How to Know If You’re Wasting Time on the Wrong Men

One of the most common things I hear from my clients is this: “I understand that I have to compromise on some things to be in a relationship, but how do I know WHAT I should compromise on?”

If you’ve ever asked yourself the same question, I understand.

There have been a number of times in your past when you thought you met the “right” man…and yet he turned out, like all the others, to be WRONG.

The entire time I was dating my wife, I wasn’t sure whether I was making the right decision.

I wanted to be sure in my heart.
I wanted to feel that sense of blind confidence.
I wanted to “just know” that she was the “right” person for me.

But as you know, there have been a number of times in your past when you thought you met the “right” man…and yet he turned out, like all the others, to be WRONG.

So much for “knowing”.

As a dating coach, I’m constantly working with you to refine your choices – to ensure that you don’t waste time on the wrong men, and learn to invest in the good ones.

It’s not easy. It doesn’t always come naturally. But it has some incredible rewards.

Which is why I want to tell you what REALLY matters in a man…

Yesterday, I was instant messaging an old friend on Facebook. Tami’s a delightful person whom I’ve known since early childhood – attractive, athletic, intelligent, funny, successful, and the mother of two beautiful children.

She also told me that she’s getting divorced.

Her husband cheated on her multiple times – and Tami’s rightfully furious.

She’s questioning the meaning of her entire relationship.
She’s questioning how she’s ever going to find love again in the future.
Most of all, she’s questioning her own judgment, which is the hardest thing to do when you pride yourself on being intelligent and rational.

From what little I learned about Tami and her husband, it seemed clear that she willfully ignored his selfish, narcissistic tendencies because of what came with the rest of the package – cute, smart, successful, etc.

Have you ever done the same thing? I’m betting you have. And I’m betting that you’re a lot better off without that guy than you are with him.

Which brings me to the crux of today’s post: how do you KNOW if someone is a good guy or a bad guy?

For this answer, I want to enlist another story – that of Jean-Dominique Bauby – the former editor of French Elle magazine, who, after suffering from a stroke, became completely paralyzed, except for his left eyelid.

Bauby’s story was immortalized in the movie, “The Diving Bell and the Butterfly”, but it really got me to thinking:

If you had EVERYTHING taken away from you – your body, your job, your whole self-definition – what would you be left with?

You’d be left with your mind.
You’d be left with your heart.
You’d be left with your spirit.
You’d be left with your kindness.
You’d be left with your generosity.
You’d be left with your sense of humor.

Strip away your looks, your home, your career, your money and you’d be left with everything that’s on the INSIDE.

The guy who doesn’t prioritize you now is NEVER going to prioritize you.

So if Tami wants to know where she went wrong in choosing her husband…

…or if you’ve struggled for years to figure out why you choose the wrong men…

Your answer is right here in front of you.

You’ve been investing in the least important qualities.

Looks come and go. Jobs come and go.

Money comes and goes.

What lasts forever is CHARACTER.

I’ve already acknowledged that I’ve dated younger women, smarter women, more successful women, and so on… but I never met a BETTER woman than my wife.

I’m telling you, if I were hit by a bus tomorrow, she’d push me around in a wheelchair for the next 40 years.

That’s what I mean by character.

There are no shortage of impressive men out there who make you tingle every time you think of them – but they’re WORTHLESS if they don’t put YOU first.

So the next time you’re dating a guy, don’t get too sucked in by his charm or his wit or his looks or his money…

Instead, learn to appreciate the guy who does what he says, who says what he means, who makes it clear that you’re a priority to him.

After all, the guy who doesn’t prioritize you now is NEVER going to prioritize you.

Cut him loose and choose the man who loves you for what’s INSIDE.

Because what’s inside never goes away.

What do you think? Am I just a big sap for thinking that character is a better predictor of relationship stability than chemistry? Let me know your thoughts below…

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Comments:

  1. 121
    Sharon

    Hi,

    You are 100% right, in materialistic world we all forget the real values of a person. The thing which keeps you going is not the charming qualities but the real person. Also, as per my experience, if he does not keep you first he is never gonna keep you first. 

  2. 122
    Crystal

    Im glad for your blog.  It’s really hard sometimes when you love someone.  You sick around, hoping that he will change.. I was never a priority.  Reading this has helped with the answer I was looking for.  Now the hard part is letting go for good..

