Image of Date the Atlas, Not the Shrug

Rule #1: Don't date men you don't admire. He can be the most handsome man, the most fabulous lover, the most attentive partner, the most witty companion, but if you don't admire him (not his biceps or bank account, but him as a person ), the relationship is doomed to fail. Don't know if you admire him? Ask yourself, would you be proud to introduce him at your college reunion? Do you listen to him recount his day and feel a warm glow of pride? Do you feel like you could point to him and tell children (yours or others) "grow up to be like him"? If the answer to any of these is "no," or even "maybe," then do your self esteem a favor and dump his ass.

Rule #2: Don't date men who don't admire you. You don't have to be beautiful to be admired by men -- you don't even have to be particularly skilled or smart. A man can admire your spirit, your qualities, your way. You can date men who want you and chase you, but admiration is a different thing altogether. To admire is defined as to "regard with respect," or to "look at with pleasure." Women often say that they don't want to be "put on a pedestal," but that's exactly where they should be, held on high, off the floor, where they won't be bumped into, overlooked, or stepped on.

So, date the guy who brags about you, who listens when you talk, who notices when you walk in the room, and who inspires you to cultivate your best qualities. Worried he's in love with an idealized image of you? If that's the worst of your problems, then count your blessings and be grateful. In The Fountainhead, Rand defines love as "a command to rise." Let love elevate you -- and your partner -- to be worthy of each other and your ideals.

Rule #3: Don't date men who surround themselves with losers. This includes both the men who need an entourage -- and the men who make up the entourage. Men who surround themselves with sycophants have fragile egos belied by their wealth, power and celebrity. These second-handers simply cannot orientate themselves to the universe without gauging their relative status to others around them.

The entourage itself acts like a reality distortion field, bending and warping the way men perceive things. Explaining the fall of civilizations, economist Thomas Sowell describes how, "Typically there has been ... some method by which feedback from reality has been prevented, so that a dangerous course of action could be blindly continued to a fatal conclusion." Similarly, the man with an entourage is subtly sabotaged by those who seek to benefit by being in his orbit. By flattering his conceits and sheltering his insecurities -- they act to filter out the discordant feedback human beings to evolve. Marinating in this kind of sycophancy for extended lengths of time breeds boorishness and bad manners that no amount of money can make up for.

Rule #4: Don't "go with your gut" -- use your head! If you're confused about a relationship -- get in? stay in? get out? -- a frequent piece of advice is to "follow your heart." This is not a responsible piece of advice to give to someone who is having a hard time trying to sort fact from feeling. Better advice was given by John Galt to Dagny Taggart: "If any part of your uncertainty is a struggle between your heart and your mind, follow your mind." Besides, in the throes of emotion its hard to distinguish what's heart, what's hormones, what's hope, and what's habit. Stick to the facts, don't ignore patterns of behavior, and don't engage in wishful thinking.

Rule #5: Go on strike if the relationship is not working for you. If you're being taken for granted, then follow the example of John Galt, and the other innovators, entrepreneurs and artists he inspired to withdraw their creative energies from an envious, ungrateful, entitled society. The scale of your strike will depend on the scale of the behavior you're seeking to protest and alter. Your once romantic, upscale Saturday night "dates" that have devolved into Netflix-and-takeout-hangouts? Micro-strike by being unavailable next weekend. He's become the last to notice -- much less compliment -- how nice you look? Mini-strike by taking a trip with a girlfriend. He's "not ready" for commitment, engagement, marriage? Mega-strike by spending less time with him, and consider dating other men.

You need to be logged in to comment.
search only within dating

About dating


A community to discuss and vent about the dating process and learn from the experiences of others.


  • Be polite and respect each other. No sexism, racism, homophobia, ad hominem posts, or rudeness will be tolerated.
  • Posts involving nudity must be marked NSFW.
  • Do NOT give out any contact information or any personal information in public posts. Please send your contact information via a PM only.
  • No soapboxing or promoting an agenda..

Latest Activity