Let Them Know What You Want

I have a friend who is a small business owner.  He left a full-time gig to pursue a dream.   It’s been a while and been up and down and he’s not really pursuing his dream.  Yeah, he’s working in his field, doing freelance stuff, whatever, but not really getting what he wants.

So I met with him, looked over some things and realized.  He’s NOT asking for the clients he wants.  He’s NOT clear about what he wants to do.  He has a website that’s a muddled mish-mash of stuff, he posts on FB and IG about some cool things, but he’s not following it up with a “Hey, if you want X I would LOVE to talk with you and see if I could help”.

This is a common thing.   People wonder why stuff doesn’t just fall into their lap, but they don’t even ask for it.   In fact, not only do they not ask, they kind of deny it, act weird and push people away.

This is dumb.  This is really dumb, but how often do we do this in life?  How often do we not tell a woman that we like her and want to date her?  How often do we just skate around stuff and not be direct???

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Better Than You Think

Men in second-guess themselves.  Maybe it’s always been this way, maybe it’s a symptom of our society.   Maybe it’s always been with us.

O Henry wrote a story back around 1906 called “The Lost Blend”.  The story is about the lost recipe for a cocktail and how it gave one man courage.  It’s a fun story that illustrates how 110 years ago men were having the same problems we are now.

I bring this up again because, quite simply, it keeps coming up in my life.  I have a friend who, in spite of being good looking, hard working, in good shape, articulate, intelligent and kind, doesn’t think women should like him.   He’s now in a relationship with a longtime crush.   The funny thing is, she’s the one working really hard to cement herself into his life, and yet he’s still insecure about it.

This is something you see all the time.   Underneath all the hoopla about women being fickle and having choices and having guys chase him, the truth is women are looking to nail down a long-term prospect.

Bottom line is women know they have a diminishing asset.  Every year goes by they are less pretty and less fertile, while guys get more confident, more wealthy, more capable.   They also know guys can be flighty and being too interested will make one run off.

So, if you are a guy over 30 with a job, any assets and not completely worthless, stop being hard on yourself because you aren’t tall enough, fit enough, whatever.   You are a prize.  Believe it!!!!

 

 

Stop Expecting a Miracle

I’ve always been a bit of a romantic.  When I was young I imagined my life like some John Hughes movie where I would be thrown into some crazy situation with an amazing girl, we would have a whirlwind romance and live happily ever after.

I even prayed about this… something maybe I should repent of.

So over the years, that grand romantic epic never materialized.    I’ve wondered why this is – here are some possible reasons.

  1. Romance takes work
    Every romantic comedy out there, there is someone, usually the guy, doing all kinds of work to make romance happen. Sitting back and waiting for it to happen isn’t going to work.https://giphy.com/embed/ZqfafqLbatt60

     

  2. Lightning might strike until you are dead
    Many of the most romantic people I’ve known have had a string of failed relationships.  I’ve known guys who were always “In Love” with some new woman and doing all kinds of romantic gestures.    Sometimes these people have been married multiple times, and they are always looking for that next rush.
  3. Romance is in the Eye of the Beholder
    So often “romance” is a matter of circumstance.  If the right guy hits on a girl it’s romantic, if the wrong guy does it, it’s creepy.   The 50 Shades books and movies (I don’t recommend them) are perfect examples of this.  The only reason the guy in that movie is romantic and not a stalker is because he’s super rich.
    50-shades-is-only-romantic-meme

Not everything requires a miracle.  I’m not disputing that God can move in our lives, but finding a mate isn’t supposed to be hard.  Millions of people do it every single day, it’s one of the most mundane things ever.   Stop trying to make it more difficult than it needs to be.  Stop waiting on God and start doing something!  Stop expecting a miracle and just go on a date!

Why Isn’t She More Obvious?

Last time the post was about subtle hints.  So why subtle, why not more obvious?  One of the biggest complaints guys make is that girls aren’t a little more obvious about what they want.   So why be so mysterious.

