BECOME THE MAN WOMEN WANT
8th of September 2014

The Women You Should Pick To Date (And Which Ones to Avoid)

Introduction:

For sex, men compete for women, but when it comes to dating, women are actually competing for the best guys. If you’ve implemented our advice so far and have stepped your game up and become one of those “best” guys, then you could be in a position where you have a choice of women to date.

In this episode Tucker, Nils and Geoff tell you what traits to look for in a good long-term partner, why certain traits are important, and how they’ll play out in the course of a relationship. Armed with this knowledge you’ll be able to choose great women to date.

Podcast:


You can click here (right click, then click save as) to download the episode directly.

Click here to subscribe to the podcast on iTunes.
Click here to subscribe to the podcast on Stitcher.

Video:

[coming soon]

SPONSOR: This episode is sponsored by Bookhacker. They do the reading, so you don’t have to. Check them out on Amazon or Bookhacker.net.

If you want to sponsor the Mating Grounds Podcast, email [email protected].

Key takeaways:

  • Women are selective when it comes to short-term mating, but they compete for great boyfriends. You’re the one who selects which girls to date.
  • If a woman is hot and in shape, that tells you something about her (e.g. that she’s conscientious and works out a lot).
  • Having said that, guys tend to overestimate the importance of looks in a girl. Remember, no matter how hot a woman is, someone somewhere is tired of fucking her. The excitement of being with a hot girl fades over time.
  • This is not preaching. This is practical advice. You will enjoy being with her more if she is intelligent, organized, has her shit together and so on.
  • If you’re a young guy, you should date a few different women and figure out which things you like in a woman, and how different traits in a woman play out in a relationship.
  • If you’re dating a girl, don’t pay attention to how you think you’re supposed to think about her. She could be smart, attractive, kind, sweet – but if you don’t like her, or you’re bored by her, then fine. That’s OK.
  • Intelligence is important, because if she’s on your level then she’ll be interesting, you guys will have plenty to talk about etc. Plus you’ll have smarter kids, she’ll manage money better, or she’ll have a good job that pays well.
  • Conscientiousness and willpower are big factors, and they’re big life predictors of success. If you have a girlfriend with lots of willpower then a) she won’t sleep with other guys, b) she has much less chance of having a drug or alcohol habit, and c) she’ll stay healthier and eat right, exercise etc.
  • Also, conscientious moms are good moms. She’ll look after your kids, be vigilant, cook them good meals, and look out for their safety.
  • Other benefits of conscientiousness: she’s more likely to work hard and do well in her career, you won’t always be picking up after her around the house, and you’ll have a better social life – she’ll plan ahead for things like social occasions or family trips.
  • Next is mental health. You want a woman who is generally cheerful and upbeat, not someone who is going to drag you down all the time, which is a huge drain. If she’s systemically pessimistic, that is not a good sign.
  • You’re the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with – and you’ll be spending a lot of time with your girlfriend. Think of the difference between always being with someone who is miserable, anxious and angry versus someone who is fun, happy and resilient.
  • Mental health is also very heritable, so it could impact your kids – and it will hurt your sex life too. Depressed people don’t have a lot of sex.
  • Empathy, kindness and compassion are three big traits you want to find. They’re crucial for being a good mom, for being supportive to you and in dealing with arguments and conflict.
  • Lastly, aesthetic taste is important in a long-term relationship when you’re talking about living together. If she doesn’t have at least as much style and cleanliness and fastidiousness as you do, then you’re in trouble. Style shows that a woman knows how to make things better, and a girl with a good sense of style can make a huge difference to the quality of your life.
  • Inevitably, there are going to be tradeoffs. If you want a girl who’s into sports, she’s likely going to be less feminine.
  • Also, the girls that are easy to have short-term hookups with don’t usually score highly on a lot of the traits that you want to look for in a long-term partner.
  • If you want to evaluate how likely a girl is to remain faithful to you, look at her recent history. If she slept with 4 guys in one month but that was 5 years ago in college, then it’s not a big deal. You have to evaluate the whole situation. If she has recently been promiscuous, she’s not particularly emotionally stable and she’s impulsive, then the likelihood of her being faithful is a lot lower.
  • You also want to make sure that your sex drive and hers match up, otherwise it’s not much fun.
  • Relationships are about meeting the needs of the people in the relationship. If you meet her needs and she meets yours, it’ll be a good relationship. If someone’s needs are not being met, it won’t be good.
  • Most of your girlfriends will end up as ex-girlfriends, unless you marry the first girl you date. The qualities that make a good girlfriend make a good ex-girlfriend. So you could still end up being friends or something and getting a lot out of it even if you guys break up.
  • Having great ex-girlfriends also provides plenty of social proof and boosts your own mate value.

Links from this episode

Podcast Audio Transcription:

Tucker:
Alright. So, last podcast we did how to choose women, and we focused specifically on short-term mating. What are things to look for and what are things to avoid in women. So, in this podcast, we’re gonna talk about more relationship things. What to look for and what to avoid in women in relationships. Again, I want to reiterate what we talked about last time. Most of the early stuff on this podcast is focusing on you, what you can do to get better, and what you’re doing wrong that you need to stop. Now, we want to start looking at women, because assuming you corrected those things or some of them and you’re starting to become more attractive and you’re starting to do better with women, you now have options and now you need to think about what you want and what women meet those needs. Obviously, we already focused on how you can meet their needs. So, again, let’s also reiterate, you compete for women for short-term. Women are very selective for short-term mates, but they tend to compete for boyfriends, whereas it’s the reverse for you. You are the one who has to compete to be selected for short-term mating, but you’re the one who selects which girls to date, right? Generally speaking. That’s sort of how the dynamic works. So, last podcast was like, okay, here’s all the things to avoid. These are all the women you should avoid. Now, we’re gonna focus less about what to avoid and more about what to pick, alright? What type of women should you be dating? Again, the assumption is you want a girlfriend, whether it’s long-term committed, whether it’s medium-term, feeling each other out, or whether it’s just “we’re friends with benefits maybe guiding towards a relationship” type. It can be anything. So, Dr. Miller, what are some things that guys need to think about in longer-term relationships?

Geoff:
Basically, just think more about the woman’s mind and brain and how it works and her mental and moral traits, her personality. Young guys are really, really focused on a woman’s physical appearance, and that’s super important and it is a valid indicator or her health and her fertility and all of that basic Darwinian stuff.

