While sexual attractiveness is important for a healthy relationship, most men overvalue how important it is. As a result, this makes them more likely to sabotage their relationships.
Because it goes against the one “trump card” for sexual attractiveness to women. Women have a sixth sense at identifying whether you have this “trump card” or not—and caring too much about your sexual attractiveness is a tell-tale sign you don’t have it.
Well, first you must realize that sexual attractiveness is not the end-all-be-all. In fact, it’s not even at the top of the list of ingredients that make a healthy relationship. Then, you need to listen to this episode, where I reveal what this “trump card” is, and how you can cultivate it if you don’t have it already.
Want to not only become more attractive to women, but improve your chances of succeeding in a healthy, long-term relationship?
Show highlights include:
- Why sexual attractiveness isn’t even at the top of the list of factors that build successful, long-term relationships (2:51)
- The weird way your sexual attractiveness can hinder the success of a long-term relationship (3:21)
- How developing your emotional maturity will do more for your relationships with women than getting a 6-pack (9:21)
- The single most attractive quality that women crave in men (10:08)
- The 3 most important books to read to obliterate your neediness (11:45)
- The 5 most common ways men practice neediness (and how eliminating these behaviors instantly boosts your attractiveness) (14:44)
- How leaking neediness in your personality prevents you from being attractive to women (even if you’re fit, wealthy, and handsome) (17:010
- Why thousands of years of evolution prove that women find THIS more attractive than material possessions (28:06)
Does your neediness, fear, or insecurity sabotage your success with women? Do you feel you may be unlovable? For more than 15 years, I’ve helped thousands of people find confidence, fulfillment, and loving relationships. And I can help you, too. I’m therapist and life coach David Tian, Ph.D. I invite you to check out my free Masterclasses on dating and relationships at https://www.davidtianphd.com/masterclass/ now.
For more about David Tian, go here: https://www.davidtianphd.com/about/
Emotional Mastery is David Tian’s step-by-step system to transform, regulate, and control your emotions… so that you can master yourself, your interactions with others, and your relationships… and live a life worth living. Learn more here:
Listen to the episode on your favorite podcast platform:
Note: Scroll Below for Transcription
Welcome to the Masculine Psychology Podcast, where we answer key questions in dating, relationships, success, and fulfillment, and explore the psychology of masculinity. Now, here’s your host, world-renowned therapist and life coach, David Tian.
David: Welcome to the Masculine Psychology Podcast. I’m David Tian, your host. In this episode, I’ll be revealing the trump card when it comes to sexual attractiveness for a man.
Now, the word trump these days might have a lot of other connotations than it’s supposed to, but what I mean by trump card is the card that trumps them all. If you’ve got this one feature or factor or quality, it will trump any other things that are going against you, and if you don’t have this, it will undermine anything else you’ve got going for you. [00:50.6]
Two episodes ago, I went into detail about what the science tells us about what women are attracted to in a man when it comes to short-term mating, casual dating, casual hookups. If you know any of that research, a lot of it is what you would guess—physical attractiveness, physical symmetry, and facial symmetry. Basically, is the guy good looking? But also, is he muscular? Is he masculine? Does he have a masculine facial structure? Does he have a masculine voice? All of that is relatively predictable.
I wanted to drive home the point for those who have been asking me, and it can be pretty confusing out there and I haven’t even addressed the archetypes of the dandy are those who play with the feminine energy mixed in with the masculine.