There are a couple of obvious reasons.  A big one is embarrassment.   Another is the fear of scaring a guy away.  Being a bit mysterious is always alluring.   There is one other major reason that gets overlooked.

Other Girls Will Notice

One thing guys and girls have in common is we both operate heavily on social proof.  In fact, society, in general, operates this way.   People all want the trendiest cars, clothes, phones, whatever.  This is why celebrity endorsements are so powerful.  “Gee, Ellen wears it, it must be the greatest sneaker ever”

In a social group, as soon as one girl tips her hand, as soon as she shows a little extra interest in a guy, everyone else jumps on board.    That guy is suddenly WAY more interesting to every girl in the group.   So now, this girl that was interested in you has competition from all corners.

Being Sneaky

So what’s the answer?  She’s subtle.  She’s sneaky.  She’s mysterious.

A group of single friends is fascinating to watch.  It’s interesting how some women will dominate the conversation and overtly try to hold a guy’s attention.  It’s also interesting the girls that will back off or just be sly.

If you are in an environment like that right now just step back and take a look.

Being Friends

I’ve talked a lot about being friends, being in the friendzone, etc…  It’s a strange thing, friendship between men and women.   Is it even natural?  Even possible?  I think until the last 50 years or so, a friendship between men and women was very rare.

Here are a few observations about male/female friendships.

Many girls like male friends

I’ve had many, many women tell me they struggle with being friends with other females.   They prefer guy friends.   This always fascinates me, I hear it so much, I wonder why all these women that like to be friends with guys don’t just all get together and be cool friends to each other.

It’s tough to be friends when you are in a relationship

It’s almost impossible to be friends with a person of the opposite sex that’s in a relationship or married.  Occasionally it will happen, but jealousy can creep in so easily.  It’s funny how single people can hang out and there be zero interest, but the second one of them gets a significant other things get weird.

No Relationship – No Friendship

It’s fascinating how often friendship is used as a ruse for wanting more, and how often after when the real feelings surface the friendship goes away.   Guys get accused of this all the time – the so-called nice guy” problem, but I’ve seen it a lot with women.    In fact, in the last year or so I’ve seen most of my female friends disappear as it becomes obvious I don’t want to date them, or as they have started relationships with other guys.  It’s really odd.

Siblings are the only reliable friends

I am super close with my sisters.   This makes all of the other female relationships in my life so much more confusing.  I understand women, I’m comfortable around women, but when I have other female friends things just get weird.   I think sisters are the only way a guy can really be friends with women successfully long term.

Subtle Hints

Recently read a book called When Christian Singles Mingle: You Re Just One Hint Away from Attracting the Love of Your Life by  Edward J. Beck.

This is a self-published book.  Initially, it seemed to be very promising.  It talked about the life cycle of Christian singles groups and seemed very on point.   It went downhill pretty quickly, I won’t give specific criticism, but I do think the author could have benefited from some good editors and maybe a female co-collaborator.

The major concept in the book is subtle hints.   The author is very adamant that a major problem in the single world is that Christian women don’t give out godly subtle hints.

So what is a “subtle hint”?  While he gives some ideas in the book and I’ve covered the idea of IOIs here, I think the concept is more basic.  A subtle hint can be anything from a smile to a touch to a bit of nervousness.  The key thing is that it’s subtle.

This was a bit of an epiphany for me.   A subtle hint is something that’s just between the two of you.  It’s a green light for a guy to approach and ask for a date.  The idea is that it gives a guy an opening to move forward but is subtle enough to avoid embarrassment.

To further illustrate this, I would like to give 3 examples of interactions between men and women.

The Flirty Girl

A new woman, let’s call her Miss Flirty, enters a social circle.  Mr. Clueless is hanging out and she comes and touches his back has some obvious banter with him.  They exchange contact info, and Flirty sends him some flirty texts, wants to know more about him.   Mr. Clueless gets completely sucked in and starts chasing her.  But Miss Flirty is elusive and eventually ends up with Mr. Handsome instead and Mr. Clueless is heartbroken.