Tucker:
And her conscientiousness, how well she can take care of herself.

Geoff:
Yeah. So, all the same reasons why you should get in shape, to be physically healthy and to demonstrate your willpower and your lifestyle, the same applies to women, you know? If she’s in shape and looking hot, that doesn’t just tell you about her body. It also says something about her personality. But young guys tend, before they’re very experienced with women, to kind of overlook the importance of lots of the other mental traits. What they do is they think, “Oh, she’s beautiful. In six months, that’ll still matter a lot to me.” No, it won’t. You’ll get used to it. Physical attractiveness is a thrill. It’s a massive, wonderful thrill at first, but guys habituate, and after you’ve been her boyfriend for six months, yeah, she’ll still be beautiful, but it won’t have the same emotional impact on you. What will have an impact on you is her personality and her intelligence and the whole rest of her life that didn’t seem that important at first.

Tucker:
So, guys, you might not know the saying, but I definitely know the saying, no matter how hot a girl is, someone somewhere is tired of fucking her, right? What Dr. Miller just said is basically that phrasing in a far more politically correct and scientifically valid term, right? What that means is if the only thing you value in a woman is her appearance, you’re going to get tired of her because that’s just one thing and it’s relatively shallow once you get used to it, whereas who the woman is as a person intellectually, morally, emotionally, spiritually, all these sorts of things are very, very important for a relationship.

Geoff:
And this is not preaching. This is not that you should value her intelligence or her willpower more because that’s the right thing to do. It’s purely practical. You will have a better experience with her if she’s smarter and more organized and has her shit together and runs her life effectively. It’ll create a better life for you. So, this is not moralizing. This is just, if she has intelligence, these are the benefits. That’s the kind of thing that we’re gonna talk about today in terms of how to choose a good girlfriend.

Tucker:
Think of it this way, guys. If your goal is short-term mating, if you go to a bar and you want to sleep with a girl that night, you’re basically gonna go home with the hottest girl who will say yes to you, right? Makes total sense. Everyone’s on board with that, understanding that logic, it’s totally fine for the most part. You’re gonna go home with the hottest girl. If you’re looking for a girlfriend, what she looks like is very important, but it doesn’t make sense to just pick the hottest girl. You need to pick the girl who you can also have a relationship with if you are looking for a relationship. Understand that, right? So, again, this is what you’re looking for. What we’re not saying which we should be making explicit is that it all depends on your goals, right? This podcast is about long-term relationships and what we’re trying to explain, what’s being unsaid from Dr. Miller, the assumption is that relationships are about meeting the needs of other people and as a guy, you have more needs than just what your woman looks like. As a young guy, I think it’s hard to understand that there’s more to women than that – for some young guys. Not all, by any stretch.

Some young guys don’t get that. They look at a woman, her physical appearance being the thing that’s most attractive to them and then that’s what they get the most social status from, that’s what their friends talk about the most. If you’re twenty-one, you don’t see a lot of the other stuff. You don’t quite understand it. At 25, you really do, and at 30, it’s paramount, you know? I’m with a very beautiful woman, but the reality is I could be with women who are not much hotter – ‘cause she’s real hot – but definitely hotter. There are hotter women on Earth than my girlfriend, but she is an amazing person. She’s amazingly sweet. She’s extremely intelligent. She has all these other attributes which are far more important than a tiny little bit of marginal hotness. The way I always explain it is for me to date a girl that there’s maybe…you know, to get into a bar, you have to pay a cover, right? Then, once you’re in, it’s whatever. So, for me to even consider a woman for a relationship, there’s a cover charge of hotness, right? You have to be whatever, some level. Like, on a ten-scale, I’d say a seven or an eight.

Nils:
You have to be this tall to ride this ride.

Tucker:
Right. Exactly. But once she pays that cover charge of attractiveness, then attractiveness kind of doesn’t matter anymore. At that point, what matters is who she is as a person because I’m not having a relationship with just her body. I’m having a relationship with her brain. You’re fucking her body. You’re having a relationship with her brain. So, if you’re looking for things aside from one-night stands, who she is supremely important.

Geoff:
Yeah. In a lot of ways, this is almost one of the most important podcasts here, because if you pay attention to what you really want and which girlfriends make you happy when you’re young, you will make so much better choices and you’ll avoid years and years of heartbreak or being in a bad marriage or losing a decade to the wrong woman. For example, if you’re a kind of bright guy, and most of you probably are because you figured out how to work podcasts or whatever, the sooner you learn the value of a woman being smart, the more likely you are to avoid marrying a woman who’s not smart enough for you. If you do that, you will get bored and you will eventually divorce her. The question is how long it takes. So, if you listen to us and pay attention to this, we might save you a decade of misery.

Tucker:
Absolutely. So, how much should we talk about guys figuring out what they want? ‘Cause I can hear a guy right now listening to this and saying, “Alright, I get it. I want a relationship,” which, by the way, I’ve seen a lot in our feedback and most studies actually indicate even in college, not a huge majority, but about 60-65%, want relationships and not short-term hookups, right? If that’s what you want, you’re in the majority. I was actually in the minority. I thought I was in the majority. I’m wrong. So, it’s totally normal to want a relationship, but I can see guys saying, “Okay. I want a relationship. What girl do I pick?” But I think there’s a question that needs to come first: how much do you really understand about yourself and do you know what your goals in the relationship are? If you’re young, even if you want a relationship, your goal very much should be to date a lot of people and figure out what it is you want, you know? As you get older, you know what you want. So, maybe we should focus this on younger guys, sort of here’s all the things you can think about. Here’s all the different ways that women differ. Even though we’ve gone over this for guys, let’s go over it in the context of girls. Does that make sense?

Geoff:
Yeah. I mean, we’re not gonna convince you to pay attention to the traits that we want you to pay attention to, but I hope we can convince you, at least, as you’re going through relationships with different girlfriends, pay attention to how these traits play out in your life…

Tucker:
Figure out what matters to you.

Geoff:
…and what their costs and benefits are.

Tucker:
Figure out what they are, what matters to you, and then you can pay attention to them. So, let’s go through the list of traits with the list of ways that women can differ. It’s very similar to men, but let’s apply it to women and then as you date girls, you can realize, “Okay, these three things matter the most, so I’m gonna pay attention to them.” So, the first, clearest one is intelligence, right? So, what are some of the things guys need to think about to look for intelligence with women?

