Alpha girls, Sigma girls.

The concept of the Alpha is pretty elusive, if you ask me. So, for the purposes of the essay, here is my outline of what an Alpha makes:

  1. Social dominance. No matter how rich, muscular, charismatic, witty, skilled or intelligent a man is, if he can’t handle a social situation and remain on top by the end, he is, by the very animal definition, not an Alpha. Humans are social animals and Alphas are leaders of humans.
  2. Attractive. Again, the Alpha will be attractive to women. We want a guy who is safe and, on a primal level, we all feel that the most socially dominant man is the safest. Under his protection, we are also under the protection of the tribe.
  3. Respected. It should go without saying that an Alpha’s social dominance comes from respect primarily. I wouldn’t say his dominance can’t come from fear as well, after all, nobody is universally liked and fear goes a long way to cultivating respect in dissenters. But fear should not be the main, let alone the only, source of power.

What about everything else? What about good looks, money, wit, intellect, socially approved traits, muscles, sexual reach, skills, charisma…? Well, these are all Alpha Indicators, ie, signs that a man is socially dominant, attractive and respected. They are the outward signs that he has the three key traits. And, to be Alpha, he must prove he has the three main traits. Otherwise he isn’t an Alpha, he is just a fake-it-til-you-make-it, or a simple fake with no aspiration to more. Neither is necessarily bad, but neither is dominant, desired or respected.

Then we have the Sigmas. I believe the concept emerged from Alpha Game Plan’s expansion of the Alpha-Beta false dichotomy and is the term for an introverted Alpha. The best way I’ve heard Sigmas summed up is from a natural Sigma, my husband:

“The Sigma is the Alpha who does not.”

A Sigma has the three required traits of an Alpha:

  1. He has social dominance, as he can easily lead, control and support a community.
  2. He is attractive, as he is clearly dominant.
  3. He is respected, as he is dominant.

The little niggle with the Sigma is that he lacks the false flags: he has few to no Alpha Indicators. This is because, whilst the Sigma has the ability to lead, he has no desire to. And, depending on what indicators they have, Sigmas can be loosely grouped into two categories.

Sigma A: The situational Alpha.

This Sigma lacks the desire to lead because he is a rational man who understands it is beyond his abilities to handle this tribe.

Maybe he is a warlord at a time of peace. Maybe he is a wise but gentle man at a time of war.

Maybe he values his life too highly to rule over fickle barbarians. Maybe he has seen to many Alphas lose their necks to tribal disputes.

Maybe he is already the Alpha of another tribe and in this one he is simply an observer.

Maybe he is backup to keep the Alpha in his position of power, a kingmaker who reaps the rewards of royalty without sacrifice.

This Sigma enjoys wealth and enjoys helping others. He is naturally more drawn to Alpha behaviours. But he is reluctant to take on a job he can’t do well. So he will accept resources (money, land, food, women) and do his best at whatever he does, he will stand his ground against the Alpha where necessary, he will try and keep the tribe in order from the sidelines, but he will never sit on the throne.

He is socially dominant as he cannot sit by and let the tribe run itself. He is attractive because he oozes confidence and leadership skills. He is respected because he is a good leader who knows when to step up and when to back down.

He will likely have the following Alpha Indicators: wealth, charisma, socially approved traits, sexual reach.

He may lack the following Alpha Indicators: wit, intellect, looks, skills.

Sigma B: The outlier.

This Sigma lacks the desire to lead because he fails to identify or empathize with the tribes available to him.

Maybe he is a skilled specialist whose abilities lie outside the rest of the tribe.

Maybe he does not enjoy conversing with people and keeping the peace. Maybe he enjoys seeing their little failures and is entertained by their social mores.

Maybe he knows he can survive on his own and feels no motivation to pull the tribe together.

Maybe he knows that nobody will force him to join their society fully, that he can indulge in the luxury of being outside it.

This Sigma enjoys freedom and doesn’t care if he has to make himself actively unlikeable to gain it. That’s not to say he is not respected or attractive. He is both, only respect comes grudgingly and attraction comes passionately and irrationally. He prizes self-sufficiency and views himself as a contractor to his society, rather than as a bonded leader. He has a close and relaxed relationship with the Alpha and generally they respect each other enough to assist in keeping each other’s position.

He is socially dominant as others constantly turn to him for advice, settling scores and other tasks of leadership that demand impartiality. He is attractive because he is mysterious yet dominant, he is outside, yet safe. He is respected because he is dominant and provides value.

