Monday, January 24, 2011

All the Single Ladies - The 4MP

My good friend found this amazing book/article called “The Four Man Plan: A Romantic Science” 2nd Edition, 2010, by Cindy Lu (no joke). Originally it was written for more....secular single ladies. So Becca sat down and modified it, somewhat, to fit the standards of LDS single women.

If you can figure out how to apply this to your dating life, I think it will change it for the better. I haven't gotten started yet, but I think I just found my newest goal for 2011.

The 4MP (Censored Edition)
4(m)P= u + 1

Four times men, to the power of the Plan, becomes you plus another.

Four times men, to the power of the Plan = The Rebirth of Chivalry
Do you ever wonder why there are so many boys and so few men out there? It’s because something really yucky is being propagated in our current culture. We seem to be accepting the notion that being slutty is cool. The evidence of this is the large number of girls willing to [expose their skin] and pretend to be lesbians for a ...dram of nameless attention.

Some women have also been misled to believe that the path to love and success is paved with the broken spirits of other women because there just aren’t enough good men to go around. What we don’t recognize is that every man can become a good man.

You may find this hard to believe, but given the right opportunities and environment, chivalry comes naturally to men. Activating the competitive instinct during the pursuit of love simultaneously activates their desire to be chivalrous. Chivalry has been waning steadily in our culture, because when women compete with each other and start doling out [NCMOs] like hand shakes, it gives men very little to strive for. The Four Man Plan is the Petrie Dish of Gallantry.

There is only so much they can learn from Mommy. We all know that guy who is a sweetheart to his mother and a cad to the women he dates. It is up to us, their partner-potential females, to show them the natural way to treat all women, which is with deep respect for the gorgeous, enigmatic, beguiling creatures that we were designed to be.

If women decide as a gender that we deserve to be treated with honor and respect, then men will react accordingly and rise up as a gender to meet our requirements.

We can create the hybrid Steinem/Guinevere generation, where we retain every bit of our equality and social progress while reasserting our right to be treated like princesses. Let’s make them earn it, girls.

P = u
The Power of the Plan Becomes You
There are two translations for this statement:

1. The Four Man Plan is designed to help you become more yourself. One of the fundamentals you learn while you are dating multiple men is that it’s not all about them. The Plan is about you, your ability to love yourself and be treated well.
2. The Four Man Plan looks great on a woman.

u + 1
You and Another
U + 1 means the most fabulous you, plus ONE WORTHY MAN is your true partner, best friend, and smokin’ lover.

Let me state for the record that there is nothing wrong with being single. Sometimes it’s exactly where you need to be. Without my outrageously fun, uninhibited, and enlightening singlehood, I would not be the amazingly cool chick I am today. But there comes a time in your life when your name gets put on a guest list as You Plus One; you just want to know for certain who the frig that person is, all the time.

Having a clear goal line, you plus one, can keep you going when The Plan gets tough. It is designed to prepare you for love and invite a man of quality into your life. But a good thing to keep in mind is that no one man is responsible for your happiness. That is a solo project. The happier you are with yourself, the better the partner you will be adding to your life.

The Five Postulates
The following five postulates are the starting point for the system that is The 4MP, and in order for it to work they must be embraced as true by each individual 4MPlanner. You might not fully agree with them or have any personal connection with them. You might even get mad at them. But that doesn’t really matter. Just like in ninth-grade geometry class, your duty as a 4MPlanner is to commit these postulates to memory and repeat them to yourself when doing The Plan gets difficult and makes you want to stick a protractor in your eye.

The Distribution of Love
Postulate #1: Assume that you are in the majority.
*Love at first sight doesn’t work for 90% of us. So instead of sitting around waiting for love at first sight to club you over the head, let yourself get a little perked up when you meet someone you don’t like right away. Now, that guy has mathematical potential!

The Disney Theorem
Postulate #2: When it comes to competing for love there is a big difference between boys and girls.
A. When men compete for a woman it brings out the best in them: their innate chivalry, their good sportsmanship, their hibernating romantic. And as an added bonus, they grow into gentlemen whether they win the woman or not.

Example: Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
Those little guys all loved her, doted on her, and remained friends even after she went off with that tall dude.

Example: The Bachelorette
Those guys are suddenly writing love poems, and if they come in second, they become the best man at the wedding.

B. When women compete for a man, let’s face it, ladies, it brings out the worst in us: We attack each other, we deny our true selves and generally feel like crap about it. Next
thing you know, people are getting witchslapped and private emails are being read, and we turn into suspicious, shrill, scared harpies. Whether we win the guy or not.

