Mate ("What Women Want") by Tucker Max

Rating: 7/10

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High-Level Thoughts

Not as good on “dating” as Models, but a very useful book on “Being a better guy.” The psychology on understanding women’s POV in dating was interesting too.

Summary Notes

Five principles of mating success:

  1. Make decisions based on science, not bias
  2. Account for the woman’s perspective
  3. Own your attractiveness
  4. Be honest with yourself and others, don’t try to “game it”
  5. Play to win-win, don’t see it as competitive

This leads to a five step process….

  1. Get your head straight
  2. Develop attractive traits
  3. Display attractive proofs
  4. Go where the women are
  5. Take action

Getting your head straight

  • The only effective strategy for gaining real confidence is to develop skills and demonstrate performance of those skills.
  • In any domain, you have to go through the valley of genuinely low confidence before you can reach the peak of genuinely high confidence.
  • Metaconfidence: the more skills you learn and master, the more you’ll be confident about picking up new ones
  • Mating confidence is the result of developing confidence in all the areas women desire.

Developing attractive traits:

  • To be an “effective male” and thus attractive, you need to demonstrate the traits that make you effective at life, and to demonstrate the ability to use those traits to provide for a woman what she needs for reproductive success.
  • In terms of priorities, start by not sucking, then get awesome.
  • Three primary concerns in assessing male value:
  • Does he carry good genes? “the ultimate evolutionary fantasy is finding a new male lover who has awesome traits that testify to his great genetic quality, who is from a strange new tribe that offers genetic innovations unavailable domestically, and who is worth getting pregnant with tonight even if he gets killed in battle tomorrow.”
  • Will he be a good partner?
  • Would he make a good dad?
  • “Attraction is an emotional, unconscious reaction to the suite of traits men present to women; it is NOT a conscious decision that they deliberate about.”
  • Get in shape. Develop a cool life that you like. Be interesting, smart. Develop willpower.

Display attractive proofs:

  • Social proof: show that people like you and respect you, project confidence.
  • Financial proof: you don’t have to be a millionare, but you have to be able to provide. Live reasonably, have fun, don’t be a workaholic, like your work, show creativity on dates instead of money, value experiences over possessions.
  • Aeshetic proof: Dress well, take care of yourself, develop attractive skills like music or craftsmanship, learn to dance, learn to tell stories
  • Romantic proof: show and share your feelings, respect her having greater emotional needs than you do, be respectful, caring, compassionate, cuddle

Go where the women are:

  • Find good mating markets, women don’t compare you against all the men in the world, they compare you to the other men they have access to.
  • Be clear in what you want. Short term? Long term? Partner? Casual sex? Know what you want before you go looking for anything.
  • Find activities that you enjoy where you’re likely to meet the kinds of women you’re interested in. What do they do for fun? What does their social circle look like? Where would your hobbies overlap?

Taking Action

8 rules for good conversation

  • Be a good host, make sure the conversation is enjoyable and interesting
  • SOFTEN your body language (Smile, Open posture, Forward lean, Touch, Eye contact, Nod)
  • Establish commonality, find something in common, talk about your currently shared reality
  • Gauge and respond to feedback
  • Don’t seem too excited or too aloof
  • Ask questions and listen to her responses. Think of conversations as a detective game where your goal is to learn as much about her as possible.
  • Respond with validation, insight, or debate (yes, disagreeing is good, so long as it’s respectful and in fun)
  • Be vulnerable

Good dates

  • Should be able to afford doing it twice a week
  • Make it fun, something she would tell her friends about
  • Do something where you can display positive proofs
  • Create a “default date plan” that meets these criteria:
  • Weekday evening (probably Wed or Thurs), earlier on like happy hour time
  • Easy out and easy escalation. If it’s bad, a way to go after an hour, but if it’s good a “next stop” to go to (e.g. dinner, dancing).
  • Cheap but not boring

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