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Dating Skills

The 5 Core Overarching Dating Skills

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What are dating skills, and why does it matter?

These are two fundamental questions that most humans never ask. And so, most humans never discover the answers to them. 

But in this post, you’re going to learn everything. 

What are dating skills? 

leveling up your dating skills is essential quote joshua sigafus

Dating skills are the skills that men and women need to learn if they truly want to succeed on the dating marketplace. 

You could call them social skills, seduction skills, love skills, etc. But at the end of the day, they’re skills that assist you in engaging with other humans, forming bonds, building connection, sexually escalating, and increasing your chances of having successful dating relationships with the types of partners you desire. 

But why do dating skills matter?

This is another great question. But the answer is also fairly obvious. 

Dating skills matter because, without them, you’re mostly placing your dating and relationship destiny into the hands of luck, the fickle nature of chance, and your natural inborn social skills. 

That’s a lot like wanting to be a hockey player and stepping out onto the ice to play a game, hoping that your natural talent and good luck will carry you through a game that obviously requires a tremendous about of skill to master. 

How Can I Improve My Dating Life?

To improve your dating life, start increasing your value.

Improving your dating life consists of doing two very important things.

First, you have to level up your attraction.

Secondly, you have to level up your dating skills.

A lot of people misunderstand this. 

They think it’s all about just being your natural self, and trusting in luck, destiny, or chance to lead them to their soul mate. 

I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but this mindset isn’t going to help you much as you strive to navigate the often misunderstood landscape of the dating marketplace. 

If you want to achieve the dating life of your dreams, it’s in your best interest to understand a set of basic core fundamental dating skills, how to use them, and why they work. 

Doing this will help you to level up your dating life, create your own dating destiny, and set you up for true dating success in the long term. 

Dating Skills Definition

learning dating skills

I define dating skills as a set of skills that men and women must master if they want to create the dating life of their dreams.

But this is also where a lot of people go wrong.

Most people don’t want to believe that they need to learn ‘skills’ to date successfully.

But here’s the truth. 

Dating skills can be practiced, learned, and mastered just like any other skill. And the more energy you expend leveling-up these skills, the better your dating life is going to be. 

Of course, you also can’t discount the importance of increasing your natural attraction levels as well.

You need both if you want to consistently succeed in attracting and engaging with high-value partners in life. 

What Is The Main Purpose Of Dating?

the purpose of dating

Before learning any new skill, it’s helpful to define the purpose of learning that skill.

When it comes to dating, you’re free to determine your own purpose for why you’re choosing to date.

Maybe you want: 

  • Sex
  • Intimacy
  • Companionship
  • Partnership
  • Friendship
  • A life partner
  • A husband/wife
  • Any combination of these different things
  • Something different entirely

Your purpose for dating can be highly personal and unique to you.

But determining your purpose can give you a clue as to which skills may be more useful, and how you go about the process of leveling them up.

But make no mistake. At the end of the day, according to nature, there’s only one reason for why we are all choosing to date… to satisfy our evolutionary sexual mandate. 

At the most fundamental level, our natural goal is to replace ourselves with offspring so as to perpetuate the continuation of the human species. 

Of course, there’s a lot of depth to that statement that we don’t necessarily need to go into right now. And on top of that, you may very well be saying something like “no, I disagree. That’s not my goal at all.”

That’s fine. It doesn’t have to be your intentional planned goal. But here’s what you need to understand. 

The creature you are now is a genetic success story, accomplished by eons and eons of successful evolution, reproduction, and sexual success on the part of your ancestors. And they became SO GOOD at what they did that it’s literally hard-wired into your system. 

Your subjective goal may be different, but don’t think for a moment that your instincts are going to change to walk in alignment with that goal. 

Your instincts (and the instincts of your sexual partners), for better or for worse, are still behaving in accordance with the goals of your evolutionary ancestors (read this post to understand this better).

Coming to terms with this goal, and learning to understand it, is one of the keys to understanding which are the proper dating skills to focus on, and why.

What Are The Rules Of Dating?

rules of dating

In the context of a discussion about dating skills, there’s really only one rule to dating that you need to understand. 

The dating marketplace consists of a spectrum of people, ranging from low value to high value, who are all trying to attract the highest value partner(s) possible so that they have the best odds of successfully accomplishing their evolutionary sexual mandate.

It is, therefore, in your best interest to generate as much value for yourself on the dating marketplace as possible.

The higher you drive your dating marketplace value, the more options you’ll have in your dating life… and the more people will be attracted to you. 

This, in turn, makes you more likely to succeed and find what you’re truly looking for. 

How Do You Date ‘Healthy’?