  3. 123
    Jenny

    Great article. I’m guilty of loving a narcissist. What he did, almost killed me. Recently, I found he married a 20 yr old girl (he is 40), in a lavish wedding after being with her only a year. I (also 40), was with him for years when he didn’t have two nickels to run together.  

     The signs were there, the red flags and the behaviors. I have been heartbroken, but what I need to do is look at my own flaws. Why did I allow a man to treat me like trash, disposable and worthless. Why did I not see my own worth yet looked to him to do that and why am I still upset at the loss of a relationship that obviously was unhealthy and one sided? These are tough questions I’m trying to answer.

    One things for sure…this lady will never repeat that pattern again. It just about killed me and no man or person is worth giving away your self respect 

    1. 123.1
      RustyLH

      And yet all I here from many women on here is how they must find a man near their own age.  It’s just one more thing that is BS.  If only I can find a man that has this quality, or that quality, or this other quality, I will be happy forever.  Instead of marrying stats, we should marry a person.  I wouldn’t beat yourself up too much.  Likely, he wasn’t that way in the beginning, unless he was a bad boy and you were too enthralled with him to notice how he really was.   It seems we are all damned if we do and damned if we don’t.  Or maybe we just convince ourselves that this is the case.  Everyone chases after the absolute best that they can get, and yet, especially for women, doing so drastically increases the chance that they will treat us badly at some point.  To me, it seems that the key is not to find somebody to cherish, but find somebody that cherishes us…in a healthy manner, not a freaky stalkerish manner.  LOL

  4. 124
    Just me

    Thank you for your post!  Character is everything!   Just realized that I’ve wasted 4 years of my life on a man who will never put me first

  5. 125
    Rachelle

    Yes You are absolutely right when u say if a man doesnt put you first then hes not the right one.

  6. 126
    Nelly

    True.  Thank you.

  7. 127
    GL

    Oh boy. I think with my last relationship I have become an expert. In my fury towards this selfish man I told him he had a weak character. He didn’t have the gusto to tell me he couldn’t make it to something that was very important to me. He was always demanding from me emotionally, and it was a very one sided relationship. He would swoop in and talk about himself for hours and leave. Expected me to pay for everything and care for him like a child. I’m angry at myself for getting emotionally attached to someone like this. I was confused about my strong feelings for him and I actually begged him to take me back, to try again. He reacted with nastiness, even after I said I was in pain. He often reacted to my emotional needs as though I was strange or being a pain in the butt. He could be upset and I was there, I was upset and he wasn’t there. I would have to agree that character makes all the difference. Just an ounce of consideration goes a long way, and I think that if I look for consideration and empathy in the next man I date, he’s probably a stand up guy and totally worth it. Selfishness in my relationships always makes me insane, with both men and women. It’s funny, I ‘went crazy’ on him, but from the sound of it he’s had plenty of women who have ‘gone crazy’ on him. It’s a new day today, I’m going to find a good man who brings out my best qualities, and I do believe that will have to be a man with good character.

  8. 128
    Scarlett

    Thank you very much for that inspiring post, I am in the same situation where I have been in a circle for 4 years with a guy I was so crazy about, we had excellent chemistry although, nothing more than that.
    He never put me first, he was chauvinistic and egocentric, he eventually after 4 and a half years just turned around and said to me ” My friends at work said I should cheat on you and not spend a dime on you, I should rather invest in a sports car and have a different flavour everyday of the week”  I was so hurt, he had no idea what that did to me, I suffered greatly because of him and his anger issues, and just like that. 
    so in regards to your post, well said! I am proud to say that I have seen a man with reason on the internet, and where I thought hope was lost, I giggle to the thought of light still being present in this world, Thank you very much!  

    1. 128.1
      starthrower68

      Sorry you went through that.  His behavior says nothing about you and everything about him.  

  9. 129
    Irin

    Many thank Evan! calming down after I read it! trying to avoid to take a revenge on a man who was taken and lying anout that! Trying to forget, but even after I blocked him everywhere I can not block my thoughts..(

  10. 130
    D

    Thank you, Evan! Reading this was quite a relief. Though, I’m still stuck being with a man who, I must say, prioritize me. But we are not in a relationship, so I still could not quite pride myself with him making me feel so prioritized. Character is there and not there. Always half hearted, which probably links to why he can’t commit. We’ve tried to slip off each other over and over, I guess. Yet, still finds ourselves together. Btw, if it’s lust that pops in your head. I am honestly telling you it is a big NO. So, yeah. I just kinda don’t know where else to stand. I just feel so fucked up stuck with our unknown connection.

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