I Have to Choose: My Boyfriend or My Career

I Have to Choose: My Boyfriend or My CareerEvan,

First, thanks for the advice you provide on this blog. I read it religiously, and it always gives me a lot to consider in my own relationship. My boyfriend and I have been together for five months, and are both in our late 20s. We’re a good match. I’m happier than I can ever remember being. We’ve met all of the usual checkpoints for a new relationship – we established exclusivity within the first month, have met each other’s parents (in fact, he’s meeting my family this weekend), and freely and sincerely express our love to one another. We talk about a future together. I believe this relationship could have a real future. My boyfriend is kind, loving, and devoted to me, and I see myself loving him more each day.

However, an issue has emerged. Over a year before my boyfriend and I began dating, I initiated a job search with the intent to relocate to my favorite city (Austin, TX), where I lived for a few years for graduate school. That search was unsuccessful, but the recruiter I was working with recently contacted me with an opportunity to move to Austin. Professionally, this is a great move for me, but personally, this is a disaster.

Last night, I told my boyfriend about the opportunity (since I have a final interview in Austin next week), and he told me that he loves me and he wants me to have a fulfilling career, but that if I move to Austin, it will be the end of our relationship. He refuses to take part in a long-distance relationship (I knew this about him from the time we first began dating), and he doesn’t want to move to Texas. He did say that he might be willing to relocate sometime in the future, but that any move would be “for the person he will spend the rest of his life with,” and that it’s still too early to know whether I’m that person. I understand his position, and I love him, but I also love myself and my career. I am willing to do long-distance, but he isn’t. Both of us could feasibly pursue our chosen careers in either location.

My question, Evan, is what would you do, and what should I do? I do have a great job in our current city, but Austin has always been in my plans. When in a relationship is it appropriate to choose a partner over a career move, and is that appropriate here? – Victoria

Dear Victoria,

Men want to choose. We don’t want to be sold.

Glad you enjoy the blog.

Glad the advice has helped you.

Glad you have an amazing boyfriend.

But you’ve already answered your own question, so I’m not quite sure I’m supposed to say.

“Austin has always been in my plans.”

There you go.

You’ve given him an ultimatum – “I’m moving to Austin. Are you coming?”

He’s given you an answer – “You’re great, but it’s too soon to make the commitment to move to a strange city I don’t want to be in for a new girlfriend.”

You just don’t seem to want to accept his answer.

You have more leverage with a man in a long relationship than in a short one.

Your suggested compromise is a long-distance relationship. It’s a perfectly reasonable solution, apart from the fact that it doesn’t make your boyfriend happy at all.

Long-distance, to you, means that he’s going to have to fly to see you for a few years and ultimately decide that he wants to move to be with you. But notice that he’s the one who has to make the sacrifice if he wants the relationship to survive, not you.

This goes to illustrate a few common dating principles:

1)   If you tell a man what to do and he listens, he’s not really a man.

2)   Men want to choose. We don’t want to be sold.

3)   You have more leverage with a man in a long relationship than in a short one.

Essentially, you’re TELLING him that your future is in Austin, no matter what, and that if he knows what’s good for him, he’s eventually gonna end up there.

If I were your boyfriend, I’d personally like to have more of a say in my future than that.

Thus, you’re not “wrong” for wanting him to move to be with you or submit to a long-distance relationship against his will. You’re only “wrong” in assuming this arrangement is equally good for him as it is for you.

It’s not. And he’s let you know that, in no uncertain terms.

So now you have two choices, Victoria:

1. Don’t move to Austin yet. Build your relationship with this man for a few years. Get married. Negotiate a potential move to Austin with the love of your life down the road. He may be open to it, as you said. And I promise: Austin is not going anywhere.

2. Move to Austin. Find another man who loves you. Marry him instead.

Both are perfectly defensible choices.

In fact, if Austin is that important to you, #2 seems like a much better bet, because I have no doubt there will be tons of quality guys there and you are GUARANTEED of being in Austin.

But, to be very clear as you sort through your turmoil: it’s not your boyfriend who is choosing his current city over you; you’re choosing Austin over him.

7
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Comments:

  1. 61
    Karl R

    Janice said: (#62)
    “I wasn’t quoting anyone verbatim, if that’s what’s required to make a point on here.”

