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« Elsewhere | Main | Literacy: Normal? Natural? Desirable? »

September 15, 2006

Meeting Girls

Michael Blowhard writes:

Dear Blowhards --

Taking off from the LonelyGirl15 kerfuffle, Steve riffs entertainingly about how idiotic many American guys are about how to connect with women. Don't miss his impression of -- almost a standup routine about -- what goes on in an Asian girl's mind as she sizes up a prospective geek boyfriend.

I'll second Steve's observation about American-male cluelessness. Whenever I've made the suggestion on this blog that lonelyguys in search of female company attend yoga classes, reading clubs, cooking classes, ballroom-dance or improv-acting workshops, etc., some singleguy commenters always respond, "But that's not the kind of thing we het dudes enjoy, or can even be good at!"

Hey there, brilliant whiner/dimwits: The point isn't for you to excel, or express yourself, or rock out, or indulge your bravado, or even to feel good. The point is that, if you want to meet girls, it makes practical sense to go where the girls are. Make the effort! (You'll get props just for showing up.) Then relax, enjoy the company, take your eyes off their tits, let go of the ego, admit that you don't know everything and aren't always in masterly control of everything, and show some patience and curiosity.

1) You'll survive.
2) You'll learn a thing or two.
3) Hanging out with chicks is enlightening, enchanting, and rewarding in its own right.
4) At some point, nature will almost certainly take her course.



UPDATE: Liz Phair wonders "Whatever happened to a boyfriend?"

posted by Michael at September 15, 2006


If you can go there without utter hypocrisy, church is not a bad place, and not just for courting-with-a-view-to-marriage.

I once chatted with a Well Known Author who claimed that Christian Fellowship was the best place to pick up a girl on strange campus, and it kind of made sense to me, but he may have been broadcasting his cynicism.

Posted by: Intellectual Pariah on September 15, 2006 1:55 PM

That's a great idea. I wish I'd thought or heard of it back in my single days. Chicks ... Spirituality ... Makes sense. Come to think of it, some of the best-looking women I've ever seen were ones I've run across at Tibetan Buddhist get-togethers. But that was back when Tibetan Buddhism was still chic. Is it still?

Posted by: Michael Blowhard on September 15, 2006 2:13 PM

If you are a guy and love yoga and cooking then you are in good shape. The same is true if you are a female who is crazy for military history and NASCAR (for example). But if you are a typical nerd/gearhead/jock who is into guy things and you attend yoga classes for the purpose of meeting women, you will probably not enjoy it and the women will pick up on this. That is why you and Steve are half-right. It's true that men and women are different and tend to have different interests and think differently from each other. But if you are male it's not enough merely to understand what the female is thinking and present an attractive image of yourself to her. For real compatibility you also have to have something in common, which means sharing basic values and probably some interests. IOW, the issue isn't so much one of marketing as it is one of determining goodness of fit. It is a sorting process and not helped by pretense, though everyone learns to expect some spin and tries to see through it, and some women (Steve's hypothetical Asian, for example) are adept at manipulating the situation in a generally positive direction.

Posted by: Jonathan on September 15, 2006 2:29 PM

Jonathan -- I'm not sure I agree. Or maybe I just differ a bit on a few points.

1) If you attend cooking classes just to meet chix, then you're right, you'll probably be seen through. But I don't see things as being that clear-cut. After all, who doesn't like food? Whip up a nice sauce, learn about how to handle chicken (oh, yeah, baby!), and you'll start getting into it. Same with yoga. Who doesn't like feeling good physically? And whatever its silliness and woo-woo factor, yoga's very good at stretching and toning. And that just plain feels good.

So it's hard for me to imagine a guy who wouldn't be drawn into such activities (if not these, then others) at least partially, and at least semi-sincerely. They don't have to be high on your personal-passion list to be semi-interesting, semi-rewarding, etc -- and that's all that's needed.

Plus, stuff that you spend some time on, whether it's your specific thang or not, almost inevitably tends to *become* interesting. Almost anyone who attends four cooking classes or a month of improv acting is going to start finding these activitites semi-interesting in their own right. So much for the problem of being completely insincere! Besides, if we insisted on 100% sincerity, no one would ever pair up.

