What Incels Get Wrong About Chads (And Why That Matters)
Every lonely guy out there — when he’s not thinking about how frustrating it is to be alone — must, at some point, think about the guys who aren’t. We have all kinds of words to describe them: ladies’ man, lothario, ladykiller, Romeo, Don Juan. And, in recent years, online incel culture has given us a new one … the Chad.
What is a Chad?
It might be a little bit out of step with the other terms, giving off a bro-ey vibe rather than a smooth and seductive one, but the Chad isn’t much different in real-world terms. Basically, he’s a guy who has no trouble getting dates.
His physical prowess, stunning good looks, bountiful riches and overwhelming self-confidence mean he has a steady stream of willing, desirable sexual partners at his disposal. In short, when it comes to dating and hookup culture, he’s a king among men.
He’s also a bit of a fiction. Of course, if you lined up every guy in the world and ranked them from most to least successful at dating, there would be some wildly successful guys at the front of the line. But what percentage of guys has this essentially frictionless dating experience? What percentage of guys never gets rejected or dumped despite asking people out constantly? What percentage are handsome, muscular, rich, confident and successful all at once?
Realistically, it’s almost zero.
But if you’re having no success when it comes to dating, it’s easier to analyze the world using an easy us-versus-them dichotomy than it is to realize that, like so many things in life — mental health, gender, inherent goodness — dating success is a spectrum, not a binary. Sure, there are guys with tons of success and guys with none, but much more common is, well, everything in between. And when you realize dating success is more about shades of grey, not black and white, you might also realize that it’s easier to move from one shade of grey to another than to switch polarities entirely.
Every guy who looks like a stereotypical Chad from a distance was probably someone who struggled (at least a little bit) in the early going. It’s possible to be rich and shy or handsome and an asshole; you can be muscular and ugly, too, or confident and horrifically dweeby. You become good at dating not by divine right, but with practice and self-improvement.
Chad vs. Incel: Why It’s a Fake Binary
It might be hard to imagine this if you’re used to years of strikeouts, humiliation and loneliness, but the guys who have success getting dates and hookups and Tinder matches aren’t some faraway ideal no one else could ever hope to emulate.
What they are is guys who are comfortable with who they are, and with what dating is like.
When doling out dating advice, it can be cruel to imply that it’s somehow simple or easy to start having success in that arena. If the person on the receiving end of that advice has spent time struggling to make anything work, how easy or simple can it realistically be?
It might not be easy to get comfortable if you haven’t been comfortable. It’s like trying to find a job — all the jobs want someone with work experience, but if you don’t have any, how do you get some to begin with? While you’re out here languishing in single-ville, guys who’ve already been in a bunch of relationships are probably getting more thrown at them.
There are two schools of thought here. Of course, you can fake it until you make it. And sure, there is something to that — pushing yourself to act chill when asking someone out might not be the easiest thing ever, but if you can successfully convey some confidence, you’re probably more likely to get a yes than if your limbs are shaking.
The other option? You do some work until you’re in a place where you can’t help but feel comfortable.
Besides the evil Chads waiting to steal away anyone you might have a crush on, another big lie that incels tell themselves is that their celibacy is a permanent condition. The truth is, every person is in flux. We’re all in the midst of growing, changing, evolving. Yes, you might not notice a lot of changes from one day to another, but five years from now, you’ll be someone noticeably different.
So why not make your future self someone other people will be excited to date? This isn’t rocket science. You don’t need to be a millionaire, a bodybuilder or a stereotypical Adonis. Instead, you just need to be a good guy who’s comfortable in his own skin and has a handful of things going for him.
At a loss about where to start? Sketch out a plan for self-improvement. Bone up on fashion tips so you can start dressing better. Hit the gym and get in better shape. Get on your hustle and try to push your career forward a bit.
Perhaps most important, put some work into you. Meaning, try going to therapy. You might be one of those guys who thinks that kind of thing is just for weirdos, psychos and freaks; you might be one of those guys who thinks that kind of thing is for people going through something serious.
But even a handful of therapy sessions can prove incredibly helpful for just about any person. You can learn so much about yourself — who you are, why you do the things you do, what you fear and what you aspire to — and you’re likely to come out the other side feeling much more comfortable with who you are.
That kind of psychological calm is impossible to fake, and it’s something that’s incredible to date. Knowing the person on the other side of the table from you has a modicum of self-awareness and groundedness is a big turn-on.
Incels might be wrong about the specter of the looming Chad, but that’s easy enough to figure out. The more interesting thing they’re wrong about is that you can’t change — this idea that you’re doomed to stay as unattractive as you are currently for your whole life, trapped in lonely amber.
The ball is in your court. Are you going to start working on the person you want to be five years from now? Because once you start on that journey, you’ll be surprised at how quickly your dating luck changes.
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