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What Women Want, And What They Tell You (Part 1: Be Yourself)

Many men believe that women themselves ought to be the prime source of valid dating advice. After all, they should be the first ones to know what attracts them in a man's appearance and behavior. But is it really the case? My female friends invariably describe their latest fling using the following preliminary statement: "He is not really my type." When asked what exactly attracts them to someone who's not their type, it is not uncommon to hear: "He's got a certain something." Is it possible that women themselves could be rather confused about what really triggers attraction?

If this is true, then men should think twice before asking women how to act on a date or after how many days they should call someone back after an initial encounter. Not only they may not know but they might very well give advice based on their wishes rather than actual experiences. A study published in 2008 revealed that such personality traits as Narcissism, Machiavellianism and subclinical psychopathy cause attraction and facilitate short-term mating Strategy in men. James Bond would be a prime example of this. Yet, very few women will advise their friends to act as a self-obsessed psychopath on his next date. Neither will I.

Therefore, men should at least be circumspect when receiving advice pertaining to their love life from a woman. If I wanted to learn how to sell second-hand cars, I would rather ask the guy who has been selling them for 20 years rather than someone who just bought one. Alas, armed with the best intentions, women do and will continue to offer guidance to their male single friends. Let's review some of the most common tips you might have heard from your friends, exes and even mother over the course of a lifetime.

Be Yourself

This one is undoubtedly the number 1 recommendation anyone gives to their most desperate friends. It is a horrible piece of dating advice in the sense that it implies that no work or improvement whatsoever is required.

The truth is that in order to be confident and authentic, you will have to know yourself, love yourself and learn how to express yourself. This quest for self understanding and self acceptance is rarely achieved in a day. If you're an introverted geek whose free time is mostly spent playing World of Warcraft, being yourself just won't cut it.

You will have to take a good hard look in the mirror.

You will have to reinvent yourself to attract a girlfriend.

Hence, I believe that simply urging someone to be himself and hope for the best can be toxic in many cases. If I had to reformulate it, I would instead recommend aiming for authenticity. Indeed, bragging comes from a place of insecurity. It is simply obnoxious, disrespectful and leaves absolutely no room for the deep connection which is vital in healthy relationships.

Women do want a man who feels good about himself. Women want a man who can present himself and the episodes of his life in way that is captivating without resorting to lies or showing off.

Women want a man who can reveal vulnerabilities without a hint of self-pity.

This journey toward becoming the most attractive version of yourself start with one step.

Take it now.

Grab a pen and piece of paper. Write down three things you love about yourself and three things you want to improve in the next 90 days. Next week we will review another piece of advice you may have received from your mother or your best friend: You can't hurry Love.