The Private Man

Attraction and dating information for all men

Archive for the category “Dating/Online Dating”

Online Dating Profiles – How To Figure Out Women’s Lies

It’s well-established that most of us lie to some degree on our online dating profiles. There are plenty of websites and blogs to help women find the lies on men’s profiles. Because my primary priority is to help men, I give you the list of potential lies that men must face when evaluating a woman’s online dating profile. I also give some solid tips for identifying those lies.

1. Fuzzy photos. Cell phones and digital cameras have gradually improved over the years. The megapixel count has increased and this means generally sharper images for recent photos. So if you see a fuzzy photo, it might be older. Bear in mind that some online dating websites will re-sample images to make them smaller in terms of memory. Photos may also have an upward memory limit. This will make photos less than crystal clear.

2. Outdated fashions. Women typically chase fashion styles and are willing to spend lots of money to be up to date. If the photo has outdated fashion styles, it’s an older photo. This requires, of course, that a guy has to know what’s in style now. Consult some women’s magazines on this and pay careful attention to what women are wearing as you are out and about. This includes shoes, accessories. A woman’s age does certainly impact her fashion she wears in public.

3. EXIF data. This is meta data hidden in digital images. It includes when and where the photo was taken among other information I’ve experimented with some Plenty of Fish photos and haven’t found much in the way of EXIF image data. However, it’s worth checking, regardless. It’s very easy to do and this Google search results page provides links to websites that look for that data in images.

4. Stolen photos/fake profiles. For free online dating websites, this can be a huge problem. Thankfully, there are ways to do searches to find similar images.
Google images and Tineye are good resources. Use them both.

5. The “angles” and lack of a full body shot. The younger men talk about the “secret Internet fattie” (SIF) and it’s a thing. If a woman identifies her figure as “average” and doesn’t have a full body shot, it’s very likely that she’s a SIF. Women are also very good at posing and fashions to tone down the curves. By the way, “curvy” is fat.

6. She’s too good to be true. If a guy gets a message or return message from a truly sexy dame, it’s time to be really suspicious of a fake profile. Use the photo searching tips from item four before responding to the message.

7. The age factor – 29, 39, 49, 59… This is a classic. If any woman claims her age to be any number with a nine as the trailing integer, add at least four years to her age. Verify that by taking a very hard look at her photos. Hands and facial wrinkles don’t lie. Actually, add at least two years to every woman’s claimed online dating age to get a more accurate estimate of her actual age.

8. Various hair lengths in the photos. Here’s a general rule of thumb – the shorter the hair, the more recent the photo. I have yet to meet a woman who grows out her hair as she gets older. Eventually, they all become Q-tips after about 60 years old.

9. Her self-described figure. Average is generally overweight because the average American is over weight. There is a huge exception – foreign-born women. When they say average, it’s actually slender or athletic when compared to American female bodies. But guys, if you’re overweight as well, you’re not going to get a good response rate from slender or athletic women.

There might be more and I’m sure my clever and thoughtful readers will contribute in the comments. As well, perhaps validated profiles will squash many of these lies. Such lies are what drives matchmaking services.

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The Future Of Online Dating

Sean Rad, Tinder’s CEO recently gave an interview that was described as cringe worthy.

He  says he has a lot of theories about “hook-up culture”, including “that feminism has led to it because now women are more independent and pursuing their desires. And that leads to both parties being more sexually active. It’s not because of Tinder.”

Tinder is owned by Match Group Inc. This recently formed online dating conglomerate was forced to update its SEC IPO filing because of Rad’s extemporaneous remarks.

The future of online dating is going to be determined by one primary factor – the self-reporting nature of online dating profiles. In effect, too many people lie. These aren’t necessarily malicious lies. They are most often lies of omission and lies of aspiration. We don’t tell the whole truth and when we make an attempt at truth in our online dating profiles, we say what we want to be, not what we are.

The lies in profiles make online dating a very bad experience rife with disappointment and frustration. For online dating companies, the challenge is privacy. Verifying information is actually a straightforward technological process. The blockades to truthful, verified online dating profiles are mostly about laws and our own human behavior.

We want to lie on our online dating profiles. We actually need to lie on our online dating profiles because there’s an arms race of bullshit even if unintentional. When one person lies on an online dating profile, it becomes tacit permission for another person to lie. The cycle has been repeating every dating cycle since online dating was invented. In an effort to make us more marketable, we exaggerate, we obfuscate, and we prevaricate.

There’s also a need to control our personal narratives. When we link up to other databases (if we could) such as credit ratings, employment records, marriage and divorce records, police reports, we lose control of our own information. With our digital past in hot pursuit, we can’t craft a new life away from our previous mistakes. For post-divorce singles, this is especially significant because the end of a marriage comes the opportunity for personal change and transformation.

A secondary factor is the catalog mentality – especially in major metropolitan areas – where we happily reject a person knowing full well that there will be yet another profile to evaluate. Some mobile apps are attempting to deal with this. I wrote about it previously.

Here are my predictions for the future of online dating –

1. Mobile apps will continue to grow and possibly overtake PC, browser-based online dating. Delayed matching will be a common feature intentionally or because of premium pricing structures. The culture of sexually hooking up will still be the order of the day for the younger demographics and will also bleed up into the older demographic. The expectation of sex isn’t ending any time soon in the context of dating. Sean Rad was only somewhat right in his interview, feminism did unleash the unrestrained sexuality of youth but it needed something like Tinder to facilitate that unrestrained sexuality.

2. Validated profiles will seriously divide online dating subscribers into two categories with pros and cons for each group. Singles that pay will select validated dating where profiles are checked against existing databases through a background check. It’s already starting with ValiDATE, an online dating service that is being rolled out in various cities as it grows. The expense of validated dating will also serve to weed out the validation queens and entertainment seekers. Paying fees keeps people serious about their dating endeavors. Online dating services without validated profiles will get short shrift. Of course, hackers or the seriously dishonest will find ways to work around the database connections that are used to validate profiles.

3. Videos will gradually become a greater part of all online dating websites and applications. The ability to store and display videos will add a very important dimension to profiles far and above the ordinary photos. Good videos will allow for much better expressions of one’s personality. This, of course, will create specialists who will help create those videos for online dating profiles. It’s up to the online dating services to solve the technical issues.

4. Traditional matchmaking will continue to grow but assisted with online dating so the matchmaker can use it to find a larger pool of singles to match with clients. Regardless, validated online dating and traditional matchmaking will become serious competitors unless clients have the deep pockets to afford the matchmaker’s fees. Online dating can go from the low-end of free online dating websites and mobile apps to high-end of validated profiles. It can not, however, compete with full-service matchmakers.

5. Niche online dating websites will chip away at the big boys from Match Holdings until that company buys them up. This will be an ongoing process. I strongly suspect that entrepreneurs behind niche online dating websites have an exit plan of being bought by Match Holdings so they can profit handsomely. Business is business, after all.

Online dating can’t fix the issues of human behavior. The best that the technology behind it can do is to facilitate how us humble humans can meet one another. It was an excellent idea for online dating websites to organize live events. But such events are not the core competency behind the algorithms and databases driving online dating technology. People still need to meet face to face. After all, the purpose of online dating is to stop online dating. However, that’s actually not good for business.

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Unleash The Neg!

[Note: I had originally intended to make this a video podcast but the ideas here do best in writing, not me talking at my video camera.]

Over four years, I wrote about the self-esteem crisis facing American girls and women. Here is the salient paragraph from my original blog post.

Simply put, contemporary female self-esteem is far too high. Girls and women think too highly of themselves. Whether a teen-aged princess or a middle-aged goddess, females value themselves far in excess of the social/sexual cultural realities as well as the evolutionary psychology realities.

Self-esteem is one’s sense of self-worth. It’s when a person has a strong internal sense of self. Self-esteem and confidence are certainly related. Red Pill wisdom states that a man should have confidence. It’s the emotional power to overcome adversity and grow from it. As women are qualitatively different from men, her emotion strength to simply survive adversity. There is a difference here.

Be wary of many sociological and psychological studies about low self-esteem because they can suffer terribly from selection bias. Simply put, when asked if a person could be the victim of something, that person will answer in the affirmative. This very much applies to women more than men. After all, to the victim goes the spoils – from attention and sympathy all the way to expensive government social programs. But the worst manifestation of getting the social spoils is freedom from consequences of individual decisions and actions.

When it comes to attraction and dating, there are some seriously ugly downstream effects of excess female self-esteem:

  • Loss of humility
  • Being bossy and domineering
  • Indulging in the “having it all” myth
  • “I’m always right” or “I always get what I want”
  • What “I want” becomes “I deserve”
  • Extraordinary pickiness
  • Willful ignorance in the face of demographic facts
  • Loss of empathy
  • Increased “bitch shield
  • Overestimation sense of one’s dating “market value”
  • The princess/queen fallacy (check the online dating profiles for those words of self-description)

None of these make a woman more attractive to men. Successful dating coaches know this and have a tremendously challenging balancing act to perform with their female clients. They must rein in the female ego and encourage feminine attractiveness. At the same time, women are awash in social messages such as “love yourself” and “You go, Grrl!”