Geoff:
You’ll get a good, solid sense of a woman’s intelligence just through ordinary conversation, just like she will with you. But also, where she went to school, what her grades were. Does she read books? What does she like to watch on TV? Just pay attention to that stuff. Her taste in culture is a big indicator. When you’re talking to her, do you feel fascinated or do you feel kind of bored? A lot of guys aren’t even in touch enough with their own bodies and their own judgment to even think that’s a valid thing to pay attention to. Like, if I’m bored, it’s my fault and I should be—no. If she’s not keeping you fascinated, that’s her failure. Maybe you’re not paying attention…

Tucker:
Well, it’s not necessarily her failure. It means you’re not matching up.

Geoff:
Right. You’re not a match.

Tucker:
Which is not the same thing. So, for instance, I met plenty of girls who were really fascinating, they watch TMZ and they care about the Kardashians and they read People, and it’s like, look. If that’s what you’re into, that’s cool, but I’d rather put a fucking ice pick into my eye than date a girl that wants to talk about Khloe Kardashian, unless you’re gonna make fun of her.

Geoff:
Yeah.

Nils:
And that’s different than girls who watch Khloe Kardashian, because a lot of people watch it just to check out, but they would never fucking talk about it.

Tucker:
‘Cause what’s there to talk about? Oh, a big gorilla-looking whore wants to fuck some basketball player, whatever.

Nils:
Lamar Odom married an animal.

Tucker:
He did! Right? Lamar Odom married the animal. Not the other way around! The manimal. Whatever she is. “Khloe angry! Khloe smash!”

Geoff:
So, back to general cognitive ability. Another thing is guys don’t understand how their own male mate choice works. So, Tucker said several times, women tend to be really choosey early in the relationship. Then, guys get choosier about who they stay with, right? So, the way that a guy experiences choice isn’t so much “I’m choosing.” It’s more like “I can’t stand to be in this relationship anymore.” That’s how male choice works. Yeah. We hooked up, we’re having great sex, maybe she moved in, but now I’m not satisfied. I’m bored. Something’s not working. Welcome to the world of male choice. It doesn’t work the way female choice does.

Tucker:
Which, by the way, guys, is very valid. This is a little bit off-topic, but it’s important. If you are dating a girl, don’t let what you think you’re supposed to think interfere with what you actually feel. So, there are a lot of women I’ve dated in my life where she was perfect “on paper.” Whatever it was I thought made a perfect girlfriend, she had everything, and I didn’t really like her. We didn’t do that well together. I wasn’t really happy. That was especially when I was young. When I was, like, nineteen, twenty, I thought I was supposed to have a girlfriend and I was supposed to do all these things, and that’s just not where I was in my life, and so it wasn’t even really the girl’s fault. I was out of touch with myself, right? So, pay attention to this stuff, guys. If when you’re three months into your relationship, you’re already tuning out 80% of what she says, that’s a real bad sign. It’s not gonna get better. She’s not gonna get more interesting.

Nils:
And you’ve got to make a choice. Like, you called it opting out and I think that’s right, but the problem is what a lot of guys do is they are afraid. Because women sort of have the sexual choice, they’re afraid that “this might be the last girl I ever have sex with” or “this might be the hottest girl I ever have sex with for the rest of my life,” so you hang on until something better comes along, and that’s where that window starts to develop where it goes from—

Tucker:
You get lazy ‘cause you’re in a relationship.

Nils:
…And now three years, and now the next step is moving in—

Tucker:
“Well, I might as well marry her ‘cause we’ve spent this much time,” and you get stuck.

Nils:
And all of a sudden, you’re in your mid-thirties and it’s like, what the hell just happened? It’s because you didn’t make that choice early on.

Tucker:
I’m not saying that intelligence-wise, your girlfriend has to be your best friend, but I don’t know. I don’t see a lot of relationships that are really happy where the husband and wife aren’t really close and compatible in an intellectual/social sense. You know? They’re super good friends in a lot of ways, you know? I’m not saying that has to be the basis of your relationship, necessarily, but man.

Nils:
You’ve got to have something to talk about.

Tucker:
I know! If you don’t have anything to talk about, even if you can say, “Oh, that’s what my male friends are for,” it’s funny. You hear a lot of guys say that and usually it’s either actual honest, dyed-in-the-wool sexist guys or older guys that come from a different generation. We all come from a very different generation. The idea that women stay in their place and you eat their food and you have sex with them and you put babies in them…I’m not even talking about fifties patriarchy. I’m talking even eighties and some nineties. Women have their place and they go—

Nils:
You’re talking about New Jersey.

Tucker:
Right. Jersey, right. They go shopping with their friends and I go hunting with my friends and if I want to have a conversation, that’s what I’ve got my male friends for. And it’s like, you probably have an awful marriage. If you know someone who says that, I don’t care what image they’re putting out. Chances are, they have a really, really, really bad marriage or it’s sort of a marriage of convenience. A trophy wife type situation. If that’s what you want, that’s what you want, but you don’t need to listen to this podcast if you want a trophy wife. Just make a bunch of fucking money and go find a gold digging whore. It’s real simple.

Geoff:
And guess what, if you’re in that marriage and you’re not intellectually, emotionally engaged with your wife, you will eventually meet a woman who does fill that gap in your life and then you’re gonna have—

Tucker:
Well, assuming you’re not a boring piece of shit, too.

Nils:
Or, if you’re that guy and you think and feel like you’re in a good marriage, chances are your wife is fucking the neighborhood, because she’s not happy either.

Tucker:
Right. If you’re like, “Oh, I don’t talk to her about any of this stuff but everything’s going great,” that’s when you come home and the gardeners are triple-teaming her. Seriously. I’m serious.

Nils:
“I’m serious. It’s the gardeners, and there’s three of them.”

Tucker:
No. Whatever. It’s because that means that you’re totally emotionally, intellectually disconnected from her.

Nils:
She has to get it somewhere else and she is.

Tucker:
Whether it’s through penis or through conversation or whatever. It’s coming from somewhere, guys. I promise. Again, this is not a judgmental thing. It’s much more about how do you have a happy life? How do you get your shit together and really enjoy what you do every day? It’s really hard to do that if you have a relationship where you’re not sharing huge parts of your life with your partner. You’re supposed to be a partner, you know? They’re not a fuck hole. That’s what other girls are for. I’m kidding.

