Why Do Men Not Want to Understand Women?

There’s an entire self-help world built on women looking in the mirror, taking responsibility and earnestly trying to understand what men are thinking. Men, on the other hand, remain somewhere between clueless and indifferent. Why? And what do we do in a world where only half the population wants to understand the other half?

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Comments:

  1. 1
    Jeremy

    I mostly agree with what you said, Evan, but wanted to add 2 points.  First, when men DO seek advice, the advice out there for us generally sucks.  Sometimes it fails to answer the questions we are asking (like how to generate arousal in women) and instead substitutes questions we did not ask (like how to make a woman who is already aroused by us more comfortable).  And other times it does try to answer our questions but is so biased and slanted to women’s perspectives that it is of limited value.  For example, John Gottman’s book “The Seven Predictors Of Divorce” is mainly advice for men.  His research shows men exactly how to prevent divorce and reads like a manual of how to be totally whipped by your wife and basically do whatever she says.  That’s not an exaggeration – seriously, read it!  What Gottman fails to acknowledge is the bias in his question – “how to prevent divorce.”  Given that divorce is overwhelmingly initiated by women, you prevent divorce by giving women what they want.  But the question men are asking is not “how to prevent divorce,” but rather how they can be happy in relationships.  Different question, different advice – and no acknowledgment of that.  Therefore, shitty advice.

     

    And my second point is that while women do seek advice on how to better understand men, they tend not to seek advice on something even more important – how to understand themselves.  Seriously, how many women believe their emotional states to be fluid and unknowable?  “Dear Evan, I have a great boyfriend who is kind and loving and everything I’ve ever wanted….so why am I not attracted to him?”  Answer – because, the problem isn’t that you don’t understand men, it’s that you have not a single clue of what you even want.  God, Evan, doesn’t it sometimes make you want to bang your head against the wall?   I’ve read so many of the self-help books for women…telling women to set boundaries, choose better men, etc, etc – how many of them tell women that before they even think of getting into a relationship, they should understand the difference between comfort and arousal and what sort of mix they need?  I know you write about that, Evan, but most do not.  Introspection before extrospection.

    1. 1.1
      Karl R

      I agree with Jeremy that most information for men sucks.  I remember being repeatedly given the advice, “Just  be yourself.  You’re going to meet someone who loves you for being exactly the way you are.”

      If that advice worked, nobody would need dating advice.  It was given (primarily by women) as an idealized view of what dating should be.  Not as advice that actually worked in reality.

      And if there’s one thing that I learned to trust even less than that advice, it was explanations of what was going on in women’s minds.  Most explanations of what women thought, felt, and wanted were contradicted by observable reality (at least on the sweeping generalization level).  It may be the result of women not knowing what they think, feel and want (as Jeremy hypothesizes), or it may be a general unwillingness to tell the unvarnished truth.

       

      Results oriented:

      What’s the difference between correct and incorrect advice?  Good advice will produce observable/measurable results.

      I suspect that many men gravitate toward pickup artist advice because they see it as being “the truth” without the “bullshit” that men are normally told.  And it will provide noticeably better results than what most of these men were previously seeing … reinforcing the belief that it’s true.

      The results matter, because they demonstrate the advice is accurate (or more accurate than not).

       

      Truth matters:

      If we want to understand our world, then the truth matters.  I read Scientific American, because I enjoy understanding the world around me.  But equally importantly, I trust it to be accurate the vast majority of the time.  I wouldn’t read it if there was only a 50% chance of it being right.

      Similarly, I don’t see a reason to read something that explains women, if there’s only a 50% chance that it’s accurate.  Maybe this has changed over the years, but my expectation of a dating advice book would have been severely jaded by the time I reached college.

       

      Evan,

      You provide accurate advice.  The PUA types seem to be more accurate than not, but their advice was targeted at a different goal than what I wanted.  But I can understand any man who wants to avoid a self help book that’s equal parts fact and fiction.

      1. 1.1.1
        S.

        Hi Karl,

        It may be the result of women not knowing what they think, feel and want (as Jeremy hypothesizes), or it may be a general unwillingness to tell the unvarnished truth.

        It may be the latter.  As said in other threads, women aren’t as rewarded for speaking unvarnished truths.  And it may be a bit masculine, depending on how she phrases it. So . . . it’s a fine line.

        I happen to know what I want, but just cause I want it doesn’t make it possible. 🙂 Women do tend to be more introspective.  Sometimes we just want what we can’t have.   I don’t mean hot men, I mean equal parts comfort and arousal, as Jeremy would put it.  Evan once wrote that men don’t go both ways and I very, very, very reluctantly agree with him.  Very reluctantly.

        Or even the man that Evan describes at the end of this podcast.  You may know 100% that you want that type of man but it may take ten years to find the right one of him.

        Some of my friends when they were younger really didn’t know themselves well. I know because I called them on it all the time.  That’s why dating people, men or women, in their 20s is tricky. But by the 40s most women I know have figured themselves out or are at least in therapy or something to figure it out.

      2. 1.1.2
        Jeremy

        @Karl, agreed.  Just be yourself is the worst advice ever given to men.  Imagine if that’s what men told women.

         

        @S – Do you really believe that women give bad advice to men because they fear speaking unvarnished truth?  Honestly, I don’t believe that for a second. When a woman wants something, she finds a way to let a man know – directly or indirectly – IME.  I do believe that if my hypothesis of women simply not understanding themselves is false, the most likely alternate explanation is that it is a test.  As Rollo would say on the manosphere, women want men to “just get it.”  They don’t want to have to explain.  Having to explain what they want to a man automatically disqualifies him as a worthwhile partner.  So the advice to “just be yourself” can be seen in this light as a qualification test – be yourself, and let women ascertain that you aren’t worth their time.  I personally prefer to give women the benefit of the doubt that they simply don’t understand themselves rather than believe in the manospherian notion of the advice being a giant “shit test.”

         

        Oh, and one last thing regarding men going “both ways” – men can and do go both ways, but not naturally.  You have the man who is pre-disposed to selfishness who can act selflessly when it suits him, and you can have the man who is predisposed to selflessness who can learn to act selfishly to please women (and oh, the irony in the fact that this so often is necessary, contrary to everything women will tell you).  You can find a man who ACTS both selflessly and selfishly.  Just not a man who IS both naturally.

        1. S.

          I wasn’t originally thinking about women giving advice to men.  I just mean in generally women aren’t used to speaking unvarnished truth.  That will spill into everything.  Sometimes I do speak the straight truth if it’s people whose feelings I don’t care about or will never see again. Sometimes I speak straight truth to those whom I know love me and won’t judge me for it. But generally, I like people to be truthful with me, but gentle. It’s a skill, the truth delivered in a gentle way.  That’s what I strive for.  You can see it how I comment here in this blog. This is how I talk.  Since that’s what I want from others, that’s what I try to give to them.

          No man has ever asked me directly for romantic advice.  The ‘be yourself’ thing is interesting.  It’s advice given to women too.  Some advice-givers will say to a more masculine-acting woman that she has a female side and to access that.  She may not feel that is herself or may not want to access her feminine side.  It’s ineffective, but it is herself.  Personally, I think she should find someone who accepts her as she is, but hey, I’m not a dating coach.

          When I have loved men, and this is rare, I have loved the entire man.  It’s really, really something.  To not want him to change in any way, flaws and all.  So ‘be yourself’ would seem to work, no? He was himself and I loved him.  Easy-peasy.  But not so easy, because we had stuff in common way before I loved him.  It is self-selected when you fall for a friend.  So he ‘was himself’ but it was a self I was pre-disposed to like. (See? I’m very introspective. :-))

          The spirit of the advice is to love someone you don’t want to change and to also find someone who can love you as you are.

          I didn’t understand the ‘shit test’ part of your comment.  I don’t mind explaining to men what I want, but when I do, in clear terms, I can say things usually don’t go well after that.  I’m talking about men I date.  I don’t know why things don’t go well afterward except maybe they can no longer say they don’t know what I want. Or maybe they know they can’t be what I’ve clearly stated I wanted.  I used to think I had said things too directly, but I don’t believe that anymore.  I think men value directness, but are often at a loss when presented with a problem they know they won’t be able to solve.

          You can find a man who ACTS both selflessly and selfishly.  Just not a man who IS both naturally.

          Excellent point. I still want a man who IS both ways naturally. (For me this isn’t about selfishness, it’s about being sensitive to my needs and also assertive enough to get things in life done.)   I just want this, even though I know it’s difficult to find.

          But not impossible. 🙂

        2. Emily, the original

          Jeremy,

          You have the man who is pre-disposed to selfishness who can act selflessly when it suits him, and you can have the man who is predisposed to selflessness who can learn to act selfishly to please women (and oh, the irony in the fact that this so often is necessary, contrary to everything women will tell you).

          I have a male friend who was engaged years ago. His fiancee broke it off and when he asked why, she said, “You never told me no.” She knew she had him wrapped around her finger. No one respects someone who is that desperate for approval.

        3. Karl R

          Jeremy said:

          “Do you really believe that women give bad advice to men because they fear speaking unvarnished truth?”

          “I personally prefer to give women the benefit of the doubt that they simply don’t understand themselves rather than believe in the manospherian notion of the advice being a giant ‘shit test.'”

          Jeremy, you’re thinking of a completely different group of women than S. is.  I can describe to you several different women whom I’ve encountered who would have different reasons to avoid giving the unvarnished truth:

          Woman A (whom I knew as a teenager) had daughters my age.  Her answer might reflect her desire for how boys would act around her daughters … rather than an accurate reflection of what her daughters were attracted to … or what men she was attracted to at their age or hers.

          Woman B (multiple women, from teenage years to middle age) isn’t available.  She fears that her unvarnished true answer might affect how I see her (i.e. as shallow, or un-christian, or naive, etc).

          Woman C (multiple women, similar to Woman B) doesn’t want to see herself as shallow, or un-christian, etc.  So she may not even admit to herself the unvarnished truth of what she wants.  She’ll rationalize her decisions with half-truths.

          Woman D (multiple women, mostly older) is an idealist.  Her advice reflects a bygone era (or religious ideals) … that may have only existed in fiction.

          Woman E (an ex-coworker and friend) isn’t available.  She wouldn’t give her unvarnished true answer, because she’s a people-pleaser and would rather give bad advice than hurt my feelings.  I got a far more accurate view of her her “unvarnished truth” while chatting with her husband.

          Woman F (various women of all ages and circumstances) is advocating for herself.  She’s like the man who gives elaborate explanations why younger women do/should prefer older men … like him.  The advice isn’t in the interest of the recipient, but far more self-serving (even if the advice-giver is never going to date the audience).

          Woman G is giving advice based on her own personal experience … but she’s absolutely convinced that her opinion is a universal truth.

           

          I don’t think any of these women are giving a “shit test”, even if I can easily question the integrity of their advice … or even their broader motives.  That’s what S. was (generally) talking about.

        4. S.

          Karl is right.  We aren’t socialized to be unvarnished.  Girls are supposed to be nice.  Quiet, pretty, agreeable.  That’s what you get rewarded for being as a child.  Not all of us fit that mold, but it’s the message.

          My mother in the late 1940s once got in trouble playing tag with her brother.  She was too little to catch him and said, “When I catch you I’m going to slap the piss out of you!”  Now, you know everyone had to tell my grandmother that when she got home from work.  And no, it wasn’t praised.  That’s just not what little girls are supposed to say even if it’s the unvarnished truth of what we mean!

        5. Jeremy

          Karl, I liked and appreciated this post.  I agree with you about these categories from the perspective of the advice-giver.  But from the perspective of the advice-taker it is, essentially, a test (and I personally prefer the term “fitness test” over “shit test” ).  Because whether or not the reason for the lack of unvarnished truth is idealism, protection of daughters, not wanting to seem shallow, or any of the other reasons you provided (which I agree are plausible), the fact of the matter is that the advice-taker must overcome these falsehoods or else not achieve his goals.  If success depends on overcoming this advice, then regardless of the motivation of the advice-giver it is a fitness test – the definition of which is a test that is passed by ignoring the spoken advice.

        6. Asha

          @Jeremy,

          “So the advice to “just be yourself” can be seen in this light as a qualification test – be yourself, and let women ascertain that you aren’t worth their time.”
          …or ascertain that you ARE worth their time.

          I strongly agree that’s important to “be yourself”. Whether it disqualifies you or not, whether you’re a man or a woman. I’ve gone out with men who seemed great at first, but when I gradually learned who they really are as people, I could see that we were not compatible.  And of course, I felt lied to, and angry that they had wasted my time.

          I’ve always been myself when dating. I don’t want to “cheat” someone out their time and emotional investment by pretending to be someone I’m not. Sure, I’ve been dumped by a fiance when I got sick because he “hadn’t signed on for being with a sick woman”, and I’ve gone out for three years with a man who at first loved my curious mind and imagination, but later told me that he loved me, but I had to stop all that because he couldn’t stand it. I was being myself, he knew who I was from the beginning. Truth be told, although he said he loved me, he actually didn’t LIKE me. He loved the IDEA of who I would be if I just got rid of some of my essential elements. So, perhaps he didn’t understand HIMSELF in terms of what he wanted.

          The “Be yourself” idea can be applied across both genders. It’s a matter of being truthful to yourself and to the other person.Sure, you can be rejected for being yourself, but that’s not a condemnation of you as a human being. It’s simply a way of people to see clearly who will be compatible with them. The alternative is hiding who you are and being dishonest with the other person, and it’s hell for you when you have to suppress your true thoughts and desires (who you really are) all the time. Believe me, I had to do that for 2 decades for survival’s sake, and it eats you up inside.

          “I personally prefer to give women the benefit of the doubt that they simply don’t understand themselves rather than believe in the manospherian notion of the advice being a giant “shit test.””

          You’re right to think it’s not a “shit test”.  But it can be a litmus test of sorts, a way for people of any gender to see who the other person is, and know whether or not that person is compatible with them. If one gets rejected for being themselves, it’s often not a case of the other person not knowing themselves, but rather a case of the other person actually knowing themselves very well, and knowing what they are, and what they are NOT, looking for in a partner.

        7. Nissa

          Asha,

          Really well said.  As a woman, I’ve been told just be yourself many, many times. Most advice givers don’t care enough about us to bear the brunt of our wrath when someone points out our flaws. I’m not surprised that men think women don’t know what they want, because women are telling them I’m not sure or I’m not looking for a relationship right now instead of the truth – there’s something about you that she finds unarousing or unattractive enough to be a deal-breaker.

          I think it’s funny that Jeremy says, imagine if that’s what men told women, Just be yourself. Isn’t, here’s all the ways you can change so that I can be happy way worse? I genuinely love that Jeremy is assuming that men are just accepting women as they are, but that hasn’t been my experience. I have seen tons of women trying to change their husbands, too – not that it works.

          I love selfishness done correctly, because I’ve lived with martyrs – which is just selfishness done wrongly and covertly. Selfishness done right is when they know what they want, they ask for it, and they don’t condemn you if you can’t provide it.

          I agree that many men ‘don’t have to’ understand women, because a lot of women are willing to do the heavy lifting in the relationship. Women are generally more interested in having relationships, and men are more interested in having sex. Since the threshold for sex is lower than the threshold for relationships, it’s easier to just move on to someone else for sex.

          I don’t think that the advice for men is bad. I think it’s just not what they want to hear. None of us wants to hear that we aren’t attractive enough, are judgmental, boring or selfish. No one wants to hear, I’m just not into ‘you being yourself, but I enjoy you meeting my temporary wants’.  No one wants to hear, I’m attracted to how you treat me, but I never thought you were hot, and nothing you do or say will ever change that.  I would also bet that all of us here have stopped dating someone for at least one of the reasons above.

          If these men don’t need to have plastic surgery or wear makeup to get women, why are so many of them complaining that they can’t get the women that they want? And why are there so many young hot guys who don’t have jobs or fame who have more women than they can handle? Why are there so many men chasing the same women online if they can get women so easily? The answer is, you can have someone in a snap if you have no standards or low standards. Higher standards are a whole different ballgame.

        8. Jeremy

          Asha and Nissa, I think there is some nuance you might be missing.  Because while I agree with Asha that people should be who they are and find partners accepting of that, being who you are is not enough.  I can be a nerdy guy who loves psychology, baking, and building complex and beautiful systems.  But I shouldn’t lead with that when looking for a partner.  I’d be better off being a hot, successful nerdy guy who loves psychology, baking, and building complex and beautiful systems.  Because I’m far more likely to find a partner who is attracted to my hotness and success and comes to appreciate those other things, versus a partner that is drawn and aroused specifically BY those things.

           

          And Nissa, I never wrote nor implied that men love women the way they are.  In fact, I wrote that it would be ridiculous for men to give women the advice “just be yourself.”  Women get up and put on make-up to NOT look like themselves.  They become socialized to speak and act in indirect ways rather than just saying what they mean, in the hopes that men will interact more favourably with them.  No woman would accept the advice “just be yourself” at face value because the world teaches women not to.  It teaches men too, but in different ways.  Because while it is true that men don’t have to be as hot as women to land a partner, we have other pressures.  Try online dating as an under-employed man.

    2. 1.2
      GoWiththeFlow

      Jeremy,

      As a Love U grad, I can testify that to get the most out of it you have to be willing to completely own your lack of success with men and be willing to look inward and figure out what is going on in your own head.  Because if you really don’t know what makes you tick, what you want, what will make you happy, and what messages you are sending out to the men around you, you are essentially flying a plane blindfolded and with earplugs.

