If you're a normal guy with a normal, healthy interest in the opposite sex, these days you get bombarded with all kinds of bad advice. So do women, by the way. There are three very vocal and well-financed interest groups who want to undermine strong and vibrant relationships:
1. The Feminists, because they hate men.
2. The Red Pills, because they hate women.
3. The Gay Mafia, because they hate heterosexuals.
Needless to say, no one is going to get good advice from haters. A great example appeared on a Manosphere blog called Amerika, which is run by a jughead named Brett Stephens. Stephens penned an article called How To Screw Up Your Life, Part 1: Dating.
Here is how he defines dating: "Dating, in biological terms, refers to having temporary monogamous relationships with multiple partners. Best understood as a form of casual sex, it reverses the marriage contract: whereas in marriage you first make a lifetime commitment, then receive companionship including sexual relationships; with dating you reverse the process. This means that those who are dating have no binding relationship to each other, which means that both parties are aware of what they might have instead and are open to better offers."
If this is how the Red Pills actually understand dating, it's no wonder that they are such hopeless losers with the opposite sex. Everything in the above paragraph is wrong.
For one thing, dating is a process that is potentially leading to monogamy. Secondly, it is not "best understood as casual sex." One of our greatest cultural myths is that sex=love. Typically women are susceptible to this myth, but apparently Stephens is too. Thirdly, dating has nothing whatsoever to do with the Marriage Contract. What Stevens seems to be implying here is that dating is useless unless it guarantees an exclusive commitment; and that is achieved by sex.
The logical extension of this argument is that holding a relationship together by force is permissible. And, not surprisingly, Stevens is also a rape apologist. Really there is little more need be said about him; his premises are false and thus conclusions drawn from them are false too.
The reason that so many men fail at dating today is because they go about it the wrong way. What most men fail to do is learn anything about their intended before going out with her. Feminism has thrown a damper on that by comparing it to stalking; hence a lot of men are afraid to research a girl before approaching. Thus, with no knowledge of what he's getting into, a date is a dice-roll, that usually loses.
Online dating is the same. Most men try and arrange a meeting based off a few pictures and a sparse profile. Take your time and find out what you're getting into first. A relationship isn't 'luck' or 'technique'; it's common sense and human empathy. But common sense and human empathy don't sell self-help books, get academic credentials, or internet 'hits'. It will though, in most cases, get you a good relationship.
As for Brett Stephens, don't be THAT guy. Like most Red Pills, he's another loser with a big mouth and nothing to show for it.