    It’s not a requirement, but I would strongly encourage you to do so. You’ve been demonstrating a habit of misrepresenting other people’s opinions in an extreme way (for example, “if that’s always the way the thought here goes”). Quoting people verbatim might keep you from doing so as frequently.

    Furthermore, if you actually want to make a point which people will listen to, eliminate anything “extreme” from your posts. I try to eliminate the following words from my posts: always, never, everyone, nobody, every, none. When you’re talking about people, absolute statements are almost always wrong. You can usually find a few exceptions.

    For example, it is possible that there are a few women on this blog who want to “give up their careers and their passions to get married” and “follow their men around the planet and carry the babies in a pouch and breast feed them into kindergarten”. But I have never heard a woman express that desire on this blog.

    The absolute term (“never”) is used to describe my experiences. The non-absolute terms (“possible”, “a few”) are used to discuss other people.

    Janice said: (#58)
    “The commentators usually do not couch their statements in gender-neutral language. Wish there were more of that, actually.”

    Then lead by example. Regardless of whether people follow your example, there will still be at least one more person making gender-neutral statements than there is today.

  2. 62
    Victoria

    Portlandgal (#60),

    How long were you two dating when you decided to make the move?

    All,

    The comments and advice on this post have been immeasurably helpful. I’m still not certain what I will decide to do, but you are all giving me a lot to think about. Thank you.

    -Victoria

  3. 63
    RW

    Victoria,
    Good luck to you! This is not an easy decision to make. I think your inital letter presented things in very black and white terms but the information you have added since has presented a more balanced view. Ultimately, it is your decision to make but I hope you two are able to work out some sort of compromise. I’m slightly taken aback by how definite your boyfriend is on the matter. I understand that you are introducing change into the existing situation. I also understand that he has clear and justifiable feelings on the subject of long distance relationships. However, I would have hoped that he would have offered the possibility of discussing a compromise (for both of you, not just for him) instead of a cut and dried “you leave and it’s over”. He cannot change the way he feels but it makes me queasy and unsure about the depth of his feeling. Then again, maybe you only gave us the end result of the conversation and not everything that was said before the end was reached.
    In any case, don’t think of this as a be-all, end-all kind of situation. If you move to Austin, you will find other men. If you stay, you will find other jobs. I do think overall though, good jobs are easier to find than good men and you are not unhappy in your current situation. Even if this relationship does not pan out, Austin will still be waiting for you later. Good luck again and please let us know how things turn out.

  4. 64
    Janice

    Wow. Read through some of the previous posts just for my own edification and there seems to be a lot of contention on here.

    Nathan–think I found your site. Cool! And you look super cute. :)

  5. 65
    Nathan

    Thanks Janice. I am due to put some new posts out soon.

    And yes, Evan seems to bring out the contention. I give him props for managing to mostly keep the place civil.

  6. 66
    Quinn

    Hi Victoria,
    I currently live in Austin, and it’s nice here but drought conditions are horrible and scary right now… I know so many longtime Austinites that wish they could leave because of it.
    Further, good men are hard to find- stick with the one you’ve got. It’s who you’re with, not where you are that matters in the end.
    Just my two cents…

  7. 67
    Janice

    Nathan@67: In general I’m a lot more open about the forms that relationships can take and I’m not into gender roles and the bickering over that kind of stuff. It’s a time of great social change, which is very exciting to me, and I feel very much on course re: right livelihood, right relationships.

    So I’ll be checking out your site and looking for the new posts. Kudos on a job well done!

  8. 68
    AnnieC

    @55.

    The words you are looking for are emotional hysteria, Hystronics, or melodramatic.

    I suspect however that people might be a little offended over that, even though it is actually correct. :) (Look up Hystronic personality disorder for extreme cases of this).

    Strawman isn’t the correct term however. The strawman deliberally goes down the garden parth and twists logic, Hystronics exagerates facts and reacts emotionally and hostile to those facts.

    Completely off-topic I know, but it helps to understand what one is dealing with and why.

  9. 69
    AnnieC

    @56

    Men are perfectly willing to move for a womans career.

