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. 121
    Evan Marc Katz

    Okay, I’m just about done with this thread.

    I will add this one thing, however, as we wrap this up: Curly, you’re very bright. I have no problem with you as an individual or on how you choose to find love or what’s important to you. However, you’re very attuned to how others are slighting you. You think I slight you. You think other men slight you. You think women who disagree with you slight you. In fact, none of us begrudge you the right to your opinions. Where we’ve all taken umbrage is that you quite forcefully tell those who disagree with you that we’re insecure or trying to force something down your throat. This the only reason you’ve been called out – not for your beliefs themselves.

    In other words, you’re no different than Vino or Verbosity or some of the men who couldn’t express their opinions without ruffling feathers. And if you feel that these men ruffled your feathers, you should at least acknowledge why a whole bunch of reasonable people here find that you do the same.

    Off the top of my head, BeenThruTheWars, Zann, Steve, A-L, Jennifer, and, especially Karl, have always proven to be articulate, even-handed posters who can agree to disagree – and tend to defend themselves with immutable facts about the existing world, not one-sided opinions on how they’d like it to be.

    Which is why this whole fictional persecution of Amy and Jayne and Curly seems like something out of the Sarah Palin playbook. It creates a worldview so narrow – so blindly pro-woman, anti-change, anti-reality – that anyone who doesn’t walk the party line is immediately an infidel. In this worldview my arguments get conflated and twisted into false dichotomies:

    • “Evan says to compromise; he must mean I should settle with a loser who mistreats me.”
    • “Evan says to be cool, supportive and easygoing with men; he must mean I should get a lobotomy and act like a simpering idiot.”
    • “Evan says that you can’t change men; that means that he thinks men are perfect and women need to do all the changing.”

    Really, folks?

    I appreciate the dialogue here. I do. But I think we all agree it’s a bit tiresome when it gets hijacked by this kind of misinformation.

    I want to rigorously support the truth-tellers to continue to defend what I’m really trying to say when certain posters can’t (or won’t) let go. I don’t have the bandwidth anymore.

    New blog post tomorrow…and hopefully, a fresh start for all of us.

    Much love,

    Evan

  2. 122
    JB

    Put the “Kibosh” on this thread……It was exhausting

  3. 123
    Selena

    Jennifer #120,

    Actually agree with Evan’s advice more often than not though I might phrase it differently. For example, I think the more detailed a list someone has of “must haves” in a partner, the less likely they might be in finding someone they can really connect to. EMK sometimes refers to this as “compromising”. I call it what these individuals have probably heard from their grandma’s, “You’re too picky.”

    Further, I’ll speculate that the more rigid criteria a person has when it comes to choosing a potential partner, the more rigid a partner they themselves might prove to be. That could be a problem because living with another person, and particularly having children, often requires a degree of flexibility. Sometimes ALOT of flexibility. If one is unwilling to bend on numerous ‘requirements’, I could make the case they really, deep down, don’t want a partner – despite what they profess. And perhaps they are professing they “want a LTR” because that is what is expected (mostly) in the society, the culture in which they have to operate?

    Also, a side effect of being picky is less risk of rejection. You won’t be rejected by the guy who’s 5’9” if you refuse to meet anyone who’s less than 6’1”. You won’t be rejected by the woman who’s a B cup when you “are only attracted to women who are D cups”. We can call this dating Darwinism – they weed themselves out of the general pool.

    But comprising sexual chemistry for the sake of having a relationship? Compromising your career aspirations for husband and children? Well, there have been women who did that who have written about how well that worked out for them on this blog. Those are the ones I think who are worth the space for sharing their point of view. Because it ain’t all about *getting* the guy, the relationship.

    And Evan, every time you go on about “accepting the world as it exists” I can’t help thinking, “Did this guy skip over history and sociology in college?” *The World* has done quite a bit of changing in terms of gender roles/relationships in the last couple hundred years, and somewhat dramatically in the US as well as some other countries since WWII. No visionary am I, but I don’t see change coming to a halt. “How you gonna keep ‘em down on the farm, once they’ve seen Paris?”

