Do guys need to act masculine, manly or tough to be attractive to girls?

I'm a few things but manly probably isn't one. I like cuddling and talking. I'm a shy virgin. I'm described as sensitive and sweet. I get on better with girls than guys. I dream of getting married and starting a family. Casual sex means nothing to me and emotional connection is my main priority. I focus on the girl's wants and needs and wouldn't do anything that she's uncomfortable with (meaning she has a more dominant position in the relationship).

What I want to know is should I act a little different to be attractive to women? Should I pretend that I'm not that interested in having a relationship so that I seem hard to get? Should I play down the parts of my personality that girls think are sweet?

Updates:
What I'm worried about is 2 things:

1. I find it hard to be dominant when I'm mostly concerned with her happiness.

2. I worry that she won't feel that I'm the "man in the relationship". :/

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Most Helpful Girl

  • Let me put it like this: You sound like my dream guy out of all the losers out there :P

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    • I thought girls preferred guys that were more "rough and tough on the outside" as @lzzy2102 said.

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    • Thanks for choosing me as BA *-* <3

    • You gave a good answer, you talked with other posters, you argued with that "girl" and you called me your dream guy.

      How could I not? XD

What Girls Said 28

  • I honestly think that's perfectly fine. You don't have to be a body-building, super aggressive manly man.. that's not what all of us view as a priority and some of us are even turned off by guys like that. I'd honestly prefer the guy that's more down-to-earth and can share power in the relationship with the woman. I think many women, like myself, would really like to be with a guy that prefers to talk and cuddle, though we do also like a little aggression from the man every once in a while, but it doesn't need to be constant. Contrary to popular belief, we don't all just don't want a bad guy.. honestly i've never really wanted one. Some guys like that are hard to handle and can end up being very controlling, which I despise. Honestly, don't change anything about yourself. If you haven't found the right girl yet, it's not because you need to change or that she just doesn't exist, it's literally just that you haven't found her yet..

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    • What kind of aggression do (most) girls want?

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    • I can initiate but if I do, my main goal will probably be her pleasure.

    • honestly, that's perfectly fine.. just being able to initiate is a good thing!

  • A lot of girls prefer guys like yourself. Usually it's the girls that have been through relationships that make them realize that sometimes having an "alpha" male is not all its cracked up to be. I mean, course some girls like that, but some just want to be shown that they're cared about. And you seem like a guy who is more in touch with your feelings. Many girls would appreciate that.

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  • It's true that many woman like manly men but I wouldn't advise you to act like one. Be yourself because you could attract a girl with an act but you wouldn't be able to keep her. In a relationship everything is easier when your yourself. You don't want someone to like/love you for something you're not

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    • Do you think there are girls who could love me for who I am or would I struggle in the dating world? (I put this in the dating section as I'm more worried about that initial attraction)

    • I do thing there are women you would like you for who you are. Also, not every women have the same definition of a manly man. I find my boyfriend really manly, yet one of our friend think he isn't at all. To her manly men are macho men.
      I wouldn't know how it would be for you in the dating world because I don't know you. It's not often easy when you're a shy person, people won't wait for you so you are the one who has to do something about it.

  • It depends on the type of girl your trying to be with but to be honest you shouldn't change to be with anyone because someone's going to love you as you are. Most girls like a little masculinity in a guy because it makes them feel safe and like the guy can protect them but you don't have to be mr. macho man to get a girl love. Good luck :) don't play down anything

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    • Honestly you sound like half the female populations dream guy this includes me so please stay just the way you are! <3

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    • Thanks so much. It's really late here and I have to get up early for work but I'll try and message you soon just so you know who I am. Thanks. :)

    • Goodnight and mmkay hope to talk to you soon. Have a good day at work I guess ha :)

  • 1) There wouldn't be a problem if you were concerned with what's right for her and not just her happiness alone. She may say that she'd be happy if she got to do this stupidly reckless thing, but if it weren't right for her, (2) that's where you assert your dominance and tell her to stop.

    It's sweet, caring, and dominant all in one.

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    • That I can do. I do it with my brothers (sometimes even my parents lol).

      If that's all it takes, I should be fine. I would want what's best for her most of all.

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    • I'd love to be a good bf/husband.

