A lot of men have an irrational fear that the women they date or sleep with are going to fall in love with them and get all needy and clingy. When I was younger, this was a major concern of mine, to the point where I couldn’t even ask girls out because I was afraid of creating the illusion of a relationship that I wasn’t ready to commit to.
If you think about it, this fear is simultaneously self-absorbed and self-hating. Self-absorbed because you assume that women can’t help but fall in love with you (are you really THAT amazing in bed?), and self-hating because of the implication that there’s something wrong with these women for loving you.
This fear ranges from a mild concern to a slightly sexist paranoia, as demonstrated by Matthew McConaughey’s otherwise not-sexist character on True Detective:
Hilarious, but seriously guys, it’s not nice to refer to all female behavior that we don’t understand or that inconveniences us as “crazy”.
But even though not all women who get attached are crazy, the reality is that some women are little bit more desperate and needy than others. This is because they have low self-esteem and they’re looking for a man to prop them up.
Right now I can hear you thinking, “Brilliant, so I’ll just avoid the women with low self-esteem”. Unfortunately, it’s not that simple. You see, you inevitably attract (and are attracted to) people who are at the same level of self-esteem as you. This is why you see weak women with insecure abusers, and weak men with insecure ball-busters. This isn’t some woo-woo Law of Attraction spiritual nonsense. It works on a very basic biological level via your body language. Women can read your body language instantly and it communicates directly to their sub-conscious.
And this is why when I was younger, I kept attracting these needy women. Younger me would ask “Why do women NEED to have a boyfriend?” and older, slightly wiser me replies “The same reason you NEED to have sex with a different woman every weekend – insecurity and low self-esteem.”
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not opposed to casual sex and variety. It’s the neediness that you should be concerned about because it means your self-esteem is coming from an external source, instead of from inside you.
And it’s also a problem because this neediness will drive you to do things that you know you shouldn’t do.
When I got divorced 3 years ago, I don’t have to tell you that after 7 years of monogamy, I was eager for some variety. To put it mildly, I was a total slut. I would have sex with pretty much anyone who was willing. And I kept attracting these immature women who were playing mind games with me, and the reason was that I was immature and I was playing mind games. I was trying to convince them to sleep with me to pump up my fragile ego. I never lied or said that I was interested in a relationship, but I wasn’t up front about my intentions and I got involved with women who I knew were going to get attached. A lot of people got their feelings hurt, including me.
About a year ago, when I stopped drinking, I took a step back from my sex life and decided to be a lot more cautious about who I was fooling around with. I didn’t go completely celibate per se, but I made a conscious decision not to pursue sex and to just let it come to me. I began working on myself and developing my own sense of self-worth and realized that I didn’t need to get it from sexual conquests.
Suddenly, I started attracting all these great women who were confident and open-minded and up-front about what they wanted, just like me.
And for a while now, I haven’t been afraid of women falling in love with me. In fact, just the other day, a woman told me she loved me and I was super happy about it because I knew she wasn’t declaring ownership of me. She was just expressing the affection we both feel for each other even though we’re not in a committed relationship.
This is the beauty of dating women with high self-esteem: you don’t have to worry about them falling in love with you, either because you’re going to be feeling the same thing, or because you know their feelings are not going to be the crazy needy type. And you don’t need to worry about your ability to “spot crazy pussy” as Matthew McConaughey says, because you just don’t have women like that in your life.
(Another huge benefit is that they don’t give sex or withhold it to boost their self-esteem. They have sex simply because it feels good. Unsurprisingly, they tend to be a lot better at it.)
The catch is that first you have to have high self-esteem yourself. I’m not going to pretend that I know all the secrets to getting there. It’s a long, hard journey that you have to take yourself. But I can give you a couple of tips.
- Love yourself – Realize that you’re an attractive, desirable man, and you don’t need to fuck lots of women to prove this to yourself or anyone else.
- Find your purpose – yes, I know that according to biology your purpose is to reproduce, i.e. to get laid. Find your higher purpose, dude. Usually, if you focus on that, the getting laid part takes care of itself.
- Be patient – You don’t have to get laid every weekend to feel like a real man. Just relax and say “The universe is sending some very good sex my way and I don’t want to spoil my appetite”
- Get in shape – It won’t get you all the way there – there are plenty of body-builders who lack confidence with women – but the boost in testosterone will certainly help
- Be picky – I don’t mean being one of those douchebags who sits at the bar finding any tiny flaw in a woman to justify not going over and talking to her. I mean being picky about the whole package. When you meet someone, are you attracted to her personality and her confidence as much as to her looks? Is she on your level, not only physically, but mentally, emotionally, and spiritually? Or is she a hot mess? When someone who’s not on your level flirts with you, you can take it as a compliment and move on. You don’t have to have sex with her just to prove to yourself that you can.
