Do Women Like Jerks?

"scumbag Steve" - popular meme of a jerk

“scumbag Steve” – popular meme of a jerk

This is a controversial question, because it is not always politically correct to say “yes.”  However, ask any woman about some dirtbag her friend is dating, or ask any “nice” guy who has witnessed himself sitting at home on weekends while his bad boy roommate goes out with a string of women. The bottom line is that most women have an “I dated a jerk” story, or at least know tons of friends who dated jerks. They also probably know many “nice” guys that they themselves would never date but tried to fix up with friends (who also didn’t like, but tried to fix up with their friends). Unfortunately, attraction is not a logical choice.

So do women love bad boys? Do women love jerks?

The answer is “yes” — kind of. My hypothesis is that ‘”bad boys” actually present as attractive because they seemingly have attractive traits, like confidence, humor, and a high level of charm. However, these traits don’t come from real confidence or enlightenment, but from insecurity and narcissism.  So, once these guys get a female bonded to them (which easily happens via different brain chemicals, including Oxytocin), their true nature comes out, but by that time, the bonding has occurred.

This is why it is important to recognize jerk behaviors, such as lack of empathy and bullying, early, to avoid bonding to a total asshat.

Case of the Mondays

Sometimes it can be hard to get up and going on Mondays, especially if we have jobs that we don’t care for. Having a case of the Mondays is a normal occurrence for many of us. The Monday blues may not be a scientific diagnosis but it sure is a reality for many people.

But, we can make Monday a good day. It may not be as easy as making Saturday a good day. But it can be done.

I recommend that people start Monday with a good attitude. Begin with meditation or prayer. Then, keep the right attitude throughout the day. If your colleagues are grumpy then you’ll have to fight that. But, you can fight it by being in a great mood yourself.

I also think it’s important to set fun and goal oriented activities for yourself on Mondays. Meet a friend for coffee, go on a date, find an activity where you can feel accomplished. We need to find ways to feel good on Mondays. Make sure you identify those ways and then go out and do them.

Should Guys Shave Their Body?

shirtless shaved man

Image courtesy of photostock/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net

I’ll admit, I’m not a huge fan of hair on the body, for either men or women. It’s not a romantic issue because I’m not gay. But, I still feel that even men should shave. I have an aversion of sorts to hair.

But, it’s not just my opinion. If you look around you’ll see that in ads, on television, in the movies, etc. all the good looking guys lack chest and back hair. I’m not going to get into the more intimate spots, but it’s definitely clear that shaving chest hair (as well as back) is becoming the norm.

If you decide on shaving your chest and back hair, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, you may not even want to shave. You can also wax and sugar. You can look those up for more information, but be aware that they are fairly painful.

However, waxing and sugaring do have some benefits. The hair grows back much more slowly than with shaving. You’ll probably have a week without hair and then it’ll be more like stubble for a couple weeks. You likely won’t need to wax again for another month. Also, waxing kills the hair follicles over time, so the hair will become thinner and less healthy.

Second, if you do shave, then you might need a little help. While shaving your chest is easy, it takes some flexibility to shave your back. I typically shave as much of my back as possible, then get help for the remaining parts.

If you’re going to be shaving, it’ll help to also improve your body. After all, if you’re removing the hair, you might as well reveal more of your body and make that body worth revealing.

So, should guys shave their body? For me, the answer is yes. It also seems to be the consensus of popular culture as well.

It’s Time To Start Tanning

sun coming through treesIt’s finally past April 15th and it’s time for a little excitement. No, I’m not talking about the deadline for filing taxes and the relief completing that can sometimes bring.

I’m referring to the fact that it’s now possible to make Vitamin D in the United States again.

So, it’s time to start thinking about going out and getting some of that sunshine and making Vitamin D. Here are few of our tips to make tanning a little easier and more fun. We’ve also written a few tanning tips for men you might like from our other website.

First, try to find fun places to tan. It could be the beach, parks, or anywhere you can relax and meditate while tanning. However, sometimes people prefer a more private setting. I find that a trampoline is a good place to tan. It’s away from bugs and with the netting is somewhat private.

Second, make sure to not overdo it. Tanning can actually be addictive for some people. But, don’t fall into that trap because tanning too much is really bad for the skin. You can always tell people who tan way too much. Their faces have a leathery look and they wrinkle prematurely.

