Should I Keep Faking Orgasms to Build My Man’s Confidence?

I have found the perfect man on paper but he has NO confidence in the bedroom. The sex is terrible, between his anxiety and my health issues. He has so much anxiety that he needed pills to get it up. So, after dating 6 months I finally started faking it so his confidence is better but I have never gotten off. I have tried directing, suggesting toys, etc. He finally bought toys but is now so nervous to use them he is avoiding sex altogether.

To add to it, I had cancer and have had a hysterectomy and double mastectomy and haven’t had sex with anyone but him since my treatments. My past partners and I had amazing sex. I wonder if I had sex with someone else if I would climax. I dont know if it is his lack of experience or me. I feel like our sex life is doomed!!

I care about this guy but OMG this is killing me. Let’s face it, good men at my age are hard to find especially with my health history.

Do I settle or do I stop faking and let his anxiety come back? I’m at the point of avoiding him staying over because I can’t deal with another horrible sexual experience, his or mine. We have talked it to death and he is not open to my experiencing with someone else to see if I’m the broken one, so I’m at a complete loss.

Help please,

Monica

Dear Monica,

Congratulations on surviving cancer and thank you for being so honest in your email. There’s a lot to unpack here, so let’s do it, piece by piece.

First of all, this is your boyfriend’s problem, not yours. Yes, because you’re his girlfriend, his erectile dysfunction and performance affects you. What I’m saying is that these are his problems to solve.

You absolutely, positively, definitely don’t “settle” on a guy who is awful in bed.

If you lost your job and couldn’t contribute to the household for a few months, your boyfriend can’t force you to find work even though it affects you. Similarly, you can’t force him to become better in bed.

Next, I don’t judge you for faking it. You were trying to do your part to build up his confidence. I get it. But now, look at the ramifications: you have a guy who’s bad in bed who may be under the illusion that he’s good in bed. Which doesn’t exactly help him get any better, you know?

(This is one of the many reasons I’m opposed to white lies to protect people’s feelings. While the goal is to be polite and not offend, the next thing you know, you’re living a lie.)

Third, your suggestion that you should experience sex with someone else to see if your illness “broke” your orgasms? Well, let’s just say that if a man proposed the same thing, he’d be roundly rejected by the panel of women experts who comment on these articles below. You want to find out if you’re orgasmic, use a vibrator. Don’t openly cheat on your six-month boyfriend.

Finally, you absolutely, positively, definitely don’t “settle” on a guy who is awful in bed. If you’re going to have sex with one person for the rest of your life, you’ve gotta enjoy it.

There are three things you can do right now to get a resolution to this.

  1. Find a sex therapist. I’m a dating coach who types 100wpm. You need a professional to help guide you through this confusing time. So does your boyfriend. Reach out to my friend, Patti Britton, and she or one of her colleagues will support you.

Sex is not the most important part of a relationship, by far, but it is vital to the health of your relationship.

  1. Stop faking your orgasms. They’re well-intentioned but they create a false sense of security within your partner. Instead, continue to be enthusiastic, vocal, and provide feedback for when he’s doing something right. When he’s not, guide him into how to please you better. You can’t do much more than that.
  1. If you’ve done 1 and 2 and it hasn’t impacted your sex life positively, you need to move on. Sex is not the most important part of a relationship, by far, but it is vital to the health of your relationship. Life is too short to give up on sex forever. Next time you find a guy, he’ll be as sweet as your current guy, but also be up to the task in bed. Promise.

Join our conversation (119 Comments).
Click Here To Leave Your Comment Below.

Comments:

  1. 1
    Sum Guy

    Hi Monica,

    Sex is such a touchy subject, I think a sex therapist could guide you to be able to provide you both comfort to feel less anxious.  Frankly, you both may have fantasies that turn you on (sex is a large part mental) but afraid to share   This is where a sex therapist could really be useful

    Sounds like you are both anxious, you that you are broken and him on his ability to perform.  Good that he has the pills, hear they work wonders and no shame in them.

    Evan mentioned it, but suggesting to your guy that you sleep with another guy is about the worse possible thing I can think of, and the best way to destroy whatever confidence he has left.   I believe that would be the first thing you undo in sex therapy if you want to keep him.

    I think it’s worth a try even if you did 1 and 2 as once you get over this barrier sounds like you’re relationship is great.

    I can only speak for how I might react and think about what I’d like to hear, so what might help me if I was him is letting him know you desperately want him to get you off, you feel you’re “broken” because of your medical procedures and just wanted to find anything that would work for you and have HIM replicate it.

    I do like the suggestion of toys, he may think they are a replacement for him or he is inadequate.  Again, you have had some major surgeries and it’s not a stretch to tell him you are nervous and may need toy assistance, it’s not a pure reflection on him.  So you could tell him it’s not so much the toy but HIM using the toy on you that gets you off (mentally and hopefully physically).

     

  2. 2
    Jeremy

    Hmmm, quite a dilemma.  If you continue faking orgasms, your partner will believe he is satisfying you and will continue doing what he’s doing – and you’ll be frustrated.  If you stop faking orgasms, your partner will lose confidence and likely have even more trouble performing, thereby making you frustrated.  How to find the balance?

     

    So this might be worth trying – intermittent reward.  If, out of every 4-5 sexual encounters, you fake an orgasm once but don’t do so the rest of the time, he will likely believe that he is ABLE to give you an orgasm, but he will also understand that it isn’t happening most of the time.  This will likely make him wonder how to improve his success ratio (and you can guide him there), without implying that what he has been able to do in the past has been totally inadequate.  May or may not work, but has some psychological basis to form a working hypothesis for testing.

     

    And it will be far more effective than finding a “nice” way to tell him that he hasn’t been giving you orgasms.  Remember that most men are content-oriented, whereas most women are context-oriented.  For such women, finding a diplomatic way of breaking the news is of paramount importance.  But for most men, the news is the news, regardless of diplomacy – so which news do you want to give him, that he sucks in bed, or that he can satisfy you but has room for improvement?

  3. 3
    Emily, the original

     If you continue faking orgasms, your partner will believe he is satisfying you and will continue doing what he’s doing

    But he has to know the sex is bad, whether or not she’s having orgasms. Is her having an orgasm the sole benchmark for good sex? Their encounters sound wrought with anxiety on both ends. It doesn’t sound like either is having a good time.

     

     

     

     

     

  4. 4
    Malika

    Speaking from experience, a sexologist can do wonders if you go into therapy with an open mind. It sounds as if both of you have a lot to unpack. He needs to find a way to lessen his anxiety and to loosen up in the bedroom and you need to readjust to sharing your body with another, post-surgery. It might take a while, but this promising relationship sounds very salvageable. Lots of couples find it a challenge to pleasure each other, but if the foundation of being physically attracted to each other is there, you can make it work.

    What worked for me was to learn to just enjoy the experience. The orgasm was a bonus but not a necessity. And lo and behold, once i dropped the expectation the big o came along pretty much every time.

    1. 4.1
      Emily, the original

      What worked for me was to learn to just enjoy the experience. The orgasm was a bonus but not a necessity.

      That’s what they both need to do. Just go into the experience with the goal of having a good time. There’s no right or wrong way of doing things and no benchmark for what constitutes a successful encounter. Plus … can’t she just … get up on him and help herself along? (Sorry to be graphic.) It’s not really his job to get her off (and vice versa)

      1. 4.1.1
        Jeremy

        But the question in my mind is – is having fun this woman’s goal, or does she want reassurance that her body still works post-surgery?  Why has she not experimented solo – why assume that another man needs to give her an orgasm?  Might it be because as long as someone else has to be present, someone else can take the blame for failure?  Why can’t she “get up on him” and take responsibility for her orgasm?  Maybe because as long as he is responsible, a lack of orgasm only indicates something about him?