These types of women (and often men) like the attention.  They flirt to feel good about themselves because they are good at it and because it’s fun.   This is NOT, I repeat NOT a good indicator of interest.  It’s tricky because it can attract other people, but usually, it’s just for fun.  Is it right or wrong?  I don’t know, sometimes.  Can it lead to more?  Sure, but not always.

The Chasing Girl

The second girl, we can call her Miss Lonely, joins the social circle and drops some subtle hints to Mr. Dreamy.   Mr. Dreamy isn’t really interested in Miss Lonely, so he sees the hints, but doesn’t follow up on them.  Tries to set boundaries and just be friends.   Miss Lonely assumes Mr. Dreamy is missing the point so gets a little more obvious, and more obvious and embarrassingly obvious.  Someone calls Miss Lonely out on it and she retreats into her shell.

The Mutual Crush

The third girl, we will call her Miss Stunning.  She shows up in the social circle and Mr. Average catches her eye.  She drops a subtle hint.   Mr. Average doesn’t think that highly of himself but has an instant crush on Miss Stunning.   Because of this mutual attraction, Mr. Average doesn’t act on the signals his picking up.   They are so subtle and inconsistent he thinks he must be imagining it.   Mr. Average things she is way out of his league because she’s so amazing (although Mr. Dreamy and Mr. Handsome don’t think she’s all that – and Mr. Clueless has no idea anything is going on) so he ignores her, pushes her away, looks for more signs.    Finally, Miss Stunning gets really obvious, Mr. Average STILL doesn’t do anything, so Miss Stunning gets mad and stops.   The stark contrast between her previous interest and her current frigidness is striking and Mr. Average finally sees it, but it’s too late.  He tries to chase Miss Stunning down, but she’s over it.

Summarizing Subtle Hints

For me, the idea of subtle hints was enlightening.   Many guys continually complain about two things.   The first is flirty girls that aren’t actually interested.  The second is girls that aren’t clear about their interest – missing signals.   I don’t think guys so much miss signals as they either don’t understand the signals or they want the signals to be stronger.    Personally, I’ve often been infuriated by a woman that seems hot and cold.  She will be just a little too friendly now, but completely ignore me later.

So, here is my question for you my gentle readers (and seriously, somebody please comment), is this your experience?   Have you ever gotten a subtle hint from someone, approached them and got completely shot down?   Thoughts?

 

 

Believe in Yourself

 

That is one of my all-time favorite ad campaigns.  Believe in your Smellf!

If there is one piece of advice I could give to any single Christian man, it’s “believe in yourself”.

This is a really tough one.

Somehow, and maybe this is me, there’s this idea that women are all just snobby and too good for us.   Especially women we are attracted to, but even others.

Lack of Pursuit

Some single Christian women are cold fish.  Sorry if you don’t like that term, but they aren’t going to give a guy ANYTHING.   They will act indifferent if even when talking to their crush that they believe God has told them they are going to marry.

But, most single Christian women aren’t in this boat.  They will drop subtle, and sometimes not so subtle hints.  Then these women will complain that the guys don’t ask them out.  The guys won’t pursue.  The guys won’t engage.

Why?

Lack of confidence.   Lack of belief in themselves.

Why do they have this lack of belief?  These men have had limited success in the dating arena.  This is probably why they are single.   This lack of success makes them a little scared.  So, when Sister Sally starts smiling and staring and waving at you, what do you do?   You push her away.  You ask for a little more.   You hesitate, procrastinate, let things drag on.  Finally, Sally gives up, moves on, then what does the guy do?   All of a sudden he realizes what was happening and tries to get something going.  But Sally is over it and shuts him down – reinforcing this belief he already has.

The more this cycle continues, the more hesitant he is to pursue.

Getting Personal

I want to share a little of my own story and where I’m at right now.   A couple years ago I joined a group.  My confidence level wasn’t high, but there was a girl there that was younger than I and cute and she was flirting.  Overtly flirting.  Doing all the things, the eye contact, the smiling, the hair flips, being just a little hot and cold.

