The Pyramid of Love is a six-step process that is outlined in my signature course, Love U, in which I take you from where you are now — frustrated, confused, and jaded — and help you find a long-term committed relationship in which you feel safe, heard and understood.
Thousands of women have been introduced to the Pyramid of Love but never like this.
Below, I’ve highlighted one key concept from each of the 6 steps that make up Love U so that — starting right now — you can get unstuck.
Maybe you’re stuck with a lack of confidence, borne out of years of failed relationships.
Maybe you’re stuck with the inability to meet new men, because your friends are married, you live in a small town, and you’re exhausted by online dating.
Maybe you’re stuck with the endless confusion that is dating — not knowing whether you should text, have sex, or commit to him as a boyfriend.
The point is that we all have blind spots. We all have limiting beliefs. We’ve all had our confidence take a hit after each and every heartbreak and disappointment.
The question is whether you’re ready to learn from these experiences instead of letting these experiences determine the rest of your life.
Because, whether you like it or not — you’ve got a LOT of life left to live — and life is simply better when you’re sharing it with someone you love.
If you recognize your own deep-seated need to love and be loved, take the time to read this manifesto in its entirety.
If you enjoy it and want to learn how to apply these lessons to your life and get the relationship you deserve, click here to get access to my special report, “The 8 Massive Mistakes You’re Making in Relationships” which will explain what you’ve been doing wrong in love and how to make it right.
A Quick Story About Confidence
In 2004, I was a thirtysomething single guy who was fed up with dating.
After 200+ online dates, I’d been through the exact same experience as you.
- Women who flaked out on me.
- Women who did the slow fade after a seemingly good date.
- Women who insulted me — both in email, text and in person.
- Women who claimed to love me, but constantly criticized me.
- Women who — to put it kindly — were nothing like they portrayed in their profiles.
So while I wasn’t giving up on Match.com, on this night anyway, I was branching out: meeting my best friend, Josh, for drinks at a cool bar in downtown LA.
I got there at 9 and since Josh hadn’t arrived yet, I bought a drink and walked around the room. Maybe I was hoping to find a familiar face. Maybe I was hoping to scope out someone attractive that I might get the courage to approach. Turns out I got both.
Her name was Zoe.
I’d met her once or twice before through Josh. Long, dark hair. Big smile. Very warm.
It was hard to see her across the dark and crowded room, but I managed to make eye contact and beckoned her from 25 feet away with my right index finger.
Zoe smiled and strode across the room until she was standing right in front of me.
Suddenly, I noticed something.
“You have no idea who I am, do you?”
“No clue,” she admitted.
“I’m Evan, Josh’s friend. We met at his sister’s party last year.”
“Evan! Yes, that’s right! It’s good to see you again!”
As a dating coach, I was stunned by this development, so I just had to ask…
“Hey, Zoe, I just have one question…”
“Shoot,” she said.
“Is that how easy it is to get an attractive woman to approach you? Just smile and call her over with one finger?”
She paused for a half-second and then laughed.
“Evidently, it is!”
So there you have it.
I became an online dating expert because I was afraid to approach women in real life.
Then, clueless as ever, I got a beautiful woman to approach me with one finger.
I didn’t need to be gorgeous or witty or rich.
I just needed to be confident enough to say hi (even though I really wasn’t!)
Thus begins the first pillar on your journey to lasting love: Confidence.
The Mystery of Confidence
Confidence is the single most important quality you can have in relationships.
“Wait!” you might think. “Men are all about youth and beauty, aren’t they?”
Sure, looks will get you in the door, but that’s not what’s going to keep you inside. If you don’t have confidence, a healthy guy is going to look for another woman who does.
Better yet, let’s ask YOU:
Have you ever gone out with a guy who had no confidence?
He may have been cute. He may have been smart. He may have had a good job. But, for whatever reason, he didn’t feel good about himself.
He constantly asked for reassurance. He texted you incessantly. He was highly sensitive and easily triggered. He insisted on commitment before you were ready. He openly wondered why you were dating him. He reminded you that you were too good for him. He was perpetually jealous. He wore his insecurity like a blanket.
Yeah, he may be a nice guy, but BOY, is that nice guy exhausting!
Most women are attracted to men who believe in themselves, men who have opinions, dreams, and ambitions, men who stand up for their values.
This is the man who can emotionally and financially support you and your family.
This is the man who doesn’t let failure deter him; he picks himself back up, learns his lesson and continues on his quest.
This is the man who is strong enough to handle you when you’re feeling weak or insecure.
This is true self-esteem, the kind that comes from the inside out, where his confidence allows you to be your best, most vulnerable self with him.
This confidence is also very hard to come by. You know it when you see it — it’s incredibly attractive — but for some reason, you don’t always possess it yourself.
I mean, you know you’re a good person. You’ve been told you look great for your age. You trust that you’re smart, strong, and loving.
Yet, despite your education, your career, your hobbies, and your looks, you don’t carry yourself with confidence when it comes to men.
If anything, men bring out your most deep-seated insecurities.
Fear of abandonment. Fear of getting hurt. Fear of being vulnerable. Fear of not being good enough. Fear of trusting. Fear of making an emotional investment in yet another man who will eventually disappoint you.
So even though you know intellectually that you have twenty different reasons to look in the mirror and be confident, when it comes to men, you don’t trust your judgment.
You see the worst in men. You’re confused by them. You’re wary of them. You suspect there’s something wrong with them — or maybe there’s something wrong with you. You believe that while love might be meant for other people, it might not be for you.
That’s your story. That’s your belief.
And it’s NOT TRUE.
Your fear of men and dating is a self-fulfilling prophesy if there
ever was one.
Let’s flip things over again:
Imagine a man who was wary of women.
Imagine a man who thinks that you’re shallow, worries that you’re a gold digger, and treats you as if you’re a composite of his three craziest ex-girlfriends.
That man might be tall, dark, handsome and rich — but he’s not going be appealing to you.
His insecurity — his fear, his anger, his belief that he can neither trust you nor his own judgment — is a huge turn-off.
You want a man who’s comfortable in his own skin.
You want a man who knows his own worth.
You want a man who’s in touch with his feelings, owns his own mistakes, can laugh at himself, and still, at the end of the day, is a confident and trusting human being.
Well, guess what?
That’s EXACTLY what men look for in a woman.
We don’t care much about where you went to college, what you do for a living, or how much money you make. We’re really not too concerned by the number of countries you’ve visited, your workout regimen, or your childhood girlfriends.
Most men care about one main thing: how you make them FEEL.
That FEELING — the one that stems from your inner confidence — is what makes men fall in love with certain women and run from others.
For some women — maybe even you — that may be hard to take.
“I spend so much time working, working out, socializing, reading, doing personal growth — and the main thing that matters is how I make him FEEL around me?”
That’s right. You don’t succeed in love because you’re a “catch” on paper.
Ask yourself these quick questions to see if you’re truly confident:
Do you consider yourself emotionally intelligent? (Probably)
Do you have relationships with minimal drama? (Mmm…not as much)
Do you enforce healthy boundaries with men? (Can we skip this one?)
