If I could just go on a date with her… If I could just get my ex back… If I could just lose my virginity…
As men, we often fall victim to trains of thought just like these. We find ourselves thinking, and actually believing, that we will find happiness through women – whether that means sex, a girlfriend, marriage, or something else.
This is complete bullshit.
Yes, women can add value to our lives. Yes, sex is amazing. Yes, being part of a healthy relationship can be fulfilling, exciting, and comforting. I’m not arguing against any of these things.
But if you aren’t happy being alone, no woman can ever change this.
I’m writing this article because I’ve been there. And because I’ve met LOADS of other guys who are still victims to this toxic mindset: “Pick up artists” who think sleeping with 100 girls will ‘complete’ them… Virgins who think finally having sex will ‘cure’ them… And tons of other dudes who think finding the one will magically ‘transform’ their lives.
Our Memories Are Often Distorted
One of my favorite books on psychology is The Happiness Hypothesis by Jonathan Haidt. This book covers many different psychological concepts, most of which relate to happiness.
One such concept is the fact that often we ‘mis-remember’ past experiences. We tend to remember ‘good’ things being better than they actually were. And we tend to remember ‘bad’ things being worse than they actually were. We exaggerate our memories.
The way this plays into men thinking that women will bring them happiness is quite simple: we tend to have overly positive recollections of the good times we shared with women in the past. You remember something like going on an exotic vacation or decorating a new apartment with an ex-girlfriend, and it seems like that was one of your happiest moments ever. In reality, it was probably a good time, but most likely you didn’t think it was ‘heaven-on-earth’ while it actually was happening.
[Side note: Click here for my article on getting over your ex]
Or maybe you remember a particular time you had sex. And it seems like it was the most amazing, pornstar-level sex ever. In reality, it probably was good sex, but nothing you won’t be able to experience again.
And this doesn’t just go for experiences related to women… It goes for ALL of our past experiences. We simply have a tendency to romanticize the past.
I’m not saying these things to be a cynic. The fact is that the same way we tend to ‘inflate’ and exaggerate stories that we tell other people, we do the same with our own memories… The map is not the territory, as they say.
We’re prone to remembering past experiences we shared with women as more amazing and happy than they actually were, and this is one big reason we can fall into the trap of believing that they have the potential to do the same for us again in the future.
We Romanticize the Future
Another big idea this book covers is the fact that we romanticize the future, just as we do the past. And this feeds into the false belief that women will bring us happiness for the same reasons that ‘mis-remembering’ the past does.
When we think of the possibility of finding a new girlfriend, getting married, or having sex with a new partner, we imagine it as being fucking amazing. And I’m not saying that these things aren’t fucking amazing. But, as the book stresses, we tend to maintain a baseline level of happiness despite our changing circumstances.
This means that when we find ourselves in bed with, or dating, a beautiful girl, we regulate our response… We regulate how happy we become as a result of this new circumstance. It usually does not feel as amazing or fulfilling as we thought it would. And again, this is not limited to women, but also anything else we look forward to, from getting a promotion to going on a long vacation.
I mean think about: how often do you find yourself bothered by the same little things or experiencing the same little anxieties even when you’re traveling somewhere new or dating an awesome new girl. It’s simply human nature.
The danger here is that we’re prone to incorrectly believing that finding a girlfriend or having a one night stand will be the best thing ever and make us oh-so-happy for ever and ever. In reality, these things are usually quite good and exciting, but they aren’t going to have a lasting impact on our happiness.
If there’s one thing we’re all naturally good at, it’s finding something else we want to have or accomplish before we can give ourselves full permission to relax and be happy.
So… What’s the Solution?
This has been a pretty bleak and depressing article so far. I’ve basically told you that current scientific literature suggests that we think of the past and future as ‘better’ than they actually are. So the question begs to be asked: are we doomed to live a life of underwhelming experiences that always fail to live up to our expectations and make us happy?
While I do stand by the title of this article – women will never make you happy – I think that there’s actually a very positive, empowering message to be found here…
Nothing external can bring you happiness. No new possession, relationship, or achievement is going to ‘complete’ you – it will only be replaced by a new goal or desire. Instead you must learn to love yourself and love your life exactly as it is right now. Only by doing this can you increase your baseline level of happiness.