Example: Cinderella
Those stepsisters were just plain mean, locking poor Cinderella in the basement and trying to shove their boats in her tiny shoes. And as a result, they are not likely to be invited to the castle on holidays.

Example: The Bachelor
Competing girls sneak into the Bachelor’s bedroom half naked to hock their wares and bad-mouth other girls.

But lately, by competing woman vs. woman for the same man, we keep lowering the bar for men. We plan the dates, we pick them up from their mom’s house, we shorten our skirts and shrink-wrap our [tops] so they don’t have to bother imagining what our naked bodies look like. We pay for the date and then we put out [by making out] just so we can prove that we’re a better bargain than that other girl. Men have to do less and less as women try to underbid one another.
Let’s stop the madness. It is completely unnatural and women, as a gender, are suffering.

The Wait for [Making Out] Index
Postulate #3: For the life of the relationship, men are only as nice to you as they need to be to get you in bed [or on the couch, or...] the first time.
Consciously or unconsciously, [making out] is the goal line for [LDS] men. If you don’t know how to put up some professional resistance, then you’re really no fun to play with. A man will [make out] with just about anybody, but he will fall in love with the woman who makes him feel like he’s playing in the NFL.

Know this: A man will almost always take whatever a woman offers. … So when a woman is too easy, or even just falls for his persistent advances, here’s what happens: … he judges you. Even if he initiated the whole [darn] thing! EVEN IF HE BEGGED! YEP. Now in his mind, he thinks you were an easy [NCMO], you become one of those girls, and he’ll always see you that way. Totally messed up, right?
The more time you spend with a man without [making out], the more you will intrigue him, the greater potential he will see in you, and the more he will do to get himself into the end zone. If he loses interest BEFORE you’ve [made out] with him, you’ll still be better off than if he dumps you AFTER you’ve [made out] with him. Because if that is the case, then he was only interested in [making out] and by not [NCMOing] with him, you have successfully weeded him out without getting your hopes up and your feelings trampled.

The Rule of Chuck
Postulate #4: A good guy will break up with you if he finds out you are [handing out kisses like pretzels].
And when it comes to the real thing, guys are very into purity, whether they admit it or not. If they are going to take the relationship seriously, they don’t need to be the first guy you’ve [kissed], but they definitely want to be the last guy you’ve [kissed]. With no one else in between. Otherwise, you’ve got…Cooties, which to them is incurable and makes you [NCMO] material, but not wifey material.

You Suck at Love
Postulate #5: Everything else you have tried to find health and balance in the area of love has not worked.
This postulate is something that you must own.
It just means that something in you is malfunctioning either when you are choosing men or trying to get closer to men or just trying to get out there at all.
So, no matter what you think your parents did or didn’t do, or what that one guy did to you, at some point, the easiest way to get over it is to become completely responsible for your own love life. Do not repeat your mistakes, but also do not let them hold you back.

Data Collection
While on The Plan, you are not allowed to reject men for any of your deal-breaker qualities unless they are also outlined in The Breakup Ladder on page 131. So eat some tofu for strength and dust off your flats—the man of your dreams may be stuck in an invisible box.
Honest, loving, and willing are the three qualities that trump all others when you are seeking out your Plan Men.

Honest = Reliable Data
He is where he says he is. He is who he says he is. He shares the truth.

Loving = Positive Experiences
He holds your hand. He listens to you. He supports you in your specialness.

Willing = Potential Energy
He is willing to try yoga with you. He is willing to not [make out] with your right away. He is willing to examine himself and his environment.
Willingness can cancel our almost any flaw or deal-breaker. People who are willing are curious about the world and interested in their own growth. And when that curiosity includes attention and interest in a love relationship, that’s some of the best fun you can have.
[Your requests must be reasonable.]

Your best chance at attracting men with these qualities [honest, loving, and willing] is to be conscious about having them yourself.

The Mantris Graph
Your twenty-first century dance card.

A 4MPlanner’s mission is to fill her Mantris Graph with various values of Plan Men without going over.

The Plan Men
The Quarter Man
Any man who shows an interest in you, or you might like to go out with, any man you manage to exchange a phone number or an e-mail address with, starts off as a Quarter Man.

