What is the Best Online Dating Site?

What is the Best Online Dating Site

Even in this “alternative fact” world, I’m always surprised when I’m asked to defend online dating, because it needs no defense.

Yet I’ve written a book about online dating called “I Can’t Believe I’m Buying This Book.”

I created e-Cyrano profile writing to help attract higher quality prospects online. 

I took everything I knew about online dating and put it into Finding the One Online

I even did a TEDx talk explaining how to avoid bad dates and get better first dates online.

Moral of the story: I’ve spent a lot of time in the world of online dating – both as a single man who went on over 300 online dates, and as a coach who has helped women navigate online dating sites with more joy and success.

Even in this “alternative fact” world, I’m always surprised when I’m asked to defend online dating, because it needs no defense.

Yet when you do a survey, as Consumer Reports did, of 115,000 subscribers, you get a really mixed bag when you listen to their collective experience:

“Our findings tell an almost contradictory story. On the one hand, the numbers indicate that these sites are helping people find mates. A whopping 44 percent of respondents who tried online dating said the experience led to a serious long-term relationship or marriage. That kind of connection rate would shatter Hall of Fame records, at least in baseball.

But the responses from the more active group suggest they’re highly frustrated. They gave online dating sites the lowest satisfaction scores Consumer Reports has ever seen for services rendered—lower even than for tech-support providers, notoriously poor performers in our ratings.”

Yep. That sounds about right. There are people like me (and the readers who purchase my products) who know all the flaws of online dating, but succeed anyway.

And there are people like – well, you know who you are – who think online dating sucks, the opposite sex is terrible, and the whole endeavor is a big waste of time.

That may be your personal experience. But don’t the 44% of people who found love online thoroughly invalidate the argument that every man is out for sex, every woman is crazy, and all the effort never amounts to anything?

If you STILL find yourself clinging to the “online dating doesn’t work” worldview, I hate to break it to you: it’s not online dating that’s not working. It’s the way you’re using it.

Just like it’s not the gym’s fault when you don’t drop 20lbs, it’s not OkCupid’s fault that the wrong men write to you and the right men don’t write back.

Around 20% of all marriages start with online dating.

So why hasn’t it worked for you?

You may think the issue lies with choosing the “best online dating site.”

It doesn’t, no more than your quest to lose weight lies with choosing the “best” option among 24 Hour Fitness, Equinox or Crunch. That said, some dating sites are “better” than others, inasmuch as they have more active profiles in your area.

If you want to see a list of the “best” dating sites, per Consumer Reports, click here.

Nothing surprising. OkCupid finished #1 because it’s fun and free. Same with Tinder, Grindr and PlentyOfFish. When it comes to paid sites, JDate and Match take the top slots; not surprisingly, these are the sites that I used the most when single.

If you STILL find yourself clinging to the “online dating doesn’t work” worldview, I hate to break it to you: it’s not online dating that’s not working. It’s the way you’re using it.

But I would really encourage you to stop looking for a dating site to solve your dating problems. Ultimately, the common denominator in every dating situation is you.

That’s not an accusation or a condemnation. That’s a fact. One that applied equally to me on my 300 date quest to figure out what I was doing wrong in love.

So if you don’t get many dates “in real life” and are serious about finding love now, do yourself a favor and click here to learn more about Finding the One Online

I’ll teach you everything you need to write a powerful profile, post photos that get the right kind of attention, screen out bad dates before you meet in person, understand what the opposite sex is going through, and attract the “best” people online.

By the way, men, this is a unisex product, so ignore the marketing language for women. Want to know why I LIKE online dating and was able to get so many dates? Click here and I’ll explain it to you, step by step. 

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Comments:

  1. 1
    GoWiththeFlow

    Evan,

    I’m old enough to have spent all of my 20s and part of my 30s only having the old-fashioned IRL dating option.  Believe me, we complained about how hard it was and how much it sucked back in the day.  Dating is an area where we are making ourselves vulnerable and experiencing disappointment and rejection.  When you look at it like that, it would be unusual for us human beings to not regard the experience with trepidation.

    1. 1.1
      Adrian

      Hi GoWithTheFlow,

      If I remember correctly you have tried most methods of dating: online, matchmaker, speed dating, singles events -thought I am not sure about meetups.

      I would love to hear your critique of the pro and cons of each.

      I am assuming (though I may be wrong) that one is not better than the other, they are all just different methods for trying to arrive at the same result.

      However, from what I have read (online) meetups and speed dating would be ranked low, but using a matchmaker would be the least useful.

      1. 1.1.1
        GoWiththeFlow

        Hey Adrian,

        You are right that one method isn’t inherently better than the other.  They have different pros and cons, and how they work for any one individual will vary based on that individual’s specific situation.

        When you’re young (20s to early 30s) it’s as easy as falling off a log to meet other single people IRL, just because the percentage of singles in that age bracket is very high.  Once you get past 32 or 33, the percentage of people in your age range who are coupled up starts going up exponentially.  By the time you are 40 plus, you just don’t run into dateable singles your age in the course of your normal daily activities, so you almost have to turn to OLD, dating services, singles events to actually meet people.

        No matter what your age though, it never hurts to let people know you are looking.  There are many “older” singles who aren’t trying to date, so unless you speak up, your friends and family may not realize you are open to possible set ups.

        As far as OLD goes, I think the biggest difference from old school meet and ask dating is that you don’t actually get to see and be around a person until after you’ve interacted online or on the phone.  So you have expectations about how someone is going to be in person and there is a big risk that you may be disappointed.  The whole meet for drinks or coffee mini-dates are a way to try and deal with the real risk of initial disappointment that who you meet may not be what you were expecting based on profiles and not-in-person communication.

        There is also the whole kid in a candy store effect of OLD, where you can begin to think and behave like you have more options than you really do.  Also, you are open to being contacted by people having their own candy store moments, so you really have to try to filter with your profile and initial communications.  That’s one reason why I like eHarmony.  Every person I’ve entered into communication with on the site I’ve always had things in common with.  I also like that you get a few matches at a time, so it’s easier to manage the initial stages of communication.  In my area though, match and OKC have way more people on the site. There is also a lot of redundancy.  You will find a lot of the same people on both match and OKC or one of the more targeted sites.   I haven’t tried tinder or bumble, and don’t plan on it.  I prefer the more traditional sites, since I am getting more info up front.

        I did sign up with a matchmaker/dating service several years ago and did not have a good experience.  I was on eHarmony at the same time and had much better luck there that with the service.  Dating services/matchmakers are going to have more limited pools of people than OLD sites will.  And when it comes down to it, it really is a numbers game.  A lot of the dating services in my area have gone out of business.  In a way I think they are like Blockbuster video–they’re getting killed off by Netflix, hulu, and Red Box.

        I haven’t gone to anything posted on a meetup site yet.  But I’m open to it in the future.  I have done singles events and speed dating and had varying degrees of luck.  But the experiences were never really negative, so in a way I consider them little risk with potential high reward activities.

        For myself right now, I’m finishing up revamping my profile.  Over the past eight months I’ve found I have one  near deal breaker while I’ve discovered that many of my other softer criteria are no longer important to me.  So I want my profile to select that.  In the meantime, I do plan on attending more social events and I have found a community group (not a specific singles thing) that I enjoy doing things with.  I want to try and work all angles:  OLD plus upping the number f people I meet IRL.

        1. Adrian

          Hi GoWithTheFlow,

          In what way (in your opinion) does social economic level/class affect your results when dating on or offline?

          GoWithTheFlow I know that because you are a world renowned Doctor Who is a time lord (^_^), I would assume that this affects men’s decision to contact you.

          From what I am gathering from reading the comments on various threads, men seem to be intimidated by women who make more than them or who are in higher status fields than them.

          Of course I know that a woman should never dumb down who she is and again this is only based off of male comments I’ve read here so I could be way off. Nevertheless, it seems like a lot of women who think they are struggling with dating because of their body, looks, or even because they put off masculine energy may actually be just unfortunately coming across insecure men that are intimidated by a woman who is more accomplished or who makes more money.

          I know this question doesn’t really any effect on my dating as a male but I was just curious.

          So again, in your opinion how much of the struggling in dating that confident, strong, successful women have result from facial looks, body shape, their masculine energy, and how much of it is just that men can’t handle a woman making more/having a higher status title (contrary to the shocked objections to some of our male commenter)?

           

          For example would you assign percentages like:

          Facial attractiveness: 25%

          Body attractiveness: 25%

          Higher status job: 10%

          Masculine energy: 15%

        2. Nissa

          Adrian, the problem with what you are doing (asking women why men aren’t into them) is that it assumes 1) that women know the answer to that and 2) that what they think they know is correct.

          I know many attractive women who have man issues but would argue until they were blue about why that is. The top three things I see that they don’t are:

          1) they are bossy / argumentative. For example, telling a man where to park, what to wear. A lot of women are moms and get used to just telling everyone what to do and nagging them when they don’t, and this trait carries over into their dating lives. However, they see no problem with this behavior so it’s not even on their radar that they do it.

          2) They don’t practice good self care. Stacy2 got an awful lot of crap for noticing something important: looks matter. People felt this was an indicator of shallowness and materialism. But I have often observed that when someone has visibly made effort to improve themselves – looking nice, smelling nice – it translates as self love, which is a very appealing trait. When women don’t do this, it translates as a lack of self love, ie low confidence or low self esteem. Low confidence is universally unattractive without regard to looks.

          3) They look outside themselves for happiness. Not that men don’t do this (because they do) but your question was specific to women and why they lack success in dating. Women are more prone to this specifically in dating, perhaps because they are Rules girls or have expectations that “that’s the man’s role”. This is a confusion of leadership versus internal emotion. Should the man plan, pay, pursue? Absolutely. Should he be responsible for whether or not she enjoys the date? Not at all. That is a self generated emotion which is a choice. Emotion is chosen, not dictated by circumstance. If a women chooses to stay when she’s bored or make no attempt to alter her experience of that moment, that is HER responsibility, not his. When my Dad was dying, I used to tease him about asking the doctor for medical marijuana (I’m in CA) and popping little wheelies with his wheelchair as I pushed him to his appointment. It’s all relative, and it’s ALWAYS a choice.

        3. Jeremy

          @Nissa, such an awesome and insightful comment!  Agreed 100%.

        4. Barbara

          Adrian, Nissa

          Nissa: Should he be responsible for whether or not she enjoys the date? Not at all. That is a self generated emotion which is a choice. Emotion is chosen, not dictated by circumstance. If a women chooses to stay when she’s bored or make no attempt to alter her experience of that moment, that is HER responsibility, not his.

          Thanks, for this. I totally agree.

        5. GoWiththeFlow

          Hey Adrian,

          Nissa gave an excellent answer about why any woman (not just professional level) may not be doing well with men.  I want to expand on one of her points further, but first let me tackle two other sub-questions you had.

          “In what way (in your opinion) does social economic level/class affect your results when dating on or offline?”

          Well, this go-around on OLD, in the “what am I looking for in a man” section, I left the minimum income level blank and under education I put high school diploma.  In my narrative I have a line that intelligence, common sense, and a solid work ethic are way more important to me than a formal education.  Interestingly, most of the men who contact me do have a college degree.  Those that don’t are either business owners or have jobs/careers that require specialized knowledge and training like the pilot I met who learned how to fly in the Air Force.  Not much different than IRL or in past OLD adventures when I had some college or college degree as my settings.  So I think assortitive mating is alive and well in my little corner of the OLD world 😉

          As far as whether men find career or professional women intimidating, I wouldn’t say that’s what the issue is.  There are a few men who buy into the stereotype that professional women are ball busters.  Some of them drop comments here occasionally.  I have no idea why they think like they do.  And I don’t run into any since I’m sure they self-select out of my dating pool so it’s not an issue for me.

          Now back to something Nissa brought up. . .

          Adrian, you asked:  “. . . how much of the struggling in dating that confident, strong, successful women have result from facial looks, body shape, their masculine energy. . .”  And then you gave a sample pie chart like breakdown of how much each factor would affect a woman’s dating success.  I don’t think the issue can be explained by a pie chart.  It’s more of a matter of a woman getting over two hurdles.  The first of which is looks/attractiveness. (The 2nd hurdle is personality traits and character that will lead a man to want an LTR.)

          Nissa stated in her point #2:  “Stacy2 got an awful lot of crap for noticing something important: looks matter. People felt this was an indicator of shallowness and materialism.”  I completely agree with her.  A woman’s personality and character, or her ability to make a man feel appreciated and respected will never come into play unless she clears a man’s attractiveness hurdle first.  Many times, she won’t even have had a chance to speak before a man decides whether she’s in or out based on her looks.

          If a woman friend was unhappy with her dating situation and asked me for help on improving her dating life, the first thing I would address is her appearance.  Maybe she is overweight, doesn’t style her hair, has utilitarian clothes, has acne, etc.  If this friend told me she had 4-5 extra hours a week to devote herself to improving her dating chances, exercise, styling her hair, and/or putting on makeup is going to give her way more bang for her buck than making more money at work, taking a night course, or planting award winning roses in her yard.  Although a man might think the latter three are admirable or interesting, he won’t care to find out about it unless it’s an attractive woman who’s telling him all about it.

          While both men and women will say that a woman being attractive is important, just how much women can or should do (or not do) to improve their looks is a socially touchy subject.  As Nissa pointed out Stacy2 got slammed for daring to point out that there is a looks hierarchy in society (SMV is a number scale!) and many women spend time and money raising their rank.  I think the harsh pushback Stacy2 got showed just how uncomfortable people are about this.  Maybe deep down people think enhancing one’s looks is a form of cheating or manipulation, or they resent the idea that someone might be leap-frogging over them.  Yet feminine beauty rituals are as old as human kind.  (And it’s easier to exude feminine energy when you look and are dressed in a feminine manner.)  As Evan would say, in the dating and mating scene a woman improving her appearance is an effective strategy.

        6. Adrian

          Thanks Nissa and GoWithTheFlow.

          Both of you (and Stacy2) said that it is a good thing to raise you SMV as much as possible to help attract mates.

          I would love your opinions on two different situations.

          How would you handle a guy who a few years ago when you were not as attractive he rejected you.

          It could have been because you use to be fat or use to be scrawny, perhaps you were in a lower socio-economic class, etc.

          Now he did not reject you meanly or coldly but their was no doubt that he did reject you because of something purely superficial and it made you feel unattractive.

          Situation 1

          Now almost 10 years later you run into him and he is clearly very attracted to you. You have gone from a 4 to an 8 on the SMV scale, while he is still a solid 7 on the SMV scale.

          How would you respond to him trying to ask you out?

          Situation 2

          Now a few years later you run into him and he is clearly very attracted to you. You have gone from a 4 to an 8 on the SMV scale, while he have gone from a 7 to a 5 on the SMV scale.

          How would you respond to him trying to ask you out?

           

          Both of these situations happened to me almost back to back this weekend and I am not sure how to act. Clearly neither woman remembers rejecting me nor do they remember how hurt I was. Both tried really hard to get me to as for their numbers when I didn’t they just gave it to me.

          My logical brain always goes back to one of GoWithTheFlow’s first comments on this blog, when she stated that we are always changing and growing; trying to find ourselves when we are young. So the person you were 10 years ago is not the person who you are now; therefore to hold something against a person that they did years ago when they themselves were still confused and learning isn’t smart.

          But my emotional brain always remembers being rejected “publicly” for such a shallow reason-I was really skinny and really nerdy back in college and these were two of the most popular girls.

          Though neither girl was mean or cold when other people around us heard them reject me they laughed which caused both girls to kind of smirk while rejecting me at the time.

          Which of course added to my humiliation and ego deflation.

          …   …   …

          Anyway  I would be curious as to what you would do and why. I feel I can trust either of your opinions on this matter even if it goes against my pride.

           

        7. GoWiththeFlow

          Adrian,

          Oh my, you had an eventful weekend 😉  I would never, ever think that any person should go out with a specific person who rejected them previously.  And I did have something similar happen to me.

          When I was in my teens, I went through a very awkward physical phase.  A little chubby and with a prominent nose.  In one class, one of the popular boys teased me, especially about my nose.  It was humiliating and hurtful.

          After HS graduation, I moved to a neighboring town.  Fast forward about 6-7 years when I’m in my early 20s.  I’ve stretched out so I’m taller and slimmer.  My cheekbones and jawline have caught up with my nose.  Now, in the new town, I start running into this guy everywhere.  He tries to chat me up.  I’m polite but don’t encourage anything.  Then, I find out through a mutual friend that he doesn’t remember who I am.   I tell him (the friend) that I remember who this other guy is and because I do, there’s no way I’m interested.  The guy gets the message because he backs off.

          I don’t think declining to be with someone who once rejected us is mean, petty, or in any way harmful.  If a past interaction with someone was bad, of course you will not want to open yourself up to that person.  That’s human, and it’s just one person so you’re not really killing your chances of finding someone.  And in my case it was more than just a “rejection”, the guy was a bully as well.

          I think the problem occurs when you meet a totally new person and instead of dealing with them as is, as a new to you person, you extrapolate to your past and start assuming they are “the type of person” who would have to your turned you down before.  Then you are ascribing motives and intent to them that you don’t know that they ever had.  This is very self destructive because you are pre-emptively cutting of potentially quite a lot of people for no reason.  With specific individuals who did hurt you, you do have a solid reason for not engaging with them.

        8. Emily, the original

          GoWiththeFlow

          And in my case it was more than just a “rejection”, the guy was a bully as well.

          That guy was mean-spirited, so passing him up years later was understandable. However, I wouldn’t necessarily begrudge someone who may have, for example, ignored me in high school. Maybe they were popular. I wasn’t. The person who I was in high school barely exists today. I’m assuming most people have done a lot of growing and changing.

        9. Adrian

          Hi GoWithTheFlow and Emily,

          GoWithTheFlow I loved your story and advice.

          And Thank YOU!

          I have been feeling guilty all weekend about both of those encounters.

          It is like the conversation that Malika and I had with Karl R in a previous thread when he said that it is okay to be humanly  shallow and choose the ditzy hot selfish girl over the academically accomplish kind hearted but plain looking girl.

          I always want to be a good person and a better person so when I choose to be and act human instead I always feel that I have betrayed the type of man I am striving to be.

          I always feel guilty that I can’t feel any desire for the good girl just because of her looks while at the same time I desire the bad girl because of her looks.

          To me this situation was similar. I felt petty for holding something against two people that they did almost 9 years ago back in college when we were all just children.

          I felt that an enlightened good man would have looked past how they were and focus on getting to know who they are now. But as you and Karl R say, it’s okay to act and feel human (^_^).

          Personal Side Note: I can definitely empathize with you GoWithTheFlow about being awkward in college. Like I always say the only thing that saved my social life was the the show “Smallville” because I looked like the lead actor.

          But I still was not cool or popular, I was very skinny, wore glasses, had no sense of style, I was bad at sports; and most of all I refused to smoke, drink, and party like the cool kids at my college.

          If my deceased ex fiance would not have approached me I probably would have never had a girlfriend back in college. (^_^)

          …   …   …

          Emily

          So I am curious you stated,

          However, I wouldn’t necessarily begrudge someone who may have, for example, ignored me in high school. Maybe they were popular. I wasn’t. The person who I was in high school barely exists today. I’m assuming most people have done a lot of growing and changing.

          So I am guessing that in my situation you would have given both people a chance regardless of the past as long as you found them attractive?

          I say my because I am assuming that in GoWithTheFlow’s situation you would not have?

          How do you separate the arrogant, prideful, hurtful person they once were from just the “they were just once an ignorant child still mentally and emotionally growing?”

          Also do you see a person not being able to get over the hurt caused by a someone who is young and still mentally and emotionally growing child as a sign that the person themself is still mentally and emotionally immature?

    2. 1.2
      Miss Dancer

      Gowiththegflow,

      Yes, I would to know about your experience with each as well. I want to give online dating a try but I’m feeling nervous about it.

  2. 2
    Tron Swanson

    The Internet has been a lifesaver, for me. Sure, trying to find women online is an incredible uphill battle, but it’s still better than my pre-Internet situation. I won’t go into all the details, but I wasn’t (and am still not) the sort of guy that most women want. But the online world opened up new options for me. In a way, I’m very lucky that I was born when I was, because I came of age at almost exactly the right moment.

  3. 3
    Heather K

    Online dating can work.  My fiance and I met online.  He had the opposite online dating experience from me.  He had been online for years, with only a very small amount of ‘success.’  I had been online only briefly, relatively shortly after ending a different relationship – and only after considering what sites I wanted to be on.  Personally, I didn’t want to be on a free site.  I was a full time student and single mom who also worked, and I was concerned that sorting through a lot of people would take too much time.  Although, having a very young child helped weed out a lot of people who weren’t suitable.  I then signed up for one paid site that after a few months and a very few dates, I determined had the wrong demographic for me (although I didn’t mind going on one date a month, I felt that most people on the site were in a different place in life than I was).  Then I signed up for a different paid site that I determined would be a better demographic, and a couple of dates and a couple of months in, I met my fiance.  Had my fiance given up on online dating, we never would have met – and that would have been both of our losses (although, if I had had his luck online, who knows if I would have stuck it out as long as he did).  He kept writing to people, he never gave up – although he occasionally took breaks to regroup and rebrand.  He didn’t become bitter from his experiences, which weren’t all fulfilling.  And he remained a gentleman.  Different things work for different people.  Online dating is a useful way to meet a lot of people when you don’t have many opportunities for contact with appropriate partners in real life.  My fiance’s strategy online was being persistent, whereas my online strategy was to sort, sort, sort before going on dates – as well as trying to have some communication prior to dates so I could tell if it was worth it to go on a date.  Things like calling late at night, only communicating through text, not calling when we set a time to talk were things I used to decide that it wasn’t worth going on a date with the person – as nice as they may have been.  Those were just things that didn’t work for me, since I found it hard to get to know someone over text, instead of email or phone conversation.  Also, as a full time student, single mom of a young child, and a someone who worked a lot of hours, I wanted to be in contact only with people who could be courteous about communicating when we set a time to do so – same as I stuck to the time we agreed on to honor their schedule and be courteous in return.  I know this comment is long, but I just wanted to share that online dating can work.

  4. 4
    Malika

    A while ago I had a chat with a friend of mine about the ups and downs of online dating. I told her how in the past two years i have been on a lot of dates and even dated a few guys in a serious way, but apart from quite a few fun times there hasn’t been the outcome i wished (a mutual interest in pursuing an LTR with each other). She then told me that she admired my guts in putting myself out there and confessed that she hadn’t been on a date for 8 years. Eight. My jaw dropped. She’s pretty, fun, stable, the whole works. But she has a full time job, solitary hobbies, and spends most of the rest of her time with her family and coupled up friends. She is happy with her life the way it is, but it impedes her from meeting men she could have a relationship with. She fears the feelings of rejection and disappointment and therefore thinks it’s not worth the bother.

    Once you are out of the college years, it’s very easy to slip into this type of life. If we are lucky, we have great stability with a job, our own apartment and a solid set of friends and family and it’s very easy to just stay in your little cocoon and to not pursue bigger things. Online dating is the very opposite of that cocoon and flings you out of your comfort zone into a world full of strangers, complicated emotions, and sometimes illogical seeming levels of rejection. You will go on a string of beige dates whereby if you are lucky you at least had an interesting conversation but whereby it’s obvious you would never be physically or emotionally attracted to him, not even on a baseline level. If you are lucky, the feeling is mutual and you will have no contact after that. If you are unlucky, one or two of these dates will have misread your politeness and be very interested in you. You will have to send the thanks but no thanks text/e-mail and field awkward messages asking why you don’t want a second date when you seemed so enthusiastic during the first. After the tenth beige date, you will suddenly meet a guy that you do have chemistry with, your joy will feel as if it has no equal, only to never hear from him again because you were a beige date for him. Or even worse, you go on a series of dates with him, your hopes become ever higher, only to hear after the fifth/sixth date that he’s just not feeling it or that there is a dealbreaker which neither of you can get past (they are not over their ex or divorce is a frequent one you will run into after 30). Then it’s time for another round of five to ten beige first dates. This is the case even if you read Evan’s blog religiously, and address your internal issues which are holding you back. The latter ensures that your truly sh*t dates are kept to a minimum, and that you don’t go crazy or attack your self esteem when things aren’t going your way. But it’s not going to prevent online dating being an adventurous but exhausting process.

    So why do it? My hopes for an LTR with a man i feel attracted to on an emotional and physical level continue to be high. But I also feel i have learnt a lot about communication, connection and human nature in general. These past two years have been very enrichening, and I have met a lot of men who i would not have met otherwise. Plus, you learn how to talk to strangers and put them at ease at a masterful level. If nothing else, it’s made my current job search a lot easier!

    1. 4.1
      MilkyMae

       

      Malika, You describe so many people I know. (and myself).

      Its very difficult to form a relationship with someone outside your social network.  Even if you meet with someone regularly.   Also, some  women go into fields where there are not many single men.  As time goes by without a date or relationship, the whole process becomes more alien and the emotional ups and downs start to cloud your critical thinking.  I have a friend who was on match for several months and she finally gave her number out.  When the guy called her, she called me and asked me what to do. I told her, “Call back”, but she though that calling back would give the man the wrong idea.  She was 34 years old at the time!  I think she met one man in person and today other friends are asking her questions about online dating as if she is seasoned pro.

      1. 4.1.1
        Malika

        After college, the odds of meeting an unattached and emotionally available someone spontaneously/at a party/via friends drops to a few times a year (if that). Add to the mix that we become more discerning, in both reasonable and unreasonable ways, as we get older and i am surprised that anyone meets their partner in that way.

        Online dating would be so much easier if it was mandatory for everyone to follow an introductory course on it before being able to register your profile. People like your friend would then not feel all at sea when a guy calls and you don’t know how to handle the situation. It’s easy as an outsider to think ‘call back!’ but when you are new to the game it can seem like a minefield of potential faux pas.

    2. 4.2
      Barbara

      Malika

      Well said! I’m 55 and work at home and only recently started going somewhere once a week just for fun and to increase my odds of meeting men.

      I’ve been online dating for more than two years, ever since my separation. Now I’m divorced. If it were not for the men I’ve met on dating sites over these past two-plus years, I wouldn’t have gone on oné date. Not one.

      Because of online dating, I communicate with potential dates almost every day and go out with a minimum of one new man per month when I’m not in a relationship.

      Because of online dating, I’ve had three relationships since my separation. They were short but I learned from them.

      My dating life exists because I religiously use dating sites. Like you, I keep at it. Why?  Because my desire to find the man I’ll love growing old with is infinitely stronger than any reason I could think of to quit.

       

       

       

      1. 4.2.1
        Yet Another Guy

        @Barbara

        It is my opinion that online dating is a very different experience for those of us who are 50+. For many of us, online dating is the only opportunity we get to meet an unattached member of the opposite sex.

        By the way, I have taken a lot of what you said about fifty-something women to heart. While my attitude toward dating is at an all-time low, I decided to purchase the Kindle version of a book by John Gottman that GWtF suggested the other day. I am only few chapters into the book. Much of what has been discussed thus far is old news to me, but there was one thing that I did not know; namely, the area of a man’s brain that controls arousal is located near the part of the brain that controls vision. That is why men are so visual.

        Another thing that was quite shocking was the level to which the author highlights female fear. I knew that women were drawn to men for protection. That is a female primal need. Women seeking men for protection is pretty obvious to linebacker-sized guy like me. I have had more than one women tell me that she feels safe when she is out with me. What I did not know is that women feel real fear on a regular basis. Men almost never feel fear. There are times when I feel the need to maintain situational awareness, but I am big enough that other men find easier targets.

        Where I am going with this line of thought? Well, I now understand why women are so cautious with me when it comes to online dating. I am a big guy, but I mind my Ps and Qs. I would never consider harming a woman. That thought does not even register with my brain. However, the women I meet do not know that I mind my Ps and Qs. If I extrapolate this reality to all men, there is little wonder why online dating is scary to most women.

        1. Emily, the original

          YAG,

           It is my opinion that online dating is a very different experience for those of us who are 50+. For many of us, online dating is the only opportunity we get to meet an unattached member of the opposite sex.

          I haven’t done online dating, but to piggyback on what you’re written … yes, once you get a bit older (40s, 50s) it is difficult to meet people who are unattached. On the rare times that I do (in a meetup group, for example), I almost feel that I’m being pressured to like the person, from the other people there or from the person himself. (As in: I’m single. You’re single. Why don’t you like me? Do you feel that from women?) I have become very cautious in how I interact so that my behavior does not in anyway signal interest if I don’t feel any.

           

        2. Barbara

          Hey YAG

          I’m so glad you’re giving women in our age bracket a shot. I’d love to hear how that goes for you.

          What Gottman wrote about women regularly feeling afraid made me pause. I’m not typical when it comes to that. Yes, I feel afraid walking down a dark street when I hear footsteps behind me. But I always turn around and look the person in the eye so they will know I clearly see them and I am not intimidated. I learned this strategy a long time ago–not to show fear in these kinds of situations. People who mean you harm want an easy target, not someone who looks like she can take you on.

          There countless similar things I do. I’m just a risk taker. Sometimes I’ve done stupid things because of that. But, mostly, taking risks has propelled me forward.

          At 25, I packed all my things on top of my car and moved from Cleveland to NYC to be an actor. For four years, I often worked until 2 am in a midtown Chinese restaurant, at which I was the only black server, and took the subway to Brooklyn and, later, to upper Manhatten, past Harlem (I moved).

          During one of these trips, I kept falling asleep, missing my stop, and riding to the end of the line in the Bronx to the end of the line in Brooklyn. I was the only person in my car. Then, I awoke and looked up to find what appeared to be a young gang member hovering above me. He said: “Don’t fall asleep on the train.” I remember feeling afraid then and not falling asleep again even though I was exhausted. Then the young man started comparing firearms from a catalogue with another gang-member-looking guy and I realized they were undercover cops.

          My point is, I don’t scare easily and even if I’m afraid, if I’m pursuing a goal, I force myself to go for it in spite of my fear. This is also why I jumped head on into online dating. I could never allow fear to prevent me from achieving a goal. Actually, it is because I don’t give in to fear that I have achieved the goals that matter most to me.

          So big guys like you don’t scare me. Online dating doesn’t scare me. Having a man pick me up at my house after we’ve gotten to know each other through messages and phone calls doesn’t scare me.

          What honestly scares me is the thought of approaching the last moment of my life and wishing I hadn’t been too scared to go for the things I really wanted.

        3. Barbara

          YAG

          Correction: Not that it matters to anyone but me, but I was 23 when I moved to NYC.

        4. Barbara

          YAG

          I want to add that even though I’m always pushing myself past my fears, for most of my life I never felt truly protected by a man other than my father.

          My ex husband did not know how to be a protector. When he offered no protection at a time when it was really needed, that was the last straw for me. I moved out after a 22-year marriage.

          Two of the boyfriends I’ve had since then were protectors. I didn’t know I was missing the feeling of protectiveness they provided until they provided it. Thanks to Evan’s advice, with them, I stepped back so they could step forward and be protective.

          Knowing what I know now–about myself and men–I would never again consider dating a man who did not see it as his role to protect me and his other loved ones.

           

        5. ScottH

          This is very interesting.  I briefly dated a woman who once said that all she wanted in a relationship was the feeling of being protected.  She said that she didn’t know what she needed protection from but that was how she felt.  It certainly wasn’t financial protection as she was a high ranking exec at a very large company and made a ton and she was very independent and capable.  I thought it was very interesting how she said it.  Her relationship history was about the worst I’ve ever heard, even going back to childhood.  It was gut wrenching to listen to it.

        6. Barbara

          ScottH

          I briefly dated a woman who once said that all she wanted in a relationship was the feeling of being protected.

          Feeling that my significant other wants to protect me and sees it has his role to do so is not the “all” I want in a relationship. But it is one of my deal breakers.

          I am a protector. Like most mothers, I am a formidable foe to anyone who would dare try to hurt my children. My ex husband was not like this and it was an incident involving his inability to step forward when one of our children truly needed protecting–an incident that prompted me to provide protection to the best of my ability at the time–that prompted me to finally say “I can’t live with this man any longer.”

          When it comes to inner strength, which includes the sense that one is responsible for protecting others, I could never again settle for a man whose doesn’t at least match mine.

          At the same time, I realize that, with my husband, I was often aggressive and dominate. This made us clash all the time because he didn’t cave into me. But I think it also made him lose confidence because he felt I didn’t respect him and he was right.

          The lesson for me–which I learned from Evan–is to allow the man I am with to lead. But, at bare minimum, when we first meet each other, he must be already have a strong sense of personal duty and honor. I had to experience a lot before I realized this is the kind of man I need.

        7. Barbara

          Emily, the original


          I have become very cautious in how I interact so that my behavior does not in anyway signal interest if I don’t feel any.

          Why do you bother trying to keep men from being interested in you? As Evan says, you can’t really control who likes you or not.

          Plus you can use your interactions with those men you’re not interested in as opportunities to practice being flirtatious and sociable. No one gets hurt, you get some flirtatiousness practice that can be helpful with men you do like, and, perhaps, by being kind, you boosts the other guys’ confidence so they feel more comfortable approaching women in general.

        8. Evan Marc Katz

          It is no surprise that a Love U Graduate “gets it” and provides the best dating practices for women. Don’t argue with Barbara; listen to her!

        9. Emily, the original

          Barbara,

          Why do you bother trying to keep men from being interested in you? As Evan says, you can’t really control who likes you or not.

          Because then I am put in the uncomfortable position of having to reject someone. This just happened a couple of weeks ago with a co-worker who I have to interact with on a daily basis. I was put in the position of having to reject him to face to face, and I did not appreciate it. It was very awkward.

          Plus you can use your interactions with those men you’re not interested in as opportunities to practice being flirtatious and sociable.

          I do that with the married guys I work with!

          No one gets hurt, you get some flirtatiousness practice that can be helpful with men you do like, and, perhaps, by being kind, you boosts the other guys’ confidence so they feel more comfortable approaching women in general.

          Why would I openly flirt with available men I’m not interested in? Of course they’re then going to think I’m interested. Has no one ever flirted with you who you assumed was interested? Were you not disappointed to learn he wasn’t? I don’t mind having a conversation, but, for some, a conversation is all it takes.

        10. Malika

          I think there’s a difference between being open, friendly and a little bit flirty, and flat out seductive. The former can definitely be used towards everyone, man or woman. It makes our social life far easier, and most people can tell that this is just harmless fun. I think the disappointment and confusion stems from people who can’t tell the difference and go through life either taking someone’s flirtatiousness too seriously without seeing whether the other person is making any serious moves/eye contact (i have been guilty of this multiple times) or, to flip it, people who take being flirtatious way too far and act as if every person they meet is thé most amazing person they have ever meet/omg where have you been all my life etc and then wonder why they have to do the awkward rejection conversation so often (two of my friends spring to mind).

          I would say that the problem stems from the fact that we are not taught the difference between fun and serious flirting. That, coupled with the fact that if we are interested we interpret any sign of flirtatiousness/friendliness as a fan to our fire and no wonder we experience both great disappointments due to overblown expectation towards another and the awkwardness of having to reject people we were just having a harmless conversation with.

        11. Emily, the original

          Malika,

          I would say that the problem stems from the fact that we are not taught the difference between fun and serious flirting.

          Action separates the fun from the serious. There is no other way to distinguish between the two. For a woman, the man asks her out/makes a move. For the man, the woman accepts his offer or makes a move herself. So if you flirt with a man (particularly one you have just met and with whom you have yet not established a rapport — say a coworker you joke around with), yes, he may very well misinterpret your intentions.  I have misinterpreted men’s flirting before, as they have misinterpreted mine.

