Money, Dating and Women

Black Friday has just passed us by, Cyber-Monday is upon us and the holiday shopping season kicked it into high gear as we celebrate a season of togetherness, friends and family through the time-honored tradition of conspicuous consumer spending.

It’s a little  hard not to think about money when damn near every commercial on TV and email in my inbox is encouraging me to BUY! BUY! BUY!

We live in a culture that’s obsessed with money: who has it, who doesn’t and what having it says about you. We have a split personality when it comes to personal wealth. On the one hand, we still have the remains of the Calvanist idea that the rich are rich because they’re inherently better. On the other hand, we are told over and over again via pop culture that only the poor have The Life Force; the less fortunate are more connected to the things that “really matter” or are more creative or are otherwise just better people because money inherently corrupts.

Also that there’s no force on earth more powerful than a conspicuously multi-ethnic gang of dancers from the wrong side of the tracks.

We simultaneously laud the material goods we buy but also praise ourselves for being less material than everybody else.

Money is so tied up with our self-image, our concept of status and the idea of net-worth as self-worth, that we tend to see it as an end-all, be-all of our lives and put more emphasis on it than it’s actually worth.

I actually get a lot of questions about money – usually from guys who have relatively little and are concerned about what being broke will do to their dating life. Occasionally I get questions from people who have bought into the idea that money is a pre-requisite for dating, or that women will only date guys of a certain income or status level.

So it seems as good a time as any to talk about money and dating.

I Ain’t Saying She’s A Gold Digger…

The idea that you need money to get women is a common one. Whenever men’s rights advocates gather, one of the most common subjects to come up is the idea that all women are hypergamous; that all women are looking for men of superior social and financial status. The idea of women-as-status-seeker is built into the DNA of the Pick-Up Artist movement – the status games and “demonstrations of higher value” were born from the idea that all women areonly looking for someone is of higher social status than she is. Money translates nicely to status, so someone with a high-profile job, a flashy car or other external indicators of wealth is someone who has greater access to women than the average peon.

Last of the red-hot lovers

The problem with this belief – other than the fact that it’s rather wildly misogynistic – is that it’s also not true. It’s what’s known as a compositional fallacy: some women are only interested in men who have lots of money, ergo all women must only be interested in men with lots of money.

It’s an appealing belief though. On the one hand, it instantly excuses any failure a man might have with a woman – after all, she’s just a gold-digging, hypergamous bitch who’s just looking for her next meal-ticket. At the same time, it’s aspirational: the Horatio Alger idea of the American Dream by way of Larry Flynt and Axel Braun:  “If I work hard (or get lucky) enough I’ll be rich and then I’ll have all the pussy I want.” Reach a certain income level and suddenly velvet ropes part, legs open and you’re swimming in the sex equivalent of Scrooge McDuck’s money bin.

Freud would have a field day, really…

 

The idea that women are status-seekers ties into the commodity model of sex: men want sex, women control access to sex and therefore men must negotiate with women to reach a price sufficient to allow the men into the sex vault. Evolutionary psychology is often used to validate this theory1: women want the best providers for their children, therefore they will instinctively be attracted to only the richest or highest-status males available, “settling” for less until a better option presents itself.

It’s bullshit, but why let little facts like that most women marry sideways – staying within their social and economic class – rather than up and that hypergamy is on the decline get in the way of blaming women for someone else’s failures.

“Gaming With The Cheat Codes On”

While nobody disagrees that material wealth can be an advantage, that’s really all it is. It creates opportunities; you have a wider selection of places to live, less stress over bills, more venues and activities for dates. You’re less stressed when you’re not worrying that movie tickets for two people can cost upwards of $30 before you factor in any other date-related expenses. You can afford better clothes, travel more often, spend more time outside of work.

There’s no question that throwing money around can attract women. Back when I was spending time on the club scene, there were plenty of times that my friends and I would post up in the VIP section of the club and pool our money for bottle service; we referred to it as “gaming with the cheat codes on” because of all the way women would immediately flock to our table, competing for our attention. Every time we would do this, we looked like kings and players and we would be knee-deep in women all night.

While my friends and I may have enjoyed the attention we were getting in the VIP at the club, when the night was over, the women would almost always drift away. We were trying to impress women by throwing money around and buying their attraction… and they were willing to be bought. But it would ultimately not go anywhere. We’d get numbers, sure, but those didn’t mean anything; they were part of the dance of the club and party scene.

“I’m only dating you because you can jump the line at PURE.”

It was easy to get hooked on the feeling of being a player for the night and the occasional action that came with it, but it was fleeting and ultimately unsatisfying.

It had it’s moments, don’t get me wrong. But they didn’t last and usually weren’t worth it… especially since most of the time, money was being used as a short cut.

It’s easy to get people to pay attention to you, even be attracted when you’re throwing money around. But the people you’re are attracting are interested in the money, not you.

No Scrubs

If you don’t have a car and you’re walking
Oh yes son I’m talking to you
If you live at home wit’ your momma
Oh yes son I’m talking to you (baby)

Wanna get with me with no money
Oh no I don’t want no…

The inverse of this situation are the guys who believe that being financially strapped means that they can’t date at all. The idea that a man who’s broke is rendered undatable is one that’s wedged very firmly into our culture. It doesn’t matter that the economy’s in the tank and we’re all scrambling to keep our jobs: if you’re broke, you’re a joke. Someone working a fast-food job, for example, is written off as someone who’s on the lowest rung of the social ladder, one step above being unemployed entirely. Stuck using public transportation? Well, you’re in the majority – especially in larger cities – but not having a car is often seen as a mark of someone who is never going to get anywhere in life.

The problem is that too many people take this idea to heart and let it define them. It becomes a self-limiting belief – they’re a loser because they’re broke or working a crappy job or can’t afford $4-per-gallon gas or have to commute by bus or subway.

Letting your self-worth be defined by your net worth is a great way of driving yourself into an emotional hole that it’s hard to climb out of. Women may judge you by your job… but they’re much more likely to understand that circumstances suck for everyone. You may be stuck in a shit job, but drive and ambition are actually very attractive qualities. They just have to be backed up by action. It’s one thing if you’re always talking about the job you’re going to have some day or the business you’re going to start. It’s another entirely when you can show that you’re actually working towards something better rather than just shooting your mouth off.

I’ve known more people than I can count in dead-end jobs who were always talking about their way out: the novel they were going to write, the bands they were starting, their screenplay, their comic, their online business… but they never did anything about it. I’ve also known folks who surprised me by showing me their finished manuscripts, their business plans, their graphic novels or CD release parties. Even the ones who tried to chase a dream and failed had a leg up: they demonstrated that they had the motivation to change things instead of just enduring the daily drudgery.

Want to guess which ones were more successful at getting dates?

There will be people who won’t date you because of your economic status. That’s fine; they’ve just done you the favor of self-selecting out of your dating pool. These aren’t people you want to be trying to strike up a relationship with anyway.

 Dating While Broke

Many people who’ve written into me have been concerned with the fact that they can’t necessarily afford to take women out on fancy dates; even dinner and a movie is outside of their price-range. Never mind buying flowers and candy, they can barely afford rent or gas. “I’m stuck taking the bus everywhere. How am I supposed to take women on dates when I can’t even pick her up at her place?” one writer asked.

There’s a shocking dearth of “wallet with moth flying out” stock photography out there.

The answer is that you need to quit looking at your situation as a disqualification but a challenge. Which is cliche as hell, but it’s still the truth: you ultimately have two choices: you either admit defeat or you adapt to the situation at hand. The problem isn’t whether or not you have money, it’s about disconnecting the idea of having a good time from “having to spend money”.

It’s possible to date on the cheap without looking like a loser; you just have to learn to put your focus on connecting and interacting with your date rather than worrying about what activities you can and can’t afford. Some of the best dates I’ve been on have been free; wandering around the Greenbelt in Austin, hanging out in the park on a summer day, wandering through the City Garage Sale, street fairs, hot rod shows or art bazaars. With a little help from Yelp, Craigslist, Facebook, Google and your local alt-weekly, you can find any number of cheap or free events in your town just about every day.

Dinner dates can be had for less with some pre-planning; I’m a big fan of Romantic Pizza date. You invite your date to your place for home-cooked Romantic Pizza and she needs to bring at least one ingredient. It looks impressive: people have the idea that making pizza, even from scratch, is harder than it actually is. It’s cheap, it’s interactive, it’s tactile, it encourages the two of you to get playful while you’re cooking  and it’s made more romantic by the fact that you’re going to eat it by candlelight. Everything is more romantic by candlelight. Throw in a bottle of cheap (but good) wine and you have an incredibly memorable and romantic date for less than it would cost to go out and have someone else cook it for you.

Don’t Play The Status Game

When I was getting learning how to get better wtih women, I was constantly bombarded by the “status” message; I needed an attractive job or a flashier car. I should pad out my verbal resume a little; after all, who can say that I’m not really a club promoter or an executive at my job?

Ignoring the fact that it’s easier to call people on their bullshit now in this always-connected world, I would consistently have better results just hanging around, chatting with women who knew me as a comic artist and occasional photographer who drove a Prius and preferred to get a burger and beer to a “rock and roll photographer” at a club with a drastically overpriced bottle of Absolut. It was more authentically me; I wasn’t putting on a show or trying to impress them with flash and bullshit.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying there aren’t status-seekers; I’ve run into plenty of those… even ones where the status they’re trying to cozy up to is “Local movie blogger”. I’m not saying that there aren’t gold-diggers. Of course there are. That’s part of why we have prenups.

I am saying that the vast majority of women out there aren’t looking for a prince or someone to shower them with money and treat them to a lifestyle to which they intend to become accustomed; they’re looking for someone who gets them, who they can connect with. 

It doesn’t matter if you’re a bar-back or a CFO. It’s the connection that’s the real money.

  1. for suitably dubious values of “validation”… []

Comments

  1. Anonymoose47 says:

    What about those people who just don't have a clue where the dream route is? I do have interests, but they're not strong enough interests to "chase" or deal with the soul-sucking negatives that come from trying to make them a career. At this point a job just seems like something to get money out of to do the interesting stuff. Not really sure how to spin this as a positive.

    • You are not the only person in your position. There are lots of people whose dreams don't translate well into careers, or who wouldn't be comfortable living on dream job wages.

      I think the best option there is figuring out what sorts of non-professional goals you would like to achieve in your life, and then tying that to finding/succeeding in a job that will help you further those dreams.

    • Minor Ramblings says:

      Honestly, you don't have to have a career that's an all-consuming passion for you, if you have passions some place else. Is it awesome if your job is a dream job? For sure! Is it attainable for everyone? Probably not. Finding something that interests you just enough to do it 5 days a week in exchange for money is a perfectly acceptable threshold to have. It's just fine to say 'I work in Accounts Payable, but that's really just to keep a roof over my head. My real interest is in [literature/music/art/travel/translations of Beowulf into Klingon]."

    • Juuuuuulia says:

      I think in that case a good choice for a job is one that gets people circulation, so you can talk to them about what interesting stuff they're up to? Or one that gets job circulation like journalism where you get to look at a bunch of other people's jobs and ask them questions about it. Other than that, you might just have to roll a dice and try something for a few months. Knowing you absolutely hate a particular line of work is good for narrowing down your options.

      Maybe also start with something that's kinda tangentially related to your interests? If your dream to chase is being a professional athlete, you can instead hang around athletes and interview them. Or hang around fancy sports equipment stores that have capacity for career growth? </ideabarf>

    • Your dream job doesn't have to be your primary income. My income from writing, pro-wrestling, stand-up comedy, hosting burlesque shows and the various other this-es and thats that have caught my interest over the years is small and variable, but it spends the same and I get to do things I love.

      I also think there is a lot of pressure on people to 'find their dream' through their work. Not everyone has those priorities. I remember asking one friend about what he loved about his job, and he looked at me like I was from Mars. Personal satisfaction wasn't a motivator for him when it comes to work.

      • Anonymoose47 says:

        I don't have a dream job. I've seen a lot of cases of people having a passion for something, deciding to make it their job, and then they ending up hating it and burning out on it even though they were doing something they used to love because they weren't aware of the negatives. I have no interest in doing that to any of my interests, and really I've always treated interests and responsibilities as things to keep seperated, because interests are the escape from soul-killing responsibility. Which means I'm not likely ever getting a job or ambition that some girl can get excited about because I'm passionately talking about it or something. Whichhhhhh doesn't really help because this article and a lot of comments I've seen seems to indicate girls need that stuff out of their guys or they'll move along to someone who can give them that.

        • Anonymoose47 says:

          It's kind of silly, but in a lot of ways it's like listening in to a conversation among just the ladies, and they're going on about the things they like in guys, and I'm just going "Nope. Nope. Fuck. Nope. Welp, maybe in the next life," the entire time. Sorry, frustration boiling again.

          • Really, having or aspiring to a dream job isn't a requirement for dating. People can really respect someone who can evaluate and work towards what's important to them, including if that means deciding to put their passion somewhere other than their career.

            There's nothing wrong (and many things right!) with being realistic about your passions and supporting them with some random job that earns you enough to get by and doesn't make you crazy rather than chucking it all to throw yourself into a hobby that you know wouldn't make you a happy/successful career.

            Many people land up working jobs they don't love. If you're in that position because you've set some priorities and decided having a job you're desperately in love with isn't one of them, you're doing better than most.

            Most people want to date someone who wants to be able to support themselves financially and acts in such a way as to achieve that. Most people want to date someone who tries to spend more of their time doing things they enjoy and less of their time doing things that make them cranky and miserable. Most people want to date someone who has things they are passionate about and is willing to put effort into them. Beyond that, I think you're taking what people here are are saying to conclusions they don't actually lead to.

            You're convincing yourself you're disqualified for all sorts of reasons that are not requirements. Stop inventing reasons you'll fail!

          • Anonymoose47 says:

            Will do.

          • Yeah, it's not necessarily about the dream job, but about the passion. I have a decent paying job as a civil servant that is not amazing, but challenging enough to keep me satisfied.
            Playing guitar and developing pen and paper roleplaying games (yup, geek here) are what I'm passionate about. My band has never done a live gig, my roleplaying games will never ever make a profit even if I can get them published, but when I talk about these things to people they realize it's something I care about and that makes it interesting to people…

          • Myster Baad says:

            However, very few people want to date someone who is driven crazy by work itself. That's an indicator of extreme social unfitness. If you can't spend 40h/wk in a box – any kind of box – that you'd rather not be in, you're on the wrong planet – even before we get to the matter of how you're eating and wearing clothes.

            This is my problem, so I know what I'm tlaking about.

          • I'm genuinely curious: what would your image of a romantic partnership where you shared housing and money look like? Would you be willing to live exceedingly frugally and rather messily with someone who felt the same way, or are you looking for a partner who can spend 40 hours a week in a box?

          • I too think passion is nice, but it can be overrated. The spouse and I aren't particularly passionate, nor very ambitious. We have a nice, quiet, laid-back life. We don't have high-powered careers that impress people. I draw and write, and he likes history and building models. But none of those things are ZOMG PASSION for us. I don't **live and breathe** drawing and writing. It's just something fun I like to do.

            So I totally get how, to a more laid-back person with less clear life goals, sometimes this blog makes you feel like you need to be the Superfan of whatever hobby you're into while studying to become a surgeon and also work on having tons of friends!! But I don't think that's the intent, and trust me, you don't have to be that way to be happy or paired. We aren't. I've also got friends older than me who still have no idea what they want to be "when they grow up".

          • Yeah, I don't think it's passion in the sense of having one or two overarching obsessions that you spend significant time on, just in the sense of having enthusiasm for some things, pursuing activities you enjoy in life and maybe are willing to put some effort into, rather than being a dull person who has nothing going on in their lives that they enjoy and isn't interested in seeking out new things. There's nothing wrong with being laid back or a dabbler, though – in fact, it can make it a lot easier to connect with people b/c you're open to trying and enjoying lots of things instead of putting all your energy into that one passion.

            People are at their most interesting when they're interestED. Everyone likes to see someone's face light up with enthusiasm sometimes, but it doesn't have to be every second of every day.

          • Oh no I most definitely agree here. But I also know geeks tend to be hard on themselves *and others* for their interests, like it's Not Enough or Too Mundane or Nobody Else Would Get It. No interest is too mundane. Even if the only thing you really like doing nowadays is watching Mythbusters and trying a new kind of local pizza every month.

            When you said "People are at their most interesting when they are interestED" it touched on something I've been trying to articulate about geeks developing interests. In my bad old days, I'd lament my lack of social connections and (what I thought were) boring interests, but I'd also have this really toxic mindset like "UGH, in order to get more friends I'm going to have to PRETEND I LIKE their STUPID LAME interests!" It reminds me of when certain men are all "I can't PRETEND like I actually LIKE some WOMAN and her INSIPID WOMAN INTERESTS" and still expect to be successful with women. Putting aside the misogyny of assuming womens' interests are automatically insipid, it's destructive to have such judgmental attitudes toward other people's interests. People can tell that you have this superior attitude and aren't really listening to them.
            You have to shut up that voice inside that starts judging other people's interests if they aren't your bag. Come to interactions with a real spirit of trying to see what they like about said interest. One of my best friends is so girly and loves celebrity gossip, but also loves Ren Faires. When she talks about the gossip, I don't sit there and think about how stupid that is and how I'm so much smarter than her and GOD she's so shallow. I try to listen. I'll never really like it like she does, but I can put myself in her shoes for a bit and join her enthusiasm. Because I like HER and am really, truly interested in connecting w her as a person.

          • This is a great explanation!

            Also, even if you don't like someone's interests, you can still like HOW they're interested. I might not be into fashion, but I can find it interesting when my friend who is talks about how trends in dress reflect social trends or what you can read about someone by their tie; I'm not into physics, but with the right person, it's a great lead-in to philosphical discussions; if I didn't see the movie my friend's talking about and I can't stand horror anyway, I can still be interested in the way morality and survival are traditionally linked in the genre.

          • Anonymoose47 says:

            I've always defined passion as being into something to the point of obsession, or at least almost to the point of obsession, whereas less than that was just a hobby. Must be getting majorly crossed up when I read these things.

          • No wonder you were discouraged! If that were the case, very few people would ever get to date!

            I think when people say passion, they're more talking about caring about things than about focus.

          • Oh, I think that makes it way too hard. Most people here are talking about interests – not obsessive ones, just ones that catch people's attention enough that they can talk about them with some animation and excitement.

          • I had a feeling you did, which is why I made the comment I did. :)

          • It's not, necessarily. Passion can just be zest for life.

          • Obsession is usually considered not a good thing.

        • Check out the comments above again, because we didn't all say that. I didn't. Minor Ramblings didn't either. You don't need a dream job. Most people don't work at their dream job. A lot of people don't have one. I certainly don't. Many of the other women you meet won't either.

          But if money and dating are a concern for you, you can still channel your energy into trying to get a non-dream job, or a somewhat better non-dream job, that would allow you to both pursue your hobbies a little more fully (making for interesting conversation) and to have a little cash left over for dating.

    • I didn't really pull the same interpretation from the article as you did… I don't think he's saying your job needs to be your ambition/passion… just that you should have ambitions/passions and pursue them.

      I'm in the rare situation of absolutely loving my job. It's not something I'm passionate about (but it's close), and honestly I really don't have ambitions to move up in this job. But I do have other things I'm passionate about (mostly sports, which doesn't really help with the ladies heh). And I have ambitions as well, which I admit I haven't taken action on yet but I plan to soon. Neither of them involve my job, or even the industry I work in.

    • Gentleman Johnny says:

      An old, now deceased friend of mine once said something to me that has informed many of my work decisions. "Work is what I do so that I have the money to do the things I want to do when I'm not at work."

      There's your positive spin.

    • you're exactly the kind of aimless guy that women don't seek out.
      if you're not doing what you want, is it because you're too impotent or incompetent to do it? i'm not attacking you, i'm just stating how it looks.
      even chest-thumping douchebags rate better because they know what they want and are at least chasing it with passion.

      • Anonymoose47 says:

        And when you're not sure what you want or or don't need much?

      • I'd say some would pick a passionate chest-thumper and some would go for an aimless person with some other desirable qualities. There are a gazillion people, men and women, who don't know quite what they want or aren't sure how to achieve it yet, and many of them still manage to date. This kind of sweeping generalization just doesn't seem useful.

  2. Oh god I hate that Scrubs song!!

    The car thing was massive for me – my eyesight means I can never get a drivers' license (even with it being corrected as much as possible). It wasn't even about the 'status' or 'money' of owning a car as such, I always felt as a teenager that I was missing out on a major life milestone, like because I would never be able to get a car I'd somehow never be able to move into adulthood. It especially stung when all my friends started getting their drivers licenses (and when my oneitis of the time fell back in love with her ex-boyfriend after he started giving her driving lessons). I'd think "Why would any girl choose me when she can have a guy that can give her so much more?", "How can I take a girl out on a date when I can't even pick her up and surprise her?", etc.

    So everytime I heard that song, I'd get angry. It was like having salt rubbed into the wound, every time.

  3. A lot of times I find men who are flaunting money (whether they really have it or not) is a big turn off and tacky. One guy took me to his friend's Ethiopian restaurant and we split a dinner for about $20-$25. Then he tries to pay his friend with a $100 bill. He was whipping that baby around. I was afraid we were going to get mugged when we left (it was not the best part of town). To make matters worse, his friend/owner gave him this look and said that he knows he doesn't have that kind of change this early in the evening so why are you trying to make me break a $100. I was incredibly embarrassed and paranoid the entire walk back to my neighborhood.

    • Yeah, for guys who are financially secure, that is not the way to go about making it an asset. Nor, for that matter, is taking first dates to very expensive venues or buying jewelry too early in the relationship. There are definitely women who are attracted to these things, but they're maybe not the best ones and in a lot of cases a less experienced guy might have reason to be wary of them. The flip side is that a lot of women who might otherwise be compatible will be spooked by the showiness, or by the pressure that comes with accepting a large gift.

      Simply having a comfortable life that includes a nice place to live or vehicle, or some additional money for entertainment, is more subtle and may take longer for people to see, but I think it's far more universally appealing.

      • .”The flip side is that a lot of women who might otherwise be compatible will be spooked by the showiness, or by the pressure that comes with accepting a large gift.”

        Absolutely, because there’s sort of an unspoken expectation that we will reciprocate with something of equal value, i.e. sex. And that is NOT a comfortable feeling.

    • Gentleman Johnny says:

      People still pay with cash? I can't remember the last time I didn't buy something with plastic. As relates to dating, its nice and neutral. No flashing cash, no letting on that you have $0.75 left after paying for dinner.

      • More awkward for going dutch or splitting with friends, though! There's just nothing worse than trying to divide up a check and finding that everyone else had expected to be the one to pay with a card.

  4. Okay, so the pizza date is great… but you aren't getting a girl to come back to your place for a first date.

    Likewise, the walk in the park/garage sales/other outdoor events are great… in the summer. Your options shrink dramatically in the winter.

    Most of my dates are found via the internet dating scene, so I'm able to build some rapport and interest before we even meet. But I can't afford to be taking these girls out for dinner, or even drinks. Now that it's cold outside, I really don't even know what to do at all.

    As far as the free events you'll find in the paper/craiglist/etc… again, in the winter these are all going to be indoor events. Most of them, at least around here, are going to be at coffee shops or bars. I'm not really comfortable taking a date to a coffee shop or bar "just for the show". I feel obliged to buy drinks, as that's the whole reason the venue is having the free show, to get customers.

    I'm not trying to sound like I have a defeatist attitude, because I don't. I know you can date on the cheap (without being cheap). I just struggle to find ways to do it in the winter months.

    • Anonymoose47 says:

      Build some rapport in late winter, go for it in spring and summer, and maybe she'll be interested enough by next fall/winter to stick with you.

      • Ok, Mike wasn't being defeatist, but your comment kind of is.

        • Oops, you know, I read that wrong. My apologies, Anonymoose.

          I would agree that any decent girl who starts dating you in the summer, knowing you're not made of money, is going to be just fine hanging out at home and watching videos the next winter.

          I don't think that it means that no dating at all can happen this winter. It's harder, sure, but I think it's possible to squeeze some in.

          • There are often Christmas light shows/tours that are cheap. Bundling up for sledding in the park or a winter walk can be totally sexy, especially if you bring the hot cocoa.

            Also there are often community concerts and theater productions for cheap. And nothing will bond you quite as tightly as a shared experience watching a local theater production of A Christmas Carol.

          • Or, if you have more time than money, you can do some scoping out in advance and come up with your own Christmas lights tour!

            Community concerts and theater are really good ideas (oh, or college productions too, if there's one in the area). I personally lean a little more towards first dates that allow a lot of talking, but that would be a good idea for a second one even if no budget limitations are concerned (or at least that would be something that would make me smile).

            This is sort of a small town specific one, but I wonder if a local sports game (meaning a high school or semi-pro one) would work for a couple who had already established that they both enjoyed sports? Tickets to those are often fairly inexpensive.

          • Oh, or I just thought of something else. This one I think would only work if both members of the couple were fairly community or service minded, but what about finding one of those group voluteering opportunities? I'm thinking something with high cute appeal, like playing with dogs at the animal shelter.

    • I do agree that the Romantic Pizza date isn't going to fly with a woman you've never met before. I'd balk at a guy who suggested that I come over to his home before I met him, and even more at one who suggested coming to mine.

      I can also see your point about it being easier to find free things in the summer. There are still a few options, however. This one isn't absolutely free, but it may be worth it to find a less expensive coffee shop and budget enough for an occasional couple of cups. That's admittedly going to cut down your dating, but unless the budget is absolutely zero, it leaves room for you to meet at least some of the women you're talking to online. It's still worth it to keep an eye out for readings, exhibits, etc. Those are inside and are often free. Another possibility, if it suits your and her preferences, might be walking around on a warmer night to look at Christmas lights/displays.

      I do get that it's harder, though. Just not impossible.

      • This wouldn't work for all types, but if you have access to a library or a public plaza with some tables, an afternoon of playing board games would be a date that would charm certain girls.

        Um, and I'm not sure if this would come off as too cheesy, but you could bring a couple of thermoses – either of coffee, or if you're feeling daring, of some kind of juice thing and then you could make a winking show of spiking it while she's looking but people around you aren't.

    • Gentleman Johnny says:

      You know what I did today, Mike? I met up with my girlfriend near the University about 2PM. We had lunch (about $10 each). I gave her my access code for Ingress, which we then geeked out over on her phone for the next two hours or so. Then we went to an art gallery on campus (free) and a nearby library to check out their schedule (also free) where we may well be going back to see an actor who does a great Mark Twain do in character selections from the author's work (also free). Oh, and we might well spend a whole day running around Vegas on my scooter playing Ingress again soon ($2 in gas).

      A little creativity, a little Google and its not difficult to find inexpensive things to do with maybe a cup of coffee before or after.

    • Can you afford coffee? Going out for coffee is a lot cheaper than drinks or dinner, and walking around outside in the winter then stopping for hot coffee or hot chocolate or hot cider or whatever is comforting and fun.

    • You should check out the site: Meetup.com.

      They provide plenty of fun events and opportunities to meet people in your community :)

  5. Anonymoose47 says:

    Sorry. I information gather and tend to lump a lot of it together.

  6. "hypergamy is on the decline "

    Did you read the conclusion of the linked study?

    "On the other hand, it appears that the declining economic prospects of men at the bottom of the education distribution have rendered many below the threshold of marriageability. The likelihood of marriage for less educated men fell more than the likelihood of marriage for less educated women. There was no decline in hypergamy at this end of the spectrum; in fact, some measures indicate an increase in hypergamy for this group, as less educated women have increasingly been reaching upward in the education distribution for husbands, or opting out of marriage entirely. "

    At best, if you grant that educational disparities are THE indicator of hypergamy (and I don't) , the authors actually say that hypergamy has declined in a tiny segment of women (highly educated women between 40 and 44) and actually INCREASED among less-educated women.

    • Meyer N. Gaines says:

      Common sense says education has nothing to do with "hypergamy" in itself. Its all about money and looks.

      No woman ever thinks of trading in her accountant for a doctor. She wants to trade him in for the banker or the hot model.

      • Really? Is that last line really true? Perhaps in fantasies, though then we might as well go all the way and talk about princes and pirates and Ryan Gosling.

        Almost every "trade in" I've seen has involved a married person leaving for a coworker or someone from high school, or an unmarried one leaving for someone in the couple's social circle. In most cases, everyone was about as attractive as everyone else, and in at least one I can remember, the new partner was regarded as less obviously appealing.

