How Can I Be So Good at Dating and Still Not Find Love?

I am 26 and, while I have a career and a master’s degree, I don’t want to get so sucked into that part of my life that I miss out on having a great relationship. As you’ve said, these things take time.

However, I’m starting to get worried that I’m a little *too good* at dating. I set up at least one date a week online, I have a section of my wardrobe intended for first dates and have a copy and paste “I had a great time, but you’re not the one” text message in my phone. I’m great at moving on, letting go and not spending time on someone I don’t see as a potential husband.

The thing is, this isn’t fun. I don’t feel like I’m getting closer to finding love. I feel like I’m learning how to be unattached and on my own, not connected and in love. I go on lots of second or higher dates, but those are only in the name of giving someone a fair chance, not because I really like them. Is this what I’m supposed to be doing? How are these skills going to help me in a relationship if I do find one? Or am I in fantasy land about the kind of connection I should be feeling? Maybe I should just pick someone and see if I develop feelings after being in a long-term relationship? It sounds a little like that’s maybe what you did, but then again, I’m not sure. What is the best way to go about this process when you’re young to be done at a time you can still have kids?

Thank you, Alex

Dear Alex,

You may be surprised to hear this, but I’m not at all worried about you.

In fact, you’re dating the way I recommend all women date – from a place of confidence and abundance, rather than fear and insecurity.

Call it dating like a man or being the CEO of your love life, but either way, you are doing exactly what one should do – especially at the age of 26 – cycling through men until you find a guy you really like, as opposed to wasting time on men who don’t stand a chance.

You’re dating the way I recommend all women date – from a place of confidence and abundance, rather than fear and insecurity.

Rejecting 90% of men off the bat is not an exercise in relationship skills, per se, but it is an exercise in confidence and patience. It takes a strong woman to say no to the wrong fit. It takes a strong woman to stay positive and continue on her quest. Don’t minimize the value of that. From my vantage point, the skill of persevering is more important than being “good” at dating.

As to your question about whether you’re in fantasyland about the kind of connection you should be feeling? Yes, you probably are. But I trust you will realize that on your own after enough charming men end up disappointing you. I learned this lesson the hard way over 10 years. Most happily married people draw the same conclusions I do.

It’s not about intense chemistry, which is illusory and not predictive of compatibility.
It’s not about “just picking someone” to force yourself to build attraction where there is none.

The skill of persevering is more important than being “good” at dating.

It’s – as always – about the space in between the two. How do you find that when it sounds so rare as to be impossible? Well, that’s why I created Love U – to walk you through the entire process of understanding men and making smart relationship choices on your own.

Click here to learn more.

And, please, don’t worry: you’re about ten years ahead of most of my clients when they reach out to me. If you graduate Love U by the end of the year, you will have all the time in the world to date, make a few mistakes, and still be able to choose your Mr. Right in time to have kids. Promise.

Join our conversation (119 Comments).
Click Here To Leave Your Comment Below.

Comments:

  1. 1
    Kelly

    Alex — I was completely in your shoes two years ago (when I was 26).  The copy-paste “You seem great but I’m not interested in continuing to date” text is a detail I relate to, particularly.  A few pieces of further advice/commiseration/encouragement:

    1.) If it’s not fun anymore, try 3 weeks on, 2 weeks off for first dates.  I found that I was getting fatigued by going on first dates all the time without any breaks — and it was affecting my ability to be a good date.  Your ratio might be a little different than mine, but taking a 2-week break every few weeks re-energized my dating process.  And you can continue your second-or-higher dates during that time if there’s anyone with potential.

    2.) It’ll happen for you eventually.  For me, 23-27 was a lot like what you’re describing.  And then I fell in love off an OKCupid date.  It wasn’t sparks and butterflies from the jump, but after a few months of consistent and loving communication, great dates that he planned, and his clear desire to be exclusive I realized that I’d rather note date anyone else.  Less than two years later, I’m deliriously in love an planning a wedding.

    3.) This may not apply to you, since all women have different approaches to sex within relationships, but….make sure you’re getting laid (if that’s something you enjoy with people you aren’t committed to).  Nothing made me more cranky or annoyed at lame first dates than not having had sex in a while.  Again, proceed with caution — you know whether you can be ok with sex without emotional intimacy, but if you can….I suggest it.  If not (or additionally), cultivate a positive relationship with your vibrator.

    Good luck!

    1. 1.1
      Alex

      Thanks for your kind words Kelly! I know a big part of my frustration was burn out as well as discouragement from my family and friends. I get a lot of comments like “online dating is so shallow, you’re just shopping for men” or even “your problem is that you’re trying” and I needed to hear that it does work.   Since I wrote this, I have shown down (but not given up!) because spending too much time with strangers can take its toll.

      1. 1.1.1
        Alex

        And good luck with your wedding! Sounds like hard work does pay off!

  2. 2
    Malika

    All of Kelly’s advice! She has some good tips there. I second the sex tip. In the past couple of years i have never met so many men and had such little sex! If getting physically intimate means messyness for you, don’t neglect sexual release. Your libido will thank you.

    I also relate to the dating fatigue. I tried the one date a week all year round approach and it was absolutely exhausting. The date often occured throughout the week after a hard day’s work. I’d spent 8-10 hours putting out fires and organizing people’s lives. To then spend a couple of hours with someone i didn’t know and which eight times our of ten i had no chemistry with was depleting. Even if he was a nice guy, if the basic threshold of chemistry wasn’t met it felt like the extension of my workday. Taking a couple of weeks off regularly is the key to staying fresh and motivated.

    As for the amount of guys you meet and don’t have a connection with… i met 48 men and had two aborted attempts at a ‘prelationship’ (getting to know someone further before diving into commitment) before i met the man i now date. This was in the past two and a half years. It’s very normal to go on lots of first dates that don’t pan out. It’s a combination of self exploration, seeing what makes you truly happy and what you want and have to give, plus dealing with the illusion of choice, and last but certainly not least finding the mutual spark. Pfff, no wonder hardly any of us hit the jackpot on our first online date.

    Have you tried keeping a diary about your dates? Writing down what i had liked and sometimes disliked about my dates helped me remember what i had learnt from each date, which was useful to review every once in a while. You see the patterns after a while, why you like some guys and others not so much, and it prevents the experience from becoming a blur.

    1. 2.1
      MilkyMae

      Keeping a diary is a great idea. I would list every thing you liked or found attractive about your date.  A little bit of gratitude can help you focus on the important stuff.  I would also list all the “compliments” that you gave and received to make sure you are not too passive or sterile on dates. Going on lots of dates can mess up your vibe if you become too cool for school.

      1. 2.1.1
        Malika

        That’s a good addition! I would list if we had interesting conversation (9 times out of 10), what was nice about him, whether he acted like a gentleman etc. Looking back on if there were a LOT of dates, but thanks to prescreening hardly any horrible ones. 8 times out of 10 no chemistry, but nearly always a good evening. Except that one guy who turned up high on who knows what. Ah, memories.

    2. 2.2
      Alex

      Thanks for your advice Malika! I do keep a spreadsheet – I write down where we went (mostly to keep track of restaurants/bars I liked) and one thing I really liked and one thing I really didn’t like. It turns out that I tend to pick guys who are very stable/educated/commitment-oriented but not fun or particularly attractive. I’ve decided to place a little more importance on looks because I have found that I can’t force attraction just because he’s a great guy.

      Good luck with your new guy!

      1. 2.2.1
        Malika

        Hi Alex:

        Thanks for coming back and keep up the good work! It does work, but the trial and error are the hurdles towards meeting the one.

        One of the reasons my number is 48 was that i was picking guys who i wouldn’t give a second look at on the street because ‘women shouldn’t be shallow’ and ‘just give him a chance’. After a string of no chemistry at all dates i decided to be more selective and that’s when chemistry came back into my life! If you look at his photo and think ‘cute!’ that is enough. Hope the selectiveness works for you too.

        1. Alex

          This was exactly my experience! I think I’ve internalized the message to compromise on chemistry for compatibility, but sometimes I can take it too far. A pleasant guy doesn’t guarantee a good relationship. There has to be a spark too.

  3. 3
    Kate

    I’m a huge fan Evan!  Excellent response to Alex.   I took your advice in my 20s and married at 30. I think more women in their 20s should read your stuff!  Keep up the great work.

  4. 4
    Helene

    Agree with all of the above -as far as the ” keep having sex” advice is concerned, this is a good idea, but pick men you find physically attractive but would NEVER date eg: too young, planning to move to Alaska in a month, vegan, can’t really speak english – whatever ISN’T your thing!

  5. 5
    Alex

    Thanks so much Evan! You might be the first person to tell me I’m on the right track! I really needed the encouragement. I’m enrolling in Love U, and I won’t give up!

    1. 5.1
      Christine

      You really are on the right track and closer to love than you think.  First of all, I think it’s good that you give guys a fair chance with multiple dates.  You never know.  Actually, I don’t know any happily married woman who fell in love immediately.  I liked my husband from the beginning.  However, I didn’t feel that deeper connection and that “this is the one” feeling until the fifth date (oddly enough it also happened on the fifth date for my sister and other married women I know…maybe it’s really “love at fifth sight”, LOL)

      I also like what you said about learning to be unattached.  Believe it or not, that is also a precursor to a healthy relationship.  If you know you can be happy on your own, you won’t stay in a bad relationship just to avoid being alone.  I’ve known many people who can NOT be alone for a second, and will stay in relationships past their expiration date just to avoid being single (it’s really sad to see).  People will treat you better when they sense that you can (and will) walk away if they don’t treat you as you deserve.

      I don’t have any magic formula for finding love.  I didn’t do anything all that special but just keep dating, learning from my mistakes…and keep going until I found my match.  I have a feeling you’ll do the same.

  6. 6
    Adrian

    Hi Kelly, Malika, and Helene

    Each of you recommended having sex on the side with someone while searching (Malika is the only one who implied masterbation, Helene and Kelly both implied a human sex partner).

    I thought about doing something similar since I too am searching but the thought of just using someone for sex would always make me feel guilty so I never do it. I have actually been approached quite a few times by women to be there friend with benefits but I always felt that they wanted more (excluding the married women who really did just want sex or something younger than their husbands). The single women’s words and actions did not match and I knew that they would not be able to handle just sex or that they really liked me more than they said so I never slept with any of them.

    How did each of you go about finding someone who was just okay with sex but did not get emotionally attached? Do you think this was easier to find because you are women and on average more men are okay with no strings attached sex?

    Did any of the men fall in love with you or want a relationship? If so what did you do? How did you handle rejecting them?

    I mean do you think this advice would work for me as a man or would it lead me to be labeled as a guy who is a selfish user?

    I just read the post from a few weeks ago from the woman who had a friends with benefits but now wanted something more, unfortunately the majority of the comments labeled the guy as a user and selfish even though they both agreed to just be friends with benefits relationship and she is the one who changed things from the original agreement they had not him. So I wonder if the advice for finding someone to just have sex with on the side is something that women feel is okay for other women but would look down on if they heard a group of men telling a man the same thing?

    …   …   …

    Malika I have a friend who had minored in Psychology back in college-so he thinks he knows everything about people (^_^).

    I once discussed the masterbation until I find someone idea with him (very briefly since it’s a very embarrassing thing to talk about) and he brought up a good point when he said, “you can masterbate for hours everyday and it still would not alleviate the loneliness of not having someone next to you in your bed because the brain would still subconsciously know that there is not another human there and what your the brain craves is human on human contact for the emotional connection of sex NOT the physical. If anything masterbation will distract you from the loneliness temporarily but it will also just make you horiner.”

    But maybe it’s different for women.

     

    I will say this though; Almost every scientific study that I have read about sex says that despite the long standing myth about women desire relationships and not sex, the truth is that women enjoy sex just as much as men; both enjoy the pleasures of sex equally. However it’s just that unlike men women (on average) don’t crave sex like a drug. And of course age and health plays a huge part in all this

    …   …   …

    P.S we need to HURRY UP! And finish this discussion before the other male commentors see it and this stops being about advice and understanding and turns into another male attacking female dating privilege, selfish double standards and hypocrisy debate… Sigh (-_-)

    1. 6.1
      Marika

      Great advice & observations all! I think we’re all a little jealous, Alex, that you’re on top of this and getting it sorted so young! Props to you. A few things to add:

      People in long term relationships who’ve never dated online have no idea what it’s like. Don’t even tell them you’re going on (as they will see it), yet another date. Just be vague about it all until you find your guy.

      As time is your friend, maybe skip the midweek date? Like Malika, I can relate to the feeling of being emotionally and cognitively drained at the end of the day, and maybe you can too? Perhaps set dates up during the week for the weekend, and then you have a chance to look forward, get excited about it, what you’re going to wear etc.

      I thought about keeping a record, but for me that would drain the fun out further. Instead a friend suggested a mantra. So if you like funny, kind, educated men, you repeat that to yourself : is he x, y, z?

      Adrian, I’m definitely in the Malika camp. I went on a couple of dates with guys who were hot, hot, hot with no substance (I was encouraged to by friends!), and made out with one of them, but couldn’t bring myself to sleep with them (or anyone since my last relationship). I know the emotional fallout of casual sex isn’t worth it (for me). Even though I love sex! But there are other ways around it, like she said 😊

      1. 6.1.1
        Malika

        I will concur to keeping it vague when telling people who met their partner offline. They have no idea how many people you have to meet before a mutual match (rule of thumb: 1-2 out of 10 dates and that’s just basic click not yeah-lets-have-a-relationship), they just think that if you see a cute photo and good profile, that that is all the info you need to know and that true love will just happen during the first meetup. They often think you are either living your own version of Sodom and Gomora or are being way too picky. The reality is that you’ve never had so little sex in your life as when you online date, and that the basic threshold of chemistry is something that OKCupid will never be able to predict.

    2. 6.2
      Emily, the original

      Hi Adrian,

      I just read the post from a few weeks ago from the woman who had a friends with benefits but now wanted something more, unfortunately the majority of the comments labeled the guy as a user and selfish even though they both agreed to just be friends with benefits relationship and she is the one who changed things from the original agreement they had not him.

      If I remember correctly, the female commenters thought the guy was being selfish because the woman in the situation wanted more from her sex partner and he continued to use her for sex. I DON’T THINK ANYONE wants to rehash that discussion  🙂   but I think the fwb/sex buddy situation is fine if both people are on the same page in terms of expectations and feelings. However, I do think it is difficult for a some women to have sex with a man over and over and not develop an attachment. We’ve all had the experience where we thought the guy was “meh” but started sleeping with him and then thought he was absolutely beautiful! It’s the hormones! So should a woman hook up with one guy as a fwb/sex buddy for a short time and then find another one to avoid attachment? Possibly. I don’t have the answer, unless she finds a fwb/sex partner she doesn’t feel an attraction for/like at all. That would prevent attachment, but the sex would be terrible.

      1. 6.2.1
        Adrian

        Hey Emily… or should I say fresh meat! (^_^)

        I’ll be sure to meet you at your locker everyday before class and we can share our packed lunches (^_^)

        …   …   …

        Oh did that post turn ugly? It was during the time when I was taking a break from this blog so I think I only read the as far as when only like 5 people commented.

        The tone was that he was wrong and selfish but she never told him she wanted more yet which is what she was asking Evan advice on how to do. I just remember those who did comment at the time saying that he was getting what he wanted so why would he change it… again this seemed like an attack since she never told him she wanted more so it seemed like the assumption was that since he was a guy he was just after sex… I just don’t want to be labeled as a user.

        But you are right if it got ugly I don’t want to reopen that discussion

        …   …  …

        Freshman Emily said (^_^), ” We’ve all had the experience where we thought the guy was “meh” but started sleeping with him and then thought he was absolutely beautiful!

        NOPE! I’ve never sleep with a guy (^_^).

        But seriously I’ve only had sex with one woman and she was my deceased fiance’ so I don’t know how I would react if I started to sleep with someone that I was “meh” about.

        But I always thought (in a large part because of you) that women (on average) can’t have sex with a guy who they were not attracted to, even as friends with benefits, without some form of attraction she could not get anything out of the sex.

        Also a lot of women say that they use hot guys with no substance for sex because they need an emotional connection to fall in love after sex.

        So Em are you saying that a woman can’t sleep with a guy she is not attracted to but she can sleep with a guy who she doesn’t think is hot or even cute but as long as he is average looking and clean she can sleep with him?

        If he is average looking but has established an emotional connection are you saying that she can fall for him?

        If he is hot but she doesn’t see him as long-term material (what does that mean) are you saying that she will be able to sleep with him and not get attached?

        …   …   …

        Emily remember the 3rd time that you and I had ever disagreed with each other was when I told the story about my two friends in college and how they found out (at different times) that their girlfriends had sex on the first dates with other guys but made them both wait months?

        A woman has the right to sleep with who she wants when she wants but like them if I found out that she made me wait some crazy Steve Harvey like 90 days while I am courting her but the guy who ended up being a jerk to her or treating her badly didn’t have to work so hard to get her to share herself with him… Yeah I would be upset.

        Emotionally: It’s like she is saying you are not as hot as him so I will make you work harder to prove yourself to me because I haven’t decided if I really find you attractive or not.

        Logically: It’s her saying that she has been hurt and felt used by guys that she slept with too soon so she is taking it slow so that the guy can prove himself that he is not just in it for the sex.

        I think this is why an older woman would never admit to something like this, where younger women don’t know the difference between sharing everything and having discretion about certain matters.

        Funny thing is something similar just happened to a cousin of mine a few weeks ago, where he read a text to his fiance’ from her girlfriend about running into a guy who she dated for a week and sleep with after the 2nd date. Personally I would not have said anything but he of course confronted her about it and found out that yes she has sleep with a few guys quickly after 2 dates and had a few one night stands and friends with benefits.

        They reason that it really angered and hurt him is because she made him wait 4 months telling him that she wanted it to be right. At the time he never questioned it and wanted her to feel comfortable when they first had sex, now he feels like a sap. The backup guy who she doesn’t see as hot or sexy enough to want to have sex with immediately. She said that she does see him as sexy but of course he doesn’t believe her.

        Me… I’m staying out of it! (^_^)

        I see both sides after reading this blog. It would be hard for me too! But I also have learned from being on this blog that it is not right to judge someone for their past even if their past hurts you.

        1. Emily, the original

          Hiya Adrian!

           

          But I always thought (in a large part because of you) that women (on average) can’t have sex with a guy who they were not attracted to, even as friends with benefits, without some form of attraction she could not get anything out of the sex.

          I think, my dear Youngster, that we have had this conversation before.  🙂    A woman CAN have sex with a man she isn’t attracted to. Men seem to think a woman saying yes to sex means she’s proving her physical attraction to him. While it can mean that she’s attracted to him, a woman can have sex for as many different reasons as a man can. Sometimes an opportunity is there and you think: Why not? I’ll be honest with you … I once had a fwb with someone in an effort to make someone else jealous. Of course, it was a colossal waste of time.

           

           

          If he is average looking but has established an emotional connection are you saying that she can fall for him? If he is hot but she doesn’t see him as long-term material (what does that mean) are you saying that she will be able to sleep with him and not get attached?

          You’re throwing in the issue of appearance, which doesn’t have a lot to do with it. If a woman has sex repeatedly with a man she has chemistry with (whether he is average looking or hot, and, heaven forbid the sex is really hot), she runs the risk of getting attached. There are bonding hormones that are released after sex in both men and women but they are stronger for women. Thus, she can hook up repeatedly with someone she initially felt “meh” about and get attached. She may not end up ga ga in love with him but she may develop some feelings.

           

           

          Emily remember the 3rd time that you and I had ever disagreed with each other was when I told the story about my two friends in college and how they found out (at different times) that their girlfriends had sex on the first dates with other guys but made them both wait months?

          You asked me this before.  🙂    If she really likes the guy and is attracted to him and wants to see if a relationship can build, she may make him wait. If she’s not sure if she’s attracted to him, she may make him wait. If she’s really attracted to him, she may say “to hell with it” and not make him wait. If she’s really attracted to him and can tell she doesn’t want to date him seriously, she may have sex with him early in the process. Could be a million explanations.

           

           

        2. Marika

          Hi Adrian,

          As much as it’s a bad move to judge someone for their past, I also think it’s an exceptionally bad idea to compare how someone is with you v’s another date/partner. I can see why this would bother guys, but how a woman is with you v’s another guy is really none of your business (this applies the other way too). We don’t all act consistently all the time & it comes across as needy and jealous if you quiz someone on their behaviour and ask them to justify themselves. If you’re not happy with how fast things are progressing the only things you can do are talk about it, and if necessary, end things if it’s not working for you.

          My ex quizzed me non-stop about how quickly I introduced my ex boyfriend to my family and things like that and why it was different etc. etc., and it was super annoying and caused many unnecessary fights. Just have confidence that if someone is with you they are with you for the right reasons. It’s not fair to compare things. How men and women approach sex can be quite different & nothing can be gained from trying to guilt a woman into doing something with you because she did it with someone else.

    3. 6.3
      Clare

      Adrian,

       

      I think it’s perfectly fine for a guy to approach a woman for a friends-with-benefits/sex only arrangement. I’ve been approached several times in my life and never been offended by it. It’s a compliment to the woman, if she looks at it the right way. I’d always smile to myself and think “Ooh, they must think I’m hot!”

       

      I think, as with many things in life, honesty and sensitivity to the situation is the key. Go into the situation with the terms absolutely clear – repeat them several times if you have to. Even things like sleeping over, going with each other to social events, etc. all that stuff should be agreed by both of you.

       

      I’d say just use your common sense and your intuition though. If you start to feel any pushback or unhappiness from her, any behaviour which suggests she wants more, pull back. Rather cut the arrangement off than risk hurt feelings. I don’t have a problem with guys who approach women for friends with benefits arrangements, but I do have a problem with a guy who continues to sleep with a girl after he knows full well that she wants more. In that case, she is unlikely to have the strength to break it off and he has to be the one to do it.

    4. 6.4
      Malika

      Masturbation takes care of basic sexual release, but i do agree with your friend that it doesn’t match the intensity and physical intimacy that comes from having sexual relations with another person. Speaking for myself, one night stands are deeply unsatisfying and even slightly longer term hooking up situations aren’t often worth the effort. The men, unless they are really good lovers, aren’t really bothered with your pleasure, they are in it to get their own portion only to roll over and go to sleep. Add to that that they nearly always want the free therapist/ call you last minute/all round girlfriend experience that escorts are at least paid for and i just think i am better off pleasuring myself and only date men who make an effort to develop the relationship in a meaningful way. If friends with benefits truly benefits you, go for it. But if you find yourself giving it the same amount of investment as you would a budding relationship, bail. There are only so many hours you have in your life.

       

  7. 7
    Adrian

    Hi Alex,

    I would recommend that you listen to the podcast Evan had with the guest speaker Kimberly Seltzer titled “What Image Are You Projecting?” It deals with how you talk, walk, and dress to attract a man that YOU WANT.

    Like you and Malika I tried going out with women who were not really that attractive or financially as established but were really kind and giving because I did not want to be shallow… so I thought.

    But upon reflection I see that I was actually subconsciously choosing women whom I was much more attractive than because I feel intimidated about my lack of dating, relationship, and sexual experience for my age (I just turned 31 years old). I dated a lot in college but eventually found a long-term girlfriend/fiance’ my junior year, but she became very sick and spent most of her time staying in the hospital; she passed away 4 years ago and I just started trying to date again this year-I also moved to a new state and accepted a job with a nice title and huge promotion this year.

    So for almost 10 years I have not had any dating, relationship, or sexual experiences, just what I read. I think picking women who were not that attractive or who did not graduate from college made me feel safer because it allowed me to feel equal to them or that they would overlook my inadequacy because I make about $200,000 a year and I look like a younger version of the actor Tom Welling from the show “Smallville”; plus I work out so I have a very athletically toned physique that can be seen even through my clothing because of how it fits me.

    However all that really happened is that I felt nothing for these women and they were clearly falling in love with me one after another, 1st date after 1st date. The ego boost of having someone think I was worthy of dating despite my lack of experience was always eventually overshadowed by the feeling of guilt for going on another date in which I knew she really liked me and enjoyed the date but I felt nothing and had to end it.

    I guess I feel that someone my own age and on my own social economic level who has had lots of boyfriends would laugh at my bumbling attempts at dating and walk away. From reading this blog over the years one thing I have noticed from all the women-from the sweetest to the meanest-is that they want a guy who knows what to do and how to make them feel.

    So Alex if I were you I would ask myself why are you choosing guys that are not that attractive? And do you know the difference between attractive guys and guys out of your league? If you want a hotter guy but you are average looking or below I suggest besides joining Evan’s love you doing as Kimberly said in Evan’s podcast “What image are you projecting?” Especially when she speaks about being the nice girl or being seen as to friendly and therefore as one of the guys.

    If you are above average in the looks department but you have still been choosing guys who are below your league looks wise then ask yourself what are you afraid of in dating hot guys on your level? All of them can’t be non-college grads and selfish players. Is it that you are afraid of rejection? Because I am slowly find out that it is better to only go on 3 good dates with mutual attraction and potential a year than it is to go on 100 dates with zero potential or attraction a year.

    I would also suggest reading all that Evan wrote about making a man wait for sex, even though as a guy I hate it! (^_^) It does make sense. You need to be careful of really hot guys especially if he is out of your league he may be just after sex but not be into you.

    Evan says don’t pick a person just because of chemistry (how hot they are) but he also says don’t pick a person who you feel no attraction for… I find myself still struggling to differentiate the two and find the balance so if you figure it out first let me know!

    1. 7.1
      Marika

      Wise advice, Adrian. However I would worry less about your lack of experience. Yours is a beautiful and heartwarming story that I think would be attractive to most and explain any ‘lack’ of experience.

      I can’t speak for everyone, but for me, a guy being less sexually agressive is actually a pleasant surprise. I’ve been on a few dates these past weeks with a guy who I’ve known for a year. He didn’t make any moves and I just assumed he wasn’t interested. Turns out he is just not sexually agressive (due to his upbringing), and it seems really likes me and respects me and was actually a bit nervous as a result. It’s lovely! I’ve been felt up so much by smooth guys who barely know me, and the way he moved in to make his moves (finally!), was hesitant, but caring, and it felt good. It felt like he cares about me as a person, not just my body.

      Women don’t like it if you’re hopelessly insecure in yourself or constantly looking for validation (which my beau certainly isn’t), but being charmingly not smooth in your moves can actually be a good thing.

      When are you coming down under?

      1. 7.1.1
        Adrian

        Hi Marika,

        Ugh! I keep getting you and Malika mixed up. I thought she was in Australia, so every time she told the story of her being an executive assistant to rich men I always pictured her sitting on Hugh Jackman’s back taking notes with her pen and paper while he did push-ups…

        But I guess it’s you who is in the medical field that sitting on Hugh Jackman’s back when he is doing push-ups while you bandage up Chris Hemsworth’s hammer… I got it now (^_^)!

        …   …   …

        You said, “People in long term relationships who’ve never dated online have no idea what it’s like.”

        Ugh! I could write a novel about all the looks, stares, and bad advice that people who met in high school, college, or anytime when they were in their early 20’s and never dated try to give.

        Sometime I wonder if their views are even in reality or at least is it modern and I’m talking about people in their early 30’s. 

        …   …   …

        I think sexually aggressive and sexual confidence are two different things. A sexually confident guy has a certain swagger and knows when and how to touch a woman, a sexually aggressive guy just doesn’t care about the woman’s feelings or comfort level, it’s about his wants and needs.

        I am happy that you have found someone but I would advise you to be careful and make sure that you are not doing like me and mistaking the alleviation from loneliness for happiness.

        What I mean is look back at all Jeremy wrote about women needing for a man to be masculine in the areas that she needs him to be masculine/confident in. I am not sure if your guy is able to give you that, it sounds more like you are just so happy to find someone different or someone close to what you want that you are overlooking or ignoring your own desires… remember the line between settling and compromising can be a thin one.

        Of course I don’t know this guy so I can be 100% wrong and you have always seemed exceptionally smart and intuitive so I trust your judgement.

        I just know that for me I have found myself doing that these past few months since I have ventured back into dating. I over react, if someone is extremely one negative way I quickly paint someone who is the opposite as a perfect match when in reality I need to look at them as a whole and I see that that negative thing I did not like in moderation is good for a relationship and a complete lack of it (though refreshing) is bad for a relationship.

        Your guys being scared to touch, kiss, or be assertive hopefully will wear off if not it could cause you to lose interest.

        My problem is not about sexually aggressiveness but lacking confidence with knowing what or how to do things in relationship, that she will see me as a virgin and not a man (so to speak) which is what causes me to take the safe route in dating.

        But also some times I get so lonely that when I do find a woman who is really kind or really funny, or has really great conversation that I try to force myself to overlook my lack of attraction for her which is what I hope you are not doing with your friend.

        I just had to painfully let go of a woman I have been talking to for a few weeks because it was clear that I felt nothing for her but she was so funny and kind, and attractive yet I wasn’t attracted to her at all(this is why I keep asking about biege dates). All forcing myself to stay with her was doing was causing her to fall deeper while I just saw her as a friend.

        She finally asked me why I never kissed or made a move on her and I told her, it would mean nothing to me but it would be special to her and that’s not right. So we agreed to stop talking for her sake and I won’t lie I miss having her to talk to. (That’s why I too like Alex wish Evan would have addressed her statement in the letter about his wife because I also think he fell for her logically but not emotionally and he only proposed to her because it was the smart logical choice… I guess I wanted to know if a guy could develop feelings over time for someone they aren’t excited about like some women can).

        …   …   …

        I plan on going to vacation in Australia in December which do you recommend Melbourne or Sydney?

        I care more about people and personalities than I care about tourist spots.

        1. Marika

          Haha, yes, Hugh Jackman and I are besties ;).

          Malika with an l lives somewhere in Europe. I live in Sydney. Which is why, of course I would suggest Sydney! In all seriousness, though, I love Melbourne, but it will be summer and Melbourne’s beaches are terrible, so definitely Sydney would be the way to go. If you’re here for more than a couple of weeks, you could actually go to both (only an hour flight between the two). Given most of the iconic things you’d be familiar with (the harbour bridge, Opera House, Bondi) are in Sydney, I think you’d feel ripped off if you only went to Melbourne. Melbourne also has a European feel to it too, whereas Sydney feels entirely Australian – beaches, sun, sand, surf all the way.

          In terms of my guy, I didn’t mean to suggest he was squeamish or anything and he definitely knows what he’s doing (and we’ve now fooled around a fair bit), but I just mean it was a welcome change to not have someone be sexually full-on, and when we did ‘stuff’ it was meaningful and he was caring in how he touched me (lots of neck kissing & touching my hair) which for me is far better than someone who heads straight down to the business end, or someone who feels so smooth in his moves that I’m just one of the many to him. He is attracted to me and attractive, but he also respects me. Which for me is really important.

          I do appreciate his masculinity & admire him; he knows all sorts of technical things I don’t, speaks three languages and has run businesses in his native country. The things that bother me are mostly small and dumb (his hands are quite small, he’s from a very different cultural and religious background than me – but doesn’t follow that religion). The only ‘pink’ flag is that he seems to hold a serious grudge and has told stories that show me he can be a bit negative. He’s never, ever, been that way with me (remember we’ve known each other for a year), quite the opposite, but that is my only concern at this point.

          Honestly, stop worrying. You don’t have to be some tantric sex expert to keep a woman interested. You just have to not be needy & insecure, and honest with her (in a straightforward, this is how it is way & even a bit flirty if you like – for these reasons I’ve only slept with one woman, so be sure to guide me in the right direction..nod, nod, wink, wink) and definitely don’t date women you don’t find attractive. Like Evan says, the difference is between holding out for a 10 chemistry (bad idea) v’s settling for a 4 chemistry (also a bad idea). Go for a 7 or so, be confident, remember your worth, end things quickly and politely if it’s not working out, plan cool, fun dates, and all will be fine 🙂

        2. Emily, the original

          Marika,

          You just have to not be needy & insecure, and honest with her (in a straightforward, this is how it is way & even a bit flirty if you like – for these reasons I’ve only slept with one woman, so be sure to guide me in the right direction..nod, nod, wink, wink)

          Idk … that would turn me off. Maybe it’s just me, but someone confessing he needs guidance kills the mood  … I realize he’d be doing it in a flirty way, but I still think it may come off as insecure. That’s totally different, though, than Adrian having a serious conversation about the previous girlfriend with the new girlfriend once he got to know her.

           

    2. 7.2
      Alex

      Thanks for your thoughtful comment, Adrian. I agree with Marika that “experience” isn’t something I really consider with a guy. Maybe I did in college, but definitely not anymore. Besides, it sounds like you have real life and relationship experience that is way more valuable than sleeping with a few extra girls. I think most women will recognize that.

      As far as choosing unattractive men, I don’t think (although I could be wrong) that I’m doing it out of insecurities. It’s just much easier to get a date with men who have fewer options. I typically said things like well he’s not cute, but he set up the date, he has a great job, we had an interesting conversation and he paid, so why don’t I stick it out? For whatever reason I always thought if I could just meet enough guys then eventually one would stick. Clearly that’s not the case and quality may be even more important than quantity.

    3. 7.3
      Clare

      Adrian,

       

      I can’t speak for other women, but I found your story really endearing! Women do love a guy who is experienced, but they also love guys who pay them the compliment of being honest with them. Confidence is also something you don’t have to have experience to possess – fake it till you make it! Just own who you are and the choices that you’ve made. A body like Tom Welling from Smallville? You sure you don’t want to move further south of the equator?

  8. 8
    JD

    You’re not good at dating. You’re practicing Einstein’s definition of insanity: Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. You’re a woman, so you insist that the problem is always THEM, not you, and it will never occur to you that sitting across from a depressing woman makes it hard for a man to be an engaging date because he’s really put off.

    But don’t fret; you are a normal 26-year-old. Very normal. Well on your way to being a 35-year-old filled with regret because she realized far too late that she should have started introspecting instead of blaming men for all of her problems back when she was still young enough to have that family that she wanted.

    1. 8.1
      Clare

      Oh God. Adrian, it’s too late. We have one already.

    2. 8.2
      Alex

      JD this seems unnecessarily rude. If you have something to add, feel free, but I’m genuinely trying to learn here. Saying that I’m not sincere or doomed to end up alone isn’t helpful.

      You know, women also dislike depressing men.

      1. 8.2.1
        KK

        Alex,

        You’re on the right track!

        I will never understand the mentality of men who want women to settle. Wouldnt they rather be with a woman who thinks they’re the cat’s meow?

        1. Emily, the original

          KK

          I will never understand the mentality of men who want women to settle.

          Those kinds of men want women to do what they are having to do.

      2. 8.2.2
        Marika

        More importantly than worrying about Internet trolls or people who only exist here to criticize others…

        Who enrolled in Love U? Alex are you in? I enrolled yesterday. So excited!! Be great to share this experience with some of you😊

    3. 8.3
      Adrian

      I have 2 quick question for all the male commenters…

      I must admit that I am confused by the comments of some of the male posters on this post and the post about the man feeling inferior to his wealthy girlfriend.

      Because to my knowledge both women (Alex here and the guy’s girlfriend in the other post) were doing all that many of the men complain about women not doing.

      In the post written by the man feeling inferior he was dating a woman who paid for dates, gave compliments, and even… GASP! Dated a guy who was in a lower socioeconomic stratum or at least a guy who was not rich.

      In this post the writer Alex is going dates with men who are… GASP! Not that attractive or at least guys who are on the lower range of the attraction scale than she is because she is focusing on character not looks. She ends things quickly as not to string them along even though she could but she still gives them the courtesy of at least 2 dates to see if anything happens.

      In the past many men have complained that women only want men who are rich, the first letter writer’s girlfriend proved that was false and yet she is still condemned.

      Many men complain that many women only date the best looking guys while not even giving nice ordinary guys a chance, the second letter writer proved that is wrong.

      Many men complain that most women just use men for free meals, the first letter writer’s girlfriend proved that was wrong.

      Many men complain that most women will not give them a chance, the second letter proved that was wrong by going on more than one date with men whom she did not find attractive.

      I know that these men are angry and are just lashing out as Malika said so that is not my question.

      My question is: Does anyone believe that these men can see that these women are doing all the things they complain about and they are still not happy? I mean are these guys (some even regular posters) sincere when they write bad things about all women because even though the proof is before their eyes they can’t see it or are they just trolls? With some of the regulars I honestly can’t tell.

      …   …   …

      My second question

      I was thinking about dating and courting and how many men say that the men who do it are being taken advantage of by women or that women win and and men lose out.

      Could someone explain how to me? I’m being serious here.

      Because now that I think about it most of the female commentors have repeatedly said things like “The dates can be free or lost cost” and “somewhere after the first 3 dates they don’t mind gladly paying.” So what’s the big deal with paying for just 3 dates?

      Once she becomes your girlfriend then it’s an even exchange of gifts and paying for dates etc.

      So… What about the examples in courting where the man clearing is losing out and the woman is clearly coming out on top?

      For example he has to approach first risking rejection, he has to ask her out first risking rejection, he has to pay each date in the beginning even if it is just the first 3 dates if he goes on 2 dates a week he can be spending up to $200 a month on women that he will never see again.

      This makes sense from a standpoint of men… Until I started thinking about investing.

      Not just money but anything that we men have as hobbies for example many older men have vegetable gardens, they invested so much of their personal time and energy on something that for long periods of time do not bring immediate results and sometimes nothing will grow at all; But they keep at it!

      I think about the time, money, and resources we men invested in job interviews, we buy a nice suit, get resumes printed, we drive, catch a cab, use public transportation, or even fly to the interview with no guarantee that we will get the job. We are paying out of pocket for all these things for something that we are not certain that we will obtain. Some of us men even go as far as having multiple interviews for the same job that we ultimately don’t get BUT we keep at it!

      I think about the time, money, and effort we men invest in trying to buy a house or a car. We invest our time in researching (often times for months), we save for a nice down payment (even sacrificing or at least cutting back on the things we love so that we can have the extra money). We spend months searching for a home or car often times getting turned down by sellers or banks BUT we keep at it!

      I think about the time, money, and effort we men invest in trying to to maintain our bodies or to get in better shape. I am not talking about the men who are overweight and out of shape and therefore need the gym; I am talking about the men who have a healthy BMI but want a vanity based sculpted body. We sacrifice time by going to the gym everyday, we sacrifice money by paying for the gym membership, we sacrifice eating or at least cut down on foods that we normally would love because they are fattening. We push our bodies to lift painfully heavier and heavier weights often times not seeing results for many weeks BUT we keep at it!

      I think about the time, money, and effort that we men invest in trying to get higher education or at least a trade. We either sacrifice time studying to gain a scholarship or we take out loans, we sacrifice our time hanging out to study or to go to class, we sacrifice money to buy things we really want to pay $100+ per book for various books that after the semester is over we would be lucky to get back $10. And we sacrifice money, time spent attending school is time that could be spent working at a job, we are choosing something in which we knowingly lose money for 4 years instead of working at a job that gains us money for those for years. Often times we fail classes or have to repeat classes BUT we keep at it!

      Of course then there is actual investing, where we men sacrifice money that we could use to buy ourselves something pleasurable in the moment for the “hope” that it will possibly grow and make us more money, often time seeing our investment fluctuate growing and shrinking But we keep at it!

       

      When I thought about all this I wondered how is dating and courting an investment? But more importantly I wondered why are some men willing to sacrifice for so many things that are not guaranteed but not sacrifice for a possible long-term future partner.

      Risking dozens of rejections, risking being embarrassed by trying to kiss various women and being rejected on dates, risking getting heartbroken, and risking losing $200 or more a month on women who may be ungrateful, rude, or even just using you because they are bored or want a free meal.

      Hmmm… Well with a permanent girlfriend or wife men gain more sex on average than single men (it’s a scientific fact google it).

      With a permanent girlfriend/wife men gain a friend who will not judge you, someone who you can share things that you would not share even with your male friends.

      With a permanent girlfriend/wife men gain a financial partner and support system. Men can buy more and obtain more with two incomes.

      With a permanent girlfriend/wife men gain a way to bring their own children into the world with someone they know will love and protect the child as much as they do.

      I’m sure that having a loving wife or partner offers more benefits those are the the ones from off the top of my head.

       

      Of course I am not saying every women or every marriage is great but what I am saying is that on average the long-term benefits of courting and dating produce some very desirable results. We men invest in so many other things that we don’t complain about so what is the difference with dating?

      I am not trying to choose sides or even trying to justify women. I thought about this and I am honestly curious as to what are the motivations behind the complaints when it seems that even if it’s a hard road getting there it’s worth it.

      Most men don’t stop after getting rejected for a job, house, car, or failing a class so why is dating and courting different?

      1. 8.3.1
        Chance

        Adrian, it’s difficult to answer a number of your questions because a lot of them are based on false premises.  Honestly, the whole post just comes just off as more virtue signaling from you.  Do you even want answers to your questions?

        1. Adrian

          Hi Chance,

          I would still be curious to hear your answers to which ever questions you feel like answering.

          If not no problem (^_^)

      2. 8.3.2
        Christine

        Adrian, I’ve also seen women doing the same thing–giving up on dating after previous rejections or bad experiences (and seeing the opposite sex in a negative light).  I think of it more as a people thing, in general.

        My own guess is that rejections in dating feel more personal and intense than rejections for a job, house, or car.  So perhaps they’re much harder to take.  When you get rejected for a job, for instance, it’s usually because your qualifications aren’t the best fit for the company/employer.  When you get rejected for a loan for a house or car, it’s because of whatever is in your bank balance and credit history.  Whereas in dating, it feels more personal to be rejected for your looks or personality–basically, for who you are.

        I really tried to develop a thicker skin and not take rejections so personally in dating, but really struggled with that.  However, I’m glad I was eventually able to get over that and give my husband a fair chance, or I wouldn’t be happily married now.  I tried to assess him on his own merits, rather than what other men did to me before.

        Fortunately, my husband also didn’t punish me for his toxic exes.  In fact, it really, really bothered him when his mother compared me to his ex, even favorably–he told her not to do that and that it’s not fair.  He said, I’m my own person who had nothing to do with his previous relationship, so I shouldn’t be measured against her in any way.

        In fact, perhaps people are better off almost treating dating like a job search, in terms of taking rejections less personally.  Being rejected doesn’t necessarily make you inferior in some way, but just shows that you and that other person aren’t the best fit.

        1. Alex

          I agree Christine. This is just a people thing. It reminds me of a Dan Savage advice column where a woman wrote in to complain about the way someone had broken up with her. This person was someone she hadn’t seen many times and had actually planned to break up with herself that weekend. All Dan had to say was that this was proof that no matter what the circumstances, people will always be unhappy when they are rejected. It’s just in our nature as humans.

        2. KK

          YAG,

          I was referring to the constant barrage of negative comments. Therefore, I wasn’t including Jeremy as a “bitter commenter”. He’s been praised by myself and others for his insightful comments here.

        3. Adrian

          Hi Christine and Alex,

          I agree that both men and women do it.

          I was simply just curious as to why so many men come onto a site for women who want love to attack.

          The courting (approaching, planning, paying) argument is a constant theme on this site.

          What really strikes me is that at least 80% of the times that the argument is brought up it is in a post that had nothing to even do with men courting women.

          So I figured why not just ask these men to explain why they are so against it when all dating and married couples I know both give and take.

      3. 8.3.3
        KK

        Adrian,

        You will never understand those men because you’re emotionally healthy and they aren’t. You’re introspective and they aren’t. You have the ability to see things from other’s perspectives and they aren’t willing to.

        In essence, Adrian, you are waaaay ahead of the game in terms of being on your way to getting what you want. These bitter commenters will remain bitter. Keep dating, stay positive, and keep asking questions.  😉

        1. Yet Another Guy

          @KK

          I have to disagree with you on this one.  Jeremy is emotionally healthy.  Adrian is emotionally inexperienced.  He has not had enough relationship or intimate time with women to have experienced the scarring that can cause a man to become emotionally unhealthy (i.e., men do not come out of the womb emotionally unhealthy).   A man his age with his alleged physique, looks, and income should be very sexually experienced.  I had slept with over 50 women by the time I was Adrian’s age and I really did not get started until I was around 25.  I had dated and had sex with a couple of women before that time, but I would not say that I was experienced with women.

        2. KK

          YAG said,

          “Adrian is emotionally inexperienced.  He has not had enough relationship or intimate time with women to have experienced the scarring that can cause a man to become emotionally unhealthy (i.e., men do not come out of the womb emotionally unhealthy)”.

          Not too fast… How many men do you know who have lost a fianceé at Adrian’s age? He may not have dated 50 women, but he was engaged to one and he cared for her throughout her illness. That’s an emotional experience most of us haven’t had. So he could choose to be very angry and bitter, but he isn’t.

        3. Chance

          “So he could choose to be very angry and bitter, but he isn’t.”

           

          Apples-to-oranges.  No one would be bitter towards the opposite sex, in general, because a prior partner had passed away due to an illness.

        4. KK

          “Apples-to-oranges.  No one would be bitter towards the opposite sex, in general, because a prior partner had passed away due to an illness”.

          That isn’t what I was implying. Different people deal with heartache or tragedy differently. Some people become angry and bitter because they feel like they’ve been dealt an unfair hand. Other people take time to grieve and move forward, which is what Adrian has done.

          In my opinion, this shows he is emotionally mature. If he can survive THAT and come out on the other side optimistic and hopeful, I don’t think he’s going to be rolling around in the dirt sucking his thumb because someone turns him down for a date or breaks up with him.

        5. Adrian

          Hi KK and Yet Another Guy,

          Interestingly enough I originally agreed with YAG that I lacked the emotional experience and therefore I was emotionally unhealthy but I thought about what KK said.

          I know many men and women who have been divorced, cheated on, or who struggle with finding some but NONE of them have publicly or privately said even a tenth of the negative things I have heard some of the (mostly male) commentors say about the opposite sex or their children on this blog.

          A man can (and should) disagree with a lot of the negative comments about all women and still be emotionally healthy and experienced.

           

      4. 8.3.4
        AndyK

        Hi Adrian, I understand what you mean. The “issue” is that you come from a position of positive experiences in your dating.

        You might not have found “the one” woman following your past (which you should not feel held back by, getting through it is a sign of strength and is admired by any sensible person) but your posts speak a lot about how women that you go on dates with fall in love with you and want to be with you and how handsome and successful you are.  I do not say this as someone that is judging you, I am happy that you seem to be happy. I am just saying that as a whole things seem to be going the right way for you. The only thing that really seem to be holding you back is a bit of confidence and perceived experience.

        I am not as handsome as you, nor as financially successful or successful with women. I do however get positive feedback and I am the one choosing not to go on second dates more often than not when actually making it past the messaging stage. We do however have about the same level of relationship experience by the sound of it. I think we are both positive about life and know that we will eventually find a woman to share our lives with that we love and who loves us in the way that we have experienced before. This makes it sometimes difficult to see what other people are going through.

        Take your job example. I am fairly sure most people will start looking for a new job while currently employed. It is statistically also easier to actually get a job while employed. You know how people say they get hit more on when they’re already in a relationship? When equating this with dating I think you should equate it with being unemployed and having been unemployed for some time. The effect long term unemployment has on mental health is well documented.

        Things such as gardens and cars are often done as their own reward. It’s a hobby, it’s the activity itself we enjoy more so than the long term benefits (disregarding necessary maintenance). I don’t think you’d get positive feedback if you listed “dating” as your hobby on a dating site. Dating is seen as a means to an end for most people (at least when you’ve done it for a while), which brings us to the next example.

        Education. Education on a school/university level is also a means to an end. If you could skip the education and go straight to doing your dream job and learn while working while also getting the full pay, would you not do it? Learning is fun but being forced to do it takes some of the fun away, this is why I’ve enjoyed learning a lot more in adult life than I did in school. I enjoy going on dates but that is partially because I am in control of my timeline (having children from my first marriage, got a working relationship with my hand and a FWB if I get really desperate for human contact) and I take extended breaks when I’m fed up.

        As for investing and financial success; Suicide rates increased in the last financial crisis, same in the great depression.

        What I am trying to say is that dating is not fun for everyone. For some people dating is continuously being told you are not good enough, if you even make it to the dating stage. Some of these people seek help, some give up, and some blame the game/players. We know that women are more likely to ask for help, that will probably put most men in the last two categories. We also know that more and more men are involuntarily childless, a statistic that seems to be getting worse. It might be a stretch but I think that a natural deduction is that more men are involuntarily single throughout their adult lives and that the same men who get recycled as fathers also get recycled as partners. When people perceive themselves as without agency they become frustrated, depressed and angry.

        When it comes to the condemning, we see this from all polarised groups. Women will get shamed by one group for wanting to be a stay at home mum, and shamed by another for “sacrificing her children” if she wants to work. Men get the same thing on other subjects. One woman will berate you for being a sexist pig holding the door open for her, the next will appreciate the gesture. What’s correct when it comes to social norms depends entirely on who you ask. I think the best thing is to get as many viewpoints as possible to stay informed but ultimately you just need to stay true to yourself.

        1. Adrian

          Hi Andyk,

          I am 31 years old I graduated from college at the age of 22 and worked at the same firm for almost 10 years and dated the same women for that length of time.

          My looks are something I had to develop (going to the gym, learning what haircuts, clothes, etc look best on me) and my success is from working hard slowly increasing my income. My point is that none of it was overnight. In high school I was the skinny kid who loved to read about science not go out and party.

          The girls who said I looked like the lead actor from the show Smallville just said I looked like the actor, they never asked me out because of it. Why??? Because looks are just looks but my personality was still very important and what I projected wasn’t popularity or fun; plus I also realize now that it was the girls giving me the signal that it was okay for ME to ask them out, when I didn’t, it showed that I was either clueless, that I was afraid, or that I was just not interested… Either way it was not what the girls wanted in a guy.

          The point is that my options are what they are now because of YEARS of working on myself.

          I actually have a theory that the men who are good with women are the men who dated a lot when they were young; simultaneously going out with different women becomes second nature to them.

          Too many guys focus just on looks or money in my opinion but a woman with options will wait until she finds a guy with both plus a good character.

          As much as I loved my high school and college days, as much as I love the fact that my ex (as well as mostly every girl I ever talked to) approached me first, now as an adult I see the negative side affects of not gaining experience in dating.

          This also affects my opinions when I hear to opposing views on sensitive subject like dating and courting; men vs women on this blog. Both sides seem right, and due to my lack of actual experience I never know who’s advice should I follow.

      5. 8.3.5
        Yet Another Guy

        @Adrian

        There are a lot of logical fallacies in your argument.  The first one is that dating is an investment.  At best, dating is a gamble; however, for the most part, it is an expense.  I do not know where you live, but I would love to be able to go on a two dates a week with a monthly outlay of $200.00.  I tallied up the dating expenses from the year that I was separated.  I met 53 during that year.  I spent $7,653.68 on dates, and those are just the charges that I put on a credit card.   It does not count my cash outlays.  I could have taken my daughters on a nice vacation with that amount of money.

        The thing with which I am struggling is that concept of paying for a date.  I was raised to believe that a man always pays for a date; however, women either did not work or they made significantly less money than men when I first started to date.  That is no longer true.  Most of the women that I date earn as much as I do, and they do not have to pay child support.  Women will continue to justify this practice by stating that that is how they know a man is really interested.  My counter is how do I know that the woman for whom I am covering her tab is interested?  A man is supposed to know that a woman is interested because she is out with him, but a man has to prove that he is interested by paying.    For some reason, women do not see the logical fallacy in this argument.

        I want to warn you against disrespecting what you refer to as self-centered, take what a man wants behavior.  That is what is known as alpha behavior, and for some illogical reason women love it during courtship.  I learned a long time ago to never ask a woman for her permission.  That is not the same thing as not taking “no” for an answer.  A man should always take “no” for an answer.  It is more about confidence and taking what man believes is his.  You do not ask a woman if you can kiss her.  You lean in and kiss her while making certain that she remembers your kiss.  If she slaps you or pulls away, you have your answer and move on.  The same thing goes for touch escalation.  No, means no here as well, and it is time for you to move on.  You always have to be prepared to walk away from a woman because her behavior can be quite illogical.  A woman may not like that you walked away, but she will respect you for standing your ground.

        I was once where you currently are with respect to experience.  You really do have to “fake it till you make it.”  You appear to currently lack confidence.  Women can smell that on a man, and it is not attractive.  A man who lacks experience can get friend-zoned if he is not careful. Like every thing else that requires the development of skill, practice makes perfect with women. Making love to a new woman becomes easier every time you do it.  You will get to point where you can unclasp her bra with one hand and put a condom on with the other hand.  Your body will stop shaking from the surge in epinephrine.

        Now, I want to bring to attention a topic that I have discussed with several women I have dated; namely, the concept of giving a guy to whom they are sexually attracted, but with whom there is no chance of an LTR the rapid green light for sex while making a guy with promise wait.  Ladies, this is one of the worst moves that you can make with a man.  In fact, I cannot think of a worse move to make with a man for whom you care. What you are doing is lowering his social value because men base a lot their self-worth on their sexuality.  In essence, if you make a guy with whom you want a relationship wait, what you are telling him is that he ranks lower in the male social hierarchy then the guy with whom you had a casual roll in the hay.  If you make a man wait, you sure as hell better make all men wait because if the guy you made wait finds out, there is a high probability that he will not be a happy camper.  At best, it will be the beginning of the end because he will no longer see you as a special snowflake. Adrian allued this problem when he wrote about his friends discovering that their girlfriends had sex with other men on the first date while making them wait.  That knowledge truly eats a man’s core.

        1. Marika

          YAG

          There’s a really simple solution to all your problems: stop dating. Please. For all our sakes.

        2. Emily, the original

          YAG,

          I want to warn you against disrespecting what you refer to as self-centered, take what a man wants behavior.  That is what is known as alpha behavior, and for some illogical reason women love it during courtship.  I learned a long time ago to never ask a woman for her permission.  … It is more about confidence and taking what man believes is his.  You do not ask a woman if you can kiss her.  You lean in and kiss her while making certain that she remembers your kiss.  If she slaps you or pulls away, you have your answer and move on. 

          I don’t think it’s illogical that women like men who take charge. It’s demonstrates a decisive, masculine energy, which a lot of women like. Asking permission comes off as passive. You write often about a man’s primal urge. Woman also have a subconscious, primal urge and a bold move will always be remembered because it is rare.

        3. Tom10

          “You will get to point where you can unclasp her bra with one hand and put a condom on with the other hand.”
           
          I actually lol’d at that.
           
          @ Marika,
          As distasteful as you find YAG’s comments there’s a lot of truth in what he says. As much as we all love Adrian, the evidence (i.e YAG’s history) indicates that it’s YAG’s attitude/mindset that women *actually* want. Although they usually claim (on this blog and elsewhere) that they don’t.
           
          And this is the conundrum that confuses so many guys!
           
          That’s what Adrian should be trying to understand! 

        4. Alex

          YAG, maybe you should try the diary approach? If you’re unhappy with all of your dates, maybe there’s something in common with how you’re choosing who to take out? I was completely surprised when I saw my patterns on paper.

        5. Fleurdl123

          YAG, do you UNDERSTAND why women sometimes have sex with a man who is not a suitable long term prospect while making a new very good prospect wait for sex?  It’s not about torturing or disrespecting the good prospect; it’s about 1. protecting her heart in case she gets attached and it doesn’t work out 2. Understanding full well that men generally judge a woman for having sex with them too soon–even as they press for it.

          And, I don’t think most women do this dual sex thing anyway–unlike men who have always had “bad” girls to play with till their “good” girl is theirs.

          When a woman really likes a guy who is a good prospect, she usually is excited about him and doesn’t want to direct her sexual energy toward other guys.  Generally.

        6. Mrs Happy

          Dear YAG + Adrian,

          1. Great advice from YAG; definitely don’t ask if you can kiss/whatever her.  It is an absolute mood killer.  So so bad. Just make the move and respond to the reaction. Adrian this will make you look a bit more experienced than you are. And Adrian don’t wait too long to kiss her. First date or second, max.  And at 31 do not explain or volunteer your number as 1. Not a good idea.

          2. YAG, why don’t you just pay for the first few dates then take turns paying? Though going out with 53 women a year even just once each is an outing weekly, and of course anyone who goes out that often will spend a large entertainment budget. But 53 women!?!? Why?  How??

          3. How often is the conversation, “when in each relationship did you ‘x’ with each previous partner?”, going to come up?  I mean, who asks this? And if they do insist on knowing, great, red flag regarding their insecurity and painfulness, so, time to move on. Thus it won’t matter you did x with Man 1 at week 6 and y with man 2 at day 19.  Who even recalls this stuff?

        7. KK

          “As distasteful as you find YAG’s comments there’s a lot of truth in what he says. As much as we all love Adrian, the evidence (i.e YAG’s history) indicates that it’s YAG’s attitude/mindset that women *actually* want. Although they usually claim (on this blog and elsewhere) that they don’t”.

          Hi Tom,

          I’m usually in agreement with you, but I happen to disagree with this.

          YAG has said that (in the past) he had his pick of what he calls “Barbies” for ONS, FWB, etc… But, when he decided to get married, he settled for someone with whom he had little chemistry. My question, of course, is why? And no offense to YAG, but if he’s the catch he claims to be, why wouldn’t he be able to lock down someone he also sees as a catch?

          And now that he’s divorced, he’s been doing some weird combination of casual dating and no sex slumber parties. Not sure I would qualify any of this as being successful with the opposite sex.

           

        8. Tom10

          @ KK
           
          “Hi Tom,”
           
          Hey KK
           
          “I’m usually in agreement with you”
           
          Ditto. 🙂
           
          “YAG has said that (in the past) he had his pick of what he calls “Barbies” for ONS, FWB, etc… But, when he decided to get married, he settled for someone with whom he had little chemistry. My question, of course, is why?”
           
          Great question. Apologies in advance for this excessively long reply but I’ve a bit to say on this and feel well-qualified to answer this on his behalf, as inadvertently, I’ve followed a similar dating path to him. Which reconfirms my personal theory that our dating lives are mapped out from birth by our genetics.
           
          I’ve no doubt that if a geneticist analyzed our respective genes they’d find similar levels of testosterone as part of fetal development in the womb. One key physiological indicator of men with abnormal libidos and predilection for variety (*note – tip for all ladies) is index-to-ring-finger proportion: such men have significantly longer ring-fingers than index-fingers.
           
          So I’d wager $1,000 that YAG’s ring-finger is longer than his index finger, Jeremy’s index-finger is longer than his ring finger and Adrian’s are about the same length (I hope one of them chimes in to either prove or disprove my claim!).
           
          So to answer your question, I believe that his excessive libido/genes/testosterone drove him to spend his peak years impregnating the most fertile women (i.e. his brain interprets Barbies as most fertile) he could, with minimum resources expended. Then, as his energy levels and the quality and quantity of his options (i.e. his SMV) began to drop in his mid/late 30s he made an instinctive (or intentional?) decision to adapt to long-term mating, consequentially adjusting his criteria to mitigate risk to his progeny and resources. I.e. Barbies are fine short-term, however, they’re too risky to invest in long-term as they are high-maintenance (financial drain) and less likely to take care of his progeny as much as other women might.
           
          I.e. he played his biological drives perfectly.
           
          Funny thing is that as much as YAG’s comments irritate female readers they actually depress me quite a bit too. For as I’ve followed the exact same life path as him I can see my future mapped out. And I don’t like it. He’s like my Ghost of Christmas Future warning Scrooge to change his ways!! Lol.
           
          I always assumed that once I hit my mid 30s and my hormones calmed down I’d lose my hard edge and naturally desire relationships like other guys, however, now, after reading his comments I realize that won’t necessarily happen.
           
          “And now that he’s divorced, he’s been doing some weird combination of casual dating and no sex slumber parties. Not sure I would qualify any of this as being successful with the opposite sex.”
           
          I agree that he’s now confused about what he wants from his dating now, however, my theory is that the reason for this in biological terms might be due to our unnatural longevity these days (i.e. as life-expectancy was historically around 30, our sex-lives become confused when we’re older as our bodies don’t know what to make of such longevity). Just a thought.
           
          ————–
           
          So what qualifies as success with the opposite sex?
           
          Well I guess that’s for every individual to answer. But I’d imagine a decent response would be achieving your specific goal. And I’ve no doubt that YAG’s goal in his 20s was to have sex with lots of Barbies, then settle down with a less-risky prospect in his 30s. And he achieved his goals. Therefore, that qualifies as success in my book.
           
          But by the same token I consider Jeremy and Adrian to be equally successful; they just happen to have/have had different goals to YAG.
           
          So, on second thoughts, I’ll amend my earlier thought to “it’s YAG’s attitude/mindset that *some* women actually want”. 😉

          What do you consider as success with the opposite sex KK?

        9. Emily, the original

          Tom10,

          What do you consider as success with the opposite sex KK?

          I’m not KK, but I can answer this from my own personal perspective. A woman is successful with the opposite sex if she lands the men she’s most interested in.  Depending on where she is in life (as you pointed out, YAG wanted different things at different ages), that may mean a bunch of short-term situations or a long-term relationship or marriage.

        10. Jeremy

          Hey Tom.  My ring finger is longer than my index finger.  Details for interac e-transfer to follow…

        11. KK

          “What do you consider as success with the opposite sex KK”?

          Hi there Tom,

          I agree with both you and Emily.

          Ironically maybe, I don’t necessarily consider players successful with the opposite sex. Nor do I consider divorced people successful with the opposite sex when they’ve miscalculated what exactly it takes to make a marriage successful.

        12. Emily, the original

          Hi Tom10 and KK,

          I want to add that a woman may receive attention and offers of dates from a fair number of men, but she would more than likely gladly trade all of that in for the sincere attention of one man she really wants.

        13. Adrian

          Hi Yet Another Guy,

          Thanks for answering my question.

          When I first started commenting on this site I was like you very angry and reading the negative comments feed the anger; my ex fiance’ had just past and it was a way for me to vent.

          Honestly find my early post from 2 years ago and you would think that I was mirroring you. The person who really helped me was a male commentor -that KK loved before Chance stole her heart (^_^)- named obsidian.

          He was just so angry and negative that it shocked me out of my courting hating because I realized that I did not want to end up sounding like him or being like him.

          Yet Another Guy maybe because of your divorce or something else you are where I was, angry and wanting to lash out.

          …   …   …

          You and a few other guys have reference my looks or my lack of sexual conquest. And therefore do not understand why I struggle with confidence with women.

          My lack of sexual partners or conquest is because up until the age of 25 I was one of those “lets wait until marriage to have sex” guys… Sigh I know, I know… oh to be young and think you know everything about everything.

          Of course when we did finally start having sex my fiance became to sick for her body to really handle it, but there was no way I could every cheat on her. So for years I was in a horny guilt ridden sexual limbo (read some of my earlier comments when I interacted with Emily and you will see this).

          My lack of confidence due to my dating experience is because of the type of women that I am mostly around and therefore who are my dating options. These are women who are very attractive and are very accomplished.

          A very attractive women (I’m talking about near model level looks) with a great body and makes $100,000+ a year can have as many attractive successful men as she wants. So of course she will want a guy who knows what do. I think too many guys focus just on looks or wealth but a woman who is use to dating hot guys will look for more from the guy than just his looks or his job title.

          I contemplated dating down just to gain the experience but I can never go through with it because of the fear of hurting someone by leading them on when I really don’t want them but it is clear that they really like me.

          Maybe if I just start doing it after a while I will no longer feel any guilt, I have to start approaching and getting rejected to become desensitized to that maybe dating just for the experience required the same formula.

          …   …   …

          On the subject of women making the good guy wait but going sexually wild and free with the bad boy.

          Personally I feel that a woman should do whatever makes her happy. I only took issue with that because those guys found out and still stayed with her and their girlfriends could not see how it makes the man feel and look. I agree with you that it shows that to her the guy she made wait has to have a lower Sexual Market Value (SMV).

          I still struggle with understanding how a guy could stay with a woman after that. If one guy courted, and treated the woman right (not needy nor clingy) and she said she wanted him to wait months but the guy before had sex with her after a week it clearly shows that she thought one guy was sexier.

          Again I have no problem with what a woman does or who she sleeps with but I do have a problem with the guys who stay with her after finding out like the my friend and the 2 other guys I know did.

          I know of so many stories of women who “tried” threesomes and other wild sexual acts not because they were curious but because it made the hot short-term boyfriends happy but won’t even allow their good husbands to bring up the subject.

          Again I respect a woman’s right to not want to have a threesome but why tell your husband/boyfriend what you did with other guys. I know that sharing is good but if you think he would like doing that but you no longer want to then keep it to yourself…

          But maybe I am wrong, maybe the healthy thing is for her to be able to share everything with him and for him to be able to suck it up and realize that it was her past and he can just never get that from her.

        14. Adrian

          Hi Tom 10

          WOW! You are right both my index and ring finger are the same length…. What does that mean?

          …   …   …

          As a side note Tom10 I am great at remembering “general” things that commentors have said even from post that are years older but I struggle remembering the names of said post so that I can go back and read the complete comment.

          You once spoke on dating down (physically as well as financially) and why you don’t approve of it.

          Do you mind telling me your thoughts on doing so again?

          I always find that whenever I do say yes to a date with a woman who is not as attractive as I am or who is supermodel level attractive but who is of a lower income they always get easily attached while I feel nothing (which I find strange considering that I agree with Jeremy that my meta-goal is validation so I should love the attention).

          But after reading Karl R, Jeremy’s and YAG’s comments about the way to get better with dating is to experience it innumerable times I realize that I need to just get out there.

          My problem is that though I have a nice healthy self-esteem, I lack confidence when it comes to dating (all my dates were with one girl who I ultimately proposed to), having a girlfriend (only had 1 as an adult) and being able to please a woman in bed (only had 1  sexual partner though it was long-term).

          I find that I can easily attract beautiful and successful women but I also find that there seems to be a unspoken pressure because they expect me to know what to do, no slowly learning about each other.

          So I have been contemplating dating down to gain the experience though I always back out due to the guilt of using someone.

          What are your thoughts? and how does a person turn off the guilt?

        15. Jeremy

          Adrian, you included me (along with Karl R and YAG) as having given you advice to date many people in order to increase your confidence.  That was NOT my advice.  I am not an advocate of dating many people to gain experience – tends to lead to choice addiction IMHO (though I know others here disagree).  My advice to someone with your issues is – find a woman who doesn’t mind your relative lack of sexual confidence and likes you enough to be willing to build it with you.

           

          Decide what you want and work backwards.  If you want sexual experience, date multiple women.  If you want one loving relationship with a woman who accepts you as you are, look for ONE such woman.  Don’t date “down”, date women you want.  Let THEM worry about whether or not they like you back.

        16. Yet Another Guy

          @Adrian

          Contrary to what has been written, I am not bitter about my marriage.  I am disillusioned about a few things.  I am also questioning the value of  playing by an anachronistic set of rules.  It does appear that modern women want to have their cake and eat it too.

          Let’s examine a behavior I mentioned above that drives me mad; namely, women giving men in whom they are not interested a fast green light to sex while making men with whom they desire a relationship wait.  I have met several women who have mentioned that they make men in whom they are interested wait, but who will casually sleep with guys that they find sexually attractive.  These women were stunned to discover that what they were doing was elevating the rank of the man who did not matter while reducing the rank of the man in whom they were interested within the male social hierarchy.  Women appear to be oblivious to the role that a man’s sexual prowess plays in his self-esteem as well as how he is viewed by other men.  No guy wants to learn that the woman he thought was a special snowflake allowed other men to bed her without making an investment.  I can assure the women who read this blog that kind of knowledge eats at a man’s core.  It can consume him if he lets it.  It is the reason why I do not give women who attempt to justify this behavior the time of day.   The argument for justifying this behavior is that a woman is protecting her heart.  Ladies, I can assure you that guys do not see it that way.  Fleurdl123 attempted to justify this behavior by stating that guys have their “bad girls.”  That argument is a non sequitur because guys do not distinguish between good and bad girls when it comes to sex.  Men do not have those kinds of rules.  They are equal opportunity seducers.  It is just sex.  If a man is truly open to relationship with you, it does not matter if you have sex with him on the first date.  He knows that he is interested in pursing a relationship with you from the first date.   If all a guy wants is sex and he wants it from you badly enough, he will say and do whatever it takes to accomplish that goal and then move on.   In fact, if you are hot enough and he makes it his mission to bed you, he will do things that make you believe that he is interested in more than just sex because it becomes a game to him (I know because I have exhibited that behavior many times when I was a younger man).  Why do you think men refer to experience with women as “game?” 

           

          With respect to your situation, Adrian, I recommend reading a book entitled “How to Be a 3% Man, Winning the Heart of the Woman of Your Dreams” by Corey Wayne.   While there is some PUA stuff in the book, a lot of what is covered about female behavior within a dating context is on the money.  It covers things that I had to learn the hard way in my twenties.  Your most immediate problem appears to be the fear of rejection.  That is just something over which you are going to have to gain control.  Remember, the guys who get the most women get rejected by the most women.  Getting women is a numbers game.  If you take rejection as failure on your part, it will eat at your confidence.  Sooner or later, you are going to encounter a smoking hot woman who is fascinated by you.  It will not matter to her that you are not the most experienced man on the planet.  It will make no sense at the time, but if you do not blow it, it will be transformational experience.  It happened to me when I was 25, and it will happen to you.  In the meantime, you just need to get out there and gain experience.  Failure is the best teacher in life.

