Why Is It So Hard To Meet Men?

By Stephen Hussey

For a while now I’ve repeatedly heard a similar question:

“Why is it so hard to put the advice I hear into practice?”


“When it actually comes to meeting guys I see, all the confidence flies out of my head and I freeze. What can I do to get over this?”

I feel compelled to address this, because I hate the thought that people wish they could take a chance that would benefit their love life but just can’t bring themselves to do it.

When we repeatedly fail to act on our desires, it makes us lose faith in ourselves. It’s painful to constantly feel as if you’re on the precipice of taking those chances, but always falling short of pushing yourself over the edge and just doing it.

So maybe you see that attractive guy at a friend’s party. Maybe he hovers around you, mingling close by and you just want to engage him in conversation.

Why are you now freezing up? Why does this now seem like such a big deal?

Chances are you feel these opportunities slip by all the time.

And it’s not for one single reason. It could be one of several bad beliefs that you’ve come to allow to hold you back.

Let’s look at a few:

1. You are expecting too much of yourself

Talking to guys is scary if you’re expecting yourself to get everything 100% right first go around.

This unrealistic expectation is also why people freeze up in auditions, job interviews, public speeches – instead of working on just being their imperfect selves, they are terrified of the tiniest slip-up, so they bail from even trying in the first place.

2. You’re taking the conversation too seriously

Yes, it is a bit nerve-wracking if you ask the guy next to you how his day is going. It can feel scary even just to tell the barista at Starbucks that he has a nice smile. Your instinct may be just to look down, throw your money on the counter and get your head buried in a book in the corner.

But stop.


All you’re doing is talking.

It’s not the strangest thing in the world. And guess what? You’re supposed to feel a little bit nervous. The trick is to turn these nerves into a bit of excitement. Your brain needs to switch from running away every time you feel fear, to seeing fear as a call to move forward.

3. You don’t remind yourself why this matters enough

It’s easy to put anything off for another day.

You can convince yourself that it’s safer to hang back for now, just like the aspiring artist tells himself it’s easier not to paint today. After all, what he paints might not come out exactly how he imagined in his head. It’s more pleasant to stick with the idea we could if we could do, instead of putting ourselves on the line today.

I know I’ve had to fight that instinct over and over again.

The trick to getting over it? Get more addicted to TRYING than you are afraid of failing.

Failing rarely matters. In most areas of life, we can just try another approach. If the aspiring novelist writes a pile of junk, he can always throw it in the bin. Or write another. Except this time he’ll have all the added experience of that last attempt to draw from.

Get addicted to experiences, and you’ll have a real WHY that spurs you to be a trier, instead of the person who stays home or waits on the sidelines.

4. You are not making it FUN

Most people’s entire social world is confined to the 3-4 friends they call up on the weekend and go for dinner with after work.

By not allowing yourself the joy of meeting new people you’ve cut yourself off from a lifetime of potential fun and pleasurable moments that could have changed every single moment afterwards.

I talked last month about vulnerability.

Vulnerability is risk, but it’s also where all the juice comes from. I think back now to the memories that came from having the first conversation with a girl I wanted to approach and it blows my mind to think they wouldn’t have happened if I didn’t just say one word, even “hi”.

The euphoria afterwards can make you feel like you’re on drugs. Taking chances is a natural high you don’t need to run 10 miles to feel.

Find a way to get that buzz whenever you can. Send an email to someone you admire who you never expect to reply. Ask for extra dessert at the lunch counter (just because). Get into a conversation at a bookstore. Pitch an ambitious business idea.

Meeting men isn’t hard. Taking risks can certainly be hard. But luckily, most risks in our lives are just perceived risks.

Confident people aren’t especially braver than anyone else: they just realise there was never anything to lose in the first place.

*     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *    *

Stephen Hussey helped co-write the Get The Guy book and is a wealth of knowledge on dating and relationships.

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(Photo: Freddie Peña)

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36 Replies to “Why Is It So Hard To Meet Men?”

