Is it Attraction or Ego?

You can’t help who you’re attracted to. Sometimes you click with another person, sometimes you don’t. It’s actually science. A study done by Swiss biologist Claus Wedekind commonly referred to as the ‘sweaty t-shirt study’ showed that women were attracted by the smell of men who was genetically different in such a way that would give their offspring the potentially strongest immune system. It really is not a choice, sometimes our genes match up and sparks fly – it’s easy (we’ve all been there) – and sometimes they don’t and you can make a new friend.

This is what really determines attraction.

With this knowledge in hand, dating should be simple. You go around meeting people and being social until your biological receptors start going haywire and then you start dating this person that mother nature and the universe have aligned you to be with. But as we all know it’s not that simple. Why? Because our egos get in the way.

The male ego tends to be preoccupied with one thing in particular – her looks. If you have a pretty girl on your arm that automatically raises your status in society. Other men become jealous, other women start to wonder what’s so special about you. This can make the ego feel fantastic. Are you actually attracted to her in the way I described above, that way you’ve felt before when fate crossed your path? ‘Who cares? She’s hot!’ I’m not saying that men aren’t naturally attracted to health and fertility, I’m saying sometimes we want an objectively beautiful woman even if we don’t feel a natural chemistry and we can barely stand her personality.

Women do the same thing, only the catch of their ego tends to be status, closely tied to security. Sure, the female ego appreciate looks as well – especially nowadays – however looks can be extremely relative to some girls if he works on Wall St or is in a successful band. They’ve been raised by their mothers and society to know that yes, ‘love is important’, but to make sure that a guy has a certain ‘look’, status, or other superficial boxes checked off first – plus they’ve got their girlfriends scrutinizing their dating moves.

There is also one thing that both male and female egos share an equal need for that I’d say is much stronger than the physical and status-driven attributes I’ve listed above: validation. It feels good to us when someone else likes us, when someone else is attracted to us – especially when we value the looks and or status of that someone – and both men and women get this validation though sex and relationships. The looks, status, and validation all cause many men and women to stay in relationships even if their ‘significant other’ treats them like crap because they’d rather deal with that misery than to lose their validation or status symbol.

Why does this matter? Easy, if you base your dating life on satisfying this ego you’ll always be unhappy. When you get that validation you feel good for a moment, but then it’s only a matter of time before you feel empty again. And when you don’t get that validation you’re miserable – “why didn’t that person like me, what did I do wrong”? You didn’t have real biological chemistry in the first place and you tried to force it to feed your never-satiated ego – that’s what you did wrong.

Of course there are plenty of men and women who avoid this trap, but for many people, including myself, it’s not that simple. I’ve had to really start considering this question when I meet a girl at the bar or go on a date. Am I actually attracted to her, or am I trying to force it just because it feels good to have a pretty girl liking me? It can be confusing at times, but when we really examine our feelings we always know the difference. Women can always tell the difference as well, and while some will immediately reject guys looking for an ego fix, others will ignore their female intuition because their ego wants that validation just as badly.

The difficult part now is facing the fact that you have a choice. You can either continue to try and satisfy your ego by trying to attract any woman that meets your own standard of “she’s attractive enough to sleep with” – and God knows I’ve been down that empty path – or you can decide that you’ve gotten sick of the roller coaster and want to find women that you have a real connection with. The choice is yours, just don’t say I didn’t warn you.

6 thoughts on “Is it Attraction or Ego?

  1. Another Great article Nick and just in the nick of time ..
    I was just asking myself the same question a few days ago, you see i’m pretty confident in my game these days, i know the right signs to pick up from a girl and the right moves that ensure the least blowout for me and it’s going great 🙂 .. but there comes a point where am not sure if i really like the girl genuinely or just getting close to her cos she’s pretty/hot/cute and i want a girl like that .. so i get confused with my own feelings and it’s hard to tell them apart .. :/
    So i’ve decided to let faith take care of my finale but i’ll handle the rest of the show .. 😀 that being said i’m focusing more on my own life than to just focus on getting a good mate..
    But that doesn’t mean i won’t go around and talk to the new girl on the block :), that will continue like always 😉

    I just wanna know if that’s a right choice to make or not ??
    Ur opinion on this is what i’d like 🙂

    • Sounds like you’re right on Rohit. Just don’t forget that we’re human beings and will never be perfect. You’ll make plenty of mistakes, but if you keep focusing on heading in the right direction, which it really sounds like you are, you’ll be just fine.

