The Female Quality That Men Find Irresistible

February 8, 2012

Tolstoy's Natasha

My last post on The Rules led to some discussion of Girl Game – what can women do to make men more attracted to them without turning into manipulative wenches? Aside from the ever-succinct “be hot” I think there are other qualities that draw men in, or at least make them want to learn more. As the guys keep emphasizing, a large number of women will meet the minimum threshold for attraction based on physical appearance. So what makes a woman intriguing? What makes a man want to know her better?

In the new book Much Ado About Loving, Maura Kelly and Jack Murnighan comb through their favorite novels for lessons about relationships. I was disappointed in the book, but there was one story that really resonated with me. 

At one point Maura asks Jack, “Is there any way for me to become one of those chicks who casts a spell over every dude she meets? Because there are some women who just – I don’t know – they have that je ne sais quoi. They’re not necessarily outstandingly gorgeous or brilliant or successful…but they know how to rock it.” Jack responded by giving her War and Peace. “Read that. The character Natasha? She’ll show you all you need to know about being alluring.” That story became a chapter in the book: Scorin’ Piece (one of many terrible puns, unfortunately). 

Apparently, Tolstoy based Nastasha on his wife’s younger sister, who is reportedly the one he was really fascinated by. How does Tolstoy describe Natasha?

As a girl of twelve, she is “a bit of quicksilver” – sparkling, and unwilling to be contained. Later she is known for her love of dancing, laughing and flirting.

‘Oh how lovely it is!’ she kept saying. Look what a moon! Oh, how lovely!…I feel like squatting down on my heels, putting my arms round my knees like this, tight – as tight as can be – and flying away!” Prince Andrei, a serious man who thought he had given up on the pleasures of life, hears her from below, and “all at once such an unexpected turmoil of youthful thoughts and hopes, contrary to the whole tenor of his life, surged up in his heart.”

Maura writes, “This is the effect joie de vivre has on the people around you: They share in it, feeling more engaged, more alive and vital…When you are joyful, when you say yes to life and have fun and project positivity all around you, you become a sun in the center of every constellation, and people want to be near you.”

Reader Jackie touched on this same idea in a comment just yesterday, when she shared this story:

“I was thinking about one time when attracting men was “effortless” for me:

Once I was going to visit my sister in NYC. It had been so long since I had a vacation that I made it a law: THOU SHALT HATH FUN, NO MATTER WHAT THY DO.

So when the plane got stuck on the tarmac, instead of complaining, I started a conversation with my charming seat partner. He was on his way to NYC, also, for work. I told him of my “law” and although he may have thought I was a weirdo, we had a really great conversation.

At the end of the plane ride, at the luggage carousel, he asked for my #. I said, Are you asking me on a DATE? And he said, um, YEAH! And I said, Well, my sister is strict and so it’s double date or we get chaperoned! ;D Do you have any friends who would enjoy the company of charming women?

He ended up bringing his boss as a “date” for my sister and we all had a really good time. Meanwhile, on a day trip with my sister, we ended up meeting a *different* man on the train. He also asked me on a date and since he couldn’t find a single friend, we DID end up getting chaperoned by my sister.  (It was still fun, though.)

Meanwhile, the guy who had been my sister’s date was actually interested in me and let me know, discreetly, in case things didn’t work out with Guy #1. We ended up having a “solo date” at the end. 

So, during this one week trip, there were three gentlemen callers (i.e. suitors) and lots of dates, even with chaperonage in there. (And if a guy knows up front he is getting “blocked” and is still willing to take you — and a chaperone– out on a date, you know he must be at least a little interested!)

I am just a regular chick, just like everybody else. The only difference is: The focus was on having fun and sharing it. I wanted to have fun, I wanted my seat-mate to have fun, I wanted my sister to have fun. And by sharing it, instead of being less, there was more.

The focus wasn’t on trying to impress some guy or make him jump through hoops. The focus was having fun and sharing joy with others. My parents told me this is what it was like in the old days: People would just go out and have fun, no expectations and no pressures. Just enjoy the miracle that is life.”

Reader La Negrita agreed:

“Make sure that wherever you are you’re always committed to having a good time. if you always try to see the bright side of things and enjoy yourself, then you’ll be happier and you’ll smile a lot and guys will be attracted to that. smile, smile, smile, laugh, laugh, laugh.”

I have some experience along these lines. This quality has probably been the most powerful weapon in my arsenal. I was a late bloomer. As a feisty, tomboy type in high school, I was the perky sidekick to the beautiful California girls who graced the campus. The funny one. I was short, my hair was short, and as outgoing as I was, I became almost completely silent in the presence of boys, not that any of them seemed to notice.

When I got to college I joined a sorority, grew my hair, and managed to acquire some feminine characteristics. But I remained very effusive in my manner, and I had a rather irrepressible enthusiasm for lots of things. Suddenly, and for the next several years until I married, I found myself on the receiving end of numerous confessions of strong attraction, mild obsession and even some declarations of love. Several of these were completely unexpected – they were from guys I didn’t know well at all. Others came about in relationships, where it felt easy to maintain a constant, humming interest from my boyfriends. Nearly all the guys said some variation on the same thing:

You have such a lust for life!

You are the most alive person I have ever known.

Everything you do is so passionate.

You get the most out of every experience. You leave nothing on the table!

You’re my ideal blend of innocence and passion (he was wrong about the innocence, but I didn’t tell).

Your energy is so contagious. 

You obviously like yourself, so I like you too.

I bet you’re a wildcat in bed.

I share this at the risk of sounding boastful, but it’s important to note what men did not say to me:

You’re the most beautiful girl I’ve ever seen.

You’re the hottest.

I fell for you the first time I saw you.

etc.

I’ve successfully competed with several beautiful women in my life, and it’s because of this one thing. Finding and sharing the joy in life. When we were dating, my husband used to tease me by observing that “Every day you leap out of bed, exuberant with the joy of living.” (This was actually sort of a neg.) I rarely had men at “hello,” but I often dated men with higher SMV, and I won over my husband for life in one weekend visit. 

Cultivate joy. Find that bliss in your own life. Practice gratitude. Express it, share it. It will be welcomed as a gift, I promise you, and people will want to be in your company.

2 Pingbacks/Trackbacks

  • http://asinusspinasmasticans.wordpress.com Mule Chewing Briars

    Natasha is all delight, but I will notice that she falls, and falls hard, for three very different men throughout War and Peace.

    To really find the key to a man’s heart is something most women will be frustrated at because

    1) First you have to find a man with a heart. Read CS Lewis’ Abolition Of Man for the best discourse on this. Our society has been trying like hell to make men (and women) heartless algorithms for decades now. Thank God most people are better than their educations and the facile philosophies they espouse, but people guard their hearts very closely these days. They have to.

    2) Men, the real inner man, is so idiosyncratic that you cannot predict with any certainty what will make all the tumblers fall into place. There are Elinor Dashwood men and Marianne Dashwood men. there are Beth, Jo, Meg, and even Amy men. You have to know a man pretty intimately already before you can read him at this level.

    I had a rare female friend who suggested to me that I court my wife.

  • ryan

    In summation…be fun. More often than not i usually end up walking away from a girl because in the 10 or so minute conversation that i have because they are so uptight.

    Last week a buddy of mine and i approach two teachers…one of them said that she sang songs to her students(2nd grade maybe i dont know) anyways i asked her what song, didn’t know it and asked her not to sing it.asked again and then decided not to push the song thing. Anyways a few more questions that felt more like an interrogation and i kindly excused my self back to the group we came with. Kept getting looks all night from her but i was on to the next group of girls.

    Same thing happend at a SB party sunday. Interrogation chat. I can see they went interested. Left to go watch the game. Lingering look at me when she leaves the party. Sorry hun….you had your chance.

  • deti

    Good point, Susan. We get so hung up on looks we forget the next most important thing: pleasant personality/cheerful outlook.

    If number 1 is “be pretty”; a close second is “be nice”.

    Why is this important?

    Men live in a tough world. We spend our days competing with ourselves, our peers, other men and women. We have to be good, and we have to get better all the time. We are constantly evaluated, torn down, dressed down, checked, double checked, and scoped out. If we’re not good enough, we’re discarded for someone better. We’re encouraged to base our entire existences, our value, our being, upon how good we are at what we do and how we measure up relative to everyone and everything else around us. Much of our worth to society and to women is tied up in this.

    So in his personal life, the last thing a man wants is to compete. He wants a woman to bring joy, comfort, and pleasantry into his life. He wants her to make pleasant conversation so as to bring a contrast, a respite, to his life of competition. She reminds him there is more to life than his work. She brings him out of that work world so he can connect with her emotions.

  • http://www.rosehope.com/ Hope

    Very interesting post, Susan. I have definitely known people like that, and they are very enjoyable to be around!

  • http://www.rosehope.com/ Hope

    Speaking just for myself, I’m too much of an introvert to have this high energy, highly passionate vibe. I think there’s another way a girl can get inside a man’s heart, and that is through being nurturing and loving. I’ve been told:

    “You’re so sweet.”

    “You’re so loving.”

    “I feel your love very strongly.”

    The result is still an overall positive energy, just tuned differently. It’s less bright and more subtle.

    As in Ryan’s example, a lot of guys used to call me “boring,” “uptight,” a “prude,” and I guess to them, I was rather lame. For the right man, though, I blossom like a flower. I only do it for my husband, and he likes that, because it’s special, and other men don’t get interested in me. :P

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @Hope

      You make a good point. I obviously would have attracted men who liked extraversion and felt comfortable around it. Some were fellow extroverts, but most were introverts – a case of opposites attracting. Badger has written about the pairing of Es and Is, and I believe he thinks Is generally do best together. That hasn’t been my experience – my husband is reserved compared to me. I guess there are infinite possibilities.

  • allie

    My sister is exactly like Natasha. I on the otherhand am a lot more intially reserved… especially around guys. It takes me a while to let my full personality to shine but wow do I notice how easily my sister attracts attention.. we work together and she has guys asking her out all the time. I guess I’m just too darn shy!

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @allie

      I think that all of us can find and express joy. A more muted or reserved expression will be more appealing to some men than an effusive one. I think the key is positivity. It’s good to be around it.

  • Anna

    I completely agree with this advice in the sense that “fun” is the opposite of cynical, bitter and unpleasant. But there is sometimes a reason why women don’t always have this attitude. Firstly, a woman that is “fun” can easily be considered naive and not suitable for anything serious. Not being taken seriously is something women often struggle with anyway, fun or not. A woman who’s image is “fun” is more likely to be taken advantage of. If a lot of men didn’t try to bang lots of women with no strings attached, and if a lot of men didn’t pump and dump women, then it would be reasonable for most women to be more “fun”. You will most likely have different kind of guys approaching you if you are always all smiles. I really don’t think there is anything to learn on attracting men from a 12 year old. I know that’s not the point but… you get where I’m coming from.

    This is a cultural thing too. Americans are known to be very open, extroverted, friendly, loud and always smiling. From a European point of view, at least. I’ve lived in France for a great deal of time, and although the opinions on Americans are split, they are deep down mostly negative (they like Woody Allen, looks down on the rest). The constant smiles, loud laughing and extremely forward attitude can be endearing in a way, but is seen as quite childlike, naive and an indicator of lack of intelligence. People who understand life, are philosophic of nature and spend their time reading Proust are not walking around smiling. I’m not French but, Scandinavian (which still means I have a more reserved nature) and I actually agree with this point of view – personally I prefer people with an air of mystery – whether it’d be men I’m interested in or females for friendship. I don’t like people who gives it all upfront. I hate the entire “I love you I love you”, I associate overdone enthusiasm with “Oprah” and the way housewives scream when they get free kitchen appliances. I remember Butterfly Flower described herself as “bubbly” and that she received a lot of negative attention from other people. I hate to say this, but I totally get where they’re coming from. I can’t stand bubbly people. And no, I’m not jealous of their light mood. I just feel like it’s fake, and I cannot stand fake people. If it’s not fake, I suspect they just lack depth.
    Coming off as a complete bitter bitch, I am not, but I am definitely a low-key woman in terms of behavior (and luckily there are men who prefer that too). I actually remember a scene in the movie “Le Divorce” with the two American girls living in Paris and the French guy saying “You smile too much. Too much smiling gets a girl in trouble”. The result being she only got non-serious attention from men.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      I want to clear up a couple of things, at least re my intent in writing this post. I don’t think that being fun is the goal. Being fun is a by-product of embracing life fully and finding the joy in it. People who do that are fun to be around. It’s not just true for women – even women who are drawn to brooding loner types will find that “difficult” is an attractor that wears off rather quickly. You have crazy, emotionally intense sex for a while, and then you start getting super irritated that this person is always in a bad mood, sees the worst in others, and generally avoids going out socially.

      I also don’t think that experiencing joy and expressing that is restricted by personality type. Yes, extroverts are more likely to share their joy in an exuberant manner, but some of the most charismatic and joyous women I have known are deeply introverted. They tend more toward the spiritual, but being in the quiet presence of someone who is very alive and in tune with others is powerful. Joy does not have to be noisy, it can be silent. It’s a certain kind of positive energy.

      Finding and sharing the joy in life has nothing to do with being silly, inane, unintelligent or ditzy. It does not point to shallowness. I think it’s pretty interesting that Americans are perceived as rather childlike in their openness, including being too loud. I have certainly witnessed plenty of “ugly American” behaviors while traveling, but in general I think we’d all be better off if we hung on to some of our childlike ways of expressing ourselves. Children make eye contact, they tell the truth, they are unabashed in their delight when they feel it, and they never pretend. I think most of us could learn a lot from infants if we observed them for a while. It’s that innocence, that uncorrupted joy, that makes us so fond of newborns, not just human, but also animals.