To circle around to the title of this blog post, it’s important that men have a technique to deal with a woman’s jumbo self-esteem. In old school Pickup Artistry (PUA) is the concept of the “neg“. This word is both a verb and a noun. It is also one of the most controversial elements of PUA techniques.

The neg is intended to be used carefully and with nuance and subtlety. It is not a verbal hammer to be wielded with clumsy impunity. In the context of a woman’s over-inflated self-esteem, the neg can be something fairly neutral. I’ve used this line with great success:

“I see you have that whole self-esteem issue under control”.

This line is not an insult, it’s a statement to acknowledge a woman has no shortage of ego. It puts her on notice that the man can see through her bluster and facade. It’s also a reminder that the man seeks feminine qualities, not masculine qualities clumsily tacked on to a female body.

Using the neg must be done with masculine confidence and with a strong element of flirting. Delivered with a wry smirk (gentlemen, practice that look), the neg can be devastatingly effective in poking a necessary hole in a woman’s unrealistic self-esteem. Of course, if a woman is insufferably awash in ego, it’s time for the nuclear option.

I read that this is a Swedish quote regarding women – she should be happy, humble, and grateful. Is there anything wrong with this? I don’t think so. Note: A reader from Sweden corrected me regarding that quote. According to that comment, it’s “Happy, horny, and grateful”. That fits well, too.

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Beware The Self-Fulfilling Prophesy

I recently got a call from my buddy, Mark the musician. He’s a regular reader of my blog and lives in South Florida. As he studies Red Pill wisdom, he’s very in tune with the reality of life, not the fantasy of life. Mark is very aware of physical appearance and his lifestyle. for better and worse. As a single guy in a high-profile profession – he plays bass in local and traveling bands – he’s often asked about his relationship status. He’s single and not currently dating anyone.

When asked about why he’s not dating anyone, Mark is too honest with his response. He freely admits that he’s short, bald (shaved head), 48 years old, and lives with his aging mother so he can help her out. He also admits that his job is music, not exactly a source of steady income. As he said during our phone conversation, he thinks logically about himself. This is the peril of masculine introspection. He knows too well his shortcomings.

“Men think logically and that includes thinking about himself” he accurately observed. This is amplified by adhering to Red Pill thought where direct honesty is far more important than stupidly unrealistic social expectations. This, however, presents a serious dilemma for men. We soundly criticize women for having a wildly unrealistic self-perception of attractiveness. Red Pill guys can go too far in the other direction regarding self-perception if they are too realistic. It comes to this: “I see too many unattractive, unchangeable things about me so women will never find me attractive”

Such realism can cause a self-fulfilling prophesy. There is nothing wrong with realism until it knocks down a guy’s confidence. This is exacerbated when certain elements of masculine attractiveness are beyond a man’s control. Height is the biggest example. Once a man hits a certain age, he’s not growing any more. The same applies to hair loss unless drastic measures are taken. But weight can be lost, social skills and confidence gained, and charisma learned.

A conventional, and accurate, tenet within Pickup Artistry (PUA) circles is “have irrational self-confidence”. This is easy for the dames because they think emotionally. A post-wall woman uses a mirror as a time machine to the past when her desirability was at its peak. She can do this because her emotions alter how she perceives herself. This, by the way, is a sub-species of the rationalization hamster. Men, being the kings for logic, reason, and realism look at the mirror and typically see their real selves, not some fantasy version thereof.

Such realism is good for masculine self-improvement because a man can see what needs improvement that can be improved. But the realism is a double-edged sword. It can be far too easy to evaluate one’s attractiveness in a negative light. This is horrible for a man’s confidence and is easily perceived by others, particularly women.

Thankfully, there is a cure. I give dating advice for women that can be applied to men but with a variation. For the woman, I advise that when she sees a man she finds at least one good thing about him. For a man, I advise that when he looks in the mirror he sees one good thing in himself, preferably more than one. If he sees something that can be fixed, he envisions that changes that must be made to himself, by himself, and for himself.

In Mark’s case, he does NOT resemble a typical late-40s guy. Through his occupation as a musician, he has cultivated a unique look that bespeaks youth, not middle-age. As well, his Red Pill attitude blesses him with the knowledge that he can work on the parts of himself that he can change. This includes leaning on the side irrational self-confidence.

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Two Video Interviews!

In the first interview, Dan Silverman interviewed me about some of the issues facing men in regards to dating. In second interview, I asked him about his dating coach and matchmaking business.

