“A Normal Guy”

My post about a dinner-party proposition drew some discussion from the commentariat regarding the woman in question’s desire for a so-called “normal guy.”

Georgia Boy hit the nail on the head:

Normal is an interesting choice of words. I wonder about it because it’s something I was called by a then-recently-ex girlfriend back in my pre-red pill days. She told me it was an ego boost to her because “it was the first time a relatively normal guy wanted to date me.” What would the Womanese-English translator spit out if you typed in “normal guy?” “Suitable relationship beta who’s not too dweeby,” maybe?

As did ASF:

Normal guy just means guy I like/am attracted to and who others in my social circle will approve of. As deti points out, there is no specific set of traits that will make you “normal” aside from all of the standard things Game teaches.

Georgia Boy’s mention of the Woman-English translator is germane, as the critical distinction here is that the connotation of “normal” is very different between men and women.


If you ask a man in my social circle to describe a “normal guy,” you are probably going to get something like these traits:

  • A few pounds overweight
  • Basically genial and seeks to be nice to everyone
  • Takes his turn when picking up the tab or giving people rides
  • Not a ladder-climber but a good enough worker to be a team contributor and not make any office enemies
  • Decent but unremarkable fashion sense
  • Unceasingly well-intentioned but predictably ham-fisted in his efforts with women; gets lucky on occasion in the true sense of the word
  • You’d have him over to drink a few beers and watch the game

In other words, a “normal guy” is just that – an average, or median, specimen. There’s some adjustment for subculture, as “normal” in say a college-educated urban community is different than a middle-aged suburban family neighborhood; likewise hipsters and young black professionals have different norms as well, as do religious and non-religious (and much of the criticism of organized-religion communities is actually a criticism of their social norms, not of their faith per se).

This is exactly the kind of dude most guys want to have as “part of the gang” – a reliable teammate who isn’t going to be too much of a bother or a challenge.

The problem is that this type of back-seater is almost invisible to women who have not yet hit the “I’m getting older and had better lock down a husband” kind of panic.


Remember that while the male hindbrain’s thought pattern is to find a woman attractive absent a disqualifying criterion, a woman’s pattern is the opposite: to seek a series of qualifiers before approving her attraction to a man. In fact, the general tendency is for women to judge the majority of men as defective. When you combine a woman’s own natural sex rank (below which men are not considered at all), the particular attraction markers she’s looking for in a man (be they height, fitness, status, or socially dominant personality), and the need to have her choice culturally blessed by her social circle, there’s just not a lot of guys who are going to make it through all the filters.

So when you hear a woman talk about “normal,” what she really means is “normative” – a guy who fits her mental “standard” of how a “man” she would date must be. He’s a high-value man with a well-developed beta sidecar:

  • Is working hard at advancement (“ambition”) in a job that is either high-status (law, management, banking) or “interesting” (musician, media, non-profts, politics)
  • Can show group dominance, i.e. “work a room” and do a bunch of glad-handing but not a compulsively dominant guy who will pick fights or make trouble
  • Can flash dominance to her (e.g. pass fitness tests, avoid fitting into her frame)
  • Tidy and fashionable, but not so much that he’s gay or OCD
  • Aesthetically pleasing: shows strong physique, fitness and/or fashion sense
  • Fits into feminine imperatives: holds relationship/marriage/kids as long-term life goals, but doesn’t seek to serve a woman
  • Has good timing of beta traits so the other girls will say “awwww, I wish MY boyfriend would do that for ME!”

(This list is skewed towards the college-educated young adult frame because that’s the world I live in, but you could tweak it for any subculture without much trouble.)Long story short, a “normal” guy is “an alpha who will play the beta game when I want him to.” A dude who is not deficient in some category she deems essential to her life path – she’s never going to write to Dear Abby about him and say “I really love my boyfriend, buuuuuut…” and spit out what she sees as some kind of red-flag dealbreaker and waxes about the cute guy who gave her his phone number at the bookstore.

