Dear Dr.:

I am writing to you because I’m in desperate need of some advice. I always feel very tense and shy when it comes to interacting with the opposite sex. My mind goes blank, I get nervous, and feel very self-conscious. To make a long story short, I’m not as successful with women as I feel I could be.

There are three main problems that I need help with:

1) I always feel extremely tense when in the presence of attractive women. Whenever I want to approach a woman, I chicken-out due to nerves. How can I overcome this?

2) What should I say? Should I start a friendly conversation, or tell her straight away that I’m attracted to her?

3) When is it okay to “move in for the kill”, e.g. attempt to kiss her, caress her hair, or ask her to “come back to my place”?

I have read several of your letters, and have complete faith that you’ll be able to help with my problem.


Believe me, you are NOT alone in all of this! Almost every man (98%) feels exactly the way you do. After all, nobody wants to get shot down when they approach a woman, or worse yet, get some kind of “as if!” response. So, don’t feel like you’re alone in all of this.

Now, here’s the upside: women don’t want to be alone the rest of their lives any more than you do! Thus, they’re just as interested (or even more so) in meeting someone as you are.

So, let’s look at how to go about handling these problems. First, I strongly recommend that you pick up a copy of my book, “Being a Man in a Woman’s World” as it goes into all of this in much greater depth than I can in a single email. So, to wit:

As you’re already aware, being nervous when you approach a woman is absolutely contrary to your goals. You want to come of with smooth, calm confidence. Being a nervous, stammering idiot is not going to get you a phone number.

Almost every guy makes this mistake when he is first starting out: he finds a particular girl and focuses all of his energies on her, hoping to do everything just right. Of course, he doesn’t have any practice and therefore just makes mistakes. She, sensing his lack of experience, usually turns him down. My father had a great saying: “Only PERFECT practice makes perfect.” What he meant by this is that you have to have a bunch of little successes before you can play at a master’s level – you build on your successes.

To do this you need to practice. But, don’t practice by going out and getting shot down. If you do this, you’re just practicing to fail! Do it by practicing in your mind first! This is called “guided visualization”. Here’s how: every day, find some quiet time in a comfortable room without any distractions. Turn off the TV, the phone, etc., and sit down in a comfortable chair – but don’t lie down – it’s too relaxing and you’ll fall asleep. Sit in a way where you don’t have to use any muscles to stay upright. Also, don’t cross your arms or legs.

Now, take a few slow, deep breaths. After 4-5 of them, close your eyes. You first need to relax your body so that your mind can focus on the task at hand. You do this by going through ever part of your body and imagining it as totally and completely relaxed.

Start with your feet and move up your ankles to your calves, your thighs, your hips, your stomach, your lower back, your upper back, your chest, your shoulders, down your arms to your forearms to your wrists your hands and your fingers. Next, move back up to your hands, your forearms, your upper arms, your shoulders, up into your neck, to the back of your head, over the sides of your head, your ears, your face, your eyes and your mouth.

This relaxation process will take a few minutes – don’t cheat! It’s a critical step in all of this – after all, you want to be relaxed when you approach women right? This is the time to start programming your mind to do this.

Once you’ve got your body completely relaxed, imagine yourself, walking through somewhere you’ve been. Don’t imagine yourself from the outside as though you’re watching yourself in a movie – actually look out of your own eyes. Try to imagine as much detail as you can, including the sights, sounds, even the smells.

Imagine that you’re totally relaxed and confident. You might want to use an example image for this like James Bond or John Wayne. Next, imagine walking up to a beautiful women and saying hello. Just have a short, non-specific conversation with her in your mind. You might talk about anything – the place you’re at, the band if there is one, etc. Imagine her reacting very positively to you; laughing at your jokes, leaning toward you, looking you right in the eye, etc. The more vivid you can make this imagination the better. And, with practice, it will get more and more real.

Then, after a few minutes of this, just say, “It’s been nice talking to you. Let me have your home phone number and I’ll contact to get together for a drink some time.” Then, imagine her enthusiastically reaching into her purse, pulling out a business card, writing her home number on it and giving it to you.

If you practice this every day, at least 15-20 minutes you’ll find that your mind begins to accept the message. This is because of a fact that was discovered about 100 years ago: the mind can’t differentiate between what is real, and what is imagined with complete belief! It won’t make you 100% at ease when approaching women – that only comes with practice. But, it WILL help reduce your anxiety substantially (perhaps as much as 50-75%). That is very significant and will really help you get into the game.

Regarding when to make the first move, check out this article on that very subject: