The Program: Step 3 - Solutions
Type 4 Solution
Okay, so you've heard the line "I think of you as a great,
great friend" way too many times...why? And What
The Hell Do You Do About It?
But I don't think of you that way
Well, at the risk of being violently warm and fuzzy, you've taken a
good first step in trying to solve your problem by realizing that
you have a problem.
If you meet lots of women who "don't think of you that
way," you probably have two different problems. In
addition to not getting dates, you have one or more female
"foul-weather friends." A "foul-weather
friend," or "client," is someone who calls
and wants to get together or talk only when things are going
wrong for her. (Note: another term is "emotional
If this sounds familiar, put simply, you're letting them take
advantage of you. The movies you've seen and the books you've
read where the woman finally realizes that "the friend is
the one she should have been with all this time" is a load
of you-know-what. (Think "When Harry Met Sally"
right, Billy Crystal is going to get Meg Ryan. Yeah. Right. That's
I can say that based on years of experience. There's a simple test
to determine if your female friends are friends are clients: are
these women there for you when you've been hurt? If yes, they're
probably friends, if not, they're clients. If they're clients,
unless you're going to be a therapist, and are being paid 90
dollars per 50-minute hour as a professional therapist, dump
them out of your life and don't waste your energy on them. Why
would you want that grief?
I was twenty-three when I figured this out. Once I dumped my
clients, I noticed three things:
- I had more energy.
- I had more free time
- Because of one and two, I had better luck dating.
The second part of dealing with this problem is taking a look at
your values and beliefs. Assuming (Note: I am making assumptions
here) that you're not trying to "date out of your league"
by dating someone who's better looking, smarter, richer, etc.,
chances are that you're not being macho enough.
The problem is that you've learned your lessons a little too
well...and possibly read too much fantasy growing up. Yes, the
white knight did get the Princess and treated her well, but
he also killed the dragon...and knew that he could before he pulled
out his sword (so to speak).
As niceguys we have the "treating her well" part
down pat. We need a little more of that dragon-slayer confidence
and machismo. "Confidence" you say? That sounds
really familiar! If not, go back and read Nice Guys'
Something to remember: the Hero treated the Princess well, but so did
her servants...and she ain't gonna date any servants.
Of course, hearing "I think of you as a great, great friend"
isn't going to do much for the confidence, but if you want to date,
you're going to have to find a way around it.
What to do next? One of those annoying little exercises like you find
in those irritating self-help books. Exercise 1 " Go get a pen
and paper and take five minutes and write down the things you don't
like about yourself. Come back when you're done.
I said, "Go get a pen and paper and take five minutes and write
down the things you don't like about yourself." I don't like these
stupid exercises either, but there is a reason that so many
books (and professional therapists) use them. Now then, assuming that
you've actually done that, exercises two and three: take five minutes
and write down the things you like about yourself but could make better
and then the things you like about yourself and don't need work.
Guess what's next. Yup. That's right. Your next goal is to work on the
items on lists one and two, and, if possible, list three. Once again,
forget about the inner-beauty garbage, we're trying to get dates here.
Not having met you personally, I'm going to list some of the basics.
The first thing that women see is, big surprise, your looks. Now then,
women, on average, aren't quite as shallow as we are in regards
to looks, but if you don't want to date someone who's overweight, why
would she? As guys, we also have another problem, if we're
underweight we also don't look that good. How's your
weight? Whether you're overweight or underweight working-out cannot
hurt your appearance unless you're so overbuilt that you're
scaring women off.
You probably don't have this problem, but how's your hygiene? Clean
hair? Body odor? Clear (non-oily) skin?
Once again, your hair, if you're going bald: minodoxil, hair-transplants
(by professionals, otherwise this can look REALLY stupid), shaving it
off, or acceptance. Comb-overs are right out. Every woman I've
ever met has agreed on this one. If you have hair, keep it clean and
find a style that suits your face...ask your female friends.
Clothing How often do you get complimented on your clothing?
When you do get compliments does the person complimenting you sound
surprised? You don't want to be too fashionable. (you don't want to hear
"Oh, I thought you were gay," again, do you?) On the other
hand, you don't want to wear your Miami Vice peach-colored
jacket with the teal shirt any more do you? If you have questions, ask
your female friends who are the type you'd like to attract. It's okay
to ask them, "Hey, could you help me? I'm trying to upgrade my
wardrobe and I really need some help." Then spend some money,
good clothes aren't usually cheap, but they last longer. Also, if you
do get to go shopping with one of your friends, make sure you like
everything, but also let her pick out some stuff that makes you think,
"Could I wear that?"
Posture? If you're short, stand-up straight. If you're tall...um,
stand-up straight. Don't look like you have a stick-up-your-ass, but
slouching looks really bad. And while you're at it stand with your
weight placed equally over both feet, don't cross your arms, or hunch
your shoulders. (Even if you work on a computer all day.)
I recently got a part in a play as the Hero (typecasting, of course)
and even with martial arts and dance training, I am appalled to realize
how much work my posture and body language need to be "heroic."
Whenever you perform any action do it with determination. When
you walk, put your chin up, your chest out, and take large steps. You're
a MAN damn it! When you stand there, take up space. You're
By the way, all of this is WORK, you're breaking yourself of
habits that you've been developing for years.
Another exercise: Get out that tape recorder and talk for five minutes.
Yes. That is what you sound like. Sure, you look like Adonis,
but you sound like Pee-Wee Herman. This is the second thing she's
likely to notice. If you need professional help, you can check your
local yellow pages, but for some basics:
That's a start for the first impression, I'll write more when I get the
- Imagine that your trusty, faithful dog "Spike" (let
some wimp play with "Rover"...he named his dog
after his ex-girlfriend's behavior) is about to piddle on your new
entertainment center. Say "NO!" Your voice probably dropped
about a half-octave from what you normally sound like. This is the
tone (actually tone and pitch for those of you who are musically
inclined) that you should aim for.
- Also, in regards to your "NO!" Speak up. If people
ask you to repeat yourself or you have a hard time breaking into
a conversation, you're speaking too softly. Breathe from your
diaphragm (when you inhale, your stomach should expand as much as
your chest) and use the added air for more volume.
- Lose the "Um's." If you're saying something only words
should come out of your mouth, no random spacer sounds. They make you
sound unsure of yourself. This goes for "likes" as well.
- As you're a man, not a 14-year-old girl, mean what you say.
If you're asking a question, it should usually start with
"Who," "What," "Where," "When,"
"Why," or "How." Don't say "We're going
to the movies tonight?" as a question. Say "Are we going
to the movies tonight?" Actually, I lie. Say "How about we
go to the movies tonight. Here are two choices. Which do you want to
- Finally, Slow. It. Down. The naturally tendency when people are
nervous is to talk faster. This means that if you talk fast...that's
right, you're going to look nervous. If you always talk just a little
slower (unless you're from the South) it will seem like you're sure
of what you have to say and it's important enough to have other
people wait just a little longer.