you're not a man. You're a little boy.
Believe me -- there are a surprising number of dudes out there who seem determined to pretend they're victims. For example, last week, a mom on Twitter wrote a letter about how she was nervous about taking her eight-year-old daughter to the skate park, where teenage boys were smoking and swearing -- but she was delighted and grateful when one of the boys helped her daughter learn to skate. It was a heartwarming story. Yet half the replies to her post were something dumb and vimctimhood-y, like:
And it's just kind of like, OMG BOO HOO POOR YOU!!!
And then there's the comment (which has since been deleted) that someone left on my post, The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Gif All Women Need to See ASAP:
So your post gives women the advice to be rude to men who approach them. Well, I never approach women, so I have no problem with that. But sometimes you can't help but interact with a woman. Then what? Do you still advocate rudeness in those situations?
There are so many problems with this dude's perception that I don't even know where to begin. I guess:
A) Thinking of women as mysterious (and intentionally rude, but only to you) others.
B) You time your departures from work to make sure you don't interact with women -- yet you act like they are the weird ones? Maybe women act weird around you because you act weird around them. I can instantly become friends with pretty much anyone, and I'm not sure even I would be comfortable around you. There's no way you can feel this much discomfort and animosity towards women (not to mention self-pity) and nothave it show in your face and body language.
C) Assuming ill intent. In a world where everyone is glued to their smartphone, and thousands of people visit the ER every year because of "texting-while-walking" accidents (and, worse, texting-while-driving accidents), you assume this woman was blocking the doors because she was out to get you?
D) Blaming women's perception of you as "creepy" on your attractiveness is foolish and misguided. One of the most physically attractive guys I know is also one of the creepiest, because he seems to have no social skills or respect for my boundaries whatsoever. Meanwhile, I've fallen head-over-heels for short dudes with hairy backs and fat bellies because they were so present, so respectful, and so fun to talk to. The reason you are "creepy" is because you don't think of or treat women like people, and they totally pick up on that.
That said, I think that, for some men, it's not an empathy shortage -- it's an intelligence shortage. Women like smart men, and if you're not smart enough to understand the whole #YesAllWomen thing, then maybe that explains your lack of dating success.
Fifth, women like men who care about consent. This is where a lot of "pickup artists" run into trouble. PUA books and classes often focus on how to manipulate physical contact out of someone, whether they enthusiastically consented to it or not. Just because you're able to bully or intimidate your way to second base (or wherever) using these tactics, doesn't mean you're going to walk away with a girlfriend.
If a woman feels like you disrespected her boundaries, she's not going to want to see you again. She's not "ghosting." She's not a tease. She's disgusted or terrified. Or perhaps she just thinks that you're a horrible person for feeling like you're somehow entitled to her body.
Last, if you think nice guys finish last, you're not a nice guy. The women of the internet have already said this much better than I could:
The good news is, most of these problems are correctable. With a little bit of empathy, understanding, cognitive reframing, and practice, you can seriously overcome some of your demons and begin to develop really cool, meaningful relationship with women.
About the Author
Eva is a content specialist with a passion for play, travel... and a little bit of girl power. Read more >
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