REQUIREMENTS: You know his name, his single status, and a way to contact each other.
You do not need to like them. You do not need to see potential. You don’t even really get to pick unless your Mantris Graph is full.
A man loses his Quarter Man status if he does not contact you for two weeks. He may be reassigned as a Quarter if he contacts you later—if you have room for him in your Mantris Graph.

How to Collect Quarter Men
1. Before leaving the house, make sure you have business cards or premade slips of paper with your e-mail address on them. A prepared 4MPlanner is a busy 4MPlanner!

2. You spot a potential Plan Man, walk right up to him, and:
a. Comment on your environment
b. Give him a compliment
c. Ask his opinion about something
d. Ask him a question
e. All of the above

Be creative, be charming, be brave. It will only be hard the first few times you try it.

3. Next, stick your hand out and say, “Hi, my name is (your name here).” Add a firm, inviting handshake and a “What’s your name?”
This can be done when you are behind him in the coffee line, next to him on the bus, or on a crowded dance floor…

4. Then, even if you don’t have a conversation, or the one you have is awkward and uncomfortable, or he blows your mind and you think you’re in love, reach into your pocketful of business cards or preplaced pieces of paper with your e-mail address on them, give him one with laid-back confidence, and say, “It was nice to meet you (his name here).”

5. Now smile and walk away; your work is done. Add him to your Mantris Graph as a Quarter Man. Drop any dread or hope that he will contact you and move on.

Guidelines for Collecting Quarters
You are NOT looking for a friend.

Always be yourself. Don’t pretend you’ve read the book he’s reading or that you play tennis if he’s holding a racket. You can be interested; just don’t change you who are.

Broaden your horizons. Don’t be too choosy. Don’t limit your search to your “type.”

Take the pressure off. You’re not walking up to your future husband, just someone to add to your Mantris Graph.

Out-of-Towner Downer
NOTE: Because successful long-distance relationships are against the odds, any Plan Man who lives out of town must be handicapped a Quarter of a Man. [Half becomes Quarter, Whole becomes Three-Quarter.]

A 4MPlanner is allowed only one Out-of-Towner in her Mantris Graph at any one time.
If you haven’t met him in person yet AND he lives out of town, he does not qualify as a Plan Man.

The Half Man
Any man who makes it to a third date automatically becomes a Half Man.
REQUIREMENT: A Plan Man must know that you are dating other men during or before your third date.

In order for The Plan to work, every Plan Man has to know that he is competing with other Plan Men. [see Disney Theorem]
I recommend you do the deed of halving a Plan Man sometime during your SECOND DATE. Even if he’s the only man on your Graph. It is your intention to date others that is the important tidbit of information. Why is during the date or even the beginning of the date the best time to halve a man? Because if you wait until the end of the date, he may mistake it as a kiss-off. If you wait until the third date, the pressure of the deadline may cloud your mojo.
It will only get harder to tell a guy later, especially if you like him, and you may end up losing him instead of getting the opportunity to watch him blossom while he competes for your affection.

How to Halve a Man
The best timing for these is before the midpoint of the date. That way he won’t misread it as some sissy way of blowing him off.

Sample Scripts
1. “I’m having so much fun dating and you are the ________ guy I’m seeing!”
Fill in the blank with a word that is TRUE about him—for example: funnest, funniest, cutest, sweetest, most thoughtful, most handsome, most generous, most talented, etc.
You can say this in response to an act of kindness, cuteness, talent, or anything else that gets you moony-eyed.
This script not only gives him the information he needs, it also compliments him. It may take him a minute, but he’ll get the picture. Trust me.

2. “I’m having so much fun dating. And you’re my favorite!”

3. “Who knew a girl could find so many great guys on the Internet!” [hahahaha]
Letting guys know they are competing is NOT a heavy sit-down talk. KEEP IT LIGHT! Slip it into normal conversation.

The Whole Man
The Whole Man is the real deal. Whole Men know they are competing, and they are staying in the game.

A Plan Man qualifies as a Whole Man in one of two ways:

1. [A good-night kiss]

2. The vocalization of the “L” word—yes, LOVE—by any Plan Man.
Should a man make it to Whole Man status on the first date or even upon first meeting [hey, dating in Mormondom moves fast], you must give him the honors received by the Quarter Man, which is a way to contact you, and the Half Man, which is to let him know you are seeing other men.

The Two and a Quarter Man
Because of the Rule of Chuck, it’s critical that you not [make out] with more than one man at a time.
Any Plan Man you [make out] with becomes a Two and a Quarter Man. That way if you are [making out] with two guys, that would add up to four and a half, and that would be too many. Get it?

