It’s that season, to let someone you didn’t even like at first, waste your time for no reason…If I allowed you all to peek into some of the emails I get around the turn of the year, you would see things like, “He’snot my type but…” “He’s married but…”“He used to talk to my former best friend but…” “I’m not physically attracted to him but…” even, “I’m not a lesbian but…” Each of these stories have one thing in common, they show women making exceptions in terms of who they date because it’s the winter time aka SETTLE SEASON.

It was once written that from the day after Halloween to the day after Valentine’s Day, a man has his best chance to convince a woman to take a chance on him. Think about that from the POV of a Top Shelf Woman. You’re single, the parties are drying up, it’s becoming too cold to go to the club, and holiday fever begins to pelt your brain with this idea that you need someone to share these special times with. Thanksgiving brings the interrogation by family members about who you’re talking to or why haven’t you found that “right boy” yet. Christmas is a month-long build around who’s going to buy you something, take you somewhere, or be there to cuddle up and watch Love Actually with you. New Years is a celebration of the future, a proclamation this coming year will be better than next, but it’s hard to keep a hopeful spirit when you’re ringing in the new year alone as fuck, watching people on TV or at a party kiss as the ball drops. From there, it’s a blitz towards V-Day where our culture makes it clear that if you don’t have someone by the 14th of February then there must be something wrong with YOU. It’s all manufactured sadness, but that doesn’t make the emotions you feel any less real. The truth is you’re tired of being alone…

The solution for most women isn’t to Spartan up and go find the kind of man they want, it’s to be more receptive to hearing offers from damn near anyone that approaches her in public, slides in her DMs, or tries to get a friend of a friend to set him up. From work or school guys, to ex-boyfriends (yours or your former friends), and internet strangers, the winter isn’t as lonely as it seems because you will get pressured from all walks of life. The catch is 4 out of 5 of these men will be considered “not my type” based on looks, personality, or overall energy. Still, it’s cold, you’re not as busy as the summer or fall, and those jewelry commercials are making you long for someone to spoil you. What follows is you give your attention to one of these guys, he takes the ball and runs with it to the point where you kind of like him, and the next thing you know you’re either boo’d up or getting dicked down by the type of guy who you feel embarrassed by or suspect is using you.

One of my oldest readers reached out to let me know she was finally listening to the audio version of MDLWLY. People don’t just message me to tell me that, something was off. The real reason she returned to that book was that she was confused. She started to entertain a man who was suspect because it’s cold on the East Coast and she was bored. This guy was on his best behavior, got the sex, then started acting weird. She KNEW what was going to happen. She’s smart, very pretty, and well read in terms of all that I write, but she still got caught slipping because, say it with me- it’s settle season, and that’s what far too many great women do—settle for something warm and hard. Today I’m going to talk to those of you experiencing this or who will soon experience it before the season changes.

Warning 1 – Boredom Upgrades

Lust causes temporary insanity. It makes a committed man risk it all when alone in a room with a tempting woman. It makes an educated woman go dumb over a fuck boy when he’s spraying the right compliments in her ear. It makes everyone reading this, go against their own common sense, and end up right back here going through my archives for advice. Human beings are impulsive to the point where we get tunnel vision and convince ourselves that we should have what we want in the moment with no regard to the next day. One reason you should avoid committing during settle season is that you’re not thinking properly. Your brain will make an excuse at every red flag, which will then cause several signs of toxic behavior to be missed on the road to catching feelings and/or having sex too fast.

He’s not that funny, you’re just bored. He’s not that handsome, you just don’t have anyone else flattering you and showering attention. His dick isn’t that bomb, you’re just insanely horny. That Ex is not a changed man, he’s just wearing a tighter mask to hide the fact that he’s the same piece of shit you used to know. The guy at work is not really into you, he just sees that you’re being more receptive than normal so he shoots his shot. That corny guy with money is not a sucker who’s going to trick and spoil you, he’s just a treat who’s going to spend enough to create the illusion until those legs spread. Always give yourself a cooling off point to analyze why you want a person. Lusting after attention, sex, money, or general companionship blinds your common sense, and by the time you realize it the damage will already be done. “What was I thinking dealing with him,”you weren’t thinking, and that’s the problem.

Ladies, I know the game. I’ve run the game. I have buddies who are currently knee deep in this game and winning. Stop saying, “But what if”as you look to make him the exception and instead pump your breaks. If this guy is a stranger that’s worth your time, an ex that seems remorseful, or any viable option, what’s wrong with being patient? Stop rushing to let him come over because it’s cold and you don’t want to date properly. Stop texting him every day because life is slow, and you need entertainment. Stop being lazy and sloppy! Check your hormones and learn to masturbate before you allow the long days to make you easier to fuck than usual. If he wants you and if you want him,cool, but this time should be used to build not already hook up on an accelerated schedule, so you can live out some Zale’s commercial fantasy.

