DEAR DR. NERDLOVE: I currently browse through your articles a little bit and I find your advice very good, especially when I compare it to other self-help sites which I find even toxic. Now, I don’t even know if I am the type of person for this community (the so called nerds), but I will post this anyway so I can write things off.
A bit about me, I am an engineering student in his early 20s. I don’t want to say that I am struggling with dating, since I have never been on a date, but I want to get better at it. First, I can tell you that my self-worth was very low and that I was a bit awkward around people, but I changed it completely. In short, I decided that, you know, a lot of people are unsure of themselves and so they don’t even look at you. Furthermore, if they are trying to put you down, then you know that they are not even happy with themselves. I am now capable of making new friends, just by showing genuine interest. I can even tell you that, around men, I am very popular. Both at school and in the gym as well as in everyday life. They like to invite me and come to me, probably because they can be themselves and I don’t judge them and we laugh. It’s not that I only attract weirdos, but also other popular men.
Yet, still I don’t really know how I can attract women. I do talk to some of them, but I don’t know what to say that makes them attracted to me other than being friends. Furthermore, I find it difficult to develop the so called abundance mindset. I can tell you that at the engineering department there are just very few women. My hobbies are also typically things men do, like electronics. I am also very sportive, but again this is all with men. I am not active on Facebook or Instagram. I don’t know if this is better or worse, since I know some men who are attracting women by those platforms. To me it looks like everyone is texting each other constantly and if you don’t do that than you’re a loner when it comes to dating. I really don’t see how going after your purpose leads to attracting women naturally.
Now there is a woman I see at the gym who I find attractive, but as I said earlier I think I lack flirting skills. It’s not that I am not attractive enough, I worked on that as well. Coming from a low place of abundance I may act needy, which I can understand is not attractive. I don’t know how our conversation can lead to exchanging numbers.
My questions: “How can I talk to women, so that it doesn’t bore them out?” , “Do I need to get out more, to other places (after Coronavirus)?”, “Should I become active on social media too?”, “What else can be the problem?”
Just Another Nerd
DEAR JUST ANOTHER NERD: Can I be honest, JAN? You sound exhausted. It feels to me like you’ve been running around with a lot of these worries and feelings, and you’re kind of getting to a point where you’re not just worn out but feeling more than a little hopeless. I mean, you even say “I will post this anyway, so I can write things off.”
And man, I can sympathize. I know exactly how tired you can get when it feels like you’re struggling to swim upstream while everybody else seems to have these sweet boats and jet-skis and s--t. But here’s the thing: a lot of this seems to be because you’re struggling with a lot of internal ideas about what dating and attracting women is like, rather than the reality. And — again, I speak from experience — it’s hard to succeed when you’re mostly wrestling with ideas that you came up with, rather than actual people and experiences.
Here’s the thing: those skills that help you bond with guys and make new friends? Those are the exact same skills that help you meet women and start relationships. The way you connect with guys is, at the end of the day, really no different from how you connect with women; the only difference is the direction you take things.
I suspect part of the problem is that you’re looking at friendship as the fail-state of attraction, when nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, making friends with women — platonic friends, not putting yourself in The Friend Zone — is a huge bonus towards meeting women you would want to date.
(Standard disclaimer: There IS no “Friend Zone”. There are just people who don’t want to date or sleep with you.)
One of the things that most men never realize is how huge of a resource female friends can be when it comes to dating. A woman who likes you and thinks you’re cool but may not be into you romantically is far, far more likely to want to help you meet someone awesome. This could range from introducing you to her single friends, to inviting you to social events where you could meet other women to even being your wingwoman while you’re out and about. Plus, their presence in your life is like a testimonial: they’re letting other people know that you’re an awesome guy. If you weren’t, they wouldn’t want to hang around with you.
Making that shift in your headspace will go a long, long way towards helping you develop that abundance mindset. Once you realize that having awesome women in your life is good overall, you’ll become far less worried about each individual interaction. If you get a number or something comes of it, great! If they’re just interested in being friends, also great! And if ultimately nothing happens… well, that blows, but it’s just one person in a world filled with people who are just as awesome and hot, if not more so.
That having been said, that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t work on connecting with women, flirting or trying to get dates. It’s just about learning not to treat it as an all-or-nothing issue. And part of is is going to come with changing your outlook on how you go from having a conversation to getting her number.
I realize that people think that flirting is this arcane skill that generates attraction, but ultimately all it is is just connecting with people. It’s a way of telling someone you’re into them and inviting them to explore things with you. Flirting, especially early on, as being about playing with uncertainty and interest. Think of someone who’s interested in going down a waterslide, but they’re not entirely sure, or they’re curious to check out a particular book or movie but they don’t know. The process of flirting is gently encouraging them to give it a try, being the facilitator of fun and playing with that sense of uncertainty so that it’s exciting, not scary. And there are a lot of ways of flirting, each as valid as the next. Part of learning to be successful with women comes down to finding out the ways that are most congruent with who you are. It may be silly, it may be banter-y, it may even come down to just being open and direct: telling someone “hey, I’m doing X thing on Y day and time and I’d love to take you” or “I’m really enjoying talking/hanging out with you; I’d love to take you out on a proper date.”
So yes, I think you definitely should go out and do more things (when it’s safe). Not only because it helps you be a more well-rounded person, but it helps you expand your social circle. Finding ways to enjoy the things you’re passionate about that bring you in contact with other people who also love it is a great way to make new friends. Plus, as a bonus, it can meet folks who may not be the woman of your dreams, but will help introduce you to her.
Now as for social media? Yeah, I think it’s helpful. These days, people who aren’t on social media are a rarity, and it can make some folks feel like maybe you’re a little suss. But just as importantly, it can be a way of celebrating and sharing the things that make you happy or the cool s--t you’re doing with your life. At the very least, it can be a way of showing them what life with you is life and serve, in its own way, as an advertisement for you as a person. Plus, social media can be a great way to make new contacts, find new friends or even plan events that’ll help you bring awesome folks together and into your life.
Plus, being active on social media makes it easier for your friends who’re already more active on there to introduce you to folks or invite you to things.
You’re actually doing really well, JAN. You’ve made a lot of progress and you should be proud of yourself for that. And the progress that you’ve made with making friends and connecting with guys is also what’s going to help you meet women. It isn’t going to be nearly as hard or exhausting as you think; it just feels that way because you’re not used to it yet. Keep up the work, apply it towards just talking to women and connecting with them and I think you’re going to be amazed at how well things will go for you.
Please send your questions to Dr. NerdLove at his website (www.doctornerdlove.com/contact); or to his email, email@example.com