#114 Practical Steps to Win-Win Relationships with Women (No Matter What You Want) with Geoffrey Miller
You may have noticed also that just in the last few years is actually the opposite is happening. There's a lot of advice coming out for women - win - and men lose, which is a sad state of affairs really; because it's not going to improve anyone's satisfaction over the long time. Maybe some short term, but really long term it doesn't work out. Take it from someone who had to kind of go down this journey and learn for himself about seven years ago. So, some of it is effective in the short term for sure, but it's more in the long term that it doesn't work.
The way I like to think about learning about things, and improving my life - and I think everyone should take this perspective - is improving your life is like building an asset. It's a bit like accounting - you can see my management consulting background here - but it works for me. There's two kinds of expenses in companies, broad stroke. There's an investment in an asset. An, asset is a capability, something you are going to have for the future. Or there are expenses. You can spend money on things which will disappear. So they're like consumables. It's like eating food. It's like smoking. It's like drinking alcoholic drinks, right - gone. You're never going to see that money again. You put it in training. You put it in learning, or perhaps you invest it in a house, right. You invest your efforts in something, which builds an asset, which is going to last. This is exactly the type of perspective, which helps you in your dating, sex, and relationships. If you're taking an expense kind of view (e.g. I'm just going like have a short term one-night stand here) then it becomes a bit of a treadmill over time if that's all you’re doing.
However, if you start also taking this attitude of building assets in your life, building relationships in your life, those things feed back over time, and they make your life better. They make you better. They give you more satisfaction. So, this is a very important concept. It's basically about return in effort into your life, and I encourage you to think a little bit about that.
The other thing, and this is more of something that's changing in our world at the moment, is that privacy is disappearing. This is actually Geoffrey Miller, today's guest, who brought this to my mind more kind of a abruptly with some of his examples. We can't be lost in the crowd. Back when I started this 15 years ago, I was in London and some other big cities, and I never thought anyone would recognize me so theoretically I could have done anything, and I didn’t really have to worry about it. I mean, I could do something that was not socially embarrassing and it wouldn't be a big deal for me. I think this world is changing a lot because we have Instagram. We have Twitter, right. We've seen actually some like implosions lately on Twitter, and Facebook, and so on, and I think that's only going to get worse because we don't have privacy anymore. Pretty much anything can be put online: photos, rhetoric, stories, and so on. Unfortunately, people are getting outed and bullied online increasingly. I mean, that's not great, but we have to admit that there is this trend going on and our privacy is disappearing. Hopefully, it will lead some of us to be more authentic, be more transparent, and be more of who we are over time so that whatever does get reflected out there doesn't necessarily become damaging. If we're good people inside and we're doing the things that we believe are right, then hopefully none of this will affect us. So privacy is disappearing in the world and who you are, or what you do in the world, is often going to get thrown around a bit more. You can't assume that no one is ever going to find out.
So today we are going to focus on some practical tips to have relationships that you want, but make them win-win, rather than win or lose in either direction, and this is of course is in your interests.
Today's guest is Geoffrey Miller. This is the second time we've had him on the podcast. Of course, he's a great academic with a great background, very well known. Listen to the first interview. You probably want to do that before you check this one out, if you haven't already. It's episode 67 and that was on The State of Evolutionary Psychology. So we talk a lot about his background, where he came from, and also his book. I took out a lot of key themes. There are a lot of things I really enjoyed about The Mating Mind, and we had a great discussion on that.
So he has a new book out in the last six months, and this is called: Mate: Become the Man Women Want. He also has a two-year podcast show which was basically pre-work he did before bringing that book out. He did this podcast with Tucker Max, his co-author and also for the book. You may know Tucker Max from "I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell". A bit of a womanizer in his fame originally. However, basically Tucker Max has twisted around, flipped, and he wanted to work with Geoffrey Miller on bringing a new more positive perspective on dating, sex, and relationships. Both of them did. They felt this was something important to do right now.
So I read this book before I did this interview and it was a great read, with some new perspectives and ideas I hadn't come across before. And I have to say, that doesn't happen that often these days. Normally, I've seen some signs of it, but there were some great ideas, and privacy was one of those. So we'll talk about a bit more of that in this interview.
Specifically, in this episode you'll learn about:
- The primary goal for writing "Mate: Become the Man Women Want" (09:12)
- Being honest with women, yourself, and others (10:26)
- Navigating difficult situations regarding honesty (e.g. multiple relationships) (15:05)
- What guys should not do when courting a woman and keeping it honest (16:30)
- Honesty with yourself: the traits you have to offer to women, your sexual goals, priorities, ethics, and mating strategies (19:30)
- Practical approaches to figuring out what you want (22:55)
- The appropriate types of mating goals to have (26:10)
- Finding the types of women according to your preferences and goals: a focus on relocating if necessary (27:49)
- Geoffrey's perspective on how bars and clubs are a disadvantage for some guys, and some other options (36:36)
- Make your mating life an extension of your social life, and your social life an extension of your passions and interests (39:26)
- Approaches to deciding what is right for you and doing the right thing: being ethical and honest (41:10)
- Top three recommendations to help men get results as fast as possible in dating, sex, and relationships (47:10)
Items Mentioned in this Episode include:
- The Mating Grounds: Created by Tucker Max and Geoffrey Miller, their website and podcast is a resource dedicated to teaching men everything they need to know about sex, dating, and women.