    The elephant in the room that no-one wishes to discuss far too often, is that many many women choose careers that are more transportable and less specialized(such as nursing). Also MOST women want to have children and want to stay at home at least for a portion of their kids lives, therefore they CHOOSE to follow their husbands, because HE can provide them with their preferred lifestyle…which..is NOT a career.

    I have yet to meet a man, that refuses to move for a woman. I have YET to come across this in my friendship/aquaintance circle. What I do see, is women willingly moving to be where men are, because the men earn more often have more earning potential long term, and the woman plans on staying at home with a child anyway so she supports her guy and moves.

    Let’s be realistic ladies about what’s really going on, and once again not believing that men are some-how making all these terrible demands on women(I’m talking to YOU Janice) and be realistic about why things usually go down the way they do.

    Most women, choose it this way.

  10. 70
    Ruby

    It’s amazing to me that in this day and age, people, and even other women, still fall into the trap of labeling a woman who disagrees as hysterical. The medical community has long been guilty of this as well. Actually, the more extreme Histrionic Personality Disorder notwithstanding, female hysteria was a once-common medical diagnosis, made exclusively in women, which is today no longer recognized by modern medical authorities as a medical disorder.

  11. 71
    Helen

    Speaking only anecdotally, I personally know at least ten couples in which the husband moved for the wife’s job, in some cases even when both of them had high-flying careers. In one case, although the husband made much more than the wife, he followed her to California for her dream job.

    So while I can’t speak for men as a whole, I can say it certainly isn’t impossible that men would be willing to move for their wives’ careers.

  12. 72
    Janice

    Annie@71, EMK, Karl, others: Hystrionic personality disorder? Strawmen? Twisting things? Men making terrible demands on women? Where are you all getting this from? Egad.

    I’m not sure what this blog is about. It seems to be about dating, but most of the commentators seem to be married people or people coupled up in some way. There seem to be a lot of attacks against people with dissenting views, most of whom actually seem to be dating, and banishment if you don’t agree with the dom people on here. It seems like the dom people have all been here awhile and relish ganging up on the dissenters.

    Again–egad.

    1. 72.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      @Janice – I let your insulting comment through to be vetted by the rest of the community. I will simply point out that you came in here on the attack. The rest of us are just playing defense.

  13. 73
    Portlandgal

    Victoria,

    We met in March, started dating in May, he left in August and then we did long distance until Jan when I moved. It moved pretty fast due to the circumstances of him leaving soon.

  14. 74
    Helen

    Ruby 72: I’m not sure AnnieC was specifically labeling Janice “hysterical.” I think she was responding to Evan’s wondering what the correct term was in #55. That said, “hysterical” isn’t quite the right word. Melodramatic or overblown might be more appropriate.

    And yes, the history of diagnosing female hysteria is very interesting. Supposedly it had to do with a “wandering womb” that needed to be massaged. Oddly, even feminist writers such as Naomi Wolf recommended those same types of treatments in her book “Misconceptions,” and claimed that these treatments had their roots in Native American or Asian practices.

  15. 75
    Ruby

    Helen #76

    AnnieC lumps the terms, “emotional hysteria, Hystronics, or melodramatic” together, and I do think she was referring to Janice. Naomi Wolf also said, “Pain is real when you get other people to believe in it. If no one believes in it but you, your pain is madness or hysteria.”

  16. 76
    Janice

    EMK77: What do you mean about an “insulting comment”–are you saying I called a comment insulting or I made an insulting comment? If the latter and you’re talking about #51, those were legitimate questions based on stuff I read on here! Ha! Too funny! But hardly insulting. See Nathan62. He got it right.

    But the hair-trigger response to that comment and to the others I made on the “STILL not married” post–comments that don’t seem attacking to me at all–show me that there’s some long-standing hostility on this blog that has nothing to do with me or my handful of posts.

  17. 77
    Karl R

    Janice asked: (#74)
    “Where are you all getting this from?”

    I could (and will) ask the same thing of you.

    Janice said: (#51)
    “Here’s the advice I’ve read on here:
    1) Don’t aspire to anything in your own right”…
    “2) Don’t have any hobbies”…
    “3) Don’t be too good at anything”…
    “4) Don’t pursue any disciplined activity”

    Where are you getting this from? Where did anyone give those specific pieces of “advice”. Unless you can find someplace (on this blog) where that advice was given, you were twisting what people said.

