The Mine Field Of Adjectives

  • Nice guy
  • Good man
  • Mysterious fellow
  • Arrogant prick
  • Confident dude

How a man is perceived is complex and confusing, especially for the man back on the dating scene. After digesting the emotional turmoil that is divorce – even if civil – the single guy is entering a new landscape. Gone are the days of the dinner and a movie date. Now there is online dating and “meetings” where reduced expectations are the new normal.

But the 40-something guy simply wants to meet his relationship goals. Perhaps he wants to be a Lothario and master the art and science of seduction. Maybe he just wants a woman to love again and her love for him is matched. Maybe he wants the “stayover” relationship where there is exclusivity but not cohabitation. All these goals are legitimate.

Our 40-something guy is not in his twenties. He’s smart enough to listen to his single female peers. When he takes in their words, he has haplessly wandered in the adjective minefield. It gets worse if he fires up some online dating and reads a few hundred dating profiles written by single women. I’ve read tens of thousands of such profiles and I know the patterns.

“Looking for a nice guy” is a frequent term used by the dames in their online dating profiles. I’ve covered this quite recently. The difficulty lies in understanding that actions and words diverge terribly when it comes to understanding how women deal with attraction and dating. Descriptors like “nice” and “good” are the socially expected words. Those are polite company words. Those are the words used at singles events where we actually have to communicate face to face.

Away from social expectations and well-meaning friends, a woman does what she wants. She’ll publicly and happily tell a friendly fellow that she has no problem dating shorter men. But when she puts her fingers on the keyboard to describe her preferences, out comes “you must be 5’11” or taller” in her online dating profile. Gentlemen, this is a feature in women, not a bug. Deal with it like an with it like an adult.

When reading the pick up artistry (PUA) literature, a man learns a whole new language and a completely new set of skills. “Aloof”, “cocky”, and “confident” become the new normal. These are not the words of his sister and his female friends who bestow well-meaning and socially accepted advice.  Confusion swirls in his mind. Our man simply wants to be himself. He wants to be humble, decent, and good. But in his efforts to be such things, he dines alone and his online dating efforts come to naught.

Let’s bring in the whole concept of “be yourself”. New readers will be nodding in agreement. My seasoned readers will be slowly shaking their heads. If a man or woman is not meeting relationship goals, then “being yourself” simply won’t cut it. Coming through the divorce process is an opportunity to change. Yes, I said it, “change”. Human beings are incredibly adaptable, regardless of age.

It’s time to sum up. Nice guys lose in the dating game. Supplication never wins for guys. Chivalry ain’t working it. Good guys might do better but they need to be aloof and mysterious. If it such characteristics don’t come naturally, men can learn. Women can re-learn femininity, as well. Being more attractive to the opposite sex can be learned.

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  1. #1 by earl on June 26, 2014 - 7:46 AM

    “Good guys might do better but they need to be aloof and mysterious.”

    With their feelings. Gushing about feelings is the way to lose aloofness and mystery. However you can still be chivalrous with your actions (granted she’s the type of feminine female that deserves chivalry too).

  2. #2 by Tarnished on June 26, 2014 - 8:37 AM

    Lol, I thought one’s dating profile is supposed to be a summary of yourself, not a shopping list? How pathetic. Other than no smoking, drugs, heavy drinking or poor hygiene I wouldn’t put any qualifiers like that. Don’t most dating sites have algorithms to ensure that most other aspects of your personalities match up anyway, so the quiet stay-in-on-Fridays man doesn’t get the hardcore extreme sports/club rat women in his feed?

    A good man is pretty easy to find, you just need to share some interests and have compatible personality types. For example, I’m sure there’s chicks out there who want a chivalrous gentleman who treats them like an old-fashioned lady, but I like an equal partner who doesn’t mind me picking up the dinner bill. Different strokes for different folks.

  3. #3 by Ben Creighton on June 26, 2014 - 2:15 PM

    If “just be yourself” worked, no one would ever be lonely. “Just” be yourself really means: give up, and accept that you’re never going to be any better than you’ve always been or get anything more than what you’ve always gotten.

    Don’t “just” be yourself. Be the most badass version of yourself you can figure out how to be. Test your limits and figure out which of the attributes that make up what you think of as “yourself” as actually immutable parts of your core identity, and which are the product of your upbringing and environment and can be consciously changed and shaped for the better.

  4. #4 by patriarchal landmine on June 26, 2014 - 4:36 PM

    why

    fucking

    bother?

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