Why “Just Be Yourself” Is Terrible Dating Advice

One of the most frustrating and perplexing phenomena in life is not if there’s extraterrestrial life. It’s why women always give “just be yourself” as dating advice and think it’s helpful. Almost every year, I run into some girl who just shoots out this advice thinking it will help when they clearly haven’t thought about it much or what dating is like from the perspective of a straight man and clearly never had much trouble themselves.

Most people give well-intentioned, terrible advice. And the result is men interpret “just be yourself” as vague non-sense. So… I’ve been failing for many years. You want me to keep failing and doing the same thing? I’ve already been being myself!!!

It must be evolutionary why they give this advice because every generation, these words just erupt from the mouth of young women like it was pre-programmed into their DNA like kung fu skills were programmed into Neo in the Matrix.

And that’s why I think you should ignore most dating advice you hear from people because it’s wrong. And I have undeniable evidence that most women, family, and friends have no idea what they’re talking about.

Once upon a time, I went on dozens of first dates where I’m told afterwards that they see me as a platonic friend rather than anything romantic or that there’s no chemistry. When asked to explain why or what I can do to improve later via text, their answer is to either be mute (probably to not offend me) or simply not much – move on – be yourself – some people just don’t connect – there’s nothing you can really change about it.

You see, I’ve been told “Just be yourself, don’t tweak or change your personality. The right women will come along!”

Complete garbage. Years ticked on. I was 21. Then, 22. Then, 23. I’ll just hold on, right? All of a sudden, my 20s are gone – and that person hasn’t come along yet. The women who tell you this don’t have to bear with the consequences of giving bad advice and you ruining your life. They give their theoretical advice, leave, live their own life, and you’re left to your own devices!

Yet when you keep running into the same recurring issue, the advice to “just be yourself” needs to be switched up. What else can you do? You want me to keep failing at getting second dates? There’s clearly a pattern and something I’m doing wrong, you want me to just ignore it because it’s not authentic of myself to change anything? It pisses me off because if we followed all advice given to us faithfully, we’d end up homeless in the dumpster – or at least lonelier than we want.

See my full video interview with my dating story here. 

So why do women say this and what can we do about it effectively?

There’s many theories, one of them that I was told by a dating coach Andrew who I future in my podcast is that it’s an unconscious way of filtering out the ineligible men. They don’t truly care if being yourself will actually help you get the women you want. They just want you to be authentic so they can have more honest signals to see if you’re up to par. It’s harder to filter people out when they’re faking.

My own theory is that women are not that malicious. I believe that many of the women who have given this advice to me are kind and well-intentioned. They have little knowledge of what it’s like to be a man and who there’s various other skills and traits you can improve to increase your results. What they can tap into is their experience and DNA, shaped my millions of years of mating competition. While they can’t articulate everything properly, they know one common thing that doesn’t work is trying to be someone you’re not in a way that is obviously fake and cringe. They know from experience that when people fake it like that, it’s a turn off.

So while, being yourself won’t solve all your dating problems, it’s one thing you can do to avoid failing on one front. For example, don’t pretend you’re the life of the party when you’re a shy introvert. Don’t try to pretend your weaknesses are your strengths. Most women can see through that fakery a mile away.

But being authentic isn’t enough. While I think it’s very valuable to be true to who I am, as a proud nerd, and show that, I found that doing just that can still lead to a lack of romantic interest or tension and no second date. To get to the level you want, you need to become the man that the woman wants. And there’s all sorts of things you can improve to do that, from your fashion, ability to banter, ability to flirt, how edgy you are, being man to woman, being more romantic and less platonic, being effective at your career, being a leader, and so forth.

And that’s why I invested in a coach to see those results. And boy, did I see results. In several years of trying to figure it out myself with free content, I made more progress with a coach who gave me feedback than all those years trying to save money.

See my full video interview with my story here. 

Most men are already being themselves, and it’s not working. The real issue is that they have some habits, traits, and behaviors that are turning off women without them realizing it. They can probably fix or improve these areas while still being authentic and not try to be something I’m not. There are things you can tweak or improve to be a better version of yourself. Tweaking parts of myself like my hairstyle is still being myself. Getting contacts versus eyeglasses is still myself. And frankly, your identity is malleable. If you don’t want to be seen as the weak nerd anymore, you can move to a new city and reinvent yourself. And I don’t care if women don’t like it and get upset because I’m no longer the “person I used to be that they remember fondly.” Who cares?! That wasn’t working for me. So, this generic “be yourself” advice is rubbish.

As a caveat, I understand that some women have asserted back that you’re not being as authentic as you could be. Maybe there’s some truth there. One can be more forthright with their dating goals rather than pretend they’re looking for a relationship. One can be more truthful with the the fact that they’re super anime nerds rather than hide it to seem more edgy and cool. One can stop pretending they love finance and management consulting and that they went to an Ivy League when they didn’t.

I agree that it’s endearing and a breath of fresh air to be unabashedly confident and forthright with who you are. But does that solve everything? I would argue no. They may like the fact that you’re not hiding all of that, but that still doesn’t mean they’re attracted to you or interested in what you’re interested in. You still need to generate attraction and a bunch of other things and outcompete some very eligible bachelors sometimes to get the quality of mate you’re after.

The problem with living your life and trying to get feedback is that you can’t get solid feedback. Women are often unaware or too afraid you’ll get offended to give direct feedback, so they won’t even when you ask. They often can’t articulate what’s wrong, they simply feel it in their primal DNA that the “chemistry” isn’t there. That’s why you NEED a coach!