  4. 124
    Evan Marc Katz

    Okay, Selena. Let me know at what point in time men always call after sex, are always monogamous, always say exactly what you want them to say, and when they decide they prefer women who don’t judge, dissect, and unintentionally emasculate them.

    I’m sorry, but those changes will never ever happen (even some of them SHOULD), regardless of societal mores, political changes and income distributions. That’s all I’m saying.

  5. 125
    Honey

    @ Selena – perhaps if more people were open to the idea of not having children, they could have a longer list of other criteria that were rigid and find someone most like them in many other ways :-)

  6. 126
    Selena

    Fair enough Evan. Though I’ve always had guys call after sex. Shrug.

    Honey, when I read your posts I think how lucky you were to find Jake who fit all your criteria. But A-L asked you in a post once if all those things: atheist, not wanting children, vegetarian, mensa – were all “must haves”, would you have ‘compromised’ on any one of them in a partner? I don’t remember you replying, would you now? I can see how the issue of children would be non-negotiable, but how about mensa? If you and I met for lunch, would you throw Evian on me if I ordered a burger? :)

    Rigid or not, I do think we are drawn more often to the people who are like us in fundamental ways, more so than those who are wildly, off-the-wall different. Though those can be fun sometimes in the short term. And plenty of rigid people have children. And children who later write books about them. :)

  7. 127
    Karl R

    Selena said: (#120)
    “But comprising sexual chemistry for the sake of having a relationship?”

    Up until my current girlfriend, the best sex I had in my life was during my first serious relationship. That girlfriend was also the only one who ever cheated on me.

    If I have to decide between great sex with a partner I can’t trust, versus good sex with a partner I do trust … I’ll “settle” for good (but not great) sex. Granted, lousy sex is almost as unappealing as infidelity, but compromise doesn’t mean you have to accept the opposite extreme.

    Selena said: (#120)
    “And Evan, every time you go on about ‘accepting the world as it exists’ I can’t help thinking, ‘Did this guy skip over history and sociology in college?'”

    Selena, it might help you to think about it another way.

    I knew an aspiring rock musician who was studying classical music. When someone asked him “Why?” he replied, “You have to understand the rules in order to break them properly.”

    If you look back a few weeks, there was a heated discussion about men looking at porn. Evan stated that you’d have to search very hard to find a man who didn’t enjoy looking at images of naked women. (A few women interpreted this as Evan claiming that all men looked at porn.)

    A few women claimed that there were plenty of men who didn’t look at porn. One stated that she’d never date a man who owned porn. One even stated that men used the “all men do it” line in denial that we were really abnormal and perverted for looking at porn.

    But there are certain quirks of human behavior that you can generally count on. One of them (that’s very common on blogs and forums) is that if you state that all members of [insert group here] are [insert trait here], you will have several people popping up just to point out that they are exceptions to the rule.

    Not one guy piped up to say that he didn’t look at porn.

    A woman doesn’t have to like porn. She can try to persuade her boyfriend not to look at it. (Possibly successfully.) But if she’s operating under the assumption that the majority of men never look at porn (or even a large minority don’t), she’s probably not understanding the reality of the situation.

    And even the people who affected sweeping changes upon society recognized the limits to those changes. Martin Luther King Jr. once said: “It may be true that the law cannot make a man love me, but it can keep him from lynching me, and I think that’s pretty important.”

    And given that the law wasn’t able to keep a man from assassinating MLK, you might also want to keep in mind the great historical likelihood that any changes you affect upon society will be enjoyed by the next generation, not by you personally.

    And to look at it another way, Evan’s advice (including the part about “accepting the world”) is targeted toward people looking for a long-term relationship … not toward people aspiring to become the next Margaret Mead.

