How to Write the Perfect Profile

how-to-write-the-perfect-profile

You know what a typical dating profile looks like.

“Nice, smart, kind, warm, funny, honest, successful, ambitious, family-oriented. I like hiking, biking, movies, music, and travel. I love to laugh. I’m equally comfortable in a little black dress or in jeans and T-shirt. I like staying in to watch Netflix but love going out to dance all night at a party. I’m looking for my best friend, lover, and partner in crime for a long-term relationship. No players, addicts, liars, perverts, winks, or games, please!”

Did she misrepresent herself? No. Did she misspell anything? No. Did she distinguish herself from all the other women who said a slightly different version of the same thing?

Hell no!

So if you’re reading this now and still maintain the belief that your  profile should be a cross between a resume and a diary, listen closely:

You’re doing it wrong.

Your profile is not a resume, nor a diary. It’s a personal ad. An actual advertisement that speaks directly to the deepest wants and needs of your desired customer.

In other words, you’re trying to demonstrate what the READER gets out of dating you.

Your profile is not a resume, nor a diary. It’s a personal ad. An actual advertisement that speaks directly to the deepest wants and needs of your desired customer.

When your profile contains lists of adjectives, hobbies, and cliches, you may be telling the truth, but you haven’t provided compelling evidence as to why someone should write to you.

In advance of Valentine’s Day, and in association with EliteSingles digital dating bootcamp, I’m going to teach you the special sauce that I teach my e-Cyrano writers.

If you aren’t aware, I created e-Cyrano online dating profile writing back in 2003. It remains the world’s leading provider of professionally written online dating profiles that attract the kind of people you want to meet. Inside e-Cyrano is a questionnaire that asks very specific questions that produce unique responses from clients.

And while I can’t give you a free look inside e-Cyrano, I can tell you what I teach our writers. Follow these basic directions and you, too, will have a perfect profile to attract someone special into your life this Valentine’s Day.

  1. Think of the 5 or 6 adjectives that describe you best. Then promise not to use them. Adjectives are boring. If I say I’m “funny, interesting, passionate, intelligent, and thoughtful,” couldn’t that equally describe you? Or my mother? Why write something that everyone else in the world could write?
  2. Come up with a story that illustrates each adjective. A story is finite. It’s one-line long. It’s funny, interesting or memorable. And it tells a tale of your behavior in relation to a person you dated in the past. So instead of a line that implies you’re intelligent because you “graduated summa cum laude from Cornell and have an engineering background” you would instead think of examples of how a FUTURE PARTNER benefits from your intelligence – using stories from your past.
  3. For example, here’s what I would say about my own wife’s intelligence:
    1. “She explains the plot of both How to Get Away with Murder and A Midsummer’s Night Dream, since I can never seem to follow them.”
    2. “She’d make me a color-coded Excel spreadsheet to help me prepare for my fantasy football draft. 
    3. “She knows how to negotiate better deals for us at hotels and will always take the phone from me to handle customer service issues.”

When a woman reads such stories and sees herself in them, she now has a compelling reason to want to write to me – and an easy opening to do so. Great profiles not only attract better prospects but they elicit more interesting emails as well. 

    4. Once you connect these stories that show how your reader benefits from your generosity, sensitivity, tenacity, playfulness, and good character, you will have a profile unlike any other – one that tugs at his/her heartstrings and illustrates what life will look like with you in it.

It may sound complicated, but it’s not brain surgery – just basic marketing: think about what your customer wants and demonstrate how you can provide it.

Once you stop thinking of your profile as a sum of your qualities and accomplishments and start focusing on what you can GIVE to another person, you will see a marked difference in your online dating experience.

Once you stop thinking of your profile as a sum of your qualities and accomplishments and start focusing on what you can GIVE to another person, you will see a marked difference in your online dating experience.

But hey, that’s just my take on it after writing over 1000 online dating profiles. There are no shortage of other people who have something valuable to offer on the subject as well.

Which is why I’d like you to click here to see what EliteSingles says about perfecting your online dating profile.

Your thoughts, as always, are greatly appreciated.

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Comments:

  1. 1
    Isobel Yeomans

    I still think the best dating ad I saw was
    “Normal woman seeks normal man for normal reasons”!

    LOL

    1. 1.1
      Malika

      While i’m pretty sure that would not get the seal of approval from Evan, it made me laugh! My favourite profile on OKC was a guy who posted his diary. Every day he would update it and it was so hilarious i kept checking it. He was unfortunately not my type but kudos for being eye catching.

  2. 2
    Katie

    I suggest the username Wants8kids&proposalASAP

  3. 3
    Michelle

    I followed Evan’s advice and numerous men told me it was the best profile they had ever read. I showed it to my boyfriend (we met offline) and he said it made him want to marry me. Listen to Evan.

    1. 3.1
      Henriette

      Okay, Michelle.  With a description like that, we (or, at least, I) want to read at least an excerpt of this awesome profile.  Would you please give us a sample!?

      1. 3.1.1
        Michelle Williams

        Hahaaaaa! I gladly would,  but I didn’t save a copy of it and I’m off OLD since meeting my boyfriend! I just followed the formula in Finding the One Online. Evan makes some great points in there, like describing situations that show your characteristics, instead of saying “I’m friendly, funny, confident etc.” I do remember two examples from my own profile – “I once sweet-talked a security guard to let me in to a private party so I could meet my favorite celebrity chef” (as in, I’m confident, spontaneous and a little bit cheeky) and “I once made a boyfriend a birthday cake based on his favorite movie, the Big Lebowski – can you guess the ingredients?” (I’m thoughtful, will go the extra mile for ones I love, like to cook etc).

        Hope that inspires you 🙂

        1. ScottH

          Is it appropriate to mention the things you did for an ex?  Doesn’t that set up expectations?  I once wrote an awesome poem, played happy birthday on my guitar, and made a beautiful jewelry box for a gf’s b’day but I feel that if I state that, then they will expect those things or feel shortchanged if they don’t get those things.  Or, they might feel as if they are replacing the ex-gf.  Thoughts?

          I would love to see examples of these killer profiles.  I do get a lot of very positive feedback from my profile but it doesn’t have many of these stories.

        2. Bala

          ScottH, I would not want to read about what he did for exes in his profile, or possibly never… That’s my personal view, so take it as one opinion only.

        3. Buck25

          @ Michelle,

          Those lines are both funny and extremely creative; would have  definitely drawn animal from me (and a lot of guys, I would think). Really original; great job!

          @ Scott., I wouldn’t go quite there either: does sound a bit like you’re promising, or trying too hard to impress her. Try taking the same qualities that led you to do that (you play guitar, you sing, you can make things, etc. ) then tell a short anecdote about doing one or two of those things, but not necessarily for a girlfriend. Talking about a project you made, or just talking about playing guitar and singing with a group of friends, if you did that, lets a woman imagine that just maybe you might do something like that in a way or context she might like, or finds romantic. Don’t spell it out for her, show the talent, then let her imagine how it might appeal to her. Women have wonderful imaginations;  you don’t have to give her the whole fantasy, just get her thinking, “Oh, he does that? What if….” She’ll imagine the details for herself, and best of all, it’ll be her own fantasy, not someone else’s. 🙂

        4. ScottH

          Buck said, “women have wonderful imaginations”

          I agree.  Some women imagine things that didn’t happen, don’t exist, can’t happen, shouldn’t happen, etc….

          Somehow I don’t think you meant it that way though.

  4. 4
    Karl S

    I have a friend who makes his own hummus and I am convinced that is the single best detail he could put into his dating profile if he wanted to attract the ladies.

    1. 4.1
      Bala

      Really why? Hummus is literally chick peas, lemon, garlic and tahini mushed up (with variations for the adventurous)… Not that hard to do… But then I’m a nutrition expert so cooking is kinda part of the job.  My ex husband was also an excellent cook but he used every. single. pot. in. the . damn. kitchen….. and it was bullshit to clean up after him. I preferred to cook every single night for 20 years just so I didn’t have to wash the whole kitchen after he had been in there.  But, maybe he will get women who have no clue about food and don’t know how easy hummus is to make??  Anything is worth a shot I suppose.  But I’d need to see him in action after viewing most mens time in the kitchen as being overly dramatic for what they produce and the mess…. um, no thanks… It certainly takes all kinds. That would not impress me.

    2. 4.2
      Katie

      Yeees! My bf’s a chef! I think all women should date a chef 🙂

    3. 4.3
      Katie

      Woo me with hummus any day XD

      1. 4.3.1
        Karl S

        “Hummus and chill…”

        1. Katie

          I tease my boyfriend by telling him he won me over  by making his own mayonnaise. Only 10% exaggeration XD

  5. 5
    Henriette

    Evan is spot-on with this.  I used to believe that the fact I had travelled a bit made for interesting profile fodder so I’d list some of the countries I’d visited, hoping it could at least spark conversation.  “Luxembourg… Uruguay… Syria…”etc.  How silly of me!   While those locales are indeed cool, telling that I’d been there did not make ME seem any more cool or appealing.  Men (at least, potential good long term mates) are more interested in the fact that I’m nurturing, kind and essentially a happy person so my profile evolved to include stories that demonstrated those traits.

    1. 5.1
      Michelle Williams

      Nice one! I summed up my travel experiences as follows: “I was eating, praying and loving before it was cool.” That way I wasn’t rattling off a list of countries and indicated there was some spiritual exploration as well as some travel romances in the mix. If he was curious, plenty of fodder for him to kick off a travel conversation.

      1. 5.1.1
        Buck25

        Well done again, Michelle! Nailed it, balance wise, (and really great writing style too; I’m taking notes here!)

         

        This, ladies, is how to do it!

    2. 5.2
      CJ

      How mundane and disappointing that men want boring women. Most of those nurturing traits are inherent in females, so, yawn… Apparently men want mothers not adventurers. Got it.  And check. while they list all the places THEY have travelled.. Isn’t this tiring for all the women here? Constantly morphing to appeal to defined interests of men? Aren’t you tired?

      1. 5.2.1
        Malika

        It’s not a question of bending yourself towards his ideal, but show those qualities that you already have which he finds desirable. While i strive to become a more thoughtful and sensitive person, i embraced this goal so all my relationships would become deeper, not to attract a guy who might or might not come along. It has been of great benefit in all areas of my life, if i meet ever meet a guy who is attracted to that aspect of me, it would be icing on the cake.

        Men could make the same argument, that they feel they need to become more take charge and acomplimshed, and that they find it tiring. While i don’t doubt that it is, it would be nice to think that they could find motivation and satisfaction in their heightened self efficacy, and that the women they attract is for them also the icing on the cake.

        1. Karl R

          Malika said:

          “It’s not a question of bending yourself towards his ideal, but show those qualities that you already have which he finds desirable.”

          Malika is absolutely correct.

          In addition, it’s important to portray those qualities in a way that sounds different from the way everyone else describes them.

           

          That’s actually easier than it sounds. When I was dating, I read hundreds of profiles, approximately 90% of people described themselves as intelligent and having a great sense of humor. The majority of those profiles were badly written (poor grammar, numerous misspellings, etc.), and none of them were funny.

          As CJ implied, a list of places you’ve traveled is boring. It’s far better to tell a story that makes it sound like being in that place with you would be more fun than being there with anyone else.

      2. 5.2.2
        Buck25

        CJ,

        It’s not about any of us, male or female, trying to be something we’re just not. Hopefully none of us are doing that, at least, we shouldn’t be. . However it’s sometimes a matter of presentation, specifically, what you lead with. That’s still authentic, while more targeted at the specific group you want to attract. I think we’ve covered this before, but while being a world traveller may be very attractive for a lot of women in a man, it’s way down most men’s priority list, and snide comments about wanting a “mommy” rather than an “adventurous woman” won’t change that. Personally, I couldn’t care less about how many continents you’ve been to; but I probably would care whether you know the difference between a piton and a carabiner. If you don’t know what those are for, let’s just say it involves some real adventures you can’t accomplish by simply throwing money at it and going on what amounts (to me, anyway) to little more than a fancy vacation.

        It’s not a matter of anyone, you included, “morphing” into anything. You lead with too much “world traveller”, for example and not enough femininity and sensuality (I once dated a woman who was a former firefighter and could handle a hose line and a fire axe as well as any man, and still be exquisitely feminine in a little black dress; she had no trouble getting dates, but she didn’t lead with trying to “out-man a man” either) , and what you’ll attract is men whose sole interest is that. Similar to a man who leads with too much  philanthropy and compassion, and not enough masculine strength and edge. I should know; tried that, to tone down my “alpha attitude”; overdid that, and took the consequences (not good). I switched that up, left just a hint of the “good guy” stuff, and voila! Much better! Bottom line, you can’t, and I can’t, just assume that the opposite gender automatically thinks that you posess “inherent” feminine (or in my case, masculine) characteristics. Show them! Attraction preferences are what they are, for men, and for women. Bottom line, if you have attraction qualities, lead with them; anything else, don’t overemphasize that, no matter how “cool” or interesting you personally think it is. That’s not being someone you’re not (as long as you actually have the desired qualities), that’s just leading with your strong suit, attraction wise, and that’s just plain smarter.

      3. 5.2.3
        Tron Swanson

        I can relate, CJ. Granted, we all need to remember that the genders tend to value and prioritize different traits…most men aren’t going to be turned on by the places you’ve traveled to or the number of degrees you have, just as most women aren’t going to be impressed by some of the things that I care about.

        That said: like you, I quickly became sick of trying to change into what my desired gender wanted me to be. I simply don’t possess the traits that women tend to value. These are traits that I either can’t develop (things like height) or don’t want to develop (because I don’t like them).

        I’ve never written a dating profile in my life. But, if I did, I have no idea how I’d “market” myself. I’m pretty plain in my presentation. Quite frankly, the job-interview-like nature of dating disgusts me, and it’s one of the reasons that I’ve avoided it.

        I’d rather be myself, and be alone, than change into someone that I don’t want to be. I’m thankful that I live in an individualistic country where that sort of thing is more accepted.

        1. Shaukat

          Hi Tron,

          Just curious, didn’t you mention on a different thread that you’ve been using online dating for casual sex for quite awhile?

        2. Tron Swanson

          I use social network sites (I think that’s what they’re called), and I keep my profiles pretty much blank.

          I think I might have used a dating site once or twice in the distant past, but I definitely didn’t write a profile for it. I just filled out my stats and what have you. But I never felt right using that site, because I’m not actually interested in dating.

      4. 5.2.4
        Yet Another Guy

        I could care less where a woman has traveled. I served in the United States Navy. I have been to destinations that most Americans will not visit in a lifetime. Not one of these destinations is enumerated in my profile.

        I “next” profiles where a woman puts a lot of emphasis on travel, and suspect that a large percentage of men do as well. A guy is not thinking that a woman is adventurous when she lists travel. He is thinking that dating her is going to be an expensive proposition.

        1. Buck25

          YAG,

          “I next profiles where woman puts a lot of interest on travel, and suspect that a large percentage of men do as well. A guy is not thinking that a woman is adventurous when she lists travel. He is thinking that dating her is going to be an expensive proposition”

          Yep!  Anytime I see a woman’s profile composed of nothing but an extensive travel resume, a bunch of pictures taken in  trendy tourist spots , a few platitudes of what they think a man wants to hear, (think the female equivalent of guys saying “I enjoy candlelight dinners and long walks on the beach”, and a checklist of “must haves”that begins and ends with “Must love TRAVEL!” (usually written just that way, with travel in all caps), she might as well have said “My real interest in a man is solely as an accessory to fulfill my travel fantasies, because other than that, I don’t have a life.” Seriously, ladies, that’s how it comes across to every man I know. It’s about as original as a month-old loaf of stale, moldy bread, as ubiquitous as dandelions in the spring, and about as appealing to most men as as, say, a root canal.   At that point, even if you look like a  supermodel, and even if you claim to have the soul of Mother Teresa, and the sexual appetite of a mink, I’ve lost all interest. You could have written a one-word profile that said “MERCENARY!”, and accomplished the same thing with less effort. You know how most of you are thrilled to read a man’s profile that says, “Must be willing to keep the beer, pizza and nachos coming, while my buddies and I all sit around and watch football on TV every weekend!”? Oh, you’re not? Well, your fixation on travel feels about like that to us, ok?

          P.S. There are a few places around the world I’d actually like to see, and I can well afford to take you along…it’s just that I’d prefer to do that with a woman who sees me as a man and relationship partner, not just as her personal travel ATM.

        2. Malika

          Hi Buck:

          Out of curiosity, what are the platitudes you see on dating sites that you think are only written to appeal to men?

          I had never thought that listing travel as a hobby would come across as gold digger-esque to guys. I figured that guys would just take it at face value as ‘she likes to travel’. Most of the women i know who went to far flung locales saved up for it themselves, often for years beforehand, and didn’t expect a guy to foot the bill. I can imagine that if she has a low paying job and is constantly on a plane that you do wonder whether she is fiscally responsible.

          If a guy lists travel as a hobby, i at least know that he is not the type who is only willing to go the same campsite every year, and finds any other destination unnecessary and too much. So yes, he can list it, but it wouldn’t be something i would focus on too much.

        3. KK

          Hi Buck,

          These conversations always confuse me a bit. Up thread, Michelle said, “Nice one! I summed up my travel experiences as follows: “I was eating, praying and loving before it was cool.” You praised her for having that in her profile, yet you are turned off by a woman who says she loves to travel. They’re saying the same thing! The only difference is that Michelle has added in a piece of her personality you may not have caught. 

          The book (and movie), Eat, Pray, Love is about a woman who leaves her husband to travel around the world. Not a cheating husband. Not an abusive husband. She just wasn’t “feeling it” any more. If I was a guy, I would next any woman who liked or referred to that book, especially if it made such an impression that she’d work it into her dating profile.

        4. Buck25

          KK,

          Let me take care of your confusion on that. It’s not the mere mention of travel that I have a problem with; it’s a woman Leading her profile with it, and often continuing to hammer the point home, in a way that says to a man that travel is basically her whole life! Aside from often coming across as mercenary, it’s one dimensional, and that in itself is less than appealing. Would you honestly want a man that showed little more to his interests than just one thing, especially if that one thing didn’t appeal to you, (or most women)? What if a man focused almost entirely on golf, gave the impression that playing golf was his primary joy in life, to the apparent exclusion of nearly everything else,  and most of his bucket list was all the courses he wanted to play? KK, I know one woman (a lovely, charming, very sweet woman I dated) who actually divorced her husband because that’s what he did. The guy practically lived on the golf course, and was almost never home. When she complained that he wasn’t around enough to be a husband to her, he told her if she wanted to see more of him, she could play golf with him! True story!

          As for the whole “Eat, Pray, Love” thing, I actually thought Michelle was making a humorous reference to her liking for travel abroad, not endorsing the rest of what that book or its author represent. I’ve read it, by the way; I am thus unhappily familiar with the content, and what it reveals about the questionable character, lifestyle and “values” of the (to me) throughly narcissistic, shallow, self-indulgent and otherwise thoroughly despicable woman (actually, the descriptor “callow strumpet” comes to my mind) who lived the whole sordid thing, and then bragged about it in print as though it were some prize accomplishment. Michelle, by contrast, seems in her other writing here to be quite a bit more more decent and grounded than the author of that vile, disgusting bit of infamy (let us hope!). I doubt many men have actually read the thing, (I honestly wish I hadn’t) and probably know little of it save for having heard references to the movie adaptation (offensive enough as it was), and thus think of it primarily as just a woman’s travel fantasy, which is what I hope Michelle was thinking.

        5. KK

          Thanks for the response, Buck. I appreciate your elaboration. Makes sense.

  6. 6
    Stacy2

    What a guy gets out of dating you? He gets sex!! This should be good enough. Seriously, women shouldn’t sell themselves that hard, there’s no need.

    1. 6.1
      Buck25

      Stacy,

      I have to respond to that. So please, let me take off my snarky old curmudgeon hat for a moment, get serious, and let the kinder, gentler old man in me that’s been around this old world a lot, speak to that idea of yours .

      Stacy, yes, we men like sex. Hell, honey, we love sex! And yes, for most of us men, even the worst sex we get is still pretty damn good (unlike the way it is for so many of you ladies, and I’ll get to that in a minute). That said, if you believe that’s all we desire you for, especially if we are mature, evolved, intelligent and genuinely good men (not so-called”nice guys”, not boys who haven’t quite grown up, but really good men) you’re just wrong. I know this is heresy to you, and many women; I even know what often makes you feel that way; but you’re still wrong.

      Yes, sex, or the potential for it, is what often attracts us to you in the first place, and yes, even when we decide to commit to you, that part of the relationship is very important to us. I don’t want to deny or minimize that part of it; but if you think that’s the only thing, the only reason we commit to you. that’s not true. Most of the time, when we decide we actually want to make a place in our lives for you to stay, it’s because, in the process of chasing your skirt, we’ve also found something else in you that we value, cherish and yes, love…because it’s something we can’t find with just any other woman. Could be any of a number of things , but whatever it is for us, it’s unique to you. What’s under your skirt, is not unique, or special; any other woman is similarly equipped, and it pretty much all feels the same to us. It’s not even how good you are in the bedroom. We appreciate you, if you’re a skilled lover; but the truth be told, we could get the same from a lot of other women too; even a mistress, or a prostitute. I don’t mean this to be insulting or demeaning in the least, but the plain truth is that either of the above is usually a more skilled sexual partner than many of the rest of you. Honestly, a man who makes the kind of money you say he has to make to attract you (I remember your comments on that) can get just plain sex, with a skilled partner, more easily and cheaply by patronizing a prostitute, or keeping a mistress, than by dating you, much less keeping you as a wife.  That’s the plain truth, ugly as it is. So that’s not why we commit to you, and put like that, it really wouldn’t make sense for us to.

      I think at this point, I need to back up for a moment. Remember when I said that even low quality sex is still good for us? Well that’s true, and it causes too many of us men to forget that it does’t work that way for you ladies. So many of us, especially when we’re younger (sometimes when we’re old enough to know better too), often do a less than stellar job, of giving you the patience, time, consideration, and caring to make sex the experience for you that it could be, and should be. When men act that way, I know (most good men do), that it can hurt you, damage your feelings and cause you to have a lot of mixed (sometimes not too mixed) feelings about men, and sex, and what you think our attitudes about that (and you) actually are. There’s a reason why some women say that all of us are pigs: because they’ve met some of us who have been, at least to them, and often times, sex is the area where the piggish side of a man showed up most. For any of you who’ve experienced that from a man, or several men, it’s not surprising that the better intended man who follows, reaps the attitudes his predecessors sowed in you. It’s not your fault, but we too often blame you for it, maybe because it’s easier than trying to remember and understand that. We try, and it’s not always enough; you’re suspicious of us, that doesn’t feel good to us; we don’t understand(we didn’t do it, or don’t think we did) and pretty soon it shows up in the rest of the way we treat you, until you get the impression sex is all that matters to us; I’m sure it often looks that way to many women, maybe most of you at one time or another. I don’t know if explaining it the way I just did makes any better sense but I hope something in it helps

      I can tell you from personal experience, that of the three women I married, and all the ones I had lasting committed relationships with to this point, I didn’t commit to a single one of them for sex alone. It’s not that it wasn’t good, it just wasn’t enough. It takes more than that to make me feel comfortable with a woman, to enjoy day to day life with her, laugh with her, play with her, want to take care of her, watch over her, comfort her when she’s sad, just be there for her, try to understand her, even when I don’t, and yes, even give her my best self in the bedroom too. It takes more than just sex, to make me fall in love with a woman, much less keep loving her just as much, after the new car shine is off the relationship. Now I may be a little quirky, but somehow, I don’t believe I’m that much of an outlier among men.

      So maybe Stacy, you’ll understand when I tell you,that when I read a woman’s profile, or meet her for the first time, I’m less interested in what you “sell” me than I am in seeing if I can find something, that tells me there’s something in you I might be able to connect with, as well as attract, or be attracted to, you sexually. I think I’m actually far from alone in that. I believe, that if you’ll put aside that preconception, that all you need to think about, is dealing with men’s “obsession with sex” and just try to connect enough with a man to understand him a little , maybe he’ll find his way to try to understand you a little better too. With the right man, that just might one up a whole new way of seeing things one day for you, and for him too. I hope that happens for you. I know there have been places in your experiences with men that have hurt you. I’ve seen it in your posts, and I’ve seen some bitterness, and cynicism, creep in there from time to time.You’re too young to give into that; be careful with your heart, but also, keep it open just a crack, won’t you? I’ve experienced being cynical and bitter; keep it up, and it might hurt you more than the things you think it’s protecting you from. It did me. But then, what the hell do I know? I’m only a man, right?