Do you speak your mind when you’re in a relationship? (I do, but it never goes well)
Do you think there’s something broken inside you? (Yes, I have considered that)
Do you stay in dissatisfying relationships with selfish, unavailable,
and critical men? (Story of my life)
Do you believe that you can have deep, enduring, unconditional love in your life?
(Let’s just say my faith has been tested.)
Do you carry yourself with optimism, confidence, and joy?
(It’s pretty hard after what I’ve been through.)
Your future husband NEEDS a woman who loves herself and refuses to be treated poorly.
You can be that woman.
But it’s going to take a pretty big shift in the way you view yourself, dating and men.
Okay, so where does that leave you?
First, let me acknowledge how tricky the concept of confidence is.
Affirmations can help. Mantras are nice. Vision boards are pretty.
You can even make a list of all your wonderful traits as a reminder as to you why you should never settle for less.
But that doesn’t mean that the next time you start dating a man, you’ll be the best version of yourself. Usually, when you like a guy, you turn into the worst version of yourself: awkward, fearful, needy, insecure, critical, obsessed.
It’s time to turn that around forever.
That requires a flip of a confidence switch that will forever change the way you see yourself and men see you.
It’s just one line — a mantra if you will:
Assume the answer is yes!
Yes, he’s attracted to you.
Yes, he wants to sleep with you.
Yes, he likes you more than the other women he’s texting.
Yes, he wants to be your boyfriend.
Yes, he wants to make you happy.
Yes, he wants to marry you.
When you come from a place of confidence and abundance, and you assume the answer is yes every time, you immediately stop worrying about what he thinks about you, and can instead focus your time on what you think about him.
That doesn’t mean you have eliminated all your old fears and insecurities.
It just means that you’ve changed your focus from whether he likes you to whether you think he’s worthy of being your partner.
When you assume the answer is yes in all situations, two things happen.
- You start to feel a lot better about yourself. You are more relaxed on a date. You don’t obsess about whether he’s going to text you. You know there are tons of other guys out there. You’re more playful, vulnerable, and sexy. You can relax instead of stressing about dating. You become the best version of you.
- Men instantly start to gravitate to the woman above.
And why wouldn’t they? What man wouldn’t prefer a woman who’s sure of herself, knows her worth, and carries herself with confidence and joy?
Right now, I want you to feel that shift in energy.
You’re no longer the beggar in relationships. You’re the chooser.
You decide if you like how he shows up on a date.
You decide if you’re satisfied with his communication in between.
You decide if the attraction is strong enough.
You decide if, despite the strong attraction, he’s not making enough effort.
You decide if he’s ultimately not good husband material.
It’s not up to him. It’s up to YOU.
Assuming the answer is yes is powerful — and even if there’s a little bit of “fake it ‘til you make it” at the beginning, the results will still be overwhelming.
The more practice you get assuming the answer is yes, the more you date with confidence, the more men will be attracted to you, the more they’ll ask you out again, the more they’ll want to commit as boyfriends, the more your true confidence will blossom inside.
Pretty soon, you’ll see what I saw first-hand.
You’ll be able to walk into a bar, see a cute guy, and beckon him over with one finger.
Miraculously, you’ll be the same person you are today — with one new feature — a bottomless well of confidence to attract men and ensure they treat you well.
On the few occasions that men don’t respond, your first thought will not be “what’s wrong with me?” but rather “his loss!”
Assume the answer is yes.
Try it on. See how it feels. Watch what it does for you.
The first pillar of Love U was about Confidence.
The second is about Meeting Men.
Contrary to popular belief, advice about meeting men is not in answering “where are they?” If meeting men was as simple as naming male-dominated locations, you’d be lining up outside electronic stores, football stadiums, engineering schools, and men’s rooms.
Half the battle in meeting men is being available to meeting men. And you can’t be available to meet men under these two specific conditions:
- If you’ve given up on dating and relationships.
- If you’re in a relationship with a man who’s not going to your husband.
So take out a pen and paper (or your phone, if that’s how you roll) and write this down:
Every second you spend with the wrong man is a second you’re not looking for the right one.
You know this.
But it’s still scary to get back out there out of fear that the same thing will happen again.
You invest your hope in men who don’t follow through after a first date.
You waste months on men who don’t want anything more than a casual relationship.
You spend years waiting for a man to propose when he was never interested in marriage.
As a dating coach for women, I’m very fluent in the ways you can put on a protective shell and conclude that you’d rather be alone than to be in a relationship.
Except that’s not true.
Sure, you’d rather be alone than in a BAD relationship. Who wouldn’t?
The problem is you don’t even know what a happy, lasting relationship feels like.
And I can guarantee you’d rather be happily married than alone for the rest of your life.
Still, that means you’re going to have to take a risk and start meeting men.
How can you do that when you barely even trust your own judgment?
How can you do that when every relationship you’ve ever had has gone south?
How can you do that after all those false starts and rejections and disappointments?
Your entire life, you’ve just seemed to attract the “wrong” men.
At least that’s what you’ve thought — until right now.
Sorry, but I’m not buying it — and neither should you.
What if I told you that in my 15 years of single adulthood, I went out with a lot of women who were, let’s just say “highly emotional”?
One girlfriend left me at weddings, restaurants and holiday parties.
One girlfriend threatened to beat up her roommate with a pewter candlestick.
One girlfriend sent me anonymous hate mail after our breakup.
There’s more, but you get the idea. Anyway, once upon a time, I was telling one of these stories to another girlfriend, who immediately offered this diagnosis.
“You’re clearly attracted to crazy women. You must really love the drama.”
It was a reasonable conclusion to draw. After all, I did have a good number of crazy dating stories. But when I thought about it, I realized that she was dead wrong.
I didn’t like drama.
I didn’t like crazy.
I craved stability and normalcy. I dreamed about unconditional love and support.
That’s when it dawned on me.
My problem wasn’t that I was attracted to overly emotional women. I was attracted to ALL SORTS of women. Statistically, some were bound to be overly emotional.
The REAL issue was how much time I’d invested in these overly emotional women, hoping that they’d change on my behalf. That’s where I was guilty. I continually put myself through tumultuous relationships with attractive, insecure, well-meaning women, hoping, without any evidence, that they’d magically get better.
They never did.
Thus, we arrive back at your dilemma: your belief that you’re some sort of bad man magnet. You’re not. That’s a myth you tell yourself to avoid this hard truth:
You don’t ATTRACT the wrong men, you ACCEPT the wrong men.
When you’re dating a man who has been with you for five years and never proposed, the problem is that YOU ACCEPTED HIM.
When you’re dating a man who is verbally abusive and shuts down when you attempt to communicate reasonably with him, the problem is that YOU ACCEPTED HIM.
When you’re dating a man who has addiction issues, honesty issues, employment issues, and emotional issues, the problem is that YOU ACCEPTED HIM.
Why do you accept men who are so wrong for you? That’s a much longer story — largely having to do with chemistry.
In short, chemistry is an awesome feeling.
Having a new crush is exciting. Having passionate sex is incredible. Having obsessive feelings of hope about your future is positively life-affirming.