      1. 1.2.1
        Jeremy

        Agreed.  How much of the population, male and female, does your analogy apply to?  🙂

        1. SSJ4Gogeta

          Jeremy, I find it interesting that you quoted Rollo which makes me believe that you are probably an advocate reader of the The Rational Male (or at least stumbled across the material).

          What’s your opinion on the whole Red Pill movement? I feel like somethings mentioned make sense while other things mentioned seem way overexaggered or way too anecdotal. Maybe it’s because I am not American and the culture in UK is different to the America?

        2. Jeremy

          I am definitely NOT an advocate for the manosphere, though I spent a lot of time there and digested Rollo’s philosophies quite thoroughly years ago.  I would say that 90% of what you’d find there is total nonsense – counterproductive to your personal happiness and to relationships.  10% is pure gold that you won’t find most places elsewhere (except perhaps here).  The problem is knowing the distinction.  Evan had a post on the Red Pill a few months ago – I’d recommend you check out the post and the comments.  I wrote quite a bit there, as did others.  You might find it helpful.

        3. S.

          Ugh. I could barely get through the comments on Evan’s post that he linked to.  Remember, I’m the one who delivers the truth in a gentle way.  I could never dig through all the hateful language to get to the gold.  If there is gold.  I think I’d get trapped in the muck if I went to those actual sites.  I know I’m a woman, but just reading.

          Jeremy, I hope those sites aren’t what you’d consider good advice for men? I know you mentioned a distinction but it seems it would be hard to discern any distinction in such places.

          I also don’t think any of the advice I read about in the comments would ever help a man with me.  Though truth be told, the best thing I can do for him is help myself with advice.  🙂 That’s what I do, try to remain self-aware and work on myself.

          Somewhere between ‘be yourself’ and . . . that, there has to be better advice for men.   But it goes back to Evan’s original topic, do men actually want to understand women, or do they just whatever result they are looking for? Sure they could have both, but I am now wondering if men really, truly want to understand women.

        4. S.

          Thanks, Jeremy.  This post that you linked to is one I remember.  It’s quite the rabbit hole too that I can’t quite disappear into today as I have 2017 Christmas shopping to do.  🙂

          I actually, think the first link, even with the hateful language, shows the POV of the men going their own way movement better to me.  First, off the hateful language is part of the rhetoric.  That can’t be ignored or diminished.  Second, the second link was about science, vaccination, climate change, and oddly, Evan’s relationship with his wife.  There is a lot going on in in there, a lot about blog comment navigation, that I got bored or lost in when it was originally posted.

          I’ll bring this back to the quote that started it all in this thread:

          women want men to “just get it.”  They don’t want to have to explain.  Having to explain what they want to a man automatically disqualifies him as a worthwhile partner.

          I have felt this way, but I have no probably telling a man if he doesn’t just ‘get it’.  I do value direct (and sometime unvarnished) communication even if I’m not rewarded for it most of the time.  I don’t think being nice is the same as a falsehood.

          Once a co-worker’s mom died.  When she wasn’t at work, people asked me (she had called me to tell everyone) and I said, “Kate’s mother died.”  Very bald, just like that.  Unvarnished truth.  I didn’t know any other way to say it.  After saying it that way two or three times and seeing my co-worker’s reactions (shock, dismay, even grief), I softened it to, “Kate’s mom passed away last night.”  And they took it much easier.  I was surprised because they didn’t know her mom. But this is how I learned.

          It’s not a falsehood.  It’s just nicer.  I hope men don’t think putting things gently are fitness tests so they have to wade through to get the true meaning.  But even if they do, I will continue to couch some topics gently as words can be very scarring and I don’t want to do that to anyone inadvertently. If that means I’m a fitness tester, I’d rather err on that.

    3. 1.3
      Nissa

      Jeremy,

      It’s true that men don’t get this information, but the flip side is that when they do, the advisc is essentially: to arouse a man, figure out what he wants and give it to him. Get plastic surgery for bigger breasts, a smaller waist, fuller lips, bigger rear. Exercise five hours a day while making sure he comes home to a hot meal and sex-on-demand. Be easy – don’t have any opinion that is different from his and for the Love of God, don’t say anything which could possibly under any circumstance be construed as criticism, because he doesn’t want to hear it. Is this advice horrible? Well, there’s truth in it. Men WILL ignore lots of personality flaws if a woman is hot. Men DO like women who agree with them. Men (and women) don’t like to be criticized.

      The short answer to how men can create arousal, is be arousing / hot / in amazing physical shape. Get plastic surgery if needed. Best haircut, best clothes. This really isn’t any different for men than it is for women. The difference is, most men won’t do it. Women will. Men will just find another woman, because it’s easier. Less effort.

      If you are already with someone who is not aroused by you, almost nothing will change that.  Submissive behavior is not attractive for either gender. That’s why when you give someone what they say they want, they will often take it, lose respect for you and still not be aroused by you.

      That’s why, as Karl said, people are often told ‘ just be yourself’. Being something other than yourself rarely makes the one you want, want you,  and is hard to do long term. It’s more effective to see who wants you, and select from that. The problem is that for most of us, the ones who want us are a lot less than we want for ourselves – less good looking, less confident, less able, less successful.

      The reason women end up with great boyfriends who don’t attract them is because they are trying to choose compatibility over chemistry, and forget that they need minimum chemistry too. If arousal isn’t there, it isn’t there. That’s why chemistry tends to be high or non existent. I tend to believe it’s less that people don’t know what they want, but that they can’t get what they want (Charlize Theron or Channing Tatum), so they settle for what they can get (and end up with chronic dissatisfaction).

      1. 1.3.1
        Jeremy

        Nissa, I’ve got to disagree with a couple of your points.  The reason most men don’t wear make-up or get plastic surgery is because they don’t have to.  And the reason why isn’t because they aren’t willing to do what’s necessary to make women aroused, it’s because they’ve discovered that power and status are, generally, far more arousing to women than 6 pack abs.  There’s a reason why Playgirl magazine went out of business.  Not that the 6 pack isn’t arousing, but rather it’s not the best investment of time.
        Also, your comment regarding submissive behavior leading to loss of respect is very female thinking.  It is not how men, generally, think.  As I’ve written before, men don’t need to respect women to be attracted to them – and conversely, men don’t lose attraction to women if they see women behaving somewhat submissively.  That’s a female thing.

        1. Emily, the original

          Jeremy,

          Also, your comment regarding submissive behavior leading to loss of respect is very female thinking.  It is not how men, generally, think.  As I’ve written before, men don’t need to respect women to be attracted to them – and conversely, men don’t lose attraction to women if they see women behaving somewhat submissively.  That’s a female thing.

          That may be a female thing, but if he’s interested in keeping her arousal, he won’t do it by giving in to her every wish and demand.

          Nissa wrote: The short answer to how men can create arousal, is be arousing / hot / in amazing physical shape.

          I don’t completely agree with Nissa that it’s only a physical thing. The short answer to how men can create arousal: get a strong sense of self and have reasonable boundaries.

        2. Nissa

          Emily, I’d agree that attraction (mental, emotional) can be built on sense of self and good boundaries, but arousal to me is just physical. If there is minimum arousal, but good attraction, that can work. It’s how women can have happy relationships with guys that aren’t in good shape. But it was actually Jeremy’s insistence on differentiating arousal and attraction that made me realize he was right about that.

          But I still think men become less attracted to women who are submissive & needy, even when the baseline arousal remains the same.

          The power & status thing? Not my bag. I’d enjoy  talking to  Warren Buffett, Bill Gates, Joe Kennedy III, Mark Zuckerberg, Adam D’Angelo, Miles Teller –  but arousal would not be present. I can’t see those guys having women dying to bed them in spite of their success and fame.

        3. Emily, the original

          Nissa,
          If there is minimum arousal, but good attraction, that can work.
          I don’t know what you mean by this. How can you be attracted by not aroused? Do you mean mentally and emotionally attracted but not aroused? I have felt that way about male friends but never felt aroused enough to want to go to bed with them.
          It’s how women can have happy relationships with guys that aren’t in good shape.
          I don’t think physical attraction is entirely based on someone’s aesthetic attractiveness. If that were the case, only the most beautiful people would be having sex and the population would die out.
          The power & status thing? Not my bag. I’d enjoy  talking to  Warren Buffett, Bill Gates, Joe Kennedy III, Mark Zuckerberg, Adam D’Angelo, Miles Teller –  but arousal would not be present. I can’t see those guys having women dying to bed them in spite of their success and fame.
          I don’t find any of those guys physically attractive, either, but I bet there are women who are attracted to their money, fame and power.

        4. Kitty

          Jeremy,

           As I’ve written before, men don’t need to respect women to be attracted to them – and conversely, men don’t lose attraction to women if they see women behaving somewhat submissively. 

          Are you talking about sexual attraction or emotional attraction?  Men will definitely have sex with women they don’t respect but in the long run most quality men are bored and irritated by women they don’t respect and will move on when the sexual novelty wears off.

        5. Marika

          Nissa said:

          But I still think men become less attracted to women who are submissive & needy, even when the baseline arousal remains the same.

          And I agree. It’s learned through dating experiences, not female logic. Jeremy, you’ve also said before that men don’t value independence in a woman. On this post alone we’ve seen multiple men, including blokey red pillers (I’ve also seen it written elsewhere by posters), specifically noting independence as something they value in a woman.

          I’m floored whenever men on here write as though every man is the same. Is that really how you want us to see you? Isn’t that insulting?

          Your wife and Emily couldn’t be more different. Emily and I share the idealist thing, but some of what she wants and what arouses her would be hurtful or a turnoff to me. Nissa won’t pay for anything, that would make me feel very uncomfortable. Etc etc. If not all women are the same, doesn’t it stand to reason that not all men are the same. There are many men who are completely turned off by a woman being needy and responding to his every beck and call, and who suddenly became far more interested when a woman starts to pull away.

        6. Adrian

          Hi Jeremy,

          Nissa said, “But it was actually Jeremy’s insistence on differentiating arousal and attraction that made me realize he was right about that.

          I must have missed this one. I thought you usually spoke about comfort and arousal and both can lead to attraction.

          Arousal is her respect for him as well as her physical desire for him. Comfort is her ability to trust and rely on him; let her guard down around him. Both went together to create attraction like ying combines with yang to create taijitu-take away one and the circle isn’t complete.

          So how can you have arousal without attraction and how can you have attraction without arousal?

          …   …   …

          Jeremy said, “The reason most men don’t wear make-up or get plastic surgery is because they don’t have to.  And the reason why isn’t because they aren’t willing to do what’s necessary to make women aroused, it’s because they’ve discovered that power and status are, generally, far more arousing to women than 6 pack abs.

          So much science has already been poured into saying the same thing so I can’t disagree. And if I ask you why women say the opposite? Why they say that they don’t care about wealth a man just has to be financially stability but what she does need is to find him attractive; you will just counter my question with the statement that women don’t know what they want.

          So instead I will ask this: In your opinion why are there really short & rich, really fat & rich, and really ugly & rich men who all struggle to find women to date them? On the flip side I always see handsome financially worthless guys with girlfriends or even women willing to support them.

          Looks trump everything short-term because it is the bait to lure the man or woman to talk to you. Personality, financial stability, goals, morals, etc only come into play after you attract the mate enough to consider you for boyfriend/girlfriend status.

          Also did you take into consideration if the man and woman are on the same level when you gave your answer? The rich unattractive guy trying to date a equally rich but very attractive female CEO vs him trying to date a poor but very attractive clerk at wal-mart. Since the CEO has lots of money and status on her own would you still advise the ugly guy to not get plastic surgery to attract her? Or would you tell him to just make more money?

          I think the money and status allure only works on women of lower financial or status positions.

        7. Emily, the original

          Adrian,
          Arousal is her respect for him as well as her physical desire for him. Comfort is her ability to trust and rely on him; let her guard down around him. Both went together to create attraction like ying combines with yang to create taijitu-take away one and the circle isn’t complete.
          This is true, Youngster, but the combination of arousal and comfort needed will vary by the individual woman. Some women will not get aroused without a large degree of comfort. Some women need a 50/50 split. With some, they need a lot more arousal because too much comfort puts them into a sexual coma.

        8. Jeremy

          Marika, I did not write or imply that all men or women are the same, regardless of their personality.  As you wrote, you and Emily might both be idealists, but would react differently in many situations – no argument.  I write sometimes about personalities and worry how people will interpret that – as some sort of pseudoscience like astrology or phrenology.  As if saying “she has an Idealist” personality means that she will react a certain way, or like other people with that personality – that isn’t what it means.  It simply is a descriptor that a person prefers to think about ideas rather than people, places and things (prefers why over what, when, and who), and tends to make judgments based on Values rather than impersonal thinking or societal roles.  But which values?  Depends on the person.

           

          I also never said that men love “needy” women.  I wrote that respect does not play the same role in male attraction that it does in female.  Men do not use the word “doormat” in a pejorative sense to describe why they lost attraction to a woman.  Men do not increase their attraction to women based on women saying no to them or establishing boundaries with them.  And when I say “men” I am speaking in broad generalities, acknowledging exceptions.  But really, take a hot woman who makes a man a meal, cares for his needs and never says no to him, and believe me he won’t lose attraction to her for her lack of saying no.  Unlike women, in general.

      2. 1.3.2
        Adrian

        Hi Emily

        You said, “This is true but the combination of arousal and comfort needed will vary by the individual woman. Some women will not get aroused without a large degree of comfort. Some women need a 50/50 split. With some, they need a lot more arousal because too much comfort puts them into a sexual coma.

        What are your thought on the women who say they can not initially be attracted to a guy but then find him hot/sexy after they fall in love? I know this is not all women but many have said it but my understanding of attraction doesn’t allow me to comprehend how this is possible…

        Could it be they are mistaking comfort for arousal? Could they be the women who you spoke of that need comfort before arousal? I know you said that for women attraction isn’t always physical like it is for 99% of us men so perhaps that is also why the comfort and arousal thing is strange to me-I can’t think like a woman. Also do you believe age, experience and maturity plays a part? Have they grown and become wiser or are these women just suppressing their desires for the practical choice?

        1. Emily, the original

          Adrian,
          What are your thought on the women who say they can not initially be attracted to a guy but then find him hot/sexy after they fall in love? Could it be they are mistaking comfort for arousal?
          Some will not feel arousal at all until they feel comfort. Others, however, will feel physical attraction quickly but never act on it unless they feel comfort.
          I know you said that for women attraction isn’t always physical like it is for 99% of us men so perhaps that is also why the comfort and arousal thing is strange to me
          I have written AD NAUSEUM about how physical attraction is not ENTIRELY (but, yes, IN PART) based on physical appearance. And for me, it doesn’t grow out of mental or emotional attraction. That’s not true of all women.

      3. 1.3.3
        Nissa

        Emily, yes that is exactly what I meant – mentally and emotional attracted but not sexually. As an example of being attracted but not aroused, think about Tom Hanks in Forrest Gump or Tim Allen in those Santa movies. Seeing a man be loving, kind or gentle can be very attractive. Think about a man holding a door open for his grandmother. It’s their behavior that is attractive, or the emotions that it evokes (being nurtured, protected, loved).

        But people have sex with people they don’t find attractive all the time – that’s where the expressions of ‘beer goggles’ and ‘coyote ugly’ come from. Yes, people are attracted to money and power, much more so than the person who has it. They are tolerating the unarousing person to get the benefit of what they actually desire. It seems that respect would fall more into attraction, not arousal. I would respect Warren Buffett, but I’m pretty sure that doesn’t translate into sexual feelings. Channing Tatum could be a 2nd amendment advocate who loves Trump, and I’d still want to see him naked. That’s arousal but not attraction to mind, interest due to behavior or stimulation of positive emotions.

         

        1. Emily, the original

          Hi Nissa,
          As an example of being attracted but not aroused, think about Tom Hanks in Forrest Gump or Tim Allen in those Santa movies. Seeing a man be loving, kind or gentle can be very attractive. Think about a man holding a door open for his grandmother. It’s their behavior that is attractive, or the emotions that it evokes (being nurtured, protected, loved).
          I understand what you mean, but have you become aroused by someone after feeling emotional attraction? I haven’t but I’m sure some women have.
          Channing Tatum could be a 2nd amendment advocate who loves Trump, and I’d still want to see him naked. That’s arousal but not attraction to mind, interest due to behavior or stimulation of positive emotions.
          LOL! He’s obviously in great shape and seems to have a great personality, but he’s not my type physically. Now, give me George Michael at his height … OMG

    4. 1.4
      Lisa

      I actually really enjoy Gottman’s work and I don’t think that it makes men whipped. What it does is provide them with the emotional tools and understanding that they failed to learn growing up because no one taught it to them.  Much of Gottmans work focuses on men gaining emotional intelligence.  Men  in their 30s and older were generally raised that their job was to provide. But their sisters were raised in that same household to not rely on a man for anything.  So here are the men doing what they think it takes to make a marriage work and women saying I need you to listen validate and understand not provide. Men say huh? No one taught me to do that? Now that women don’t seek marriage for a provider they look for something more.  He tries to help men understand what that is.  It’s why women initiate divorce more often because they have been telling the man for years what they need and being ignored. The men see them as ungrateful and nagging and so they ignore them, they are being a good husband by providing.  Here’s the thing women have changed society has changed.  Men are lagging a bit behind in that change mostly because they were not taught the same things as children they don’t know how to be the husbands modern women need. But this is changing as well.  It’s not about being whipped. If men need a traditional marriage to be happy they are going to have a harder and harder time finding anyone.  Modern women want a partner not a competitor and in saying you are whipped if you chance to make a wife happy shows the belief that one party still needs the have the upper hand. I see this a lot with men. Stop competing! Be her teammate. Care more about the relationship than ego.

  2. 2
    S.

    “Men don’t care to understand women because they are more self-absorbed.”

    Well, there you go.  Women can be self-absorbed to.  I sure can when I want to be.  But we get less rewarded for it.  And if you really enjoy all relationships emotionally, self-absorption isn’t helpful, I’ve found. 🙂

    Men are mysterious because they don’t often say things just as you’ve just said it. If they did: mystery solved.  I’m not asking that they do, but that’s the mystery.

    “Pick a man who is a somewhat decent listener, is somewhat introspective.” Easier said than done.  I have found these men (they are rare) but some of them have trouble with actually getting things done.  And because of that their relationship (and/or career) doesn’t move forward or they have issues with confidence.  It’s not an easy task.

    Do you have to have iTunes to ask live questions next week?

    1. 2.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      These are all recorded over a month in advance, so there are no live questions, S. Thanks for listening and engaging.

  3. 3
    MilkyMae

    I have a gf who loves Disneyworld.  She’s been going since childhood.  She married a man who loves Disney world.  After a few years of married life, they stopped vacationing in Orlando. They both still love Disney but she convinced herself that a vacation can’t be romantic when he loves the destination. He would still have great time if she wasn’t there so there’s no devotion.  Who is clueless?

    1. 3.1
      mgm531

      Wow…that’s pretty messed up.

  4. 4
    mgm531

    Perhaps this podcast should be retitled as “Why am not interested in guys that are sensitive and caring beta males, and how do I get the selfish, narcissist, self absorbed alpha male that I’m insanely attracted to, to want to understand me better?”

    There…fixed that for you.

    1. 4.1
      Nissa

      The reason women aren’t interested in the sensitive, caring males is the same reason that men aren’t interested in the sweet, kind, loving women who want them – a lack of hotness or bad presentation. Most people could improve their dating lives just by getting a makeover. The difference is that most women will accept being told that they need to change to please a man. It’s rare for a man to change to satisfy a women. Both are mostly ineffective.

      And both genders are turned off by neediness / insecurity / lack of confidence. Both genders end up with partners that are selfish, self absorbed and narcissistic because they will put up with crazy to get confident.

      1. 4.1.1
        mgm531

        Agreed, but you kind of missed the point of my post.  There are in fact men that are intuned to how women think and do strive to understand them.  And believe it not, most of these men are not milquetoast pushoevers.  They’re just not the in-your-face, attention seeking male dominators.  Instead they are the more modest, quitely going about their own business kind of man.  But more often than not the type of advice women seek out is not how to relate to these more modest, sensitive men, but rather how to tame, change or understand the brash, arrogant narcissist that they are attracked to.  Which is akin to asking how to make a zebra change the color of it’s stripes.

        1. S.

          But more often than not the type of advice women seek out is not how to relate to these more modest, sensitive men, but rather how to tame,

          I have sought this advice and it is few and far between.  Some would say it’s because ‘most’ men are not like this.  But my experience has been different.  Choosing these men isn’t necessarily easier, just different.

          But I have definitely sought out this advice.

        2. Nissa

          I get what you are saying (there are men that are tuned to women and strive to understand them). I’m saying the reason women aren’t trying to relate to those more sensitive men, is because the arousal is not there, that would generate enough interest to date those men. Lots of women like the modesty and sensitivity, but if he’s not good looking enough, it won’t matter.

          To me, your post implies that women don’t know those men exist. I think women know they exist, but they are not willing to trade down on other qualities that are important to them (confidence &  looks).

          Telling anyone (man or woman) that they have to give up minimum arousal is also telling a zebra to change it’s stripes. Women aren’t seeking advice to find those guys, because they have met those guys, and find them unappealing.

          After all, if a nice woman wanted to date you, but she was overweight, had acne and a butch haircut, would it really matter how nice she was? Would she even ever get considered? No, because both genders have minimum arousal as a baseline for dating.

        3. mgm531

          To me, your post implies that women don’t know those men exist. I think women know they exist, but they are not willing to trade down on other qualities that are important to them (confidence &  looks)

          Setting aside looks, because they can be subjective and different people look for different physical traits for attractiveness, what you have described is a person, in this case a woman, being attracted to a person that has positive characteristics that do like, but also characteristics that they don’t find attractive (like being self centered and narcissistic) and then wondering why the aren’t interested in learning how to understand women better.  You want to know why they don’t have an interest in learning how to understand women better?  Because they don’t have to.

        4. S.

          @Nissa

          To me, your post implies that women don’t know those men exist. I think women know they exist, but they are not willing to trade down on other qualities that are important to them (confidence &  looks).

          And I’m the opposite. I’ve been trading the sensitive introspective types for confidence and assertiveness. The jury is still out for me if that’s a fair trade.  Gosh, I wanna have it all!  I don’t want to trade sensitivity for confidence.  And I won’t.  I’m so stubborn. 🙂

          Women aren’t seeking advice to find those guys, because they have met those guys, and find them unappealing.

          Um, except me.  🙂 And I’m a woman. I find guys like this hotter than a firecracker.  Rip their shirts off, buttons on the floor attractive.  But in general for me, arousal only goes so far.  Seriously,  it gets people in the door, true, but it’s not what keeps me there for long.

          Please don’t imply that ‘women’ all are attracted/aroused by the same thing.  Or even ‘most’ women. Most of my friends are attracted to similar types of men as I am.

        5. Emily, the original

          S., 

          I’ve been trading the sensitive introspective types for confidence and assertiveness. The jury is still out for me if that’s a fair trade.  Gosh, I wanna have it all!  I don’t want to trade sensitivity for confidence.  

          That’s why you need 2 boyfriends.  🙂

        6. S.

          @Emily, the original

          LOL! This blog is making me giggle tonight!  Like Tron below, I’m about to start thinking outside the box!  Though I don’t know if my brain could handle trying to figure out two men or why they both weren’t trying to figure out me!

          (I also tend to mix up details when multi-dating for too long. “Your daughter’s thirteen, right?” “Six.” Oops. )

          😀

        7. Emily, the original

          S.,

          (I also tend to mix up details when multi-dating for too long. “Your daughter’s thirteen, right?” “Six.” Oops. )

          I would have the same problem. I have enough problem remembering the details of friends’ families and lives.

          Though I don’t know if my brain could handle trying to figure out two men or why they both weren’t trying to figure out me!

          I was thinking that maybe men don’t try to figure women out because what they want from women isn’t all that complex. Sex, companionship, emotional support, faithfulness, appreciation. Whereas women want some grand, cosmic, once-in-a-lifetime connection, for a man to not only be her best friend and understand and support her like a best friend, but to be a fabulous lover … not to mention her expectations for him as a father if she wants kids.

        8. S.

          Sometimes I’ve been disappointed by how little people, not just romantically, want from me. I want to be so much more in my life.  And in some ways I meet that goal, in others, I don’t.

          But maybe men are trying to give women the simple things they want.  It’s such a disconnect. I grew up in a family of women. I have such rich and deep friendships with women to this day. It would be odd not to have that with my husband. I thought he was supposed to be my best friend.  Maybe he’s not? Or not in that way? It’s difficult to discern.

          And men don’t want women to be wonderful mothers to their children and seek out those qualities in a mate? It’s just a real disconnect for me.

          Tron, I can understand. He simply wants to get laid.  I get that completely. But a man who wants a wife? Doesn’t he want so much more from that woman?

        9. Fromkin

          Emily: maybe men don’t try to figure women out because what they want from women isn’t all that complex. Sex, companionship, emotional support, faithfulness, appreciation. Whereas women want some grand, cosmic, once-in-a-lifetime connection

           

          You’re arguing to not take women seriously. What does “cosmic, once-in-a-lifetime” have to do with the real world? It is not a description of a relationship worth having till death do ya part. That relationship has a pair of relatively ordinary, slightly flawed people in it.

      2. 4.1.2
        mgm531

        Please don’t imply that ‘women’ all are attracted/aroused by the same thing.  Or even ‘most’ women. Most of my friends are attracted to similar types of men as I am.

        That is not what I’m trying to imply at all.  What I’m trying to point out is that women, and men for that matter, who are attracted to partners that have negative traits along with the positive traits are wasting their time trying to change or lament why they are the way they are.  The original question was “Why do men not want to understand women?” and the answer is that men who choose not to try and understand women and yet women find atttractive anyways, don’t have to.

        1. S.

          who are attracted to partners that have negative traits along with the positive traits are wasting their time trying to change or lament why they are the way they are. 

          Well, I certainly agree with that.  People only change if they want to do so on their own.

          the answer is that men who choose not to try and understand women and yet women find attractive anyways, don’t have to.

          I almost understand this. I don’t get the attractive part of the statement. Men don’t have to understand a woman to be attracted to her.  But they may have to understand her, or women in general, to learn how to build attraction on her end.  So he may have to. His attraction alone won’t get him very far.  The brash, narcissistic men aren’t getting anywhere with someone like me without attempting to understand me.  Doesn’t matter how handsome they may be.  So with me, if they find me attractive and want something to actually happen there, they would have to at least try.  I’m still not sure if this is addressing your point?

          Sure, there are other women who they don’t have to try with and in this case, I’m glad for it.  In my opinion, let the other women have at it.

      3. 4.1.3
        Shaukat

        To me, your post implies that women don’t know those men exist. I think women know they exist, but they are not willing to trade down on other qualities that are important to them (confidence &  looks).

        I agree completely with this point, and to me it actually highlights a key component of dating dynamics and a central flaw with the premise of this post, namely, that men don’t seek to understand women. We do, it’s just that the self-help industry centred around this task is geared toward a different stage in the dating process, i.e, the ‘courting phase.’

        In order to understand why this is the case, there are two factors to keep in mind:

        1). the pool of what a man considers to be ‘dateable’ women within his cohort is generally much larger than the pool of men that a woman would label as ‘dateable’ within her cohort;

        2). Men are the approachers.

        Regarding point #1, anecdotal and empirical evidence suggest that women have a much higher threshold when it comes to evaluating sex appeal and confidence than men; the latter judge attractiveness according to a bell curve, while women do not. Thus, since men are the approachers, a great deal of energy and time must go into generating attraction. This can involve a large number of tasks, such as lifting, cutting body fat, mastering style, overcoming shyness and awkwardness, gaining confidence (or faking it), towing a fine line between being attentive and overbearing, etc. All of this involves understanding female psychology. In the meantime, during this courting phase a woman simply has to ‘mirror,’ i.e, smile, be warm, show appreciation. Is it really that surprising that once in a relationship men might relax a little by showing less of an inclination to understand women?

        In my opinion the reason it appears that men don’t want to understand women is because there is a cognitive dissonance between what the society and culture dictate that a woman wants in a man (emotional intelligence, attentiveness, sensitivity, etc) and what women actually require for baseline attraction before a relationship can get off the ground. (masculine energy, physical attraction, confidence, status, etc). Men learn through experience to focus on the latter if they want to get anywhere, but these efforts often remain invisible.

        1. S.

          Shaukat, that is so interesting!  I never really thought of the efforts men to create attraction.  Especially, the men that I’m not attracted to.  Mostly, because I very quickly and subtly ignore or try to shut down these efforts if I know the attraction isn’t there on my end.  Or the efforts are so . . . not what work for me, so I don’t even know they are efforts.  And finally, rarely I can be clueless and just think a guy is being friendly.  This is especially in a spiritual community or setting where attraction is the last thing on my mind. But that doesn’t mean some men aren’t trying.  I wish I could see these efforts for what they are but sometimes it’s really, really unclear.

          Also, even when it is clear it may be that I undervalue attraction because it is generally easier for women to get attraction.  And because as I said to Chris below, attraction doesn’t exactly lead me where I want to go–a relationship.  I won’t act on attraction without the possibility of a relationship.  That’s what I want a man to understand.  I try and understand they want attraction and sex and how important that is to them.

          Maybe Emily, the original was right and what men want, especially at first, just is less complex than what a lot (not all) women want at first? So do you even need to understand anything beyond attraction if that’s mainly (or all) you want?  But my question remains is why don’t men want to understand women beyond how to attract them, esp. if they ever want to be with a woman in a long-term relationship? Why relax in effort, when the truly challenging parts of a relationship are yet to come?

        2. Marika

          Shaukat

          While I take your point re men, I think you’re greatly undervaluing women’s contributions. If all women had to do is show up, Evan wouldn’t need to run all his programs. To be a successful dater, maybe unless you’re a 20 year old bimbo dating himbos, women need to understand male psychology. We also need to resist many of our instinctive ways of relating which work with our friends but not in dating.

          Like I said to Jeremy, you don’t date men so you can’t know what it’s like.

  5. 5
    Olongapo

    A plea for sensitive, understanding guys? Pul-eeze….

    I think a more apt podcast would be for the men scouring this forum for better understanding of women, to delve into the realm of the Red Pill with it’s emphasis on evo -psych and focus on self-improvement.  Lot’s of ignorance and hate there but there are enough nuggets of wisdom to make it worth their while. Most guys I know are just dying to understand what exactly went wrong in their marriages and their relationships and how to avoid a repeat.  Some guys learn quick and some guys are real hard learners but finally understand the primary drivers behind attraction and relationship.

    It’s like getting the key to the secret kingdom because of the the tangible results it yields.  More sex, better relationships, and most importantly, self improvement.

    The PUA stuff works.  Holding frame works.  Having a mission works. Getting buff and strong really works.  This stuff attracts women like bees to honey.  Understanding hypergamy works. Understanding Briffault’s Law works.  Understanding the 80/20 rule works.  Understanding Alpha F*@#K’s/Beta Bucks works.  This is all real useful stuff because it allows you to meet women and attract women in a way that bypasses their filters.  The stuff works.  But alas, PUA is just a small piece of the whole pie and most guys are not cads and players.  Most guys want to get married, have children, and not get monkey-branched on because their wives are unhappy.  This is the hardest part because it forces men to be self-aware, to be situationally aware, and creates a strong sense of self-responsibility for outcomes.

    I know for a fact that women are attracted to confidence.  I know for a fact that women are attracted to genetic celebrity.  I know for a fact that if you drop frame in a relationship, the clock starts ticking.  I know for a fact that biology drives most of our behaviors and the key understanding for men here is that:  Women need to maximize their relationship outcomes by selecting the best possible mate they can who has a strongest mix of of desirable genetic and relationship strengths that they can get, given their own value in the sexual marketplace.

    Kind’ve brutal,  perhaps sexist, and it reeks of misogyny.  However, despite all of the cultural changes over the last 70 years, our biology hasn’t changed.  We still utilize mating strategies that served us well on the plains of Africa because our hindbrains tell us so.  The difference now is that we can name these things and women can control their fertility and are more financially independent and are not forced to pick a lees-than-optimal man in order to just survive.

    For the men who lurk in this blog trying to understand why they keep getting run over by fast moving trains, understanding evo-psych is critical.

    For all the naysayers, White Knights, and supporters of a different set of rules, nothing I can say is going to change your mind and I’ll be castigated but…..I have a strong relationship with a strong, independent woman, precisely because I hold frame, have a mission, and have a clear understanding of the different communication styles that men and women employ.

    A man has to employ a mixture of Alpha and Beta traits and knowing when exhibiting those traits is appropriate.  If you’re Alpha all the time, women will leave because you’re unapproachable.  If you’re Beta all the time, then you come off as weak that’s the last thing a woman wants.  It is absolutely necessary for a man to understand this for success in a relationship.  The Disney fantasy here is a tamed Alpha but often when this actually happens, women will lose their arousal.  The perfect guy is the one that can make you lose your capacity to think rationally (in a good way) and yet listen to you effectively after a particularly harrowing day at work and maybe hand you a glass of wine and rub your feet.  This is the responsibility of men to learn.

    Men and women do indeed communicate differently and they do so for different outcomes.  The key here is to actively listen to each other with a clear understanding of those differences.

    Good luck with this

    1. 5.1
      Karl S

      I too have a strong relationship with a strong, independent woman.

      But I don’t know what “holding frame” even means. Sounds tiring. 

      1. 5.1.1
        Jeremy

        It IS tiring.  Exhausting.  And totally not conducive to long-term happiness.  Holding frame is one of the great fallacies of the manosphere, though occasionally recapturing frame is not.  The nuance is crucial.

        1. Yet Another Guy

          @Jeremy

          I was nodding my head in agreement with the PUA stuff that Olongapo enumerated.  It is deadly effective.  My experience is that frame control is a critical skill that all men who want to be successful with women need to master.  Maintaining frame means the difference between being seen as a confident, sexually desirable man who has women seeking his approval versus the reverse.  Maintaining frame is critical to avoiding the friend zone.

        2. Jeremy

          I know all about maintaining frame, YAG.  It is an example of advice from the manosphere that is partly good and partly bad – good if one can grasp the nuance, bad if not.  Maintaining a man’s frame is an arousal quality for many women – a man who is confident and self-centered is a man who is seen as having internal quality (ironically) because without confidence in himself (his own tacit self-approval) a woman can not intuit his quality; If he focuses his attention on her desires rather than his own, her respect for him decreases (again, ironically).

           

          BUT.  Constant maintenance of frame has 2 large negatives that need to be considered.  First, that while it increases arousal it decreases comfort.  So it is useful in situations where increasing arousal is needed, but in situations where a relationship is in trouble due to low comfort (as happens in some marriages), it will be counter-productive.  Second, constant maintenance of frame by a man whose personality naturally considers others is not conducive to self-respect or respect of others.  I know this from personal experience when I tried it in my own marriage.  It increase arousal in my wife, but I could not respect myself when I acted that way, and found myself respecting her less too.  This is why so many of the men on the ‘sphere become so misogynistic when they apply the advice there – they see what works and lose respect – respect for women, respect for themselves.

           

          It is one thing to constantly maintain frame if all you want is short term flings and never want to get hurt.  Respect of others or the self are not factors, nor is comfort.  But in a long-term relationship or marriage, maintaining/obtaining frame should be one of many tools in your toolbox of tools for arousal and comfort, used when needed, discarded when not.

        3. Yet Another Guy

          @Jeremy

          After surviving a loveless/sexless marriage, I have reached the conclusion that a woman’s comfort is not more important than my comfort.  That is how I lived my life before I married, and it will be how I continue to live my life until the day that I draw my last breath.  I am determined to my best to never break frame again in my lifetime, as the ability to maintain frame yields sexual desire from much higher quality women.  At this point, while I am not ruling it out, I  do not see myself wanting to be part of monogamous relationship. I have tried it since my ex and I split, and found the situation wanting.  I currently date and sleep with several women who desire to have sex with me.  I am happier than I have been in a long time.  Why would I trade what I have to be with one woman who requires constant emotional maintenance, a situation where sex can and is often used as a bargaining chip?  The post about men having simple needs and women having complex needs is on the money.  Sex as a weapon of control is so pervasive that women believe that it is an acceptable practice, not to any non-trapped man.

          http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/entry/sex-relationship_b_1659021.html

        4. Jeremy

          YAG, in the 1930s France spent a huge amount of time and energy building the Maginot Line – a series of barricades along the lines of the previous German invasion.  The goal of the effort was to prevent re-invasion by Germany.  But when Germany decided to invade France again during the Second World War, they used different routes, techniques and vehicles than the first time.  The Maginot Line was totally useless – and not just because the line itself did not prevent re-invasion, but because placing its confidence in that Line prevented France from understanding its own situation.

           

          It is a fallacy of thought to assume that the next battle we will have to face will be the same one we fought in the past.  The Maginot Line is a lesson that applies to so many areas of our lives.

        5. Gala

          Jeremy, may i just say i love your posts in this thread. I never heard the term “maintainig he frame” but after googling it i gotta say it works both ways. Women who do that, in the feminine way, do way better with man. For a guy this may be the difference  between being friend zoned and being desired, for a woman it is the difference between being a doormat and being the “bitch” who gets what she wants. And yes, when you try being that bitch and when it works, you do end up losing respect for men to some degree.. strange how things work huh?

        6. Emily, the original

          Gala,

          For a guy this may be the difference  between being friend zoned and being desired, for a woman it is the difference between being a doormat and being the “bitch” who gets what she wants. And yes, when you try being that bitch and when it works, you do end up losing respect for men to some degree.. strange how things work huh?

          I think for both sexes it’s not about being a selfish asshole or a bitch. It’s about having a backbone and a strong sense of who you are and what you’re willing to do. When men do it,  it garners respect. No, he’s isn’t so whipped or desperate for approval or afraid of confrontation that he will do anything she says.

    2. 5.2
      Emily, the original

      Olangapo,

      A man has to employ a mixture of Alpha and Beta traits and knowing when exhibiting those traits is appropriate.  If you’re Alpha all the time, women will leave because you’re unapproachable.  If you’re Beta all the time, then you come off as weak that’s the last thing a woman wants. The Disney fantasy here is a tamed Alpha but often when this actually happens, women will lose their arousal.  The perfect guy is the one that can make you lose your capacity to think rationally (in a good way) and yet listen to you effectively after a particularly harrowing day at work and maybe hand you a glass of wine and rub your feet.  

      I don’t know that much about the Red Pill community, but this pretty much sums it up.
      I copied this from a Reddit post on “dropping frame.” Again, this is perfect. 
      A girl asks you to do something because she is a girl and you say no. She then says “Pweeeeze” and does a cutey cutey smile and you refuse again or just ignore her but same difference. This is holding frame.
       

      1. 5.2.1
        Marika

        All,

        Olangpo has a point regarding attraction and winning over a woman. Reading through what he said, though, I did wonder if this is a healthy relationship for his strong independent woman? Reason being, I’ve been with guys who make me lose the ‘capacity to think rationally’ (whether they are framing or whatever it’s called or just being avoidant and selfish and providing intermittent reward, not sure) and it doesn’t make for a good relationship for me, for the very reason that I can’t think rationally about the relationship and whether it’s right for me.

        I think all the PUA stuff is spot on if you want to sleep with women and have lots of dates, but I can’t see how this is healthy if you want a long-term relationship where there is no one walking around on eggshells (either the woman as her rational reasoning has gone out the door or the man as he’s constantly framing).

        1. Emily, the original

          Marika,

          I think all the PUA stuff is spot on if you want to sleep with women and have lots of dates, but I can’t see how this is healthy if you want a long-term relationship where there is no one walking around on eggshells (either the woman as her rational reasoning has gone out the door or the man as he’s constantly framing).

          I don’t want to walk on eggshells, but he has a point about the framing. There is nothing more of a turn off than someone kissing your ass, and for the men who are trying to win a woman over, it feels like it has much more to do with him than it does with her.

        2. Gala

          A few years ago i decided that all of my prospective boyfriends had to come with me to yoga (just once) in the early stages of the relationship. Mainly, because men (not all but the majority) hate yoga and are not good at it. The point is exactly this, to see if he will do for me something that he hates if i ask. If he’s “holding the frame” or whatever and refuses  – he’s gone. I recommend all women do this (substitute activity if you must). What better way is there to see if a guy is a giver and willing to make sacrifices for you? I figured this out after my then boyfriend  mentioned to me that his ex-gf dragged him to yoga and he hated it. The kicker: he had never done anything for me. Nothing at all. So, i thought to myself: “he was willing to do that for this other girl, but for me he won’t even do XYZ”. This was my a-ha moment. First i realized he didn’t care about me enough, then i realized how to filter for the ones that do.

        3. Evan Marc Katz

          Readers: if you want to be single forever, follow this advice.

        4. Tron Swanson

          Gala,

          Thank you for providing us with a classic example of a $#!t test.

          “They’ll do this for that other person, but not for me”–you feel that way about yoga, and men feel that way about how early sex happens.

        5. Gala

          Tron: you’re welcome 🙂 FWIW i think there’s some validity to how men feel about sex (which is why both men and women would be better off not discussing these subjects at all – why provide the baseline for comparison?)

          But you see Tron, life itself is one big shit test. Why not test his/her reactions on something harmless before you have to experience them in real, consequential life situations? I recall Sharyl Sandberg in her book advised career women to test a man by canceling a date with him last minute (to see how well he’d handle her business). Nothing wrong with that, IMO.

        6. Evan Marc Katz

          Both you and Sheryl Sandberg should stick to what you do best and leave the relationship experts to teach people to lead with kindness, trust and compassion.

        7. Malika

          Hi Gala:

          Maybe a bit of an apples and oranges thing, but a man I dated who knew i am an atheist that does not like going to religious service insisted I join him for a church service. And was irate and broke things off when i said no! I don’t like shit tests, you can get to know men and their reactions in a more organic manner.

        8. Kitty

          Sheryl Sandberg’s whole lean-in thing strikes me as political posturing on her part, and I think that particular dating “tip” is just part of that persona: something that she thinks makes her look good in public and not something to be taken seriously.  She had (from all accounts) a happy marriage to David Goldberg before his untimely death and now is in a relationship with another billionaire.  It’s not impossible that she could attract and keep such men by following her own advice, but I don’t think it is very likely.

        9. Yet Another Guy

          @Evan

          Readers: if you want to be single forever, follow this advice.

          That advice is spot on!  As I mentioned above, the ability to maintain frame is critical to avoiding the friend zone.  Women are constantly seeing if they can make a man break frame because women are better at it than men.  Maintaining frame is really about situational control from an emotional point of view.  Chris Rock has bit about why men should never argue with women because men argue with logic and women argue with emotion.  It is a setup for a man to get crushed.  What he is talking about is frame control.

          In an earlier blog entry, I wrote about how a man develops a N after becoming an experienced dater, where N is the number of dates on which he will go without achieving sexual congress before he breaks pursuit.  The concept of an N when dating a woman is basically about frame control.  In order to be able to maintain frame, a man has to be willing to walk away after reaching his N without achieving sexual congress, which can be difficult to do if a man seriously desires a woman.  However, failure to do so means that he has relinquished frame control to the woman he is dating, and as such, placed himself in jeopardy of being friend-zoned.  I do not care what women say on this blog.  A man who is willing to break pursuit if a woman does not sleep with him by the time he reaches his N garners more respect than a man who lets a woman set the agenda in that area.  Here is a one critical area where what women say they want and what they actually want differs in a big way.

        10. Craigston

          This is what Dr Nerdlove says (check his websites and YouTube channel).  He had taken advice from PUAs and found that it worked, he DID get more sex.

          But it came at a cost.

          To do so he had to treat women like adversaries and he became increasingly uneasy about it; it jarred with his values I guess.

           

      2. 5.2.2
        SSJ4Gogeta

        As much as I would like to bash the TRP (The Red Pill) community, I can’t turn a blind eye to those who say that it has changed their lives for the better.

        Like Jeremy said, there’s a lot of BS that TRP says but there are some things that make a lot of sense.

        That being said, one should always judge with their own mind how true and relevant the information is to their own lives.

        1. Gala

          Hi SE:

          I wanted to answer your questions…

          1. Yes, i’d do an activity with a guy that i don’t necessarily like (or have a strong suspicion that i wouldn’t like). In the past i had gone deep sea fishing with a guy and his friends and i will count that as the most miserable experience of my life but he was so proud to catch that fish and have me take pictures of that etc. But, never again obviously.

          2. Yes i would be ok dating a guy who may cancel dates last minute – that is assuming it is dictated by his work. Anybody who has a serious career will from time to time run into such situations. I just need to know he’d be as respectful and understanding about my career as i am of his.

          3. The yoga test is effective on the negative side. I.e. a guy who passes may or may not be a good fit, but the guy who fails is definitely NOT a good fit for what i am looking for (and needs to be weeded out). Does this make sense? I have other tests too. Mostly they are verbal. I talk about various life situations that involve various conflict (as in “my friend is having this issue with her landlord … … what would you do in such situation?”) introduced in between other conversations over brunch or what not, and i will judge them based on how they respond. Do they suggest going to war over a leaking tub? Do they want to seek compromise? You’d be surprised what people say. Anyways, i am glad your hubby is doing all those things for you but my newly minted boyfriend of 3 weeks is not gonna go drive my parents to the hospital. It’s just not the time for that yet. But i would like to have some indication NOW that he would do it in the future if need be. Hence the yoga test.

      3. 5.2.3
        SparklingEmerald

        Gala – This sounds like a classic case of “shit testing”.

        I love yoga, and have been doing it (on and off for  40 years).  My hubby has no interest in it, and I am not about to drag him to yoga and literally force him to twist himself into a pretzel to “prove” anything. He “proves” himself by doing things we BOTH enjoy with me, by doing things for me to ease my burden withOUT me even asking (he takes my car in to be repaired, I never asked him to do that, he picks my family up at the airport, even when they offer to take a shuttle bus to our house) he “proves” he loves me my not forcing me to do hardcore hiking, biking camping that I would rather not do (he can do the extreme stuff with his buds)

        I would never try to guilt him into doing something he hated just to prove a point.  And he returns the courtesy by not insisting that I go on 10 day, super primitive camp trips with him.

        Relationships are much better when you appreciate the things your partner DOES for you, rather than focusing or setting them up to NOT DO for you.

        1. Emily, the original

          Sparkling Emerald,

          I love yoga, and have been doing it (on and off for  40 years).  My hubby has no interest in it, and I am not about to drag him to yoga and literally force him to twist himself into a pretzel to “prove” anything. 

          Yeah, and yoga isn’t something you need a date for. Why does the man have to go if he hates it? Can’t she just go alone or go with a friend? It’s not like, “Well, I’ve got this charity event that’s at the ballet and I know you hate it, but could you please go this once?” And then you offer to do something for him in return. There’s no reason to force the issue with the yoga.

        2. Gala

          Emily, SE: i think you missed the point entirely. I don’t need a guy to be going to yoga with me 3x a week. I only ask them to join me ONE TIME in their life. What’s the harm in that? How else would you figure during the 3rd week of going out whether this guy is willing to be even slightly uncomfortable for you? Sure you can wait to find it out “organically” as someone suggested – 3 years down the road when you are pregnant and he’s not willing to be there for the delivery because it’s “gross”. Or whatever. Organic takes time and sometime by the time the organic situation happens it’s too late to not be in a relationship with a selfish prick anyway. It’s just very easy to be having a good time when times are good that you may really not have any real life character tests for a while.

        3. Jeremy

          Gala, I understand what you are trying to ascertain.  But I’d suggest that the heuristic you are trying to use is the wrong one.  The question you WANT to answer is, “Will this guy stick with you and support you when times are tough.  When your belly is big and your feet hurt and you’re not sexy, and life is stressful.”  But the question your heuristic test is asking is, “Will this guy do what you’re asking RIGHT NOW, when the relationship is new and you are sexy and life is not stressful.”  While your thinking might be that if all he wants is sex, he can get it from someone else and not have to jump through hoops for you, some men’s attachment system is activated by having to jump through hoops (especially men with anxious attachment systems).

           

          No heuristic is going to answer the question you really want to know.  Instead, you need to understand the man – what is his personality, what is his history, and how does he act toward you when he is stressed, not when he is happy?

           

          As a meaningless aside, your test is actually NOT a classic “shit test,” because the test is not passed by failing.  A shit test would be asking him to do yoga and losing attraction to him when he did – or rather, being more attracted to him when he did not.

        4. Gala

          Hi Jeremy:

          yes it is imperfect for sure. Nothing is. But I think that a man’s history and personality is even less relevant when trying to ascertain how he feels about you. A man may have a great personality in general and treat you really well, but still not see you as more than a dinner friend with benefits. He may have history of showering other women with attention and love but that doesn’t mean you will ever be one of those women. The question i am trying to answer is mostly just “is he willing to go slightly out of his way for me?”. If that is present, you can build on that foundation and see how things develop organically. If that is not there, there’s nothing to work with

        5. Emily, the original

          Gala,

          Jeremy wrote: As a meaningless aside, your test is actually NOT a classic “shit test,” because the test is not passed by failing.  A shit test would be asking him to do yoga and losing attraction to him when he did – or rather, being more attracted to him when he did not

          I agree with Jeremy here. You actually might end up having more respect for him if he says no.

          Years ago I was in a play and had finished my time on stage for the night. I started talking backstage to a man in the show. I was rambling on but should have more cognizant of the fact that he was preparing to go onstage and do a big monologue. We were joking back and forth, and then he looked at me and said, “Emily, will you shut up?” He said it in a funny tone but I understood the message. And that impressed me. I was at the height of my blondeness then. Most guys wouldn’t have had the balls to say that.

        6. SparklingEmerald

          Gala – Not to beat a dead horse, but this arbitrary yoga test isn’t even effective.  Comparing yoga to childbirth is an apples to oranges comparison.  There is nothing remotely necessary about yoga, and if the man has ZERO interest in yoga why should he ?  Childbirth however, is much more important, and men who willingly become father’s would most like want very much to be involved in the process.

          Here are some things my current husband does/has done for me, withOUT being asked, and in some cases has INSISTED on, even when I said, “No, this is my responsibility, you don’t have to do this”

          Taken my car in for repairs, and even chauffered me to an from rehearsals when my car was operable, but less safe.

          Taken my now deceased father to and from medical appointments.

          Pick up family members from the airport, even when they offer to take a shuttle to our place.

          Numerous small repairs around the house.

          Fixed my bicycle.

          Taken care of me when I was sick.

          # of yoga classes attended with me.  ZERO.   Initially I did try to encourage (but not co-erce) him into going with me.  But he’s pretty sure he doesn’t have the balance for it, so I let it go.  And in no way do I resent it.

          Would you be happy if a boyfriend made something YOU considered unpleasant to be a condition of the relationship ?  Perhaps a 3 day extremely primitive camping trip in bitter cold weather.  (if you like that sort of thing, substitute something else)  What if you found out that this was just some sort of litmus test, to see if you could handle the rigors of motherhood ?  His thinking was “Gee, if she can’t endure 3 days of discomfort and cold weather, how long will she be able to handle the rigors of motherhood ?”    Most women would think that’s a shitty test to put a woman through.  (Buck had his infamous 5 mile  rigourous hike”shit test” and boy did he catch flak for that. )

          Anyway, my current hubby has never attended a yoga class with me, but that’s now reflection on the effort he puts into our relationship.

          My ex-husband on the other hand, actually like yoga, we attended some classes together, but after about 10 years of marriage he stopped doing anything for me.   He even had a hissy fit when my son had to be hospitilized and had to go pick him up from the hospital because I was sick also, and to sick to go pick him up myself.

          So no, I don’t think your yoga test really tells you squat about a man’s character or his ability to be a good partner.

        7. Gala

          SE: you continue to be missing the point ENTIRELY and there’s no point in continuing to talk past each other, i am sorry, i give up. I know Jeremy got exactly what i was talking about so… may be re-read it and try to understand this isn’t about doing any particular activity together.

        8. Gala

          @Emily

          yeah years ago something like this may have impressed me too. I have moved on from the “bad boys” phase tho

        9. Emily, the original

          Gala,
          yeah years ago something like this may have impressed me too. I have moved on from the “bad boys” phase tho
          He was not a bad boy. Just had some limits and was doing the opposite of what other guys were.

        10. SparklingEmerald

          Gala – I did not miss your point, you made it very clear when you said “But you see Tron, life itself is one big shit test. Why not test his/her reactions on something harmless before you have to experience them in real, consequential life situations? I recall Sharyl Sandberg in her book advised career women to test a man by canceling a date with him last minute (to see how well he’d handle her business). Nothing wrong with that, IMO.”

