Fitting the Curve

Likely as not it’s a natural tendency for both sexes, although because we are significantly different from each other, we go about it in different ways.

Males learn early on that some behaviours work in their favor when it comes to attracting females. Extroversion, willingness to accept risk and physical prowess are amongst the characteristics worth cultivating. Of course we’re mostly talking about early on in our adult lives, which means that we’re still teenagers and barely meeting the minimum grown-up requirements, but it continues in albeit muted form until we die.

We’re also talking extremely generally; exceptions are as thick as bamboo, but guys understand that even if you have hidden charms, the more obvious ones – such as those listed above – get you places quicker.

Which gets me to my point. Although we rarely see it this way, we modify and accentuate the stuff we think the other wants. So desperate are (in this case) guys to be attractive, they’ll go way beyond the boundaries of their character and values to be the person they believe will attract (insert female name here).

It’s a semi-conscious/instinctive project. I overheard Hortense mentioning to a friend that she liked guys who rode motorcycles, therefore I must get a motorcycle. Thoughtless and ultimately ridiculous (who knows whether it’s really what she thinks?) we are driven to do almost whatever it takes.

Such is the need to couple.

Podcast #84 Am I As Attractive As I Can Be?

How delightful life would be if everybody could see into our hearts and spirits, and divine just what evolved and delicious individuals we all are.

Well, we don’t live in a world arranged that way. Appearance counts. People notice how we face life,  and, happily, we can take action to make ourselves more attractive. There are no guarantees of success, because that too is the way of the world, but there’s one key…ah, but you should listen to find out what that is.

In this episode Kregg and I riff on making ourselves our best in the eyes of others.


Nobody tells the juvenile male how much their life will revolve around women. We all expect the post-pubescent bloke to focus much of his energy on pursuit of the mystery that is female, but even decades later only the intensity changes, and not by that much.

Friends of mine who work with men in their 90s tell me this doesn’t change many decades later.

Let’s be clear: marriage, commitment and children change the patterns of behaviour, but not the overall thinking process. And if they don’t, we’re all in trouble. We notice and speculate about women in the same way that cats sense mice; it’s automatic.

Unlike cats, we filter the instinct to a higher plane. Cats will pounce when the probability shifts to their satisfaction. Men don’t. But that doesn’t mean that we don’t evaluate the world through the lens of possibility.

The Difficulty of Attraction

Solving for x is the reason for algebra, and while relationships aren’t clinical like mathematics, there are some parallels.

One such parallel is the need for one side of an equation to equal the other. As long as we invert the left side as well as the right, we can consider the problem the same. In the squishy world of people, things tend to even out, even if we don’t quite see it that way at the time or when we’re close up.

The matter of attraction is an interesting one. People have a total attraction factor (for fun let’s call it x) that’s made up of the physical, the intellectual and the spiritual. Let’s be smart here and call it the body, the brains and the heart.

In general, B + B + H = x, where x is generally about the same for everyone.

Key to figuring our own personal attraction is understanding how our individual inputs are proportioned, namely, how much B, B or H goes into our own x.

Am I attractive because of my body, my brains or my heart, and in what proportion? Figure that out and you have a strategy for finding your mate.

What Are You Looking At?

Forget football and the beauty salon – according to a new study, women seek well-travelled, cultured and informed guys, while men seek ambitious, active and creative girls.

Meaningless of itself, a notion like this is valuable because it gives us permission to think independently. I, certainly, have allowed myself to walk down the pathway of thought that goes:

What should I be looking for?

This is the kind of group-think – or for that matter peer-think – that will get us into trouble. When we filter our interests, desires, likes, dislikes, imagination and dreams through anything but our own system, who knows what we’ll find.

All this goo-goo clustery assumes that our foundations are solid. Understanding what makes a good person, noting how our visceral is flawed and that love is not an emotion are the minimum structural requirements for successful relationships. Once we have our heads on straight-ish, then we can tailor our wants to our specifics.