David Good on “Man Code” Men Like Brad Womack and the Problem With Guys Like Jake
David Good knows he didn't give "the man code" a good first impression on Jillian Harris' season of The Bachelorette. He made up for it in part by becoming the most sought-after guy on Bachelor Pad. Everyone in the house seemed in love with him — including his BFF Jesse Kovacs — naming him best kisser, secret crush, and eventual co-winner of the show. Now Dave, 29, is using part of his Bachelor Pad winnings to promote his new book, "The Man Code: A Woman's Guide To Cracking The Tough Guy," which explains the "unwritten code of conduct that guides the standards to which a man holds other men and himself." As he writes, "Understanding the code empowers women to request and receive more from their men than was previously possible."
Dave is about to go on tour with the book, but he took some time to speak to Wetpaint about fellow "man code" men in The Bachelor franchise; the trouble with non-"man code" guys like his fellow Season 5 Bachelorette suitor and BachelorJake Pavelka; how he originally went on The Bachelorette hoping to date Melissa Rycroft; and the best way for a woman to find love with once-and-future BachelorBrad Womack.
Is Brad Womack a "man code" man or a "bad boy"? How would you describe him?
I like Brad. I've met him. I feel like he made the right decision on his show and I think he's a good guy. I would definitely say he's a "man code" man. He's getting a little older now. I think he might be coming into his own and figuring out what he really wants in life. In his defense, I've been through the whole thing and it is a whirlwind. You're taken out of normal life and thrown into the spotlight, kind of. And we're just regular people from small town America. ... It's a hard thing to really wrap your head around. I think he'll definitely have a better understanding of what he's getting into, what to look for, and in the whole process this time around.
So what do you think made him not commit? He was the first one to say "no thanks" to either girl. Does it have anything to do with being a "man code" man?
It definitely did. Brad not committing definitely had to do — that's something a "man code" man would do. He didn't feel it. He wasn't worried about what everybody else wanted. He was worried about what he truly felt. He's not going to go against himself to make TV. I know everybody in America and all the producers, when he said that, they came down on him pretty hard. It doesn't make what they want on the show. At the end of the day, they want somebody to propose, whether they're in love or not. He stuck to his guns and I respect him for that because at the end of the day, DeAnna, she's engaged. I don't know what the other girl's doing [Jenni Croft recently got married], but he had to do what he had to do and not be fake and that's part of being a "man code" man — being who you are no matter what.
On that note, you write "The men who ultimately prevail on dating shows are the ones who say whatever it takes to win." I think you actually single out Jake Pavelka at one point, that he cries on cue and trades his dignity for a girl. What's wrong with a sensitive guy like Jake and how does that relate to Bachelor and Bachelorette engagements not working out in the end?
Well, here's the thing: Jake's not a sensitive guy. That's all acting. That's what I'm saying. He's not truly like that. That's all acting. He can cry on command. That's why they brought him back, they put him on the show. The thing about the show that kind of upset me was, this guy who didn't really get along with a lot of guys in the house and was not a "man code" man at all, but just does whatever they want him to do, they make him seem like he's this angel, this sweet, sensitive guy. And I'm glad that what happened happened at the end of the show. Vienna [Girardi] kind of [showed who he truly is] and people got to see what he's really like and that he's not a "man code" man. At first it was hard for me to swallow, 'cause I'm like, I stick by my guns and a couple of other guys stick by their guns and we were straight up and honest and we kinda got taken advantage of because of that. They go with the guys who do whatever they want them to do. If they want them to cry, they'll cry. If they want them to like this girl, they'll like that girl. For more TV, for more publicity, they'll do whatever it takes. That's what happened and that's why I really respect Brad and I'm glad they're bringing him back. He'll stick by his guns and he's not going to listen to what everybody else says. He's going to do what he feels in his heart. If he's not into the girl, he's not going to pick her.
So you think a "man code" man can find love on The Bachelor if he just goes about it the right way?
I absolutely do. Going into that show, I did not think not think that you can really find love. And after being on both shows and whatnot, you know what, you can. I really think you can. Going into that, like I said, I did not at all — zero percent chance. It's hard, you're in a different situation, but you can really meet somebody and pick and choose the different personality traits that you like and want in a woman. I'm not saying they're going to get married right after the show, you can continue after. But I think you could, I really do, I really think that you can find love on the show and continue after and maybe a year down the line get married and live happily ever after. I don't think that you're going to be necessarily head-over-heels in love. I don't think you can actually know somebody well enough to say that you truly love them after six weeks of being on TV. You don't even get to know the person until, like, the hometown dates and that's four or five weeks in, you know what I mean? That's what kind of upset me about the show, these girls, these guys are saying "I'm so in love" after, like, the first week. Well, the first week I got to spend five minutes with Jillian. And people are saying they love her? And I'm sitting in the back there, I'm like "Are these guys insane?" How are these guys sitting here looking people in the eyes saying "I love this person" when I know how much time they got to spend with her and it was literally five or 10 minutes — with other people there.
So why did you decide to go on The Bachelorette to begin with?
Well, because I was asked to be The Bachelor, for one, and I didn't get it — Jason Mesnick got it. They called me back to be on The Bachelorette and I said no for a good month. They kept calling me, kept calling me, kept calling me. And I had just taken a new job with my dad ... and we had talked, you know what, this may not be a bad thing. It's a great experience, people seem to do well on the show. So, why not? And, in my defense, when I said yes, I was actually interested in the girl, who was supposed to be Melissa. Then two weeks before the show they called and said "Melissa's doing Dancing with the Stars, now it's going to be Jillian." And at that point I had already obviously taken off work, set up all my bills, made all my plans, told everybody I was going to be on the show. I couldn't really back out at that point, so I'm like "Well, I'll go see what the experience is about." So I was actually very interested in Melissa. I thought, she was a Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader, she was obviously gorgeous, she seemed really down to earth, she was from Texas. I had done all the research on her and I was excited. And then they changed it two weeks beforehand because she decided to go on Dancing with the Stars.
It kind of seems like they might've done the same thing this time. The show wanted Chris Lambton, they were pretty open about that. But he said no. Do you think that's going to hurt Brad's chances, since a lot of these women probably didn't have him in mind?
Yeah, I do. But at the same time, I think he's a really good dude. So if they can like Chris — Chris is a really good guy as well. They're both similar, actually. I think they're both similar in the way they kind of act. They're both good-looking dudes. I think any girl that can like Chris could like [Brad] as well.
Brad's season is already done filming but if you could retroactively give advice to his 30 bachelorettes, how would you suggest they go about trying to win his heart?
My biggest suggestion to everybody that goes on a show like that is just be yourself. Just be yourself and be honest from the get-go, that's the best way to go. He's a smart guy, he's a little older, he's going to be on the [lookout] for people who are fake. You go in there and you're fake, he's the kind of guy that's not going to put up with that. So just be yourself. If it doesn't work out, it doesn't work out. But if you're fake and it does work out, you've just set yourself and him up for failure. So my advice would just be yourself no matter — and don't give in to what people tell you. Like he did. Don't propose because ABC and America want you to. Because that's a big statement. I respect him for what he did even though a lot of women across America are upset with him because they all want the fairy tale ending. But at the end of the day it's his life and he's got to be happy and comfortable with the decision he made. And I think he made a "man code" decision by sticking by his guns and saying "You know what? I'm just not into these two girls so I'm not going to propose."
Can you give examples of other "man code" men from The Bachelor and Bachelorette, as opposed to "bad boys"?
Kiptyn [Locke]. Kiptyn's a great example. The guy is a stand-up guy, great character, good friend, very respectful of everybody. I don't think he has a mean bone in his body. He'll do the right thing even if it's detrimental to him. I think that prevailed on Bachelor Pad and ultimately lost the Bachelor Pad for him. He picked me because I had gotten him through so many rounds by helping strategically place him and talk to people for him or he would've been off earlier on the show. And he returned the favor by picking me over Jesse Kovacs, when really Jesse and Elizabeth would've been a better couple to pick, a weaker couple so to speak to pick to go against. And he stuck by his guns and did what he said he was going to do and ultimately I think that could've lost him 125 grand, or maybe 250 grand, you never know, but that's the kind of guy he is. Obviously Jesse Kovacs is one of my best friends and he's a great guy, great person, hard worker, smart. He's the same way, he'll stick by his guns. He and Elizabeth kind of had their thing out on the show, but you can see how much he'll put up with and deal with and he's still very respectful of Elizabeth after everything that happens.
At one point you write that "man code" men are like an endangered species. What do you think is happenening and do you think it's a bad thing — "where have all the cowboys gone," so to speak?
I think it's a terrible thing, and that's why I decided to write the book. America needs these guys around, I don't care what people think. "Man code" men are what our country's founded on — stand up for their rights, stand up against other countries, stand up against bad people, that are honest and true and care about their country, take pride in their work. And it's a dying breed, I'm telling you right now. Everybody's so concerned about themselves. My generation, most of the people couldn't tell you anything about politics or what's going on in our country, all they care about is what their hair looks like and maybe what shoes they're wearing, what kind of car they're driving. It's something that drives me insane. Every day I see it and I'm like, everybody is so, so caught up in these TV shows, these reality shows, thinking they're going to be like movie stars and millionaires and nobody really cares about America and our country anymore. It's all about themselves. Nobody treats women with respect anymore. And unfortunately you guys are kind of egging it on by who you pay attention to. I mean there's books, there's magazine articles, there's TV shows all about "the bad boy" and how to get "the bad boy" and how to calm "the bad boy." When, in all reality, that's like saying, if the answer's bad for you, you don't want it. Just stay away from it. Move on and get something else. Pay attention to the good guy. Pay attention to the guy that's doing the right thing. He might not be a millionaire, but he's got drive and he's got desire and he's got goals and he works hard and he takes pride in what he does. He opens the door for you and treats you respectfully. That's who you need to pay attention to and ultimately a guy like that is going to make you happier than a guy who is not a "man code" man.
So where are the "man code" men? Where are they hiding? If the reality show guys, a lot of them, are not "man code" men, where can women find them?
Well, they're all over. You've got to look for little things. I feel like anymore, when I got out I see girls, the kind of guy girls are attracted to — girls are looking for more, I feel like, security. Guys that are already well off. And have money and what kind of car they drive. Those aren't necessarily the only guys out there. Look for a guy that's on their way. Maybe they're just working hard and bustin' butt and they're funny and have a personality. It doesn't always have to revolve around money and how they can provide for you. I feel like that's the trend nowadays. Would you agree with that?
I don't know. I live in New Hampshire. I'm kind of out of the New York and L.A. loop. Where I'm from, I think a lot of people are just looking for a good guy, not really a rich guy or what car they drive.
Hey, well that's great. That's what it's like from I'm from. I've been traveling for two years and I've gotten to see first-hand what girls go for. All I do is travel around the country and Canada and I see it everywhere I go.
You've been traveling around, so what's the reaction been to what you're talking about.
Well, the book tour starts in January and we really just launched the book last Tuesday on the website. The book doesn't ship out until the 14th, so it hasn't really hit yet. And I don't think people realize now what the book's about. I think most people are going to be really shocked when they get to read my book and it's not about the "man code" "bros before hos" kind of thing. It's about real men and men that you want to be with. And how we kind of do reserve ourselves and how to get through that skeleton and get to the inside of us and break us down a little bit. Women can do that, but it takes more time with a "man code" man because we're a little sheltered. We don't like to just throw ourselves out there 'cause we don't want to get hurt. It's just not our style and that's what the book's about.
Do you have any follow-ups planned? What's next for you?
I've got three books scheduled to come out. I've got a "Man Code" fitness book coming out. But, I mean, I've got a 125-city book tour to worry about right now. It's probably going to take 9-12 months to finish up and it's going to be a heck of a schedule to keep for 2011. It's going to be an exciting year and I'm really pumped for it. I'm kind of nervous, anxious. But really I just want to see how people react to the book. I think the message in there is good. It comes from the heart. And it's something I feel — it's not me trying to extend my 15 minutes of fame. It's something I feel strongly about. At the end of the day I'm a country boy from a small town in Ohio and I take pride in everything I do. I'm not the kind of guy that's just going to go out there and write some junk up just to extend my 15 minutes of fame. That's not what it's about. I'm really taking it to heart and I hope this actually does some good in America. I hope it changes a couple things, maybe open some eyes to guys and girls out there.
For more information on "The Man Code" or to order the book, visit ManCodeBook.com.