           

        12. Barbara

          Evan

          It is no surprise that a Love U Graduate “gets it” and provides the best dating practices for women. Don’t argue with Barbara; listen to her!

          Your advice has transformed my self view, my view of men, my dating life, and my life in general because finding my mate is my primary goal at this stage.

          However, I never took your Love U course. What I have done is purchase and continue to follow the advice in your ebooks “Why He Disappeared” and “Finding the One Online.” I’d buy “Believe in Love” if I didn’t already believe in love. I never stopped doing that. I’d also take your courses if my current budget allowed.

          If you’re someone reading this blog and your love life isn’t what you want it to be and you haven’t invested in any of Evan’s products, you owe it to yourself to do so. Not taking advantage of these potentially life-altering resources when you know they exist is like starving and refusing to eat while you sit at a table that’s overflowing with gourmet food.

      2. 4.2.2
        Malika

        Hi Barbara:

        As exhausting as the online dating experience can be, can you imagine what it would have been like if you’d gone down the road of ‘Nope, no online dating for me. I will just wait until i happen to run into him at the one party a month I go to whereby all of my coupled up friends will be going to as well. Great plan!’ I see so many people who would make great boy/girlfriends throw in the towel because dating at a later age doesn’t resemble the rom-com ideal they bought into when they were teenagers. It’s painful to watch.

        I love the fact that you are taking such a balanced approach to it. You are going out regularly and meeting men but you are not letting it take over your life. You are learning the lessons we all need to learn, but you are not feeling down about the process. I am sure your man is just around the corner.

        1. Barbara

          Malika

          [C]an you imagine what it would have been like if you’d gone down the road of ‘Nope, no online dating for me. I will just wait until i happen to run into him at the one party a month I go to whereby all of my coupled up friends will be going to as well. Great plan!’

          Scariest than the scariest horror film.

          I am sure your man is just around the corner.

          Thanks. I certainly hope and think so. Same for you.

        2. Barbara

          Malika

          I meant imagining dating life as you described it is is scarier than the scariest horror film

           

    3. 4.3
      Nissa

      Malika, I love your term of ‘beige date’. It so well sums up the mildly interesting but no chemistry kinds of dates I have experienced.

      1. 4.3.1
        Malika

        Beige is the best word to describe the experience. The conversation is fun, you both had a laugh, you received a book/film reccomendation you would have never thought of otherwise and no way could you describe the evening as a waste of time. But baseline level of chemistry? The sound of silence.

        1. Barbara

          Malika and Nissa

          Malika, I love your term of ‘beige date’. It so well sums up the mildly interesting but no chemistry kinds of dates I have experienced.

          Ditto!

      2. 4.3.2
        Adrian

        Hi Nissa, Malika, and Barbara,

        What makes a date (for you) “mildly interesting but<with>no chemistry/beige?”

        Do you do anything to try to up the fun of the date or do you just let it take it’s course?

        To me chemistry is just physical attraction. I can and have had great and fun conversations with almost anyone, even a stranger I am just standing next to while waiting in line.  People of all ages and of both genders I have had very fun conversations and moments with but that doesn’t mean that I was even in the slightest attracted to them.

        However I am getting the sense from your conversation that chemistry incompasses more than just physical attraction to you.

        I am currently debating on trying speed dating and one of my main apprehensions is not being able to come up with something interesting yet unique to talk about with each new person.

        It seems like a lot of pressure to try and impress, seduce, charm, and make a stranger laugh; and all has to be done in about 15 minutes.

        If I am understanding how you all view chemistry, that would mean that you don’t believe that chemistry can be created, it has to either be there or not; because again 15 minutes is a very short time to really judge someone on more than just their superficial traits like looks.

        …   …   …

        As a side note, I once went on a date with a girl in college that did not go well because… well honestly I was just too young and inexperienced.

        I planned this fun outdoor activity but it rained and I never considered having a backup, so we just went to a restaurant and talked.

        I did most of the talking and I did all the coming up with topics, I would always pause to see if she wanted to add something or talk about something else, but when I stopped there was just silence and a lot of her just staring at me (I felt and correctly so that she was judging my ability to entertain and impress her on the date).

        I told all the jokes, tried to make her laugh or at least smile (she did both a lot), I did everything I could to make our date enjoyable for her, while in return her answers were always short and she did not even try to engage in a back and forth. And on the few occasions when she did actually talk it was to brag about herself.

        A few years later I ran into her and she told me that she was disappointed that I did not ask her out on a second date but what really pissed me off was when she said that the date was kind of boring but she liked me (I was insulted but said nothing).

        I guess my whole point of telling you all this story is that I have noticed that many! Oh so many women on here say that they are bored on dates with men but I NEED to know what exactly do you do to try and make the date not so boring?

        I can recount at least 6 similar dates to the one I described above. So if you tell me that a date was beige in spite of your effort to make him laugh (this may be an age thing but no girl has ever once tried to make me laugh or smile on a date) then I can agree with you… I know that many men are boring and selfish on first dates,

        BUT

        If you tell me that a date was beige because all you did was mirror him without any effort to actually try to make him laugh or smile -because we all know of comments by female posters on this site who claim that in the beginning it is only the man’s job to impress the woman that is what courting is- then I can’t agree with you on your beige comments.

        1. Malika

          Hi Adrian:

          Just to clarify: Beige dates aren’t bad or even boring dates. Both parties make a big effort to have a good time and as a result conversation is flowing and it is interesting in its own right. Thanks to Evan, i can boast that I haven’t been on a uniformly waste of time level bad or boring date these past twelve months, as the filter now pretty much ensures that my date will bring as much effort to the table as I do.. They can be their own kind of fun, it’s just that there is no sexual/romantic chemistry, and as that is the purpose of dating, going on quite a few of them in a row can be very frustrating.

          From my own experience, you can do a whole lot to encourage chemistry, which is a combination of physical and intellectual connection (imo the emotional connection comes at a later stage), but you have no way to create it. As in, if you are not into them physically or intellectually at all, there is no way that is going to change, not even if he turns out to be an absolute sweetheart/charm personified/whatever trait you deem absolutely necessary. My very last date was a perfect example of this: We had a great conversation, but i knew from the second he walked towards me that i would never be physically attracted to him. Not even baseline level. I also had a date a while back with a man who turned out to be very good looking (shockingly better than his photo’s), but he also put himself and everyone around him down intensely, which meant any potential interest/chemistry was snuffed out before it got a chance to be encouraged.

          I agree with you, it takes two to tango. Once you are on a date, it is up to both people to be a charming, attentive date. Leaning back and letting the other person do all the work is going to get you nowhere, very fast. Smiling, talking, asking questions, being attentive will ensure you have a lovely time even if you do not plan on ever seeing this person ever again. That date of yours sounds like a nightmare, but i can assure that a lot of women would put way more effort into being good company. Speed dating always had the lowest ROI for me, so i would recommend saving your money and trying other ways of meeting women. The little time you have means that you are doing nothing except making the most superficial of judgments focusing on looks and the few things the other person has time to say. Not to mention that by the sixth or seventh person it all starts to blur and you just want to go home and lie underneath the duvet.

          Beige dates are an inevitable part of the OLD experience, no matter how much effort you put in. I would say that for every first date with serious potential, I have to go on between five to ten beige dates. As i have become better at selecting the dates, it skews heavily towards the five instead of the ten. While not ideal, i don’t find that to be a bad percentage.

        2. Nissa

          This girl (and she does sound young) sounds like a not-so-nice person. Even if I was ever bored on a date, I would never be so insulting as to say so. I might say something like, “next time we can do…” but that’s about it. It sounds like she did not do her part in giving one word answers. Is it possible that she was so attracted to you that she was tongue-tied? But if not, just consider yourself lucky that you dodged a bullet of a self indulgent person.

          One of my biggest criteria for my dates? That he is enjoying himself on our date. If he’s not, and he has to work that hard to enjoy himself, that’s a bigger issue than I need in MY life, ya know? On the other hand, if a man is enjoying himself, just smiling at me and sitting next to me, that’s an exciting date.

        3. Nissa

          Adrian, two words sum up the majority of my beige dates: bad presentation. Meaning, these guys are not doing a lot of things that would bring them up to a 7. I see a lot of guys wearing (apologies for the judgment) what I consider “big boy” clothes – jean shorts or cargo shorts, flip flops or tennis shoes, T-shirts with logos, etc. Most of those are ill fitting as well. Hair that has no discernible style. Eyebrows that have gone from ‘ungroomed’ into ‘unibrow’ territory. Bad or yellow teeth. What is so off putting about these things is that they are fixable. When someone chooses not to fix these things, while it may be due to ignorance in some cases, more often (in my experience) is a reflection of a lack of confidence. This lack of confidence is very unattractive. The combination of physical not-attractive and emotional not-attractive cause many women to feel just plain not attracted.

          Contrast that for a moment with the same man in a Ralph Lauren shirt, slim dark jeans and Cole Haan shoes (all correctly fitted), hair obviously combed and recently styled, clean white teeth and two distinct eyebrows. Or for another style, a tight Ed Hardy tee, black snug jeans, Sean Jean high tops and long hair pulled into a ponytail. Either version has a style. Which one doesn’t matter, either will appeal as long as it is an actual style, versus sloppiness or carelessness.

          And that’s just the physical. A man who asks me, “so what do you want?’ and has no plan, has very little to share, is not attractive. A man who has a passion (see Alain de Botton, Tony Robbins, Jack Kerourac) can be less physically attractive, yet stir all kinds of desire.

        4. Malika

          Nissa’s comment regarding having a plan is a good one. One date reserved tickets for a film and told me it would be a surprise. I even averted my eyes as we went into the cinema, so i’d be surprised by the intro! It was simple, yet good fun and tilted the evening out of the average into a great date! Little details can mean a lot. It shows originality and thoughtfulness, which are great traits.

        5. Barbara

          Adrian, Malika, Nissa

          I have had very fun conversations and moments with but that doesn’t mean that I was even in the slightest attracted to them.

          I try to do this on every date. The things Malika and Nissa resonate with me as well.

          Malika’s clarification of a beige date sums up  how I would describe one. In addition, like her, because of the filtering process I learned from Evan, most of my dates are fun, even if I don’t want to see the guy again.

          Chemistry: I find him attractive (as I’ve repeatedly said here, I’m focusing on 7’s in the looks department now. Also, for me, attractiveness is a by-product of confidence and chivalry is attractive). I find him funny. He finds me funny. We share core values (i.e. the willingness and ability to self-reflect and admit mistakes, respecting and valuing self and others, believing goodness is the essence of human nature, a courageous spirit, optimism).

  5. 5
    ScottH

    Barbara:  “my desire to find the man I’ll love growing old with is infinitely stronger than any reason I could think of to quit.”    Very wise words.

    I’m on Match, eH, tinder, bumble, pof, coffee meets bagel.  Looked into ourtime.  was on jdate once and hated it.  I was raised Jewish but Jewish women aren’t my cup of tea.  eH seems to be the best for me with Match a close runner up.  Nothing’s come from any of the other ones but I’m on there because it’s all a crap shoot and you never know.  I did have one relationship from eH and one from Match, and one mutual friend setup, and lots of 1-4 week things, and I’ve been OLD for 5 years.  Having a 2nd date with someone from eH this weekend.  She seems really nice and really interested.   I would consider meetup to be another OLD site even though it technically isn’t but everyone there is divorced (in my age and interests) so it might as well be considered.  I’ve dated a few from meetup and know of one marriage from it.  I like how eH only gives you a few people to look at every day.  That way, it’s not so much of an overwhelming catalog mentality like match.  They do seem to have a lot of inactive “members.”  A minister friend recently said that a vast majority of the marriages she performs are from OLD and most of those are from eH.  I joined eH the next day.

    1. 5.1
      Yet Another Guy

      That is too funny. I was raised Catholic, but I am a Jewish girl magnet. About 30% of the women I meet were at least raised Jewish. It is not like I seek out Jewish women. Most of the time, I do not know that they were raised Jewish until we meet because they claim “Spirtual, but not religious” or some other religious preference.

    2. 5.2
      Barbara

      ScottH

      Jewish women aren’t my cup of tea.

      None of them?

      Also, keep us posted about eHarmony, please. I’m on a potpourri of sites myself but that’s not one of them. I don’t have evidence that it’s worth the high subscription price.

      1. 5.2.1
        ScottH

        Barbara- no, not all of them but certainly most of them.  My first gf after dating was Jewish and I wanted to marry her but she was how I learned about commitment phobia and found Evan.  He even wrote a column to my question about her:  “My gf broke up with me because I read forums on sex and dating.”  She’s the one who told me after 2 weeks that she had a fear of relationships and sabotaged them.  I had no clue what to do with that information.  Yes, she used those exact words.  That was quite an education.

        eH prices fluctuate wildly.  When I was signing up for the dating sites this time around, I had to put my reading glasses on because the prices were crazy high but I kept checking back and got a deal- 3 months for $24 so I took it.  Keep checking.  The other time I was on, it was around $10/month.  Once it was around $70/month which is ridiculous.

        1. Barbara

          ScottH

          Ok. Periodically checking out eHarmony is now on my list Things To Do list.

          Regarding your ex girlfriend, I remember that article about your letter. This week I had an Ourtime messaging conversation with a man who likes to dance. We got into a conversation about that. When I asked if he was just providing me with info about where to dance, he said he would be hesitant to date a black woman because his last black girlfriend wound up being a nightmare.

          I wound up blocking him because he was a fake-liberal racially biased man. He said negative things about black women–based on how his girlfriend was–and about black men, presumably, just because he was ignorant and didn’t think his remarks would offend me.
          But I bring him up because one of the things that I disliked about him was that he judged all black women based on how one black woman behaved. That’s irrational to me. I don’t always succeed, but I try to evaluate people based on their behavior alone, nothing else. So it wouldn’t fit who I am as a person to think that “all” of any group of people are one way or another.

          In your case, since you’re Jewish, as Evan himself has mentioned about being a member of a niche community, by not leveraging your membership in the Jewish community, you might be missing out on many women who would make great matches for you because you’ve created a mental block against Jewish women based on how your ex behaved.

      2. 5.2.2
        ScottH

        Barbara-  I think you misunderstood me.  I’m not against dating Jewish women because of my ex.  It’s just that I find a lot of Jewish women to be Jappy (princessy).  If I found a Jewish woman who was my style, I’d be thrilled, and my first gf wasn’t princessy.  I really did adore her.  I would prefer a Jewish woman- it’s just that most aren’t my type.   I’m just not making being Jewish a requirement or a deal breaker, nor am I actively seeking one out.

        This is very anecdotal but when I was on Jdate, I met someone whose first profile line stated that she wasn’t Jewish but a friend encouraged her to join Jdate.  She told me in person that it was because he thought Jewish men would appreciate her because she wasn’t princessy.  We weren’t each other’s type anyway.

  6. 6
    JB

    Well I know you’re not going to believe it but before the internet I (and many others) met people by going out to singles events as well as bars. Also used newspaper “personals” which although tedious at the time was still occasionally successful. Never had a problem meeting women although I’d hit the occasional slump/drought.

    Now going into my 20th year of “online dating” which has turned basically into “phone app dating” for most but not me (I’d love to know what percentage of people have never even been on a website and just use the apps?) I still occasionally meet someone from Match or POF but I can tell that being in my 50’s it isn’t like it was in my 40’s or late 30’s and probably isn’t going to get “better” as I age. It is what it is, yes I’m a little burnt out on it and probably don’t put as much effort as I used to. Life will go on. I don’t sit home, I actually go out to watch live music 2 or 3 times a week because I love it. No clubs but the occasional singles event. I think the desire naturally dwindles a bit as we get older and that’s ok. For young people app dating is a fun game, I’m sure it won’t end in our lifetime.

  7. 7
    Mista.ecks

    Unless you’re one of those guys that women complain about and pretend to be annoyed by, online dating is a waste of men’s time and money…PERIOD!

    1. 7.1
      Yet Another Guy

      The problem with online dating is that men generally do not recognize their target audience. Most men treat dating sites like candy stores where one can date up. Another problem is that men do not take the time to compose a good profile and write messages that women actually want to read.

      In the world of online dating, men have to get used to the reality that the standard female modes of operation are “like seeks like” and “maximizing one’s opportunity” (a.k.a. dating up). While a lesser attractive man can score with a more attractive women IRL by demonstrating higher value in other areas, he is competing on a level playing field with a lot of other men in the looks department on online dating sites. The only other thing that a man has to distinguish himself from other men who have comparable credentials is his narrative. Educated women tend to be grammar Nazis. Men who write well stand out from the rest of the pack.

      1. 7.1.1
        Barbara

        YAG

        Men who write well stand out from the rest of the pack.

        Absolutely. I never message men who write poorly or write nothing. This makes it take longer to find men to message but it also increases the odds of connecting with someone I would enjoy talking to.

      2. 7.1.2
        Tron Swanson

        I use social networking sites to find women, not dating sites, so take this with a grain of salt. But I’ve always had a policy of leaving my profile/page as blank as possible. Why, you ask? Well, for one thing, I use a low-effort strategy. But the funny thing is…if they ask me about something that’s actually covered in my profile, I tell them it’s in there, and 99% of the time, they say that they never even bothered to look at it. Women are so besieged by messages and attention that they don’t have time to look at every guy’s profile. So, knowing that, I’ve continued to leave my profiles mostly blank.

        1. Barbara

          Tron Swanson

          I use a low-effort strategy

          As I recall, you’re not seeking a serious relationship. So your strategy doesn’t apply to most of the people who use this site–people who want to learn what to do to increase their chances of having one.

        2. Tron Swanson

          I used the exact same strategy when I was seeking a serious relationship.

