Understanding Women: It's Not as Hard as You Think
Thursday, 21 July 2011
Women do some strange, confusing things.
Things like getting rude and angry with men who are treating them as well as they possibly can. Things like telling a man they're not wearing any underwear... and then walking away when he gets too excited. Things like saying "no" when they mean "yes," and "yes" when they mean "no."
So you'll be forgiven for thinking it must be impossible understanding women.
And to top it all off, most women don't even understand themselves. They can explain some of the simpler things they do, but if you start asking them why they (or other women) do the more complicated things they do, you get answers that are full of holes. They sound good on an pure emotional level, but take a moment to analyze the logic and you'll realize it doesn't hold water.
Women really honestly don't know why they do what they do. So how could you possibly know? But, in fact, learning to understand women actually isn't an impossible task. It's a lot easier than you might think, in fact... so long as you understand a few little things, first.
Today's modern woman is a paragon of total, complete, utter independence. In the post-feminism era, women don't need a man -- all they need is a good pair of heels, an appletini, and a couple of high-end shopping bags filled with the latest "in" designs, and their lives are full of import and meaning.
Well, that's what TV would have you believe, anyway.
In fact, women today are exactly the same as they have been since the dawn of humanity. They haven't evolved into some new, distinct line of the human race, that only needs Gucci bags to achieve inner fulfillment -- far from it.
Women -- every single woman out there who's not wildly in love right now -- are almost universally waiting for the man of their dreams to step into their lives.
No, don't tell that to the Western Woman... especially not Western Women on the Internet. They'll yell and scream to high heaven that that isn't the case; that they "don't need a man!" and that they get fulfillment out of their careers and their gal pals and everything else Sex and the City and Gossip Girls and Cosmopolitan tells women they ought to get their fulfillment out of.
But ultimately, when it comes to people, what women want (and what men want) -- and I really do mean just about everything they want -- comes down to coupling up.
People work hard to better position themselves as mates; to get access to higher quality mates; to get access to higher quantities of mates. People travel the world in search of romance, and they go on grand adventures seeking it.
Why else do women (and men):
- Spend so much time at the gym
- Work so hard to distinguish themselves in their educations and careers
- Travel to where they travel to, or change countries
- Maintain the social circles they do, or join new ones
- Spend so much time looking good
- Care so much about their reputation
We'll come back to some of those in a minute, but for now, let's talk about how women talk about things they do that seem blatantly about finding a guy.
Women often disguise things like this as "fun" -- they never want to admit to looking for love (because it makes a woman, or anyone else for that matter, sound weak -- it makes them sound like they can't get what they want, because otherwise, if they want it so bad, and they really are attractive to the opposite sex, then why don't they have it?).
Interesting to note: take a group of people who've just left a speed dating event, and ask the men there why they went, and ask the women there why they went, and you'll almost always get responses that sort along the gender line like so:
Men's response: "Well, I thought maybe there'd be some cute girls there, and I figured I'd just go see what happened."
Women's response: "Ah, it wasn't serious. I just wanted to go for fun!"
Women say the same things about classes they attend, bars and clubs frequent, social events they go to. It's always "just for fun." What that translates as, though, is quite often "seeing if I meet a guy I like." Now, they won't readily admit it -- some women'll go to their deaths maintaining that they are NEVER looking for a guy, and that men just find them.
But if it isn't the case that women often do these things looking for love, then how come women in love with their boyfriends don't go to speed dating events "just for fun?" How come the girls' nights out tend to get curtailed so severely once a girl's in a relationship, and how come their social lives fall off? If it wasn't all about finding a man, why the dramatic shift? Is their guy really sucking up so much of their time that they don't have time for anything else anymore?
This is the first rule of understanding women: women aren't any different from men: they want to meet someone they like too.
They just do a better job of playing down their interest in actually meeting that man -- and why they do that is what we'll talk about next.
Feigning Disinterest: Women's Very Real Need to Keep Face
It sounds like a strange thing for a man to say, but I spent a number of years seeing the world through a woman's perspective.
From about 7th grade to college, I was so crippled by a social phobia that I was entirely unable to actively pursue the things I wanted. So instead of learning to chase after things, like most men do, I had to learn to attract attention to myself in order to bring the things I wanted into my life.
And I got good at it. The most beautiful, popular girls in school would ask me on dates; the coolest guys in school would invite me to their parties.
Sound great? It wasn't. It was hell living life that way -- I became so crazy micro-analyzing every tiny social nuance -- "What does it mean that she responded this way when I did that?" "I said this thing -- does that mean these people aren't going to like me anymore now?" -- that it plunged me into a deep depression it took me a decade to climb out of.
I spent a few years after that learning to chase as well as any man out there, and then a few more years re-integrating all the things I used to do to get people chasing me with my newfound ability to do the chasing myself. I'd now say I'm in a "best of both worlds" position -- I know how to attract others to myself and make them want to pursue me, but I also know how to take charge and close the gap and make things happen rather than sit by passively waiting for them to.
God, it's so much better than it used to be. I would never want to go back to being pure passive and waiting for others to do things. But this is life for most women.
Yes, there are the women that break the mold. Those are the women who:
- Approach the men they like
- Ask men out and ask for men's phone numbers
- Arrange dates themselves
- Make intimacy happen themselves
But I'd estimate that's somewhere around 2% of the women in the world. The other 98% won't do that.
Why? Two reasons:
- Women don't want to risk rejection, and
- Women don't want to risk losing value in the man's eyes.
Let's talk about Reason #2 first, because it's simpler.
Men value softer, more passive women more highly. This isn't a universal truth, and it isn't even true for me -- I feel like I'll break women who are too soft. I need strong women -- they're the only ones who stand a chance of standing toe-to-toe with me in any kind of relationship and not coming out of it with their ego totally shredded, as considerate as I try to be.
But for the vast, vast, vast majority of men out there, they want soft women. Women softer than them, anyway.
Women know this. They know, at an instinctive, intuitive level, that men value women more highly that they have to approach and chase and do the work with.
This is due to investment: the more invested in a woman a man is, the more highly he's going to tend to value her. And women want men who are highly invested.
I feel like I'm saying, "We'll come back to this in a minute," a lot in this post, but -- well, we'll come back to why women want highly invested men in a minute.
You've got to understand, getting to the bottom of what makes a woman tick is like opening up a matryoshka doll -- those Russian nesting dolls where you open one up and there's a smaller one inside, and then a smaller one inside that one, and then a smaller one still inside of that one. There are a series of layers to understanding women that you need to unfold before you get the whole picture.
Back to Reason #1. Men are afraid of rejection too, you might say -- so why don't women just approach men as much as men approach women? Why shouldn't both genders share an equal load of that fear of rejection?
Well, I'll tell you why -- it's because rejection for women is worse. Much worse.
When your role in the dating game is to be pursued -- you are the object of desire -- and then you pursue instead, and get rejected -- wow. Ouch. The object of desire being told she isn't desired.
Rejection hurts like hell for women. Much more so than it does for men. That's why you see so few women approaching.
Even if a girl is crazy about a guy, she's not likely to approach him, unless she's among that 2% minority of women that could give a rat's ass about rejection, about keeping face, about what her friends think, and about maintaining her reputation.
Aside from that outlying 2% of confident women who either don't care about reputation management or else are so damn good at it and so overwhelmingly charismatic that they can do whatever they want and people still love them, the fear of rejection is crippling to women.
For that reason, most women will not approach unless they're absolutely certain it's a sure thing.
Why Women Want Men to Invest
Everybody likes control. We feel better when we have it; safer, more secure. The world feels like a more transparent place that's more likely to give us what we want.
Getting investment is THE primary way that one person can assure herself of another person's constancy. When a man's heavily invested in her, a woman knows she's got him.
When she chases after him, she's invested, and he isn't. She's going to feel stronger emotions for him than he is for her, and he's going to be less reliable and dependable in a relationship and if she should become pregnant.
Women aren't thinking this when they wait passively for men to do the work in pursuing them and making things happen. The actual emotion is more like, "I want him to chase, because he'll like me more."
But the reason it works though is that it builds investment, and investment builds commitment, and commitment gives control and constancy. A little more reliability in an unreliable world.
Of course, the point of this site is to help train you to make girls chase, not the other way around. Reason being, the person with the greater amount of investment (the pursuer) is the person who's far more likely to feel a greater degree of emotion than the one who's being invested in (the pursued). And to do that with women, you have to give a little to get them chasing.
Understanding Women: How the Matryoshka Doll Unfolds
All right, this post feels like it's gotten a little wild and tangential and unwieldy, so let's tie it all back together.
- Women want men they desire who are also invested
- The reason they want this is simple mating: they want a man who won't run off when they get pregnant, as tends to happen when men and women get together and start sleeping together and having a relationship
- Thus, they look for things like emotional connections and romantic men who treat women well (these are things that say much about a man's character and reliability to women), and things like ambition and drive (things that speak to a man's potential as a provider for their children), as well as a man's current accomplishments (current status as a provider).
Put this together, and you get a ready model for understanding women and why they do the things they do.
- Why do women act coy? Because men who pursue are both investing themselves and showing a greater level of interest and commitment. A man who just walks away from a woman who acts coy or shy isn't going to be able to give her what she wants in a relationship and probably isn't going to provide for her when she needs it.
- Why do women go into auto-rejection and get cold and dismissive with men? Because those men have demonstrated, one way or another, that they aren't reliable men.
- Why do women test men, then walk away when men "fail" the test? Because those men have shown that they're more interested in anonymous relations than in the woman herself.
Women want to feel special. Society can try and strip intimacy of its meaning all it wants -- sex is just for fun, it's meaningless pleasure, it's devoid of any purpose or function in modern life, liberation, all that jazz -- but beneath the shield of culture, we're all still operating like bipedal apes roaming the savanna.
And when it comes down to it, women want men who care about them as people, who appreciate them, and who are interested in getting physical with them, for them.
That's where most men make their mistakes. They either:
- Put women on pedestals and treat them like awe-inspiring, virginal creatures, pure and chaste and in need of sexless protection (thus removing themselves from consideration as potential mates for those women, ending themselves up in the friend zone), or they
- Chase women for sex and ignore building an emotional connection or being charming or charismatic or seductive (and end up triggering auto-rejection most of the time)
Women don't want you to be their sexless defenders (they have enough of those guys already, paying for things for them and being their shoulders to cry on; see my post on "Shopping Guy"), and they don't want you to only want them for intimacy and not for who they are.
Women want to be appreciated who they are, and desired for who they are.
It's fully possible to seduce a woman by only wanting her body, so long as you make it clear to her how incredible and unique her body is. And it's fully possible to seduce a woman by only talking to her about her emotions, so long as you make it clear to her how deeply you understand those feelings she conveys.
It doesn't matter what about her you focus on, so long as she feels it's special and she feels desired for her (and not just random sex).
That's the key to understanding women. There's a saying that goes like this:
When a man is respected, he feels cherished. When a woman is cherished, she feels respected.
I try always to keep this in mind. As men, respect is the thing we want most from others.
Women don't care so much about respect for the sake of respect, like men do.
Women want to be cherished and treated as special and unique (and yes, as desirable sexual creatures you'd like nothing more than to ravage... but only because they're so special and unique). That's what you need to know to understand women.
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