    • If it comes naturally for you, then you'd be fine.

  • i am wrestling with the opposite side of this issue rn... i have a guy who is my best friend and who wants me to be more than a friend, but he lives in a different state and even though i think he is adorable (dresses well for his body, shiny, black hair, sweet smile, insanely symmetrical face) he comes off as just that... adorable but not very manly (a lot of my friends are convinced he is gay and even though he has kissed me and express an interest in going further sometimes I find myself thinking he might be gay too.) we haven't gotten to test our feelings a lot (obviously the distance is an issue) but when also we are together he is very shy and self-doubting when it comes to initiating anything physical so I always feel like I take on the traditionally "male" role. I know a lot of guys are uncomfortable feeling like they aren't the "dominant" one but on the girl's end that isn't always an issue. because we live far away and aren't exclusive I've been able to hook up with some more masculine guys while still testing my feels for the less masculine guy and honestly the strong, dominant thing nice for a hook up or two, but only the tender, affectionate stuff makes us stick around. if anything, all the manly guys just make me miss my adorable guy more and wish that we still lived in the same town... there is hope for the sweet, innocent men of the world!

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    • Well I've no interest in being a hook up so that's nice to hear. :)

  • It helps. Within reason of course. But no you don't have to be.

    The ideal guy to a lot of girls would be rough and tough on the outside, but sweet and sensitive at home. But that's very rare so we'll go for one of those

    It's not about not being interested in a relationship at all though. Don't do that!!! That's not how you act masculine

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    • So playing hard to get is a bad idea?

  • I think girls can be attracted by different types of guys, so it's not like everyone will fall for the bad boy-stereotype. For me personally: I dislike macho's. I mean, I like it when a man looks strong, masculine and self-assured (not arrogant though!), but if there isn't a sensitive guy underneath I quickly lose interest. Something I have to mention though is that being sensitive and all, isn't the same as being a doormat. That is a turn-off for most girls I think.. unless you've got yourself a very dominant one. Also be careful with desperately wanting a relationship and showing that to women, 'cause being too eager might scare them away.

    The things you describe, like wanting an emotional connection not doing anything that makes her feel uncomfortable, cuddling, talking... are qualities that I value and search for in a man. And it has become hard to find someone like that it seems, so you should be proud of those characteristics :-) ! You should never ever change yourself! It might work in your advantage for a while, but it will wear you out in the end. A girl should like you for you, and if she doesn't she just doesn't deserve you. Simple as that ;-)

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  • Dude, NO! Be yourself! You sound great! The kind of guy I'd go for, probably. Do not hide the good parts of your personality. Do not act like you're playing hard to get. Just don't.

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  • I'm sorry if I sound cliché and naive but never, ever try to be someone you're not. Don't fake it, just be yourself - as stupid as this sentence sounds, seriously, don't fake it. If you pretend to be someone you're not, it's not good for you mentally and eventually your true self will come out and might make things worse.

    Referring to your concern about not being considered as the "man in the relationship", there are TONS of way to show her that. Not just by pretending or faking it.

    I'm sorry if I sound silly but I personally prefer someone like you - who is sweet, respectful, and not only care about sex. I'm sure lots of girls prefer that kind of guy as well.

    So yeah, I say don't fake it. You'll get tired and it will not be good.

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    • You don't seem silly. Thanks :)
      It's just I do worry if I'm *too* sweet.

    • Noooooo it's cool if you're sweet. You can never be too sweet to a girl. Besides, girls would kill to get a sweet guy. Don't worry about that :)

    • Nice. :)
      I'd actually love to be a good bf and make all her friends jealous. I really came here so I could better understand what girls like so that when I meet the woman of my dreams I could bring her all the happiness she deserves. Thanks for your answer. :)

  • A sweet and sensitive guy is just as attractive as a dominate and masculine guy BUT I would like a little of both. Personally more masculine and dominate but not aggressive and rough like in a bad way. Girls will love the type of guy you are BUT never change yourself to be with a girl. You will be cheating yourself.

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    • I agree with your last sentence but I'd rather pretend and be in a relationship than be myself and be alone for most of my life.

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    • Thanks. Ill try.