The issue — as you may already know — is that chemistry often blinds you to what’s wrong with your partner.
We’ve all gotten into relationships based on chemistry — lots in common, tons of passion —only to discover later that there are fundamental flaws that you sweep under the rug.
What makes this even more challenging is that you’re not just an average woman.
You’re an extraordinary woman with higher standards.
So when a guy finally jumps the bar for chemistry — a bar that is only jumped once a year, you get excited. You haven’t had that feeling in a long time. You want to make it last.
Then you look up six months later and realize that you have a boyfriend who claims to love you, but he doesn’t treat you well, he doesn’t integrate you into his life, he doesn’t know how to have a healthy relationship discussion, he doesn’t talk about a future, and most importantly, he’s not making you happy.
Yet you stay.
You made a decision that you were ‘in love’ and were going to fight for the relationship.
It’s a noble impulse but if you look at your past, you’ll see for yourself: every relationship you had to fight for ultimately ENDED.
Suffice it to say, most relationships are not worth fighting for, especially when they’re not doing their job — making you feel safe, secure and happy.
So allow me to save you years of wasted time on bad future boyfriends.
90% of men you attract are going to be “wrong” for you, and since you can’t stop men from being attracted to you, all you can do is stop accepting the unacceptable.
- Stop dating men you’re not attracted to.
- Stop accepting verbal abuse and justifying it because you “love” him.
- Stop spinning your wheels, waiting by the phone, and walking on eggshells in fear that he’ll dump you.
- Stop thinking that he’s going to change and become the guy he was in the first few months.
- Stop investing your emotions in men who refuse to give you the love, security and consistency that you deserve.
- Stop beating yourself up for attracting the wrong men.
It’s not true. It’s not your fault. And it’s a waste of your time and energy.
If you consistently find yourself dating liars, addicts, slackers or commitment phobes, your job is not to get them to stop lying, drinking, mooching or committing.
Your job is to LEAVE.
That’s where we finally shift responsibility from the “bad man” to you.
At a certain point, it’s not his fault for being fundamentally flawed; it’s yours for thinking that your love is powerful enough to fix your broken relationship.
There will always be flawed men out there — most of them, in fact.
But if you have the courage and confidence to stay away from them – especially when they consistently make you unhappy — those men will have no more impact on your life.
More importantly, when you reject the wrong men, you’re free to finally find the right one.
Now that you’ve learned to assume the answer is yes and that you don’t attract the wrong men, you accept the wrong men, you’re ready to start meeting men with confidence.
I acknowledge that this can be scary — especially if you have a history of investing time, energy, and emotion in men who ended up disappointing you.
But since you can’t change your past, all you can do is learn from your mistakes and forge a bright new future for yourself — filled with joy, passion and unconditional love.
And it all starts with dating.
Take it from me: nobody wants to be a dating expert. Nobody wants to go on 300 dates to find lasting love. Nobody wants to put up with the constant ups and downs that come from the trial, error, and failure of 21st century dating. And yet…
Here I am, offering you this free content, designed to help you make all the right choices as you navigate this confusing and rocky terrain.
To set the scene on your third lesson — this one about Dating — I want you to consider the plight of these eight gentlemen.
- Markus insists on asking you to send revealing full body shots via text.
- Will asks you to drive an hour to meet him in his town.
- Tyler makes it clear that he doesn’t think he should pick up the check.
- Stephen tells his dates about his selfish ex-wife who destroyed his life.
- Hank declares his love and insists you stop seeing other men immediately.
- Jesse sits back and waits for you to call him after a date.
- Alan is afraid of being too aggressive so he never makes the first move on you.
- Brian waits at least 3 days to call after a date because he doesn’t want to seem desperate.
There are arguments to be made for all of these decisions, but, for the most part, we can probably conclude one thing about these men:
They’re not very good at dating.
It’s a shame, because they’re not necessarily “bad” men.
They’ve been hurt before. They’re short-sighted. They’re inexperienced. They’ve drawn some false conclusions. And they’re now making choices that are tone-deaf to what most women want from their men.
You may conclude that these men’s behaviors are “wrong.”
I wouldn’t say that. I would sooner call their dating choices “ineffective.”
No matter how nice these guys are at heart, their actions are ineffective in making women want to see them again. Most women simply aren’t attracted to men who come across as cheap, bitter, needy, insecure, wary, passive, and lacking confidence.
That seems pretty obvious.
The question is whether your behaviors are “effective” in getting men to respond to you.
Robyn is a 33-year-old professional who has no trouble attracting guys she describes as “great”.
The problem is that none of them seem to want to become her boyfriend.
It’s always some version of the same story.
She meets him online. She follows my 2/2/2 rule to screen men before the first date. She has incredible first dates that end with passionate good night kisses. 90% of the men like her enough to follow up again. But then it slides into a familiar pattern.
See if you can relate:
The day after the date, Robyn texts the guy to thank him for the night before.
Then she waits.
The next day, the guy texts her to say he also had fun and would like to see her again.
They continue texting back and forth a few times until he gets busy at work and stops.
Then she waits.
Robyn texts him the next morning to ask what he’s doing this weekend.
He replies that he’s busy on Friday night and is watching football on Sunday.
Robyn says “Great. Let me know if you need any company in between.”
“Will do,” he replies.
Then she waits.
Saturday night, Robyn gets a text at 11:15pm.
“Wanna come over?”
“Sure,” she replies.
She rushes over to his place, they have sex, and she spends the night.
At 10am the next morning, he’s already dressed and lets Robyn know he has to get to his friend’s house.
He tells her he’ll text her later this week to hang out again.
Then she waits.
Robyn knows she’s attractive.
Robyn knows she’s kind.
Robyn knows she’s going to be a great girlfriend, wife and mother.
But she way things are going, she’ll never get the chance.
Her failures are a complete mystery — the same way Tyler, Will, Stephen, Markus, etc. are all similarly baffled at their dating failures.
You can probably empathize with Robyn more than you do with the men, but, when you get right down to it, it doesn’t really matter whether Robyn’s “right” or “wrong.”
She’d be the first to tell you she’s “ineffective” at dating.
So before we go any further, ask yourself whether you are “effective” at dating.
Do you run into the same problems that Robyn does?
Do you always feel like you’re confused and frustrated with men?
Do you constantly feel like you have to reach out to guys otherwise they’ll disappear?
Do you wonder if there are “games” that you have to learn to play in order to “catch” a man?
If so, you’re in for a great surprise in a few short moments.
But before I tell you that surprise, I want to share with you a simple but powerful truth:
Men reveal themselves in their efforts.
Nothing else they do matters.
That is why you can have an incredible first date which doesn’t lead to a second date.
Or a guy you’re sleeping with who doesn’t want to make a commitment.
Or a two-year-relationship that doesn’t result in marriage.
In other words, he can be attracted to you, want to be in love, dream of having children, and yet be perfectly content biding his time with you for a year until he finds the woman he does want to marry. You may say he’s using you. Maybe. Maybe not. But as long as you’re both happy in the relationship, does it really matter?
