The One Thing You Should Absolutely NOT Do When Dating

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My mailing list is a completely separate newsletter with completely separate advice that goes out every Tuesday.

If you haven’t already registered for this free weekly advice, please click here:

http://www.evanmarckatz.com/newsletter/

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. 61
    Sayanta

    Jayne-

    It sounds like you and I have pretty much made the same choices at this point.

  2. 62
    Diana

    Jayne, in a similar vein as your comments, it drives me buggers with the expectations people have of me to date and possibly remarry, since my devastating divorce from two years ago. They all assume this is what I must want. If I lose 10 pounds, she must be seeking a man. If I change my hair, she must be seeking a man. It’s frustrating and hilarious. I’m still trying to determine what it is I want most in life. Before, it would have been my husband, but now … without him, I’m not sure my heart’s in it anymore. I started visiting this sight to learn more about how men and women think. All I can say is, “wow.”

    I like the idea of turning my pain into beautiful art, and creating something fantastic and lasting. I do photography and inspirational messages.

    Yeah, people sometimes have a hard time wrapping their minds around something non-conventional. And that’s okay. We’re never boring. :)

  3. 63
    Curly Girl

    @60, 61, 62: Thank you for this strong and honest POV!! I am so thrilled that women are talking about their choices to remain single. This can be a very positive decision, as more and more people are discovering. The decision to enjoy one’s single status–or even the preference for it–does not preclude being in a couple at other times in one’s life. The decision to be single does not mean there is something wrong with you, which is why I react so strongly to dating advice based on that, or on the assumption that we’re all looking to be attached. Behind that assumption is the belief that the only times of our lives that are important are the ones that are spent being in a couple. As if this is the peak experience in life, rather than something that we spend only a portion of our lives engaged in.

    Here’s an interesting exercise: If there is something in your life that seems like an intractable problem, instead of resisting it through complaining and feeling bad and picking at yourself, switch it around. If you feel like a loser because you don’t have a partner, say to yourself, “I choose to be single. I prefer to be single. I like being single.” And watch what happens inside. All of the good things about your single state rise to the fore. Along with a lot of strength of conviction. You can see why it makes sense for you, at this time, to be this way.

    You also start to notice all of the people, places, things in your life that are keeping your negative view about yourself in place–the people who ask you why you aren’t married, the ways you seek out validation of your loser beliefs about yourself. Then you can see that the course of action may not be to jump through hoops to get a boyfriend/girlfriend, but to lose the parts of your life that don’t support your happy singlehood and to pursue whatever it is you need to pursue as a single. Perhaps beautiful art, something fantastic and lasting, something non-conventional. :)

    If you do decide to be with someone, it just might be someone who supports that beauty and strength in you, rather than someone who capitulates to or takes advantage of neediness and despair.

    You can use this reversal exercise for anything that really bothers you.

  4. 64
    Selena

    @ Jayne re: # 60

    “I’m willing to walk out of the store without buying anything. Call it a character flaw.”

    I love that!

  5. 65
    Joe

    Why is someone who is “celibate and not dating” even reading this dating blog? Research for future endeavors?

  6. 66
    Jayne

    @Joe #65 — Guilty as charged. Except that the research was for a former project. I stumbled onto this blog as one of the background sources for research on women and relationships. And being the type of person who enjoys an honest exchange of opinions, I decided to stick around. At least for awhile. But I don’t use discussion board comments in my research, so no worries there.

  7. 67
    Honey

    Oh, Jayne, isn’t researching this kind of thing interesting! My degree’s in rhetoric and I often think that blog comments, web forums, and online dating profiles would make INCREDIBLY RICH research fodder…but things change so fast and there’s no way to do informed consent on human subjects in these anonymous communication methods, so…someone with less on their plate than me will have to figure it out :-)

  8. 68
    MeetMeinOtrSPce

    I don’t think the advice given here is assuming that you’re looking for someone to date because you’re a woman. The advice is given because that’s the sole purpose of the website and Evan’s career. I have to say, I really think his advice is honest and works well with most people. There are a lot of forums, on this website, that I read for my own relationship. I just think that Evan’s overall message(or ATLEAST WHAT I GET FROM IT) is to be open-minded. Don’t turn someone away because of something that usually bothers you. I have changed the way I think on two issues because I came here and decided to take his advice. I know I can live single and be fine with it. It was just recently that I met someone actually worth dating and …. well…. back to work(fun work, though!). haha. I just sensed that I was becoming a little more close-minded after every date I went on, and it was turning into a downward spiral. After all, you can’t expect one person to be completely perfect for you and think that you don’t have to change your usual pattern of thinking to be happy. I have changed just a couple things and it has made all the difference. I feel hesistant to do it because it makes me nervous but at the same time, I feel like Evan uses sound logic to base his decisions off of. I know he has more experience than me, and I’d rather take the path that I feel will lead me to love and happiness. Turns out those two things aren’t mutually exclusive after all! Plus, I would like to have someone to share the rest of my life with. :-D

  9. 69
    mic

    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?
    Because they would like to go out with you (and might be even more irritated because they think you’re lying and are issuing personal rejection.) Or perhaps they resent that there is a percentage of single women who have taken themselves off the market and therefore made single men have to compete for a smaller supply.

    Re Evan’s claim that most people dating online are dating multiple people. No way. However, possibly most people with (good-looking) profiles that appeal to many others are doing so.

  10. 70
    JB

    @ mic – Re Evan’s claim that most people dating online are dating multiple people. No way. However, possibly most people with (good-looking) profiles that appeal to many others are doing so.

    I agree,and that’s about 2% of the men. Not sure of the percentage of women. The truth is most men don’t date ANY women let alone multiple women and rarely ever get a response unless they’re in the upper 2% of looks,education and income. Sad but true.

  11. 71
    Sayanta

    JB-

    The men I meet (few and far between) are almost always dating lots of women. They’re not dating me, but they’re dating.

  12. 72
    Shalini

    MeetMeinOtrSPce #68
    I agree with you. Evans advice is meant for those you are looking for it. If you dont need it you dont have to read the blog.
    And about the rest of your comment too… I feel the same way. After reading evans blogs i feel less angry about avery thing and more calm.
    Now i realise.. of course i can’t change the whole world and in fact i cant change anyone if they dont want to. If i keep getting angry at people because they did something that made me upset when am i ever going to be happy. So now i just think – Why did that make me upset? Instead of trying to change the other person and being angry with them. And it makes me feel so good and light.
    This is the first time i can truely say i dont mind being single (even though i still want a relationship.)

  13. 73
    MeetMeinOtrSPce

    Shalini #72- :-D Being happier makes you more attractive too! It’s hard to break yourself of certain habits. Especially when it’s what usually comforts you, but it’s worth it.

  14. 74
    JB

    @Sayanta:The men I meet (few and far between) are almost always dating lots of women. They’re not dating me, but they’re dating.

    Good for you ! If they’re “dating LOTS of women” then they MUST be in the top 2 or 3 % looks,education,income wise. So if you even get the chance to MEET any of them you must be fairly “up there” as well. I know my recon profiles could be dating 5 women each at a time if they existed….LOL And one of them is complete JERK and women STILL throw themselves at him….LOL Go figure ??

  15. 75
    Helen

    I can understand both Karl R and Sayanta/Jayne’s points here, even though they appear diametrically opposed. It’s because you are coming at it from two different viewpoints: Karl’s more focused, and Sayanta/Jayne’s more “big-picture.”

    Karl R, it seems that you’re focusing on DATING, and what optimizes chances of success. In that regard, you’re absolutely right: shrugging off comments about how you’re someone’s 2nd choice is the best way to succeed. You’re being very objective and somewhat detached about it, not taking the comments personally. You have to understand that for many women, it’s not easy to detach oneself from comments like that; we take such comments personally, even if they’re not meant that way.

    Sayanta and Jayne, not surprisingly (from what I know of your other posts!), you have the big-picture view. Dating may not in-and-of-itself be your ultimate goal; you care more about how YOU feel as a human being. So you’d rather not put up with dating if it means that you’re treated as someone’s 2nd. That isn’t necessarily a sign of poor self-esteem as Karl R wrote earlier; that is just you are trying to figure out what you will or will not put up with as a human being, period – what your bottom line is, as far as how you’re treated by others.

