The Private Man

Attraction and dating information for all men

“That’s Cheating!”

My neighbor, James, is a good guy. He’s in his 30s, works a full-time, labor intensive, skilled job. He’s pleasant and friendly to me and my ugly dog. He refers to her as “killer”. He’s never spoken to me about his love life and I have never asked. He’s never mentioned a girlfriend or going on dates. It’s not my business and I would never, ever pry. That’s guy code, right there.

Some weeks ago I ran into him in the village. In much of his spare time, James takes his fishing gear to the local pier and does pitched battle with the local swimming sea life. Sometimes he wins (thanks for the fish, James!) and sometimes he loses. Regardless, it’s his enthusiasm and he clearly enjoys it. I give him major respect for that.

When I ran into him, I had just put up a new blog post and was feeling proud of myself. James asked what I had been doing recently.

“I just put up a new blog post.”

“What’s your blog about?”

“I help men be more attractive to women so they can reach their relationship goals.” It’s my standard go-to response when questioned about my blog.

“I don’t understand.”

“Men can learn how to be more attractive to women and I help them with that.”

James looked shocked and then quickly got angry.

“That’s cheating!” He was emphatic. He was pissed off. He was not attacking me, just my message. Again, the guy code applied.

This reaction did not surprise me. James is of the “be yourself and the right woman will magically appear” school of thought. I know where this comes from. For years I held the same point of view. I didn’t back down.

“A man can learn new things to make himself more attractive to women so he can meet his relationship goals.”

James was stubborn.

“I want a woman to love me for exactly who I am.”

That’s a noble sentiment based on an idealized view of attraction, dating, and relationships. It’s the standard response borne of shitty social expectations. But as I deal in the sometimes difficult realities of the situation, I had to be honest with James.

“If a guy isn’t meeting his relationship goals, then he has to change.”

The look on his face softened as he quickly figured it out. I also assumed he was considering his own relationship goals and the fact he was not likely meeting them himself.

“Well, I can see your point…”

I do feel a sense of pride in men when they apply logic and reason to a situation and don’t stubbornly cling to lying social expectations.

I have read and heard women become scorchingly angry (Hi Jezebel!) at the thought of a man improving himself so he can meet his relationship goals. James’s reaction was similar. The prevailing social expectation is that when it comes to being attractive to women, a man must remain essentially static, especially regarding his behaviors and attitude. A man increasing his value in the sexual/relationship market is a very real social taboo. Improving the external things – fashion, hair, hygiene, health, etc – doesn’t seem to be much of a problem for society.

It’s even worse should a man learn from the seduction community. Those opposed to pick up artistry (PUA) make many accusations, mostly charges that men are learning how to manipulate women. That’s a shallow interpretation based on the fear that a woman might be attracted to something “artificial” such as faux confidence.

I can’t do anything about a person’s negative reaction to the concept of male self-improvement. What I can do is educate both men and women about this.

Men, if you’re not getting your relationship goals met, you simply have to change. There is no option. It’s not cheating. It’s not learning to be manipulative. It’s working on your attitude and behaviors so you can deal with women on your terms, not theirs. Consider the confidence sub-routine (link below) as your start. Here’s the zen-like element to self- improvement: You’re doing it for you, not for women. That’s a hard concept to grasp and one of the reasons many guys fail at attracting women. If a woman senses that a man’s self-improvement is merely to be more attractive to women, she’ll blow him off romantically. I can’t stress that enough. The most important person a man must impress is himself.

Women, with so much male self-improvement material out on the Interwebz, you’re anger is useless. Guys are going to learn this stuff, there is no way to stop it. That confident, Charismatic fellow who boldly stated that you and he will be having a date this weekend might have been a meek, insecure NiceGuy™ just a few short years ago. He’s attractive to you now, that’s all that matters. Enjoy it. Be thankful that he had the sense to improve himself. You can hate on PUA all you want. Dole out mockery, snark, and insults until your fingers bleed. The guys who understand have heard it all before and it means absolutely nothing to them. Rather, each insult is seen as proof that PUA and male self- improvement actually works.

Perhaps my neighbor will take a closer look at himself and accept that some change might be necessary in his life. I’ll be supportive and encouraging. Besides, I don’t want to piss him off. He’s a professional meatcutter.

The Confidence Sub-Routine Expanded

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29 thoughts on ““That’s Cheating!”

  1. laidnyc on said:

    Would James tell a woman not to eat right, exercise and wear makeup because a man should love her for exactly what she is, bloated thighs, acne and all?

    Women who make themselves hotter make men happier.
    Men who make themselves more attractive make women happier.

    Being anti-game is the true misogyny.

  2. This’ the exact reason of why I never tell men about pickup and my blog. Guys are just so fucking stubborn and never think outside the box of romcom dating advice. Chicks are 1,000 times more receptive to novel and radical ideas of lifestyle changes and courtship. But I do get why James is this was as you eluded too that you were once that way.

