I recently read an article for men on “Why women just won’t go for the nice guys…” and realized men are being fed just as much misinformation as their female counterparts! I want to take a moment to debunk some of the information men are given regarding the dating scene, as well as offer a little encouragement to those single fellows out there.
MYTH #1: Women seek danger. Thus, they are attracted to the “bad boys.”
Simply not true. Speaking both from personal and professional experience, for the average healthy female (not to mention men and women, alike) it is often the opposite. Most people ultimately seek security in a relationship. Do women often end up dating the outgoing, thrill seeking “bad boys?” Sometimes, but it is not for the reasons you may think. This often happens for one of two reasons:
- The confident, even arrogant, guy is more likely to ask her out.
- The confident ‘alpha’ male is more likely to step up and help her when faced with danger. This assertiveness and courage is attractive. However, courage and assertiveness can often be confused with arrogance and impulsive behavior, too. A guy who consistently engages in risky, thoughtless behaviors from any partner usually results in the relationship ending fairly quickly. Humans, as a whole, do not feel safe with those who consistently force them into dangerous situations.
MYTH #2: Arrogance is attractive.
No. Confidence and assertiveness are attractive. Arrogance, egocentrism, self-importance, immodesty, and inconsiderate behavior is definitely a way to make others run for the hills. What is the difference? Arrogance is used when someone is trying to convince someone else that they are worthy of that person’s time and attention (ie. trying too hard). Confident individuals do not feel the need to prove their worth. Arrogant people talk about themselves. Confident people spend most of their time listening to others and learning. Arrogant people engage in conflicts by inflating their own experiences, “talking big” and throwing insults. Confident people seek understanding, even when they disagree, and seek compromise and relatedness. Arrogant people speak down to and dismiss those who disagree with them. Assertive people spend most of their time listening and share their thoughts only when asked and, often, in a calm manner. Be sure you are exuding confidence…not arrogance.
MYTH #3: Women want men with six-packs.
Women want men who are healthy. Men want women who are healthy. Humans prefer healthy humans—simple as that. Some of this is simply biological. If a woman is to carry your child, she wants to ensure the child will be strong and healthy, and that you will be strong and healthy, too. Essentially, she wants a partner who is able to support her when she is in her most vulnerable pre and post-baby states.
Is a six-pack necessary? Nah. In studies looking at factors that women rate as important in a relationship, physical appearance is low on the totem pole. Women are looking more at independence, confidence, establishment in society, establishment in career, and responsiveness to other’s needs. Physical health does matter, but less for reasons related to sexual attractiveness and more related to performance, health and ability to endure hard times.
MYTH #4: Women want a “project.”
Between the centuries of socialization to nurture, layered on top of strong genetics to “nest,” women tend to quickly jump into various caretaker roles when they begin to feel more commitment in a relationship. Does this mean they want to be your mother? No. It is healthy for couples to take care of and support one another, but only to a limit. After counseling many couples, one of the largest sources of frustration for women and, ultimately, termination of the relationship is an imbalance of responsibility and contribution. Men often go directly from living with their mother to either a college dorm situation or into cohabitation with their partner. One remedy to this, which I often recommend to men (and women), is to experience living alone for at least one year. When you live alone, and support yourself fully, you become quite acquainted with your own imperfections. Through this process, you develop some insight that will help you in future relationships, including some skills in paying bills, doing laundry and the dishes, as well as keeping a clean home and managing your time.
MYTH #5: Nice guys finish last.
In other words—Nice guys are boring… The truth: Boring guys are boring. Men who only consume are boring. Men who provide, create, and experience are attractive. Men who have their own hobbies, friends, interests, and passions are attractive because they are living their own life. Thus, they have something to talk about and something to share with others around them. Instead of watching and telling others’ stories, they are creating their own. This goes for the ladies, too! Is this not what you are looking for in a partner, too? One way to make yourself much more interesting is to get involved in experiences outside of your living room and local bar. When you get out of the house and invest in your own growth, you are much more likely to meet someone you find interesting, as well!
Ultimately, we want to be with someone who makes us feel good. We want someone who finds us interesting. Dating can be tough, but it is simply a law of numbers…just get out there and enjoy the process!