So I was a little worried your post would end up getting axed as off-topic or troll-like, and I thought it would be useful to have a separate thread. Suggesting dating is a “no-win scenario” in a post about how some men use sleazy tactics to pick up women is going to rub a lot of people the wrong way. The men being discusses are creeps, and so when you see a negative response to that as limiting your behaviour, it makes it seem like you are identifying with the creeps or defending them.
I don’t think that’s your intent, though. I remember thinking, “I can’t date women because I don’t know how to not be a creep.” It’s not an unreasonable thing to think, I don’t think, when men are often portrayed as creeps in media (and I don’t mean that bad feminists say bad things about men; I mean that for sensitive people it’s pretty obvious that a lot of protagonist men we are supposed to like are jerks/assholes/creeps - actual role models are creeps). Our cultural depictions of relationships are really messed up.
But I have constructive dating advice, and I want to share it. I don’t know how old you are or what kind of relationship you are seeking, so some of this may or may not apply.
I never dated anyone until I was in my late 20s. I had relationships before then, they were with people I spent time with because of school or other activities that developed. When I was out of school I found my friend circle narrowing and didn’t really know how to meet new people. I went to a wedding of some people who met online and decided to give that a try.
I think the most important thing I learned by dating was that it takes practice. Just like anything else, it’s okay to practice and it’s okay to fail. I’ve heard pick-up artists talk about picking women up as a numbers game. It all sounds very demeaning coming from them (because they trade in demeaning women) but it’s an important perspective, too. Whether you are a sleazy con artists or a well intentioned person seeking love or friends, it will work out with some people and not with others. Maybe you’ll go out with someone who you could have married and spent the rest of your life happy with if only you hadn’t said the wrong thing at the wrong moment. That’s okay, just keep getting better, you will meet more people you get along with.
If you feel very concerned about approaching women in public, I’d say just don’t do it. Honestly I don’t think I ever would. Doing that well requires a skill set that most people just aren’t ever going to have. One of the great things about dating sites if that you know people are okay with being approached on them. And then if you do go out you know that both of your are there to determine whether you want a relationship, so you don’t have to worry about awkwardly blurring friend/romantic partner boundaries - either the romance thing works out or you just move on.