What Makes Men irresistible?

Since I betrayed my brethren by listing all of the things that make women irresistible to men, I’m going to go another step and reveal what makes men irresistible to women.

All women lament the extinction of “nice guys”.  First of all, men should take note.  If you want to be like the douchebags on YouTube, the pickup artists, the guys with a “system” where “negging” and harassing a woman into going home with you is your bag, this isn’t the place for you.  Spread your herpes someplace else.  Maybe there’s a two-fer-one sale on Axe Body Spray somplace.

If you want to prove women wrong about nice guys, here’s the first step: Be a nice guy.  Remember Patrick Swayze in Road House?  Be nice.  Remember Mr. Darcy in Pride and Prejudice? If you don’t know who this is, do your homework.  Your girl sure as hell knows who he is.

How about Han Solo?  Yes, same character. Mr. Darcy in Space with a little Heathcliffe thrown in for good measure.  Be Han.

Here’s the list for how exactly to make yourself irresistible to women.

  • You don’t meet nice girls in bars or dating sites
  • Don’t use pickup lines
  • Use only obviously shitty pickup lines.  This will establish your sense of humor.
  • Be funny.  Women can gauge many things from a man’s sense of humor.  How quick, witty, intelligent, articulate, mindful, empathetic, socially aware/naughty you are to name a few.  You don’t need to go waving your MENSA card in front of her face, and you don’t need to feel inferior if she happens to be smarter than you.  Humor is a good meet-in-the-middle moment.
  • Smile.  It puts people at ease.  Unless you have a creepy smile.  Then stop doing that.
  • If you can’t be funny, have a washboard stomach.  If you have a washboard stomach, see yourself out of this list.  You’ll be fine.
  • Be honest.
  • Don’t brag. And don’t get cocky! (Thanks Han Solo-Darcy for your wisdom).
  • Listen to her.  She is another human being, and deserves your attention and respect.
  • Don’t be crude.  Or racist.  Or use the C-word. Jeez, what the hell is wrong with you?
  • Don’t stare at her breasts.
  • Don’t quote Reservoir Dogs.  Not even if “Stuck in the Middle with You” comes on. In fact, you’ve never heard of Reservoir Dogs. Mention how you are thinking of getting a rescue animal from a shelter. Is that the same thing?
  • Be polite.  Don’t make any sexual advances on her. You just met this girl.  She’s a nice girl! What if this were your sister?  Okay, maybe your sister is a slut, but so what if she is?  Are you going to shame her?  Honestly, she does more harm to herself with all those one night stands and wonders why she is still alone. Still, you wouldn’t want someone doing that to your sister!  Don’t be that guy!
  • Dance with her.  Even if you suck.  She will appreciate the effort.
  • Ask her for her number/email/facebook. Thank her for a wonderful time.
  • Walk away.
  • Don’t call her.
  • Move out of town.
  • Go to work on a whaling ship for a few years.
  • Grow your beard out
  • Wear cable knit sweaters
  • Write poetry about this girl you danced with and you stupidly left behind.
  • Throw the poems into the sea.
  • Be melancholic.
  • Come back to dry land and adopt a foundling.  If an orphan cannot be secured, go to an animal shelter and rescue a dog.
  • Go to therapy
  • Learn to speak two languages. Fluently. At least one should be Italian.
  • Become a Master Chef
  • Live in Europe with a slightly older woman who teaches you guitar during an ambiguously non-romantic relationship until she tells you to leave, because there was always someone else behind your eyes and love is for the young at heart. Now go! Go to her!
  • Search the world for her, but fall into a depression because she is gone and no one knows what became of her.
  • Watch your orphan graduate from school.  Cry because they talk about you in their Salutatorian speech.  About how much they love you, and how even though you weren’t their birth father, you were the best dad in the world.
  • Bury your dog.  The best friend you ever had.
  • Experience personal growth
  • On the day of your foundling child’s wedding, stand up for them, or give them away.
  • Write a book about your experiences.
  • While walking down a street one day, you recognize someone.  Your eyes meet.  It’s her! She smiles a little and looks away.  You stop and look at her, your heart racing.  You manage to say the only thing that comes to mind as you look into those eyes for the first time in years. Those eyes that haven’t changed at all.
  • “Hey.”
  • She says, “Hey.  How have you been?”
  • “Good.  And you?”
  • “Good.  You know, it’s funny.  I was just thinking about you the other day.”
  • “Me too,” you say. “Well, what I mean is I was thinking about you too.” You laugh.  She smiles.
  • “Oh yeah?”
  • “Yeah.  I was wondering what you were doing these days.  And about how much I miss you.”
  • “I’m on my way to meet a friend right now–“
  • “Well, don’t let me interrupt,” you say. “It was good to see you.”
  • She quickly adds, “Maybe we can catch up sometime?  Over coffee?”

