How your relationships with women are influenced by your relationships with others … and what you can do about it.


The most common way we learn our dating habits is through modeling the behavior of others. It starts with modeling our parents when we are children, then through watching our friends, movies, etc …

When you hear someone say, “That guy is a natural,” what they really mean is he had some great modeling as a child. When you think back to your childhood, whom did you accidentally model ? Was your dad a smooth, confident guy ? Were you raised by a single mom who was overly religious and guarded ? Were you raised by parents who had a healthy, loving and caring relationship ? Were you raised by parents who fought all the time and were basically roommates ?

These models have a profound effect on you, and will continue to play out in your own life if you are not aware of them and you don’t change them. The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree with most people. If your dad was a wimp who got pushed around by your mom, you’ll likely find yourself in similar relationships. If your dad was overbearing and dominated women in an unhealthy way, you’ll likely find yourself dominating women in relationships.

We tend to be identical to one or a combination of our parents’ belief systems in regards to love and relationships. We must be careful about the lessons we internalize and hold as fact.

Modeling Family

Just because someone we love and look up to did something a certain way, that doesn’t make it the best or right way. Sadly, we learn these behaviors at such a young age that they are now autopilot responses. We do them automatically, and have a blind spot as to how they might be holding us back. These blind spots can rear their heads in multiple arenas depending on who you modeled.

If your dad married the wrong woman or was cheated on, he probably taught you to be impatient and bitter toward women in general. If your dad was a weak guy who was just happy to have ‘a’ wife, then you were probably taught to put women on a pedestal and accept any and all behavior to please her. If your dad was a distant father who cheated on your mom but was loving and charismatic to the rest of the family, you probably learned that deep meaningful relationships with women are unrealistic and you learned to stay distant and guarded. Maybe your dad cheated on your mom and you saw how hurt your mom was, so you went the polar opposite. You have vowed to never hurt a woman, and you’ve taken it so far that you feel guilty if you even tease a woman or shoot her straight.

Maybe you had a father whom you look up to as if he is a superhero, and he is amazing in most areas of life, but has a terrible relationship with your mother. But despite this, you follow his relationship / dating advice dogmatically because you can’t stand the idea of letting him down. You’ll follow his advice even at the risk of marrying the wrong women and having an unsatisfying relationship for years just so you don’t disappoint him. Then when you have a son, you do the same thing to him because that’s what you modeled and you don’t even know you are doing it to him.

Modeling Friends

I think picking a healthy peer group is one of the most important decisions of your life. We’ve all heard the saying, “You are the sum total of the 5 people you spend the most time with.” I couldn’t agree more. Just because someone is a good friend, a good person, great at business, or even great at attracting women, doesn’t mean you should model how he handles relationships. Some of the most charismatic friends I’ve ever had who could attract the hottest women and sleep with any girl they wanted were absolutely terrible at keeping an amazing woman or having a healthy relationship.

Some of those great tactics that cause deep levels of attraction can be taken too far, and can cause a toxic relationship where it’s nothing but fights and jealousy. The relationship becomes a constant power struggle where the primary tools of expressing love are jealousy, withdrawal, and unhealthy boundary function. It’s not about being connected and dating an equal, it’s about dominating a woman and making sure she knows who has the power. Well, if you are modelling this, you can expect to end up in the same relationship prison.

We often assume success in one area of life must mean success in all areas of life. I have mentors who are great at attracting beautiful women, but this in no way makes them qualified to be a mentor in relationship management unless I have seen them in a loving, healthy relationship. Be careful about modeling the behaviors, thought patterns, and actions of someone you consider successful.

Even worse is modeling the unhealthy friend who is jaded by women. These are the guys who are charismatic with guys and speak from such a place of authority it can be easy to get sucked into their reality and believe what they say and think. Often times these guys are extremely smart and interesting, but because they are either bad with women or were hurt by a woman, they spew their negative beliefs onto anyone who is willing to listen.

I was one of these guys for a while. I remember after one of my girlfriends dumped me there was about a year and a half where I hated women. I saw them all as trying to use men, as manipulative, fake, not loyal … I just genuinely despised them. I’d spew my hate about women to all my friends and look for any shred of evidence I could find to validate my dark world view. I’d joke negative about women, jump on any opportunity to help my friends find reasons to dump their girlfriends and was on a search and destroy mission to find, sleep with, and crush every women in the tri state area.

Because I’m a charismatic guy and I was still good enough to sleep with women despite being jaded, my friends couldn’t help but model my behavior. But what a horribly unhealthy model for my friends to follow. I still feel guilty about the things I accidentally taught the guys around me, and the damage I probably caused in their lives and relationships.

Model specific behaviors, overall character, and overall proactive thought patterns. Don’t necessarily model their lives.

Modeling Gurus

One of the biggest mistakes you can make is modeling the wrong dating coach. I did it … we all do this. Be very careful about this or you could find yourself running around a club wearing a top hat and 12 inch platform shoes. This industry is full of weird guys who hate women, have deep issues, are not as good with women as they say they are, over hype how good they are with women, and write tons of blog posts and articles that are half truths at best.

Be careful about accepting any dating advice as fact, and be leery of modeling the thoughts and opinions just because a guy says he’s a dating coach. Take the time to read numerous posts from that particular dating coach and try to read between the lines and figure out where he’s coming from. Does it sound like it’s coming from a good place … a healthy place ? Is it coming from a confident guy who is sharing what works, or is he constantly trying to prove himself to an unknown audience ? Does it sound like a guy trying to get validation from men by bragging? Is he writing to impress or teach ? Does what he says sound way to good to be true ? It probably is.