So she has me completely out of my mind, and I just call her and tell her I like her and would like to date.   She claims she wasn’t interested and I misconstrued things.  I was crushed.  Later I learned this was just a trick she liked to play.  Get a guy to like her and then pull the rug out from under him.   Nice girl.

But the damage is done.  A few months later another girl starts being friendly, a woman I was very attracted to.   The problem was, my head was in a place where I’d lost some trust, so I simply couldn’t believe that this girl was interested in me.  I thought she was just being nice, so I kept pushing, asking for more, and she kept responding.    Then she got tired of it and was over it.

For a really long time, until the last few weeks in fact, I didn’t really get it.  I’m still not sure I get it.  I thought she was just playing or just being friendly and I was just reading into it.

A couple things happened recently that made me change my mind.

One is that another woman confessed her feelings for me.   She made it very clear that she not only was interested in me but thought I was exceptional.

OK, let me pause right here and clarify something.  I’m really not.   I’m on the short side, on the fat side, not particularly beautiful otherwise and getting a bit old.   Honestly, I’ve lived most of my life thinking I just wasn’t all that.   So this idea that I’m some kind of prize is tough to swallow.

But… looking back over the last couple years, I have good evidence that this is true.  This one woman, although it was nice to hear her say it to my face, wasn’t the only one.

The other thing I’ve come to recognize is that women are rarely obvious about their interest.   The ones who are, tend to be clumsy, awkward and socially unaware.  The more socially savvy, or maybe just more fearful a woman is, the tougher it’s going to be to see her interest.

So, upon reflection, this woman that was giving me subtle hints was probably REALLY into me.  In fact, the biggest reason the situation went south is that she had to get a bit too obvious about it.

Believe

Thing is, I see this in other guys.  Guys that are better looking, more successful, harder working, younger than I am.  They still struggle with this.   They believe things that are flat out not true, that they are ugly or too short or too weird.

So this is my advice for today – to you gentle reader, and to myself.  Believe.  Believe in yourself.  Believe that girl is flirting with you.  Believe she likes you.

And get rid of those mean girls that take over your head.  They have a problem and probably do those kinds of things because they are broken inside, not because you aren’t good enough.

Fear of Success

Got this in an email on being bold today:

 How many times have you had a girl you could tell was nervous and hopeful around you… and then you didn’t make a move?

There are tons and tons of women who meet guys they like, get nervous and hopeful those guys will do something, and then… the guys do NOTHING.

 

Nervous and Hopeful

OK, to be fair, the whole nervous and hopeful thing has thrown me.  I think, my whole life, I never really got this.   Yes, guys are supposed to initiate and all that, but it always stumped me on how you were supposed to know who to approach.  When it was OK.  Every time I tried I got shot down, so I didn’t try much.

To be honest, I never really have tried.  Even at my age, which isn’t young by anyone’s estimation, it’s a struggle.  I’m not sure what to do sometimes.

Of course, there’s no right or wrong answer to that.  No universal, perfect way to ‘ask a girl out’ or whatever.

Anyway, the point being, that I never realized when girls were nervous and weird around you it’s because they wanted you to ask them out.   Sure, sometimes they get chatty or touchy or whatever, and that’s pretty easy to pick up on, but this business of just being nervous all the time?   How does that make any sense?

Girl – to herself “OK, I really like this guy, so I’m going to avoid him and stop talking to him and act really uncomfortable every time I see him.”

WTF?

Knowing is Half the Battle

 

As GI Joe always said, knowing is half the battle.   The problem is, it’s only 1/2.   The other half isn’t easy either.   I’ve discovered something about myself lately.  I’ve made good progress in some areas of my life, but then I’ve stagnated.  Refused to go further.

In the dating arena, this has manifested in an inability to get phone numbers, go on dates, escalate any of these relationships beyond a casual friendship.   I will meet someone I like, or have some woman I know just almost throw herself at me, and I just drop the ball.  Don’t ask for a number, don’t ask if she wants to hang out later.  Or maybe I get a number, and I don’t text or call.   Why?

