May 28, 2014 / Stop Blaming Pop Culture For Your Problems
Just being a "nice guy" won't attract girls. Don't get angry, get effective.
"It was a widely misinterpreted movie, I think… Well, people tend to say, ‘Why didn’t she end up with him? He was so nice!’ But I think that he was really quite guilty of projecting a fantasy onto this girl that she didn’t necessarily deserve, and that, honestly, he was pretty wrapped up in his own selfish point of view."
— Josh Gordon-Levitt on his movie, "500 Days of Summer"
Josh and I joke about how much we use some version of the phrase "this isn’t like a Hollywood movie," so we understand pop culture can give some confusing signals to guys in their formative years. You’re shown guys making these dramatic displays of affection in romantic comedies, internalize that “this is what women want,” and then get upset when you find out that giving a girl flowers basically has no correlation to whether she’s attracted to you.
Yeah, it sucks if you thought this was true and it can be a rude awakening when you realize it’s not. Unfortunately, especially if you’re a young guy (ie. teenage years), women can be really bad at explaining why they’re not attracted to you. Prior to visiting this site, a lot of you probably had some sort of moment of reckoning where you realized:
"Wait a second, if I do all that bullshit in romantic comedies, women won’t automatically like me?"
No, sorry. That’s not how attraction works. I realized this the hard way, just as you did, as I talk about in depth in my introduction page. Was my knee-jerk reaction to feel misled? Yeah. Was I angry about that? Sure, at first. But did I dwell on it? Did I rage that everything was unfair? Did I cry because “women say they want nice guys but date assholes?” Did I think the entire female gender was conspiring to behave in a way to get suckers like me to like them so they could render our hearts asunder?
Don’t get angry, get effective.
I don’t hang around forums like TheRedPill too often, mostly because they seem focused on sociological explanations for why the modern courtship system is fucked up, and fucks over guys, and it’s all because of things like romantic comedies.
I used to think a lot about this. Modern courtship has arguably changed more in the past 40 years than it has in the past 400. Women are encouraged to take control of their dating and sex lives, yet a lot of stereotypes about gender roles and dating customs remain. For example, most women still think it’s overly aggressive to ask a guy out, yet have no problem having sex on the first date. Does that make any sense? Probably not. But should you spend your time playing armchair sociologist on subreddits instead of getting off your fucking computer and approaching women? What do you fucking think?
Remember: Improvement = Time x Effort
Approaching women is hard. Building attraction is hard. Escalation is hard. None of this is easy, and if it were, you wouldn’t need advice on JoshSway.com.
It can be frustrating watching guys that are intrinsically good at these things succeed with women while you feel shut out. It can be doubly frustrating when Hollywood movies made you think these things weren’t important. But you have to learn to release that frustration and focus on what’s important: which is approaching women, building attraction, and escalation!
The good news is, whether you’re fourteen, twenty-four, or even forty-four, it’s never too late to realize this and improve. Unlike women, a man’s attractiveness is not nearly as correlated with youth. In fact, sometimes it’s inversely correlated. Josh and I are in our 30s, and I can say without question that our dating lives have only continued to improve as we’ve gotten older. We’ve advanced our careers, we’ve become competent in our hobbies, we’ve maintained our fitness. In other words, we’ve continued to put in the effort to make ourselves more accomplished and attractive individuals. I’d like to think we’re superior to our 21-year-old selves in pretty much every way, except maybe our hairlines are receding and recovering from hangovers takes a little longer than it used to. How much do you think women care about that versus everything else? Hint: not much.
It Would Probably Suck For You Back in the Day, Too
You may decry modern female liberalism as ruining everything, but are you sure you want to yearn for that earlier time? Yeah, maybe courtship was simpler. That’s because it sucked. Maybe meeting a girl in your teens and marrying her at age 20 is your ideal, but it’s not mine. And maybe you don’t realize in previous eras that you would have literally been killed for just looking at certain women if you weren’t the appropriate race or socioeconomic status.
I wouldn’t want to live in that era. I’d much rather live in this one, where men and women are more empowered than ever to take control of their dating and sexual lives. Even if it means a few shitty romantic comedies means I basically spent a lot of my teenage years never getting laid.