Pop culture and online forums have depicted this vision of idealized masculinity that we think we need to become in order to be lucky in love.
If you want the people you ask out to say yes, you need to strive to be the perfect man — handsome, muscular, rich. A real man’s man, essentially. And frankly, If you’re all of those things already, you probably don’t spend too much time reading posts about how to get more people to swipe right on you.
The real truth about dating success is that, because everyone wants something a little bit different, your best bet isn’t to transform yourself into a totally different person. Instead, you must find the best version of yourself and work on becoming that.
Yes, there’s more than one type of dream guy. You might know that already, but it’s genuinely something that lots of guys don’t seem to realize.
Meaning, in a room full of 30 guys all trying to be the same guy, the guy who goes in the opposite direction is going to have a whole lot more success on dating apps. Why, you ask? Well, because all the people who find that confident macho man thing a little over-the-top and are looking for something different will notice him immediately.
If you’ve been wasting time wondering how you’re going to be the type of suave, classically attractive guy who could become the spokesperson for a cool beer company, it’s time to switch up your thinking. Instead of that, you need to figure out what the most date-able version of you is, and work on becoming that guy.
To give you something to shoot for, here are five types of guys who don’t struggle to get dates. Sure, they might screw those dates up or leave a trail of burning wreckage behind them as they screw over one partner after another, but each one of these men possesses desirable traits that make people want to go out with him — and make people willing to overlook his other flaws.
1. Wise Guys
The phrase “wise guys” has a number of different meanings, so it’s important to clarify what’s meant here first. This isn’t mafia-style “wise guys” at all, it’s not the biblical three wise men and it’s not sarcastic guys, like, “Oh, you’re a wise guy, eh?”
What’s sexy are really, genuinely wise guys — guys who have wisdom. That means you understand the world, you’ve seen things and learned from them. It means you know that speaking is less important than listening, and you’re not one to make rash decisions.
Wisdom is often associated with age … and surprise! Lots of people find older guys sexy. Perhaps you’ve heard that the word “daddy” has sexual connotations these days?
But you don’t need to be greying at the temples, or bald and out-of-shape in order to be a wise guy. You just need to be someone who’s thoughtful, knowledgeable and willing to share what he’s learned.
Attempt to be a wise guy if: You’re experienced, knowledgeable, confident
Don’t attempt to be a wise guy if: You’re insecure, young, hot-headed
2. Fun Guys
Lots of dating advice advises guys that the best way to their crush’s heart is to make them laugh. And there’s some truth to that — if you can make someone laugh, there’s a good chance they think you don’t totally suck, which is a step towards attraction.
But the upshot of all that “funny is sexy” talk has been that some guys think flirting should be some kind of joke-based target practice … and that is not sexy. Nobody wants to feel like you’re funny-ing them to death.
What’s really sexy is fun guys. Guys who are fun to be around. And that can take many forms — the guy who’s always planning parties, down for anything, lives and breathes stupid puns, or the guy who’ll immediately befriend half the room at a party before the night’s barely begun.
Attempt to be a fun guy if: You’re friendly, funny, spontaneous
Don’t attempt to be a fun guy if: You’re self-serious, egotistical, stand-offish
3. Successful Guys
That’s not to say that serious can’t be sexy, either. You may have heard that celebrities are attractive, and a big part of that is that, well, success is sexy.
When you can do things that other people can’t do — when you can blow people’s minds, drop people’s jaws or make them stop and stare — you’re going to have a much easier time dating.
That doesn’t mean that being good at anything will do, of course; the world’s most talented male roller-blader isn’t necessarily swimming in first dates.
But a guy who’s good at something and who has translated that talent into tangible success? Who’s won awards, nailed down impressive jobs and made big money? That guy is sexy.
Attempt to be a successful guy if: You’re good at something, you’re driven, you’re ambitious
Don’t attempt to be a successful guy if: You’re easy-going, allergic to stress, unable to commit
4. Generous Guys
It’s clear that rich guys are sexy, right? Or are they? The idea that rich guys are some kind of dream catch comes from a mistaken idea about what, specifically, is desirable in a rich guy.
Money alone isn’t it. Rich guys are often sexy because they’re successful to begin with, and the possibility that they’ll spend those riches on you is tantalizing. But what that means is that it’s better to be a generous guy with not a ton of money than a selfish jerk with wads of cash.
That’s because generous guys are dream dates no matter how much money they have. They’re thoughtful, they’re kind and they care about other people’s experiences and feelings. This is the real dream — someone who’ll get you flowers, who’ll help you move and who’ll pay for dinner.
Attempt to be a generous guy if: You like making people happy, giving gifts, doing things for others
Don’t attempt to be a generous guy if: You’re selfish, ego-centric, hate splurging
5. Healthy Guys
There are lots of ways you can be healthy. Often, guys imagine this category filled with muscle-bound macho men, but the truth is that the oiled-up brolic bro is really only attractive to a very small number of people.
What’s really attractive? Guys who know how to take care of themselves. That could mean muscles, sure, but it could also mean great cardio, a healthy diet and no substance abuse.
It could also mean you know how to take care of yourself in the emotional sense. This is something a lot of guys struggle with. Talking about our emotions and processing our feelings is just not something most guys are taught growing up.
But if you’ve been able to overcome that hurdle — if you’ve been in therapy, if you’re comfortable crying here and there, if you’re not afraid of tough emotional conversations — you’re really quite the catch. It’s the 21st century; cavemen are very passé.
Attempt to be a healthy guy if: You’re well-adjusted, in good shape, love the outdoors
Don’t attempt to be a healthy guy if: You’re dishonest, always angry, over-rely on drugs or alcohol
No matter who you are, there’s a version of you who’s capable of going on lots of dates. You could worry that you’re undesirable in any number of different ways, but there’s more than one way to be sexy — and once you figure out which way works for you, you’ll be well on your way there.
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