The “It” That Men Don’t Get

James Rigdon’s given it a lot of thought, and he’s come up with the missing “it”.

The Good Men Project
Jan 13 · 4 min read
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By James Rigdon

Have you ever been around a group of single women, and heard them talking about the problems with men?

It’s kind of interesting, in a morbid fashion, to hear the other side dish out the list of gripes against my gender. But it’s educational — I’ve sat in on a few of these groups, and, do you know what the most commonly-used line (in some variation) was?

He just doesn’t get it.

It applies to nearly any subject, it can mean almost anything, but that’s the overall feeling when it comes to the complaints I’ve heard concerning men in relation to women.

For years, I dismissed this as a standard gripe — I’d be hanging around female friends, and that line would come up, especially from the single ones, talking about guys trying to date them, or first dates gone bad. “Oh, he’s a nice enough guy, but he just doesn’t get it.”

I always wanted to ask, “What the hell is ‘it’, anyway?”

And how can a guy “get it”?

I finally figured it out.

Ask a man what he’ll do to try and attract someone’s interest, and what’ll be the most common response? Take them somewhere fancy/expensive, get them flowers, buy affectionate gifts, pay compliments, do favors, that kind of thing. The trouble is, the main achievement of that action is letting a woman know that YOU are interested, not in piquing their interest.

That’s a whole lot of what “he just doesn’t get it” means.

Because let’s face it- no matter where you live, attractive available women are constantly under siege by guys trying to get with them. And nearly all of them will say the same thing about nearly all of the guys vying for their attention-

“He just doesn’t get it.”

And — wait for it…

That’s also why guys who are generally considered assholes will, more often than not, get with these women.

It’s not that they’re necessarily better looking, or more attractive.

It’s because of how they go about it.

Let’s work through an example:

You show up at your date’s door, rose in hand, suitably dressed, with an agenda of a charming evening ahead- you make sure to point out that you like what they’re wearing, tell them they’re pretty, ask where they’d like to eat. Maybe you’ve done some research beforehand, and you’re going to take them to see a movie they want to see, or a band they like. Sounds like a solid plan, yeah? What could go wrong?


What you’ve just done is an extensive effort in letting them know that you’re interested. You haven’t done a single thing to give them a path into being interested in you. And, if you keep that pattern up, you’re paving your way into right into a non-relationship.

So how do you avoid this?!

You can’t make a woman like you, any more than you can make the rain fall when and where you want. But you can make the ground ready, plant the seeds, and set the best chance for success.

Those guys I talked about before, the assholes who always seem to get the girl? You want to know what they had going for them?

They give information about themselves–while remaining actively curious about their date.

She can’t like you if she doesn’t know you — really know you. Not just that you know how to go through the motions of being nice, but that you are a real human being who understands that a relationship has a life of its own, that a connection is more than just sexual chemistry, and that information about both people will constantly be unfolding over time.

How does any good mystery or thriller begin? There’s a shock, something out of the ordinary, it grabs your attention and you don’t know what to think, but you are curious. You want to see where this is going. But they won’t tell you everything in the beginning, what’s the point to it? No, they’ll keep the pieces coming at you slowly, you’ll start to put them together and then the whole dynamic will change again, leaving you wondering; the really great thrillers keep the revelations coming until the very end (consider The Usual Suspects– who could have predicted who Keyser Söze really was?).

Now think about dating in the same way–you’ve got to use some intrigue, your approach can’t just be about them and you acting on their cues. Take some initiative, spread some mystery, talk about yourself but don’t let them know everything on the first go; you don’t sell a book by telling customers how it ends. Give them some room and let them know there’s more to be found out about you.

People like pursuit…they like discovering things, figuring other people out. How many dates have you done that for? It goes both ways. Keep it interactive, be the cat and the mouse, make it about both of you and it will pay off in the long run.

One of the biggest problems most guys have in the single life is thinking that the situation is eventually going to change; women are eventually going to be attracted to the good guys and those losers will fade into the background, with nothing but their memories and paychecks to keep them company. Others give up, and some, sadly, decide to try and become assholes. You don’t need to be a hustler or a jerk.

You can be a good guy and still get the girl.

And it all starts with knowing how to get it started.

About James Rigdon

James Rigdon is a healthily cynical wanderer, going about the country to experience new places and people, and searching for new ways to have his heart broken.

Hello, Love

Love changes us. Love makes us human.

The Good Men Project

Written by

We're having a conversation about the changing roles of men in the 21st century. Main site is Email us

Hello, Love

Love changes us. Love makes us human.

The Good Men Project

Written by

We're having a conversation about the changing roles of men in the 21st century. Main site is Email us

Hello, Love

Love changes us. Love makes us human.

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