4th of May 2015

Helping Joe, Episode 14


In this episode of Helping Joe, Tucker, Charlie, and Nils help Joe figure out what to do after he blows it with another great girl. They tell him how to improve his texting and communication to avoid this problem in the future. And while Joe continues to cripple himself by not opening up, he showed big improvements by being a little bit vulnerable and connecting with a cute, smart girl he met on Tinder. They explain what Joe did right and why this was a fantastic date.


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Joe’s Thoughts and Takeaways From This Episode:

Hey this is a running commentary of random thoughts, notes, and takeaways I had during or after this episode. – Joe


  • Why over-communicating with women is always better than under-communicating, especially early on.
  • Sharing information is almost always better than withholding it.
  • Good examples of when and how to rescheduled a date.
  • One great way to tease a girl.
  • Showing (Displaying) your traits, not telling or bragging about them, is 10X more effective
  • The difference between IQ Intelligence and Mating Intelligence
  • A better mating mindset once you become more attractive

@Beginning “Call them ‘thingamabob’”

Tucker and Charlie make fun of me to start the podcast. I still have this habit of calling women “chicks” which I guess is weird or disrespectful or something. This is funny.

If you are “dating” someone = you are having sex. Another thing I didn’t know but now do.

Recap of the nurse that I blew off on our 3rd date.

We talked about this at the end of Episode 13 and this is an update + better explanation of what she’s thinking + why I should’ve given her more information (and why it’s almost always better to give more information).

I thought it would be better to explain to her in-person why I canceled instead of over text or a voicemail, again my instincts are wrong. Leaving an information gap is worse and the reason I cancelled was a good one (saying bye to friends that were leaving the country). Now I might not see here again.

She’s still texting me and I’m holding out hope that I can make something happen and see her again because I liked her. Tucker is doubtful.

“All your instincts are wrong. Do the opposite,” like George Costanza.

We’ve talked about this before on past episodes. This sucks because I have less confidence in myself and feel worse because the longer I do this podcast, the more I realize I have no idea what I’m doing, even with things I thought I was good or okay at, I just suck. But this is great (even though it doesn’t feel great) because it means I’m learning and this discomfort is necessary to improve. I have to face the reality of the situation, even if it sucks and blows up any self-confidence or self-identity I had. Can’t get better without first recognizing you suck.

@3:00 – Charlie reads my texts.

She didn’t blow me off but it’s obvious I have moved down in her priorities.

“[Rescheduling the date] was for a legit reason that if he had just told her, she would have been sympathetic with and probably even liked him more.” – Tucker

I say “fuck” under my breath here because I knew I made a stupid mistake. All I had to do was tell her why I was bailing and she prob would have been cool with it.

In fact, I know she would have been cool with it because in the few conversations we’ve had, she’s mentioned how her best friend of 15 years lives in Austin and she’s glad she’s in her life blah blah blah… the point is I think she’s probably a good friend and she would totally get it if I wanted to go hang out with a friend who was about to leave the country and might not come back for a long time.

This gets right back to what they were saying the last 2 episodes about opening up, communicating, and being vulnerable. This isn’t even a big deal. It’s not hard to be honest about this. This is easy. It’s just being a little bit vulnerable and open with more information and I still couldn’t fucking do that and now I missed out on a connection and potential relationship with a girl I liked.

@5:00 – “You keep doing this…”

I keep meeting nice girls and just fucking it up by not communicating, not putting myself out there, not being open/vulnerable. This is the 3rd time this has happened and it sucks because these are easily avoidable errors… fuck.

Understanding women and how they over-analyze texts and everything

“Especially early, women will assume the worst and not give you the benefit of the doubt because she doesn’t know what’s going on.”

“You know how you run through these [crazy thoughts] in your head. That’s actually what women do a lot.”

This is something I don’t think about or don’t care about and is could be a huge area of improvement. My interactions and communication would be so much better if I just had this in mind and was better at seeing this from her perspective.

Tucker says a better way to handle this is to just be empathetic and ask yourself:
How could she take this the wrong way if she assumed the worst? OR
How can I fill in the gaps of information / what’s going on so that she doesn’t project the worst case?