That was depicted well in the recent Oscar nominated movie on Elvis, and you see that in the pop star Prince and the glam rock stars like you’ve got with Aerosmith, and Guns N’ Roses, but also in more recent times, BTS and almost all the Korean pop stars. There’s a long history of the dandy as a seducer that you find both in Asian history and in European history that can be traced back over 1,000 years. [02:01.8]
The dandy as playing with the feminine-masculine energy as an archetype is a very powerful one that I didn’t even plan to cover here. It’s not a bullet point on my little sticky note here and it wasn’t in my outline for that episode two episodes ago on sexual attractiveness and what the science tells us. But I did have as the final bullet point, this trump card that I’m going to be sharing in this episode, but I was in a rush to finish that episode, I needed to rush to see a client, so I didn’t notice that I hadn’t covered that final point. I will be devoting this episode to this trump card, the one feature that, if you’ve got it, it trumps everything else, and if you haven’t got it, you will undermine everything else that you’ve got going for you. [02:47.1]
Now, before I reveal what this trump card feature is, I want to point out that while attraction, sexual attraction, is obviously important for a long-term relationship, when it comes to finding fulfillment and happiness, and creating a loving, passionate relationship that lasts over the long term for 50-plus years, whether you find each other sexually attractive is an important factor, but not the most important factor that makes a relationship work and not even near the top of the most important factors that are required for a long-term relationship.
I’ve been in dating relationships coming out of being a pickup artist where the main focus was on whether you were sexually attractive enough to get to sex, to get from meet to sex. That was the old pickup artist in the 2000s. That was the main goal. That was why you were working so hard, studying so hard, practicing so many hours and spending so many nights in clubs and bars or trawling the streets or the park or whatever to get your approaches. All of that was to get good at going from meet to sex. [03:52.2]
So, what happens when a pickup artist gets into a relationship? He’s still focused on that thing, hyper-focused. It’s sort of like if your entire career was based on the first inning of a baseball game and you finally learned how to rock that first inning, but then you realize, Oh, damn, there are eight more innings coming up. You end up taking the same approach to the rest of the eight innings, and only later after screwing up the game, winning the first inning but screwing up the game that you realize, Oh, my focus for the game was on the wrong thing, and that’s like sexual attractiveness.
I know a lot of guys are probably going to fall into this trap, because I did, and, hopefully, you are mature enough to pay attention to this warning that if the main thing that you’re focused on in a relationship is whether you’re sexually attractive or making sure that you’re “the” most sexually-attractive male for your woman—and this point applies just as much to the woman who is insecure about whether she’s “the” most sexually-attractive woman in the whole world to her man—if that’s your main focus, if that’s the thing that keeps you up at night, then just as I said in the last episode, you are not ready yet, for a long-term relationship. You’re not mature enough yet to succeed in a long-term relationship. You’ve got to address these insecurities. [05:15.0]
Hopefully, now you can see the logic flow of the last few episodes. In the first episode, I was addressing this issue about sexual attractiveness, because there’s a lot of confusion out there on that. I wanted to just present the science very quickly, even though it went for 40 something minutes and went way over time. Hence, I ended up skipping some points and I’m now coming back to it. Then in the episode after that, making sure I make the point that attraction, while important, is definitely not “the” most important thing in a long-term relationship and it’s not even one of the most important things in a long-term relationship.
Now, the feedback I’ve been getting in the last few episodes are helping me to make this episode better, hopefully, and one of the pieces of feedback I got on the last episode that made me think maybe I didn’t make my point clear enough was this assumption lurking in there that if you are sexually attracted to somebody, then you will necessarily want to have sex with them, and that you even further will take action to have sex with them. [06:10.8]
One of the main points from the last episode, and the point of the story about my old professor who shared how he matured to the point where he was able to look at a row of beautiful women and think to himself, Wow, they are so beautiful, their dads must be so proud. In other words, he’s grown to the point, matured to the point where you can appreciate sexual attractiveness, physical attractiveness, and not need to stick his dick in it, so to speak, right?
That’s a minimal level of maturity that you need to reach to succeed in a long-term relationship, because over the long term, it will be inevitable that there are other men or women who will be more sexually attractive than you. Even just pure aging will do this. Every year, entering the dating pool are nubile women and strapping young men who will grow up into your competition, if you’re still caring about stuff like that. [07:07.5]
I understand if you’re still just focused on getting a date or just focused on getting a girlfriend, that it’s so hard for you to even consider that there’s anything more important than sexual attractiveness or physical attraction. But what I’m saying here is there is. There are a lot more important things in a long-term relationship that you need to focus on than whether you’re sexually attractive.
