A while back on a particular lively thread at bbsezmore, commenter Uncalledfor mused on the very thin line between love and hate when it comes to women’s attraction to men:
Regardless of the numerical specifics, I think the point Roissy is making is that men need to inculcate habits to steer themselves away from beta-dom. Offering romantic gestures on a 1-for-1 basis may be safe, but it’s like walking the edge of the cliff: one step over the line, to where he’s being more affectionate than she is, will flip the “over-eager supplicator” switch in the mind of her opinion of him, and after that he’s utterly lost; catastrophic fail. Better to be safe and hang back with a palpable safety margin; that’s the essence of the Roissian advice, I think.
He then followed up later in discussion with:
You’ve put your finger squarely on the main point of contention here, I think. If we generalize “the two” to mean two courses a man can follow, either (1) palpably, manifestly withholding affection, or (2) giving in to neediness or or supplication; then I think it’s fair to say that the point being made by myself, OTC, Badger and to some extent Bb, is that there isn’t a huge difference between the two courses, as they are perceived by a typical woman. That’s the whole point of the “cliff” metaphor: the woman’s opinion/reaction changes drastically, from desire and contempt, based on what seems (to us) like a small range of change in a man’s behavior. We can go on disagreeing about it, but I hope this at least illuminates the contention.
His description of “the cliff” is expert. I just posted on how George McFly more or less instantly went from loser to hero in Lorraine’s eyes for knocking out Biff Tannen who was trying to rape Lorraine. On the flip side, most guys can recall experiences with women where she suddenly loses enthusiasm for him, stops answering his calls or texts or even shuts down emotionally in the middle of a date. Sometimes word gets back to you, and it blows your mind how petty and inconsequential the incident in question can be. It’s so often just one too many text messages or calling back a day too early, or being just slightly too eager to see her again (cf FFY on dating itself as a signal of irredeemable neediness), or remembering one too many of the myriad details she went on about when you met her (to the point I’ve taken to feigning ignorance to cover up my eidetic memory), or admiring and appreciating a particular woman’s special qualities too obviously.
And it’s always something different, it’s very difficult to calibrate to an individual woman’s code until you know her well, yet the opening phases are where it’s most critical to strike the right balance.
I don’t get the sense it works the same way in the other direction; if a guy is interested in a woman, she has to do something pretty dastardly or disgusting to flip his switch to “off.” That’s certainly been true in my life.
If all she wants is a nice guy with no medical issues, there are millions upon millions of those. But she doesn’t want those men.
We write about those nice guys all the time, the 80% of men who can’t even get a woman to share a Seven and Seven with them after work on a Tuesday night. These are men who are practically BEGGING to spend their cash and time with these women, who turn up their noses at them…the vibe I get from some of these threads is:
“We women want real men! We want confident alpha men who are good looking, in shape, confident with themselves, disease free, have decent jobs, make more $$ than we do, and are willing to take us out on proper dates and spend money on us! We want them to show social dominance, crack a joke at the right time, but we don’t want them to be total assholes! You have to strike the balance EXACTLY right EVERY time or we’re outta here!
“We want them to approach us, but only if we think they tingle our ginas! And we want them to be nice and kind and caring (but only to us) and spend money on us (but not too much or too often because that would mean he’s investing too much too soon and that’s such an icky turn off).
“But we don’t want you men talking about how you want relationships because that’s beta! We want you to be your own man until we decide we want you for ourselves! We want you to call or text us once or twice a week, but not three times a week. We want to see you a couple of times a week, but not every day, because that would be creepy! If I’m going out with you, you better not be seeing anyone else! And we don’t want sex until we decide the time is EXACTLY right for us. We want you to push for sex, but not too hard, because we want to make sure you are interested in us. We want to be the ones who decide when sex happens and where and how and it has to be exactly right and perfect!”
And from the men:
“We men just want to figure out what in the hell women want. We understand hypergamy and that women want men they can look up to in some way. So then I do that, and I still can’t get a date. I lose weight, they don’t want me. I spit some Game, still can’t get a date. I have a good job, still can’t get a second look. I look for “nice women” at my church; they are so ultrahypergamous even St. Peter wouldn’t be good enough for them.
“I grok No Sex Before Monogamy. I believe in it. So I offer relationship. I offer monogamy. She dumps me, saying “I’m just not feeling it” or “I just don’t wanna get serious”. So then I get some Game and I date a few girls and spin plates simultaneously, and some say I’m dogging girls out. I push another girl for sex and escalate, and she rebuffs me. So then I offer a relationship to a girl I really like, and she dumps me because I’m “going too fast”. So what am I doing wrong?”
That’s the mess we’re in. That’s the extreme frustration we’re dealing with. That the complete unreasonableness we’re in. And that’s the frame from which a lot of these comments come.