Forget all the advice above.

Just be yourself.  If you aren’t a complete narcissistic dick bag, the right person will come into your life. Set good boundaries.  Don’t heap your baggage onto her, but be open if you can. Fight your own battles, but thank her for her support when she gives it. Be honest.  Make her laugh more than you ever made her cry (it does happen, just make sure those tears are never because of your anger, and never from pettiness). Be all in. Love her.  And just be kind.

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The Steves

Today I’m going to talk about a social phenomena.  I call it, the Steves.

The experiences listed here are from a combination of friends of mine.  Since they were all so similar, I decided to combine them into one person.  No offence to any of my friends named Steve.

Veronica

A few years back, a good friend of mine was a serial dater.  We will call her Veronica. She had anywhere between 3 to seven dates lined up every week.  eHarmony.  Match.  Christian Mingle.  She had her pick of guys on a rotating door coming in and out of her life.  Dates could include anything from just going out to getting coffee or lunch to first row 50 yard line at the opening  Broncos game.  Yes, for a first date.

Out of the menagerie of men we began to notice there was a pattern.  The vast majority of them were named Steve.  She began to number them “Steve #99,945.  Steve #44,563.”  There were a lot of Steves.  Some Steves were laborers.  HVAC guys who were 420 friendly and liked to unwind–pretty much four or five times a day.  Other Steves were “Town People” who lived on estates with adjoining airports that the “Country People” weren’t allowed to use.  (Honestly, I had driven by that Steve’s part of the city more than a few times and never even knew they had an airport.  I guess that means I’m Country People).

The Steves

I met my share of Veronica’s Steves.  It was fun at first.  Sometimes I would play the discerning father-type of “Don’t stay out too late,” to get into practice for my own kids.  Or I would attempt to be friendly, put them at ease, because guys are funny about that.  I know I have been myself, and if a guy doesn’t let you know he is harmless right out of the gate, he isn’t.

Even the Roberts, Marks, Dans, and Alejandros became Steves after a while.

The Steves had almost no personality either.  You could really only identify them by their obnoxious traits.  There were categories.  The Steves who stood her up. The Steves who propositioned her for sex after driving her home from dinner.  The Steves who sent inappropriate videos of themselves. When she wouldn’t respond, they were often cruel in their language. Abusive.

Just to let any guys out there know.  If you send a dick-pick, the woman you sent it to will share it with her friends.  They will critique your manhood, and never in positive ways.  And if she doesn’t want to see your crooked, dead-baby-bird looking junk, whatever you do, don’t call her the C word for her trouble.

Just don’t.

The Steves would often bring flowers, or what I called “Sexy Food”.  Trays of cheese, sliced meet, crudites.  Things that you can feed your amour by hand as you sit on the floor in front of a fire.  Wine.  Whenever they had to meet her friends, they would be all smiles.  Firm handshakes.  Lots of talk of “did you see that game last night?” and “What is it you do?”

What do I do?  Professional cock-blocker, that’s what!

To my female friends, I am their wing-man.  To a woman, a wing-man is someone (male or female) who gets her out of trouble.  A wing-girl is a female friend who gets them into it.  For men, a wing-man is someone who uses counter-espionage to intercept the girl’s wing-man.  A wing-girl is someone who tells him how to interpret signals, subtleties, and green lights to get into trouble with the girl he is attempting to chat up.

A man who is helping his female friend get into trouble, is a schmuck.  Women really don’t need any help to get into trouble when there are men around.  Trouble finds them.

Hilarity ensues

One time, Veronica accidentally/intentionally invited two Steves to the same party.  Neither of them knew they were her date.  As she was freaking out, asking me what the hell she was doing, I looked over and noticed the Steves were sharing a table. They both seemed to be getting along fine with each other.  I think they might have made friends.  They both went home without her.  She was relieved, and after learning that lesson (that life isn’t hilarious 1980s sitcom plot) she never had two dates over for the same party since.