However, it’s still important, especially in the early stages. Most of us are not living in societies where arranged marriages are the norm, so getting the thing off the ground, getting the relationship going, often requires this sexual attractiveness and that chemistry. That chemistry, if you’ve been following my material, might very well and is very likely going to be driven by your own neuroses in your childhood issues and your unfinished business. That’s totally okay and normal, and that’s generally how chemistry is created. [08:04.1]
It gives you an opportunity to work on the stuff that’s unconscious for most of us until we meet that one that fires up our chemistry and we get so excited about it and the butterflies in the stomach, and it’s more than just she’s hot. But there’s a sort of minimal level. Yeah, she’s got to be hot, right? And she’s got to do that thing for us where we feel that chemistry and then we get this opportunity to confront our dark sides, our shadows, our repressed selves or repressed parts.
That’s what Richard Schwartz, the founder of IFS therapy and the author of You Are the One You’ve Been Waiting For, in that book gets deeply into the concept of the tor-mentor, which I’ve also covered in other episodes. Your intimate partner now gives you the opportunity as your tor-mentor. She’s going to torment you by triggering all this stuff. That naive view of a good relationship is one where there’s no conflict or fighting, that’s obviously wrong.
So, she is going to torment you, but in a sense, this gives you an opportunity, a window of opportunity, to uncover those unconscious, unresolved issues, and those hidden parts of ourselves that we, long ago, exiled, and to help unburden them and to grow and heal from those unresolved issue. In that sense, your intimate partner is your mentor through tormenting you, hence the pun.
Whether you can succeed in a long-term loving relationship, an intimate, passionate relationship, comes down a lot more to your level of emotional maturity than to attraction and how sexually attractive you are. Even more important, I would say, than emotional maturity is integrity. But that’s a subject of a future episode.
This is by way of caveat, the caveat here I’m going to get into, attraction and the trump card when it comes to sexual attractiveness for a man with the caveat here that attraction isn’t everything and it’s not even the most important thing, and it’s not even one of the most important things when it comes to success in the long-term, loving, intimate, passionate relationship. But it is important to get things off the ground to get into a relationship to spark that chemistry. [10:07.5]
Let’s get to the reveal. What is this trump-card trait, feature, quality or aspect? It’s your level of neediness. Now, when I have been invoking neediness in so many episodes, not just in this podcast, but in my old video podcast and my other DTPHD Podcast, my old podcast, and in my video seminars on my YouTube channel and all this free material, I’ve been invoking this concept of neediness. I expected that by doing so I would remind you of an author who has written a book that I think the best part of the book was on this concept of neediness and by whom I was first alerted to the all-important role that this concept plays in sexual attractiveness, especially for a man. [10:54.0]
The author I have in mind is a mega best seller, I think he has sold almost 20 million copies of his books so far and he’s a good friend of mine named Mark Manson. Out of all the content creators out there on the internet, besides, of course, psychotherapists like Richard Schwartz and Terry Real that I will be doing more book analyses on, if you request them, but I don’t think any psychotherapists have the reach and audience that Mark has.
At that level, he’s the only content creator that I would unequivocally recommend his material, with 99 percent confidence. I reserve that 1 percent, just in case I haven’t seen everything he’s made. He’s doing a lot of YouTube videos now that I haven’t been able to keep up with. I have only minor disagreements with his views that I’m aware of, and because he’s so popular, I always take it for granted that you’re familiar with his material. I realized I was wrong about that. So, I shouldn’t take for granted that you’ve read his book Models or The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck, or Everything Is F*cked. Those are just three books. I recommend all of them, as well as his blog.
