How Can I Stop Feeling Guilty After Breaking Off a Relationship?

How Can I Stop Feeling Guilty After Breaking Off a Relationship

This is going to sound weird and conceited and awkward, but please bear with me. I’m a 28-year-old man, and from what I’m told, I’m a “catch”. I’m well-employed, fairly handsome, and what my friends call “accidentally charming”. I’m incredibly lucky for everything I have in my life, so I’m not complaining about myself.

My problem? I can’t date normally, because the women I date get attached and I don’t have the heart to let them down. This has happened my entire life. There are women (who were then “girls”!) from fifteen years ago on through present day who consistently call me the one who got away, and it makes me feel awful. I’ve never once even briefly dated a woman who hasn’t come back days/weeks/months/years later to tell me that she “lost me”.

It makes me feel terrible, so I stick around in bad relationships. I know I do it, but I can’t bring myself to ruin another person’s feelings until I’ve been there long enough to start hating myself and my life more than I care about her. I’m in this cycle now – my current girlfriend is a sweet, kind, fun woman who’s utterly dedicated to me and who I can’t see myself with long-term. She’s been through many bad relationships, and to her, I’m “The Guy.” But I’m almost thirty and I know I don’t want to spend the rest of my life with her, so every time I’m with her, it’s bittersweet. What can I do to break this cycle and end relationships without lingering feelings of guilt?

Jay

Thirteen years ago, I dated somebody casually for about a month. Zoe. Lovely woman. Smart. Nice. Great sex. Different senses of humor and sensibilities. I didn’t see a future with her, per se, but I was definitely enjoying myself and thought she was, too.

Thanksgiving rolled around and I recalled that Zoe had lost both of her parents separately in the past year. As a guy whose father died at a young age, I was particularly sensitive to this issue, and even though I wasn’t her boyfriend, I called her on the holiday to see how she was holding up.

The second you don’t see yourself with your girlfriend in long-term, break up with her and let her find another guy who does.

I was just doing what nice, sensitive guys do, right? What I didn’t calculate was that, in taking that intimate emotional step, I pretty much induced this woman to fall for me. I was no longer the boy toy; I was suddenly acting like a boyfriend.

That’s why the second the conversation was over, I knew I had to break it off. And I did. In person. Upon which she said:

“I think this makes me like you more than I already did.”

“I hope this doesn’t mean we can’t have sex from time to time.”

Yes, this was one story in which doing the right thing led to a positive outcome. But the truth is, Zoe couldn’t handle our FWB relationship. We only got together one time after that.

I thought of this story when I read your letter, Jay, not because I doubt that you’re a “catch,” but because I find it almost amusing that you don’t know how to break this cycle.

If you’re going to feel guilty about anything, let it be that you’ve been wasting lots of women’s time under the guise that you’re too “nice” to hurt them.

Don’t get me wrong: you’re not alone. I routinely coach women who have trouble breaking things off from men. More commonly, I field complaints from women who date cowards like you who don’t have the spine to break up when you’re never going to marry her.

So there’s your answer, Bittersweet Jay.

The second you don’t see yourself with your girlfriend in long-term, break up with her and let her find another guy who does.

Doing so makes you nice. Not doing so makes you cowardly.

If you’re going to feel guilty about anything, let it be that you’ve been wasting lots of women’s time under the guise that you’re too “nice” to hurt them.

Sorry, but that’s not true. You’re just being selfish.

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Comments:

  1. 1
    B

    My immediate thought was why havent OP try to pursue girls he actually wanted to be with? Instead of cowardly dating girls who pursue him or girls he never wanted to be with in first place, just man up  and actually pursue someone you want. I’m the nicest girl around and feel absolutely awful and guilty when I end things…. but if I am dating a guy who I dont see myself with long-term or even next year, I end it pretty quickly. The relief to be single again and set someone free, outweighs any long term guilt.

  2. 2
    Sarah

    Sounds like a love avoidant whose ego seeks a superior stance to unconsciously defend against his fear of attachment…

  3. 3
    KK

    Better yet, Jay, show them this letter. That should do the trick. Lol.

    “This is going to sound weird and conceited and awkward…”

    Yeah, and delusional.

  4. 4
    Carolyn

    Yes. Easy. Done and done. Evan’s feedback is spot on. Jay, you are not being “nice” by continuing to date these women, you are being cowardly, as Evan said, and you’re also being completely self-absorbed, as Evan politely didn’t say. You’re so consumed with this image of yourself being a nice guy that you’re not looking at the objective reality of the situation — you’re stringing these women along and, quite literally, wasting their time,  while in your mind you’re playing out some mellodrama on repeat where you star as the too-good-to-be-true-nice-guy-who-got-away. I guarantee that once these women gain some more experience and perspective they will see it this way and not so much as you being the “one who got away” anymore. If you are really concerned with the other person’s wellbeing and happiness, you’ll break up with them as soon as you know you don’t want to be with them, as Evan said. Once YOU decide to stop playing out this self-perpetuating  scenario, you’ll find you “miraculously” stop attracting legions of women who “get attached” — funny how that will happen when you don’t continue to date them beyond the relationship’s expiration date!

  5. 5
    Stacy2

    Jay: from the bottom of my heart, you are exactly the type of guy who i absolutely despise. You’re a user, who uses these girls for sex, companionship and admiration and basically all of the perks that come with being in a relationship, while not actually being emotionally invested. You want to have your cake and eat it too. What’s worse, you’re not honest about it (cause if you were, there are actually women out there who want a once a week dinner friend and a fuck buddy). But no, you actually go out there and inflict this damage on women and you even have the audacity to try to claim the moral high ground on the basis that you “don’t want to hurt them”. These women don’t need your freaking charity. What they need is for the douchebag that you are to be gone from their lives.

    Go do some self-reflection on why nobody ever seems good enough for you  and stop inflicting your damage on women. Or don’t. But then – unless you spend the next 15 years of your life getting filthy rich – you’ll end up being that creepy 45 year old guy who still hasn’t found “the one” and is pathetically trying to hit on younger girls online, wondering why nobody sees him as that catch anymore. Which will be a very fitting punishment for the lifetime of crime.

    1. 5.1
      D_M

      Stacy2 darling, why the fire and brimstone. Jay could simple be a confused young lad who doesn’t know how to deal with his superpowers!!!! In all seriousness, Jay probably checks all the marriage boxes, but is not ready to settle down. He should let all the women that are interested know that marriage isn’t on the table. I suspect that would go a long way towards addressing his, “one that got away” issue.  I wouldn’t say that he isn’t emotionally invested, I think that he actually is to a point. I believe that because marriage isn’t on the table, he operates in the relationship liberation zone. He does all the things that women expect from a perspective husband, which enables him to rent head space.

      1. 5.1.1
        Stacy2

        He’s old enough to know…

        1) ..that “getting attached” –  actually is the point of a relationship. Ya know? So hearing a grown man cry out that those girls are “getting attached” when in a relationship is weird, to say the least. Meaning, as opposed to what?

        2) .. that lying is bad, simplistically speaking. He’s clearly lying to these women by not communicating his lack of any real feelings for them. We don’t know how much active deception is going on there, but “accidentally charming” suggests to me that quite a bit.

        And, in case you’re wondering, where do all those jaded women in their 30-ies come from- they are the ones that dated guys like Jay in their 20-ies. Of course it is their responsibility to weed out emotionally unavailable guys like him. That comes with experience! And by the time it comes, it is so much more difficult for guys like that to get past women’s guards with their bullshit. This is why men prefer dating younger women btw, who haven’t gotten that experience yet – easier to bullshit, nothing to do with alleged quest for “fertility and youth” as some would have us believe. But we digress…

        1. Shaukat

          This is why men prefer dating younger women btw, who haven’t gotten that experience yet – easier to bullshit, nothing to do with alleged quest for “fertility and youth” as some would have us believe.

          Or it could be because some younger women aren’t burdened with the same kind of toxic emotional baggage that results from several dysfunctional marriages and a jaded view of men.

          Of course, there are plenty of younger women with baggage who are unstable and insecure, and plenty of older women who are wise, emotionally healthy and confident. But the notion that men, outside of maybe a small predator class, are targeting younger women for the reasons listed above is deluded cookie-cutter style logic.

        2. Stacy2

          Or it could be because some younger women aren’t burdened with the same kind of toxic emotional baggage 

          Saying the same thing using sugarcoated terms doesn’t really change anything. Experience is baggage. Baggage is simply a derogatory term for experience, because experienced people are so “difficult” to be around (meaning: impossible to bullshit, take advantage of, undermine, send on a gilt trip, etc. who could deal with that??). One does not come without the other. Men are attracted to naivete, not the promise of “fertility” (considering most of them are petrified of knocking a woman up this claim always makes me laugh). Just freaking admit it, be honest for once… but no, no such luck.

        3. Tron Swanson

          “And, in case you’re wondering, where do all those jaded women in their 30-ies come from”

          I’ve never wondered that, because I’ve gone out of my way to avoid women with that attitude, and in that age bracket.

        4. ScottH

          Baggage is unresolved trauma, not life experience.  When people have unresolved trauma, it adversely affects their behavior and they usually don’t understand why they’re acting in the batshit crazy ways that they are.  Dealing with the trauma is called “doing the work” and most people who need to do it don’t do it.

        5. Shaukat

          Experience is baggage. Baggage is simply a derogatory term for experience.

          This is exactly the fallacy that can ruin relationships and lead to a bigoted worldview. Experience is being able to recognize past mistakes and identify troubling behavior to avoid making the same mistakes in the future. Baggage is when you erroneously generalize from your past experiences and assume the worst in entire groups or categories of people based on faulty assumptions and invalid arguments. A few examples:

          1). My husband in my previous marriage took advantage of my easy going attitude, thereby all men will take advantage of my empathy and generosity in the future;

          2). My ex-wife was selfish, never paid for anything, never contributed to our marriage, took me for everything when she divorced me, thereby all women are potentially gold-digging bitches;

          3). I was mugged in an inner city once by an unemployed black youth, better be hyper-vigilant around all black people now, never mind that there were other material circumstances involved

          It’s perfectly legitimate to use those past experiences to avoid specific types of people when you notice red flags, it’s completely illegitimate to go through life assuming that your bad experiences can predict the behavior of people irrespective of how they’ve acted. Based on the majority of your posts, it’s clear that you don’t generally trust men, assume the worst in them, and feel that if you let your guard down even a little you’ll be taken advantage of once again.

          And that’s the difference between experience and baggage.

        6. Stacy2

          Baggage is when you erroneously generalize from your past experiences and assume the worst in entire groups or categories of people based on faulty assumptions and invalid arguments.

          Erroneously generalize? Says you. I for one don’t generalize at all. Generalizing is counter productive since assholes come in too many shapes. But if I see red flags they will get nowhere with me and most are quite incapable of handling this.

        7. R.C.

          Bingo Stacy 2!

        8. SS

           

          “Your whole comment.”

          So true.

      2. 5.1.2
        Emily, the original

        D_M,

        He does all the things that women expect from a perspective husband, which enables him to rent head space.

        Either that or he really knows how to lay it down!   🙂

  6. 6
    Malika

    Hi Jay:

    While it’s easy to interpret your letter as being smug, you actually do sound as if you have a genuine problem with the fact that the women you date are getting attached to you and you never feel the same way. It also sounds as if you have never been with someone you were truly in love with.

    Are you one of those people who prefer the thrill of the chase but not actually the settling down part of the relationship? Maybe you know deep down that you have more adventures to live before you are able to open up to the right woman. Or you settle for a string of women on a first come-first served basis, instead of taking your time to meet the person you really want to be with.

    Either way, your only responsibility towards others is to be honest to the women you are dating at  an earlier stage than you are doing right now. The rest is up to you. You can date an endless string of women, either happy with the status quo (nothing wrong with being an honest happy bachelor!) or feeling mildly dissatisfied with the way the relationships always develop. Or you can look into the mirror and ascertain what is holding you back from being with a woman who truly lights your spark.

     

    1. 6.1
      Chance

      Finally, a reasonable comment.

    2. 6.2
      TevaMac

      Something strikes me a bit off about Jay.  Why would all his ex’s see him as the love of their life?  If I were to guess, I think Jay love-bombs his girlfriends, and purposely go out of his way to make them fall in love with him through charm, disarment and manipulation.  Then he realizes this girl is not what he is seeking “the one”  and it is time for her to go.  The guilt comes because he knows he made her feel otherwise, and made her feel like she was a Queen.  I am also willing to guess this happened quickly, and was not a slow buildup.  I am also willing to bet that after the relationship is over Jay encourages that they remain friends.  This will ease his guilt over the breakup and deception, and be a sort of halfway house for the abandoned girlfriends and they never get straight.

  7. 7
    Tom10

    Hi Jay
     
    I don’t actually think you’ve anything to feel guilty about. You’re dating grown women who have the capacity to make their own decisions. If you’re not offering what they’re looking for then it’s their responsibility to dump you.
     
    It’s not your fault that they lack awareness and abdicate their personal responsibility: it’s their fault.
     
    So as long as you don’t lie, future fake or make empty promises then you have nothing to feel guilty about. So stop feeling guilty.
     
    So go forth and multiply!
     
    “What can I do to break this cycle and end relationships without feelings of guilt?”
     
    Well you can either:
     

    Stop feeling guilty as you are doing nothing wrong,
    Stop dating altogether,
    Date higher-quality women who don’t pathetically hanker after unavailable men. Ouch! 

    1. 7.1
      Chance

      Excellent comment, Tom10.  I was about to write a response to Jay, but you’ve covered all the primary bases.

    2. 7.2
      Theodora

      I agree. His only fault/flaw in this situation is that he starts feeling guilty and delays the inevitable.

      So, Jay: break up with these women as soon as you realize you are not on the same page regarding the relationship and the future.

      If they still pursue you or consider you “the one that got away” after that, they are the ones who are pathetic and lack any sense of dignity and personal responsibility, so you were right when you couldn’t see any future with them.

      Women, including women in their 20s, are supposed to be adults and responsible citizens with the right to vote, to drive, to have a job and a bank account in their name. So stop treating them like Victorian maidens and don’t try to protect their feelings by delaying the inevitabile and being nicer than necessary. They are responsible for their own feelings.

      One more thing: never feel guilty when confronted with the usual shaming and emotional blackmail about being an avoidant incapable of emotional intimacy who will end up like an old lonely creeper blah-blah-blah. Leaving aside that this is usually wishful thinking with a dose of projection coming from bitter women who pursued but couldn”t get a man like you, men are always reminded they are not entitled to attention and sex from women. Which is absolutely true, but similarly, women are not entitled to emotional intimacy and “emotional labor” from men. Both sexes should strive to earn what they need.

  8. 8
    Christine

    Right on Evan–he needs to stop delaying the inevitable!  Unfortunately, there’s no way to completely avoid hurting her feelings.  However, at least an earlier breakup will waste less of her time.  I also think that she’ll be (relatively) less attached, earlier on, when she’s invested less time with him.

    Not to say that someone can’t develop an intense emotional attachment after short periods of time too.  But I still think spending more time together will make things even worse.  The longer he stays with her, the more she’ll get false hopes up that he wants something more (probably thinking that he must be really into her, to spend all this time with her).  No, there’s no “good” way to break up with someone–but an earlier breakup is the lesser of the evils, after less time and emotion invested in the relationship.

     

     

     

    1. 8.1
      Adrian

      Hi Christine,

      This was a good point. I have seen many men AND women force themselves to go on one more date or stay one more week with someone who they know they do not have any physical attraction for but the person is perfect in every other category.

      To the person that is unsure that one more week or one more date is to just know for sure that nothing will spark or develop. But to the person they are dating, it is another week or another date to fall for them deeper.

