I’m a dating coach for men, and a lot of guys seek me out because they’re confused and anxious about looking for love in the #MeToo Era. They feel stuck between two extremes. On one hand, the vast majority are true gentlemen who’d never want to make a woman feel uncomfortable. At the same time, many men fear that not making a move will banish them to the dreaded friend zone.
My speciality is helping nice guys get the girl while dating with total integrity. Here are five new dating rules for men in the #MeToo Era.
Saying “be yourself” is a cliché. I want you to be radically authentic. Truly vulnerable. Show women what makes you you. You’re a single dad? Great. Talk about your kids on the first date. You’re a nerd? Fly that flag high. You’re nervous about approaching the gorgeous brunette at Starbucks? Break the ice (coffee) by saying, “Hi, I’m kind of shy, but I had to meet you.” When you hide behind a proverbial mask, you obscure your most attractive trait: your true personality. But when you’re authentic with women, you become your most charismatic, confident self—and women love confident men. Plus, channeling authenticity builds trust with people because they see you have nothing to hide. And trust between men and women is more important now than ever.
Too many dating gurus and “pickup artists” tell men to adopt a dominant, alpha-male persona. This is exactly the wrong thing to do. A girl doesn’t want to be conquered. She wants to connect. When Brad, a 35-year-old New Yorker, came to me, he was getting rejected left and right. Why? Brad’s a nice, solid guy, but a pickup coach told him to try to attract women as the bad boy, not charm them as the boy next door. It didn’t work. I had him shift his mindset from conquering to connecting, and he had three dates lined up within a week. Think connection, not conquest.
Approach The Right Way
There’s a charming, disarming way to approach women: Pay a sincere compliment. But most guys focus on a given girl’s beauty, which can make her feel objectified. Rather than her looks, compliment her look. Her awesome black boots. Her vintage Green Day T-shirt. Her elegant hairstyle. She was more or less born with her attractive features, but she works hard on her presentation. Let other guys compliment her eye color. You’ll impress by complimenting her eye shadow.
Baby-step To The First Kiss
I call it The Lunge—a clumsy attempt at a first kiss. It goes like this. A guy plays it super safe and spends two hours treating his date like a nun. Then, feeling pressure to make a move, he lunges for a desperate make-out, and she either turns a cheek or endures an awkward lip-lock. Ouch. It’s like trying to throw a touchdown from your own end zone. A much better way? Baby-step toward the first kiss so she’ll know your intentions. Greet her with a warm, friendly hug when she enters the bar. Playfully tap her arm or shoulder as you talk and get to know her. Whisper something flirty in her ear a time or two. Make deeper, longer eye contact. Take notice if she’s been laughing, listening, enjoying you. Hold her hand. Is she holding yours back? Great. Now go in for the kiss. See? Baby steps. Save your lunges for the gym.
Remember: Consent Is Not Just Essential. It’s Sexy.
My dating-coach mentors taught me some good stuff, but too many of them were fixated on getting to sex. Notches on bedposts. That always bothered me, so when I became a coach, I built everything around two values: authenticity, and respect for women.
From the start I encouraged my clients to get clear, verbal consent from their dates before jumping into bed. When things are getting hot and heavy, I want my guys to ask, “Are you sure you’re OK with sex?” And I want them to hear a clear “yes” before going further.
At first, I assumed that asking that question could be a mood-killer, but so be it—sex should be 100% consensual. Period. Yet my clients reported something surprising: Asking for consent seemed to increase connection and chemistry and usually led to damn good sex. Yes, some women decided to wait, which is exactly the point: Both parties should be completely comfortable before getting intimate.
Still, many guys told me that seeking clear consent didn’t ruin the mood; rather, it further fanned the flames of desire and made the sex more heart-connected. Why? I think because when a man checks in with a woman in this way, she feels more cared for and safer. She can let go, knowing she’s with a real gentleman. On their second date, my client Troy was passionately kissing his date Katherine at his place when he paused to ask for the green light. She held up her right hand and playfully pledged, “I enthusiastically consent”—then she led him to the bedroom. A month later, they were boyfriend-girlfriend.
Not only should consent always be crystal-clear. And not only is it a non-negotiable aspect of dating with integrity. But consent is also sexy as hell.