My tone sounds cynical, but there’s no point making ethical assertions about this; it’s the culture they live in, you aren’t going to change their preferences by argument or shame, and you’re going to find most of these items, in some combination, in almost all women you find even remotely attractive.

As you can imagine, finding the balance point of ALL these items, and calibrating it to the woman in question, is extremely difficult, and those kind of guys are pretty rare in quantity. Thus we guys think it ludicrous when we hear “I can’t find a normal guy!” when by the male definition they are all over the place.

One other important aspect of normative “normal” is social approval, which goes to ASF’s point “who others in my social circle will approve of.” The normative man is a socially-reinforced concept, a group is going to exercise its collective power by encouraging conformity and cross-accountability – they can’t keep up their image of a bunch of Strong, Independent, Empowered Awesome Women, the Blonde Mafia or whatever image they hold dear, if they allow each other to date geeks, bums and guys who are Reeeeally Niiiiiice. A guy who threatens to alienate a girl from the group is a threat to the group, and deciding between the guy and the group is something I’ve noticed young women don’t really have an appetite to do. This in turn plays into a conclusion I’ve come to that today’s young educated women don’t really want a “committed partner” – they want a lifestyle accessory, a guy who enables a new class of “fun” and comfort with minimal friction to her current life.

Remember that despite being the ostensible “choosers” of the sexual marketplace, women view the men who pursue them as a mirror to their own value – it’s a compliment when a high-value man makes moves on you (even though he may be only angling for sex), it’s a scary proposition when a wimpy beta guy thinks you’re a good match for him because he may be right. Thus GB’s experience of “it was an ego boost to her because “it was the first time a relatively normal guy wanted to date me.””


This is not the first time the “normal guy” conundrum has come up for me. I used to share an office with an attractive young woman straight out of college, who played host to a series of older young women who would gossip with her on the regular. I found out by accident that if I put on my headphones, they would assume I was occupied by music and unable to hear them; thus I was able to regularly eavesdrop on invaluable sessions inside the (virtual) girls’ locker room.

One particular Monday, one of matrons came in to debrief the young gal on their Friday evening, which began as an after-work happy hour and stretched into a singles night at the local watering hole, which happens to be known as one of the biggest douchey-frat-guy bars in town. (Being attractive educated women, they had spent most of their time since age 16 socializing with the jocks and frat guys who were their SMV peers anyway and so felt right at home.)

“So, what happened with that guy you were talking to?” (I could tell by her tone of voice she wasn’t approving of the man in question.)

“Welllll, he asked for my number, then the next day he texted me that some people were going out and I could meet him there, but I already kinda had plans so I didn’t meet him.” (HER tone of voice expressed a distinct lack of enthusiasm. This sounded more like a wannabe-player than the real deal, trying to pull off a botched least-interest game without having built sufficient value and allure in the initial meeting.)

At this point the group-protection instinct kicked in and the matron made clear that this guy didn’t fit the bill. She shook her head, intoned “we’ll go out again this weekend, we need to find you a NORMAL GUY,” and then proceeded to discuss other fratty bars they could peruse in search of the perfect man.

It didn’t seem to strike them as odd that they were looking for said “normal guy” at the douchiest bars in town, home of guys who are well-known for the pump-and-dump game. I took this as a sign of their normative judgments – “normal” entailed a guy with very high confidence, social skill and sexual social proof. I didn’t have the heart to blow my cover and tell them they were setting her up as player-bait, so I just filed it away in my growing red-pill datastore.


Filed under original research

28 responses to ““A Normal Guy”

  1. BC

    I would add that a woman’s definition of “normal” is variable in that it tends to skew in the opposite direction of her most recent bad* experience(s). That is to say, the opposite of the guy(s) who recently disgusted/disappointed/dumped her.

