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Everything posted by KevinD

  1. There are an awful lot of women who wouldn't mind a bit if men went a little more "by the book" in romance. But hey, I don't want to sound like I'm advocating that a man hide or misrepresent his genuine self. So if you're a douchebag, frat boy, neanderthal, etc., by all means have at it!
  2. (This is an article I wrote for my romantic advice blog for men — The Leading Man.) When I was a teenager, my driver's ed teacher taught me how to properly jump-start a car. Most people do it wrong, he explained. They connect both cable clips to the dead battery. Watch a professional do it. The pro connects the red (positive) cable to the battery, the other to an unpainted piece of metal under the hood. The way the majority of people do it does often result in a successfully started engine. But it can also create sparks, which might cause the battery to explode. The odds of this happening are relatively small, but a pro doesn't take chances. Professionals do it the right way. Part of being a professional lies in knowing what not to do. When you understand romance, you notice all sorts of things that guys do which indicate that they have not attained a high degree of mastery in this area. They make mistakes — some huge, many sloppy and small. I was in a restaurant the other day, and saw a guy come in with a young woman. Over the course of ten minutes, I witnessed: 1. She opened the door when they entered. 2. As they stood inside waiting for the hostess to come over to them, he put his hand on the back of her neck and began rubbing it. 3. When the hostess said, "You can sit wherever you like," the guy turned to his girl and asked, "Where do you want to sit?" 4. Once at the table, he talked excessively. He complained. He swore. 5. When their food arrived, he mostly looked down at his plate and concentrated on feeding his face, barely making eye contact with the woman. One might argue that these are minor issues. They are. But romance is very much about "little things" — details that demonstrate that a man is aware, that he is sophisticated and mature, and that he knows what he's doing. Romance isn't friendship. It's not enough for a woman to think you're a cool guy with an interesting personality. It's not enough for her merely to like you; she has to admire you, and experience you emotionally as her protector. A high-quality woman wants to sense that you are a cut above the masses of men. She needs to feel that you're special and different. At best, every error that a guy makes in romance represents a missed opportunity — a moment when he could have made a positive impression, but didn't. There's no better way to come across as "different" in a woman's eyes than to study romance, internalize its principles, and put yourself across at all times in a professional manner! P.S.: 1. A professional man opens the door for a woman. 2. A professional man does not put his hands on a woman in public. 3. A professional man selects the table in a restaurant. 4. A professional man doesn't talk too much; he keeps his conversation polite and positive. 5. A professional man makes relaxed, easygoing eye contact with a woman, casting her in the spotlight of his awareness. He makes her feel seen, heard, acknowledged and important. © 2013 Kevin Delaney
  3. Once again, the anti-principled approach. "The field is simply too complex for a principle — any kind of principle — to be established." Principles are man's means of dealing with complexity. They reduce, in effect, what could otherwise be a bewildering heap of concretes, down to something much more mentally manageable. This doesn't prove that any particular principle which anyone chooses to advance is true. But when you begin your thinking on a given subject by saying, "There is no principle here; there cannot be one," that's when thinking stops. Every process of investigation & inquiry is a quest to establish generalizations. A generalization is not a rule, a commandment, or a "categorical imperative." It's the means of helping you to achieve clarity on a topic; it doesn't make you omniscient. The ideas I discuss have their roots in the biological/anatomical nature of men and women, which is necessary to examine, and can be helpful to bear in mind when attempting to understand this subject. Man is an integrated being; his physical nature cannot possibly have no bearing on his emotions, particularly in an area which so combines the physical and emotional as sex. To say my ideas are "derived from biology" — as if I observed certain biological facts, then extrapolated "rules" for how men and women must necessarily behave as a result of them — is a horrific misinterpretation of my position. That would be rationalism, and utterly, stupidly wrong. I often get the impression that people sort of half-read what I write.
  4. It's psychological. Can't you understand that? Again and again (and again . . . and again) you can witness my critics taking an anti-principled approach. "People have a huge variety of sex and people are all different in their preferences" — therefore no general conclusions can ever be arrived at. To say otherwise is to believe that you have intimate knowledge about every person on the planet. Perhaps the entire science of psychology is invalid, and possibly even ethics. After all, "everyone is an individual."