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Dating Apps – Technology Versus Biology


When the smartphone was released, it was inevitable that some form of online dating would find its way onto the small screens of iPhones and then Android devices. Sure enough, along came Grindr, an app for gay men to find each other. Then came Tinder, something mainly for the heterosexual crowd. I won’t comment on Grindr because that market isn’t what I write about. Tinder, however, has certainly had an impact on the heterosexual “dating” scene. Dating is in quotations because Tinder has a reputation has an app used for primarily for sexual liaisons, not establishing relationships beyond such encounters between consenting adults. A note about terms, an “app” refers to software that runs on smart phones or smart devices such as tablets. Tinder is not the traditional online dating website such as Match or OKCupid.

Tinder was first greeted very cautiously by the pundits. As general location was part of the user’s profile, safety (for the women, of course) was the initial concern. Because the specific user location was not revealed in Tinder, that concern was appropriately brushed aside and users flocked to the app. It also helped that it was free at the time. Within a relatively short time, users were swiping left and swiping right on the profiles with photos originating from the users’ Facebook accounts. But all was not joyous in dateville. Tinder’s user interface function brought out common human behaviors that aren’t harmonious with actually meeting people to form lasting relationships.

The basic and serious problems can be categorized thusly:

  1. Users who are not serious about meeting… at all. Tinder devolved into a bar game or a validation fix. In this category are users who swiped (right or left, it doesn’t matter for these users) strictly for the purposes of entertainment or confirmation of his or her (mostly her) desirability.
  2. Too many choices too soon. This is the catalog mentality that all online dating suffers from. Swiping left (rejection!) is far too easy because there’s always another profile displayed.
  3. Rudeness and crudeness mostly from guys sending messages to girls once a mutual match occurs. This is fallout from Tinder’s reputation as a sexual hook-up app. Guys simply assume that the girl he matches with wants a sexual encounter and soon.

The first two problems are probably as the result of girls using Tinder. Girls love the attention and the availability of so many options leads to a constant left-swipe rejection. The last problem is all about the men. Men are more biologically assertive sexually so it shows regarding the messages they send on Tinder. All three issues with Tinder originate primarily from the DNA-based behavior of human beings as a species. The app did a fine job of capitalizing on that.

But those complaints and the backlash became stronger and stronger. Tinder’s strengths very soon highlighted the weakness as described above. As the dating app is business, fees were eventually established. This also served to curb some of the entertainment and validation seeking users. But the remaining two problems couldn’t be sufficiently addressed with something as simple as imposing a fee on serious Tinderizers.

Enter the dames to create some competition for Tinder. First up, Coffee Meets Bagel (CMB). This app was designed to address at least two of the serious Tinder issues. By working with a user’s existing social network circle of friends (Facebook again), the app only serves up matches within that circle of online friends. Also, matches are only presented one at a time and only for 24 hours. This means that the user viewing the match has time to evaluate but with a deadline. Perhaps this results in a high mutual match rate. I don’t know if the match is ever presented again but that person could be tracked down via Facebook if necessary.

This solution to Tinder’s problems is actually quite elegant. The catalog mentality is stifled and by mining into a user’s circle of friends, overtly sexual messages are also limited if the CMB user is reasonably prudent with her social media friend choices. A guy sending a dick pic or an overtly sexual message is going to think twice if the woman of his digital (double entendre, right there) affection is connected to his friends. The “he’s a creep” story gets started that way.

CMB won’t be a big online dating app. It will attract the smaller number of users who have patience and who are serious about their dating efforts. It won’t make it big, like Tinder, because of incredibly short attention spans, the need for instant gratification, and choice addiction. Should, mirabile dictu, CMB become huge, some of my faith in humanity will be restored.

Next up to take on Tinder’s problems is Bumble. It’s quite recent to the dating app market. Also, it’s founder and creator actually got her start over at Tinder. There was a messy breakup and the Bumble founder went on to do her own thing which was, of course, Bumble. The young woman wanted to create a “respectful” online dating app experience. So she implemented a couple of key features to make the experience better for women.

First and most importantly, once a mutual “like” has been established, the woman must send a message within 24 hours or the match vanishes, poof! Forever! If the guy is really patient, he can extend only one match for another 24 hours. That’s some pressure, right there. Like with CMB, this might serve to nudge women along to actually reach out first, something that is mostly lacking on Tinder where the assertive guys reach out first with often sexual forwardness. There is some very interesting and perceptive commentary on Bumble from the Red Pill guys over at Reddit.

