We like the term “conventional wisdom.” It refers to the type of information you get from your friends at parties. “Hey Ed, I’m looking for a good laptop. You’re in the business. What do you think?” You will readily accept Ed’s opinion — providing that you trust him. It saves you going through the agony of research and sales pitches. That’s the spirit of this volume. There is no science here — just a collection of ideas and advice that seem to work for a lot of guys. We did our best to avoid moral judgments, except for the golden rule. You shouldn’t do to any woman what you wouldn’t do to your sister. (Did that come out right?) Most of it is common sense. Some of it you have heard before — sorry about that. We don’t know what you don’t know. We tried to include everything we could to help you improve your dating life. There is no magic and there are few secrets. Sometimes the problem is simply that you have overlooked some basic detail that prevents a woman from discovering what a terrific guy you really are. The devil is in the details. As men, it is not our nature to spend time, money and effort on our appearance and social behavior. Perhaps calling these things to your attention and offering simple solutions will increase your chances with women. What do you have to lose? As it happens, you will discover that working on your weak areas will improve your life in other ways as well. Heck, you might even get a raise or a better job.

This book is intended to assist men who seek to date women. We expect that it would be most helpful to heterosexual men who are approximately 20 to 60 years old. The ideas reflect current social practices between men and women in America, although they could extend to other cultures that are similar. The book does not address issues that may be specific to certain ethnic or religious populations. While we respect the traditions and practices of other cultures, we do not pretend to have the experience or knowledge to address the dating behaviors of everyone. However, there are many general ideas and suggestions that may be useful to a broad cross-section of men. Younger men (under 20) or men that are not serious about forming social relationships with women will find very little of interest here. It is our hope that the information contained within will assist the millions of men and women who are struggling to complete this most important aspect of their lives — meeting and enjoying the company of the opposite sex. What’s Your Motive? We have to pause here to discuss an important point. Why do you want to date? This book follows the premise that you intend to follow the traditional path of dating — relationship — engagement — marriage. This may not be the case. That’s fine. There are other reasons. We are staying away from value judgments.

You may wish to date to fill up your social calendar and to enjoy life. This is typical among younger guys. You are not ready to get serious with anyone. There is nothing wrong with this as long as you are honest. Make sure that you are on the same wavelength as the women that you are dating. They should know that you are not headed for commitment city any time in the near future. If so, it should be assumed that you are seeing more than one woman at a time. In this case, so are they. This is fair.

As long as these ground rules are in place, you are free to do as you choose without hurting anyone. There are pros and cons. You will have a great time and increase your experience, skills and techniques. The downside is that some women may quickly set their sights on cornering you for themselves. You must be on guard for this. Make your non-committal intentions clear and cut your losses. You will have them. Some people (both men and women) will suspect your motives. You will have a bit of a reputation. People love to talk. All this may make it difficult for you to land dates, especially in a small town. There is a third possibility. It has to do with testosterone. You are dating to get sex. Now, this factor is always in place. Women understand this. Heck, they expect it. Everyone wants sex on some level. It is a matter of conditions. If your premise is that the purpose of dating is to hit the sack as soon and as often as possible, with as many women as possible, you will have many problems. The fact is that no one likes this kind of behavior. You will be associated with some pretty nasty ladies who may be better at the game than you! Quality women will shun you. Once the word gets around, you may have to start hunting in the next town, fifty miles away. Now, guys will love hearing your stories of conquest but privately, they will keep you away from their sisters and be very nervous about their girlfriends. Quite frankly, buddy, you will have turned into a creep. Clean up your act. You will be happier in the long run. Now that we have had this chat, decide for yourself why you want to date and let’s move on. Is All Fair in Love and War? Your situation is hardly unique. It just feels that way because you sit and ponder it a great deal. Guys are not in the habit of baring their souls to their buddies, especially if they’re having trouble dating. Know that there are millions of guys in your position. This means that the help in this book can be applied to a vast cross section of single guys.