  • J

    Men, the best ones anyway, really do want to make women happy (like the little boys who bring flowers to their mothers in Munch’s post.) They are attracted to resilient, happy women because it’s easier to make a happy woman happier than it is to make a miserable woman happy. If you want to hang on to a man, laugh at his jokes and look happy when he walks in the door. They get demoralized when they can’t make you happy.

    Even at my age, I’m still rather popular with the guys in my age group–in part, because I laugh easily and heartily. SW said men told her, “I bet you’re a wildcat in bed.” I’ve also been told that based on my laugh. (And also, oddly enough, on my enjoyment of food.)

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      (And also, oddly enough, on my enjoyment of food.)

      Yes, I hear this a lot. Guys seem to appreciate a woman enjoying eating, actually sharing a meal, not picking at a salad with no dressing. I think sensual people enjoy food as well as sex. Appetite spans the whole range of sensual experiences.

  • Zorro

    There is only one female characteristic that men find irrisistable and one only: submission.

    That is all.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @Zorro

      There is only one female characteristic that men find irrisistable and one only: submission.

      Well, that’s one thing I certainly am not, so I suggest that your tastes are far from universal.

  • H man

    Think of the perfect date for a man. Cook him his favorite dinner, listen to him,
    tell him he’s the greatest and then have hot sex with him. In short a man wants a woman to support him(dinner) understand him(listen to him) , accept him (tell him he’s the greatest) fun (hot) and good looking (sex)

  • Jonny

    As in that old SNL skit with Tom Brady, “Be More Attractive”.

    Or in a recent SNL skit, be flirty.

    Show enthusiasm. Be happy smiling. Have great and long hair. Be receptive.

    Don’t nag.

  • Charm

    @Anna

    You make a really good point. I too dislike bubbly people. American love them. I personally don’t get it. It is way too childlike for me. I also dislike when people just throw the word “love” around. It’s obnoxious. If you want an idea to be completely diluted, but send it to the US and the culture here will ruin it in less than a couple of decades.

    I’m a very extroverted person, but I find that a big part of myself is hidden because most people wouldn’t be able to handle it. Its a very serious, stoic, mysterious side that is very deep and knowledgeable and romantic. A lot of Americans lack depth. To the point that they don’t even realize it. Having a discussion about social issues or theory at a bar or party is seen as odd or being too serious, but somehow we value to girl drunk and scream “OMG, I missed you sooooooo much” to the friend she hasn’t seen in 12 hours.

    Americans seem to idealize this playful woman, but I honestly don’t get it. But most American women are like this making me an odd ball. I think emotions should be expressed in relationships with people you are close with but here, if you don’t wear them on your sleeve people think you’re not feminine.

    I think every women has it within her to be a lot of things, but for the right man. I think Hope got it right. I can’t see myself blossoming, so to speak, for just any man. Even though I’m talkative and engaging, I’m not emotionally expressive with strangers. I could be reading a book, day dreaming, or simply walking down the street and someone will comment as to why I don’t have smile on my face. I look “mean” or “intimidating” because I don’t have a damn Coca-Cola smile on my face. Its ridiculous.

  • J

    I just feel like it’s fake, and I cannot stand fake people. If it’s not fake, I suspect they just lack depth.

    I used to feel like that. I think I just got to a point where I had survived so much loss that I stopped fearing loss and taking life so seriously. I started to appreciate what I did have more, little things started to mean more.

    Genuine gratitude is a beautiful thing. I do agree though that bubbliness can come off as stupid or fake if there is nothing solid behind it.

  • Butterfly Flower

    Cultivate joy. Find that bliss in your own life. Practice gratitude. Express it, share it. It will be welcomed as a gift, I promise you, and people will want to be in your company

    Yept! It’s the formula for a happy life :)

    I have an insanely bubbly-perky-optimistic-smiley-energetic-giggly [albeit naive/ditzy] personality that occasionally gets on other people’s nerves. However, I’m usually well liked. & I have the tendency to stumble into friendships with interesting people.

    I realize I often bring up my poor experiences with older women – but that’s because they’re so abnormal. Since I’m treated well and liked by almost everyone, when someone is mean to me, I’m confused. “What did I do wrong?”

    Concerning my interactions with men: older men [like, any man past their 40’s] usually find me delightful. I’ve had a few of my father’s businessmen friends ask me to be their secretary/personal assistant. Alternatively, they to set me up with their sons.

    Some men find my personality grating, but I find I’m more likely to get on another woman’s nerves.

    The constant smiles, loud laughing and extremely forward attitude can be endearing in a way, but is seen as quite childlike, naive and an indicator of lack of intelligence. People who understand life, are philosophic of nature and spend their time reading Proust are not walking around smiling.

    I’ve read Proust *sips tea and eats a madeleines* – I went through a existentialist crisis phase after I was diagnosed with an incurable inherited illness.

    What was that Proust quote? “Happiness is beneficial for the body, but it is grief that develops the powers of the mind.”

    I always found it somewhat ironic, because when I was struggling to come to terms with my diagnosis [my parents even sent me to a psychiatrist – they were afraid I’d get depressed], I ended up becoming a profoundly grateful, happy person. I may be sick, but I have family and friends who care about me, access to the world’s best doctors, various material comforts. Although I have a lot of reasons to be miserable, I have significantly more reasons to be radiating with joy.

    I used to feel like that. I think I just got to a point where I had survived so much loss that I stopped fearing loss and taking life so seriously. I started to appreciate what I did have more, little things started to mean more

    I realize this may sound strange, but my sickness gives me to confidence to enjoy life to the fullest. Every little thing seems like a miracle. I feel so lucky to just be able to step outside and breathe the air.

  • Sassy6519

    Being fun is indeed a very strong aphrodisiac. Not being afraid to go where the wind takes you is a good quality to have. I love doing things spur of the moment. My life always has a few random elements to it, but they suit me just fine.

    One of my fondest memories was meeting a guy one night for a dinner/drinks date, and deciding to go fishing around 11 pm for the hell of it afterwards. It was summer, there was a full moon that night, and the sky was filled with fireflies. We just sat, talked and fished until around 4 in the morning. I loved it.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @Sassy

      Not being afraid to go where the wind takes you is a good quality to have.

      I think being less afraid is a great thing to strive for in life.

  • Charm

    @Sassy

    How ever ENTP-ish of you lol!

    I like spoteneity as well, but only when I like/can control it. If someone springs something on my and I dislike it/can’t control it, I’d lose my mind. If someone woke me up early to say, drive 2 hours a way to the beach to see the sun rise I’d be down for it, but try to propose marriage in a large public place that draws a ton of attention and I’ll string you up by your damn toes.

  • Charm

    very*

    not ever. sheesh.

  • Candide

    Charm, you may think Americans consider you an odd ball, but you are precisely like a typical Western woman: highly serious, not emotionally expressive and with a constant frown other than a smile on her face.

    Highly ironic considering your chosen nickname.

    Rightly or wrongly, men want to see their woman as a source of joy in life, to be retreated to each day after their constant battles with the world. Too bad most of you these days sound more like a pain in the arse. If you can’t be that for a man, he will never want you for anything more than just sex.

  • Candide

    I’m sure you’d say you’d be different when you’re in a relationship, but men don’t make such bets. We’d observe how you are normally outside of a relationship and draw conclusions from there.

  • Zorro

    Dear Susan:

    It’s not about you.

  • Emily

    I think this might explain why girls often find that they get more male attention when they’re in a relationship. (Maybe this is true for guys as well, I dunno…)

    It’s easier to live in the moment and simply enjoy the people around you when you don’t have to worry about all the complicated sexual politics.

  • Anna

    @ Candide
    I agree that no man wants to be in a relationship with a woman that is constantly angry or always got a frown. But my opinion (and perhaps Charm’) is that it is normal to be very positive and happy when in the company of those who please you, but not constantly. That doesn’t mean I am pouty otherwise. I’m just not screaming with joy. If I like a man, I will enjoy myself in his company, I will be attentive, caring, smiling and happy. My parents have complained that I don’t show enough enthusiasm at times (which is because I used to live with them 24/7, especially in my teenage years). However, guys (I’m into) have often complimented me on being sweet, cute, friendly and at times “so smiley”. Perhaps it is more appreciated because I don’t walk around with a stupid grin on my face all the time?
    A woman who’s ‘bubbly’ WILL always smile at you, laugh hysterically at your jokes, be overwhelmed by small favours and jump up and down like a child occasionally. But she does that for all men, always. And in my experience, those women send a lot of signals to men, care a lot about the attention they get back, and (IME) are well above average promiscuous. (I’m sure Butterfly will argue with me on that, and I am well aware that a lot of Asian girls are all bubbles, yet virgins) I don’t have a problem with men preferring that type of woman, I just think it’s a bit empty and not a goal in itself.

  • Days of Broken Arrows

    I enjoyed Jackie’s stories. They rang true and reminded me of how easy dating was in high school when we were interesting in having fun and goofing off and had few responsibilities to make use sour and miserable.

    That got me thinking: are women today less likely to let go and have a good time for its own sake because they’re under more pressure at work and have trouble changing gears — or decompressing? It’s hard to jump from being responsible and hyper-focused to being just plain silly just because 5 p.m. rolls around. Guys have always had to calibrate to this kind of thing, but it’s newer terrain for women, so maybe they’ve lost some of that “fun” dynamic.

  • Escoffier

    Well, there is fun and there is fun. I’ve been with a few girls who were indeed fun like Natasha but they were also so “social” that they spread the fun wafer-thin wherever they went. This is not a sexual comment at all. What I mean is, they liked being in crowds and they liked connecting with as many people in the crowd as possible so as to spread the fun. It got the point where I would have to ask myself “In what sense am I really here WITH YOU, that we are TOGETHER as opposed to just in the same place at the same time?” I never stayed with those girls long.

    Guys IME won’t put up with that. A girl who works the room better than her guy is a recipe for breakup. Either she will dump him for someone more magnetic to others or he will feel neglected and bail.

    The reverse however does seem to work. A woman can be quite happy with a man who works a room well even if she doesn’t know a soul and hardly says anything,

  • Charm

    @Candide

    How do you figure that? I am very charming, but my idea of what is charming is probably not what you consider to be charming. Different people tend to have different ideas of things, no? I am very charming, warm, caring, and protective of people that I like. I’m the exact opposite to people I dislike and I’m neutral to people I don’t know. When I meet someone new I don’t expect to be treated some amazing way like a lot of people tend to expect. People mistake my neutral attitude toward them (a complete stranger) as me disliking them. Its positive nor negative. Why? Because I just met you.

    And let me say you don’t speak for men. You speak for Candide. Just like I speak for myself. You could argue that X type of women worked for X percentage of men, which is terrific, and you could even argue that most men like it (that being more that 50% of males), but stop saying what all men like X type of woman.

    Fun is a too ambiguous of a word/idea.

    I think Susan summed her idea of it up very well.

    When it comes to expressiveness, I am very expressive through thoughts and ideas. Most women are expressive through emotions and feelings. Being too emotionally expressive with people you don’t know well, to me is inappropriate. Children engage in this behavior. Now, I will admit I have a tendency to express myself through thoughts/opinions with strangers much easier and that is also considered to be inappropriate (by society). Children also do this I guess. But its who I am.

    Re Comment #23

    Again, most men. Not all. Though I find this idea for most people to be very true. I, personally prefer people who are very complex and are always improving themselves and increasing their knowledge of the world around them. People who think logically and feel very deeply. People who are skeptical and curious of any and everything they do not know.

    So any man who “reads” me as X after having only spent a very small amount of time observing me can keep it moving. I’m not that simple of a person. I can literally go from serious/impassive facial expression to lively/animated facial expression in .005 seconds depending on the situation I am in and the people I am around. <–why don't people consider this?

    This is also why I don't make eye contact with strangers. I hate having to smile out of obligation.

  • NateWinchester

    1) First you have to find a man with a heart. Read CS Lewis’ Abolition Of Man for the best discourse on this. Our society has been trying like hell to make men (and women) heartless algorithms for decades now. Thank God most people are better than their educations and the facile philosophies they espouse, but people guard their hearts very closely these days. They have to.

    Sir, I owe you a drink someday for that.

    As for attraction. Being a joy (or at least, a person people want to be around) will not only get guys interested in you, but just people in general and probably expand your social circle.

    Now if we want to talk about KEEPING a quality guy it’s easy: be his ally at least in public. (Doesn’t mean you always have to agree, but it must be private – on your own time.)

  • Charm

    @Candide

    I’d like to think that a man would be happier to see me light up at the sight of seeing him, regardless as to whether I light up around people I don’t know.

    Call me crazy.

  • AM

    Great, fantastic, awesome, truthful post!

    As a man, a woman who has that youthful, joyful, energetic vibe is amazing to be around. I especially love how I can play the strong/silent type of man with her, and not have things be boring since she will take up the excitement slack, or I can also match her enthusiasm and energy and have fun that way as well.

    For females who are more introverted, I will say the other kind of personality which totally draws me to women is the nurturing, caring, supportive, vulnerable type. The quiet girl who always says nice things to everyone, the one who is the first to help clean up my place after a party, the one who shyly asks me for things/favors (but not trying to take advantage)… I fall hard for those girls as well, and feel all protective and strong around her.

  • Odds

    @ Emily

    Yeah, it’s true for guys, too. The only times I’ve ever been outright propositioned without having made any effort towards a particular girl are when I was in a relationship. Something about having the smell of another woman you a guy makes him irresistible.