The other way men find themselves in this category is through steady promotion. They have honorably risen up from the unlikely Quarter Man all the way to the top of the heap. They have used The Wait for [Making Out] Index to their advantage and won your heart...
Every woman has different boundaries. … The Slide Rule of Intimacy gives you a chance to create your own definition of a 2¼. Basically, your 2¼ boundary is whatever makes you start to develop expectations with a man.

The Ex-Reflex
Once an Ex is in your Mantris, he must be considered by all the principles and compete fairly with the other Plan Men. If he gets the boot again, he’s out for good.

The Principles of the 4MP
The Yes Factor
Principle #1: Say YES to every invitation.
Your objective is to fill the Mantris Graph and keep it full.

1. So that you will sample from a larger pool of specimens and not just choose men you are attracted to…

2. So that if you like one man A LOT, you will not break out your Laser Beam and Death Claws or inappropriately poke him with your ring finger and fallopian tubes because you will be otherwise distracted.

3. So that you don’t have to FAKE playing hard to get, or fake feeling fabulous and desirable, or fake being gracious and compassionate. It will all simply be true.

4. Because The Four Man Plan is a numbers game.

The Chick’s Chick Angle
Principle #2: Maintain the Chick’s Chick angle.
There are two kinds of women in this world: Chick’s Chicks and Dick’s Chicks

[Scenario:]
Hmm, promising. But then you notice a wedding ring.
If you’re a Chick’s Chick you lean back, thereby creating the Chick’s Chick Angle, and say “No, thank you.”
As a Chick’s Chick, you get on THE WOMAN’S SIDE. Always. … So stand up for her, advocate her side of the story, and pretend it’s you waiting for him at home while he looks outside for sympathy.

The Two-Date Minimum, or Give Pete a Chance
Principle #3: To examine each specimen, you will need a control sample and a test sample. Therefore, The Plan requires a minimum of two dates per Plan Man, whether you like him or not.

1. This principle is about collecting data. We like to think that we have an amazing capacity to read people through first impressions. Even if you are excellent at it in other areas of your life, we must refer back to Postulate #5: You Suck at Love.

2. Some of the most HONEST, LOVING, and WILLING men make a terrible first impression. Probably they just don’t get as much practice as Pietro Suavo, certified hot guy.

3. Of the happily married women I have talked to, half of them confess to not liking their husband upon first meeting him. You heard me, HALF! He was not their type, he was strictly “friend material,” he did something straight up stupid on their first date, or he straight up bugged the [crap] out of them. But for some reason, they gave him another chance—and ended up falling in love with and marrying the doofus.

4. On first dates, people often exhibit erratic behavior out of nervousness, or they play it safe, covering up their true selves to appear “normal.” With each man, you need to suss out his true behavior patterns.

So even if they do not call you, seven days after your date it’s your responsibility to call them and ask them if they would like to go out again. Only if they reject the second date are you allowed to skip this principle with a Plan Man, remove him from your Mantris Graph, and collect a replacement.

The Talk Paradox
Principle #4: Initiate conversation, but do not initiate “The Talk.”
A 4MPlanner is not afraid to approach a man. She initiates conversation and sparkles when necessary. On dates, she reveals herself and is curious about others.
However, the following statements or anything hinting around these statements are forbidden during The Plan:

“Where do you see this going?”

“How do you feel about us?”

“Are you ready for commitment, marriage, babies, a mortgage, college funds, etc?”

We women tend to ask these questions WAY TOO EARLY and at a time when, most likely, the man hasn’t even thought about them yet. … The best way to avoid talking about these things too soon is to wait until HE’S ready.
Part of this principle is to let The Plan Men discover their answer to these questions on their own. And, would you believe, ask YOU these questions. If a Plan Man does initiate such talk, by all means answer him honestly with your big loving heart.

Lu’s Pendulum
Principle #5: While you are getting the hang of The Plan, an act that is perceived as “good” by Plan standards may be followed by an act perceived as “bad.”
The thrust of Lu’s Pendulum is this: When you are following the principles of The Plan that do not as yet feel natural to you, don’t be surprised if you have an adverse reaction. For example, you may feel forced to go on a pleasant second date with someone “sweet” but not your cup of tea one night, and therefore allow yourself to [NCMO with a jerk] the next.

