9 Romantic Reality Checks You Won’t Get Anywhere Else

September 24th, 2015 by Nick Notas 13 Comments


No psychic powers here. Just real talk.

Romance is a touchy subject.

And it’s almost impossible to get unbiased romantic advice because there are so many emotions involved. Egos can get bruised and sentimental attachments cloud judgment.

Guys always tell me how they can’t ask their friends for help because they never get the whole truth. Your friends want to spare your feelings instead of listing out all the things you could be doing better.

Similarly, you can’t ask your family members for advice because they think you’re great, just the way you are. You’re told to be nice and “be yourself” and you’ll meet someone perfect eventually. And sometimes, your parents’ religious or moral beliefs make them inflexible in helping to decide what’s best for you.

This sticky situation is what motivated me to become a coach. I wanted to educate and help people without having to hold back. Sometimes it’s tough love but it’s exactly what you need to hear.

I base my advice on real-world experiences and psychological studies. I’m a social scientist at heart and try to be open-minded without any preconceived notions.

What I want is data — scientific and anecdotal (thoroughly tested) that can provide accurate insight into our relationships. Here are some of my findings:

  1. Online dating is more difficult for Asian, Black, Indian, and short guys. There’s no denying it — online dating is a judgemental, shallow platform. People have a set opinion of what they want and spend about three seconds looking at your pictures to decide if you fit that mold. This is especially true on places like Tinder.

    That doesn’t mean you should give up, though. I’ve helped many men that are non-white or short (myself included) get good results. You just have to:

    – Increase your quantity of messages. Say you get a 15% response rate vs 30% for someone else. You basically have to message twice as much.

    Luckily, all the data and my own work has shown short, concise messages are the most effective. On average, it shouldn’t take you more than 5 minutes per message. So instead of 3 messages a day (15 minutes) to get one date a week, it might take 30 minutes daily. Not a huge deal.

    And please, don’t take it personally when a girl ignores your message. Even the most successful guys cap out at about a 35% response rate.

    – Increase your overall quality. Get rid of unflattering, low-resolution pictures. Don’t write generic messages like “Hey what’s up I liked your profile” or be the 10th guy to say they have the same favorite TV show. Put in a little bit of effort, follow my advice, and you’ll stand out from the rest.

    The good news? I don’t find these limitations to be a factor in person. When you meet someone face-to-face, your charisma, personality, intellect, and sense of humor can trump everything. I’ve seen many women become attracted to guys they would normally overlook online because of that in-the-moment dynamic.

  2. A woman saying “I’m not ready for a relationship / to date right now” is likely rejecting you. She’s trying to let you down in what she believes is the nicest way possible. It’s highly unlikely she’s sworn off meeting someone altogether for a set period of time. We don’t work that way as people. Intimacy and connection are at the core of our human needs.

    From my experience, even when a girl’s out of a relationship or busy with life, when the right man comes along she doesn’t let him go easily. She’s not going to say, “There’s this really perfect guy with an amazing personality that makes me laugh. But I wasn’t planning on dating for a year so I’ll just forget it.” She may not jump into a relationship with him right away, but she’s almost always open to starting things casually.

    You need to accept that rejection with grace and move on. Stop holding onto the false hope that she’ll be ready for you in a year. If that’s the case, she can reach out to you or you can try once again in the future. But don’t let it prevent you from focusing on other women.

  1. If you wear provocative clothes, you can’t be mad when someone checks you out. I get it, just because you have something sexy on, doesn’t mean you’re dressed to get male attention. Maybe you’re wearing that pretty top to impress other girls. Maybe you’re wearing that dress because you know it flatters your figure. Maybe you just like the outfit yourself.

    But it’s unfair to be mad at a guy for looking at you briefly. A man’s initial attraction switch is a woman’s appearance. It’s in our biology and we can’t help it.

    It’s like advertising, fireworks, or breathtaking architecture. If I walk by something that catches my eye, I am naturally drawn to look.

    A man looking at you does not automatically mean he’s a creepy pervert. As long as he isn’t lingering, cat-calling, making obscene gestures, or intentionally trying to make you uncomfortable, take it as a compliment that someone finds you beautiful.

  2. Girls who are “bitches” or distant are not more valuable. Just because some woman ignores your messages, cancels on plans, and never commits to hanging out — doesn’t make her a “catch”.

    In fact, it can often mean the girl doesn’t respect other people’s time. Or she has trouble letting new people close and is scared of getting hurt. Or it simply means she isn’t into you — which shouldn’t make you automatically place her on a pedestal.