  5. I don't say that the differences between men and women in sex "come from biology." That's a crude misunderstanding of my position. Masculinity and femininity have their roots in immediately observable biological fact, most basically in the anatomical differences between male and female. Man possesses a penis, and woman a vagina; man enters, and woman is entered. This has not-insignificant implications for the way we emotionally experience sex, and consequently for how each of us perceives and relates to the other sexually. Doubtless environment plays some role in every person's psychosexual development. But what I'm speaking about is far too basic, and much too universal to be solely or even primarily the result of external influences. To anyone who argues that masculinity and femininity are "social" constructs, I ask: If men and women were to become liberated from society's influence, would we then turn into psychological neuters? Society does attempt to foist many wrong, harmful notions about what it means to "be a man" or "be a woman" upon us all the time. We need to sort through the nonsense, and arrive at reality-based concepts if we're to achieve sanity (to say nothing of happiness) in this regard.
  6. As I use the term, masculinity is rooted in the fact of one's maleness, and in his attraction to the opposite sex. But there's a lot more to it than that. If by "undisputed" you mean "not disputed by anyone," or that which cannot be disputed, then discussion of any number of topics is impossible. All members of a particular discussion should agree on fundamentals, including basic definitions. In simplest essence, masculinity is the state of appropriate mental/psychological functioning for a man in the area of sex and related matters, assuming always a heterosexual context. Femininity can be defined similarly. The need for these concepts arises from the fact that, in sex, men and women are not identical — that there are key biological differences, as well as important psychological/emotional differences which exist between the sexes. Men and women occupy differing perspectives in sex, which crucially affect their respective experiences in the sexual arena, and in connected aspects of life (e.g., romantic love). It's at this level that many of my critics ostensibly have their greatest difficulty with me. If you don't agree that men and women are different, and that's it's valid to talk about a man's perspective in love and sex versus a woman's, then anything I say which follows from that will seem like gobbledygook. I don't know how I could prove this premise to someone who doesn't accept it, other than to say: Look at reality. A 15 year-old boy going forth in dating doesn't need to be told that guys and girls are different; he slams up against the fact repeatedly. His concern (if he's intelligent) is to refine his awareness of these differences, to understand what they mean for him, and to determine what course of action he should pursue as a result.
  7. If responding to me is a mistake, why do you continue to do it?
  8. I do not advocate "tricks" — I advocate a principled approach to romance. Every one of my critics so far in this thread manages to mangle or misrepresent my ideas to some degree. Reading the various reactions, paraphrases and denunciations at times makes me wonder if we're speaking the same language, or whether Google Translate might be involved. It's a little like watching yourself being hanged in effigy, only the dummy looks nothing like you. At some point I will address the fallacy of "masculinity versus the self," which is a subset of "romance versus the self," which I regard as a species of the mind-body dichotomy. JASKN and many of my other detractors seem to be confused by this extremely common error. For a man to be "masculine" in romance, the thinking goes, he must transform into something different from his actual personality — a stereotype, as it were. But you can't keep up the charade forever: Eventually, the "real you" emerges, which bears little resemblance to the phony, "masculine" character you initially presented yourself to be. At this point, your relationship with the woman you deceived necessarily suffers. If you are a man, and you desire a sexual relationship with a woman, then masculinity is in you. It is a part of you; it's a vital aspect of you. It needs to be discovered and developed, but at no point ever should you put yourself across to anyone as something (or someone) you're not. Authenticity is a key romantic concept for both women and men. If a man takes the time to consider what I am saying, and avoids jumping to hysterical conclusions, I'm confident that he will come to understand his genuine, masculine self on a deeper level. This self-awareness can only help to make him more effective in his efforts to connect meaningfully with with a woman, and to sustain that connection over time. Thank you for your candor, it's helpful to know where people are coming from. Let me go on record as saying I am one hundred — if not a thousand — percent in favor of romance, of romantic relationships, and of the ecstasy of romantic love.