    *: Definition of “bad” also variable

  2. M3

    And the world is mystified why MGTOW

  3. Ceer

    You had an invaluable resource at your disposal. Women’s natural definition of “normal” is indeed high status. From my own observations, the idea that a beta schlub would find them attractive is repulsive…some would go so far as to put it on par with moral failing. Think about that.

  4. Great post. Who on earth would want to be normal when you put it in those terms?! As I posted earlier this week:

    I just watched this classic Kezia video. She says:

    The nice guy equals:

    Three absolutely horrible words.

    They indicate having NO IMPACT on a person.

    They are traits of a man who won’t sexually escalate.

    Not going after what you want will result in women thinking you are those three things. Don’t be that guy.


  5. Spoos in August

    Normal definitely means attractive guy with a beta soul. Got told by the ex-girlfriend that I was the first normal guy she’d dated, that is to say, who wasn’t a huge ass to her. And, yeah, one of her previous exes in particular was a piece of work; that should’ve been a. Red flag, but again–soul of a beta.

    Now I’d like to think I know better.

  6. Georgia Boy

    Remember that despite being the ostensible “choosers” of the sexual marketplace, women view the men who pursue them as a mirror to their own value – it’s a compliment when a high-value man makes moves on you (even though he may be only angling for sex), it’s a scary proposition when a wimpy beta guy thinks you’re a good match for him because he may be right. Thus GB’s experience of “it was an ego boost to her because “it was the first time a relatively normal guy wanted to date me.””

    The post’s conjectures about me and the girl in question are reasonably close. For what it’s worth, I definitely did have the social approval of her friends/colleagues/etc. and the education/ambition, but outright social dominance, not so much. But she wasn’t much of an alpha chaser anyway and she had a liberal-artsy social circle. This put her against the social current in my third-tier Southern city, where the young guys in general were either military or the non college crowd. We met when I showed up at an event attended by a big group of people she knew, so it was never a secret boyfriend arrangement, we were out from the start.

    That normative list of qualifications takes most guys years to accomplish, it’s building a couple of major sets of skills that have little overlap. And there’s little incentive for young women to wait for that. Why date a grad student who just sits around and studies all the time and hasn’t gotten around to the learning game part yet, when the 30 year old is happy to date you. I used to think that wasn’t fair, but then that pretty much describes what I did at 30. Eventually if he plays his position well, a guy tends to get his turn.

    Speaking of douches, IMO douchey is becoming the new creepy. I.e., the word that’s overused for any situation where the woman doesn’t care for something a man does, thinks, says, or is, so it really doesn’t mean anything beyond “I dislike this guy and want to shame him.” (This blog post uses it what I consider the right way, I’m just throwing this out as something I’ve noticed lately.)

    There’s an article on the main page of Slate right now about body language where a guy is called a douche because he went to Harvard but has insecure body language. Which is bad, but not the kind of bad that got somebody labeled a d-bag back when that word wasn’t used so much. Soon I’ll have to stop using D-bag in earnest form, and start using them the same way I use creepy. By that I mean turning female dog whistle words against them, just using them to implant the suggestion I want in a given situation, otherwise not using it.

    (My first attempt to post this appeared to have failed, if it comes up double please delete the first.)

  7. DerHahn

    As an older guy (learning the real game long after I really could have used it but still having fun) I’d have say that this emphasis on dating a ‘normal guy’ doesn’t go away as a woman hits the wall. The amount of tingles necessary might decline some but you gotta make the va-jay-jay buzz to get anywhere at any age.

    You’re spot on your assesement that modern women are looking for the perfect male accessory. The primary factors they use to evaluate men are the same ones they use when shopping for shoes or handbags. Is it (he) cute? Is it (he) fun? Will it (he) make my besties jealous? Can I brag about what a good deal I got on it (him)?

    The only amendment I’d make is that I believe women are far more influenced by their ‘perceived SMV’ rather than their ‘natural SMV’, and it’s very relative (like ‘good’ and ‘bad per BC above). If she’s used to pulling attention from 8s (even as a pump-n-dump), she’s going to ignore 7s even if she’d objectively rank no better than 6 herself. And I’ve found that ‘percieved SMV’ for women is pretty ‘sticky’.