I can almost hear you screaming, “Yes! Yes, it matters! I want to find love, my biological clock is ticking, I feel all this pressure, and I don’t want to waste my child-bearing years with some jackass who doesn’t know the meaning of ‘shit or get off the pot’!”
Very well, then. Leave him.
If he refuses to let you go, you have your husband.
If he lets you leave, you have your freedom.
This is far easier said than done, of course.
You actually have to have the guts to leave a no-win situation, and many women do not. You’d rather eat crumbs than to start over and start looking for a whole new cake.
But that doesn’t really apply to our friend Robyn, or to you.
You’ve been seeing a guy for a month and you want clarity. Thankfully, you won’t have to wait too long to get it. Because, as I said above: the answer will be revealed to you. All you have to do is wait. This is the crux of my entire dating philosophy for women who want to date confident, masculine men.
Don’t do anything.
Seriously. That’s it. “Don’t do anything.”
As a woman, you just have to sit back and let him do what he wants.
He wants to meet you; he has to approach you. You say yes.
He wants to plan a first date; he has to ask you out in advance. You say yes.
He wants to kiss you; he has to make a first move. You say yes.
He wants to see you a second time; he calls the next day. You say yes.
He wants to check-in during the week to tell you he’s thinking of you; you take his calls. You say yes.
He wants to take you on a weekend away and introduce you to his friends. You say yes.
He wants to sleep with you; he offers a condom. You say yes.
He wants to commit to you and become exclusive. You say yes.
You see what I mean? You don’t have to DO anything. Just see what he does, and say yes.
If he doesn’t do anything, you have your answer.
This is the single simplest way to understand how to deal with men, and yet you drive yourself nuts looking for deeper answers.
You try to learn what “games” to play, or how to “figure men out”, or “how to make him commit” to you. It’s all bullshit. There’s nothing to know beyond what we’re DOING.
If we want to call, we’ll call.
If we want to commit, we’ll commit.
If we want to marry you, we’ll ask you.
And if we don’t call, don’t commit, and don’t propose to you (all in a reasonable amount of time), then guess what?
We’re not going to. We’re just going to continue with our happy, low-stakes status quo that you so generously allow.
Your only leverage when the time is right? Leave. Say that you need to know you’re investing in a future. And since it’s pretty clear after two months that he doesn’t want to see you more than once a week, you’re gonna have to cut him off.
So when I talk about Robyn’s “ineffective” dating behaviors, which may seem benign, what exactly am I talking about? What can she — and by extension, YOU — do differently to get different results?
Don’t text him the day after to thank him. Your kiss at the end of the night did the trick.
Don’t text him to remind him that you’re thinking of him.
Don’t ask him out.
Don’t sleep with him if he only communicates sporadically by text.
Stop doing HIS job.
Stop chasing him down because you’re afraid he’s going to stop chasing you.
This may not seem wholly comfortable to an evolved Type A woman who feels that you should be able to reach out to the new guy you’re seeing whenever you want.
I get it. But remember, we’re not talking about right and wrong; we’re talking about effective and ineffective.
How well has chasing down men worked for you?
Did it make him like you more?
Did it make him miss you more?
Did it demonstrate that you had high self-esteem? No, no, and no.
Just think about your favorite relationships from the past:
Did you have to regularly remind him that you’re alive?
Did you have to wait anxiously by the phone to hear from him?
Did you have to do so much WORK and WORRYING about whether he liked you and was going to see you again?
A guy who likes you — presuming he possesses any confidence whatsoever — knows that it’s in HIS self-interest to call, plan, pay, make the first move, and demonstrate through his efforts that he’d like to be your boyfriend.
You’ve seen it. I’ve seen it. Everyone’s seen it.
The guy who likes you ACTS like he likes you.
You don’t have to do anything except respond to his advances quickly, warmly and enthusiastically.
He acts. You react.
If he doesn’t act like your boyfriend, it’s because he doesn’t want to be your boyfriend.
It’s time to find a guy who does.
Congratulations! At this point:
- You know that men care primarily how you make them feel.
- You know to act with confidence and always assume the answer is yes.
- You know you don’t attract the wrong men, you accept the wrong men.
- You know that men reveal themselves in their efforts.
- You know that you don’t have to do anything to get a man to see you or commit to you.
You’ve made great strides in becoming a more feminine, optimistic, confident, self-aware woman. In other words, don’t be too surprised when men start flocking to you; it does not take long for guys to feel the difference between “warm, confident, flirtatious you” and “scared, insecure, mistrustful you.”
Of course, attracting more quality, relationship-oriented men introduces a completely new set of problems. High-class problems, but problems nonetheless.
Guys may start throwing themselves at you, aggressively pushing for dates, and demanding exclusivity before you’re ready. You — quite reasonably — are afraid of making a mistake on how to wield your newfound powers.
You don’t want to invest time in the wrong man, but given your history of doing so, you have every right to be gun-shy. And now that you can see that chemistry blinds you to a man’s flaws, you’re even more wary of having sex with the wrong man.
So how can you tell the difference between a player and a boyfriend from the beginning?
Brace yourself for a shocking revelation:
What? How can I say that? Aren’t I supposed to be the dating coach for smart, strong, successful women, the guy who advocates on your behalf, and tells you exactly what men are thinking in every situation?
Why, yes I am!
In fact, I’m telling you what we’re thinking right this very second:
We usually have no idea what we want.
This shouldn’t come as a surprise. You could probably tell from our actions. We run hot and cold. We know we want to sleep with you. We think we might want to date you. But when we’re faced with the reality of commitment, we’re not always sure.
Most men have an experience about a time they weren’t looking for anything serious and then fell in love.
Similarly, most men can tell a story about how they were looking for love, but discovered they had a lot of fun being single.
(By the way, I bet you could probably say the same.)
Therefore, any information you glean from a profile, a text, a phone call or a first date has to be taken with a grain of salt.
It’s not that he DOESN’T mean what he said; it just means he meant it AT THAT MOMENT. This is in accordance with the way men act on dates as well.
We’re thinking solely of the present; not necessarily about the future.
Unfortunately, most women aren’t familiar with this concept until it’s much too late.
That’s why half of the questions I receive as a dating coach are versions of:
“We had an amazing date, but…”
“He sleeps with me, but…”
“He says he loves me, but…”
One of the most important — and frustrating — concepts that you need to understand about men is that most things have NO meaning beyond what’s in the moment.
Just because he thinks you’re sexy doesn’t mean he wants to commit to you.
Just because he has a great date with you doesn’t mean he wants you as his girlfriend.
Just because he wants a serious relationship doesn’t mean he wants one with YOU.
Each time you think this is the case, you set yourself up for heartbreak.
I’ve know that this is frustrating, because YOU might not act that way.
You wouldn’t compliment a guy if you didn’t like him. You wouldn’t sleep with a guy if you didn’t see any potential. You wouldn’t talk about a future if you didn’t see one.
I get it. However, men and women are different. Not entirely different.
In fact, I think that both genders want to be accepted, appreciated, and admired.
But even if we are 90% the same, testosterone-driven men seem to be more adept at separating sex from emotion. You’ve seen it a hundred times before.
- He’s highly attracted to you.
- He wants to hook up from the second he meets you.
- He has no idea if he likes you as a person, much less whether you’re compatible.
- He is eventually looking for marriage, but couldn’t say whether he wants to marry you. All he knows is that he wants to have sex first and figure the rest out later.
- He doesn’t want to hurt you or make promises he can’t keep.
That’s why men often act so aloof the day after sex. He’d rather send you a short, non-committal text than to promise the sun and moon and stars to a woman he’s known for less than 7 hours over three dates.
By the way, that list above is what goes through the heads of real guys who want real relationships. But just because a man aspires to love doesn’t mean he’s above the lust and excitement that comes from a short-term fling.
You may be thinking: “I get that, Evan. I just want a guy to be honest with me from the start. Believe me, I sometimes want to have sex, too, but I deserve to know what he’s thinking. He should be man enough to tell me the truth.”
Sorry. He’s got a different truth.
The truth is that he’s attracted to you in this moment.
The truth is that he’s not sure if he wants a relationship with you.
The truth is that if he tells you that he has no idea what’s going to happen in the morning, nothing will ever happen.
So he says nothing. And he hopes you don’t get too attached or hurt if he pulls away.
Why doesn’t he go to some sex site for easy, no-strings-attached sex’? Well, because it’s kind of icky. Because he liked the connection of real-life dating.
Because, despite what you may think, he actually wants someone he can talk to, respect and possibly marry.
Therefore, while it might work for YOU if confused men restricted themselves exclusively to the “adult” personals, it doesn’t actually work for MEN.
This brings me to the main lesson of this Understanding Men module — your one-line takeaway and summary to explain the behaviors you’ve observed your whole life.
Men look for sex and find love. Women look for love and find sex.
In the process of trying to get laid, men later decide if they like you platonically.
In the process of looking for love, you realize that you find a man sexually attractive.
If that sounds harsh, blunt or simplistic, I understand. There are women who don’t put any emotional value on sex. There are men who don’t have sex before marriage. But the exceptions don’t disprove the rule.
In general, women are more likely to want an emotional connection to the man they’re sleeping with, and tend to get more hurt when they discover he has no interest in anything more than sex. This may be upsetting, but it’s also reality.
And since you can’t change men, I can’t change men, and male biology (and the desire for sex) is not going to change anytime soon, what can a woman do to ensure that she doesn’t get heartbroken by another sex first/love second man?
I’m so glad you asked!
I call it “Sexclusivity,” and, in a nutshell, it means “not having sex with a man unless he’s already declared himself your boyfriend.”
That means you can make out, enjoy foreplay, and still enforce limits on how far you go by taking intercourse off the table.
Why do this at all?
Well, as thousands of women have told me over the years: you don’t like the feeling of having sex with a man on Saturday night and seeing his face on Tinder on Sunday morning.
The right guy will understand and come back for another date and some more foreplay.
The wrong guy will bail because he doesn’t care about building a relationship with you; all he wants is fast and easy access to sex — and you’ve told him he’s not getting it.
And if this doesn’t work for you because you’re a liberated woman who can have sex whenever you damn well please, that’s fine by me. Just don’t be too surprised if a decent percentage of those men never call again. I’m not remotely judgmental of anyone who has sex without commitment — I did it a LOT; I’m only pointing out as your dating coach that sex with strangers tends to lead to sub-optimal results.
Based on attraction alone, you end up sleeping with men you barely know. Men who could be verbally abusive. Men who could be stalkers. Men who could have addiction. Men who are terrible communicators. Men who don’t want commitment.
By leading a man “around the bases” over the course of a month instead of hopping into bed with him on Date 3, you get a much better sense of the man himself.
Armed with that information — paying attention not just to how he acts on a date, but how he follows up in between dates – you can decide for yourself whether he’s worth the emotional investment of both sex and commitment.
No more surprise. No more heartbreak. No more longing. No more waiting by the phone the next day for the call that never comes. From now on, you only sleep with a man who declares he wants to be your boyfriend.
That’s powerful and it puts you in total control of protecting your heart and establishing important boundaries with men.
Catherine is educated, refined, and a self-made millionaire by age 34.
She has been told that she is one of the nicest and sweetest people they have ever met.
She is considered attractive and looks younger than her age.
Unfortunately, over two years of online dating, Catherine has been through CEOs, doctors, lawyers, hedge fund managers, business owners, athletes and actors, yet nothing has worked out for her.
She has no idea why. All she knows is that as soon as she’s committed to them, they start to look elsewhere.
Michelle is 41 and describes herself as “happy, smart, direct and articulate.” She’s been told by her friends that her lack of dates is due to the fact that:
- Men don’t like smart, direct women.
- She’s “centered,” which sends the message that she doesn’t need anyone.
Michelle asks me if men are really that insecure. She asks if there are any good men left who appreciate a woman who knows herself. She punctuates her request for help by saying, “I’m certainly not going to be less than I am just for someone else’s insecurities.”
Now perhaps you can’t identify with the self-made millionaire part or the dating pro athletes part, but I can bet that Catherine and Michelle have hit a certain chord with you.
Why is it that smart, strong, successful women seem to have a harder time dating than smart, strong, successful men?
I’ve got the answer to that important question coming up in a minute, but I just want to tell you that what I’m about to say will feel both challenging and revelatory.
There IS a reason that smart, strong, successful women struggle in love and it is NOT because you are TOO smart, strong, and successful.
Consider another person who is struggling to find a partner who appreciates him.
Jason is 5’11, in good shape, makes six figures, and treats women extremely well.
He is what you’d call “a nice guy.”
All of his female friends comment on what a great catch he is, but aren’t interested in dating him.
Jason wrote to me and wanted to know if he’s cursed to be alone just because he is kind to women.
After all, the same women he likes often complain about the selfish and insensitive jerks they’re dating.
Jason’s not one of those guys — he knows how to treat a woman with respect. Yet he’s not even getting in the door, despite the fact that he’s cute, tall, fit, successful, nice, respectful and marriage-oriented.
Men reading this might empathize with Jason. Women reading this may feel bad for him, yet also want him to know that it’s not BECAUSE he’s nice that he’s not attracting women.
Jason’s not attracting women because he doesn’t exhibit masculine energy.
It’s because he lacks basic confidence.
It’s because he doesn’t express his opinions or stand for anything.
It’s because he has no ambition.
It’s because he constantly seeks the approval of others.
It’s because he sees himself as a victim.
It’s because he doesn’t take the lead sexually.
It’s because he sacrifices his personal power to be conciliatory.
It’s because he puts you up on a pedestal and you can’t summon any attraction for him.
These are common attributes of nice guys, yet nice guys think women don’t like nice guys BECAUSE they’re nice.
Women want nice guys — nice guys with opinions who stand up for themselves and know how to take control – while still remaining sweet and considerate.
Smart, strong, successful women are very much like nice guys.
“I’m intelligent. I’m direct. I’m successful. I’m independent. Yet I can’t seem to find a quality guy who appreciates me.”
