Why You’re a Hypocrite, I’m a Hypocrite, and We Both Have to Change

Why You're a Hypocrite, I'm a Hypocrite, and We Both Have to Change

I was once asked by a website called 43Things to offer my shortest relationship advice. To the best of my recollection, I said something to the effect of:

“Single people should put 30 minutes a day into finding love. Couples should put 5 minutes a day into gratitude for their partners. If you do this, you WILL have love this year.”

Simple. Truthful. Effective.

“Single people should put 30 minutes a day into finding love. Couples should put 5 minutes a day into gratitude for their partners. If you do this, you WILL have love this year.”

And yet this made me incredibly conscious of my own hypocrisy.

Last year, I was taking guitar lessons and practicing twice a week.

No longer.

Last year, I was swimming twice a week for cardio.

No longer.

Last year, I was reading books for pleasure.

No longer.

Why?

Because I bought a house and have been busy furnishing and fixing it up.

Because I run a small business and have a lot of projects on my plate.

Because I have a wife and baby who need time and attention.

This is all true. And it’s all a big, lame excuse for my lack of discipline.

Fact: I don’t start work until 9am. I can still work out in the mornings.

Fact: I don’t coach past 5pm. I have plenty of time for guitar at the end of the day.

Fact: My wife is the coolest person on earth who will always give me “me time”.

As a result, I have to recognize and own that I haven’t been doing what’s “best” for me, I’m merely been doing what comes “easiest”.

It’s easier to throw myself into fantasy football than it is to start a 600-page novel or drag myself out of bed at 7am to go to the gym.

Yet I’d be happier if I took on the hard task of plugging in my amp or hiring a personal trainer or cracking open a book.

There are no legitimate excuses. Instead of prioritizing productivity and future satisfaction, I’ve taken the easy way out, eating dinner at 8:30pm and watching Modern Family on the couch with my wife.

Until today.

Today, I found a new gym that’s 12 minutes from my house and got a 3-day guest pass to try it out.

Today, I went on Craigslist to look for guitar teachers in the San Fernando Valley.

Today, I bought my next big novel, “Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell”.

So what are YOU going to do today? Are you going to claim to want to find love, but not subscribe to a dating site? Are you going to claim to want to find love, but not go on any dates?

So what are YOU going to do today?

Are you going to claim to want to find love, but not subscribe to a dating site?

Are you going to claim to want to find love, but not go on any dates?

Are you going to claim to want to find love, but not give any guys a chance?

Are you going to claim to want to find love, but not try ANY of the things I’m telling you to try?

If so, you’re a hypocrite, plain and simple.

I don’t blame you. After all, I’m JUST LIKE you.

But I’m changing my ways because I’ve got to. I will NOT be in shape, play guitar or become a better writer by sitting on my ass watching TV.

And YOU will not find love if you keep doing what you’re doing.

Take a look at your life.

How many dates have you gone on in the past 3 months?

How many third dates have you gone on in the past 3 months?

How many committed relationships have you found in the past 3 years?

If you’re not satisfied with your love life, it’s time to do something different.

And all I ask is 30 minutes a day – the same amount of time you spend putting on makeup, commuting to work, watching TV, reading InStyle magazine, whatever.

I’ve staked my entire livelihood on the premise that ANYONE can have success online, thereby avoiding matchmakers, blind date set-ups, and praying for divine intervention.

Just know that change happens when you want it to happen.

Until then, you can tell yourself you’re too busy. But you and I both know better.

You’re probably not in love right now because you don’t want it bad enough.

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Comments:

  1. 1
    Raiden

    If want something bad enough, you’ll find a way. If not, you’ll find an excuse. People come up with excuses because it’s the most convenient thing to do, rather than take a long hard look in the mirror and do some soul searching. First step in getting anything done is getting off you ass and getting started.

  2. 2
    Helen

    Evan, why is this evidence of your being a hypocrite?  It isn’t your duty to anyone to play guitar (it is probably partially a duty to your family to work out and stay healthy).  As long as you’re showing your wife 5 minutes of gratitude a day, you’re good to go.
     
    I do like that advice.  I’ll try it with my husband.  Thanks.

  3. 3
    SalsaQ

    Right on Evan. This blog is more than for dating and is very true.  When I began a new job, I gave up an exercise program I had been very devoted to, because “I didn’t have time.”  I regret that decision even many years later. It is all matter of priorities.
     