A healthy dating life consists of dating habits that fall in line with your natural role as a man or woman, that protect you from harm, that drive up your dating marketplace value, and that contribute to an overall positive experience for not only yourself, but also for the partners you engage with. 

A healthy dating life should consist of a dating life that is successful, not just for you, but also for the partners you engage with.

There’s nothing ‘healthy’ about a dating life wherein you don’t have the ability to engage with dating partners to the extent that you (and they) feel mutually fulfilled and satisfied. 

The 5 Overarching Dating Skills

There are many dating skills. 

There are so many, in fact, that it would be impossible to list them all in one single blog post. 

But when you take an overarching approach to leveling up your dating skills, you’ll come to find that for the most part, they can be condensed into five basic overarching dating skills that are essential for both men and women to study, practice and master.

And in the following section, I’m going to give a general overview of each skill and what it entails.

1. Approach

Approach is the dating skill that teaches you how to successfully approach a potential dating partner you may be interested in, giving you the greatest chances of successfully engaging with that person.

This is a subtle skill involving the use of body language, movement, and subtle social nuances that will lead you from spotting a person you may be interested in, deciding to approach them, and executing the approach in a manner that will lead you to the greatest potential success for engagement.

A successful approach will transition smoothly into the engagement step of the dating skills process.

An unsuccessful approach will leave you vulnerable to a negative first impression that may ruin your chances of a successful engagement and subsequent interaction.

2. Engagement

Engagement is the dating skill that teaches you how to successfully navigate everything that comes after the initial approach.

For example: 

You see someone across the room. You think they’re attractive, and you’d like to meet them. 

Approach is the skill you use to set up a powerful first impression and frame, and covers everything that happens before you speak to them. 

Engagement is the skill you would use to open up the very first initial threads of conversation. It may include your introduction, a bit of fact finding, a joke, some small-talk, a pickup line, etc. 

Successful engagement will facilitate a positive mutual social interaction that sets you up for the potential for connection later on in the interaction.

An unsuccessful engagement, on the other hand, will probably leave the other person thinking that you seem awkward, socially inept, or off-putting. Even if they were interested in you as you approached, a bad engagement can ruin the potential for the interaction to carry on any further. 

3. Connection

Approaching someone well, and then successfully engaging with them at the conclusion of your approach, will take you and this ‘person of interest’ from existing as two total and complete strangers to existing as what you may describe as two mutually interested aquaintences.

But here’s the thing. 

Without connection. You’ll never take the interaction beyond small talk.

Connection takes this new ‘attraction’ and ‘interaction’ that exists between the two of you and transforms it into something deeper. 

If you want to make a true impact on the person you’re interested in, then you must generate connection. 

Thankfully, connection is pretty simple to generate, and I explain how to do it using a process that I call the connection loop.

The ‘Connection Loop’

You start what I call a ‘connection loop’ by simply asking this person a question that requires them to share something a bit personal about themselves. 

“What’s your favorite movie, and why?”

When they answer, they’ll have divulged something beyond surface-level. This makes them vulnerable, and gives you the opportunity to return their vulnerability with vulnerability of your own. 

“My favorite movie is Good Will Hunting. I like it because it’s really tragic, but also hopeful all at the same time.” 

Once they’ve answered the question, you return their vulnerability by volunteering to share something deeper about yourself. 

“I’ve never seen Good Will Hunting, but my favorite movie is Arrival. I think it’s so tragic and brilliant, and deals with some really difficult concepts… like time, communication, language, etc.” 

Once you return their vulnerability with vulnerability of your own, you will have completed the connection loop. If you still like the person, then you will continue to do this in a tactful manner—from now on until you stop liking them. 

Even married couples who have been together for decades understand the crucial need to build connection… not just once, but on a daily, and even moment-to-moment basis.

Connection is one of the most important ingredients to sexual attraction. 

Obviously, you can be clever and unique in how you build it. But make sure that you create, contribute-to, and close connection loops frequently as you build rapport with this potential person of interest. 

The deeper the two of you get into this ‘connection’ phase, the more that mutual attraction (if it’s real) will continue to grow. 

When employed successfully, connection will generate a certain level of non-physical intimacy that will heighten interest and draw the two of you inward toward one-another. 

But here’s the thing. This attraction can quickly fizzle and result in friendship rather than romantic entanglement if you don’t move on to the next phase of the process. 


4. Escalation

Escalation is the skill that takes the attraction built during the connection phase and transforms it into pure sexual longing. This is the phase where flirting, physical touch, and sexual escalation occur. 

Not too long ago, I was on a date with a woman at a local hipster-type bar. We were sitting across from one-another, sipping our drinks, and building a lot of connection. 

About 10 minutes into the connection phase of the interaction, I sensed that it was the perfect time to enter the escalation phase. 

