Category Archives: The Big Big Advice Column

Relationship Advice that you should possibly not follow.

Dumpsville. Population You

or ‘Don’t Hate Her, Hate James Bond’

In our first instalment we spoke a bit about What Women Want, with a few things to consider in approaching them. But what about what Men want? We previously established a commonality in the desire for Attention, but let’s skip ahead a moment to when you have supposedly found what you wanted and then it is suddenly all taken away from you. Nothing makes us more aware of something that made us happy than when we lose it. As such, the starting point for understanding what Men generally want may best be gauged by how we mourn in a breakup.

The truth is Men are simple. The main factor effected in a breakup is the EGO and, in truth, the EGO is primarily responsible for our being in a relationship in the first place.

The EGO: Asset and Achilles Heel

A fundamental difference between Men and Women is the drive of the EGO[1]. That’s not to say that women aren’t driven by EGO as well, just not to the extent Men are. A simple means of illustrating this is to observe the differences in response between Men and Women when coerced to perform an ill-advised act via the use of the statement: “What’s the matter, you Chicken?”

Research has shown that when confronted with this statement, most Women will simply deny that they are “Chicken,” providing a rational argument against performing the ridiculous act, then ignore the statement altogether when it is repeated a 2nd time (as the statement should be for maximum effect).

Men, on the other hand, feel a driving need to disprove the statement – often by performing the very same ill-advised feat[2].

Men are much more driven by the need to serve the EGO than women are. This comes quite simply from the biological drive we have to be Alpha males (or, in modern terms: James Bond).

An Aside:     Today’s women have become very difficult to please as a result of unrealistic media images creating unrealistic expectations. [And let me stop here a moment and say to any Feminists who may have taken a wrong turn and somehow landed up in this article: Yes, this does sound familiar! And, No, the irony is NOT lost on us!] Considering what today’s woman is looking for, it should be no surprise that the current James Bond is so popular.

Women now expect to find a man who: looks equally good in either tuxedo or bikini-briefs,  can expound on philosophy and fine cuisine, while still being able to beat another man to death with a blunt object. All of this while still finding time to hold them tenderly in the shower – fully clothed in a three-piece-suit of course, because God-forbid you should get a little play after saving their lives from a machete-wielding madman.[3]

Too much to ask?

Not necessarily, when one takes into consideration that Men are looking for a woman who will look like a Barbie doll well into her 60’s (if she really has to hit that age at all in her lifetime), who also strikes that impossible balance of being both chaste schoolgirl and wanton harlot, all while still wanting us, hair or none, six-pack or keg, and whether it is that we can only expound on domestic beer, or can also include imported in our repertoire.

The fact is that both sexes are getting more and more unrealistic and we can only hope that virtual reality is perfected before the two sexes become truly and completely disenchanted with each other and the human race fails.

But until then, we can still hate James Bond.

Leggo My EGO

The major source of propping up the EGO – or perhaps we should say, giving the EGO ‘props’ – comes from the opposite sex. Again, it’s a simple biological basis that the Alpha male gets the choicest female (like Bond…. only that fantastical Uber-Alpha gets several of the choicest).

If you don’t automatically get this ‘props’ thing, consider this – think of when you were single: you would see a smoking hot woman at a bar, but you would think “She’s out of my league.” Now think about when you were in a relationship and you saw that same type of girl. Suddenly she was no longer out of your league and the only thing holding you back from a surefire night of smouldering passion with a goddess was your commitment to the old ball-and-chain.

The difference wasn’t in the goddess at the bar waiting for double-O-you, it was your own self confidence. The fact is, having a girlfriend was a constant reminder that someone could find you attractive, laugh at your jokes, and mistake your love of 70’s sitcoms and obsession with Star Trek for a personality.

Your personal sitcom had canned laughter for every punch line. Your EGO had props on retainer.

If you’re simple and you’re arguing, “No, I loved her for the little things. Because she would make me spaghetti the way I liked!” (I can’t believe you talk like that) It’s the same theory. We’re not saying you weren’t in love. Why did she make you spaghetti the way you liked? Because she loved you? Yes, that’s exactly why. And every time she made it, the EGO would puff out its chest and say, “Look at that spaghetti! I’m loved!