    What to say? This IS a dating blog, but it’s more important to be happy with yourself first before you try to find happiness with someone else.

    1. 75.1
      Melissa S.

      Best comment here!

  16. 76
    Sayanta

    Helen- I really need to hire you as my therapist…LOL. Seriously, though, I think you’re right with what you’ve said.

  17. 77
    Curly Girl

    Helen @75: Is this a dating blog? Or is it a “getting to the LTR” blog?

    Because if you’re a woman on here talking about not wanting an LTR, even if you’re dating, you get told (in not so many words) to get off the site because it’s for people interested in getting to the LTR.

    But if you’re a guy who’s just playing around, your comments about “dating” are welcome–even if the comments are in support of dating around without any hint of “getting to the LTR.”

    If you choose to be celibate (which does not mean you aren’t looking for an LTR) you are told (in not so many words) to get off the board, that you can’t possibly have anything to offer or gain from a site about “dating.”

    In other words, the site has an identity crisis. Or maybe it’s just for women who hold anLTR as the goal and the men who would deny them that. :)

  18. 78
    Kenley

    Curly Girl,

    I’m not certain how long you have been reading and contributing to this blog, but your assertion that ONLY women who are not interested in LTR are told to get off the site is just not true. There were at least three guys — Verbosity, Vino, and Deathslayer — who were very negative about LTR’s and marriage. These guys were sharply criticized so much so that Evan often had to step in and play ref. Frankly, I think you and the women who have been critical of LTR’s haven’t received anywhere near the level of hostility those men did.
    The comments on this blog just reinforces the fact that people hear and see what they want …the truth be damned!

  19. 79
    Karl R

    <b>Helen said:</b> (#75)
    <i>”You have to understand that for many women, it’s not easy to detach oneself from comments like that; we take such comments personally, even if they’re not meant that way. [...] [Sayanta and Jayne] care more about how [they] feel as a human being.”</i>

    It wasn’t easy to detach myself from other people’s comments … when I first tried as a teenager. It took years of practice for it to become easy.

    But I can think of few things that have made me feel better about myself as a human being than not taking those kind of comments personally.

    <b>Example:</b>
    On a few occasions I’ve been walking down the street and had people yell <i>”Faggot”</i> (or worse) at me out of their car windows. It was intended to be an insult. It was aimed at me personally. The first time it happened was over 20 years ago. The most recent time was several months ago.

    Looking at the big picture: <i>Nobody</i> should have to deal with that kind of behavior. In an ideal world, it wouldn’t happen.

    Why should this incident affect my personal happiness? My sexual orientation doesn’t change when people yell things like that. My salary doesn’t change. My friends are still my friends. Why should I let someone affect <i>my</i> life with <i>their</i> words?

    It’s <i>not</i> always easy to maintain that attitude. The last time this occurred (several months ago) I was less than a half mile from the spot where a man had been beaten to death by gay bashers. I got a little stressed out (only) because I realized that the insult might be a precursor to a physical assault upon my person.

    Unless someone’s words can affect my health, my finances, or the important relationships in my life, then those words have <i>no</i> ability to affect my happiness.

    That’s a choice I’ve made, and an attitude I continually practice. I could have chosen to be hurt and offended by what other people say, and I’d have a much unhappier life as a consequence.

    <b>Helen said:</b> (#75)
    <i>”you are trying to figure out what you will or will not put up with as a human being, period what your bottom line is, as far as how you’re treated by others.”</i>

    My bottom line is that I expect (in any voluntary relationship) to be treated the same way I treat others. If I was to expect <i>more</i> than that, I would be a hypocrite. If I was to accept less than that, I would be a doormat.

    I’m sure all of us know some people who won’t put up with anything. It’s “my way or the highway” in all aspects of life. They’re difficult to get along with (even for the rare people who actually get along with them).

    A lot of people who post to this blog approach relationships as if they’re conflicts. In one of Evan’s blog posts, he discussed how (most) men prefer women who are easy to get along with. I find it quite likely that many women want the same thing in men. If you want an easy-going relationship, you just need to let the unimportant things slide.