- Mate: Become the Man Women Want: This book by Geoffrey Miller and Tucker Max helps men find their mate through an understanding of what women really want from them, and how men can deliver those qualities while exhibiting the best version of themselves.
- Radical Honesty (Brad Blanton): Geoffrey mention this book while discussing how to navigate difficult situation with honesty, and how radical honesty may be too much for some women.
- Date-onomics (Jon Birger): Geoffrey recommends this book regarding the sex ratio in dating, particularly for those in college. It also addresses mating markets and the importance of selecting where to find mates.
- Why Women Have Sex (Cindy Meston, David M. Buss): Geoffrey recommends this book to help men understand what women are looking for in them, and the reasons for women to have, particularly, short-term sex.
Books, Courses and Training from Geoffrey Miller
Full Text Transcript of the Interview
[Angel Donovan]: Geoff, thank you so much for joining us again.
[Geoffrey Miller]: It's my pleasure, Angel.
[Angel Donovan]: It's great to have you aboard again. I think it's been about a year since we last... roughly, roughly, roughly. Cool, cool. Well, you've got your new book out. So, we wanted to discuss it and I like some of the angles which were a bit newer. So, we wanted to discuss those and a lot of it's kind of like around the theme of win-win relationships. Was that kind of your primordial goal behind this book because, I remember we discussed it a little bit before? Basically, what was your whole premise behind this book and why you feel that had to be put out into the world?
[Geoffrey Miller]: When Tucker, Max and I first started to discuss the book, we realized there wasn't really a good solid book of dating advice for young single men. It was actually based on evidence and science and a sort of integrated to think about dating, mating, sex and women. So, we wanted to fill that gap. I mean, there's the pick-up artist stuff. There's some great material like you've been doing but, a lot of it kind of either it focuses on specific issues or it focuses on issues where you don't really know where the people promoting certain ideas actually have any evidence to back up what they're saying.
I've worked human sexuality and evolutionary psychology for 25 years. I've taught human sexuality to hundreds of undergrads and it seems like it's really quite a big help if you've a got a little bit of science to sort of back up what you're saying because, there's a lot of misinformation out there.
[Angel Donovan]: Absolutely.
[Geoffrey Miller]: That was really the overwhelming reason for us to write Mate in the first place.
[Angel Donovan]: Yeah, great, great. We're no fans of misinformation either and there's a lot out there. It's a maze. So, I've kind of trick-picked some of the topics that I felt were more unique that we haven't talked about before on this show and I wanted to start with honesty because, I think a lot of guys struggle. I know from our coaching that they struggle with how to be honest with women but, you looked at it from both angles. How to be honest with yourself and others. Could you give us a bit of background of what the honesty topic is for you when it comes to dating, relationships.
[Geoffrey Miller]: Yeah, I think honesty's important in dating at several different levels. At a basic biological level, across thousands of species there's what we call "honest courtship" which means, males attracting females through displaying signals of their health, their fitness, their capabilities, their intelligence through the way they behave through the courtship signals that they give. This could be a frog crocking. It could be a peacock displaying his tail. It could be a lion displaying dominance, anything like that. They're not using language, so they can't exactly lie but, some animals send off signals that aren't reliable, where the female can't actually assess reliably what kind of male they are from their courtship behavior.
So, the concept of honest courtship is attraction through showing your quality and the alternatives to that are attracting through deception or manipulation or simply using sexual coercion or rape. Lots of animals do all those too but, we wanted our book to focus on what they biologists would call honest courtship. So, that's one level. Does that make sense?
[Angel Donovan]: Great, it does. It presupposes that you have to work on yourself?
[Geoffrey Miller]: Yeah it means, you're sending off signals of your traits and your virtues and your interests and your mating strategy and women are trying to suss that out, pick up on it and trying to get a read on you. This is all happening mostly unconsciously but, the idea of honest courtship is that, if you actually want to be attractive to women, you need to cultivate the traits that are attractive to women and then, signal them effectively.
[Angel Donovan]: Right, I think a lot of guys think there's short cuts by faking. Obviously, there's been sayings like, "Fake it till you make it" and I think in some contexts, it's you know... say it's about confidence at work. You have to try and act confident sometimes and just do things before you actually be confident doing them.
[Geoffrey Miller]: Yeah.
[Angel Donovan]: But in another contexts, it doesn't work obviously. So, one of the things that I saw that you brought out which I think can give light to why honesty might be important to some guys is that you noted that honesty actually builds your social status. So, it builds a value by actually being honest.
