The Private Man

Attraction and dating information for all men

Mom Was Wrong – A Personal Narrative

“Be nice, be yourself”

I remember those words well. I took them to heart for decades and it almost ruined me.

Nice. I was supposed to be nice she told me. At the time, I really didn’t know exactly what “nice” meant. I just remember being an active young boy and when I got to be rambunctious there was usually an adult female with the “be nice!” admonishment. OK, nice means calm. If I took something away from someone when I was playing with other children, it was “be nice!” from an adult female. OK, nice means not doing or taking things that you want. Nice means restraint. Nice means non-assertiveness.

“Be nice, be yourself”

Those words were spoken to me by mother just as I was entering the hormonal throes of puberty. I was starting to notice girls in a very different way.  The words were the result of a perfectly normal boy’s curiosity. My mother was an early adopter of the single mother household and I only saw my father on weekends so she was the most convenient parent to ask this fateful question:

“How do I get girls to like me more?”

In retrospect, I should have asked my father.

I remember my mother smiling as she answered my question with those soul-damning words. She was so proud that I was taking an interest in girls. Private Boy was becoming Private Man! Of course, a few years later when I was about to graduate high school and still a virgin, that same mother, unaware of how her words affected me, told me flat out, “It’s OK to be gay.” She simply didn’t understand that I actually took her original advice about girls and it had yielded no results in the realm of having actual sex with a girl. My mother thought I might be gay. Sure, I had plenty of friends who were girls, just no girlfriend. High school was all about the Friend Zone for me.

As for the “be yourself” part. I also didn’t know what that really meant. Being myself meant being an active boy and being curious about the world. Actually, the “nice” thing seemed to cancel out the “be yourself” thing.  Quite a contradiction for a 12 year old boy to absorb. But to make mom and girls happy, I went with the nice thing to carry the ball into the end zone of sexual failure.

One of the reasons I took a year off between high school and college was partly the result of not wanting to be a virgin when I entered my freshman year. That year off was full of adventures and yes, some of them were sexual. There was the summer overseas in the Southern Hemisphere. No sex there. I was attending an all-boys Anglican high school complete with uniforms and corporal punishment. There were a couple of mixers with the local all-girls school but I never met anyone.

Back home for a few months and working retail, I kissed a few girls but didn’t make the beast with two backs. Then, another adventure presented itself – to go to Colorado to be a ski bum. I didn’t know how to ski but an opportunity is an opportunity. As my high school friends were already in college, I stayed with some of them in their dorm rooms as I drove westward across the country from New England.

On the way out, I spent a night at Rensselaer, a very math and science kind of school. My friend, Eric, let me stay in his room. While hanging out and meeting the other freshman on that floor of the dorm, I was briefly introduced to a very cute blond. I was friendly to her but it never even entered my mind that she could be interested in me. Later that evening, one of guys in the dorm told me that she thought I was “really cute” and that she had a room on the third floor of the dorm. But I was nice and didn’t visit the cute blond. Yes, so nice I was.

While in Colorado I worked two jobs, learned to ski, and didn’t really meet any girls at all. The snow didn’t quite fall that season and the work dried up, forcing me to return home, once again staying with former high school classmates in their dorm rooms as I drove back to New England.

The University of Michigan at Ann Arbor is a huge place. My female friend and former classmate, Cathy, was there for her freshman year and it was my plan to stay in her dorm room for that night – the floor and sleeping bag thing. She had a cute roommate whose name I have long forgotten. The roommate and I hung around all evening together after I arrived because my friend had to study. The roommate and I enjoyed each others company for a few hours. I wasn’t really looking for sex but it happened.

My friend’s roommate was my first. The sex was brief and awkward for me. That’s probably the reason I don’t remember her name and likely she doesn’t even remember the encounter at all.

OK, the virginity was gone with a one night stand at a freshman dorm in 1980. I was 18 years old. In reviewing the events of that night, there was no Game, no acting all confident. I was just being nice . Could Mom have been right after all? No. I didn’t need Game to seduce that girl.

Looking back, I realized that she seduced me. I was in the middle of an alpha adventure, driving alone across country after doing something vaguely risky. Plus, I had already been overseas doing something reasonably exotic. I distinctively remember the girl saying at some point “what you did was exciting” or words to that effect. As well, my original friend likely prequalified me to the roommate. That’s a real female friend.

