Is it Foolish to Date a Guy Based on His Potential?

Is it Foolish to Date a Guy Based on His Potential?

Hi Evan,

Is it ever okay to date a man for his potential? I met a nice, smart man, but let’s just say he’s going through a transition right now. He just recently switched careers and is starting from the bottom at his new career. He was successful in his last profession, but wasn’t happy with his job anymore and decided to leave. In the midst of switching careers in a tough economy and getting his second Masters degree, he has accrued some debt (and maybe a little chip on his shoulder, but that’s a different dating question!). He is very smart and I am sure he will get on his feet again, but is it wrong of me to not want to be with him until he does or unless he does? I’ve dated men before who were trying to change or trying to reach their potential, but they never did. I don’t want to get caught up in that again.

If I wait for him to become more stable professionally and financially before committing to a relationship, does that make me a bad person?

(Background so you can better assess the situation and have context:

This man is 40 and has never been married. I am 32 and a successful lawyer, so him not being financially secure right now is not really an issue for me. However, him constantly hinting that he does not have money is kind of off-putting, especially after only the third date. Mind you, I don’t expect extravagant dates and I have paid for half our dates.

We’ve been seeing each other at least two to three times a week for two months. He has asked to be exclusive. He is funny, smart, and attractive. I would not hesitate to get in a relationship with him if he was more stable.) –Jane

Dear Jane,

Once upon a time, I met a 31-year-old woman who we’ll call Donna.

Donna owned her own small business, traveled around the world, and made upwards of six figures. She was also divorced and really wanted to settle down, get married and have kids.

At the time, I was 30 and was a customer service representative at JDate. I was paying my way through film school, where I was getting an MFA in screenwriting from UCLA, so that I could become a college professor and teach the one thing I knew how to do. My income at the time? $32,500 – and all of it went to pay for my cost of living, film school, and my regular dating habit.

My financial state was temporary. My character was permanent.

Donna and I had great chemistry. She was very feminine and playful, and would undoubtedly be a good wife and mother.

We went out maybe 5 times before she told me that she couldn’t continue to see me. She said that I was a great guy. She said I made her laugh. She acknowledged our great chemistry. She basically said what you’re saying about your new guy, Jane.

“I’m ready for the real deal. You’re in transition. I can’t wait.”

I understood her logic, but I also knew something that she didn’t:

My financial state was temporary. My character was permanent.

This is what I told her, in response:

“You can break up with me if you want, to find some safe, older, lawyer to live an upper middle class lifestyle. I respect that. Just know that one day, I’ll have money. But your lawyer won’t make you laugh like I do. And he won’t turn you on like I do. I hope I’m wrong, but I know I’ll be right.”

Am I suggesting that women everywhere should bank on their man’s unrealized potential? Absolutely not.

Was I lashing out a little? Sure. But I meant what I said. My situation was based on choosing a highly risky career in Hollywood in my 20’s; it wasn’t some sort of slacker/character defect. At 31, I might as well have been 21. I was starting over. But I was going to make it. Anyone who knows me for a short time knows that I’m a doer, not a talker.

Donna heard my speech, smiled, kissed me, and told me that she may have been making a mistake, but she was doing what she had to do.

I was hurt and used it as fuel to further my career. One year later, I wrote a book, dropped out of film school, and started e-Cyrano profile writing. Five years later, I was married to a woman who believed in me and saw my potential. And yes, we ran into Donna at a party once in Hollywood. She’s 41 and, while she’s now in a relationship, she’s not yet married with children, as was her intense desire ten years ago.

Does my story mirror yours? Maybe. Am I suggesting that women everywhere should bank on their man’s unrealized potential? Absolutely not. In fact, as a policy, it’s usually a bad bet to see a man for what he could become and it’s a much safer one to see who he currently is.

There is the 50-year-old dreamer who refuses to get a real job because he wants to be the next Channing Tatum.

There is the 40-year-old guy who stays in a safe low-end job because he has no real ambitions for his career.

There is the 30-year-old guy who is content playing video games and smoking pot and doesn’t take any initiative in getting an adult life on track.

And then there’s your guy.

“Successful in his last profession, but wasn’t happy with his job anymore and decided to leave. Switched careers in a tough economy and got his second Masters degree. Very smart and I am sure he will get on his feet again.”

There you have it, Jane.

Your guy is going places, whether you’re with him or not.

And unless you want to be the Donna in his life story, I’d get on board his train now.