    • No problem

  • I don't mind more sensitive guys. I actually prefer more sensitive guys. And I don't mind being the more dominant one, I don't want to be dominant all the time but I would want to be more dominant

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    • Really? Most girls say they're submissive.

      What kind of dominance do you like?

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    • I hope I find a woman like you. :)

    • Awe thank you, I hope you find a dominant woman too

  • When were younger (girls) wan guy who appear manly and popular. But as we gain experience, we just want guy who can be themselves. Dominicace does not equal not giving a damn about her feelings. That's perfectly normal.

    You just need to stick to your guns. Do/say what you like and go after what you want. If your shy, that means stepping out of your comfort zone abit and socializing. If your a sweet guy on the inside, great. Girls love that. Go find that sweet girl to compliment you.

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  • No for me there has to be a balance, I like a guy that's in touch with his emotion but he must have protection instincts, I don't know why but I love it when a guy stands up for me especially agaisnt another guy :D

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    • I can do that. I just kind of prefer the girl being more active and making more decisions in the relationship. That way, I can learn more about her and focus on making her happy.

  • I'm not really into manly men. They turn me off.

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    • Really? So sweet guys are better for you?

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    • I wouldn't date a guy if I wasn't attracted to them. The whole "macho man" thing is irritating and I can't stand men like that. Sweet, sensitive guys are where it's at.

    • Thanks. I've always thought that I'd come second to those guys in most girl's minds. I'm kinda surprised that you'd find sweet guys MORE attractive.

  • Well they need to feel like you'll be able to protect them, but personally, I like it when a guy is sensitive. Also, I don't like it when they play hard to get because I feel rejected. I'm super shy so I'd give up.

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    • How do you mean protect? I wouldn't stand by if she's in danger but I'm not a trained soldier either. Besides, is that not what the police are for? :P

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    • I'm the same as both of you tbh.

    • Do don't be worried. You'll find someone

  • nope i find sweet , cute and funny guys really attractive even more attractive than masculine men <3

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    • Girls often tell me I'm sweet, cute and funny and I make all the girls I speak to laugh often so I'd say that applies to me.

      Do you really rhink girls wouldn't get bored of me and would be attracted to me?

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    • Really? Thanks. :)

      I've never thought of myself as a guy worth fighting over.

    • hahahahah no problem :)

  • For me Guys dont need to act , they just need to be themselves :)

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    • I wish that were true but still, as I said to sammy_31, it must be better to pretend a little than be myself and alone for most of my life.
      As the male Anon said below, "Keep it up and you'll die old and alone."

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    • Thanks. I know I shouldn't act. Hopefully I'll find a girl who sees me and loves me for who I am.

    • itll take time to find her , but you'll get her :)

  • I personally love sensitive guys and wish they were easier to find.

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    • Well I'm not very social and I've never really approached a girl. :/

  • You sound great as long as don't let yourself become a doormat for girls!

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    • What's the line between being nice and being a doormat?

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    • @Keyspirits I know that but what's the difference between being taking advantage of and being a good bf?

    • it all comes in hand to hand. them cuties will eventually take ur luv for granted and if u treat them and be too nice to them, they will get bored. being nice and u will get taken advantage of no matter what so u gotta balance out both mean and nice side. dont let'em step over u.

  • not really...

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  • Aww, you are sweet, for that reason alone, girls will love you already. What really matter is being in yourself not pretending to be someone else.

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  • Don't change who you are for any girl. Society has left a negative impact on men by telling them they cannot be sensitive or emotional- I'm hear to tell you they can. And I am sure some girl will love you for yourself! Personally, I am not sensitive, and consider myself strong, confident, and powerful and also look for those traits in a man, I want to be equally as dominant. But that's my own personal preference.

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  • "What I want to know is should I act a little different to be attractive to women?"
    Yes you should if you're aiming at the majority of women. There is a small portion of dominant women who want a guy like you, but even among dominant women, they are rare. Like this you are absolutely unattractive.

    Should I pretend that I'm not that interested in having a relationship so that I seem hard to get?
    That has nothing to do with seeming more masculine. We'll brand you even a bigger pussy. "Guys who look mysterious" can only pull that off if they are making the choice to act distant and have a valid reason. Guys who play mysterious will reveal the fact that they are shy fags very quickly. Girls can smell it, don't even try.

