By Mark Manson
We’re due for another big post on vulnerability and how it affects relationships and dating. Got an interesting email last week that I wanted to answer publicly. And, well, I kind of splurged on this one.
The following email is from a man concerned about his relationships with women. In it, he makes some disparaging remarks about the type of women he’s dated. I want to make clear, before we dive into this (oh, and it’s a deep dive), that you can reverse the genders (or even sexual orientations) and everything applies equally. In fact, I get just as many emails like the one below from women disparaging the manipulative men in their life as I do the opposite, so this has nothing to do with gender.
What we’ll find is that there seems to be a very fundamental component of human relationships and that is this: you only deal with as much manipulation as you’re willing to deal with. Now, I know nobody thinks they are willing to deal with manipulative behaviors from their partners. But the truth is that most of us are terrible judges of manipulative behavior, both in our partners but also in ourselves.
Therefore, without further ado, here’s the reader email that kicks everything off:
I attend a local men’s group where we discuss Robert Glover’s work on Nice Guys. A friend of mine recently recommended your book to me and I’m about halfway through it.
I am mostly enjoying your book Models, and I do not wish to prejudge, but I feel compelled to send you this email right away and get your honest feedback. I am 37 years old, single, and four years removed from my last relationship which lasted one and half years. I am not perfect, but I am confident that I am working to improve myself and I know I am blessed and have great things going for me.
I have learned the hard way that women, no matter what they may say, do not go for Nice Guys or gentlemen, but instead go for the scumbags and the assholes, etc. I have also learned the hard way that women do not process logic or think rationally in the same way that men do. The problem that I am having with your book so far is the issue of Vulnerability.
I am still trying to figure HOW to put this into practice. I am sorry but I don’t think you understand how cruel some women can be. Women can be very emotional and manipulative liars.
Women, subconsciously or not, do try to impose Shit Tests upon men — especially in this age of fucked up Feminism where the women are searching for ways to break a man’s balls. I think you are totally discounting or ignoring this in your book.
As for Vulnerability, my experience is that women perceive this as being soft, weak, a doormat, unmanly, a wuss, needy, etc. I can deal with rejection as much as it sucks. But in the course of meeting a girl and trying to keep it real, getting to know her and create attraction, I have problems with the Vulnerabilty part.
If being Vulnerable with a woman means that I have to expose myself to humiliation or disrespect or her games or shit tests, then I want no part of it.
I will finish reading your book and write more. I hope to read your response.
Merry Christmas, and thank you.
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is a Tony-winning producer/writer/actor & CEO of TheDreamUnLocked: Boutique Coaching for Actors, Writers & Dreamers