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Step-by-Step Guide To Dating For The Urban Man


I was in a rut. I was working too hard, taking on too much stress and had let my social life ebb away. I wasn’t meeting new people, and the relationships I had were starting to fall away. Pangs of loneliness began to gnaw at me whenever I found the time to just be. I knew I needed to change something, I just didn’t know how.

This post covers everything I did to kick start my social life so I could make new friends and hopefully meet women I could connect with. Everything I did was based on the following premise:

If I could work on expanding my social circle, and increase the avenues through which I met new people, magic would start to happen.

As simple as that. That was the maxim using which I literally turned my life around.

A quick note of caution – I am fumbling around as much as anyone else is, but if my earlier posts have intrigued you, read on. Before I come across as a know-it- all, my friend Herman sums up my predicament better than I can:

I have no right to call myself one who knows. I was one who seeks, and I still am, but I no longer seek in the stars or in books; I’m beginning to hear the teachings of my blood pulsing within me. My story isn’t pleasant, it’s not sweet and harmonious like the invented stories; it tastes of folly and bewilderment, of madness and dream, like the life of all people who no longer want to lie to themselves.

– Herman Hesse

Why Does A Man Need A Dating Strategy?!

As a man, the odds are stacked against you, probabilistically speaking. If you can get your hands on a woman’s phone and look at her tinder / bumble / hinge apps, you will know what I mean. Tens, sometimes hundreds of matches a day, that they need a personal secretary just to stay on top of all this virtual attention they’re getting from men. So many women don’t even feel the need to write out a profile – upload one nice pic and the lads start lining up. Need I give you more reasons why this is a rigged game?!

One last reason – The Ken recently reported that the male: female ratio on Indian dating apps is 5:1, on average. Go figure!

Ever received one word responses from lots of women? Well, you know the reason. Luckily though, they’re reaching dead ends faster than you are. Getting increasingly frustrated, wondering what it will take to find someone that they feel a real connection with. So as a man, that puts you in the game, assuming you know how to play it slightly differently from the swipe happy jocks out there. I used to be that swipe happy jock, until I realised I wasn’t happy, nor did I want to remain a jock.

Through an experimentative process involving ridiculous amounts of trial and error, frustration, and taking flight out of my comfort zone in a way that felt like I would combust into a ball of smoke, I would like to believe that I have learned how to become more social and by extension, meet a lot of great women.

For the longest time, even before I had heard of the guy, I have lived my life by the following Seth Godin dictum:

If I fail more than you, I win

Not that I make failure my raison d’être, it is just that I have seen that the more experiments I make, the more chances I take, and the more I go against my view of the world with the specific aim of invalidating my own disempowering beliefs, the more I seem to attract the right people, things and circumstances into my life.

Being single affords you the greatest opportunity to conduct experiments and have fun with your life, so might as well make the most of it!

All points below will enhance your social life, expand your circle of friends and increase the probability of meeting great women. Some of these are specific to Floh, others more generic.

Let’s Get To The Basics

Widen the funnel: This is so basic, it must come as the first point. The wider the net you cast, the more fish you catch. The more fish you catch, the higher the chance of meeting someone you vibe with. Dating apps, singles communities, classes, meet ups, coffee shops, bars, events – use all the avenues you have access to, but don’t get overly reliant on any one avenue. Go to as many events, meet-ups and socials as you can, meet everyone and before you know it, you’ll have more numbers and dates than you know what to do with. A numbers game it is, and a numbers game thou shall play. Doing all of the above will ensure you’re always making new friends, and meeting many dateable women.

Get social, even when you don’t feel like it: We are all leading busy lives and don’t have much time to go out and meet friends. I get it, it’s hard. We are trying to build careers, make money etc. But don’t forget that your social network is the easiest way to meet interesting women. Invest in going out with people, even when you don’t feel like it. Reach out to people you haven’t met in a long time and get a coffee/ beer with them. Every person you meet knows at least one single woman, often more. Also, the more social you become, the better the vibe you start to give off. Literally, people will come to you because of your ‘vibe’. Get off your butt, off the apps and into the world! Dating apps can push you into a little cocoon. Don’t be the guy that outsources his dating life to an algorithm.

Invest in your body and mind: Again, so basic, yet so easy to ignore while leading a busy life. Urban India offer so many avenues to get fit while at the same time doing it in the company of like minded people. You don’t have to get ripped or have bulging biceps to attract women, although some women will definitely take notice. Work out or play sport so you have a strong, energetic vibe about you. Not (only) so you have a six pack. Look after your mind. Expand your horizons. Venture into the wild, and see what ideas you come up with to apply in your own life. 

By wild, I don’t necessarily mean Bandipur. Any situation / scenario which feels like an unknown will do. 

Mindset – The Most Important Of All

Be a man of action: I could easily have put ‘stay positive’ here, but what on earth does that mean? You’re going to get rejected loads. You’re going to have women fall for other men, right in front of your eyes. Learn to accept it as part of the process. Keep moving is what I mean. Here is a simple mantra that works ridiculously well. 

When you feel attraction, take action

Action here could mean asking for her number, taking her out right after a Floh event (yes, whisk her away immediately!) or telling her you enjoyed meeting her and want to get to know her better. The universe moves when you move…so keep moving. I used to attach undue importance to something as simple as a match on an app. Crazy, I know. The more I began to go out and put myself in situations where I’d meet new people, the more I realised that an interesting conversation was just round the corner.