CMB and Bumble have something in common regarding their user profiles. Unlike Tinder (created by men), the other two apps have fields for education, occupation, and employer. Those apps were created by women. The young woman behind Bumble actually described that app as being more feminist. I’ll write a filthy limerick for the first commenter who spots and describes the cognitive dissonance there.

Where all three dating apps succumb to human nature is that only a relatively small percentage of men are perceived as physically attractive to women. Given that CMB only presents one match at a time, there can’t be a quick dismissal. The two individuals must carefully consider if a message is going to be sent. But Tinder and Bumble allow for a quick transition to another profile. Worse, Bumble forces the woman to make a further decision if she is actually going to send a message to the fellow with whom they have a mutual match. It’s an extra level of filtering and that’s not necessarily a good thing considering that girls tend to look for a reason to reject a guy.

This extra scrutiny required by both CMB and Bumble makes the education, occupation, and employer information more important. The guy might not be the most attractive physical specimen but those three pieces of information could sway a girl into creating a match or sending a message. This is hypergamy at work. “Well, he’s losing his hair but look at his thick and wavy occupation! His bulging college degree! He drives such a great employer!” You get the idea without me mashing up too many more awkward analogies.

To be fair and honest, I have not used any of these online dating apps. I have researched and read the news reports and user reviews. Tinder and CMB are available for both the iPhone and Android phones. Bumble is currently available on the iPhone. Please note that there is currently another Android app called Bumble but this is not the online dating app.

Technology in the dating sphere is responding to market forces. Some of those forces are based on our biology. This is why there are photos in the online dating profiles. We respond to a person’s looks, for better and worse. Some of those market forces are based on social expectations, hence Bumble’s feature that mandates a woman sends the first message. But in the end, biology always wins.

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The Protection Factor

Some time ago, a tweet arrived from DateMe Kenya:

Ladies! Before starting a new relationship, ask yourself Will he protect you? Will he respect you?

The idea that a man should protect a woman is a social expectation likely based on a large amount of hard-wiring in a man’s brain. It’s interesting to note that the tweet originated from an African dating website, a vastly different place than the locales from where most of my readers are ensconced. But the Tweet brings up a common theme in regards to how men and women relate, regardless of the continent and culture. Fundamentally, we’re predictable as a species. Unfortunately, contemporary social expectations too often conflict with our biologically-based behaviors. This conflict is terrifically amplified in the context of attraction and dating. This is because attraction to the opposite happens between our ears, the most private space we have.

The expectation and instinct to “protect” women fits quite nicely into hypergamy. A tall, strong man with access to resources and with the ability to charmingly influence others is a genetically attractive man because he has the power to protect. The Tweeter in Africa reinforced that with the first part of the question in the Tweet. Despite all the jawboning about feminine independence, women are frantically concerned with their security. Independence and security are often at odds. As humans, we need each other.

White knighting also fits well with that social and instinctual need to protect women. Back when the social Back when the contract between the sexes was still viable, coming the aid of a woman was perfectly reasonable even if there was risk involved for the man. But that social contract is badly broken so white knighting is a ridiculous throwback from history. But as the need to protect women has an instinctual element to it, the white knight phenomenon will continue to exist even if the woman is behaving atrociously. For example, witness the 20-something crowd in a popular nightclub and how certain girls exploit potential white knights by acting childish and immature with impunity.

There are organized efforts to exploit the urge to protect women. Bystander intervention programs are being introduced at college campuses to address the sexual assault . Such programs encourage young men to help stop sexual assaults on girls by getting involved in individual male/female interactions. The New York Times has a good story on this . Some will argue strongly that these programs are nothing more than cock-block training. But consider the upside, if Frank the freshman can save a buddy from the possibility of a false accusation by intervening at the right time, Frank is showing some serious loyalty to his buddy.

Back when I was plugged into the dating matrix, dates were a way for me to find ways to protect that particular woman through some type of assistance. But looking for protection opportunities on a date put me a in a terrible frame to generate much attraction. I instantly became a helpful older brother. That urge to protect stifled my charisma. When I suppressed that protection urge, I found that going out on dates to be a much more pleasant experience. I was enjoying the company of women and it showed. It took awhile to unplug myself but when I did, I stopped some unhealthy dating habits such as white knighting.

I urge men to be extremely circumspect when the urge to protect a woman arises, especially on dates or at live singles events. The social contract between the sexes is broken so men no longer owe their time and effort to come to the aid of some random dame in need. There is also the issue of assuming that a woman can’t take of herself. Two generations of strong and independent women have been fiercely stating that women are strong and independent. Men should listen to that and act accordingly by judging the circumstances carefully. Short of being the recipient of violence from a stranger, today’s woman can handle herself and her problems without a man’s protection. Besides, she always has the government.

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Where Be The Men?

I’ve had a few recent phone conversations with a Miami-based matchmaker, Dan Silverman. Unlike the vast majority of matchmakers, this is a guy. Also making him rare in matchmaking circles, his paying clients are men. Yes, heterosexual men. Dan got his start in the dating coach business and has branched out into matchmaking. He’s been in the dating advice business for quite a few years. He knows his business well and has been successful at it. This shows his advice works. It works because he accurately knows the predictability of human beings in the context of attraction and dating.

In our conversations, he indicated one of the challenges he faces in his business. His problem is not women. Actually, he has a surfeit of single women. For his live singles events, he has a veritable plague of single women. The problem is men. This is not a problem of individual men. Dan’s problem with men is the general nature of contemporary men. The Y chromosome cohort just isn’t social enough and this is not healthy for the singles business. It’s also not healthy for singles trying to meet the opposite sex out there in meet space without any help.

Having a talk with a professional and successful dating information expert confirmed what I have learned about post-divorce single men. Too many of these men are simply not visible to women because they are socially isolated and when they do get out and about, they are invisible to women. I’ve covered both topics and will continue to do so.

What makes this more significant is the downstream impact of masculine social isolation and invisibility on dating professionals. Dan the dating coach and matchmaker is certainly one example. The masculine pathologies also affect speed dating organizers. I have been asked to attend those events for free in order to fill an available empty seat for guys. At the time, I found that to be rather astounding. But through my research, I learned at the time about masculine social isolation. This meant the lack of men attending made unfortunate sense.

As for the matchmaking element of Dan’s business, the same types of problems exist for him. A bit of the of the difficulty lies in the fees involved. Good matchmaking is not cheap. The process requires time, effort, and the ability to understand and analyze people. Knowledge and time are quite justifiably worth the expense. Understandably, not every man can afford the fees. But once Dan hooks a potential client, it’s not hard to get that client to sign a contract. It’s finding those potential clients that presents the problem. Fortunately, matchmaking is a growing business.

Dan’s personality is very outgoing. He learned through his dating coach services that approaching women in person leads to success. With that in mind, he has absolutely no problem finding single women to add to his database of potential dates for his own clients. He knows his marketing strengths and wisely capitalizes on them.

“But where are the men?” asks Dan when he’s scouting for potential clients. That question is also asked by so many women who are far more willing to go out and be social or even hire a matchmaker. Dating coaches ask that same question. Before that question can be effectively addressed, it’s extremely important to rephrase it to make it more accurate:

“Where are all the suitable and attractive men?”

Even in a social environment where men actually show up is invisibility is a problem. The typical night club swarmed by hopeful young men is no guarantee that the typical young women will actually see such men. Women of a certain age typically do the same thing. They simply don’t see the men that are out in public. In both these instances, it’s a matter of the men not making the effort to stand out. Pick-up artists (PUAs) encourage men to “peacock” with clothes and style so that they stand out from the great mass of indistinguishable men. It’s sound advice.

It’s almost amusing that women seek out all sorts of advice and pay dating coaches. Women can certainly learn a thing or two about being more feminine. But until the men work on themselves by being more social and less invisible, all the self-improvement of women is all for naught. As a bonus, Dan the matchmaker and dating coach would end up doing more relationship and marriage coaching.

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Guys, Prioritize Your Efforts On Yourself

In my ongoing research efforts to find good information about attraction and dating for the post-divorce crowd, I often turn to Reddit, a vast collection of news stories and subsequent comments. In particular, this subreddit, The Red Pill, contains hundreds upon hundreds of discussion where guys are brutally honest about attraction, dating, and masculine self-improvement. This part of the Internet is not for the faint of heart. It is also quite public. Anyone can read what is being said, regardless of membership status.

Because of the strong feelings and very direct words, this subreddit – with over 130,000 members – receives some very direct criticism and there have been calls to shut it down. This means that essential truths are being presented and discussed and such truths are so uncomfortable there are calls for censorship. This fundamentally means that this subreddit is a go-to place to read what men are saying honestly to each other, particularly about women, dating, and relationships.

A recent topic discussion raised an important issue of how a man must prioritize his efforts at “fixing” things. The white knight (profanity-laced page, cool!) instinct is strong in men and when confronted with an issue faced by a woman (or women), a man is sorely tempted to attempt to fix the problem. This includes attraction and dating issues. The very solid subreddit post, by PemBayliss directly and cogently addresses this very issue. I’m highlighting some of the more relevant text but readers can view the entire post by clicking the link just above. My own comments are in boldface.

