Dating isn't a game of strategy—just relax and have fun!
Since I got back to the dating scene myself, I became even more aware of how men behave around women. Here is a list of what I've personally observed while going out and while working with clients. Anything you can recognize? Don't beat yourself up! You'll also find some tips about how to behave in a more empowering way and get better dates.
1. Over-Talking: Most men approach ladies thinking that they have to lead the conversation, keep her entertained, impress her. Once they are asked something and aiming to look interesting, they respond with countless details. They think that more is better.
- How She May Feel: She will be loaded with too much information, impatiently wait to be asked about something or get her turn to express her opinion and when it doesn't happen, she'll kindly excuse herself to get a glass of water and some fresh air to ease her growing headache.
- What To Do Instead: Enough talking; shut up! And go on to the next point.
2. Not Listening: This is directly connected to the previous one. And yet, some men don't even speak much. It actually looks like they are listening but, as soon as women check with them, they realize that they haven't been listening. They have either been busy with how to reply and offer their opinion, wondering whether she likes him or plainly got distracted.
- How She May Feel: Women often talk not to get advice, but rather to share their ideas and feelings. It's a way to bond. It's mostly not about the solution, it's about the verbal expression of what's in their minds as a way to feel safe. When women don't feel heard, they get disconnected and may feel unsafe.
- What To Do Instead: Get present and stay present. If you find yourself going into solution-mode, take a deep breath and get back to her words. If you are not sure about what she wants from you (just listening or giving advice?), ask her.
3. The Cold Approach: You come from behind her or from her side or even from the front and bravely greet her with your most charming smile.
- How She May Feel: Startled. She wonders who the heck are you and what you want from her. She will be on defense mode and likely respond annoyed.
- What To Do Instead: Next time you see a woman you like, look at her. Try to catch her gaze. Don't be a creep, but also don't scare her by coming out of nowhere. If she replies by looking back and then away (if she's interested, she will likely look away to the ground or to a side) and again back to you, then you can go. Eye contact before the approach will make her feel much safer and will avoid you unpleasant rejections.
4. No Eye Contact: This takes us to the next point. When you are having a conversation with a lady and you can't hold her gaze; you watch around, look down to the floor or around you, play with your phone, nervously try to keep your eyes away from her cleavage—you know what I mean.
- How She May Feel: She might think that you are not so into her, that you are very insecure or that all you want is to get her into your bedroom as soon as possible. If she takes the first silent moment to cut the conversation and go away, you now know why.
- What To Do Instead: Oh boy, I know how insecure and nervous you feel around ladies sometimes. However, there's nothing more attracting than a warm gaze and smile. Learn to be present and relaxed in your own body. Watch a woman deep into her eyes, switch from one eye to the other and focus on her. This will create much deeper connection.
5. Delaying Touch: Physical closeness depends on the persons involved, on their cultural background and on the environment. When I was in Iran it was barely allowed to shake a man's hand in public. If you live in Western country, however, you've probably have more freedom. Use it! Many men will avoid touching a woman for a way too long time. They might go out with her on several dates before even touching her hand, especially if they are really into her. No surprise it's sometimes difficult to get whether the other likes you or not.
- How She May Feel: Even though most women don't want to feel like a sexual object, we still like feeling a man's warmth and closeness also through gestures. If you aren't even touching her hand or arm, aren't helping her with her coat or gently moving her hair from her face, something is missing. Women need to feel safe to get intimate with a man and this often happens slowly, not after a few dates when the man hasn't even held her hand yet and suddenly wants to kiss her or have sex.
- What To Do Instead: If you like the girl, establish a progressively closer physical connection. Start with what feels okay in the moment, like touching her hand or arm, sitting close to her, hugging her when you meet and so on. See how you feel when you behave this way and how she responds.
6. Not Flirting: What does it mean to flirt? The word is used to imply non serious intentions in an interaction, therefore it has usually a negative connotation. However, think about it: when you first meet someone, how can you be serious about it? In the very beginning, it's all about being light and seeing how you feel in each other's presence. So many men have no clue about how to flirt and just be light and fun. Instead, they dwell in their heads, transforming the dating phase into an exhausting strategy. No surprise it gets so stressful!
