I can’t begin to sum up what’s happened over the last year. Between losing my father, my struggles with other issues, it’s been rocky.
With all that has occurred, the biggest thing that has suffered, and most often suffers with single people in my position, is my social life.
It started back when my sobriety started, some 4 years ago, when I distanced myself from my local buddies, college friends, and social acquaintances. I moved away from social time locally here in my state to online. I met friends on Twitter (now X), joined the Fraternity of Excellence, gained new and improved friends all over the map. I even cultivated dates and relationships in my new found groups.
The relationships were always long distance, as I hadn’t done anything locally for years to grow social circles. And the relationships always failed, because they can’t surpass the challenges of that distance. Someone has to move, and I couldn’t. I needed a break. A break from doing dumb shit.
Instead of diving back into the pool, I paused. Rather than pursue another heartbreak, I stopped pursuing. Instead of blindly trying to meet women wherever they were, I pulled back. I caught my breath and looked at what I was doing.
Has this pause been self induced? I could say yes or no. I haven’t dated in two years since my last breakup, a relationship that should never have gone anywhere, but my delusional mind thought that this was the long distance relationship that would work (hint: it never works). I had love-bombed this woman on top of everything else. And an intervention in my fraternity shook me to the fact that I had things in my life that needed addressing, especially when it came to dating and relationships. But then again, I haven’t expelled the effort needed to “get back out there”, merely opting for excuses as to why I couldn’t, or in this case wouldn’t, pulling every reason out of the book to not go back out and meet new people.
As with every other article I’ve written about taking a self sabbatical, every time I’ve withdrawn to “monk mode”, every time I’ve called a time out to “get myself together”, I’ve stayed on the sidelines, hoping for the right moment to jump back into the game, only to see the season’s over.
There’s a point where monk mode becomes an array of excuses, a point where MGTOW becomes a cage of your own making, all because you don’t want to get hurt again. All because you’re scared to put yourself out there, because you value judgements of people who have no impact on your life.
This is the ultimate comfort zone for people. “Working on yourself”. I’ve been there for two years, waiting for the train to slow down so I could jump on it.
It doesn’t slow down. You have to jump and take a risk.
But for us risk averse individuals, this could be as daunting as staring down a river full of rapids that could potentially kill you.
And so the pause button keeps getting hit, because you don’t want to see what happens next.
I think it was Alex Hermozi who said “The pain of staying where you are has to be greater than the pain of making a change. Only then will you make a move.”
And it’s true.
This is not saying that the major life events that I’ve experienced in the past two years should have been ignored. They obviously played a role in my decision to put my social life on hold. My company needs me to be front and center at all times. My kids need a strong, connected father. My family needs a patriarch. But imbedded in that role, is the role of a man who is looking for his significant other, and that needs air play as well.
So as the pain of staying where I was in this vice has been greater, I’ve been putting myself out there, albeit very slight. I joined a yoga studio. I’ve been more accepting of time with good friends. I’ve been working to find other activities to join where potential women that I want are present. It’s not just about meeting women, it’s also about meeting people, expanding connections, and growing my network.
And it’s not that I’ve not met any women, it’s that the women are not the women I want. So I have to change my strategies and get out there to experience all that life has to offer, even while gritting my teeth to get through the struggles I still endure.
Personal strength is the ultimate multi-task. You have to try shit you don’t want to to meet people you would potentially like to date. It signifies squirming and exhaling to get yourself through the toughest parts. That on the other side of that sick feeling in your stomach is the promised land you so desperately want in your life.
So that for me means more yoga sessions with people I don’t know. That means looking at dance classes, cooking classes, and self defense classes. Church? Maybe, but I’m not ready to cross that bridge.
It means growing my expertise while I’m growing my circle.
The pause means nothing if you do nothing during it. The pause isn’t a pause if you wait too long to make a move. The pause is meaningless if you don’t take advantage and help yourself.
I’m most certainly further and better than I was two years ago. Did it have to take two years? Most certainly it did not.
The pause button is there for you to press if you want a break, collect your thoughts, absorb what you’ve learned. It’s meant to be momentary, not forever. That’s what the stop button is for.
So, my new goal is to unpause, hit the play button, and see what happens.
“I wanted you to see what real courage is, instead of getting the idea that courage is a man with a gun in his hand. It’s when you know you’re licked before you begin, but you begin anyway and see it through no matter what.” – Atticus Finch
One of my favorite books of all time is To Kill A Mockingbird.
Harper Lee’s classic is still taught in schools today, and resembles a very hard look at how we used to be as Americans concerning race. So many threads permeate this book, including perceptions, perspectives and how to listen to them, the socioeconomic toll of racism, the dangers of not thinking critically, and many others.
For this particular blog post, I’m going to be looking at the most popular character of this book and what he stands for. I am going to examine the masculinity crux of what Atticus Finch represents in terms of what makes a man masculine. Does might make right? Does mindset determine what makes a man a man? I will be using historical references, especially Rome (because it’s me) and discussing why “alpha and beta are contextual” (as Rollo has stated) and a one size fits all attempt to box in masculinity will only leave men with more questions.