      1. 6.1.1
        Evan Marc Katz

        Bravo, Young Buck! I don’t have the inclination to respond to simplistic and wrongheaded posts anymore so I am grateful to men like you and Karl for picking up the slack. Thank you.

        1. Buck25

          Evan, thanks. That one was from the heart. I just hope I said it right, it in a way that could reach her. Sometimes, when you’ve grounded on a reef too many times, you want to light a lantern to let another sailor know where the rocks are in time to change course. I won’t have too many opportunities to post now; there’s a new someone in my life, and I have promises to keep…

      2. 6.1.2
        Stacy2

        I just don’t think in OLD most men even bother to read the profiles and analyze them for something they could “connect with” (you may be an exception). As long as a woman is cute they will write and hope to figure out the rest later. So, as long as a woman doesn’t shoot herself in the foot with some ridiculous statements in her profile and she’s reasonably attractive, she’ll do well. “Keep it simple stupid”. That’s all.

        1. Buck25

          Stacy, I can’t speak for anyone but myself; I don’t know if that’s what most other men do, or not. Lots of women believe that’s true though. Seems kinda foolish to me, not to avail yourself of whatever information there is, profile essays included; I do think there’s useful information, or at least a clue or two, in a lot of them. Of course,  just because there’s water  in the trough, there’s no guarantee the mule will drink it; depends on whether his thirst outweighs his laziness, I guess.

          Of course, there’s still the matter of giving a man something he can hang an original email on, but then, lately I understand that’s supposed to be passe, and cut and paste is the new order of the day in men’s email tactics, so maybe it doesn’t matter. I’m glad I’m taking my profiles down this weekend. Since I have someone now, maybe that’ll be the last time, and I’ll be off this merry-go-round for good; someone else can try to figure it out then.

        2. Marika

          Stacy2

          Even if that is true (although, I believe you aren’t giving men much credit), would you rather write a great profile to attract the men who do read profiles and care about more than looks, or write hardly anything, post some great pics and attract the more superficial men?

          I think some of these things become self-fulfilling prophecies.

          While I certainly come across men who clearly haven’t read my profile, I also come across many who not only definitely have, but also have really great profiles themselves. Of all my dates, maybe 30-40% appeared to only be after sex. The majority were after a relationship. I now can tell both from their initial messages as well as their own profile which category they are likely to fall in. I have to forgo my own bias towards good looks (men aren’t the only ones drawn to looks!) to write to the men with well thought out profiles and initial messages and avoid the ‘hot without substance’ types. Or I could write a short profile, post some hot pics, write to hot guys only and then conclude that men don’t read profiles & only want sex.

      3. 6.1.3
        Emily, the original

        Buck25,

        We appreciate you, if you’re a skilled lover; but the truth be told, we could get the same from a lot of other women too;

        Well, not really. There are most definitely levels of quality to sex, even for men. I have a male friend who recently told me the relationship with his girlfriend is good but the sex is boring, despite his efforts to improve it. Another, in his mid-50s, still talks about what he calls the best sex of his life — it happened almost 30 years ago. It was great sex, but a bad relationship. This isn’t to say men just want sex from women but they most definitely can tell the difference between mediocre, pretty good or great sex. Like it is for women, the importance placed on the quality of the sexual aspect of the relationship will very depending on the man.

    2. 6.2
      Shaukat

      What a guy gets out of dating you? He gets sex!! This should be good enough.

      Sex isn’t something an emotionally healthy woman ‘gives’ in a relationship; it’s something you do because you both enjoy it. Unless, of course, you have the mentality of a prostitute, in which case it’s different.

      1. 6.2.1
        Stacy2

        Yeah… Sort of. Except, as Buck25 so nicely explained, men need/want/enjoy sex a lot more than women do on average. So yes, this is one activity which both engage in but one benefits from disproportionately more. Pardon my cynicism, but as a woman I expect the guy to make up for that somehow. By being amazing in some other way, not by just bringing his dick to the table. Or to bed more like. And definitely I don’t need to oversell myself, not in OLD anyway.

  7. 7
    Buck25

    Malika,

    Let me give you a sampling of what I’m talking about. From a Match profile, spelling and grammatical errors and all, comments in parentheses:

    Her headline: “Come see the world with me!

    “I LOVE to TRAVEL! I’ve been to seven continents! (It shows; she has more miles her than a 747)I’m a bright, sensitive, educated,( really? education (according to her): high school)  attractive (debatable) woman; my friends all say I look at least ten years younger than my real age! (actually she looks ten years older). Their’s no doubt (I can’t spell or use proper grammar, either),  I’m sweet, and witty (No evidence of the latter), and I have a great smile (if you can overlook the missing front tooth). I like wearing jeans (we can see that) , but I can rock that little black dress like a real sophistcated lady (Uh-huh. Now see if you can find one at least three sizes larger, with a back (to cover the “tramp stamp”), and try to learn how to spell words like “sophisticated” before you use them). Did I mention I LOVE to travel! I have a great career that gives me lots of opportunitys (sic) to TRAVEL! (I’ll bet; her job description says “shipping clerk”) .

    Other items of interest: Own my own home (is that the double wide in the background in your main pic, you know, the one still on wheels, with the two cars in front on cinder blocks? We are all impressed), and love to decorate it (We can see that; the velvet Elvis goes so well with the mismatched curtains, the floral couch, and the broken lava lamp is a nice touch, not to mention the pile of dirty dishes in the sink-my, how cozy. As an  aside, using cruise ship brochure as wall art is so elegant, if a none-too-subtle hint)

    Seeking a nice gentleman(5 to20 years younger than her stated age) Must be kind romantic and generus (sic). NO drunks, druggies, deadbeats, or felony records (my, she has standards!), and (wait for it…drumroll please) LOVE to travel! Must love cats (I can count at least eight in the kitchen photo; how many more are there?)  This is real; even I can’t make this stuff up!!

    Her favorite hotspots: Rome, Milan, Paris, the Riviera,  anywhere in Hawaii, anywhere on a cruise ship (she left out the all-you-can  buffet) , Vegas.

     

    Let’s try a somewhat classier example, shall we:

    Her headline: “Travel companion wanted!

    ” I’m  an elegant, sophisticated, charming, vivacious lady (Appears to be true; quite attractive, well-fitted designer clothes; closeup reveals at least one ring on every finger, $30,000 Rolex on arm, definitely high maintenance). I love to dance, and just learned the Argentine Tango on my trip there last month. In the five years since my late husband’s passing, I’ve been to  every major city in Europe, cruised the Caribbean six times,and last year I took a two-month tour of India and China. Next month, I’m headed to my second trip to Hawaii, and I have a month booked  in Tahiti this fall! I stay fit and active, and take care to keep myself looking young (I go to the gym between my hair appointments and two spa days a week (yep, high maintenance, for sure).

    “I’m looking for a high achieving, cultured and distinguished gentleman to share my life of adventure, and possibly, eventually my immaculate home ( it is immaculate, for a good reason; she’s only there maybe one month in a year; do the math), decorated with the treasures I’ve brought back from my travels (would that include the tiger skin rug on the living room floor, and the carved Ivory tusks on the buffet? Wonder how she got those through customs?) It’s a little lonely here with just my little Yorkie (am I the only man who hates those yappy little dogs?) . He must, of course, be a skilled dance partner (“I want to be the envy of every woman on the cruise ship!”), preferably multi-lingual (“because my French is  still atrocious, and my Italian even worse”), have a great sense of humor, and of course be romantic (“I expect a chocolate and a rose on my pillow every night”), and enjoy fine dining (“I demand at least two candlelight dinners a week”). A professional degree is a definite plus (“YES!!!$$$$$$!!!”). He absolutely MUST be an experienced world traveller himself! (Why am I not surprised at this?) I want him to love me for my mind and my adventurous spirit, rather than my beauty” (translation: “sex is boring, might mess up my hairdo, and I find it inconvenient, but give me everything I want, take me where I want to go, and I might consent to it once every couple of months-AFTER you marry me, naturally; the sacrifices a woman has to make! I guess I could close my eyes, and think of shopping in Paris*sigh*”)

    Other details: Her income requirement for a partner: $150,000+ Her Height requirement for same: 6’to 6’4″ (she’s 5’0″) His Build: Athletic and toned. Her age requirement for a partner: 58 to 68. HER age: 70

    Malika, I am not making this up. This stuff is real, and while the  first may be a somewhat more extreme example, both types are fairly common to depressingly prevalent. I really didn’t have to look far to find these.

    This is the kind of stuff that really turns most of us men off. If you’re into travel, this is exactly the wrong way to bring it up in a profile! If you must bring up the subject, see Michelle’s post above, for the right ( and far more appealing ) way  to do it.

     

    1. 7.1
      Stacy2

      Buck,

      i am not sure how this isn’t obvious that the love of travel is not the primary problem with these women.

      Actually, I don’t see any problems with the 2nd one. Clearly she is an affluent widowed retiree seeking same for companionship. What the f is wrong with that?

      As far as the 1st one goes – well if you set your filter to college educated women making six figures, you won’t see those types. But then again, are you one of those men who “don’t care about women’s education or income”? Lol. So there you go then, you are asking for it.

      1. 7.1.1
        KK

        Not all college educated women make 6 figures. Not all women making 6 figure incomes are college educated. Not all college educated people speak or write properly (although hopefully, most do). I only hold a bachelor’s degree, but I could speak and write more intelligently as an elementary school student than a lot of adults. IQ testing is done at an early age and whether or not someone chooses to get an advanced degree doesn’t change your IQ. Intelligence doesn’t always correlate to how many degrees someone has. It doesn’t take a high IQ to obtain a degree in most majors. Therefore, if intelligence is an important quality in a partner, it would be foolish to rule out everyone without a degree or include everyone because of it; especially when it’s pretty easy to discern a certain level of intelligence or lack thereof, through written communication.

      2. 7.1.2
        Buck25

        No, Stacy, I really don’t care about her education or her income. I don’t care about the latter, for rather obvious reasons; If she has her own money fine; if not, I won’t miss what it takes to take care of her. As to education, I agree with KK. I’ve dated women with professional degrees, several with a masters or Phd., and  I’ve dated women who never got past high school. One of the latter could write, or express herself verbally, with elegance and charm. I remember a couple of college grads who could’t even spell or write a coherent sentence, or hold an intelligent conversation about anything deeper than a couple of TV sitcoms. Degrees don’t guarantee a whole lot, I’ve found. Couple of years back, I remember one lawyer (male, BTW) who wrote me a letter on behalf of one of my tenants on my property in another city. Had it served by a process server, yet, although it wasn’t actually any kind of legal document at all. In it he proceeded to make some totally ridiculous assertions, citing so called findings that even a layman could see were not germane to the matter at hand. He threatened me with all sorts of dire consequences on behalf of his client, friend, buddy, whatever. After I finished laughing at his bluff I took it apart point by point, sent him my reply to that effect, told him his “client”  was still in arrears on rent, and my next communication would be a real, legal eviction notice. I also told him that he didn’t stop using my property (for which he was not on any lawful lease) as the address for  his law practice (the fool put it on the letterhead he sent me) immediately, I could have a Cease and Desist order served on him quicker than he could blink. I couldn’t resist informing this supposed paragon of legal erudition, that in my lowly opinion, that “J.D.” behind his name stood for “Just Dumb!” In a final touch, I sent each of them a care package, contents of each were: One used prom dress, one bra stuffed with toilet paper, 1 pair lace panties, one pair cheap stiletto heels, 1 rouge, 1 cheap lipstick (bright red) , 1 cheap mascara, and a box of tissues. Included was a note saying that if they wished to act like a high school drama queen, I wanted them properly kitted out for the part! I’ve had no further issues with them since. Sorry for the digression, but that was as much fun as I’ve ever had turning the tables on an educated fool! Anyway, so much for “higher education”; it’s not always what it’s cracked up to be.

        As for that second profile I showed you, for some reason, it just hit me all wrong; I mean, she was actually looking to marry someone, if you read it carefully, and her checklist for that seemed to me as cold and antiseptic as a morgue; if there was even a hint of personal warmth, so much as a small candle’s worth, I missed it; no love, no longing, no passion, a ton of glitz and glamor, all status symbols, without an ounce of soul; a well-preserved bauble with a heart of solid brass. She didn’t want a man (not a flesh and blood real one, anyway); what she wanted was that last “perfect accessory” to compliment her lifestyle. YMMV, but that’s how I felt reading it. I’ll bet you thought I date strictly for looks. I don’t.

        1. Stacy2

          No, Stacy, I really don’t care about her education or her income

          So, then, if you chose to fish in the cesspool of high-school diploma holders who can’t spell, how can you be surprised or upset that you come across these women with missing front teeth who are looking for “generus” gentlemen to support their travel? This certainly doesn’t seem like an “efficient” approach.

          She didn’t want a man (not a flesh and blood real one, anyway); what she wanted was that last “perfect accessory” to compliment her lifestyle.

          This is so priceless. Honestly, I can tell you that I have men like you completely figured out. You guys are your own worst enemies, holding out for that fantasy of a “cool girl” who will love you unconditionally, tolerate your BS, stroke your ego and placate your insecurities. This is so damn important to you that you will go high and low searching for someone to give that to you, because you’re unable to feel complete without it. This is why real, tangible things like education and financial position are not important to you, and this is why all of you sooner or later fall prey to a girl who, like me, has figured it all out, and (unlike me) can be bothered to spoon feed you this BS in order to get what she wants and dump you, brokenhearted and sometimes broke.  Good luck with your relationship.

        2. Evan Marc Katz

          Stacy, on behalf of New York born liberal intellectuals with money and education, stop. Your disdain for others is embarrassing yourself, and worse, embarrassing me.

        3. Karl R

          Stacy2 said: (# 7.1.2.2)

          “You guys are your own worst enemies, holding out for that fantasy of a ‘cool girl’ who will love you unconditionally, tolerate your BS,”

          Speaking out as one of the married people, your ability to accept your partner as they are, and your partner’s ability to do the same … that’s one of the critical requirements for a successful relationship.

          It’s not a fantasy. It’s non-negotiable. A deal-breaker.

           

          If you can’t meet that basic requirement, don’t be surprised if you get repeatedly dumped so your boyfriends can pursue women who are older, less attractive, less fit, and less educated.

           

          Buck25’s point, summarized:

          1. The first woman was unable to see that she failed to meet her own description. In addition, her primary requirement (“Travel”) was unlikely to be met by the men who share her background.

          2. The second woman was looking for a travelling companion, but her minimum requirements ($150,000 income; 58-68) would be met by professional workaholics, not men who have leisure time to travel the world. The men who meet her other requirements (6’0-6’4″; athletic and toned) could easily get women half her age.

          Her description of herself would appeal to two types of men: male gold-diggers, and wealthy retirees.

        4. KK

          Stacy2,

          You remind me of a female version of that Obsidian guy that used to comment here.

        5. Buck25

          “This is so priceless.Honestly I can tell you that I have men like you completely figured out. You guys are your own worst enemies, holding out for the fantasy of a “cool girl”, who will love you unconditionally, tolerate your BS, stroke your ego and placate your insecurities. This is so damn important to you that you will go high and low searching for someone to give that to you because you’re unable to feel complete without it. That’s why real, tangible things like education and financial position are not important to you, and that is why all of you sooner or fall prey to a girl who, like me, has figured it all out, and (unlike me) can be bothered to spoon feed y0u this BS in order to get what she wants and dump you. brokenhearted and sometimes broke.”

          Stacy,

          Congratulations, my dear: you have me completely figured out; why, with the exception of one phrase, you have summed me up perfectly, as far as what I’m looking for in a relationship!

          In your world and from your perspective, that makes me nothing but just a doddering old fool, a modern-day Don Quixote, reaching for an impossible dream, clinging to an obsolete ideal , who apparently doesn’t see or care that his armor is rusted, that his steed is a broken-down nag, that the “dragons” he tilts at are just windmills, or that his lady is “only” a simple, poor, tavern girl. A ridiculous figure, a study in futility, a subject for scorn and mockery, and a sucker ripe for the fleecing by a smart sophisticated woman like yourself (if she could even be bothered with that, of course; hardly worth the effort).

          You know what? In your world, one where it’s all about the numbers, and the ledger, where everything, (including relationships) can all be reduced to calculations, graphs, charts, spreadsheets and cost-benefit analyses (you’d never get into a relationship without doing a careful one of the latter!),  that’s the only explanation of me that makes sense; after all, only a fool would take such a risk, without making those calculations, right? You’re an expert at that; educated in it, highly trained in it by the best teachers, experienced now, and brilliant at it, which is why they pay you the big bucks. It’s what you know, and you know it well. Look what it’s gotten you; a fabulous Manhattan lifestyle, the best of all that money can buy, maybe even the corner office or the boardroom one day; brilliant and beautiful, with the world by the tail. You have it all…well, almost. A broken marriage, and how many broken relationships, now? Not your fault, of course; and if only men would appreciate how magnificent you are, and thus would not even think of asking the tiniest compromise from you (oh, what a comedown it would be, to be married and living in the ‘burbs, like some relic of the fifties; you’re far too good to ever be reduced to that!) , you really would finally have it all! So in your quest to find the one, you’ve reverted to what you know best- cold, logical analysis. It works for the rest of your life, so why not? Just do it by the numbers and make sure you never give more than you get; why, if sex is better for the man (you just know it is!), he better bring something more to the table to make up the discrepancy; the ledger has to balance, just like you learned in your first accounting course. You’re gonna make certain of that, because one thing you’re going to make sure of, is that Stacy never, ever gets taken, never ever loses, especially in a relationship. Your reaction to your divorce reminds me of Scarlett in “Gone With The Wind”; standing in the ruins, “As God is my witness, I’ll never be hungry again!” Your version is more like, “I’ll never let a man break my heart (or my bank account) again!” You won’t either; like you said, you’ve got all the angles covered, got it all figured out now. You’re the genius, and I’m…just a pathetic, hopeless old fool.

          There’s something else I hear though, even through all your sneering; a desire, however you deny it (and I’m sure you will), for the one thing you haven’t got,  a wanting that some part of you still feels, even though you’ve done everything to crush it, bury it, forget it, and pretend it’s just a fool’s fantasy anyway. Know how I know? First, you wouldn’t even be here if you were so sure you didn’t want/need that (you have everything else), and second, because you projected it onto me. Here, try this version on for size:

          “I want a man who will love me unconditionally, just like I am, ask nothing of me, but that I be me; someone who will love me, even at my worst, put up with all my crap, stroke my ego, and most of all, soothe my insecurities (even though I’ll never admit to having any!) I need that; because in spite of having it all, I don’t feel complete, somehow, without it.” I bet that’s pretty close.

          You’ll never acknowledge that, of course, not openly, maybe not even to yourself. You won’t, because you know that all your education and achievement, all the fabulous lifestyle you earned (and you did), all the beauty and the glamour you possess, can’t buy you that, and you resent the hell out of it. You resent men for not just handing it to you; I mean, they should, shouldn’t they, seeing how fabulous you are, what you’ve made of yourself? What you can’t or won’t understand, is that a man can’t give you that kind of love unless you give it to him too. It really IS just that simple.

          I tried to get you to see it; went right past you. Karl pretty much told you straight up; you ignored that, too. Now I’m trying to get you to see it, one more time. You are doing to yourself, what no man ever could do to you . You are letting your past hurt, and broken trust, and rage over it keep you from doing the one thing you have to do. A man can break your heart, (and at least one did); but it’s you that decided to turn it to stone. You’re the one who decided to become a cynic; YOU own that part; only you could create it, and you have.

          Ridicule me all you want, Stacy. Call me an old fool, for at least trying to do the one thing you categorically refuse to do-believe enough to actually risk your heart, and maybe money and things, and try to love someone, unconditionally, without expecting them to change to suit your needs. You can call it a lie, a fool’s fantasy, a sucker’s bet, but unless and until you are willing to do that, you will never get unconditional love from someone else, no matter what else you do. The truth is, you DON’T have it all figured out. There are no angles, no work-arounds for that. So excuse me, if I think your laughter rings hollow, and your smug superiority only makes me feel pity. Yes, I’m just a sucker, an old fool tilting at windmills, an anachronism. Someone who’ll search for love even in…what was that word you used, again? Oh yeah,”the cesspool”, which to you apparently means anyone you consider “less than”. (I guess that’s a mighty big “cesspool”; may I assume it includes me too, since I’m just an old hick from flyover country who still remembers where I came from?) How dare I feel sorry for someone so young, so beautiful, so gifted, so elite, so wealthy, so everything, as you? Maybe because, whatever I don’t have, I’ve found the courage to keep trying and failing and picking up the pieces and trying again to love someone, really love them, and so far, you…haven’t.

        6. Stacy2

          @Buck25

          that makes me nothing but just a doddering old fool, a modern-day Don Quixote…

          You said that, i didn’t. I don’t think that is what it makes you, i think it makes you a lot of other things, one of them being an emotionally weak, shallow person in constant need of assurance and external validation (i’ll bet anything you’re also a dog lover).

          As I merely pointed out, men like you are very easy targets, and especially if they have some money and status. I can freely admit that I am in this discussion wearing a chip on my shoulder, as a guy i was once seriously into chose to broke things off with me and then got involved with a woman who love-bombed him with all this ego stroking BS. And it only took her 3 months to reduce him to complete dust emotionally and take him for everything he had and walk away (i gotta say i have a lot of respect for that gal, she set some kind of record i am sure). He lost everything he had in life and actually attempted to crawl back to me for some consolation – big mistake . But that gave me some unique insight into this type of male behavior, followed by some successful “field tests” – and the realization that most men are like that and this works. I mean, here i am this all around amazing person, but what really hooks these men is not anything i have to offer as a person, but some mushy things i say to them to stroke their ego (which half the time i have to google as i am fresh out of ideas – not a natural ego stroker here). It’s like whaaat? really? Okey… so that’s the way to handle men. Noted.

          So, that’s the only point i am making. If they are not looking for a real partner, if they’re not evaluating a person based on all aspects of their life and personality, but only focus on some shallow aspect – be that how well they stroke the ego or the bust size – they’re being shallow and when this “relationship” blows up in their face, they deserve  every bit of pain they get.

          I hope things work out better for you in your relationship tho. You seem like an otherwise decent guy.

          P.S. and i don’t need saving. but thanks for attempting.

        7. Katie

          Stacy2 says “…but what really hooks these men is not anything i have to offer as a person, but some mushy things i say to them to stroke their ego (which half the time i have to google as i am fresh out of ideas – not a natural ego stroker here).”

           

          Geez woman, don’t google compliments.

          When you change your hair color, or get a tattoo or whatever, and someone you respect notices it and tells you they like it doesn’t that make you feel good? It’s not ego stroking! It’s just being observant and caring!

          Same goes for guys. If a dude fixes your brakes or something, just being appreciative and also complement them on their handiness. Having your strengths acknowledged and appreciated feels good! For men and women!

        8. Buck25

          @ Stacy,

          Awww gee, all that and a free psychoanalysis too; what a sweet and thoughtful gift! And to think I thought you flunked charm; I’m ashamed of myself for thinking that, after you’ve been so generous!  One for four, on the analysis,; lets see, that’s a.250 batting average; none too shabby! Ever consider moonlighting as a shrink.? I hear there’s a lot of demand for that service up your way; ‘course, down here, we just smack each other upside the head with an axe handle, and that usually solves the problem right there.

          Listen, I’d love to stay and and let you diagnose me some more, but it’s Friday night and I know how busy your social calendar must be, what with you being so amazing a woman, and all that, so I’m just gonna leave it at that, and let you get all dolled up for your evening. Y’all have a good time now, y’ hear!

    2. 7.2
      GoWiththeFlow

      Hey Buck,

      It’s hard to rule in someone when a profile is brief and generic, but at least the photos give us some idea as to whether we will find the person at least physically attractive.  So you wind up messaging and meeting and realize after you’ve sunk some time and maybe money into it that a person is a travel-oholic who plans to be on the road, or plane, or boat for ten months out of the year.  So I appreciate it when I read a detailed profile like the second you shared that screams “Not for me!”  It’s a big help when you can absolutely rule someone out.

      One of the best profiles I read was a man who had two passions in life that he wanted to share with a special someone:  Marathon running and discussing a specific school of philosophy.  The profile was humorous and very well written.  He was educated and financially stable, and quite good looking in his photos.  Since post three foot surgeries my running days are over, and discussing philosophy frequently at great lengths is not my cup of tea, he was completely wrong for me.  However, if I knew a woman runner who liked to stay up late at night drinking craft beer and discussing philosophy, I would send her his profile.