2) I think the dream of sharing interests often torpedos perfectly good potential relationships. American guys tend to dream about gals who share their passion for golf or Nascar or evolutionary biology or whatever. I think that's a mistake, if an understandable one. For one thing, few chicks are into such subjects, at least to the extent hoped-for. For another, it's unrealistic: What these guys are hoping for is basically a buddy they can boff. (If that's what you want, dudes, then go gay!) For a third, girls offer a lot, but it tends (exceptions allowed for) to be less along the lines of "Yeah, I love WWII aircraft too!" and more along the lines of sympathy, empathy, insight, comfort, warmth, encouragement (plus guidance, whip-cracking, etc). They have, most of the time, their own agendas, and most of the time that means money, playing house, being loved, having kids, etc. And that's OK. For most people, most of the time, that's as it should be.

None of which means that it isn't great to find someone you can enjoy activities, life, and conversation with, of course. But first you gotta meet her!

So I'd argue that guys who want buddies they can boff; who expect to find a gal who's as nutty about science, skiing, whatever as the guy himself is; who don't understand that gals have their own desires and requirements; and that rewarding longterm relationships have more to do with deep compatibility than they do with finding anything ideal, let alone surfacey stuff like playing darts -- well, I'd argue that they're doomed to frustration and disappointment, really. Do you disagree?

Posted by: Michael Blowhard on September 15, 2006 2:46 PM

All these ideas for meeting women are basically like rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic For a variety of reasons, primarily rampant de facto polygamy and serial monogamy, I fear that we're seeing the development of a entire Lost Generation of men who are going to spend their lives single and lonely simply because they're insufficiently "Alpha" to meet women's increasingly picky demands. Almost any woman under age 40 or 45 who isn't unspeakably overweight or ugly or otherwise deeply flawed pretty much has her pick of men. Great for them, but the flip side is that a man who isn't damn near perfect - in other words, doesn't qualify as unequivocally Alpha - is damn near out of luck. The days when it was normal and expected for a man to settle down and have a family are, I fear, fading into the past.
What all this means for the future of our society, I'm afraid to guess.

Posted by: Peter on September 15, 2006 3:44 PM


I think you may be overgeneralizing from your own preferences. For example, I really dislike yoga. I tried it, as well as dancing and aerobics classes. Hated them all even though I like dancing. I like cooking but suspect that I would not enjoy classes. There is something in the gestalt of class-taking, with its instructions and exercises and orderly progressions that appeals to a lot of women but tends to repel men, or at least me. (OTOH, set it up as a contest and guys will flock to it.)

Also, I think you sell short the common-interests thing. I am not saying she has to share your passion for building ships in bottles, merely that if you like sailing or golf and she likes outdoor activities of other kinds, then there is already substantial common ground. You can do more things together that you both enjoy. That degree of overlap is probably attainable for many people and makes life better, so why not?

Posted by: Jonathan on September 15, 2006 4:23 PM

OK, mine clearly isn't advice that will work for everyone, and I take your point that some interest-overlap can be worthwhile as well as reasonably hoped-for. Still: How to go about meeting girls?

Posted by: Michael Blowhard on September 15, 2006 4:39 PM

Hilarious conversation.

I know a million great single girls and a million great single guys.....and they will each stay that way despite the whining and 'how am I going to meet someone' conversations. It's a kind of inertia.

The second you ask the question, how to meet someone, you are doomed.... :)

Posted by: MD on September 15, 2006 4:46 PM

To the extent that girls do appreciate a guy who goes to yoga or cooking class, I think they must be gauging the guy's personality / wealth / or whatever. They have an idea of the prototypical "guy who does yoga," and they'd like to meet him -- that is, guys who are naturally drawn to such things. If they figured out that you weren't really a "yoga-type guy," they'd feel you were just putting up a facade.

Like if you put effort into dressing well / fashionably, they'd assume you were rich. If it turned out that you were really average or poor but knew where to shop for deals that looked good, they'd be pissed. Most of the things girls say they are looking for in a guy are like this: a means to an end of figuring out how high-status you are (IQ, drive, clothes, car, living situation / zip code, etc.), how good you'll be in bed (dancing ability), and so on. They don't value them as ends in themselves -- so if you could dance well but were horrible in bed, you'd get dumped. If you were smart & creative but not rich, then ditto -- a la Steve's Asian girl character trying to steer a pure physicist-type guy into more temporal, trifling pursuits (from his POV) that would result in bigger bucks and social status.

