Manliness and the mating game

A friend who has lived in Mexico says that Mexican men are extremely romantic; poetry recitations and serenades are common ways to woo ladies. American culture largely does not allow for such actions lest one’s friends wonder about the manliness of the love-struck friend.

There must be something about Mexican culture that instills a sense of security in one’s manliness. Mexican men have no doubts about their standing as men; men are men and women are women.

To serenade well, one must be an accomplished singer or musician, so in some sense this is a peacocking activity that shows off skills and confidence, two qualities that women find attractive in men.

Contrast the US where men often are insecure in their manhood. If men can’t convey confidence, women loose interest.

I suspect that the problem many American men face is that they want to convince others that they are men, instead of being men. They have no idea what the 2nd means.

Instead of properly defining manhood as adulthood, some men believe that by buying the right products, wearing the right clothes, driving the right car, or having the right chick on their arm is what will define them as men.

Even if they manage to acquire A, B, and C but can’t get D, they tend to get whiny. “I did everything right, why can’t I still get a girlfriend?” The hard truth is that a lot of time it’s because women can smell the desperation behind the advances. The desperation need not stem from loneliness; it may stem from men using women as props for their attempt to convince themselves and others that they are men.

When courting fails, they end up blame their inability to connect with women on the women instead of seeking the advice of men they look up to, doing some introspecting, and learning what women really want from men.

But whatever the reasons for courtship failure, nice guys, and I use that term to talk about decent men who are not bitter at women but do not do well in the romance department, could use some pointers.  In order to make themselves more attractive to women, men should:

– Stop treating a woman like a friend when you have feelings for her. She can probably tell that you have a crush on her and thinks you’re lame for not manning up and asking her out already. (And if she shoots you down, you foolishly continue to hang out with her, even tho it’s torturing your heart.)

– Stop flattering women.

Flirtatious teasing is the opposite of flattery. Flattery is telling a woman that she’s a 10, that she’s your ideal, that’s she the most beautiful and smart woman in the world. Worshipfulness has its place but it’s only effective coming from a man that the woman already admires. For most men this will be after the relationship has already been established. And the hotter a woman is, the more the flattery strategy is going to backfire, because the more she’ll think that you just want something from her. She doesn’t need your approval, why do you need hers?

Teasing (not the mean kind) shows that you are interested in her but aren’t sold on her. This keeps her interest piqued.

– Examine your life situation.

So you’re looking to woo a wife? In the circles I’ve run around in, there are many smart young men in grad school. They are also horribly in debt, their conversations revolve around esoteric knowledge, they are often unable to relate to average people partially because they are so intent on impressing them with their intelligence and knowledge, and they take themselves far, far too seriously. No wonder many women do not go for them.  So if a life goal is to have a family and all that entails, young men should think twice about whether going to grad school is a good next step (here’s 100 more reasons to avoid grad school).

Men who excel at something (law, engineering, carpentry) that also gives them social standing are much more attractive than men who are still in school at 28. The former are in the adult world, supporting themselves. If they are trying to woo a traditionalist girl who would love to stay home when the kids are young, they will have better success than the grad student.

Never, ever tell a traditionalist girl that you “wouldn’t mind being a house husband”.

You can’t find the right person for you until you know who you are. So pick a career. Pursue something. Build a business. You might fail but you’ll be a better man for having tried.

Most women do not want to be responsible for their man’s stability. I guarantee you that every woman you are wooing is going to be wondering, consciously or unconsciously, what kind of life you can give her and her (future) children. If you live at home with ma and dad at 33 and hope to woo the hottest girl you know, good luck with that.

Women want to be proud of their man. So do something worthy of respect and admiration.

– Stop looking in the wrong places. If you want a nice Catholic girl, stop dating non-practicing Muslims. If you want a witty liberal who is indifferent to religion, stop asking out the girls who go to church every Sunday. Too many nice men waste their time on OK Cupid, trying to date women who identify as “bi”. Yeah, that’s the kind of girl you want, sure.

– Learn basic dating etiquette. It’s really not that hard. Schedule dates at least 4 days in advance. Pay for all dates. Ask her about her interests. Tell amusing stories. Don’t try to make her feel bad when she doesn’t want to hold your hand/kiss you/go to bed with you.

Read “He’s Just Not That In To You“. Then do the opposite of what those guys in there do.  (h/t: OSC).



Filed under Dating, Men, Single

33 responses to “Manliness and the mating game

  1. “There must be something about Mexican culture that instills a sense of security in one’s manliness. Mexican men have no doubts about their standing as men; men are men and women are women.”

    Three Words: The Catholic Faith. We Roman Papists tend be like that. That being said, as an American Catholic, you won’t see me reciting poetry or serenading.

    As for America, we all know how it is. We live in an androgynous society where both sexes are rather insecure of their standing: women are pushed into acting like men and men are shamed into acting like women.

    Good post, btw. You are right in that masculinity has been reduced to the superficial in modern-day America. You could say the same thing about femininity as well.

    “Too many nice men waste their time on OK Cupid, trying to date women who identify as “bi”. Yeah, that’s the kind of girl you want, sure.”

    Hahaha, is this true?

    • Anna

      Ugh, yeah, it’s true. It’s cause they’re grad students and can’t afford an eHarmony or subscription!

      And you might be right about the Roman Catholic thing. I grew up in Greece and the men there are pretty Manly (& Eastern Orthodox).

      And yes, what we consider feminine/masculine today is kind of a joke.

      • What you have to realize is that America, from the very begginning, was a bastion of liberalism. 1776, 1789, 1917.

