Imagine taking a magnifying glass and holding it up to a man’s head on a first date. Except this is no ordinary magnifying glass… It’s one that allows you to see everything that’s going through his mind.
What might you discover?
Portland dating coach Eric Leonhard knows more than most about what’s going through a guy’s head. He coaches men (and women!) who are looking for long-term relationships. Through online dating profile reviews and mock dates, he finds out exactly what’s going wrong and how to fix it.
In this week’s YBTV interview, Eric shares the struggles men face when it comes to dating.
He digs into his own personal database to reveal the top turn-ons and turn-offs from a male point of view.
You’ll learn a mindset shift that makes first dates fun, and you’ll be surprised by what he thinks is the key to being attractive to men (hint: it’s not your appearance!).
What You’ll Learn
It takes some pushing, but Portland dating coach Eric Leonhard admits that his male clients need a little more hand-holding.
No one will ever agree about who has a harder time dating, he says. “Women will always insist that they have more problems. Men will always insist that they have more problems.”
But Eric finds that his male clients tend to be more long-term.
“Men are under an immense amount of pressure, usually self-imposed pressure,” he says. They feel pressure to always be pursuing. They feel pressure to act confident and successful.
They feel they “have to prove that they make good money and that they can take care of the girl. As it turns out, women aren’t so much concerned with that, but a lot of men still do operate on that myth.”
What Men are Hiding
Does it surprise you to find out that men feel so much pressure?
The guys you date may always appear relaxed and easy, with no worries at all. But that doesn’t mean they haven’t become really good at covering up their nerves.
Even if they act confident, it doesn’t mean they know what they’re doing. Men “are constantly being fed into confusion from conflicting advice about, ‘This is what women want,’ and, ‘This is how you get a woman…’ They don’t know who to listen to,” Eric says.
One common male misbelief is the idea “that you can somehow convince your date to like or to love you using logic and rationale.”
“That’s not how dating works,” says Eric. “You can never actually talk a woman into liking you because of something you have or something you own…. There has to be an emotional association there.”
It’s obvious to us women that a date isn’t going to go anywhere without an emotional connection, but that isn’t always obvious to men.
Men “have a way of not talking or showing emotions,” Eric says. They’re heavily influenced by “Hollywood romance scenarios that don’t really apply” anymore.
Finding Marriage-Minded Men
Something else that might surprise you is that most of the male clients Eric takes on “have one thing in common: they want to get married or … they are working towards a long-term relationship. That is their goal.”
We don’t tend to think of men going to a dating coach to find out how to woo their future wife. We’re more likely to think of men honing their dating skills so that they can pick up lots of women.
But Eric isn’t a pickup artist, and he doesn’t work with wanna-be players. The men he works with are “all very sincere and interested in marriage ultimately.”
His younger clients want a long-term relationship eventually, but are comfortable with dating around until they get there.
His older clients are keen on jumping into a long-term relationship immediately. They know what they want, they’re established in their careers, they’ve got passions and hobbies, they know who they are, and they’re ready to find that perfect person who merges with their lives.
Where ARE these guys???
“You can go on Tinder, [and] it looks like everyone’s looking for hookups. [But] there’s actually a lot of men out there who want something more,” Eric says.
There’s no foolproof way to spot marriage-minded guys. “Dating apps are pretty tricky, because people will put up whatever they want to,” Eric says.
But there’s one sign that can tell you whether a guy is taking it seriously or just fooling around:
The investment he made in his profile.
Did he put the effort into filling out his profile entirely? Did he upload good-quality pictures? Did he hire a professional photographer? If so, then you know he’s serious about finding a match.
Is Your Online Dating Profile Working?
Eric offers a number of services along with his coaching, including a dating profile review and mock dates.
His dating profile review process is unique. Instead of giving his opinion, he recruits a panel of the opposite sex to give feedback.
“I want all my conclusions to be evidence-based, at least to the highest degree that we can do so,” he says.