Enough negative comments -- as you say, how to go about meeting girls? Just target a difference group of girls, as they're not all alike. My vague impression of non-coastal people is that the females are more into typical guys, the strong silent type, etc., rather than fun-loving outgoing guys. I've also noticed that continental European girls, their minds unadulterated by radfem rot, are more accepting of male-female differences, and aren't hoping that their guy loves to do yoga or cook -- *she* is hoping to impress *you* with her cooking skills or flare for fashion.

Posted by: Agnostic on September 15, 2006 5:03 PM

MD -- Dudes, eh? Always trying to figure girls out. (As though girls are computers or machines.) And girls, eh? Always trying to intuit what men are up to. (As though men actually have complex emotional lives.) Still: it increases the odds to at least visit places where the opposite sex hangs out, doesn't it? And certainly the many singles I've seen who attend cooking classes, etc, are onto something, no?

Agnostic -- I suspect that you're overthinking things. I'm not trying to convert you to yoga (and I don't think it matters much if the girl thinks of you as a yoga-dude or not). I'm just trying to put dudes who want girlfriends in the physical presence of girls, in relaxed situations where both might feel reasonably open and cheerful. Openness, cheerfulness, relaxation, and proximity -- it's a nice combo! But who knows, maybe what feels like over-thinking to me works for you!

Posted by: Michael Blowhard on September 15, 2006 5:11 PM

MD hit the nail on the head. It is a form of inertia.

BTW, I knew that if I opened the comments I'd see Peter carrying on about the alpha males. And Agnostic, everyone weighs in on everyone else--at first--by looking at outward appearances. Men make their own assumptions--and have their own scales.
Women may be looking for wealthy guys, or they may just be looking for someone who can hold down a job.

But the question is something girls looking for guys ought to also consider. Especially those girls who continue to look for guys in bars and wonder why they never meet anyone looking to commit.

Posted by: Rachel on September 15, 2006 5:19 PM

"For a third, girls offer a lot, but it tends (exceptions allowed for) to be less along the lines of "Yeah, I love WWII aircraft too!" and more along the lines of sympathy, empathy, insight, comfort, warmth, encouragement (plus guidance, whip-cracking, etc). They have, most of the time, their own agendas, and most of the time that means money, playing house, being loved, having kids, etc. And that's OK. For most people, most of the time, that's as it should be."

Yeah, I think a lot of us nerdy guys just don't like women. As in, real women, not fantasy women or whatever we imagine a female version of ourselves would be like.

The thing about you, Mike, is that your natural interests slot you very well to get along with women. You genuinely like the arts, emotion, and ambiguity. You're probably pretty well toward the side of empathizing on Baron-Cohen (the professor, not Ali G)'s empathizing-systemizing continuum, and given the problems those of us on the systemizing end run into, you're better off. I started dating and was just so bored by having to tell the girl how much I liked her all the time I just gave up. Plus I had to drag myself to all these boring (to me) concerts and comedy routines. Maybe, with interpersonal compatibility becoming mroe and more important, nerds like me just aren't going to find mates. And maybe given that outsourcing is sending away all our jobs, that's OK, since society no longer has a role for us anyway.

Posted by: SFG on September 15, 2006 5:45 PM

Where to meet girls?

I am reminded of a good tip in the Wall Street Journal for Networking and getting Job Opportunities:

- You are unlikely to get any good opportunities from your best friends and co-workers because they know all of the same people you know. You are better of with friends-of-friends, or 2 or 3 degrees of seperation.

So how does this translate to the social networking/hooking-up question? Going to parties and get-togethers with friends who invite other friends you don't know yet.

But, still the best place to meet people is college. Bar None.


Posted by: Ian Lewis on September 15, 2006 5:45 PM

I met most of my significant others at work. You have to be there, pairing up isn't the main point (so if it doesn't happen then no big deal) and there was considerable casual proximity. Worked for me. And I speak as one of the more socially awkward people I know.

Posted by: Friedrich von Blowhard on September 15, 2006 5:58 PM

FvB: I met most of my significant others at work, too. You already know something about the person and have something in common--work. But breakups can be a bitch.

Posted by: Rachel on September 15, 2006 6:06 PM

One more comment on guys and girls meeting, but not meeting:

College Girl: "I don't want to get married and I NEVER want to have children"

College Guy: "Great! Let's be friends with benefits."