  3. Vicomte on said:

    “That’s cheating!”

    When I read this I made puzzled-face for about five seconds.

    I then tried to reverse-engineer my way back to how he must think about these things, but I gave up shortly after beginning because it was too much work.

    It was exactly like earlier this week when I tried to remember how to do math.

  4. Baldy on said:

    I very much embraced the thought that someday a woman who was my perfect match would magically appear in my life and things would be dandy. I fully agree that men must change bad habits and make themselves more attractive in the process.

    My only gripe with the PUA community is that too much of the focus is on the techniques and the 5 minute interactions as opposed to the countless hours that must be put into developing new habits, new fashion, and soul searching to find “inner” game.

    • Yeah… too much focus on “systems”. That’s good for marketing and sales, it’s not real good for the guys who lack confidence and think that tacking on a few tricks to their behavior will work miracles.

      • Baldy on said:

        Exactly! I was one of those guys who lacked confidence and no amount of routines helped me get better until I took a deeper look at my life and changed my bad habits. To my knowledge, the only author to come out of the PUA community who talks about it in depth is Mark Manson.

      • John Dark on said:

        Hi Private Man,

        I am an older English guy who has posted a couple of times before. Now Red Pill and gratified to see it working. Here is a link to a series of articles on How to Dress for Dating, including a little bit about the psycho-dynamics of dressing for date/dating. It is oriented towards English style (slightly more formal) but good all the same.

        Hope its useful.

    • What PUAs don’t teach is the inner game. It’s strictly outer game. They think morality is for chumps…when morality is the essence of inner game.

      That’s why if you get your mental assassination skills even better than a woman…you can display every PUAs weakness and never have a woman get to you again.

  5. Excellent post on many levels. The name of the game is self-improvement.
    As Bob Dylan said, “He not busy being born is busy dying.”

  6. Fidel on said:

    I get the impression that many women see the dating hierarchy as a fixed ladder. i.e., if you are a 4 now, that is what you must stay for your term on this earth.
    See how apeshit they go when they think that some guy is ‘dating out of his league’.
    As evidence, if anyone has the stomach or fortitude to waste their time, google ‘Lady Raine’, and look back to the time when she was pissy about Roissey. ( +- 2 1/2 years ago. )

  7. Pingback: "That's Cheating!" | Viva La Manosphere!

  8. Tam the Bam on said:

    When the vikings got bored with gutting monks and burning everything, they decided to settle as a bloc in northern and eastern England. The most annoying thing the already-established Saxon English had to try and come to terms with (the cultures were almost identical) was the Danes’ runaway success with the local girls.

    Not through being thuggish and scary, or wealthy and dominant.
    “The vikings were very clean, having had combs, scissors, and soap. They even had one day of the week named after washing. “Latherdaeg” was their Saturday. Sometimes lye would be left in the soap so those with darker hair could “bleach” it and make it fairer.
    Vikings prided themselves on their grooming, as a neat and kept person was more respectable than an unwashed, scraggy person.
    It should be noted that the Christians at the time did not bathe at all, as it required the person to be naked, and to touch themselves. It also showed pride in one’s body. These are of course, sinful. It has been recorded by monks that the Heathens would bathe and comb them their hair to steal away the Christian women.

    Indeed the local English lads wailed, they even go so far as to wash and comb their hair daily, wear ointments and pomades and other aromatic preparations, and bathe thoroughly every week!
    “That’s cheating!” they roared.

    I wonder if the vikings had introduced the mixed sauna, on the sly? Works for me.

  9. That’s cheating?

    Well like it’s said…if you aren’t cheating, you aren’t trying.

  10. whenever a young woman asks me about my blog, and i explain it’s subject matter 99% of the time i get an ecited, “THANK YOU!!!”

    explain it to a 35 year old woman and 99% of the time i get such a scolding of how misogynistic i am.

  11. Hamilton on said:

    In the popular movie My Big Fat Greek Wedding you watch the main character go through months of self improvement to step up her girl game. She works out, dresses pretty, wears make-up, goes to technical school, and is all around more girly than her old self. I’ve never once heard a man or woman say, “she should have just waited for a man to love her for herself.” They know that for her to land a decent man she would have to up her game. But as this post says, most people I know, men and women, don’t look at their own life that same way. Three reasons for that – 1. The person would face resistance from their friends and family. Posts abound in the manosphere about this behavior. Bottom line, you improving yourself makes other people feel bad about them not doing the same. (like in the Greek movie) 2. Changing requires work and people are lazy. 3. The Greek Wedding movie is an extreme example – most people don’t start from such crappy place as the character in the movie. They may be SM 5s who could be strong 6s or even a weak 7 with some more effort, but since they aren’t a 3 or 4 they don’t want to improve.

