The Manual is a dating book for men. It as some good mindsets and dating advice mixed with some less good content.
- Don’t believe that women are more valuable than you are
- Be protective of her, but put yourself first
- Show strength and confidence: women don’t like vulnerable men
The Manual is divided among two major parts: theoretical information and more practical information.
W. Anton says that knowing the theory is more important because once you internalize the correct mindsets that your actions will naturally be both natural and correct.
Men and Women Are Equally Valuable
The author makes the point that our society tells us that women are more valuable.
And that’s why men chase women, buy them gifts and generally treat them like hot and rare commodity.
He says it’s because putting women first is good for society and societies that cherished women beat those who don’t.
So today we only have societies that idealize women.
The culture in our society is to kiss up to women, but that’s not effective in actually sleeping with women.
This is a huge generalization. While some men do behave like women are the prize, it’s not necessarily because “society teaches so”. Also the way men treat women changes widely depends on the gender ratio. But the author obviously has no idea about that (read how to date scientifically).
If you want to be good with women, the author says, you need to ditch that mindset that women are more valuable and put yourself first instead.
Differing Standards of Beauty for Genders
W. Anton says that men and women are judged on very different set of standards.
It’s not that men are more visual, it’s that all that matters about a woman are her looks. To reproduce effectively she needs to be a female, young and have a good body.
For men it’s different. For men being youth is of no significance.
A man to be attractive must be born a male and be less vulnerable than females. And the latter is not a quality you can see in a picture, which is
It’s not true that strength or mannishness cannot be capture in a photo. There are at least some telling elements. However, is overall point is not wrong: women are more heavily judged simply on the basis of looks.
And that’s why, the author say, your height or looks matter little to women.
It’s more about making them feel safe and secure and being strong.
W. Anton says that from an evolutionary perspective protection is the number one priority during pregnancy.
And that’s why women are attracted to men who look stronger and less vulnerable than they are.
So, sorry Brene Brown, but it looks like to get women men can’t really be vulnerable :).
I do agree actually that men shouldn’t look too weak.
However, this is also a genralization. Some well placed insecurities and vulnerability can make men even more attractive (read: seduction techniques you wouldn’t think work).
The author defines confidence as:
The ability to appear certain by tolerating uncertainty. To be dominant, optimistic, and courageous with women, and never act intimidated by them.
I fully agree with the second part.
I don’t buy into W. Anton’s first part of the sentence though. Indeed he stresses and repeats that confidence is about appearing to be certain.
Even when you’re not.
Trying to show yourself certain even when you’re not will only make you look like an idiot when eventually you are found out for a blow hard who didn’t know sh*t.
The Manual makes the point that to attract women you have to put yourself first.
It’s not about being domineering and controlling, and you should actually be protective. But not to the point that you are inconveniencing yourself.
I kind of agree here.
However, don’t make it a big rule. If you are a cool guy, a good act of chivalry could easily give you point.
Also keep in mind that taking care of others is a major leadership quality (Leaders Eat Last). And women love leaders.
Don’t Explain Yourself
I liked this insight on not explaining yourself.
The author says that insecure people volunteer explanations for their actions or motives. Telling people why they did what they did or said what they said.
Get rid of it because it’s very insecure.
The author says you shouldn’t go overboard to make women laugh, entertain or, God forbid, play games (like The Game teaches).
And he makes a very good point.
He says that studies telling people that women like men who make it laugh have it backward. It’s not that women like men who make them laugh, it’s that women simply laugh more with men that excite them.
I don’t think it’s that straightforward and some good banter, especially initially, helps.
But Anton had me nodding there: a very very good point I had never thought of.
The Manual makes the good point that happiness attracts women.
I would add that happiness attracts everyone, but that still holds true.
Be happier indeed :).
Hide Your Player Status
W. Anton recommends you do not brag about being a womanizer or wanting to enjoy many women.
There is nothing special for the woman being one in many and it means you are no longer selective.
They might still be attracted to you, but it will harder for them trust you. And if you cannot make them comfortable and come across as trustworthy, you won’t go far.
The point, he says, is that women want men that other women are interested in. But not men who are interested in all women.