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Comments:

  1. 91
    Karl R

    Karmic Equation said: (#90)
    “Please if you can’t argue the point being made, don’t argue YOUR version of the point to point.”
     
    Okay. Perhaps you need to explain what point you were making.
     
    Karmic Equation said: (#61)
    “I’m personally willing to take on the burden of finances, because money is gender neutral to me. The person who makes more pays more. That is just a fairness thing. It’s about economics and practicality, not love or romance. But who is the hunter, who is the prey…that goes back to our lizard brains and inner hamsters, and I think changing THAT is ‘social re-engineering’ (thanks for the term starthrower68) that doesn’t necessarily produce good relationship results, because it goes against our intrinsic masculine and feminine instincts/behaviors. In other words, hunter and prey are NOT gender neutral, but ‘provider’ is and should be, imo. YMMV”
     
    Let’s start over.
     
    What’s the point of the part that I bolded?
     
    It doesn’t support the point you’re making about providers. (I happen to agree with that point.) It appears to be irrelevant to that point. I inferred that you included it in order to make another (separate) point.
     
    So what point were you trying to make? Can you rephrase that point without making references to lizards, hamsters, predators or prey? And if you want to make that point using references to “intrinsic instincts/behaviors”, could you provide some scientific evidence that those intrinsic instincts/behaviors actually exist in humans?

  2. 92
    Karmic Equation

    @Karl R 92
     
    No Karl. You still don’t know how to argue. YOU decided to debate ME, so YOU need to counter MY points, IN THE CONTEXT in which I made them. I do NOT need to restate my points.
     
    You are committing yet another fallacy, the fallacy of CHERRY-PICKING (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cherry_picking_%28fallacy%29). It’s interesting how you did NOT highlight, ‘IMO”, “YMMV” — but perhaps that is because you don’t understand IM speak, so I will enlighten you:

    in my opinion = in my opinion
    YMMV = Your Mileage May Vary = you may have a different opinion

     
    I’m entitled to my opinion. Please show scientific evidence that I’m not.

    1. 92.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      Karl and Karmic – Please, stop fighting. Your opinions are two of the more valuable ones on the website. Karl provides a very logical, scientific point of view. Karmic provides a very self-aware female point of view. There’s no reason that either of you has to keep this up. I’d much rather you spend your time smacking down the people who don’t “get it” instead of smacking down each other.

  3. 94
    Lia

    Karl R # 85 and Frimmel # 86
     
    Thank you for taking the time to answer me.  I have had this false viewpoint for so long that men were threatened by a woman who makes more money.  That false data came from the way I was raised (watching my mother and father) and my first boyfriend who told me that he would not want his wife to make more money than him.  I no longer believe that that is the way all men feel.
     
    Karmic Equation
     
    I shared what you wrote with my sister.  She loved it.  Thank you again from me and her.

  4. 95
    Karmic Equation

    @ Karl R #92

    I just re-read your post #92 after I calmed down and the red haze had cleared from my brain.

    You were being conciliatory and I was a bitch (in a non-Sherry Argov way) in my reply #93, so I apologize for the tone as your post #92 didn’t deserve it.

    While I won’t restate my points per se, I will put forth some definitions that might help clarify my thinking on the part you highlighted:

    - Lizard brain = “the Male Brain, as seen by women” (http://thelizard-brain.com/definitions/def_li.html)

    - Hamster = “the Female brain, as seen by men” (http://toomuchonherplate.com/stop-the-hamster-wheel-i-want-to-get-off/) – There is actually a very descriptive use of this term on the Chateau Heartiste website, which is where I originally got this term from, but I couldn’t find it again when I searched for the original description there. It’s not for the easily offended, so it’s just as well that I can’t find it.

    - Hunter = pursuer = male human in the context of dating = masculine.
    I didn’t invent this term. It is a common term to refer to men in dating, just google “men as hunters in dating” and you get a lot of articles using this terminology. I have NEVER used the term “predator” to refer to men in general because “men as predators” connotes rapists and pedophiles to me.

    - Prey = pursued = female human in the context of dating = feminine.
    If men are the hunters, then the females are the prey in *MY* posts. As always, YMMV.

    - Intrinsic = native, innate, natural, true, real (http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/intrinsic?s=t)

    I will grant you that my segueway into the Hunter/Prey analogy was non-existent. Here is my thinking on that as I was writing that sentence:

    - Disclaimer – my OPINIONs only -

    Becoming a PROVIDER is NOT ONLY EASY to accomplish since making/spending/sharing money is GENDER-NEUTRAL, BUT ALSO may have a POSITIVE impact on relationships. In contrast men and women flipping roles of hunter/prey is NOT ONLY DIFFICULT as we are asking men and women to act against their intrinsic male and female natures (GENDER-SPECIFIC), BUT ALSO may have a NEGATIVE impact on relationships. So why object to becoming the provider and NOT object to becoming the hunter? In other words, why object to PAYING for a man but NOT object to CHASING him? (a subconscious response to Jenna’s posts perhaps, as I know she’s not opposed to hunting?)

    @Goldie #63

    Thanks for understanding. I loved your “master key / shitty locks” anecdote. I will probably reference that at some point. LOL

    @Helen #78

    I apologize for my sarcasm towards you as well in my post #90. You were trying to mediate, but I didn’t feel like being mediated at.

    @Lia #83 and #96

    Thank YOU!

  5. 96
    Michelle

    At 40, most men are close to the top of their earning potential.  According to the director of quantitative analysis at PayScale, salaries “top out” around age 40.  To be more precise, PayScale says salaries max-out at age 38 for women ($61K), and age 45 for men ($95K). 

    http://blog.penelopetrunk.com/2011/02/07/salaries-top-out-at-age-40/
    Statistically speaking, the 40-year old man in the middle of a career change is a dangerous bet — more dangerous than a 31-year old man making the same move.  The 31 year old has more time before he hits his earning peak. 

     

  6. 97
    Liz

    Karl R, Frimmel, Chance, and Locucus:
    I also appreciate you for answering Lia’s question! It’s nice to hear the other side of it from other men besides my BF. I’m glad that attitude is more common. 
    I agree that its important to leave space for a man to contribute too. If a woman insisted on picking up the tab ALL the time, I would think that It would come across as mothering/condescending. 
    Lia: I don’t think it’s a coincidence that when men seemed to be “threatened” by my money/success, they were lacking in emotional maturity in other ways too. They were more boys than men. 
    Karl R: THANK YOU! 

  7. 98
    Liz

    Karmic Equation:
    I think you bring up a good point, I agree that the role reversal of Hunter and Prey can be harmful to relationships. 
    Men get their wires crossed here because they associate “money” with “providing”. They’re not the same thing. 
    *Money is something that women can provide for themselves*
    That doesn’t make a woman with more money the provider.  
    Men can provide things that we can’t provide for ourselves, the list is endless but some of my favorites include: caring, affection, the feeling that theres a man in your corner who has your back no matter what (of course we can do everything ourselves, but getting a break from it is an exquisite feeling) …and back rubs :-) I can’t rub my own  back. Sure I can pay to have a massage , but waking up to a back rub from my boyfriend  is PRICELESS!!!! It’s happened before, and it’s awesome. 

  8. 99
    Lia

    @ Liz
     
    #99  You make a good point.  I agree that picking up the tab ALL the time could be seen as mothering and condescending espcially if it was done with that attitude.  
     
    Locutus, Karl R, and Frimmel all stated that having the woman pay ALL the time would not work for them.  For them it didn’t seem to be about pride, but about being fair.  I respect that.
     
     
    #100  I agree men provide so many things in a relationship that have nothing to do with money.

  9. 100
    RW

    @Karmic, #56
    There’s a TON I have to catch up on but before I read everything else I would like to reply to you, even at the risk of repeating things others have already said.  To be very clear, this is not about undermining equality or about not wanting to pay for my man.  For the record, my husband of 6 months and I just bought a place and I made the down payment and paid for renos because he is slightly incapacitated at the moment for valid reasons, i.e. not irresponsible squandering of money.  It is tough on the pocket but I was happy to do it because he is my husband, I love him and what is mine is his no matter what happens to either of us financially.  BUT, and this is a big but, at the beginning of our relationship, I needed to know that his earning potential was similar to mine.  To your point, no, I cannot maintain my standard of living and also support another person at this point in my life.  If I could, I wouldn’t insist on this point.  I am not extravagant but something would have to give.  Savings?  Something else?  It doesn’t mean I’m not flexible on the issue.  If I had found an amazing man who for whatever reason made much, much less than me, I wouldn’t have abandoned him without finding out why.  If, like in Jane’s situation, it appeared to be a temporary thing, I would take the risk.  I have no problems footing the bill in the short term.  However, it does not make me shallow or “anti-equality” to suggest that I will probably not be happy with a man who makes only 20K (arbitrarily chosen low number) in the long term.  Please note that I am only talking about pre-relationship filtering.  At 28 (when I  started dating my husband), my options were plentiful and there were so many men with similar salaries that I didn’t even have to wonder about this.  It’s only after reading this blog that I have realized that internal requirement.
    Maybe that is where the disconnect is.  I had this requirement because I was 28 with a fair number of options that met it.  In fact, not consciously, but I don’t think I’ve ever dated someone who didn’t meet it.  I did date one or two men with big salaries and as they had egos to match, that didn’t work out too well.  So in my experience, aiming for a similar salary has worked pretty well.  If I were 20 years older, at the peak of my earning power and possibly with fewer dating options, I would be fine with relaxing that expectation.

