You Have to Assume the Best In Men, Rather Than the Worst in Men

You Have to Assume the Best In Men, Rather Than the Worst in MenYou’ve been hurt by men before. You’ve been hurt bad. You’ve vowed to learn from the experience and protect yourself from that ever happening again.

And to protect yourself from being hurt by a man, you:

Choose not to date at all.
Try to make him earn your trust.
Pull away from a guy at the first hint of trouble.
Tell him your relationship goals on the first few dates.
Want to clarify where things are headed in the first few months.

Those are all perfectly rational. The problem is: the only thing you’re protecting yourself from is the possibility of falling in love.

If you’ve built up a layer of protection to ensure that you never get hurt again, no one can blame you. But you’ll likely find that there aren’t many men who are willing to fight their way thru your layers. You may think you’re scaring off the bad ones, but you’re likely scaring off the good ones, too.

Before I tell you how you can start to change this, I’d like you to take a second and see if this resonates with you. My client, Michelle, is a 48-year-old, never-married woman.

There are 50 million married men in the United States. Apparently, SOMEBODY wants a commitment.

She’s attractive. She’s successful. She’s got a big heart.

As far as I can tell, there are only 2 reasons she’s never been married.

1) She’s gone out with a bunch of commitmentphobic jerks.
2) She’s convinced that all men are commitmentphobic jerks.

No one is going to deny Michelle her life experience. It’s as real as the nose on her face. What her experience doesn’t encapsulate is the other side of the coin:

There are 50 million married men in the United States. Apparently, SOMEBODY wants a commitment.

There are dozens of men who have wanted to commit to Michelle that SHE didn’t want to commit to in return.

There are legitimate reasons why some men wouldn’t want to commit to Michelle. Without sounding too critical of my lovely client, here are 3 off the top of my head:

She’s fearful. Any man can tell that Michelle has got her guard up when he out with her. She gets nervous and quiet, like she’s on an audition, and isn’t her natural, playful self.

She’s volatile. Michelle’s hell-bent on not getting hurt, so the second a man does something that seems like a red flag (not calling for 24 hours, canceling plans at the last minute due to work), she overreacts.

She’s mistrustful. Because of all the disappearing guys, it makes sense. However, each new man shouldn’t have to pay for the sins of Michelle’s exes, no more than Michelle should have to pay for the sins of any of her dates’ former flames.

Because of these characteristics borne out of her negative experiences, Michelle inadvertently comes across as uptight, anxious and needy, as opposed to confident, fun and serene.

And it should go without saying that a lot of men are not going to stick around to find out what lies beneath. I would suspect you wouldn’t be too crazy about an uptight, anxious, needy man yourself.

I’m not saying that you are like Michelle, per se. I’m suggesting that it’s extremely normal to find yourself in her exact same position.

I don’t know you personally. But if you’re anything like most of my readers, you probably work a minimum of 40 hours a week. You probably have friends and hobbies and family. You’re probably really, really, wary of men.

And because of your previous experience, you do everything in your power to prevent the “wrong men” from getting in. You’re vigilant about looking for the signs. And you find them everywhere you go. As a result, you remain single.

Think of it like a visual metaphor.

You live in a house.

Mr. Right is walking down the street, trying to find his Ms. Right.

There are two houses right next to each other that look identical. They’re gorgeous, modern, spacious, well decorated, inviting. Except for one minor thing.

The house on the left has a 10-foot brick wall around it. The house on the right has an open door with the smell of chocolate chip cookies wafting.

Which house do you think Mr. Right is going to peek into?

It’s kind of a no-brainer.

Now you can make the argument that the RIGHT man would try to figure out how to scale your 10-foot wall.

A good man doesn’t need to break down or scale your wall. He’s just going to look for a warm, inviting, open door.

You can make the argument that the REASON there’s a wall is that there’s some crime in the neighborhood and you’ve been robbed twice before.

You can justify that protective wall in every way possible. But it doesn’t change the bottom line:

A good man doesn’t need to break down or scale your wall. He’s just going to look for a warm, inviting, open door.

To take it even further:

• A good man will not be able to find you if you’re working 11 hours a day.
• A good man doesn’t need to earn your trust if he’s never done anything wrong.
• A good man may have a number of characteristics that you might not like.
• A good man takes relationships seriously and can’t promise that he will know after a few months that you are destined for the altar.

And although I deeply empathize with you if you’re trying to avoid “wasting” time by trying to figure out the future before HE knows the future, just know that you’re sabotaging any real chance you have to form a real trusting connection.

You have to go in with a clean slate, an open mind, and a clear head. At any point, you have the right to determine that a man’s not the one for you, and he has the right to determine that you’re not the one for him.

That’s the dating process, for all of us.

Instead of trying to figure everything out up front to protect from getting hurt, give yourself to the process and let your man reveal his character over time.

Opening the door and assuming the best will make the good men gravitate towards you. Treat him as if he’s going to hurt you and he’s not going to want to stick around.

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Comments:

  1. 1
    mmeetoilenoir

    This is all well and good, but I think it’s also a bit naive. I know that I wouldn’t leave the door wide open in a bad neighborhood, for example…heh. 

    There has to come a time when you draw the line at excuses and bad behavior, though. I have a habit of saying exactly what Evan thinks works: “Oh, he just had to work. Oh, I need to be chill and not talk about expectations.” In return, yeah…the guy would turn out to be non-serious. He’d be lying, or not that interested. It didn’t work out.

    Granted, for the last year, I haven’t dated much as I set up a new life in a completely new city (a relationship simply isn’t a priority next to earning enough to live and finding a great apt), but I did date some. However, there needs to be more advice on WHEN to draw the line, and how to not walk around like some clueless Nancy when it’s a societal thing for many men to not show the best character or care of women. 

  2. 2
    Cindym7878

    Evan…I do believe that this is my issue.  I have been divorced now for six years after being married for 22.  I am determined to not fall for the wrong guy!! Once a few red flags show, I’m out of the relationship!  And I don’t mean little things.  No one is perfect.  But I feel that if I ignore seeing these flags, that I am being stupid like I was when I was 20 by only thinking how I was in love and everything will work out.  I want to get married again, but I am trying my best to make sure I pick the best one for me, so my chances of another divorce are lower.  I do fear the longer I go on like this, I will end up being alone. 

  3. 3
    ckay

    “And although I deeply empathize with you if you’re trying to avoid “wasting” time by trying to figure out the future before HE knows the future, just know that you’re sabotaging any real chance you have to form a real trusting connection.”

    This is a hard one…because a guy could be walking the fine line of relationship ambivalence and a woman may not know [until after she's made a significant emotional investment]. :-(

    For ex, she trusted the connection, and as a result allowed herself to open to how ever a relationship may form, but the guy just knows that he’s open to a relationship in the now [closed to the future].  I think that scenario is what a lot of us are trying to save our selves from.  The guys who won’t open themselves up to a “yes” to see however things may form, or those who are ambivalent or scared of the connection.  

    It is innocent for us women to not want to invest heavily in men who aren’t open and to be scared of getting caught out there in that space.  So, I guess the question a lot of us women would ask is:  how do you weed out the guys who aren’t open to ‘how ever’ things may go.  As you mentioned, it is def best to let the direction of the relationship happen organically, and u don’t want to bombard them w/ ur goals from the beginning, so this is all a bit confusing.    
     

  4. 4
    Sue

    Good post Evan, as I have some of these tendencies myself as a 30 year old. The only thing I’m really confused on is dating while assuming the best, versus keeping too high expectations too soon? For me assuming the best means that I know there’s a great man out there for me who will want to marry me and treat me well (as I will treat him well). But isn’t that technically having “expectations”? While I may not be asking a guy I’m dating where we’re headed in the first few months, I will still be assuming the best about him until he proves otherwise, which basically means to me he’s a potential life partner (key word potential). I guess I’m just confused at how to separate them…

  5. 5
    Katie

    It’s nice in theory Evan, but in reality, when there’s no wall, every idiot in the area seems to come running into the house for cookies.  I’ve gone in openly, trusting, believing the best…. many times…. and inevitably draw in men who aren’t emotionally available.  They’re not sure if they ever want to be committed to a long term relationship.  Or they’re sociopaths who have learned to say all the right things to draw in a nice girl, only to show their true colors months later. 
    How can we balance being open and trusting with not getting drawn in by unhealthy men?