[Geoffrey Miller]: Yeah, exactly. I mean, women have a really finely tuned bullshit detector that's been shaped over hundreds of thousands of years of evolution. So, the idea that you can kind of deceive and manipulate and fake your way into a date or into sex with a woman, it will work sometimes with some women if you've got a slightly sociopathic temperament, right? So, that your comfortable with lying and deceiving but, most young guys aren't like that. They don't feel comfortable being deceptive. So, honesty is really helpful in terms of radiating confidence and authenticity which is very attractive to women.
It's also really helpful not to lie to yourself during courtship. Not to lie to yourself about what traits do I really offer to a woman? Have I worked hard to build them up? Are my mating goals aligned with what a woman actually wants? If you're really looking for a one-night-stand and a woman really isn't, that's a fundamental conflict of interest and it's really hard to work around without somebody being exploited and disappointed and it hurting. It hurts guys' self image in the long run. They feel shitty about themselves afterwards at some level, most guys.
[Angel Donovan]: Unless it's a sociopath, of course.
[Geoffrey Miller]: Yeah, yeah but, that's only a tiny percent of guys, right?
[Angel Donovan]: Right.
[Geoffrey Miller]: I mean, maybe in America it's 3 or 4%. So if you're in that camp honestly, we don't really want to help you.
[Angel Donovan]: Right, you not writing a book... you're not giving advice to sociopaths.
[Geoffrey Miller]: Right, we want to help the other 96% of guys who actually fundamentally want to be honest. They're just not confident enough that if they are that it will work.
[Angel Donovan]: Right, right. Yeah, I think that's a very common situation. They are afraid that it isn't a good fit with the girls that they're seeing and so that's when they get into this honesty area. Often, I see that they're kind of pained about the whole. They want to be truthful but, they don't want to hurt the girl. So, how do you navigate the more difficult situations? Let's say the most common ones that come up are that a guy wants to date multiple women. He's not ready to settle down and he has this conflict with being honest with the girl and telling her that that's the situation.
[Geoffrey Miller]: Yeah, I mean women don't expect total openness about everything all at once, right? There's a difference between honesty versus kind of radical honesty. Radical honesty is a concept from Brad Blanton and it's basically, "Say whatever the fuck you think all the time to everybody," and that's kind of socially retarded. It just doesn't work. It makes life interesting but, most women read it as, "This guy's not very socially or emotionally intelligent." So, honesty doesn't mean over sharing. It just means whatever you do say is authentic and does represent what you think and feel.
Women know damned that a lot of guys want short-term mating and they know that guys want sex. Any women over the age of 16 who's got a brain has figured that out. So, you don't have to say that all the time. It's sort of taken for granted. Where the honesty really counts is don't lie about what you're actually seeking. If you're looking for short-term mating and you play like you're looking for a girlfriend, that's just toxic to the whole interaction.
[Angel Donovan]: Could we think about some scenarios here so you're kind of bringing it alive. One of them is where a guy's courting a girl and he really just wants to hook up with her. What kind of signals shouldn't he be giving or what kind of things shouldn't he be doing if he doesn't want to be dishonest?
[Geoffrey Miller]: I think a lot of it is how you talk about these things. You have to express your mating goals in a way that's socially intelligent and socially acceptable. So if you say, "I'm just looking to fuck a bunch of women," that might be true at a certain level but, it's a massive turnoff because, you're signaling, "I don't understand how women's brains think at all and I don't understand that that sounds repulsive, sexually and morally repulsive to most women."
Whereas if you say, "Hey, I'm just looking to meet a lot of women and have fun and make new friends and I'm not really ready to settle into a serious relationship," that conveys all the information you need to convey without being kind of douchey about it.
[Angel Donovan]: Yeah, that sounds very much the way I think. It's like discreet, instead of where you just communicated that was a kind of discreet and subtle but, as you said, the girl's going to understand what we mean when you say that. You don't have to kind of be all explicit about it.
[Geoffrey Miller]: Yeah, yeah. Women are extremely well-attuned to, not just sussing out a guy's sort of overall mate value and his traits but, also what exactly is he looking for right now in his life in terms of a relationship or a wife or just sexual fun. They're really sensitive to that and you don't have to over explain.
[Angel Donovan]: Yeah because I guess as guys, we think more in kind of extreme terms in terms of communication. You know, it's kind of binary on or off and it's testosterone influenced. It's really you're kind of saying to the guys at home, "Put that judgement back. You know, the way we normally feel about communicating clearly, it's likely if you kind of feel uncomfortable, that you've been a bit uncertain. You might be in the right area because, you're just uncomfortable with communicating this way at first. Does that make sense?