      3. 7.1.3
        CaliforniaGirl

        I’ve seen great and interesting profiles and even if a guy is not very attractive, I usually always respond, you never know if you’d like him in person even if he is attractive on pictures.

        The funny thing, I went back to Tinder after being out for some time and all the guys I see on Match are on Tinder – ~10 years 🙂 If he was 47 on Match (and probably 51 in real life), he will be 37 on Tinder! I even wrote to one guy that he must has had a very tough life if he looks like that at 37..

        80% of guys over 40 lie about their age (I assume women too) and not by few years but at least 6-10. I’ve left few dates because a guy who said he was 41 was actually 51 and used his old pictures. I really don’t understand what they are hoping for.

  8. 8
    Nissa

    I’ve been seeing new ones on my FB feed – Tawkify (a matchmaker service for LA), MeetMindful (for the spiritual not religious) and AtheistDating (obv, for atheists).  I’m considering trying one of them once I get summer pictures.

    1. 8.1
      S.

      Thank you Nissa for mentioning MeetMindful.  I joined it and while there weren’t that many men there that viewed me or I was interested in, it got me thinking about niche sites.

      So tonight I joined Just Black Singles. I had no idea what to expect and then my inbox kinda exploded. 🙂  Nothing may come of it but I relearned two lessons:

      1) Never give up.

      2) Sometimes it’s a matter of finding who is looking for me.

      I still like MeetMindful.  The men there looked so much happier than the men on Match and it made me feel good to see their smiling faces. Not every single man, but mostly.  It’s a nice site. 🙂

      P.S. I have to also admit that I was really playful with my profile  and had fun with it while telling the short story of who I am.  I really am enjoying life lately so it was just easier to make it sound fun because it is!

  9. 9
    Tennisgal

    It’s great to hear  about everyone’s heart-felt experiences with online dating. I’ve been a follower of Evan’s for several years, have used his products, and truly believe that he’s really on the right track. I feel he gives us great tools to step up and BE adults who are willing to be more open and savvy about the opposite sex. I appreciate you immensely, Evan!

    There probably aren’t too many 67 yr. old women who write comments on this site but here I am! I have a great life, lots of energy, financially stable, very cute (I’ve been told many times!) and there are days when I have to just give myself a pep talk that there ARE some cool guys out there who are well educated, respectful, honest and really conscious about themselves and their desire to be a great partner with a loving, independent  woman (in my age group). And having a fun sense of humor is a must!

    All of that said, I’m continuously turned off by so many horrible selfies, guys who refuse to take off their sunglasses, misspell words, and use a profile picture with others in it…I can’t even tell who the actual “wanna be dater” is? And then there are the 30 yr old chiseled naked men…Yikes. Let’s not forget all of those cats, dogs, birds…or other pets in their profile picture. It’s all exhausting and discouraging at times. But life is more fun with a wonderful partner and I know mine is out there, waiting to meet me! I do enjoy my own company just fine but it’s way too hard to snuggle with myself just using a pillow LOL!!

    So, I keep honing my profile with some timely stories, desires and dreams, update my photo, go “inactive” for brief periods of time and just hang in there. It’s all really a big numbers game and I’m confident that 1 winning number will come up for me! Call me the eternal optimist. Keeps life fun and interesting!!

    1. 9.1
      Barbara

      Tennisgal

      You’re so inspiring! How’d you wind up single?

      As I posted a moment go, I just ignore poorly written or wordless profiles. I focus on men who make the effort and have the ability to craft readable ones.

      It’s a wonderful bonus to come across a profile essay that’s very well written. But I’ve learned that’s no guarantee I’ll end up on a date with the man who wrote it.

      1. 9.1.1
        tennisgal

        @Barbara

        Thanks so much! I had a brief (almost 3 yr marriage) with a man whom I was deeply in love with but later found out he had an undiagnosed personality disorder that was so toxic and damaging, I had to get out. I realized after doing some serious therapy that I was suffering from PTSD as a result. He was never physically abusive but the emotional and mental distress inflicted was just as bad, if not worse than any physical violence. The relationship was a huge wake-up call for me and especially difficult since I have a strong education in Psychology and my business being a clinical hypnotist. I refused to see the “red flags” and I paid a big price for that.

        I learned a lot about creating healthier boundaries for myself, so I am quite vigilant when it comes to online dating. Yes, there are no guarantees with well-written profiles. I rely on Evan’s 2/2/2 rule. If a man isn’t willing or able to comply, I won’t respond.

        I’ve had some success with Match but am finding that OKCupid works better for me (with a paid membership).

        1. Barbara

          tennisgal

          I rely on Evan’s 2/2/2 rule. If a man isn’t willing or able to comply, I won’t respond.

          I tweak 2/2/2 on a case-by-case basis. For instance, unlike when Evan originally conceived the rule, today, more people use mobile devices than desktops. (https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2016/nov/02/mobile-web-browsing-desktop-smartphones-tablets).

          On a mobile phone, the only difference between messaging on a dating app or sending an email is the privacy of email. Ease of use is the same and, for some men, the dating app is easier than an email app.

          The way I see the privacy issue is that I can’t stop a man from returning to a dating app after he has sent me an email any more than he can’t–and won’t–stop me from doing the same. The guy who chooses to stop messaging me because he found someone else he’d rather message was never “mine” anyway.

          So, instead of holding men to emailing me twice, I just increase the number of meaningful dating site messages I’ll accept before I give them my phone number. This requires effort on their because I don’t continue to reply to men who only write a few words to me. But it doesn’t set up an unneccessary barrier to communication by making them use a technology they might find cumbersome.

          Sometimes I ask men if they use email before I suggest we move on to it. Sometimes I just continue the flow of our dating site messaging because interrupting it wouldn’t “feel” right. As I said, I case-by-case.

          Texting is different, however. There is a physical limit to how many words you can send in one text and it’s a poor stand-in for making the effort to talk by phone. So I limit how much texting I’ll accept. When men continue to text even after I’ve playfully, teasingly, but clearly said I prefer to be called, I just stop replying to their lazy-ass texts.

          I’ve had some success with Match but am finding that OKCupid works better for me (with a paid membership).

          I find that which site works for me is a cyclical thing. Match and POF usually serve me well right now. OKC less so. Next comes People Media sites, which are owned by Match. Senior People Meet (a.k.a Ourtime) is the best of these. Black People Meet and Latino People Meet are the worst. They both show me lots of men who are either too young or too old for me or just not for me. I’m letting Latino People Meet expire because most of the men on it are out of state.

          The other bad thing about People Media sites is their overall structure. They look cluttered and they all call “winks” and photo “likes” messages, which has made me come to expect that when they say I have several “messages” in my Inbox, I’m lucky if I even have one.

  10. 10
    Adrian

    Hi Barbara

    You said,

    ” want to add that even though I’m always pushing myself past my fears, for most of my life I never felt truly protected by a man other than my father.

    My ex husband did not know how to be a protector. When he offered no protection at a time when it was really needed, that was the last straw for me. I moved out after a 22-year marriage.Two of the boyfriends I’ve had since then were protectors. I didn’t know I was missing the feeling of protectiveness they provided until they provided it. Thanks to Evan’s advice, with them, I stepped back so they could step forward and be protective.Knowing what I know now–about myself and men–I would never again consider dating a man who did not see it as his role to protect me and his other loved ones.

     

     

    Would you mind expounding on this?

    What does it mean to protect a woman in this time and age?

     

     

    A research study came out 2 years ago about how our country is safer than it has ever been BUT because of the media people feel that it is worse than it’s ever been.

    On countless  dating and relationship studies -at least the one’s that I have read-  (and even the comments section on this site) women state that they need to feel protected by a man, so they seek tall, strong looking masculine men (again the media is deceiving us into believing women prefer pretty boyish looking, metrosexual type men).

    Of course age plays a role in this, the studies -at least the one’s that I’ve read- show that young girls do prefer the pretty a.k.a feminine looking faces (think Justin Bieber) while older women prefer masculine looking faces (think Chris Hemsworth).

    Unfortunately in everything that I have read, all the researchers state that the reason why is just hypothesis or theory, nothing proven. I have what would be called a pretty boyish face not a masculine face (I look like a young Tom Welling without his beard). I am muscular but slender (I have the physique of a professional male gymnast or track star not a football player), and I am only 5’11.

    So I always get the the vibe that women don’t see me as masculine or as a protector. I always get women wanting me as a long-term boyfriend or husband (the guy they want to courts them) but not as a strong sexy guy who they what to rip his clothes off.

     

     

    I guess my overall question is: What can a guy naturally do to give off the protector vibe?

    By the way I have been learning boxing for the past 3 years and I go to the gym daily, so it’s not that I can not protect a woman or myself, it’s just that I look sweet and innocent which I think most women see as weak and unsexy.

    1. 10.1
      Barbara

      Adrian

      What can a guy naturally do to give off the protector vibe?…I look sweet and innocent.

      I can’t speak for all women but the following is what would work for me. Knowing what a know now, a Marlboro Man kind of guy would be no match for a sweet and innocent looking man who consistently did these things:

      When we first meet and before we are officially a committed and monogamous couple, chivalry, chivalry, chivalry is king. By naturally doing these things without making a big show of it, you signal to me that you’re a protector:

      Open all doors for me. Help me step up into your SUV. Pay for our meals, even if I offer to pay (If you don’t have a big budget, you never have to take me to an expensive restaurant to do this, by the way.). Offer your jacket when you think I might be cold. Put your arm around me when we’re sitting together. Hold my hand in public. All the old school chivalrous stuff gives off a “protector” vibe.

      Once we’re a couple, it’s not unusual for some of the more formal rituals I mentioned above to fade. But if you continue to do them, that’s special and sweet. However, what’s more important at this stage is this:

      When I’ve had a bad day, take the extra step–give me a massage, cook dinner with some sort of special touch (It can be a little thing; it’s the gesture that counts). Just give me a hug and don’t let go until I do. The hug is a big one for me. It is a physical way of demonstrating protection and, in bad times, it can feel like a soothing balm.

      If something serious is going on, do whatever is in your power to resolve it. And keep doing this for as long as it’s feasible to do it. If you can’t do anything, just “be there” for me. Listen to me. Revert to the hug. Ask me what you can do to help. If I tell you what that is, do it. If you really can’t help because of the nature of the situation, just sit with me until I get up. Never let me go through a bad situation without you being by my side until it’s over. Even when I’m clearly messing up, in public, be my biggest defender and advocate. In private, it’s perfectly fine–and probably best–for you to tell me I’m screwing up. Just tell me compassionately.

      Be responsible. Be responsible. Be responsible. In business, with finances, in our home, in all you do. If you make a mistake, own it. Being responsible would make me trust you and therefore feel secure with you.

      Be vulnerable. Strong people don’t pretend to know everything or to never be afraid. Only insecure people do that because they are trying to hide their weaknesses. Strong people don’t hide their weaknesses; they face them and work through them and overcome them. In this way, they become stronger. Knowing that you are courageous enough to do this work would make me respect you and feel safe around you.

      If I were in a relationship today, I would do all of the above for my partner as well. I think if I had consistently been this way with my ex husband and he had consistently been this way with me, we’d still be married.

      1. 10.1.1
        ScottH

        Barbara- That was really awesome.  Thanks for writing that.

        1. Barbara

          ScottH

          You’re welcome.

      2. 10.1.2
        Adrian

        Hi Barbara,

        Thanks for the thorough response.

        Just out of curiosity, since you said that you are a protector yourself, I assume that you are a fighter?

        To me most women who are fighters have either a short temper or low patience for mistakes, or both.

        I am not saying you have either one of these traits, but how would you recommend a guy handle a woman who is upset or angry at him about something unintentional that he did that upset her  without appearing weak but also without appearing selfish as if he doesn’t care?

        I have never been in this situation; I have never had a fight as a couple but I often wonder what is the right way to handle an angry girlfriend.

        -I have heard women say that if he apologizes (while in the middle of the argument) then she loses respect for him and sees him as weak

        -I have heard women say that if a guy leaves (to give them both time to cool down) then he is weak for running away

        -I have heard women say that if he says nothing or speaks too calmly (because he doesn’t want to escalate the situation) then she sees him as not caring and selfish

        -I have heard women say that if he yells “back” then he is violent and selfish

        -I have heard women say that if he tries to talk the situation out then he is weak

        So I am curious barbara as to what do you as a strong women recommend that your boyfriend do when you two have a fight over something?

        1. Callie

          The problem is, Adrian, that you are hearing from different individual women not all womankind. And everyone has their different ways of dealing with conflict (there was already a post made here by Evan recently about people who have different kind of attachment styles and how that causes them to react differently). For example I personally need to work through an issue, talk it out, understand each other’s sides and come up with a compromise no matter how long it takes, it needs to be resolved before we move on. Other people need to walk away and think and calm down for a while and then return to the argument.

          My best advice for you when getting into an argument with your SO is to not treat her like some foreign creature you need to figure out but like another human being who you have already gotten to know. Use the information you already have about her from virtue of having spent time with her and talk to her with respect and try to figure out TOGETHER how best to resolve the conflict. Don’t start wondering “What do women want” but try to address the conflict you are facing as one human being dealing with another.

        2. Jeremy

          Adrian, I know you asked this question to Barbara but I also wanted to give an opinion.  I liked Callie’s response that all women are different and that one woman’s opinion won’t necessarily tell you what the woman you’re with is like.  But where I disagree with her is in the assertion that by getting to know the woman you’re with you can find out what styles of argument actually work with that woman.

           

          A little perspective from a married man with lots of male (and female) married friends – men rarely if ever win arguments against their wives.  This is because the way men and women argue tends to be totally different.  I hate to generalize (because, exceptions), but here’s a trend – in an argument, men think they are arguing about the subject matter, while women think they are arguing about whether the man loves/supports them.  I could expound on this all day, but I won’t.  I’ll just leave you with a suggestion – if ever you are arguing with a woman that you’re in a relationship with, look her in the eye, tell her that you love her and support her before saying anything else…..and then do what YOU feel is the right thing to do.  Whether that is apologizing or not, taking a break or not, speaking calmly or not…..you can’t control what she wants, you can only be true to yourself.  So be true to yourself while loving and supporting her.

           

          And remember what millions of married men have remembered for ages untold – it’s sometimes better to be happily married than to be right 🙂

        3. Barbara

          Adrian

          I assume that you are a fighter?
          To me most women who are fighters have either a short temper or low patience for mistakes, or both.

          I am a fighter and have been for most of my life. For most of my life I was also argumentative. With my ex husband, I was also short tempered.

          Now I usually back down or away from petty potential arguments. I can debate a position calmly and let it go if the other person doesn’t see things my way. The people closest to me have taken notice.

          Even though my ex husband still exhibits most of the traits that used to get on my nerves, I not longer get irate about them. This isn’t just because I don’t care since I’m not married to him.

          I have talked to him about some things he does–because I thought it was necessary to do so–and, even though he initially prepared for an argument, I approached him in such a way that he relaxed and ended up thanking me for bringing the matters to his attention. This just happened again between us this morning.

          The reverse is also true when it comes to him bringing up something I’ve done. I don’t get defensive like I used to. I listen to him. If I think I’ve been wrong, I immediately admit it and apologize. If I don’t think I did anything wrong, I tell him why without being on the offense.

          Because I’ve changed how I see him and treat him, our interactions are so much better than what they were during our marriage, even though the differences between our value systems are so great that I don’t at all regret the fact that we’re divorced.

          I assume that you are a fighter?

          Sometimes you have to fight. That’s not the same as having a disagreement. Whether you are a man or a woman, in the face of injustice or an attack that could cause physical or intangible harm or annihilation (such as the loss of life or the unjustified loss of a good reputation), you have to fight to the best of your ability and in a way that fits the situation. Refusing to fight when fighting is required is cowardice.

          I have heard women say that if he apologizes (while in the middle of the argument) then she loses respect for him and sees him as weak…

          A women who sees a sincere apology and admission of fault as a weakness isn’t a great relationship partner because she confuses self-reflection and inner courage as deficits instead of as the strengths they are.

          Same for the woman who doesn’t respect a man’s ability to stay cool–and walk away, if necessary–rather than allow an argument to escalate into a screaming match.

          Same for the woman who doesn’t respect a man’s desire and ability to maintain even-tempered and engaged dialog instead of shutting down or escalating to shouting when his partner is doing that.

          I have heard women say that if he yells “back” then he is violent and selfish.

          If a couple has a habit of yelling at each other, their relationship is dysfunctional. At least one of them needs to learn a healthier to communicate. If this happens and the other person cannot positively adapt to the new way of being a couple, the one who has changed for the better needs to leave.

          So I am curious Barbara as to what do you as a strong women recommend that your boyfriend do when you two have a fight over something?

          Apply whichever one of the bold phrases above fits the situation.

        4. Barbara

          Adrian, Callie, Jeremy

          Callie:  try to address the conflict you are facing as one human being dealing with another.

          I think this is great advice for any human interaction.

          Jeremy:  if ever you are arguing with a woman that you’re in a relationship with, look her in the eye, tell her that you love her and support her before saying anything else…..and then do what YOU feel is the right thing to do…So be true to yourself while loving and supporting her.

          This approach certainly would work wonders if a man did this for me. It would instantly break any barriers to communication I had.

        5. Barbara

          Adrian

          I said: Whether you are a man or a woman, in the face of injustice or an attack that could cause physical or intangible harm or annihilation (such as the loss of life or the unjustified loss of a good reputation), you have to fight to the best of your ability and in a way that fits the situation. Refusing to fight when fighting is required is cowardice.

          But really, the internal fight we engage in moment-by-moment is our most important one because it determines whether we win or lose in life. I elaborate on what I mean by this in my response to Tron under comment 10.6.2.

    2. 10.2
      Barbara

      Adrian

      I said:

      If I were in a relationship today, I would do all of the above for my partner as well.

      Not the chivalrous courtship stuff, though. As Evan has said, that’s for the guy to do. What I’d do in response to him being chivalrous is exude appreciation and happiness.