- How She May Feel: Most women don't want to see all your achievements listed on your CV. They want to feel good around you. If you are trying too hard, they will sense it and soon get tired of it.
- What To Do Instead: What if dating wasn't hard work? What if it wasn't about getting her into bed, convincing her that you are a good catch or finding the love of your life? What if it was a way to get to know someone, connect and see what happens? Nothing more than that. Just connecting and enjoying. At least in the very first phase, you can definitely allow yourself much more lightness!
7. Negative Self-Talk: What do you say about yourself? Think about it; when you first meet someone new and they introduce themselves with all their don'ts—I don't like my job, I don't have a partner, I don't have friends, I'm not particularly skilled and so on – do you feel like you'd like to meet them again? You probably don't.
- How She May Feel: If a woman is faced by all your negative qualities first, it's hard to think she will want to have more of it. She will think that you really aren't much more than your don'ts and stay away.
- What To Do Instead: We all have our emotional baggage, flaws and weird habits. However, connect first and let a woman see your light side, so that she will be also able to accept the dark one.
8. Being The Know-It-All: How do you respond to others' opinions? I love observing people and it often happens to me to be somewhere close to couples talking. I find it easy to understand when it's the first date. Way too often, men tend to correct women. "Yes, but..." are some of the words I hear a lot.
- How She May Feel: She will feel in the middle of a verbal struggle. She might also think you believe she's stupid or incompetent. She will wonder whether she's back in school or on a date. The conversation will lose its flow and ease.
- What To Do Instead: Relax, dude! It's not about who's right and who's wrong! And even if she's absolutely convinced that the Earth is flat, well, it's not your job to show her what the truth is. Unless you can do it a kind and reassuring way, leave the concept of right and wrong at home.
9. Not Taking The Lead: It's in the male energy to be the leader. How do you feel when you wait for a woman to call? When you ask her what she'd like to do on your first date? When you split the bill after it? Most men behave this way not because of modern times, when it's totally okay for women to ask guys out and pay for themselves, but rather because they are coming from fear; they don't want to give too much, show their interest, take responsibility.
- How She May Feel: These times women have become really independent. If men are not taking the lead, women will. This takes women to act "like the man," feel like they can't rely on him and get to an unbalanced set of energy in the interaction.
- What To Do Instead: In spite of gender equality, most women still prefer men who take the lead. Leading has nothing to do with being arrogant or undervaluing women. So be brave and decide where to take her for your date. She's more interested into how she feels around you, than into what you are going to do. And even though I may sound old-fashioned, pick up that check and pay! There will be time to go Dutch. Show her you can take care of her on the first date.
10. Neglecting Your Health And Looks: It's okay to be sloppy sometimes and even to not smell really fresh after a whole day at work and of course after a workout. But guys, get into the shower before meeting a girl or going out with your friends! Find your own style, whether it's about hipster glasses, a silk tie or a simple T-shirt. The way you dress and present yourself is the very first thing others notice. What would you think if she met you in her yoga pants and greasy hair? Also, if you are not satisfied with your fitness level, why should she be?
- How She May Feel: Your appearance tells a lot about you—about how you take care of yourself and how much you like yourself. She might not want to be around you a lot, if you don't smell good, wear dirty clothes and keep on forgetting brushing your teeth. Being fit is not about being perfect and look like a model. It's basic self-care. Most women are not after perfect biceps, they simply are attracted by a healthy and conscious lifestyle.
- What To Do Instead: Shower. Get a haircut. Go to the dentist. Get a few new outfits that will make you feel good about yourself. Find any physical activity that you enjoy, create a weekly routine and stick to it.
I bet you have way more fun around ladies when you are feeling confident, well-groomed, relaxed and positive. Being authentic means to be how and who you want to be, that is your best Self. And that's a choice.
Any tips or experiences you'd like to share? Questions? Please go ahead and comment below the article!