Ep. #59 How Attitude and Standards Lead to Satisfaction with Women with Christie Hartman
Today is really about fundamentals: basic principles and ideas that you need to get right if you want not only to get results, but more importantly, to be satisfied once you get the results that you wanted.
I've brought onto the show today a guest who has a very straightforward approach to the subject. It's both simple and practical, which is always good.
Our guest is Christie Hartman, PhD, psychologist, and behavioral scientist. She has studied behaviors and scenarios of online dating, and dating from both genetic and more psychological perspectives. A professor at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center for 7 years, in 2012 she left this position to focus on her role as a dating expert, among other things.
She is the author of 5 books on dating and relationships for both men and women. So she brings a balanced perspective from having looked at both sides.
Specifically, in this episode you'll learn about:
- Christie's dating life and relationships (02:32)
- The most common male behaviors leading to dissatisfaction with dating and women (04:05)
- Men have more problems with online dating (07:15)
- The meaning of: A bad attitude will scare good women away and attract the very women you hope to avoid (08:48)
- Ways a negative attitude will sabotage your efforts with dating and relationships (10:29)
- Most of the time a bad attitude isn't all that realistic (11:38)
- Understanding complainer behavior versus problem solvers (14:44)
- Things to do to start changing from complainer mode to problem solver mode (19:02)
- Poor standards is behind a lot of men's dissatisfaction with dating (25:12)
- What kind of things would you put into compatibility? (26:28)
- How guys mess up with compatibility (28:05)
- The impact of poor standards on your dating life (29:08)
- Defining your own standards (31:14)
- Gaining dating experience (32:38)
- One of the biggest trends: online dating and how it has changed the dating environment (33:26)
- Casual dating and dating overload (35:33)
- Selecting another person based on status (38:04)
- Circumventing the selection process by being interesting (39:44)
- Recommendations for actionable advise on dating, sex, and relationships (40:30)
- Top three recommendations to help men get better results with women as fast as possible (45:33)
Items Mentioned in this Episode include:
- Changing Your Game (Christie Hartman): The content of Christie Hartman's book was the subject of the interview and is about developing the right mindset to succeed with women.
- Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus (John Gray): Christie recommended John Gray and this particular book as a good source for quality advice she's learned from. It is about accepting the differences between men and women. The Elliot Rodger Killings and His Thought Process
- My Twisted World: The memoir written by Elliot Rodger
- Elliot Rodger's last video explaining his "Retribution"
- Elliot Rodger's Lonely Vlog: Life Is So Unfair Other Dating Coaches and Experts Mentioned
- Bobby Rio and his Conversation Escalation: Make Small Talk Sexy Course: Angel recommended this as one of the best courses to have more fun, engaging, sexual conversations.
- Jason Capital: Angel recommended Jason Capital for practical and easy to learn attracting women advice.
- Mystery (Erik von Markovik): One of the originators of pickup artistry with products on the art of seduction, game, and pickup.
Books, Courses and Training from Dr. Christie Hartman
Full Text Transcript of the Interview
[Angel Donovan] You’ve been doing this dating stuff for quite a while.
[Christie Hartman] Yes. I’ve been doing this for many, many years now.
[Angel Donovan] So this is your passion, your big personal interest or do you have others as well?
[Christie Hartman] I have some others as well. I wish it were that simple. This is definitely one of them for sure.
[Angel Donovan] So much to fit in in life.
[Christie Hartman] Yeah!
[Angel Donovan] It’s a good sign. So when we start this we always like to get a bit of a background on the person, like what’s their dating life like? What are their relationships like?
How are they organized? What kind of lifestyle do they have, in that respect? Where are they coming from? So what is your dating life like?
[Christie Hartman] It is married.
[Angel Donovan] Great. That’s good to hear. How long have you been married?
[Christie Hartman] We’ve been married three years, together six now.
[Angel Donovan] Nice. Have you got any kids yet?
[Christie Hartman] No, no kids. I’m in my 40s so--
[Angel Donovan] Oh yeah. That makes sense. My sister just had one recently.
She was just on the edge. So it was a last minute decision.
[Christie Hartman] Oh okay.
[Angel Donovan] So that’s quite late to get into a relationship. Is there some context with that? Or are you still learning through your life about dating and relationships?
What would you say? Why did you take this decision to get married at a later stage?
[Christie Hartman] I was actually married once before. I have a pretty long and colorful dating history but I was single all through my twenties. I married when I was 34.
It didn't last that long. We were only together a few years. Then I was single again in my late thirties and then I met Chris and got married.
So yeah, I've been around the block.
[Angel Donovan] It's good to hear that you have a bit of experience. One of the things I pulled out of your book, Changing the Game, which is for guys, is attitudes and standards, and also how that leads to satisfaction for men with women. I want to focus the discussion more of what actually gets a guy satisfied at the end of the day.
Not just a short term result, but he's going to be happy with where he's going and really satisfied with his kind of life. What would you say are the most common male behavior leading to dissatisfaction with dating and women in general?
[Christie Hartman] I think probably the number one is the negative attitude, defeatist attitude. And that's a tough one because bad experiences can lead to a bad attitude, but it works the other way as well. Bad attitude can actually lead to more bad experiences because when you go into any situation with a bad attitude, it usually will guarantee failure.
People can pick up on that negative energy. When you have a negative attitude about women or about dating or about life in general, you kind of come off as somebody who is unhappy who isn't successful or who is just going to be difficult to live with. You tend to scare people away.
I'd say that's probably, by far, the number one thing that concerns me about any single person, male or female. If they're doing that, they're not going to succeed.