    Wikipedia definition of “straw man”:
    “A straw man is a type of argument and is an informal fallacy based on misrepresentation of an opponent’s position. To ‘attack a straw man’ is to create the illusion of having refuted a proposition by replacing it with a superficially similar yet unequivalent proposition (the ‘straw man’), and refuting it, without ever having actually refuted the original position.”

    helene (#26) did not advise “Don’t aspire to anything in your own right” (nor did anyone else). You misrepresented her position. Then you refuted her position (and the other misrepresented positions) as being something women wouldn’t sign up for.

    It’s not quite a textbook example, but it’s a straw man argument.

    If you want to disagree with someone (and have others respect your views), then follow the example of the people you consider “dominant”.

    When helene (#26) said, “men DO NOT relocate for women or women’s careers” and “Men basically choose where you’re going to live;” Helen (#73) provided a counterexample of 10 couples she personally knows. I also know several couples with high-powered careers where the husband has followed the wife.

    There’s no need to misrepresent what helene said in order to effectively disagree with it.

    Getting back to the orignal topic, as AnnieC (#71) mentioned, some careers make relocating easier. If one spouse has an easy time relocating, you can even see higher-earning husbands following lower-earning wives to new cities.

  18. 78
    Helen

    Evan 77: agreed.

    None of us regulars here make an effort to gang up on anyone else. If we did so, Evan would put an end to it. We speak up when we believe someone, new or old to this blog, is being irrational, spiteful, attacking, or a combination thereof.

    Of course, it’s not only then that we speak up. We also do so when someone (including the OP) has made an interesting point, or one to which we feel we can contribute helpful thoughts.

    For example, it isn’t by design that my comments often align with those of Goldie, Karl, and Ruby, among other regulars here. It is that we tend to think the same way, either because of shared experiences or shared values in discussions (e.g., scientific evidence, reason).

    That said: I do not think Janice’s post #51 was “hysterical,” though it was exaggerated (maybe that’s a word you were looking for, Evan). By and large, men and women have the happiest relationships when women can express their wants in non-confrontational ways; not when women keep caving in and deferring to men on jobs, locales, etc. Usually, men are happy to try to fulfill our wishes if we express them nicely. In the OP’s case, however, it did not turn out that way because the man does not care enough about her (yet?) to move or to engage in an LTR for her sake. Because of the nuances of what she has expressed, I don’t feel much hope for this relationship, and advise her moving to Austin. But only she knows her situation best.

  19. 79
    Janice

    Sorry, Karl. I’m not too interested in engaging in a debate with you and slogging through weeks worth of old posts to show you where I got my impressions of this blog. I do other things with my time and I’m in a LTR, so these kinds of exchanges about dating (which I don’t engage in) and what men v. women do/think/want aren’t too useful or interesting to me. My mistake–I thought it was different because of Nathan’s comments, and I felt called upon to defend him on that other thread, which is what started all this ranting against me. But I found out that he has a blog about relationships, so that’s cool. I’ll go there and you all can stay here. All’s well that ends well!

  20. 80
    Lisa

    Karl, you might consider that Janice has made some valid points. I too sometimes get the impression that a lot of the advice or blowback on here is from the 1950s handbook. But you don’t seem genuinely interested in knowing why she had this impression. You seem like you just want to beat her over the head with something to show that you’re right and she’s wrong. Which isn’t going to get you anything but defensive comments back or the person just going away.

    Helen, you don’t have to make an effort to gang up on people. Gangs engage in groupthink, not conspiracies. By definition groupthink is not noticed by the people who engage in it.

    And yeah, there does seem to be this general tendency for people to go all parental and make jabs, as Nathan pointed out, as in telling people who disagree that they’ll never get a relationship, or the married or engaged person (who knows why they’re on here to begin with) somehow knows something that the single person doesn’t, or that the parent knows more than the CF person. That seems very black and white to me and not truthful. Certainly not helpful.

    There’s no one way to do relationship.

  21. 81
    Karl R

    Lisa said: (#83)
    “I too sometimes get the impression that a lot of the advice or blowback on here is from the 1950s handbook.”