There is a steady thread in this book that truly defines Atticus as masculine, even if he comes off in the book as a “Beta”, as many men have stated he does.
Atticus is a lightning rod for debate and has been co-opted by several movements seeing themselves as the group he was fighting for in the book. But I believe not only has he been unfairly ridiculed and chastised, he has also been unfairly propped up for being a symbol of other movements that he would not agree with.
For the time, he was a new type of man that had never really been seen before, or as Rome dubbed any man who was the first in his household to be in the Senate, novus homo, or “new man”. A man who wasn’t about brute force but about brute will. Yet a man that more than likely couldn’t win a fight, too weak to punch back, and too timid to step forward.
He is many times seen as “weak”. He doesn’t fight back when confronted with violence. His supposed weakness in allowing his kids to be attacked in a situation where he was powerless. His dealings with the gang trying to lynch Tom Robinson, etc.
He is called into account on several occasion and he doesn’t respond the way a “typical” man would.
Also, remember that Atticus’s behavior is seen through the eyes of Scout, so we have to take into account these things are filtering in through her perspective.
So what’s the rub here? Is Atticus Finch, one of the central characters in this book, a weak man? Or can we see that his actions indicate a man of integrity, honesty, and truth?
I won’t try to answer any of these questions. This essay is being written to simply have the discussion about what makes a man masculine, why might may make right or not, and why, while violence is the ultimate yes or no answer, it’s not so black and white and as we have seen throughout history, non-violence has moved mountains that the strongest man couldn’t move.
As with everything, there is nuance that needs to be addressed here, and my job is to facilitate discussion over a man who has stood for so much, yet been chastised for it as well. Yes, I tend to agree that he is very masculine, in fact more masculine than the biggest fighter or strongest warrior, simply because his will is iron, and his convictions are his weapons.
It also raises questions about other male characters in the story, like Boo Radley, and what they would be considered in terms of masculinity. I love exploring this subject and anything I can do to talk about one of my favorite books is always a welcomed task.
Atticus is much maligned for being a weak individual. He doesn’t fight, doesn’t brag, doesn’t get upset, very rarely raises his voice, and generally lets men stronger than him do the work. With Miss Maudie’s house, when it catches fire, he doesn’t help very much, with Tim Johnson where he consistently swears off wanting his kids to see him use a rifle, to being powerless when Bob Ewell attacks his kids. His kids see his discipline as passive, and he reads instead of being active.
He doesn’t retaliate when he’s spit on by Ewell. He doesn’t get upset with his children when they disobey him. He’s much too even keeled to have an effect on a situation, and he consistently blames his age or his weakness on things that he can’t do.
Especially in the first few chapters, he is what many in the sphere is the quintessential “beta”, a man who is weak physically, avoids certain situations, and doesn’t take control. From the perspective of Scout, Atticus could very well be seen this way, and what’s great about the book is that as it goes on, Scout’s perception becomes different as Atticus reveals more of who he is.
In the book, Atticus Finch is a lawyer, father, and state representative in the Alabama congress. He is an older man, having had his kids later in life and having lost his wife, Atticus, along with his house keeper Calpurnia, raise Jem and Scout (and sometimes Dil).
The first questions arise with every interaction Scout has with Atticus. Is he a masculine man?
Atticus, in many ways, is very stoic. He is a part manifestation of what Marcus Aurelius would have been, and we’ll be talking about Marcus later as well. He doesn’t raise his voice to his kids, in fact, his parenting style is seen as disapproved by the other townspeople, as well as his sister, Alexandra. He raises his kids in a very masculine way, simply because he is very straight forward, direct, but not necessarily too strict. He understands his masculine fatherhood has an effect on Scout and he brings in Alexandra towards the end of the book to help raise Scout to be a “proper girl.” Atticus believes in education, he is well read as are his children (sometimes socially to their own detriment), and his ways are not questioned to his face, even when his sister tries to gain some control over the house, he quietly places his boundaries.
If you have read this classic, you’ll know that several times in the book, Atticus tends to downplay his talents, his role to his kids. Scout and Jem many times ask what the hell their father does, whether anything he does means he’s a man, let alone a strong man, and for several chapters, question if what he does as an attorney, as a state representative (as they hadn’t seen anything else), and as the story unfolds, they slowly discover the type of man Atticus is. His masculinity is put into question early and often by Scout and Jem as they discuss what he does. The scene with Atticus and Tim Johnson (the rabid dog) gives his kids a glimpse of what kind of a man he is, and witnessing Atticus (who is known as the best shot in the county) changes Jem dramatically. He begins to truly respect his father and sees exactly what he does. Atticus’s actions through the rest of the book only galvanize Jem’s respect for him.
