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Dating with Confidence

How the loudmouth, shy, rock & roll wannabe, serial dater guys always get the girl

Woody Allen is no prize. But despite his bad glasses, big nose, and stuttering speech, he has no problem scoring. Sure, it's only a movie—and you know he's the writer—but it's believable because he's always himself, without apologies. Whether it's confidence or self-assuredness—whatever you call it—nearly 80% of the 1,800 women we recently surveyed identified it as the sexiest trait a man can possess.

Now, in real life, Woody went on to marry his daughter, and while we wouldn't recommend that to anyone—not even the biggest losers—it does show that being the man you really are is truly the easiest way to get the woman you want.

THE BOTTOM LINE: When it comes to dating, always resist the temptation to change. Instead, intensify your personality: If you're shy, take a book to the bar; if you're the life of the party, initiate the body shots; if you're a one-woman guy, keep holding out for that long-term relationship. By being honest about who you are—to yourself and the world—you'll exude an inner confidence that will effortlessly draw women to you like never before. Let MF show you how.

THE SHY GUY
You're the guy who just wants a steady girlfriend—so much so that you may drive a girl away with your tendency to smother early on, or end up missing out on fun with the guys once you've got her.

DON'T GIVE UP ON YOUR PLAN. Be honest with yourself about your goals for long-term monogamy; despite what your buddies may say, there's nothing wrong with wanting what you want. So forget about convenience dates. That means no more taking a girl to an event such as a wedding just so you don't have to go alone—even though you have no interest in pursuing anything more with her. If you do so, you just may lose an opportunity to meet your next girlfriend. And since you're looking for a mate, never keep dating a girl simply for companionship or sex. Cut your losses the minute you know she's not "the one" (don't worry, she's out there). You'll be doing yourself—and her—a favor.

CONTROL YOUR URGES. Don't e-mail her or leave a message more than once before receiving a response (and no drunk-dialing). If she doesn't call you back, she's not interested—it's really that simple. Also, don't talk about settling down and having babies on the first date. It's OK to be honest—telling her you're not much of a player will score you points—but she might not like long-term talk right off the bat. Let her be the one to dictate the pace at which the relationship moves.

KEEP YOUR BALANCE. Don't overdose on her, and don't forget about your friends—no matter how much you're into her. If a woman suggests doing something on your monthly poker night, let her know you can't make it because you're hanging out with the boys. She'll see that you're anything but desperate, and this sets a tone for the future when you won't want to spend every single waking minute with her. Plus, no matter what they may say, women like it when men act like men.

MR. COMMITMENT
You're the guy who just wants a steady girlfriend—so much so that you may drive a girl away with your tendency to smother early on, or end up missing out on fun with the guys once you've got her.

THE PARTY ANIMAL
Making the first move isn't hard for you—you're the polar opposite of the Shy Guy. But your outgoing personality, wild ways, and desire to have good times can make women feel like they will always take second place to your ego and your lifestyle.

REFINE YOUR GAME. You have all the tools you need to score—now you just need to use them to your advantage. Stay in each conversation a little longer and concentrate on listening more by asking open-ended questions—for example, "What made you consider becoming an OB-GYN?" Eliminate the usual laugh or punch line. That allows her to feel like you're giving her all your attention while still allowing you to dictate the flow of the conversation.

BE EVEN BOLDER. Don't tone down your personality—turn it up a notch. For instance, if you give out your number a lot, have designer cards made with your contact information and hand those out instead (think of them as "personal" cards, instead of "business" cards). And feel free to talk about yourself, but do it without bragging. An easy way: Tell funny anecdotes about what an imbecile you are, but make sure they're actually impressive. Examples:

"I said something so stupid to my boss after he promoted me..."
"I wiped out really bad this one time"
"I was mountain biking in Peru..."
"I may be the worst Big Brother ever because..."

NEVER APOLOGIZE. Once you start, you never stop. If you're not embarrassed by your behavior, then she shouldn't be, either—and she shouldn't want to change you. If she does, she should find somebody else. And so should you.

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