The Breakup Ladder
Principle #6: Breaking up with a Plan Man is not up to you.
There are only five reasons to break it off with a Plan Man:

1. They give you The Ickies.
a. That very specific feeling where they make you feel bad about yourself somehow. (This does not include feeling like you are a mean person because you might squash this nice guy like a bug.) Did they somehow discourage or belittle you? Did they cruise other women and think you didn’t notice? Did they make you feel like a side of beef?

b. They manage to treat you like crap and then make you feel guilty about it. It’s your classic “Look what you made me do!” Run!

c. They clearly are not honest, loving, or willing.

d. Generation gap. If it exceeds fifteen years in either direction you could consider it The Ickies OR NOT. But don’t rule anyone out simply because of a number. Not age, salary, or zip code. Okay, maybe a prison ID number, but that’s it!

e. They make you fear for your safety.
The Ickies is NOT the sick feeling you get because he has a receding hairline, wears pleated pants, or mispronounces your favorite [author]. That’s just you being a poopyhead.

2. They Drop Out on their own.
You cannot pursue a dropout Plan Man except for the one-time Two-Date Minimum phone call. A  4MPlanner does not chase, does not beg, does not stalk. You cannot retort with vengeful e-mails or whiny voicemails. There just isn’t time or energy to waste.
A dropout Plan Man can, however, reenter The Plan of his own volition. If he asks to return and you have room in your Graph, you may accept him.

3. They are Squeezed Out of The Plan for lack of space.
You may squeeze out the Plan Man of your choice to make room for a new Plan Man. So if you really want to get rid of someone, break out The Methods of Collection and The Yes Factor and squeeze them out.

4. Your new 2¼ “Chucks Out” your old 2¼.
Yes, that’s right; not only can you [make out] with only one Plan Man at a time, but if he was your Two and a Quarter, and someone else gets promoted to Two and a Quarter, then the previous Plan Man must be removed from the box, never to return. He cannot be simply demoted, he’s OUT. FOREVER.

5. They are Ineligible.
For example, they are: already in a monogamous relationship, gay, a [missionary], your eighth-grade student, etc.

Say Thank You or I’ll Spank You
Principle #7: So, what to do with a Plan Man after a date? The extremely important post-date-follow-up THANK YOU!
There are several ways to THANK a Plan Man after a date. Even if you said a heart felt Thank You at the end of your date, or texted him when you got home safely, it is still necessary to follow up with a bit of goddess graciousness the next day. By order of graciousness, least to most would be:

1. Text
2. Email
3. Voicemail
4. Actually Phone Call
5. Personal handwritten note

I would say consider what you WANT to do and then take it one or more steps deeper with a texting MINIMUM.
This exercise is about ACKNOWLEDGMENT, GRATITUDE and VALIDATION. More great additions to your 4MP, life, and relationship tool belt.
When you express gratitude to a Plan Man BE SPECIFIC, use his name, talk about the little details that pleased you about him and the date.

The Busy 4MPlanner
Let’s face it, the Four Man Plan takes time, a very precious commodity for today’s single lady. In fact, lack of time is often the main reason why so many gals avoid dating all together. … First, you have to decide if a successful partnership with a man is a high up on your list of desires. If it’s ranking up there in the top three, then there is no reason not to do the 4MP since it gives you a way to meet men on the go. Can you say multi-tasking?
The thing to do is this. Take your Mantris Graph and block off a whole or a half and substitute it with other important things. Kids, career, school, skydiving, etc. Now you’ve got a 3 Man Plan.

No more excuses! Un-suck at love and find you a man!

Concluding the Plan
There are three ways to successfully end The Plan.

1. Your Ultimate Goal, The Three and a Half Man
a. HONEST
b. LOVING
c. WILLING
d. He has expressed an earnest interest in a monogamous relationship with you. And you want the same from him.
e. You love him.

He has at least ONE of your original deal-breaker qualities, maybe more, but you are crazy about him anyway.

Now it’s time for you to release the other men with dignity and end The Plan. Tell your other Plan Men: “I’ve really enjoyed your company, but I’ve decided to be monogamous with one man.” And now you’re out, Girl Scout!

BE ADVISED: If things don’t work out with Mr. Three and a Half, I suggest you wait at least three months (a season) before starting The Plan again. You will need to reassess, hang out with your girls, and/or book in some therapy before you’re ready to whip out The Mantris Graph again.

