I Am a Nice Guy With Little Dating Experience. How Do I Get a Woman to Go Out With Me?

Good Morning Evan,

I have a bit of a dilemma. I am almost 21 years old and I have only dated one woman in my life and I dated her for 4 years. She broke up with me in the summer of 2006. I’ve asked out several women since then, and they all rejected me. Just a few months ago I moved to Florida, and I’ve asked out two women and they both said no to me, too. I think I must be cursed. I feel scared to ask out any other women for fear of being rejected. The worst thing about this is that the last woman told me to never change who I am because I gave her a rose for New Year’s Eve. She said a man had not done that for her in a long time. But if she won’t go out with me, how can I be myself? In a way, I have an identity and a dating crisis.

I heard you were an expert, so how do I get a woman to go out with me?

Alex

Nice guys rarely do well with women, but it’s not BECAUSE they’re nice. It’s because they have no confidence.

Dear Alex,

Your crisis isn’t an identity crisis or dating crisis; it’s a confidence and perception crisis.

Your sample size of experience is so small that you’ve turned every tiny setback into a disproportionately large failure. This is impacting your perception of the world to view yourself through a prism in which you are “cursed”, “scared”, “rejected” and afraid all in one paragraph.

So let’s shake you out of this funk and set your record straight.

(This goes for any other reader – male or female – who has ever felt a lack of confidence in his/her ability to date. Dating failures are almost ALWAYS perception and confidence problems and not real problems.)

Okay, Alex. Your question says it all: “How do I get a woman to go out with me?”

The answer is: “You don’t. You become the man that she wants to go out with.”

It may sound like wordplay, but I assure you, it’s not. Our job as human beings is not to make anybody do anything. Every email I receive that says, “How do I make a man want to commit to me?” misses the point. You can’t make a man do anything. All you can do is be the kind of woman that makes a man never want to never leave. The focus is on who you are, not on how you want him to act.

Same for you, my rose-giving friend.

You’re a nice guy. Nice guys rarely do well with women, but it’s not BECAUSE they’re nice. It’s because they have no confidence. They don’t inspire, they ask permission. They don’t lead, they follow. They don’t trust their judgment, they want to see if their judgment is okay with their girlfriend. And they certainly don’t believe that they’re good enough to get any woman interested in them – they just feel fortunate to be in the conversation at all. In short, nice guys have to grow a set of balls.

This isn’t my opinion. This is me, as a dating coach, translating what I’ve heard from thousands of women. They don’t like bad boys BECAUSE they treat them poorly – they like them IN SPITE of it. Why? Because bad boys inspire, excite, lead and generally appear to have things all under control.

Seriously, bro, you’ve asked out TWO women in Florida who weren’t interested – and now you’re afraid you’re cursed?

Women want to be equals with men; they don’t want to be able to control us. The second they can control you, Alex, they’ve lost all respect for you.

I’m guessing that you’re sending out a pretty strong signal to women that they can control you. This is something that feeds on itself and has led you to this crisis of confidence. Seriously, bro, you’ve asked out TWO women in Florida who weren’t interested – and now you’re afraid you’re cursed?

By extension, a baseball player who hasn’t gotten a hit in his first two at-bats must fear he’ll never get a hit again. An oncologist who has lost two patients to cancer must consider hanging up his scrubs. And someone who is unemployed and sent out two resumes without a response should pretty much resign himself to a lifetime of unemployment.

This is what I mean by your lack of perspective.

I’m not making fun of you – not at all! I’m a guy who had to ask out three people before he got a prom date; a guy who didn’t lose his virginity until his sophomore year in college; a guy who didn’t have a relationship over a year until he got married. This stuff doesn’t come naturally to lots of folks, which is precisely why I still have a job. And I am living proof that you can learn – with considerable practice – how to understand the opposite sex. Your problem is that you are more focused on having the opposite sex understand you.

This is very common (especially for women, who should reread that last sentence.)

