If I Only Had One Piece of Advice for Single Men…


It would be to understand the disease of “Oneitis” and go through the steps to cure it.

What is Oneitis?

Oneitis, as some dating coaches have called it, is the tendency for single men to fall head over heels with a woman without first prequalifying her and securing exclusivity.

It comes from the root word “one” as in a guy is obsessed about one girl. He likes one girl too much and usually for no good reason except she’s cute! This causes the guy to not be his best self, which is his authentic self, and in turn makes him too needy. He is basically idolizing her.

It is the nice guy disease. Simply put, it is liking one girl WAYYYY toooo much, before you get to know her or before you become an item.

Men with oneitis give off a needy, desperate vibe. Oneitis makes a man unnecessarily nervous. You stop being yourself because you like her so much and don’t want to risk losing her. You stop taking risks because you don’t want to risk losing her. The problem is you should be taking more risks.

You have to nip oneitis in the bud ASAP, as it will GREATLY inhibit your ability to attract a woman.

My brother had oneitis in college. He would think about a girl a lot. In his mind he thought how much he liked her would be directly proportional to how much she would like him back. The thing is, thinking about a girl so much won’t bring you more success. It will actually hinder your success… Only action and pursuit will bring you success.

The Rule of Sequence


You see, life has a way of making things easy or difficult for you based on if you follow what I call, The Rule of Sequence.

For example, a woman who follows the ideal “First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes the baby in the baby carriage,” will probably run into less drama, less risk, and greater happiness and security than if she were to change the sequence of events. If she were to do baby then marriage and then expect for love to fall right into place, there’s just no guarantee that it will.

The Rule of Sequence as applied to dating scenarios ideally goes in this order:

First comes attraction, then comes prequalifying, then comes exclusivity, then comes love.

This ideal scenario and sequence of events looks like this:

1. A man finds a woman attractive.

He doesn’t start liking her or obsessing over her or assuming she is an amazing person just because she’s beautiful. He has yet to find that out, so he’s not really that nervous. He doesn’t have much to lose if she rejects him because he doesn’t even know anything about her except that she’s good looking. He understands that attraction is not all there is in having a great woman. She has to be honest and have integrity, she has to be warm and tender, she has to be unselfish and think of others and not just herself. Those are just some things he’s looking for.

2. A man sets out to prequalify the woman.

So, instead of missing his opportunity to get the ball rolling, instead of going home and deliberating his plan of action or talking to all his buddies about this hot new girl, he doesn’t waste any time thinking about her. He goes straight into action. He does this because he doesn’t want to psyche himself out. He’s just going to approach her. So he approaches her and is able to be himself because he’s not begging for her attention. This next phase, the “prequalifying” phase is important to him because without her meeting these other qualities, she loses her attractiveness. This is how the conversation goes:

“Hi, I’m Zach, what’s your name?”

“Cynthia,” she says.

“That’s a beautiful name. Mind if I join you?”

“Sure.” (no enthusiasm)

“Can I buy you a drink?”

“Yeah, why not.”

“I’ve never seen you here before. Believe me, if I had seen you before, I would’ve remembered… AND this wouldn’t have been our first meeting.”

She smiles.

“So, what do you do?”

“I’m a real estate attorney….”

You see, Zach’s conversation flows, he’s talking to her like you would talk to a stranger at a party. He’ll throw in a couple compliments to make sure she knows he’s interested in her romantically if the appraoch and the asking to buy her a drink don’t spell it out. Other than that, he’s just getting to know her like a new buddy you’d meet at a party. Trying to find connections. Trying to see where the mutual interests lie. He’s comfortable. He’s not going to ask her out if he senses any red flags. He’s discerning. He’s using this time, not to convince her of anything just yet, as he’s not convinced yet himself. He is using this valuable time to “prequalify,” or basically get to know her just a little bit to see if he wants to take her out on a date.

