The Secret to Successful Long-Term Relationships

The Secret to Successful Long-Term Relationships

It’s no secret, according to a recent post in the New York Times.

“The passion ignited by a new love inevitably cools and must mature into the caring, compassion and companionship that can sustain a long-lasting relationship.”

As a dating coach for smart, strong, successful women, I spend an inordinate amount of time explaining this very simple concept. Over time, invariably, the dizzy sensation starts to fade. The obsession with being together wanes. The mask slips off, the imperfections show and become magnified. Stability and domesticity takes over. Suddenly, you’re not the couple making love five times a week and jetting off to Istanbul. You’re the couple with two crying kids that is so exhausted at the end of the day that sex is about the furthest thing from your mind.

If you aren’t content with a revolving door of partners, and like the idea of partnership and growing old with someone, what are you to do?

This should not be surprising or even disappointing. If anything, it should be predictable. The problem is that people don’t want to accept this new reality, and become disproportionately disappointed when it happens. So they break up, searching for the next high, only to find that the NEXT relationship has a completely different set of issues. The only way around this, I’d suppose, would be a George Clooney lifestyle. A series of passionate affairs, all of which are doomed to end after six months to two years. But if you aren’t content with a revolving door of partners, and like the idea of partnership and growing old with someone, what are you to do?

Sonja Lyobomirsky, a scientist I’ve cited here before, describes a slew of research-tested actions and words that can do wonders to keep love alive.

“Dr. Lyubomirsky emphasizes “the importance of appreciation”: count your blessings and resist taking a spouse for granted. Routinely remind yourself and your partner of what you appreciate about the person and the marriage.

Also important is variety, which is innately stimulating and rewarding and “critical if we want to stave off adaptation,” the psychologist writes. Mix things up, be spontaneous, change how you do things with your partner to keep your relationship “fresh, meaningful and positive.”

Novelty is a powerful aphrodisiac that can also enhance the pleasures of marital sex. But Dr. Lyubomirsky admits that “science has uncovered precious little about how to sustain passionate love.” She likens its decline to growing up or growing old, “simply part of being human.”

As for me? After six years with my wife, I’m happier than I’ve ever been. I don’t miss the heady rush of blind passion, because I acutely remember the other emotions that so often surrounded it: fear, anger, and insecurity. So let me know: do you want to keep that feeling alive forever? Or are you content with the depth, comfort, and safety that comes with long-term commitment?

Read the New York Times article here and share your thoughts below.

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Comments:

  1. 31
    Kathleen

    Susan 61 
    I think there are the same men ( or women) on Match year after year for a few reasons …
    At least half the men I see online in their 50s state are looking for women younger than their own age. Maybe they feel they won’t settle for a woman their age  Whereas  if they finally hit up the more attractive women their age, those women  can date younger guys and can be equally ageist. The 2 paths won’t cross.
    So many are “never married” Im sure some who say they are divorced are lying. Some people are avoidant or are constantly looking for a “new infatuation high” and may rotate lovers by a 2 year time frame  
    Others I think are enjoying being single and having lots of variety after perhaps years in a miserable situation, or they are just cynical as Ellen says. Ive had a blast being single for the last few years and was ambivalent about having a serious boyfriend.
    John …. a few friends like me were married 20-30 years We have fallen in love afterwards so I think theres hope.  Ill have to research your theory. If I went out on a date with a guy who had a chip on his shoulder about paying I would never see him again. Negative energy in any form is off-putting.
    I was always very attracted to my ex despite years of marriage Yes Mark love evolves over years but it is still very powerful. “love ” areas of the brain light up on MRI in couples who have been in love for decades.
    I was watching “The Worlds Fastest Indian” movie the other night An older couple hook up and the older woman proclaims “old people need love too ” It was cute .. and true  
     

