One of the main things that holds guys back in their pursuit of women—whether for a relationship or a short-term fling—is the fear of awkwardness. Indeed, the prospect of being called “creepy”, a word bandied about far too readily these days by women looking to shame and silence guys that they are not attracted to, is terrifying for many men.

In order to get over this fear, it is important to understand that “awkwardness” is simply a social frame and not to buy into it when you are dealing with girls.

What Is Awkwardness?

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A friend of mine who is getting into back game again after a period out of the market recently expressed his fear of “going in for the kill” on a date. Basically, he is nervous about trying to kiss girls. I told him that as the man he needs to lead the interaction towards sex. In almost all circumstances the girl isn’t going to do it, and dominance is the most attractive trait that a guy can demonstrate to a woman.

But what is he really frightened of? After all, the very worst that could happen as a result of going in for an undesired kiss on a date is a slap around the face, but the chances of even that happening are extremely slim. Far more likely is that the girl will simply pull away and make an excuse about not being ready yet.

So, given that physical repercussions are unlikely, what’s the problem? The answer, of course, is awkwardness. What my friend doesn’t want to face is the aftermath of a failed kiss that produces significant embarrassment. He wonders what he will say and how he will regain his composure after such a crushing occurrence.

But it is this very fear of awkwardness that will cause him to be reticent, ironically making him less attractive to the girl. In the world of dating (as well as the worlds of business, sports, and artistic endeavours) boldness will take you much further than holding back.

Of course, I’m not saying that one should blithely disregard all social conventions in the pursuit of one’s personal goals (although actually that wouldn’t be a bad idea). What I am saying, though, is that you should recognize that awkwardness or creepiness are not real or tangible, but are simply the manifestation of a frame that is stronger than your own—the girl’s.

Once you get this concept down then awkwardness is a lot easier to deal with.

How To Not Be “Creepy”

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The way to not be creepy, then, is to understand that awkwardness is a frame set by someone else and to refuse to buy into it. Obviously this is easier said than done, but bear with me while I explain what I mean.

Back in October I wrote an article about how to make out with girls that included the following paragraphs:

What to do if you “get the cheek”? As discussed, in many cases, especially if you’ve gone in early, she will reject your first attempts by turning her head away when you try to kiss her. Many men are so horrified by this eventuality that they are scared even to make an attempt, but you shouldn’t be. Instead, just realise that it happens to everyone and that it’s part of the process.

Smirk, pull back, talk about neutral topics and then try again a little later. Sometimes it takes four or even five attempts before your kiss will be reciprocated – that’s absolutely fine, unless of course she is very angrily telling you to back off, in which case things have gone irrevocably wrong and you should apologize and leave immediately. But if she’s still sitting there then you can be confident that she’s interested and that it’s your job to persist.

Competing Frames

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When I’m on a first date with a girl, I will often try to kiss her within the first fifteen or twenty minutes. Frequently this initial kiss will be rejected. In these cases, the girl’s frame will be something like: “I just came out for a nice drink and to get to know you and you are violating social convention by trying to kiss me before we know each other well.”

And that’s absolutely fine. But my frame is different and goes like this: “I am a man and you are a woman. I am attracted to you and that is entirely normal. We are on a date together, and so what could be more natural than that I kiss you?”

Now, as we all know, in any given social interaction whoever has the strongest frame usually wins. And my frame in this context is now rock solid through practice. So if a girl attempts to shame me or to otherwise imply that my behaviour was in any way over the top or inappropriate, I simply front it out. “You’re cute—of course I’m going to try to kiss you. Who wouldn’t?”

The same goes for when I cold approach. If a girl asks me whether I’m hitting on her when I go up to talk to her, I simply say that I am. Why say anything else?

Own Your Actions

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What this all comes down to is owning one’s actions. If secretly you think there’s something wrong with trying to kiss a girl on a date—or more likely, that you feel deep down that you’re not good enough for her—then of course this is going to be telegraphed in your demeanour. Or if, under whatever bravado you’ve mustered up, you think approaching girls cold is weird, inappropriate, or that you are simply not hot enough then this will also be conveyed in even your tiniest actions.

It is far better to walk out into the world entirely confident in the actions that you take. Those with a strong frame are simply less likely to receive negative feedback about their behaviour. Just think of the school jock who goofs around with the girls and gets away with all kinds of things that betas would be shamed for. Without a doubt, he is afforded a license to pull crazy stunts largely because he doesn’t see anything wrong in doing so.

You must be the same. Next time you feel awkward, or a girl accuses you of being creepy, remember that awkwardness and creepiness are not reality, but rather a frame that has been imposed on you by someone else. Refuse to recognize it, and as if by magic it will melt away.

Read more: How To Make Out With a Girl Without Getting The Cheek