  9. He said he feels attracted to her, which for a man can happen extremely easily. In the past, he might have rushed into a relationship with her on the basis of his emotions, and because she has indicated that she wants it. I hope that any man operating in romance does what he does because he understands why such is the proper course of action, not because I (or anyone else) told him to!
  10. Sex, dear. Sex is what makes romantic love so gol-darned exceptional.
  11. In society, human beings properly are recognized as individuals first, members of a class, group, or sex second. (To reverse this, does indeed result in the kind of bigotry that DonAthos implicitly accuses me of above.) But romance is a personal relationship — specifically, an interpersonal one — and in many respects, it represents a grand exception. In romance, a man must recognize and address himself to a woman's feminine psychological nature. He sees her, relates to her, and above all experiences her, first and foremost, as a woman. If he doesn't, he fails in romance. He might make a fine friend, but he'll be a lousy lover. Femininity does not diminish or contradict a woman's individuality — in fact it enhances it. An individual man is an individual man; he possesses a masculine psychology, yet no two men are "masculine" in exactly the same way. Don't fall prey to the ideas of those who would love to see you made miserable. To be aware that a woman is a woman in romance, and to conduct yourself appropriately as a man in relation to her, isn't sexist — it means that you are cognizant of a basic, inescapable, and overwhelmingly positive aspect of reality.
  12. Treat individuals as individuals — and relate to a woman as a woman in romance.
  13. What do you mean by "make a move"? In my opinion, five weeks is too soon to begin an exclusive relationship with someone. I can't prescribe specific time tables; in this instance, there is a man who — for whatever reason — has indicated that he is not yet ready for the level of intimacy and exclusivity that a woman is pressing him for. Isn't that enough? As I indicated above, if the sexes in the scenario were reversed, we wouldn't be having this discussion.
  14. You need much more than information about a person to decide whether or not they should become your exclusive romantic partner. You need a strong sense of who they are as a human being. What is their basic character and sense of life? Are they moral? How do they conduct themselves generally? Are they sweet, supportive, benevolent, kind — or is there nastiness and spite bubbling beneath the surface? Perhaps most important: How do their values & personality mesh with yours? These questions can only be answered by getting to know a person across time, and by the two of you interacting on a number of different occasions. It's kind of incredible that anyone would have to make the case for taking it slow in romance, but such is the state of our current culture.
  15. As if "feelings" were the be-all and end-all of why one should enter into an exclusive relationship with someone! Men need to take their time and scrutinize a potential partner — just as, and for the same reasons that, women must. In my world, an exclusive relationship involves a serious decision. It's to be approached with caution. He feels an attraction to her. Great. Feeling are not knowledge. Besides, what if he has similar feelings of attraction for other women he's dating? Five weeks is a flash in the grand scheme of things. If he's spacing out his interaction with her the way I prescribe, that could mean as few as two or three dates. Rushing in romance is, objectively, "unmanly" — i.e., unmasculine. 100% of modern men rush. My goal is to help a man to set aside his emotions (temporarily), so he can see more clearly, and avoid making bad choices.
  16. I'll never hire you as a ghostwriter! Reverse the sexes of the participants: A woman is dating a man whom she likes and feels attracted to, but he is now pressing her for a level of intimacy and exclusivity that she is not yet ready for. Would you (or anyone) advise this woman to take into account his "individuality," and modify her own timetable so as not to "work against" him? If I were to write that a woman should stick to her principles and avoid making emotional choices with men, will you call my advice "downright horrible"? My critics cannot bear the idea of a man taking charge of his own life, and taking a strong, confident lead in romantic love.