Instead of hoping that the opposite sex suddenly starts appreciating you, your focus should be on understanding what the opposite sex finds attractive and making small steps to becoming that person.

A nice guy can still be nice and do well with women.

A strong woman can still be strong and do well with men.

But something fundamentally has to change in your attitude, Alex, in order to make a breakthrough.

For the sake of brevity, I’d recommend three things:

1) Drop the idea that you’re a failure. Nobody wants to buy a car from a salesman who doesn’t believe in his own product. Your insecurity and negativity and fear is all over you.

2) Find a few guy friends who are good with women. Hang around them. Take mental notes. I remember the first time I did this and realized that my friend – the rush chair of his fraternity – was so great with girls simply because he didn’t hit on any of them. He was like the mayor of the party – getting everyone drinks, dancing with everyone, making everyone laugh. He was so NOT concerned with what anyone thought because it was HIS place; he could do no wrong. Make the world your place, Alex, and women are going to want to hang out there.

3) Get used to failure. Thomas Edison tried 10,000 different ways before inventing the light bulb. Maybe he should have just stopped at 2 because he was “cursed”. Every successful person has failed at something. Most of us have failed a lot more than that.

And if you’re reading this and saying to yourself, “This makes sense, but HOW do I make these changes to develop more confidence and perspective?”, http://www.evanmarckatz.com/coaching/. You’re probably a lot closer to success than you even realize. You just need a little push.

Good luck.

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Comments:

  1. 1
    Michael

    Is this an exact solution?

  2. 2
    mic

    It could be many things. It’s probably many things. Generally, it involves appearance. If anyone doubts that, imagine a “bad boy.” He looks masculine, doesn’t he? Having had a relationship before is a good sign, but still appearance likely is a factor. Single women don’t reject out of hand guys who are nice to them and sexually appealing to them.

  3. 3
    Karl R

    Alex said:
    “I feel scared to ask out any other women for fear of being rejected.”

    That’s the attitude that will cause you to fail at dating.
    There are a few differences that will allow you to succeed:

    1) Don’t take rejection personally.
    What percentage of women in your city would you date? 5%? 1%? Does that make them horrible undateable women? Do you think every woman in the world should be interested in dating you? If not, why do you assume that you’re undateable just because several women weren’t interested?

    2) It won’t kill you if you get hurt.
    I’ve been turned down, broken up with and cheated on. None of it killed me. I’d rather run the risk of getting hurt again than stop dating altogether.

    3) Dating is a learned skill.
    You can “be yourself”. You just need to learn a new skill. I can be myself while learning how to confidently ask a woman for her phone number, ask her out on an interesting date and carry on a comfortable conversation while on a date.

    4) Broaden your definition of “success”.
    You need to practice the skills you learn. If you get an opportunity to practice, that’s a success. It might not be the kind you want, but it will eventually lead to more success.

    I used to be nervous on first dates. In 2007 I went on 10 first dates. Only 3 led to second dates. But by the end of that year, I no longer felt nervous on first dates.

    5) It’s okay to be nervous.
    You can be nervous, scared or even terrified of dating. That’s okay … as long as you don’t let it keep you from dating.

  4. 4
    Lance

    Grow a set of balls. Doh! That just happened.

    I would recommend a couple of things:
    1. Read The Game. Don’t take it as gospel, but understand that there are things you can do.

    2. Go out for 30 days/nights straight and talk to everyone you see. This is social skills bootcamp and every 21-year-old hopeless romantic male needs to do this.

    3. Talk to 100′s, even 1000′s, of women with no agenda and no interest whatsoever in the outcome. Talk to people simply to get to know them and impart your own value. Dates will happen.

    By the end of that process, you’ll never have to worry about getting dates again.

    Lance´s last blog post…Spring Chicken: Birthday Celebrations!

  5. 5
    Joe

    4) Don’t take it personally when they say “no.”