I did some other interesting things before going to college. With one exception, girls eluded me romantically and sexually because I was being nice all the time. I do remember hanging out a lot at Harvard in the freshman dorms because I had quite a few former classmates attending there. I actually met lots of girls and had anyone taught me the most basic elements of Game, I could have cleaned up. Shit, I was riding a motorcycle then and working a somewhat dangerous job in a state mental hospital. I was doing alpha things but with a beta attitude. No sex for The Private Man.

The only exception in a basically sexless span of time between returning from Colorado and starting freshman year in September of 1981 was on a major motorcycle trip from New England to the top of the Dempster Highway in the Northwest Territories. That’s above the Arctic Circle and in Canada for you geographical illiterates. Once again, I passed through Colorado so I could stay with some friends I had made the previous winter while doing the ski bum thing.

I spent a week in Colorado at a house in the mountains (Summit County) rented by four, footloose young guys. They were all good guys. They all worked hard, didn’t party too much, and were quite friendly to me despite that fact that I was taking over their sofa during my stay. One of the guys was a muscular, good looking guy. He was from somewhere in the Midwest as I recall. He was sweet on a girl who lived nearby and invited me to join them for a beer at a local ski resort bar.

I need to apologize to that guy, a sincere and honest apology. Buddy, I didn’t mean to steal that girl. I really, really didn’t. I knew you really liked her. I knew that you wanted to pitch sweet woo to her. You told me so. I violated the guy code and for this, I am deeply sorry.

The episode in Colorado with that guy’s girl was all about Game. I just didn’t know it at the time. Consider the overall situation and my frame. I had just spent two weeks on the road on a motorcycle. Already I had two wrecks  but I managed to persevere and keep going. I had a few thousand miles in front of me and I was feeling confident, very confident. I was doing an alpha adventure and finally had an alpha attitude to accompany me. In retrospect, it was the attitude that sealed the deal.

The worst of it – again, I really do apologize to that guy – is that I had sex with the girl on the sofa not 20 feet from his room while he was supposedly sleeping. I wasn’t being nice as Mom had instructed me. Unfortunately, I was an awkward and incompetent lover, it being only my second time. I set up a second meeting with this girl before I returned to my trip and she stood me up. Lesson learned. If you’re going to have sex with them, do it right if you expect a second time.

[Post script on that epic motorcycle trip – the motorcycle was stolen in the Yukon and I finished the trip to Inuvik and Tuktoyaktuk hitch-hiking and flying and then returned home the same way.]

A few years back and before I completely understood Game, I was on a Jewish online dating website. While I’m not Jewish, my step-father is and I spent my adolescent years in a mostly Jewish household. The Jewish women I dated  – the strong and independent type – all complained bitterly about the Jewish “momma’s boys” and how I was so refreshing. Those women were complaining about beta men, nothing more. I didn’t ask these women how they were raising their own sons. I didn’t want to see a Jewish rationalization hamster have a heart attack. Oy.

Going to mom for advice about girls is the worst thing a boy can do. This is where fathers and other male family members come in. I have told on numerous occasions to my ex’s sons (17 and 25) that being too nice to girls will get them friends, not sex. They seem to understand. Sadly, there is a generation of men who never figured it out. They never learned to take the lead in dating and relationships. To them, all women are mom in a certain sense. These men are the white knight pedestalizers.

I am sincerely grateful for discovering the Manosphere. It has helped me learn from my past experiences and to sweep away negative feelings about that past. The Manosphere is the link between experience and wisdom and is unique to men.

To all the dads and uncles out there, be honest with the boys young men in your life. Tell them the realities of life, of girls, of being more alpha. Tell them not to be so damned nice.

[If you liked this blog post, please support me through my Patreon efforts. Thanks.]

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49 thoughts on “Mom Was Wrong – A Personal Narrative

  1. Oh… so you just want sex…. I thought you were looking for a long-term relationship. The advice I’d give if you are looking for a woman of quality is not to be “nice” but to be confident and flirtatious, but respectful. The trouble you have is that you seem to think in order to have “game” you need to treat a woman poorly. That is where you make your mistake.

  2. Not just sex, the whole package. But if the whole package isn’t there, I’ll take the sex 😉

    Note the narrative was more about my early years when my libido was just like most young men.

    You need to learn much more about Game. I also strongly recommend you read Married Man Sex Life by AtholK. Read as many posts as you can and then cogitate seriously before responding. Use your logic, use your reason, don’t get emotional.

    As I say to most guys my age:

    Roissy to get ’em.
    Athol K to keep ’em.

    To the guys: too much respect for women is pedestalization.

    • Avoid Roissy like the plague; he rarely ever promotes treating women right. Take the lead and be assertive, and this doesn’t mean not being kind; it just means not being passive.

  3. harmonicaftw on said:

    Mom was very wrong. My total count: 4. High school: 1. College: 1. After college: 2 (including wife).

    1 was won due to her infatuation. 2-4 was alpha by mistake. Being nice got me rejected an insane amount of times. Eff being nice.

  4. Anonymous on said:

    Your post hits home for me because my experience with my mother was nearly identical to yours. Moms who tell their sons that they need to “be nice” in order to find a nice girl are setting them up for colossal failure. That was good advice…in 1950.

    As for Yvette, notice how she takes the topic at hand and uses it as a springboard to babble on about whatever she wants to talk about at that particular time. In addition, she refers to things like “game” yet has no idea what she is talking about. She is beyond clueless. I’ll bet she raised some outstanding Little Princesses and White Knights, though.

    • I’ve spoken with many men and they all tell the same “be nice” story regarding their mothers. The push for guys to “be nice” is all about social expectation, nothing more. Boys are taught to tone down their masculinity to the point of emasculation. Yet when these same boys grow up, they are now taught to “man up”.

      Of course, “man up” is usually code for “do more stuff for women and don’t complain about it!” There are exceptions, of course. Check out Talk About Marriage and Married Man Sex Life. At those websites, man up takes on a whole new meaning.

      • Ditto. I’m another one.

        I followed female advice about women and I got horrible results when I followed it.

        The only time I got anywhere with women was when I listened to men instead.

        Kezia Noble is the ONLY woman I know who even understands the question.

  5. This is a very good point privateman.

    If you ask a woman about ATTRACTION then she will have absolutely NO CLUE what you even mean!

    Women ASSUME attraction in any discussion of relationships. After all, from their point of view, unattractive men are just a nuisance. Only men they already find attractive merit their attention or consideration at all!

    So they automatically misinterpret any male question that involves attraction. They think it means “how would I like a man to treat me when I am ALREADY attracted to him?”

    • “Women ASSUME attraction in any discussion of relationships. After all, from their point of view, unattractive men are just a nuisance. Only men they already find attractive merit their attention or consideration at all!

      So they automatically misinterpret any male question that involves attraction. They think it means “how would I like a man to treat me when I am ALREADY attracted to him?” ”

      this is extremely well said.

    • Ooh, very apt, Joe.

      Thing is, mothers fear that their sons won’t be nice; they tell a HALF truth when they say women want nice men, not realizing that most decent men are already nice enough and telling them just to be nice will over-inflate matters.Yeah, women want nice men, but that’s not ALL.

  6. Perhaps the question to women needs to be rephrased. “When you meet a man or see a man for the first time, what qualities in him do you find attractive?

    Of course, they likely wouldn’t be honest and would just spout the usual social expectations, just like I read in all those online dating profiles.

  7. I would have given our son good advice.

    Be confident and dominant, don’t be a doormat, don’t put up with crap or pedestalize women, have cool and interesting stories from doing cool and interesting things, and be picky because only a good woman is worth it.

  8. OffTheCuff on said:

    Hope, that is excellent advice, but women who say this or even know it are practically nonexistent. Where did you learn it? I’m going to bet it’s not women, but rather men who are successful with women.

    • It’s partly what men say works, but also partly what attracted me to my husband. There are some things that men claim work which seem off to me, so I didn’t list them. For example, “always be dating multiple women” and “don’t talk to her too much.” My husband was only dating me and talked to me a lot. Maybe for men with not a lot of interesting things to say, being mysterious works. But if a man has a lot of great stories from his past, that works much better. Incidentally, he wasn’t very successful with women, and was never a player. He just never put up with any crap from women, and has an amazing attitude.

      • In the realm of online dating, I do recommend that men be corresponding with at least three women concurrently. The reason for this is because women will look for reasons to reject a man before they look for reasons to accept him. This is also the reason why it’s important that men be taciturn and not garrulous. In the beginning of the dating process, each word a man speaks is a word that can – and often is – be used to reject him.

      • Good for you, Hope!

  9. sestamibi on said:

    “Roissy to get ’em, Athol K to keep ’em.”

    That is the shortest, best advice I’ve ever seen on any of these blogs.

    • But will men wake up and smell the roses?

      • “But will men wake up and smell the roses?”

        They’ll wake up when they tire of being sexually frustrated doormats with few dating options aside from other more dominant men’s leftovers.

        That will leave out the average church guy, who is told that he must be a ‘nice guy’ or else. That’s my background and what I was told would drive any straight guy toward becoming gay. But that’s a topic for another time.

      • JG- “that will leave out the average church guy”—-

        These European American Protestant churches are producing effeminate, emasculated teenage and adult males. The guys who grow up this way think it’s normal. They don’t know any other way. It is absolutely sick to see what is happening to these men. These European American protestant churches are producing men that are so whimy that they almost can’t function in a hostile world. The men are effeminate and the women are masculine. What these churches are doing to these boys can almost be called a self-inflicted genocide. Alot of these types of churches are mostly female, so the pastor has to go along with that culture or he is out of a job. Their ancestors were Celtic and Germanic warriors. Now they are total wimps. It’s sick.

    • Men don’t want long narratives.

      Men want specific lessons.

  10. “I am sincerely grateful for discovering the manosphere. It has helped me learn from my past experiences and to sweep away negative feelings about that past. The manosphere is the link between experience and wisdom and is unique to men.

    To all the dads and uncles out there, be honest with the boys young men in your life. Tell them the realities of life, of girls, of being more alpha. Tell them not to be so damned nice.”

    well said.

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  13. It never gets old to repeat that most women have no idea what makes them attracted to the men they are attracted to.

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  15. Anonymous age 68 on said:

    My mother did better than that. She broke up my first marriage. She told me when I was young, if my wife was upset, to make a fuss over her, to bring her flowers and candy. This is also called, “Give your dog a biscuit when he bites you.” I did, and she learned to treat me like crap when she wanted attention. I teach men to be super nice to a wife or mate when she is nice, and when she turns sour, go fishing or hunting.

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  17. detineenui32 on said:

    No one’s going to see this comment, but: Thanks for this, PrivateMan. I can really relate. I grew up in a house with an overbearing mom and a doormat dad. Mom wore the pants, administered the discipline and kicked the ass. Dad hated his job, was already beaten down by life at age 34, and just did his best to get through life rather than live it. All I heard was “be nice, be yourself, and keep it in your pants.” I worked hard to ask girls for dates. If it didn’t work in my small town, I looked at the next town over. I asked. I approached, but always timidly, tentatively and afraid. Good for a few pity dates and feels, but that’s about it. If a girl didn’t want me, I went omega and chased, begged, and pleaded with her to take me back. That was high school. In college: if I broke up, I’d have second thoughts. I was losing my hair and thought girls would not like me. So with one, I chased her until she got sick of me, and finally cut me off for good. I thought no one would ever love me ever again.

    What I should have been taught was:
    1. Approach and ask. If they want to get to know you, look for IOIs like touching, talking, smiling, laughing, and her going out of her way to see you.
    2. If she’s not interested, walk away and do your best not to care at all.
    3. Don’t pedestal. Don’t chase so hard. Don’t call the next day. Don’t give so many gifts. Don’t drop tons of cash on her. A girl who expects these things is unworthy. Don’t walk away. Run away as fast as you can..
    4. Understand the rationalization hamster. When if comes to relationships and dating, girls are incapable of rational thought and decisionmaking.
    5. A girl has no idea why she’s attracted or not attracted to you.
    6. You will get rejected. A lot. That’s how it is. It will not kill you.
    7. Worthy girl: relatively chaste, demure, feminine, and pleasant.
    8. Unworthy girl: sarcastic, caustic, unpleasant, entitled, demanding, career first, rationalizes everything.
    9. Never take dating or relationship advice from a woman. Always seek advice from a man.

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  20. robertson on said:

    It gets me depressed sometimes, learning all this so late lin life. Many things I figured out over time, but your story is much like mine. Not just being told to be nice, but having a mother who was domineering and controlling and had me more or less scared to death of women until my own self disgust outweighed my fears and made me more brave. I had a first marriage that went on ten years as I tried to be nicer and nicer as she buried herself in her own problems, gained 100 pounds and eventually left me no alternative since I didn’t want to be miserable the rest of my life. After that things got a bit easier, which I credit to getting a tad more alpha and the changing marketplace once a guy is in his thrities. Not to mention the internet and being a lot more charming online than in person – damn did I make up for lost time. I’m married now to a adorably cute woman with many of the qualities I set about looking for in a mate, and while I never learned game, I learned not to be stepped on and that was enough. That and I was really bold with her at first. I would definitely recommend Athol’s blog as it allows for working on yourself and facing your shortcomings without losing what you’ve got. Still, I wish I knew much of this 25 years ago. Fine blog, this.

    • I have noticed that quite a few guys take the red pill later in their lives. I am hoping that the coming generations of young men learn about Game and women early on so they don’t make the same mistakes that we did when we followed our mother’s advice of “be nice and be yourself”.

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  22. Well atleast you figured it out early. I was 17 when I noticed something was wrong with me. I saw my classmates all with girlfriends and stupidly asked my parents why girls weren’t interested in me, I was caring, hardworking, nice and supportive. They told me that I needed to work harder, so I did but it didn’t work so I kept trying harder. I still could not understand why I wasn’t good enough person to have a girlfriend. I was one of the highest achievers at my school yet I was the only one who wasn’t worth dating or the time of day for a girl.

    University wasn’t any better even though I tried even harder. I met many people and helped many people, I tutored classmates and helped them with their assignments and projects. I had to live and study just like they did but I tried to be nice and to help them because I had the ability to. I was a straight A student for all four years and yet I still I wasn’t worth dating. I got to hear about guys treating their girlfriends like trash or leaching off them, girls treating their guys like nothing more then a wallet and I got to hear about the endless casual sex hookups that I seemed to be constantly missing out on. It made me feel incredibly depressed.

    Finally when the studying was over it hit me like a ton of bricks. I was an undesirable mid 20’s kissless, virgin that nobody wanted to date let alone have sex with. I went online to try and find a reason why and found out through various forums that girls hate guys like me that are nice even more then the guys who only use them for sex. So because I wasn’t alpha or pretending to be alpha and I was being myself and being nice to people, I was automatically a bad person in girls eyes and wasn’t worth dating. Finding that out hurt me real deep.

    In the end I had to accept it and had to hire a prostitute (completely regulated and legal where I live) for my first time. I wish things went differently and that I had learnt that it isn’t hardwork, kindness, being nice or being yourself that got you dates/sex much earlier in my life.

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  25. Guys go to women for advice because who knows women better than women right? Especially your mum right?

    Oh how the sphere doth bludgeon us with the cold hard truths that women do not understand themselves what it is that attracts them. One of the hardest truths ever spoken in the sphere:

    “I just wanted to tear off his clothes, make love to him and keep him forever when he agreed with everything i said, caved and bought me the iPhone5 and held my purse and bags for me at the shopping mall.”
    – said by no woman. ever.

  26. To the guys: too much respect for women is pedestalization.

    If I may, undeserved respect is pedestalization. When a woman has done things to deserve it, that respect is the most amazing thing.

  27. PM, I am sure your first, the friend’s room mate, remembers your name.

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  29. I brought my son up to ‘be himself’ ie not to pretend to be something he isn’t and to ‘be nice’ ie treat everyone with respect if they deserve it, and to be nice if he can be and it doesn’t mean being a doormat. But I also brought him up from a very young age to make his own decisions, live with the consequences, trust his own judgement and have self respect. And he has had girlfriends since the age of 14, and since 16 every one of his girlfriends have lasted over a year. There have only been 3 right enough as he’s only 19 now. He only picks ones he likes as people, and likes to be friends with them first while he decides if he likes them enough to ask them out. And he isn’t a virgin. I have liked each of his girlfriends too, all of whom have been ditched by him eventually and turn up at my door crying. It is possible to be yourself (ie not pretend to be something you’re not), and be nice (not treat girls like crap) and have girlfriends that are nice and willing to have sex with you. You don’t have to either be Roosh or a Geek.

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  31. At 40, and approaching my second divorce, I see that the life I’m leading is that which I created for myself. Oddly, I was what could be called a Beta with Alpha tendencies. I didn’t know anything about Game, and I’ve only recently begun reading about it in the Manosphere. But whatever natural Game I may have had while single, I did not (do not) know how to keep a woman once I had her. I intend to take Roissey and Athol K and learn what I can, but frankly, at this point, I’m no longer interested in keeping. I have two sons, and I can’t even imagine what else I could take from another LTR that would be of benefit to me, equal to what I would be giving to that LTR. So, modern women don’t like Beta Providers? So be it. I can truthfully say, it’s not my loss.

  32. Anonymous on said:

    Be a roaring *sshole, because it’s confident and manly. Women would really prefer a nice confident/manly dude, but they go for the confidence/many crap first and figure nice will come. Sorry. Nice keeps you playing with Rosy Palm and her Five Talented Friends.

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