How to seduce a woman Why groups of single women intimidate men
A psychologist and counsellor says he can help men have more fruitful relationships by teaching them to understand the opposite sex better, reports Michelle McDonagh
The average guy hasn't a clue how to interact with women. That's why he usually ends up grovelling - or, worse, intimidating them, according to Seán Ó Máille, a self-styled seduction expert. He says there's still hope for men who are unlucky in love, however: his 10-week course on how to interact with women.
The Galway-based psychologist teaches men how to deal with their own neediness, avoid setting themselves up for rejection, capture a woman's imagination and, of course, be successful in seduction. So, for example, he teaches his clients that, although giving flowers and chocolates is all very well, men shouldn't expect something - usually sex - back.
"By all means be romantic and treat a woman like a queen, he says, "but not in a supplicatory way and not to get something in return. I teach men how to really be with a woman, how to connect."
Another of his lessons is that pubs and clubs are not places to meet that special somebody. According to Ó Máille, cafés and wine bars where you can have a conversation without shouting over music are ideal. And go easy on the alcohol: too much drink can sabotage the whole seduction.
"When men do my course they will be more confident and more willing to be rejected, and so they will actually be rejected less. You have to be willing to take the risk," he says.
As a single man until about a year ago, Ó Máille admits that he used to be a disaster when it came to seducing women: he just kept getting it wrong. "There I was, with a degree in psychology, a certificate and diploma in counselling, years of personal development, a decade working with individuals and couples - and I knew little more than the average guy knows about women."
Despite having read many books, including John Gray's infamous Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus, Ó Máille's technique still left a lot to be desired.
It wasn't until he did an American course on seduction - for professional purposes, of course - that he saw how simple it actually was.
"The big paradox here was that although I did a course on seduction, which one would think would just view women as physical objects, a fellow counsellor remarked that he noticed I was now seeing women with even more depth and wonder," he says.
Ó Máille has now been in a relationship for a year, with a woman he has known for about three. His only regret, he says, is that he didn't do the seduction course 20 years ago, because he has had so much fun since.
Those experiences are what prompted Ó Máille to share his new-found power with other men who were unsuccessful in love - which brings us back to his third course on how to interact with women. Although Ó Máille admits that sex may sell his course, along the way, he says, the men who come on it learn how to connect with women as people instead of seeing them as physical objects.
"It's often not what you say to a girl; it's how you say it that's the problem. I learnt a different way of saying things. It's all about how you present things rather than what you say."
Ó Máille encourages men to use one simple word more - a word that women use a lot (maybe too much) and that Rudyard Kipling wrote his most famous poem about: if. Rather than beg for a phone number or some other overly direct tactic, he says, they should try: "What would you say if I was to ask you for your phone number?" Or: "I'm free to meet tonight if that suits you."
Ó Máille believes that texting is ideal for men, as it gives them a chance to think about what they are going to say. If a man is interested in a woman, he recommends, he should send a message that ends with a question, to make her more likely to reply and, therefore, to keep the conversation going.
The men who sign up for Ó Máille's course have been as young as 18 and as old as 64. Most are lonely single men; others have been sent along with their girlfriends or wives. Some have been badly hurt by previous relationships; more still are interested in particular women but don't know how to approach them. Then there are the high-powered, BMW-driving types who have spent the first 30 years of their lives focusing on their careers, to the detriment of their love lives.
One of Ó Máille's first tasks is to teach them to be more confident and to regard women as equals, steering them away from sex and more towards sexuality. "Being sexual does not necessarily mean having sex. Women know this, but guys don't. Once a guy's fuse is lit he has to go the whole way."
Ó Máille's definition of seduction is "connecting with somebody in a different way to everybody else and acknowledging your sexuality".
When a woman is worried or concerned about something, a man will usually try to fix the problem. Most of the time all she wants is somebody to be understanding. This is one of many scenarios that can result in rows. "Guys have an overdeveloped sense of responsibility about caring for women. If a woman gives them information they feel they have to do something with it, when all she wants is for him to listen and be there for her."
Even though many men have much to learn about women, says Ó Máille, women can also learn more about men. They are also more willing than men to learn about the opposite sex, he says: a lot of women have expressed interest in the course. Now a female colleague is looking at setting one up from women's perspective.
"I always knew that there was a breakdown in communication between men and women, and to be honest I blamed women for not being more direct and to the point. Now I think it's not so much a blame thing as just a difference. So rather than resentfully expecting women to be different than they are, I decided I would go halfway, and that leaves room for women to go halfway."
For more details about Seán Ó Máille's next course, which will run two hours a night, for two nights a week, over 10 weeks, call 091-566879. The course fee is €250
Martin, who is 40, was in a relationship until about five months ago. When he saw an advertisement for Sean O'Máille's course in a local newspaper he decided the best attitude was "nothing ventured, nothing gained".
"I have learned so much about how women think and how different they are to fellas," he says. "Fellas shoot from the hip, but women like a more softly-softly approach."
Martin, who lives in Salthill, Galway, is halfway through the course, which he hopes will lead to a successful relationship. He hasn't socialised very much since he started the course, but he plans to try out the techniques he has learned over the Christmas party season.
"Last weekend I went out with friends to a nightclub. In the pub beforehand a group of girls were drinking back slammers, and you would have been very lucky to find a sober woman to talk to in the club. Pubs are OK, but nightclubs are definitely not the place to meet someone."
Gary, who is in his late 30s and from rural Galway, has been pleasantly surprised by the course.
"It gives you an insight into the whole understanding of women. The reality is that women act and think different to men," he says.
Gary, who lacked confidence before he started the course, says he had been taking the wrong approach to women."There's a huge lack of self-confidence in men in general when it comes to approaching women. If nothing else this course is a huge confidence booster, and I now understand women a lot better."
Single women's habit of going out in groups can make it intimidating for a man to approach a woman he's interested in, says Gary, who adds that some of the communication skills he
has learnt have helped him deal better with people in everyday life, not just women.
"I would like to meet a nice, interesting, genuine woman, but this course teaches you so much about confidence you don't feel the same neediness. If the right person comes along I will now be able to talk to her."