[Angel Donovan] If we're going to give some concrete examples, what are the typical things they would be saying to themselves or other indicators that you have a negative attitude?
[Christie Hartman] Generally I hear men saying things like "Women don't like nice guys. They only date jerks." I've heard that a lot.
And there are women out there who date jerks. For some reason, those guys are focusing only on those women and not all the other women sitting around waiting for nice guys to come around. Another one is online dating is a big one, and I understand online dating is a huge challenge, especially for men.
That can really spawn a negative attitude. I hear things like Women don't ever respond, they only go for certain types of guys, women are shallow, or they're impossible, or they're difficult. Even if you go to attractive women, the more attractive a woman is, the more she'll play the games with you, the more manipulative she is. Just a lot of negative beliefs that you've developed from bad experiences.
[Angel Donovan] Right. That's a very specific belief there, that it's attractive women that play games.
[Christie Hartman] It is and I've seen it a lot in various forms. And with some men, the better looking they are, the more games there are going to be because they can.
[Angel Donovan] I'm going to go out on a limb here and maybe part of what that is maybe a typical guy, he's thinking of the hot girl in the club environment. He's likely to meet more girls that are partying a lot. They've got a very active social life.
I think you do tend to get a bit more--people will be less straightforward in those kinds of environments. Maybe he's thinking of the typical hot girl he's seen with all her makeup and all her nice clothes on. She's all dolled up out in the nightclub, so that's what the picture in his mind is when he's thinking of that hot girl.
Maybe that's where it's coming from. What do you think?
[Christie Hartman] I think that's certainly a possibility, especially in that environment. I think part of it is just simple law of supply and demand. There are fewer really attractive women. They're in greater demand.
To some extent, you just have to compete for them, if that's what your goal is, to get a really, really good looking woman. If she knows she has options and she rejects you, it's going to feel like she's playing games, when, in fact, she's not interested.
[Angel Donovan] Yeah, she's got to have some kind of filter or she'd have tens of guys around her all day. That makes sense. You also mentioned online dating as a specific scenario. What did you mean by that exactly?
[Christie Hartman] In terms of--
[Angel Donovan] That men have more problems and tend to have more bad attitude coming from that area.
[Christie Hartman] I think that online dating is hard for everybody but I think it's especially hard for men because they will send out lots of emails to women and they get no responses. That's extremely frustrating because it seems like a lack of feedback. To some extent, is actually is feedback.
No information is still information. But when you get nobody replying to you, especially if you're not really shooting way, way out of your sphere, it's like "What the hell am I doing wrong? Why is this happening?"
You have negative experiences where you do meet women and they're flaky or they don't respond in an appropriate manner. That's frustrating too. I think just the lack of response is really frustrating for men.
[Angel Donovan] Yeah, that makes a lot of sense because it was kind of crazy. We've spoken about online dating in previous episodes. I gave an example of one girl I met in San Diego who opened her box three days after opening her account--she hadn't looked at it--and it was 1,300 emails in there.
Yes, she didn't see your email. She didn't even get a chance to see it. She just closed it and said "I give up."
But you can understand if a guy sends out a hundred emails or maybe just 10 or 20 and he gets no response, he's going to get pretty frustrated with that.
[Christie Hartman] Absolutely.
[Angel Donovan] But if he understands where reality is, then hopefully he shouldn't because she didn't even see it, most probably.
[Christie Hartman] Yeah, and that's where expectations come in. I tell men that's actually relatively normal for most men to send out emails and get nothing. If they get 10 percent response it's like, all right, that's good, 10 percent.
[Angel Donovan] You say in your book a bad attitude will scare good women away and attract the very women you hope to avoid. What do you mean by that?
[Christie Hartman] I hate to get to get into all of that law of attraction stuff because it's so hippy dippy but I think that when you have a negative attitude, people can pick up on it. They pick up on it through your body language. The pick up on it through you're expressions, the things you say.
With women, like attracts like. This is kind of a thing in human behavior. People who are happy and comfortable with themselves will typically attract people who are the same way.
If you have a negative attitude, you're going to tend to attract women who are the same way because they see something in you that reminds them of themselves. That's not what you want because usually guys with bad attitudes are looking for the opposite. They're looking for somebody that's positive and cool and who will give them hope.
Unfortunately, those are the women who often get scared away.
[Angel Donovan] Right. It sounds like it's a comfort thing because if you meet someone who's similar to you it may not be the kind of person you're being attracted to, a more negative person. People with the same attitudes--I don't know if you know much about mirror neurons.
[Christie Hartman] I do not.
[Angel Donovan] This body language thing you're talking about? Mirror neurons are where we reflect back what we see in the other person.
[Christie Hartman] Oh yeah, it works yeah.
[Angel Donovan] It's all about that. It's the science behind how the body language works. If that person feels more comfortable with you, then they're more likely to hang out with you.
Say a guy who's got a negative attitude, it might be easier for him to meet girls with a negative similar attitude because the girls are going to feel more comfortable with him just because it's got a mirror neuron feedback effect.
[Christie Hartman] I think that makes a lot of sense. That's a really good way to put it.
[Angel Donovan] In what ways would a negative attitude actually undermine your efforts apart from the ones we've--are there any other big ones it might sabotage what you're trying to do with dating and relationships?
[Christie Hartman] I think if you do meet some interesting women but if you have that negative attitude, it can often get drug into the relationship too. Even if you meet somebody who you feel, wow, this person's the exception to the rule. She understands me.
She's a good person. She's not flaky. She's not a bitch.
If you have that attitude, you can't just drop it because you get the right girl in your life. It becomes a part of you sometimes. It can actually end up sabotaging the relationship if you don't trust her when she's out with her girlfriends, or she doesn't call on time or something. It can wind up sabotaging things.
[Angel Donovan] Right. I've seen that with many guys over the years. Jealousy, basically treating the girl badly, being negative to her. They could be angry at her for no reason.
If you're throwing that kind of stuff at her when you're with her, it's going to obviously drive her away. She doesn't want to be assaulted with this kind of thing. It's often driven by your own fears, or your negative attitude.
[Christie Hartman] Yeah, exactly.
[Angel Donovan] Another thing you say in your book is most of the time, a bad attitude isn't all that realistic. That was an interesting quote I thought.
[Christie Hartman] Yeah. That comes, actually from science. Have you ever met somebody who's made a bad statement about something or someone, like the world is filled with horrible people, or people are bad--just something negative. And you're like "That's such a crappy attitude" and they say, "I'm just being realistic."
Most of the time when people say that, they aren't being realistic. They're actually being negative. They see it as realistic because that's how they see the world. If you see the world in a negative way, then of course that seems normal to you.
If you're a guy and you see women in a negative way, or dating in a negative way, to you it is being realistic because that's what you see. But what you see isn't reality. It's what you choose to see.
You're filtering. And people--if you have a belief system, you will automatically ignore things that conflict with that belief system and you will automatically notice things that are consistent with that belief system. So that's why I say if you have this negative attitude, you're not really being realistic. You're just being you.
You're seeing what you want to see.
[Angel Donovan] So that's the way they rationalize that they're being realistic. One of the things we emphasize on this show is getting closer to reality so I’m glad you brought that up. Some guys think they are being real but actually it could be just that they’ve managed to have five negative experiences and they need to have five more that would balance that out and could be good.
They were just basically unlucky, or maybe in the wrong place and they started off on the wrong foot and they managed to get that negative perspective of the world when actually it’s a lot more even and balanced as you say.
[Christie Hartman] Yeah. And I think that when you develop that--if you have those bad experiences, it’s understandable that you would see the world that way and that you would have those filters. Sometimes to get rid of them it can be a real fight.
[Angel Donovan] One of the things we also say is seeing is believing. It can be hard to many guys to get closer to reality. If they read something or they’re reading a book, it’s reading at the end of the day.
Someone can say that life is all rosy and it’s a lot better than you think it is but until you’ve seen it or people have given you examples, or things like that. One of the things we do on this show is we get people to come in who have maybe some extreme lifestyles sometimes. They have a lifestyle which they can talk about and experiences to try and relate to guys.
This is the way the world is. This is how it happens and you need to be more open to understanding how reality is.
[Christie Hartman] Sometimes when you do that, it’s just a self-protective mechanism. When you’ve been burned a few times, or you’ve been beaten down, just say okay, this is the way it is. I just need to deal with it.
It’s kind of comforting a little bit to say all right, the world is a negative place or women are a pain in the ass, or dating does suck. If I just admit that, and accept that, I won’t be disappointed anymore. So you understand where that attitude might come from, but sometimes it winds up biting you in the ass.
[Angel Donovan] Right. Often we get more hurt when things don’t meet our expectations. We’re not expecting someone to reject us. When you say to yourself “Oh, she’s going to reject me anyway” it cuts that. You have a pretty miserable life but don’t have a miserable life and get really hurt all the time.
[Christie Hartman] Yeah, exactly.
[Angel Donovan] As I understand it, you call these complainer behaviors. Could you give some overt examples of complainers versus--the other one is problem solver? Could you give some examples which would kind of separate those so the guys listening can be like “Oh I kind of do that” or “Which pool do I fall in?”
[Christie Hartman] Right. So a complainer complains about problems and dating. A problem solver recognizes there are problems and even gets really upset about them sometimes. He focuses on “Okay, what am I going to do about this?”
He focuses on trying to finding a solution to the problems. So an example might be if you have bad experiences online, online dating, you could say, “I hate online dating. Women never respond. They’re all flakes. It’s stupid and it’s a big waste of time.”
That’s kind of being a complainer because you’re not really solving anything. You’re just venting. A problem solver would say, “Okay, this is really frustrating. I’m not getting any responses. What the hell’s going on?” So you try to figure out what’s happening.
Is it his profile? Does his profile suck? Is his picture bad? Is his email technique bad?
Is he scaring women away with his profile? There are always ways to go “Okay, what is going on here?”
[Angel Donovan] That’s an analytical approach. It’s like “What you I need to change, because something is obviously wrong.” It’s kind of nature versus nurture.
It like this isn’t just the way the world is. The way of the world can be any way you want it to. But you’ve got to understand how reality is and what works and what doesn’t. It’s fixing a puzzle.
[Christie Hartman] Yeah. I think this section of my book really tends to blow men’s minds. They love it. What man doesn’t want to be a problem solver? What man isn’t a problem solver in his heart?
Especially the types of guys I deal with--scientists, tinkerers, techies, engineers. They eat this stuff up because that’s what they do all day long. It’s like “Okay, I can solve these problems at work and I’m going to solve this problem too, even though it feels very nebulous.” Dating and women, it’s like “Ooh, that’s a problem I don’t know if I can solve.” But you can and you wind up going down a road you never expected to.
[Angel Donovan] That’s not a bad way to put it actually, because I think most guys have jobs where they have to solve some kind of problems. That’s what most work is about these days--solving some kind of problem. So it’s a nice way to relate to that because it’s not out of their comfort zone.
It’s already something they’re doing in different contexts. Now we just have to bring that into dating, real life and use it to solve this puzzle too.