2. The Planless Plan, or the Graphectomy
So you’ve learned a few things and are ready to drop the harried pace of The Mantris Graph and relax. I love it! Maybe you’ve learned that meeting men is not as hard as you thought and that dating can be a lot of fun. You are no longer obsessive, you’ve found that you don’t mind a pet ferret or a snorting laugher as much as you though, and you
have developed clear boundaries. Fan-friggin’-tastic! Stay a Chick’s Chick and keep on searching for that great match for you. Thank you for playing!

3. Successfully Single
There’s a bunch of you that just start doing The Plan to figure something out, heal a squished-on heart, or just prove to yourself that you’ve still got it. It’s not time to settle down yet—being single is way too much fun. Fly, be free!

The 4MPlanner’s Credo
1. Always be yourself.

2. Always tell the truth when asked a direct question.

3. Be honest, loving, and willing and those attributes will be returned to you.

4. Protect other women and their relationships.

5. Believe that good men are everywhere and there are enough to go around.

6. Believe that love can be practiced and enjoyed even when you are not “in love.”

7. Believe that dividing your expectations multiplies your chances at love.

8. Believe that love is earned and not found.

9. Believe that your company and attention are gift enough.

10. Believe in the sacredness of your [body].

11. Have FUN, [darn it]!

Inspirational Words
“I sucked at love. It was long past time to admit that. But I love love. It’s my favorite. I could take a little break from it, but it wasn’t something I could give up. I just wanted to love in a way that made sense, that didn’t hurt so many people, particularly myself. I wanted to be smart about it.” Chapter 3, Math and Science to the Rescue
“Romance is not random, love is not chaos.” Chapter 3, Math and Science to the Rescue

“And wouldn’t it be easier to learn the rather simple and predictable language of Manspeak than to seek out a Man who understands the overly nuanced and complex Womanese?”

Chapter 4, The Theories Behind the 4MP

“ERROR: I need to find a man who understands me.
CORRECTION: It is far more within my control to learn to understand another and communicate in his language.” Chapter 4, The Theories Behind the 4MP

“ERROR: I only have one soul mate.
CORRECTION: There are 6.6 billion people in the world. The number of people who have claimed to have found their soul mate suggests that there are lots and lots of people who can delight my soul. So to put the odds in my favor, I must get our there and meet as many of them as possible.” Chapter 4, The Theories Behind the 4MP

“ERROR: I’m just not good at dating.
CORRECTION: The thing I desire most may reside at the end of a lot of hard work in an area in which I am initially incompetent or would rather not do. Get comfortable with being uncomfortable and my dreams will be at my fingertips.” Chapter 4, The Theories Behind the 4MP

“ERROR: A man will lose interest if I make him compete for me.
CORRECTION: Men thrive on competition. All competition is merely a structure within which one’s achievements and abilities can be measured.” Chapter 4, The Theories Behind the 4MP

“ERROR: I know my type.
CORRECTION: Sometimes what you are looking for is unlike anything you have ever seen and is tucked away in a place you may have never guessed to search.” Chapter 4, The Theories Behind the 4MP

“ERROR: I like to focus on one man at a time.
CORRECTION: A watched pot never boils. Okay, it does, but it hates being watched.” Chapter 4, The Theories Behind the 4MP

“Repeat after me: My dog is not my boyfriend. (Neither is your cat, your bird, your iguana, etc.)” Chapter 4, The Theories Behind the 4MP

“You are looking for something specific. You are looking for a pattern of behavior that indicates a level of kindness and lovingness and integrity expressed by a man that satisfies what you would require in a husband or partner or boyfriend, whatever role you are looking to fill.” Chapter 5, The Postulates of the 4MP

“When doing The 4MP, you must consider the possibility that each man entering The Plan may be ‘The One.’” Chapter 5, The Postulates of the 4MP

“When you know you suck at something you really want to excel at, your best course of action is to humble yourself, question your old methods, and ask for help.” Chapter 5, The Postulates of the 4MP

“Now that you are clear about what qualities you have deemed unacceptable in the past, embrace the fact that the man you will love with all your heart will have at least one or more of these qualities. In fact, nature has a real sense of humor about this one.” Chapter 6, Data Collection

“Honest, loving, and willing are the three qualities that trump all others when you are seeking out your Plan Men.” Chapter 6, Data Collection

“Honesty brings dignity to your relationship, even if times are tough or things don’t work out.” Chapter 6, Data Collection

“If you’re the naturally suspicious type, as I was, always start out by trusting a Plan Man’s honesty. If he’s not the honest type, your trust will really screw with his head and he will eventually trip up or clean up his act on his own. Trust inspires trustworthiness.” Chapter 6, Data Collection