Another time, Veroncia was visited by a Steve who just showed up with his kids to her grandfather’s birthday party.  Everyone at the party was wondering who the hell he was, and why he was there.  After a while, I think Steve wondered the same thing himself.

The Types

The men for women in their forties are varied, but the data shows some distinct trends.  Younger men go for “cougars” because they aren’t looking for anything lasting.  They like the idea of sex without strings attached because they are dating someone without the likelihood of having children with them.  For the most part, men in their 40s are in mid-life crisis mode and are dating women in their 20s or early 30s who aren’t ready to have families and who are (yes, I’ll paint with broad strokes here) looking for a Sugar Daddy.

This leaves men in their 50s and 60s who have gotten too old for the young young women.  These men are sick of the bullshit.  They brag about their big houses, their nice cars, careers, their model ex-wives who took everything, and their season tickets.  They also don’t give a shit about your feelings.  They feed on the women who think that is the best they deserve.  Old, broken down men who eat Viagra like M&Ms and can’t shut up about their glory days. If you won’t put out, they will call an escort who will.

The men in their 80s and higher are players.  Men don’t generally live that long, and the women of that age are happy to meet them.  Old people give zero fucks about getting their freak on. It will make you blush to hear some of the things they are up to.

Putting the damage on

In your 40s, everyone has their damage. If you read my blog, you can see plenty of mine.  I’m not saying I’m perfect by any means, but what did surprise me was how so many of the Steves fell head-over-heels with Veronica within the first one or two dates.  They professed their love for her.  They schmoozed.  They sweet-talked.  They ran the cycle of drama by the fifth date, and when she didn’t want to sleep with them, they ghosted her.  They were mean.  They would breadcrumb her; doling out just enough attention to capture her interest and then never answer her calls or texts. Some even stole things from her house on the way out.

Sometimes they acted like they wanted more. They promised they were willing to give more of themselves.  They offered to marry her, to elope, and they never showed up. Or if they did, they knocked on her door at 11pm, seduced her, and never talked to her again.  Some of the Steves would tell her they loved her while they were sleeping with other women. Or were married.  Or secretly hoping to get back together with their ex.  Or would order her up like a pizza to their house, screw her, and then send her home via Uber.  I’m not even kidding.

She would call me in tears.  Why did this keep happening?  Were there no good men left in the world?  The reason Veronica is an amalgam of several of my friends is I have seen the same patterns for nearly all of them.  It makes you wonder if all men aren’t Steves.  It made me question if I were no different than these Steves myself.

I don’t want to be like that.  Vapid.  Disconnected.  Disposable.  Forgettable.  A user of people. Some bastard who just takes what he wants. But that kind of behavior, unfortunately, is rewarded.

I take these words to heart when I can:

…small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.

The takeaway

Eventually, Veronica got off the websites, the apps, and decided that all the Steves were the same. From the dick-pics to the empty promises, she had enough.  It was hard to find someone, much less a man who even in the back 9 of his years was still willing to give it his best shot.

There aren’t plenty of fish in the sea. But what is true is there is one you.  If someone else won’t respect you, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t respect yourself.  You do have control over how others treat you.  You can ask politely that they stop, and just walk away.

I have had friends talk candidly to me about doubts they are having in their relationships.  Men and women both.  They wonder about what dating would be like after divorce.  I can safely say this: it isn’t like it was in your 20s.  The commercials for the apps lie.  The websites are garbage.  For the most part, people in their 40s are either in a committed relationship that has endured some serious shit.  If it hasn’t fallen apart by now, there are good reasons for this.  If it has, there are excellent reasons for that too.

At this age, you are like a snowball of all the years of damage you have accumulated.  Yet in the core of that, you still have the mind of someone in their 20s.  The libido.  You assume that there are people to date just falling out of the trees, like college, when everyone was young and beautiful.  When they didn’t have surly teenagers, psycho ex spouses, or that tiredness deep in their bones which results in a day of dealing with everyone’s bullshit.

You aren’t 20.  You aren’t young and hot. Not even the bag of chips you once were.  You aren’t idealistic and energetic.  What the trade off for youth is now you are older, wiser, cagier, and you don’t need Steve (or the female equivalent).  There are good people out there.  But they have been burned too.  At this age, haven’t we all?

There was a great meme I saw there other day. It said, “Don’t bleed on someone that didn’t cut you.”

Just keep being your beautiful self, I always say.  You are lovable.  You are worthy.