Is it mean, nasty, manipulative or illegal to use techniques and tactics to win your lady-love? Hardly. First of all, the quest is noble. You would just like to increase the number of dates you are having. You are hoping that something will grow out of one or more of them. What’s wrong with that? Remember, the woman wins too! Second, you are being honest. We don’t recommend or even suggest that you use deceit to convince someone to go out with you. However, if you have to stack the deck a bit to impress your lady love, who gets hurt? Minimizing your inadequacies and maximizing your strengths makes perfect sense. Believe us, women are experts at this. Third, there is nothing new under the sun. The information you will find here has existed for centuries (cyber dating excluded). We have simply sorted, evaluated and presented time-honored ideas that seem to work. Of course, we attempt to coach you and convince you to use them as well. If it was good enough for your grandfather and Clark Gable . . .

You must be convinced of your own success. It’s just a matter of time and intelligent effort. While there are no guarantees, what are your options? You can continue as you are and depend on chance or be proactive. You are responsible for your own success. However, we offer you a considerable amount of assistance in this book. You use techniques and strategies on a regular basis in your daily life to advance your position. Dressing well for a job interview, straightening up your home before guests arrive and smiling at the boss are examples. Why would you not extend this to your dating life? Of course, people have been playing the romance game in deceitful, and even evil, ways for centuries. Perhaps you have been the unhappy victim of someone accomplished at breaking hearts. Make certain that you do not cross over to the dark side. If your sole intent is to persuade a woman to sleep with you, seek revenge or get in her father’s will, you are headed for problems. Using deceit or worse, force, will eventually result in your own unhappiness. By the way, you may discover that your new skills and philosophy will mute some of the exuberance you

have become accustomed to when dating. When you are acting with confidence and determination rather than emotion, your adrenaline levels will naturally be lower. However, this is a more certain path to your goal — successful dating leading to a relationship. Look down the road and persuade yourself right now that you are going to go through a period of experimentation loaded with mistakes. You will learn from these mistakes and at the end of the road, you will have skills and techniques gleaned from experience. There is nothing more valuable. We can’t do this for you. Once you understand this process, each date becomes an opportunity to relax and have a good time while you practice your techniques. Of course, there is always the possibility that you will be surprised with success when you least expect it. How Are You Doing? The most likely reason things are not going all that well in your dating life is that you are probably a mismatch with the women you would like to date. What we mean is that you need to be or become the kind of person you would enjoy dating. This implies that you should know who you are. You may think that you know but that is not generally something you dwell on. Also, it is difficult to objectively look at oneself. You probably underrate yourself. Make an honest list of your most positive qualities without being openly modest. Are you intelligent? Energetic? Personable? Honest? Affectionate? Athletic? Be as complete as you can. Give yourself enough time to include everything. Be certain to write it down. If you have a close friend or relative that you trust, it would be beneficial if you could ask that person to review your list and make additions. This exercise alone will begin to increase your confidence. Self-confidence is one of the most powerful attractions for the opposite sex. Women are not interested in men who appear weak or needy. If they are, it is because they are looking for someone to rescue. This is not a place that you want to be. You would be starting a relationship on a dysfunctional premise.

This confidence must be grounded in a set of beliefs and a value system. You must be convinced that you are searching for a worthy life partner who embodies the very best. This is an honest and noble quest. You don’t want to hurt or deceive anyone. You know that someday you will succeed. It is just a matter of time. As you continue your search you will learn more about yourself, the nature of relationships and the opposite sex. You will eventually bring the value of this knowledge to your life partner. You will continue to work on your weak areas and make yourself even more desirable by eliminating objections. The longer this process takes, the more worthy and desirable the type of women you date will be. Time is not your enemy, it is on your side. Your confidence will feed itself as you grow.

You will find a wealth of valuable information in the following chapters. However, the ideas are useless in and of themselves. It is only when you commit yourself to action and success that anything will happen. Read the whole book through once. Then go back and begin to apply the ideas to your life as best you can. Resolve to continue your improvement. You are entitled to enjoy your role as a man. You are entitled to participate in the world of dating and relationships. You deserve to be happy. We are right behind you. Go for it.