He will likely have the following Alpha Indicators: wit, skills, intellect, charisma.

He may lack the following Alpha Indicators: looks, wealth, socially approved traits, sexual reach.

So, now we progress onto girls. All women like men who possess the three Alpha traits. They are safe, they are reproductively viable and they are useful. But not all women want the true Alpha. The true Alpha comes with many conditions. He is sexually gregarious and the prime target of other women’s fantasies, he is loud and domineering, he is a target for violence. The true Alpha is not an easy man to live with if a woman wants a quiet, drama-free home life.

So introverted women will naturally gravitate towards the less obvious men when given an option.

Imagine a tribe with an Alpha who has every Alpha Indicator, a Sigma who is a warlord at a time of peace and a Sigma who is the local sage.

A woman who wants an active social life, who doesn’t mind sharing her husband if that’s what it comes to, who understands danger and enjoys the risks, who wants all the money, all the fame and all the power, such a woman will aim for the Alpha.

A woman who wants a quiet life, who doesn’t mind sharing her husband, who understands that some day he may be called to action, who wants money, a little fame and less risk, such a woman will aim for the warlord Sigma.

A woman who wants a quiet life, who wants to keep her husband as exclusive as possible, who wants her husband to be safe from all danger, who has no care for money or fame as long as her husband can keep her provided for, such a woman will aim for the sage Sigma.

So, whether you’re a man or a woman, if you look at the penniless ugly man with the hot wife, at the small-time uneducated musician with his own teen harem or at the resource-poor loner with the devoted housewife and wonder why none of these girls are chasing an Alpha… well, perhaps they are more the Sigma kind of girl.

TTFN and Happy Hunting.

Friends, Friendly and Friend-Zones.

Or “getting the job you want”.

The topic of friend-zones, or when a person (usually male) believes that they can build their way up from friendship into a relationship with another person (usually female) is always a bit of a hot topic. The core of the matter is that no matter how much people say it’s not a clever idea, so many others will still try it once, twice, a thousand times. And sometimes it will work. Sometimes a friendship really does develop into a long-lasting, meaningful or at least sexual relationship. Which feeds the millions where it doesn’t.

So, in an effort to shine some light on the actual interactions taking place, allow me to use an analogy: your life is a company. You are not usually the CEO of your company, but most people are pretty high up in management. Therefore most people you have relationships with, from acquaintances to husbands and wives, will end up being below you: your employees. We generally have a good handle of this and whenever someone tries to move into our lives we will evaluate  how good they are for the job before letting them in at one level or another, or cutting them out.

However, the same works in reverse. You are an employee in the life of everyone you have a relationship with. Which we’re not so good at working with. Everyone you still interact with, from your best friend to your coworker to your ex to your sister are all employing you in their lives and they have placed you in a certain job. Oftentimes we get no choice in this job, especially in work, friendships and family. There is very little that can be done to change your role short of quitting the job: cutting ties.

This is all well and good when it comes to forced socialization such as work and family or spontaneous relationships like friendships. But it’s dreadful when it comes to planned relationships. Which is why it’s a terrible option for trying to establish a romantic connection.

You see, on the “jobs” scale for non-relatives, we have several positions:

ENTRY LEVEL:

Colleague.

Acquaintance.

Helpful person.

NOVICE LEVEL.

Friend.

Close friend.

No-strings.

SOME EXPERIENCE OR QUALIFICATIONS.

Best friend.

Friend with benefits.

Multiple partner.

SOME EXPERIENCE AND QUALIFICATIONS.

Long term relationship.

A LOT OF EXPERIENCE AND SOME QUALIFICATIONS OR VICE VERSA OR MORE.

Live-in partner.

Marriage partner.

Each step up requires an increase in “salary” provided by the other person. The salary? Their time, money, trust, attention and exclusivity. And you might notice that there is a massive jump from a helpful person to a friend or a multiple partner to a long term relationship. There are some very large gaps between these job positions in terms of how much the other person invests in you.

Which is why so many people stay in the friend-zone. You see, when you try and worm your way into someone’s heart by being helpful or friendly, you are putting in your resume for a job you don’t want. Then, when you get that job there is a lot of work you have to do to catch up. It would have been wiser to alter your resume to try and sound like a good prospect for a higher rank, at the very least a best friend or a no-strings, which has a smaller jump into romantic relationship territory.