  6. 6
    mic

    It would be good to know what’s a normal success rate for an average young guy, re asking women out. To know when an underlying problem should be suspected. There is some data on Internet dating, but that’s not relevant to the blog entry.

    Also, will any women fess up to the role of appearance in not granting first dates?

  7. 7
    kenley

    Yes, Mic, appearance is very important to women just as it is to men. Men don’t typically want to date women they find unattractive, and women don’t typically want to date men they find unattractive. However, as has been mentioned on this blog several times, attractive women are much more likely to date unattractive men than vice versa.

  8. 8
    happygirl

    Do not take it personally if a woman does not want go out with you. Keep on trying and be confident about yourself. I met and dated in 2 and a half years time 16 guys. It was not easy in the beginning. I just got out of a long relationship and so was still a bit uncertain and had no experience in dating for such a long time. Over time progressively the men who I went out with were more serious and quality guys.
    I had a choice to either feel “scared” and give in to feelings of rejection, because some guys were just not into me, or keep a positive outlook. I kept on dating and meeting men and and learning and gaining experience. I did the latter. I would suggest you do the same.
    I also read a lot of books and advice colums such as Evan’s to see what I could do to see dating in a different way and learn to take a different approach.

    Good luck

  9. 9
    the foreigner

    @mic

    Success rate is dependent on two things:
    1) how many that are interested in you
    2) how well you can judge that interest

    You can have a very high success rate by simply learning how to tell when they’re interested. Or more precisely, being able to see what they are interested in. Casual talk, friendship, the drink you’re buying them or maybe a first date. Even if you may end up not placing as many bets, every bet is a win. Fewer let-downs boosts your confidence.

  10. 10
    Karl R

    mic said: (#6)
    “It would be good to know what’s a normal success rate for an average young guy, re asking women out.”

    If you figure out a way to determine this, let us know.

    My odds change a lot depending on the environment. If I’m in a bar my odds are probably pretty low. If I’m out dancing, my odds are pretty good.

    mic said: (#6)
    “will any women fess up to the role of appearance in not granting first dates?”

    From what I can tell, appearance is about as important to women as it is to men. My conversations with women support this.

  11. 11
    Jonsi

    @mic, it’s not healthy to compare yourself to a “normal” success rate, because such a thing does not exist. Many men who ARE successful, for example, simply learn earlier in the process when to bail. Do you still count talking to those women as at bats? More women are going to say no than yes. People who are “good” will still be rejected 2/3 times.

    I like Lance’s suggestions. When first getting into the dating game, your first time ever or after a relationship, the best thing to do is focus on becoming a more social being. There is nothing wrong with inviting these women out as friends at this stage in developing dating confidence, especially at 21 years old. In fact, most relationships at that age develop out of friendships and when I first started dating and targeted women at that age, the ones I was friends with actually thought it was weird and uncomfortable when men invited them on dates (especially the coffee/dinner/movie variety). Ultimately, you want to LEAD and not be friends, but like Lance said: get to know them and invite them into your life, with NO AGENDA. Be outcome independent. Doing that will increase your social circle and your social confidence and the dates will fall into your lap. You never want to single out one woman who you crush on and befriend her with an ulterior motive; you do want to find a bunch of women you find fun and attractive and becomes friends with them.

    Being a new guy in the city, that is an ADVANTAGE for increasing the number of women in your life. People are almost always receptive to inviting you to social events if you alert them that you are the new guy and are looking to meet new people.

  12. 13
    Treifalicious

    Yes, appearance is VERY important in the granting of first dates. Women are conditioned to SAY that men’s appearance is not important, and men seem to have this idea that they don’t need to be attractive, that they just need to have money or something. But believe you me, if a fat, unattractive man with tons of money asked me out, the answer would still be no.