That’s quite genius there and deserves a tweet quote:
A bit tenet of “The Manual: What Women Want” is direct communication.
The author makes the point you should always:
- Go straight for woman you like (make a beeline)
- Do not talk and make friends with her friends
- Tell her you found her attractive
- Tell her you want to see her again because you find her attractive
Women communicate indirectly
However, women communicate the opposite way: indirectly.
So you should look for the significance behind her words. For example “my feet hurt” means she wants to sit down. Or if you are at home, you can interpret it as a green light for a foot massage.
Real Life Applications
There are quite a few applications to real life from The Manual.
But the one I liked the most is this:
Attempt but Don’t Lose Interest
It’s OK to attempt to bring a woman home early, but don’t lose interest if your attempt fail.
I find that after a woman initial refusal I lose a lot of interest and that hasn’t served me too well. I will heed this suggestion whenever it fits well.
Terrible Evolutionary Psychology
Completely made up evolutionary psychology that the author pitches for facts.
Typical Manosphere Book
The Manual has some of the most stereotypically negative manosphere traits.
- It starts with the bro-science of evolutionary psychology
- Bashes feminism (it says that most feminists are lesbians)
- Says that money doesn’t matter (it won’t hurt you for sure)
- Bashes the “cucks”:
(…) the majority of the public consists of unattractive people who would rather not hear that they are unfit for survival or at the mercy of genes.
Indeed, by simple mathematical properties, it’s true that most men are average. However, I am not particularly fond of how the author describes it.
And finally, it mocks clueless researchers for sitting on labs donning white coats while studying women.
Honestly, the author could have done a better service to the readers if he had actually read some science before talking about science (and nobody forced him to talk about it).
Bad Dating Advice
In my opinion The Manual has quite some bad dating advice.
- Invade personal space
The author recommends that if you want to talk to a woman in a group, you should walk straight to her in spite of whatever is happening in the group.
By doing this, he completely invades the personal space of the group, interrupts the conversation (..) demonstrating his confidence loud and clear.
That’s quite crude, and it also demonstrates a major lack of emotional intelligence. And while it can be attractive in some instances, social intelligence is a highly prized quality by many women -especially high quality women-.
- Approach from the front and never from the side
Instead, research shows that women prefer being approached from the side.
Anton also says that it’s ideal if a woman has not looked at you before your approach. Terribly wrong. Read how to approach a woman for the full science of approaching.
- Style is highly overrated
I think instead it’s highly underrated.
- Walk with her if she’s in a hurry
There are situations where you can follow a woman wherever she’s going. However, more times than not you risk looking like a follower, a social burden, and a man with little to do.
- Make your first meeting as long as possible
I disagree. You’re better off ending yourself instead of letting it sputter and having her eject.
- Try to kiss on a first date
Anton says that you must kiss a woman before you sleep with her.
Of the last 20-30 women I have been with, I think I only kissed the minority of them before having sex.
Bad Life Advice
The author seem to suggest that all men chase “imaginary need for status”, good career and accomplishment for women. He says that once men learn instead how women think and how dating works, then they won’t care anymore for their jobs.
This is typical low-quality man mentality (the fuckboy).
Some men are driven and hungry for success in all areas of life, not just women.
And some other men never had problems getting girls anyway, and that’s why they also focus on other areas of life.
Some Great Gems
W. Anton had more than a few awesome gems here. Some I already mentioned. A couple more are:
- People refer to nations as female so that men are happier to sacrifice themselves for them
- Expressions of helplessness are attractive in women as it highlights vulnerability (feminine) and youthfulness (reproductive value)
Helpful For Nice Guys
The manual is certainly an interesting read.
It will teach a lotto pure beginners and too nice guys putting women on a pedestal.
But also more experienced can come out of it with a couple of great new ideas.
I did have a couple of unexpected “aha moments” and I am very glad I read The Manual.
However, I also had many “this doesn’t make any sense” moments.
And several “this is not true” and “this is counterproductive” moments.
Overall, mixed with the good bits there is too much made up bro-science and some bad advice. And I don’t feel I can recommend it The Manual to all audiences.