Why Certain Men Will Never Do Well With Women – And What You Can Learn From Them

I’ve got a great story that I want to share with you today.

Even though I bill myself as a dating coach for “smart, strong, successful women”, I still maintain a few male clients.

I enjoy working with guys because, when they’re motivated, they’re hardworking and highly coachable. Plus, the men who gravitate towards me are usually “nice guys” who just need a little bit of an edge to succeed wildly with women.

In other words, most of my men are the one you should be dating in real life – the kind that are open to learning and growth and are willing to spend thousands of dollars to learn how to better connect with women.

The guy who called me today is completely different – and I had such an interesting phone call with him that I wanted to share it with you.

“James” tells me that he’s 30 years old, living in Seattle, working in IT. He sounds like a bright guy. A little angry, perhaps, but I’m used to getting clients who aren’t too happy with the fact that they’re reaching out to a dating coach.

James tells me that after focusing on his career for most of his 20’s, he’s been dating intently for the past year.

And it’s been TERRIBLE.

There isn’t a woman in the world who’d enjoy going out with a man who believes that ALL women are fickle and unfair.

It seems that whenever he goes out with women, they’re all so SHALLOW.

They never want to TAKE THE TIME to get to know him as a human being.

They’re all looking for magical CHEMISTRY and trying to figure out within 5 minutes whether he’s their SOULMATE.

The women he wants IGNORE him online, DON’T RETURN his calls after dates, and generally seem to want the PERFECT man.

As a result, James HATES dating.

Now, between you and me, it doesn’t take a dating coach to diagnose what ails James. There isn’t a woman in the world who’d enjoy going out with a man who believes that ALL women are fickle and unfair.

Still, I sympathized with James on the phone. After all, this IS his dating experience. It’s real, not imagined. And it’s normal to feel frustration when you can’t solve a problem.

I asked James what he thought that I could do for him. He mumbled something about helping him meet women who were different than the women he’s been dating.

I couldn’t hold back any longer.

“I hate to tell you, my friend, but the problem isn’t with all the women in Seattle. And dating coaching isn’t telling you where the “quality” women hang out. After 12 weeks of coaching with me, you know who’s going to be the same? Women in Seattle. As such, the ONLY thing we can do is change how YOU’RE approaching dating. Does that make sense?”

James paused for a second, gritted his teeth, and said, “I don’t want to change very much. The problem isn’t with me – it’s with THEM. WOMEN are the problem. I’m asking you to help me find better ones. Are you telling me you can’t do that?”

“What I’m telling you, James, is that you’re the common denominator in your life. And, logically, since I can’t change Seattle, or women, or Match.com, or anything else, the greatest shift is going to come in how you approach women, how you understand women, how you flirt with women, how you connect with women. But it’s about YOU learning, and YOU changing. That’s what yields the best, most long-lasting results.”

I can’t help someone who doesn’t truly want to understand, learn, and grow.

James and I aren’t going to be working together. And that’s fine by me. I can’t help someone who doesn’t truly want to understand, learn, and grow.

And the not-so-subtle reason I shared this story with you is to ask you to reflect on whether you have anything in common with James.

Do you think dating is TERRIBLE?

Are you frustrated that men don’t take the time to get to know you?

Do you get bent out of shape when men IGNORE you online, DON’T FOLLOW UP after dates, and generally seem to want the PERFECT woman?

Do you think that, if only MEN changed, you’d be in a happy relationship by now?

If so, I hate to tell you, YOU are the one who needs to adjust. Just like James.

You’re not “wrong” that men could improve in 100 different ways. You’re mistaken in thinking that men are going to improve. Your job isn’t to CHANGE men.

It’s to become the kind of woman who UNDERSTANDS men, ATTRACTS men, KEEPS men happy, and CHOOSES good men. This is the key to a successful relationship.

And no, it’s no different than how James needs to learn to attract, understand, and connect with women in order to keep them happy. Until he does, all he’s going to do is complain about YOU, and how unfair you are to him.

In reading this blog, subscribing to my newsletter and http://www.evanmarckatz.com/coaching/, you have a chance to learn something that will change your life.