        17. Tom10

          @ Adrian
          “WOW! You are right both my index and ring finger are the same length…. What does that mean?”
           
          Well from my rudimentary understanding of science it seems that there’s a correlation between a man’s index-to-ring-finger ratio and his natural sexual inclinations:
           
          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Digit_ratio
           
          “The digit ratio is the ratio of the lengths of different digits or fingers …It has been suggested by some scientists that the ratio of two digits in particular, the 2nd (index finger) and 4th (ring finger), is affected by exposure to androgens, e.g., testosterone while in the uterus and that this 2D:4D ratio can be considered a crude measure for prenatal androgen exposure, with lower 2D:4D ratios pointing to higher prenatal androgen exposure.[2][3] The 2D:4D ratio is calculated by dividing the length of the index finger of a given hand by the length of the ring finger of the same hand. A longer index finger will result in a ratio higher than 1, while a longer ring finger will result in a ratio lower than 1.
           
          “Digit ratio in men correlates with genetic variation in the androgen receptor gene.[27] Men with genes that produce androgen receptors that are less sensitive to testosterone (because they have more CAG [congenital adrenal hyperplasia] repeats) have greater, more feminine, digit ratios. There are reports of a failure to replicate this finding.[28] However, men carrying an androgen receptor with more CAG repeats compensate for the less sensitive receptor by secreting more testosterone,[29] probably as a result of reduced negative feedback on gonadotropins. Thus, it is not clear that 2D:4D would be expected to correlate with CAG repeats, even if it accurately reflects prenatal androgen.”
           
          “Some authors suggest that digit ratio correlates with health, behavior, and even sexuality in later life”. Below is a non-exhaustive list of some traits that have been either demonstrated or suggested to correlate with either high or low digit ratio.”
           
          “Some traits that have been either demonstrated or suggested to correlate with low digit ratio (shorter index than ring finger):
           
          –          Increased risk of prostate cancer and prostrate diseases in males
          –          Slower utero fetal development in both sexes
          –          Increased reproductive success in males
          –          Tendency toward polygamy”
           
          In simple terms, a man’s index-to-ring-finger ratio seems to have a bearing on his sexual proclivities, one of which is his natural orientation toward either polygamy or monogamy.
           
          Hence why I thought Jeremy who seems, from his writing, to be more naturally predisposed to monogamy, might have a longer index-finger than ring-finger. And why I thought YAG who seems, from his writing, to be more naturally predisposed to polygamy, might have a longer ring-finger than index-finger. I can’t really tell from your writing which is your natural disposition, which is I why I speculated yours might be of equal length. FWIW my ring-finger is longer than my index-finger.
           
          Understanding our natural inclinations might help us understand that what motivates us and help us achieve our goals.
           
          “As a side note Tom10 I am great at remembering “general” things that commentors have said even from post that are years older but I struggle remembering the names of said post so that I can go back and read the complete comment.”
           
          I think you’re referencing this thread (I’m also pretty good at remembering thing that commenters say!)?
           

          How Can I Stop Feeling Guilty After Breaking Off a Relationship?


           
          “You once spoke on dating down (physically as well as financially) and why you don’t approve of it.
          Do you mind telling me your thoughts on doing so again?”
           
          Well I don’t necessarily approve, or disapprove of “dating down”; I actually have no opinion on how others should date really. I just try to implement successfully strategies to complete one’s goals.
           
          As part of this it is useful to understand the pros and cons of “dating down” and/or “dating up” and to analyse whether how we date is in-line with what we ultimately want to achieve.
           
          Pros of “dating down” for men:
          –          wider range of women to choose from
          –          sex will be on his terms and will likely be had quicker and possibly be kinkier
          –          no risk of emotional pain to the guy (high risk to the woman)
          –          fewer to no “conditions” to the relationship contract. I.e. the guy can effectively retain the benefits of remaining single (keeping his options open) whilst also having the benefits of a relationship (regular sex, emotional support etc.)
           
          Cons of “dating down” for men:
          –          he is dating a lower-quality woman than he otherwise might, therefore she will be less attractive/charismatic/interesting etc.
          –          he won’t have that “lovin’ feeling”
           
          Pros of “dating up” for men:
          –          He’s dating a higher-quality woman, therefore, she will (or ought to) be more attractive/charismatic/interesting than other women he might date.
          –          He’ll feel “in love” with her
           
          Cons of “dating up” for men:
          –          It’s extremely difficult for men to date up, therefore, whenever he has the opportunity to do so he’ll probably have to play by her rules to keep her
          –          Therefore, he’ll have to commit to her and cut all his other options
          –          Sex will be probably be of a more vanilla variety
          –          Much higher risk of emotional pain for him should the relationship break-up and she moves on to someone else.
           
          Women face a similar set of pros and cons when considering whether to date “up” or “down”.
           
          So ultimately it’s up to each individual to analyze what their true goal is, what will fulfil them the most, intellectually weigh-up all the pros and cons and then make a decision.
           
          Alternatively, they could do what most of us do; chase chemistry, cross their fingers, hope for the best and just see what happens! Lol.

  9. 9
    Stacy

    Friends with benefits – I will never get this. I feel like, it will always get messy or have the potential to get so. Sex in and of itself could never be fulfilling to me. It is just so hollow imo. I don’t understand what the difference would be between a man I have no feelings for and a vibrator. With the vibrator, I don’t have to worry about diseases, ‘catching feelings’, etc. Plus, with the vibrator, it’s one less person on my body count list and I will always get ‘there’.

    Eh…but to each his own.

    1. 9.1
      Maria

      That’s right, Stacy. I’m with you. Plus a vibrator doesn’t get moody, or wants you suck it for hours, or tries to kiss you with bad breath, or expects breakfast.

  10. 10
    Marika

    Tom10

    Yes, you have a point. But I was referring more to his victim mentality, ‘women scarred me for life’ (while he was apparently an innocent bystander with no agency or role to play in his own relationship difficulties). That type of attitude (from either sex) is a massive cop out. Plus, if he’s such an alpha guy, make a decision one way or the other. Please. He’s been on here for months um-ing and ah-ing about dating & flip flopping between hating on women and occasionally showing some vulnerability.

    I do agree that Adrian is struggling with what you describe, but advice from a happily married nice guy with balls who has had lots of dating experience (and yet isn’t ‘scarred’ by women!), such as Evan (or Karl R) is going to be a lot more help to him if he wants a healthy relationship.

    1. 10.1
      Fleurdl123

      Perhaps you don’t know that YAG is not an Alpha male? He is the elusive and crafty Sigma male.

  11. 11
    Shaukat

    it’s YAG’s attitude/mindset that women *actually* want. Although they usually claim (on this blog and elsewhere) that they don’t

    Thank you. If Adrian is being honest about his appearance and physique, it’s actually baffling that he has to ask so many questions. No offense to him, but that long diatribe he wrote reads like a ‘what-to-say-to get-friend-zoned’ post.

     

    1. 11.1
      CB

      I don’t think it’s that baffling. Women value things besides looks, so it’s reasonable to assume that maybe his insecurities turn them off. What is frustrating for me to keep reading on this blog is that women (and Evan) say that they want someone who takes charge but shows vulnerabilities sometimes. The Nice Guy with Balls. But many of the men have a hard time understanding that they want to see  different sides at different times.

      Weirdly, I think it makes many of them angry. YAG especially seems to have the masculine energy bit down, but he clearly dislikes showing vulnerability. Gentlemen! You have to do both!!

      1. 11.1.1
        Emily, the original

        CB,

        What is frustrating for me to keep reading on this blog is that women (and Evan) say that they want someone who takes charge but shows vulnerabilities sometimes.

        I think there can sometimes be a fine line between being vulnerable and being insecure. Telling a woman you have strong feelings for her and want her is showing vulnerability. Needing a lot of reassurance and validation from her, particularly sexually, demonstrates insecurity.

         

        1. Marika

          Vulnerability and insecurity are two entirely different things. In fact, insecure people struggle to show true vulnerability because they are scared to do so for fear of being judged.

          For instance, a secure person who loves themselves & trusts others enough to be vulnerable will explain briefly but clearly that, for instance they lack sexual experience, for these reasons (if they feel it’s important to share that). And move on if the other person judges them for ir or can’t deal. Knowing it’s their issue.

          An insecure person will pretend to be a sex god, or blame their ex for their lack of experience or avoid sex, or panic, or want reassurance etc.

          Vulnerability is very sexy. Insecurity isn’t. That being said, we’re all insecure about some things sometimes. And once you know & like someone you can forgive them a lot.

        2. Clare

          Emily,

           

          You’re quite right. I often think that the difference between someone sharing their feelings in an endearing way and sharing their feelings in a way that’s a turn-off is in the amount of responsibility they want the other person to take for said feelings.

           

          If I share with a man I’m dating about my difficult childhood and losing my brother and how it affected me, I don’t expect him to do anything about it, I’m just sharing parts of myself so that he can know me better. I have found this endears me to almost every man. They feel protective towards you without feeling obligated in any way.

           

          It’s different though when a person shares their feelings expecting some kind of response, and prepared to react negatively if they don’t get it. For instance, if you share your feelings with a date expecting an offer of help, or some kind of reciprocity, and sulk or withdraw or complain in some way if you don’t get it. However, subtle, people can sense this negative reaction and it’s a turn-off. No one wants to feel responsible for another grown adult’s feelings. We all want to come close to someone because we choose to, and not out of a sense of obligation.

        3. Emily, the original

          Marika,

          For instance, a secure person who loves themselves & trusts others enough to be vulnerable will explain briefly but clearly that, for instance they lack sexual experience, for these reasons (if they feel it’s important to share that).

          Well, I’m 46. I doubt most men my age will lack sexual experience, and if they did, I wouldn’t want them to tell me. It would kind of take the wind out of the sails and make me feel like I would have to do everything.

  12. 12
    Gemma

    Evan, what’s your Meyers-Briggs personality type? I’m curious! -Gemma

    1. 12.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      Don’t remember. Took it over 10 years ago. Definitely an extrovert though.

      1. 12.1.1
        Gemma

        Hmm. You should take it again. It’d be a fun break from work. I think you’re an ENFJ!

      2. 12.1.2
        Henriette

        ENTP.  Without a doubt.  Entrepreneurial and argumentative.

  13. 13
    Marika

    Emily

    So if you met a guy who married his college sweetheart in his early 20s, was faithful to her for 20 years, she died prematurely from a long illness during which he nursed her, he grieved her loss, then re entered the dating world with little sexual experience – you wouldn’t want a guy like that??

    If not, send him down here😊

    1. 13.1
      D_M

      Marika,

      I’m sure she’ll respond for herself, but from some of her post, no she doesn’t. Emily strikes me as a pepper pot!!! Let someone else deal with undergraduate. After they graduate, they are free to apply.

    2. 13.2
      Emily, the original

      Marika,

      So if you met a guy who married his college sweetheart in his early 20s, was faithful to her for 20 years,

      I wouldn’t consider that guy sexually inexperienced. He was with someone for 20 years. But would I want him to announce that he needed guidance before our first sexual experience? No. Everyone is nervous at times like that, but announcing his possible clumsiness isn’t exactly a turn on.

      1. 13.2.1
        KK

        “I wouldn’t consider that guy sexually inexperienced. He was with someone for 20 years”.

        My thoughts exactly, Emily.

        1. Emily, the original

          KK,

          But are you with me when I say I don’t like a lot of discussion before the initial sexual interlude about his experience and questions about what I’d like? I was just at the grocery store and I could see this short man behind me out of the corner of my eye. We were in the deli line and it was obvious the clerks behind the counter were ignoring us. He shouted, “Does anybody work here?” Wowza. Gave me lady boner!

        2. Marika

          Ladies,

          While I kinda see what you’re saying, and confidence is certainly always attractive, I would imagine from a guy’s perspective, this could be a bit confusing and / or high maintenance. Like: “I’m supposed to know exactly what to do with each new partner instinctively, without ever asking any questions or showing that maybe I’m not perfect?”.

          Or maybe this speaks to my lack of sexual experience!

          While I don’t want someone who needs me to do everything, or would, for instance, ask permission to kiss me, personally I would far prefer a really genuine guy who doesn’t presume he knows exactly what I want to a super smooth player who has his moves preprogrammed.

          Is that what you ladies want? Or is there some non-off putting way a guy could ask for some level of input?

        3. Emily, the original

          Marika,

          Or is there some non-off putting way a guy could ask for some level of input?

          Well, I’m assuming you are … ahem … expressing your approval during the act itself?  🙂

          I had one guy, randomly and not in the bedroom or right before sex, tell me what he liked in terms of what I was doing. Another time, again outside the bedroom, he asked me if he was too aggressive because other women had told him he was. These were both short conversations and I did not find them off-putting. On another occasion, we both acknowledged how hot the sex was. Maybe when the sex is good you don’t need a lot of conversation about it!

  14. 14
    KK

    Emily,

    I’m with you! Fortunately, I’ve never had that happen, but it would be a huge turn off.

    “He shouted, “Does anybody work here?” Wowza. Gave me lady boner!”

    Lol! Large and in charge, eh?

     

    1. 14.1
      Emily, the original

      KK,

      Fortunately, I’ve never had that happen, but it would be a huge turn off.

      That’s actually happened with the last two people I’ve been with. Asking me beforehand what I want. Like I was picking sexual options off a menu. Yucko.

      Large and in charge, eh?

      Something like that!  🙂

      1. 14.1.1
        Clare

        Emily,

         

        I’m with you. My sexual desire for that person begins a steady downhill trend when they ask me what I want, what I like, tell me how they haven’t had too much experience… really, too much talking of any kind is a gigantic passion killer. I want a guy to be assertive and confident and enjoying himself and then I will enjoy myself. We’re not flying a rocket to the moon, you don’t need 12 years experience. Confidence and self-assuredness are hands-down the sexiest qualities a man can possess.

        1. Emily, the original

          Clare,

           My sexual desire for that person begins a steady downhill trend when they ask me what I want, what I like, tell me how they haven’t had too much experience… really, too much talking of any kind is a gigantic passion killer.

          Yes. There’s nothing less sexy than a man asking permission.