  • ‘Feel the fear and do it anyway’ I remember my mum giving me the book years ago. Although as you say, it’s one thing knowing the theory, it’s another actually acting on it.
    The last line, ain’t that the truth. I must be the only person on the planet not to have seen all the seasons of Breaking Bad. I’ve just started, right at the beginning! Walt’s life is changed in an instant, he feels, among many conflicting emotions, he has less to lose. I had a similar, dramatic moment in my life and it changes everything. Life means more, experiences are richer, relationships (good ones) cherished all at the same time being more isolating. Because most people aren’t feeling like you.
    I agree with all you say, and it’s a lovely article as its offering practical advice to your theory and linking in with your complementary advice. If we did print them off we’d have an advice manual.
    Sensitive and caring as ever Steve, thank you.

    1. I’ve seen that book many times but never read it. I really should.

      Also, on mortality, Steve Jobs had a great quote on this:

      “Almost everything–all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure–these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important.

      Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.”

      Thanks for the kind words,

      Stephen x

      1. So many books I want to read, too little time. That quote, so good, so much to learn from geniuses and people with rare individuality. My sons old school recently had a talk by Professor AC Grayling on the value of studying Humanities. He started his talk by ‘challenging those gathered to imagine a society without literature, philosophy or history’. How lucky were those ‘gathered’, he certainly never came to my school!

      2. What a great quotation! Thanks. Though it’s interesting that he says “the trap of thinking you have something to lose.” I think of it in almost the opposite way–we all have EVERYTHING to lose, and we’re all DEFINITELY going to lose it in the end. So… f*** it, and just live, n’est-ce pas?

        It’s funny, I was just talking about this exact topic with my aunt last night– I’m sure that my growing awareness of mortality has made me a happier person.

        And since we’re quoting, there’s always ye olde standby Beckett: “Ever Tried. Ever Failed. No Matter. Try Again. Fail Again. Fail Better.”

  • Hi Steve,

    This reminded me of a quote that I happened upon at a book exchange downtown during a time in my life where I had to make big decisions about the next step. “You will either step forward into growth or you will step back into safety.” ~ Abraham Maslow It reminded me that growth is the continual process of stepping outside of your comfort zone, and it encouraged me to make choices I had not wanted to face until then. I am happy to remember that moment, as a lot of things have changed since then, and I have certainly grown.

    Sometimes it takes just one step to change everything. :)

    Thank you for the reminder.


    1. Great quote! Thanks Arianna. The whole ‘take the first step’ thing has become such a cliché that it’s difficult to impart how important it is to break the seal and embrace that initial risk – but I do believe that successful people take small risks every day.


      1. I think, even though it is difficult, that you did a good job at not making it cliche. Thanks Steve. :)


  • Just what I needed to hear! Before reading this I had been taking risks all morning approaching people and now after reading this I feel encouraged to keep going! Plus, you’ve given some great tips on how I can tweak things to make it a little bit better and feel more secure in the process! I used to be the queen of holding back and never getting what I wanted or giving people the attention I wanted to give them. I was horrified of looking stupid and being rejected. But now I step out much more and to my surprise the majority of people have been really receptive to me! Thanks so much for this great article Stephen! :)

  • OMG, that is so me! This article was just what I needed. Although I actually have been taking more risks lately, just randomly talking to more people, it is so scaringly effortless to snap back into “comfort-zone mode” that I have to keep reminding myself that it’s actually really fun to get out of my head and try something that is just a little bit scary. (And it IS fun! I experienced it on several occasions.) So thank you for giving me that extra push! :)
    I also really like no. 3 – as well as all the other tips to outsmart our brains. :D BTW, and this is totally random: did you know that there is a really funny word in German that describes exactly this state of not being able to bring yourself to do something you should/want to do but that seems to take an immense effort? It’s called the “innerer Schweinehund” (= the inner pig-dog).

    1. I looked up innerer Schweinehund. It’s a great expression to have in one’s verbal repertoire. It also serves a wonderful image for dealing with one’s weaknesses.

      You see a handsome man you want to flirt with but you are terrified of the possibility. Now imagine an ugly pig-looking dog pacing in your gut and scowling at any hint of your initiative. Instead of worrying about the guy you refocus on the battle with the dog and prove to him that you are the one in charge.


    2. Anita, this is possibly the best thing I have ever read. :) Thank you for naming the Schweinehund. I needed to know what was going on in there! Now I can do battle.