[Geoffrey Miller]: Yeah absolutely and you know, women mature earlier in terms of their verbal intelligence and women on average have higher verbal intelligence for both fluency and more sensitivity to language than guys do. So, whatever you think you're saying, a woman's probably able to read a lot more into it than you even realize and she'll kind of fill in the gaps. It can probably be helpful to practice some of these explanations of what you're after on a platonic female friends and sort of gage their reactions. Say, "Hey, if I said this on a date or if another guy said it, how would you react?" and kind of get some feedback. It's a really important thing to communicate clearly fairly early when you're dating, not necessarily a first date but certainly, a second or third date. Start making your mating goals clearer.
[Angel Donovan]: Yep, absolutely. Very good. There's something that you brought up that I want to go back to is you were talking about honesty with yourself. So, we've just been talking about being honest with the women that we seeking to hook up with or to date and have relationships with. Honesty with yourself, what's the deal there?
[Geoffrey Miller]: I think the deal there is number one at the level of what traits do you offer to women, a lot of guys don't really have an accurate sort of calibration of what they're offering, what their traits are. A lot of guys think that they're either a lot more physically attractive than they actually are or that quite often that they're less physically attractive than they are. They might over or under estimate their intelligence depending on what their peer group is like.
They might think that they need to be a lot richer than they really to be to attract a woman or they might delude themselves in thinking that if I'm unemployed, living with my mom, playing X-box all day, that that will somehow... that I still deserve a woman and that's self-deceptive and delusional. So, you've got to be honest with yourself about what you really offer to women. That requires understanding what they want and that's in a sense most of the Mate book is trying to explain to young guys what women actually want.
Second, being honest with yourself about your sexual goals and priorities and ethics and your mating strategies. So if you don't want a serious girlfriend or a wife yet, just acknowledging that, accepting it and getting over your sexual shame about that. A lot of guys carry around tons of sexual shame and they think it's not legitimate for me to want short-term mating with a bunch of women or, they're young and their peers want short-term mating but, they actually want a girlfriend. That's also really common and that's okay too. So, just figure out what you actually want and don't pretend that you need to want what all of your male friends or you colleagues or the media is telling you that you should want.
[Angel Donovan]: Yeah. Well because, part of having confidence is not trying to fit in. It's just being yourself. When I think about being confident, it's going to be very simply put that you're just you and you're not making any effort to fit into whatever the current media, mediation of your goals should be or one of whatever your friends are all doing.
[Geoffrey Miller]: Exactly, it's impossible to be yourself if you don't acknowledge to yourself who you are and what you want and it's impossible to stand out from other guys in an interesting way that attracts female attention if you don't know yourself and you're not confident and you don't own it.
[Angel Donovan]: That's a very important point because, I think guys need motivation to be themselves, to kind of step up, step out of the pack, the herd and be themselves. So, they to hear things like, "Oh, I'm going be more unique. I'm going to be more attractive if I do that," which is true.
[Geoffrey Miller]: Yeah, yeah and there's a lot of research showing that being unique, standing out in a good way is hugely attractive to women. Fitting in is kind of a very low risk strategy. You're not quite as likely to be outright rejected by a lot of women but, most women are going to reject you anyway. It's all about finding the small minority of women who really appreciate your traits and have a mating strategy that's aligned with yours.
[Angel Donovan]: Great, I'm sure some guys at home are thinking, "Okay, so I've got to figure out what I want." Do you have any practical approaches to doing that, because I think guys do struggle a lot with trying to figure this stuff out for themselves? Sometimes, it can also be like difficult to separate the things we were just talking about like what the media says, what my friends say from what I want especially when we're younger and we're impressionable. I'm way less certain. We got less experiences to understand what we really want ourselves. So, have you got any practical like tips or approaches to figuring that stuff out?
[Geoffrey Miller]: Yeah, I think it's really useful to number one look at your sexual history. Really think hard about if you've had any dates or any relationships in the past, what worked for you? What do you really enjoy? What do you find exciting and sometimes, it can be really informative to think about not what you like but, what you disliked? What drove you nuts? What annoyed you? What irritated you?
If you've found yourself starting to get irritated and not enjoying a woman's company after you've dated her for a month or two, then you probably should aim to date women for that long yet. Maybe later in life, you'll enjoy that but, if you just find that you're kind of running out of steam and getting bored in relationships, probably you're more tuned into short-term mating at the moment.
On the other hand, if you have one-night-stands and hookups and afterwards, you don't contact a woman and nothing comes of it and you feel frustrated or shitty or like that superficial, then you probably want a longer term girlfriend. So, just pay attention to how your body feels, how your brain reacts, what you find distressing or annoying or inauthentic and then, do the opposite of that. That's probably the easiest way for a lot of young guys to figure out what they actually want.
[Angel Donovan]: When you're saying that rather... I thought... I was thinking it kind of fits into your longer term goals, right because, we can have short-term needs. We're feeling horny in the club or whatever but, we'd go home. We'd sleep with the girl. Maybe, we weren't that interested but, we were drunk and more horny than usual and we feel guilty the next day, right? That's a very typical scenario I think.
So, it sounded to me like you were really thinking about the longer term goals. So far, just look at a year's time and look back. What would I have wanted to do that night and how would I have want to live this year? I say a year because, it's not so far in the future that guys can't relate to it. Is that a fair approach?
[Geoffrey Miller]: I think it's important if you have a one-night-stand or a hookup and you part ways in the morning and then you feel a little bit guilty, it's really important to separate, is that really my authentic guilt as an individual or is that some internalized social norms from the media inside of you, my parents or religion or whatever. If it's authentic, if you think, "Wow, would really prefer to see that girl again. It's frustrating that I don't or maybe that we slept together too early," listen to that. But if it's like, "Oh, I feel really bad because, you're not supposed to enjoy sex," set that aside. That's just your social conditioning.
[Angel Donovan]: Yeah absolutely, I'm glad you brought that distinction. So, what types of mating goals do you think are okay, because we're talking about what's okay to have versus what not be okay to have in terms of a goal? What kind of things do you think are options for today's man?
[Geoffrey Miller]: I think anything is okay as long as it's aligned with what the woman wants and this where we get into the concept of seeking win-win relationships. By relationship, we don't necessarily mean long-term. It could be a relationship that lasts just a few hours but, any interaction with a woman is a relationship at some level and women certainly view it that way. They might be comfortable with it lasting only a few hours but, it is a relationship and every woman deserves honesty and respect while that relationship lasts.
So, anything you want is fine as long as you're honest with yourself about it and you're up front. So, we don't really preach any particular kind of relationship. You can be monogamous. You can be polyamorous. You can be straight or gay or bi-sexual. You can look for a different woman every night or you can look for life-long monogamous marriage. Whatever you want is fine as long as you're looking for women who want the same thing.
Where you get into trouble is if you've got a convert agenda, a hidden goal and you're deceiving a woman about it. The cool thing about modern online dating is it's actually pretty easy to find women, whatever your goal who share the same goals. You just have to sort of know how to find them and know how to talk to them about the goals and sort of be clear about it as much as you can up front.
[Angel Donovan]: Yeah when I'm thinking about this, I think that a lot of guys have a scarcity mindset in terms of the number of women they're in contact with. So, sometimes they'll feel like, "Yes, I would like to date women who are also cool with like casual sex but, I don't know any where I live or maybe there's none where I live. What would you say to that?
[Geoffrey Miller]: We put a lot emphasis in the Mate book on moving to place where women's goals are aligned with yours. So it's true, if a guy's in high school living with his parents, there's not a whole lot he can do about his mating market about what the local women and what they want. There's still going to be some no matter what his mating goals are. There's still going to be some he can find who probably are more aligned with his goals than he thinks, particularly because, there's a lot of slut shaming and a lot of women are not willing to admit to themselves or others of their female friends or men that they're actually just up for short-term mating.
So even in the smallest towns in the Midwest or the South, there's still going to be a lot of girls and women who are willing to do short-term mating. They just want to feel safe, respected, not slut-shamed and like you're not going to ruin their sexual reputations afterwards. But if you're really into short-term mating, it's extremely powerful just to move to the cities and the neighborhoods and the colleges that are more tuned into that.
Where you have things like an advantageous sex ration where there are more liberal sexual attitudes. It can be a real uphill struggle if you're trying to do short-term mating and you're in rural Utah versus New York City. Conversely, it can be a real struggle if you're young and trying to find a wife and you're in Manhattan versus Utah.
[Angel Donovan]: So, I'm sure the guys at home are thinking, "That's a huge obstacle, like moving because of my dating life."
[Geoffrey Miller]: It's a big deal but, most guys are willing to move to go to college. Most guys are willing to move for their job and what's the point of education and work? It's largely to attract women ultimately. So, if you're willing to move for education or work which are just way-stations on the way to mating success, you should be willing to move to get into a better mating market.
[Angel Donovan]: Yeah. Would you say that moving to a place which is more relevant to you, whatever your interest is one of the kind of biggest leapers in your dating life you can pull? Like, if you're going to make one decision, the one thing that's going to make it easier and going to introduce less conflict into your life and just make you a happier, more satisfied person when it comes to your dating life, would that be the lever you would pull on or would it be another one?
[Geoffrey Miller]: It's one of the most powerful, easiest things you can possibly do. Think about for example, a guy going to the University of Chicago which is 53% male versus going to Sarah Lawrence College on the east coast which is I like 73% female. So, look at that sex ratio: Sarah Lawrence College, three girls for every guy. University of Chicago, one girl for every guy or even less. That has a huge impact on the way that mating and dating and sex work in those two places. If you're into short-term mating, almost every guy who goes to Sarah Lawrence College does extremely well and is in huge demand because, there are just not enough guys to go around. So, the women have to compete really intensely to attract male attention. On the other hand, if you go to Chicago or God forbid, Cal Tech which has even a higher ratio of males to females, it's an absolute uphill battle, not just to get short-term mating but, to get even a long-term girlfriend. So, it can be a huge source of leverage to identify what's a good mating market in terms of number one sex ration and number two, sexual norms and morals and values and typical mating strategies. Number three, what kind of women you're interested in, where are they? If you stay in your hometown and you ask yourself, "Would the kind of quality girlfriend I might want have stayed in this town or would she have moved elsewhere and if so, where?" Go there and find her.
