Probably the best book on dating strategy and attraction for men I’ve ever read. Most of my friends who have read a few dating books agree. It’s not about being sleazy and picking up women, but rather about becoming a more attractive, honest person, and getting over the insecurities that most guys struggle with.

Attraction

The ability to be attractive does not depend on your social standing or wealth, but rather the qualities that make you attractive is your potential to be rich and famous, deemed by how others perceive you, how you treat yourself, and how you behave around others.

Being desired elicits arousal in both men and women, but since female arousal is more psychological than male, being desired plays an even greater role when it comes to determining an attractive man for a woman. In this way, the more you physically assert yourself toward a woman, the more she will become aroused, even if she was not interested in you originally. Women can be turned on by aggressive and bold pursuits, so she becomes curious and wants to get to know you.

The attractiveness of a man is determined by his confidence, in other words, being unconcerned about what other people think of you and more concerned with what you think of yourself.

Women tend to be attracted to men who are more invested in themselves than they are in them, so investing heavily in oneself is a great way to build true confidence and become more attractive.

When you’re on top of the food chain, you don’t have to be inhibited or defer to others (unless you choose to do so if you so desire), however, you will spend your entire life deferring to others if you’re at the bottom of the food chain." When someone fails to meet your standards, move on. Be very clear about your standards and be firm about sticking to them. Don’t waste time with anyone who doesn’t meet them. Knowing what you want, what you will accept, and what you will not accept, is important for both casual and serious dating.

However, everything you say needs to be as genuine as possible. There are no shortcuts, no tricks. You mean it because you say it, and you say it because you truly mean it. You can tell that it’s working when you get more nervous, which means you’re being yourself and making yourself vulnerable. Confidence affects your attractiveness, and confidence is determined by how vulnerable you can make yourself. How vulnerable you are depends on how honest you are with yourself and others.

Rather than trying to be cool and pretend you’re not interested, sincerely expressing your true interest in dating someone, enables you to circumvent the “investment paradox” and demonstrate both interest and confidence at the same time. Unless a guy was fearless about rejection, he wouldn’t have the confidence to be honest about what he wants from a woman. This is what “True Honesty” really means.

Why and how you say it is more important than what you say.

Honesty

Before he even begins to talk to women, I recommend every man to sit down for a while and ask himself these questions:

What do you look for in a woman? Should she be honest, affectionate? Does her educational attainment matter, and would you prefer her to be intelligent? Should she be smart? Is it important that you have the same interests? Where are you most likely to find women that attract you? When and where do they hang out? How do you spend most of your time? Are you an avid reader/writer? Is music one of your hobbies? Are you a fan of sports and competitions? Are there events or organizations that you can join to explore your hobbies?

Become interesting by:

  • Develop your artistic taste
  • Be open to new experiences
  • Having an opinion – often the easiest way to be interesting, having an opinion and not being worried by people getting offended by what you have to say.

The biggest reason men cannot be attractive and date successfully and meet women is anxiety. Take away the anxiety, and the rest will take care of itself.

You can break your patterns by:

  • Identify the issue that is most concerning to you. Does it have anything to do with going up to a woman? Is it expressing sexual interest? Asking a woman out? Initiating the first kiss?
  • Now write down your pattern. Identify your reactions and note them.
  • Next, create a goal for yourself, and take notes. Keeping an accountability partner can be a big help, tell a friend what you plan to do.

The following steps can assist in reducing anxiety: You could approach a few women each day and simply ask for the time When you feel more comfortable, progress to asking them how their day is going Keep challenging yourself until you can walk up to women and tell them you think they’re attractive and ask them out on a date.

Boldness leads to polarization and aggression is always the best approach.

Communication

You can’t have a guy who’s good with women who isn’t sometimes creepy. You might freak out some women if you’re open about your sexuality, but that’s okay since you aren’t interested in them anyway. For instance, if you meet a woman, you can just tell her, “I think you’re beautiful, I would like to take you on a date.” This is one of the most powerful and practical things you can say. In addition to being vulnerable, as we’ve discussed at length, it creates far more sexual tension.

To improve your communication, you can do the following:

  • Learning about yourself, your motivations, and your life story.
  • Taking the initiative to share your emotions, motivations, and life story first.
  • Women are more likely to reciprocate with their personal stories only if you are willing to go first.

The more you engage in this, the more personal the stories will become and the deeper the emotions you will be able to relate to.

When approaching a woman, go the simpler route, walk up and introduce yourself and tell her that you want to meet her. This may sound drab and boring, but keep in mind that it isn’t about entertaining her. It is about demonstrating true interest and exuding confidence. I often begin a conversation by saying something like, “Excuse me, this is kind of random…”

And remember to SMILE!

There are several reasons you might be getting a lot of rejections: You present yourself poorly - unkempt appearance, unattractive style, poor body language. Reread Chapters 8 and 9. You have the wrong motives. You’re approaching a woman for the wrong reasons. The wrong reason is anything other than “She’s cute, I want to meet her.” You’re making her uncomfortable/overreacting / not smiling

The better way to create a thread of conversation is through statements, not questions. As a result, it assumes rapport and makes conversations more personal immediately.

Try to cold-read as much as you can. Whenever you are asking a question that requires a factual answer, try answering it instead of asking. Being random and interesting is better than being predictable and boring. Don’t be afraid to speak your mind. It’s possible to carry on a conversation for a long time if you learn to recognize jump-off points and use them quickly.

Dates

Plan a 3-part date, don’t focus on a single activity. Here are some ideas to keep things moving:

  • Coffee date: getting ice cream down the street, a picnic in the park, browsing for books at a quirky bookstore
  • Salsa class: Get drinks afterward, stroll around the neighborhood, enter your apartment
  • Interactive Improv comedy show: Walking through a nearby park, dancing at a local club near her place.

For better or for worse, Mark Manson delivers this book how he usually does — with no punches pulled.