WARNING: This is a long read.
It is, of course, borderline lunacy for a man to proclaim that he knows what a woman wants. Luckily for you, I am just that crazy.
One thing for sure is that what most men are taught about creating a relationship is simply fucked. Manipulative strategies like Pick Up, seduction techniques and abusive controlling do not create genuine loving connections.
Manipulation might occasionally get you laid, but with this approach you’ll eventually end up either in an insecure, unstable and emotionally distant relationship, or simply alone and depressed.
This article is not for guys who are just looking to score. If that’s you, I wish you well, and I wish I could convince you that frequent meaningless sex is probably not what you’re actually looking for. But I know you have to figure that out for yourself.
I’ll be here waiting to help, if you eventually find trying to “get” women has become chore-like and unsatisfying.
For most of my twenties I chased validation from sexual conquest, quite unsuccessfully most of the time. But even when it was “working” I still felt hollow and alone. The “wins” only satisfied me temporarily, and then the needy urge to hunt would consume me once more.
After a string of meaningless flings and one-night stands I started thinking:
I WANT A REAL CONNECTION
Let’s assume you’re not a wannabe master manipulator, and you’d actually like to experience a truly loving relationship at least once in your lifetime, free from bullshit and performance pressure. Let’s explore why you aren’t yet in a deeply satisfying, exciting and meaningful connection.
Every week I get a handful of emails from women because of an article I wrote entitled Why Your Boyfriend Doesn’t Initiate Sex. These emails are largely the same; complaints from women about the lack of sexual interest demonstrated by their man. It seems to be a huge, unspoken problem out there.
For a while, I believed that lack of sexuality was the main issue. But since I’ve started coaching some of the men who were the subject of these emails, I’ve come to realise that this sex thing is just a symptom of a much greater problem.
The fact is, men want connection too – but we’re often not very skilled at creating deep connections that can satisfy us for the long term. We are trained to acquire rather than connect. We are told we need to get women, rather than build a connection with them.
Let’s have a look at the two most significant factors that prevent men from forming deep connections:
SHAME and DISHONESTY
Shame occurs when you believe that something true about yourself is wrong or bad.
Shame affects relationships considerably, by directly limiting your ability to connect. Put simply, shame encourages dishonesty.
I’m not just talking about blatant lying, though that’s certainly a part of it.
Every single day in your social life, you are probably restricting your level of honesty because of a massive amount of shame. You will barely notice this happening most of the time, because you think it’s normal.
Nearly all of us are conditioned from a young age to try to be as impressive as possible. We are taught to hide our “weaknesses” and emphasize our strengths. We were programmed by insecure adults and peers to believe that connections are created with “positive” feelings and experiences.
So you hide “negative” emotions, weaknesses and insecurities. You have been led to believe that presenting the most perfect image of yourself possible is what creates attraction and connection.
Guess what? It’s all total bullshit.
It was taught to you by people who didn’t know how to connect. All that stuff about how you have to be funny and smart and good-looking and successful and happy all the time was an utter lie. I talk about it more in this video:
Let me put it to you simply:
How are you supposed to connect deeply with someone if you don’t let them see who you actually are?
Who exactly are they connecting with if you’re putting on a performance to impress them?
It just doesn’t make sense to think that hiding who you are is the way to connect with others. The worst thing is that many of you will read this and think it doesn’t apply to you, because you’ve managed to convince yourself that you are honest. That’s the real tragedy; you believe your own lies. So keep reading if you’re open to the possibility that you could be a bit more honest.
I still haven’t answered the question about What Women Really Want. Are you ready for it?
IT’S ALL ABOUT CONNECTION
The greatest gift you can give to another person has nothing to do with being impressive. It’s really all about letting them into your secret world, where all of your fears and faults are hidden, and allowing them to share theirs in return. It can be as simple as completing a sentence that begins with:
“I’ve never told anyone this before, but…”
Think about how you feel when someone delivers this to you. Feels good, right? Like you’re a special snowflake; the Chosen One.
It feels deeply significant and touching when someone shares something that they’ve never revealed to anyone else before. You suddenly have meaning, significance and purpose in your life. You are here to share their secret.
And it’s not even relevant whether or not they’ve shared it with others before. What’s most important is that it is a deep truth which brings you together in understanding. You both share what it means to be human.
WHAT YOU’RE MISSING
Let’s get more tangible and practical here: from a woman’s perspective, the problem is that men generally do not “talk” enough.
This does not mean they want a greater quantity of words to come out of your mouth. What it means is that they want to see into your inner world, they want to know what it’s like to be you, from your perspective.
They don’t really give a shit about the minor things like your annoying boss or the footy score. They want to hear about how your mind processes emotion; how you react internally to their behaviour; your philosophy and understanding on the nature of reality.
Most simply; they want to know what it feels like to be you.
And they cannot see any of this if you’re trying to impress them. You might have convinced yourself that you’re being honest, but most of the time you’re just trying to manipulate them into states of happiness or attraction. Manipulation always requires dishonesty.
MY OWN STORY
Due to being afflicted with Nice Guy Syndrome most of my life, my relationships were always one-sided. I would have intense feelings for someone, but could never believe that these feelings were being returned equally, because I was acting the entire time. My unwillingness to lose someone meant that I would hide anything that might scare them away.
Even back then I knew I was hiding who I truly was; I just didn’t realise that this was the cause of my problems.
It felt like a curse, like I was doomed to always feel disconnected and essentially alone in a relationship. I couldn’t understand what I was doing wrong, and I even turned towards “pick up artistry” (PUA) which is a school of manipulation and control based on building attraction.