The question isn’t whether this information can make a difference.

The question is whether you are going to be like James and continue to blame the opposite sex for everything.


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  1. 1

    Evan, how about a corny analogy here:
    It sounds like enrolling in dating coaching is a lot like learning to play an instrument. And it SHOULD be that way. You find someone who is a good teacher (good coach) and learn techniques to make you a better musician. If it’s playing scales, learning tricks to speed-read music, etc., you do it and trust that it will make you more skilled.
    The difference between music lessons and dating lessons seems to be that people take the latter too personally, like this guy James. “What? There’s something wrong with me?” And it shouldn’t be that way. It’s not something wrong with you. You don’t think there’s something wrong with you if you don’t know how to play the Mozart Clarinet Concerto right off the bat. And so it should be with learning how to be effective in relationships.
    Maybe part of the problem is not just that people take it very personally, but they also hear a lot of sketchy advice along the way because everyone thinks they’re experts at relationships – heck, even if they’ve never been in one. So those who seek advice don’t know whom to trust. It’s different with music. No one would attempt to be a clarinet teacher if they couldn’t play clarinet themselves.
    Evan, I can understand why every once in a while you may feel as though you’re swimming against the current. Taking advice too personally and a history of hearing both good and bad advice may be two reasons.

  2. 2

    Haha! Women in Seattle ARE terrible. I’ve lived here 16 years and that’s not changing. What James needs to do is what I did: play the Seattle game on ITS turf. He needs to get involved in the outdoors scene (me: skiing and mountain biking). Sadly, these are largely male-dominated pursuits. But in the end, he’ll feel better about himself, prioritize his needs instead of prostrating himself in front of a very fickle and dull Seattle dating scene, and make a ton of new friends who are active and fun…and know women who are active and fun.

    I go on 3-4 dates a week with women I meet all over town. Granted, these women are awful (any combination of boring, judgmental, too mannish, drink too much, don’t drink at all, not very well read, rude, late, etc.) But I never give up and I go into each date hoping to be surprised.

  3. 3

    dunno,  but, although I’m not too enamored with the pickins where I live either, I reluctantly have to admit to myself, “Wherever you go, there you are.”  and I think that, in a nutshell, is what Evan is saying in this post.
    It’s a huge waste of energy to try and put a whole demographic into a box.  The best approach I have found is to look at each date, no matter who it is, or how long it’s going on, as another opportunity to learn more about myself and better ways of relating.
    Seems to me that lots of people are looking for some kind of magic pill, but the truth is that once you even get into the relationship, there are always going to be conflicts, and we never stop learning and growing.
    I think that’s exciting!
    The journey and the destination are one and the same!

  4. 4

    James is the commom denominator in all of this. He needs to take some responsiblity for his part in his past, failed relationships. Sadly, I have met too many men like James in my life, one not too long ago.

    Nothing turns me off more, than a man who group all women together and don’t appreciate me as an indivdual.

    1. 4.1

      This comment is absolutely perfect. These guys are sort of complaining about all women in general, stereotyping them, and that’s why I personally would act the way they’re moaning about. Because of he way they act.

  5. 5

    Detha: technically, James has no failed relationships, unless you call a few (bad) dates a relationship.

  6. 6

    Smash #2

    <<Women in Seattle ARE terrible.>> <<I go on 3-4 dates a week with women I meet all over town. Granted, these women are awful (any combination of boring, judgmental, too mannish, drink too much, don’t drink at all, not very well read, rude, late, etc.) >>

    Why are you dating them then? 3-4 dates a week? Is that just about volume? Yes, some people are jerks, and some are nice enough, but we just don’t click with them. If you think a woman is too “mannish” why date her? Is it really that awful if someone doesn’t drink? Surely it can’t be that you know so little about every woman you date that each one turns out to be – surprise – an “awful”, “terrible” human being? 