Through their interactions with him, they discover their father is a man of character, a man of honor, and a man of immense courage. The interactions with the gang trying to lynch Tom Robinson, and the bravery that Atticus exudes when faced with potential violence, even potentially sacrificing himself to protect Tom. The example I can think of is Ghandi, who’s use of non-violence changed India and granted them independence from Britain. Britain, just like the gang, could have used violence to get what they wanted. However, the cost of that violence would have cost them more than they could have imagined. Ghandi’s death at the hands of the British, just like if Atticus had been killed or beaten by the mob, would have done greater damage to the situation. Many of these men were Atticus’s friends and acquaintances, he knew these men. He knew their families, and with his kids by his side, he faced down the mob and won.
It was the same when confronted with Bob Ewell. Atticus was confronted by Bob Ewell because he had the temerity to defend Tom against a dishonest attack. As we see many times in the novel, Bob Ewell is the anti to Atticus’s pro.
Atticus Finch isn’t going to overpower anyone with violence. He’s powerless in the one part of the story where lethal violence is attempted. Boo Radley, on the other hand, was the one who used violence to stop Bob Ewell and help save Atticus’s kids. But he is a recluse, and we only ever meet him once, while he stays in the background until he is needed to save the day.
And let’s not forget the crux of Atticus in the story, that of standing up to racial bigotry. That alone qualifies him as masculine. He stood, alone many times, for something he believed in, through threats of violence and bullying, to try to defend Tom Robinson.
Ultimately, a man’s masculinity is determined by what he stands for, how he stands for it, and how he carries himself in pursuit of it. And even in the face of death, a man standing for something he believes in ultimately is the purest form of masculine power.
I love to do historical comparisons of fictional characters because it makes me very happy to try and draw lines on strengths and weaknesses that these two groups of people have. And what better way to compare than with Rome.
Atticus reminds me a ton of two famous Roman Emperors, Augustus and Marcus Aurelius. He really falls in line with Augustus, who we have historical records on as being very weak and sickly. Augustus however, while lacking in physical strength, had incredible charisma, as well as strategic and political powers that were well above the average. He maneuvered his way through tough Roman politics and faced down enemies with ruthless efficiency. But, he could not have done what he did had it not be for Marcus Agrippa. He provided the brawn to Augustus’s brains. Augustus would certainly not have had the long reign he had were it not for the army he controlled. But also, remember, in order to control the armies, you have to earn their respect. And Augustus did this in spades, through his portrayal as the “princeps” or “first citizen”. His charisma made him larger than life. Without that, Augustus would never have graduated from Octavian.
Marcus Aurelius is another comparison, simply because “the philosopher emperor” is such a huge draw for men studying stoicism and the effects he has one it. Truly, Atticus is just trying to live his life, do his job, and be magnanimous in his dealings. Marcus could fight sure, but his strength was in his command, as well as his philosophy. He commanded armies because of his calm, steady, and even handed leadership.
What’s funny about history, is that many of the most powerful men in it’s annals haven’t been able to be physically gifted or had the ability to fight well. Look across the spectrum and you’ll see even the most powerful men like Genghis Khan, Mao, and Napoleon were not your typical warriors, had to make deals with other tribes /leaders / countries, and couldn’t overpower enemies unless they had cunning, skill, and ruthlessness.
None of the men in “To Kill A Mockingbird” are overwhelmingly what would be called “masculine”. I think Lee goes out of her way to make that very apparent. She draws her masculine through the eyes of Scout, and Scout’s prism filters even very tough, masculine men with a hint of subtlety, bringing out their feminine sides.
At the beginning of the story, the weak are supposed to be Atticus and Boo, but in the end, it’s those two that make the story through their actions. Atticus with his iron will, and Boo with his timing and humility. It’s not enough to just be strong to be masculine. And I think Lee makes this very apparent. The crescendo of how these two men go from perceived weak to perceived strong with respect is always a funny arc that Lee paints.
In conclusion, would Atticus be compared to our most masculine men these days? Would he be a Jordan Peterson, Scott Adams, or would he be a Donald Trump, a Joe Biden, a Vladimir Putin, etc?
I leave that for you to ponder and discuss.
In my mind, Atticus makes up for his physical weakness by his almost indomitable will. He stands for what he stands for, because he believes it to be right, and men have shaped worlds with that attitude. Yes, violence is the ultimate answer, but charismatic, directed violence, as well as a unrestrained strength in the face of it, is also an answer, and more often than not, especially in the historical references, men who have the capability for violence are merely pawns in the chess game of men who understand the importance of violence as an answer, but also the importance of a strong will.
Without the will, violence is just violence. With the will, violence and even non-violence become much more effective tools.
Violence can only answer true or false questions in a world full of multiple choice, and as Atticus showed us, he can be threatened with absolute violence and still come out ahead in the end.
Third game of the young baseball season. Double, standing at second in the bottom of the third inning.
The adrenaline of the young season already pulsing through his veins. He had scholarship offers from three D-1 schools, but this season was going to put him in the elites. The team was eliminated in Semi- State last year, but the championship would be theirs this year.
Single. He comes around easily to score. This was going to be his year.
Bottom of the ninth. He walks. He’s already scored three times, but their bullpen had issues and gave up a two run homer. Game was tied. He’s 264 feet from the sweep.
Bunt drops. He dives for second. Safe. One step closer.
