Machiavelli and his book, The Prince, may be among the most notorious and derided authors and works in history - attacked by the church from day one, and to this day, synonymous with deception and cloak-dagger-politics, espionage and subversive trickery. A closer read may reveal something missing in our understanding:

His original intent was scholarly and meant to benefit the world through what amounts to an elucidation of the male gender instincts (and quite a few of the female gender instincts as well.)

Machiavelli's philosophy, like many early threats on the part of Renaissance thinkers to the church and other powers that be - including Galileo, for instance - was labeled "evil" simply because it proposed explanations and causes for something that is invisible: human psychology and specifically, masculine instincts in the social area of politics, diplomacy and warfare.

The invisible processes he laid out could just as easily be used in today's struggles, dilemmas and the challenges of our modern romantic lives. If the characteristics of masculinity and femininity that we talk about in the Omega Male Program rule the process of human sexual attraction, then certainly Machiavelli's ideas offer street-level understanding of modern dating situations.

Not for the Faint of Heart
One of the great challenges of getting men and women to understand each other in more realistic, and solution-oriented ways is to reach those of us who are idealists and romantics, those people who are more in their own heads than actually experienced in the diversity of human needs, desires and lifestyles. The Internet makes the world ever smaller, and the same channels that open up communication across the globe also throw in our faces the degree of variation, imperfection and diversity in all of us.

Our grandparents, when told of the latest scandals, tragedies or senseless violence, might have remarked, "You'll have that," or "That's what people do." Listening to our elders, we may not have understood what they meant. We might have wondered why our grandparents were dismissive of such terrible capabilities in human behavior. Perhaps our grandparents, like Sigmund Freud, had accepted the various facets of human behavior to include not just civility but also impulse, selfishness and aggression.

Freud said that he knew that the human unconscious must exist for two reasons: that we dream and that there is still war. He said that animal instinct remains within us, alive and breathing. Our unconscious, our instincts, drives, impulses, and the "reptilian brain" identified by evolutionary psychologists are all one and the same. It can be understood and brought into our service. But it can never be extinguished or pretended away. Men anod women have distinctly different instincts - what we call masculinity and femininity. These are what bring men and women together in the first place, in the early courtship steps of sexual attraction described the Omega Male Program

So when someone on the less experienced side or the more idealistic side resists acknowledging the animal nature still alive in humans, they are might say, "the world is not fair."

Indeed, the world is not fair, nor for the faint of heart. Machiavelli set out to explain what you can do about it. He explained politics, diplomacy, power, and war in a realistic set of principles. Machiavelli addressed the way the world is, or rather, humans as we really are, rather than what we would wish for. It's okay for the world to be unfair, in part because it will continue to be so, and because we can operate from our understanding of it. Let's dig right into four core principles from Machiavelli's thinking in politics, and directly apply them to the modern dating life.

Just like any of the strategies or tactics of the Omega Male Program (miWomen - Masculine Intelligence With Women), the first steps of romantic courtship involve the instincts, drives, impulses - aka the unconscious. Let's center on some core ideas, and see what they reveal for your dating:

"Time waits for no one, goodness is not enough, fortune varies... and malice receives no gift that placates her."

Time Waits for No One
Maybe you have fought toe to toe with this one. Women certainly have. It's you making your way through college thinking you have all the time in the world to "get serious" about women.

Maybe you have some good skills in dating to begin with, and you just want to play the field. You go on through your twenties, and have a good time, perhaps rarely committing to a girlfriend, and in your thirties, you think, "Why not? That was fun. I'll keep doing the same thing..." Then in your forties it's a little bit tougher to get dates with the type of women you enjoy, and worse still in your fifties. You never really stopped to think about the passage of time, and what you ought to be learning, doing, or holding of value about the other sex, besides sex of course...

Or perhaps you were never so good at dating skills. You had plenty to do - making your way in the world at a career, so you buckled down to studies, and long hours. But one day in your late thirties you woke up and realized you had a lot to learn about women and how they think - even to the level of your first words with them, getting a more vibrant dating life going that is an absolute necessity to higher levels of relating. You didn't pay attention to the passage of time, and the fact that it won't wait on you. You at least need the FREE DIY Dating and Attraction Bootcamp - here's part I: just become a FREE member of this magazine and it's yours: CLICK

Maybe you did or didn't have great dating skills, but you woke up one day, married. And on another occasion, you woke up divorced. But twenty years had passed in between, and now are you hurting like you've never hurt before. You "drifted" into a marriage - attracted to a woman, spend time together, spend more time - she's sexy, we "get along" - then more than 4-12 months pass and she informs you it's time to marry. You resist, or you don't but either way you don't want to let her go. So you do. But you never took the TIME to really go through all the questions that must be answered about marriage to see if it really, really, REALLY WILL WORK. Time passed by, and you didn't use it to learn, ask, talk, enquire. You just winged it. And the Omega is most certainly for committment and marriage questions too.

The reason it's so useful is that it is for the whole male relationship lifespan. Listening once will give different lessons from six months or a year, or years from now because you will have lived some life, and find all new questions answered.

Women are no stranger to the passage of time - after all, biologically the childbearing years are limited, and the most robust attractor to males - their physical appearance - also has its time limits, if we get honest, and from the pure male instinctual perspective. Yet the specific skill of mastering time, awareness of your learning needs, and developmental stages appropriate for your age, experience, and needs has been called Observing Ego - the first skill and most crucial for any personal growth, change or adaptation.

I cover Observing Ego in the Omega, and at great length and depth in the general personal growth material for men, called MindOS Mastery (miGrowth - Masculine Intelligence in Personal Growth.) Learn about it. You'll find that it's THE scientific basis of "cool," "keeping your cool," "cool under pressure," and "being a cool guy" - that undefinable aspect of being attractive to women.

Goodness is Not Enough
You've been here too. You did all you could for the woman or women in your life. When they wanted something, you provided it. When they wanted attention, support, nurturing, compliments, gifts, romantic words, "the small things," you gave them. Then time after time you were bewildered by the end of your relationships.

Maybe it was the flip-side at times. The woman was so good, all good, so nice, so complimentary, so supportive, that you scratched your head in amazement at why you were no longer attracted to her. After all, you SHOULD be attracted to her, and your friends, family, her friends and family, your neighbor and the clerk at the local convenience store all have told you that you should have married her long ago. It just doesn't make logical sense why you wouldn't be attracted to her anymore - after all she is beautiful and so NICE.

You can't wrap your mind around WHY this could possibly be. But the Omega explains why, and this lesson of dating from Machiavelli verbalizes it: the reptilian brain where masculinity and femininity resides is unconscious, doesn't work by logic - it works by instinct - and a whole host of things come to bear for a person who is "too nice."

In terms of sexual attraction, men need a challenge - not as something "culturally taught" - no, this is biologically programmed in our instincts. Go back to the ancient Greeks and those before them - go back to caveman days and it was still true. We need a challenge to feel like men, to feel attractive, and to be attracted.

There's more though, and this is from the deeper study of personal growth in the MindOS Mastery Program : a woman we commit to needs to be mature of boundaries (the ability to say NO sometimes, to not always be "nice" - and saying NO is not nice much of the time), discriminating choices, wisdom that is inherent in a mature person, and therefore a fit mate and partner. This is also part of what nags you about the "nice woman" and nags her equally about "nice men." If they can't say NO to her, will they say NO to bad budgeting that risks a family bankruptcy, say NO to a mistress in the making, say NO to a mugger or outside threat? She doesn't know, and neither do you.

In MindOS terms, what is missing in the person for whom goodness, ideally, ought to be enough is this - shrewdness of decision-making. Shrewd is the closest to what Machiavelli taught - not EVIL - and your shrewdness, or intuition, is HALF of what makes up WISDOM. (The other half is called "conscience" or "ethics.")

So isn't it interesting how easily Machiavelli can be misinterpreted. If he was lecturing on what exactly shrewdness and intuition were, that is not to say that he also would encourage ethics - the other half of wisdom. And the church and others had already certainly cornered the market on all the teachings you could handle in that department. He was making up for empty information - filling in the gaps in a man's armamentarium of tools for adult life in the real world.

Being "more than just good" to people doesn't make you "bad" or "evil." Or even make you "not nice." It might just mean you have some boundaries around what you will and won't do, and for whom, and why, and to what mutual advantage (or not) - which is mature, wise, and solid in terms of social (or any kind of) politics.

Be ethical. Be good. Be highly ethical - to the utmost you can be. But don't be naive. Be shrewd, and you'll have both of the pieces that compose "wisdom" - as laid out in MindOS. Women want men to be DECISIVE, and decisions need wisdom to have any effectiveness in building a life for one, let alone two.

Fortune Varies
Don't you know it - especially if you have never taken Machiavelli's first two pieces of dating advice.

If you don't pay attention to life, or to social politics, then all things that "happen to you" in dating (or anything else in your life) will seem like pure good and bad luck. But when you have Observing Ego as a dating skill, you start to see that not only do random things "happen" in your environment. You'll "notice" whether they are opportunities. One of the best example of this is the subways of large cities. In the case of Chicago - where I am now - there are countless stories of people "noticing" potential dates of interest far too late - as they are getting off the train. Which is also why Chicago has such a large "Missed Connections" section of the newspaper.

If you make naive decisions - those that may be quite ethical, but lack a shrewd knowledge of the diversity of environments and conditions for an introduction, a charming smile or comment, or the precise moment that the time is right to exchange contact info - then you haven't made effective dating decisions. This is what The Most Interesting Man in the World (the spokesman for Dos Equis beer) means when he comments on the "usefulness of pickup lines": "The time... is never. The place, well you can figure that out on your own..."

Luck leaves you dependent on the fates, but fortune requires a recognition of the wide-ranging value of opportunities, then the willingness to act upon them only when and always when they are good for both of you.

Malice Receives No Gift That Placates Her
The other political advice that comes before this piece was necessary if we are going to use it in social politics of the dating and relationship world.

If you don't pay attention to the actions of others, then you won't notice when some or most of the things they do in their own favor are not in your favor - for example, paying for an expensive meal without realizing the person does not have a sense of humor, and therefore cannot enjoy a date no matter its potential, and therefore there will be no further dates, but you have even less happiness than you started with. At least you had some money in your pocket to buy a new album, or watch, or haircut to look sharp on yet another date. You at least had the potential that money in your pocket carries with it. Instead, you'll feel that "life's not fair."

If you further have not built a personal boundary and used it with discrimination - sorting what you want from what you don't - then you couldn't have put the brakes on a date or relationship that doesn't appear that it is going to go anywhere. You'd do like so many, and spend the rest of the evening with someone you don't want, and who therefore will not or should not want you either - spending more resources, not the least in importance of which is your time. Again, life will not seem fair.

If you haven't experienced enough dates, women or relationships to not only know what you want, but to recognize the best places to find just the right type of people to date, and the places where you enjoy yourself most, or bring out your attractive potential the best, then you won't even get to the place to spot what psychoanalysts call "pathological narcissism" - behavior that is decidedly selfish, intentionally misleading, falsely representing what is good for you, but where what you see on the first date is not at all what you will get on the second date, or the tenth date, or in marriage. Life will be beyond not fair. It will be cruel.

This one is for the dreamer - the guy who says to himself, "If only she could see what I'm made of, then she'd want me more." She doesn't care what you're made of. "If only I could show her what hurts about how she treats me, she wouldn't do it." She treats you the way she treats you because you are a.) not a match for her, or the even more seductive and insidious b.) she is not a match for you.

You could chase her of course, and buy her gifts, and say you are sorry for things she accuses you of, but which you vaguely remember you never did. You could tell her she's right, or that you'll change your ways - which include doing things ever so more precisely the way she wants them done...

...but by then all the advances you've made in your attentiveness to social politics, to time's inexorable ticking away of your life's opportunities, to having preferences and standards and the willingness to not be "good" - to disappoint others so as not to betray yourself - and your ability to see opportunities to either make things better (if she will team up with you to work at it) or to leave her... evaporate.

You held out for the wish and the hope that all people are either good, or capable of changing for the better - if only you can work hard enough at the relationship.

It's an understandable error in the workaday world to leave your business hat on, forgetting to switch it to a shrewdly romantic, but optimistically Machiavellian dating mindset. Knowing that not all people are good for you, or capable of being good TO you - no matter how beautiful they are, smart, witty, successful, high-born, or "so close to a match" they are.

If they aren't a match they aren't a match, and that's the point of the mating dance" of human courtship anyway - that you've intelligently assessed every move forward toward intimacy, based not on looks alone, but the chemistry of desire, the happiness of friendship, and the fulfillment of a partnership that has been test-driven through mutual social activities, joint career support, the imperfections of your weak moments, your family dramas, and the unpredictible challenges life throws a couple.

It's entire span as a process - human courtship - is set down as principles, strategies, tactics, and a step by step process in the Omega Male Program. It's going along with nature and instinct rather than "forcing" something to "work." And when resentment builds in a locked-in commitment where neither partner is getting their needs met, the malice comes out in the growing fights you will have, the lies and deceit that can spring from what didn't find its way into the fights, and from there, the reptilian brain's selfish ways start taking over. The story will be Macbeth or Romeo and Juliet, or Othello, or the War of the Roses, depending on who you are and who she is.

But Machiavelli's last bit of dating advice - while it could not have stopped an ill-fated romance from placing itself in your path - most certainly gives you the masculine competence to recognize a mistake after you've made it, detecting it early, and getting out...

...long before it drains your time, energy, and financial resources to the point of inaction, or prevention of harm to yourself.

As many a man learns too late - that little hint of intuition that a date wants too much, oversteps the bounds of respect, the slight, but still thoughtless put-down - one that has the light hint of hostility or ignorance...

...ought to have been honored as a sharp sense worth pondering further on rather than dismissing it. Those are the men who find out that no amount of gifts, or compliments, or apologies could ever save what was never meant to be. Winning back the ex with flowers, going on vacation to save the marriage, and even in the early days of getting to know each other, simply trying harder to impress her than she tries to acknowledge your impressiveness will not go well and you know it. It is an invitation to be taken advantage of, even by a person who would not ordinarily do so (or think of themselves as being the type to do so.)

Talk about "cloak and dagger..."
Some people will undoubtedly take from you without giving back, accept what you give without appreciating it, and may even ask for more with every partial surrender on your part. Give the ex the car and she may want the house. Give her the house and she may want the kids. Give her the kids and she may want your self-respect. And the same can be true of you if she doesn't have a spine in return.

Just because you've been hurt, or fell in long ago with a "taker" doesn't mean that you must stop being a "giver" - that you must become cold, hard, mean, cruel, thoughtless, or unforgiving yourself. I've seen too many men "burnt" by bad dates or relationships turn to the opposite of their kind, caring nature, and become jaded.

Machiavelli's dating advice is not about being cruel, sneaky, unethical, or bloodthirsty. On the contrary, in its original form, it documented what people really do, what they are capable of - and armed with this knowledge and only then, can you actually honor your better self by declaring it in the midst of human imperfection, take action from it even when nobody else will be first to.

You'll do so though - not foolishly, wastefully, or with generosity to a fault - but a well-boundaried shrewdness that actually saves your best, genuine gifts for ONLY the right woman for you.

We can take the discussion much further on the weekly teleseminars and 24/7 forums of the On Demand Membership, so we'll see you there...

Dr Paul

Author's Bio: 

Paul Dobransky, M.D. is a board-certified psychiatrist, public speaker and relationship expert who has treated more than 10,000 patients in 15+ years in clinical psychiatric care. Journalists and clients worldwide have sought Dr. Paul's advice on dating, relationships and all aspects of human psychology.

Dr. Paul pioneered MindOS, a new, patent-pending approach to understanding relationships, mood problems and stress. MindOS synthesizes all schools of therapy into a single, effective system-based approach that uses plain language to help people understand psychology and solve problems. Go to to learn more.