Most love-life questions involving college guys have the same answer: “he is trying to sleep with you.” If that assumption doesn’t apply to your predicament (or even if it does), and you still want to know what he’s really thinking, then that's where I come in: Zach, the Realest Live College Guy to date. I’m here to answer any and all of your love-life questions, to “dumb it down” for all you over-thinkers out there because with most college guys the actual answer is always the simplest. So, here we go, take a deep breath, click “Send” on that email, and let the healing begin:
Why is the chase so attractive to guys (i.e., why do they lose interest once they have you)? –Running at Richmond
When a guy is pursuing a girl he is interested in, he feels excited and anxious all at once. For us, the “chase” is a dynamic and enlivening state of existence, comparable to playing a sport or “Call of Duty: World At War” on your Xbox360. (Note: there will be an excessive amount of sports and video game analogies in this article). When the game is over—after we have gotten the girl we pined for—the sense of satisfaction we feel is often short-lived. Before long, we feel complacent and listless, and that old itch to keep “chasing” starts up again and gets stronger with time. So, like the dogs we are, we scratch that itch, and start looking for the next challenge, the next girl, because we want to see if we can find someone “better.”
For some reason, we men just want every available, beautiful, and interesting girl out there, and having just one amazing woman isn’t enough (at least not for most college-aged males). Our unrelenting urge to stay on the prowl can be divided into four main motivating factors…
[Note: I want to preface this list by saying that these rules are only true for a certain type of guy. Usually they are immature (which is to say, all men have a little bit of this in them) college students who are scared to DEATH of settling down—even if the girl they’re hooking up with is blaringly awesome. So, here they are, the reasons why some guys love “the chase":
If you really want a guy to chase you, always have an inner tube handy.
- Ego Boost: Guys enjoy chasing after new, beautiful girls because if we sleep with that girl, when we wake up the next morning, we feel great about ourselves—like hitting the game-winning shot against a fierce opponent (see, sports again). The reasoning is simple (as most things are with men): if I sleep with one girl, and I feel better about myself for doing so, why would I stay with just her when I can boost my ego over and over again every time I find a new hook-up? We’re creatures that always need to stroke our egos (it’s pathetic, I know). When we try to sleep with a new woman, we don’t even realize it, but we are testing our masculinity. The challenge of attempting to get with an “unknown” girl (in both the literal and Biblical sense) measures our self-worth as men. If we succeed and hook up with her, we have proven to ourselves that we had enough “game” and were attractive enough to get that new girl to sleep with us, and therefore, we have won that competition: the “real” man competition. After we've "won the game” and collected our blue ribbon (and all the next-morning glory), it is time for us to move on to the next competition. If we stay put too long, we feel restless—like the boredom of beating someone in basketball over and over again—so we lose interest, and then we move on to the next “chase.” Which leads me to my second point...
- Unattainable Women Are Hotter. Call it what you will—the “grass is always greener” syndrome, or the “you always want what you can’t have” disorder—it's all true. Once a guy has hooked up with an attractive girl—consciously or otherwise—she is no longer on a pedestal. She is not the same unattainable creature; some of her luster—some of her mystery—is gone after sex because the guy has achieved his desired end (pun intended). We idealize the women we pursue, and once we’ve gotten close enough to see the truth—that you’re only human—we have to pick up our search again because we’re looking for something more than that, something unattainable. Men believe (often subconsciously) that if this girl was willing to settle, then there must be even “better” girls out there just waiting to lower their standards. It’s kind of like rungs on a ladder, with each sexual conquest building upon itself and giving the man (false) confidence so that he can scale to even greater heights—to an even “better” girl. So we keep climbing and climbing, waiting to reach the unreachable top—a pillowy, cloud-covered loft where a super-model-genius-comedian waits for us on a white-leather couch, ready for eternal bliss (i.e., consta-sex). There is no end to a college boy’s sexual hunger because we’re idiots, and we are so scared of settling down that we believe the only woman we could ever commit to would have to be perfect, or at least, as close to perfect as humanly possible. We are looking for a woman who—if she does exist—would never even look at us, let alone go out with us. The ladder we climb looking for love leads to nowhere. We’re chasing an unreachable ideal—climbing to the heavens and trying to nab an angel.