  8. 128
    Selena

    Karl #127

    You seem to have linked great sex to unfailfulness based on an early experience. Does this mean if you did happen have great sex with a woman you would immediately drop her to spare yourself possible infidelity down the road? People who have shitty sex are known to cheat as well. I don’t want to have sex, great, good, or indifferent with anyone I don’t trust. But they would have to break my trust first. And it’s been my experience, great, good, and indifferent sex all occur over the course of a relationship that lasts beyond the infatuation phase. Sometimes it’s fireworks, sometimes it’s quietly satisfying, many times it’s inbetween. This is not the same as deliberately choosing someone you feel sexually indifferent about just to have a spouse.

    As far as accepting the world as it is: when I think of how the world has changed in the last 200 hundred years, and how rapidly, it’s in terms of women working outside the home/farm; getting the right to vote; hold public office; own property. In terms of relationships, the acceptance of people having sex without marriage; living together without marriage; having children without marriage; father’s being in delivery rooms and changing their fair share of diapers. Not men and monogamy. Monogamy is a choice. Always has been, likely always will be. Oh, and as you’ve observed…it’s a choice for women as well.

    Margaret Mead??? As far as I remember, Margaret Mead observed cultures and wrote about them. Hey! Not unlike EMK and the commenters on this blog – whadda you know!

  9. 129
    Sayanta

    To Karl-

    “not one guy piped up to say that he didn’t look at porn”

    Yeah, it could be that it’s because all guys look at porn (girls do too, they just don’t admit it).

    Or because a guy would feel ‘emasculated’ if he said that yeah, he does not, in fact, like porn.

  10. 130
    Honey

    @ Selena, #126

    Sure, I’d compromise on some of them. For me, it’d break down like this:

    Atheist – I could probably compromise on this, but only so far as an agnostic or maybe a cultural Jew (because the food is delicious! and also because the Jewish faith seems more sexually and politically liberal and less into judging others than organized Christianity does). Someone who felt that organized religion was an important part of their lives would not be a good fit for me. I am trying to think of friends who are very religious, and am coming up blank – maybe some of my high school friends, but I haven’t been close with any of them in over a decade.

    Liberal – a must-have. I can respect intellectual conservatives enough to be friends and enjoy conversation, but if I’m watching the news at night and have a gut reaction to something, I want my partner to be equally delighted or disgusted :-)

    Vegetarian – this is tough. I do eat fish sometimes, so a compromise there. If my significant other wanted to order meat every once in awhile at a restaurant I might be able to deal with it, but I don’t think I could ever have it in my house. I have no expectations about my friends and when I go to gatherings where I know food will be served, I usually bring my own so as not to impose on anyone.

    Children – this is also tough, because my concerns about having children are rooted in ethical and environmental concerns just as much as they are about my own lifestyle preferences. I am a proponent of adoption, especially of children from other countries – but I also do not think that any aspect of having or raising a child sounds enjoyable or rewarding (well, maybe the act of conceiving one is awesome :-) ). I spent my middle and high school years cooking, cleaning, paying bills, and grocery shopping for a family of 4 as well as being the primary caregiver for my quadriplegic mother, and while I recognize that at some point either myself or Jake will probably have a medical problem requiring specialized care, I know that taking care of another person’s every need is not something I enjoy or would undertake unless I had no other choice. Your book comment is funny because my dad was very rigid and did not deal with my mother’s illness well, and I have written several memoir-type pieces about it, one of which was published in a student journal and that I gave public readings from :-)

    Mensan – Ha! No, I only joined because Jake was already a member and it was my mom’s lifelong dream to join herself and she never achieved it. I do think that advanced education (beyond an undergraduate degree) is important, but probably not a dealbreaker. OTOH, I have a PhD and work at a university, as do the majority of my friends, so I don’t think it would be difficult for me to find someone who shared my proclivities if I were ever single again.

    Pets – I couldn’t be with someone who wasn’t okay with having cats. I’ve had mine for 11 years. There are enough allergy treatments out there that I don’t really think that’s a valid excuse. I hate our dog but I let Jake adopt her anyway, though I am hoping he does not want another dog after she is gone – but if he does, I can deal with it. So, I guess I can compromise on that :-)

    There are lots of things we DO compromise on – I learned to shoot last weekend even though I hate guns, he is learning to save money and I am learning to spend it, the dog as I said, and many, many other things. So for as many things that I didn’t have to compromise on because we already agreed, I gave up on or adjusted my expectations on many more issues.