Career Girl: "I hate my job, I want to get married, and I don't know if I want to have children"

Career Guy: "Ugh, OK. I guess we can get married. We're still going to have sex, right?"


Married Girl: "I really hate my job and I definitely want to have kids, I mean, my best friend has just had her second"

Married Guy: "Crap! How much is this going to cost me?"


New Mother: "My sister is lonely and is looking for a guy, do you know anyone?"

New Father: "Yeah, my best friend"

New Mother: "How much does he make?"

New Father: "WTF! Why didn't anyone tell me that this is how all of this works?"

Posted by: Ian Lewis on September 15, 2006 6:08 PM

BTW, I knew that if I opened the comments I'd see Peter carrying on about the alpha males.

You must be clairvoyant!
One thing I cannot understand is why women hate to hear any talk about the Woman Shortage. My wife gets really angry if I so much as bring it up. Logically, women shoud love to hear all about it, as it's really a tremendous form of female empowerment (by giving women a massive advantage in the dating game).

But the question is something girls looking for guys ought to also consider. Especially those girls who continue to look for guys in bars and wonder why they never meet anyone looking to commit.

Oh please. Men typically outnumber women by at least ten-to-one in singles' bars. Even if most of the men are avoiding commitment or otherwise are completely unsuitable, that still means most any women will have little trouble finding a good match. The odds are just so much in her favor.

I met most of my significant others at work.

Some companies frown on workplace romances. Even if they're allowed, they still can be risky.

Still: How to go about meeting girls?

Given the poor odds, about all a non-Alpha can do is hope he'll be in the right place at the right time, so to speak. It sucks to have to be so passive about things, and rely on pure dumb luck, but that's the way it is.

Posted by: Peter on September 15, 2006 7:55 PM

Women may be looking for wealthy guys, or they may just be looking for someone who can hold down a job.

It's definitely just the wealth rather than simply holding down a job. All sorts of guys have and will hold down jobs -- janitors, pre-school teachers, library circulation desk assistants, ticket-rippers at the movies, etc. -- literally, tens of millions of guys, all of whom are unremarkable finds to girls.

In the other direction, there are guys who don't hold down jobs -- free-wheeling VP types who roam from one company to the next w/ no loyalty, w/ a several-month period between jobs, but who still do their job right & make lots of money at each stint; guys who are heirs / trust-funders and don't work at all -- these guys are A-OK, even if not ideal, to girls compared to the above. So it really is wealth. Nothing wrong w/ that; everyone's entitled to their own preferences.

So that's why I'm more skeptical that the main problem is simply that guys & girls who want a relationship just need to be placed in physical proximity. Even if these problem males were in physically close to girls all day, it wouldn't undo their underlying undesirableness. If you have a sweet job & pricey apartment, but are single, then it's probably lack of willpower / not going where the girls are. This doesn't describe the dilemma facing most guys, lest of all nerds.

Again, the solution is to target girls who won't view you as a complete loser. Just as if a girl were fat and ugly, it wouldn't do to merely place her in close proximity to guys, given their preferences. She'd have to figure out what group of guys wouldn't mind her appearance, and target them instead.

Posted by: Agnostic on September 15, 2006 8:09 PM

On a related note, the lyrics to that Liz Phair song are a complaint against serial monogamy -- "fuck and run." The alternatives are either polygyny, which girls probably wouldn't mind qua a system of relationships, but probably would mind all the violence that would result from so many guys being forced out of the mating game while the few alphas hogged everyone. Or non-serial monogamy, which they probably would mind as far as relationships go -- one the alphas are taken, that's it, no waiting around for them to break up / divorce / etc. But society would hold together better than under polygyny.

With serial monogamy, the monopolizing of females by the alphas is spread out over time, so it's not as overt & provocative toward the delta-males. It keeps scores of girls lined up around the block of the alphas, waiting for the break-up / divorce -- or maybe orchestrating it so she can have him now. These are girls who are single and yet still taken off the market, insofar as they won't accept offers from sub-alphas. Thus, delta-males don't riot over all the girls being unavailable, since it's less obvious that they're off the market (just waiting to be shipped to the next owner).