I reached across the table and held out my hand. 

“I notice that you’re wearing a ring. I’m quite fond of rings. Can I have a look at it?”

She immediately placed her hand in mine, and I proceeded to gently hold and touch her hand as I looked at her ring. 

“I like it,” I finally concluded, now obviously stroking her fingers in a flirtatious manner. “Where did you get it?”

She proceeded to tell me about it, all while I held her hand in mine. 

You see, I had successfully moved the interaction from the realm of engagement and connection, to the level of sexual escalation and flirtation. 

I was subtly communicating what I really wanted, without saying it out loud (at least, without saying it yet). 

Successful escalation will let the other person know:

“I want you. Not just as a friend. I’m interested in you sexually.” 

But it does so without you needing to come right out and say it (which is important. Because sometimes, coming right out and saying something like this puts you at the risk of sounding desperate, which is a low-value marker). 

For the most part, it’s almost always up to the man to sexually escalate in any given situation… though it can also be helpful to women to prod the process along by giving him signs that he could decipher as “I’m into you and open to advancement.” 

This is just one example of how dating skills differ between men and women when you get down to specifics and techniques. But we’ll talk more about that in a moment. 

5. Closing

To successfully engage a dating partner, you need to approach correctly. 

If you don’t build connection during the engagement step, you’ll end up floundering and never leaving the rather shallow realm of small talk.

If all you do is build connection without sexually escalating, you will build a friendship instead of a true romantic encounter (not to say that romance cannot come from this… but it needs to be true, organic, authentic friendship—not friendship-like-behavior that’s covering up true sexual intent).

But if all you do is escalate without closing, you’ll end up with one, or maybe even two mutually attracted people who wish it would go further, but who are ultimately frustrated that the encounter never got off the ground.

The closing step is where you go from flirting to asking for the number, going in for the hookup, inviting the person back to your place, asking for the date… i.e., making the move.  

A successful ‘close’ will result in a positive outcome that furthers the romantic entanglement that was born when you first approached. 

An unsuccessful close; or even worse, choosing to skip the closing step altogether out of fear, usually results in feelings of rejection, and sad fantasies of “what could this have been had it been a success?”

For better or for worse, rejection is a commonplace occurrence for humans. 

But for those who learn to properly escalate from the escalation phase into a successful closing phase, the rate of rejection is far lower. 


Because once you get skilled at navigating these phases, you’ll learn to see far ahead of time whether or not this person actually wants you to go in for the close. 

It is usually the man’s responsibility to go for the close. But that’s not to say that women can’t usher the decision along with some alluring signs of interest. It’s also not to say that women can’t go in for the close either. They certainly can, and such a tactic sometimes works very well and to their advantage. 

The big problem with the closing step is that far too many people balk and chicken out of it before they actually try. 


Because they doubt themselves, fear rejection, and find it difficult to imagine taking such a huge risk—despite the fact that the potential upside could be far greater than the potential downside. 

Dating Skills For Men And Women

Dating Skills for men and women

Alright. We’ve gone over a lot of content here about dating skills. But thus far, we’ve really only talked about them in a general sense. 

I mentioned a bit earlier that some dating skills were different for men and women. 

But which ones are they, and how are they different?

In this section, I’m going to take you through each one of the five overarching dating skills, and talk a bit about how these skills are unique for men and women.

Let’s start with dating skills for men. 

Dating Skills For Men

dating skills for men

1. Approach For Men

It’s usually up to the man to approach the woman if he’s interested in her. 

This is the natural way of things, and it is in a man’s best interest to cultivate this skills. 

The reason for this is pretty simple. Men are nature’s competitors. They’re not born into sexual abundance like their female counterparts. And so, men need to work to achieve sexual abundance for themselves. 

And part of this ‘work’ needs to be a willingness to risk rejection to approach high value women they may be interested in. 

2. Engagement For Men

Just as it is a man’s responsibility to approach women he is interested in, he also has a vested interest in engaging with those women as well. 

The man who is proactive in approaching and engaging-with women will experience far more success than the man who never approaches or engages. 

3. Connection For Men

Once again, keep this in mind. 

Women are born into sexual abundance. 

This means that the woman’s main job is to vet potential male partners, filtering out the low-value men, and evaluating which high value man she actually wants to give sexual access to. 

Therefore, once again, it is in a man’s best interest to generate connection with the women he is dating—and it is in the woman’s best interest to rule out men who don’t do a good job of it. 

Failing to generate connection with women, as a man, is a low-value marker. So it’s vitally important for men to learn, practice, and master this skill. 

4. Escalation For Men

Yes, it is also the man’s responsibility to escalate with the woman he’s interested in. 