Warning 2 – The Options Test

Someone made a joke that Lira Mercer and Kaylar Will didn’t have any standards because they let some ugly rich dude bust them down raw. I shook my head at that level of judgement because the same woman tweeting that joke once slid in my DMs crying about an ugly broke dude who hit it and ghosted her. Pot calling Kettle, do you copy?

The fact of the matter is most of you reading this date down because the type of men you want don’t come your way… and if they do, you’re too shy to talk or flirt with them. ‘Tis the season to let all kinds of men who you wouldn’t talk to in the summer infiltrate your mind, heart, and vagina. A woman with a lack of options transforms into a woman with lowered standards because the lack of success rattles her confidence to the point where she damn near anyone in. So how do you keep yourself honest so that the standards in your head match those in real life? I want each woman who gets approached over the next few months to run a test on themselves.

Step 1) Does this guy meet your minimum standards of looks,career, ambition, and respect for women?

Step 2) If you were alone at a bar, is he the type of guy you would blindly start talking to or engage with if he spoke first?

Step 3) If you had another guy on your roster, would you still be giving this guy your time?

The fact of the matter is women don’t date multiple men,they date one at a time, allowing that ONE man to monopolize her time and steal her heart. The irony is that women are very picky on the surface. Most can look at a guy on a Reality Show and judge how unattractive he is. Yet, in real life they give their numbers out to guys who don’t look as good as the guy who they deem ugly on TV. My friend in Atlanta had a list that she would use when texting men before she allowed them on a date, but she only used it once and went back to dating whoever asked nicely take her out. I point these things out because each of those steps above you think you can do… but when push comes to shove it takes energy to date with standards, and a lot of you don’t want to put energy into your love life, you just want Magic Mike to drop in your lap.

Why do men who aren’t that attractive approach you? It’s not because you’re ugly. Why do players approach you? It’s not because they think you’re dumb. Men take calculated risks, no matter if he’s ugly, fat, broke, has a girlfriend already, or is misogynistic, he’s banking on catching you at the right time when your self-esteem is low. Most of these men won’t meet your standards, but you will give them a shot because you don’t have anyone else. Most of these guys aren’t the type you would approach or even chit chat with if you were in the same line at Starbucks because they don’t have the swag you desire. Finally, most of these guys wouldn’t even get a text back if you had another man trying to win you over. Nevertheless, he sneaks into your life, he wins you over, and he proves that you aren’t as picky as you are in your head. I don’t give a fuck how lonely you get, how bad you want a Christmas present, or not to be alone on NYE, if the guy chasing you doesn’t past the Options Test from above, then you shouldn’t be talking to him.

Warning 3 – Catching Feelings

I get it, you’re a grown ass woman who can date, fuck, or simply kill time with whoever she wants to, and you don’t see the crime in that. I know that personality type well, but I also know how those strong and stubborn women ultimately end up when they play with a fire called “emotional bonding”. While there are those who can have casual sex, smoke and watch Netflix, or simply partner up with a guy to cuddle and make out with for a few months, it’s rare. We as men are possessive and competitive. Think about how men act like we DON’T want anything serious, only to amp up our behavior and treat you like it is serious? It’s confusing right?Men aren’t bi-polar, they’re just full of shit. Show an egotistical or narcissistic guy a woman who just wants to chill, and I’ll show you a man that keeps upping his game until she’s more like his wife than his Ozark cuddle buddy. He doesn’t want you for real, he just wants to prove to himself that he has the power to win you over, despite whatever “I’m not looking for a relationship” excuse you gave at the start.

You hear what I’m saying but you’re not the type to get caught up. Yeah, okay… One of the main reasons you shouldn’t commit or give too much of your energy during settle season is that feelings aren’t like faucets. Every woman has an emotional trigger. A guy who doesn’t want anything can be a turn on that makes certain ladies chase. A guy who opens up about his life and even sheds tears can win over a woman who used to think all men were cold and detached. A guy who speaks your love language and shows you the level of attention you’ve always wanted will be a shock to your system that has you falling in love (and on his dick) without warning. I don’t care how hard you are or how emotionless you pretend to be, if you spend enough time with someone that responds to your personality in a positive way, puts a smile on your face, and touches your heart, you will catch serious feelings even in a casual situationship. Don’t be one of these women that think they’re in control, only to realize that some guy she never took seriously has her in her feelings.

Waring 4 – Catching The Holy Ghost(ed)

Ghosting before Christmas, Ghosting at the top of the new year, Ghosting before V-Day plans get solidified. I’ve seen it all over the years and it’s usually those women who said they wouldn’t catch feelings that are left looking like idiots.

Spartan Lesson 36: Men will win you over just to prove they could win you over, feel satisfied with their conquest, then leave you without warning to go chase someone new.

