The Private Man

Attraction and dating information for all men

The Dating Exercise And Its Challenge

I created a dating exercise for women to help them find the good in men. During a recent foray into the village with my ugly dog (but with my spiffy new hat) I sat myself on a bench in front of a popular indoor/outdoor eatery. Soon, a late 50s single woman sat next to me. We got to talking. I’m a friendly guy and the village is a safe place to strike up a conversation with a stranger. This encounter gave me the chance to try out that exercise.

Cindy indicated that she was single and we got to talking about men, relationships, and dating. Given her age, I didn’t put out any kind of attraction vibe towards her. She was rather dismissal of men in general and was not pleased that the men who were attracted to her were much too old while the men she was attracted to were too busy pursuing a younger female demographic.

I told Cindy, “if you want to find more good men, you have to find more good in men”. She sort of laughed at that. I pressed the issue. “Seriously, there are all sorts of good men around you just have to find those qualities.” She seemed dubious. At this point, I brought up the dating exercise.

“Just find one good quality in any man you see.”

As there were dozens upon dozens of people visible, finding a free-range guy was simple. I pointed one out, an older but well-dressed fellow perambulating by about 15 feet away.

Cindy was instantly dismissive. “I don’t see anything attractive about him.”

My retort was just as quick. “You’re not looking to date the guy, just find one thing good about him.”

She looked and just shook her head. “Nope, nothing.”

“You didn’t notice that he’s well-dressed?”

Cindy looked a bit surprised. “Well, he is that.”

“See, you found something good! Let’s find another guy.”

Another guy walked past. This one was middle-aged and perfectly ordinary.

“What about him?”

Cindy regarded the man. “He has nice hair.”

The dating exercise was proving only a bit fruitful. I pointed out two more guys but Cindy was getting frustrated. It was clear that she was in the habit of looking for reasons to reject a man. In a classic bit of deflection, she asked that I do the same thing about women. “Oh, that’s easy.”

She pointed out a middle-aged woman. I responded almost instantly. “She has nice hair.”

Cindy then pointed out a plain-looking women or indeterminate age. I had to look carefully. “She has good style, check out her shoes.”

Again, Cindy pointed out a woman and again I found something positive to say. This was not going well for her and she was making my point all too clear. Thankfully, for her, Lucy distracted us both by barking a dog passing by.

I let this matter drop but it showed me that my dating exercise, while valid, would take some serious internalizing in order for it to work effectively. Granted, I was attempting use the exercise with a complete stranger. Women more willing to look at men in a better light would be more accepting of the exercise.

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34 thoughts on “The Dating Exercise And Its Challenge

  1. The Geographer on said:

    People have to want to change. Of all desires women have, personal development is generally not one of them — especially in a world that rewards their mediocrity.

    • DC Phil on said:

      I can’t help but think of Salieri in “Amadeus” . . .

      “I speak for all mediocrities in the world. I am their champion. I am their patron saint.” 🙂

  2. It’s a good exercise. If I get the chance to get some of the women in my life to try it (mostly in the 20-30 age bracket), I’ll post results here.

  3. Ironchefoklahoma on said:

    I did this (remembering your previous post) with an attractive 40-something woman in a bar. The results were uncannily similar:
    “There’s no good men!”
    “How about those two bartenders?”
    “No and no!”
    “OK. Now look again and tell me one good thing about each of them”.

    She did, and then turned to me, speechless and wondering. The look on her face as her worldview shifted was priceless. Thanks for the tip, it made for a great conversation

    • It’s good to know that other guys are trying the same thing and getting some interesting responses.

      It would be good if this exercise were to be spread widely. Hey Manosphere, you up for this?

  4. sestamibi on said:

    Don’t hold your breath.

  5. I’ll try it out this weekend! I’ve been mentioning lots of the manosphere stuff lately to friends (all early 20s) and the “responses” (rationalizations) are hilarious after I explain things.

    • I’m wondering if those “rationalisations” will spill over into being dishonest with the guy they plan to marry, about how many other guys they enjoyed before “deciding he was the best one”.

    • DC Phil on said:

      Care to post some of these rationalizations?

      • Identical to what I’ve read on so many of these sites… It’s nice to have well explained responses whenever I mention my perspective because there were a couple of times where I almost felt attacked by how strongly they explained their beliefs.
        Here are a few:
        “It’s just a physical act… like eating or sleeping’
        – my response: (that bonds you to the person/the more people you sleep with the harder it is to bond)
        “I’m just living/living life to the fullest (we’re all 21)”
        – my response: Oh didn’t realize that I had to sleep around to live life.
        Oh and then partner count came up I said I wanted to keep mine as low as possible response from group:
        “What! but then how can you know if its the best you can get? I needed something to compare it to.”
        They then go on this big rant (after I said ideally one) and that it’s almost impossible and then said well if you only want one and that doesn’t work out then what (they seemed to forget that I said as low as possible not one and then I’m doomed).
        I ended off one conversation with a group of friends with
        “It’s a women’s world and I don’t like it.” One girl goes “Why don’t you like it?” I responded with: “The women who are willing to exploit the most men benefit the most.” (no response/room went silent).

