I hesitate to write about this topic as I don’t want to appear preachy or patronising considering I’m no relationship or dating expert; however I have had quite a bit of experience with dating and moreover I’m conscious that many Christian men are not only struggling with women and dating, but are at a loss to know what to do about it.
I have a lot of compassion for these men, because I know it’s a sucky situation to be in. So, even though I know I’m probably going to attract the ire of many by writing this post, I’ve decided in the interests of those who may want the advice of a woman on this topic, I would give my two cents.
Disclaimer: this is just my personal advice, based on my personal experience, and is aimed only at those men who wish to be more successful with women. In other words, this is just my opinion: take it or leave it. For those who want my advice, read on…
There are two major factors I’ve identified that I believe are preventing a lot of men from succeeding when it comes to asking women out on dates.
Men often fail when approaching women because of how they present themselves. I’m not talking about dress (although this is something a woman will factor in) but about their attitude and approach.
A bit of important context: women are naturally intuitive. We all know this. However, I believe the reason why women are more intuitive than men is that intuition works as a defensive mechanism.
Women are physically weaker than our male counterparts, so we have certain inbuilt defences. I believe one of these is intuition – because we need to discern at the outset if the man we’re talking to is a creep or mentally unstable or abusive, etc. We need to know this to prevent getting into a situation in which we might get hurt.
This is why a woman will become more wary around a man who presents as abnormal in any way: we recognise we’re not the physical match of a man and need to discern whether we’re in any danger. This is the case even if the man is not muscled, tall or physically imposing.
As a result, when a man approaches a woman with the sole intention of asking her on a date (as opposed to just having a conversation or getting to know her) he will present a certain attitude that women can sense from a mile away. Often, the man will come across with a desperate sort of earnestness that is frankly very off-putting.
One reason for this is desperation is unattractive. Period.
Another reason is women will usually sense the amount of pressure the man is putting on the situation and on her to say yes, which makes her feel pressured and maybe even claustrophobic. No-one wants to be asked out under these conditions.
There is a reason that the stereotype of the confident man getting the girl exists. Okay, so maybe you’re not that confident – what do you do then?
- Take the pressure off by changing your aim.
If your aim when approaching a girl is to get her to go out with you (especially if you don’t know each other very well or at all), you are probably already putting too much pressure on yourself and on her. Your internal dialogue might go something like this:
Okay, be cool. I just need to get her to talk to me. If I can get her to talk to me, I can ask her to go out with me. But what if she says no? If she says no I might not have another shot, and if I don’t get another shot then this is all over before it even begins so I need to make this conversation count. I can’t fail.
If this is what’s going on in a man’s head, he is putting way too much pressure on himself. If he goes in thinking this, he will come across as desperate and needy and will very likely fail in getting her to go on a date with him. So rather than making his aim “to get her to go out with him”, a better goal might be to simply just use the conversation to get to know her better. Because who knows? The two may be completely unsuited. But he will never even get the chance to really see her for who she is or get a gauge of any chemistry they may share if he’s focusing solely on getting her to say yes, rather than on discovering what she’s like.
If a man approaches a girl with the aim of simply getting to know her and nothing more – at least for now – he is far less likely to come across as desperate and thus, will have a better chance of her saying yes at some point in the near future.
The trick is to establish a connection by discussing common interests, shared values and similar pursuits or ideals. If he finds they don’t share any of these, then she’s probably not the right match for him. If they do, then he can try approaching her again at another time to get to know her even better. If she continues to linger in his conversation, it’s a very good sign. If she disappears every time he tries to talk to her – it’s definitely not a good sign. Eventually, once a clear connection is established (i.e. they both converse easily and appear to get on well), the aim can then shift to asking her out.
It might only take one conversation to establish a connection enough that he can ask her out. But this should never be the aim before talking to her.
- Prepare to be rejected a lot.
One piece of advice I’ve heard from men who are successful at asking women out is the need for men to get used to rejection. This is perhaps more particularly for men who are not already confident in talking to women. The advice is to get used to asking women out and preparing to be rejected.
One man I know says men should aim to get so used to rejection they begin to get desensitised to it. I’m not a man so I can’t really comment on this – I’m simply passing it on. However as a woman, I will say that it’s far more appealing to be asked out by a man who doesn’t seem to feel that everything is riding on your ‘yes’ (see previous dot point).
