This week on Friday Romantics we have Max Nachamkin. Max is a dating coach with a spiritual perspective and he authored one of the most successful posts of all time on the Dating Advice subreddit. His approach to dating is what he calls “The Anti-Method”.
Below, pay attention to how we talk about:
- The one crucial thing that most dating advice and coaches miss
- How to do The Anti-Method
- Overcoming your emotions by “doing nothing”
- Why a fear based mindset is counterproductive and how to move past it
- How to meet women even if your hobbies are more introverted (like reading or playing games)
- Letting women come to you rather than trying to attract them
Okay, one thing I’ve always wanted to ask you. How does it feel to have written one of the most successful posts of all time on the Dating Advice subreddit?
On one hand it’s awesome that it was so well received and it’s in the Top 10. On the other hand, there’s also some negative feedback that you get from it. It’s hard to put out advice and have it be received the correct way. I definitely spent three days going through the comments and responding and as you can see, a lot of people didn’t take it so well.
Yes, Reddit has the whole range of characters. Some people legitimately want advice, while some just want an outlet to complain or to have their feelings of victimhood validated.
You said that you spent over $25,000 on coaches, products, and seminars to learn about dating from “the best”. In your experience, what do they get right about dating and what do they get wrong?
Well, a lot of what they say is not always helpful. They’ll tell you “don’t be needy” and “be positive” and “feel your feelings” and “be authentic and vulnerable” but I think where it gets challenging is offering blanket advice for everyone. When it comes to relationships, it’s not so linear that you can just say “don’t be needy” or “change your mindset to not be needy” because if your body still feels needy but you think you’re not supposed to be needy then it confuses the body and you feel like you should be someone that you’re not. I think a lot of that stuff is true, but I had to go through a lot of experiences and learn a lot on my own.
A lot of the emotional stuff is unconscious. How does that growth happen? How does it work on an energetic level? A lot of their teachings are great but a lot of times it’s out of context for an individual which makes it hard to apply.
I agree. I think a lot of the time they’ll give you lines or techniques to use and those might work for some people, but the same thing won’t work for every person all of the time. And then on the other hand you have pickup artistry which can be degrading to women or even misogynistic.
One of the main things I wanted to talk to you about is your approach to dating which you call “The Anti-Method”. Can you share with us how that works?
Sure. One of my friends took me to a bar with a couple other friends. We went to the bar and we started to notice what was happening around us. Instead of going out with the intention to meet women, it was more so to understand the social energetics happening around us. Rather than going and approaching all these different women, we’re just like “let’s stand still and do like absolutely nothing”.
It’s like in Seinfeld where they’re doing the opposite of what they normally do. Most people do the same thing over and over again and expect different results which is complete insanity. Most guys just sit on the outskirts and are like, “how do we approach?” So we’re like—what if we just go to the middle where there’s the most traffic and just stand there? Just not do anything.
We just went and stood there and for the first half an hour or so we were pretty much invisible. No one was making eye contact or talking to us, we just had a drink in our hands and were just hanging out and talking to each other. Just feeling our feelings and noticing and not judging our experience. As we did that, a lot of feelings start to come up. “Are we being creepy?” and “What am I doing here? Why am I standing still? What are people going to think?” All of those thought patterns become evident when you’re still, and it’s really hard for men to see the thought patterns they have when they’re trying to talk to women or socialize. Women respond in an energetic way and in order to have a better connection with women and to be more attractive, you have to basically look at those thought patterns and start to rewire them. But you can’t really do that if you’re always going around trying to do something.
If you think if it like an emotional charge, most people try to avoid their anxiety or get over it or reframe their patterns in order to avoid uncomfortable emotions. For us, we’re like we’re just going to stand here and be uncomfortable as fuck until it disappears. When you give yourself permission to do something that you haven’t done, to feel whatever it is you’re feeling 100% then it moves through your body pretty quickly. After our bodies got accustomed to doing this, it was like an energetic “pop”.
There was a field of 10 feet around us where people just left our space. We were in the middle of the bar and people started looking at us and start talking to us. This one guy came up and tried to start a fight with us.
When you’re present, people can feel it. Women respond to it really well. People just started coming in. This girl just bumps into me and she’s like “Oh hey, excuse me” and when you’re present you can feel whether there’s a connection or not. Later she scurries off and later she finds me again and asks for my number. She was pretty attractive.
That’s how The Anti-Method works. It’s “doing nothing”. All the things that guys think they need to do…they don’t have to. They can just stop. Are you trying to attract women. Stop trying to attract women. Are you trying to be non-needy? Stop trying to be non-needy. Just be needy. Who cares?
Wow. That’s super counter-intuitive to what you think would happen. If I imagine myself just standing in the middle of the bar, I picture myself being all weird. But from what I understand, you kinda just accepted those feelings. You allowed everything to happen even when you felt weird or uncomfortable.
Yeah. Most guys want to avoid all those uncomfortable emotions. It’s hard to make sense of your feelings when they’re so overwhelming. It took me years of going out alone to become comfortable with that, to become ok with how you’re feeling and to do that in public. Doing nothing is often harder than doing something.