But I’ve come to realize not a lot of my audience has actually gotten into his material very much. If that’s you, I highly recommend that you do. It’s sort of a big black hole of material, because he’s put out so much written content and he’s continuing to put out a lot of video content that I haven’t been able to keep up with, like I mentioned. [12:14.0]
One of the things I did as I was discovering this was I dug up his old e-book, the Models book, his first book length of work, where I first came across the formula, a man’s attractiveness is inversely proportional to his neediness. Ten years ago, I had a lot of discussions with him about this concept. I dug further into it even than he had on the paleo-anthropology on it, and, obviously, I think that’s the best formulation I’ve seen of the point that I continue to cite him on that and build onto it.
But when I dug up the old Models e-book, which is the dating book where he dives into neediness and attractiveness in detail, I realized why perhaps most men didn’t draw that connection or most people didn’t draw that connection between neediness and Mark Manson’s work, because in his updated version, and I don’t know when he updated this but it must have been pretty early on maybe 2015, he updated the e-book to replace the concept or term “neediness” with confidence, so that non-neediness became cashed out as confidence. [13:17.4]
I think, however, that unfortunately, confidence is far too vague and ambiguous a term to capture what he’s really getting at, and I prefer this much more precise term that isn’t watered down and overused, which is neediness rather than confidence. So, I will stick with neediness and non-neediness and translate these crucial portions of his book, because I realize most guys actually haven’t read it, or they read it a long time ago and didn’t have the maturity to understand it then and, now 10 years later, they’re finally connecting the dots or putting these pieces together.
I will be sharing some of the relevant portions from his book Models, where he, too, explains why neediness is, in my terms, the trump card for sexual attractiveness in a man. Throughout, as I am quoting from his book, I will be on the spot translating his term “confidence” for non-neediness and “false confidence” for neediness, because as I said, neediness is far more precise. I’m starting here in Chapter 2. [14:20.3]
“How attractive a man is is inversely proportional to his neediness. The more needy he is, the less attractive he is, regardless of the situation, and the less needy he is, the more attractive he will be.”
Okay, so I recognize right there in that paragraph, it is completely different when I’m translating from confidence to neediness. If I stumble, that’s the reason why. Okay, the next paragraph.
“Most people practice neediness. Neediness is trying to impress others, being domineering or intimidating, showing off, overcompensating, seeking attention or validation, or performing instead of actually being. Non-neediness is the comfort in the knowledge that you’re a valuable and respectable man, whether other people recognize it or not.”
Here and throughout, I am translating what he’s written down as true confidence. I’m translating that as non-neediness. [15:13.0]
“Non-neediness is expressing your ideas and values and interests without shame or inhibition. Non-neediness is sexy and irresistible. Neediness is complicating and creates more suffering. Women don’t judge a man’s status by the car he drives or how many VIP tables he buys. They judge it by his behavior, and the behavioral trait they pick up on is his level of neediness.”
Okay, at this point, I think it’s good to back up to the first chapter where he explains why he’s focusing on behavior rather than the obvious material possessions or insignia of status. Going up to Chapter 1 now and starting from where he begins looking at the research on what attracts women. [15:58.0]
“If you look at much of the research, it focuses on wealth and resources. This makes sense for a few reasons. It’s easy to measure. It’s easy to point to, and it fits into a lot of preconceived notions and stereotypes of what women are attracted to. But if it were that simple, women would want to hear about your tax returns and car payments on dates, not where you grew up, or what you’re passionate about, and all the other sappy things they’d love to hear you talk about.”
This is such an important point that I devoted an entire episode to it two episodes ago, and what the research actually says about short-term mating that is casual dating. That is, when a woman is primarily looking for a man to fit that lover role rather than the provider role, then they’re not looking at wealth and status. They’re looking at those physical markers of health and fitness.
