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How Men Approach Women: Of Mice and Men (and Lions)

Let me say upfront that this post has nothing to do with the John Steinbeck novel; but apparently he stole the title anyway so I am not feeling any guilt for “borrowing” it.

This post is simply trying to explain an observation that has been made and reported by many; why is it that beautiful or even attractive women often find it hard to get dates? And what should a woman do to maximize her chances?  I think the explanation goes beyond men simply being wimps/Mice (which indeed we are), but has its roots in what I will call “pack mentality”.

Imagine a group of women at a bar or club, dressed up in all their finery and in the mood to have fun with their friends; and if they get lucky, maybe even finding the rare man that is worth spending some time with.  In my old country these women might be dancing in some ritual around their handbags/purses, which occupy the prime space on the floor in the center of the group.  Whatever they do, they do as a group. They dance together, they drink together, they even manage to synchronize their bowel movements and visit the restroom together.  The most attractive women and those with the most interesting personalities form an inner ring around the purses; they are the center of the group.

The men of course are on the edge of the dance floor or bar, taking frequent sips of their beer so that they appear to be doing something and not just standing around like a bunch of losers.  They rely, far more than the women, on the leader of the group to make the jokes, drive the conversation and help them meet a member of the opposite sex. In return the leader never drives and no one worries if he doesn’t take his turn in buying the drinks. No synchronized pissing for our brave band of warriors, to them the evening is all about the hunt; finding a member of the opposite sex to save them from these evenings of discomfort in clubs. Men are not normally pack animals, but it is the most effective and least uncomfortable way to hunt.

Now switch the image to the Serengeti national park in Tanzania (Africa). Plains inhabited by herds of antelopes, dancing around their handbags in the warm sun and observed by families of hungry lions that are all sipping their beers and drooling over the thought of catching a pretty antelope.  The fittest of the lions (always female) decides that it wants to get itself a piece of that antelope tail; spurred on by some of the less fit lions (always men). A true match for our lion might be the fittest antelope, but no, our warrior studies the group looking for the weakest or sickest member of the herd; the one that doesn’t get the memo that the herd is moving to a new watering hole and gets a little disconnected. One that might be picked off from the herd. Now our hero moves in for the kill!

Men in bars and clubs are like prides of lions on the plains and watering holes of the Serenghetti. There is usually one man, the leader, in the pack designated to make the initial attack. He has unbridled confidence and probably the best combination of looks and personality, but he fears rejection and humiliation in front of his friends and feels his best chance is with one of the women on the edge of the group; even though outside of this crazy environment his best match might be the fit and funny lady taking pride of place next to the purses.  This is not about individuals getting together; this is about group or pack dynamics.

Ladies, if you are into going to bars and clubs with a group of friends and your goal is to meet men, my advice is to stay on the edge of the group. If the group decides to move on mass to the bar or to the restroom to get a drink or refresh make-up, hang back a little, fake a slight limp. If you can, bleed just a little. You may just attract the attentions of the pack leader this way!

Of course as men get later in life they may develop more confident in how they approach women. These men have morphed into a wide range of animals that are diverse in how they approach women and their true intentions. Enjoy the tigers, but be wary of attracting the attention of hyenas.

Graham Clark

Divorce Dad, Tech god, Ex pat and lover of rhubarb



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