    Also, why doesnt anyone write advice for women in how to get asked out by men she actually wants to go out with? Since it clearly doesn’t pay for women to make the first move with men (as a man not asking a woman out first is clearly an a priori rejection by the male, apparently) and women must wait for men to approach them, then it means that women might often get attention from men they are not interested in. If the only men who approach you are men you aren’t especially attracted to 90% of the time, how can women attract men they actually WANT to date (as opposed to those they allow to date them because they are bored/lonely/want some kind of action)?

    Is the answer just to be hot and let things take care of themselves? What if you are a woman at a party a hotter woman is in the room? Should you just forget about it since all the guys will be crowded around the hottie? How can women pretend to be interested in the men that step to them because they can’t get the hottie they really wanted?

  13. 14
    Steve

    Alex;

    You might find this rant about “nice guys” written by a woman on the Heartless Bitch site useful. It expands upon Evan’s point not to confuse being “nice” with being “insecure”. It is a bit harsh but it says a lot of things that need to be said and that are useful:

    http://heartless-bitches.com/rants/niceguys/niceguys.shtml

    I second Lance’s recommendation of reading “The Game” by Neil Strauss. I wouldn’t take it literally or read other stuff in that venue, but use Strauss’ study as food for thought.

  14. 15
    Karl R

    Treifalicious said: (#13)
    “it clearly doesn’t pay for women to make the first move with men”

    I disagree with that. Of the women I dated last year, I dated one specifically because I knew she was very interested in dating me. It didn’t work out (she was a bit on the young side, and was a little immature for her age), but I wouldn’t have asked her out at all if she hadn’t made her interest blatantly obvious.

    “What if you are a woman at a party a hotter woman is in the room? Should you just forget about it since all the guys will be crowded around the hottie?”

    If there is a woman at the party who is so hot that all the men are crowded around her, I’m immediately going to be chatting up the 2nd, 3rd and 4th hottest women. There’s a scene in “A Beautiful Mind” that explains why it’s not in my best interest to make a fool out of myself by chasing the super-hottie. I’ll do much better by ignoring her and being seen as sociable and friendly with all the other attractive women who are receiving less attention.

    Furthermore, “hotness” is not the only important attribute. I want a woman who is smart and funny … and also attractive. I’m really looking for the smart & funny women … and then I’ll chase the hottest of those.

    “If the only men who approach you are men you aren’t especially attracted to 90% of the time, how can women attract men they actually WANT to date”

    Let’s say 90% of the men who approach you are unattractive. That implies the other 10% are attractive.

    What’s the problem with that? If you can get 20 men to approach you in an evening, then you can pick between the two who you like.

    If guys think that you’re approachable, more of them will approach you. You can be sociable and polite without being flirtatious to most of the 90%. That will help you seem approachable.

    “why doesnt anyone write advice for women in how to get asked out by men she actually wants to go out with?”

    It’s really simple. Figure out what kind of man you want. Find out where those type of men hang out. Figure out what those men are looking for. Be that kind of person.

    For example, if you want to date someone who is a good dancer, learn the places where all the best dancers hang out. And since all the good dancers want to dance with other good dancers, you’ll need to become a good enough dancer to where they enjoy dancing with you.

  15. 16
    Evan Marc Katz

    why doesnt anyone write advice for women in how to get asked out by men she actually wants to go out with?

    Karl’s right. Most women ask why the “wrong” men ask her out, or where the “good” men hang out. This is missing the point.

    Be the woman that the “good” men want and they will respond to you EVERYWHERE – at the bank, at the DMV, at a party, and online.

    If the men you want aren’t responding to you, you aren’t who they want in return. Maybe it’s about looks, but that’s a small piece of the puzzle. Get on my mailing list for an email tomorrow about Rachel Greenwald’s new book, “Why He Didn’t Call You Back”…

    http://www.evanmarckatz.com/newsletter.html

  16. 17
    mic

    Looking “hot” is the wrong approach to take if trying to be approached by the right guy. Attractive with class is more like it. Undoubtedly, some female expert has written about it. How to entice through body language is out there, actually.