And this is where investing in a dating coach comes in. Unfortunately, there’s still a stigma about dating coaches. I heard some men are even scared to show that they follow a dating coach on Instagram, so they hide it on another account. We need to remove this ridiculous stigma! Are you going to be so embarrassed about your life that you fail to ever invest in one of the most important areas of your life? Frankly, finding the right partner is often quoted as the most important decision in people’s life. And most things people do – make a lot of money, buy a nice car, go to the gym – is ultimately to attract the right person. So, to neglect that because of embarrassment that they’re not doing bad is stupid.

It’s tough for me too to reveal anything as well. There’s the fear of being mocked or made fun of by anonymous strangers. But if it’ll inspire or help others, it’s worth it.

See my full video interview with my story here. 

I truly believe we need to eliminate that stigma. Dating is one of the most important areas of your life. Choosing a life partner or having an abundance of quality women can lead to a lot more satisfaction, enjoyment, and happiness in life. Yet some men hide it because they’re scared or embarrassed to show that they’re lacking in this area, so much so that they don’t even invest in this area. I’m not saying you have to post about it like me. I’m saying you have to take some action in life to make a change rather than sit around watching free content because in this video podcast, that’s literally what I did for years and my progress could’ve been so much faster with a coach.

See my full video interview with my story here. 

Well, I wasn’t going to keep floundering. Investing in dating coaches has helped me get actually useful feedback. IA coach can help expedite the process of growth immensely. Trying to figure it out on your own can lead to years of unawareness. You just don’t know what your blind spots are!

I learned that I need to tap into that playful, fun, positive energy. I need to get a woman to feel something. I need to make an impact. If a woman doesn’t feel any emotion from you or feels like she left the interaction with lots of positive emotion, she may feel indifferent to you. I need to be more verbally fluent, say what’s on my mind even if it doesn’t make sense, and show my romantic intent. I can’t be talking to her like a platonic coworker. I have to really show that this is a man-to-woman sexual interaction, not just a friend-zoned person.

I also discovered that I need to lead more. I knew that I needed to demonstrate more leadership qualities intuitively, but I never really brought enough awareness or effort to that area. During the coaching, I discovered I need to lead the girl. I have to say more stuff like “Let’s go here” rather than “Do you wanna…?”

It’s one of many things I learn I needed to improve on. I needed to be more expressive, enthusiastic, loud and less passive, hesitant, monotone, and quiet. I came off as the exact opposite of aggressive and coming on too strong, a blind spot that I didn’t know about. I thought I was average, but that wasn’t the perception I was giving others.

Improving your leadership and communication skills in this way flies against the “be yourself” advice. Had I just continued to be myself, that would mean I wouldn’t improve in these areas because that’s not “myself.” It’s broad, vague, generic useless advice. The fact is that “myself” is a fluid concept. I can choose to be who I want, within reason. If I want to wear more edgy clothing, I can. If I want to change my values or communicate more forcefully, I can. My original “self” has been influenced by culture, upbringing, who I hung around, what I was taught, and genetics. But that’s just one version of me. Some people who have known you since you were young may see that as your “authentic self” and try to prevent you from changing because they prefer that version of you for their own means. If that version isn’t serving you anymore, discard it? Why let something continue to not serve you?

Some women may argue that the nuanced advice of “just be yourself” doesn’t mean you can’t be a better self and change your vocal tone, style, leadership, and communication skills. They may argue that you’re just not interpreting that advice correctly. Well, that’s on them. Most women just say just be yourself and leave it there. In fact, I’ve seen some eager to leave and not bother to spend any more time elaborating. When you give vague advice, don’t be surprised or upset when it gets interpreted wrong – that’s on your bad advice.

While dating comes easy to some, it’s a challenging skill set to work at improving for others. I’ve seen a lot of years pass by where I tried to save money and figure it out on my own and it wasn’t working. But with a coach, I started to see some real results – dates and even more. And of course, you need to find a great coach. There’s some crappy ones out there too peddling their programs. But this one I got is legit, and I’ll explain why in the video.

It’s easy to tell someone “just be yourself” but I had spent my 20s floundering around trying to be myself. And now, in my 30s, I know that I would’ve kept floundering and being blind to what I was doing wrong by being myself. I don’t think tapping into your playful, emotional, humor side and being able to trigger that in a woman isn’t being yourself. It’s a better version of myself. The logical version of myself who talked about his hobbies, asked what they did for work, and had a respectful conversation on dates was being myself as well – but repeating the same behavior would’ve surely led to a lot more first dates that never turned into second dates.

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By Will Chou

I am the the founder of this site and I am grateful you are here to be part of this awesome community. I help hard-working Asian American Millennials get rich doing work they love.


  1. Hi Will,

    Thank you for sharing your insightful journey with investing in a dating coach. Your experience resonates deeply with me, as I’ve also realized the value of expert guidance in navigating the complexities of dating and relationships.

    Your candidness about the limitations of generic advice like ‘just be yourself’ is refreshing. It’s evident that true growth often requires stepping outside our comfort zones and actively working on areas that may need improvement.

    I admire your courage in challenging societal stigmas surrounding seeking help in this area. Your message of empowerment and personal growth is truly inspiring.

    Looking forward to watching your full video interview!

    Best regards,
    Jordan Travon

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