The One Thing You Should Absolutely NOT Do When Dating

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Below is a copy of the newsletter that got emailed to thousands of women just this morning. I got a flurry of emails in response to it and would love to hear your feedback. This is long, so make sure you have 5 minutes to yourself. Ready?

Real only happens when it’s clear that a man is your committed boyfriend. Until then, it’s all speculation, hope, fantasy, desire, wishful thinking, and potential.

This email was called: The One Thing You Should Absolutely NOT Do When Dating

Have you ever had amazing chemistry with a guy?

Maybe you met in real life and flirted for two straight hours.

Maybe you’ve been emailing and talking on the phone every night for a week.

Maybe you had an effortless first date that lasted until 2am.

If you’ve been reading my newsletters long enough, you know that while such events are all encouraging, none of them qualify as “real”.

Real only happens when it’s clear that a man is your committed boyfriend.

Until then, it’s all speculation, hope, fantasy, desire, wishful thinking, and potential.

But that’s not what I’m writing about today.

What I’m writing about is what you make all of this dating stuff MEAN.

  • The guy who took your number and never called becomes the reason that you hate going to meet men out at parties and bars.
  • The guy who emailed and talked on the phone every night before fading into the distance becomes the reason that you give up on online dating.
  • The guy who took your breath away on date one and then bailed becomes the reason you are “taking a break” from dating.

See, you’re identifying each man as the problem here. But men aren’t the problem. After all, if 50% of all guys are going to disappoint, then this behavior is utterly predictable.

No, the problem is that you EXPECT anything different. As a result, you are continually derailed each time another guy fails to meet expectations.

Before you get angry at me, take a step back.

I am NOT forgiving men for being jerks.

I am NOT telling you to accept all their bad behavior.

I am NOT suggesting that you’re wrong to want guys to act with integrity.

All I AM saying is that based on your own experience, a high percentage of men disappoint.

Your solution is to understand that rejection and failure happens to EVERYONE. The people we like don’t like us. The people who like us, we don’t like.

Men should consider a new outlook as well.

After all, you ever have a good date with a guy but not feel strongly enough to see him again?

Too short, too fat, too old, too nice, too boring, not enough money, too many other dating options? There are literally dozens of legitimate reasons you could pass up a man.

So, if that’s the case, would you want each man to conclude that because of his rejection:

Women are fickle and shallow.
Women have no integrity.
Women give mixed signals.
Women don’t know what they want.
Women play games.
Women are trying to hurt men.
And, finally, “I should just give up on dating.”

A man could draw all those conclusions, but they would be patently false.

THIS is what I see over and over and over again

Your solution is not to change men.

Your solution is not to give up.

Your solution is to understand that rejection and failure happens to EVERYONE. The people we like don’t like us. The people who like us, we don’t like.

But if you stick around long enough, you can witness magic.

Just this morning, I got this email from a client.

Hi Evan!

I just had to give you this update . . . remember the phone session we had last month where we were looking at one of the guys who had written to me on Match. But then after exchanging several emails and a few phone conversations, he told me he was dating someone else and that he would call if things didn’t work out, and I was a bit upset by that. Well, 2 weeks or so after that conversation, he phoned me again, and told me that things didn’t work out with that other lady and asked me out. I agreed to a date (although I did kind of feel like an alternate, or runner up to his first choice). Nonetheless, we went out for drinks and dinner tonight.

Things seemed to go very well. Actually, for me there were fireworks (!) and we had a great evening. I rarely feel as comfortable on a first date as I did with him, like we really “clicked”. I know it’s too soon to say, since I know all too well that a great first date so often means not all that much.

So although we spent a long time getting to know one another and seemed to have mutual attraction, and rather powerful chemistry (ok, we kissed!), I will have to wait and see what happens next. But in this case, I would be REALLY surprised if we didn’t go out again. I’ll keep you posted.

Thanks again for all of your help and good advice!

Sincerely,

Lorraine

Ask yourself if you’d be as positive, patient, forgiving and confident as she was.

What I love about this email is how it illustrates Lorraine’s growth as a single woman in the dating world.

She didn’t get derailed when the guy disappeared the first time. She didn’t take down her profile. She didn’t give up on Match.com. She didn’t blame him for courting another woman. She gave him a second chance. She kept her expectations for the date modest. She doesn’t assume that they’re “together” because they kissed. And she has a really great chance of going on a second date with a man about whom she’s quite excited.

Ask yourself if you’d react the exact same way that Lorraine did.

Ask yourself if you’d be as positive, patient, forgiving and confident as she was.

If not – and if you’d like to approach dating like Lorraine, you can reach me here: http://www.evanmarckatz.com/coaching/

Have an amazing day.

Warmest wishes and much love,

Evan

His biggest crime, apparently, was that he met another woman first and was honest enough to – gasp! – tell Lorraine the truth about why he couldn’t pursue her right now. Where I’m from, that’s called integrity.

P.S. While it sometimes takes a long time, here’s someone who instantly got lucky after using myE-Cyrano profile writing service:

I have found someone wonderful. We met on RebublicanPeopleMeet. He is in advertising, lives in Santa Barbara. He said it was my story about going to Dodger Stadium w/my Dad and seeing Sandy Koufax pitch a perfect game. He’s not into sports at all, it was that he liked THE STORY. I have you to thank for that, I would never have thought about that had I not listened to your advice.

Best regards,
Francie

Not surprisingly, I had a flurry of emails off of this email, including these three:

Like this one a lot.  Particularly timely given that dude that I had such a fun time with and am annoyingly so attracted to has yet to call again.  I’m still hormonal, cranky, and butt hurt about it, but I know that in time, I will return to a place more peaceful and will agree with everything that you’ve written below. –  Amy

Your latest Newsletter was frickin BRILLIANT!!!!  I’m bookmarking it – Melissa

How can you trust or respect the guy who was already dating another gal while corresponding with Lorraine? To top it all off, he said he would call Lorraine if things didn’t work out! How much time and effort did he really give his current relationship? Was it fair to that lady? And who in the world wants to be his sloppy second? I find this man incredibly shallow and disrespectful. Where is his integrity? Will he also do this to Lorraine (have a gal on the sidelines so to speak) in case Lorraine doesn’t work out to HIS expectations? Actions speak louder than words. With the comment he made “if things don’t work out, I will call you” would have most women thinking what a jerk! Conveniently, Lorraine was available-wonder how much respect for her is going on? Being a little hard to get certainly couldn’t hurt – instead, Lorraine appeared desperate? Was this guy leading her on and then dropped the bombshell that he was dating someone? Doesn’t sound like a very secure guy! – Kristy

As you know, reasonable people can agree to disagree.

But what Kristy fails to realize is that, if she were Lorraine, her pride would have prevented her from going on a lovely date with a man who did absolutely NOTHING wrong. His biggest crime, apparently, was that he met another woman first and was honest enough to – gasp! – tell Lorraine the truth about why he couldn’t pursue her right now. Where I’m from, that’s called integrity.

Yet Kristy views this through a prism of her own pain and mistrust. She forgets that EVERYONE online is dating someone else.

You can overrreact to each seemingly personal slight, or you can deal with it in a graceful and detached manner like Lorraine.

I know where I stand.

What about you? Would you rather be “right” like Kristy or would you rather “get what you want” like Lorraine?

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Comments:

  1. 31
    A-L

    Heather asked, “WHERE do you find these backup people?”

    I used to be in the same shoes you’re in Heather. Guys asking me out in real life were few and far between, and almost invariably, I wasn’t interested in them. Even taking gender neutral classes like photography would be filled with other women, or men who were already taken. Then, I found online dating.

    I was never one of the women that Evan sometimes talks about who would get 100 e-mails in a day. But I was far more visible to a much bigger population, and the guys would contact me. And I also took the initiative to browse the guys’ profiiles and would lob an e-mail to those that I found interesting. When I was putting forth effort in dating, I usually had a spare available, though I frequently ran through the spares. And admittedly, there were times when things were pretty dry. But online dating was the best way for me to meet guys who were interested in dating me. And now I’ve been with the same guy for nearly a year. (Side note: WOOHOO!)

  2. 32
    Jayne

    @Karl #22 Aren’t you the one who was stuck on telling us all about showering and clean fingernails a few blog posts back? Yes, I think so.
    Oh, and congrats and all about the gf, but my two cents says that this woman you plan to date if things don’t work out IS a backup, whether she knows it or not. Accident of timing my eye. If you had REALLY been intent on dating her you would have said something to the effect of “I really like you but I’ve had this major trip planned for X amount of time and I cant/don’t want to cancel. Can I call you when I get back?” You wouldn’t have been thinking of any “ethical dilemmas” because you would have been focused on HER. The fact that you kept your options open tells me that you maybe kind of liked her but thought you could find something better. Which is totally OK, since (and this is the important part) you didn’t feel the need to inform her AFTER the cruise (where you met your gf) that “Hey, I found someone I really want but if things don’t work out, I’m keeping you as Plan B.”
    Why is this so difficult to understand?