“Your best chance at attracting men with these qualities *honest, loving, and willing is to be conscious about having them yourself.” Chapter 6, Data Collection

“The Plan is not about being aloof. If you dig him and you want to call, call. ONCE. If you do not dig him, give your number anyway and wait for him to call you.” Chapter 8, The Plan Men

“For the most part, HONEST, LOVING, and WILLING men are out minding their own business and not constantly trolling for women. This is the breed of men we are trying to give confidence to and coax out of hiding. That will require a direct approach.” Chapter 8, The Plan Men

“Success comes to those who create opportunities for themselves.” Chapter 8, The Plan Men

“A woman on the hunt for a husband can be repellant, but a girl looking for a date smells like freshly baked pastries.” Chapter 8, The Plan Men

“When practicing the 4MP, you are out there to collect Quarters. When you are not leading with your ring finger and your fallopian tubes, men will sense the difference in your approach and so will you. In the forest of dating, you’re a bold bunny coming in for a sniff, not a bloodthirsty hunter with a shotgun and a bear trap.” Chapter 8, The Plan Men

“…there’s no time to be coy or play games.” Chapter 8, The Plan Men

“Talk is cheap, but typing is a free ride.” [online dating] Chapter 8, The Plan Men

“Now, I’m not saying that chemistry isn’t a wonderful thing, and ultimately a necessary thing between two lovers. But what isn’t common knowledge is that chemistry is not necessarily immediate or continuous. Given the right circumstances, it can appear where it was previously absent. Given the wrong circumstances, it can vanish where it was previously dominant.” Chapter 8, The Plan Men

“Aren’t you supposed to consider marrying the man who says he loves you? What I discovered in my application of The 4MP was that men in competition will do and say things out of their comfort zone to get ahead. Saying “I love being with you” and even “I love you” starts to roll off many a tongue, mostly because it is still easier to SAY love than to DO love.” Chapter 8, The Plan Men

“We’re looking for an HONEST, LOVING, and WILLING man who makes your toes curl and treats you like a goddess. So if he says those magic little words, just take it in stride and “accept” his gesture, and if the spirit moves you, return it. Poof, he’s now a Whole Man. (It doesn’t count if you mention the “L” word first.”) Chapter 8, The Plan Men

“Feel free to allow yourself to open up to love in its many forms, feelings, actions, and words. There is no loss in loving.” Chapter 8, The Plan Men

“Love is the ability to wish someone happiness and to establish a caring relationship.” Chapter 8, The Plan Men

“Our goal for you is to walk into a room and make men weak in the knees. They wouldn’t dare approach you for [a kiss] until your intimacy level and their actions have warranted it.” Chapter 8, The Plan Men

“You’re special, and just a sideways glance and a small smile says, ‘You should be so lucky.’ Keep that in mind when you’re trying to keep a man Whole, and nothing more, just yet.” Chapter 8, The Plan Men

“But by George, not only is the 4MPlanner gracious, fabulous, and open-minded, she recycles!” Chapter 8, The Plan Men

“Amazing things happen when you start The Plan. One is that a broadcast gets sent through the ether and lights upon those spirits you have loved and lost. Without provocation you might be mysteriously contacted by Exes far and wide. Or you may want to use your newfound skills and attitude to reintroduce yourself to someone who previously fell away for whatever reason.” Chapter 8, The Plan Men

“Buck up and accept that if you are going on a first date, there will be a second date whether you like him or not. So cancel your girlfriend’s standing order for the forty-five-minutes-into-the-first-date “emergency” phone call.” Chapter 9, The Principles of The 4MP

“This principle [always two dates] also serves to disable your relentless first-date function, The Constant Judger. You will not get to spend your first date racking up all the reasons why you will never go out with him again and trying to figure out how to exit as quickly as possible. Instead, you will automatically start looking for something you like about him so that you can stand the idea of going out with him again.” Chapter 9, The Principles of The 4MP

“Looking for the best in someone is a great thing to practice and makes you a more pleasant date well worth the price of a sushi dinner.” Chapter 9, The Principles of The 4MP

“Validation is as pleasurable to give as to receive. Validation is a form of intimate, unconditional, and universal love that you can leave your knickers on for.” Chapter 9, The Principles of The 4MP

“Your fantasies about your imaginary future with him or your complaints about his peccadillos and how they might interfere with his fathering abilities must stay between you, your girlfriends, your shrink, and your journal.” Chapter 9, The Principles of The 4MP

