Completely. Just completely.
Most men have completely lost the concept of attraction. Or rather attracting.
There is a stubborn sense of entitlement that has infiltrated our language when it comes to romance.
How can I get a girlfriend?
I want to get married.
How can I get girls to message me online?
I can’t get this girl to text me back.
I need to get laid.
See the pattern? Get.
Whether in real life or fiction, we see examples of other men getting they want –or rather what you want– we assume due to our jealously we should also be entitled.
And we should get it without effort or strategy. We think like cavemen. Because attraction is absent, we go out with our cavemen clubs (also known as a fancy dinner date and just being there on a date but being there very awkwardly) and try to hit the cavegirls on their heads, so we can drag them back to our cavehomes.
When this doesn’t happen, we get shocked, angry, bitter, and/or depressed. Or perhaps this is too familiar for us, so we don’t even try anymore.
No wonder we fail.
Just a late night thought. Don’t mind me.
Why Men Fail on Dates
It takes two to tango, they say. So it must be both men and women at fault when dating fails, right?
As much as I want to rant about the illogical behavior of the female gender –specifically, the attractive ones who didn’t return my calls– I wouldn’t feel right in doing so. (Hmph, their loss.)
Instead, I want to explore why my own kind, single men, fail on dates. Where do I even begin? Many reasons come to mind:
We’re scared. We’re desperate. We’re not confident enough. We just want to get laid. We’re not direct enough. We don’t try hard enough. Or we try too hard. We don’t take initiative. We’re being too nice. We need to be funny or talented or both. We need to dress better. We don’t have game.
The list goes on. How can we make sense of all this?
After much unscientific observations and a couple of Bud Light Limes, I organized all the reasoning behind men’s dating failures. Every legitimate explanation why a man trips up on a date will fall into one of these categories.
Men Fail because We Lack Passion
If you’re a passionate man, you show energy, drive, emotion, and charisma. You’re interesting, animated, bright, and engaging. You are good company.
It doesn’t mean you’re loud, obnoxious, talkative, or arrogant. You’re humble and grateful, not only for a date with a cute girl, but for everything and for everyone in life. Passion doesn’t come automatically to any man, but if you discipline yourself in a positive and prudent direction, you will keep the fire going. Your passion will draw people, including attractive young ladies.
You might be guilty of being dull, quiet or “normal” on a date. Instead of channeling your inner Clint Eastwood (cool and serious), but perhaps you need to be more like Anderson Cooper (smart and adventurous) or Will Ferrell (hilarious and shameless). As a man, you need to find what makes you passionate, develop it, and express this side of you on a date.
[You might think, ‘Anderson Cooper? He’s gay.’ Then I would sternly reply, “Regardless, he is more masculine than half the guys I know.”]
What excites you? Is it humor? Intellect? Ambition? Is it art or music or both? Is it good food and drinks? Is it the people you love? Do you strive for stability or adventure? Whatever it is, make it yours and make it shine.
You can’t instantly become confident or funny for a date, but passion is all about desire. Show some life and energy on your next date and she’ll realize you’re a rare gem.
Quick-Fix Tip: Down a Red Bull before you head out to the date. It’s artificial, but it’s better than being dull or boring with the girl.
Men Fail because We Lack Awareness
In basketball, a crucial non-physical skill of a point guard is court vision. It’s the ability to see what is really happening between the two teams, catching the details, and focusing on the important stuff. Even if he isn’t the most prolific scorer, the point guard with great in-game awareness can lead his team to victory. Magic Johnson comes to mind.
How is awareness important on a date? Maybe the girl enjoys your passionate energy, but you need to tone it down a little and start asking her questions about herself. Or perhaps she can’t have enough of your goofball jokes and you should crank it up. Or the venue you two met flat-out sucks and you need to walk out to somewhere else. None of this happens without awareness.
I’m not talking about being sensitive. Women may say they want a sensitive man, but they’re confused. What they actually want is a man who is aware and takes action accordingly. Sensitivity is an emotion that comes and goes, but awareness is a skill of noticing details and deciding which to ignore and which to grasp.
Every man is detailed oriented. Sports, cars, video games, cinema— You’re probably a man very knowledgeable in at least one of these topics, along with others. There is also your job where you retain endless details. On occasion people might accuse you of being lazy with details, but that is not true because you’re just being lazy. It’s that certain set of details that didn’t interest you, unfortunately.
Be aware. Keep a habit of observing not only on dates but people in general. You can even ask, “What do you think? How do you feel about this?” to either confirm or reject your observations. You’ll notice things on a date you haven’t before.
Quick-Fix Tip: Make mental notes while on a date. As soon as the date ends or when she slips out for the restroom, write down the notes on your phone. What does she like? What is she wearing? What activities did she do recently? Bring these details up later and she will notice that you take notice.
Men Fail because We Lack Leadership
Adam took Maggie to a driving range for their first date, because he knew she liked to play golf. Maggie was impressed by Adam for his idea and excited for the date, but there was just one thing: Adam never played golf in his life.
Maggie couldn’t stop grimacing at Adam’s clumsy swing. She suggested a couple of pointers but Adam furiously refused any help. ‘Why did we even come here if he doesn’t play golf? And why he is a jerk about learning?’ she wondered in frustration. When his driver flung out from his hands and onto the range the third time, she had seen enough and asked Adam if they could leave. This was not fun.
Adam, Adam, Adam. He had the passion (suggesting something active and unique for a first date) and the awareness (taking advantage of learning Maggie’s hobbies) but… what the hell was he thinking?! It’s not that Adam didn’t have a plan, but his plan was poor and his execution was even worse. Adam failed in leadership.
Leadership represents sensible planning and decision-making, taking the appropriate initiative, understanding the goal, and flexibility to changes. Or in simpler terms, a leader leads.
Don’t confuse leadership with power-trip. Just because you’re a man on the date certainly doesn’t mean you have “authority” and the woman must follow unconditionally. On the contrary, you lead by creating a thoroughly comfortable and enjoyable context for the lady.
If she’s shy, you should talk a little more. If things are going well, you can step it up by going to another venue and holding her hand as you two walk. If it’s getting late, you should be the first to call it a night. It is this unwritten code within a date where the man is given an implicit leadership role. Too often a guy does things mindlessly and gets stumped by the girl’s unpleasant reaction, instead of making better decisions at the right time.
Leadership in dating from men puts women at ease, giving room for fun and attraction. If you play it right, she might take her own initiative and ask you out for the second date.
Quick-Fix Tip: Instead of meeting a date for dinner or lunch, try drinks, coffee, or tea. It takes less planning, everyone enjoys a good beverage, and it’s much cheaper. If you set it on a weekend afternoon, you and the date can even take a stroll afterwards.
It’s All You, Man
When you develops these three tools—passion, awareness, and leadership— dating will no longer be a mystery or a burden. You will see they actually help and balance each other.
Dating will become fun and satisfying, because by then most of the groundwork has been done in a domain so familiar:
Spit Stutter & Sulk
The other day I saw a speck of whiteness fly off from my mouth when I spoke.
Actually when I sp-spoke.
It’s like I’m right back to where I began. In sixth grade. I’m 31 for myself’s sake.
I want to hide in my room for a bajillion years. Just give me a box of Wheat Thins.