how to find a good man

I was at a wedding recently with a bunch of friends and acquaintances. We sat outside chatting when a group of guys walked out of the bar with drinks.

I saw them and joked with one of my single friends, “Which guy do you like?” She pointed one out. I went up to the group and started a conversation. After a few minutes, I introduced the man she had picked out to the rest of our group. I initiated a conversation and then left it to flow naturally, returning to swap stories about the groom with the other guys.

My female friend didn’t approach any men. Why not? She could have! At a wedding, it’s even easier!

Approaching guys in real life is the secret weapon for single women. If you are wondering how to attract a good man, I will explain why getting out there and starting a conversation yourself is the way forward.

1. It saves time

I read recently that 13.5 hours spent online per week – replying to messages and looking through dating profiles leads to only 1.5 hours of face-to-face time. Ouch!

I don’t know about you, but I’m sure we can all think of better ways to use our time. Being on an actual date with someone is the best way to determine if they’re a quality man worth your energy, a player who’s only got one thing on his mind, or a nice guy heading for the friend zone.

Think of it this way:

  • To find a good man, you have to meet more men.
  • To meet more men, you have to interact more.
  • To interact with more men, you could try online dating or ask your friends or relatives for introductions.

Or perhaps it’s a lot simpler. You could approach more men in real life.

If you initiated two weekly conversations with men – that’s eight in a month – which is sixteen in two months. Your chances of meeting a good man increase when you speak with people.

I got this idea from recently reading Atomic Habits by James Clear. I don’t remember how I came across this book, but it’s a great read. The author combined many evidence-based ideas into an easily-digestible, action-oriented format. The basic idea is that a few small changes regularly add to very big things, and your relationship status is a lagging measure of your habits.

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It got me thinking about the effectiveness of regular, consistent action and deliberate practice – and its application to creating a relationship.

I’m not saying that the first guy you approach is the man you want to create your life with. I am saying that being comfortable approaching guys in real life is essential to finding and creating a fulfilling relationship. It isn’t about settling. It’s about realizing that you’re the creator of your life. You want and deserve the best – so act.

Being on an actual date with someone is the best way to find out if they're a quality man worth your energy. Click To Tweet

2. You build effective communication skills

Starting a conversation with someone in real life means you must initiate the interaction. It quickly improves your conversational skills – in a real-life setting. You’re not watching a video about how to date or reading an article with ‘five ways to get your ex back’.

You can watch and debate the best ways of creating your relationship (theory), or you can get out on the court and discover what works, your particular style, and get real in the art of conversation (practice).

Start thinking of a good conversation as a game of catch – you can throw the ball to someone, and they’ll ignore it, catch it and throw it away, or catch it and throw it back. This simple re-framing stopped me from worrying about how people responded and made me more willing to start something. Like the guys at the wedding – they may not have responded, but they did.

You can also explore small talk – and get comfortable with it. This is massively underrated. Small talk with strangers is a great way to practice being on a date. Starting a chat with men in real life is the ultimate training ground for becoming great on dates. It’s not about trying some strategy or tactic you read about or using the correct combination of words. It’s more about curiosity, getting out there, and discovering what works for you.

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Being able to start a conversation and getting good at it makes you a great company. If you’ve already had practice with approaching men in real life, then a date has the chance to become what it is – finding out if he’s worth your time, effort, and energy.

Getting used to approaching guys means you can practice being in the moment, initiating and sustaining conversations, and developing your effective communication skills – all on your terms. The knock-on effect of this is that you become amazing on a date.

3. It helps to boost your confidence

Starting a conversation with someone you don’t know takes courage. Approaching a man that you like requires even more courage.

But confidence can be expanded – like many things, it needs practice. While this is simple, it’s not necessarily easy. So, start small. Ask someone you don’t know, but you regularly see this question:

“Excuse me, but could you tell me what time it is?” It could be a person who serves you coffee. The cashier at the shop. The receptionist. You get the idea.

Starting small is important because it’s achievable, and you take action. But starting small does not result if you don’t increase the challenge. Here’s a suggested progression:

  • Talk to someone you don’t know but regularly see (man or woman).
  • Talk to a stranger (man or woman).
  • Talk to a male acquaintance (someone you know but not very well)
  • Talk to a man you don’t know but you fancy.
  • See how this progresses simply? You will find out that starting conversations isn’t that difficult, and approaching men isn’t that dreadful.

Remember regular, consistent action and deliberate practice? What would possible results if you worked out your progression for two weeks? Or a month?

As you become willing to take steps outside your comfort zone and be adventurous, you’ll discover different ways to initiate conversations. You will boost self-confidence, which is the key to success.

Starting a conversation with someone you don't know takes courage. Approaching a man that you like requires even more courage. Click To Tweet
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4. It deepens self-awareness

Regularly talking to men means that you will also find out what you like and what you don’t like. If you’re speaking to different men in different situations, there will be times when you will enjoy the interaction and other times when you won’t.

This is not about being strong or showing ‘girl power’ – not that those things are not important or useful – it’s more about discovering what’s right for you. We’re all different, so how we choose to express ourselves will be different.

Talking to men allows you to discover your style and preferences in conversation. That process of discovery and refining over time stays with us forever because we change through experience.

Self-awareness grows through action. It’s where real life happens. “Be yourself” is terrible advice when most people haven’t taken the time to learn about themselves. Starting conversations with the men around you allows you to learn about what you truly like, your needs, and how to communicate them.

Approaching men is a great way to find a good man

Saying, “There are no real men,” is not an excuse. Now is the time to get on the court and practice. It’s not enough to read a strategy article, watch a video about what to say, or read a book with the specific words to use – action is what produces results.

I deliberately haven’t focused on specific tactics. Instead, I’ve outlined the approach, and it’s up to you to experiment with it. Remember that I’m not suggesting putting yourself in dangerous situations when talking to people – be sensible. Approaching a stranger in a dark alley or when you’re alone at night isn’t appropriate.

But on a night out with friends? In a bookshop? At the supermarket? At a wedding? In a coffee shop? You can find situations where you are comfortable and it feels appropriate for you.

Life is this messy, awkward, and wonderful thing happening right now. It’s not a set of rehearsed lines or practiced strategies but a never-ending discovery. So whom are you going to talk to today?

James is a dating expert at Good Man Plan. He helps single women to avoid the players and attract good men. James’s writing and ideas on men and masculinity have been featured on Good Men Project, The Guardian, and on BBC2. He has also guest-edited for BBC Radio5Live.

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