    These types of girls turn into an obsession for a lot of guys. The idea that an attractive girl doesn’t want you makes you even more insecure. Therefore, “winning” her over is the only way to save your ego. You don’t actually have a good reason for being so interested in her, you just want what you can’t have.

    You also end up wasting so much time that could have been spent on meeting other eligible women. You get so used to chasing that when a girl does show interest, you see them as less appealing. You think there must be something wrong with those girls if it’s that easy to go out with them.

    What does that say about yourself? Why is it a turn-off for someone to like you?

    Give women who don’t play games or who are excited to see you a real chance. If they’re genuinely showing interest in you (and not just desperate for anyone), that can be a sign of a confident woman who knows what she wants.

  3. If you’re obsessed with a girl you barely know, you’re desperate. Some of the most common e-mails I receive go something like:

    “Nick, there’s this girl I see around. She’s gorgeous and perfect. I’ve asked for her number but she didn’t give it to me. How can I convince her to go out with me?”

    “I reached out to a cute girl online and she responded a few times but stopped. I messaged her a couple times since but she hasn’t replied. What can I do to get her to respond?”

    “I went on a first date and after she told me she enjoyed her time but didn’t want to see me again. How can I change her mind? I’ll do anything.”

    In all these scenarios, all you really know is that you find her attractive. Maybe a few of her interests and hobbies. You don’t know who she really is, what her values are, or much more than surface level.

    But yet you’ve already decided that you have to win this person over.

    You’re primarily protecting your ego because losing her makes you feel like less of a man. Or you’re afraid of being lonely and you’re using her to ease that feeling.

    At that point, she’s a conquest. You are objectifying her and she’s an idea, not a real person to you.

    Inherently, that means you’re basing your own worth or happiness on the approval of a stranger. That is the definition of neediness.

    Self-confident men aren’t blinded by beauty and first impressions. Yes, they understand that physical attraction is their initial screening metric for dating a woman. But they also understand that good looks are common.

    What’s more difficult is finding someone they genuinely like as a person and that likes them the same way back. If they’re going to invest their time in someone, they want the right someone — not just any hot girl.

  4. Being an overweight woman doesn’t determine your value as a human being. It doesn’t make you less of a person. I believe a person’s worth primarily comes down to how they feel about themself.

    However, your weight does determine your value in the sexual marketplace. Men are visual creatures and the majority of them prefer a fit woman. That said, there are still a lot of guys who are attracted to curvy or plus-sized women.

    Listen, fat shaming is messed up. I don’t buy into it being a way to motivate people to change their habits. Just like with the coaching work I do, I believe positive encouragement, education, and accountability yields better results.

    If you’re wanting to attract more men in general, you may want to consider getting in better shape. If you’re comfortable with the way you are and the men who appreciate the way you look, then that’s fine, too.

    Just don’t go around shaming others for being health-conscious or trying to justify why you’re better than them. Fit shaming is just as wrong and ignorant as fat shaming.

  5. When you’re emotionally unstable, you can’t expect a great partner or long-term relationship.

    If you struggle with addiction (alcohol, drugs, gambling) or have problems controlling your emotions (jealousy, rage, depression) — you should probably work on those issues first. I’m not saying you need to eliminate all your problems or be perfect, but you need to be making steady improvements.

    A lot of guys try to hide all their flaws early on with women instead. It’s easier to fake it than to make real lasting changes. What you don’t realize is that getting a girl is easy but keeping her is much more difficult.

    If you want to date someone for an extended period of time, what’s your gameplan? You can’t keep up the facade forever. Your true self will always end up showing through.

    If you’re looking for a higher quality woman, you have to become a higher quality man.

  6. Exploring your sexuality while single or in a relationship isn’t wrong. There are many happy couples in open relationships. In fact, there’s a lot of evidence that points to humans being both polygamous and monogamous by nature. We are complex creatures.

    Just because these ideas seem foreign to you or you believe in one person for everyone, does not make you right.

    There are healthy and unhealthy sides to everything. If a couple is seeing other people because they’re currently unfulfilled and afraid to break it off, that’s toxic. But if they’re genuinely in love and are comfortable with one another to exploring their intimacy – more power to them.

    The same goes for girls who enjoy casual sex or men who aren’t ready to settle down in their life yet. If they’re doing it to seek validation from lots of people, that’s destructive behavior. If they want to play the field until they find the right person or don’t currently have enough time for a committed relationship and are upfront with those expectations — there’s nothing wrong with that.