  • I just wish I would meet attractive men, there’s hardly ever a guy that looks interesting/attractive enough for me to want to talk to him.

  • OMG such a a great article I just came from and event that I went to alone I asked everyone and nobody wanted Togo so I took a risk and went

    And in my way back home I was thinking about GTG matts article on going out and if you don’t like it you’d could always go home

    And here by chance you write this article I thought to myself if I wouldn’t have gone I would have Been reading this in regret of not going

    Love yall

  • I love how you say to turn the nervous feeling into excitement. I stumbled into that on my own last week with my “crush” at the gym. I felt terribly nervous about talking to him after saying hello. So I just gave him a compliment and I think I caught him off guard because he wasn’t expecting it. He was flattered but I think I made him a little nervous. His reaction was cute and endearing and what followed was a nice exchange between us. Guess I’m not the only one who gets nervous…guys do too! It’s refreshing! I’m going to have to use this “trick” again! :)

  • STEPHEN I FUCKING LOVE THIS!!! You are a Genius, You couldn’t have Wrapped it Up with a Better Last Line <3 <3 <3

  • This is such a great article and great go-to for a healthy reminder not to put so much pressure on ourselves when meeting someone new. Get into the habit of practicing talking to everyone without expectation, and when you meet someone you click with, the pressure or nervousness isn’t so great! This is something that I have learned since not only attending the retreat and finding my self-confidence and worth in a new way, but I am reminded every time I read these articles, watch matt’s videos and most importantly going out there and doing it in REAL LIFE. I still feel a little nerves once in a while, but this article proves why it doesn’t need to be so hard :) Thank you for writing these! keep it up! and miss you Hussey team!

  • Question: So, you guys always talk about being proactive in meeting people and I’ve heard you talk about giving guys the chance to approach you especially if you’re in a big group of friend, etcetera, etcetera.

    My issue is this: I never tell my friends I’m looking for a guy and I certainly never tell them I’m interested in a particular guy (even if he’s a stranger at the bar) thus meaning they never speak to someone for me or I can’t approach a guy without them knowing so I don’t. You’d think seeing the problem I’d fix it but the truth is I don’t want them to know I’m ‘looking’ my friends already made a big deal out of the fact I’m their perpetually single friend and they find it more of a game trying to set me up – which sounds fun sure but it’s almost a childish game to them that makes me feel uncomfortable not only being treat like a special case but they go about setting me up in the wrong way and talk me up in a way that is equivalent of saying ‘This is Laney, she’s desperate’ – they mean well but because they’ve all being in relationships for a long time I almost feel like a boredom-easing project or like one of their dolls their pairing up for fun never really with me in mind when they make their decision. Almost like they can stick me with anyone, we’ll fall in love instantly and they get to say ‘I did that’ at the wedding. Lastly they seem to think I’m ungrateful when I don’t get on with their choice making me the bad guy because I don’t think someone being ‘nice’ is enough to make you stay – surely personality and interest counts or am I just being stuck up?

    So long story (not short) I don’t tell them which means I’m pretty much on my own trying to find guys and I don’t do internet dating because *literally* after months all I’d got were perverts with offers I had to refuse.

    Where does all of this leave me?



  • Hey Steve,

    I think this blog hits it dead on the nail. I have been working on trying to put myself out there more to get a boyfriend and meet more people. But every time I want to meet someone I get nervous and will run away or I will say something and look down. I think because I am wanting it to be “perfect” and not mess up on what I want to say. Let me ask you this, is there any place you wouldn’t approach a guy? For example, there are some nice looking guys at my gym that I would like to get to know. I am not saying out out with them but just get to know because they are “regulars” at the gym. I know many of the elders that are regulars and talk to them and love when I go to the gym and see people I know.

    Well, hope you have a great day! Look forward to reading more of your blogs and watching your brother videos :)

    1. Yes, what do you do when you regularly see or talk to a guy and you feel like there is a mutual connection between the two of you, but the timing/location is not suitable for flirting? (Eg. he is at work and you’re a customer or some other scenario).

      I’m attracted to a guy that I only see when he’s working at a shop and I’m a customer. If I had met this guy in a different setting then I would definitely be flirting with him.