Now this is not to decry the whole concept of love, but simply to come to terms with the facts behind the heartache and hurt in a breakup. The fact is you suffer from ‘Withdrawal’.

Approval: the Drug of Choice

Whatever the reasons for the break-up, the residue fall-out that has you feeling like crap, the whole ‘rejection’ aspect of it, is driven by the EGO’s withdrawal from Approval. Your EGO is suffering. It needs a ‘props’ fix. You’re aching for approval. The problem is your Ex sold you a unique blend and now she’s avoiding you, like a two-bit snitch who sold her upriver, and you’re left jonesing.

Eventually you learn that the Ex isn’t the only pusher in town and that although she may have pulled the sales job of the century to get you onboard the Pineapple Express, fact is there’s a lot of blends out there, and one of them is going to be just right for you.

But you’re still chasing the dragon, which is one of approval for the EGO (it just can’t get enough!). The important thing is to acknowledge this, be aware of it. Understand too that there are other sources for approval which are not sex or female related (exercise, art, activities, etc.) that can boost your confidence and sense of well-being.

By acknowledging that Approval is a central driving factor and by being less desperate for that next relationship hit, it allows you to deal with it better, to negotiate from a stronger position, and to enjoy it more fully because it is a Choice and not a Need.

*A couple of things to look at for next time: Sex versus Relationships (because I know I didn’t get into the sexual factors here, which are worth examining). Also, the statement made likening male / female relationships to negotiations… more on that.

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[1] The EGO is in all Caps, at all times, by insistent demand of the EGO.

[2] These acts may include: shooting gravy, licking an ashtray, eating gum off the floor, among many others.

[3] Shame on you Daniel Craig for spoiling it for the rest of us.

daniel-craig-as-james-bond

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(P.S. Please note that, despite anything said, we are in fact big fans of Daniel Craig here at The Tangent)

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What Women Want (or ‘The Mystery of the Riddle Inside an Enigma’)

Pandora’s Box

Without any historical or sociological proof, I would like to put forward the theory that the story of Pandora’s Box was written by a man (possibly recently married) who made the mistake of trying to understand his female companion’s wants and needs.

The fact is, the man who can tell you with certainty what a woman wants can most likely also tell you with certainty who shot Kennedy, as well as the eleven secret herbs and spices that make up the Colonel’s secret recipe.

Women will claim that they are more ‘complex’ than men, and you will find no argument here.

Simply start with an examination of the mere physical make-up: men have the majority of their erogenous zones organized into one locale, while women on the other hand have, what is it at last count, 103 or something (?) sprinkled liberally all over. And, as our research has also revealed, while one woman might enjoy and become aroused by something like light-nibbling on the hip, to another woman this is the equivalent to a medieval declaration of war.

There is little difference when it comes to the emotional aspect. It would be impossible to pin down exactly what women want, because they differ so widely – which is great – variety is the spice of life. Also it doesn’t help to ask, because, truth be told, they don’t necessarily know and are even likely to give you some very bad advice (consider the girl who grooms her man into something more “sensitive” and civilized and the leaves him for old Conan who she met at the gym). But where does that leave men in figuring women out?

Perhaps we can consider these starting guide-lines:

Start with Mother Nature.

Now here’s one lady who’s outsmarted Man since the dawn of time, so she’s definitely one to look to when trying to comprehend the Great Mystery which is Woman. As much as we may set ourselves aside from it, Men & Women are members of the animal kingdom. Our basic instincts are driven by primal biological needs – as a starting point. As with all animals it is a drive to reproduce[1]. Men are driven by the desire to spread their progeny. Women by the desire to bear children but also to rear and raise.

Okay, I hear you laughing from here, which is fine, laughter is good. Here is where you point out that you don’t want kids and you know many a woman who couldn’t begin to raise one. Well, that’s true and it’s all well and good, because Mother Nature is smarter than that. She didn’t leave those things to us. Our desire is raised by those factors whether our conscious mind is pondering them or not. Scientific studies have shown that the physical qualities that cause arousal are linked to procreation, and don’t fool yourself, many of the emotional draws are also primal.

