Jennifer is the wingwoman that every man wished he could have in his corner. It is unfortunate that there is so much bad information out there about how to seduce, date, and pickup women. The truth is, becoming success at dating may have a lot to do with your ‘technique’. However, most women already know about those gimmicky ‘pickup artist’ lines and moves, which will put the odds against you if you’re not careful. If you really want to be a master of dating, you must first understand how it is that women think during a date, and this is something that our featured dating coach, Jennifer Rhodes, knows a lot about.
Jennifer’s Three Dating Tips Every Guy Should Know
- If you ask, you pay. This is just simple proper etiquette. More and more women are now asking men out so it is okay for you to assume that they should pay for the date; but please offer (as you would expect your date to the same).
- Be clear with what you want. Nothing drives women crazier than with men who run “hot and cold.” If you are not looking for a relationship, say so early on. If you are looking for a committed relationship, try not to think you found the love of your life on the first date. Pace yourself over the course of 6-8 weeks and collect enough “data” to qualify this person to be your next important relationship.
- Be patient with nervousness. Nothing infuriates me more than men, who are looking to get married, refusing to go on a second date with a women who was a little shy or nervous on the first date. Guess what? This is normal. You can’t make a decision in one meeting. Avoiding other people’s anxiety often leads you to make poor choices. Normal women often will settle down with some reassurance and often make the best partners in a long-term relationship. If you can master this skill, you can date anyone and women will be very appreciative.
And now for…
The Truth About Seduction, Dating, and The Pickup Artist
Urbasm: What is the biggest complaint you hear from women about guys on a first date?
Jennifer B. Rhodes: When it comes to dating everyone has his or her own opinion. Women have a tendency to complain (which is its own separate problem). I, however, often hear from women that they are disappointed that the guy did not offer to pay and that he lacked some basic manners. Women do not expect a lot of a first date but they do expect to be treated well if the guy asked her out on a date. They expect that the person who asked for the date will plan the date and offer to pay. It literally drives women bonkers when a man texts or calls to ask, “What do you want to do?” Women appreciate being given a choice but want the person asking to give 2-3 options and show some initiative.
I think the mistake most men make in dating is in elevating the first date to something it should not be. This especially occurs in a city like New York. First dates in the Big Apple are epic and men complain about how much money they are spending because they think their date expect it. I often ask them whether a woman who acts this entitled is really the type of person they want to be with and, usually, they say no. My advice: Change the expectations of the first date.
A first date is often a first meeting after meeting online. It really should be coffee, glass of wine or a walk for some ice cream. If you have chatted before, you can consider a meeting at the museum or a casual lunch. The idea with online dating is that you need to do a mini-date prior to committing to the larger, more thoughtful first date. By doing this, you make the parameters clear and if there is no chemistry, people do not get upset over paying for a $4 cup of coffee or a ticket to the latest art exhibit. If there is chemistry, you now have the foundation and excitement to ask her out on a more extensive date.
Urb: What are some of the most important things a man needs to learn when he wants to approach a woman (cold) for the first time?
JBR: In order to be successful in approaching women in public you need to stop taking rejection personally. Women are trained by our culture to be suspicious of men who are approaching. It will often take a few minutes for them to warm up, if they are interested. Please do not hang around and ignore the non-verbal body language that indicates that they are emotionally unavailable and closed off. You also need to remember that this skill is based on basic psychology: The more women you talk to, the more women who will respond over time. Do not use cheesy pick up lines. Find a way to compliment her and be genuine. Many women now know the pick up artist lingo and tactics and are on heightened awareness when unknown men try to approach them.
I often work with many men who simply do not have enough practice with this skill. We will work together to get to the point where the rejection no longer bothers them by going out into public and practicing. No one gets better at this skill without practice.
I would also suggest practicing in areas where women are not used to being approached that often. A bookstore, coffee shop and waiting for the bus add an element of surprise that will likely help men ease into a conversation. Only approaching women at a bar where they are used to men hitting on them may not work for all men. If it doesn’t go anywhere try to explore the reasons why and avoid ruminating about why the women did not like you. Be a detective and keep trying until you figure it out.
Urb: As a guy gets ready for a date, what ritual should he complete to put himself in the right state of mind?
JBR: This is a great question! Women will spend close to an hour or more getting ready for a date. Men who show up in a dirty t-shirt and sneakers quickly annoy them. To make this easier, have two – three date outfits that have at least been approved by a couple of your fashionable girlfriends. This should include a casual daytime look, an evening look, and an active wear look (if you like to be outside). Knowing that this stuff is already in your closet will make life so much easier. If you are clueless, you need to hire an image consultant to help you. I specifically do this with my dating clients and, often, they ask for a referral because they want to systematize their wardrobe for their professional life. There are now online companies that will send you clothes based on your sizes. There really is no excuse and research states that first impressions are made in less than 10 seconds. Your image really does matter.
I would also suggest developing a pre-date ritual to help decrease nervousness. Some of my clients will wear a certain cologne only on a date or will take an extra 20 minutes at the gym to hit the sauna or steam room at the gym. A pre-date ritual will ensure that you are relaxed and ready to present at your best.
Urb: Is there a true ‘technique’ to dating success, or does it have more to do with something else?
JBR: People do not realize that dating is a skill that is very different from being in a relationship. I find that great men often want to skip the dating part and jump into a relationship. Please do not do this. Dating, by definition, is about figuring out if someone is a good compliment to your life.
People who do well at dating are the people who know who they are, what they value and what they want their partner to value. If you know the answers to these questions, you will screen better and not waste your time with people who would never be a long-term fit. You will also have more fun.
A lot of people will say that chemistry overrides everything else. Unfortunately, this does not always lead to commitment. So the key to dating success is being honest with what you want. If you are not ready for a relationship, going with your emotions and chemistry is more than okay. If you are looking to get married and start a family, you may want to change your approach to dating and start paying attention to other people’s behavior and values.
URB: Is there any other topic or advice that you would like to mention that we have not touched upon?
JBR: In our culture we view dependency as a bad thing. Unfortunately, there is no scientific research to support this view. We are social beings and we are dependent on others for safety and survival. To be good at dating means being able to read your dates needs and respond appropriately. The reaction your date gives is the data you need to decide if this person is for you. If your date is nervous, ask if there is anything you can do to make her feel more comfortable. Don’t be insensitive and tell her there is nothing to be nervous about. Try to use some compassion and see what happens. Often there is a positive outcome.
I work with a lot of men who express their frustration when women get “needy.” There is no such thing – just unmet needs for various reasons. Do not be judgmental. While someone’s behavior may feel too much to handle, it is not appropriate for you to call her needy. That is being insensitive. Men who are great at dating do not run when they meet these women because they understand them. It does not mean they continue to see them but they use their knowledge to be considerate and make appropriate choices.
Jennifer B. Rhodes, Psy.D., is the Founder and CEO of Rapport, A Boutique Relationships Agency, LLC. She is a licensed psychologist, dating coach, image consultant, and matchmaker. Dr. Rhodes’ passion for helping adults find and sustain healthy, long lasting relationships developed out of her private practice where she has helped many divorced couples successfully move on to healthy co-parenting relationships and lay the foundation for new romantic relationships to develop. Dr. Rhodes currently provides dating coaching, consultation and matchmaking services utilizing relationship science and Positive Psychology Coaching research to encourage singles to make more informed dating choices. In addition to her psychology credentials, Dr. Rhodes has completed matchmaking training with the Matchmaking Institute in New York.