    "Should I play down the parts of my personality that girls think are sweet?"
    Yes. When we say you're sweet, we actually mean you're sweet like a puppy, or a baby. Which also means we'd rather masturbate with a cheesegrater than have sex with you.

    "1. I find it hard to be dominant when I'm mostly concerned with her happiness."
    Women become truly happy only next to dominant men. They make us feel safe, don't let our bullshit insecurities slide and give the relationship a direction. Happy women are dating dominant men.
    Catering to a woman only brings her misery, because her insecurities and stresses take over.

    "2. I worry that she won't feel that I'm the "man in the relationship". :/"
    That's because you're not.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jfgx51AQTUE

    and

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a9XDb0nxSO4

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    • Please don't listen to this bullshit. I actually once believed I was supposed to be with a "dominant" and "manly" man, and that truly made me unhappy. This girl talks on behalf of herself, not all women.

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    • Jesus this girl have no clue but what her elementary school teacher told her in biology. Young-pretend-to-be-girl (or im gonna call you yptbg, for short) I'm gonna lay on a fact on you that might seem weird in your black-and-white small narrow-minded world. People have different types. Yeah, shocking right? That guy with a bald hair and nazi tattoos you find yourself lusting for? My insides turn by the thought of kissing him. The sweet innocent cute guy I want? You could never appreciate him. Some girls like black men, others like caucasian. Some like strawberry, others like apple juice - there's no one size fits all and makes all happy when it comes to taste. Just because you're a masochistic promiscuous little girl, does not mean I want a guy who treats me like hell. Do you realise lesbians exists too? How does your idea of allgirlswantmanlymen fit that? Just stop it. Biology and psychology are two different things. Read on about it yptbg, please ><

    • You don't even understand he concept I m talking about. You're mentioning masochism. I'm not least bit masochistic.

  • Not really. My boyfriend cries more than I do and I think he is the most adorable thing ever. :) I knew he was a sensitive, shy guy, who stated away from drugs & alcohol but loved music before we dated and that attracted me very much. Sometimes I do feel like the dominate one in the relationship but it's okay because I like being in charge sometimes.

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    • He's a more masculine and aggressive when we fool around sexually which is good! :D

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    • I can do that. I don't mind 'earning it' but I like the idea of ensuring she gets pleasure first. I also like the idea of making her feel worshipped and adored during sex. I want any woman I make love to to feel like she's the most beautiful woman on earth. XD

    • That's awesome! :D I'm sure many woman would love that.

  • You are perfect. Stay the way you are. Being dominant won't make her sad rather guys who are dominating physically are major turn on. Am not talking about S and M. Just occasionally grab her wrist and kiss her senselessly, push her up against the wall, playful wrestling etc are good.
    You got the qualities I dream my husband would possess.

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    • That I can do. :)
      I would just find it hard to let a girlfriend down or not focus on their happiness. I can not be a doormat but I would put her needs before my own. That to me (plus the shy thing) seems to mean that I'm not dominant enough to be attractive.

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    • I'm not ripped or very strong. I'm actually a little skinny but I'm fit enough. I'm thinking of getting involved in my local rugby team which would definitely keep me fit lol

      Thanks. :)

    • That's great. Now don't worry be happy.

  • Nah, but you've gotta stick up for yourself and set clear and healthy boundaries. Only accept good treatment and assertively communicate your needs.

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    • I can do that. But I like to help others, especially if I'm close to them. I would get happiness and pleasure from pleasing a girlfriend. I only need a few things like appreciation, respect and her really talking to me and wanting me to be happy. But I don't really need her to do things for me in bed, or dote on me or anything like that

    • Appreciation, verbal kindness, support and respect sound like good foundations.

    • I look to relationships more for emotional support and connection. Ito who actually does more, I quite like the idea of pampering a girl.

  • Only feminists girls hate manly men

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    • Basically you're saying only intelligent people hate manly men? Well that's not true. I don't hate them, despite the fact I believe in fighting for women's right, I just find them unattractive. Good luck with your love life being, spit on and beaten and whatever masochistic stuff you seem to enjoy?

