Straight men telling each other to be confident; If you’re confident, you don’t need to be told to be confident. But what if you’re not? Then what? Fake it ‘till you make it? Fake confidence is what we call arrogance. And what’s the fastest way to look like a fool? You guessed it, act arrogant. Sometimes you hear men explain to each other how to be confident on a date with a woman:
“Have opinions. Take up space.”
Opinions are like confidence. You have them or you don’t. When a man interjects an opinion about something he hasn’t given much thought to, the female ear picks up a frequency called Mansplaining. That’s the fastest way to turn a woman off. There’s actually an incredibly simple way to impress a woman and set yourself apart from the other guys.
Ask her opinion about something and give her space to answer. Even when you ask her where she grew up, let her take as long as she wants to answer. “Lagos” might be a satisfying answer for you — you got the piece of information, mission accomplished. But women talk to share their feelings and experiences. So she hears an invitation to tell you about her past and how her experiences shaped her as a person.
She wants to feel like you know her. Asking her what she does for a living is an invitation for her to tell you what she’s proud of. Or frustrated about. Or how her mind works. If she thinks you care about those things, she’ll be more likely to find you attractive. All that “feminist noise” is because what women really want is to be heard.
Here’s how you listen: She talks while you look at her and chew your steak. It’s really not so bad when you think of it that way. You don’t have to memorize her story or even follow her meandering logic. Just listen for two things:
- Her Experience
- Her feelings about the experience
Women are mostly attracted to genuinely confident men. But it’s not the only thing they’re attracted to. They also like vulnerability, like when a guy admits he’s nervous on a date. So if you’re nervous, just be nervous. She’ll probably find it endearing. You might of course would prefer to feel strong but most women need to feel safe before they can get sexually aroused — your nervousness could help them feel safer and work to your advantage. You might just win after all.
Bad Advice: You don’t need money to date. “You don’t need to spend a lot to date,” means is that you don’t have to, and shouldn’t, spend a lot of money on your dates or on your partner. No ₦50,000 fancy meals, expensive gifts, taking trips together early on, and so forth.
Starting to date someone shouldn’t collapse your budget and should only impact it slightly if at all. So the problem is? Most of the same advice-givers emphasize the importance of having an active social life and hobbies and activities that indicate independence and that one is an interesting and well-rounded person.
That’s great advice for a happy life, independent of dating, but it’s essential for dating, especially for men. Very few people will find a person who only works and sleeps very attractive. The problem is that those two pieces of advice are at odds.
Let’s consider hobbies, Hiking. This gets recommended often as a great way to get in shape and meet people. The hiking community is pretty gender-balanced and social, so it makes sense.
It costs money to go out with friends. It costs money to go to dinner. It costs money to host dinner parties. It costs money to attend concerts and festivals and other events. Being independent and interesting is expensive. Even more home-cantered hobbies are expensive, though maybe not quite as much, depending – and they aren’t social so not so great for dating.
It’s cheaper if you live in a major city, or even a moderately-sized city, but is isn’t really cheap to follow the advice soo many dating gurus give, even if you aren’t spending much on dates themselves. What does it all mean?
Don’t stress too much about acquiring hobbies. Odds are you have one or two, anyway. Yes, the more things you can be involved in and the better you become at them, the easier it becomes to meet and attract someone. But don’t wait to try to date until you tick off a long checklist of activities. Enough to have something where you meet people and do things on your own is good enough to start.
Prioritize your career and make money. You don’t need a Lamborghini or a corner office, but you do need financial stability with enough left over to budget for hobbies and development and socializing. If you’re living hand-to-mouth as most start-up youths today, healthy dating is practically off the table, because it’s almost impossible to have an independent social life.
That leads to all sorts of emotional and psychological stresses that can sink a relationship really fast. So make sure you can afford to have something that you can do. Don’t skip too far ahead. That means yes, you need to have a reasonable amount of disposable cash every year before you should really think about getting into a serious relationship.
That’s hard and practically out of reach for a lot of people. Life sucks, focus on improving your economic situation as best you can. Easier said than done, but it’s pretty important if you want healthy relationships. You don’t need to be rich, but you do need to be solvent with a bit leftover. Good luck.