    If I’m trying to maximize my personal happiness, I’m not going to accomplish that goal by turning every relationship into a conflict (or a competition). I’m not going to accomplish it by taking any less-than-flattering comment as an intentional insult. And I’m not going to accomplish it by taking any intentional insults personally.

    This has <i>nothing</i> to do with me having different goals. It has a lot to do with me understanding which actions will allow me to accomplish my goals.

  20. 80
    Jayne

    @Karl R #79 You said “If you want an easy-going relationship, you just need to let the unimportant things slide.”
    My response: What you consider unimportant and what I consider unimportant aren’t even on speaking terms with one another. If you’re willing to accept the way the world works and deal with dating accordingly, more power to you. But don’t bust my chops because I choose to decline. The world is big enough for both of us, or at least I think so.
    @Helen #75 — Thank you for grasping what some other contributors to the discussion of this blog fail to see. Yes, I am all about the big picture. Dating for dating’s sake is so over for me. Been there, done that, sold all the t-shirts. I want a relationship, and yes, on my terms, thank you very much. And I’m willing to hold out for what I want or be alone. I don’t see the problem here.
    @mic #69 — I appreciate the insight. Now I kind of have an idea of what’s going on behind the snide remarks. And I guess I’m flattered. Not enough to change my mind or my position, but flattered.

  21. 81
    Curly Girl

    Kenley @ 78: Been reading for awhile.

    First off, I never said that “only” women who are not interested in LTRs are told to get off the board. I said that women who express this POV are told to get off the board.
    Second, the guys you mention were not told to get off the board. They did receive lots of hostility, not because of their POVs re: LTRs and dating, but because of the hostile and attacking nature of their posts.

    Third, I challenge you to point out the posts on here from a guy looking for an LTR. Compare this to the number of guys (practically all) on here who are talking about playing the field.

    Fourth, point out the posts where a woman who is happily going about her life without the LTR and encourages others to do the same gets the pat on the back. Oh, right–there are several women on here who do that. So I guess a lot of woman share my POV. But this POV always bothers some of the posters, as if a woman who isn’t chasing the LTR and questions the social structures that push women into fear about not having one is a threat to the very fabric of society.

    Oops! I guess we are.

    My point: This site has an identity crisis, which reflects a broader debate in the public at large.

    My question, paraphrased: Is this site relevant only to women who hold an LTR as the goal and the men who would deny them that?

  22. 82
    JB

    @Jayne -”I want a relationship, and yes, on my terms, thank you very much. And I’m willing to hold out for what I want or be alone.”

    I know there are an awful lot of women on online dating sites that have this mindset. Unless Mr.Perfect comes along ie:”the one”, “soul mate”,”Prince Charming”,Knight in Shining Armor,”Mr.Model/Millionaire” who’s “nice” and 6ft tall etc…
    No man is “good enough” to date let alone be in a relationship with. And they spend many many years if not their whole lives alone. Sad but true

  23. 83
    Jayne

    @JB #82 No worries re running into my online dating site profile. You want to know why? Because I don’t HAVE an online dating site profile. Remember, I don’t date. And as far as WHAT I’m holding out for, unless you have a crystal ball you haven’t told the rest of us about, you have no idea what kind of man I want, so I would appreciate your not making assumptions based on stereotypes, please. Thank you.

  24. 84
    Sayanta

    JB-

    You sound bitter. Not that I should talk, but I’m just sayin…

  25. 85
    Evan Marc Katz

    Curly,

    This site doesn’t have an identity crisis whatsoever. Because I don’t have an identity crisis and I know exactly why I’m blogging. My guess is that sometimes readers don’t know why they’re reading. So…

    I am a dating coach who works primarily with smart, strong, successful women. Two and a half years ago, I started blogging to generate web traffic. Instead of coming up with my own ideas every day, I started relying on reader questions. Through no effort of my own, it seemed that 9 out of 10 questions were from women.

