Shanann Watts was telling a happy story on Facebook Live months before her murder. It was a brief explanation into how she and her husband met. She recalled she’d been at a rough point in her life when he reached out to her online after mutual friends suggested they meet. Despite her blowing him off more than once, he kept pursuing. Eventually they began dating and the rest is history. Mere months after her video was posted, Shanann Watt’s husband of 8 years was charged with killing her and their two children. The same man she called “amazing” and referred to in the video as “the best thing to happen to her.”
It is one of the most common romantic tropes throughout history. A man finds a woman, (he usually doesn’t even know her at this point)…but anyway, he finds her “so desirable” that he pursues her despite initial objections. Until one day she realizes after he’s jumped hurdles that he had been the man of her dreams all along!
“Play hard to get”
“Don’t let them know you’re interested”
“Never make the first move if you like someone”
“Stop looking. Sit back and one day the right man will come along and sweep you off your feet”
No. He won’t.
This isn’t romantic, In fact, why would anyone but a predator find a woman giving off zero romantic energy attractive? Perhaps a few depressives, losers, and leaches can disregard a girl’s feelings and continue to push despite rejection. But a stable desirable “good catch” of a man wouldn’t waste time on someone who expresses disinterest, because hello! -A desirable guy is desirable! Meaning he has plenty of options and knows there are plenty of other women who’d be thrilled to go out with him (so why waste time on one who isnt?). An inability (or unwillingness) to read social cues is a flaw stemming from a lack of awareness and empathy. It is no virtue or sign of courage. There is nothing to be gained from telling women the crucial life altering decision of who she spends the rest of her life, should be left up to “Whoever happens to approach you.”
Does society really think it’s good to teach young women to just sit around and hope by sheer “luck” her dream man will not only find her but select her? The most likely outcome from such passivity is for a woman to either end up with no man at all or settling for the wrong one. Thanks to this promotion of female passivity, a woman is less likely to take initiative to select the man she wants – the one who sticks out from the herd because he possesses virtues she admires.
Failing to select men, coupled with being taught to never take initiative upon identifying a great guy, can only result in more women interacting with a disproportionate number of predators; the kind of guys who hit on every girl. These are men who view women as interchangeable, see them as a commodity, and will try all the same dried up lines until (for whatever reason) they find a girl it works on.
It’s common sense that is becoming increasingly uncommon. Many women have suffered through years of abuse. Others have lived their lives in loveless marriages, all because they weren’t taught to be an active participant in their own dating life.
Years of misery and trauma could be prevented by something as simple as a woman being willing to start a conversation with the guy from church she has a crush on. After all, if a woman is busy dating great guys or already in a relationship with her dream man, she won’t even be available for the wrong guy to hit on.
These simple truths can prevent women not only from falling prey to a predator, but also from the tragic yet all too common possibility of ending up with a life she wouldn’t have chosen.
Rule 1) NEVER date during a state of vulnerability. If you meet a man or get hit on by one during this time, remove yourself from the situation, and revisit the idea of dating once you are stable.
Whether it is a new move, a recent breakup, a family death, or a personal flaw you need to correct, it is imperative to deal with these issues prior to even thinking about dating. In Shanann’s case, she was dealing with a medical issue when her husband Chris made his move. This is not a coincidence. Predators can sense vulnerability, and they will go after a vulnerable target with everything they’ve got. Just from a personal standpoint, I dealt with two predatory men during my dating years prior to marrying my husband, thankfully neither for that long, but even a few months with these people is enough to cause damage.. Compared to normal men, their shocking lack of empathy and disregard for the damage they inflict on others make them stick out like a sore thumb. They remain unscathed while their exes (ie prey / victims) spend years in recovery and damage control mode. Is it a coincidence BOTH these men happened to BOTH pursue me during times of extreme stress or trauma?
The first man (who I was initially uninterested in) began to pursue me when I was living far away from family and friends. I didn’t know where I was moving next, I was in the middle of changing my career, facing homelessness from a housing shortage, my biological clock was ticking and almost no part of my life was stable. The other predatory man I dated began pursuing me shortly after 3 family deaths and not even a week after I ended an engagement! DO NOT date during this time. You will be blind to red flags, you are more likely to excuse and more open to manipulation. If not for you, then do it for the fact that if this guy is really is your “dream man” he deserves to meet you when you are strong and can give him the best version of yourself.