[Christie Hartman] Yeah. And it’s not easy. This is something people have to face every day. Even me, personally.
Every day I have to say, “All right.” If something upsets me, I would say “Stop complaining about it. Move into problem solving mode.” Every day.
It’s not something that comes automatically. You have to work on it. Some people are better at it than others, but you can definitely do it and it will change your life.
[Angel Donovan] Like you say, it’s like a balance. It’s a percentage. We’re all going to be complainers some part of the time. When we get a couple of negative hits, or whatever it is. It could be dating, it could be other areas.
If they line up, you’re going to complain a little bit, but then it’s just this reaction like “Okay, got to get back into problem solving mode as quickly as possible.” That’s great.
So there was, the last couple weeks, there’s been a lot of publicity around Elliot Rodger. I’m assuming you saw that.
[Christie Hartman] Yes. That’s really unfortunate.
[Angel Donovan] Yeah. What was interesting and kind of graphic about it was he had all the videos and he also had this manifesto that was put out there. When you watch the videos and you look at the manifesto, which is called My Twisted World, it’s extremely--I bring this up because he sounds to be extremely complainer oriented when you listen to that stuff from him.
[Christie Hartman] Extremely, yes.
[Angel Donovan] We’re talking extreme here, obviously, because of what he ended up doing. I just felt it was just interesting to bring up because if people wanted to understand what is going completely the wrong way, in terms of the attitude we’re talking about, they can check out the video and maybe even read some of the My Twisted World manifesto.
[Christie Hartman] Yeah. That’s a good example of complaining gone completely wrong. It’s too bad. I know that a lot of the men’s communities have taken heat for that.
It’s just blown everything up. It’s gotten messy.
[Angel Donovan] Just because he posted in a few forums doesn’t mean that it’s due to the forums he was posting in that he would go and do this. Obviously, no one else is running around in those forums doing similar behavior. It’s unfortunate how the media publicizes and twists things, but that’s their job, to make it all interesting.
So if we have this complainer attitude and we feel like we need to get more into problem solving mode, what kinds of things could we do to start changing this?
[Christie Hartman] There are a few things. One is just recognizing what’s going on, like okay wait. When you feel stuck, angry and powerless, that means you’re in complaining mode.
So just recognizing, all right, I’m in this mode. I need to jump into problem solving mode. It’s already a step in the right direction.
Then sometimes it helps to look at the things that have happened to you if they’re negative and try to come to terms with them. If you’ve been dumped or you’ve been hurt, sometimes it helps just to grieve a little. Allow yourself to feel all those negative feelings and all those fears like “Will I ever find the right person? Are girls ever going to like me?”
Just feel them. They’re just feelings. And if you let yourself feel them, they’ll eventually kind of fade away.
Then I think it help to actually start problems solving. Start thinking about possible solutions, about okay, what direction can I go? What can I do?
Who can I talk to? What information is out there that can help me? Start coming up with solutions for yourself.
And I had a couple other ideas but not in my head right now. I have the book right here. I’m about what you can do to help your bad attitude. Anyway, that’s kind of a good start.
[Angel Donovan] So the gist of it is to try and kick yourself into problem solving mode. I guess a first step is if you start to study, if you start to read, that’s already 20 percent there. You’ve got this attitude of looking for new information to help you.
I think that would help to put you into that perspective versus complaining all the time, provided what you’re reading isn’t like complaining itself. Some dating advice out there can be a bit negative. As long as what you’re reading and studying is positive.
A lot of the products and courses are, and the books and what have you. They should be giving you problem solving. That’s normally what’s inside these things.
I think what you read and what you see tends to influence you a bit. Another point on that is if you go to forums, I have seen some forums--like we were just talking about, Internet forums here--people tend to be a little more negative. So it might be better if you see that kind of attitude, it might be better to stay out of that forum.
This is a principle I have in general in my life for everything, like business forums, health forums, anything I’m interested in. If I see a lot of negativity, I’m just like “Okay, this isn’t going to be much of a useful forum overall because I’ll be absorbing its negativity all the time and its complaints.
[Christie Hartman] Yeah. Negativity’s the problem. That’s such a huge problem.
If you see that kind of thing, I’d say run away. Just run away.
[Angel Donovan] That’s a good tip also. In your environment, if you can control your environment a bit better. Do you have people around you who are complaining all the time? Are you part of a circle which complains and complains, and worse, you’re in a circle where you’re with a bunch of guys who are complaining about women.
That’s definitely not going to help you. It’s probably going to be a good idea to spend more time with people that have a more positive problem-solving attitude and are probably getting better results and success with this area of their lives.
[Christie Hartman] Yeah. And I think it’s that saying. I forget who said it but they say you are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.
[Angel Donovan] Yeah, it’s Jim Rohn.
[Christie Hartman] It is Jim Rohn. I think that’s a great saying. If you’re surrounding by that kind of thing, of course you’re going to be sucked into that.
We are so influenced by the people around us. We like to think we’re not, but we are. And that can be a big deal.
If you’re looking to change your life and love your friends, but they’re kind of downers and they’re not succeeding, it’s like oh, now what do you do? If you try to spend more time around people who have what you want, and are getting what you want and are positive, it can go a long way.
[Angel Donovan] It will rub off on you, even if you don’t know it. You realize it at the time, but that will already be a huge step. Not easy to do either, but it’s definitely worthwhile.
[Christie Hartman] It’s not easy to do. The other final thing would be sometimes it helps to learn from your mistakes. Sometimes if you don’t get the success you want, you can look at is there anything I could have done differently in that situation?
Sometimes there’s nothing you could have done. She didn’t like you. She rejected you. She did something terrible. It’s not your fault. Move on.
