Sunday, 16 December 2012

The 5 worst bits of advice on dating...and what would be more helpful

I don't like to be negative, but I'm going to say a few words about the rubbish advice I frequently hear on confidence and dating. I'm all for practical, useable advice - but if you're trying to help someone out, please steer clear of the following.

1. " Nice guys finish last, try being a bit of an asshole."
I often think when people say this, they just mean you should be confident. But if that is the case, why not just say 'be confident?'

This isn't helpful advice, because I can't 'be an asshole', any more than I can 'be french', or 'be italian'. I can only be myself.

2. "Get immersed in hobbies, and work out. You will get confident and meet women along the way."
I play in two bands, and I have been working out for years. I am alone.

Yes, having a life is important. But people don't throw themselves at you, just because you are in shape or you have hobbies. You still need confidence in order to approach people, and talk to them.

Hobbies don't help. Yes, I am good at playing the guitar, but what does that have to do with women? They are not connected. How crazy would it sound if someone said, 'women are attracted to you, so you should be confident at playing the guitar?.'  And what if my hobby is stamp collecting, will immersing myself in that have chicks all over me? It's nonsense.

3. "Learn to like yourself. Confidence comes from within."

Actually, I do like myself. But so what? That doesn't give me confidence with regards to women. Confidence comes from being good at something.

And while we're at it, saying 'learn to like yourself' is about as useful as a stethescope in a graveyard. Changing your self-image is a complicated psychological process, which takes time. It's not something you just decide to do, like giving up cheese.

4. " Girls like sensitive guys"
 No, they like boyfriends who are sensitive to them. They don't want some guy they just met to be all sensitive. This can be proved with a simple experiment. I'll go and stand in a bar and start crying, and we'll count how many single women come over and thrust their phone numbers into my hand.

5."The best chat-up line is 'Hello'."
Anyone who thinks this has never tried just saying hello to someone, only to be stared at awkwardly. 'Hello' is just a noise that indicates 'I am about to say other things to you, please listen.' It has to be followed by something.

 What would be more helpful?

Tell us what to do, instead of what to be
When people say things like 'be confident' and 'be yourself', it's too vague to be meaningful. 

If you were to say 'speak in a confident way', or 'tell her how you feel', that would be far more helpful. Telling guys that 'being an asshole is attractive' is just confusing. Do you really want guys to be assholes? Or do you want us to tease you and say funny things, with some kind of mock-asshole tone?

Be specific
How exactly do you learn  to like yourself, or be confident? Do you blow kisses at yourself in the mirror every morning? There has to be an actual method.

Try and look at our situation from the perspective of a stranger
I find that women in particular are bad at giving advice, because they don't do this. If you're a woman who is friends with me, of course I can just say 'hello' and get into a conversation with you. But to a stranger that doesn't know me, I could be anybody. They don't know if I'm some weirdo who is going to bother them all night, or not. Tell us a line that got some strange guy into a conversation with you.



  1. Hello is a great way to start a conversation. You just have to follow it up with an actual conversation. Honestly, if you can carry a good conversation and end it by asking for her number, you will get dates. A good guide for conversational tips:

  2. Good to see a Redditor here. Thanks for posting