Today I found myself reading an article on the Washington Post’s website titled “Date Lab: A Matchmaking Year in Review”. It was all about these blind dates that the newspaper had sent people on throughout the year. I clicked through and read about each of the dates discussed, and paid attention to why the dates that didn’t pan out didn’t. For every single one of them, it came down to the same exact story as what I used to read when things didn’t work out in the monthly Pacific Beach magazine in Pacific Beach, San Diego, where they’d also have a blind date they sent a pair of readers out on each month.
I’ve come to the conclusion, based on my own experiences, that of friends, and of all these blind dates I’ve read about, that dating doesn’t work out the majority of the time because the guy doesn’t measure up. If you read about the blind dates that don’t work out in that Washington Post article, you’ll notice a similar thread through all of them: the guy says When I saw her, I definitely was physically attracted to her, and the girl says When I saw him, I instantly knew he was not my type.
Why is this so consistently the case?
Uninspiring Regular Guys
All the guys in those blind dates – and most of the ones I used to read about in that monthly magazine in PB – look and seem pretty, well, regular. As in, not very interesting, engaging, charming, or sexy. Granted, many of the girls are pretty regular too, but guys are easy to impress. Show up with nice hair, a pair of breasts, not be too fat, and have a face anything better than plain (or sometimes less), and the majority of men will rate a girl as being “physically attractive.” Because we men are built to, basically, mate with any girl who will take us, long-term considerations aside.
Women, on the other hand, have a whole host of things they’re looking for, both in potential boyfriends and in potential paramours. No girl wants to imagine herself with a “regular, average guy” even if she is, in fact, a regular average girl. Every girl wants a guy like she sees in the movies or reads about in romance novels.
Weird thing I noticed as I went through the different blind date articles – all the guys look the same! With but a few exceptions, every single one of them:
- Has a closely-cropped “Regular Guy Hairdo” that probably cost $13 at the local SuperCuts,
- Is wearing a plain-looking button-down dress shirt a few sizes too big over some sort of t-shirt or undershirt – the “Regular Guy Uniform”,
- Is smiling a friendly-guy smile instead of a sexy smile, and
- Is utterly lacking in any kind of sexy facial hair.
All these guys look like they shop at the Gap and wear American size large when American size small would suffice, and they think the key to getting girls is being nice and friendly. Which is, really, what most people think, and what most people will tell you. That’s the harm in taking advice from people who have no practical real-world experience – when their mothers try to tell them how to get girls, or they listen to people on TV who don’t have much success with women themselves, they’re bound to think and do the wrong things.
Further, it’s clear the men on most of these dates are a tad on the clueless side – like poor Jeremy, who looks like a deer-in-the-headlights in his picture, and didn’t do much more than respond to questions Piers asked until she got him on the topic of computers, where he then proceeded to talk expansively about things she didn’t understand and couldn’t relate to. Good news for Jeremy is he realizes he needs more experience with women, and even mentions it was a good opportunity to get more dating under his belt. Hopefully he’ll be more proactive in the future and get to work actively getting more experience.
When a regular guy goes to a date, he usually goes like this:
- Regular, average, boring clothes,
- Regular, average, boring conversation,
- Regular, average, boring friendly vibe, and
- No idea how to run the date or manage it, instead hoping that somehow everything will work out on its own.
This is why regular guys fail so much at dating and why so often women end up not being interested. For another perspective, let’s take the regular guy approach to dating and apply that same approach to trying to get a job.
The Regular Guy Approach to Dating, As Applied to Job Interviewing
- Show up to interview in baggy, oversized, average suit
- Talk about whatever comes to mind, generally average boring work experience, with no forethought or focus on highlights like accomplishments and achievements
- Have an average, unassuming, regular vibe
- Come in with no plan for the interview, simply assuming he’ll just “wing it” and hoping he gets the job.
Instead of showing up in crisp, powerful clothes, with well-thought out responses to interview questions and insightful comments and queries to make and ask back, a vibe of being excited, a go-getter, and an achiever, and coming in with a definite plan for how the interview will go – how he’ll begin it, how he’ll manage the middle, and how he’ll close it out at the end – the regular guy comes in clueless, looking clueless, and just wings it, hoping for the best. Actually, there are lots of guys who treat their job interviews this way; it isn’t just dating.
