Chapter 1, Page 2

(Partial excerpt)


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"Top Secrets"

  • The Economics of Love
    What creates value in our society? From an economic perspective, value is created by the law of supply and demand. When discussing the value of a person, does this hold true? What creates more value in your eyes for one person and less for another? The answer can be as complicated as the U.S. Treasury system or as simple as a penny. Different people value different things for different reasons. However, one of the most fundamental principles of value is the supply and demand of that commodity. And yes, this includes people.

    You will find this obvious when you think about dating and seeking out new people to date. Have you ever noticed you tend to be attracted to those people who are already taken? Do you see yourself as a "geek magnet" while the guys you like don't give you the time of day? Have you ever been told that you try too hard? Are the good ones always taken? These examples illustrate the philosophy, "The more difficult to acquire, the more value is perceived."

    It is in light of this principle that nice guys often get walked on. Many women perceive men who are too nice as being too easy. Therefore his value is diminished. Likewise, a woman who sleeps with a man on the first date is too easy and her value is decreased accordingly. (Of course, some men will sleep with her, they just won't call her the next day. Those kind of guys usually have a certain value predetermined for this type of woman anyway.)

    How does this principle affect you when you are trying to find a new relationship? It took me many years to understand what my friends were trying to tell me when they exclaimed, "Bart, you can't go looking for a girlfriend. You're trying too hard." Being a self-starter, I assumed girlfriends were like commodities, if you want it, go out and get it. But I learned this is not the case. When you put a "FOR SALE" sign on a car, people immediately know that you don't want the car anymore. If you put an "available" sign on your forehead by aggressively seeking out a boyfriend or girlfriend, people often assume someone doesn't want you, therefore something must be wrong with you. (Is this convoluted logic? Maybe, but people think this way.) For this reason, when I used to chase girls, they always ran away.

    One day I realized that the women I actually dated were women that I met without the pretense of getting romantic. In other words, I wasn't terribly interested in dating them when I met them. In fact, my attitude was, "I could take it or leave it. If she calls, great. If not, so what?" This may sound aloof, but it conveys a meaning of "I'm not easy. I have value. If you want my attention you must demonstrate your worth to me." By the way, I am not suggesting you take this literally and actually verbalize these words to a potential lover. It is enough just to possess the attitude. Most people see being cocky as a negative personality trait. Modest confidence is the best attitude to display.


    "You've got to know when to hold 'em, know when to fold 'em, know when to walk away, know when to run!" ...Kenny Rogers, The Gambler

    When one person throws himself at another, without a just invitation, the balance of control is lopsided. Once one partner gains more control in the relationship, it is downhill from there. Sadly enough, the one that desires it more holds the weaker position. Sometimes, the level of interest reveals the amount of control, or lack thereof. Have you ever heard the wisdom of a poker player: you must know when to fold? Being too anxious gives the other person leverage. You have to be able to walk away from the table, or you are sunk! The same holds true with dating.

    I have heard people say women are only attracted to jerks and men only like beautiful women. Fortunately this is not always true, but it does apply in many cases. Again, the explanation involves the economics of love. Because there are fewer beautiful women in the world and beauty is a valued commodity, beautiful women are in higher demand. Face the facts. Men often say many pretty women are bitches. These women give off that attitude because most men look only at their beauty and are too forward---these men act like losers. Men become easy when struck by beauty. Therefore, the beautiful woman has more choices with regard to men. She is choosy. What does she choose? Based on supply and demand, she wants a man who is a challenge. She can get attention all the time from men who throw themselves at her. What she wants is a man who has enough value in himself so he doesn't throw himself at her. Being selective is often interpreted as a sign of self-worth and confidence. These are very attractive qualities. Unfortunately, this formula sometimes represents a jerk. Not only is the guy she ends up with a challenge, but he really doesn't care about her. Ideally, she wants a sweet, generous, sensitive man who doesn't drool over her. But realistically, she wants a man whom she perceives as valuable. Back to the theory of supply and demand, the harder he is to get, the more she values him.

    I believe men have it easier than women. A man doesn't have to be overly attractive to attract beautiful women. In general, women aren't as obsessed about good looks as men tend to be. Perhaps you could call men more superficial. However, it goes deeper than this (I hope). Men, in general, have a tendency to be more visual than women. For men seeing is believing. For women seeing is important, but feeling is often just as significant in creating the emotions we call love or infatuation. (These are often confused, but never interchangeable.)

    These are generalities, but they are useful. Studies show men rank visual stimuli, such as beauty, as a higher priority in a partner than females rank it. (This may relate back to the fact that, on average, young boys have better spatial/visual perception than young girls.) Women, on the other hand, tend to rate attractiveness behind other personality characteristics such as confidence, honesty, or classiness. (It should be noted women are swayed by good looks. Anyone who has ever observed the way women behave at a male strip review understand women can be very attracted to men based on looks. The gyrating hips don't hurt.) Both sexes are attracted to a combination of looks and personality. However, it is useful to understand these tendencies.


    "Women become more attracted to the one they love. Men become more loving to the one they are attracted to." ... Stacy Hamaker, M.A., C.N.L.P.

    Therefore, if you are a man, know your appearance is not the most important factor in your persona. If you are a woman, or are dating someone who needs to see things to appreciate them, you may have to work to provide visual verification that you are special. By visual, I mean creating visual impressions like wearing make-up, giving Hallmark cards, and taking him to visually stunning places.

    If you feel that your physical beauty is less than average, you must create value in other ways: humor, intelligence, talent, etc. Then, market these talents so people of value take notice. In either case, the person you want most will be in less supply.

    It amazes me how many phone numbers bartenders get. My bartender friends get more offers than any other profession I know. Why? Most bars are scenes for people to meet new prospects. The only person in the bar who is obviously not looking for a new lover is the bartender. He or she is just working. However, after an entire night of sleazoid scumbag men hitting on them, the average woman looks at the nice bartender and thinks, "There is a nice guy, wouldn't it be nice if he asked me out instead of all these meat market jerkos?" Why does she think this? The bartender isn't necessarily better looking, wealthier, or even wittier than the others. But he didn't make an offer, therefore his value is perceived as higher. Think about this the next time you are in a bar.

    I was on a T.V. talk show with a very attractive female bartender from New York City. She said she got hit on at least fifty times a day while at work. In fact, she had started laying the change on the counter because each time she handed the change to the guys, they would actually grab her! I asked her if she had a boyfriend and she said, "Yes." I said, "He is another bartender, isn't he?" She said, "Yes." I knew of all the guys in the bar, the other bartenders were the only ones not hitting on her. Men need to learn to look past the physical appearances to see what most women want in a relationship: friendship, love, affection, trust. You must establish value in yourself up front in order to gain access to a person''s more intimate values. Most successful couples say their spouse is their best friend. Therefore, begin with a solid foundation of friendship and you can't lose.

    The principle is very simple: "Create value in yourself by not being too easy!" A woman who says, "I am kind of seeing someone," seems more attractive than a woman who says, "I don't have a boyfriend, but I'm looking!" The best attitude to display is, "I'm not here looking for someone, I'm here enjoying my fabulous life. If you're not what I like, I have no problem walking away because I have plenty of choices." This may sound haughty, but it will display an attitude of your intrinsic self value. You don't have to feel superior to others, just don't ever subordinate yourself. By being friendly, but not anxiously aggressive, you balance the level of control between the sexes. It is on this level playing field a successful relationship can be initiated.




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