Josh Sway is every man's source for dating, relationships, self-improvement, and more.

About Trent Van James

Trent Van James

While I didn't have the same kind of self-improvement journey that Josh Sway did, I had a much more insidious problem.  A problem you're probably familiar with. I was a Nice Guy™. When I was in high school, this didn't seem to be too much of a problem.  I had lots of female friends.  I didn't have problems going out with girls or finding a date for any school dances.  I even had a long-term girlfriend.  I was considerate, I always put her needs first, and I spent every moment I could trying to make her happy. I wasn't aware of the advice that guys like Josh give, but if I was I would have scoffed at it.  I didn't think I had any need for any of this "theory of attraction" stuff.  Just treat girls nicely, make them happy, and they'll reciprocate.  What's so hard about that? That entire line of thinking disintegrated a little after I turned 19.  My girlfriend and I broke up and I remember feeling so utterly... terrified.  For over a year, the only goal I had was doing everything I could to make her happy.  I had completely neglected thinking about anything else: school, fitness, hobbies, and pretty much all of my friends.  The entire foundation of my life had revolved around this one girl, and now I felt this giant chasm had opened up in that foundation, and I was pretty much destined to fall endlessly in a pit of despair.  Luckily, even though I had essentially abandoned my friends, they never abandoned me.  They helped me find my footing, rebuild my foundation, and I regained my "old self" again.  Sure, I had to put up with their jokes about how "whipped" I was, but it was well worth it. Okay, so I had learned once you were involved with a girl, it was to important to continue to value yourself.  A guy who endlessly put his girlfriend's needs above his meant he didn't value himself, so why would his girlfriend value him if he didn't?  All right, lesson learned.  At that point I thought I had it all figured out. Except, I didn't, because I was still a Nice Guy™. As I entered my early twenties, I noticed the same pattern now seemed to happen with all the girls I met.  I'd go out with my friends and meet a girl.  I'd take them out, we'd have a good time, but then they'd tell me they weren't interested in me "that way."  They said I was a great guy, I was 'cute' and 'smart' and 'funny.'  They said "you're like the guy every girl wants to marry," but they just "weren't ready to get serious."  Usually the phrase "it's not you, it's me" came up.  And of course, they wanted to "be friends."  They always wanted to be friends. At first I wasn't too upset about this, and sometimes even took it as a compliment.  Friends!  Who wouldn't want to be friends?  Of course we can be friends! I'm sure you can see where this is going.  I ended up with a lot of platonic female friends.  When they needed notes from a class they missed, they came to me.  When they needed help moving, they came to me.  When they had a problem with another guy, they came to me.  But hey, we were friends.  Friends help each other out, right? That was around the time I met Josh, and eventually he pulled me aside and asked me why I kept doing all these favors for girls that I had never, and would never, be romantically involved with. So I said: "Well, they're good friends.  They help me out too." And Josh replied: "How?  Seriously, for as long as we've been friends, I have never seen them do a single favor for you.  You always put them first.  This is identical to your relationship with your high school girlfriend, except it's now multiple girls sucking up your time." And then, just to twist the knife: "And at least your high school girlfriend put out occasionally!" Finally, the coup de grace: "When are you going to realize that no female is ever going to find your behavior attractive?" It was an eye-opener, because he was exactly right.  I wasn't getting anything out of these 'friendships.'  And the way I acted towards girls was just setting me up for more of the same.  My assumption of attraction didn't go any further than "be yourself and be nice to girls and they'll like you," which I now realized was hopelessly naive. This is when Josh introduced me to all that he teaches on now, and it's literally transformed my life.  I went from being a typical AFC to dating way more girls, with a lot less effort, with a lot more reward.  Even better, everything Josh teaches isn't based on deception or manipulation.  I realized it was stupid being a nice guy, but I still wanted to be a good person.  Nothing I learned from Josh ever contradicted that. This is why the basis of everything I write about revolves around courtship, relationships, and psychology in general.  Some guys have trouble meeting and approaching girls, but that wasn't really my weakness.  It was everything that happens afterwards in the process, because attraction doesn't start and end with the initial introduction, as much as bad cologne commercials would have you think. What attracts two people to each other after that initial 'spark,' and how does a guy continue to build that attraction?  How does he identify and develop that attraction, so he doesn't waste his time on a woman who has long since dismissed him as a romantic suitor?  And how does a guy separate what a woman says she wants, from what will actually attract her?  These are the kinds of questions I'll be discussing and theorizing upon in my articles.  I hope you enjoy them. Be seeing you, -TVJ