Dating “Experts” or Just People with Opinions?

I wrote the following as a guest post for my Twitter friend and dating blogger Single City Guy. I think he’s a super cool dude because he seems very down to earth, authentic, and displays a lot of respect for women. Alas, ladies, he’s not single any longer, some lucky girl knew a good thing when she saw it and grabbed him. He’s still blogging though, so check him out. And without further ado, here’s the post:

Bad dating advice

I wonder how many people will try and click this…

When @singlecityguy asked what advice I’d give to men about women, my first thought was, “Don’t listen to advice!” Okay, okay, that may be a bit much. Nevertheless, I am very skeptical of any person who doles out advice, claiming to be a dating “expert.”

What makes one a dating expert anyway? To my knowledge, no university offers a degree in dating (although in my college experience you’d think I could’ve earned one). So what then, someone who’s currently in a successful relationship? Someone who dates a lot? Someone who writes a blog about dating? I don’t buy any of it.

The reason dating experts are full of poo (in my humble opinion) is because people who date are human, and like snowflakes and Cabbage Patch Kids, no two are alike. The line that worked on Jen might not work on Laura. The strategy that bagged Tara might repel Emily. And maybe Brian can pull off a move that would make Derek look like a big fat douche.

There are plenty of men and women alike who will tell you “women like jerks” or “chicks dig sensitive guys” or even “all girls really want are money and a big dick.” Phooey! Don’t listen to this garbage. The truth is, some women like jerks, some chicks dig sensitive guys and some girls really want money and a big dick. And some women dislike all of these traits and want something else.

I’m going to make a bold statement that the experts don’t want you to know. Common courtesy and common sense aside (brush your teeth, don’t fart on the first date, etc.), please remember this, and repeat after me…

Not All Women Want the Same Thing. They Are All Different.

I understand why men turn to these self-proclaimed experts for advice. Approaching women is hard. Dating is hard. Understanding women is hard. I get it. It’s human nature to try and make sense of things, and reading a book that claims to have the answer can provide an illusion of mastery or a plan of action.  This in turn gives you confidence when going into battle, a feeling that you know what you’re doing. The problem is, when the plan flops, you feel like even more of a loser. You did everything the book said, so why didn’t it work?

I’ve got news for you: dating experts want your money (or if they are bloggers, your readership).

They know they’ve got a vast audience of hapless dudes who will give them good money in hopes of finding some possible solution to their never-ending frustrations with women. So they give you “solutions.” These may or may not work, but it doesn’t matter, because PayPal’s already processed the transaction.

Just like diet books, there are a million out there. Few actually work, but there will always be a market of fat people trying to lose weight. And there will always be a market of confused men trying to score. Don’t be their next victim.

To be fair, I am sure there are “experts” who really think they are doing a service to men everywhere. But I find this thinking somewhat narcissistic, to claim to have all the answers for people whom they’ve never even met. They may have opinions, but please, take them with a grain of salt. There is a good chance they won’t be right.

So I apologize if you’ve read through this article hoping to discover the secret to picking up chicks. There isn’t one. You have to figure out who you are and be that person, with all the confidence in the world.

And come to terms with the fact that not everyone is going to like you. (That’s a big one.) Someone will, you just have to find her. Make it fun.

And by the way, this same non-advice advice goes for women folk as well.

I shall leave you with one of my favorite quotes from one of my favorite dudes:

“Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it, no matter if I said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your common sense.”



Happy dating!

30 replies

  1. Great post. True, there are a lot of people out there selling books and “advice”. But there are also LOTS more buying it (publishers release them every month). I think we are all looking for answers, and it helps to see other peoples’ views and experiences. I don’t think there is anything wrong with that, but we have to make our own decisions in the end.

    And some people are just great writers, and it doesn’t matter what they are selling, I will buy just to read. Like Laurie Notaro. Although most of these great writers would not call themselves “expert” at anything!

  2. Very good post. I agree that there is no one bag of tricks or set of rules that applies to all women or all men. All we can do is benefit from observing some tendencies and patterns and know that they are just that — patterns, not absolute rules for all circumstances.