Imagine there are 10 job positions in a company. X= job.

XXXXXXXXXX

You qualify for 4 of them, but would accept 2 and in particular want 1. R=rejection, N=no, M=maybe, Y=yes.

60% RRRRRR, 20% NN, 10% M, 10% Y

If you go to the interviews for the 6 you don’t qualify for you’ll be insta-rejected. R= rejection.

100% RRRRRR

If you go to the 2 you qualify for but don’t want, you could end up in them, which means you weren’t rejected, but you didn’t get what you want. NA= no, accepted; NR= no, rejected.

50% NA, 50% NR

If you go for the 2 you qualify for and would accept you’re placing a bet: either you get the one you really wanted, you get the one you’re comfortable with or you get rejected. M= maybe, Y = yes.

50% M, 50% Y

If you go for the 1 you really want, you either get it or get rejected. R= rejected, Y= yes.

50% R, 50% Y

When you go for friendship, you’re choosing to enter the company of them in a role you don’t really want, but where you know you won’t be rejected outright.  Thing is, not being rejected doesn’t mean being accepted. And not being rejected isn’t a foolproof way to climb to the job position you want. Maybe they will let you. But it’s far more likely that the position you really wanted, that Y, has been taken before you get there, that you would never qualify for it or that there is no internal promotion in their company.

There is no surefire way to make your decision. After all, it’s your time and investment, but avoid these mistakes:

1: Applying for a job you don’t want, but know you’ll get, and hope for promotion.

2: Applying for a job you want, but know you won’t get and wasting your time.

3: Applying for too many jobs and coming across as strange and desperate.

4: Applying for various options when you would only really be happy with one.

5: Accepting a demotion and continuing the relationship.

If you don’t avoid these and you end up stuck in a job you didn’t want watching some other person getting the job you wanted, then you have nobody to blame but yourself.

TTFN and Happy Hunting!

Men Bond Over Experience, Women Over Familiarity.

Just another quick one.

I’ve recently observed two types of relationship complaints becoming more common and, having observed silently for a while and then discussed this, decided to write up my answer.

Men’s complaint: “Women want to talk too much and expect me to place weight on silly things like birthdays, colours and her most distant friends’ names.”

Women’s counterpart: “Men just don’t want to talk, don’t take my personal life seriously and don’t seem to mind when I forget important things about them.”

Women’s complaint: “He just wants to go everywhere. I love spending time with him, but is it really a big deal if we don’t go hiking together this weekend?”

Men’s counterpart: “She doesn’t want to do anything with me. How am I supposed to get to know her if she just wants to sit around watching TV? She’s starting to seem boring.”

Those two complaints stem from a fundamental misunderstanding that is summed up in the title: Men bond over experiences. Women bond over familiarity.

Basically, men get closer to people they do things with. This is why so many men go head over heels for a girl who is into their favourite hobbies, why they want to take their girlfriend everywhere and why they want a good girl to meet their friends and family. They like her and want to see how she acts in public and how well she enjoys what he enjoys. This will reveal key elements of her character to him and help him determine how good of a partner she makes. And all this time together will make his love for her grow.

On the other hand, women get closer to people they know things about. This is why so many women place great importance on dates and names, why they like to gossip for long periods of time and why they try and distinguish themselves by cooking a man’s favourite dinner. They like him and want to learn more about him and test his memory of her. This will reveal key elements of his character to her and help her determine how good of a partner he makes. And all this time unveiling the mystery will make her love for him grow.

These patterns are there for a reason. They serve our biological purposes: the man vets the woman for how well-rounded she is as a potential lover and mother, the woman background checks the man for how successful he is in his tribe. And they are very complementary. By remaining mysterious a man can convince a woman to spend more time with him. By spending time with a man a woman can open him up and inspect his character.

But we need to pay attention to them as well, especially when we’re looking at long term relationships.

Girls: I know you might not be massively into his hobbies and you might think that a night in is as good as going bowling. But by indulging his hobby you are telling him that he matters, whilst simultaneously getting to pick his brain. And if he doesn’t want to take you anywhere near his friends or hobbies, that’s a red flag: he doesn’t think you’re worth getting to know.

Guys: I know you might think all these bits of trivia are simple gossip and that it’s OK to forget a date or two. But by remembering a few select things about her you can keep her happy that she’s made an impression and you have a better chance of bringing her somewhere nice if you keep a bit of mystery and let her talk about herself and her friends a while. And if she doesn’t remember your birthday or other trivia about you, that’s a red flag: she doesn’t think you’re worth getting to know.