    I have been on three or four third dates in the last three months. I am on a dating site.  I have only been in one committed relationship in the last three years.
     
    Lately I just don’t fell a pull towards anyone new I meet. Some of these men are wonderful.  Handsome, smart, funny, kind, passionate, chivalrous, and I don’t know why I am not drawn to them. It isn’t the chemistry thing.  That is there. I have had some heart pounding make out sessions ;-)  but I don’t feel an urge to see them when we are not together.  I don’t have that “I really want to hang out with XXX” at all.  I keep going on more dates to see if that will happen, and it doesn’t.
     
    I will continue my dating exercises and maybe it will lead somewhere. I think though, I can work out as much as I want and still not fall in love if something in my core is not ready. So what is the answer to that?  Counseling? Introspection?
     
    Without being out there and trying, I certainly won’t fall in love, but even doing that is no guarantee.

  4. 4
    hespeler

    “Lately I just don’t feel a pull towards anyone new I meet.  Some of these men are wonderful.  Handsome, smart, funny, kind, passionate, chivalrous, and I don’t know why I am not drawn to them.  It isn’t the chemistry thing.  That is there.  I have had some heart punding make out sessions but I don’t feel an urge to see them when we are not together.  I don’t have that “I really want to hang out with XXX at all.  I keep going on more dates to see if that will happen, and it doesn’t.”

    This above statement is dead bang-on accurate of my experience in post-divorce, somehwhat older in life dating (mostly through online dating sites).  I have both been on the receiving end of ambivalence as well as been ambivalent towards a lot of women.  I think it’s easy to say there is no chemistry because sometime there just isn’t but I think it has just as much to do with what’s going on inside a person’s head.

    I can’t tell you how many pleasant dates I’ve been on that have turned into make-out sessions that resulted in nothing thereafter.  I have also had nice dates with women and never called them again.

    Maybe it’s something in my core but I think it’s more to do with the perception of chemistry and how this might change as you date older in life with more baggage.  It’s not as easy to be carefree and just jump in to something anymore.  It seems everyone (men and women) try to square root everything about the potential relationship instead of just going with the flow.  Which is understandable because lives are busier with more responsibility so no one wants to waste time but I don’t think it’s conducive to building a LTR.

    I guess all you can do is keep going till you are motivated enough to want to keep seeing the other person AND they are motivated to see you.

  5. 5
    Erika

    Evan — what a great post! It’s very true and something that I am currently wrapping my head around also and trying to find the happier me and understanding it will be more effort!!! All your posts I resonate with and have applied so thank you. 

    I also agree with the past two posts – SalsaQ and Hespeler. And it also is not just for an older variety. Im 27, no kids, single and yeah have had heartbreaks, but nothing to make me too scared. I also have had great dates, met great men, attractive, chivalrous, etc, but after great dates, and fun, just don’t lead anywhere…. I am happy that I am okay with that instead of discouraged, but at the same time, I am surprised that I am okay with it also. I have always been in a relationship — I think I am actually burned out to be honest. I just need to make sure that time on my own, isn’t replaced with the tv and more downtime, and that I need to still be active in my own life in my relationship with myself!!! Anyway, just felt like writing to relate.

    Does that make us hyprocrites? Because who doesn’t want love and the joy it brings? However the desire just isn’t matching up and looks like from past posts, it is natural to at times feel this way.
    Perhaps we are just sick of the bullshit — applying Evan’s advice — working on ourselves and becoming better and making better decisions, great thing is, we still meet great people, just more selective of what works for us. It’s wise. I think. Happy dating everyone.

  6. 6
    moe

    I remember watching a Charlie Rose nterview and he said the same thing. All those brilliant and not so brilliant people hes interviewed on his show and he asks them how did they get the success or position theyve got and everyones reply was “i wanted it more than anybody else.” thats the success to life, youve got to want it and youve got to work hard for it.

    Same goes for love.

  7. 7
    Casey

    Not to be boring but I have to agree with all of you !!  I’ve applied much of the advice learned from this blog and have turned the mirror back on myself in the past year (again, with insight from here) as I’ve been divorced for 16 years…..it just can’t be because I haven’t met a great guy (and I’ve done LOT’S of dating)…some of it is on me….I want it but then again, sometimes I’d just rather be watching 20/20….then come the holidays to mark time and you really feel the aloneness….I do think age does play into the amount of effort you want to give “the search for Love”…

  8. 8
    Still-Looking

    As I was reading Evan’s article I was thinking that my dating life was like picking up a new novel at every airport — some I read for an hour, some for two hours, but I never finish the novel b/c it doesn’t grab my attention and therefore I’ve lost the motivation.  I know I can look for another book at the next airport.

    Then I read SalsaQ’s comments and she explained my attitude perfectly.  Then I read Hespeler’s and Erika’s comments and realized this attitude might be more prevalent than I had imagined.

    I read this blog daily and EMK gives some great advice but it is hard to put that advice into action if one isn’t truly motivated to form a long-term committed relationship.  

    Perhaps Evan has a way to conduct a poll of his audience.  On a scale of 1-10, how strong is your motivation to be in a committed long-term relationship in the next 3 years? 1= I don’t have any desire to be in a LTR; 5= If it happens, I’d be happy but I’ll be content if I’m still single; and 10 = My clock is ticking!  I need to get married NOW!

     

  9. 9
    DinaStrange

    I had been thinking about self love and feeling complete before jumping into relationship. And it does sound great, but then i get lonely and want to be with someone. So, i think its all good to set new goals and go towards them but its even better if there is someone you care about who is doing the same things with you.

  10. 10
    SnowdropExplodes

    “Motivation follows action” – the one self-help rule I really really like.   (Doesn’t work 100% of the time, but it’s a good thing to try first, so that’s the rule I follow.)
    If we wait until we feel like doing something, we could be waiting forever, but if we just get on with it pretty soon we may find we feel like doing it (that’s how starting my own exercise regime worked anyway).   Both as an ongoing thing, and each session.
    Incidentally: Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell is one of the best novels I’ve ever read and quite unlike anything else I can think of.

  11. 11
    Zann

    Ya know that card &  bumper sticker of the 1950′s-ish woman with a horrified look on her face that says, “Oh My God! I Forgot To Have Children!” Well, lately that’s how I’ve been feeling about dating and the pursuit of a significant other. I’ll be driving along or eating dinner or even be at work and suddenly look up and realize, “Oh My God, I Forgot To Find Love!”

    I have an on-line profile on a dating site. I like the written content in my profile and have gotten compliments on it. More importantly, I think it expresses who I am. I have up-to-date photos on there and consider myself an attractive, smart, well-employed, informed, creative woman in my late 50s. And yet, it’s been at least a year since I’ve been interested enough in any of the men who contact me to want to meet them and get to know them better. Yet, I’m not lonely, and I have many creative outlets that fill my non-work time — which there never seems to be enough of — while also maintaining friendships with a small group of people I’m very comfortable with.

    I am definitely coasting. I am definitely not being proactive. And yet I don’t feel lonely, don’t crave male attention or companionship. I guess it comes down to this: While I like the idea of finding a lasting, loving, exclusive relationship with a man….. when it gets right down to pushing myself and investing in that pursuit and/or going to meet this stranger-potential-mate, I find that there are just other things I’d rather do with my precious free time. 

    My point is that I used to be motivated, and in fact I was fortunate to have three fairly long-term relationships as a result of on-line dating. But eventually (obviously) those relationships ended and my life went on. But every once in a while I’ll have that realization: Oh yea, I’m still very single. 

    Isn’t it possible that it’s NOT inertia, laziness, or hypocritical but simply that I’ve reached a point in my life where I’m satisfied being my own best friend? (Wow, that sounded frighteningly Oprah-ish.) Whatever it is, common sense tells me that if I have to remind myself to get my head back in the game and pursue a relationship, then I’m doing it for someone other than me. Maybe it’s to please others who want me to be coupled, or at least trying to be. Maybe it’s a phase I’ll grow out of. Hard to say but I guess only time will tell!

  12. 12
    Angie

    :-) Love this post!  Maybe I ought to get my butt to the gym…

  13. 13
    Joe

    A friend loaned me that book, but I just couldn’t get into it.  The book just never really got going.

  14. 14
    Diana

    Huh? 30 minutes a day trying to improve my love life? How exactly do propose I do this?! Join an online dating site? Already done that. Join some social networking groups ?Already done that as well. Happy hours? Do it at least a couple a week. The rest of the days are spent at the gym. I’m not sure honestly what else I’msupposed to be doing in order for a guy to notice me.