    As for the joie de vivre? Hell yeah, on it’s own. Unfortunately (and this may just be my own experiences talking, so if someone else can chip in, please do), I’ve always seen it come with flakiness – and flakiness kills my respect for a girl faster than her hipster ex-boyfriend. Basically, the choices I’ve seen laid out are always dour but reliable, or exuberant but flaky. Which sucks, because I’m an introvert and I’m happiest when I have an extrovert around to pick up the energy-slack. Bubbly is great, you just can’t count on those types.

    Show me a 6 with long hair and a bubbly attitude, give her enough integrity to rely on, and I’ll show you a 9. Wish I could remember who said it, but “Men may scorn the rags she dresses in, but her dance is the envy of angels.”

  • Charm

    @Anna

    Re being sweet

    This is funny because if people saw how I behaved with someone that I loved and was in a relationship as opposed to how I behaved in public, they’d be absolutely SHOCKED. Lol. They’d swear it was an imposter.

  • Lokland

    @ Hope

    “Speaking just for myself, I’m too much of an introvert to have this high energy, highly passionate vibe. I think there’s another way a girl can get inside a man’s heart, and that is through being nurturing and loving. I’ve been told:”

    I’ll second this as a guy. I’m an introvert as well and I find extraverts in general to be annoying and tiresome. Def’s not a good quality for MY partner. (Though I’m sure theres a portion of men who would enjoy it.)

    You’ve got it right though. This “lets all be happy and joyously singing our happiness to the world” speech doesn’t work it could end at the ” lets all be happy” and be equally as effective,

    @ deti

    “She brings him out of that work world so he can connect with her emotions.”

    This is one of the truest things I have ever heard. My fiance is sweet and kind, my emotions have basically been dulled by society so much that connecting emotionally with her is one of the best ways for me to feel happiness.

    @ Anna, Charm

    I’m with you ladies on this.

    Anna, I’m Canadian. I fear being called an American so much when I travel abroad I wear a pin, have a flag on my back-pack, flags attached to my luggage etc. The opinion above the boarder is very similar to what you describe. (Though sadly we seem to be more like that now than previously). The number of times I’ve been on business and said “Hello I’m Lokland, I’m Canadian” has improved my enitre day is actually ridculous.

    @ Butterfly flour

    “access to the worlds best doctors”

    I hope your not American or thats gonna be really insulting to the 36 countries who outranked the US in overall healthcare in 2000 or the 48 who have longer life expectencies as of 2010.

    Just saying, its good but lets not kid ourselves.

  • AM

    a bit off topic but @ Lokland: health care “rankings” or life expectancies is hardly an indicator of where the best doctors are

  • Butterfly Flower

    Why is everything italic?

  • Odds

    Did someone forget to close a tag?

  • Charm

    I tried to italicize my comment farther up threat and after that, everything was in italics. Uh oh! lol

  • Charm

    By bad guys.

  • Lokland

    @ AM

    Kinda true. Life expectency generally increases with health and theres one country that beats the US by 20 years. I do consider that an extreme indicator.
    Or do you want me to point out how the US is also out ranked in efficiency, medical advancement, cost, training of medical employees etc.

    What are your criteria?

    Don’t get me wrong its good, far more than adequate but its not “the best”.

    However for a doc to make cash. Defs the best. Same for other professions as well. You guys pay well I’ll give you that.

  • Lokland

    Whoops wrong key.

    That should be 10 not 20 years thats just ridculous.

  • Lokland

    @ AM

    Rereading your comment it makes more sense now.

    Your right if the cash is there is possible to have “access” to the best doctors. Thats very true.
    However the “best” doctors are not American. Nor is the healthcare system “the best”.

  • Clarence

    If no one has mentioned it yet, this applies to men as well.
    To be liked by most and loved by some one should be happy and willing to share or at least try to create and then share happiness. If one isn’t so extroverted, it’s ok to be nurtering though one must be sure that one’s potential partner notices this fact.

    One or the other, or blessed be – both, and you will find yourself at your most attractive.

  • http://www.yohami.com/blog/ YOHAMI

    I agree and that´s good game for men too.

  • http://www.yohami.com/blog/ YOHAMI

    and why are we all talking in italics?

  • Jesus Mahoney

    Sue,

    I think that this is the single most important piece of advice you’ve given to people yet. And Yohami’s right, it’s good (great) game for men, too.

  • V

    Great entry, Ms Susan Walsh!

    Also, this is basically all summed up by what you said in one of the comments up above, that the whole point is to be a person of *positivity.* This is not just because “positivity = good” or “negativity = bad” by themselves, but rather because the brightness and hope that happen to come with positivity also happen to be the whole point of attraction, relationships, love, marriage, etc.

    Two people being with each other is supposed to lift up both their spirits, lift up their circumstances, lift up their happiness! A sign of a great connection between two people occurs when they are able to do this for each other, by carrying each other through their times of difficulty, weakness, or just plain boredom hahaha (and being able to make the other person laugh and have fun helps with that immensely, especially in the last scenario).

    This is why a person who can bring levity and relief to things, and who sees the best in others, and who has the strength to make the best of things, and who can instill hope in the other, always tends to be very charming and attractive.

    P.S.: Does anyone know if Susan still responds to personal e-mails sent through the “Contact” feature on this site? I know she gets a lot of traffic through here and so would probably not be able to answer all e-mails, but I’d still appreciate it if there was a chance that I could get a response through there. =)

  • Jesus Mahoney

    V,

    Tell us your problem. We’ll all comment and have a field day.

  • Michael of Charlotte

    “Cultivate joy. Find that bliss in your own life. Practice gratitude. Express it, share it. It will be welcomed as a gift, I promise you, and people will want to be in your company.”

    A thousand times yes. I remember a girl back in grad school named Suzanne. She was a hat trick in the sense that she was gorgeous, at least as smart as me, and had an amazing personality. Looking back on it now, it was pretty stunning. When she was “on” I couldn’t help but feel happy and smile when I was around her. When this girl showed up that she didn’t care for, she was “off” and I felt, well, not much. It was my greatest sadness that she was already wearing another man’s ring.

    Having said that, two of the women I’ve fallen hard for were definitely happy chicks. They were feminine, smiled when they saw me, but were not high energy centers of attention. They radiated warmth and happiness that I can definitely say was a huge draw for me. Sure they were attractive, but their warm personalities made them gorgeous.

  • Mike M.

    As an American, I have to admit that many Americans tend to be noisy. Sometimes annoyingly so. Not all of us, though. I certainly don’t, and neither do most of my well-traveled friends.

    The cheerfulness I consider cultural – we are a cheerful people.

    That being said, there are extroverts who effervesce with joy. Wonderful people if they have a solid grounding in reality. But introverts are not nearly as grimly dour as people think. Just inclined to be happy in a smaller social circle.

  • http://femaleframechanges.blogspot.com Olive

    Re: positivity,
    I’m 100% behind the idea that it’s one of the most attractive traits a person can have. My friendly recently broke up with her BF because she felt like she spent all her time bitching at him, and she wanted him to bitch at her too. In other words, she felt like she was always talking about her drama, and she wanted him to talk about his drama.

    Who wants to be in a relationship like that? I’m pretty sure guys want to come home to a person who is genuinely happy and caring and nurturing. I’m willing to bet guys aren’t interested in coming home to a bitchfest.

  • http://www.yohami.com/blog/ YOHAMI

    Be careful with narcissists though. They have this quality in spades, at least for a while.

  • Jesus Mahoney

    True. Narcissists do have that quality. But if you observe closely enough, you see the narcissist isn’t spreading joy but seeking validation. But yea, something to watch out for….

  • http://bloggingbellita.wordpress.com/ Bellita

    Natasha was one of Helen Andelin’s examples in Fascinating Womanhood as well! I haven’t read the novel myself, though.

    More generally, this topic reminds me of the idea of “Extraverted Feeling” vs. “Introverted Feeling” which I recently discovered in a book about the Myers-Briggs Personality Types. (The Art of Speedreading People by Paul and Barbara Tieger.) Those who “extravert” feeling are more physically expressive and demonstrative, and clearly like forming connections with others. In contrast, those who “introvert” feeling–and therefore, “extravert” thinking–can appear more impersonal and businesslike, which can make others think they’re not interested in forming deeper relationships.

    But the authors want us to note that there are some very strong Feelers and Extroverts among those who “introvert” their feelings. ENFPs, for instance, usually have legions of friends, show real empathy for others, and are comfortable striking up conversations with strangers . . . But they can also seem mellow rather than effusive, and very moody; and they actually keep their deepest feelings as private as possible.

  • Chris_in_CA

    One caveat I would put to the original point (it has been mentioned before, but I’ll re-emphasize): Have fun, yes. Without it being *forced.*

    I see women all the time who tell themselves (and everyone else) they’re having fun. They laugh and banter and cavort around. Ask them how they’re doing, and they spew for ten minutes how much they love life, love being where they are, etc.

    But it’s all an act. They’re fooling themselves. The positivity is faked to a level approaching desperation. Watch them for more than a minute and you can see how miserable they really are. Flashy paint on a broken statue.

    It’s very sad. And it’s off-putting to those of us who see through it.

  • Jackie

    @Susan

    Wow, Susan, thank you so much for including my comment in your article! :D

    Here is a story about someone who made his life’s motto “Choose Joy”

    http://gawker.com/5845111/gawker-friend-aaron-jamison-is-joyous-to-the-end
    http://judasforgiven.blogspot.com/

  • Jackie

    @YOHAMI

    Hi Yohami,

    I agree– narcissists are DANGEROUSLY charming! We all need to watch out for them. The warning signs I look for, to avoid N’s:

    1. Always brings the conversation back to self
    2. Resentful of the attention being diverted to anyone else
    3. Haughty and arrogant postures, tone and micro-expressions
    4. They will NEVER use self-effacing humor or zaniness, only sarcasms and “put downs”

    In the word of Mad-Eye Moody (from Harry Potter ), “CONSTANT VIGILANCE!” :)

  • http://www.yohami.com/blog/ YOHAMI

    Jackie,

    Thats a good list. lets add

    – fan of pissing contests
    – deeply hate to lose
    – nothing is ever their fault
    – paranoids about criticism and envy
    – demanding
    – the charm is only ON when they are getting their way

  • http://4stargazer.wordpress.com/ Anacaona

    In the word of Mad-Eye Moody (from Harry Potter ), “CONSTANT VIGILANCE!”
    Good Wizard, Good man. RIP :(

  • Jackie

    Dear Yohami,

    Here is a resource list for you (may you avoid Narcissists forevermore!):

    http://samvak.tripod.com/ (NOTE: Extremely thorough website, written by a Narcissist.)

    http://www.youtube.com/user/samvaknin (NOTE: His YouTube, which is a GREAT resource for learning body language, tonality, etc of the NPD)

    narcissists-suck.blogspot.com (NOTE: Written for those recovering from abuse of Narcissists. Survival guide)

    Yohami, I would be glad to give you my reading list, if it would help. I am so sorry this has happened to you. Much peace–

  • Jackie

    @Anacaona C

    You read _Twilight_ and _HP_?!? :D ALRIGHT!

    *high fives, with sparkling hands*

  • http://www.yohami.com/blog/ YOHAMI

    Jackie,

    I knew about this guy (theres a short movie called me-sociopath). But do share your list. Im reading this, thanks http://narcissists-suck.blogspot.com/

    T Ricky´s Rawness blog is pretty good too.

  • http://chuckthisblog.wordpress.com Joe

    Great post, but I’m a little surprised at one thing. No body’s brought up the opposite image – Bella from Twilight.

    I know that “fun” often comes off like frivolous, but there’s a difference, of course. I’ve known Bella-types. They come off more soul-deadening than serious. Personally, I’d agree that the light-hearted soul is far more attractive, especially long-term.

  • http://femaleframechanges.blogspot.com Olive

    I’ve known Bella-types. They come off more soul-deadening than serious.

    Anacaona is going to hunt you down in 10…9…8…

  • Jackie

    Hi again Yohami,

    I’m still looking for that reading list… Until I find it, here is a *really* good dissection of narcissism explained (mostly in society):

    http://thelastpsychiatrist.com/narcissism/

    (NOTE: I’m almost 100% convinced TLP is a narcissist, but don’t let that stop you! He does a good job.)

    Best wishes, Yohami the Troubador :)

  • http://hookingupsmart.com benighted

    I would respectfully suggest that some of you ladies give yourselves a whirl at Argentine Tango. It’s a way to explore the Male/Female issues on a physical level (no words!). Those of you who get it, I’ll be there (or someone like me). Those who don’t. No problem. You may have your own path. Love you all.

  • Jackie

    @Joe

    Joe, I’d duck and cover if I were you! ;) Don’t come between Bella, oops I mean Anacaona, and her Twilight, unless you are an extremely BRAVE man. :)

  • http://aplace-formythoughts.blogspot.com/ Renee

    Introvert here as well ;-)

    I’m friendly, but it takes me a while before I let anyone in. I keep to myself alot.

    I can associate with the opposite sex fine in everyday life, but if I’m attracted to a guy, I just clam up. He walks by and I look the other way. I don’t know how to talk to guys I’m crushing on, and it doesn’t help that I usually know nothing about him. I’ve been like this all my life.

    I am able to attract men and I have had a boyfriend before (only one in my entire life though, in college). It’s just when I’m attracted to a guy, I freeze up. So this topic is a big help to me lol :-D

  • http://chuckthisblog.wordpress.com Joe

    Alright. Who is this Anacaona, and why is she after me?

    Oh, I know…. Kidding. KIDDING!!! ;)

  • http://4stargazer.wordpress.com/ Anacaona

    You read _Twilight_ and _HP_?!? :D ALRIGHT!

    I read EVERYTHING sadly for me.

