There's an element of strategy in everything that we do in life, and there's nothing wrong with that. There are choices, actions and consequences. That's what everything in life is and dating is no exception. Like the time you agreed to let the drummer for "Mighty Lemon Phillipshead" come up for a nightcap—that's a choice. Then you woke up the next morning to find him in your roommate's bed—that's a consequence. To be fair, it was dark in your apartment but still ... No, no, no, that's just another excuse you make to cover for making bad choices. The truth is you actually liked him and hoped to go out on a second date and had you said goodnight at the front door you might've had a chance. So let's embrace the idea of creating a strategy for dating and your life so that the choices you make are better. As they say in that popular book that features that guy Jesus, "Faith without works is dead." Meaning you can believe you want a better dating life but unless you're willing to do the work, nothing will change. "Wow, you got all serious on me. I didn't think Jesus went on dates." Well now you know why people got so mad about The DaVinci Code. But let's get back to you ...

If your experiences are anything like the throngs of emails and letters we get complaining about the state of dating, then you know that for most men you encounter, dating is something they only have to do if they can't get away with hanging out under less formal circumstances (or they can't get you to fool around with them at the bar). It's probably the single most frustrating thing we hear about in all of our varied "what's the deal with men?" conversations. The deal is that THEY FOLLOW YOUR LEAD. That means if you give them the easy way out, they'll take it.

It's important to recognize that while you can change the way a man dresses, you can't change the way he approaches dating. You can only inspire him to want to change that for himself so that he gets to spend time with you. THE THING YOU DETERMINE IS THE VALUE OF YOUR TIME, THE VALUE OF YOUR COMPANY AND HOW YOU DATE. Those are the only things you are in complete control of, but that's enough to turn the tide. Think about it ... IT'S ONLY WHEN YOU SET THE VALUE OF YOUR TIME LOW AND YOU AGREE TO NON-DATES THAT THEY CAN EXIST FOR YOU. However, if you maintain a high standard for how you date and you don't accept the premise of quasi dating, non-dating and hanging out, then you leave him with only two choices: to ask you out on a proper date or to do without your company. And if he chooses the latter then you're better off anyway, because getting to spend time with you is a gigantic prize, and that guy only wanted to have sex with you because you're hot.

People need to start Dating again and not participate in Non-Dating if they want to find a real relationship rather than someone to have confusing sex with. "But how do I date amongst all the confusing confusion of dating?" We're glad you asked, because there is a definite right and wrong way to date, and if you want to get good results you have to start dating smarter and better. There's a reason why you're not having success: it's because what you're doing isn't working for you. It's time to change up your game. "But I don't like playing games. Dating shouldn't be about game playing." Yeah, yeah ... We've heard it. The reality is that there is a game to be played when dating and it's called RESTRAINT. Quite frankly, when you reject that idea, you yourself are playing your own game. It's a game of refusing to look at human nature and the things you already know about friendships, work, eating and every other thing in life, where you take the time to responsibly think to yourself: "I need to do this right. There's an order in which everything happens. If I mess with the order the whole thing will fall apart." Why would you single out dating as the place to say, "Ah, f*** the order! I'm not going in order. I'm going to just tell them now that I love them, blow them in the bathroom or whatever impulsive thing that you know you shouldn't do, because that will either make him want to be with me more or bail, but at least I'll know now!" It makes no sense. You don't walk into a job interview and ask where your desk is. You don't make a new friend then, after week one, tattoo their name on your neck. You don't eat shitty all week and wonder why your pants don't fit. Do you see where we're going with this? There's an order to things and dating is no exception.