        • Meyer N. Gaines says:

          Both sexes are hypergamous by nature. Men find it easier to acknowledge their desires, of course, because they gain sexual value (money and status) as they get older. Women lose sexual value (looks) as they get older.

          • I can understand this being true for some relatively wealthy men, but again, my admittedly limited observations of wives and mistresses don't really back this up, at least not if we're talking about ordinary people.

          • My observation has been that people not only marry sideways, they tend to have affairs sideways too.

          • Word. Acknowledging this truth is as anathema to feminists as the renunciation of the Ptolemaic model of the universe was to the church in the dark ages.

      • What fun stereotypes we are playing with today! Please, tell me more about this magical world of man-trade!

        • Gentleman Johnny says:

          Its all about social value. No one in a relationship is valuable for themselves. They only matter to their mate in terms of how much higher status (psycho-socially dominant) they make their mate look and by evo-psych extension how much more fit their children will be for occupying the top rungs of society. So of course any woman would drop their man in a second if they could trade up to Brad Pitt, just like any man would drop his woman for a rich 18 year old supermodel. Shared interest and experience, complimentary personalities and traits like sense of humor or intelligence have nothing to do with it except where they create a high perceived status among the tribe.
          </sarcasm>

          Side note: even apes don't do this.

    • Not being married is not the same as being single.

      I grew up in the bottom of the education/income distribution world, and there were a lot of couples who just weren't married. My mom and step-dad lived together unmarried for years. They only got married in the end to make sure I could be covered by my step-dad's health insurance. Even then they didn't tell us they did it and they didn't spend money on the ceremony. And note: my parents never divorced either.

      Marriage is on the decline in general. But many people are nonetheless in relationships without being married.

      So those less educated women who are opting out of marriage may not be opting out of relationships with less educated men.
      Also, you might want to factor in incarceration rates into this study.

      • But why is it in such rapid decline among the lower classes?

        • BritterSweet says:

          Could be less faith in marriage? People tend to frequently cite the divorce rate as justification for all sorts of arguments. Also, someone who has experienced or witnessed a divorce (like the child of divorced parents) may not think marriages are worth it.

          • Divorce is expensive. Better not to marry and keep lawyers out.

          • Not only is divorce expensive, but marriage is, too.

            Really, modern marriage is a bourgeois institution, which may be increasingly less interesting to the working classes, especially as upward mobility is in decline in the US.

            There is decreasing point in trying to act all middle-class if you are never going to get there.

        • ScienceNerdGirl says:

          Because, when a lower class woman marries a lower class man, chances are, she is taking on yet another mouth to feed, in addition to any children she is already caring for. This has been shown in research (see Stephanie Coontz' History of Marriage) that actually asked lower class women why they weren't married. They would like to get married, but were wise enough to know that the romantic ideal of marriage was not worth sharing the meager pool of money she's making as a maid or store clerk with an unemployed man, or one underemployed enough not to be able to pay his share of the expenses. She needs to save what little money she has to take care of her children. I have also seen this to be true in the "Bohemian Class"; technically, working class, but more by choice– artists, freelance writers, etc., generally without children– where the guy shrugs his shoulders when it comes time to pay the bills, saying he's simply broke, so the girl has to somehow pull it together to pay for both of them, time and time again. Of course, this is in addition to the fact that "normal" wedding ceremonies are incredibly expensive…

    • I live in Boston and I meet a lot of people from the upper rungs of society in terms of education, looks, and money. I find all of the above to be intimidating because they put the man in a position of power over me. I would much rather get a guy who is around the same category I am in- which is just middle class- and likes me for my awesome self. I know some women use men to get money, but it is not all of them. I also know that those gold-diggers hang out with men that are looking for the best-looking piece of ass that is around. I see the objectification on both sides. Lastly, most women from with a lower socio-economic status know that relying on a man for money is a. stupid b. unreliable and c. might leave them single and pregnant. :P

  7. If you're looking for a potentially serious relationship (as opposed to a clear one night stand where both of you know for sure it isn't going anywhere), money will enter into it. Not necessarily how much money you have, but what you do with it. Do you blow your paycheck on junk and then not have enough to pay rent? Do you stuff all your money into your 401(k) and insist on only eating ramen noodles because they're the cheapest? Are you constantly "borrowing" money from friends and family for totally predictable emergencies, then not paying it back?

    It's not "being a gold-digger" to want a guy who is capable of managing the money he earns – after all, if the two of you stick together long enough, you're going to start sharing financial responsibilities. Getting married means sharing credit scores – but even before that, you have shared bills (if you live together) or shared purchases or even sharing who pays for dinner when. Guys who can't manage their money when they're single don't get any better once they have access to a girlfriend/wife's money.

    • Exactly! It sucks when women get blasted for being "gold diggers", when we only want a man to be an adult with his money and life.

      I'm in my 30s, and if I were single, I would be very wary of a man my age or older who had always lived with his parents, had spotty employment, and always seemed to be broke. Obviously, there can be extenuating circumstances, and it's not like it would be an automatic NEVER DATE, but I'm just saying I would be WARY.

      I also think a man should be wary of a woman in that same situation.Because Wendy is right, a partner's mishandling of their finances WILL become your problem if you marry or even live with them.

      • I just broke up with one of those. I'm not sorry for dating him, nor am I sorry for breaking up with him, nor is the financial aspect one of the overarching reasons that I dumped him.

        That said–it gets very old to know that whenever we were going to do something nice, either I would pay for it, or he would sigh and look wistful and whinge about how much it cost (even $13 for the zoo). It gets very old to always be the one driving everywhere. It gets very old to always pay at restaurants. It gets very old to have to plan every aspect of socialisation around somebody else's lacking finances.

        If I were younger (mid-30s here), it wouldn't have bothered me as much, I would have been broke too. Now that I am who and where I am, it felt a little bit like I was a combination of girlfriend and soccer mom. Feeling taken advantage of breeds resentment, resentment turns to contempt, and contempt dooms relationships.

        Anybody who tries to tell you that finances aren't important in a long-term relationship, or tries to frame a legitimate concern about financial issues as being controlling, a gold digger, or emasculating? RUN. Don't walk, run.

      • Myster Baad says:

        Even worse would be a man living at home who's underemployed and NOT broke. If he's not a criminal, he's going to be a spoiled adult child from a well-to-do but deeply messed-up home. I know – I AM that guy.

        • Well…yeah. I wouldn't necessarily assume the guy was deeply messed up, but if he wasn't broke but still chose to live at home, I'd be concerned that any attempt at a partnership would involve me doing both all the paid and all the unpaid labor. I used to live reasonably happily with a guy who was a waiter-aspiring somethingorother, but that worked because he did most of domestic stuff. I think I'd be fairly resentful if I had to come home from work, do the chores, and know that my partner spent much of his time relaxing.

          It would be different if the guy lived at home because he was saving for a downpayment on a limited income, or because his parents required some care.

  8. DNL is again conflating money with status. While money is often a marker, or correlate, of status within a tribe, it is not its cause. Attractive women fall for shiftless, semi-employed (yet high tribal status) ne'r-do-wells all the time. Among some sub-groups in the lower classes, working for a living in a low-wage job is even seen as the mark of a chump or sucker (and who can blame them). Women don't dig on chumps and suckers.

    The story he told about the VIP section is instructive. He didn't get the response he wanted from the women because they didn't smell status. They didn't smell alpha. They smelled some easy marks who would buy them expensive drinks all night, and acted accordingly. Women (especially attractive women) are very, very good at making this distinction.

    • Oh Vic! Your comments are always a never ending source of amusement! Never leave us!!!

    • I’m very dubious of your definition of attractive.

      • How so?

        • I think you are defining women by those women who seek out relationships to validate themselves and their self worth. I find those women make very poor friends. I tend to avoid them.

          Unfortunately, they tend to invest heavily in their conventional “attractiveness”

          This is no different than a man who invests heavily in his showy career and car.

          I never find them attractive either. If I want a fortune, I’ll earn it myself. And he doesn’t need status either, because I’ll create that too.

          What he needs to have is my respect. That comes from integrity, something lacking in most of your ” high status” scenarios.

          • But I'm not generally looking for female friends.

          • And you see, that pretty much sums up the problem with claiming your approach is a universal dating solution. Many guys here aren't just looking for a quick lay. They're looking for a relationship that includes conversation and companionship (you know, friendship type stuff) as well as sex. Hitting it off with women they wouldn't like enough to want to be friends with is not going to help them get a relationship they find satisfying.

          • But female friends are awesome. You can be all like, "hey let's walk in the club with one of you on either side holding my arms pretending we're stars" and they're like "yeah, that sounds like fun" and then when all the bitches in the club see you roll in with women on your arms it flips the pre-selection switch in their canary-sized brains and they all are immediately attracted to you. They swivel their heads in unison to check you out like prairie dogs. It's the cutest thing.

            It's true, bro. I read it on the internet.

          • You win all the internets.

          • Hahaha, how did I miss this??

            Seriously, this is how PUA sounds to my ear.

          • Given my inability to get my comments to nest where I want them to, I'm surprised you saw it at all, Tosca :)

            Every submit comment mouse click is an adventure, it seems, for Mrs. Brodribb's handsome son.

          • I find your name positively Dickensian in the best way possible.

          • I'm not gay, so the only value they have to me is as friends. Why is it always about you, Vic?

            How about I condense my thought for you.

            People who have to validate their self worth through trying to attract the attention of others through some sort of external marker of worth aren't attractive people. In my experience they tend to have very little internal strength and integrity, and that is universally attractive.

    • Gentleman Johnny says:

      So we're back to the circular definition?
      1. Women want a man with status.
      2. This man is with a woman.
      3. ergo he has status, its just a matter of figuring out what specifically counts as status in this example.

      1. Same
      2. This man is not with a woman.
      3. Therefore there must be a flaw in his perceived status.

      Its really getting pretty old to hear because any positive or negative example can be justified with enough creativity. So how about this: if money and flashy thing aren't status, what is? Once you have a definition, then we can examine if it is a factor in dating. If status is basically "whatever a given woman wants in a man" then its all things to all people and a meaningless term to attempt to draw conclusions from.

      • "if money and flashy thing aren't status, what is? "

        Broadly defined? Psychosocial dominance/charisma/"game" , whatever you want to call it.

        • Gentleman Johnny says:

          No, not broadly defined. "Game" means "is good with women". Charisma means "is good with people". Those are flat out circular definitions. "People like people who are good with people". They convey no useful information.

          Psychological Dominance can mean a lot of things. It can mean "is respected by other people" or it can mean "browbeats people to get what he wants". Both of those can get you a one night stand. Both of them can even get you married to someone with sufficiently severe psychological issues. Neither of them can bee said to be always present in males in relationships.

      • Game is it's own status, actually.

    • Would you can to define what exactly you mean by "high tribal status"? What is status, by your definition? Because across all the threads this has been brought in, it's starting to seem like the definition of "status" or "alpha" is nothing more than "appealing to women", and saying that women like men that women like isn't really saying anything at all.

      • "Psycho-social dominance" would be the best term for it, IMHO.

        • And what does that mean? How do you know someone has psychosocial dominance? By seeing how people react to them, presumably. You determined DNL and his friends didn't have it because the women didn't stick around after getting their drinks. So we're back to saying that guys who get most women are those who have the most social influence, which we know they have because they get the most women. In other words, the guys who get the most women are the guys who get the most women. No kidding!

          I'm not sure why you think this information is going to be at all useful to anyone.

          • Gentleman Johnny says:

            Interestingly, by the time we've broken it down to things like charisma, it is somewhat useful. Be good with people and you'll be good with women. I think, though, that charisma has something that psycho-social dominance doesn't: being good to people.

            Maybe I misunderstand Vic but I think the contrast between him and me is that he's saying be good at handling people. Know how to push their buttons. Use their reactions to remind them of your value.

            I'm saying be good to people. Use your actions to remind them of their value.

            After all, which would you rather have? (not rhetorical, open to anyone)
            Someone with a lot of money, good looks who rules their social group and makes you feel like crap.
            Someone without much money who makes you feel great not with flattery but by recognizing in you the things that are great.

          • Yeah, Vic would definitely disagree with you. He'd say the first guy is what the majority of women want. I suspect every woman here would prefer the second (I certainly would). But we're all outliers, of course! :P

            And I'd say there's a problem with him saying status = good with people when he's arguing that women are hypergamous, looking for men of higher status than them. So now we'd be saying that women look for men who are… better at handling people than they are? Better at handling women? It's kind of hard to make statements about cause and effect there. It makes more sense to me that women would be more likely to end up with men like that because the men are good at convincing those specific women it's a good idea, not because women are looking for men who are good at handling people in general.

            (Also, in a previous post, one woman mentioned a guy she dated who was not only poor and unsuccessful in his career, but didn't have much social power either–few friends, no other interested women. And Vic still claimed he had "status". So I get the feeling his definition shifts whenever he needs it to so he can say he's right.)

          • Gentleman Johnny says:

            Now, now, let's not put words in Vic's mouth. I realize I did, too but I tried to make clear that its my opinion of what Vic would say. He'll come around and speak for himself, I trust that. Honestly, now that I made the charisma/dominance distinction, I'm curious to see how it matches up to what he was trying to say.

          • I'm not putting words in his mouth. I'm going by the words he's actually used in previous discussions on this topic. But if he's changed his mind in the last few days, I'm happy to hear his new perspective. :)

          • I suppose it depends on how you define charisma. This isn't really helpful to the discussion at hand, but what I would call charisma can be a pretty nebulous quality and its often disconnected from a person's actual behavior.

            I do a lot of work in show business, so it's something I see a lot and find fascinating. Some people just seem to be compelling for reasons that are completely divorced from personality or talent level or technique. I have a theory it has something to do with empathy–just as some people seem to be stronger at picking up on other people's emotions, I wonder if some people have more ability to…broadcast? Transmit? connect?…their emotions to other people.

            I think charisma is something that can be improved, but I also think some people are just gifted with Olympic level potential, some of us are average, and some of us have to work a little harder. How we use that charisma though is not really predictable.

            More importantly, in my experience, charismatic people can fail just as spectactularly at love and life as anybody else. Having it isn't a magic bullet.

          • I generally agree with the distinction JG has made above.

            I used to be a "good" guy like he describes in HS and most of college. My motives were pure and my conscience was squeaky clean. I certainly reminded girls of their value. And it got me absolutely nowhere with them.

            So I took the red pill, spent time objectively observing female behavior, and learning about the female mind. And yes, how to push their buttons, and how to flip the script to make them start qualifying themselves to me by, as he said, reminding them of my value. I call it "assuming the sale."

            Needless to say, my success with women improved more than I imagined possible.

          • Gross.

            I am proud to say that I married a good, squeaky-clean guy who loves me and never felt the need to be "psychologically and socially dominant" with me. Becoming a heartless, social-Darwinist user is NOT the only answer, guys!

          • It's just the best answer! ;)

          • Myster Baad says:

            There are lots of outliers out there. It's just that your odds are a lot better if you aren't one of them, and don't need her to be one, either.

            Either way, you have to at least get comfortable with the idea that status is tribal – that who you really are inside doesn't mean a damn unless you can make someone willing to look inside.

          • How big a leap from "absolutely nowhere" is "more than I imagined possible?"

            I was going to say I also enjoy observing the female mind. particularly by candlelight in my observatory through a jeweller's loupe while the red pill dissolves sweetly under my tongue. Such an amazing thing, the female mind, millions of years of evolution coming together to form the perfect hypergamy machine, each one identical to the last, like it was formed by a Swiss watchmaker.

            But I feel someone beat me to that joke in a previous thread.

          • Gentleman Johnny says:

            And I feel the need to take a bow on that one. Excellent riff on the concept, though. The name Gentleman Johnny (at least on this forum) was a sort of steampunk riff itself. Its a reminder to me to take the high road, or at least to rebut with humor rather than flame wars. Glad its working.

          • Vic, I don't know why you frequent this site. You don't seem to like women and seem to really believe PUA and eve-psyche stuff. Plus, you are anti-feminist. DNL is a feminist dude who wants to help guys become better guys and have healthy relationships.

            That doesn't seem to be what you want. So why are you here?

            Especially since you have all this success with women, you clearly don't need any of the advice here. So why are you here?

            To troll?

          • To share my own experience about the nature of women, especially where I think DNL gets it wrong.

          • Anonymoose47 says:

            Can you give a tl;dr of your situation/numbers/LTRs/changes you made?

          • Except you've alienated most of the people here so much that no one takes your experiences seriously.

          • But the people here are generally not looking to have your kind of experiences. If they were, they'd be on a PUA site, not this one.

          • I'm going to give a suggestion. Create your own relationship blog, still read DNL, post your disagreements with him on your blog, post the link on DNL's article's comment section ONCE, then leave us the hell alone. That way if anyone gives a damn, they can go to your blog and get your manly man, casanova, mad skills, experienced, jaded explanation and instruction.

          • Lolololololol! This reads like a voiceover at the start of "The Pick Up Artist". That show was hilarious.

          • Paul Rivers says:

            "I used to be a "good" guy like he describes in HS and most of college. My motives were pure and my conscience was squeaky clean. I certainly reminded girls of their value. And it got me absolutely nowhere with them."

            Yeah…unfortunately, for the most part, the only time I saw the good guy approach work was when the girl was in her freshman year of college, she was in a new environment – and *genuinely* excited about meeting a boyfriend.

            It was a pretty weird moment for me when a friend of mine learned about "game", and I looked back on all my previous relationships, and realized that every one of them where I *wasn't* her first real boyfriend or first boyfriend in college, followed game concepts again and again.

            I, personally, think it's gotten worse. The last girl I dated was noticeably younger than me (not what I usually do, but I wasn't going to pass on a girl who I was into and was into me, either). After we hung out 2 or 3 times, I made a move on her and we made out for like..a couple of hours. It was pretty awesome. But – she left, and started posting on facebook about how it was time to "find out" if I "really liked her". Which I had…until I started to feel like she was playing games with me. We made out a few more times, but I told her I liked her, but there was just something missing. (Because that was how I genuinely felt – maybe it was because I started to feeling like there were relationship games being played, maybe it was something completely different – I don't know, it was just how I genuinely felt).

            So I stayed friends with her, but kept her at arms length. Well, time went by, and guess what? She just gets more and more attracted to me. She's having hot, crazy sex dreams about me. She's trying to come over to my place several times.

            That's not the *only* thing that happened, but I was struck by how that – and several of my previous relationships – always seemed to develop the most chemistry and passion from the girl not when I was being supportive (though often I think being supportive was a precursor to the feelings later), but when I was trying to keep them at arms length.

            The last girl I *tried* to date was an ex-girlfriend where we had basically broken up because she lived to far away (and the relationship hadn't gone on that long). But she moved to the city where I live. So we started hanging out. I wasn't a doormat, but I was as supportive as possible, always trying to have a good time (as that was really what I wanted to do), etc etc. I would say I was always trying to build her up – actually, I *was* building her up and we were having a great time, except for the fact that we weren't dating.

            Guess who got the "if we ever slept together it would ruin our friendship" and "I just like our friendship the way it is" when he asked her out?

            I looked back on the rest of my actual, real relationships, and realized – the ones with the best sex, and the the girl being the most interested in me, have almost all been when I trying to keep the girl at arms length. Honestly – it really, really weirds me out. Like most guys (in my opinion), I wanted a relationship with a girl where it's a wonderful synergy – someone you're best friends with, you share and love experiences, etc. But…looking back, that's just not what worked. We could have that – as long as I didn't need them that much, and generally thought of myself as being slightly better than them. It's like having a younger sibling – you're not sitting there ripping on them, and they could be better at some things than you, but you're always confident that generally you'll always be ahead of them. And when they try to play mind games, you blow them off, do your own thing…anyways, frankly, it weirds me the heck out. But…

          • Anonymoose47 says:

            " but I was as supportive as possible, always trying to have a good time (as that was really what I wanted to do), etc etc. I would say I was always trying to build her up – actually, I *was* building her up and we were having a great time, except for the fact that we weren't dating."

            Not your job to build her up or be supportive of her if she doesn't need it and you're not her boyfriend.

          • Anonymoose47 says:

            and to build off of your younger sibling thing since I just thought of how to express it properly:

            I have a sister a few years younger than me. I'm better than her at some things, she's better than me at most things. She doesn't need my support or to be built up in her day-to-day life at all. I regularly bust on her (she's tall for a girl, but I'm taller and have reach, so she's a midget with stumpy arms… she has more dense moments than me, which makes it easy… she can be OCD about keeping a schedule, so I always joke that she has everything scheduled to the second, and if the schedule is interrupted, she schedules in cranky time) in a playful brotherly way.

          • Anonymoose47 says:

            [cont]

            However, when our grandmother died, she fell apart and came to me because I didn't appear to be as lost as she was (I fell apart while she was passing on, my sister lost it afterwards). She needed the support even if I couldn't give her the exact answers.

            I've never been in a relationship before, but I'm guessing some of this applies to one, whereas it sounds like you were trying to force support on someone with the expectation that they'd need it or want to come to you for it.

          • This exactly! To date as a decent person, you don't need to make their self-esteem your goal or try to be their go-to person for all emotional support. Do your own thing, worry about your own problems, there's nothing wrong with that – in fact, not doing that, instead dropping your own life to put someone else first in all situations generally makes for pretty awful relationships.

            But that doesn't mean you have to play power games and withhold your esteem. In a good relationship, they should know that you think they're awesome and that you care enough to support them when they need it, and that you're pretty secure that they feel the same as you.

            tl;dr Relationships work best when each person stays in charge of their own self-esteem.

          • Paul Rivers says:

            While that is true, that's not exactly what I meant. Reading back over my post, I think my wording could sound that way, my mistake in the way that I wrote it. I didn't mean I was her shoulder to cry on or anything (things like that never happened with this particular girl), supportive was more like getting to know her "as a person", but also moving things towards being fun. Flirty etc. (Admittedly, a poor choice of wording on my part in the original post).

            There's a difference between being supportive like "you look like you're not having fun, let's go have fun" and supportive like "tell me all your problems and issues and sadness" – I was doing the first one, not the second.

          • Paul Rivers says:

            Anonymoose47, what you're describing is accurate – and *exactly* what game and pickup artist material describes. :-)

            Not your job to build her up or be supportive of her if she doesn't need it and you're not her boyfriend.

            Exactly. However, I will point out that she definitely *liked* me creating the fun emotional energy – or she wouldn't have been trying to hang out with me all the time and continually encouraging me. But being emotionally supportive – that wasn't an attractive quality. I suspect that I had been very understanding with the first girl who I did date, I likely would have gotten the same result – since we already made out, she would have gone out with me for a while, then broken up with me.

            Of course you know who the girl who didn't date me wanted to date next? A guy she worked with – who was only passingly friendly to her and rarely returned her text messages. It was crazy to watch – the more he acted above her, and forced her to qualify herself to him, the more and more she was interested in him.

            "I have a sister a few years younger than me…I regularly bust on her..so I always joke that she has everything scheduled to the second, and if the schedule is interrupted, she schedules in cranky time) in a playful brotherly way"

            Lol, yeah, that's another core "game" concept called "negging".

            Explanations for why it works differ depending on what you're reading. More negative game stuff says it works because it lowers her self-esteem, marks you as higher status because people below her social level would be afraid to make fun of her.

            More balanced explanations include that it's treating her how she's comfortable being treated – she's comfortable with male figures relating to her ridiculousness by making fun of her, she's not comfortable with anyone who knows her being nice to her all the time – because no one who she respects treats her like that (do you let it pass when your guy friends say stupid things?). (There's a couple of other balanced explanations that I was going to write, but I'm blanking on now).

            Or completely on the other side of the spectrum, there's even theories that it shows that you'll make a good father because it shows that you don't give into a girl just because she's emotional, and kids of either gender are emotional and need limits, and it demonstrates that you aren't going to be bowled over by someone who's gotten emotional.

            She needed the support even if I couldn't give her the exact answers.

            While game doesn't talk about this, my opinion from watching relationships is that girls who are capable of lasting romantic relationships want this, while girls who don't respond positively to a guy who's capable of being supportive never seem to be in a relationship with the same person for to long.

            But it's seemed like girls are looking for a guy who's like…10% supportive, at most. Actually…I should change that, it seems like the more visually attractive the girl, the less support she's looking for. But that's another topic.

            it sounds like you were trying to force support on someone with the expectation that they'd need it or want to come to you for it

            lol, I'm not sure what to say to that, as I'm not even sure how it's possible to "force" support onto someone. The only thing I was trying to force was having a good time – and while can be annoying under other circumstances, she *loved* it. It just wasn't the kind of "loving it" that led to a relationship.

            But acting aloof, acknowledging her existence but only barely (acting above her), and not returning the vast majority of her texts or invitations to do something – that *was* behavior that made her more and more interested in him. In retrospect, it was almost exactly described by what Vic said about acting aloof and like you're above her, and forcing her to qualify herself to him.

            Honestly, it kinda weirds me out, but at some point I realized that that description really *did* describe many of the difference between my relationships that actually went somewhere romantically or physically – and those that didn't.

          • Anonymoose47 says:

            The girl who didn't want to date you sounds like a daddy-issues type. You dodged a bullet.

          • Paul Rivers says:

            lol, that's hard to say.

            But I usually reserve "dodged a bullet" as far, far more extreme behavior than liking some isolation or something…everyone has their quirks.

          • Paul Rivers says:

            Oooooooh mannnnnn…I just had to come back and write this – the girl who I didn't date came out to dancing this week. She says – in an almost exact copy of what game describes what would happen, that she's been "not officially dating" this guy she met in real life (not the online personals, which she was a member on). She says it's been going great…then there was a pause…then she says something about how he isn't really interested in exclusively dating anyone.

            But other than that, it's been going great, she says.

            LOL

            It's like…a little disappointing, but it's more of a relief when stuff happens and you can feel like "I was actually somewhat confident this was exactly what was going to happen…even if the world is crazy, it's kind of nice that it's at least a little predictable crazy".

          • "There's a couple of other balanced explanations that I was going to write, but I'm blanking on now"

            Clarisse Thorn wrote a piece about the neg that might be of interest here:
            http://goodmenproject.com/featured-content/femini

            Personally, I'm not sure that "negging" as a typology of behavior makes any sense – people mean far too different things, and the term obscures communication rather than helping it.

          • Paul Rivers says:

            Thanks for the link. I agree that the term "negging" covers such a widespread spectrum it's difficult to nail down exactly what it means…

          • I don't really know, but I don't think that's a rule. I think some people, especially people who like to "play mind games", would fall for this logic. And not only women. I once dated a guy, we'd been friends for 3 years, he asked me out, then changed his mind – apparently he really liked my best friend. And then I was the one who didn't want him, and I was actually pretty annoyed with him, and the more annoyed I got, the more he seemed to pursue me. But that was not what I wanted, so I ran from him like hell.
            Or perhaps it might be that some people, like myself, have an irrational fear of "clingy", emotional people. I run from them too. If the person shows me they have their own thing going on, and they're not putting everything on me, they instantly became more attractive. Maybe that's what you were doing, even if you don't realize it?

          • Paul Rivers says:

            You know, honestly, it's not like one can say for sure either way.

            It's by no means the *only* aspect that defined these, or other, relationships. But looking back, it was definitely interesting to realize that the "game" philosophy really rather did describe, in retrospect, which relationships lasted.

            Don't get me wrong – it wasn't the *only* aspect of those relationships. There was definitely a whole lot more going on as well. I definitely wasn't just sitting around "acting superior" or something and that was it. I also had some sort of common background, common interests, talked to them, etc etc.

          • Gentleman Johnny says:

            There's a term for looking back at data and finding patterns but I forget what it is. Justifying something in retrospect is easy. Using it predictively is the only true measure of success. For example, for a given goal (phone numbers, sex, lasting relationship, emotional support etc) PUA activity should be more successful over time and a wide sample than DNLA style activity. Feel free to try both over two nights. On one night, approach women in a bar or club or whatever with the PUA attitude that you have go make the right moves to raise your status and lower hers. Observe. On another night repeat with the attitude that this might be an interesting person to share experiences with.

            On both occasions, suck up any approach anxiety. Use social cues, body language, demonstrations of value, whatever. The only difference is "game to win" vs "cool person to share experiences with". I predict the latter will have more rewarding results than the former.

          • hindsight bias? or something else

          • Gentleman Johnny says:

            The example is a rat in a maze that's testing whether or not he can find the cheese by smell. 99 times out of 100 he leaves the start room by the left hand exit, even when its not the most efficient way. So the scientist says "hey look, a pattern. I didn't find out whether or not my original hypothesis is correct but now I have PROOF that mice are left handed".