    As for men, it still would be nice to have numbers, even though yes they probably vary depending on the individual and how well he gauges interest. 30 consecutive rejections – something is wrong, correct? Karl, will you share your own numbers, as best as you can recall them? One thing is clear – often “rich” without “famous” or exclusive access doesn’t help, because visible signs of wealth aren’t very reliable.

  17. 18
    mic

    Also, before getting to a clever new question, it was good to get so many answers to the one aimed at women.

    Now, this might be top-secret territory, but what are the specific tricks women consciously use to quickly discourage romantic interest in undesirable (probably physically so) males who have gotten them into conversation? “I have a boyfriend”? “Excuse me, I need to visit the ladies’ room”?

  18. 19
    Karl R

    mic asked: (#17)
    “Karl, will you share your own numbers, as best as you can recall them?”

    A little less than a year ago my last exclusive relationship ended. I wasn’t doing any online dating during that period until a few days ago.

    In person:
    There were 10 women that I asked for phone numbers or e-mail addresses. I got them from 9 of them.

    Of the 9, I asked 8 of them out.

    Of the 8, I went on first (and second) dates with 5 of them.

    Of the 5, I decided that I was interested in pursuing an exclusive relationship with 2 of them, though I did continue to date a couple of the others for a few months … primarily because I like having company when I go to shows. (As discussed in another thread, those ladies were aware of the situation.)

    Of the 2 ladies that I was interested in pursuing an exclusive relationship with, neither became an exclusive relationship.

    And as Jonsi (#11) indicated, a lot of my success comes from reading signals before while I’m talking/flirting.

    Online:
    In the 4 days I’ve been back on match.com, I’ve sent 2 e-mails and received 1 reply.

    mic asked: (#18)
    “what are the specific tricks women consciously use to quickly discourage romantic interest in undesirable (probably physically so) males”

    The most common one is that they will avoid eye contact to discourage the man from coming up and initiating a conversation in the first place.

  19. 20
    A-L

    Karl, your stats definitely aren’t going to make the OP feel any better! :) But another question for you: What percentage of women have you been interested in getting to know better but you picked up the cues from them that they weren’t interested? Because it’s quite possible the OP here isn’t picking up those signals.

  20. 22
    Selena

    I also liked Lance’s suggestions of talking to as many people as you can, without an agenda. It’s a great way to get over shyness and develop social confidence. And confidence is what both men and women find attractive in potential dates.

    I also liked Jonsie’s suggestion of inviting women out as friends. When I was young I felt more comfortable going on dates that involved a group of people at first vs. the one on one type (eg; dinner/movie). The advantage of this is that it gives you and your date the opportunity to talk with others if you’re nervous or worry you will run out of things to talk about with each other.

  21. 23
    Selena

    mic #18

    I’ve used the “I’ve got a boyfriend” technique before. Effective and requires no further explanation as to “why” you are not interested making it more awkward for both parties. Only useful though if it’s unlikely the guy will find out that you don’t actually have a boyfriend and catch you out for the liar you are lol!

    I was having a drink with a girl friend once when a guy came up and started hitting on her. She looked straight at him and said bluntly, “I’m not interested.” He looked a little sheepish, said “ok” and shuffled away. I looked at her and said, “Wow. That was direct, I just would have told the guy I had boyfriend.”

    She said, “I have my big girl pants on today. Though I did consider telling him I was gay.” (She isn’t) Then she said, “Oops!” and smiled.
    The guy sitting behind me had overheard her remark and was laughing. We started talking to him and he and I ended up dating.

    Generally though, I think more subtle cues are avoiding eye contact, turning away to engage someone else in conversation, or sometimes simply saying “I’m not in the market right now.”

    I feel for guys having to take most of the risk of rejection, but if you are a “nice girl” you don’t want to hurt the guy’s feelings if you aren’t interested by saying something that could come across as rude. Hence the popularity of the I-have-a-boyfriend blow off.