Sometimes it’s like “Well, I probably could have been a little different in that situation” or “I could have handled it better” or whatever. You’re like “All right. Now I’ll know for next time.”
[Angel Donovan] Right. What I like about that is I think some of the habits guys will have, and women have also, is if you’ve had a bad breakup, you’ll hide from it. You won’t want to look at the emotions.
You won’t want to look at what happened. You might even give yourself more comfortable excuses as to why it happened rather than thinking about it more and trying to figure it out. A lot of people will not look at that mistake, which is really a big mistake because you can learn a lot from your mistakes if you look at them properly and you take the time.
Maybe it’s uncomfortable and maybe it’s not very happy, but if you think about it, you can probably learn something which will change all your future relationships and your dating experiences.
[Christie Hartman] Oh, absolutely. Sometimes it takes while though. I found in my life and even with other people I’ve known, that initial right after the break-up or the negative things happened, sometimes you’re just so filled with emotion you just kind of want to deal with that. It’s hard to see it straight.
But once you’ve had a little distance from it, you look back and you’re like “Ah, I could have done that better” or “I could have learned but I didn’t see the signs” or whatever. That can be, it’s gold. Mistakes, as much as they suck to do them, they teach us so much more than our successes.
[Angel Donovan] If you really want to have a great dating life, you basically have to have some mistakes along the way. There’s no way you’re going to get better at this, more experienced and more skilled, so mistakes are valuable, especially if you’re young. You should be really taking that up and learning from it because it’s going to transform your future.
One of the other interesting things I picked up from your book is the whole poor standards angle. You said that’s behind a lot of men’s dissatisfaction in dating. What does this mean for you, poor standards, exactly?
[Christie Hartman] I think poor standards, for me, it’s not--I talk about the two Cs, chemistry and compatibility. It’s when the standards you have to choose women are just not sufficient enough. Nine times out of 10, it’s when there’s really not adequate compatibility with a woman that you’re pursuing.
Men won’t usually date a woman they don’t feel chemistry with. If they don’t feel that “Oh I’m attracted to her,” they’re not going to bother. Sometimes as long as that’s there, they’ll kind of ignore whether there’s real, true compatibility there.
And that can be true in a short-term or a long-term gig. If she’s looking for a boyfriend and you’re just looking for something more short-term, you’re incompatible. It’s over.
When you don’t have those standards for what you want, what kind of relationship you want and what you want in the relationship--at least some basic standards--you’re going to have a lot of difficult experiences.
[Angel Donovan] So chemistry sounds very typical in terms of male behavior. Chemistry is like we look at the girl and we’re like “Oh yeah, she looks hot. I’m really interested in her.”
And we don’t really think about who she is or anything behind that image that we’ve seen. And compatibility is lot more long-term, and values. What kinds of things would you put into compatibility?
[Christie Hartman] There’s so many things. One is what kind of relationship are you looking for? Are you looking for something short-term or long-term? Do you want to be monogamous or non-monogamous?
Things like that really matter. Things like your lifestyle. Are you a stay at home and read sort of person or do you want to be out doing stuff all the time with other people?
It’s not that those people can’t get along. It’s just easier when you have someone who shares your lifestyle because you understand each other. Things like intellectual compatibility. Brainy people do better with other brainy people.
Values. What matters to you most? Do you value having children in a family? Do you go to church?
Are you religious? What are your political beliefs? Those are some deeply held values. Usually you want somebody who shares those with you, especially if you want to go long-term.
Short-term relationships, you can kind of compromise on a few of those things and not worry about them as much. But those are the kinds of things you want to look for. You want somebody who understands you and who gets along with you.
[Angel Donovan] So are we saying we want someone exactly like us?
[Christie Hartman] No. That’s a great question because compatibility doesn’t always mean the same. It means complementary.
For instance, it’s not uncommon to see somebody who’s very outgoing with somebody who’s a little quieter. Sometimes two really talkative people will clash, whereas a more talkative person does well with a quieter person who’s better at listening. You don’t have to be just like the person.
You just have to be compatible. You want to mesh with that person, even if you’re different. And you’ll know, usually in the first few months of a relationship how well you mesh with someone.
[Angel Donovan] Right. That’s the thing. It does take a little bit of time. Obviously in the first few days you’re probably not going to get the compatibility because you have to learn a lot about that person.
[Christie Hartman] Yeah. It takes quite a while. It takes months.
[Angel Donovan] What would you say the typical scenario is when guys mess this up?
[Christie Hartman] A very typical scenario I see with guys is they focus too much on chemistry and not enough on compatibility. Physical attraction is an extremely powerful thing. We’re all suckers for it.
We’ve all been in relationships where there was that and not much else. They tend to be very short-term where they just blow up and they don’t work out. I think with men in particular, a man can really be strongly attracted to a woman and know nothing about her.
Women, on the other hand, not so much. It can happen but usually she’s got to get to know a guy to really feel strong attraction to him and strong chemistry with him. For guys that are vulnerable to feeling chemistry with a woman and feeling such powerful feelings, and that makes him so interested, the sometimes he becomes blind to the fact that there are signs they’re really not very compatible.
That’s what can get them into trouble, is investing in a relationship with a woman and there’s just not enough compatibility. Again, this is assuming you want anything that’s beyond a very short-term relationship.
[Angel Donovan] Coming back to what does this mean, poor standards, what’s that going to mean to your dating life? What kind of impact is that going to have on you if you have poor standards?