            Except that's not the way it works. You don't have proof, you have a new hypothesis that mice are left handed. Now you have to devise a new test for specifically that. As many science geeks as we have, I'm sure someone's heard of this before.

          • Maybe confirmation bias, since he could be picking details selectively to fit his favored theory?

          • After the Gentleman's clarification, I was about to say that! high five!

          • Gentleman Johnny says:

            Yeah, that's not it because its the effect of making a theory to fit the facts rather than testing to see if the facts fit the theory. There's no pre-determined bias. Its just that a potentially spurious pattern is used to develop a theory that fits it, then that pattern is treated as evidence.

          • Paul Rivers says:

            "Justifying something in retrospect is easy. Using it predictively is the only true measure of success."

            It's different levels of verification. Using it predictively is a better measure of it's success, but by no mean a "true" measure of success as one cannot control all the variables in a real world experiment.

            If you're more comfortable with one approach vs the other, whichever approach you're more comfortable with is the one most likely to get you results. Or the belief that one is more effective than the other can – just the belief – create a self-fulfilling prophecy in which one works. Or sometimes it's just random chance. I remember another poster mentioning that she changed high school a lot, and in some she would be super cool, others she would be considered kind of a loser, and in others it was in the middle. Your results might change based on where you're living, or where you're going. This blog even talks about how tactics that *do* work on girls who hang out at clubs are then sometimes completely ineffective, rude, and…well, ineffective on the waitress at Starbucks.

            And depending on how you interpret it, you assume that the two goals are *different*, but they could in fact be the same. One can certainly play the "I'm pretty awesome, qualify yourself to me a cool person to share experiences with" and do both. :D

            I agree it would be an interesting experiment, but it's difficult to do with controlled conditions…

            "On both occasions, suck up any approach anxiety. Use social cues, body language, demonstrations of value, whatever. The only difference is "game to win" vs "cool person to share experiences with". I predict the latter will have more rewarding results than the former."

            I haven't done this myself, but a friend of mine learned game and has – as, you say, a predictive measure – he read that something would work, and he went out and tried it.

            When he did "fun person to hang out with", he got nowhere. **Nowhere**.

            When he started doing PUA stuff…it took him a couple of years to figure out how to use it, but he's made out with a bunch of different girls, slept with a few of them, and had unbelievably more success than his previous record of "In retrospect, there was 1 girl I really like who really liked me, but I didn't know the magic things I was supposed to do (he didn't realize there was a certain, single time he was supposed to make a move on her)".

            So…yeah. I've seen "cool person to share experiences with" fail, but PUA tactics work far better with one person.

            But really – these stock phrases become so ambigious that it's difficult to tell what anyone is really talking about. If you're using "social cues, body language, demonstrations of value, whatever" then you *are* using game. Their is no "game" without doing that stuff. PUA material does not advocate that you take an approach of looking like you're "gaming to win" – it's practically the opposite, making it look like you're interested, but barely even trying. But if you're using "social cues, body language, demonstrations of value, whatever" – then you're doing game. It's not A vs B, they overlap heavily.

          • You've only given two examples (one of each situation here) so it's hard to draw definite conclusions. But what I'm seeing is not that successful relationships happen when you hold women at arms length. You may have enjoyed the sex and seeing that the woman was really into you, but that doesn't equal a great relationship. If you weren't *trying* to play games with them (which seems to be the case, since you only noticed this pattern looking back), you must have had reasons for keeping them at arms length rather than pursuing them–presumably, you weren't that interested in them and/or had concerns about dating them.

            So what it sounds like is not that women prefer guys who blow them off over guys who show friendly interest. It sounds like there were some situations where you were into a woman and she wasn't that into you, and some situations where a woman was into you and you weren't that into her. The difference is that in the first situations, the woman declined to date you, whereas in the latter situations, you dated the girl even though you weren't that into her.

            So maybe the difference is that many women prefer to be really enthusiastic about a guy before they date him (or, ah, re-date him as in your example), whereas many guys are willing to date a woman he's only mildly interested in as long as she's enthusiastic about him? Which would mean the trick to dating lots of women is not to treat them all badly, but to be willing to date anyone who's interested in you regardless of how you feel about them. Which… does not seem like it would lead to very enjoyable relationships in the long run, if you want anything more than sex.

            Most people don't run into other people they have "wonderful synergy" with on a regular basis. It's a relatively rare thing. But that's okay, because once you do find someone like that, you tend to stay with them a long time or permanently, so you don't need to run into very many. If in the meantime you want to date and have sex with women you're not that enthusiastic about, nothing wrong with that. But if you start purposely treating people like you're better than them, blowing them off even when they're not playing games, as a dating strategy, you may very well turn off the people you could have that synergy with and then never end up having that friendly sharing relationship you at least used to want.

          • Paul Rivers says:

            "You've only given two examples (one of each situation here) so it's hard to draw definite conclusions"

            Yeah, but don't you think my posts already border on to long, lol? If I went into all of my relationships…I mean it's only something like 8, but I don't have to time to write all that and no one else has the time to read it…haha

            When you try to describe things from a high level, one can never be sure if their description is exactly accurate, or if it's more of an analogy that happens to work for completely different reasons. But that particular one is a little scary accurate in describing the rest of the girls I dated as well. (To be fair, guys standards sometimes border on the absurd – how does boob size even matter about anything??? – it's not like guys standards are somehow more meaningful or fair or something). Only 2 come to mind where that didn't apply, and in the first, rather than being aloof I was deliberately trying to be distant enough so we would break up (first week was great, then *sigh* she started going consistently crazy, and I wasn't going to go through that again, so I deliberately put absolutely no effort into it and let it peter out).

            Your idea about dating anyone you have any interest in whatsoever, who shows any interest in you, is interesting, I'll have to give it some more thought. It was seemed like that hasn't worked out for the people I've watched do it – but those have been mostly girls, and it's possible it's a perception problem not a real problem. Hmm.

          • Wasn't complaining about the lack of examples, just acknowledging that my own suggestions might be off-base since I'm working with limited information. :)

            And, heh, I wasn't actually recommending dating anyone who's interested in you regardless of your enthusiasm. Like I said, I don't think that would lead to very enjoyable relationships in the long run, because if you aren't that interested in the other person, you're going to tire of spending time with them pretty quickly. I think the best relationships are when both people are enthusiastic! But that can take time to find. And it's definitely easier to find lots of people to date if you're not picky about who you date. I guess you could say it depends on what's more important to you: quality or quantity.

            By the way, I think it's a pretty common human reaction to chase something you were enjoying that seems to be moving out of your reach. I've certainly seen it with guys too. The one ex (out of two) I stayed friends with for a little while after we broke up would always get suddenly possessive whenever he found out I was meeting another guy–start talking about how he still thought maybe someday things could work out with us, even mentioning things like marriage. (Important to note here that he was the one who broke up with me!) And then when the date(s) with that other guy didn't pan out, he'd go back to being aloof. Which is part of the reason I only stayed friends with him for a short while.

            I'll also mention that, with the guy I married, when we were first dating, we kept having these situations where I'd brace myself, expecting that he was going to let me down in some way like other guys had–that he wasn't going to follow through on something he'd offered to do, or that he'd react badly to a gesture from me, or whatever. Braced because if that happened, I was going to start to doubt whether the relationship could continue (if it happened very much, I would have broken up with him). But every single time, I was wrong. He did come through, he didn't get annoyed or distant. And every time that happened, I fell a little more in love with him. So I can say from experience that it does happen the other way too. There are women who'll want you more because you're honest and invested, rather than at arm's length.*

            As usual, it comes down to what you really want out of a relationship. If you want to have a relationship where you can share your real feelings with the other person, trust them enough to be vulnerable with them and really let them in, it's going to be hard if you've set up a dynamic where you keep them at arms length and never let them see how much you really care about them. But if you only want casual relationships where you don't get that close emotionally, then I suppose it's not as important as long as the other person's happy and you're not being psychologically manipulative or abusive.

            *Of course, there is such a thing as being too invested–no one wants to feel like their partner's world revolves around them, that the other person has no life outside of the relationship and no wants or needs of their own. That's suffocating and it also makes the other person not a very interesting companion. Having an active life outside your relationship that doesn't involve your partner means you have lots of talk about and share when you're together! It's all about balance.

          • Thanks for writing this, Mel.

            Reading your third and fourth paragraphs…well, it sounds like we've had some similar experiences.

          • Paul Rivers says:

            lol, that's a crazy situation with the ex, and pretty annoying. I've had other girls in real life tell me the same thing has happened to them…the "I don't want to date you but I don't want you to date anyone else" thing…

            I had a friends-with-benefits in college for a while. Every time she brought up a guy she thought was interesting I was always very supportive, suggesting she go out with him, etc.

            "There are women who'll want you more because you're honest and invested, rather than at arm's length."

            I hadn't meant that an entire relationship went by at arms length, my own opinion is not all dark gamish, like I don't believe that women don't *enjoy* support and such. If it was, I'd probably have dated a lot more women, but had shorter relationships with them.

            Game does describe the process you mention, in that the girl is testing you. Game would describe it as testing for status – she tests you, and you just act like you have so many other options it doesn't even bother you. Even better if you *do* have 2 or 3 girls on rotation so that one freaks out, you don't have to freak out yourself. After all – with just one that you care about, you're worried about losing her. But with several – sure, it's disappointing, but it's not the end of the world. Just call the other one and make plans later that night.

            Now that's the dark interpretation…it's just weird how often it fits. Growing up in a era of a constant refrain how "men" were to insensitive, "men" were supposed to be supportive and giving and listening if she's feeling bad, and "men" were supposed to be "there for her" – it's difficult to really understand that what she really responds to is pretty much ignoring her, and just doing what you were going to do anyways.

            I'm not saying you're wrong – and I'm *certainly* not saying those ideas were actually *positive*. But after being inundated by it for so long, it's like you really like someone, and you feel like an ass just kind of ignoring them and doing what you were going to do anyways – even though it appears that that's actually what they want.

            All those phrases that you use "share your real feelings", "trust them enough to be vulnerable" – those are all the same phrases that would *not* be used to describe someone who basically didn't even notice or didn't care that the girl seemed upset or put off by something.

            I am not – right here – advocating that either one is right or wrong. I'm just saying – that's the perspective that a lot of guys of my generation were raised with.

          • I don't totally understand what you're saying here. I described a situation where a guy acted like he did care and was paying attention to me, and that made me more interested in him, to show that not all women respond well to the arms-length treatment. But you still seem to be stating that all women prefer to be ignored and have the guy act like he doesn't care. Can you not accept that while what you're describing may increase some women's interest, for others it would have the opposite effect? We're not a hive mind–we have different needs and desires.

            And I'm not sure what process you mean (I don't think I mentioned a process?), but what you're talking about–having various women on rotation so you don't have to care very much if one gets fed up and leaves–assumes that all women are pretty much the same. That at any given time you're likely to have several women whose company you enjoy equally who also enjoy yours. Again, if all you're looking for is a casual relationship, that probably doesn't matter much. But if you're looking for a long term partner, there aren't going to be that many people you'd want to spend the rest of your life with, and if you treat all the women you meet as being interchangeable, then you might miss out on some really great relationships because there are many women who don't enjoy feeling like they're one in a wide rotation. And because you might not even notice you really hit it off with one more than the others if you're busy keeping her at a distance, ignoring her reactions, etc.

            "All those phrases that you use "share your real feelings", "trust them enough to be vulnerable" – those are all the same phrases that would *not* be used to describe someone who basically didn't even notice or didn't care that the girl seemed upset or put off by something."

            Yes, I'm aware of that. That was my point. It's not just about what will (according to you, or game theory, or whatever) get you the most interest from the most women, right? It's also about what sort of relationship *you* want to have. If a guy really wants a close and trusting relationship, then it doesn't matter how many distant relationships with various women he can get into, he's not going to be satisfied.

            I'm not saying the perspective you're talking about is evil or something. I'm just pointing out that it can be counterproductive if your goal is to have a mutually fulfilling long-term relationship. So regardless of whether it works in the short term with some women, for someone who has a goal of a mutually fulfilling long-term relationship, it's probably better to avoid taking on/continuing to use that perspective.

          • Myster Baad says:

            "As usual, it comes down to what you really want out of a relationship. If you want to have a relationship where you can share your real feelings with the other person, trust them enough to be vulnerable with them and really let them in, it's going to be hard if you've set up a dynamic where you keep them at arms length and never let them see how much you really care about them. But if you only want casual relationships where you don't get that close emotionally, then I suppose it's not as important as long as the other person's happy and you're not being psychologically manipulative or abusive. "

            What is traumatic is that to get to the place where honesty is appropriate and welcomed, we have to pretend. We have to manipulate and pose as cynical – or it's game (and Game) over.

          • If a certain relationship dynamic seems to work well for you and make both you and the girl happy, that's a great thing. Not everyone ends up enjoying the sort of relationship they plot out as being best for them, and finding what works for you in practice is a lot more important.

            I'd just ask that you try not to assume that this is what works best for everyone. I really resent it when people treat me the way you describe, and I'd quickly leave someone who treated me in that manner.

            As for your ex-girlfriend, I don't think the fact that you were emotionally supportive of her was the reason she wasn't interested in dating you. In most of these cases, the answer is the much simpler conclusion that she wasn't interested in dating you regardless. In this case, I think it's especially likely, since she knew you fairly well in other contexts where you presumably weren't being a constant source of emotional support.

            Again, it's fine if the more hands off, big brother style relationship seems to work for you. I just caution against taking one woman's disinterest in dating one emotionally supportive man as evidence that no women want this in a partner.

          • Paul Rivers says:

            I'd just ask that you try not to assume that this is what works best for everyone. I really resent it when people treat me the way you describe, and I'd quickly leave someone who treated me in that manner.

            Well sure, nothing works for everyone. And different people are definitely different.

            But I will also point out that "getting her to qualify herself", for some guys, just causes them to get her talking, and encourage her to say good things about herself. It's the weird opposite of negging…lol…

            As for your ex-girlfriend, I don't think the fact that you were emotionally supportive of her was the reason she wasn't interested in dating you.

            I don't know…I would be more willing to go in that direction if I didn't watch the next guy do the aloof and barely interested thing and watch it increase, not decrease, her interest in him. To be fair, I don't know what ended up happening with them, except that they are not dating now (because she's single now…or at least she was a couple of months ago).

            Again, it's fine if the more hands off, big brother style relationship seems to work for you. I just caution against taking one woman's disinterest in dating one emotionally supportive man as evidence that no women want this in a partner.

            Well it's more than that – those were just two easiest to describe examples. However, I'm certainly not saying "no woman" wants that – but even what "that" is is a matter of debate…what one woman finds "supportive", another finds "suffocating"…

            So…yeah, I agree. :-)

          • Gentleman Johnny says:

            Did you ever try being a squeaky clean etc etc who was honest about his interest and not afraid to ask for what he wanted?

          • Paul Rivers says:

            LOL, that is a cutesy internet saying – while I wish what I was about to say wasn't true, I really do – has little application in real life.

            Even game guys – guys specifically looking for girls who want casual sex – advocate being clearly with your feelings, but not with your words.

            A girl I dated in college and I used to joke – *after* we started sleeping together, about how we were going to watch a movie called U571 – meaning we were going to have sex.

            While's a lesbian, I girl I'm facebook friends with was just writing a piece on how difficult it is for her to verbalize sexual things and feelings, and how it's sometimes awkward for her when other people do – even within a committed relationship.

            The girl I dated once but didn't end up dating again, was at one point telling me that after she and another guy she dated had had sex once, the next day he asked her – as nicely and non-aggressively as possible – if she thought they were going to have sex again. She describes how she was super mad at him – for the next HOUR for daring to ask.

            As cool as a concept about being direct would be, and as much as with more mature people it's the best idea to be direct without quite saying it until you can actually do something about it – the vast majority of women do not actually respond well to being direct about asking for what he wanted. How many articles are there on this site about how "creepy" it is to bring up the topic of sex when talking to a woman?

          • Myster Baad says:

            "Even game guys – guys specifically looking for girls who want casual sex – advocate being clearly with your feelings, but not with your words."

            Verbal dexterity doesn't impress someone until you really know them. Until then, it's at best a trivial trait, and at worst a sign of a clever non-achiever. Skill with words, ideas, or thoughts doesn't count as skill for a man. It must manifest materially.

          • That's only true if the people you're hanging out with don't value verbal dexterity. That may be the case among construction workers and plumbers; it certainly isn't the case among people who make their living with words. Lack of verbal dexterity among men is generally a marker of low socioeconomic status. (My best friend and college roommate, a lawyer, was dating a guy who went to a community college. His inability to keep up with her social group's verbal agility and banter speed marked him out as less-educated and lower-status, and eventually contributed to driving them apart. Whereas, among his social group, the speed at which she talked and her jokes and quips were seen as flaunting her education, and made her an outsider.)

            But just as a woman wearing a fur coat is considered a marker of high status among some groups, and low or out-group status among others (and those groups have largely switched — where in the 1950s, a fur coat was the ultimate status symbol for women, now it's largely a sign that either you're old and oblivious, or you're blue-collar), men's verbal dexterity is positive or negative depending on the context of the group.

          • I know this. What I'm expressing are deep fears restated as "facts" in hopes someone will debunk them. You've helped.

            I still do think that being verbal doesn't count for much outside New York, where I lived until 2008. New York and its constant stress and overstimulus drove me into the shell I've been in for the past 20 years. I'd sooner rot than go back, and I believe a life can be made meaningful elsewhere, although I seriously doubt my chances.

          • I think an appreciation for verbal skills definitely varies from community to community, but there are certainly many communities other than those in NYC that appreciate them. Any city with a thriving arts scene is likely to have such a community, for example, and there are a lot of those.

          • Well, I've never socialized in New York. I have socialized in Seattle, LA, Chicago, Milwaukee, Portland, Boston, Vancouver, Austin, San Francisco, and D.C., and found that verbally dextrous men succeeded in all those places (but again, I think it's more profession/SES oriented than regional). The only places I found highly-stressful and overstimulating were LA and DC. Even Vancouver, which is filled with escapees from LA, is pretty laid-back.

            It's basically no different than being able to talk literately about technology. In some places, and some social groups, people view being tech-illiterate as a sign of low status. In others, too much tech literacy makes you a geek. So you choose groups in which the things you're good at (technology, talking, movies, etc.) make you more attractive, not less.

            Here's the thing, though: part of actual being verbally adept is being able to match the way you talk to your group. And being able to explain things in a way that makes them interesting to people, and makes people feel smart for understanding them, is a skill that's useful almost everywhere. The trick is to make others feel smart, not to make yourself look smart, though. (My lawyer friend's mistake with her boyfriend's crowd was in continuing to use jargon, references, etc. that were unfamiliar to the group; those marked her as someone that didn't fit in, and also made the others feel like she was trying to make them feel stupid.)

            So, it isn't having the skill itself that will make you an outsider, it's when and where and how you exercise it. But you're better off having it.

          • I think the key term is “psycho”

          • By that I didn't mean to imply you are, Vic, but men with hangups about being "psycho-dominant" are.

          • I don't have any hangup about it at all. I don't feel the least bit bad about being psychologically and socially dominant when it comes to women. Because it works.

          • With some women. That's the problem. Not everyone wants the sort of relationships your approach generates, with the sort of women it attracts.

          • Gentleman Johnny says:

            Replace the word "women" with the word "men", or maybe "employees". You could even try something more neutral like "my friends". Do you really not see how that devalues any other person described after? In fact, let's use high school tropes because its easy.

            "I like being psychologically and socially dominant when it come to nerds", says the football player. "Because it works and they do my homework for me."

            Damn nerds are the gatekeepers to good test scores. Who are they to decide not to put out the right answers to the rest of us just because we throw them in trash cans sometimes?

          • Saying "replace 'women' with some other group" is such a good idea, and one that I wish would work. I'm cynical about its effectiveness, though, given that among misogynists women are seen as different from everyone else.

            I saw "Lincoln" last weekend, and there's a scene in which Congress is arguing violently over whether outlawing slavery will prevent any chance of peace with the South. And a guy gets up there and says, look, if we free slaves, next we'll have to let them vote. And some of the Congressmen are outraged by that idea, but not all of them. Some of them sit there and think about it, some of them are in support of it. But then the guy says, what's next? Do we let women vote? And every man in the room freaks out, even the black guys sitting in the gallery watching. Men who are violently politically opposed, men of mutually-hostile races, can all get together when it comes to women.

            And watching it, I thought of this essay by Joss Whedon:

            "What is wrong with women?

            I mean wrong. Physically. Spiritually. Something unnatural, something destructive, something that needs to be corrected.

            How did more than half the people in the world come out incorrectly? I have spent a good part of my life trying to do that math, and I’m no closer to a viable equation. And I have yet to find a culture that doesn’t buy into it. Women’s inferiority – in fact, their malevolence — is as ingrained in American popular culture as it is anywhere they’re sporting burkhas… cultures who would die to eradicate each other have always agreed on [this] one issue…" (entire essay here: http://whedonesque.com/comments/13271)

            But I dunno, maybe I'm just tired. Maybe it'll work here.

          • This is why that kind of dehumanizing talk gets me so angry, even though it's "only" PUAs. Because I'm acutely aware of the phenomenon you describe, Delafina, When people talk about women like they are below human, I see the first act of violence in a continuum that begins with "harmless" things like misogynistic beliefs about dating and ends with the stoning death of Dua Khalil.

          • Yeah, guys who talk that way get super-angry when you point out that that sort of language differs in intensity but not in kind from rape or other forms of coercion. "How dare you call me a rapist?!" and all that. And it's like, I'm not calling you a rapist, I'm calling you someone who uses language that justifies it.

          • Gentleman Johnny says:

            I prefer "bully". That also applies to dehumanizing because of race, sexual orientation etc. Its applying your power imbalance to hurt someone for what they are instead of what they've done. Everyone hates bullies. Its something people can relate to. Most guys are going to think of "rapist" as being equivalent to serial killer and just block it out. I kind of wish there were a more adult sounding term that people were inclined to process.

          • The problem with comparing someone with a rapist is that it's sort of like comparing someone to Hitler or the Nazis. People throw it around like it's some sort of automatic argument-winning trump card, and its not. If anything it just forces the other person to shut down. Nobody is going to stop and think, "Huh, I guess that comment I posted is sort of like what Hitler did."

          • Except that saying to someone, "Language like that helps normalize violence against women" is different from saying, "You're like a rapist." Just like saying, "That sounds kind of like facism" is different from saying, "You're like a Nazi." Surely you're not saying we should never talk about facism because people can't handle anything that refers back to Nazis? Or that we shouldn't talk about sexual violence in any context ever?

            If people were even half as worried about perpetuating sexism, racism, etc. as they are about being accused of it, we'd need to talk about it a lot less.

          • That's like saying that it's inappropriate to bring up the Nazis *In a discussion about WWII.*

          • Myster Baad says:

            Dehumanization is to some degree part of life. If you couldn't dehumanize others just a little, you couldn't get out of bed in the morning, never mind do a day's work or find a meaningful relationship (which, ironically, is the one area of life where people need not dehumanize each other – our respite from the real world of using one another). You can't let it get out of hand, but you have to play the game.

          • No, you don't have to. Not everyone is playing some sort of game. I would have trouble getting out of bed in the morning if I had to auto-dehumanize people for some reason.

            Knowing that other people are going through similar things to what you're going through, knowing that everyone fails at things, knowing that you haven't failed for not having all the answers because no one has all the answers — these are things that make life bearable.

            And on the positive side, the fact that other people are just like you, and the fact that they may have faced the same problems and solved them, or at least have a part of the solution that you haven't found yet, means that there's both sympathy out there for you and potential help/shortcuts/not having to solve it all on your own. It also means that you may be able to help them, because maybe they don't have the piece of the solution/experience/whatever that you have.

            It's twice-empowering — once in knowing that other people can help you/teach you/understand you, and once in knowing that you can do the same for them.

            Getting out of bed in the morning with the knowledge that we're all human together and all dealing with a lot of the same shit also means that you go out into a world full of allies, or at least potential allies; however weak you may be made by time and fate, you're not holding the bridge alone.

          • Myster Baad says:

            You obviously feel an intuitive connection with other people. I feel an intuitive alienation from them. To me you're trying to be helpful, but you're betraying the privilege of the highly socialized.

          • Empathy is not a privilege or a result of socialization (socialization, as with other types of practice, helps you calibrate it, but it doesn't create it); it's a result of biology. We all have mirror neurons, and unless you're a sociopath, they should be in working order. Your choice to pay attention to them or not, however, is your own.

      • I think the definition of "status" or "alpha" is "someone who is in a relationship/getting sex while I am not".

        It's utterly ridiculous to assert that the only men who ever "get" women are Alpha, or "psycho-social dominant" or have this nebulous "status".

        Most average people are in, or have been in, relationships. Look around you at all the regular guys and gals who are married or together. You're telling me, Vic, that the only men who succeed are these bombastic alpha types with "game"?? So my dad had game. My grandpa wooed grandma with his show of psycho-social dominance! My husband*, game. They aren't just regular dudes who found regular ladies to be with.

        Do PUAs even live on our planet? Do they ever go to the mall or Walmart and SEE the extremely average and COUPLED folk walking around?

        *my skinny, nerdy, soft-spoken, super-shy and introverted man has never had "game" nor is he charismatic. And NO, I am not just settling for him until some alpha asshole comes along. Because there is this hu-man thing called love.

        • I get the impression that the PUA community tends to assume that because their techniques have some success, therefore all their theories are true for everyone. Never mind that if, generously, 10% of all guys are using PUA techniques, that only means 10% of all women need to respond positively to those techniques for those guys to be "successful". The fact that the majority of the population–who are mostly not using or responding to PUA techniques–are successfully dating or married at any given time somehow becomes irrelevant.

          Also notice how, when someone tries to use alpha-status-game stuff to get women, like DNL's example of the club VIP, it's not because plenty of women don't date based on alpha-status-game stuff, it's because clearly DNL and friends were doing it wrong somehow. But when a guy who's taking a different approach, like being friendly and respectful of women, isn't having success, it's not because that guy is doing it wrong somehow, but because women don't date based on friendliness and respect.

          Oh, the wonderful world of confirmation bias.

          • Dr_NerdLove says:

            Also worth noting that the last time Vic tried to read the mind of a woman I approached, the woman actually showed up in the comments to correct him.

          • Nothing's ever a sure thing, but with the reaction she gave you, a same-night bang is going to be the result more often than not.

        • Dr_NerdLove says:

          Do PUAs even live on our planet? Do they ever go to the mall or Walmart and SEE the extremely average and COUPLED folk walking around?

          I've said this a few times, but Pick-Up Artistry (as we currently mean it) was born out of the Los Angeles/Miami club scene; not terribly surprising then that most of it's origins were built around women who were notoriously hard to approach or particularly asshole-ish.Unfortunately, this is a very specialized environment and the techniques that are designed for people THERE aren't necessarily going to work on, say, the cute clerk resolving the mystery (see what I did there?) section at Barnes and Noble.(It's also been seriously refined and changed since the days of The Game, but that's a different story entirely.)

          • Yes! It's the club scene! Not exactly known for being a bastion of depth and loving-kindness. I'm totally willing to grant you that people in clubs and bars can be shallow, status-obsessed assholes. Because that's the nature of those scenes! Meanwhile, I'll be out here, in the real world. I mean, I could complain that my nerd-girl looks don't get me anywhere with looks-obsessed club guys, and that maybe ALL MEN are like that, but that would be absurd, no?? If it really were true, no woman who looked like me would ever get paired, and here I am. And women less attractive than me are also paired. Just like poor men with a charisma dump-stat are also paired.

            (I'm also willing to grant you that when women are being shallow, they'll more likely go for money, and when men are being shallow, they'll go for looks. That's been our cultural dynamic for many a year, although things are slowly changing. Where I disagree is when PUAs or evo-psychs say this is somehow inborn or innate, and not a product of our culture. And when they also assert that cutthroat club attitudes are the way the rest of the world operates.)

          • Dr_NerdLove says:

            I will say, I think there's a lot in the PUA community that's actually *good*; I'll freely admit to having learned a lot from it.Unfortunately, it's also full of a WHOLE bunch of shit in it and a broad swath of misogyny, sex negativity and gender policing as well, and this is what happens when it's really the only available venue for men to learn how to improve their dating lives. Clarisse Thorn breaks it down really well on the podcast and in her book Confessions of a PUA Chaser (available via the Dr. NerdLove bookstore!)

          • Anonymoose47 says:

            From what I've seen (there's some youtube guys I watched recently just doing wacky shit and still getting numbers/immediate make outs), it seems like pick-up is just playing a numbers game. Learn to go for it quick, and keep plugging away until you hit up the women that are receptive to what you want immediately (especially when they've had a few or like being swept off their feet).