  17. (This is an article I wrote for my romantic advice blog for men — The Leading Man.) From a reader: I’ve been dating a 25 year-old woman for about five weeks . . . I like many things about her, and we have good chemistry, but she seems to be overly eager for us to become an exclusive couple. Prior to discovering your website, I would have jumped at the chance, since she’s quite physically attractive and has many positive qualities. Now I have a more “skeptical attitude.” I’ve told her that we need to get to know each other better before making any serious commitments. She seems partly impressed by this, but also somewhat irked. She has told me that she thinks we should be seeing each other (or at least keeping in touch) a lot more often. She often tries to engage me in phone/text conversations, but as per your advice I always insist on in-person communication. I’m doing my best to take things slow . . . It’s hard because I am so attracted to her, and she constantly hints that she wants more than we’ve got now. We have not been physically intimate, aside from kissing. I’m worried that if I keep going at this pace, she’s going to get fed up and drop me. She has no shortage of suitors who would become her boyfriend in an instant. What do you think? For a man in romance, consistency is key. A Leading Man does not ever modify his basic game plan to suit a particular woman. A Leading Man is such because he knows in principle what is the correct thing to do, and he does it consistently. You seem to be doing all the right things. You’re taking it slow. You insist on communicating in person, not via phone or text. Any mature adult who understands romance would commend you, and confirm that you’re doing exactly what you should. A woman will often test a man to see if she can wrest control away from him. When she succeeds in doing so, he (and the relationship) fails. The tests might not be intentional. But any time you find that you have feelings for a woman, consider yourself tested: Will you adhere to your principles and do what you know to be right, or will you be run by your feelings? That said, there is a definite type of woman whom you will encounter from time to time, whose virtual goal in life is to be in a relationship with a man. Some women just can’t stand to be single. This especially becomes an issue when a woman has recently broken up with a guy. The “rebound effect” is real, and can cause a person to desire a greater level of intimacy and commitment with a new partner prematurely. Your goal in romance is to form an exciting, dynamic connection with a woman — one which is mutually rewarding, and ideally lasts for a while. You’re here to sweep her off her feet, not to fulfill a role (“boyfriend,” “husband”) in her life. A quality relationship cannot be rushed. It takes time; it involves a lot of getting to know each other. In negotiating, whenever the other side starts to apply pressure, that’s when you back off. You become more skeptical and uncertain than you had been before. In romance, pressure of any kind is unloving and unsupportive. If she’s as attractive as you say, she ought to be overjoyed to have finally met a man who is sincerely interested in taking his time to get to know her — and who has the self-discipline not to be lured off the path of righteousness. If things don’t work out with her, there are plenty of other women who are dying for you to work your slow, steady, masculine magic on. Stay the course. Take your time, take the lead, always in romance! © 2013 Kevin Delaney
  18. Don't be an egalitarian. The owner clearly has faith in you as a tenant, and would prefer to have someone he knows inhabit his property, rather than gamble on a stranger. To a great extent, success in life consists of taking cognizance of your "unfair advantages," and making the most of them.
  19. In one important sense, a man must "impress" a woman, and he must consciously intend to do so. A woman cannot fall in love with a man if she isn't impressed with him. How a man goes about this, of course, is crucially important. But the fact remains that modern women are suffering from a glut of totally unimpressive guys. Men who know what they're doing in the area of romance have become virtually extinct. A man should always be his authentic self. He should also be his best, most attractive, most masculine self. The average man today doesn't have the faintest clue what masculinity means and consists of. Consequently, he's helpless in his relationships with women — experiencing heartache, heartbreak and confusion. My purpose is not to transform a man into someone other than who he is, or who he wants to be, but to help him discover this lost aspect of himself and learn how to apply it to his relationships. It means: Put in an effort. Study romance, pay attention to the way women respond to you, and relax and have fun exploring the process. As an addendum, here's something an attractive young woman whom I know in Los Angeles posted recently on Facebook: Remember, I'm the bad guy because I advocate that we men grow up, man up, accept responsibility and do the right thing in romance!
  20. If it's truly the first time that you and another person will be getting together and spending an appreciable amount of time together, then there's really only one appropriate activity: You should meet at a coffee shop or other similar establishment, and talk to each other for about 45 minutes to an hour. The other things listed are fine for dates a little further down the line. The author suggests attending plays and other types of performances (during which talking is generally prohibited), yet cautions against picking too strenuous a trail when hiking, since it's important to be able to converse with your date! Generally speaking, it's a good idea to stay out of theaters, and avoid any activity which prevents you from communicating face-to face, for the first several dates. I extremely strongly suggest NOT "going home" with someone on a first date.
