The Private Man

Attraction and dating information for all men

Two Pretty Lies Addressed

TRIGGER WARNING – There are some truths in this blog post that might cause offense (That warning inserted because irony)

In the effort to make us all feel good about ourselves, we tell each other very pretty lies to cover up the ugliest of truths. This is the conundrum of “polite company”. We seek to soothe, not to confront. When the merest whisper of confrontation surfaces with unpopular ideas, there are now some very politically correct ways to scream “shut up!” without actually screaming or saying the words “shut up”. Oh crap, I forgot to check my privilege. I am so sorry for causing “offense”. Regardless, I’m going to plow ahead.

The First Pretty Lie: “Accept yourself”

This is the prettiest of lies. It’s also a meaningless statement if a person, man or woman, seeks self-improvement in order to meet relationship goals. That phrase is actually damaging. If a person has accepted himself or herself then there is little motivation to adapt to Dating 2.0.

Self-acceptance results in too much personal stagnation. When relationship goals are not met, that’s incentive to cast off that self-acceptance and work on personal development. “Personal development” is the clever euphemism for “I suck at meeting my relationship goals and I have to change myself”. Hence, we have the dating coach industrial complex.

There are certain elements of life where acceptance is the only way. Consider the situation of the short man. Shoe lifts might help but he simply cannot grow taller. With the self-acceptance of his height, he can go on to improve his charisma and confidence. The ability of a human being to adapt and change is remarkable. Even after decades on this planet, a person can change himself or herself if the incentives are strong enough. Meeting relationship goals is a very strong incentive indeed. Did I mention the dating coach industrial complex? Actually, the whole life coach concept arose because traditional psychology hasn’t done particularly well. These types of coaches work to remove the cultural fog of the pretty lies.

There is a terrible social expectations that work directly against men and women working to improve their behaviors and personality to be more attractive to the opposite sex. Women are encouraged to appear more attractive physically but are actually dissuaded from working on their personalities so as to be more feminine. Worse, women are encouraged to be brassy, aggressive, and opinionated. That type of personality is hardly feminine and actually quite repellent to men with confidence and charisma.

Men are also encouraged to work on their appearance to be more physically attractive – though less than women – but are dissuaded from working on their personalities to be more masculine and therefore more attractive to women. Should a man work on his personality and communication skills to be more attractive, it’s somehow considered cheating or manipulative of women. So, men and women are strongly urged toward self-acceptance. The result is an unhealthy and static attraction and dating scene where relationship goal frustration is the norm.
The second pretty lie: “Love yourself”

Um, no. This pretty lie is simply an expression of the feelz over the realz. This lie is most often directed at women by well-meaning but hopelessly naive friends and advice-givers. Telling a woman to “love herself” should actually be considered a back-handed insult. Women tell each this lie because of feelings and not truth.

Similar to the lie of “accept yourself” some dissatisfaction with one’s self is necessary for growth and change in order to meet relationship goals. But loving oneself has some very unpleasant unintended consequences. For men, it’s insufferable arrogance and all the unpleasantness that goes along with that personality characteristic. For women, the unintended consequence is an insufferable entitlement complex. Such an attitude results in complete selfishness along with strong narcissism. A woman’s online dating profile manifests such an entitlement complex with long lists of requirements and the statement of “Don’t message me if…”.

The female ego run amok is terrible and terrifying thing. Younger men deal with this much more than men in my demographic. The stories. The stories of demanding, shrill, unpleasant young women are legion and frightening. To be sure, there are women over 40 years old who act like spoiled children and thankfully, those women are few and far between. “Love yourself” results in consequences divorced from actions along with a “I can do no wrong” mentality. When a woman “loves herself”, humility – a very attractive feminine quality – simply evaporates.

Pretty lies must be exposed so that the truth about attraction between the sexes can be revealed. With those truths revealed for all the see, it’s possible to engage in some meaningful personal development to increase attractiveness to the opposite sex. Let’s review some noble truths of attraction and dating:

  • Men and women are different
  • The masculine attracts the feminine
  • The feminine attracts the masculine

Have I mentioned the dating coach industrial complex?

(H/T Heartiste for the phrase “Pretty Lies”)

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6 thoughts on “Two Pretty Lies Addressed

  1. Pingback: Two Pretty Lies Addressed |

  2. wingman on said:

    Thanks for this post PM. You’re hitting on something larger than dating implications. If you accept yourself and love yourself, why bother? I believe this mantra got into our DNA sometime in the 70’s. I am a parent of a young adult and amazed at what that message has become today. Accept and love yourself has morphed into, you are uniquely special and you DESERVE the best of everything. I see trouble ahead. The attitude of entitlement among the spoiled young is turning into utter superiority. The Parents of today who accept and love themselves have created a monster in their own children, the daters of tomorrow.

  3. There’s a lot of entitled and narcissistic people, but I doubt that they accept or love themselves. Narcissists overcompensate for feelings of low self worth.

    Anyhow, I’m going to offer a view point on why some people choose this path.

    The concept of acceptance and loving yourself is a mental and emotional discipline that requires real world actions in order to actually do it. (Mantras wont cut it) The result is authentic outcome independance. In a world of validation junkies, you are free from addiction . This is important because if you are constantly needing validation from outside of your self, you’re in slave mentality. You;re owned by the outer not the inner.

    Part of self validating is constantly challenging yourself. Against yourself. It’s not about the person down the street, it’s about you. That’s a feature not a bug. Not only are you freer from outside validation but also envy. Motivation by envy (dance monkey dance) is just as enslaving as validation mongering (good doggie). You can be manipulated by it. When you love and accept yourself, your motivation is self driven. Proactive. If your motivations are driven by validation or envy then you are putting contrl of yourself into the hands of others, They pull the strings and that person reacts. Their behaviour and/or how they feel are about their conditions. (Not their decisions)

  4. Hamster Tamer on said:

    Seminal post. Some of your tightest and “cleanest” writing yet. Great stoic, unapologetic writing voice. Dictionally superb. “Brassy” instead of “bossy”… hat tip for reviving that classic. Cheers.

  5. Pingback: Another Pretty Lie Is Slain | The Private Man

  6. Kyra on said:

    How can anyone else love you if you don’t love yourself? If I don’t like or love myself I’m going to be more inclined to sit around moping than to go out and do activities I enjoy and engage in learning/self-fulfillment.

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