            It actually makes me wonder if this is making it difficult for the girls who go at a slower pace or not, especially in a university setting.

          • Well, as someone who goes at a slower pace, I just opted not to deal with those sort of guys. When they approached, I indicated that I wished to be left alone. Most of them went off to find someone more in tune with what they were looking for. Some of them didn't. That's when you call for help.

          • As a slow-moving lady, those guys are utterly unappealing to me. Never liked the whole "cocky asshole" thing AT ALL, despite guys telling me all my life that yes, I secretly really do.
            And I'm not that Special a Snowflake. I can't be the only woman. There must be lots more out there like me. Dare I say, a sizable amount.

          • I'm largely content to just let us opt out of one another's pools of possible partners.

          • SarahGryph says:

            I specifically broke up with one of my exes for being entirely too arrogant. Not *confident*, which I respect. Not for disagreeing with me – which I also respect. But for constantly being smarmy and arrogant and either saying or implying that I only liked certain things (movies, books, music) bc I didn't know any better and CLEARLY he, the MAN knew what was really up. >.< (I didn't date him for long at least.) Other than that I have been smart enough to not date arrogant guys in the first place.

          • Meyer N. Gaines says:

            Charisma may be my dump-stat, but if I can upgrade my Strength through a gym routine and steroids, make Fortitude saving throws against rejection pain, and increase Intelligence and Wisdom through the study of seduction, there is no reason I cannot conquer this weakness.

            You're not the only (ex) D&D fan here. :)

          • Gentleman Johnny says:

            Don't forget your gender roll (see whatever previous thread that joke started in).

          • Screw that. I am (in the timeless words of Cards Against Humanity) a motherf*cking sorcerer. Charisma is my casting stat.

          • SarahGryph says:

            I prefer to play Druid (Pathfinder) and thus put my best rolls into Wisdom. ^^

          • *Pathfinder high five*

          • GURPS is my jam!

          • Gentleman Johnny says:

            Shadowrun here. A good Face man can make or break a party.

          • Bravo, sir. You going to be playing the new Shadowrun game?

          • Gentleman Johnny says:

            The 2-D/3-D? Maybe. I think Ingress is going to eat any game time I have for a while. I'm already semi-blogging on the game. Once you scratch the surface of gameplay, there's some delightfully subversive stuff going on.

          • SarahGryph says:

            I have heard awesome things about Shadowrun, hopefully one of these days I can get a group together and play bc it sounds amazing!

          • SarahGryph says:

            *Pathfinder high five* My current game is online with Skype and Maptools. Ah internet; not only letting me play even if I can't find a game irl but also letting me play with people in the UK and Finland to boot! =)

          • Yay for technology! Have you checked to see if you have a chapter of the Pathfinder Society in your area? It's an option if you want to play with people face-to-face. :-)

          • SarahGryph says:

            I hadn't done that actually, thanks for posting! =) I think my schedule may be too messy for a RL game atm (heh internet also means gaming in pjs if I need to) but once things settle down I'll have to check!

          • Gentleman Johnny says:

            The more I think about it the more the whole psycho-social dominance thing strikes me as the marker that is mistaken for the thing it marks. An example: once upon a time, quarterly profits were seen as a good indicator of corporate health. If a company did everything it was supposed to, it had a good quarterly report. Once people who run large corporations realized this, though, they started trying to improve the signifier without improving the company itself. This led to doing things that were bad for the company's survival purely to boost quarterly reports and stock prices. Now quarterly profits may be a sign of a well run company or they may be a sign of dodgy paperwork for a company about to go under.
            Similarly, the PUA guys looked around at who was having success with women. Rightly or wrongly, the common threads they found in their examples seemed to be confidence, a sense of style not dependent on others and respect by peers (status). The older PUA stuff, like dodgy paperwork on quarterly reports, is an attempt to fake the signifiers without making the effort to become the kind of person who has those traits as a side effect of the kind of person they are on a daily basis.

          • Myster Baad says:

            Mistaking the part of the whole is how anything at all gets done. You can't motivate others through vision, because there will always be times when the vision is obscured or you have to do things that go against it to make it happen. Human beings have to be accountable to meet metrics or they're accountable for nothing outside their own heads.

          • I think female psychology largely cuts across these lines. If you are showing your status/SMV, you're going to need to do it diffidently depending on tribal affiliation, as different tribes place different values on certain things, and (for the sake of argument) the club girl and the cute bookstore girl are from different tribes.

            But you are still going to need to demonstrate it. It just might be more along the lines of superior knowledge of MST3K quotes instead of running a hook and ladder play.

            (As an aside, I recommend boxing as a hobby. Virtually every girl I've ever encountered, from every background, placed high SMV on a guy who could competently engage in visceral violence in a "safe" setting.)

          • Your continued use of "tribal" is disturbing. Like women are more primitive, we form "tribal affiliations" instead of friendships. Why don't you just drop the pretense and refer to us as "packs" or "herds"? It's very telling what you think of women.

            And, NEWS FLASH EVERYONE: A woman will be more responsive to men the *have something in common with*! Amazing deduction!

          • Myster Baad says:

            At least women understand that they need the acceptance and protection of the tribe called society. Too many men either think they can beat the tribe singlehanded, or hide out on the fringes of it, scavenging the leftovers. Either kind of man is a nuisance even if he harms nobody.

          • Blergh to boxing. Blergh.

          • Me too, ick. (Oh, and FWIW, I am a "conventionally attractive" woman according to an actual f**kn beauty pageant that f**kn solicited me to enter, so, ya know, there's that. I mean, just for Vic's benefit – because my aversion to boxing wouldn't matter if I were, say, Not Hawwwt. As you know. Of course.)

          • Gentleman Johnny says:

            So, again, status is defined as "what women in a given group like or respect"? That seems a far cry from being psychologically and socially dominant.

          • Anonymoose47 says:

            You can establish both by just staring someone down until they look away.

          • Gentleman Johnny says:

            Dominance I'll give a provisional maybe. Status is necessarily a social thing that's bigger than two people.

          • Yeah, not too sure about dominance. It's a technique people use to make others uncomfortable, which lets them feel more dominant, and sure, sometimes it does successfully establish dominance in an interaction.

            But I think the people who use those kinds of techniques think they're more successful than it is – often, the person being "dominated''s actual reaction is looking away b/c they're not interested in playing a staring game, and going away thinking of the other person as a loser who thinks they can organize everyone into some sort of weird social hierarchy.

            They might let the "dominant" one win meaningless battles like the staring game, b/c it's not something that reasonable people care about, but it doesn't actually make them more likely to defer to the other person about anything they care about.

            Sometimes, it makes them more likely to not defer, b/c they're annoyed that the "dominant" person is trying to make a power struggle out of a perfectly reasonable interaction. Maybe that's just me, though. What can I say, I get a chip on my shoulder when people think they can push me down.

          • Yeah, this "tribal affiliation" psycho-babble isn't racist AT ALL.

          • If you haven't listened to any of the early episodes of the "Barry Kirkey Radio Show" I'd highly recommend tracking them down and having a listen. For me, it was the defining point where I started to leave the PUA 'Reality Distortion Field'. Barry lived with Style and Mystery and his insights as to what really happened in that house are telling. Also, the shows are funny as hell in a way.

            There does seem to be a bit of an elephant in the room and that is that (it would seem at least) for a lot of guys, PUA methods do work for them. The interesting question is why that is. WHY is the club scene like it is? What is contributing to these changes? If most women aren't responsive to PUA methods, what makes Vic more successful than he could imagine? Is he going after particular types of women and not realising it? Is there something else at play? Is he just exaggerating? I think tackling these issues head-on would be fascinating.

          • (continued)

            I know your stance on some people being arseholes and not being worth the time, but I think there's value in exploring WHY some women are receptive to these techniques, what turnes them into arseholes?

            BTW, have you got any good book recommendations related to these? I'm keen to pick up that 'PUA Chaser' confessions book? Anything else like it?

          • Some people get off on being arseholes, and some people conflate confidence with arseholishness. When you're in a loud club where everyone's trying to sum up everyone else in a glance, they look the same. Some people (men and women) conflate their value with their sexual attractiveness, which makes it easy to view the whole thing as transactional and conquest-based. The whole thing is as much for the people watching as for the two people negotiating.

          • It's also just easier to behave a bit rudely in a loud, crowded environment, where you don't know most of the people around you and aren't likely to run into them again. It seems like a lot of PUA suggestions anticipate that the woman is cruel or snobby, and needs to be jolted a bit before she's open to having a conversation. They also seem to assume that the guy has a little more leeway to push boundaries that he might elsewhere – if the woman is offended by aggressiveness or hurt by a double edged compliment, he can move on to one 10 feet away, and won't have to worry about the first one giving him dirty looks in class the next day.

          • Good point!

          • Gentleman Johnny says:

            Let me ask this: work for what goal? Meeting women? Getting phone numbers? An endless string of one night stands with twenty-somethings? Lasting relationships?

            PUA techniques absolutely work for meeting women. Doc relays several of them in this blog. They probably even work for building sufficient (temporary) value to score. I would argue, though, that the PUA attitude sacrifices long term gains for short term ones. In a given scene (tribe, if you prefer), people know each other. If you're throwing out signifiers of value without the real value to back it up, then its only a matter of time before words gets out and the well is poisoned. Its also a given that your relationships won't last. I acknowledge that this usually isn't a PUA goal. After that you'll still be able to find people with an itch to scratch but you'll have to be content with that or move scenes if you want to keep up your "game".

            Doc's overall trend seems to be that being your best self, reading cues, not being afraid and so forth are fine. The line is drawn at deception or treating your potential mate as a disposable non-person. Its a how-to on how to get the actual social value, not just the signifiers of it.

        • "It's utterly ridiculous to assert that the only men who ever "get" women are Alpha, or "psycho-social dominant" or have this nebulous "status".
          "

          Who said this?

        • Meyer N. Gaines says:

          "Average."

          Are you familiar with Nietzsche's concept of the "Will to Power"?

          "[Anything which] is a living and not a dying body… will have to be an incarnate will to power, it will strive to grow, spread, seize, become predominant – not from any morality or immorality but because it is living and because life simply is will to power…" -Nietzsche, Beyond Good and Evil

          Most of the successful guys in the PUA scene are financially well-off, high status professionals. They have already actualized their will to power in the professional, academic, economic arenas.

          Now they seek another place to exert their dominance and realize their "incarnate will to power."

          • Wow, Nietzsche. Okay then. Is that in the Manual, to try to impress us wimminfolk with high-falutin' quotations?

            "Basically, they want the hottest ass possible."

            1) Good luck with that, when you can't even talk to a woman
            2) If you seek to win the lottery, so to speak, the odds are against you
            3) if connection and LTR is what you seek, and not just NSA, judging potential mates solely by physical standards will leave you unfulfilled
            4) Be prepared to get judged yourself on the same standards, and don't get butthurt when you are
            5) Don't be surprised when compatible, intelligent and awesome ladies run screaming from your treating them like interchangeable portions of "ass"

          • Meyer N. Gaines says:

            Where did I say this was about me?

            And its not "high-falutin' ", Nietzsche is one of the most interesting philosophers around, and is especially popular on the internet.

          • Gentleman Johnny says:

            And with first year philosophy students. Both of these group have a large percentage of people with chips on their shoulder, something to prove and/or a lingering belief that they are innately superior to all the "sheeple" around them.

          • Meyer N. Gaines says:

            I never took a philosophy class in college lol.

          • And it shows.

          • "Most interesting" is opinion and not fact.
            "Popular on the Internet" is not a ringing endorsement considering trolling is also popular on the Internet.

            You know who else really grooved on Nietcshe? Nazis, fascists, and various serial killers. Not good company, I must say.

            There are other philosophers, you know. Schopenhauer, who predates Nietzsche, had the will to live, Freud had the will to pleasure, Kierkegaard had the will to meaning. These are debates and conversations, and it is important to see you you keep company with…because people are judged by the company they keep. And the company that valorizes Nietzsche's will to power/dominance/superiority–that isn't a good crowd.

          • Myster Baad says:

            I think those who put everything down to "will" got firmly behind old Freddie the Neech when the idea of will-to-power spawned a world-destroying totalitarian regime. Never mind that it got its ass kicked – no other will ever got that far. And the seeds of it – hatred and ego-superiority – remain planted in every human soul, as deeply rooted as the will to breathe. What other philosophy can make these statements?

          • Given that the numbers of Buddhists, Christians, Muslims, Jews — all adherents to philosophies that tell you to treat others as you wish to be treated (yes, you can quibble about how well individual believers adhere to that principle, but then again, not every Nazi was particularly ardent, either) — each outnumber the adherents of Nazism even at its height, I'd say quite a few other philosophies can make that statement. Epicureanism, which holds that the greatest evil is pain, and the greatest good is pleasure that doesn't harm anyone else, has had a far more lasting effect on many philosophies that are practiced in people's everyday lives whether they realize it or not, than Nietzsche's work has ever had.

            Hatred is not a default setting for human beings. I can, without a shadow of doubt, state that I have never hated anyone. Have I been angry at them? Certainly. Have I ever wished they were dead? No.

            Hatred is nothing like breathing.

            If you spend a lot of time among angry teenage and early-20s men on the internet, you'll get an inflated view of Nietzsche's influence (as well as Ayn Rand's). You'll also get an inflated view of the cultural importance of Firefly (as much as I love it) if you spend a lot of time in geek circles. (News flash: most of the population of the US has never watched Firefly, and probably isn't even familiar with the name.) You'll get an inflated view of the popularity of Settlers of Catan if you spend time among ardent board gamers. (News flash: after two-player games like chess and checkers, the most popular board game of all time is still Monopoly.) You'll get an inflated view of the number of people who've played Halo if you spend time among video gamers. (News flash: video games are niche entertainment. Casual games are mainstream.)

            Nietzsche is one of many great philosophers. Leaving aside the religious philosophers I alluded to above, John Locke had far more influence, and more of his ideas have actually been proven out. Same with Avicenna. Same with Socrates. Hobbes. Freud. Plato. Confucius. Pythagorus.

            Every day, our lives are influenced by their ideas. Our science and political systems are still based on their insights. Every single one of them changed the world far more than Nietzche.

          • Nietzsche is one of the least interesting philosophers out there, as most people discover after they've read most of his oeuvre. He seems interesting when you're a dilettante.

          • Yeah, you know who is the bestest philosopher ever? Ayn Rand. She really hits the nail on the head.

          • Gentleman Johnny says:

            We have Atlas Shrugged! Who wants to be the first one to make a Bioshock reference?

          • Dr_NerdLove says:

            Would you kindly start a new thread for it?

          • Gentleman Johnny says:

            1. Nietzsche, really? Can we at least move up to Atlas Shrugged level BS?

            2. Most of the successful guys in the PUA scene are financially well-off, high status professionals. They have already actualized their will to power in the professional, academic, economic arenas.
            2a. Prove it.
            2b. Financially well-off from selling PUA related materials may not be counted in 2a.

            I counter-assert that this group is a terribly small minority compared to the average self-described PUA. I would veen go farther and say that those PUA's who are successful in every aspect of their lives have generally "graduated" from PUA to seeing women as real human beings.
            There's a type of man looking for a woman. This type of man understands psychology, social interaction and has taken charge of their own life. in the long run, such a person is likely to be successful financially and will certainly stand out in his social circle. However, they do not use evo-psych, Nietzsche or negs. They do not treat women as the gatekeepers to sex who must be tricked and manipulated into one night stands. They look for people to share experiences with instead of wimenz to take them from. Hence forth I shall distinguish this group from PUA's by calling them DNLA's. I'm sure you can figure out the abbreviation on your own.

          • I would have thought Atlas Shrugged was a level down from Nietzsche, not up. Nietzsche has some good stuff, in spite of the way he's used.

          • Gentleman Johnny says:

            Nothing to do with the authors, everything to do with the whackos who wave their respective works around.

          • Gentleman Johnny says:

            Not to say everyone who appreciates the work of either is inherently a whacko. I'm referring specifically to the ones who try to club other people over the head with it as if it were gospel.

    • "I DO NOT UNDERSTAND THE HU-MAN RITUAL OF DATING. WHY DO THEY NOT MERELY REPRODUCE ASEXUALLY?"
      -Vic

  9. Yeah, my answer to most of these problems personally is to date feminists. That basically fixes almost all of these troubles.

    Also, coming from poverty, even though I am well off now, I try to avoid dating people who don't have an appreciation for working class/blue collar culture. So no one I would ever want to date would be of the "no scrubs" variety–even though no one would think of me as a Scrub.
    If you have sketchy class politics? Then we aren't going to date.
    If you aren't feminist? Then we aren't going to date.
    If you don't care about and are knowledgeable about social justice issues? Then we aren't going to date.

    The people who fall into the categories I date aren't going to care about if I have a car (I don't), or how much money I make.

    • Paul Rivers says:

      "Yeah, my answer to most of these problems personally is to date feminists. That basically fixes almost all of these troubles."

      lol, the last feminist I know to get married married a rich surgeon 13 years older than her.

      • BritterSweet says:

        But are they happy together?

        • Paul Rivers says:

          It's hard to say if they're happy together. When she's not complaining about how he's never around, how he's always working, and always on call…she's going on and on repeating mantra about how great their "close, loving, and respectful" marriage is. So…no idea really.

      • Well, if guys aren't interested in marrying/dating feminists, it's their loss, as a number of different studies have shown that men who date self-identified feminists report higher levels of sexual satisfaction.

        • Paul Rivers says:

          lol, I'm reminded of a movie scene where a guy walks into a bar, starts talking to the hot bartender, and he tells her this like 5 minute long story. At the end of it, she rolls her eyes and says "Did you tell me that whole story just so you could mention that you're a doctor without seeming like you're mentioning it?".

          • I'm unclear as to the point of your comment. I've never been shy about self-identifying as a feminist, but as to whether I'm good at sex, claiming that you are in a blog comment thread is less than meaningless (certainly less meaningful than actual science on who's happy in bed), and the only way you'd know about me one way the other is a chance that you will never have. So that whole line of discussion is pretty pointless.

          • Paul Rivers says:

            The point I was making was that your starting point of saying that guys aren't interesting in marrying/dating feminists wasn't actually a topic being discussed, it appeared (accurate or not) to be made up so one could talk about an article about satisfaction without looking like one was just introducing the topic out of the blue.

            Dunno if that was what you were doing, sometimes I read my own posts and they read back different than I was thinking when I wrote them, but that was the part that was amusing – like the guy in the bar trying to say "I'm a doctor" without looking like he's saying it, so would be someone saying "while we're on the topic of why guys shouldn't date feminists, here's why you should" when it didn't seem like anyone else was saying don't date feminists.

          • That wasn't my starting point, that was the implication of your comment in response to Trooper6 saying, "my answer to those problems is to date feminists," to which you responded, "lol, the last feminist I know to get married…" implying that feminists have trouble finding people who will marry them.

            To which I replied that if guys aren't interested in marrying feminists, it's their loss, because the sex is better.

            All of this seems like a pretty logical flow without a radical change in subject.

          • Paul Rivers says:

            I suppose there's little to gain in discussing it further, but even reading back on it I wouldn't follow. What I wrote doesn't say feminists have trouble getting married – it says in one specific example what did it for her was someone rich. Even there I wasn't saying that's true of "all" feminists by any means, it's just a counter to the original statement that dating a feminist clears up money issues.

  10. I can only speak for myself, but as far as finances what matters to me most is just that the guy is trying to do the best he can with what he has now. I have happily dated guys who messed up their finances early in life…but clearly are actively trying to fix them now. I've dated a 30 year old who lived with his mom bc he was trying to fix past mistakes – and I respected him for NOT letting pride get in the way of his best plan to get back on track. The one financial thing I was NOT a fan of was a guy I knew who made more than twice as much as I did…and was constantly missing rent bc he spent it all on high end liquor and Rennfest gear. Now I'm a total fest geek…but I won't skip rent to get new garb. For jobs I've also been fine with guys who can say "hey this isn't my passion but it's the best job for me right now" partly bc I understand that. My annoyance has always come from "I hate this job" 24/7 followed by no interest in trying to change anything. Change isn't always easy but either you accept where you are or you work to change it, not just complain about where you are. (again, to the best of your ability)

  11. I will attest to this article, flossing does not mean shit. I have bought so many $100 dinners for first dates with expectation of nothing, just hope of a second date. Almost every single time a girl thinks i'm expecting her to fuck, or like the above poster said, just spooked by accepting something large. I like going out and doing expensive things from time to time just because I enjoy nice things and places, FOR ME, not for the girl. But from my personal experience, girls do not take it that way.

    I've come to the conclusion that buying expensive things for a girl that you do not know not only doesn't help you at all, its a strike against you.

    I've flossed for women and have seen soooo many guys floss with women for it to lead to NOTHING, and when i say nothing, not even the courtesy of a call back. It can be done a completely, non-creepy way and all it leads to is a really nice 'thank you', and she's gone. Trust that.

    If you are a guy who does have this problem or complex about having money and how women will see it, I assure you, its completely not a deal breaker.

    And if a girl claims you took her to TGIF instead of that beachfront restaurant in La Jolla during that first kick it session, she doesn't have feelings for you, with or without a nice dinner.

    • I don't think it's necessarily a strike, but an especially expensive first date can make things a little awkward. If your date isn't normally able to eat at expensive restaurants, she may feel uncomfortable because it's an unfamiliar environment and because it makes her more aware of the differences in her income and yours. If she's also quite well off and the expensive date would be a normal part of her life as well, there's still some discomfort at the fact that you're paying when she's perfectly capable of doing so herself.

      And, yeah, there is the issue of feeling that something is owed or that a trade is being proposed. I'm sure there are a lot of guys who, like you, aren't even thinking in those terms, but this is one of those areas where having one really negative experience is enough to make a strong impression.

      Dinner's sort of a lousy first date anyway, so I think much of this can be avoided. You don't even really need to change the venues if you normally like going to expensive places – just make it drinks instead of dinner, and a lot of the pressure decreases.

      • Thanks for your feedback. The first time I asked a girl to split the bill after a great conversation (we weren’t on a date, but our two friends were) it was like I killed our whole interaction. She was furious, said my friend should have paid it. My friend and i had already previously spent a 100 on alcohol because the original plan was to pick up my friend’s date from a city 70 miles away, who changed the Plan to taking separate car to a venue nearby with her friend present.

        I tried to apologize and explain all of this to her. (These were my really broke days), but it completely change in her attitude was unmistakeable.

        The final bill without tip was 20.

        I once also paid for dinner in my broke days on a credit card for a girl when I was broke, who probably made a very good income a based on her line of work. The final bill was 150 before tip.

        My friends said ultimately, she couldn’t date a guy broke living at home with mom and dad. I don’t know what her reasons were.

        I’ve been kicked so many times verbally and emotionally over my lack of money, or lack of income, and my lack of self worth tied to it, by girls, by family, once in a job interview, made me burn with the intensity to make my life all about money, and to never need for it, and without help from anyone else, for power, status, security, comfort, confidence, experience, tears, laughter, accomplishment.

        So yes, I will admit, I do pay the bill for complex, personal sentiments that are not shared or even understood by most people.

        I have very hard time believing money doesn’t matter for a man in long-term dating, i believe it does, after a certain age, roughly 25. Some men in different societies murder themselves the lack of it.

        That said, I am a proponent that a man’s role I society is to make money for himself at the least, and provide for family, and shit hits the fan when he doesn’t have it, from all ends, and that’s acceptable. If that isn’t happening, he better have a detailed plan or he’s fucked.

        I don’t even view it with bitterness (I used to) but now, more like I don’t make the rules.

        The economy is bad? I refuse to be a part of it was my response forever before it became true.

        I have openly told my friends who expect a traditional housewife who cooks and cleans, the homemaker role, ‘you better make shitload of money at a stable job if you want that, traditional cuts both ways.’ The look of entitlement on their face changing to fear is priceless.

        • Sorry one thing I left out of the above post: when me and the girl split the bill, it’s because it came out while my friend was outside making out with her friend.

        • See, I don't want to date a 1950s middle class housewife. That is my idea of hell and misery. So if I went on a date with a woman who always expected me to pay the whole tab rather than going dutch or alternating who pays…that is a big warning sign–a big red flag. That tells me that this is not a person I need to date. Best to find out right away.

          • That is not at all the point I was trying to make.

            As a man past a certain age , in society, you need to make a certain amount money for yourself to live a sustainable life, irrespective of women. If you don’t, that is not good, that’s bad. Not in the sense that it the turns women off, but it’s bad, for you, period. Society is and does frequently pick at a guy who doesn’t. You get zero zero sympathy for it. Again, I didn’t say its right, but I didn’t make the rules.

          • Gentleman Johnny says:

            This is a short term vs long term thing and its also cultural. Many people in their 30's are having to move back in with parents for these last few years, but briefly, while they rebuild. On the other hand, I know entire neighborhoods where people aren't expected to move out (and are actively discouraged from it) until they get married, whether that be 20 or 50.

          • Johnny, forgive me if I'm missing something, but isn't everything you just said equally true for women, and isn't the age-group irrelevant? For example, landlords evict 40-something men who can't pay their rent, but they also evict 50-something women who can't pay their rent. And in today's economy, EVERYBODY gets "zero zero" sympathy. How is this in any way slanted against men?

          • You are not missing anything. The one single difference is women who get married and become the homemaker role. IN all fairness, I completely salute women who raise their children and play the role of traditional mom, they have it tough in their own ways. But yes, women who are not in that group, they face the same struggles as a man, if they don't have that option. And few men, rarely, can have the option to marry someone and be at home with the kids.

            It's also an image thing, I do believe a man's identity in society is very much tied up with how much money he makes, not so much for a woman.

      • Ick. Occasionally I see PUA suggestions that seem sensible, and start to lull myself into thinking it's just one way of many for shy men to get used to talking to women. Then I read stuff like that.

        • Who do you think was pulling more women? Skittles Man, or $15000 Flowers Man?

          Be honest.

          • Heartiste is a misogynistic piece of shit.

          • So who do you think it would be?

          • Neither.

            Skittles man is an asshole. I have never dated a man like this nor would I. Not that I expect you to believe me, after all, Vic knows what the ladies want better than we do, amirite??

            As far as the flowers guy, it wasn't the guy, but his PARENTS. It was a WEDDING. Do I think it is wise to drop thousands on weddings? No. But that is not women's fault. Not even the bride's fault, in that case. His parents bought them.

            Besides, the hole in your logic is that you are stating that if you spend so much money on a woman, you'll get nothing! Better to be an asshole who gives her nothing and make her chase you! But, dude: they were already getting married! She got him! He got her! This whole thing is apples and oranges.

            Heartiste is still a misogynistic piece of shit and you should feel bad for promoting his fuckery.

          • I never asked if you would date the Skittles Man. I asked if he would land more women than $15000 Flowers Man (let's say, pre-marriage).

            I have no idea what your second graf has to do with anything…

            I never said Flowers Man will get nothing. I asked if Skittles Man was more successful with women.

          • How do you judge success? Because Skittles man clearly is not successful in finding a long term fulfilling relationship, while $15k Flowers Man is.

            Or do you just mean sex? Because, Flowers Man could be having lots of hot, steamy sex with his fiance everyday for all I know. Or do you only count success as a string of one night stands with a lot of different women? For all I know, they both could be big players.

            But I don't judge success by how many one night stands a person has had. I've had a lot of one night stands, and I've had a couple of really amazing long term relationships. The relationships were better.

            And a note about that dumb blog post. The expensive wedding paid for by the father of the bride is not evidence of the matriarchy–it is the legacy of patriarchy. A legacy of a time when women were considered a) property, and b) such poor piece of property that you had to pay a guy to take your daughter off your hands. The father is paying for the wedding because he is selling off his daughter. This is traditionally when the dowry would be exchanged (or bride prize if the daughter had value attached to her). None of that is about women having power over men. This is about the objectification of women.

          • Anonymoose47 says:

            The thing that's been bothering me is that you hear so many stories from women about "skittles man" that it seems like a loooot of them will give him repeated chances just because he's a challenge. And Skittles Man could always end up sticking with one of his one night stands because they hit it off well. There's no inherent karmic justice in it, so it's hard to see the negatives of being like skittles guy if it gets you pleasure and the same shot at long term fulfillment as any other type of guy, maybe better just because of the numbers they can rack up.

            Or it's a case of only hearing about the negatives, because no one complains about the positives.

