Okay, I’m radiant. Now what?

Dear Lisa,

I’m shy. I would rather the man make the first move (for both approaching, asking for a date, and physical affection). However, it seems if I leave it up to him, I don’t seem to get approached. Even when I smile and try to appear radiant and approachable, it doesn’t seem to happen all that often (except by fellows I’m really not interested in, such as much older men, guys with no jobs, or plain old jerks). Do you have any thoughts on that?

–All Smiles ( ♀ Duncan, BC)


Dear All Smiles,

Your situation reminds me of an interesting experiment I read about a while back on Reddit. Basically, the guy isn’t having any success with the messages he’s sending to the women he finds attractive, so he creates a female profile of his dream woman to see what kind of guys she would attract (using his own honest answers to the OKCupid interrogation questions). And… he gets a bunch of messages from guys just like him – ‘pasty, boring, confidenceless losers’. Now, I’m not saying that you’re any of those things, but what I am saying is that if you are attracting men you don’t find attractive, it’s likely that something about your vibe attracts them, while simultaneously throwing off the men you’d like to attract.

There are a couple of experiments you might try in the interest of narrowing down exactly what ‘it’ is. First, you need to observe yourself. You might find some success sitting down with a trusted friend (preferably a male friend of the sort you find attractive) for a frank discussion about what that subtle thing might be, but I doubt it. Most people can’t articulate ‘it’, and just sort of know it when they see it. A woman friend might also be able to shed some light on your idiosyncrasies, but likely the best critic (aside from someone who does this professionally) is going to be yourself.

If I were you, I would video yourself having a phone conversation (or a few, to get over the camera shyness) and review them for facial expressions, body language and posture. Simultaneously, I would make it a habit to observe the women who are attracting the attention of the men you find attractive, again, for facial expressions, body language and posture.

So, what are you looking for? First, you want to notice whether you or the women you are observing are using the feminine body movements I talk about in Episode 5 of the Ask Lisa Podcast: Finding the Courage to Date etc. at 8m 32sec. Second, observe emotion in the body – joy, lightness, peace, excitement vs tension, reservation, frustration, sadness, seriousness and anxiety. The breath, shoulders, hands, shoulders, jaw, lips, and eyebrows are very telling of what’s really going on for a person, and are great ways of identifying supressed emotion and habitual holding patterns. See anything of interest?

If you do, your next step is to decide if the expression reflects what’s really going on inside (ie: it represents stuff you haven’t dealt with and need to) or if the expression is habitual, and maybe no longer desirable. For example, when I video myself I often catch myself using my eyebrows to express the importance of what I’m saying, but instead it comes across as sadness. Not effective! In the case of habitual holding patterns, self awareness and a little conscious attention can go a long way.

I’d love to hear what you notice in yourself and other women, and whether you’re noticing a change in the interest of men you find attractive. Keep me posted!

– Lisa



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