You’d think people would do a better job with stuff like this.
It’s something that’s important to a person, and they just decide to wing it. Makes you want to go up to the guy, smack him on the head, and tell him, “Dress better! Stop looking and acting like a friendly nice guy! Be interesting! Get a plan for your dates!”
Clawing Out of Cluelessness
Fortunately, being clueless is not a place you are eternally damned to. 4 ½ years ago, I used to have a close-cropped “Regular Guy Hairdo” and wear the boring oversize “Regular Guy Uniform” and come across much more normal (if still a little unconventional) than edgy and sexy. I knew it was a problem though, and while I wasn’t entirely sure how to fix it, I focused on it and as a result steadily chipped away at the regular guy image until there was none left. I don’t dress over the top, or have tattoos, or look like a punk, but I don’t think there’s anyone who would mistake me anymore for being a regular guy.
Those badass guys some of the girls in the articles talk about with muscles and tattoos weren’t born with those muscles and tattoos. They decided they wanted to be badass guys with muscles and tattoos, so they hit the gym and hit the tattoo parlor, and they learned how to be the kind of badass that those kinds of girls go for. You don’t necessarily have to have those things – I don’t have a single tattoo, and I don’t think I’ll ever get one, I change too much and I don’t want to be stuck with something on me I can’t change, and while I have worked out fairly religiously since I was 16 (though not in the past year or so, admittedly), I was never big – just toned. You can be skinny and sexy, too – you just need to have an edge.
Regular guys don’t realize this, though. They think if they show up and put on their best friendly Mr. Rogers smile and throw on a large-size button-down shirt and talk about their day in the office and their favorite sports team that women will somehow magically see them as sexual beasts, rather than be bored to tears, and want to be with them.
Regular guys never stop and ask themselves, “What is it that turns a woman on? What makes her go wild for a man?” That’s why they fail. Because they never bother to ask what women want. And because they don’t know, they aren’t able to give it to them.
That’s another shocking revelation for regular guys: that just being themselves is not enough. I’m not sure why it’s so shocking. They ought to realize that the girls they get excited about on dates – the ones they refer to as “physically attractive” – are working hard doing all kinds of things to make themselves into the kinds of women that men want. They dress up in interesting, sexy outfits; they get fashionable hairstyles; they put on heels and push-up bras to make themselves seem taller and better endowed, respectively. They put makeup on their faces and paint on their nails; all this they do to seem appealing to men and to jockey for status with other women. They also typically read up incessantly on how to do better with men, how to be successful in dating, and how men think and what men want. See The Rules; see Why Men Marry Bitches; see He’s Just Not That Into You. Women love this stuff; they eat it up. They want to know how men tick and how to succeed with men. The life of even a regular woman is about constantly learning how to be more attractive to men and adjusting herself accordingly.
Regular men? No such ambition. They want to dress the same way they’ve been dressing since high school, talk about the same things with women they talk about with their buddies, and hope that, despite it being the man’s responsibility to lead things forward, things will somehow magically work out on their own. That’s what regular guys don’t understand.
As soon as they do understand it, though, it’s a pretty straightforward process: just start working on getting better and more attractive to women all the time. It needs to become a hobby; a preoccupation, just as it is for women. Women are busting their asses to be attractive to the most attractive men out there; if a man wants to do well with them, he needs to be similarly working hard at being attractive to the most attractive women out there. This is how a man claws out of cluelessness and becomes the kind of dashing, debonair chap that women go nuts for, chase after, and generally just act like excited little girls who made some thrilling new discovery over (in the case of a guy who knows how to be attractive and is, these women have discovered a very sexy man they want to bed).
The fact that you’re reading this article means you’re probably far better off than most of the guys in that article I linked to earlier, so cheers. But even if you’re just starting out, you should be nothing but hopeful; once you realize the overarching reason behind why you haven’t been having the success you want, you can start changing it. This is the real power of personal self-improvement; once you realize what it is you want to change, you just set about making that change happen, and with time, diligence, and the proper instruction, it does. That’s another thing regular guys don’t understand, but you, if you’re reading this, do – that it isn’t fate that’s responsible for how your life and your success with women go. It’s you.
Here’s to a happy and transformative New Year!