Being picky is a very powerful mindset to have. The average man can’t afford to be picky. He’ll take whatever he can get. Every time you say to yourself “I deserve better”, you’re reaffirming your status as an exceptional male, a man who has his pick and can choose to only be with the best – the ones who are beautiful inside and out. As my favorite sex-guru, Nicole Daedone says:
You deserve it. And when you truly know that in the core of your being, they will flock to you.
The tricky part is knowing it, deep down. Not just acting cocky and confident, but really believing 100% that you’re a desirable man. True confidence expresses itself in your body language, and because all people, but especially women, are experts at reading each other’s body language, they’ll know right away whether you’re faking it or not. Sooner or later, a micro-expression, which can last for a fraction of a second, will give you away.
Stay sexy, my friends.
- Don’t tolerate slut-shaming. Every time you hear someone doing it, say “Dude, are you gay? Because what you just said contributes to a culture that makes it harder for all straight men to get laid. Cut that out.” (Not that gays can’t be feminists, but you get the idea)
- Don’t accidentally slut-shame. If a woman has sex with you right away, call her the next day so she knows you still respect her. Because of course, you do still respect her, right? After all, YOU had sex on the first date and you still respect yourself, I assume.
- Be aware of the ways women are being held back and/or objectified and stand up for them. A lot of times all it takes is someone to say “Hey, that’s not cool”. Be that guy.
It’s the received wisdom that we should set goals and work toward them. But amidst all this positive thinking, no one ever talks about why it fails. Laziness and lack of motivation are obvious reasons, but I think another important reason is that people get focused on the milestone instead of the behavior that leads to it. They focus on the product instead of the process. Some examples:
“I just want to lose ten pounds”. This is a classic example of stupid goal setting that leads to stupid counter-productive behavior like juice fasts and other crash diets that destroy the muscle that was keeping your metabolism high, screw up your hunger-regulating hormones, ensuring that you’ll get fat faster in the future. Weight is a meaningless number, after all. If you told me you gained or lost 10 lbs in a month, the first thing I would ask you is how much of it was muscle.
“I wish I could get her phone number/get her to go out with me”. Ok, and then what? Getting a girl to go out with you is just a milestone in the whole process of attraction. A lot of guys focus on getting girls’ phone numbers, not realizing that that’s actually the easiest part. Believe me, I’ve learned this the hard way. I have a lot of numbers in my phone of extremely hot women, most of whom don’t text back. That’s ’cause I didn’t take the time to develop a real connection with them BEFORE I asked for their phone numbers, because I was stupidly focused on getting the phone number as though that was the magic key.
“I wish I had a million dollars”. Most people who win the lottery end up bankrupt and in debt within a year, because they haven’t learned how to be rich, successful people.
Instead, for each of your goals, you need to dig a little deeper and figure out what you REALLY want, and not just look at the outer signifiers or the milestones.
“I just want to lose ten pounds”. No, you don’t. You want to be a fit, healthy person. But that’s not a two-week project. It’s a lifestyle change. But trust me, it’s worth it. And the two-week crash diet will just make you miserable in the short-term and fatter in the long-term. It’s scientifically proven.
“I wish I could get her to go out with me”. No, what you really want is to be so attractive that women like her actually WANT to go out with you. That requires you to work on yourself and improve your social skills. But it’s worth it.
“I wish I had a million dollars”. No, you don’t. What you really want is to be successful. The million dollars is just a trophy that proves you were successful.
Try this with all the goals you set for 2015 and see if you’re focusing on dumb external measurements instead of the things you really want.
I was at a wedding a couple weeks ago and a girl said to me “You’re way too comfortable around women”.
Now, I don’t think that’s actually true. I still get very nervous around girls and I’m not nearly as suave and confident as everyone thinks I am.
But I think she was onto something. I do prefer the company of women. Always have.
I think a lot of straight guys see women as kind of a necessary evil. They want them in their lives for obvious reasons, but they don’t really understand them or like them all that much.
Not me. I love women. I love everything about them.
I love the fact that they smell better than my male friends, and they don’t call me “bro” or try to yak my ear off about sports or other stupid shit.