Having statistics available means he can say things to clients like, “I thought that photo of you holding that beer was okay, but 80% of the women reviewing your profile did not like that.”
Just for Your Brilliance, he dug into his database of profile reviews and shared his secrets with us on what men respond to best (and worst) in a woman’s profile.
We know that one element of a good profile is taking the time to fill it out completely and upload good-quality pictures. What else do we need to know?
Men “really dislike the use of bullet points or anything that looks scripted in a woman’s profile,” Eric says. “Just keep it light-hearted. Throw in a joke. Show that you have a sense of personality.”
You’ll also want to “stay away from use of emoticons” and emojis. “Men don’t read those things … they just see doodles.”
Your profile photos should look like you. “Absolutely stay away from Snapchat filters,” he adds.
Perhaps most importantly of all, men “want to know that you’re a fun-loving person.” They want to get the sense that you’d have a good time if you got together.
Practice Your Dating Skills
Wouldn’t it be great if you could go out on a “mock date” and get real-time feedback on what you’re doing and how you could improve?
That’s a service that Eric offers to his clients in Portland.
When he first started, the mock dates were an auxiliary service. “If you wanted to get away and have a good time out and go to dinner, you could do that, and that would also give you the chance to practice your dating skills.”
“However,” he adds, “I found them to be incredibly valuable diagnostic tools, so powerful that I now require them of all clients.”
When clients come to Eric, “they often know that something is amiss, but they don’t quite know what’s wrong. They don’t know what they’re missing, or why they’re having trouble getting that second date.”
So Eric schedules a mock date as soon as possible, to “figure out diagnostically what the problem is.”
Just from going to dinner for one hour, he and his clients end up with “a whole basketfull of stuff to work with.” It could be body language. It could be anxiety-induced behaviors. It could be conversational skills.
He’ll also send his clients out for practice. For example, men who want to work on approaching women will be asked to go out dancing.
It’s similar to “the way that a musician needs to practice their instrument. They can’t just talk about musical theory all day, right? They need to actually apply that skill.”
Acing That First Date
So how can women ace that first date? Are there any patterns Eric has noticed among his clients?
“Whether this is right or wrong, women are really focused on—almost obsessed with—[their] need to be attractive. They assume that they [have to take] the more passive role in the dating arrangement. And that’s okay; that’s one way of doing it. But women are going to find a lot of success if they do something that breaks a gender norm,” like buying him a drink.
Another key tip is that men often feel unappreciated. “Giving credit to a man for anything he has done is one of the best things that you can do to make him feel like he is an attractive person,” Eric says.
In fact, “that’s the key to being attractive, is to give men credit for the things that they’re doing.”
You can miss those opportunities to compliment a guy if you’re treating a date like an interview or an opportunity to judge him on his long-term potential.
“Your dating success partially depends on how you answer the question, ‘What is a date to you?'” Eric says.
He wants you to see a date less like an interview and more like a vacation.
If you are being taken out by a man, I want you to allow yourself to receive this gift. Allow yourself to be entertained…. This is a vacation for you. Allow yourself to be served and have fun.”
Want to find out what Eric would say about your dating situation? Contact him at Portland Dating Coach!
Jump to Topics of Interest
2:21 Who needs dating advice more, men or women?
3:22 Why are men struggling in dating?
5:05 Impressing women vs. emotionally connecting with women
6:09 Hookups vs marriage-minded men
7:30 How many marriage-minded men are out there?
9:13 How to weed out guys who aren’t serious
10:17 Online dating profile reviews
11:40 What not to put in your profile
13:53 Mock dates
16:06 The key to being attractive
18:12 What women need to know about men
19:53 Dating as a vacation
Eric is a dating coach based in Portland, Oregon. He works with both men and women from all walks of life, offering services such as mock dates to online dating profile reviews. His goal is to provide practical hands-on coaching, taking in ethical and scientific considerations, to those concerned with all things dating-related. Find out how you can work with Eric.