          I get your point, I just don’t agree with it.

          Men “shit test” too.  When I’m shit tested, I’m gone.

          How a man will act in regards to something trivial is in no way any indication of how he will react to something important.

          Questions for you,  how much shit are you willing to take from a man ?

          1. What activity that you don’t like, would you be willing to do for a man ?

          2.  If there’s nothing wrong with a woman cancelling a date at the last minute, is it wrong when a man does it ?  Would you date a man who cancelled dates at the last minute ?  If not, why is a woman cancelling a date at the last minute a good strategy ?

          For me, reliability and keeping one’s word is more important, than weather or not a man will participate in an activity he dislikes.

          Number one reason I have ditched men I’ve dated is flaking out at the last minute.  (There was never a good reason or emergency involved, it was just plain old flakiness)

          Any woman (or man) for that matter who intentionally cancels a date at the last minute just to see how the other will re-act deserves to alone.  Flakiness is not a good trait in a partner

           

           

           

        11. Jeremy

          To build on Sparkling Emerald’s point (and sorry, SE, if this isn’t the direction you were going):  SE asked “How much shit are you willing to take from a partner?” – my answer – I take shit from my wife all the time (and probably provide just as much).  I go shopping with her when I’d rather stay home, meet with her friends when I’d rather meet with mine or read a book.  Go to the store for her when she needs something.  Rub her neck at night when she can’t sleep, even though I might like to sleep.  I do those things for her because I love her.  How much shit are we willing to take from a partner when we love that partner?  Lots.

           

          How much shit are we willing to take from someone we barely know?  Not very much.  Not unless they are way hotter than us or their aloofness activates our anxious attachment system.  Relationships should be EASY when they are new, they shouldn’t be full of self-sacrifice and unfulfilled desire.  That is why a test of affection at the beginning of a relationship is not instructive and also potentially counter-productive.  Because, to use Sheryl Sandberg’s horrible example, if my wife whom I love flaked out on a date last minute I’d think nothing of it.  But if it happened on my 2nd date with a woman I’d think she didn’t like me very much or was playing games.  The relationship would not likely get off the ground.

           

          Unless….unless your goal is to be with someone who is significantly lower in SMV than you or has an anxious attachment system, both of whom would respond the way you want to your test.

        12. SparklingEmerald

          Jeremy Said “To build on Sparkling Emerald’s point (and sorry, SE, if this isn’t the direction you were going):  SE asked “How much shit are you willing to take from a partner?”

          Hi Jeremy – Actually this is the direction I was going and thanks for you response . . .

          I take shit from my wife all the time (and probably provide just as much).  I go shopping with her when I’d rather stay home, meet with her friends when I’d rather meet with mine or read a book.  Go to the store for her when she needs something.  Rub her neck at night when she can’t sleep, even though I might like to sleep.  I do those things for her because I love her.  How much shit are we willing to take from a partner when we love that partner?  Lots.

          I admit that I take more crap from close friends, family and spouses  (and probably give more as well) than someone I barely know, but the examples you gave, for me, just fall into the category of life’s inconveniences , and part of grown up responsibilities. Even when single I had to do things I didn’t necessarily want to do, and had to miss out on things due to unforseeable, unfortunate circumstances. As you said, those are things you do because you love her.  I do things for my loved ones out of love, and don’t consider it shitty at all.

          I consider taking shit to be tolerating intentional bad behavior.  I don’t consider going to see friends or asking for a neck rub or an errand to be bad behavior.

          I think shitty behavior would be having a melt down, if you asked for a favor and the person said “no”.  Or agreeing to the favor, and then acting like a shit the whole time.  (Example, agree to go to a wedding with a partner, then behave very rudely at the wedding)  Or ALWAYS saying no to all requests from a partner, but always demanding things from your partner.

          How much shit are we willing to take from someone we barely know?  Not very much.

          Absolutely agree ! As I told Gala, flakiness is one of the major reasons I have ditched guys early on.  None of the excuses they gave for cancelling a date at the last minute seemed plausible or truthful.  I assumed it was game playing.  they met someone else, or some sort of shit test.

           

  6. 6
    Adrian

    I don’t think the advice of “being yourself” is bad advice. Because like anything when you pretend you will either get tired then your actions and words will fall back into your default personality

    Or

    You will have to keep inventing lie after lie to cover yourself and when the woman finds out she will not be upset about the lie as much as she will be upset that you are a liar!

    …   …   …

    There has to be a good way for men to do and say the things to attract women while at the same time being himself enough that she will become attracted to him and not his persona.

    I mean look at how much Evan brags about his wife! The main trait that he said that caused him to choose her over the other 300+ women is that she accepted him for who he is… flaws and all.

    1. 6.1
      Kitty

      Adrian,

                 The main trait that he said that caused him to choose her over the other 300+ women is that she accepted him for who he is… flaws and all.

      That only works in a woman’s favor if the acceptance is mutual.  Sometimes it isn’t.  There’s a cliche about a man working hard to reach a pinnacle of success, and then dumping the woman who was with him from day one for someone whom he considers a real prize.  That’s why it is so important for women to let men take the lead in courtship.  If a guy is lonely, needs support as he builds himself up, and doesn’t have the status to attract the type of woman he really wants he will often settle (temporarily, he hopes) for whatever woman is interested in him and paying attention to him even if he doesn’t really love her.  And then trades her in for someone younger or prettier even if the new woman would have never been loyal to him for all those lean years as the woman he dumped.  If his big dreams never come to pass, and he gradually accepts that his second choice woman – or someone like her – is the best he’ll ever do he may decide to stick with her but he will likely never truly value her.  It’s not uncommon for ambitious social climbing men to select beautiful women who make them look good in front of their friends and colleagues but who also (behind closed doors) berate them and criticize them.  At least some such men consider that to be an acceptable trade off.  If they didn’t they’d marry sweet, loving plain Janes and be happy.

      1. 6.1.1
        Adrian

        Hi Kitty,

        I understand what you are saying but I would just like to interject that it is also a cliche’ that the better looking or sexier person (man or woman) will have a bad personality or some kind of major flaw-Aesop’s sour grapes fables.

        I think  we have to tell ourselves this to feel better about getting dumped or overlooked for someone better looking, slimmer, taller, richer, more educated, etc…

        Nevertheless I do get your point. We don’t know how many of those 300+ women would have accepted Evan for who he is and loved him in-spite of his flaws, because for whatever reason he rejected many of them like some of them rejected him.

        I honestly think that is what makes dating so tiring. You are just going around and around in an endless sea of random strangers trying to find so many mutual connections with just one of those strangers: attraction, goals, morals, values, finances, etc…

        I think online dating was suppose to be the solution: No more randomness. People are matched based off their commonalities… but what ended up happening is that yes the randomness was gone but shallowness took it’s place.

        …   …   …

        Oh and I can’t remember the book or the author but there is research that supports that women also do a version of the trading up that men do. Except men trade up after they increase their SMV and women start a relationship by picking a guy based off where they believe their SMV is.  They choose men based not off of where their SMV is but where they believe their SMV to be but unlike us men. To women SMV doesn’t just mean looks. That is why you can have a woman who is an average looking, overweight college lecture with a Ph.d  confused that a handsome inshape equally educated guy would choose the hot woman that works at starbucks over her. In his mind the slimmer, better looking woman has the higher SMV but in her mind she has the higher SMV.

        As Emily loves saying what about assortive mating? Yes assortive mating is great in theory but in practice it only applies when you have perfect conditions. Two single people in college or two single young people that work together can match assortively because of the commonalities and lack of baggage. But as we get older our pool of mutual options shrinks. So what is the man who is underemployed, short, and overweight to do? What is the older highly educated woman with a fitness body to do?

        Reading the comments from this blog over the years I sometimes wonder how many of the other commenters are truly enlightened and how many of them just realise where they are in life and what their options are so they are going to make the best out of what they have? After a certain age can a man still trade up or has he gone as far as his career will allow him? After a certain age can a woman still be as picky about who she chooses to date or will she have to settle from the current pool of men that are available to her?

  7. 7
    Tron Swanson

    There was a time when I desperately wanted to understand women. I was young, inexperienced, and convinced that a relationship would solve all of my problems. Unfortunately, then–as now–most advice for men presupposes two key things:

    1. Attraction.

    2. Success.

    Evan could take me on as a client…but, even if he was the Michael Jordan of dating coaches, he still wouldn’t be able to do anything with me, because I lack those two traits. I’m surprisingly good-looking, but I’m not the physical type that most women prefer, and I don’t have any of that mysterious “confidence” to offset it. Also, I’m not ambitious or materialistic at all, and I have no desire to be.

    I once had a female friend point me toward a dating advice book. She linked me to a fairly in-depth description, and it involved the following: in order to outcompete other men, you just need to get established, first. It argued that not many guys our age (I was in my mid-20s) have our lives together, so we just need to do that, and then go looking for a girlfriend. I asked her what would happen if I didn’t ever “get established.” Was I supposed to remain celibate until I eventually found some hypothetical success? She didn’t have much to say to that. At any rate, I’m glad I didn’t follow that advice, because I’m probably still not “established” by the normal definition. I would have missed out on a lot of sex.

    More commonly, women have given me advice that presupposes attraction, as opposed to success. “Oh, Tommy got Jill to be his girlfriend by doing these really simple things.” Yeah, but Jill wanted to **** Tommy before he ever said a word, and I haven’t come across many women who have had that response to me, to say the least.

    I think that men want to understand women…up to a point, and mainly for certain purposes. Even someone as non-masculine as me has zero desire to read about women’s emotional whatever. If you want to tell me the easiest ways to get sex, yes, I’m interested in that. Beyond that, well, I have better things to do with my time.

    I’m not interested in the “just do whatever women want you to do and be whatever women want you to be” advice, nor am I interested in the PUA stuff, which strikes me as being a little too obsessed with self-improvement. I just want to get laid, I have no interest in changing my life. And if I ever do want to change my life, well, I’ll base it on some philosophy, and the philosopher in question won’t use spray-tan or wear Jersey Shore shirts. As a MGTOW, my interactions with PUAs haven’t been the most productive. I’m sure that, on the outside, we look like the same thing–the Judean People’s Front versus the People’s Front of Judea–but we’re actually very different and kind of hate each other. I have zero desire to hold frame or just lift, bro.

    1. 7.1
      S.

      @Tron

      I kind of love this comment.  Why? Because it’s honest.  And it made me laugh.  Thank you for that, Tron. You also sound kind of weary which is how I feel too for completely different reasons.

      1 – Attraction.  The thing is yes,  it worked for Tommy because Jill was attracted.  Absolutely. But attraction alone is not enough for women.  Not for a relationship.  Just isn’t.  If Tommy didn’t do X or Y, even though Jill wanted him, they wouldn’t be together.  Yes, attraction has to be there but it usually doesn’t work alone.

      Was I supposed to remain celibate until I eventually found some hypothetical success?

      That’s like saying, was I supposed to remain without a relationship until I became some stunning beauty? Yeah, men sleep with women they don’t find attractive, but we women can figure out if a man is doing that and it doesn’t feel . . . great. Personally, I find that when my other needs for success are met, I’m better in relationships.  But that’s a relationship, not sex.  The standards for sex only are much lower.

      It’s a question I asked somewhere here a few weeks ago.  Does a woman remain relationship-free until she’s dealt with all of her demons?  The OP was already in therapy.  No one said yes, though, most agreed that deep issues are difficult to deal with in relationships if they remain unresolved.

      just want to get laid, I have no interest in changing my life.

      This is where I suspect a lot of men are and I thank you for your honesty.  The mystery for women? Is when some men want more than just getting laid.  Is he willing to change then?  That OP I mentioned above was already in therapy. She was working on herself.  What work are men willing to do on themselves if they want more than getting laid?

      I think there is someone for everyone if they keep looking. Yeah, sometimes it takes a long time. I understand if people give up and go their own way, take what they can get, whatever. I totally hear that.  It can require more work for those who start out with different resources.  But it’s still possible.  Maybe not frequent, but possible.

      Thanks again.  Your post really made me smile and I appreciate the men here sharing their honest thoughts.

      1. 7.1.1
        Tron Swanson

        Thanks for your reply, S.

        I may sound weary, but I’m actually not. I’m the opposite of normal people: I was much wearier when I was younger, and I’m much more energetic now. Once I gave up on the whole relationship idea, I started feeling much better, because I was no longer wasting so much time and energy.

        I agree that, for those who want relationships, attraction isn’t enough…but it’s usually what gets your foot in the door. Without it, you’re kind of doomed. You can trust me on that one.

        With all due respect, I don’t agree that your “was I supposed to remain a relationship until I became some stunning beauty” example is the same as what I said. I personally think that it’s easier for averagely-attractive women to find men than it is for averagely-successful men to find women. But, even if you disagree, consider this:

        Have you ever played RPG video games? The ones I played back in the day had side-quests, which were often necessary to beat the game. To me, they’re a good example of what men are expected to go through in order to get women. Think of relationships as a journey. Women can go straight from Point A to Point B, but men have to launch into a roundabout quest, because we need to accumulate certain things before we get to the women. The man wants a woman, but he has to be successful, first, so he goes on this sprawling, non-fun adventure…with a “high-quality” woman existing as a very abstract prize at the end.

        I’ve gone on far too many “side-quests” to get women. Men or women told me that, in order to get a girlfriend, I need to be X or do Y, and though I didn’t care about X or Y in the least, I wasted time and effort pursuing them. It was a miserable experience. Chasing something you don’t care about because, somehow, by some Rube Goldberg/Mousetrap-style process, it’ll result in you getting a girlfriend. Unless it doesn’t, and you did all of it for nothing.

        Bluntly asking for casual sex may be considered classless, immature, or whatever, but at least it’s a direct, Point-A-to-Point-B thing. No complicated journey, no “oh this will pay off someday, trust me” promises.

        Kitty,

        I’m here to learn about women, so that I can be more successful with them. I’m not looking for self-improvement, exactly, but rather insights that can make my task easier.

        1. S.

          Maybe I was projecting my weariness on to your comment.  It sounds so tiring when reading it.   Even the side quest.  (I haven’t played RPGs but have had friends who have or have been in the room a bit when they were being played.)

          I personally think that it’s easier for averagely-attractive women to find men than it is for averagely-successful men to find women.

          Depends on her resources, as you described. What if she’s not average, but actually of very low attractiveness and isn’t interested in knowledge or improving?  She might get sex or a man who that most would consider lower quality for a relationship but that’s it.  Or she might go on a self-improvement side quest. 🙂

          The interesting thing I have dated men who haven’t been on the side quest or are in the middle of it. They hadn’t achieved it yet. Even though I was with them, they still had to obtain these things regardless of my acceptance of them without them.  Especially career.  Nothing I can say or any woman can say or do, can stop the side quests if they have decided they need these things for their self-worth.  It has nothing to do with my value, just their own desire for these things for their sense of self.

          If only if you obtained X and X and it = Y.  But you’re right sometimes it might not.  A women who doesn’t care about looks, might improve her body and looks and it still not get her where she wants to be with romantic relationships.  There are no guarantees in this.

          I appreciate your directness on this blog and if you’ve found something that works for you in real life, more power to you.

        2. Tron Swanson

          S,

          re: nothing you can say or any woman can do can stop men’s side-quests, if they think they need to improve their self-worth:

          I think that, if not for women, many men wouldn’t care about status or success. Men certainly seem to be more competitive than women, but I’m not sure how much of that is biological, and how much of that is cultural. I’m not competitive/ambitious at all, but I don’t want to hold myself up as some sort of universal example. I just think that those traits are exaggerated by our quest for sex. The growing number of men who are into porn and video games and not trying are a good example of what I’m talking about. In short, you shouldn’t think, “These men sure are trying to improve themselves, but it isn’t related to women, and we can’t do anything about it,” you should think, “How many of these men secretly hate this, and are just doing it because it’s necessary to impress women?”

          Incidentally, if you ever do play a RPG, I highly recommend the classic Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, an old SNES game.

        3. S.

          It’s just odd. I’m thinking, “You’ve already got the woman. Me!”  But then they are thinking about the future. Not necessarily keeping me or other women, but just what they were focused on before me.  Maybe they had given up on women or just never imagined one in their lives.  I don’t know.  But their goals are their own.  And I think it’s about self-improvement. If you are single long enough and not looking, you focus on other things in your life and those things become important.  Some men really like their jobs and the confidence they may feel mostly there.  Or their hobbies.

          And that’s kind of a point in this post.  The growth women do isn’t just for men, it’s for their own healing and growth as person as well. My opinion is that sort of growth shouldn’t stop just because one finds a mate.

          I highly recommend the classic Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, an old SNES game.

          My friends have tried.  Really. One was a Dungeonmaster.  RPGs of any kind are just not my thing.  🙂

        4. Tron Swanson

          I’ve been single for the vast majority of my adult life…but, for some reason, I’ve never felt this need to focus on self-improvement. I imagine it’s easier to think that men are doing it for themselves, as opposed to women, because at least it’d be voluntary, that way. You can put that in the same category as “Men enjoy chasing women”. I’m sure some do, but I never did, and I’ve always resented being told that I did these things because I wanted to. No, I was forced to do them, because I wanted sex.

      2. 7.1.2
        Chris

        “What work are men willing to do on themselves if they want more than getting laid?”

        A big difference between men and women is that for women, getting laid is much easier than getting a relationship. For a man, getting casual sex is probably on par, or even harder, than getting a relationship. If a man can easily get casual sex, he can probably get a decent relationship fairly easily if he wants.

