Mark Manson is a self-proclaimed dating guru who wants to offer people a step-by-step approach to learning the ins and outs of dating, relationships, love and all that goes with that. This he tries to accomplish with a series of lessons. The exacting detail is that a person must first watch him on a video and then answer a mandatory question for a given lesson before being allowed to proceed onto the next lesson. This is structured learning, people.
Very often here on Date and Simple dating courses have been mauled to pieces for being too unstructured and lacking real focus or a sense of purpose. Can Mark Manson avoid such criticisms given how structured and formal his lesson formats are? Does his format work and, more importantly, will a person learn more about the mysteries of dating, relationships, dating, sex and the like? This Mark Manson review will give you our assessments.
Mark Manson offers members three courses relating to dating and relationships, anxiety and making connections. This is clearly a smart guy and his course offerings come across smart. Well, make that a course offering in the singular, because the other two courses actually cost extra, and there is no denying how that sudden realization can be a real letdown for a member. And there was no expectation of that curve ball, by the way.
At just a short introduction and one course (i.e. the one on dating and relationships), Mark Manson feels like a letdown. This is especially disappointing when one considers how very decent and insightful the learning to be had in the first course is. The letdown feels even greater because the start was so good. Manson does make up for it somewhat with a terrific array of extras and bonuses. But it’s not enough recompense. All the more is the pity.
The first course that I undertook was that of ‘Dating & Relationships’ for which there are 10 lessons. It was also my first introduction to Mark Manson himself, who, although having a rather sleepy (dopey?) look, at least came across friendly and well-spoken enough. Here’s the guy in one of his lesson videos:
First, one is forced to listen to Mark in his Introduction. This is thankfully not too long and some good pointers are provided with regard to how lessons should be undertaken, as well as how to navigate the site and the links. After completion of the intro, one gets this welcome message:
In order to go from lesson to lesson you need to submit an answer to a question posed post-video. At a 25-word minimum, this is not too onerous a task. Only once answered does the tab for the next lesson reveal itself. I like that if only because it gives the course a sense of formality as well as a lesson plan that keeps building on itself. It’s a nice touch by Mark and it’s mostly effective.
I liked Lesson 2 of this course in particular because it deals with what are described as ‘cultural narratives,’ i.e. the clichés that we’re all pressured by with regard to sex, gender and love (e.g. men crave sex more than women do, love should conquer all, etc. – you know, all that stereotypical nonsense out of a 1950s Hollywood flick that still prevail in society today and make anxious schmucks of us all).
Lesson 3 tells us of the ‘Inferiority Gap’ that most of us suffer under, thanks to endless pressures and expectations about others with regard to how we should live our lives. Some very pertinent points are made in this regard by Mark. I also like his take on vulnerability (Lesson 5) and how we actually empower ourselves by being more upfront about our weaknesses with others. It’s a very interesting angle, and makes sense.
It’s good to know that Mark also pushes the fact that you must first know and respect yourself before you can even begin to hope to date or fall in love again, etc. I know it sounds naff to say that, and it’s a constant theme in just about every dating course, but, you know what…it makes sense. And it’s true, folks.
Lesson 8 of the ‘Dating & Relationships’ course starts off with an excellent statement: “Drama. Everybody says they hate it, but most people live in it.” How bloody true is that?! Included in this lesson’s learning are links to other guides, including ‘6 Toxic Relationship Habits Most People Think are Normal’ and ‘6 Healthy Relationship Habits Most People Think Are Toxic’ – and they’re bang on point, by the way.
So I did all ten lessons for this particular course, having answered all the questions like a good boy and going from lesson to lesson in the prescribed manner. And then I hit a wall. Turns out my membership only gave me access to the one course. The other two (‘Connection Course’ and ‘Overcome Anxiety Course’) were going to cost another $29.95 each. This was the scene that awaited me (much to my horror) after completing the first course:
I don’t want to come across like a cheap bastard, but there was something very disappointing about going through a very decent first course with the expectation of doing two more courses after that, only to realize that the short Intro and first course was it for now. I felt thwarted – hence the brick wall reference. And, no, I didn’t feel compelled to fork out nearly 60 bucks just to access the other two courses…no siree.
Oh, and please refer back to the third graphic provided above in this review, i.e. the message one gets after having listened to Mark’s introduction. You will clearly see (with rather large lettering in green) that it states very cheerily: “You have unlocked all other courses!” Fuck you, no I didn’t.
As an aside, there were a series of little side-show offerings attributable to a member, including points acquired as one went along, as well as stars and trophy icons and the like. It felt a bit like being at school or playing some online faux-game. I found those features a little too cutesy and naff for my liking, and without adding much value or depth to the learning process.
The extras are obviously the two additional courses that should be readily available to a member but are not, as already detailed in the Lowdown above. To Manson’s credit, there are some very impressive Forums available for members, with evidence of quite a lot of discussions, debates, questions and answers by many members. The site seems alive and vibrant. There’s even a Journals tab where members can post their musings and ideas, akin to a blog for all – very interesting I found it, even intense.
So, I’m still bristling about not having access to the other two courses and then this guy blows me away with his Videos extras. He provides no less than 17 free videos on topics as diverse as ”Starting an Online Business and Self-Publishing’ to ‘Authentic Entrepreneurship’ and others. They may not all be on dating or relationship topics but I was impressed nevertheless. The actual Bonuses tab was equally impressive, it must be said.
And how does it look and feel?
The Mark Manson site looks good and has a clean, professional tone to it. It’s a cut above the usual bog standard dating courses that one comes across again and again. It never feels cheap or bargain basement. Of particular note was the quality of the camera work with Mark’s videos for each lesson. These were always well-lit, with good sound quality and clearly done in a professional manner. It does make a difference – and it’s a prime lesson to any online trainer or guru.
What’s To Like About the Mark Manson course?
- Mark Manson may look half-asleep half the time, but this is a smart guy. And what he offers is smart and had depth. This is a guy that has taken the time to craft courses that are based on insightful and interesting lessons that demand some feedback and inputs from members. It’s also clear from his writings and videos and podcasts that is a guy who respects his audience and his members – and I, in turn, respect that.
- The guy writes well, no doubt about it. That in itself is commendable in the dating world that is so full of advice gurus that fall decidedly short in that regard. In an interview with a guy from Utah that he posts in his Videos section, Mark candidly states that, “the thing that made me unique in the dating advice niche is that I was a better writer than most other people in the niche…”. As a fellow writer, I absolutely concur with that assertion.
What’s Not To Like About the Mark Manson course?
- What can I say – it’s the brick wall thing. I hate to belabour the point, but it sucks to complete one course thinking you will have access to another two, only to be told that those two additional courses will mean additional cash. I wouldn’t go as far as to say that I felt schlentered by that unexpected surprise, but it came close. It left a bad taste in my mouth – simple as that.
It could be said that worse than being let down by utter shite or mediocrity, is to be let down by that which had the potential for such greatness. That is fundamentally the problem with Mark Manson’s training. It’s all so promising during and by the end of the first course, that one is really inspired for the next two course offerings. And, then, like some ghastly trick by the universe, one is monetarily (and misleadingly) thwarted for the next two courses. Yuck. Fuck.
Mark Manson is a guy that clearly respects his audience and the people who seek him out. There is nothing smarmy or that feels fake about this guy. He unveils good concepts about the dating and relationship games we all need to play, and he writes well and intelligently. This is aided by a very real sense of community throughout the training and site. This should have been the very best course to date…if only so.