@7:00 – Tucker and Charlie give a better examples of how to reschedule a date and explain WHY.

@8:30 – This is normal. Every guy makes these mistakes.

Charlie and Tucker had to make these mistakes over and over again without knowing what the fuck is going on, no one to tell them what was up or correct them, they didn’t have a someone talking to them each week helping them. And that’s what’s awesome about this. Even though I keep making these same mistakes, I’m taking years off the learning curve because I have 3 very intelligent, successful men giving me feedback and explaining each mistake. They didn’t have this.

And they’re probably right, this is normal, most guys do this bullshit and don’t even realize it. It’s important to keep this in perspective because otherwise I just feel like a fucking loser. It’s weird but it feels better, or less shitty, when your pain or dumb shit you do is shared by a lot of other people. Maybe that’s one reason why people like this podcast series.

Again, this is why I need to open up and talk to more people about this stuff so I have someone to bounce things off of and they can share similar stories if they want to.

[ Audio cut off here 🙁 We had to redo this podcast]

@11:00 – Sharing information is better than withholding

“You need to start sharing information with people instead of withholding information because it makes you look cool or avoid some bad look or whatever.” – Tucker

I’m a good guy. I know that. I’m not up to any weird or unattractive, so 90% of the time nothing negative will happen if I’m just be honest and more open about what’s going on. It’s better than her filling those gaps in with her crazy thoughts.

This also ties into the bigger issue I have of trying to look cool or be cool instead of being honest with what’s going on or with who I am … it’s the same thing with delaying texts or not texting on the weekends or wearing outlandish clothing. And it’s pretty obvious that these strategies don’t work, like at all.

“Women in their 20s who have their shit together aren’t trying to find cool guys. They are trying to find good effective guys.” – Nils

Haha this was just such a great point. What the fuck am I doing? This behavior is not attractive or cool to the women I want in my life.

I think I’m just uncomfortable about who I am and feel like I have to cover it up. This is what Tucker was talking about in past episodes of not accepting yourself for who you are, not having others accept you for who you are.

@13:00 – Where these stupid ideas come from

Tucker explains they can come from a lot of bad places: Hollywood, popular guys in high school or college, women, parents, media, anywhere…

For me I think it came from reading too much crap on the internet, watching too many dumb pickup videos and not actually going out there, figuring it out myself, and getting direct feedback rom women. I’m sure I got these bad ideas from other places too but primarily it was these pickup guys who I thought had the right answer to how to attract and date more women. Wrong.

@15:30 – Nil’s point about the context of Tinder

We met through a mobile device that has instant communication so it makes sense to be very communicative and engage her through that medium. This is something I don’t even think about but he’s right. If we met through a smart phone, it doesn’t make sense to have long delays in messaging or texting and it’s okay to communicate through that. Don’t always have to meet face to face or call her or whatever. We did a great Bad Advice episode on understanding context, who you are communicating with and how.

@16:30 – How to recover from this: have to be honest

They give a couple ideas for what to say and how to show her that you do want to see her again, be a little bit vulnerable. And ultimately, it’s up to her. If she doesn’t want to see me, she doesn’t want to see me. If we do go out, it’s like a reset back to date 1-2, this sucks She might not believe me, think I’m bullshitting, so have to have good answers for question of why the fuck didn’t I just tell her this in the beginning, etc.

This was super helpful, but I might not ever get the chance to tell her any of this 🙁

@24:00 – The date this week with a new girl from Tinder

Matched with her, she was cute, and started texting her.

This was the first time I read something on a woman’s profile “I’m a nerd who has social skills and sings and dances”, and texted her about it “Are you really a nerd? You’re too cute and you have social skills.” We went on from there and it was a great way to kind of break the ice via text + have something to talk about when we got the date. It made it more fun.

In the past I was so worried about fucking up or texting something stupid that I just didn’t text at all. And to be honest, I was also trying to play it cool, not be needy or look desperate, by not texting pre-date. I now realize this is stupid doesn’t really even work. So I’ve started to change this behavior, be more vulnerable and communicative. This was like right after reading Daring Greatly.