TTFN and Happy Hunting!

5 Things Women Get Easy (that men would love).

In every society there are things that come easier to some people than to others and gender is one of those divides. Even in a primitive society, women often miss out on adventure and meat for being at home, whilst men miss out on safety and fruit for being away. In today’s society we’re told time and time again about the cultural and legal privileges that men have over women and we’re only just starting to acknowledge the many advantages that women have legally and in education. However we don’t really touch on the cultural advantages women have that men have to work incredibly hard to get.

So here are five privileges our culture bestows on women that men rarely receive, but absolutely love receiving.

1: Physical touch and sex.

Women benefit from all sorts of physical interactions. I’ll focus on two extremes: basic touch and sex.

Basic touch is when a friend hugs you, or a coworker rests a hand on your shoulder to reassure you. Women are more likely to be offered this touch and, with new concerns about harassment, less likely to receive it when we don’t want it.

Sex has always been easier for women to get than for men, as humans are social animals and for society to thrive, all women must be offered a chance to reproduce. However men are becoming increasingly stigmatized for their sexual urges and natural desires on top of this, which means men have a much harder time getting sex.

However men enjoy all sorts of physical contact and are just as de-stressed by a hug as a woman is.

2: Help.

Women are more likely to be offered a helping hand with something difficult and less likely to be stigmatized for asking for help. This means that in every case where a woman finds herself in trouble she is more likely to be helped on her way by a friend or stranger than a man is.

This is even reflected by our social aid projects. Although by far more men are homeless than women, more women receive homelessness support. Although men suffer domestic violence and especially physical abuse as much as women, almost all DV shelters assume that the woman was the victim and most are women-only.

We are a society unwilling to help men even when they need it.

3: Common courtesy.

When you’re exiting a supermarket and someone lets you out before they enter, when a parking spot is given to you, when a door is held open for you or helps you pick up something you dropped, that is actually a form of common courtesy, a way of being gentle and polite to everyone around you.

But, again, women are on the receiving end more often than men. Try watching a doorway from a waiting room or a cafe for a few hours. Most of the people having a door held for them will be women, even if it’s also a woman holding the door. Yet sometimes even when their arms are full, men don’t get that same bit of help. But it’s beyond assistance. If someone is stood by a door, struggling with a pile of boxes and nobody opens it or held it open for them, they are practically invisible. Nobody sees them, so nobody extends that politeness to them.

But apparently most men are invisible in that regard.

4: Assumption of parental instinct.

When a woman moves to collect a child at the park, nobody questions it. When a female teacher sees a young boy after school, nobody questions it. When a mother is involved in a case of domestic violence against her child, nobody believes for a second that she was a willing and sane participant. This is the assumption of parental instinct: the assumption that a mother is a parent first and a human later. And it definitely has its downsides, as all the aforementioned scenarios have played out before and the ending has been child abuse.

But men face the opposite. The assumption they have no parental instinct. If a father takes a picture of his own child at the park he is attacked. When a male teacher sees a young girl after school she is questioned as to what he did to her. When a father is involved in a case of domestic violence against his child he is assumed to be the instigator. Whilst nobody should carry the assumption of parental instinct the way mothers do, nobody should be assumed to entirely lack parental instinct the way fathers are. The choice between a good father and a drug addicted mother should be obvious and his relationship status shouldn’t be the pivot point for the entire custody case.

In these cases, ultimately the children are the ones who suffer.

5: A break or a free pass.

Women get this and we sometimes don’t even realize it. It ranges from women (in general) receiving shorter sentences for the exact same crimes as men (in general), to girls being more likely to get a hall pass or extra mock time in school, to women being able to smile their way out of a parking ticket. In short, because women look more childlike and frail than men and because women are attractive to men, men and women alike are more likely to give a woman a free pass if she acts out, commits a crime or lies.

Men don’t get this pass unless they are under serious duress or look particularly infantile and sweet. Even when they are literally children, boys are more likely to be tried as adults in serious criminal cases than girls. And men of certain socioeconomic, cultural or racial backgrounds in certain countries may be treated more harshly than the law requires. The assumption seems to be that men “can take it”. A man “can take” being forced to the ground and having a rib broken during arrest. A boy “can take” waiting for half an hour for the toilet. A man “can take” paying his parking ticket. A boy “can take” being tried as an adult for arson. Girls are sweet and innocent, women are childlike and nice, but males need to own their actions and then some.

