How You Can Get Everything Wrong and Still Find The Man of Your Dreams

How You Can Get Everything Wrong and Still Find The Man of Your DreamsKarin is tall, thin and blonde. She’s a former dancer who makes a good living as a doctor. She’s a patron of the arts, an animal lover, and has a quick wit.

Karin is also 42, never married, and desperately wants children.

I took her on as a Commitment Course client because she’s highly motivated.

Yet the second we started working together, Karin began to dictate how our coaching would go – and thus gave me a small glimpse of why she’s single at 42.

“I’m not going to date online. Only weirdos who do that. What if someone sees me? I’d be too embarrassed. The kind of men I’m looking for don’t date online.”

“I think you tell women to settle. I’m not going to settle. I haven’t waited this long to find love only to be with a man who is beneath my standards.”

And so on. And so forth.

I reminded Karin that 50 million people have tried online dating. I reminded her that if a man sees her online, he can’t judge her because he’s dating online as well.

The first three weeks of coaching Karin, we literally didn’t do any coaching.

All I did was cajole her into putting her profile on Match.com so we could actually have, you know, DATES to discuss during the rest of her coaching.

I reminded Karin that 50 million people have tried online dating.

I reminded her that if a man sees her online, he can’t judge her because he’s dating online as well.

I reminded her that my wife, my mom, my sister, my sister’s husband, my wife’s best friend, my wife’s best friend’s husband and pretty much every other single person I know has tried it. And we’re not all losers.

Finally, Karin got her professional photos and professional profile up on Match.

It was like magic. Even though Karin was in a highly unpopular demographic (42 and looking to have babies) she still got tons of attention online. Scores of men. Attractive men. Successful men. Age-appropriate men.

Quickly, Karin realized that her fears were considerably overstated.

Within weeks, Karin found herself dating a good guy named Gary. They’d gone out 3 or 4 times and he always followed up immediately to see her again. Moreover, he was enthusiastic, cute, successful and very much interested in Karin as a girlfriend.

Naturally, Karin started second-guessing her own interest him.

“He’s too nice,” she said. “He always asks for my opinion on what to do on dates. Why is he so eager to please?”

Didn’t you complain that in your last passionate love affair, you never knew where you stood with the guy? That he wasn’t considerate enough?

“Yes, but—How about the fact that Gary is a teacher who drives a Toyota? How can he support me? What are my Mercedes-driving friends going to think?”

You’re a doctor; he doesn’t have to support you. And who cares what your friends think as long as you’re happy in your relationship?

“Yeah, well, the other day, in the museum, he made a joke about a modernist sculpture. I thought it was so classless of him to do that when an artist poured his heart and soul into creating it.”

He made a joke about a piece of art? And you want to break up with him for it?

“He apologized to me the next day because he saw how it upset me, but all I could think was: why did you make that dumb joke in the first place?”

Because it was funny? Because it was no big deal? Because everyone makes jokes about modern art? Either way, Karin, the fact that he apologized to you when he’s done nothing wrong means that you’re dating a saint. I wouldn’t be so quick to dismiss him.

After a half-hour of back and forth, Karin made her decision.

She was dumping Gary.

He was too safe.

He was too nice.

He wasn’t able to support her financially.

And if this wasn’t enough, Karin simply didn’t feel what she was supposed to feel.

Fair enough.

I told Karin that I didn’t care about Gary, per se, but that if she were going to achieve her goal of finding love, she should start giving men like Gary a closer look.

She’d spent 42 years chasing exciting, charismatic, unpredictable, wildly attractive men…and here she was with a dating coach trying to figure out where she went wrong.

“THIS is where you’ve gone wrong”, I told her. “THIS is your chance to correct it.”

But Karin’s mind was made up.

She broke it off with Gary and they agreed to “remain friends”.

She put herself back on Match.com and prepared herself for the flood of responses that she got in her first month online.

Two weeks later, Karin was crying to me on the phone.

“The responses have slowed down”, she told me.

“The quality of the guys has gotten worse,” she observed.

“I’m really worried that I made a mistake,” she whimpered.

Instead of playing the “I told you so” card, I continued to support Karin’s dream.

I spend a lot of time writing about sad things: men who lie, men who cheat, men who won’t commit, etc. This blog doesn’t change the fact that these men are still out there.

I didn’t tell her she blew it with Gary; I did remind her that the Garys of the world – cute, smart, thoughtful, patient, relationship-oriented – were the type of men she should consider whenever they come along.

I told her that everyone goes through online dry spells and that a new guy will emerge in a matter of weeks. Promise.