It’s probably worth pointing out that I also know a couple of very circumspect men who waited until they were in their mid-20s to even pursue a relationship, and then only asked out women with whom they already shared a friendship, and were accepted.
- Improve your self-confidence.
If a man recognises that he doesn’t have much self-confidence, and that this may be affecting his success with women, then it is well worth exploring this. We all have room to improve, so why not invest in this?
I’ve been practising acceptance-commitment therapy (ACT) with a psychologist for the past few years and let me tell you, I had very little idea of the sheer number and weight of the burdens and wounds I was carrying, some from childhood, even though I was somewhat aware of the negative effects they were having on my life. My quality of life, self-image and self-confidence have improved incalculably since I started seeing my psych for stress and anxiety-related issues.
However, you don’t need to suffer from stress, anxiety or depression to get help from a therapist. Some go for assertiveness training – something I’ve also had a lot of help with. I seriously cannot recommend ACT highly enough.
If you can’t afford therapy, there are other ways of improving your self-confidence, such as taking dancing lessons. I know many men who took up dancing for that reason alone. And let me tell you – it really works.
At my swing dancing classes there isn’t a single man in the intermediate or advanced class who doesn’t exude confidence. It’s also a great skill to throw out at parties and weddings – one which women really appreciate. Dancing is particularly useful at improving confidence because it forces men not only to interact with women on a regular basis but to take the lead.
Another thing you can do to improve your confidence and success is to talk to lots of different women – even women you have absolutely no interest in or intention of dating. Getting used to interacting with women you’re not related to can be wonderfully helpful in talking to the women you are interested in. So, rather than spending all your time with your male friends after Church on Sunday, go talk to the mums, the nanas, the married couples. Talking to women outside of your church life can be very helpful as well – whether it’s your work colleagues or the barista who makes your coffee.
- Forget the PC nonsense.
I don’t care what hashtag is trending these days – no woman wants a man to tread on eggshells when it comes to asking her out, just as no woman wants to be asked for her “permission” to be kissed. Women appreciate confidence and directness – and don’t let the world tell you otherwise.
If you’re seeing a common theme in these suggestions, you’d be right – the point of all of them is to become more relaxed and chilled out in general, so you’re more relaxed and chilled out around women. Again, these are all just suggestions and you don’t have to do any of them. However, if you do, I genuinely believe it will help improve your overall success with women, which brings me to point number 2:
2. Asking the right woman out
The other major reason men fail is because of the kind of women they’re aiming at. Let’s be honest – most men will naturally gravitate towards the prettiest, most vivacious girl in the room, just as most women will secretly hope to be asked out by the most confident and attractive man in the room.
Yet where does that leave all the rest? Usually, pining and hoping in vain.
Over the years I’ve seen all kinds of men and women meet and marry, and one thing I’ve seen again and again is that men and women are far more likely to meet with success if they choose to date those who are more like them.
For example, I know men who refused to date women who shared the same ethnicity and continued to meet with failure… until they eased up on that condition and were able to find love.
I know men and women with mental health issues who met others with similar challenges and are now happily married.
The fact is, most of us are not the handsomest, prettiest, cleverest or most vivacious people in the room. Most of us are average. So rather than setting your sights on the most glamorous woman present, why not try asking out the wallflower instead? The shy girl is more likely to say yes than the social butterfly surrounded by would-be suitors.
And maybe you’ve already tried this and it still hasn’t worked. That’s okay – there’s nothing wrong with you. Usually, all this means is you just haven’t met the right person yet.
An important point to remember with all this is I’m not just talking about physical attractiveness. Women are more interested in personality than looks. I’ve had the socks charmed off me by men who literally no-one would describe as good-looking, because I was charmed by their personalities. Ultimately, looks don’t matter if you present yourself well and are asking the right sort of girl out.
I’m well aware that facing each of these points honestly may be very confronting. And, as I keep saying, these are just my humble opinions – take them or leave them. However, if you do choose to take all of this on board, my guess is you’ll be much more likely to meet with success. It also doesn’t matter whether you’re searching for love in your personal life or online – all these points are applicable, regardless. All I can say is, good luck and God speed you on your search!