Another big problem I have with the community is that many of the guys who teach this are not qualified to teach, and those that are often write about and teach things that happen 1 out of 100 times instead of teaching about what happens 99 out of 100 times. A lot of guys give no context for the things they teach or the things they tell you to say. Things like “negging” have caused huge problems for guys all over the world. There are guys all over the world going up to girls and saying rude comments like, “You have shit in your teeth.” The idea of negging is fine if it is explained properly, but it’s not, so good guys end up getting blown out by girls and coming across really creepy.

Guys will over hype things like bathroom pulls and other things that sound exciting on paper. They don’t tell you that they do those rarely and the girl usually is average looking at best. They make it sound like they are going out and pulling super models in the bathroom every night. If you read this and try to model it, you will find yourself frustrated and might even feel bad about yourself wondering why you can’t get the same result.

Worse than anything, if you are modeling the mind sets of some of these guys, you are modeling a really unhealthy guy, and modeling 1/2 truths that aren’t even real. Some of the guys I’ve met through this don’t need to be giving advice to anyone, and could use a bump in the dosage of their psych meds. Make sure the guy you are modeling is healthy or you will ultimately pay the price.

Who should you model ?

Modeling the right dating coach or natural can be extremely helpful. Going to a boot camp and watching guys who are amazing with women is priceless. Hearing the mindsets and beliefs of guys who are fantastic with woman can really set a good course for your dating life, especially if you don’t have anyone who is good to model.

Make sure whoever you model is getting the results you want. If you meet a guy who is great with women, but all the girls he dates are damaged and unhealthy, you will be setting yourself up to attract the same kind of women. Model someone who is getting the results you want.

If you want a relationship, don’t model the guy who bangs 4 girls per week but hasn’t had a real relationship in his life. If you want 1,000 one night stands, don’t model the guy who is constantly in a long term relationship. That doesn’t mean you can’t steal a page out of each guy’s playbook, but you’ll want to put your main focus on modeling people who are getting the exact result you want.

Model behaviors and thoughts … don’t try to be that person. A lot of guys who were trying to model Mystery became weird carbon copies of him. I had a friend in college who tried really hard to do what I was doing and it got strange at times. He would use the exact jokes I would normally say and had pretty much copied the way I dressed, talked, joked, etc … it was not flattering to me. It annoyed me, it came off weird to our friends, and it creeped out the girls that knew him before he started doing that.

Also, don’t tell people you are modeling them. It creates a weird dynamic if you go out with a guy and you can tell he’s trying to be you. It’s ok to tell people you want them to mentor you, but you have to keep your identity and be your own person. Never try to become the person you are modeling.

Also, just because a guy is a good model to learn from, doesn’t mean he’s a good guy to continuously go out with. I’ve had friends who were drastically better than me in the past, but they were so good that I felt like the little tree that was surrounded by trees so big, I couldn’t get any light to grow. They got so much attention, that I would almost feel worse about myself when I would try to keep up. That’s ok. Spend some time going out with these guys, and spend some time going out with guys more on your level so you can grow as well. When you go out with these guys, use it as an opportunity to learn, not as a competition.

What if you are forced to be around bad models ?

You’re not forced to be around anyone. You choose who you spend your time with and can choose to go through the pain of clipping bad friends and finding new healthy social circles. I’ve done it 3 or 4 times in my life. It was hard, but it was well worth it in the long run.

I do have family members whom I love and do spend time with, but who are not the best models in certain areas. What I’ve done with these people is never give them a platform to taint my thoughts or accidentally corrupt me with the bad models they demonstrate. For example, if they have a terribly unhealthy relationship, I never discuss my relationships with them and will only discuss theirs if they are asking for advice. This means changing the subject, stop asking bad models for advice, stop letting them give you advice, and avoiding certain topics with them.

You have to guard your inner game like it’s Fort Knox. Don’t let unhealthy people pave the way for your thoughts. Surrounding yourself with healthy people will help you think and behave healthier.


I personally feel one of the keys to success with attracting women and having a healthy dating life is being able to model certain attributes from different people who are successful in specific areas.

Model the behavior and thoughts, not the man in most areas. There are those few anomalies who have the entire package. Mr. M and I call this kind of people guys who are going Supernova. They are blowing up and extremely successful, happy, and healthy and all the most important areas of life. I only know about 5 people like this and they are amazing people.

Healthy models are key, but at minimum, we must have the awareness to recognize a bad model so we don’t blindly follow the same path. Surrounding yourself with good models will allow you to pick up the positive attributes of who they are through osmosis. You can’t help but be affected by the people you spend the most time with.

Action Step

1. Develop a sense of awareness: Take inventory of how your parents’ beliefs about dating, love, sex, and attraction were transferred to you. Write down how your beliefs might be identical or opposite to either of them.

2. Reflect: Write down how this modeling has affected your dating life. Also write down how modeling certain friends’ beliefs have affected your dating life.

3. Hit Reset: Become aware that this way of moving through the world isn’t necessarily you, but simply what you’ve learned. You now have a choice to be different and pick new models that are proactive to the goals and dating life you want. Now find models that align with what you are looking for in the form of natural friends, dating coaches, DVDs, audios, or books.


I have been fortunate enough to have been able to present a lot of great material in the cliff’s list newsletters and now on the website that have made a significant difference in many guy’s lives.

Leave a Reply