      1. 7.2.1
        Buck25

        That’s very true, GWTF. Even is f it only helps you figure out that this is not the right match for you, it’s still informative, and often interesting reading to boot. I remember stumbling across one young woman’s profile; I wish I could remember the content but it was a couple of years ago; At any rate she had painted a very interesting portrait of her life as a photographer/artist, but she did it in such a funny and brilliantly written way. It was such a wonderful bit of humor( I couldn’t stop laughing, just reading it) that even though she was far too young for me, I emailed her, and explained her that while I wasn’t asking her for a date, I just wanted to compliment her on the writing, and as a storyteller myself, if she was ever up my way, I’d buy her a drink just for the conversation, and the stories she could tell. Darned if we didn’t exchange several emails after that, just swapping funny stories! Not a date for either of us, and no intention of one, but a lot of fun even so.

        I also ran across one something like your runner. She was one of the most attractive 68 year old women I’ve ever seen (most women at 45 would have a hard time matching her looks), and had a really engaging profile; retired but extremely active, an avid reader,photographer and amateur naturalist who described her adventures on the mountain trails she loved in the most wonderful way. She had a passion for doing said trails on a mountain bike, however, and one thing she absolutely insisted on, was that a man be able to do three to four hours on a mountain bike with her, non-stop (she was that into it)! I’m pretty fit, and having done a bit of that myself, I think I could maybe manage half that, on my better days (I know some of the area she described riding in; let’s just say it’s pretty strenuous, and 3 -4 hours of it non-stop would be tough for most riders at 30, much less over 60!). Pretty incredible, but a little much for even me, and I passed on that one.

        One thing I really do appreciate in a woman’s profile is giving me some things about herself that are unique/different, the I can use as a hook to hang a clear email on. Doesn’t always have to be words; I ran across one woman, a physician who had a well-written, but fairly brief profile essay, but used her pictures to reveal her personality and primary passions in life in a very creative way; very different and intriguing. I actually corresponded with her a couple of times; not the very best fit for each other as it turned out, (somewhat to my disappointment), but one very interesting woman!.

        Quick side note to you and the rest of my friends here. I just got word that a young woman I mentored through a crisis in her life a couple years back was in a serious accident a little over two weeks ago. Nothing life-threatening, but she has some pretty severe post concussion symptoms that are not resolving at all at this point, and there is some possibility that she may have some permanent damage; her long term prognosis is unknown at this time. Those of you who are religiously inclined, please send some prayers her way. Right now, she can use all the help she can get.

  8. 8
    Michelle Williams

    @KK you guys crack me up! You’ve definitely over-analyzed my EPL reference. I used it because like most of my creative thoughts it popped in my head and went straight onto the page. I traveled extensively in Europe and Asia and part of that was to “find myself” in my late 20s-early 30s.  A guy who would “next” me on that (thinking I’m planning to divorce him when we haven’t even met) sounds  a bit paranoid! It doesn’t sound like you’ve read the book – I don’t really need to defend EG on her reasons for divorcing her husband because whatever tears she would shed from the criticism she’d be wiping with $100 bills 🙂 But one of the major issues was that she didn’t want children and he did, which is a dealbreaker which any one of us would agree on. 

    Travel for me and my boyfriend wasn’t important so much as a global worldview gained by *living* abroad. He was born, raised, educated and worked in three different countries and I’ve lived overseas from my country of birth for nearly 20 years. We’ve both been through full-on immigration/dual citizenship processes too. I’ve met people who’ve been on a lot of holidays but their worldview is not necessarily any broader or their minds any more open from people who haven’t traveled much. We get each other on a very deep level due to our common experiences  and what it’s like being away from our families, etc.

     

     

    1. 8.1
      KK

      Michelle,

      I read the book. I also read the interview in which she claims she’s always been a (self proclaimed) ‘seduction addict’, who by her own account has always searched high and low looking for some little crack to get in and seduce a man, leaving him emotionally bankrupt and moving on to the next one. Sounds like a real peach! Lol.

      Your reason for referencing EPL is unique to you. Fair enough. Anyhow, like Buck said, I doubt many men have read it. So congrats on your relationship and hope y’all enjoy Valentine’s Day. 

       

      1. 8.1.1
        Buck25

        All I know about the “travel bug”, is that Ernest Hemingway, a man whose adventures living and traveling abroad were legendary, once remarked, “Travel will broaden your ass, if not your mind.” I have observed that among many of today’s “travel-aholics”  it tends to do too much of the former, and not a lot of the latter. Among young people,  living abroad can be a great learning experience; I even enjoyed parts of my “McNamara Fellowship”; picked up a good working knowledge of Vietnamese, and enjoyed a lot of the local culture, (although the “unpleasantness” going on there at the time did take most of the fun out of the experience).  Among my age group these days, travel often seems to be a borderline obsession for jaded and bored (and frequently boring) women (and a few men), with little imagination, less appetite for real adventure, and way too much time on their hands.  YMMV, of course, and if anyone’s up for actually doing something, like say, climbing the Eiger, billfishing off Costa Rica, or spending a month or two living and really immersing themselves in a foreign culture, as opposed to mere sightseeing, I’d be interested. Otherwise, I’ll pass; just don’t see the point.

      2. 8.1.2
        Stacy2

         by her own account has always searched high and low looking for some little crack to get in and seduce a man, leaving him emotionally bankrupt and moving on to the next one

        You do realize that EG went on to marry her second husband, who was much more suited for someone like her – adventurous, unconventional, exciting – and staying with him for over 10 years and splitting amicably, right? (she left him for a woman but that’s a different story).

        I read the book diagonally (found it kind of boring) but could completely relate to her feelings. Her 1st husband wasn’t a bad man (while they were married anyway), but they got married young and she just realized she wasn’t cut out for the conventional suburban life, so she did the right thing by divorcing him. He became free to marry a woman who wanted to do that thing, and she got to write books, travel the world and enjoy her life as she wanted. And he did shake her down financially during the divorce and made it as complicated as possible (sounded like another asshole i know..) So i have zero sympathy for that guy

        1. Chance

          Stacy2, with sincerity:  you sound like a very sad person.  I mean literally (not as an insult), you seem to be very unhappy.   It’s disheartening to see someone who is so accomplished in other aspects of life consistently rely on callousness as an apparent crutch to deal with an apparent deep sadness.  I know you’ll say I’m wrong and may even care enough to explain why, but honestly, this ain’t about being right.  Please do what you need to do to take care of yourself.

        2. KK

          E.G.: “In my mid-20s, I married, but not even matrimony slowed me down. Predictably, I grew restless and lonely. Soon enough I seduced someone new; the marriage collapsed. But it was worse than just that. Before my divorce agreement was even signed, I was already breaking up with the guy I had broken up my marriage for”.

        3. GoWiththeFlow

          Just as an FYI, This past year E.G. left husband #2 for her terminally ill best girlfriend.

          I read part of EPL for a book club I was in at the time.  I quit reading when she reached India and was still moaning and groaning about a short term boyfriend who had dumped her.  I thought, geez if I want to hear this I could listen to my friends or myself talking to each other about our dating war wounds.

  9. 9
    Yet Another Guy

    While women tend to have better communication skills than men on average, they seem to have an incredibly difficult time communicating what they really want to men.  Let’s use what I believe is the one of the most toxic phrases that a woman can include in her profile as an example; namely, the phrase “friends first.”  Ladies, no emotionally/mentally healthy man past the age of puberty wants to pursue a woman as a friend first.  Men are not wired for that mode of action. All men are looking for romantic interests that they can turn into sexual partners (i.e., the primal urge to pursue and conquer).  This process usually bonds a non-polyamorous man to a woman.

    With that said, there are three types of guys who use the phrase “friends first.”  The first type is the seduction expert (a.k.a. pick-up artist or player).   He knows that it is what women want hear, and he will use the phrase like a weapon to get what he wants.   The second type of man means “friends with benefits first” when he uses the phrase “friends first.”  A woman has to qualify as a worthy friend with benefits before he will even consider being exclusive with her. The final type of man is so emotionally damaged that he is best left on his own to heal his wounds.  All other men translate “friends first” to “friend zone.”  No guy wants to be placed in the friend zone.

    Ladies, being a guy who minds his Ps and Qs when dating a woman for whom he has romantic interest is nerve racking enough without having to worry about the “friends first” nonsense.  When does the transition from being friends to more than friends occur?  If a man makes a move too early, he risks blowing it.  If he makes a move too late, he risks being friend-zoned.  That is why guys tend to “next” women who include the phrase “friends first” in their profiles.  I know that I treat women who include this phrase in their profiles like they have a communicable disease.  No woman is worth that much hassle.

    Finally, I would like point out the logical fallacy in the phrase “friends first.”  Friends do not dictate the terms of their friendship.  Friends do not pay for dates, nor do they open doors, pull out a woman’s chair, or help their friend with her coat.  What is occurring here is not friendship.  It is courtship.   If woman treats a good man who is interested in being more than friends with respect and lets him know that she is interested in being more than friends, he will move mountains to make her happy because men are wired to protect and please.  I am a firm believer that a woman who is not interested being more than friends with a man after the first date should decline a second date.  All that does is give a man false hope, which has the potential to be even more soul crushing than declining his offer.

    1. 9.1
      Marika

      YAG,

      Thank you! This explains a lot. I’m afraid I’ve been one of those women who’s suggested ‘friends first’ on occasion. As a woman this feels safe while we get to know the man, but reading your comment really clarifies why it feels completely different to a man.

      Can I ask this, though. The only times I’ve suggested ‘friends first’ in dating is when we’re both physically attracted to each other, have great chats & seem to have a lot in common/similar goals etc, but the guy is physically unavailable (because of, for example, travelling with work). In these circumstances, I don’t feel that comfortable turning into a ‘sexting buddy’ while he’s away, but equally don’t want to fall off each other’s radars (as can happen in online dating). So I’ve suggested we be friends and stay in touch until he comes back and we can see where it goes.

      Both times this has happened, the guy has said yes, but then pulled away, either really slowing down on communication, or being more ‘standoffish’ (presumably for the reasons you listed above). So, how can you set a boundary that doesn’t emasculate the man, but so you don’t fall off each other’s radars? Not sure if you’d have a suggestion about that?

      1. 9.1.1
        Yet Another Guy

        @Marika

        Men are the inferior gender from an emotional point of view.  Women are skilled in the art of indirection; however, the direct approach works best in this situation.  If you are interested in being more than friends with a guy, let him know it, but set reasonable boundaries and expectations.  Remember, men are wired to pursue and conquer. Fifty years of women’s liberation is not going to undo millions of years of evolution.  If he is truly into you, he will respect you for setting boundaries because it raises your value to him (i.e., no guy wants a woman that ever other guy can have). You need to tell him that you are interested in being more than friends, but you expect to be treated like a lady.  If he needs further clarification, explain what you mean by being treated like a lady.  If he balks at the idea, he is not that into you.  Do you really want to spend time with a guy who is not that into you? No, you want a guy who cannot believe that you chose him.  That is the guy who will be loyal to your relationship and faithful to you.

        One last thing, guys are notorious for having at least one “sexy on standby.”  Truth be told, I currently have two women who fall into this classification (although, I do not have sex with either women because I do not want to open up the attachment can of worms). Unless you enjoy getting your heart broken, you want to avoid becoming a sexy on standby.  A sexy on standby is the woman a man calls at the last minute when his date with another woman does not pan out, often for a booty call after dropping off his date.  He knows that you are seriously into him, and that you will drop what you are doing and run to him. If you want a real relationship, you want to be his prima donna (“first lady” in Italian) or nothing at all.

        1. Yet Another Guy

          *every other guy

        2. Callie

          May I ask how you are comfortable doing that? How you feel okay taking advantage of some woman who you know is seriously into you even though you don’t feel likewise about her so you can get some quick sex and satisfaction? Even if she knows that this is what you are doing, how do you feel okay doing it knowing that she is willing to debase herself for a moment of your time?

          I’m kind of stunned you’re the kind of person who’d do that, honestly. Up until this moment while I didn’t always agree with you on certain things you always seemed decent. Now you’re revealing you’ll happily take advantage of an unequal power imbalance of affection just so you can get your rocks off. I guess I’m hoping that I’m wrong, that there is a reasonable reason you’d do this and are okay with the concept. But I honestly can’t think of one.

          (just for the record, if you and another woman had a casual hookup relationship/deal and you were both okay with it, I take no issue with that. My issue is that you said “he knows that you are seriously into him, and that you will drop what you are doing and run to him”. That says that the guy is totally taking advantage and that, well, it’s okay that he does seeing as your point is not “beware of such men” but rather, “don’t be that kind of woman”)

        3. Yet Another Guy

          @Callie

          I never claimed to be perfect. I am inherently flawed. I am perfectly imperfect.

          Did you notice the parenthetical phase where I mentioned that I do not have sex with either woman because I do not want to open up the attachment can of worms? I did that too many times when I was a younger man.

          I am indeed telling you to avoid being that woman. I am not going to sugar coat things and tell you to beware of such men because most men will do it if given the opportunity. Men are not biologically wired to be monogamous. They are wired to pursue and conquer as many women as possible because that arrangement maximizes their number of offspring. Women are biologically wired to be monogamous because monogamy afforded them and their offspring the greatest chance of survival for most of mankind’s existence. With men, monogamy is a nurture versus nature thing. Monogamy, like being a gentleman, is a behavior that is learned through socialization.

          In the end, you can choose to heed my warning or ignore it. You are not going to change innate male behavior until you find the man that you desire whose world you rock to the point where he does not think about other women. It is all about being the woman that a guy cannot believe chose him. A good first step is being the most feminine woman that you can possibly be while remaining true to yourself. Men are drawn to femininity. That is why truly “girlie girls” get so much attention.

        4. Callie

          I’m good, don’t need your warning, happy in my relationship. For the record I don’t come here for the advice, I visit advice column sites to get an insight into human nature, human reasoning, and different ways of thinking. Most of the people here think very differently from my social circle and it’s very helpful in learning about how other humans not like me process things.  (I would note I never asked about myself once in my reply to you, but for some stupid reason I always forget that people here make the assumption that questions in the general must secretly be about the self in the specific. And yet, despite knowing this, I never learn lesson. Ah well, someday maybe.)

          And cool, okay, you are imperfect and have treated women badly, that is good to know that that’s what it comes down to. The rest of your reasoning as to why men do what they do and there’s simply no changing them and life is life, I don’t really care to debate. Though it is also very interesting to see how a man like you thinks, so I do appreciate the going off tangent bit there. All I wanted to know was how you rationalise your behaviour. And you answered my question: There is no good way to rationalise the behaviour. You acknowledge it was wrong and that’s why you decided to change (though I am still confused what then the purpose of keeping such women around is since you aren’t using them for sex, is it an ego thing? Like it’s nice to know these women would drop everything for you?). You are growing as a person and that’s good.

          Thanks for answering my question!

        5. Karl R

          Callie said:

          “For the record I don’t come here for the advice, I visit advice column sites to get an insight into human nature, human reasoning, and different ways of thinking.”

          Callie asked:

          “Even if she knows that this is what you are doing, how do you feel okay doing it knowing that she is willing to debase herself for a moment of your time?”

          I find these two statements incongruous.

          In your question, it sounds like you’re trying to shame Yet Another Guy into a different course of action. That’s not a particularly effective method of getting someone to open up and share their inmost thoughts.

           

          But to address your question, when I was in my early twenties I had a couple of extended non-monogamous flings with ladies. I guess in today’s terms they would best be described as friends-with-benefits arrangements.

          They would call me (typically on very short notice) and either drop by, or invite me over for some no-strings-attached sex. I would generally make a substantial effort to make the time for sex.

          In your opinion, do you feel that I was “debasing myself for a moment of their time”?  Were my sex partners “treating me badly”? From my perspective, I was a horny 20-something getting laid through a mutually agreeable arrangement.

          Or do you see this as being completely different, because I’m a guy.

           

          Callie asked:

          “I am still confused what then the purpose of keeping such women around is since you aren’t using them for sex, is it an ego thing?”

          In my case, I liked having company when I went to shows. I was on some advance ticket sale lists, so I would get a shot at buying some of the best tickets … 3 to 9 months before the show. I would buy two tickets without knowing whether I would be dating anyone at the time of the show.

          If I had a girlfriend when the show rolled around,  I would take her. If not, I’d call around and see who had free time. I got some lovely and entertaining company, the woman got to see the show for free.

          In my mind, that’s quid pro quo.

          (I had more than two women on call. My friends weren’t seriously into me, so they weren’t willing to “drop everything” … they’d just drop unexciting stuff, like chores or vegging on the sofa in front of the TV.)

        6. Yet Another Guy

          @Callie

          Karl R pretty much answered the question as to why men maintain sexy-on-standby (SOS) relationships. It was definitely for low-effort, last minute sex when I was younger. Today, it is more to have someone with whom to do things when the date that I planned falls through at the last minute or a meeting with a new woman falls short early in the evening. For example, I met a new women for a glass of wine at 7:00pm last Saturday. The date was over by 8:30pm. I called one of my SOS friends and asked if she wanted to hang out. She wound up staying the night, but we did not have sex. That is the beauty of being a fifty-something man. My testosterone level has reached a point where I can sleep in the same bed with a woman and cuddle without having sex. That would have never happened before I got married because there was no way that I would have been able to sleep until we had sex. The experience still gives me a bit of a problem, but my libido does not own me like it did in my twenties and thirties.

        7. Callie

          No Karl, you are reading way more into my question than I said. Yes, I said from the beginning I found the action bad, so my question was based on that premise: how does one go about doing bad things like that and what does one tell oneself? I think that is perfectly in line with my desire to know how other humans think. You’re the one thinking it was a passive aggressive action, forming a question to shame and guilt. I truly wanted to know the thought process someone has.

          As to your examples by way of answer, they don’t actually. See the thing you’re forgetting is that YAG said that these women like him more than he likes them. This is how he described it:

          A sexy on standby is the woman a man calls at the last minute when his date with another woman does not pan out, often for a booty call after dropping off his date.  He knows that you are seriously into him, and that you will drop what you are doing and run to him. 

          This is not a friends with benefits situation, nor is this a mutual decision to have non-monogamous sex with someone else. This is one person using another. When someone knows full well that the other person feels more and will do anything for them, the morally correct action is to therefore not ask them to do anything. To take a step back and not take advantage of that knowledge and that power imbalance, no matter how tempting it might be to do so. However YAG said he used to. And now he doesn’t quite in the same way, but he still has women who care about him more than he cares about them on standby. Your examples are nothing like this. You talk of quid pro quo. A power balance, an agreement. That’s not what’s happening here. He is talking about getting something from someone, taking advantage of someone’s weakness to get what he gets without ever intending to give them what they want in return, and doing it all knowingly. That’s what I think is morally wrong.

          And I don’t think I was being coy about that. My question was sincere: how does one feel okay doing that?

          As to the efficacy of my phrasing? Well he answered the question. And it was interesting. I still find the action morally repugnant, but it was an interesting thing to see answered. So I think it WAS effective.

          I like you Karl, as most people here do. I hope you can respect me enough to trust that I truly wasn’t attempting to shame and that the question was sincere. I realise that passive aggressive and leading questions can be commonplace, but I promise you I truly wanted to know the rationale behind the behaviour.

        8. Callie

          YAG – I do actually understand why a man would have sexy on standby relationships. It makes complete and perfect sense. But if such things are defined as you defined them: as the woman liking you far more than you like her, then despite the reasons why such a relationship is beneficial to you, understanding the selfishness behind the continued action is the thing I’m delving into. I mean, I can understand why people do a myriad of things, good or bad. But what they tell themselves to make it okay for themselves is what really interests me. And the answer you previously gave was a good one. And now I understand better the purpose of the non-sexual standbys, it’s to fulfill other female roles for you that aren’t necessarily sexual. I get it better now, thank you.

        9. Emily, the original

          YAG,

          Unless you enjoy getting your heart broken, you want to avoid becoming a sexy on standby. 

          It’s quite possible that your “sexy on standby” women are perfectly ok with the situation and don’t want anymore. I’ve had situations like that in the past. Some men I got attached to, but some I didn’t. It depended, of course, on my interest level.

        10. Shaukat

          This is one person using another. When someone knows full well that the other person feels more and will do anything for them, the morally correct action is to therefore not ask them to do anything.

          I actually agree with you Callie. However, if you don’t my asking, have you ever had a male friend who you knew was interested in more than friendship, who you continued to see anyways because you enjoyed the emotional benefits/ego boost? Because that’s the female equivalent of the type of relationship YAG outlined.

        11. Yet Another Guy

          @Emily, the original

          I actually tried to get rid of both of my current sexies-on-standby, but they would not take “no” for an answer. These ladies date other guys; however, both would cancel a date at the last minute if I called. It is kind of sad because I know that both of these women would make fantastic girlfriends. I just cannot make myself feel something that does not exist. I need to cut one loose because she is pressuring me to commit.

        12. Emily, the original

          YAG,

          You need to cut both of them loose. You’re using them. Find a new one who doesn’t have feelings for you. Or … do you like the fact that they will drop everything for you? It’s validation. It’s power. (Sorry, there wasn’t really a nice way to put that.) It’s flattering to have people want you, but isn’t it more flattering if you actually want them, too?

        13. Tom10

          @ Shaukat
          “I actually agree with you Callie “.
           
          I disgree Shaukat
           
          Let’s be honest. Women only behave like this (i.e. “debase themselves” to quote Callie) when they’re dating men who are more attractive than they are, i.e. with men out of their league.
           
          So they use short-term dating tactics (i.e. sex) when pursuing a long-term dating goal (i.e. a relationship). And then they complain when the guy (such as YAG) sleeps with her knowing that he doesn’t consider her relationship material.
           
          Callie thinks his behavior is “wrong”, whereas in my opinion these women are “cheating” the dating game and trying to use sex snag guys out of their league.
           
          So Callie feels that some women don’t have the capacity to make their own decisions about who they should have sex with, therefore YAG should assume this responsibility on their behalf and decide not sleep with them. Whereas I feel grown women do have the capacity to make their own decisions about who they should have sex with.
           
          I agree with Karl: Callie is trying to use “shame” (disguised as morals) in an effort to control YAG’s behavior.
           
          Then again, as Emily pointed out, some/many women are just fine with being the “sexy on standy” woman, in which case, everyone is happy.

        14. Emily, the original

          Tom10,

          Callie thinks his behavior is “wrong”, whereas in my opinion these women are “cheating” the dating game and trying to use sex snag guys out of their league.

          Yes! Let the universe punish them! How DARE they try to land a guy who’s an 8 if they’re only a 6!

           Whereas I feel grown women do have the capacity to make their own decisions about who they should have sex with.

          Of course the women must take responsibility for their actions. It’s still selfish to string someone along.

        15. Tom10

          @ Emily, the original
           
          “Yes! Let the universe punish them! How DARE they try to land a guy who’s an 8 if they’re only a 6!
           
          Au contraire my friend; I have no problem with women trying to optimize their dating results and, actually think they’re absolutely right to pursue any tactics that suit them (apart from deceit).
           
          I do have a problem, however, with those who moan when their tactics backfire. Or, trying to prevent others from optimizing their results.
           
          “It’s still selfish to string someone along.”
           
          Hmm.
           
          You see, when I witness a woman being strung-along for sex by an uninterested guy I sometimes think of the guys “beneath her” who she rejected while holding out for her hot guy. Is that not equally selfish behavior on her part?
           
          Therefore, are we not all, whilst trying to optimize our success, ultimately selfish? Is YAG sleeping with women he perceives as beneath him more selfish than women who won’t sleep with guys whom they perceive as beneath them? I dunno…

        16. Callie

          Shaukat – I practice what I preach. Which is probably why I feel as strongly as I do about the subject. So yes, I have had the odd guy in my social circle that I could tell was interested in me and I was not interested in him (rare, but it has happened), and when it did happen I would cool down my relationship with him, not ask any favours ever, and certainly not keep him around for an ego boost (quite frankly, I’ve never found someone I’m not attracted to having a crush on me an ego boost). If he was an actual friend as opposed to acquaintance I saw on occasion, I would be even more careful. I’d amend my behaviour to make sure I wasn’t even close to coming across as flirty or interested. I even once returned a gift (the only time someone who I wasn’t interested in did something like that) because I felt it was wrong I should keep it since I didn’t feel the same way. I’ll add that I’m also this way with female friends. I have one friend for example who is very susceptible to the opinions of others and will readily change her mind on a subject even if she really doesn’t believe it. I have to work twice as hard when it comes to decision making with her (where to go, what to do) to make sure she actually gets what she REALLY wants to do across, and I don’t take advantage and just bulldoze my desires over hers.