He’s been giving it his all, not just for the offers, but because, he believed, he was the best on this team. And of course he was. Led in most catagiries, defensively good in the outfield, and brought it every game. Great teammate, and this was going to be his year.
Next batter. Shallow single, but not shallow enough. Give him the sign as he rounded third to hold. Fuck that. He picks up steam. He slides focusing on the plate, and the catcher has the ball. Time to collide.
He hits the catcher full speed, ball drops out. Game won. But in the commotion, in the heroic act to win the game, he comes up wincing.
“Probably just a sprain…”, he thinks. Then he feels the sharp pain in his knee. He drops. The team, in their celebration around him clears for the trainer and coaches.
He’s sure it’s not serious. But damn it hurts. He goes for X-rays. Torn ACL, sprained MCL, the blood drains from his face. There it goes, the offers, the state championship, all of it.
This was supposed to be his year.
Sometimes, we’re so focused on checking the box, pushing so hard to get it done, that we destroy everything else around us in this singular focus.
The idea of hitting a goal, at whatever cost necessary, sets us back further on other, more important things.
Instead of losing one thing, we lose everything. In the example above, the best player that the team needed, pushed when he didn’t necessarily have to. And in his push, it cost him and his team the championship. It cost him offers. But most of all, it cost him himself.
Sometimes, playing smart means taking the short term L for the long term W.
Blazes of glory don’t do you any good when you’re dead.
Injuries don’t help you because you can’t play.
We give people shit sometimes for not going 120% all the time, because we think they aren’t trying hard. Whereas, many of them are playing the long game, understanding that it’s difficult to go undefeated if you don’t have your best on the field.
The goal of fixing the light socket doesn’t really matter if the house is burning down around you.
For a long time, at my job, I have two chess pieces in my office. A king and a queen. I knew I had to be a king to get the queen. But for years, and even recently, I’ve been caught up in checking that damn box and getting a woman that I could call mine.
I’ve written so much, so many times about how a woman shouldn’t be your focus, and here I was, making it that, trying to check that damn box, because I thought, after years of frustration, I had finally gotten to the relationship I wanted.
Nothing else mattered, no how she felt, not the timing, not the whole situation. Taking my time wasn’t in the cards, because I had to check that box.
So here I am again. I won a battle, but lost the war. I focused on home plate, but wasn’t concerned with this woman’s reaction to all of it. It wasn’t fair to her. She didn’t get a say. And that wasn’t right.
We, as men, are taught to lead, and they will follow. But we also can’t go off half cocked, shooting from the hip, especially when there are other people involved. It does zero good to build a life with someone by smothering them in your plans, aspirations, and goals without talking to them.
Assumptions are the mother of all fuckups.
If you want a “Ride or Die”, she has to be holding onto you right on the bike, not being dragged behind by a chain.
All because I wanted to check that box.
All because the idea of a significant other overrode all other scenarios. I didn’t make her a teammate, she was a subject, an object that I gave no mind to, all for trying to check that box.
It hurts because it was an unforced error.
It hurts because it could have been prevented.
I was too selfish to see that the plate was blocked, and I was going to get hurt sliding in.
Many of the lessons I’ve talked about in my past posts on this blog have only been given lip service to me and I haven’t truly lived some of them, especially in relationships.
It’s very humbling to have your words used back at you to tell you you haven’t been true to who you say you are. It’s mirror work that needs to happen, and as strong as I am in many aspects of my life, my relationships with women still need a ton of work.
And that starts with me. It starts with applying the lessons I’ve talked about, but apparently haven’t fully grasped.
It’s leading, not dictating. It’s strength, not dominance. It’s empathy, not stubbornness.
It’s confidence, not desperation. It’s abundance, not scarcity. It’s outcome independence, not hanging my hat on a star.
It’s patience, not pushing. It’s understanding, compassion, and humility.
A man who is measured, strong, and content in his life won’t be eager to check a box. He sees home plate and a shallow single, but also sees the hold sign at third. He knows that he’ll still be playing in the next series, win or lose, because he listened instead of busting ahead haphazardly.
I wasn’t ready. I was only ready to check the box. And checking the box doesn’t mean shit if the whole world is burning around it.
It does you no good to be sitting out injured while your team goes on without you when they didn’t have that choice. You made that choice when you rounded third, and you hurt those who depended on you, who loved you, and who believed in you.
But most of all, you hurt yourself. You made choices that you know weren’t right in order to justify checking that fucking box.
This blog has always been a journal for me, taking the lessons in life, the experiences that have shaped me, and applying them and learning from them. But there are still lessons I haven’t learned. Still things I have to apply. Still places where I’ve fallen short, merely pretending to learn while not truly grasping these situations.
This isn’t a simulation. This isn’t a sheet of paper with boxes to check off. This is real life, love, and other people with feelings, goals, desires and aspirations. They matter too, and in the quest to find a quality LTR, they have a say. They’re your teammate. They’re your lover, they’re your friend. They aren’t a mark on a paper, a post on social media, a trophy that you can add to your mantle.