Finally, keep your face protected. You face receives a lot more sun typically than the rest of your body. In other words, during your official tanning times you’re exposing your face to more harm than good. So, even when you’re out tanning, try to use sunblock or at least screen.

Now that it’s time to start tanning, I hope these tips were helpful.

The Dating Game Can Be Tough

heartThe dating game certainly isn’t easy for those of you actively involved in it. This is true at whatever age. While humans don’t have a mating ritual like animals (a dance, etc.), we still do have our fair share of rituals that confuse and frustrate people.

It’s why dating tips for men is a highly searched term on Google! But, women have similar problems. It’s a problem that plagues the majority of people.

The dating game can be very tough, let me tell you. When I was younger, I found it very frustrating because I watched as other guys “had all the luck.” Granted, they behaved differently than I did. But, it obviously had to be luck. The reality of course is different.

Just like star athletes are better at their sports than the rest of us, so others are better at the dating game. For a guy, succeeding typically involves being powerful, strong, and confident. For a woman, it involves being open to interaction, flirty, and feminine.

Some people try to get around these rules by trying online dating. However, there are lots of problems with online dating too that many people don’t even realize. Online dating is a great way to meet other people. But, it can’t change your ability, or lack of it, to get dates and keep relationships.

So, my best advice to succeed at the dating game is to follow the gender specific advice above, but also to keep trying. Approach lots of new people. Don’t be afraid to take risks. If you like someone ask for her number. And, finally, don’t be attached. Relax and take it easy. Life’s too short to turn something great (love) into something miserable.

The Value Of Youth

young girl playingWe live in a very youth oriented culture. Whether this is a good or bad thing can be debated, but you can’t deny that it’s true. Just have a look at all the different products and gimmicks out there for creating a younger look.

The market is saturated with facial creams, miracle supplements, and weight loss products, all of which are aimed at making people look younger. In addition, there are various books and other products that have the sole purpose of teaching people how to look younger at a supposedly reasonable price.

It’s evolutionary in many ways since the valued attraction traits for humans mostly occur when we’re young: six pack abs, raw beauty, athleticism and strength.

So, if you are getting up there in age, you can take comfort in the fact that, at least with attitude, sixty is supposedly the new forty (and I guess that makes forty the new twenty). But, even if you have the best attitude in the entire world, if you look seventy when you’re sixty, it’s not a good thing!

So, when thinking about your eating habits, fitness goals, and overall health, it’s always important to consider the value society places on youth. While looking younger shouldn’t be your main concern (and neither should conforming to society), if you want to be considered beautiful and popular, you’ll at least have to keep in mind the youthfulness connection.

So, we hope you enjoy your Friday! Don’t be depressed about being older. Knowing how to look younger isn’t necessarily that difficult. We have lots of tips on this blog and on some of our companion blog. Live and think young and best of luck in doing it!

Spring is Coming – Get Busy

White spring blossomsSpring is coming, in a few days in fact (this year it is Wednesday, March 20th). Here in Ohio it has seemed pretty cold for the time of year. Admittedly I am a little frustrated that things have been so cold, since I love getting out.

Nonetheless, the weather will be getting better, and the opportunity for outdoor activities will increase. Unfortunately, a lot of people get really excited (and buy all kinds of crazy fitness accessories) during the New Year. In the Northern Hemisphere, this also happens to be a very cold time of the year. Nothing saps your motivation like below freezing temperatures! So, people give up, and their brand new clothes sit in the closet until the next garage sale.

My thought is that a better time to begin an exercise program is the spring.

First, there is the whole spring/renewal connection. Spring is the time that nature renews herself; even animals come out of hibernation as the days get longer.

Second, spring is when the weather gets better. The sun is shining more, and the weather is warmer. It is much easier to get out. There are all kinds of activities available for you: biking, running, hiking, golf, and even more!

So, I suggest making spring 2013 a time to re-boot your exercise and fitness program. Did you abandon your new year’s resolutions? Well, that’s ok, because the spring is here and it’s time to start again. And, if you work hard now, you may fit into your swimsuit too!