[Christie Hartman] It’s going to mean meeting more of the wrong people and less of the right ones. The women you attract into your life and the women you date reflect your standards. If you’re standards are relatively low, you’re just picking women because they’re attractive to you or because they happen to like the same sports team you do, your standards are really not high enough, assuming you want any kind of relationship.
Again, what this is going to mean is more drama in your life--more fighting, more failure, more break-ups, more dumps.
[Angel Donovan] Some of it sounds to me like it’s a learning curve of certainly about what you want. As you get more detailed about what you understand, is that what you mean? When you have higher standards you know more clearly--basically, you have more criteria in your head because you know what you’re looking for in a girl and what works for you.
[Christie Hartman] Yeah, and it doesn’t always have to be tons of criteria. It just has to be the right ones. A lot of this just comes from experience and, again, making those mistakes. You date somebody for a year, you break up and you’re like “What the hell happened?”
You look back and you realize “Oh yeah. We didn’t share similar lifestyles and we didn’t share similar values” or “We wanted different things from the future.” Okay, now you know.
Those are the things I’m going to look for in the next girl. And once you’re been through this a few times like some of us have, you learn about what’s important to you but what’s really important to you--what you absolutely must have in a relationship. Standards, to some extent, just comes from experience and not focusing too much on surface things.
You want somebody you’re attracted to but it isn’t just about how she looks. How do you feel when you’re with her?
[Angel Donovan] We’re circling back to learning from your experiences again and making sure to look at your past experiences and learn what was working for you. One of the things I wanted to bring up is that I think a lot of people get their standards from elsewhere. They get it from their external environment and not necessarily from inside themselves.
It could be a friend, it could be the media, it could be movies--it could be absolute anywhere that we’re getting these standards, especially when we’re young. We probably got a whole bunch of standards which have been basically given to us and we’ve just taken them. Would you say some of that’s okay or do you think we have to do the work based on our experiences, or other types of work to define our own standards?
[Christie Hartman] I think you always need to define your own standards. There’s nothing wrong with--we’re going to be influenced by the society we live in and the people we’re around. But in most cases, what we’re taught isn’t usually what’s best for us.
If it is, then great. You lucked out. But most of the time, you have to learn it on your own. That’s what I found in my experience and with my clients.
You have to do your own work. You have to date different people and figure out what your formula is for what works for you and what does not.
[Angel Donovan] It sounds like a lot of self-work, basically, like self-development, self-work, understanding yourself and what you need, paying attention, being observant about when you’re happy, when you’re dissatisfied. When you’re really happy with a girl, why? What’s she doing?
Really being observant about how you’re feeling and how things are going for you in a relationship or in dating in general.
[Christie Hartman] Yeah. And it sounds like a lot of work, but I think over time it becomes kind of natural. When you’re not used to thinking like that, it’s like “Jeez, that sounds like so much analysis and so much thinking.
Once you become aware of these kinds of things, it becomes more natural. You date someone new. You look for the things that matter to you. If they’re not there, you move on. If they are, great. If that goes wrong, you’re like “Okay, now here’s a new thing to consider” and you move on.
You’ll automatically, in the next relationship, consider all those things because you’ve had those experiences, assuming that you’re aware, just about being aware.
[Angel Donovan] One thing I recommend personally to guys is they get a bit of experience, especially when they’re younger. If they haven’t dated a number of girls, I just don’t think there’s any way they can really understand what they actually like in a girl in a relationship, or even what type of relationship they like. What do you think of that suggestion?
[Christie Hartman] I think that’s a great suggestion, especially in young people. How on earth are they supposed to know what they want? All they have to go on is “Am I attracted to that person? Is he or she cute, hot, whatever?” That’s a start. Once you start dating more and you go out and meet different people, like you said, things will start to occur to you about what matters to you.
[Angel Donovan] What do you think today’s trends are, the biggest trends? I know you cover a lot of stuff in your book. Do you have about six books now?
[Christie Hartman] I have five dating and relationship.
[Angel Donovan] So you’ve done quite a bit of work on this and I know that you talk about different areas like online dating and so on, and you look at the trends a bit. What would you say the biggest trends are today, especially focusing on the things we’ve been talking about in terms of attitude and standards? Is this moving in a positive direction or a negative direction?
Are there differences between online dating and offline, and where you meet people and so on? Do you see anything that stands out in the U.S.? What’s going on at the moment?
[Christie Hartman] If I had to pick one thing, it’s the online thing. That is becoming a dominant way that people are meeting people. There’s a new dating site or a new app going up every day.
Even though a lot of people find the entire process frustrating, they’re getting tons and tons of users. I think what’s it’s basically done is allow people to meet people they would never normally meet. When you work in an isolated environment around the same people every day, and you live in the same neighborhood every day, you don’t meet anybody.
Unless you’re very outgoing, you’re not out meeting people every day, so what an online presence does is it opens up a huge world of possibilities. I think that it’s blown up and I think it’s going to continue to for a long time.
[Angel Donovan] I like what you’re saying is there’s more opportunities to meet people. It’s easier because of the online dating. It’s so easy to connect with people.
One of the things I was thinking of is that some observations I had while I was in the U.S., that potentially people are doing more casual dating for longer, because it’s easier to meet more people, especially for women, I imagine. Although I know a lot of guys who are seeing lots of women because it’s very easy to connect with them on these dating apps.
I think it makes it harder for them to settle down and choose also. In a way, it’s like a dating overload. We talk about information overload--well, maybe if you see too many people, you get a bit confused.
I certainly went through this. I’d seen a lot of girls over time and it got to a point where I felt maybe I wouldn’t find anyone I was happy with because--I basically dated some party girls and some business girls. Lots of different types of girls in different countries. There were things I loved in all of them.