Geoff:
And you know, intelligence has so many other benefits in a girlfriend. I mean, a) in terms of good genes, one massive benefit is you will have brighter kids. If you want bright kids, the best way you can do that is marry a bright woman. That completely trumps any amount of investment you can put into being a good dad or buying private school education or whatever. I was just having dinner last night with one of my aunts and one of my uncle-in-laws, and my uncle-in-law was like, “Well, I graduated law school and I got this great family, your mom’s family, and I immediately saw this beautiful 17-year-old and she was clearly smart and I just went for her.” That’s a little bit…that was a different era, but he’s like, “I’m so glad I did that.”

Tucker:
Yeah. “I’m an adult and she’s seventeen. It’s perfect!”

Nils:
“She’s graduating in May. It’s on.”

Geoff:
But they had five brilliant kids and it was a good choice, so the heritability of intelligence is really important. The stability of it over time, it means…you can’t even imagine this being relevant, but she won’t get Alzheimer’s at the same rate. She will manage money better. A lot of your adult life happiness is gonna come from things like how financially secure do you feel? And that’s where I’m happy.

Tucker:
Or she’ll have a job. Maybe she’ll have a job that pays more.

Geoff:
Exactly. You read the Millionaire Next Door book, right? What are the big predictors of how much money a guy ends up with? A) does he start his own business? And B) is his wife frugal and smart and good with money?

Tucker:
Yeah. Exactly. Right, if she’s out shopping all the time. I can actually think of someone that you don’t know but you know, pretty famous. He was joking with me one time and he was like…We were talking about some new company he was doing or something. He was like, “Yeah. Well, my wife’s got a shoe habit. I’ve got to make sure this works.” And he was joking but he wasn’t. I remember, Veronica was with me, and we both felt…Afterwards, she was like, “I felt so bad.” You know? And she isn’t like that at all. I’m pretty minimalist, and she thinks I have a lot of shit, you know? It’s actually really nice and refreshing ‘cause it’s like, we can sleep in our walk-in closet and it’s totally dark and it’s great, ‘cause she doesn’t have any fucking clothes hardly. She has less clothes than I do. It’s pretty nice, actually. Intelligence is very important, at the very least, because you want a partner and you want to be able to have someone who’s a friend and you can talk to and you can interact with. It doesn’t mean she has to be everything in your life. We’re not saying that at all by any stretch. In fact, you both should have other things in your life, but if she’s just a vessel and not someone you are interested in intellectually, that’s not a good recipe for your happiness.

Nils:
And the long-term play also is kids. You want to have smart kids. Nobody wants to have idiot kids.

Tucker:
Yes. Alright, so the next thing is…You’re gonna think this is the same. It’s not. Conscientiousness and willpower. Those are the two big life predictors of success, right? Intelligence and conscientiousness. So, talk a little bit about conscientiousness.

Geoff:
Yeah. So, why do you want a girlfriend with willpower? What does that mean? Well, a) willpower means she’s not very impulsive and she won’t cheat on you. Her likelihood of having impulsive sex with other men is lowered, right? Her likelihood of getting an alcohol or drug habit is lowered, and that can ruin your life.

Tucker:
She’ll take care of herself more.

Geoff:
She’ll take care of herself and her health. So, there are a lot of women who look great at age twenty-two and then ten, twenty years later, they don’t look so great anymore.

Nils:
They’re a size twenty-two.

Geoff:
What’s the difference? The difference is how much effort they put into nutrition and exercise and lifestyle, right? Another thing is taking care of kids. Conscientious moms are good moms. They’re vigilant. They look out for the welfare of their kids. They like to feed them. They make the effort to cook them good food.

Tucker:
Right. You can be really smart and not do a good job at this.

Geoff:
Yeah. They keep your kids from physical danger, right? You don’t want the girlfriend who’s like, “I don’t know where my toddler is. Maybe he’s out back in the swimming pool.”

Tucker:
“He’s rolling around in the dirt. I don’t know. He’ll be fine.” That’s the dad’s job, is to be irresponsible.

Geoff:
Conscientiousness predicts how tidy and clean she’ll keep stuff, not that that’s her role. But it’s a collaborative thing.

Tucker:
If you do it together, do you want to be picking up after your wife? At the very least, you guys pull the weight together.

Geoff:
Yeah. It means how hard does she work in her career and is she likely to get promoted and make more money? Does she make plans ahead of time so that you have a fun, active social life with other couples? Does she plan family trips? This is important. You go travelling. It’s complicated enough when you’re alone. It’s even more with a couple. If you’ve got two kids and your wife’s life, “Oh, I forgot to book a hotel. We’re in Venice, sorry. We have to sleep on the street.”

Tucker:
Yeah. Right. So, I think your point is intelligence is how well she can think. Willpower is how well she can actually effectuate that thought, right? Same with you. We had three podcasts about this, right? Same with you, dude. She’s looking for this in you. You can also look for this in her. They may play out exactly the same. They may play out in a little bit different ways, but the point is they make for a better woman to date ‘cause she’s a better partner and you will have a better relationship. Alright, so the next one, I think, is very important. We talked about this a lot on the last podcast. Mental health, which basically means not just is she crazy or not. I think we kind of covered most of the ways to avoid crazy women, but just because you’re not crazy doesn’t mean you have optimal mental health. So, what are some things guys need to look for with women in optimal health?

Geoff:
I think the big thing here is what’s her baseline happiness level? So, this is a big thing that varies across women and across men. Is she generally sad and depressed and anxious or is she generally cheerful and upbeat? These things tend to be pretty stable. I mean, they fluctuate a little bit, but if you’re with a girlfriend and out of six months, she’s been kind of low mood for about four of those months, you’re not gonna fix that. There are absolutely things she can do to fix it. All the same things we talked about with you: nutrition and sleep and antidepressants and therapy and all that.

Tucker:
Meditation. Whatever.

Geoff:
But if she hasn’t done it already before she gets a boyfriend, she’s pretty unlikely to suddenly go, “Yeah. I’ve been a little bit—“

Tucker:
Men and women don’t tend to get better in relationships in terms of attractiveness.

Geoff:
They get lazier.