  12. wingman on said:

    Self-improvement for men is about honestly assessing the reality you already know. Understanding how your own behavior influences that reality is powerful, and applies to far more than just one’s relationship goals. Understand the facts, know the tools, control yourself and…watch. Suddenly you’re respected, admired and attractive to women. You might also get a better job and have people come to you seeking advice. Thank you PM for continuing to make this so freaking clear.

  13. “that’s cheating”

    And now we know why Spock and his Vulcan logic was always such a source of consternation….not all humans think logically!

  14. Yep It's Me on said:

    I can relate to his reaction – last year, I would have said the same thing, that anything to do with PUA and the Manosphere was really about boys/men/guys wanting to get laid and ratchet up their notch count. And I would have questioned the motivation of “relationship goals” – thinking (at the time) that the only goal was to get laid.

    No so as I sit here a year later. Last year, I tried getting back with my STBXW in a very “tried-n-true” “tell me what you want and I’ll do it” type of way. I allowed her the freedom to express herself, to experience life, to reach her goals – with support (including financial) – guess what it got me? Yep, still stuck in that limbo between marriage, separation and divorce – still listening to her bitch about her life, how she doesn’t have “time to herself”, how she needs to get more training, more materials, a better desk, more stuff (while all I want is to live with my family again – the irony).

    Today, as I look back at the past year, there is a sense of pride in what I’ve done. It potentially started out as a way to “win her back”, but has become something that I want to do for myself, I’m working out with weights, lost over 60 pounds, getting my hair cut regularly, wearing clothes that I want to wear (that fit and look good), spending time with my kids, (re)learning what it means to be a man, and feel 1000% better about myself.

    I remember the most honest thing she ever said to me (about 6 years ago) “If I have to get a job, I don’t need you” — at the time, it hurt and cut me to my core — today, I realize she gave me a glimpse into the “way things really work”. The pill may have a bitter taste and we may fight against some of the things we hear and see, but it is time well spent.

  15. Self improvement is always good, but you need (I think) to know how far you can go. For example, I probably could never get physically strong enough, get a great enough job, and develop the charm to get a HB9. I think this may get guys into some trouble…they think they can improve to get a 9 yet are not satisfied when a 7 wants them in their life.

    • Yep It's Me on said:

      And yet, maybe you’re missing the point. If you BELIEVE you’re not “enough” – no one else will either. Number scales are bullshit, and at the core, the perception of other people is complete bullshit. Get to that place where you are more than enough for yourself – be the best Man you can be for those people/places/causes you love and believe in. Forget the scale – find your mission – and work everyday towards it.

      Confidence can’t be faked and you will never have confidence if you don’t believe in yourself.

  16. riptied on said:

    “That’s cheating.”

    A sports analogy exposes the silliness of that reaction. Teams A and B meet in the arena. Team A wins. Team B, determined to do better next time, analyzes at how A outplayed them. Team B sharpens their game plan, and drills relentlessly on execution. Next time they meet, Team B wins. Who in their right mind would accuse Team B of cheating?

    Transferring this to relationships, a man gets healthier and stronger, dresses better, does better at work, takes steps to improve his social skills. All of this builds his self-confidence, and not co-incidentally makes him more attractive to women. Again, who in their right mind would accuse him of cheating?

    • The analogy I like to use with guys is “would you use a golf pro if you wanted to get better at golf*?”

      *Or whatever sport they’re into

  17. HayabusaJack on said:

    As a 100% Beta Male, raised that way, I’ve believed that if I do what I love, “she will appear”(TM). I’ve recently been exposed to the Manosphere (like the past couple of months) through MMSL then here (and to others from your right hand links).

    Posts like this do help in that I change my thinking. I mean, I read books, study software, and attend training to improve my career goals. It makes sense to study and improve myself to improve my relationship goals. At 56, and going through my second divorce, I’m out here trying to understand just what my relationship goals are so I know what to study and how to change. And to see if it’s too late to change (women in my age bracket all look like my mom!) I may just be at the MGTOW stage by default.

    • Yep It's Me on said:


      I’m with you on how the women (that are within our age range) look. I too have looked around and wondered the same thing – and then again, I also know that the only people I want to give my money to after I die are my own kids; not someone that isn’t my flesh-n-blood (a new/2nd wife) and definitely not that her kids.

      • @Jack and Yep – welcome to the dark side – it’s a pretty great place.

        But – why restrict yourselves to women in your age bracket? I’m late 40s myself – and let me reassure you that there are *many* 20/30/40 something women out there who love dating men in their 50s

  18. Women are like fish, folks go on and on about fish liking natural bait best but artificial lures work just fine.

  19. Pingback: Lightning Round – 2013/07/17 | Free Northerner

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