[Angel Donovan]: Yeah, I think most people at home are probably thinking those extremes. From my own experiences, there's a few times in my life where I'd been living in a city and I've kind of realized that the types of women I was interested in weren't there or they were just so few number of them, I'd probably never bump into them or it's really hard to just find them and I would actually quit dating until I left there and normally, I'd leave there pretty soon and move on to some other place. I just found that a lot more efficient rather than wasting my time trying to look for women and getting kind of frustrated because, I wasn't happy with the woman I was with, maybe kind of settling. Like settling for women, I've done that in the past because, I've been in a city like that and then, after all I decided, "Look, I don't know want to do this anymore. I'd rather just not date."
So, moving can be a really important thing and I know a lot of guys have done this, a lot of guys living in capitals now. When I think about it, most of my friends all live in capitals or live in LA. It's like, this is where they know they're going to have a dating life that they can be okay with. Last year, I spent some time in Malaga and I had to quit dating because, there's not very many people in Malaga and I wasn't able to see anyone. So, there's a few situations in my life although it may sound pretty extreme in terms of uprooting your life. I think it is really relevant to a lot of guys.
I'm not so sure about changing colleges because, I kind of feel like, when I was a teenager and I was looking for colleges, I had this whole strategy of my career and I had to get into the right colleges and everything. It's a pretty big deal. I understand it's pretty competitive today. I have different views. I think most people could just go out and start getting experience and if they wanted to become an entrepreneur or something, they could build their own thing but, I think that's a small minority of people who think that way. Most of them should probably go the college track. Go to the school they need to get the job they want. What do you think about that because, I mean these guys have to weigh up their dating, motivations and goals versus money and other things?
[Geoffrey Miller]: Yeah, I think... I mean, Tucker and I strongly recommend that young guys take a gap-year before college. So, if you're going to college that's great but, if you take a gap-year, you do a bit of travel, do some jobs and build your social skills, some jobs that sound interesting that lead to interesting stories and anecdotes and then, you go to college. You have a big leg up in competing with the other Freshmen guys if they've come straight from high school. So don't feel number one like you have to go straight from high school to college. Take some time. Get to know yourself.
Second, a lot of guys get really fixated on some particular career path that they think they should follow, that's typically reflecting what high school classes they loved or what their parents think they should do or they had an uncle who succeeded in that and they respect them and and want to follow in his footsteps. That's great but, bear in mind that in the 21st century, it's really hard to predict how careers are going to play out, what skills you'll need. Things just aren't as stable as they were 30 years ago. So, whatever you think you'll end up doing won't be what you end up doing within 10 years.
Third, the whole point of money and work and status and prestige for a lot of guys is mostly to attract women ultimately. This is what my earlier book Spent was all about. It's that guys kind of deceive themselves into thinking that, "I'm chasing the lifestyle. I'm chasing the money that's going to be great in its own right," but actually, it can be more effective just to go straight for what mating strategies actually work and don't necessarily worry that much, especially when you're young about what jobs or careers you're going to follow.
Even if you know, "Okay, I definitely want to become a doctor and I definitely want to go premed," when you're choosing a college, look really carefully at what is the sex ratio, what are the typical kind of sexual relationships people have there? How does dating work and what's the surrounding mating market like? Right? If you go to Oberlin College in the middle of rural Ohio, you can't date anybody except Oberlin girls. Whereas if you go to Columbia University in New York like I did, you can date any woman in New York. So, also pay attention to the surrounding mating market.
[Angel Donovan]: Right, that's an excellent point. That actually served me well when I was a business owner and so on also. I didn't date anyone from my actual class because, I didn't feel like they were the types that I was into but, I was in London. So, it didn't really matter. So if you're in a big city like that, you're saying like New York and it really doesn't make a difference.
One of the things you say in your book is that bars and clubs suck which is kind of...
[Geoffrey Miller]: Yeah, bars and clubs suck.
[Angel Donovan]: I'm betting 50% or more of the guys listening to this go to bars and clubs looking for women.
[Geoffrey Miller]: Yeah I mean to some degree, that's where the women are. So, it's quite natural to go there but, that's also where the other men are and the environment, it's great for people like Tucker Max, for people who are extremely confident, extroverted, loud, can hold their liquor and are comfortable making new friends and talking to people and being the center of attention, bars and clubs can work really well for that 5% of guys and that 5% already know that.