Two weeks later, Karin revealed that she and Gary were “hanging out as friends” when he suddenly kissed her.

And after further reflection, she would give Gary – and their relationship – another shot.

Sure, it was a happy ending – another client who achieved her goal and got her money’s worth – but I didn’t have a warm and fuzzy feeling about it. Why?

Because Karin was still the same person she was before – neurotic, critical, unrealistic, and bound to dissect Gary and dump him in favor of a fantasy man who would never commit to her.

So imagine my surprise last week when I received this email from Karin:

Hi Evan!

I can’t believe it’s taken me so long to tell you this, but… I’m married! To Gary – the man about whom you were coaching me when we parted. We had an amazingly beautiful and intimate wedding with 50 guests. We honeymooned in Tahiti.

Needless to say, this is a dream come true for me. I am so happy, because I feel safe and secure with a man who is devoted to me. He is everything I was looking for – although it took you to make me realize that. Of all the thank-you notes I have written (and have yet still to write …), yours is the most important to me – because there is no way I would be a happily married woman today without you.

Gary is everything I need, and more – but I still couldn’t fully accept that when you and I finished off in February. At that time, I still couldn’t help looking for perfection, magnifying shortcomings, and not accepting what was most important: unwavering interest in me as a person, following through on commitments, and truly wanting the same things I wanted in a relationship. I still wasn’t appreciating Gary’s amazingly hot body, razor-sharp intellect, and unique life experiences he had created for himself. Or that he made me breakfast in bed, put up with my neuroses, and just wanted to be with me. All I saw was that he didn’t create a Fortune 500 company, drive a Tesla, or lunch regularly with Gavin Newsom. Yes, I am ashamed.

There is no way I would have gotten to that point without you, Evan. No chance I have found Gary and let him into my heart if it hadn’t been for you. You were instrumental every step of the way: from that incredible online profile, to actually getting me to put it online (an entirely separate step, as you well know), to coaching me through all those first dates, to helping me realize why Gary was the kind of guy I should be with … I can’t thank you enough.

I continue to read your weekly post, and I couldn’t agree more with everything you say (yes, pretty much everything). For any woman who wants a real and meaningful relationship but continues coming up short, you are the man for the job to figure out where the stumbling blocks lie and implement a personalized plan to overcome them. Or via the ebook – I bet it is just as helpful for those who want a more economical approach to coaching (although you were worth every penny :) I plan on reading it once the dust settles on setting up a new household (and those thank-you notes are written …) because it will not only speak to my fascination with human relationships but also keep me abreast of how you communicate your wisdom. Regardless of how women want to go about finding the relationship they want and need, you are the one to help them find it.

You sure did it for me. I have a mature, supportive, satisfying, committed relationship (it’s even a marriage!), and I am so happy. Thank you so much for everything!!

All my best,

Karin

You know what I did when I got this email?

I ran into the kitchen to find my wife.

Tears were brimming out of my eyes.

I couldn’t believe that Karin found true love – much less gave me credit for it.

I know this is a long blog post.

I know that it can be interpreted as egocentric or self-aggrandizing.

But you know what?

I just think it’s inspiring.

I spend a lot of time writing about sad things: men who lie, men who cheat, men who won’t commit, etc.

This blog doesn’t change the fact that these men are still out there.

Still, I think Karin’s email is a useful reminder that you MUST have hope.

Karin didn’t believe in online dating.

She dated online.

Karin didn’t believe in compromising.

She compromised.

Karin didn’t think she had to accept anything less than a perfect man because she’d held out for so long.

She accepted Gary.

And she WON.

If you’ve been sitting on the sidelines, wondering why love isn’t finding you, ask yourself if you’re willing to do what Karin did: look within, challenge yourself, and open up to a whole new way of thinking.

Who knows? You could be next.

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Comments:

  1. 31
    james

    Amy needs a hug. Things will be okay amy, I know you don’t think things will be okay. but they will be.

  2. 32
    Brenda

    Well, Evan, I have to say that I love Karin’s “a ha moments” and I love you too :)  As you know, you helped me in so many ways when I got back onto the dating scene at 50!  

    You coached me and helped me see past my values and my “list of wants” which were admittedly superficial – a younger man who could keep up with me and my two sons, now ages 12 and 14, someone intelligent and witty, a really masculine man who believed in love and who wanted marriage, and someone who would be wonderful partner in so many ways.

