The world of dating advice is similar to walking through a regional market in Asia: everyone’s trying to sell you how high-quality their product is, happy to tell you it’s the genuine thing, when a lot of it is counterfeit or poor material. You never know if it’ll work or not, because it all looks good, when in reality, a good portion of it is garbage. You’re just searching for those moments when something’s actually decent.
Nowadays, there’s a lot of attractive, new dating coaches popping up on social media: Courtney Ryan, Dating By Blaine, Lloyd, ACE formula, Everlasting Confidence, and plenty more. What people fail to realize is just because they’re good-looking women or around attractive women doesn’t mean they give effective advice; it just means they have an edge to catch your attention and market to you and show a little social proof. Just because they get a lot of views doesn’t mean their advice is impactful or effective. It just means they’re good at catching and holding people’s attention even if the advice is garbage, which is a good signal to the social algorithms. And just because they have thousands of customers doesn’t mean they have good teachers that can transfer their strategies to you and get results; it just means they’re good at selling and parting people of their money.
I would go even further to say that just because they have a few testimonials saying how their advice was good or how they felt better afterwards doesn’t mean anything if the comments are generalized or broad. Those are vague, non-tangible results!
Now, to balance things out, I’m not just one of those hater keyboard warriors who spouts negativity and never buys a course. I’m fairly open-minded. I’ve invested in courses and in-person coaching in many areas of life, and I’ve tried things out despite my skepticism. That said, I do want to caution people because while there’s plenty of people who are overly skeptical, there are also people who are too naive. I mean you can tell many are eating up the advice of these gurus without a second guess. And so, hopefully, you can use my thoughts here to navigate the waters of the internet and avoid the sharks because there are charlatans in every topic, from dating to life coaching to starting an Amazon FBA or ForEx business.
One thing to focus on is longevity. If this person’s product and program disappears into the wind after a year or two of release. It probably didn’t do an effective job. It either wasn’t profitable or the lack of results lead to a destruction of reputation. There was one dating app program out there that came out guns blazing called Endless Options by someone well known in the dating realm. A lot of people were talking about it, and I saw a lot of ads for it. A year later, he disappeared. The program and website were gone too.
Even that’s not a full-proof method for sifting through what’s effective because the issue with selling coaching online is that they can bury evidence of bad experience. They ask for and collect good testimonials. The ones who didn’t like the course aren’t going to have their opinions or voices collected, heard, or shown to their following obviously. So, their complaints are usually kept to themselves.
Another issue with their advice online is that it’s so focused on random tips that have no substantial impact. They sometimes just need to keep up with creating random tips to create daily content to grow their following and appease social algorithms. I saw one guru make a short video about how “active listening” is the biggest turn on for women. Sure, I can see how that can be a nice-to-have in a relationship once they got to know you, but without that nuance, it can lead men astray because there are clearly much more important traits you need to fix first before being a good listener. If you have horrible hygiene, you’re out of shape, you’re socially unaware, smell like garbage, it doesn’t take a rocket science to realize they’re going to reject you off that regardless of how good of a listener you are. I’ve seen first hand women reject men in bars immediately before they’re even given a chance to talk or listen. When’s the last time you heard a girl say “that guy’s so hot because he listens to me so actively?” Yet this guru probably noticed something she liked in her partner and rushed to make a video without thinking it through.
And the truth is that they shouldn’t be working on active listening until they can at least get their foot in the door and stop getting rejected by 99% of women when they first approach. Dating experts talk about random stuff, but it’s sometimes, looking good, being in shape, having good style and grooming, that even get you a chance when you’re approaching someone new.
Are you very over weight with hair coming out of your armpits? Are you balding? Do you have thick glasses that make you look like a nerd? These things should be addressed. You don’t need to be a model yet you still need to present yourself the best and have a great photographer for dating app profiles. Because both genders are making their assessment on what they can see before they really dig into and words you put in your bio. Additionally, I know a decent amount of good listeners who still get friend-zoned. It’s a nice-to-have but the attraction has to be there.
Then, there’s the advice I’ve seen the gurus give to women or men about where to meet each other. For men, I’ve found consistently that, while fun, these activities have a very low ratio of women in them: chess club, board games clubs, anime events, crypto meetups, poker events, martial arts classes, and some hiking meetups or generally most generic social meetups on MeetUp.com. If one goes to these, do it for the enjoyment of the activity itself. That leaves a decent amount of things, not limited to charity events, volunteer events, improv, acting, running clubs, salsa, hip-hop classes, arts classes, acting/theater/sports, or self improvement conferences. (If you have more ideas, let me know.) I’m going to leave your opinion of these up to you and your own experiments because your mileage may vary. What happened for me may not happen for you. I will say, except for the charity/volunteer stuff, I have tried many, and I haven’t seen women come out in droves, unless it’s like a spin or hip hop class. They suffer from other challenges, such as people coming in purely for the exercise/fun and joining/leaving 2 minutes before/after class. They’re not there to socialize as much, so they’re in and out fast, so you have a small window to get to know them. And hence, through that event, you may invest your evening to maybe get the chance to talk to one or two people. Once again, your mileage may vary. You may find a really social class with a lot of people if you’re lucky.
There is the issue and struggle of going to activities you enjoy just to meet people vs. going to activities you enjoy where there’s not opportunities to meet people to find a good balance. Sometimes, that balance isn’t so obvious. I’ve found there are times when I’ve gone to events and felt like it was too much exertion – I wasn’t that into the activity, yet I went to meet people. When you feel too much of that burn out, you know you’ve gone too far. That said, it’s better to err on that side than be the picky curmudgeon who barely goes to any activities because most of them fall outside of his small circle of comfort.
While all this may seem rather pessimistic, through it all is a hidden through-line of optimism and persistence. Despite it all, one does not give up. When one takes bad advice, goes to a pickle ball event or yoga event, sees a terrible turn-out, and the one cute person there expresses clear disinterest off the bat, one learns and moves on. There could be a number of reasons why the advice didn’t work. Perhaps, the guru has only seen the world from their eyes, the life of an attractive, charismatic person, so they don’t experience the harsh realities of how cold people can be when they see someone they’re not interested in. Or perhaps, one shouldn’t try to ask a fish how to catch it. Or maybe one should because while they may not have all the answers, they can give a bit of fresh perspective. Regardless, you’ll inevitably find terrible results when you try to put some of the tips you hear into action; don’t stress too much about it. Learn about what was right or wrong with it, and pivot. I have found the “conversion rate” is more important than the “traffic.” That is to say that women are willing to give a chance to a perceived high-quality man and take a chance on him romantically anywhere – the grocery store, coffee shop, yoga, at the pool, whatever. The approach may be awkward or not the smoothest, but it still happens. He doesn’t need to meet many women before he finds an interested match. Whereas someone, arguably most of us, have to work harder on that. It’s easy for the women to feel bothered, annoyed, disgusted, or astounded that you’re approaching out of context when you’re not the right guy. With the rest of us, as I’ve found, one can approach 20 or 50 individuals and get a large amount of disinterest. It’s best to figure out where you’re going wrong, where you’re being perceived poorly, and adjust. Because that’s in your control. Your approach and perception are within your control (to a degree). Your conversion rate or sexual mate value in the marketplace is so important that if it’s low, it won’t make much a difference even if you move city or country. That said, if you have some decent things to offer and can present them well while having effective strategies to meet enough people, a change in city can make a huge difference. Going from a small city with a small population with a large population can dramatically increase your opportunities to meet people and the market. There’s complexities there too because you also can face greater competition, different cities have different gender ratios and age demographics, and different cities or pockets have different cultures and values of what they find attractive; hence, some people end up finding unique communities that work best for what they have to offer or choose to be a big fish in a small or mid-sized pond rather than a small fish in a giant lake. And to end on a positive note, one can have success even if your market value isn’t great. Even I have met generous people who were willing to give me a chance, though it can take a lot more attempts and some occasional, brutal rejections.
And if you still do go with one of these new coaches, at least choose one who has experience with hundreds or thousands of clients before you. That will beat the random person trying to give you advice in your own life. At least that coach will have all that reference experience to hopefully adjust course when they see certain advice not working. They have the time to see patterns. Sure, some may just continue through the same advice as long as they can make money from it, but usually, anyone with sense would learn from their experience. The random women giving advice is usually going to say something like, “just be yourself” or “keep doing your thing. It will happen one day.” This is the typically terrible advice. I’ve seen dozens give it over my life, and it’s usually a natural human reaction, not something well thought out or effective. Countless men will raise their arms in frustration because they have been being themselves for years, and it hasn’t amounted to a thing.
So, with all that being said, from someone who’s probably done or tried it all, what does work? Is it going to a club or bar? Grocery store? Muy Thai class? Cyclebar? At the mall? A networking event? A party? Okcupid? Your mileage may vary a lot. This is just me. If you’re very social, constantly invited to events, very muscular, stylish, popular, those can all change things. I’ve found dating apps to be the most effective tool. Yeah, some people have told me they get results from meeting people in-person. It’s just not been the case for me. I get a decent, though not incredible flow. And sure, some say the apps are a hell for men where the top 10 or 20% get all the matches. I guess I’ve tweaked, tested, invested in photos enough over many years that I get enough. It took a long time, many years, but that’s what’s worked most consistently. Going to social activities is good for the soul and mental health. One can keep trying. Once you’ve gotten to a level of experience trying it all like me, it stops becoming about finding the “perfect” event because you start to realize that after a point, it because about being a better version of yourself and creating your own, better events.