“I Don’t Care If I Am Popular”

Pink spring blossomsI hear this a lot from people. They say “I don’t want to be popular” or “I don’t care if I have friends” and so forth. Almost to a tee these statements come from people that want more friends, but just don’t know how to get them. I am not trying to be mean, but a lot of people utter these phrases to convince themselves that the basic human desire to be loved and admired is bunk. Such a phrase is likely a lie because it goes against basic human nature.

I think the better solution would be to learn the skills that make a person popular, rather than swearing off popularity altogether. Teaching kids how to be popular in school, for example, would be more effective than having kids cram down their desires for friends and dates while their feelings of isolation grow.

Unfortunately, popularity has gotten a bad rap, and a lot of “popular” people are really just feared. The bullies and jerks appear popular, but are really secretly hated. Fortunately, reality often catches up, and these losers often fail at life after high school. Some succeed and end up bullying people in the workplace. Again, they are more feared and hated, than popular.

Also, people think to be popular they have to sacrifice their values. That is not true either. Some of the most popular people (like Martin Luther King Jr, Ghandi, and Jesus) are admired and loved because they stuck to their values. These individuals knew how to stick to their values without being obnoxious about it, something people of all faiths, political positions, etc, should learn.

So, yes, I do care if I am popular. I do like having friends. I do like the benefits of popularity.

A Year Later…

A path leading to a covered bridgeWe haven’t been updating this blog very much, although I still very much believe in the principles that we are about – healthy living, exercising, saving and making money, and keeping a simple and balanced home life.

In 2008, I started to look for “life in my years” but honestly, I wasn’t quite there. In 2012, I am farther along that path. I wake up most days excited about the possibilities. I have “decision latitude” and enjoy my job, family, and have numerous side projects that keep me excited about life, and also making a little money on the side.

Once such project is called The Popular Man. Over the last few years I have literally made a study out of learning what it means to be successful. These days, I mostly read books about Psychology, nutrition, etc, and how this applies to success at work, at home, etc. Honestly, the books I have read, the seminars I have taken, and the time I have spent networking have been much much cheaper than my graduate school and much more rewarding. Such are the lessons we learn in our thirties I guess!

Nobody’s Tool?

What is freedom?

In the past I would have given various definitions, but rarely would they have involved freeing my mind. I used to poke fun at the phrase “free your mind” because it sounded kind of hippieish and a little weird. Plus, the people I know that talk about freedom a lot don’t seem very free themselves, or they tend to like to impose their “freedom” on others so that others are less free.

I have been thinking lately about freedom, and how and why we end up in the systems we live in. Many people play the perpetual victim, and speak of freedom as someone else allowing them to do, or not do, something. But, shouldn’t we actually be questioning the worst limiter of freedom: our own minds, which are often mired in bad systems and patterns??

Before I begin, I want to state that I love my current job. I have a lot of freedom and flexibility, and I enjoy teaching. However, one system that I have been questioning lately is working for somebody else. From a young age through college, and into the world of work (whether this is the Academy, the corporate world, or at non-profits) we are conditioned to work for somebody else. The American dream is usually presented as getting a degree, working for somebody else, getting an occasional raise or bonus, and climbing up the ladder, so you can buy nice things. Even as a child, our career choices tend to fall within the same framework: we “dream” of working for someone else. Most people complain about this system, but still continually buy into it, even if it is physically and mentally killing them. Lately I have realized this system is very limiting, and the answer is not complaining about the system, or shifting around in the system (“same crap, different toilet” syndrome) but rather leaving the system and starting a new one. Let me explain why I question the current “work” system most of us fall into:

1. Working for someone else means that your best time and ideas benefit someone else – For some reason, very few people realize that by working for another person or organization, we basically hand over our time and ideas so someone else can get more money and influence, while we struggle to make ends meet. This happens in the corporate world, non-profits, and the Academy. If you are lucky (and this is a big “if”), the organization you work for won’t get rid of you or cut off your pension when times get lean. One of the issues I had with college0 was that my college was basically using graduate students (who I often found to be more talented teachers than full professors) as slave labor. Their time, talent, and ideas were barely benefiting them, yet many people were willing to put up with the abuse. It took me a few years being in that system to finally realize I couldn’t stand working in such a ridiculous and dysfunctional system. It is just as bad in the corporate world too, with people giving all they have, while the company benefits, and they get denied raises.