Women have problems with dating and sex. And they are tough problems.

But they’re not your problems.

Let me explain.

Take your average woman. She’s a 6 in attractiveness — attractive enough to get a male 7 as a boyfriend. She’s also attractive enough to get male 9s and the occasional 10 for sex, but getting commitment from one of them is never going to happen. Come on guys, you know these women. You know 25 of them in real life and you go to school or work with at least 10 of them.

She’s got a tough row to hoe, a needle that is very, very difficult to thread. She has to find a man she’s attracted to and who is dominant and confident, able and willing to support her and sire/father her children. She has to find a man whose clothes she wants to rip off and whose cock she wants to suck twice a day; but who she’s also willing to pad around an apartment with in her fuzzy slippers and sweats. She has to find a man she really, really wants sex with; but the catch is that the man also has to be one who really, really wants to keep her long term.

Her prime problem is that almost all the time, she can find men who fit one bill or the other, but not both. Most of the men she can find are either (1) hot but don’t want to stick around after they fuck her a few times; or (2) want to be her boyfriend and will offer a relationship; but she doesn’t want to fuck them at all because it would be like fucking her brother or her bestie.

She’s in a tough spot.

But… and pay attention here. All that is not your problem.

The author has summarized a woman’s attraction and dating dilemma quite nicely. This dilemma is sometimes played out in the rather cynical game of Fuck, Marry, Kill where girls get together to rate men. It’s extremely important to understand that there is a separate category for sex and another for marriage. This is the woman’s dilemma stated succinctly through a parlor game. This dilemma is exacerbated by a dual message that women, especially young women, receive from social expectations. Have sex with the bad boys, marry a stable provider. It’s more tersely and severely explained in the four words, “alpha fucks, beta bucks”. Sheryl Sandberg in her book “Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead” even admits it:

“When looking for a life partner, my advice to women is date all of them: the bad boys, the cool boys, the commitment-phobic boys, the crazy boys. But do not marry them. The things that make the bad boys sexy do not make them good husbands. When it comes time to settle down, find someone who wants an equal partner. Someone who thinks women should be smart, opinionated and ambitious. Someone who values fairness and expects or, even better, wants to do his share in the home. These men exist and, trust me, over time, nothing is sexier.”

Here we have a successful executive exhorting the dating dilemma at full volume. She’s telling young women to sow their wild oats sexually, just as young men are biologically driven to do. But Sandberg is completely blind to the biological realities that men and women are different. A woman’s biological motives are very, very different than a man’s biological motives. To make the dilemma worse for younger women, consider this Twitter hashtag that is percolating through the Twitterverse: #nohymennodiamond.

This only describes the nature of the woman’s dating dilemma. The other part of social expectations, as well as an element of biology, is how men are expected to respond to their dating dilemma. We men supposed to help in some way. The subreddit author presents this well:

Society and the culture tells you it is your problem. You have to offer yourself up to be her Boyfriend, because that’s how you’re going to get sex. Society tells you this is your problem because our hypothetical girl is Not Happy, and it is men’s job to Make Her Happy. What’s more, you’re told that if you Make Her Happy then She Will Make You Happy (“happy” being you will get your dick wet).

Well, no. No, being a Boyfriend will not Make Her Happy. You undertaking herculean effort to satisfy her will just make her less happy. Your beta boyfriends don’t enrapture her with joy; you just piss her off.

Stop trying to solve your dating/sexual problems by taking on and trying to solve HER problems. Her problems are not your problem to solve.

This is crucial for men. The white knight instinct must be completely stifled. In effect, a guy shouldn’t be a schmuck.

Men, YOUR dating/sexual problems will be well on the way to being solved when you focus on yourselves, your wants, needs, hopes, dreams and desires. Your dating/sexual problem is that you are not awesome and your lives aren’t what you want them to be. You’re overweight, you don’t eat well, and you don’t take care of yourself. You don’t exercise, you don’t take care of your body and you don’t dress well. You don’t look and feel your best. You don’t like your job or you’re not all that good at your job. You don’t have anything in your life you really enjoy being or doing, just for you.

You don’t need to be nicer. You need to hit the gym. You don’t need a girlfriend; you need more men around you to sharpen and hone you. You don’t need to spend time figuring out how to be what she wants; you need to spend more time deciding who you are. You don’t need to spend money on her; you need to get some better clothes and a haircut.

Her problems are not YOUR problems. Let her figure out that Chad’s not coming back. Let her figure out how to get commitment from a suitable man. YOU need to figure out how to be the most awesome man you can be. When you are, then you’ll be the one who decides on commitment or not; you’ll decide how and when and where your resources are best allotted.