        I know that when I try out this challenge I will get really negative responses from at least 2-3 of my friends minimum.

      • “I know that when I try out this challenge I will get really negative responses from at least 2-3 of my friends minimum.” Perhaps you need to re-evaluate them as friends.

      • Had to check my quote archives, but here you go, DC Phil:
        “She told me that she is going to make her future husband wait a few dates for sex, because she did not want to seem like a slut.

        ME: Why? You’ve had one night stands before.
        HER: Yes but if I sleep with him right away he might think I am slut and then he may not stick around for a relationship.
        ME: So you want to start a relationship with your “soul-mate” based on deception and manipulation?
        HER: Yeah, I guess.”

      • How is learning from your bad choices “deception and manipulation”?

      • How is learning how to quit often, going to teach you about staying in a relationship?

  6. PM,

    This rocks !!
    Got lots of people to try it on over the next few months.

  7. I got an email from a 76 year old man two days ago and ignored it. But after doing your exercise I re-read his profile came up with the following:

    1. He has a lot of life experience, and can share his wisdom with me
    2. He probably has old-fashioned gentlemanly values
    3. I would get on well with his son and daughter as they are about the same age as me
    4. He doesn’t seem the “pump and dump” type
    5. His jacket was nice

    My question to you. If he asks me out, should I go out for dinner with him?

    • The intent of the dating exercise is simply to find the good in men, it doesn’t mean you have to date those guys. However, if you want to meet the fellow in question, let him take you for ice cream.

      And I am very impressed that you completed the exercise. Thank you from all men.

      Spread the word.

  8. Alright…I’ll replicate this exersize and provide the field report.

  9. Miss_Fu on said:

    When I did this exercise, I found it incredibly useful. Men who I would have dismissed before became a lot more interesting and I garnered an even deeper appreciation for men than I had before.

    A few years ago, I discovered that rather than being the humble and sweet person I (and everyone else) assumed was, that I might actually be a narcissist (I had previously been diagnosed with anxiety and had a very low self-esteem, two traits linked to narcissism). Analyzing other men and seeking their good qualities got me into thinking why I always thought that most men weren’t good enough, despite many of them having as good or better qualities than me. That then lead to more unpleasant introspection.

    Cindy probably isn’t a narcissist. But analyzing others, even casually, can steer thoughts towards self-analysis and what a woman in particular may find can be sometimes be too frightening to handle.

  10. Here are a few:
    “It’s just a physical act… like eating or sleeping’
    – my response: (that bonds you to the person/the more people you sleep with the harder it is to bond)
    Oh and then partner count came up I said I wanted to keep mine as low as possible response from group:
    “What! but then how can you know if its the best you can get? I needed something to compare it to.”

    The oxytocin excuse is a sham and it’s been disproven that the hormone “bonds” you to your partner. “It’s just a physical act” is actually a more healthy belief, since it prevents women from getting all Golden Vagina and holding their vagina hostage until a guy commits. The slut shaming approach also seems kind of judgmental. No guy is going to know how many partners a woman has. The only guys who would even inquire about such a thing are either insecure or woefully inexperienced/immature sexually and emotionally, so why would you want to date those guys any way?

    As PM suggested, you should probably get new friends, as it doesn’t sound like you like yours very much. Unless maybe you like to hang out with them because you can sit there and judge them all and that makes you feel better about yourself.

    • As PM suggested, you should probably get new friends, as it doesn’t sound like you like yours very much. Unless maybe you like to hang out with them because you can sit there and judge them all and that makes you feel better about yourself.

      Dang Moxie, you are such a Bostonian.

      Repeat after me… the feminine attracts the masculine.

    • “The only guys who would even inquire about such a thing are either insecure or woefully inexperienced/immature sexually and emotionally, so why would you want to date those guys any way?”

      Well, after a long lifetime of being pumped and dumped, a girl reaches the point where she doesn’t want that.
      Guess who she goes after? Those “insecure or woefully inexperienced/immature sexually and emotionally” guys.
      Remember, as dalrock says, the 30s for women – men should treat it the way a bear goes hunting for salmon.
      Does a playette deserve a nice guy, based on her previous choices?

    • I’m getting mixed messages here. So if you sleep with lots of men, you’re riding the “cock carousel” (bad) and if you don’t, you think you have a “golden vagina” (also bad).

      If I had a one-night stand, I’d be really disappointed with myself. Promiscuity doesn’t appeal to me whatsoever, and I think that if someone respects their body enough to share it with someone they have deep feelings for, they are just exercising their personal choice and high self-esteem.

      If she’s treating her body like it’s precious, good for her. We deride people for being fat, over-eating and not taking care of their body. To me, promiscuity is just another way people can abuse their bodies and self-esteem.

      BTW, I’m really enjoying this dating exercise. It’s getting easier every day.

  11. Guess who she goes after? Those “insecure or woefully inexperienced/immature sexually and emotionally” guys.

    Only if she doesn’t learn from her experiences and gets desperate or doesn’t have many options. I find this attempt to scare women in to not giving it up so as to assuage the male ego overwrought.

