Maslow's Hierarchy of "Where have all the good men gone"

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This is the modern representation of Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs.

The basic idea is that as you become comfortable that your Physiological needs are and will be satisfied you start looking to your Safety needs. Once you're comfortable that your safety needs are met you begin looking toward your Love/Belonging needs. And so on and So forth.

So when we go into a discussion about "what women want" what are the things that come up.

  1. Self-esteem
  2. Confidence
  3. Success (Achievement)
  4. Social Proof (respect of others)
  5. Social Grace (respect for others)

All of these things lie in the Esteem portion of the pyramid. But sexual intimacy lies in the Love/Belonging Portion. Establishing Love and Belonging, including sexual intimacy clears the stage to establish the elements of Esteem. Surely some esteem can be established without all of the elements of Love and Belonging, but it end up with two dynamics.

First, guys who've struggled to reach Esteem will focus on their sexual (romantic) intimacy as a prerequisite of developing esteem. They'll get stuck in a vicious cycle. Being unable to find love with a with a willing partner, they'll be told things like "you just need to be more confident", meanwhile they don't know how to "be more confident" because they're intimacy needs are continuing to go unmet.

Secondly, guys who have achieved esteem despite a lack of sexual (romantic) intimacy, have built their esteem on an incomplete foundation. The middle layer is unable to completely support that esteem. So they risk having their esteem eroded by romantic failures.

The expectation seems to be that you'll reach the pinnacle of the pyramid without the middle layer, then and only then will a woman deem you worth of intimacy. Sort of like needing credit to get credit. You need sexual intimacy and fulfillment to become self-actualized but you need to be self-actualized to be permitted access to sexual fulfillment.

Sometimes listening to all the posts here it sounds like women would turn down God himself because he dresses too old fashioned or they heard a story that he used to be vengeful. And that's not to start a religious argument, simply to point out the level of perfection people seem to be demanding.

In the meantime single women are wondering where all the good men have gone because they're looking for guys at the top of the pyramid when there's a metric ton of really good guys struggling in the middle of the pyramid.
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  1. mr_e's Avatar
    This is one of the ways that society being less hung up on sex would benefit everybody. Men would be able to get sex when they need it, which would go a long way toward dampening down their raging hormones. Plus they could gain some valuable experience in interacting with the opposite sex-- particularly if we, as a society, chose to emphasize more than just simply the sexual aspects of those encounters, but also emphasized the companionship, courtship (practice), and other practice in building interpersonal skills.
  2. Mifune's Avatar
    Not the posts here, but the posts women make on the internet. Missed that. I had written it for someone else but decided to put it here.
  3. malcolm's Avatar
    Good job in using Maslow's hierarchy to illustrate a point. We need to start being more succinct in making our arguments, and you've done it well.

    There was a middle aged lady's blog that was very popular a while ago on the spinstersphere called "the Plankton" in which the women grumbled about how men their own age were always chasing after younger women and how they felt that they had been left behind in the dating game. These women were a case study in bitterness and I'd pop by and comment every once in a while just to poke the hornets nest (I was never cruel but my comments annoyed them anyway). A frequent complaint was that when they approached men their own age their advances were rejected - which of course was proof of men's shallowness. When I suggested that perhaps the problem might have been their approach, that men prefer to be approached by confident women, and that the confident middle aged women were happily dating men the response was "how can we be confident when we continually get rejected by men?".
  4. StrongSilentType's Avatar
    What strikes me is that I've spent the vast majority of my life in the second tier, a brief period in the third, and twice, for a few months, I managed to reach the fourth, at which point the women that I was with decided to leave me, sending me hurtling back down to the second.

    Your point is well taken that women are all looking for men at the top of the pyramid; their problem is that, naturally, those men have their pick of whichever women they want, so the competition is fierce. A more rational approach would seem to be to find a guy in the middle and help him climb up to the top.