Tucker:
Right. Tend to.

Geoff:
And also, the rate of depression in women is a little higher than in men, so there are a lot of depressed women out there.

Nils:
Would you fold cynicism and skepticism into that or is that sort of separate?

Geoff:
If there’s, like, a big emotional component to the cynicism, then yeah, but if it’s just she’s a cheerful, skeptical, humanist atheist, that’s fine.

Tucker:
You’re taking skeptical to mean in a scientific sense. He’s meaning someone – and correct me if I’m wrong – I think he’s meaning someone who’s constantly negative and harping…Maybe not depressed, but, “Oh, look at what that girl’s wearing on the red carpet” or “Oh, this guy’s gonna screw you.” Is that what you’re talking about?

Nils:
Yeah.

Tucker:
Right. So, guys, when Dr. Miller says depressed or low mental state, he doesn’t necessarily mean, “Oh, I’m sad. I’m gonna lay in bed all day.” That’s obvious depression. I think Nils is bringing up a good point. There’s other things around that, too. A woman can seem very happy and cheerful to you, but say her friends come over and she’s all sunshine and kittens and they leave and she spends two hours criticizing them and snarking them and being a bitch about them to you. That’s fucking terrible. It says a really bad thing about her and it’s very emotionally draining.

Geoff:
Yeah. And what’s being revealed there if there’s a systemic pessimism and negativity. That’s her mindset. All the research in psychology now says your mood is basically determined by your mindset. If you’re kind of seeing every glass as half-empty, then you will be depressed, even if you’re not now. Whereas if you’re resilient, optimistic, you can say, “Okay. This is a problem, but here are some ways we can fix it.” That’s invaluable in a girlfriend or a wife, ‘cause lord knows you will encounter challenges. You know, there will be setbacks and difficulties and catastrophes, and if you’re with a woman who can roll with that and be constructive and resilient, that’s golden.

Tucker:
Guys, there is almost nothing you are going to do in your life that will impact your happiness more than figuring out who the five people you spend the most time around are. Study after study. The people you spend time around are the biggest determinants of your overall happiness and life satisfaction. And there’s probably no relationship more important to you than your partner, your long-term relationships with girls, right? And ideally, we’re building this so you can find the wife that you really want, right? Or even if you just want a bunch of long-term relationships, that’s fine, too. Whatever. The point is, those relationships are gonna define your subjective experience on a day-to-day level. So, if you’re around a woman who’s miserable, anxious, angry, snarky, whatever, that’s gonna greatly impact you whereas if you’re around one who’s positive and upbeat and fun and happy, that’s gonna rub off on you. I cannot emphasize this enough. You can take that lesson for your friendships, as well, but it’s triple important for your girlfriend.

Geoff:
It’s extra important, because again, mental health is highly heritable and if your wife or girlfriend is depressed or a little bit schizophrenic or whatever, your kids are a lot more likely to have those problems. There’s nothing more heartbreaking than having a kid with mental health problems. Second, it’ll have a huge impact on your sex life. Huge. Depressed women don’t want to have sex, and if they do, they’re not gonna orgasm and it’s not gonna be fun for you. If she’s cheerful, happy, resilient, that’s gonna have so much more impact on your long-term sex life quality than even her physical attractiveness.

Tucker:
Could not agree more. We probably should’ve put that as number one, to be honest. There have been a lot of girls who I’ve dated that I’ve stayed with longer than I might have otherwise because they were so fun and cheery and happy even though I knew she’s not smart enough for me. Intelligence is very important to me. In fact, when I was younger, I used to think intelligence didn’t matter. I cared about how sweet she is, how compassionate, and how hot she was. It’s funny, as I got older, I realized compassion and empathy and sweetness were just as important as I thought and looks were a little bit less important, but intelligence was way more important than I realized. Should we talk about compassion and sweetness under mental health? Is that the same thing?

Geoff:
I mean, it’s a little different ‘cause there are some cheerful women who aren’t that compassionate or kind. The psychological evidence shows that emotional stability, which is kind of a major part of happiness and cheerfulness, does not actually correlate that much with agreeableness.

Tucker:
Yeah. Let’s talk about agreeableness, ‘cause that is a little bit distinctive. So, this might be a little confusing ‘cause everything we’ve talked about so far tracks to an episode of the podcast where we talked about it with you. Agreeableness tracks the tender defender podcast, which doesn’t track to women at all. It’s quite different. Women look for a tender defender. We talked about this. They want a guy who’s kind but also assertive and strong and confident, right? We had an entire episode about this. Go back and listen to that one. It’s a really good episode. It’s a great concept, okay? Guys aren’t necessarily looking for a woman who’s super assertive and confident and dominant or whatever. Guys are looking for something a little bit different. I’ll tell you, at least for me, what I found was very important was I cared very much about a woman who is very empathetic and very patient with me – emotionally patient – very compassionate. Like, I don’t care about her crying over baby food commercials, but I really care, like…does she listen to me? Does she care about my emotions? Does she understand them? Does she interact with them? Look, that shit doesn’t matter at all for short-term mating. It really doesn’t matter at all. It is supremely important for a girlfriend, okay? At the very least, you need to find one who has a kindness and a compassionate, empathy level that is equivalent to yours, because if she is less than that, it will leave you feeling shitty. It will leave you feeling emotionally drained.

Geoff:
Yeah. I mean, agreeableness is one of the big five traits where it’s the biggest sex difference, where women score substantially higher on agreeableness and kindness, on average, than men do. What does that tell you? It means your male ancestors selected women who were really kind and they actually evolved to be kinder than men, on average. More empathy, more altruism. Why is that important? Well, a) it’s crucial for being a good mom. If a mother doesn’t feel emotionally bonded and connected to the infant and the toddler and take care of them—

Tucker:
She’s a shitty mom.

Geoff:
She’s a shitty mom and that infant is more likely to die, right? So, that’s one reason why men are kind of instinctively drawn to women who show a lot of care and compassion, not just to babies, but to small, cute animals or to the boyfriend, right? Or to their girlfriends or any needy things or entities anywhere in the world.

