A Blunt Letter to Men: Why Dating Apps Are Killing Your Game

One day last week I was walking downtown between Mission and 2nd Street in beautiful San Francisco. It’s a walk I take several times a week while I sip on my blistering cup of Peet’s coffee.

As I neared the intersection and slowly glanced to my right, I noticed that every single person crossing the street was staring at their phone. Their addiction to cell phones somehow reminded me of online dating. 

The dating world has changed. 

We prioritize, organize, and shuffle between our dating options like they are commodities. Like we are sorting candy we just got back from a cold night in October of trick-or-treating. 

The worst part? The dating arena has lost some authenticity. Which is precisely why women will articulate their thoughts by stating phrases such as, “I prefer to meet someone organically” or “I would rather meet people through friends.”

They say this because online dating has a dehumanizing effect. 

According to Esquire, “As many as 40% of Americans use dating apps.”

Now, I understand why men use it. They hate being rejected. This fear of being rejected has actually turned into an entire category of dating through online dating.

Algorithms are being developed to help you get rejected less & less.

With most popular dating apps, you only ever see who you matched with and dodge the rejection process entirely. While in the short term this may seem like a good thing, you are actually covering up the real problem. 

Your confidence. 

Thirty years ago, you had no choice but to gather your satchel together and showcase some bravery if you saw a beautiful human being you wanted to talk to.

Today, if you get rejected, you could sign up for Tinder and be on a date in less than an hour (I’m not exaggerating).

You don’t even need “game” anymore.

I’ve seen guys at social gatherings with a wide selection of gorgeous women around them, opt to be on tinder instead of improving their ability to chit-chat with women right next to them. 

As someone that deals with anxiety, one thing I’ve learned is to continuously face my fears by putting myself in more uncomfortable situations. I haven’t perfected this by any means, but when I do face something and get over it, it doesn’t bother me as much.

Let me give you an example.

I like to workout, but I don’t like wearing the same pair of socks twice. I don’t know why, I’m a weirdy like that.

When I even think about putting on the socks I wore yesterday, I go into a tiny panic mode that lasts about 16 seconds. But once I feel the discomfort and get over the hump, I’m good-to-go. Then the next time I face this weird sock scenario, it’s easier. Next time gets even easier than that. 

All you need to do is apply this same equation to your fear of rejection.

Here’s the formula:

Step 1: Approach within three seconds. Three seconds is just enough time before you convince yourself not to do it. I’m not sure of the science behind this, but it works.

Sometimes you just have to trust the words of those more experienced even if you don’t why.

Do you know the inner workings behind how your TV remote sends a signal to the TV? No, you just know that it works and that’s all that matters.

Step 2: Imagine them taking a deuce (shit). The problem you’re facing is that you put women on a pedestal. This thought exercise reverses the damage and helps you calibrate your worth. 

Is this weird? That’s subjective, but sure, let’s say it is weird. Want to know what used to be weird, too? Meeting people you don’t know through the internet.

Step 3: Just be straightforward. Direct + honesty = results.

Here’s an example of what you could say:

“Hey, I noticed you from afar and had to come say hello. I really don’t have anything clever to say, but just wanted to say hi. What’s your name?”

I just made this up, but you get the point. It shows confidence, genuineness, and most importantly — authenticity. 

My point: what you say isn’t nearly as important as why you say it. Your intention is everything. 

In this new era of self-gratification and arrogant look-at-me selfies, being authentic is like finding a diamond in the sahara desert. It’s attractive. 

It’s like posting an Instagram picture and not using a filter. 

Contrast that with, “Hey sexy (pet name to establish dominance, and comfort), what’s good? You seem like you could be worth my time (belittling tactic) and I thought I would give you a chance (belittling tactic #2) to hang with a handsome (narcissistic) man like myself.”

You sound like an idiot. Just be yourself. 

Over time you will notice that:

  • Your ability to think on your feet and be charismatic will rise.
  • Your friends and family will envy your ability to speak with people so easily.
  • You will get complimented a lot on your courage even if you get rejected.
  • You won’t care anymore about what people think of you and your ability to not give a f*ck will rise.

This new attitude may take some time to adopt, but remember that with every single person you talk to, you get a little bit better. 

Now, if you’ve read this far and still think this is all first grade hall of fame quality horse manure, allow me one more chance to convince you to try something new.

Here’s my simple question for you:

There’s roughly 4 billion women on this planet. Do you think all of them find you attractive? 

I want you to seriously answer this. Please do not read further until you have. 

Got it? 

If you answered yes: Then please close this article and make an appointment with your doctor immediately. 

If you answered no: Then you just admitted that some people will say no to you, right? So what’s the big deal if one says no to your face? You already know it could be coming, you just said so.

This simple perspective has helped a ton of people change their attitude about what rejection even means. They aren’t really rejecting you, if you know it’s coming sometimes anyways. 

Look, I’m not saying you should never use online dating ever again, but realize that staying on dating apps literally kills your game. 

As men we all have these stories of excuses we tell ourselves. These patterns that we run through. The anxiety is underneath all of this.

Every time you see someone you are attracted to, but rationalize in your mind, “Meh. It’s too much of a risk to get rejected. She looks busy. She looks stuck up. [insert your other favorite excuse]. I’m not that into her. I’ll just swipe on a dating app.” you are hurting yourself even more. 

Here’s the single best piece of advice I can give you: get rejected more

A lot of things that are really good for us psychologically are surprisingly very counterintuitive. You don’t need tactics, you need discomfort. That’s when you grow.

“No pain, no gain.” (Thanks, Rocky!)

Take a break from the dating apps, put the phone down, and take a look around you once in a while. You never know if the girl of your dreams… may be looking right back at you.

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