Once I learned how to be okay with doing nothing then you can do a lot of what the other coaches talk about. Approaching or saying hi. When it’s done from a place where you’re not okay unless you do it then the energy stays locked inside your body and you don’t feel confident. A lot of the confidence comes from doing nothing first and being okay with that and then moving from that place. If you repeat that cycle over and over again, that allows you to be more confident and connective.
Right. If you want to go up to a woman and say hi but you’re feeling messed up emotionally inside, it’s probably going to come out weird. And a lot of guys try to push away those feelings of unconfidence but that doesn’t work so well.
It doesn’t work and it doesn’t feel good. A man won’t feel confident about himself if his actions are always dependent on what a woman thinks about him. This is kinda where the coaching industry goes astray. It’s like, don’t say this because women won’t respond to it well. Then the man starts judging his own actions and words based on how the women’s responding or if she’ll like it or not.
If you’re trying to stand still because you’re trying to attract a woman then you’re already lost. Because now you’re trying to attract her. Which doesn’t feel good for you.
So, how did you feel after you did The Anti-Method in the bar? Did you feel more confident?
It was scary as shit. All of your fears come up. You’re in the bar in the middle of all of these people and you’re just standing there and initially it’s just really scary because I’m there and I’m really anxious, there’s emotions underneath the surface, there’s anxiety, fear, sadness, anger from wanting to prove myself, so I’ve had to work through all of these layers and it took a while.
Once I started to get rid of all the layers and get through all those patterns, after a few times it just gets better and better and better. It’s like the Hero’s Journey. I’ve had to let go of trying to attracting women at all before I could even start thinking about it.
One thing you’ve said is that “When you do anything from a fear based mindset that fear will return to you until you feel that fear completely.” What do you mean by “a fear based mindset”? What does it mean to do something from a fear based mindset?
It’s more of a subconscious thing. We’re conditioned, at least in American culture, to be quite fearful of other people. We don’t have a big sense of community here. Everyone has their own houses, their own friends, and most of the time they hang in their own house and watch Netflix. When you walk down the street people are like, “oh there’s another person” and they don’t even want to make eye contact with you. Everyone’s in their own little bubble and it’s scary because we’re conditioned to be afraid of other people in general.
A lot of that conditioning when you go out is embedded in your system. If you’re going out and not letting your body adjust to the environment and feel your feelings then those fear based stories run your actions subconsciously. Most people are not aware of what’s happening below the surface and they’ll go out and talk to women and try to hit on them but they won’t realize that they’re afraid of being rejected. They’ll try to hit on 100 women to get over it and they’ll think they’ll gain confidence that way, but instead if they do nothing then their fears come up and they didn’t realize that their action of trying to get rejected was based out of fear.
They have to address that fear after that whole chapter of their life plays out. Until they can just remain still and feel all of that then it’s going to keep running their life. And they’ll keep having to try to attract women rather than having women naturally gravitate toward them.
The idea of approaching 100 women never made sense to me. I’ve encountered over 100 spiders in my life and they still scare the crap out of me.
Right? You just need to dump a whole bunch of spiders and chill the fuck out until you don’t have that fear anymore.
Oh, God. Don’t say that. That’s a visual I don’t need.
That’d be a pretty intense way to get over that fear.
I think it’s similar to how if you’re afraid of heights, one thing you could do is stand on the roof of a tall building for a while and just experience those feelings. Eventually, you won’t be so paralyzed about it anymore. It might still be scary but eventually you’ll be able to move again and do what you want to do up there.
Right. It’s still scary but it’s not paralyzing.
So, I think your Anti-Method makes sense to me. I really loved reading your Reddit post. But what would you say to someone who comes across it and thinks that “doing nothing” is all just a bunch of spiritual baloney?
If someone came to me and said that it was bullshit, I’d be like…okay. Cool. Why do I care? You can go try and hit on the women over there. I don’t have anything to prove.
I just want to help out. I’ve been through all the chapters. I’ve tried pickup lines. I’ve found that this is what works in any sort of sustainable fashion and a lot of times guys don’t understand it. If you don’t like it, go somewhere else.
It’s no loss to you, right? You have some people who are legitimately looking for advice, and then you have people who just want to feel validated in their victimhood.
If you really want to go and approach 100 women for practice, then go do it. There are lessons to be learned there as well. That’s what made writing the Reddit post so difficult because the Anti-Method is not really a method. It’s more of an understanding of people, which is less appealing.
Exactly. I feel that when it comes to guys and dating, a lot of men want the magic line or the magic technique or the magic things to say to a woman and she’ll go out with you or go home with you or whatever it is you want. But there is no magic line. A lot of it is just working on yourself, which is much less appealing. A lot of struggling men want to know the three magic questions that you can ask a woman and she’ll go out with you or give you her number.
Right. A better piece of advice would be like, don’t worry about attracting women. Make friends with them and keep hanging out with them until one of them wants to hook up with you. That’s pretty much it.
Of course, it’s easier said than done. The challenging thing for men is the emotions that come up and how to handle them. When you’re not controlling your environment then how do you deal with the internal emotions that are coming out? How do you move through them and make sense of them? Especially of a man who is more alone on his own journey. That’s the challenging part.
