Let’s be honest…
Guys today don’t treat women well.
Do you have to put up with it?
Or is there something you can do?
Yes, Things Have Changed
The men of today are not like the men of 50 years ago.
(Of course, we women are different from women of the past, too!)
Culture has changed, and it changes us with it.
There have always been men who treated women poorly.
There has always been a tendency within our culture to cover up that treatment if it happens behind closed doors.
What’s changed is that there are now social and cultural forces encouraging guys to treat women poorly.
The “Nice Guy” is the butt of jokes.
The “Gentleman” is a sucker.
If you’re waiting for some golden age to return, where the men are gentlemen and the women are ladies, I wish you luck. But from my perspective…
This is the new dating era, and you need to be prepared.
These Forces Shape Dating Culture
There are 3 reasons guys are less likely to act like gentlemen nowadays.
The Distance Rule
Go back 100 years, and men had to be very careful about how they presented themselves.
If a man treated a woman badly, he got a reputation, and her family came after him.
Which is why I coined the “Distance Rule:”
The greater the distance between you, the less responsible he’ll feel towards you.
If you are dating a man who lives in your community, knows your family, and regularly brushes shoulders with people who know you, he will feel a greater sense of responsibility for how he treats you.
If he treats you horribly or does something shocking, word will spread. He can’t keep his behavior a secret.
Bad behavior will impact his ability to find another girlfriend, and it may lose him friends and/or customers.
Of course, that won’t stop every man!
But it provides a counterforce to his sense of entitlement.
That counterforce doesn’t exist on the internet.
If you are chatting with a guy on a dating app, he can say or do anything he likes… as long as it won’t get him banned from the app.
If you don’t even live in the same place, he doesn’t see any consequences for his bad behavior.
The worst case scenario is that you stop talking to him and block him. So what?
The Gamification of Dating
If you go on a dating app with the assumption that most of the people on there are looking for a romantic connection, you’d be wrong.
These days, many young people use dating apps as entertainment.
It’s a fun way to pass the time. You can flirt without having to do anything about it. Getting messages makes you feel good about yourself.
And, for some, there’s always the chance of scoring a no-strings-attached hookup.
It’s like playing a video game…
And it would be strange to start caring about the feelings of characters in a game.
This is the downside of technology.
Until you meet a man in person, you’re just a character in a game to him.
He sees you as a digital avatar, and he treats you accordingly.
This is why bad behavior is so rife on digital platforms, as shown by this graph by the Pew Research Center.
If you want a man to see you as a human being and acknowledge your feelings, get off his smartphone and into his life.
Bad Dating Advice
In 2005, the dating world tipped on its axis.
That’s when journalist Neil Strauss published The Game: Penetrating the Secret Society of Pickup Artists.
It was an account of his undercover investigation of the pickup community, men who went to clubs night after night to document the strategies that worked best to pick up women.
Until then, the pickup community had operated in the darker corners of the internet. It wasn’t something the average guy was likely to stumble upon.
When Strauss’ book hit the New York Times bestseller list, that changed.
Average men were eager to find out what the “professionals” knew about scoring female attention.
Today, most men have some familiarity with pickup, even if they don’t know where those ideas came from.
They believe that nice guys finish last.
They believe that alpha males get the girl.
They believe that women respect men who don’t respect them.
They’re susceptible to pseudoscientific theories, such as the claim that women are social climbers who will abandon a loving partner for a wealthier or more powerful partner (known as hypergamy).
The more dating advice a man has consumed on the internet, the more likely he is to believe that the best way to get a girlfriend is to assert his dominance and be a jerk.
If you’ve ever wondered why so much dating advice urges women to let the man lead and avoid “emasculating” him by talking about her accomplishments, this is why.
The truth is, it’s better to know immediately if the man you’re with has toxic ideas about how men should act with women.
The research is clear:
Unequal relationships, where the woman is submissive and the man is dominant, are unhappier on nearly every scale.
The women in these relationships are less satisfied with their alpha male partner and have a worse sex life.
Alpha males tend to perform more poorly as fathers, compared to men who are more nurturing.
These trends are not going anyway.
I predict that we can expect men’s behavior to decline even further.
So what can you do about it?
Learn to Spot a Catch
I need to say this before anything else…
It’s NOT OKAY for men to treat you like that.
There’s nothing you did that made him treat you that way.
His poor treatment of you was a choice HE made.
He made that choice because he doesn’t see you as fully human and worthy of respect.
It is not your responsibility to wake him up to the consequences of his bad behavior.
There’s nothing you can do or say to change him.
He’s decided that treating women carelessly is fine.
He’s rationalized it, because all his friends do it, too.
He’d get made fun of if he started acting like a Victorian gentleman.
Treating you the way he’s treating you feels good to him on some level.
That tells you everything you need to know about his suitability for lasting love.
We tend to think a guy is great because he’s hot, attractive, funny, and interesting.
But none of those qualities matter if he doesn’t treat you well.
Not all of us women were raised to feel entitled to expect a man to treat us well.
We were raised to believe that it was enough that “a man like him” chose us.
I’m here to tell you that it doesn’t matter if a man chooses you.
You don’t need his interest or approval if it comes at the cost of being treated like a second-class citizen.
You might think, “Well, he doesn’t usually act this way,” or, “Well, I wasn’t behaving well, either,” or, “Well, what he did wasn’t TOO bad.”
Having those thoughts in the early days of a relationship doesn’t bode well for your future together.
The way a man treats you comes FIRST.
He could be rich as Midas, but if he doesn’t treat you with kindness and respect, he is NOT your guy.
It’s not your job to “make” a man treat you with kindness.
It’s not your job to “make” him respect you.
It’s not even your job to make him love you.
If he cannot come to respect, love, and be kind to you on his own, then he is not your lifelong love and soul mate.
This wisdom is going to be more and more necessary in the days ahead.
So spread the word: