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. 61
    Karmic Equation

    @Ellen
     
    I think your miserly friend was doing a pre-emptive strike against his dates…if he rejected them first, they can’t reject him. It’s very likely even if he were to have asked those ladies out for a 2nd date, they likely would have declined (as they would have noticed his cheapness) — and his leading with the negatives was a way to rationalize away his own faults (e.g., their faults were bigger than his faults).
     
    It’s really sad when people focus on money overmuch. Usually though, this has roots going back to childhood. My exhusband was overly focused on money (not while we were dating, but certainly after we became engaged) — but he was an extraordinary saver and taught me how to do that… But his mom was on welfare and I got the sense that while he and his mom never went without, that worry about money never left him and he could never have enough.

  2. 62
    Ellen (Rebekah) aka redheadinDixie

    Karmic #65: think you’re right about my miserly platonic friend. Good observation.
    Locutus: you seem new here, that’s fine, but I wouldn’t jump to conclusions about anyone here. Or hurl insults, willy nilly. As I told John, read the posts carefully as you totally misconstrued what I was trying to say. It simply ASTOUNDS me how many people here are incapable of reading a post carefully and/or interpret/read between the lines.
    Re my bf and $, I have racked my brains how to approach the topic without emasculating him ’cause his providing seems important to him. I have told him several times he doesn’t have to do it. Several. What else would you have me do as a “moocher”? And, believe me, he’s no “sap”. He’s alpha and likes to be in control and I’m an alpha female so if he were a sap I wouldn’t have much respect for him now would I?
    But I’ll throw you a bone, kid: I have heard men complain there are too many “professional daters” online, mostly women, who are just looking for free, fancy meals. At least that’s their “take”/beef….
    PS I outearned my ex of 25 years at least half the time we were together and never mentioned it. Ever. All the while raising two kids, one with autism. ‘Cause if I have learned anything about men it’s their whole identity is wrapped up often in what they do and what they make.  So I don’t think that makes me a “moocher”……
    Didn’t Mitt lose ’cause he called half the American population “moochers”? lol

  3. 63
    Joe

    @ Ellen #66:
     
    Off the top of my head, “Honey, you always treat me when we go out, and that makes me feel wonderful because you take such great care of me.  Just this once, I’d like to make you feel that wonderful too.”
     
    Hard?

  4. 64
    Kathleen

    Locutus 64 
    Im guessing your attitude about women paying is in the minority. Amongst my friends thats not the norm but my friends are very attractive women who have many suitors. I wonder if you met your dream woman or someone who looked like your most admired sexy woman whether you’d expect her to pay or kick her to the curb by the 3rd date if she doesn’t .  
     

  5. 65
    Amaryllis

    I know a woman who has been with her bf for 4 years and still have not ever offered to pay for anything when they go out. That made me felt uneasy but her bf doesn’t seem  to mind too much. It looks like some prefer traditional gender roles and others prefer to define their own roles. I say do whatever feels right by you.

  6. 66
    Locutus

    Kathleen #68,
    I will answer your question honestly.  If I met what I thought was my dream woman and we went on a 4th date, wined and dined on all 4, and she didn’t even offer to buy me a lousy drink on the 4th date or offer to pay a tip then she would be outta here!  I don’t care if she looked like the sexiest woman on earth…and she surely would not be my dream woman.  I don’t put anyone on a pedestal unless they deserve to be.  When someone acts that way it is a massive turnoff.  Sounds like your friends are all snobs who think they are God’s gift to men.  They sound a lot like the girl I described in my last paragraph at #64.  Let your friends have all the suitors they want.  I don’t like snobby people and I don’t genuflect to anyone.  And Kathleen you must be just like your friends because I certainly am not in the minority in thinking a woman shouldn;t at least chip in or pay a tip after 3-4 dates.  You are in the minority of women who feel so entitled, though.  Most that I have been out with at least make an offer- even on the first date.
     
    Ellen #66
    It’s not about the money mostly, it’s more a matter of principle.  Someone who doesn’t give back, ever or barely ever.  I could not live with that.  Certain types of people are that way, while certain types totally are not.  I took a cute and really sweet girl out for sushi and she offered to split the bill and I totally insisted I pay and did.  When we went out for a few drinks after to a martini bar, she took out her money to pay the bill.  I insisted on paying, but she wouldn’t have it and demanded that she pay- grabbed the bill and gave me no choice.  That right there makes a woman infinitely more attractive to me.  It shows that she is a fair person and a thoughtful and caring and sweet person.  Again, it’s a matter of principle and what it says about someone far more than it is about the money itself.