But men aren’t machines. Yes, men are more designed for hardship than women. This much is evidenced by the hundreds of thousands of years men have spent hunting and warring as women stayed home and faced relatively little danger. But what is natural isn’t necessarily fair and in a world where everyone abides by the law as best they can and everyone pays for their actions, it is genuine injustice to make men pay more unnecessarily.

And those are five things that come very easily to women that men would love to have. Use this information as you will. Maybe you will give your husband or brother some more hugs, or your son a free pass when your daughter would get one in the same situation. Maybe you’ll think more about parenting and the assumption of parenthood before siding with mothers against fathers. Maybe you’ll even consider men’s human rights a cause you are willing to support and actively fight for them. Whatever you do to give men a little taste of female privileges, however small, remember this: it doesn’t hurt women, it doesn’t hurt society and it makes the world a better and fairer place.

TTFN and Happy Hunting!

10 Pieces of BAD Dating Advice Girls Get.

The modern world is full of dating advice. And a lot of it is actually terrible. We hear about the bad dating advice men get more often lately, as it’s pretty obvious when something doesn’t work 100 times, it isn’t working. But when a teenage boy gets told that buying roses gets you sex and it doesn’t work, or that a healthy relationship means one person must dominate by force and he sees this isn’t the case he can start over more easily. With teenage girls it’s a little more complicated. One or two very bad decisions could shape a teenage girl’s dating life for a very long time, short of her changing town. And we hardly ever hear anything said against some legitimately terrible advice girls get.

So here are my top ten bad pieces of dating advice teenage girls are given that isn’t really challenged, why they are wrong, along with a few comments and suggestions straight from the horse’s mouth as I’m inviting Jon to contribute his own experience and knowledge as a heterosexual man.

A lot of this is bad advice that is also given to some teenage boys and most of it is also applicable to anyone in a long term relationship, so don’t shy away just because you aren’t straight or you’re a guy: there could still be something to learn. Just bear in mind that this is more geared towards people in long term relationships with a man.

1. Be cool and distant.

The bad advice: Try and look like much of life doesn’t matter to you, like you have so much more going off than the here and now.

Common phrases: “Keep cool.” “Try and be mysterious.” “Make him chase you a little bit.” “Don’t reveal too much too soon.”

Why it sounds right: Because many girls like the air of mystery in a guy. When he’s distracted it looks like he has a busy, fascinating life. It adds something extra when men are often a little simple (not in a bad way).

Why it doesn’t work: Because girls are already pretty mysterious to guys. We do communicate a little differently and we can change more quickly than a man can. When we’re fully present we’re already perplexing and enticing enough. Adding more distraction and layers is just confusing and possibly worrying.

From the horse’s mouth: “It can work if the person has a genuinely active, interesting life. If you don’t, it will appear forced and you will appear uninteresting. Further, more with younger males, if a female has that much more to do and he is that uninteresting, she should jog on and do that instead so he can stop wasting his time.”

What to do instead: Be friendly and open, start conversation but let him talk at least as much as you do, mention your hobbies and interests in passing and try and keep the talking flowing. Let him know you won’t bite his head off.

2. Be one of the guys.

The bad advice: Just hang out with him and his friends, have a good time, copy what they do, cultivate stereotypically masculine hobbies, drink heavily, swear a bit more than usual, show him that you’re a “cool” girl.

Common phrases: “Learn about what he likes.” “Hang out with his friends.” “Tone down your girliness.”

Why it sounds right: Because a lot of guys say that’s what they want.

Why it doesn’t work: Because what they mean they want and what we hear are two completely different things. A man wants a woman who lets him enjoy male company and his own hobbies, and who doesn’t hold him back when he wants to do something crazy or adventurous. But that doesn’t mean you should put on a butch act. He’s a straight man, he wants you to make the instinctive part of his brain think “woman”. Don’t try and force yourself to be a man.

From the horse’s mouth: “Very simple: if you are a woman, you are not a man. No amount of toning down girliness is going to change that. Also, women aping males is not only unattractive, it is a joke. There’s a lot more to being male than yelling in a weights room.”

What to do instead: Be as girly and as tomboyish as you’re comfortable with, but try and keep the edge of softness that says you’re a girl. You can still hang out with him and his friends when he’s fine with it, but a little makeup, abstaining from swearing (as best you can) and not getting drunk and rowdy is more likely to attract him.