          Tom – we shall agree to disagree then. I will say I do believe that there are women out there who are insecure and hopeful and are easily taken advantage of by certain men, yes. But I also think there are exactly the same kind of men who are taken advantage of by women. I think it happens to humans, in other words. And no, what on earth are you going on about me trying to shame YAG to control him?? I don’t even know him, and how the bloody heck could some anonymous stranger online control another one?? Also you must think far less of YAG than I. In all his commenting history he has proven himself to be capable and reasonable, and also has quite the backbone. I really have no fear I have the ability to shame him into my control, and I don’t think you should either.

          Believe me or not, I was just simply trying to understand the thought process behind what I consider amoral behaviour. Not everyone has to agree it is amoral, not everyone has to want to learn the motivations of things, but that’s what I was interested in and I think YAG was very gracious about it quite frankly.

        17. Tom10

          @ Callie
          “we shall agree to disagree then”
           
          Okay.
           
          “what on earth are you going on about me trying to shame YAG to control him?”
           
          Well I don’t think you were trying to do it intentionally, rather instinctually (at least that’s how I inferred it). You implied, nay stated, that his behavior his amoral simply for sleeping with consenting adult women.
           
          Why are you applying judgement against him without questioning the woman’s actions? Because she’s insecure? Who’s to say that YAG isn’t insecure as well?
           
          “Also you must think far less of YAG than I”
           
          I don’t actually have any opinion on YAG. I think he’s just a guy doing what he’s programmed to do; have sex with women (or not in this case lol).
           
          “Believe me or not, I was just simply trying to understand the thought process behind what I consider amoral behaviour”
           
          I believe you.
           
          However, why did you decide to only focus on his behavior in the equation, ignoring the woman’s behavior in the same equation, and then accuse him of being amoral?
           
          In my opinion neither party is amoral; they’re simply following their instinctual drives. So I think it was unfair of you to singularly call one party in the equation amoral.

        18. Karl R

          Emily,

          Have you ever encountered (in real life) one of those self-proclaimed “nice guys”? The ones who, upon meeting you, don’t ask for your number or ask you out. Instead, they try to befriend you, with the ulterior motive of eventually becoming your boyfriend. They’re hoping, through friendship, that you’ll develop romantic feelings toward them, even though you’ve given them no reason to believe that you have that interest in them.

          They invariably get friend-zoned.

          I’ve previously stated (to some of the supposed “nice guys”) that befriending someone, while having the ulterior motive of romance, is a bit deceptive. Furthermore, it’s not particularly nice. (I may be misremembering, but I believe Tom10 has made similar comments.)

           

          I see a parallel between that behavior, and what Tom10 is saying. If a man (perhaps Yet Another Guy) has given no indication that he is interested in a serious relationship with a woman (or even gives clear indications that he does not want that kind of relationship), and that woman chooses to engage in casual sex, with the ulterior motive of getting a long-term romance, isn’t that just a variation of the same behavior that the “nice guys” engage in?

           

          Emily and Callie,

          If you’re going to claim that Yet Another Guy is using these women (due to a “power imbalance”), isn’t that a direct parallel to what women do when they friend-zone men who have strong feelings for them?

          Have you cut loose the “nice guys” you’ve friend-zoned?

          Or do you feel that these men are adults, who can decide for themselves whom they befriend. And if they’re going to enter into one kind of relationship, while concealing their ulterior motive of getting a different kind of relationship, perhaps they’re not the sweet innocent victims.

        19. Emily, the original

          Tom10,

           Is YAG sleeping with women he perceives as beneath him more selfish than women who won’t sleep with guys whom they perceive as beneath them? I dunno…

          It depends. He’s using the women. Even if he’s not F—— them, they’re sleeping in the same bed. That’s an intimacy of sorts. Something is happening physically. If the women aren’t sleeping with the guys they reject and/or stringing them along so they can get male attention or prop up their egos, then, no, the women aren’t being selfish. Their interest in YAG is genuine and they are simply turning down the men they don’t want. They aren’t holding on to them until something better comes along without any real interest in them … you get where I’m going.

        20. Emily, the original

          Shaukat,

          Have you ever had a male friend who you knew was interested in more than friendship, who you continued to see anyways because you enjoyed the emotional benefits/ego boost? Because that’s the female equivalent of the type of relationship YAG outlined.

          Yes I have done that, and it was selfish. I assumed we were on the same page about it just being a friendship in the beginning. I was going to them for advice about how to land other guys. We would have these conversations for hours. I thought that made my intentions pretty obvious, but, as a male friend once asked me, “Did you ever tell them you just wanted to be friends?” And I hadn’t. And even if I had told them, once I could see they weren’t getting the memo, I should have ended the friendship.

        21. Karl R

          I just saw Callie’s post after making mine. Her actions are at least consistent with what she feels Yet Another Guy should do.

        22. KK

          Tom said,

          “I don’t actually have any opinion on YAG. I think he’s just a guy doing what he’s programmed to do; have sex with women (or not in this case lol).”

          LOL!!! I don’t know why this made me laugh so hard. Tom, you’re a mess : )

        23. Emily, the original

          Hi Karl R,

          Have you cut loose the “nice guys” you’ve friend-zoned?

          Shaukat basically said the same thing. I responded to his post.

        24. GoWiththeFlow

          YAG,

          Thank you for the “fly on the wall” moment.  It’s one of those things that as a woman, I may not want to hear, but it’s something that I (and all women) need to hear.  And I’ve heard similar things from other men (and women) before.

          I am almost finished reading the book “Why Men Love Bitches” which really should be titled “Why Men Love Women Who Have Boundaries and Stick to Them When Pushed.”  (But my title isn’t the provocative click bait that Sherry Argov’s is.)  Throughout the book, Argov gives several examples where a “booty call” should meet a firm boundary.  Ignore the call/text (this is what I usually do).  “Sorry I have plans.” Or something along the lines of “Oh it’s way too late.  I’m tired and have to get up early.  Sweet dreams!”

          Argov’s contention is that it’s human nature for people to try to get as much benefits as possible for the least amount of effort.  I completely agree with her assessment!  And when you look at it that way, the tendency to make judgements tends to fade away.  Instead of thinking (or worse saying to the guy) “How dare he!” it becomes “Meh, at this moment he wants what he wants.  Which is not what I want.  I’ll do what I want.”  Or as my mother used to say, “Boys will have their agenda.  You stick to yours.”

           

          If a woman takes a risk by agreeing to NSA sex with a man and then hoping it leads to a relationship, that is her choice to make regardless of what other people think about it.  Although I can sympathize with her feelings when she inevitably winds up hurt, I’m not going to say she was victimized.

        25. Tron Swanson

          I’ve been guilty of the “try being friends first” strategy. But, in my defense:

          1. Women constantly say that they want an emotional connection first, so the “friend” strategy makes sense and fits with their stated desires. (I do agree with Karl, though, in that it’s ultimately deceptive, which is why I no longer do it.)

          2. I had/have no interest in dating–and no social skills–so my options were/are sort of limited, in terms of my approach.

          3. Many women told me that they wanted to be friends first.

          4. Similarly, when I was younger, a surprising number of women sought me out so that we could be “flirting friends.”

        26. Shaukat

          So they use short-term dating tactics (i.e. sex) when pursuing a long-term dating goal.

          Tom, I agree with you.  I prefaced my statement with ‘I actually agree with you Callie’ as a rhetorical device; a type of snag to highlight a hypocritical double standard. I don’t think it’s good practice to lead anyone on for an extended period of time, but women who keep a stable of beta-male orbiters as emotional outlets are rarely placed in the same category as men who have sex with women without committing. In fact, if one of those self-proclaimed ‘nice guys’ ever complain about what they perceive to be an unfair situation, they’re immediately dismissed as entitled closet misogynists who think they’re owed sex. That was the main point I was making.

          Ultimately though, I do believe it’s the man’s responsibility in the above situation to set his own boundaries and to walk away if dissatisfied, much like it’s the woman’s responsibility to walk away from a sexual arrangement if she doesn’t find it to be emotionally fulfilling.

        27. Tom10

          “LOL!!! I don’t know why this made me laugh so hard”

          I don’t know either; ‘cos it’s not that funny. Unless you think it’s funny that you Callie feels men who have sex with consenting adults are amoral, but women who do the exact same thing aren’t amoral? Actually, yes that is quite funny! Lol. : )

          But yeah, good counter-argument. Instead of trying to articulate a reasonable point like Emily,GWtF or Callie you resort to petty swipes.  You do that a lot here don’t you KK? Like you did with GWtf. Like you do regularly with your other two sparring buddies.

          Keep up the good work ; )

        28. Chance

          Emily,

           

          If the women aren’t sleeping with the guys they reject and/or stringing them along so they can get male attention or prop up their egos, then, no, the women aren’t being selfish. Their interest in YAG is genuine and they are simply turning down the men they don’t want. They aren’t holding on to them until something better comes along without any real interest in them … you get where I’m going.”

           

          I have to disagree here.  I might be misunderstanding the context, but a woman who is stringing a man along (whom she hasn’t overtly rejected) for his attention and emotional connection is being quite selfish.  Also, amongst young girls/women, the male attention providers often do serve as “maybe guys”, while they wait for a better guy to come along.  FWB and friend zone situations are just opposite sides of the same coin, and both parties in each situation are relying on deception (mostly deceiving themselves) to an extent in order to effect their strategies.

        29. Chance

          Whoa Tom10, ROFL.  I got the impression that in this rare instance she wasn’t taking swipes and she was actually being friendly.  I suggest tapping into that inner Trump that we all have, and don’t even bother with trying to walk it back.  She should understand.

        30. Adrian

          Hi Callie,

          I have no desire to enter into this discourse that but I think I can help with where the miscommunication/confusion is coming from.

          Tom10 said, “Well I don’t think you were trying to do it intentionally, rather instinctively.” 

          I agree with Tom10 and here is why from your first post to YAG

           

          Callie said, “I’m kind of stunned you’re the kind of person who’d do that, honestly. Up until this moment while I didn’t always agree with you on certain things you always seemed decent. Now you’re revealing you’ll happily take advantage of an unequal power imbalance of affection just so you can get your rocks off. I guess I’m hoping that I’m wrong, that there is a reasonable reason you’d do this and are okay with the concept. But I honestly can’t think of one.”

           

          I am not sure if you can see it or not but in that entire paragraph you made a moral judgement against YAG NOT just his actions.

          I am sure you will disagree but if so then:

          What does it mean when you say he “seemed” decent?

          What does it mean when you say you’re “stunned” he is that kind of person?

          What does it mean when you say that you “hope” that you are wrong [about him]?

          …   …   …

          Again I don’t want to enter into this discussion so you don’t have to answer me (I prefer if you don’t) just think about those questions based upon your statements and if you still feel you did not judge him as a person and NOT just the action.

          Then forget about what I said.

        31. Emily, the original

          Chance,

          If the women aren’t sleeping with the guys they reject and/or stringing them along so they can get male attention or prop up their egos, then, no, the women aren’t being selfish.

          Tom10 asked if it is as selfish for a woman to use a guy who she’s friendzoned and knows is into her as it is for a man to use woman just for sex who he knows is really into him. I said no, if she’s rejected the friend’s advances and is not sleeping with him and is not stringing him along for male attention or for ego validation. She obviously, knowing he wants her, needs to leave him alone.

        32. Callie

          Adrian – I have maintained from the beginning that I did judge YAG. I have not denied that. What I wasn’t doing was trying to shame him into a new behaviour, which is what others are saying. I said outright I thought his behaviour was wrong and I was disappointed in him. I in no way however tried to manipulate him to act differently or do something different (that would have to presume that he would care that I was disappointed in him and generally in my opinion of him and I assumed he wouldn’t). I wanted to know why he behaved in an amoral way. That’s it. Anyone who thinks those questions were leading or trying to change him is wrong, though I can understand why they’d think that. Many people do use those tactics, here even in this thread. Shaukat just admitted that saying he agreed with me was a lie to try to manipulate me (of course I mean, it was pretty clear what he was doing, just wasn’t successful in this particular case). So yeah, people here do play such games all the time. I didn’t though, I really wanted to know the philosophy behind the behaviour.

          I guess my point is, I get why everyone truly thinks I was trying to control YAG because so many other people do do that kind of thing, but I really truly just wanted to know his thought process. And again, he actually answered the question and was really amenable and I appreciated it a lot.

           

        33. Emily, the original

          Chance, Tom10, and Shaukat,

          Just to be clear: I think women should cut loose the male orbiters she is using for male attention/validation but has no interest in. But I do have a question about that: How serious is the interest of the male orbiter? In terms of being a woman on the receiving end of it, it feels flim-flammy. Yes, they may toss out a sexual comment here and there, but it never feels as if their feelings are all that strong. Sure, if handed the opportunity, they would be down to hook up, but I never got the feeling they were besotted with me (for lack of a better term). It just felt like they be down to do something sexual if I was, but there would certainly be no implication of a relationship.

           

           

        34. Adrian

          Hi Callie,

          I never thought you were trying to control or shame YAG.

          Like you I also don’t see how others came to that conclusion, I thought the misunderstand revolved around you judging him.

          I must be slow compared to others because I never pick up on when people on here are trying to change someone; it always just comes across as attacking to me-which is why I always avoid joining those sub conversions on here.

          Commenters who are trying to shame other commenters I see but again it’s never subtle to me.

          Shaukat confused me (or maybe I feel into his trap). I thought he was sincere when he said he agreed with you.

          However what he was saying to Tom10 took me by surprise because saying “I agree” is one sentence but what he wrote to Tom10 explaining the “I agree with Callie” statement took 3 paragraphs (O_O).

          But wait! Tom10 also needed it explained to him and he is 10 times sharper than me when it comes to women, dating, and relationships (O_o).

          …   …   …

          Either way I apologize Callie for my misunderstand.

        35. Tron Swanson

          Sadly, I spent far too much time as a male orbiter, so I can answer that question.

          Sometimes the interest is very serious–all of my girlfriends started out as friends. But sometimes the interest isn’t serious at all–it’s easy to occasionally listen to women vent, flirt with them a little, and see if anything happens.

          I’d say that the amount of time/effort invested should be your main clue. I liked the women that became my girlfriends, so I really invested myself into them. But, with potential hookups, I tend to prefer the breadcrumb approach, just doing enough to keep myself in their head as an option.

        36. Emily, the original

          Tron,

          But, with potential hookups, I tend to prefer the breadcrumb approach, just doing enough to keep myself in their head as an option.

          I never think of men who do that as options. Their approach is ineffectual and starts to seem ridiculous, especially if it goes on for any length of time. (Sorry if I sound persnickety. I have one who’s doing that right now — has been for months — and he just seems silly to me at this point.) Even if it’s just going to be a hookup, I always think: Make a decisive move or go away. (And, yes, if I were super interested, I’d make the move myself. The fact that I don’t should tell him everything.)

        37. Tron Swanson

          Emily,

          In my own case, I care less about results and more about conserving my own time and energy. As with almost all men, I’m rejected the vast majority of the time, and I’m used to it. Any strategy that I try is likely to fail. But, this way, at least I don’t waste too much to my life on things that I don’t really care about.

        38. SS

          My thoughts on the situation:  If a woman is going to be held accountable for a “nice-guy”, then a man is held accountable for his actions regarding Sex on Standby.  Uhh, how disgusting.  The thing about most “”nice-guy” situations is that they don’t involve sex.  That makes a big difference.  A good, grown man does not hold his mistakes  to be fixed by some woman.  He takes care of the responsibilities himself.  It is not that COMPLICATED.  If in your youth, you used women for sex because you “had” to, then you know what makes you get out of that rut and into a relationship?  Realizing and managing that you are dating women at this age that were damaged by men like you.  Men who treated women badly in the past and cannot face themselves and the results of their actions do not get anything better.  And why would they?

        39. Yet Another Guy

          @SS

           

          I do not believe that any of the guys who contribute to this blog believe that a woman should be held accountable for leading a nice guy on.  It is the guy’s fault for letting her use him.  The guys who contribute to this blog were merely pointing out the hypocrisy of women attempting to shame men for maintaining sexy-on-standby relationships.  Justifying a woman’s actions as less hurtful because she does not have sex with a man demonstrates how differently men and women process things.  The mere fact that she does not have sex with him is hurtful because he knows that she is having sex with another man who may be treating her poorly.  Men generally do not pursue women as friends unless there is sexual tension.  Any woman who believes otherwise is fooling herself.

           

          In the end, we are responsible for how we allow people to treat us.  It is up to the individual to not allow himself/herself to be exploited by others.

          By the way, one of the most classic of the tunes from the classic rock era is about a man who was in a woman’s orbit.  That song is “Layla” by Eric Clapton.  Layla (a.k.a. Pattie Boyd) was George Harrison’s wife.

          “Layla”
          What’ll you do when you get lonely
          And nobody’s waiting by your side?
          You’ve been running and hiding much too long.
          You know it’s just your foolish pride.

          Layla, you’ve got me on my knees.
          Layla, I’m begging, darling please.
          Layla, darling won’t you ease my worried mind.

          I tried to give you consolation
          When your old man had let you down.
          Like a fool, I fell in love with you,
          Turned my whole world upside down.

          Layla, you’ve got me on my knees.
          Layla, I’m begging, darling please.
          Layla, darling won’t you ease my worried mind.

          Let’s make the best of the situation
          Before I finally go insane.
          Please don’t say we’ll never find a way
          And tell me all my love’s in vain.

          Layla, you’ve got me on my knees.
          Layla, I’m begging, darling please.
          Layla, darling won’t you ease my worried mind.

        40. SS

           

           

          Well, I agree with none of that.   You dug yourself deep, and I cant be da—d to extend anything to you.  You were  hurt by someone??  and now you take it out on all women.  Well, hopefully there’ll be a change .org started to force men like you to wear neon signs and cowbells that say “Liar, cheat.  And, damned if I’ll be honest about anything.”   Oh, until then say verbatim what you have said here to those (sex on standby) sad saps.

           

          Gwtf:  Well, sure, but you’d be a really bad friend if you treated those friends that way after they hadn’t been told the truth and led down some deceitful path by Mr. Honest her e.

        41. Yet Another Guy

          @SS

          I never kept a sexy-on-standby because I was hurt by a woman. I kept a sexy-on-standby when I was younger because my libido owned me, and a sexy-on-standby was low-hanging fruit (i.e., a woman who always said “yes”). I keep non-sexual sexy-on-standby women these days because there are non-sexual parts of being married that I miss. These women are willing to give that companionship to me without a commitment. Plus, I do not want to deal with the post-sex head-trip that women put a man through when their emotions are in a state of flux. Men are able to compartmentalize sex and love just as women are able to separate sexual tension and friendship with men. For most men, there is no such thing as a true platonic female friend. They are merely women with whom a man has yet to have sex. I can assure you that if given the opportunity, most of the quote, unquote male platonic friends that women on this site have in their lives would strip down to bare flesh if given the green light. Sexual tension is omnipresent when a man befriends a woman that he finds attractive. The only time that a man can be truly platonic friends with a woman is when she is so unattractive that he does not desire her sexually.

      2. 9.1.2
        Adrian

        Hi Marika,

        I think that when guys hear “friends first” come from a woman it sounds like she is saying she doesn’t find him sexually desirable. He then feels that he was mistaken about the attraction being mutual.

        He pulls away because he feels rejected and/or foolish for putting himself out there to be rejected by you (in his mind).

        I once read a research study that came out in 2008 (so I am not sure if this info is still accurate), and the study listed the top 10 reasons for divorce in America.

        In order with #1 being the greatest reason and #2 being the second greatest and so forth.

        1). Financial Stress

        2). Lack of Communication

        3). Boredom

        4). Infidelity: emotional or physical

         

        The second reason is the one I want to focus on. In my opinion too many well intention people end up hurting someone or sabotaging a good relationship because they failed to communicate their true beliefs.

        By the way to me communication is NOT about just talking to each other as many people believe; it is about making sure the other person UNDERSTANDS your intentions and feelings and you understand theirs.

         

         

        1. Evan Marc Katz

          “Friends first” means “I’ve been hurt by guys who’ve slept with me and disappeared. Sorry, you’re going to have to wait for however long it takes for my walls to come down.”

        2. Emily, the original

          Yeah. It means “You’ll have to walk over increasingly large piles of glass if you ever want to see my undercarriage.”

        3. GoWiththeFlow

          Evan,

          I know it doesn’t go with the “A” theme, but maybe you should change “Men want to feel accepted, appreciated, and admired” to “Men want to feel accepted, appreciated, admired, and desired.”

        4. Adrian

          Hi  GoWithTheFlow,

          GoWithTheFlow said, “Change “Men want to feel accepted, appreciated, and admired” to “Men want to feel accepted, appreciated, admired, and desired.

          Stacy2 and a few other women have brought this up a lot on many different post throughout the blog as if it is a bad thing that men want this. They bring it up kind of in a mocking and demeaning way.

          Perhaps this is just my naivete’ showing but I always thought that women also wanted to feel accepted, appreciated, admired, and desired?

          Could you explain to me why do you think women seem so surprised and why they appear to lose respect for men who desire these things from a woman?

          Is it because to a woman a man is to be strong and stoic?

          Is a man wanting those things from a woman viewed as less masculine?

          Is it because women feel that they do give those things and a man who ask for it is seen as needy?

          If so then how does she know that she is actually giving it? Or that she is giving enough?

          …   …   …

          On a separate but similar subject.

          On the first few dates GoWithTheFlow how do you know that a guy desires you?

          If it is his actions, then how does that work with the philosophy of women mirroring? If a woman is just mirroring a man’s actions then doesn’t that mean that she is not being proactive in the beginning?

          If so then how does a man know that she desires him?

          Not likes him but desires him?

          Not enjoys his company but desires him?

           

        5. Karl R

          Adrian asked:

          “Could you explain to me why do you think women seem so surprised and why they appear to lose respect for men who desire these things from a woman?”

          You are correct that women want to be “accepted, appreciated, admired, and desired”. I think your confusion is because you’re having difficulty sorting out the opinions that come from two different groups of women. The women who ridicule the notion tend to also feel that “men are wrong” / “men are at fault” / “men need to change”. The other group of women look at that same information and go, “That makes sense.”

           

          Adrian asked:

          “If so then how does she know that she is actually giving it? Or that she is giving enough?”

          If she’s not giving enough, the Secure guys will probably bail from the relationship. It will feel like they’re dating an Avoidant woman (even if they don’t know the terminology). The Anxious guys will just get anxious.

          It’s not the only reason a guy might bail, but if she’s seeing a consistent pattern, it’s something she might consider.

           

          Adrian asked:

          “On the first few dates GoWithTheFlow how do you know that a guy desires you?”

          Unless a man/woman tends to have the emotional affect of an iceberg, they’re broadcasting this unconsciously through their facial expressions.

          Next time you’re in a restaurant or bar, look around the room and see if you can pick out who is obviously attracted to the person they’re talking to … and when the other person doesn’t necessarily feel the same way.

          You generally won’t see this as easily with husbands/wives (except in brief flashes). They’re past the infatuation stage, so they’re not projecting this non-stop.

           

          Adrian asked:

          “If a woman is just mirroring a man’s actions then doesn’t that mean that she is not being proactive in the beginning?”

          Simple answer – That’s correct. She’s reactive, not proactive.

          Complicated answer – In many cases the woman kicks things off by telegraphing her interest to the guy (through facial expressions, body language, flirting) with varying degrees of subtlety. (Either person can start this process. If a savvy man telegraphs his interest, he will wait to see if the interest is reciprocated before making a more overt move.)

           

          Adrian asked:

          “If so then how does a man know that she desires him? Not likes him but desires him? Not enjoys his company but desires him?”

          Ask her out on dates. If she keeps accepting, if she doesn’t pull back when you lean in to kiss her, reciprocates, etc., that’s how you know.

          If all of this seems very trial-and-error … that’s because it is.

        6. GoWiththeFlow

          Adrian,

          “Could you explain to me why do you think women seem so surprised and why they appear to lose respect for men who desire these things [acceptance, appreciation, admiration] from a woman?”

          I don’t think women lose respect for men who desire these things AFTER they learn of this.  I think they already have a jaded view of men and relationships, so that’s the mental frame they are in period.

          Women who think this way remind me of some of the Red Pill/PUA guys.  They get bruised and hurt while dating or in relationships and they can’t get past it.  Instead of learning what they can from it and then moving past the bad experiences by tucking them away in the back of their brain, they let the negative experiences take over their whole mindset.  Statements like “I’m going to use men’s foibles against them”  or “I’m going to say all the mushy, ego stroking stuff to get him eating out of my hand” are equivalent to a guy using PUA techniques.