  6. 6
    Babs

    I’ve been hurt so many times, betrayed by friends, and had all the reasons to close my heart from the world. But I decided to let go, I’ve met a few good friends, who have been with me thru thick and thin. The same with men. I have decided to let my guard down, but that does not mean I empty my head or ignore signs. Sometimes I think we even look for them, expect them. Yes, I think its good to let your guard down and stop being in control of the world. You need to expect the best out of everyone and everything, that includes men. Just becuse you have been disappointed or failed before doesn’t mean you should give up and expect the worst. 

    I’m letting my guard down and am expecting the best….out of everything

  7. 7
    SY

    I think what Evan has been trying to say in his blog and book is that it is reasonable for a woman to feel scared, and want to protect herself. But being scared is not effective in finding the right relationship.

    In theory I agree with what you say, Evan. However, in reality, I find it hard to do so. Just last night I felt jealous of my bf’s ex, how he took his ex on vacations but not me, how he wrote her poems but not me….I know, he was in a new relationship with her back then, I know he was not working while with her so probably had more time back then. I’m worried the reason he is with me is only because he cannot have her (she cheated on him after 2months of dating and broke up with him). I wanted to call him right away and ask him to give me assurance that he loves me as much as he loved her. But I thought of what you said, and bit my tongue. This morning, I still cannot get past the feeling that he loved her more than me, and I’m afriad one day I will not be able to control my emotions and let fear take over.

    He’s just like any other normal guy, wants to be considerate, but often forgetful. Forgets to call me sometimes when he is out with the boys and bad at planning romatic dates. Wants to get married someday, maybe in another 2 years, but not sure if I am the one- we’ve been dating for 6 months only. He definitely falls short from my ideal boyfriend, who will always thinks of me first, calls me all the time, showers me with gift and attention, and mention he wants to marry me by now…but when I think back and compared him to other guys I’ve dated (should I not? Since I should enter a relationship with a clean slate?) he’s just another average guy. When we have connection it’s great, but when he is doing his own thing and forgets about me for a little bit, I feel insecure and needy. I used to think I broke up with those other guys because they did not treat me well enough (not attentive enough, did not give all they can, should want to spend more time with me, etc) But being in several relationships that ended the same dissapointing way made me wonder, maybe I was the one with unrealistic expectations. Maybe I was too intense and needy that I drove them away. 

  8. 8
    nathan

    You know, I have to agree with those speaking to how difficult it is to let down one’s guard, assume the best, and be open-minded. As a man with a mixed bag of a dating history, including getting burned by women who weren’t ready for or available for committed relationships, it takes effort to drop off the cynicism and suspicion. I can do it, and I do it more now than in the past, but still, it’s not always easy.
    I think a main thing in learning how to distinguish being open and positive, with just becoming a doormat. I actually believe it’s just fine to set out your dating goals early on with someone, for example. In talking about my desire for a long term, conscious relationship, I have been able to weed out women who were either not ready for that, or who have zero interest in such a thing. You have to be able to present that kind of stuff while letting go of the potential outcome, though, because otherwise you’ll end up saying things to try and keep someone around, or to get rid of them quicker – both patterns I did in the past.
    Also, being trusting of others doesn’t mean that, for example, you have to invite a stranger into your home two hours after you meet him or her. You can maintain appropriate boundaries, and still view someone as being a good person worthy of consideration.

  9. 9
    KariB

    I think that most women need to be able to be with themselves so they can learn to like themselves before they can be with someone as a partner! Today that just doesn’t happen. It seems that women, young ladies, these days think that they are nothing without a man in their lives and Ladies….that is not true! Until you can love yourself for who you really are, be comfortable with yourself through being alone, then why look to put a man in the middle of that mess! Men want women who are comfortable with themselves, self-confident and who are not clingy, needy and in a hurry to be in a serious relationship. Until we can learn to love ourselves, entertain ourselves and be happy with who we are and not rely on a guy to make us happy…. then a relationship is the last thing needed! Just saying!

  10. 10
    NN

    I like men, I like how they think, so straight forward most of them. Not tortuous like most women I know.  
    I actually think I understand what most men think most of the time.. it is so easy: ”what you see, is what you get” – no more, no less – you just have to look and see, and listen without positive or negative prejudice. http://www.psychologytoday.com/articles/201104/6-clues-character

    I have no trouble thinking what men want of me.. I don’t distrust them, I am not easy to lead around, since I just have learned to listen how consistent they are. I don’t to build a future dream castle in minds eye about “soul mate”, as he is just a man with man’s interests.