    @Joe
    Let me guess you only watched the movies? Bella is the only person aside from Alice that makes Edward laugh and enjoy life again. The movies decided to downplay 90% of her emotions. And focus on the parts where she is depressed, sad or worried. But around vampires she is actually quite cool to hang out, playing chess with Jasper, dress up with Alice and bonding with Emmet, Carlisle and Esme. She is quiet and selective of who sees her lighter side but she has it.
    And I only hunt down people after the third offense :p

  • http://4stargazer.wordpress.com/ Anacaona

    I would respectfully suggest that some of you ladies give yourselves a whirl at Argentine Tango. It’s a way to explore the Male/Female issues on a physical level (no words!). Those of you who get it, I’ll be there (or someone like me). Those who don’t. No problem. You may have your own path. Love you all.

    That is in the list of things hubby and I are going to do at some point. I always wanted to learn how to Tango. :)

  • http://www.beinghappy.me M

    After dating around for a while I whittled my essential partner qualities down to two: loyalty and good legs. But positivity is super-important, too. So I’m glad that my wife came with that as well as the other two items on my list.

  • GudEnuf

    This post reminded me of a woman I had a crush on in high school. She was cute but what really put her ahead of the pack was that she was just so sweet. Whenever she saw me pass her in the hallway she would lift her hand real high and call “Hi GudEnuf!”. She would always remember people’s names and find something to compliment them on.

    She was the first woman I got the courage to ask on a real date. I think she liked me but her parents did not approve.

  • Lindsay

    I’m going to try typing this with italics to see if it un-breaks the screwed-up markup on the comments.

    Until I hit rock-bottom about 5 or 6 weeks ago, I’d say I was quite social, extroverted, took delight in conversing about a variety of interesting subjects, etc. Starting in senior high school, I never had trouble attracting men or women. Even as recently as a month ago, I was out at a nightclub, where a DJ who was very popular when I was in college was spinning, and I got “negged” by two younger guys and picked up by a third and offered a drink. (I don’t date guys outside of my husband, and never date younger, so I bought him one.) It didn’t matter with men that I wasn’t submissive or totally feminine, and that I can’t cook worth a damn – and I met my husband when I had a haircut similar to Billy Idol’s in the “White Wedding” video. (I grew it out because curly hair is a PITA to wear short and spiked.)

    But since the new year, a change has come over me. I always enjoyed solitary walks while listening to music, but over the past month, when I’ve taken them, I’ve realized I don’t enjoy being out in public, I don’t feel that I belong, and watching all the people go by, immersed in their lives and their joie de vivre, just makes me feel lonelier. I don’t socialize or go out anymore either. It’s partly the unemployment thing – which, it seems, won’t resolve anytime soon, as I’ve tapped out every possible resource in the city – and partly a culmination of events in a pretty hard and often lonely life that have left me feeling isolated, exhausted, and detached from the human race. Solving that issue, too, has proven fruitless. It’s as if I were a balloon, floating above the crowd of humans, observing them, and not understanding them, or joining in.

    It’s a good thing I’m not single. Because if I were, I don’t know that I’d make it through this. Props to anyone who can, or currently is – for you are stronger than I.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @Lindsay

      I’m so sorry to hear you’re struggling right now. We’ve all been there, or at least I have. There are times when it feels right to batten down the hatches and avoid other people, but you don’t want that to go on too long and get too into your own head. It is really good that you have a loving husband who can offer support and keep an eye on you.

      We’re always here, and even though we don’t share all the same politics, we do care for our own here – it’s a very loyal and supportive crew. Come by whenever you feel like it.

      xoxo

  • http://stagedreality.wordpress.com/ LeapofaBeta

    “It’s partly the unemployment thing – which, it seems, won’t resolve anytime soon, as I’ve tapped out every possible resource in the city – and partly a culmination of events in a pretty hard and often lonely life that have left me feeling isolated, exhausted, and detached from the human race. Solving that issue, too, has proven fruitless.”

    Unemployment is hard. Even just being an independent contractor and going from job to job – when I’m low on work I notice a change in my attitude that can lead to a vicious cycle of getting less work by being less social.

    I try to make an effort to go to social places where I don’t need to talk to people but can. Coffee shops and diners I found were a good start until you feel comfortable to go to more crowded places and talk. I found a website called meetup that is great. Groups organize different events that can range from getting people that like architecture together for a drink/dinner to running in a park and grabbing brunch after on Sunday. Great stuff and I’ve had fun meeting people outside of the theatre community (IE the crazy, don’t date community I work in)

    While I wouldn’t advertize/recommend being alone for life, this is a GREAT video for building confidence and finding advice on how to feel comfortable with yourself. It also is an awesome poem set to good music, with well done videography and editing.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @LeapofaBeta

      I just want to say I’ve really been enjoying your commentary lately.

  • http://4stargazer.wordpress.com/ Anacaona

    (IE the crazy, don’t date community I work in)

    cough hubby works in theater cough

  • http://stagedreality.wordpress.com/ LeapofaBeta

    Shhhhhh. Again, so do I as a scene designer here in Chicago. It’s just….. incestuous, to date others in theatre. They’re family. And they’re NUTS! And I love them….. In a brotherly/sisterly way that doesn’t involve drama, sex, or me worrying if a particularly bad breakup will cost me a future job.

  • http://triggeralert.blogspot.com Byron

    Z,

    “There is only one female characteristic that men find irrisistable and one only: submission.”

    Nope. I know you’re basically trolling, but still, it bears noting that instant supplication from anyone, male or female, is something that lowers their value in someone elses eyes. Kind of obvious, really.

  • Herb

    While this is very true I think it also cuts to the greatest damage the feminist era has done to women.

    Why do men want women who are fun, even joyful. Because, even in the feminist era, men more often than not are the ones who shovel the effin’ gravel in society. Historically, it was men who went out and killed things and while even in hunter gatherer societies women worked as hard as men it is men more often than not who do the dangerous tasks. Be it hunting something big enough to kill all six of your group, working in a coal mine, or just dealing with the BS of corporate politics, men have seen wife and home as a refuge. Look at all the guidelines to being a good wife from the 50s (the real ones, not that fake one that is so popular) and you see that as a theme.

    So, feminism set out to make women just like men including dealing with the BS of corporate politics and even working in the coal mine. It’s hard to be that relief from life when you’re suffering from the same life. Just as finding a man who is better off than you economically to marry up is hard when you’re as hard charging as a man so is it hard for you to be his relief from the world.

    And it’s easier, in this case for a man to find other sources of relief…those complaining about the man child and his video games might take note of this.

    The real lesson of this point (and it’s a great one Susan) is that mating isn’t finding someone like you, it’s finding someone who compliments you. Someone who is disciplined to your free spirit. Someone who is willing to spend to your ability to pinch pennies. Someone who is domestic to your career outlook. Instead, we’re all trying to be exactly like one another and then are disappointed we can’t find anyone to fill out our rough spot.

    It’s one reason, I suspect, D/s is much bigger than S&M among younger people in the BDSM community…they’re looking for a way to create and engage the contrasts/compliments that make for success in mating.

  • John G

    I admire folks that have the ability to lighten up. I’m a bit too cynical and a bit too zero-sum to be able to pull it off. I appreciate being around people who are able to take life lightly, makes me feel young.

    I find it amusing the cultural e-peening/generalizations going on. Yeah, I’m ‘merican and not outgoing, so there.

  • JP

    I strongly agree with SW post about embracing life fully. If you can’t do that, then I would say the first rule is don’t be un-fun. Don’t be cynycle, don’t talk on and on about what is bad in your life.

    Not everyone can be the life of the party, and many that try should not. Making yourself the center of attention when you don’t really have anything interesting to say is worse than saying nothing.

  • The Unfortunate Rake

    I really don’t think there is anything to learn on attracting men from a 12 year old.

    You are very, very wrong about this.

  • http://photoncourier.blogspot.com david foster

    Herb…”It’s hard to be that relief from life when you’re suffering from the same life”

    This makes sense; OTOH, a woman who has seriously pursued a career may have more empathy with the stresses and risks of a husband’s career than one who has not. 70 business trips a year may sound like all thrills to someone who has never traveled extensively for work; someone who *has* may appreciate the effort it takes a little more. The psychological strain of having to fire someone who is a good person but not right for the job (or who you just can’t afford anymore) is more likely to be understood by someone who’s had to do it herself.

    Not to say it’s impossible for someone who hasn’t walked the walk to understand someone who has, but the level of empathetic skill required is higher.

  • http://femaleframechanges.blogspot.com Olive

    Lindsay,

    But since the new year, a change has come over me. I always enjoyed solitary walks while listening to music, but over the past month, when I’ve taken them, I’ve realized I don’t enjoy being out in public, I don’t feel that I belong, and watching all the people go by, immersed in their lives and their joie de vivre, just makes me feel lonelier. I don’t socialize or go out anymore either. It’s partly the unemployment thing – which, it seems, won’t resolve anytime soon, as I’ve tapped out every possible resource in the city – and partly a culmination of events in a pretty hard and often lonely life that have left me feeling isolated, exhausted, and detached from the human race. Solving that issue, too, has proven fruitless. It’s as if I were a balloon, floating above the crowd of humans, observing them, and not understanding them, or joining in.

    It’s a good thing I’m not single. Because if I were, I don’t know that I’d make it through this. Props to anyone who can, or currently is – for you are stronger than I.

    I’ve been going through something similar this year, not because of unemployment, but because I graduated college, moved on to grad school, and found myself stuck in a rut trying to figure out who to socialize with. I’m naturally extroverted, but when I’m stuck in a rut, I absolutely HATE being around people. In college I started being more social and finally felt like I was a better version of myself, and I realized that I had spent a good part of my adolescence stuck in that same rut. People had me labeled as an introvert, and I didn’t even consider the possibility that I was an extrovert until I learned to be social.

    Loneliness is a nasty cycle. Being alone all the time sucks the energy out of me… I don’t feel like being productive, I can’t motivate myself to get my work done, and I don’t feel like hanging out with people (that is the most ironic part). If you’re a natural extrovert, I suggest getting out there, despite the struggles. Even spending little bits of time with my roommates (who I don’t know very well) helps me re-energize, and I don’t find them to be very compelling people. But it’s not the stigmatizing conversation that helps energize me, it’s the social interaction.

    Just my few cents. Hopefully both of us will find our niches! I won’t claim that I have, I’m still searching.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @ Escoffier, Yohami, Chris in CA

      You’ve all raised very good points. It can be hard to tell apart a genuinely joyful and benevolent person from an attention-whoring flake who manufactures fun in her drive to be fabulous. Sex and the City comes to mind as I write this.

      As Jesus said, a truly joyful person is giving, while the narcissist is seeking personal gain. I think a short period of observation should reveal the true underlying character of a person. If it feels like the fun is being spread around so thin that you don’t even feel you’re together, then obviously her motive is to be the belle of the ball, not to make a genuine connection.

  • http://umslopogaas.wordpress.com Umslopogaas

    Actually, I would recommend going in an entirely different direction.

    Simply put (and merely the subjective observations of one man amongst millions):

    Tone down the flirtiness and up your femininity. Decrease the saucy snarkiness, increase your (natural) nurturing warmth. Ditch Cosmo, Oprah, smoking and alcohol and relearn the ancient art of being refined, modest, empathic and knowledgeable, in short a lady rather than a shrewish slapper.

    This is the single most dramatic difference I’ve perceived in my travails in the West and travels in Southeast Asia:

    These days, too many western women have become masculinized and confrontational slappers. Drunk and (oftentimes) arrogant – faux or not – they play hard to get or (a few hours/drinks later) the fool’s mate.

    I contrast these experiences with vapid, shallow and emptyheaded yet weirdly narcissistic tarts (in the West) with my dealings with women in Laos and Vietnam.

    Now, before the hysteria brigade breaks lose know this:

    Misguided steretypes notwithstanding, 99.9% of *normal* women in Southeast Asia are *not* whores trying to hone in on sex starved sex tourists.

    The fact of the matter is that in Southeast Asian women for the most part are still very traditional. Having many boyfriends, illicit relations before marriage (riding on the carousel) etc. is tantamount to scandal and family shame.

    Southeast Asian women thus conduct themselves with grace, modesty and humility. They show warmth, they show curiosity and respect. They grace one with their feminine grace. Yet by and large they are subtle and do not flaunt their assets. They are simply warm, understanding, friendly, shy, coy, feminine…and all the good stuff. Oh and they’re also far less materialistic, ime, and far more family oriented. Solid & loyal (as much as a woman can be).

    And you ladies know what? The more I meet these women the more I *want* to care for them, the more *positive* parts of my personality are brought out.

    To me, the absence of competition and the presence of civilised warmth are what makes these women valuable, priceless in fact.

    Bottomline: as sexes we complement each other. We are not equal, yet of equal worth. *That* is the elephant in the room. And feminism combined with competition & antagonism together have murdered love. Or forced it to outsource itself. Because truly love still exists. But just like industry, sanity and most good things…it no longer resides in the West but has relocated to Asia.

    Bossomline: You need no miniskirts, nor make the first move and sexualize things. What you need to do is to reconnect with your femininity, ditch the princess act, rediscover the ability to curb your ego and project warmth, humility and friendliness, relearn the ability to hold a civilized conversation that is about more than fluff talk, more than gossip, astrology or some other vapid ethereal field.

    The West needs less sex and more love.

  • http://www.rosehope.com/ Hope

    @Umslopogaas, I think you do touch upon some truth, and as the world becomes increasingly global, we have to remember that we’re not just in a localized marriage market anymore (just like the economic market has changed).

    My husband went to southeast Asia when he was younger and really fell for the culture, the people, and their warmth, friendliness and non-materialism. He wanted to volunteer there but was assigned to Africa instead. My mother-in-law sometimes tells me that she is secretly glad, because otherwise she felt for sure he would have married a local girl and stayed, and she wouldn’t have been able to be near him.

