Improve Your Value on the Dating Market

Let's face it, dating in the modern era is very difficult as a guy. Even more difficult if you're an Asian guy since the traits required to do well tend to go counter against East Asian culture (keep head down, don't brag, work in silent). Fortunately, there's actually a way to improve your dating life and it's rooted in your value on the dating market aka your Dating Market Value.
Josh Chang (Author)
Published on April 23rd, 2024

As someone who was single for four years, went on upwards of 100 dates in four different cities, and faced a lot of rejection before eventually finding a girlfriend, something I've learned is that dating is a marketplace.

With any marketplace, there's two sides and in this case:

Now why is this the case? Well generally, girls are more selective with how they swipe on these dating apps because they have a lot more options so they essentially dictate whether the match is going to get made... the only exception is for top 20% guys who also have options (albeit not as many as a typical girl). There's a reason why with dating apps such as Tinder, Hinge, Bumble, the top 20% of guys get the most of the results.

This means that in most cases, girls have the "buying power" in dating, in other words, they determine whether the initial date happens. The onus is on the guy or "seller" to present themselves in as good of a light as possible and also deliver on the dates (to get past the first date).

You might be thinking "damn if I'm in the bottom 80% then I'm facked..." and that's true! Lol just kidding, it's only true if you don't take action to optimize yourself, specifically optimize your Dating Market Value.

What exactly is your Dating Market Value? Put simply, it's how "valuable" you are on the dating market as a potential boyfriend. In general, most girls are looking to date more seriously and I actually think a lot of guys just want to get a girlfriend so naturally, girls will want to go on dates with guys that have a higher chance of becoming their boyfriend (aka guys with higher Dating Market Values).

Your Dating Market Value is comprised of a few critical elements:


Your looks are arguably the most important part of the Dating Market Value equation because at the end of the day, you could be the most successful, nicest, coolest guy in the world, but if a girl doesn't find you attractive, then there's very little chance she will date you (unless she has ulterior motives... aka is a gold digger).

The way I see looks is that most girls have a minimum threshold of attraction, so as long as you meet that, then you're gucci. You can view it as a binary variable of 1 or 0.

Where this binary variable sits is completely dependent on the girl, some girls might only find guys who are 6 / 10 attractive, others 8 / 10. Every girl's "10-point" scale of attraction is different, some girls might love Asian guys, others might not like Asian guys (aka "Lus").

Your looks are comprised of:

The best way to optimize this part of the equation is to

  1. Build muscle (then get lean)
  2. Stay lower body fat % (12-15% body fat)
  3. Keep clear skin (no acne)
  4. Get a haircut that suits your face shape / style
  5. Revamp your style to fit your body shape / personality
  6. Shower and wear deodarant / cologne


Next up, verbals. Your verbals basically refers to your communitaion skills and vibe. Your looks might get your foot in the door with a girl and land you that first date, but getting a second date and beyond is highly dependent on your verbals, how good you are at talking, how's your vibe, and whether a girl finds you charismatic or likeble.

This aspect of the equation is honestly less straightforward than looks because there's really no clear cut path for improvement since there's a lot more variability in terms of what people need to work on but in general, you want to focus on these things:

You want to be likable, socially aware, confident in yourself, and have knowledge a wide breadth of topics and be quick-witted so that you can maintain conversation effortlessly.

The best ways to improve this are:


The next component of your dating market value is your status, which is essentially how "high value" you seem. Now I hate the word "high value" because it's cringey but it's the most succint to describe status and status can be broken down into

At a fundamental level, status is derived from power, authority, and social approval. Back in the day when humans lived in villages, the person with the most power or authority was perceived to be high status and respected; whereas, the people who no one respected or cared about were low status.

Status is actually heavily reliant on PERCEPTION, specifically how OTHERS perceive YOU so things such as social proof which is basically approval from other people.

What this means is that some people can fabricate or fake status (think people who flex super nice things but they don’t actually own it). But in this course, we’re going to focus on authentic ways of status building because ultimately when you’re trying to get a girlfriend, authenticity is key since you can only trick a girl for so long (think like pick up artists) but for long-term relationships, lying and being inauthentic is NOT the move.

The ways to improve each component of status are

Inner Game

Now that last and final component of your Dating Market Value is inner game. Now this is actually a hidden aspect because  outwardly people don’t see if the same way they see looks, verbals, status). But I'd argue inner game is one of the most important aspects of your Dating Market Value because it's effectively your relationship with yourself.

I actually find that a lot of Asian guys struggle with their inner game as they tend be too neurotic, overthinkers, and generally lack self-confidence with dating and girls due to lack of successful reference experiences and positive Asian role models.

I know I was this way myself until around three years ago when I personally took a dating program to overcome my approach anxiety. I learned from this experience that approach anxiety or inner game problems stem from the singular root cause which is: you don’t think you’re good enough.

This makes sense since in Asian culture, you’re told to strive for a 4.0 and if you get a 3.7 it’s not good enough or even with girls, you’re not really encouraged to date girls and handle the dating aspect of your life.

To be honest, it’s actually really difficult for Asian guys to learn and know how to date if they don’t grow up with a positive Asian masculine figure or have Asian friends who can mentor them and show them the ropes.

What this develops into is a weak inner game which surfaces as the following symptoms:

Now how exactly does one improve their inner game? Well the truth of the matter is, you need positive reference experiences aka real-world wins.

Truth be told, you can only develop strong inner game from taking action and getting positive reference experiences where you have visible proof that YES you are attractive or that you ARE capable of getting the girls of your dream.

That’s actually why I encourage guys to go through a “pick up” phase where they try to practice talking to girls so that they can develop these positive reference experiences to really show themselves that YES you area an attractive guy that is capable of attracting the girl of his dreams.

Now notice my emphasize on PHASE because you don’t want to stay stuck in this “pick up” phase for too long or else it backfires to the point where you become hyper fixated on your lay count or getting laid, you start objectifying women, and overall your whole life purpose becomes getting girls. Not only is this a waste of time, but if your goal was to get a girlfriend, then you’re going counter to your girl. Not to mention pick up artists are absolutely repellents to normal people.

If you are going through your OWN pick up phase, treat it like fight club, the number one rule of fight club is to not talk about fight club

Same thing with pick up, only talk about that stuff with other people who are also in the know but absolutely avoid AT ALL COSTS bringing this topic up with regular people.


So there you have it, if you're struggling in your dating life then I'd encourage you to take action to optimize your Dating Market Value. If you need any help, be sure to checkout my website where I offer online coaching and in-person retreats to help guys level up their Dating Market Value and improve their dating life.

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