      I was instantly attracted to this guy the first time I saw him and I don’t feel nervous when I talk to him; I rarely feel this way! I felt really flighty and nervous around my previous crush.

      At the moment when I see him he’ll crack a joke about what i’m buying and i’ll play along and we’ll smile at each other. I ask him about his day and vice-versa and we’ll have a nice chat. There is something special about this guy…if only I had met him outside his workplace.

  • Hi Steve!

    I would like to take the chance and ask a guy I like out but I’ve heard that it’s important for the guy to do the asking out part so that they feel like they earned it rather than it being too easy for them.

    The guy I like I have on met once last year and we sometimes chat about school on Facebook (3-4 times) and it feels like more of a mentor-mentee relationship than friends.

    What do you suggest? How do we reconcile what your article is saying and what other relationship advisors say about keeping the desire up by being in some ways a little hard to get?

  • I find that now that I am older that I am not as shy about talking to people now I have no problems with striking up a conversation with new people because I have learned to expect nothing and see where it goes. If it goes somewhere great but if not then I chalk it up to a nice time out and leave it at that.

  • Just what I needed to read! An answer to all my prayers! :D
    I’m that girl that listens, reads and wants to put into practice all the amazing advice you and your team offer…and I do, just not in my lovelife…

    I normally feel one step away from doing it, and that step is the border between me and men/dating. I get so anxious about this whole thing!
    I can’t count how many times I was in a party or in a bar and I was simply staring, staring at people, staring at that one guy whom had caught my attention all night…and doing nothing=nothing happening.

    So…your words couldn’t have been better timed!

    Thank you!

  • Hi Steve
    I already do these advice, but I can’t find any cool man. I have met and talked to so many men, but I don’t know where my right person is. I have enough self confidence to start up a conversation but after talking, I think he is not the right one. I’m Kinda tired of meeting new people.

    1. My advice/ my two cents, if your not meeting the caliber of men is either try a different venue to meet men. ( running clubs, kickball, improve group, professional organizations, alumni groups) think outside the singles events or online box………. Or regroup, if your burned out it will show. (Even when we think it doesn’t) Go on a fun weekend trip, take up a new hobby that you have always wanted to try, do an activity that you love just for yourself. Light the spark behind your eyes, have a passion and you will find people who have passions too…. Ask more questions… What is it like to live in xxx or do xxxx.

  • I wanna add some more advice for start up a conversation:

    1. If they are handsome, tell them you like their outfit, color..

    2. if he is going to gym, tell them you like their body. why not? he goes to gym every day and he likes to hear that!

    3. if you are in grocery shopping, ask him if he tried this food before…

    4. if you just like some one, ask them what time is it.

    you may not be his friend, but at lease you have a nice conversation with him and it’s better than nothing :p

    good luck

  • I don’t find it hard to meet men. With Matt’s understanding and language of men, it is even easier, however, after learning what,how,who, men really are…I have to ask myself is it ALL THAT worth having, a marriage is more work mentally, physically and emotional for a woman, being the good girlfriend is the same. I’m starting to think (which I didn’t before now) that men should pay and subcomb to woman because we have to work so hard to have, please, keep the creatures that this world says are the head of us; they should be grateful that high value women want to snag them. Except for sex and money and muscle for those heavy jobs its A LOT OF WORK to make a man feel safe, secure, loved. Why can’t men just be who they are? It sometimes seem they are more needy and insecure than womean….SORRY FELLAS, but good grief grow a pair….lol

  • Another awesome article Stephen…It is always about taking risk…but I would rather have rejection than regret anyday…As I am venturing back into the dating world after leaving a 25 year marriage, it is frightening…sometimes it seems daunting…But, I’m not afraid of it anymore… I am a hopeless romantic..and know it will happen…but, I have to make & create opportunities for myself…. It won’t just fall in my lap…I have to make the opportunities…You make your own destiny… ;) Hugs! Thanks again for that wonderful article…

  • Thank you great bullet point tips! You know what I really struggle with is not getting the initial attraction or being interesting or flirting at first but once a guy shows interest it is closing the deal to go out and do something fun or get to know them better. Or sometimes they show interest then takes me a few weeks to decide then they think I’m not interested. Any tips?!

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