My experience with CPS

I’ve had a lot of people ask me to talk about some of my more difficult experiences during my divorce.  In spite of what some might think, I really don’t enjoy talking about some of these things.  They were moments in my life I had hoped to put in the rearview mirror and leave behind forever.

But in looking back at some of them, I can see how they have shaped my perception and that warrants some examination.  Also, I know that some of my readers might have gone through similar things and maybe some of my insights can help them out as well on their journey.

An uphill battle

Since the day I decided to leave my marriage, I was met with many challenges.  The least of these was not the amount of false reporting of abuse that was submitted against me as retaliation.  The day I left, a report was made to the judge, who issued a restraining order against me as well as my parents.  According to the order, nearly every item on the list was checked off, from physical to sexual abuse, allegedly inflicted upon my ex-spouse as well as our children.

In this country, we have due process, but to make an allegation of this type, you are not innocent until proven guilty.  The rationale behind this is that the immediate safety of someone takes precedence over the assumption of innocence, and therefore, I didn’t get to see my kids for nearly a month for the first month of my divorce.

In that time, they changed.  A lot.  I can’t really say what they were told, as I have only heard what they have related to me in bits and pieces, but it wasn’t good.  It was all “child hearsay” too, so none of it was admissible in court.  What I can say is that the kids I dropped off at school that Halloween morning never came back to me.

For the next two years, monthly reports of child abuse and endangerment were made against me.  Not a month went by where I wasn’t speaking with a representative from Child Protection Services, interviewing me about another incident.  Most of the time, they understood that this was a high-conflict divorce and that angry ex-spouses and their families often make these reports.

As the system is, reports are completely confidential, and most of them are screened out.  When kids start acting up in school, however, and teachers report that things aren’t right, either with the kids being violent to others or themselves, these reports snowball and they are taken seriously.

The Calls

I can say that during these two years, many calls were made to the police to have them check on the welfare of my kids while they were in my custody.  Once was on Thanksgiving, when the kids and I were enjoying dinner with the grandparents.  Another time was when the kids and I were just sitting around watching a movie together.

When the police knock on your door and begin asking your kids extremely personal questions, it disrupts the family dynamic.  Everyone is shaken up.  And the person who made the call gets to create chaos from the comfort of a barstool somewhere while you hug a teenager who was crying because the police asked her repeatedly if she is being molested by her father.

I have related this story to some who get angry when I tell them that the system is broken.  I understand that there are kids out there who are desperate for help, but when this system is abused by those who just want to create a rift in an already hurting family, there should be consequences.  Unfortunately, in my experience, I have not seen any.

Each time the police or CPS came through my door or spoke with me, they found exactly the same thing: Nothing.  The reason being was there was no wrong doing to be found.  But I kept hearing the same old cliches from them “Where there’s smoke, there’s fire.”

After the last police visit, both my ex-wife and myself were brought in for a Family Team Meeting.  Present at the meeting was someone I used to work with when I was in college.  A former sorority girl had now found herself in a supervisory position, and with that liberal arts confidence, she determined that we needed to be subject to a full investigation by CPS.

Let me say this as well.  Typically in our court system, you are innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.  In the case of a CPS investigation, you aren’t.  They don’t need to prove anything beyond a reasonable doubt.  Just within reasonable doubt.  When I talked to a lawyer about this, he said I should just save my money, enter a plea, and go through the system.  Otherwise, I would be facing an expensive jury trial and the likely outcome is they would find some kind of charge to stick to me, regardless of evidence, because they only needed to find Reasonable Doubt of my innocence.  Which is pretty damned easy to do.

The Hearings

Before the hearing, I got to watch a video talking about the grueling process my family and I were about to face.  My ex-wife included.  It would be a series of home visits, court hearings, status hearings, and surprise visits.  The women in the video were actual people who had been through the process themselves.  Usually because they were drug addicts, had been arrested, or maybe even perpetrators of abuse themselves.  They looked sad.  Rattled.  Even on the video.

Parents who harm their kids are the scum of the earth, and I had found myself among their ranks.  With resources being used to build a case against me which should have been being used to protect kids who were actually in danger.

At the hearing, my ex-wife plead guilty of Dependence or Neglect through no fault of her own… because I didn’t take the kids to therapy often enough.  I am not even kidding. That was the plea entered. The ironic part of this is that the child in question had been going to therapy weekly on my watch, but he was now living with his mom full-time.  The other kids had also been going, but only once a month on my watch, since I had their every other week.