    Unless there’s an official 1950s handbook that many people have read (and can therefore understand as a common frame of reference), then that comment is intended as an insult, not a genuine attempt to communicate an idea.

    I’m perfectly aware that some of the advice sounds like it came from my parents’ era (and they got married in the 50s). That’s because the advice on this blog does not represent the ideals of an enlightened society where everyone is treated as equals.

    The advice given represents the stuff we found actually works in the world we live in. The advice can be just as ugly as the reality we experience.

    Victoria’s ugly reality is that she has two great opportunities in front of her (a job opportunity and a potential husband), and she can only pursue one of them. Regardless of which she chooses, the opportunity she pursues might not work out well in the long run.

    She doesn’t have to like it. She doesn’t have to listen. But that’s the reality she’s likely to experience.

    Lisa said: (#83)
    “the parent knows more than the [child-free] person. That seems very black and white to me and not truthful. Certainly not helpful.”

    Let’s assume I’ve never done your job. (I don’t know what your job is, but it’s likely that I’ve never done it.) Let’s assume that you know how to do your job (perhaps not to complete perfection, but I strongly suspect that you’re competent at your own job.)

    Let’s say I come up to you and start telling you how to do your job better. I’ve never done your job. You have no idea whether I’d even be able to perform your job at a barely-adequate level, much less better than you do. Are you inclined to take my advice and immediately implement my suggestions?

    As the inexperienced person, I would expect to have a tough time selling my ideas to a person who was more experienced, even if my ideas were 100% correct.

    You’ve done your job. Do you believe you know something about your job that I don’t know? Do you think you know how to do your job better than I do?

    Parenting is a complicated job. Nathan hasn’t done it (and neither have I). Since you don’t believe that I could just walk up and immediately have a better understanding of your job than you do, why do you believe that Nathan has a better understanding of parenting than parents do?

    If Nathan has a better understanding, I’d recommend that he present some proof or evidence along with his ideas. People will more readily accept them that way.

    Lisa said: (#83)
    “the married or engaged person [...] somehow knows something that the single person doesn’t,”

    A (somewhat) unfair question from me:
    Do you know how to end up married to a wonderful husband? If you do, why aren’t you married to a wonderful husband already?

    As I indicated, this isn’t a completely fair question. You will understand how to get a great husband before you get a great husband. But you showed up here because you are trying to learn how. I showed up here when I was trying to learn.

    From the time you first show up here (as a single person) until the time you find a great husband, you will learn some things about men/dating/relationships that you didn’t already know. This isn’t news to you. It’s the reason you’re here.

    Why does it bother you that the people who are engaged/married have learned something that the single people are still discovering?

  22. 82
    Sabrina

    Victoria, congrats on the opportunity to follow your dream! Evan gives great advice. It’s unfortunate you have to choose, but life is full of major and minor decisions. In the end, every little choice you make will ultimately lead you to the right one. Good luck!

  23. 83
    Gloria

    Hi Victoria,

    I was in the same shoes once. I’m was in LOVEEEEE with new york city. I had lived there for two years, I was positive I will go back and lead the lifestyle there after grad school. Mind you, I had started dating since I was 16, and 12 years later, loads of bfs, and flings, and nothing to show for it.

    Slightly less than a year before I finished grad school, I met a boy in Boston. We clicked, he was everything I wanted in a man. Not that he was perfect, but we laughed and agreed on the same stuff and had relatively similar values. 5 months in, I knew I needed to make a choice. I broached having a long distance with him, and he pretty much said the same thing. I’m not into having a long distance. He liked me, but its not as though he was going to lay down his life and sacrifice it for me at that point. And that is totally reasonable. If a guy while I was in NYC I dated for 6 months asked me to move to Ohio, I probably would have never gone no matter how much I liked him at that stage.

    So I bit the bullet and stayed. i got a job in Boston. i said goodbye to NYC. I got promoted in my career. And now I’m moving with him to be his wife in California. And you know what, NYC does not really seem that appealing anymore versus having a life with him. And as our relationship grew our love grew and our friendship grew. Only so many restaurants I can go to, plays, and nights of bitching about men with my single girl pals.