    I had a lot of false starts…..the men who started out well and went poof for a variety of reasons, men who weren’t ready, men who wanted someone younger than me, men who went back to an old girlfriend….. and I just kept the faith. Kept believing that there was a man out there who like me believed strongly in love, marriage, and a great future. I kept putting one foot ahead of the other, and kept reading your blog, putting myself out there, meeting men on a few online dating websites and enjoying the process.  Whether we had a future or not, I enjoyed learning more about any man I dated, even if it just involved one date. At times, it felt a bit like interviewing for a job, and there were months that I took myself off the dating market and just focused on healing from my divorce. 

    But voila! I met a wonderful man, who is 9 months younger than I am (who says God doesn’t have a sense of humor), who loves my sons and I hugely and he actually got down on his knees to propose to me at Christmas. We are marrying this October and I can honestly say I would not have given him a chance if I had kept my old so not-working-for-me-mindset and gone for the soul-shredding relationships with the big-wage-earner men who may have been flashy but were not the man who won my heart!

    Evan, thanks for encouraging me along the way and for helping me see that the initial wants I had were the same old wants that had never worked for me and for showing me how to really enjoy the dating process.

     

  3. 33
    Brenda

    PS My superficial list of wants  – i.e. the younger man etc – encompassed many more things that I did not list here – what I did want was the intelligence etc and many other attributes which are listed on the next three lines. (sorry, my brain is tired after a long week :)

  4. 34
    Natasha

    Evan, thank you for sharing this!  It’s all too true that many, many stories fall under the sad category and it’s so uplifting to read a positive one.  For all those who don’t believe that people can change their priorities, I have a very close friend that was “a Karin”, (and is a lawyer) who met “a Gary” (who is a teacher).  She finally saw the light and gave him a chance.  I’m going to be a bridesmaid in their wedding and I can’t wait to celebrate them starting their lives together.   

    If you do the work, things will change for you.  Believe it.   

  5. 35
    Soul

    Here is what I think: there is a lot of truth in what Amy is saying…. 
    Here is what I feel: you never know in this life, and love/life is about growing and becoming a better person.

    Karin’s former life may have been painful enough for her to recognize that what she once valued (alpha males, flash, money etc.) aren’t what she really wanted and valued DEEP INSIDE…. or…. Amy might be right that Karin was just too desperate and that her marriage will not run the distance….only time will tell actually. WE DO NOT KNOW…
     PS: And as a matter of fact, Evan’s job is all the more difficult because what he is trying to do, in a sense, is to reconcile the “feeling” and the “thinking” perspectives…Love is about MAGIC, it is about that little sth that nobody can really explain, but that most people have felt or are able to imagine and/or fantasize about… And at the same time, there are a few “rules”, patterns, that EMK is trying to convey to his clients. But we do not know the end result of it all of course. Nobody knows…

    However, I find that there is a lot of wisdom in EMK’s approach. I have myself followed his system’s core principles and it has literally changed my life. Actually, I am now deeply in love with the very same man that I found extremely boring and predictable in the first place….And although I did not feel any chemistry at first, he is by far my best sex experience ever! In fact we now live together and I can assure you that this man absolutely NOT boring, he is just a man who is reliable and I, foolish as I was before I started reading this blog, I just did not know how to measure integrity, so I wrongly assumed being reliable meant being boring! I am thankful that I followed EMK’s advice and paid attention to what really mattered…I let him do all the work and I just said yes!

    In the end I do not find him boring at all! I find him fascinating and to my greatest pleasure, he takes more initiatives than any of my “wonderful” but spineless exes (I am definitely a beta feminine energy person who needs a reliable leader)…In 6 months my man has initiated trips to 5 different countries including dangerous ones (he is helping me plan my next career and sort out which countries Ill be focusing on), we have visited art galleries in different countries, he has taken me to great intellectual conferences, we go fishing in the deep ocean and live only on what we have fished for days, we have spent days without electricity in the wild…  the guys is not boring at all, I was the one without the knowledge and wisdom to recognize a good man. It could be the same for Karin…I know that without EMK’s advice I would have let the most wonderful and generous guy go without even realizing my mistake! EMK’s advice has helped me really be in touch with who I am deep inside, and that could be the same for Karin in the end.

  6. 36
    amy

    Still-Looking – I wouldn’t get married without a pre-nup and a thumbs-up from the lawyer that the pre-nup would be meaningful in whatever state I was living in. I’ve already been in danger of getting wiped out once by a guy, wouldn’t risk it again. I’ve got a child to raise and a retirement to live through.
     
    And I think you miss my point. A woman who’s looking to be treated well materially isn’t necessarily a golddigger. Maybe the majority aren’t. What she is saying is: “Hey. You’re not a kid. You make real money. If I mean something to you, show it. Not just in words and touch and hokey little things, which any kid can manage, but in a tangible way. And if you’re the man I think you are, you’ll want to do that.” A middle-aged woman with any self-confidence knows that money’s not a joke, and she knows what she’s worth. Does it mean she won’t offer to pick up the check, no. But it means he’d be ashamed to let her.
     