Self Sabotage

This guy went through the exact thing I’m going through:

FEAR OF SUCCESS – THE TRUTH BEHIND SELF-SABOTAGE

When I first started trying to improve my social life, I focused on meeting new people. OK, let’s be honest: I focused on approaching attractive girls and trying to make them like me, using manipulative Pick Up tactics. Hey, it was a start at least.

I experienced quite a few rejections, none of which were particularly painful. The worst that would happen is someone would walk away rudely while I was still going through my opening pitch. This wasn’t very uncomfortable, and it wasn’t long before this had almost no emotional effect on me.

Then I hit my first barrier – some people actually started wanting to keep talking to me. I felt so uncomfortable with this success that I would often terminate a healthy conversation while it was still “hot,” running away with some lame excuse about being stretched for time, despite a complete absence of rejection signals.

When I finally overcome this barrier and pushed myself to stay in conversations longer, the next barrier came up. This time, it was getting phone numbers, or other opportunities to continue with the person later. Often, I’d have permission and opportunity to go further with someone I genuinely liked, yet would sacrifice this just to continue the basics of approaching new people.

This article has some great tips for dealing with this, I recommend reading it if you are having similar problems.   Ultimately though, you just have to push through.  Go a little further, keep trying, get that number, get that date, just don’t give up.

 

Love is Blind

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder

Beauty is subjective.  Well, kinda.   Yes, Hollywood has a pretty standard template and there’s no denying that Jennifer Lawrence, Emilia Clarke, Margot Robbie, Emma Stone and Gal Gadot are stunning.   But, when it comes to us everyday people, we are probably not as physically perfect as a Hollywood star, and even if we are, we live in a 3-dimensional world that’s about more than just clear skin, the right body fat percentage and symmetrical features.

So, the old saying, beauty is in the eye of the beholder.    We all have different ideas of beauty and attractiveness and this can be a stumbling block when it comes to dating.

Our perception of our own beauty

The first area where this causes problems is our own beauty.   How often have you stood in the mirror and thought “who could ever love this?”.   Maybe you see your receding hairline or pot belly or saggy skin or freckles or whatever and found them repulsive.  Maybe you focus on every tiny thing, or maybe you really are ugly.

The thing is, what we find important, even glaring may not be a blip on other’s radar.   I regularly talk with friends who point to one or more defect that they think makes them unattractive, and they are wrong.   Maybe a friend thinks their weight is unattractive, while it’s really their complaining and bad attitude.

A lack of confidence in our own attractiveness can lead to fear and intimidation when it comes to dating.  If we don’t think we are attractive we are probably going to fear rejection and be hesitant to date.

She’s too beautiful

The other way that beauty gets in our way is when it makes us think others are unattainable.   We’ve all heard the stories about the quiet beauty in high school who couldn’t get any dates because all the boys were scared to death of her.

I know this is true for guys, and suspect it is for the ladies, but it’s easy to put another person on a pedestal and then try to interpret their actions based on your perception of their attractiveness.    For example, maybe a guy knows a girl and thinks she’s the most beautiful thing ever.   When she’s nervous or hot and cold, he interprets that as he’s not worthy of her amazingness.  In reality, it may be that she really likes him and is nervous.

(author’s note: this topic is kind of making my head spin.  I have more to say but haven’t sorted through all the thoughts, so I’m just going to forge ahead.)

(Ah, came back to this because I found an article that shows what I want to say)

This article, when women pursue sex, sums up some of the ideas I’m trying to get across:

 Bergner reports that preliminary research indicates women are most turned on by their partners’ desire for them. It’s easy to see how this could be misconstrued as passivity — especially because more than a century of conventional wisdom says women don’t like sex as much as men do. But if we accept Bergner’s radical thesis that women do, in fact, like to get off, and get off on being desired, the question of who pursues whom poses a real conundrum for single women.