    1. 14.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      I’m betting, Diana, that there’s SOMETHING you can do differently or more effectively. Or are you suggesting that you’re perfect and that the only thing wrong is “men”?

  15. 15
    Margaret

    @Zann,

    I am right there with you! I am 50.  I am very busy and fulfilled with work, family, politics,  many other pursuits.  I can’t tell you how tired I am of going on yet another boring “coffee” date (and I don’t even *drink* coffee) with yet another man I have no attraction or connection to. Would I like to find someone to share my life with?  Sure.  But the men in my age group who are in any way attractive or viable seem to want women 10-25 years younger.  Where does that leave me?  With men in the nursing home? And I am not going the Demi Moore/Ashton Kutcher route.  We ALL know how that ends. LOL

    I am coasting, too.  My inner core tells me that if I have to treat this like a second full-time job, something is not right. I truly believe that if it is meant to be, it will be.

    If I met a man who was anywhere near worth my time, I’d make room for him in my life.  But the odds of that happening for me, no matter how hard I work Match.com, are slim at best.
     
    I only know that I am much happier in my own life than with someone I am not attracted to. Most of the men in my  age group look soooo much older than what they are. And I can find other things to do.  Especially since I have never been highly sexed, less so since menopause.  But it saddens me to know that I likely will never experience real love with a good man.

    Evan, you are great, and I think you provide a very valuable service to women who still have that “baby hunger.”  Me? Well, I guess I just don’t want it that bad, plus I don’t think it is worth it for some of us 40+.

    1. 15.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      Okay, Margaret. Then you can spend the next 40 years flying solo. In the meantime, my clients are busy finding love. Have it your way.

  16. 16
    kimby

    @Radian #1, Bravo!

  17. 17
    Diana

    Evan,
    I’m not suggesting I’m perfect, but I feel in my case yes, there is something wrong with the men.  If you are are doing everything you can such as joining and participating in online dating, going to social events, relying on hookups through friends, if all the men are emotionally unavailable, then I don’t feel I’m the problem. I have no control of who comes across my path and I cannot force any man to like me. So when I go on a date with a man from an online dating site who claims he is divorced, only to find out he really is married, or go to a speed dating event, only to see that only women showed up, or go on a blind date where that date tells me upfront that he is only looking for sex, then yes, I’m frustrated and I don’t feel like there is anything else I can do to increase my odds of finding love, because I keep coming across men who are definitely not what I’m looking for.
     

  18. 18
    Ruby

    Well, I’m wondering my my post, and the one from the person who responded to it, was deleted? Too spot-on, perhaps?

  19. 19
    helene

    See, this is where I find dating to be totally unlike any other activity. You want to learn guitar: you check out classes, sign up for them, turn up practice in between and slowly but surely you learn to play the guitar. The outcome is there for the taking. You want to buy a house, you get some money together, search for a house, buy a house, hey ! you have a house. Yes these processes take time and effort but if you put in the work, you get the desired outcome – flood and pestilence not withstanding. 

    But not so with dating, which is why I hate it. I am very self motivated and if I want something, I WILL put in the effort and the results will follow. Just this past week I went on a fitness boot camp. My friends all thought I was crazy because I absolutely HATE exercise and sports in all forms and am the last person you would imagine signing up for something like that. But i wanted to lose a few pounds, which I find difficult as my BMI is already in the normal range, and I was fed up plodding along losing two pounds, gaining them again, over and over, so I signed up. It was horrendous, I hated every minute, I got sciatica so could hardly walk for the last 2 days but I completed the course, I stuck to the diet and lost 8 .5 lb in a week – amazing! I put in the effort and got what I was aiming for. But dating does NOT follow this pattern. I have dated intensively for long periods over the past 8 years, I have followed advice, I have been on more dates than everyone I know put together and I have NOTHING to show for it. You cannot MAKE someone love you or commit to you. You cannot MAKE attractive men respond to your ad. You cannot simply follow a process and get an outcome. So whilst I wholeheartedly agree with Evan that in general in life its about gettin goff your ass and DOING something, I disagree that finding love works in this way. I wish it did – my friends all say if there was a prize for effort i’d have the best boyfriend in the world….but I don’t.

    1. 19.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      Sounds to me, Helene that you’re making an effort, but not learning anything. At a certain point, one has to get beyond “dating sucks, men suck, and it’s all doomed to failure” and figure out what part you have in meeting ONLY subpar men and none of the good ones out there.

  20. 20
    Alicia

    I used to think actively looking for love made me a desperate loser.  I thought it would turn off mates and harm my reputation, so I jumped into the “I dont need a man im just having fun” category! Maintaining the standard was important too. I used to think that the attitude of “not needing a man” would somehow end up with the universe just delivering me a guy while i wasnt looking. “Men come when you aren’t expecting it” My friends would say. I kept my cool, detached distance and wondered why I didnt find anybody.
    While I have done alot of fun and great things im just going crazy being single for so long. I think i’ll try something different for a change. 

  21. 21
    Lucas

    In the end I think it is really about prioritizing what is most important to you. If you really want to succeed at something challenging, it takes hard work. It boils down to how badly you want it and what you are willing to do to achieve it.

  22. 22
    helene

    Evan - 

    “dating sucks, men suck, and it’s all doomed to failure” – I certainly didn’t start out with that attitude, on the contrary I approached it with the same “if you make the effort you will get the results ” attitude that I apply to other things..
    .”Half the population is male!” I used to declare to the “there-are- no-good-men-
    out-there” brigade, “How difficult can it be??!” I maintained this attitude for a long time, but have reluctantly had to face the fact that there is more to it than effort…

    What’s my part in this? Well, I’m a woman over 40! I am also not prepared to relocate for a man AGAIN so can only search within my local area. I want to date some one within my own age group, not someone who looks and behaves like my dad.  

    I have bought ” why he disappeared” and “finding the one online, have redone my profile with a “show don’t tell” approach and have accepted dates with anyone who can spell who meets at least SOME of my criteria.

    I’m not perfect, but I’m certainly doing my part….and yet, still single… All this effort in ary other field and I’d be sorted by now.

  23. 23
    Joe

    Can someone explain to me what makes a man “emotionally unavailable”?

  24. 24
    John

    “I have had some heart pounding make out sessions    but I don’t feel an urge to see them when we are not together.  I don’t have that “I really want to hang out with XXX” at all.  I keep going on more dates to see if that will happen, and it doesn’t.”

    That is a natural response of the body to emotional experiences. It is similar to the law of diminishing returns in economics. And to the term tachyphylaxis in medicine. Or physiologic dependence in psychiatry. Those terms describe a natural phenomenon. Your emotional or physical response to any stimuli tend to diminish over time even if the same quantity of stimuli continue to be applied. When you talk to those who are addicted to drugs, their experiences are very similar. It  explains they need higher doses of the drugs over time to produce the same amount of lift. 
    I am not in any way suggesting that you addicted, but just making an observation that it is natural to have a reduced response to any stimuli over time. 
    The cause? You’re focusing on the wrong things. A relationship is not meant to be to give us a high. It should, first and foremost, be a companionship thing.
    Solution? Look for a man who possesses character, not merely excite your senses, and commit to him.   

  25. 25
    April

    I’m not sure if Evan will allow this, given some of his replies, but for Zann and Margaret — I just wanted to say that, though I’m only 36, I’m at the same place as you because I don’t want kids.  There’s some general sense (because of our culture?) that I should be looking, so I come here, am on some sites, try to meet guys, etc, but I don’t think I want it bad enough.

    And that’s OK.  Evan may not agree, given his area of expertise, but for some of us it is OK.  (Though he may wonder why we’re here…)
    I just thought I’d mention the Living Single blog at Psychology Today, since you may fall into the “single-at-heart” category Bella DePaulo talks about.

    1. 25.1
      starthrower68

      That’s my thing, not wanting it badly enough. I don’t know how to change that. I have always been the lone wolf type. That may just be hard-wired into my nature and not something I can change, even if I do get lonely at times.

  26. 26
    Clare

    helene 22 & 26
     
    Something to consider, I had to and I think probably most people have to at some point: The thing about dating is that unfortunately, it’s not all about the external effort.  Those other things you mentioned – buying a house, being successful at work, losing weight – have very little to do with what is going on inside you, and what kind of a person you are.  Are you processing feedback that you are getting from men, and even friends and family, honestly?  I find that what people who are furiously putting effort into finding someone miss is that: feedback. Inner work that could make you someone people want to be in a relationship with.
     
    I have found that, in general, if you are sexy, fun to be around, easygoing and appreciative of him, good men can’t get enough of you.

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