  2. 32
    marymary

    I know someone in her fifties who met her husband in her teens. She testifies that the sex does become less intense after the first few years. Let,s not forget that after the first few years they were still very young. Her parents were dead set against the marriage, they struggled financially. But they are doing very well for themselves now. They have two children, both about to leave home. She told me of a conversation she had with her husband, of how much they had been through together. I felt a bit sad for me as I can,t have that as I,m just too old!
    but, she has been my no. one cheerleader in my new relationship. I have another friend in her fifties, been married for over twenty years and now a grandmother already.  she,s given me a lot of encouragement too.  Her husband and my boyfriend are good friends, it,s good to have a community that supports your relationship. It can be helpful to get the perspective of the longterm marrieds ,(assuming they aren’t unbearably smug!).  I remember reading somewhere that the terminally single are not the best people to give relationship advice. I thought it was harsh, we all have something to bring to the table. but it,s good to get different input, not just those who agree with you, especially if it,s all doom and gloom. 
    I used to be very ambivalent about marriage, I especially feared the boredom factor. No wonder I had ambivalent relationships to say the least. Now I think that it,s the height or depth of human love (or should be). i,m talking true connection, not passion. i think the only other contender is mother and child but that often takes place within a marriage.
    if marriage was that bad, why are we still doing it. I,ve been married, it was a disaster, and I’ve had terrible relationships. I was very happy single for years, not just a few months.  I,m the last person who should want to get married but I do. Finally! 

  3. 33
    Ellen (Rebekah) aka redheadinDixie

    Ok, third post, so sorry
    PS to John: I live in the Deep South, but it’s FULL of progressive men, liberals, esp. along the coast where I live and in my three years of online dating NO ONE ever took me to task for not paying for date 3 or 4 or whatever. Occasionally I would pay for a round of drinks but I don’t remember picking up any bills, nor any man letting me. So it was a moot point- always.
    My current boyfriend STILL pays for God’s sake (& we’ve been together 15 mos.) but he’s old school. I then pay for some drinks or say “look, lunch (or dinner) is on me”. If I don’t do that he just pays for nearly everything. It is occasionally awkward but he seems to prefer it that way.
    I do pay for my own specialty groceries however.
     

  4. 34
    Kathleen

    Ellen  36
    Yes!! Even in CA Ive never had a date with a guy who inferred I should pay. Most all have been thrilled that I accepted the date and seemed to want to impress me. 
    God knows I pay to look as good as I can for that date!!  

  5. 35
    Karl R

    Cat5 said: (#32)
    “Let’s see how Evan, Karl R. and the author of the NY Times article feel after they’ve been married 10 years, 15 years, and 20 years.”
     
    My father-in-law has been married (to his second wife) for 18 years. When he started getting testosterone injections a year ago (to help counteract his osteoporosis), he commented that his wife was happy about his increased sex drive.
     
    Unfortunately, my mother-in-law’s Alzheimer’s has progressed to a point to where she rarely wants to have sex, so now my father-in-law finds his increased sex drive to be “damned inconvenient.”
     
    That doesn’t sound to me like a man who finds sex with his wife “boring.” I agree that his sex life sounds like it is “different” now.
     
    John said: (#31)
    “Just think of how many couples you know that are together for over 10 years. How many of them met prior to turning 40? And how many met after turning 40? I will bet mega bucks the differential between the two is huge.”
     
    Even if the differential is huge, it wouldn’t prove your point. You’re glossing over lots of other factors.
     
    For example, you’re ignoring mortality. In order for my wife to make it to our 10th anniversary, she will need to live longer than her mother did. Her mother, on the other hand, was married well over 30 years.
     
     
    You’re also overlooking that most marriages begin before the age of 40. For example, my parents are already married. They aren’t available to get married again.

  6. 36
    Goldie

    Here’s my take on the “who pays” thing. While we’re still going on dates and aren’t exclusive yet. If he has asked me out, picked a place, and it is a place that I normally consider too expensive for me, then I assume he expected to pay when he chose it. I’ll offer to help with tips, drinks, do the reach etc but it’s mainly on him. Otherwise, he’s forcing me to buy food I can’t normally afford, which in turn means that I cannot afford him, either. I have to say I never had that problem. I did have one guy who was here on a year-long business trip from Europe, and expected me to be calling and texting him at his international phone number. He didn’t want to get another phone with a local #, because, he said, the one he already had was fully paid for by his employer. I literally said to him “I’m a single parent and cannot afford you”. Hey, it’s the truth.
     
    When we’re in an relationship, we talk about it and discuss who pays for what. Right now I have to really watch my expenses, because I’m supporting two teenage kids, one is in college and one is going there soon. They’re boys and eat a LOT. I own a home as well. etc Basically now isn’t a good time for me financially. If we only did things together that I can afford to pay 50% of, we probably wouldn’t go out, wouldn’t travel, and would go on a lot of nature hikes! So I confess, on the balance, I pay less than half. I try my best to pull my weight, but at the end of the day, I cannot spend more than I have. He is okay with that. My previous serious relationship was with a guy who was a single father and up to his eyeballs in debt. Let’s just say we watched a lot of DVDs at his place. We were both okay with that. Whatever the couple agrees upon is fine.
     
    Finally, first date, for godsakes men, take us someplace easy and inexpensive and just pay the bill. That makes you feel manly, makes us feel like we’re being courted, all for under $10. I tried to have as many of my first dates as possible at a local coffee shop. Though one guy got there early, got his drink, then when I showed up, he told me to go get mine. It came across as pretty weird, I’ve got to say.

  7. 37
    Cat5

    @ Karl R. #38
     
    I didn’t mention anything about sex.  I was talking about marriage as a whole because marriage is about a whole lot more than sex.  In my case, my marriage did not end because of sex.  I suspect there are a significant number of marriages that end for reasons that have nothing to do with sex.
     
    Evan’s original blog post said, “Or are you content with the depth, comfort, and safety that comes with long-term commitment?”  My point was more to whether you still feel the depth, comfort and safety of long-term commitment after 10, 15, or 20 years.  You can try to find ways to sustain the sexual passion or change it up (if you will), but I think that is far less difficult then finding ways to sustain depth, comfort and safety because they, more often than not, get short shrift.  Most people have a tendency to focus on sustaining sexual passion rather then how to adjust with each other’s growth and change over the years, and how that results in changing and shifting non-sexual needs in the relationship.
     
    My apologies for not being more specific in my post original post.

  8. 38
    A Sheila

    John are you saying that by the 3rd date the women needs to ask you back out? How does that work? I could see that being really awkward. I agree that it should be reciprocated at some point, but that seems a bit early to me. Maybe it’s different for everyone. I agree with Mark that chemistry evolves because your partner may do something that makes you fall in love with them over all over again. Whatever route you choose, short term or long term it will take work. The short term dating process will get harder. I mean, are you going to date well into your 60s-70s? Not judging anyone, but it would be pretty hard to keep up with. Wouldn’t you rather have someone to grow old with? I guess I have more questions than answers.

  9. 39
    John

    Ellen #36,
    Glad you found a guy who shares your view that guys should always pay. Thats the reason why you and him are together and not in the dating pool. There are other men like me who feel that a woman should start to reciprocate. There are also women who have no problem with that also. So we search for each other since that would be a good match. Until then we are in the dating pool. I was just answering a question as to why so many women who want a relationship are still looking and that is one of the reasons why. Not the only reason of course. But one of the main ones. I have my own beliefs and so do my single guy friends that if a girl doesnt chip in then she is not g/f material. Thats all.
     
    Kathleen #37
    I didnt infer anything to any woman I dated. I stopped dating them thats all. And when they wanted to know why, I explained it. You make it sound like I had a tantrum or gave an ultimatum. They werent for me for those financial reasons and for me would not make a good LTR partner. So I moved on and found a woman who shares my beliefs. I see nothing wrong with that. Belive it or not, there are women who have no problem alternating picking up the tab. Those are the ones I date and it takes 3 or 4 dates to get that answer. You and I wouldnt be a good match. But isnt thats what dating is all about- finding someone who is a good match for  you?

  10. 40
    Mickey

    @John #20:
    I’d also throw in the fact that once one has been beaten down so many times by disappointment one stops believing there’s a light at the end of the tunnel.
    Sometimes, after enough blows, the idealism of youth gets run over by the cynicism of middle age.

  11. 41
    Lia

    My mother and step-father were married for ten years before he died of cancer.  I know that’s not looong term but not short term either.   I can tell you that they were very, very compatible.  He was her soulmate.  They married when he was seventy and she was in her late sixties.  Their relationship seemed to get better the longer they were together.  He became more comfortable with public displays of affection and she learned not to manage him in any way.  And they loved each other very much,
     
    They had passion too.  I quickly learned to not go over to their house in the afternoon without calling first because I never knew when those two would be upstairs “napping”.  Up till the time he was diagnosed (just before he turned eighty) and started treatment, he and my mom were having sex three or four times a week.  Guess you don’t have to be young to have passion.
     
    There is a great book, “Passionate Marriage” by David Schnarch.   It rocked my world.

  12. 42
    Henriette

    Ruby wrote, “Most marriages I know about that failed tanked cause somebody cheated or were seriously, unmedicated bi-polar, or were totally unresponsible, abusive etc”  I’d add <financially irresponsible> to the list.  
    From what I’ve seen, that “somebody cheated”  often occurs when the marriage has become comfortable but then one partner discovers someone new who creates drama and excitement.  Rather than appreciate that love develops with time, the partner choses to cheat in order to feel those butterflies again.  Guess what?  The butterflies are almost certain to eventually fade with that new partner, too.
     
    I have always found crazy passion disorienting and prefer a slow, steady burn.  However, even (especially) now I’m in my 40s, I find that most men I meet look for that instant chemistry and an intense fire that never diminishes.  Ah, well….

  13. 43
    marymary

    lia
    aw, that cheered me up, thanks for sharing.

  14. 44
    DinaStrange

    @starthrower68,
    what blessed nation?

  15. 45
    Paula

    Preaching to the choir. Agree totally. I am fortunate I look deeper and look at who the man is. Too many of my friends seem stuck in the superficials like height or feeling attracted (obviously feeling attracted is not a bad thing but it’s not the only thing)

    Henrietta: agree with your comment about how you say the butterfly feeling fades if someone decides to cheat on their spouse. too many people just don’t think long term and only think short term

  16. 46
    Amaryllis

     Such an interesting read! Thanks everyone for sharing your experiences. I have learned so much from everyone’s post. 

  17. 47
    Sparkling Emerald

    John -
       IRT #31, the whole who pays for the date thing gets very awkward in this post femnist era.  Some men complain that women are no longer “traditional” and that women aren’t women any more, etc. so offering to pay so early on, could come off to a man as being aggressive, unfeminine, or even desparate etc.  And not offering to pay, could end up being a turn off.  It’s a d@mned if you do, d@mned if you don’t situation for us women.   I usually allow the man to pay during the dating phase, but once things hit a relationship phase, things pretty much go into dutch treat mode.  Also, I am not above a “cheap date”.  I enjoy going to the many free art shows around my area.  We can get to know each other,  enjoy the art, and there’s no awkwardness about the check. A hike in the park is pleasant, also, is a good way to get to know someone & is free.  So, since it I could lose out either way, I have just decided to be traditional for the dating phase, and eventually start chipping in by cooking for him, offering to use my free movie passes which I accumulate a lot at work, etc. Then as the relationship progresses even further, I’ll treat both of us, use my car for going out, etc.  It might see a bit uneven at the beginning, but if a relationship ensues,  I do not expect to be a “kept woman”.  I also think I’ll attract a man who is more “my type”, and more “into me”  if I just let him pay in the beginning, and gradually start reciprocating as things progress.
      It’s totally up to you if you want to dump women who don’t pay for their half during the first 4 dates, but I really think if you gave it time, you would see some reciprocity.  Or you could just try some free dates in the beginning and gauge her re-action.  I actually prefer the first “getting to know you dates” to be no or low cost. Feels less pressure for me. But maybe I’m a bit of an odd duck that way.

  18. 48
    Anita

    Qs for EMK, out of curiosity: Is this advice you would have given years ago, before you were married, before you discovered your own LTR potential? Is this advice you would have listened to before you got married?
    Be honest! :)

    1. 48.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      Yes, Anita. In fact, it was after giving this advice for a number of years to clients that I finally stopped being a hypocrite and decided to take it to heart.

  19. 49
    Helen

    To set an arbitrary standard of breaking up with a woman who doesn’t pay on three dates seems misguided.
     
    You’ve probably heard of a book called “The Rules.” What you think of it isn’t the issue. I bring it up because the authors specifically advise women not to pay at all on the first several dates, under the assumption that if they do, they’d look as though they were trying too hard and would lose men’s interest.
     
    What’s more important when you go out with someone is not meticulously observing her financial behaviors (because she may or may not be attempting to follow The Rules or other cultural norms), but whether you feel compatibility with her. That matters much more in the long run. Besides, she may be reciprocating in a way that has nothing to do with paying for a date: buying you something or cooking for you. You wouldn’t want to cut things off with a woman who turned out to be just right because she didn’t pay on the first 3 dates.

  20. 50
    TJ

    This is my first time posting here. I am new to the blog but have gone back through over 40 pages of entries reading because I think Evan is great. I just wanted to say that my grandparents celebrated 70 years of marriage on the day this post was written. My grandma tells me that she loves my Grandpa more every day and that they still have that spark for each other. This is not to criticize anything Evan wrote. Just wanted to put that out there.

  21. 51
    John

    Sparkling Emerald #50
     It’s totally up to you if you want to dump women who don’t pay for their half during the first 4 dates, but I really think if you gave it time, you would see some reciprocity.
    I have never seen a woman who began contributing when the first 4 dates she refused to even offer. While the occasional lady like your self may begin at #5, most will not. Its like playing blackjack and holding a 19. You could hit and hope for the ace or a 2 but odds are that wont happen and you will go broke in playig as if it would happen. Your type is like holding the 19. It could pay off but the odds are against it and can spend way too much money in the hopes of finding the rarity.
     
    Again these are just my views (Evan has also commented on giving a 4 date deadline to see if the girl at least offers). So the way this concept applies to the long term relationship, is that I think both parties need to contribute financially. But what the heck do I know- I got divorced and my ex always chipped in. We agreed on money matters but it still didnt work. Go figure.

  22. 52
    marymary

    TJ
    Lovely, encouraging comment.
    Feeling a spark does not, to me, equal the heights of passion that some seem to expecting.  Also, loving each other and spark does still mean that there will be times when it’s just a slog.   I am sure that many couples, however loving and sparky have times when they would just like to be throw in the towel - even for a day or an hour! But you push through it for the greater good.
    The advice isn’t to accept that all marriages become transactional arrangements/ or passionless, boring and sexless.  There is a middle ground between that and a re-enactment of wuthering heights.  Or maybe it’s not a middle ground, maybe it’s a different place entirely. Many seem to be positing that relationships start as a passionate romance that – over time –  fizzles out. Or that the initial passion can be enough to fuel a 50 year union.  I think not.  Love is built and changes and is built again over time. You keep putting in the effort.  It’s not about coasting along on the initial attraction, or expecting passion to substitute for the work.
    In ten years time, assuming we make it that far, I don’t want to be looking back on my relationship and thinking that the best bits had gone, but somehow those best bits are supposed to motivate me here and now.  What motivates me here and now has to be what I do here and now.  Not the past which has gone, or the future which is unknowable.  Of course, shared history is a solid grounding but it’s not enough. Every day both of you show up for the relationship/marriage with your best intentions and total commitment. That’s my plan (having exhausted the other options, including all that high passion/chemistry stuff).

  23. 53
    Ellen (Rebekah) aka redheadinDixie

    John 42: Never said I went looking ONLY for guys who would pay. My bf has paid for most of our outings, meals out, most groceries for over a year despite me saying from time to time it wasn’t necessary.
    I also said in my post the arrangement could be awkward but he is old school. Like Kathleen I think it is his way of being courteous, respectful and providing, something men love to do. He is always telling me and others how lucky he is to have me, etc., etc. so maybe that motivates it. I don’t know as I’m not male.
    PS His big ole old school pickup truck is not esp. gas efficient so we take our Prius just about every where we go. So while with me he doesn’t spend much on gas. You satisfied now?
    People should read carefully these posts and not respond in a kneejerk way. I read your posts carefully John- now return the favor.

  24. 54
    nathan

    Sparkling Emerald #50. I understand your position, and do think that when it comes to money and dating, things are fairly confusing these days. Something you, and many other women should consider, if you haven’t, is that women still tend to have the option to wait to chip in. Whereas the majority of men are expected to pay for dates early, as part of “proving” we’re worthy of consideration. It’s something that has always felt reductive to me. That my value as a partner is sometimes heavily tied to how well I can finance dating early on. I’m fortunate to have found a partner who isn’t like that, but the frustration John is expression is something I’ve felt before as well. Even if you’re not playing the field, and not choosing high end options for dates, all these “three or four dates and out” connections get expensive over time. In my experience, it was easy enough to meet for coffee or at an art gallery or something low cost or free the first time around. However, by date two or three, there almost always will be a discussion about going for dinner or movies or something of the like. Over the course of a year, these kind of things add up if your finances are tight.
     
    I do think Ellen is right that some men are also motivated to pay, and see that as a way of being generous and caring. That’s totally fine. Some of these guys are also really attached to “traditional” gender roles in general, which can be a frustration even to women who claim to want that.
     
    In the end, it really should be the quality of overall generosity and caring that matters, not whether or not a guy foots the bill often or always. My experience has also been that whenever a man pushes back on the guys should pay narrative, he usually gets a lot of flack. Sometimes his character gets judged solely for wanting more equality early on. It’s something I’ve noticed a lot of more progressive minded women are cool with in theory, but struggle with in practice.
     
    Overall, I tend to think patterns are much more important than any individual action or handful of actions. How the first few dates were paid for is pretty miniscule in the long run.

  25. 55
    Amaryllis

    @Nathan: I agree. Dating rules have changed. I get so confused when I try to follow    these rules that are obviously out dated. Now-a-day, I just go by whatever feels right. Times are tough now; plus, with the feminist movement going strong it’s only fair that men be treated equally too which is why I offer to go Dutch or alternate paying. My ex preferred alternating and the man I’m dating now seems to appreciate this course of action too. Everyone’s happy. 

  26. 56
    Karmic Equation

    With respect to paying for dates, I’m totally egalitarian. Whoever makes more pays more often.

    I meet people IRL, so, during the course of conversations, I can usually figure out which of us makes more money. If my dates talk about “overtime” or “second jobs”, I know I make more than they, then I either offer to go dutch or just pick up the tab the next time we go out. At some point it goes into alternating or going dutch, if we continue to see each other.

    My last live-in ex made only third of what I made, so I only asked him to pay 1/3 of the utilities, no rent (I paid the full mortgage as it was my house) and to split the occasional check when we went out. When he lost his job, I paid for it all, and didn’t think anything of it.

    My recent ex, who made less than me, always paid when we went out or had take out, when he was employed full-time and worked a 2nd job. He lost both jobs at approximately the same time. After which I paid for all our entertainment and meals when we went out together. I didn’t mind as I knew he was industriously looking for a new job. However, I was highly uncomfortable when (1) he started to run up $100 tabs when we were out (about once a week) and (2) started to ask me for daily loans of $20 to pay for misc (meals at work, gas, etc), which he promised to pay back on payday — he found a new job within a month, but it was full-commission sales, so $ was unstable.

    I had to chase him for repayment every paycheck. The 3rd time I had to do this, I called it quits for good. (I actually tried to call it quits a few times before, but my heart wasn’t into those breakups, so they didn’t stick). I really don’t mind sharing, after all, you “can’t take it with you” — but I didn’t like his lack of character and lack of money management.

  27. 57
    Sparkling Emerald

    John #54
        Can you at least understand how socially awkward it is for a girl to offer on a traditional date ?  I’ve offered and have had some bad reactions from men, like they felt emasculated.  That’s why I’ll cook for them, or suggest that we eat lunch at my place before our afternoon whatever outing, because “I just happen to have plenty of food in the house, and gosh I can’t eat it all myself”.  Or if we go on some sort of hike, concert in the park, or bike ride, I’ll offer to bring a picnic basket and I’ll make some stuff and buy some gourmet stuff. 
    Instead of assuming it’s some sort of character flaw in the girl, how about  creating an opporutunity for her to graciously chip in.  Like invite her on a picnic and say, well I’ll bring the  – - – -. what would you like to bring ?
     
    if a girl tells you it’s traditionally the guys job to pay for dates, playfully tell her, “Great, I love a traditional woman, so when are you going to do the traditional woman thing and make me a nice home made meal ? “.  If she won’t even do that, then she proboby isn’t gf material, but why not give her an opportunity instead of just writing her off ? 
      Also, once we get more relationshippy, if we get invited to a wedding, I’ll ask if they are registered somewhere I’ll offer to buy the gift, ‘cuz I’m a girl and I looooooooove to shop.  Oh, and “I gotta take my dress to the dry cleaners, and does your suit need to go too, because I might as well take it when I take mine”  There are some non-awkward ways for girls to chip in, but sometimes they don’t get noticed because it’s not happening on such a traditional date thing.

  28. 58
    Karmic Equation

    Many women may not agree with this, but I think Andrew makes great points about why women should assume the bill’s going to be split: http://www.therulesrevisited.com/2012/01/who-pays-on-dates.html
     
    There are ways to do this without “offending” the man.
     
    Additionally, imo, “cooking meals” seems more desperate than paying, e.g., you want to “prove” you’re a good cook etc. While that may not be your intention, it may come across that way. Additionally cooking meals is intimate simply because you’re at one or the other person’s residences, which can lead to more intimacy than you wanted if you’re on dates 1-3. If you’re not ready for sex then that doesn’t seem like a good idea. Easier to assume / offer to split the check. That’s less fraught with hidden messages, intentional or not.

  29. 59
    Ellen (Rebekah) aka redheadinDixie

    someone wrote: “Times are tough now; plus, with the feminist movement going strong it’s only fair that men be treated equally too which is why I offer to go Dutch or alternate paying”
    I think Evan’s blog is ALL about traditional role playing, at least in the beginning. I.e., women mirroring, men pursuing, paying for dates (at least initially) so imo feminism is totally at odds with courtship. Feminism flies in the face of biology during courtship, sorry.
    Which is why guys like John will come in last.
    Plus, I’ve noticed I just get more excited with the alphas ’cause they tend to be more traditional and providing and well vive la difference! Betas don’t excite me, in or out of bed. But really, it’s all just maya in the end, isn’t it? A game, this world.
    To get back: If I were on a date with a guy who was scrutinizing me like a hawk on the money issue, trust me, he wouldn’t get a second date. If anything, it reeks of OCD imo.
    One of my platonic friends is still single at age 65 because he won’t open his wallet. He’s loaded, no children, a chiropractor all his life, but is miserly. Women pick up on it FAST. Not ’cause they are afraid he won’t take them to fancy places, but because he’d make a miserable life partner.  I can’t bring myself to tell him, but only occasionally suggest he “spoil” the woman. Also, he claims he is desperate to marry but always finds things wrong with every woman he meets. Leads with the negative comments about her, never leads with the positive.
     

  30. 60
    Locutus

    Ellen #63,
    And likewise Ellen, justy like your friend is an extremely cheap guy I would boot your ass to the curb if you never offered to even pay part of a bill after 3-4 dates.  YI don’t put up with that BS.  Just as you say women pick up on cheapness fast, men also pick up on a moocher fast.  A moocher would make a miserable life partner in my book, too.  Your BF payed for almost all outings, meals and groceries for a year?  What a sap!! 
    Some women strangely feel this entitlement, but thankfully in my experience many do not.  And yes I normally pay for the first few dates in entirety and this is usually eating at a good restaurant and drinks after which can easily be over $150.  When a girl does not even offer to pay the tip it doesn’t sit well with me.  I typically refuse her offer, but just to offer to pay makes all the difference because it tells you what type of person they are.  I’ve also had the experience of where an older woman asked me out for drinks and would not accept me paying at all despite my efforts to.  I had extreme respect for that.  She was not rich either.
    Perhaps the best example of a girl feeling so entitled was a girl who was a friend of a female friend of mine.  Even when my female friend went out with her, another woman, and a man- all friends this one girl in particular would NOT contribute to the bill because she felt the male friend should pay for her because he is a guy.  Even though it was 4 people hanging out as friends!!!  I told my female friend that if I was hanging out with them I would have embarassed her infront of everyone if she pulled that stunt.  Some people think they are owed everything.
     

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