          Unfortunately, PUA techniques like “negging” are likely to only be highly successful on women with an anxious style attachment.  Then after her anxious behaviors have been activated, it reinforces to the man that women are “crazy.”  It’s a downward spiral, and I think a very similar thing happens with women who play games like this as well.  A truly secure man will know that a woman isn’t being sincere in her praise, and the guys who will respond will only reinforce her negative view of men.

          “Is it because to a woman a man is to be strong and stoic?”

          “Is a man wanting those things from a woman viewed as less masculine?”

          “Is it because women feel that they do give those things and a man who ask for it is seen as needy?”

          I don’t think that knowing that men have needs and desires makes women view them as weak or less masculine.  And most women past a certain age do know this because we raise boys and know how much they respond to praise and nurturing.  I think where it goes wrong is in the how.  For instance in Love U and in Evan’s other material, he recommends to use terms like sweetie, cutie, handsome, etc. and maybe throwing in some XOXOs when you are emailing or messaging men online.  Many women might be uncomfortable doing this (or never have done it) because they think it’s corny, or silly, or may be viewed as over the top.  And then you do it and it’s like Holy Crap!  This really works!”

          “. . . I always thought that women also wanted to feel accepted, appreciated, admired, and desired?”

          Yes we do.  That’s why you see the negative reactions from the women here when men say they don’t care about a woman’s job or her education level.  It’s viewed a summary dismissal of an area or areas in her life where she has channelled a lot of energy and effort.  Many women pursue studies and careers that they feel reflect their talents and passions, so what they do for work is their personality in action.  If a woman is a teacher, instead of saying, “Your job and education isn’t what makes me want to be with you.” a savvy man would be wise to connect the dots and say “I want to be with you because you are kind, caring, outgoing, smart, and a pleasure to be around and I admire how you bring that to all areas of your life, including your commitment to the kids you educate.”

          In regards to letting a man know she does desire him in the beginning stages of dating:  “If so then how does she know that she is actually giving it? Or that she is giving enough?”

          I think Karl R is correct that attraction and desire are largely communicated non-verbally.  An enthusiastic kiss.  Eye contact.  Smiling. Comfortably being in your personal space. Touching you on the arm, back, shoulder, and accepting touch from you.  Then there’s flirting, a sexy sly reply to something you say.

          A woman “knows” she’s giving you enough if you keep coming back for more!

        7. Chance

          Hi GWTF, but men can accept, appreciate, admire, and desire you for so much more than just academic or professional accomplishments.  I know that these are big things that women appreciate in men, but just because men don’t put as much weight on that doesn’t mean we don’t appreciate you.  Heh, you want to be appreciated more for these things and I want to be appreciated less for them.  Twisted world we live in, eh?

        8. GoWiththeFlow

          Chance,

          Women don’t want to be appreciated MORE for their education and jobs that other facets of their selves.  I used that as an example because it prompts so much back and forth on the blog.  In general women don’t put parts of themselves into compartments.  So when a reductionist statement like “I don’t care about your education or job” is made it’s like hearing “I like you despite your education and job.”  It’s heard as a statement that he really doesn’t like a part of her.

          Maybe a similar comparison in the opposite direction would be if a woman tells a man “I don’t care if you are losing your hair” and what he hears is “I like you despite your baldness.” When what he wants is to feel he is attractive to her just the way he is, and that includes the bald head, not in spite of the bald head.

          So yes women love it that men like their warmth, their wit and fun attitude, and find us physically desirable.  But we don’t view those qualities in us as something wholly separate and unrelated to our other qualities like intelligence, industriousness, perseverance, and sense of responsibility.

        9. Chance

          Hi GWTF, I don’t know if you’re doing yourself a favor by interpreting that kind of statement in such a manner.  It honestly could mean that a man really doesn’t care about what kind of job you have – not that he still likes you even though he doesn’t like your job.

        10. SS

           

           

          “Friends first” means “I’ve been hurt by guys who’ve slept with me and disappeared. ”   Ouch.  I’ve seen it mean that she wants a relationship with a friendship in it.  A softer version of no no-strings -attached garbage.  Someone that is not into having to be tired over having to explain that to people.  Maybe it isn’t the best thing to put into a profile.  But truly as a guy you should be open to NOT READING INTO EVERYTHING that a female posts in a profile.  That evokes the same results as the badly phrased friends situation.  “Well, I have been burned by this type of woman in the past, so I won’t respond to someone that says friends in their profile.”  It’s childish.  You’re not going to find an adult that doesn’t have walls.  You find one that you can take down.  Man-child is not able to do this.  You have walls also.  Would you judge someone so critically in person hanging on their every word and judging them for it or would you put other things in context also?  Uhh

  10. 10
    Marika

    This is such an interesting discussion and I’m really glad to have the male perspective explained so eloquently. Thank you! I’ll definitely bear this in mind in the future.

    Callie & Emily, we can bemoan this situation, or accept it and just ensure we aren’t one of the standby women (for the record, I’m not one of these women and never have been. One guy tried on the ‘calling me at 9pm to come over’ thing and I said no. When he tried again and again I ended up blocking his number).

    But no one has answered my question about the guy you’re really interested in but is away for work when you start communicating (travelling often for work is reasonably common where I live). How do I balance his need to not just be friends, with my need to not want to be a sexting buddy?

    1. 10.1
      Adrian

      Hi Marika,

      I have only been flirting with online dating for about five weeks. As much as I studied the advice from this blog and even bought Finding the One Online, prior to five weeks ago I have never tried it.

      I got professional pictures, wrote a great profile based off of Evan’s template, and created a uniquely humorous user name but since creating my profile a little over a month ago I have only been back online once to check it and that was a about 2 days ago (maybe I am still not completely ready to date).

      When I did check my profile I noticed that I had about a 100 messages (the majority of them just one word (Hi) or one sentence).

      I had about 200 winks

      But here is the funny/sad part. I only had about 35 profile views.

      …   …   …

      I can tell that most only wrote me because of my picture, very few have actually read my profile. Maybe I fit their income, height, and beauty criteria-all of which can be put into your search options without taking the time to read a profile.

      I mention this because of your comment from earlier to Stacy2 about the type of people contacting others only because of their picture.

      I agree with Stacy2 that looks matter more than anything else with online dating (even if it is not politically correct to say so),

      However, I agree with you and Evan that even if being shallow is human nature, we should still want someone who is trying to be more and is looking for me (though I think even the most shallow people honestly believe that they are not shallow).

      I just wanted to acknowledge your point from earlier but to also say that my advice my not be the best when it comes to online dating or texting (since I rarely text).

      …   …   …

      To address your question about the sexting guy to me that is easy. Just cut him off.

      Tell him why but cut him off. Because it is something that makes you feel uncomfortable so don’t even entertain the possibility of doing it later in the future for him when as you stated you have not even met him (I think you haven’t).

      It’s fine that you like him but tell him that you don’t feel comfortable sexting someone until you are in a committed relationship with them, then watch his actions.

      Marika you are incredibly smart (that is the impression that I gather from reading your comments) so you know that the dynamic that you allow to be set up in the beginning of the relationship will be the script that will play out thorough the entire thing.

      If you do anything you are not happy with just for him in the beginning, he will think that is part of your character (not the doing things you don’t want part, but the sexual stuff, he will think you enjoy talking about sex) and when you decline, back off or whatever later on it will appear to him that you have changed, or lost interest, or (like the debate with Callie and YAG) used sex to manipulate a relationship from him.

      You can do both you know. You can keep his interest, let him know that you desire him while not succumbing to the need to send sexual text. If he fades because you won’t sex text then you have your answer to his character.

      There was a book I once read on flirting (the only good one I ever found) unfortunately I can’t remember the name of it; but I did take a lot of notes.

      The author speaks about the different types of flirting and each type has different levels. Talking about sex or sending sexual messages she never considered flirting because it took away all the anticipation and left nothing to the imagination.

      Flirting is about showing interest and it is about creating, building, and maintaining attraction. It is not always subtle but it is always classy. People who just give it away (sexting, or sending nude pics) are not flirting they are just being carnal/erotic.

      I am not a natural flirt so I needed a book like this to teach me how to, maybe you can also check out your local library on flirting. Because according the the author, being seen as desirable is very important, you have to give them a reason to want to flirt with you and keep coming back for more.

      You can not just focus on the physical and you can not just focus on the mental/emotional, there has to be balance. Come off as too mental and you are only seen as just a fun friend; come off as too physical and you are only seen as just a person who is looking for sex and not a relationship.

      She (the author) focused a lot of what to wear, how to wear it, how to smell, how to walk, how to talk, how to lean in, what to say in certain situations and how to say it, etc. But since you don’t have any of that with text I would suggest that-after you tell him how sexting would make you feel uncomfortable but emphasizing that you do like him and you want to get to know him-you use humor and entertaining stories as a way to flirt.

      To me that will probably be your best way to flirt over text. Tell little funny stories (but make sure you get him to engage), throw him into the situation sometimes after you tell the story like, “If I saw you in a big hat like Henry’s I bet you would have been so cute; even with the birds trying to land on top of it (^_^).”

      Hopefully he will be sharp enough and invested enough to pick up the ball from that and reply with something like, “How about you wear Henry’s giant hat and I charge you and the birds rent for living in it LOL”

      Okay I am not a good at flirting but fortunately according to research it is not about what you say it is about the tone and the way you say it. Though again you can’t read tone with texting (another reason I don’t like it), so be sure to always use your emoji’s.

      If a person likes you they will flirt back and forth, joking, teasing, etc. All without the need for sexting.

      By the way, since you both are adults, you can still talk about sexual things, just not in a crass way and only when you feel comfortable enough to do it. However, I would suggest only talking about such subjects when you have already established your character with him. If he knows you are not the type of woman that talks about sex or has sex without a level of trust and commitment first, then he will not read to much into it when you and he talk about more sexually charged topics.

      1. 10.1.1
        Marika

        Thank you, Adrian 🙂

        I have done (with the one guy I’m still in touch with who’s away for work – the other, as you suggested, faded away) pretty much what you said above. I was just reflecting on it from the other angle based on some of the previous comments about how emasculating ‘just friends’ is to a man. But I take your point that you can be fun & flirty without sexting. For the record, I’ve never sent any dirty pics (that’s sooo not me), it was more sexually explicit content. I’ve also never been the one to start that, it has always been initiated by the man. It doesn’t make me feel uncomfortable per se (I’m human!), it’s just that it’s not a good long-term thing to do without in person contact in between.

        Without this becoming a lecture on geo-politics, being a large, relatively sparsely populated, and isolated developed country, a lot of people travel regularly for work, pleasure etc. So while this question may seem obscure, this issue comes up a bit.

        To your concern regarding the profile views versus ‘hi’s’ and flirts. Please do not give up on online dating or become discouraged. Firstly, everyone who’s reasonably attractive gets the most attention they’ll ever get when they first put up their profile. You won’t continue to get that many messages ongoing (which is a good thing or else you definitely would get overwhelmed). Also, ignore the flirts and hi’s, and concentrate on the 35 women who did view your profile. You also seem incredibly intelligent, thoughtful, mature and a great catch. I can’t imagine women in their early or even mid 20’s would be a great match for you, so maybe concentrate on late 20’s up.

        This is where it gets interesting & most of us turn into hypocrites..you then have to overcome your natural urge to do the same thing as the women are doing to you and only concentrate on the hottest chicks! I don’t know how many times I’ve broken my own rules against not writing to people with blank profiles or who only wrote ‘hi’, because they were hot… It never works.

        One particularly negative experience was when I went out with a guy who wrote nothing in his profile and wrote only a very brief message (with hot pics) – he was consistently late (we went out three times, he was late each time), seemed disengaged from me & everyone else around him (very self-involved) and tried to feel me up at the table in the bar (in public). Don’t do it to yourself! Stick to the people with substance, who are also attractive to you.

        Let us know how you go!

      2. 10.1.2
        Christine

        I have dated online off and on for a few years, finding a LTR relatively quickly every time.  I know I used to think like you if a man looked at my picture but didn’t read my profile that he was superficially judging me based on physical appearance.  But two points:

        1-I found myself clicking on initial images then not reading profiles not because of physicality but because of Proximity! I had to click to see Where they lived and if I saw that it was an unlikely distance I didn’t pursue it.  I know me and I can’t seriously develop a relationship long distance as my childcare and career have demands on my time and resources. I’m not looking for a pen pal or to fall in love with a virtual character to find months later he’s not like that in person. Time and energy are valuable resources do want to use mine wisely

        2-if they DO click away because they’re not initially attracted GOOD! Let them go! If they’re that superficial or that devoted to a particular type he’s not the kind of man I’d want to be with so time saver.  He’s also entitled to certain physical preferences (I’ll never be a tall blonde so if that’s his thing good luck) as I have my preferences as we all do. It’s one of the advantages of online dating … instead of being set up on a Blind Date with someone who doesn’t like a Tall Woman a RedHeaded Woman whatever it’s done already.

        1. Yet Another Guy

          @Christine

          I have dated online off and on for a few years, finding a LTR relatively quickly every time.

          Either you are incredibly lucky, or you do not suffer from what Bobbi Palmer refers to as FemiType #2 The 18-year-old or FemiType #4 Wow Me Woman.   I have noticed that these two types of women remain on dating sites for a long time.  FemiType #4 women drive me insane.

          datelikeagrownup.com/are-you-still-18-when-it-comes-to-dating-and-relationships-femitype-2/

          Are You Waiting for Some Fantasy Man? (FemiType #4: The Wow-Me Woman)

    2. 10.2
      Yet Another Guy

       

      What is so difficult about telling the guy that you are into him, but do not want to be his sexting buddy?  The worst thing that can happen is that he balks and walks away.  If he does walk away, he was not that into you.

       

      I personally lose interest in a woman as more than a sexual plaything if she starts to sext me.  I remember the first a woman I met on online who sent unsolicited nude photos.  I had heard of the infamous photos that guys send, but I never thought that a woman would do it in a million years.   We scheduled to meet for a drink on Friday evening.  I told her that I was going to the gym before our date, and she said that she would send something for me to view when I was done working out.  I picked up my phone, and there was a photo spread of my date completely nude.  Let’s say that these photos left nothing to the imagination.    I stared at my phone in disbelief.   I was recently separated after having been out of the dating pool for almost two decades at that point in time.  The first thing that came to my mind was “I am not in Kansas anymore.”  The crazy thing is I thought that it was a fluke.  However, I have received unsolicited nude photos from several women since receiving the initial set.

       

       

      1. 10.2.1
        Katie

        She’s been casually dating too long is all. And she’s sent that same pic to many others too btw. It’s normal. Girls online dates too long, lots of options, but she avoids commitment and just has fun. Takes sexy pics for someone, but it dosent hash out. She starts sending same pics to other guys that she likes.

        On the bright side she probably an expert sexter and phone sexter 😀

      2. 10.2.2
        Nat

        Hi YAG. Would u also find the sexting a turn off if it was with a woman u’d been dating quite a while or was in a relationship with? Just curious 🙂

        1. Yet Another Guy

          To be completely honest, I do not see the point of sexting.   A major problem with sexting is that it makes a person vulnerable to exploitation, especially when it comes to exchanging nude photos.  I prefer to leave no electronic trace of the most intimate part of my life.  However, then again, I worked at the National Security Agency as member of the Naval Security Group and the Central Security Service when I was in the Navy; therefore, I am more cautious than the average person when it comes to electronically transmitted data.

        2. Nat

          @YAG: Thanks for your input. I agree sexting may be more trouble than it’s worth. My bf once tried to talk me into it, but like u I think the cons may outweigh the benefits. Thanks again!

  11. 11
    KK

    Tom10,

    What the heck??? Miscommunication???

    What petty swipe? What counter argument? LOL.

     

    1. 11.1
      Tom10

      @ KK
       
      Um, it looks like I totally misinterpreted ya there. In which case I offer my sincere apologies.
       
      That’s the problem with this bloody medium – sometimes meaning can get totally lost, and then we have no way of going back to fix it!
       
      Can I scratch my last comment and reset relations?
       @ Moderator
       
      Is it possible to redact my last comment to KK from the record?

      1. 11.1.1
        KK

        Tom10,

        No worries, Tom! : )

        Several of your comments made me laugh yesterday. The (in this case not so much. lol) @YAG and your response to Evan when you said it seemed ridiculous to call a woman after the first date to let her know there wouldn’t be a second date. Lol. I agree, by the way. I can only imagine it would give her quite a chuckle to share with her friends. Can you imagine? “So, I went out with that Dave guy last night. It was so so. Not really my type, but get this… He called to tell me I wasn’t his type”. Lol. But hey, I’m just a woman. What do I know? : )

        1. Adrian

          Hi KK,

          Sometime I think we are all in such a rush to get our points across on here that we forget (or are too lazy) to add the small details to our comments.

          Or maybe we all just like appearing more virtuous?

          Anyway I doubt all the people complaining about being called or contacted by a person who didn’t want to see them again would really care if they were not that into the person themselves.

          I mean really, if you spent every minute after the first 3 just waiting for the date to be over, would you really be that upset if that person ghosted on you?

          Now take the same scenario and say that you really liked the person, then of course you would be upset if they ghosted on you.

          I guess it’s more empowering to say that “it’s rude for a person to ghost on someone after a date” than it is to say that, “even though it was our first time ever meeting offline, I really really liked them; I picture us having a future together and even though we are practically strangers who only met once, they broke my heart by ghosting on me.”

          …   …   …

          Honestly KK I don’t think Tom10 realizes how funny he is, he is really sharp and just emanates being a fun guy to be around.

          He has made me laugh so many times, so many other commenters can learn so much from him (in my opinion) because though I don’t agree with a lot of his stances, I would still listen to him over others I don’t agree with just because he seems like a good natured guy.

        2. Tom10

          @ KK
           
          🙂
           
          @ Adrian
           
          Oh you charmer you. You’ve charmed all the ladies so now you’re beginning to charm the men here as well!! Haha. Cheers bud 😉

        3. KK

          Hi Adrian,

          “Sometime I think we are all in such a rush to get our points across on here that we forget (or are too lazy) to add the small details to our comments”.

          Huh? Maybe if you could add a few small details (lol) I could more easily figure out what you’re referring to. 😉

  12. 12
    KK

    Callie, Emily, Tom10, et al,

    My two cents:

    Most women don’t become friends with men in an attempt to use them in some way. I’ve had what I thought were genuine friendships with men. More than once, I’ve been shocked to learn that they had wished for more. So, the question is, am I naïve for taking what someone says at face value and believing they’re sincere in their desire for friendship or should I automatically assume that men are hiding their true intentions? Is the onus on me to be a mind reader or is it on him to be honest? I agree with Emily, that if a friend let’s you know he has romantic feelings for you, the kindest thing to do is end the friendship if you’re feelings aren’t mutual. I don’t see how this is the equivalent of a man using a woman for sex or as a sexy stand by, or whatever someone called it. To me, this is clear user behavior. I agree that it’s up to the woman to not allow herself to be used, but I don’t hear men by the droves condemning other men for clearly using women in this way. It’s almost as if to say, oh well, stupid is as stupid does. If she’s that dumb, it’s her fault. Whereas, women, most anyway, have no desire to hurt a man or lead him on.

    1. 12.1
      Chance

      Most men looking for sex from women have no desire to hurt those women, either.  In most cases, the guy believes the woman when she says she is okay with NSA sex.  Also, the only reason most men actively initiate any kind of interaction with women is because they, at the very least, want to have sex with them (if not a relationship).  Men generally don’t actively seek solely friendship from a woman.  I believe a solid percentage of women know this.  Often times, a woman’s value beyond the sexual comes after she’s been sexual.

      1. 12.1.1
        Shaukat

        Bravo, Chance. If you read my response to KK at the end of the  thread, I basically said the same thing.

        1. KK

          Shaukat,

          Chance said, “Most men looking for sex from women have no desire to hurt those women, either.  In most cases, the guy believes the woman when she says she is okay with NSA sex”

          Your response was: Bravo! Lol

          Yet when I said women have no desire to hurt men and genuinely believe men when they say they want to be friends, you said I was feigning naiveté.

          Just curious if you’re aware of your own double standards and hypocrisy.

        2. Evan Marc Katz

          Both of you should rent out the Hypocrisy Suite in the Gender Wars Hotel.

        3. Shaukat

          No hypocrisy here, Evan. If you actually read my post, I stated clearly that it’s the responsibility of both men and women to walk away from an arrangement in which either is dissatisfied.

          On the other hand, I will say this: Your (what appears to be)default position that the truth always lies within the center of two polar positions isn’t always necessarily correct. Sometimes what’s right and fair actually does fall on what appears to be the radical side of a spectrum.

        4. KK

          At Shaukat St. and Chance Ct.? LOL. Just kidding (kinda) 😉

        5. Chance

          I knew this argument was coming.  There is a big difference when someone comes out and says that she is cool with NSA sex or that he just wants to be friends.  In those instances, the man/woman is not in the wrong for taking the woman/man at their word.  There is absolutely zero hypocrisy in my stance.

        6. Shaukat

          Both of you should rent out the Hypocrisy Suite in the Gender Wars Hotel.

          I honestly don’t even know what this means. You obviously didn’t read my posts related to this subject, since I stated clearly that the onus is on the unhappy party to leave an unsatisfying situation instead of blaming the other gender for their misery.

        7. Chance

          Shaukat-I don’t know, either.  There is only one person that I can tell on this thread who is  being hypocritical.  My guess is that he just didn’t have the time or inclination to carefully read the posts.

        8. KK

          Chance said, “There is only one person that I can tell on this thread who is  being hypocritical”.

          And who is the only hypocrite on here, Chance? From what I’m reading, the opinions seem to be split between the sexes. Callie, Emily, and I are all in agreement.

      2. 12.1.2
        Tron Swanson

        Emily,

        Isn’t Chance’s statement of “Often times, a woman’s value beyond the sexual comes after she’s been sexual” basically the same as Evan’s statement of “Men look for sex and find love”? I don’t think that Chance is saying that the value isn’t there to begin with, just that most men don’t notice it until after sex has happened.

        1. Chance

          Hi Tron, your interpretation of my comment is accurate.

      3. 12.1.3
        SS

         

         

        “Men generally don’t actively seek solely friendship from a woman.  I believe a solid percentage of women know this.”  You’ll say anything, won’t you

        “Often times, a woman’s value beyond the sexual comes after she’s been sexual.”   Barf.

        it doesn’t happen out of thin air.  Believes she is alright with it is not the same as saying Hey, let’s f–k you mean nothing to me.!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Oh, so on top of all of this she needs to read your mind.  So should the guy think he is being used for friendship before or after she doesn’t f–k him on the second date

        1. KK

          “Often times, a woman’s value beyond the sexual comes after she’s been sexual.”   

          SS said, “Barf”.

          Lol! Agreed. You’re naturally going to weed out 90% of men. This is not the attitude of the top 10%. It’s all good. 😉

    2. 12.2
      Emily, the original

      KK,

      Most women don’t become friends with men in an attempt to use them in some way. I’ve had what I thought were genuine friendships with men. More than once, I’ve been shocked to learn that they had wished for more.

      Me, too.

      I don’t hear men by the droves condemning other men for clearly using women in this way. It’s almost as if to say, oh well, stupid is as stupid does. If she’s that dumb, it’s her fault.

      I find that disconcerting, too. No one has spoken out against that behavior, except for the women posters.

      1. 12.2.1
        KK

        Emily,

        “I find that disconcerting, too. No one has spoken out against that behavior, except for the women posters”.

        What are the odds that they will? I don’t think they see a problem with it. Even though we all agree that adults are responsible for their own choices, I suspect that in this particular area that a lot (dare I say, most?) men take this line of thinking to the extreme. My cousin was dating a woman for a couple of months that he referred to as a stage 3 clinger. So, apparently, he courted her, started a sexual relationship with her, and was then irritated that she was acting more like a girlfriend instead of a FWB. Me: “Did you tell her you didn’t want a relationship”? Him: “I never told her I did”. And that’s the attitude a lot of these guys have. So… should she have clarified what she wanted? Absolutely. Should he have considered the possibility that if you take a woman out regularly, call and text her regularly, and then start a sexual relationship that she might misunderstand your intentions? Absolutely. But, men are not willing to admit that it works to their advantage to play dumb in this area. That’s why, as I’m sure you know, unless you’re okay with a FWB situation, you’d better know what his intentions are before sex is involved. I have never, and I do mean never, had any man say to me: “I’m not interested in a relationship, but I’d love to have sex with you anyway”. Because the goal is sex. If you have brothers or cousins or male friends where you’ve been privy to or overheard their conversations, what did you hear? “Hell, I love dumb women! Dumb and hot! Hahaha… ” I don’t think ALL men are like that but they sure represent a whole lot. I also think men (most men) act completely different when wanting a relationship. But…  if they get a little strange in the process of looking for Mrs. Right, all the better. While I refuse to be a part of the FWB situation, I really do feel sorry for women that get hurt in these set ups. I don’t think I’ve ever heard any empathy coming from men for the hurt they’ve caused.

