Explaining Dating with Shirt Theory – Part 2

Note: Please make sure that you have read Part 1 first.

Going Dark: Black Shirts

Transparency into the type of desired relationship is a key part of Red and Green Shirt dating. The final category is the sinister Black Shirter, a person with a hidden agenda who pretends to be someone else. Here are some classic stereotypes:

  1. Red pretending to be Green:
    • The aggressive “player” who sweet-talks a woman by saying that he is looking for something long-term and for commitment, but instead uses her for a one night stand.
    • The woman who preys upon a man inexperienced at dating, acting as if he’s the center of her world but is actually using him for money, favors, and/or attention. She strings him along with no intention of ever entering into a long-term relationship. Before moving on to her next victim, she accuses him of being a “doormat”, a “pushover”, or “not a Real Man”, perhaps adding “we weren’t dating, we were just hanging out.”
  2. Green pretending to be Red:
    • The guy who goes around harassing women with vulgar pick-up lines that he got from a Youtube video.

Black Shirt behaviors are fundamentally manipulative and rooted in insecurity. It could be that someone got burned in the past and at some point decided that they would rather be the abuser than the victim. For instance, I bet that many members of “manosphere” started as Green Shirters who attempted to date a series of Red and/or Black Shirted women, and were predictably rebuffed due to the shirt mismatch.

These men concluded that they should pretend to be someone else – what they call “Alpha”: a muscular, selfish man who puts his desires in front of others, who defines relationship success in terms of what sex they get, no matter what effect this has on their victims. They perpetuate a toxic masculinity based on simplistic, misogynistic principles. There are too many loud Black Shirters polluting the internet with bad advice and they should be ignored.

Always Look For Same Colored Shirt

For long-term success, the keys are to:

  1. Only try to date people with the same-colored shirt
  2. Follow advice that is applicable to that shirt color:
    • Green Shirters: should try to develop a friendship first
    • Red Shirters: should be assertive with their sexual desires.

eHarmony is a Green Shirt dating website, whereas Tinder is a Red Shirt website. OkCupid has both kinds of people.

By following this advice, you won’t have to pretend to be someone else and as a result, you will be seen as authentic. And since the two of you will have the same dating style, you no longer need mental gymnastics to figure out if she likes you.

My Dating Experiences Finally Explained

As a Green Shirter, I spent years making these mistakes:

  1. Trying to attract Red Shirters: I would talk to Red Shirters about our common interests, but they were probably thinking “Boring, Boring, Booooooring! Next!”
  2. Listening to Red Shirt advice: such as “if you haven’t had sex within X days/weeks/months, you don’t have a real relationship”. That might be true for a Red Shirter, but it’s absurd for a Green Shirter who puts more weight on friendship & commitment than short-term sex.

In conclusion, I hope Shirt Theory removes a lot of confusion around dating and finally allows you to be your best authentic self.

Until next time my friends, keep dating!


Explaining Dating with Shirt Theory – Part 1

In Dating Advice That Works For You, I mentioned that a given piece of dating advice might not apply to you because everyone is different. In this post, I use “Shirt Theory” to elaborate on one major difference: the relative importance of the physical vs. emotional parts of a relationship to you.

Note: I wish to credit an anonymous friend who helped me develop this theory.

Red Shirts and Green Shirts

Shirt Theory places people on a spectrum between two extremes, although there is an extra (and dark) category that I’ll explain later:

  1. Red Shirters: value the physical over the emotional. Their primal urge for sex drives the relationship, so the quantity and quality of it is extremely important.
  2. Green Shirters: value the emotional over the physical. They enjoy spending time with each other doing activities, talking, and laughing. The core of their relationships is based on friendship – sex is only a bonus on top. Most likely, they started as friends to being with.

Mismatching Shirts

Shirt Theory states that two people only click if they wear the same colored shirt. Tension and misunderstanding comes from mismatching shirts. This cleanly explains different experiences people have with dating. Consider the following two scenarios:

  1. Red Shirter asking out a Green Shirter: The Red Shirter might begin with overt sexual overtures, such as an invitation for sex on a first date. The Green Shirter would see this approach as too sexual & pushy, and might say things like “people have personalities and are more than just bodies” and/or regard this as sexual harassment.
  2. Green Shirter asking out a Red Shirter: The Green Shirter will first try to get to know the Red Shirter by doing activities that platonic friends might do. Their objective is to find out if there’s a good match before moving on to anything physical. In doing so, the Green Shirter might be accused of being a “Nice Guy” – the Red Shirter might think that the Green Shirter is “asexual”, is “not assertive”, or “is trying to manipulate me into sex by pretending to be friends”.

In both cases, the person doing the asking would be considered “creepy”, which is why it’s such a poor choice of word.

Neither Shirt is Superior

We Americans stigmatize rampant sexuality. No one wants to be known as the person who “gets around” and it could even hurt your chances at employment. As a result, Red Shirters hide among us, living in the shadows.

Your sex drive, religion, and/or values may inform your decision to wear a Red or Green shirt. But I don’t believe we should judge people for choosing one shirt over the other:

  • Red Shirters: If two adults mutual consent to an overtly sexual relationship, who are we to judge whether their Red Shirt relationship is better or worse than ours?
  • Green Shirters: If two adults have a “boring” relationship where they go to museums with each other but have never kissed, is their Green Shirt relationship not as real as ours?

Having said that, I personally believe that it is very difficult for a Red Shirt relationship to last because the frequency of sex will inevitably decline. I believe that friendship, and therefore the Green Shirt approach, results in the most stable long-term relationships. As a result, this blog primarily describes the Green Shirt approach.

In Part 2, I will complete this theory by examining Black Shirts.

Until next time my friends, keep dating!