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    • The sexism is real. I'm just gonna assume you're a guy, trolling and prettending to be a girl to annoy people :)

    • You think I'm trolling just because I don't like feminist?
      STFU

What Guys Said 18

  • I don't really consider it about being "manly" but mainly just being comfortable with yourself. I notice a lot of shy guys give off insecure vibes and "shy away," The keyword is "away" here. What kinda of behavior your give off gets picked up by your peers and thrown back at you. So if you come off insecure and shy yourself away from people they will think you want to leave them alone.

    But if you're comfortable enough to outright say that you want a girl to cuddle with without feeling all the insecurity you will easily be able to pick one up. You'll just have to fight off giving those insecure vibes so the they don't make girls think you want them to leave you alone. It is possible to say "Damn it I want a girl to cuddle with me!" and still look completely confident and not seem like a "loser" for admitting so. I think you'll just need to get to that level of comfort to be able to say that without fear and you're good to go.

    Definitely don't do that "hard to get" junk. It only attracts girls who like to play games and they always stay that way and you are left with constant headaches of "does she like me or not" and stuff. It's a setup for failure.

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  • NO.

    Everybody likes different things and has a different 'ideal partner'. Therefore some girls will like you just the way you are, and some won't like you. If you become 'more manly' then some girls will go off you and others will like you more. By changing, you're not increasing your chances of finding somebody, just changing the people who might be interested in you.

    I'm not a manly guy. I'm also not an amazing guy who stands out from the crowd; I'm not the best looking, not the most fashionable, not the strongest, etc. But I am smart, I like having good conversations, and I care about people... a lot. I've been described as sensitive, cute, sweet, etc.

    A girl once said about me "eeeww, Billy doesn't have sex, he's too cute for that!" It really upset and offended me and made me think "Am I too sensitive and cute to be attractive?". But I pushed it out of my mind and vowed to continue being how I am.

    In the space of 6 months, I went on multiple dates with 4 girls. The last one, I've been in a happy relationship with for 2 years, 6 months and 17 days (no, I don't count the days, but I do know our 'anniversary' - it's one of those things that some girls would call me a nerd for but others think is adorable and my girlfriend loves me for). So I'm proof that not being manly doesn't stop you from getting a girlfriend.

    I'd say the thing that makes me most attractive to girls is how happy I am. Over time, I became very confident and happy to be who I am. I got there by just doing things that make me happy and focusing on the good things that came from that. Playing down part of your personality is just going to make you miserable. Most girls don't want to be with somebody miserable.

    So be yourself, and be happy with who you are - some day a girl will be happy with who you are too.

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  • I use to be just like you a few years ago, funny how getting treated like shit a few times changes all that. I still love cuddling, Im still sensitive, sweet, and want a family but I have learned to man up. Trust me out of everything you listed your only problem is being shy. Not that its a terrible one but honestly women like all those other things but they want a guy who can stand up for himself to. Your problem is that you spend to much time worrying about what is "ok". Trust me going for a kiss is never going to come off bad at worst she will just say no and you both live another day. After you get in the door you can talk about everything else including sex but if you are not willing to step up and do it your life is going to suck. They will love you for who you are but you need to stand up and go for what you want.

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  • hell no!!!

    after all not every girl's after an alpha male dude

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  • If I was dating someone who told me that they want me to be "the man in the relationship", I'd break up with them on the spot by principal. Being single is a superior state than being shackled to someone so worthless that they would lie themselves into your wallet and want you to be someone you never would like to be.

    You only need to find one girl who finds you attractive. If the majority doesn't find you attractive with how you like yourself, then the majority is not worth your time.

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  • Don't worry about 'being a man.' Worry about being yourself. If you try too hard to "be a man" then you'll sacrifice qualities that make up who you personally are just to concede to a broad misconception of everyone who has a penis.

    However, you should learn to develop masculine traits like assertiveness and confidence for it will help you out in other areas in your life. (And sort of sounds like you could be a bit of a pushover.) You can still be a sensitive and sweet, caring person and also be assertive and confident.

    The whole "pretending you're not interested" thing should more accurately be like "feel as if you have an abundance of women so you don't come off as needy." Sort of like faking it until you make it. It can be a helpful tool if you know how to use it right to attract women you like.

    Whatever you do though, do not hide who you are to try to conform to the whole "be a man" craze.

