Why dating sucks for men… and what to do about it

Dating sucks!

It seems to be agreed around the world that the modern dating scene is the worst it’s ever been in recorded history. This belief is backed up by escalating divorce rates, the increase in adults who identify as “single”, and decreasing birth rates.

There’s clearly a rise in pessimism about dating and relationships, and a growing dread that these days being single is a difficult position to escape from – indeed, impossible for some – and the only alternative to being single is toxic relationships and expensive divorces.

Whenever I criticize the Red Pill and Men Going Their Own Way (MGTOW) perspectives on dating – specifically, the idea that women aren’t worth having a relationship with or that sex is all that matters – I usually get a bunch of negative responses. But among the hate and misspelled all-CAPS rage comments, I’ll also hear from decent yet disillusioned guys who really struggle, and wish I could help them out.

Is there hope?

So I’d like to offer a ray of hope to those of you who feel hopeless when it comes to dating, and are starting to wonder if they’re going to either die alone or be forced to tolerate a miserable relationship with someone they don’t prefer.

I won’t argue against the perception that dating is a shit-show situation all over the world these days. While I’m not convinced that it’s anywhere near as bad as Red Pill type guys believe, this article is aimed at helping the people who feel it is that bad, at least for them personally, so I don’t need to argue that point.

Let’s assume that if you’re reading this, then dating and relationships have been a miserable experience for you, or at least you’ve for some reason lost hope in your future love-life.

And let us begin with some of my opinions as to why dating and relationships suck for certain people, which will hint at the solutions to this dilemma as well.


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Location, location, location

I’ll start with the most basic logistical issue: where people are meeting potential partners.

In 10+ years of coaching single guys, I’ve been amazed to discover that this basic issue is actually the main problem. I’d previously assumed it would be more about deep emotional and intimacy issues – and while they do play a big part – an even greater problem is the narrow range of women that most guys are meeting, due to their terribly limited choice of dating arenas.

I’m speaking of two arenas in particular: online dating apps, and bars/nightclubs/parties

Most men are limited to meeting people through online platforms that focus on single people or social media, and/or real-life situations where everyone is drunk or high or trying to get laid.

For those of you struggling, when was the last time you tried to initiate a conversation with a potential partner in a face-to-face non-sexual situation while completely sober? For too many of you, the answer will be “Never”.

And no, sleazing on the HR chick at the office Christmas party doesn’t count.

Solve this location problem first. Commit to never again trying to find a partner online, or meeting new people at events where there is substance abuse – in fact, avoid any situation where the main point is to hook up with other people. 

Why not these places? Because that’s where desperate, unhealthy and traumatized people congregate! You’re only meeting the least likely potential partners. Hey, that’s where you go, right? And how well are you doing psychologically when you’re going to these places? 


Half your problem is finding the right places to meet people. Give yourself the best possible chance of meeting people who are healthy, confident, socially intelligent, and capable of maintaining successful long term relationships. These people don’t use apps, and they don’t go to bars and clubs! Ever! 

Start thinking about where these kinds of people spend their time. If you have people like this in your social circle, ask them what they do for fun.

Dance classes. Art classes. Entrepreneur meetups. Hiking clubs. Special interest conventions. Self development seminars. Cross Fit. Non-profit organisations and volunteering groups. Martial arts. All manner of hobbies, sports, social clubs and other fun, healthy activities. These are the kinds of places you should be spending your time and meeting people.

However, while this is a big part of the solution, if you’re still mentally and emotionally fucked up, going to these places won’t be enough to create significant changes in your love life. There will still be some unhealthy people at all of these locations, and if you haven’t done the inner work, you’re only going to attract the few fucked up ones there, and simultaneously repel the high quality people.

Getting your head straight

So the other half of the problem is your psychological issues.

No one has a pattern of bad relationships or failures with women without also having significant mental and emotional problems. One horrible date is bad luck; an ongoing pattern is feedback on your mental health!

I’m not judging you. I’ve been through this myself. I required a huge amount of painful self-development work to become healthy enough to find a loving partner.

I won’t be able to help you solve this massive array of issues with a single article, if for no other reason that it’s going to be unique to each of you. We all have different childhood traumas, harmful life experiences, limiting beliefs, and negative coping mechanisms. There is no one size fits all solution for that.

I might, however, be able to steer you in the direction of recovery. (And if you give me more information about your specific situation, I might be able to send you specific resources and guidance for your personal development –

The upside to having a history of bad experiences with dating and relationships is there will be patterns and repetitions that you can investigate to learn about why you’re struggling.

