July 22, 2020 |Gideon Hanekom

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In this post, we’re going to look at what it takes to approach a man with confidence that you’re interested in. I won’t sugarcoat the data for you but will also give you another way of thinking about approaching a man.

confident woman

I was watching the reality show “Single Wives” featuring dating expert, Matthew Hussey, on Netflix with my wife recently, and found it quite intriguing.

What I’ve observed in this program is the fact that even though the (dating) world might have changed, the love game hasn’t all that much.

Approaching another person you’re interested in, is still as scary and challenging as it used to be. Or just as easy.

single wives approach a man with confidence
Single Wives (Credit Netflix)

It still seems to come down to two vital components like it always has, namely a person’s mindset and social skills.

And when those two things are messed up or distorted for whatever reason, your ability to put yourself out there and create a chance for romance is severely compromised.

You can have access to a lot of different people, be available or single, and have all the opportunities you want, but without the right mindset and effective social interaction skills, you will always struggle in the “human connection” game.

Granted, there is more “competition” in the form of more options to pick from, which of course increases your risk for rejection.

However, watching this program really pointed out that rejection, for the most part, still happens for the same reasons they did before the existence of dating apps.

As people, we are still essentially attracted and repelled by the same stuff we’ve always been.

confident woman

As a person, you are still attracted by and also found attractive for similar things to the people before us.

Yes, dating apps might be giving you a much broader “menu” to pick from and even make it possible to interact beforehand, but none of that assures success when the actual dating happens.

Unless, of course, you’re just into connecting with people online for the fun of it.

Me, personally, I still want to experience the thrill and excitement of “wining and dining”a living breathing human being in person.

Anything else is just the beginning, in my opinion.

The point I’m trying to emphasise here is that even though our social landscape has changed a fair bit, the game of human attraction and interaction hasn’t too much.

And if you want someone to like you, you need to know that there is no magic trick nor app that’s going to do it for you.

What worked before still works today, but you first need to know what that was (and is) before you can utilise it.

be confident

Now, let me just say again that I do agree the online dating world has changed a few things.

For example, it has changed how we select, reject or initially meet someone we’re interested in (or at least whose picture and profile we found intriguing).

But let’s be honest, pictures and the real person are seldom the same things.

However, be it as it may, it’s equally important to understand that how we ultimately create an emotional connection, fall in love, and build a life together haven’t changed all that much.

Don’t look at the technology side of things and convince yourself otherwise.

That would be a mistake causing you to over-complicate certain things unnecessarily while missing other things.

True, you might have far more options to pick from at your fingertips than people in the past, but the rules and dynamics to go from meeting to marrying someone haven’t changed all that much.

Because people are still people and connect the way people have for a long time.

confident lady

Case in point, in a recent study** of 14,399 heterosexual people from 45 different countries, researchers found that intelligence and friendliness are the two traits seen as most attractive by both men and women in a potential romantic partner.

Also, men tend to care more about women’s appearance and go for younger women (a good photo can be advantageous in this instance), while women have a tendency to focus more on security and financial prospects (again, something that can be portrayed via a photo).

Other studies** have also found that:

  • 92% of men and 84% of women said that it was desirable or essential that their potential partner was good-looking.
  • 80% of men and 58% of women said a slender body was desirable or essential.
  • 74% of men and 97% of women wanted someone with a steady income.
  • 47% of men and 69% of women said that a potential partner making a lot of money was important to them.

The researchers state that they’ve known for a long time that men care more about attractiveness in a long term partner, and women care more about resources.

And there are various theories for this, of course, but the point is things haven’t changed all that much no matter how much we tell ourselves they have.

At least not as far as relationships are concerned anyway.

The question now, for a woman wanting to approach a man with confidence, becomes what constitutes attractiveness?

And what can she do to be perceived as more attractive (younger even), by using what we know from human behaviour and studies on attractiveness?

portray confidence

We know that one can put filters on photos and so on, but what about after that?

Because you can have a great picture online (old, fake or filtered) but if that’s all there is to your game, you’re in trouble once the meeting happens in person.

All of which brings me to the actual point of this post – how can a woman approach a man with more confidence?

What could a woman focus on more when her age or looks are not in her favour anymore?

Or most specifically, based on what research tells us, what could she “show off” more to increase her chances with a man she’s interested in?

Well, we’ve already indicated two namely intelligence and friendliness.

But, in this post, I want to suggest the third one we will discuss further a bit more, namely confidence.

Another psychology study** found that being extroverted and having stable emotions are the two most attractive personality traits.

And extroversion is often characterised by sociability, talkativeness, assertiveness, and excitability, cheerfulness and self-confidence.

People rate these personality traits (extroversion and emotional intelligence) as the most attractive.

show confidence

That is great news for any woman who wants to approach a man with confidence.


