ELLE Canada collects dating advice that suggests men need to 'man up' and risk social rejection in order to find the relationships they really want.
It's no secret that I have square tires when it comes to "wheeling women." My friend Dan, however, is quite the opposite. He exudes confidence, charming ladies like a prince in a Disney movie. (Coincidentally, I'm compared to Toy Story's Woody, which, I assume, is because of his jealousy toward Buzz.)
Our differences become particularly evident during hungover breakfasts at our questionable local diner. There, we assemble pieces of the previous night's festivities, discussing debauchery over cheap, lukewarm eggs, ibuprofen and your choice of bacon or sausage.
After my second glass of apple juice, I usually voice my tiresome aside on loneliness-which friends blame on my hasty departures from the club.
In fact, I've acquired the nickname "Houdini" due to routine disappearances before 1 a.m., when I cab home alone, claiming to be tired of the same club-or tired in general.
There's nothing magical about why I leave early, though: I don't have the confidence to approach a woman I've never spoken to.
My cocktail of insecurities started in the early years of high school. I was bullied and perpetually turned down, and my advances went nowhere. By college, I was suffering from a brew of self-doubt, second-guessing and a less-than-desirable self-image. My anxieties lingered like a scarlet letter of unassertiveness.
Cut to New Year's Eve 2012, when Dan effortlessly garnered phone numbers from two very attractive women (one of whom I'm almost positive was over 30-a gold medal for the twentysomething guy).
I, on the other hand, spent the night hiding our other friend's drunken rambling and public urination from security and police. (He woke up with no recollection of these events but was later reminded by a vicious afternoon hangover and tagged photos.)
The next morning, Dan mused about his sexual successes and relationships and I about what I ate when I got home (in this case, leftover lasagna from my Italian grandmother with a side of everything else in the fridge). That's when a revelation hit me like a vision from Disney's That's So Raven. I could learn from Dan-I just had to be the Steve Carell to his Ryan Gosling, so to speak.
Discover a burlesque performer's inspirational advice about men and relationships and getting a girl's number on the next page...