I have work to do. I’m still trying to be the best man I can be, I’m working everyday to put what I preach into practice. But there are still blind spots that I need to address, especially when it comes to relationships.
But as I’ve always said, and recently forgotten: “You can’t have a quality relationship until you love yourself.”
Everything about you has to be sincere, honest, and representative of who you are striving to be.
I’ve forgotten some of that, and those closest to me have made it very clear that this is a pattern I need to correct. And I intend to.
How many men have said this with a girl they’ve just met?
How many men have told their friends and family about a woman who they saw, asked out, and said this?
How many men have said this simply by judging a 5 minute conversation they had with an attractive woman?
How many men have said this after a first date?
How many men have said this after several dates?
And how many men have been absolutely destroyed when they find out that the woman behind the beauty is a crazy person?
How many men have fallen asleep on the fact that the woman they fell for has more issues than Sports Illustrated?
How many men have realized the woman they thought they loved didn’t have a tenth of things in common with him that he thought?
We’ve all been there, gents.
My relationships always started off hot. But they fizzle fast. Why? Because, as men and women, especially in this day and age, when we find someone who is somewhat decent, we grab onto them like grim death, never looking at the potential consequences on not doing our homework on the person.
I’ve said many times that men will do research on cars, fitness, stuff they’re putting into their bodies, or buying a house, but when it comes to putting in the work on a woman they are dating, it’s fucking clown shoes.
Just because she’s got a pussy doesn’t mean she can skate by your scrutiny of her.
If any man truly wants a long term relationship with a woman, he has to know himself first. And to know himself, he has to have a checklist of major things that need to be in effect for her to even have a shot.
@ParabolicTrav has told me many times: “You determine who gets to be in your life.” Don’t sell yourself short on what you want in a relationship.
I consider vetting to be how a man, from the waist up, judges and checks a potential mate.
But how many men have truly vetted a woman? How many men have put her through her paces, asked the really tough questions, figured out the hang ups, or even had the uncomfortable conversations with her about certain things she believes, understands, or preaches about?
Vet and Vet Often
So how does one vet? If you’re like me, when I first got into a serious relationship, the first one with my future wife and ex-wife, I didn’t ask the questions, I merely let the relationship take over and take me with it. Why didn’t I ask the tough questions? Because, I was smitten, I figured she was okay, and for the most part she was, but there were several sticking points that came up after the relationship was established that should’ve derailed it, but it was too late.
So what is vetting?
Vetting is, in my words, a man’s big head telling the little head to slow the fuck down.
I’ve used an example of “shake her purse, and if it sounds like maracas, run.”
But seriously, you have to be able to look before you leap. Men fail to ask the tough, potentially interaction ending questions and allow the relationship and the woman to take the lead on this creature that is the potential relationship.
So what would a typical vetting session be about?
Have you asked a potential love interest:
If they are financially responsible?
if they have a history of mental issues?
if they are religious or not and if that jives with whether you are or not?
Does she have kids? Want them or not?
What’s her relationship with family, friends, her exes?
What habits does she have? Are they healthy or not? Does she drink too much? Smoke? Drugs?
Does she have feminist beliefs? What are her political preferences and is she open minded to other points of view?
Is she physically fit? Does she believe in being in good shape?
Does she share the same beliefs, goals, purpose, convictions?
Does she take responsibility for things she does or doesn’t do?
Does she take good care of herself mentally, spiritually, and physically?
Does she believe in traditional gender roles, or is she the boss and that’s it?
Does she keep a clean house?
These are just a sampling of the vetting questions men need to be asking women they are interested in. You are the captain of the ship. She can either get on board, or not. And the best way to ensure this is to keep vetting, even when the relationship progresses.
Good vetting only happens when you are solid in your frame and all of your life. You have a set of directives, goals, convictions and beliefs that you work off of. You hold to these unmovable traits. This is your FRAME.
She can choose to enter it or not, but when you have these sets of guidelines, she sees them, understands them, and then it becomes her choice to enter your world. But bear in mind, it is her choice, not yours. The minute you change to accommodate her, flex a piece of your frame, bend it and shape it to something other that what you apply in your own life, you’ve lost that part of the frame forever. You can’t get it back. Consistency is key in all of this. And keeping it consistent as well throughout the life of the relationship.
But the pull from the little guy is something that you must overcome. We’ve all seen hot girls, and when we see one our judgement is clouded by the prospect of blowing her back out.
Vetting helps to prevent this as well as puts you in control of the situation and how it is to go.
You have to ask the questions and not be upset if she walks.
You have to be able to hold your frame and be flexible on things not associated with your core values. She will bump up against that frame often to make sure you are holding true.
The Importance of It All
Why do I continue to push this?
Because, as with millions of men who have been affected, the modern man has not been properly introduced on the importance of vetting.
We see it every day. Men will do research on a car, house, stocks, crypto, etc., but when it comes to a woman, he’ll trust his dick over everything else.
And while she may make you feel good down there, the feeling of missed opportunities to feel her out while not wearing a condom come back to haunt men that take this road.
