Love A Man For Who He Is, Instead of Focusing On What He Is Not

As you know, before I was a dating coach, I went on a LOT of dates.

And although I always considered myself confident, interesting, and thoughtful, I sometimes did things on dates that would make any woman question that claim.

I have no explanation for my actions. All I want to observe is that, despite my best intentions, I’m apparently a flawed, clueless and stupid man.

After all, I once…

Showed up on a date drunk after a day of mojitos on the beach.
Started crying when talking about my deceased father.
Forgot my wallet at home after having a $90 Asian fusion meal.
Followed up a date with phone call after phone call to a busy lawyer, to the point that I probably sounded like a stalker.
Got so wasted that I threw an ice cube into my date’s cleavage.

So how can you know when it’s more appropriate to forgive your guy…or when it’s best to give him the heave-ho?

Oh, I’m sure there are more, but that’s just a brief snippet of what your big-hearted, articulate, self-aware, sensitive dating coach occasionally pulled on his 300 date journey to marital bliss.

And if a guy like me has been known to throw all good sense to the wind, I’m sure there are a ton of decent men who have done the exact same thing…and worse.

This blog is to a) apologize to you on behalf of all mankind, and to b) ask for your forgiveness should we make similar mistakes in the future.

Seriously. There could be a pretty amazing guy lurking inside the crying drunk man in front of you. Here’s a perfect example:

Last week, I was working with Lori, a very cool 45-year-old never-married woman who has continued her coaching beyond the end of my 8 week Passion Course.

I’m a big Lori fan, but I’m also a tough enough dating coach to know that part of the reason that she’s never settled down is because she always finds something wrong with the men she’s dating.

I’m sympathetic.

As evidenced above, men – good, smart, successful, relationship-oriented men – do stupid things all the time. So how can you know when it’s more appropriate to forgive your guy…or when it’s best to give him the heave-ho?

Well, I think it’s important to consider the context of the date.

Consider, for example, my client, Amy, a marketing executive who always speaks her mind. So when she got comfortable talking to Scott about her four-year-ex-boyfriend who broke her heart, it didn’t even occur to her that she was rambling for about 30 minutes uninterrupted.

Or take Tina, who had an awesome 4-hour first date with Don, which ended up with a fifteen-minute makeout session. Needless to say, Tina was excited. Which is why she asked Don before he left the car, “So, when are you calling me again?”

Tina’s not wrong for wanting to see Don again. But in Don’s mind, a woman who asks him out at the end of Date 1 appears weak and needy. That’s not an attractive quality to most men and it’s often going to affect his opinion of you.

Finally, there’s Melissa, a 37-year-old with a strong, vivacious personality. So she didn’t think much of it, when, after 3 drinks, she told her date that she liked it “rough” in bed. Check, please.

The point is that sometimes we let down our guard and say or do something that is simply embarrassing.

It doesn’t necessarily sum up who we are, but in a 90-minute date, such a misstep can singlehandedly determine your future – or lack thereof.

So while I’m not suggesting that I’d expect you to forgive me for the ol’ ice cube in the cleavage trick (although, surprisingly, my date DID), I am stating that it’s extremely easy to find something in each guy that rubs you the wrong way.

It’s not always an egregious error. Sometimes it’s just a matter of taste.

It’s how he combs his hair.
It’s the type of music he likes.
It’s his interest in something like sci-fi or model airplanes. It’s the sound of his voice or the pitch of his laugh.

“He’s got the most beautiful blue eyes. He always knows how to make me laugh. And he can drive at night. What else could I want in a man?”

The point is that if everything on a date can be a dealbreaker, you can’t be too surprised that every single deal is broken.

Your job, as a smart, strong, successful woman, is to “forgive the ignorance.”

Don’t look at each man as a gymnast where you’re taking of tenths of points for every misstep. Instead, look at each man for what he’s doing RIGHT.

Truth is, men are just overgrown 3rd grade boys. They’d pull your hair if they knew it would make you like them. Literally every single thing he says or does is designed to make you like him; whether it works or not is another story.

Just know that all the talking, and bragging, and awkwardness are different ways that your date is attempting to impress you.

Forgive him, for he knows not what he does.

Once you look at him through the lens of adorable pity instead of incredulous scorn, you’d be surprised at how well your dates go…

I know, I know. You don’t WANT to forgive the ignorance. You just want him to get it all perfect – to know exactly what pleases you – to be man enough to not make any of those missteps.

Here’s the flaw in that thinking:

Just because you think it’s a misstep doesn’t mean it is. I had one client dump a guy because he made fun of some modern art at the museum. She thought it was classless. Someone else might find the same thing funny. Either way, this stuff shouldn’t be a dealbreaker.

If you judge a man for every first date “mistake”, you can pretty much always find something you don’t like. He could do 20 things right – be thoughtful, generous, interesting, funny, cute, warm, relationship-oriented…but then confess his animosity towards his awful ex, and blow the entire date. Sometimes it’s best to take an overall impression of the person, instead of breaking down every tiny word and gesture.