  3. 33
    downtowngal

    Selena #17, my point was that – taking what Lorraine said at face value – he should have been more tactful. We’ve all dated multiple people at once, but there’s no need to shove it in the other person’s face.
    If , after numerous emails, he had ‘disappeared’ for a couple of weeks before asking her out, there could have been a million reasons (vacation, ill relative, dating someone else, crunch time @ work).

    Ok, so he was honest, but tactless. And if he’s this tactless now, imagine how he’ll behave during the relationship. but if Lorrane’s ok with this, then more power to her.

  4. 34
    Sayanta

    Heather #27-

    I here you. That’s all I can say. It’s not fair, but it is what it is, I guess (I’ve been saying that a lot when it comes to dating).

    A-L-

    I said this in another post, but I get zero e-mails (I used to get tons) ever since I hit 31 this July. Which is funny (and sad) since I look the same as I did last year. I don’t know…online dating is not how I want to meet someone. And I don’t see it happening that way anyway. But at the same time, like you said, men aren’t exactly abounding at cultural events, classes, etc (my preferred way to spend time). On a side note, what kind of interests DO men have (besides sex, sports, and beer, I mean)? So… I don’t know. I’m officially throwing in the towel. The application to the Buddhist nunnery goes out tomorrow. LOL LOL

  5. 35
    Sayanta

    Heather-

    Oh, I meant “hear”

  6. 36
    Jennifer

    The guy hadn’t even met Lorraine yet when he told her he was dating someone else. She wasn’t a Plan B, she wasn’t even an actual plan because they had never laid eyes on each other!

    For every person that feels like his ‘can i call you if it doesn’t work out’ line was tactless, there are others who like the realness of it, so i think that’s just a personal style issue and neither one can be condemned as wrong. Red isn’t better than Blue, it’s just different.

  7. 37
    Diana

    I don’t think the guy was being completely honest. I think he was initially bouncing back and forth between Lorraine and another woman (maybe others, too) and rather than let her know at the beginning about his multiple interest, he led her to feel as if she was the only one he was communicating with at that moment. Once he made his decision, he then displayed belated honesty by telling her he was dating someone else.

    When he said that he would call her, if things didn’t work out, I think he was being a bit presumptuous in assuming that she would want to hear from him again. But I think he felt this was acceptable because Lorraine clearly liked him and didn’t say otherwise, and this made him feel comfortable enough to safely make Lorraine his second choice.

    What I believe matters most here is not in what the guy did, but in how Lorraine responded. At least she had sense enough not to read too much into the date, though I suspect Lorraine likes him more than he likes her.

    Personally, I think my response to his “I’m dating someone else,” while he’s been in communication with me would be, “I wish you had shared in the beginning that you were in contact with someone else (or others).” Or “Oh thank God! I was hoping that was the case because me, too.” ;) I wonder what he would have thought. Just playing.

    I know. I guess this should be a given, especially with online dating, but for me, I wouldn’t be in contact with a second person until I knew the outcome of the first. I don’t feel the need to have a backup.

  8. 38
    Honey

    Dear lord, how can you both be PAYING to be on a DATING SITE and not be in contact with numerous people at once?

  9. 39
    Evan Marc Katz

    Once again, we have a battle of “how the world is” vs. “how we’d like the world to be”.

    Fact: The vast majority of people online are dating multiple people.
    Fact: The vast majority of people online are constantly comparison shopping to see if they like someone else better.
    Fact: It would be completely tactless to tell each individual that you’re dating others. This is assumed, but should never be spoken.
    Fact: Most people hate it when people disappear in the middle of a conversation without a trace.

    Given these facts, I have long told my clients to do EXACTLY what this guy did:

    Dear Lorraine,

    It’s been a pleasure emailing you this past week, but I have to say, there was a woman I met before we started talking. It wasn’t serious, but we had a second date last night and I should probably focus my energies on that and see where it goes.

    You seem like a great catch, and if things don’t work out (because they usually don’t), I hope I can reach out to you in the future. If not, I wish you the best of luck in your search.

    Warmest wishes,

    Evan

    Invariably, such an email is met with a warm response for its honesty and politeness. Often, they’ll say, “Good luck with the girl. Hope it doesn’t work out! :-)”

    This is what it’s like when we’re being real with each other. I have yet to hear a better reality-based alternative.

    Expecting each new guy in your inbox to either a) commit to you or b) tell you about the other women he’s emailing is a straight ticket to making yourself upset.

    1. 39.1
      SparklingEmerald

       Your suggested letter is a GREAT alternative to the disappearing man, or the endless e-mailing man who never steps it up.   (and maybe BOTH of the men who read dating advice columns will start doing sending your suggested e-mail :)
        I have sent out a similar version myself, except for the offer of reaching out if it doesn’t work out.
      And when I was seeing two men, one man pried and poked around to see if I was dating someone else, and wouldn’t leave the topic alone despite my attempts at deflection, then BLEW UP, when I finally admitted yes. 
      So I think, “Don’t ask, don’t tell” is the best policy early on.
       

  10. 40
    Heather

    @Sayanta:

    Do they have Buddhist nunneries? If they don’t require you to shave your head I may join you ;)

    I used to get more traffic before I turned 36. I joined the online dating site when I was 35. Have you tried different websites? I think it may help to be one of the *new* faces. I know I don’t like it when the same guys keep coming up on my *matches* list. Lately all the online dating websites have been good for me for is I’ve managed to find a few pen pals to bitch about dating with. Misery loves company! I *almost* set up a date with one guy recently, but I ended up chickening out. I didn’t find him attractive at all and I felt it wasn’t cool to go out with someone merely because nobody else was asking. So much for backups!

  11. 41
    girl-with-glasses

    They weren’t even dating yet, just touching base! With some of the attitudes on here, the world doesn’t revolve around you, the man doesn’t have to prostrate and grovel before you just to grab coffee and a meal. Honestly, I’m feeling sorry for the male population again. You all sound so touchy, and yes,with low self-esteem. But guess what, it’s not the guy’s problem. What makes you think someone actually would want to spend leisure time with people who are so nit-picky. You are an adult, meeting another adult of the opposite gender, for a social outing. It’s not sleeping beauty meeting her prince charming. I think the man acted in exemplary fashion. If you’re put off and un-balanced by this email / internet dating exchange, then you’ve really blown things out of proportion.

  12. 42
    Selena

    Diana, your post # 37 interests me because a few years ago I dated a man who told me on our first date he usually dated more than one woman at a time, how did I feel about that? I thought his honesty, especially so early on, was amazingly refreshing. There were times in the past where I automatically assumed whomever I was dating was dating me exclusively. And found the contrary true later on to my disappointment. After having established a sexual relationship inevitably. Having always been monogamous from the get go myself, I told this fellow I would see how it went. That if I started falling in love with him, we’d need to renegotiate. I really liked the fact he gave me a choice, rather than an unpleasant surprise a few weeks, month or two down the road.

    I don’t think this guy was tactless or presuming anything – he gave her a choice. Lorraine could have said “No, don’t call me. I would feel uncomfortable being an alternate.” But this is internet dating; my impression is that the idea is to write/call different people who interest you – to pick and choose among them so to speak until you find one you want to stick with and then you both take your profiles down. Is that not the way it works?

    Being that I prefer focusing on one person at a time, I would have appreciated that was the reason the guy was backing out before meeting me. If we did meet (and click) in the future, might he give me the same consideration?

    But that’s the thing…Meeting In Person. If someone gets so emotionally invested over a few emails and phone calls with a person they’ve yet to lay eyes on? That’s a problem.

  13. 43
    Jennifer

    @Sayanta- So I don’t know you well enough to know if you are having an off few days or are really checking out the nunnery brochures, but judging from your past comments on LoA, you know that if you want to experience different things in the dating world you’ve got to start with your outlook right?

    Not an admonishment, just a friendly reminder. If you don’t really want to throw in the towel, don’t. Not all guys have a jacked up outlook on dating, not all guys suck at marriage, and people really can have happy relationships without contorting themselves beyond recognition.

    If online dating isn’t working, take a break for a little bit and then rejoin some new sites (creating a profile from scratch tends to get your page viewed by more people than simply hiding your profile and putting it back up). Or if you want to get offline altogether, start making plans and filling your schedule with things that will make you happy. When you are in a better state of mind, you can rejoin the dating world with a fresh outlook. Keep in mind that people write and talk more about the horror stories than ‘normal’ dates or success stories- doesn’t mean the success stories aren’t happening.

