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“Why can’t I get a girlfriend?!”
Many of my clients are good, decent people who work on themselves and try to improve the lives of those around them. Yet despite these desireable and attractive traits, many of them struggle in dating and can’t seem to create or maintain a healthy romantic relationship with a partner. They start to develop toxic shame – the belief that some is wrong with them – and yet they don’t realise that there’s nothing “wrong” with them, they just can’t see how neediness sabotages their chances… and what to do about it.
Dan’s Top Resources
Dan has 3 bestselling non-fiction books available in both written and audio form:
- The Naked Truth, his latest release, shows you how radical honesty builds self-confidence and relationships
- Nothing to Lose explores how to build confidence from the inside by correcting the programming in your brain
- The Legendary Life is a very practical, action-focused guide on how to plan and execute a life plan that brings you your ideal lifestyle
Dan continues to put out high quality online self-paced courses through the Udemy platform
- Shamelessness: how to relieve yourself of the “not good enough” story
- Powerful Honesty: takes you through step-by-step development of your communication skills to be more charismatic and powerful in your honesty
- The 3X Confidence and Authenticity Masterclass program: use the famous 3X Model to build confidence in all areas of life
- Financial Freedom for Beginners: includes everything from budgeting, to getting a raise, to investing in the stock market, to starting a side-business and more
- Overcoming Your Fear of Rejection… Permanently!: covers the psychology of “rejection” and what actions to take to make yourself immune to the fear of it
Full transcript (unedited)
Today, I want to talk about possibly the greatest tragedy of our time, at least in the developed world. And that is trying to get a partner, and how often it simply does not work out well, for people, they either get partners that are unhealthy or toxic for them, or they stay miserably single. Today, I’m going to talk about why there keeps happening.
Now, this will probably be a longer video, my notes look pretty fucking long. But it’s a big topic, too deep topic, I don’t want to miss anything too important. But I don’t also want to go too deep, unnecessarily. I want to start by noticing something about dating apps, which is pretty much the go to for most people now, in terms of trying to find a partner. If you win, they lose. Right? Dating apps, however, they set up to make money whether you pay to actually participate, or they use advertising and selling your data as some way to make money, you leaving the app, because you found a partner is not good for them. And they are a business. And they are a for profit business. So do you think the algorithms of the apps are designed to help you get a partner? Or are they designed to help you almost get a partner so that you stay on the app, see the apps and the services and even the dating coaches and stuff, some of them not all of them, they know something, they know that the harder you try, the less successful you’ll be. And that keeps you in the loop keeps you being worth valuable money. Today, I want to tell you what it is that they know that they’re using against you. So many people I speak to a lot of the emails I get a lot of clients I work with, they get really frustrated with the fact that they’re making progress as a person. But this area of their life still remained stuck. They’re getting better with their finances, they’re taking better care of their body, they’re managing their psychology to become more healthy. They’re kind of crushing it in all these areas of life, and near to dating always stays right down here seems like they haven’t moved at all. And it’s fair enough to be frustrated. A lot of the people I speak to, they really have made progress. They’re better people than they were a year ago, 10 years ago, and all the other times I’ve been struggling with relationships or the lack thereof. Why is it that improving yourself doesn’t make any gains in that area? To some people? For a lot of people? There’s a lot of pressure from the external world, isn’t there? A single is bad, isn’t it? According to everybody, going into all the movies that are about love and people coming together and going into all the media trying to give you advice on how to find a partner implying that you’re lacking in something there. And of course, all of your friends and all of your family and everybody you speak to heavy? Why are you still single? Why haven’t you got a partner yet? When can I expect some grandkids? It constant pressure with this underlying message if you’re still single, there’s something wrong with you. And relationships, especially the traditional monogamous relationship is seen as the solution. Not only is it good to be in a relationship, whereas it’s bad to be single. It’s considered to be the finish line. Like once you’re in a relationship, you’re somehow at a higher level of life, like you’ve accomplished some great thing that’s difficult to accomplish and therefore, you now don’t have to worry about certain problems forevermore. Right? I mean, can you think of a single elected policy political leader who’s single right we don’t trust single people relationship people no matter how fucked their relationship is, they still get more credit than the person even the person who’s happily single so you’ve got this overwhelming global cultural pressure find a fuckin partner procreate as if 7 billion people aren’t enough right you need to go and find a band of some babies or adopt or whatever and of course there’s their own internal pressures loneliness porn Enos right and they combined to create neediness. So the external pressure the internal pressure creates neediness. Now, what is neediness? neediness is treating something you want, as if it’s something you need. Now the word need means survival. You die without it very much. Literally incomplete. You need water. You need food, you need shelter. Do you need a relationship? Actually, no, you don’t. But when you want it so bad that you can enjoy life without it. You’re treating it as if it’s needed. And you create what we call neediness not only as neediness, thinking you need something you want, but it’s also seeing that thing you want as the only possible way to fulfill your needs. So when somebody says I need a relationship, or they behave as if they’re saying that what they’re saying is what a relationship will give me cannot be accomplished by any other means. The feelings, the experiences, the connection, the activities, whatever it is, can only be had in a relationship, or at least a certain parts of it can only be had in a relationship and therefore, whatever that part is, is not only necessary, but there’s nowhere else to get it.