I love the way women intuitively understand that all human relationships are high drama. It’s no wonder the world’s first novel, Tale of the Genji, was written by a woman.
I love how mysterious and complicated women are. I love how some women will have sex with you and then treat you like an acquaintance a week later, while some women you’ve never even kissed will look at you like they’ve loved you for 1000 years.
I love how honest women are about their insecurities, how they don’t try to cover them up with macho bravado the way insecure straight men do.
I love how hard women work at being beautiful, because they know how much we care about superficial stuff like that and they want to make us happy. I love all the colors they wear that most men are too afraid to. I love the freedom they have to wear things that have absolutely no functional purpose other than to look good.
I love the way they smile constantly. I even love the excessive smiley faces they decorate their texts and instant messages with because it reminds me of their real-life smiles and it makes me smile to know that they’re happy to talk to me.
I love their immense capacity to love. I know that they know better than to get involved with me or any other man, for that matter. Let’s face it, we’re pathetic and useless and we’re almost guaranteed to hurt and disappoint them. But they never give up hope. When a woman loves you she sees you in a way you haven’t seen yourself since you were two years old and you thought you were a superhero. A great woman will bring out the best in you, make you want to be that superhero just so you can live up to her expectations and justify that look in her eye.
And that might be the best thing about women – that in addition to making the world a better place, they also make us better people.
The urge to brag about a successful sexual exploit is very understandable. We’re guys, so a lot of what we do is for the purpose of proving our status to other guys. But in reality, bragging about your private life can quickly backfire. Here are the Top 5 reasons why a Sexy Geek doesn’t kiss and tell:
5. You could hurt her reputation. This is the most obvious one. It’s unfortunate, but we still live in a world where women are seen as sullied by sex, where their worth is inversely proportional to the number of sexual partners they’ve had. Do her a favor and let her decide whether or not she wants your affair made public.
4. You could hurt your reputation. Wait, isn’t there a double standard, where men are praised for how many women they have sex with? Not so fast. Do you really want to be known as a womanizer? Or worse, a womanizer who can’t keep his mouth shut? On the other hand, if everyone knows you as someone who’s tight-lipped about his sex life, women will feel comfortable getting intimate with you, because they know you’re not going to brag about it. If you think about it, the phrase “A gentlemen doesn’t kiss and tell” isn’t just a bromide, it’s an implicit confidentiality agreement – “I’m a gentleman, so you can trust me not to blab about whatever we do tonight”.
3. You could hurt someone’s feelings. Say you brag to one of your friends about how you had sex with a girl you both know. You do it because you want to impress him. But what if he really liked her? Now you’ve hurt his feelings and caused him to think of you as a threat. You may have just lost a friend. At a minimum, he’s going to think twice before he introduces you to any of his other female friends. But what if word gets around that you had sex with that girl, and another girl who really likes you finds out? Now she sees you as a player, and if she agrees to date you at all, she’s going to be extra guarded, because she doesn’t want to be just another one of your “conquests”.
2. Your friends don’t want to hear about it. Your attached friends don’t want to be reminded of all the variety they’re missing out on, and your single friends don’t want to hear about how you’re getting lucky more often than they are. No one likes a braggart.
But the number one reason not to talk about your sexual exploits is very simple:
1. It’s just not that big of a deal. So you got laid. Big deal. It’s not like you cured cancer. For a lesser man, getting lucky might be a major accomplishment, but not for you. You’re a sexy geek. You’re good-looking, stylish, confident, charming, the whole package. Of course women want to have sex with you. It’s not something to brag about. It’s just a part of your life. You’re a grown man who’s good with women, not an immature little boy who needs to brag to his friends about how he got lucky last night. Keep your damn mouth shut and just be secure in the knowledge that you’re living the life you want to live.
There is, however, one person you can brag to the day after sex: the person you had sex with. Call her up and say “I had an amazing time last night”. Make her feel as special about it as you do, and you’re much more likely to get a second chance.
Stay sexy, my friends.
P.S. Fellow geek-blogger Wesley Zhao points out that guys often hypocritically use the phrase “A gentleman doesn’t kiss and tell” to imply that they actually did kiss the girl. Don’t be that guy. Just keep your mouth shut. You don’t have to lie, but you can omit the details that are nobody else’s business, e.g. “We went out a couple of times but we’re just friends now”.
And you can have fun with it too. The other night, my friends were telling me “Joe, that girl likes you.” Now, I knew very well that that girl liked me. I’m not going to tell you how I knew, but trust me, I knew. But with my friends I just played it off and said “Really? I think she’s just being friendly.” And then she and I laughed about it later.