We see men who knew one thing about the woman they married but get a completely different person when the wedding ends. They get a woman who didn’t tell them she had declared bankruptcy, had Borderline Personality Disorder, had gone to jail, was a serial cheater, etc.
As a man, how much do you really know about her? Men ask me why they need to know things as long as she loves him. This is a disastrous mistake. A man must care about protecting himself, his frame, his assets, and other things that can be destroyed in divorce.
This is why, as a man, you have to park the urge to accept the woman just because she slept with you. When I lost my virginity at 27 to the woman I would eventually marry and then divorce, I didn’t have the intuition to ask the tough questions. I was fearful of losing steady pussy and a woman I thought I loved if I had decided to call the ball and take her to task on her questionable past.
With the state becoming a third party in marriage, it’s so important in this day and age for a man to properly vet a woman who wishes to become a part of his life. The stakes are incredibly high for men to protect everything they have and until more men start to see the consequences of marriage and divorce without vetting.
When you don’t do the work, you tend to get bit in the end.
There is also a misconception that you can vet EVERYTHING. You can’t. You, at least, must vet the BIG things, because you can’t anticipate all the little things you’ll miss.
And she’ll most certainly be vetting you, although most women don’t have to do the work that men need to do in order to vet their partner. The woman holds the keys to sex, the man holds the keys to commitment.
If you truly are a high value man and hold yourself in that regard, not just any woman can be with you. Your boundaries will determine what woman can be in your life. You will have a self contained assessment tool in your head about who can be in your life.
So vet and vet often. Work on securing and strengthening your boundaries, convictions, and beliefs, bending to no one when it comes to your core values.
And make sure a women who wants to be in your life is going to be good for your life.
Mistakes in accepting just anyone in relationships can cost a man dearly.
“It’s time for you to be a father, not chase tail all over the country.”
The voice cracked on my cell phone.
Angrily pacing in the airport, waiting on my return flight, with the phone clutched tightly in my hand, I countered, “It’s about me at this point in my life, my focusing on myself is not wrong. You can’t pour from an empty cup.”
My daughter had been crying in the background when my mother spoke next.
“You’re a shitty father. Your kids need you and you’re flying around chasing pussy.”
I had never heard my mother speak this way to me, and it shocked me greatly.
“Has everyone lost their damn minds up there? Do I get time to myself to travel, date, and sleep with women? What business is it of yours what the hell I do when I don’t have my kids?”
“It doesn’t matter. What matters is that your kids need you and you’re not here”, she said.
I had this happen before. It was clear as day to me.
Back in my marriage, my miserable dead end marriage, my ex used to call me at work with kids crying and guilt me into trying to come home, saying “they miss you”.
She would leverage my job against my family and she knew she was doing it. And here was my mother, another women in my life, trying to guilt and shame me into coming home because my daughter was a mess.
My daughter had been suffering from anxiety, a curse that I passed down to her, and she wasn’t coping very well. And as her screams and cries harangued in the background of my phone call that day, I wasn’t having another woman in my life try to tell me what I needed to do, leveraging my lifestyle with my kids.
I wasn’t hurting anyone. I was just going out on my time that I didn’t have my kids, traveling and meeting new people, and yes, I was having sex with women. So? “What the fuck?” was going through my head big time as I tried and failed several times to calm down. So there I was, in an airport in Pensacola, yelling at the phone.
Before this altercation, I had spent the better part of 2 years traveling all over the United States, by car and by plane, visiting places I’d never been, meeting people from Twitter and other walks of life, and yes, sleeping with women.
I had spent the majority of my 20’s working, not dating, and being terrible with women. My 30’s were spent with marriage and kids. And after I jettisoned my marriage after 10 years at 40 years old, it was time, albeit late, for me to sow my oats. I hadn’t had this kind of power with women in my life and I wanted to try it out for a spin. I was doing it within the rules of my divorce.
There were weekends I didn’t have my kids, so what harm was it for me to go and enjoy my life?
“I really thought I had thought this through” was running through my head.
Why wasn’t I able to pull this off? I thought I had done my homework. Why in the hell was I dealing with this?
I wanted to continue to travel. I wanted to continue to date all over the country. I wanted to continue having fun with my free time.
But what I didn’t understand? With my particular circumstances, with who I was, and with what I was doing, I couldn’t pull it off.
Some men can and do.
My kids were suffering from my absence, even if I didn’t believe it.
Yes, when I was there, I was there for my kids. But, I wasn’t really there. Between work, hotels, flights, rental cars, date nights, and all the other stuff that was piling up, I was missing from my kids lives. My mind wasn’t where it needed to be. With pussy, dinner plans, and travel getting the lion’s share of my attention, I was mailing it in with my kids.
They needed a strong, grounded father who had built a foundation of strength and stability. They were getting neither from me. And when the inevitable blowups occurred, they (and the women in their lives) needed a strong, masculine calm to break the tension, something that I could not provide at that moment.
And I knew it. Damn I was having fun doing this life. But in a round about way, even if my mom was wrong for calling me a shitty father, she was right about one thing. This wasn’t me, and I wasn’t there.