Tucker:
Right. It’s totally fine if she has more kindness and compassion than you do. That’s fine. That won’t cause any problems unless it’s a way huge difference, like you’re a sociopath and she’s like Mother Theresa or something. As long as you’re relatively close. I would make sure she does not have less than you. That’s a disaster waiting to happen. I’ve seen that with couples, and it always drains the guy and he becomes this shell of himself and the relationship always breaks up. Always, always, always, always, always. For any number of reasons why, it usually takes a big toll on him because that’s one of those things that you don’t think about a lot as a guy. It took me years before I understood how important that really was.

Geoff:
It’s especially important when you get into arguments and conflict, right? How good is she at resolving the arguments through active listening and compassion vs. how habitually critical or nagging is she? Right? That’ll become a major determinant of marital happiness. Like the John Gottman finding that, basically, marital happiness is how often you have sex per month minus how often you have arguments. Well, agreeableness has a lot to do with both.

Tucker:
Mhmm. Huge one. Alright, so last one, I think, is aesthetic taste and style, right? Meaning how good is her taste? Generally speaking, women have better taste than men, right? This is one of those things that, as a guy, you might think, “Oh, who cares? Why would I care?” And if you’re in high school, it probably doesn’t matter. If you’re in college, it doesn’t matter. If you’re having short-term relationships, it doesn’t matter. But guys, once you start not just dating a woman but living with her, spending time with her, if she doesn’t have at least as much style and cleanliness and fastidiousness as you do, it’s gonna fucking suck. Like, slobs don’t do well with people who care about appearances, right? Now, it can work if the guy’s a slob and the girl’s not, sometimes, depending on her agreeableness and other issues. If he makes an effort to improve and how patient she is, etc. I’ve not really seen a lot of situations where it works where the girl’s a fucking pig and the dude has a bunch of style, unless it’s like Will & Grace or something, like a TV show with a gay dude and a mythical New York woman or whatever. So, talk a little bit about why should guys care about this?

Geoff:
One thing is that women often compete with other women in terms of style and not just clothing style but also accessories, and as they get a little older and a little more money, the house, the furnishings, how everything is decorated. I realized with my ex-wife, she had really good taste and a really good eye for which houses to buy. It makes a huge fucking difference in terms of your net worth over time. If you’re renovating real estate and a house with a woman, and she’s got great taste and an eye for value, it can literally make a difference of $100-$200,000 in the sale price.

Tucker:
Alright. If I’m twenty-five, I’m like, “Alright. Alright. Listen up, Dr. ARP, I don’t want to hear about your house value.” I know what you’re saying and you’re right, but think about more on a day-to-day level for a young guy. Do you want to live in filth or do you want to live in a nice place that makes you feel good? You might not realize that at twenty-five and I didn’t ‘cause I lived in filth. At thirty, it was super important. That’s actually one of the reasons I kind of had to stop fucking younger girls, eighteen, nineteen, twenty, twenty-one, because most of them were still kind of slobs and disgusting and it was like…don’t bring your fucking Doritos over here, you fucking skank. Like, what the fuck?

Nils:
At least bring Bugles. I think the interesting thing about style is it shows that they know how to make things better. My wife has impeccable style.

Tucker:
She’s amazing. She’s a stylist! She was.

Nils:
She was a Hollywood stylist when she was in her twenties. She has impeccable style, whether it’s clothes, makeup, art, design, it doesn’t matter. The thing that she’s able to do is she’s able to make everything an order of magnitude better than it actually is. And she takes that skill and applies it across the spectrum of our entire life. And Geoff’s point was that it sort of adds net worth. It adds quality of life on top of it at every level, and if you’ve got some girl with no aesthetic, with no style, with no sense of why something looks good or why it looks bad, you’re flying blind for god knows how long.

Tucker:
Yeah. No, I totally agree. Granted, this is not the most important thing, but it is one of those things that, after a while in a relationship, you really start to notice it. It’s sort of like if you do thirty pushups in the morning when you wake up, you’re gonna wake up in two months and all of a sudden be strong and have a decent chest, and thirty pushups each day is, like, nothing. That’s one of those little things that builds and builds and builds and builds and builds and makes a huge difference.

Geoff:
Also, good taste rubs off on you, right? Even if you don’t end up marrying a woman, you should have at least two or three girlfriends who have exquisite sense of style in terms of clothing just so you learn from them and they can be like your clothing mentors.

Nils:
Well, they tell you what looks good on you! Like, I don’t have any fucking clue. I know what’s comfortable, but she helps me know what hangs best, which places I can get the stuff that looks best on me. So, even if the relationship ends in a year, she has set you up for the next one down the line. It increases the range of good options for you.

Tucker:
Makes you a better, more attractive mate. Yeah. No doubt. You can almost think of that as an investment in a way. A girl who has that makes you better, alright? Let’s talk for a little bit about tradeoffs, sort of the last thing before we wrap this up. I know as a young guy, I always thought, “Oh, yeah. I want a girl that has all these things,” and I’d list, like, fifty things, right? Young girls do this especially. They’ll start listing out what they want in a guy, and, like, you know, “He has to like this music but not this song and he has to…” and it’s this huge, long…If a woman has a huge, long list in her thirties, she’s crazy. In her teens or early twenties, that’s normal. Then, as she gets older—

Nils:
She’s being romantic.

Tucker:
Yeah. That’s being romantic and idealizing. And as she gets older, generally speaking, she calls things off that list that don’t matter or she realizes she doesn’t care about this, whatever. A good list of things that matter is anywhere from three to five, generally speaking. That makes sense. But some things trade off, so what are some things that trade off that guys need to be aware of?

Geoff:
Well, mental health is tricky. I mean, some of the most interesting women in the world are not borderline, but bipolar. Their moods fluctuate quite a bit. I have some experience with this.

Tucker:
Extremely intelligent people tend to be a little bit crazier, men and women.

Geoff:
Right. So, if you want somebody who’s super creative and that really turns you on, they’re likely to have pretty unstable moods and you have to kind of brace for that.

Tucker:
They’re gonna be more unstable than average. They might not be a crazy person, but they’re not gonna be just normal, stable, serene.

Geoff:
Yeah. You know, women who are really smart and really conscientious will probably have very successful careers, and if you want that, that’s great, but it also means you can’t expect that woman to become a happy stay-at-home mom and find a life of nappy changing fulfilling. So, again, depending on your goals—

Nils:
Things like if you really need a woman to love sports, if you’re a huge sports fan, that is almost by definition going to be trading off with some degree of femininity, you know? How much of a girly girl do you need her to be? How much do you need her to love being in dresses and stuff like that? That is a tradeoff if you also need her to list the starting five for every NBA team.

