So, you’re here like me.
And we can’t get girlfriends.
You’re probably doing well in your job.
Working out. You’re fit.
And you just wonder:
What’s wrong with me?
Why can’t I get a girlfriend?!
You’ve probably tried a little of everything. Dating apps. Scrolling through your phone list to find that primary school friend who’s still not attached yet. And then quickly sending a WhatsApp, only to realise,
Gosh. She’s not very interested to talk to me.
Or you might be a little more like me. You’ve even walked up to ladies to ask them for their number, and a possible date.
Here’s some hope.
It’s not over yet.
Whilst I speak from a primarily Singaporean context, in terms of finding a girlfriend in Singapore, I think it bears relevance for the wider Asia, especially in more conservative societies where we might be unused to directly asking a lady for her number.
In October 2022, I tried the dating app Coffee Meets Bagel for all of 1 week, gathering 3 dates, before I gave up.
It was just a little too much for me to be confronted with “20 bagels!” who the app matched me with.
I hated the experience of picking someone based on their looks. But when I went out with the dates that were arranged, I saw one important thing.
Dates are now a commodity
I remember my last date most clearly. When I met her, she told me that she’d read this book that recommended her to go for 5 dates a week.
And she was doing so, by going for 4.
Deep down, I wondered if I was just another piece of meat that she was scrolling through.
But as the guy, you’re facing an uphill battle the moment you go on the app. There are more guys competing for the girl’s attention than there are girls.
Guys > Girls.
It thus means that you’re going to be facing a lady who knows that she can quite easily go onto someone else if she doesn’t really like you.
You and I know that’s not the way relationships work. Relationships work because of commitment. Each person decides to commit to making something work out, because we aren’t perfect.
So we live, and let live.
If you always have the impression that there’s someone better out there, it’s a definite recipe for disappointment and discontent.
I’m not saying that all ladies have this impression.
But I’m saying that the app can cause this impression. That there’s always someone better.
Dates cut faster
With dates being a commodity, I’ve also noticed that in my own approach, I’ve also cut dates faster.
If a date doesn’t really suit me, I’ve ghosted them. Sorry!
I know I shouldn’t.
But I just couldn’t foresee forcing something to work, when the first date just didn’t seem that interesting.
That said, what can we do?
It’s really not about the ‘lead generation’, but the lead qualification
Forgive me. I’m a marketer. So I think of most things in terms of a sales funnel.
Most people think that it’s about ‘putting yourself out there’. We thus see people who rapidly cycle through the various dating apps, thinking that getting more leads is the way to go.
Sure, that’s one way.
But a better way is to focus on getting the right date. In marketing, it’s what we call ‘qualifying the lead’.
It’s making sure that the potential client (or date) is a good match.
We tend to use the acronym:
I think this works too in the dating context.
- Does the person like doing the things you like doing? For example, I hated eating at restaurants and would bring dates to the hawker centre. Some didn’t like this.
- Does the date need her papa to approve her dates?
- Does she really want to date, or does she want to play and explore?
- Some friends have told me that they use dates to get free meals.
- Does she have time for you, or is she busy handling other things in her life?
- A big red flag tends to be a career, or social group (like church) change.
- What’s the timeline for the lady? If she’s in her early-30s, she probably is quite anxious.
One advice I’ve heard from ladies is that they tend to message the other party for at least 2 weeks, to suss out what kind of person he is.
You could try that. Message the other party for a week before asking them out for a date.
Pen down your list
If your girlfriend were ideal, what would she be like?
Write that down. Many of us talk about wanting a girlfriend (or girlfriends, oops) without really knowing who it is we want.
Write a list.
Not a grocery list.
But you get it. A list of ideal character qualities.
What she would do for you.
What would be bonuses?
Give out of abundance
Stop reading the advice on Reddit about how you need to play hard to get.
I’ve had advice from friends that tell me that I can’t be desperate. That I can’t be ‘double-texting’ a lady (following up an unreplied message with another one).
Or that you shouldn’t chase the lady.
But come on.
We are desperate.
The primary error in thinking here is that we need to ‘withhold’ to get someone to like us.
Rather than giving to the person, we are holding back.
The way I see this, is, if I’m afraid that asking for something from this lady, like a date, would end up hurting me, I am giving out of lack, rather than abundance.
I’m holding back because I’m scared of being hurt.
It doesn’t make much sense.
If a lady doesn’t reply you, just ask again. There’s no great advice around this. If she’s cold, then tell her,
I feel that this isn’t working out and I’d hate to disturb you if this isn’t something you’re keen to carry on with. Would you still like me to carry on asking you out?
If the lady is mature, she would tell you the truth.
If she isn’t, she would ghost you.
Either way, you give out of what you have.
Stop worrying about offending the lady
This might seem to be the worst advice, but stop worrying.
Be honest about what you feel and think.
Stop trying to please her.
Even if you get married, you won’t be happy because you’re constantly people-pleasing.
Getting a girlfriend is about embracing your masculinity
This article is unashamedly pro-male.
I believe that there’s a beauty in masculinity. The balance between the strength and grace is what makes us elegant, and strong, as males.
It’s not about downplaying that.
I remember a friend once being asked about how he got his girlfriend.
He said this roundabout story.
My friends were fiddling with my phone.
Then they downloaded the dating app for me.
The person who asked was confused.
Huh? I was asking how you met your girlfriend.
Ya, so after they downloaded the dating app, they set up my profile and started helping me to match with people.
You see what happened there?
Deference of responsibility of getting a girlfriend to his friends.
Why are we so scared to show our desire to get attached? To get a partner? To start a family?
There’s nothing wrong in that.
It’s a beautiful thing to want that.
It’s time to embrace that.