When guys find out that my job is to coach men how to attract and date beautiful or “out of their league” women, the first question I usually get is: “What’s the secret?” They want the magic bullet.
But that’s not how attraction works. There’s no perfect opening line or awesome dance floor move that makes every woman weak at the knees. Being good with women is about doing a lot of the “little things”—using jealousy and social proof, fashion, having good “opening lines” and icebreakers, avoiding common mistakes and so on. You don’t need to get them all right, just enough to satisfy what that particular woman responds to in that particular moment. One thing I tell clients a lot is that there’s no such thing as a perfect pickup.
While many things do matter, not everything does. In fact, most men spend an inordinate amount of energy in the wrong areas, usually based on one or more of these four myths about women and dating. A couple of these start with a grain of truth—the most pervasive myths often do—but have been twisted or overemphasized so much that they’re no longer useful.
Myth #1: Women want rich men
I spend at least half the year in Hollywood, California, aka Gold Digger Central. And even there, women who are truly focused only on a man’s wallet are few and far between. They exist, and you’ll find them if you seek them out, but few women who you’ll meet day-to-day fit this description.
Sure, extra money is nice. She’ll appreciate it, just like you might appreciate an extra cup size on her chest, but it’s rarely a deciding factor. In fact, more women will be turned off than turned on if you are relying on your wealth to keep her interested.
What most women do value is a man who can provide for himself (and possibly a family, depending on her dating goals) and has his life in order: living situation, job, car, and so on. Many women value ambition in a partner and will use your career or income as a proxy to measure your ambition—even though there are lots of ways to be ambitious (and demonstrate that) without earning a big income.
Myth #2: Women who hook up on the first date aren’t relationship material
Let’s skip past hypocrisy and sexism (you were getting down, too; does that mean you’re not relationship material?), because this myth really comes from the virgin/whore complex.
But if you’ve divided women into “good girls” and “bad girls,” you’ll be surprised to know that “good girls” hook up too—women you’d never imagine having sex on the first date or going home with a guy from a bar. But many women know that sexism and judgment are alive and well in our society, so they’ll go to great effort to be discreet and turn down situations where their reputation could be at risk. In fact, one of the biggest differences between a man who can pull off a one-night stand and one who can’t is his ability to manage the situation so that no one else knows what’s going on.
Besides, there’s nothing wrong with a relationship that begins with passion. And you won’t be wondering if the two of you will be sexually compatible.
Myth #3: Women want well-endowed men
Of course, size matters to many women (particularly if you are friends with benefits). If you’re particularly small, that can be an issue with some women. If you’ve got a sizeable package, you already know that that often brings a smile to a woman’s face the first time your pants come off.
But that’s really as far as it goes most of the time. Size and performance aren’t the same thing. Ask your female friends who was the best lover they ever had in their life. Then ask them who was the biggest. They’re often not the same person. In any case, most women are looking for more than just mechanically powerful sex (even for a casual hookup). Your creativity, understanding of her body, rhythm and passion can play much more of a role.
And not to belabor the obvious, but your size is rarely one of the first things she’s going to learn about you. Hopefully, she’s already interested in you by the time she’s undoing your fly…
Myth #4: Women know what they want
People like to think that they are logical. That they decide what they want and then go out and pursue it. But that’s simply not true. If people knew what they wanted, focus groups would never have come up with the Edsel, New Coke or Harley-Davidson perfume (really).
Attraction is an instinctive, emotional process. It is not a choice. The part of your brain that makes logical, rational decisions isn’t even involved in your emotional circuitry. Sometimes people understand what attracts them. Those are the people who appear to decide what they want and then go for it—but they’re actually understanding what they want, not deciding. So if a woman tells you that she really likes nice guys but always ends up dating guys who are jerks, err on the side of being a jerk. She’s just told you her recipe.