That’s her story (and it may be yours), but it’s no different than Jason’s.
Men like smart women. We like when you have your own friends, your own career, your own home, and are not entirely dependent upon us for your happiness or well-being.
So why is it that these men are failing to connect with their female counterparts?
(Brace yourself: there’s a truth bomb about to be dropped!)
If it seems mysterious that Type A males and Type A females aren’t connecting, despite how much they have in common, you’re missing one crucial piece of understanding love.
Love is not just a meeting of the minds. It’s not how much you have in common. It’s not how impressive you are — where you went to college, what your job is, how you look.
Men — the quality men that you want to marry — are evaluating you on far more than your most “impressive” traits. And these traits, whether we like it or not, come with a significant downside that is often painful to acknowledge.
So instead of using you as an example, I’ll use myself.
I’m a reasonably bright guy. I can see things from multiple points of view. I can make people laugh at a cocktail party. I’ve been told I’m a good flirt. I’m ethical. I make a decent living. Those are my good traits. But right behind my good traits are a series of bad traits.
The flip side of being bright is being opinionated.
The flip side of being analytical is being difficult.
The flip side of being funny is being sarcastic.
The flip side of being flirtatious is being disrespectful.
The flip side of having moral clarity is being arrogant.
The flip side of being charismatic is being self-centered.
The flip side of being entrepreneurial is being married to your job.
Again, not EVERY person who is bright is opinionated and not EVERY person who is funny is sarcastic, but there’s enough anecdotal evidence to suggest a strong correlation.
Remember, I’m just talking about MYSELF here. So if my good qualities come with bad qualities, have you ever considered that yours might as well?
Let’s go back to Catherine and Michelle and consider their potential blind spots. Since I don’t know these women, I can’t say for sure, but since they’re struggling to understand why they’re still single, I think it serves us well to consider these possibilities — using the very words they used to describe themselves.
Catherine is educated and refined. Perhaps she won’t consider men who didn’t graduate from an Ivy League school, have a Masters degree, or come from white-collar backgrounds. Perhaps she hasn’t considered that this eliminates 95% of the dating pool.
Catherine is a self-made millionaire. Perhaps she looks down on men who don’t have the same ambition. Perhaps she thinks she needs a man who makes even more than she does. Perhaps she thinks it’s “settling” to go out with a man who can’t support her lifestyle. Perhaps she hasn’t considered that if she has a lot of money, she doesn’t need a man with a lot of money. Male millionaires certainly don’t hold out for female millionaires.
Catherine dates high-status men who eventually leave her. Perhaps she’s overvaluing money, power and charisma, and undervaluing kindness, consistency, and commitment.
Michelle is smart and direct. Perhaps she is always reminding men how smart she is. Perhaps she’s competitive with her dates. Perhaps she talks a lot about her accomplishments and doesn’t show interest in his. Perhaps what she calls “direct” is seen as blunt, tactless and argumentative. (I say this as a man who’s been called all of those.).
Michelle is independent. Perhaps she was raised to not depend on a man and is very proud of that. Perhaps she’s too busy to prioritize dating. Perhaps she’s afraid of losing her independence and inadvertently keeps men at a distance. Perhaps she’s wary of getting hurt and it’s safer to avoid intimacy. While Michelle may not need a man, she seems unaware that most men want to feel important and needed by their partner.
Michelle believes that she has to be “less than” just to soothe male insecurities. Perhaps Michelle intimidates some men, but that’s irrelevant. Any man who’s intimidated by her immediately eliminates himself. The question remains as to why any man who is NOT intimidated by Michelle wouldn’t respond to her as a romantic partner.
I think that’s some pretty clear evidence as to why a smart, strong, successful, marriage-oriented man might choose a woman who is less impressive than Michelle.
It’s not about looks. It’s not about accomplishments. Like I said in the Confidence section, men are all about FEELINGS.
No matter how amazing Michelle is, there are plenty of other women who make men feel accepted, appreciated, and admired:
Women who see the best in men.
Women who trust men.
Women who like men.
Women who are also beautiful and smart, but make their relationship feel like a priority.
Michelle mostly complains that she’s too busy and nobody is good enough for her.
What do YOU think is more attractive to a member of the opposite sex?
Thus, those less impressive women aren’t “better” than Michelle, but they do tend to be more effective with men.
If it’s not crystal clear, I couldn’t be more sympathetic to Catherine and Michelle. They’re a lot like me, a lot like many of my clients, and maybe even a lot like you.
The issue that I faced was that in assuming that I should date someone just like me (because that’s what I was attracted to and that’s what I deserved), you set up this dilemma:
If you’re in the Top 5% of women, you want to date a man in the Top 5% as well.
Not just that, but you’re most attracted to guys who are MORE impressive than you.
Doing so severely restricts your dating pool — quickly ruling out any man who is the same height or shorter, makes equal or less money, has less education, is not as physically fit, is not as cultured or funny or athletic, is a different race, falls outside your age range, doesn’t follow the same religion, doesn’t agree with you politically, or simply isn’t cute enough to have sex with.
(We haven’t even discussed whether he’s kind, communicative, selfless, honest and marriage-oriented!)
So, starting from the 5% of men who are cuter, taller, smarter and richer than you — narrowing down based on his other attributes – what percentage of men are left?
Whatever number you decide on, that’s your dating pool.
But wait: there’s more!
This Top .01 % of men — as we’ve established — doesn’t necessarily want to date women who are just like them.
In their experience, dating another busy, driven, blunt, opinionated, Type A person just hasn’t worked out very well for them. Can’t really argue with that.
So let’s say that half of the .01% of the men you’d date don’t want to date you.
By these self-imposed standards, only .005% of the population is even dateable.
But, to be fair, these rare men are incredible! The attraction is off the charts. The connection is otherworldly. You’ve never had such chemistry in your life.
These men are just like you, but BETTER. You respect them. You admire them. You fall madly in love with them. And then you actually dive into a relationship with them.
Hot, brilliant, rich, charismatic men have serious flaws, too.
They may be too egocentric. Too stubborn. Too busy. Too insensitive. Too damaged.
- They may not make quality time for you.
- They may not share their feelings with you.
- They may put their needs before yours.
- They may not be attuned to your emotional needs.
- They may not be emotionally unavailable.
- They may not love you as much as you love them.
- They may not want to commit to you — much less commit to you for life.
- You see the problem here? It’s not that you’re “wrong” for being attracted to the most impressive men. Most women are attracted to those men.
Your blind spots are that:
- By being in the Top 5% of women and believing you can only date “up,” you’ve cut off over 99% of your dating pool.
- The 5% of men “above” you don’t necessarily want to date you in return.
- When you manage to “get” the guy who is just like you, his flaws (combined with your flaws) often make you incompatible in the long-term.
Pretty sobering stuff, huh?
This is where I remind you of a few things:
First of all, I’m on your side. I’m a dating coach for women who specializes in helping smart, strong, successful women understand men and find love. If there’s anybody in the world who can help you create the relationship of your dreams, you’re reading his stuff right now.