Far too many men make the mistake of ‘waiting for her to make a move,’ because they’re afraid of offending her. 

But this only shows her one thing. 

That you’re not a powerful man standing in true, high-value, masculine frame. 

So escalate, flirt, and build the sexual tension. 

Men who master this skill will do much better at creating real-life sexual intimacy with high value women. 

5. Closing For Men

You probably won’t be surprised by this one. 

Yes, it’s also a man’s responsibility to close. 

This means:

  • Ask for the number
  • Ask her out on the date
  • Invite her back to your place
  • Etc. 

Yes, women can do this. But if you do it, you’ll show her that you’re a high value man who’s not afraid to sexually assert himself and put himself out there for the woman he wants. 

That makes a big impression, which is why it’s the man’s responsibility to take this vital step. 

I can’t say this enough. Every man needs to burn it into his mind. 

Women are born into sexual abundance, and men into sexual scarcity. 

If a man wants to achieve sexual abundance for himself in life, he has a responsibility to take the initiative on all of these steps.  

Dating Skills For Women

dating skills for women

1. Approach For Women

As you read in the above section for men, it is a man’s responsibility to approach women if he wants to succeed on the dating marketplace. 

But as a woman, you also play a vital role in how successful you are on your side of the equation as well. 

To take advantage of your sexual abundance, you want to make yourself approachable, so that high value men will take the hint and approach you to engage. 

You do this by leveling up your beauty cues, practicing attractive female body language, flashing smiles at the men in the room you’re interested in, and not surrounding yourself with your friends—thereby cutting a man’s ability to reach you. 

You can also engage men, but I always coach women to do this on a platonic level. You can approach, introduce yourself, and start a conversation; but be weary of carrying the conversation or moving to the connection phase. 

The role of the woman in most of these steps is to send positive signals when you want the man to proceed, and to play into his advances as a way of encouraging him to continue. 

2. Engagement For Women

When a man you’re interested in engages with you, make sure to encourage him by giving him your full attention. Set your phone down, turn your body toward him, smile, and be positive and upbeat. 

One of the biggest mistakes I see women make at this stage is that they end up getting nervous and talking to their friends instead of the guy they’re interested in. Unless he’s really skilled with women, or if his patience for ‘games’ is low, he will decipher this as a lack of interest, and will move on to engage someone else. 

It’s important that you meet him ‘in the middle’ during this phase, and that you don’t put the burden onto him to carry all of the energy. 

3. Connection For Women

When a man you’re interested in attempts to build connection with you by asking questions, it’s in your best interest to follow his lead and open up a little bit. 

The biggest mistake I see women make here is that they say something like “I don’t know” when the guy asks her a question. 

This is fine if you want him to think you’re not interested. But if you’re actually interested, it’s in your best interest to join him in the ‘connection’ process by delving deeper into the conversation and investing equal energy into it. 

4. Escalation For Women

Once again, it is the man’s responsibility to escalate. But here’s the thing. 

When the man makes a move, the woman has a huge say in how the interaction proceeds. 

If you shy away from his touch or seem to ‘pull away’ from his advances, in any form or fashion, most high value men will take the hint and disengage. 

Knowing this, it’s in your best interest to reward the man you’re interested in for his advances by returning those advancements with thoughts, looks, and body-language of encouragement. 

In other words… if you like it, show him that you like it. 

Contrary to popular belief, it’s not in a woman’s interest to play ‘hard to get’ during the pre-commitment phase. 

That comes later, once they’ve entered the ‘commitment’ phase of the relationship. 

5. Closing For Women

This part is probably pretty self evident by now.

It is the man’s responsibility to go in for the close. 

But as a woman, you can do a great deal to coax him toward that move if you desire him to make it. 

You can flash smiles at him, make eye contact, stand or sit very close to him, initiate some innocent, but suggestive physical contact, whisper in his ear, expose your neck to him by tossing your hair and leaning your head to the side… there are many ways to send positive signals. 

What you don’t want to do is this: 

If you’re interested in him and want him to make ‘the move,’ you DON’T want to act shy, behave in a withdrawn fashion, or act like you aren’t having a good time. 

I’ve seen women do this when they get really anxious or nervous, and it only hurts their chances of actually having the guy they like come-in to close the deal. 

In Conclusion

Hopefully, this post has given you a basic overview of what the 5 core overarching dating skills are. 

I also hope that it’s provided some useful links to where you can learn even more about these topics as you navigate the dating marketplace and strive to learn even more about how to create the dating life of your dreams. 

At the end of the day, remember that dating skills and attraction are key pieces to the puzzle. Level them up, and you’ll be that much closer to succeeding. 

Go with grace, my friends, and never give up your power. 

Joshua K. Sigafus