Confident, NOT Cocky

Here is a simple enough question for you (I think). Is confidence more important than looks when trying to secure a phone number or first date? I think I'm attractive enough, but girls must smell my lack of self-confidence miles awayor at least that is my thought as to why I have not been "grinding it out all night." Is that still your favorite phrase?


Confidence (in combination with a great personality, a fantastic sense of humor, and basic smarts) is definitely more important than looksespecially when you're dating women. Scorching-hot babes regularly make allowances for hideously ugly guys with winning personalities. Note that this does not ever work in reverse.

My pal Julie told me a story about an ex-boyfriend whose sister was a dead ringer for Cindy Crawford. Despite having drawn the winning number in the Looks Lotto, this chick had a boyfriend who was an exceptionally nice and devoted, yet troll-like, red-headed Mason Reese look-alike. Julie was marveling to her then-BFwondering aloud why his sis was wasting her time with this ugly dude when she could be dating some small-town Brad Pitt.

"Because she's more mature than you," Big Brother snapped. Yeah, alright, but note that Big Brother wasn't dating some ugly broadhe was dating my foxy friend (who also happens to be brilliant, funny, and talented).

The good news is confidence is easy to fake. When in doubt, keep your mouth shut. Too many men make the mistake of compensating for nervousness and insecurity by spouting off a long, boring list of their accomplishments. Yawn. Nobody likes a bore. A woman drawn in by the way your scruffy hair hangs charmingly over your left eye will run shrieking if you spend the next 15 minutes droning on about how difficult your childhood was because you were so much smarter (a genius, really) than any other child in your third-grade class. This tactic (which I've been subjected to) is even more annoying than when the fella you've always had a crush on tells you he's wanted to go out with you for ages but can't because he's such a mess (yup, I've heard that one, too).

If you're shit-scared you'll say the wrong thing, ask her a question about herself. (I know I've said this a million times, but I don't think you men are listening! It works!) Get her talking. Cultivate an air of mystery by not laying all your cards out. Make loads of eye (not eye-to-boobie) contact, and while you're talking to her, think about what her skin would feel like under your hand. I'm not advising you to think about doing her doggy-stylethat'll merely produce a look of lewdness and may garner you a slap upside the head, because believe it or not, we ladies know what you're thinking about when you're thinking about sex! If all goes according to plan, you'll get a warm, nice (but sexy) look on your face. Of course, while you're imagining feeling her up, it's imperative that you also keep listening. Multitask, my man!

Now, back to looks. I don't mean to downplay the importance of cute-i-tude, but I do believe it's secondary. Or even thirdary, depending on who you're dealing with. Bear in mind, attractiveness is highly subjective: What one woman finds unbearably hot, another might think of as puke inducing. As I am a woman with a rather rarefied idea of handsome, I know this firsthand. Whereas I swoon over big-nosed, acne-scarred Richard Belzer, I have friends who can't even watch that particular Law & Order franchise because they consider him so hideous. Sure, there are universal hotties like Johnny Depp and Jude Law, but most of us like different things, and just because one girl isn't warm for your form, that doesn't mean her sister won't give you a tumble.

As for your other question; since I haven't "ground it out all night" in some time, I'm going to look for a new favorite phraseone that doesn't remind me of how action-free I've become. Unless one of the two dates I have scheduled this weekend goes exceptionally well, GIOAN will be replaced by "beatific glow of celibacy."

Glowing? Write Dategirl at or c/o Seattle Weekly, 1008 Western Ave., Ste. 300, Seattle, WA 98104.

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