Men (or more specifically masculine energy), are expected to lead relationships. Women want men who are confident and go for what they want – in life and with them.
The problem is that nobody’s perfect. Many of us have an inherent fear of dating, hence the entire creation of the men’s dating advice community.
We all have fears built up from our pasts but we need to break through them to be successful and to enjoy our partners.
These are the 5 major barriers and fears men must break through to become successful at dating:
1. Approaching women and approach anxiety
“If you are going up to girls, you are better than 90% of the guys out there” is the oft-quoted statistic.
Most men do not go up to girls randomly. Most guys actually don’t meet girls anywhere other than through friends, or maybe through online dating here and there.
Approaching can be the SCARIEST part of dating and many guys get stuck here. It’s the first possible place for rejection and if you’ve gone through a lot of social trauma (bullying, abuse, etc.), were leered at by girls growing up “Ewww, Jason is icky!”… then it’s going to be tough.
But without approaching a girl, you’ll never have a chance at anything – no male/female emotional connection, no sex, no girlfriend, no wife.
Dating is a numbers game. It takes time and trial and error to find someone who makes you happy. You want and need choice in whom you date. And the only way to get that is to get over your approach anxiety and go at least say “hi”.
I’ve talked about how to get over approach anxiety in a step-by-step process before. If you are having problems approaching women, you can read about how to get over the fears here.
2. The first touch
We make this complicated for no reason. It can be really really simple and small.
Some guys think the first touch has to be grabbing the girl and bending her over across your arm, salsa style, and laying a kiss on her.
While it sounds romantic, that’s probably WAY too fast and the girl will probably freak out.
The first touch is a hand shake, touching her on her upper arm or shoulder, holding her hand… really really simple and small. But for some guys, it can be INSANELY nerve wracking.
She’ll never be comfortable with your touch unless you start small and work your way up to something bigger, like…
3. The first kiss
While the hand holding and such is the first point of physical touch, the kiss is what really turns it sexual. It demonstrates that “I am sexually interested in you and would eventually like to have sex with you. I think you are interesting and want to see where the emotions take us.”
If hand holding got a guy scared, the first kiss is REALLY going to get him nervous.
There are ways to check if a girl would be comfortable though. Ask yourself: When you’ve touched her up to now, how has she reacted? Has she smiled and touched you back? Or has she pulled away?
If she’s giving you green lights, it’s a good sign. If not, she probably doesn’t know/trust you enough.
When you are getting closer, test the waters a bit. Get closer to her. Brush her hair behind her ear. Touch her face. Any flinching or negative reaction means step back and talk more. If she keeps staring at you and moving closer, then KISS THE GIRL MAHN.
Another trick I picked up from a Mark Manson AMA is if you’re feeling a bit nervous, but are facing her and you’ve been talking a while… just say, “This is the part where I kiss you”, and no matter what go in for it. Don’t hesitate. If she’s not into it, she’ll tell you right away or turn her head. Otherwise, she’s going to happily kiss back.
Speaking from personal experience and my own fears of rejection, I feel like most guys think that if a girl doesn’t want to be kissed, there’s something inherently wrong with them. It’s built from shame.
It is possible that she doesn’t feel the same way about you… but that’s the thing, there’s nothing wrong with YOU. It’s something about HER:
She isn’t ready yet. She doesn’t feel the same way about you. She wants to talk more. She’s not interested in dating right now.
If you constantly attach your self-worth to getting a kiss, it’s going to make it a lot harder. If you feel something/like doing it and go for it, and if she doesn’t kiss back, just think “Oh, she’s not ready yet”… it’s going to help your mental state A LOT, and stop you from becoming angry or upset with her.
Chances are if you asked her out she is romantically interested, she just needs a bit more time.
After some time and once the kiss is out of the way, it will usually lead to…
4. Having/initiating sex
Sex trips us up. Us guys are all super fucking horny (as are girls for the matter). But girls are always scared we’re just going to use them and then throw them away.
Just like the first touch, if you keep touching in more intimate places and the girl seems happy, you keep going. If not, you step back and try again a bit later. And if she says STOP or physically pushes you away, you stop. Period. End of discussion. Consent is sexy.
If there really seems to be an issue, she probably thinks all you care about is the spot between her legs. Everyone loves sex, but they want to feel like you actually genuinely appreciate who they are. There has to be SOMETHING other than looks bringing you to that person… at least, that’s how I operate.
So unless you can communicate that, or unless you can emotionally connect on shared stories – sex probably won’t happen.
Guys also attach a lot of their self-worth on performance/if they can make a girl cum. You can read/find resources to help on technique (She Comes First is a really good book), but after that, it’s practice along with working with your partner.
Everybody likes different things and communicating these things will make everyone happier in the long run.
You can read more about getting over sexual shame here.
5. Emotions, intimacy, and relationships
This is a bit more complicated and involved than the others… but it also encompasses all of them.
Everything we do as humans is based on emotion. We make decisions not based on logic, but emotion.
So choosing to not approach a girl is because of your fear of rejection. Not touching a girl is because you believe that girls think getting touched is creepy, and you don’t want to be a creep. Not trying to have sex with a girl is because you feel like sex is dirty or is only something you can do after X months. Not sharing yourself emotionally with a girl is because you worry about getting judged and rejected, or that you can’t handle her possible stories.
But more in that, you need to ask yourself questions driving your interactions with women:
- Do you feel you are worthy of girls?
- Do you think people like you?
- Do you think you are a good person?
- Do you think women love and want sex?
- Are you scared of women?
- Are you scared of PEOPLE in general?
- Are you comfortable sharing you past and emotions with others?
- What’s your relationship like with your parents?
- Are you ashamed of having sexual thoughts, about touching yourself, touching her, or what you want to do to her?
- Did you receive a lot or a little love/attention as a child?
The answers to these questions will determine how successful you are with women and dating, and how comfortable you feel having a longer, sustained relationship. Getting to sex is easier than sustaining a longer relationship with someone. But if you cannot get past your intimacy fears, you will miss out on some of the most beautiful moments in life by avoiding the intimacy you truly desire.
Dating can be a bit complicated and scary at times. But as a man, you must learn to push through slowly and surely. There are some amazing women out there who can really add a lot to your life (and you have lots you can bring to theirs).
Go out and find them.
It’s Complicated: Why Relationships And Dating Can Be So Hard by Mark Manson
Image credits: epSos.de, Vineet Radhakrishnan. “Kiss the girl” from The Little Mermaid/Walt Disney Pictures.