    This strikes me as an excellent thought to flesh out and present as an argument or suggestion to these women who are complaining; if you want that sort of man, without having to compete against more desirable women (by whatever standard), then you are going to have to put in some effort.
  5. Berne's Avatar
    The problem is you can't view this pyramid as static. That's not how life works. You can be hungry and not getting enough sleep, whilst still battling your way to the top in a job, being creative and not falling into immorality. All these things are closely intertwined and one can be missing whilst another is still getting actualized.

    "Secondly, guys who have achieved esteem despite a lack of sexual (romantic) intimacy, have built their esteem on an incomplete foundation. The middle layer is unable to completely support that esteem. So they risk having their esteem eroded by romantic failures."

    It's learning through trial and error. Every guy in a succesfull relationship has had his heart broken at some point in past relationships. It's about learning from the experience, even though biologically men are at a disadvantage compared to women when it comes to getting over a heartbreak. And they are more vulnarable as they tend not have people who will help him get over it.

    Thing is, as with anything in life, you first have to fuck up, before you can become a master at something.
    Updated 08-29-2015 at 04:20 PM by Berne
  6. Deidre's Avatar
    This is an excellent blog, Mifune. Very insightful. Something to add is that many women (myself included) attract men who are players, not very kind, abusive, etc ...and the good men wonder why they are left standing out in the cold, when they have so much more to offer them. These same women will often say ''why do I keep dating assholes?'' In my eyes, the truth of that is due to women's childhoods, and their relationships with their own dads. I've pushed away quite a few good guys in favor of bad ones, because it felt familiar to me. Many women do this, without realizing it even. After they've been hurt repeatedly, then they start making the connection between their fathers and the men they are 'choosing' to date. There are many good men out there, but some women simply can't 'see' them because they are still looking for the familiar, even if the familiar has proven over and over again to be rather unhealthy for them. So, there are other variables that no matter how good hearted a man may be, he will be ''overlooked.'' Just wanted to add that.
    Updated 08-28-2015 at 11:00 PM by Deidre
  7. NO MA'AM's Avatar
    Maslow's Paper, published in 1943, titled "A theory of Human Motivation" may be showing signs of age now.
    We are certainly a different people today and the differences in our culture with emphasis on education, employment, and even the way we are socialized as Men and Women under the climate of Feminism has all become a game changer.

    I applaud taking Maslow's Hierarchy to task in the context of "Where have all the good Men gone" as it may showcase how it has become corrupted.

    Men tend to follow these days a pattern of 1) 2) 4) 3) 5)
    (when Maslow says you can't skip any of these steps going up or coming down)

    Women seem to start at 3) go to 4) and expend considerable effort and frustration getting to 5) often
    resorting to explanations such as "glass ceiling", good ol Boy network, etc.

    Perhaps Crumbocks Blog may get others to thinking and asking should Maslow be called to question and re-evaluation. It may work in some cases but in this technological world is it as definitive as it once was in simpler times ?
  8. Maxx's Avatar
    Good stuff.

    The trouble with applying Maslow to current dating landscape in the western world is that it simply doesn't apply.

    For people in the developed world everything in the bottom base tier of the pyramid apart from 'sex' is a given. And thanks to feminist influence on our culture 'sex' comes with more add ons and baggage than ever. Add to that the fact that sex substitutes in the form of flesh lights and porn are increasingly and more widely available than ever.

    As you move up through the pyramid you realize that almost none of the additional things are provided to a man via marriage any more...Things like security...(being married puts his security at risk)...things like resources (being married halves those resources at the altar). Respect by others? In world where Peter Griffin and Homer Simpson are how the married man is represented and every boy still wants to be James Bond? Good luck with that too. Family? In a world where he only has a family for as long as the woman he created it with wants him to...

    So the truth is that marriage within today's framework takes from a man whatever he might have got so far and handicaps him in his efforts to advance up the pyramid to gain the things he doesn't.

    It's a bum deal all round.

    And that pretty much explains why more and more smart men are walking away from it. Either into playerdom or celibacy or non marriage focused relationships that retain the freedom and security that marriage requires him to surrender.
    Updated 09-02-2015 at 11:28 AM by Maxx