But, if you find yourself going to bars and clubs and not being comfortable and thinking, "This is noisy. I can't even talk to women. I don't like buying $15 cocktails. I go home alone and depressed most of the time", then that's a bad place for you to meet women. In the Mate book, we mention a lot of other options that are way better.
We actually think using on line dating should be nowadays the main way that guys should meet women. It's so efficient. It's so easy to find women who are a good match in terms of their mating goals and their traits. You can take advantage of numbers. You can screen women in terms of messaging them back and forth before you even set up a date and waste time on a date with a woman who's not suitable. So, online dating's great.
Joining clubs that have both men and women, doing volunteer work, there's dozens of options we list in the book that we think are more reliable. The problem is, they require advanced planning. You know? You've got to think, "Okay this weekend, I'm going go volunteer at the no-kill pet shelter and there will be lots of women there." But, most guys don't have the patience for that. They're like, "I want to get laid now. Where do I go now? Where are the women? Oh, they're in a bar," and then, they go there, waste their time, go home alone and it doesn't work anyway and then, they fail to plan their weekend. So, that kind of short-term thinking is usually counterproductive.
[Angel Donovan]: Yeah as in most of these situations, short-term thinking is normally the thing that's getting you... all those social things, all those social things we get involved in. You talk about volunteering and there's loads of other things where you can meet women. As you were saying, they require investment of effort, right?
You have to decide. You're going to partake in something. It's going kind of become a constant stream of activity in your life. So, there's going to be some commitment there and I guess people also feel like, "Oh, I don't want to commit anything. I just kind of want to do my thing." What I normally say is they should take an interest that they have and try and add a social dimension. So, whatever they're passionate about, even if they think it's really geeky. Normally, you can add some kind of social dimension to it.
[Geoffrey Miller]: Yeah exactly, we talk about making your mating life an extension of your social life and one step backwards, make your social life an extension of your passions and interests. There's certain interests that are hard to parlay into a social life that involves women. So if you're really passionate about chess, that's great. Chess is an awesome game. Join a chess club. You'll make lots of male friends. They'll be chess geeks but, that's okay. You will not meet many women at a chess club however.
But if you're into games like that, you could think, "Okay, what's another kind of game or strategic interaction or something like that that's kind of similar but, that might have a higher ratio of women or what's another apparently geeky interest of mine that I can pursue that actually has a lot of women?" So, go to a cos-play convention. There's a lot of hot women, interesting eccentric women at those things and the guys who go there and have their shit together and are reasonably attractive and confident can do very well.
[Angel Donovan]: The cos-play scene, is it primarily women? Like is there a big bias towards women? I haven't seen a lot of cos-play. Like, I've just seen it from the edges.
[Geoffrey Miller]: I've only been to a few of those when I used to take my teenage daughter to those things and she get all dressed up. It seemed about half and half to me and it also seemed like a lot of the women there were not necessarily looking for a monogamous boyfriend. A lot of them might have been polyamorous or kinky or sexually unusual in other ways. So if you're into that, it can be a great way to meet women.
[Angel Donovan]: Yeah great. So, coming back to kind of like the honesty thing but also, ethically because, I think some guys are concerned. They want to do the right thing. It's kind of about how do they decide when it's the right thing? You know, they've got all these different scenarios and situations that they're subjected to. I guess they'll always feel like they need advice. "Ok, what's the right thing to do here? What's the wrong thing to do here?" Have you got some approaches to figuring that out for themselves?
[Geoffrey Miller]: Yeah, in the book we've got these little sort of ethical tests that you can sort of run in your own mind to figure out, "If I do this, is it ethical and honest and will I still feel good about it afterwards." Things like, "Okay, if a guy did this to my sister, how would I feel about it? Would I think, 'Yeah, he's a cool guy. That's fine,' or would you want to go smash his head in with a rock?" So, you go to sort of do that perspective taking and think, "Yeah, if another guy did this to a woman I care about, would I be happy with it? If I did now, will I be happy and proud of that moment in a year?" That's another good test. Increasingly, women will be able to record male behavior with things like Google Glass and other methods.
[Angel Donovan]: I heard you talking about this. I think it's kind of scary.
[Geoffrey Miller]: And it's terrifying but, that's another useful guide is, "If a woman recorded this and posted it on YouTube and it got 10 million views, what kind of feedback would I get? Would most people go, 'Yeah, he's a cool honest guy'? He expressed himself straightforwardly, even if the interaction didn't work out, no harm, no foul.'" Whereas if a guy knows, "Oh my God, everybody I know would think I'm a total creep if they saw me doing this." You should pay attention to that. That's an ethical red flag.
[Angel Donovan]: Absolutely I mean, it's an all. What I see is like on the internet, there's often a whole bunch of haters no matter what you do, right?
[Geoffrey Miller]: Yeah, that's...
[Angel Donovan]: If you look at the videos on YouTube, half are haters, half are lovers of pretty much any content and a lot of the time, you've got as many likes and dislikes. Sometimes, that can be a little bit difficult. Actually, as I'm talking through it, if it's half and half, it's probably okay.