        1. Chance

          It’s hard to empathize with people who got themselves into a bad situation.  It’s their own fault.  Just like it’s the guy’s own fault for getting stuck in the circular hell that is the friend zone.  There’s no difference between the two situations.  That doesn’t mean that the other parties in each of these situations don’t share fault (because, like I said, the other party generally understands on some level of conciousness what is likely going on), but it’s irrelevant because people should be responsible for themselves.  I have no sympathy for women stuck in an FWB situation unless the man has overtly lied (I.e., he specifically told her he wanted a relationship when did not want one).  In fact, one can even make the very good argument that she is the dishonest one in this situation since she isn’t being clear about what she wants (just like the women who argue that friendzoned men are being dishonest with their intentions).  Don’t like being in an FWB situation?  Then grow the hell up and learn to communicate like an adult.

        2. Emily, the original

          KK,

          Me: “Did you tell her you didn’t want a relationship”? Him: “I never told her I did”.

          Yes, I’ve heard that argument before.

          Should she have clarified what she wanted? Absolutely.

          Agreed. The other argument used is that it’s the woman’s responsibility to put up boundaries and not be used. NO ONE is saying there isn’t such a thing as personal responsibility. Just like the nice guy who hangs around too long in hopes you will see him differently. Is it his responsibility to walk away if he isn’t getting what he wants? Yes, but I think you are I are adding that it is the humane thing to cut someone loose who obviously wants more then you want from him/her.

          Should he have considered the possibility that if you take a woman out regularly, call and text her regularly, and then start a sexual relationship that she might misunderstand your intentions?

          I have a male acquaintance who does this. He comes on like a freight train for the first couple of months. Texts, calls, courts constantly. And then … pulls way back, wondering why the women think he is their boyfriend.

          That’s why, as I’m sure you know, unless you’re okay with a FWB situation, you’d better know what his intentions are before sex is involved.

          Agreed. And also take you time and get to know someone as you are dating him. You don’t really know someone’s intentions.

    3. 12.3
      Karl R

      KK asked:

      “So, the question is, am I naïve for taking what someone says at face value and believing they’re sincere in their desire for friendship or should I automatically assume that men are hiding their true intentions? Is the onus on me to be a mind reader or is it on him to be honest?”

      Now that there’s been enough discussion, I think people are dividing into two groups that are relatively consistent:

      Group 1 – Freedom & Self Responsibility: I would say that it’s not up to you to read anybody’s mind. It’s not up to you to protect an orbiter (or any other adult) from their own dating decisions. Be honest with your dates about your intentions, so they can make informed decisions. Be honest with yourself, so you can make good decisions.

      Group 2 – Protect Others, Whether They Want It Or Not: This is where Callie clearly stands. She doesn’t feel that it’s enough to tell a man or woman that you’re not interested in the same kind of relationship. You have to drive them away for their own benefit. You don’t leave this decision up to the other person.

       

      I would say that Group 1 sees individuals as being primarily rational, and therefore capable of making their own decisions. I would say that Group 2 sees individuals as being primarily emotional, and therefore needed to be protected from the consequences of those emotions.

       

      KK said:

      “I don’t hear men by the droves condemning other men for clearly using women in this way. It’s almost as if to say, oh well, stupid is as stupid does. If she’s that dumb, it’s her fault. Whereas, women, most anyway, have no desire to hurt a man or lead him on.”

      That means that you’re in Group 2. I would say that the people in Group 1 have a greater respect for women’s intelligence than you just showed.

      I mean that seriously.

      I’m paraphrasing, but you just said that the men should push the women away, because the women were too dumb to know what was best for themselves.

      That would be incredibly sexist, except you also feel that men are too dumb to know what is best for themselves.

       

      The people in Group 1 see the Group 2 attitude as patronizing and insulting.

      The people in Group 2 see the Group 1 attitude as callous, self-serving and manipulative.

       

      I’m in Group 1, because that puts the decision making (and the responsibility) in the hands of the people with the most information. I know what I want. I know how I feel. I know whether I’m willing to risk getting hurt. I know whether or not a trade-off is best for me.

      And even when I’m mistaken, I know that information better than the other person does. Even if that other person is my wife.

      1. 12.3.1
        Chance

        There also appears to be a Group 3:  people who have two sets of rules depending on gender.

      2. 12.3.2
        KK

        Karl,

        “I’m paraphrasing, but you just said that the men should push the women away, because the women were too dumb to know what was best for themselves”.

        No, Karl, you’re not paraphrasing. You’re claiming I said something completely different. I never said that or implied that. I said: “I agree that it’s up to the woman to not allow herself to be used, but I don’t hear men by the droves condemning other men for clearly using women in this way. It’s almost as if to say, oh well, stupid is as stupid does. If she’s that dumb, it’s her fault. Whereas, women, most anyway, have no desire to hurt a man or lead him on”.

        The stupid part was a man’s view of a woman that allows herself to be used.

    4. 12.4
      Callie

      KK – For me I have only ever been addressing one very specific issue that one individual here described. Others have since come forth with a “but what about if it’s this, or if it’s that” and that makes the conversation about something else. But that’s not what I was discussing. YAG very clearly stated that the man had a knowledge that the woman was more into him than he was into her. Not that he had no idea she was into him, not that he assumed she was just as chill, or that they had an agreement or whatever. No. What was stated was that the man KNOWS that the woman has more feelings and takes full advantage of that. That is literally the only thing to which I have been referring this whole conversation.

      Which means, in your example, if a woman is friends with a guy and doesn’t know he’s into her, then she doesn’t have the same responsibility (I will add I feel the exact same way if it’s a man who doesn’t realise the woman is into him). Because she lacks the information and the knowledge.

      My issue has only ever been about a situation where one person KNOWS the other one has stronger feelings and decides to take advantage of that for their own ends. I made it gendered because I was replying to someone explaining that this is a thing men do to women, but honestly I believe this can happen to all genders quite frankly.

      And I totally agree, we need to protect ourselves as best we can from users and takers. But  like you I also believe that if we are in a power position we also have a responsibility not to take advantage of others either (with great power comes great responsibility as they say). I think both are required personally.

      1. 12.4.1
        KK

        Callie,

        “What was stated was that the man KNOWS that the woman has more feelings and takes full advantage of that”.

        Got it. I agree completely.

        “Which means, in your example, if a woman is friends with a guy and doesn’t know he’s into her, then she doesn’t have the same responsibility (I will add I feel the exact same way if it’s a man who doesn’t realise the woman is into him). Because she lacks the information and the knowledge”.

        Isn’t it interesting that the female commenters all agree on this but the (several) male commenters refuse to believe a woman if she says she doesn’t know he’s into her?

         

        1. Jeremy

          KK, I think that whether or not a woman ‘should’  know that a man is into her depends on the way the ‘friendship’  is expressed. If he calls her occasionally and treats her the way he treats his other friends, the woman has no reason to believe he is into her. But if he spends much more time talking to her than his other friends, if he makes the time to listen to all her complaints and validate her, if he does all manner of physical work for her –  basically, if he treats her like his GF workout the sex, then yes, she should know.

           

          Many women pretend not to know because they like the validation. Every man has seen it, many have experienced it. It is that situation that, I think, the guys here are referring to when they write that women should know.

        2. KK

          Thank you, Jeremy!

          I think the other ladies and I have experienced the first type of friendship you mentioned and at some point it started creeping towards the more involved type friendship or he just comes right out and tells you he cares about you or makes a move or whatever.

          I think the frustration with some of the male commenters is that they can’t imagine a woman NOT knowing. So, thank you, for being the only man here to validate us ladies.

          It really appears the mentality here is that as a woman who finds herself in this situation, it’s damned if you do, damned if you don’t. If you cut the guy loose because you don’t want to be a source of pain, you’re emasculating him by not allowing him to make his own choices. If you do keep him around, you’re a heartless witch that’s just using him. Sigh…

        3. Emily, the original

          KK,

          I no longer have any male friends. Friendly acquaintances, yes. Men I hang out with in groups. Guys I chit chat with at work, but I no longer have any guys I text, call and hang out with one-on-one anymore. I had three male friends in the last 5 years, and each one of them at some point expressed sexual interest. Each time, it felt like the interest was coming out of nowhere, as we both openly talked about the people we found appealing/were dating. It kind of felt like they were going through the side door and not the front (why weren’t they more upfront in the beginning?), but … the friendships faded or imploded. And maybe that’s for the best.

        4. Jeremy

          KK, I hear you.  But when you wrote that some of your male friendships started off one way and then veered the other…. I wonder if the men saw it that way. I think that the type of friendships that a lot of women have with their female friends involves far more emotional bonding and mutual valuation than most men are used to with their friends. I think that many women don’t realize this and while they see simple friendship with a man as nothing special, the man sees something quite unlike his other friendships and can’t believe the woman doesn’t know it.

           

          So much would improve of only the genders understood their differences better. That’s why I like this site.

        5. Emily, the original

          Jeremy,

          I think that the type of friendships that a lot of women have with their female friends involves far more emotional bonding and mutual valuation than most men are used to with their friends. I think that many women don’t realize this and while they see simple friendship with a man as nothing special, the man sees something quite unlike his other friendships and can’t believe the woman doesn’t know it.

          Agreed. If there’s emotional closeness in a male-female friendship, he thinks physical closeness will follow. It’s different for women, who have emotional closeness with their female friends without physical intimacy, so women assume the same will happen with their male friends.

        6. KK

          It seems like some of the guys here are saying, “Don’t you get it? If a man is spending time with you, he wants to have sex with you whether he tells you he does or not, whether he says he’s your friend or not”.

          And some of the women are saying, “No. I don’t get it. I take people at their word”.

          So… maybe our reluctance to believe that a man wouldn’t want us as a platonic friend comes down to the following:

          1) We have self esteem and see ourselves as having value as people, outside of sex or a sexual relationship

          2) We believe (maybe mistakenly, after all the male commentary to the contrary) that men are more than one dimensional

          3) We see men as equals or capable of being our equals through platonic friendship

          The thoughts that some of the male commenters have expressed here seem to enforce the belief that women are only valued for sex.

        7. Karl R

          KK said:

          “It seems like the guys here are saying, ‘Don’t you get it? If a man is spending time with you, he wants to have sex with you whether he tells you he does or not, whether he says he’s your friend or not’.”

          That’s an oversimplification.

          But as you start getting to men who are college aged or older, unless he just moved, he’s probably not needing to pick up more female friends. If I really need to confide in a female friend, I can think of two off the top of my head (both my age) who have been my friends for 12 and 19 years respectively. When I would ask women for their phone numbers, it was not with the expectation that they would be be in any way replacing my existing platonic friends (those two, or any others).

           

          Obviously, platonic friends move in and out of our lives. If I moved to another city, I’d probably start trying to befriend a bunch of people. Even when I stay put, friends get married, move, have kids,  or otherwise have less available time. But that’s at a slower rate.

          So if you have a lot of common interests with one of your male friends, he may be friends with you for that reason. If he had just moved (or had another life-altering event), that may be an impetus.  But if his life has been very stable, he’s probably not taking a lot of time away from his other friends in order to start spending with you … not unless he’s hoping for more than a platonic friendship.

        8. Tom10

          @ KK & Emily, the original
          “It seems like some of the guys here are saying, “Don’t you get it? If a man is spending time with you, he wants to have sex with you whether he tells you he does or not, whether he says he’s your friend or not”
           
          For what it’s worth I have no problem with women having male friends/orbitors either, even if the women know that guys secretly want to bed them. I don’t believe that women have any obligation to cut them off either. If those guys want to behave like chumps it’s on them.
           
          It’s not your responsibility to read their minds and tell them who to be friends with. I don’t believe women in this situation are users/amoral either. If these guys subsequently feel aggrieved at being led on I’d say the same thing as what I said to Callie; “you have the capacity to make your own decisions so stop complaining when you fail to realize your surreptitious ulterior motive”.
           
          “our reluctance to believe that a man wouldn’t want us as a platonic friend comes down to the following”:
           
          Btw I actually have several close platonic female friends from work and college. But I’m not really attracted to any of them. If I was, I’d either make a move or fade out the friendship. I couldn’t remain friends with someone I’m attracted to who doesn’t reciprocate the same interest. I wouldn’t particularly want to witness her being with other guys either. But if other guys want to do it, fine.
           
          That’s why I believe platonic male/female friendships only really work when the guy is more attractive than the woman.

        9. Emily, the original

          TOm10,

          That’s why I believe platonic male/female friendships only really work when the guy is more attractive than the woman.

          Yes, because men are never attracted to women who are beneath them in physical attractiveness. Physical attraction is always based on someone’s number.

        10. Shaukat

          The thoughts that some of the male commenters have expressed here seem to enforce the belief that women are only valued for sex.

          This is not at all true, and the belief stems from a misunderstanding about how men approach friendship with the opposite sex. For most men, sex and friendship with females are not mutually exclusive. A man can enjoy your company, appreciate your many qualities, and still be willing to have sex with you if the opportunity were to present itself. Women, on the other hand, tend to classify men into one category or the other and compartmentalize their friendships and romantic interests.

          In fact, based on my experience and observations, a man will only maintain a close friendship with a woman he’s not at all attracted to under two scenarios; and in this context I’m referring to the type of close friendship where you regularly call and see someone one-on-one, not the type where you might hang out a few times a year in a group setting.

          1). He is going through a difficult time and needs the type of emotional support that only a woman’s touch can bring; 2). the woman is so much fun to hang out with and talk to that the absence of any physical attraction becomes irrelevant. While the two scenarios do take place, I believe they are both quite rare, and eventually the intimate nature of the friendship fizzles out.

          Regarding Emily’s statement that women get ‘friend-zoned’ all the time as well, no, they don’t. While I’m sure it has happened, it likely occurs with the same frequency as the reverse scenario, where a woman wants a casual sex setup with a man who wants a relationship. Men have also experienced the latter scenario, in fact I’ve had direct experience with it, but I’m under no illusions that such a thing “happens all the time.”

        11. Emily, the original

          Shaukat,

          Regarding Emily’s statement that women get ‘friend-zoned’ all the time as well, no, they don’t.

          Yes, it does. I’ve been friendzoned. I’ve had female friends who’ve been friendzoned, and I am guessing here but I bet every woman has at least once experienced unrequited sexual attraction for a man who just sees them as a pal but doesn’t mind hanging out with them from time to time.

        12. Chance

          Hi Shaukat, I appreciate you clarifying things.  However, the comment that you’re responding to, well, I’ll go even further than Karl R – who said her comment was an oversimplification- by saying that it’s intellectually dishonest.  To state the obvious: men are interested in sex first, and then over time, a woman must demonstrate what she offers beyond sex.  I would also agree with your examples of how men can have platonic female friendships.  I’ll also add that, in my experience, any platonic female friends I’ve had were the result of circumstances that brought us together, but I never sought out the friendship.

        13. KK

          Chance,

          Since you’re practically begging for my attention, I’ll give you some. Despite your constant nastiness to the contrary , I am neither a liar or lacking in IQ. Nor am I sheltered/inexperienced with men or incredibly dense. I’m not intellectually dishonest. I have largely ignored your insults and character attacks on this particular thread, not only because I know you’re aching for a heated response but because I somehow always get blamed for being the ugly one when you are the one who starts every single time. Chance, since you just made a statement about how we’re all of a certain age and maturity, wouldn’t it behoove you to display a bit of that maturity you claim you possess and act like a grown up gentleman instead of someone’s bratty little brother trying to get me pounced on by Evan for calling you out in a less respectful way.

        14. Tom10

          @ Emily, the original
          “Yes, because men are never attracted to women who are beneath them in physical attractiveness. Physical attraction is always based on someone’s number.”
           
          I know (or think) you’re being sarcastic, but yep that’s pretty much how it works in my opinion. However, I don’t think it’s gender specific; I think women are pretty much the same, although they often/usually claim otherwise. YMMV.
           
          In response to Shaukat’s statement:
          “Regarding Emily’s statement that women get ‘friend-zoned’ all the time as well, no, they don’t.”
           
          You wrote:
          “Yes, it does. I’ve been friendzoned. I’ve had female friends who’ve been friendzoned”

          I actually agree with you that women get friendzoned all the time too. Sometimes guys like to have a female pal for beer/sport/female opinion on dating issues etc. You don’t have to accept this friendzoning if you don’t like it though; you’re always free to move on.

        15. jeremy

          KK, regarding your 3 points…I think that sometimes our beliefs are colored the things we fear might be true.  I think that a lot of women are afraid of the possibility that men only see them as sex objects and don’t perceive their value as people.  They fear that men may be one-dimensional, or that they don’t see women as equals.  And because they fear those things, they begin to perceive those fears as reality.

           

          I want to start by assuring you that the overwhelming majority of men see women as having value as people (beyond sex), are not uni-dimensional, and treat women as equals.  The reasons why men have trouble being friends with women are the same reasons women have trouble being FWB with men – their priorities are different.

           

          A man who is attracted to a woman he’s supposedly “just friends with” usually pedestalizes her.  In other words, he’s not just attracted to her physically, he usually adores her.  He likes all the qualities she has, not just the sexual ones, but ALSO the sexual ones.  He wants to be more than friends with her.   And if she doesn’t feel the same way, he should not continue the friendship – not because he doesn’t value her non-sexual qualities, but because it would be emotionally unhealthy for him to continue spending time with her despite his unrequited feelings.  Doing so would hamper his moving on – the same way it would for a woman who wants more than just sex with a FWB man.

           

          I find that giving the opposite gender the benefit of the doubt often pays dividends.  It allows people to see others in a positive light, rather than harbouring fears that lead to theories of objectification that infest the thoughts of extremists on both sides of the divide.

        16. Karl R

          jeremy said:

          “I find that giving the opposite gender the benefit of the doubt often pays dividends.”

          That’s true of dealing with people in in general, but particularly the opposite sex.

        17. KK

          Thank you, Jeremy. I agree with you. My points were in reference to the comments from a few male commenters on here. By the way, I don’t believe they represent the majority of men. Unfortunately, there are a handful of sexist men who comment regularly, so it’s refreshing to hear what good men like you have to say.

        18. Shaukat

          To Tom and Emily,

          What Emily described in response to my comment is really just rejection, not the ‘friend-zone.’ In fact, Emily put her finger on the crucial distinction with this passage:

          I am guessing here but I bet every woman has at least once experienced unrequited sexual attraction for a man who just sees them as a pal but doesn’t mind hanging out with them from time to time.

          A man who finds himself in the classic FZ (or, more accurately, who puts himself there) is often treated just like a boyfriend (all the emotional and intellectual benefits) minus the sexual component. This is different from just hanging out from time to time, as I made clear.

          The above is the classic user scenario of the FZ, but there are many shades of gray in between. To be clear, I never said that a genuine friendship between a man and a woman isn’t possible, what I said was that often if a man shows that he enjoys spending time with you, and he’s single, if given the opportunity, he will also have sex with you. There is actually nothing wrong with that in my opinion, it doesn’t negate the friendship and, despite KK’s insinuation, there is nothing “sexist” about it.

          @Stacy2

          That guy who comes to cry on your shoulder? He wants to have sex with you. There’s no such thing as friend-zoning a woman (by a straight man)

          With very few exceptions, I agree.

        19. GoWiththeFlow

          Jeremy, KK, Tom, Emily, et al,

          I think Jeremy is right that there is some one sided thinking going on and a failure to understand what the other side is saying.  Actually people are outright dismissing what the other side is saying.

          I think if women say “we get friend zoned too” instead of automatically dismissing that, or minimizing it by saying “when men get FZed it’s much worse” maybe the men could just step back a little and acknowledge we are telling you HOW we experience things.  Because we are talking about our pain.

          OTOH when men say “women have to know that a guy is orbiting and wants more” instead of saying “how can we read your minds?” maybe we should step back and realize that that is HOW they experience it.  Because they are talking about something that causes them pain.

          I say this because as this thread has evolved (and we are way off the topic of the original post, LOL!) it occurred to me that in YAG’s situation while he may describe it as a “sexy on the side” or a FWB,  his lady friend may describe it as them being friend zoned (YAG did say he isn’t sleeping with them).  Neither side would be wrong.  They are just experiencing and labelling their side of the experience differently.  And before the who’s wrong, who’s a victim stuff starts,  both YAG and the women made decisions to proceed in their respective interactions, so they all bear responsibility for any of the fallout.

           

        20. Tron Swanson

          KK,

          I think it’s sad that “sexist” has come to mean “men (or women) who say something that a woman doesn’t approve of and/or agree with,” as opposed to its dictionary definition.

        21. KK

          Care to elaborate, Tron? I don’t recall using the term incorrectly. I’m well aware of what a sexist is. I believe the attitude you’ve expressed here repeatedly that women are only useful for sex definitely qualifies for one of the dictionary definitions of the term.

        22. Tron Swanson

          I don’t view human beings based on their potential “usefulness.” I personally think that it’s disgusting to judge people that way. To me, that’s nothing but commodification. I’ve been on the receiving end of that far too many times–though, since I’m a man, it’s usually been financial in nature, and not sexual.

          Anyway, my point of view isn’t “That’s all you’re good for,” it’s “That’s the only reason I’m interested in you.”

          Yes, I’m only interested in women for sexual reasons, but I recognize that they’re human beings, and as such, are capable of many amazing things. I’m not interested in men for any reason, so I suppose I must really hate my own gender.

          This isn’t about gender, it’s about social behavior (or the lack thereof). For someone like me, who isn’t social at all, the only thing that links me to other people is sex.

          Here’s a metaphor for you: I go into a grocery store all the time, but all I ever buy is candy. You accuse me of thinking that all the grocery store is good for is buying candy. “Look at you, you think they don’t have anything else to offer!” No, I know they have plenty of other things to offer–the vast majority of the store is non-candy, sadly–but I’m only interested in this one thing.

          And I stand by my claim that you’re defining sexism down. The more you try to expand its definition, the more you’ll alienate male allies, and potential male allies.

        23. KK

          Tron,

          Apparently you ignored what I said, so I’ll give it one more shot by repeating myself. Care to elaborate, Tron? I don’t recall using the term incorrectly. 

          As to the rest of your comment, I think it’s nothing more than using semantics in order to justify your actions. I don’t care whether you think women are only useful for sex or you recognize women are human beings that you only care to engage sexually with. That’s your business, even though I disagree with it.

          Your analogy was actually pretty good. You like the sweet stuff but are missing out on the other elements of what makes for a healthy, happy, balanced life. Your choice.

          If you’ll notice, I never engage you in conversation because you’ve made it pretty clear how you feel about women. Even though I don’t have anything to say to you, I actually respect the fact that you’ve exposed yourself. It’s the difference between, thanks for letting me know what you’re about, bye, versus some of the sneakier tactics employed by people who try to hide there true intentions. Anyhow, since you specifically addressed me, I thought I’d be polite and reply. So if you could point out specifically what you’re referring to, I’d be more than willing to respond.

           

        24. Emily, the original

          GoWiththeFlow,

          I think if women say “we get friend zoned too” instead of automatically dismissing that, or minimizing it by saying “when men get FZed it’s much worse” maybe the men could just step back a little and acknowledge we are telling you HOW we experience things.  Because we are talking about our pain.

          Yes! I had a man I was completely infatuated with tell me I reminded him of his sister! We had hung out the previous weekend (yes, one-on-one) and he wanted to hang out again the upcoming weekend. Sure sounded like being freindzoned to me!

        25. Tron Swanson

          I’m sorry, I thought it’d be inferred. You accused men in this thread of being sexist, and I’m simply saying that I haven’t seen any proof of that. That’s why I brought up the idea of defining sexism down–expanding it to include things that aren’t actually sexist.

          Incidentally, I like how you say that I “exposed” myself as a man who only wants sex. Would you use the same language of a woman who only wants friendship? Sex and friendship are equal, valid needs, after all.

