Part 1: “Safe” guys vs. “Unsafe” guys


(OkCupid original post date: 4/12/12)

For reference – the safe/unsafe chart, which originated in Part 7:


Please, if you’re the type of guy who’s like, “All girls just want to date assholes. Nice guys always finish last. Girls are bitches,” then don’t read this. It’s not going to help. It might be helpful if you’re actually a nice guy and don’t just think you are one. Because actual nice guys don’t think like that.

“Be confident. Women are attracted to guys who have confidence.”

What does that actually mean? I keep hearing this and it’s not very specific or informative. Confidence. There are so many ways this can be interpreted. You could be an amazing guitar player, excellent at killing zombies online, have a PhD and numerous publications, or be the best damn cook you know. In these cases, you’re probably very confident at what you do. But these skills do not necessarily equate to being able to attract girls. Confidence in dating is something different, and there are certain traits that convey this confidence. I’ll try to explain…

I believe there are two types of guys, “safe” guys and “unsafe” guys. When I say “unsafe,” I don’t mean guys who are violent, psychopathic, or have unprotected sex. It’s a type of personality. I can usually tell within a few hours of meeting a guy, any random guy, if he’s “safe” or “unsafe”. Characteristics of “safe” – predictable, caring, very nice guys who you know will drop everything to be with you, eager to please, very sweet. The type of guy you’d want to have a family with – good father, dependable, doesn’t cheat, etc. The type of guy who often ends up in the friend zone. Don’t fret if you are one of these guys. In fact, I hope you ARE one of these guys. You’ll make a girl very happy one day. But how to find this girl? How do you get to the stage where a girl you’re interested in becomes interested in you? This is stage 1 of the relationship. You’re not going to be able to show the girl how awesome you are if she doesn’t give you a chance. I’ll talk more about this later.

Let’s move on to characteristics of “unsafe”. I’m going to summarize it as an “I don’t give a fuck” attitude. It’s about being your own person. Not being needy, being independent, being self-assured, making your own decisions, and not caring so much about what other people think about you. Someone who doesn’t need a lot of validation from others. All that is what I think “confidence” really means. Are you the type of person who tells a joke, then looks around to see if anyone laughs? That’s needing validation. Not giving a fuck is telling a joke and being chill about it if no one laughs.

A lot of guys who fall into the “unsafe” category are emotionally unavailable. They can be selfish, don’t want to give as much as they take, and may treat girls poorly. Yet they seem to have an easier time attracting them. I think what many girls really want is both. They want a combination of safe and unsafe. They WANT to be attracted to these nice guys who they know will treat them like a queen, but they just aren’t. Attraction can’t be forced, and I’m not talking about how you look. It’s that confidence/unsafe shit. If they don’t feel it, they don’t feel it. So maybe having “unsafe” characteristics will get the attraction started, and having “safe” characteristics will keep the relationship going. Guys, don’t be a dick. I’m pretty sure I’m not conveying this very well right now, but do not treat women poorly. Borrowing/displaying “unsafe” characteristics (being your own person, not being needy, being independent, being self-assured, making your own decisions, and not caring so much about what other people think about you) without being a true asshole is what will get you the girl.

Here’s an example of what I’m trying to say. Sometimes a guy doesn’t even need to talk to convey whether they are “safe” or “unsafe”. A few years ago, I was at this concert. The band was kind of famous in the 90s with the college crowd. While the lead singer was jumping around, engaging with the audience, I could not take my eyes off the lead guitarist the entire time. He’s totally not my type at all, but he really had the “I don’t give a fuck” thing going on. While the lead singer was bouncing around, this guy was just mellowing out, playing his guitar like there was no one else there watching. Very understated and nonchalant. Didn’t need validation. At the end of the day, the better looking lead singer with all the charm and charisma probably has a higher probability of having sex with the groupies (if he’s into that). But the understated guy is probably getting laid too, without doing much at all. I don’t know how easy it is to be charming and funny like the hot lead singer, but being like the understated guitarist is very doable and can be “learned”.

I don’t have time to write much more now, and give specific examples, but I wanted to add this. There’s this erotic fiction book I’m reading right now, called “50 Shades of Grey”, and it’s been dubbed “mommy porn” by the media. It’s selling really well, especially for a dirty novel. I read a lot of reviews about this book and thought I wouldn’t like it much, but decided to read the first few chapters free on Amazon, got sucked in, then bought it. It’s not the best piece of writing, but it’s better than I thought it would be, and I can totally see why women are eating it up. The main male character is a good example of “safe” and “unsafe”. He’s a controlling asshole a lot of the time, but he really cares about the girl and he’s not scared to show it. There are a lot of other characters in the book who have an interest in the main female character too, but they are too “safe” and she is not reciprocating the interest. If you want some examples of “safe” and “unsafe” read some of the book.

Edit: I never finished 50 Shades. Apparently the books goes into a potentially abusive direction later on? I don’t know. But please don’t be abusive towards anyone.

11 Responses to “Part 1: “Safe” guys vs. “Unsafe” guys”

  • kirikkomori Says:

    A person of your intelligence should be able to write more succinctly.