@27:30 – A few things I did right

Showing (not bragging or telling) her your intelligence.

Talking about books and having things to say, not bragging about it, this is being vulnerable in a small way. And showing is 10X more effective than telling when it comes to attractiveness.

Teasing her without putting her down, playing. “You’re not a nerd [because of all these good things about you]” She was arguing by offering proof that she was lame while I was on the other side playing and saying that no you’re too cool to be nerd.

I like teasing girls and am kind of a nice guys as much as I hate to admit it so I should probably focus on this more than trying to be an asshole or trying to be like Tucker which just isn’t me.

@30:30 – By owning your preferences and showing her who you are, you connect

I haven’t really done a lot of this in previous first dates, but I’ve realized after reading Daring Greatly and talking more about it with Nils and Tucker in Episode 12, this is the only way real relationships can happen.

You have to show people, men and women, who you are. Otherwise, you can’t build any deep friendships or relationships. It won’t be fucking built on anything.

“The sooner you can get comfortable with those preferences and dismiss the judgment of those you don’t prefer, the better off you’ll be.” – Nils

This 2nd part of what Nils said is something I don’t do. I don’t dismiss the judgment of girls and people who I wouldn’t connect with. I just want every gorgeous girl I interact with to like me, which is stupid. It’s impossible to make every girl like you and it’s weak to even try. But that’s what I’m figuring out that I do a lot on first dates, probably unconsciously.

I’m giving power away to someone I don’t even know, giving their opinion more credit over my own. Yea she’s hot but she could also suck and I’m trying to please her or connect or do well on the date without even really knowing her.

I don’t know why I do this. I’ve been doing it for so long (probably because I’ve been unsuccessful with women for so long) it’s probably just a bad pattern, another thing I need to work on.

“You’re so desperate to be accepted by everybody that you’ve forgotten or didn’t think about what it is that you want.” – Tucker

Haha yep. They’ve mentioned this point a few times in this series starting with Episode 5, and I think they’re totally right.

“When you find those girls, you can just be who you are and not only will she accept that, she will like it a lot.” – Tucker

I don’t feel like I’m at this point yet, maybe with this girl because it was a really good date and she seemed to like me and I like her. But having this in my life would be fucking great.

@34:30 – IQ Intelligence VS Mating Intelligence

You can be really smart academically but still be unattractive because women don’t really care about IQ. Social intelligence matters much more in the mating game. This is really fucking interesting and something that I wish we went deeper into, like how to display and signal my own sort of mating intelligence, or how to develop it. Although I think I did a good job of that on this date and improv is helping.

36:30 – My mistake. She works for CPS, not CPA, she’s not an accountant.

I tried to have fun with this on the date.

@38:30 – I remembered details, no characterizations!

“You’re so petrified on these dates that you don’t even pay attention to the other person. You’re totally focused on yourself.” – Tucker

Yep… Petrified isn’t the right word, but Tucker nailed it. I’m worried or very self-conscious during first dates so I just don’t remember details.

This gets back to that book Choke. One of the things that I took away from that book is a study where researchers had people take a test on how self-conscious they were and those who scored higher (more self-conscious) were way more likely to choke, all other things (skill levels, age, etc.) being equal.

“There’s also the tendency when you are worried about being cool to characterize it to spin the judgment [on the podcast].” – Nils

Yea Nils is right. I don’t even really think about this. I don’t know though. It’s not so much that I want to look cool, but I just want to get it right, get the details or the story right. And I’m so worried about not fucking up the telling of this story that I use broad or vague characterizations so it’s easier to remember and tell instead of risking the chance that I might fuck up the details or not remember them right.

This is ridiculous but I think that’s what’s happening. I don’t have any confidence in my ability to tell stories, and this goes back to being a kid when my parents zoned out when I would tell them things.

@41:30 – Teasing women, difference between being funny and being a dick

When first getting to know them, don’t go too far with this. Nils talks about taking unnecessary risks (why make fun of her for something if you also like that same fucking thing?), focus on the right ones (like above). I get this but I don’t think this was the issue here.

I’m still figuring this out how to tease women and have fun, not be a dick, and it also depends on each girl. Some girls, like Shannon from Episode 6, seem to have a lot of fun with it.

@46:30 – Opportunities to be vulnerable and connect

She was vulnerable a little bit by talking about how her parents got divorced when she was younger. After the date I remembered she said this and thought: Hey my parents got divorced too! I missed a great opportunity to open up and share that with her and be a little bit vulnerable. And she brought it up, so that makes it easy to talk about.

“You don’t have to do that with every girl you meet. But when you are attracted to someone, those are the opportunities you want to identify.”

Just saying, “Yea my parents were divorced too,” is enough. – Tucker

At least I recognized this after the date, and next time I will recognize it in the moment and react to it better than I did.

@50:00 – Recognizing her insecurities

All women are insecure about their bodies. Again I was oblivious to this in the moment but I thought about it later and realized that she was probably insecure about her body because of certain things she did.

@52:30 – One reason why she was so into me

Nils mentioned that given her look and what she’s into, Texas is not a good mating market for her so she was excited to meet someone like me.

@55:00 – How we first kissed

She gave me a few really nice compliments, like some of most genuinely nice that I’ve received since coming to Austin. And that was a really high point of the date, I felt like kissing her, so I went for it, and it was great. We kissed throughout the rest of the date and it was fun.

@58:30 – Revisiting going back to her place, not my place

We talked about this in Episode 13 and we talk about it again here.

@1:0:30 – I am getting the worst, most crippling, ideas out of my head.

These dates are progressively getting better. I think it’s because I’m learning lot and getting better at understanding and interacting with women. Tucker explains that it’s more likely because I’m getting the worst ideas out of my head, ideas like:

– You have to project a version of yourself that isn’t true.
– You have to make yourself look cool (something that you’re not)
– Seeking acceptance and “pulling dates off” instead of finding women you can connect with
– (Probably many more he didn’t mention here.)

@1:01:30 – How to signal the good things about me (like being smart)

“You can be far more subtle than you think and women will pickup your signals. They pickup things much better than you do.” – Tucker

This is just something I am oblivious to and don’t know how to do well. I remember wanting to take a bathroom selfie in Episode 1 because I thought that the OKCupid data said that if you had abs you should show them.

I thought I was signaling that I had a good body but it was actually a bigger signal that I was a douchebag because that’s what douchebags do. There are much more subtle ways of displaying a good body than taking a ridiculous bathroom selfie.

I’m getting better at this but will still probably fuck it up.

1:04:30 – “This date was less what you did wrong, more about what you did right”

This felt pretty good 🙂

@1:05:00 – Still cursing under my breath

@1:05:30 – Making a joke

I told them I responded to her text about going out again with “Yea maybe”
I was totally kidding and it was funny because Tucker was about to blow up again.

@1:06:30 – Once you have more fun on dates and they go well, you connect …

Need to start thinking if you want to date this girl. Don’t need to make a decision. But shift thinking from, “I have to impress this girl in front of me,” to, “Do I want to date her?”

This is an important point. I don’t know if I’m there yet though. Tucker’s point was just I need to start thinking about this in the background.

You won’t have to make any decision for a few months, so relax. I don’t know. I don’t feel relaxed when he says this.

@1:10:00 – “Mating is not just about desperately trying to be attractive to women.”

Hahaha, it’s sad they have to explicitly say this but I think they did because unconsciously I probably was really desperate and had those tendencies because I don’t have much going on.

“Once you get attractive to women, it becomes about understanding what type of women you want to be with… and you should explore a lot of different women first.”

Tucker mentioned how a lot of guys freak out when more girls are attracted to them and want to go out with them, like ugly duckling syndrome or something. I don’t think I’m like that or maybe I’m not there yet.

Although… when I thought that Tinder girl was crazy in Episode 7 for liking me, that I think was an example of what he was talking about here. She was excited to meet me and I thought she was crazy, and of course she wasn’t, because I wasn’t used to that.

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