  8. Vicomte

    If you ever see a girl that’s looking for a normal guy, you do what we do. You run.

  9. Candide

    Normal guy to a woman = guy with high values who doesn’t know his worth aka sucker or product from Build A Better Beta factory.

    As Vicomte said, when you hear that, run. That girl is crazy.

  10. Brody Morris

    For more information about how to get any woman that you could possibly ever want then you should definitely check this site out

  11. The biggest lesson to be learned from this is “don’t be normal/average”. Love it or hate it, gone are the days of “I’m just a normal dude looking for love with a normal girl”.

    It’s easy for some to be angry at this, but ask yourself- what do you offer? Why do you deserve this girl? Normal is boring, be more.

  12. Normal to a woman is lukewarm, pleasant, adequate. Normal is basically a girlfriend that is a man. Normal doesn’t induce tingles.

  13. Btw Badger Badger, just came across your post on Dalrock comparing the uptake of Game info in society to that of getting fit. Spot on. As someone who’s very much into strength training and nutrition, the analogies are obvious. Just because the info is available doesn’t mean that there will be many embracing it and making good use of it. There won’t be legions of cads, just like there won’t be those of lean healthy athletic musclemen. Instead, there will be countless blokes who simply give up and drop out because it’s too hard for them to play the game. With humans being highly social animals, there are by design and nature very few of us who can go against social programming, else our society would’ve never been formed in the first place.

    Cheers to Enjoy The Decline.

  14. He’s a high-value man with a well-developed beta sidecar:

    Can’t disagree with any of your criteria.
    “Normal” basically means the man is socially and emotionally well-adjusted and isn’t weirdly obsessive, rude/embarrassing, unacceptably dim, off-puttingly haughty/conceited/arrogant, etc. It means he doesn’t send weird or emotional emails, text constantly, or ask blunt or pressure-filled questions. I know these things seem self-evident, but these aren’t things that a woman can always tell just from a profile or a few introductory emails. I remember when one of my friends went on a date with a guy she had met through a dating site who was a nice Christian guy…who then had a meltdown in the car about his being a virgin after she didn’t display what he considered sufficient interest.

  15. I don’t know that this is a female-exclusive phenomenon. I know that I’ve definitely heard my AFC friends bemoan (and have been guilty of bemoaning myself in my AFC days) their difficulty getting a “normal” girl interested in them.

    A cursory glance at the state of the American female population reveals that their standards were, in fact, demonstrably higher than merely “normal.” And rightly so: I wouldn’t touch a “normal” girl with a ten-foot pole. But let’s at least be honest about what we’re looking for, here.

  16. “I remember when one of my friends went on a date with a guy she had met through a dating site who was a nice Christian guy…who then had a meltdown in the car about his being a virgin after she didn’t display what he considered sufficient interest.”

    The pedestal gets another man.

  17. When she was in her 20s, my very attractive step-daughter announced that she wanted to marry a normal guy—probably a Presbyterian. Now she is in her 40s and still quite hot. She has never been married. She dumped her last serious boy friend because he was a mamma’s boy. He was Jewish. She doesn’t go to church anymore. She is on track for partner at a big law firm. I guess she gave up on finding a normal guy.

  18. Pingback: Blocking and Tackling Addendum – What is Normal? | Offense Wins Championships

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  20. Normal guys are “aesthetically and stylistically ruderless.”


    Adam Carolla describes this dynamic perfectly here. Women are like casting agents, and the guy who’s “just a guy” never gets a role.