[Geoffrey Miller]: Yeah, yeah and I think it's also worth paying attention to. If I'm worried a particular behavior with a woman like, "Should I disclose that I've got an STD?" Right? That's a big issue for a lot of guys.
[Angel Donovan]: Yeah.
[Geoffrey Miller]: They've got something, when do they tell a woman or do they just kind of wear a condom and hope for the best? That kind of thing, it is really tricky but, you can sort of pay attention to, "How can I separate my own shame and guilt about this condition from like what a woman actually knows to give informed consent to whatever we want to do together?"
And often guys have a lot of religious programming. It gives them a sort of a fake blanket of sexual shame about everything they do outside monogamous marriage. It's important to kind of set that stuff aside and go, "If religion had never existed but ethics still did, would this be ethical?"
[Angel Donovan]: Yeah, that's tricky. I mean, the STD scenario is a really great one and the religion one for that matter. They're some of the trickiest ones I can think of. From knowing people with the STD thing is actually relatively common. I've known people who, I think in their first stage of realizing they have an STD, they'll maybe go the condom route you suggested as a first level of trying to get used to it, Then, as they do that and maybe they get involved with people they care about and so on, they start to feel really bad about it right?
[Geoffrey Miller]: Yeah.
[Angel Donovan]: And so, their shame starts to kick and so on and then, they start to like think, "Okay, how am I going to approach this and can I bring this up with the girl?" From knowing friends that have had this problem and they tell me about, now how they bring it up with the girl before they have sex each time, it's really surprising... I mean, the guys listening will be really surprised at how often the girls are not going to run away and get all scared about it and have a mature conversation about it.
[Geoffrey Miller]: There's a lot of what we psychologists called "pluralistic ignorance" where everybody thinks that everybody else is going behave totally differently and they also under estimate the prevalence of STDs. You know, in modern America among young people about 90% have oral herpes and about 30% have genital herpes and everybody thinks those percentages are way lower than they actually are because, everybody's so terrified of discussing this.
So, I think there's almost like an ethical imperative to... for everybody just to calm down and try to be up front about this stuff, not just for your own sake and for the woman's sake but, to kind of help recalibrate the whole society. This is not the end of the world if you have one of these things.
[Angel Donovan]: Yeah and also, this kind of goes back to what you were saying earlier on about being honest with yourself. Basically, looking at reality for what it is, your weaknesses, your strengths. I think a lot of people are kind of avoiding their weakness and that ends up hurting them in the long run because, they won't look at it and they won't deal with it and then, the STD problem like this could be a good example of that.
[Geoffrey Miller]: Yeah, you've got to acknowledge your weaknesses to fix them and having an STD, it's a negative mark compared to not having it obviously, but the way to deal with it is to develop strategies for talking about it and divulging it and coping with it and minimizing risk rather than just hiding and feeling ashamed.
[Angel Donovan]: To add to that, we had Dave Pounder an ex-porn star and director, he got involved a lot in the sexual education in the porn industry and based on what he's seen and what he's researched and so on, pretty much every porn star has an STD, has herpes and so on. If you give them the blood test and so on. That's a bit of injection of reality there especially, if you watch porn. Everyone you're watching has genital herpes probably but, a lot of them, they never get the symptoms of it. So, they wouldn't even know themselves.
Okay Geoff, thanks a lot for your time today and I'll leave you with the same question we asked you last time which is, what would you recommend to guys if they want to get as good at this as possible as quick as possible? What would be your top three recommendations to get kick-started in the right direction?
[Geoffrey Miller]: Well obviously, read our Mate book. There's a great book recently called Date-onomics. I'm blanking on the author but, it's all about the role of sex ratio and dating, particularly for college-educated singles and at college and it kind of expands upon some of the points we made about mating markets and the importance of selecting where to find mates. So, Date-onomics is a book I'd recommend.
And then, there's a great book called Why Women Have Sex by Cindy Meston and David Buss. I've used it in several of my human sexuality classes and it's a really good way to kind of get inside the heads of women and understand what they're really looking for in men and what the reasons are for women to have particularly short-term sex. So, Mate, Date-onomics and Why Women Have Sex are three books I'd recommend.
[Angel Donovan]: Yeah great and that last one, you know I know that book also and I think that's a great reality reset that I always recommend as well to guys who haven't got this idea about women can like casual sex. I think that's a great book to read to get more normalized and see reality for what it is. Well, Geoff, thank you so much for joining us again. It's been a pleasure.
[Geoffrey Miller]: Thanks a lot Angel. Take care.
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DSR Podcast is a weekly podcast where Angel Donovan seeks out and interviews the best experts he can find from bestselling authors, to the most experienced people with extreme dating lifestyles. The interviews were created by Angel Donovan to help you improve yourself as men - by mastering dating, sex and relationships skills and get the dating life you aspire to.
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