  22. 24
    vino

    “I Am a Nice Guy With Little Dating Experience. How Do I Get a Woman to Go Out With Me?”

    Don’t sweat it now, at age 21. Focus on school. Get a good career from school. Have a balanced life with friends, hobbies interests. Be physically fit and healthy.

    Don’t worry – you do those things. They’ll find you. Then you can weed them out.

  23. 25
    mic

    Karl is good-looking and has skills, it seems. Thanks for the particulars.

    Avoidance of eye contact isn’t always a sign of disinterest, though. Shy women just don’t make much eye contact. But that goes back to the idea of why some women complain about being approached by the wrong guys.

  24. 26
    Sayanta

    what are the specific tricks women consciously use to quickly discourage romantic interest in undesirable (probably physically so) males?

    The most common one is that they will avoid eye contact to discourage the man from coming up and initiating a conversation in the first place.”

    I have REALLY got to work on this- I do a lot of breaking eye contact with men I’m interested in- only because I’m so nervous. So, if the woman’s anything like me, it’s not that she’s not interested, but she may be breaking eye contact because she’s nervous or doesn’t want to seem desperate. I know this probably doesn’t make the guys feel that much better, but just wanted to give my input.

  25. 27
    Michael

    Also, why doesnt anyone write advice for women in how to get asked out by men she actually wants to go out with?
    The easiest way for women to be asked out by men they actually want to go out with is…..

    ….to ask out men that they actually want to go out with.

  26. 28
    Karl R

    A-L asked: (#20)
    “What percentage of women have you been interested in getting to know better but you picked up the cues from them that they weren’t interested?”

    I couldn’t begin to tell you. It’s normal for me to do what Lance (#4) suggested: “Talk to 100′s, even 1000′s, of women with no agenda and no interest whatsoever in the outcome.”

    Through dancing I’ve met at least a few hundred women. Through yoga, a few dozen. At church, dozens more. Many of these women are unavailable (married or otherwise taken), too old, too young, not what I’m looking for, etc. If I’m asking a woman to dance, my “agenda” is getting a dance partner for the next 3-6 minutes.

    I will try to figure out whether a woman is what I’m interested in, and whether she’s interested in me. But it’s a lot more important for me to remember the former than the latter. Her interest in me can change.

    mic said: (#25)
    “Karl is good-looking and has skills, it seems.”

    I’m some women’s type. I’m tall, thin, fit and pale; I wear glasses, have a baby face and a slightly receded hairline. If a woman wants the “manly man” look, she’ll have to go elsewhere.

    But I don’t have to be Hugh Jackman. If 1 woman in 5 finds me attractive (or 1 in 10, or 1 in 20), that’s sufficient.

    The main skill that I learned over the last few years (which has made a world of difference) was how to play to my strengths.

    mic said: (#25)
    “Shy women just don’t make much eye contact.”

    There’s a difference, but it’s hard to explain.

  27. 29
    MindMetrics

    You know, Twitter might do Alex some good. The same rules apply there as in the dating world! If you aren’t participating as a thoughtful community member, and simply try to push your agenda – you’ll be rejected (people won’t follow). You’ll learn timing – the art of when and how to bring up your agenda. You’ll get feedback on your approach – are followers increasing or decreasing. You can work on your approach – almost like a science experiment – Twitter provides volume (so your sample size will be large).

    Just a thought!

  28. 30
    mic

    Karl, your “world of difference” – how much more success with women (numbers, please) with presumably little change in appearance? Also, because appearance’s importance probably varies according to age, you and the women in question are how old?

    Concerning eye contact – looking away and looking back is more likely shyness than disinterest. Whether it’s done with a frown or not probably means a lot.

    Also, “I have a boyfriend” is not appreciated by men. “Then why are you here in this place without him?” Surely there is a better method. Even a sweet-sounding “Thanks, but no” might be better.

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