69% of Men Get Rejected Before a First Date

If you look at the top of the page under my name, you’ll see two short sentences:

Understand Men. Find Love.

I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that if men understood women, they’d do better with women. Nor is it surprising that women who understand men do better with men.

That’s the entire essence of this blog; rather than complaining about why men should change (which they should!), it’s more powerful to understand the people you’re trying to date.

If you’re going to understand the male dating experience, a great place to look is online, where, generally, as in real-life, men are the pursuers and women are the pursued.

According to this juicy infographic, 69% of men got rejected before the first date.

Here’s a quick breakdown of how these men were rejected when asking a woman out:
• 24% got friend-zoned
• 29% were rejected and the woman did not suggest an alternative day
• 47% didn’t get a reply (she didn’t text back)

Which means the most likely way a woman will reject a man is to ignore him.

Rather than complaining about why men should change (which they should!), it’s more powerful to understand the people you’re trying to date.

Furthermore, out of the 2,454 men surveyed, only 13% made it to a second date

As a man who dated online prolifically, I got rejected over 50% of the time before meeting. Conversely, most of my clients are ready to quit online dating if two or three cute guys don’t write back. So yes, men should know what it’s like to get horrifying dick pics or threats from angry rejectees, and women should know what it’s like to get more widespread rejection in a month than most women get in a lifetime.

Instead of comments that tell me how 85% of men are awful, creepy, stupid, perverted, old, short, and poor (when the number is actually 80%), I would love to hear you offer a sentence of sympathy for what the average man must go through to get a second date.

Your thoughts, below, are greatly appreciated.

Join our conversation (650 Comments).
Click Here To Leave Your Comment Below.

Comments:

  1. 61
    Lee

    I get rejected all the time even though I’m told I look like a model (I have body dysmorphia so I don’t agree), and it’s usually just because I have fringe interests and don’t act typically masculine and I’m slightly autistic when it comes to socialising and my social abilities, I wish women would give men more of a chance who aren’t typically masculine/are in touch with their emotions

  2. 63
    Nissa

    I really wish men understood that women care about looks just as much as men. What’s terrible about that is that most men ARE decent looking, but it’s hidden under bad haircuts, clothes that don’t fit, teeth that are stained and crooked, scraggly beards, ball caps, sunglasses and sandals with socks. If men just went for a professional makeover, then got professional pictures, they could EASILY double or triple their responses. I think it’s a shame that no one is honest enough with men to say, “Dude, your look is not attractive”. If you have a beer gut, you don’t have to be ashamed (nor does a woman) but some man spanx wouldn’t hurt either while you work on getting healthier. Just please, make the most of what you have, and you will reap HUGE benefits.

    1. 63.1
      Scooter

      Oh c’mon.. you know that having a beard, or 5 o’clock shadow, or slightly crooked teeth or whatever else, is all “negotiable” to the taste(s) of different women.  If a man has most of those at once? Okay.  But, that’s a small minority of men.

      But according to you, it’s not so bad for a man (or woman) to have a “beer gut”?

      LOL!  GTHO here!

  3. 64
    Marika

    Nissa

    In that case, why are you even asking for feedback on this? You’re pretty adamant you’re not going to pay for anything and you say plenty of men will pay for things for you, so it sounds like you’ve got it all figured out. Enjoy!

    1. 64.1
      Nissa

      Because I actually care about the feelings of the men I date. Because I’m open minded enough to realize that there’s more than one way to say something, and sometimes other people come up with great ways to do or say things that don’t occur to me. Because there’s a Venn diagram that happens between people’s desires, and listening to how other people handle the same situation can lead to even better outcomes. I’m recognizing that there are a lot of women who are not gold diggers, who do want a more traditional pattern of male/female relationships, who are dating. I’m assuming that someone else might have a way of handling the situation that the man she’s dating loved. I would enjoy hearing about that.

      1. 64.1.1
        Marika

        Nissa

        This is where empathy for the opposite sex would come in handy. You want to know what magical words you can use to get a man to do what you want. I see no consideration for his wants, needs, financial responsibilities…

        There are men who will pay for everything. My brother is one. But it comes from within, those are his values. You can either find a man who’s willing to do so, or recognize that you will need to make some level of financial contribution. There are no words to convince someone to do something they think unreasonable. Plus, him paying is a generous gift, not an expectation. Once my brother’s ex started treating his generosity as an expectation, they broke up.

        Going on dates armed with your own set of expectations is a dangerous business.

      2. 64.1.2
        Sum Guy

        Are you looking for advice on how to not offend a man by never offering to split the tab?

        What do you mean by more traditional pattern of male/female relationships?  That makes me think of views whereby no sex until marriage, man provides gifts, courts pay, then marriage.  The women takes on the role the man says, usually all the domestic chores, he provides and protects , she is always there to greet him, make dinner, keep his home and fulfill her wifely duties.  She never corrects him in public, never disrespects him and his word is final in all matters.

        I’m sure there are men who believe in that still, although I suspect they doubt if women truly can fulfill their side of it.

      3. 64.1.3
        Clare

        Nissa,

         

        I don’t know much about much, but I’ll venture to say that I’m pretty good at navigating the money side of relationships with a man. This aspect of my relationships has always worked out very well and has rarely, if ever, caused fights. And I am a more traditionally minded woman, more feminine, and the guys I’ve dated have been more masculine, protective and usually generous financially (and generosity is not about lavishing money or gifts on someone, it’s about a mindset which is opposed to stinginess; I am generous too).

         

        Honestly, I’ve found the best way to navigate this side of the relationship is to put yourself in your partner’s shoes. Empathy, like Marika said. I ask myself how I would feel as a man if I was always giving financially, and it came to be just expected. Not very good, probably. So I make a point of demonstrating sincere concern for this side of things. I offer to pay my way, and am prepared to follow through without resentment; I make it clear that I work for my own money, have always done so and will continue to do so. I make it clear that I don’t expect any of these things which men provide financially as a right.

         

        If you want a man to trust you with his money, I think you need to behave in a trustworthy manner, and also trust him with your money. I have had several guys I’ve dated give me the pin to their ATM card. When my ex-husband and I were married, I had a card to access his bank account which he only asked for back 2 years after we got divorced. I never abused my position of trust in the relationship as far as finances were concerned, and men as a result seem to trust me and are happy to be generous with me. Also, I reciprocate as a natural consequence. I give back – sometimes it’s gifts, often it’s delicious meals, or being generous with my time or being willing to go places and do things with him that make him happy. And I absolutely do offer to pay and pay for myself when it’s appropriate. You have to seek that balance in your relationship where both people feel happy. No one wants to feel taken advantage of, and no amount of sweet words is going to soothe someone when they do feel taken advantage of. If you really care for the feelings of the other person, you have to act like it.

        1. Nissa

          Thank you for your even handed reply, Clare. Of course, a gift is only a gift when it’s given freely. If some feels like they “have to” give, or that the other person is taking advantage, then that is not the time to give. It should always feel like both people are benefitting from that exchange. I know when people give to me (or I give to others) it feels good. I get the feeling that I am helping them, or loving them, or being a part of their life. I get something from it, and they do too. When men buy me dinner, it’s not because they have to, it’s because we are both getting something from that exchange. They feel good, important, appreciated, like a good guy. Evan is always saying how a man feels during the date is more important than a woman’s accomplishments, or who pays – I happen to agree.

          Because I don’t have a huge salary, when I do give, it is rarely with money. Partly, because I feel like it puts me into masculine / doing energy, and takes me out of my nurturing, feminine / being energy. However, I generously give of my time, assistance, energy, love, attention and appreciation. Again, things that Evan says men want and appreciate. I think men date because while they like sex, even more than that, they want intimacy, to be liked and accepted as they are. While women like money, even more, they like devotion, fidelity and commitment. Money and physical affection are proxies that people settle for, when they can’t get the things they value even more. In a relationship, I’m not going to have a lot of cash to offer. I wouldn’t want a man to have less than what he wants in life because I’m not going to have cash to offer him.  I want him to have all the ‘things’ he wants. If he feels he has enough already to have all that he wants (so that any giving he does can be given without resentment), that’s the best case scenario in my mind. I admit, I was not as clear as I could have been in my words above. But that is my intent – that my date feel that whatever he is offering or spending, is within his comfort zone. That if I have no cash to offer, he is still getting what he needs & wants.

          I think it’s important to know what we each like and want. My dad, for example, was always relieved to pay for things because, while women in many ways were not understandable to him,  it was something he understood. It was an easy way for him to feel good, important, to please the woman he loved. For him, finding the right gift was hard. Saying the right thing was hard.

          I have paid for dates many times, and while it sometimes was appreciated, it never made any of them puff up with pride, importance and satisfaction. When they paid for the date, they did feel those things. I appreciated what they bought me, but I liked seeing them feel those things even more.

        2. Clare

          Nissa,

           

          I agree with you completely.

           

          I’ve never had a man value me for the cash I bring to a relationship. If I don’t have a lot of money (and many times that is the case with me) I am forthright about it. I also make it clear that I do not expect a man to compensate for what I lack financially. But BY FAR most of the guys I have dated have been happy to pay for most of the dates and to let me contribute in other ways. They make it clear that it is my company, attention, affection and what I bring as a partner that they value. Again, I’ve never dated a guy who valued what I brought to the relationship financially. Most did well enough for themselves and knew how to manage their own money. They knew how much they could spend on a date without hurting themselves financially. I’ve never had a man express resentment to me about that.

           

          I see a lot of talk on this blog about how chivalry is dead or dying. That’s not what I see. Persephone talked about Mexican men. I find that South African men are also very chivalrous and masculine. Commenters like YAG imply that a dynamic like chivalry means there is an uneven exchange between the sexes. But that is only the opinion of someone who doesn’t understand it. The men I’ve dated want to be the hero, they want to be the man, they want to feel respected and strong and important, loved, valued and appreciated in a way only a woman can do. Paying for dates, opening doors for that woman, offering her their coat if she is cold – these things are all part of a larger bouquet of behaviors which enable him to feel as if he is caring for an protecting her.

           

          Nissa, I can see you are not suggesting taking advantage of a man, and I am not either. The idea of taking advantage of anyone is abhorrent. I would feel awful if a guy who didn’t have much money spent money he did not have on a dinner for me. And as I’ve said before, I always offer to pay and am prepared to follow through without resentment (except where I know it would offend the guy in question), and I regularly do pay for things on dates. But the guys I’ve dated tend to be chivalrous in that they don’t want things to be split down the middle. In this sense, money is not really about money – it represents care and provision and being a gentleman. In return, I am happy to cook and bring him coffee in bed and give him a back massage and and and…

           

          It’s about a fair exchange, not splitting pennies.

        3. Yet Another Guy

          @Clare

          Commenters like YAG imply that a dynamic like chivalry means there is an uneven exchange between the sexes. But that is only the opinion of someone who doesn’t understand it. The men I’ve dated want to be the hero, they want to be the man, they want to feel respected and strong and important, loved, valued and appreciated in a way only a woman can do. Paying for dates, opening doors for that woman, offering her their coat if she is cold – these things are all part of a larger bouquet of behaviors which enable him to feel as if he is caring for an protecting her.

          I understand chivalry very well.  I was raised by pre-women’s liberation parents, and chivalry was an integral part of the naval code of conduct when I was in the Navy (i.e., we were taught the art of being a gentleman).  There are things that I still do today that were learned in the Navy that few men who have not served do chivalry-wise.   For example, how many men do you know move out of the way and let woman pass when they are in a tight hallway?   I was taught to turn sideways and hug the wall in order to allow a woman to pass.   It is one fluid movement, not a jerky stop and start maneuver, and it is as natural as breathing.  It takes a lot of women by surprise.   Standing up when a woman enters the room is also an ingrained chivalrous behavior.

          If you are from South Africa, American women are very different than women from other countries.  For lack of a better description, American women are more masculine than women from other parts of the world. I lived abroad for a year and half in a resort area of Southern Europe when I was younger.  I played lead guitar in a band in my spare time (it made me less homesick).  Like most musicians, women, most of whom were on holiday from other parts of Europe, usually approached me after a gig.  I was horribly shy at that point in my life, but it was striking how different European women were than American women.  European women can be strong with out losing their femininity.  The same is generally not true for American women.  That is something that American women generally have to be taught.

          Chivalry in America is a very different experience than it was in Europe.  In this day and age, it feels like a chore, an all give situation.  European women know how to make a man feel valued.   They continue to display this grace even when they emigrate to the United States.  Dating a woman who grew up in Europe is a completely different experience than dating a woman who grew up in the United States.  I suspect that South African women are more like European women than American women.  If more American women would learn how to get out of their masculine and stop attempting to compete with the men in their lives, being chivalrous would not feel like a waste of time and money.  I am not saying that the American female commenters on this blog behave this way, but it is very common and the difference between American and European women is stark.  Even European women who emigrate to the United States notice the difference.

          Okay ladies, please feel free to bash away. 🙂

        4. Clare

          YAG,

           

          For once, I’m quite touched and impressed by your response, and for once, I agree with you and don’t feel the need to leap to the defence of my fellow sex.

           

          As much as it might be painting with a rather broad brush, I think there is a lot of truth to what you say. I know that when I watch American TV programmes and movies, I am often taken aback by the language used and the rather abrasive, aggressive way that the women sometimes behave. I was not raised that way, and none of the women of my acquaintance do either, or if they do, the behaviour is recognised as being not very desirable or a bit of a spectacle. Aggressive, unfeminine women may get far in business, but socially and romantically, very few people find that desirable.

           

          I take myself as an example. I went to a private girls’ school which was very old. The values which were drummed into us day in and day out from when we were small might have been considered Victorian or colonial. Manners, courtesy, consideration and respect for others were of paramount value. You speak about letting others pass in the hallway – that is something we were taught from the time we were little girls. We let teachers, older girls and adults pass and go through doorways ahead of us, we greeted visitors to the school politely and with a smile. We were taught to be ladies too, to be modest and feminine, generous and kind. I’m aware even as I write this that many American women might think this all terribly antiquated and backward, even sexist. But for us it was a badge of honour to be ladylike, and it still is to me to this day. There are many virtues and positive outcomes which come from being this way – there was no bullying at my school. We were constantly encouraged to think of those less fortunate and involved in charity work, and my school was one of the first in my city to admit non-white students, in contravention of Apartheid legislation. This is because the values of being a true lady had their roots in being a good and honourable person, not oppression. To this day, I feel glad and proud of my upbringing because I know I can go into any social situation and put the people around me at ease because of my manners and femininity.

           

          Anyway, yes, dating in South Africa is very different than in the United States, from what I can tell. I’ve spoken about it on this blog, and I far prefer the ways of my homeland because you tend to know where you stand. This whole back and forth where you date for weeks and months without being exclusive, and you date multiple people at a time, is virtually unheard of here, or seriously frowned upon here in South Africa. Yes, you may go out on a few first dates with a few people at the beginning, but if you find someone that you like, you stick with it and give it a chance. Hook up culture is far less common here, and in fact, many men here are turned off by it.

           

          To a large degree, men know how to be men here. They were raised that way, to be chivalrous and gentlemanly. And they were raised to want marriage and families. Non-masculine men and men who just want to play the field for years on end are considered outliers, and not the pinnacle of behaviour. Women also know how to be feminine, and feminine women are by far the ones who do better with men. Dating just tends to be easier and more straightforward here. This is why I have so often commented on this blog that it may be a cultural thing, but I have found no shortage of quality, commitment-oriented guys when I have wanted them. However, I think if the woman behaved the way I have so often seen them behave on American TV shows – sexually aggressive, drunk, using vulgar language etc. etc. – they would run a mile.

           

          It’s true that for men to behave in truly masculine, gentlemanly ways, women have to behave in truly feminine, ladylike ways. Both men and women need to give each other what they cannot get from their own sex, otherwise one party is going to seem entitled and the other is going to feel taken advantage of. I don’t think being feminine needs to equal being oppressed – quite the reverse.

           

          I know this post might rub some people the wrong way, but that’s how I see it.

        5. Persephone

          Clare,

          There is nothing offensive in the manners that you learned. I believe that most people here in the USA accept and respect that type of genteel training, and wish they could have learned it to the extent you did. I went to Catholic school so I learned it.  Perhaps it’s because I live in the Deep South that we still respect those kinds of manners. All of our children are taught yes ma’am and yes sir, and to ask if they can be excused before getting up from the dinner table. Young men are praised by older generations for opening doors for their date. We wait till everyone has their plate before we start eating. We put our napkins in our lap. We, as young ladies, learn the proper way to set a dinner table.  This type of respect is not isolated to the South, because I have many friends in the Western Plains area of the USA who respect cowboy culture and it’s code of honor.

          The kinds of uncouth behavior you see on TV probably exists in reality only In pockets in the United States. Maybe it’s just on the extreme East Coast, in the west coast. And maybe in urban areas like Chicago.  However I have a lot of friends who live in California and they respect the kind of manners you talk about.

        6. Alex

          @Clare, Persephone, YAG

          I assure you, in the big cities we too put our napkins on our laps, say please and thank you and manage not to run into each other in hallways.

          I’m curious, what are some specific behaviors that you think American women do that are so unfeminine? I don’t know too many women who are drunk all the time or don’t have a handle on table manners. I suppose it’s possible it’s very common and simply not in my circle of friends.

          I suppose swear words are a little more unisex, at least in social conversations. I typically don’t swear around anyone until they’ve done so around me. Although I had a date with a guy who told me I was “too sweet for him” and used the fact that I didn’t swear during our date as proof of that.

          Anyway, besides simple manners, what is it that is so unfeminine about American women? How often do you meet unfeminine women?

          @YAG – another anecdote – I also went on a date with a guy in the Navy who stood up every time I got up to go to the bathroom. I found it a bit off-putting…like I was too much trouble. I’m sure some women would like it, but I felt self conscious, like my need to get up was disrupting his enjoying his beer.

        7. Gala

          @Alex:

          I’m curious, what are some specific behaviors that you think American women do that are so unfeminine? 

          I think i can answer that and other foreign-born ladies can chime-in. This is a very broad generalization, so yes, of course I understand that some american women are not like this, but as long as we’re painting with a broad brush: American women in general don’t know how to dress and have poor sense of style. That includes such “style icons”, and I say it sarcastically, as the entire Kardashian clan for example. That also includes american (white) men. Invariably in every room the best dressed men will be black or asian (or sometimes italian) so this is not a gender issue as much as it is a cultural issue. People don’t seem to value beauty in style. American women can also be extremely loud. Just the other week I was at a nice restaurant having brunch with my family and a group of 5 or so girls at another table were just basically screaming in excitement over god knows what. The “woo girls”. Why couldn’t they just converse like normal people? Beats me. This happens a lot. Overuse of swear words is common, as is basically lacking boundaries on what is appropriate or what is not (or setting those waaaay out there). In another example, I was recently at a high-end restaurant with my date, and a mixed company of 4-5 older millenials (late 20-ies) seated behind us was getting drunk and – again – super loud. At some point they began having a conversation which could only be appropriate at a men’s locker room. D$%s and f#&s were flying, everyone could hear it – and the girls in the group, instead of cutting it off and letting guys know it was inappropriate, just sat their and giggled. At one point my date had to tell them to cut it out! because ladies were present, and the restaurant manager asked them to leave.. But the point is those girls were treated like trash and didn’t even know it. How many times did I rescue falling down drunk girls on city streets, at tailgate events, I can’t even count. Young girls barely legal to drink, sick to a point where I had to call them medics. And then again, minor things – not closing your legs when you sit, for example. “Tramp stamps”. Etc.

          Admittedly, some of these issues have to do with social class, but some transcend class and income.

           

           

        8. Clare

          Alex,

           

          It could well just be the way women are portrayed in movies and TV shows. I saw the movie Rough Night recently, which is a good example of what I’m talking about. I could think of a host of others off the top of my head. It’s a loudness, a brashness, an aggressiveness. As I say, it could just be the way American women are portrayed in movies. I couldn’t possibly say since I don’t know enough American women from. I have one close friend who is American, and she is the picture of feminine sweetness (and happily married too, I might add). Clearly it’s not all American women. Maybe it’s only a minority. Persephone made the point that, in the South, people still value the kind of manners and traditional femininity and masculinity that I was talking about, and certainly that is what I also believed. My friend who is American says that behaviours and attitudes differ a lot from city to city, but that a certain level of the brashness I was talking about does exist. Alex, I don’t hide behind trying to be all things to all people, I’m just calling it as I see it.

           

          Also, manners is about far more than simply putting your napkin on your lap and eating with the right spoon and fork. The kind of manners and femininity I was talking about, and why I stressed this aspect, is about being considerate and respectful of others. It’s about putting others at ease. So the guy who kept standing up each time you went to the bathroom was probably very well-meaning, but perhaps if he had perceived your discomfort he might have stopped doing it. The kind of femininity and manners I was talking about is mindful of other people’s feelings. To me that’s what is so wonderful about being a woman – we have natural empathy, so it’s about embracing that. The men I’ve gone out with have, to a man, told me that they love that I am gentle and kind. For me, that’s what manners and being feminine is.

        9. GoWiththeFlow

          YAG,

          “If more American women would learn how to get out of their masculine and stop attempting to compete with the men in their lives, being chivalrous would not feel like a waste of time and money.”

          I’ve heard this “compete” issue from men on this blog before, and I think I speak for a lot of women when I say we don’t know what this means.  Not once has it ever been my goal to beat a man I’m dating at something.  I’ve never said, or thought, “Hah! I’m so much better at this than you are.”  When I’m with my girlfriends we don’t talk about how well we’ve done against our boyfriends and husbands in the past week.

           

        10. Jeremy

          @GTWF, I liked how you phrased it, “We don’t know what this means.”  Because both the stated truth and the implied truths apply.  The stated truth – you don’t know what this means.  The implied truth – but someone else might know, that someone being men.

           

          Not to beat a dead horse, but men will consider certain traits to be masculine, others feminine, others neutral.  Whatever a given man considers masculine, he will want to be better at than the woman in his life.  If she is better at it than him, she is by definition more masculine – a better man – than him.  She is competing with him in his eyes at BEING A MAN, whether or not she knows it, whether or not she considers the trait in question to be sexually-oriented at all.  Hence my comment yesterday about men wanting “masculinity” to be something that women are not.

           

          What should women do about this?  They should understand it.  Because (before a certain British commenter jumps on this and asks me how men can take responsibility for this themselves) this is NOT something that men are going to change – because we don’t want to.  It’s how we need to see sexual polarity.  So understand which qualities the men you desire view as masculine, and try not to out-do them in those qualities – but do go ahead and out-do the hell out of them at everything else.  Or pick men who invest their sexuality in other qualities at which you don’t excel.

        11. Persephone

          Clare,

          I had not heard of  the movie Rough Night, so I looked at the trailer.  Bwhahahahaha!  How hilarious.  It’s like they took a combination of the Weekend at Bernie’s movie, and The Hangover movie, and remade it with a female cast.  Yes, sorority girls in Universities act like that. (One reason I had disdain for Greeks.)  I live in a college town, and I sing in a band in clubs (only time I go to clubs). I see it.  I wonder if they continue to act like that after graduation?  I do not know.  Also, I wonder if they are copying pop media, or if pop media is merely reflecting their real life behavior?

        12. GoWiththeFlow

          Gala, Clare, Persephone, and Alex,

          “American women in general don’t know how to dress and have poor sense of style. That includes such “style icons”, and I say it sarcastically, as the entire Kardashian clan for example.”

          First, LOL about the Kardashian “style.”  Nothing says I’m a class act like dropping a sex tape.

          As I watched this subthread about behavior and style differences between women in different countries evolve, I wondered how much of the perceived differences in femininity could be attributed to packaging and presentation vs. specific behaviors.

          My mother grew up in an immigrant neighborhood under the influence of grandmothers and aunts from the old country.  She wore a lot of skirts, dresses, and feminine shoes even when going out to the grocery store or to visit her sister or women friends.  She rarely left the house without her hair and makeup done.  Nothing crazy.  She wasn’t like Melania Trump wearing stilettos to visit a hurricane disaster zone.  But say a casual skirt with a low wedge heel sandal to go have lunch and shop with friends.  I used to love to hang out in her room when I was a girl to watch her get ready.

          Nowadays I see young women with multiple piercings, a body full of tattoos, shaved heads or pink and purple hair and I think they are just killing their femininity.  Many of the clothing styles they show in fashion magazines are either boxy items that don’t highlight the female form or they are so revealing, it’s too much.   The latest seems to be bright yellow and red eye shadow and “cat eye” eyeliner that extends way past the outer corner of the eye.

          But, when I mentioned the tattoo thing to my son who is in his early 30s, and has a lot of tats himself, he said I’m being an old fuddy-duddy.  And since YAG is well into his 50s and I don’t know many women that age with multiple facial piercings or teal hair there must be more to it.

          As for the behavior, I did mention on the recent thread on another post that I was surprised to hear that women are apparently telling their dates intimate details of their dating and sexual history.  When I was growing up we were taught something called discretion.  I would never offer up that info, and if asked I would deflect.

          As far as women being intoxicated or high (yep I’ve seen that) in public, or being so loud that they get kicked out of restaurants, again it’s mostly younger women.  So what are women in their 40’s and beyond doing that they are considered masculine by men like YAG?

          Clare and Gala, I get what you mean about being kind and considerate to people in general.  Sharing your complaints and gripes with trusted friends or loved ones when at home.  Growing up we always heard, if you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything.  The big reason why I’m pretty sure Theodora is really a Theo, and he is commenting from his home in Boise instead of Bucharest, is because the language is so aggressive, mean spirited, belittling, and intentionally insulting and hurtful.  Not the M.O. of a well brought up woman from Eastern Europe.

          I also wonder how much individual preference plays into it.  This summer, we took a family trip overseas.  My son (the one who isn’t bothered by tattoos on women) said he found very few women in the country we were in attractive.  I have a cousin who came to the U.S. from Poland in the late 1990s.  She loved American men (eventually married one) because she said they weren’t so rigid about traditional gender roles.  Not only my cousin, but two co-workers I know well from southeast Asia, were thrilled to immediately be able to take advantage of educational and career opportunities in the U.S.  They have been happy to embrace the opportunities American feminism made available to women.

        13. Gala

          Jeremy:  “Or pick men who invest their sexuality in other qualities at which you don’t excel.”
          Or, better yet, become a lesbian and don’t worry about doing “too well” and accidentally bruising your guy’s fragile ego. This seems to be a better solution since women don’t define their femininity in opposition to something. This comment is so depressing. Seriously, this is an example of what “toxic masculinity” looks like, and where this disdain for women comes from. This “competition” is in your head, guys! Women are not competing with you, women are just doing what’s best for them. It’s you who feel the need see everything as a competition and think of yourself as “losers” if anybody does better. Geez.

          In actuality, of course men will change if they want to stay relevant as a gender. Because women are not going back to the kitchen, so the men will have to step up. It will just take several generations

        14. Alex

          Thanks for all the clarifications, non-Americans!

          @Clare – I definitely think some of these things are true, although I would hazard a guess that the loudest and the drunkest are usually pretty young. I think Americans in general “carry on” a bit more when drinking and the younger they are, the rowdier. There is definitely a stereotype of the loud drunk girl at the party and there is quite a bit of truth to that.

          Style is another thing. I grew up in the Midwest and it’s very common there to go out during the day wearing clothes that most people in the world would consider pajamas or work out clothes. This goes for both men and women though. In bigger cities this is a lot less common. The Kardashian stereotype made me laugh! I lived in NYC for 7 years and those girls would look down on someone dressed like Kim, but there are a lot of places where this type of look is really common. In general, Americans are probably both dressed down more than other countries and at the same time too made up.

          The one thing I would like to address is this idea of “putting people at ease” and why American women might want to push back against that a little bit.

          You’re right, women do have more natural empathy than men do. But what is a bit frustrating is when women are ALWAYS expected to “put people at ease”, to worry about people’s feelings, to never “out-compete”, to continuously put yourself last, often at the detriment of your own well-being. And when we do these things they go unappreciated or or we are seen as “less important” because we are too soft. At my last job (as an engineer) I was always expected to refill the water/coffee container and make sure there were enough cups/napkins at meetings. I don’t know why it fell to me, but I was the only woman in those meetings. Then on top of this, I was frequently ignored or talked over. Was it because of the visual of me serving the entire group of men before the meeting? I can’t be sure. But a lot of women get done with work or family duties and when they’re at a bar, they don’t want to put someone else at ease. They just want to be themselves and let loose a little.

          I think part of this stems from what we value in the US. We simply don’t value women as nurturers. We value the “go-getters”, we value never sleeping, constantly innovating and achieving, but when we talk about stay at home moms, it’s pretty patronizing. No one ever said “gee, thanks Alex, because otherwise we would have no water or coffee for this meeting!” But if I skipped it, everyone made snide comments about how thirsty they were. I think if there was some (genuine) appreciation for feminine qualities (not just negative remarks when we don’t see feminine qualities) then women wouldn’t feel the need to act otherwise. This falls to both men and women, but for men on a date, appreciating a woman’s feminine qualities would make her want to do more of those to please you.

        15. Jeremy

          Gala, I would humbly encourage you to re-read my post and consider what it actually says versus what you worry it might say.  Never did I say or imply that women should “get back in the kitchen.”  Never did I say that women should hide who they are, hide their skills or pretend to be less than.  I wrote that men prefer to be superior SPECIFICALLY at the qualities by which they define their masculinity.  God, that could refer to being better than his GF at fixing a broken table!  It does not have to refer to income or education – and frankly, as women make greater strides in the workplace, it will likely include providership less and less.  But it will have to include something.  Women who believe it doesn’t do not understand men.  Just because you perceive something one way does not mean that others do or should perceive it the same way.

           

          I do not accept the moniker of “toxic masculinity” as referring to myself or my comments.

        16. Alex

          @Jeremy

          “Whatever a given man considers masculine, he will want to be better at than the woman in his life.”

          I had never heard this viewpoint. I’ll keep it in mind. I wonder what GWTF’s son who doesn’t mind tattoos thinks about it?

          It strikes me that “masculine” means something different to many people. To me, men who don’t work out or care too much about their hair and what they are wearing are feminine. If a guy was wearing a flannel shirt and jeans on a date, I would give him the benefit of the doubt, provided he is clean. I have many female friends who wouldn’t give this guy a second date, because to them, a man with a well tailored suit is the epitome of masculinity. I also find it appalling when a guy can’t sew a button back on his coat (why can’t he take care of his own things?) Some women find this endearing.

          All this is to say that I think we as a society need to allow people to define these ideas of masculine and feminine for themselves. People will be happier and will find partners who think the same way they do. A man won’t have to feel out-competed because his girlfriend lifts weights and he doesn’t, since he can have a strong sense of self and a confidence in his own masculinity. One thing that feminism (at least as I have encountered it) has done well is establish that being a woman means whatever the individual woman decides it means. Maybe we should tell men this too?

        17. Jeremy

          Alex, big YES to your comment.  Each man will define for himself what masculinity means to him.  For me, it’s (unfortunately) all wrapped up in a providership quagmire.  A relic from the way I was raised, and maybe some biology too.  For my brother-in-law who has been dependent on my sister’s income for a decade – it does not.  Instead it depends on his creativity/craftsmanship.  A man might define it with his body, physique or style.  He could define it as fixing a leaky sink.  But it’s for HIM to decide, not the women in his life, not society.   And the ways for men to define their masculinity should be expanded by society, not restricted, absolutely.

        18. Gala

          Jeremy:

          fair enough, perhaps I misunderstood what you were saying. If men want to be “better” at something than their girlfriends, than, as my favorite gangster in “Boardwalk Empire” used to say, “this is America. Who’s stopping you?”.  Men can go right ahead and strive to do their best, and if indeed they are better at something, that’s that. I imagine, it would be better for their psyche if they didn’t feel the need to outdo their loved ones in order to feel good about themselves, but may be this is just my lack of testosterone talking. Whatevs.

          @Alex:

          Making coffee in meetings?? Snide remarks about how people are thirsty? Wow, you are TOO nice. I would never in a million years tolerate that type of behavior. See, people tend do conflate feminine and “help”.  Women don’t make food or serve food. Cooks and wait staff do. So these men are not treating you like a woman, they are treating you like domestic help. No way. I would just say “geez, I am thirsty too. Why don’t you bring some drinks next time?”.

           

           

        19. Callie

          Jeremy – I’d like to know why men need to be better than a woman at something, regardless of what that something is that defines their masculinity. Is this also the same that they need to better than their male friends at something too? I’m very curious because never have I ever engaged with another person with whom I was interested in a relationship (be it friendship or romance) where I needed to be better at something than them. So I don’t understand the desire.

          (my competition comes in with purely professional things, and since my two careers are rather competitive I definitely get my fill of it 🙂 )

           

        20. GoWiththeFlow

          Alex and Jeremy,

          “All this is to say that I think we as a society need to allow people to define these ideas of masculine and feminine for themselves. People will be happier and will find partners who think the same way they do.”

          “A man might define it [masculinity] with his body, physique or style.  He could define it as fixing a leaky sink.  But it’s for HIM to decide, not the women in his life, not society.”

          I think it’s important to clarify that while I agree individuals should be able to form their own concept of what makes them masculine or feminine, as Jeremy alluded to, you can’t always expect everyone to agree with you.

          For example, my son doesn’t think full sleeve tattoos on a woman make her look unfeminine.  I do, and I know several others who do to.  So if you want to, by all means get your tattoos.  There will be someone out there who think you are attractive, including the ink.  But please don’t insist that people have to find you feminine/beautiful/sexy/masculine/hot because you think they should.

          Just my opinion but the number links to articles and posts popping up on my Facebook and twitter feeds with titles such as “So and so calls out hater who criticized their dress” is getting tiresome.  Someone doesn’t like your clothing selection.  Get over it. Because there will probably be someone out there who does.  Wouldn’t you rather spend your time connecting with that person that “calling out” someone who doesn’t like your look?”

           

        21. GoWiththeFlow

          Alex,

          I think you’re onto something about how when women do engage in traditionally feminine behavior, especially service and care taking tasks, their effort and kindness isn’t acknowledged or appreciated by others.  But don’t do something people have come to expect you to do, and oh boy, they will let their displeasure be known!

          There was a relationship blog I used to flow that’s now defunct.  A male writer posted an article about a trip he made to Europe and commented that he found European women to be more feminine than American women.  He went into why this is and did focus a lot on clothing and presentation styles.  He then went further and said American women can be this way, so why aren’t they?  He discussed some different theories but what he settled on was that women in America aren’t motivated to be feminine because American men don’t acknowledge it and appreciate it when they do.  People engage in behavior that is rewarded.  If it’s not rewarded, why do it?

        22. Jeremy

          Callie, you wrote,  I’m very curious because never have I ever engaged with another person with whom I was interested in a relationship (be it friendship or romance) where I needed to be better at something than them.”

           

          Might be a testosterone thing, as Gala suggested.  Can’t tell you why (well, could try but it would just be conjecture).  Having said that, I’ve met women who told me they didn’t want to be with a man who was better looking than them.  Being good looking was THEIR thing…

           

        23. GoWiththeFlow

          Jeremy,

          I think the concept of “competing with” is hard for many women to understand because to us that’s such an intentional proactive term.  I’m competing with someone if were both running a 100 meter sprint.  Or I’m competing with someone for a promotion.

          So if the man I like derives his sense of masculinity from his role as a provider and I make the same amount or more money than him, to me that just is.  I’m not asking for his pay stub then saying darn it!  I need to pick up an extra shift so I can beat him next month.  I also don’t see how if I make good money that doesn’t mean he isn’t still a provider.

          Ultimately, if men continue to define what’s masculine by what’s not feminine it’s a slow form of self-destruction.

        24. Callie

          Jeremy – I don’t mind conjecture. Let’s be honest, a lot of what we all say here is subjective based on our own experiences and hypotheses etc. I don’t think anyone here knows the “objective” truth about anything quite frankly. And it would be good to hear the train of thought. I also think it’s important for us all to unpack these ideas and try to understand them.

          I’m also curious if you truly believe this as a general male trait, and a true desire for the “feminine”, or possibly more a trait of someone who’s meta goal is validation. As you say, I guess there are women who need to be the most attractive in the relationship, and I have no doubt there are other women who need to be “better” in other ways. So I’m curious as well if this is truly a question of masculine vs feminine, or more individual based depending on their meta goal.

        25. Yet Another Guy

          All I can say is that I am speechless.  I emerged from a post without a bruise.  I think that I will quite while I am ahead. . 🙂

          On second thought, body art on older women is becoming a problem.  A lot of middle-age women appear to get inked after they receive their divorce decrees (I guess that it is the female equivalent of going middle-age crazy).  I spent five years on active duty in the United Stats Navy at time when only sailors and bikers where likely to get inked. I have also been a musician my entire life,  and my body is art free.  I am sorry, but nothing looks less ladylike than body art.  I do not care how well it is done.  The female body is an unbelievable work of art unto itself.  Scars or not, the female form is beautiful.  Covering it with ink is a crime.  I took a huge hit when I mentioned that I do not date women with body art in my profile.  It was not a pretty experience.

        26. Yet Another Guy

          *will quit

        27. Yet Another Guy

          *United States

        28. GoWiththeFlow

          Oh YAG!  You’re not off the hook yet 😉

          We’ve heard from Jeremy his take of what men mean when they talk about women competing with them.  So now we are eagerly awaiting yours.  Here is your original statement

          “If more American women would learn how to get out of their masculine and stop attempting to compete with the men in their lives, being chivalrous would not feel like a waste of time and money.”

        29. Shaukat

          I am sorry, but nothing looks less ladylike than body art.
          Ha, this has got to be a generational thing. I love a well placed tat on a chic;)

        30. Persephone

          I have many observations on  differences between American femininity versus European / Mexican / Egyptian  femininity. I hope you enjoy reading the stories of some of my travels, so that I can illustrate this

          In Egypt, the most glamorous, delicate and feminine creature that I ever saw in my life, in any country, was covered from head to toe an exceptionally well tailored garments made of a luxurious looking fabric, even wearing black gloves. It’s rare in Egypt to see women this extremely covered, and they were obviously visitors perhaps from Saudi Arabia, in an upscale shopping center. The man who was accompanying her–obviously the husband–seemed very much in love, with an exceptional amount of chivalry and manners as he helper her step down a simple roadside curb  as if she was a precious jewel with whom he was doing a well-orchestrated dance. I could only see her eyes through her black niqab, which is the veil that totally covers her face.

          Contrast that with indigenous Mayan women of South Mexican and Guatemalan Highlands. They are dressed in ornately embroidered and colorful hand-dyed garments that they weaved themselves on backstrap looms, as they sit inside their dirt floor homes. They carried loads of firewood, and did very heavy labor. There is no nail polish on their nails, and there are simple sandals on their feet. Their glossy long luxurious dark hair is woven with colorful ribbons and tied up on their head. There is even a zapatista movement where the women were taught how to be civilian soldiers.  This defies everything that many people would put in a description of what femininity should be. And yet they manage to be feminine.

          A similar thing could be said about the women who were asked to serve in the Israeli Armed Forces. They are taught to be rugged soldiers, yet they manage to be feminine. I think I even saw a calendar or some kind of expose on how beautiful the female soldiers were.

          But, yes, if an American woman travels to a different country, she can be picked out easily from a crowd of a thousand people– even where everyone’s from a European culture and of the same complexion.  There is something unique about our Americaness, and our brand of femininity. Having a “can do” attitude is not what makes somebody lack femininity.

        31. Gala

          On body art: I don’t think this is a generational thing. It is a cultural thing. Low class people have them (aka tramp stamp, prison tattoos, gang tattoos etc.) and certain sub-cultures may have them (some artiscit people, military). Affluent younger people outside of these sub-cultures don’t have them and will not appreciate them. Just a few weeks ago I read a similar discussion on another blog. I remember thinking “I don’t know anybody with tattoes”. I was at an outdoor pool deck at an affluent gym. It was packed with people in their 20ies and 30ies wearing bathin suits. I looked around. I saw 2 women with small tattoos. That was it.

        32. Sum Guy

          GWTF

          I think I’m a very atypical guy in this regard but I’ve never been disturbed in the slightest with a woman competing with me or being better than me at something, taking the lead on things, etc.  Just never got how that made a guy feel less.  It’s not some zero-sum game, I’m not less if she is better at some stereotypical guy thing than me.

          It maybe because I’m still a scientist at heart, more likely it’s my personality type.

        33. Clare

          @Alex,

           

          I am only recently caught up on this discussion, and I can only say that putting people at ease has nothing to do with being servile and submissive, and is certainly not about being a doormat. It’s about everyone being at ease, including yourself, and it is a feminine art. If you look at women who are truly skilled at being feminine, they are not running around trying to please everyone. They are certainly not serving the coffee and refilling the water containers at a meeting where everyone is equals! In my family, anyway, it is the men who pour the drinks.

           

          No, putting people at ease is about having healthy boundaries. It’s about being courteous (which is very different from being servile) and not letting bad manners stand. Not allowing people who don’t know how to behave to ruin a nice time for everyone. Courtesy and manners are what allow everyone to have as nice a time as possible and they keep things running smoothly. Women are skilled at this. We’re the peacemakers – not by pleasing everybody, but by identifying when something is inappropriate and discouraging it. I don’t see my own way of being well-mannered as being servile in the least – on the contrary, it usually helps me get the best treatment from people when they realize that I am someone who respects myself and respects them.

  4. 65
    Marika

    Thanks, Jeremy, that’s useful. I’ll be mindful of avoidance. You may well be right. I’m very familiar with attachment theory as it relates to children and child/mother attachment, but would you mind outlining some avoidance behaviours the book mentions could happen in dating?

    Thank you ☺

    1. 65.1
      Jeremy

      Typically, coming on strong and then fading.  The book describes avoidant people as believing that a perfect partner exists for them somewhere, if only they could find that person.  They believe that their dating woes in the past arose due to the imperfections of others, rather than acknowledging their own failures/imperfections.  Or sometimes, acknowledging their own imperfections, but rather than being willing to change them, searching out a partner willing to accept those imperfections as they are (hence the admission of the imperfections to gauge reaction).

      And so, when they believe they have found that perfect person, they make that person feel special indeed….until either imperfections crop up or too much intimacy ensues, in which case they fade fast (leaving the bewildered partner wondering what went wrong).

       

      The basic descriptions – anxious people usually believe the flaw lies in themselves.  Avoidant people believe the flaw most often lies in others.  That’s why such people so often end up together – they each affirm their own beliefs and the beliefs of their partners.

      1. 65.1.1
        Marika

        Thank you Jeremy 😊

      2. 65.1.2
        Marika

        I understand the ‘competing with’/’being better at things’ idea Jeremy & YAG are talking about. Call me a helpless female, but if I were better at fixing things or had to change all the light bulbs because my man didn’t know how to, or carry things because he found them too heavy (for instance), that would be a turn off for me. My Dad was the kind of guy who would get up on a roof and install a fan in an hour, so you can see why this stuff defines masculinity for me.

        Equally, it feels good to me to know about something or be able to do something / explain something to my man who doesn’t understand it the way I do (something he doesn’t really care too much about, so it’s not competing or threatening). For me, femininity must be wrapped up in relating to others,.as I seem to have many conversations with the men in my life about being more patient with other people and why-they-did-what.

        I also very strongly remember my ex saying this throw-away thing that really stung: “you’re not very house-proud are you?”. Because I’d rather have a fun weekend than stay in and clean, and don’t spend lots of money on cushions etc. He’s right, but nevertheless, it stung.

        That being said, not everyone or every relationship is like that. I have friends who don’t care whether their man can fix stuff and are more traditionally ‘masculine’ than their boyfriend and are just fine.

  5. 66
    FG

    I boil it down to positive (secure) / negative (insecure) matrix form

    Pos / Pos       (best possible)
    Neg / Pos       (some trouble)
    Pos / Neg      (some trouble as well)
    Neg / Neg    (next would serve little or no purpose: problems must be resolved)

    Allso use same consideration for happy / unhappy people. When Neg appears, that person is often a drag on the happy person’s mood / outlook / life / emotions, etc.

  6. 67
    Persephone

    I am not buying the argument that women all want “tall” men.  For me, I don’t care, or in fact my ideal would be from 5’6″ to 5’10”.  But I really do not care.  That is so superficial if that is what women are putting on their profile wish list for dates. How about someone who likes the same thing you like? Or is nice?

    1. 67.1
      Marika

      Agreed, Persephone.

      I’m a tall woman and I don’t care about height. Men who say ‘women care about height’ mean women they have interacted with care. Or they are fearful their height is an issue and they put that fear onto women.

      One man I briefly dated cared a lot about being shorter than me. It was his fears and concerns that ruined the relationship. He actually said before we even met: you do know I’m a fair bit shorter than you? I said I didn’t know (I don’t look at the height part on dating sites), but didn’t care. However he kept bringing it up. Talk about a self-fulfilling prophecy!

    2. 67.2
      DeeGee

      Persephone said: “I am not buying the argument that women all want …

      I feel that you are extending the argument to encompass all women, since that is what you stated in your comment.  And while that may fit to some extent, I feel it is more of a curve.

      I would bet that if we did a study on it, asked a million women, we would probably find a bell curve graph similar to what my personal finding are.
      Of the women that I have contacted on dating sites and/or dated I have found:
      – At least 50% of women are very conscious of a man’s height, and would never date a man who was less than around 6 feet tall.
      – Around 25% of women would prefer a tall man but are willing to settle with a man who is at least their height or taller.
      – Around 25% of women have no real preference but are not necessarily into little people.

      I would bet that it is probably a similar graph to men’s preference on breast size in women.  50% only date a specific cup size, 25% have a preference but boobs are boobs and all are fun, 25% have no real preference.

      The difference is, I can’t get taller.
      So ruling men out on something that is genetic and totally out of their control is kind of crappy.

      1. 67.2.1
        Evan Marc Katz

        I’m desperately trying to avoid this comments section, but I can’t let nonsense like this slide, DeeGee:

        50% of women won’t date men less than 6 feet tall and 50% of men only date a specific cup size. The only women I know who INSIST on six foot men are tall women (5’8″ and above) and even then it’s only a percentage of them. I’ve NEVER met a man who dated a specific cup size. I know many men – myself included – who prefer curvier women but fell in love with women who were not.

        So if any women haven’t been driven off by these MGOTWs already (and I pretty much have) take heart: their view of the world is formed by their negativity and they don’t have many examples of what healthy love looks like. That’s why they’re going their own way.

        1. DeeGee

          Evan, I don’t mean to argue or belabor the point.  I also stated that I put general values into my post and that the numbers were not from any study.  So yes, to validate my claim I just went to Google just now to get that information for your blog.  So continue reading…

          Evan said: “The only women I know who INSIST on six foot men are tall women …

          This does not line up with my personal experience on multiple dating sites for over five years.
          It also does not line up with any of the studies done.
          Women DO prefer taller men.
          If any man has been on any dating site, I will guarantee that he has seen a good percentage of women’s profiles where they even had height requirements in men who contact them.
          I will even back up my claim with studies and links, and I will even provide some highlighted content from the links:

          https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/fulfillment-any-age/201306/why-women-want-tall-men

          Women were most satisfied when they were much shorter than their male partners (about 8 in.).
          The average height of women in the USA is 5’4″, so what is 8 inches taller than that? 6 Feet!

          http://www.eharmony.com/dating-advice/dating/why-do-women-all-seem-to-want-taller-men/#.WZufCumWyUk

          However, researchers found that of the 720 couples in their study, only one was comprised of a taller woman and a shorter man (Gillis & Avis, 1980).  This was a far smaller percentage than expected by chance, showing that there is some selective preference for taller men.

          https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/to-your-health/wp/2014/08/27/tall-men-have-their-pick-of-the-dating-pool/?utm_term=.b42afc7d4763

          The study found that tall men — guys over 6-foot-2 — marry at higher rates and are more likely to date and wed older, well-educated women.

          http://www.thesun.co.uk/living/1354943/its-good-news-for-tall-men-this-is-how-your-height-affects-your-sex-life/

          “Guys who were between 5ft 8in and 5ft 10in were deemed shorter than average”

          Google it.  There are literally hundreds of links and dozens of studies on it.
          I am not arguing the point.  I am simply providing facts and studies.

        2. Evan Marc Katz

          Completely irrelevant and disingenuous post. You didn’t say that women preferred taller men. You said 50% of women wouldn’t go out with men under 6 feet tall. Considering that 86% of men are under six feet tall and over 80% of women get married (presumably to more than 14% of the population), your math is an epic fail.

        3. DeeGee

          In for a penny, in for a pound…

          Evan said: “You said 50% of women wouldn’t go out with men under 6 feet tall.

          Perhaps the wording that I used in my initial post could have been more exact.  I should have said “only wanted to”, “preferred to”, and “no preference”.
          For the 50% number I would not say they “prefer dating taller” as the studies show that they “only want to date taller”.  There is a significant difference in those two meanings.  With the latter meaning that if the man wasn’t significantly taller (6 to 8 inches by most studies) then the woman will feel that she “settled” and the man didn’t meet her requirements.

          My personal dating experience is that all women who were 5’7″ or taller did not want to date me because of my height being only 5’9″.  All is a pretty significant number.

          https://fivethirtyeight.com/datalab/how-common-is-it-for-a-man-to-be-shorter-than-his-partner/

          The study found that women’s height preferences are far stronger than men’s. Forty-nine percent of women only wanted to date men who were taller than they were.

          But I digress.  I will not argue the point any further.

        4. Evan Marc Katz

          Good. Because I’m also 5’9″ and height has never been an issue for me. Let’s not cry wolf about how shallow women are when the VAST majority of woman are willing to date 5’9″ men even if they prefer men who are taller.

  7. 68
    Marika

    DeeGee

    I agree with your criticism of Nissa treating men like walking ATMs, but this is entirely untrue and unfair:

    Had a man posted onto this blog what I extrapolated from your initial post but changed a couple of words, he would have been crucified by most everyone else and ran off of the blog.

    There are men who post the male equivalent of Nissa’s type comments and worse, some of who are prolific posters. They just aren’t on your radar as you’re understandly far more sensitive to comments about men.

    As for sexism and being run off the blog, one recent prolific commenter said he wouldn’t want to be treated by a female healthcare professional and welcomes segregation of the sexes at work. He’s not being run off the blog.

    As long as we make this a competition, we get nowhere. Men and women both post ridiculous, unfair, biased nonsense on here. All.The.Time.

    1. 68.1
      FG

      To be more specific, I did NOT reject the notion of being trated by a female healthcare professional. My dentist is Vietnamese, female and brilliant. I said “in an emergency situation”, meanign a REAL emergency, blood fountains, crushed whatever, nuts and bolts sticking out, give me a guy. But I’ll take the woman physician over nothing, and I also mentioned that IF I had previous opportunity to “weigh” a specific male MD vs a specific female MD, it is possible I might choose the female. If on the run / happenstance, I would wish for a male MD to show up.

      You’re a fairly detailed individual yourself. Pay attention to the details and nuances of others’ statements. Don’t put words in my mouth.

      And don’t take my word eventual segregation, listen to Paglia, Peterson and a few other brilliant analysts of our society’s trends. They have reached the same conclusions I did some time back.
      That said, I reckon that you adopt a “blind” idealized position. You’re the “boss” (in your business), and likely (or possibly) working solo.   Similar to a (sorry for using that) Kumbaya outlook (WAIT) on blacks and related items. I do not like black (American) culture. Elevating gangs to prominence is not a good idea. I do not like hip hop and the like. HOWEVER, unlike many who brandish idealism, I have black friends, eat at their table, and they eat at mine. Two are seasoned professionals and well-educated, one is much more modest. Of the three, perhaps due to location, he’s the one I see the most often.
      Cheers

      1. 68.1.1
        Marika

        FG said:

        I do not like black (American) culture. 

        Honestly, moderator. Is this okay?? His outdated views on female emergency doctors are pretty low. But this is the lowest of the low.

        1. FG

          That would win, imo, the CNN out-of-context snippet journalism award of the month.
          With specific (linked) references of what I was referring to, are you saying you embrace values expressed in those songs or lyrics? Far scarier than anything I’ve ever said or written.
          Granted, I MIGHT have been more detailed. And added “parts of”, but that came immediately afterwards or should have been visible & comprehensible. Nobody implies that 30M Black Americans embrace those values. But it sells, so somebody likes it!

          Different note: the best ocular surgeon in these parts is a woman. Bar none. Competence is obviously a factor. Now watch me get nuked: I also suspect that smaller hands play a role in her excellence. Key word””suspect”. Plausible? Absolutely. Factual? I’d have to ask expert opinion. Namely, other surgeons & ophthalmologists. Is it a bias to state that women (generally) are more adept at dextrous tasks? Does that constitute prejudice? The mind boggles!

        2. Evan Marc Katz

          All right, FG… another nudge to the door. It’s been fun. Hope you enjoy condescending to women on other websites, including your dating sites. Bye now.

      2. 68.1.2
        GoWiththeFlow

        Marika,

        I know your not from the States. . . in the aftermath of the Neo-Nazi violence in Virginia, there has been attention paid by the media here to crossover links between leaders in the manosphere and the alt-right.  Both belief systems are based on feelings of being oppressed and victimized.  So it’s not shocking that a man who is a sexist is also a racist.

        1. Marika

          Terrifying.

          Men and women taking pot shots at each other is one thing. This takes things to a whole new level. I don’t care who tells me I’m restricting freedom of speech. Racism is not okay. Neither is staying silent about it.

      3. 68.1.3
        Jeremy

        @GWTF, Marika, and I guess all other readers.  I know this won’t be news to you, but there is a pattern here that bears recognition.  The DSM-5 describes the symptoms of narcissistic personality disorder as follows:

        Having an exaggerated sense of self-importance
        Expecting to be recognized as superior
        Exaggerating your achievements and talents
        Being preoccupied with fantasies about success, power, brilliance, beauty or the perfect mate
        Believing that you are superior and can only be understood by or associate with equally special people
        Requiring constant admiration
        Having a sense of entitlement
        Expecting special favors and unquestioning compliance with your expectations
        Taking advantage of others to get what you want
        Having an inability or unwillingness to recognize the needs and feelings of others
        Being envious of others and believing others envy you
        Behaving in an arrogant or haughty manner

        One can be exceptionally intelligent and still be a narcissist.  One can be exceptionally intelligent and still be blinded by confirmation bias.  But one should never try to argue with a narcissist (once the traits are recognized) – it is a frustrating exercise in futility, much like spending an afternoon punching a memory foam pillow and then searching for the results of your efforts.

         

        You or I will never convince a narcissist of anything.  At best, all arguments will be ignored.  At worst, arguments will be absorbed into the pre-existing world-view as further support.  To a narcissist, one is either an ally, and enemy, or totally irrelevant.

         

        I make no particular judgments against certain commenters here – I don’t know any of them personally, and could be wrong.  But I encourage others to keep the above in mind to save themselves frustration.  Because some people – and particularly women who search for things to ADMIRE in a partner – can easily fall in love with narcissists and come to admire them….and then live to regret it.

         

        There are many types of intelligence – strategic, tactical, logistical, emotional, etc.  And even psychologists who administer IQ tests admit the failings of IQ as a gauge of intelligence (I know, because I am married to such a person).  I’ve never taken an IQ test for that very reason.  If my IQ was high, I would be tempted to consider myself superior to others – falsely.  If it was low, I’d consider myself inferior or have an axe to grind.  A person with an IQ of 170 can still be a blind fool, considering others brilliant only if they agree with him or are useful to him.

        1. GoWiththeFlow

          Thanks Jeremy,

          I have a grandparent, now deceased, that had NPD, and another family member who checks half the boxes of the DSM-5 criteria.  You’re right, it’s useless to argue with someone with NPD with the expectation that they will consider your case and possibly change their opinion.  The reason I consciously decided to engage here is to make sure there is push back on the record and to make sure that other commenters who are engaged in an verbal exchange with someone with NPD type behaviors is supported.

          As a child and young adult, a few times I was on the receiving end of a narcissistic rant from my grandparent.  A narcissist will say the sky is green.  When you reply, no it’s blue, they will then go down a pathway where they double down on the sky being green. That you think you’re so smart trying to use science to explain why it’s blue, when in their experience (which is always THE definitive arbiter of what is GOOD and TRUE) it’s green so that’s that.  And you are stupid beyond words to ever think the sky is blue, how shameful!

          Narcissists use words as weapons.  Part of the way they shore up their vision of themselves as special and superior to others is to ridicule and shame those who disagree with them, since the very act of not agreeing with them challenges their specialness.  While it’s predictable the narcissist will behave this way, what is additionally damaging is how bystanders will not speak up to support the person on the receiving end of a tirade.  Usually because the bystander doesn’t want the attention of the narcissist turned on them.

          Most professional advice for people dealing with narcissists is to disengage as much as possible.  There’s a reason my parents moved 600 miles away from home right after they married.  But in instances where someone can’t get away, the narcissist is a boss or coworker, a neighbor, or there’s a minor child stuck at home, it’s important that they feel supported by others.  “Hey, we see the crazy, too.  It’s not you.”

        2. Jeremy

          @GWTF, makes sense.

      4. 68.1.4
        Gala

        And this, ladies and gentlemen, is why we still need feminism. Pay attention: a male doctor is presumed competent while a female doctor needs to prove herself to be not worst that a male first. Here’s exactly the attitude that is keeping women back. Our only hope is that it will die out together with the men who hold it at a rapid clip and that we can bring up our sons better than this.

  8. 69
    Marika

    Thank you GWTF and Jeremy

    I understand engaging feeds the beast and you can never win an argument with a narcissist. I just couldn’t let this last one go. It was bad enough when he had a go at you, GWTF, after how ever many years of study, apparently you’re just an incompetent female. Then the thing about race. Sorry, too far. Couldn’t let that go. Wrong is wrong.

    1. 69.1
      GoWiththeFlow

      Thanks Marika,

      If I let every guy I come across in my professional life who thinks that way get under my skin, I would be angry and upset way more that I want to be.  I’m lucky.  I love and enjoy my job and get paid well for doing it.  I have three healthy happy kids–yes the 32 year old is still my baby–and I’m healthy myself and always looking to improve.

      The thing that literally made me LOL was his assumption that he alone determines what the parameters of his relationship with a healthcare provider will be.  It reminded me of how stunned my relative was when her internist fired her as a patient.  This being the relative that meets half the DSM-5 criteria for a narcissist.

      There’s a certain amount of jaw dropping cluelessness that others will totally see in a narcissist’s behavior.  Like thinking that at age 57 they’re a hottie-pattotie with the same SMV they had at 27, while the opposite sex is hopelessly aged and decrepit.  My female relative does this too.  Her kids are mortified by her behavior and I and other family members are embarrassed for her.  Her Facebook wall is an epic train wreck.

      P.S.  I totally agree about not remaining silent in the face of misogyny, racism, and bigotry.

      P.P.S  For any Game of Thrones fans out there, Cersei is a classic narcissist.

      1. 69.1.1
        Marika

        GWTF

        It’s honestly distressing to me that you regularly come into contact with people who are like something out of the British comedies my parents used to watch when I was a little kid (e.g Fawlty Towers, Love Thy Neighbour) in 2017.  I work in health too (allied health), but I work with kids, so it’s probably ‘acceptable’ for me to be a woman and not get hassled. We did have one instance when a girl of Indian descent worked here briefly as intern. The mother of one patient asked if her daughter could see someone else. My boss (to her absolute credit) said: why don’t you take 5 minutes and think through what you just said. Then come back and tell me if you’d like to get your daughter the help she needs here, or go elsewhere. Because I’m not changing her practitioner.

        Anyway, on to happier and lighter things: Poland. It will always hold a special place in my heart. I lived and worked in Wroclaw, and for a girl from Sydney (I was only in my early 20s at the time), it was a good reminder to be grateful always for what I have and to be incredibly mindful of the challenges that some people face (and face with energy, enthusiasm and no sense of ‘poor me’). As beautiful as it was, even post communism (it was around 15 years ago), it had a sadness and a heaviness I’d never encountered before. Racism makes no sense to me. Of all the things you can take no credit for in your life, where you were born and what colour your skin is, is at the top of the list.

        I’m embarrassed at my country’s treatment of its native people. I’m angry at our ongoing rejection and disdain for asylum seekers. Whenever I see racism, I call it out (even in my own family). If you’re completely uneducated, from a racist family and never travelled outside your own city, maybe I can understand you being a bit funny about other cultures. Maybe. But otherwise. No.

        1. Jeremy

          This discussion brings to mind an interesting point.  What’s the difference between belief and fanaticism?  It is the difference between thinking something and knowing it.

           

          If I think a particular ideology is true, but understand the reasons why I think so (I’ve been raised with it, I’ve heard it from people I trust, I want it to be true, it jives with other things I’ve observed, etc), I can acknowledge that others with different upbringings or experiences might think otherwise.  And we can get along and respect each other.

           

          But if I KNOW something to be true (or believe that I know it), then that makes anyone who disagrees with me WRONG.  And if they are wrong, it follows that they should be corrected.  And whether I believe they should be corrected with loving kindness or with the sword, regardless that falls on the spectrum of fanaticism – and hence every ideological war in human history, whether based on religion, communism, Nazism, etc.

           

          The narcissist can not acknowledge that he or she might be wrong.  The racist will not acknowledge that other perspectives might be as valid as his own.  I recently attended a continuing education lecture where the presenter began with slides of his home State, Texas, and said that America, for all its flaws, is still God’s greatest country on Earth.  The crowd laughed and said, “you know you are in Canada right now, right?”

        2. GoWiththeFlow

          Marika & Jeremy,

          Between medical school, residency (specialty) training, and community practice, I’ve been in healthcare for ~25 years.  Thankfully, situations like I mentioned happen only once in awhile, most when I was in residency and in my first job afterwards at major tertiary hospitals where we get physical assaults patients, stabbings, and shootings.  So that patient population tends to have high levels of antisocial and pathological behaviors.

          Unfortunately, there’s been an uptick of crazy in the past year.  Brown skinned doctors, nurses, and techs asked if they’re here “illegally” and one being asked about whether they were Christian or not.  It’s going to be real hard to put that genie back in the bottle 🙁

           

        3. Clare

          Jeremy,

           

          I don’t mean to nitpick, but I don’t agree with you here:

           

          “And if they are wrong, it follows that they should be corrected.  And whether I believe they should be corrected with loving kindness or with the sword, regardless that falls on the spectrum of fanaticism –”

           

          There are plenty of people (everyone I know really) who think that others are wrong about something. I would not call them fanatics (by the way, what do you mean by “spectrum of fanaticism”? Is it a sliding scale? Can you be only a little bit terrorist/Nazi etc.? I thought fanaticism by its very nature was extreme).

           

          I think your point about knowing others might have a different viewpoint versus thinking they are wrong is a very tenuous one. Surely if you believe something, you believe it is true and right, otherwise what is the point of believing it? Our beliefs may certainly change (mine certainly have, in some areas they have done a complete 180), but at one point you believed that it was the best version of the truth that you could come up with. Clearly a necessary consequence of this is not believing the same thing as people who have a different view. So then, whether you use the word “wrong,” “misguided,” “different,” it alters the fact that you believe different things very little.

           

          For my part, I believe that fanaticism, of the kind that should be opposed and resisted, is when people refuse to allow those who express a different opinion or who have a different belief or who are different in some other material way, to exist or to express themselves. In other words, people who do not live and let live, people who do not leave others in peace to get on with their lives, people who do not recognise others’ rights to conduct their lives with the same autonomy as they do. Terrorists who go in and gun down innocent people because they have a different religious or cultural belief would be a classic example. Someone who tries to shut down someone from getting a job or starting a business because of their race. People who try to stop others expressing a different opinion. There has to be a proactive interference with others’ lives and rights to exist.

           

          I’m sorry, but I do not accept someone who corrects others with loving kindness as a fanatic. Otherwise, all parents would be fanatics. Otherwise, I would be a fanatic for gently telling my brother that the way he makes coffee is a sacrilege.

  9. 70
    Sum Guy

    Hi Gala,
    He’s an idiot, throw-back or troll, or all three.  Stating he prefers a male doctor over a female one, like we should all just know that men make better doctors.  
    (I can see a preference on who you are comfortable being prodded in intimate places by or talking about your body to, i prefer my female doctor myself)
    Referencing “black culture” as if it is one monolithic thing that we should just know what it is, and that it equates to gang culture.  Wow!  So clueless. 
    I’m more concerned about rock n roll corrupting the moral fiber of America’s youth. (Not)
    PS the last page of these comments has a corrupted script it seems and it keeps crashing for me, making it near impossible to reaf.
     

  10. 71
    Marika

    The point you make about ‘bait’ is a good one, Persephone . Sometime these things become self fulflling prophecies. Like the woman who chases hot players then bemoans that no guy ever wants to commit. Or the man constantly drawn to the hot mess who then thinks all women are crazy.

    There are reasonable, moderate, non-crazy people out there. If we think there aren’t, we probably need to pay attention to the kinds of people we’re attracted to and the traits we most highly prize in a date. Otherwise we only have ourselves to blame.

  11. 72
    Marika

    Maria

    As a fellow Aussie I can relate to the lack of effort that men here put into their appearance on dates. But..

    Whenever I read things like this where one gender is trying to convince the opposite gender of what is (or should be) important to them on a date: sorry, it doesn’t work. Not one man on here (and this has come up many times) has said that they would be willing to pay more for a date to compensate for the effort a woman chooses to put in to make herself look nice. Yes, women who look better get more attention from men. Yes, if we rocked up in muddy boots with no makeup and messy hair, guys would probably be disappointed. But it’s a stretch to then say that to compensate for that, they should pay. It’s a losing argument. No one thinks it’s valid, so we should drop it.

    I, like most women appreciate and am flattered when a man pays for the first date or two (nothing fancy), and there’s no awkward arguing over the bill or getting out the calculator. I certainly don’t expect it, and it’s no indication whether they’ll be a good partner, but as many women like it, it’s a nice, effective strategy in the very early stages of dating, if the man can afford it. And in return it’s nice for the man if we’re appreciative, at least offer to split it and/or pay for an extra drink, dessert or whatever. It’s not nice for them if instead we sit there thinking: well I just spent $200 on my hair, buddy, so pay up.

    1. 72.1
      Maria

      Marika — You make very good observations. I agree with what you are saying in essence.  I will comment on it in a second, but first let me clarify that I am not really trying to convince anyone of anything. Not in a million years would I bring issues of substantive monetary equality with a guy I am dating. And obviously I am not in a position to dictate mainstream male courtship habits either.

      As far as behavior, I act  like you do: I don’t expect a man to pay, it’s nice when it happens (and I try to even out the night’s expenses by paying for something else on the night). And when it doesn’t happen? Yes, more often than not I am disappointed.

      Now, I will try to hide my disappointment, and I will succeed (I think), and I even give myself a little mental pep talk about feminism, about how lucky we women are that we have our own bank accounts and financial independence now. But yes, sometimes, in a mental flash, I think about the lengths I went to for this guy, and the time, the expense… What is the return on my investment here? You can say that certain things are not nice to think about, but have you ever tried to control or suppress your thoughts? Harder than it sounds.

      Am really, really siting there on a date, thinking about these things? That depends. Sometimes I do. It really depends on how I feel about his behavior, appearance and demeanor in general, and the reasons why he’s not paying.  This is not only about money. It’s about many things.

      Chivalry is a lost art in Australia for sure. Now the US is not much better, from my experience in the 6 years I lived there. I have had men act the weirdest ways on first dates — men who, as it turned out, were interested in me. An American man that I went on a blind date with once told me, as a summary of the night: “Well, I can’t see any reason why we shouldn’t go out”. I didn’t say anything. The question there, of course, was: Do you see any reason why we should?

      This same man endangered both our lives on the same night by driving in a dark two-way road right on the line that divided the lanes. He said he would get a bit lazy on these roads and couldn’t be bothered to follow the curves of the shoulder.

      If a man is lazy, cheap, self-absorbed and half-assed in the first date with a woman he likes… what level of enthusiasm and appreciation can you really expect from there on in? What are you in for?

      I’ve had men talk about themselves all the time on dates, showing no interest in me whatsoever, not realising how much they were alienating me with some of the topics and views. (This is very actively being talked about elsewhere in this forum). I’ve had men whose heads would turn 90 degrees every time another woman entered the coffee shop, or even to look at cars or motorcycles out the window — while I was right there, trying to go through the motions of the date. Trying to make conversation. These are all guys that wanted to “follow up” with me afterwards.