This is the step most guys miss or wait too long to do (the longer they wait, the more nervous they will be)

3. A man sets out to date her exclusively.

Once Zach has the feeling that this woman is not only beautiful but there are no red flags and he still wants to get to know her more, Zach will take her out on several dates. After several dates, if Zach feels like he only wants to see her and doesn’t want her to see anyone else as well, he will bring up exclusivity, saying,

“Cynthia. I really enjoy your company and I want to take it to the next step. I don’t want to see anybody else. I just want to be with you.”

He doesn’t ask her. He just states his desire and waits for her reaction. This is a man who knows what he wants and isn’t afraid to state it.

4. A man is free to be obsessed and fall in love.

After a man has secured exclusivity, then and only then does he actually “fall in love” with her. Then and only then does he verbalize his love. Why fall in love with someone who isn’t committed to only see you? That doesn’t make any sense. Sure, he likes her a lot, but he’s withholding all that really mushy, gushy, sappy stuff until he has the safety net of exclusivity. He doesn’t tell her he’s “crazy about her” on their third date. He doesn’t want to scare her off. If she agrees she wants to be exclusive, that means she’s ready to hear the sappy stuff. She’s ready for you to let out all your obsessive feelings for her. But until then, a man shouldn’t fall in love with a woman… or if he is falling in love with her, he shouldn’t verbalize it until he has secured exclusivity.

What Happens When You Don’t Follow the Rule of Sequence

Instead of following this ideal sequence of dating rituals, many men with oneitis find themselves doing it out of order. They do attraction and then fall right into love… It ends there for many guys. If it goes any further, they do exclusivity, then maybe they qualify once they are already in a relationship. You’ll find guys in relationships who’ve done it in this order thinking, How did I end up with this crazy bitch? And the answer to that is because you weren’t discerning when you were trying to pursue her. You were too busy trying to convince her to be with you that you forgot to evaluate if she was actually a good person.

What a Guy with Oneitis Does

Here’s how it happens. A guy sees a hot girl, and the minute he sees her, he is mystified and starts thinking things like, Omg, she is my dream girl! He watches her from a far, taking note of her every little cute movement and has convinced himself that he must have her. Weeks have probably gone by where all he does is think about her and think about what he should say; he wonders what kinds of things she does after work, and basically, before he even has a chance to meet her, he is already obsessed and putting all his eggs in this one basket. By the time he actually makes “the move,” he has built her up so big in his mind that he’s bound to be nervous and insecure. He is bracing himself for this BIG POSSIBLE REJECTION, that because of the big build up, is going to feel like a UFC fighter knocked him in the jaw…

{4} With Every Breath I Kill You

And ultimately, that’s usually what happens. He goes up to her and is all a bundle of nerves and she’s thinking, What’s this guy’s deal? He’s a bit strange.

Or, oneitis can happen to a guy who is attracted to a girl but instead of pursuing her right away, he lands himself in the friend zone. That happens to Tom in 500 Days of Summer.

If you want to see a guy who clearly has oneitis, watch that movie.

What a Guy Without Oneitis Does

Wes Colquhoun and Fred Phair talking to the girls at the ball in the Soldier's Memorial Hall, Drouin, Victoria

The guy who doesn’t have oneitis is the guy who gets the girls. Here’s how he does it:

Hmm, there’s a hot chick. I’ll go talk to her. As they’re talking, he realizes, Wow, she’s really into herself. Then she taps her friend next to her, points to a woman across the room and they start gossiping. At that point he’s thinking, And she’s really catty. Not cute. Finally someone says something and she starts talking about her ex in gory detail. That’s the last straw for this guy. He’s outta there. He realizes Wow, and she’s kinda jaded and bitter about her ex.

You see, he follows the Rule of Sequence. He is attracted to a woman, but instead of holding back and falling in love with her from afar, he actually makes a move right then and there. He doesn’t go home and plan his course of action. He doesn’t talk to his buddies about her or try to psychoanalyze her from a far. This is because he understands attraction is just attraction. He needs and wants more than just a pretty face. So he approaches her.