So examining it from this point-of-view, what would a woman want?

Looks. Well if she’s going to choose to procreate with someone, she would probably pick someone she could stand the sight of for starters, so Yes, looks help, but there are other factors.

Health.  Because primal instinct wants to ensure the greatest likelihood of survival for the unborn tyke.

Security. Yes, money helps, it’s the new muscle. The family that won’t starve in the winter, no longer requires a mighty mammoth hunter in its midst, but rather someone who can afford to hire a bunch of mammoth hunters, pay for mammoth delivery to the cave and possibly some mammoth-chefs.

Personality. Here it gets more complicated, and this is less about mother nature than history and personal taste. The fact is you can start with some basic traits that women always say they find attractive, see if they make sense biologically and decide if it’s true (like the following).

Sense of Humor. Oh, how they love to say “sense of humor,” or a “man who can make me laugh.” But is it true? If this most luring of qualities to women indeed holds such awesome power, one might well wonder why Pee Wee Herman had to get his own rocks off in a seedy theatre… was he out of punch-lines? I’ve never seen Steven Wright make People Magazine’s list of sexiest men alive, you may well observe.

Truth be told, this is not a stand-alone attractor. One also has to understand what type of humor, and mainly ‘Why?’.

Why do women find a sense of humor attractive? A sense of humor’s simplest appeal has to do with smiling. Smiling actually causes a chemical release in the brain which provides one with a mild sense of euphoria, a pleasant feeling. If you are able to make a woman smile or laugh throughout the course of an evening they may not remember a specific joke you have told but they will associate you with that generally pleasant feeling that comes with smiling and laughter. This of course bodes well for the possibility of further encounters.

On a more complex level, a sense of humor has a positive social connotation, which is the suggestion that other people would generally like you because you can make them laugh. This matters to women who are more social creatures generally than men.

Confidence. Often ranked first, confidence is quite simply good salesmanship. People are more likely to buy a product from a salesman who believes in his product – “well he seems so certain and he’s given me no reason to doubt it”. There is also the social aspect – once again, confidence suggests someone who is prepared to be an alpha-male, it ties in to success, and success[2] is survival in this day and age.

dream_woman_vs_perfec_-man

So these are just some of the things to consider in the dating game. The thing is though, if you’re serious, you’re going to have to Pay Attention in order to determine just the right mix of ingredients as it varies from one woman to the next.

On the bright side, that in itself is something women want (just as men do) and that’s someone who will pay them some attention.

(To Be Continued…)


[1](i) While this may be controversial, we maintain that anything a Man does of value can be traced back to a desire to procreate. How else would Bill Gates have gotten some if he hadn’t become a multi-billionair? As for the likes of those spiritualists who have taken oaths of celibacy, they may be the exceptions, but take into account that the very goal they are attempting to achieve is to distance themselves from nature, what is ‘natural’, in an attempt to be closer to the ‘spiritual’. In this sense we can say that what they are doing is ‘un-natural’ (in a context that implies no negativity) but we are attempting to deal with human nature, i.e. what is natural.

(ii) The exception may be those Chinese Pandas… but who’s to say the she-Panda wasn’t just damn ugly by Panda standards, and things may have moved quicker if they hadn’t given the he-Panda the option to watch porn instead…

[2] Success can take on a variety of forms, but in male/female relationships there needs to be the suggestion of success within societal structures. Remember, we are biologically programmed and women generally want a provider, that is a man who CAN provide, even if she does not require being provided for, and she may never call him on it. As we ‘evolve’ the priority of these attributes may shift as it becomes more ingrained and accepted in society that women do not need men for support (or survival) in the classic sense. Our biological draws will change. But despite any arguments to the contrary these thing are still currently active biological draws. Evolution works slowly, and, despite what the logical or reasoning mind may tell us, we are still influenced greatly by primal drives, just as sub-conscious elements of our psychological make-up will also play a role in our development and behaviour and influence our likes and dislikes.