Yes, easier said than done I know. But we need to stop tricking ourselves into believing this type of BS. We need to start focusing on enjoying the moment. We need to start focusing on enjoying today instead of clinging to yesterday and longing for tomorrow… Because clearly we don’t have accurate perceptions of those things to begin with.
How do we do this? I’m not 100% sure, but I believe through practice. When we catch ourselves romanticizing the past or the future, we should stop ourselves and consciously accept reality – that this is a natural human tendency – and then re-focus on where we are, who we’re with, and what we’re doing RIGHT NOW…
Because one thing is for sure: no amount of thinking about or hoping for a beautiful women to stroll into the room, strip naked, and become your girlfriend is going to make you happy. No, it doesn’t work like that. And even if she did… What next?
Awesome article man! Reminds me a lot of Eckhart Tolle’s books: The Power of Now and A New Earth. It’s sad how few people understand that the only moment is the present.
Thanks Jack! And good recommendations, I still need to read his books.
Its a very very hard lesson to learn but your right. I’ve experienced it many times over, you get the girl, then what? Nothing has changed inside. Laying there with her at 2.00 am in the morning, thinking to myself, nothings changed.
The joy of her was so fleeting,
Wow you are right buddy! This is what I have been trying to do for so long and it’s so hard when my wife does nothing but bitch and complain about every little fuckin thing! I’m really trying though it’s really all I want in life.
Honestly it’s been so long, but I believe I fall into this rut of a problem. Right now focus is my hardest obstacle. Eye opening article, hopefully I’m able to sink my heel into something I really love doing.
Thanks Sukant – keep at it brother!
The best thing that I learned was that women could not bring me happiness. It wasn’t until I completely threw myself into what I wanted to do such as my blog and other ventures that I finally found true happiness.
Thanks Sergie, I really like what you’re doing over at Way of the Olympian.
Amazing! Men need to realize this.
Fantastic article! Well done David. It really does hit home.
Thanks Leon, I appreciate it man!
Such an inspiring article. This does remind me of Robert Greene’s third strategy of war: Amidst the turmoil of events, do not lose your presence of mind.
PS: the articles, videos, and podcasts are getting better.
Thanks Hamad, I appreciate your support. I haven’t read that Robert Greene book in particular, but one of my favorite authors for sure.
David! This is right on! Contentment breeds gratefulness, which leads to a refreshed perspective on things and a better you! And a better you could lead to a more productive self, thus potentially opening new doors for better experiences, etc.
Deciding to be happy now is such a valuable foundation for greater success!
Thanks for this encouragement!
Thanks Caleb – and all great points you make. Being content and grateful truly does improve your perspective on everything.
David another spot on article. Loved it. Mate your new book is amazing too. Keep em coming dude. Your stuff is changing my life thanks soooo much
Thanks for the kind words Jon! I’m humbled to hear that. Keep on beasting brother.
I’m 55 and I grew up with this idea that as a man you were not complete unless you had a woman or several women in your life. It’s taken me a l-o-n-g time to reverse this bullshit thinking. And I’m still working on it. So many men have this drilled into them at a young age. Anyway, I was really happy to see a guy finally address this issue. Thanks.
Thanks for the comment Brad. It’s definitely a challenge, even after making the realization.
i love your advices and i have learnt alot from them thanks for the good work
dude ur articles r great sadly i can’t buy ur products cuz im just 15 and dont have money or credit card but if i do i would really support u.!!! ur aticles helped me a lot
Thanks man! I appreciate the love and I’m glad you’re liking the site.
This article has my thinking down to a tee. When I was a virgin I was so preoccupied with getting laid. Once I did that I could relax and be happy. It happened and I still wasn’t satisfied. I told myself “Well, I need to have sex with a hotter girl, then I can relax”. Then I did and still felt an emptiness. “Well, I never got to be with a barely legal chick back when I was that age, so I need to do that to be satisfied.” Then I was lying in bed with a hot 19-year-old, feeling like I had accomplished absolutely nothing. And I didn’t really: I pushed aside my personal development to try to satisfy my insecurities about women. That’s a losing strategy that left me just as many unfulfilled desires as when I was a virgin. I’m on the path to change that now, which isn’t easy, but information like this is a god-send. Thanks so much for taking the time to write it!
Thanks for the comment Huffy. Your story is not much different from my own! It’s extremely freeing to realize you can only find fulfillment and happiness inside yourself.
I’m a girl and i still benefit a lot from your articles! Cheers and keep up the good work David ??
Thank you Oshrat!