        Other countries have a deeper Christian heritage. In fact, reading some of Laura Grace Robbin’s posts you can see that as far back as the 1800’s, foreigners were amused at how American men were afraid of their wives. Things were obviously different in the more Christian regions like the South where patriarchy and chivalry still existed.

        Regardless, it doesn’t really have to affect Roman, Orthodox, or High Church Prot men.

  2. Io

    This is really good and totally spot-on, especially the part about men who are still in school at 28. I swore off dating grad students quite some time ago and haven’t looked back.

  3. Well Done. In terms of movies, think Zorro. Think Toy Story Two–Buzz Light year’s “spanish mode.”

    Confident, strong men who know what they want, are capable of saving the world, and do it in their own way.

    South Americans have all kinds of cool traditions the reinforce gender roles and manliness–just look at their dancing, for example.

    • Anna

      Thank you! Great points. If only we can bring (back?) that kind of confidence to American men (without tearing down women’s gains & achievements).

      • What would be the gains and acheivements?

        • Anna

          Off the top of my head is the option to pursue a career in any field without facing discrimination from the Old Boy’s club.

          • Including fields such as the military, law enforcement, or the clergy? All things best ledt to men.

            Anything else is okay, I suppose. Btw, don’t knock the Ol’ Boy’s Club. I have high-ranking membership in that fine institution.

            • Anna

              I have no doubt that you do.

              Clergy: NO x 1000.
              Military: Very iffy about women but I really don’t have a strong opinion.
              Law: see above.

              I think the worst thing that feminism did for women’s employment was to equate making capital with value. In other words, if you make money, you’re a worthwhile woman. If you don’t, then we don’t care about you.

              • All Christian men and women need to know is that their value or human dignity comes from being made in the imago dei.

                Feminism has done a lot bad things for both men and women. We all know how it’s an obviously misandrist movement but it is also a misogynistic one. Feminism hates women for being women and not men. That is what it is all the very core.

          • In general, “careers” are overrated. A poor substitute for a vocation, which is much more than mindless ladder-climbing.

            • Anna

              Yeah but who has a vocation any more?

              • Marriage is a vocation. Motherhood is a vocation. Clerical duty is a vocation. A vocation is basically a calling. Any field of work from carpentry to medical can also be seen as a vocation. Gerry T. Neal has a better way of explaining it than I do:

                “Modernism has turned work into a necessary evil for most men. While an argument can be made that work has always been a necessary evil and that this fact was recognized in such ancient texts as Genesis 3:17-19, what I mean here is that a mitigating factor has been removed by modernism. That factor is the sense of vocation.

                A “vocation” is the sense that one has been called to or assigned one’s labour by God, the universe, and/or nature and that in performing one’s work one is therefore fulfilling the purpose for which one exists. A sense of vocation allows a man to perform his work as a good in and of itself rather than merely as a means towards a good end. Modernism has, for most men, eroded this sense of vocation. The modern age is an age of materialism. The message of materialism is that the physical world, immediately available to the senses, is either all that there is, or all that we can be sure of, and that therefore we must orient our lives entirely towards the physical world, finding the good and happiness, if they are to be found, in the physical world. This message has become ubiquitous throughout the Western world in the modern age and the economic systems that have developed in the Western world in that era – including both capitalism and socialism – developed to reflect that materialism. ”


  4. Good post, Anna. Very true.

  5. gzt

    re: grad school. Gotta get out in five if it’s a PhD, gotta do it in something with a job on the other end (eg, science), and definitely shouldn’t get in debt for it (only exception: an MS in something that will pay you well or an MBA when you have reasonable assurance of a job afterward – buying an MS can have a cheaper opportunity cost than getting paid for a PhD). It’s definitely not a good choice if you don’t have a good idea about what you want and don’t have a job in mind on the other end. Definitely much better to have an early exit strategy, too.
    -yr roommate

  6. John

    But, Anna, grad students make such wonderful conversation partners…

  7. “The desperation need not stem from loneliness; it may stem from men using women as props for their attempt to convince themselves and others that they are men.”

    Charming. This is of a piece with the greatest of contorted feminist thought patterns, transforming what is essentially a female-created problem (modern female sexual choice has been perverted by an overly-comfortable culture and so men of normal ability, confidence and Godliness are relegated to unattractive status) into a male problem (men are “insecure” and using women as “props” for their broken egos).

    That’s not to say Anna’s advice is wrong though, in the sense that men who want to be attractive to women need to internalize a certain paradox of female sexuality – you need to exhibit traits that are attractive to women, without giving off any air that you care at all whether you’re attractive to women. To a man, this sounds like madness: it’s a complete contradiction, a nonsensical concept “congruence.” But it appears to be completely congruent and wholesome to the female mind. It’s why women find themselves more attracted to men who ignore them rather than dote on them, why “just be yourself” is go-to female advice for men, and why women in general are so viscerally disgusted by the idea of men learning game (however you want to define the process of learning to be attractive to women).

  8. Marcia

    Engineers and scientists tend to be boring? Those guys that start new hybrid car companies or those guys who can put a gigantic telescope into space that can “see” so far as to the probable origins of the universe, give or take 300,000 light years or so? These bores? These are the guys that move the world—and whose technology will most likely save it. Some are very very attractive (certain Australian scientists come to mind).

    But what is the “conversation” with highly educated men that is the turn off here? You mean talking about shopping, a kid’s first burp or what gossip the neighbors were dishing out is the conversation substance of a non-graduate married pair? I’ll take the fascinating, esoteric intellectual any day.

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