  11. 131
    Karl R

    Selena said: (#128)
    “You seem to have linked great sex to unfailfulness based on an early experience.”
    No. I see them as unrelated. I’ve also been in enough relationships to recognize the relative importance of each one. My current relationship has great sex and a high degree of trust. But like you, I won’t stay in a relationship with someone I don’t trust. I’m a bit more flexible on the sex.

    Sayanta, (#129)
    Have some statistics:
    http://internet-filter-review.toptenreviews.com/internet-pornography-statistics.html
    As of 2006
    12% of all websites were pornographic
    25% of total search engine requests were pornographic
    42.7% of internet users view porn over the internet
    70% of women keep their cyber activities secret (presumably that’s 70% of the ones who engage in these activities, not 70% of all women)
    40 million US adults regularly visit internet porn sites
    9.4 million women access adult websites each month
    Breakdown of visitors to porn sites: 72% male, 28% female
    And the only statistic which surprised me:
    53% of Promise Keeper men viewed porn in the last week
    (Promise Keepers are a Christian evangelical ministry dedicated to uniting men to become “godly influences” in the world)
    The sources for these statistics are listed at the bottom of that web page.
    In comparison…
    I haven’t looked at any porn in the last 3 months.
    I haven’t looked at internet porn in over a year.
    I haven’t used a search engine to look for porn in over 5 years.
    I haven’t paid for porn in over 10 years. (I rented a couple videos for a bachelor party back in ’95 or ’96.)
    I’m not telling you these details to look better than the other men. I’m telling you these details in order to illustrate that any statistic you look at to measure the number of men who look at porn is going to overlook some of the men who do.
    If you go back and read carefully, you’ll notice that none of the men claimed that all men looked at porn. Several of the women mischaracterized our statements to say that. Evan said that you’d have to look hard to find a man who doesn’t enjoy looking at images of naked women. You can choose not to believe him, but the evidence suggests that his statement is completely accurate.
    You can try to change the world, but denying reality is not going to accomplish that goal.

  12. 132
    Sayanta

    karl-

    okay, okay….jeez. It was just an offhand comment- research wasn’t necessary. But since you did it, okay.

  13. 133
    Terry C

    Dating now a days is so hard, it was much simpler back in the 60’s and 70’s before social websites and phone dating chat lines was the way to meet someone. This article make some great point but it may not work for everyone.

  14. 134
    Anette C

    This has been the most illuminating post I’ve read in a while.

    And I just realized, that a guy I know, who showed interest in me(timing was wrong), dated another girl..broke up with her and still showed interest in me, was actually not trying to approach me as a rebound girl/sex possibility.

    The fact that after 5 months with this girl, that he then started paying me attention again(I actually kind of rejected him the first time, due to hard to explain reasons), means I was still on his mind.

    Wow…I can’t believe it’s actually that simple. We didn’t date, or have sex but there was definately attraction and potential and him still showing interest is actually quite flattering.

    Us ladies really can be blinded by our need to be super special. We CAN be special to a man, but just like he has to earn our tender feelings, we have to earn his as well. We cannot expect men to be lapdogs either. They have the right to pursue their own happiness, and just be honest about it.

    This is so interesting. I wasn’t sloppy seconds at all!! Sigh…I wish I had have realized that sooner(he’s now dating again…silly me!!).

  15. 135
    Joe

    You can’t be super special to someone you barely know.

  16. 136
    Evan Marc Katz

    From the “I Hate to Say I Told You So” Dept…

    I received an email from Lorraine this morning. If you recall the original post, I lauded Lorraine for playing it cool when the man who disappeared on Match.com came back a second time.