        26. KK

          Tron,

          I’m not sure what you’re upset about. You’ve made it abundantly clear that you only use women for sex. You’ve said you do not date. You won’t even take a woman out in public. You don’t see any purpose in any of those things because sex is the only thing you’re interested in from a woman. Is that not sexism in some form? You do not place any value on women outside of that. You can reword it or rephrase it however you want, but that pretty much sums up what you’ve said.

          If you ever pay attention to the comments, you will see guys saying sexist remarks. “All women are prostitutes and on some level they know it, at least limbically”. That’s one example. Another one said all women are crazy. Another said all women are overly emotional. You get the idea. If you weren’t sure, those are sexist comments. Some go even further and are pretty hateful regarding the negative nature of women. 

          Look, I’ve answered your questions and I’m pretty careful about making a claim without any merit, so I’m done with this subject.

      2. 12.4.2
        Chance

        KK, I didn’t say you were intellectually dishonest.  I said your comment was intellectually dohonest.  Never said you were a liar, either, or that you had a low IQ.  I said that a woman is most likely lying to herself (that a man isn’t interested romantically in her) when she FZ’s a guy.  The other two possibilities are that she isn’t very bright or she might just not be experienced.  This goes for all women (and all men who FWB a woman)….. this isn’t all about you.

        1. KK

          Chance,

          You have a pattern. Attack, deflect. I’m not calling you an A-hole, but your comments are a-hole-ish.

        2. Chance

          No one is attacking you, KK.  I am attacking your comments on this subject because they haven’t been reasonable.  I’d be happy to debate the subject at hand with you, but I cannot continue to engage with you if you are just going to attack the person.  Don’t get me wrong, I don’t take offense if you want to call my comments a-holish, but it is irrelevant to the subject at hand.  When you veer from the subject at hand, it just makes it look like you’re surrendering because you have no remaining valid points.

        3. KK

          Chance,

          “No one is attacking you, KK.”

          This is an intellectually dishonest statement. In one of your very first comments referencing me, you told Tom that I was being friendly in this RARE instance. You respond directly after I make a comment without naming me, but referencing what I say and insulting anyone who thinks that way. You use subtlety to attack and insult. When Karl responded to me, you referenced me as “her”. You claim women are dishonest in these FZ situations, yet you are being incredibly dishonest in denying that you aren’t gunning for a reaction. 

          “I am attacking your comments on this subject because they haven’t been reasonable”.

          My comments on this subject have been perfectly reasonable. Never, not once, have I ever on this thread or any other made a negative statement about men, started with “ALL men…” Chance, you do that regularly. Just yesterday, you told Buck all women… blah blah… emotional… blah… unreasonable… So, for the record, you don’t have to agree with anything I say, but to say that my comments are unreasonable is an exaggeration meant to invalidate anything I say. Whereas, you are the one who regularly discredits yourself by making blanket judgments against women. Your sexism and underlying hate for women is toxic and unwelcome to the females here.

          “When you veer from the subject at hand, it just makes it look like you’re surrendering because you have no remaining valid points”.

          There has been no veering. A pause, to tell you to chill out. I’ve made my assertion. If you, or someone else says anything that’s worthy of further commentary , I’ll comment. There’s no need to repeat myself.

        4. Chance

          “Just yesterday, you told Buck all women… blah blah… emotional… blah… unreasonable… “

           

          Not sure what you’re referring to.  Can’t remember speaking to Buck and I don’t remember saying those things.  Please reference.  In the meantime, I accept your apology in advance.

        5. KK

          Chance,

          Since you failed to respond or acknowledge anything else I said, I’ll just infer you’re in agreement, since you’ve made that assertion here before. The comment was made by ScottH. Typically, he doesn’t make those kinds of comments and you do, so surely you can understand my honest mistake. As to an apology, I’ll reference you’re direct quote @Tom10 in reference to how you felt he should handle our misunderstanding: “I suggest tapping into that inner Trump that we all have, and don’t even bother with trying to walk it back”. 

          As usual, this has devolved into extreme pettiness, of which I no longer care to engage in. I think I made a strong case for my assertions. Apparently, your silence should be seen as agreement. If you choose to start treating me with respect, I will kindly return the favor. If not, that is your choice and a reflection on you. I’d prefer to be done with the current discourse, so unless you choose to say anything inflammatory or false, in which case I will defend myself, I have nothing further to say.

        6. Chance

          KK, I chose not to respond to your other assertions because you are making this about the person instead of the subject at hand (again).

        7. KK

          Chance, I strongly believe that is an intellectually dishonest comment. Again.

          Bye now

  13. 13
    Shaukat

    So, the question is, am I naïve for taking what someone says at face value and believing they’re sincere in their desire for friendship or should I automatically assume that men are hiding their true intentions?

    This type of feigned naiveté can easily be flipped around to expose the disingenuous sentiment lurking in the background: if I take a woman’s claim that she’s happy with NSA sex and isn’t trying to push for a long-term relationship at face value (even though it’s clear that she’s actually miserable with the set up) should I automatically assume that she was lying about her intentions?

    Quite frankly, I don’t buy this insinuation that women are clueless regarding the intentions of some of their male friends. Most women are pretty sharp when it comes to this type of thing and can pick up when a man wants more than just friendship, especially if his behavior fits the classic beta-orbiter profile.

    The entire comment actually betrays a fundamental misunderstanding about how men and women think differently in this area. In your world, a man having sex with a woman without commitment is clear ‘user behavior’ because you recognize that many women want commitment as opposed to NSA sex. However, since you can’t (or refuse to) understand that men generally don’t enjoy going on perpetual platonic dates while serving as an emotional crutch, you’re incapable of recognizing that the woman in this equation is a also acting as a ‘user.’ In fact, your position seems to be that the onus is on the man to walk away if he’s not happy with the arrangement. I agree with that, but here it’s easy to throw your own words back at you: It’s almost as if to say, oh well, stupid is as stupid does. If [he’s] that dumb, it’s [his] fault.

    As I’ve stated before, I actually don’t blame women for doing this, and I have little sympathy for men who try to use genuine friendships to manipulate. But either be consistent in your worldview (like Callie above) or recognize your hypocrisy.

    1. 13.1
      KK

      Shaukat,

      Feigned naiveté? Seems a tad harsh and unfair. If I become friends with a man and he seems happy with our friendship, I’m somehow feigning naiveté by allowing what I consider to be a genuine friendship, by treating him like the adult that he is, by believing what he says and taking that at face value with no hidden motives? So, I guess you think women should be more cynical, should never believe a man or take what he says at face value, because men aren’t capable of genuine friendship with women? Got it.

      1. 13.1.1
        k

        It seems like a lot of women here think most women want a relationship, so if she’s sleeping with you, she probably has expectations.

        A lot of men are saying that men seem sex so if he’s befriending a woman it’s with the purpose of wanting more.

        The former I can understand because as a woman I see a ton of my friends foolishly sign up for sex hoping for more.

        With respect to men, I’m confused because I have a lot of single male friends.  I’m having a party this week and about half of the friends coming are male.  I talked to many of them regularly and we help each other with dating. Are the men suggesting that I should somehow talk to these and make sure there isn’t an expectation or not invite them to my party?  If a man expresses his intentions or shows interest then I do take action, usually I pull back on our contact/hang out in groups.  By the way, I only tell my male friends to take action with women they sleep with who seem to want more.  If it’s a hook up every few months I assume it’s a mutual fwb.

      2. 13.1.2
        Chance

        The reason this type of thing happens could be due to the woman being sheltered/inexperienced with men, incredibly dense, or (most likely) due to the woman lying to herself.  Triple-digit IQ women who have a reasonable amount of experience with  men know when a man is romantically or sexually interested.  I think women usually suppress this knowledge by semi-consciously lying to themselves about what’s going on.  For the record, men do this too when it comes to NSA sex in situations where the woman hasn’t stated whether or not she is okay with that arrangement.

        1. Marika

          Chance,

          Sorry, but I really don’t think that IQ has anything whatsoever to do with being able to read the opposite sex and understand their intentions…

    2. 13.2
      Tron Swanson

      Another good example of feigned naivete is how women can simultaneously bash men’s sex-driven nature and take advantage of it. So many women complain about men being sex-obsessed, and wish that we’d change…but they know full well that our sex-driven behavior leads us to pursue them, lavish attention on them, and pay for dates with them. If we actually behaved the way they wanted, most women would experience a corresponding 90% decline in attention and dates, and I don’t think they’d be happy with that, somehow. It must be amazing, being able to vilify something and profit off of it at the same time.

  14. 14
    Yet Another Guy

    @KK

    When a single guy befriends a single women, the odds that sexual tension is driving him to do so are high. Single guys generally do not seek women as platonic friends. They may seek a women for emotional support in times of emotional distress (i.e., a mommy proxy), but guys prefer to be friends with other guys because dealing with a woman means dealing with an emotional creature.

    Women absolutely take advantage of men that they know want to be more than friends. Almost every man past the age of puberty has experienced this situation at least one time in his life. Why do you think the phrase “friends first” is so toxic to men? No man wants to make an investment in a woman playing the “friends first” game only to see her taken away by a more aggressive man who does not play by the rules.

    Believe it or not, women also use men who they know want to be more than friends for sex. I am not proud to admit that it happened to me when I was in my mid-thirties. I was seriously interested in an exclusive situation with a woman I met at work. It turned out that she had a steady guy who she was planning to marry. She told me that she was getting married after a hot and heavy evening. The crazy thing is that she wanted to keep me as a friend-with-benefits after taking her vows (it was her second marriage). Her justification for making that decision was that I was a better lover than her fiancée. I did not agree to the arrangement. To completely honest, the situation left me a bit shell shocked because I had to work with her.

    1. 14.1
      Yet Another Guy

      *woman, not women in multiple places

    2. 14.2
      Emily, the original

      YAG,

      When a single guy befriends a single women, the odds that sexual tension is driving him to do so are high.

      It’s totally different for women. When a single woman befriends a single man, there usually is NO sexual tension. That’s why they’re friends.

      1. 14.2.1
        Yet Another Guy

        I know that it may be difficult for some woman to grasp, but most single guys do not have true platonic female friends. They are merely women with whom they have not yet had sex. A single woman is only fooling herself if she believes that a single man befriends her for any reason other than sex and/or being an emotional sounding board. Men are not wired for that mode of action.

        1. Joy

          Pretty much the reason why I won’t go near a man with no female friends.  If he believes that women are only good for two things – sex and complaining to, then his thinking is warped beyond help.  I have many male friends from over a lifetime of school, work, travel and uni – married, single, gay- all sorts- and I value them.  The ones who have a ‘secret’ crush on me usually make it known in time and we either transition to never speaking again (which disappoints me but I can understand) or he realises that my company is still valuable as is, without the promise of a future romantic entanglement.  My ex believed that men could not be friends and forbade me to speak to long standing lifetime male friends I’d had since I was in primary school …. He is an ex for a reason.  I will not entertain a relationship with a man who views women as being useless as humans for friendship unless he gets to sleep with her. Gross.

    3. 14.3
      Emily, the original

      Why do you think the phrase “friends first” is so toxic to men?

      I have never asked a man to be “friends first.” I have, however, assumed we were ONLY friends, only to find out later he had an agenda.

      No man wants to make an investment in a woman playing the “friends first” game only to see her taken away by a more aggressive man who does not play by the rules.

      What rule is the aggressive guy breaking? He sees something he wants and goes after it. He’s the guy who wouldn’t have agreed to “friends first.”

      1. 14.3.1
        Yet Another Guy

        It is a double standard. Women will claim that they want to be friends first, take advantage of a guy’s willingness to play that silly game, and then run off with a more aggressive man that they do not subject to the same set of rules. I went through a period around age 21 where foolishly I played the game. After realizing that that approach was a fool’s errand, I became the guy who did not play by the rules. I will never play by “friends first” rules. If a woman does not demonstrate that she wants to be more than friends on the first date, there will be no second date.

        1. Tron Swanson

          I agree completely, YAG. For women, “Let’s be friends” usually means “Let’s have the part of the relationship I like (attention, emotional support) and not the part you like (sex).” Amazingly, some women try it after a relationship or FWB situation has ended, as well. They’re always baffled when I refuse. I don’t think that women devote much thought to men’s self-interest; they seem stunned when we act in our own best interests. “You’re not going to give me what I want, even though I’ve stopped giving you what you want? What’s going on??”

        2. Emily, the original

          YAG,

          I became the guy who did not play by the rules.

          My point is that there are no rules. As Evan always points out, dating is not a meritocracy, and often the bolder man gets the girl.

          If a woman does not demonstrate that she wants to be more than friends on the first date, there will be no second date.

          And that’s totally reasonable.

        3. S.

          Do you ever become friends while in the relationship? That has never happened for me. If the building blocks of friendship aren’t there in the beginning, there isn’t much to build on in my experience.  And once the sexual haze wears off, I get bored because I haven’t connected with this guy on another level.  I know it may be hard to fathom being bored with sex with a person you’re physically attracted to on a high level, but I need to know this guy’s mind and who he is.  Or something in my own mind switches off.  And once he’s lost my mind, my attraction to him takes a sharp nosedive and that will affect the sex.  I know it’s different for others, but that’s me.

          I know some people become friends while having sex, but that’s not how I roll.  If we aren’t becoming friends on the first date, we never really will be.   At least that’s my experience.  A spark is definitely necessary, but equally important is enough general like for the other person.  Both have to be present for me.

        4. Yet Another Guy

          @Emily, the original

          My point is that there are no rules. As Evan always points out, dating is not a meritocracy, and often the bolder man gets the girl.

           
          Are you kidding me?  Now, we are being disingenuous.  Do you realize that I grew up with all sisters and my children are all female?  Women are taught to play games with men from the time that they are able to walk.  To truly appreciate the extent to which women are taught to play psychological games with men, all we need to do is compare the size of the dating industry that caters to women with the one that caters to men.  The dating industry that caters to women is huge.  The dating industry that caters to men is almost underground, and it primarily exists to teach men how to thwart the games played women.   Anti-Slut Defense (ASD) is a good example of a game that women play with men. For the most part, “friends first” is an ASD.  The “friends first” mantra disappears when a man has a high enough market value, which confirms that it is an ASD.   The ability to rapidly overcome the “friends first” ASD is not about a man being aggressive enough.  It is about a man’s standing with respect to other men.   If his market value is high enough with respect to the other men who are interested in a woman, the probability that her clothes are coming off on the first or second date goes to 100% (the reason why men date down).   All other men have to demonstrate persistence and patience.
           

        5. Emily, the original

          YAG,

          I’m sorry, but there are no rules. As male posters have pointed out over and over again on this site, everyone is trying to get the best possible partner they can. “Nice guys” sometimes think they can earn their way into a woman’s affection by being there for her emotionally and doing things for her. It doesn’t work that way. (Thus, no meritocracy.) It doesn’t work that way when women try to earn their way into men’s affection, either. As male posters have pointed out on this post, “sexy on standby” women try to do that through sex to no avail.

          If his market value is high enough with respect to the other men who are interested in a woman

          If she is attracted to you, you won’t be considered a friend, but it doesn’t hurt to present with a masculine, strong (I used the word aggressive) edge in the beginning to up your chances. Haven’t you ever met women who were interested in you but who you could only see as friends? There wasn’t a heck of a lot they could do about changing your mind, was there?

        6. KK

          YAG,

          Do yourself a favor and stay away from the woman bashing websites. All it will do is poison your mind.

          If I came to the conclusion that all men are pigs, I could certainly come up with enough evidence to support my theory. Or could I? I’d have to completely disregard all the men who are faithful and happily married or coupled up. I’d have to disregard all the men who are genuine in their attempts to find a special woman to share their life with. I could go on… The point is you will find evidence to support your beliefs whatever they are. If I truly believed that all men are horrible creatures, I would focus in on every example I see of this and ignore any evidence to the contrary.

           

        7. GoWiththeFlow

          Emily said, “Haven’t you ever met women who were interested in you but who you could only see as friends? There wasn’t a heck of a lot they could do about changing your mind, was there?”

          One thing that is not being acknowledged here is that women get friend-zoned too.  For the man she is a sounding board for advice on the women he IS interested in.  All the while the woman is hoping he’ll “wake up” some day and notice her potential as a romantic partner.  I’m sure there have been several movies made with this as the subject.  I just can’t think of the names right now.

        8. Emily, the original

          GoWiththeFlow,

          One thing that is not being acknowledged here is that women get friend-zoned too. …  All the while the woman is hoping he’ll “wake up” some day and notice her potential as a romantic partner. 

          Yes, I’m sure that happens all the time. The female friend is discarded for (or replaced with … I’m not sure how to word this) the woman the man is really interested in. That’s the point I was trying to make. There are no rules, and sometimes what happens isn’t fair.

           

      2. 14.3.2
        Yet Another Guy

        @S.

        Do you ever become friends while in the relationship?

        Absolutely!  However, not every physical relationship turns into a long-term relationship.  It is all about chemistry.  Chemistry makes smart people do stupid things.  The stronger the chemistry, the greater the probability that one will experience a sex-only relationship.  That is why I am always perplexed when women write about the need for chemistry and feeling butterflies in their profiles.  If chemistry is felt that strongly, a woman should turn and run away because she is setting herself up for disappointment.

        1. S.

          However, not every physical relationship turns into a long-term relationship.

          And that’s the nuance between you and I.  I don’t really want (or can stay present for) a physical relationship that doesn’t have at the potential for a long-term relationship. Maybe when I was younger? I don’t remember. I know I’m great at friendships.    They can be very satisfying.  At this point in my life, there isn’t a second date if that’s not even possible.  And as I said, I get bored.

          Physical chemistry is an interesting thing.  I agree, you can’t have too much, but you also can’t have too little.  There is a Goldilocks ‘just right’ point in there somewhere.  And chemistry isn’t just about sexual attraction.  For me, it’s also about what causes sexual attraction.  Sure, some of that is what the person looks, smells, feel like physically.  But for me, it’s also about how his mind works.  I have to be hooked on that.  Kindness, generosity, emotional availability, maturity.  One thing I have learned from this blog is how to slowly change what I thought I was ‘wired’ for.  Because some of those people I was wired for? Were not kind people, at least not kind enough for me.  I need a little edge, but not too much edge.  With time, you can change a little about what you’re attracted to, especially if that type of person isn’t good for you.

          But that’s me. I’m unapolgetically a woman. 🙂 My personal strength as S., is in forming and maintaining relationships.  I’m not not turning that down anymore.  And fortunately, I’m learning very early on–in two weeks–whether a man I’m dating is good at that too or not.  I’m glad I figured that out!

      3. 14.3.3
        Chance

        @GWTF that is true, but friend-zoned women aren’t all that common in my experience.  Men stuck in FWB situations with women whom they are interested in hasn’t been discussed, either (I don’t think…. haven’t read every comment).  Then again, that isn’t as common, either.

        1. Emily, the original

          Men stuck in FWB situations with women whom they are interested in hasn’t been discussed, either

          The word “stuck” is a bit dramatic. Shouldn’t he take responsibility for his own choices?     🙂

        2. Chance

          Emily, not sure I understand the point of your comment.  If there is a point, it appears to be that you’re splitting hairs.  I have said all along that people are responsible for their choices.  You don’t like the word “stuck”?  Fine.  How about:  men who get themselves FWB’d.  Feel better now?

        3. Emily, the original

          I was being sarcastic. Thus, the smiley face.  Since all the male posters (with the exception of Jeremy) think a woman “stuck” in an FWB gets what she deserves.

          After listening to Evan’s podcast with Bobbi Palmer, I visited her website. I highly recommend it, even though it’s not really targeted to men. She talks about treating the men you date, even if you don’t want to see them again, with compassion.

        4. GoWiththeFlow

          Chance,

          It typically happens when women are younger, high school or college aged.  Then there is a situation where a guy befriends the BFF of the girl he really wants as a stepping stone to meet and get to know his fantasy girl.

          I think that on this comment thread the discussion had been about two absolute situations.  A man with a booty call woman, and a woman with a permanently friend zoned orbiter.  IRL things are much messier and really run the gamut.

          My oldest son is in his early 30s, has been separated for 9 months with the divorce pending, and he has primary custody of his two kids.  He met a 36 y/o woman at a mutual friend’s cook out.  They have gone out/hooked up (I’m not asking for detail here!) half a dozen times.  He was upfront that he wasn’t looking for or able to get into a serious relationship at this time.  After meet up 2 or 3 she told him that she wanted to get married and have kids in the next few years and asked him if he would be open to that.  He said he couldn’t make any promises because he had no idea what he would want relationship or kid wise 1, 2, 5 years down the road.  She said she would move on to find someone who had the same goals as her.  Yet she still calls him.  Not every week, but she’s the one who initiates.

          I can see where she may still have some hope for an LTR, or she could just be booty calling him during her search for “the one.”  Maybe they will part without hurt or resentment, maybe someone will be hurt and angry.  Because situations are fluid and things can change.

          You can have no intention of getting hooked on someone, yet you do.  You can feel all hot and heavy, and then it burns out quickly.  People can tell you one thing, but they really want something else, and the real kicker is, they may be in denial about their subconscious motives.

          So I think it’s futile to try and put things in absolutes like a woman always knows when a male friend wants more, or a man should know when his side dish is hoping to become the main course.  And I think that the situations where one of the two is clearly the user and the other the victim are the exception.  The rule is a mix of right and wrong, poor communication, assumptions that should not have been made, and just good or bad luck.

        5. Chance

          “And I think that the situations where one of the two is clearly the user and the other the victim are the exception.  The rule is a mix of right and wrong, poor communication, assumptions that should not have been made, and just good or bad luck.”

           

          Agree!  My primary issue is when people try to deflect responsibility in these types of situations.  Male or female.  Desiring or desired.  Most of us in this forum are old enough and experienced enough to realize when these types of situations are forming.  Your son had been honest with his lady friend, and she is responsible for protecting herself.

        6. Chance

          Emily-No one is saying (at least I’m not) that a guy often isn’t blameless in an FWB situation, but that doesn’t mean the woman isn’t responsible for herself.  Similarly, women often aren’t blameless in a FZ situation, but that doesn’t mean men aren’t responsible for themselves.  Can’t see how anyone would disagree with this.

        7. Emily, the original

          Chance,

          Can’t see how anyone would disagree with this.

          I don’t. If you read my other comments, you would see that.

  15. 15
    Yet Another Guy

    *to be completely honest.

  16. 16
    KK

    YAG said,

    “If a woman does not demonstrate that she wants to be more than friends on the first date, there will be no second date.”

    No second date but you’ll keep her on the back burner as a “sexy stand by” for game nights and sleepovers? LOL. Double standard, indeed!

    1. 16.1
      Yet Another Guy

      @KK

      An SOS is the result of the exact opposite thing happening, that is, a woman who wants to be more than friends when I am not feeling it.  I make my feelings clear.

      The discussion originally started because I brought up the fact that men keep SOS women.  Callie attempted to shame me for engaging in the behavior.  When guys who post to the blog chimed in that women do it too, the place erupted into flames.   There was a futile attempt by female contributors to justify what they do with their orbiters.  As strange as it may seem to the women reading this blog, not sleeping with a man who a woman is keeping in her orbit is no better than a man sleeping with an SOS.  Are women even aware of how much it hurts a man who is in a woman’s orbit to know that she is having sexual relations with another man, especially if that man is treating her poorly?   I can assure you that it hurts most men so badly when it happens the first time that few allow it to happen a second time.  I am not a huge country music fan, but Vince Gill said it best in “Whenever You Come Around.”

      The face of an angel, pretty eyes that shine
      I lie awake at night wishing you were mine
      I’m standing here holding the biggest heartache in town
      Whenever you come around

      I get weak in the knees, and I lose my breath
      Oh, I try to speak, but the words won’t come
      I’m so scared to death
      And when you smile that smile, the world turns upside down
      Whenever you come around

      I feel so helpless, I feel just like a kid
      What is it about you that makes me keep my feelings hid?
      I wish I could tell you, but the words can’t be found
      Whenever you come around

      I get weak in the knees, and I lose my breath
      Oh, I try to speak, but the words won’t come
      I’m so scared to death
      And when you smile that smile the whole world turns upside down
      Whenever you come around
      Whenever you come around

       

      1. 16.1.1
        GoWiththeFlow

        YAG,

        It happens to us, too.  The guy friend who comes to cry on our shoulder when his girlfriend is being a bitch, or worse when she is making a fool of him by treating him like crap or cheating on him.  Been there, done that!