  • Dating for Nice Guys Series » Shakedown Lab Says:

    […] Part I: “Safe” Guys vs. “Unsafe” Guys […]

  • kruk Says:

    kirikkomori ur quite a twat

  • EmptyBox Says:

    I think you might have cause and effect mixed up. You argue that

    safe => less attractive
    unsafe => more attractive.

    But I think it’s

    more dominant/masculine/attractive => doesn’t give a fuck/unsafe

    less dominant/less attractive => too eager to please/safe.

  • Bastoche Says:

    311, right? The band was 311.

  • Zach Says:

    Awesome, good stuff.

    This basically sums it up. Nice guys are boring, safe, not stimulating, predictable, not fun, probably aren’t going to be great in bed.

    The attractive guys are more dominant, aggressive, go-getters, exciting, cool guys who don’t need from anyone else cause they’re secure in themselves, fun etc.

    I deal with a lot of this stuff with coaching guys and on my website at

    It’s an interesting paradigm, and there’s a lot to be said about it if a guy’s trying to become better with women. The basics are all that’s needed though. Give yourself what you want out of life through your own actions, and you won’t need from anyone else because you have what you want.

    Therefore you’re not needy and more attractive to women.

  • Lawrence Says:

    Is that counter to the idea (with a lot of scientific studies showing evidence of) that humans are inherently co-operative? That to get anything out of life, you will need others? The very fact that you can only buy something from a shop, if someone decides to open a shop? Don’t be fooled by your own blindness, if you truly relied on yourself to get what you want out of life, you would be living in the woods, off the land (don’t hate because I’m right). I think the true first step is to accept the FACT that you will not be able to attract EVERYONE!! Everyone you find attractive, will not find you attractive. It sucks, I know, and biology could have done a much better job by having you be attracted only to those who are attracted to you, but its not perfect, and like people, fucks up most of the time. When you chat with your mum, or your dad, or your close friends, no one is needy. But it is difficult to emulate this state when your biology is trying to fuck you up, by shutting down higher brain function (FACT: when talking to someone you are physically attracted to, your body goes into fight or flight mode. This shuts down higher brain function as this would slow you down in evaluating danger). Breathing is good way to counter this: your breathing becomes erratic, heightening the fight/flight response. To combat this, instigate regular, rhythmic breathing. Our need for acceptance can make us invisible in this world – Jim Carrey(paraphrased); so in light of this, your need for acceptance is what creates neediness. Free yourself from this need, and learn what life should really feel like. “If I say something stupid I will fail” Those that mind don’t matter and those that matter don’t mind – Dr Seuss. You have to free yourself from your hyperbolised idea of what it would mean to you to get this girl. You have overblown it to epic proportions and made it part of the value you place on yourself. If you do not get her, you are less than the man who could. I know I feel it too. But its bullshit. Its just an idea you invented, which your buddies stupidly exaggerate when they bullshit about conquests. “How come he can get the girl and he’s an asshole. What about me, I’m nice why can’t I get them?”. Stop being nice. What I mean by this is that society and stupid women (not the smart ones mind you) have conspired to present an idea of men which is small-minded and monolithic (which makes it inherently misandry in its nature: not a word used often enough in my opinion). This has put men into a state of unsureness which has eaten away at our confidence. The idea is that men are all evil and chauvinistic if they express any thing close to the idea that they like how a woman looks. This is oppressive and completely leaves out the part that we like how women look, talk, think and act. But a simplistic narrative has taken over the show. Feminists will tell you all about the male gaze while secretly desiring it, but that is human nature, we are all hypocrites. Anyways, what I am trying to say is stop being afraid of finding women attractive, and don’t be afraid to tell them you do. If they activate the Chastise Men offensive, tell them to stop being so childish. Its natural in fact its biological. They only do this because T.V and stupid pop songs have brainwashed them into idiocy, much like men who think that being the ALPHA is the goal. Some dude trying to drink and act tough, compared to a guy who does not crave the acceptance that the “ALPHA” secretly craves, will shine ahead. Especially when the ALPHA cannot dominate him (trust me, as soon as you are seen as the dude who does not crave acceptance, the ALPHA will be intimidated by you and will try lots of things to make you intimidated in the face of women to get his status back. But be cool and fearless. It helps if you know you could cripple him with three moves that you learned in MMA or marital arts class.) Do not be afraid to make it known that you find her attractive. Most people miss the signs of flirting. There is no consistent way that people flirt. Think on this. 33% of flirting behaviour is missed by men and women only catch 28%. This means that people who think they are flirting, will only be perceived as flirting 28 – 33% of the time. Most of the time they are just being seen as behaving normally. What does this tell you? When we think we are being flirty, we really aren’t and are being too subtle. You don’t need to go overboard, just a few choice compliments and an actual protestation of like for the other person will do, just enough to know that you desire them. If do not find you attractive, they will not respond. Don’t waste your time trying to convince them that they should be, just bow out gracefully, don’t take it personally, and move on. 7 billion people on the planet, half of which are female. If you met a person a second it would take you 30……years to meet just 1 billion. There are more people on the planet than your life expectancy, in those terms. Don’t waste time on someone not interested in you, there are too many people out there who will be.

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