Think about it: Women want sex, and in particular, they want sex with people who really want them. But socially, many straight men still find it a turnoff when women are sexual aggressors. Which means that, for women, aggressively pursuing the thing they want actually leads to them not getting it. I suspect this is the source of much sexual dissatisfaction of the modern single lady, who’s so horny she’s running across the street to Walgreens to buy more batteries twice a week, but is unable to pick up men despite social conventions that men are “easy” to bed and women have to be coaxed into casual sex. The thing women are told they can access any time is, maddeningly, often just out of reach.

Social Proof

So, how do I know if I’m attractive?  How do I know if others are attractive?

Well, this is pretty simple.   Social proof.

If people want to date you, you are probably hot.   Why?  Who knows, but take it as true, own it.

Conversely, if that person you are fawning over is dateless and lonely.  Maybe they aren’t as attractive to everyone else as they are to you.

I guess what I’m really trying to say here is, if you are pining away for a woman, think she is exquisite, but she’s alone.  No one else is chasing her, and all your friends don’t really get it, maybe you have more power in the situation than you think.  Kick her off that pedestal you put her on and take advantage of the authority you have.

 

 

Christian Girls Don’t Want to be Friends

This post is aimed at those of you out there in a Christian singles group or with lots of Christian single friends and you are beyond your high school years, in your 30s or 40s.

One of the tricky things when it comes to dating is being friends.  In high school and college girls constantly complain about their best friend trying to become more than friends.   There is a reason for this.

Balance of Power

In their late teens and early 20s, females are at the height of their sexual power.   Men are attracted to reproductive ability, and young women are much more likely, physically, to be fertile and produce viable offspring. (this is not mysoginistic, just purely objective biology)

Boys, on the other hand, are at the low point of their value.  Women are attracted to provision and protection.   Young men usually don’t have much ability to provide and less power than they will 10, 20, 30+ years later.

So the result is that with young girls, they want to be friends with their peers, but aren’t typically attracted to them.  They are attracted to the athletes and bad boys, the big and strong.

As we age, this balance of power shifts.  Women get less fertile, while men get more powerful, get bigger, stronger, get jobs, make connections.  This is what we see with many Christian single women, the ones that complain the guys won’t ask them out.   They are looking to be married, have children, and that window is closing.

Christian Singles Groups

Women, naturally, don’t want to make this lack of power obvious.   So, what happens when you have a Christian singles group?   It’s a complete meat market, but the women will NEVER admit it.  This is a conversation I had plenty of times.

Here is a breakdown of the typical Christian Singles group.

  1. A group of fun attractive Christian singles think it would be a great plan to have a Bible Study.
  2. People join, typically of lower value than the original members, because higher value people aren’t interested in anyone in the group.
  3. Gradually the top tier people pair off.
  4. Eventually, enough of the cool kids hook up and leave that the group becomes a bunch of people who don’t want to date each other and the group dissipates.

This cycle can take years or even decades, but it happens.  It’s outlined in the interesting book When Christian Singles Mingle: You’re Just One Hint Away from Attracting the Love of Your Life

But here’s the funny thing about older Christian Singles groups.  Most of the girls in that group don’t want to be friends.

Don’t Want to be Friends

This is something I personally witnessed.   In the group I was in the women were often shamelessly chasing the guys from the group.  The guys were trying to be Men of God, treat the women well, be friends and have fun.  The girls were constantly going after the guys shamelessly.

Then, when the top few guys left, the group fell apart.

After our group dissipated I had the majority of the women attempt to date me.   Women I thought had zero interest hit on me the next time I saw them.

This was a weird paradigm shift for me.   For my whole life women just wanted to be friends, didn’t want to date me.  All of a sudden I’m a hot commodity.

So, to summarize, if you are a guy in your 30s or 40s and you think that girl in your singles group is just wanting to be a friend – you are PROBABLY wrong.   Yes, there are a few, and there are a few that will play games, but the vast majority are just pretending to be your friend hoping that you will make a move on them.

Believe it.