He approaches her, not to beg her to go out with him, but to get to know if there’s more to this woman than just a pretty face.

This is what I mean by “prequalifying.” She doesn’t automatically get the green light just because she’s beautiful.

Instead of just accepting her just because she’s beautiful, he talks to her and tries to get to know her. As he’s interacting with her, he’s being discerning, watching out for red flags, getting to know if this woman is as beautiful inside as she is on the outside.

At this point there is no “love,” no “obsession,” because the woman has yet to prove that she is a good catch. Why waste any time giving her space in his mind or his heart if she’s not even worthy of being there?

All the while, the woman he is interested in senses this vibe that she’s not just getting by on her good looks. She also senses that this man is in it for more than just her beauty. This intrigues her. He appears confident because he’s not begging for her attention. He gets extra points for being inquisitive and attentive. All around everyone wins.

Okay, are you convinced that oneitis is bad news??? Below are 10 signs that you have this disease.

10 Signs You Have Oneitis

  1. You worry too much about what that hot chick will think of you.
  2. You come across as nervous, needy, or clingy.
  3. In your mind your thought process is, If I don’t have her, then my whole world will crash down.
  4. You have an unhealthy romantic fixation, obsession with a woman you are not in a relationship with yet.
  5. You “like” her before you even get to know her. Women sense your “need” for them more than your “desire.”
  6. You think about her more than you actually talk to her.
  7. You talk to your friends about her more than you actually talk to her.
  8. You forget to actually do the “prequalifying” stage. It’s just attraction… then love. You put too much weight on attraction.
  9. You meet a hot girl and automatically become intimidated by her beauty.
  10. You’ve dated women just because they were beautiful even if they treated you terribly.

Remember guys, beauty is just beauty. That’s all it is. Some women are born with it naturally, some work hard at it. All women know that it is powerful. I remember one guy saying, “Why are all hot women bitches?” Maybe there wouldn’t be so many hot bitches if guys spent more time prequalifying women instead of automatically deeming them valuable and worthy of their attention merely because of their looks.

My next post will deal with the “cure.” Hurrah! There’s a remedy for this disease! Subscribe for free to get notification whenever I publish that post.

Men, do you identify with these symptoms? Women, have you ever had experience with a man who had oneitis? What was your reaction?

If you want private, personal advice on your specific situation, I offer email and phone consultations. Click here to learn more.

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Article written by:

I love thinking about the intricacies of dating, love and life. I share my tiny lessons in the hope that it helps you as you navigate the dating world.

Join the discussion

  1. Marko

    Nice article Midori! It’s definately not gender specific but I do think most men can say that they have had “oneitis” at least once in their life.

    It made me think of a TED presentation I saw online late last year by Philip Zimbardo. You may have seen it but I thought I would share just in case you haven’t. It’s not about “oneitis” but rather a related theory about how a lot of males are losing their ability to relate to real intimacy and relationships mostly from being plugged into fantasy land aka the internet (porn, video games). I tend to agree.

  2. Marko

    Your welcome Midori! 🙂

    The video actually made me find out more about the presenter Philip Zimbardo. He was a former professor at Stanford University and is well known for a research study performed in the 70s called the “Stanford Prison Study”. The study crossed ethical boundaries and was actually put to a hault (actually by a friend of his who later would become his wife).

    In saying that I happened to notice another powerful video on YouTube from TEDpresentations that Zimbardo did as well, titled – “Why ordinary people do evil….or do good”

    It’s based on one of his literary work called “The Lucifer effect”.

    You really should check out that video presentation too, I won’t leave the link here since it might not be something everyone would be interested in seeing (NSFW). It’s unrelated to this article you’ve done but I know from previous entries you’ve made your a person of faith and seem to have a passion for knowledge (like myself) I imagine you would find it very interesting.

    ** you don’t have to post this comment or approve it since it’s not related to the
    main article…don’t worry I won’t be offended haha 😉 ***

  3. Viviany

    I thought I’d have to read a book for a dircvoesy like this!

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