I forgot to mention in the intro that, two episodes ago, when I looked at what the research says about what women are attracted to sexually for short-term mating, it was in addition to the physical features. The one psychological feature I got to was social dominance. That’s a behavioral trait, and that plays into it here. [17:01.8]
Now I’m going to deviate here from Mark’s book and I’ll come back to it later. You can imagine a man who has all of those things that I pointed out in that episode that the research shows—he is really good looking. He’s got facial symmetry. He’s got all the health markers. He’s muscular. He’s masculine. He’s got the masculine facial structure. He’s got the masculine voice, and he’s socially dominant—but if he were needy, it would undermine all of that that he had going, because she would wonder unconsciously or consciously, Why is he so needy? What is it that I’m missing here? Why is he so desperate? I’ll get to what neediness is in a few minutes.
If a man who is going up against that guy, that good-looking guy who was acting needy, whose behavior just leaks neediness, and he’s going up against the guy who’s less good looking or maybe even physically, if you just looked at him or a photo of him, you’d say even he’s ugly, but he is not needy. Then to the degree to which he is not needy, he will be more attractive. [18:05.5]
Now, this is something that you have to cash out because it goes against a lot of what the average dude hears on the internet and gets from his buddies and thinks about, and that’s why I’m going slowly through each step of the logic here and citing that Mark Manson here who lays it out pretty well.
But that was one of my main points two episodes ago that when it comes to short-term mating, there has been research that shows that physical attractiveness and social dominance really matters, but if you then evince neediness, it pollutes and undermines all of that good stuff you had going for you. [18:41.0]
No matter their physical strength, for many men, emotions are too much for them to handle. It’s why they can’t give women the deeper levels of emotional intimacy and connection that they crave. It’s why they fail to be the man that modern women desire most: a man with inner strength, a man who has mastered his emotions.
Find out how to master your emotions through David Tian’s “Emotional Mastery” program. The Emotional Mastery program is a step-by-step system that integrates the best of empirically-verified psychotherapy methods and reveals how to master your internal state and develop the inner strength that makes you naturally attractive, happy, and fulfilled.
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Now, of course, if your neediness levels were the same between you and the other guy, that if you had a physical attractiveness and masculine features and masculinity going for you, and social dominance, obviously, that will take you over the top. But far more important than any of those other factors is the one trump-card factor of neediness. [19:56.5]
Okay, so let’s continue looking at why neediness is so important. Here, Mark is going to make the argument for behavior rather than the stuff. He says here, “But if it were that simple, women would want to hear about your tax returns and car payments on dates, not where you grew up,” and blah, blah, blah, “all the other sappy things they’d love to hear you talk about.”
“The fact of the matter is, I personally worked with too many wealthy and successful men who couldn’t land a day to save their lives to believe that material wealth provides that much of an advantage.”
And I totally agree, or that it’s the be-all and end-all of attraction, because take it from me, it obviously isn’t. In the last episode, I gave the example of the bored housewife with a hot pool boy and the rich provider who was never at home, making a similar point when it came to just wealth and status. But Mark is using this to set up the argument for behavior. I’m going back to his Page 20 on my edition. [20:51.8]
“If you think about it, the evolutionary perspective of status and wealth is in a bit of a conundrum, because for women to evolve a preference in men with resources and wealth” –
And they do, by the way, for long-term mating, and when it comes to short-term mating, obviously, this plays into social dominance, because you’re displaying, not just verbalizing, not just saying you have wealth and status, to showing it with physical objects that could have been bought or stolen or inherited.
When it comes to social dominance, you’re showing the behavioral traits that will lead to the accrual of wealth and resources, so that makes a lot of sense as well. But here, Mark is asking the even more fundamental question of, how would women have evolved this preference for wealth and resources at all or in the first place? Okay, so continuing here.
– “because for women to evolve a preference in men with resources and wealth, then there would have had to have been an overt way of distinguishing wealth and resources among hunter-gatherer societies for millennia.”
Because as I explained two episodes ago, there’s an evolutionary time lag between when an advantageous mutation is introduced and the time it takes for it to spread widely through the population, and that’s generally accepted as about 50,000 to 100,000 years. Okay, so continuing. [22:11.5]
“Again, without boring you to death with the anthropological details, cavemen were not walking around with bank statements and did not have houses or swimming pools to show off. At best, they had a little bit more meat and food than the next guy. That’s not much to go on.