    In order to provide for interesting material, I rarely choose questions that validate the O.P. I usually challenge her (or him) to consider another point of view. That point of view is not necessarily MY point of view. In fact, I usually try to explain how men and women act in general, without issuing any judgment on the opposite sex. This is pretty clear and consistent throughout my responses. Of course, those who disagree with my assessment of how the world works feel personally indicted and start going on the attack. This is going to come to a stop. Here’s why:

    1) This is MY site. And, for what it’s worth, the ONLY people who have ever been told to get off the boards by me are MEN. Not women who are not interested in LTR’s. See, I’ve written to some of the more offensive men privately and discussed their behavior when it became too much. I probably have a double standard because I’m fiercely protective of the majority of WOMEN who read this blog. In fact, I deleted an offensive post from a man just this morning. But you wouldn’t know that. All you know is that if you hear a whiff of criticism of women (say, people openly musing why a woman who doesn’t date would read a blog that deals with dating), you actually feel attacked and think I don’t like women. Patently untrue. All of my clients are women, and they are the ones who embrace what I have to say here.

    2) The only women who have ever been censored on this site are women who criticize me personally. This is rare, but it does happen occasionally. I even try to let some of it slide as you can tell. But I’m getting less and less inclined to do so. The way I see it, this is my house and you are a guest here. If you’re gonna be at the party, please play by polite social rules and treat me with respect. If you don’t like the food, that’s okay, then don’t come to the next party. But you don’t insult the host. People who come here to attack me need to get a grip. If you rarely agree with what I say, that’s fine. Go find a relationship blog where you do agree. I won’t be upset. But please stop poisoning my blog with personal attacks. There’s a big difference between a free exchange of ideas and some of the stuff that has been written about me here.

    3) This site discusses dating, relationship and sex questions – and is written by and moderated by me. As such, it’s going to reflect my worldview more than, perhaps, your worldview. Why? Because it’s my blog. It is not public domain where you can say anything you want just because you feel like it. This is literally my workspace – my office. So you can imagine how it feels to come to the office in the morning only to find that someone has written some anti-Evan graffiti on my wall. Seriously. That’s how it feels. Now you may feel some sense of ownership by being a long-time reader, and I think that’s cool. Just know, I’m close to done with having to defend myself on my own blog. When you don’t like a TV show, you change the channel. You don’t yell at the TV. Stop yelling at the TV. It’s not changing.

    4) Most women who are dating are looking for an LTR. As such, this site is going to primarily focused on those women. I couldn’t possibly fathom how to write a dating and relationship blog for people who are not interested in a relationship: “How to Sleep Around and Keep People At a Distance, Part 72″, “Why Being Alone Beats Having to Make Compromises, Part 118″. The fact is: you don’t need my advice if you don’t want a man. Just keep doing what you’re doing. If you’re perfectly happy, then anything I say is entirely irrelevant to you.

    5) Finally, if, after all this time, you really think that I don’t get it, that I don’t understand women, and that I never tell you anything you want to hear, then I do have to wonder why you would frequent this blog. Good intelligent debate? Sounds great in theory. But when you factor in how agitated you sometimes sound, I have to consider whether this is bringing any joy into your life. It’s certainly stopped bringing joy into my life.

    Let me know if the debate here has gotten too negative, because, if so, I have no trouble being like Andrew Sullivan, who posts his opinions without comments.

    I’m just not going to continue to scour these comments for personal attacks from people who would probably be happier reading someone else’s blog – or, better yet, starting their own.

  26. 86
    Helen

    Evan – yikes! I don’t think Curly Girl meant that YOU or your posts had an identity crisis. I think she was talking about US, the commenters, as a collective. WE have an identity crisis because – as a compliment to your blog – you have generated such a broad readership that the people who respond to your posts all seem to have different goals, a condition that naturally results in debates with each other.

  27. 87
    Jennifer

    @ Evan #85 well hot damn! I’m glad you’ve spoken out on this.

    Been reading the blog since it’s inception and I enjoy the questions and everyone’s comments (I’ve learned a lot from other commenters, so please don’t take them away Evan!) though i don’t care for the protracted debates. Lately it seems people have been growing more touchy, quick to jump on one another with a smart-ass or dismissive comment and it’s not fun to read.

    Yeah I know how discussion boards and the like work and some of it just comes with the territory, but it’s been extra around here lately. Hopefully things can get back to being a little more light hearted and fun.

  28. 88
    MeetMeinOtrSPce

    Evan- I guess you can’t please everyone, but I think that for all of the negative people that comment here, from time to time, there are also people that you help and bring joy to. I definitely enjoy your blogs! They’re almost always funny, heartfelt and honest. I have to say it is a tad bit annoying that they’re some readers which are constantly annoyed with or disagreeing with the advice, because uhh…. it’s ADVICE. And really, it’s just an analysis of a single instance. It doesn’t mean it’s the protocol for every situation that could be similar. You have a choice: to either take the advice or don’t. Debate is always fun, but if you always only have something negative to say then atleast be decent enough to keep it to yourself from time to time. These people are trying to find love! They need words of encouragement, not someone who will make them feel bad about their situation. I’m not saying lie to them, but don’t try and classify it as black or white. And there is always a good side to every situation. Do I really have to take on the role of the annoyingly happy person here?! BECAUSE I WILL!

  29. 89
    Sayanta

    Evan-

    You’ve written a strong, thoughtful response, and I completely understand your thoughts on this. First of all, I really want to make sure that you know my next comments are not intended to criticize you or your responses to the blog. Since I enjoy reading responses and the posts, there’s no reason for me to criticize the site as a whole.

    But I have to admit that when I saw that your response was specifically directed to Curly, the first thing I thought was, “why’s he upset with her? Her comments were directed at the posters- not at Evan.”

    Now, I’m not Curly Girl, so I don’t want to speak for her, but I think she said “site” to make it easierto write her post instead of using the word “certain other posters” in every sentence. I could be wrong of course.

    As a dating coach, I’m sure you know that discussing the issue of love, relationships, etc., especially among singles, is like walking on hot coals. First of all, it’s an emotional landmine in modern American culture, especially post-70s, from what I’ve read. ;-) Second, most people who post on this site have access to Internet 24/7. Which means it takes two seconds for them to post when they’re tired, angry, jaded or all three. This means a lot of us aren’t “seeing” each other at our best or most coherent (this doesn’t mean anyone here specifically is not coherent- I’m just making a point). Most of the stuff posted here is- I think- 99% of the time posted in reactionary mode to some other post-er in one of the above mentioned moods.

    The reason I’m emphasizing this point, Evan, is because I’ve noticed that a few times recently you seemed to take offense to posts that didn’t seem to be geared toward you at all. Now, if you don’t want offensive stuff on this site, period, I totally get that. It is, like you said, your site after all. But there might be less healthy debate then. For example, if I want to write something, I might be thinking, “oh wait, but is there any roundabout way that Evan might take offense to this and send me a personal e-mail or long post? Maybe I shouldn’t write the post after all.”

    Now, I’m not saying no one’s EVER attacked you personally. I know certain posters did so in the last month. And of course, I’m not reading this site 24/7- I didn’t even get to see it for a few months a while ago, so I don’t know. All I know is that I did read a few posts at times and wondered why you thought it was a personal attack. I don’t mean to invalidate your feelings or anything, but just want to give in my two cents. Thanks.

    PS- Not to sound like a know-it-all or anything, but have you considered putting a ‘preview’ feature right above the ‘submit’ button? It’s weird how human psychology works: I’ve been on sites that had that feature, and if I press it and see that my words are too hurtful (or can be interpreted) that way, I quickly edit or delete. That’s just me though, I don’t know if everyone would do this. Because, like I said, if you read what you’ve written before hitting ‘submit’ it can cool the heat of anger. Maybe.

  30. 90
    Curly Girl

    Helen @ 86: Exactly. None of my comments today were directed at EMK or his responses to the original posters. I’ve never witnessed EMK telling anyone to get off the board; people do often say that in their responses, though, and pretty much in the way that I laid it out earlier.

    When this happens I always marvel at anonymous posters who are part of an open source community assuming that they have the authority to say what that open source community is or should be about.

    Also, it is an interesting question and a dilemma for the owners of blog sites, how they can encourage the conversation to go in a particular direction. Or if they should. Given the impact that blogs have on our understanding of our communities these days I shudder to think that there’s someone behind the curtain deciding which POV can be expressed and which can’t, what constitutes an “attack” and what doesn’t.

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