  7. 67
    Sparkling Emerald

    Nathan #58
    You said “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.”
    Yes I totally agree, I’ve just decided to do what feels right in a particular situation.  After reading several sites such as this, there isn’t ANYTHING a woman can do on a date without some dating coach/advice columnist/ etc. saying it’s wrong.  The Rules say make him pick you up for the date, my gut says, if I only know the guy from an online dating site NO freakin’ way, I will meet him somewhere.  If you cook for a man you are “desparate” if you don’t you aren’t womanly enough , etc. etc.  Another read said cooking looks desparate, but I say, if I keep plenty of food in the house and casually offer it to someone BEFORE the date  (For instance “Oh, I was going to make some hot beef sandwiches from last night roast beef, would you like to have some before we go to art show ?) I guess that could be construed as desparate, or it could show that I’m a big girl now who can take care of herself, and doesn’t have that stereotypical refridgerator that contains nothing but a carton of Slim-Fast and a half full bottle of ketchup.  Eventually, I start chipping in, (leaving the tip, etc)  but NO MATTER what I do, there will ALWAYS be someone who says that it is WRONG.  So since I can’t please every dating coach in the Universe, I just do what feel right for me.  I enjoy EMK’s column the most, because most of it resonates with me, and sometime I get NEW ideas, that I haven’t thought of myself, but feels right to me.  The stuff I don’t agree with, I just don’t do.

    1. 67.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      @SparklingEmerald: After reading several sites such as this, there isn’t ANYTHING a woman can do on a date without some dating coach/advice columnist/ etc. saying it’s wrong.

      (That’s why you shouldn’t listen to anybody else but me.)

      The Rules say make him pick you up for the date, my gut says, if I only know the guy from an online dating site NO freakin’ way, I will meet him somewhere.

      (I say that if you spend a week getting to know him via email and phone, you can trust him enough to pick you up on a date like a gentleman.)

      If you cook for a man you are “desparate” if you don’t you aren’t womanly enough , etc. etc. Another read said cooking looks desparate, but I say, if I keep plenty of food in the house and casually offer it to someone BEFORE the date (For instance “Oh, I was going to make some hot beef sandwiches from last night roast beef, would you like to have some before we go to art show ?) I guess that could be construed as desparate, or it could show that I’m a big girl now who can take care of herself, and doesn’t have that stereotypical refridgerator that contains nothing but a carton of Slim-Fast and a half full bottle of ketchup.

      (I say that you shouldn’t cook for a man until he’s earned it; meaning, he’s become exclusive with you. Cooking too early indicates that you’re trying too hard. It also puts you in a situation where he’s inside your place and probably expecting sex. Save the cooking for when he’s your boyfriend.)

      Eventually, I start chipping in, (leaving the tip, etc) but NO MATTER what I do, there will ALWAYS be someone who says that it is WRONG.

      (Offer to split; be grateful that he takes care of it. Insist on paying on the 4th or 5th date. Once he’s your boyfriend, find a fairer arrangement.)

  8. 68
    Sparkling Emerald

    EMK
    (I say that if you spend a week getting to know him via email and phone, you can trust him enough to pick you up on a date like a gentleman.)
    EMK – I know this is extremely rare (possibly one of a kind) but there is right now a woman who is suing match.com because one of her dates tried to kill her with a knife.  (I’m actually with match.com)  I feel very sorry for the woman’s injuries, but don’t think she has grounds to sue, but I will be making that first introductory meeting, a very short meeting at a coffee house, smoothie bar, happy hour etc.  I also now have a very young room mate, and I don’t want to subject her to any fall out from my carelessness from dating.

  9. 69
    Anita

    EMK@55: I’m glad that you admitted that you changed your mind or your behavior (implied by your use the word “hypocrite”). Self-reflection is good, esp in those who give out advice! :)
    Next Q: Why did you–and why do you think others–believe or behave in ways inconsistent with the ultimate goal? (In your case and in others, but not all, to have a happy LTR.)
    Maybe it’s just a timing thing.