Are you a Spartan or are you a Basica? Basicas don’t see this hustle coming because they’re filled with lust, are thirsty for winter company, or are too high on their own ego to recognize that even a man that isn’t handsome, isn’t rich, and isn’t very smart can still play you. “He didn’t use me, I used him.” If that were true you wouldn’t be stalking his IG, searching for pictures of his new girl, and venting about the situation to everyone who will listen.

If you only wanted to use a guy as a winter-time boy toy then you should have fucked him twice and blocked his number. You kept fucking him, you kept bonding with him, you kept allowing that little Disney Princess mentality that you have yet to banish from your mind gas you up into thinking this guy you barely wanted may be what you needed. Of course, it hurt like hell when he ghosts you because your ego blinded you to the fact that you’re not as irreplaceable as you tell the internet you are. Every woman can get played if she opens herself up to manipulation. Over-stand that before you blindly hook up with someone you don’t think is a threat to your heart.

Bonus – Men Settle Too

There are just as many insecure men as there are women. It may seem like females struggle with love the most, but males, especially those under 30, are so scared of rejection that during settle season they go for what they consider low hanging fruit. The woman at his job that’s not as pretty as the other ladies– and knows it. The voluptuous woman who thinks she’s too fat to find love. The young chick who’s naive and inexperienced– but legal enough that it doesn’t seem creepy for him to holler. These are just a few of the types guys with low self-esteem chase after, sweep off their feet, then realize that something isn’t right. If you want to understand the mind of men, look no further than how hot he runs when in the grip of passion, then after it wears off he’s distant and mumbling shit like, “I need to figure myself out first… Um, shouldn’t you have figured that out before you stuck your dick in her and told her you loved her, playboy?

I write a lot about male confidence building in my book She Ain’t It, because it’s a waste of time to go after those you feel are flawed in order to get the level of love you want from your ideal woman. It’s not that these men are bad guys or even plan this out consciously, it’s often a knee jerk reaction that has them flirting with someone against type, and because he’s just as lonely and as just as horny as the woman he’s pursing is, and it goes too far. Of course this leaves those women asking, “Why did you even chase me if you didn’t want me.” To which that confused man is left shrugging his shoulders. Ladies, these men are emotionally stupid. Hopefully by hurting your feelings he will learn to mature, but in the meantime you have to look out for yourself. If someone is suddenly showing you more attention than normal or being extra, ask yourself what his agenda is before gobbling it up.

Warning 5 – Getting Stuck

The final reason to stay single during Settle Season is simple. Your options will improve along with the temperature. Think about how happy people are in summer, energy radiates, that positive vibe you feel projects outward. If you want to talk about the Law of Attraction, then why wouldn’t you attract more during a season where you feel the best? Men will come out of nowhere trying to talk to you, you’ll be bold enough to flirt with guys randomly, you may even bump into an old crush who finally takes notice. All these romantic gifts will keep rolling in, but you can’t do shit about it because you chose to settle down with a guy that wasn’t your type. One by one guys who you would take down in an instant pop into your life and you must force yourself to stay positive about a winter time“something to do” project who you ignorantly chained yourself to.

I talk a lot about toxic men, but there are just as many, if not more, guys who are total sweethearts and who won’t play you, ghost you, or manipulate you in any way. As you know, being nice and sweet doesn’t make him right for you. One email I received years ago was from a woman who cheated on her “nice guy” because he wasn’t exciting. In her story she wrote that they met when she went out Thanksgiving night, she only gave him her number because she hadn’t been on a date in six months, and they ended up official because he did treat her special during that first 3-month honeymoon stage. Her GUT INSTINCT told her he wasn’t it, but she pushed it down and kept going as if this “nice guy” was a messenger from god. Here she was by May, bent over another man’s couch, unsure how to breakup with a boyfriend she no longer wanted. Cold World.

Ladies, I know you want to live the prototypical winter love story and have someone you can bundle up with when there’s little to do and every commercial is about being in love. Fuck that noise. You’re going to make a bad decision because you can’t see the forest through the trees! Your social life will pick up again, you’ll be able to go out and look cute in your spring outfits or rock that new hairstyle minus a hat or coat, and there will be various men who are drawn to you once you are in a better mood. To short change yourself for temporary relief is a crime against your own future!

This isn’t to say, “don’t date at all”. This is a warning to always date, but to do so at the highest level regardless of the season. What do I write about in all my books and throughout the archives of this site—Date smart, date fearless, and date like you’re the prize because you are. Let go of that basic mindset that you’re not going to find anyone new, that one option is better than no option, or that you’re not good enough to attract what you really need. Have faith in yourself, Queen.

Take numbers, be open minded, stay aggressive, and go on dates, but never let a lack of instant success force you to give up a roster spot if you’re not truly blown away. It doesn’t matter what month it is, what situation you’re recovering from, or how low or high you’re feeling about your dating life, your self-worth must remain untouchable. Walmart has 50% off holiday sales, not Gucci. You’re a luxury brand, act like it.

Give Yourself The Gift of Self Confidence and control

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