3. He will love you for you.

The bad advice: The opposite (almost) of the above. Just relax, do whatever you like, say whatever you like, he just won’t care and if he does he should be dumped instantly.

Common phrases: “Your weight doesn’t matter, lose or gain, he should still love you!” “If a guy can’t handle you, then he doesn’t deserve you.” “You had the heroin habit when you started going out, if he doesn’t like it now, then too bad.”

Why it sounds right: Because it feels right. Many guys like a larger woman, one with a firey temperament or don’t mind one with bad habits.

Why it doesn’t work: Because it’s used to justify letting yourself go. Yes, you will go through bad patches, might have PMS and will age eventually. But you can’t just get fat and angry four months into a relationship and expect him to just live with it. How would you like someone pulling a 180 on you after they got you locked down? Besides that, if a guy loves you even when you change your body, your personality, your hobbies and everything else, then the only thing he loves about you is the only thing that hasn’t changed: that you’re a woman. If he only loves you for being a woman, then the relationship isn’t youXhim, it’s sexXhim.

From the horse’s mouth: “If there is no deception up front (hiding characteristics or exaggerating others) this advice is kind of true. However people change over time, as will you. Too often used as an excuse or as capitulation. If you are going to have a lot of kids and he is going to have a vasectomy before he has any, I don’t think love can rebalance that.”

What to do instead: Be upfront about any issues there may be in the future, so he doesn’t get unexpectedly surprised. Other than that, try and look after yourself and put some actual work into being, if not the woman he deserves, then at least the woman he started dating.

4. Put yourself first.

The bad advice: You are number one and nobody can ever forget that, everything has to be run by you, checked and vetted before anything can be done, you are the 51% shareholder in this relationship.

Common phrases: “Look after yourself.” “Look out for number one.” “You are the protagonist of your own life.”

Why it sounds right: Because it is, in fact, very important to take good care of yourself and to not get into a relationship where you are putting in 100% and getting out 5%.

Why it doesn’t work: Because it’s used as an excuse to be lazy, again. Furthermore, most women actually feel endorphin and oxytocin releases when we do something nice out of love, which means that putting him first from time to time will actually make you happier and more bonded to him than being selfish and lazy.

From the horse’s mouth: “If you are incapable of love, then by all means put yourself first. If you believe you are capable of love there will be times where you may have to put someone else ahead of you. A relationship is not a zero sum game of one side trying to extract as much as possible from the other.”

What to do instead: Put the relationship first in all matters that concern him. Sure, your haircut might not matter to him, so you don’t need to ask him every time you change it. But if you’re selling your car and planning on using his, look out for the both of you, not just your own interests. What will make you both happier and more harmonious in the future?

5. Let him have it, he deserves it.

The bad advice: If he’s upset you, you need to make sure to let all of it out and argue the problem away. Getting a little physical could help you too.

Common phrases: “Let him have it.” “He shouldn’t have angered you.” “It’s natural to argue when you’re angry.” “It isn’t domestic violence when you hit him.”

Why it sounds right: Because it feels good to let your anger out on someone who’s angered you.

Why it doesn’t work: Because you’re not fighting or competing, you’re in a relationship. If every time he angers you you are flying at him like a honey badger, he won’t get a chance to explain his side, make things right or love you. You just end up hating each other, fighting becomes a habit and eventually it will destroy most relationships.

From the horse’s mouth: “Men are normally physically stronger than women. You are trading on him not fighting back with any amount of his strength. Good luck with that. I hope you never encounter a male who treats you as the avenging warrior you clearly think you are. Also as a side note: getting angry does not give you super powers and it is not going to fix any damage done.”

What to do instead: Vent with a friend, anonymous blog or diary. Don’t go into gossip, but just explain that you’re angry and why. Maybe go jogging or punch a pillow a little to let off steam. Once you’re calm, explain the problem to him and have an adult discussion about it. Once the discussion is over, whatever the conclusion was, let it go and try and get back to normal.

6. Have sex by _ date.

The bad advice: There is a time limit on when you have to have sex by, otherwise the whole relationship is doomed.

Common phrases: “Have sex on the third date.” “If you haven’t had sex after twelve dates then you’re doomed.” “Sex before the fifth date is too early.”

Why it sounds right: Because we assume that men only want sex.