Second of all, this just hits so hard because — apart from some rare exceptions — it’s true. I haven’t offered my opinion; if anything, I’ve just observed and laid out exactly what you’ve already experienced as a smart, strong, successful woman. Even if your connection is impossibly strong, alpha males and alpha females are not a match made in heaven.
Third of all, this model doesn’t apply to every woman on the planet. There are plenty of women who aren’t Type A — who are naturally easygoing, content, and supportive. They’re not too busy for love. They naturally make men feel needed. They’re accepting and appreciative. They will go out with men who make less money, men without college degrees, men who are balding or paunchy, men who aren’t as ambitious, cultured or charismatic. If that describes you, then you don’t have to worry about this section.
If anything, it’s not that your standards are too high; they may be too LOW. More on that in the next section.
Finally, I wouldn’t be telling you this if there wasn’t a light at the end of the tunnel.
Remember, you and I have the same exact goals: to help you find a man who makes you happy every day for the rest of your life.
All I’ve suggested is that he might not come in the exact package you’ve been awaiting.
What I hope you take away from this section are two things:
#1 You are better off dating your complement than your clone.
I spent my whole life trying to date the female version of me: East Coast, Jewish, liberal, intellectual, creative, driven, intense, passionate.
As it turns out, my wife is none of those things, yet I’m the happiest married man you know.
How is that possible?
Doesn’t it sound like I’m telling you to date someone old, fat, stupid, poor, and beneath your standards?
If you even thought about that in the past five minutes, please write this down:
#2 There’s a big difference between compromising and settling. You compromise your way into happiness. You settle your way into misery.
I advocate compromise, not settling.
You compromise regarding your job, your house, your friends, and your family. All are imperfect; all probably satisfy you to varying degrees.
So, why do we hold love to an impossibly high standard — the idea of dating someone just like you, but without your flaws? 🙂
By the way, I’m not preaching at you from sort of pedestal. In my mid-thirties, I went through this exact same awakening about the difference between compromise and settling.
After two books, endless media attention, and hundreds of coaching clients, I realized I was a world-class hypocrite for telling women to compromise while I refused to do the same.
The moment I took my own advice, my life changed for the better. Permanently.
In letting go of the idea that my wife had to be just like me, I opened up my dating pool and discovered I was MUCH happier dating my complement as opposed to my clone.
All those online dating clichés: best friend, lover, partner-in-crime, loves to laugh, close to family, accepts me as I am, equally comfortable dressing up or dressing down — I got it all in my marriage.
Who cares that she’s three years older than I am?
Who cares that she believes in a higher power while I’m a skeptic?
Who cares that I’m more intense, ambitious and book smart?
My wife is more easygoing, relaxed and people smart — all GREAT qualities in a spouse.
There are many ways of finding love.
You can have sex on the first date.
You can move in together after three weeks.
You can get married after six months.
You can both be spiritual, educated, driven, youthful, multimillionaires who love skiing, yoga, international travel, and have mind-blowing sex.
But that doesn’t mean you’ll be happy.
Since 2003, women from around the world have asked me about my success rate: which of my clients were the most successful? What the secret of their success? Aren’t you telling me I have to change in order to find the man of my dreams?
You know what I tell them?
You don’t have to change yourself AT ALL to be successful in love.
All you have to do is change your choice of men.
You can be next.
Thanks for sticking with me over the past five lessons.
I know this is a lot of information and that some of it is challenging, and I applaud you for taking the time to read and process these ideas.
My hope is that you’ve already seen powerful shifts in the way you see the world.
Now you’re dating with confidence, you trust that the right man follows through, you know you don’t have to sleep with a guy before you’re ready, and you opened up your dating pool and found a good man who is a great fit for your life, you’re ready for the final piece of the puzzle: commitment.
Understand, the most popular questions I get on my blog are all about commitment.
When should you know if a man is serious about you?
How can I tell if a guy is falling in love with me?
Am I wasting my life with him?
Should I bring up the future or just let it happen?
When is it a fair amount of time for a guy to know if he wants to marry you?
My blog gets 10 million readers a year because of these questions.
And I’m about to give you the answer in the form of a story — as well as the formula for relationship success I promised you yesterday.
Let’s start with the story.
Steve is a nice guy. Early 40’s, intelligent, successful, and serious about finding a relationship.
We’ve been friends for years now and lately, he’s been lamenting his lack of success.
I remind him that it’s a competitive space, that it’s a buyer’s market for attractive women.
He tells me that he doesn’t want to have to lower his standards for online dating.
The same women he feels he can get in “real life” don’t respond to him online.
I remind him that at a party, the average woman doesn’t have forty men lined up to talk to her. On Tinder, she does. The strength of online dating lies in its ability to give us access to total strangers; the downside is how difficult it is to keep their attention.
We go over an email that he wrote to a woman. She didn’t write back. Steve wonders if he did anything wrong. I assure him that he did not.
He muses that it must be nice to have hundreds of people writing to you. I let him know that it’s a burden for these women — and that lots of great guys get lost in the shuffle.
He reminds me that each letter he writes that goes unanswered is a blow to the ego. I told him it shouldn’t be. You can’t take online dating personally. Just like a baseball player fails 7 times out of 10, most singles get a lot more rejection than acceptance.
I tell him not to let the process affect him; just be grateful for the potential it presents.
Finally, we talk about the woman he’s writing to. They spoke on the phone last night for the first time. The conversation lasted for an hour. She asked for his number at the end. Mission accomplished. But he still doesn’t trust himself.
“What do I do next?”
“Email her and tell her you had a lot of fun last night. Mention something specific from your conversation. Ask her a question or two. And find out the next time she’s available to talk on the phone.”
I’m still a big believer in the phone.
“But what about creating mystery? I don’t want her to think I’m too interested.”
An old wives’ tale, I assure him. But he’s citing references:
“I read David DeAngelo saying that nice guys finish last. And “The Rules” talks about waiting a week between calls to build up anticipation and establish that you’re busy.”
I’m paraphrasing, of course. But the gist of it is that many experts out there have people believing that the way to forge a happy relationship is by playing games.
NOTHING GOOD COMES OUT OF PLAYING GAMES.
Playing games attracts people who plays games. It repels people who don’t.
Everything you do that seems calculating just pushes you farther from what you claim to want — an authentic relationship where you can relax and be loved and accepted.
Finally, I bring it home for Steve:
“Nice guys don’t finish last. Nice guys without any balls finish last….”
If you ask most women what they’re looking for, you’ll usually get some version of a “nice guy with edge.” He doesn’t have to be biggest or the strongest. He doesn’t have to beat up bad guys or ride a motorcycle.
But when you’re looking for a man, you want a competent guy who can take control, make decisions, speak his mind and march to the beat of his own drum.
None of those things prevent a guy from being nice to you.
A man’s confidence is what draws you in. His kindness is what keeps you there.
Put confidence and kindness together and you have combination of traits that most women find irresistible. To sum up:
- Confident men treat women well.
- Confident men can express vulnerability and caring without seeming weak.
- Confident men may have strong opinions but ultimately want to please their partners.