    Here’s her results thus far:

    I wanted to give you an update on the man from Match. Things have been progressing quite nicely! We have spent a lot of time together during the past few weeks. Last weekend, I went to hear him sing and play his guitar with his band, and he walked off the stage 3 times to kiss me! We spend hours together having great conversations and there are so many things we both enjoy, and we can’t keep our hands off each other! He’s cooked me dinner, sang to me, and treats me very well. We even spent the evening of Thanksgiving together. He’s invited me to join him for a weekend in Vegas next month, but I’m worried about going out of town with him so soon, and I turned him down. (I really want to go though). So far, it’s going just great!

    Although we seem to be a great fit, it’s only been a short time (not even a month yet) and I figure until he says he wants to be exclusive I should still keep active on the site. He’s on my favorite list and I noticed that he goes a long time between visits there (maybe I shouldn’t be looking at that, but it’s hard not to be curious).

    Thanks again, Evan, for all of your help, and I will continue to keep you updated!

    Lorraine

    Needless to say, this doesn’t mean that Lorraine will marry this man. But I think it’s clear that this would not have been possible if she took it personally that he was dating other women when they first met.

    If they’re meant to be, the Match man will step up to the plate and commit to her soon. If they’re not, Lorraine is in complete control of her emotions because she has a reasonable idea of what to expect and how to react to each given situation.

    Once again, if there’s a perfect example of http://www.evanmarckatz.com/coaching/ taking root and making a difference, it’s in Lorraine’s attitude, perspective and actions right now. I am very proud of her and proud of any woman who attempts to improve her understanding of this process. Thanks for reading.

  17. 137
    Lorraine

    I had no idea that my decision to give this man another chance would be so controversial! But of course, I had other dating prospects going on right along, so why would I hold it against him that he was dating someone else? Heck, so was I. It’s all part of the process, after all, we are all single and looking, right? At that time, though, I was just surprised that he was taking so much time to chat with me, etc., if he was sufficiently serious about someone else that he didn’t want to go out with another woman. Now that I know him a bit better, we have even talked about that situation, and I think it was more about TIMING rather than prioritizing us as first choice, second choice, etc. Things got to the dating stage quicker with her, but it also ended quicker, too! The way I understand it, he is so NOT a player, that’s why he didn’t want to go out with me until things were resolved with the other lady first. To me, that kind of honesty makes him more trustworthy, even though at the time I didn’t really understand it. Now I know that he’s the kind of guy who just tells it like it is.

  18. 138
    Lorraine

    Selena @ 29:
    You are right! I was SO NOT sitting there waiting to hear from him those 2 weeks. As a matter of fact, when he did call me again clear out of the blue, when I answered and he told me his name, I couldn’t even remember who he was! I put his call on hold and and said to my friend that I was with, “Do you remember who X is? He’s calling and it’s not ringing a bell!” It wasn’t until we spoke for a minute that I remembered him. And yes, I could have totally have been interested in someone else by then and have turned him down. I had several invitations from other guys during those weeks. But I was sufficiently intrigued by this guy to want to meet him. Why? Because he had kept me in mind and was interested enough to take a chance that I would agree to a date. Desperate? Uh, no way, quite the contrary.

  19. 139
    A-L

    Thanks, Lorraine, for posting an update on your situation. Hope you continue to enjoy yourself!

  20. 140
    Selena

    Lorraine, so nice to hear about a situation turning out well. We need more stories like this. I totally understand about timing. I had a male friend for many years I was quite compatible with and would sometimes when I was single wonder wistfully if he and I would make a good match. Problem was, we were never single at the same time. One year I got up the courage and asked him if he ever had thoughts along the lines of us as a couple. He said yes, but followed with “Selena, our timing sucks!” He had been seeing someone for the last few months.

    So yeah, I think it was kinda brave for this guy to call you knowing you might no longer be interested. And cool of you to not take it so personally that for a time he was focusing on someone else.

    Lorraine, now you’ve got me thinking about dropping an email to my old friend and seeing what he’s up to these days. :)

  21. 141
    Shay

    Actually, when people are dating, I don’t think they’re already exclusive.