        1. Stacy2

          That guy who comes to cry on your shoulder? He wants to have sex with you. There’s no such thing as friend-zoning a woman (by a straight man)

        2. GoWiththeFlow

          Let’s see, we were 16, had known each other since 4th grade, we were sitting in the living room and my dad was in the house, and my friend was embarrassed when his cheerleader girlfriend dumped him at the varsity football game with a whole stadium of onlookers.  I’m certain he didn’t want to have sex with me.  That combo of things would have wilted any kid’s hard on, if he ever would have had one from being around me, which I highly doubt.

          Men friend zone women all the time.  They usually explain it by “She’s a nice girl, I’m just not interested.”

  17. 17
    jeremy

    I don’t know, seems pretty clear to me that a man who uses a woman for NSA sex is as much a user as a woman who uses a beta male orbiter to do her work for her.  Same entitlement mentality, same inability to perspective-take, same lack of a desire for reciprocation.

     

    But, Karl R, one thing you wrote made me smile a bit.  To be really clear, ALL humans are emotionally-driven, NONE of us are rational.  Some of us aspire to be, but frankly all of us are human and use emotions with post-hoc rationalization to make decisions in the face of uncertainty.  The disciplines of psychology and behavioral economics are all about this, and demonstrate it very eloquently.  Whether or not that means we should be protected (or “nudged” in the right direction, as behavioral economists would advocate) is another matter.  But don’t kid yourself into thinking that any of us make purely rational decisions.

    1. 17.1
      Emily, the original

      Jeremy,

      I don’t know, seems pretty clear to me that a man who uses a woman for NSA sex is as much a user as a woman who uses a beta male orbiter to do her work for her.  Same entitlement mentality, same inability to perspective-take, same lack of a desire for reciprocation.

      THANK YOU!  🙂

  18. 18
    Karl R

    KK said: (#12.3.2)

    “I never said that or implied that [women were too dumb to know what was best for themselves].”

    “I don’t hear men by the droves condemning other men for clearly using women in this way.”

    The second quote is how you’re implying the first statement. You’re ignoring the possibility that these women are voluntarily making a decision to participate in this arrangement for their own benefit. Since I don’t know their reasons for agreeing to this setup, I can’t tell whether or not they’re being used … and neither can you. You’re assuming that the women cannot voluntarily make this choice, and should be protected from it.

    I encourage men and women to be forthcoming about their intentions (once they know them). I’ve told women that the relationship was never going to become long-term, and had them be perfectly amenable to less serious relationships. When I finally broke things off completely (because that was in my self-interest), they seemed perfectly fine.

    I am aware of only one woman who was upset when she learned that I had gotten engaged. I had never even asked that woman for her phone number, so her pain clearly did not come from being led on. The women that I had casually dated were happy for us.

     

    Jeremy said: (#17)

    “To be really clear, ALL humans are emotionally-driven, NONE of us are rational.”

    I would say we’re all on a spectrum, with some giving emotions more weight, others giving rationality more weight. And while it would be challenging to measure whether my decisions are 60% rational vs. 40% emotional, it’s probably a little easier to say that I may put more weight on rationality than Emily. She’s not irrational. I’m not unemotional. But the different weights we place give us a different perspective.

    And “post-hoc” doesn’t really apply if you have plenty of time to make a decision. When I had a situation that seemed like it had some similarities with “Sexy on Standby”, I had about a week to figure out under what circumstances it would be acceptable, and under what circumstances it would not. And as my guideline, I started with the basic concept of, “If our positions were reversed, how would I prefer to be be treated.” And I tried to encompass not only the information I knew, but also the information I didn’t know.

     

    GoWiththeFlow said: (#9.1.2.6)

    “Unfortunately, PUA techniques like ‘negging’ are likely to only be highly successful on women with an anxious style attachment.”

    Very insightful. I think you’re definitely onto something. And I think the whole philosophy may transform Anxious men into Avoidant men. Not exactly a recipe for long-term success.

     

    Yet Another Guy and Emily, the original, (#14, etc.)

    As a third party observer, it seems like you two are defining the word “rules” differently.

    There are general “rules” (like the importance of boldness and self-confidence), that work almost all of the time. There are certain “rules” that individuals set (like “friends first” or “no sex until commitment”), which will almost always be broken if they’re really interested in their partner. There are also the rules that we’re taught (like “be yourself” or “love happens when you’re not expecting it”), which are useless, or worse than useless.

    1. 18.1
      Emily, the original

      Karl,

      Perhaps I misunderstood what YAG was meaning. I thought he was saying that he has started a relationship with a woman who asked to “friends first” and put up with those restrictions, only to watch some other guy sweep in and not be restricted by the “friends first” guideline. In other words, she’s willing to have sex with the other guy. So in that instance being a bit bold and self-confident may work to the second man’s advantage.

      There are no rules meaning, yes, another dating candidate can enter the picture and walk away with the prize.

      1. 18.1.1
        Yet Another Guy

        The “friends first” doctrine is indeed a set of rules.  Men believe that they have to behave in a certain way when they hear or read the phrase “friends first.”  What you are saying aligns with how most men feel about “friends first;” namely, it is only for beta males who want to get used, which is why any self-respecting man “nexts” profiles that contain that phrase.  Life is too short to take it slowly with a woman who can be taken away at any moment by a more aggressive man, which is why most men prefer to be aggressive from day one.

        This discussion leads me to an observation as to why online dating is so difficult.  A man usually qualifies/disqualifies a woman within 60 seconds of meeting her.   A woman only knows that a man has potential to be more than friends within the first 60 seconds of meeting him.  She needs time qualify/disqualify him, which often requires more than one date if she is not “wowed.”   Men are usually unwilling to invest that much time only to get blown off, so online dating is a game of one-and-done.

         

        1. Emily, the original

          YAG,

          A man usually qualifies/disqualifies a woman within 60 seconds of meeting her.

          Actually, I’m guilty of doing that with men myself. I can tell almost immediately if sex is on the the table. I mean, if it’s a possibility that it will happen at some point or it won’t.

          Men are usually unwilling to invest that much time only to get blown off, so online dating is a game of one-and-done.

          And that could be a problem for anyone online dating or irl in that we may end up dismissing people too quickly.

        2. Yet Another Guy

          @Emily

          That is why a I stated that a woman usually only knows if a guy has potential to be more than friends in the first 60s seconds.  He can be physically disqualified during that period.  However, unlike men, physical qualification is not enough.  Physical qualification merely opens the door to emotional and intellectual qualification with most women.  Men do not qualify a woman emotionally and intellectually before deciding that they want to be more than friends.  The only things that will make most men break pursuit from a woman they find physically appealing before they sleep with her is if she is bat poop crazy (sadly, a lot of women fall into this category), mean/nasty, or a financial train wreck.

          The Universal Hot Crazy Matrix

        3. Yet Another Guy

          And the female response to the Universal Hot Crazy Matrix

          Universal Hot Emotional Unavailability Matrix

           

           

        4. Emily, the original

          YAG,

          This blog’s purpose is to help the sexes understand each other, but your comments are starting to get ugly, so I am no longer going to respond.

        5. Yet Another Guy

          @Emily

          It was meant as a joke. The video was recorded tongue-in-cheek. The guy went on to do stand up. The female response was interesting because men generally think that women are crazy and women believe that men are emotionally unavailable. While neither is true, it is an interesting phenomenon.

        6. Malika

          Hi YAG:

          Maybe i am over thinking but what if by ‘friends first’, they just mean that they want to get to know you first before going all the way sexually or enter into a serious/exclusive relationship? Getting to know someone first needn’t take long, but i don’t want to rush things either sexually or emotionally, not even with dates i am very excited about from moment one. I would never put friends first on my profile as i feel that it’s not necessary to state that i want to see where things go at an organic and unforced pace, but maybe others do feel the need to put it this way.

        7. Emily, the original

          YAG,

          It was meant as a joke.

          Sorry. My bad. I thought you were forwarding me something from the MGTOW or PUA community.

    2. 18.2
      KK

      Karl said, “The second quote is how you’re implying the first statement. You’re ignoring the possibility that these women are voluntarily making a decision to participate in this arrangement for their ownbenefit”.

      No, Karl. I’m not ignoring the possibility. That just wasn’t part of the the discussion. Someone said that friendzoning men is essentially user behavior and someone else said using a woman for sex, knowing she wants more, is the same thing. Those were the two scenarios being compared.

      1. 18.2.1
        Karl R

        KK said:

        “No, Karl. I’m not ignoring the possibility. That just wasn’t part of the the discussion.” [it was explicitly mentioned by Emily in #9.1.1.9, implicitly by me in #9.1.1.5] “Someone said that friendzoning men is essentially user behavior” [Shaukat in #9.1.1.10] “and someone else said using a woman for sex, knowing she wants more, is the same thing.” [Callie in #9.1.1.2] “Those were the two scenarios being compared.”

        The third “scenario” occurred between the two parts that you acknowledge were part of the discussion.

        Perhaps I was mistaken, but since it was smack in the middle of the other two points, I assumed that all three points were part of the same discussion.

         

        Now that we’ve clarified that, you’ve raised a further question. Were you saying that men should condemn the “Sexy on Standby” behavior because the “third scenario” isn’t part of this discussion? -or- Were you saying that men should condemn the “Sexy on Standby” behavior because you were unaware that the “third scenario” occurred in real life.

         

        1. KK

          Karl,

          “Perhaps I was mistaken, but since it was smack in the middle of the other two points, I assumed that all three points were part of the same discussion”.

          Hopefully, you’ll forgive me for not having the inclination to go back and read through those comments. Whether it was previously discussed or not, it was not part of the conversation that I was engaging in.

          “Now that we’ve clarified that, you’ve raised a further question. Were you saying that men should condemn the “Sexy on Standby” behavior because the “third scenario” isn’t part of this discussion? -or- Were you saying that men should condemn the “Sexy on Standby” behavior because you were unaware that the “third scenario” occurred in real life”.

          I have no desire to discuss your third scenario because it goes without saying that two consenting adults are free to engage in any type of friendship or relationship they choose to.

          The commentary I engaged in was in reference to what is or isn’t considered user behavior. I do not believe it’s hypocritical to assert that one should protect oneself from being used and simultaneously also refrain from using others. I believe that if you find out that whatever behavior you’re engaging in is hurting someone else, the kind, moral thing to do is disengage. I don’t see this as taking away anyone’s rights to make their own decisions if I’m part of the equation. I realize you disagree and that’s perfectly fine with me. Personally, I’m impressed with Jeremy’s comments on the matter and I believe it speaks to a higher level of emotional intelligence and empathy for others.

          What I do find interesting, is that many of the male commenters have made the assertion on other posts that men do not develop strong feelings for women until after sex is part of the equation. Yet on this particular post, in regards to being friendzoned, some of those same men are asserting that these situations are extremely painful to the men involved. Hmmm. Kinda blows away that first theory. Anyway, just an observation.

        2. Jeremy

          @KK, you wrote “What I do find interesting, is that many of the male commenters have made the assertion on other posts that men do not develop strong feelings for women until after sex is part of the equation. Yet on this particular post, in regards to being friendzoned, some of those same men are asserting that these situations are extremely painful to the men involved. Hmmm. Kinda blows away that first theory.”

           

          Interesting, isn’t it?  Yet no contradiction exists here – both perspectives are true, but due to different chemical phenomena.  The feelings of longing, desire, and focus are due to dopamine and nor-epinephrine in our brains.  Those chemicals are responsible for addiction and obsession and are maintained when desire is un-requited.  Whereas the feeling that men get after sex is due to oxytocin – the feeling of bonding and non-sexual love.

           

          So I think that what men feel when experiencing unrequited desire is very different from what they feel when experiencing post-sexual bonding.  And I think that what most women WANT men to feel for them is that oxytocin-based feeling – bonding – rather than the hyper-obsessive desire.

        3. KK

          Hi Jeremy,

          “So I think that what men feel when experiencing unrequited desire is very different from what they feel when experiencing post-sexual bonding.  And I think that what most women WANT men to feel for them is that oxytocin-based feeling – bonding – rather than the hyper-obsessive desire”.

          Sounds like you’re describing an emotionally healthy man re. post-sexual bonding. So, in your opinion, if a man has a pattern of hopping from one sexual conquest to the next without commitment or very short term relationships with sex being the only goal, would this be a sign of being emotionally damaged due to the inability to bond after sex?

        4. Jeremy

          @KK, no, I don’t think it is necessarily a sign of emotional damage.  Sorry in advance for a long post, but I think your question merits it.

           

          I think that although everyone desires sex to some extent, what we want is not so much the sex but another goal – a “meta-goal” – that we hope to derive from the sex.  We aren’t always conscious of what that meta-goal is – we often think we just want sex itself, yet if we observe our own behavior (or that of others), we can often see what the meta-goal might be.

           

          Some people’s sexual meta-goal is simply pleasure (though this isn’t as common as you’d think).  For others, it’s psychological validation of being found desirable by a desirable partner (very common).  For others, it is securing a desired relationship (more common in women than men).  Others want a child.  And others want novelty.

           

          People who hop from partner to partner are people whose primary sexual meta-goal is novelty – it isn’t a pathology, it is a personality trait.  These are the people who lose their sexual desire after being with the same person for more than a little while – and for real dopamine-junkies, they may lose desire after the first time.  They are not necessarily psychologically-damaged – they just have different goals than their partners might have.

           

          And here’s the kicker  – I’ve noticed that whatever a person’s sexual meta-goal is, they believe that others should have the same goal as them.  People whose meta-goal is to obtain a relationship believe that others should have sex only when ready for relationships.  People whose meta-goal is validation want partners who also feel validated having sex with them.  And people whose meta-goal is novelty don’t understand why others get hurt when they lose interest – they expect the loss to be mutual.

           

          When a person whose meta-goal is a relationship hooks up with a person whose meta-goal is novelty, lots of hurt feelings ensue – both because of differing goals and because of differing expectations of what the goals of the other should be.

        5. KK

          Thanks for your response, Jeremy.

          “People who hop from partner to partner are people whose primary sexual meta-goal is novelty – it isn’t a pathology, it is a personality trait.  These are the people who lose their sexual desire after being with the same person for more than a little while – and for real dopamine-junkies, they may lose desire after the first time.  They are not necessarily psychologically-damaged – they just have different goals than their partners might have”.

          Not so sure about this. To some extent, yes, I believe it could be a personality trait. Or maybe even more commonly, a life stage when commitment isn’t yet desirable. But… my opinion, is that most men, even those who are quite promiscuous in their younger years, eventually do desire a committed relationship / marriage. As to the real dopamine junkies you mention, I’d suspect that’s a type of addiction, which to me, does in fact suggest pathology.

          “And here’s the kicker  – I’ve noticed that whatever a person’s sexual meta-goal is, they believe that others should have the same goal as them”.

          Hmmm. Maybe. Maybe not. I think for a lot of us (women) we only care that our partner has the same sexual meta-goal, as you call it, as us. If we set aside all the women who don’t make their wishes known and only focus on those who do, what do we find? Best case scenario: A relationship where both people have the same meta-goal. Worst case scenario: Girl meets boy. They date. Her goal is commitment. His is novelty. She lets her wishes be known. He hides his. Problems and hurt feelings ensue.

          So, I don’t think the true issue is what someone thinks someone else’s goals should be. I mean, sure, if a woman is hoping for a relationship with a particular man and he lets her know he’s not interested in that, of course there will be some disappointment. I think the issue where hurt feelings and heartbreak occurs is over dishonesty.

        6. Chance

          Hi Jeremy, good comment.  I’ll also add that I think we are generally talking about different types of men.  The more confident men (I.e., the kinds of men that women obviously prefer) are more likely to cast a wide net with sex being their primary immediate goal IMO.  Over time, he will begin to appreciate the other qualities that a woman whom he’s dating possesses, and only then will he fall for her.  If she doesn’t display any such qualities, he’ll eventually lose interest (this is often when women feel like they’ve been used) and move on.  OTOH, men who find themselves in the FZ tend to get fixated on one woman, and erroneously believe that it is necessary to establish comfort and rapport with that woman before they become intimate (much more likely to happen with younger men).  These men often come across as needy and insecure, which women are obviously (and almost invariably) repulsed by.

        7. jeremy

           

           

          I think that, at the end of the day, what matters is that we try to have empathy for others.  I don’t think it is necessary for both partners to have the same sexual meta-goals – a woman might have the sexual goal of obtaining a relationship, and the man’s goal might be validation.  As long as they are each willing to give the other what they want, a great relationship is possible – especially if their non-sexual goals align.

           

          I agree with you that dishonesty is a real problem in relationships – leading another person on with false hope is user behavior, as we discussed earlier.  But I think the larger problem is the fact that most people don’t really understand themselves, and confuse the goals that drive their behavior with what they believe their goals SHOULD be.

           

          A man whose sexual meta-goal is novelty may have been brought up with the idea that he should marry, and he may internalize that and believe that he wants to be with one woman forever.  Yet he finds himself losing interest and doesn’t understand why.  He conflates what he wants with what he believes he should want.

           

          The woman who tells herself that she is “just friends” with a man (and believes herself), yet secretly feels validation knowing that he wants her.  The man who tells himself he is looking for love (and believes himself), but jumps from woman to woman, losing interest after each sexual encounter.  These are people who don’t understand themselves.  I don’t blame them for their lack of introspection – how many of us really understand ourselves?  I blame them for their lack of EMPATHY.

           

          Because no matter what their desires actually are, they did not take the time to understand the desires of the people they claimed to value – their “friend”, their “friend with benefits”, their “girlfriend.”  They only focused on themselves and assumed that others would do the same.  They are not liars or psychopaths, but they are selfish.  And selfishness is not a good quality in a long-term partner, no matter how hot the person may be.

        8. KK

          @Jeremy,

          Agreed!   : )

      2. 18.2.2
        Shaukat

        What I do find interesting, is that many of the male commenters have made the assertion on other posts that men do not develop strong feelings for women until after sex is part of the equation.

        I don’t recall anyone making that assertion. I think what most people have acknowledged is that men primarily pursue sex first as a strategy and in the process of attempting to secure this goal decide whether they also enjoy spending quality time with the woman in question. The classic FZ orbiters are pursuing sex as a goal, they’re just going about it in a completely ineffective manner. There is thus no contradiction between stating that the latter guys want to engage in a sexual relationship with their female friend, and yet in the process of attempting to win over her affections have also developed a strong (and unhealthy) emotional attachment.

        On another issue KK, I’m assuming (and you can correct me if I’m wrong) that I was one of the regular male commenters who you lumped into the category of ‘sexist’ in your response to Jeremy. If you don’t mind, could you perhaps marshal my post(s), from any thread, which you believe could in any way be construed as sexist? I’m not upset, just genuinely curious.

        1. KK

          Shaukat,

          I do recall that being discussed here before. I wouldn’t have mentioned it if I hadn’t.

          As to the sexist comment, you’re wrong in assuming that I was referring to you. If you’ve ever made a sexist comment, I certainly don’t remember. You’ve made comments that are unfair, but you didn’t ask about that so, there ya go.

        2. Emily, the original

          What I do find interesting, is that many of the male commenters have made the assertion on other posts that men do not develop strong feelings for women until after sex is part of the equation.

          I don’t recall anyone making that assertion.

          Chance said: 

           Often times, a woman’s value beyond the sexual comes after she’s been sexual.

           

          Reply

  19. 19
    Marie

    Wow there seems to be a lot of back and forth here.  I have one comment regarding the implication that people have the personal responsibility to step away from someone in a situation where the guy is being friends with hope of something more or the girl is continuing to have sex when the guy is not really wanting to commit.  I agree that yes, in black and white I guess it’s that person’s fault for not stepping away if their attraction is not being reciprocated in the way that they wished, and I suppose if they didn’t that absolves the other party from partaking in their body/time/friendship/love.  But in reality is it ever really this clear cut?  Hope springs eternal. If you are really in love, or in intense like anyways, you can always come up with a host of reasons how you can win someone over, how their actions somehow really show they care…etc. Often in the dating world words don’t match actions anyways, and how many rom-coms have we watched where the protagonists come to some gut wrenching realization that the ‘right’ person was just under their nose all along?  My philosophy is to never play with someone’s heart, even if there is only a remote chance that your actions could lead them on.  Better to cut them out of your life than to have these gray areas – for their sake but also for your own, for I can’t imagine that as a caring human being seeing someone who suffers because they think they love you and doesn’t have the willpower to walk away can be that great.  It’s like, do you have to help that little old lady acrosss the road? Technically no,  she has two legs and a cane so if she was determined to walk across she has personal responsibility to get herself  there without getting run over. But I would think that most people would try to help her because we are not (yet) living in an isolationist society where the only person we care about is ourselves.

    1. 19.1
      Karl R

      Marie said:

      “If you are really in love, or in intense like anyways,” [it’s called infatuation] “you can always come up with a host of reasons how you can win someone over, how their actions somehow really show they care…etc. Often in the dating world words don’t match actions anyways,”

      Read Evan’s post “Believe The Negatives, Ignore The Positives” (link to it here).

       

      Marie said:

      “and how many rom-coms have we watched where the protagonists come to some gut wrenching realization that the ‘right’ person was just under their nose all along?”

      Life is not a rom-com.

       

      Marie said:

      “But in reality is it ever really this clear cut?”

      In my own personal experience, I told the woman that our relationship didn’t have long term potential. She explicitly concurred. I then told her that I enjoyed spending time with her more casually. She said she enjoyed that as well. We agreed to keep seeing each other casually.

      I told the truth. I believe that she told me the truth (but there’s no way to be absolutely sure, since I don’t read minds).

       

      You’re the person who knows best how you feel, and what you want. Are men supposed to assume that you’re incapable of figuring that out for yourself? Are they supposed to assume you’re lying to them?

       

      Marie said:

      “It’s like, do you have to help that little old lady acrosss the road? Technically no,  she has two legs and a cane so if she was determined to walk across she has personal responsibility to get herself  there without getting run over.”

      That reminds me of a the joke where a boy scout is telling his scoutmaster how he and five other boys helped an old lady across the street.

      Scoutmaster: “That’s very nice, but why did it take six of you to help one old lady?”

      Boy Scout: “She didn’t want to go.”

       

      Marie,

      You seem determined to  help the poor old lady across the street, regardless of whether or not she wants to go.

      I’ll help the old lady across the street … but only if she actually wants to go there.

      1. 19.1.1
        Marie

        Yes, Karl, I’m more conservative than you in that if I think there is a possibility that someone may be holding a torch for me, no matter how clear I’ve made the situation, I would rather cut ties with them than engage in a FWB or even just platonic friendship.  Of course life is not a rom-com, but that hasn’t stopped infatuated people from thinking it is.  Why do you think otherwise rational intelligent people write to Evan with questions that seem to have pretty obvious answers yet they just aren’t willing to face?  People think they can handle something, think they are being honest with themselves and then find out they were being completely irrational and unobjective when it comes to ‘love.’  I’d rather not take the chance of keeping one of those people around ‘orbiting’ me.

        As to your situation, I wasn’t really responding to your post so not sure which comment you were referring to – sounds like from your last post that you felt like you both knew what you were doing so more power to you.  Thanks for the joke about the Boy Scouts – hadn’t heard that one befor, haha.

  20. 20
    Marika

    @ everyone,

    My perception is that most people who comment on this blog are reasonably intelligent. So how on earth can some of you continue to say things like men are always…, most men are x, all/most women do y, think z, etc etc. Unless you’re an anthropologist who’s travelled the globe studying the opposite sex… you can only speak from your own experience.

    I know that even in my friendship group of women, when the subjects of sex & relationships come up, none of us are in complete agreement as to the type of partner we want, if we care about money, height, education etc, when we feel comfortable having sex, when to get exclusive, our preferred age range for dating, whether we can handle FWB and so on.

    In dating, some men have tried to have sex on the first date, some hadn’t kissed me by the 5th date, some are flirty, some are very nervous, some are arrogant, some are argumentative, some very passive etc etc.

    This is just the limited experience of one person.

    So, if you find every woman is exactly the same, or every man is exactly the same – that is just your experience, not everyone’s. If it’s just your experience, doesn’t it stand to reason that if you make some personal changes in your own approach or outlook, that you may have different results?

    Those of you who come here to argue, blame the opposite sex and trot out some 19th century views about men or women, are really ruining it for those of us who come here to learn, grow & change. Can you give it a rest, please?

    1. 20.1
      ScottH

      Marika said:   “My perception is that most people who comment on this blog are reasonably intelligent.”

      Um, ok….

    2. 20.2
      ScottH

      oh I see what you’re trying to do… you’re trying to spark another epic perception vs reality debate…  sneaky

  21. 21
    Shaukat

    A funny video that relates to some of the things we were discussing in this thread. Take it as a joke, but all jokes carry some truths:

     

     

     

     

     

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