Geoff:
Like, the first time I saw Tucker’s girlfriend, Veronica, in a dress at dinner, I hardly even recognized her, ‘cause she was always in sporty clothes before that. It’s like, “Oh, my god, she’s beautiful!” I can’t even wrap my head around that.

Tucker:
Right. So, generally speaking, something like tomboyish type behaviors. If you really want a girl who’s one of the guys, sort of, and I say that colloquially, not literally, then she’s probably not gonna have a great sense of style or a lot of aesthetics. She can have a lot of other great things. I’m not saying it’s bad. These things tend to trade off. Also, combining the last two podcasts, a lot of the things that you’re gonna be looking for…there’s a reason that there’s this stereotypical trope that the girls you sleep with are not the girls you marry. I think that’s bullshit, but at the margins, there’s truth behind that. So, girls that tend to be really easy to have one-night stands with don’t tend to score real high on all the traits that you’re looking for in a long-term relationship. Now, it doesn’t mean just because a girl slept with you that you shouldn’t date her. That’s not what we’re saying. But we talked about if you sleep with one hundred women, let’s say a third of them are gonna be the type that have been with fifty to a hundred plus guys and they have some mental/emotional issues, they have other things going on, right? That means that it’s trading off with things that we talked about, like not necessarily intelligence…It’s actually trading off with conscientiousness and willpower, mental health, agreeableness, things like that. Like, there’s this idea that smart girls aren’t slutty. That’s ridiculous. That’s just not true at all. I haven’t seen, at least in my experience, a huge relationship between intelligence and sexual openness. What I have seen is a large relationship in women between high levels of socio sexuality and other traits – compassion, empathy, mental health, conscientiousness, etc. Does the data support that or what?

Geoff:
Yeah. I mean, is this trait of overall promiscuity and tendency to do short-term mating, and women differ a lot in it. There’s a lot of studies that show, yeah, men tend to like high, more promiscuous women, when they’re looking for a short-term mate because they’re easier to seduce, but if they’re looking for a serious, long-term partner—

Tucker:
Not they’d be easier to seduce. They’re looking for what you’re looking for.

Geoff:
Yeah. But for a long-term partner, most guys want more assurance of fidelity, right?

Tucker:
Right. It doesn’t mean she hasn’t slept with people. It doesn’t mean you didn’t hook up with her right away. Guys will conflate these two things, and it’s not the same thing. It’s more what is the totality of our history? Look, if a girl spent a month in college and was a little bit slutty and slept with, like, four guys or something and that was three years ago and you focus on that, you have your own insecurities. That’s your problem. That’s not her problem, okay? But if she slept with four guys last month and then now you’re trying to get engaged to her soon, now you need to start thinking about what’s going on.

Geoff:
Yeah. And it’s just, again, the past tends to predict the future. If a woman’s had sex with a hundred guys and you’re thinking about marrying her and you ask yourself, “What’s the likelihood that I will be the last guy she ever sleeps with for the next fifty years?” It’s probably not as good as a woman who’s only had sex with ten guys.

Tucker:
Yeah. Okay, right. Here’s the thing. I would frame that question differently. I don’t think, if you’re looking to date a girl or have a serious relationship or even marry, you have to think…neither of us are ever gonna sleep with anyone else again. I would think of it like, in the course of this relationship, no matter how long it lasts – but if you’re thinking marriage and you’re thinking a long time, like, a decade or two decades, right? – what’s the likelihood that she’s going to remain fidelitous to me? That she’s not gonna cheat? And just because a woman slept with a lot of guys does not mean she will cheat. You need to look at a lot of other things in combination with that, but if she has high promiscuity that’s very recent, if she has high neuroticism – meaning she’s not emotionally stable, if she is very impulsive still – meaning she has low conscientiousness, then I think the likelihood is probably pretty high. If not, if she had a period in her life where she did that and she’s past that, I don’t really think you need to worry too much about that, you know?

Geoff:
It also depends a lot on how this fits into her life. Like, if she’s consciously polyamorous and that’s her lifestyle and she’s open about it and honest and she’s got boundaries, that’s a whole different thing than a woman who’s filled with shame and guilt and messed up and doing it out of neurotic reasons. So, you have to put it in the context of is she owning this as a lifestyle and she’s upfront about it or is it her secret source of shame and disaster? A final thing that I think guys should think about that’s an individual difference as a variable is just a woman’s sexual responsiveness in general.

Tucker:
Her relationship with sex.

Geoff:
Her relationship with sex. How often does she have orgasms and how easily and how does that happen? And this is a funny trait, because we published a study on the behavior genetics of women’s orgasm, and we thought it would correlate a lot with all these other traits. We thought it would correlate with overall emotional stability. It doesn’t. It’s its own separate thing. Does she tend to have orgasms easily or not is really hard to predict other than just actually having sex with her and seeing. But, it’s a stable trait, so if she’s not having good sex with you and she’s not sexually responsive in the first six months, that’s not very likely to get better. It’s not her fault. It’s basically, women are wired up differently. It’s not necessarily reflecting some psychoanalytic thing or daddy issues.

Tucker:
It does, often, but it does not automatically mean that at all. Right.

Geoff:
Sometimes women just are physically different in terms of the nerve endings around the vagina and the clitoris.

Tucker:
Right. Some women don’t physically enjoy sex very much, and it’s not a psychological thing. It doesn’t mean her grandpa did something awful to her or something. It can, but it doesn’t.

Geoff:
But it can still be important, because you will have arguments and if you have hot, makeup, after the argument sex and you both have orgasms and she gets flooded with oxytocin, that’ll be a better relationship the next day. If you have an argument and she doesn’t orgasm, she’ll still be frustrated and that can matter. Again, it’s not her fault, but it’s something to think about.

Tucker:
You bring up, I think, the larger point is know how important sex is to you and make sure that she is somewhere close to you. Like, sex is very important to me. I couldn’t imagine dating a girl who didn’t want to have sex a lot and wasn’t super thrilled with it and didn’t have a high sex drive, or at least wasn’t very responsive to my high sex drive, right? I’ve actually been in those situations, where I was with a girl who had a medium sex drive and kind of dealt with it ‘cause mine was high. That’s not fun, guys. Those relationships don’t last long. They’re real short whereas the ones where the girls very much enjoy it the way you do, whatever way that is – there’s not one way that’s better; just match it up, you know? No one puzzle piece is better than another puzzle piece, but the ones that are good are the ones that fit together. Fit together with her. You don’t have to have a high sex drive. If you have a low sex drive, she has a low sex drive, that’s great! No problem.