“no amount of thinking about or hoping for a beautiful women to stroll into the room, strip naked, and become your girlfriend is going to make you happy. No, it doesn’t work like that.”
Exactly, because women are stubborn, adamantly passive creatures, even if they like a guy or have a crush, even the tiniest bit of sexually attracted to him, they would rather miss out on being with him than to approach, initiate/escalate with him first.
This is a negative way to look at it, my man.
Terrific articulation. I’m 59, and even with experience in life (if that’s even possible at that age), you nailed it for the most part, but as I was reading I’d hoped you’d bring in the dimension of a higher power into it. Love God, love yourself, love others as yourself. Amen. Keep up the good work. I really enjoyed it.
Thank you for the kind words Michael.
Well most of the time they’re always Complaining about something.
While I appreciate the article and I think it makes good points I disagree. If nothing will make you happy then there is no reason to exist because there is nothing to achieve. The reason you want to do something is to get something out of it. That ties into happiness. The more you achieve the more happy you will be. However happiness is also an emotion and no matter what you experience. It will diminish. I will admit I am not an expert. And I struggle with happiness everyday. But I believe it is the only thing we are here on earth for. Heck, it’s in the constitution. Perhaps the amount of happiness we desire can never be achieved, or maybe for an infinite time like what we might see perseived in a movie but it is what motivates us to keep going.
But how would most men feel, if they’ve never had a girlfriend or wife all their life. Life can be pretty sad and lonely sometimes, and many times there’s things that i don’t go out and do, and places i don’t go because it’s just no fun doing things or going places all the time all by yourself, it’s a very sad and boring way for a man to live. I understand what you’re saying about some women out there, but there must be some good ones out there somewhere, i hope. I’m 53 years old, and haven’t had a woman all my life, believe me it hurts. better to have loved and lost than to have never loved at all,i think.
It’s not too late James. You should go to the places that harbor activities you enjoy. That’s where you’ll find someone. Go to stores, conventions, festivals, related to things you find happiness in.
Actually, I think it is better to “have never loved at all”. The pain is almost unbearable when a relationship ends. I almost jumped in front of a train when I found out my first girlfriend slept with my friends. One of my girlfriends got an abortion because she did not want to raise a kid who had “white DNA”, yet she never seemed to have a problem being with a “white guy” before she got pregnant. And my most recent girlfriend got knocked up by another guy and then tried to pin the kid on me in order to get my money. What I have learned the hard way is that women these days are just not worth the effort. You should thank your lucky stars that you have not had to deal with the fallout from any breakups. If time travel ever becomes possible, I am going back to 1990 to make sure that my “teenaged self” NEVER dates.
Today most women are Feminists, and Feminism is much worse than cancer today that is caused by these very pathetic women altogether.
This is an awesome article. I’m on a path of change and I went from waking up at 2pm and sitting around all day to getting up at 5am and actually doing stuff with my day and this morning I was pouring some coffee and the thought just popped in my head that girls don’t make me happy and the relief from the realization is amazing. I found your article because I was searching for other peoples stories. But I came to realize that what makes me happy is the activities I’ve been doing lately. Such as exercise, martial arts training, guitar playing, pretty much hands on stuff. It’s funny because all the stuff you said about “if i could just meet the “one” It’d fix me, Yeah i was deep into that belief for years but something just snapped today. Thanks for the nice article man.
Thanks man. I didn’t marry the hottest girl that I know and now I have doubts. Your article is great , I had just read an article that was saying happier men have hotter wives . So you are saying this is not true?
So many women nowadays just have a lot of very severe mental problems, especially when many of us single guys get Cursed out by these very messed up women for no reason at all. Just saying good morning or hello to a woman that many of us single guys would really like to meet has become so very dangerous for us as well. Very obvious why so many of us guys are still single today, now that there are so many feminists very horrible women everywhere. The old days had most women that were the very complete opposite of today, and they were real ladies as well. No wonder why our family members found love in the old days with no problem at all either.
You have to go back to the old days when most women were raised differently by their parents which most women back then were raised very well by their parents that really knew how to raise them right at that time. And today their parents are very horrible and can’t raise their daughters right at all. Women today are getting away with too much unfortunately, and have no respect for us men at all either. Nowadays most women are very selfish, spoiled, greedy, and very money hungry more than ever before, and they just want want and want. Most of these women can’t even be faithful to only one man anymore either. Been there.