        This is because a woman will generally only sleep with a man if she finds him at least reasonably attractive and relationship worthy. A man will sleep with a woman he doesn’t find all that attractive and isn’t really interested in a relationship with. Men and women’s sex drives work differently in this regard.

         

        1. S.

          @Chris

          If a man can easily get casual sex, he can probably get a decent relationship fairly easily if he wants.

          Yet, even if a woman is having great sex with a man, it doesn’t mean she’ll easily get a relationship with him.  It might make it likely, but doesn’t mean it will happen.

          I don’t know which is harder, a man getting casual sex or a woman getting a relationship.  I just wish the right people would find each other.  There are women who want casual sex out there!  I would they would just find the men who want that.  And the same with men who really do want relationships.

          But there is no way to know who is who (and both groups have the prerogative to change their minds in the middle of courtship).  Sigh.

        2. SparklingEmerald

          And yet, on this very board, some male commenter said women have it so easy, because if a man asks them out she KNOWS he likes her.  When I point out that she knows no such thing, as he could just be after casual sex, a big argument ensued, with the men clinging to their “women KNOW a man like them ” argument, even tho men have been on this board for years, admitting that they’ll sleep with women they don’t even like (and even with women they actively DISLIKE)  Oh, and when I brought up “Hate F——” they exploded, as if that NEVER happens.  So yes, for women who want relationships, it is hard, because men will go through the quasi motions of a relationship to get sex and for men, getting casual sex is hard, because most women (most, not all ) want more.  Sure, some women will play the “cool girl” hoping the guy will change his mind.  When it back-fires, men have to deal with the dreaded “drama” that ensues.

        3. Adrian

          Hi S,

          You said, “Yet, even if a woman is having great sex with a man, it doesn’t mean she’ll easily get a relationship with him.

          One thing I have noticed about women (I am sure we men probably do it to) is that they always assume that how they feel the man feels the same way when it is positive. If she enjoyed the date she thinks he did to and so she says “we had a great date” or “the date was great” I don’t know why he didn’t call or want another.

          And women say, “Our sex life is great” or “we have amazing sex” or “we had mutual chemistry” I don’t know why he watches porn or doesn’t initiate sex with me or “found another woman he committed to.”

          My point is I wonder how many women actually ask these men “is sex between us just okay, good, or great?” How many men would be honest in answering that?

          All the men I know, if they found a women who was attractive, had a great personality, showed she desired him, and was “great” in bed he would not hesitate to date her-isn’t it the same for women?

          If so doesn’t that mean that one of the ingredients was lacking or not there all together? Like Jeremy said are women just lying to themselves believing he thought she was great in bed or that he was really attracted to her?

          Like Kitty said, sometime men lie to women because he knows that she is his best option now. He doesn’t really want her but he also doesn’t really want to hurt her… or close the door to sex.

           

        4. S.

          Oh, I think both partners know when the sex isn’t good.  But the odd thing to me as a woman, is I feel a man would rather have substandard sex, than actually talk about that sex life in hopes of improving it.

          And you hinted at that in your comment:

          sometime men lie to women because he knows that she is his best option now. He doesn’t really want her but he also doesn’t really want to hurt her… or close the door to sex.

          If the man does this and doesn’t make more of an effort to improve this relationship/sex life, then there isn’t much the woman can do alone. If he’s going to stick with his best option now and not say anything, how can she know or do anything to more?

          The point of Evan’s post here is that women buy the books, hire Evan, etc., they are trying their best to understand what is going on.  Maybe you’re right and the sex isn’t great.  What’s the man in that situation willing to do to improve it?

        5. Emily, the original

          Chris,

          This is because a woman will generally only sleep with a man if she finds him at least reasonably attractive and relationship worthy. 

          We covered this topic extensively on another post, but, no, this is not true for all women. I had chats with at least two friends when I was in college who hooked up with guys they didn’t find all that appealing. He was an option at the time, and they thought: Why not? A woman will have sex with a man for the same reasons a man a man has sex with a woman.

        6. Emily, the original

          S.,

          Oh, I think both partners know when the sex isn’t good.  

          Yes

        7. Emily, the original

          Sparkling Emerald,

          And yet, on this very board, some male commenter said women have it so easy, because if a man asks them out she KNOWS he likes her.  When I point out that she knows no such thing, as he could just be after casual sex, a big argument ensued, with the men clinging to their

          I agreed with you on this. I am on dating coach Kathryn Alice’s email list. She sometimes answers letters, and there have been a couple from a men who admit they have NEVER asked out the women they really like. They ask out the “B’ team because the “A” team make them nervous.

        8. Yet Another Guy

          @S.

          Oh, I think both partners know when the sex isn’t good.

          I can assure you that you are wrong.  I am a very experienced lover because I spent my formative years practicing sex as a sport (i.e., I was a man slut).   I have yet to meet a woman who does not assume that if a man is willing to do what it takes to bring her orgasm and can do it quickly and reliably (yes, I know when a woman is faking it), that he a) must be into her and b) the sex is great.  However, all that means is that a guy takes pleasure in pleasing the women with whom he has sex.

          To be completely honest, I have discovered that there is an inverse relationship between female beauty and bedroom skills.  What men say about overweight women (a.k.a. “fat bottom” girls) being better in bed than height-weight proportionate (HWP) women is for the most part true.  The same pretty much holds for women with SMVs lower than 7.   Less attractive women tend to learn at a relatively young age that they need to be good in bed to keep a desirable man; therefore, they tend to be far more adventurous on average.  Their HWP and/or more attractive counterparts tend to rely on their looks, which fade as a relationship matures.   Women with higher SMVs also tend to be higher maintenance in every category.

    2. 7.2
      Sylvana

      Tron,

      if you flip this around to a woman, you just stated (in this and your following replies) exactly the way I feel about dating.

      I would have to completely sacrifice everything I believe in, and pretty much be, think, and act the total opposite of what comes naturally to me just to please a man.

      I love and highly respect men, but the price of being in a relationship just isn’t worth it to me. And a relationship at that cost certainly does not make me happy.

  8. 8
    Kitty

    Tron,

                I just want to get laid, I have no interest in changing my life.

    If, per your descriptions of your sex life, you have no problem getting laid and you have no interest in self-improvement why do you come to this blog?  Serious question.

     

    1. 8.1
      Adrian

      Hi Kitty,

      To be honest with the exception of myself I don’t think any of the male commenters come to this blog to learn about women.

      ALL of them-yes even the good ones-have stated many times that they feel they need to teach women that is why they are here.

      1. 8.1.1
        Karl R

        Adrian,

        Any time someone speaks in absolutes about people (i.e. “All of them”), you guarantee that they’re wrong.  Many men come with questions or seeking information.

        That said, Tron has specifically stated that he’s not interested in learning about dating.  He claims that he’s here to teach women, but his actions seem more consistent with someone trying to garner sympathy/pity.

        1. Tron Swanson

          As I tried to say to Kitty–I thought my reply to S would be below both S’s and Kitty’s posts, but it wasn’t–I’m here to pick up useful insights. And I don’t think that I’ve ever said I’m here to teach, but I am trying to represent a specific segment of my gender, and remind women that it exists. I was well ahead of the curve on this MGTOW stuff; I’m an early adopter when it comes to things like this, so feel free to think of me as an example of what’s next.

          Also, full disclosure: though it isn’t very masculine of me to admit this, sympathy/pity has been my most successful strategy when it comes to women, so please don’t blame me for using it. Birds gotta fly, fish gotta swim, etc. We all have our evolutionary advantages.

        2. Adrian

          Hi Karl R,

          I always love hearing from you.

          Your statement is correct of course I don’t know about every male that has commented on this blog, and I do agree that many learn things. However I am speaking about the regulars not occasional commenter who pops in and you never hear from them again.

          When asked (I won’t include any names) ALL that I can remember have said something of the effect to “I am here to let women know”. It has been too long since I have read your post so I can’t remember if you said so or not-plus sadly you are no longer a regular so you don’t fall into the category.

          I have found that the majority of Evan’s “regular” commenters fall into 3 categories:

          1. Those sincerely seeking advice

          2. Those who are bored and just come here for conversation

          3. Those venting about the opposite sex or the post subject

          4. Those who feel they need to teach the opposite sex

          Numbers 2 & 4 are the most common. With 2 being most of the female commentators and 4 being most of the male

        3. Adrian

          Hi Malika,

          Great points. I like what you said better than what I said so I will acquiesce to your views of the commenters over mine.

          Something that Shaukat said really stuck out to me about men wanting to understand women. In your opinion do you think that the reason men struggle to understand women has something to do with the fact that women are struggling to understand/accept what they want themselves? If they don’t know how can men know?

          I could be wrong but it seems that many women are struggling internally (at least in America) with nature vs nurture. Naturally they need certain things in a man to feel attractive but society tells them that women should want this and good women don’t do or desire that… sluts do etc…

          What are your thoughts on this?

        4. Yet Another Guy

          @Adrian

          I could be wrong but it seems that many women are struggling internally (at least in America) with nature vs nurture. Naturally they need certain things in a man to feel attractive but society tells them that women should want this and good women don’t do or desire that… sluts do etc…

          I believe that what you are witnessing is the result of rapid cultural change.  When I think back to what an American woman could expect to achieve in her lifetime when I graduated from high school and what a woman can expect today, it literally blows my mind.  Traditional gender roles were the norm when I graduated from high school. No one had to remind a man that he needed to pursue, plan, and pay.  Today, thanks in large part to radical feminism’s impact on society, men are lost and women are attempting to redefine what it means to be woman.  Women regularly exhibit power and energy that was reserved for men four decades ago, and young men today are far more feminine than their fathers.  Most young American men do not know how to properly court a woman. All of my friends talk about this phenomenon. While none of us are pining for the old days, we do believe that something has been lost.

      2. 8.1.2
        Malika

        Hi Adrian:

        I think some of them do come to learn about women, they just like to start a healthy discussion and show their side of the situation.

        In a larger sense, I have met plenty of men that want to understand women throughout my life. It’s tough to understand the experiences of the other gender, and most of us lack the tools necessary for leaning back and listening actively to what others have to say and to also to apply a good dose of introspection to see why we are attracted to the people we gravitate to. But it’s not a lack of wanting to achieve greater knowledge.

  9. 9
    Lucy

    Great podcast, Evan! Very clearly explained.

  10. 10
    Marika

    Jeremy 

    I still think you missed my point. Which I’ll put down to one simple fact: you don’t date men. I know you are one and talk to them…but you seem to belong to a cohort of high SES and highly educated men who greatly value and prize women and relationships (lucky for the women in your life!). That’s not representative of the whole dating pool.

    You also speak about things that work once a relationship is established . Which is somewhat different to what works in dating, particularly the early stages of dating. You’ll just have to trust me that you need to walk a fine line between being giving and avaliable and being a ‘oh no she’s going to steal all my independence…I’ve got to get out!!’ chick.

    It’s been my experience that men are very sensitive to this. I’ve had guys freak out because I left some toiletries at their house, even though I was spending most nights there. Or tell me the exclusivity before sex chat made them feel like I was asking to name our children 😁

    1. 10.1
      Adrian

      Hi Marika,

      You said, “I still think you missed my point. Which I’ll put down to one simple fact: you don’t date men.

      I completely agree with you on this. It is often so easy for us (myself included) to dismiss what the other gender is going through because we say that “we” do not treat them that way or “we” say our friends are not like that. So we conclude that our gender as a whole is not like that… I also think that many people get very defensive quickly when someone points out a flaw that the majority of our gender has, we feel that person is also critiquing us. And most importantly like you said since I don’t date men my interaction with them will be different than a woman’s.

      I am curious how much weight do you place on a potential boyfriend’s close friends when deciding if you should date him? Especially if the way his closest friends whom he hangs with often act in a way that turns you off or you find disrespectful yet he spends the majority of his time hanging with them? Where-if any-is the line between not judging someone for the actions of others and acknowledging that there must be commonalities if they always hang together and perhaps he is more like the people he is always around than we can see in the beginning stages.

      You also said, “You also speak about things that work once a relationship is established . Which is somewhat different to what works in dating, particularly the early stages of dating.

      Again I completely agree. I use to get annoyed when certain commenters talked to me as if I was a child-though I guess since you and I are among the youngest two we could be considered a child compared to many other commenters (^_^)-all because I did not understand their methods or actions. Now I see that most of them are in different stages or as Karl R wrote many have motives that they themselves sometimes don’t even realize. Much of the advice that I have read about relationships all deal with an established couple or an established level of attraction.

      That is why PUA stuff is so popular with socially awkward men. Men who don’t know how to approach women. Is it the same for women?

      I know there are a lot of books on relationships for women but are their any books that teach women how to be PUA towards men? Now I know most women are taught not to approach but according to Helen Fisher most women do initiate just indirectly while men initiate directly-It’s usually so form of getting him to notice her. I haven’t seen any books for women on how to get his attention and how to entice him to approach all the relationship books I see are focused on something established.

      …   …   …

      And I still can’t believe you broke my heart last week when you told me you didn’t know what root beer was. There went my dream of marring you and starting a root beer farm in Australia; you getting up at dawn milking those root beers every morning (^_^).

       

      1. 10.1.1
        Nissa

        Adrian, For an eye opener on women doing PUA, ladies’ style, is How to get the Guy by Matthew Hussey. He discusses how to approach (ditch your friends as guys won’t approach a crowd), how to make it easy for him to approach you (cross to his side of the room, make eye contact, ask him a question that requires his opinion.

        In my experience, most of the PUA stuff works for 3 reasons: 1) it helps shy guys fake confidence, 2) it gives the guys a sense of security when he has a ‘script’ to follow and 3) some of it is actually emotionally manipulative and works on the insecurity of the other person, such as negging, doing ‘comfort and trust’ behaviors, breaking the touch barrier,  using dates to escalate intimacy, getting women to ‘invest’ in you, etc.

    2. 10.2
      Jeremy

      I think that is fair, Marika.  I agree that initial dating is different from a long-term relationship.  As much as I talk about arousal and comfort, there is a 3rd factor involved in relationships and that is Attachment (as we’ve discussed in the context of the Amir and Heller book).  I think that some people mistake an activated attachment system for arousal, while others feel smothered by too much attention/perceived need.  It is definitely a factor, and can influence both genders depending on their attachments style.  I think it is less of a factor, though, in established relationships because by the time a relationship is long-term, attachment mis-matches should have already broken up the relationship.

    3. 10.3
      Kitty

      Marika,

      It’s been my experience that men are very sensitive to this. I’ve had guys freak out because I left some toiletries at their house, even though I was spending most nights there. Or tell me the exclusivity before sex chat made them feel like I was asking to name our children

      Tales like these make me think of the men in Victorian novels (Jane Austen etc).  Even well to do men of that time and place had much harder lives relative to modern American men who make $35,000 per year.  Not only did they have far less access to financially free/cheap unmarried sex but their decisions were limited by family obligation, social pressure to marry and other religious and legal constraints on their freedom.  Add to that the greater difficulty of obtaining food, clothing and shelter as well as the higher likelihood of dying of bacterial infections, typhoid and the like it would be hard to argue that modern men (even fairly marginal ones) have much easier lives.

      But are modern men happier than their Victorian counterparts?  Are they more content with their respective lots in life, and are they more comfortable in their own skin?  Are their lives more honorable?  It’s hard not to see a certain amount of pettiness and self-indulgence in a man who sees a woman’s toothbrush as a ball and chain, or in a man who feels unfairly henpecked at a woman verbalizing her expectation of exclusivity before sex.  Though I suppose it’s not particularly surprising that when men get used to getting what they want without much effort that the result is a sense of entitlement rather than gratitude.  It’s the same way that spoiled children end up resenting their parents for not giving them more rather than appreciating their latest new toy.

      1. 10.3.1
        Marika

        Kitty

        I never meant to imply that this is ‘bad’ or ‘wrong’. I’m meeting these people online. It’s a whole new world. We have no previous history together. They are wary of women who want to move in and invade their space. I get that. I’m not like that personally, but having dated for a while now (often divorced guys who are wary due to their ex or never married guys who’ve always valued their freedom), and in reading Evan’s and other blogs, I’m starting to understand that being the cool girl and practising ‘non-attachment’ are key in the early stages of dating (with just the right amount of warmth & positivity). And remember, some, or maybe most of these men would’ve met women who slept with them no questions asked. So I’m a bit of a unicorn to them 🙂

        What I meant was, just as women at times give men bad dating advice, I find that otherwise very well-meaning and highly sensitive and empathetic men on here at times give quite misleading advice to women. Coming on  strong, not making it clear you have your own independent life, acting like an instant girlfriend etc.. all very bad. Jeremy and I had a chat once where I gave an exaggerated over-the-top response to an offer for a first date and I recall he said he would love it if a woman responded like that. If he would, he’s the only man I’ve ever come across who felt that way!

        At the moment I’m sort of seeing someone who’s still figuring out his feelings and whether he’s ready for exclusivity. Fine, it’s only been around a month, so no biggie. I’m very into him, and to cool myself down I’m also chatting to two other men I’m less keen about. Because I’m naturally stepping back from those two (as my heart’s really not that in it), they are messaging me ALL THE TIME and really, really pushing for dates. While the one I’m very into is sensing my keenness and sort of stepping back, then approaching, then stepping back. He’s been completely honest with me and I’m happy to see where things go for now, re-evaluating in a few weeks.