“Also, anthropological data points to men and women being relatively equal in wealth and social status for the majority of human history. Material wealth is a relatively modern invention. Therefore, one would imagine a woman would judge status and reproductive fitness in another way.
“That’s why I believe that women don’t distinguish social status or being an alpha male through material possessions. Otherwise, every guy flashing his expensive watch at the bar would be getting laid, and trust me, they’re not. But, rather, women judge it by behavior, as behavior is all they had to go on in the caveman days and, therefore, throughout the majority of human evolution.”
Okay, skipping down a bit here. [23:07.2]
“Attractiveness is therefore determined by how you behave around other people, how other people behave around you, and how you treat yourself.”
Okay, now coming back to where we left off in Chapter 2.
“Non-neediness infiltrates all behaviors. Neediness also infiltrates all behaviors. It defines and resonates in everything you say and do, the way you stand, the way you smile, the people you associate with, the car you drive, the wine you drink, the jacket you wear.”
Now I’ll draw from some examples that he’s put up in a blog post called How to Find “The One”, and he gives some good examples of neediness in day to day life. Here’s a few examples.
- “A needy person wants their friends to think they’re cool or funny or smart and will constantly try to impress them with their coolness or humor or smart opinions about everything. A non-needy person just enjoys spending time with their friends for the sake of spending time with them and doesn’t feel the need to perform around them.” [24:06.0]
- “A needy person buys clothes based on whether or not they think other people will think they look good in them (or at least what they think is “safe” to wear). A non-needy person buys clothes based on their own personal sense of style they’ve developed over time.
- “A needy person stays at a soul-crushing job they hate because of the prestige it gives them in the eyes of their friends, family, and peers. A non-needy person values their time and skills more than what other people think and will find work that fulfills and challenges them based on their own values.
- “A needy person will try to impress a date by dropping hints about how much money they make or important people they know or dated or where they went to school. A non-needy person genuinely just tries to get to know the other person to find out if they’re compatible with one another.
“We behave in needy ways when we feel bad about ourselves. We try to use the affection and approval of others to compensate for the lack of affection and approval for ourselves.”
In my language, neediness comes from the inability to meet your own needs yourself and trying to get other people or this woman to meet your needs for you. That’s neediness. [25:17.2]
Now, notice here that caring, even caring about whether you’re sexually attractive to a woman, is also displaying your neediness. You’re needy just clicking on the title, I haven’t decided what I will entitle this episode, but titling it something like “How to Become More Sexually Attractive to Women” and caring a lot about that enough to spend inordinate amounts of time studying it and researching it, like I did, so no shame at all, focusing on this question about whether you’re sexually attracted to women beyond sort of just a passing interest, or maybe learning this content to “help a friend.” [25:55.1]
But anything beyond that, you’re investing your time and effort and energy and brainpower and space in your mind as to whether you’re attractive and how to become more attractive, which I get it that 99 percent of the people that are following me for this advice are following out of neediness, so this is guaranteed to hit home.
The very fact that you even care that much about whether you’re sexually attracted to women proves your neediness, and it’s communicating that you’re unable to meet your own needs for significance, certainty, security, and worth, that you’re unable to meet those needs in yourself. Those are all fundamental, universal human needs, and they’re legitimate needs, but that you’re unable to meet those in yourself and that you’re looking for others to meet them through their approval or attention, or attraction or desire for you. [26:48.5]
Now, in Mark’s book, he presents a really handy practical way of evaluating your neediness that doesn’t require you to be attentive or monitoring your fundamental, universal, legitimate human emotional needs (which, by the way, just a bracket, is a much more thorough way to get at it, to get at the root of your neediness, and going through the therapeutic process. As I’ve outlined, the seven-step process is the most thorough way of overcoming your neediness by actually meeting your own needs, your emotional-psychological needs yourself.)