  21. (This is an article I wrote for my romantic advice blog for men — The Leading Man.) Ashleigh Brilliant once remarked: "I have abandoned my search for truth, and am now looking for a good fantasy." I don't recommend that anyone ever give up on their quest for the truth. However the statement has some interesting application to the subject of romance . . . Women are looking for a "good fantasy." Women are tired of day-to-day, ordinary reality, fed up with the grind that passes for "real life." A woman longs for color and spice in her life — particularly in her love life. Women consume an astonishing amount of fiction. I know women who read more books and watch more movies in a month than I do in a year! The best-selling category of publishing has long been romance. Who reads romance novels? It's not men. To sweep a woman off her feet, you have to be her fantasy man. You must represent something exciting, unusual and different to her. Remember always that a woman wants to feel: conversation about mundane, "practical" topics generally gets you nowhere fast. Make a woman laugh — ask her silly, offbeat questions, like: "Which would you rather encounter if you were walking in the forest, an Ewok or a Hobbit?" or "If you could be any kind of fruit or vegetable for a day, which would it be?" Demonstrate to her that you're a confident, adventurous man, unafraid to step outside the constraints of average, "regular life." This doesn't mean that you take her skydiving or involve her in death-defying stunts. But when you're operating within the genre of romance, you have to think outside the box. Show me a woman who's involved with a man who brings a high degree of creativity to his interaction with her — who keeps her enthralled through mystery and intrigue — a man who understands how to arouse anticipation in her — who connects with her on a deep emotional level, activating her senses and stimulating her imagination — and I'll show you a woman who very likely won't be leaving her man any time soon! © 2013 Kevin Delaney
  22. (This is an article I wrote for my romantic advice blog for men — The Leading Man.) If a woman doesn't respect you, it's impossible for her to feel eros toward you. A woman's feelings of attraction for a man are predicated on her ability to experience admiration when she's in his presence, or when she thinks about him. How many people do you admire whom you don't respect? Men manage to destroy romance all the time, by acting in ways that make it impossible for women to respect them. They come across as needy, clingy, immature and insecure. They tend to overdo things — calling/texting too often, spending inordinate amounts of time with her, deluging her with presents and complements. Want to give a woman a gift? Be different from the hordes of guys who annoy her with their loneliness and desperation. A woman wants to feel that you live a life; that you have an interesting, full existence apart from her. When she is with you, she wants to feel that she is stepping into an exciting world. She wants to feel that being with you is an honor and a privilege. She does not want to feel that you have unlimited time for her, or that she is your only romantic option. By limiting the amount of contact you have with a woman, you make the time you do spend together that much more special. You give her the opportunity to long for you, and to look forward to your next encounter. You also instill in her that special, rare, delicious emotion: the feeling that you are able to get along quite OK without her! © 2013 Kevin Delaney
  23. (This is an article I wrote for my romantic advice blog for men — The Leading Man.) When a woman first begins to date a man, she tends to have two major concerns about him. One is the question of whether or not he is trustworthy. Will she be able to rely on him? Can he be counted on to be there for her when she needs him? The second worry is whether or not he will be needy and clingy in the relationship. Virtually all women have had experiences with men who at first seemed great, only to eventually reveal themselves to be children looking for a mother. The last thing a rational woman wants is to feel that she has to take care of a man — that she is somehow responsible for his emotional well-being. When a man lacks maturity, and particularly when he lacks a strong career orientation in his life, he will often look to relationships with women to fill an emotional void. This type of man is not able to bring confident, inspiring masculine energy into a woman's life. Although she might initially feel attracted to him, over time he becomes a pest. For this reason, many women will drop a guy cold at the first sign of insecurity or "mama-seeking." In the early stages of getting to know a woman, it's extremely important that she get the impression that you are a vital man living an exciting, full life; that you are emotionally independent and psychologically whole. Demonstrate this to her, by doing the opposite of what needy men do: ▪ Be the one to end conversations first. Attractive women are used to guys trying to talk their ears off. ▪ In the beginning especially, limit yourself to seeing her no more than once per week. (If she wants to get together more often than that, tell her you'd like to, but your schedule does not permit.) ▪ Keep your dates short. When you're having fun, don't allow it to go on all night. ▪ Reveal information about yourself gradually. Let her work to pull it out of you. ▪ Keep your demeanor upbeat and positive at all times. Do not burden a woman by talking about your problems. ▪ Never brag or boast, even in a subtle, implied way. ▪ Don't be in a rush to get into an exclusive relationship! © 2013 Kevin Delaney
  24. (This is an article I wrote for my romantic advice blog for men — The Leading Man.) In sales & marketing, there's an important concept known as "qualifying the prospect." If you own a company that sells sailboat accessories, a list of 10,000 random names & addresses will likely not be of much use to you. Most people don't own sailboats, and therefore won't have much interest in what you're selling. But a list of people who have bought a sailboat within the last year could be extremely valuable to you. These are pre-qualified leads — people who fall reasonably within the category of those who might be receptive to your offer. It's the same with women. A lot of pick-up artist hooey to the contrary, no man is so irresistible or so skilled at "seduction" that he can make any woman fall for him. Many women are already in relationships; they're emotionally committed to someone else. You do not stand a glimmer of a hope with them. Of the women who are single, many simply won't find you especially attractive. It's nothing against you, it just means that for whatever reason, you aren't that particular woman's "type." A certain number of women, however, will come to like you very soon after meeting you. They'll appreciate your looks, enjoy your personality, and be open to getting to know you better. They'll experience the emotion of intrigue in your presence. These are your qualified leads. These are the women you can select among, and proceed to work your romantic magic on. Too many men waste too much time & energy chasing after hopeless dreams. We tend to get wrapped up in our own feelings of attraction — often discounting, rationalizing, or ignoring the way a woman is responding to us. Some guys even thrive on resistance and challenge. If a woman isn't giving them the kind of response they want, they'll amp up their game even more. There's an old saying: Men do the picking, but women do the choosing. As a man, you may only pick from among women who have (emotionally) chosen you. The good news is, if a woman has "pre-qualified" you in this way, and assuming that you are also attracted to her, then it's definitely possible to turn her initial intrigue and positive impressions into eventual romantic passion. © 2013 Kevin Delaney
  25. (This is an article I wrote for my romantic advice blog for men — The Leading Man.) It's an extremely common scenario… A man is attracted to a woman, and wants to date her. The woman isn't interested in him in this way, and says that she wants to be "friends." The man thinks: That isn't what I want, but I suppose it's better than nothing. So he accepts the "friendship," and proceeds to endure protracted misery and frustration. When a woman says to you that she "just wants to be friends," she almost certainly doesn't mean it literally. Women aren't dumb; they understand that a one-sided romantic attraction is not a good basis for a healthy relationship of any kind. The phrase "Let's just be friends" is a polite kiss-off — a way for a woman to turn you down without hurting your feelings too much. A sane woman who utters it is very likely hoping that you'll understand this, and have the brains and self-respect to leave her alone. Most men don't do this. They accept the "consolation prize" of friendship, knowing full well that what they want is something more. But you can't turn off your feelings — and when an attraction is unrequited, it tends to grow stronger. Thus, you have the sad spectacle of a man who continues to hang around a woman and see her socially, all the while hoping that somehow, eventually, she'll come to see what a great guy he is, and she'll start to desire to have him as her boyfriend. That day, unfortunately, never comes. Do yourself (and your masculinity) a huge favor: Keep your romantic life as simple, uncluttered and uncomplicated as possible. A major aspect of this is to keep the distinctions between friendship and romantic love absolutely clear in your mind at all times. There are women you're friends with, and women you're attracted to. Do not attempt to mix these categories. When a woman tells you, in one way or another, that she isn't interested in dating you, accept it and move on. Make it a clean break; don't accept "consolation prizes" in lieu of what you really want. When you attempt to engage in a friendship with a woman you have romantic feelings for, you set yourself up for torment, and you end up wasting a lot of time. You don't have unlimited time to meet and date women. By learning to recognize & avoid women who represent romantic dead ends for you, you can invest your energies into endeavors which are much more likely to produce a happy outcome.
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