Does this sound familiar?

    I used to be the guy on the edge of the room, desperately trying to figure out how to join one of the many conversations going on and completely unsure of how to actually do that. For years, I had little in the way of close friends and struggled to work up the courage to ask a girl on a date, much less know what to do if she actually said yes.

    Like a lot of men in this situation, I went online and looked up “How do I get girls to like me?” Doing a quick search of that today yields similar results at it did back then. You’ll see titles like 10 Psychological Tricks to Get Her to Like You and How to Make a Girl Fall in Love With You. You may even see references to books like The Game, a once-popular description of the “pick-up artist” community and supposedly offering insights into how to maser seduction and become an alpha male.

    Now, I read those books, and I watched those videos, and I gave it a fair shot. The “pick-up artist” method made me feel gross. It felt manipulative, it felt inauthentic, and while I had some success getting girls to give me their phone numbers and go on dates with me, they weren’t even the kind of girls I wanted to meet. So not only did I feel bad, I wasn’t getting what I wanted either.

    I knew what I didn’t want to do, but I had no idea what to actually do instead. I just started trying stuff, I was in college so I had a lot of people around to practice with, and the first thing on the list was starting one random conversation every day. I would walk up to someone between classes and say, “Hey, I start one random conversation every day, how’s it going?” They’d usually ask why I would do such a strange thing, and I’d tell them the truth, “I’m shy and awkward and I’m tired of it.” I’d never been that honest with anyone about anything, and it worked really well.

    I extended this into dating, telling girls, “Hey, I’ve never been in a relationship and I’m worried there’s something super wrong with me. Would you be down to talk for 10 minutes like we’re on a date and then tell me if you notice anything I shouldn’t be doing?” Now to be clear, I really meant that. This isn’t some line or routine I used to get dates, I was 100% sincere in trying to figure out what why I wasn’t having any luck with women.

    It took years, and a lot of self-reflection, and some therapy, but I eventually figured out how to be myself. You know that advice you always get from friends and family? “Just be yourself!” It turns out they were right, but most of us are pretty bad at being ourselves.

    There’s good news. You can easily practice your ability to be authentic and genuine until it becomes natural, and doing so will open the door to deep, profound connections with both romantic partners and friends alike.

    If you’re struggling with dating, or having trouble finding the kind of friends you really want, don’t despair. You’ll find tips here on my blog and newsletter, and you can book a free consultation to get helpful insights and a plan of action for building the life you want.

    Ready for the live you really want? Let’s work together. Check out my coaching services to see how I can help you accomplish your goals.

Photo of Steven