    No guy is going to know if a woman has had 2 partners or 200. Only if she tells him will he know. A smart woman knows to lie just like a smart guy knows to lie. That’s all part of the experience. We learn those things and learn to nod and smile and “believe” someone when they swear they’ve only been with 10 people. In the end, if someone has owned their past and dealt with any possible issues, nobody really cares.

    • If a man can’t be certain about you, he will just drag things out … or refuse to commit. Nothing to do with “scary”, but if you can’t be honest, people won’t be honest with you.
      And the greater a history you have in an area, the less likely you can pull one over. Plus the Internet keeps a lot of data, and so do social networks.
      Getting harder to hide things.

      “I find this attempt to scare women in to not giving it up so as to assuage the male ego overwrought.”
      A slut is a bad person to build a life with, because they previously walked away from many relationships or were dumped they are not a stable proposition.
      “Race doesn’t always go to the strongest or the fastest, but that’s the way to bet” … and there are many “tells” of women who’ve been around the block. Not all of them are online.

      • And the greater a history you have in an area, the less likely you can pull one over. Plus the Internet keeps a lot of data, and so do social networks.
        Getting harder to hide things.

        But again, stable people aren’t going on a treasure hunt through Google or Facebook or Twitter. That’s like women who do background checks on men to check their financial stability. It’s a sign of unhealthy thinking and patterns. Healthy people aren’t doing all of that. The women who air that stuff out on a daily basis? Yeah, there are definitely bigger issues at work. And I agree that if they don’t pay attention to privacy settings and the mystical ways of Google, they could end up paying for it later. But most times that stuff is left in the past by a partner as long as the woman demonstrates a change in behavior. If there’s anything that freaks a guy out, it’s not so much that the woman has had these experiences, but that she had a compulsive need to share them or broadcast them.

        Nothing to do with “scary”, but if you can’t be honest, people won’t be honest with you.

        It’s not about being honest or dishonest. Most people do not go in depth about their dating history when they’re with a new partner. It doesn’t come up. We might talk about an ex here or there, but we don’t rattle off a list of our partners or experiences. That’s just not how most relationships unfold.

        A slut is a bad person to build a life with, because they previously walked away from many relationships or were dumped they are not a stable proposition.

        The “slut” stuff aside, I’m going to agree with you on this. I agree that the woman who intentionally walked away from relationships or consistently engaged in casual sex arrangement is probably not a good bet because she has emotional issues. But a lot of women go through those experiences and then wake up and realize they’d been doing something wrong or something had held them back and then fixed the problem. If the emotional and interpersonal behavior is steady and stable, few men care what her sexual history is.

      • “But again, stable people aren’t going on a treasure hunt through Google or Facebook or Twitter.”
        True, they’ll pay someone else to do it. Anyone who blindly trusts is going to be burned. The idea being “You have to trust” is the clarion call of the grifter. Since trust has to be earned, as we are aware. And it’s earned, by being verified. The woman or man who has problems with their qualifications or profession being checked out may be a fantasist or a swindler. Like a pre-nup: if someone loved the other person and money isn’t an issue – why not agree to it: It’s definitely romantic to tell someone that you love them enough to let them walk away without compensating you.

        “It doesn’t come up. We might talk about an ex here or there,” …
        Yeah, like that old lady who kept the love letters of a guy who wasn’t her 99-year old husband. He divorced her over that. What a woman keeps or entertains about past relationships, says a lot about her. And if she doesn’t talk about them at all, is a huge red flag. (I don’t intend to give away everything my years of observation have taught me)

        “But a lot of women go through those experiences and then wake up and realize they’d been doing something wrong or something had held them back and then fixed the problem.”
        It’s not a relationship between a woman and her miracle product to sort her life out. What you said sounds like marriage being the destination and not a point in the journey. Problem with that is that many women want to GET married, not BE married.

        The other huge sign of a relationship dysfunction is when there is so much time spent teasing out the myriad semantics/specifics of what is supposed to be a “pure” relationship. Then it’s not a relationship anymore: it’s an arrangement. And any arrangement can come to an end anytime.

      • Oh yeah, and also try to remember that every cunning lying woman that gets married to a nice guy …
        is one less nice woman who gets married.
        Let’s see some respect here, “Sisterhood is powerful!”
        Unless that term was only coined by women so that the most promiscuous could get second chances (It was their choice to be in relationships with players while they had their pick of men)?

  12. just visiting on said:

    The oxytocin excuse is a sham and it’s been disproven that the hormone “bonds” you to your partner. “It’s just a physical act” is actually a more healthy belief, since it prevents women from getting all Golden Vagina and holding their vagina hostage until a guy commits.

    Spoken like someone who lost the ability decades ago. We’ll have to agree to disagree on this. For every study disproving, I can come up with studies proving. Though, in the end, it’s my own response and my own self awareness that counts. I’ve had children and breastfed. I’ve spent most of my adult life in relationship, hence low partner count. And I’m very aware of how oxytocin works in my system, and how it’s just one more tool in the toolbox of keeping a couple together.

  13. Pingback: Linkage is Good for You: Week of February 26, 2012

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