    I see dating as going out and be friends first. So, absolutely no issue if a guy tells me that he can’t see me because he’s seeing someone else. In fact, I would be pleasantly surprised that such honesty still exists. The worst is that he comes and goes without any rhyme or reason and leave me thinking where is this going.

    I think I won’t be offended if I’m Lorraine. To be “matched” online and lined up for dates is already quite an achievment. Not to say I’m desperate, but once I come into the dating scene, I can better appreciate the difficulty in finding possible matches or being found by possible matches. I’m sure we only make contact with people who more or less match our minimum requirements (whatever those are). So, whats the harm of going on a first date with a guy who meet our minimum requirements? If he turns out to be a jerk, then no more dates. The worst is a few hours wasted. The possibilities are 1) snagging a future boyfriend/husband and/or 2) dating skills gets practiced and/or 3) my search critieria may get refined from increased interactions with men.

  22. 142
    Fiona

    First of all, I’m glad this lady is enjoying herself.  It sounds as if she has a very good attitude.
    As for the man, well, it is perfectly understandable that he said that he was seeing someone else and needed to restrict himself to her.  It does seem rather arrogant that he said that he would get back in touch if it didn’t work out.  True, that doesn’t mean that he expected Lorraine to be sitting there waiting.  But it does seem to assume that she was more interested in him than he in her – initially.
    This may be a cultural thing too, though.  In England, a man who said he would get back to someone if another lady didn’t work out would be seen as arrogant.  So most men wouldn’t say it and one who did probably would be arrogant.  In my experience, Americans are a bit more upfront when dating than English people (of both sexes).

  23. 143
    SunnyinSD

    I had to revisit this post (even though I first read it awhile back), because I was presented with a similar situation as Lorraine this past weekend. A man that I had met on match.com and communicated with for several weeks, recently indicated that he had had 2 dates with another girl and liked her, and wanted to see where it went. He asked if he could have a “raincheck” on us going out again in the future should the relationship not work out between him and this other girl.
    I told him that I understood, and asked if we could still meet up so we knew if there was even a connection/attraction in person. We had a wonderful time together, and yet, he has decided that he wants to have a couple more dates with this other woman to see if there is potential there.
    I guess I felt that I would meet him, and hopefully he would fall head over heels for me, and immediately call off things with the other woman. But alas, life does not work that way! Perhaps it wasn’t the best idea to meet him — because now the rejection (if you can call it that) seems more personal than if he and I had never met. But I was trying to approach this in a mature fashion, and didn’t want to spend any more time thinking about this guy if there wasn’t a spark there when we met face to face.
    I respect this man’s decision to only focus on one relationship at a time, although, to be honest, I wish he was focusing on me. I will continue being active online, and whatever happens, happens. In the end, much of this has to do with timing, and my timing with him was off.

  24. 144
    Andrea

    Funny, I’m glad I read this post to begin with because I was just presented with the same situation.
    Thanks to this blog, as a newbie to using the online sites, I managed to keep myself in check and roll with the punches.
    Internally, it may be hard to be calm, cool, and confident, but at least I’m not being silly about these situations that kind of only exist when you are trying to meet people online.
     

  25. 145
    Gigi

    Just offering an opinion, but did anyone ever think that this is WHY relationships don’t get off the ground, when there are “back ups” people tend to DITCH faster rather than working things out (trading one set of problems for another?)
    Ahhh, yes, the PERFECT ONE is always “out there” when the one at hand is having a bad day, right?

  26. 146
    M

    It is stated by a woman in post 27 that women don’t do the initial selection – yes, because women CHOOSE not to. Any woman can and is perfectly capable of asking a man on a date. Millions of men like me wish they would. It is unbelievably ridiculous for women to act as if they can’t.