    I guess my secret is that I am openminded but I actually don’t care either way, when I have zero sexual interest in 95% of them, therefore I see them as they are.
    And those few (5%) that actually are interesting, they are the same inside as the other men – no more, no less, and same rules of judging his character apply.

    So, why am I here reading this blog then?
    I don’t always agree with Evan, but he is a man, and I like how he thinks. =D.. it is fun to see and hear of his real life as he uses it as an example, and to hear what is his view of problems presented to him, even if he shows a bit one track mind in his replies.
    Other similar columnist whom I follow is Carolyn Hax from Washington post
    I almost always agree with her, and I think I learn more there, way more often than from Evan, but I also like some of other regular commenters here.

    I have not found a way to solve my problem here.. (it is that I don’t get smitten, and if I don’t get smitten, I get bored with the man after sex, and I get out when I feel suffocated as I feel I should feel something, and there is no more than liking in me for him.
    End result has been that “why bother with men like that in the first place?”)

    So these days I meet men mostly for social company - I may go out with a man for date once or twice.. the moment I see real emotional interest in his eyes, or an expectation of sex and I feel nothing in return, I am out, (if he is not sexually hot – what men in their 40′s seldom are. =/)

    No point settling when sex with doesn’t do it for me, recipe for misery for the man and for me..

    And unlike most women Evan say are writing to him here, I have been out regularly. Last week I put an ad about having a picnic and within a day I had one with a man I met for the first time. He was ok, but nothing more there and I have couple other men almost arranged to meet for a picnic later.
     
    Too bad it is almost certain that nothing comes out of any of them, none of them looked that lively in a picture.. but they might be good company for a picnic, as I try to have a good conversations about everything between heaven and earth.
    Some of the men might be the basis of new social network to me in this new town where I am now – if I stay here for longer.
    (Not that I am likely to stay here, most likely in 6 weeks I am gone to other pastures.) The summer is too short anyway, therefore now it is time to do, and enjoy the warmth of summer while it lasts.

    After 500+ first dates I have so many stories in my mind, that I have no idea who has told what, but even if I have forgotten the man in question, at least the some of the stories the men I have met, have told me still remain. =)

  11. 11
    Karl R

    ckay asked: (#3)
    “I guess the question a lot of us women would ask is:  how do you weed out the guys who aren’t open to ‘how ever’ things may go.”
    Katie said: (#5)
    “How can we balance being open and trusting with not getting drawn in by unhealthy men?”

    Let’s turn the question around.

    My first serious girlfriend cheated on me. How can I be open and trusting … and also ensure that I don’t get cheated on again?

    My second serious girlfriend had severe intimacy issues. She only wanted sex twice a month, and she put absolutely no effort into making the experience pleasurable for me. How do I find out whether a woman is frigid before I emotionally invest in the relationship?

    I dated several women in a row who had no interest in a long term relationship, but they enjoyed being treated to shows and restaurants. How do I avoid wasting my time with women who aren’t into me?

    ckay and Katie,
    Imagine going on a date with a man whose agenda upfront is to find out whether you’re fun in bed, whether you’re a cheater, and whether you’re into a serious relationship with him. And he wants to know the answer to those questions before he spends much time with you, before he emotionally invests at all, and before he trusts you.

    Would you find that man fun? Would you find him charming? Would you look forward to spending more time with him?

    I had to trust that my dates weren’t cheaters, and then find out in due time whether that trust was misplaced. I had to assume they were fun in bed, and then find out for certain when the relationship progressed to that point. I had to accept that I would end up spending a certain amount of time with women who weren’t interested in a relationship with me, because that’s part of the process of dating.

    There’s no way to stay open and prevent yourself from being drawn in by unhealthy men. If you discover that you have been drawn in by someone unhealthy, disentangle yourself and leave. It’s painful, but pain is part of the process.

    There’s no way to ensure that the man (or woman) is open to a long-term relationship. Therefore, you’ll end up in some relationships with people who are just in it for the short-term. When you discover that’s the case, leave (if they haven’t already left you).

    I got a lot better at relationships when I accepted that I would get hurt … and I would get over the pain.