          • Some women have terrible taste in men. Sometimes it's because they're "fixers" who want to rehabilitate someone. Sometimes it's because they're dealing with emotional or childhood issues, and men who treat them poorly seem more familiar or fulfilling in some way. Sometimes it's because they're "skittles women" who have as many poor habits as their boyfriends (this often doesn't come up in conversations about women dating bad boys, but a lot of women who complain about their unfaithful, shiftless, pothead boyfriends have some of the same failings).

            You don't want to have the kind of relationship that occurs when one of them runs into a "skittles man". It's not a pretty place to be, even for the person doling out the abuse rather than taking it.

          • Some men like a challenge. As someone who had zero interest in dating for most of my adult life, I met a lot of them. For them the challenge is to get lots of women who are determined to say no to say yes.

            Some women also like a challenge. For them, the challenge is to "tame" a man who's not interested in a LTR.

          • Like eselle28 said, for every woman like that, there's one who would never date Skittles Man. Anecdotally, the men who are all drawn to women who have strings of bad boyfriends are *themselves* "rescuers" who have fantasies of being the "good man" for some poor, emotionally damaged woman. They shall be the loving prince on a white horse yadda yadda. Just like the women believe that loving a man enough can "change" him. It's the same thing.

            What I'm saying is, if you consistently find yourself pining for these women, really examine why they seem so appealing to you.

          • Like others above have said, the downside is going to be the type of women who respond to this behavior. Would you really want to be in a long term relationship with a woman who has so little self-esteem that she'll put up with a guy forgetting the most basic details of her life, constantly blowing her off, taking a week to return a call, etc.? These guys may be racking up the numbers, but those are the people those numbers consist of. There are tons of women these guys have no chance with at all. And it sounds like this particular guy is paying so little attention to the women he was with that he'd never notice if he'd really hit if off with any particular woman. If he kept up the factors that are stopping him from coming off as a total psycho–presumably he's got some measure of confidence/charm/charisma/etc.–but actually bothered to get to know the women he's spending time with a little too, he still could have lots of women interested and just pick the ones who best suited him.

            Which could be beneficial in a lot of ways, because honestly, I think guys like this lose out even when it comes to the sex. Sure, they could be getting to sleep with a different women every day of the week. But variety doesn't necessarily equal great sex. I suspect you'll have a more enjoyable sex life if you find a woman you do hit it off with, take the time to get to know each other's likes and dislikes in bed, explore and play around until you're totally comfortable with each other, than if you're essentially with strangers every night. It's like the difference between having a whole bunch of acquaintances vs. a few close friends. It may feel good to know there are a lot of people who'll shoot the breeze with you if you run into them on the street, but you're going to get a lot better conversation from the people who actually know you.

            What do you want? Do you want women who are only with you because you make them feel they can't do any better, or who are with you because they think you're awesome? Do you want to be a guy women call the worst ex they ever had, or a guy women remember fondly even if it didn't work out? Do you want a girlfriend you hardly know anything about, because if you take the time to pay attention to much about her, she'll think you care and you won't have quite as much advantage, or a girlfriend who shares things with you and you with her, so you have not just a sex partner but a confidant, supporter, and playmate?

            It might be harder to get the latter, but a lot of people think it's worth it.

          • Anonymoose47 says:

            I'd like things to not be so complex and difficult.

          • Juuuuuulia says:

            Then they would be boring. :(

          • Anonymoose47 says:

            I'm cool with boring.

          • But you wouldn't be. If they are boring to you…then you won't be happy.
            Someone that other people think is boring but that you find interesting is a different matter.

          • Anonymoose47 says:

            I've spent long lengths of time being bored over the last decade or so, it's not hard to deal with.

          • That can be a strength, if you use it to not let yourself be frustrated when you don't have a choice about being bored; don't let it become an excuse to not strive for something better, though.

            Personally it's one of my weaknesses. I can't *stand* being bored.

          • Anonymoose47 says:

            Eh, I try a lot of new things to entertain myself, but most of them don't last and the boredom will set in not long afterwords anyways. I'm not even sure what "better" means, nevermind where to strive for it.

          • Sorry — had to answer an email so I rushed that comment.

            "I am stuck here sitting outside this building while I wait for my friend to come pick me up, and I am bored." Tolerance for boredom here is a good thing, because there's not a lot you can do to be less bored. Daydream, maybe, but it's largely out of your hands.

            "I am sitting home with nothing to do today, like I was yesterday, like I'll be tomorrow and the day after, and I am bored." Tolerance for boredom here isn't helping as much, because you can change your circumstances — you can go out, you can find something to do around your house, etc. In that case, your tolerance for boredom is muting your natural drive to better your circumstances, so it's not helping you.

          • Anonymoose47 says:

            Lot less to do outside the house, especially on a pouring rainy day.

          • I'm going to leave this excerpted 1922 quote from Zelda Fitzgerald here:

            "[The flapper] awoke from her lethargy of sub-deb-ism, bobbed her hair, put on her choicest pair of earrings and a great deal of audacity and rouge, and went into battle. She flirted because it was fun to flirt and wore a one-piece bathing suit because she had a good figure; she covered her face with powder and paint because she didn’t need it and she refused to be bored chiefly because she wasn’t boring. She was conscious that the things she did were the things she had always wanted to do."
            –Zelda Fitzerald, "Eulogy on the Flapper," in The Collected Writings, ed. Matthew Joseph Bruccoli (New York: Scribner, 1991), 391.

            While I am in no ways as awesome as Zelda Fitzgerald, I, too, refuse to be bored because I am not boring.

            If it is raining outside (which it often is) then I amuse myself indoors. Maybe I call friends over and we play cards. Maybe I play a video game that I'm really interested in. Maybe I watch a film I've been excited by. I talk to my family on the phone. Or a good friend of mine. I do my German homework. But more likely, I'm probably writing on my book or some of the articles I have to finish. If I somehow had nothing to do and no one to do it with? I've always wanted to learn the Ren'py engine and make an indy video game. Maybe I'd do that. I'd start a new round of P90X…starting with that delicious Yoga DVD! I'd jump back into some Java programming and make a program to help keep track of interstellar trading in a Traveller game. I'd see if I could get back into drawing comic books. But seriously, I should practice my banjo some more…and reacquaint myself with the MAX/MSP computer music language.

            So many interesting things to do!!!

          • Yes! As a long-term antidote to boredom, goals are much more helpful than entertainment.

            What activities would you like to have done in a year's time, or on your deathbed? What do you wish you were good at? What would you be proud of if you had created it? If you were at a magical party where everyone was awesome, what conversation topics would you imagine coming up and want to be able to talk about?

            You can also challenge yourself to stretch your mind and be more interesting by taking a boring situation, like going out for a walk on a grey, rainy day, and just experiencing it and seeing how many thoughts you can think about it (thoughts other than "I'm wet and miserable")

          • Yeah! And I have to say, I love a good walk on a gray, rainy day. But I grew up in San Francisco, and foggy wet weather is something I really love.

            Fog: I love how sound is simultaneously amplified and a bit muffled, and the way all the harsh edges of the world are smoothed out a bit. I love how figures and objects emerge out of the fog and then recede back into it. There is a certain warmth to fog I really like…like being wrapped up in a blanket.
            Rain: I love the look of street lights reflecting off of wet pavement. I love the sound of the rain, not on a window while I'm sitting inside, but on my rain jacket and the street around me. I love the little rhythms it creates. I love the smell of rain! I love humming or singing in the rain.

            Hm…if I have no where in particular to be and no papers in my hands, rain is so nice.

          • Anonymoose47 says:

            Rain without wind is nice. With wind is only cool if you're inside with the woodstove going, a blanket and a hot cup of tea while it patters and crashes outside.

          • Anonymoose47 says:

            I actually just went for a walk to the convenience store to pick up a pepsi. Didn't even register that I was getting rained on. ;)

            I think there's some enthusiasm missing here. You guys list off the things you like doing with more excitement than I usually feel about doing them. I'll get feelings of "I'll read the history of every Roman Emperor" (I did) or "Well, the NHL's down and out, guess I'll give the NBA regular season a try and focus on learning the game's tactics" (it's better), or "Sonic Adventure 2 Battle is one of the best games on the Gamecube, I'm going to collect every emblem in the game" (I did, 3D Green Hill Zone was way not worth it), or "I'll take up distance running because it's something I never liked doing just to do and it'd be cool to be healthier and have some muscle back on the lower body" (distance running sucks, but intervals are cool). There isn't much verve jumping into things, just do'em because I decided to do'em and then do'em until they're done.

          • But this comes back to an earlier conversation, that you are very likely depressed. You had a doctor diagnose you with depression and rather than treat it, you stopped seeing that doctor.

            I think you might really want to reconsider going back to a doctor/therapist to discuss depression.

          • Anonymoose47 says:

            He didn't diagnose me with it. He mentioned it because I looked like hell and he started feeling around for things other than what I went in there for (which turned out to be my posture/lower back).

          • But flat affect/lack of enthusiasm/lack of motivation are all symptoms of depression.

          • Anonymoose47 says:

            Then I've had it for at least two decades even though I'm only in my 20s… and I really don't want to know it if I do.

          • But…why would you not want to know? That's like saying, "If I have high blood pressure, I don't want to know." How are you going to fix it?

          • Anonymoose47 says:

            To answer both, I'd rather be bored and flat. Finding out would be akin to someone going "Congratulations, you wasted your teenage and early 20s years because you're a defective human being, here's some pills that may carry additional negative side effects and some treatment/psychotherapy for you so you can clearly and consciously realize everything you missed."

          • But you haven't wasted anything. You haven't done anything wrong. You aren't a "defective human being" just because you may or may not have depression.

            I have high cholesterol. And I tried to bring it down through diet and exercise, but that just wasn't doing it and now I have to take anti-cholesterol medication. That doesn't make me defective–it is just a thing. Everybody has things about them. But I get it treated so I don't have a heart attack, you know?

            If you have depression and get it treated you can experience new things. You let the past go and move on with the future.

            At the very least, you should go to therapy. Everybody should go to therapy, it is a good thing. And yes, I remember you saying you can't go to therapy because you don't want you family to know and they monitor your comings and goings because you have no job. But this takes me back to the suggestion that you get a job at a local coffee house/grocery store/etc. Something simple that will get you some money of your own so you have more autonomy from your parents, and something that gives you an excuse to get out of your house regularly…which would give you cover to go see a therapist.

          • That sounds like depression talking. It's actually a choice between whether you spend the rest of your life flat and bored (and, from your comments, frustrated and unhappy), or have a legit chance on happiness going forward. It sounds like you are already unhappy about how you spent your early 20s — getting help for your depression isn't going to change that.

            But being afraid to feel is also being afraid to feel happiness, love, contentment, excitement, and all the other things that make life worth living.

          • Better than waiting another 20 years and finding out you wasted half your life.

            That's sort of what happened to me. :(

          • I've started a new thread at the b/c it's getting hard to read here, if anyone wants to continue this conversation there!

          • Feeling defective and sabotaging your own efforts at health IS the depression talking. Trust me, I know.

            If your teens and 20s were wasted, then hell, so were mine. I spent my teens in the friendless confines of my own fantasy world, severely socially stunted. I even flunked out of college thanks to a massive depressive episode at age 18. When I get into a really bad depressive spiral, I think of the fact that I haven't achieved any of my dreams or career goals and have reached my 30s with nothing to show for any of it.
            But that's the depression talking. I have a lot in my life that's going great (great marriage, awesome son, life pretty stable and comfortable). But the failure feelings never quite go away. At least I know, most of the time, that it's the sickness.

          • If all ladies were really robots that only fell for the richest dude, for example, you wouldn't have a lot of options. And all ladies would be boring.

          • Although, to be fair, a robot capable of feeling love would be pretty interesting, even if the algorithms for determining who to love were simplistic.

          • Wasn't there a movie about this? ;-)

          • Stepford Wives?
            No…those robot women didn't have any feelings. Clearly, neither did their well off sociopath husbands.

            I haven't seen that movie in ages…I need to rent it again.

            Oh, and I'm talking about the original, of course.

          • I was thinking AI: Artificial Intelligence, with the little robot boy who is programmed to love.

          • Ah! I never saw that one. That was Spielberg film, right? Was it good?

          • No, it was awful. Maybe worth watching if you're a Kubrick fan; apparently it was a Kubrick movie that Spielberg took over when Kubrick died.

          • Gentleman Johnny says:

            Jude Law makes the movie.

          • I thought it was flawed, but I also thought it showed that Kubrick and Spielberg both have a certain coldness in common that often doesn't get attributed to Spielberg — namely that he has no faith in adult humans. Children, animals, aliens, little robot boys, certainly, but not adult humans.

            I found it very poignant (although, like most of Spielberg's work, 15 minutes too long), but then I had experienced the AI web game before I saw the movie, which made me deeply invested in the world and some of the issues in it, so I unavoidably saw it through that lens.

          • Oh man, that movie messed me up. It was like, Spielberg trying to make the ending all fuzzy and lovey, but I thought it was the ultimate tragedy.

            SPOILERS

            David, in his relentless quest to get his unloving mother to love him, ends up pushing away everyone who would have really loved him or could have been his family. That android gigolo who joined him, his "brother" who he murdered, and even the teddy bear. In the end he settles for a fantasy version of his mother who will die in one day, whereas David can never die and will live the rest of his days fixated on a dead woman and miserable.

            UGH. It effected me a lot!

          • Juuuuuulia says:

            At some point in middle school I played a flash-based dating simulator game where you got the girl to like you by giving her gifts and compliments. Like if you were at the compliment stage, you had to not give her gifts or she reacted badly, but at a certain point chatting with her didn't do anything and you had to up the expensiveness of the gifts. But also the game had two girls, and you had to start flirting with the harder-to-get one when you were still dating the other one in order to win the game, which completely made my middle-school brain explode. I was like WHAT PEOPLE DO THAT?! This was probably my first encounter with the idea of commodity-model girlfriends.

            Also! *Drinking beer* increased your *charm* stat! Whaa?

          • Well, unfortunately people (men and women) are complex beings and so relating to one another is a complex thing–progressively more complex the greater the intimacy you're aiming for. But I think it's in many ways an enjoyable complexity that makes the effort worth it.

            Easy things tend to be less worth having, in all areas of life.

          • Anonymoose47 says:

            Very true. Just not used to getting the easy things, nevermind the difficult things.

            And dealing with my own age group, oi.

          • I totally understand that. I hope before too long you are in a position to find more people you really connect with! It might not be *easy* but it isn't always hard either.

          • What are people of your age group doing that's oi-ful to deal with, just out of curiosity? ^_^

          • Anonymoose47 says:

            I don't know how to talk to the girls, and most of them and the guys just want to do stuff with alcohol involved.

          • Oh, I see. Yes, that's lame. T_T

          • Gentleman Johnny says:

            Not sure what age group that is but if you're on a geek blog, maybe you should check for local geek related meetups in your area.

          • In some ways, things are less difficult when you approach relationships as just a series of interactions between two people who enjoy each other's company and may want to become closer, rather than as contest or to get the most (affection, money or goods, sex, respect etc.) out of the other person while giving the least. B/c then you have to have strategies and withhold the right amount and worry that someone else is going to sweep in there and steal the win from you.

            Of course, like Mel says, people are complex, so sometimes it's difficult regardless, but in my experience, being straightforward and respectful and seeking people who are the same makes it much easier.

          • Anonymoose47 says:

            I think my people are the most skilled at hide and seek in the world.

          • That's kind of an awesome talent in a peer group…once you find them. :P

            I think a lot of people here have had that experience of looking for the people they really click with and feeling like they'll never find them. I know I did, and I can remember how much it sucks. But they really are out there; sometimes it takes time to find them, sometimes a change of location, or sometimes just improving your hide-and-seek skills.

            What helped for me was holding onto a strong sense of who I was and what I valued, making situational friends who maybe didn't totally get me but could still find some common points to have fun with (and sometimes they turned out to be more 'my people' than I expected!) and doing and learning about lots of interesting things. If I was going to be a tragic weirdo that no one truly understood, damnit, I'd be the most awesome, interesting, confident tragic weirdo ever to mope around feeling misunderstood.

          • Gentleman Johnny says:

            A lot of people miss out on the people they "just click" with because they're holding impossibly high standards. I went out with someone a few years back and it didn't work out. No harm, no foul, just didn't work out. Over the two years following we worked together in several groups on a lot of projects. We kind of got a feel for how the other one worked and how to complement that. Fast forward a bit and she had just broken up with her boyfriend while I was pining about how I never found the perfect woman. Then it clicked to me that there was no perfect woman and that this person really had all the qualities I was looking for. A week later we were dating. A year later and we still are. At no point did we "just click" because real relationships, real love takes more work than that to grow.

          • Good point. In this case, though, I was talking more about friend groups than dates. I don't think most people hold out for perfection in friendships so much.

          • Thank you trooper6, I was basically going to respond as you did but you beat me to it ;)

            I do not know enough about either Skittles Man or Flower man to know anything about who "pulls more women" (ick ick ick phrasing, btw). How are we even defining success? For all I know, SM has only had a couple ill-fated relationships. For all I know, FM could be cheating on his new wife left and right. Either/both/neither may be poly. I don't know! And that's only if we are defining "success" as "raw number of sexual partners".
            A man who frequents this site who is actually looking for a meaningful relationship will probably think FM more successful. After all, ostensibly he has found a happy, fulfilling marriage and conquered his fear of women!

          • Gentleman Johnny says:

            Considering we have nothing to go on about guy number two, your leading question is unanswerable in either direction. For all any of us knows, Guy #2 is a hypergamous, ultra-successful dude who gave up chasing women because he finally married up so high that the bride's family spent hundreds of thousands on the wedding. He's not begging for anything because with no pre-nup, if she doesn't play ball he'll get a divorce and run off with half her trust fund.

            Does Skittles Man "get" a lot of women? Sure. Did her replace the woman in the post the moment she left? Probably. See above post about frequently moving scenes, though. Even if putting people through intense emotional pain so you can get your dick wet doesn't slow you down, the long term repercussions might.

            I Skittles Man more successful? What's your definition of success?

          • Meyer N. Gaines says:

            And a few years later the beautiful (maybe?) bride gets bored of her husband, stops having sex, cheats on him with a high status alpha hunk, and divorces the husband later.

            And for what its worth, Heartiste is not a "him." Its actually a collection of several men, only one of which is "Roissy." While I disagree with it on some points, the men who post there are incredibly astute and articulate, and I have definitely learned a lot from them.

          • And you are so sure that will happen….why? Besides, aren't you types always going on about how women "expire" at 25 and after that we're like mouldy bread and pretty much the unsexiest things ever? So how's a middle-aged divorcee supposed to land a high status alpha hunk, huh?

          • Meyer N. Gaines says:

            You're projecting your female ideas of sexuality onto the man.

            Let's put if this way. A man wants food. He would LIKE filet mignon. But he'll settle for McDonalds sometimes.

          • What? No, dude, I'm using your own stupid rules about women's attractiveness to point out the doublethink and total logic fails in your "theories".

            Let me put it this way. A woman wants consistency of logic. She would LIKE the rules to make fucking *sense*. But she settles for reading inane Nietzsche quotes designed to obfuscate all meaning. Sometimes.

          • Meyer N. Gaines says:

            Don't blame the quote, its translated from German.

            Ok fine, I can't generalize for all men. But here's what I (and most of my friends, from our conversations) want.

            I want to fuck around in my twenties. Ideally, I would like a few trophy fucks with some high quality, 8+ women.

            Then, after I have actualized my will to power in the sexual arena, here's the plan. In my thirties, I'll settle down and become a family man and a loving, faithful husband and father.

            And I don't see anything wrong with that.

          • Anonymoose47 says:

            You should be aware that you'll be spending a significant amount of time training yourself mentally to be and attract the exact opposite of what a loving, faithful husband does.

          • Bravo.

          • Aside from the fact that your word choice annoys me, I can't fault you for waiting to settle down. (but "trophy fucks," really?)
            However, life doesn't fit anyone's script. The world doesn't owe you a happy family life in your 30s anymore than it owe you loads of NSA sex in your 20s.

          • Meyer N. Gaines says:

            Yes, a trophy fuck. What else would you call it?

            The way I see it, when I'm lying on my deathbed, I won't remember the boring, perfunctory sex I had with a plain wife in the confines of marriage. I'll remember the one or two times I pulled the brunette bombshell from the bar and fucked her brains out.

            Which may never happen, of course. At the rate I'm going (now) it probably never will. But I never was a person to give up on what I wanted. And this time, its personal.

          • Yup, pretty sure it never will for you too. And that makes me unbelievably glad.

          • Meyer N. Gaines says:

            So, does it make you feel better to indulge your schadenfreude by bashing random internet trolls?

          • No, I consider it less your misfortune and more about the fortune of the woman who didn't have the misfortune of sleeping with you. I'm happy for the hypothetical her.

          • Meyer N. Gaines says:

            What would you say to the women who have slept and will sleep with me?

          • Cool story, bro.

          • Needs more zombies.

          • To the women who have slept with you? "I'm so sorry."

            To the women who will? "Don't sleep with this guy. He doesn't respect you, is only using you, and therefore probably won't be very good for you in bed."

          • To the vanishingly few, if any, women who have slept with you, I'd say "Better luck next time, sister." And to any potentials, I'd tell them there are plenty of other men out there who won't view them with contempt.

          • Anonymoose47 says:

            … why not just get an attractive call-girl?

          • Meyer N. Gaines says:

            Because it's not about the sex. It never was. For whatever reason, I'm a 20 year old man with the sex drive of a neutered animal.

            I guess its about the "incarnate will to power," as Nietzsche says. I can't explain why, its just…there. I guess we're all people, we all have a drive to grow, to better ourselves, to vindicate ourselves as individuals.

            And trust me, there is nothing in this world that feels better than vindication.

          • Gentleman Johnny says:

            You're a 20 year old man justifying doing what you want by using translations of a dead philosopher. In my estimation, this makes the motivations for your actions similar to a 20 year old born-again Christian missionary. If every 20 year old Nietzsche fan was the ubermensch he thought he was, the world would be overrun with tyrannical dictators.

          • Meyer N. Gaines says:

            Ok fine, forget Nietszche.

            I want to engage in intercourse with an attractive woman not fnecessarily for sexual fulfillment, but for personal vindication.

            Is that what you wanted to hear? Or is this the part where you get to start your moralizing sermon about sex and validation. Because I really don't want to hear whatever lecture you had planned.

          • Gentleman Johnny says:

            Nah, not really. Go for it. I would advise you, as someone who's been down that road, to remember that you're talking about actual people. Whether its vindication, will to power or WTF ever, if you do someone wrong, you can expect there to be consequences. So for selfish, selfless or self actualizing reasons (ie that you want to learn to be good husband material by age 35), keep your eye on the long term. That's all I was ever trying to say, I just wanted us both to be talking in plain English so I could say it.

          • I would have thought there are easier ways to get to say "In your face, whoever!"

          • I doubt you'll be dissuaded. I'd at least ask that you treat your hypothetical attractive partner well. She's a person, not a "trophy fuck" or a "HB8+".

            Like most Revenge of the Nerds scenarios, I suspect you'll find that it doesn't change your self-perception and that the "popular kids" aren't watching, and don't care. But this is something people often have to learn for themselves.

          • Meyer N. Gaines says:

            What is "Revenge of the Nerds"? And I know the popular kids won't care. But I do.

          • I'm thinking of a whole set of vindication fantasies that people who weren't happy as teenagers sometimes have. Sometimes they're about romantic success, sometimes they're more about wealth or appearance.

            I suppose it's good that your idea of vindication doesn't hinge on others envying you or regretting that they ignored you, since that's seldom how that fantasy works out.

            I think you may eventually find that even though you do care, this vindication-driven behavior often doesn't make you feel better about yourself. Self esteem issues don't magically evaporate, and things that are painful to remember still continue to be painful. What's the motivating factor here, anyway? Given that you're fairly young, I'm assuming that it hinges on not being very popular in high school?

          • It's a movie. From the 80s. About nerds getting revenge.

            But back then nerds weren't cool with vintage t-shirts. It was bad to wear glasses and be different. So these nerds were outcasts and the cool fraternity was mean to them. So they got revenge.

            Also, there were no computer generated characters and sometimes the camera holds still for up to several seconds at a time.

            Wow.

            I feel really really really really old

          • Me too. I'm kicking myself for picking that reference. I suppose I thought the title was was self-explanatory.

          • I remember when nerds weren't cool like they are now.

          • I'd make a distinction between "nerd" and "geek," there. Geeks are cool, now, because "geek" has come to mean someone with knowledge and passion ("I'm a giant film geek!") or more broadly, someone conversant with technology and geek culture.

            "Nerd," I think, still includes the "lack of social skills" component that's largely vanished from the term "geek." And I'm not sure that'll ever be cool.

          • Yeah. That is very true.

            Though I've noticed more and more people of privilege wanting to claim geek/outsider status (usually because they like to play video games) as a way to complain about how oppressed they are and to deflect charges of sexism/racism/etc

            I think it all started when Nirvana hit the top 10…then suddenly everyone was alternative. Which begs the question, alternative to what?

          • Dr_NerdLove says:

            I think it all started when Nirvana hit the top 10…then suddenly everyone was alternative. Which begs the question, alternative to what?

            The over-produced, too-slick in-love-with-itself rock that had come to define the 80s mostly.Then alternative ate itself and revolved all the way back to pop.

          • Yeah, but.

            I was listening to Alternative of the 80s…when it was an alternative to the stuff on the top 10. Nirvana, Pearl Jam, et al. couldn't be an alternative to the top 10, when they were the top 10. And liking Nirvana didn't make you different from the mainstream…when it was the mainstream.

          • …Wait.

            You're not interested in sex, just *getting* sex for some sort of sense of personal achievement? Dude, that's so fucked up I don't know where to start. But I can tell you that getting things you want because you're supposed to want them and not because you actually want them for themselves is pretty hollow.

            I got paid $5000 (plus travel expenses!) to talk with a company's board of directors once, which I thought showed I had Arrived As A Professional. And strangely, the far lower hourly rate I'm getting paid now for work I'm proud of and want to be doing for its own sake feels like much more of an achievement.

            (Also, oh lord. College kids and Nietzsche. It's like college kids and Ayn Rand. *headdesk*)

          • And yes, there are many things in this world that feel better than vindication. You'll learn about them when you stop worrying about defining coolness/success/whatever by some arbitrary external standard.

          • Meyer N. Gaines says:

            Ok, you can play the "you're a young naive moron" card all you want, but I think it will be better for all of us if you cut the crap and be more direct.

            In your opinion, what do you think is better than vindication?

            It can't be sex. Because I've had sex, and it can't possibly compare to the feeling that I get when I am vindicated.

          • Gentleman Johnny says:

            How does vindication enter into this? Are you saying your motivation for trophy fucking is purely to prove that someone was wrong about you?

          • It sounds like what you're saying, Meyer N. Gaines, is that you value proving yourself right and others wrong more than sex.

            That's fine. Different people have different values. Your post has made me seriously think about what I would value ahead of sex, and it's a short list. And I'll tell you, overvaluing sex–especially sex with a new partner– has caused me unnecessary problems in my life (to be cont…)

          • (cont.)
            I think a lot of people use proving themselves as motivation. And some of those people have gone on to do some great things in their field from Michael Jordan to Tom Cruise to…well, every B-movie Mad Scientist Supervillain I've ever seen.

            My experience with people with that outlook is, nothing is ever enough. No matter what they achieve, satisfaction eludes them. Many of them have to pick fights or create enemies for themselves in order to fire themselves up.

            It's effective, but it comes at a cost. (to be cont…)

          • And part of the cost with sex specifically is you're asking it to bring you something it can't deliver. Sex with a hot partner can't bring you vindication. Sex with a hot partner can't make you cool. Sex with a hot partner can't get rid of loneliness except temporarily. Sex with a hot partner will only bring you sex with a hot partner…everything else you have to bring to the table yourself.

            I spun my wheels for a long time before I realized that. When I was a virgin I figured my problems would be solved with a girlfriend. When i got a girlfriend, i thought my problems would be solved by a better girlfriend. Or two girlfriends.
            (cont…)
            Once I let go of the idea of sex as a way to prove something, I started to feel a lot better. Weirdly enough, I also started to get more sex. There's something odd about chasing something your whole life and then once you decide you don't need it anymore, finding it every time you turn around, but figuring that stuff out is a little above my pay grade.

            Good luck.

          • Exactly. Sex is good for..well, sex. It's not a magic healing salve or a plaster to smear over the holes in your psyche. People who expect it to do that are going to be disappointed. And if the solution tot hat disappointment is seeking out more of that disappointing thing or a more extreme version of that disappointing thing, that can be the start of a nasty cycle.