        IME, Men don’t want to be pressured or have their decisions made for them or offered ultimatums. And they oftentimes don’t know what exactly they want. That’s just how it is. If I accept that, I can act accordingly. Or I can rail against it and become a WGMOW..;)

        1. Emily, the original

          Marika,
          IME, Men don’t want to be pressured or have their decisions made for them or offered ultimatums. And they oftentimes don’t know what exactly they want. 
          I agree with you. I read somewhere that neediness isn’t just revealed in someone’s actions but is also a state of mind. What I mean is that a woman’s energy can read “like me, like me, like me.” And that kind of energy, from my experience, repels men. Well, at least the men I’ve been interested in.

      2. 10.3.2
        Adrian

        Hi Kitty,

        I disagree with almost all you have said.

        As much as I love Marika I think she and most women in her situation are just victims of the infamous “he’s just not into you.”

        If a man wanted a woman he would make her his it has nothing to do with entitlement or modern vs victorian men

        1. Marika

          Adrian said:

          “If a man wanted a woman he would make her his”

          With all due respect, this is another piece of poor advice. If Evan’s wife had bought into this, she would have broken up with him around the 16 month mark and they wouldn’t be married. Karl R’s relationship wouldn’t have worked out either. As we learn in Love U, if a man has doubts he’s just seeing things clearly. I’m glad a person would say to me “I’m just not sure yet” rather than not say it, fake feelings too early, or whatever.

          How can you be sure when you’ve known someone for a few weeks??

          My ex-husband pursued me with a vigour that would make you think I was the love of his life and he would never look at another woman. Didn’t work out and he did look at another woman. (more than look).

          Some of this conventional wisdom is thrown around so people can make sense of complex human emotions. I want a real, lasting relationship where people express their fears and doubts and don’t just tell me what I want to hear. And of course, you shouldn’t chase a man who’s making no effort to see you. That’s not the case here.

          Prince Charming is not all he’s cracked up to be.

        2. Jeremy

          Hmmm, a question for you then, Marika.  The guy you’re dating – the one you are into but he isn’t sure – he would balk if you came on too strong, right?  But the other 2 guys you aren’t into – the ones who text you too often for your liking – how do you think they would respond if you came on strong with them?  Legit question – I know what I think, but as you correctly wrote, I don’t date men.

           

          My supposition is that those 2 guys would not mind if you came on strong for 2 reasons.  One is that they are into you.  They are certain they are attracted to you and want to pursue something.  And the other is that they likely have Anxious attachment styles, whereas the guy you’re into likely is somewhat Avoidant.  People with anxious styles need their partner to come on somewhat strong.  People with anxious styles hate that.  Yet some people (whistling and looking sideways) are more attracted to avoidant people, and so perceive “men” as hating it when women come on too strong.  It’s not “men”, it’s the men they are attracted to (and not the ones they aren’t).  I don’t want to say that it can never work when one partner is ambivalent to start – you gave the examples of Evan and Karl R.  Yet I remember my mother’s advice that you and I discussed once before.  Affection should not need to be earned.  Your partner should feel lucky to be with you.  And contrary to what has been written by some, deciding to date exclusively is hardly a commitment.  If he doesn’t like you and breaks it off after a month, what has he lost?

        3. Jeremy

          Sorry for the double post, but this also bears saying – we need to understand the nuance between letting a guy know you’re into him versus coming on too strong.  After my 1st date with my wife, as I was about to leave she smiled at me and said, “I had a really nice time with you.  I felt we had a lot to talk about.  You should call me so we can continue our conversation.”  I thought that was really nice because it wasn’t the generic “I’ll call you”, but rather it gave me a not-subtle indication that she wanted to see me again.  This is in stark contrast to her doing something like showing me the wedding gown she keeps in her closet and hopes to use with me.  There is a spectrum between subtlety and craziness, and our comfort zone on that spectrum depends on our feelings toward the other, our attachment style, and our expectation of how relationships “should” evolve.  The key is finding a person whose expectations are somewhat is sync with ours.

        4. Emily, the original

          Jeremy,

          My supposition is that those 2 guys would not mind if you came on strong for 2 reasons.  One is that they are into you.  They are certain they are attracted to you and want to pursue something.  And the other is that they likely have Anxious attachment styles, whereas the guy you’re into likely is somewhat Avoidant.  People with anxious styles need their partner to come on somewhat strong.  

          I was just going to write this. The one is avoidant and the other two are probably anxious. But why do we seem to value people who are a bit harder to get? I think it’s human nature. Someone’s who drooling over you makes you question us what’s wrong with them …

        5. Emily, the original

          After my 1st date with my wife, as I was about to leave she smiled at me and said, “I had a really nice time with you.  I felt we had a lot to talk about.  You should call me so we can continue our conversation.”  I thought that was really nice because it wasn’t the generic “I’ll call you”, but rather it gave me a not-subtle indication that she wanted to see me again. 

          This was a nice way to let you she was interested. When women say men are coming on too strong, we mean acting like an instant boyfriend. Texting all day long, assuming an intimacy that isn’t yet there.

      3. 10.3.3
        Sylvana

        Kitty,

        given that men nowadays enjoy much better opportunities to advance their lot in life, and much more freedom, I’d argue that they are definitely much happier than men during Victorian times.

        As for sex and entitlement – Extramarital sex during Victorian times was the norm, not the exception (for men, anyway). Most men of means even kept mistresses. Wives served the purpose of producing legitimate offspring. Even wives took lovers once their childbearing duties were fulfilled.

        While not free, prostitutes from cheap to “higher class” were available to cater to every desire. And despite the risks, plenty of women still engaged in casual sex. Oftentimes, unmarried women back in those days didn’t have another choice than to become “kept” women in order to survive.

        The only thing that has changed is the attitude about sex. Back then, men had needs, women were expected to accept this. It was perfectly all right for men to have sex before marriage, and to keep having sex with partners other than their wives. Women, on the other hand, were expected to remain virgins until marriage, and were shamed for engaging in casual sex.

        Most men married due to family obligations, and/or to produce legitimate children, not because they wanted to. So the ball and chain feeling existed already back then. It might simply not have seemed so huge given all the other hardships of simple survival. It likely also did not feel so huge due to the fact that faithfulness was not excepted of men, and women were expected to be submissive to their husbands.

        As much as novels (and romance novels) set in that era like to paint a more idealized picture, even those generally very realistically paint the hero a “notorious rake” (before he falls in love), and are quick to point out that faithfulness (for men, at least) was the exception, not the norm. They also clearly reflect that women had no rights.

        And while most men might have more options nowadays when it comes to sex , I’m sure a lot of them will also argue that it certainly still isn’t “free”. They simply pay for it in other ways.

        Speaking of entitlement and the Victorian era – Men had marital rights. Meaning a woman had no right to refuse her husband’s sexual advances, no matter how repulsive she might have found the man she was married to.

        I’d much rather have men get sex for “free” and complain about the ball and chain, than to have them marry just so they can legally sate themselves whenever they want, with absolutely no regard to the woman’s pleasure, or even her willingness.

      4. 10.3.4
        Kitty

        Marika,

        It’s a compassionate endeavor to meet these men where they are.  I hope they have enough to offer  in return to make it worthwhile.  Based on your descriptions of their behavior they sound like what CS Lewis called “Men without chests”.

        Jeremy,

        You missed the point.  Does easy sex  and low expectations for their behavior make men happy inasmuch as it gives them self respect and purpose?

        1. Jeremy

          Does easy sex  and low expectations for their behavior make men happy inasmuch as it gives them self respect and purpose?”  No.  Didn’t I already say that?

        2. Jeremy

          Self respect and purpose almost never come from doing anything easy.  It comes from doing something difficult.  Martin Seligman advocates thinking of someone in your life who did something good to you, then going to that person and sincerely thanking them.  Most of us would cringe at the thought of doing that, because doing so puts us at a psychological disadvantage.  Yet do this, and the happiness that ensues from it will last far longer than the happiness of easy pleasures.

           

          I was skeptical and tried this.  He is right.

        3. Kitty

          Jeremy,

          I actually meant to address that comment to Adrian.  Sorry for the mix up.

  11. 11
    Marika

    Haha Adrian

    Is it Ginger beer? That we have. It would be unusual to order it in a bar here though. Do you like Lemon, Lime & Bitters? That’s a commonly ordered non alcoholic drink. Or Coke or Lemonade (Sprite).

    Tell you what, if you’re clever enough to figure out my last name, send me a FB friend request and I’ll help you further and we can stop hijacking this blog with Aussie chat ☺ Fair Dinkum!!

    1. 11.1
      Adrian

      Hi Marika,

      Google A&W root beer to get an idea of what I mean (So we can start our farm together).

      Also be careful what you say about your identity… You know all to well that certain commenters on here pride themselves on cyber investigating women.

       

  12. 12
    Kitty

    To the point of men and women understanding each other:

    It used to be that men didn’t talk much about their romantic/sexual difficulties and when they did other men were rarely sympathetic.  When the whole PUA/Manosphere blew up the way it did many women were horrified that some men had created a whole subculture to form strategies about how to get casual sex.  But one baby boomer male friend of mine, himself no prude, told me that he found it very distasteful that these guys were doing so much emotional venting about their sexual frustration and heartache.

    In my view such guys are probably better off being able to find support from other men who have been there, but I don’t think anything close to the PUA/Manosphere subculture would have developed without the anonymity of the internet.  I find it hard to imagine that men, in similar numbers, would meet each other face to face and talk extensively about being rejected, cheated on or generally unsuccessful in their dealings with women, even if the larger purpose was to solve the problem.

    1. 12.1
      Jeremy

      I agree with you here, Kitty.  People here may not believe this, but many of the manosphere bloggers see themselves as being on a rescue mission for damaged men.  Even Susan Walsh, who once held very different philosophies than she now does, took these “birds with broken wings” into her blog to try to help them.  They are in pain, their worlds have collapsed.  Because they thought that relationships worked by a certain set of Rules – rules they were taught by women and society – and they later learned that the women in their lives were following a different set of rules entirely.  An experience not unlike what many of the women here describe.

       

      Your post about happiness, though, conflates a lot of things IMHO.  Are men today HAPPY with all the sexual freedom that exists?  No.  They experience more discreet episodes of positive affect, but that doesn’t make them happier.  Because our happiness depends on the narrative of our lives that we tell ourselves, not on the happiness we experience at any given moment.  And our narrative depends on engagement, relationships, meaning, and achievement more so than positive affect.  Now, you wrote that men in Victorian times had more sense of honour – but should that have made them happy?  Only if honour provides one with a sense of meaning and achievement.  In bygone times, it might have.  The problem is that today, acting with a sense of honour often is denigrated by society and REDUCES achievement – and sometimes men who act with honour end up less happy because of that, while other men who act without honour also end up less happy because they also lack meaning and self-respect.

       

      The problem I see with men today is that there are fewer ways than ever to achieve a sense of meaning.  Religion is gone.  Social structures are mostly gone.  So what’s left?  Number of sex partners?  Pseudo-achievement by playing video games?  Where can a man go to achieve something meaningful and be told by others that his was a job well-done?  To be guided by the scruples of the group of what behaviours he should follow?  Because right now, the only people trying to tell men how to act are hopelessly misguided by their fear of men and desire to protect women.

      1. 12.1.1
        S.

         Are men today HAPPY with all the sexual freedom that exists?  No.

        Curious what other men who read this blog would answer.  And how each  defines ‘happy’.

        1. D_M

          S.

          I have no real appreciation for sexuality in a bygone era beyond what I’ve heard or read. My natural disposition is to work with the here and now, absent any longing for some perceived “good ole days”. I don’t focus on how things should be, but on how they currently are. A philosophy that has probably sheilded me from being too disappointed with life’s various ups and downs. Jeremy’s comment about the narrattive we tell ourselves about what it means to be happy heavily influences our feelings of happiness.

          In order to corral my thoughts on the broad question of “happy”, I resorted to Maslow’s pyramid. I asked myself whether I have meet my basic needs, psychological needs, and self-fulfillment needs. The resounding answer to my own personal narrative is yes.

           

        2. Yet Another Guy

          @S.

          When a man is younger, he is content to run up the numbers.  It is an ego thing.  However, at some point, sex as a sport gets old, and a man realizes he and his fellow men have soiled the field to the point where he no longer desires to play the game.  The reality is that we cannot eat our cake and have it too.  In practicing sex as a sport, we destroy the very thing that we cherish.  No guy wants to be one of a long list of men with whom a woman has had sex when he decides that he wants a woman for more than sex, but we are complicit in creating that reality.

        3. Tron Swanson

          Just speaking for myself: yes, I’m happy with all the sexual freedom we have now, and I wish we had even more of it. Frankly, I think that American culture is a bit more puritanical than it was in the ’00s. We’ve gone from Girls Gone Wild to “metoo”. Instead of Britney Spears and midriff shirts, we now have Lena Dunham and gender antagonism. Good lord.

          Anyway, one of the things that bugs me the most about the manosphere is the illogical double-standard involving sex. Too many of my fellow MGTOWs complain about “modern” women being promiscuous (though that definitely isn’t the word they use)…and then they turn around and complain about how hard it is to get laid. C’mon, guys; cognitive dissonance, much? As a man, it’s in my interest for women to be as wild as possible. In my view, anyone who complains about women being “too” sexual (as if that’s even possible) surrenders their right to complain about how hard it is to get laid.

          Granted, I’m not a normal guy. I’ve never been particularly monogamous, and I create my own meaning and fulfillment–I don’t need religion or social status or whatever else. I feel sorry for these guys who feel the need to be followers, or to prove themselves to the world. It’s a lot more fun to just enjoy life.

          Whatever one’s issues with feminism, it clearly gave men a new kind of freedom, and I plan to take full advantage of it.

        4. S.

          D_M

          So appreciate your comment.  I think the bygone era you were talking about was the Victorian era?  But sometimes I wonder if it was the 1980s.  LOL.  They both seem equally bygone by this point, but I’m a product of one and since I was raised then, I bring those values to the present.  It’s a part of who I am that I don’t want to change no matter what year it currently is.  Just interesting you and Marika both used the phrase, “bygone era.”  Some of the values in eras past are important to me.  (And yes, I remember the oppression too, but hope we can take the good and not the bad.)

          I asked myself whether I have meet my basic needs, psychological needs, and self-fulfillment needs. The resounding answer to my own personal narrative is yes.

          Fascinating.  The words used here on this blog are sometimes so entirely different from how I’d ever think.  Gives me much to think about.  Thanks for sharing your thoughts and I’m very glad the answer is yes for you.  🙂

        5. S.

          @ YAG

          No guy wants to be one of a long list of men with whom a woman has had sex when he decides that he wants a woman for more than sex, but we are complicit in creating that reality.

          Thanks for this thought.  Some men don’t mind.  A acquaintance of mine married for the third time and her guy knew how experienced she was.  He really, really valued sex, though and she was great at it. The right lids have to find the right pots.  He didn’t marry her right away, but he did eventually.

          Some men want sex and they’d want it to be good sex, but they don’t want to think about how a person got that experience.  Sigh.  And if a woman is inexperienced, he’s happy to learn with her, but then sex might not start out so good.

          Maybe, just a lot goes into making a complete and whole person.  A person mature and ready for a relationship, ready to make the other person happy.  Self-awareness, experience, maybe even some therapy/reading books/research all go into it.

          I think we need to let go of what people did in their journey and focus on the complete person they are or on the path to being.  I can speak for myself that I want a person who is whole and ready and don’t want to blame him for how or what he did to get that wholeness.

        6. S.

          @Tron

          Your posts make me smile because you do seem happy.  And you didn’t sound like you were happy before.  I learn from this because it’s hard to keep in mind that simply having frequent sex could change someone’s life view.  Not having sex could never make me feel jaded or unhappy in quite that way.  A nagging unhappiness maybe, but I could find true life happiness without sex.  I could still like and love men, even with frequent rejection. (Though I might have to stop trying if that were happening.  Fortunately, that’s now how it’s going for me. :-))

          I don’t get the men going their own way. Why are they even thinking about women if they aren’t going that way? Just be happy without even giving women a thought if that brings them peace. But I have to admit, just glimpsing that world it didn’t seem very . . . peaceful.

          Such an interesting discussion and it’s not idle or because I’m bored.  I’m learning about how men think.  Not all men, but it’s different enough sometimes for me to realize I honestly don’t know what most men are thinking a lot of the time. And that’s okay.  ‘Cause I can ask and listen without judgment and that’s a lesson it itself.

        7. Emily, the original

          S.,

          No guy wants to be one of a long list of men with whom a woman has had sex when he decides that he wants a woman for more than sex, 

          There are women who feel that way about the men they want a serious relationship with. They don’t mind (and assume he has) some experience, but not someone who has hooked up with just about anyone. It’s probably best to keep what one’s done in the past … in the past, for both parties.

        8. Tron Swanson

          S,

          Why do MGTOW keep thinking and talking about women? This isn’t original with me, but, for the same reason that childfree people talk about kids, for the same reason that atheists talk about religion, and for the same reason that feminists talk about men. When a group is defined by their disapproval or rejection of something, they’re going to end up discussing that something quite a bit.

        9. Karl R

          Tron Swanson,

          You don’t get it.

          My wife and I are child-free.  If we get together with others who are child-free, we don’t talk about kids.  That’s part of what we’re free of (at least when we’re around others like us) … the constant discussions about what everyone’s kids are doing.

           

           

          I don’t need to convert others.  I don’t need others to agree with me.  I don’t need others to understand why I don’t want kids.  I don’t need to explain my decision.  And I certainly don’t need to do those any of those things on parenting websites.

           

          The MGTOW) haven’t gone their own way.  By constantly thinking about women and discussing women, by defining themselves by their disapproval of and rejection of women, they have chosen to lug women around like a burden.  I strongly suspect that many MGTOW spend more time talking about women and thinking about women (not as individuals, but as women) than I do.

