October 21, 2013 / 3 Dating Mistakes You Don’t Even Know You Are Making
Here are 3 of the most common dating mistakes men make, and don't realize it.
I constantly witness men making the same mistakes when they’re on a date with a woman. I can’t remember the last time I was out and I didn’t see someone making one of these mistakes.
I’m not talking about the basics of outer game that you’ve probably heard about before, like "not making enough eye contact." These mistakes are more insidious because they’re not immediately apparent, even though they’re just as correctable.
Yet while these mistakes may be obvious to me, it’s very possible you’re making them over and over again. Let’s go through the three most common mistakes I observe, and what you can do to correct them.
This is classically known as "trying too hard." It’s very easy for me to see someone "over-gaming," because they’re usually talking loudly and making exaggerating hand gestures. They’re not acting like they’re on a date, they’re taking a concept like "cocky-funny" to an absurd level by literally running a standup comedy routine in front of a one-woman audience.
If you’re on a date with a woman, don’t do this. Yes, women like social guys who can make them laugh. If you’re inclined to be introverted or passive, I can understand why you may feel like you need to "step it up on a date," lest the girl think you’re boring and uninteresting. And I’m sure you already know how meaningless advice like "be yourself" is, because clearly just ‘being yourself’ wasn’t bringing you the satisfaction you wanted in your dating life to begin with.
So while it’s not a bad idea to "open your personality up" on a date, the problem with over-gaming is that you’re no longer engaging in a natural conversation and finding out more about her and what she finds attractive. When you’re over-gaming, you’re just focusing on putting on a performance… which makes it all the more likely you won’t even notice the horrified expressions she makes as you’re going into routines about how your boss is an idiot or how bad airline food is.
The fix: "Be yourself" is meaningless, but the phrase I like to use is "stay within yourself." You want to be "on," but if you distance the way you behave too much from your actual personality, it will be painfully obvious to her. If you’re saying things or acting the way you never would around anyone else, that’s a good indicator you’re not staying within yourself.
Changing Your Dating Approach Based on How Much You Like Her
I see men who are otherwise successful at meeting and dating women do this all the time. They’ll meet a woman who is exceptionally attractive, and totally forget everything that have made them successful at dating women in the first place. Much of dealing with women is about confidence and overcoming rejection, but when they have an opportunity with a truly exceptional woman, they revert to thinking, "oh man, I really don’t want to screw this up with her!" and go revert to fearing rejection.
Usually this manifests as the man being more passive then he otherwise would be. There is hesitation at every level of escalation, because he’s afraid of said escalation being rejected. This passivity usually results in the woman losing interest and the guy chalking it up to her being "out of his league."
The fix: Your dating approach should always be focused on finding out what attracts her and making yourself as attractive to her as possible. When it comes to your approach and at every level of escalation, your feelings should literally be irrelevant. This isn’t to say you should never adapt or adjust your approach; only that if you do adapt or adjust, it should be always be based on her feelings, not yours.
Not Escalating Enough
A lot of guys find themselves in this scenario: things are going well with the girl they’re dating, they’ve gone out on a couple dates, everything seems to be going well… and then the girl starts acting distant or just flat out goes cold. The guy then tediously mentally reconstructs every moment of all their dating, wondering where "he went wrong" and why this woman that was otherwise into him has seemingly lost interest.
If this is ever happened to you, you can save yourself a lot of time by realizing that 90% of the time this happens, the problem is failing to escalate. Sometimes this is because the guy didn’t even realize there was an opportunity to escalate, and sometimes this is because the guy consciously knew he had an opportunity, but failed to make a move. Either way, it’s important to recognize that opportunities to escalate are rarely cut-and-dry. There are literally a thousand different ways you can talk yourself out of not making a move. "We have friends in common"; "She said she wanted to take it slow."; "I really like her and don’t want to push it."
The fix: Again, this usually stems from a fear of rejection. The key is that while escalating and getting shot down sucks, within moments, it’s completely liberating. You know exactly where you stand with this girl, you know she’s not interested, and now you can invest your time and energy into other women. Compare that versus how you feel when she drifts away, and you’re racked with confusion or regret. Women rarely telegraph their feelings, but their reaction to your attempts to escalate is the one of the surest ways to figure out how they feel about you.
While the bad news is that it’s very possible you’re making these mistakes without even realizing it, the good news is that it’s very correctable. Consider your approach, make sure you’re following the guidelines I’ve given in my fixes, and you’ll soon see a dramatic improvement in your dating success. It’s really that simple.