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  • I am by no means manly. But I don't let societal pressures make me change who I am ore damage my self-esteem anymore, I just keep being me and letting my freak flag fly.

    Granted, I have never been on a date yet, but still, I am much happier this way.

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  • Depends on the girl.

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    • Obviously but I was kinda hoping on learning the balance. Like do the majority of girls prefer macho guys or is it 50 50. That kind of thing.

      You're right, but "depends on the girl/guy" is also the 'right' answer for half of the questions on this site.

    • Haha ok, I'd assume for the most part yes. women tend to be attracted to masculine men, although currently women appear to be becoming attracted to more effeminate men. Hairless emotional etc

  • I'd like to say no.

    But yes.

    You don't need to act like you don't want a relationship. You do need to beleive you're only willing to put a lot in if you're getting a lot back. You need to stick up for yourself.

    You don't need to have casual sex. But if suggest if no girls want to have casual sex with you, you're not ready to be in a relationship.

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    • What do you mean by your last sentence? I don't understand it.

  • Act cool but composed. Be funny and witty, they love that shit

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    • Funny and witty I can do. Cool might be trickier but I'll try and get the hang of it. XD
      Thanks.

  • Questions like these reek of bullshit. It's honestly really simple. Be your own man while treating your woman right. You can be a gentle man and still protect your lady. She has to feel safe around you and the only way that will happen is if she wants to be around you in the first place. Stop with these pitiful posts about being shy and bitching about what it means to be a "man". You don't have to be some rude dick head to be considered manly or masculine.

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    • Regarding the end of your post, be who you are. How long do you expect to keep up your facade should you actually trick the girl into falling for you?

  • No, they seem to like nice emotional guys who look tough/rugged/bad.

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  • To be truthful to you bud some times your shooting yourself in the foot an then other times your walking on egg shells to please the girl because you dont want to hurt her feelings

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  • Nah, girls like it when you're girlier than they are. Just kidding! :p Don't take it so seriously, everyone.

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  • A lot of girls will tell you that they LOVE sweet, sensitive guys, and while that may be true to an extent, they also mostly feel drawn to guys who will take the lead, make them feel feminine, safe and protected and they, whether they admit it or not, get turned on by a guy's confidence. Guys who are too permissive usually get friend-zoned and women complain that guys aren't manly/rough enough, especially in bed.

    It's not about what the girls say or think they should be attracted to, it's about what they consciously or unconsciously react to and respond to. I am in no way saying that you should become some overly manly or primitive tough guy, or that you should pretend to be something that you're not, I'm just saying that you can spice up your sweetness with some assertive qualities. Don't let the girl be the one who makes all the decisions and plans while you follow her lead (unless you are with a dominant chick, but they aren't really common). It's great to be focused on her desires and needs, but girls are very attracted to guys who have passions and interests of their own so it's best that your life isn't all about her. Being devoted, wanting emotional connection, commitment and all that is great as long as you combine it with some spark, passion, confidence, unpredictability or adventure.

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  • Keep it up and you'll die old and alone.

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    • So what would you recommend?

    • You want to make her happy. Bending over backwards for her seems like an obvious choice. But it will fail 9 times out of 10. The time it does succeed you'll be miserable. Concern yourself with making your self happy. Once you do that give whatever you have left to her. By always being there for her at her beck and call, it will lead to conflict. Everyone wants to be challenged from time to time. No one likes a person who always agrees with everything. It sounds like you are willing to be a doormat. You don't need to stop being sensitive, just have a spine.

  • Something you need to learn is that not all girls like one particular thing. Therefore, you don't need to trouble yourself with trying to find the one-size-fits-all solution to presenting yourself. Some girls like the chilled out, sensitive schtick you've got going. Some don't.

    But what you do have to have is your shit locked down. Very few people find actual shyness and insecurity attractive and those that do are usually insecure themselves. Not the sort of person you really should be messing with when there are much more reasonable people out there instead.

    And if you're still worried about this sort of stuff, start taking some multivitamins and fish oil for a mood/energy boost, and start lifting. The natural "manliness" and testosterone will flow from there. It works wonders, trust me ;)

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  • I hate the patriarchal propaganda advertizing cold emotionally detached sociopathic confident dominant masculine guys.

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