          • Unfucking yourself and dealing with whatever issues are driving this need for vindication. Figuring out what makes you feel happy and then finding those things. Learning to let go of past traumas. Being comfortable in your own skin.

          • Gentleman Johnny says:

            But to answer your question:
            empathy
            love
            self-esteem
            an Italian sub from Capriotti's
            not needing vindication because accomplishing what you want for you doesn't require external validation.

            I'm assuming that vindication in this sense is doing something that everyone said you couldn't. Based on context I have to assume that's sex. You claim this is something you personally don't care about. So my question to you is why you're letting the guy who told you that you'd never get a girl rule your life? You're not doing what you want, you're spending time and effort that could go to what you want in order to prove this person right. So even if they're wrong, you're still letting them dictate your actions.

          • Meyer N. Gaines says:

            But I've had sex. It didn't feel that great.

            Maybe because it was not with an 8+ woman. I don't know. People tell me that an attractive partner makes sex an amazing experience. I can only guess.

          • Perhaps. I think it's worth considering what your response will be if sex with an 8+ woman doesn't live up to your expectations.

            You could, then, decide that it's time to push for a 9+, or for a woman who was beautiful and famous, or to seduce someone who was happily married. There are people who live their whole lives like that. Or they pursue the flip version, deciding that if having a nice house and a car doesn't feel good, maybe being a millionaire will. It's one way of doing things.

          • Anonymoose47 says:

            I've heard that the more attractive they are, the less "ability" they have because they're used to having people give them what they want for no effort.

          • I've heard that too. In my experience, at least, that one's not true either. Enthusiasm and unselfishness are key traits, but I haven't seen them have much to do with looks in either direction.

          • And here is yet another one of your misconceptions.

            There are a lot of 8+ people who are terrible in bed. Being conventionally attractive is in no way an indicator of being good in bed. Indeed, some people find those that are super attractive are often not as good in bed because they don't feel the need to develop the skills necessary to be good in bed.

            Those skills, beyond some knowledge of anatomy and sexuality, are about empathy and observational skills.

            I've had sex with some people that most people considered 9 or 10s…but we didn't have a really good connection, and that person was totally lazy and self-centered. The sex was terrible. I've had sex with people who *I* personally found super attractive, though bros and PUAs (who tend to be pretty shallow) wouldn't have…and the sex was great! Because the person in question was super comfortable in her skin, was super into me, and we both were empathetic, observant, fun, and comfortable with each other. It also helped that we respected each other as well. Great sex is awesome!

            But sex is an act the you do with another person. It is a conversation, a dance. If you don't respect women, don't like talking to them, don't really want to interact outside of the old in and out…the sex just isn't going to be as good, for either of you. No matter if you are an 8+ or she is.

          • That's kind of like saying "I've eaten food. It didn't taste that great." Sex can feel a whole lot of different ways based on all kinds of factors (not just the numerically rated hotness of the woman you're having sex with), it's not one size fits all.

            That said, not everyone is into sex. If you don't enjoy it and aren't feeling the sex drive, maybe there are other things you could more enjoyably spend your time doing?

            Don't get me wrong, getting to say "I told you so" is a great feeling, but there are so many much, much better ones, including ones that don't require you to spend time having sex you don't actually want to be having.

          • Indeed, Meyer, maybe you just aren't that into sex. Or perhaps you aren't attracted to women. Perhaps men might be more your thing. Or perhaps what really gets you motor whirring is wearing latex shirts, or pretending to be a pirate, or tantric sex, or who know what?

            The world of sexuality is a wide and varied thing.

          • Yeah, even before exploring different orientations, kink, roleplaying, and what-have-you, if I were him I'd actually seek out sex with someone who's good at it, instead of someone who's pretty.

          • Agreed. Though even before he seeks out someone who is good at sex rather than someone who is pretty…I think he should start with actually liking women and seeing them as human beings.

            Also Delafina you are awesome!

          • So are you! If you are ever in Seattle, you totally need to ping me and we'll do coffee!

          • Definitely! And same here if you are ever in Boston!

            I've been to Seattle twice for the Experience Music Project's Pop Conference. If I end up going there again, I'll let you know!

          • You're in Boston? Eee!

          • I am! I am getting the feeling a Boston area meet-up is in order!!!

          • That would be fab!

          • Sex can be pretty different from person to person and it's not necessarily an 'amazing experience' every time out.

            Aside from the physical pleasure, I sometimes experience it as an emotional amplifier…it sort of brings whatever I or my partner is feeling to the surface but it won't provide anything that isn't already there.

            But not everyone is like me. Personally I share the curiosity of many here that if it isn't something you enjoy, why pursue it in the first place? There's nothing wrong with not being into sex.

          • That's illogical. Looks and the quality of sex have nothing to do with one another.

            Sex with someone who's *good* at sex (which has nothing to do with being attractive) is amazing. A jaw-droppingly gorgeous woman who just lies there is not going to be a satisfying sexual encounter. You may feel good that you got her to go to bed with you, but aside from that satisfaction, the actual experience is going to be lacking.

            It has to do with muscle control, enthusiasm, being able to read your partner well, knowing what you like, etc.

            There's a reason why most of the infamous sirens of history for whom men sacrificed kingdoms, started wars, built giant monuments, etc. were so successful at winding men around their fingers, and about half of those women were ugly. Cleopatra, despite how history remembers her, was described as downright homely by her contemporaries. Wallis Simpson, for whom David Windsor abdicated the British throne, was ugly by most standards. Colette had her seductress success when she was old.

            Heck, even a lot of the famous courtesans weren't pretty. Men didn't spend their fortunes on them because of how they looked — beautiful women have never been as expensive as everyone makes out.

            Their power wasn't about their looks. It was about their sexuality.

          • Gentleman Johnny says:

            There was also a lot less of a singular standard of beauty in the. . .well, arguably in the pre-television days. Certainly it hadn't settled down by the end of the 19th century.

          • Agreed — even the ones who were lauded as beautiful seem, well, not that pretty in their paintings and photos.

            But I mean that even by the standards of their time, a lot of history's famous seductresses were thought to be ugly.

          • Gentleman Johnny says:

            OK, but that kind of avoids the point. You're not particularly interested in sex for sex. That's fine. I go through phases like that, too. You say you're interested in sex for vindication. You haven't really delved into exactly what you mean so I'm assuming its to prove people wrong about some negative things they said about your ability with women.

            So the question is – why are you letting other people talk you into chasing something you're not interested in instead of manifesting your will to power or whatever? Yeah, I make fun of Nietzsche but here's something he got right – take charge of your own life, your own destiny and do what fulfills you instead of worrying about the opinions of others. You'll find more people with similar interests that you actually want to be around if you do.

            Please note that the above should not be taken as condoning murder, founding a Fight Club or joining Project Mayhem. You are the master of your own destiny but everyone else is the master of theirs. Actions have consequences.

          • Gentleman Johnny's list is great, I'll add more things better than vindication (not the word vindictive is related to the word vindication and that is not a good thing):

            -doing things you personally enjoy (for me that includes great sex with someone I really connect with).
            -friendship
            -knowing you just did a really great job on something (even if no one else knows)
            -pleasure
            -music, and art in general
            -helping to improve the world/your environment/your community/your country
            -discovery
            -laughter
            -great conversations
            -being content with your life and where it is headed.

          • Wow! This list is great!
            These are some of the best things in the world, but I don't even think we need to go that far… Because, you know, in the end vindication tastes very very bitter, and not satisfying at all…

            But I'll still add more stuff:

            - Good books
            - Chocolate
            - Pets
            - Traveling
            - Learning new things
            - Good food
            - When you don't want to stop talking to someone because the conversation is so great
            - Ditching school for a day to do something nice….

            Ordinary good things taste much better than vindication.

          • Ooh! Those are some great things on that list! I love the learning new things!

            Some more things:
            -Relaxing on a beach/in a forest/on a mountain/in a hot tub
            -A Professional Massage
            -Doing things to improve your mind/body
            -Doing something nice for someone, having someone do something nice for you–for no particular reason, but just because.

          • How about:

            -waking up in the morning and realizing you don't have to get up, and slipping dreamily back into sleep.
            -those moments when you're just on fire, when you're made of raw charisma and everything you say is brilliant and hilarious
            -laughing so hard you fall down
            -hallowe'en
            -petting a warm cat in the sun
            -having a great idea
            -pie

          • Hm…
            -a nice warm peach cobbler
            -climbing a tree (or a mountain)
            -waking up before your alarm goes off, all well rested
            -a wonderful memory spontaneously surfacing to your thoughts
            -making a wonderful memory
            -getting your handlebar mustache to look just right (okay, that one doesn't apply to everyone)

            Ah…this is all so nice!

          • More stuff!

            - Finding the perfect gift (that you can afford) for a loved one
            - First day of vacations
            - Warming up after being cold for a long time
            - Making something from scratch and seeing it complete (food, clothes, a scarf, a movie, a book, etc.)
            - Receiving good news you weren't expecting
            - Finding someone who also likes that book/comic/tv series you're obsessed with and talking about it with them
            - Pizza
            - When someone you like likes you too (not only romantically)

          • All these lists are making me feel warm and fuzzy.

          • Gentleman Johnny says:

            Its nice to see a positive sub-thread spin out of control.

          • *wry* You tell me not to treat you like you're naive, and then you ask a question like "what is better than vindication?" Like there's a single answer for everyone: "Which thing is it? Money? Fame? I know it's not sex! I've ruled that one out!"

            It's not the same for everyone, and it's not even the same from day to day for the same person. Yesterday, driving and seeing Mount Rainier in the sunset between a couple of tech high-rises and knowing that I'd found and moved to a city that has so many things I love in it tasted like heaven. Tonight it might be a particularly satisfying game design moment in the encounter I'm working on, or awesome sex.

            It's knowing what you genuinely want (independent of external pressures like your friends/society's expectations/whatever) and *why* you want it, and knowing what you have to do to get it, and being able to do those things and feel like you're on the road to it.

            There isn't a single one special thing that will make you happy if you only achieve it. You'll get sick of it, whatever it is, or get it and find out it didn't matter all that much, or you'll change while you're working toward it and find, when you get there, that it doesn't fit who you are anymore.

            Right now you have a need (which I suspect is insecurity about who you are and what your place in the world is, because anyone who *isn't* a moron is worried about that at some level when they're an adolescent), so you think vindication (LOOK! I AM BEING WHO I AM SUPPOSED TO BE!) tastes pretty good. I used to feel good when guys told me I was beautiful. (LOOK! I AM SUCCEEDING AT BEING FEMALE!)

            But you need to learn to understand *why* you want things, what the meaning behind the symbol is (and dude, "fucking hot women full stop" is a symbol if ever there was one). And once you understand what it is that you feel you're missing that's making you want certain things, you can make a rational decision about the best ways to fill that need. Because sometimes the need that's driving you, when you sit down and look hard at it, isn't the same as what it makes you think you want.

            So. *Why* do you want to fuck a lot of hot women? Because it makes you feel vindicated. Ok. What does feeling "vindicated" mean?

          • This reminds me of American Psycho. The dude was all like "I will kill this important dude who is better than me." And then no one cared. =/

          • Gee I dunno, fucking hot people who want to fuck me back? Having sex with that babe down the bar? Anything that doesn't use the word trophy? I think your attitude's unhealthy and objectifying, but hey if it makes you happy…

            Oh and Meyer, please don't get married to someone you find boring and plain. That's just a dick move and a terrible life goal as well.

          • Wow, why would you want to get married to someone you consider plain and boring at sex? I think that means you're doing marriage wrong!

          • I'm guessing that either Meyer has the bizarre idea that no attractive and sexually enthusiastic women ever want to get married or the bizarre idea that no woman in her thirties could be anything other than plain and boring at sex…

            Or perhaps he thinks he doesn't have enough "status" or what have you that a not-plain woman would want to marry him, but in that case, given his philosophy, I'm not sure why he thinks not-plain women would want to sleep with him at all to fulfill the first part of his plan, since apparently "female sexuality" means women don't "settle for McDonalds".

          • I think this is a case of too much reading and theorizing and not enough watching and listening and doing.

          • Preach it, sister.

          • " I won't remember the boring, perfunctory sex I had with a plain wife in the confines of marriage." I have a solution for you, and you're going to want to sit down for this one. Don't marry a woman you consider "plain", and don't marry someone that you will only have boring, perfunctory sex with. Marry someone you love, respect, and have sweaty, hot monkey sex with on a regular basis. That's not that far out of the realm of possibility for most people. The world is not divided into "attractive, fuckable women" and "boring, sub-par marriageable women". It's that stupid virgin/whore complex crap again.

          • Of course, to achieve this, you MAY have to stop thinking that the ONLY thing that makes a woman attractive is how closely her face, breasts, waist, hips, ass and legs match up with some nebulous "ideal" female appearance.

          • I wish I could upvote this multiple times.

            Shockingly, with sex as with many things, you get better with practice, and practicing with the same person makes you better at sex with that person.

          • Good luck with finding quality women with that attitude dude! You sound like a complete twat.

            "Trophy fucks." Pathetic.

          • Meyer N. Gaines says:

            Well excuse me for being honest. :)

          • Dr_NerdLove says:

            “I'm just being honest” isn't a magical talisman that you can use to wave away the repercussions of being an asshole.It's one thing to say “I want to have lots of amazing sex.” Nobody's going to fault you for that. Fuck away good sir!However, “Trophy fucks” on the other hand is a) pretty offensive to women and b) says a lot about your attitude towards said women.

          • Right, having lots of sex with lots of women? Not the problem. It's the *way you phrase things*, with the dehumanizing buzzwords and stereotypes meant to paint women as some sort of mysterious, sexy -but inferior- creature. Not to mention the implication that women are bitchy teases who are just waiting to fuck you over if you don't fuck them over first (in BOTH meanings of the word!)

            It's also implying that "game" is the ONLY way to get women, and that being a decent person who seeks companionship and love means you're a SUCKER.

          • Gentleman Johnny says:

            The only thing I see wrong with it is your assumption that once you're done trophy fucking and actuallizing your will to power you'll suddenly be the type of person that women want to start a family with.

          • There's nothing wrong with wanting to date and fuck around, and not to feel ready for a more serious relationship. That's the case at any age, and it's especially common if you're only 20. You don't need to dehumanize your partners or treat people badly to do this. Some of the men I know who have the most casual sex are pretty decent guys who treat their partners respectfully.

            I tend to caution people against saying they'll settle down at a particular age. It's one thing to say you're interested in something now. It's harder to say that something will happen for you when you hit a particular age. You're not guaranteed that relationships you start in your 30s will be successful, or that you'll meet and be able to attract women who you consider wife material, or that the rest of your life will be stable enough for family to be a near-term consideration, or that you'll feel ready to settle down when you hit a magic age. (By the same token, most people I knew who went on about how they wanted to have all their kids by 25 are either still single or ended up getting divorced). Sometimes it's good to keep future plans a little flexible.

          • BritterSweet says:

            The moldy bread analogy didn't come from her. Just look at this:
            http://manboobz.com/2012/11/23/innovative-new-bre

          • By $15,000 Flowers Man, do you mean the (presumably wealthy) father of the bride? I suppose that would depend on whether he was married to the bride's mother or not.

            Kind of a false dichotomy anyway. A shocking number of relationships manage to exist without one person either spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on the other or using them for cash and favors.

        • that website made me want to take a shower.

      • Wow, I made the mistake of reading that whole pile of bullshit, and then some of the commentary for good measure. Gross. I especially like how the only two choices presented are: a) be a flaky, cowardly, dishonest piece of shit or b) be "whipped" in to spending a grotesque amount of money on a wedding (even though the father of the bride actually spent the money, so huh?). I'm just surprised that people actually see having sex with many women who will (quite quickly) learn to hate and distrust you as being "successful." I guess I'm pretty good at choosing my friends, because every guy I know would rather have trust and a meaningful relationship.

  12. I feel a lot of the issues this article is tackling are cultural.
    I'm from a relatively egalitarian country myself. Living in a city with perfectly functioning, clean and safe public transport, I consider cars to be a waste of time, money and environment unless there's a really good reason to have one. I recognize the car anxiety from some american movies I've seen – Transformers comes to mind – but I've never witnessed it in people around me.
    (My mother used to say: "Men with big cars are compensating for something." The way I understand it, she didn't mean the size of genitalia but the man's confidence and sense of self-worth. Which I understand are sometimes tied together… for no reason at all.)
    When it comes to men and money, I do have a certain preference: I value a rational approach to money. I have my own income, so I prefer splitting the bill in a restaurant for example. At least then I don't have to wonder whether the man's expecting something of me in return.
    That being said, I've dated a guy who sometimes felt like a failure if I didn't let him pay for my expenses. He was from southern Europe, from a fairly traditional culture, and it showed. I think he put it best himself: "If you aren't economically dependent on me, how can I know you'll stick with me?"

    …yeah. How about we all just let go of this idea that girlfriends/boyfriends can be bought, directly or indirectly, and start dating people because a) we can and b) we want to? I think that'd be shiny.

  13. I do agree with most of this article, especially about the part where most women tend to date sideways. However, certain things make dating logistically hard in certain places. Best example: the car. If I were living in NYC or some other big city with extensive public transport, it wouldn't be an issue, heck, I would give up my car (and with it, my insane insurance payments). However, the city I live in currently, has a small metro area and sprawling suburbs, and the bus schedules are extremely irregular and hard to figure out, and don't even run at night almost at all. Logistically, dating a guy without a car, either requires meticulous planning (which is not my strong suit), or eventually turns me into his personal chauffeur, because I will ultimately take pity on his ass and go pick him up, and then it becomes a pattern.

    Honestly, I don't care if he drives a pinto or a jag, as long as he can get from point A to Point B. Maybe that makes a heartless bitch, but as a woman who dates sideways (not up nor down), I do think my potential partner should have access to the minimum things I have access to.

    • My general way of dealing with basic issues like that is to assume that the guy was capable of handling his life before he met me, and that he'll continue being able to handle it afterwards. If it turns out that "I moved back home to same some money while I'm applying to grad school," means "I live with my mother, who is insane. Expect a flurry of texs and calls if we stay out past midnight," then yeah…that's going to be the end of that. My town doesn't even have bus service, so I'm not certain how someone without regular access to a vehicle would be able to work or have a regular social life. I'd probably give it a shot, but I suspect it would end up falling into the unworkable category.

      If someone's finances make dating nearly impossible for logistic rather than status based reasons, it might be necessary to work on the major roadblock or learn how to manage it better before romance is more of a possibility.

  14. Most of the women I've dated were equally succesful or more succesful than me when it comes to income at least. Job success isn't measured by income alone though. The idea that you need to be rich to date is more than sexist, its also stupid on its face. There lots of humans and if men had to be rich to get women, there would be fewer of us by billions.

    A lot of the dating myths that men use to explain their lack of girlfriend reek of some very sour grapes. Its never really their fault, its always that women like bad boys, rich boys, and pretty boys. The women that they are aiming for also seem to the trophy wife type anyway. They really don't want a girlfriend. What they want is some sort of trophy to prove their alpha male status to the world. I admit that wanting some sort of romantic vengence is a dark but appealing fantasy, its one that I've nurtured at times but it isn't healthy. Its no good at all.

  15. Unrelated, but the first picture in this post shold be used in textbooks as the perfect example of cheesy American pop culture from the 1980s. Also the short-haired brunette to the left of the black man with the moustache is hot. I find women with short hair very attractive. I also like women who wear silk scarves around their neck as a decoration.

    • I'm pretty sure that is a screen cap from the film Breakin' (1984)…I believe it was Ice-T's first appearance…and he was a bit more electro back then.

      Ah the 80s…that was my time! Nagel prints, New Wave, Olivia Newton-John.

      Anyhow, thank DNL for the more diverse photos! They are awesome!

    • Meyer N. Gaines says:

      I thought the brunette was a man…that's some lateral deltoid she's got.

  16. So Skittles Man, then?

  17. Sledding or ice skating are great winter dates, and you can bring a thermos of hot chocolate or tea (or cider, although that's apparently really expensive most places). Also, if you can find some kind of winter-themed festival? Gold.

  18. Yeah, since usually my dates are poor students like myself, and we usually don't go to super expensive places, I insist on going dutch (also I hate feeling like I owe the guy something. I'm likely having as much fun as he is, so he doesn't need to pay for me to be with him). So far, no problems. But maybe that's the reason I don't get many second dates? I'll never know!

  19. Meyer N. Gaines says:

    Basically, they want the hottest ass possible.

    • And why, exactly? They sure don't seem to experience any humanly identifiable pleasure from it (i.e., connection, tenderness, experiencing another person, sharing a fun and exciting sexual adventure, etc.). So, "getting the hottest ass possible" gives them what? a fleeting orgasm, that they could just as easily have by themselves? A way to keep score with other Actualizafied, Dominantificated, Willified to Poweriffic A-holes?

      I mean, seriously – the dudes you describe (if they actually exist outside of one of Ayn Rand's discarded, less-well-written and excessively verbose early drafts) seem not to want actual "sex" with actual "women" at all – they seem to want to Score Points on The Great Big Fat F**kn Scoreboard that nobody is actually keeping or looking at, and nobody cares about, except for the dudes you describe.

      • I like you. Please stay.

      • To channel Eve Sedgewick…all of that showing off of one's phallus to other fellows by getting "hot ass"–seems like a bunch of sublimated homosexual desire to me.

      • Gentleman Johnny says:

        I can't believe I'm going to say this semi-seriously – they get status amongst their tribal group. In a subculture where getting the hottest woman is proof of masculinity, getting a hot woman makes you superior to your peers. Is the whole culture fucked up? Sure. But you asked and to the best of my knowledge that's the answer.

        • Myster Baad says:

          Hear hear. In order to win in tribal male circles, someone else must lose. Game ultimately tilts the playing field in favor of the cold-blooded user by convincing joe shmoe that he can, and must, put aside his natural self and do what he's told by authority. Eventually, joe is crafted into a willing tool of the Man and may not even know it, because he thinks he's doing it for himself!

  20. Meyer N. Gaines says:

    "Successful."

    Level 85 Blood Elves who live in their mom's basement and occasionally read a PUA forum are not in the scene.

  21. BritterSweet says:

    Well, Doc. Good news is it seems your advice is becoming more popular, with good reason.

    Bad news is, while lots of people who need good relationship advice are finding this source, so are trolls.

    • Dr_NerdLove says:

      It's the way of things. Not everybody's gonna agree with me and I'm cool with that.But we've had very few trolls in actuality. I may disagree with some of the folks who post here but for the most part it's genuine intellectual disagreement. There've been a few assholes who've crossed the line and got whacked with the Ban-Hammer and one oddly persistent spammer, but few trolls.

      • BritterSweet says:

        I guess I was kind of hoping they were only trolls because some of the things said and how the posters who said them can be so stubborn can be simply unbelievable.

        Honestly, kudos to everyone who has the patience to continue responding. And with such well thought out and supportive answers. I couldn't do that.

      • Meyer N. Gaines says:

        Lol, I love how anyone who disagrees with the party line is labeled a "troll." While I do troll many internet forums, this is not one of them.

        I think that DNL has some interesting and cool stuff to say, which is why I'm here. But I have my own hopes, dreams, and visions for my life. Apparently, they don't conform to what some people here think is the only acceptable way to live.

        But I'm impressed that DNL doesn't censor his comments. Many internet communities and movements ruin themselves by censoring comments and turning themselves into echo chambers.

        • No one has any problem with you having your own "hopes, dreams, and visions" for your life. People started arguing with you because you were assigning motives and behavior to *other* people–claiming that all other people follow certain patterns of thinking and acting that most of us here do not.

        • "While I do troll many internet forums"

          Stop doing this. Your life and the lives of everyone else on the planet will improve. And you will have more success with women, if it is only a tiny bit more.

    • Yeah, I vehemently disagree with guys like Meyer and Vic, but "trolls" they ain't. Trolls generally say inflammatory things to get rises out of people; they don't even have to endorse the things they say. But Meyer and Vic seem like they are being completely honest about how they really think, not just saying it for lulz.

      Even if they *were* trolls, I think there is value in responding to them. Not to convince THEM, because that's not happening, but to maybe get some lurker on the fence to think twice about his* preconceptions about women and relationships.

      *"his" used because this site is aimed mainly at men.

  22. Meyer N. Gaines says:

    I think that was the other dude. People started raging at me because apparently Nietzsche is uncool. :)

    • Gentleman Johnny says:

      More that people use Nietzsche to justify all sorts of assholeish behavior, especially young people. Its kind of like Anton LaVey and Satanism. When you see someone bring either up as a justification for their actions, its usually a red flag. The people who've actually internalized either teachings and know how to they interact with society at large generally don't mention it; the same way that Christians who really try to live a Christ-like life aren't in your face with pamphlets.

    • Um, dude, the first comments you posted on this article where about hypergamy, not Nietzsche or your personal goals. To quote the second: "Both sexes are hypergamous by nature. Men find it easier to acknowledge their desires, of course, because they gain sexual value (money and status) as they get older. Women lose sexual value (looks) as they get older." You then followed that up with claims that a woman would definitely leave her husband for a more "alpha" guy, etc. Unless there's some other guy also commenting under your name?

      It looks to me like the Nietzsche part of the discussion started because you were using a quote to "prove" something about PUA methods in general. And people didn't disagree with you based on "coolness" but because they don't think quoting him proves anything.

      I'm not sure why you're bothering to have a conversation here if you're going to deny things you've said multiple times and reduce anything anyone says to you that isn't total agreement to "raging over X being uncool".

      • Meyer N. Gaines says:

        The Nietzsche thing was to answer the question of one why some men want to fuck hot women.

        And yes, I believe that hypergamy is a thing. Its not that big a deal.

        • I'm confused: by 'not that big a deal,' do you mean people shouldn't have continued the conversation and argued about it?

        • It's a big deal when you claim that "by nature" all men decide who to date based on looks, and all women on status and money, and many men and women here don't personally find it "natural" to date based on those things. Strangely enough, people don't like being told they're doing things that they not only don't do, but find unpleasant.

  23. Meyer N. Gaines says:

    What if I had used "YOLO" to justify my apparently "assholeish behavior"?

    • Also lame.

    • Gentleman Johnny says:

      I probably wouldn't have bothered responding at all. I can respect where you're coming from even though I disagree with it. You're pursuing what I believe to be a demonstrably erroneous train of logic. Even with where you're coming from, you're capable of considering the consequences of your actions and making an informed decision whether or not to take those consequences. After all, if everyone is actualizing their etc. then everyone else is allowed to be just as selfish as you towards you. Now I personally don't believe that life is a zero sum game where everything has to be about who is dominant over who in every moment but that's something we can discuss.

      YOLO, on the other hand, is more often used as a replacement for any thought at all and as an attempt to be excused from consequences.

  24. Starting a new thread down here to continue the conversation on boredom and depression upthread, b/c it was getting a little hard to read so many levels in.

    Anonymoose47, about feeling like if you deal with depression, it'll suck b/c you'll realize you've wasted so much time being depressed: I know this sounds kind of ridiculous, but some of the reason you feel like that's how it would be is BECAUSE you're depressed. Depression WANTS you to stay depressed, so it robs you of hope and makes solutions seem bad or depressing or too difficult, even when, to a non-depressed perspective, it seems pretty clear that it would be an improvement.

    If your depression lessens, rather than feeling so strongly that you've missed things, you might be able to be happy that you can feel good or enthusiastic now. If you get help dealing with negative thought patterns, you might be able to focus on the present and the future rather than being caught up in regret. If you already believe that you've been wasting your time up till now, what do you have to lose by risking confronting that feeling to get some help to make things better? You're a critical thinker, you don't seem to shy away from telling yourself harsh truths and the like; you're probably already confronting it quite thoroughly.

    BEING DEPRESSED DOES NOT MEAN YOU'RE A DEFECTIVE HUMAN BEING. Depression wants you to think it does, but it is simply not true, any more than having migraines or allergies or a heart condition does.

    There are a lot of drugs for dealing with depression out there; with some persistence, most people are able to find one that works for them without side effects they can't deal with.

    It sounds like you've felt this way for so long it's hard to imagine feeling better, but it really is possible to feel better. It is possible to be happy. I think it's possible for you specifically.

    • Yes, this. Saying you don't want to look into treatment is like saying you don't want to check if your painful arm might be broken because then you'll realize you wasted all this time not using your arm. Why would it be worse to know you lost time but now you aren't anymore than to continue losing those opportunities forever?