I couldn’t pull it off. Some other dude could. I couldn’t.
So, as I left the airport bound for home that day, I had to rethink my entire strategy and if it was even possible to have these incompatible lives.
My mother had said very hurtful things to me. Things that I knew weren’t true, but things she had never said to me before. I had to grasp why she felt this way.
The women in my life (mother, sister, and ex) were losing control of the situation because I never had it under control. I took off week after week for a new destination, all while leaving these women in charge of a situation that I figured they had control over. But the minute I left, the shit hit. Why?
Because I wasn’t there. Not necessarily there physically. But there. My presence. My infrastructure. My frame. My setup. My processes.
I had done none of it to help offset any issues that I was hoping wouldn’t come up. I knew about my daughter and her volatility. I still did nothing. I blindly let myself get away with it, and now the check had come due.
She wasn’t getting her dad. She was getting a dude mailing it in on the days he was around and passing it off to others on the days he wasn’t.
The one thing I had wanted in life was to be good with women, and here I was, better than I’d ever been, and I was being asked to give it up for my kids?
Yes. Yes I was.
My kids needed me.
Putting It To Bed
Did I have to give it up?
The thought and question raced through my mind as I flew back home.
The flights lasted longer than any other I’ve ever taken, because I was being asked to let go of something I like doing, but it was becoming detrimental to my home life.
I understood, finally, that I could travel and do some of the things I wanted to do, but just not to the scale of how I was doing them.
I had to get back home and plant firm ground to give my kids the foundation and frame they needed to thrive, even when I wasn’t around. So I did just that and established myself firmly.
And as if by magic, my kids improved dramatically.
As Zac Small says, “Presence is greater than presents.”
And it was proven after my flight landed that night.
A year later, I went back to my mom.
I went up to her, gave her a hug, and told her I forgave her for calling me a shitty father.
She apologized for calling me that as well.
She understood that I had improved as a father, by simply being there for my kids, as opposed to being there for unnamed women.
No amount of pussy is worth jeopardizing your family over.
The women in my life that were the most important to me were getting the full me, finally.
Daughters, mother, sister were getting me, but also, the real me. I wouldn’t put up with any shit, but I would respectfully acknowledge that I was lacking in certain areas as a father, and that was more important to me to correct than any other issue at that time.
And my job was to make sure that my kids got me first and often. I needed to be there for them, even if it meant sacrificing my short term goals, I had to focus on the long term of my kids.
My lives, for just me, were at the moment and for the foreseeable future, incompatible. I couldn’t be the single dad who picked up girls any more. I had to just be the dad. And be a good one, which I knew I was.
But I also had to come to the realization that a long term relationship is what I wanted.
I saw her when I first walked into the room at the networking event. I went over to the bar and talked with the bartender for a moment, then ordered my usual Zombie Dust ale. I had been to many of these before, but this was the first time I’d seen this woman at this kind of event. She wore a light blue business suit, lace cami underneath, and a pearl necklace. Her eyes were as brown as mine were, and her dark brown hair was long and thick.
I sat at the bar watching her set up her booth, a sales table to give out free shit and promote her company. Her boss was flirting with another girl across the room while I looked into her eyes. She kept looking away. Her heels were on point. Fashion pumps with a fresh pedicure. I noticed everything about her. Her earrings, blue hoops matched her suit. She knew what she was doing.
So naturally, I went over to her. We started talking about her company, what she was doing at this networking event, and all the blah topics, but I eventually got her to open up and with a few drinks, we were having a good time as the networking event ended.
What was funny throughout all of this, is the mask was slipping a bit on her. She was obviously a drinker, party girl, but it was amazing how little it took for her to let her hair down and get out of her “business” mindset that made her nervous and unsure about herself.
Liquid courage does it every time.
Sure, she said she had a boyfriend, but she wasn’t acting like it. Touching my leg, whispering in my ear, other things that stated that she was unattached for the right guy.
There were other women there, but they weren’t as “hot” as she was. They didn’t command the room like she did. They were more homely, more reserved, less obnoxious, but they weren’t as hot as she was.
Men let women get away with a ton of shit when they’re hot.
This was the first 9 I had hit on, flirted with. My new found confidence, improved physique, and improving social skills were winning the day. This was what I had prepared for. This was the hotness I wanted in my life.
What I didn’t know at that time…..was that she was a 9, but she was also a damn handful.
I was just stoked to have pulled a hot girl. For months before, as I was working on my game and my approaches, I would go up to hot girls and be smacked down like a weak jumper in the paint. But, all of the sudden, the work was paying off, and I felt as if this was the big time that I was finally going to get some of that top-notch pussy that all the guys talk about.
Other women would look, try to get my attention, but I didn’t care. I had the hottest girl in the room flirting and touching me. Time to take this party on home and enjoy the spoils.
And enjoy I did. I’m sure we did things that her boyfriend didn’t get to do with her.
It was everything I had ever expected and more…..until I woke up the next morning.
Hot But Not Attractive
As I was learning, there was a difference in her attitude when she was not “in character” trolling for dudes in the dregs of the networking circuit. She would proudly claim “boyfriend” if her suitors were not properly attractive enough for her to deem worthy.