    3. 10.3
      Barbara

      Adrian

      I don’t know how familiar you are with Evan’s blog and materials. A lot of what I mentioned is what he’s said. Another important protective behavior during the courtships phase is for you to take charge. Don’t ask me where I’d like to go. Make a plan. Tell me what time you’ll pick me up. Pick me up. Take me there. That tells me you’re decisive. A decisive man makes me feel safe–like, if something went wrong, he’d handle it, which is what a protector does. When a man behaves this way, it’s very sexy–even if he looks sweet and innocent.

      1. 10.3.1
        Nissa

        You hit the nail on the head, Barbara. I’ve never thought, “oh, I need to be protected” but I have often thought, “For the love of God, pick something”.

    4. 10.4
      Barbara

      Adrian

      One last thing, a little detailed, but it could be helpful. Again, this is only my view on what would make me feel protected. I hope other women chime in.

      Once you’re a couple, if missionary isn’t your favorite position, learn to like or at least to act like you do. Embrace her. It literally puts you on top, in the position of a protector. It makes a woman (this one, at least) feel secure with you. It’s the closest hug that can exist between a man and a woman. If you provide this for her, and to her satisfaction, she is much more likely to happily provide you with what you enjoy most.

      1. 10.4.1
        xxxxxx

        Yes but missionary is not the best position for a woman to achieve orgasm

        1. Henriette

          …. depends on the woman.  🙂

        2. Barbara

          xxxxxx

          the best position for a woman to achieve orgasm

          Some women can achieve orgasm in any position.

        3. Barbara

          xxxxxx and Henriette

          Yes but missionary is not the best position for a woman to achieve orgasm

          …. depends on the woman.

          I agree, Henriette.

          I also I think each person is responsible for creating their own pleasurable experiences. This doesn’t mean not caring about the other person. Ideally, one enjoys giving as well as receiving pleasure. With any position, I don’t think either partner should routinely let the other do all the “work.” It’s so much better if both partners fully participate in creating mutual fun.

      2. 10.4.2
        Nissa

        Is it really that hard to pick up a copy of the Kama Sutra and to say, “I’m thinking this for Friday night?”. I’m thinking any comment can start a conversation, even “How long do you think someone can hold their leg up like that?”

        1. Barbara

          Nissa

          Lol! I’ve never read the Kama Sutra. But you’ve got me thinking it might come in handy at some point–certainly if things ever felt like they were getting dull in a long-term relationship.

          On that note, my parents wound up being married for 67 years. My father was a preacher and church was my mother’s main social activity. Based on her stories, I’m pretty certain they were both virgins when they married. He was 24 and she was 19.

          Once, when each of their five children had already been born and when I was young enough to know what I was looking at but not yet a teenager, I found two books in my mother’s dresser drawer explaining various “positions” using text and illustrations.

          It wasn’t until I was adult, however, that I put two and two together and realized why they sometimes locked their bedroom door. 🙂

        2. Barbara

          Nissa

          I said: Once, when each of their five children had already been born and when I was young enough to know what I was looking at but not yet a teenager, I found two books in my mother’s dresser drawer explaining various “positions” using text and illustrations.

          And I just recently found the 1960 book below in an old trunk in my parents’ attic. I took it with me. I flipped through it but the only illustration it has in internal view of a woman’s reproduction system–not as sexy as those other books. Maybe that’s why it was tucked away in the attic instead of in my parents’ bedroom.

          Sex Satisfaction and Happy Marriage
          by Reverend Alfred Henry Tyrer (Author), M.D. Robert L. Dickinson (Foreword)

    5. 10.5
      GoWiththeFlow

      Hi Adrian,

      First, I don’t consider Tom Welling to be a pretty boy.  I find him very manly 😉  Also I wouldn’t worry that at 5’11” and with a lean body type that you are somehow missing the “protector role” mark.  Not only are you several inches taller than the average 5’4″ woman, but women have personal preferences for facial looks and body types.  Supposedly beards are a sign of manliness.  I’m not a fan of having my face scrubbed with a brillo pad when I kiss a man, so I’m not on board with that.

      Dr. Gottman puts the physical protector role under the umbrella of trustworthiness, which he says is the primary quality women look for in a man.  There are many ways a man can protect a woman that don’t have anything to do with the ability to fend off a physical attack.

      For instance, when I think of something I need in a man, the first thing that comes to mind is for someone to have my back and look out for me.  I can be naive and too trusting, so I wind up getting taken advantage of sometimes.  I would really appreciate having a partner who can point out to me when someone is not being honest or fair with me.

      Other ways past boyfriends have “protected” me is by moving heavy items so I don’t hurt myself;  changing the oil and checking fluid levels and tire pressures on my car before I go on a road trip;  defending me to someone who criticized me when I wasn’t around to defend myself.

      1. 10.5.1
        Barbara

        GoWiththeFlow

        I agree 100% even though I don’t know who Tom Welling is. I even agree with you about excessive facial hair. It’s scratchy and I can’t help but think about what might be hiding in there ( I’m kind of a germaphobe).

        But even though I’m not into beards, I keep and open mind because I don’t want to pass up a possible good match over superficialities. So I sometimes message men with beards. I just keep in mind that, if we ever hit it off, I’d have to accept him as he is, including his fur.

    6. 10.6
      Emily, the original

      Hi Adrian,

      Barbara hit the nail on the head. Another important protective behavior during the courtships phase is for you to take charge. Don’t ask me where I’d like to go. Make a plan. Tell me what time you’ll pick me up. Pick me up. Take me there. That tells me you’re decisive. A decisive man makes me feel safe.
      Women love a man with a plan.

      And I’d add that: when you go to make a first move, just make it. Don’t ask for permission if you can kiss her. Again, it has to do with decisiveness and confidence, which is sexy.

      1. 10.6.1
        Barbara

        Emily, the original

        Yes!

      2. 10.6.2
        Barbara

        Adrian and Emily the Original

        I bet it’s scary to be a man and risk a woman rejecting your advances. But the payoff is big when you make your move decisively with a woman who appreciates that you did so.

        So take the risk every time (after you’ve put in reasonable effort with her). The possible rejection will pail in comparison to what happens when she accepts your kiss. People who never fail are people who never try and people who never try never succeed.

        1. Emily, the original

          Barbara,

          The possible rejection will pail in comparison to what happens when she accepts your kiss.

          She’ll remember it because bold moves are rare.

        2. Tron Swanson

          Success is great…but when you don’t succeed that often, well, you start thinking about risk versus reward, and ROI. For decades, women have been saying that men need to be more in touch with their emotions–and I actually am. My strategy is based more on emotional self-preservation than on likely success. Because, even when I tried harder, it didn’t make any difference. But at least this way, I’m not torturing myself.

          It’s ironic: the advice I was given when I was younger is the exact opposite of what I’m reading in this thread. Men and women alike advised me to ask women what they wanted, give them a chance to come up with plans, etc. I honestly wonder why this changed.

        3. Yet Another Guy

          @Tron Swanson

          I never seek a woman’s permission to touch or kiss her.  I break the touch barrier early when I meet a woman because testing for mutual desire to break that barrier is my goal on a first meet.  Human beings bond via touch.  I purposely invade her personal zone with a masculine, wrap my arms completely around her, chest-to-chest hug with a firm squeeze when we first meet.  I can tell by her reaction if it will be more than a one drink or glass of wine meet.   A woman who is into me responds very differently to that initial hug than a woman who is not into me.   Body language rarely tells a lie.

        4. Nissa

          There are hugs and there are hugs. Hugs that say, Hello! I’m so glad to see you!”, rubbing your shoulder against mine in a “hiya, pal” way, or an excited grabbing of hands are fine. Hugs that press your groin up against me or crush my breasts, not so much. That’s why it’s so hard to take written advice – the critical component of intent and how the act is managed is often left out.

        5. Barbara

          Tron Swanson
          Success is great…but when you don’t succeed that often, well, you start thinking about risk versus reward, and ROI.

          If your fear of rejection is greater than your desire to achieve your goal, and you therefore take no or half-hearted steps to achieve it, you have made your goal impossible.

          I have a particular goal that I set when I was a pre-teenager. It took almost four decades for me to finally reach it. During all those years, I failed countless times in my efforts to achieve it.

          But, because the thought of not achieving it never occurred to me, I preserved. All those years of not having what I wanted are now just memories that make the fact that I’ve achieved my goal that much sweeter.

          To someone whose determination is weak, an obstacle–like rejection–provides a reason to quit. For someone with a strong determination, an obstacle is a tool to be used to make you stronger.

          No one has ever achieved a great goal without failing many times first. Personally, I would and have risked looking like a fool more times than I can count in order to achieve what I want and I have achieved everything on my “must haves” bucket list, except one: Finding my life partner. The fact that not quitting is what enabled me to achieve all my other major goals is what makes me have the confidence deep in my bones that I’ll achieve this one too.

          I gained the ability to maintain a steely determination by not giving up and losing hope when things seem impossible. My confidence in my ability to manifest my desires grew each time I didn’t let obstacles stop me and thereby eventually won, even when some victories took a long time to come to be.

          There is no short cut to developing unshakable confidence in your ability to eventually reach your personal finish line.

          You have to decide to “fall down seven times, get up eight”–over and over again.

        6. Barbara

          Tron

          I said:
          There is no short cut to developing unshakable confidence in your ability to eventually reach your personal finish line.
           
          You have to decide to “fall down seven times, get up eight”–over and over again.

          Over those four decades, sometimes I got deeply depressed over the fact that I hadn’t reached the goal I spoke of–clinically depressed. But I never lost hope that, as long as I got up one more time, I would eventually win. And I did (get up one more time countless times, and win).

        7. Tron Swanson

          Barbara,

          My goal is to be as happy as possible. As much as I like sex, if my attempts to get sex result in too much emotional damage, I’ll try to get it in a manner that’s safer to myself. And that’s basically what I’ve done. If that makes getting sex impossible, so be it, because that’s not my ultimate goal.

        8. Yet Another Guy

          @Nissa

          I do not attempt to grind my man parts into a woman; however, if she gives me a side hug, it is a one drink, thanks for coming meet. I am not there to be her friend. I am auditioning for the part of her lover. I did not marry until age 37. I have dated over 500 women in my lifetime (I have met well over 100 women since re-entering the date pool after separating from my ex). Women who are seriously interested in a man have no qualms about a chest-to-chest initial hug, that is, as long as the man is not overtly sexual about it. I spend a lot of time qualifying a date and building a rapport with her before we meet. My goal from the moment I meet a woman is to see I can break the touch barrier before going into touch escalation mode. If she is not receptive to it, I am not wasting my time on her. I do not play the “I need several dates to see if I am going to except you” game. Beta males play that game, not alphas.

        9. Barbara

          Tron

          My goal is to be as happy as possible.

          Mine too. I believe true happiness is the ultimate goal living.

          Under comment 10.6.4, in response to your comment about me being “lucky,” I outlined the steps I’ve taken to achieve the goal of finding a life partner. Fundamentally, these reflect the same steps I take to become a happy person. It all comes down to taking 100% responsibility for the state of my life.

          I can honestly say I am happier now than I have ever been. This wouldn’t be possible if I hadn’t, over the course of my life, worked very hard and persistently to become happy. And the only way I will remain so and become even happier is if I continue to engage in the work required to make that happen.

          To me, true happiness isn’t getting everything you want or having no problems. True happiness is the profound belief that you are capable of transforming any problem into abundant good for you and others, the unshakable confidence that you are capable of turning the worst situation into something greater than you ever imagined.

          Prize fighters don’t become world champions overnight. They continue to fight opponents who are stronger than them until they become strong enough to defeat the best of the best.

          It’s the same with developing confidence. Most of us don’t just wake up one day and have it. We have to repeatedly challenge greater and greater obstacles and not give up, making ourselves stronger and stronger until we win. Each time we engage in this process, we gain more confidence, a deeper happiness.

        10. Yet Another Guy

          @Barabara

          Prize fighters don’t become world champions overnight. They continue to fight opponents who are stronger than them until they become strong enough to defeat the best of the best.

          I had to change school districts when I was in my sophomore year of high school.  I joined the JV football team in order to make new friends.  It was a really rough school year for me.  It was during that year that my father told me that a man’s character is not determined by how many times he gets knocked down, but what he does when he gets back up.

        11. Tron Swanson

          Barbara,

          Yeah, sometimes happiness takes hard work. And sometimes someone is considered valuable, and people rush to give them what they want, and happiness is very easy for them.

          You can make big speeches about confidence and overcoming obstacles and prize fighting all you want…but the simple truth is that I’m not a competitive or aggressive person, so they don’t really mean anything to me. I’m sure they’d work on a more traditional guy–one with ego, or one who wants to be tough or successful–but I’m simply not like that. Also, our situations are fundamentally different. You’re describing this epic struggle…but, for the most part, all you have to do is let men pursue you and choose the one you like the most. You’re making it sound like you climbed Mt. Everest, when all you actually did was decide that you wanted to be traditionally feminine and let men do most of the work. Suffice to say, I’m in a tougher position than you are.

        12. Barbara

          Tron Swanson
           
          My goal is to be as happy as possible

           
          Do you really mean that? If so, have you reached your goal? Are you happy?d
           
          Yeah, sometimes happiness takes hard work 
           
          Unshakable happiness–the kind that endures through good times and bad and remains steady whether or not other people reject or accept us–ALWAYS takes hard work.
           
          We have to fight over our lesser selves and defeat our fears, self doubts, and weaknesses in order to be happy in the depths of our lives. If we are not willing to fight this fight, we can never know true happiness. Happiness is won. It doesn’t happen by magic or luck or wishing really really hard.
           
          You can make big speeches about confidence and overcoming obstacles and prize fighting all you want…but the simple truth is that I’m not a competitive or aggressive person, so they don’t really mean anything to me. 
           
          Yes I’m making a speech and sound preachy. I’m also telling the truth. Happiness isn’t about aggressiveness or someone else’s definition of success. But it is about competing and developing a tough and strong inner self.
           
          You have to compete with that part of you that keeps you from having the kind of life you want. You are your fiercest opponent. The same is true of me and everyone. If you don’t face and overcome your inner weaknesses, they will always defeat you. You will live the life of a loser. 
           
          People who fail to engage in the battle over their own weaknesses are sad and sometimes bitter people. They constantly blame others and/or bad luck, God, the Devil, fate or their circumstances for their problems. They make excuses for why their goals are always out of reach. But the truth is these kind of people are too afraid to take the risks and do the internal and external work that manifesting their goals requires.
           
          Happiness has everything to do with you having the courage to take a brutally honest look at yourself, Tron, recognizing what you are.doing to prevent yourself from living the life you really want and stop doing it. It’s being willing to learn how you need to change and having the courage to start changing, even if it’s only a little bit at a time.
           
          Taking these steps isn’t something you do and then poof! you’re happy. It’s a continual process you have to commit engaging in for the rest of your life. 
           
          It’s s childish Santa-Claus thinking to believe you should just be happy without working and continuously fighting your doubts and fears and taking risk after risk to do it.
           
          And sometimes someone is considered valuable, and people rush to give them what they want, and happiness is very them…for the most part, all you have to do is let men pursue you and choose the one you like the most…all you actually did was decide that you wanted to be traditionally feminine and let men do most of the work. 
           
          I don’t know who you’re talking about but you’re not describing me. If I’ve written anything on this blog to give you the impression that my experience with men and the process I’ve gone through to achieve the kind of life I want is the way you think it is, please show me the quote and the link to the page it’s on. Please include it in context relevant to what I said so I’ll know why I said it.
           
          Suffice to say, I’m in a tougher position than you are.
           
          The pertinent question for you, Tron, is: Are you tough enough–or willing to work to become tough enough–to fight for the goal you say you want to achieve–your happiness?

        13. Barbara

          Tron Swanson

          I said: Do you really mean that? If so, have you reached your goal? Are you happy?d

          The “d” at the end of my sentence was a typo. I don’t want you to think it was some sort of emoticon meant to make fun of you. 

           

        14. Barbara

          YAG

          my father told me that a man’s character is not determined by how many times he gets knocked down, but what he does when he gets back up.

          You have an awesome dad. Thanks for telling us that.

        15. Tron Swanson

          Barbara,

          As for recognizing what I’m doing that’s preventing me from living the life that I want: absolutely nothing, as far as I’m concerned. The “problem” is that I’m a man in a culture that primarily values women. Unless I fall through a hole and end up in an alternate universe, well, there isn’t much I can do. I could have the best attitude in the world, and work harder than anyone else, and women would still reject me, simply because I’m not the type of guy that 99% of women want. And I don’t think that women are worth that kind of effort, anyway.

          And as for your “toughness” question–I’m not tough, and have no desire to be. Maybe it’s just me, but, I’ve found ways to be happy that don’t involve putting myself through stress.

        16. Barbara

          YAG and Nissa


          YAG: I never seek a woman’s permission to touch or kiss her.  I break the touch barrier early when I meet a woman because testing for mutual desire to break that barrier is my goal on a first meet… A woman who is into me responds very differently to that initial hug than a woman who is not into me. Body language rarely tells a lie.

           
          Nissa: Hugs that press your groin up against me or crush my breasts, not so much.YAG, your comment reminds me of one I made last week after meeting a non-Evan’s-2/2/2-rule vetted man on the same day that we’d first met online and after only a few short messages had passed between us. He showed up reeking of alcohol. I was instantly repulsed by him, his suggestion that we hug, and the hug itself. First of all, I should never had met him without 2/2/2 vetting him. Had I done that, I would never have met him because, even if I didn’t realize he abused alcohol, I would have realized he was still deeply grieving over his deceased wife. 
          However, had he not been a alcohol-steeped grieving man and had we developed the rapport that 2/2/2 makes possible, I would have had no problem with him hugging me–as long as it wasn’t in the overtly sexual way Nissa describes. In fact, I would have welcomed it.