    As for me, I’m done with broke men. Not because I’m looking for a sugar daddy, but because there’s almost always something seriously wrong with a broke middle-aged guy. Yes, sometimes there’s a real disaster, but I’ll tell you, if he’s a together and energetic person, he won’t stay down long. Otherwise — he lacks self-confidence, he lacks the ability to plan, he’s 47 and thinks he’s 27. He got divorced without thinking what it’d cost; he had kids without thinking about what they’d cost, or the possibility of divorce. He’s got serious psychological issues that hamper his ability to work, or to find work he enjoys. He’s drifting through life.
     
    Apart from which, I’m just too old for kid stuff. Just like I’m too old to go traveling around sleeping on a bus. Short of a war, I’m done with crappy street food, bad cheap dates, panicky emails about the rent, junk jewelry, terrible apartments where you can hear the neighbors all night. There’s only one circumstance in which I’d say yes to a broke guy, and that’s if he was in maybe the top five for talent I’ve ever met in my field, and I’ve met a few Nobelists. If he was that talented and serious, and also sane and hot and we had a real meeting of minds going on, okay. But I still wouldn’t let him move in with me, because I don’t want to play Mom to a broke genius. Nor would I marry him and get my property mixed up with him legally.
     
    In any case, I’m not here to judge whether Karin’s desires are right or wrong, virtuous or not. I’m saying that marrying someone who serves an immediate need, but doesn’t share your values or goals, is not a good idea. There are much worse things than being single. One of them is going through a divorce.
     
    In fact, I’ll go further. Suppose Karin does manage to have a child with Gary, and three years later Gary can’t take it anymore. The doctor hours, Karin’s attitude towards money and career v. family time, the whole thing. And he files for divorce. Karin will not get custody of that child — the one she knocked herself out looking to have, then having in her 40s, which carries both physical and career risk — because Gary will have done more caregiving, and besides he has more free time. He can be there in the afternoons, and he’s got all summer off. So Karin will watch him move out and take the toddler with him…depending on where they live, she’ll give him a big ol chunk of what she’s worked to make…and then she’ll send him child support. If Gary’s still hot and employed, he’ll remarry, and then Karin’s child will grow up in another woman’s house. Where Karin sends checks. Karin, on the other hand, will probably not remarry.
     
    So unless they stick together and she keeps him happy, if what she wanted most was a child, she was probably better off as an SMBC with a nanny or a grandparent living in her house.
     
    Marrying just to be married — I don’t see any wisdom in it. And if you’re not looking ahead and asking, How will this go if things don’t go well…well, you’re likely to wind up with a mess, maybe a painful and expensive mess. Happy for a year isn’t worth ten years or more of pain, not in the prime of life.  You have to look past dating, Evan, there’s a whole world on the other side of the marriage, and things matter there, even when the marriage goes wrong. Which it does a little over half the time.

  7. 37
    K

    Amy I wanted to 100% disagree with what you are saying.  Instead I’m torn.  I’m torn between what you are saying and what Evan advocates.  Since the start of this year I have made it a goal to follow the things he advocates.  I have dated the shorter more beta types.  I feel like I’m getting there and see the error in my ways.  But so far even though I’ve met relationship guys who actually plan wonderful dates and follow up I haven’t met one I really wanted to kiss.  To be open minded I even kissed a few a few times to be sure.  I just feel so up in the air.  To the point where I think there is no one for me.  I either hold our for the type that will never come, or be so open minded and feel no attraction.  Believe me I’m really really trying to question all my preconceived notions.  I do have to say I’m enjoying the company of these new men and I’m enjoying the positive attention.  But in the same way as I would enjoy a new friend.

  8. 38
    Ria

    l wanted to jump in before and l do it now. I admire Amy´s point of view in a way, but here is the thing with Karin NOT choosing Gary and why it´s good she does choose Gary.

    Lets  imagine Karin – she is blond (about shoulder lenght hair), tall, dresses well (Prada, Valentino, Chanel), knows the labels by the latest trends, has strong opinion (and she IS usually right), has her personal hair dresser in her fast dial and all that jazz. Which is fab, and many look up for her. Except there is one thing – she has alwys failed to attract those hot charismatic alpha males for a long run and most probably, by the age of 42, she realizes that it´s not only that she is *doing* anything wrong, but she is the *type* that just does not attract those alpha males in a long run. (Have you seen alpha male really going crazy for the girl HE wants? you know what l am saying). And there is no other way, but rethinking and replanning your action plan.