A lot of the calls I have with clients are more about their emotions and helping them understand themselves better. I might tell them to stand in the middle of the bar for 4 hours and don’t move no matter what. Simple, but not easy. If someone’s about to fight you then what’s your stance in that moment? If people are bumping into you and trying to push you over when they could just go around you? That’s hard.
It’s like taking a stance towards life. It’s like saying “Yo, I’m here and I’m not being pushed around.” Learning how to hold that without being blaming and judgmental toward the other people. It’s a practice. My friend was doing that and someone bumped into him and said “I hope you die in a car crash.”
It’s incredible. One guy wanted to fight us. And then girls wanted to talk to us. It’s simple but it takes practice and it’s emotionally tricky.
So, what’s your approach to coaching men with dating? Do you have any success stories that you’d like to share with us tonight?
This one guy I coached, he hadn’t had any connection with women for a long time. He came to me and I told him about my own experience and what I saw about masculine-feminine dynamics and how men and women relate to each other and how it’s affecting relationships. We worked together for about three months and we had a big conversation where he had some emotion come up and we worked through it together and the next day he had sex with like two women and he was like “Man, I’m so happy!!”
For me, it was really cool to see that growth and the confidence that he gained over time. He sent me a message months after our coaching ended about how he had this breakthrough experience where he understood what unconditional love was like and how he felt completely safe in society and he reconnected with his parents again and felt more connected with women and felt that he knew his life purpose. That really inspired me and was really cool to hear. I love hearing experiences like that.
Congratulations! I’m glad to hear that everything worked out for him. I think that’s everything I wanted to ask you tonight. Is there anything else you wanted to say as we wrap up?
Well, is there a particular challenge your readers have that you would like me to talk about?
Let’s see. There’s confidence, talking to women, how to meet women. That’s something I struggled with a lot. Meeting women. As an introvert, I loved to hang out in my room and read books and play video games, but those aren’t the types of activities that I would meet a lot of women doing.
Got it. For me, if I were in that situation—again—what I’d do is really just get out of the house. Go somewhere. The park, the mall, even the library. Don’t put any pressure on yourself to say or do anything. Just go and do your thing and do it around people.
A big thing with guys is that they feel they have to go out and find women in these places, and then when they see one they feel all this pressure to make a connection with her. And then when it doesn’t happen then they go home and feel like shit. Then they repeat this cycle and do it over and over again.
Just go to the library or a coffee shop and read books. Hang around people. Over time, you’ll start to see some familiar faces and you can strike up conversations and when you’re familiar with people then it’s much easier to build connections.
At a certain point, you just gotta go do something and hope you don’t die. Sometimes you gotta say “Fuck it” and go do it. If you don’t then at the end of the day you’ll go to sleep and the exact same thing is just going to happen tomorrow. As uncomfortable as it is to take action, it’s ultimately more uncomfortable to stay where you are instead of moving through the uncomfortableness.
Go out, be around people, find a book club, get a hobby somewhere. Go to a LAN center and play video games around other people. Maybe there’ll be some hot nerd women. Just be around them. Don’t put any pressure on yourself to say anything.
Exactly. I struggled with that a lot. I would go out and do activities to meet women, but if I did these activities just for the sake of meeting women then whenever I didn’t meet anyone I would just go home and be like “This sucks. I knew this wouldn’t work. I never should have gone out. I should have just stayed home.” And if I did meet someone interesting then I would put all this pressure on myself to talk to her and that never felt good.
Once upon a time I started going to the gym and I wasn’t trying to meet anyone there. I was just trying to get healthier. And there was this one woman I saw pretty much every time I went to the gym. She was a regular there and I became one too. I didn’t have any intentions or goals in mind. One day I was like “Who is this woman that I keep seeing in the gym?” and I thought I’d introduce myself. I was just genuinely curious about her. And she gave me her number.
Right? It’s an easier way to meet women because then there’s no pressure. When you see someone four or five times and you haven’t met then you’re naturally going to be like, “Who is this?” and in that case it would be totally natural for you to just go up to her and say “Hey. I see you here all the time” and she’s probably thinking the same thing about you. And if you’re not trying to hook up with her then she might introduce you to some of her friends. And if you’re not trying to hook up with her friends, then maybe they’ll introduce you to other women they know. Now you got all these women fighting over you. Which is another problem.
A good problem to have.
Have you ever heard the statement, “What you resist persists”? There’s this thing in the spiritual community. What you resist will persist. If you’re resisting something then that thing you’re resisting will continue to come to you. So, if you’re resisting women all the time and trusting the process that everything’s going to be okay then women will feel that. They’ll feel that you’re not needy.
This is why the Anti-Method works so well. Most dudes are just super needy. It makes women not feel safe. By stepping back and “doing nothing”, you let women come to you. Then you know that she’s coming to you for you, not because you said or did something.
Your internal confidence is much higher when she comes to you, and she feels that she can trust you because you’re not being grabby or needy with your energy.
To connect with Max or learn more of his dating advice, check out his Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/groups/antimethod/
Max currently has a spot available for one-on-one coaching—send him a message if you’re interested!