Now let’s flip this thing around:
Let’s change the gender for Steve’s story and see how it sounds:
Sarah is a nice woman. Early 40’s, intelligent, successful, and serious about finding a relationship.
She tells me that he doesn’t want to have to lower her standards for online dating.
The same men she feels she can get in “real life” don’t respond to her online.
I remind her that at a party, the average man doesn’t have forty women lined up to talk to him. On Tinder, he does.
We go over an email she wrote to a man. He didn’t write back. Sarah wonders if she did anything wrong. I assure her that she did not.
Because nice women have tried to “nice” their way into men’s hearts and failed, they’re convinced that they the alternative is to be a bitch.
Sorry. Confident men have no tolerance for bitches. They just don’t want a woman who values herself so little that she has to work so hard to impress.
A woman’s confidence draws him in. Her kindness is what keeps him there.
Put confidence and kindness together and you have combination of traits that most men find irresistible. To sum up:
- Confident women treat men well.
- Confident women can express vulnerability and caring without seeming weak.
- Confident women may have strong opinions but ultimately want to please their partners.
The two situations sound pretty similar, don’t they?
Nice person. Ends up in the friend zone. Dates someone selfish. Becomes a doormat. Loses confidence. Wonders what went wrong. Thinks the answer is to become more selfish. Discovers people don’t like selfish partners. Never considers the middle ground between being a jerk and being a pushover.
For men, it’s being the nice guy with balls.
For women, it’s being the cool girl with boundaries.
Same thing. Different terminology.
The problem is how women interpret “being cool.” Here’s Gillian Flynn in “Gone Girl”:
“Men always say that as the defining compliment, don’t they? She’s a cool girl. Being the Cool Girl means I am a hot, brilliant, funny woman who adores football, poker, dirty jokes, and burping, who plays video games, drinks cheap beer, loves threesomes and anal sex, and jams hot dogs and hamburgers into her mouth like she’s hosting the world’s biggest culinary gang bang while somehow maintaining a size 2, because Cool Girls are above all hot. Hot and understanding. Cool Girls never get angry; they only smile in a chagrined, loving manner and let their men do whatever they want. Go ahead, shit on me, I don’t mind, I’m the Cool Girl.
“Men actually think this girl exists. Maybe they’re fooled because so many women are willing to pretend to be this girl. For a long time Cool Girl offended me. I used to see men — friends, coworkers, strangers — giddy over these awful pretender women, and I’d want to sit these men down and calmly say: You are not dating a woman, you are dating a woman who has watched too many movies written by socially awkward men who’d like to believe that this kind of woman exists and might kiss them.”
Much has been written in praise of this passage. Finally: a woman who calls bullshit on all these expectations men have of women.
I’m calling bullshit on the bullshit.
The cool girl with boundaries is not a fantasy, no more than the “nice guy with balls” is.
I’m nobody special but I’m a nice guy with balls. Most of my friends are, too. We are men with backbones and opinions and quick wits, and we are willing to make the necessary compromises to be good husbands.
So if there are “nice guys with balls” why suggest that “the cool girl” is a myth?
After all, being cool isn’t about liking football, beer, poker and video games. Being cool is, well, just what it sounds like. Cool. No drama. For men, it equates to someone who isn’t going to consistently try to criticize him or treat him like a project.
If he plays fantasy sports, you’re cool with it.
If he admits he’s attracted to a celebrity, you’re cool with it.
If he tells an off-color joke, you’re more likely to roll your eyes than chastise him.
I don’t know why that’s controversial, but some don’t seem to understand that women like this actually exist:
Says author Helen Coffey, “The idea of a girl who is endlessly understanding and who never gets angry is, frankly, kind of disturbing. It makes her two-dimensional and subservient, with a stunted spectrum of emotions — less than human, almost. You may as well go out with a Japanese body pillow.
Funny, but I don’t see my wife as a body pillow.
I see her as a rational adult married to a rational adult.
I work very hard to please her and make her happy.
When we disagree, we can usually resolve things without raised voices.
Why wouldn’t ANY man wish to have such a partner? Why would any woman wish for a difficult man, for that matter?
The fact is: when you choose the right partner, it becomes EASY to be cool.
And if you struggle to be cool, there are a number of options, none of them good.
- Try to change him.
- Suck it up and pretend to be cool while secretly resenting him.
- Break up with him because you can’t accept him as he is.
There’s literally nothing else.
The people who do best in dating and relationships are the ones who are flexible, easy going, good at compromise and low-maintenance.
People who don’t have rules for everything. People who don’t try to force their will on their partners. People who are, by definition, cool.
Now, you are entitled to disagree.
For all I know, you may feel like you’re already the cool girl with boundaries.
“I’m cool, but I will NEVER let a man watch porn.”
“I’m cool, but I would NEVER let my husband have lunch with his ex.”
“I’m cool, but I would NEVER get him a beer while he watches a football game.”
“I’m cool, but I insist that my husband think like me, act like me, and generally intuit my every need, or I’m going to let him know every time he doesn’t do what I want.”
That’s not cool.
Men want to be accepted, first and foremost.
Acceptance is the primary reason I married my wife, and, really, should be a primary reason why you choose your partner as well.
If you can’t let most things go without a sit-down relationship discussion, you may be entitled to your feelings, but you are certainly making things harder on yourself.
And just as you want a man who is strong, but sensitive, men want the cool girl who has boundaries — boundaries you only have to enforce a small percentage of the time, because you don’t sweat the small stuff.
Here are examples of reasonable boundaries:
- You won’t sleep with a guy until he’s your boyfriend.
- You don’t keep seeing him for four months without being his girlfriend.
- You let him know how he unwittingly disappointed you and how he can please you better, instead of silently stewing that he unknowingly mistreated you.
- You break up with him if he’s consistently proven to be a liar, cheater, addict, alcoholic, abusive, childlike, insensitive, selfish, emotionally unavailable, or commitmentphobic — as opposed to staying with him and constantly complaining how unhappy you are.
This is basic assertiveness. This is what prevents you from being a doormat and launches you into cool girl with boundaries territory.
Remember, you’re not just doing this cool girl with boundaries thing because some dating coach told you to do it. You’re doing this for three reasons:
- This is who you really are. Confident. Joyous. Strong. Trusting. Vulnerable. Ready for love.
- This is what’s most effective. Unless you think that being insecure, angry, cold, unhappy, critical, and mistrusting will draw in the man of your dreams.
- This is what will attract the “nice guy with edge.”
That’s the formula.
You want to attract the man of your dreams?
You have to be the woman of his dreams.
It doesn’t require losing weight, growing your hair, getting a degree, making more money, lowering your standards, or changing your personality.
The way to create the relationship of a lifetime is to find a man who you can accept exactly as he is who accepts you exactly as you are.
Please, bookmark this page. Share it with your friends. And don’t forget that you already have everything you need to find love.
You don’t have to twist yourself in knots to become happily married.
Just be the best version of yourself and treat your man the way you’d want to be treated.
Thank you for reading through my entire Pyramid of Love manifesto. I hope you learned a lot and feel inspired that unconditional love can be yours.
Warmest wishes and much love,