    So by the time she is 42, she actually (with the help of our Guru Evan) takes time and gets real about it. She will NEVER attract AM-s in a long run, but there is still colors and options for her in life, so kudos to Karin for realizing that. So she chooses Gary NOT because the last train has gone, but she sees the new way of viewing at things. OK, she might not have the *deepest sweet attraction mixed with the pain of uncertainty* she experienced with those alphas who never stick aroudn for a long run, but l belive, that as smart as Karin is, she has enough brains and judgement ability for choosing  Gary, because there are characteristics in him, that beats those Alphas in a long run. Trust me when l say – should Karin had seen some fundamental laws in Gary, she would not have chosen. But she did. So obviously how Gary made her feel was a big difference of what she had experienced before and that mattered.

  9. 39
    Still-Looking

    Amy @ 40 – I apologize for my original response to you.  I misconstrued what you said.  I may not agree with everything you have said but it is always nice to read a well written counterpoint.

    K @ 41 – I believe many of us share the same feelings you expressed.  I guess that’s why I’m Still-Looking. :-) 

  10. 40
    Gradient

    @Amy You’re putting what is essentially an impression of Gary into boxed stereotypes based on your own experiences with men. Just because he is a teacher doesn’t mean he is a kid who doesn’t care about money and will leech off Karin. You should think about getting some grey in between those black and white extremes in your mind. Just because you’ve been hurt and messed around by men doesn’t mean that you are justified in seeing the world the way you do and raining on others’ parade. If you (and others) want to be cynical, fine, great, go right ahead. But please don’t assume that that is everyone’s reality because we create our own realities and manifest what we believe. Besides, you seem very materialistic (not a gold digger, you are just stuck in that ‘buy me stuff to show me you care’ headspace). Meh.

  11. 41
    amy

    Ria — EXACTLY — until you get the the point about choosing Gary, which I see as “well, I can’t get what I want, so I’ll try to want what I can get.” But trying to want, as K points out, ain’t the world’s most successful strategy. People used to live with it because they were more dependent on each other, but it wasn’t terrific, and they’d just go have affairs and be miserable with each other.
     
    I think the real question here is: what did she want more, man or child? (I’m biased, but I think “child” is usually the better bet.) And if she wanted a child more, she’s in a rare position. She’s actually in a good spot to have one on her own. If her family’s not supportive, she can buy support. She’s got a recessionproof occupation. And she’s well-established in her career, no doubt insured up the wazoo. She may even be nearly done paying off student loans. 
     
    You have to ask, of course, whether that’s fair to a kid. But if she’s near family, and has a loving and supportive family, well shoot, that’s more than lots of two-parent kids get.
     
    Karin’s something of an outlier because she is so successful, and that changes the whole baby equation. A woman who doesn’t make much money’s in a much more secure spot, having a child. In a divorce, she’ll likely keep the child and collect child support. But a high-powered woman will likely take the man spot in divorce, and see her child move out, eventually to be raised by another woman. That seems to me a searingly painful scenario, definitely to be avoided. Which, when you look at it, makes Karin’s initial impulse to go for the alpha male and avoid Gary extremely sensible.

  12. 42
    sarahrahrah!

    @EMK
     
    I LOVED this story!  Thank you very much the inspiration and your well-written and substantive blog postings.
     
     
    @Amy
     
    Unlike others who have posted on here, I don’t think you are totally off base.  Obviously, you’ve made some major assumptions about Karin and Gary based on stereotypes and generalizations regarding occupational choice.  That’s fair game given that you have very little information about each of them.  
     
    I think your assessment of class values between Karin and Gary is dead on.  Essentially, you’ve classified Karin as identifying with upper class values and Gary as solidly middle class.  Your proposed future for Karin and Gary based on a values clash seems plausible based on what I know of research on American class values.  Despite the criticism you’re garnering, I think you’ve done readers a favor by hopefully getting them to examine their own value systems in the context of long term relationships.
     
    Your proposed scenarios reminded me a lot of my own life.  I am an ambitious person who married my second husband, an alpha male, in my early thirties.  I loved my husband, I didn’t see him much.  The tradeoff was that I got to run our household however I wanted and was firmly in charge of all of the parenting.  I wanted to give my children the best and always strove to do that.  After our kids were in school and  I went back to work, I found out my husband was cheating, which I  couldn’t tolerate.  Long story short, the alpha male side of my ex-husband came out during our divorce and he demolished me financially.  He now is now involved with a woman who is uneducated and unsophisticated woman whom he is using trying to raise our children with his financial advantages (but with a different value system) , while I struggle financially to give our children the same educational and social opportunities I sought to give them during our marriage.  Honestly, that part really kills me.  
     
    The reason I share this story is that I think that Karin is no worse off with a “nebbish,” than with an alpha type.  In fact, I think if Gary can get along well with others (which is fair assumption if he’s a career educator), she is far better off with someone like him rather than an alpha.  Divorce is always a possibility, but divorce with an alpha vs. a normal guy is a like night and day.  Many  males don’t pursue support from women out of sheer pride, but if Gary has high emotional intelligence (which would could infer), he will likely be motivated to make the relationship work instead of seeking divorce.  In summary, I think a woman like Karin would be better off with a nice “beta” in marriage and — worst case scenario — in divorce, too.
     
    Finally, to address your concerns about the values clash between Karin an Gary, I think you have to acknowledge other competing values and needs within the individual.  While the Upper Middle Class/Upper Class strata tends to value money and financial security, research in the behavioral sciences has always shown us that personal happiness and well-being is directly correlated with the quality of our relationships.  Karin may have Upper/Upper Middle Class values, but she’s also still a warm blooded human being with emotional needs.  At some point, intelligent, lonely people may evolve and consciously decide to re-examine their values and adopt new, more adaptive ones.  That is exactly what Karin decided to do, which is why this article is so inspiring.  I understand your cynicism at the possibility of this happening, but my guess is that both Karin and Gary value education and self-improvement and this might serve as a bedrock of shared values on which they can build their relationship.
     
     

  13. 43
    Ruby

    Geez, since when are doctors and teachers that far apart on the class spectrum? I get SarahRaRah’s point about upper class and middle class, but I don’t feel that the divide here is all that great. I’ve known schoolteachers with more generosity and sophistication than some doctors, that’s for sure. If Gary were more blue-collar, then, yes, that would be a greater difference. The most offensive thing to me about amy’s posts are how classist they sound, how absolutist, and stereotypical, not to mention that she has already mapped out all the particulars of Karin’s inevitable divorce before the wedding has even taken place. But I hear that a lot on this blog: if a man isn’t alpha, he’s beta. Winner/loser. There are never any shades of gray. 

    I might have sounded like a disbeliever in my previous post, but in Karin’s email, she sounds really happy. Who are we to second-guess that at this stage?

  14. 44
    helene

    I realise this is slightly off topic, but I would like to say something in defence of alpha males, having been married to one for 15 years and having had a subsequent LTR with another. Yes, these guys were assertive, highly intelligent, always thought they were right,pain in the ass and selfish at times,  and their my-way-or-the-highway, failure to compromise attitude to relationship differences eventually led me to leave both of them, but being an alpha male does NOT mean a person lacks morals and will wipe the floor with you in a divorce or break-up. Both of my exes behaved with respect towards me at all times during and after the break-ups, and financially behaved in a fair and decent manner. Both continue to exhibit concern for my wellbeing and offer support and encouragement for my dreams and ambitions, albeit from a distance. Neither of them has any interest in getting back together with me, one has even remarried, so this is not the motivation for their behaviour. I agree wholeheartedly that alpha males have their serious downsides, but they are called alpha for a reason – they do have many highly positive attributes, and in my view are generally  morally stronger that their more easily-led B brothers.

  15. 45
    amy

    Still-Looking: Thanks. I appreciate it.
     
    Gradient: I’ve never dated a teacher. I’m involved in sales to them, though, and have spent years on teachers’ forums and lists. All the guys I’ve been involved with have been highly ambitious, one way or another, and a few have been wealthy. But there are enough people telling their stories in the world these days that you don’t have to base things on personal experience anymore. Just go listen to what people tell you about their lives.
     
    About upper/middle etc. — I see what you’re saying, but that’s not really how I see this. Think of what it takes just to get into and through med school v. what it it takes to get a teaching license. Med school requires considerably more planning, brights, discipline, organization, and work. For a woman, it’s also a battle in a boys’ club. Once you’re out of med school, the hours remain grueling, the responsibility doesn’t get much more serious, the review is unrelenting, and you’re forced to reckon with business realities. Oh, and odds are good you borrowed $200K to get there. I don’t begrudge doctors’ pay. If Karin’s a doctor at 42, she’s almost certainly brighter, harder driving, better organized, more ambitious, more of a planner, harder working, more attuned to business realities, and more responsible than Gary is. I’d even wager she’s got a better driving record. Like I said, if she was looking for a wife, then bingo. There’s a reason why so many male doctors have schoolteacher wives. The part where Karin loses out, though, is that the schoolteacher wives don’t generally come with male egos, and those have consequences.
     