And this was just the tip of the iceberg. She was demanding. She had been used to men doing what she wanted because she was hot. When she came across a guy who didn’t, she immediately began the shit testing in earnest. And as I was finding out, she wasn’t a very deep person, meaning she kept her eyes on her phone one minute, and the mirror the next. She had tons of admirers….
As we started dating, I knew it wasn’t going to last very long. She wasn’t interested in anything but the attention she got from the guys she wanted. It was all about her, so it stood to reason that our little escapades weren’t going to last long at all.
Look, the sex was great. Her body and face would make me hard in a heartbeat, and I’d spend quite a few hours pounding away at her. But after the release, my post nut clarity (h/t to Donovan Sharpe for that little nugget) told me this girl was trouble.
Her liberal, “empowered”, independent woman mindset was getting older by the minute.
She belched like a trucker, she was a fucking slob, she was jealous of other girls who I spoke with, all while chatting away with other guys (of which I was slowly not giving a shit). I was under the impression of the many guys in PUA who had told me, “Dude, no matter how hot she is, some dude, somewhere, is tired of her shit.”
She would constantly try to start shit, even when we were out together at dinner. She would shit test incessantly just to try to get a rise out of me. Her self-esteem hinged on being able to challenge me at every opportunity, and it was getting tiresome.
The final straw came when one night, she decided to start talking shit to me when I was at a dinner event with some friends. I wasn’t going to stand for this anymore. So as she started to escalate, I left. And I never looked back to her.
I felt like I had won a prize at first, but then I felt as if the prize wasn’t as pristine and great as it had led me to believe.
She was high maintenance, an attention whore, a slob, and a deeply flawed human being.
But at least she was hot, right?
She would constantly challenge me in front of people, hoping I would erupt and fight back. Constant shit testing became a wear on my nerves.
But at least she was hot, right?
The sex was great. She was extremely good-looking. And I forgave many things she did because her ass looked good in a dress and she wore the heels I liked. But she was always on her phone, talking to who knows, planning her next dude, and this temporary fun time proved the point of the manosphere that “she’s not yours, it’s just your turn” was real as fuck.
But at least she was hot, right?
As I grew older, wiser, and dated more, I found out some things about women that I needed to find out. As soon as the leash of a dead marriage was off of me, I started to go all out in search of the hot women, because I was told they would make me happy. Having hot sex with a hot girl was what life was about. And in some way, yes, I’m glad I experienced it with her, but in many other, mounting cases, there was a reason she was single with a boyfriend for convenience.
Attractive But Not Hot
So after repeating this approach with hot women, and understanding that there were issues with the women I was dating, I started to up my own qualifications. No longer was it just about being a hot woman, it was about more than that. I started to look deeper into the women I was hitting on.
The thrill of banging a hot woman was getting old now. I understand that there are many men who would’ve killed to be in these positions and that I was looking a gift horse in the mouth if I wasn’t going to use my newfound powers to plow different girls, but I just didn’t see the benefit, especially if my mental stability was at stake.
So I pulled back. I regrouped and focused on what I really wanted in a woman that wasn’t being proudly displayed in public.
I started to talk to women and hit on them if I truly was attracted to them. The women I walked by so many times before at the networking events, at the restaurants, at the bars, that weren’t as hot, but were still good looking, were the ones I would talk to.
Many of them were non-starters, but more than enough of them were better and less work than the 8’s and 9’s I had struggled with.
And I was getting better with all women, but I was also raising my personal standards with women. I wasn’t going to just sleep with a woman for the hell of it, because while it was fun, the price of getting my dick wet wasn’t worth the mental anguish I was getting by dating these girls.
I was looking for a “Ride or Die”, a woman who would come into my world and be willing to be a part of it. It was her call. And I’d be remiss if I didn’t say I’d take a few hotness points less for a woman who would support me and be my “Ride or Die.”
As the old adage goes, “I’d rather date a 6 or 7 than put up with an 8 or a 9.”
There’s something to be said about a woman who has her shit together and is attractive in other ways besides looks. I’ve seen women who were a 5 or 6 who were more feminine, softer, and more attractive than the hottest 8 or 9. That’s because attitude either adds or subtracts from a woman. The hottest girl can be the most unattractive asshole if she opens her mouth. Hotter girls are more entitled, as they’ve had men waiting on them hand and foot for much of their lives.
As I’ve always said, the most unattractive hot girl is one that knows it.
Humility and being humble are extremely attractive in women.
Look, I’m not saying find the ugliest, fattest chick you can get because she might be attracted to you. You’re allowed to have standards. But be aware of the hot girls and the baggage they bring with their looks.
As a guy, it’s important for you to sow your oats. And yes, getting experience with hot women is what every guy wants. But be aware that it’s not everything.
Get your dick wet with a hottie. And if you’re lucky enough to find a hot girl that is actually humble and has it all together, hold on to her like grim death.
There are unicorns out there, they just need to be attracted by a beast of a man.