  10. 70
    Karl R

    Sparkling Emerald said: (#71)
    “After reading several sites such as this, there isn’t ANYTHING a woman can do on a date without some dating coach/advice columnist/ etc. saying it’s wrong.”
     
    You’ll get conflicting information about dating (and about many other things in life). Most of the advice (particularly the best advice) is common sense. That doesn’t necessarily mean it’s what you want to do (Evan didn’t follow some of his own advice for years), but he knew it was the advice that worked … even when he wasn’t following it.
     
    The three examples you give are truly trivial. I wouldn’t dump a woman even if I discovered her fridge was empty except for a carton of slim-fast and a bottle of ketchup.
     
    Relationships fail because of big reasons. If you’re worried about which date to first offer to pay for, you’re focused on the wrong things.

  11. 71
    starthrower68

    Just read a brief article about a couple married 81 years.  I bet if you asked them, they’d agree character counts.

  12. 72
    Anita

    Have to say that times have changed. Used to be that the whole conversation about who paid for dinner descended into a rant about women who won’t put out by date 3 when the guy is paying for everything and women defending their chastity. Progress!
    I don’t attribute this progress to feminism as much as to a general evolution toward seeing people as individuals rather than as members of any particular group–at least here in the US. You can’t assume anymore that you know how a member of any particular group will behave or what they believe. In the spirit of this, what’s wrong with initiating the money discussion right up front? Before the first date saying something like: “You know, there seems to be a lot of confusion out there about who pays for what and why and when. I think X,Y, Z. What do you think?” Not a good ice-breaker, but maybe a few chats in.

  13. 73
    Karl R

    Anita asked: (#74)
    “Why did you–and why do you think others–believe or behave in ways inconsistent with the ultimate goal?”
     
    Generally it’s because they’re also trying to pursue short-term gratification which conflicts with the long-term goal.
     
    People eat unhealthy foods because they taste good. They drink because they like the buzz. They pursue the wrong men/women because it’s enjoyable in the moment.

  14. 74
    Sparkling Emerald

    Karl R (#75)
       You said “Relationships fail because of big reasons. If you’re worried about which date to first offer to pay for, you’re focused on the wrong things.”
      First of all, I joined an ONGOING conversation about that very topic, and I am merely offering my POV & experiences.  I didn’t worry about it so much, until I discovered on this blog, that some men are apparently using it as one more criteria by which to judge a woman.  So now there is the infamous 3 date rule for sex, and now there is apparently a 5 date rule for the woman to start paying for a date.  (‘cuz all the other ways we have discussed of chipping in are unacceptable for one reason or another)
      So between the Rules* saying the man must ALWAYS, pay, plan etc., and some men saying one thing, and others saying another, it really is another d@mned if you do, d@mned if you don’t.  You can criticize me for bringing it up (actually I didn’t, the topic was already up). but the reality is there, that is does pose a dilemma for daters.  (*BTW, I think the Rules are 90% silliness)
      One “dating coach” in one of my meet-up groups scolded me for suggesting a date to someone who  asked me out online, when  he ASKED me where I would like to go.  I suggested the library, because they have an art gallery in there that is free (my way of skirting the who pays dilemma) & it’s in a nice park.  She grabbed my hand (playfully) & smacked it and said “I’m spanking your hand for that, ALWAYS have the man plan & pay”.  I told her, “But he ASKED me for my input,” and she insisted that I keep throwing the question back at the man, etc.  I thought her advice was a bit whacked. 
      I’m just going start keeping at least $30 dollars in small bills in my wallet on dates, and gauge each situation on a case by case basis, and act accordingly. And when asked for suggestions on where to go, suggest the numerous freebies that I know about (and I won’t tell that “dating coach” about it)
     
      And as if this wasn’t confusing enough, I just had lunch with my best friend today, and she told me about her last date.  The man paid for lunch, then commented that there was a Cheesecake Factory across the street.  She offered to treat him to dessert at Cheesecake Factory and he said “Why would you do that ?”  and she said “‘cuz that’s just the way I am”. Apparently, he wasn’t to pleased.  I too have had negative experiences when I have offered to pay my half, leave a tip.  To make matters even more complicated, I am back in the dating game jungle after 25 years of being out of it, and all the rules have changed AND technology has changed the game.  (in my last incarnation as a single person, there was no texting, e-maiing, cell phones, caller ID,.facebooking etc.) So on top of not knowing what expected of me socially, I feel inept on some of the technology to boot.
     