The flipside is that girls must now ruthlessly compete against each other -- with all those girls in line for a given guy, she has to make sure she's the next one he chooses. Even when she's technically committed to him and he to her, she has to compete against would-be usurpers, as both she, he, and they all know that it's just a matter of time before she's dumped. It also ensures that most of them will grow old & die alone, as Liz Phair complains, due to erosion of beauty, whereas the guy will keep reeling them in, as male status / wealth doesn't plummet over the lifespan.

Obviously I stand for non-serial monogamy, being a delta-male -- alpha males and most females wouldn't like it much. That's fine -- to each their own -- but females are not allowed to complain about the forseeable consequences of their choices, like the frustration, incessant competition, lack of relationship security, and high likelihood of growing old & dying alone if they opt for serial monogamy.

Posted by: Agnostic on September 15, 2006 8:28 PM

SFG -- I hope you're kidding! Geeks don't like real women? Of course, god knows they can be a lot of trouble ...

Ian 1 -- Parties can work too. Friends of friends (of friends of friends, etc) can serve a purpose, even if things start to get a little incestuous as the years go by ...

FvB - Are romances on the job once again possible? Years ago, I (and many others like me) used to look forward to each new season's crop of interns eagerly. Then sexual correctness descended. And I got married. So I've lost track. It does seem like people are once again semi-unembarassed about finding romance on the job again, though ...

Rachel -- "But breakups can be a bitch." Tell me about it.

Ian 2 -- That's got the making of a hit sitcom.

Peter -- Are things that bad? I was never anyone's idea of an Alpha, god knows, but I managed OK. But maybe things have changed dramatically since my days on the market...

Agnostic -- There's a lot to be said for pairing up with someone you like and enjoy, and meeting in low-pressure social situations can give a person a chance to see if he/she's comfortable and happy in another person's presence before the first date. But I'm curious: what *are* the romance problems that are specific to geeks? I think the Liz Phair song, seen from an earthier point of view maybe, is about the romantic woes of boho (or semi-boho) kids ...

Posted by: Michael Blowhard on September 15, 2006 9:05 PM

I'd like to point out that, unless you're at these yoga or cooking or dancing classes with a wife/girlfriend, you're going to be assumed to be homosexual by the women in these classes. Even if you're able to persuade them that you're not, you'll have lost any chance you had with them because no woman will put up with your showing her that she's wrong.

Also Michael, I think there is a generational conflict here. I suspect most younger guys cannot really relate the women of their own age group to the list of female attributes you listed above: "sympathy, empathy, insight, comfort, warmth, encouragement (plus guidance, whip-cracking, etc." Actually, that whip-cracking one they probably can relate with. The point is that there are very few younger women with these attributes; I suspect a lot fewer than when you were young. The world has changed, child rearing and schooling changed and women changed with it.

Posted by: pbb on September 15, 2006 9:13 PM

Peter -- Are things that bad? I was never anyone's idea of an Alpha, god knows, but I managed OK. But maybe things have changed dramatically since my days on the market...

I suppose it's possible that the plight of non-Alpha males is just more visible today. It should come as no surprise that the Internet - and the blogosphere in particular - has given introverted, socially withdrawn men, i.e. non-Alphas, a "voice" they never had before. If this is so, things might not actually have changed all that much. I just don't know.

Posted by: Peter on September 15, 2006 9:23 PM

It's the rap more than anything. I've found that all one really needs is a stock of open-ended questions, plus the ability to feign interest. In my head I'm usually ranking Dylan albums or something.

Posted by: Brian on September 15, 2006 9:40 PM

pbb, I definitely agree that women have changed. However, regardless of how some have judged the current generation of young women, I find them to be very honest.

I think there was a time where it was expected that a women should not care about how tall, strong, wealthy, or even confident a man was.

Now, I find women are honest about what they want. They may not be able to perfectly articulate all of their wants (who can?),but when asked about specific traits, they tend to avoid the usual PC baloney.

Well, that has been my experience.

Posted by: Ian Lewis on September 15, 2006 10:10 PM

Michael is completely right. Most women might want a millionaire, but most will still date and marry solid guys.

One excellent place to meet women is at running events, such as 5k, 10k, and marathons. I see single women all the time at these events. Some are very cute. Many are single. Many are also in shape. Why else get up at 7am on a Saturday or Sunday if you are a single gal? To look for a guy, that's why. Also to raise a bit of money for a charity and hang out with a girlfriend or two.

