DEAR DR. NERDLOVE: I’m sure you receive a ton of questions every day, but I am going to try to ask one that is worth your time. I was very happily “blue pilled,” if just being a normal dude and holding normal belief about dating can be called that, for the first 19 or so years of my life. However, last year, after breaking up with my most recent girlfriend (a relationship that also happened to be a formative one for me, looking back at it), I was discussing how I felt about it with one of my friends, and in that discussion, he said something to the effect of “this level of emotional pain with breakups is mainly for men. Women can find a new boyfriend way easier than we can find a new girlfriend.” It was this same person who introduced me to the red pill. Now, from the start, I was revolted by most red pill beliefs and worked hard to convince myself that they were false. For the most part, I have done that successfully, as I have found most of their belief package, if you will, fairly easy to disregard, especially a lot of the “alpha male” bulls--t. The same goes for (their interpretation of) hypergamy and the idea that women don’t love the same way that men do.
However, the one belief of theirs that I haven’t been able to shake is the idea that women have many more options than men. It was that particular belief that led me to question my friend as to why he held that line of thinking, and that belief that eventually led to me being introduced to the red pill in the first place. And the reason that I am writing to you now is that it has impacted my dating experience ever since in a very tangible way. Allow me to explain. As a man, it makes me feel incredibly replaceable and almost of little value to women. Outside of red pill spaces, I have even seen it said that, “d--k is abundant and low value,” or something along those lines. I guess, to some extent, we are all replaceable, but i just can’t shake the idea that there is some massive power imbalance between me and any girl I’m dating where she can drop me at any time and find a new guy almost effortlessly while I’ll be out in the cold.
I know that in the past you have addressed, in length, self-limiting beliefs, who has the power in dating, etc. I guess, in some ways, this could qualify as a question that you have already, to some effect, answered. However, I haven’t seen anything to this point here or elsewhere to refute the specific belief that women have more options in dating.
So, what do you think? Is it true that women have vastly more options than men, or is that a myth? And if it is not a myth, how do we as men move past it and enjoy dating anyways?
Change My Mind
DEAR CHANGE MY MIND: Alright my dude, I’m gonna give you partial credit for partially recognizing that the whole Red Pill/MRA/Andrew Tate/Fresh-n-Fit mindset is bulls--t. But as my teacher used to say: you don’t get full credit for an incomplete answer. What you’re seeing and thinking right now is precisely why those chuds are popular with some, despite being so off about women, men and dating they’d have to course correct for weeks before they start managing to be in the same general zip code as “wrong”, never mind right. What they do is toss out a lot of things that feel true, especially to people who don’t have much social or dating experience. This allows them to ease you into their web. After all, if they’re correct about this aspect of dating, then they’re probably right about other stuff, right?
Not so much. But that’s how they draw you in.
One of entry points is the ever classic “women have more dating options than men do.” As the meme goes: this will be the seventh time we have debunked this argument, and we are getting increasingly efficient at it.
Now, I would suggest is that you go through the archives and look at the number of times I’ve discussed this particular topic. I would also suggest that you read the comments of the various women who’ve shared their experiences on just how damn hard it is to date or find someone worth dating. That last part is very important, and we’ll get back to it in a second.
But first, let’s address the thing your buddy said: “This level of emotional pain is mostly for men, because women can always find a new boyfriend.” Do you see the inherent issue with this particular statement? No? Ok, let’s think about it this way. When you broke up with your girlfriend, how did you feel? Did you, for example, feel as though you’d lost someone you cared deeply for and who was significant and important to you? Did you feel that you could find another person – literally any warm female-presenting body – who would seem as special or precious to you? Or did it feel like you might never find someone quite as awesome as they were? Were you ready to just leap right back into the dating scene with no hesitation and go out with the first person to say “yes”? Or did you need time to feel your feelings, go through the full range of emotions as you processed your break up and spend time healing before even thinking about making yourself vulnerable again?
Seeing as you were talking about it with your friend, you felt a lot of pain for the loss of her, specifically, and the idea that you could just slot someone new in and not tell the difference seemed absurd to you. So why, in pluperfect f--kery, would you assume that the same is true for women? Unless you’re starting from the place that women just don’t have emotions or don’t care about people they date, this is absurd on its face. Or if you were feeling ill-used and tossed aside in the wake of a particularly painful breakup. Which, again, is part of how the grifters get you; they prey on that sense of pain and loss and the understandably irrational way you’re feeling when you’re deep in the pain of a loss.
However, all of this is predicated on “well it feels true”… but this absolutely vanishes if you take even half a second to think about it logically. I mean yes, there’s the whole “hey, women are people too…” aspect of it all, but consider just how many TV shows, movies, books, blogs and magazine articles exist that teach women how to find, attract and keep a man? If it were as easy as hailing a taxi – as so many folks seem to think – then this entire industry wouldn’t exist. I mean, if it were that simple, then books like The Rules or Think Like a Man, Act Like a Lady, Why Men Love Bitches or He’s Just Not That Into You wouldn’t exist, nor would Nicholas Sparks have a career.