    On the other hand, I have read other ex-pat stories from men who dated foreign women, but in the end the cultural and linguistic differences were too much to bridge. They are also always treated as outsiders in those areas, and others view them with suspicion partially because of adherence to tradition. People still yearn for their “home” and “roots,” and after traveling the world, my husband ended back just a few miles from where he grew up, and bought a house here.

    There are lots of wonderful, deep, introspective and loving women in the West. America is a conglomeration of different cultures. I was born and raised in China, but I am now Chinese American. I combine aspects of both cultures while not completely fitting into either. I have met many immigrants and descendants of immigrants from all across the world here who have the lovely qualities that you described, and some amazing qualities that you did not.

    Tastes can vary, preferences can change, and we can be drawn to the exotic or the familiar (non-Western men are often fascinated by Western women). We sometimes also mistakenly idealize the exotic and overlook the good that is near and familiar. We who were once “foreigners” recognize that America is a great place because of its acceptance and celebration of different ideas and cultures.

    In my opinion, love has not relocated. Its light may have dimmed as love of money and selfishness have threatened to take over. Spiritual love still exists, and it exists in America just as it exists everywhere else. It exists within each and every one of us. We should not pit East against West, but rather learn from each other, and appreciate and take from the positive attributes of each culture, nation and group.

    Thus, I applaud Susan’s message to share joy with others and live life with happiness and exuberance. Loving energy takes many forms and manifests in different ways. Why cut off any of them? As one who wants to love, and wants to truly love, I must love all without exclusion. I must love those who share my views and those who do not. Love is not divisive, but unifying.

    We do not bring out the positive in other people by denigrating them and dividing them. We do so by sharing love and joy with them, understanding them, empathizing with them, and showing them the way of love.

  • Sammich

    “attention-whoring flake ” …. People to kill with a shovel.

  • Lokland

    @ SW

    “I think a short period of observation should reveal the true underlying character of a person.”

    Why bother?
    Her perfectly quiet, happy (you might debate these can’t go together) friend is three steps away. Unless said extrovert is hotter theres really no advantage to going after her when the simpler option exists.

    Not to mention your average guy gets around 3 seconds to take action before he is out of the running with a woman. Short observation periods don’t jive with reality.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @Lokland

      Why bother? Her perfectly quiet, happy (you might debate these can’t go together) friend is three steps away. Unless said extrovert is hotter theres really no advantage to going after her when the simpler option exists.

      I wasn’t really talking about first meeting. As to your point, how do you know that the friend who is quiet (at the moment) and smiling (how do you know she’s happy?) at the moment is really both of those things? She may be a fool, or any number of things that go along with a closed, smiling mouth.

      You seem to have missed the point of the post. If the woman is not a narcissist, but a person willingly sharing her joy and delight in the world, then she makes you feel good, and valued. That is charisma. If you are someone that dislikes charisma, or feels threatened by such women, then going for the silent friend is a good bet. If you are attracted to charismatic people, then you’ll prefer the “Natasha.”

      In any case, I don’t see it as a competition between extroverts and introverts. I agree with Hope when she said it’s not really useful to debate which personality type is better for STRs or LTRs. It is the combination – the complementary aspect of the two individuals that makes it work.

      Sharing, joy, giving, charming, wonderful (literally), filled with delight, grateful – these are traits that most people find attractive, YMMV.

  • http://pungeon.blogspot.com LS

    >>”Because there are some women who just – I don’t know – they have that je ne sais quoi.”

    It is a rare quality, but one knows it when one sees it.
    For a long time I’ve been searching for the word for it but the best I can come up with is “grace”.

  • lovelost

    The academia is catching up to Red Pill,

    Study: Online Dating Makes People “Picky” and “Unrealistic”

    Online Dating: A Critical Analysis From the
    Perspective of Psychological Science

    http://www.psychologicalscience.org/pdf/PSPI-online_dating-proof.pdf

  • Interest piqued

    Funny timing for this post. I met a girl at a Super Bowl party this past Sunday who distracted me from watching almost the entire second half of the game, something that is quite out of the ordinary for a sports fan such as myself. She’s cute but her main quality that night was that she effused upbeat-ness, if you will. I mean, she just sparkled.

    For the sake of encouraging people to go after it, I will say that I didn’t find a good opportunity to ask her for her number that night. However, today I went by her workplace and walked in and got it. Reassuringly, she seemed very pleased that I did this. Moral of the story is don’t be afraid to go after someone you’re really interested in. Life’s too short.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @interest piqued

      . However, today I went by her workplace and walked in and got it. Reassuringly, she seemed very pleased that I did this.

      Good for you, that’s a great story! I give you a lot of credit – the risk of rejection was much higher after the fact at her workplace. I’m so glad it worked out.

  • http://www.theerrantpilgrim.com Gabriel

    @Joe
    “I’ve known Bella-types. They come off more soul-deadening than serious. Personally, I’d agree that the light-hearted soul is far more attractive, especially long-term.”

    Good observation. I’ve a friend that just got married to a physically attractive “Bella.” If I had to describe her, I would use words like “blank” or “empty.” We’ll be at a party and she shuts down and seems uncomfortable just being there. It can’t be introversion. I’ve been told that that is what she is like at all times, even with friends or by herself. She has no interests and there’s just no “wonder” there. It lowers her attractiveness precipitously.

    @Susan
    “Finding and sharing the joy in life has nothing to do with being silly, inane, unintelligent or ditzy. It does not point to shallowness. ”

    Good point that’s often overlooked. That “je ne sais quoi” of femininity does seem to have a lot to do with that innocent approach to life. All the most attractive women I’ve known have that irrepressible joy. It still makes me smile when I see it in the Fraulein. It makes me feel less jaded – as if maybe the world isn’t as ugly as I think it is. It’s attractive on many levels. Combined with the apparent innocence and sweetness of femininity, it’s crack.

    “As Jesus said, a truly joyful person is giving, while the narcissist is seeking personal gain.”

    See: Tucker Max

  • Sox

    Great post Susan!! You managed to capture exactly what it is about my ex that made it so hard to get over her.

    “Fun” is a dangerous term to use here, because plenty of women follow the “I just wanna have fun!” meme that translates into being shallow, flakey, and avoiding any type of introspection. “Living in the moment” is a large part of said joie de vivre/vitality but I think people tend to take that way too far, living based on their emotions and pursuing instant gratification.

    Someone with that raw vitality definitely has a way of infecting everyone around them. In the context of a relationship, I think they can actually bring you up to their level and complement you in a way that makes you a better person, able/wanting to do things you never would on your own. Also agree that this is probably just as attractive in a guy.

    Most women I’ve dated seem to be on the extreme opposite ends of the spectrum, either taking themselves and life waaaaay too seriously or being too shallow and obsessed with fun and thrill seeking to establish a meaningful connection with.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @Sox

      “Living in the moment” is a large part of said joie de vivre/vitality but I think people tend to take that way too far, living based on their emotions and pursuing instant gratification.

      Chasing dopamine is like any other addiction – you feel high for a while, then boom, crash. Sharing joy is definitely not the same thing as being self-indulgent, but I agree that they can look the same at first glance.

  • Lokland

    @ Susan

    “Sharing, joy, giving, charming, wonderful (literally), filled with delight, grateful – these are traits that most people find attractive, YMMV.”

    No doubt. No where in there does extroversion need to be included. Its possible to share happiness with a small group of people. BTW, what does YMMV mean?

    “I wasn’t really talking about first meeting. As to your point, how do you know that the friend who is quiet (at the moment) and smiling (how do you know she’s happy?) at the moment is really both of those things? She may be a fool, or any number of things that go along with a closed, smiling mouth.”

    Come to any college campus and meet the extraverted women. Thats what I grew up with.
    Heres a tidbit: “shots, shots, shots!!! blah blah blah…however the hell it ends.”

    I think Sox hit it on the head what I had a problem with. You used the word fun not happiness/joyous/other synonyms. Fun now equals = drink excessively + ride carousel + have about as much depth as Lake Erie.
    Don’t share fun, share happiness. That I’ll go along with.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @Lokland

      Extroversion is most definitely not a requirement for sharing joy. I’ve been reading about extraversion lately – it’s become a cult of sorts in our culture, and it’s been traced to Dale Carnegie. I have worried about this as a mother – my son is introverted and while he was growing up the “constructive feedback” often given by his teachers was that he needed to be more extraverted and develop leadership qualities. I resented this – there are many ways of making a positive contribution without leading others.

      I agree that fun is not the goal. I feel gratified and rewarded when in the presence of very positive people – but it’s more like being inspired than having fun. And I definitely don’t think that taking shots is sharing the joy in life!

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      YMMV = your mileage may vary

  • Codeazure

    Great post, and also Susan’s followup at comment 80. The joy of life and sense of fun comes from within, like a radiant sun glowing from the heart. This is the key point Susan is making.

    It is not, as someone else said “Flashy paint on a broken statue”. When you see someone with this quality, it makes a world of difference. It can be found equally in extraverts or intraverts.

    If you are fortunate enough to live with someone like this, it is the best feeling of all. Once you have seen it, the difference to the loud, flaky, shallow types is like chalk and cheese.

    So Sox, you don’t have to choose between the 2 extremes you mention. Yes, being with someone like this does bring you up to their level, which makes life pretty good. Of course, finding a woman like this is not easy, but they are out there.

  • slim’s tuna provider

    natasha’s appeal is a very nuanced topic. all the men that fall for her fall for her for very different reasons, largely based on their unique circumstances. andrey falls for her in the depths of his cynicism and rejection of public life (and implicitly of his father) — he is a war hero who has done nothing heroic, a reformer who failed to reform, a husband who could not attend at the death of his wife, and he has not yet found a connection to his own russianness that he will find in his regiment. for him natasha is an embodiment of rebirth and of russian simplicty, the beginning of his rejection of the weight of intellectualism and careerism that his father has put on his shoulders. denisov, of course, falls for natasha based on one dance, because denisov is a bit of an idiot. kuragin is a vindictive cad who never really fall for her at all, and just does it for the adventure and to get at bolkonskiy, whom he hates. finally, when andrey falls for natasha a second time, he is already dying, and her care and devotion to him and his son is what does the trick. finally, pierre loves natasha because she has never treated him as silly, and because they had both grown up through their failed relationships and the losses of the war, and also because they both still love andrey.

  • Sox

    So Sox, you don’t have to choose between the 2 extremes you mention. Yes, being with someone like this does bring you up to their level, which makes life pretty good. Of course, finding a woman like this is not easy, but they are out there.

    Absolutely. It’s even better when you have a similar effect on them, something even rarer. I lived with someone like this for a while and it was one of the happiest times of my life. People just take themselves way too seriously nowadays.

  • Emily

    This is just making me want to read War and Peace, but the pile of books beside my bed is already massive. The last thing that pile needs is a Tolstoy.

    Also:
    – How did the Russian novelist commit suicide?
    – He jumped off his suicide note. :P

  • http://stagedreality.wordpress.com/ LeapofaBeta

    “- He jumped off his suicide note. :P”

    Hahahaha, love it.

  • Candide

    @ Susan

    “It can be hard to tell apart a genuinely joyful and benevolent person from an attention-whoring flake who manufactures fun in her drive to be fabulous. Sex and the City comes to mind as I write this.”

    It’s very easy. I’m quite involved in performing arts (dancing in particular), and there are plenty of attention whores as well as genuine people. The way to tell them apart is to watch where their energy is focused on. The genuine ones always focus it on something or someone. The attention whores always go towards the crowd. Little Miss AW may appear fun & bubbly in front of you but if you look at her eyes and direction of body language, the focus is always a show for the crowd. The real happy bubbly girl will always involve you in her fun.

    @ Charm

    Sure, be whatever you want. We’re discussing a highly attractive behaviour, not a mild may-like-or-may-not-like behaviour.

    This isn’t an extrovert vs introvert thing btw.

    As for Americans, they aren’t associated with this overseas. No, they are seen as loud (and entitled – “I’m American, you plebs must accommodate all of my needs”). That’s very different to being cheerful and full of life. You can exude such joy while being quiet.

  • Butterfly Flower

    […] Yes, being with someone like this does bring you up to their level, which makes life pretty good. Of course, finding a woman like this is not easy, but they are out there.

    Well, not necessarily. I’m a bubbly giggly “kawaii!” half-Japanese girl who loves to share her joy and happiness with the world. I find many people intensely dislike my upbeat personality. To use a cartoon example: it’s like Spongebob vs. Squidward. Despite my best efforts, there’s just some individuals who do not want to be happy. I can bake them cupcakes, invite them to a party, order them amusing presents from the Sky Mall catalog – no matter how hard I try, I can never make these people crack a smile, or express any-sort of emotion besides mild annoyance. & the more I try to make them happy – the more annoyed they get!

    I like to think that deep down, these Squidward-hearted individuals secretly appreciate my efforts. But if they don’t – than at least everyone else does. I often distract miserable people long enough to prevent them actively spreading their misery [i.e. the “Debbie Downer” types’ favorite activity]. I guess my high energy balances out their…um…gloom?

  • http://bloggingbellita.wordpress.com/ Bellita

    @Butterfly Flower
    First of all, you compare yourself to Spongebob and then wonder why people find you annoying? ;)

    You really do seem like a sweet person, but has it occurred to you that you might be forcing yourself past some people’s personal boundaries? Someone working really hard to make another person happy can be as much of a troll as someone working really hard to make another person sad.

    When you observe that “the more I try to make them happy, the more annoyed they get,” doesn’t it occur to you that perhaps things other than cupcakes, parties and little gifts are the key to their happiness? If you really must buy them something, why not find out what they’d actually like instead of giving them what you like. I used to bake cookies for my parish priest all the time, too, until someone told me that he actually doesn’t like sweets.