Nils:
You just can’t tamp it down. The result isn’t gonna be that you are going to explode in the opposite direction. It’s gonna squeeze out the sides, you know? That tendency is going to literally lead you away from the relationship in any number of directions, and then it’ll just crumble from underneath you, and that is not where you want to be at any point down the line with a relationship.

Tucker:
Nope. You do not. I said this at the beginning. I’ll say it again, guys. Tattoo this on the inside of your skull. Relationships are about meeting the needs of the people in the relationship, okay? If you meet her needs and she meets yours, it’ll be a good relationship. If someone’s needs are not being met, it won’t be good. Everything we talked about is about understanding what your needs are, what her traits are, and how they match up. We gave it almost no prescriptive thing, where it’s like, “Oh, she’s x. You need to avoid her totally,” unless it’s a crazy person or drug addict. That’s about it. If a woman’s not very smart and you’re not very smart, guess what? You guys are great! You should be together, you know? If you’re a janitor and she’s a cleaning lady and you love each other, that’s a fantastic relationship and you can be happier than me and I’m a fucking genius.

Nils:
CBS needs you guys. They need someone to watch Two and a Half Men, you know?

Tucker:
Somebody used to think that people on The Big Bang Theory are cool, smart.

Geoff:
One last point is most of the women you date are gonna end up being exes.

Tucker:
Eventually.

Geoff:
Eventually, right? Just logically, unless you end up with a harem somehow.

Tucker:
Or you marry the first girl you date.

Geoff:
Yeah. Most women will be exes. If you have kids with them, they will be your exes forever. You will have some relationship with the mother of your kids, even if the marriage ends immediately. Exactly the same traits that tend to make women good girlfriends or wives also tend to make them good exes. So, if you find a woman who’s bright and conscientious and agreeable, even if you split up, she’ll make such a better ex than some other woman, and your whole life from that point on will be so much better. Also, exes can end up being great friends. If a woman has a lot of these mental and moral traits that make for a girlfriend, even if you break up and then you end up having some relationship, it can still be a great friendship. It can be professionally valuable. You can still get a lot of benefit out of that, and that’s just one extra reason why you should pay attention to these traits more than you realize when you’re young.

Tucker:
Right. So, yes. The thing I wanted to say is it’s funny. A lot of guys and some women – not many women, but some – will be like, “Oh, if you’ve ever had ex-girlfriends track you down and get mad at you because of your books?” I’m like, no. It’s actually never happened, except for the one girl who sued me. She didn’t track me down. She sued me. It was actually her mom who did it. Other than that, for the most part, most of the interactions I’ve had with women about my books have been positive. They kind of look at me all confused. They have their own issues with sex and whatever they don’t understand, but I think that’s a good point to make here. Look, there’s plenty of one-off, short-term interactions I’ve had that maybe weren’t positive for me or for her or both of us, but I’ve never really had a long-term relationship – maybe one or two – but the vast majority of mine have been very positive. Like, still friends with them. I dated them ‘cause they’re good people, and they’re still good people, even though we’re not dating. Even though we’re not necessarily the closest people on Earth for all of them, they’re still solid. Here’s the thing. Guys, I made this point in some other interview where it’s like, I always thought that a lot of times you see girls – you see it less with guys, but sometimes – but a lot of times you’ll see women like, “Oh, my ex was an asshole and my ex this and this ex was even worse…” And they’ll go on and on and they think they’re shitting on their exes, and I’ll ask them, “You dated all these guys. The commonality is you, so what’s fucked up about you?” You need to think about that with yourself as well, too, guys. If you’re dating a bunch of awful cuntresses, maybe you’re fucked up. Maybe you need to think about that. If you’re dating great women, you’re probably doing some things right. If you’re not dating women that you think deserve you, then you need to get your shit together and earn better women. It’s very simple, right? Dr. Miller’s point is really good. Between us, there’s a hundred years of experience with women on this podcast and none of us are like, “Man. I’m really happy I dated those awful women.” No. All of us have been helped and had our lives made better by the women we dated even after we broke up with them, so pick good women, have the relationship, end them when it’s appropriate, and then you can still derive value and benefit both ways from those. It’s very important to think about that. If you think about them as disposable, it doesn’t benefit your life.

Geoff:
Yeah. Another important point about exes is if you’ve got good, quality relationships with exes who’ve got high mate value, impressive women and you’re still on good terms with them, that boosts your own mate value. That makes you a lot more attractive to other women, especially as you get older. If you have an ex-wife who you talk about positively and you’re still connected and you’re sharing the kids and it’s all working and she’s got an awesome career, that’s very attractive to other women because they’ll think, “Wow. He must be a worthwhile guy. Okay. They broke up. Something didn’t work. There was a mismatch.” But if you have conspicuous evidence that other high quality women have valued you in the past and still think you’re a good guy, that’s enormous social proof. That’s very reassuring to women.

Tucker:
I could not agree more. Guys, think of it this way. You know how in high school, basically your attractiveness is determined by what other girls think about you? So, if one girl thinks you’re hot, all of a sudden, you’re hot in high school? And if some girls think you’re low-status or awful, all of a sudden, you don’t do so well? It’s not high school, but it’s one of those things where women will absolutely judge you by the women you used to date and, by the way, they should. That’s a great indication of who you are as a person, is who can you get to date you? Especially as a guy. If you can date one or two amazing women, what that signals to every women after that is “this guy is pretty cool or pretty valuable, even if I’m not seeing it right away because he’s dated amazing women.” It’s sort of like the reason why so many guys, when they can’t really do well with women, they put on a wedding ring and all of a sudden women are all over them, because some woman somewhere has decided this guy’s worth marrying. Same idea.

Nils:
They’re lowering their risk and they’re saving themselves time. For a woman, especially twenties to thirties, there’s nothing like time to create pressure and incentivize that kind of behavior.

Join the Mating Grounds Mailing List

Get the voicemail number to ask us your questions directly:

SHARE THIS ARTICLE