          Confidence and self-assuredness are hands-down the sexiest qualities a man can possess.

          I totally agree. You don’t need tons of experience with different partners. Just confidence.

    2. 14.2
      Marika

      I married the deli counter guy…trust me, while the first time may give you a lady boner, the 500th time he’s yelling at someone (or you) out of impatience…not so attractive!!

      Jeremy’s right about definitely not wanting to cop all your man’s emotions. Equally, though, in my experience, same goes for the guy. Friendship and support outside relationships are vital. Which is why I wish men would offer each other more emotional support.

      During my marriage a few times I actually emailed his close guy friends and asked them to check in on him to see if he was okay. So he’d get support that wasn’t just or always from me. Interestingly, not because it was lessening my attraction to him, but more because it was too much for me to take on alone.

      I think ‘poor me’ lessens attraction. Other emotions don’t so much, but can get overwhelming after a while.

      1. 14.2.1
        KK

        “I married the deli counter guy…trust me, while the first time may give you a lady boner, the 500th time he’s yelling at someone (or you) out of impatience…not so attractive!!”

        You know what’s even less attractive, Marika? A man without a backbone. Someone who is too cowardly to stand up for himself or his wife or his family. Like almost everything else, I believe there’s a balance. I mean how often is anyone going to be put in the position of having to stand their ground? I doubt very often. But when / if it occurs, I’d much rather be with someone who knows how to handle it than someone who rolls over and plays dead.

        That said, I completely understand where you’re coming from and I wouldn’t want that either!  🙂

        1. Emily, the original

          KK,

          You know what’s even less attractive, Marika? A man without a backbone. Someone who is too cowardly to stand up for himself or his wife or his family.

          Yes. I have been with men who would have just stood there while the deli clerks ignored us or been perfectly fine with me taking care of it. I don’t think this guy was being an asshole. They were clearly ignoring us. He simply called them on it.

        2. Marika

          I think both extremes are not good. I wouldn’t like a guy who never stood up for anything.

          Clearly you haven’t been with a guy like my ex though. Situations like that came up all the time, multiple times per day. In the car driving to work (someone cutting us off, driving too fast, too slow, wrong lane..). Coming home from work (same thing). Buying dinner (bad service). Even walking down the street (if the group in front of us stopped suddenly for instance). So I would caution anyone against thinking the deli guy is a good catch. His wife is probably scared of his temper. Or at the very least, sick of him causing a scene.

          I remember Emily once asking about what it’s like to be with a bad boy. It’s like that.

        3. Emily, the original

          Marika,

          So I would caution anyone against thinking the deli guy is a good catch.

          To be honest, I interacted with this guy for about 30 seconds. I have no idea who he is. But … he did get my attention. He was quite short and I wouldn’t have even noticed him otherwise. So a man can do things that have nothing to do with his appearance that get him noticed. It’s that decisive male energy YAG is always talking about. Where is he, btw?

      2. 14.2.2
        Emily, the original

        Marika,

        During my marriage a few times I actually emailed his close guy friends and asked them to check in on him to see if he was okay. So he’d get support that wasn’t just or always from me. Interestingly, not because it was lessening my attraction to him, but more because it was too much for me to take on alone.

        That is a good idea. When my dad was in rehab, he called me incessantly. (His wife had died a few years earlier and he and I were not particularly close.) After talking with his counselor, I told him that I could not be the only person in his support network. I called his friends and explained his situation to them. They were more than happy to have him call them, but I had to force the issue with him and he had no interest in having other family members who lived much closer than I did visit him.  It’s as if, after being married for so long, he was used to one person doing everything for him. I don’t think that’s reasonable.

  15. 15
    Marika

    Emily,

    Haha. Am I expressing my approval? Oh yes, very much so..;)

    I was more thinking from the man’s perspective. Specifically Adrian, who asked the original question. I was assuring him that sexual competence isn’t the be all & end all, but for many of you ladies, it is. I’m just not sure specifically (beyond ‘be confident’), he’s supposed to do? When he’s not feeling confident about this aspect of his background.

    1. 15.1
      Emily, the original

      Marika,

      I’m just not sure specifically (beyond ‘be confident’), he’s supposed to do? When he’s not feeling confident about this aspect of his background.

      Well, not to be crass, but he needs to get some experience, and not with these women who he takes out who he thinks of as friends. I’m not suggesting hooking up with tons of women. Just one or two who he finds very attractive and who are themselves sexually confident and can help instill that confidence in him after a few … extended throw downs!

      1. 15.1.1
        Jeremy

        @Tom10 in thread 8.

         

        Daniel Kahneman, in his book “thinking fast and slow,” makes a distinction that I think is really important.  He writes that when it comes to happiness, we must consider that there are 2 separate entities within our brains – our “experiencing self” and our “remembering self.”  Our experiencing self experiences the present – the enjoyment of the moment.  Our narrating self puts together our memories in retrospect and determines whether or not our experiences have made us happy based on their meaning and context of how we “should” live our lives.

         

        The disparity between these 2 selves explains much of why happiness is so elusive and confusing.  People don’t enjoy the drudgery of raising children, for example, but raising children can make us extremely happy in retrospect.  Our experiencing selves don’t enjoy the drudgery, but our remembering selves derive tremendous meaning from it – and (here’s the key point) – it is our remembering selves that determine our happiness on a day-to-day basis, not our experiencing selves.

         

        The reason I bring all of this up is that I see a lot of confusion in many of these posts.  People write about what they think they want: “I want to have sex with many hot women…..yet having sex with many hot women has not made me happy and I feel like something is missing.”  “I find bad boys attractive…..but relationships with them never end well.”  “My advice to the lonely man who lacks confidence is to gain sexual experience (but what he wants is emotional connection)”.

         

        Too many of us believe that happiness involves positive affect (sex, travel, food, etc) – but that is the happiness of the experiencing self.  Happiness of the remembering self involves engagement, relationships, meaning and achievement.  The search for those results in long-term happiness.  And a given person’s propensity to search for the one rather than the other has nothing to do with testosterone (contrary to what you wrote) and everything to do with dopamine.  The trick is to let our brain’s understanding of what our remembering self wants (and what will ultimately make us happy) override the dopaminergic circuits in our brain telling us to prioritize the experiencing self.

         

        How do I define success with the opposite sex?  Understanding what type of relationship will ultimately make us happy, obtaining that relationship, being happy within that relationship and making our partner equally happy.  Without the long-term happiness, each fling is just a hit of crack.  IMHO.

        1. Tom10

          @ Jeremy #15.1.1
           
          Thanks for your reply; I’ll transfer the money to your account later today 😉
           
          “He writes that when it comes to happiness, we must consider that there are 2 separate entities within our brains – our “experiencing self” and our “remembering self.”
           
          I think what you’re saying is that each of us is motivated by the desire to be happy, and that some of us mistakenly believe that dopamine = happiness, rather than what *actually* makes us happy, which is an emotional connection. Therefore, to achieve real happiness, one needs to override their immediate desire for dopamine in order to forge a deeper connection. Is that about right?
           
          I suppose my main issue with this is your perspective; that individuals are fundamentally motivated by the desire to be happy.
           
          I just find the pursuit of happiness for the sake of it to be a bit of a conceited concept and, um, modern. I think individuals are fundamentally motivated by deeper instincts than just dopamine hits/happiness.
           
          “And a given person’s propensity to search for the one rather than the other has nothing to do with testosterone (contrary to what you wrote) and everything to do with dopamine.”
           
          I disagree with this.
           
          I think you’re saying that men who want to have sex with lots of women are chasing dopamine hits rather than being pushed by testosterone? But how does this explain the fact that men, in general, are far more likely to seek and consent to casual sex (dopamine hits?) than women are? If it was just a dopamine hit surely both genders would chase the dopamine equally? Why does one gender differ hugely from the other in their sexual aptitudes?
           
          The difference is due to testosterone, not just dopamine (most likely a combination of both) and extrapolated further, men with higher testosterone levels will be expected to chase casual sex more. And multiple studies bear this observation out as true.
           
          “Without the long-term happiness, each fling is just a hit of crack”
           
          I disagree with this as well (sorry!). A “hit of crack” serves no real existential purpose; it is an artificial dopamine trigger in an individual’s brain for the sake of it. A fling, however, is a lot more than just a hit of crack; it encapsulates the whole point of humanity itself, which is to propagate our genes. Fulfilling our existential purpose is surely the most wholesome feeling there is.
           
          I believe YAG’s behavior is driven by something more profound than chasing happiness.
          Happiness? Well, it’s not really that important in the big scheme of things.

        2. Jeremy

          @Tom, there is no question that dopamine and testosterone interact.  But there is a difference between having a strong sex drive and a strong drive to have sex with many different women.  Strong sex drive – testosterone.  Strong drive for novelty – dopamine.

           

          Regarding the notion of purpose (ie. propagating our genes) – our emotions and drives are the way that our DNA pushes us to propagate.  But our brains themselves don’t know the difference between one dopamine hit and another.  That’s why crack is so addictive – it does what orgasms do, only better.  But it leaves us unable to appreciate anything other than crack because everything else pales in comparison.

           

          Chasing happiness is not a modern concept – it is present even in ancient philosophy.  The difference is that even thousands of years ago it was known that chasing happiness directly does not work.  Instead, philosophers directed us to chase meaning which results in happiness indirectly.  But happiness was always the goal of the individual, if not the DNA.  The male preying mantis may fulfil his biological destiny once he deposits his sperm into the female, but I doubt he is happy when she bites his head off.  Fulfilling the drives of our DNA does not always yield the best results…

        3. Marika

          Yes, Jeremy. Agree completely.

          Tom10, this isn’t just Jeremy’s opinion. Numerous books on human psychology and the brain say the exact same thing.

          And the pursuit of happiness (in this era) is vital. It is pretty much the post-modern goal (who doesn’t want to be happy?). Now that we don’t really need to worry about our food supply or running away from dangerous animals.

          Not dopamine hits (although we think that’s what we want), but long term happiness. We want it, we just aren’t sure how to get it. Which is what Jeremy’s saying and an excellent point.

          Bad boys don’t make me happy, but give me a dopamine shot (amongst other things), so I have to constantly remind my brain what does make me happy, and pursue that.

          Good reminder, Jeremy, thank you.

        4. Emily, the original

          Jeremy,

          “My advice to the lonely man who lacks confidence is to gain sexual experience (but what he wants is emotional connection)”.

          I don’t think this was bad advice. I was a late bloomer sexually (I’m not describing Adrian that way; I don’t know his exact story) and the anxiety of not having any experience continued to grow year after year that I had no experience. It would be great if Adrian met a woman with whom he has a connection (I think you were referring to him in your post), but in the meantime … why wait? What if it takes 5 years to meet someone he really likes? Don’t you think that meeting someone you’re really into while you’re worried about not having enough experience could make you shy away from that person? It’s not a bad idea to gain some experience (and confidence) by hooking up with someone you like and trust but doesn’t necessarily want to date seriously.

        5. Tom10

          @ Jeremy
          “Strong sex drive – testosterone.  Strong drive for novelty – dopamine.”
           
          Nope, sorry Jeremy, I just don’t buy this.
           
          You still haven’t made any attempt to explain why women, on average, don’t have the same desire for casual sex with different partners as men, on average, do. If the desire for novelty is just a desire for a dopamine hit, unrelated to testosterone, we could expect women to have the same – or at least similar – desire for the dopamine hit from multiple partners; however, the evidence consistently finds this not to be true.
           
          David Buss et al. (2011) reviewed numerous studies on this point, noting the following highly replicable findings are relevant for evaluating sex differences in the psychological design of short-term mating (to paraphrase):
           
          –          Men are more willing than women to engage in sex with partners outside of their long-term partnership, and when men have affairs they have them with larger number of sex partners.
          –          The content of men’s pornography consumption, compared to women, contains themes of short-term sex with multiple partners.
          –          Men are more likely to pay for short-term sex.
          –          Men express desires for larger numbers of sex partners over various time intervals and they tend to seek sex sooner, after a  briefer time delay, than women.
           
          Some of these findings have been replicated across dozens of samples in very large international studies, in representative samples of entire national populations, and in large scale meta-analyses, such as the robust sex differences reliably-observed in studies of extramarital sexual behavior and permissive attitudes toward casual sex (Lippa, 2009; Petersen & Hyde, 2010).
           
          Do you mean to tell me higher levels of testosterone don’t play any role in the above?
           
          “But our brains themselves don’t know the difference between one dopamine hit and another.”
           
          Fair point; the reasons we chase dopamine hits hark back to fooling our base instincts so.
           
          “Chasing happiness is not a modern concept – it is present even in ancient philosophy.”
           
          But ancient philosophy (a few thousand years old) is a modern concept within the context of human physiology, evolution and biology (a few hundred thousand to a few million years old); therefore ultimately, within the overall parameters of the human experience, the concept of chasing happiness is a modern concept.
           
          “Fulfilling the drives of our DNA does not always yield the best results…”
           
          Well it might not yield the best results for the particular organism; however, it does for the gene which drives the organism. And my point is that it’s our genes that ultimately motivate us to make the decisions we do, not our desire for happiness.
           
          I’m sure you’re aware of The Selfish Gene by Dawkins? Sometimes I think that humanity is but a big joke, a servant to our nature…
           
          @ Marika
          “And the pursuit of happiness (in this era) is vital. It is pretty much the post-modern goal (who doesn’t want to be happy?)”
           
          Well, I don’t really dispute this per se; my contention is that our pursuit of happiness isn’t what actually motivates us to make the decisions we do. Rather that it’s not us making our decisions at all.

  16. 16
    Kevin Scott

    You women are so spoiled it literally makes me sick sometimes reading the comments lol…But since dating cost you absolutely nothing of course you can go on a date every week and dimiss all 52 guys thats were obviously interested…at least have the decency to inform your date you are just here for the free food lol. But if you were spending 40-100 bucks a week on a guy you might fall in Love a little easier. Once a guy takes a woman out from everything I k ow about men they are pretty much invested once they start spending.

  17. 17
    Bob

    Or am I in fantasy land about the kind of connection I should be feeling? 