     

  15. 75
    Karl R

    Sparkling Emerald said: (#79)
    “She grabbed my hand (playfully) & smacked it and said ‘I’m spanking your hand for that, ALWAYS have the man plan & pay’.”
     
    If the man is a savvy dater, he will know that he is supposed to plan & pay for the first date. (It makes him appear decisive and confident, which increases his likelihood of getting another date.)
     
    Do you consider “savvy dater” to be a dealbreaker criterion?
     
    Dating is a skill … and it’s unrelated to being a good partner in a long-term relationship. Therefore, I was perfectly willing to accommodate unskilled daters … just like you did. Your dating coach isn’t willing to accommodate unskilled daters.
     
    Quiz time:
    What do you think is in your best interest?
     
    Sparkling Emerald said: (#79)
    “So now there is the infamous 3 date rule for sex, and now there is apparently a 5 date rule for the woman to start paying for a date.”
     
    Over half the people in the dating pool don’t know the rules. The remainder break them occasionally (or frequently). Why would you care about faithfully following the rules? Nobody else is.
     
    Sparkling Emerald said: (#79)
    “some men saying one thing, and others saying another, it really is another d@mned if you do, d@mned if you don’t.”
     
    Why does that matter?
     
    You aren’t going to get 100% of men to like you, or be interested in you, or even be attracted to you.
     
    It really matters to a few men. You obviously can’t please them all. Which people do you want to please?
     
    People typically end up marrying those with similar financial views. More importantly, financial disagreements are a frequent cause of divorces. I’d highly recommend that you find someone who shares your point of view when it comes to finances.
     
    Quiz time:
    How do you avoid driving off the person who shares your outlook?
     
    Sparkling Emerald said: (#79)
    “You can criticize me for bringing it up”
     
    I’m not criticizing you for bringing it up. You presented it as a dilemma. I assumed you wanted helpful advice about how to solve that dilemma.
     
    I have read multiple dating coaches. I ran across conflicting information too. Everyone does. It doesn’t make the advice worthless. It just means you have to be selective about how you follow the advice.

  16. 76
    Sparkling Emerald

    Here’s some of the conflicting info I’m talking about

    From one of EMK’s articles (Are women good, men bad ? (not his words, a quote from another article)
    According to author Suzanne Venker, “the so-called rise of women has not threatened men. It has pissed them off… Men want to love women, not compete with them. They want to provide for and protect their families – it’s in their DNA. But modern women won’t let them.”

    But on other threads, men are railing against women if they don’t cough up cash by ex # of dates. (no other acceptable way to chip in)
    So which is it, women are spoiled little prima donna’s who expect to be a kept woman, even if they make tons of money themselves ? Or are women now man-hating femi-nazi’s who compete with men, and won’t allow them to provide for them ? According to the Fox (Fake) News report, every single man they interviewed who said they wouldn’t marry, said it’s because “women aren’t women” any more.

    I just don’t think a man should judge a woman based on weather she reaches for her wallet during the dating phase. It’s really no indication of how she will handle finances in the relationship phase. Don’t assume she’s unwomanly because she offers to go dutch on a first date, don’t assume she’s a prima donna ‘cuz she hasn’t coughed up cash by a 4th date.
    No, I don’t think a man is bad relationship material if he’s not a saavy dater. But if he NEVER comes up with an idea, it’s a turn off. It’s also a turn off to me, if he NEVER let’s me come up with an idea either or NEVER asks for my input.

  17. 77
    Joe

    @Sparkling Emerald #81

    Of course I expect Karl R to have a MUCH more erudite response, but right off the top I see this:

    [i]I just don’t think a man should judge a woman based on weather she reaches for her wallet during the dating phase. …
    No, I don’t think a man is bad relationship material if he’s not a saavy dater. But if he NEVER comes up with an idea, it’s a turn off.” [/i]

    So Emerald, [i]men[/i] aren’t permitted to have their own “turn offs” about women they date, but [i]you’re[/i] allowed to? Not very consistent, eh?

  18. 78
    Sparkling Emerald

    Joe #82 you said
    So Emerald, [i]men[/i] aren’t permitted to have their own “turn offs” about women they date, but [i]you’re[/i] allowed to? Not very consistent, eh?
    __________
    Of course everyone is allowed to have their turnoffs, but this ONE turn off is one I don’t understand and is the ONE I commented on, since this is the topic of conversation.  I never said men aren’t allowed to have ANY turns off, I am just puzzled by THIS one, since there’s a fairly easy solution, keep those first dates , low cost or no cost.  I also am puzzled that no one  understands the d@mned if you do, d@mned if you don’t that this brings up.  It’s not like dutch treat has ALWAYS been the norm, and suddenly women are demanding to be treated to 5 stars dinner from a guy they met on the internet and never face to face.  Maybe it’s an age thing, but men who  don’t like women offering to pay in the beginning are not a slim minority in my age group, maybe in the younger age group it is.
    I can understand a lot of mens’ turn offs, and some I simply don’t understand.  This is one of them.  And men are “allowed” to have them, but I’m also allowed to not understand them.
     
    I take it you think I’m wrong for being turned off by indecisive men ?
     
     
     

  19. 79
    Karmic Equation

    @Sparkling #83

    If it’s a d@mned if you do and d@mned if you don’t proposition, why are you ok with the d@mned if you do part (“If I pay, I offend him, so it’s better that I don’t pay for anyone.”) rather than the d@mned if you don’t part (“If I pay, and he get’s offended, what a jerk for being so ungracious about my generous gesture.”)

    My take is that MOST women (A) LIKE that the man pays (she equates it with “chivalry” AND she gets the BONUS of NOT having to share her wealth) and (B) DISLIKE it when SHE pays (she equates that with UN-chivalry on his part AND would PREFER not to share her wealth anyway) — so BECAUSE the UN-chivalrous guy satisfies HER OWN PREFERENCES (to not share her wealth), it SOUNDS better to herself to JUSTIFY not paying because of potential offense than to ADMIT one’s preference to not share one’s wealth.

    It’s NOT WRONG to think or want (B). It’s just wrong to NOT ADMIT to oneself what’s really going on. It’s self-deception to can maintain a FALSE self-image (“I’m a good person because I don’t want to offend”) than to admit to having a preference that seems selfish (“I don’t WANT to share, darn it) — because NO ONE wants to believe they are selfish :)

    It’s my belief that LACK of SELF-AWARENESS is a cause of a lot of insecurities. It’s BETTER to be self-aware and see yourself as YOU ARE, “warts and all”, than to ignore (or worse SELF-DECEIVE that you don’t have) the warts and hope other people don’t see or call attention to them. The BENEFIT of seeing your own warts is you can then work on GETTING RID of them if they really bother you, OR you can ACCEPT them, “Hey, *I* like my warts. If you don’t like them, then leave.” — So getting rid of insecurities starts with ADMITTING you “have warts.” Because if you can’t admit it TO YOURSELF, you WILL BE hurt or become defensive or insecure if someone points them out to you. No one should be surprised at their own warts. They should know where each and every one of them are located, and then make a CONSCIOUS decision on what to do about them.

  20. 80
    Karl R

    Sparkling Emerald said: (#81)
    “I just don’t think a man should judge a woman based on weather she reaches for her wallet during the dating phase. It’s really no indication of how she will handle finances in the relationship phase.”
     
    I’m not sure what you mean by “dating phase” and “relationship phase”.
     
    However, I don’t think I’ve ever made it to the 3rd date without the woman at least offering to pay for something. I don’t ever recall reaching the point of exclusivity without the woman paying for something (either insisting on paying, or buying something like a drink before I was aware that she was doing so).
     
    If you’re behaving differently from everyone else the man dates, that will stand out.
     
    Regardless of whether a man should judge a woman for that, it’s quite possible that he will.
     
    Sparkling Emerald said: (#81)
    “I also am puzzled that no one  understands the d@mned if you do, d@mned if you don’t that this brings up.”
     
    Do you consider all men to be equal? Are there men whom you will avoid dating even if they are interested in you?
     