The plea I entered was guilty, no fault of my own, due to Parental Alienation.  This plea was never taken seriously or into consideration through the whole process.  Anytime I brought up the continuing evidence of this, I was told to shut up.  I’m not kidding about that either.

It was always discounted as “He said/She said” and the CPS agents would just shut off and turn a deaf ear towards me.  Isn’t he said/she said how this whole thing got started?

The Plan

Anytime you are involved in a case like this, the court comes up with a Plan.  For me, I had to take my daughter and my youngest son to lots and lots of therapy.  In this case, therapy is more of a punitive measure, which the State loves to use nowadays. Someone shoots up a school, someone gets on drugs, someone acts out in class, the answer is always the same: They needed therapy!  It’s all the parent’s fault!

Therapy is a sentence to a conviction.  It is preemptive rehabilitation.  Is it any wonder that when people need therapy, they are reluctant to go?  It might have to do with how therapy is used as punishment.  How it is stigmatized.

My ex-wife’s plan was exactly the same, with the caveat of “Don’t alienate the kids anymore, okay?”

We had to undergo full psychiatric evaluations.  Which give you the testing, but don’t give you any of the tools to fix any disorders they find.  My results, as I was told, were in direct relation to the environment I had to live in all those years.  I found comfort in that.

I was crazy, but curable.  And I had the desire to work through those issues.  Paranoia.  Trust.  Anxiety.  Depression.  I took a clinical diagnosis and said, “How can I use this to make myself better.”  You get lemons, you make citron.

At the hearings, heroin addicts, meth addicts, some of which didn’t pass the drug tests that morning were told what a great job they were doing.  Soon they would be reunited with their children! While we were scolded for making the process take longer than it needed to.  This went on for a year and a half.  At the end of it, my oldest son had completely folded to alienation.  Nothing was done other than one family therapy session towards the end, which was supposed to put us on the path of reuniting as a family.

By the end of it, the kids’ therapists agreed that they had gone through too much therapy.  It was time to stop for a while and give them a rest.  Let them heal from all the wounds that kept getting opened every time someone with a clipboard and a cheap pantsuit knocked on our door.

Finally when we just shut up and agreed with everything the courts said, the case was closed.  CPS patted itself on the back.  And nothing else changed except the kids and I were all totally gun-shy of the system.  Just beat and worn out by it.  But like any rehabilitation process, we learned how to keep low on the radar.  At least the calls slowed down for a while.  My kids now harbor a distrust of the system, and I think at this point, they would rather chew off a foot rather than contact CPS about anything.

Which really isn’t any good either.

The takeaway from this

The Government can come in and control you by threatening to take your kids–the greatest fear any good parent can have–and drag you through the system, incur a lot of expensive legal fees, and intimidate you…to do what?

As a dad who went through this hell, this tedium of hearings, visits, rotating case workers, and no one to advocate for you, I have to say that the process really doesn’t end.  It’s a little bit like incarceration, since you will be on their radar forever and ever now.  You are “guilty” even if there was nothing going on.

You are right there with child molesters, drug addicts, and people who put cigarettes out on their babies.

The hearings have been done for a year now.  The damage to our family because of this process is nearly irreparable.  In those videos, they talked about the likelihood of children who are in the system to become career criminals.  Especially if they are removed from the home.  (That doesn’t seem like a positive argument for CPS, but what do I know). Luckily, none of my kids were removed from the home.  During home visits, I was constantly being told there was not even a reason for this investigation, but to just see it through to the end.

At one point it was suggested I get full custody of all three of my kids, but that was dismissed because it would have dragged out the process even longer.  The court cared more about the process than the ultimate result.  Their interest was more in line with “Well, at least we tried” than actually servicing the welfare of anyone.

The system is broken.  But how do we fix it?  Where do we begin?

I can say this much.  If you can avoid any involvement from CPS in your life, do so.  If you can’t avoid it, remember your ABC’s.  Always. Be. Cool.

Hope

The only hope you can have through this is continuing to do the best job you can do, regardless of the judgement placed upon you by the courts, caseworkers, or anytime you have to check the boxes that say “I have been involved in a case about child abuse.”

  • This isn’t you.
  • This is an accusation.
  • You are not the results of your DSM-V assessment.
  • Just keep doing what you have been doing, which is to be the best parent you can be.

Every day has its own host of challenges and adversaries.  Keep moving forward. But above else, consider your children when you create drama.  When you use them to hurt your ex.  There are no winners.  There is only pain.