Approach Anxiety: How To Get Over It, From A Coach

Last updated
February 3, 2024
minutes to read
Approach Anxiety: How To Get Over It, From A Coach

Rather hide than approach an attractive woman?

This feeling is called "approach anxiety" in the dating world, and it's no fun.

Approach anxiety isn’t just a challenge for introverted guys — no matter how extroverted they are, men rarely love sticking their necks out with strangers 😬

Ready to overcome approach anxiety in your dating life?

Here are three strategies to get over approach anxiety, and feel more confident approaching women 👇


1. Level Set

Gif of a Nike athlete, with his right arm raised, and left arm moving to his chest

Let’s take a step back for a second to level-set. Unless you want to:

  • ❌ Spend the rest of your life single, or...
  • ❌ Limit your dating pool to whoever swipes right on your Hinge profile...

You must learn to approach women in-person!

  • ⚠️ Yes, this will entail doing things that make you temporarily uncomfortable...
  • ⚠️ Yes, you will probably hear “no” a lot, too...

Guess what — that's OK!

Everything worthwhile in life (particularly attracting an awesome romantic partner!) requires stepping outside of your comfort zone.

In fact you’ll definitionally experience discomfort when you push yourself to do something new, like approaching women.


Discomfort is your body’s way of saying “I’m going beyond my current limits.”

Gif of a man lifting a bench press bar, looking strained

💡 Like weightlifting, to get stronger at approaching women, you have to endure a little discomfort.

This quote from famous investor Ray Dalio captures this concept perfectly:

“I saw that to do exceptionally well you have to push your limits and that, if you push your limits, you will crash and it will hurt a lot. You will think you have failed—but that won't be true unless you give up.”

For better or for worse, dating requires a lot of "crashing."


Realistically, you’re incompatible with >90% of women:

  • Depending on the age of the women you’re interested in, as many as 2/3 of the women you approach won’t even be single 👰‍♀️
  • Many more just won’t fit with your lifestyle, interests, and goals, and you won’t know this unless you approach 🧩

Many men mistakenly assume falsehoods like “if I were taller, or more handsome, more women would want to date to me…”

(This mindset reminds me of the 6 6 6 rule, btw!)

Guess what though?

No matter how tall, or how handsome, or how wealthy you are...

You're still going to get turned down a lot.

Once you’ve internalized the fact that >90% of the time you approach a woman it won’t go anywhere, no matter who you are, it’s a lot easier to approach women without the expectations that cause approach anxiety.

So, the next time you’re feeling anxious about approaching a woman...

Do four things:

  1. Take a few slow, deep breaths through your nose to calm down (breathing through your nose is literally scientifically proven to help you relax — check out this Healthline article on nose breathing if you don't believe me 👃)
  2. Remember that approaching has to feel a little nerve-wracking because you're sticking your neck out, and pushing your limits 📈
  3. Forget fictitious expectations like "I'm not attractive enough," and remember that you’ll probably have to do this >100 times to find the right person for you 😛
  4. Go say hi and see where things go 😃


2. Play To Your Strengths

Gif of Portland basketball player Damian Lillard walking confidently after scoring a basket

The #1 complaint I hear from men, particularly smart introverted men, about approaching women in-person is...

“I hate small talk!”

This may be true, but...

Hating small talk is a crappy excuse for being alone!

No one loves making small talk, particularly with total strangers 👥

The smart guys who land awesome, attractive partners hate small talk too. So they avoid it, and focus on meeting women in contexts where small talk isn’t required.

  • They avoid bars, clubs, and the busy street corners that pickup artists try to claim are viable places to meet women 🙄
  • They focus on environments that play to their strengths like small social gatherings 😃

Believe it or not, most single women are open to meeting guys literally anywhere.

All that matters is being deliberate about spending time places you feel comfortable (or, as comfortable as possible) starting conversations.

Need help?


3. Screw Willpower

Gif of a small kid operating a big complex machine

The first two steps, (1) level-setting, and (2) playing to your strengths, can help you approach more women.

Still, my clients who are most successful attracting quality partners do a third thing that dramatically increases the number of women they meet, and therefore gives them the most (and highest quality) options…

  • They don’t rely on willpower to approach women because they know working up courage is hard.
  • ☑️ They create systems that require them to engage with women so that they get consistent practice and shots on goal, and ultimately land the best possible partner.

What does this mean?

Try creating rules for yourself that force you to interact with women. For example:

  • Pay a genuine compliment to one woman you don’t know every day 😃
  • Chat with a new woman on your co-ed rec league kickball team every week ⚽
  • Attend at least one church or volunteer meeting a week, and strike up a conversation with a new woman there ⛪

I’ve had a client who told me how he literally took an unnecessary midnight trip out for groceries because he’d committed to talking to a woman every day, and hadn’t had the chance earlier in the day.

It almost goes without saying that guy landed an awesome girlfriend fast!

Wrap up & next steps

To recap, the most important strategies for reducing your approach anxiety are:

  1. Level setting
  2. Playing to your strengths
  3. And saying "screw you" to willpower :)

Now that you feel less anxious, here are 3 ideas to have more fun and options dating...

Idea #1: Unlock my best free guides

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Idea #3: Read more articles