Dating Coach Reveals Top Behaviors That Cause Women To View Men As ‘Scary’
No man wants to be seen as scary. In fact, some avoid it so much that it interferes with their ability to engage in romantic interests.
But, according to Blaine Anderson — an online dating coach based in Austin, Texas — there’s a big difference between addressing someone and looking creepy.
In fact, she new search suggests that avoiding nine tell-tale behaviors associated with goosebumps (e.g., staring, unwanted social media contact, inappropriate comments, controlling behaviors, pressure for sex, etc.) is a surefire way to avoid sounding the goosebumps alarm.
I recently spoke with Ms. Anderson to discuss the results of her research and to learn more about some of the dating advice she has for men. Here is a summary of our conversation.
Marc Travers: You recently took a survey about what it means to be scary in an online dating context. What prompted you to undertake this research, how did you conduct it and what did you find?
Blaine Anderson: Earlier this year, I noticed an increase in the number of potential clients who contacted me saying something like, “I’m afraid to approach women because I don’t want to be seen as scary.
Hearing this feeling again and again made me realize that:
- ‘Creepy’ has no clear definition in a dating context
- The obscurity around what it means to be “scary” is problematic from a dating perspective
If it was clear what makes a behavior scary, men wouldn’t worry about being unwittingly perceived as scary. But, because it’s not clear, the fear of being creepy can cause deep social anxiety in many men.
Confusion about what is scary and what isn’t also causes problems for women.
Obviously, women don’t like to be subject to scary behaviors, so greater clarity on what is scary and what isn’t could reduce the likelihood of women having scary experiences.
Perhaps as importantly, it’s also bad for single women if great single men don’t approach them for fear of being perceived as creepy.
These issues inspired me to define a more precise definition of “scary” in a dating context. I decided to commission census-style survey data from 2,000 American women aged 18-40 to understand exactly what behaviors are scary, as well as census-style survey data from 1,000 American men aged 18 to 40 to understand the extent of “I” I am afraid to address the issue of women.
The discoveries fascinated me. The main learnings were:
- Women regularly exhibit scary behaviors. 82% of women said they experienced scary behavior “sometimes”, “often” or “constantly”.
- Men avoid women for fear of being scary. 44% of men said fear of being creepy “reduces their likelihood of interacting with women” in general, which rises to 53% of men who reported being single.
- There are nine scary behaviors men should avoid. Some are more obvious than others. The full list is (1) staring, (2) unwanted social media contact, (3) inappropriate comments, (4) controlling behaviors, (5) won’t accept “no”, (6) physical contact unwanted, (7) pressure for sex, (8) attachment and (9) physical harassment.
through: What do you specifically say to men to help them avoid looking scary?
anderson: Most men don’t need a professional to tell them that behaviors like pressuring women to have sex or physical harassment are wrong. Scary behaviors that are the most subtle need the most attention because they are the easiest to manifest unintentionally. The first three are:
- Looking at
- Unwanted social media contact
through: You have a unique job title. What inspired you to become an online dating coach?
anderson: My experience as a dating coach started in college, at the University of Arizona. I would advise my male friends on dating my sorority sisters. After school, I often advised my friends on their dating app profiles, but I never considered coaching a career opportunity until the pandemic.
I had worked in the travel industry after graduating from college and traveled until a sudden, complete stop in the spring of 2020. Almost overnight I was out of a job, but almost simultaneously I started to respond to more requests from friends to help with their dating app profiles.
It looked like a sign; I have always enjoyed coaching my male friends informally and had nothing to lose as travel was at a standstill so I took the plunge. I’ve worked with over 1,000 clients since then and never looked back.
I agree that “dating coaching” is a relatively unique profession. Social media platforms like Instagram and TikTok absolutely have their downsides, but they’ve made niche careers like mine possible, and I’m so grateful for that.
through: What do you think are the most common online dating stumbling blocks for both men and women?
anderson: I like to say that online dating offers a very “flat” experience.
Each service has its own flavor (eg on Bumble, women’s message first), but whether you use Bumble, Tinder, The League or something else, your profile is made up of the same couple of photos and lines of text. This lack of depth means you’ll never be able to communicate who you are (or understand who you’ve been matched with) to the same level of depth as even a 60-second in-person conversation. I am always more enthusiastic about my clients learning how to meet potential partners in person for this reason.
The challenges men and women face with online dating stem from the platitude I mentioned, although men and women tend to face different challenges.
Women tend to struggle with a “needle in the haystack” problem. As a woman, it’s hard to determine what information you want to know about a potential partner from a few photos and lines of text. It’s easy to experience a disappointing dating stream with people you’re not compatible with and to feel discouraged about online dating.
On the other hand, men tend to struggle with a “one in a crowd” problem. The majority of men on dating apps have indistinct profiles and therefore fail to get many matches. This leads to the widespread, albeit false, sentiment that dating apps are rigged against men.
through: Do you have a favorite online dating service or does it depend on your client and their background/interests?
anderson: For my clients who want to go online, I often recommend Hinge as a good starting point. Hinge is easy to integrate and use, it has a large user base of attractive singles, and I like how they market their service as “designed to be deleted”.
With hindsight, I help my clients identify the right channel to meet women based on their personal interests and preferences, whether online or in person.
Historically, many men have this misconception that they’re supposed to meet women in bars, and there’s something wrong if they can’t. That couldn’t be further from the truth today and there are countless opportunities to meet women outside of bars, in person or online, once you learn how to market yourself and have confidence in yourself. approach.
through: Besides not being seen as scary, what are your biggest tips for men looking to be more successful in online dating?
anderson: For online dating in particular, here are three tips:
- Get an outside opinion on your photos. By coaching over 1,000 men, I’ve learned that few guys can reliably predict which photos of themselves are or aren’t attractive.
- Be as specific as possible with your written biography and prompts. If you only communicate generic things that could apply to almost every other guy in the app, like “I love to travel,” you won’t differentiate yourself and you won’t get many matches.
- The performance of your profile will reflect the effort you put into it. Many guys rush to create their profiles after downloading a dating app, so they can start swiping as soon as possible. This tends to be an extremely unsuccessful strategy.
My #1 tip for men who typically date is to depersonalize the rejection. A woman’s interest in you can depend on hundreds of factors that are not only beyond your control, but can also be totally independent of you. Accept that rejection is part of the process. It often has nothing to do with your approach, and even when it does, rejection reflects not so much a character flaw or personal shortcoming as an opportunity to improve yourself. Also, don’t be afraid to consult a coach for help.
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