    So my take is, you’re not even sacrificing your career advancement as your job options are equally good. But a really great man is hard to find…i totally agree with Evan that he laid out for you what your options are. good luck!

  24. 84
    Lisa

    Karl, everyone is different. What works for you doesn’t work for me, and vice versa. And the culture around us is changing very rapidly, if you haven’t noticed. Those of us who are emotionally and culturally aware of ourselves and other people realize that we have to find our own way, and it’s sometimes useful to hear about others’ experiences. But not if it comes from a place of “I know better than you.” Because you don’t. You only know what’s right for you. What’s right for you might also be right in some measure for someone else. MAYBE. You aren’t and won’t ever be the judge of what is right for someone else.

    1. 84.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      Lisa, Karl’s point isn’t that everyone is the same. His point – and mine – is that there are certain behaviors that are more conducive to getting into a healthy long-term relationship. Those who are in healthy long-term relationships are likely in a better position to speak about it than those who are not. Just as race-car drivers can probably talk more pointedly about their sport than fans, or pro basketball players can speak to the perils of playing in the NBA better than college players. Some people actually do know better about certain things. To suggest otherwise is to deny reality. I’ve long said that if you don’t want to get along better with men or don’t want a long-term relationship, I’m not sure why you’d read this blog. It’s like telling a guy who writes a steak blog that he’s wrong because he doesn’t cook vegetarian. You didn’t just question my advice based on logic and facts, you came in and completely misrepresented what this place is all about. I get emails every single day from women around the world who say that I helped to change their lives for the better. If my advice doesn’t work for you, it’s cool. Just go somewhere else. But don’t come in here and tell me and my smart, strong, successful readers that we’re trying to set the clock back to the 1950′s. We’re simply trying to get people to make effective relationship choices.

  25. 85
    Gloria

    just wanted to add to my story, when we knew each other for 5 months, he was pretty clear he was not into long distance. It was not that he was unflexible, he just knew what he wanted and no matter how much he liked me he did not want a long distance.

    Now we’re engaged we come to compromises all the time. moving to california was a compromise, he wanted a more exotic island locale. We’re talking about me going back to business school and being apart for 2 yrs, circumstances change.

  26. 86
    David T

    @ Evan 88 and @ Karl 84 “Those who are in healthy long-term relationships are likely in a better position to speak about it than those who are not.”

    “As the inexperienced person, I would expect to have a tough time selling my ideas to a person who was more experienced, even if my ideas were 100% correct.”

    Someone who has succeeded or done has a better chance of knowing what is what that the inexperienced, but in both parenting AND being in a successful relationship the sample size is very small. One thing I have learned and seen as a parent is there are many different kinds of child personality and environment combinations. Parents can do little more than share the mechanics of feeding, clothing, etc and then talk about what worked with *their particular child* for the other things.

    Evan has an edge regarding relationship success because he has *seen* so many clients lose lose lose and then find success. He can see the common factors over many cases.

    As for the 1950′s comment, I have observed a definite shift in how men and women treat one another in our culture between the 70′s and early 80′s and now. I see more women expecting to be cared for and to stay at home and not work ever (whether it actually plays out that way or not is different. I am talking about expections.) In the rather wealthy town I live in, it seems like the vast majority of mothers are full time moms. This is a complete turnaround from what I expected to see by now as a child of the 70′s with a professional mother.

    It is not a stretch to say dating behaviors surrounding this cultural reshift might more closely match dating behaviors of the pre-70′s.

    Evan’s advice becomes even more valuable to people like Lisa and successful woman professionals who are more likely to be thinking in of dating in a way that is (sadly, in my perception) out of step with the bulk of what is US culture in the ‘naughties and ‘teens.

    You can refuse to acknowledge the shift, and see your dating pool shrink to broader minded or 70′s/80′s minded men (there are some), or you can play the game as it is and increase your odds of success. I am not going to get into a discussion about what is ‘instinctual’ and ‘natural’ because we are big brained critters and I think it is a canard or cop out to say “men need to be the pursuer and hunters. . ” etc., and different cultures see vastly different behavioral norms. I will admit however that in the sub-culture I live in today (U.S. middle class) that the dating behaviors Evan talks about as what people are comfortable with represent the majority.