     
     
     
     

  16. 46
    amy

    Oh, and Gradient, re materialism: I drive a 24-year-old car and live in a modest house. But money is serious business. If you don’t believe it is, ask your parents.
     
    I accept that men will in general devote their entire lives to playing king of the mountain, and that the currency they use for showing each other who’s boss is money. Okay. So if a guy is serious about me, he can court me, and he can do it appropriately. Let me see that he means it, and that he values me. Talk is pleasing but cheap; courtesy is appreciated; but let him woo me with something he had to go out and fight for.

  17. 47
    Ria

    Hi, Amy, thanks for a point, love it! There is, however one thing that is dingleing in my mind. Which is  – if there was such a need just to have a baby, there are options like  (IVF) or (short-fling-with-alpha-male and …you know.)

    So let us portrait Gary, then. He is stabile in what he does (he has been in his job position for long l assume) and he does not have this Hamlet syndrome a la to be or not to be, meaning questioning his path of life (and belive me, that is VERY important). I belive Gary is one of those guys who is happy with the way he is, no matter of the missing big bank account and BMW. And thats cool. Did l read Gary was a teacher?10 points to him because do you know how big responsibility lies on teachers? That to me shows, that Gary is able to take full responsibility and he is doing it.

    What else is Gary – he is loyal and man of words.  And now a short sentence from Evan´s article: “Moreover, he was enthusiastic, cute, successful and very much interested in Karin as a girlfriend.” Note – enthusiastic, cute and successful.

       

  18. 48
    sarahrahrah!

    @ amy — In California it takes two years beyond the bachelor degree to become a teacher and the requirements are more rigorous than those for community college instructors.   I also frequently encounter secondary educators in my work and most do not seem to be the “bottom of the barrel. ”
     
     
    @helene — I’m glad that your alphas didn’t treat you like garbage the moment you split with them.  I think the great danger of being with an alpha is that they follow their own rules.  If they are a highly ethical person, great.  If not, you had better watch out.

  19. 49
    Maverick

    I’d also like to add that the apparently ethical alpha males are not always the ones that most vocally proclaim their own ethical status. Take it from someone who watched at close distance a situation where a supposedly ethical alpha male had severe cognitive dissonance over his marital affair, which was not consistent with his image of himself as a moral person, and then dragged out his divorce in a extremely bitter and venomous way in a (sublimated) attempt to self-justify his behavior, and in this process alienated everyone in his immediate and extended family. This sublimation was patently obvious to everyone else watching, of course.

    Probably the best predictor of this is whether or not the alpha male has ultimate respect for you as a female and a partner, and whether or not he has high EQ. The lower his EQ is, the more likely he is to resort to these sorts of tactics.

  20. 50
    Sherell

    not going to last

  21. 51
    Joe

    @ Amy #49: while becoming a doctor may be a battle in a boys’ club, becoming a teacher is a battle in a girls’ club.

  22. 52
    Nadia

    Amy’s argument is a valid one.  Also, I like the way Amy has chosen to not to make personal insults at opposing commenters.  I agree with Amy.  Not too many women who have overcome tremendous obstacles to become successful want to marry a man without the same initiative.  Personally, I will NEVER give a man money or provide for him in any financial way.  That is his job – provide and protect.  I’m not saying that he has to make the same amount of money, but he would need to have some goals and past successes in his chosen endeavors.  Karin, in my opinion, settled.  But I wish her the best. 

  23. 53
    Still-Looking

    Nadia @ 56 – You stated that you will never give a man money or provide for him in any financial way because it is a man’s job to provide and protect.  What are you providing?  Do you really feel that a “what’s yours is mine, what’s ours is mine, and what’s mine is mine” attitude is fair?  I’m just trying to make sure I’m reading your comments correctly, so if you married you would expect your husband to pay for the house, the groceries, the car, etc. and you would not even pay for your pedicures??

  24. 54
    Nadia

    @57 – I’m talking about providing food, shelter, and basics for a man.  No way, no how.  I am fully capable of taking care of ALL of my financial needs by myself. 

  25. 55
    Darci

    Hi Evan!

    I love this story and I don’t believe the negativity about it not lasting.  It sounds like Karin is a woman who has not only worked on some of her own issues but is planning on continuing to work on them in order to have the happiness she has sought for so long. Aren’t there tons of highly successful women who are beginning to re-evaluate what they want and need out of a relationship – i.e. not money but love?