  7. 7

    I’ve been fighting the temptation all day to forward comment #2 to all my Seattle girlfriends… somehow I doubt that every woman in a large West Coast city is “any combination of boring, judgmental, too mannish, drink too much, don’t drink at all, not very well read, rude, late, etc.”
    Don’t get me wrong, I live and date in a Midwestern city where most guys haven’t seen a book since high school… key word, though, is “most” guys, not all. After I moved to a different site, updated my profile, opened up to meeting guys who live 40+ miles from me, shorter guys, slightly older guys etc… fun, energetic, intellectuals suddenly came out of the woodwork :)

  8. 8
    Katarina Phang

    Goldie, I was told by a Seattle man I dated for 8 months that Seattle guys have turned into “metrosexual liberals.”  They have no balls, wishy-washy and can’t close the deal with women (they don’t pursue or do the “man” stuff anymore).  So I guess, I’m not sure about the causality though, Seattle woman becomes more mannish now to compensate this lack of drive of Seattle men.  

    And actually a friend on my FB, a Seattle woman, confirms this and complains about this also. 

    1. 8.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      This shouldn’t have turned into a debate about the merits of Seattle. The god’s honest truth is that I changed the city to protect the identity of “James”. Which just reinforces the point that it’s not the city, it’s the individual who is at the root cause of the issue.

      1. 8.1.1

        I also live in Seattle though, and I can also attest to women being pretty hard to please here. And please dont assume lack of results is due to a lack of efforts. 

  9. 9

    I think it’s always easier to blame the nebulous “them” than engage in any real self-analysis or improvement. Based on my experience and that of others I’ve talked to, dating is largely a self-fulfilling prophecy. If you think the Seattle dating pool stinks(btw, I have a few single girlfriends there who have similar complaints about the men), then you’re going to be looking for reasons to bolster your assumptions. If you think that there are a lot of great people out there, but you might have to date a few dozen before you find one that’s right for you, you’ll probably have an enjoyable dating experience.

    And in the end, all the complaints about the opposite sex are fruitless: you are completely powerless to change even one other person, let alone an entire population. You can however, make some adjustments to yourself that can make all the difference in your level of success.  

    1. 9.1

      Thank you for this comment. This is perfect.

  10. 10

    Funny how advice is always more palatable when it’s flipped to someone else’s perspective.

    On a separate note, Evan, you should check out the A&E 2004 production of Agatha Christie’s “Death on the Nile”.  I just watched it yesterday and actor JJ Feild is a dead ringer for you!

    1. 10.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      @KDC – Just looked him up. He’s got big ears and curly hair, but otherwise I’m not seeing it.

      Still, it’s better than being told I look like Jerry Seinfeld or Ben Stiller, which is what you get for being Jewish in Hollywood, I suppose… :)

  11. 11

    Evan, you’re hilarious. :D  I had suspected that you made up the city, but didn’t want to say anything. Seattle just got a gratuitous bashing today. (Sheesh, I always thought the people there were nice…)
    I think the first step in James’ case is to lose the anger and resentment. If you’re angry or resentful, that comes across so clearly when interacting with others, and it is so unattractive, even in business settings. It’s not effective telling someone he needs to stop being angry, though. This is something a person has to want to work on, on his own, through whatever means he can (meditation, counseling, practicing a more positive outlook, etc.).

  12. 12
    Saint Stephen

    I see guys who complain about not getting into relationship as those who deliberately or unintentionally limited their pool to a demographic confinement. Sometimes to achieve true state of happiness someone is bound to think outside the box- and be more open minded. Nothing guarantees that your sweet heart must be around you. your Cinderella could be in another country waiting for you (her prince charming) to come rescue her. Thank goodness we have international dating sites. Women from other countries are more realistic and will value James or other men more than those women in their demography. Is actually true that women wont change their unrealistic behavior, but you can import a woman with a realistic behavior.
    Personally i see nothing wrong with James. The problem is that nowadays women in the US need sufficient chemistry as a requisite to consider if there would be a second date.    

  13. 13

    Smash, you are the same as the guy Evan is referring to in this thread. You are “mirroring” so what you project is what is coming back to you !

    Change your thoughts and you will change your world.