    I myself don’t claim to be any sort of “expert”. I’m just someone who has explored the topic over the years, through personal experience and study. I offer suggestions and ideas as a potential resource, NOT a one-stop shopping solution or a magic pill. It’s about finding and practicing what resonates most with you and letting go of the rest. I think it would great if that concept was driven home a little more in all areas of personal growth. There is no one path, one package of advice that works for everyone.

    In line with your Buddha quote, I love this woo-woo test for all teachers and teachings.


  3. Again, great post! God, I love the way you write and you’re absolutely right on this topic too. Looking back on previous dating escapades, it was always the silly awkward moments when things go wrong on a date that I treasure. And if you’re lucky, they do because that’s when you see who your date really is and that is what this is all about.

    Great comment from Matt – I agree with you too: there are some people who could do with a little ‘socialising’ because most are not patient enough to wait to see the good stuff – I’m talking about geeks. God, I love geeks. Give me a geek with a beard and a bicycle and you’ll make me a happy girl…

  4. The truth! I saw some woman’s dating expert site the other day.. I wish I could find it again.. you would love it. Super bad. If you’re such an expert.. then why is your website so ugly and so 2002?

    (Thats for said expert.. you and your website rule!)

  5. How very true! That is my complaint with the entire section of self-help books too. That said, if you’ve got a fun story to tell, I’ll read your blog! And I definitely read YOURS. 🙂

  6. “You have to figure out who you are and be that person, with all the confidence in the world.” You hit the nail on the head. Now, as someone who makes (part of) his living helping men get better at what I scientifically call “social stuff” (dating included), I didn’t expect to like this article–but I did. 🙂

    I think your points are all very valid. And a huuuuge part of the problem I have with the “dating industry”/”seduction community” (or whatever you want to call it!) at large are the ridiculous claims and generalizations that get made. I can’t even tell you how many ads I see that say something like: “Get a any girl in to bed–TONIGHT! 4 Easy steps to becoming a dating champ!” As you say…”Phooey!”

    That kind of sleazy marketing bothers me; there’s no “magic bullet” that can solve every problem and attract any woman. And another big part of it, as you say, is realizing that “Not everyone will like you”–and that’s huge! But! I still do think there are men that can benefit from people like me and here’s why:

    There are things that are (pretty much) universally unattractive. Being needy, for instance. One of the biggest problems I run into is guys that “fall in love” with a girl before the first date! And lets face it, there’s just something very unattractive about someone being WAY more into you than you are into them.

    Now is that the case with every girl every time? Of course not! But I think it usually is, and I think that if a guy who is currently displaying neediness and too much attraction at the outset can learn not to, that he’s going to be happier in the long run (and so will the women he pursues!).

    Ultimately, my philosophy boils down to: people are attracted to attractive people. What that means to me is that “the game”–or whatever you want to call it–is something that you “play” internally. It’s a series of improvements you make to yourself, not a series of moves you learn to manipulate someone else. And the end goal of that is, to quote you a final time: ” to figure out who you are and be that person, with all the confidence of the world.”

    Fantastic article with a lot of insight!

    • I agree, there are a few guys who are just 100% clueless. The problem is, there are a lot of regular non-clueless guys who read something like “don’t be needy” and they overcompensate by being arrogant. They may show no vulnerability at all, which is something I personally find attractive and allows people to grow closer. It’s the one-size-fits-all that just doesn’t work. I think every situation should be evaluated on a case-by-case basis, and even then sometimes it’s hard to judge because we’re getting a self-report and usually only one side of the story. Thanks for your thoughtful comments – I’m glad you liked it! 🙂

      • CoatMan – I read some of your blog and you don’t sound clueless. You just sound unsure of a particular situation – which happens to everyone, men and women alike. That’s part of the excitement, actually! There’s simply no way of reading people’s minds so you just have to be yourself and your right match will like you. I also know that’s completely easier said than done. 🙂

      • We can’t all be equally clueless – some people have at least some idea what to do. For me, it’s just like being in a play and having forgotten all my lines…

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