A lot of guys like to complain about something called The Friend Zone, which is basically when a girl they like in a romantic/sexual way only sees them as a friend. The phrase implies that this is some sort of temporary purgatory that you can end up in by accident, and that it’s difficult to get out of.
The reality is that maybe you never had a chance with that girl at all. Maybe she’s out of your league. Maybe you’re not in her Friend Zone, but in her “Guys I wouldn’t Fuck in a Million Years” Zone. Maybe it hurts to realize this, but surely it’s less painful in the long run than holding out false hope that if you keep being her friend and being nice to her, she’ll change her mind.
The other reality is that while you may not be able to change her mind about you, you don’t have to remain in the painful friend zone. You can cut her out of your life and start spending your time on someone you actually have a chance with. Trust me, it’s the best thing for everyone involved.
Have you ever been on the other side of this? Have you ever had a female or worse, a male friend, with a serious crush on you? I have. After a while, you go from feeling nothing for that person to actively disliking them as they continually creep you out with their stares, their questions, their unasked-for favors, and the way they laugh at all your jokes and constantly try to touch you.
So, do yourself and everyone else a favor and resolve to never be in the Friend Zone. If attraction’s going to happen, it’s going to happen right away. If it hasn’t happened, and you can’t neutralize your feelings for that hot friend of yours, get the hell out of her life. Give her a chance to miss you while you improve yourself. And spend your energy on someone who actually wants to date you. Trust me, she’s out there.
Stay sexy, my friends.
When I was growing up, there was endless debate about how watching TV made you stupid. The basic argument was that the mindless consumption of non-information made you lazy, and the constant channel surfing destroyed your ability to focus on one thing at a time.
The way most people surf the web today, however, makes channel-surfing seem like a deep intellectual activity. When we scroll through our Facebook news feed, we’re switching from one thought to the next in a matter of seconds. If you don’t already have ADD, this constant over-stimulation and task switching is a great way to develop it.
The saddest part is that almost none of the thoughts we’re switching between are worth reading. When you think about it, all of the interesting things that human beings are creating are being created in other media. People are writing, composing, producing great movies and TV shows, building new software, creating art and architecture, and none of it is on Facebook. The only reason people go on Facebook is to toss off some throw-away thought or pithy quip. Facebook collects all this mental garbage and displays it to you, with ads. It’s the sewer of human thought. It’s appropriate that it’s called a news “feed”, since when you sit down to read it, you’re just like a pig shoving its face into the trough to feed on whatever garbage the farmer doesn’t want.
“But wait!” I hear you protest “I have this one friend who always has really funny status updates!” or “I have friends who always post really interesting articles!”. I’m sure you do, just like I’m sure there are vitamins in the pig trough, and that interesting things occasionally get flushed down the toilet and wind up in the sewer. That doesn’t mean you should spend all your time there.
At least on TV, some of the shows are good. Some are educational, or some are critically acclaimed works of art. How often do you actually learn anything from your Facebook news feed? How often do you see something that genuinely makes you laugh, not just click “Like” or if you’re feeling generous, type “LOL”?
Sure, it happens once in a while, and this is the key to the addiction: variable reinforcement. It’s why rats will push a button 100 times even though they only get a a food pellet once, and the same reason gamblers keep playing even though they’ve been losing for hours – the anticipation of a reward is just as powerful as the reward itself.
So how can you break the cycle? I’m not really sure. I don’t recommend quitting Facebook completely. It’s still a useful way to stay in touch with friends. But I have noticed that I feel happier, calmer, and more focused on the days I don’t scroll through my Facebook news feed and I just check messages on my smart phone. Usually, the insipid and irrelevant status update at the top of the news feed is enough to remind me that I don’t want to scroll through 4 more pages of the same. But somedays I get bored and I start wading through the sewer looking for a hit of mental stimulation. And I always feel a little gross afterward, like I just ate too much junk food.
Because when you have attention-deficit disorder, like I do, you realize that attention is your most precious resource, and you must be very careful about where you spend it.
Or put another way “There’s lots of good food for thought out there. Don’t fill up on bread.”
And stay the hell out of the sewer.
Being a gentleman is about being considerate of other people, within reason. That’s it. There is nothing else to it. It’s not a bunch of fancy rules involving handkerchiefs, umbrellas, and calling cards. And it does not involve treating women like they’re helpless.