  14. 14

    @9  Evan … too funny!! And so telling :)

  15. 15

    I love it!  A ton of battle-of-the-sexes content gets generated about the dating scene in Seattle and EMK reveals the OP wasn’t talking about Seattle, Evan just changed the name to protect the identity of the person writing the letter.
    I agree, it adds even more power to EMK’s point.   As far as dating goes people are too caught up in whining rather than doing what they *can* to deal with a less than spectacular reality to find solutions.

  16. 16

    @ St Stephen:
    “Women from other countries are more realistic and will value James or other men more than those women in their demography.”
    As a woman from another country, I’ve got a word of advice to you… if and when you ever talk to them, keep this thought to yourself. You’ll be glad you did.
    I had this phone conversation with a guy where all of a sudden he said: “I love Easter European women!” (red flag already, who chooses women based on ethnicity?) “They’re so appreciative of things they didn’t have growing up, that American women take for granted.”
    I instantly had that vision in my head of myself thanking him for things American women take for granted… “Wow honey, is that a hamburger? How cool! I never had that growing up! OMG, and french fries too??? I’m sooo lucky to have you” smooch smooch. Eh… no. Next. No one wants to be seen as a poor, third-world girl that can be bought with a handful of buttons and a glass necklace… just sayin.

  17. 17

    If you do what you have always done – without making any changes – you will get the results you ALWAYS get!  I agree that you/we cannot make any changes in others – or in the environment – or the world.  We can ONLY change ourselves. 
    Or we can change our way of looking at things.  Many prominent psychologists have stated in different language that “it is not the event that disturbs you/us but our perception of the event.”

  18. 18

    Goldie #18, if I really wanted to sweet talk such a woman, I’d show her the pickle. Maybe then she would be relishing me dipping my fries into her ketchup. Ha.
    Seriously, I would feel objectified too if someone were to say how much they love Italian guys or guys of a certain height or build or whatever. Is she into me for me, or am I just interchangeable with anyone else available who meets that criteria?
    Overall, very good thread. If a woman wants to be successful with men, she needs to get how we work (including the ways that don’t make sense to her) and use it. Men are probably not going to change, except maybe those of us who are on this blog. Similarly, if we men want to be successful with women, we need to get how you work, including the ways that don’t make sense to us, and use it. (And this is coming from a guy who has railed about how women “don’t make sense”.) Women are probably not going to change, except maybe those of you on this blog…

  19. 19

    Too true @Goldie…
    I’m American but it slays me that American men have convinced themselves that there are all of these starving, poor, desperate women in other countries who will forgive all of their faults.

    So you have plane fulls of paunchy, balding postal workers who think that young hot Russian(or other non-American women) women want nothing more than to marry them, b/c they aren’t “superficial” like American women.

    I saw a part-hilarious/part-sad documentary on the mail-order bride business, set up by a guy who did scoop up some young woman desperate to find a better life for herself and her child(the body language between him and his much younger, more attractive wife said it all).  So he now takes these middle-aged, less than average Joes to Russia to these “matchmaking” parties.  The men walk into a room full of women young enough to be their daughters, marveling at how they were all there to see and marry them.  The interviewer speaks to the girls in Russian during and after the party and they were wondering why the men were so old and were disappointed that there were not any young, good-looking men in attendance.  Some were on the verge of tears.

    So there is a fantasy created by men and sold to other men that doesn’t match anyone’s reality.  They do in fact believe that they can buy a poor, third-world girl by just showing up with a handful of buttons.  Even if you believe that story, it’s really gross that you’d want to exploit it…some of those girls were cringing when those men tried to touch, hug, and kiss them.  Why would you want to be married to someone who finds you repulsive? Just b/c she’s younger and “hotter” than what you can pull here?