Why it doesn’t work: Because men want sex, but they also want other things. If you put a timer on your affections, whatever ones they are, from a kiss to marriage, then you’re adding pressure to the relationship. It’s probably wise to not have sex too early, to dissuade players. But it isn’t wise to assume that sex has an expiry date.

From the horse’s mouth: “LOL.”

From the horse’s mouth after recomposing himself: “What is this obsession with simple, idiotic relationship rules? Maybe I am an old romantic, who believes things should happen when they feel right, not when some magazine or dating expert has decided is the best time.”

What to do instead: Wait until you feel cool and calm before having sex. Heat-of-the-moment sex is far more regrettable and more likely to attract a man whose only intention is to have sex with you. But don’t force yourself to have sex at an exact date. Cool off, however long it takes, then make your decision. Most men won’t pass this test: either they will get bored (they only wanted sex) or you will stop liking them (you only wanted sex). Either way, this isn’t a bad thing, it’s all about building positive relationships without sex being a pressure point.

7. If he loves you he will _.

The bad advice: A man who loves you will do certain things for you and if your man doesn’t, then he’s using you.

Common phrases: “Real men propose on one knee with a diamond.” “If he loves you he will wait it out.” “A man who loves a woman will not forget her birthday.”

Why it sounds right: Because some men display their love this way and it looks charming and their partner won’t stop talking about it.

Why it doesn’t work: This had two problems. Firstly it assumes that there is only one way to love. A man who just wants sex with you loves you as well, it’s just not the way you want to be loved. So a man could love you deeply and fail to do anything to show it. Secondly, it’s good to have standards. But don’t let your standards be someone else’s. If you don’t want a diamond engagement ring, then why should the man who loves you give you one? If anything, that shows he doesn’t really know you.

From the horse’s mouth: “Clearly written by women who have no idea or interest in what’s going off in men’s heads.”

What to do instead: Set your own standards for how you like to be loved and tell him about them. If you like daffodils and not roses, tell him “Daffodils are my favourite flower.” If he forgets, mention it again, after all, he may not have much of a memory for flowers. Don’t hold him to some arbitrary standard. And if you’re just not compatible, it wasn’t that he didn’t love you, it was that he didn’t love you the way you wanted him to love you. He probably did and still does love you in his own way, so be gentle with him.

8. Your sexual prime is after 30.

The bad advice: You are far hotter, sexier and more voracious at some point after the age of thirty, so that’s when you want to start having your fun before getting married.

Common phrases: “Life begins at 30!” “35 is your sexual peak.” “You don’t want to be married before 35.” “40 is the new 30!”

Why it sounds right: Because many women of that age are saying it. Also, a childless woman at thirty can experience a boost in libido.

Why it doesn’t work: Because nature disagrees. The peak of your sexual appetite might be around thirty or thirty five, but your best fertility window is actually from your late teens to your mid twenties. 16-25 is when you are most likely to reproduce successfully. Which means that, to most men, you are more attractive then. Yes, even men in their thirties, forties and fifties. So holding off serious relationships until you are forty could seriously harm your ability to settle down with the sort of man you like. And that sexual appetite boost? Completely wasted if you have nobody to share it with.

From the horse’s mouth: “Being trendy and stylish doesn’t concern biology. However much noise is made, the biological reality is still a reality.”

What to do instead: Try and find a stable partner in your early twenties, when your teenage hormones are cooling off and you’re still pretty and fertile. Having children when nature intended doesn’t hurt either, just make sure you get that stable relationship first.

9. If you feel _ he should _.

The bad advice: He should work hard to calm your moods and adapt his behaviours around your feelings.

Common phrases: “If you feel insecure, he should stop seeing those friends.” “If you feel sad, he should get you something nice.” “If you feel angry, he should explain himself to you.”

Why it sounds right: Because we’re used to having our feelings matter, especially in childhood, and we’re used to friends who can easily spot and work with our changes in mood.

Why it doesn’t work: Because if every time you mood changed, he had to react, your life would be chaos. Try keeping a diary of every time you feel something. Every half hour for a day, write down what you feel. Can you really expect someone who isn’t telepathic and who has known you for a few weeks or a year to be able to guess what you’re feeling every minute of the day and guess what he needs to do about it?

From the horse’s mouth: “Unfortunately males do not have a telepathic link to your brain stem. To assume they will act a certain way to a certain thing is ludicrous. If we can acknowledge even a well trained dog can miss a cue, or react differently occasionally, why are we assuming a human with all their intelligence and all their skills will react in a way a separate person wants?”