Because when we put it all together, we end up with a blueprint she can use to increase her chances of standing out from the crowd.

This is especially important when a woman feels that her natural attributes are perhaps lacking compared to others.

And while we’re on the subject, let me just share something else here as well…

There is NO such thing as better or worse attributes when it comes to people when you think about it.

The great thing about humans is that for all our similarities, we’re also quite different from each other.

We find different things attractive in other people.

Some men like skinny women while others don’t.

Some are into sporty types whilst others prefer those who like people.

Others like free-spirit men while some prefer those who offer more security.

Not that any of these are mutually exclusive of course.

But you see my point.

At the end of the day, you only have what you have to work with and nothing else.

Each of us must make the best of who we are and what we have.

And there’s no need to be someone else because chances are there’s someone out there who will be into you just the way you are.

be confident

Now, that doesn’t mean you can’t or shouldn’t try and become the best version of yourself as there are always things we can get better at.

We can always learn how to be better listeners or communicators, for example.

Or have more confidence.

The point is to accept yourself, as in your worth as a human, while striving to constantly improve yourself.

It’s important to accept yourself and then use what you’ve got to the best of your abilities.

I believe that will be enough for plenty of possible partners out there.

Even if we cannot possibly conceive that right now.

Not easy to find them perhaps, but enough to be plenty good enough.

All of which brings us to two important questions underlying confidence:

1) Do you know who you are, and

2) Do you own it for all to see?

Are you confident in who you are?

Do you understand what you need, want, and desire?

Do you know your talents?

Do you carry yourself with self-acceptance and pride?

display confidence

When it comes to many men these days, many are well past the desire to have a woman who can’t hold a conversation or lacks self-confidence.

Unless they are looking for a one night stand, in which case you shouldn’t even entertain them.

Except if that’s what you’re looking for as well.

As a man, I can tell you that men don’t want a woman who isn’t confident in her abilities or in herself.

Lack of confidence and pride is a total turn-off in my opinion.

Unless he also lacks confidence and esteem, in which case you’re preparing yourself for a relationship with an often overly jealous and controlling man-child.

You can have all the looks in the world but that will only get you so far.

If your insecurities and lack of self-confidence take centre stage, he will move on as it’ll become too tiresome.

Like most men, in my experience, are not into drama.

Men want a woman who is both confident and who understands how to be feminine at the same time.

confident energy

A woman who knows her abilities and isn’t afraid to shine.

She is confident in what she knows and feels fine about saying what she doesn’t know.

She doesn’t try to bluster her way through anything or pretend to be someone she’s not.

In other words, she’s comfortable in her own skin.

Men also typically love women who have a sense of humour and can laugh at themselves and even make fun of them in a playful and appropriate way.

Without degrading him as that’ll get you burned very quickly.

Women who are self-confident usually don’t need to put men down to feel good about themselves, as their confidence comes from within rather than external validation.

If you want to approach a man with confidence, it’s important that your confidence level is high and you remember that you have value and worth to yourself and to the people around you.

You don’t need to prove yourself to anyone, let alone a man.

Remember that you are enough.

Carry yourself with pride, confidence, and without taking yourself too seriously (not to be confused with silliness).

being confident

They will notice.

And when you approach a man with confidence, remember they are strangers who don’t know you, have no opinion of you, nor owe you anything…and vice versa.

Just relax, be playful, be interested, and be yourself.

Doing that will make it a lot easier to be confident.

I would love to hear about your thoughts and experience in the comments below.


  1. Walter, K. V., Conroy-Beam, D., Buss, D. M., Asao, K., Sorokowska, A., Sorokowski, P., Zupančič, M. (2020). Sex Differences in Mate Preferences Across 45 Countries: A Large-Scale Replication. Psychological Science31(4), 408–423. 
  2. Fales, M. R., Frederick, D. A., Garcia, J. R., Gildersleeve, K. A., Haselton, M. G., & Fisher, H. E. (2016, 2016/01/01/). Mating markets and bargaining hands: Mate preferences for attractiveness and resources in two national U.S. studies. Personality and Individual Differences, 88, 78-87.
  3. Carter, G. L., Campbell, A. C., & Muncer, S. (2014, 2014/01/01/). The Dark Triad personality: Attractiveness to women. Personality and Individual Differences, 56, 57-61.

About the author

Gideon Hanekom

Gideon Hanekom is the creator of TheRelationshipGuy.com, a popular relationship blog that ranks among the top 50 relationship blogs in 2024. The website helps couples to create happier, healthier, and more intimate relationships. Gideon is a trained professional counsellor and holds post-graduate degrees in Theology and Psychology. His articles have also been featured on respected platforms such as Marriage.com and The Good Men Project.

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