Why Some People Hate Men’s Dating Advice
Soulmate is a soothing word, a pacifying word, a word connoting promise and future and happily ever afters. There’s a soulmate for everyone, so the promise goes. Be patient. Swear by words like fate and destiny. And one day your soulmate shall appear in your life.
Sound familiar? That’s the narrative we’re told over and over, from Disney to romantic comedies to every love story you’ve ever heard. Cupid fires his arrow; we fall in love; that person becomes “The One.” Accept the terms of this romantic fatalism because there is no alternative.
Few people—both men and women—mature beyond this logic in their love life. Indeed, a lucky few do meet a soulmate—or at least who they believe to be their soulmate—and actually do live happily ever after.
But where does that lead the rest of us?
To answer that question bluntly: it leaves us on the side of hope. If we’re not in our ideal relationship with our ideal partner, we’re expected to relax, wait, and “let it happen.” How many times are we told that the “right one” will “come along” and we shouldn’t “try and force love”?
We’re told to live in hope with our eyes fixed on the future. That’s what most think is the “blessing” of hope: it promises us a better day, someday. We may be miserable now, but if we just wait and hope, things might get better. What if, however, that “blessing” is actually a curse?
We can only think in terms of the future—we can’t live in it. Instead, we live in the present. And while hoping for a better future might numb our present pain, it doesn’t address that pain. It only passively waits in “hope.”
The obvious solution is to actively work in the present to ensure a better future. When it comes to dating, that means approaching new people, conversing with them, and learning how to come off attractive (better known as following dating advice). Why then does this offend some people?
Again, to answer bluntly: because it threatens their narrative of the soulmate. Believing in a soulmate is a grownup way of believing in something like Santa Clause or the Easter Bunny. It’s a narrative that makes people feel better about things, lets them feel entitled to “gifts” they didn’t do anything to earn. Anything that contradicts that narrative is wrong.
However, because most people lack the self-awareness to realize this, they grasp for strawman arguments (the benchmark of a simpleminded person) about dating advice. They write the entire industry off as “pickup artist gimmicks,” they pull unsavory quotes out of context and pretend that represents the credo of everyone who studies dating advice, or they just point their finger while hissing words like “sleazy!”
Rarely do critics ever consider that applying dating advice is simply a way to dictate one’s own happiness. Rather than passively waiting for a “soul mate,” we actively go out and pursue many women who could be our soul mate.
It’s easy to allow the critics get in your head and sidetrack your development as a man looking to improve his lovelife in the present. Sometimes it’s helpful to step back and consider why someone feels the need to criticize something that’s really none of his or her business. People can believe in soul mates and you can believe in dating advice, it doesn’t have to be combative.
However, don’t let anyone stop you from pursuing your own happiness because they either don’t understand or don’t accept the idea that you can dictate your own happiness. I’ll be the first to admit some of the “advice” that comes out of the men’s dating advice niche is sexist garbage that is sleazy. Yet, there is also plenty of great advice that encourages men to actively go out and improve themselves in the present—not the hopeful future.
>>>To Learn More From Rob, Check Out “The 4 Elements of Game” where he breaks down game into four simple adjustments.
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About Rob J. Rob J. is a writer and dating instructor in New York City. Themes that resonate in both his teaching and writing are masculinity, genuineness, rational self-interest, and general awesomeness.