So, the equivalent of saying, the only way to make money is to win the lottery. Now, I want you to just let that analogy sink in, because I want to use that later on in this video. Somebody behaves or openly, honestly expresses in such a way as to show that they need a relationship. It’s basically like someone desperately buying lottery tickets saying this is the only way I can make money. neediness is that problem? Why are you not making any progress after you’ve made so much progress and all the other areas of your life because neediness is the deal breaker? One way to look at it as neediness is 51% of your problems, okay, is the managing director of the border has the final vote, vetoes anything so you could be 49% Perfect. There 51% always overrides that if you bring neediness into your social interactions, no matter how good you are as a person, if significantly fighting against this barrier of neediness, does neediness is going to undermine you all the way no matter how well you’re doing? neediness, only appeals to two types of people, other very needy and psychologically unwell people and manipulative psychopaths and people with narcissistic personality disorder. Right? You ever wonder why you have a pattern of bad relationships? Well, if you’re needy, you’re attracting those two types. You think that’s ever going to work out well for you. Other people who are as needy and desperate as you are or worse, are people who feed off neediness and use it and exploit it to their advantage. Because a healthy confident person, or even a person who’s just relatively healthy, and has relatively high self worth and isn’t particularly desperate to get into a relationship is going to be put off by your neediness and you cannot hide that neediness from them not for very long, maybe a few months at most before it shows itself and then you’re going to become repulsive. No matter how good a person you are, they won’t be able to see you behind the neediness. Now, of course, you’re going to be challenging this thinking well of neediness is such a deal breaker and everyone’s so needy. Why are so many people in relationships? It’s good question, I play an answer that good relationships are the result of a few factors. One is somebody is able to magically drop the neediness for some reason, it gets turned off by something at just the right moment to meet someone who’s also attracted to them and ready for a relationship. That’s one of the ways that happens. Another way is after a long time being needy, you get sick of it, you get apathetic, you’re like Fuck this, I’m going to stop trying. And you really mean it. And that actually creates the state of non neediness which makes you attractive and then you meet a partner. Well, in that state, you think of how many people are giving you advice of like, when you stop looking at will come? What they mean is when you stop being needy, you’ll stop repulsing people, and the ease with which people come together will become apparent to you. There’s reason there’s 7 billion people with designed to get together and fuck, okay, we’re pushed by our internal programming to be together, we’re not actually repulsed by each other, but we are repulsed by neediness. So it’s actually kind of easy to find a partner, if you’re not needy, if you don’t have ridiculous standards. So you get this concept of serendipity. You may have even experienced that yourself, even though you’re struggling now, where things just came together and you found a partner and it was good. Some examples that I’d written down here, connecting with someone you’re not immediately attracted to. So you kind of see them as neutral that doesn’t spark any neediness and desire for a relationship. And as you get to know them, you’re like, Oh, they’re alright actually. And by then you’re already gone to know them. So you’ve gotten like you managed to sneak into a relationship. Without the neediness, having a chance to arise. Seeing an old friend differently is another way that sometimes happens. You know, a lot of partners that I know of people who went to school together for quite a while or in the same friend circle or in the same workplace for quite a while and then they hooked up. Again, they kind of got to know each other without any neediness or the neediness wore off and they just kind of stayed friends. And then something sparked attraction by that Time, they kind of already got to know each other. So the neediness was never going to surface. Or another one is getting to know someone while they’re unavailable by becoming friends with somebody who’s already got a partner, or getting to know someone who’s long distance and overseas or in some way you think there’s no chance of a relationship with them. When you often you’ll find that if you look at someone and you think there’s no chance or relationship with them, your need is just drops off to zero immediately. If you think no chance just, it’s actually kind of a relief, right?
And then suddenly, that person becomes single, and you’ve now already developed something with them, you’re not starting fresh. So you got a chance of building something with our neediness. So most of the relationships you see where typically needy people have somehow found someone, it’s because they got a lucky break from the neediness in my opinion. That’s why it happens. And the other relationships you see much rarer, are confident, healthy people secure connections. When neediness wasn’t a problem in any major way, it wasn’t a 51% deal breaker was like 10%, but they could take it or leave it. Right? Those people get together but there’s not as many of them as you might think. Okay, healthy, secure, confident couples are incredibly rare. There’s a lot of people pretending to be that. The Genuine Articles incredibly rare, most relationships you see, to needy people, desperately co dependently clinging to each other, out of fear of loneliness, and their love for each other as secondary to the desperate need to not be single. Or you might be seeing the classic anxious and avoidant attachment connection, where one person’s clingy, the other person is cold and distant, and they chase each other around in circles. And it’s kind of the perfect setup for their insecurities. And their their fears and everything. They just been driven by fear. And it’s, it’s doomed, right, unless they work on themselves get therapy or whatever they’re doomed. So a lot of the relationships you see that you’re so jealous of and so envious of, you’re just seeing them before they crash and burn. I mean, divorce rates up over 50% Now, and those are just the ones brave enough to go through with it. Right? There are plenty of miserable marriages out there dragging along the bottom until one death parts them right. And there are plenty of people out there have deluded themselves into thinking they’re in a healthy relationship. And yet their behavior shows that they’re struggling, you know, porn addiction, alcohol, cheating, superficial conversation, they’re not really in a relationship they just desperately pretending to not be single. When you eliminate all of those examples of given, you’re left with a small handful of genuinely healthy relationships, really a minority at best. So don’t worry that you’re somehow missing out because you’re just lucky enough to stay single while you can still work on this bullshit, rather than the tragedy of getting into a relationship when you’re still fucked up. So you got to understand that your neediness would do more relationship if you are lucky enough to even get into one unless somehow their neediness was turned off. And both of you prior to getting together that serendipity I was talking about that as an incredibly rare. What happens to the needy person, once they actually get a relationship is they’re anxious or they’re avoidant attachment style kicks in, they either cling to the person and become a people pleaser and kind of drive them away were suffocating them. Or once a person gets close, the fear of intimacy kicks off if they’re the avoidant attachment type, and they start trying to push them away and get some distance and get some breathing room and sabotage the relationship that way. Because they don’t actually want someone to get close. So this is the sheet you’re going to work on while you’re still single, because like you can work on relationships, but it’s gonna cost somebody else you’re gonna have to hurt them while you work on yourself. And it’s not actually necessary. So the key is simple. My apologies for the ridiculous suspense getting here. Find a way to live, where you don’t need a relationship. Live in a way where you feel certain you can enjoy being single forever. To achieve that mental state of confidence is the pre requisite to a healthy relationship. You must get there first. Or feel incredibly lucky and get there while you’re in a relationship. But the other person has to work alongside you. You both had to go to therapy or coaching and work through all your bullshit together and hope you come out the other side still liking each other. Right that can and does happen. It’s the thing that saves relationships as people do the work together and underneath their neediness was a genuine connection. They actually do like each other. So it can work but it’s pretty hard work and sometimes the damage is irreparable by the time most people go to therapy. It’s already too late. They’ve left too long.
But if you’re single right now, good news, you can avoid that traumatic hell get your shit sorted before someone comes into your life. Now I’m not actually condoning the go your own way type approach like MIG tau men going their own way. This isn’t about avoiding connecting with people. This isn’t about refusing to get into a relationship. This is about removing neediness so that when you do have a relationship, which is a wonderful thing to have, you’re having it from a healthy position. It’s not desperately filling the hole inside yourself of toxic shame. So sharing your life with another person, a life that was already good, you’re doubling up the goodness, rather than trying to leech the goodness from somebody else. And in terms of building up to there, this isn’t about trying to avoid getting a partner, it’s about finding ways to fill your cup, without it all being built on that one horse. So if we go back to the money analogy, this is about learning to make multiple income streams, and become financially savvy, rather than building all your life on a lotto ticket. Some questions that you can answer kind of like homework. What do you want from a relationship? If you ever sit down ask yourself there are beyond a few simple things like six on tap and share my life with someone like really? What is it that a relationship can provide you that you cannot provide for yourself? What is it that only a monogamous partner can give you that other people can’t give you? Right that you can’t receive from other sources in the world? Really get specific? And answer the question, why must be a relationship? Why can’t you achieve whatever it is you’re trying to achieve? Heal whatever it is you’re trying to heal without a partner. And most importantly, when you figure out what you need for a relationship, you’ve got to be able to answer the question. How do I meet these needs all these wants, without a partner, to think outside the box. What’s another way you can even get quite ridiculous, you can think about how to have kids without a partner. Right? The point being is just to show yourself the ability to let go of this relationship thing. Focus more on just living an enjoyable life through any means possible. One year, before I met my wife, I had made this pledge I’m giving up on relationships. I’m not giving up on women, I’m not giving up on connecting. I’m not giving up on socializing, giving up on the concept of a relationship saving me. Right, I’m going to be okay with being single forever. Right? Or at least I want to learn how to be okay with it doesn’t mean I actually would prefer to be single for him. But to make singles so good that a relationship actually has to compete with it. Like somebody has to be really awesome for me to want to switch from single to on a relationship. I wanted to create that life. So I said about a goal I’m going to make myself create their life and learn what that means is some of the lessons I learned. You have to realize the truth a relationship is not a cure for your toxic shame. Toxic shame is the belief that there’s something fundamentally wrong with you something fundamentally unlovable, another person cannot fix it for you, they can only temporarily solve it. They can only temporarily make you feel a little calmer about it. But they can’t fix it because it’s not about them. You have to get in touch with your core values. Honesty, courage, curiosity, to figure out and face whatever fears you’ve got whatever fucked up programming your parents or your school or the bullies did to to make you think you’re not okay as you are. You have to find a way to face up to their bring it out into the light and become okay with it. You have to learn how to like you. Even if you’re fucked up. Another lesson. Friendships will cover most of your connection needs, backed apart from sex and fuck buddies are an option. Friendships give you everything a relationship gives you. You can even have a close intimate friendship with someone who lives with you. Right? So if you’ve got that and an active sex life, there really is nothing a relationship gives you. That cannot be achieved through that. You get to choose how intimate you are with your friends. There isn’t a limit to intimacy. You can have a friend who knows you better than you know yourself and vice versa. How’s that different to a partner? You can have friends who you share your whole life with? How’s that different to a pan? You can have friends who you fuck, How’s it different to a partner? That doesn’t mean you should never have a relationship. Just you’ve got to understand friendships are a much healthier goal than relationships. Next lesson. The cure to loneliness is a combination of a life filled with valuable activities that you enjoy, combined with a really good authentic friend
circle. So if you focus on creating a good group of friends In a busy calendar full of stuff that you love to do, that you find meaningful and that you’re passionate about, you’re not going to even have enough time to be lonely. Next lesson, finding people to so called date and I wouldn’t use that word if I were you, is done through being honest and brave, not through trying to get with people. Instead, you try to push them away with honesty, go and tell people that you’re attracted to them, Go tell them about your deepest insecurities. Tell them everything you’re trying to get rid of them, right? Just, hey, here’s who I am. Good luck with it. Here’s how I feel about you. Good luck accepting that. And if anyone’s left still standing after you give them you in its raw, unedited, and sugarcoated form. It’s effortless to fall into some sort of relationship type connection with them. Because you can’t do anything wrong, you can’t lose win, all you have to do is be you and show up. Next, listen, everything must be done for you as the primary receiver doesn’t mean you can’t do good for other people. But you have to face the fact all of our motives are selfish. So if you’re going to go on a date, make sure it’s something you want to do. Make sure it’s something you enjoy. Make sure you leave. If you’re not enjoying yourself, make sure you talk about the things you want to talk about. Make sure you don’t pretend or feign interest and things that find you find boring, and so on. Make sure this is about you enjoying your life. And if other people don’t like it, there’s 7 billion other people they can go and hang out with, don’t worry about them. You don’t need to cater to them. Don’t hold them back, stop wasting their time, they don’t like you doing what you like to do. And being the person you like to be like the move on. Right? You’re not their preference, that’s fine. Next lesson, never compromise your values for another person, no matter how much it might get you late, or get you into a relationship or get you loved a little more. This isn’t the same as compromising your preferences. Right, you might prefer something but it’s not actually a core value. Like, you might prefer to go to the movies rather than go to the park. But it’s not like you’re sacrificing who you are to go to the park right, you can still enjoy yourself there and live by your values here. But if your value is honesty, and you have to be dishonest to get with someone that’s a sacrifice, right, there’s a compromise can’t be done. Someone doesn’t like you for who you are, and your set of principles at the road are good enough, move on. As soon as you compromise, you lose everything, even if they like you you’ve already lost. Next lesson, instead of making a commitment to getting a relationship, make a commitment that you will only get into a relationship if it is significantly better than your ideal single life. That the person makes you a better person and vice versa, you make them a better person in such a way that could not be achieved on your own, they are a multiplier of the good work you’re already doing. And therefore just makes good sense to have them in your life. To become a better person yourself, they accelerate that movement. If it’s not that it’s not worth it. So it’s always nice to be around someone who likes you, somebody whose problems you can fix not good enough reasons, right? You have to come away from your interactions with them as a better man or a better woman. Next lesson, stop using the term dating stop using dating apps dating services. Stop focusing on trying to get a relationship in any way don’t do any activity where the primary purpose is to try and get into a relationship. Or if you’re going to do an activity the primary person purpose should be something else. Example I often use as you go to dance classes, you don’t go there, meet a partner go there to learn how to fucking dance, be happy to meet people you like they’re great, go and interact with them. But the activity itself should be so rewarding that it doesn’t matter if nothing happens in the relationship space. If you go traveling around South America, it should be for such a reason that if you come back single, that’s fine. Right. But if you’re driving around to find a partner you fucked up, should always be about a primary more important purpose than getting into a relationship. Everything you do should be about there. Of course, you don’t avoid a relationship. If you like someone, tell them you like them, invite them into your life. You don’t need to call that dating. It doesn’t have to be someone you’re attracted to. It doesn’t have to be the gender that you’re into. If you want to spend more time with someone say I want to spend more time with you and just see what happens. Right? In a relationship or form from that if it’s meant to be. You don’t need to try and make a relationship happen. You just spend time with people who like spending time with them. Tell them how you feel about them. Ironically, this
is something people rarely do. There are people who have been in relationships for 10 years and they’ve never really sat down and told each other how they feel about each other. It’s just implied all the time. Right? So do that at the start before you’ve got any sort of commitment or rules. And lastly, get yourself a coach. Of course I’m going to say that but not to help begin to relationship to help you learn how to enjoy your life without one, tell them that’s your goal. Don’t tell them you want to get a girlfriend. Okay? Tell them that you want to be so fulfilled with who you are as a person. And it doesn’t matter if you get a girlfriend or not. You have them coach you around that. And ironically, that’s the most likely way to get a girlfriend. If you want further help with this, get in touch firstname.lastname@example.org Or of course, check out my powerful honesty course that will help you interact with people in such a way as to be more attractive and give you a better chance of connecting without the neediness for a relationship.