…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.”