  21. Pingback: Normal guys are “aesthetically and stylistically ruderless.” « rivsdiary

  22. Maigo

    Aunt Haley said:
    “Normal” basically means the man is socially and emotionally well-adjusted and isn’t weirdly obsessive, rude/embarrassing, unacceptably dim, off-puttingly haughty/conceited/arrogant, etc

    The amazing thing is that everything she mentions describes the overwhelming majority of modern British women under 35.
    They’re skittish and socially awkward/inept, they’re obsessive about trivial things because its all about conforming to the herd and doing the ‘right’ (socially approved) thing. They’re rude and embarrassing which is partly the bad social skills and partially because they’re dim and choose to fill their heads with vapid and transitory elements of pop culture. And of course the cherry on the cake is that they’re haughty, conceited and arrogant because of course they’re all special unique princess snowflakes and should be treated as such.

    Also as I’m sure most readers are aware the terms Aunt Haley uses have different meanings to women. The rude/embarrassing thing basically means any guy that dares to show a genuine (or rather non-herd approved) opinion or be different. How rude to pull her friend up on her child like anti social behaviour! How embarrassing that you can’t name all the members of one direction!

  23. Retrenched

    Of course, whenever a woman says she wants ‘X’, then ‘X’ means “an alpha male who will commit to me.


    “I just want a normal guy” = “I want an alpha male who will commit to me”

    “I want a nice decent guy who will treat me well” = “I want an alpha male who will commit to me”

    “I want a guy who’s smart, funny, and not too tall” = “I want an alpha male who will commit to me”

    “I want a sweet, romantic guy who will hold my hand as we walk through the park together” = “I want an alpha male who will commit to me”

    “I want a guy who gives me that butterfly feeling when he kisses me on the forehead” = “I want an alpha male who will commit to me”

    “I want a guy who loves me for who I am on the inside and appreciates my heart and not just my body” = “I want an alpha male who will commit to me”


  24. TSB

    OK, while this may be slightly off topic, I definitely wanted to share.


    Just another example of “nice guy” shaming on the internet. It’s sad to see some of the carnage that strip mine dating has done to this dudes. Almost every single one has comments about being friend zoned.

    Also, proof again that a lot of self identified “nice guys” aren’t really that nice. Obviously “nice guy” game is a losing strategy.

  25. Guestopher


    Yep. Nice Guys of OKCupid shows us that there are some pretty extreme AFC guys with borderline psychological problems on online dating sites. A lot of the guys on the site legitimately fall into creep territory. I also have to wonder why these guys are stupid enough to answer dumbass questions honestly like “Do you think women have an obligation to shave?” “Do you expect sex in exchange for an expensive date?”. Seriously, just skip the damn question if it’s not going to help your profile.

    What’s going to happen is that people (women) are going to start comparing anyone who uses the term “Friend zoned” to one of these Nice Guys of OKCupid. It’s like a new way to say creep and it gets expanded to anyone who acknowledges that there are ugly truths in the dating market. How dare you be upset enough to choose the red pill and talk about it!

    And any equivalent of ridiculousness seen on crazy women’s OKC profiles won’t get nearly as much attention because Americans like to shame men for their desire to express sexuality.

    I can’t wait to see the Nice Guys of OKC posts from blogs that cover game. The site might even get its own acronym: NGOKC.

  26. DC Phil


    Indeed, one wonders why MGTOW increases. With the worst of the SMV the way it is, why bother to compete? If the point of Game, other than getting pussy and maintaining the pussy that you already have access to, is to better yourself as a man, then dealing with vapid, shallow, entitled, and hyperdemanding harpies is hardly going to make your life easier and richly rewarding. I’d just as listen to music, write software, read great books, and travel on my own in order to make my life richer — with the caveat that I could travel to places where the ladies are better, on average, and much more pleasant to deal with, like Poland and Romania. ;)

  27. What really fucked us up is the narcissism that is inherent in our culture. All of these social networking sites have just led to all girls thinking they deserve an alpha and making beta guys think they’re the best thing since sliced bread. I’ve heard “I just want a normal guy” quite a bit from females. Even before I was a red pill man, I already knew what that meant.

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