    Of course this is all unsolicited advice, which can be hit or miss, and given how touchy people have been on the boards lately I might get cussed out. But hopefully you’ll take my words in the spirit in which they were intended- just to be helpful :-)

  14. 44
    A-L

    Sayanta,

    Sorry to hear about the no-online-attention abyss you appear to have entered. I just turned 29 in September, so I can’t speak to the experience of online dating in my 30s. But as I said in my previous e-mail, I have gone through periods where things weren’t going swimmingly online either. Perhaps this is one of yours, and it just coincidentally happened around your birthday?

    Have you tried hiding your profile for a month or two? Basically, just take a break from the online stuff to refresh yourself. I’ve found that when people don’t see my picture for a little while there is renewed interest once I do pop up again. Or as Heather mentioned, you may want to try a different website (though down in my locale there was a surprising amount of overlap in the pool selection). Though I agree with you about how poopy Chemistry is, I’ve found eHarmony to be a lot better than them for a similar service and perhaps the way you feel emotionally right now it’d be better just to have matches sent to your inbox rather than waiting for guys to find you. And if you still use Match, I would definitely recommend e-mailing a couple of guys a week to also restart your love life. After all, what guy would resist an e-mail from a hot woman, even if she’s a year over what he normally searches for :D ? Best of luck to you and Heather!

  15. 45
    Diana

    Evan, I know all of what you are saying. I accept the world for exactly as it is, however frustratingly difficult that may be sometimes. I wouldn’t dare to expect the guy to commit to me just because my choice is to communicate with only one at a time, once the communication has moved on to a series of phone calls and emails. This is my preference. While online dating encourages comparison shopper and the whole candy store experience, I am not a comparison shopper. I am not looking for the best of the best. I am looking for what is best for me, and I can find this in my own way. Naturally, he is free to do as however he chooses.

    While it may seem tactless, it wouldn’t upset me if someone communicated they were in contact with others or even dating others because as I said, “I know,” and it’s basically a given in real-time or in online dating. I think the words the guy chose in letting her know were not ideal, but not everyone has a way with words the way you do.

  16. 46
    Diana

    To Selena, I like knowing if others are being persued or dated, while I am also being persued or dated. I don’t feel offended by this, and it does give me a chance to decide whether I want to continue with them. I didn’t find fault with the reason the guy gave Lorraine for backing out. I hope my email didn’t give that impression.

  17. 47
    Shalini

    Jayne #23
    Thanks. Its true.. how you say things matters a lot and shows how you think.

  18. 48
    Sayanta

    lol- Thanks for the encouragement guys. That’s the thing about the Internet- it’s so easy to post bitter things in a moment of weakness. That’s going to be my New Year’s resolution- to not do that anymore.

    Change in outlook- well, a lot of personal things (starting at a young age) have contributed to the outlook I have on men. yes, I know I should change it. Trust me, I try. But it’s a long, long process…

  19. 49
    lily

    I have a prospective date like that telling me that he was interested to see me but he was honest enough to say the he was dating this other gal. I say sense and sensibility is an honest policy versus saying it outright that :I will get back to you when this things don’t work out. I was slightly offended but not showing it and never expected him to take me out either. He did call me and wanted to see me.Out of curiosity or being a masochist that I am I went out with him. He was quite nice . I did not asked what happened to his “A” girl. I just enjoy the dinner which fortunately he paid for and in a high end restaurant. Well, at least it did not work out with us either.I maybe the alternate date still it was a learning tool ,to me in the world of dating.

  20. 50
    Sayanta

    A-L-

    Thanks for your advice. I appreciate it. But actually, Chemistry does have matches that are sent to my inbox. You have to say “interested” or “not interested”- my problem is, when I do the “interested”- I usually get a ‘not interested’ back. And this is the same profile that got all those responses last year (on different sites).

    But you know what- I’ve bitched enough. I’ll do everyone a favor and stop now. Like Evan said, all it is is the whole “wash rinse repeat” cycle.

  21. 51
    Karl R

    Jayne asked: (#32)
    “@Karl #22 Aren’t you the one who[...]“

    Yes. And if you remember the point of that post, I was saying that you can change how you approach dating without fundamentally changing who you are as a person.

