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KryptoniteEveryone who dates has his or her own Kryptonite. And just as the green stuff rendered the otherwise invulnerable Superman powerless, your own Kryptonite curses your dating life or otherwise holds you back from getting what you want.

For some people, their Kryptonite is the thing we talked about on Day 1: their attitude. This is a particularly powerful form of Kryptonite that will decimate your dating success. While it may feel like the problem is other people, it’s your attitude about them that’s the problem.

For others, it’s unrealistic standards. When you want a woman because she’s super hot and all the guys want her, or you want a guy because he’s the handsome, rich, alpha male, you don’t want a partner… you want a fantasy.

Fortunately, these forms of Kryptonite aren’t as common among Intellectual Badasses. IBs have their own unique challenges. For example:

  • Overthinking. Hey, when you’re bright and intellectual, you have a keen mind, but you also have a tendency to overthink things. You may overthink how to approach someone, how to ask them out, how to behave. This is one way your intellect – an asset – can be a bit of liability at times. (Think Leonard from Big Bang Theory).
  • Shyness. Related to (but different than) introversion, shy people are often socially reticent due to a fear of embarrassment or of making a fool of oneself. Needless to say, shyness can make it difficult to date, or to let people know you and like you. (Think Raj from Big Bang…)
  • Social awkwardness. Some IBs struggle with how to behave in social situations, including dating. They may inadvertently annoy or offend, or just recede to the periphery to avoid saying the wrong thing. This can be tough on one’s dating life because people don’t get past the lack of social skill to see the person you really are. (Clearly Howard from Big Bang…)
  • Arrogance. This isn’t as common among IBs as you might think, but it’s pretty memorable when you come across it. The IB may use his or her knowledge to feel superior over others; these people attract no one, or attract people who are used to being talked down to. (Obviously, Sheldon Cooper from Big Bang).

When you look over this list, what do you see? I see one common element that runs through all of them. What is that element?

A lack of self-confidence.

Confident people are reasonably comfortable in their own skin. They don’t need to overthink everything, knowing that whatever they choose to do will either work or not work. They don’t need to hide out socially, knowing that making a fool of oneself isn’t nearly as bad as they think. They don’t need to let their deficient social skills get in their way, nor do they need to overcompensate for their insecurity with condescension and superiority that we can all see through anyway. And why not?

Because everyone’s insecure. It’s part of the human condition. On Day 3 I talked about owning your unique awesomeness – it’s just as important to own your insecurities. How do you do this? By recognizing your dating Kryponite, and simultaneously growing comfortable with it and working on improving it.

As I talk about in Changing Your Game, confidence isn’t something you have or don’t have – it’s something you BUILD and improve on with time. How? By getting out there are trying new things, by making mistakes. Yes, make mistakes! Ask the girl out and get rejected! Say the wrong thing! Make the wrong move! Believe me, this is a much more rapid way to learn that hanging back and hoping you’ll figure it all out first.

When I was single, my dating Kryptonite was overthinking. Should I go up and talk to him? What would I say? What if he thinks I’m weird? What if he knows I’m interested? Shouldn’t he come talk to me first? If he doesn’t, he’s probably not interested anyway, right? What if he has a girlfriend? I lacked confidence in myself; not just because I was afraid to talk to a guy (a very normal fear), but because I didn’t believe in my ability to simply handle the situation, no matter what happened.

Okay peeps: time to fess up! What’s your dating Kryptonite?