How To Find Good Men

…start by finding the good IN men.

The Private Man has just put up “A Dating Exercise For Women“:

The biggest challenge is for women to re-adjust their approach to men. Women usually look for reasons to reject a man. They find the bad things first. This results in a lot of frustrated single women. To start the readjustment, I have this very simple mental exercise:

Every time you see and/or interact with a man, look for something good about him.

Hat tip also to bbsezmore who has a similar idea that women should examine and remove subconscious, knee-jerk misandrous bias from their minds.

You have to like men. I mean, really like (or even love) men.

Because if you don’t, you will never find a man worthy of your respect.

Some of you may be in a position where you don’t need a man in the traditional sense: you have a career, earn your own money, maybe even own your own home. But you’d like to see a man included in all this because…

a. that’s what’s supposed to happen
b. you’re really lonely, or
c life is incomplete without a man

None of these reasons are good enough. Viewing a man as an accessory to your life is not the same thing as appreciating and liking men for who they are.

And also to Susan Walsh’s sort of kitschy but still entertaining laundry list of things she likes about men (grilling is on the list, lulz).

I think there’s two things going on here. First is that habit begets habit – when you make an effort to notice the good, it will quickly become an automatic trait. The second is more subtle. It’s well-known in psychology that when you speak or write a thought, your mind subconsciously commits you to that thought such that your behavior reinforces it. And while our attraction switches and snap judgments are strongly embedded in our hindbrains, they are still mutable by the way we approach people and the values we choose to admire.

It is amazing for me to stop and think how unusual this really is. I know women who have male friends that they like, and women who are boy-crazy and/or sex-obsessed, but the typical young woman in my blast radius is to some degree or another blaming the misfortune of her life on a man (for married women) or men writ large (in the case of singles), or trying to get something out of a man (drinks, dinners, engagement rings, children).

I don’t know that many women I can pick out of my rolodex and say “she’s a girl who just likes and appreciates men as they are.”

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13 Comments

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13 responses to “How To Find Good Men

  1. Cringe, I’d forgotten about that post! It really is kitschy. Heartfelt, though, and it still rings very true to me. Thanks for the love.

  2. Steffen

    Confirmation bias? So they see what they expect to see, and discredit anything not seen on the surface. Nice insight, Badger.

  3. Well when women are blasted with nothing but anti-male propaganda and men are becoming more and more pussified, is it any wonder women don’t like men.

    Guess what, most women DO like me. And why do they like me…..because I act like a man. I think in the south you see gender roles less demonized. Manly behavior is encouraged and rewarded. Seems less so in more liberal areas. You can take some real alphas in LA and I bet I could beat the shot out of them. Why do you think so many woman are running off and ended up pregnant by thug dick bags?

  4. As another southerner, I have to second what danny said. Even in the bigger southern cities – New Orleans, Dallas, Nashville, to name a few – women respond differently to traditional masculinity than those in more liberal states, even if those listed cities are themselves liberal. I’ve known feminist/rocker/generally SWPL/”enlightened”chicks who didn’t object to having a man lead, a door opened for them, or even to the word chick. They may be products of modernity, but they haven’t forgotten men and women are different.

  5. Bb

    Thanks for the link love, Badger. Have to agree with Ulysses and Danny, growing up as a girl in the south encouraged my appreciation of men. When you have a straight up good old boy looking out for you, there’s nothing like it. Why don’t you come on down and join us? ;)

  6. Desiderius

    Bb,

    Spent several years there, and am likely headed back. Love the town I grew up in, just north of the Mason-Dixon line, but we’ve forgotten how to create any jobs or, evidently, hire excellent teachers. California, here we (they?) come. My sis and her family are loving Ft. Worth, so I may try that way this time.

    Badge,

    Great post, dude. Right on it.

  7. Gwen

    I remember when I was in my early teens (fascinated with boys but still too young to do much more than stare longingly at them and write bad poetry about whichever boy I was currently crushing on), rhapsodizing to my mother about how wonderful boys were and how much I liked them. She immediately agreed with me that men were wonderful and praised me for thinking that way. She also made it clear that she deeply disapproved of women who had a bad attitude toward men.

    That one simple exchange, only a couple of minutes long, had quite an effect on me. It’s influenced my attitudes toward men ever since. Mom gave me permission to like boys. She made it clear she WANTED me to like boys. Liking boys was good, and positive, and nothing I had to be ashamed of. This was good, since the message I was getting from the rest of the world right then made me feel like I had to hide the fact that I thought boys were pretty cool.

    I have to wonder – if I’d gotten the opposite message from my mother, would I have ever recovered from it? Would I have the great marriage that I have now? I like to think I wouldn’t have fallen into the rabbit hole so many women seem to be in, but I’m glad I have never had to find out.

    [Thanks for commenting. That's a great story!]

  8. Gwen, you were given a gift that few women and even less men ever get.

  9. “I don’t know that many women I can pick out of my rolodex and say “she’s a girl who just likes and appreciates men as they are.””

    I must add that these girls are never without suitors – honest, heartfelt suitors who want to wife them up. Their male-comfort traits add little value in a cad’s eyes, so it’s a great way for them to increase their relative access to the commitment of good men.

    I recently found out one of my top “I’d wife that girl up in a second” women is single again. Alas she moved out of town.

  10. Bb

    Gwen that’s a great point. I routinely tell our child how much I love and admire my husband, and he does the same thing for me. I believe it’s important for children to realize why their parents value each other—that they’re together for a reason.

    My own parents were very circumspect about things like that. Never talked about it in front of me. They had a somewhat tempestuous dynamic, but I could tell they loved each other—even if at times they didn’t act like it!

    “I must add that these girls are never without suitors – honest, heartfelt suitors who want to wife them up.”

    Yes, these women don’t last long in the market. They get snapped up quickly.

  11. one of the things i tell my married/parent friends (most of them female out here btw), that the marriage is providing an example to the child what a relationship SHOULD be.

    i have a friend named nicole. she got pregnant by her best male friend. well she KNEW him and how his marriage ended. she left him for his possessiveness. well nicole ended up pregnant and suddenly his possessive side came back and she was confused. smh. she was TRYING to work on things with him for the sake of her daughter, and i had to tell her, “look, he’s NEVER going to change. once you 2 had sex….the dynamic changed. now he think’s you’re his. if you stay with him all you’re doing is showing the little one the way she needs to be treated by a man (he treated nicole pretty shitty). she will eventually mirror your behavior and allow herself to be a possession, and NOT a gf/wife. is that what you want for her?” of course she answered, “no, of course not.”

    she actually listened, and she’s actually doing quite well. i stop by and check on her whenever i come home. actually….DAMN. i need to call her. lol.

  12. “one of the things i tell my married/parent friends (most of them female out here btw), that the marriage is providing an example to the child what a relationship SHOULD be. ”

    http://badgerhut.wordpress.com/2011/03/26/marriage-is-part-of-parenting/

  13. Pingback: Happy Birthday to the Badger Hut, Part 2: Best Posts | The Badger Hut

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