Our endless search to find the perfect woman leads to nowhere.
- The Old Man Retrospective. This one is my personal favorite because it deals with my biggest anxiety, and it pretty much makes no sense. Essentially, guys want to sleep with as many women as they can now, while they’re young and unmarried, because they want to look back on their lives when they are sitting in their rocking chairs (read: bald, leather-skinned, and married), and they want to know, in their heart of hearts, that they gave it their all and lived it up when they could. This anxiety is ridiculous because it assumes that when I am old, I will still think like a 21-year-old college bro, instead of an adult who probably won’t really care or remember how many girls I’ve slept with. Still, the anxiety is there, and the only way to relieve that gnawing urge is to continue “the chase.” College guys want to sleep with as many women as they can before they put on their wedding ring because after they get married, they’re “stuck” with just one woman for the rest of their lives, along with mortgage, and a bunch of kids—and that stuff terrifies most of us. In this way, young men unconsciously view marriage as death—the death of their sexually explorative selves (seriously, getting a girl pregnant and having to get married is one of my biggest fears, right next to being pushed into an oncoming Subway from behind). That’s why when a young guy is in a committed relationship, the anxiety that he is “missing out” can grow—because he doesn’t want to feel married until he’s actually married—and the guy begins to visualize his future, saggy self like a ghost of Christmas past, haunting him with images of a possible, discontent future.
- The Evolutionary Imperative. I think underlying all of my intellectualization of the male psyche (which, in all seriousness, is simpler than most deadbolts) is a basic biological explanation for why men act the way they do. This reason explains all the other motivators, and I’ve called it “the evolutionary imperative,” because my Uncle Jon told me to. When humans livedin the wild, the men who were most successful in obtaining many mates were able to pass on their DNA through their offspring. The process of natural selection would have rewarded those men who were most aggressive—and successful—in conquering new mates. A guy obviously does not think about this stuff when he goes out on a Thirsty Thursday, looking to hook up with that cute girl in his history class. Instead the instinct is inside of us, pushing us along to the next woman. It sounds like a cop-out, and maybe it is, but underneath it all, the college-aged guy thinks a lot like your average primate: we want to sleep with as many different partners as possible, swing from tree to tree, and throw poop at our friends.
This is my buddy Rhys. He’s Canadian.
What's the most attractive quality in a girl? –Wondering at Wyoming
Self-confidence. Everything after that is personal preference (i.e., some guys like bigger this, smaller that, a girl who has an interest in X, and so on). For most men, we want a girl who is confident in herself as a person. We find girls who have interests attractive, girls who have passions, or, if she hasn’t decided what she’s into yet, we want the girl to be actively trying to figure herself out and become an independent, self-assured human being. The days of ditzy girls laughing at men’s jokes just to appease us are over (at least I hope they are); girls who derive a positive self-image only from the men in their lives are not attractive and often make men feel trapped due to their clinginess. Men want an equal counterpart in a girlfriend, someone who can stand on her own two feet and offer something to the relationship—or better yet, many men want a woman who we feel is in some way out of our league (the whole “unattainable girls are hotter” idea). If a guy thinks that you are better than he is, he will feel thankful that he somehow tricked you into believing that he was worth your time. When we think we have a girl who is better than we are (more outgoing, or happier, for example), we will want to learn everything about you, and try to figure out what makes you so great, what makes you tick, so that we can improve and be more like you—we’ll “chase you forever,” as the cliché goes, because we will always feel that we have never wholly attained you because you are your own person. So, if you’re not the most self-assured person in the world (and we all have our insecurities), just force a little confidence, remind yourself of your better qualities, and men will definitely take notice.
Men want a strong and confident woman…like Rosie.