    1. 19.1

      I just finished a 5 year relationship with a man who is now on a large number of the websites portraying himself as 13 years younger than he really is. He says he loves to go to places he never took me, even though I asked to go to these places. On one site he even says he loves to hold hands. I often had to be insistent because he was so uncomfortable with this. He is 74 years old and I am the first person he EVER held hands with!!
      From what I have learned by trying out internet dating, it is not uncommon for men to falsify their true selves in order to get a date. My brother even did this by claiming things that were absolutely not true.
      We women are expected to not only figure out how to weed these cunningly false people out but to have “game”??
      Personally, I;m too tired for this.
      I keep myself in good shape physically because I like the attention it gets me. But after watching all the game playing the internet and the POF attitude it has added to the dating scene, I have NO desire to date.
      GOOD LUCK to those who do……….

    2. 19.2

      Well, Ms. Nicole, you really fit the bill for an “American woman” with your comments.Since YOU and your local sisters do not want these guys, then do not date them and do not go near them ( you are SO far ABOVE them anyway). The more than 12,000 such marriages between American “misfits” and foreign brides will go on to the tune of a much lower divorce rate.Even if she is “cringing”, as you put it, she still hugs and kisses him because he is HER husband.

  20. 20
    Saint Stephen

    @Goldie (#18)
    Lol :) …. thanks for the advice- that was very funny. At least Now i know i shouldn’t have to broach it up in a conversation. 

  21. 21
    Saint Stephen

    @Nicole (#21)
    James is not an old man. He’s a young guy with bright prospects. And who says he should go for a starving girl from a third world country? Russia is a developed country. Europe and Asia are also fast developing continents. In such countries you can still find educated women with prestigious careers. The only difference is that such women don’t need much chemistry to consider a relationship and they don’t have a long requirement list that a man needs to score very good in ticking all off. 

  22. 22

    @Saint Stephen, nowhere in my comment did I mention the original poster, and considering that you aren’t from this culture,  and don’t understand a lot of things nearly as well as you think, so I’m going to leave things there and not try to argue with someone who understands nothing about where I’m coming from.

    Perhaps work on making sure you’ve properly understood what you are reading before commenting.  I know that it’s not always easy to capture the essence of what people are saying when you are doing it in a second language.

    I’ve been to Russia(and India too for that matter).  It’s not third world but it’s not “first world” either, for a variety of reasons that are really off topic for this thread.

  23. 23

    St Stephen

    Apparently you haven’t heard of Russian bride scams, where men are duped into sending money to poor Russian women, on the pretense that they want to travel to America to meet them, or need the money to pay for their internet connection, or for an ailing relative, etc. Sometimes the women are looking for a green card, and dump the guy after they get it. The women involved are not educated, nor do they have prestigious careers. I’ve heard a number of men on Match.com complain about being contacted this way.

    If a 30 year old with half-way decent looks and a decent job is meeting only women who are “terrible”. something is wrong with his judgement. He’s not screening properly, he’s not choosing women who really like him, or he is turning the women he meets off in some way. 

  24. 24

    @Saint Stephen (#23)
    But why should anyone force themselves to keep dating someone they’re not physically attracted to and have little chemistry with? Is it in hopes that it will come later? Why not just be friends instead then? And hey, if an attraction manages to form later down the road, then that’s great. Why force it, or act like actually being into the other person and feeling like you vibe well with them doesn’t matter for a relationship. Wouldn’t it make you feel bad knowing the woman you’re in a relationship with isn’t feeling you? 
    Also, would you be in a relationship a women you didn’t really have much chemistry with?

  25. 25

    I’m an Eastern European-American woman who gets hit on all the time by guys with Slavic fetishists – who are often deeply disappointed to find out that I’m American and not looking to be anybody’s fast track bride.

    @ St Stephen – Frankly, they don’t care about chemistry and that long compatability checklist because they care about your wallet and your American citizenship. If you like that better than being judged by your biceps or your ability to make conversation, fine, but don’t pretend it’s somehow superior to American women’s standards. 