  2. This is something I’m working on and exploring at the moment Nick. I recently had a brief affair with a smoking hot 22 year old woman. I thought I was the fucking daddy. I cut her alot of slack ‘because she’s hot’. I literally found myself complaining to my friends about her behaviour and how I’d had enough of the whole thing, yet I would finish by saying, “but she’s hot, so…”. I was destined to find myself in a dark place and I certainly did.

    I’ve had a couple of similar experiences before but this one seemed to have a bigger effect on me. Perhaps it was ‘the straw that broke the camel’s back’.

    Two months later and I find myself (admittedley after many many alcoholic beverages) kissing a large girl in a bar. It just happened, you know. It was a girl I knew and had chatted to before, not a stranger. My friends thought it was pretty funny and in the morning my first thought was ‘oh noooo….. I hope she doesn’t start chasing me because I don’t want to have to disappoint her’. But at the same time I thought, ‘but there was something really nice about that kiss – it just felt so natural’.

    Fast-forward 2 weeks later and I meet up with her at a bar, just as friends, to shoot the shit and I’m surprised, because she’s just such a great girl and I feel so comfortable with her that I’m attracted to her. Problem is, because she’s ‘big’ I resist.

    These days I value connection FAR more than I used to. I’ve been with ‘hot’ women but with no great connection. I guess the holy grail is a smoking hot woman with an awesome connection. I’m yet to find her, but I’m sure she’s out there (plenty of them, no doubt!).

    I’m still not 100% sure what my conclusion is with this girl. Is it just simply that the only reason I’m resisting is because I’m worried about what other guys will think? Or do I need her to have a good body in order for me to be with her? I’ll be honest, I really don’t know yet. I’m still exploring this side of things. The fact that I don’t want to ‘experiment’ with girls unfairly means that it’s perhaps a long process, but at least I’m trying.

    Good article Nick.

    • Thanks Andy,

      And you’ve got to have both – you can have physical, carnal attraction but no emotional attraction and vice versa. How someone takes care of themselves definitely plays into how attracted toward them I’ll be and I think that’s only natural. What kind of lessons on physical care do you want pass on to your kids?

      As you mentioned, the holy grail of both – the right combination – is out there. Just keep on this path of awareness of the different ways you’re drawn and not drawn to people, don’t settle just because she’s hot or just if you really click emotionally, and I believe that you’ll find her.

      Thanks for the honesty and good luck!

  3. Cheers Nick. I’m confident I’ll find her. It’s quite a rare thing, but they are out there, it’s just a matter of finding them. That’s why it’s important to actually go and talk to women, to see if you have that connection (no shit huh?). Whether or not you wait for some good eye contact beforehand just depends on the situation, but alot of guys definitely shoot themselves in the foot by talking to a woman thinking it’s the ‘be all and end all – this has to go well’. Well guess what, when the conversation goes well it requires zero effort, it happens all on its own. If it’s hard work, SHE’S NOT RIGHT FOR YOU. I think this side of things becomes easier when,, sometime in the past, you’ve had an awesome connection with a girl and things have progressed. Because I’ve had this recently, I know what I’m looking for.

    It’s also easier if you haven’t been mindfucked by pickup routines and the associated notion of ‘she looks hot so you must try to get her into bed’. What a load of bullshit. I feel sorry for guys who are on this path – I’ve been down it, I know how it feels and what it does to you. You know what’s ironic? All the stuff I’ve been promoting above is high-school stuff – the kind of things you do when your mind isn’t full of pickup bullshit.

    Maybe guys need to experience the ‘hollow path’ in order to get back on track, maybe not, but I do know that the pickup industry has well and truly FUCKED up 1000’s (or millions?) of guys.

    Keep fighting the good fight Nick 😉

    • Well said. Your second point reminds me of this article:

      That stuff really messes guys up. I mean it’s still important that on top of talking to more people you’re working to eliminate the conversational mishaps that arise from your own insecurities and develop your ability to express your sexuality – but yeah, you definitely shouldn’t have to force it. It goes back to guys putting beauty on a pedestal with the “I have to have her” line of thinking.

      Thanks for sharing, and good luck fighting the good fight as well!

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