  12. 12
    Erinlee

    I have to agree with Evan’s post.  Just because it isn’t easy to do doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try.  If you keep an open mind, open heart and show a man warmth, he’s going to respond positively to that.  A man is going to want that 2nd or 20th date because you make him FEEL GOOD.  If you are scared of opening yourself up to someone because you are concerned about getting hurt again, this completely changes the tone of things and how you appear to someone.  Bottled up, needy, nervous about the future, none of these things make a person want to get close to you.  As for a ‘deadline’ of when he SHOULD KNOW, this line does not exist.  People are far to complex for there to be a set of rules and timelines that will hold true for everyone.  I think this part takes some common sense and listening to your gut.  Does being with him feel good?  Are you happy with where the relationship is RIGHT NOW?  If yes, then don’t worry so much about the future!  Enjoy where you are at right now, let him pick his relationship tempo.  When he’s ready to move forward, he’ll let you know.  However, you shouldn’t wait forever on him.  Once again, how long is too long?  Use your intuition.  Your time is valuable and you know it, he should too.  If it comes to the point where you feel you must have some sort of answer, or promise of commitment, you have to be super careful with how you set up this conversation.  You can’t just blurt out a question you’ve been tossing around in your brain for weeks and expect him to come up with an articulate answer on the spot.  He’ll feel attacked, the walls go up, and you’ll be taking steps backward.  Start with a fun topic, bring up some fun times you’ve had together, get him feeling at ease.  Then, something like, “You know, I’ve really enjoyed getting to know you.  I’m very happy with where we are right now in our relationship.  I would like to get married and have kids someday so maybe if things continue to go well we can talk about that some time in the future.  However, I can only continue to date you if you think this is a possibility.”  This may seem upfront and a tad brutal, but really, he will appreciate your HONESTY in this NON-DRAMA fashion that doesn’t make him feel attacked.  It will also let him see that you know what you want but you aren’t forcing it on him.  You cannot assume that your perfect relationship is exactly what he wants too, that is unrealistic and selfish.  But you being upfront about what you expect puts it on the table for him, and let’s him know that you are being selective about whom you’re spending time with, and if he doesn’t fit the bill you’ve got no problem moving along.

  13. 13
    helene

    I think that the key to being open but at the same time protecting yourself is to do things in a stepwise manner, based on RECIPRICOCITY. 

    I have to say that I disagree with Evan that a man does not have to earn your trust – in modern, urban society, EVERYONE you meet for the first time has to earn your trust, whether that be a work colleague, neighbour or someone at your local tennis club. This is not to say that you start from a position of MIS trust, simply that you start from a neutral position – you neither trust not distrust this person. All the neighbours in my block seem perfectly pleasant, however I would not give all of them the spare keys to my apartment. The ones across the hall, whom I have known for 2 years and who collaborated with me on getting the stairway painted, I would trust with my keys. The ones downstairs, nice as they seem, who only moved in 2 weeks ago, I would not. This is common sense.

    With men, I think its about offering a little bit of trust and seeing what you get in return. He takes a step forward, you take a step forward. He takes another step. So do you. Proceed at HIS pace. If he is being a little open about his feelings, you should be a little open too – but no more than he is. Don’t change the subject, but don’t pour your heart out either. If he starts wanting to see you more often, agree to see him more often. Return the amount of trust and intimacy and openness he is displaying towards you – no more, no less. If he is illusive about what he does with his time when you’re not around, you should be similarly mysterious. If he doesn’t share his feelings about you or how the relationship is going, you shoudn’t either. One final thing I would say is to beware of men who press you for details of YOUR life/past relationships/hopes and dreams without actually sharing their own. Men like this can appear to be interested and good listeners, caring etc… but if they are pressing YOU to open up whilst not sharing any details themselves, THAT is definately something to beware of – men like that are generally manipulative and controlling, wanting to find out what makes you tick without revealing any of their own vulnerabilities.

  14. 14
    Selena

    @#13
    Makes perfect sense to me Helene.

  15. 15
    Judy

    ERINLEE you articulated this very well. Once again thanks Evan for more insight.

  16. 16
    pd

    @#13
    Makes good sense to me as well Helene.

    After reading Evan’s posts for about a year now if you apply his sensible rules, #1 being don’t sleep with him until he is your boyfriend, you can’t go wrong.
    Just don’t get too involved too quickly and wait to see what happens naturally.
    In my experience if a man is interested he will quickly show his interest and do all the things Evan says they do, ring you or contact you regularly, make plans in advance, introduce you to family and friends etc. My ex made sure he had me locked in after a month of dating. I didn’t have to do anything, he did it all.
    If he isn’t doing these things he probably isn’t going to be your boyfriend and that’s ok, not every man you meet is going to be ‘the one’.
    Give him that 6-8 weeks time to sort out his feelings and if he hasn’t stepped up to the plate just say goodbye nicely.