      So this is about presence, about interest, enthusiasm, generosity and appreciation for the person that is there in front of you. Be present with her at the very least. Be f****ing there.

      The moment when the check comes is not THE defining moment, but it can put the last nail on the coffin of a lazy self-absorbed slob. A nail with the inscription: “Oh, and cheap too”. It can also make me see a “nice enough” guy in a slightly less positive light. Yes, generosity and willingness to smooth things out for us is important in a prospective partner.

      There are certain things about a man sitting across from me on a date that can for sure make me forget my initial investment in the situation. Because the returns are already there, you see? If a man is interesting and attractive enough, if he shows interest in me in polite and proactive ways, if he is funny or intelligent in non-verbose or obnoxious way, if he adds value to the situation, a split bill is not likely to worry me.

      1. 72.1.1
        Maria

        I am going to reply to myself here to fondly reminisce about a lovely Indian-Australian friend of mine who would always pay for everything — every-time we’d go out. (He lives in Houston now). I really liked him, I would have gone out with him in a heartbeat.Generosity was one of his many qualities.

        I was so confused by this magnanimous and gentlemanly behavior that I made a pass at him one night. Because I thought we were dating, you see? I cringe when I think about it. He was very tactful about it, even went along with it, but later made it discreetly clear that he was not interested in me in that way. But he kept paying for things whenever we’d catch up. I would try to contribute, even grabbed the check a couple of times, and finally I asked him why. He said something along the lines of: “It’s my pleasure, I really enjoy your company and this is the way I was brought up.” Go figure.

        1. Maria

          Replying to myself again here to relay tales from two other first and last dates with American men. Let’s see, there was a guy who… get this.

          I was set up by friends with this guy, a pianist. We went out for dinner. I don’t remember whether he paid or not, but I remember this: as we were coming out of the restaurant in downtown Albany NY , late at night, we found ourselves in a dark lonesome alley. Suddenly we see a group of young men all dressed in hoodies, with a general vibe of possibly being some kind of gang. Now, I am 5’9” and this guy was a few inches shorter than me. So. I guess he saw an opportunity to step behind me, to make sure that the gang members (if that’s what they were) saw me first.  The “gangsters” didn’t hassle us at all, but boy, was this incident enlightening. The friends I was staying with were in hysterics (as in laughing) when I told them about my knight in shining armor.

          Then there was this other guy who asked me out on a date — this is in Plattsburgh, NY now. He was employed, I was not. He knew I was unemployed. He was a small-time journalist. He got to my place early, when I was still drying my hair, and sprang on me that he needed to go to a sporting event, something I wasn’t interested in — but I still agreed to go. When we got there, he made me pay for my ticket. I hate sports, you understand. After that, we went out to dinner and he suggested we go Dutch, but not just a general 50/50, NO. More along the lines of him ticking off things with a pen and saying things like: “Now, your bread was $5 , right?”

           

        2. Clare

          Maria,

           

          I went out with a guy, and we are friends now, who insists on paying the bill every time we go out. He did it while we were dating, and he still does it to this day, even though there’s no chance of a relationship between us. After the first couple of dates with him, I tried to insist on paying for our meal, to reciprocate, and he eventually said to me rather firmly “I appreciate the thought, but it annoys me. I really would rather pay.”

           

          He was well off and it was how he was raised. His discomfort at being paid for would have been greater than mine, so I let him.

      2. 72.1.2
        Fromkin

        “Well, I can’t see any reason why we shouldn’t go out”. I didn’t say anything. The question there, of course, was: Do you see any reason why we should?

        Totally aside from dating mishaps, I would guess this right here is a frequent difference in men’s thinking versus women’s thinking. I married a girl who thought the first way.

        1. Maria

          Yes, there is an element of gendered thinking in this dichotomy.  I think it is possible for a man to think exactly that, but then frame it in a more positive way. I felt the statement was presumptuous and it discounted my opinion. Almost as if he had some right of veto that I didn’t have. In any case, he just made the pronouncement, he didn’t ask me what I thought. He was on-board all by himself.

           

      3. 72.1.3
        Sum Guy

        Hi Maria,

        If a man is interesting and attractive enough, if he shows interest in me in polite and proactive ways, if he is funny or intelligent in non-verbose or obnoxious way, if he adds value to the situation, a split bill is not likely to worry me.”

        That may be the secret right there.  I find on-line dating and dates in general pretty easy (and fun) here in the USA, and women always offer to split or even pay the bill (I always offer to pay and generally will unless it seems she will be put off by it).   I’ve been regaled by dates about the kind of men you describe, or worse, so maybe there is nothing extraordinary about me  except being what I was raised to think of as just being decent and interesting company.  Maybe it is a bit of the farmer side of the family, where spending evening talking was what folks did.

         

        P.S. the corrupt script on this webpage seems to have been fixed

         

  12. 73
    Marika

    YAG:

    Whatever approach you take to dating is up to you. Whatever decision you make about whether you remain single, engage in FWB, keep dating but not pay for anyone, whatever, again your choice.

    But the (unanswered) question remains. What are you getting out of being a regular reader and commenter here? If you’re just here to tell women how wrong we are, to remind us that we will grow old & unattractive, or to rain on the parades of people who want relationships, do you not see how unproductive & nasty that is? At the very least throw in the occasional positive contribution, or take responsibility for the state of your dating life rather than constantly blaming women, please.

    1. 73.1
      Clare

      Marika,

      “If you’re just here to tell women how wrong we are, to remind us that we will grow old & unattractive, or to rain on the parades of people who want relationships, do you not see how unproductive & nasty that is?”

       

      You left out his lengthy tirades at every opportunity about women’s apparent obsession with men’s height and the abundant sexual opportunities of tall men 😀

  13. 74
    Jeremy

    @Clare, thread 69, you wrote “Surely if you believe something, you believe it is true and right, otherwise what is the point of believing it?”

     

    If you’ve never read the book “Sapiens” by Yuval Harari, I would highly recommend picking up a copy.  This book does the best job, of any book I’ve ever read, of explaining exactly why people believe the things they do.  And the reasons have absolutely nothing to do with “truth.”  We tell ourselves stories – stories that allow us to function in an uncertain world, stories that allow us to bond with other people with whom we’d otherwise have nothing in common.  We create fictions like money (why should paper have any intrinsic value?), like countries (the globe has no subdivisions), like human rights (humans have no rights in nature).  We develop beliefs based on an amalgamation of what we WANT to believe, what we HOPE will be true, and what we FEAR might be true.

     

    And we are all entitled to our beliefs, but we are not entitled to impose them on others.  The missionary who stands on the street corner of a Jewish area, trying to convert Jewish people to Christianity with loving kindness….is a fanatic.  She is a fanatic because rather than simply living by her beliefs, she believes that others require correction in theirs and is taking action on that belief.  As is the atheist who trolls religious facebook sites calling others idiots for their beliefs.  Although these people don’t use violence, they are on the same spectrum as those who do.  Because once you believe that others require correction and that it’s your job to correct them, the jump from the flower to the sword is not a large one, as history demonstrates.

     

    We raise our kids because that’s our job – but it is not our job to raise other people.  It is one thing to think someone else’s beliefs are wrong – I have little doubt that Scientologists are misguided, as a personal example – and thinking that someone else is wrong does not make me a fanatic.  What would make me a fanatic is the idea that I AM RIGHT, and that it is my job to correct those who are wrong.  The lack of a tiny doubt that I could be as wrong and misguided as anyone else.  I don’t have the right to “correct” others, because I am not the paragon of truth.  Someone who does believe that they are the paragon of truth is a fanatic.

     

    You might not like the way your brother pours coffee, my wife might not like the way I load the dishwasher.  You and she might each make your suggestions…..but hopefully neither of you camps out at other people’s homes to try to convert them, or delivers newsletters to others to get them to do things your way.  Because although you might think you are right, you hopefully realize that others have their own opinions and (here’s the important part) – that there might be a tiny chance that your way isn’t the best way for everyone.

     

    1. 74.1
      Clare

      Jeremy,

      It seems as if you and I are actually on the same page.

      Because I said in my original post:

      “For my part, I believe that fanaticism, of the kind that should be opposed and resisted, is when people refuse to allow those who express a different opinion or who have a different belief or who are different in some other material way, to exist or to express themselves. In other words, people who do not live and let live, people who do not leave others in peace to get on with their lives, people who do not recognise others’ rights to conduct their lives with the same autonomy as they do.”

      I believe this is the same as what you are saying. Merely thinking that someone else is misguided and wrong does not make someone a fanatic; but doing something proactive to impose your beliefs on others does. Not allowing others the same freedom and autonomy to believe what they want to believe makes you a fanatic.

      And I think I see what you are saying now about how someone who lovingly and kindly tries to correct others can still be a fanatic. I do still think the lines can be blurred in some circumstances though… There are many circumstances where the beliefs of others are imposed on us, and we don’t necessarily qualify these as fanatical. My point was, I think it’s worth examining where our boundaries on this lie, because it’s easy to accept the actions of some as fanatical, and the actions of others as simply “doing what’s right” without proper examination.

      1. 74.1.1
        Jeremy

        That’s fair.  But there is a difference between thinking “I’m right and he is wrong” and living side by side, versus thinking “I think I am right and I think he is wrong, but I realize that we both might be mistaken and so I claim no superiority.”  The first way is far more likely to end up in conflict.

         

        Having said that, we obviously limit this philosophical approach when dealing with others who are intolerant of us.  I would never say of a Nazi that he is entitled to his beliefs and let’s live and let live – because I know that a Nazi would not believe the same of me.  Tolerance ends when it meets those intolerant of itself, except as pertaining to themselves.

        1. Clare

          Ah ok, this is where we differ.

          “Having said that, we obviously limit this philosophical approach when dealing with others who are intolerant of us.  I would never say of a Nazi that he is entitled to his beliefs and let’s live and let live – because I know that a Nazi would not believe the same of me.  Tolerance ends when it meets those intolerant of itself, except as pertaining to themselves.”

          I think a Nazi is entitled to his beliefs. Because policing the thoughts of others amounts to the thought-crime spoken of by Orwell in 1984. What a Nazi is not entitled to do is hurt and harm others, break the law, and impose his beliefs on others which interferes with their rights to live. It’s in the proactive actions which people take with others where we step in and restrict them. We cannot possibly say people don’t have a right to their thoughts and beliefs (how they express them is a different matter though).

          That’s what I believe anyway. I realise you may differ from me, and you’ve every right to do so 🙂

  14. 75
    Rampiance

    One thing I dislike about conventional dating is the conventions about who pays and why.  So my workaround is this ~~

    If we don’t know each other yet and we’re figuring out a first meeting and he suggests dinner in a tone that sounds like it might be expensive, I might say, well, we don’t know much about each other and I’d like to feel relaxed and open-ended for our first meeting.  And then I suggest a place that I can actually afford to pay my way, as I’m on a low budget for outings.  Like a free music event or a coffee conversation or a walk in the park.

    Sometime along the way, he might ask me out to a pricey dinner, which is when I’d say that my budget doesn’t allow dinners at that place (or at that frequency, or whatever).  Men kind of puff up and feel large and generous to extend a dinner to me, and I genuinely appreciate their generosity when they do.  On the other hand, I’m always ready to do the kinds of activities, events, and outings that I can regularly afford to do and pay for.

    1. 75.1
      Persephone

      Rampiance at 75,

      I have, on a rare occasion, asked out guys in the past, and in that instance I pay. It’s something like when I ask out my girlfriends, and often I pay, and then the next time they asked me out and they treat me in return.

      But most of the time, I let a guy ask me out. I enjoy going out with men from Mexico, and they would never dream of letting a woman pay. I think it all depends upon the culture. There are still a lot of cultural variances within the United States. Here in the South, there’s a lot more chivalry. Men open doors for me, and help me push in my chair when I’m seated at the table. We still wait until each other has been served our meal before we begin eating. Most men were taught that it is good manners to pay. Maybe this won’t work for people that are dating numerous times in one week, for numerous different people.  I can’t speak for the cultures of other Westernized countries from which we seem to have people on this blog, or for those up North.

      1. 75.1.1
        Sum Guy

        Hi Persephone,

        Those are habits up North as well, holding doors, waiting until everyone is served, good manners for a man to pay (but also good manners for the woman to offer and the man to refuse the offer).  It’s also good manners here if you are a man with a jacket and it’s cold outside and she is not so warmly dressed you offer her your jacket (maybe the analogous situation in the steamy south is offering mosquito repellant 🙂 ).

        In fact, it often seems to be.  I offer to pay, she offers to split, I say no worries I got this one, then she says I’ll get the next one.  A very easy transition into let’s have a second date.

        The paying for meals thing is more an attitude than money.  If it is expected of me it can be offensive, maybe especially a sore spot for divorced men.  In my age group (50) we on OLD are mostly divorced, some widowed, and very few never married.

        I tend to mention paying for dates a lot here because offering to pay for a guy or paying is a good way to make a positive impression on him.  Yet I see a lot of views or rules where having the man pay is one way to have him “prove” himself.

        Also, I think Evan sometimes counsels taking things very slow (in the intimacy area) with a guy, which is fine as long as he doesn’t come to think you are stringing him a long, e.g., using him as a source of free meals and entertainment.  In these situations I think it is very important for the woman to offer to pay or pay for some of the dates to let him know it’s not just his money you are after, but wanting to know him as well.

    2. 75.2
      Sum Guy

      Rampiance,

      That’s a great way to do it.  I like your ideas on first meetings.  As an aside for first meetings, I like to meet for drinks (there are many gastro-pub like places near me, very nice bar/bar area, good to amazing food, comforting décor, a safe place and vibe).  At some point it becomes clear if we are not hitting it off, most likely are enough can offer to get food from just appetizers or dinner; and since I offered I figure it is less awkward if I offer to pay.

      1. 75.2.1
        Rampiance

        Thanks for your feedback, Sum Guy.  🙂  For me, like you, it makes a difference who make the invitation.  I figure the inviter is offering to pay, but if it’s unclear, I clarify before committing to an engagement I couldn’t otherwise afford to pay for.

    3. 75.3
      SparklingEmerald

      Before I got married, when I was in OLD, most dating sites had a category for first date ideas, favorite hang out spots, etc.  My profiles were peppered with tons of ideas for FREE activities.  Where I live we have tons of free concerts, art walks, museums usually have one free evening or no admission after a particular time.  I mentioned my favorite scenic hike, as well as other activities that cost NOTHING. So any guy who contacted me, already had a “cheat sheet” of good first meet and greets that would cost NOTHING, and provide an activity for us to engage in.

      I, and other women on this blog have stated many times, that a first date could be a free activity, and the men who yell the loudest about having to “pay” completely IGNORE those posts.

      That just make me thinks that the men who are bellyaching about the prospect of having to buy a happy hour glass of wine or cup of coffee are more interested in remain in “victim mode” than finding a solution to the “who pays” for a first date.

       

       

      1. 75.3.1
        Shaukat

        @Sparkling,

        That’s nice that you’re open to those type of dates. Not sure if Maria would be, since her argument seems to be that paid dates are compensation for a woman looking good. At any rate, I always pay for the first date anyways, I wasn’t arguing its effectiveness.

        @Maria,

        Where on earth did you get the idea that I’m unaware of the fact that a woman may not be as interested in me as I am in her in certain cases? If we’re talking about online or tinder I often go into it assuming that I may not be interested. I never said or even implied that. Contrary to your implicit assumption, most men aren’t idiots on this topic. We know that you can only gauge genuine interest by seeing how the date progresses and by the follow up. My point was that chivalry alone will rarely compensate for this, just as sex alone will rarely compensate for a man’s lukewarm interest in a woman. Chivalry worked throughout most of Western civilization because for most of that period women were excluded from the labor market and discriminated against. It’s a little different now.

        1. Maria

          @Shaukat — The idea that you think you are on an equal footing with a woman you have asked out on a date was implied in many of your posts. Whenever I mentioned the expense and effort that a woman goes to to prepare for a first date, you would say that you match that, and therefore you don’t feel you have to contribute anything additional. And yet, if you are trying to seduce someone, you have to find a way to value add to the situation.

          Or I would say that many men would find value in enjoying the company of an attractive well-put-together woman, even if it didn’t lead to sex immediately, and you would again counter that the woman might similarly enjoy the company of the handsome man — leading to your same conclusion that the guy doesn’t need to do anything extra to win the woman over.

          You mischaracterize my views constantly. I have repeatedly stated that chivalry is not about splashing cash; it’s about avoiding awkwardness and making the woman feel safe, respected and desired. This doesn’t have to involve much money, provided that you are creative enough.

          My longest relationship, which lasted five years, was with a man 13 years my junior who was a PhD student and an Army reservist when I first met him. I made much more money that he did, but he still found ways of being chivalrous by being resourceful and creative. For example, he would prepare a picnic and drive me somewhere I hadn’t been. I invited him around to my house often so we didn’t have to rely on spending money, but he found ways to show that he valued me. For example, he managed to save for a garden fountain to give me as a Christmas present — and for a get-away to a resort. I did offer to pay my half and he said no need, that he would take care of it.