It was an intensely unsatisfying way to live. Even when I began to feel an attraction forming with a woman I liked, I knew deep down that who she was developing the attraction towards was not me. The guy she thought she was attracted to was simply an act I had created, just for her; a performance designed to steal her attention and validation.
This was most definitely not how I wanted to live my life. I started to question the fundamental flaw of trying to make someone attracted to me, or trying to make people happy. Manipulation just never felt right, even in its most gentle and playful forms.
What I wanted was love. One of those intensely deep, meaningful connections that you always hear about, but rarely see in real life. I wanted a partner in crime.
THE X FACTOR
As I explored these thoughts, I became intensely curious about what keeps a couple together after the honeymoon period of attraction is over. So I began to identify and study what I believed to be were genuinely loving couples.
Make no mistake; these are rare. Very few couples I investigated showed a truly deep and meaningful connection. Even married couples I looked into showed many signs of shame, superficiality, and of having created a relationship based on fear-avoidant comfort rather than passionate love.
Eventually I was able to find some that seemed to have that X factor.
They were the “partners in crime”; those couples that seem be more than just lovers, a team, totally in it together and prepared to die for each other. They would seem to communicate telepathically and knew each other inside and out. They were confident and independent, yet relied on each other with a firm foundation of trust.
Even at a brief glance, it was clear how they were different to the others. They were so fucking open and honest with each other that sometimes it would blow me away. They hid almost nothing from each other. They demonstrated complete shamelessness.
I focused my attention on the men in these relationships, and asked myself “How are they different from other men?”
It wasn’t what I expected. In several of the relationships I explored, I witnessed some fascinating behaviours by the men, things I thought would have been deal-breakers.
Here are a few examples:
- One friend told his partner that he was going to a strip club even though he knew she wouldn’t approve, while all his friends lied to their partners
- The partner of a girl I’m friends with opened up to her about his addiction to cannabis, even though she had previously expressed disapproval about drug use
- I saw men disagreeing openly with their partners on different points of view, even though they knew it would cause offence
- Most significantly, I witnessed men admitting to weaknesses, fears, insecurities and confusion, and balancing all of this with accurate observations of their strengths and successes
And then it all finally clicked.
What these guys did was let their partners see everything, no matter what the risk. And they did so without apology; they owned what they were. They were willing to lose their partner in order to maintain their own integrity. They were eager to share their true self with their partner.
This went both ways of course. Their partners were invariably treated as equal status and accorded the same treatment. These men would listen to their partners and encourage them to share as well. In fact, they demanded this balance in investment.
In all these couples there were patterns of open honesty leading to deep vulnerability, and they would travel this path alongside each other.
If you want support in finding a partner to build a loving relationship with, or reconnecting with your partner, email me firstname.lastname@example.org with your questions, anytime!
SO I SHOULD JUST TELL WOMEN THAT I’M FUCKED UP?
Look at it this way: at any given time, you are going through something internally. You’ll have thoughts, emotions, and physical sensations constantly. Sometimes these are pleasurable, like when you feel “happy” or calm. Other times these are dark and confusing, like when you feel jealousy, fear and frustration. You can watch all of these things happen and give commentary, like observing a sports game from the sidelines.
Some things you’ll have shame about, e.g. how so many men feel hesitant to express sexual desire. When these things come up, your mind will say things like:
- “This isn’t the right time”
- “You don’t even know how you feel or what you’re thinking, so it’s pointless to express it”
- “Run and hide!”
- “Don’t bother, you’ll just start an argument”
- “You’ll ruin her day”
The key is to notice all of these excuses, and then let her see your truth anyway. Be willing to lose her forever in order to maintain your integrity.
Let her see all of it.
And then, once you’ve shown her yours, ask to see hers. Balance the vulnerability and listen empathetically while she opens up in response. This is the two of you building something together, creating a real connection.
Let’s say you open up and the response you get is unpleasant. She disagrees, is disgusted or repulsed, or avoids sharing in return. That’s fine; it simply means she’s either not open right now, or she’s a total bad fit for you and you’re wasting your time trying to build a connection with her.
Use honesty to polarise the women in your life (and anyone else). Try to push people away with shameless fucking truth. The woman who keeps coming back for more is probably your soulmate.
Women don’t need you to have a big dick, or a tonne of money, or to be super funny, smart or brave. They don’t need you to make them feel jealous, or confused about how you feel, or needy. They just want you to be real. It’s the most satisfying experience you could ever hope to provide for them.
Stop trying to impress her and let her see what’s really going on in that mind of yours.
Dan, I just LOVE this article! I think you’re spot on. Most men aren’t taught and/or intuitively don’t know how to connect. But I would also add that even though more women do, they still masquerade around with a “mask” on as well. They put up a front and create an identity that they think is “desirable and acceptable” to the world. In fact, I think it’s an epidemic! This has gotten me into trouble in my relationships – both romantic, friendships, business relationships, and both male and female. I think I am a pretty real “this is who I am” kind of person. Therefore, for most of my life, I assumed everyone else was too. DUH!!!! I’ve gotten fooled and/or burned more often than not. I finally understand that most people have very different inner and outer selves. I think it’s very sad, and I’m so happy you wrote this article! I think it will help so many people 🙂
Thank you my friend, our conversations definitely helped develop some of my ideas around this, so there’s a bit of you in here 🙂
Awesome article Dan! Don’t think there’s a sentence I disagree with! 🙂 x
Hey Dan, thanks for writing such useful advice and sharing your own stories. It’s so refreshing to read things that make sense and to debunk all that pick-up artist stuff, which didn’t work for me (and doesn’t work in general).
I’m in my late 20’s now, and think I’m interested in similar sexual conquests that you mentioned, but I probably just want a real connection. Anyway, it really helps to hear from someone like you who has travelled on this path before me.