Following on from the subject of yesterday’s post on the status of men and its attraction to women, it is common knowledge that many decisions a man makes in life are to increase his status such that he can attract a suitable partner. In short, a man will study so he can get a good job which will bring in a decent salary meaning he can buy a nice house and car, and women will find him attractive. For middle-class westerners, this is pretty much how it works. For other parts of the world, and among other classes or ethnicities, the incentives are very different and hence you get different outcomes. I noticed in Russia that the ease with which young men can get a very pretty girlfriend removes the incentive for a lot of them to behave well. Why make any effort when you’re getting laid anyway?
So while it’s well known that men naturally seek to increase their status and hence their attractiveness to women, what is often missed is that this does not apply beyond certain basics, e.g. getting an education, holding down a job, and not getting too fat. There is a whole industry out there giving lifestyle advice to men who wish to raise their status: wear these clothes, buy this car, start using that product, learn to do this or that. Much of this might work for young men who haven’t quite found their way in life, but as you get older (and you start having proper conversations with women) you realise how superficial much of this is.
For example, I had someone tell me recently that every man should know how to mix at least one cocktail, so he can impress girls when they come over for dinner. Now that’s probably not bad advice – knowing how to mix a cocktail is a handy skill – but it’s going to make absolutely no difference to what a woman thinks of a man (and if it does, she’s probably bad news). Another chap I know took up salsa dancing because he reckoned women like men who can dance. Others learn a song or two on the guitar because they want to serenade women they bring home from clubs.
Have you seen the problem yet? Women are not impressed by a man’s ability to mix a cocktail, or to dance, or to play an instrument (or to cook, or to speak a language) per se, they are attracted to the passion that drove the man to develop those skills to begin with. They look at a dancer and see the passion he has for it, the drive and determination in his body language, and realise how much effort he must have put in to develop such a skill, and they’re attracted to that. Someone who has no passion for dancing but took lessons and learned a few moves in order to attract women is going to look a lot different from a guy who’s doing it for real, and this will be abundantly clear to all those looking on. Similarly, if a fellow has developed an interest in cocktail mixing of his own accord and uses his skills to entertain women, they’ll be more impressed than if he’s learned one or two recipes just to make himself look cool.
Perhaps learning a few superficial tricks is useful for a man in his twenties, especially considering he’s hanging around women without much experience, but men over 30 taking such advice is a bit sad. Does anyone seriously think women will be impressed by a guy going to opera not out of love for the genre, but because he thinks it makes him look sophisticated? Or someone who’s learned to play poker just so he can tell women he plays poker? Because you can be sure she’ll be able to tell the difference. I’ve noticed that if you show a woman a particular skill or interest, the first thing she does is start asking questions, i.e. why, where, how and with whom did you learn it. She asks this because she wants to see the passion behind the skill – the actual skill isn’t particularly relevant at that stage – and if there’s no passion she’ll see straight through you. Genuine passion is extremely hard to fake, particularly for obscure interests such as bluegrass music. And nobody learns the banjo or songs with titles such as “Oh, Dem Golden Slippers” to impress women anyway.
So whenever you read advice along the lines of “real men do X” or “every man should know how to Y” you can safely dismiss it as a shallow affectation aimed at men who think they’ve grown up but haven’t. Real men follow whatever weird passion they have naturally, and women will love them for it.