    “my two cents says that this woman you plan to date if things don’t work out IS a backup, whether she knows it or not.”

    I would agree with that assessment.

    Technically you could also say that my current girlfriend is also a backup to previous women I’d dated. We’d been acquainted and flirted for months previously, but didn’t start dating until I had the opportunity to get to know her better. (A two hour conversation on the first day of the cruise really changed how I viewed her.)

    “If you had REALLY been intent on dating her [...]“

    I don’t wait until I’m intent on dating someone to ask her out. That was my approach to dating 10 years ago, and it’s a really ineffective strategy.

    If I’m kind of interested in asking a woman out, I’ll do so. That way I’m not invested in the outcome. After we’re dating, I’ll decide whether I’m interested in a relationship. If I am, then I’ll focus all my efforts towards her. Not before the first date.

    “The fact that you kept your options open tells me that you maybe kind of liked her but thought you could find something better.”

    I also thought that I might have a week-long fling on the cruise (which seemed a more likely option). While a first date doesn’t imply exclusivity, I would feel uncomfortable about instigating casual sex while dating someone that I saw as having relationship potential.

    “you didn’t feel the need to inform her AFTER the cruise (where you met your gf) that ‘Hey, I found someone I really want but if things don’t work out, I’m keeping you as Plan B.’ “

    I had cleverly arranged the situation so that wasn’t necessary.

    If we’d discussed dating (each other) beforehand, I would have needed to do something similar to Lorraine’s date.

    “Why is this so difficult to understand?”

    The majority of women (and men) don’t react like you do. If you’re as eloquent as Evan, you’ll have at least a very high success rate making that kind of statement.

    If you’re as ineloquent as you were in your example, you’ll have a lower success rate, but it will still work some of the time.

    Some people will give a person a second chance. Some people will ask for a second chance. If you’re in both those categories (like me), you will have more dating options than someone who is in neither.

    What did Lorraine’s date have to lose by asking her if she’d mind him contacting her if things didn’t work out? Nothing. If she’d slammed the phone down in anger, he would have never dated her. If he’d been too afraid to ask the question, he would have never dated her. If he’d pulled a fast fade, he would have never dated her. If she’d found someone else in the meantime, he would have never dated her.

    He had nothing to lose by asking. The worst possible outcome is the same as the outcome if he doesn’t ask.

    What did Lorraine have to lose by agreeing to potentially see him again? If she refused, she would never date him. If she agreed and she never heard from him again, she would never date him. If she found someone else in the meantime, she would never date him.

    She had nothing to lose by agreeing. The worst possible outcome is the same as the outcome if she refuses.

    You want to be your date’s first choice. (Don’t we all?) I accept the reality that I won’t be (as long as George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Johnny Depp and Orlando Bloom are alive).

    I realize that you might not want to acknowledge that you weren’t your date’s first choice. Heck, Sayanta would rather be a nun. And the beauty is, you don’t have to. As long as you’re willing to limit your dating options, you can eliminate every stranger who dares to consider another woman before you.

    But as Evan pointed out, it’s not a terribly effective dating strategy.

  22. 52
    Honey

    Amen, Karl – that’s how most people I met online would respond. Or at least, the ones that I ended up going on dates with ;-)

  23. 53
    Jayne

    @Karl #51 Since I am not in the dating market (celibate), I don’t worry about being a man’s first, second or fifth choice. And I suppose you are right — most people are not like me. And yes, I am willing to limit (or in my case) eliminate my dating choices because the kinds of compromises you (and Evan) are talking about would not make me any more happy than I am now. True I might “have a man” but for me, the price is too high. So for now (and likely forever) I am alone. I am willing to accept that, but boy does it set off a lot of men. I’m not kidding. If I had even a nickel for every man who felt the need to make some sort of hostile or sarcastic remark whenever I explain that I choose not to date, I would never have to work another day in my life. Could someone please explain THAT to me so that it makes sense?

  24. 54
    Selena

    @ Jayne #53

    I don’t have an answer about the hostile, sarcastic remarks, but it does seem the majority of people of both genders find it hard to believe anyone can be single and content. Assuming such a soul must be bitter, or frigid, a homosexual in denial, asexual or damaged in some way. If you’re not frantically trying to find someone like they are, (or clinging to a less-than-happy relationship so as not to be alone -like they are) there must be something wrong with you.

