He’s been burned so often, he’s now too tense on dates.

Dear Wayne,
I have a really hard time with women. I am trying so hard to find the right one but I seem to mess up most of my dates. I have been told that I come off a little too intense. But all I am trying to do is find out if we are compatible. I have had too many bad experiences and I do not want to get hurt again. Overall, I guess you can say I have pretty low self-esteem at this point and I do not know how to turn things around. It is really frustrating.
Signed,
All Wound Up
Dear All Wound Up,
A man goes to a psychiatrist. He says, “Doctor, I’m a wigwam, I’m a teepee. I’m a wigwam, I’m a teepee.” “Relax,” says the doctor, “you’re two tents.”
You’re a bit too tense, too. And it’s probably because you’ve been doing what you’ve been doing for a long time, without the benefit of some solid feedback from the men.
The question is, why are you bringing such intensity to these poor, unsuspecting women you meet? You said it yourself. You don’t want to get hurt. And so you’ve concluded that it makes sense to run these women through a series of probing questions to identify potential problems and to quickly eliminate the rejects. Unfortunately, your behavior is making them all run for the hills. You’ve become the reject.
You’re creating a self-fulfilling cycle of rejection, disappointment, frustration, and I bet, a lot of anger. These negative feelings usually cause guys like you to talk about your past relationships on the first date, or first call, or first chat. Now write this down. DO NOT talk about previous women and relationships until you’re long into your new relationship.
Another mistake you’ve likely been making is asking these women for their input, advice and opinions about you, about how you might do a better job, etc. Don’t burden them with these questions. You’re putting these girls in a very uncomfortable position. And by the way, keep this up and you’ll never get laid.
So, it’s time for you to have a totally different approach. It’s time for you to do the work necessary to feel good about yourself, as a man. Spend some time with a male counselor or men’s group, and start becoming aware of who you are, what you’ve been doing, and what it will take to be the man you want to be.
When you begin to trust your gut, you won’t be so concerned about getting hurt. You’ve been hurt so often because you’ve been naive, hoping that “this is the one.” A little boy is naive. A man sees things for what they are, makes adjustments—if necessary—and then decides what is best for him.
If you can be your comfortable self with a woman, the right woman will be attracted to you. The others, well, they won’t call you back, or you won’t call them for a second date.
Remember, if you’re looking for a long-term, committed relationship, you only need one woman. The odds are in your favor.