  7. Marriages don’t have to suck. A lot of men always say “don’t get married”. It’s almost adopted as a universal truth and scares the shit out of other guys when getting into a committed relationship.

    What those married men don’t tell you is that it’s just as much their fault that their marriage sucks.

    They don’t tell you how they rushed into a relationship because they were scared of not finding someone. They don’t mention how they settled for a girl even though they knew they weren’t compatible.

    They gloss over how they expect their wife to have sex with them even though they don’t do anything to make her feel sexy.

    They refuse to admit how they don’t invest enough time or effort to make a relationship work. They don’t say how they shut down during important discussions and have poor communication habits. They don’t tell you about how they find it easier to walk away than to resolve their issues together.

    Don’t let other people deter you from finding someone great. If you pick the right person and are willing to do what it takes to build a healthy connection — that partner can be the best thing that’ll ever happen to you.

  1. Shea on September 24, 2015

    Dude, I can’t be the first one asking you this: when are you going to write a book?? Men-women relations have changed so much in such a short while, and you’re the voice of reason in this brave new world of dating. Book title suggestion: How to Be A Man in the 21st Century. You’ll have at least one purchase right here!

    Just a note about polygamy vs monogamy: I had an anthropology class last semester that said polygamy is the default for most human societies. Monogamy is usually imposed by an institution, usually religion.


    • Nick Notas on September 24, 2015

      Haha, thanks man. I have both courses and some book ideas in the works. I just have a hard time not continuing to put out content here on the blog. If only I could clone myself…

      • Jon on September 25, 2015

        I’m anxious for both of those offerings to come out!

  2. Jayden on September 24, 2015

    My high school self is definitely guilty of #5. I didn’t realize how desperate I was, but I was definitely obsessed with girls I didn’t know at all. I didn’t have the guts to talk to any of them. There’s a kind of safety net when you like someone from afar, you don’t have to find out about their flaws and can make up to who you want them to be. It’s hard to burst that bubble.

    • Nick Notas on September 24, 2015

      Mhmm, I think most people at that age tend to idealize their romantic interests and “fall in love at first sight”. Combine that with teenage anxiety and I can definitely see how it’s easier to just keep the perfect dream in your head.

  3. Marshall on September 24, 2015

    I’ve been happily married and in an open relationship for 8 years. It requires a lot of trust and communication but it works for us. The hardest part has been getting our friends and family to accept it once they find out. To our surprise everyone’s been understanding once we explain our side to them.

    • Nick Notas on September 24, 2015

      Good for you man and congrats. It’s nice to hear your friends have been supportive — some people are not so lucky. One of my best friends is an open marriage as well. They’re a great couple and some of the best parents I know.

  4. Trevor on September 24, 2015

    Thank you so much! That helps a lot and I’m really glad I read this post. It helped clarify some things for me that needed to be clarified so thanks again for sharing. Especially, #’s 4, 5, & 9 — even though I’m not married yet, it helps to take some of the fear away knowing that marriage doesn’t have to suck

    • Nick Notas on September 25, 2015

      You’re very welcome!

      Absolutely, I know many people who are in happy, fulfilling long-term connections — myself included.

  5. pat on September 25, 2015

    What other advice do you have for Asian men online? I have had terrible experience. Is it predominantly photos?


    • Addsloth on September 25, 2015

      try off

    • Nick Notas on September 25, 2015

      Photos are #1. I would say making your profile and messages more humorous, assertive sounding, and a bit flirtatious.

      Try offline as well — there are so many women to talk to in whatever environment, hobby, or activity you prefer.

      • me again on September 25, 2015

        Thanks for your advice.

        What do you think about race and dating? I am Chinese-looking but I really want a white girl. But I find that it is hard to find one interested in me and I know a lot of asian girls dating/married or wanting to date white men. There is a big and obvious disparity in the world and it makes me feel inferior. To my credit I’m 6ft and keep in shape, but I do fit the stereotype of socially awkward.

        I have been dating asian women, not because I want them, but as space-fillers and to stop from feeling lonely. Even the sex is secondary.

        I am still in a 2 year relationship with an asian girl. She is nice but bland. Like low-hanging fruit. I feel bad about this because deep down I feel like I took what I could get rather than what deep down I wanted and “aspire” to have.

        A bit rambly, but I think from some of your other blog posts you hear this a lot – what do you think I should do?