    • "BEING DEPRESSED DOES NOT MEAN YOU'RE A DEFECTIVE HUMAN BEING. "

      Yes yes yes. It's soooooo hard to really BELIEVE this when you're in a bad time, but try to repeat it like a mantra.

      • But depression can make you a defective human being. It's made me one.

        • What is your definition of defective human being? Because honestly, that sounds like the kind of thing depression makes people feel about themselves.

          It's true some people handle their depression by acting like jerks, though, so if that's what you mean, I guess I can't argue with you (or at least, not without knowing you well enough to tell if you're a jerk).

    • Anonymoose47 says:

      What there is to lose is perhaps feeling better, perhaps building something nice, and then it making a comeback when things aren't going well., especially if I get angry. An actual depression diagnosis means I'd lock away intimacy, throw away the key and completely withdraw, because I wouldn't want to inflict that on someone else, especially people who grew to like a "happy" or "enthusiastic" me.

      • Many of the people I care about, including my wife, suffer from severe depression. These people are awesome people (really awesome!) that I love to be around, and that doesn't change when they're depressed, even if they have trouble being happy or enthusiastic or even doing basic day-to-day stuff, even if sometimes I have to do more of the emotional support-type stuff for them than they're able to do for me.

        It's not always easy having depression be a part of the relationship. Both parties really need to learn to handle their emotional state in a way to not treat the other person poorly, develop an imbalanced/caretaking dynamic or put more pressure than the relationship can handle. This can be HARD to figure out. But it is absolutely worth it to me. If my wife or any of my friends had decided not to connect with me b/c they didn't want to inflict their depression on me, I'd have lost out on many of the things I care about most and that make me happiest in life.

        For most people, depression is not something that you beat once and never have to deal with again. But a return of depression doesn't have to mean losing everything you've accomplished or all the connections you've formed.

      • Let me tell you something: drugs are not always the answer, but sometimes they are, and they work. My mom is clinically depressed, and takes her medication, and feels good and acts "normal". She is dating a man who recently had a really awful, nearly suicidal depressive episode (incident, etc?). She talked him into going to the doctor (he had many of the common objections, similar to yours), and he was diagnosed and given antidepressants. He was amazed, and said that now he has more energy, far fewer lonely feelings, and more enthusiasm than ever. DRUGS WORK.

        Let me tell you something else. Withdrawing from people (especially those who do, or might, love you) because you don't want to "inflict yourself" upon them, is doing NOBODY any favors. Taking away your loved ones choice to help you when you need them most is unfair to them. If someone I loved was diagnosed with depression, I would be sad for them, but I would consider is a privilege to help them in anyway they needed me. It might be difficult, but it wouldn't be a burden.

        • Anonymoose47 says:

          What they don't know can't hurt them, cause them damage or add more needless garbage to their lives.

          • Someone who loves you is going to know. And it will hurt them much worse to have you withdraw from them with no explanation. And everyone deserves love and help, especially when they are hurting. To people that love you, your troubles are not "needless garbage". Life is messy, period. Trying to get through it alone will kill you.

          • Anonymoose47 says:

            They won't know. I've got exceptional skills at hiding my emotional state. :)

          • Maybe they won't know, but will wonder why you seem so closed off from them and be hurt. Maybe they'll wish you trusted them more. Maybe they'll think everything's fine and be perfectly happy – but they would WANT to know and support you, and maybe you'd be able to be closer and have a better relationship with them if you didn't hide everything.

            Which is not to say that you have to tell people your emotional state or that you should feel bad about it if you decide not to – it's a personal thing and it's absolutely up to you if you feel safe and comfortable opening up to any particular person, regardless of your relationship.

            But if you WANT to let someone know, please, please, please don't let the fear that it will hurt them or be a burden to them stop you. When you care about someone, you care about them whether or not they're happy, and you want to be there for them.

          • Anonymoose47 says:

            I wouldn't want people I cared about to know.

          • Because you don't trust them with that information, or because you don't want it to be a burden to them?

          • Anonymoose47 says:

            Both.

          • Because you don't trust them, that's fair, not everyone is trustworthy and you're obviously the best judge of who in your life you can trust.

            But I really hope you'll reconsider the not wanting to be a burden part. I don't think that's actually doing anyone any kindness.

          • If you get into a relationship with someone and just lie to them the entire time…that isn't good. And pretending to be happy, hiding your emotional state…that is lying. And what that means is that you'll have a fake and unfulfilling relationship.

            To have a fuller happier life, you should find out if you have depression, then get it treated so that you can be present in your life. So that you can deal with it. So that you can actually be happy. So that you can build real, honest relationships with people. So you can get people in your life who actually like the real you, not some fake you you are putting on as a mask.

          • Anonymoose47 says:

            I don't fake happiness, and I don't get into relationships, romantic or otherwise, irl. Face is mostly held in a blank state.

            I remember a girl one time telling me to "smile more" and all's I thought was "Nothing's funny and I don't feel happy, so I'm not gonna smile."

          • Remember when we asked you what you wanted? If you actually wanted to have relationships with people? At first you said no…then you admitted that you did want relationships with people, you did want to make connections. Then you need to work through possible depression issues so you can be present with people, so you can build actual relationships. Honest relationships. Not wanting people to know about your depression means they don't actually know about you. Which means you don't have a real relationship.

            And it is unfair to them, and unfair to you.

            So again, do you want to have god meaningful relationships? Do you want to have a happier life? Is that what you are here for?

            Then go talk to someone about depression.

          • Anonymoose47 says:

            In theory and in weaker moments, yes. In practice, no, I can't see it working.

          • I think you're allowed to like … stick to the theory. You can be like "Person! In theory, I would like to have this type of relationship with you. Let's try it!" And they will either agree or disagree or negotiate. And later on down the line, you can be like "Oh, this has turned out different from what we wanted. Let's see if we can fix it more to match what we had in mind!" and later on, you can be like "That turned out too hard, let's disengage now and have this other type of less demanding relationship that's easier to implement."

            Also, can I be your internet friend? =P

          • Gentleman Johnny says:

            I wish I could save up upvotes to dump on this.

          • Internet friends are a great idea! While you're stuck somewhere where it's hard to find people you connect with, or while you're not feeling up to in-person socializing, it can be a life-saver to talk with people online.

          • Anonymoose47 says:

            My social life's consisted of entirely internet for quite awhile.

          • Ah, sorry, I guess that was stating the obvious then. What can I say, I'm old-timey.

          • Anonymoose47 says:

            Yes, you can be my internet friend. :p

          • Gentleman Johnny says:

            Hell, I'll be your Internet wing man.

          • Juuuuuulia says:

            Yaybuckets!

            Uhh, I don't know what to do next. =P How do you usually communicate with internet friends?

          • Anonymoose47 says:

            Facebook or e-mail at this point, my PC crapped out and may not be fixable.

          • Could you consider that maybe the reason you can't see it working is because of depression? B/c that's what depression does, it uses your brain to convince you that it's totally logical that it's impossible for you to relationships or be happy and that it's not a good idea to try anyway.

            Do you truly think that it's impossible for you to have good relationships, no matter what you try? Because I don't think there are many people for whom that is the case, and I REALLY don't think you're one of them. Unless you're using a completely fake persona here that doesn't bear any resemblence to who you really are or how you think, you seem like a smart, caring person who is perfectly capable of having interesting conversations and connecting with people. I find it pretty hard to imagine that it's impossible that someone like that could ever have good friends or romantic partners.

          • I think it's actually kind of arrogant to decide to "protect" people from your depression instead of letting them decide for themselves how they feel about it. They're grown-ups. They can choose not to engage with it if they don't want to or don't feel able to.

            Also, if they're already a part of your life, what they don't know CAN hurt them. Withdrawing from them affects them. People who care about you (and who you feel safe confiding in) deserve the chance to show they care by supporting you when you're going through something bad. You mentioned earlier supporting your sister through a hard time, so you obviously have an impulse to help the people you care about even in times when they're not happy and enthusiastic – don't you think other people might also have that impulse?

          • Anonymoose47 says:

            I'm fine with arrogant.

            It really doesn't affect them, because we'd have to be close in the first place. People just move on if you don't engage too much.

          • Okay, but what about when you're talking about not wanting inflict depression on future loved ones? These are hypothetical people who you are (hypothetically) close to, right? So it would very much affect them. They would be blocked from being close to you and being there for you.

            And you might not think that's something valuable, b/c depression has a delightful way of making people think they're not worth caring about and will only hurt people/get hurt if they get close to people. But it is. It really is. I can't begin to convey how much less happy my life would be if my wife hadn't been willing to risk emotional intimacy b/c she didn't want to burden me, if my friends or my sister withdrew from me for fear their depression would hurt me.

            And is not engaging and letting people move on really what you want?

          • Anonymoose47 says:

            These hypothetical people can find whatever I can offer elsewhere. Some of these hypothetical people likely already have, so they're not missing much, if anything. You can't miss what you don't know exists.

            People moving on happens regardless.

          • Not necessarily! You are a uniqueful person of uniquefulness!

          • Sometimes people move on regardless. Sometimes they stay, and become part of your life for a long time or forever.

            Sure, in theory, there are a lot of people and if I miss out on connecting with one person, I'll probably find other friends who technically fill the same gaps. But in actual fact, people aren't fungible, and I'm happy to have the specific people I've made friends with, and I'd miss them if they moved on, even if I found new people who had some of the same traits I liked about them.

            And it's not just close friendships I've developed over years. There are people that I knew very briefly, that I had a class with or hung out a few times but it didn't work out – but I still wish we had been able to become friends, b/c I liked them specifically. These people weren't magical charisma popular types or anything, they were just ordinary people that I thought were cool and we seemed to connect.

            Yes, these hypothetical people's hypothetical lives probably won't be empty and miserable soley because you don't engage with them. But that doesn't mean that they wouldn't be BETTER if you did.

          • That's actually not true. Sometimes, people just decide to stop bugging you because you're not engaging. "Oh this person clearly doesn't want to talk to me." But sometimes they're actually worrying about you all the time and feeling helpless about not being able to help you. =/

          • Anonymoose47 says:

            I doubt any of them have worried much about it, if they even had an inkling. :p

          • Part of the reason I'm on this site is because I dated a nerdy guy who had ALL of the mistaken assumptions that DNL is trying to clarify for people. And when I broke up with him, he basically decided I was the bad guy and doesn't speak to me anymore (after whining and guilt-tripping me for three months). And, having dated him, I got to see pretty up-close that he probably had depression/communication/connection issues and he had no other support structure except his parents and me. And I think his parents have no idea because he's otherwise successful and brilliant and in grad school and also doesn't really open up to them. So basically I feel like I'm the only one in the world who knows how much help he needs and I can't do anything because he wont talk to me, yay.

            So I log on here to see if I can help people who actually listen to make myself feel better.

          • Anonymoose47 says:

            You can't help those who don't want it, and it's not your responsibility either way, and especially since he's cut the cord. De-stress/get him out of your system.

            And fuck guilt-trippers.

          • My point was that you don't ever really know who actually forgot about you and who just stopped talking to you. From his perspective, I don't care about him at all since I broke up with him and I'm traipsing around being carefree and dating other people. But I *am* still worried. Arghs. ><

          • Juuuuuulia says:

            Gasp! I have realized that you're *documentedly* nicer to other people than you are to yourself. Which is a pretty clear sign that your brain went wrong somewhere? Because you'll jump in and tell other people they don't need to be upset about something, but try to dismiss other people when they tell YOU that there are stuff that might be helpful? "Oh, it's okay. I'll handle it myself some other way."

            What would you say to your sister if she told you the stuff you told us? That she's been diagnosed with depression and she feels defective but she's also afraid of being a burden to everyone and is planning on staying emotionally closed off from people?

          • From previous conversations, I gather that you are in a total dead-end town with no source of income and you are stuck living with family you aren't close to.

            Definitely not everyone is close to their families and you're the one who knows best in that regard whether they can be trusted with knowledge of your depression. I'm not going to try and talk you into confessing to them.

            When I was depressed at 15, I went through a phase where I literally cried every night. Like sobbing crying. But my mom only responded with exasperation. Newly divorced, she had a hard life from working like mad to support us. She had NO more sympathy for me. All she wanted was sleep and a daughter who stopped keeping her up at night.

            It's a wonder I didn't end up killing myself. For some reason, my depression has always stopped just short of me being suicidal. I think I'm just scared to die, misery or no. But my PARENTS didn't know that! They never even asked. If my son cried every night and expressed the same hopelessness I did, you BET I'd be VERY concerned.

            Do I understand why they couldn't deal w it? Sure. Was I angry about this? Oh yeah, looking back, I can't believe my parents totally ignored very serious depression in their child. (My dad was NOT blameless either).

            I had to get out of there, out of that life and start making my own way. I think you need to get out, too. That town, that house…from what you've told us, it's only keeping you down. It's not always peoples' "fault", sometimes they are just not equipped to deal w a loved one's depression.

            The hopeless "loops" I see in you responses (stymieing all efforts at taking advice) reminds me very much of how my brain gets at my worst. There is literally NOTHING anyone can ever say to help me when I get like that.

          • But the thing is, just about *everyone* as "garbage" in their lives. Everyone over the age of 18 has some sort of baggage–our bad experiences skew our thinking in problematic ways, and in the areas where we lack experience, we probably have inaccurate assumptions that haven't been ironed out yet. Any woman you date is going to have her tics and issues, and it'll be up to you to decide whether the parts of her you like make you happy enough to more than compensate for the parts of her that aren't quite so great, just as it'll be up to her to decide the same about you. No one meets some person with absolutely no flaws and every part of the relationship is stress-free.

          • "But the thing is, just about *everyone* as "garbage" in their lives."

            True. And if you wait too long to address it, you'll have more garbage in your life than anything else – or you'll feel you do, which is almost the same thing.

          • Well, when someone gets to that point, I'd say they should go into therapy and work through some of it before they start trying to date.

      • I second everything that's been said above, and want to add–the current stats say that about one in four women experience severe depression sometime during their life. That means there are an awful lot of women who've been through the same thing and will totally understand. They're not going to be offended by you not always being perfectly happy and enthusiastic, as long as you're willing to ride out their low periods with them too (assuming you're both managing your difficulties as well as you can, not taking it out on each other in maladaptive ways).

        I was in therapy and on medication for depression when I met the guy who's now my husband. Even though he seemed awesome, I was nervous about admitting to him that I was getting treated for this. I ended up telling him the first time I spent the night with him, because I was going to have to take my medication in the morning and I didn't want to have to feel sneaky about it. You cannot imagine how relieved I was when he just chuckled and said, what a coincidence, he was working through depression (with the help of medication) himself. We've been together almost ten years now, and yeah, sometimes I'm down, or he's down, but we understand it and we help each other through it (and know when to give the other person space because they're not in the right mood for company). It works out really well, actually. You can totally have a healthy and happy romantic relationship with depression in the picture–again, as long as you're managing it.

        • This. I'm also happily married, and my depression can be a real bear. It's always there, low-grade, but sometimes it rises up in waves.

          Sometimes, he loves me better than I love myself. And he's never suffered from it, far as I know.

      • Also, what difference does an actual depression diagnosis actually make to whether you can have relationships or not? I mean, you feel the way you feel, regardless of if there's a label to put on it, right? Essentially the only change would be that you've got some extra options on how to handle it. Extra options doesn't seem like something that needs to be an obstacle.

        • Anonymoose47 says:

          It'd be confirmation that I shouldn't have one.

          • But the point people have been making here is that a diagnosis of depression wouldn't mean you shouldn't have a relationship. Several of us here have mentioned that we have dealt with or are still dealing with depression. DNL has stated that he's dealt with depression. Are all of us wrong to have pursued relationships because of that? Are you saying we should all have avoided getting close to other people because our depression might be a burden on them?

            According to a recent study done by the CDC, about 10% of people in the US meet the clinical criteria for being diagnosed with a depressive disorder. And that's not even counting all the people who might have suffered from depression in the past but gotten treatment and don't currently have symptoms. Surely you're not saying that all those millions of people shouldn't have relationships either?

            And if you don't think that every other person who's been diagnosed with depression would be wrong to have relationships, then why would it be any different for you being diagnosed?

            In a way, it's kind of patronizing to make decisions like that. Saying that you shouldn't try to have relationships because you might make life difficult for the other person is implying that the other person can't decide for themselves whether being with you really would make life difficult in a way they don't want. Who are you to decide for everyone else in the world whether they'd want to be with you? Why not put yourself out there and let *them* decide? Anyone who can't handle being with someone who is or was diagnosed with depression will just not get into a serious relationship with you, so you don't even need to worry about that. All you need to worry about is making sure that you're getting yourself looked after so you can do the things *you* want to do.

            Being diagnosed with depression doesn't make you an unsuitable relationship candidate. Refusing to deal with mental issues that you're aware are not healthy might. By looking into what's really going on with you and seeing if it could be treated, you'd be proving that you would be a good partner, not that you wouldn't be.

            Try not to think of it as going to confirm that something's wrong with you. There's *clearly* something unhealthy about your emotional affect and way of thinking, whether it's depression or something else. You already know that. You wouldn't be going to get a label, you'd be going to find out if there's anything you can do to make it better. You'd be taking action. Those are all reasons to feel good about it.

            I know there are a lot of reasons you've hesitated to look into this, and obviously how you handle it is up to you in the end. Mostly I just hope that whatever you do, you're able to find a way to get more happiness out of your life.

          • Anonymoose47 says:

            I'm fine with it being patronizing too.

          • Really? That's the only thing you took away from what I wrote? *Do* you think that other people who are or have been depressed "shouldn't" have relationships either?

            And do you not see an inherent contradiction in thinking you're so messed up you shouldn't inflict yourself on other people, but also thinking you're so wise and competent that you know better than everyone else what they'd want?

          • Anonymoose47 says:

            Going off a lot of the relationships I've seen whose problems were predictable and could've been solved by not getting into it in the first place, yes, people who are depressed shouldn't be in relationships.

            I can see what you're saying in the latter, but not giving them the choice in the first place guarantees that they don't end up making the wrong one.

          • Well, *every* relationship's problems could have been solved by not getting into the relationship in the first place. No relationship = no relationship problems. That's not specific to depression. And if the depression was causing problems, I'm going to guess it's because the people weren't handling it well (taking out their bad moods on their partner or withdrawing without explanation, avoiding treatment completely rather than trying to find ways to manage their emotions, etc.) not because depression makes you inherently incapable of having a healthy relationship.

            As I've said before, everyone has baggage. What makes you a good partner is how you handle it, not having none (which is pretty much impossible). An inconsiderate or irresponsible person is going to have relationship problems regardless of whether they're depressed or not, and the blame for the problems in their relationship shouldn't be placed on the depression, but on their failure to deal with it in a considerate and responsible way.

            I find it really sad that in your idea of a reasonable world, myself and millions of other people shouldn't be in relationships just because our brain chemistry or past experiences threw us for a loop. By that measure, clearly people who are physically disabled shouldn't get into relationships, because they'll never be able to fully participate in all the activities their partner might want to do. And people who've been abused (as children or adults) shouldn't get into relationships, because they'll have all sorts of issues to work through. People who've had lots of relationships should just stop, because now they have too many conflicting ideas in their heads about what their partner will want, too many old hurts and biases. And people who haven't had a relationships yet shouldn't have relationships because they won't know how to treat a partner right, not having any practice.

            I guess no human being should have any relationships at all. That would certainly guarantee none of us ever gets into one that's less than ideal.

          • Anonymoose47 says:

            There's a reason I just wanted to leave it at "patronizing" :p

          • Because when you explain your actual reasoning, it doesn't actually validate your conclusion? :)

          • Anonymoose47 says:

            It's good enough for me :p

          • I don't think it actually is. If you honestly totally believed that you have so much wrong with you that you should never be in a relationship, you wouldn't be getting into discussions about how to have relationships on a dating advice site.

            Some part of you doesn't believe it. I'd listen to that part. Many people here have given you some very good arguments with which to bolster it, if you want to make use of them.

          • Anonymoose47 says:

            Eh, information gathering. Even objectively, it's the thing I understand the least.

          • And by the way, I'm not trying to make you feel bad for thinking this way–it sounds like part of the same depressed thinking that got this whole conversation started. But you're obviously a very logical and analytical person, and I'm hoping to illustrate why the things you're saying, while they might *feel* logical, are really not once you break down what they actually mean.

          • Also, I realize anecdote =/= data, but just like to point out I've been in a very happy relationship for the past 11 years with someone who suffers from serious, long-term depression, so from the point of view of the other person in the relationship, this is very much not true.

    • Gentleman Johnny says:

      There is no depression advice I can give that won't be better given and better received by Boggle The Owl. http://boggletheowl.tumblr.com/

      • Boggle always makes me tear up. It's like he says the exact opposite of all the jerkass things depression tells you. It's definitely done by someone who's been there.

        Boggle loves you!

    • Enail speaks a lot of wisdom.

      As someone who's dealt with a lot of physical pain in my life, I learned that when you're in pain your body gets afraid to breathe deeply, because it will hurt. Breathing shallowly provides a certain anesthetizing effect, but more oxygen = faster healing, so it is really slowing down the healing process. So I had a slipped disk in my back (super painful), and as part of my rehabilitation was getting massage. And the massage therapist started digging around and it was so painful I was seeing stars, and naturally I held my breath.

      And she told me to breathe. And it was hard — I seriously worried that if I started breathing deeply it would hurt so much that I'd throw up — but eventually I took a deep breath.

      And it hurt like hell. But I took another one and that one hurt less. And after a few more, the pain in my back started easing so much that I thought she was using less pressure, and told her that, and she started laughing and told me she was actually using more. And then my back muscles stopped spasming and I had normal, full-range sensation in my back again and it didn't hurt, and let me tell you, when you have been in pain for a long time, the return to normality, the absence of pain, is euphoria.

      And at certain points in my life, similar things have happened emotionally, where I was afraid to fully feel because I thought not feeling would be less painful, but that's not how it works. Trying not to feel doesn't shelter you from pain — depression will tell you that it does, but it lies — it may dull the pain, but it also makes the pain the *only* thing you can feel.

      So while facing your depression head on and getting help might mean that you have to fully feel some of the things you aren't happy about, that pain will pass in a way it can't right now, and you will be able feel and enjoy the full spectrum of things that make life fun.

      Let yourself breathe.

    • Hey, Anonymoose47, if we're getting too pushy here, please say so. Everyone is commenting here b/c they want to help, but it's your life and you get to decide how to handle things, and if the comments are feeling more pushy than encouraging, I'm sure everyone will back the hell off if you say so.

      Things can be better than they are; you deserve to feel better than you do. I think you can get there. :)

  25. Meyer N. Gaines says:

    @eselle28:
    "What's the motivating factor here, anyway? Given that you're fairly young, I'm assuming that it hinges on not being very popular in high school?"

    Well, its not quite THAT simple. As far as Asian dudes went, I was actually fairly popular in high school! Part of that may have been because back then, I had a heart of gold, and I would always help people who asked for it. I would do the same today as a senior in college, but people think I'm a stupid loser, so nobody asks me for anything.

    I think my desire for vindication comes from a lot of things. Because its the internet, I'll be as concise as possible.

    1) I'm Asian, which makes dating considerably more difficult. Also, I struggled with a lot of self-hatred before I came to terms with my Asian identity. At one point, I told my parents that I was furious at them for deciding to create an Asian child in America. Heh, that started a shitstorm :)

    I don't think that way anymore, and I've come to terms with my racial identity. But old scars still hurt, and will probably never heal.

    2) I was kinda chubby growing up. A few years after I started serious gym training, I'm still fatter than I would like, but I'm 6'0", 223 lbs, 16% bf. Which at least makes me better looking than most men out there, but I still have a long way to go.

    But its not enough. IRL, I have several friends who are bodybuilders, some of whom compete in tournaments. I also associate myself with bodybuilding subculture. I mean, the name "Meyer N. Gaines" is itself a bodybuilding joke.

    I was always fatter and weaker, mentally and physically, than my fellow bodybuilders. Becoming their aesthetic equal, pulling an attractive girl, living like I'm on the Jersey Shore, haha. Its something I always dreamed of. Maybe it sounds stupid, but I don't think it is

    3) I guess I always identified myself as an intelligent person, at least in high school. Then came college, and I struggled early on. Hell, I failed a term of physics because I was more interested in booze and broads.

    I slowly cleaned up my act, but its not enough. My friends are all getting offers at places like Goldman Sacs, Blackstone, and Bain, while I'll be stuck going to medical school. They all joined frats and had more fun than I did in college. They spent their Saturday nights getting drunk and pulling women while I slogged through Biochem books.

    And because of my failures early in college, they will still have a better life than I ever will. Among them, I will always be heralded as the loser, the subhuman, the kid who failed Physics, and more.

    So I guess that's why I seek vindication. Because I've always had to deal with self-hatred and inferiority, and I am sick of it. I don't care about sex, money, or status, because I will never have as much as my 'friends.' I just want some justification, some proof for myself, that I am a person worth being valued and respected.

    • These people are not your friends. They sound like terrible people.
      So what if you failed Physics? That what those classes are all about. Sciences love their weeder classes.
      You are a loser because you are going to be a doctor and not some sort of venture capitalist? That makes no sense. Being a doctor is impressive to most people who aren't jerks like these so-called "friends" of yours.

      Don't compare yourself to bodybuilders. Always comparing yourself to others will never make you happy. That is the sort of thing that leads to eating disorders, depression, self-hatred, etc. And for heaven's sake you don't want to live like you're on Jersey Shore, those people are a) alcoholics, b) are popular because people are engaging in schadenfreude, c) are putting on an act.

      What do you mean they will always have a better life than you? That makes no sense. They are going off to be high-powered business men…that doesn't mean they will have a better life than you.

      You need to stop seeking the approval/vindication of these assholes. Screw those jerks.
      You are a person worth being valued and respected if you value yourself, respect yourself, and value and respect others. Forget all the drinking and pulling and all of that. Go build a real grown up life. Go to med school, save lives, meet some people who respect you and who you respect. Date a woman who you like and who likes you.

      Also, get some therapy. Growing up in a white supremacist culture when you are person of color does a number on your head…I know this from personal experience.

      You are not inferior to those frat jerks. You don't even need to think about them.

      Do you.

      • I generally agree, but note, he hasn't actually said that his friends are being assholes about it. They may be, and if so, he should drop them immediately. But sometimes when people are feeling bad about their own achievements, they assume everyone else is judging. It's sometimes good to check and see if that's actually the case, or if that's self-recrimination kicking in.

    • Maybe you're hanging out with the wrong people? Anyone who calls you subhuman is an asshole, and not worth your time. Why not put your energy into finding people who treat you better rather than into treating women as subhuman and engaging activities you don't enjoy in the hopes of proving yourself to a bunch of jerks? Similarly, there are a lot of places in America where being Asian is not a disadvantage; you might be a lot happier if you found them.

      You sound like you put a lot of pressure on yourself. Going to medical school is hardly a low-status activity, or one for stupid people. A hell of a lot of really smart people struggle early on in college – it can be a big shock to suddenly not be the biggest fish in the pond, and there are a lot of distractions.

      How many numerically hot women do you think you need to have sex with to respect yourself? If you hate yourself, that kind of purely external status marker probably never make you feel that you're worth being valued and respected. There will always be someone out there who's having more sex with more PUA-desirable women. Is this really what you want for your life?

    • Jesus. Sounds like you need different friends. Also, external validation can never be anything but hollow and temporary if that's the only validation you have. You need to love yourself before you expect others to love you.

      Having said that, it's not necessary to keep "friends" around that constantly undermine and make you feel like a loser for going to medical school (that's a "loser" thing now!?). You don't need to hang around them and build up some sort of asshole-armor. You can find friends that respect you, and then you'll be able to trust them and not need that armor.

      tl;dr, ditch your shitty "friends", get friends that respect you. And then you'll be safe to not act like an asshole to get "vindication."

    • Thanks for explaining in such depth. I can kind of see where you're coming from now. I don't necessarily agree with the direction you're taking, but I can understand it.

      1) This is something I speak to as an outsider. I'm a white woman. I'm probably more attracted than normal to Asian men, or at least I've dated quite a few. I have heard some similar things from them, about Asian women preferring to date interracially and women of other races preferring not to. All I can say is that there are and will be plenty of women who are interested in dating and sleeping with you. Society isn't perfect, but it's not impossible either.

      2) I think the men who are here might speak better to this. As a woman….I don't know, the whole bodybuilding thing is kind of a mystery to me. To some extent, it seems like men competing with each other, since while some women really like that aesthetic there are others who don't.

