A Guide to Total Confidence & Romantic Connection
In this episode of Last First Date Radio, learn how to develop confidence and an authentic romantic connection with Connell Barrett.
Connell Barrett has one mission: help men defeat loneliness and attract their soulmates with authenticity and confidence. He’s the founder of Dating Transformation and a coach with The League. Connell spent years training with the world’s best relationship and self-development experts. Connell’s next project? His forthcoming book, Dating Sucks But You Don’t, to be published in May by Simon & Schuster.
In this episode of Last First Date Radio:
- Connell’s five-year quest to rebuild confidence after his 9-week marriage ended
- How his advice for men is different from pickup artists
- What women are really looking for in a man
- Some of the issues men face when dating after the #metoo movement
- How to go on your last first date
Guide to Total Confidence & Romantic Connection
Tell us the story of your five-year quest to rebuild your confidence after your marriage ended.
After my nine-week marriage ended, I told myself, “You’re a dorky nerdy Ginger who isn’t sexy or handsome, and women just aren’t into you.” It’s a long title for a movie, but it was playing in my head. And the advice I would give men and women is to catch this story playing in your mind, and realize what you feel isn’t real.
The truth was I just hadn’t yet been called into the best, most authentic version of me. I actually had a lot of interest from women, but I didn’t see it as interest at the time. I saw it as ‘she just likes me as a friend’, because I had that story playing. (Listen to a great story about the cute waitress who approached Connell when he was working as a waiter in his mid-twenties).
Men and women need to be aware of the stories we tell ourselves, because the lens we see the world and our dating lives through can blind us to opportunities with people who might be interested in us. Call BS on these stories, and then start to write a new empowering story.
How is your approach different from pickup artists?
I learned my approach by working with all kinds of coaches over the course of six years. I went to a dozen different countries and I worked with well-meaning coaches and self-help experts and a handful of Pick Up Artists. All these male coaches were telling me to be a jerk and an alpha male and put women in their place or at least make sure they’re beneath you.
It felt kind of gross, but maybe that was the way it worked. I tried it for about 12-14 days, and women looked at me like I was an alien. One woman poured a glass of ice water down my shirt – well deserved by the way – and that was a very bracing moment. Being an a-hole doesn’t work, and that was a big epiphany for me. So, I did the complete opposite of that. I was so incredibly vulnerable and real, a dork and a nerd. And I had this incredible night where women responded to me. They were so warm.
There’s incredible power in being what I call ‘radically authentic’. It’s about leaning into who you truly are at your core and broadcasting that out to the people you date. You attract the kind of person who loves the real you, and you won’t attract people who aren’t into your type.
Can you give us an example of someone you’ve worked with and how their confidence transformed through this work?
I think of a guy named Ken, one of the first clients who really got me hooked on becoming a dating coach. He was in his late twenties, an assistant college instructor, and he never never had a girlfriend…never even kissed a woman and was still a virgin. He was a naturally introverted guy and also suffered from some self-esteem issues. I gave him a superhero name, Confident Ken.
We went out for a weekend in New York City as his wingman, literally shoulder-to-shoulder talking to women and chatting and socializing. He showed women his hot higher superhero self. After a couple of nights, a really pretty cool girl grabbed his phone and said, ‘You’d better text me. I like dorky nerdy guys like you!” The highlight of the weekend was on a rooftop bar when Ken approached a beautiful woman. I look over and I I see that he has leaned in and he’s kissing her, having very first kiss of his life!
Where can women find confident men?
Men love it when a woman makes it clear that she’s interested or is inviting him to approach her, because men know how hard it is to approach a woman. So when a woman either approaches us or even just breaks the ice in an indirect way making it easy for that conversation to begin, then we’ll take it from there and just feel so relieved that this is happening! You might not feel comfortable doing this right now with COVID, but once we’re all vaccinated and out in the world, and you see a man who just looks like he exudes confidence, pay him a G-rated sincere specific compliment, something you like about the way he’s carrying himself, or the way the coffee he ordered is the same coffee you ordered, or that you like his style.
How do you think the #metoo movement has affected dating?
I’m very glad the #metoo movement happened. It’s so important to have such a powerful cultural shift, that we’re finally paying attention to the abuse and harassment women and girls have had to deal with. It’s overdue and completely necessary. The first thing I would say to men listening is to understand that it’s not about you guys, it’s about women and what they’ve dealt with, it’s about awareness. Don’t be the guy on a first date who says to a woman “you’ll have to make the first move”. I think women hate that. Be a gentleman and practice empathy, kindness, and grace. I tell a man, you will lose a woman if you are weak. doubt yourself, or if you don’t have a certain amount of male leadership skills. You can be a gentleman AND flirt. You can hold doors open, and you can go for that first kiss, but don’t go in blindly without knowing when the right time is. Be present, and notice the signals.
Tell us about your upcoming book, ‘Dating Sucks but You Don’t: The Modern Guy’s Guide to Total Confidence, Romantic Connection, and Finding the Perfect partner.'” Why did you write it, and what do you hope readers will take away?
I wrote Dating Sucks But You Don’t, because I wanted men to have a step-by-step roadmap to help them learn to flirt with confidence from inside and get a great relationship in a very authentic respectful way. The dragon men need to slay is self-doubt, feeling on some level like they’re just not enough. This book is about helping men understand, hey this is fixable. You can put a plan into action to find love.
Connect with Connell here.
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