General Advice
Your Problem

Problem Types
Type I
Type II
Type III
Type IV
Type V

The Program: Step 3 - Solutions

Type 4 Solution
But I don't think of you that way

Okay, so you've heard the line "I think of you as a great, great friend" way too many times...why? And What The Hell Do You Do About It?

Well, at the risk of being violently warm and fuzzy, you've taken a good first step in trying to solve your problem by realizing that you have a problem.

If you meet lots of women who "don't think of you that way," you probably have two different problems. In addition to not getting dates, you have one or more female "foul-weather friends." A "foul-weather friend," or "client," is someone who calls and wants to get together or talk only when things are going wrong for her. (Note: another term is "emotional vampire.")

If this sounds familiar, put simply, you're letting them take advantage of you. The movies you've seen and the books you've read where the woman finally realizes that "the friend is the one she should have been with all this time" is a load of you-know-what. (Think "When Harry Met Sally" — right, Billy Crystal is going to get Meg Ryan. Yeah. Right. That's realistic.)

I can say that based on years of experience. There's a simple test to determine if your female friends are friends are clients: are these women there for you when you've been hurt? If yes, they're probably friends, if not, they're clients. If they're clients, unless you're going to be a therapist, and are being paid 90 dollars per 50-minute hour as a professional therapist, dump them out of your life and don't waste your energy on them. Why would you want that grief?

I was twenty-three when I figured this out. Once I dumped my clients, I noticed three things:

  1. I had more energy.
  2. I had more free time
  3. Because of one and two, I had better luck dating.

The second part of dealing with this problem is taking a look at your values and beliefs. Assuming (Note: I am making assumptions here) that you're not trying to "date out of your league" by dating someone who's better looking, smarter, richer, etc., chances are that you're not being macho enough.

The problem is that you've learned your lessons a little too well...and possibly read too much fantasy growing up. Yes, the white knight did get the Princess and treated her well, but he also killed the dragon...and knew that he could before he pulled out his sword (so to speak).

As niceguys™ we have the "treating her well" part down pat. We need a little more of that dragon-slayer confidence and machismo. "Confidence" you say? That sounds really familiar! If not, go back and read Nice Guys' General Advice. Something to remember: the Hero treated the Princess well, but so did her servants...and she ain't gonna date any servants.

Of course, hearing "I think of you as a great, great friend" isn't going to do much for the confidence, but if you want to date, you're going to have to find a way around it.

What to do next? One of those annoying little exercises like you find in those irritating self-help books. Exercise 1 " Go get a pen and paper and take five minutes and write down the things you don't like about yourself. Come back when you're done.

I said, "Go get a pen and paper and take five minutes and write down the things you don't like about yourself." I don't like these stupid exercises either, but there is a reason that so many books (and professional therapists) use them. Now then, assuming that you've actually done that, exercises two and three: take five minutes and write down the things you like about yourself but could make better and then the things you like about yourself and don't need work.

Guess what's next. Yup. That's right. Your next goal is to work on the items on lists one and two, and, if possible, list three. Once again, forget about the inner-beauty garbage, we're trying to get dates here.

Not having met you personally, I'm going to list some of the basics.


The first thing that women see is, big surprise, your looks. Now then, women, on average, aren't quite as shallow as we are in regards to looks, but if you don't want to date someone who's overweight, why would she? As guys, we also have another problem, if we're underweight we also don't look that good. How's your weight? Whether you're overweight or underweight working-out cannot hurt your appearance unless you're so overbuilt that you're scaring women off.

You probably don't have this problem, but how's your hygiene? Clean hair? Body odor? Clear (non-oily) skin?

Once again, your hair, if you're going bald: minodoxil, hair-transplants (by professionals, otherwise this can look REALLY stupid), shaving it off, or acceptance. Comb-overs are right out. Every woman I've ever met has agreed on this one. If you have hair, keep it clean and find a style that suits your face...ask your female friends.

Clothing — How often do you get complimented on your clothing? When you do get compliments does the person complimenting you sound surprised? You don't want to be too fashionable. (you don't want to hear "Oh, I thought you were gay," again, do you?) On the other hand, you don't want to wear your Miami Vice™ peach-colored jacket with the teal shirt any more do you? If you have questions, ask your female friends who are the type you'd like to attract. It's okay to ask them, "Hey, could you help me? I'm trying to upgrade my wardrobe and I really need some help." Then spend some money, good clothes aren't usually cheap, but they last longer. Also, if you do get to go shopping with one of your friends, make sure you like everything, but also let her pick out some stuff that makes you think, "Could I wear that?"

Posture? If you're short, stand-up straight. If you're, stand-up straight. Don't look like you have a stick-up-your-ass, but slouching looks really bad. And while you're at it stand with your weight placed equally over both feet, don't cross your arms, or hunch your shoulders. (Even if you work on a computer all day.)

I recently got a part in a play as the Hero (typecasting, of course) and even with martial arts and dance training, I am appalled to realize how much work my posture and body language need to be "heroic." Whenever you perform any action do it with determination. When you walk, put your chin up, your chest out, and take large steps. You're a MAN damn it! When you stand there, take up space. You're a MAN.

By the way, all of this is WORK, you're breaking yourself of habits that you've been developing for years.


Another exercise: Get out that tape recorder and talk for five minutes. Yes. That is what you sound like. Sure, you look like Adonis, but you sound like Pee-Wee Herman. This is the second thing she's likely to notice. If you need professional help, you can check your local yellow pages, but for some basics:
  1. Imagine that your trusty, faithful dog "Spike" (let some wimp play with "Rover"...he named his dog after his ex-girlfriend's behavior) is about to piddle on your new entertainment center. Say "NO!" Your voice probably dropped about a half-octave from what you normally sound like. This is the tone (actually tone and pitch for those of you who are musically inclined) that you should aim for.

  2. Also, in regards to your "NO!" Speak up. If people ask you to repeat yourself or you have a hard time breaking into a conversation, you're speaking too softly. Breathe from your diaphragm (when you inhale, your stomach should expand as much as your chest) and use the added air for more volume.

  3. Lose the "Um's." If you're saying something only words should come out of your mouth, no random spacer sounds. They make you sound unsure of yourself. This goes for "likes" as well.

  4. As you're a man, not a 14-year-old girl, mean what you say. If you're asking a question, it should usually start with "Who," "What," "Where," "When," "Why," or "How." Don't say "We're going to the movies tonight?" as a question. Say "Are we going to the movies tonight?" Actually, I lie. Say "How about we go to the movies tonight. Here are two choices. Which do you want to see?"

  5. Finally, Slow. It. Down. The naturally tendency when people are nervous is to talk faster. This means that if you talk fast...that's right, you're going to look nervous. If you always talk just a little slower (unless you're from the South) it will seem like you're sure of what you have to say and it's important enough to have other people wait just a little longer.
That's a start for the first impression, I'll write more when I get the chance.

All materials © Copyright 2007 - Clint Zehner
If you are interested in reprinting any of the materials on this site, please contact me.

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