Steer the conversation: Related to above, especially the first time you meet, if you aren’t able to get her to really open up about things she is passionate about, the conversation will be termed ‘dull’ and you will join the long list of boring guys she has met. While it isn’t always possible to steer conversations, it has to be something you do regularly enough until some level of attraction is established. If she is a good conversationalist, she might take the lead here and you can sit easy. Just yesterday I failed to do this and sat through half an hour of a girl talking about the failed relationships of her best friend. Ugh!!!

Conduct three month sprints: Ever noticed how a lot of fitness apps have three month sprints as part of their plans? This is just the right amount of time in which people see noticeable changes in strength and fitness, and also short enough so people don’t feel like they are biting off more than they can chew. Use the same in your social and dating life. Commit to attending one event / meetup / gathering a week, and trying to meet one woman a week, so you are always meeting new people. And then stick to it for 3 months. Trust me, while it will feel like you are putting in too much effort at first, you will have met some amazing women (and men) by the end of the 3 months. This is an idea a friend gave me, and he met the woman he married on his second three month sprint last year. A three month sprint is particularly useful if your social life has stagnated, as mine had a while back.

You fall (and rise) to the level of your self esteem: While looks, attraction, interests, life goals and beliefs all have a role to play in the partner we attract, I have come to see that we usually end up with a person who matches our self esteem, give or take. Nathaniel Branden, an author who has written extensively on the topic of self esteem, points out that one rarely sees a couple where one partner has very high self esteem and the other has really low self esteem. A lot of guys talk about ‘leagues’ and wanting to date women out of their league, and such talk is limited to the sphere of looks. In my opinion, the only true test of league is self esteem. If you are attracted to a woman whose self esteem is higher than yours, the question to be asked is, ‘what do I have to do to be able to get up to that level and feel like I belong with her?’ If you can’t match her there, you might attract her initially, but you will definitely struggle to keep her. And while any man can get a woman, not all men can keep a woman happy / interested / excited. I’m guessing the missing piece of this puzzle is self esteem and the various ways in which it manifests itself in our lives.

5 Floh Hacks That You Must Know

Talk to groups: At any Floh event, at some point, you will have to say something about yourself or introduce yourself. In front of everyone there. If you come across as lacking in confidence, or unable to express yourself, it isn’t the best impression to put out to potential mates. Start taking chances to express yourself in front of groups of people. Tell stories. I have been to enough Floh events to see that the men who are able to tell stories and engage the group, have, at a minimum, the platonic interest of all the women there. I am sorry, that’s just how things roll. You could be the most wonderful man out there, but how are all the ladies going to know that? I don’t mean you need to become loud and obnoxious. Even a quiet person can become an engaging story teller. As with anything, this is an acquired skill, but will pay dividends not only in your dating life, but in everything you do. TRUST ME ON THIS. Been there, done that. Doing that. 

Don’t check the guest list: This one is a bit counter-intuitive, but it will make your experience of events a lot smoother. My initial tendency was to check the guest list for every event, just to see if there were any women I’d be particularly interested in meeting. For the last couple of events I have been to, I have gone in blind. Not even opened the event chat. And it is amazing how smoothly interactions flow when you go in with an open mind. I have no preconceived notions about anyone and that allows me to treat everyone as a blank canvas on which they can paint whatever they wish.

Use the messaging feature on the Floh app: I dislike dating apps, you probably know that already. But not the Floh app, despite its quirks. After meeting a number of women from within the Floh network, I have realised that quite a few of them have never attended an event, or attended only one a long time ago. The reasons are varied, but as a man on the network, it is clear what you need to do. You need to hit that messaging feature hard, because there are a lot of women on the app who you won’t meet if you keep waiting for an event to come along. And guess what? I don’t have hard data to back me up, but my experience is that women on Floh are many times more likely to respond via the app, as compared to the other apps out there.

Personality > Pictures : In this incredibly ‘social’ age we live in, it is tempting to judge a person just by seeing their pictures and reading their bio. On occasions,  I had written off a woman as one I would have no interest in, only to be bowled over by the real deal at a Floh event. Some women I have met are the embodiment of what I find attractive, and when I had initially seen the pics in their profiles, that is not a word I would have used to describe them. Which is why meeting LOTS of women in real life will also help you realise for yourself what you are really attracted to. (Also, some women intentionally like to play down the pics in their profiles, probably because they don’t want to be bombarded with messages from all and sundry)

#ibelike

Use day events to your advantage: So you’re at an event, and you seem to be getting along well with a girl. Loads of eye contact, she is responding well to what you’re saying, and the signs are good. If she really is keen, she won’t at all mind going out with you for a drink / coffee straight after the event. Strike when the iron is hot was probably a phrase coined when the equivalent of a Floh in the Middle Ages was conceptualised. The man probably took the woman out for a bear hunt, or a swim in a frigid, rampaging river after a BBQ of deer and antelope meat. So exciting!


Read the signs: If you do all of the above, you might reach a stage where you have met quite a few women in a short span of time, of which there are 2 or 3 women who you clearly get along with, but aren’t completely sure if there is a relationship on the cards. So how do you take things forward? You need to read the signs. I am referring to the signs women give you. Very, very few women will be direct when they like you. Most women will awkwardly chuck hints at you (they’re pretty confused about all this stuff too!) when they’re interested in you. I used to be totally clueless a few years back, and completely missed these signs. And then I learned to listen, learned to read body language and this totally changed my approach to dating.

Share your thoughts with the world: {I’d put this in BIG, BLUE and BOLD if I could} Amazing things can happen when you write and share your thoughts — To quote the Sidman – ‘you never know where it can take you’…

Catch ya later 🙂


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