    Not sure what you think you should be feeling, but my advice is to look for these things:

    Mutual sexual attraction
    You like being around each other

    Not just sex- hanging out, recreation, going places, travel

    You have the same goals

    Eg marriage and starting a family

    You have similar values

    You’re not looking for the man of your dreams because that’s for teenagers and foolish middle aged women.

    You’re looking for a man with long term potential.

  18. 18
    Marika

    Tom10

    Rather that it’s not us making our decisions at all.

    Not sure about you, but as a human over 30, I have a fully formed frontal lobe which I can use to make decisions that are in my best interests and override the lower more instinct driven and pleasure / pain driven centres of my brain. Granted, I don’t always, but I can.

    1. 18.1
      Tom10

      I dunno Marika; I just think when it comes to sex and relationships – except for the very most self-aware people – most of us don’t, or are unable to, override our base instincts.
       
      Otherwise, we would have no dating woes and have no need for a dating expert with the tagline “Learn How Chemistry Has Always Led You Into the Wrong Relationships…” at the top of this page (so, what *is* chemistry?).
       
      I think the fact that we’re both here communicating to each other is proof that we (contributors in general, not you and I specifically) struggle to use our frontal lobes to make decisions that are in our best interests…

      1. 18.1.1
        Jeremy

        We all struggle with it, Tom, but it isn’t all about our genetics. Rather, our conscious minds are not a unified whole – see my comment above about our experiencing selves vs. Our remembering/narrating selves.  This is a much better and more useful analogy.

         

        You mentioned the selfish gene – I’m very familiar with it.  But even Richard Dawkins admits in the preface of the book that although it applies on an evolutionary level, it is not meant to be applied on an interpersonal level for thinking humans.  If you’ve used contraception, you’ve overridden your genes’ desires.  And while it may be true that my genes predispose me to want to eat the pie in my cupboard even though I know it isn’t good for me, I have the ability to override that desire…..if only I prioritize my remembering self over my experiencing self.

         

        The experiencing vs remembering self.  This is the key, I think.  And if you’ve not read “stumbling on happiness” by Dan Gilbert, I’d recommend that very highly.  It is the place to start for someone wondering why we struggle to make decisions that are in our best interests.

        1. Marika

          Jeremy. Yes.

          Tom10: Even though it’s the middle of winter here, it’s a balmy and sunny 22 degrees Celsius without a cloud in the sky. And yet, I’m at work and not at the beach..which is just down the road from where I work….;)

        2. GoWiththeFlow

          Hi Tom & Jeremy,

          I’ve enjoyed this thread!

          One thing that comes to mind is also that humans have competing biological imperatives.  Our genes may want us to reproduce but every organism’s primary imperative is to stay alive.  Sometimes the two are in conflict.  For instance back in the day, when a village was attacked, carrying your infant while trying to escape made it less likely that you would.  And yes, some adults would go into “me first” panic mode and hightail it out of there without ever thinking of who’s left behind.

          A modern version of this may be how more and more people are consciously choosing to be child free.  Kids suck up time, energy, and money.  When aging researchers studied three communities that have longer than average life expectancies (residents of Okinawa, the Seventh Day Adventists in California, and residents of Crete) one of the things they found is having zero to one child is associated with a longer life span.  So “me first” is being prioritized over the urge to reproduce.  Of course, modern birth control allows the “pursuit of reproduction” without the actual reproduction to occur 😉

          As for us all being beholden to our base drives in dating and mating, I think the fact that we are here is evidence of high level thinking.  Questioning our behavior and emotions, and those of the opposite sex in an attempt to increase our understanding and “success” at the very least shows awareness which is a huge step.

        3. Tom10

          @ Jeremy
          “If you’ve used contraception, you’ve overridden your genes’ desires.”
           
          Not really. The act of sex in the first place is being driven by my gene’s desires; using contraception only negates possible consequences of these desires.
           
          Abstinence is truly overriding our genes’ desires, and we all know how successful abstinence movements are: they’re not successful at all.
           
          “And while it may be true that my genes predispose me to want to eat the pie in my cupboard even though I know it isn’t good for me, I have the ability to override that desire…..if only I prioritize my remembering self over my experiencing self.”
           
          You, as a very self-aware contributor, might have the ability, in theory, to override that desire, but many/most people either don’t or can’t. In fact, so many of the world’s problems, such as obesity, unwanted pregnancy, STIs etc. are due to our inability to control our genes’ desires.
           
          As noted already, our inability to pick partners with our brains rather than our genes is the reason people struggle in relationships, IMHO. In fact, in all the years I’ve been reading this blog I know of only two contributors who made a conscious choice to compromise on chemistry when picking their life-partners. YAG is one.
           
          “And if you’ve not read “stumbling on happiness” by Dan Gilbert, I’d recommend that very highly.  It is the place to start for someone wondering why we struggle to make decisions that are in our best interests.”
           
          Noted. I haven’t read it; however, as an admirer of your writing, I’ll take on board your recommendation and read it.
           
          @ Marika
          “And yet, I’m at work and not at the beach..which is just down the road from where I work….;)”
           
          You might be at work, but you’re not working – you’re writing on a blog about sex and relationships! Lol. In fact your analogy perfectly encapsulates the struggle we have with our frontal lobes to do what’s best for us.
           
          Now, back to work…haha.
          😉

  19. 19
    Adrian

    Hi Jeremy, YAG, and Tom10,

    Tom10

    Okay I now understand your views on dating down physically (great pro and con break down by the way) but would you mind giving me your views on dating down financially? I think you forgot that part.

    I make more than enough money to support a few people so I never thought dating someone in a lower socioeconomic stratum mattered but I remember you writing that it did matter but not because of the gap in income but because of something else I think…

    Interesting theory about the fingers, I personally have never thought sex was hard to get my biggest struggle was turning it down. Now that I am no longer saving myself for marriage, nor do I have a sexless relations to worry about cheating on I am free to have sex if I wanted but like Evan I haven’t because I feel bad knowing that the women will get attached (though they always say they won’t), or the women are married and want me to be their side guy, or it is a couple who wants me to participate in something kinky for a fantasy (numerous guys have approached me about watching me with their wives or joining them for a threesome).

    Maybe the biggest roadblock to my sexual escapades is my upbringing. I still struggle with separating sex from love and monogamous relationships (very hardcore religious upbring). I envy guys like you and YAG who can just go out and sleep with women without worrying about hurting them. I have heard so many times a woman say that she will not get attached but I can tell that she will, sex to her is just a way to get a relationship.

     

    Jeremy

    I apologize Jeremy, I have been so busy with school and work lately that I kind of just quickly skim through the comments. I remembered you being one of the guys to stand up to women about how approaching and rejection is not as easy for men as women think. And I know that Karl R and YAG were saying that repeated rejections will make a guy better at handling getting rejected; I guess I just lumped you guys together.

    If you could, would you explain why you don’t feel dating around a lot will make a person a better more experienced dater? How will sampling a lot of different personalities and types of women not give a guy insight into what he wants in a woman? I always thought that if you do something enough or experience something enough it will become second nature to you.

    What do you mean choice addiction? Is it the same as being a maximizer?

     

    Yet Another Guy

    I do not have a problem attracting women; in fact women being attracted to me is my problem. I always feel that they are attracted to what they think I am not who I am. It so much pressure because if you look a certain way women assume you would be a great catch and not a clumsy guy navigating his way through the best he can.

    That is why I disagree with all the writings and teachings that say that women are not as visual as men are. I think the only difference is that men just focus on looks “short-term” while women focus on looks plus+++; and they seem to analyse men more in a long-term view the older they get noticing every detail, while men still just focus on looks at first regardless of age.

    But you are right I need to stop being afraid of failing or not living up to a woman’s expectations of who she is projecting me to be and not of who I truly am.

    Again I have no problem with a woman sleeping with anyone. I honestly don’t judge; it is her right. I just don’t like when they tell the guy IF she knows that he want something similar but she will not do it.

    Example: A couple sharing their past sexual experiences or telling of moments when they lived a fantasy in the past is okay if neither of them wants to repeat it. But what I have repeatedly seen is that usually the guys does want sex after dating for a month or he does want a threesome, etc… But the woman puts brakes on that saying she won’t. Okay fair, but then she tells the same guy who she made waits months for sex or who she turned down for a threesome that she repeatedly had sex with a guy that she had only gone out with twice and she loved it or that she had a few threesomes with a boyfriend from the past and she enjoyed it but the current guy who she claims to love will have to wait or will not be getting threesome.

    This is where Jeremy’s validation meta-goal kicks in for me because after hearing this I am usually more angry at the guy for stay with a woman like that than I am at the woman-though again why tell him?

    Even if she doesn’t want to ever do it again all it says to her current guy is YOU WILL NEVER GET THIS FROM ME or he was so hot that I couldn’t control myself and slept with him after date 2 but you are NOT as hot so I have no problem making you wait for almost 3 months…

    By the way this works both ways… If a guy makes his current girl jump through hoops to get him to say I love you or to get a ring or to get him to want to move in together but he tells her of a time when he did those same things after a month of dating his ex this makes women feel like they are not as desired by him as his ex was.

    1. 19.1
      Marika

      I know you’re speaking to the guys, here, Adrian, but as a woman, I need to reassure you to stop worrying about your lack of experience. I’m a few years older than you, don’t have much more experience (had the same amount as you at your age) and would have no problem whatsoever with your lack of experience, especially knowing the reasons for it, and particularly if I was 30. I would actually bond with you over the religious upbringing & be very touched by the way you cared for your deceased ex.

      You should aim to date someone like me. Not someone who values a guy more if he’s had more experience. That will just end in tears for both of you. You’ll get an idea about how experienced she is by how she responds to your early advances and maybe if she makes any first moves herself.  Two of my closest friends prefer men with less experience, because it shows them they aren’t players. One friend in particular has far more experience than her partner, but he more than makes up for it in other ways and they’ve been happily together for 2 years. The thing we care about is your willingness to give it your all to make the bedroom a pleasurable place for both of us, not your long history of conquests. (Emily will likely disagree with me here, but she wouldn’t be the right type of woman for you).

      I would also strongly advice to recognise that a woman’s/person’s past is in the past. Speaking from experience, a man bringing up your past & being all funny and insecure about it is a massive turn off (for me it wasn’t sex but something else and it was a major drag to have to talk it out over & over).  Both Evan and his wife slept with other people faster than they slept with each other. Does this somehow devalue their relationship? Not at all! Does this men the other people were more sexy to them? Maybe, but who cares? There are lots of reasons you behave in different ways with different people and in different stages of your life. Don’t make the mistake of holding a woman’s past against her. Just like you wouldn’t want a woman to hold your lack of experience against you. If you have an issue with what a woman did before she met you, that’s your issue, not hers.

    2. 19.2
      Jeremy

      Adrian, dating around WILL make you a better, more experienced dater.  Is that your goal, or is your goal finding a good relationship with ONE woman?  Start with your goal and work backwards.

    3. 19.3
      Tom10

      @ Adrian #19
      “would you mind giving me your views on dating down financially? I think you forgot that part.
      I make more than enough money to support a few people so I never thought dating someone in a lower socioeconomic stratum mattered but I remember you writing that it did matter but not because of the gap in income but because of something else I think…”
       
      Ha, I did forget that part!
       
      Well Adrian, you certainly have a unique set of dating problems for a young man:
      – You make more than enough money to support a few people
      – Sex is so easy to get that you’re turning it down
      – Woman want to use your as their toy-boy
      – Couples ask you to join them for kinky threesomes
      – Many men have requested you to b*ng their wives.
       
      Many men would love to have your problems! Lol.
       
      Ultimately, in my opinion, it depends on what your long-term goals are:
      – do you want kids?
      – do you want marriage?
      – do you want to intertwine your finances?
      – would you prefer a stay-at-home-wife if possible?
      – do you value chemistry highly, to the point that you’re prepare to subsidize a very attractive woman to access her looks?
      – Do you envisage starting a business at any point in the future, which might mean you have no income for an extended period of time?
      Etc.
       
      I don’t necessarily think dating “up” or “down” financially is a problem; once you make the decision from a well-informed stand-point and understand the inherent risks and rewards of such a decision.
       
      Some guys prefer dating women who earn less than him as it feeds his ego, makes him feel masculine and gives him a sense of power. Conversely, some guys feel uncomfortable dating women who earn more than him for all the opposite reasons.
       
      Personally, I prefer to date women with similar education and earning potential to myself as I feel it leads to a more balanced relationship. I don’t like it when attractive women try and get me to pay for everything just because they’re very attractive (hang on a sec girl; I’m just as attractive as you are, lol). Equally I don’t like it when some women try to pay for everything either; it makes me feel like a toy-boy. I prefer balance and a partnership of equals. YMMV.
       
      “I am free to have sex if I wanted but like Evan I haven’t because I feel bad knowing that the women will get attached (though they always say they won’t)”
       
      I dunno Adrian; in my opinion grown women aren’t half as vulnerable as you think they are; a huge percentage of women can have sex without getting attached and they’re just fine. It seems you just haven’t been burned by enough of them yet. Lucky you.
       
      “Maybe the biggest roadblock to my sexual escapades is my upbringing. I still struggle with separating sex from love and monogamous relationships (very hardcore religious upbring).”
       
      Perhaps surprisingly I had a very hardcore religious upbringing too, yet my sexual escapades are the total opposite of yours; the main reason being I intellectually rejected all of my religious teachings as nonsense when I was young.
       
      “I have heard so many times a woman say that she will not get attached but I can tell that she will, sex to her is just a way to get a relationship.”
       
      Well you don’t really know that she will – that’s a little presumptuous.
       
      I guess the solution is the same for you Adrian as it was for Jay in the “feeling guilty” thread; aim for women out-of-your-league and all your guilt will magically disappear. Women out of your league don’t try to surreptitiously use sex to obtain relationships from unsuspecting men; they’ll have you begging to get them into relationships! Lol.
       
      Alternatively, as you’ve already suggested, you could go on a dating rampage, rapidly increase your numbers and desensitize yourself.
       
      Hmm, up to you which way you wanna proceed really! I look forward to your updates with interest…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *