How to Get the Girl
By Thomas P. Farley For Men’s Life Today
Does this sound familiar? You’ve finally worked up the guts to ask an attractive woman you’ve started hanging out with on a date, and she replies with a sympathetic smile and a cliche: “You’re a great guy. But I would hate to ruin our friendship.”
If that’s you, you’ve probably wondered why it is that the guys who treat women like afterthoughts — rather than the amazing catches they are — always seem to get the girl. We asked relationship experts this very question, and here is what they said: They don’t.
“It’s a myth that nice guys finish last,” says advice columnist, on-air host and author Andrea Syrtash. “Kindness is consistently ranked as one of the top attributes both men and women are seeking.” If you’re batting zero, say our experts, you don’t need to take a crash course in cruelty; you just need to change your strategy.
Learn the difference between nice and too nice.
Women appreciate kindness, but when a man is so overly accommodating that he no longer presents a challenge, he becomes a doormat, and that’s not a major turn-on. Next time the object of your desire reaches out on a Friday night after her other plans have fallen through, say no. And don’t be too eager to help her assemble furniture or to take her to the airport. “You can still be a support, but you don’t have to be available all of the time,” says Syrtash. “You’re not leaving any intrigue, any element of surprise … and those are all essential elements in a courtship.”
Self-described “dateologist” Tracey Steinberg agrees that nice guys do not finish last, but insecure guys do. “Women want a man who knows what he’s doing,” says Steinberg. She suggests prepping yourself mentally by telling yourself, “I’m on top of my game. I treat women well, and any woman I choose to spend time with is lucky.” It may take a while before your new attitude takes hold, but Steinberg promises: “When you have that mindset, you get much different results.”
Make your intentions clear.
You may be trying to create the impression that you’re the perfect gentleman by always being on your best behavior. According to Jordan Harbinger, co-founder of The Art of Charm — a program that teaches men how to meet and attract women — this is a perfect way to signal that you’re not interested. If you want to send the opposite message, you’ve got to generate some sexual tension. “Flirt and banter,” says Harbinger. “When there’s playful teasing, that brings in a little bit of mystery.” He also suggests acting sooner rather than later. “Many guys wait a year before they finally make a move. By then they’ve missed the window by 364 days.”
Harbinger calls the secret hope that one day your crush is going to wake up and fall madly in love with you “the friendship fallacy.” His modus operandi? “I’m not friends with any girls I secretly want to date. I either date her or we become friends with benefits or — if she’s not interested and I am — I don’t have a friendship with her.”
It’s also true that some women really are attracted to bad boys. Your object should be to avoid them at all cost. “A woman who’s only interested in jerks will be a nightmare to date,” says Syrtash. “The jerk might land her, but he will have his hands full soon enough.” Says Steinberg: “Don’t waste your time.”
And you can take heart in the fact that you will be vindicated eventually. “Sooner or later, a woman who dates a string of jerks is going to get sick of it,” says Syrtash. “If she’s healthy and intelligent, she will come to realize that kindness ranks very high in terms of what’s great in a man.”
By the time she reaches her senses, however, you’ll long since have moved on to a woman who values and loves your kindness and confidence — proof positive that yes, indeed, nice guys can finish first.
Thomas P. Farley Nice guy Thomas P. Farley is the creator of the blog What Manners Most, the nightlife correspondent for “Citybuzz” (seen on JetBlue and Continental Airlines flights nationwide) and the host of the Web television show “New York Insider TV.” He is a regular feature writer for Men’s Life Today, and you can follow him @mistermanners and @newyorkinsider.
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