      3) Now this one I know. So, I'm from a hick town in the middle of nowhere, but ended up going to one of the better law schools. I did get one of the really desirable jobs after graduation. Then I was laid off. Now I do other things. They pay well, but it's not necessarily on par with some of my classmates are doing. I'm not pleased one little bit with the location of my current job, but the lack of prestige is oddly not disturbing.

      I guess what I'd say to your concerns is that it's very normal to be jealous of your friends when it seems like you're all in a race against each other. But, regardless of what your college tells you, there's a lot that goes on past graduation that determines whether people are successful. Some of your friends at Goldman and Bain will burn the fuck out and end up in very ordinary positions. Some will reject what they're doing and go on to very different fields. You may be amazingly successful.

      Beyond all that, these things don't necessarily determine who has a good life and who ends up being a victim of success. I'd suggest trying to take the focus off your friends and focus on you. Do you actually want to go to medical school? Do you think you'll enjoy it? Do you think you're suited to medicine? If so, what sort?

      Interview period is tough, though. You may want to consider using this time to meet people outside your friend group – either people from school you haven't known as well until now or students from nearby schools, if there are any. This might just be me, but I was really fucking sick of my college friends by senior year and wanted to spend time around just about anyone but them and their gossip about job offers and grad school letters. I eased off for awhile, and eventually I missed them and those things weren't a problem anymore.

      • Meyer N. Gaines says:

        What do you mean that you disagree with the direction I am taking?

        1) Well, I certainly hope so :)

        2) Actually, this is related to the race thing. I hoped that if I proved that I cared about my fitness and health, people might see me as something more than a walking stereotype. Girls might see me as someone worth talking to rather than someone to ignore.

        And I've made substantial progress in gaining muscle mass. I just love carbs too much to lose the fat mass I need to lose to look aesthetic. Maybe its because I'm a pretty busy guy these days, and carbs give my brain energy. :)

        3) I am interested in medicine for multiple reasons, though money is not one of them. I guess I kinda resent that I'll be stuck in a middle class life while all my friends will join the ranks of the 1%. But I'll be happy that I will have enough money to survive.

        I want to specialize in neurology right now, just because I've done research in that field and I think it's pretty interesting.

        And I think you're right, I should just stop thinking about those guys. I'm a pretty introverted dude, so I don't have very many friends, but I do know people who are better than those.

        • Look. You don't need to be in the 1% to be successful. And being in the 1% won't necessarily make you happy. I was successful in the Army, and I was an NCO not an officer…but I wouldn't have had it any other way. I also didn't make a lot of money in te Army…doesn't matter.

          Right now, I am an Assistant Professor. I spent 8 years getting my PhD…and a bunch of debt. As a professor in the Humanities, I will probably never make more than $150k a year, if I'm lucky…and that will be after a *lot* of work years and years from now, after I make full professor. You will make more money than I. But that won't make you more successful than I. I make more money now than both my parents combined ever did…does that make me more successful than them! No. My parents may not have made a lot of moey, but they had one of the best relationships I've ever seen. They were amazing parents. They were wonderful, kind, honorable people who raised two kids who are also kind, honorable people. Did my father ever get his novel published? No. Did my mom ever run off to be a backup singer for Sergio Mendez and Brazill 66? No, she turned them down. But they were successful in the things that mattered to them.

          I love my job, and I'm good at it, and it matters to me. So I feel successful. I still have goals I've set for myself that will continue me down the road to my personal success…but that has nothing to do with you or my neighbors or any of the jerks I went to high school with.

          Contentment and success comes from within and are tired to your values.
          Kindergarten teachers can be successful. Actors who want to stay on the stage rather than film or TV who can be successful.
          Don't compare apples to oranges.

          As for the body building. I spent quite a bit of time bodybuilding myself. My personal trainer was a professional bodybuilder…one who has regularly been featured on Muscle & Fitness. But I worked out for myself, not for others, and I have really scaled back on it. Because the truth of the matter is that most women aren't really into muscle heads. And…I'm going to be frank here, especially in the class you are moving into. Those Jersey Shore guys are heavily marked by a perceived working class-ness. The higher up you go on the class ladder, the less that being super-muscly is valued.

          You say you are worried about being seen as a walking stereotype. People who think that way are racist, and you don't want to date them. Be yourself, don't try to be someone in reaction to racists and stereotypes. It will not make you happy in the long run.

        • Tying into the vindication bit above. I have no problem with either seeking casual sex or seeking sex with very attractive partners, but I think it's good to look at what's actually bothering you, especially if sex hasn't been effective as a remedy so far.

          2) Oh, that makes sense. Of course, there are multiple ways of showing people you're a complex person. But if this is something that you enjoy, I think you should do it in the manner that seems most workable for you – maybe that means that you do many bodybuilding things but don't have what's considered the perfect diet. You don't need to please the community gurus if your goal isn't really to be just like them.

          3) Then it sounds like you have good reasons for pursuing the career that you are. It's easy to compare starting salaries, but if you wouldn't care to be an analyst or wouldn't be good at it, it's a bit pointless. I'll reiterate that a good number of your college classmates who start off in banks will not stay there forever. That's not how their system works.

          I'm going to assume that your statements about your friends have been your own assessments, and not things they've actually said? If anyone's being a dick, drop that person. Otherwise, I really think it would be good to broaden your social group. Beyond providing some mental relief, I think you're probably caught up in this really narrow little group of professionally-minded folks, and you feel inferior in comparison. The world is full of people who don't even have these opportunities and who will consider you immensely successful and lucky. There also lots of others who may have theoretically had a chance at them, but who chose to pursue other things. They won't judge you if you don't judge them, and you can talk about things not related to work and school and such. Sometimes that's nice.

    • Dude, I flunked COLLEGE! The entire thing, not just one course. And I grew up a loser as well.

      But the others here are correct. Constantly comparing yourself and seeking outside validation is an exercise in futility and will only feed your insecurity.

    • I believe you can aspire to whatever you want in life. I also think that medical school is definitely not a sign you are a loser, isn't it the opposite? Anyway, I also agree you should find better friends, with whom you can share your life without feeling inadequate or inferior.
      Do you have other, non-bodybuilding friends? Friends who value you for things other than money or status? Do you have any friends who are women?

    • I don't think scars will heal if you keep picking at them. :(

    • Gentleman Johnny says:

      I know what its like to have impossibly high standards. You want to be the best bodybuilder and the best 1%er and feel like you've lost the race if either comes up short? Dude, that's crazy high standards even by my crazy high standards. You want to go into neurology and you doubt your own value. Dude! Mentally controlled computers! Neural mapping as precursor to downloading people into AI form! The God lobe (or whatever they called it)! Neurologists are in the top 5 fields for rockstar scientists. Let your buddies sit in a cube farm on the 48th floor with 10 minute lunch breaks moving digital numbers back and forth and begging their clients for money. While they're doing that, you're building a better BRAIN! Let them have the fucking gold plated amphibious limo/yachts. Who's held in higher esteem right now: Samuel Sachs or Nikola Tesla? They can make money. You can make history. This is not me trying to provide some sort of validation, this is me being in awe that you get to be in this cool field.

      Now, onto semi-specifics. Asian guys don't, as a rule, suffer from much racial stigma. I'm not trying to be all "blacks and hispanics have it worse". More just saying that in your average, not northeast old money scene, it doesn't count against you. Women have a much less unified standard of attractiveness than men. If you clearly take care of yourself (which you obviously do), wear clothes that fit and that fit your style and shave regularly you're probably good. I'm sure some women want to date bodybuilders but generally that will start counting against you way before you get to the high end competitive leagues.

      You say "they had more fun" I say you were willing to work for what you wanted. Life ain't fair and some people can skate into a law firm on little more than family privilege. I'd also echo the Doc's saying "don't compare their highlight reel to your play-by-play". Just because you didn't see them sweating and making sacrifices doesn't mean they didn't.

      Now I still think you have some misconceptions about women and dating. But seriously, you've got plenty to offer and at 20 your life is far from over because of one failed class. In fact, I want to see if I can find something online real quick. . .to be continued

      • Gentleman Johnny says:

        Meh, can't find to old Discover Channel genetics for kids lab kit (which lets you make chimerical bacteria in your own home, seriously) or the game controller that reads brain waves. Its been a long day. As another Doktor once said "making the money is just another engineering problem". There are lots of ways to be financially successful but how many of your friends can come up with the next glofish? http://www.glofish.com/

        I guess what I'm trying to say is the ball's in your court. Chase the money or chase the discoveries. Have sex because you have something to prove or get to know some women as people and see what comes up. Be the best bodybuilder, the best neurologist or the best something else entirely. You pick. You're obviously willing to put in the work.

        • Gentleman Johnny says:

          As we say in jolly old steampunk England "those whose avocation consists of the pushing of pieces of paper can bloody well go fornicate with themselves. We here at The Institue shall build a better world despite them. . .for SCIENCE!"

          So here's another one for the neurology file that's cooler than any amount of zeroes in your bank account: http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2012/11/mind-co

      • Meyer N. Gaines says:

        Well, you're thinking of neuroscientists. What neurologists do is study, diagnose, and treat neurological diseases and disorders.

        But anyways, your post actually means a lot. I'm usually a fairly emotionless person, but I actually felt something weird when I read it. I can't really place the emotion, its funny.

        As for the bodybuilding thing, well, some of my friends (NOT the bankers) are competing. I just go to the gym for my own health, and over a few years have started looking fairly decent. Now I just need to motivate myself to trim down some fat, and I'll look about as good as it gets.

        • Gentleman Johnny says:

          Bah! SCIENCE! Do not bore me with your petty distinctions! :)

        • Gentleman Johnny says:

          Hold on to that emotion. Examine it, learn from it. Aside from glaring scientific inaccuracies I didn't say anything that wasn't plainly true. Everyone has value but sometimes the hardest to see is your own.

    • I think everyone else has said everything I would have said much more eloquently and thoroughly than me, so I guess I just have a question pertaining to your point one.

      Why do you think being Asian has made it much harder for you on the dating scene?

      • Meyer N. Gaines says:

        Many girls will refuse to consider you as a sexual partner just because you are Asian. Aside from that, you have to confront the fact that people stereotype you as a desexualized, effeminate, nerdy loser unfit to socialize with the Herrenvolk.

        I dunno, I just got kinda sick of approaching girls, watching them take one look at me, and turn away haha. To my great sadness, that was one motivation I had for going to the gym. I could not change my race, but maybe IF I looked like a bodybuilder, I might not get instantly rejected.

        • Plenty of girls also like Asian guys. Maybe these girls turned away because you seem to not actually think of women as people? Misogyny is a lot more off-putting than ethnicity.

          • Meyer N. Gaines says:

            Right, I forgot that all women are telepaths. I’ll remember that for next time.

          • People. Women are people. That's all you need to remember. And actually yeah, we can pick up the hatred vibe pretty damn quickly.

          • Meyer N. Gaines says:

            Lol I was being sarcastic.

            Anyways, I don't know where you got the idea that I'm a "misogynist." I don't have any particular love for females, but I don't hate them either.

          • Why do I hear the Ferengi when I read your posts?

          • "I don't have any particular love for females" is a sentence that reeks of contempt and buried hostility.

          • Calling women "trophy fucks" and rating their value by a number that indicates how hot they are? That's misogynist. It means you see women as objects or are only valued by how pretty/fuckable they are. What about their humor? Personality? Achievements? Interests?

            Lets put this another way. Remember your frustration with being considered a walking stereotype?

            Many girls will refuse to consider you as a sexual partner just because you are Asian. Aside from that, you have to confront the fact that people stereotype you as a desexualized, effeminate, nerdy loser unfit to socialize with the Herrenvolk. <blockquote/>

            See? That is racist stereotyping where people view you as this static object rather than a complete human being with values, goals, passions, emotions, etc.

            Viewing (or discussing) women as hot body + points, wives are inherently boring and bad fucks, only interested in the man with money, rock hard abs, or some nebulous "status"? That's a sexist stereotype. That means, or is perceived by women, that you see us as static objects rather than a complete human being with values, goals, passions, etc.

          • That statement alone says it all dude. It doesn't always have to be about hating us, not seeing us as people is exactly the same. And you're not seeing us as people.

            On a side note: that was sarcasm?!!! Colour me shocked! It's a good thing you told me – otherwise I never would have known!

          • Women are people who, given our socialized gender roles and the danger we deal with on a daily basis, tend to have a pretty refined radar for male contempt, hostility and potential violence. I've had plenty of men be like HOLY SHIT YOU ARE A WITCH HOW DID YOU KNOW THAT GIRL PISSED ME OFF, but it's not telepathy: it's just good people-reading.

          • OTOH, I seem to recall you admitting that you're a "motherf*cking sorcerer" with sky-high charisma. ;)

          • Shhh, it's my secret identity. ;-)

        • Why do you think you were turned down because you were Asian, and not because of any other reasons? That said, that's interesting (and also sucks) to hear. Do you live in an area with very few Asian folks around, or where there are an especially large number of bigots, or…?

          • (SPLITTING INTO MULTIPLE COMMENTS BECAUSE ARGH)

            I'll admit, I don't know firsthand what the dating scene is like as an Asian man, but as an Asian woman who has a lot of Asian friends of both genders, I haven't seen them having better or worse luck at dating than my friends of other races and ethnicities. That's not to say, that they're all swimming in offers from attractive people of their preferred gender– some of them have plenty of people interested, others not so much, but it seems to be pretty generally spread across the board. The only actual criticism I've heard from anyone about dating Asian men is that some are very traditionally minded about gender roles in that good old 'stay in the kitchen and my bed where you belong' sexist way. To be honest, some of your comments in this page have reflected some very sexist sentiments, though I have no idea if you are traditionally minded about gender roles or not. Still, if sexism is associated with and considered a strike against dating Asian guys, you may want to consider that for future reference.

          • (multiple comments etc.etc.)

            That said, I am also lucky enough to live somewhere where the Asian population is quite high, and where stereotyping is not as much of a problem (though it always IS a problem) because any one glance out the window and you can see Asian people of all shapes and stripes everywhere (rockers, hipsters, accountants, frat bros, astrophysicists, FOBs, doctors, Marines, and yes, ~effeminate nerds~ etc.) At that point, making generalizations would be just plain… silly. On the other hand, if you don't live in a place with an Asian population, you are definitely more likely to experience marginalization and assumptions from people who are too ignorant to know any better, and that is truly very unfortunate.

          • Meyer N. Gaines says:

            It was Texas. Fortunately, I've since left that cesspool and am back in the Northwest.

            "To be honest, some of your comments in this page have reflected some very sexist sentiments."

            You try dealing with self-hatred, inferiority, and racism for years and not having mental scars for it. Believe me, I've tried to change the way I think about women (and other men). Its not happening. Right now, I'm too damaged to be normal.

            I don't think I will ever respect women until I feel satisfied sexually and mentally. I think its a lot easier to love and respect people from that position than from a position of anger.

          • BritterSweet says:

            Start with the mental part, that's important. The sexual part, though, is not going to come BEFORE you can respect women (at least, it won't in a remotely healthy way).

            Being hurt in the past is not an acceptable reason to hurt others.

          • Look, you have to deal with the mental part first.

            If you don't, you are not going to get sexually or romantically satisfied. You are going to carry that lack of respect for women into your next relationship. This will mean either that you attract someone damaged who will just confirm your sexism…and you won't be happy or satisfied, or you meet someone nice and then you destroy them…which, if you aren't a sociopath, should make you feel worse about yourself, not better.

            Having lots of revenge sex or feeling like you dominate other men is not going to put you in a healthy space…because those are unhealthy things to be doing.

            You need to come to love yourself. Really and truly. You need to work through these scars. Because you can't keep giving power to those people who bullied you for all those years.

            I was bullied everyday in school. I had to deal with racism and a bunch of other crap, too. It did a number on my self esteem. And my first two relationships were really unhealthy. Dating didn't fix my problems. Getting into relationships while I was messed up just made things worse. Once I fixed myself, things got a lot better.

            I don't know if you are still going to therapy, but I think you should be. You have to heal those old wounds and learn to let go of the past, or nothing that you are doing right now will satisfy you. Not sex with hot women, not being 8% body fat, not being a famous neurologist, not having a flashy car, not having lots of money, nothing.

            Also, sorry about Texas, I was stationed there briefly. And not in the cool Austin part.

          • "I don't think I will ever respect women until I feel satisfied sexually and mentally."

            Okay, surely you're smart enough to see that this statement doesn't really make sense. I understand that you had a hell of a time while you were growing up, and that of course that's influenced the way you think. But it sounds like you're saying that you can't respect women until women are doing things that make you happy (primarily, it seems, having sex with you). Which doesn't make sense because respect means that you believe the other person has worth as a human being and a right to make their own decisions. Respect means recognizing that the women who turned you down in the past had the *right* not to date or have sex if you if they didn't want to. (Their reasons may have been ugly, and they weren't right to mock or insult you if they did, but what they do with their time and bodies is a choice for themselves, not an attack on you.) If you can only "respect" them if they're making the decisions you want, then you aren't actually respecting them, you're just more happy.

            Think of it this way. How would you feel about a woman saying, "I've dealt with self-hatred, inferiority, and sexism for years, and have mental scars from it. I can't change the way I think about Asians. I'm too damaged to be normal. I don't think I'll ever see Asians as worthy of love or sex until I feel satisfied that I'm respected and treated like an equal." Does that sound reasonable to you?

            You recognize that you're angry and damaged by your treatment in the past. You recognize that there are problems with the way you think about other people. Do you really think that a beautiful woman having sex with you is going to magically erase those scars? That if you get her to sleep with you using the strategies you talk about here, by flashing status and money and appearance, that you'll suddenly start respecting her even though she slept with you for exactly the superficial reasons that bother you? Won't that just further convince you that your beliefs about women are correct?

            You said you've tried to change the way you think and it hasn't worked. That just means you haven't been able to do it on your own. I strongly encourage you to seek out a counselor–very likely your school offers those sort of services–to help you work through your past and find ways to feel satisfied through your own power, not through waiting for some action from other people which probably won't solve the problem anyway. There would be no weakness in that. It's no different than if the people you grew up with broke several of your bones and they never healed right, and now you need to go to a doctor to re-set them. And I think you'd find that being able to think about and treat women as equal human beings, not objects or evolutionary automatons, would do far more to increase your dating success than how much muscle you pack on. Especially if you'd like to meet women who will respect *you*, not just see you as an attractive piece of arm candy.

          • No amount of +1s would be enough for this! Infinite plus ones!

          • So much wisdom here! One million +1s

          • Oh, Mel. You are awesome. :-)

            "How would you feel about a woman saying, "I've dealt with self-hatred, inferiority, and sexism for years, and have mental scars from it. I can't change the way I think about Asians. I'm too damaged to be normal. I don't think I'll ever see Asians as worthy of love or sex until I feel satisfied that I'm respected and treated like an equal." Does that sound reasonable to you?"

            It's actually *worse* than this — it's:

            "I don't think I'll ever see Asians as worthy of love or sex until they give me sexual gratification that makes me feel better about myself."

          • So you're blaming every person in the world who has a vagina because of your own self-hatred? That doesn't even make any sense. You need to get over yourself.

          • it makes as much sense as blaming every person in the world who has a penis for being an active part of the patriarchy.

            but like all double standards, which side of the battle line you're on matters. you excuse your own gender (male or female) of sexist behavior because REASONS.

          • But you don't deserve sexual satisfaction until you respect the people with whom you're getting it.

    • sorry to break it to you but at your age if you haven't gotten your act together by now, it's too late.

      you will NEVER get that string of regretful but memorable youthful hookups in club bathrooms, or that handful of SNLs that never went anywhere

      it's very possible that you could die alone and unappreciated because there hasn't been a person that exists in real life that can "see into your soul" and "appreciate you for your intrinsic worth." everyone judges initially on external clues and backfills their justification later.

      at best, you will settle:

      you can settle with a string of attractive emotionally-distant middle aged shrews who only love your status as a doctor and your income, or
      you can settle for a good woman that doesn't look that great

      sure you MIGHT be able to find a good woman who's still attractive (although her looks are fading), but she will be with someone better than you and even if available you will have to live with the knowledge that she has already had all those life experiences you crave and will never have.

      sorry bro, all you get are the leftovers. get used to mediocrity.

      • Wow, with that kind of positive attitude, you must be real fun at parties!

      • Bitter people, I've noticed, tend not to attract anyone but other bitter people. Happy, kind people, on the other hand, attract people of all types, regardless of their age.

      • Meyer N. Gaines says:

        Doctors don't even make that much money…if the women just cared about money, they'd go for the ibankers.

    • Myster Baad says:

      "I've always had to deal with self-hatred and inferiority, and I am sick of it. I don't care about sex, money, or status, because I will never have as much as my 'friends.' I just want some justification, some proof for myself, that I am a person worth being valued and respected."

      If you really want it…stop needing it.
      And if you really do need it…stop looking for it.

      If you can't value and respect yourself when all the signs point to LOSER…if you can't learn to say no to self-hatred and inferiority WITHOUT any shred of justification besides dammit, I'm me, and that's good enough…and then most importantly, go out and LOSE without feeling you're a LOSER…you're not ready to WIN.

      The justification of being alive, and being you, may not be enough. often it won't be. But it's all any of us is entitled to.

  26. Meyer N. Gaines says:

    Oops, I meant "Sachs," haha. Anyways, downvote, diss, or rage, I just had to get that out there. Thanks for asking, eselle, you made me think about stuff I probably should have thought about a while back.

    • Gentleman Johnny says:

      You're not going to get many downvotes. This is kind of what we've been digging for. I'll also keep my philosophy jokes to a minimum from here on out. . .but maybe just one more:

  27. For a first date I always go for a walk to "feel out the chemistry". It gives both parties the ability to bail if the atmosphere isn't right, there'll be lots of things to observe, talk and reminisce about, and at most you'll have to chalk up a couple of bucks for coffee to go.

    As a guy, it also gives you the opportunity to see if the girl is down-to-earth and might be okay with your financial status, or if she adheres to old gender norms and expects you to take her out.

    It's a win-win! :D

    • Walking also gives a small endorphine boost, so there's also the advantage that both parties will feel good during and immediately after the date.

  28. It's so perky, I love that.

  29. blockquote fail

    eff

  30. Oh boy, talking about that starts to get into territory that outs my real name. (Not that it's impossible to find out, but I've had enough people get weird that I don't like to make it any easier…) Tell you what — I assume you can see my email address as you're the blog admin. If you're interested in that story, ping me, and I'll tell it to you over email. :-)

    To oversimplify: no, the Beast ate me after the whole thing was technically over, although people tend to forget that. The whole thing is a strange, surreal story.

  31. There seems to be a strange sub-message in this thread, suggesting that somehow Asian men might be considered unattractive or unsexy. This Wrong Wrong Wrong message really has to be cancelled and X-ed out, not to mention Closed and completely shut-down.

    I happen to be a cis/white woman, I consider myself blessed and gifted with my totally sexy, hot, adorable East Asian BF, who knocks my socks off every single day. So there!

    • I wanted to say that I think Asian guys are SMOKIN HOT too, but was afraid of coming across as a creepy fetishizer.

      Seriously, Asian guys are hot.

      • Glen from The Walking Dead. Kind of obsessed.

        • Kind of makes me wish I watched the Walking Dead. :)
          I have a years-long, ridiculous crush on Mythbusters's Grant Imahara.

      • correction, you like smokin hot guys who happen to be asian. there are are larger proportion of asian men not deemed attractive to western eyes, even among asian fetishists.

        • This doesn't even make sense. Of course they are posting examples of attractive Asian men as people they are, you know, attracted to. "Smoking hot" men or women are a minority in every ethnic group, because they are a minority of humans.

          The argument that "more Asian men are not-smoking-hot than smoking hot" could be said for any group of people, of which most of whom are going to be somewhere in the neighborhood of average. The average man is not Johnny Depp or Tyson Beckford or Chang Chen any more than the average woman is Scarlett Johanssen or Beyonce or Zhang Ziyi. I'm not saying no cultural biases are at work, ever, because that would be unrealistic and untrue. But saying "you're only attracted to those attractive men because they're attractive" is really not the most logical argument.

    • "White women prefer white men to the exclusion of everyone else—and Asian and Hispanic women prefer them even more exclusively. These three types of women only respond well to white men. More significantly, these groups’ reply rates to non-whites is terrible. Asian women write back non-white males at 21.9%, Hispanic women at 22.9%, and white women at 23.0%. "
      http://blog.okcupid.com/index.php/your-race-affec

  32. Whyever not?! O_O

    • Anonymoose47 says:

      Been witness to them going bad among online friends, plus I'm not much of a traveller, plus it's difficult to keep it going when there's no physical contact, etc etc etc

  33. I think the only one saying that is Meyer himself, who is (as I understand it) Asian. I haven't encountered it as a Thing outside Meyer's description of his experiences — I certainly know people for whom Asians just aren't their physical type, but I haven't encountered any sort of widespread perception that Asians aren't sexy. But I live in Seattle, which has a pretty large population of many flavors of Asian (so saying "I don't find Asians attractive" is going to get an "…which Asians don't you find attractive?" response), so it might be a regional thing wherever Meyer lives.

    • Meyer N. Gaines says:

      I'm not sure the physical type thing is that much of an issue. I'm not a typical Asian. I'm 6 ft/223lbs/16% bf, so I have a tall, lean, and muscular look, though with more fat than I would like.

      Most of this is from my experiences in Texas, which is a truly horrible state. But I'm back in the Northwest now, fortunately, so we'll see what happens.

  34. Myster Baad says:

    When it comes right down to it, it's not the money, it's the WORK. Are you doing for others and maximizing what's in it for you? Do you know the value of a dollar? Will you follow the carrot till you get it, and take the stick without rancor? Do you know what it's like to face physical and mental exhaustion AND go right on out the next day to face it again? Can you give 100% to the rat race without being a rat? Then money and status aren't going to be an issue for you, because you are what every woman regards as a Man.

    OTOH, if you're not positive about working with people and for people, and you don't think you ought to have to earn every scrap of pleasure this life flings your way, you will have problems.

  35. Would you say men who don't have to work don't make good partners?

    What would you say makes a man a success?

    • It kind of depends what you define as work. If we're talking about the stereotypical trust fund kid, then the one or two I've met are a little out of touch with the pressures other people face and have some difficulty organizing their lives in ways that are healthy, productive, and involve being awake during daylight hours. I wouldn't say they're terrible partners, but I think most people benefit from having responsibilities and some semblance of a schedule, even if it's something part-time or isn't what we'd consider labor market work.

    • I don't think whether a man *has* to work or not has anything to do with how good a partner he'll be. What matters is his attitude and approach to life, and whether that is a good fit for the woman in question.

      I personally wouldn't find a guy who is independently wealthy and chooses to spend all his time sitting around the house watching TV very appealing, for example. Like many women, I find passion very attractive and prefer to be with someone who has goals and aspirations. But you can not *have* to work, and still choose to devote some of your time to a career or calling that's meaningful to you.

      IMHO, success is decided by each person based on their own goals. To me, a successful person is someone who's accomplishing the things they wanted to accomplish, whether that's running their own business or putting out indie albums with their band or raising a happy family.

    • Like Mel and Eselle have already said, it's more about how he spends his time and what his passions are than anything else. Is he a trust-fund kid who fritters away his time partying? Yuck. Is he someone who made his money young, and has retired to pursue the projects he always wanted to do, like inventing things, improving healthcare in third-world countries, starting a company for fun, etc? That guy sounds awesome.

  36. OK…all reasonable. I only really asked because work is a huge trigger issue for me.

    I'm trying to get unattached form the ideas of dating or romance at all, because they're huge triggers too, and at my time of life that's the only way it's ever going to happen. Companionship is a necessity beyond work for me.

    • If it's not too personal, what's the exact trigger?

      Are we talking about early retirement, or unemployment, or a generalized concern about how people measure professional success?

  37. Work as self-worth. A generalized concern about how people measure a person's real worth – especially a male's – by his market value. Employment and productivity as social proof.

    • For most of the women I've met and talked to, the only important factors are whether the guy's able to financially support himself (afford basic food and housing) and whether he has some sort of ambition–whether it's to continue to progress in the field he's in, to work just enough to pay the bills while he pursues a not-so-lucrative calling, to work enough to support a family and focus his energy on his family, etc. And even there people will cut a lot of slack–e.g., if someone's currently unemployed because the economy is crap, but trying to find work; if someone's still young and figuring out what their life goals are.

      Are there women out there who measure a man's worth by how prestigious and well-paying his job is? I have no doubt. But they're a restricted enough group of people that I've managed to hang out with lots and lots of women without running into any of that type.

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    Money, Dating and Women | Paging Dr. NerdLove. I was
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