This is a popular question/post presented to dating coaches over the years. I believe it began with Sinn years ago. I personally believe that the vast majority of us who find the men’s dating advice industry and men’s self-development in general, we do so because of a lack of strong father-figure in our lives or perhaps an estranged relationship with our male role models. My observation is that we’re educated and smart men who somewhere along the line missed the emotional foundation that a strong father can provide.
In my life personally, I recognize that my obsession with this subject and my own self-improvement has revolved much around my seeming estrangement and tense relationship with my father since I was about 10-years-old. I almost feel like that pushing myself through my development in this area of my life and even over-compensating at times has been my way of making up for the lack of masculine presence in my life growing up. With that said, I have an incredibly deep desire to raise my kids (when I eventually have them) with a strong masculine presence and example. Here’s what I would teach my son so that he wouldn’t have to rely on discovering a website like this:
People Are Not Scary
One of the most important realizations I’ve ever come to, and one that I still struggle to maintain and be conscious of on a daily basis, is the idea that everyone is on the same team; everyone is your friend. There are no enemies. When you walk into a bar or restaurant, or classroom, or airport, or train station, the vast majority of people are good people who have their own worries, insecurities, dreams and ideas, and that we’re all the same in that we do the best in the world with what we’ve got. I forget that when approached genuinely and in a non-threatening manner, 99% of the people on this planet will respond positively and even self-consciously. I forget that in 90% of the situations in which I approach people, they’re more nervous than I am, and that they’re just as eager to connect and help as I am.
I would teach my son that in general, people are good, and that there’s nothing to fear, ever, in approaching or engaging with people, even if they’re complete strangers. Obviously I’d teach him to watch out for dangerous situations i.e., don’t take candy from strangers; but I’d make it clear that people, the vast majority of the time, mean well and are doing their best, just like you.
Hopefully, this would eliminate as much social anxiety as much as possible, and give him the freedom to engage and interact with the people he chooses throughout his life — something that I struggled for years to do.
If there’s one thing that I feel my parents nailed, it’s the idea that if I wanted something, the only person who cared enough to make it happen was me. Whether it was a new toy, or a place on the basketball team, or my driver’s license, in the end, I was the one who could make it happen. Personal responsibility. Voicing my opinions and goals. Putting them into action. I’ve grown up an extremely independent and self-reliant person, and I directly attribute that to my parent’s style of raising me, whether they intended it or not (I imagine they did).
I would teach my son that although I would support him and cheer for him, ultimately, whatever he wants in this world he is the one who is responsible for going out and getting it. If he’s unhappy with a situation, he’s the only one who cares enough to speak up. If he likes somebody, then the onus is on him to make it happen.
Sex Is Normal and Part of Life
I would go to extremes to remove any sense of guilt, shame, embarrassment, or reticence when it comes to my son’s sexuality. Sex is normal. Everybody does it. Everybody wants it. Girls want it. Boys want it. Everyone thinks about it. And this is OK. If he wants to date a girl and try to have sex with her, that’s fine. He just needs to be responsible and smart about it. Use protection. Understand basic biological functioning (pregnancy, etc.). A lot of men get screwed up by the shame they’re raised with involving their sexuality.
Women Are Beautiful; Play With Them
Femininity is something to be enjoyed and celebrated, not attacked, intimidated by or even analyzed. Women are beautiful and diverse creatures. They express themselves in totally irrational and emotional ways that we can hardly fathom. Whether they’re complaining that you only called them twice, or denying they want to have sex after they shove their hand down your pants, or teasing you and your friends on the dance floor with a short skirt and bobbing ass — it’s all a beautiful expression of their femininity and deserves respect at all times, not complaints or would-be solutions.
As a man, the way to react to femininity is to play with it. Tease it back. Don’t take it too seriously. Let it fly away and see if it flies back. Smile and laugh and enjoy it when it’s there while understanding it may be gone at any moment. Girls are beautiful. Find that beauty, it’s your job. Whether it’s a tight ass, or the way she’s 20 minutes late everywhere because she’s fixing her hair, or the indignance she feigns at your shameless advances, or the way she blushes when you hold her hand, or the way her eyes shine when she sees her friends, or the way she moans when you touch her the way no one else has.
Women are to be beheld and awed, no matter how crazy or insane they can appear at times. It’s part of their dance. You can dance with it, or ignore the music and stand alone.
Be Someone You Can Respect
No amount of material, sexual or professional success is worth undermining one’s own values and ethics. The best sex with the hottest girl is void if one has to manipulate or hurt others to get it. A man’s world is built on respect. And the moment a man loses respect for one-self, his world crumbles with it.
I would teach my son that those who give respect will receive it. And respecting oneself is most important of all.