        17. Barbara

          Tron

          I’m a man in a culture that primarily values women.

          Men are valued more than women in almost every sphere of society, Tron, and across all cultures. If you really need evidence of that, Google “gender inequality.”

          I could have the best attitude in the world, and work harder than anyone else, and women would still reject me.

          So is your normal way of being to have a bad attitude and put in as little effort as possible? (Actually, I know you’ve said repeatedly that putting in very little effort is your preferred style).

          Have you ever tested you theory? Meaning, have you ever tried cultivating a great attitude and working very hard to achieve your goal and continued to do so for a long period of time–like a year, for instance?

          Personally, I am a woman who finds men who have great attitudes and work hard very attractive. On the other hand, I’m completely turned off by men who whine and complain (have bad attitudes) and avoid hard work. I bet a lot of women feel like I do.

          I’ve found ways to be happy that don’t involve putting myself through stress.

          What are some of your methods?

        18. Tron Swanson

          Barbara,

          I know all about gender inequality…both real and imagined.

          I’ve noticed that women try to control men’s behavior by telling them that behavior they approve of will be “successful” with women–implying sex–while behavior that they don’t approve of will have the opposite effect. You did this when you said that you (and most women) like men who have good attitudes and work hard, while you don’t like men who have bad attitudes and complain. Personally, I don’t view life as a popularity contest, and I’m not going to do or be anything in order to get people to like me. I’m much more interested in being myself. If that causes women to reject me, so be it.

          As for my methods of finding happiness…in short, they’re things that don’t involve social interaction.

        19. Stacy2

          @Tron

          I’m not the type of guy that 99% of women want. And I don’t think that women are worth that kind of effort, anyway.

          You do realize that what you’ve said is literally – sour grapes?

          I have to ask this, if you’re so self aware that you realize 99% of women don’t want a guy like you (i am not sure what you think is wrong with you but who am i to question), and that you have no desire to change to be a more attractive person to the opposite sex, why are you here on this forum? If your’re so unattractive to women (as you say), surely they will not benefit in any way from your thoughts about relationships and dating. And you don’t seem to be that interested in it either. So why bother, when you can happily live your hermit life that makes you happy?

        20. Barbara

          Stacy2, Tron

          Tron: ’m not the type of guy that 99% of women want. And I don’t think that women are worth that kind of effort, anyway.

          Stacy2:  if you’re so self aware that you realize 99% of women don’t want a guy like you (i am not sure what you think is wrong with you but who am i to question), and that you have no desire to change to be a more attractive person to the opposite sex, why are you here on this forum? If your’re so unattractive to women (as you say), surely they will not benefit in any way from your thoughts about relationships and dating. And you don’t seem to be that interested in it either. So why bother, when you can happily live your hermit life that makes you happy?
          What she said.

        21. Tron Swanson

          Stacy2, Barb,

          I’m here because I’m still trying to get sex, and I’ll take all the information and analysis that I can get. Also, I’m pretty representative of a growing segment of men, believe it or not, so I feel that I need to make my voice heard. You’re correct that I’m much happier alone, but at this point, the possibility of sex still makes it worth the stress.

          As for what makes me so unattractive to women…all the usual things, really.

        22. Stacy2

          @Tron

          I’m here because I’m still trying to get sex, and I’ll take all the information and analysis that I can get. Also, I’m pretty representative of a growing segment of men, believe it or not, so I feel that I need to make my voice heard. 

          Heard by whom? To what end? This makes no sense. Do you really think that you’re going to convince women to lower their standards because you think that there’s a growing segment of men who can’t meet those standards? Do you think that women will be like “geez, this guy really is a loser and has nothing to offer me, but looks like there’s an awful lot of them like this now, so let me just fuck him anyway seems like i have no choice”? Really?

          It does look to me like you have a hard time accepting how little intrinsic value you have. Rest assured we all have very little intrinsic value. Outside of parent-child relationship, we all evaluate each other based on what we can offer. He who has nothing to offer stands without a chair.

          As far as trying to get sex goes, isn’t that what a certain section of craigslist is for?

           

        23. Tron Swanson

          Stacy2,

          As strange as this is going to sound, I think that many of society’s problems come from people trying to fit in and making themselves miserable in the process, as opposed to truly expressing themselves. I think that things would be better if we all “represented” ourselves more honestly. It’ll paint a more accurate picture for all of us. As an example: I’ve never believed in marriage, and when I was younger, women had a hard time understanding that. It was always an annoying speed-bump that I had to deal with. But now, as the idea has become more common, women aren’t put off by it. I don’t have to waste time explaining my rationale. That helps, because it makes things quicker and easier for me. By being honest, men helped get that idea out there.

          So, by posting here, I’m just doing my part. I believe it’ll help, even if it’s just a drop in the bucket–but I’m not doing this because I think it’ll directly lead to sex, as you implied. No, the sex-related part is what I’m learning by reading Evan’s articles and the various comments. When I post here, it’s about ideas; when I read here, it’s about sex. I hope that clarifies things for you.

      3. 10.6.3
        GoWiththeFlow

        Barbara & Emily,

        I disagree.  I don’t see where initiating contact and dates and planning the itinerary is “protective” at all.  It’s showing initiative and confidence, and those two things are considered masculine, so I think that is why women respond it so well.

        1. Emily, the original

          GoWiththeFlow,

           It’s showing initiative and confidence, and those two things are considered masculine, so I think that is why women respond it so well.

          Yes, agreed. I didn’t mean taking charge shows being protective, but Adrian asked about how to go from being seen as the guy who women see as a long-term boyfriend/husband to the one they want to rip the clothes off of. Leading with masculine behavior will help. I think Jeremy wrote about this on a previous post before. He needs to lead with less comfort and more arousing qualities.

        2. Barbara

          GoWiththeFlow

          I disagree

          I don’t disagree with you. As I said in my initial response to Adrian’s question, the behaviors I listed are what make me feel protected by a man. You are not me and I am not you. So it’s not for me to say how you should define what makes you feel protected. I won’t disagree with your feelings just because I feel differently. Feelings are unique to the individual

          I believe confidence and being a protector are inseparable behaviors and are not gender specific. As I mentioned earlier on this thread, I am a protector.

          But, as a woman, I’m learning to exhibit this quality in a feminine way with my significant other, which was something I didn’t always do or even realize I should try to do. Evan has helped me bring out my feminine qualities more than I ever had before I came across his advice.

      4. 10.6.4
        Barbara

        Tron

        It’s ironic: the advice I was given when I was younger is the exact opposite of what I’m reading in this thread. Men and women alike advised me to ask women what they wanted, give them a chance to come up with plans, etc. I honestly wonder why this changed.

        How old are you?

        I’m a baby boomer (55) who was a preteen and teen during the hey day of the Women’s Liberation movement. Here’s what I think about your question:

        While many positive changes came out of the Women’s Lib movement, one of the negative ones was the notion that women and men are the same. The reality is we are equal but we are not the same.

        The confusion about this created confusion about gender roles. In my case, I suppressed my femininity  and expected the men I was involved with to simultaneously suppress their masculinity and be masculine when I wanted them to and the way I wanted them to do it. The problem with this is a masculine man doesn’t want to be told how to be a man and a man who is overly feminine is unattractive to me. My confusion about my own femininity and the kind of man I needed and really desired created my problem.

        I believe this confusion is a big reason my past relationships consistently failed. As I repeatedly say, Evan’s advice has really helped me reclaim and experience my natural femininity. Doing this has opened up a whole new world for me in terms of how I relate to men. Each day, I am amazed at how my new way of being changes my daily interactions with men and makes these interactions more enjoyable than they’ve ever been.

        I honestly wonder why this changed.

        I think things have changed because we are in the midst of correcting what occurred when the Women’s Lib movement went too far in its quest for equality for women. I think we are now coming to a natural moderate place in terms of romantic relationships. This is definitely the case for me personally.

        For me, in this new place, I can truly be my whole self–which includes both feminine and masculine aspects–while leading with my feminine aspect because, as a heterosexual women, doing so feels natural and wonderful.

        The alternative way of being–over-expressing my masculine aspect–left me unsatisfied, tense and unable to attract the kind of man I wanted–one who self-assuredly expresses his feminine aspect while leading with his masculine one.

        1. Tron Swanson

          Barbara,

          I’m almost 38.

          Though I agree that men and women generally aren’t the same, I don’t think we’ re always different, either. I’m of the belief that we should throw gender roles out the window and let people be people, instead of trying to impose identities on them. In your case, you should have always been feminine, regardless of what the culture around you said. Gay people shouldn’t be pressured to be straight. If a straight guy is extremely macho or extremely not, he shouldn’t be shamed either way. That’s just my crazy utopian belief.

          If I tried to fill a masculine gender role, I’d be miserable, but that doesn’t mean that I’m “feminine.” I was actually happy with the more gender-neutral standards that were around when I was younger. I didn’t want to lead or follow, I simply wanted an equal partner in decision-making. I’ve had a few women tell me to tap into my “natural masculine” whatever–though not in those exact words–but I am here to tell you that I’m not “naturally” that way at all, outside of a focus on sex and not being very social.

          You’re lucky, in that, once you decided to be your true self, you discovered that men were still attracted to that self. I’ve been my true self for a long time, and women simply aren’t interested.

        2. Barbara

          Tron

          You’re lucky, in that, once you decided to be your true self, you discovered that men were still attracted to that self. I’ve been my true self for a long time, and women simply aren’t interested.

          I believe I create my own luck and so does everyone else–including you. Luck is created in our thoughts and radiates outward into our speech, behavior, and world.

          You are 38. I have been pursing my goal to find a life partner longer than you’ve been alive and for most of my life.

          I only know you by what you write here; so I could be dead wrong about you. I am so sorry if I am. But these are the steps I’ve taken and continue to take to achieve my relationship goal and that I believe you don’t take, or, if you do take them, you don’t do so consistently and continually:

          1.) I had to look and I continue to look within myself unflinchingly and commit to going through a total inner transformation in order to continuously develop into the kind of human being I want to be, recognize the kind of man I truly need and want, and appear attractive to that kind man.

          2.) Even though I have pursued the goal of finding my life partner for most of my life, I have never stopped believing I will achieve it.

          3.) I don’t blame the behavior of men or anyone for preventing me from achieving my goal. I see it as my responsibility to do whatever it takes to manifest it, not anyone else’s.

          4) I am committed to doing whatever it takes for as long as it takes to have the relationship I truly want.

          5.) I recognize that, like everyone, including you, I have certain qualities that make me unique. Like you, I recognize that I don’t exactly fit the mainstream mold. Therefore, it’s not unreasonable for it to take a long time to find someone who is compatible with me. If I were willing to unnaturally change who I am as a person, I could have settled down with a man a long time ago. I could have stayed married to my ex husband. But I believe I can both stay true to myself and manifest the man I desire as long as I don’t give up and continue to engage in the processes I listed above. So that’s what I will do.

    7. 10.7
      Yet Another Guy

      @Adrian

      First off, you should never say that you are only 5’11” (I am assuming that you measure your height in bare feet).   Do you realize that 5’11” is the 75th percentile?  That means that only one in four men is at least your height.  A lot of shorter men would gladly trade places with you.  I am the same height as you.  The difference between us is that I have a solid mesomorph body.

      Being seen as a protector has a much do to with how a man carries himself as his physical size.  You need to exude the aura that tells the woman in your life that nothing bad will happen to her on your watch.  You need to be a man of your word because trustworthiness is a huge part of the protector role.  She needs to feel like you would actually step into harms way to protect her if the situation dictated it.   If something goes wrong, she knows that you will fix it.  Projecting that image is as much about a man’s actions as his physical size.

       

    8. 10.8
      Stacy2

      I would add the following to the list that Barbara wrote (which i generally agree with):

      – Don’t lose your shit over minor irritants. Stay in control.

      To me, if a guy begins to lose it over stuff like – i don’t know – a request to go through a metal detector 2x, or a restaurant not having certain item that’s listed on the menu, etc. – to me this is the biggest turn off. He who can’t control himself can’t control anything else. Is this a guy I am supposed to trust with my future children? Don’t think so. But may be its just me.

      1. 10.8.1
        Malika

        This is a big one (for men and women). Life is full of minor irritants, we don’t need people in our lives who have meltdowns about every little obstacle that comes our way.

      2. 10.8.2
        Barbara

        Adrian, GoWiththFlow, YAG, Stacy2

         It’s showing initiative and confidence

        Being seen as a protector has a much do to with how a man carries himself as his physical size.  

        He who can’t control himself can’t control anything else.

        I think confidences sums it all up. It’s an attractive quality in masculine men and feminine women alike–we just express it differently.

        If you’re not a confident person but sincerely want to become one, you can “fake it to make it.” The more you act confident–for instance, by taking decisive action even when you’re really scared–the more condident you’ll begin to feel. It’s also important to learn how to recognize and change thought patterns that undermine your confidence.

      3. 10.8.3
        GoWiththeFlow

        On a first date (after a fix up at a mutual friend’s party) I had a guy get road ragey.  Then he repeated a few times, “I can’t believe that guy!”  That was more than unattractive, that was scary.  I would be afraid of being on the receiving end of a hair trigger temper like that.

  11. 11
    Stacy

    I have been successful in online dating even though I am in my late 30s. I have currently been with my wonderful man for almost a year. BUT, I am HIGHLY physically attractive. I don’t pretend that this possibly doesn’t make a HUGE difference. Also, I am not extremely picky concerning many superficial characteristics that I hear other women are concerned with.

    1. 11.1
      Barbara

      Stacy

      I have been successful in online dating even though I am in my late 30s. I have currently been with my wonderful man for almost a year. BUT, I am HIGHLY physically attractive. I don’t pretend that this possibly doesn’t make a HUGE difference.

      Doesn’t make a huge difference in what?

  12. 12
    L

    Online dating is a necessary evil.  Once out of college it really is the best way to meet people.  And if you are a single parent, i have no clue how you’d meet someone when you don’t go out much and most people you do meet seem to be married.   However, online dating is also hard because you don’t have anyone to really vouch for the people you meet and it created this perception of abundance whereby many people won’t work on creating a real connection because any imperfection is now a deal breaker.  In some ways it is simpler to just meet people in life because when it is hard to meet people, you are more likely to be more forgiving of people’s flaws because you don’t have this sense that there are an endless supply of singles where you are.  Also when you date people outside your social/professional circle it becomes easier to mistreat them because you know that people in your circle will never hear about it (or are unlikely to).  So ghosting is a thing (it wasn’t when I dated in college).  People can behave in more offensive ways.

    I have met some great people (dating one right now) but I have also experienced a lot of hurt with online dating.   I think it had commoditized dating, which is a double edge sword.

    1. 12.1
      Yet Another Guy

      I do not know what is up with women and ghosting. Ghosting is no different than a man not calling a woman back for a second date in real life. I never called a woman and told her that I did not want a second date before I started to use online dating sites. Why should things be any different online? Women appear to believe that they are owed a courtesy online that they rarely if ever received in real life.

      Here is the thing. Ghosting is about leveling the playing field. It is about a man not having to deal with something that is unpleasant. A woman almost never calls a man and tells him that she does not want a second date. She waits for him to call. Why should a man have to endure that unpleasant experience in both directions? If anything, online dating exposes women to a taste of the rejection that men have had to endure their entire lives. If online dating depended on women being able to handle the level of rejection that most men have to endure, the model would cease to function.

      1. 12.1.1
        L

        YAG, no one it talking about not calling after a first date.  Ghosting means you have been seeing someone (at least a few times) and communicating with them on a regular basis and all of a sudden they vanish.  All communication abruptly stops. This did not happen when I dated 18 years ago, it does now.

        This practice is incredibly rude.

        1. Emily, the original

          L,

          No one it talking about not calling after a first date.

          I don’t agree. If a couple go on a first date and either one contacts the other afterward, then yes, the contacted party should respond that he/she is not interested. But there is no need for a man to announce he doesn’t want a second date. Just don’t call the woman. And the woman doesn’t need to announce it unless the man asks for a second date.

           

        2. Yet Another Guy

          That may be your interpretation of ghosting, but I have had the term used on me before I even met a woman in person. In its loosest definition, ghosting is when man abruptly looses interest in pursuing a woman and vanishes like a ghost. There is no set limit for when a man is required to inform a woman that he is no longer interested in pursuing her in order to qualify as being ghosted.

          Let me ask you a question; namely, how many times have you called a guy with whom you had been on a handful of dates and told him that you were no longer interested in seeing him? I am willing to bet that that number is zero. You more than likely waited until he called you to break the news. Why should a guy have to call you to tell you that he is no longer interested in seeing you? If you want the freedom associated with being a modern woman, you have to take the downside of being a modern women. The guy you were dating does not owe you closure just as you would not volunteer to give him closure if the roles were reversed. If you call him and he refuses to give you closure, that is a completely different story.

          Put simply, ghosting is merely men attempting to level the playing field in the dating game. Ghosting allows a man to avoid expending unnecessary emotional energy. There is nothing in it for him. He is done with the woman being ghosted. It may be painful, but guys have been dealing with the pain of being rejected and the head-trip that follows having to call and reject a woman for a long time. As man who has made his fare share of calls, ghosting is a godsend. There is nothing like hearing a woman on the other end of the line fight back emotions. Her breathing becomes labored, and you are praying that tears do not start to flow. It gives a man with a conscious a head-trip that makes him want to give up dating.

  13. 13
    L

    Emily, I don’t think we disagree. Not communicating after a first date is not what I would consider ghosting.  Ghosting is failure to communicate after several dates.

    1. 13.1
      Emily, the originalaa

      L.

      Yes but you still ghost after a first date if the other person contacts you and you don’t respond. That’s ghosting. You disappear to avoid confrontation. You can at least send a text saying you aren’t interested. But of course ghosting after several dates is worse. You at least owe that person an email.

      1. 13.1.1
        Kyra

        I have a personal rule to not contact a man after a first date. If, as we are taught, men move hell and high water to see a woman they are interested in, a man will contact me without question after a first date if he wants to see me again.

        So, I my MO is to send an initial “Thank you so much for a lovely time. I really enjoyed meeting you” text the night of the date once I have arrived home. If I liked him enough to do it again, I’ll include, “We should definitely do it again!”  That way he knows my interest in seeing him again.

        Generally, if a man is into you, he contacts within 24-hours. When that happens, cool. We go out again.

        If he does not contact me again, I assume he isn’t interested and move on. I give men 7-days from the day/evening of our first date. If don’t hear from then within that time, I remove their number from my phone (I exchange maybe 5-7 numbers a week and do not keep my phone clogged with men with no interest) as the likelihood they will contact me is extremely low. I understand he wasn’t feeling it and move on to the next. However, like L says, I don’t consider this ghosting. Not after one date.
        I think the amount of pre-texting we do nowadays makes these incidents *seem* like ghosting. I keep my pre-texting/communication to a minimum as well to minimize any hurt/rejection I may feel if a man goes quiet text-wise after date one. I don’t think men understand how weird that is. Before they meet you they’re texting you every morning “Good morning!” and “Hope you are having a good day!” Then, after a first date and they aren’t into you PAINFULLY AWKWARD SILENCE. I never liked that and started telling guys “I’m an awful texter” so when they see I don’t respond to texts prior to a first date they don’t take it personally and stop texting… they just wait patiently for the first date. I do my best to avoid this awkward scenario by keeping text communication to a minimum before meeting.

        Ghosting after many dates or months sadly is the worst part of dating (just happened to me three weeks ago with a guy I really fell for), but I watch and listen very closely for the signs and I saw his coming on our last date. I never contacted him and, not surprisingly, he never contacted me again after steadily initiating dates for two months. There are always signs. We just have to be aware and honest about the fact that they are there and prepare for the ghosting.

  14. 14
    Barbara

    Men, I have an online dating question:

    Say you have a great first phone conversation with a woman you met online, you two wind up talking for over an hour, and you sincerely tell her a three times that talking to her makes you feel great and is the best OLD experience you’ve had (imagine you’ve only been OLD for a couple of weeks because you took a one-year hiatus from dating after a painful break up and every women you’ve encountered online stops messaging you after they discover that at 57 you have a 4 year old).

    You’re not all gushy when you tell her how talking to her makes you feel. You’re just being honest and tell her with confidence. She seems to respond positively to this information and talked positively about you being an older dad (for instance, saying it must be wondrous to get to do fatherhood 2.0 after raising two adult children). You two share easy laughs and the usual getting-to-know-you stuff.

    Then, for your second phone call, after about 15 minutes she says she has to get off the phone to do something (like eat dinner).  You don’t allow her hang up before you tell her, again, how much you’ve enjoyed talking to her. She says the same but not quite as enthusiastically as before, however, you can hear her smile when she says it. As before, during your conversation, you shared laughs and personal info.

    I know I’ve provided very little information but, even so, can you tell me how it might feel to be the guy in this situation? If you would have preferred the woman to behave any differently than she did, in what way?

    This particular situation could go nowhere but your input could be useful for future reference.

    1. 14.1
      Jeremy

      Hard to know how to answer this, Barbara.  As Callie correctly stated in another post, different people receive love/affection differently.  To a guy who may be insecure, cutting a phone conversation short may indicate a loss of interest.  To a more secure guy, it would just be a shorter conversation, no significance implied.

       

      The only thing I might suggest is to limit the long, in-depth, emotion-evoking phone conversations before the first date.  In a past life, I made the mistake of thinking that good phone conversations meant great relationship potential, only to be disappointed after the first meeting.  Until you meet in person, you have no idea whether there’s a connection or not, phone or no phone.  The long phone conversations can lead to misunderstandings and miscommunications.

      1. 14.1.1
        Barbara

        Jeremy
        limit the long, in-depth, emotion-evoking phone conversations before the first date… Until you meet in person, you have no idea whether there’s a connection or not…The long phone conversations can lead to misunderstandings and miscommunications.
        That’s exactly why I limited the second conversation but until I read what you wrote, I couldn’t put my finger on what I was feeling.

        He and I can’t meet in person until 10 days from now because his little daughter will be home with him (shared custody). I don’t want to spend hours a day talking on the phone before then and expend a lot of energy and emotion doing that when we might never actually meet or, if we do meet, not hit it off.

        Plus, as you said, talking on the phone a lot prior to meeting can result in crossed communication wires, which could prevent a potentially good first date from ever taking place.

        Thanks for helping me sort out what I was thinking and feeling.

        1. Jeremy

          And not just preventing a date from happening, but also potentially making both of you feel like you’re already in a relationship when you aren’t. You haven’t even met!

           

          I once did this with a woman – we spoke many times before meeting (she was in med school in another city) and we really hit it off on the phone.  I was super excited and bought her flowers for our first real date.  It was a disaster.  She hated the fact that I brought flowers, and when I held the door open for her she asked whether I thought something was wrong with her arms.  There was zero physical chemistry, she didn’t like the restaurant I chose and I didn’t like her attitude.  All in all, worst date ever, and made worse by high expectations.  Lesson learned – don’t get into a relationship before you’ve met.

      2. 14.1.2
        Yet Another Guy

        @Jeremy

        I have to disagree with you when it comes to long telephone calls.  I actually like to spend a significant amount of time on the phone with a potential date before meeting her.  In fact, I no longer meet women with whom I cannot hold at least a one-hour effortless telephone conversation.  If she cuts me off before the end of the end of an hour, I “next” her.

        I am a typical man in that I can be horribly visual. Making an intellectual/emotional connection with a woman before meeting her helps to offset some of the visual disappointment; otherwise, I find myself breaking pursuit within thirty seconds of meeting any woman who does not look at least as good in person as her best posted photo.   As slight to severe disappoints on the visual front are more frequent than pleasant surprises, this approach allows me to get to know women I would normally write-off immediately upon meeting her.

        Additionally, I am an introvert.  I am only slightly introverted, but an introvert all the same. As an introvert, meeting someone for the first time in a venue filled with people is a huge mental and emotional energy sink.  I need to do everything possible to make a date a success.  Building a strong rapport with a woman before meeting her always leads to a much better date because attempting to build one when we meet in a crowed venue results in overstimulation.  Introverts shutdown when they become overstimulated in a social setting.  You will find that most introverts hate quick-and-dirty coffee dates where the person they are meeting does not wish to do much in the way of pre-meeting communication for this very reason.

        1. Jeremy

          YAG, I’m about as introverted as they come.  This doesn’t mean I’m socially inept, but I don’t like crowds.  This has nothing to do with the decision of whether or not to hold long phone conversations before a first date.  Have you never found that, after having long phone conversations, you don’t have as much to talk about on the actual date (when, you know, you’re overwhelmed by all the extroversion)?   In normal dating, you get much of the small talk out of the way in the first date or two and then focus on other things as the chemistry grows.  With long conversations prior to the first date, you can end up on a date with nothing left to say.

           

          And though you may build a strong rapport (as you wrote) prior to meeting, you may regret that rapport if you totally lack chemistry when meeting.

           

          Do most introverts hate coffee dates?  I don’t think so – no more than any other type of interaction with someone unknown.  And with the expectations built by the prior conversations, the stakes get higher leading to more stress.
          Having said all that, everyone is different, so do whatever works for you.

        2. Yet Another Guy

          @Jeremy

          Most of the people I know who hate quick-and-dirty coffee dates are introverts.  All of the introverts I know are not socially inept.  It is just a matter of energy conservation.

          For me, the first date is not about communication. It is about determining if there is mutual desire to break the touch barrier.  I am not meeting a woman to be her friend, nor is she meeting me for that purpose.  We auditioning to be lovers, and that starts with touch.  A relationship without physical love is a friendship.

        3. Barbara

          YAG

          Actually, I prefer a long first phone call. Like I said, it gives me a chance to assess how he thinks. What I really want to know is if we share some core values. That can become very apparent during a longer phone call.

          I just don’t want to have another long call after the first one. If the guy doesn’t set up a date after one of those and one or two shorter ones, he’s wasting my time.

          I had to learn this stuff. Before Evan and before I gained online dating experience, I thought several long phones meant something. Now I know better.

        4. Barbara

          YAG

          Most of the people I know who hate quick-and-dirty coffee dates are introverts.

          I’m a mix of introvert and extrovert–an ambivert. The new thinking is that the majority of people are like this.

          In any case, I don’t like coffee dates at all. To me, they show minimal effort on a man’s part and don’t lend themselves to creating a relaxing and flirty mood.

          However, I am learning to be flexible when it comes to all things dating and life in general. So when guy # 2 suggested meeting at Starbucks tonight, I happily agreed and I am determined to make it a fun experience for both of us.

          I have the men on this blog to thank for helping me see coffee dates from the point of view of a man who’s been burnt shelling out a lot of money (to him) on dates that went no where. Maybe the guy I’m meeting tonight is like that. Maybe he isn’t. Either way, since I don’t know him, I’m giving him the benefit of the doubt and meeting him as if his intentions are, like mine, good.

        5. Nissa

          I must be an exception, then, because I’m an introvert who very much prefers the meet and greet over a phone call. Possibly because at least with a meet and greet I’m ready to deal with the person, versus random phone calls that interrupt my day (possibly leading to my having to return a call, which might also be missed).

    2. 14.2
      Barbara

      Jeremy and John

      Twice, while talking on the phone to a man I met online and getting the feeling that something I did or said unsettled them, when I’ve directly asked him if my perception was on target they’ve always said yes. In these cases, our conversation has ended before I rolled it over in my mind and then contacted the men to address what I thought may have unsettled them. Both times they said they appreciated that I did.

      So, I did that again. I just texted the guy bearing in mind the things I’ve brought the matter, while also addressing whatever I think may have thrown him for a loop. Here’s the text:
      “I could be wrong, if so, just do a mind-swipe and erase the thought that you received this text:

      I cut our call short the other night because now that I’ve earned my OLD Ph. D (Doctorate in Online Dating), I know long phone conversations are not ideal during dating and even less so when I haven’t even met the guy yet.

      One of us could unintentionally say something to turn off the other, causing the other person to cancel what might have been a great first meeting.

      Or we could have great phone conversations and a big dud of a first meeting because the person on the phone is a let down face2face.

      So, if you want to meet, I’d rather we talk on the phone in preparation for that.

      Remember to use the mind-swipe if necessary. Those things come in very handy sometimes.

      Hope you’re enjoying your time with [daughter’s name]. And hope I correctly spelled her name.

      1. 14.2.1
        Barbara

        Jeremy and John

        I said:  I just texted the guy bearing in mind the things I’ve brought the matter

        I meant “bearing in mind the things you two said about the matter”

  15. 15
    John

    I totally agree with Jeremy. What I do is have a couple a 15 minute conversations that are light and funny, and I only speak about benign subjects to build up a little bit of rapport. Having a long conversation before you meet creates a false dynamic that usually leads to  each person thinking they’re already in a relationship. If a woman insists on having long conversations before we meet, I am the one who gets off the phone first.

    1. 15.1
      Yet Another Guy

      Are you an extrovert?

  16. 16
    Barbara

    Jeremy and John

    I agree with both of you. I think I was wondering if I turned him off by cutting the call short. But I definitely wouldn’t want to have another long conversation for all the reasons you both said.

    The first phone call was fine being long. It gave me a chance to see how he thinks. But that type of first call certainly isn’t a requirement for me.

    Since he can’t see me in over a week, I’d prefer that, if he calls again, it’s just to set a meeting time. When men set dates several days in advance, I always ask them to call the day before to confirm. That eliminates me wondering if we’re still on or not.

    As far as turning the guy off by cutting our call short, what you said made me think Jeremy. If he’s so insecure that he’d feel worried or slighted by that, he wouldn’t be compatible with me.

    I don’t like long phone calls during courtship either. I’d rather we get to know each other in person. That let’s us get a real idea of how the other person behaves in a way a call can’t.

    I’m meeting a man for the first time tonight and we’ve talked three times this week, each time for 15 minutes or less. I feel less chemistry with him than with the other man but, as Evan says and as my history with online dating shows, that’s not a bad thing.

     

     

    1. 16.1
      Yet Another Guy

      @Barbara

      I have had women halt communication with me when they discover that I high school-age children who are my only children as a mid-fiftysomething.  Women my age have grown children that often have children of their own.   They are past the expensive college years, and are looking for an unencumbered man with whom they can travel.  That is why I prefer to date women who are in their forties.  It is much easier because we are closer life stage-wise.  I can only imagine what it is like to be 57 and have a 4-year-old child.  That has to be horribly limiting when it comes to dating.

      1. 16.1.1
        Barbara

        YAG

        Actually, I thought of you when he told me about his 4 year old and how women rejected him once they learned about her. Form my view, we all have things about us that are less than desirable as far as a  potential mate is concerned. For me, a young child who has no extraordinary special problems is not, in and of itself, a deal-breaker.

        In fact, I really meant it when I told him his experience must feel wondrous. I told him I definitely wouldn’t want to be the mother of a young child again. But that I could totally see how doing it, after raising adult children, could be a thrill. You get to do all the things right that you screwed up the first time. You get to enter the fantastical world of a child again. This has got to be awesome for someone who likes children and being a parent. He concurred.

        1. Yet Another Guy

          I cannot imagine fathering a child in my fifties.  While it is no longer possible without reversing surgery, I have zero desire to deal with diapers and all of that stuff.   That is one of the reasons why I do not date grandmothers.  A lot of women our age who are grandmothers have grandchildren who are infants or toddlers.  I am sorry, but I need a break from that for a few more years.

        2. Barbara

          YAG

          I cannot imagine fathering a child in my fifties.  

          I definitely wouldn’t want to do it either and, hopefully, it will be a while before I’m a grandmother. But I can still see the positive aspects of having a young child in your life, which are as I stated.

          I the man I was talking about’s case, against the advice of everyone he knew, he married a woman 22 years younger. They divorced four years and one child later.

        3. GoWiththeFlow

          YAG,

          “A lot of women our age who are grandmothers have grandchildren who are infants or toddlers.  I am sorry, but I need a break from that for a few more years.”

          Huh?  Unless these grandchildren are living in grandma’s house and she has extensive child care responsibilities, why is this an issue?  The best thing about being a grandparent is being able to say, “Hey mom and dad, come take over.  He needs to be changed.”

          Barbara,

          I tend to think like you.  Whether a man had kids and what their ages are is a secondary concern for me, not an immediate deal killer.  It’s hard enough to find someone who is compatible where the is also mutual attraction and good communication.  I’m not going to pre disqualify a great guy for having a young child.

          The diaper phase is two and a half years.  The tantrum phase another year beyond that.  If I’m lucky and live into by late 80s or 90s as one set of grandparents did, then that time period is a blip on timeline.  Besides, in previous relationships, it wasn’t the kids that were the issue but the ex-wife/baby-mama drama that created stress.

        4. Barbara

          GoWiththeFlow

          It’s hard enough to find someone who is compatible where the is also mutual attraction and good communication.  I’m not going to pre disqualify a great guy for having a young child…The diaper phase is two and a half years.  The tantrum phase another year beyond that.  If I’m lucky and live into by late 80s or 90s as one set of grandparents did, then that time period is a blip on timeline. 

          This is an example of why it’s important to take a long range view of things and keep your eye on the final goal. I like the way you put the brevity of childhood in perspective as it relates to the longevity of a relationship that lasts til death do us part, which is what I’m seeking. The same goes with other potential deal breakers that are inconsequential in the long run.

        5. Yet Another Guy

          @GoWiththeFlow

          Women who are grandmothers love their grandchildren. They always seem to have their grandchildren if their children live nearby. For grandmothers, it is all of the upside of raising children without any of the downside, except for maybe the diapers part. 🙂 I am not ready for that phase of life. Plus, I have nothing in common with these women. Their life experiences outside of raising a family are back-loaded compared to mine. I did much of what they are yearning to do before I married. I had visited three continents, lived in southern Europe for a year and a half, and learned a foreign language by actually having to speak it everyday before I was 30. I would rather be with someone who is at the same place life stage-wise with respect to raising their family. It gives me more discuss on a daily basis.

        6. Evan Marc Katz

          Lots of assumptions and limiting beliefs here. As if all grandmothers were the same. Open up or keeping doing what you’re doing. I know which way works better.

        7. Barbara

          YAG, Evan Marc Katz, GoWiththeFlow, 

          YAG: I would rather be with someone who is at the same place life stage-wise with respect to raising their family. It gives me more discuss on a daily basis.

          Evan: Lots of assumptions and limiting beliefs here. As if all grandmothers were the same. Open up or keeping doing what you’re doing. I know which way works better.

          GowiththeFlow: Unless these grandchildren are living in grandma’s house and she has extensive child care responsibilities, why is this an issue? 

          I’m with Evan and GoWiththeFlow, YAG. In 20 years, a grandchild is relatively independent. Plus, as GoWiththeFlow says, few grandparents’ lives revolve around their grandchildren anyway, even while the kids are young.

          Evan has taught me to limit my deal breakers. I’ve distilled them down to a man being no more than five years older or younger than I am, more or less, and sharing my core values. I stated those elsewhere in these comments: Self-reflecting; admitting mistakes; respecting and valuing self and others; believing goodness is the essence of human nature; and being courageous, responsible, honest, and optimistic. (I recently added “responsible”)

          I keep this list as a reminder in case I get side-track from focusing on it when I meet a new man. Right now, I can’t think of anything else that would be an absolute deal breaker.

           

        8. Tron Swanson

          I find it difficult enough to relate to women that have kids…and now some women my age have grandkids. That’s been an attraction-killer, for me.

      2. 16.1.2
        Yet Another Guy

        @Evan

        It is my preference to be with someone who matches me life stage-wise, which generally means professional women in their mid-to-late forties.

        1. Evan Marc Katz

          As long as what you’re doing is working, keep doing it. My guess is that it’s not. Thus, this dialogue. People would rather fail their way than to try a different and potentially more effective way. Do your thang, man.

        2. KK

          YAG,

          This is an odd preference, in my opinion. What if you get in a relationship with someone who suddenly becomes a grandmother? Are you going to dump her because of that? What if you end up becoming a grandfather much earlier than you predict? It could happen. Would you then be okay with dating grandmothers or would you have a double standard? Just something to consider.

        3. Yet Another Guy

          @KK

          I do not consider my preference for dating women who are not grandmothers to be odd in the least.  I do not have anything in common with women my age who have children that have graduated from college, established their careers, married, and started their own families.  We have lived very different lives.  They married young.  I did not marry until my later thirties.   I am not ready for that experience just as I was not ready to take on the responsibility of raising another man’s children when I was younger, which is why I married a woman seven years my junior.  I would rather spend my time with someone whose family is at the same life stage.

          I cannot understand why this preference is such a problem.  I have met my fair share of women whose children have recently graduated from college who lose interest after they discover that I have teenage children.  They want to travel and do things with an unencumbered man, not a man who is going to have to live on budget for the next decade or more because of one of his children wants to attend medical school.  My child’s needs come first just as their child’s need came first when they were on school.  Yet, women see this preference in a mate to be acceptable.  The fact that the gentleman with whom Barbara is communicating is gun shy about being a fifty-something father of a minor child underscores how many women have a problem with fifty-something men who have minor children.  That bias is real, and more women have it than do not.

        4. GoWiththeFlow

          YAG,

          “I cannot understand why this preference is such a problem.  I have met my fair share of women whose children have recently graduated from college who lose interest after they discover that I have teenage children.”

          It’s because you are limiting your options with a checklist of “must haves” that aren’t based on someone’s character, mutual attraction, or there capacity to love and be in a relationship.  (Although you also want someone, but not a real elationship)  Just because some women you meet similarly limit themselves doesn’t mean it’s an effective strategy for finding love.  You are sabotaging yourself.

    2. 16.2
      Jeremy

      Not to beat a dead horse, but you have no chemistry with the other guy.  You haven’t met him yet 🙂

      The chemistry is just an illusion until you meet.  That was the point I was trying to make.  And it is even more destructive to compare that illusory chemistry to that felt with other guys.

      1. 16.2.1
        Buck25

        @Jeremy,

        Very true. You can build rapport with a phone conversation or two, but not chemistry; until you meet in person, you simply don’t know. This is why having a long and pleasant phone conversation guarantees…absolutely nothing. I’ve had long phone calls that ended up in great dates (and in a couple of cases, relationships). On the other hand, I vividly remember one instance where I had three long phone conversations with a very attractive woman (she was a three-hour drive away), had great rapport built, both of us very much looking forward to the first date, but the date itself, while pleasant enough, was just blah; in person, there was just no chemistry on either side, and we both felt it; we ended up looking at each other and saying, “This just isn’t working, is it?”, after which we called it an early evening. Neither of us did anything “wrong”; two personalities that seemed to click just fine over the phone simply did not click in person. There’s just no way to predict that, not as far as I’ve ever found. Chemistry can be a strange thing sometimes.

        1. GoWiththeFlow

          Buck25,

          I mentioned above tread that I liked eHarmony because I always had many things in common with the men I met through the site.  In the interest of brevity what I left out was that with virtually all of the men I met on eH, a good rapport was almost always guaranteed, the only thing to do was to meet in person and see if the chemistry clicked IRL.

          It takes both.  In person chemistry and conversational rapport.  In traditional dating, chemistry comes first, and rapport develops after that.  In OLD rapport is often established first and then it’s determined whether or not in person chemistry exists.

      2. 16.2.2
        Barbara

        Jeremy

        I know you mean well but “chemistry” is defined by different people in different ways. We are all limited by language, which doesn’t always fully convey meaning.

        So what I mean by “chemistry” may be very different from what you mean. In this case, the guy in question came across as someone who shares the same values I do. Does that mean we’re getting married or even that we’re going on our first date? Of course not.

        The way I took our conversation was like this:

        “I’m starting to attract the kind of man that I’m seeking. Whether or not this guy turns out to by “The One,” the fact that a man like him exists–and I’m having a conversation with him that could reasonably lead to a date–gives me hope that I’m getting closer to finding the one that I’ll spend the rest of my  life with.”

        No more. No less.

      3. 16.2.3
        Barbara

        Jeremy and Buck25

        I said: So what I mean by “chemistry” may be very different from what you mean.” 

        Now that I think of it, I think a better word for what I felt with the guy on the longer phone call was “compatibility” not “chemistry.” Still, it call mean nothing. But, as I said, our conversation does give me hope that I’m on the path to meeting my life partner sooner rather than later.

        1. Barbara

          Jeremy, John, Yag

          And other thing…

          I said:  I think a better word for what I felt with the guy on the longer phone call was “compatibility” not “chemistry

          I felt chemistry too–physical attraction. Based on what he said and his photos and lifestyle. But compatibility was the thing that gave me hope.

      4. 16.2.4
        Yet Another Guy

        That is an incorrect assertion.  In her book “Changing Your Game: A Man’s Guide to Success with Woman,” Dr. Christie Hartman states that there are three different types of chemistry.  Guys think of physical chemistry when they hear the word chemistry used in a relationship context because men lead with physical chemistry.  Physical chemistry is visual; therefore, it requires one to meet another in person.  However, women lead with emotional and intellectual chemistry, which are non-visual in nature.  That is why a woman can find a man who is not physically attractive more attractive as she gets to know him and vice versa.  Physical chemistry is so dominant in men that it can be difficult to override.  What I like about spending time upfront is that it allows me to override the overpowering effects of physical chemistry (or lack thereof) long enough to make an intellectual connection with a woman.   It is more difficult for me to write a woman off when I meet her if I have previously made an intellectual connection and physical chemistry is not strong.

        1. Adrian

          Hi Yet Another Guy,

          I like your tactic of establishing an emotional connection with a women so that she will give you a chance “inspite of” your looks.

          But what are your thoughts on what GoWithTheFlow, Nissa, and Stacy2 said about looks being “very” important to women as well?

          It appears that what your book is saying and what the women of this blog are saying are two different things.

          It appears that the women are saying that regardless of any “assumed” emotional and intellectual connection/chemistry before meeting if a guy does not pass their base level of attraction bar, he will not get a second date.

          But from what I am getting from what you are saying the book says, if a man can establish emotional and intellectual chemistry with a women, then she will still give him a second date even if he doesn’t meet her normal standard of activeness.

          Who do you believe is correct on this subject?

          …   …   …

          Oh and Thanks for explaining the difference, now a lot of the female comments make more sense to me when they use the word chemistry.

        2. Yet Another Guy

          @Adrian

          You have it backwards.  I like to make a connection with a woman before meeting her, so that I do not write her off immediately if she does not measure up in the looks department.

          What I am saying is that women are not as shallow as men when it comes to looks.  Men are unforgiving in the looks the department.  Looks are everything when a man meets a woman because men are 100% physical chemistry at first.  It is biological in nature.  Men are looking for women who invokes the primal urge to pursue and conquer in a big way.  Looks are important to women too, but nowhere near as important as they are to men because women have more complex primal needs.   I have seen more hot women with unattractive men than I have very attractive men who with unattractive women.  Women take things into account other than a man’s exterior while qualifying him.   All a woman has to be hot and not completely crazy, and she has a man’s attention.

        3. Barbara

          YAG

          I have seen more hot women with unattractive men than I have very attractive men who with unattractive women.  

          Both men and women can let superficialities override their common sense.

          A man can be so blinded by a women’s beauty that he overlooks her glaring flaws. A woman can be so blinded my a man’s apparent wealth, power, and influence that she overlooks his glaring flaws.

          Same moth instinct, just with a different flame as its object of desire/doom.

        4. Yet Another Guy

          @Barbara

          A woman can be so blinded my a man’s apparent wealth, power, and influence that she overlooks his glaring flaws

          You just proved my point that guys are more likely than women to disqualify a date within 30 seconds based on looks.  Women qualify a man based on other attributes in addition to looks.  For a man, a woman needs to be seen as attractive and/or DTF on the first date.  If she is neither, the date is more than likely over in his mind.  Men will gladly date down for easy sex.  They do it all of the time.  That is why I do my best to make an intellectual connection before meeting a woman, so that those two male tendencies do not overrule common sense.  If a woman is hot enough, I literally keep reminding myself that she is another man’s daughter, which allows me to keep a level head.  The world has changed now that I am the father of  teenage daughters.   My ex swears that I was given daughters as penance for all of the women that I used before I married.  I always remind her that she was my penance. 🙂

  17. 17
    Adrian

    Hi Barbara, Yet Another Guy, Buck25 and Jeremy,

    I would be curious to hear your thoughts on long distance dating…

     

    1. 17.1
      Buck25

      Adrian,

      My experiences with long distance dating have all come from online,as I gather most do. I’ve found it problematic at best. It’s not that a long distance relationship can’t work; some obviously do. However it throws one more layer of complications on what is already difficult, i.e. establishing and maintaining a relationship. Just as one example, I met a lady from a city about two hours away. We managed a relationship mainly on weekends, for several months. What became increasingly clear, though, was that her work, her social life, virtually all of her friends, and her leisure activities were there, where she grew up. Mine were here. Her native city is a nice place to visit, but I wouldn’t want to live there, permanently. Likewise, she would have been giving up too much, to move here. We could have split time between the two, but that didn’t seem very practical either.

      Bear in mind though, that we were older people (both in our sixties) and established pretty firmly where we were. Younger people with perhaps more mobility without sacrificing anything meaningful could well have a different experience, and I’m sure many do, especially if work takes one to the other’s city on a frequent basis. In your age group, if you’re up for the travel, you might have reasonably good luck with this. In my age group, somebody has to want to relocate, and often that’s just not the case.

  18. 18
    Barbara

    Adrian

    I would be curious to hear your thoughts on long distance dating…

    I don’t message or continue to reply to messages from men who live more than 45 minutes or so away from me by car.  I don’t mind driving a little. But I want to be with someone I can get together with at least once a week without having to go through hoops to do it. My preference is someone who lives very near to where I live.

    There are plenty of men out there. If I keep  looking, I’ll find a good match for me who lives where I do.

    With that said, however, I never say never. All that I said would go out the window if I met a man who matched me perfectly and traveling to get together was doable.

  19. 19
    Karl R

    Tron Swanson said: (#10.6.2.21)

    “I’m here because I’m still trying to get sex, and I’ll take all the information and analysis that I can get.”

    Then you should probably look what guys (like Tom10, or old posts by Lance) do in order to get sex.

     

    Tron Swanson said: (#10.6.2.18)

    “I’ve noticed that women try to control men’s behavior by telling them that behavior they approve of will be “successful” with women–implying sex–while behavior that they don’t approve of will have the opposite effect. You did this when you said that you (and most women) like men who have good attitudes and work hard, while you don’t like men who have bad attitudes and complain.”

    I’m a guy. I don’t like hanging around people (men -or- women) who have a crappy attitude. And people who put in no effort (at whatever) tend to blend into the background.

    Tron,

    Do you feel differently? Do you enjoy hanging around people who have crappy attitudes? People who complain constantly? If you do, then you’re in a tiny minority. Most people are really put off by people with crappy attitudes. Any woman (or man) who tells you that is just pointing out something that is blatantly obvious to most other people.

    And people that put in no effort … they’re generally so inconspicuous that you won’t even notice how easy they are to overlook.

    You see this as some kind of plot where women are trying to control men’s behavior. I see this as a case where a couple women tried to point out something that’s blatantly obvious to you … and you didn’t even take the time to think about whether the information was accurate.

     

    Tron Swanson said: (#10.6.2.15)

    “I could have the best attitude in the world, and work harder than anyone else, and women would still reject me, simply because I’m not the type of guy that 99% of women want. And I don’t think that women are worth that kind of effort, anyway.”

    Guys like Tom10 and Lance (who succeed in just getting sex) put in a lot more effort than you. In addition, they’re the kind of good looking guys that lots of women like. So if you put in the same amount of effort as them, you’ll get far worse results. If you put in less effort than that, you’ll have even worse results.

    According to you, only 1% of women want you. If you have a lousy attitude, you can easily drop that to a much smaller number.

    It’s going to take a lot of effort for you to meet that 1% who finds you attractive. You’ll have to meet about 100 women just to find one who is initially interested. On top of that, your crappy attitude has a high likelihood of sabotaging your efforts as soon as the woman starts to get to know you.

     

    Tron Swanson said: (#10.6.2.18)

    “As for my methods of finding happiness…in short, they’re things that don’t involve social interaction.”

    How do you expect to meet that 1% of women?

    Do you expect those women to barge into your apartment and make a pass at you?

     

    Tron Swanson said: (#10.6.2.18)

    “Personally, I don’t view life as a popularity contest, and I’m not going to do or be anything in order to get people to like me.”

    You seem to be going out of your way to ensure that very few women notice you. You’re going even further out of your way to ensure that those few will dislike you.

    Most importantly, you seem highly invested in maintaining your same lack of effort, lousy attitude, and erroneous beliefs … far more invested in all of that than you are in actually having any success.

    You are doing everything necessary to guarantee your own failure. How much more information and analysis do you need?

     

    Tron Swanson said: (#10.6.2.21)

    “I’m pretty representative of a growing segment of men, believe it or not, so I feel that I need to make my voice heard.

    Which women are going to waste their time listening?

    You just told them that there’s a 99% chance that they wouldn’t be interested even if you had a great attitude and were making an effort.

    You’ve made it clear that you’re not interested in a relationship … just sex. You’re looking for a woman who will put out … not for the price of dinner, since you’ve made it clear that you don’t believe in men paying for the first date … but for a woman who will put out for even less than that.

    Why do you want women to hear your voice? So they can understand better how to avoid men like you?

    Based on what you’ve said, do they really need the assistance?

    1. 19.1
      Stacy

      @Karl R

      *STANDING ovation*

    2. 19.2
      Barbara

      Tron, Karl R 

      Tron: I’m pretty representative of a growing segment of men, believe it or not, so I feel that I need to make my voice heard.

      Karl R: Why do you want women to hear your voice? So they can understand better how to avoid men like you?

      Based on what you’ve said, do they really need the assistance?

      You’ve got me in laugh-out-loud tears here, Karl!

       

    3. 19.3
      Katie

      *panties fall*

    4. 19.4
      Katie

      Marry me, Karl

  20. 20
    Tron Swanson

    Good evening, Karl! Unfortunately, I still can’t get text on this site to copy/paste, so I won’t be able to quote you. But I’ll try to go through point-by-point:

    I don’t know what their advice is, but I’m guessing that it involves dating (or spending money on women in some other way), and my strategy precludes that sort of thing. I’ve never been an “ask for advice” guy. I’m actually more interested in trends and patterns, because I find that they often have a lot of meaning in them. Sites like this are great for getting a random cross-section of data.

    You don’t like hanging around people who have a bad attitude, or don’t put in much effort. Well, as it turns out, I don’t like hanging around…people. But I do enjoy sex, so, I have to put up with a certain level of social interaction. For the record, negativity doesn’t bother me, as long as it’s reasonable and logical. And I don’t like the sort of fake-positive behavior that people are pressured into exhibiting.

    I expect to meet that 1% of women the way I always have–a sort of low-key trial and error. It’s mostly luck, really.

    You’re quite correct: I care more about protecting myself emotionally–and protecting my time, money, and energy–than “success.” I’ve lived without success, and I’ve also lived with that drained feeling that comes from trying all the time and getting nothing in return. I know which I prefer.

    If female posters want to use me as an example of someone to avoid, more power to ’em. I’m certainly using some of them that way. That said, I think that the best usage of me is as a sort of shock-treatment, so women are prepared if they meet someone like me in the wild. They’ll know that I exist, and not be quite as shocked to meet men that are similar to me in certain ways.

    Ironically, I met a woman in the grocery store, yesterday. I don’t normally talk with people in public, but we chatted for a few minutes–we recognized each other from the library. She told me that I should talk to her if I see her in the library, again. If she actually is interested, I’m sure she’ll angle for a date, and that’ll be that. But you never know.

  21. 21
    John

    A guy who wants a woman ONLY for sex is like a woman who wants a man ONLY for his money.

    1. 21.1
      Tron Swanson

      I think that both are fine, as long as everyone’s honest about what they’re after.

      But, are you saying that Stacy2 and I deserve each other?

      1. 21.1.1
        Stacy

        @Tron,

        Are you implying that you are straightforward with the women you meet that you are only in it for the sex and you still get sex?

        1. Tron Swanson

          Yes, Stacy, I am. It’s an uphill battle…but that’s the norm, for guys. Most men experience a 90 or 95% rejection rate, and I’m about at that level.

          I was always told that women only wanted relationships…but what I saw was that, while women primarily want relationships, they’re open to hooking up in certain phases of their life, and/or with certain guys. When I was younger, women often rejected me by telling me that they weren’t looking for a relationship right now, but I later found out that they were banging the gym instructor or the hot co-worker or the cute guy down the hall.

          When you play by the “relationship rules,” you get put into certain boxes–potential candidate, backup boyfriend, not worthy, and so on. But when you don’t play by those rules, it’s much easier to find the women that are willing to hook up. It’s just a phase for most of them, but that’s to be expected.

      2. 21.1.2
        John

        Hi Tron,

        I think it’s rare that people are really honest with each other about what they really want  from each other in a relationship.

        Most women  I have known do not want just a sexual relationship. When I was a younger guy, I used to tell women straight up I just wanted a sexual relationship. The ones who agreed eventually wanted more eventually.  I also found that most of the women who agreed to just a sexual relationship were a bit crazy.

        I think  if you were in a relationship  with Stacy2, you may need to have three or four jobs, and I think Stacy2 may need an STD test from you. 😉

         

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