  10. 101
    David T

    Back on the subject of the blog post, I have a speculation about Donna. I am going down a winding path in my mind, so I could be dead wrong, but bear with me, because I do believe people get in their own way sometimes when they are looking for an LTR.
     
    Donna met a man she knew was partner material. Donna wanted marriage and children, but something else in her was afraid of settling down. No telling the reason; afraid of making the Wrong Choice, afraid of being invested and being left; wanting some of what a marriage would bring, but fearing other parts of it; maybe afraid of being a mama at some level or some other hang up.
     
    She was not consciously aware, she just knew something about Evan made her uncomfortable, because he was a threat to whatever her subtle fear wanted to protect. Donna needed to move on, but she needed a reason…so she looked around and found one.  10 years later, and still not married. I have no doubt she broke things off with several other men during her journey for one reason or another.  I don’t know how long she was in the relationship Evan observed 10 years later, but I bet if had been a long ongoing one, she was content in it because it was safe; because it was with a man who she could tell was not a real marriage threat.

    Unrecognized motivations cause people to rationalize why to stay in bad relationships, so it should not be a surprise if some people will rationalize their way out of good relationships. I think unconscious fears or discomforts can cause people to look for reasons to run from LTRs and still make believe they are really looking for an LTR by finding dating partners that they know won’t work out in the long run.
     
    Do people break out of relationships for good reasons rather than rationalizations?  Sure they do.  Do I know Donna dumped Evan after 5 dates because she was actually fearful of settling down? Who knows, (I think it is likely if she still had not hit her stated goal 10 years(!) later) but it is a plausible guess.
     

  11. 102
    RW

    So I’ve finally gone and read everything I missed.  Wow, Karmic.  I wish I could take that last post back..I think it might make you angry again :P  (I hope this is not misunderstood…it is said in an affectionately kidding manner).
     
    I can see you are passionate about your point and I agree with parts of it but I am also passionate about mine.  I agree that the role of provider is gender neutral in today’s terms.  At no point did I argue against that.  But I still think you’re missing my original point.  Maybe I am explaining it badly. I don’t want either of us to be the provider in the relationship.  THAT is the point.  That is what I got from Jenna’s comments as well.
     
    I’m not opposed to sharing my wealth, far from it.  That’s why I’m in the relationship….to share the good and inevitably, the bad.  But, I am opposed to it if said sharing of wealth significantly reduces my standard of living over the long term.  It is one thing to sacrifice for a partner you already love and quite another to begin a relationship knowing you’re going to have to sacrifice.  I am impressed that Lia has made it work.  Her boyfriend is obviously amazing and worth the effort.  But I’m sure things would be easier if this same boyfriend was in an income bracket closer to hers.  From the sounds of it, he will be, some day.  If the choice is between said amazing boyfriend with low income and not so great boyfriend with high income, it is a no-brainer.  But if the choice is between amazing boyfriend with low income and amazing boyfriend with moderate to high income, the choice is also a no-brainer.  That is all I’m saying.  I was in a position to hold out for the latter and so I did.  I found it.  I don’t specifically remember but I may have passed up some great men with low incomes.  My husband still beats them hollow.  That is not selfish, it is just common sense to me.  

  12. 103
    marymary

    David T at 103 raises a good point. Sometimes the “reasons” for breaking up with someone hide a deeper reason in that the person doesn’t actually want a  relationship. I can see why (it makes you vulnerable, you fear boredom, your parents marriage was a trainwreck, you’re too complicated, you worry about your standard of living, you don’t want to shut down your options, you don’t want to lose your independence, you’ve got too much baggage,  you don’t  think you can do it, you want to keep shagging new people, you’re just not happy with yourself [insert reason]).
    these people don’t know they fear relationships, so that never gets addressed, Instead it’s an eneless parade of men/women who aren’t hot enough, or rich enough, or educated enough, or interesting enough. No man or woman is that amazing that they can overcome our own fears.  It might be worth asking yourself “Am I really this unlucky or am I sabotaging myself?”
    To the OP, his lack of funds right now isn’t a problem to me, it’s the fact he keeps dropping hints about it. Maybe the hints are his way of warning you he has no intention of getting his act together, or they are his way of telling you that this is temporary and he is a man with a plan.   Maybe he wants reassurance that you support him in this. Ask him (but not in those exact words).
    Good men aren’t so scarce that you have to accept the first one that comes along but neither are they so abundant that you can keep passing them over for Mr. Perfect (who doesn’t exist). You will not meet someone who ticks every box unless you can get him created especially for you.  And even then you’d  look at him and thing “dang, I forgot  something!”

  13. 104
    Ruby

    David T #103
     
    Hmmm, sounds to me like Donna saw herself on a very upwardly mobile track. Evan just didn’t fit the kind of guy she saw herself with. No offense to EMK, but I think she felt he was beneath her. At 31, having already achieved a great deal of success, she didn’t realize that it takes some people longer to get there. I don’t think she took Evan seriously enough, and from his description, she didn’t seem too upset about breaking up with him. Of course, there were stupid things that I did at age 31, that I would not do 20 years later.

  14. 105
    Lynn

    Totally agree with Evan. There’s a difference between being in transition and being a deadbeat. A guy who has goals and is taking actual realistic steps to reach them, has set and reached his goals in the past (successful career, bachelor’s degree, master’s degree), is a good bet, not a bad one. The unambitious pot-smoking guys are deadbeats, but the man described in this woman’s letter is not a deadbeat.

  15. 106
    David T

    @Ruby
     10 years later she still hadn’t settled down with someone who “fits the kind of guy she [sees] herself with.” If she was that clear on knowing current financial success was important, she would have known Evan was not right sooner than 5 dates! Between that and her failure to be married after a decade of looking means there was more to her decision than Evan’s then present financial success.  My particular speculation could be wrong, but I think your hypothesis stretches credulity.

  16. 107
    Joe

    Karl R: I gotta back Karmic up. In the context of dating, men are clearly the hunters. Evan himself always says that women shouldn’t make the first move, but should be receptive to mens’ advances. If you want to call men the aggressors instead of hunters, that’s fine, but then Karmic is right–you’re just arguing semantics.

  17. 108
    Karl R

    Karmic Equation, (#97)
    I think our opinion differs in whether the pursuer/pursued behavior is an intrinsic instinct/behavior (as you have stated), or whether it’s a social convention (my opinion).
     
    It may be difficult to circumvent social conventions, but it’s far easier than overcoming intrinsic instinct or behavior. Furthermore, a social convention only applies in certain times, in certain places, and with certain people. (Some people enjoy defying social conventions.) If you have two people who prefer to defy the social convention, it’s easy for them to do so, rather than both trying to abide by a convention they dislike.
     
    Other than it being completely ineffective to pursue someone who does not want to be pursued, can you give me a concrete example how switching the pursuer/pursued could possibly hurt the relationship?
     
    I’ve been pursued. Those relationships would have failed regardless of whom was the pursuer. The only difference: if the women had not pursued, the relationships might never have started in the first place.
     
    Joe said: (#109)
    “Evan himself always says that women shouldn’t make the first move, but should be receptive to mens’ advances.”
     
    Evan gives that advice because it works best for women who want to date alphas (which describes most of his client base). Evan agrees that approaching shy men can be highly effective … provided that’s the type of man the woman prefers.

  18. 109
    Karmic Equation

    @Karl R 110

    I guess you’re not on board with the cease-fire. Evan, I promise not to answer any more of Karl’s questions, even though that may appear rude or weak, in order to abide by the cease-fire.

    Last post to you Karl…

    Opinion (from dictionary.com)
    1. a belief or judgment that rests on grounds insufficient to produce complete certainty.
    2. a personal view, attitude, or appraisal.

