Over the years I’ve been a dating coach I’ve developed an opinion that other dating coaches love to fight me on: you should listen to feedback from women, but don’t take their advice.
If you’re going to catch a fish, you don’t ask the fish how to catch it. Girls will be correct about their subjective opinions (since it’s impossible to be wrong about them) but they’ll be wrong about how you should attract them.
Use their feedback about your shortcomings, but get dating advice somewhere else.
I learned this lesson the hard way when I was in my early 20s living in San Francisco. I had a first date with a tall blonde girl I met during day game. After a fun evening filled with great conversation and too many vodka sodas, she came back to my place where we made out and cuddled, then went to sleep.
I woke up groggy early the next morning, thinking in my half-asleep state, Hey, something seems weird… Oh yeah. There was a girl in my bed last night. Where did she go?
Over the next couple weeks we kept texting but she changed the subject every time I tried to set up the next date. Ugh. Dealing with flakiness sucks, but it’s often a sign that she isn’t 100% sold on you yet, not just that she’s a flaky person in general.
My female coworkers at my finance job would always talk about their dating lives by the water cooler, picking apart every detail about the guys they met. So I thought it would be a good idea to consult my coworker, a 45 year-old mother of three.
Yeah, I know how that sounds now that I write it out, but don’t blame me- I was young and dumb.
Her explanation: “I think she’s just a little gunshy to meet you again. Send her this text:”
Hey, I don’t want to make you feel uncomfortable, so let’s meet somewhere where you feel safe
I hit send. And immediately after hitting send I felt that soul-crushing feeling you get when you realize your text SUCKS. You know the feeling- the drop in your stomach followed by thoughts of Why did I send that!?! I’m the world’s biggest loooser.
I asked my buddy who was great with women if there was a hail Mary I could send to recover. After clowning me for taking such bad advice, he explained that my only chance was to follow it up with something absurd.
There’s a swingers’ club in San Francisco called Power Exchange. My buddy had me follow up my embarrassing text with this:
I was thinking somewhere like this place:
She responds right away “Hahaha that was hilarious.”
But it was too little too late. I never saw her again.
Cautiously listen to women’s feedback, but never follow their advice
One of my writing mentors taught me how to incorporate feedback from my friends when they review my drafts. He suggested that I listen to feedback on which parts of my writing suck, but don’t take my friends’ advice on how to fix it.
This idea also applies to feedback from women. If multiple women point out a flaw, take that as an area to work on. Just keep in mind that just because they can identify a problem doesn’t mean they have good advice on how you should solve it.
Valid feedback from a girl: “You are too feminine.”
Bad advice from a girl: “You are too feminine so you should get a tribal tattoo.”
Another example: If three of your female friends tell you that you have bad breath then it’s time to see a dentist.
Why taking women’s advice is dangerous
1. The way they THINK they’ll react is different from how they actually react
Here’s an example: a line I’ve had great success with that I recommend my students use during their day game approaches is “Don’t worry, I’m only a third creepy.” (for more on this protocol, check out the podcast episode I recorded on day game.)
I was recently explaining day game to one of my female friends, and I told her about the 1/3 creepy line as an example. She said she’d never fall for a cheesy line like that. Her reaction is the same as 95% of my friends I explain it to.
Yet when it is delivered to women in an actual approach by me or my students, 95% react positively. Even if they have a boyfriend, they still usually crack up laughing at the line.
What people say they like is usually different from what they actually respond to. Their advice they give you is based on the way they subjectively imagine the way the world works, rather than how it objectively does.
Woman are very bad at knowing and explaining what they want in a man. But in terms of what they think and feel about you in the moment, you can always trust that. That’s always real.
2. A lot of their advice is garbage
Our culture does a terrible job of teaching young people how to date, both men and women. We’ve all heard the nonsense like “just tell her how you feel” or “just be yourself,” and sadly, a majority of the dating advice out there just isn’t helpful.
An attractive women can be extremely passive and just stand at a bar. Confident guys will approach her. She can literally do nothing and have a successful dating life. She’ll never know the pain of running across the street to hit on a brunette with a great ass, only to get a scoff and be told the infamous “I have a boyfriend.” Or she could say that being nice is the key to attraction, when in reality she’s attracted to aggressive guys who are confident.
Women can’t relate to the skills that guys have to develop to become more attractive. Their worlds are just different. That translates into garbage advice. If you’ve ever been told to “just be nice,” you know that’s true. Don’t take any piece of advice at face value- you have to test if it’s true through your own experience.
3. Women are subjective (and men are too)
To be objective and rational, the necessary steps are:
- Listen carefully and critically absorb information
- Logically analyze arguments
- Avoid jumping to conclusions
- Don’t rely on stories over statistics
When’s the last time you’ve heard someone do this when it comes to her dating behavior? It just doesn’t happen. People act emotionally then backwards rationalize their actions with logic. So for example, Sarah could think that she liked Brian because of the hilarious joke he made in the bathroom line, but it was actually because he was well-dressed and tall.
Women constantly face social pressure, like the need to avoid being called a slut. For this reason, they often won’t provide objective explanations of how attraction works because they’re not even consciously aware of what happens when they’re attracted to a guy. They rely on social norms rather than actual psychology.
4. Brutal honesty isn’t socially acceptable
If you have a fundamental flaw in your character that’s preventing you from attracting the women you want to date, no one is going to feel comfortable pointing that out. It violates social norms and people think it’s rude.
Most people aren’t used to giving helpful critical feedback because it’s a difficult skill that takes a while to master. So instead of learning how to provide brutally honest feedback, they just avoid doing it to spare your feelings.
A lot of people will say things like “I want people to be honest with me. I can handle the truth.” You’re a guy who’s into self-improvement, so that’s probably true for you. But most people who say this are lying to themselves. They think they want honest feedback, but when actually presented with it, they become defensive and blame others instead of taking an inventory.
Look at their incentives. Just like a retail salesperson who has the incentive of selling you expensive clothing, women have the social incentive of not rocking the boat. It does them no benefit to be honest with you if it may result in an awkward conversation.
People feel good when they say nice things about other people, even if it isn’t true. It’s easier to be nice, and American culture does not value honest feedback.
Whose advice should you listen to instead?
Mine, of course 😉
But seriously, you should take the advice of a guy who’s been in your shoes and is now dating the type of women you want to date.
You also need someone who can take the invisible rules about attraction and make them visible for your specific situation. Often a guy who’s naturally good with women can’t explain why the things he does works. A guy who sucks with women is going to give you terrible advice based on speculation.
We’ve discussed Robbie’s Rule of Osmosis in previous newsletters, and it applies again here. Surround yourself with guys who have great dating lives and are good at explaining their specific actions, and you’ll pick up their good habits by osmosis.
Female friends are experts at being women, not at attracting women. How they feel about you in the moment is valid, but that doesn’t mean they know how to give you advice on how to improve.
Keep these three ideas in mind:
- Their feedback on you is usually solid.
- Their feedback on what they have or haven’t liked about others is usually solid.
- Their advice on how to proceed is usually pretty bad.