But in his book models, he presents a handy sort of practical rubric for evaluating your level of neediness, and here we go back to his book Chapter 2, picking up where we left off, skipping down a bit actually.
“Non-neediness is being less invested in other people’s perceptions of you than your own perception of yourself.”
Let me say that again. “Non-neediness is being less invested in other people’s perceptions of you than in your own perception of yourself.” [27:53.0]
“Neediness causes you to chronically seek validation and approval from others since you don’t give it to yourself. The way to build non-neediness is to invest more in oneself. Women are generally only attracted to men who are less invested in them than they are in themselves.
“By investment, I mean the degree to which you sacrifice/alter your own thoughts, feelings or motivations for someone else. By less, I mean that you should sacrifice your thoughts, feelings or motivations for your partner less than she’s willing to do for you.
“That may sound cold or un-PC, and yes, it made me squirm a little bit when I first realized it. But it’s true. As humans, we’re wired to be drawn to people who value their self-perception more than our perception of them. Think of the most confident people you know and you’ll see it’s true.
“Think about it, for the majority of human history, men had few material possessions for women to judge their status by. Therefore, women watched men’s behavior. Ask yourself what kind of behavior would indicate to a woman that a man is high status and fit to raise her children? These are the men who would be sexually selected over the course of hundreds of thousands of years.” [29:05.8]
“Would it be a man who defers to all of the other men around him, who begs the women to be with him, who can’t stand up for himself and whose emotions are dictated by those around him? Or would it be the man who does what he wants, is unfazed by the threats others may pose to him, and who shrugs if he pursues a woman and she has no interest in him?
“The second man indicates a man of status. If you’re at the top of the food chain, you have no reason to be inhibited or to defer to others (unless you want to). If you’re at the bottom of the food chain, your entire life will revolve around deferring to others. The high-status man displays non-neediness. The low-status man displays neediness.
“Non-neediness is not consciously calculated by women or people in general. I guarantee you will not see women walking around with neediness score cards anytime soon. Non-neediness is felt.” [30:00.2]
“Non-neediness is felt. It’s intuited by women. It’s instinctual. Women unconsciously detect it by watching a man’s behavior carefully. It’s why women can often become turned off at the most innocuous moment or by the most unimportant statement. Consciously, the action or statement may seem harmless, but, unconsciously, it conveyed everything they need to know about your status by your neediness.
“As you are probably aware, women can be needy as well. And although neediness is a turn-off for most men, it’s not as influential as it is for most women. To most women, a man with no neediness is like a woman with perfect tits and a gorgeously-sculpted ass. To a woman, a man with a lot of neediness is like having the worst breath and missing teeth.
“Ideally, two emotionally-healthy individuals will begin a relationship both with low investments in one another, and they will steadily let the investment deepen as the relationship grows. In a healthy relationship, the gap in investment between the two parties would never grow too far apart, and both men and women should never let their investment in the other ever surpass their investment in themselves.” [31:06.7]
Okay, skipping down here.
“But let’s put this into concrete, real-world terms. Here are a couple examples.
“James is a nice guy. But he tends to be needy in his relationships and has what we would call a high level of investment with any woman that he meets.
“Whenever he dates a woman, he will rearrange his entire schedule at her whim. He will buy her gifts and spend most of his paycheck on the nicest dinners for her. He’ll forgo plans with his guy friends and if the woman he dates gets angry, he’ll sit patiently and listen to her vent all of her frustrations to him indefinitely. Even when he feels that she’s being irrational or treating him unfairly, he won’t say anything because he doesn’t want her to be upset with him.
“As a result, despite caring for him, Jim’s girlfriends rarely respect him. And sooner or later—usually sooner—they dump him. When Jim gets dumped, he becomes distraught and depressed. He’s often inconsolable and drinks too much. Usually, he doesn’t feel better again until he meets another woman and the entire cycle repeats itself.” [32:04.0]
“Then there’s Jeff. Jeff has been successful with women for his entire life and has a very low level of investment in them. Jeff enjoys going out with his friends and pays no attention to whether the women around him approve of him or not. At times, he annoys or offends some girls, but since he’s not paying attention to what they think of him, it doesn’t bother him.