    Our OPINIONS (aka JUDGMENTS – ATTITUDES) differ. Yet, you are trying to argue that YOUR OPINION/JUDGMENT/ATTITUDE of “convention” is “better” or “more valid” than MY opinion of “intrinsic instinct” that MEN are the pursuers, making women the pursued. (We are on a hetero dating website, so please don’t tangentialize into gay men, lesbians, or transvestites).

    So, you’re being disingenuous, you’re NOT arguing OPINION, you’re arguing SEMANTICS. – “Convention” versus “Intrinsic Instinct”

    Semantics (from dictionary.com)
    1. Linguistics .
       a. the study of meaning.
       b. the study of linguistic development by classifying and examining changes in meaning and form.

    No one’s OPINION is better than anyone else’s OPINION, e.g., your experiences that form your thoughts cannot be more valid than the experiences that form my thoughts.

    However, SEMANTICS can be compared, e.g., your choice of words can be better than my choice of words.

    Now if you want to argue against MY OPINION, the argument should be phrased, “Karmic, why do you believe MEN ARE PURSUERS? Can you provide evidence that men are the pursuers?”

    My reply would be, “Karl, why do you want to argue against my opinion? I don’t need to provide evidence of my opinion to anyone. That said, While it is only my OPINION, there actually is evidence that men are considered hunters. Please GOOGLE “Men as Hunters in dating” and evidence abounds.”

    YOU ARE ENTITLED to your OPINION, and you can knock on my SEMANTICS. But you cannot ask me to support your SEMANTICS with evidence of my OPINION. That is just non-sensical.

    So you have two choices, as I see it:

    1) Challenge my SEMANTICS (that IS actually what you’re doing, even though you won’t cop to that)

    OR

    2) State whether you agree or disagree with my opinion, provide the reasons why, and then LEAVE IT AT THAT.

    But you keep doing #3, what I consider to be an illogical thing for a logical man:

    3) You keep trying to argue that your SEMANTICS is MORE VALID than my OPINION. In essence, comparing apples to kangaroos. We’re not even in the category. That is BEYOND illogical.

    So if you have an opinion, STATE IT, without bringing mine into it. Because OPINIONS are not subject to comparison. There is no such thing as a BETTER opinion. You can AGREE with an opinion or DISAGREE with it. That’s it.

    Karmic paraphrasing Karl R:

    “I believe that men as pursuers and women as pursued is NOT how we humans are programmed, it is not “intrinsic”; to me, it is a social convention, a learned behavior, and here is the literature that supports my opinion.”

    And if you want to challenge my semantics:
    “Karmic, I disagree that the term “intrinsic instinct” is the reason why men are hunters. I believe that “social convention” is a more accurate term for why men are hunters. And since I would like you to provide proof of your terminology, I will be the bigger man and show you MY proof first…”

    You can HAVE and STATE YOUR OPINION and CHALLENGE my SEMANTICS in any which way you want. It’s your prerogative. But to ask me to provide evidence to support my OPINION to DISPROVE your SEMANTICS makes no sense. My opinion is my personal view and I don’t need to support it with any SCIENTIFIC evidence. My personal, EXPERIENTIAL evidence is all I need to support MY opinion. And if YOU wish to argue semantics, then the burden of proof is on YOU to provide the proof that your semantics are more accurate, not on me to disprove my own semantics.

  19. 110
    Ruby

    David T
     
    You’re right that this was probably not an isolated incident, but but Donna could have broken things off with other men for the same reason she did with EMK; she imagined herself with a very successful, wealthy man, and the other men she dated didn’t measure up, and the Alphas she did meet turned out to be unsatisfying for other reasons, or just too difficult. Doesn’t mean that her expectations haven’t been skewed or unrealistic. Could there be reasons that go deeper? Possibly…

  20. 111
    Karl R

    Karmic Equation, (#111)
    Where did I say (#110) that your opinion was wrong? I stated my opinion. I tried to clarify the difference I saw between our opinions. I stated the outcome one might expect to see if my opinion is correct. And I stated that my experiences did not match your opinion.
     
    I did all of the things that you’re claiming that you have the right to do (#111). I did approximately the same things you did (#97). If it’s okay for you to do those things, why are you trying to chew me out for doing the exact same things?
     
    Definitions:
    Difference between instinct (follow link) and social convention (follow link).
     
    I don’t see the difference between the two of those to be a merely semantic difference. They’re not even studied by the same branch of science (biology vs. sociology).
     