Women want to meet you as much as you want to meet them. Many are frustrated with bars or clubs because, while they can find a lot of guys, many aren't finding keepers.

Chin up, chest out, put on that smile! Be positive (but not HIV positive!), get in shape, get some non-sports hobbies, and get busy finding that woman who is looking for you! I'll bet she's closer than you think!

Posted by: s on September 15, 2006 10:53 PM

Again, the solution is to target girls who won't view you as a complete loser. Just as if a girl were fat and ugly, it wouldn't do to merely place her in close proximity to guys, given their preferences. She'd have to figure out what group of guys wouldn't mind her appearance, and target them instead.

If you're not an alpha, and you're a lowly nerd who's incapble of getting desirable women, the alternative is the reject women that nobody wants. The problem is that you'll have a woman, and she may even make you happy, and give you the emotional and sexual satisfaction that you want, but she'll always be a reminder that you're a nobody.

Should you pick your relationships in a vaccuum immune to the expectations of others, or should a partner be your personal display of power vis a vis others?

Posted by: David Alexander on September 16, 2006 12:39 AM

It seems to me that you increase your chances for auspicious meetings when you go where you feel pretty comfortable, wherever that might be. The cues that signal weird, strange, unstable, can be amazingly subtle on the surface of it but they can be more important than the obvious stuff, and sometimes, in conditions that leave a person feeling off-balance, they're created where they don't even exist. And meeting up as adversaries is a great way to begin -- when expectations are nil and there's not too much being invested in first impressions, well, sometimes great impressions can be made, oddly enough. At least that's been my experience. But I don't know how to reliably contrive such a meeting-up situation.

I just decided somewhere along the way that he would have to be able to tell Mozart from Mahler & Coleman Hawkins from Lester Young, have most of his own teeth, think I was cute, be able to walk 5 miles without collapsing, and not have smaller feet or bigger tits than me. I met him in a movie theater lobby. But I don't know if that'll help anybody.

Posted by: Flutist on September 16, 2006 1:18 AM

Michael: the problem for nerds is that they have some nominally valued traits -- high IQ and often some degree of creativity. Yet as far as personality and height go, nerds are typically deficient -- the high IQ / creative guys who are tall go into more leadership-type positions where height counts for a lot, and the same for high IQ / creative guys who are more extraverted and even-tempered.

Lawyers, doctors, ad executives -- all demand high IQ and a personality that girls like, as well as sheer height. Nerds are basically the leftovers, and they go into pure or applied science, or into pure artistic domains. I've been talking about science nerds, but obviously art nerds are no more desirable -- girls want a trophy husband attorney they can drag to a foreign film every now and then to feel hip, not convene a weekly roundtable with guys who wrote dissertations on the similarities & differences between Italian Neorealism and the Dogme 95 movement.

I second the "generational conflict" comment -- I'm only 25, I'm not supposed to feel like a curmudgeon this early! Girls may be more empowered to speak their minds re: their preferences, but that just imitates the worst trait in guys -- we may be thinking "I hope my blind date has a round butt," but if we placed a classified that said "Only full C-cup chests and up will be responded to," we'd be eviscerated (compare to height requirements in girls' ads). Radfem has carried the "You can have it all" / "Why settle?" idea too far -- in real life, you settle. Or else write a letter to Santa Claus.

Posted by: Agnostic on September 16, 2006 2:23 AM

As a forty year old single parent of a teenage girl, what with home-schooling, working and studying there is no time to go out on the prowl. Perhaps I have to put things on hold till she goes to college?

Posted by: Stuart on September 16, 2006 9:54 AM

If you're not an alpha, and you're a lowly nerd who's incapble of getting desirable women, the alternative is the reject women that nobody wants. The problem is that you'll have a woman, and she may even make you happy, and give you the emotional and sexual satisfaction that you want, but she'll always be a reminder that you're a nobody.

If you've got a happy relationship with her it shouldn't matter that she reminds you of your nerd status.

Should you pick your relationships in a vaccuum immune to the expectations of others, or should a partner be your personal display of power vis a vis others?

Definitely the former. Unless you think it's desirable to be some testosterone-dripping Alpha Male SCA.

Posted by: Peter on September 16, 2006 11:25 AM

I think Achewood has been reading your blog, Michael.

(The cat on the right is an alpha male, the cat on the left is a computer nerd (and he has depression).)