You are undoubtedly doing JUST as many things “wrong” as he is. Would you like him to dissect you for being 5 lbs overweight, a bit nervous or shy, or for talking about your organic garden for too long?

I sure hope not.

Before I let you go, I want to share a story that I got from my friend, Julie Ferman, a matchmaker here in LA. During one of Julie’s Learning Annex seminars, I recall her talking about her mother-in-law, Frieda, who was getting married at age 90.

Her husband was a few years younger, and while he was hunched over like a question mark, didn’t have his own teeth, and was far from a millionaire, Frieda loved him deeply.

If her affection towards him wasn’t obvious, Frieda was able to explain thusly:

“He’s got the most beautiful blue eyes. He always knows how to make me laugh. And he can drive at night. What else could I want in a man?”

I love that story because it distills the essence of love into something simple.
Love a man for who he is, instead of focusing on who he is not.

Not only will this enable you to find more worthy men in the dating process, but it will do a magical thing to your men – it will make them feel confident, safe, and masculine. Every man responds better to women who forgive us for our flaws and laud us for our strengths.

Try doing that with the man you’re seeing now and watch how well it works.

Readers in happy relationships, let me hear from you – do you find that you connect better with your partner when you’re critical or when you focus on his/her good qualities?


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  1. 1
    my honest answer

    The same is true of friendships – you can always find something to complain about and dislike if you try.
    I kind of think this is the difference between bad relationships and good ones though. My husbands annoying habits (like leaving dirty socks everywhere) come to be cute when viewed as one part of an otherwise great man. If there was lots else wrong with him, I’m sure I’d focus on them a lot more.

  2. 2

    I was at a Japanese restaurant and the cook flipped an empty egg shell into my friends cleavage, of course she had a bust implant he couldn’t miss!!  I have found on dates the men talk too much about their past marriage and what went wrong. This goes on and on and I even have said “lets not talk about her”.  They don’t seem to be interested in me but are interested in complaining about what went wrong with their X. I feel like they should pay me for listening to them and that I am on a date with their past relationship, not them. It is hard to know what and what not to say on a date. I find dates with a small amount of alcohol are much better because then it is less like a job interview.

  3. 3

    Love this article!

    I am oftentimes scolded by my girlfriends for being “too nice to losers” but I like to find the good in all people and prefer to laugh instead of frown. I have many times glossed over some man’s mis-step on a date and just chalked it up to his nervousness at being near such a goddess as myself! :) 
    However, I try not to ignore the serious red flags as Evan has pointed out many times. There should always be respectfulness.

    1. 3.1

      By being “too nice to losers,” you’re probably giving some great guys greater confidence in the dating scene. By being too dismissive, you could alienate and dissuade good guys from trying anymore.

      It also depends on what your girlfriends consider “losers.” I’m sure they’re lovely people, but they might be overly critical. I think you’re right to be more accepting. Even if the guy isn’t right for you, your acceptance of him could give him the boost he needs to make someone else very happy.

  4. 4

    Totally right, great post.  My main goal is to get with a man where I can truly support his strengths/mission and can tolerate the the things that I don’t think are perfect.  That’s not an easy thing to do, but if one has that mindset, you end up getting a great guy who you can be authentic with, and positive, and make feel good.  Isn’t that what everyone wants?

    By the way, found him in October and things are going extremely well. :)

  5. 5

    Another great article. I couldnt stop laughing! I used to be sooo picky, to the point that when i didnt find a flaw, i started imagining them! I know, I know, – bad, bad, VERY BAD. I learned the hard way.
    However, i too started crying on a first date when talking about my grandpa who had passed away. I was so nervous once that i kept tripping and fell over TWICE while walking in the park. But the most embarassing thing of all was when one of my girlfriends texted me during a date and asked me if i was enjoying myself. When he excused himself to go to the bathroom i jumped at the ocassion to txt her back with ‘he is really hot. i deff. wanna see him again SOON… even if he’s been rambling for the past 20 mins about his sick dog.’ … Guess where i sent the txt? You’re right, to the last dialled number…. there was no second date.
    That’s when i realized how messed up my whole attitude towards men was and started taking action. I stepped out of my precious crystal bubble and began walking in the grass barefoot. I relaxed, my date relaxed and it all goes so well.
    I do have a question for you, Evan. In this article you listed some typical dealbrakers for women. What are the ones seen from a man’s perspective? I never really got a straight answer to that. Do they care if your purse doesnt match your shoes, the way women look at a guy’s mismatching belt?

    1. 5.1
      jaimi wallis


    2. 5.2

      I polled my BF and a few of our male friends about this.  The answers are not always the same.  Each guy is a little different.  But there are some things in common, and they see these things as common sense.

      1. Don’t bad mouth people.  It shows a deep character flaw.  Men hate gossipy women.

      2. Focus on him during the date.  If you don’t have kids, turn your phone off, and let him see you do it.  If you have kids, use a different ringtone and only answer that tone.  Some phones may allow you to set all other ringtones to silent.  That sounds like a good idea for an app.  A babysitter emergency call app.  You preset the allowed numbers, and at the press of a key, all other numbers are silenced.  It would also be nice if he returns this respectful gesture.

      3. Don’t act like this is an interview.  Stop with the questions designed to find out his worth.  Instead, treat him as a person with feelings.  Be soft, and enjoyable to be around.  Be more interested in the size of his heart, than the size of his bank account.  Get to know him as a person.  A man with a kind heart but modest income can keep you happy for life.  A man with a cold heart, who hides that, and has a big bank account, can not keep you happy.  The relationship will become a nightmare.

      Be patient, soft and nurturing.  If he has a dating flaw, use your feminine energy to help him past that.  We are better at language, so we should use this strength for positive things.  Here’s an example that a friend of mine used.  He is a great guy, and I mean a really great guy, and he has made her happier than she has ever been.  But had she not done what I suggest to you, they never would have gotten off the ground.  For one, he is older, he is bald (balding so he shaves), and he makes less money than she does, with less education.  He is in incredible shape, however.   He was obviously worried many of these things.  First, I should note that he is a very confident guy, and is confident about who he is as a man.  But, he was not confident that she would look past these things, and see that he was in fact, a great guy with a lot of things to offer a good woman.    So she gently put his mind at ease.


      She told him that she had dated guys with all of those things he thought she wanted.  Nice hair, degrees, high paying jobs, fancy cars, etc… and they all turned out to be jerks.  In short, she had learned that these things were not requirements for her.  She told him that she was more interested in how interesting he was to be around, how kind he was with her, how much of a gentleman he was, how genuine, and honest he was.  In short she wanted a good man.  She told him that so far, she liked what she saw in him, so he should relax, and enjoy getting to know her more.  They ended up getting married, and are very happy.

      So to you, I would say, don’t worry about his fashion sense.  If you handle it right, you can help him overcome that deficiency.  The truth is, many quality guys have zero fashion sense, but you can help him overcome that without insulting him.  If you believe that he is a quality guy worth investing in, plan a date, and take him shopping.  Buy him a new outfit, and then go on the date.  Tell him how good he looks in those clothes.  Just be positive and make him feel good about himself.  You can smile, and say, “You have no fashion sense, but that’s expected…you are a guy.”  Smile sweetly and tell him that he is in luck, because you do have good fashion sense and will help him for free.  This can all be done with a bright smile, and a flirty attitude, and most men will love this attention, and see it as a positive.

      I would also warn to be forgiving if he has a couple of things he refuses to let go of.  Maybe you hate sandals on a guy, but he loves them.  Let him have them.  It’s not worth fighting over.

      4. As for him noticing a belt that doesn’t match, he is not likely to notice, or care.  The men said that what they care about is that you look like you at least cared enough to make an effort, and that you smell nice.

      5. Some of the men are admittedly very affectionate.  One told me that if the date is going well, and he wants to start dating you as a result, he may reach out and hold your hand as you are sitting there, or walking together.  He said it just feels nice to do, and because it is somewhat intimate, he only does this with a women he has decided that he likes and wants to get to know better.  What he wants is for women to be casual about this.  It is just part of who he is.  He is affectionate.  He doesn’t want you to read too much into it.  He doesn’t assume you will be a couple, as he is also not sure it will go there.  He also doesn’t assume this is a fast track to get into bed.  In fact, he is quick to hold hands, but slow to move to the bedroom.  Holding hands just feels soft and intimate, and makes him feel both close to you, and relaxed at the same time.  He said that if he holds your hand, you can assume that he wants to see you again, and continue to getting to know you, but don’t read more into it than that.

      6. If you enjoyed the date, say so.  Don’t be coy, or aloof.

      7. Smile.

      1. 5.2.1

        @ JennLee #5.2
        Good comment.
        Ileana asked #5
        “In this article you listed some typical dealbrakers for women. What are the ones seen from a man’s perspective?”
        You replied:
        “1. Don’t bad mouth people.  It shows a deep character flaw.  Men hate gossipy women.”
        Agreed. Although this would be a non-gender specific deal-breaker.
        “2. Focus on him during the date.”
        Agreed. Although I’d be fairly forgiving of answering one or two phone calls/texts. Beyond that is rude, but some flexibility indicates an easy-going disposition which is attractive.
        “3. Don’t act like this is an interview.  Stop with the questions designed to find out his worth.”
        This. This is huge. It’s astonishing how women think they can ask oblique questions trying to suss out our career, salary, net worth, future potential etc. as if we don’t know what they’re doing. And oftentimes it’s just so blatant: I even had one woman flat-out just ask me what my salary was! Though shocked I told her anyway and needless to say didn’t call her again. Even my friends of 20 years don’t ask my salary.
        “Be patient, soft and nurturing.”
        “We are better at language, so we should use this strength for positive things.”
        Hmm. Perhaps women are better at language than men on average, but I’d be wary of this tool as a strength. Women who think they’re better than men at language, (the same goes with women who think they’re better at understanding emotions, interpreting body language etc.) often forget that some/many men are actually very good with language, verbal interplay, reading cues etc. and will deftly use these skills to play women at their own game. Which is how those charming cads achieve success.
        “Here’s an example that a friend of mine used…he was not confident that she would look past these things, and see that he was in fact, a great guy with a lot of things to offer a good woman…So she gently put his mind at ease…She told him that she was more interested in how interesting he was to be around, how kind he was with her, how much of a gentleman he was, how genuine, and honest he was.  In short she wanted a good man.  She told him that so far, she liked what she saw in him, so he should relax, and enjoy getting to know her more.”
        Good advice.
        “The truth is, many quality guys have zero fashion sense, but you can help him overcome that without insulting him.  If you believe that he is a quality guy worth investing in, plan a date, and take him shopping”
        Arrggh no!!! I HATE when women do this. Guys who go-along with this only do it because of how attracted to you they are. In truth they’re rather be doing anything else other than going on a “shopping date”.
        If I tried to change the way a woman dressed I could expect a slap in the face!
        “You can smile, and say, “You have no fashion sense, but that’s expected…you are a guy.”
        Um, no you can’t; that’s an awful thing to say! If someone said that to me I don’t know whether I’d laugh, turn around and walk away, or ask her who does she think she is? Although I’d be tempted to smile back and say: “You have no manners or tact, but that’s expected…you are a woman”
        One of Evan’s core maxims is to not change a man: accept him as he is or move on. Maaaybe if you were going out with for a few years it might be OK, but until then this behavior is highly insulting.
        “4. As for him noticing a belt that doesn’t match, he is not likely to notice, or care.”
        “6. If you enjoyed the date, say so.  Don’t be coy, or aloof.”
        Agreed. I would say that if you like the guy that a kiss at the end would be appropriate too; even a small one would suffice. Rightly or wrongly, if there’s no kiss I automatically assume she’s not attracted to me: life’s too short to spend another date on someone who may or may not be attracted.
        “7. Smile.”
        Agreed 100%.
        JennLee, in general I agree with your 7 points, just the one point which I disagree on. Here are a few more deal-breakers from a guy’s/my perspective:
        8. Not making any attempt to pay – even the “pretend reach” to pay should be sufficient to assuage a guy’s wariness. A woman who just sits there and simply expects for the bill to be paid is bad news.
        9. Going home too early. Even if it’s a weeknight and you’ve got a meeting first thing in the morning it’s always a good sign when she stays for just one more drink, and maybe one more, as she is savoring every minute. A sore head in the meeting will be worth it. Going home at a sensible/reasonable time can look like she’s not too bothered.
        10. Talking about career achievements. Although some of this is OK, and guys will generally ask a few questions out of curiosity anyway, no-one wants to hear about all the awards you won at work or about your grand plan of becoming a CEO. Remember, we care about our career, not yours.
        11. Stating from the outset that they want a relationship. Um, OK. What a way to take the fun out of it.
        12. Saying she’s not going to have sex that night (which is a give-away that’s she’s thinking about sex, therefore the odds of sex that night are already 50% that she will have sex that night). If she really wasn’t she wouldn’t feel the need to say it.
        13. Saying that she hardly ever goes on dates. Either 1) yeah right, or 2) why not? Is it some faux-attempt to flatter me that I’m special? Whether it’s even true or not doesn’t matter; there’s no need to say it.
        14. Not drinking on a drinks date. I was on a date once where I was drinking beer and she was just drinking water. Just awkward. It’s OK not to drink on a date, but just suggest a different activity.

        15. Not wearing high-heels. I might get some flak for this one, but I personally think a woman in heels makes a great impression on a date.
        16. Talking about exes. No-brainer.

        I’m sure I’ll think of more once I post this. So, no pressure then :)

        1. JennLee

          A lot of good advice Tom, but like you, I take serious objection to one, #9.  I am a big fan of day time dates, and conducting and ending dates in a no pressure for sex fashion.  I don’t think some of you guys realize the pressure women feel to put out, and how that actually interferes in developing friendship and trust.  If a man pressures me into late night dates, and tries to push for too much physical contact too early, I will scare off and poof on him.  I am very affectionate, and if it feels like we are building a connection, I am totally OK with what our guy friend suggested.  Holding hands.  If a man does that, and then just relaxes about any other physical activity, and by that, I mean doesn’t even try, I will feel safe and comfortable with him.

          Good things are worth waiting for.  It is a turn on to me for a guy to show that he thinks I am worth waiting for.  I also really have no interest in sleeping with a man who has had 200 sexual partners.  I am realistic, and understand that he isn’t going to be a virgin, and I am not.  I am however, very selective, and would like for the guy to be also.  If he is trying to sleep with me before we even know each other, then he is not selective.

          For me, sex is an intimate act of physical bonding, an expression of love.  It is not supposed to be about just physical gratification, and that is all that it is before we have had a chance to fall in love, and get to know each other a good bit.

          I can assure you that feelings are stronger when you have waited.  I remember a famous black athlete talking about this also.  He said that he had slept with many many women, and it never took long for it to happen, until he met one particular women.  She insisted he wait, and get to know her first.  He said that it took about 6 months.  He said that she was the first woman he actually got to know.  And he said that for the first time in his like, he knew what it meant to love a woman, not just feel lust for her.  He said that as a result, the sex completely overshadowed any experience he ever had.

          That’s the point here.  If you will let a woman take her time to get to know you, become comfortable with you, and develop some level of trust with you, your relationship with her will be much better than anything you have experienced.  Trust is a really big problem these days.  Men and women have very little trust in each other.  That isn’t fixed by rushing into bed.  That has the opposite affect.

          I know you may say, “How will I know you are even interested in me that way then?  How will I know you aren’t going to string me along, only to friend zone me?”  I assure you that you will know.  I don’t play coy.  I am honest.  Also, I will continue to get closer with you every day.  It won’t take me long to show you in a great many ways that I consider you my boyfriend, and that I value you as a man, not as a friend.  The sexual tension will begin to build slowly, and we will move from just holding hands into more intimate activities.  A kiss at the door.  A few kisses.  A little bit of soft caresses on the arm as we sit and watch a movie.

          I am so lucky to have found a guy who valued me enough to give me this powerful gift.  It has elevated him well above any other man I know.  Will it end in marriage?  I believe so, but because he did not pressure me when I needed him to show patience, I am going to return that favor.  He knows how I feel about him.  Now it is my turn to allow him time to fully trust me enough to make that commitment.

        2. Tom10

          Well point #9 wasn’t really a reference to sex per se; rather creating a lingering impression that she was enjoying the date so much that she’d rather stay out for longer than go home at a reasonable time. So, in theory, this would apply for day time dates where there is no possibility for sex. So if you’re on a, say, cinema date that you would then go for a burger/ice-cream, then a walk, then a coffee, then chat in her car or whatever. “I’ve got X on tomorrow” is just such a mood killer.
          “I don’t think some of you guys realize the pressure women feel to put out, and how that actually interferes in developing friendship and trust”
          Point taken.

        3. JennLee

          I think most women will do this, especially on a day date. I have done that, and once even offered to buy ice cream to keep the date going.


          It gets harder if she has kid’s, and absolutely has to be home by a certain time, especially late at night.


          Also, it is kind of unfair to judgement so harshly if she really does have to be on top of her game at work the next day.  Sometimes you have to be forgiving of this.


          I do agree that it is a deal breaker if the other person is so rigid, structured, and busy, such that everything has to be penciled in.


          Also, be aware that if you are the one trying to keep the date going, she may interpret this as pressure.  She may feel that your real goal is to keep the date going in order to move it to the bedroom.  I would say that if she says she needs to go, be gracious and let her know that you enjoyed the date.  The more you can put her at ease, the better chance for more later.

  6. 6

    I have a question. I’ve done all these things, i.e. cut men a lot of slack on first dates, only to be judged “like a gymnast” by them myself. I totally understand that, on a first date, everybody’s nervous and we’re total strangers to each other, so, when I date, I go into a first date with very low expectations. Heck, I don’t even expect the guy to look like his photos. So why can’t I catch a break, too? I understand that this is human nature and we have to deal with it, etc etc, it’s just a lot to wrap your head around. I guess one way to look at this is that a really good man will ignore my first-date blunders as I ignore his, and an overly judgmental one wasn’t probably a best match for me to begin with?

  7. 7

    When it’s the right man leading to a good potential match, none of the blunders matter, it just all flows.  Trust in that.  When you meet him, you’ll see (if you don’t dismiss him over the shoe choice or gait or laugh first! :)

  8. 8

    @ Ileana #5:

    Straight guys do not care if your purse doesn’t match your shoes.  All we care about is that you look put together.  If you’re hot, even that doesn’t matter.

    @ Goldie #6:

    What breaks are you not catching?

  9. 9

    @ Joe #8:
    But then what DOES matter?

  10. 10

    I constantly praise my guy for being such a good guy.  I’m so thankful that he really likes me for me, tries to do nice things for me and others, doesn’t care that I need to lose a little weight, etc.  Just an all around good guy who tries hard in everything he does.  :)  He’s not perfect and thank God for that….how would I ever live up to the standard of a perfect guy? 

  11. 11

    This is wonderful – thank you for sharing!!

  12. 12

    @ Joe: How the heck would I know? they won’t tell me. But, anytime a guy doesn’t contact me again after a first date, the odds are high that I’ve been judged on the basis of a 1-2-hour interaction, and have been passed over because of something minor that I said or did. Take the three women mentioned in this article. (Okay, maybe two women – the 30-minute monologue about an ex was a bit too much.) Each of these women got passed over because of one unfortunate statement that flew out of their mouths, possibly after a drink or two.
    I’ve read the book that was recommended by someone on here, “Why He Didn’t Call You Back” and it was an eye opener. Apparently, men can jump to the wildest conclusions about you, your character, your mental health, etc. based upon the smallest things you say or do… a stray dog hair on your sweater can disqualify you. It’s a jungle out there. When you try to be above it all and give the person a chance, like the article suggests (and I agree that we should), all it gets you is an odd situation where you don’t feel that you can reject anybody, but everybody feels free to reject you.
    In all fairness, it was very rare that a person did not contact me after a first date, so I hope the pressure on a woman to be perfect on a first date isn’t as bad as it seems.

  13. 13
    Saint Stephen

    What matters is that you should be less judgmental and fun to be around. 

  14. 14

    Goldie, I’ve had dates like that- where I felt very scrutinized. It made me uncomfortable so if they didn’t want a second date that was FINE with me. I don’t do well with judgmental people in general, male or female.

    I think a lot of people, male and female, are hyper vigilant this way out of fear mostly. Fear of getting involved with someone who will break their hearts. One of the toughest guys I know told me only this morning that when he dates he is chickensh*t and it takes a lot for him to do the asking.

    So they set impossible standards to begin with. They want to pull the plug as soon as possible. It’s cowardly when you get right down to it.

    About five years ago I made it a spiritual goal to try to love people unconditionally, esp. my dates. The result is 8/10 guys fall for me, feel safe with me, but my emotional needs largely go unmet. So I’m trying to find that tough balance between being accepting and loving, but still not a doormat/apologist for those essentially alpha guys with overly strong personalities I tend to fall for lately.

    Also, though I commit to being this way, being female I overthink things too much. And being an intelligent female, observant, I can’t help but notice their failings. Most of my social circle is super sweet, spiritual, thoughtful, etc. so when my dates aren’t it’s hard. I am just not used to spending lots of time with such people. My current boyfriend- well I’m falling for him- but he can be occasionally totally thoughtless and immature though 41. Today I’m hoping the operative word is “occasionally”….But I’m hanging in there ’cause I see his potential. It’s like seeing into their very souls sometimes.

    When you are truly tired of being alone, when you truly seek love you will then let down your guard and stop being so critical.

  15. 15

    CONFIDENCE!!!!  It’s all about your attitude.  Even if there is no love match in the long run.  Go out and have fun.  Men pick up on your attitude about yourself.  My SO and I had a great first date, I smiled a lot because he made me laugh a lot.  I was looking to have a great time and I did.  Half the battle is expecting a positive outcome.  

  16. 16

    Goldie #6

    In my experience, men judge women pretty harshly, unless they are really attracted to them, and then it all goes out the window. At this point, I generally don’t bother to meet someone unless there is a fairly strong mutual interest, because I think that mutual chemistry is so tough to find. If i do meet someone, and we genuinely like each other, then I will try to overlook the little, unimportant things.

    I find this post interesting, too, because over the years, I’ve noticed that many single people shoot themselves in the foot, and I’ve tried to avoid doing it myself. Talking too much about the wrong things, acting impatiently, even rudely. Politeness and patience go a long way in the beginning, and too many people forget that.

  17. 17

    Absolutely on point, Evan!! My guy and I have been together for almost two years now, and just earlier this week, I sent him a “just because” text. In my text I told him that I appreciate him for the man he is. He responded with a warm “thanks honey”, and is taking me to my favorite jazz lounge tomorrow night. I finally solved the relationship equation, and yes, Evan-it is due mainly in part to applying your prudent advice. Thank you!!!!!!!

  18. 18
    Saint Stephen

    @Ruby (#16)
    If men judged women pretty harshly as women do- there wouldn’t be much coupling-up going on.
    If you unconsciously send out any vibe that indicates disinterest on your part, most men wont try to initiate a second date- for fear of possible rejection. How do i know that? I’ve done it before.

    1. 18.1

      “If men judged women pretty harshly as women do- there wouldn’t be much coupling-up going on”

      We already know this. Whats the point of rubbing it in our faces?   

  19. 19

    I think internet dating and the illusion of a seemingly endless supply of potential partners make people hyper-picky.  And rude.

    A few months ago a guy disappeared on me after date number 3.  Everything was great until we got into the cinema and I got cuddly with him.  He’d had his arm around me while we’d been walking there and when we sat down so I was following his lead.  I’m very physically affectionate and just snuggled in (not sexually though).  We hadn’t even kissed.  But I think it was just too much for him and he retreated.  Whatever.  I have also been out with guys who would have dumped me for not having sex with them by date 3.  People will do stuff that doesn’t work for you but whether that’s a deal breaker or not is your choice.

    The guy I’m seeing now slipped into conversation on date 3 that he likes wearing women’s clothing sometimes.  Now that freaked me right out.  But y’know what?  He is an absolute treasure.  I am having such a lovely time with him and because of that the dressing up issue has quickly become a non-issue.  As a package he is top notch and I’d be absolutely mad to dump him for that quirk.   


  20. 20

    Wow!  I have always over looked others issues and have had some pretty interesting dates and friends as a result.  But when a man is just looking to get laid, there are no second dates when he is just looking for a booty call.  Seriously, Evan, you know it’s true!  Not only that, who wants a second date with that guy anyway?!?!  I love men and when I go out I have a great time, and I believe men know I love men.  They vie for my attention and are usually in love with me with in a month….is that the kind of man I want to settle down with?  NO!  I am looking for that guy that takes his time to get to know me, as I do.  That enjoys my company and is looking for a lasting commitment the same as I am.  Not that guy hopping in and out of bed with who knows what and where, and I am looking for someone that isn’t a wierdo.  And trust me, there are alot of men cloaked in regular guy stats that are freaking wierdos!  And that has nothing to do with overlooking a mans foibles or egocentricities.  So where do they hide?
    You know, Mr. Nice Guy that has normal sexual appetites and works for a living and cares about family and friends and the state our country is in.  Sometimes I think he doesn’t exist except in the minds of women such as myself: hard working, stable, normal sexual appetite, maintains relationships with family and several close girl friends.  Keep talking Evan, we are listening and we are still looking!  

    1. 20.1

      The good looking, hot, charming men that you really want usually aren’t looking to commit from the get go. They just want to hook up first without any commitments or expectations and “see where things go from there”

      Attractive, high quality men are looking for physical intimacy from the start because to them that’s part of the process to get to know someone. And that doesn’t mean they are looking for booty calls or have one thing on their mind. 

      You might have to consider average looking guys if you want things at your pace and be in control of when sex and intimacy enters the equation.    

  21. 21

    Hello, I am a faithful reader. It is good advice not to concentrate on the negatives-something that I think I am prone to do as well :). At the same time I think it is challenging to create a “meter” for discarding some of the bad points as quirks or mishaps and to seriously consider others to be red flags. Because continuing despire red flags leads to heartache as most of the readers here know I am sure :) I am trying to go back to my dating history (a long series of dates that do not usually go somewhere deeper unfortunately) and I cannot even pinpoint one man that I think I judged wrongly. There are some real weirdos and sex-obsessed men out there and fighting with that continuously wears a girl down :)

  22. 22

    @Michelle 7

    So right you are. I want to share a funny first date story I was told.

    An individual was going on her first  date with a man she’d had coffee and dinner with, with mutual friends. They were planning on going skiing. Well they enjoyed the morning skiing, and lunch and set-off down the mountain.

    Unfortunately the lady really had to pee, so he stopped and said just squat in front of the car, so I know you are there. (He didn’t want her wandering off into the snow).

    So she pulled down her pants, squatted in front of the car and sort of rested her butt against the metal bumper bar.

    We all know what happens with metal, in freezing conditions.

    So there she was, pants down, with her butt stuck frozen to the car. After he came around and gauged the situation, it was decided that only warm liquid would remove her butt from the bumper bar. And there was only one form of warm liquid around.

    They eventually got down the hill safely and subsequently got married(okay that took a year or so).

    He said on their wedding “When a woman turns her head, while she lets you pee on her butt, so she can remove it from a frozen bumper bar…and then laugh about just kinda have to marry her”.

    Best 1st date story ever :) 

  23. 23

         I really love this info and it brings a lot of things to light.  I don’t think it has to be that difficult to decide what you will accept and what you won’t.  We all have needs and we all have wants.  Everybody is different in what those things are for them.  I just break issues into one of those two categories.  If I have a specific need that I just cannot live with or without then that’s a deal breaker.  There are lots of wants that I also have, but may never get.  These things are not deal breakers and I don’t focus so much on those.  If I can have my want, then great.  If not then that’s ok too.
          As for the last question in Evan’s post, I am in a happy relationship that has lasted 14 years now.  I definitely feel that it has lasted because I do feel appreciated.  I can only address this from the male perspective though. As a man, and I think most men would agree with me, there are really only a few basic things that I need that make me happy.  I like to be respected and feel appreciated.  I also like to feel that I am attractive(to her) and than I am smart.  These are simply basics that any man would love to have in his relationships.  I get to feel these things on a pretty regular basis, and that is why I feel my relationships has lasted.
         Most of this stuff has really only come to me with age.  I am 47 years old and have had enough experience to seek what I want.  I don’t want to offend any females, however I do think that many women have the the tendancy to be mothering to their partner.  This is not a bad quality and I think it’s that nurturing side of women that causes this. Shortly after I met the woman who is now my wife she began the “mothering”. I quickly recognized this and was very honest with her about what I needed in a mate/partner and that was NOT another mother! I have a mom, and she is the only mother I need.  My wife actually agreed with me immediately and it has been terrific ever since. There have been very few times that the mother in her has started to show through in dealing with me and I just openly remind her that I am a very capable adult male that already has a mother.
         Maybe these things seem to simple, but trust me, for the most part men are really simple.  My wife tends to those items that I mentioned above and it magically makes me want to try even harder to be the best husband I can be.

  24. 24

    Love, Love, Love this I was tending to be a bit critical of a man Im seeing and he is amazing then I zero on something stupid instead of loving what I see everyday !

  25. 25

    Very interesting article!  I will keep it in mind, but I think that it has to be balanced with Evan’s video “You don’t attract the wrong men, you accept the wrong men.”  I am fairly non-judgemental, but that trait became too important to me, and I couldn’t bear being seen as judgemental.  This meant I was constantly attracted to men who traits I couldn’t accept (but wanted to pretend I did) and whose core values that didn’t match my own.  Luckily I didn’t date all of those men, but I noticed that in a group of men, I gravitated to the ones who were not a good match.  I decided to do some work on myself to figure out why.  So now that my self-imposed dating hiatus is over, I plan to be pickier about who I accept, at least for a while.  Well, it’s not so much about being ‘picky’ as being self-aware, and having healthy boundaries. 

    But I think both the video and this article have one thing in common.  Whether you are too picky or too ‘nice’, the solution is to look inside yourself and figure out what is really important for your happiness, and what it trivial.  ‘Nice’ women need to stop passing the important off as trivial, and picky women need to recognize that not everything is important.

  26. 26

    @ Goldie #12:

    It’s not just you.  Both guys and dolls need to give each other a break.  For every guy who isn’t giving a girl a break for not having the body of a gymnast, there’s a doll out there who isn’t giving a guy a break for not being any taller than she is.

  27. 27

    Here’s a dating exercise (stolen from a blog) for women to help break the cycle of always finding something negative in a man:
    The biggest challenge is for women to re-adjust their approach to men. Women usually look for reasons to reject a man. They find the bad things first. This results in a lot of frustrated single women. To start the readjustment, I have this very simple mental exercise:

    Every time you see and/or interact with a man, look for something good about him. This includes online dating profiles.

    It can be something small.

    It can be something big.

    It has to be something.

    Perhaps you see a sweaty landscaper with stained clothes working hard at his job. What’s good about him? He’s working hard. That’s a very good thing.

    Maybe you have a male colleague who is not the most attractive of physical specimens. But you notice that he has a very nice voice and speaks very thoughtfully. Those are two good things.

    You meet a man socially who has a very weak chin and terrible fashion sense. Yet you see that he has beautiful eyes, broad shoulders, and a great sense of humor. Wow, three good things!

    You see an online dating profile with bad photos. The words, however, are well put together and are quite appealing. Good things, indeed.

    This doesn’t mean changing your standards regarding the men you date. It only means noticing the positive elements in men. That’s the exercise. Simple, no?

    Do this for a week. After the week passes, ask yourself this question: “Where are all the good men?”

    Guess what, you just spent a week seeing them with your own eyes.

  28. 28
    Marshall Hansen

    I find it refreshing when people say and do stupid or unrecommended things. I am a little “odd” in that I have a different sense of humor and I don’t like to hold back when I have something to say. If I’m out with somebody and I think it’s the right time to toss an ice cube in someones cleavage, I’m going to do it. If they are offended, they are not the person for me.

  29. 29

    Interesting blog post, and comments! Here are my observations and comments as a guy…
    (A) Goldie–if 80% of the men you went out with once are contacting you again, I’d say you are doing pretty well. Most guys who do OLD find it pretty darn hard to get a second date. As for myself, the dates seem to go well enough, kiss on the lips at the end, but then after that the girl just seems far less proactive as far a communicating with me.
    (B) My big reason for not calling a girl for a second date is that she didn’t seem to have a good time/be that interested during the first date.  Ladies, you’d do yourselves a lot of good if at the end of the date, you’d say “I had a really good time” OR if you send a text along those lines the next day (doing both might be a bit much though). BUT, I (and all of my guy friends) really don’t write a girl off for “little mistakes” like pet hair on her outfit. I am well aware that just as I am, she is a human being who is nervous too (which is actually kind of a compliment if you think about it), that she has made mistakes in her personal life. I have a few deal-breakers (cute, athletic, smart) that might be considered “shallow” but I screen for those before we go out. [Yes, intentionally misrepresenting yourself on your profile is not a “little” mistake, it’s a big one. Do that and I won’t even stick around for the first date.]
    (C) In light of my comments to Goldie in (A), *women* are usually the ones who are deciding that there will be no second date. Not always, but more than half the time. It often seems to me as a guy that you either (i) have a list of hoops that is “unreasonable” and if he doesn’t jump through those hoops, he is out, OR (ii) make your decision based on The Chemistry. Or that you do both! Evan is telling those who do (i) too much to lighten up and if he seems like a good guy, give the guy a second chance even if he did say something dumb, and he is telling those of you do do (ii)  to give the good guys a chance even if you don’t see fireworks after 90 minutes, and to run away from the smooth-talking loser who still lives in Mom’s basement.

  30. 30


    Just curious- where do you live? I’m in NYC and me and my girlfriends all agree that what you describe is the standard way MEN behave with women (ie, hoop-jumping, non-responsiveness, etc.) I think in areas where men far far outnumber women, this is inevitable.

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