Do you ever think about the guys you got caught up in…
Who you didn’t see through until it was too late?
I do. I wonder how I could have been so stupid. How I could have missed the signs.
These days, instead of beating myself up about it, I take great pleasure in educating others so that my hard-won wisdom doesn’t go to waste.
Why All the Angry Men?
Before I dive into how to spot the wrong guy, I want to share a quick story about something that’s been happening to me over the past few years.
When I started my YouTube channel, I designed it entirely for women. If you look at my channel, it’s pretty obvious that it’s a place to empower and support women.
Which is why it’s so weird that men have been honing in on some of my videos.
These aren’t men who are supportive of women. These are men who have an axe to grind.
They feel resentful, they’re angry with women, and they want to take over my comments with their macho posturing.
I usually hit delete. I’m not going to give them air time.
These aren’t guys who are looking to understand women. These are guys who are coming in with a belief system.
A Twisted Belief System
These guys believe that they’ve been used by women, and they believe that all women are out to use men.
They believe they’re better than women. By virtue of being male, they have a higher social status, which give them the right to say whatever they want, even in spaces they don’t belong.
Because women are these cartoon caricatures in their eyes, there’s only one possible purpose for a relationship: the trading of sex for resources.
Women offer their bodies in exchange for men supporting them.
So long as a man earns money, he believes that he’s what women want. He doesn’t have to be kind, or loving, or emotionally intelligent: he just has to drive a nice car and make enough money to pay for whatever a woman needs.
In this twisted world view, women are faithless creatures. If a man with more resources comes along—someone who’s richer or has a higher social status—a woman will drop the man she’s with like a hot potato.
She can’t help it, because all women are biologically programmed by evolution to prioritize status and wealth—or so these guys believe.
This is a glimpse of what it’s like inside the manosphere, an online collective of various websites and forums dedicated to men’s rights, including the Red Pill movement.
Not All Men Are the Same
Before I continue, I just want to say that I’m a huge support of the men’s movement represented by websites like The Good Men Project, public personalities like Lewis Howes, writers like Sam Keen and James Hillman.
There’s an inspiring wave of men who want to understand what it means to be a man, so that they can strengthen what is strong and good in masculinity.
These men are an asset to any conversation, because they think deeply and carefully about how men can show up as their best selves and contribute to the healing of the world.
But there’s another group of men who don’t care about healing.
They care about their wounds.
They’ve been hurt by women. They’ve been pushed down by the world. They believe their birthright is to be in charge, and they’ve been denied that.
So they get into groups where they can take others down.
The Blame Game
You would think that you’d be able to spot a guy like this straight off.
He’s the one brooding in a corner, shooting off sarcastic remarks, unable to get a girlfriend.
But what’s uncomfortable to consider is the way the men in our lives—otherwise good men who were raised right—have been influenced by this rhetoric.
Any guy who spends time online will come across memes or videos or comments that reflect views from the manosphere.
And because every single guy out there has been hurt before, a very small part of him will resonate with the message.
How often do we, as women, claim that all guys are jerks and users? We know it’s not true. We know there are good men out there. But when we’ve been hurt, we take comfort in a bit of man-bashing. Putting down men makes us feel better, at least temporarily.
What I would hope is that most of us realize that it’s a toxic way to live, blaming men. It doesn’t help us heal. It doesn’t help us have healthy relationships.
If we want to find love with a man, we have to love him as a man. We have to love his masculine heart.
Men have a complicated relationship with women. They love women’s bodies, but they don’t always understand what’s going on inside a woman’s mind and heart.
Some of them distrust what they don’t understand. They make assumptions about women. They make fun of women.
And they do it in the company of other guys, when women aren’t around to hear.
Pay Attention to His Story
I once had a partner who I loved very much, who went through a period I’d probably describe as a midlife crisis. He spent a lot of time on the internet, and he stopped talking to me.
After we split, I found out that he’d created a narrative where I never loved him, that I’d only gotten together with him to use him, and that he was a victim of my mercenary manipulations.
I used my faithful mirror technique, and I held up a mirror to what he was saying about me, and I realized for the first time that he had gotten together with me because I was useful to him, because I had traits he prized, not because he loved my heart.
It was a blow.
But now I know to watch what a man says about other people.
If he’s been the victim, if he’s been taken advantage of, if he’s been done wrong to, then watch what he says next.
Does he say that he’s learned how to forgive? Does he say that he’s learned a lot about his own patterns? Does he express hope that he’ll heal whatever keeps attracting these painful experiences?
Or does he offer a narrative where he’s right, everyone else is horrid, and he deserves justice—or at the very least, revenge?
Why Do We Fall For It?
The appeal of these guys—what gets us hooked in—is the way they rope us into their narrative of superiority.
A man like this will tell you that you’re not like other women—like that’s supposed to be a good thing!
The two of you are different. You stand out. You’re better than all those other people, the ones he makes fun of.
But when you trip up, or you question him, or you start to have your doubts, he’ll turn on you and tell you that you’re just like his ex who betrayed him.
I hope none of this resonates with you, and you have no idea what I’m talking about because you’ve NEVER met a man like the one I’m describing!
Just know this:
If a man ever tells you, or implies, that he was used by women, then be on guard.
That’s a man who expects to be used, and he’ll twist your behavior around to make it seem like you’re using him, no matter how much you love him.
If you’d like to know more about toxic relationships, make sure to check out the other videos I’ve made. I want you to be safe.
I also want you to remember, whenever you’re tempted to see the world in terms of horrible men who are jerks and use women, that it’s a worldview that comes with a cost.
It comes at the cost of love.