    You can’t please everybody, but it’s quite likely that you can ensure that most of the men who are turned off are the ones you didn’t want anyway.
     
    Let’s say you offer to pay regularly and insist on paying occasionally. You will probably cause the Fox interviewees to lose interest in you. If you’re the kind of person who doesn’t agree with Fox news on anything, how are you “d@mned” by that action?

  21. 81
    Joe

    (Different Joe than #82)
     
    If a guy won’t accept a token offer (dessert at the Cheesecake Factory), is he really the kind of guy you want to be dating anyway?  A guy like that is likely to end up with a golddigger, and deservedly so.

  22. 82
    Ruby

    By “dating phase”, I think Sparking Emerald is referring to the the early stage of dating, before two people are exclusive, or an actual couple. “Relationship phase” would refer to “boyfriend/girlfriend” dating.
     
    I wouldn’t put much stock into the Suzanne Venker article. And the “3-date rule” went out the window long ago (at least for me). Then again, it depends on your personal comfort level.
     
    I think there’s a third reason women like it when men pay, and it’s also a reason men like to pay; it shows a certain level of interest. Now, a woman can – and should – offer some money or to reciprocate in some way, at least after the first 2-3 dates. If she prefers offering to split the check on the first date, that’s up to her. However, in my experience, men who have been really interested in me won’t let me pay for much in the early phase of dating. The ones who wanted to split the check from the beginning never had any real interest in me. So even if you offer to pay, many men won’t accept it. Good guys don’t get offended by it, though.
     
    I think that’s also why the dating coach chided Sparking; she believes that a man who takes the time to actually plan a date is showing a higher level of interest, and a desire to please her, than one who asks the woman to do the “heavy lifting”.

  23. 83
    Sparkling Emerald

    Karl R (85) – I feel like i’m not being understood, either ‘cuz I’m not explaining clearly, you aren’t understanding, or a little of each, but really, I can’t believe someone else had to explain the difference between dating and being in a relationship. BTW, Ruby  (87)(good job of explaining.)
    As for “Let’s say you offer to pay regularly and insist on paying occasionally. You will probably cause the Fox interviewees to lose interest in you. If you’re the kind of person who doesn’t agree with Fox news on anything, how are you “d@mned” by that action?”
    Have no idea what you are getting at, what your point is,  how it relates to anything I said, or if you are attempting to be humorous. ????????????????
     
     

  24. 84
    Sparkling Emerald

    Joe 86

    (Different Joe than #82)
     
    If a guy won’t accept a token offer (dessert at the Cheesecake Factory), is he really the kind of guy you want to be dating anyway?  A guy like that is likely to end up with a golddigger, and deservedly so.
     
    I don’t really know, it wasn’t my date, it was a date recently re-counted to me by a friend.  She told me OTHER stuff about him that was also a turn off, and she doesn’t plan on going out with him again.  So if the date went the way she said it did, he’s probobly not my type, and since NONE of her guys that I have ever met have been my type, he probably wasn’t my type.
      I really think this is an age & upbringing thing.  And maybe and age/East Coast thing, because I had it pounded into my head to have a man pay, plan, etc by my upbringing. In the mid – late 70’s, I had a few guys ask me to go dutch, and I did, since they asked me too & didn’t expect me to read their minds (and maybe it was my mini rebellion against my upbringing). But if a guy asked me out, and didn’t bring it up, then he paid. If there was anything to pay for. (did alot of freebie stuff) The few times I said “may I leave a tip” or some such thing, it was not well rec’d.  Also, when I was dating in the mid to late 70’s, there was a lot of hanging out as opposed to going out, (the free community center was  one of our big hang outs)   So since playing ping pong was free, the only “dutch” dating going on there was if I bought my own soda from the vending machine.  My first serious boyfriend insisted on paying for everything,  but that could be because he was quite a bit older, and I was in high school or it could be because he was a bit of a control freak. 