But no girl could meet the standard where you put all of the good things together. So you have to be this kind of realist at the end of the day and see how the world is again and come back down to the floor. Sometimes I think there’s dating overload, if you date too much.
I think some of the girls do this, just from my conversations with them in the U.S. They have a lot of criteria. Maybe the more you do online dating could, in some cases, lead to more dissatisfaction. It’s like seeing that nothing’s good enough and they carry on with casual dating rather than getting serious. Any ideas on this?
[Christie Hartman] Yeah. You said a lot of really great things. I certainly agree with the fact that I know there’s a lot of beliefs that U.S. women do have these kind of ridiculous standards. It’s definitely not true for all of them but I know what you’re saying and I see it log.
I think it’s a very fear-based mentality that makes women do that. But I think it’s also when you have all these options. What I call it is the illusion of endless options.
Actually, you don’t really have that many options. It just feels like you do when you’re online or you’re on Tinder or you’re on these things. You see millions of guys, or in the case of guys, millions of women.
It’s very easy to think “God, there are all these things.” So what happens is you’re quote unquote standards start rising. It’s like “Well, I have 10,000 men out there to choose from. Why not pick the tallest guy or the hottest guy, or the hottest girl or the youngest girl, or whatever.
I get into this pretty heavily in a different book.
[Angel Donovan] That sounds like raising standards was a good thing before and it sounds like that’s taking it too far.
[Christie Hartman] Yeah. You’re really not raising your standards. All you’re really doing is just focusing on stupid things that don’t matter that much.
It feels like standards. It really is just criteria.
[Angel Donovan] So you’re saying standards is really about focusing on the few things that are really important to you to make you happy.
[Christie Hartman] Yep. Absolutely. If anybody says, “Well I have to have this height or this income or age or whatever, those are not really great standards.
In a broad sense, you have to have a certain age range. You’re not going to be dating people who are old enough to be your parent, but those are just criteria. They wind up tripping people up because they focus too much on that stuff.
Real standards are about true compatibility. When people think they’re really picky, they really don’t have high standards. All they’re really doing is just making things harder for themselves.
[Angel Donovan] Picky is a good word. It’s basically focusing on details that don’t matter that much. You’ve listed a few of them. It’s like age--
[Christie Hartman] Income, education, height.
[Angel Donovan] Everyone asks, I know in the U.S. they ask you what school you come from. They do it in other countries as well. Because we’re talking about the U.S. I’m saying U.S.
The school you went to, your job--one of the first few questions that come at you. I found it kind of overwhelming at first, this focus on work, where in your career you are at the moment. Would you say that’s a very important part of how people select these days, like what kind of job do you have, what kind of status you have?
[Christie Hartman] Yeah. That’s what it boils down to is status. I think a job and an income are indicators of status, although they’re not a guarantee. But I think focusing on profession is something that’s always been the case.
I suppose that’s good and bad. If you’re focusing too much on it, it’s like it’s just a job. It doesn’t say a lot about the person.
But, at the same time, it can be interesting. When I ask somebody what do you do for a living, it’s really just my way of getting to know them. You can tell a lot about a person by their career choices.
And it does spark conversation. If a guy says he’s an engineer, I’m going to get a different kind of knowledge about him than if he says he’s a firefighter or he says he works in construction, or he’s a physicist. Those are all different kinds of people and it’s like oh how interesting. I want to know more about that person--what drew them to that field. But yes, there is a lot of that here.
[Angel Donovan] I feel like part of it is trying not to get yourself into some kind of box. It seems like there’s these categories. I think it’s about being open-minded.
Maybe right now the person in front of you is being a little bit picky and they’re not looking at it from an open-minded standpoint. They’re not really focused on what’s going to make them happy. In a way, all you have to do is get past this stage and then you’ll get to see if you really are compatible with each other.
I think a lot of people today have these criteria. They don’t know they’re not going to be useful to them. In a way, your job is to just get past that. I found, me personally, I don’t fit into a category.
As soon as I try to explain what I do, I circumvent the whole process because they can’t fit me in anywhere.
[Christie Hartman] Right. You would be harder to classify than the average man because you have an interesting career.
[Angel Donovan] What do you think of that kind of strategy? Not giving a dry statement like “I’m a lawyer” or “I’m an engineer” like you said, but giving something a little bit more interesting just to circumvent that kind of process.
[Christie Hartman] I think that’s a good idea. If anything, it’s more interesting because as much as people might focus on that stuff at first, what they really want to do is know who you are. Is this a person I can feel a connection with?
If you get creative or circumspect in your life’s work or what you do and it’s not just a standard “I’m a lawyer” or “I’m a scientist” or whatever. It’s a way for them to know who you are rather than what you do.
[Angel Donovan] Totally, and avoid the category game. For me, putting people in categories really quickly, often you’re shooting yourself in the foot because you can’t do that for most types of places. One of the questions I like to ask everyone towards the end of the podcast is who, besides yourself, would you recommend for high quality actionable advice for men on dating, sex and relationships?
[Christie Hartman] I know I have some. Sorry, I’m not able to come up with one off the top of my head.
[Angel Donovan] Is there anyone you’ve learned from on your path, for instance, or you respect, that helped you in some way when you were learning and putting all of this stuff together yourself? We’ve all had to climb the mountain.
[Christie Hartman] Sure. Yeah. There are a lot of people. If you want a male, you know who I would say?
[Angel Donovan] It could be a girl or a guy. It doesn’t matter. I’m just saying that’s been helping men, probably not someone focused on women all the time.