  27. 147
    Lucy

    As more as I read your blog, I feel so embarassed for all the things I’ve done in the dating world (on and offline). I was always co-dependent, needy, clingy, wanting from the guys what I needed to get from myself. Now in my mid 30s, reading your blog and building up again my self-esteem is when I realize how many mistakes I’ve made and why I scared away so many good potential boyfriend who I really liked in the past.
    Looking back, if I had known your blog years ago, I surely would ve been married with kids by now.
    I realized by reacting cool, detached, humble, non-judgmental with boundaries that you can get almost any guy you want to fall in love with you, because this so called “cool, nice, laid back, sweet, who meets the “fine line” is everything any sane guy is looking for. He wants to find that one, who he couldn’t find anywherelse and who is different from every single girl he’s ever met.
    I had already an idea when I ready Sherry Agov’s book. but with you, I’m even more convinced of what guys are about.
    Thank you, thank you, thank you!
     

  28. 148
    LS

    I actually had the same thoughts as Kristy but I’ll clarify……I agree with Evan, yes, everyone on an online dating site is talking to someone else.  True.  I met my boyfriend on one.
    The issue I have is that he didn’t tell her in the first couple of emails that he was seeing someone, he (according to her email) exchanged several messages and then even proceeded to phone calls, too, and then waited to drop the bomb that he was seeing someone.
    I ran into a guy on an online site that was seeing someone.  He responded directly to my ice breaker by thanking me for contacting him and, by the way, I’m already exploring a relationship with someone else.  To which I replied, no problem, contact me in the future, if you want, if it doesn’t work out.
    He told me in the first message.  So……that’s why I can see what Kristy meant.
    To me, it’s a red flag.  He had a bunch of conversations first, then became honest.  Maybe that’s just me……….(and Kristy).

    1. 148.1
      Lisa

      I have been on dating sites and had insecure moments when I would be speaking to a guy and would be wondering if he was talking to anybody else, then I realised, it is a dating site. Just because you are talking to someone doesn’t mean you are committed and exclusive.
      I also give one person a chance at a time. I do not want to get to know several people and then have to make a choice… what if you are speaking to 2 great guys? Personally, I wouldn’t want to be a choice, or option for a gut.
      I agree with Evan, he was honest, and maybe it was because he started to feel something and did not want to have to make a choice further down the line. How much more annoyed would we be if things had progressed, started dating etc, then to be knocked back for someone else?
      I have told men on sites that I have started conversations with other people at the early stages (then move the conversation of the dating site when I do not want to lead people on). However, what I do object to (which I cannot recall doing), is saying if it doesn’t work out I will contact you. Surprisingly, it is not even for the reason you are second best. It is because but saying “if things don’t work out”, you are not even giving the person you are dating a fair chance.

  29. 149
    Charlotte

    This seems like an old post, but I’ll add my two cents to it since I’ve had a similar experience to Lorraine.

    I had some fantastic emails with a man I met online, and eventually met in person. We had gone on several dates, when he informs me that he met someone else (not online) around the same time. He didn’t feel comfortable continuing to date multiple people so decided to pursue her. Although I definitely felt slighted, I wasn’t shocked that he was seeing others at the same time and appreciated his forthrightness. People make decisions the best they can at that moment, and need to live with those decisions. I proceeded to message/date other people.

    A few weeks later, he lets me know it didn’t work out and wanted to try again. He was quite persistent, as I wasn’t responding (I also didn’t want to be someone’s 2nd pick), but eventually decided to give him another chance. I’m glad I did because we’ve been in a committed relationship for several months now. He’s definitely doing the pursuing and was the one to bring up being exclusive. I like to take things slow when getting to know someone, so I came across as less interested. The other woman was moving much faster, but, it burnt out just as quickly as it started. This hiccup actually gave us an opportunity to communicate, speak honestly, and learn to work through a situation together.

    I don’t know what the final outcome will be down the road, but this experience has taught me a lot about myself, and how preconceived notions of dating/romance are not always that of reality. I had a lot of pride, but if I hadn’t let go of that, I wouldn’t be in a relationship with someone who treats me with respect and appears to be compatible with my personality/values. We’re both attracted to, and enjoy spending time with, each other. If you had asked me a year ago if I would ever agree to this, I would have said, no way. If we’re still together and you ask me 50 years from now if it matters what happened, I would say – who cares!!

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