Posted by: Brian on September 16, 2006 12:40 PM

Agnostic, I agree about the RadFem/You-Can-Have-It-All attitude, and how it can be unreasonable. However, when you are a young guy trying to figure girls out, that open honesty can be VERY helpful.

Posted by: Ian Lewis on September 16, 2006 2:08 PM

This thread makes me even more happy to be married for 14 years and out of the snakepit.

Posted by: Lexington Green on September 16, 2006 4:11 PM

"Exile in Guyville" (containing "Fuck and Run") is one of my favorite albums; assume what you will.

Posted by: claire on September 16, 2006 5:16 PM

I don't see what's wrong with girls having this attitude. Given that I know plenty of men who've operated under this regime and feel pretty good about it, I don't see what's wrong with women doing the same. Unless you're a loser in the game, which means you deserve no sympathy from me or any body else male or female. If you're not what women want, then, sadly, too bad.

Definitely the former. Unless you think it's desirable to be some testosterone-dripping Alpha Male SCA.

If your life revolves around thinking about what other men and women think of you, then yes, it's desirable to be an Alpha male.

Posted by: David Alexander on September 16, 2006 6:13 PM

Ugly philosophers seem to make out OK: Jean-Paul Sartre and A.J. Ayer both had Wilt Chamberlain-like track records. I hear Michael Oakeshott did OK too.

Posted by: Francis Morrone on September 16, 2006 8:24 PM

David's posting about dating on his own blog is pretty funny ...

Michael Oakeshott rules in many ways.

Posted by: Michael Blowhard on September 16, 2006 8:54 PM

Francis, you look at the picture from the wrong angle: it's not the choice between ugly/handsome, rather core issues: whiney loser/will to succeed.
The signals are readable in the matter of milliseconds. And no amount of role playing, be it, let's say, pretending to love yoga (for boys) or baseball (for girls) can decieve anybody.

And even in the first case there are plenty of mommies of all ages who would love to wipe poor guy's tears. Perpetually.

Posted by: Tat on September 17, 2006 8:48 AM

Geez, just place an internet personal ad already. There are plenty of single women out there.

And yoga provides a great physical workout and a rich experience regardless of any success or lack of it in meeting women. I always find that I'm too busy struggling to keep up with the positions to even notice the hot women in class, and I'm someone who generally notices those things quite a lot.

Posted by: MQ on September 17, 2006 12:06 PM

Well, I'm Indian so there's always!

*Once, in the elevator of my old apartment building, a very nice looking desi doctor type male got in and turned and said to me," are you the single doctor living in #.....I think I met your mother the other day. She told me about you." Not.Making.This.Up. I am so used to people trying to fix me up that this incident didn't throw me at all. I just smiled, introduced myself, and went on sifting through the mail in my hand. Never spoke to him again :)

PS: I don't know about other women, but I like attention. But not too much attention. Just the right amount of attention. Come to think of it, I don't like any attention at all. Does that help? You are welcome.

Posted by: MD on September 17, 2006 1:24 PM

MQ -
Personals ads simply don't work for men. A man who places an ad will get no responses except for come-ons from hookers and mail-order bride companies, and his responses to women's ads will go nowhere. Almost any woman who places a personals ad will get hundreds of responses.

Tat -
There may be some women who'll accept a man if he happens to be a "whiny loser," but they're few and far between. Of course, in woman-speak men who don't happen to be high-testosterone Alpha studs get classified as "whiny losers."

I stand 100% behind what I said much earlier in the thread. Due primarily to rampant de facto polygamy and serial monogamy the number of men looking for women significantly exceeds the number of women looking for men. Given this imbalance, a non-Alpha man has a very difficult time finding a woman. Taking yoga lessons or being a good listener or placing personals ads or just about anything else won't accomplish jack s***.
We're going to be seeing a whole generation of men who'll never get to experience marriage and family life, unlike countless generations of men before them. I shudder to think of what this will mean for our society.

Posted by: Peter on September 17, 2006 3:43 PM

"it's not the choice between ugly/handsome, rather core issues: whiney loser/will to succeed. The signals are readable in the matter of milliseconds. "

I think this is the basis of a phenomenon I noticed in my single days: the moment you get a new girlfriend, available and interested women seem to be everywhere.

