Models: Attract Women Through Honesty by Mark Manson

Reading Time: 7 minutes


If you’re a man struggling in your romantic life, this book is a must read. Manson will help you understand how to be less needy, express yourself in healthy ways, and get comfortable with dating.

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Key Takeaways

Stop trying to be someone else

“Until you learn to trust your own actions and learn to pursue women with your own unique style and personality, you have learned absolutely nothing.”

If you want to be successful romantically, following a list of the best tips and tricks may lead you to have a few good nights, but in the long-run, nothing beats being able to be yourself. Nothing beats showing your full personality and quirks and finding someone who appreciates those qualities.

Don’t be needy

“The key to non-neediness is to have both: respect for both oneself and for women.”

“Hopefully, you’re catching on by now: it’s intention. What is your intention? Are you trying to impress her (needy) and therefore bragging? Or are you sharing yourself (vulnerability) and therefore polarizing her?”

A lot of people struggle romantically because they are needy. They need validation, support, or a host of other things. But if you want to be more attractive to the people around you, learn to practice non-neediness.

This doesn’t mean developing an attitude of indifference or being an asshole. It means being confident in yourself and respecting the person that you are. It also means providing that same respect to the women and men you meet.


“…vulnerability is not a technique or tactic. It is a way of being. It’s not something you learn, it’s a mindset you practice.”

People like those who are vulnerable. Vulnerability exposes you to the world, and it highlights an inner confidence and willingness to connect on a deeper level. But there is a big difference between being genuinely vulnerable and using vulnerability as a pick-up tactic. If you use it as a pick-up tactic, people will sniff out your bullshit.

Instead, learn to be vulnerable as a way of being. Get comfortable with the uncomfortable parts of yourself and your story. Be willing to share those things with others. Not because it will help you romantically, but because it will allow you to have more meaningful interactions with everyone who you meet. There’s a big difference between these two approaches.

Be honest about your interest

“There’s a world of sub-communication going on behind a man’s honest declaration of his interest. And it’s an attractive one.”

Instead of playing games, hoping for the other person to make the first move, state your interest if it’s there. If you have had a great time on a date, then say that honestly and confidently, “I really enjoyed our time, and I’m excited to see you again.” You’d be surprised with how many people fail to communicate their intentions and desires, but when you start doing so, it makes everything a lot easier and less painful.

Live by your values

“YOUR values determine your behavior, not what you think she wants, not what you think others want, but what is best for you and best for the relationship.”

When you live by your values, you will have healthier romantic encounters. Instead of catering to what you think the other person wants, live by your values, even when they are not the popular opinion. If your values are not aligned with another person, then that’s good to know sooner rather than later.

A question for every date

“What’s your favorite thing in the world?” This question will tell me two things: how passionate and self-aware she is about her own life, and secondly if we have anything in common.”

Once you’re past the small talk, ask a person you just met, “What’s your favorite thing in the world?” This surprisingly simple question will illuminate a lot of things about the other person that may or may not align with what you’re looking for.

If you value self-awareness and having things in common, then if someone responds with an answer that highlights a lack of self-awareness and a lack of commonalities, then you have fantastic information for deciding whether or not you’d like to continue pursuing them.

Be polarizing

“You cannot be an attractive and life-changing presence to some women without being a joke or an embarrassment to others. You simply can’t. You have to be controversial. You have to polarize. It’s the name of the game.”

“The point is: greater boldness leads to greater polarization. This is yet another argument for behaving in an assertive manner. This is also why one of my mantras that I tell men is, “Always err on the side of assertiveness.”

Think about the people who really wow you. Were they people who stuck to what everyone else says and does? Or were they people who pushed the boundaries in some way that you liked?

To be really attractive and exciting for some people, you’ll have to fully express your personality and unique quirks. This may turn some people away, but in the end, those are not the people you are seeking. You’re seeking people who jive with you for who you are.

In short, be bold. Don’t be a plain plate of pasta to avoid people not liking you. Not everyone will like you, and that’s okay. Some people will like your boldness. Don’t be an asshole either. That is never the right way to be.

Drop your prejudices

“Assume everything has a form of value; it’s your job to find it. Nothing is stupider than to be prejudiced against a genre of music or type of movie for no other reason than because of some stereotype or preconceived notion about it.”