        10. Tron Swanson

          Karl,

          I’ve read some childfree forums, and I’ve seen a lot of complaining about how annoying kids can be. Regardless, I’ll happily agree that there are many different types of childfree people…

          …just as there are many different types of MGTOW. “going your own way” probably means something different to every man. In my own case, I do talk a lot about women…because it’s good for people to confront their feelings and get in touch with their emotions. When I kept it all bottled up, I wasn’t a very happy person. Sure, I agree that it’s bad to focus too much on the things that agitate you, but a person can’t just pretend that it didn’t happen, either. It needs to be brought out into the open.

          For all of the stereotypes about the manosphere, it’s sort of ironic that we actually got to this point by following mainstream advice, which was to deal with feelings of weakness and vulnerability by actually discussing our emotions. When men tried to act tough and hide weakness, we were criticized; when we talked about how we were hurt and took steps to keep from being hurt again, we…were also criticized.

          We’ve gone from “Men need to be honest and stop being so macho!” to “Oh, boo-hoo, more male fragility.” Just no pleasing some people, I guess.

      2. 12.1.2
        Kitty

        Epic comment Jeremy.  I’d add only that modern people generally don’t watch 3 of their children die of polio, diphtheria or other childhood illnesses which decimated Victorian children.

      3. 12.1.3
        KK

        Hi Jeremy,

        Serious question… Have you ever considered starting some sort of men’s group with friends / acquaintances or members of your synagogue?

        1. Jeremy

          A friend of mine tried that a while back.  His wife thought it would be a great idea for him to start a men’s book group to foster male community and support.  So a bunch of us introverted, married guys got together in his basement and talked about a book we read.  It was….awkward.  And I tried to analyze post-fact why we all found it so, because I thought the idea was good and really wanted it to work.

           

          I think part of the problem was that in spite of our good intentions, we have been socialized to compete with hierarchal conversation.  In other words, instead of trying to reach accord, we were each trying to show how smart we are, and no one was there to acknowledge it because we were all trying to compete.  In the end, we ate the brownies and promised to do it again, but never could agree on another book and the whole thing fizzled out.

           

          I think that men’s groups are a great idea and very beneficial.  But there needs to be a motivator to get us there – something that provides a short-term goal.  For women, my understanding is that just the bonding that happens in such groups is pleasurable.  I think men don’t perceive that, and need something more for motivation.

  13. 13
    Theodora

    Is it in the benefit of women though if men “understand women”, or is it better if they retain a certain dose of innocence and idealism regarding the opposite gender? I’m pretty sure that cynical and successful womanizers understand women very well, anyway better than their more naive and inexperienced counterparts, it’s just that they don’t need advice from dating and self-help coaches, because they can easily get what they want from the women they want.

    Also, as someone said, we are all self-interested in dating, as well as other aspects of our life. So, are women more interested in dating and relationship advice as a sign of self-improvement, selflessness and and “working on herself”, or is it simply because overall women benefit from LTRs and marriages more than men?

    1. 13.1
      Kitty

      Hi Theodora,

      I highly enjoy your comments!

       So, are women more interested in dating and relationship advice as a sign of self-improvement, selflessness and and “working on herself”, or is it simply because overall women benefit from LTRs and marriages more than men?
      I’d say that many, if not most women, sure seem to think that they highly benefit from LTRs and marriages.  Surely you’ve seen women marry men whom they acknowledge have some deeply scarlet red flags, and have heard such women say “It will be different after we are married”.  In terms of what marriage and LTRs actually bring to men and women’s lives, on average, I’d say that many women overvalue marriage/LTRs for their own sake (i.e. want to be in one even if the man is nothing to write home about) based on the benefits they get, and that many men undervalue them.  I don’t think women who overvalue marriage to the point where they marry men with some rather serious flaws just because they are afraid of being “left on the shelf” are better off, for the most part.  Nor do I think that men who undervalue marriage to the point where they don’t make the effort to meet their wives needs, or they act selfishly by having affairs, or they put off marriage too long and realize that their options are severely  restricted, benefit from this way of thinking.  Maybe the battle of the sexes would be less vicious if men and women tried to see some merit in the other’s preferences and goals rather than strategizing how to get what they want while avoiding giving their partners what they want.

  14. 14
    Marika

    Jeremy and Kitty

    This is online dating. These people hardly know me. I’m not sure how familiar either of you are with this medium. Nothing that happens in these early stages is about me. The two keen guys can’t be just really into me..one of them I haven’t actually met and one I’ve met once for two hours. They may be really into my pictures and body or really into how hard it’s been to pin me down, or into their projections of me..it couldn’t at this stage be me.

    The other guy needs a bit more time. He made have had a bad break up, he may be avoidant, who knows. Again, it’s just a few weeks and he’s not sure if he wants to be boyfriend / girlfriend yet. That’s fair and he’s been honest. I was away for 2 weeks after we started chatting and maybe he met someone else in between and he’s weighing up what’s right. It’s not about me. So I’ve lost nothing giving it a few more weeks to see if things develop.

    My friends, this is the reality of modern, online dating. You gain nothing by taking everything so seriously and personally and by comparing now to some romanticised bygone era.

    1. 14.1
      Kitty

      Marika,

      My point was not to criticize you or your methods.  If you find it worthwhile to do what you do with these men you have my blessing.  I don’t know these men; if you like them there must be something worthy of respect or admiration in them.

  15. 15
    Marika

    Jeremy

    A bit of feedback: you asked me a ‘legit question’ then answered it yourself anyway as though you know me, these men or anything about online dating..adding in a little dig at me on the side.

    What are you ‘learning’ about women here?

    1. 15.1
      Jeremy

      My sincere apologies for the “dig”.  It was not intended as such, and my thinking was that it was something we had already discussed and you had acknowledged.  Offending or insulting you was the last thing I’d want to do.  As for your other feedback, acknowledged.  I learn from each comment and response on this blog.

       

      1. 15.1.1
        Marika

        I’m not offended, Jeremy, I’m imploring you to learn and listen, not just teach and instruct.

        You know a lot about relationships. You appear, though, to know very little about dating in the age of online dating and certainly apps. Or what it’s like to date men.

        I probably would have given similar advice as you in this forum when I was married, shaking my head, from my established relationship base…, but this is a whole new world and a learning curve. One I truly hope you’ll never experience.

        But if you do, try to do so with an open mind and an optimistic outlook. Not with predetermined expectations or by labeling everyone’s attachment styles by date 0, 1 or 6.

        The latter applies to you too, Kitty, Emily and Adrian. It will make dating a lot less draining and more fun. Trust me.

  16. 16
    Emily, the original

    Marika and Jeremy,
    I copied the excerpt below form an article by Mark Manson. He describes neediness much better than I did.
    Women are far more likely to use sex to seek out their need for connection. Men, on the other hand, have traditionally used their sex lives as a status symbol with other men. If you’re a man who sleeps with a lot of women, you’re usually seen as a more successful man. Therefore, men have largely been conditioned to seek sex to fulfill their need for self-esteem.
    Because men and women have traditionally pursued sex to fill different psychological needs, they fail to understand each other and criticize each other for not meeting the need they want met. Men think women are being clingy and manipulative, whereas women think men are being insecure and desperate.
    In my book on dating for men, a core point I make is that men need to develop themselves independently of women to get their needs met on their own as much as possible. I would argue the same goes for women. Pursuing sex to compensate for your neediness in self-esteem or because you feel a lack of connection in your life will only cause you to behave in unattractive ways. End of story.
    Once you’re able to meet your psychological needs with a variety of sources in your life (healthy family life, social life, professional life, etc.), then you can pursue sex from a place of power and abundance (attractive) and not from a place of neediness and desperation (unattractive).

    1. 16.1
      Kitty

      Phew, Emily, I’ve got to say that sounds like a lot of work.  Along with all the Sun Tzu level strategizing that getting a commitment from a modern man seems to require, self development to the point of eradicating any hint of neediness or desperation while simultaneously being warm, vulnerable, flirty etc.  I realize this blog is an advice blog for women but I have to wonder what the men bring to the table to make all of this worthwhile.  Especially as, per the other advice here, women are advised not to be too picky about height, looks, income.  It’s not as though average height, looks, income etc are a guarantee of sterling character.  Most men who are average in other ways have average character.

      It’s really not surprising that a lot of women are only interested in the top 10% of men if this is what they have to go through to get one.  Though I suppose men could say the same.

      1. 16.1.1
        Emily, the original

        Kitty,

        Phew, Emily, I’ve got to say that sounds like a lot of work.  

        I’m not sure what you are referring to. This sentence? Once you’re able to meet your psychological needs with a variety of sources in your life (healthy family life, social life, professional life, etc.), then you can pursue sex from a place of power and abundance (attractive) and not from a place of neediness and desperation (unattractive).

        If so, then yes, creating a life for oneself is a lot of work, whether you’re a man or woman. I think the writer, Mark Manson, was advocating not making one’s romantic relationship as one’s sole emotional support. And, yes, pursuing sex from a place of power is a lot sexier than pursing it from a place of neediness.

      2. 16.1.2
        Yet Another Guy

        @Kitty

        I realize this blog is an advice blog for women but I have to wonder what the men bring to the table to make all of this worthwhile. 

        Hopefully, you realize that women desire relationships more than men.  How many self-improvement books related to relationships have you encountered that were written for men? Many men see a relationship as the cost of having steady sex with a desirable woman.  At my age, I really do not care if I ever have another relationship.  I have been married, and I have my children.  I have a bunch of sisters and a few platonic female friends if I need emotional support.  The only thing I need from a woman is sex, and even that desire has waned as I have aged because the emotional toll paid is often greater than the benefit received.   Setting the table for one is so much easier than tending to a woman’s emotional needs.

  17. 17
    Kitty

    Emily,

    I was unclear in conflating two things; that quote was about sex and I’m talking about long term committed relationships.  I guess it’s more a reaction to the constant themes I see here.  Sure, it is important not to rely on a relationship as your sole means of emotional support.  But if a woman can get emotional support and companionship from friends, unconditional love from her family, supports herself financially and can get sex fairly easily (if that is what she wants) is getting a committed relationship with a man really worth jumping through all these hoops? A woman could take all that energy, initiative, discipline etc. and start her own business, or write a best selling book or travel the world or do any number of things with a much higher rate of return than the constant churn and disappointment of the dating merry go round.

     

    1. 17.1
      Sylvana

      Kitty,

      that is pretty much how I feel every time I read through relationship/dating forums. A women has to put in a tremendous effort for very little in return.

      Sometimes I feel like a  woman would have to pretty much be desperate to be in relationship in order to subject herself to all of that.

      Every time I have even the slightest thought of possibly dating again (I stopped almost 10 years ago), I come to these forums to confirm that it is definitely still not worth it.

    2. 17.2
      Emily, the original

      Kitty,

      “But if a woman can get emotional support and companionship from friends, unconditional love from her family, supports herself financially and can get sex fairly easily (if that is what she wants) is getting a committed relationship with a man really worth jumping through all these hoops?” 

      I recently had a conversation with a friend about this same topic. I don’t have the answer. If you don’t want kids (or already have them), can support yourself and have an emotional support system, do you need a relationship? Of course, if you get sick and need help, will your friends be there? Probably not. Do you get married to have a sick buddy?  🙂

       

      1. 17.2.1
        Kitty

        Of course, if you get sick and need help, will your friends be there? Probably not. Do you get married to have a sick buddy? 

        Not a great plan for a woman.  I once read an article (can’t be bothered to find it now) wherein a hospice nurse said that most of the of the time when a woman was on her death bed, whether that woman was married/widowed/divorced etc, most (if any) unpaid care and support was provided by other women.  Those other women were usually younger relatives like daughters and nieces, though occasionally best friends filled that role.  The reality is that very few men provide consistent and competent elder care, especially for free, even to those they love the most.  That isn’t always the case, my late uncle was a devoted caretaker to my aunt when she was very far gone with Alzheimer’s.  But generally speaking it is a bad bet to rely on a man for extensive care.  He may pay someone else to do it and he may make sure that the insurance and logistics are taken care of.  But will he feed every day you if you are too weak to feed yourself and change your adult diapers?  I’ve seen more women provide that sort of care for their mothers-in-law than I’ve seen men who do that for their own mothers.  So if you’re a woman and you want someone to care for you in your dotage, whether you’re married or not, make the effort to develop a network of supportive women friends

        On the other hand that sort of care is very difficult and even though women are more willing to role up their sleeves and do it than men it’s not something most women will do (unpaid) for someone unless they have a long-standing relationship with them.  That’s one reason I think that as women get older they become less interested in marriage and LTRs.  They know that they’re likely to outlive any prospective male partner and while it’s one thing to care for a man in his last days after you’ve spent a lifetime together very few women want to commit to a man to have a terminal patient on their hands within a few years.  I once had an acquaintance who, after a brief marriage, decided to live the life of a confirmed bachelor, with a lot of short lived “relationships” with attractive women who liked to be wined and dined.  One evening after too much wine he got behind the wheel of a car and ended up paralyzed.  His then-paramour soon vanished, and his mother was dead.  He didn’t have a sister, and his sister-in-law for whatever reason felt no obligation to help him and his son reciprocated the lifetime of indifference his father had shown to him.  I don’t wish being disabled and alone in the world on anyone but it isn’t exactly surprising that after a lifetime of never caring about anyone he ended up with no one who cared about him.

        1. S.

          I think it’s a terrible reason to marry someone (or have kids for that matter), though I’m sure it’s a factor for some folks.  My point has been one should have a rich and full life, before, during, and after marriage.  Siblings, spiritual community, and friends may support you. And it depends on how long you live. Live to be 100 and mostly everyone is gone.  Violet Brown was 117 when she passed and outlived her son who was in his 90s.  She has four other living children, but who could ever predict something like that?

          Women do outlive men. It is what it is. My mother has outlived my father.  I would marry someone for the time we have together, not as some sort of guarantee that he’d care for me when I’m infirm or ill.  As I age, I start to put together a plan for myself.  There just are no guarantees of anything.

        2. Emily, the original

          Kitty, 

          The reality is that very few men provide consistent and competent elder care, especially for free, even to those they love the most.  … whether you’re married or not, make the effort to develop a network of supportive women friends

          I don’t think most women are going to drive someone weekly to appointments and make sure someone is taking her pills and stop by her home a few times a week to check on her. Friends don’t do that. I wish they did but it’s usually reserved for relatives. I had this exact conversation with a friend the other day. Yeah, if I needed someone to pick me up from an appointment where I had anesthesia she’d do it, but she’s not going to spend all day with me in the outpatient services and she wouldn’t expect me to do it. I made a new friend recently (I have known her for about 3 months) and in that time she already asked to take her to 2 outpatient appointments. I did one but when, weeks later, she had another, I started to feel annoyed. Both required me waiting for her at the hospital for several hours. But I do think about this topic a lot in that I have no family I can count on. So I either marry or pay someone to take care of me when the time comes, and I am not wealthy.

      2. 17.2.2
        Gala

        Will your friends be there? It depends on what kind of friends you have. Me and my friends were there when one of us had cancer. A husband, on the other hand, also may or may not be there. Depending on the kind of husband he is. Sadly you really won’t know something deep like this until it actually happens.

    3. 17.3
      S.

      @Kitty

      Hopefully, the woman (or man, as well) doesn’t feel like it’s jumping through hoops.  Anymore than writing the book or traveling the world is jumping through hoops.  For the right man, those very things are the things he loves most in her. And all of those take effort.  It’s still ‘work’. (I know ’cause I want to write a book someday.  It’s a daunting goal. Esp. since I tend to be rather lengthy. :-))

      Finding the right relationship is always a leap of faith.  You can’t really know what a great long term relationship is until you have one.  Isn’t it like that with any relationship? Some relationships just soar.  Friendships, family, when it’s great, it’s really can be the cornerstone of one’s life. Not effortless, but so fun and fulfilling. I can only imagine a romantic relationship like that.  And the couples happy for decades seem to think it’s worth it.  But there unhappy couples too.

      Like I said.  It’s a crap shoot.  But it’s also a crap shoot that I’ll enjoy writing my book.  Or that anyone will enjoy reading it!  That’s life. I don’t have to go through the angst of writing a book. I don’t have to do much. But I want to try to live life at a more optimum level, in many areas if I can.  Will that attempt succeed?  I don’t know. But if I don’t try, I’ll never really know.  For some that’s okay.  For me, no.  I want to shoot for the stars.  It matters that I try.

  18. 18
    Kitty

    S,

    It may sound terrible to modern Americans to marry for elder support but back before the era of Social security and other safety nets that was the reality of life for everyone.  It is still that way in third world countries that have little in the way of social safety nets.  Anyway, as I said marrying to assure you’ll have elder support is a better bet for men than women.  In the modern era a woman is better off relying on women friends for such support.  Of course she’ll have to do that for them if she expects them to be there for her but that’s how reciprocity works.  Happy Holidays!

    1. 18.1
      S.

      It is still that way in third world countries that have little in the way of social safety nets.

      I agree. As I said, it’s still a factor for some.  And I think that’s true in many countries today, not just the developing world.  I just know that I don’t want someone to marry me for that reason.  I know I will care for at least one elder–my mom–and I’ll do it because I love her and want to.  You’re right about reciprocity.  She took excellent care and gave much love and sacrifice to me when I was small and vulnerable.  I simply choose see it as love, though, not something transactional. 🙂

      We agree that many women will outlive men and they may not get that support from men if they pass away first. But they might; one just can’t always control when one’s time is up, male or female.  I don’t see women supporting women as bad.  I see it as love, and a privilege (though it doesn’t always feel that way) to give love in that way.  I’ll end on that note for Christmas Eve.  🙂

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