    Every serious relationship I’ve ever had began when I wasn’t “looking” for one. Not sure what to make of that, perhaps my personal contentment was a draw? Why do you feel the need to tell men you choose not to date? Maybe it’s your delivery that’s provoking the snotty remarks.

    1. 54.1
      Melissa S.

      What Jayne may be saying is that she is happier being alone than being in a relationship that is not fulfilling. 

  25. 55
    Honey

    @ Jayne, #53 – It’s hard to say why people say what they do about you, since none of us have met you in person. If I had to guess, it would be that their reactions stem from the fact that it seems like you’re saying, 1) I’m not happy with my life, and 2) I am completely unwilling to make the compromises necessary to achieve happiness, but 3) I plan on continuing to be sarcastic, cynical, and aggressive in making my unhappiness known publicly at every opportunity, even when doing so infringes on the happiness of others.

    Perhaps I am wrong and you do not come off that way at all (like I said, it’s impossible to know since we don’t know you). But in general, I feel that frustration in any given category (dating, career, etc.) is only justified if the person in question is constantly and cheerfully making productive changes to their lives that will lead to the outcome if they desire (and most of those actions are not consistent with feeling frustration so it becomes a moot point, usually). Complaining about the way the world works but making no changes to adapt to it yourself is having your cake and eating it, too (whatever that phrase really means).

    1. 55.1
      Melissa S.

      Jayne is merely saying that this approach would not have worked for her. I think that’s fair.

  26. 56
    Honey

    Selena’s observations are valid as well — both about most people not believing anyone could be truly happy unless in a relationship, but also about the delivery. The people that I’ve known who were really satisfied being single (whether permanently or just for a period of time) never brought up dating themselves, and when other people would ask them about it, they’d just say something along the lines of, “I’m so happy and fulfilled doing [x, y,z] right now that it just isn’t something I have the time or energy to pursue.” In my experience, that sort of delivery doesn’t make people feel hostile or sarcastic. But maybe I’m wrong?

  27. 57
    downtowngal

    Reading this guy’s email reminds me of a previous post from a woman who kept meetig guys on line, arranged a date only to have then cancel because each guy ‘met someone else’.

    I said the same thing there: women are often told to keep our options open, because you can’t tell after even a few dates if it’ll work out.

    I wonder if this guy is being sensible by potentially cutting off a connection after just ONE date with another women. Perhaps he’s not looking for a LTR?

  28. 58
    Selena

    Honey, I thought of you when I wrote #54. You’ve written about how many people find it hard to believe you don’t want children and some think there’s something wrong with you because of it. Same deal. People believe what makes them comfortable to believe – shrug.

  29. 59
    Honey

    @ Selena, #58
    You know, when you think about it, it applies to so many things. I’ve long thought that the big divide between atheists and Christians is that atheists all believe that, secretly, Christians don’t really believe all that “junk” – and vice versa. Same with democrats and republicans. It’s just so hard for us to believe that anyone could have drawn such fundamentally different conclusions about the world than we did. This despite the fact that the evidence that most people are fundamentally different from us is ubiquitous.

  30. 60
    Jayne

    @Selena #54 and @Honey #55 To answer your inquires about why I feel the need to announce my celibate state — it’s simple. People ask me. Seriously. During any conversation concerning dating or relationships, the subject will invariably come up about “how men are” or “how women are” and what a drag dating is. This is usually the point where I become very quiet (because I have nothing to say).

    Sometimes, I’m allowed to say nothing. But a lot of the time, someone will ask me “What’s your take on dating?” or something to that effect. Then I tell them that I’m celibate and I don’t date. I’m not adamant about it, not aggressive, I just make the statement for the fact that it is. Then the questions start. Am I gay? (Huh? No. I’m celibate.) Do I hate men? (Huh? No. I’m celibate.) And on and on. Maybe you get the idea.

    And no, I’m not willing to make the kinds of sacrifices that seem to be necessary to date “successfully” (whatever that means) because I would be much more unhappy doing so than I am remaining alone. If I’m starving, I’ll eat what’s in front of me. I have to eat to live. I don’t have to have a man to live.

    That said, I truly don’t go around waving a sign saying “I’m celibate! Nyah nyah nyah!” I actually like men. I would like to have a relationship. I just don’t expect it to happen. I accept that. It’s my choice, and I’m willing to live with it. I’m willing to walk out of the store without buying anything. Call it a character flaw.

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