  25. 85
    marymary

    i,m six months in and he is still paying at his insistence.  i have paid twice. When I thank him for treating me, he thanks me right back. Could be cultural, he was born in africa but a us citizen.  My first boyfriend was hong kong born and paid for everything. that,s still quite normal for HK. even my brother over there expects to pay for me but more readily allows me to pay. with the boyfriends in between, it varied with him paying more, me paying more, or roughly equal. 
    i can see why sparkling is confused.  I think evan is spot on above, it,s straightforward, traditional, romantic and not too spendy for the man, unless he is dating a helluva lot and choosing expensive places.  I,m more diffident about being picked up at home. Agree re cooking.  Boyfriend didn,t see the inside of my flat for weeks.
    funny how this keeps coming up, I had to check the topic and this is offtopic no? Through I expect that being able to navigate this without resentment and horrible awkwardness is a good sign for the future. If the two of you get  that fraught over who pays for a pizza, maybe you,re not a good match. If one of you is being ripped off, not a good match. If one of you is rude about it, etc.  I think that,s what Karl meant re Fox News interviewees.  if you act in line with your beliefs, morals and good intentions and it offends someone for no apparent reason other than a gross generalisation blaming the opposite sex, you don,t want them anyway. Goes for men and women.

  26. 86
    Sparkling Emerald

    Marymary – Thanks for understanding my POV.

  27. 87
    Sammy @ OceansofPeople.com

    Commitment is the key to long lasting relationship. Every couple should have a strong commitment to their relationship.

  28. 88
    Natalie

    I am in my 50s. My boyfriend of 5 years wants to live with me desperately, calls me every day, wants to spend every weekend with me, but..
    1. he invites himself to my place instead of making plans to entertain me
    2. he always discusses his health and his problem with his grown up children
    3. I feel sad and empty after spending time with him ( I make reservations, find interesting plays, skiing resorts etc, he just follows..)
    4. there is no sex between us for more than year
    I do not like the setting, but afraid to stop seeing him. What if he is depressed and needs help ?
    Thank you !

  29. 89
    JoeK

    @Spaeking Emerald
     
    The problem is this: “I just don’t think a man should judge a woman…”
     
    You don’t get to choose what men judge you for, and in this statement you’re saying men aren’t permitted to judge women for something, yet you are permitted to judge men for whatever you want. That’s hypocritical.
     
    Even in your response you’re still defending your position, yet changing the definition and challenging my criticism. That’s called using a strawman and your use of it is to deflect from the original position and try to make me look like I’m being disingenuous.
     
    Frankly I couldn’t care less what your turnoffs are – they’re YOURS. But you seem perfectly happy to judge men’s turnoffs and tell them they “shouldn’t” have them.
     
    As Evan repeats ad nauseam – telling men what they “should” do/desire/think is useless.

  30. 90
    Destiny

    Evan. You are a sensation.  If you only knew how much your coaching, caring and wisdom (you are definitely a genius) has made a difference in my life – you have helped me get over my one-year relationship.  Btw, is one-year considered long-term?  :)
    I have written before & failed to check the email block to get a response, so I am giving this another shot. 
    After six-months. so-called boyfriend started withdrawing.  One night he became rude and mean, and I left and no contact.  After thirty days he came back with a vengeance.  I took him back.  His good behavior lasted about a week.
    Now, he is making rude comments, wants to be alone, can’t sleep with me because he gets hot and tosses and turns, talks about other women to a fault, disappears, changed his looks, lost weight, and brags about going fishing with  friends.  Also NO dates, and NO sex; unless it is for his gratification.  My gut tells me he has someone else, or in the wings. 
    He invited me over to dinner.  He picked a fight about nothing.  I realized my friends were wrong:  be patient – give him time to prove himself; he has been single for many years – just go with the flow. 
    I collected my things and left – knew I was in a toxic relationship, and it was NOT going to get better.  The problem is he will NOT leave me alone.  He keeps calling.  Making excuses to stay in contact.  I put him to the test and asked why we never go anywhere, and his reply:   “Oh, we will.  Just give it time.  It is only going to get better.” 
    I live next door and drive by and see him outside with friends and having fun.  I don’t want to move.  I was here first.  How do I break it off for good.  Text or in person?  What do I say?  Oh, and an Alpha male to the bone.  YOU are correct, Evan.  Good looks and charm are not worth the trade-off of pain and suffering.  My self-esteem is in tact.  No drama.  I realize he dumped me a long time ago.  I want to know 51 ways to lose your lover; on my terms, forever, and mean it. THANK-YOU FOR YOUR GIFT TO US.  Destiny
     

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