    Here’s another example from my own life . . . I really like books and don’t hate thinking about individualized presents for people, so I tend to give my friends gift certificates to a bookstore on their birthdays. I used to do this all the time, whether or not the friend was a reader. A couple of years ago, I found out that one of them had “sold” the gift certificate I gave her to someone else so that she could have the money instead, because she really doesn’t care for books.

    I read somewhere that the best compliment anyone can get from an introvert is, “Being with you is like being alone.” I shared this with an extrovert once and she said she would be so insulted if someone said that to her. Hahahaha! But it’s true that I’ve often felt happier alone in a library than in a big party full of bubby people. If those are the people you’re dealing with, then the best way someone as upbeat as you can make them happy is, unfortunately, to leave them alone to get some mellow time.

    It doesn’t mean your approach is wrong. It just means that they don’t speak your language of happiness and are probably deeply uncomfortable when you keep trying to make them do it. I’m sure you don’t like making people uncomfortable, right?

  • http://revoltagainst.wordpress.com/ Flavia

    Woah- I’m late to the party. This is wonderful advice….

    When I was a teenager and in college I always thought being sulky and looking “deep” was what would make me attractive, and I suppose it did to an extent, but now I realize that it is so much more attractive to be the type of person that doesn’t give extra work to their partner. I think that’s what it boils down to, whether it is an introvert like Hope or an extrovert (I assume?) like Susan- we want a partner that will not be extra work- that we don’t have to worry about. Just someone that is easy to be with. Being fun and smiling and good natured communicates that you are not a ton of work and don’t come with baggage. Life sucks a lot of the time, who needs another anchor?

    Further, it seems that a good natured attitude would attract men interested in a relationship, much more than those that notice the physical.

  • http://revoltagainst.wordpress.com/ Flavia

    Trying to be a more positive and fun person has also resulted in me being able to make and maintain lasting friendships. Being a bummer is a good way to get short term attention, but I think people usually get tired of that gimmick.

    I suppose this is why so many romantic comedies feature the “Magical Pixie Girl”- the girl who loves life and leads the protagonist out of whatever funk he is in. Natasha is actually said to be the original MPG. It’s nice to know even if you don’t look like Miranda Kerr you can still fulfill another male fantasy :)

  • http://dicipres.wordpress.com Dicipres

    @Susan Walsh,

    I wrote a post on a what I think is a more accurate model of relationships than the alpha/beta concept.

    http://dicipres.wordpress.com/2012/02/02/a-crude-model/

    I would be very happy to hear your opinion on it.

    Kind regards,
    Dicipres

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @Dicipres

      I have some problems with your post. Your valuing cheating on one’s wife, ordering your wife around, and general misogyny as “good lover” skills is inaccurate, in my view. In fact, these are not universally perceived as higher status. For many women, such behaviors will end the relationship immediately. As you point out, these qualities may be more successful in attracting women for ONSs (like your frat guy example), but actively pursuing a short-term mating strategy is correlated to specific personality traits in women, and lower SMV, in general.

      Don’t know if you saw Roosh’s new t-shirt: “I ran Dark Game and all I got was this lousy slut.”

  • http://asinusspinasmasticans.wordpress.com Mule Chewing Briars

    $*it My Son Says – Women He Won’t Date

    I figure you know enough about my daughter. I have an adult son too. I haven’t been able to influence him nearly as much as I have my daughter, but he says some great stuff. He won’t date:

    Promiscuous Girls

    Mule Jr: In 17-dimensional reality, which is the real deal, not what our senses deceive us with, I’d be touching dicks with 42 other men. And that is not gay how?

    Women Who Read Sylvia Plath

    Mule Jr: Time magazine says that autism is just male brain behavior carried to an extreme. Of course, they can’t say what extreme female brain behavior is because women are Martin Luther King. They’re like holy. But if you needed an example of an extremely feminine brain, you could use Sylvia Plath.

    Ted Hughes was a better poet anyway. And they did not fuck like gods. If you read your Ovid, gods and goddesses were pretty loose. Ted Hughes fucked like a god. I’ll bet she fucked like a debutante.

    Calvinists

    Mule Jr: People become what they worship. I’m sure not going to get serious with some girl who believes God created some people just so He could waterboard them with lava for all eternity. It sets a bad precedent.

    Mule:What about people who worship themselves?

    Mule Jr:Not as common as you think. Most people don’t have the resources to set up such tight little self-referential recursive loops. They implode. Only the Devil has enough RAM on his motherboard to get away with that.

    Girls Who Listen To Owl City

    That was all I could get out of him after one unsuccessful date.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @Mule

      That’s fantastic! You may not have influenced him directly, but it sounds to me like the son has learned, and perhaps even surpassed the father!

      He sounds quite a bit like Jesus Mahoney, actually. A real wordsmith.

  • http://stagedreality.wordpress.com/ LeapofaBeta

    @ Butterfly Flower
    What ways are you upbeat all the time? It is ok to have a friend that is always positive, but there’s a difference between that and being upbeat and bubbly. No one wants to be around someone that doesn’t let anything get to them and makes them feel like the upbeat person is ignoring their pain, is indiscriminate in their happiness, wouldn’t be sympathetic to a bad day, etc.

    Also, at least if we’re talking about finding a relationship, a man wants to see that you can bond to him more deeply than you do with others. If it looks like you bond with everyone, but only on a shallow level, he’ll probably just assume you’re going to do the same with him. He’ll think of you more as a friend than a potential relationship. Luckily its easier to get out of that with men than women, but still not something you want.

  • Ted D

    “Your valuing cheating on one’s wife, ordering your wife around, and general misogyny as “good lover” skills is inaccurate, in my view. In fact, these are not universally perceived as higher status. For many women, such behaviors will end the relationship immediately. ”

    But Susan, do you see that cheating on one’s wife, while a break of trust, can indeed make a man more desirable for sex? I can. It means that even though he was “taken”, another woman thought enough of him to pursue him.

    I think you are missing a point about Dicipres’ description of “good lover”. He doesn’t mean good lover to one woman, he means more attractive to multiple women. And, despite the fact that cheating is frowned upon by women, there seems to be no shortage of women willing to have sex and be involved with a married man. So, what he says is true, depending on where you stand.

    Same goes for sexism. Sure, no woman will come out and say she finds a sexist man hot, but we have discussed time and again how some women seem to be attracted to that kind of assholean behavior. There is NO denying it.

    The thing for you is, you are trying to convince exactly this type of woman to change her ways, so the message goes against what you are trying to do. But, that doesn’t mean it is not a true message.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @Ted

      But Susan, do you see that cheating on one’s wife, while a break of trust, can indeed make a man more desirable for sex? I can. It means that even though he was “taken”, another woman thought enough of him to pursue him.

      I believe that’s completely fallacious. All a cheating man can claim is that some other woman decided to have sex with him. Not pursue him, maybe not even like him. Just had sex with him, for some reason. I’ve known some truly physically repulsive cheating men in my own community. Presumably, they’re cheating with repulsive women, but in any case it didn’t make them any more desirable. I do not believe that cheating counts as preselection, which is itself exaggerated, in my view, as J said earlier.

      Same goes for sexism. Sure, no woman will come out and say she finds a sexist man hot, but we have discussed time and again how some women seem to be attracted to that kind of assholean behavior. There is NO denying it.

      I contend that is a minority of women, reflecting certain personality traits consistent with chasing dopamine. This should not be generalized to all women.

      The thing for you is, you are trying to convince exactly this type of woman to change her ways, so the message goes against what you are trying to do. But, that doesn’t mean it is not a true message.

      That’s not quite right. I don’t believe women like that can change their ways. I am trying to support women who are not like that to stay the course, and I am also trying to persuade women who are unhappy with the hookup scene to get out.

  • http://femaleframechanges.blogspot.com Olive

    The thing for you is, you are trying to convince exactly this type of woman to change her ways, so the message goes against what you are trying to do. But, that doesn’t mean it is not a true message.

    Yes, this is the true crux of the conflict between HUS and some of the other sphere blogs. They’re busy working with women as they are, Susan is trying to convince women to change. The ultimate goals conflict with each other.

    I’m on Susan’s team (I want women to change too), but I think it’s useless to go to the sphere blogs and try to coax them over to my side. They’re just working with what they got, and I can’t really fault them. I can just work harder with the ladies (and myself, for that matter).

  • Jesus Mahoney

    Mule,

    I especially enjoyed the way he so flippantly decimated Plath and her readers.

  • http://dicipres.wordpress.com Dicipres

    @Susan Walsh

    “Your valuing cheating on one’s wife, ordering your wife around, and general misogyny as “good lover” skills is inaccurate, in my view. In fact, these are not universally perceived as higher status. For many women, such behaviors will end the relationship immediately. ”

    These behaviors will end the relationship due to bad provider status (i.e. bad teammate), not due to low lover status. As I said in the post: “A compromise of the two lover/provider qualities is made in every long term committed bond.”

    I am the last person to condone cheating. Cheating on your wife is being a terrible provider but it does show that you are attractive to other women.

    BTW: My feminist mother and aunts constantly said to me during my childhood to be always absolutely respectful and appreciative to women etc. These talks influenced me deeply as I was growing up. However, this behavior only gave me rejections, pain, and loneliness.

    When I found “game” (David DeAngelo version of it) and basically cut down the respectfulness and became a little bit more dominant could I have strong healthy sexual relationships with women.

    Generally: You women just don’t make sense, you say you want one thing (i.e. respectful provider) and only go after the other (i.e. high status lover).

    If women want men to be more respectful and they should

    PUT THEIR VAGINAS WHERE THEIR MOUTHS ARE

    and don’t f_ck misogynists.

    However, since I don’t see it happening anytime soon, men should just do what makes them happy, which is basically just lover for shallow ONS bonds and a balance of lover/provider for committed relationships.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @Dicipres

      When I found “game” (David DeAngelo version of it) and basically cut down the respectfulness and became a little bit more dominant could I have strong healthy sexual relationships with women.

      Respect should be granted to any man or woman who earns it. Respect for a woman who has done nothing to earn it is just another way of saying “pedestalize.”

      A little bit more dominant – yes! Feminism has reduced the dominance among males. I applaud men getting it back. That need not include cheating, or any other behaviors associated with poor character.

      Running dark or asshole Game is just taking the easy way out, and it’s selecting for the worst women. That is, women who will like and respect you when you haven’t earned it.

      However, since I don’t see it happening anytime soon, men should just do what makes them happy, which is basically just lover for shallow ONS bonds and a balance of lover/provider for committed relationships.

      I think everyone should do what makes them happy, as long as they’re not harming anyone. That’s not the case with your definition of lover, so I can’t condone it.

  • Ted D

    Olive – “Yes, this is the true crux of the conflict between HUS and some of the other sphere blogs. They’re busy working with women as they are, Susan is trying to convince women to change. The ultimate goals conflict with each other.”

    I understand completely. I just wanted to point out that although Susan disagrees with those views, it doesn’t mean they are not correct.

    And although I believe Susan’s charge is a noble one, the pessimist in me today doesn’t see any light at the end of this tunnel. Individually, sure. But I can’t imagine that in the grand scale of things the current SMP and for that matter our dysfunctional society will be making any significant progress in my lifetime.

    I hope to be proven wrong, but I’m not betting on it.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      the pessimist in me today doesn’t see any light at the end of this tunnel. Individually, sure.

      I’m all about individual approaches to finding happiness in this SMP. It’s a challenge, and your chances are better, much better, with a sound understanding and strategy.

  • http://dicipres.wordpress.com Dicipres

    @Susan

    An addition:

    From what I see, ONS is mainly done by low SMV women anyway, and in an ONS hookup environment what do anybody care about any “specific personality traits in women”? This is just a one night thing.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @Dicipres

      From what I see, ONS is mainly done by low SMV women anyway, and in an ONS hookup environment what do anybody care about any “specific personality traits in women”? This is just a one night thing.

      Agreed. The Lover is fine for ONS. It was your description of Lover behavior in marriage that I disagreed with.

  • Ted D

    Dicipres – I don’t disagree with what you said, and in fact much of my life experience has taught me the same things. But, David DeAngelo makes my skin crawl. My opinion of any PUA is not very high, but DD is near the bottom of my list. I’m sure his methods can be used to success, but at what cost?

    Personally, I don’t see the point of using unethical means to attract a mate. After all, I have enough issues with accepting female sexuality as presented by the manosphere via the Red Pill. I would have NO CHANCE of success long-term with a woman I snagged using PUA methods. She would be living breathing proof of everything I find distasteful about game, right in front of my face.

  • http://thesanctuary-spacetraveller.blogspot.com JT

    @ Chris_in_CA @ 56,

    You are absolutely right about the ‘forced’ illusion of fun…it is rather cringeworthy to witness…

    @ Susan:
    Excellent advice! Thank you. This ‘joie de vivre’ is important for both sexes, especially women, because it is a proxy for youth, which is something men value in women, perhaps much more than women value in men.

    I know you already addressed this issue, but as Chris says, if it is forced, it is a right turn-off. It has to come naturally, and reflect how someone really feels about life.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @JT

      This ‘joie de vivre’ is important for both sexes, especially women, because it is a proxy for youth, which is something men value in women, perhaps much more than women value in men.

      Great point, I hadn’t even thought of that.

  • http://dicipres.wordpress.com Dicipres

    @Susan,

    Another addition

    I am personally much more happy and “emotionally healthy” since I met my wife compared to my “game” years. So I don’t think that ONS hookup culture is good in general, or to most men in particular.