Posted by: Intellectual Pariah on September 17, 2006 4:05 PM

Yes, women respond to confidence. If you are a man trying to meet women you can use these proven methods to increase your confidence:

-Get rid of your old, torn, ugly t-shirts with stupid geek slogans on them. Replace them with new t-shirts with confident, manly slogans, for example:


-Get a combover.

-Call everyone "Dude".

-Casually mention your DUIs and stays in "drydock".

-Wear a kilt.

-Only for men over 50: ponytail.

-Wear a fedora (double points: with a goatee).

I guarantee that if you follow even half of these suggestions you will soon have women hanging off you like commuters on a Cairo bus.

Posted by: Jonathan on September 18, 2006 11:38 AM

Peter, speak for yourself. This male has had some very good experiences when he tried personal ads. And I'm neither tall nor particularly wealthy. It strikes me that you are ideologically committed to pessimism in this area and unwilling or unable to see evidence for a more optimistic view.

There's a little something to the whiny loser/"will to succeed" thing, but that kind of thinking is also a pretty good indicator of a shallow person. Life isn't a game, and we shouldn't be just players. Thinking of life in terms of "winners" and "losers" is an excellent way to block yourself off from much of what it offers. I try to avoid women who speak about either men or themselves in those terms. On the other hand, one does want a partner who feels secure and confident in whatever role they've chosen in the world.

Posted by: MQ on September 18, 2006 12:44 PM

Make a woman laugh without putting down anyone, and she's yours. I can't tell you how well this works with ANY woman, no matter what her position on the attractiveness scale may be. I've always been a geeky looking guy, even when I tried to look cool, but I've never had any problem getting girls because I can make then laugh and I'm not afraid to laugh at myself.

Also, look for women whom you feel natural around, regardless of what she looks like. And don't go into the endeavor like you're buying a house.

And most of all, don't be bitter, regardless of past experiences. Whining about "alpha males" and the supposed shortage of "good women" is HIGHLY unattractive to women. It's a vicious circle, the more bitter you are, the less success you'll have with women, and the more bitter you'll become.

One more thing. Look for sex first. Don't go looking for a girlfriend or, god forbid, a wife. You'll talk yourself out of her every time, detecting some minor quirk of her's that you will magnify by thinking about spending the rest of your life with that quirk. Just look for a good time, the rest will follow.

All that shit worked for me back when I was single, and it worked pretty well in finding my wife.

Posted by: the patriarch on September 20, 2006 10:21 AM

Wow, what an enjoyable (and relevant) thread for me.

I'm 40 and single and find it a bitch meeting people with remotely anything in common. The online dating thing sounds good, (and I've tried it off and on for about 6 YEARS!), but for guys, it can offer a pile of rejections (and for woman, it can be a time-waster going through all the responses). It's easy to say I'm "too picky" when responding to online dating profiles, but frankly my response rate has always been so low that I have to think women prefer people with more conventional (i.e., not creative) backgrounds. The logical conclusion seems to be that I dumb down my profiles and hope that women fail to notice I actually am a complex person. Although I consider myself reasonably intelligent and educated, my experience in online dating has made me pessimistic that a female counterpart (also intelligent and educated) would have any interest in me. An educated woman is extremely picky; you must have a promising job AND read artsy novels and like skiing and travelling to Venice and Tahiti (never mind that many of these ambitions are mutually incompatible). Frankly, I've given up trying to predict which kind of women might be interested in dating my type, because my guesses are almost always wrong.

The major problem for me is lack of contexts for meeting people in my target demographic. More often in my arts events I run into married women and divorced women 15 years older than I am. Alternatively, the geek events I attend are populated mainly by younger guys 35 and younger. Maybe I'm just not terribly social, but do thirtysomethings ever have parties anymore? They're certainly not inviting me.

I've come to the conclusion that one's job plays a major role in your ability to meet people of the opposite sex. Do you work at a big company or small? One where you have contacts with grad students or clients? One where you come into contact with the same person on a regular basis? I taught overseas in Eastern Europe for three years, and the potential dating partners were coming out of the woodworks (although for reasons quite beyond my control--a civil war, contract disputes--I generally wasn't able to take advantage of these opportunities).

So my strategy recently has been to throw my hands up, go about my normal business, occasionally take a chance on a date, and let fate do the rest.

Posted by: rjnagle on September 25, 2006 9:58 PM

just looking for an outgoing person

Posted by: regina on October 2, 2006 12:34 PM

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