  26. 26

    @ Ruby #25, yes, this happened to a friend of mine who had this obsession with Russian bride sites. I kept telling him that “Veronica”, that was emailing him, was probably some dude running a scam business out of his apartment, but he wouldn’t listen. Then one day, Veronica writes to him saying that she wants to come visit, and her aunt, who lives in the US, is paying for her plane tickets. There is only one problem – because Veronica’s aunt is not an American citizen, she is not allowed to wire money to Russia. So, Veronica continues, can you send me $3000 and my aunt or I will pay you back as soon as I get here?
    I told my friend that it took me six years to get my citizenship, and that, during those six years, I was able to send money to whomever I pleased, including my friends and relatives in Russia. He was so shocked and angry, he actually sent Veronica an email saying that he’s on to her/him/it. Hey, I’d tried to warn him all along…

  27. 27

    Goldie #28

    I’m sure “Veronica” seemed really nice, and was very pretty too. Good thing you were able to warn him!

  28. 28

    There are a number of reasons why “James” does not get a reply from womyn on-line. First, has he actually read their profiles and compared what he wants to what they want? This is a biggie; we get lots of contacts from guys that are in no way compatable with ourselves re. core values, family desires, type of relationship they want, our interests, etc. this is why so many of us get frustrated and give up. the dating sites also try and “match” you up w/ folks far, far from what you are looking for and often those that are 1000+ miles away (look at a map dudes). I am surprized by how many contacts I get from smokers, overweight guys (I am an ultrarunner), the politically conservative, guys into ski resort culture and/or motorsports, and those “recruiting” for a mommy for their kids from the last marriage. We get so many of these completely inappropriate “matches” that there is no way one can reply to them all (I get about a dozen to two dozen a day). Among other things, my profiles are very clear re. smoking, downhill ski culture, motorsports (I had a guy contact me from my mountain town that I had actually kicked off of my land because he was tearing it up w/ a !@## motorbike) that I am an environmentalist and Socialist and proud of it, I am waay too old to do the family thing, I am a very active person that believes that folks need to take responsibility for their health. “James” needs to read the profiles first.

  29. 29
    Saint Stephen

    @Nicole (#24)
    I know you never made mention of OP. I responded to your post because it related to my earlier set of comment.
    You said i misunderstood your comment (which i did not), secondly you quickly alluded English been a second language as the cause. I’ll only remind you that virtually every commentator (including Evan) in this blog have been accused of misreading/misunderstanding peoples comments.
    And by the way, you ought to know that i didn’t need to come from a culture to understand much about it. The world over (including those who had never been here) knows much about the American culture- given it’s stand in the World. Lol

    @Ruby (#25)
    What you said is true. but anyone who is serious and have what they call brains will definitely know how to weed out the Scammers from the serious minded ones. Though i never had Russia in mind (since they aren’t an English speaking country. And far from what you said many third world countries women aren’t starving or green card crazy the way folks like making them appear. I’ve traveled around, and what i see when i travel to Asian countries is the reverse case of American and European men migrating to settle with their Asian Wives. Women stepping up in education and work isn’t an American thing, is a global phenomenon. Infact a woman is currently the prime minister of Thailand, Denmark and if you go places in Africa you see women becoming Vice presidents, governors and senators. Truth is, most women in third world counties are more comfortable than you folks think they are. They might even be more comfortable than many American women… oh i digress.

  30. 30
    Saint Stephen

    It seems that whenever he goes out with women, they’re all so SHALLOW.

    They never want to TAKE THE TIME to get to know him as a human being.                                                                                              
    They’re all looking for magical CHEMISTRY and trying to figure out within 5 minutes whether he’s their SOULMATE.
    Talking about relationships, We all know that women are responsible for 90% of first date which doesn’t translate to another.  Is definitely odd if a woman is struggling to get into a relationship, not for a man. A guy who does everything right but couldn’t produce enough chemistry may likely not even get a second date. Average men struggle very hard in having relationship, the way strong successful women do. From the way I see it, a woman who complains about relationship must have dismissed many men. Which of course means there are plenty of single average men like James.   There is nothing wrong with an average guy like James who is finding it difficult to have a relationship. Rather it would be odd if he was a strong successful guy but still having the same problem.

    1. 30.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      I think it’s strange, Saint Stephen, that you’re taking the time to defend James, when James is a perfect example of what NOT to be like.

      1. 30.1.1

        If you look at how similar their POVs appear, based on their writings here … I for one don’t think it’s strange at all.

        JMHO, of course.

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