But the thing is, it’s not my problem to solve [her dating problems]. And it isn’t yours either. Identify it. Mull it over, empathize if you want. But don’t try to fix it, solve it, resolve it, change it, alleviate it, or wish it weren’t so. Just don’t. Because you can’t alleviate it one bit. You cannot change it. Wishing it away is totally ineffective. The ONLY thing you can do is to get better yourself.

Here’s a great irony to all this. If a man does help a woman with her dating dilemma, he’s helping her to be more attractive to other men rather than working on his own attractiveness. So, the schmuck helps some dame have a higher sexual/relationship market value and along comes Chad Thundercock to sweep her off her feet. Or, sweep her onto her knees. No, the man must work on himself first and work on himself for only himself, not to impress some mythical, unicorn of a woman.

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Pay To Play

No, I’m not talking about prostitution. Pay to play is the concept where a fee is levied in order to present information or entertainment to an audience that is not always aware that a fee is required to the entity creating the information or performing the entertainment.

Wikipedia has a good definition:

Pay to play, sometimes pay for play, is a phrase used for a variety of situations in which money is exchanged for services or the privilege to engage (play) in certain activities. The common denominator of all forms of pay to play is that one must pay to “get in the game,” with the sports analogy frequently arising

There are many examples of this concept in action. It’s likely better known for those folks aware of the live music scene. The Wikipedia page provides examples in other realms such as politics, stand-up comedy, radio, even corporate financing. Part of me understands and appreciates the need for an entry fee in order for a musician or stand up comedian to help the venue (or promoter) to make money. A huge part of the performing arts is a capitalistic endeavor motivated by profit.

Pay to play is moving into other areas. Last year, I was in communication with, an online source for dating and relationship advice. That website gets a lot of attention and plenty of page views. Dating advice folks brag that their content has been featured on YourTango. There is a section of that website with the name “YourTango Experts“. That was where my own content was to be published… for $48 a month at the time. Ah, pay to play. I declined.

Again, I completely understand charging folks like me for an online presence that gathers plenty o’ eyeballs. Besides, YourTango needs content and the profit margins always need to be improved. By charging content creators, it’s a win-win situation. YourTango gets content and some lucre as a bonus. The expert gets valuable exposure to help pitch a book or some type of coaching services.

How long until Huffington Post charges content creators? With so many website desperate for eyeballs, clicks, and the subsequent advertising revenue, it’s likely already happening, especially since so many content creators are pushing a book or a paid service. The trend was established years ago in the print publication industry. If an advertiser was willing to buy up enough ad space, the publication agreed to write a feature story about that business. Making things even more efficient, the advertiser sometimes actually WROTE that feature story. This still happens in local publications.

I have just learned about the Great Love Debate. It’s a series of shows and performances where the there is a fun and lively discussion about attraction and dating in a live audience format. I’ve watched quite a few of the available videos. In general, the format works. A friend recently attended one of these events in Austin, Texas and generally had good things to say.

The format of the Great Love Debate involves a group of attraction, dating, and relationship experts up on stage to speak more about audience questions and talk more about the subject matter. The videos show some lively talk and a generally engaged audience. With that in mind, I thought to myself that I could be one of those experts up on stage. I sent an email to the show’s organizers. The response I received was not unsurprised at the response. Given my under-the-radar status as a dating blogger, I was expected to pay a fee to be up on stage. Fair enough. Outside of the ‘sphere, I’m not particularly well-known.

As a reality check, I contacted a local dating coach to see if he had participated in the same show. He did last year here in Miami, but was not charged a fee given that his local public reputation is better than mine. This local dating coach, Dan Silverman, does better with his matchmaking services. A note for guys here in South Florida, his clients are heterosexual men and he has MANY more women available than he has male clients. I might have him write a guest post or do an interview with him so he can discuss what he’s learned from his matchmaker services for men.

There is a glaring problem with the pay to play business model. There are seriously reduced incentives to deny fees to the unqualified. Consider the the pay to play concept at a comedy club. The promoter or club owner accepts fees from performers who are not at all funny. The audience still pays for an entry ticket and drinks but is thoroughly  not amused by the terrible act(s) up on stage. No one wins but the promoter or club owner. But the win is short-lived because the club’s reputation will quickly be ruined.

This applies to any business model that charges an audience and also charges the performers. It’s fraught with difficulty because of financial incentives. The takeaway for guys is to be very circumspect about what advice they are reading on the ‘Net. If it’s pay to play, then the advice should be heavily discounted.

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