There’s no shortage of advice to men online about how to be successful with women. A good bit of it though comes wrapped in packaging that bothers some. PUA-style blogs emphasize techniques for impressing women, for generating attraction for the sole purpose of getting her home and into your bed. These writers put off a lot of people, especially when they take an amoral or callous approach to sex and women’s feelings.
That too bad. At the core of most of the writing about attracting and relating to women are important insights that are often obscured by contemporary culture. When guys brush off information that could help them move beyond “just-be-yourself” cultural platitudes because it’s presented in a way they find emotionally unappealing, their problems and, by extension, society’s problems get perpetuated.
Kris Wolfe wants to fix this. Through his web site, Good Guy Swag, Kris is seeking to disseminate some of these core insights in a way palatable to a different audience.
A while back, Kris sent me his book, 10 Ways To Win A Girl’s Heart, and asked me to review it.
Bottom line: It’s the kind of book that could really help some guys, especially those who like seeing themselves as a “good guy”. For guys whose image of themselves is going to be compromised by reading Rollo or Heartiste, Kris brings his message.
The book emphasizes the importance of men’s taking responsibility for themselves, of working to accomplish our goals and to establish our character before being distracted by the pursuit of women.
The book offers advice that could easily have come from any of the pick-up gurus on the net. Kris even cites early PUA writers Neil Strauss and Mystery in the book. But, Kris obviously wants to do something different. His goal is to take all that can be known about creating attraction and comfort in women and equip men with it to pursue thriving marriages.
And that is where certain problems arise.
I have no doubt that this book could help a number of men to whom these ideas are new, men still struggling to understand why they can’t find a girl even though they are trying hard to be nice. Kris gives some specific examples and concrete bits of knowledge that men need. For example, he does a good job distinguishing between what he calls “The Green Light Excuse” and the “Deadly Rejection.”
In the first, a woman offers an excuse for why she can’t accept an invitation, but encourages you to try again another time. In the second, she flat out rejects your overtures and indicates, subtly or not, that you should get lost.
These are the kinds of things that confused, frightened guys need to know, and the book does a good job filling them in. So, as far as the content goes, it’s mostly right on.
My hesitations about it come mostly from its style. By using language encouraging men to pursue women while remaining a “good guy”, Kris opens up space for confusions to set in. Guys desperate for female attention who read this book are going to be inclined to put women as a whole on a pedestal. Accordingly, they are going to perceive themselves, and perhaps men in general, to exist on a plane somewhere beneath the plane of WOMAN.
The book would be stronger if, in its opening chapters, Kris did more to dispel this notion. Kris’s penchant for talking about good guys and even better women tends to reinforce the assumption of female superiority many of his readers likely bring to the text.
Here’s an example. Kris quotes from a poem he wrote to his wife when he proposed to her. It contains the lines “You are royalty” and “You deserve a kingdom. You deserve a crown.”
From Kris’s perspective, I’m sure all that seems fine. He’s obviously a high-value guy who ended up marrying a Miss USA winner. When you’re that kind of guy, you can afford to talk in to women in those terms because your own value is already clearly established.
That’s not the case for most guys. Most guys need to hear a realistic description of the darker parts of the female heart. They need to hear that women, for all that is glorious and wonderful about them, house within them just as much capacity for wrongdoing and selfishness as men. Had the book contained such a message, it would have been richer.
On the whole, a man who includes this book in his reading on masculinity and relations between the sexes will be helped, especially if his goal is to start a family. But, given the book’s too sunny outlook, he would do well to supplement his reading with something to add a bit of shadow.
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