Posted by Some Dude on February 15, 2011 at 5:00 pm
Hi all! You may know me as a prolific commenter on HarvardFML; this is my new and improved means of doling out relationship advice! Got a question you want to ask, or a situation you want thoughts and advice on? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, and watch this space for my answer!
In terms of attractiveness, most women are probably aware of their biggest shortcomings, and those biggest shortcomings are generally not easy to change. Most men, on the other hand, can probably change their biggest shortcomings, but most have no idea what they are or how to change them.
Many men think that, since they find physical attractiveness fairly overriding, that women do too. Except women don’t. You’ve seen hot girls dating guys who aren’t anything to write home about; the reverse is much rarer. Many guys have also been taught from a very young age to be nice to girls, and in lots of us this is so deeply ingrained that we expect girls to be attracted to guys who are nice to them – and we even behave as if we believe it without consciously believing it. Many girls believe and say that they’re attracted to niceness, even if their own behavior routinely contradicts it. Many guys, because they would welcome communications of interest from girls, think that communicating interest creates attraction.
I think it’s misconceptions like this that lead men to believe that women are fickle and that romance is a crapshoot. Women are not fickle as a rule – not more than anyone else, at least. And romance is not a crapshoot if you know how it works.
What are women attracted to?
Women tend to be attracted to men who are more confident, more interesting, more fun, and so on, than they themselves are. Notice anything about those? They’re all personality traits. And guys who have them come off as very masculine. Women are attracted to masculine personality traits. And if you know what women like, it’s not difficult to become what women like.
Pass litmus tests. Most women are not attracted to slobs. Shower, brush your teeth, use deodorant, wash your hair, dress reasonably, and so on. There’s still plenty of space for your own style there: if you’re going for rugged, you can be rugged; if you’re going for dapper, you can be dapper. I recommend looks with broad appeal – for instance, short hair is hardly ever a dealbreaker, but long hair can be.
Your identity has been changing constantly and somewhat directionlessly ever since you became aware you had one. It’s time to take control of it. Now we get to the personality bit. How do you embody a mature, confident, masculine personality? It’s a lot easier than it sounds.
Avoid being submissive. For instance, don’t dart a surreptitious glance and hope the girl you were looking at didn’t notice. Turn your head and look at her. (Her face, not her cleavage.) Let her notice you looking! Don’t be embarrassed. Wait for her to break eye contact first. Why were you so afraid of doing that before? So many guys are irrationally afraid of so much as being caught looking at a girl – by being unafraid, you mark yourself as different, confident, and independent. And once you realize that there’s no negative consequence, it can be quite liberating.
Slow down your walk, your motions, and your words – you don’t need to rush to meet the world, the world should wait on you. Be deliberate. Lean back, not forward, when you’re sitting. Hold your head high, chest forward, and shoulders back – but not stiff. That may not come easily at first; correct your posture every time you cross any door’s threshold, and it’ll become habit after a few weeks.
When you can, phrase things dominantly. I’ve mentioned before that “Come get coffee with me” is a better way to ask a girl out than “Would you like to get coffee with me?”, and this is exactly why: it projects confidence and helps you overcome insecurity.
Be funny and full of yourself. Imagine you’re with close friends: you can tease each other without fear of seeming mean, you can put on airs without fear of seeming condescending. Everyone just enjoys it. Now do that with women. Words cannot describe how fantastically this works, and it works even better if she can’t tell for sure if you’re joking or not. By conventional logic, this should be a turn-off, but it’s not; there’s something magical at the intersection of incorrigible goofball and jerk. It shows you’re interesting, it shows you’re confident, it shows you’re masculine. Like looking directly at a girl, this is something that most guys are afraid to do, and doing it marks you as different from other guys. And once you try it, you’ll realize that the negative consequences you feared just don’t materialize. It’s much easier to do than you think; once you manage it once, managing it repeatedly gets much easier.
Be interesting. Have something to say. Nothing kills attraction like boredom, and nothing is more boring than awkward silence. If smalltalk doesn’t come easily to you, have several ideas ahead of time – enough that if you forget half of them (which you probably will) you’ll still be okay. What you say doesn’t need to be catchy or unique; it can be perfectly ordinary, but you need to have something. That may sound intimidating, but if you think about it, it’s actually quite liberating: it’s better to say something wrong than to say nothing at all, so all your worries about saying the right thing can go out the window. If you do happen to say something really wrong, you can always shrug it off. When in doubt, just be funny and full of yourself.
This is one of the reasons why planning what to do on a date is more important than you’d think. You want to be doing something that has lots of built-in conversation that can be made funny and memorable fairly easily, so you’re not under so much pressure to think on your feet. Window-shopping in tourist traps can be a surprisingly good date, because you get a constant parade of knickknacks tourists buy (or even tourists themselves) to snark about. Conversation over dinner and a movie is much more forced and offers lots more opportunities to fall flat.
Have you noticed what I haven’t mentioned? I haven’t mentioned that you should hold doors open to women and other such small niceties. Why? They don’t help. Women sometimes say they want nice dependable boyfriends who will lavish them with praise and attention, but they’ll reliably fall for independent guys who seem not to care what women think of them.
This is why knowing how to be more attractive is so difficult: if you ask women what they want, they will usually tell you what they think they should find attractive, not what they actually find attractive. Both men and women tend to be in the dark on that. Once you know, actually becoming attractive is quite easy.
Special thanks to Leil Lowndes, David deAngelo, Meryl Federman, and Kaethe Kaufman. Email Some Dude at email@example.com.