Dating coach Connell Barrett answers your questions on escaping the friend zone, the secret to flirting, and transforming your love life. Read to find out exclusive tips from my book, Dating Sucks But You Don't.
So psyched! I’ve just launched my new book, DATING SUCKS BUT YOU DON’T: The Modern Guy’s Guide to Total Confidence, Romantic Connection, and Finding the Perfect Partner.
Here are three common dating problems guys have—and three practical fixes taken directly from my book!
I have first dates, but I rarely get second dates. Women put me in the Friend Zone. How do I escape?
-Cruz, Seattle, WA
I know this feeling all too well. I didn’t just live in the Friend Zone—I owned a condo there.
First, understand this myth: Women don’t put us in the friend zone. As men, we do it to ourselves by treating women like platonic pals.
One way to escape is to (proverbially!) pull your date’s pigtails.
A lot of women enjoy it when a guy teases her. It’s a playful way of saying “I like you.” Think Cary Grant in classic rom-coms such as “Bringing Up Baby.” Grant and his love interest Katharine Hepburn are mistakenly thrown in jail. “When they find out who we are, they’ll let us out,” she says. “When they find out who you are, they’ll pad the cell,” he replies.
Many girls like it when you pull their pigtails.
The trick? Tease her for silly, trivial things—nothing she would actually take personally—say, if she’s ten minutes late for your date, or if her favorite movie is “Legally Blonde.”
It’s not about “negging” her, as pickup artists teach. It’s an invitation to connect. Teasing invites your date to spar with you, and banter can send chemistry soaring.
What’s the right way to flirt? How do you talk to women in ways they like?
-Sean, Miami, Florida
That’s the same question my client Trevor asked me.
As he sat in the candlelit wine bar waiting for Becca to arrive, Trevor could feel the nerves churn. It was their first date, and he was excited to meet the successful chef he’d connected with on Bumble. She wasn’t just a beautiful brunette; she was quick and witty, matching him text for clever text.
But Trevor had been struggling with first dates. He had trouble flirting. He’d met several women recently and none of them had felt a strong connection. And on a quick pre-date phone call, Becca gave him a heads up: “With the last couple guys I met, there was no chemistry, so don’t take it personally if we don’t hit it off.”
A pre-emptive friend-zoning?
“It’s like I’m in Alcatraz,” said Trevor.
This night would be different, though, because Trevor had been honing his Man-to-Woman Communication—a turbo-charged form of flirting that amplifies romantic connection.
Becca walked in and found Trevor to be warm and roguish, while he was impressed by her easy confidence. He gently teased her for running a few minutes behind schedule (“You owe me a drink for every minute you were late”), and she laughed. Trevor gave her space, not leaning in too much or seeming overly eager.
And he was playful, a trait that had been lacking in her recent dates. When Becca looked at his button-down shirt, he feigned offense. “My eyes are up here,” he said. “Please stop objectifying me.” She giggled and punched his arm.
They bonded over their passions for cooking and yoga. During their second drink, Trevor took her hand and intertwined their fingers, and Becca tossed her leg over his. He moved closer and whispered in her ear: “You’re even cooler than I was hoping.”
Minutes later, they were kissing, with half the bar shooting them “get a room” glances. Before they left, she suggested their next get-together—a private couples’ massage at her favorite spa. Not a bad second date. Walking home, Trevor felt a heady buzz of romance, Belgian beer, and freedom. He had finally escaped from Alcatraz.
When sparks fly between two people, it often seems random—something that “just happens,” like a lightning strike or winning the Powerball. But the truth is, you can learn to consistently ignite that romantic connection using what I call Man-to-Woman Communication—the breezy, flirty frequency that amplifies natural chemistry.
It’s a one-way ticket to romantic connection, as well as the lens through which you can (and should) channel all of the interactions in your love life—your texts, your approaches, and your dates.
Check out my book, Dating Sucks but You Don’t, to learn a step-by-step system to be Man-to-Woman—and start having dates like Trevor did!
If you’ve ever wondered, “How do you talk to girls and get them into you?,” my book holds the answers!
Read below for more exclusive tips from my book "Dating Sucks But You Don't"!
I get rejected a lot, and it hurts. I’m lonely. Sometimes I feel like I’ll never find a great girlfriend, and that I may end up alone. Can you give me some help?
-Chris, DC, Washington
Here’s my advice, in three simple steps.
1: Read Dating Sucks but You Don’t.
2: Follow the step-by-step missions.
3: End rejection, escape loneliness, and attract your dream girlfriend.
You see, I wrote this book EXACTLY for you.
I can solve any dating problem because I’ve HAD every dating problem. For years I felt unattractive to women. When I finally met the rare girl who wanted me, I married her—and she dumped me nine weeks later.
It was over so fast that we could have fought for custody of the wedding cake.
As I drove away from her house in my red Honda Civic—the backseat loaded with unwrapped wedding gifts to be returned for store credit—I felt rejected by an entire gender. My self-esteem was at rock bottom.
I remember the moment when I knew things had to change. It was a couple of dateless years later, and I was in a Starbucks on a Sunday afternoon when I saw a beautiful brunette in a denim miniskirt who was sitting by herself.
I felt I had to meet her, so I walked over, got within a few feet … and said nothing. I even circled her table a couple of time like a frightened shark, but a powerful inner force kept me from talking to her. I was afraid of getting shot down, and I worried that “hitting on her” would make me seem creepy.
She finished her iced coffee and left, and I told myself, “You suck. There goes yet another girl you won’t be dating.”
It was at that point that I’d had enough. I decided to embark on a quest to learn what really works with women. I hired classy dating coaches and sleazy “pickup artists.” I approached thousands of women and went on hundreds of dates.
It wasn’t easy—at first, I was rejected more than a Jehovah’s Witness. But in time I cracked the code of romantic connection. The more authentically I presented myself, the more women liked me for me.
Crazy things started happening. I began attracting models, actresses, dream-girls-next-door, and one particularly memorable cable-news “money honey,” as she described herself. (There’s just something about a woman discussing annual percentage yields, amirite?)
Instead of hearing “Let’s be friends” on dates, I began hearing “Let’s go to your place.” Once, in London, a lovely Brit I’d just met at an upscale lounge shushed mid-sentence and said, “You have ten seconds to kiss me. Nine, eight, seven…” Many women have asked me to be their boyfriend.
And if I can do it, you can, too.
This is learnable, fixable.
Because, sure, dating DOES suck for most guys, but YOU don’t.
You have a lot to offer—you just have to learn to channel your awesomeness in an authentic, powerful way that women love.
1: Read Dating Sucks but You Don’t.
2: Follow the step-by-step missions.
3: End rejection, escape loneliness and attract your dream girlfriend.
I can’t wait to guide you to becoming the man you want to be, and attracting the kind of woman you want to date.
No. 1 Amazon bestseller Dating Sucks but You Don’t is available wherever books are sold. To order it, or to learn how it will transform your confidence and your love life, go to DatingTransformation.com/book.
Connell Barrett is a NYC dating coach for men. He's helped men all over the world find the woman of their dreams with actionable advice such as how to get out of the friend zone. His work has been featured on Access Hollywood and the Today Show. In addition, you can find him in print in Maxim, O Magazine, and Cosmopolitan. Ask Connell a question below!
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