2. Your degree may or may not actually help you – I used to believe that to get ahead you had to go to college. I still believe this, but with serious reservations. I value my college education, but many days I question whether the amount of money I put into it (including student loan debt) is actually worth the return. My colleges were laughing at me all the way to the bank. My BA is in psychology and my Master’s is in religion. Both degrees pretty much leave me in limbo. The BA doesn’t qualify me to do anything related to Psychology, and the Master’s in Religion pretty much qualifies me to barely make ends meet for the rest of my life (whether I choose to teach, be an adjunct professor, etc). Yes, I chose these degrees, and yes, other people choose degrees that are marketable, but the system is broken in the sense that I was never told what life is like after college for people with my degrees. And why would colleges be honest? If they were honest, the few English poetry majors that are actually making decent money teaching English poetry (the tenured professors), would be out of a job. It is just not in the college’s best interest to be honest with its young and idealistic students. So, basically I no longer believe having a college degree=success. I think the person him/herself determines success.

3. By working for someone else you are making trade-offs – Many people dislike their bosses and employing company or organization, yet they remain in this system for the stability. This could be a regular salary, health insurance, etc. Others remain out of habit. Others don’t realize there is a way out. There is a way out, and it is called starting your own business, organization, or non-profit. The government makes this difficult (regulations tend to favor companies, especially big ones, that are already in business and can influence regulations), but it can be done. The question, however, is this: can you handle the risk? Doing your own thing requires trading stability for risk, but also trading resentment and monotony for happiness and autonomy. As I have gotten older, I have decided that the risk is worth it.

4. Isn’t working about sacrifice and heartache?? – “Work sucks.” I hear this all the time. If it is so bad, then why in the world would a person get up every morning and devote 40-60 hours of his week to such an endeavor? If you are doing this, stop for a second, and ask why any happy and free human being would do such a thing? Why does it have to be this way? Can’t you see yourself waking up every morning and loving your job? Why can’t every workday be exciting and full of possibilities? Many readers may scoff at this, but does it really take that much to be happy and fulfilled? I know people that are photographers, freelance writers, and handymen that love their jobs. We are taught to settle. We are taught to remain in limiting systems and jobs in which we are asked to do more, for less money and less freedom. We accept that micromanaging bosses and wasting away mindlessly in a cubicle are laws of nature. We are taught that we are victims, and that the only way out is retirement. Not true. You could leave today! You could leave right this very moment. I am not saying that is a good idea without planning, but you could do it right now.

Now, let me ask my readers, have you ever complained about your job or job system (job system= being in the corporate, Academic, or non-profit “worlds”)? Most of us have. Now, let me ask: how many of you have ever questioned the system itself? How many of you have actually looked into exiting the system? Unfortunately, studies show that once humans commit to something, it is hard for us to leave it. If we have gotten a degree, or given 5 years to a job, many people will stay simply because of past commitment. However, who says that spending 5 years working for a job means that you have to live miserably for the next 20 years? If the “system” sucks, then start your own system!

In today’s economy, it is illogical for people to hate business. Instead they should love business. I understand their dislike of big business that conspires with the government to run the little guys out of business and devalue the average worker, but in this era we need more competition, from the good guys, not less competition, so that our only options end up being to work for the unwieldy and uncaring big businesses, universities, and non-profits. This is why one dream of mine is to help schools pair with local entrepreneurs to teach a younger generation how to start and run their own businesses. Whether school systems, which generally encourage conformity and dependence, would ever encourage this, I don’t know.

At age 33, feeling more independent and confident than ever, I question the system. I now dream of being in charge, being the boss, not of other people per se, but of my own destiny. I don’t want to work for someone else or another organization anymore. I may not get rich (I actually believe I will), but at the very least I will be doing what I love, and enjoying my autonomy. Even though I do love my current teaching job, I don’t see myself being there forever. I went to a fundraiser a few months ago, and the teachers and principals were talking about how many sacrifices they have made over the years. The people we were honoring at the event, who donated thousands of dollars to help our schools, owned their own businesses or organizations and were using their extra money and influence to give back to others. I decided I would dream to be like them, not the people who after 30 years were still scraping to get by and scanning their mind for reasons just to get up in the morning. At that moment, I decided I wouldn’t be anybody’s tool, except perhaps, my own.