  • Desiderius

    “I share this at the risk of sounding boastful”

    Boast away, hot stuff; you had me at your pitch perfect Shakespeare allusions.

    As for War and Peace, notice that Tolstoy himself actually married (and stuck by till the bittersweet end) Sonya, while Natasha was riding the carousel. He can say that she fascinated him all he wants, but actions are what matter.

    The scene where Bezhukov (i.e. Tolstoy) and Sonya finally get together is sublime.

    See this outstanding movie for a moving depiction of their marriage:

    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0824758/

  • http://dicipres.wordpress.com Dicipres

    @Ted D

    I agree, many PUA are creeps and DD has some weird stuff, but the “deep inner game” thing is pretty good.

    My goal was never to score, but to have a healthy sexual bonds. I am in a great relationship as well and keep trying to understand sexual dynamics and women in general so that the bond between me and my wife won’t weaken with time.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @Dicipres

      I’m not trying to give you a hard time. It is clear you are a man of character. My points were purely academic.

  • Desiderius

    Dicipres,

    “I am personally much more happy and “emotionally healthy” since I met my wife compared to my “game” years. So I don’t think that ONS hookup culture is good in general, or to most men in particular.”

    The recent movie Shame makes this point powerfully.

  • Ted D

    Dicipres – “I am in a great relationship as well and keep trying to understand sexual dynamics and women in general so that the bond between me and my wife won’t weaken with time.”

    Well, as someone in the same position, I wish you the best of luck. Most days I am at the point where I am optimistic that it can all work out. Today is not one of those days, but not because of anything relationship related. It is really more about how disheartening some of this stuff really is.

    On days like today, I can see why Cipher wanted to be plugged back in.

  • Desiderius

    Susan,

    “You’ve all raised very good points. It can be hard to tell apart a genuinely joyful and benevolent person from an attention-whoring flake who manufactures fun in her drive to be fabulous. Sex and the City comes to mind as I write this.”

    No, it’s not that hard if you actually know many joyful, benevolent people. Maybe that’s the missing link as inter-generational ties have weakened…

    “As Jesus said, a truly joyful person is giving, while the narcissist is seeking personal gain.”

    So did Mahoney.

    ” I think a short period of observation should reveal the true underlying character of a person. If it feels like the fun is being spread around so thin that you don’t even feel you’re together, then obviously her motive is to be the belle of the ball, not to make a genuine connection.”

    Careful here. I could get a little possessive back in the day. Just make sure your sample size is sufficiently large – sometimes you’re not the only thing in her life. That’s a good thing.

  • Wudang

    Susan, I read a very interesting piece about introversion in Time or Newsweek last week o the week before. It had insights very related to what you seemed anoyed by/interested in.

    Kinda connected to the threads topic passion is highly attractive for both genders I think, although especially in men:

    http://www.kinowear.com/blog/why-passion-is-so-attractive

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @Wudang

      It had insights very related to what you seemed anoyed by/interested in.

      Haha, they’re often the same thing! Thanks for the recommendations.

  • http://www.femaleframechanges.blogspot.com Olive

    I especially enjoyed the way he so flippantly decimated Plath and her readers.

    LOL I enjoyed it as well. Ol’ Sylvia has a weird cult following.

    Ted,
    Sorry to hear you’re feeling pessimistic today. :-( IMO, people will start to turn around once they realize that the “instant gratification” culture is not going well for them. We’re getting there.

  • Jesus Mahoney

    The Lover is fine for ONS.

    Anybody halfway presentable, disease-free, and not homicidal can really be considered “fine” for a ONS.

  • http://www.femaleframechanges.blogspot.com Olive

    Susan,

    That’s not quite right. I don’t believe women like that can change their ways. I am trying to support women who are not like that to stay the course, and I am also trying to persuade women who are unhappy with the hookup scene to get out.

    Interesting. Sometimes I think your NAWALT meter is up there, as in you’re overestimating the number of NAWALTs. Maybe I’m just feeling particularly pessimistic today as well. I cannot hold a discussion with my roommates without being interrupted or talked over. One of my “friends” tried to use me to cheat on a quiz today. The other would rather flip through her phone than engage in a real life discussion. I’m slowly reverting back to WGHOW. I feel like a man trying to weed through the fake people and get to the real ones.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @Olive

      Sometimes I think your NAWALT meter is up there, as in you’re overestimating the number of NAWALTs.

      OK, but wait a minute. You’re complaining about the following female behaviors:

      Interrupting
      talking over
      cheating/dishonesty
      phone obsession

      All unpleasant, all widely found in both sexes. None of this has anything to do with being slutty. They may be slutty, but this comment doesn’t illustrate that.

  • Butterfly Flower

    What ways are you upbeat all the time? It is ok to have a friend that is always positive, but there’s a difference between that and being upbeat and bubbly. No one wants to be around someone that doesn’t let anything get to them and makes them feel like the upbeat person is ignoring their pain, is indiscriminate in their happiness, wouldn’t be sympathetic to a bad day, etc.

    Oh, no. I have high-empathy. That’s why I feel obligated to cheer up miserable folks. I don’t like seeing people unhappy :(

    However, I don’t have much compassion for intentionally miserable people. You know, the individuals who are never happy, and enjoy finding new reasons to justify their misery.

    You really do seem like a sweet person, but has it occurred to you that you might be forcing yourself past some people’s personal boundaries? Someone working really hard to make another person happy can be as much of a troll as someone working really hard to make another person sad

    Boundaries? Psh. People put up walls to hide pain, loneliness, or fear of rejection. The more they push away, the more I wanna hug’em.

    Don’t worry – I’m much more successful at making people happy, than triggering nervous breakdowns.

    When you observe that “the more I try to make them happy, the more annoyed they get,” doesn’t it occur to you that perhaps things other than cupcakes, parties and little gifts are the key to their happiness? If you really must buy them something, why not find out what they’d actually like instead of giving them what you like. I used to bake cookies for my parish priest all the time, too, until someone told me that he actually doesn’t like sweets

    Actually, I’m a very good gift giver. It makes things worse, because miserable people don’t want to admit that they enjoy my gift. & they’re right – I view it as an admission of defeat. It means they appreciated my efforts! They’re not made of stone!

  • http://photoncourier.blogspot.com david foster

    Mule Jr, about people who worship themselves: “Not as common as you think. Most people don’t have the resources to set up such tight little self-referential recursive loops. They implode. Only the Devil has enough RAM on his motherboard to get away with that.”

    Great comment about the Devil and his unlimited recursive loops…but I’m afraid quite a few people, under the influence of forced-draft “self-esteem” encouragement, are attempting to come as close to self-worship as they can manage with their finite minds. I can’t resist quoting G K Chesterton:

    “Of all horrible religions the most horrible is the worship of the god within. Anyone who knows anybody knows how it would work; anyone who knows anyone from the Higher Thought Center knows how it does work. That Jones shall worship the god within turns out ultimately to mean that Jones shall worship Jones. Let Jones worship the sun or moon; let Jones worship cats or crocodiles, if he can find any in his street, but not the god within.” (Orthodoxy, 1908.)

  • http://bloggingbellita.wordpress.com/ Bellita

    @Butterfly Flower
    The more they push away, the more I wanna hug’em.

    Do you have any idea how much this sentence makes me want to run away screaming? :P

  • http://dicipres.wordpress.com Dicipres

    Susan,

    “I’m not trying to give you a hard time. It is clear you are a man of character. My points were purely academic.”

    No problem. And again, I didn’t mean to promote cheating, but to replace the common alpha/beta definitions with something more accurate.

    and regarding

    “Don’t know if you saw Roosh’s new t-shirt: “I ran Dark Game and all I got was this lousy slut.””

    Dark game is basically insulting/humiliating/disrespecting a woman and thus lowering her status so that she will see you as having higher status, and thus be attracted to you.

    Roosh currently seems to run dark game on the ENTIRE female population of Denmark, calling them masculine, arrogant and claim that Danish women have “Pepsi can bodies.”
    (http://www.rooshv.com/danish-girls-are-the-most-masculine-in-the-world#comments)

    He got allot of media and even a TV discussion
    (http://go.tv2.dk/articledag/id-48045086:danske-kvinder-er-grimme-og-usexede.html)

    I actually find this entire thing extremely hilarious, I wonder if he is serious or just trolling the women of the world.

  • J

    I have worried about this as a mother – my son is introverted and while he was growing up the “constructive feedback” often given by his teachers was that he needed to be more extraverted and develop leadership qualities. I resented this – there are many ways of making a positive contribution without leading others.

    Introversion doesn’t necessarily mean lack of leadership potential. It means that one finds people draining. My whole family is introverted, but when we really have something to contribute, we all are able to lead. We just don’t seek it out promiscuously. Despite what your son’s teachers may have said, if your son can make a contribution, that’s leadership enough.

  • Anacaona

    @BF
    I think you might have empathy but lack emotional intelligence. Some people process their misery different in seclusion and loneliness some people do want a hug of course but I will say as a personal rule I ask or make shoulder available to cry on three times, sometimes less. If they don’t accept then I assume they don’t want it and proceed to leave them be. Not abandon them but just give them space. Some of them actually do use my shoulder when they are ready and some others fix themselves on their own. Maybe you should remember that not everyone deals with emotions the same way?

  • Lokland

    @ Susan

    “I have worried about this as a mother – my son is introverted and while he was growing up the “constructive feedback” often given by his teachers was that he needed to be more extraverted and develop leadership qualities. I resented this – there are many ways of making a positive contribution without leading others.”

    Apparently elementary schools have realised how frickin retarded this is. Or so I’ve been told.
    As an introverted kid who went through this I can tell you when everyone stopped telling me how important it was to work on my self-esteem and be a leader (aka when I went to university) I ended up becoming far more self-confident and ended up in a variety of leadership positions throughout school.

  • Candide

    Watch the beginning of Up.

    That’s all you need to know about this topic.

  • Katherine

    I generally hate this blog… but this is a great article.

  • Jesus Mahoney

    I generally hate this blog… but this is a great article.

    We generally hate you, but that was a great comment.

  • http://femaleframechanges.blogspot.com Olive

    Susan,
    It’s true (although the cheating one is also the Tucker Max one, so… I’ll let that speak for itself).

    I guess I feel like just because a woman isn’t slutty doesn’t mean she’s great relationship material (or, in my case, good friend material). And vice versa, actually. One of my best friends from college is insanely slutty, and I love her dearly and actually think she would make a great relationship prospect.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @Olive

      One of my best friends from college is insanely slutty, and I love her dearly and actually think she would make a great relationship prospect.

      One of my most favorite focus group women has had sex with close to 50 men. She is attractive, generous, funny, and smart. She has a majorly effed up childhood history. I worry so much about what her future holds. If she can quit hooking up, that will be a start.

      Obviously, though she has known me for years, reads HUS and shares her stories regularly, she has not found the blog a motive for change. :(

  • Lindsay

    @Susan, Hope, Beta:

    Thanks, y’all. It’s hard to keep myself social and upbeat but I need to try harder. I appreciate the push.

    Some of you may be surprised to learn of my politics. I’m pro-gun, pro-voucher, anti-public school and NCLB, pro-tax cuts for small businesses, and pro-reducing the size of the federal government. I hate the bailouts and the wars, finding them to be a tragic waste of public funds. While my social politics (drugs, abortion, gay rights) are all the way to the left, some of my others are not. I don’t really like modern feminism either, as it seems to have no center. I abide by the dictionary definition of feminism, and my views truly are centered around making things better for men and women alike – a world where people have equal access to opportunity based on their talents, not their gender. I’d like more of a meritocracy, if that makes sense. We currently have less of one, and it hurts people like me, who do have the talent. We need to stop dumbing down schools. I worked with the first wave of post-NCLB graduates and it’s night and day. These kids are cheated out of an education. I’m also all for the basic MRA issues like men getting custody, men getting support in an abusive relationship, etc. I think women should be able to end an unwanted pregnancy and men should not have to pay for one.

    I think gender roles are harmful to people who don’t feel right being constrained by them (*raises hand*) and wouldn’t like to go back to “the olden days,” but I dunno, I don’t fit in with the Feministing crowd. I just don’t care about SlutWalk and pole-dancing and all that shit, and don’t see how it’s relevant to advancing women’s rights. Finally, I liked Gary Johnson for president this year, if I had a choice between all the candidates and the sitting president – which makes me a minority among liberals and conservatives. The liberals in my city hate me, and so do conservatives. I am I-N-D-E-P-E-N-D-E-N-T and proud.

    @david:

    This makes sense; OTOH, a woman who has seriously pursued a career may have more empathy with the stresses and risks of a husband’s career than one who has not. 70 business trips a year may sound like all thrills to someone who has never traveled extensively for work; someone who *has* may appreciate the effort it takes a little more. The psychological strain of having to fire someone who is a good person but not right for the job (or who you just can’t afford anymore) is more likely to be understood by someone who’s had to do it herself.

    Yep. I’m the breadwinner (er, was – hence my depression) in the household, and I’ve had to hire/fire/train/promote people, work 90-hour weeks, abide by hideous deadlines, etc. My husband’s empathy is amazing and without it, I’d be certifiably insane by now. Anyone who pursues a career needs a spouse who can be a rock for them. If the economy ever improves and my husband and I by some miracle both find ourselves with high-paying mega-awesome jobs (as if!), the first thing we’re getting is a maid. My parents aren’t close enough to us for it to be convenient, and they’ll be dedicated to my brother’s future stepdaughter and future biological kids, as they should be, so a maid just makes sense. I used to feel guilty about having this plan, but then I thought “Why? I’m creating a job for someone who wants to do it.”

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @Lindsay

      I’m surprised – we’re very much in sync on most of the issue you mentioned. I assumed you were a Feministing type, but I suppose if that were true you wouldn’t have been so tolerant of us.