“The less time you spend talking about your relationship, the more time you’ll spend actually having one.” Chapter 9, The Principles of The 4MP

“The key is to not think that you deserve a trophy for doing something that deep down you know if right anyway, like giving a nice but uni-browed guy a chance or not making out with your roommate’s boyfriend. And at the same time, don’t berate yourself for a slipup, like showing a guy your wedding-planning book on a first date or skipping out on a mandatory second. If you know you are acting on your true integrity, do a little dance and move on; if you mess up, examine your reasons and pick up where you left off. Don’t give up because you slip up.” Chapter 9, The Principles of The 4MP

“A 4MPlanner does not chase, does not beg, does not stalk. You cannot retort with vengeful e-mails or whiny voicemails. There just isn’t time or energy to waste.” Chapter 9, The Principles of The 4MP

“Unavailable means unavailable. It should not make him more delicious, it should make him smell like doo-doo.” Chapter 9, The Principles of The 4MP

“Men really love a woman who they are able to please. They especially like specifics about what they did to make you happy; it helps us women become less of a mystery and gives men a way to be successful with us.” Chapter 9, The Principles of The 4MP

“We are already asking a lot of these Plan Men. We want them to accept the fact that you are dating others, we want them to be the best possible men they can be and this little exercise [follow up thank you] will let them know that they stand a chance and that you are not just out for the free meals.” Chapter 9, The Principles of The 4MP

“Acknowledgement, Gratitude, and Validation feel as great to give as it does to receive once you get the hang of it. Heck, this isn’t just for Plan Men, do it all over town!” Chapter 9, The Principles of The 4MP

“Unsucking at Love is a lifelong pursuit. Just when you think you’ve got the hang of it, the next level shows itself.” Chapter 10, Concluding The Plan

“*The Three and a Half Man+ is not perfect, but neither are you, and you can express that to each other and feel comfortable. Or, even better, you can both laugh about it.” Chapter 10, Concluding The Plan

“Why is he only Three and a Half and not Four? By now you should have realized that no one man can fulfill all of our needs.” Chapter 10, Concluding The Plan

“At the end of the day, love is the only game in town.” Chapter 10, Concluding The Plan

“If your closet is a mess, and your clothes and shoes are spilling out at you in unorganized heaps it’s impossible to look your best. Put things in order and you can wear what you want, when you want and always know what you have, what you need, and what’s just got to go.” Chapter 12, The 4MPlanner’s Planner

“Make no mistake, drawing out your graphs puts your Plan in order and is a hugely important process of the 4MP. It is the structure for the art that is your love life. Without structure there can be no art. If you suck at something you want to get better at, it can’t happen without structure.“ Chapter 12, The 4MPlanner’s Planner

“Somewhere along the line, women have started believing that a man paying for dates means that you owe him some sort of sexual payment. [HECK] NO! Take the time to be gorgeous and charming and make the most of your date’s positive attributes and know that your company is pleasure enough. Most important, embrace the joy of receiving! Men LOVE to see that a
woman is pleased by their efforts. Let someone do something nice for you and know that you are worth it.” Chapter 12, The 4MPlanner’s Planner

“A healthy relationship takes two willing participants. Anything less than that is a treadmill of misplaced hope that leads to lots of quiet suffering and late-night chocolate eating.” Chapter 12, The 4MPlanner’s Planner

“Getting really excited about someone can often cause us to lunge at them and scare them away. Often we create a fantasy that is unreasonable based on the very few encounters we have. Guys find this unbelievably ooky. And even if you don’t share your weird little fantasies with them, it’s like spraying yourself with man-repellent. They can sense it and it blocks them from coming toward you, because they don’t want to be saddled with unreasonable expectations. Keeping things in perspective and giving them the appropriate percentage of your attention helps to keep them from running away from something with real potential.” Chapter 12, The 4MPlanner’s Planner

“This society, where people can survive alone, without teamwork, without a partner, has turned love into a luxury item. An accessory that we think we have infinite choice over and shouldn’t settle for anything less than perfection. But even though we can go on breathing without love, you aren’t truly living without it. Deep down we know that love is essential and perfection isn’t possible.” Chapter 12, The 4MPlanner’s Planner

“Structure creates limitations, and limitations are the inspiration of creativity and brilliance.” Chapter 12, The 4MPlanner’s Planner

This is from Cindy Lu’s “The Four Man Plan: A Romantic Science” 2nd Edition, 2010
[] indicates changes from author's original text.

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