Mark Manson: How to Attract a High-Value Woman

This article is an excerpt from the Shortform book guide to "Models" by Mark Manson . Shortform has the world's best summaries and analyses of books you should be reading.

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What’s the key to attracting high-value women? What do confident, fulfilled women find attractive in men?

We attract people who are similar to us. For example, if you’re a couch potato, you’re unlikely to draw the attention of a fitness nut. Even if you do get attracted to each other, you won’t have enough in common to sustain a relationship. Therefore, to attract high-value women, you must become a high-value man.

With this in mind, here’s how to attract a high-value woman, according to Mark Manson.

Become Physically Desirable

The first step in how to attract a high-value woman is to become physically desirable to the women you want. Start by focusing on your wardrobe: Wear coordinated clothes that fit you well, since these will make you look polished and presentable. These clothes should match your lifestyle; a city slicker in hiking boots looks ridiculous. Then, review your diet and gym routine. Exercising regularly and cutting out junk food from your diet will improve your looks quickly.

(Shortform note: In The Unplugged Alpha, Richard Cooper makes more specific recommendations regarding how to make yourself more physically desirable to women. Even clothes that match your lifestyle and each other won’t look good unless they’re fitted, so look for clothes that include some spandex and are labeled “fitted.” And when improving your fitness via diet and exercise, aim for a 1.62 ratio between your shoulder width and your hip width; this is the proportion that most women find attractive.) 

Manson suggests that changing how you carry yourself and how you speak will also improve your physical attractiveness. When you walk, you should straighten your back, keep your head up, and look people in the eye. When you speak, you should lower your voice, slow your speech, and raise your volume: People should be able to hear you easily. 

(Shortform note: Why does changing your posture and how you speak make you more attractive? It may be because both convey greater confidence. In 12 Rules for Life, Jordan Peterson suggests that changing your body language—such as by straightening your back and keeping your head up—signals to others that you’re higher-status, and so they’ll treat you accordingly. Similarly, other experts add that lowering your voice, slowing your speech, and raising your volume all convey greater confidence—partly because they imply greater authority.) 

Develop Your Own Interests

Second, you must develop your own interests. Manson emphasizes that attractive men have rich lives. Not only do they have varied hobbies, but they also know why they like what they like because they developed their tastes on their own instead of inheriting them from their friends. So expose yourself to various pursuits—and as you do so, think critically about why you like (or dislike) each one.

(Shortform note: In 168 Hours, Laura Vanderkam also recommends exposing yourself to various pursuits. However, she doesn’t recommend this in the context of attracting women—rather, Vanderkam recommends that you try many different things so that you can discover what you most enjoy and can thus fill your time pursuing whatever’s meaningful to you. Specifically, Vanderkam suggests that you create a list of 100 things to do before you die, and then that you start doing anything cheap and easy from the list. The more things you try, the more you’ll discover what you like and why you like it—and the better able you’ll be to spend time on things that matter to you.) 

When you’ve cultivated a rich life and various interests, think about the kind of woman you want and how to meet her. Manson recommends that you envision your ideal woman: What is she like, and where does she hang out? Then review your own interests: Which hobby of yours could you pursue in a way that helps you meet the women you want? For example, if you like to read and want a well-read woman, you could join a book club. 

(Shortform note: Manson assumes that your ideal woman shares your hobbies. But in How to Not Die Alone, Ury explains that sharing hobbies is not an important component of a successful long-term relationship—as long as you both allow each other to pursue your own interests independently. Rather, Ury recommends that you look for women who complement you. For example, if you’re an introvert, look for someone who’ll pull you out of your shell.) 

Once you’ve discovered how to pursue this hobby, start doing so and become a leader in that environment. Manson explains that, by nature, humans view you as higher-status if others also view you as high-status. However, this status is environment-dependent. For example, a famous Chinese celebrity might walk unknown through the streets of San Francisco—until he arrives in Chinatown, where people recognize him. So if you want the women you like to view you as high-status, you should take on a status-boosting position in the place where you meet them. Using our previous example, you wouldn’t just join the book club; you might become the guy who decides where the book club happens. 

(Shortform note: If you’re a heterosexual woman trying to attract men using Manson’s advice, taking on a leadership position to boost your status within your hobby may have mixed results depending on your physical appearance. Studies suggest that men’s interest in fairly attractive women decreases if those women are high-status. However, men’s interest in extremely attractive women increases if those women are high-status.) 

Mark Manson: How to Attract a High-Value Woman

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  • How a heterosexual man can attract a woman in the modern world
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  • Why you should stop fearing rejection

Darya Sinusoid

Darya’s love for reading started with fantasy novels (The LOTR trilogy is still her all-time-favorite). Growing up, however, she found herself transitioning to non-fiction, psychological, and self-help books. She has a degree in Psychology and a deep passion for the subject. She likes reading research-informed books that distill the workings of the human brain/mind/consciousness and thinking of ways to apply the insights to her own life. Some of her favorites include Thinking, Fast and Slow, How We Decide, and The Wisdom of the Enneagram.

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