What to do instead: Your feelings are part of you. They aren’t a physical mark on your body that everyone can see and that everyone knows how to deal with. You need to try and work with your feelings on your own and only bring them up with him once you’re 100% sure that there is a problem that he can help with. When it comes to venting, choose a close friend, a diary or an anonymous blog instead. It works better and doesn’t interfere with your relationship.

10. You are a prize.

The bad advice: You are something amazing, special and unique and he needs to know that he is replaceable, that he needs to be number one to win your heart.

Common phrases: “He needs to earn you every day.” “He’s lucky to have you.” “He doesn’t deserve you.”

Why it sounds right: Because we like ourselves and like to think of ourselves as important.

Why it doesn’t work: Because you wouldn’t be dating him if he wasn’t also amazing, special and unique. It’s like ordering a plain pizza when you prefer a four cheeses pizza and have the money to buy one. If you could do better, you wouldn’t be with him. And developing the attitude that you’re somehow ten times as special as he is will just make you feel like he’s a loser, however great he is. Even worse if you display it.

From the horse’s mouth: “No, you’re not a prize. No one is, unless they are a supermodel millionaire scientist who has fallen head over heels in love with everything about you as you currently are and everything you ever will be. The prize is the compatibility. If you are compatible with someone you have much more worth as a potential partner than someone who is not compatible. You’re not better than them just because they like you. On the flip side, do not undervalue yourself. If you’re having to ‘low balls’ or ‘slum’ it, you’re probably looking in the wrong crowd.”

What to do instead: Just because you love yourself doesn’t mean putting yourself first and him last. He is the best you can do, so show him the love and respect that he deserves. After all, isn’t that what you want from him?

What other bad pieces of dating advice did you get, or have you heard given to girls? What other incorrect facts are being spread around? Be sure to mention your personal peeves when it comes to dating advice!

TTFN and Happy Hunting!

How To… prepare a “ladies’ kit”.

This post will discuss menstrual matters. Most men may not need to read this or feel comfortable reading it. However, if you are a woman, have daughters or just want to take care of someone who’s having a hard time this month, then the language will be kept polite and clear.

This is part VI of my ongoing “housekeeper’s kits” series. Part I, Part II, Part III, Part IV and Part V at these links.

1: The bag.

You will be wanting something discreet, that can absorb odors (such as those from scented sanitary pads, creams or medication) and preferably that looks pretty. I chose a single compartment make-up bag for mine. It’s black, so any lotion or medicine spills won’t show and it absorbs and masks light smells quite well, though a lavender pouch is never superfluous.

2: The essentials.

Obviously, if this kit is a menstrual kit, you will need your basics. Also, if you’re making the kit for yourself, try and be sure to have your closer friends’ preferred basics as well, and some emergency items in case your usual items run out, break or just aren’t cutting it. I use a cup, but I still keep the following for emergencies.

-spare black underwear (because it always seems to be in the laundry when you need it most)

-pads

-tampons

-slips

-sanitary disposal bags

-cleaning equipment for reusable items

3: Extra hygiene.

Regardless of how much you want it to be, this time of the month can get messy. Other basics you could use are:

-a sponge for cleaning external porcelain stains

-well-sealed baby wipes that will treat you more delicately then the usuals

-flannels you can use with warm water for your hands

-some baby shampoo and peroxide in case of emergency stain treatment

4: The medicals.

And some of us need the odd medical treatment from time to time over that time of the month. If you do, keep the medicine in the bag, so you know where it is, and check the expiry date at the end of every month, as many of these medications expire before you’ve had a chance to use them all!

Some that everyone could do with:

-mild aspirin-free painkiller like paracetamol (aspirin is a blood-thinner and is found in ibuprofen, fyi)

-iron supplements

-st john’s wort (check for incompatibilities with underlying conditions or current medication first)

-anti-fungal gel

5: The comforts.

I don’t like treating a natural state of my body as an illness. But, on the other hand, if you can do little things to care for yourself the rest of the time, why not adapt to whatever state your body is in? Here are some things to make everything a little bit nicer, even if they aren’t 100% essential.

-rash creams to ease any stuffiness-based swelling

-a hot water bottle for aches or just because it’s nice

-a small toy to cuddle if you feel the urge

-a bag of your favourite sweets (keep outside of main bag, but nearby)