          Since the concept of chivalry seems so anachronistic to you (it’s not!), let me put it a different way. My first question to any female friend of mine that has doubts about a guy she is beginning to date (as in she doesn’t know yet whether she likes him or not) is: “How does he treat you?” If the answer is something like: “Like a queen”, I will always encourage my girlfriend to keep dating the guy.

          So forget chivalry if you must. Just treat a woman well. Do you even know what that means? I wonder. If your next question is something like: “Oh yeah??? And how is she treating me??? Am I getting sex right away???”, then you are still showing that you don’t understand that the terrain is not even, that it’s up to you to even it out.

          In the current climate of men’s attention diluted among many online contacts and spread thin in too many directions, I am absolutely certain that the energy, time, creativity and/or resources that a man invests on a date is a reliable way for the woman to gauge his interest level and his value as a potential partner.

           

        2. SparklingEmerald

          Just a general thought on the whole “who pays” question.

          It must be a generational thing.  In my very younger days of dating, men would be positively INSULTED if I tried to pay.  When I became involuntarily single again in my late 50’s, I was initially very puzzled as to how to handle this.  Do I risk insulting a man by offering to pay, or do I risk coming off as an entitled princess if I don’t ?  It seemed like a “no win” situation to me.

          As I got back into the dating pool, it just seemed to work out.  The men in my generation now seem to understand that the rules aren’t so clear cut, so when I offered to pay, they didn’t get insulted, but firmly refused my offer to pay every time. And even if I steered the first  date to some freebie date, they would offer to treat me to some refreshment.  Perhaps a gellato at the free concert in the park or some such thing, for which I always graciously thanked them.

          My husband didn’t let me pay for anything for quite a while, but thought it was “cute” that I offered.  The only way he would let me treat in the beginning was if it was one of the many “freebies” I get.  Some of my workplace perks are free movie tickets, baseball tickets, & Visa gift cards.   I get comped into live stage productions because of my former involvement with stage acting.  So early on,  I could treat us to some nice outings, without it costing me a dime. But I think it was 6 months of dating before I was “allowed” to pick up a tab for an outing with my own money, and even then I had to “sneak” it in, by buying our admission online.  Prior to that, my contribution was making dinner at my place.   Even now, when we go out,  he picks up the tab the majority of the time, but he also does that for friends and family.  He and his son in law fight over the check regularly :).    These days, as an “old married couple”,  we mostly stay in, go to the gym together, take walks, or socialize with friends, so who pays for dates is irrelevant.  Since we married late in life, we keep our finances separate, and pretty much pay our own way on most expenses.

          I don’t understand men who claim a first date cost hundreds of dollars, nor women who claim it costs them hundreds of dollars to look good for a date.

          I can have a fun and interesting time at a free event and look good while I am at it, without spending a small fortune.

        3. Maria

          @Shaukat

          The assumption that you are on equal keel with your dates was implied in many of your posts, when you repeatedly questioned why you were expected to do anything extra when you were already matching the woman in preparation, effort, physical appearance, grooming, etc.
          It doesn’t matter if you match the woman blow-by-blow on everything. You are the one trying to seduce her so you are the one who has to add value to the situation.
          You keep mischaracterizing my assertions. Chivalry is not about money, not about splashing cash; it’s about making the woman feel safe, respected, and desired. It is also about taking responsibility for the experience to go smoothly when taking someone out on a date. How you do that is up to you.
          My longest relationship was with a man 13 years younger than me who didn’t make much money when we first started dating. He nevertheless managed to plan and execute interesting dates. He understood the importance of covering the full cost sometimes, although I did try to minimize this for him. We did go on very low cost to no cost dates too. He was generous within his means. That is attractive to me.
          If the concept of chivalry seems obsolete to you (it’s not!), how about just focusing on treating a woman well? What does that mean to you?
          Women are most definitely capable of developing attraction towards a man on the basis of being treated well. When a friend of mine asks me about a guy she is unsure she likes, my only question is: “How does he treat you?”
          How do you treat a woman you are dating? Ask yourself that question. Knowing what I know about you, the answer is not the strong and classic: “Like a queen“, but your usual weak angle: “Oh yeah??? And how about me??? How is she treating me??? Am I getting any sex??? Why should I treat her any better than she treats me???”
          How is this working for you?

           

        4. Shaukat

          @Maria,

          Part of the problem is that you are using the term chivalry in a fashion that is different from how it is generally employed, which might be why we are talking past each other. A lot of what you’re recommending that a man do on a date is well-known, men call it ‘game’ and women tend to call it personality. Of course a guy should show wit, kindness, and respect on a date. Repackaging common sense points doesn’t make your post more profound.

          My statement about matching a woman effort in appearance had absolutely nothing to do with the asymmetry that is sometimes involved when it comes to attraction. You are conflating two separate issues. You’re also confused about my character. When I make arguments based on hypotheticals to make a point, it’s not a reflection of how I necessarily act. For example, my interest in a woman is not based on how quickly she is willing to give me sex, as you suggested.

          I don’t know what the dating culture in Australia is like, and I don’t know how old you are, but I’m guessing you’re not a millennial. I can assure you that millennial women in North America are far too smart to fall for the manipulative tactics that you’ve outlined. Any man who attempts to win over woman and generate attraction where little to none exists by ‘treating her like a queen’ would immediately be ‘nexted’ or thrown into her orbit of friend zoned beta-males. In fact, I find it ironic that you’ve been criticizing Yag for employing a certain brand of manipulation with women when what you’re recommending is also manipulation under a different name.

        5. Maria

          See, now you are being deliberately obtuse, @Shaukat. I already told you to forget about chivalry, and to just focus on treating a woman well, and you are still talking about chivalry and resisting it.

          You resist treating a woman well on dates at your own risk. Any woman of any generation will zone-friend you much quicker when you act like any other casual buddy of hers than when you show yourself to her in your best light and make her feel special.

          Manipulation per se is not a bad thing. We all use manipulation in our dealings with other people. The tactics we use make all the difference, though. Trying to get a woman to like you more than she does now by being extra kind and attentive and letting your best qualities shine is THE EXACT SAME OPPOSITE of what YAG is doing , which is trying to get a woman to feel worse about themselves, to feel unwanted, so that she will have sex with him out of desperation.

          I believe in the transformative power of sex and love. I don’t expect you to have read novels like Don Quixote or La Vita Nuova, but there is this thread running throughout Western civilization that points at the inspiring and redeeming qualities of love. People who are in the best relationships will tell you that their spouse challenged and inspired them to be the best version of themselves they could be.

          At the core of erotic attraction there is this possibility for renewal, for leaving behind your old self and emerging as someone new and better than you thought you could ever be.

          So what I am alluding to, and what you resist so much, is not really “game” because is not something crass or fake or any kind of pretense. It’s really the beginning of the process of transformation I am telling you about. If you can authentically begin to embody that better version of yourself with someone that inspires you, they may be similarly inspired, and they WILL like you more for it.

          These things don’t change in a generation or two, Shaukat. At our core we are all eternal beings, you see?

          There, now I went full metaphysical on you. That was my attempt to f the ineffable.

  15. 76
    Sum Guy

    This is completely unrelated to where these comments have gone, but it was something I thought when listening to Evan’s podcast and Marika @72; it has to do with dress.   That is one area where I am happy to get some help/insight from a woman I am seeing.  I have an idea in my head of clothes I’d like to try/have but have a hard time finding them ’cause I really don’t like clothes shopping, so would have no problem is she had some suggestions for things she found me hot/handsome in and could help me find them.

    The trick is not to come off as fixing him, but letting him know you think he looks extra hot in something.  Men are vain creatures as well with our appearance; we basically can’t resist things we think (or women make us think) make us look more: manly /studly / tough/ we got all our shit together.

    1. 76.1
      Clare

      Sum Guy,

       

      Every comment that you make on here makes me think you must be a delight to date 🙂

      1. 76.1.1
        Sum Guy

        Thanks Clare @76.1

        Maybe it’s my perspective, I don’t have all these elaborate filter routines and rules.  Try to do it the old-fashioned way, meet and get to know someone and as Rampiance said so well:

        The best model I’ve found for getting to know another person is allowing for the other and for me to do what we feel good doing, and do this together only for as long as we both feel good doing it together.  By that I mean he does what he likes and I do what I like, and as long as this feels correct, constructive, and positive, we continue to spend time with each other.  I avoid doing what feels off (for either of us), and sometimes this means he and I have nothing left to do together.  But that’s okay!”

        I’m also not just looking for sex with someone who is  sane (or crazy in the right way), but someone to go through life with -someone who is great fun outside the bedroom and inspires and intrigues my mind.  Which oddly I’ve found makes great sex happen very easily…thus, I find it odd men who are not looking for anything long term, only short term and on their terms, go through elaborate measures to vet the women they see and are so no-nonsense on “negatives.”

         

        1. Marika

          Nice words, thank you, Sum Guy.

          It can be tough out there, so the more empathetic, reasonable and kind we can be to the opposite sex, the better for us all.

          Always keen for a male perspective on here of men who have healthy attitudes to both sexes. It’s greatly appreciated.

          Rampiance, your words were awesome too. Will definitely take that on board (I think I’m somewhat guilty of getting caught up in convention)

    2. 76.2
      Marika

      I find that aspect of men so adorable, Sum Guy! A boyfriend told me once that he what thought of as good to wear was whatever I liked him in! Other men have told me similar things: that they’re very happy to be at least guided, or even pretty much entirely dressed by their partner. That is amazing to us. No woman ever wanted to be dressed by her man. It’s unlikely we’d ever even ask your opinion 😀

      That’s why I know this argument about how much women spend on what they wear (& men compensating us) is quite ridiculous – we care a lot more both about what we wear and what men wear than men do. It’s just not that important to them. As long as we look attractive, they don’t care about blowouts, manicures or designer clothes.

      That being said, Sum Guy, it is disappointing when men don’t even look presentable on a date. I’m sure you’d never do this, but in Australia, men will rock up to dates in crumpled shorts, with stubble and messy hair. We spend so much time choosing an outfit and when we see Mr Messy sitting there, it does feel like he left the couch 10 minutes before the date and dashed out of the house without so much as a glance in the mirror. That shows poor effort and a lack of respect. I get that outfit choice is not his forte, but he would dress appropriately for a job interview etc, why not a date?

      1. 76.2.1
        Sum Guy

        Hi Marika,

        Pretty much, I don’t care if your clothes are from Walmart, a Milan designer or you made them yourself (actually would be pretty impressed on that last one) just if you look good in them.  Same with hair, make-up, etc.

        Yes I do like to dress where it doesn’t look like my clothes came out of a dirty laundry pile, that I shower regularly, own a comb and know how to manage my facial hair  🙂  pretty basic for the women I want to attract

        Do I wear shorts or jeans, a t-shirt and sandals  to some first dates, sure if the venue and weather is right, but generally shoes, jeans, well fitting collared shirt.

        I think if you dress casual as a guy what you put in your clothes is all the more important, so be groomed and looking toned, clean n lean  so to speak

        Basically put out there what you want to attract

         

         

      2. 76.2.2
        Persephone

        Marika, I disagree with you on some things. I absolutely do dress for my man. The guy I’m seeing now lets me know when my outfit pleases him, usually just by telling me I look sexy. I can tell when some outfits look particularly sexy to him, so make great efforts to wear those kinds of things for him. It’s usually some modestly-priced outfit from a trendy college girl Boutique, therefore  I’m not spending a fortune on designer clothes by any means.

        This isn’t the same as one guy I went out with a couple times who I thought went too far. He told me he’d like a certain look in his women, and if we kept dating he would be glad to buy my clothes for me. Now that one a little bit too far and seems controlling. It made me feel more like a Barbie doll that he wanted to dress. That’s not the same thing as I’m talking about with my current boyfriend simply showing appreciation.

        I’ve had several different men I dated  ask me why I don’t paint my nails. That makes me realize I have a man that notices those kinds of things, so I’ll occasionally paint my nails for him. That’s an awful lot of upkeep so I don’t routinely do it for myself.

        Makeup and hair? I would never dream of being without a perfect look for my hair and I spend a fortune on it. That is the number one accessory a woman has, so I feel we better make our best of it. I keep my hair very long and shiney, and even wear extensions for special occasions. This is a real head turner for men. My man plays in it.

        1. Marika

          Persephone

          If you don’t mind me making an observation, from what you’ve said here, you either live in an area with a lot of, or you’re personally drawn to, quite controlling men. I make no judgment, as I can relate to that.

          There may be cultural factors at play here too, but having dated prolifically since my divorce, it’s my experience that the vast majority of men only care that you look attractive / sexy. I don’t think most men would have an opinion on what specifically you should wear, whether you should get regular manicures, or notice the difference between a $100 and  $400 hairdo, for instance. They seem to care more about the implications of waiting for long periods of time while we get ready!

  16. 77
    Rampiance

    I think one of the main problems with conventional dating is the notion that conventions can take the place of one’s own conscious thoughts and decisions.  By that I mean conventions (in general) are meant to make decisions easier for people, to supply a template for meaning.  But when you apply a general template to a specific person, you are not present to that specific person.  You are not conscious to the present moment and circumstance.

    The best model I’ve found for getting to know another person is allowing for the other and for me to do what we feel good doing, and do this together only for as long as we both feel good doing it together.  By that I mean he does what he likes and I do what I like, and as long as this feels correct, constructive, and positive, we continue to spend time with each other.  I avoid doing what feels off (for either of us), and sometimes this means he and I have nothing left to do together.  But that’s okay!

    Re the convention of who opens the door:  Although I never request that he open a door for me, several men have told me that I’m the first woman they opened doors for (buildings, cars), and they love doing it for me.  Even my buddy (we only go dutch and we’re not romantic) started opening doors on buildings for me (not his car).  I noticed because he started racing to get to the door first, so I now make the room for our graceful entry.  Might be because I like it and show them my pleasure and it becomes a dynamic of everybody-feels-great with that little gesture.

    My point is this: never let convention or other rules take that place of your own consciousness and presence.  Respond in the moment.  Respond to the person in front of you.  Do what feels right for you.  Be with people who feel right for you.

    1. 77.1
      Sum Guy

      Rampiance @77

      Exactly.

  17. 78
    theUrbanista

    Very interesting topic and comments. I shall answer the question, but first I shall add my two cents.

    Men pursue women. It is in their nature to pursue the object of their affection/attraction – it should come naturally to them, it is what they do.

    Women, on the other hand CHOOSE. I don’t think I need to elaborate on this.

    In life, both men and women pursue a number of things – a career, education, a hobby, a dream, etc. And in each and every case, there will certainly be rejection. When you are ready to apply to college you pick the top three and hope you get accepted to at least one. You may or may not. The same thing with a job, blah, blah, blah.

    Now. To answer the question. I’m going to be honest, brutally so.

    As a woman who understand the dynamics of male/female dating as mentioned above, but plays a totally different part than a man in that dynamic, do I or should I feel empathy/sympathy for men who are rejected 50% of the time they ask a woman for a date.

    Absolutely not.

    Now. I do not care WHY he is rejected, I do not care if it is because he is going after the same type/pool of women because if he is going after that type it is what he likes and he has the right to pursue what he likes, just as I have the right to choose what I like and reject what I don’t. I don’t care if he is a “3” going after a “10”, it is irrelevant, I don’t care if he doesn’t go after fat women, skinny women, bald women with tattoos, women with no teeth or gold teeth or if he does, it is all irrelevant and has no bearing on the question asked. What is relevant is that this is dating and as the one who is in pursuit he should understand rejection is a natural part of the process and just roll with it. If he has the right attitude, is serious about finding a mate, rejection will not faze him at all….and it shouldn’t.

    By that same token, a woman may choose him and somewhere down the line, he may decide she is not the one for him after all. Do I empathize/sympathize with her?

    Not at all. The premise remains the same.

    Now. If you ask me that question as a human being WHO HAS ALSO BEEN IN THE ROLE OF PURSUER in a different, unrelated setting, who has experienced rejection of course I can empathize/sympathize. But I understand that rejection is a natural part of life, it is unavoidable, it can sometimes be disappointing but if one is determined it’s a minor setback, you accept it, no need to get angry (that job could have been your worst nightmare and just as that woman who rejected you might have been) and you move on until you find what you’re looking for.

    Sounds pretty simple to me, next topic please….

     

  18. 79
    jeremy

    This has become a long thread, with some women offering empathy and others offering reasons why they need not be empathetic.  Given that this is a blog for women seeking relationships with men, here’s a bit of perspective.  Whether or not you can think of reasons not to be empathetic, realize that your ability to see the male perspective will directly correlate with long-term relationship success, just as it would for men to see the female perspective.

     

    The summer is now ending and my wife, who works for the school board, has been off all summer while I worked.  I could view her summer as a great long vacation and expect that every day she should meet me, as I return from work, with a gourmet meal, a back massage, and a BJ.  Or I could realize that she has been looking after 4 kids all day, and notwithstanding the fact that she has help at home, she may well be as exhausted as I am.  There are REASONS why I would be justified in taking the first approach…..but the second approach is more conducive to a happy relationship. Empathy, you see, rather than justifications.

     

    In the same way, when our kids were young we argued over sex.  She wasn’t into it (at the time) and I was.  She could have taken the perspective that whether or not she had sex should depend on her willingness, and if she was not in the mood then there was no reason to do so.  Or she could understand that from my perspective, the constant rejection was making me feel un-loved and un-desirable, and realize that a lack of compromise would be severely detrimental to our marriage.  She spent years taking the former perspective, and later came to the second.  Good thing, too, or she and I might both have found ourselves seeking post-divorce dating advice on websites like this.

     

    Bottom line – empathy with the experience of the other is crucial to good relationships and it starts with empathy for the experience of the opposite sex, regardless of the presence or absence of a relationship to begin with.

    1. 79.1
      Gala

      You are correct this has been a long thread, but something that you said is just so interesting to me. So did your wife start having sex with you even though she didn’t want to at the time?? Or may be I am not understanding this? Were you able to enjoy it, knowing she didn’t really want to have sex and was only laying there so that you wouldn’t leave, like you said, while may be mentally cringing and wanting for it to be over ? How does this work exactly?

      1. 79.1.1
        Jeremy

        Good point, Gala.  And the answer is NO.  I made 2 things very clear.  1) That I had absolutely no desire to have sex with someone who does not want to have sex with me.  No desire for pity sex, no desire to force myself on a partner who is less than willing.  2) That I had absolutely no desire to be married to someone who does not want to have sex with me on a regular basis.

         

        Resolving this problem was difficult – it is easy to have sex, but difficult to make someone WANT to have sex….particularly when they don’t understand their reasons for not wanting it.  People tend to invent excuses and believe them post-fact, but addressing these excuses almost never leads to rekindling desire.  The woman who says “maybe I would be more interested if he spent more non-sexual time with me” and whose husband does so, often then accuses him of doing so only to “get” sex.  Resolving this problem was one of the more difficult things I’ve ever done, and required me to delve deeply into the psychology of desire.  I got answers, but not the answers that most books and relationship advice pieces give.

    2. 79.2
      Marika

      Couldn’t agree with you more about empathy, Jeremy. I didn’t recognize the value of empathy until I was in a relationship where it waa sorely lacking.

      In the midst of my marital woes, I researched ways to make my marriage and home safer and happier for us all. I stumbled across Compassion Power. I can’t remember the guy’s name, but it’s the work of a psychologist who has a radical (& successful) approach to treating DV perpetrators. He sees DV as not as being so much about power and control (traditional approach), but a failure of compassion. You can’t abuse someone who you feel compassion / empathy for. It makes a lot of sense. I devoured his work. He teaches people who are lacking in empathy to access their core values in order to develop compassion and empathy, thus becoming better partners and parents.

      DV is an extreme example. But it is confronting that some people on here (including myself at times), struggle to show even the slightest empathy towards the opposite sex. Even in a forum where it costs nothing to show empathy. Hopefully such people are different with loved ones. But certainly if you show no empathy in your dating life, it doesn’t bode well for a relationship.

      Jeremy, I would imagine your ability to show empathy, combined with your clear intolerance of being a doormat (willingness to leave the marriage if your needs weren’t being met) – in other words being a nice guy with balls – is what saved your marriage. You unfortunately had to work backwards to figure that out, so it’s great that Evan explains that concept here.

  19. 80
    Stacy

    @Roland

    Not sure if you will see my comment since I can’t seem to respond to your last (not sure why that is on this site sometimes). Anyway, a 45 year old man who is good looking, employed with only 2 children who is also kind and a good person in my neck of the woods is the crème de la crème.  I almost never see these types of men single for long. So I am tempted to believe that you are either overstating your value (in terms of looks or some other attributes) or you have a really bad picker (in terms of women). The most prominent bad picker example for men is choosing women over 10 years younger than you with a whole lot more options or choosing women that are way out of your league.

  20. 81
    Rampiance

    Oh, yes, Jeremy 36.5.1++ re meta-goals of sex!!

    I didn’t know the terminology, but in the past month I discovered my own meta-goal of sex (I called it The Meaning of Sex for Me) and that discovery brought so much clarity to my sex life and makes my decisions about it SO MUCH EASIER!  It’s the supreme cleaver for Yes/No, for Now/Maybe-Later/Never.  Bringing my own personal phrase to mind at decision time cuts right to the point.

    I have had a wonderful time with a new partner during the past week because I know my Why each and every time, and my Why is met each and every time . . . quite beautifully, actually.

    With your term “meta-goal”, maybe I can bring up a conversation about it with my partner, and learn about his meta-goal.  How fascinating that would be!

    1. 81.1
      Sum Guy

      I’m fascinated…what is an example of a meta-goal of sex, the why of it?

      never thought of it that way but thinking it can explain the why if good sex from the bad

      1. 81.1.1
        Rampiance

        Hi Sum Guy ~~

        Jeremy wrote in a reply to Comment # 36.5.1 the following:

        [begin quote] “…a meta-goal can be anything, really.  It’s what you want to “get” from having sex.  The common ones (that I’ve observed) are:

        – Validation (do you derive more pleasure from sex depending on the appearance/ status of your partner and how into you they are?)

        – Novelty (do you tire quickly of sexual partners?)

        – Pleasure (would you derive as much from masturbation as from sex, given that the pleasure can be the same or greater?)

        – Obtaining a relationship

        – Having children

        – Establishing an emotional connection

         

        Something important to note is that very few people are aware of their meta-goal, they just know they are horny (or not).  Very few women are consciously out to “trap” a man into a relationship by having sex with him, nor are they using sex as bait.  They legitimately want to have sex, and are far more willing and often more orgasmic when they feel there is something in it for them – a goal.  And when the goal is missing, they aren’t usually conscious of why, they just know they aren’t into it.

         

        What if your goal differs from that of your partner?  Doesn’t matter.  As long as you both are willing to give the other what they need.  My goal is validation.  My wife’s is obtaining a relationship. Works just fine as long as each of us feels we are getting what we need.” [end quote]

        In contrast to Jeremy’s opinion regarding differing goals, I (Rampiance) feel there are some goals that are incompatible, especially if the methods of achieving the goals are at odds.

        Knowing the Why is fundamental for other modes of success, too, e.g., career.  When you really know what you’re getting out of an activity at a core level, it gives deep meaning to the activity and satisfaction with its results ~~ more satisfying than a superficial reward or paycheck or orgasm.

        Knowing the Why helps you set yourself up to get your desired result (sex that feels good/correct/appropriate for you), because now you have a target and you can arrange your criteria (choosing a mate and a circumstance) to aim in the direction of your target, thus yielding a better success rate than shooting in the dark at no particular target.

        1. Jeremy

          @Rampiance, I don’t think our opinions contrast too much.  Certainly a couple may be incompatible due to differing goals or meta-goals.  What I wrote was that compatibility can be achieved as long as each person is willing to give the other what they want, and able to obtain what they want.  A person whose meta-goal is to obtain a relationship would likely be at odds with one whose goal was novelty.  They simply could not give each other what they need, nor obtain what they need.  And yes, the methods for obtaining the goals may also cause incompatibility.  My point to Emily was that just because a couple’s goals differ does not NECESSARILY mean that the couple is incompatible.

        2. Sum Guy

          Thanks Rampiance, Jeremy,

          Think I’ve multiple meta-goals and think I’ve seen goals change in my dating relationships.

        3. Jeremy

          Everyone has multiple goals, Sum Guy.  Most of us have a primary one, though it’s not usually obvious to us. Everyone wants pleasure from sex, for example, but most of us believe that sex with a partner is better than sex alone, no matter how pleasurable the solo act might be.  There’s something else that we get from a partner that we aren’t getting alone – but what?  Further, certain partners make the act more desirable than others, but what parameters do it for us?  Is it how attractive they are?  How into us they are?  How connected to them we feel?  Whether we are in a relationship with them?  How exciting the experience is?

           

          And although we may seek a sexual encounter for a variety of reasons, more informing are the reasons we reject sexual encounters or have bad experiences – what is missing when we are turned off can be much more informing than the mixed salad of emotions when we are turned on.

        4. Clare

          Jeremy,

           

          This discussion is fascinating. I was dubious at first, but what you have said has prompted me to look at why my level of sexual desire for one man I was in a relationship with for 5 years stayed high, whilst with another two guys I was in long-term relationships with, it gradually decreased until I did not want to have sex with them at all.

           

          I read somewhere that female desire is an extremely elusive process, much more so than male desire. Whilst numerous pharmaceutical companies have had great success developing and selling pills like Viagra to male clients, none have managed to create a drug which effectively increases female sexual desire. It is thought that this is because female desire is an incredibly complex cocktail of different factors. Perhaps meta goals plays a part in defining these elusive elements?

           

          My own self-examination has yielded some very interesting insights, so thank you.

        5. Jeremy

          @Clare, it’s interesting because I don’t believe that Viagara does anything to increase male desire.  It allows male hydraulics to function so as to facilitate sex.  But the man who has no desire won’t necessarily want to have sex with his wife just because he took a Viagara.  The female equivalent would be a bottle of lube.

           

          Sales of Viagara have been high because many men still WANT to have sex.  The problem of many women isn’t that they can’t have sex, but that they don’t want to.  The question is why – what goal does the woman believe the sex does not fulfill that she needs it to fulfill before she wants to have it?

           

          The funny thing about understanding our meta-goals – once we understand our desires, we wonder how it is that we didn’t know them before.

        6. Emily, the original

          Jeremy,

          Isn’t one of the simplest explanations that women who have been married for years and years are bored with sex or bored with the sex they have with their partners? That has to be at least one explanation for the lack of desire some feel. I’m sure that happens to men, too.

        7. Jeremy

          @Emily, I do think that boredom plays a role in some cases (and especially case where novelty is craved).  But here’s an important difference:  A person who is bored with sex but still loves his/her partner will still put in the effort and find a way to like the experience on some level.  The phenomenon I’m describing, though, is one where the low-desire partner doesn’t want to have sex and doesn’t want to want it.  Not really, anyway.  Doesn’t feel like anything is missing, and resents the fact that the spouse does.  That isn’t how someone feels when they are just bored.  It’s how they feel when they are put-upon, and feel like they are giving but not receiving.  What aren’t they receiving?  🙂

        8. Emily, the original

          Jeremy,

          Just keep in mind that it’s not always the woman who doesn’t want sex. The husband of a friend of mine stopped wanting sex. He was on Paxil for depression, which can kill you sex drive, but refused to try another antidepressant and refused to go to marital counseling with her. Of course, they divorced, because how long should she have been expected to put up with that?

        9. Clare

          Jeremy,

           

          “The problem of many women isn’t that they can’t have sex, but that they don’t want to.  The question is why – what goal does the woman believe the sex does not fulfill that she needs it to fulfill before she wants to have it?”

           

          “It’s how they feel when they are put-upon, and feel like they are giving but not receiving.  What aren’t they receiving?”

           

          I know this doesn’t answer your question, but it might go some way to explaining it. The fact is that for women, sex is rarely a physical need the way it is for men. It’s not that women can’t feel a sense of horniness or randiness which will make them want to have sex quite badly, it’s that we’re able to control this urge without too much effort. Single women can go for months, years, without having sex and not feel the void nearly as acutely as a man in the same position. At the risk of too much information here, I have a very high sex drive, and I certainly lament the lack of sex when I have been single for a few months, but the feeling is sporadic and it passes after a bit if I get distracted by something else. Women are also able to turn down sex with unsuitable men, and wait to have sex, much more easily than men. It really just comes down to the fact that it is not nearly so much a biological need for us as it is for men; for us, it’s much more bound up in other things, like pleasure, bonding, validation, having children etc.

           

          We can put our sexual desire to one side when we are single (we might not want to, but we are able to), so it’s not a stretch to imagine that we can do so when we’re in a long-term relationship. I know that doesn’t account for the wanting to want to part. But as for that, I can only say, and I can’t speak for other women here, but for my part, I felt tremendous guilt when I stopped wanting to have sex with my partner. I did want to want to, and I really tried. Where I was unable to succeed, it was a major factor in me making the decision to end the relationship. Not only because I didn’t want to be in a sexless relationship, but also because the pain and disconnection it was causing my partner was unbearable to me. I very much wanted them to have the kind of relationship where their partner desired them and which had a vibrant sex life. It wasn’t the only, or even the most important, reason I broke it off, but it was a factor.

        10. Jeremy

          @Emily, of course you are right.  A few comments up, Persephone mentioned a variety of reasons why a person might lose interest in sex, among them are medical/hormonal changes, psychological problems, medication side-effects, etc.  The reason for a declining sex drive isn’t always a lack of a goal.  The value of my comments is for couples where there is no obvious medical or psychological reason – which, IME, is a good deal of the time.

           

          @Clare, I understand your point about female sexuality being more cerebral than male sexuality.  But that just re-inforces my point about goals – a woman needs to feel she is “getting” something out of sex, and depending on what that is, she will either want it or not.  When my wife lost interest, she didn’t know why.  She blamed stress, even when I bent over backward to remove as much of her stress as I could.  Stress was just an excuse.  She did not want to introspect.  She feared what she might find if she did.  Many people are like that.  So I had to do it for her.  I’m hoping the women of this blog can do it for themselves.

        11. Rampiance

          Jeremy, I agree with your statement in reply to #81.1.1 here about compatibility/incompatibility with regard to meta-goals.  Pretty much exactly my thoughts!

  21. 82
    Marika

    It is fascinating! Jeremy you sure know how to get a discussion started! If I ever go to a dinner party in Canada, I hope you’re sitting next to me 😀

    Is there a quiz you can do to determine your primary meta goal? I relate to all of the ones you listed (other than variety), and I think knowing my main driver (and my partner’s) would be useful.

    PS: not to get political, but drug companies love to medicalise things so they can sell us a pill to ‘fix it’. In the majority of cases, sexual issues including erectile dysfunction, are psychological, and respond better to the treatment that Malika referred to in another thread.

    1. 82.1
      Jeremy

      No quiz (that I know of), especially considering that I did not ever read about meta-goals, but rather had to synthesize my understanding of them based on a variety of sources that hinted at them but never elucidated them.  But there are a few ways you can tell.  First of all, very few people are genuinely selfish, sexually.  Most people want to give their partner what they hope to receive in return.  People who crave pleasure want to give pleasure.  People who want to receive validation want their partner to receive validation from them.  People who want a relationship hope their partner will want one too.  Of course, we all want some mix of many things, but what is the main thing you want your partner to get from you?

       

      And be careful before you say pleasure.  Because some people want to give their partner pleasure, but the pleasure is a pathway to something else.  I want to give my wife pleasure….so that she will admire me and love me.  Validation.  Or I want to give her pleasure so that she will want to stay in a relationship with me.  Relationship.  Or I want to give her pleasure so that she will connect with me on an emotional level and become so addicted to me that she will never leave me.  Emotional connectedness and fear of abandonment.  Make sense?

      1. 82.1.1
        Emily, the original

        There is a list of questions you can answer that will determine what’s called your erotic blueprint. I think that’s an interesting component to add to this discussion. There are five different types. For example, if you are a romantic person, but your spouse is kinky, you two may not be compatible sexually.

      2. 82.1.2
        Marika

        Jeremy,

        I think you’re onto something here for sure! It makes perfect sense. The way you’ve described it, I think I’m actually a validation person (with a side of emotional connection). Because I’m very mindful of ensuring my partner has positive feedback and feels good about making me feel good. So clearly I want that too! I also used to sometimes fake it with my ex when I knew I wouldn’t get there, because I didn’t want him to feel bad/invalidated.

        It also gives me some empathy towards my cheating, porn obsessed ex-husband. Clearly variety was his biggest driver. So he needs that (he cheated on his ex-wife before me too) and even more than the validation he also craved. While it doesn’t excuse cheating, at least it helps me understand it.

        Thank you! Please develop that quiz..hehe, or let me know where I can go for more info?

  22. 83
    Persephone

    I had to scroll through anything that mentioned meta-goals, because it seems so irrelevant to this blog.  I still don’t get the meaning of meta-goals and when I looked it up on google I am even more confused.  It just talks about some  explicit / implicit goal set. It’s much easier just to say the goals are to be able to  put the joy back in connecting with men, and find long term relationships or marriage.

    1. 83.1
      Jeremy

      “…..And they got married and they all lived happily every after.”  And the story ends.  Except that the story doesn’t end.  Because getting married is the easy part.  Staying married is the hard part.  And aside from arguments about money, arguments about sex are one of the leading causes of marital stress and breakdown.  One person wants it, the other doesn’t, and given the fact that they can only get it from each other, something has to give – but who should compromise, and how, and WHY?  Why did the person who once wanted sex not want it anymore?  How can they regain the drive they lost?  Where should they look when conventional advice fails them?

       

      Can you really not see the value in introspection about one’s sexual goals, Persephone?

      1. 83.1.1
        Persephone

        Jeremy,
        Can you really not see the value in introspection about one’s sexual goals, Persephone?
        Of course I see value in introspection about sexual goals, Jeremy. But that’s not what it sounded like you were saying. Mia culpa for not understanding the meta goal thing, but it just seems to be another item thrown in there with all these other metrics that I find little value in. (ie the 6 sixes, SMV, the 10 scale). If I started talking some of that smack around my significant other, he’d probably think the 6 sixes was some newfangled sex maneuver, and that SMV was connected somehow to that BDSM stuff that other people like to do. We’ve only been seeing each other for about a year, so everything is about sex with us.  I do, however, find value in introspection about sex.

        I’m not usually the one that has a problem with not wanting sex. I have been one suffering just practically on my hands and knees begging for sex. It was used by him as an emotional bargaining chip, a way to knock me in shape so to speak, because I didn’t have dinner on time or whatever minor infraction of the day. For me to turn down sex was a pretty big deal. It became more difficult for me to have the emotional connection of sex with him, but not the biological part. I found that if I went along with it, eventually my body would get with the program, even though my mind wasn’t in it.

        I can remember times he would be sitting on the couch watching TV. The credits would start rolling by so I would straddle him. He would tell me to get off because he was watching TV. I have no idea what he got out of the credits. My Ds were in his face, and he didn’t care. I am not an ugly woman, and the neighbors would jokingly call us Barbie and Ken behind our backs. Him rejecting me was very hurtful to me emotionally, even though it was only about sex. Or was it? It’s never only about sex, even though it might appear to be on the surface.) suppose I think differently about the sexual part of a relationship than some of the other female posters above.

         

        1. Jeremy

          That’s terrible, Persephone, and I’m sorry you experienced it.  As you correctly wrote, it’s never *just* about sex.  There’s always something behind it.  In this case, likely control issues, though I can’t be sure.  If the term “meta-goal” doesn’t jive for you (and no reason it should, given that I invented it, which is why you can’t find in on Google), then just think about it in terms of the reason behind wanting (or not wanting) sex.

           

          If you had known that your ex was using sex to control you and keep you down, you likely wouldn’t have stayed.  If you had known that you needed emotional connection and weren’t getting it, you’d have known what to look for in your next relationship.  Rather than being drawn to the same toxic situation, as so many people are.

        2. Persephone

          Jeremy, yes. I know what to look for in a partner after all this. Fimally. I read a lot of Evan’s stuff to help me learn. (Thank you, Evan!) Without doing that, I mighta made the same mistake over and over again.

          Yes, it was about control. Ha, as Prince song plays in background….) so I finally “get” your meta goal expl from your 82.1 post. His meta goal about sex was really about control. Yes, if a man wants to control me, he does it with sex.  It is not only men who are controlled by that.

           

           

  23. 84
    Marika

    If it makes you feel any better, Persephone, I had similar personal experiences in my marriage. I know you’ve come a long way, and kudos, but I get the sense he messed with your self esteem? You have mentioned a few times that he rejected you, but you’re an attractive women. The thing I finally realised is, it’s of no relevance. You could be a supermodel, he’d tell you you were too thin. You could cook the most delicious chicken anyone ever made; he’d tell you he wanted steak.

    My ex once admitted in a roundabout way that he got off on me apologizing. So he’d create situations where I’d feel bad for what I’d said or done and rather than him also apologizing for his part (like in a healthy relationship), he’d ramp up the guilt so I felt really bad (beyond what was reasonable for the situation). That actually made him feel better. He needed that validation of a power imbalance to feel good about himself.

    So it’s not about your looks at all. It’s about getting caught up in a game we didn’t know we were playing. Your ex is probably doing something similar to another woman as we speak.

    1. 84.1
      Persephone

      Marika:   You are “sort of” right that it’s no relevance, but I will say that ever since I was a small child I was considered too cute, and didn’t know it.  Even though I had a terrible home life, I was the teacher’s pet.  I knew everyone liked me and wanted to be my friend, as a small kid in school.  Maybe it was a sunny personality despite of any situation, I don’t know.  But they liked me.  If it were not for that, for whatever reason they liked me and wanted to  be my friend, I would not have been able to overcome all this.  I would have been much worse off.  I have always had friends. It helped me with my self-esteem.  In high school, I had the ugliest clothes, that were too big and usually were case asides from my older brother.  I am not kidding. I was really neglected as to clothing.  So in high school, the other girls told me I would be so pretty if I had clothes to wear.  They would bring me their old clothes from home. I was really skinny and underweight, so they would offer to take clothes home and alter them for me on the sewing machine.  The point is, if we create networks, it helps overcome bad circumstances that we can get into with bad relationships.  Men or women who feel rejected in one part of their life can have other, more successful parts of their life where they are not so rejected, maybe.

      1. 84.1.1
        Marika

        That sounds really tough, Persephone and I’m sorry. I’m glad you have networks and support.

        I wasn’t clear though, obviously. Sorry. What I meant was your attractiveness is irrelevant to his behaviour. You would never be pretty, kind, etc enough no matter what you do. People like your ex get off on making their partner jump through hoops to make them happy, but the hoops are endless. You seem to still be a bit confused or surprised that he would reject you when you’re attractive. That’s what I’m saying is irrelevant. It was never about you. He would be the same way with anyone (who would tolerate him).

        That’s my understanding of emotionally abusive people.

        1. Sum Guy

          Marika,

          I concur.  My ex was like this.  In the divorce she admitted and called how she liked to jerk my chain, and took great glee in the fact she’d been doing it for years.  With these people the goal post is always moving, or more precisely the goal is always the same, to belittle you no matter what you do.  That’s what they get off on, and pretty much only that.

           

          Glad you n Persephone got out of those relationships.

        2. Persephone

          Marika said,

          You seem to still be a bit confused or surprised that he would reject you when you’re attractive. 

          Please do not project your possible stereotypes about attractive women onto me, when I’ve given you no indication that I feel he shouldn’t reject me simply because I’m attractive. If I seem that way it’s from something that comes inside of your head, not from something that comes inside of any of my posts.  However I will say that  people do tend to like cuter children better.

          You do have several things correct about abusive people. But another thing you’re overlooking is that because a woman might happen to be attractive, then he’s going to abuse her even more, not love her more. People like that get greater pleasure out of abusing others that have a greater qualities. The amount of abuse that they deal out is proportionate to the good qualities that their victim has. They seek out what intimidates them the most, ironically. They will seek out the one with a  law degree, for example, who is beautiful, and has a plethora of other good qualities. And also ironically if they have  good qualities, they intimidate the abusive partner,  and make him have to bring them down several notches just for having those good qualities.

  24. 85
    Persephone

    What really would help for a man to not get rejected on dating sites is to READ THE INFORMATION.   My profile on a Latino dating site said I was only interested in men within specific geographical distance from me.  I got probably 100 hits in one week and only 1 of them was even inside the same country, let alone the geographic region of this country.  And my message was bilingual.

    1. 85.1
      Nissa

      So true!!

    2. 85.2
      Tyrone

      @Persephone

      Gotcha. If all 100 men that messaged you that week had been in your area and had been Latino you still would have gone out with all of them since they read your profile – as that would keep them from.being rejected. Or would you still have to reject the majority of those 100 interested men?

      1. 85.2.1
        Nissa

        I can’t speak for Persephone, but they would have had a much greater chance of success. 100%? No. But I’m sure she would have at least read their profiles. She’s not being unreasonable that she expects them to meet the criteria in her ‘ad’ or come very close at least.

        1. Tyrone

          @Nissa

          They would have had the percentage chance of the exact number out of the 100 men that she chose to date. Point being that unless she dates over 31 of the 100 men that read her profile and increased their chances, those men have at least a 69% chance of rejection before the first date.

      2. 85.2.2
        Persephone

        Tyrone, LOL, no.

        That’s not realistic. Of course I wouldn’t be interested in all 100. And only about 10% of them are even Latino. Very few of them even read my criteria, which was quite simple. It’s not realistic for me to be interested in somebody that lives in, for example Brazil, or Morocco, or Germany.

        1. Tyrone

          @Persephone

          The point I was trying to make is that if 100 of them had done exactly what you wanted, how many of them would you go on a date with. Would you date 31 out of those 100 men if they were Latino amd near you. If the week after 100 more local Latinos messaged you, would you go out with at least 31 of them. 31 dates a week. If you. Wouldn’t, then you are rejecting 69% percent before the first date.

        2. Persephone

          Tyrone, let’s take it a step further. If they had all complied and somehow made themselves look like Luis Fonsi, or Espinoza Paz, it would definitely be a buyer’s market. Then I could afford to further narrow down because obviously 100, or even the 31 you mentioned, would be too many for me.

          I’d have to use some method. Maybe it would be by who had the best looking photograph. Maybe who would be by whoever was the closest, and more convenient. That’s a huge criteria for me. I don’t want to travel half the planet to meet a man when there’s so many right here at my feet. A lot of these men are very unrealistic  for example the one from Morocco. You have any idea of how many scammers are are out there who are simply looking for a Visa?

          We women are always having to  be on the lookout for scammers. If someone’s not willing to put a whole lot into it, they’re expecting something for almost nothing. If I see a profile the someone didn’t put a lot of thought into, for example just put some fuzzy photograph from 10 years ago, they’re wanting something for nothing.

          Maybe the criteria would be whoever would tolerate my passion for horses, or someone who had the same views in life and political bent as I have. But we have to have some method of sorting out.

          But let’s flip the coin on this. There was one guy from my home state. One. In the end, he rejected me. So we could say that out of all the men who were practical for me, I was rejected 100% of the time. It’s not like it’s devastating. I never even met him. I have no idea why he rejected me. It’s not worth putting a whole lot of thought into.

  25. 86
    Marika

    Hahaha Persephone

    I don’t have any biases against attractive women. I am an attractive woman! I just (obviously incorrectly) thought maybe your ex had messed with your self-esteem a little bit from your comments as you seem to keep reassuring us that you’re attractive. I was just trying to make the point that your ex’s behaviour was about him, not you. Apologies for any offence.

    1. 86.1
      Persephone

      Marika, I wasn’t trying to reassure anyone whether or not I’m attractive. I was merely trying to explain how it is often a factor, when there is abuse involved, in that the number one thing that these guys do is look for any positive quality that their victim has. That attractive quality might be appearance, cooking skills, having a PhD, or having a great personality. But it’s the positive qualities that go after whatever they might be.

      1. 86.1.1
        Sum Guy

        They do.  These kinds of people find out what you or others consider a good quality and undercut it and turn it against.  If you ever told them your hope or dreams those will be mocked and undermined.   All while prying you away from any support network you may have.  And of course it is all your fault for something you did, real, imagined or even after the fact as cause and effect means nothing to these people.

        1. Marika

          While I agree with how you put it, Sum Guy, and they definitely tear you down however they can, it’s not like abusive types necessarily seek out people who are above average in looks, or intelligence, or some skill or whatever. Anyone who will tolerate an abusive person’s behaviour and antics can fall victim to it. I think the main thing they seek out is that anxious attachment style, or people who grow up with some level of abuse and think it’s normal.

        2. Persephone

          Sum guy and Marika,

          I don’t enjoy getting super technical on this blog, but I will further explain about narcissistic personality disorder, NPD. Perhaps not all abusers have NPD. But for those who do, they seek out La Creme Dela creme. They are expert at knowing how to charm people. They know how to charm some extremely high-quality individuals. The better the bay, the better the catch. These high-quality individuals are given the terminology of “Supply.” This is a term of art, used by the mental health community, and is a universal term.

          For any transaction, you’re going to want the best Supply you can get in any commodity you’re trying to purchase. Their currency is charm, chivalry to the nth degree, flattery.

          So what’s in it for the narcissist? The NPD’s “Supply” is obviously supplying something to him. It is her good qualities, or more likely her outstanding qualities. He thinks that the good qualities are transferred to him through osmosis, or elevation by association. He is a person devoid of much inside of himself, and in fact is so dead inside that he even has to mimic facial expressions of other people so that he knows how to behave. He doesn’t have natural emotions like the rest of us. And has to fake it by mimicking others. He does it so well that he learns charm to the nth degree. He becomes quite believable. This is how he destroys the creme De la creme.

          As for other abusive personality types, I don’t know. I can describe NPD perfectly.

    2. 86.2
      Persephone

      You are correct, mostly, that it’s about him.

      But then it’s also partly about me because I married him, ignoring some red flags. He yelled at me over the phone on his first day to visit my house. I live in a very rural area, and it was dark who he was driving here. He didn’t see the exit off the interstate, so he got stressed out and screamed at me over the phone. I rationalized that he was nervous about those kinds of things, and I forgave him. That was a huge mistake. I set myself up for ten years of extreme yelling.  I had grown up being treated poorly, but I was like a fish in water who didn’t know I was wet.

       

       

       

       

  26. 87
    Marika

    Tyrone

    I get what you’re saying. (On average) men face far more rejection than women. It’s just a fact, not worth arguing against or justifying in terms of men shooting above their league or whatever. The guys from outside the search criteria probably tried all women for whom they within the search criteria, got mostly rejection and so decided, what the hell, I’ll contact a woman from 2 states away (or in a different country).

    The post where Evan asked women how many contacts they get online was eye opening. Most of the men who weighed in said they got hardly any contacts. Some were sending out 100s of messages before getting one response. That’s pretty tough.

    If we as women stopped denying men their dating realities and frustrations (top of the list seem to be women expecting them to pay and high level of rejection), and vice versa, then we’d be better off and have fewer arguments.

  27. 88
    Clare

    Marika,

     

    “If we as women stopped denying men their dating realities and frustrations (top of the list seem to be women expecting them to pay and high level of rejection), and vice versa, then we’d be better off and have fewer arguments.”

     

    I’m with you. If there’s one thing my years of online dating have shown me, it is that there are for more men genuinely looking for love than what we think, or have been led to believe via the crap in the mainstream media. I have come across so many men genuinely looking for love, every bit as earnestly as I or any of my girlfriends, maybe even more so at times. Imagine how tough it must be for these mostly nice, caring guys to keep putting themselves out there with a smile on their face. I admire it, for my part. And these are not guys necessarily shooting out of their league or ignoring the signs and criteria. It is simply a fact of the dating game where men do most of the initiating.

     

    Speaking for myself, I “reject” many men who are not unsuitable in any way. It’s simply that I’m spoilt for choice and I only have so much time, energy and emotional bandwidth to give. Right now, as we speak, I have been on Tinder for a few days. Now, knowing what the odds are like, particularly where I live, and also based on my personal experience and the fact that I hate having to reject men (although obviously I will if I need to, I just don’t enjoy it), I am extremely selective on who I swipe right on. I only swipe right on guys I find pretty appealing and attractive, whose profiles I like, who don’t have any obvious dealbreakers, and who give me a good feeling. And all of them are obviously within a suitable geographical distance.

     

    Even with this selectiveness, I have maybe 10 or 12 guys who have messaged me in the last couple of days. I always message back all of them the first couple of times to see whether we can get a rapport going with them, but I’m aware I’m not giving all of them a proper chance. I simply don’t have the resources to keep 10 or 12 text conversations going, because of a number of different factors. I can only concentrate on 2 or 3 guys at a time. This is no fault of any of them, and I’m aware I may be missing out on some great guys. If the ones I’m talking to now don’t pan out, I will try and get back to the others later, but by then they may have moved on, and I wouldn’t blame them for doing so.

     

    These little “rejections” (although I really, really don’t like that word, because how can you be *rejected* by someone who’s never met you?) are just a reality of the world we live in. I put myself in the shoes of the guys I never got back to, or stopped messaging, or won’t go out with. It’s no fault of theirs, they haven’t done anything wrong. I can imagine, with my sensitive nature, that, over time, this might hurt me or make me feel like I needed to keep my guard up. And if nothing else, as an empath and a compassionate person, I wish we were all nicer and kinder to each other. Some people don’t deserve our sympathy. But someone who’s done nothing wrong but constantly has to dust themselves off and get back out there, sure, why not? What does it cost us to have a little compassion?

  28. 89
    Designergirlbella

    For someone who started online dating a few months ago and still getting used to, I wish I was more compassionate and considerate to everyone who contacted me. And  although I am on a break because I got so overwhelmed but finding your site and reading many posts last few days I feel I will be better when I get back to dating. Thank you for a great work.

  29. 90
    Australian

    Dating is hard for both genders. It seems there is a huge difference between American and Australian dating.

    I do feel for men because they are expected to reach out, initiate contact and ask women on dates. I guess I can relate to them more because I’m a 5-6 looks wise due to being overweight and 37 years old so not exactly hot property. For this reason, I have to take the initiative a lot more than attractive women who are younger. I have thought many times it is lucky I am an extrovert with a cheerful disposition and healthy self-esteem because trying to find a date is brutal. I sometimes need a few days’ or weeks’ break from the process. It must be incredibly difficult for shy men and men with low self-confidence.

    I understand when I message random guys on Zoosk and never hear back. 95% of them don’t message me back. It is a paid site, and as a subscriber I am able to message anyone, even people who have expressed no interest in me whatsoever. Factoring in the number of unpaid members and my approaching people cold, I am comfortable with the close to zero reply rate.

    The site that gives me a real taste of what Evan has described is Tinder. 80% of my matches delete me within seconds of matching. I initiate contact with the remaining 20%. Half of them never reply, and most of the rest of them want an immediate hook up. The ones that want hook ups don’t bother me. They’re being upfront and honest about what they want. The 90% who delete me or don’t reply to me baffle me as they have expressed interest by swiping ‘like’ on me. From what I have heard, men experience a lot of mutes on Tinder. I used to not reply to lazy greetings of ‘hi’, but knowing how much rejection men face has given me a new perspective. Why bother writing an essay when the woman will probably ignore, block or delete you? I now reply ‘hello there’ or something of the sort back. Generally the conversation ends there, but I feel a brief reply greeting from me gives them the green light to start chatting.

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