      1. 8.1.1
        Christine

        Thanks Adrian.  It’s never easy to break up with someone.  However, it becomes even more difficult the longer you wait.  Jay’s not giving anything to these women by postponing the inevitable.  All he’s doing is robbing them of the chance of being genuinely loved.  He’s also robbing himself of the chance to be with someone he’s attracted to.  As difficult as it is to end this, it must end since nothing good is coming out of it.

        1. Adrian

          True Christine, this is why no matter how harsh it sounded (I’ve been in Jay’s position) and how much it may have stung to hear; Evan was right.

          What Jay is doing is more cowardly and selfish than kind.

  9. 9
    KK

    I’ve never once even briefly dated a woman who hasn’t come back days/weeks/months/years later to tell me that she “lost me”.

    NEVER. NOT ONCE.

    Sorry. I find this highly unlikely.

    He’s 28. He mentions girls from 15 years ago. So he’s talking about 13 year olds (lol) he “dated” who (current day at 28) call him the one who got away. Must have made quite an impression in junior high! Puhleease!

    Me thinks there’s some serious exaggerations going on.

    1. 9.1
      Emily, the original

      KK,

      Me thinks there’s some serious exaggerations going on.

      I agree. Is he a young Richard Gere?

      1. 9.1.1
        KK

        Emily,

        Haha! Yes! I was thinking Dos Equis man. Cuba imports cigars from him. Mosquitos refuse to bite him purely out of respect. In museums, he is allowed to touch the art.

        Lol!!!

        1. D_M

           

          Y’all getting out of hand. “Stay thirsty my friends”

        2. Emily, the original

          KK,

          Mosquitos refuse to bite him purely out of respect. In museums, he is allowed to touch the art.

          LOL

          Why are there so many men who describe themselves and ladies’ men? Is that even statistically possible? Isn’t that a title women have to bestow on them?

    2. 9.2
      Adrian

      Hi KK and Emily,

      I disagree he could be telling the truth.

      If he always dumped them during the most intense phase of their attraction for him, and since he is trying to be nice (or always trying to appear as a nice guy) he most likely does not end the relationships in a mean, nasty, or disrespectful way.

      Think about it, in the lust stages you only see the other person’s good qualities-science proves that you are literally addicted to them. Add this to the fact that he is probably dating women who are not on his same level attraction wise and it is inevitable that these women will look at him as the perfect guy the SHE was not good enough for, or that she some how messed the relationship up.

      1. 9.2.1
        Emily, the original

        Hi there Adrian,

        Add this to the fact that he is probably dating women who are not on his same level attraction wise and it is inevitable that these women will look at him as the perfect guy the SHE was not good enough for, or that she some how messed the relationship up.

        Where in his letter does it say he is dating women below his attractiveness level? Most people, IMHO, have at least one person who hangs around the periphery who wants them but the interest isn’t mutual. But a whole gaggle of them? Not likely, unless he is extremely seductive and knows exactly how to push women’s buttons. (I am 45. I have known ONE man like this, and he was more than likely a sociopath. He literally had a huge fan club of young and old women alike, and after he left them, they all thought he was the love of their lives. It was sad.)

  10. 10
    Shaukat

    The fact that Jay actually feels guilty about his dilemma indicates clearly that he’s not some sociopath out to use women, but is a sensitive, self-aware individual who is attempting to sincerely reflect on what might he recognizes as a problematic pattern in his dating life. As Tom10 pointed out, as main flaw might be that he actually feels too guilty about his decisions. I really believe that if the situation were reversed, you’d have numerous female commentators assuring the OP that men aren’t ‘entitled’ to anything.

    Also Jay, if you happen to read Stacy2’s comment don’t take it personally. Her general opinion of men has been poisoned by her second dysfunctional marriage, which she’s demonstrated through countless posts on here.

  11. 11
    Adrian

    Hello Jay,

    This is advice is from one man to another (so no judgement or name calling); I think your problems would be solved if you only dated women who you actually felt attraction for.

    I am sure that the constant attention from women who are not in the same sexual market value level as you feels good, but it seems to leave you feeling hollow.

    If you crave chocolate cake but the only thing that you eat are carrots; sure if you eat enough then eventually you’ll get full but you’ll never feel satisfied or grateful for the carrots. Feeling full and feeling satisfied are two separate things when it comes to hunger and relationships.

    Regardless of what is continuously feed to us about personality and character being more important than looks, this is a great lie that many people are feed by well intended but mistaken relationship exports.

    Character, compatibility, shared values, and mutual morality are long-term traits we should look for in a partner; looks and sex appeal are initiators. It is not politically correct or accepted by society to say it; but you need to first find a person physically attractive before you even consider approaching them or accepting their approach of you.

    Now don’t mistake me! I do not mean just finding a woman who you just consider average looking or not unattractive. I mean you should seek a woman who you actually find attractive, hot, sexy, and you honestly desire her.

    My guess is that you are maybe a 7 out of 10 on the sexual market value scale but you perhaps unconsciously only date women who are 5 and below because of the level of attention they give you. Consciously you focus on character and personality which is a good thing, but without a base level of attraction you are pretty much just playing house with good female friends-and the additional benefit of sex.

    Read any comment section on any post within this site and you will see that many man struggle with finding women who know how to and desire to make them feel special during the courting phase. Many men and women think they are great catches and therefore never learn what it means to actually make a person they are dating feel special.

    Many women are so focused on qualifying a man through his level of courtship of her that they never consider that they should being doing things to make him feel special and appreciated as well.

    But!  There are still many women who do know how to make a man feel special and appreciated for his effort in courting her. A woman who is on your same level of attractiveness will enthusiastically smile and say thank you for your work in courting her, but a women who see’s you as being more attractive than she is will actively try to show you that she finds you attractive and appreciates your work in courting her (these are huge generalizations of course and some men are okay with just a friendly smile).

    I can see how it can be addictive to be treated as if you are special by a woman.

    My advice to you is to learn to be single for a while because you will have to search long and hard for the type of women that is as attractive as you or more so, that will give as much as she receives-but she is out there. Just reading the comments of many of our female regulars on this site proves that.

    Whether you are a 7 or whatever, find a woman on your same level who knows how to give you the attention you wish for. It will be more gratifying than getting hollow attention, praise, and even sex from dozens of women you have no real desire for.

    1. 11.1
      Stacy2

      I think your problems would be solved if you only dated women who you actually felt attraction for.

      Excellent advice! (seriously, it is)

      1. 11.1.1
        Chance

        He never said that he’s dating women whom he doesn’t feel any attraction for btw.

        1. Adrian

          Hi Chance,

          It is true that he did not say it, I am just basing my assumption off of the usual reasons a person would say this “always” happens to them.

          As Tom10 said, if he dated women in his own league or higher then would he not also have stories of getting dumped as well?

    2. 11.2
      Tom10

      I.e. Jay needs to stop dating “down” for sex/casual relationships and date higher quality women if he wants to break the cycle.
       
      Then when those women dump him he won’t be feel guilt anymore: he’ll feel bitterness, or anger or possibly regret that she was the one who got away! Lol.
       
      Which explains why dating the way Jay does makes sense: that way he can’t get hurt.

      1. 11.2.1
        Chance

        I think the most healthy relationships are the ones where the man is more attractive to the opposite sex than the woman.

        1. Tom10

          I disagree Chance; I think the healthiest relationships are the ones where the woman is more attractive to the opposite sex than the man.
           
          And it seems there might be some science behind it:
           
          http://www.livescience.com/7483-beautiful-women-marry-attractive-men.html
           
          “Overall, wives and husbands behaved more positively when the woman was better looking.”
           
          The husband who’s less physically attractive than his wife is getting something more than maybe he can expect to get,” McNulty told LiveScience. “He’s getting something better than he’s providing at that level. So he’s going to work hard to maintain that relationship.
           
          The finding “seems very reasonable,” said Dan Ariely, a professor of behavioral economics at MIT’s Program in Media Arts and Sciences and Sloan School of Management. “Men are very sensitive to women’s attractiveness. Women seem to be sensitive to men’s height and salary,” said Ariely,
           
          Admittedly I haven’t done extensive research here and I’m sure you might find studies which proof the opposite dynamic (i.e. when the man is more attractive) is statistically more successful; however, intuitively I feel that relationships work better when the woman is more attractive.

        2. Yet Another Guy

          I have to agree with you on this one. I was a gym rat in my twenties and early thirties, but I was a very smart, professionally employed gym rat. All of the women that I dated during that period were Barbies. The problem with most Barbies is that all they know how to do is take. My ex was the first woman I dated for whom I did not feel strong physical attraction. What I loved about her is that she made me feel like she truly wanted to be with me. I had never had a woman pick up the tab for anything until I met her, not even coffee. That completely blew my mind. Over time, I grew to love her, but I never felt the burning passion for her that I did for the Barbies.

        3. Chance

          Hi Tom10, I am not solely referring to physical attractiveness.  I am talking about overall attractiveness to the opposite sex based on all of the factors (and their relative importance – on average) that the opposite sex considers and values in a potential partner.  Since looks hold much more weight for men (as a % of the factors that are considered for attractiveness in women), then it makes sense that women are more physically attractive than their partners in most cases.  Similarly, it is intuitive that men would be smarter, more successful, and possess a stronger command of social situations than their partners (on average) since these are traits that women value more than men.

        4. Christine

          Interesting–does one partner necessarily have to be more attractive than the other?  What if they’re equally attractive?

          At least in my own observations, water tends to seek its own level, i.e. good-looking guy is with a good-looking girl, average guy is with an average girl, etc.  I rarely see a huge disparity in looks.  I wonder what becomes of those people?

           

        5. Emily, the original

          Christine,

          At least in my own observations, water tends to seek its own level, i.e. good-looking guy is with a good-looking girl, average guy is with an average girl, etc.

          It’s called assortative mating. It’s a subconscious thing on a lot of levels, but like attracts like. We date people who are similar to our attractiveness, educational level, mental health, etc.

        6. Barbara

          It definitely works best for me if the man I’m dating is considered by society to be less attractive than I am–not someone I find totally unattractive, just a man who I don’t think is “hot.”

          Those kind of men treat me like they are honored to be with me. When that happens, and the men are masculine, they start looking better and better the more we date.

          This is off topic: What I am struggling with is finding a man who is as I just described above but also is curious about what’s happening with me. It seems men start off asking me questions about myself and what I think–online, in email, on the phone, on the first date–and then, as we continue to date, they begin to only talk about themselves.

          I’m naturally curious; so I can ask a person questions all day long. But when I’m the only one asking them, the conversation is lopsided. Also, thanks to Evan, I’m getting better at realizing when a man is trying to impress me. So, instead of being irritated by his talking about his accomplishments as I would do in the past, I’ve become appreciative of the fact that he wants to tell me about them.

          I’m not talking about that. I’m talking about when the conversation begins to swing only his way, no matter how I try to re-balance it.

          I’ve gone on two dates with a man who is repeating this same pattern of no longer having balanced conversations with me like we did initially and, instead, making the entire conversation about him–for hours. Our second date would have been great if it weren’t for this.

          At one point,  I flat out asked “Is there anything you want to ask me?” He asked how long I’d been married, which I’d already told him. Then he returned to talking about himself. In addition, during his monologues, when I’d interject with a comment that tied into what he was saying but that was about something happening in my life, he’d be silent for a moment then start talking about himself again.

          He is a nice man. But I’m crossing my fingers that he disappears instead of asking me out again because, if he calls, I’m going to have to tell him I don’t want to see him again and why.

          Over the summer, I’ve had the same conversation with other men. One of them dropped what he was doing in the middle of the day to come by my house and swear he would “change” because he really wanted to be with me. The change lasted two days.

          I’ve come to realize this kind of change–being a give-and-take conversationalist–isn’t something you do because someone else wants you to do it. To change that aspect of your personality, you have to intrinsically want to do it. I believe Evan when he says if you can’t accept a man like he is you shouldn’t be with him.

          This listening bit is a deal breaker for me because it’s a skill my ex husband didn’t have and never developed and I never again want to be in the position of aching for someone else to change into who I think he should be–it’s not fair to either of us. A man deserves to be loved for who he is and as he is and I deserve to feel heard.

          I’m not discouraged. I know if I keep at it, I’ll find a man who’s right for me. I just needed to say this. If anyone has anything to offer regarding this, I’m all ears.

        7. Barbara

          This is a tag on to my off-topic comment about men who don’t ask me questions/listen to me. A man who doesn’t do things these isn’t only not hearing me. He isn’t seeing me. He doesn’t know me. Who I am is invisible to him. It’s a terrible feeling to be in someone’s intimate presence but to be unrecognized by them. This is why a man’s ability and desire to ask me what’s going on with me is a must-have for me. I will, of course treat him likewise.

      2. 11.2.2
        Stacy2

        In my experience (not so much personal as from careful life observations), karma invariably catches up with people like that. There will necessarily be a woman (“the avenger”) who’ll treat Jay the way he’s treated his girlfriends and will make him take his own medicine. He just hasn’t met her yet but she’s out there…

      3. 11.2.3
        Malika

        Who says they will dump him? If he is the catch he says he is, he should do just fine.

        I get the concept of dating ‘down’, but there is no guarantee that even they will stick around if their needs aren’t getting met. And, to use Adrian’s analogy, i would rather have short lived adventures and an LTR with chocolate cake level dates than (what are to me personally) a whole bunch of carrots.

        1. Stacy2

           i would rather have short lived adventures and an LTR with chocolate cake level dates than (what are to me personally) a whole bunch of carrots.

          You may reconsider your dietary preferences if one day you come across one of those chocolate cakes, and may be because you are feeling a bit down or on a rebound or what not, you just consume it without thinking about the consequences only to find yourself 10 pounds heavier, nauseous and depressed with nothing but chocolate crumbs on the plate to show for this experience. There’s something to be said for eating healthy.

      4. 11.2.4
        Emily, the original

        Tom10,

        Which explains why dating the way Jay does makes sense: that way he can’t get hurt.

        If you are always picking from the B team, then, yes, you are protecting yourself.

  12. 12
    D_M

    People,

    Please don’t go down the path of low quality, or whatever other disparaging descriptor you might want to use for women that cross Jay’s path. Jay is 28 and more than likely dating less seasoned women. I suspect that their lack of experience is probably more to blame than them being somewhat less desirable on the mythical hotness scale. Emotional attachment can touch the best of us, so don’t chastise the young ladies too harshly.

    1. 12.1
      Adrian

      Hi D_M

      No one is calling these women ugly or saying they are at fault.

      But truth is truth. Regardless of age or experience a woman will put up with more from a man she finds really attractive and a man will put in the bare minimum with a woman who he barely finds attractive.

      This site is mainly sought out and used by people who want more from a relationship than just an attractive face and sex body. But to deny that looks play a huge part in dating is a great disservice.

      If I tried to date a woman out of my league and she strung me along because she did not want to hurt my feelings, is it better for me to think it is her lost and then try to date another woman out of my league?

      Or is it better for me to realize that I can’t get women who are 9’s and 10’s? I am not as hot as I think I am so I should focus on the women who do respond to me positively. It is a bitter pill to swallow, but in the long run I will meet women who will be attracted to me and I will stop wasting time, money, effort, and emotions on women who do not find me equally attractive.

      D_M just because something is bitter and hurts our ego does not stop it from being the truth.

      ….

      KK’s got my back, if I every tried to disrespect women or belittle them she would karate chop me in the neck (^_^).

      You should know that the regulars on this site do not allow that.

      1. 12.1.1
        KK

        Adrian,

        Haha! I just saw this. Of course I have your back but I would never karate chop you. Maybe just pinch you a little.

        : )

  13. 13
    Jordan

    Hmm, I know that Evan says that he doesn’t pull punches on either gender, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone on here refer to a woman as a coward.

    So for consistency sake, I’ll do it:

    Women who “string men a long for dinners” but feel no attraction to him = coward

    Women who lie to “spare a man’s feelings” when she says she has a boyfriend = coward

    Women who won’t ask a man out on a date = coward

    Women who won’t pay for a date = coward

    Women who won’t pick a man up on a date = coward

    Women who won’t get down on one knee to propose = coward

      1. 13.1.1
        Sarah

        Gender equality *cough*

        1. Evan Marc Katz

          Gets you a tissue and glass of water like a true gentleman.

      2. 13.1.2
        Theodora

        For the sake of the argument: men who cook, clean, do the dishes – women.

        If we preserve ancient customs because they’re pleasant to the opposite sex, let’ s preserve other customs pleasant to the opposite sex. THAT would be, logically and intellectually, honest.

        (I’m a woman. Not a radfem – on the contrary, an anti-feminist, like all decent human beings who hate hypocrisy).

         

        1. Chance

          Men who change diapers = women

           

          Men who don’t register (but still shamefully vote) = women

        2. Evan Marc Katz

          Men who change diapers = good husbands. Time to update your dictionary from 1966.

        3. Evan Marc Katz

          Same thing to you: science says the happiest marriages are the ones where men help out with housework and childrearing.

          There is no contradiction between men planning and paying for the majority of dates (especially during courtship) and being attentive and helpful around the house as a husband. Get with the program instead of doubling down on anti-feminism.

        4. Chance

          My dictionary is firmly planted in 2016, actually.  The point of the comment is to illustrate how we live in 1966 when it benefits women, and how we live in 2016 when it benefits women.

        5. KK

          Chance said,

          “My dictionary is firmly planted in 2016, actually.  The point of the comment is to illustrate how we live in 1966 when it benefits women, and how we live in 2016 when it benefits women”.

          Au contraire. Men haven’t “benefited” from NSA sex? I don’t believe that was really popular in 1966. The same things you constantly, tirelessy, annoyingly accuse women of on here, ie: picking and choosing which traditions “benefit” them, you are guilty of as well.

        6. Chance

          I think NSA sex existed in 1966, but it wasn’t in the open.  Furthermore, I believe women actually like NSA sex in the right situations, but generally prefer to move away from that as they approach 30 and their need to cash in their biological chips in exchange for provisioning/protection becomes more pressing.

        7. Stacy2

          Sweetie, shouldn’t you be getting busy with cooking dinner for your husband and getting the kids tidy for the moment when he comes from his so stressful day job, instead of, you know, expressing opinions on the internet? Expressing opinions is our feminist thing to do, no? As a “traditional” woman, aren’t you just supposed to smile in a chagrin manner and endorse your husband’s views? How did he let you use the computer in your anti-feminist reality unsupervised? Oh horror.

        8. KK

          Chance said,

          “I think NSA sex existed in 1966, but it wasn’t in the open.  Furthermore, I believe women actually like NSA sex in the right situations, but generally prefer to move away from that as they approach 30 and their need to cash in their biological chips in exchange for provisioning/protection becomes more pressing”.

          Let’s ignore your anti- woman rhetoric for just a sec and stay on track. How exactly do you (men) benefit from what’s common in 2016? How do you benefit from what was common in 1966? If you don’t know, I’ll be more than willing to help you out. You’re views are hypocritical. We ALL choose what benefits us. We ALL choose relationship dynamics that benefit us. Neither sex has a monopoly on picking and choosing what we desire most.

        9. Chance

          KK, NSA sex has nothing to do with gender roles, gender-specific obligations, or gender-specific expectations.  You’re making an invalid comparison.

      3. 13.1.3
        Jordan

        Self independent women going after what they want = attractive

        1. Sarah

          Evan – women who plan, pay & propose have CEO energy, no?

        2. Jordan

          Why would a woman want to be with a man who doesn’t find self independent woman going after they want attractive?

          This is like when women say that if they approach some guys and the guys freak out or whatever.  Why would a woman want to be with a guy like that?  It would seem that the guy just signaled that he is incomparable with her and it is good riddance.

        3. Jordan

          I meant to say incompatible above.

      4. 13.1.4
        Shaukat

        I’m pretty sure (hope) Chance was being ironic. Leaving aside arguments focused on ‘effectiveness’ during the courtship phase, and looking only at logic, then it is clear that the above formula (women who plan, pay, propose = men) is inconsistent with the formula: men who change diapers = good husbands.

        Again, this has nothing to do with effective strategies or the intrinsic normative value of the two propositions.

    1. 13.2
      Barbara

      Jordan: Sounds like you want women to take on the traditional roles of men. I’ve done that in the past. It was a recipe for many a failed relationship. Evan showed me the error of my ways.

      But I do agree with you that women shouldn’t use men as meal tickets. I never understand why women who just want a free dinner don’t say so in their dating profiles. There are so many men online. I bet there are some lonely ones who’d gladly take a woman out for dinner just for the companionship and the possibility that she might decide she likes him.

      For men like this, the choice might be another night home alone versus a dinner date with a woman. It could be a win-win if the women were just honest about their intentions.

      Regarding a woman saying she likes another guy instead of simply saying “I’m just not into you”: I agree it’s cowardly. But women have told me they’ve done it because men refused to believe “I’m just not that into you.”

      Sometimes, I’ve tried to tell men why I don’t want to see them anymore but they didn’t want to hear it. They abruptly ended the conversation. When the situation is reversed, I much prefer to know the reason because I can use what the men tell me for my own personal growth–even if I don’t like hearing it at first. Just recently, my outlook underwent a major paradigm shift after a situation just like that occurred.

      However, sometimes men just “disappear” (hence the title of Evan’s book). I can understand wanting to take the easy way out but, to me, that too is cowardly.

      1. 13.2.1
        Tron Swanson

        I’ve often heard women say things along those lines, Barbara. “Oh, I tried to pursue men and ask men out, but it didn’t work for me, and it was a sign that it isn’t a good idea.” Many men pursue women and ask women out, and it doesn’t work for them, either. If they took it as a sign and stopped trying, they’d be celibate for the rest of their lives. But they’re forced to keep trying it, while women have other options. Let’s just state it in a gender-neutral way: asking people out and pursuing people doesn’t usually work for either gender.

        I’ve never really pursued women all that much, because it’s never worked very well for me. Believe it or not, my best relationships and FWB situations came about when women expressed interest first.

        1. Jordan

          One thing that women say is that if they pursue men, that the men get lazy and entitled.  Now I fully acknowledge that this can happen.

          However, no one ever acknowledges that it works the other way around too.  As if a woman who is getting bombarded with offers of free gifts, dinners, travel, flowers, chocolates, cash, and prizes won’t ever get lazy, entitled, or take anyone for granted.

          To me getting lazy, entitled, or taking someone for granted isn’t a gender specific issue.

        2. James

          Indeed there are many issues which should not be gender specific, for instance:

          “A man should never chase a woman because then how will he know if she is truly interested in him”
          “Women don’t respect anything easily attained so men should never make it easy on them by chasing them”
          “Women will say they like being pursued but they don’t really mean it”
          “If a man has to chase a women then that means she doesn’t want to be caught”
          “Men should play hard to get because women love mysterious men and don’t want men to be too easy”
          “As a man I am the prize and I am worthy and deserving of being pursued”
          “Women are nurturers by nature and they enjoy the thrill of gathering up men to nurture”
          “When a man pursues a woman it makes him seem needy and clingy, which is unattractive”
          “Woman are just lazy cowards and afraid of rejection – they need to “woman up” and chase men more”
          “A woman will always ask a man out if she is interested in him, unless of course she’s a beta, in which case he probably wouldn’t want her anyway”
          And finally, as we all know, “It’s just the natural order of things for the woman to chase the man”

          See what I just did there by reversing the genders?  Do these kinds of rationalizations seem kind of lame when they come from a man?  Well, they really don’t seem any less lame when coming from a woman.

        3. Evan Marc Katz

          Sounds like a guy who doesn’t do well with women and is projecting his resentment onto a blog for women. You already know the answer to your dilemma: man up instead of passively complaining that it’s too hard to pursue a woman.

        4. Tron Swanson

          Evan:

          I don’t see a “reply” option on your comment, so I’ll reply to my own and see if that does it.

          As for me not being a guy that does well with women…number one, does that somehow invalidate my opinion? And number two, my self-worth has nothing to do with women.

          Try this on for size:

          1. The only thing I want from women is sex.

          2. My ability to get sex has nothing to do with my intrinsic value as a person.

          As for “manning up”…that refers to antiquated gender roles. Women have mostly abandoned theirs, and I see no reason not to follow them. I certainly never enjoyed playing that role.

        5. Barbara

          TRON:

          You told Evan in reference to your gender-neutral stance regarding who pursues who–men or women–in order to have a relationship:
          The only thing I want from women is sex.

          If that was all I wanted from men, I’d pursue them 24-7-365 and most of them would gladly fulfill my requests for sex.

          But, as I said in my comment to Jordan, pursuing men has always been a recipe for failed relationships for me. That’s because I’m not looking to just have sex. As a younger woman, I wanted a long-term relationship and ultimately marriage. Now I want a life-long relationship and not necessarily marriage.

          Either way, men who had potential to form those kinds of relationship with me–not men like you who only want sex–have always retreated from me when I pursued them. So, thanks to Evan, I don’t do that anymore. As a result, my relationships with men have greatly improved.

          I just hope that you’re upfront with women from the beginning that all you want is sex. But, even if you are, some women will still interpret your statement as:

          “I think I only want sex from you but once I see what an awesome woman you are I’ll want to be with you forever. Just give me some time.”

          I can easily see my former self as being deaf like that when a man like you told me of his NSA intentions.

      2. 13.2.2
        Shaukat

        Sounds like you want women to take on the traditional roles of men. I’ve done that in the past. It was a recipe for many a failed relationship. Evan showed me the error of my ways.

        Honestly Barbara,

        What evidence do you have that there was any correlation between you taking the initiative in dating and the relationship failing? Do you realize that if men drew the same correlation you would never go on a date again?

        1. Barbara

          Over 30 years of evidence, Shaukat–since I was in my early twenties. If you read Evan’s advice on this blog, you’ll discover his philosophy about this. It’s what I’ve been following and it has transformed my dating experience.

        2. Barbara

          Also, Shaukat,

          I can’t control what men do but I can control my own behavior. “Traditional roles of men” isn’t exactly what I meant to say in my original comment. It would have been more accurate for me to say I’ve learned to not act like a man in my romantic relationships with heterosexual men. Evan has taught me this.

          It’s not about tradition. It’s about what is actually effective in helping me achieve my goal of having a life-long happy relationship with the kind of man I am attracted to–a masculine one.

          Since following Evan’s advice, I’ve gone on more dates in one year than I did in all the years prior combined and most of these dates have been fun. That’s a few decades of evidence–decades that included a 22 year marriage that ended in divorce–that my old way of interacting with men didn’t work and my new way does.

      3. 13.2.3
        Malika

        Hi Barbara:

        Regarding your question on the one sided conversations in an earlier comment, that sounds very familiar! I don’t think this is per se a male thing, as i know quite a lot of women who do it too. My mother once said that being a good conversationalist takes good active listening talent, and only a certain percentage of people have it. I remember disbelieving her at the time, thinking ‘Aren’t all people interested in the person they are talking to?’ But experience in the wider world proved her right.

        I would say that of all the dates that i have had in the past year, approximately 20 % were with guys who were only able to talk about themselves. Some were really only interested in what they had to say and wanted a girlfriend as a passive sounding board. Quite a fair percentage didn’t seem to have many close friends, and it seemed like an opportunity to vent (similar to people who don’t have many friends and therefore talk about their ex ad nauseum to their date, as they finally have an almost therapeutic outlet). One guy was a chef, used to working 24/7 in a kitchen where he doled out the instructions, and took his authoritarian style into dating. At one point stating ‘you are now dating me, so you will therefore LISTEN’. Hey, at least it made the waiter who was pouring our wine laugh. While a man with great qualities, I decided to free him up in order to make someone else happy : ).

        These guys are old enough to know what they are doing. One even flat out stated that he liked talking so much, that he would keep on talking even if the listener’s attention was wandering, and admitted that his listening skills were non existent. Points for self awareness and honesty : ).

        You are therefore not alone in wanting a guy to take an active interest in who you are as a person, to be interested in your inner world, not just your outer facade. It’s not an unreasonable thing to want, and you should hold out for the guy who is able to do so, without you prompting him. Some people claim that masculine men aren’t by nature listeners and you shouldn’t expect them to. Yet some of the most masculine men i have ever met were very interested in other people and were able to have equal conversations with everyone. My alpha male attorney uncle, a man you would expect to be all about self absorption, was famous for his listening ear and remembering details from previous conversations, and was even more popular with women than he would have been otherwise!

        Using the I have met someone else card is the easy way out. I, as many others, have only ever used it if i thought that it would be the only way for him to back off. It’s not a nice thing to do, but neither is telling a man repeatedly that you are just not that into him, only for him to think that he can negotiate his way into another date. Men are often told not to give up if they really like a woman. While that is certainly the case in many situations, a firm no thank you should be the sign that he needs to redirect his attention elsewhere.

        1. Barbara

          Wonderful points, Malika! I LOVE your uncle’s style. I want to be like him.

          Just before I read your comment, I was thinking there is no shortcut to it: The only way I’m going to find the kind of man who listens to me the way I want a man to do is by me truly becoming that kind of listener myself. I feel like this is the final hurdle on my journey to finding my guy. I’m determined to practice being a better listener with each person I encounter, starting right now.

          I’ll probably fail often since I lack the higher order lisrening skills I aspire to have. But even in the middle of a conversation, when I find myself monopolizing the conversation or zoning out, I can regroup in the moment and tune back in to the other person. This is what I am going to do.

          Thanks again for your comment.

        2. Barbara

          Hey, Malika.

          I told a couple of my girlfriends about this but I wanted to share it with you too–and you to0 Evan, if you get a chance to read all this:

          The guy I originally wrote about texted tonight (then he called me when I texted him that the conversation warranted a phone call). He wanted to spend Christmas night together. We ended up agreeing that after his dinner with his ex and sons (17, 22 + girlfriend) and my dinner at my sister’s with my ex, birth family, and kids (17,19,21) we’d spend and evening at my house that begins with the movie “A Christmas Story”, which we’ve both never seen.

          We had a great phone conversation about various topics for about an hour. It was a co-conversation like we had before our last (2nd) date. We laughed a lot.

          So, here’s what I’m thinking:

          Instead of throwing out the whole maybe-we-have potential-to become-a-relationship thing, I’ll behave differently than I did on our 2nd date and in the 2-month courtship that preceded my 22-year failed marriage to my ex.

          This time, rather than totally giving up on being heard, I’ll continue to light-heartedly invite myself back into the conversation instead of growing increasingly frustrated the way I became with this guy on our second date. I’ll just have fun and keep playing the way I would if I were playing ball game. In that case, I wouldn’t stop playing because no one was throwing me the ball. I’d keep trying to catch it and try to have fun in the process because I suck at ball games and “for fun” is the only reason I’d play at all.

          In any case, I feel hopeful that, even if it turns out this guy and I go nowhere, I’ll enjoy the lesson our date presents–and my first Christmas with romantic other who I wasn’t married to. Even if the only lesson I learn is that I’m capable of making out, having fun doing it, ensuring that they guy has fun too, and not having all-out sex just like I did in high school.

          That’s what I plan to do on date three (no all-out sex) since we aren’t a committed couple and I’m following Evan’s advice regarding no non-committed sex since everything he’s said has worked so far.

          I promise myself to feel okay and victorious no matter what happens.

    2. 13.3
      ScottH

      yours are pretty lame.  how about:

      women/men who try to break up over text message after a several month relationship=F’ing COWARD

      women/men who lie=COWARD

      commitmentphobes (either gender)= F’ing COWARD

    3. 13.4
      KK

      Chance,

      How convenient for you. You can engage in all the NSA sex you are able to. Then, choose to commit to or marry a woman who either does or doesn’t engage in NSA sex. Then… You can choose what kind of relationship the two of you are going to have. Do you want a more traditional relationship? Fine. Do you want a more egalitarian relationship? Great? A unique combination of the two? Perfect.

      There is absolutely nothing wrong with any of those choices. In fact, it’s how adults navigate their lives. But….. to claim that women pick and choose which traditions they want to keep and which ones they want to toss (as you have repeatedly) and judge them negatively for it is highly hypocritical because you do the exact same thing.

      1. 13.4.1
        KK

        Also, I disagree with this:

        “KK, NSA sex has nothing to do with gender roles, gender-specific obligations, or gender-specific expectations.  You’re making an invalid comparison”.

        NSA sex does impact gender roles. Like most societal changes, the trend is to swing from one end of the pendulum to the other and finally land somewhere in the middle; which is what I believe we will start to see more of in the future. NSA sex does away with the courting aspect, which logically makes gender specific roles, obligations, and expectations obsolete. Therefore, when one engages in NSA sex, they are simultaneously giving the finger to traditional gender roles, obligations, and expectations. Which, back to my main point… You LIKE NSA sex, but want to pick and choose what traditions you want to follow or do away with in relationships, which is NO different than any woman you criticize for doing so.

        1. Shaukat

          KK, that was one of the most convoluted paragraphs/arguments I’ve read in a while. If NSA sex obliterates traditional gender roles, then how exactly is one picking and choosing from specific gender roles when engaging in no strings sex? NSA sex is not a tradition; it’s not based on any societal script.

          Also, the 1960s marked the period of the sexual revolution. It benefitted women as well to be able to throw off the oppressive yoke which dictated precisely when it was societally acceptable, and under which conditions, for them to have sex (I realize you probably want to return to that era when female sexuality was strictly policed, but just accept that it’s gone).

        2. Chance

          You’re reaching, KK, but thanks for trying.

        3. KK

          Chance, you have yet to ever answer a direct question. So I’ll try again: Do you pick and choose which traditional roles / customs you want and ignore others?

        4. Chance

          KK, not when it comes to gender roles since they inherently involve an obligation on the part of the opposite sex.

        5. KK

          Shaukat said, “NSA sex is not a tradition”

          That’s the point. Decades ago it was unheard of. Most couples waited until they were married or engaged to have sex or they were dating (and oops!) ended up pregnant and then married because of that pregnancy. Women who slept around were seen as second class citizens. Therefore… NSA sex is a modern construct and people engaging in it are not following traditional gender roles. They’re following what’s acceptable in modern times. That’s fine. What I find hypocritical is to claim that only women pick and choose which traditional roles they wish to follow. If you’re engaging in NSA sex and decide to marry a traditional woman, that’s fine too. But don’t make the claim that you don’t also pick and choose which traditional roles you wish to follow and when.

          “(I realize you probably want to return to that era when female sexuality was strictly policed, but just accept that it’s gone).”

          You have no idea what I believe. You’re making assumptions based off of comments I’ve made regarding not wanting to engage in NSA sex because that’s not what’s best for ME personally or women, in general. I have no desire for anyone’s sexuality to be policed. That’s laughable.

        6. KK

          Haha! And now we have the side step.

          You have a girlfriend, right? You live together, right? Do either of you engage in any traditional gender roles? If not, are the roles reversed? Or is there a combination of traditional vs egalitarian?

        7. Theodora

          KK,

          not only casual sex has nothing to do with gender roles, but the first and most vocal advocates of NSA sex were women’s liberation movements, starting as early as the XVIIIth century until the 60s. They saw “free sex” or “free love” as liberation from patriarchal gender roles and obligations and a revolt against the idea that women should be chaste.

          So, I’m not sure why you accuse men of practicing and enjoying NSA sex: it’s a reality created and demanded by Women’s Lib (in combination with the invention of modern forms of birth control, particularly the pill).

          Besides, as Chance said, it’s pretty common for women to engage in NSA sex, particularly in their late teens-20s, the years of “exploring their sexuality”, when the world is their oyster. Then they change to “courtship mode” and “Woo me, I’m the prize” around 30 yo. This is not anti-woman rhetoric, just what a fact that can be noticed everywhere around us, including in many OP letters and comments of this blog.

        8. KK

          Theodora said, “I’m not sure why you accuse men of practicing and enjoying NSA sex: it’s a reality created and demanded by Women’s Lib (in combination with the invention of modern forms of birth control, particularly the pill)”.

          Accuse men? LOL. Not quite. I simply made an observation that Chance wants to deny. He is more than willing to engage in a modern day construct, i.e., NSA sex, and then bash other modern day constructs. His comments aren’t only anti- feminism (feminists are women’s lib right? therefore pro NSA sex), they are anti- female. So, it is hypocritical to say, “Yay! Sex! No strings”! And turn right around and say, “Modern women bad! They want too much. Traditional women bad! They want too much too. ALL women pick and choose between traditional and modern ideals. Unfair”! He is doing the EXACT same thing!!! Duh…

        9. Emily, the original

          Theodora,

          Just to add to your point: Women have NSA for two other reasons other than “exploring their sexuality.”

          1.) The sex is fantastic, and although they’d like more from that particular guy who’s providing this great sex, they’ll put up with the limitations of the situation because they know it could be years before they find this kind of sex again.

          2.) They haven’t had sex in a long time and someone passable shows up, and an NSA is all they want from him.

          Then they change to “courtship mode” and “Woo me, I’m the prize” around 30 yo.

          No, they start wanting a serious relationship and want the guy to put some effort into getting to know them. Why would you hitch your ride to someone permanently who didn’t make a concerted effort?

           

        10. Shaukat

          KK, you’re breaking your spine by bending over backwards to try and connect NSA sex to the selfish selection of specific gender roles. It’s not working.

          Let me help you out. It’s not hypocritical to date a woman who enjoys NSA sex and then marry a woman who is more traditional (even though there is no evidence to suggest that’s what most modern men do). It would, however, be  unfair if a man insisted that his girlfriend perform all the household duties while also suggesting that she should work full time because that’s what modern women do. Or if he insisted that all his be prepared while refusing to make a living.

          But whether two adults choose to engage in NSA sex has nothing to do with anything.

        11. KK

          Shaukat,

          Whatever.

          Chance said, “The point of the comment is to illustrate how we live in 1966 when it benefits women, and how we live in 2016 when it benefits women”.

          This is his big rant about women. He has said it often in many ways. My point was that he is a hypocrite. If you don’t get how it’s hypocritical to engage in modern day NSA sex and also want a woman to cook for you every night, for instance, I’m not sure I can help you. He’s not a hypocrite for picking and choosing how he has sex or what he does in relationships. He’s a hypocrite because he picks and chooses what traditions and what modern day conveniences he enjoys (again, not an issue, couldn’t care less) AND THEN complains that women dare do the same. That’s what makes him a hypocrite.

        12. Chance

          Shaukat, she’s being intellectually dishonest. There’s just no way she’s that stupid.  Even if what she’s saying made some sense, it’s based on a false premise because I can’t think of any traditional gender roles that I expect women to follow.

        13. KK

          Chance said, “Even if what she’s saying made some sense, it’s based on a false premise because I can’t think of any traditional gender roles that I expect women to follow”. 

          Now this is interesting considering this is one of your big complaints about women. If true, why do other people’s relationship dynamics bother you so much?

        14. KK

          Directly under Theo(dora) at 13.1.2

          Chance said, “Men who change diapers = women”
          Who’s being dishonest? LOL. You can’t think of ANY traditional gender roles you expect women to follow? Does changing diapers not count? May I extrapolate that you expect women to do all the diaper changing by that statement?

        15. Chance

          Holy cow.  You realize I was being sarcastic with that comment, no?  I was illustrating the hypocrisy behind the “women who call, plan, pay = men” comment by demonstrating how ridiculous it sounds when one reverses the genders and inserts a traditional female gender role in to the example.

        16. KK

          Chance said, “Holy cow.  You realize I was being sarcastic with that comment, no?”

          No.

          Was the following comment sarcastic as well?

          “The point of the comment is to illustrate how we live in 1966 when it benefits women, and how we live in 2016 when it benefits women”.

        17. Chance

          Nope.  The point is the same:  it is hypocritical to pick and choose which gender roles you want to remain in effect based on which ones work in your favor.  So, as I illustrated in the example:  while we consider it to be perfectly acceptable for men to adhere to the traditional gender role of call/plan/pay (benefit to women), we consider it ridiculous for women to adhere to the traditional gender role of changing diapers (again, women benefit from this convenient selective gender role erosion).

        18. KK

          Calling, planning, playing does benefit men. The men who don’t call, plan, play get passed over for men who do call, plan, pay.

        19. Chance

          KK, that same bone-headed logic can be applied to any gender role.  Doesn’t make them fair.

        20. KK

          Chance said, “KK, that same bone-headed logic can be applied to any gender role.  Doesn’t make them fair.”

          That bone-headed logic as you call it, is what us normal folks call reality. All the whining and crying and pouting and lashing out at strange women on the internet isn’t going to change it.

        21. Chance

          KK, you’re the most belligerent, emotional, and insulting person here, but you do entertain me.  Take care.

        22. KK

          That’s false, Chance. Since you are belligerent, emotional, and insulting, I find that quite comical. You just called Emily delusional. You insult Stacy2 every chance you get. You insult me constantly. You go on emotional rants about how unfair it is to be a man and how women are terrible for having reasonable standards and expectations. You make comments like, “Some men strategically utilize this social convention (myself included – for a short period of time)”, which sounds creepy and predatory. The TRUTH is you KNOW if you don’t court a woman, you can’t compete with men who do and it pisses you off!!! I find that absolutely hysterical! Your plight is very entertaining indeed, as is the death grip on your wallet. LOL!

        23. Shaukat

          KK, I was going to stay out of this recent spat, because quite honestly it’s getting boring, but you made a few points which I feel need to be rebutted:

          1). Just because something happens to presently be a part of reality, that doesn’t mean people shouldn’t speak out about it if they feel there’s even some measure of injustice involved in the tradition or social relation. Not too long ago, it was culturally accepted that women should be shut out of the labour markets, should perform all household tasks, handle all child rearing responsibilities, etc.

          2). “Strategically utilizing” the convention of courting is exactly what virtually every man does, even if they don’t call it that. No man (or almost no man) throws down cash on the first few dates because he gets a thrill from the act itself. It’s usually an effective strategy, it’s expected, and so to maximize the chance of a second date most guys will do it-for strategic reasons. In your previous comments you seem to suggest that men should just suck it up and court of they want to succeed in dating, so not sure why you’re now calling it “creepy.”

          3). Finally, it should be noted that courting only offers a strategic advantage to man if all else is equal. On its own it does nothing. If you want proof of that, just ask all the frustrated, bitter guys who claim that they do court but it doesn’t work, or all the heartbroken women who have been ‘used’ by charming guys who don’t court.

        24. KK

          Shaukat,

          1) Comparing an effective way for men to date or having an opportunity to have a relationship by courting doesn’t quite compare to women not being allowed in the workplace.

          2) Disagree.

          3) Agree.

          Boring and redundant indeed.

        25. Shaukat

          2) Disagree.

          Really? You’re suggesting that most men derive inherent joy from the act of paying for several dates, not knowing if it will even payoff or turn into anything?

        26. Callie

          I’m not KK but I do definitely know of some guys who enjoy the act of paying, of demonstrating they have the means, the power, the ability to do it. Who enjoy showing off, and enjoy the gender norms. Even if they don’t know if they’ll get “rewarded” for doing it, they like it because they like being able to do it. To living up to those societal expectations. It’s almost like a kind of role play or larping or something, lol.

          However this is why these men are just friends of mine and nothing more. I find that attitude to be . . . exhausting personally. But yes, I do think there are men out there who do enjoy the act of paying in and of itself.

        27. Evan Marc Katz

          Quick role reversal, Callie: would you enjoy paying for men who you’re not attracted to, who aren’t necessarily nice, compatible or interested in you? At what point might you get frustrated with the process. I say this as a guy who makes decent money and likes being the breadwinner (I just took 8 people on a Disney Cruise, travel included) – but finds spending money on iffy strangers out of “chivalry” to be merely the unfortunate cost of doing business. I don’t fight it, but I don’t LIKE it (especially if I don’t like HER.) I trust that if you had to pay for the endless parade of online losers you met, you’d be singing a different tune.

        28. Tom10

          @ Shaukat/KK/Stacy2/Chance
           
          For the record I, for one, am actually quite enjoying the banter between the four of you. Somewhere amongst the diatribes there are a few good points. Maybe just try tone down the pettiness!
           
          Re: women picking and choosing what parts of traditional/modern dating suits them I was initially convinced by Chance that women were indeed guilty of wanting everything their own way.
           
          However, KK did successfully counter-argue that men are just as guilty of the exact same thing. And I have to admit that she’s right: guys pick and choose behaviors and traditions that suit them too. And why wouldn’t they? So it’s unfair to singularly blame either gender for this.
           
          Ultimately, in a free country, it comes down to each individual. If you don’t want to court then don’t court. If you do, do. If you don’t want to pay for dates then don’t. If you do, do. If you don’t want to do NSA then don’t. No-one is forced to anything, therefore no-one should be complaining. Do what you want to do and leave everyone else do what they want to do.
           
          But Evan’s core focus is discussing and implementing effective dating techniques for women. And to this end, I can accept that it’s in women’s interests to observe and analyze the efforts potential suitors make. Effective dating techniques for men are besides the point of this blog.
           
          @ Shaukat
          “Really? You’re suggesting that most men derive inherent joy from the act of paying for several dates, not knowing if it will even payoff or turn into anything?”
           
          I’m equally incredulous.
           
          That said, I’ve seen quite a few older guys comment here that they actually enjoy paying for dates, as the culture from whence they come enshrines it as an inherent part of masculinity. They enjoy it as it makes them feel like proper men.
           
          For us younger guys, however, this belief holds no stock. We’re so engrained from birth with the concept of equality that continuing practices antithetical to this principle naturally irk us.
           
          So, again; it’s up to each individual to implement what they consider are the most effective dating techniques for them and to leave others do as they wish.
           
          Time will tell who wins! 🙂

        29. Chance

          Hi Tom10, tone down the pettiness?  Where do you come off with these unreasonable demands?!  I love KK’s responses to me, and to ask me to stop bringing that out of her is like asking me to give up my favorite toy;)

           

          But seriously, I did have one quick question. What are some common examples you can think of where men pick and choose gender roles based on what works for them?  NSA sex isn’t a gender role, but I can think of some others where men can be guilty of picking and choosing.

        30. Callie

          Evan – did you read what I wrote? Because if you did I don’t understand why you’re asking me to do a role reversal thing in order to empathise with men when I said I wasn’t interested in such men. All I was doing was pointing out there are guys out there who enjoy it. As for me personally, I actually really feel uncomfortable with men paying for dates, I’d much rather split the bill. And in fact I usually do, and if my date pays once I’ll pay for another time. I merely pointed out that I did know some men who enjoyed playing the role of “spreader of wealth” “payer of things” “old fashioned man who insists that his dates not lift a finger”. I merely pointed out that some men like it. That was all. You don’t have to ask me to hypothesize. I think it’s absurd that men in this day and age feel obligated to pay, that certain women insist men pay. If I was a man I’d find it confusing and frustrating. But you should know me by now that I go even further when it comes to gender roles. That I disagree with a lot of your gendered suggestions that men should do this and women should do that. Because I don’t personally follow gender norms (I must admit however your advice is affective, so long as one doesn’t mind indulging in such norms).

          So yeah, no need to ask me that question. I guess I’d like to ask you if you read my comments in good faith or if you glance over them and make assumptions without really reading their content? We are on the same side of this. I was just answering a question. Yet again you are presuming that am in favour of the thing I am describing. You do this so much with me. You assume if I talk about a woman wanting to wait to be physical that I like to wait to be physical. You assume that if I empathise with someone’s frustration dating I must be having trouble dating. And every time you are wrong. And every time I explain that it’s called empathy. I’m trying to explain to others the perspective of others because I think I’m good at it. Not because I have personal experience with things. KK called me a bad actor a few weeks ago, but regardless, my ability to put myself into the shoes of others must be somewhat effective if you so consistently think I’m talking about me when I’m not.

          All I said was I knew men who enjoyed paying. And followed up with saying that behaviour wasn’t my preference in men. And I think I was VERY clear in that too quite frankly.

        31. Evan Marc Katz

          So you know, Callie: this blog is not my primary job or focus. It’s a free service I offer to readers to work out my thoughts, stimulate debate, educate, entertain, and potentially reach new paid clients. Ultimately, if you’re not going to buy my books, programs or coaching, I’m not that concerned – this is just another comments section filled with intriguing mental masturbation.

          As far as your question about my reaction to your comment, let me be clear:

          I don’t read all the comments.
          When I read the comments, I skim them: mostly looking to edit out personal questions that hijack the post or personal attacks that lower the discourse.
          Honestly, I didn’t even read your full comment before typing this. I read the first two lines because I don’t have the desire to get into a long debate with you about your comment.

          We all have limited attention and focus and we all have to prioritize. While I’d love – in theory – to pay attention to each and every comment as if it was the most important thing in the world, this blog hit 100,000 comments this past week. Not all of them are the most important thing in the world to me; they can’t be. My focus is on people who are interested in my products/coaching; not in making sure every single individual commenter with an axe to grind feels 100% heard and validated. I called you out for insulting language; I’ve done the same to others before.

          So please, continue to read, continue to argue – but when you do, focus on the content of the disagreement instead of name calling and character attacks. I try not to micromanage this space as you can tell – so plenty slips by, but I will call out and police trolling as I see it. Hope that all makes sense do you and that you appreciate how much time I DO give to this largely fruitless endeavor of being at the center of this inane battle of the sexes, where both parties show a remarkable inability to admit their flaws and concede the validity of the other side’s point of view. From my vantage point, you’re all right in your complaints about the opposite sex and you’re all wrong when you focus on those complaints instead of focusing on yourself. This comments section is robust, but becomes rather eye rolling when you’re a neutral party.

        32. Shaukat

          Somewhere amongst the diatribes there are a few good points.

          Tom, as someone who always looks forward to your posts, I’ll accept your backhanded compliment;)

          However, I have to take issue with a few of your other points:

          Ultimately, in a free country, it comes down to each individual

          Yes, but you have to keep in mind that individuals are always operating and acting  within larger cultural and social contexts, which place strict boundaries on what is considered acceptable and permissible. To take one example, it’s called ‘going Dutch for a reason. If a woman in the Netherlands decides that she’s going to walk away from any guy who doesn’t pay for the first few dates, she’ll have a tough time finding a man who does accept that script. It’s the opposite in North America.

          However, KK did successfully counter-argue that men are just as guilty of the exact same thing.

          I’m sorry, but I missed that part. KK’s argument seems to be that if a man engages in NSA sex with a modern woman, but then marries a traditional woman, he’s picking and choosing convenient gender roles. I wouldn’t have anything in common with a man who does this, but it has nothing to do with what we’ve been discussing. This is not an example of selectively honing in on convenient gender roles, because presumably this hypothetical man is engaging in NSA sex with a woman who wants to engage in such behavior, and then marrying a different woman who is happy taking on a more ‘traditional’ role (however, this man would be a hypocrite if he were to start railing against the morality of NSA sex).

          In other words, it only becomes hypocritical when you attempt to impose two different sets of standards in the context of the same relationship. The example I gave before: A man who insist that his wife perform all the household duties/tasks while also insisting that she work full time and pay half of all bills like a modern woman.

        33. Tom10

          @ Chance
          “Where do you come off with these unreasonable demands?”
           
          Ha, don’t tone it down so *shrugs*. It’s just that when a valid point is delivered with a swipe or snarky tone its merit is diluted.
           
          Either way I enjoy the back and forths. 🙂
           
          “I did have one quick question. What are some common examples you can think of where men pick and choose gender roles based on what works for them?”
           
          Well I meant guys can now pick and choose which traditional/modern norms they wish to follow and those they want to disregard:
           
          –          Traditionally, promiscuity was frowned upon. Now guys can choose to get married or be a slut and no-one cares.  
          –          Traditionally, if a guy impregnated a girl the cultural norm was that he would then marry her. Now there is no obligation/pressure to do so. Guys are now free to impregnate whomever they wish without opprobrium (admittedly only to an extent).
          –          Traditionally, men were expected to be the household breadwinner. Now we can choose to be either breadwinners or househusbands.
           
          @ Shauket
           
          Cheers Shauket. I value your opinions as well. 🙂
           
          “you have to keep in mind that individuals are always operating and acting  within larger cultural and social contexts, which place strict boundaries on what is considered acceptable and permissible”
           
          Okay I accept that to an extent: though we are individuals we are constricted by the boundaries of the environment in which we operate.
           
          But as cultures go (and I predicate this with the acknowledgement that I don’t live in the US), America is one of the freest and largest in the world, thus individuals there are afforded more freedom than most other places to operate as they wish; there ain’t many places globally with fewer boundaries in which to operate.
           
          However; there’s no over-arching autonomous body prescribing and enforcing those boundaries, which means that they’re only set by the sum of the individuals who operate within the environment: each individual has the exact same power to influence/stretch or enforce them.
           
          So as much as you believe that women in North America enforce the norm that guys pay for dates, it follows that men in North America have equal power to change this norm. This is why singularly criticizing either gender is imbalanced analysis.
           
          As I said time will tell which way the zeitgeist goes.
           
          “it only becomes hypocritical when you attempt to impose two different sets of standards in the context of the same relationship. The example I gave before: A man who insist that his wife perform all the household duties/tasks while also insisting that she work full time and pay half of all bills like a modern woman”
           
          But in a free society no-one gets to “insist” on anything. Men are now free to be as hypocritical as they wish and look for women who will work full-time and still do all the household duties if they want/can. But women are equally free to reject such a proposition.
           
          Similarly, women are free to insist that guys earn and contribute more to the household as well as change diapers if they want/can. But men are equally free to reject such a proposition.
           
          Which is why lambasting the hypocrisy/unfair demands of the opposite gender is pointless: you have as much power to reject each societal standard as they have to enforce it.
           
          Ultimately it comes down to what each individual wants to do and his/her ability to realize their desire. Which is why we’re all here trying to improve our skills and understanding. 🙂

        34. Chance

          Hmm, I haven’t found Callie’s comments to be insulting at all (unless they have been deleted).  Perhaps there is some confusion between her and another commenter who likes to bully and badger (with a hearty dose of histrionics) everyone who says something she doesn’t like?  I do understand that it can be easy to get posters mixed up, though.

           

          I’ve always enjoyed Callie’s comments.

        35. KK

          Hi Shaukat,

          You asked, “Really? You’re suggesting that most men derive inherent joy from the act of paying for several dates, not knowing if it will even payoff or turn into anything?”

          From my own experience, I’ve never felt that any man I’ve ever dated ever did anything begrudgingly. They’ve always seemed to enjoy their time with me and also enjoy the traditional role of courting and paying for dates. That being said, I’ve never done online dating and I’ve only dated men who asked me out. So maybe that’s part of it.

          If I really like someone, I might ask them to come over for dinner after the second date or so. There’s no strategy or hidden agenda involved. It’s a genuine desire to do something for someone I like. It might take me several hours to get everything I need and prepare for dinner. I’ve never thought, gosh, I spent a lot on that bottle of wine. He better be “the one”. Lol. That’s just ridiculous.

          I’m a very generous person and I really appreciate others who are generous too. So if I were to think (or find out) that a man I was dating had the attitude of one of the commenters who is so anti-courtship, I honestly wouldn’t even waste my time. I do realize that guys dating online are taking a risk over guys that have already met someone in person that they’re already interested in and want to date.

        36. Callie

          Evan – I get it, I do. But . . . can’t you just apologise? Like why did this have to turn this somehow into my having done something wrong. You want to police trolling, I appreicate that. I REALLY appreciate that because so many website owners don’t do that and just let things go horrible in their comments section. But I wasn’t trolling. And you know that now. And you admit you only read the first couple lines and made a mistake assuming I was. So why can’t you just say something like: “Hey Callie, so here’s the situation, I don’t always read the full comments. I don’t have the time. 9 times out of 10 I’m right about the gist and it works. But sometimes it doesn’t. And I’m sorry. You weren’t saying what I thought you were, you weren’t tolling, and I apologise.”

          I don’t think it’s right of you to get frustrated with me for not liking that you misrepresented me because you didn’t read my post. That’s weird. You didn’t read my post, you replied making an assumption. You were wrong in that assumption. I did nothing wrong here except correct your mistake and explain that I didn’t say what you thought I said. And you admit that you didn’t read my post. So basically . . . yeah. You made a mistake. It happens. I get why the mistake was made. I don’t take it personally. I appreciate the explanation. It makes sense not to read every single word especially if usually you get the gist correct. That still doesn’t make me wrong or make my response to you wrong.

          So yeah. I get it. But I still think it’s weird that for some reason you’re annoyed with me for calling you out on doing the thing you admit to doing and for wanting to be understood and not misrepresented by you.

      2. 13.4.2
        Shaukat

        I was illustrating the hypocrisy behind the “women who call, plan, pay = men” comment by demonstrating how ridiculous it sounds when one reverses the genders and inserts a traditional female gender role in to the example.

        I generally agree with you on this Chance, but I will add this caveat: it’s unfair to lay the blame solely on women for this double standard. There’s no doubt that women in general enjoy being courted and like it when the man pays for the first few dates. However, the reason this tradition has endured for so long is because there is no shortage of men who are willing and happy to pay and court in this manner since they feel it gives them a strategic advantage in the dating game. For example, I have a friend in New York who works in finance, and he once told me that he insists on paying for dates because he wants to convey the message that monetary value is one of the things he brings to the table.

        In other words, the only way this tradition will eventually begin to erode is if modern women start internalizing the belief that it’s outdated and intrinsically unfair, the same way modern men have largely internalized the belief that leaving diaper changing to women in intrinsically unfair;)

        1. Chance

          Shaukat, I agree with you.  Men share just as much blame in their participation.  Some men strategically utilize this social convention (myself included – for a short period of time).  However, other men participate in this (and other harmful social conventions) out of fear of the shaming tactics applied to enforce compliance (e.g.., man up!).  Plus, many men don’t fully understand the negative impact that gender roles play on their lives because it is so deeply embedded into our reality.

        2. GoWiththeFlow

          Shaukat,

          Diaper changing/caring for one’s child isn’t all drudgery, and I hope Dads are doing it for reasons other than an “internalized belief” that leaving all childcare to women is intrinsically unfair. It’s an important way for fathers to bond with children and let the baby know early in life that they can trust Dad to care for them.  And it illustrates an important point:  There isn’t only one reason why people engage in certain behaviors, it’s multi-factorial.

        3. Stacy2

          What a load of BS. This tradition will end when men begin to actually value, for real, the same qualities in women that women value in men. (This has nothing to do with such trivial tasks as diaper change). When men begin to value women for their education, earnings potential, accomplishments, etc. first and boobs and how well they stroke men’s ego – second, then and only then there will be true equality in dating and relationships. Men have nobody but themselves to blame for this state of affairs.

          Women want to be with strong men, but men don’t want to be with strong women. Men like weak women who they can dominate and feel good next to. It is true for mostly all men. Here, we can generalize. So, your crocodile tears are not fooling anyone. If you want a weaker woman, prepare to play your stronger role. If you don’t want to play your role, prepare to have your balls busted from time to time. You can’t have your cake and eat it too, and you can not expect women to act in a way that most men don’t appreciate.

        4. Shaukat

          @GoWiththeFlow

          You’re absolutely right. In fact, the point I was making was that rigid gender roles and socialization prevent both men and women from engaging in behaviors and practices that they would actually find highly satisfying if they ignored or challenged societal pressures. Diaper changing is one example, but there are others.

        5. Chance

          Stacy2,

           

          Women just tell themselves that men don’t like strong women to make themselves feel better when a man isn’t interested in them.  I can assure you that men are attracted to strong women.  If you are finding that strong men are not attracted to you, I’m pretty sure that the fact that you are strong is waaaaaay down on the list of potential reasons for why this is the case.

        6. Stacy2

          Chance:

          no, men are not attracted to strong women, in fact they despise them. Strong women (and men, strong personality types in general) are opinionated, argumentative, self-absorbed, not nurturing, not good listeners, not very empathic, frequently very direct etc. And all these qualities are anathema to most men. No, men love their women soft, nurturing, agreeable, they like to be made feel special and manly even when their biggest accomplishment is changing a light bulb. This is just the truth and no amount of your attempts to deny it is going to change it. Just because there are a few men our there who deviate from this rule doesn’t negate it.  Now I do just fine with men, thank you- and it’s precisely because I understand exactly what they want that I am able to do so.

        7. KK

          Stacy2,

          What Chance said to you was rude. Shocking (sarcasm).

          But I disagree with your assessment of what a strong woman is. You can be opinionated and have firm boundaries and also be loving, kind, gentle and nurturing. Those last 4 qualities don’t make you weak.

        8. KK

          Tom gets it!

          “Well I meant guys can now pick and choose which traditional/modern norms they wish to follow and those they want to disregard: –          Traditionally, promiscuity was frowned upon. Now guys can choose to get married or be a slut and no-one cares.  –          Traditionally, if a guy impregnated a girl the cultural norm was that he would then marry her. Now there is no obligation/pressure to do so. Guys are now free to impregnate whomever they wish without opprobrium (admittedly only to an extent).–          Traditionally, men were expected to be the household breadwinner. Now we can choose to be either breadwinners or househusbands.”

          Thank you, Tom, for being the only male on here (this post and particular point) to acknowledge the truth. : )

        9. Shaukat

          Tom gets it!

          I disagree with both of you here, and though I stated why in a different post, I’ll try to clarify my arguments.

          First, while great progress has been made in the erosion of certain gender roles (a good thing) there are still many limits to this progress. For example, the idea that any man could simply choose to be a house husband free of stigma, and with a high probability that a spouse would accept this, is not at all true (hence, I think Tom’s example is a bit erroneous). Moreover, despite the sexual revolution, women are still stigmatized to a certain degree for having casual sex (just glimpse the comments by KK and Stacy2 on this topic).

          Thus, cultural boundaries still place limits on what any individual can choose to do. When it comes to courting, usually the only way a guy can get away with securing sex without engaging in this tradition is if there is massive chemistry on one side. I must admit, I’ve taken advantage of such situations in the past when they presented themselves.

          At any rate, the point I was making was that the hypocrisy enters into the equation when someone insists on contradictory gender roles in the context of the same relationship.

        10. Tron Swanson

          I’m thrilled to hear that, Tom & KK. So, both men and women can flip-flop between gender roles: women can have a career or choose to be financially-provided-for stay-at-home moms. Men can have a career, or choose to be financially-provided-for stay-at-home fathers, or randomly impregnate women via modern casual sex…except there isn’t much demand for (or attraction to) househusbands, and men now have to pay for those illegitimate kids.

          Women can go 100% traditional and be financially provided for. Maybe men should be able to go 100% traditional and not have to pay child support for their illegitimate offspring? That’s how it was in the old days, after all, and women still like keeping parts of the old days around, so we should be able to do the same thing.

        11. Shaukat

          Tom gets it!

          I disagree with both of you here, and though I stated why in a different post, I’ll try to clarify my arguments.

          First, while great progress has been made in the erosion of certain gender roles (a good thing) there are still many limits to this progress. For example, the idea that any man could simply choose to be a house husband free of stigma, and with a high probability that a spouse would accept this, is not at all true (hence, I think Tom’s example is a bit erroneous). Moreover, despite the sexual revolution, women are still stigmatized to a certain degree for having casual sex (just glimpse the comments by KK and Stacy2 on this topic).

          Thus, cultural boundaries still place limits on what any individual can choose to do. When it comes to courting, usually the only way a guy can get away with securing sex without engaging in this tradition is if there is massive chemistry on one side. I must admit, I’ve taken advantage of such situations in the past when they presented themselves.

          At any rate, the point I was making was that the hypocrisy enters into the equation when someone insists on contradictory gender roles in the context of the same relationship.

        12. Tom10

          @ KK
          “Thank you, Tom”
           
          You’re welcome KK. 😉
           
          @ Shaukat
          “the idea that any man could simply choose to be a house husband free of stigma and with a high probability that a spouse would accept this, is not at all true”
           
          But do women not face the same dilemma? They can’t unilaterally choose to be a house-wife either. Except that they can: they simply have to find a guy willing to accept the deal.
           
          And it’s the same for us: if we want to be a house-husband we simply have to find a woman willing to accept the deal. There are women out there who would.
           
          Now, if a grown adult wants to live a life being supported by someone else they’ll most likely need to make a compromise on chemistry in order to do so. Whereas women struggle to come to terms with this reality, men won’t even countenance such a proposition.
           
          So it comes back to each individual: if a man wants to be a househusband but can’t realize this goal it says more about his deficiencies and his inability to make the necessary compromises than it does about society at large.
           
          And stigma? Who cares about stigma? If someone is so afraid to realize their dreams because of what others might think, it says more about their lack of spine and weakness of character than it does about society. Admittedly, this refutes my point about stigma controlling behavior traditionally: people were as free to disregard stigma then as they are now.
           
          “despite the sexual revolution, women are still stigmatized to a certain degree for having casual sex… Thus, cultural boundaries still place limits on what any individual can choose to do
           
          Hmm.
           
          But plenty of women do openly enjoy and engage in casual sex. Which means there are willing women out there for the guys who seek casual sex. As you said though, due to a supply and demand imbalance, men will likely need to make a compromise on chemistry as part of the deal.
           
          So it comes back to the individual: if a guy wants regular casual sex but can’t realize this goal it says more about his deficiencies and his inability to make the necessary compromises than it does about society at large.
           
          “the point I was making was that the hypocrisy enters into the equation when someone insists on contradictory gender roles in the context of the same relationship”
           
           
          And the point I was making was that criticizing someone’s hypocrisy is moot as the other party in the relationship is always free to reject the deal.

        13. KK

          Tom10,

          Your common sense prevails!  ; )

        14. Shaukat

          But do women not face the same dilemma? They can’t unilaterally choose to be a house-wife either. Except that they can: they simply have to find a guy willing to accept the deal.

          Tom, I think we may broadly agree on this topic, but, KK’s cheap applause aside, I’m not sure where you’re going with the above quote. Yes, a woman who wants to be a house-wife has to find an agreeable man, but I’m sure you’re aware that there is a far greater supply of men looking for a stay-at-home wife than there are women looking for a stay-at-home dad, just like there is a far greater supply of men looking for NSA sex. If what you’re saying is that each individual should act like a rational homo-economicus and calibrate their social value in order to realize their goals with the opposite sex, then fine, but let’s not pretend that there’s an equal playing field when it comes to specific areas. Abstract liberalism isn’t always the best analytical tool to examine such issues.

          To draw another example, in the US both the rich and the poor have the legal right to sleep under a bridge or buy up shares of blue-chip companies, but there are clear social and economic dynamics that lead individuals belonging to one of those specific classes to engage in one of those activities.

          That said, I think we agree that regardless of the social context, each individual should decide what they want from the opposite sex, and then try and achieve that goal without whining and complaining.

        15. Tom10

          @ Shaukat
          “If what you’re saying is that each individual should act like a rational homo-economicus and calibrate their social value in order to realize their goals with the opposite sex, then fine”,
           
          Yes. That’s exactly what I’m saying.
           
          “but let’s not pretend that there’s an equal playing field when it comes to specific areas.”
           
          Agreed. Which is why each individual needs to re-calibrate their social value according to the supply and demand balance in specific areas.
           
          Understanding how the different supply and demand dynamics work within different areas of dating is crucial if one wants to achieve success.
           
          “I think we agree that regardless of the social context, each individual should decide what they want from the opposite sex, and then try and achieve that goal without whining and complaining”
           
          Agreed 100%. Pretty much every comment I’ve ever written here can be summarized in that pithy statement.
           
          It seems so simple really.

  14. 14
    Lisa

    I like many have dated you, and I have male friends just like you.  They are usually very good looking men with lots going for them, who think that they can always find something better, and the truth is in their minds they do.  See there is always going to be a hotter girl, a smarter girl, one with a better body, etc.  So they keep looking and keep finding and they can get these girls because they are deemed a “good catch.”  But see when they get to be about 40 and most of the good girls are taken and married off, and the 30 year olds think they are too old, then they think OMG why did I waste my 30s and throw away all these great women?    I wonder at what point do you decide these women are not the ones and why do you decide that?   If you are truly not looking for a committed relationship you should not ever say that you are.  I think that’s what you need to ask yourself what do you want?  Then be honest with these women.  While you think you are being a “nice guy” you are actually protecting your own feelings, not their own in not being honest with them about your intentions.    This is not nice.

  15. 15
    S.

    My problem? I can’t date normally, because the women I date get attached and I don’t have the heart to let them down.

    I wonder what ‘date normally’ means for you, Jay. It sounds like the problem isn’t that women get attached to you.  That’s actually normal. It’s that you don’t get attached to them. You have plenty of opportunity, it seems.  Why haven’t you gotten emotionally involved? If you have had your pick of women for fifteen years . . . haven’t you ever wondered? Not even 13-year-old you when this all started new had a serious crush on some girl in class?  If not, you’re right.  That’s not really normal.  Not that there is a normal ’cause who cares.  But you care. You wrote in and you used the words ‘not normally’. So I’ll believe you.

    Maybe you start out liking women and are fine until you realized they are attached. And it’s not okay to stick around in bad relationships.  It’s not okay for you.  You’re saying so.

    So women are going to get attached. So what? You break up with them.  They’ll get over it, I promise. It doesn’t feel great, but it’s necessary.  Or you just date casually before they get attached. You’re young, you haven’t found the right person, just . . . date.

    From your letter and your words “I can’t see spending the rest of my life with her” maybe you need to chill with dating.  Every woman you date doesn’t have to be the one you spend the rest of your life with. If she starts thinking that, sure  get out.  But maybe practice either just casually dating or . . . figuring out why you haven’t felt emotionally attached to any woman or girl who has liked you in fifteen years.  Not even for a short time.  If it were me, I’d be asking myself that question and would be actively seeking answers.

  16. 16
    Drea

    It sounds to me like you are taking the relationship to the next level before you are really ready.  Try to date casually more than one women at.the same time and take it slow, what’s the rush? You don’t aim high enough, that’s why you never get rejected. It’s a fact of life.

    What was missing in your old relationships, what exactly wasn’t working for you? Recognize the pattern, fix it and you’ll stop reliving the same scenarios over and over again. If you look back you may find out that you were dating the same type of women.  Well, that’s not working for you.  Maybe you need somebody more affectionate, maybe somebody mentally stronger than you … only you can answer these questions. But once you articulate your true needs, dating becomes easy and fun. You stop wasting time in unfulfilling relationships and you won’t inflict emotional pain on anybody.

    And yeah, don’t advance the relationship if it does not feel right. That’s just wrong on so many levels…

     

  17. 17
    Georgia

    Jay, you sound very immature in my opinion. You wrote to Evan, so maybe you’re starting to question and to take first steps to grow up emotionally, I’ll give you that and good for you.

    You don’t state in your letter how exactly these women get attached, but let me clue you in on something: most people don’t get attached just because. There’s usually some leading on the person they get attached to. Are you being honest from the get go? “Look, you’re a great girl and I like you, but I’m not looking to get involved emotionally. I would be up for casual if you’re ok with that, but there’s nothing else on my part for you”. Sure, many women will bolt, but many women won’t. You need to be upfront, be clear on who you are and what you’re about, and get real.

    Now, if you start off casual and then you notice her feelings are catching on, as much as you enjoy sex, the right thing to do is to go back to honest conversation and end it if she won’t. That’s how you’re a man of integrity and a man who won’t take advantage of a person’s vulnerability just to eat his cake.

    Dating means you are with people. People have feelings, silly beings. It’s just in our nature. Are you afraid of feelings? It seems like you are deep down. I get that. I have been afraid of feelings my whole life, but I know why that is and I am working on that. No matter what your deal is, becoming a great person, a mature someone that can be and make others happy, and who does the right thing, means developing a backbone and having the tough conversations and making the difficult decisions life throws at us. Build that muscle. I promise you will feel less guilty and people will respect you for it. In fact, the kind of people you encounter will be more and more compatible with you, because you learn to say no to people who may be nice, but are not on your page on many levels.

    Start figuring out who you are internally, and what kind of woman you would like as well. Don’t get too caught up in the looks, and the possessions, and the titles. Those are great and helpful, but they’re just the package. Look deeper.

    Good luck on your journey in becoming a great man.

  18. 18
    Adrian

    Hi Barbara,

    You said “At one point,  I flat out asked “Is there anything you want to ask me?” He asked how long I’d been married, which I’d already told him. Then he returned to talking about himself.

    I feel your pain because I always get a reverse version of this. I am always out on dates with women who do not know how to talk, and even subjects that I bring up thinking they would create a nice long back-and-forth conversation usually only gets one sentence answers. So I talk to fill the silence (not particular about myself, but about various random topics) hoping she will jump in.

    It is so exhausting! I get so fed up with being with someone and yet holding an entire conversation all by myself  that I end up just blurting out, “Is there anything you want to ask or know about me?” Like you I get one or two generic questions about my favorite movies or music and then it is back to silence from her.

    By the way I don’t merely answer with only one sentence claiming to just like such and such band, I usually speak about my likes in a way that would normally spark a nice little discussion-but NOPE!

    This is why I struggle with Evan’s chemistry vs compatibility ratio so much. Compatibility is actually easy for me because I am a very  accepting and encouraging person when it comes to the values and beliefs of others (as long as for example you don’t like torturing living things just for fun… yes even bugs).

    However, to me chemistry is more than just looks, chemistry is the ability to have long deep, and fun conversations for hours with someone; because that is how I bond-this I honestly only found once in my entire dating life.

    ….   …   …

    Additionally I have met many guys who talk about themselves non-stop. From my observation it seems that they genuinely do not realize that they are so self-absorbed (I am sure women do this also but I just have never met one).

    These men are usually classified by two types:

    1). The guys who are trying to impress so they are doing a version of passive-aggressive bragging.

    2). The guys with low self-esteem. The bragging is to impress but not because they desire your attraction but because they feel inferior in some way-psychologist call this over compensation.

    1. 18.1
      Barbara

      Thanks for the male perspective, Adrian. Since I’m not man, I can only guess that a fourth reason men, like the one I went out with, over-talk with women is because, unlike women, they don’t have anyone else with whom they can talk to about some of the things that matter to them. Evan has said something to this effect.

      As a woman, I can talk to a girlfriend for over an hour about very intimate details of my life, thought processes, dreams, failures, insights, realizations, etc. We both do this back and forth over the course of a conversation. Mainly, we don’t spend a lot of time talking about our careers or accomplishments, unless it’s about some good or bad aspect of relationship with a person related to them–not romantic, just a human relationship such as a boss, co-worker, client, etc.

      So, I understood that perhaps the guy from a couple of days ago was opening up to me because he’d been holding all this stuff in. Not necessarily deep stuff, just stuff he probably hadn’t talk to at length with anyone about.

      But I began to think that the guy who was interested in knowing who I am as a person, the one I met online, over the phone, and on our first date, wasn’t real. Again, like Evan says, believe the negative, ignore the positive. In the man I met on the second date, all over again, I saw an aspect of my ex husband’s personality that I had never been able to accept.

      For a moment, because the guy was masculine in the ways I find attractive and therefore could fulfill a need of mine that a woman can’t, I thought: “Maybe this is it. Maybe I have to accept that I can’t have it all. Maybe there is no man who listens the way I’ve always wanted a man to. Maybe I’ll to settle for getting this need met by my female friends.” (This is deep psychological stuff. Emotionally unavailable–but upright and honorable–father. Emotionally unavailable mother too, if you get right down to it. But I digress).

      But when I was home by myself, I realized I’d be miserable in a relationship where I felt the real me was invisible to the man in my life. And as much as most (but not all) of the of men I’ve met this year have not provided the kind of give-in-take conversations I want, on this point, I can’t waver. I have to be patient because, if your description of yourself is correct, Adrian, so is my very reasonable conclusion: Men like this do exist. I just have to keep plugging away until I meet them.

      The other critical thing is I can always improve upon my own listening skills. Just in thinking about my date, I starting reflecting on conversations I’ve had with my young adult children and my mother. Sometimes I drift into auto-pilot when talking with them–and with other people too. So I have to do better at putting out what I want to get back. Like someone mentioned on this thread: karma.

      1. 18.1.1
        Barbara

         

        Adrian: 

        Actually, on second thought, I was wrong. A “how” question could be answered with one word. In a case like that, here’s what probing might look like:

        Him: How was your trip to Venezuela?

        Her: Fine.

        Him: What was your favorite part about it?

        Her: Oh, I don’t know.

        Him: Aw, c’mon. Didn’t something get you fired up? Even a little?

        Her: Well, I liked the food,

        Him: See. I knew you couldn’t go all the way to Venezuela without something getting you a little hot and bothered.

        Her: (Giggles and blushes)

        Him: (leans in) What was your favorite dish?

        Her: (some dish)

        Him: Ooh. Even it’s name sounds sexy. My mouth is watering already.

        Her: (Giggles and blushes)

        Him: What’s it like?

        Her: (describes the dish)

        Him: What’s it taste like? (Then:  What was it seasoned with? What were the side dishes? What were they like? Was there wine served? What did it taste like?)

        (This could go on indefinitely, just about one topic: a meal. This same probing process can also be repeated  about an infinite number of topics).

        Here, the guy shows the woman, he’s interested in her,  finds her a litthe sexy, and finds her a little funny (in a good way). He plays with her, using words, and she responds by loosening up.

        1. Adrian

          Hello Barbara,

          These are the type of conversations I have and I don’t like them if that is all we have. How is this a back-and-forth dialog?  I naturally follow this type of script all the time and I hate it if she never takes the initiative (though apparently you think I only talk about myself).

          This may be a great conversation for a woman because as you said “the guy shows the woman, he’s interested in her,  finds her a little sexy, and finds her a little funny (in a good way).

          But what do I get out of it? Flirting and showing someone they think they are sexy should be something both people do not just the men.

          Anyway, those types of conversations are good occasionally but I like conversations of substance also. Back-and-forth is what I prefer.

      2. 18.1.2
        Barbara

        I said regarding my feeling invisible to men I’ve dated (and the married):

        (This is deep psychological stuff. Emotionally unavailable–but upright and honorable–father. Emotionally unavailable mother too, if you get right down to it. But I digress).

        In defense of my parents, they were born in the 1923 (dad) and 1928 (mom,) respectively. Many people of their generation lacked emotional availability skills, not because they were bad people, but because this was just not part of the American way when they were being raised before, during, and after the Great Depression and Jim Crow South.

        By anyone’s standards, including mine, I had/have great parents (my father died two years ago). In fact, with me, they were over-indulgent when it came to material things and just giving me anything I had a tantrum to obtain–including into my young adulthood.

        My father, in particular, an 8th-grade graduate, instilled in us five children the value of education. His motto was “If someone else can do it, I can do.” He taught us to think the same way. So among us, there is a Harvard MBA who is partner in an international division of a fortune 500 and an MD who once owned five clinics. All but two of my siblings obtained advanced degrees. The ones who didn’t? Me and my deceased oldest brother who, even though he was a small business owner of modest means (like our father), owned a private plane among a few other adult adventurer “toys”. He was the most like me but less radical (once graduated from college and started a family.)

        Me? I attended an exclusive private school for high school and one of the top liberal arts colleges in the country (but I dropped out and later got my degree from a state U.). I also run a small business like my father did.

        Anyway, my parents did their best. And it was pretty good. Their best just didn’t hit the spot for me–their wild and emotional and sensitive child who craved physical affection and appreciation of herself as a unique individual. My parents simply didn’t know how to give me that. It was beyond their skill set.

        I  didn’t start to get the kind of affection I wanted from them until I was in my 20’s and realized that if I wanted it from them, I was going to have to give it. That was the beginning our family tradition of hugging whenever we meet each other. All of us–siblings and parents–have done it ever since.

        I just had to give it up for my parents and not let my comment suggest that they were anything but great. In fact, now that I’m in my 50’s, I’m finally able to appreciate my mother’s femininity (she was a homemaker) and the lessons the way she’s lived teaches me about how to have a healthy and long-lasting relationship (67 years) with a “nice guy with an edge,” a leader and selfless provider, like my father was.

    2. 18.2
      Barbara

      Hey Adrian,

      Your said;:

      I am always out on dates with women who do not know how to talk, and even subjects that I bring up thinking they would create a nice long back-and-forth conversation usually only gets one sentence answer.

      Do you ask open-ended questions and probe when you get one-word answers? Even when a man is incessantly talking about himself, because I am still nonetheless interested in what he’s saying, new questions about what he’s told me always pop into my head. So I ask them. Of course, this just keeps him talking. But it also means I learn more about him and perhaps about something I’d never considered. For instance, because of what the man I was originally talking about extolled the benefits of being exposed to cold temperatures, I’ve started ending my showers by turning off the hot water.

      My point is, a key part of getting a person to open up is for the listener to really want to hear what the person has to say.  You can’t fake genuine curiosity. People can feel it when you’re sincerely interested in them. It makes them relax.

      I’ve seen this happen over and over again with men who seemed at first to be a little anxious when they first met me. But because I showed them that I was genuinely interested in them and that I enjoyed being in their presence, they loosened up.

      Rather than simply talking to fill space and ultimately inviting a woman to listen to you talk some more by asking her if she wants to know something about you, you might get her to open up by asking her open-ended questions. These questions start off with “Why” or “How.” They can’t be answered with less than two words. Then, if all you get is a two-word answer, ask another open-ended question.

      With a woman who is relucrant to talk, you may have to repeat this process several times before she begins to open up to you. But by continuing to show her that you’re interested in her–not by asking her to learn more about you, but by sincerely trying to learn what’s on her mind and in her heart–I believe you’ll have more success in getting her there.

       

      1. 18.2.1
        Adrian

        Hello Barbara,

        you said, “Rather than simply talking to fill space and ultimately inviting a woman to listen to you talk some more by asking her if she wants to know something about you, you might get her to open up by asking her open-ended questions. 
        But by continuing to show her that you’re interested in her–not by asking her to learn more about you, but by sincerely trying to learn what’s on her mind and in her heart–I believe you’ll have more success in getting her there.

        Okay so you are advising me from the standpoint that all my conversations are about me and I only want to engage women if they talk about me; got it thanks! I’ll try to be less selfish in the future.
        Silent Her + conversing me = me being the problem. Got it! Thanks!

        Though out of curiousity did you even actually read what I wrote? You know since I stated that I talk about different subjects NOT particularly about myself or that I say to them is there is anything they want to ask OR ask about me. And when they do ask questions about me I try to answer in ways that open up conversation for both of us to speak on those subjects!!!
        But selfish old me probably just out talks them if the conversation is not about me and of course I never even considered asking them questions about themselves because then they would not give me one sentence replies. Got it! Thanks again!

        1. Barbara

          Hi Adrian,

          I read your entire comment a few times. I just imagined what it might be like to be the woman you described.

          I suspect–only by reading what you said; so my information is limited–that these kind of women are either intimidated by you or perhaps they aren’t into you. Either way, I think my suggestion might open them up.

          Even a woman who doesn’t think she likes you and who could wind up being a one-time date because one or both of you don’t want a second date, can find herself enjoying spending time with you if you make her feel like you’re enjoying being with her and interested in knowing what’s on her mind and who she as a person. I think you would have a better time on these dates too.

        2. Barbara

          Adrian, I said:

          Curiosity, questioning, and listening are the building blocks of a great conversation and of deep human connections.

          Vulnerability is a must-have on this list. You have to be courageous enough to reveal your true self–flaws and all–to another in order to take a dialog to a higher level.

    3. 18.3
      Barbara

      Adrian,

      Also in the dialog example I used, another way the guy showed the woman his interest in her was with body language. By leaning in to her space, he conveyed that every part of him was engaged in wanting to truly hear and know her. When you do that with a person who is at first closed off, often they will slowly open like a wiltef flower that’s being watered.

    4. 18.4
      Barbara

      Adrian, you said:
      These are the type of conversations I have and I don’t like them if that is all we have. How is this a back-and-forth dialog?  I naturally follow this type of script all the time and I hate it if she never takes the initiative (though apparently you think I only talk about myself).
      This may be a great conversation for a woman because as you said “the guy shows the woman, he’s interested in her,  finds her a little sexy, and finds her a little funny (in a good way).
      But what do I get out of it? Flirting and showing someone they think they are sexy should be something both people do not just the men.
      Anyway, those types of conversations are good occasionally but I like conversations of substance also. Back-and-forth is what I prefer.
      ###

      The dialog example I gave is not meant to represent the totality of a conversation. Originally, you said your problem was that women say nothing. My suggested dialog is way to get the conversation flowing both ways, an icebreaker, if you will. From there, you can go deeper.

      Any conversation can begin on the surface and proceed to the profound–sometimes it gradually proceeds in that direction, sometimes it does so quickly. It depends on the depth of the people engaged in the conversation. At least one of them has to be genuinely interested in taking the conversation deeper and skilled at leading the other person there by inviting the other person to reveal themselves and making it safe for them to do so.
       
      Take the conversation about Venezuela, for example. From that initial beginning, you can find out why she took the trip. If you’re really in tune with her, something she says will strike a chord with you, with some aspect of your life and thought processes and aspirations, with some experience you’ve had. Then you can share that with her and–just like that–a deeper co-conversation emerges.
       
      I approach dating like this:

      We are two humans meeting to interact and create something good together, if only for a moment. I don’t expect the other person to take responsibility for our interaction to be a good one. I accept full responsibility for doing that. After all, I can’t control what the other person does or doesn’t do. But I have total control over me. I go in expecting to have a good time and expecting that the other person will have one to: Because I say so.

      I take it as my personal responsibility to make the interaction as fun and meaningful as possible for both of us. So, from the start, I engage with the man. The moment I first lay eyes on him, I use my body language my smile to let him know I’m so glad to see him. I don’t wait for him to engage with me.
       
      However, as you say, and as I said, I also want to share myself with him. This has been my problem with men: I really do want to know them. I’m not faking it or pretending to want to know them because I have an motive other than sharing a human interaction.

      Yes, I ultimately want a long-term relationship. But to get there, I first have to have a human connection and I want it to be mutually enjoyable. That’s what the date is about.

      So I ask the man questions. Asking a person questions about themselves is the basic step to getting to know them. Since people are more than the surface, there are an infinite number of questions you can ask a single person–if you are sincerely curious about them. If you’re not curious, you won’t be able to think of anything to ask. 
       
      At the same time, I want to be on the receiving end of this process. So, as with my date, I interject to mention how something he said connected to something in my life. But my last date never picked up on that. He said nothing about my comment but simply proceeded to continue to talk about himself. Even when I invited him to ask me a question, he couldn’t think of an authentic one based on his own curiosity. He simply asked me how long I’d been married and made a comment about the value on long marriages that had nothing to do with me as a person. I replied to that but he then proceeded to talk about himself again and each time I interjected with a tie-in to my own life, he fell silent then began to talk about himself again.
       
      As I mentioned earlier, I can’t expect him to change into someone with higher order listening skills. But what I have done since our date, is self-reflected. This is an never-ending process for me, self reflection.
       
      As a result of doing it, I’ve once again determined that I need to improve upon my own listening skills and that doing so is the only way I will manifest a man who reaches the listening skills level I need to reach myself. I say “once again” because this isn’t the first time I’ve come to this conclusion about myself. It is a real challenge for me to be a really good listener. But I refuse to be defeated by it. 
       
      Like you said earlier, it comes down to you. My case is no different. I’m going to repeat myself because I personally need to reinforce in my mind this inescapable reality:

      If I want to have a man who is a master listener, I have to become one myself. There is no other way.

      If you want a woman who is a better conversationalist, you have to become one yourself. Curiosity, questioning, and listening are the building blocks of a great conversation and of deep human connections. Master these skills and you’ll never have a dull conversation again. The same goes for me.

      1. 18.4.1
        Barbara

        I said:

        This has been my problem with men: I really do want to know them. 

        That’s not what I meant. What I was referring to as “my problem” was that I’ve felt like I wasn’t being heard.

        But, as I said in my conclusion to this comment, that’s not really my problem. My real problem is that I need to deepen and strengthen my own listening skills. Period.

  19. 19
    Luisa

    Hey, why are people bashing the OP so much for daring to ask an honest question? If he were female would he have received so many negative responses? I’m fed up of reading all the harsh assumptions and judgments here. Come on, I’m sure we’ve all been in a situation when feelings were mismatched. It doesn’t make him emotionally stunted or a bad person. I’m 41 and I went through a period in my twenties when I was the one who got away. I didn’t intentionally lead those dates/ boyfriends on but I just didn’t feel the same way and I did try to give it enough time in order to make an informed decision. It sucks and you do feel guilty but you can’t and shouldn’t fake those feelings. No one likes having the break up conversation and hurting anyone but you have to do it. The OP obviously doesn’t want to hurt them but he is asking the question because it keeps happening and he wants to address it.

    1. 19.1
      Theodora

      Glad to hear another woman speaking common sense, it’s good for the overall image of our gender.

      If it had been a woman writing this letter, the replies would have been: “You are such a nice, amazing girl with so much empathy! Hey, it’s not your fault that you don’t feel any chemistry, maybe they are good guys, but not good for you!”

      Truth to be told, I expected worse – I’m surprised nobody called the guy “abusive” or “emotionally abusive” until now. “Emotionally abusive” have become the codewords for “anytime a man doesn’t offer a relationship on her terms, conditions, schedule and desires, even fantasies”.

      1. 19.1.1
        KK

        The comments would have been no different if the letter writer would have been a woman. They would have run the entire gamut just like they did here. If you still doubt me, go look at past (posts) letters written by women and all the different responses. Positive, negative, and neutral comments are all there.

        My question is: Are you really a woman and if so, why are you so down on your own gender?

        1. Chance

          I’ve seen female LWs take it on the chin, but they weren’t nearly as self-aware as this young man.  Usually, they are just looking for confirmation of what they want to hear.

        2. Theodora

          I am really a woman.

          I have nothing against my gender, I just have a strong sense of fairness which is not limited by the gender I belong to.

        3. KK

          “I’ve seen female LWs take it on the chin, but they weren’t nearly as self-aware as this young man. Usually, they are just looking for confirmation of what they want to hear”.

          Yes, because our little female minds aren’t capable of self awareness. (SNARK) How exactly is he self aware, other than the fact he feels guilty? As Emily and I pointed out, he seems somewhat more impressed with himself than what would be normal for someone who is self aware. Self awareness involves being able to look at yourself and see the negative as well as the positive. He only sees the positive. He claims he’s nice. He claims everyone views him as the one who got away. I have a very hard time believing that any 28 year old woman would tell a 28 year old man that she had dated when she was 13 (dated how? 3 weeks of passing love notes or movie dates where your parents drop you off and pick you up and you get in a kissing session or two) that he was “the one who got away”. At 28, I would think she would’ve at the very least had one real adult relationship with a grown man that involved love and sex. That doesn’t compare to puppy love. It’s goofy to even make such a claim.

        4. KK

          Theodora,

          Your comment was not made in the spirit of “fairness”. It was biased. By saying the responses would have been different (friendly, supportive) if it had been a female letter writer has no basis in fact. Like I said earlier, you can look at other posts and see for yourself.

        5. Emily, the original

          KK,

          Self awareness involves being able to look at yourself and see the negative as well as the positive.

          Totally agree with you on this point. That’s what confidence is, too, in my opinion. Knowing what you are and what you’re not.

        6. Jordan

          @KK,

          Your comment was not made in the spirit of “fairness”. It was biased. By saying the responses would have been different (friendly, supportive) if it had been a female letter writer has no basis in fact. Like I said earlier, you can look at other posts and see for yourself.

          Here is what I am trying to point out.  People say that they pull no punches, speak the truth, and not tell people what they want to hear.

          However, it seems with the female letters we gently dance around the issue and then end up with the usual “Is there NOTHING that you cannot compromise on such as height, income, etc?”

          Then you get a guy who writes in and it goes to “coward” and “spineless”.

          Here’s what I’m trying to say:

          Has ANYONE on here other than me had the guts to call a woman a coward and or spineless?

        7. Jordan

          Well then,

          I am big enough to admit when I am wrong.

      2. 19.1.2
        GoWiththeFlow

        Theo/Ted,

        A woman only in cyberspace?

        You are anything but “fair minded.”  Your comments and the belief system you espouse could be lifted straight off of red pill blogs.

        You’re not fooling anyone.

        1. Tron Swanson

          Women who don’t agree with certain other women aren’t actually women at all? Well, that certainly sounds pro-women to me…

          Based on your stance, my mother and grandmother must not actually be women, because they hold beliefs that I suspect you’d strongly disagree with.

        2. Adrian

          Hello Tron Swanson,

          No you are wrong.

          GoWithTheFlow is one of our most fair and balanced posters, if she cried wolf 9 times, I would still come running to her on the tenth because that is how much I believe in and respect her.

          She has defended both women and men on many posts and she is quick to listen to the views of others if she does not understand or agree with something instead of always seeking to be right or seen as the smartest.

          The person using the name Theodora on the other hand says that it is a woman yet has NOT once said or commented one time on the behalf of women. In fact every comment on every post (that I have seen) from Theodora has been to degrade, belittle, and spew bitterness about women while saying when all men poop their sh*t looks and smells like roses. In Theodora’s view men are victims and women are blood thirsty predators.

          If your mother and grandmother heard both GoWithTheFlow and Theodora I bet you they would side with GoWithTheFlow.

        3. GoWiththeFlow

          Tron,

          Theo/Ted has been called out as a male red pill troll by other regular commenters in the community. (S)He  claims to be a (caricature of) a woman in a “small Eastern European country” where the women are all “slim” and “serve” their husbands, and are superior to American women.

          (S)He espouses ONLY red pill orthodoxy.  Under 13.4.1 Her/His comment “. . . it’s pretty common for women to engage in NSA sex, particularly in their late teens-20s, the years of “exploring their sexuality”, when the world is their oyster. Then they change to “courtship mode” and “Woo me, I’m the prize” around 30 yo.” is typical of the derogatory theory RPers hold that young women screw over “betas” by riding the alpha “cock carousel” in their 20s, then “hit a wall” at 30 where they turn into useless old crones then trick a “beta” into marrying them then make him miserable.  And this little nugget of a disclaimer, “This is not anti-woman rhetoric, just what a fact that can be noticed everywhere around us. . .” is a typical red pill tactic to try and cover sexism and misogyny under a layer of “logic.”

          Tron, you said, “Based on your stance, my mother and grandmother must not actually be women, because they hold beliefs that I suspect you’d strongly disagree with.”

          You only recently appeared on this board and have no idea what my stances are.  I am certain that I would not agree on every issue, or see every situation just like your mother and grandmother do because it is rare when two people completely agree on everything in life.

        4. Tron Swanson

          I have no idea if Theo is real or not…but that’d certainly be a good strategy for a woman looking to impress men. Ignoring gender-related tribalism, criticizing women when they deserve it, and speaking up for men…a woman could really set herself apart.

        5. GoWiththeFlow

          Tron,

          I’m not into “strategizing” to impress men by parroting viewpoints that are negative to women when I truly don’t believe them.  That’s game playing.  Both women and men strongly agree and disagree with many of the differing views and opinions I have.  That’s life.

          As far as your advice, you will do well to reverse the genders and apply it to yourself:   Ignoring gender-related tribalism, criticizing men when they deserve it, and speaking up for women…a man could really set himself apart.  I’ll be following your comments to see if you give the same consideration to women that you want to receive from them.

        6. SparklingEmerald

          GWTF.  Not to mention that Theo/Ted is a

          rape apologist, and says that being forced to have sex is not rape. S/he defends rape, but apparently doesn’t know the meaning of the word.

        7. Tron Swanson

          GWTF,

          I think it’s great that you aren’t strategizing in order to impress men. I don’t strategize, either, which is why I don’t ask women out or fulfill my gender role in other ways.

          That said, I’m not looking for a relationship, so I don’t need to worry about winning any women over. Ergo, I can get away with saying whatever I want. Huzzah!

    2. 19.2
      Tom10

      @ Luisa #19
      “why are people bashing the OP so much for daring to ask an honest question?”
       
      Fair point Luisa: maybe some of my earlier comments were a bit harsh when considering the context that the OP is still a young man in his 20s figuring his way through life.
       
      I suppose it was the tone of his letter that rubbed some people up the wrong way. His letter comes across a bit like: “poor me, I’m such a Casanova breaking all these young girl’s hearts, what on earth am I supposed to do?” Ha!
       
      In truth I see some of myself in Jay, as I was – and still am to an extent – much like him when I was younger. However, if I could speak to my younger self I’d say: “get over yourself, you ain’t that special: there’s not much achievement in breaking a string of hearts so start dating women who are your equal and the guilt will magically disappear”.
       
      “If he were female would he have received so many negative responses?”
       
      I’m afraid that yes, he probably would have: this blog isn’t for the feint-hearted!
       
      “It doesn’t make him emotionally stunted or a bad person”
       
      Agreed. There seems to be a prevailing societal belief that the only healthy emotional state-of-being is within the parameters of a conventional committed relationship and anyone outside of that is somehow emotionally defective.
       
      However, I’m not convinced. I think there are many scenarios where people outside of that can be just fine. However, as S pointed out in comment #15 the OP did write to Evan indicating his dissatisfaction with his current situation; so it’s Jay who has a problem with his situation. 

      1. 19.2.1
        Tom10

        Faint-hearted 🙁

      2. 19.2.2
        Barbara

        Tom10:

        There seems to be a prevailing societal belief that the only healthy emotional state-of-being is within the parameters of a conventional committed relationship and anyone outside of that is somehow emotionally defective. However, I’m not convinced. I think there are many scenarios where people outside of that can be just fine.

        I totally agree with you here. I’ve been beating that drum for a while. True happiness is what life is all about in my opinion. It isn’t something that only some people (those in romantic relationships) have access to. We all do, regardless of our relationship status.

    3. 19.3
      Theo

      I agree, the guy asks for and certainly needs some solid advice, which in this case is not too complicated. Jay, just be honest with the lades, tell them you only want casual dating and a sexual relation, nothing serious. You are only 28, there is no hurry. You have no duty to marry the girl you are seeing 😉

  20. 20
    Stacy

    So the OP sounds like a maximizer…where noone he dates seem to be not good enough since he never has serious feelings for anyone he’s dated but appears to realize that he wants that one person to spend the rest of his life with (hence his ‘dilemma’ about the women he dates that he is not fully interested in).  Here is the issue though…either the OP can’t seem to get the women he wants (most likely he has overvalued his Sexual Market Value and thinks himself better or more attractive than he really is, after all, he seems to only date women that aren’t ‘good enough’ long term for over 15 years), or he subconsciously dates these women as protection from him getting hurt (maybe he believes he has bad karma)?

    Regardless of the reason and while there is nothing wrong with dating someone you can’t see yourself with long term, it is wrong to lead someone on to think otherwise. From the tone of his letter, I get the strong impression that he is doing the latter (hence his guilt…oh, and I don’t know many women who would stick around if they know they are being used for sex in the now).  So he doesn’t want to feel guilty?Then stop doing what makes you feel guilty. I don’t get why this is complicated.

  21. 21
    Stacy

    ‘where noone he dates seem good enough’

  22. 22
    Stacy

    And to respond to Christine earlier: most of the time when I go out, the woman (7 times out of 10) is clearly more attractive than the man. The other times, they are roughly equally attractive (again, based on my observation)…totally works better that way.  Although I don’t consider hollywood as real life, I think it at least depicts this clearly…old spent guy with beautiful young woman…The Donald Trump example is classic. You hardly, if ever, see the opposite (unattractive older woman with really hot young guy both married and in love).  I consciously do not date men who are more objectively attractive than me (although I used to in my 30s) and they just love me but I always turn them down. My ex husband was hot/a model and honestly, I agree with Chris Rock – men (most) are  as faithful as their options.  We women can handle being hot way better than a man can. FACT.

    1. 22.1
      Adrian

      Hi Stacy,

      you stated, “most of the time when I go out, the woman (7 times out of 10) is clearly more attractive than the man.

      I remember back when I was just a reader and did not comment you had made the same statement. At the time my observations were completely different, I always saw more attractive men with lesser attractive women.

      Now I realize that there seems to be a general pattern or traits of couples that have either the man or the woman being more attractive and 99% of the time it comes down to the money.

      I have noticed that when the man is of low financial status then he is in a sense taking on the female role of trading his looks for financial stability. These are your really handsome men, or maybe men who are 10 years younger that you see dating women who are not as attractive, overweight, or much older.

      When I see a woman that is two leagues or more higher than a man in the looks department it is usually for the same reasons. The woman seeking financial stability-with the caveat of her just being burnt out on the normal type of guys she dates and is therefore giving this overweight or unattractive guy a chance.

      I say more than two leagues because a guy who is 5 dating a woman that is a 6 is not uncommon and visa-versa if they are on the same financial level. A 5 dating a 7 though a little more rare is still  not to uncommon if they are on the same financial level. A guy who is a 5 dating a woman who is a 8 and they both are on the same financial level I have never seen.

      This is why when science says that most people date within their own attraction level (give or take 2 levels difference) I agree as long as both people are on equal grounds financially and status wise.

      1. 22.1.1
        Stacy

        Adrian, I agree with your post.

      2. 22.1.2
        Stacy

        After thinking about your thoughts on this, I would have to say that I completely agree. There is usually a trade off involved when the disparity in looks are significant.

         

         

  23. 23
    Stacy

    Should be ‘used to in my 20s’…I am currently in my 30s.

  24. 24
    GoWiththeFlow

    Jay,

    Its in the normal range of human emotion to sometimes feel bad or guilty when you break off a romantic relationship.  The key is to not dwell on it and move on.

    The thing I don’t get is why you stay in a relationship with someone until you are miserable just to avoid the unpleasantness of a break up.  This isn’t fair to the woman, yes, but it’s not great for you either.  Learn to face and act on your true feelings earlier.  Maybe then the breakups won’t leave you feeling so guilty.  It’s better for both people in the long run.

  25. 25
    Nissa

    Jay,

    Please consider reading No More Mr. Nice Guy by Robert Glover. You sound a lot like the guys he talks about – not jerks, but guys who act inappropriately because they don’t have good personal boundaries. For example, not breaking up with someone even though you are not into them, because they like you, is an example of poor boundaries. Glover gives a lot of good information about how to learn how to get what you want & need, without hurting people unnecessarily. FYI, I’m not associated w/Glover, I just think it’s a good reference book for men.

    1. 25.1
      John

      Nissa

      This is the best advice I have read so far on this post. No More Mr. Nice Guy is a great book for guys to read.

  26. 26
    Marika

    Everyone, please give the guy a break!

    I can’t relate to a lot of his letter, been through many break ups myself, some initiated by me, some by them, and have gotten over all of them (and I dare say they have too), but I can completely relate to the idea of not wanting to hurt someone’s feelings. If you can’t relate to that, then you’re knocking on the door of being a narcissist. It’s tough when someone is clearly into you and you have to break up with them. It’s all part of dating & life and he does of course need to pull the band aid off and just end it with this woman, but why all the harsh comments? He’s just a young guy trying to navigate dating while trying not to hurt anyone’s feelings. Naive, yes, but all the other things he’s been accused of, no.

    The venom in some of these comments is quite amazing.

    1. 26.1
      Chance

      I think a lot of the venom comes from the fact that these women seem to be offended by how this guy appears to think of himself.  Apparently, he’s either too confident or delusional.  Okay… So what?  Indeed, it is fascinating that this would cause some women to be rocked by the sudden impulse to “put him in his place”.  I would argue that it says more about them than him.

      1. 26.1.1
        Emily, the original

        Chance,

         Indeed, it is fascinating that this would cause some women to be rocked by the sudden impulse to “put him in his place”.

        Wrong. This is what he wrote: I’ve never once even briefly dated a woman who hasn’t come back days/weeks/months/years later to tell me that she “lost me”.

        Does not sound delusional to you? Trust me: if the OP was a woman, you’d have questioned her. “What are you, Megan Fox?” He makes it sound like he has never been dumped. There is not a person on the planet who hasn’t at some point wanted something more from someone than that person wanted from them. It’s part of the human condition. We’re not putting him in his place. We’re calling him on his bullshit.

        1. Chance

          Either way, it seems strange to feel compelled to respond to him.  Why badger someone who you feel is delusional?  What does it have to do with you?

        2. Chance

          Btw, I wouldn’t have questioned the LW if he was female solely because I thought she was delusional.  For example, you’re delusional about the level of sustained chemistry that you want and expect to have with a partner, but I don’t bother you about that.  It’s your business, and you aren’t proposing or promoting anything that is unfair, so I say live and let live.

        3. KK

          Chance said,

          “Either way, it seems strange to feel compelled to respond to him.  Why badger someone who you feel is delusional?  What does it have to do with you?”

          How exactly did Emily badger him by stating her opinion? She gave an opinion. So did I. So did you. For such an opinionated little thing, you sure have a lot of double standards and rules for when it’s appropriate for anyone else to give an opinion. If anything YOU are the one badgering people who don’t agree with you. Keep beating your little drum about how unfair it is to be a man. Wow. Manly. I agree with Evan. Man up or shut up.

        4. Chance

          The view from between your ears is an entertaining one, k.

        5. Emily, the original

          KK,

          Thank you for defending my comment.

          There are certain commenters I have decided to no longer engage with/respond to as I believe their tone is negative and red-pill like. (I am not referring to you.) I don’t think that kind of dialogue helps each side of the gender aisle understand the other.

        6. Shaukat

          Emily, I am, however, interested in hearing why you think the Letter Writer’s delusional beliefs (assuming he is delusional on this point) are relevant. Even if what you’re saying is true, it still doesn’t detract from the fact that he believes that he has a problem when it comes to breaking off dead-end relationships. That’s the real issue, not whether he truly is a Casanova.

        7. Emily, the original

          Hi Shaukat

          Emily, I am, however, interested in hearing why you think the Letter Writer’s delusional beliefs (assuming he is delusional on this point) are relevant. Even if what you’re saying is true, it still doesn’t detract from the fact that he believes that he has a problem when it comes to breaking off dead-end relationships. That’s the real issue, not whether he truly is a Casanova.

          Because something doesn’t add up, and if he lacks  self-awareness, he will not be able to understand his role in these dead-end relationships. I am just guessing that the OP is delusional (and that may be too strong a word). I have an acquaintance who is always telling me about all the men who are making eye contact with her in public and who are asking for her number, yet she never has a boyfriend. So either she is sabotaging these opportunities or she is lying. Either way, something is off, like something is off with the OP’s description of himself. If what he says is true, what is he doing to make all these women pine for him years later? Is he making them think at some point in their interactions that he’s “the one”?

        8. KK

          Hi Emily,

          “There are certain commenters I have decided to no longer engage with/respond to as I believe their tone is negative and red-pill like. (I am not referring to you.) I don’t think that kind of dialogue helps each side of the gender aisle understand the other”.

          I hear ya! : )

        9. Chance

          Emily, it still doesn’t appear that what you’re taking issue with is relevant to the LW’s dilemma.  Even if you believe that it helps him to possibly assess the issue from this new angle that you presented, the tone of your comments relating to him don’t remotely sound like you are coming from a place of trying to help.

    2. 26.2
      Adrian

      Hi Marika,

      I know that you are new to commenting here (I’m not sure if you are new to the site itself).

      Unfortunately the petty infighting is one of the darker sides of our little family here on EMK. For the most part I do honestly think everyone means well.

      I just usually avoid the arguments all together by refraining from commenting; sometimes some very good points or new insights are brought out by these sub-debates and sometimes it is just more about being proven right than it is about the truth.

      Either way it will pass soon. And compared to what I have witnessed on other relationship blogs, EMK’ commenting community is by far the best. They can get a little rough with their adjectives but never have I seen the regulars get nasty or hateful.

      Since you are a new regular commenter I just wanted to assure you that this is not as bad as on other sites and it doesn’t happen very often. I hope it does not cause you to comment less here since I really do enjoy and value your insights on dating issues.

      1. 26.2.1
        GoWiththeFlow

        Adrian,

        “I just usually avoid the arguments all together by refraining from commenting; sometimes some very good points or new insights are brought out by these sub-debates and sometimes it is just more about being proven right than it is about the truth.”

        My thoughts exactly.  Although a debate amongst commenters may not ultimately change my opinion, it’s always beneficial to see a strong counter-argument, or to just know that not everyone agrees with me.  It keeps you humble 😉

        At the very least I try not to feed the trolls.  But last night I couldn’t help myself!

  27. 27
    Marika

    Thank you Adrian & GoWithThe Flow,

    I’ve been reading EMK’s stuff for a while now, but it’s true I’m a reasonably new commenter. I shouldn’t be surprised, really and I know there are far worse comments out there, but it saddens me that when people reach out for help, on a site where we’re all here for the same thing, that people

    Get

    So

    Angry / Judgy!

    As well as often missing completely the point of the post or question. Whether this guy is delusional about his attractiveness is beside the point….

    (cue angry debaters 😉

    If we could all take some time in this season of goodwill to maybe be helpful & compassionate in our comments, rather than all vitriolic & like 5th grade debaters, that would be nice……that’s my Christmas wish 🙂

    Very happy holidays, all!

  28. 28
    Marie

    Look Jay, I’m not here to judge your character. My advice to you is, nothing risked, nothing gained. If you date safe, if you don’t risk your heart, how will you really find your soulmate?  How will you really fall in love?  Are you going to one day settle for one of these woman you only care for so-so because she is unlikely to leave you?  That sounds really like a bland existence.  My husband and I truly love each other. But we had to risk emotionally first. So what if you have a hundred women pining after you? That does not make you a success in love as I define it. That makes you a loser if you cannot find or be with the woman you love.  I would rather have my husband than a hundred men pining after me.  He is the one I want. To find and have the one you truly love and desire, that is the measure of true romantic success.

  29. 29
    Alisa

    This guy sounds REALLY awful.  No, you do not call a woman up around the holidays to ask her how she is if you have no romantic or sexual intent.  And if the woman lost her parents, it’s pretty sick to be calling her up with a SEXUAL intent.  Is this guy a joke?  I can’t believe that he thinks he is above these women.

  30. 30
    Lahey

    Evan’s response to this was amazing.

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