If you love EDM music and someone says they like country music, a genre that you’ve never liked, don’t make silly assumptions about that person. Instead, get curious about their interest and how it was formed. Realize that you may not see the value in the music because you never took the time and instead are operating off of judgments you developed as a teenager.

Being genuinely curious will help you avoid the problems caused by bringing stereotypes and preconceived notions to conversations.

What are the stories that are hurting you?

“What stories do you tell yourself? Because until you’re aware of your stories, you’re not going to be able to change your behavior.”

“The only important “skill” in dating is learning how to stop buying into your own bullshit, to stop believing your own stories.”

What are the stories you tell yourself? Do you tell yourself that no women will like you because you’re short, or that all pretty girls are mean? If you’re struggling to find success in dating, be honest with yourself and the stories you tell. Often, those stories are bullshit excuses that prevent you from interacting in healthy ways with the people you want.

Overcoming your approach anxiety

“I personally think anxiety is the biggest culprit when it comes to preventing men from successfully meeting and dating women. You remove anxiety, and trial-and-error will take care of most of the rest.”

“The way to attack anxieties is through incremental, consistent exposure.”

“So if you want to be less nervous approaching women, don’t bother yourself worrying about how to get phone numbers or when to go for the kiss or what texts you should be writing. Just focus on approaching.”

Lots of men are anxious about approaching women that they are interested in. They get anxious about being rejected. But instead of giving into your anxiety and sitting by yourself having another drink, go up to someone with a genuine interest in getting to know them.

If they don’t want to talk to you, that’s okay. It’s not an affront against you. It’s just not the right person, time, or place. The only way to overcome your approach anxiety is to go talk to people. Some of them will not want to talk to you. Some of them will. Over time, you’ll see that talking to people isn’t so scary if you don’t make such a big deal about the outcome.

Take responsibility

“But when you practice taking responsibility for everything that happens in your life, you stop blaming others. It becomes less a question of blame and more a question of sacrifice. It’s no longer their fault that you’re still single because they’re all cold bitches, but now it’s your fault and a question of whether you’re willing to sacrifice the extra effort or not to find a woman who isn’t a cold bitch. Taking responsibility and morphing blame into sacrifice empowers you.”

Whatever your past experiences with people have been, take responsibility and find a way to have better experiences moving forward. It’s all on you. Once you stop blaming other people, you might find yourself having a lot more fun and success.

Make her feel alive

“That’s what she goes out looking for: the man who can make her feel more alive.”

Most people spend their days in a mundane existence. If you can break this pattern and make them feel more alive, you’re tapped into the secret of attraction. Create an experience worth talking about.

Courage is a habit

“Courage is a habit. Courage is a form of discipline. It’s taking a certain action even though you feel like doing something else.”

Courage comes with practice. It comes with accepting that you’re anxious about something and doing it anyway. Over time, it gets easier. Because in constantly exposing yourself to your anxieties and fears, the power they have over you wanes.

How to approach a new person

“Excuse me, this is kind of random, but I thought you were cute and wanted to meet you.”

Cut the cheesy pick up lines and go up to people with a simple introduction like the above. See how they respond. They might have a boyfriend. They might want to hang with their friends and avoid all guys for the night. Or they might want to talk to you. You won’t know until you go up and ask in a simple and authentic way.

On being “creepy”

“The fact of life is that if you are a man who expresses his sexuality freely (and you should), some women, some of the time, are going to find you creepy. It’s simply unavoidable. No matter how cool, rich, good-looking and charming you are, at some point, somewhere a woman is going to be creeped out by you.”

Lots of men fear being perceived as creepy. While it’s a legitimate fear, don’t let it stop you from expressing yourself fully. Some percentage of people will find you creepy no matter who you are or what you do. That said, don’t be a creepy guy that does weird things or who doesn’t respect women. That is never okay.

Connection stems from self-awareness

“Your ability to connect with a woman emotionally is proportional to how self-aware you are of your own emotional processes and motivations.”

How self-aware are you? What are your motivations? What are your emotional needs? Until you understand these things on a fundamental level and are able to communicate them in a straightforward way, you will struggle to connect with women.

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