A lot of people think that being a gentleman involves grand gestures of kindness or generosity. Examples:
- Offering a woman you don’t know your umbrella – Would you take an umbrella from a stranger? How would you get it back to them?
- Holding a door open for anyone who’s more than five feet away from it. You’re insinuating that they’re too weak to open it themselves, and obligating them to run to spare you from having to hold it open for so long.
- Taking “Ladies First” to absurd extremes – If you’re at the front of an elevator and a woman is at the back, you’re not doing her any favors by moving around so she can squeeze past you. Just get out of the damn elevator and make everyone’s life easier, please.
- Anything that would make you uncomfortable if someone did it for you, especially if you suspected that they had ulterior (read: sexual) motives.
Basic politeness and common courtesy, on the other hand, are always welcome. Some easy ways to demonstrate it are:
- Listening intently, showing an interest in other people and their interests
- Hold the door for the person behind you, if they’re right behind you, regardless of their age or gender.
- Saying “Please” and “Thank you”.
- Call people you don’t know “Sir” or “Ma’am”.
Do these things every day with everyone, male or female. Then when you open a door for an attractive female, it won’t seem awkward or forced.
And don’t expect a thank-you or a woman’s phone number when you do any of these things. It’s called common courtesy for a reason.
It’s been said that luck = preparation + opportunity. Most geeks are great at the preparation part. We’re willing to spend hours and hours alone studying, practicing, and working hard at what we love. But we neglect the other half of the equation: opportunity.
The problem with this approach is that, despite the cliche, opportunity doesn’t knock on the door while you’re sitting at home alone preparing. You have to go out and find it. And more often than not, it happens serendipitously, through the people you know. You can’t just go up to random people, or to people who you think have the ability to help you, tell them what you do and say “Do you have any opportunities for me?”
For example, when I first moved to Puerto Vallarta and wanted to start playing music, I went around to several bars and restaurants and asked them if they needed live music. Most said no, some said they’d look at my Web-site and give me a call, but none of them did. But then one day I was walking home and I passed a boring little bar with a few gringos inside and I told myself “I haven’t done any socializing today. I’m going to go in here and have a drink and see what happens.” The guy next to me at the bar was the owner of a rock club in the tourist zone, and by chatting him up casually, I got my first gig. From there it all grew through word of mouth and from the people I met. I got my favorite gig, playing at a yoga retreat that’s only accessible by boat, through a guy I met at a party that I wasn’t sure I wanted to go to. But because I forced myself to get out of the house and meet people, I now get paid to get on a boat every Tuesday around sunset and go play music at a bar overlooking the beach to groups of mostly women, then I wake up the next morning and hang out on the beautiful deserted beach by myself.
And the beauty of expanding your social circle is that it can open up opportunities that you weren’t even expecting. I got asked to be a model for the Puerto Vallarta tourism board, which meant that I got paid to spend a day on a yacht with beautiful women, sunbathing and paddle-boarding, through a woman I struck up a conversation with at a salsa club.
But it’s not just about creating opportunities. Being social will make you happier and healthier. A study found that even introverted people are happier when they act like extroverts.
On the flip side, loneliness is toxic. Studies have shown that lonely people have a greater tendency to abuse alcohol and drugs, get sick, and die young, than people with active social lives.
This is because we’re a social species, like apes, dolphins, and wolves. We’ve romanticized the idea of the “lone wolf”, but in reality, the lone wolf doesn’t get to mate.
So, if you don’t want to be an evolutionary failure as well, you’d better start cultivating your social skills. Too often, we nerds spend all our time avoiding people and then complain that we have a hard time talking to girls. News flash: women are people, too. If you get better at talking to people, you’ll get better at talking to girls. Haven’t you ever noticed that the guys who are good at talking to girls are also the guys who have a lot of friends and acquaintances, and tend to be at the center of their social circle?
This is because women intuitively understand that social success = success in life. Studies have shown that women are more likely to notice a man when he’s with other people, and that women find men more attractive if they see him with other women who are smiling or laughing.
How many female friends do you have? Most guys complain about being in the friend zone, but the friend zone is actually your key to success. Your female friends are your chick magnets. Treat them really well, but don’t hit on them and creep them out. Practice being your best self around them – fun, charming, and entertaining.
But don’t focus myopically on one gender or age group. Everyone you meet has the potential to open a door for you, introduce you to someone special, or teach you something new about the world. Every person is more fascinatingly complex than the most intricately plotted novel or video game. Whether you want to spend lots of time with them or not, be curious about what makes them tick.
Learn to love people, and the world will open up to you.