Men are not cavemen anymore. No. Men are now connected, reactive, stylish and sensitive individuals. They are also more adept at understanding that women's actions have consequences for them. This newfound awareness means that they can specifically tailor their behaviour to fulfil our (perceived) ideals, ipso facto, we give them what they want.
Despite this evolution, everything remains rooted in the ubiquitous reality that single males navigate the dating world, (and women) using the below equation:
“What is the minimal effort required for me to reach maximum return, and, my ultimate goal of getting to have sex with a woman?”
For a little while this went right over my head, because, I wrongly assumed that effort and admiration were mutually exclusive. And, really, that men weren’t all that cluey yet.
I was wrong.
Certainly we have established that when a man likes you he will show you. He will be seen in public with you. He will dress up for you. He will take you out for dinner somewhere other than the take-away dumpling hovel under his apartment. (See The Talk and Why He Hasn’t Asked You Out) However, this lesson expands further on that foundation to allow for understanding the progression of male behavioural patterns.
Men incorporate strategies into dating to increase their chances of getting what they want. They are more aware of the things that "women want" (at least on a surface level) so they are able to tailor their language and actions accordingly. Arguably this is what charm is, but in essence, when used for wrongful gain its mere savvy marketing. Dependent on the woman such strategies might include a few drinks, a good conversation over dinner, expressing interest in your work/plant collection/cat or creative pursuit and maybe an ice cream date or 2. These tick-a-box behaviours help men successfully bluff their way forward, while they leave women a little confused. Hopeful, yet confused. The problem lies in the mixed messages between what we have continuously reiterated to ourselves; that effort = care (which is not wrong by the way), and, the adaptation of these new minimum requirements by men. In simple terms, they started playing the game. The result of which is a complete lack of transparency at every turn.
EFFORT + ILLUSION + CONNECTION = SEX
If it’s still muddy AF, then hold my pie chart while I explain the two angles of the Getting Laid Equation further:
1) Effort at any stage of the game could mean that a man wants to be with you, he’s just behind the 8 ball and has made a new decision to show you that he likes you. If this is the case, he will make it abundantly clear very quickly.
Disregarding my cynicism above, this does actually happen. Unfortunately it often happens quite late in the game; once a woman has at least one foot (and most of a leg) out the door. Suddenly, the man grows some self awareness, realises what he has/had and miraculously learns how to get flowers delivered, and, to open his mouth for a genuine conversation.
2) In the absence of the above (and the gravity of the associated realisations), any sudden romantic, generous or chivalrous actions can imply that said gentleman has realised that you are unimpressed with his past behaviour – either you’ve told him so, or you’ve strongly suggested it by cutting off his access to sex. In a swift attempt to problem solve this and bring back the booty he gives you want you want; that is the smoke and mirrors that indicates that he’s into you, values you and wants to make you feel special.
Seeing that he’s made effort, you cognitively calculate the presence of feelings on his behalf. You are impressed, grateful and reward his effort with sex. The quicker you reward him, the less he thinks he has to do in order to receive sexual gratification.
And there’s that equation solved.