[Christie Hartman] John Gray, the Mars-Venus guy. I’m not really a hug fan of the whole Mars-Venus and men are so different from women. Kind of drives me nuts actually.
I have to say I learned so much from that dude. I’m read multiples of his books. There’s something just really insightful into understanding people. Even though some of his stuff, I think, is over exaggerated, I think he’s really good and I learned a lot from him about men and women and about people. I have a great respect for some of his stuff. He did influence me.
[Angel Donovan] Yeah, that’s great, thank you. I got driven away by that whole Mars and Venus stuff as well. One of my girlfriends, about 15 years ago, she got one of those books. It was just annoying.
She came to me and said “You’re from this planet, and I’m from here and this is why we don’t get along sometimes.”
[Christie Hartman] It’s cheesy. It’s cheesy as hell. I hated that stuff and I refused to read it for years and years. Finally, I think I got to a certain stage in my life and a certain stage in my life as a dating expert and all of a sudden it was “Oh, this looks interesting.”
In a world where there’s a lot of very canned dating advice, his stuff goes deep. That’s kind of what I liked about it. He was probing things on a deeper level than other people were, even though I didn’t agree with everything he said.
[Angel Donovan] That’s good. It comes back to our point about being open-minded. Thanks for the recommendation because now you’ve given me a bit more motivation to actually read one of his book sometime, which I’ve been resisting for many, many years, although I’m in this area.
[Christie Hartman] Who would you pick, if you don’t mind me asking? A man. Who would be on top of your list?
[Angel Donovan] This is actually really complex. What I would say is our job at Dating Skills Review is basically to look everywhere and find out what’s the best. What we find out is normally it’s someone who specializes in a specific area.
You’ll notice I’ve been asking you about specific subjects that I found interesting. I pulled those out of your book because they’re a bit more unique. This is what we kind of do.
My top recommendation, that’s really difficult for me to do. It depends on what you want, and I’m sure you understand that. This whole world, it depends on what you want as well-the guys listening on the other end.
What kind of dating lifestyle do they want? Do they want to meet hundreds of women and date hundreds of women all the time? You’re probably not going to get a lot of good advice from a guy that’s been in a 40-year awesome relationship, but he’s made this amazing connection with this woman and he’s learned all lot from that, and he’s been extremely happy the whole time with her.
That guy, I’m sure he could teach you a few things about having good relationships. Does that answer your question?
[Christie Hartman] I’m curious, and we can talk about it after if you want. I’m curious who in genre do you find most appealing, most intelligent or most useful.
[Angel Donovan] Sure. You can basically look at our recommendations on our site. Some of the guys, like Bobby Rio’s got some good courses on conversation. A lot of guys have difficulty with making conversation. They get nervous, they don’t know what to say, so conversation’s one of the big areas, like how to talk to women, how to stop running out of things to say. He’s got some great advice.
We like practical stuff so that’s the emphasis I’m putting on here, and there’s a guy called Jason Capital. He has a lot of practical how to attract women kind of stuff. We find it easier for guys to learn when it’s mainly we think those guys are better.
There’s guys out there who are more complicated and have done crazy complex stuff. If you know Erik von Markovic, Mystery.
[Christie Hartman] Yeah. I’ve read his books.
[Angel Donovan] He’s a very detailed, very complex guy. He’s obviously had a lot of success with women. However, he has an approach to it which is very difficult to learn for a guy who’s just come into all of this and he’s like “Okay, how do I start talking to women?”
We’re talking overwhelm city and I feel that’s going to probably drive you backwards and make you feel bad. Some people get stuck in a rut because of it and they stay overwhelmed.
[Christie Hartman] I can see that. That’s what I liked about it, that it was so complex, but I can see where it would be completely overwhelming.
[Angel Donovan] Personally, I learned tons from Mystery back in the day. I’ve been doing this since 2000, 2001. Around about then, he was one of the only guys teaching stuff so I learned mountains from him. I have a lot of respect for the guy. I’m just saying this overwhelm factor can get in the way of him helping some people. It depends on where they’re at and what they want, of course.
This is the last question, and this is what we ask everyone since the beginning of time. What would be your top three recommendations to help men get better results with women as fast as possible?
[Christie Hartman] Number one, be a problems solver. And that’s something you can choose to do right now, today. You may not know what the solutions are or where to find them but at least if you know that you can start looking for them, you’re already stepping in the right direction.
The second thing is be patient with yourself. It’s okay to make mistakes. You learn a lot. You learn more from your mistakes than you do from your successes. Don’t beat yourself up for failure.
The third thing is know what you want out of a relationship. Do you want something short-term? Do you want something long-term? Are you looking for ass?
You want one of four things. You want just sex, you want casual dating, a girlfriend or a wife. Know what you want. If you do, it makes your life so much easier because you’ll attract that to you and you won’t waste your time on the wrong women.
[Angel Donovan] The worst situation is if you put yourself with a girl who wants something different to you. You want something serious. You want something casual. That’s going to be heartbreak all over it.
[Christie Hartman] It is. It’s terror.
[Angel Donovan] Or the other situation where she’s going to cause a lot of drama for you and you’re not going to feel good about it if she wants a relationship and you want a casual thing.
[Christie Hartman] That’s very tempting, because it’s like oh, she’s there but you’re hurting her and you’re hurting yourself because you’re not really getting what you want either.
[Angel Donovan] I went through that stage and learned the hard way. So, Christie, it’s been great having you on the show today. Thank you very much for offering your perspective.
It’s great to have a woman on the show. We haven’t had that many. We’re going to get more. I really feel this is going to be very helpful for the guys.
[Christie Hartman] Thanks so much for having me. I’ve had a great time talking here.
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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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