MATE: Become The Man Women Want

Mate: Become the Man Women WantThis book is not for you. Why? Because I’m pretty sure I have no male readers under the age of 25.

This book is for them. Guys who don’t understand what women want. Guys between 16 and 25’ish.

This might include your son or grandson.  But not us.  We completely understand the women in our lives.  Right?

I am alerting you to this book because I realized I was calling all my buddies and telling them to get a copy to see if it’s right for their sons.

Guys, this is the book you wish you’d read back in the day. I bet most  women would wish we had, too.

Smelling Bad is Bad

I learned of this book when I tuned into the The James Altucher Show, one of the podcasts I follow. Altucher’s recent interview with authors…

  • Tucker Max (experienced at not understanding women)
  • Evolutionary Psychologist Geoffrey Miller (experienced at studying women)
  • Nils Parker (experienced at tweaking others’ books)

…had me realize this might be the only book of its kind.

Learned it the hard-way, Tucker Max

Tucker Max, Author and Podcaster

You might expect this book would focus on pick-up lines, erogenous-zone maps and pheromone-laced aftershave. But what I heard on the podcast was more basic. Things like women don’t like men who:

  • smell bad
  • dress like they’re homeless
  • do stupid stuff
  • have apartments without furniture
  • hang out with losers

According to Max and Miller, women like guys who seem capable. Guys who are interesting and interested. Guys who look healthy. (The authors pound the idea that the #1 key to being healthy is getting 8-9 hours of sleep every night.)

Look Capable

This book seems to boil down mating attractiveness for guys to this:  look capable. Although this may look like a high bar for some guys, it isn’t. Yes, you need to look fit. You don’t have to look like a professional athlete. You need to look intelligent, but that’s less about being book smart than having useful intelligence.

General Intelligence matters, not Book Smarts

General Intelligence matters, not Book Smarts

Consider the image (right) of “General Intelligence”. You’ll notice “Mating Intelligence” relies heavily on Verbal, Social and Emotional Intelligence. It also includes, but is less dependent on, Academic and Practical Intelligence.

Evolutionary Psychologist Miller emphasizes the long-view of what women value. Those evolutionary lessons have come thanks to billions of boy friends, millions of husbands and 200,000 years of human history.

Miller writes “book learning” is too recent to be genetically programmed as essential. Think about it — we’ve had the printing press for a mere 700 years. Meanwhile, things like being:

  • funny in the face of a problem (verbal intelligence),
  • considerate to your mother-in-law (social intelligence)
  • and dependable in lots of ways (emotional intelligence)…

…have mattered to women forever.

That leaves “book smarts” as a “nice-to-have” while being funny and able to assemble a tricycle are essential.

A Dangerous Game

Perhaps one of the most powerful points in this book covers a truth I first realized when I was 29 and in graduate school.  I lived in a house with two other late-20’s graduate students and the home’s owner who ran the student counseling bureau at the University of Minnesota.

One of my house-mates was a woman getting a Master’s Degree who would later get a PhD from Harvard. One evening we ran into each other at the bus stop and shared the bus ride home.  Our conversation started with her comment that, since she’d run into me, she could safely take the bus I was taking.  She wouldn’t be alone for the walk to the house.

I learned the bus we took was one of two or three that came within walking distance of the house we shared, but taking this bus at night meant walking further in the dark to get to the house.  Were she alone, she’d take a different bus that would drop her at a corner with a street light and leave her a shorter walk in the dark.

I didn’t understand why a block or two in the dark mattered, but soon learned.  My housemate was a rape victim.  I learned at how carefully she had to plan nighttime bus choices to lessen her risk.  I also learned all my favorite study spots on campus, the quiet corners of libraries and secluded spots on the upper floors of other buildings were spots she’d never consider.  Not since she was studying in one of those quiet corners and a guy exposed himself.  Our transit conversation also had me learn that most of her friends had been groped, exposed to or more violently assaulted by some guy.

Before that bus ride, I was oblivious to all that.

Had this book been around 40 years ago, I might not have been so oblivious.  I think it is Chapter 2 that the authors include the stark point that nearly all the deliberate dangers women face in life involve men. To drive the point home, they quote comedian Louis C.K.:

“How do women still go out with guys, when you consider that there is no greater threat to women than men? We’re the number one threat to women! Globally and historically, we’re the number one cause of injury and mayhem to women.”

Geoff Miller, Evolutionary Psychologist

Geoff Miller, Internationally Renowned Evolutionary Psychologist

Never Too Old to Learn

I was facetious in my introduction about this book only being for guys at or under 25. If your 35-year-old son is still living the single life in your basement, this book may be essential to getting your basement shop back.

The truth is I’m learning a few things…a lot…myself.

From the serious to the simple, I have a better understanding of why my sweetie says and does certain things. Now, when I hear her say “you’re not going to wear that, are you?”  I’ll understand. This book taught me that “social proof” is important to women. My wife still wants me to look like a smart choice to her friends. To quote my friend Doug, “I get it. If I wear my favorite sweatshirt in public, the one that is two sizes too big for me, the one that makes me look like I shop at Goodwill, her friends will question her judgment.”

I get it, too.

Do preview this book before you give it to your son. The book’s graphic language will give it greater credibility with younger guys that are its target audience.  Make sure you’re comfortable with it before you hand it over to one of your kids.  I haven’t read Chapter 20 yet (see below), so don’t blame me if you give the book without screening it.

Because of your due diligence, you may find yourself being a better husband and maybe a more effective father to your daughter.


Jim's signature

Links and Resources:

Mating Grounds website (official site for the book)
The James Altucher Show
Mate: Become the Man Women Want
Tucker Max (Wikipedia)
Geoff Miller (Wikipedia)
Nils Parker (the writer)

My Favorite Podcasts:

My Occasional Podcasts:

Mate:  Chapter list

Step One – Get Your Head Straight
Chapter 1: Build Self-Confidence
Chapter 2: Understand What It’s Like To Be A Woman
Chapter 3: Clarify Your Mating Goals and Ethics

Step Two – Develop Attractive Traits
Chapter 4: Understand What Women Want…And Why
Chapter 5: Get In Shape (The Physical Health Trait)
Chapter 6: Get Happy (The Mental Health Trait)
Chapter 7: Smarten Up (The Intelligence Trait)
Chapter 8: Get Your Life Together (The Willpower Trait)
Chapter 9: Tender Defender (The Agreeableness & Assertiveness Traits)

Step Three – Display Attractive Proofs
Chapter 10: Show Them What You’re Working With (Signaling Theory)
Chapter 11: The Power of Popularity & Prestige (Social Proof)
Chapter 12: How Rich Do You Need to Be? (Material Proof)
Chapter 13: Stylin’ & Profilin’ (Aesthetic Proof)
Chapter 14: Show Her How You Feel (Romantic Proof)

Step Four – Go Where Women Are
Chapter 15: Find the Right Mating Markets
Chapter 16: Beggars Must Be Choosers (Mate Preferences)
Chapter 17: Meet the Women You Want

Step Five – Take Action
Chapter 18: Talking to Women
Chapter 19: Dating Women
Chapter 20: Having Sex
Chapter 21: Create Your Mating Plan & Go Forth


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