“But other times girls become quite attracted to Jeff. When Jeff notices, if he finds them attractive, he’ll take their number and ask them out. When he takes them out, he takes them to the park down the street from his flat. He then sits there and chats with them for a while and if he doesn’t like them, he’ll get up and leave. If he does like them, he might take them to grab a beer with him. If at any point she decides she doesn’t like him and leaves, Jeff doesn’t really mind. He figures that he wouldn’t have been happy with her anyway, so why change himself to please her?
“Jeff ends up sleeping with a lot of women. His phone is constantly ringing with texts from them, but he only answers them when he has time or feels like it. He’s never rude or nasty to them. But he only makes time for the ones he genuinely enjoys spending time with. You could say Jeff has benevolently selfish with the women in his life.” [33:09.3]
“Now, the first man, Jim, has a high level of emotional investment in the women he meets and dates. He’s very needy. He immediately enslaves what little of his identity he’s aware of to what he believes will make women like him.
“Jeff has a low level of investment. He’s content with his life and proud of who he is. He’s not needy. If a woman doesn’t appreciate that, then he figures he’s better off without her. Obviously, simply not caring what others think is not a cure-all for all your women problems. It gets more complicated than that.”
As an aside, the reason I’m reading this section out is because we’re focused here, in this episode, primarily on that first phase of sexual attractiveness, and paired with what I covered two episodes ago on what the science says on what is attractive to women in the short term. This is sexual attractiveness, right? Not just those physical traits and the social dominance, but most importantly, your level of non-neediness. Okay, going back to Mark’s book here to wrap it up. [34:07.1]
“Women, as if with a sixth sense, detect Jeff’s lower level of emotional investment because it informs all of his decisions and behaviors. Jeff is a high self-esteem individual who takes care of himself and is therefore able to be himself around others. Jim is not. Within moments of speaking to Jeff, and often even before speaking to him, they sense that not only does he have a strong sense of identity, but he’s unwilling to compromise that identity for her. This subcommunicates his high status to them and elicits attraction.
“Ask women and they will tell you that they can immediately tell if a man’s ‘got it,’ or if he doesn’t. They don’t know what ‘it’ is, but they know if he has it or not. That ‘it’ that they intuitively know in their gut the second they see him walk, hear him talk, or look him in the eye is his level of investment relative her and, therefore, his true level of neediness.” [35:02.7]
Okay, great sections from Mark’s book. If you haven’t picked up his book, I get no affiliate kickback from recommending this at all—years ago, Mark did away with his affiliate program—but go and get it. I also recommend the other two books, and if you requested, I’d be happy to do a book analysis on any of them.
Just as a recap, we covered the trump card when it comes to a man’s sexual attractiveness, and that is neediness, and this should be understood in the context of what the science that I reported two episodes ago says about what sexually attractive to women in the short term when they’re trying to find a guy to slot into that lover category.
I mentioned the caveat that attraction isn’t everything, especially when it comes to a longer term relationship and that integrity is far more important along with emotional maturity, and this is something I’ll get to in more detail in later episodes. [35:55.3]
I shared Mark’s very clear explanation of why neediness is the evolved mechanism that women are using to quickly figure out a man’s mating value, and in the next episode or in a future episode, I will be diving into a great example, sort of a perfect example for this, which is crying. When is it good to cry? When is it acceptable to cry in front of your wife or girlfriend, or in an attraction scenario? Come back to the next episode as I build off what we’ve been getting into the past few episodes.
Thank you so much for listening. If you have any feedback whatsoever, I’d love to hear from you about it. Leave a comment on whatever platform you’re seeing this on or listening to this in. If this has helped you in any way, please share it with anyone else who you think could benefit from it.
Thank you so much for listening. I look forward to welcoming you to the next episode. David Tian, signing out. [36:47.8]
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