Rule 2) As women WE are to be the selectors. Do not date a man you wouldn’t have chosen yourself. Only date a man if – given the power to choose the ideal mate – you’d still choose him.
This is NOT suggesting a woman go up to a man and ask him on a date,. A woman should never be the primary one initiating calls, texts, dates. The pursuit is something inherent in men. However, being the selector is inherent in us. It is uniquely female.
If you like a guy in your church, college math, or art class, whether it be a smile or a compliment, do whatever it takes to very clearly let him know he won’t get rejected if he were to ask you out. Let’s say you are having a good conversation about art with someone you really like, you can very easily let him know you want him to ask you out by saying something such as: “That’s so cool you are into art too! We should hang out sometime, I’m dying to talk to someone about xyz art stuff, here’s my number!”
This isn’t saying a woman should be the one to set the actual date, ie (the one to set up a time/place/ specific day), she merely needs to let a guy know that if he ever wanted to take her out on a date, she’d agree were he to ask her on one. Once a guy is given affirmation he will definitely ask you out soon after this interaction, he’ll call with a specific time and day to go out. But the point is, when getting the exact guy you want is so simple, there is no reason for a woman to ever deal with, let alone date men SHE did not/ would not personally select. Most women aren’t going to be, and shouldn’t be the one leading the relationship. But a woman does have 100% say in what guys she gets into relationships with.
The women I see who are happily married, almost all tend to share a general commonality to their stories. That they expressed their interest to their spouse very early on in the dating process, and were very receptive.
3) You HAVE to have values. Do not even bother dating until you get them, because over time you will likely develop a worldview, deeply held beliefs, and a principle based perspective. If you start dating prior to realizing who you are, the values you develop later could end up being very incompatible with the person you are with and you’ll be screwed. Yes, you can just break up if you aren’t married, but you still will have wasted years of each other’s time. Also without values I don’t really see what you’d have to offer a man, beyond what anyone else could offer. This makes you very interchangeable within the context of a relationship.
Nothing a man says should be taken at face value (same goes for you). Upon realizing you’re very serious about something, a predator will say they are too. For example if you are very serious about your faith, he’ll suddenly mention he is a very devout christian. Really? Has he gone to church on Sunday for years? Did you meet him at a bible study that he was already going to before he knew you existed? Or is him being a “great christian guy” based only on things you’ve heard him say? Because if that’s the case, you’ll find out once he’s got you trapped it was all b.s.
Be on guard for chameleons. If unaware of what to look for, your average person, given the choice, is actually far more likely to go for a psycho than an actual good catch. Unlike a normal person, the psycho will agree with everything and appease at every turn. Whereas the “good guy” is being his genuine self, disagreements and flaws and all. Let’s say you are passionate about politics, if a guy has worked on campaigns for 10 years and has a history of running a “libertarian blog” then he’s obviously not lying, when upon realizing you are a libertarian, he mentions he is as well.
It can go both ways. If a woman is a predator and a leach, and she’s trying to trap an outdoors man who loves backpacking, she may pretend to LOVE backpacking. Despite there being no proof or history of such she’ll say things like: “I love hiking, no other joy like it! Backpacking is my favorite thing to do.” In comparison a genuine woman in his orbit will start to seem like a raw deal. A genuine person can’t compete with a girl who is actively pretending to have all his same passions to a T. Why mess with one who merely thinks his passion is fun, when another girl is claiming to love it as much as he does?
He will likely choose the well packaged train-wreck, and realize only later, once it is much too late that he would have been much better off had he chosen differently. Once the predatory woman has him trapped, he’ll find out she hates even going outside, and thinks backpacking sounds like torture. If you verify what someone says with past history, and believe only what you are shown, you can avoid these soulless life-suckers who believe and act however they need, to get what they want. If you are actively taking initiative with admirable men who share your values, you won’t be fooled or tempted when a phony comes along, pretending to be the real deal. A dirty glass of water is only appealing to someone dying of thirst in a desert.