      It’s interesting to learn a bit more about you.

  • Lindsay

    Sentence structure fail. Excuse my wall-o-text folks. I try to type in TextEdit for Mac, but it doesn’t always work out as planned.

    I’m a perfect example of someone who’s editing skills didn’t transfer seamlessly from analog to digital. Give me paper and a red pen over a computer any day. (That’s why I design and code now instead of write!)

  • http://photoncourier.blogspot.com david foster

    Susan…”“I have worried about this as a mother – my son is introverted and while he was growing up the “constructive feedback” often given by his teachers was that he needed to be more extraverted and develop leadership qualities. I resented this – there are many ways of making a positive contribution without leading others.”

    Indeed there are, and it’s sad that these teachers don’t realize this. Also, though, I’d question whether these teachers have enough experience to know what leadership looks like when they see it–it isn’t always loud and self-promoting.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      Also, though, I’d question whether these teachers have enough experience to know what leadership looks like when they see it–it isn’t always loud and self-promoting.

      I think that teachers have joined the cult of extroversion, without really understanding the differences between extroverts and introverts. I’ve mentioned before that because my son was on the quiet side, teachers hoped that he would exert influence over some of the more obstreperous boys. That was the last thing he wanted – these were the kids who were throwing him down on the playground.

  • Richard Aubrey

    Back in the day, going on half a century, I occasionally ran into women who would–speaking generically–go into ecstasies of crooning joy at seeing, say, a robin.
    Either that was the real her, in which case forget it. Or she was putting it on, in which case, what the hell?
    There are limits.

  • Jackie

    @Olive & Susan (#157)

    I, too, have an acquaintance from school who has slept with 40+ men. (She’s lost count at this point. She is *incredibly* intelligent, fun, funny, empathetic, really kind heart.

    In this person’s case, her childhood history is definitely messed up, though. :( I always want to know in cases like this: Who are they without the hookups? I mean, if they quit, cold turkey, what would happen? Would their personalities change? How would they find validation? Questions…

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @Jackie

      Who are they without the hookups? I mean, if they quit, cold turkey, what would happen? Would their personalities change? How would they find validation? Questions

      In the case I mentioned, it is all about validation. She understands this, but she needs to get it. What’s most painful for me to observe is that often these flings start off looking very promising, from her perspective. She gets lots of attention, and an intense sexual experience that she confuses with intense emotions. After a few weekends, these connections fizzle. Being attractive, she’s always got a new guy interested. What she’s missing is the realization that she is putting herself in the fling box instead of the girlfriend box. Several of her partners have been guys who all hang out together. It’s like they’ve all taken a turn, yet she believes she may find true love with each new fling.

  • Jackie

    @Lindsay (#158)

    Having someone help with the housework will make a HUGE difference in stress level! I have someone come in once a week to help and it has been worth every penny. :)

  • Ted D

    It is truly sad that some young women had such crappy childhoods that they turn to promiscuity for validation.

    I’d like to say I hope those parents/authority figures/ etc are proud of what they did, but that sad truth is the few that might even understand it probably don’t care…

  • Desiderius

    “After a few weekends, these connections fizzle. Being attractive, she’s always got a new guy interested.”

    Any more specifics on the fizzle? Always initiated by the male?

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      Any more specifics on the fizzle? Always initiated by the male?

      Yes, definitely. Texting less frequently, initiating getting together (no dates) less frequently, responding to texts with one word answers, etc. Maybe he’ll pop up and renew interest briefly a few weeks in. But a general sort of fading away.

  • Desiderius

    The nymph her graces here express’d may find,
    And by this picture learn to dress her mind;
    For here no frowns make tender love afraid,
    Soft looks of mercy grace the flatt’ring shade,
    And, while we gaze, the gracious form appears
    T’approve our passion and forbid our fears.
    Narcissus here a different fate had prov’d,
    Whose bright resemblance by himself was lov’d;
    Had he but once this fairer shade descry’d,
    Not for his own, but hers, the youth had dy’d.

    – Pope (age 13)

  • Desiderius

    Lindsay,

    “Excuse my wall-o-text folks.”

    No can do.

    Too good.

  • WarmWoman

    “In this person’s case, her childhood history is definitely messed up, though. I always want to know in cases like this: Who are they without the hookups? I mean, if they quit, cold turkey, what would happen? Would their personalities change? How would they find validation? Questions…”

    The solution would be to find validation and a sense of self-worth in other areas, such as hobbies, support groups, developing more friends, focusing on yourself, healing past areas of pain, learning to avoid impulse, and developing your self-esteem. Some Westerners find celibacy extreme, but I do think it’s helpful when it comes to finding yourself and healing from childhood pain.

    @Ted D “I’d like to say I hope those parents/authority figures/ etc are proud of what they did, but that sad truth is the few that might even understand it probably don’t care”

    Yes, most abusive parents (especially sexually abusive ones) rarely admit to the damaging impact of their actions.

  • Desiderius

    “Yes, definitely. Texting less frequently, initiating getting together (no dates) less frequently, responding to texts with one word answers, etc. Maybe he’ll pop up and renew interest briefly a few weeks in. But a general sort of fading away.”

    Hmmm, sounds like the fizzle I just went through. We had a very intense weekend after which her communication became more distant, so I made mine likewise (so as not to be too “beta”) and back and forth it went in Least Interest mode until she delivered the Dear John three weeks later.

    Last I saw her she was gazing up into my eyes telling me how tall I was. My last phone message to her (after 2 days of silence – my call went to VM. Again.) before the Dear John (from her after 3): “Tag, you’re it.” At no point had my actual interest flagged one iota.

    We both have plenty of options.

  • Lindsay

    @Susan:

    I imagine that many may have assumed the same, but I hold a variety of different views which might be interesting to discuss in greater depth. For example, I’d be interested in hearing your more specific thoughts on the education system someday. I’m probably not ideologically the same as many people on here, though, because while I’m not into current feminist thought, there’s not much room for someone like me in an MRA or red pill-type setting either. So I’m neutral, like Switzerland.

    In real life, I’m not a particularly open person for a variety of reasons, though I have tried to be moreso online, which I sometimes regret. What I’ve learned generally, online or off, is that it’s hard for me to express myself in a way that people can understand, and because of what I’ve observed and experienced, I’m a misfit or outcast in most situations. (I’m being vague here, so don’t worry about deciphering it.) My challenge in this lifetime has been coming to grips with the fact that I won’t usually find the understanding I seek, and I’ll probably continue to feel, and be alone.

    Enough about me anyway. Thanks for hosting HUS.

  • Tony

    There seem to be varying viewpoints on relationships between Introverts and Extroverts. Some say that “complimentary” is key while others (Susan) believe that I’s do best when paired with each other. I’m no expert on the subject, but based on my personal experiences, I have to agree with Susan. I tend to be naturally attracted to Extroverted men and have exclusively dated them in the past. It was always fun at first – they enjoyed bringing me out of my shell (while also not competing with me for attention) and I liked the excitement and new friendships that they brought into my life. After a while though, I would become tired of watching them flirt with other women (as they seemed to crave this attention) and they would decide that I should change and become more like them. One went so far as to say that there was something wrong with me and he would help me “get through it”. Flash forward a few years and I am now in a happy, long term relationship with a fellow ISFP. I can’t tell you how nice it is to not only feel accepted but appreciated for my more subtle but quirky attributes. He understands me in a way that Extroverts just don’t get. Our energy levels are so similar that we almost always agree about when we’d like to go out and socialize and when we prefer to stay in and enjoy each other’s company. An Extrovert probably wouldn’t understand this, but for an Introvert, this is key!

    Going along with the theme of this thread, I should also say that when it comes to attracting men, they generally say that it’s a quiet confidence that they find initially appealing about me. I’m not usually the bubbliest and most talkative woman in the room, but I’m generally content and approachable. It probably doesn’t hurt that I also have long wavy/curly hair, big eyes and solid dancing skills. I don’t mean to boast – I’m just trying to keep it real.

  • Rebekah

    […] some of the most charismatic and joyous women I have known are deeply introverted. They tend more toward the spiritual, but being in the quiet presence of someone who is very alive and in tune with others is powerful. Joy does not have to be noisy, it can be silent. It’s a certain kind of positive energy.

    This was very poignant and beautiful. I’m a quiet sort of person, but I do try to think the best of people and at least endeavor to be outwardly positive even if I feel otherwise within. So it’s nice to know this is not lost by being less outgoing. Thanks again for this!

  • MissMarie

    I think this is a big reason why I get hit on out and about so much. I’m kinda cute, but by no means very pretty, but I have long hair and I’m *happy*. That’s the reason I hang out at bars, to be with people and be social. Granted, I haven’t found a keeper yet, but there’s rarely a night where someone doesn’t want to buy me a drink. I also buy drinks back, which tends to flabbergast a lot of men. Obviously, not many girls do that. Tis a pity.

  • http://www.lilylimingwang.com lotuskitty

    @Charm
    Exactly what you said. Although I cherish the bluntness of American culture
    (I too am a girl with a natural flair for sarcasm and wit btw),and the openness,too often it falls into fakeness. If you’ve noticed, this is also the textbook way to make female friends in this day and age: fake compliments, and pure displays of superficiality. You need to constantly rub the egos of your fellow members of the herd. I suppose that is the general mentality of the herd.
    Also, in this SMP, being “fun” and naively bubbly is a sure way to get P&Ded.
    I also empathize with earlier comments regarding sarcasm. There are plenty of men that do find my wit and banter endearing. It’s flirting in an intelligent way. It’s a great way to weed out men that aren’t compatible with your sense of humor from the get go.

  • Jennifer

    Susan, that’s awesome! Thanks for the great tips :)

  • http://4stargazer.wordpress.com/ Anacaona

    I’m re-watching Pushing Daisies and Charlotte-Chuck-Charles is also the embodiment of this trope. Funny enough she was the least liked (and actually hated by many that wanted her out of the show because she “ruined” the experience for them, no to mention they didn’t though the piemaker could really love her HA!) character by the women in the PD forums in USA. I wonder why…? ;)

  • DC Phil

    @Anna

    Having spent some time in Europe, I know where you’re coming from with the more reserved air that many Europeans have. I often warn foreigners who are here in the US that we Americans, generally speaking, might seem friendlier, more inviting, more gregarious, etc. But, this is often on a superficial level, so best not to take it at face value. When you get down to the nitty-gritty, we Americans can be quite cliquish, fueled by an incuriosity about the larger world around us, or even about people from another state. (Think NYC or New Englanders vs. Mississippians.) This also comes out in some downright hostility I get from people, including women. Either that, or indifference.

    On a somewhat related note, a couple of months ago I was reading a book by a psychologist on male sexuality. One important theme in the book was the notion of “pathogenic beliefs.” These are somewhat unhealty beliefs about sex and sexuality that we carry with us because of formative experiences, usually bad, in childhood.

    One of these pathogentic beliefs involves why older men go for younger women. In the psychologist’s view, the reason is because the belief is that younger = freer, more carefree, and less problems. In short, younger women seem to embody more of the joie de vivre mentioned above. Older women don’t, because life has beaten them down and this comes out in their attitudes, beliefs, looks, etc.

    Now, of course, not all younger women have the joie de vivre and not all older women have baggage. But, this pathogenic belief does give one food for thought about what it is that attracts men.

  • Meggerz

    I just remembered the word I was struggling for to describe this.

    Winsome.

  • Jane

    Deti…ur, last time I looked women lived in exactly the same world, with exactly the same pressures, and a few more thrown in. Your attitude is archaic. By the way, I am not single.

  • Jane

    To Zorro. Sorry, but since when was submission a female characteristic. Little wonder you’re unwillingly single.

  • Jane

    H man – why wouldn’t a woman want exactly the same from a man? What point are you trying to make?

  • Jane

    Odds, you’re gonna end up lonely. You too candied.

  • Jane

    Or is it ‘candide’. Think about it….

  • rebekkah

    I actually agree with this article. I’m a natural shy person and for most of my life, guys and girls in general would pass me over. I wasn’t as outspoken as others and considered to be an introvert, so most of the time I was a bit forgotten. I wasn’t bothered by this because the truth is I disliked any attention, not mention I suffered from a low self-esteem. However, when I started this job I’m currently in I was forced to interact with others. I’m generally a happy person but I would always suppress my emotions. I’ve started to notice how people have opened up to me and on a few occasions been asked out by guys I semi-know. I believe people are conscious of what vibe you give off. When I was more quiet and withdrawn, people weren’t as interested in interactions. I’ve learned to smile and laugh freely and in doing so allowed others to smile and laugh with me. I’ve realized that I can make people happy by being happy with who I am. Now that I am more comfortable with myself, my looks, talents, and dreams I have more confidence, and people do notice the difference.

  • Sai

    I want to apologize for this in advance.

    I just finished reading War and Peace on Friday, and when asked by my brother I gave it a 1/10. I disliked practically everybody, their rambling, their fatalism, their “look at those silly Germans with their practicality and their planning and their thinking hahaha!” and a thousand other things. I found some characters to be spineless, some tedious, some just air-headed. Natasha was one of the latter and I just cannot be like her and I’m very very sorry.

    Sometimes I try to act warm and excited and über-cheerful, and when I am actually happy it isn’t so bad, but when somebody wants something I don’t have, and I have to try too hard (if I try), it’s draining, for lack of a better term.

    I guess everybody comes with different degrees of things. Or: I have lots of brownies and lemon cake on sale, but while I acknowledge the goodness of pecan pie I can produce maybe two pieces a day and you’ll have to go elsewhere if you want more than that.

    Maybe my shrink will help me with this. Or maybe I’ll find a fictional role model that I can really look up to (j/k).

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