  27. 87
    Lisa

    EMK, David, Karl: I believe the question was not why should people who aren’t married/with kids/whatever seek out advice from people who are, but why does someone like Karl, who is engaged, go on a dating site to offer it, unsolicited? I get it that it’s your job, from before you were married, but why are there so many married/engaged/coupled people on here so concerned about the unmarried people in the world? Not gettin it.

    When it comes to practical knowledge (playing basketball) I agree that there are people who know better than others and are quailfied to give advice. But matters of the heart are not practical things. And your idea of “healthy” and your idea of “relationship” may not comport with mine. One size does not fit all–not even in basketball.

    Karl, there are actually many dating/mating handbooks from the 1950s. The first one that springs to mind is the Good Housekeeping cookbook from 1956. Read the intro. Hysterical!

    David T: Your subculture is shrinking. That’s what I’m talkin about. Your kids are going to be dating/mating in a completetly different world from yours. And they’re going to be ranting against the 2010 handbook!

  28. 88
    David T

    @Lisa 91

    If my son is anything like me, and so far he seems to be a *lot* like me, he is *already* ranting against the 2010 handbook. I don’t like the dating behaviors and role expectations that are considered the norm. At the same time I recognize they are what Evan would probably say is the most effective with most women. This is one place I will always have a hard time compromising. C ‘est la vie. I can be happy being single if that is what it means.

  29. 89
    Helen

    Lisa 91: the question you ask is hardly relevant. This is the world wide web. People of all sorts go onto all different sites. Evan happens to have a very good blog that attracts attention from multiple types of people.

    Besides, it seems that you are the exact same person as “Janice”, who earlier claimed (#82) that she was going to be leaving this site. (One surmises this from the writing style, mode of thought process, mode of argument, and topics raised.) If that is true, you are still around despite what you said earlier; so why point the finger at anyone else who happens to be here, whether they’re engaged or married?

    Evan has a GREAT blog. The advice here isn’t relevant only to those who aren’t engaged or married; they’re also relevant to those who are already in long LTRs/marriages. Recently, I’ve been following one piece of advice he gave on how married people should spend 5 minutes per day expressing their appreciation for their spouses and what they provide. I can see that my husband appreciates that. As Evan said earlier, it’s a strawman argument to point out that everyone is different and every relationship is different. We all know that. But certain constants exist, regardless, such as expression of appreciation being appreciated.

    As for Karl R dispensing advice, he is well within his rights to do that as a commenter on this blog (many commenters do that; if Evan found it objectionable, he’d stop it). Karl happens to have some the most logical and thought-provoking comments I’ve read here; some make me laugh, others make me think. He has the best “game” I’ve seen of taking a story and turning it upon the commenter herself (“What would YOU do in this situation”), and his advice about being realistic in expectations and not playing victim in relationships is sound.

    This blog is useful for everyone, and it is not your place to say who should or should not be here.

  30. 90
    Mia

    Yes, sometimes it seems like we’re back in the 50s again with dating advice/gender theories in general (not necessarily Evan), and some of the feminine/masculine energy theories go way too far and seem to be setting up women who take them too literally to be devoid of any initiative in their careers, finances, or the possibility of an equal relationship. But then you read about the behavior of the types of women Evan is meeting with – things I was not aware women were doing, such as trying to be always right around a guy, trying to control him, debate him, going on dates like they’re job interviews – and well, maybe there are a lot of people out there who could benefit from being told to tamp it down. Personally, I think these types just need to learn to relate to human beings better in general and learn better manners, but whatever works.

    Yes, sometimes Evan and a lot of people on this blog come off to me as too traditional/old-fashioned, but you can find men out there who complement your particular approach and outlook as long as you let go of requirements of how he’s supposed to look, his bank account, etc., and accept that it may take longer if you’re not looking for something completely traditional. There are plenty of men who would relocate for the girl, who don’t want a woman who never initiates contact when they’re in an established relationship, who do want a woman with an active life who cares about her career, who date average-looking women, who aren’t wild beasts driven by sex that must be tamed. It’s up to US to let go of checklists and negativity and pushy behavior and put ourselves in a position to meet such a person.

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