  17. 17
    starthrower68

    We have to use wisdom and common sense.  While I agree that we should see others in the best light in as much as that is possible, we do have a responsibility to ourselves.  It is a delicate balance.  ”Keep thy heart with all diligence for out of it are the issues of life. Proverbs 4:23.

  18. 18
    Bree Talon

    KariB #9 said Men want women who are comfortable with themselves, self-confident and who are not clingy, needy and in a hurry to be in a serious relationship. 
    I agree, AND I think women want men who are comfortable with themselves, self-confident, not clingy, needy or in a hurry to be in a serious relationship. Why shouldn’t we expect to offer qualities similar to those we hope for in our partner? Working on ourselves should be a constant process. Dynamic, healthy relationships come about for me when I’m the most self-aware; when I know I am putting the work into myself to be consious of my patterns, my behavior and my choices.
    Sadly the more I’ve had my guard up in the past the easier it’s been to push potentially great romantic relationships into friendships or just away. I don’t think I’ve ever learned much from playing things safe – it’s when I suffer and push my boundaries and wrestle with the feelings that come up from trusting someone that I grow, and offer the other person a chance ot see me.  
    This article really hit me close to home. It’s good to be reminded that our fortress keeps us safe, but isolated.  
     
     

  19. 19
    Michael17

    I’m a guy and I get what Evan is saying. You can be receptive and friendly, while keeping certain things private until he shows he has earned them.

    –When I approach a girl I haven’t met, I don’t expect her to give me her number 5 seconds into the interaction before she even has gotten a sense of who I am. But I do expect her to be receptive to me coming over to talk to her.
    –When I meet a girl for a first date, I don’t expect her to have sex with me right off. But I do expect her to be *receptive* enough to greet me with a smile and (maybe) hug me.
    –When a girl and I are dating, I don’t expect her to open herself up and give me the keys to her emotional garden 2 or 3 dates in. But I do expect her to be *receptive* enough to let me know that she is enjoying getting to know me.

    The problem is how you women go into dating. It seems to be either all or nothing for so many of you. You seemingly have to decide during the first date whether you have “chemistry” and if you do, you’re rushing into things because he is the rare man who makes you feel that way. You’d be better off, both genders would be better off really, if you gave it at least a couple dates before you decide whether something is really there or not. For starters you’d have more prospects which would make you less needy (and more attractive) and you might also make better choices in whom you keep around.

  20. 20
    Michael17

    Bree #18: Well-said. I’m a guy who has been meeting a lot of women and doing my share of dating. I really am making it a point this year to learn what I can about your gender for your sake and for mine as well. I want to eventually find one special woman. Until then though, I want to do well by the women I date. Hopefully we can stay friends.
     
    Anyway, to get back to what you wrote, I sometimes get shot down when I approach, and sometimes it’s in front of other people. I sometimes go on a date with a woman whom I’d really like to see again but she isn’t so keen on me. If I decided to just stop approaching and stop going on dates and maybe just make do with porn, I would save myself a lot of pain from rejection, and I’d guarantee that I wouldn’t make a fool of myself again in that regard ever. I wouldn’t achieve what I am hoping for in my life though, as you pointed out in your post.

  21. 21
    Zann

    Gee, it seems like everyone is making so much sense on this one. In terms of trust, it really does come down to common sense.  But I also think that maturity, self-acceptance and confidence in relationships only comes with age and experience. Put another way — the best way to get better at reading people and trusting your instincts about others is to keep getting out there and meeting new people, even if it’s awkward or uncomfortable sometimes, and even if it leads nowhere. The only way to become more relaxed and less fearful of hurt is to experience hurt (sometimes over & over again) and survive it in tact. We’re not as fragile as we think we are. If there’s anyone out there who has never been rejected, betrayed, or hurt by love, I feel sorry for them. Not to get all masochistic about it, but consider taking pride in your battle wounds, because you didn’t get them by sitting at home. You chose not to be that single person we all know who sits at home and is cynical and miserable but feels all self-righteous because she’s safe and unscarred — and yes, she’s the same one who tells you you’re crazy to even bother with dating…. especially on-line dating. Well sure, that’s one way to ensure you never get burned again, or betrayed, or disrespected. But in my book, that’s for lightweights.  