But let’s zero in on another thing you mentioned: the phrase “d--k is abundant and of low value”. This is a phrase that Alanna Massey coined when talking about her experiences in online dating – specifically that all the majority of men on Tinder were offering was mediocre-at-best sex… in other words: d--k. An offer of d--k in and of itself is ultimately meaningless, either as a measure of one’s attractiveness or as a measure of value. If all she wanted was to sleep with someone who demonstrated that they couldn’t give a single s--t about her pleasure, then yeah, d--k is abundant… and of low value.
This, incidentally is exactly what gets perpetrated by chuds like Tate; the advice of “women who’ve slept with lots of men have no reason to stick around, so you want someone who’s never had a boyfriend before” translates to “you don’t need to be good at sex, you just need a woman who doesn’t know what good sex is.” Why bother pulling out your A-game when you can (supposedly) just find someone who doesn’t know your no-effort banging isn’t the best she’ll ever have? What red-blooded heterosexual woman wouldn’t leap for a man with such a mindset? Orgasm gap? What orgasm gap?
Now you may well have seen screenshots of a Psychology Today article going around entitled “The Rise of Single, Lonely Men”, with the money quote of “Dating opportunities for heterosexual men are diminishing as relationship standards rise.” A lot of folks have spilled a lot of ink and pixels over this, but it’s making a very salient point: a lot of guys are struggling in dating because women’s standards have risen. That is, women want more from potential partners than the bare minimum, and men are struggling because they’ve never felt the need to do more than that. Women aren’t willing to put up with mediocre, no-effort guys who can’t be bothered to do things as simple as work on being more emotionally available and expressive in a healthy way, being better at communicating with their partners and addressing their mental and emotional health.
This is precisely what Massey was expressing with “d--k is abundant and of low value.” The guys who mere messaging here were merely throwing d--k her way. They were making literally no effort other than to say “here, attractive female, leap on this while requiring literally no more effort from me.” This was a bar so low that you could step over it and most of Tinder couldn’t be bothered to do even that much. And considering how women face disproportionate risks when it comes to sex – physically, emotionally and socially – why would a woman want to have sex with someone when their behavior indicates that the sex simply wouldn’t be good enough to be worth the risk? Most of the time, your “competition” isn’t other men, it’s her spending a night at home with her vibrator and a browser window open to the smut section of An Archive of Our Own.
So yes, women have more “options” when it comes to dating in the same way that if you’re starving and broke, you have the option of eating the leftovers out of the garbage behind a restaurant. How can you say you’re hungry when there’s so much garbage and so many rotting sandwiches you could be eating? Really if you’re holding out for Subway at the bare minimum, aren’t you just being snobbish?
Or to put it another way: imagine someone you find profoundly unattractive – in looks, in personality or both. Now imagine that every time you dipped a toe in the dating scene, 99% of the women you met were like that, and they were all throwing offers of sex at you. Would you feel like you were drowning in riches beyond dreams of avarice? Or would you start to dread the idea of ever going on a date again?
How do you move past this? Well, the best thing you could do is make friends with more women. Not women you’re hoping to date, or women you’d date if given the option, but just women in general. Make friends with wide swaths of women, get to know them and realize that their lives aren’t so different from yours. Realize how much of what you were told about women, their wants and their desires and their experiences were bulls--t. Take time to actually listen to them when they talk about their dating experiences and realize – really, really realize – that they’re people just like you and that they experience pain, heartbreak, frustration and dry spells, just like you.
Trust me: even women who are stunningly beautiful have problems meeting quality men. I have friends who are lingerie models who’ve dealt with so many s--tty dudes – including celebrities you know well – that they literally swore off sex and dating for years. If you’re hungry and the only offers that you’re getting are rotting garbage, you’d swear off food you didn’t make yourself too.
And then you step up your game and become someone worth dating. And here’s the thing: women want you to be someone worth dating. Women aren’t going around viewing men like interchangeable parts that can be swapped out as needed, nor are they dumping on men because F--k YOU PENIS, THAT’S WHY. They’re saying “please, for the love of all that’s holy, put in some effort. Meet us on our level. We want to see you succeed, too!”
And in a perverse way, the fact that so many dudes can’t be bothered to meet even minimum standards works to your advantage. Putting in the effort to be someone worth dating will make you stand out like a ruby in a pile of gravel.
But it’s important to realize: enjoying dating isn’t going to mean “lots of women want some of this.” It’s going to be a matter of finding folks who’re right for you and who are compatible with you and learning to not over-invest in any one person before it’s time to invest in them. It’s going to mean recognizing that finding someone who’s right for you will be a numbers game and that increasing the odds of meeting those people will entail work and research on your part. Nobody – not even those mythical women with no dating issues – just sits around and waits for the dates to roll in like the tides. You’re going to have to learn to enjoy the process as much as the results.
It can be done. Nobody said it would be easy. They just said that it would be worth it.
Please send your questions to Dr. NerdLove at his website (www.doctornerdlove.com/contact); or to his email, email@example.com