    If you still feel that it’s a semantic difference (after reading both definitions), that’s fine. I’m just making it absolutely clear that in my opinion, I’m discussing something more significant than a semantic difference.
     
    Reread how you responded to my opinion.
     
    Furthermore, I didn’t ask you to provide evidence to support your opinions. I didn’t ask you to disprove my opinion. I asked you to provide one example of how flip-flopping the pursuer/pursued role could have a negative impact on a relationship. (It’s the only question I asked in #110.)
     
    If I were to claim that eating oranges may have a negative impact on a person’s health, I wouldn’t find it unreasonable for someone to ask me for an example of how that might happen. (And just to head off any potential fireworks, I didn’t choose eating oranges in order to be ridiculous. I chose it because I have a food allergy to oranges, so my ridiculous-sounding claim makes perfect sense … in the context of the example I provided.)
     
    And I’m still curious about what type of negative impact could occur if men and women flip-flop those roles.
     
    As to your final sentence (#111), I am perfectly willing to accept the burden of proof. However, in the spirit of the cease fire, I tried to match my response (#110) to yours (#97). I don’t think disproving your statements can be done within the boundaries of merely stating my opinion. Evan requested a cease-fire. I feel that your first response (#97) and mine (#110) met his request. Despite your most recent response (#111), I still intend to honor his request.

  21. 112
    Jennifer

    Karmic, given the way youve chosen to harp on some posters in the past I’m surprised you are upset right now. Karl is not even being flip with you the way you’ve been with so many others. He won. I hope you will indeed let it go

  22. 113
    Sparkling Emerald

    Karl – You said
    Other than it being completely ineffective to pursue someone who does not want to be pursued, can you give me a concrete example how switching the pursuer/pursued could possibly hurt the relationship?
     
    I’ve been pursued. Those relationships would have failed regardless of whom was the pursuer. The only difference: if the women had not pursued, the relationships might never have started in the first place.
      ———————————
    I think you provided your own answer.  I think when a woman pursues a man, she is pursing a man who’s “Not that into her”.  You even admit, the relationships never would have started in the first place unless the woman pursued you.  If a man is interested, he will pursue.  I don’t pursue men, because I don’t want to chase after a man who isn’t interested.  If he’s not asking me out, asking for my #, etc. I assume he’s not interested.  However, although I let a man make the first move, I don’t take the “playing hard to get ” thing to ridiculous extremes, like that silly book “The Rules” says. 

  23. 114
    Helen

    Karl R #110 wrote: “I’ve been pursued. Those relationships would have failed regardless of whom was the pursuer. The only difference: if the women had not pursued, the relationships might never have started in the first place.”
     
    Yes. This was exactly the point I made a few months ago in another of Evan’s posts. Most relationships fail, regardless of whether the man or the woman pursued first. However, people may REMEMBER more that a failure occurred when a woman pursued, because it’s rarer for women to pursue in general, and we remember rare events more easily. Therefore, we perceive women’s pursuits as being less successful, when in reality, rejection rates are probably the same.
     
    I think that a woman who pursues would not want a man who didn’t like her proactiveness anyway. Perhaps by pursuing, even if she’s rejected, she’s doing herself a favor.
     
    In finding career opportunities and collaborations, I am very proactive. Some respond favorably, others do not. Yes, I’ve gotten hurt. But I am most satisfied by being the one seeking the opportunities, regardless of constantly facing rejection. I would never recommend to anyone to sit back and wait for people and opportunities to come to her. She may face fewer rejections, but she will not be as happy and confident as someone who goes for it, getting smacked down a few times along the way.  I cannot believe that the world of relationships is that different.
     
    You have to live. You have to be proactive. Goodness, it’s Stephen Covey’s first Habit. He didn’t mean for his 7 Habits to be only for men and not for women.

  24. 115
    Liz

    This is gpong to sound crazy. You may not believe it and I dont think it’s even sunk in for me yet:
     
    I just lost my 6 figure job after 5 years with the company. Found out yesterday. Still in shock. 
    Holy Sh*t! 
    How’s that for irony? All the comments about how financial status can change overnight in this economy.  What a nightmare. 
    It’s nice to have a good man by my side as I’m going through this.

  25. 116
    Lia

    @ Liz # 117
     
    So sorry about the shock and pain of losing your job and so glad you have a man who loves you and has your back!   I hope for you the best in this time of change!