The first thing I recommend you look into is Attachment Styles (Google it).

If you typically pursue emotionally unavailable people and sabotage your relationships by preventing intimacy, you probably have an Avoidant Attachment style. If you get too needy and desperate, and cling to toxic people no matter how badly you’re treated, then you probably have an Anxious Attachment style. 

Many people have elements of both, depending on who they’re with.

Attachment issues will lead you to attract others with issues of their own, and you’ll repel healthy people, leaving you with a very shallow dating pool to select from. You have not experienced a wide range of women, you’ve only ever been with those who are as fucked up as you are.

It’s nearly impossible to create a healthy long term relationship when you don’t have a Secure Attachment Style, unless both you and your partner are actively working together on your attachment issues, and are focused on health and recovery. You don’t need to be perfect, but you both need to be trying to improve equally. In fact, growing together can be an incredibly bonding experience.

If where you’re meeting people is the first big problem, trying to manipulate women into liking you is the second. So the next thing to look at is the concept of Integrity.

If you’re fake in any way – which nearly all of you are – then you’ve sabotaged your relationships right from the beginning. You created a fake persona, and your partner ended up attaching to the persona rather than to you. It was only a matter of time before incongruence and cracks in your identity started to hurt the connection.

An extremely common version of this – which I specialize in – is Nice Guy Syndrome.

If you try to make people like you, and consistently sacrifice honesty and integrity in any way in order to get pleasurable responses from people, then you are a people-pleaser, and people-pleasers do very poorly in long term connections.

They build up resentment from disrespecting themselves (and blaming their partner for their own lack of boundaries), while slowly but surely killing attraction by being too agreeable and fake. They only attract chaotic women or other people-pleasers, leading to endless conflict or codependence.

Another version of unhealthy men commonly found in Red Pill communities are Machiavellian manipulators. While Nice Guys genuinely like women and want people to have a good life, there are others who simply play people like a game, solely for their own short term gratification. These are the controlling, abusive and narcissistic types who obsess over status, try to dominate women to establish a “relationship” or even just to get laid, and care only about their own fulfillment.

Whether you’re nice or nasty, manipulating people is short-sighted and ineffective if the goal is to have a loving relationship.

I’ve studied psychopathy for decades, and can confidently claim that even the most clever anti-social and narcissistic personalities end up alone and dissatisfied in the long term, because manipulation only creates short term relationships that inevitably crash and burn, or leaves you surrounded by codependent and fucked up people.


Wanna escape Nice Guy Syndrome and become a confident authentic man? Contact Dan for coaching options


The strategy no one has tried

I’ve personally spoken with hundreds of men who have struggled with women, and not one – not one – had ever really experimented with being fully honest and shameless with women. It’s like the only strategy they never tried… because it’s not really a strategy at all.

Ironically, to become truly successful in love, you need to completely let go of trying to be successful. This does not mean running away and giving up like the MGTOW guys. It means you still interact with women and embrace connecting with them, but rather than trying to make something happen, you let them see who you really are – flaws and all – and let Fate decide who is right for you.

It requires a massive paradigm shift, from focusing on getting outcomes from others, to focusing on living with integrity and connecting deeply with people. It means prioritizing things like honesty, courage and humility over things like sex, impressing other men, and getting a girlfriend.

And this can’t be faked. You can’t pretend to not care and secretly hope it works.

You have to really let go of it “working”. You need to embrace your own code of honor and be willing to lose the love of a woman and the admiration of your fellow men if that’s what’s needed to do what’s right.

A different kind of man

So just imagine, for a second, the combination.

You spend all of your social time in healthy environments. Your week is filled with hobbies, classes and community-enhancing activities. You are surrounded by healthy, confident people who are doing things for higher purposes and meaningful reasons. You don’t drink or get high, or slide into DMs.

And while you’re there, you’re not trying to hook up with anyone. You’re incredibly social, but without any attachment to being liked. You are known as the guy who speaks his mind, does what’s right rather than what’s easy, and respects himself no matter the cost. He walks away from anyone who displays red flags – even if that means he misses out on some easy sex – and is clearly more interested in living with bold integrity than in being popular.

Imagine that man. Imagine you are that man.

Do you really think he’s destined for a terrible dating life? You really think that guy would be desperate enough to marry a toxic woman? Do you think that guy wouldn’t be attractive to confident women?

Have you ever really tried being that guy before?

If not, then there’s still hope for you.

Hey, it worked for me!

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