    But about the concept of “wasting time”….. I’m just as covetous of my free time as the next person, and there are times when I’m sitting across from a man for the first time, and it’s just not happening between us & find myself feeling resentful, and daydreaming about the billion other things I could be doing with this precious time. As Evan has pointed out at some point, as long as you’re there, you might as well make the best of it; and really, is time spent meeting someone new ever a waste of time? Even if it simply makes you more appreciative of …oh, I don’t know, the less obnoxious people in the world?   

  22. 22
    AS

    Loved the house analogy! In addition to painful experiences, I also believe that because people lead such busy life styles they do not want to ‘waste time’ with the wrong person, so they do not actually give people a fair chance at times.

    Michael 17 #19 – I think you make some great points, especially the all or nothing approach. I know I have been guilty of this in the past. I guess it comes from a place where you really want to meet someone and after finally clicking with someone, you just want it to work out. But if you end up suffocating the guy, he’s going to be heading for the door as fast as he can.

  23. 23
    jack

    I recommend that women read your post about how they may be passing up their soul mate without knowing it.
    The revelation that average women rate 80% of men as below average attractiveness is a big part of the reason that there are so many broken female hearts.
    When all they do is chase the most desirable men, then complain that they got test driven, it is hard to sympathize. When 60% of the women are crowding around 20% of the men, please do not be surprised that those men view you as an expendable commodity.
    But most women would rather gamble their period of youth and beauty in the alpha male casino rather than invest in a beta male business.
    But when their get rich quick plans fail to work out, they feel entitled to blame all men, forcing the nice guys to “earn” their trust.
    Sorry, but those girls can buzz off. I’m not going out of my way to compensate for their bad dating decisions. I’m already paying the price by having to date them after the best of their youth and beauty has been given to men that hurt them. I’m supposed to act supplicant for the privilege as well? Sorry, no.
    You need to own your bad decisions. If you’ve had your heart broken more than two or three times, then you are a girl who is dating out of your league and using sex to try to cement the deal.
    Maybe you should try apologizing to all the nice guys for ignoring them for so long out of foolishness, rather than expecting the nice guys to apologize for the sexual selfishness of the alpha males you lost out to.
     

  24. 24
    Sayanta

    Michael17

    Honestly, men do the same things you’re complaining that women do

  25. 25
    Sheyna

    It’s hilarious how many bitter men populate these comments. I’m sure those unattractive attitudes just ooze out of you guys in person — but the problem is with women and you’re just the ones to tell us alllllll about what’s wrong with us. 

  26. 26
    Bettina

    Jack @23: You sound kind of alpha, actually. Or are you the nice guy in the scenario you describe?

     

  27. 27
    Jennifer

    I’ve learned that trust has almost nothing to do with the other person and everything to do with you- in other words, you have to trust that you will be okay no matter how things turn out with the other person. It’s about trusting you, not them.

    That doesn’t mean you spend your free time jumping in front of obvious bullets; if a person proves themselves untrustworthy then you are right to get them out of your life. But trusting yourself to be okay regardless makes moving forward with your dating life a lot easier.

  28. 28
    Iris

    @ Karl R,

    “My second serious girlfriend had severe intimacy issues. She only wanted sex twice a month, and she put absolutely no effort into making the experience pleasurable for me. ”

    So eventually you left her for this? Sorry, hope I don’t come across as rude. Just that I am currently in a relationship very similar to this, and feel bad if I leave an otherwise quite good relationship over sex. 

  29. 29
    helene

    Don’t feel bad about leaving an otherwise quite good relationship over sex. Its the one thing that doesn’t respond to rational negotiation and compromise – it either works or it doesn’t. I left both my marriages, ultimately, because the sex was not in tune with the rest of the relationship, and the men weren’t interested in making it any better. A good relationship will ultimately disintegrate it that intimate bond isn’t there – don’t waste time on it. You can go to the movies or go skiing with other people if your partner doesn’t share your interest in these things, and that’s considered ok, but you can’t really maintain a healthy relationship and get your sexual needs met elsewhere… society, your partner and your soul won’t tolerate that….

  30. 30
    Margo

    Trust no one until their actions justify your trust-especially in dating.

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