  26. 117
    Liz

    Thank you Lia! I appreciate your kind words. I have faith I will get back on my feet and I’ll find something better after the initial storm passes.

  27. 118
    Jennifer

    Yes Liz, definitely wishing you the best!

  28. 119
    Karmic Equation

    Karl R #113

    “I asked you to provide one example of how flip-flopping the pursuer/pursued role could have a negative impact on a relationship. (It’s the only question I asked in #110.)
    <snip>
    And I’m still curious about what type of negative impact could occur if men and women flip-flop those roles.”

    Here are the examples you’ve asked for:

    I’ve had five meaningful romantic relationships in my life. And I’m defining “meaningful relationships” as relationships that helped me learn more about myself or more about dating/relationships.

    In chronological order:

    #1 – Lasted 4 years – I ended the relationship
    #2 – Lasted 7 months – HE ended the relationship
    #3 – Lasted 11 years – I ended the relationship
    #4 – Lasted 3 weeks – HE ended the relationship
    #5 – Lasted 6 years – I ended the relationship

    I was the initiator / pursuer in TWO of those relationships. Can you guess which?

    Negative impacts:
    1) Shorter relationship
    2) HE typically ends it

    ——————-

    I do understand the difference between instinct and social convention.

    INSTINCT: Little boy likes little girl; to get her attention, he pulls her hair. He knows HE has to do something if he wants her to notice him. Standing around looking good isn’t going to fly. He “pursues/initiates” contact instinctively, by pulling her hair. He’s too young to send over a drink (convention).

    CONVENTION: Negative attention is still attention. I would propose that this INSTINCTIVE use of an age-appropriate neg by a 6 yo (pulling hair) is equivalent to the male PUA CONVENTION of a verbal neg (e.g. “Did you choose that color for your hair or were you born with it?”) to get a girl’s attention.

    ——————-
    @RW 102

    There is absolutely NO PROBLEM with wanting a partner who has money as opposed to being indigent or, if all being equal, that you choose the man with more money than less.

    What I think is a problem is a woman’s general unwillingness to share her wealth with a man.

    Let me share with you how MEN can be generous in a way I don’t think women can:

    When I met my now ex-husband, I had just been laid off from my job of 4 years and was living off my meager savings, which would run out by December (I started dating him in late August). I ended up moving in with him when my landlord let me out of my lease in December when I informed them I had lost my job.

    My exhusband was a frugal man, but not miserly. After I moved in I had to change banks to deposit my unemployment and temping checks, pay off student loans, bills, etc., and he said “just open up an account at the same bank I bank at.” I said sure. We went together and the ONLY option that matched my means was a non-interest-bearing checking account. An interest-bearing account would require that the account maintain a $10,000 balance. Without batting an eye, he told the agent to transfer $10,000 from HIS account to MY new account, so that I could have the interest-bearing account instead. He TRUSTED me with his wealth, because he KNEW the kind of person I was. BTW, he wasn’t elderly. He was hot. Looked like Ryan O’Neal in Love Story. And I never touched that $10k. I never thought of that as mine. And I had had NO IDEA he had that kind of money. That never came up in conversation.

    I would say that 3 months is a short amount of time to entrust someone with that amount of money. He was probably an exceptional man and extreme in that regard…or I’d like to think my character inspired his trust. In any case, he shared his wealth beyond the who pays for which date, or who pays for the vacation, etc., because he wasn’t dating me to maintain his standard of living. He willingly shared what he had, to make my life easier and less stressful simply because he loved me.

    I guess my OWN indigent-once-upon-a-time story is what makes UN-afraid of dating men with low or no salaries. It’s character of your partner that counts in a relationship, not the salary they make.

    ——————-
    @Liz

    I’m sorry to hear that. The very best of luck to you.

  29. 120
    marymary

    Karmic
    yes but … couldn,t this mean that pursuit or sharing wealth is a failing strategy for men if she can still leave you after x years?
    i expect that the relationships ended for reasons that were  unrelated to pursuit and wealth.  in which case, maybe those two things – provided the basics are covered in that you both like each other and are on the same page re finances – aren,t the deciding factors in the success of a relationship over the long haul. 
    back to the OP
    I say give him a chance, wholeheartedly, if you like him and believe in him. It,s all very well saying, “all other things being equal i,d prefer someone wealthier”. Trouble is, it  seldom works out that way or we would all have it. the universe is not cranking out men that are good hearted, attractive and wealthy.

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