    I also wanted to tell you that I have been reading your blog for a while and LOVE how you spout out mini-truths that are pretty blunt but absolutely true.  Some of us need that shock therapy to see how our own choices have brought us pain, but in the end they are our choices.  We can choose better.

    I have recently started dating a really, really great guy that I probably would not have given a second glance before reading your advice. He is smart, kind, funny, attentive, family-oriented, and a really good match for me. The reasons I wouldn’t have chosen him before? While historically a responsible provider, he is currently going through a career move and is not financially well off because of it…and he’s not “hot”.

    The funny thing is, all of his wonderful qualities just keep getting brighter and brighter and outshining any of the superficial reasons I would have rejected him as a partner And while I couldn’t tell you just yet that he is “the one”, I can say that he is pretty great and if he’s just an example of the kind of man I am open to now then my romantic prospects are a thousand times brighter then they were just a few months ago.

    So, keep up the good work!  You’re a match-making guru!

  26. 56
    Joe

    @ Nadia: if you’re fully capable of taking care of your financial needs, WTF do you care whether the guy is an alpha (i.e. an intiative-taker), as long as he can take care of his own shit?

  27. 57
    Christie Hartman

    I’m pretty surprised at how many people here think Karin “settled.” How is it settling to marry a cute teacher, who you love and who treats you great? She’s a physician, he’s a teacher. They’re both educated professionals who work in helping professions. What exactly is the problem?
     
    I’m also surprised at how many assumptions people are making about both Karin and Gary’s attributes, based on little more than their chosen careers and a couple of examples. And this is probably the 3rd time I’ve heard people insult teachers on Evan’s blog, which is utterly insane considering the huge responsibility it is to teach others.

  28. 58
    SS

    Christie… I’m late to this thread, but you said it all. I find the whole teacher = near loser dichotomy rather amusing really. Then again, I find that a lot of the readers of this board are coming from a coastal perspective where the super-alpha type professions (whether held by men or women) are in great supply… while here in Peoria, your average doctor with his family practice rubs elbows with the average high school teacher and maybe even the cop or firefighter… and all have about equal social standing, heaven forbid!
    (I don’t really live in Peoria, but I am from one of your average Midwestern mid-sized cities of about 100,000 or so!)
    My father taught elementary school. So did my mother. Both had master’s degrees. Their income combined put our household over the six-figure mark and income-wise, my brother and I would have probably been considered upper middle class and “advantaged” compared to many of our peers.
    Oh, and my father was a military man first before he settled into the wild world of elementary school. To this day, young boys (now men) he taught thank him for being a father figure to them and teaching them what it meant to be a good, upstanding example of a man and providing that type of guidance when they needed it. For taking them to their first ever baseball and basketball games. For teaching them about life. Etc., etc.
    So when I was dating and met men who were teachers, I was thrilled… because if they were anything remotely like my father, I would be a lucky woman to be with them and so would our future children.
    But hey, to each her own…
     

  29. 59
    amy

    Re teachers and doctors: I mean no disrespect to teachers. I couldn’t do their job (not on the K-10 level, anyway, and certainly not in the admin/legal environment they work in). They’re often trained as great classroom managers, and they’re usually warm people who really get kids.
     
    But I’ve worked with teachers, and worked with doctors and med students, and as far as intelligence, stamina, and drive go, i don’t think there’s any contest. Docs, hands down. Keep in mind that this is a group of people who generated lots of complaints at a labor-board ruling restricting residents to working 80 hours a week *on average*. They thought it wasn’t enough. And if they’re not working in hospitals, they’re also small businesspeople; they’re not relying on a union to negotiate contracts and a board/admin to take care of running all but the doctoring part. It’s considerably harder to get into med school than it is to get into ed school, and you have to be a gambler: you’ll likely be $250K+ in the hole by the time you finish your education.
     
    I’m not saying anything about relative niceness, decency, any of that. Just saying that if you stack up a random hundred docs and a random hundred teachers, I’m pretty sure the docs will be brighter, harder-driving, and have greater stamina.

  30. 60
    Ruby

    Many of my friends are artists and writers who also teach to support themselves. Granted, most of them teach at the college level, so maybe amy’s not referring to them, but some of them teach high school also. They are extremely smart and hard-working, although I’d grant that they may be more dedicated to their creative careers than to their teaching. But teachers are not all cut from the same cloth.

    Someone who works 80 hours a week probably pulls in a high income and is certainly hard-working, but might not be the best choice if you want a husband who actually has some time to stay home with you and your children, and who might be in a better position to support your own very demanding career. That sort of dedication to one’s job can come at the expense of a more balanced life. 

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