         

        What is the goal behind her goal of having an orgasm?

        1. Emily, the original

          Jeremy,

          Might it be because as long as someone else has to be present, someone else can take the blame for failure?  

          Possibly. Although, again, I don’t see achieving orgasm as “success,” because, frankly, if that were the goal, a woman can do it herself a lot quicker and with more accuracy, as everyone knows her own body best.

          Why can’t she “get up on him” and take responsibility for her orgasm?

          She should. She needs to either show him what she needs him to or do it herself.

        2. GoWiththeFlow

          Jeremy,

          I think you are correct to point out that part of the problem may be with our LW.  She had her uterus, and I’m guessing ovaries and tubes removed.  She also may be on tamoxifen or another anti-estrogen medication.  If a man has his prostate removed and is on anti-testosterone therapy for cancer, no one is shocked if he can’t have erections or ejaculate.  So sadly, I’m not surprised that the LW hasn’t been alerted that her surgery, and possible hormone therapy, could impact her ability to orgasm.

          Unfortunately the LW doesn’t say if she is able to have a solo orgasm.  That would be an important piece of information to have!  Along with a visit to a sex therapist, and especially if she isn’t able to have an orgasm on her own, she should see her gynecologist and discuss what’s happening.  Also, the psychological impact of a double mastectomy and hysterectomy because of a cancer diagnosis can be huge.  A therapist or cancer support group can be a great resource for her to tackle any issues.

        3. Emily, the original

          GoWiththeFlow

          It sounds like they both have a lot going on physically and mentally. That’s a lot for an established relationship to take on, let alone one that’s only 6 months or so old.

        4. Sum Guy

          Hi Jeremy,

          yah there is a lot of information missing here the would help us better understand the situation and ideas on a “fix” especially if either of the can climax by self stimulating among other things…maybe that is part of it the need for advice…it seems to go very quickly to sleeping with another guy option

          i to can think of all sorts of things to try that are not mentioned

          why I think the sex therapist is a great idea for one or both of them

        5. Yet Another Guy

          For once, I actually agree with GWtF.  The LW has undergone a huge hormonal shift since her previous lovers.  Plus, there is the body image-related trauma associated with the illness that she has endured.

          I have to call foul on the use of a phosphodiesterase type 5 (PDE5) inhibitor to overcome performance anxiety.  Whether the LW’s boyfriend wants to admit it or not, he has a physiological problem when it comes to performance (many men with a physiological erectile dysfunction also develop psychological erectile dysfunction).  PDE5 inhibitors (a.k.a. Viagra, Cialis, Levitra) are not able overcome performance anxiety.  PDE5 inhibitors help men overcome endothelial problems with the penile arteries.  They can also help men with low-T because men with low-T tend to produce less nitric oxide; however, it is better to treat the testosterone problem than use a PDE5 inhibitor.

          An erection starts in the brain, but it is a hydraulic event that relies on healthy endothelial cell function.   A chemical known as nitric oxide is released in the corpus cavernosum, which is the spongy tissue within the penis.  Nitric oxide works hand in hand with cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP) to
          vasodialate the penile arteries, which results in an inrush of blood.  As blood rushes into the corpus cavernosum, it pinches off the penile veins, resulting in an erection.  Men with true erectile dysfunction (ED) have poor endothelial function due to arterial plaque (i.e., ED is a canary in the coal mine that a cardiac event is on its way if not addressed).  Poor endothelial  function results in reduced nitric oxide and cGMP production.  PDE5 is a compound that breaks down cGMP.  It is what causes a man to go flaccid after achieving an erection.  Viagra, Cialis, and Levitra all target PDE5, preventing it from breaking down cGMP.  That is why one of the side effects of PDE5 inhibitors is priapism (i.e., an erection that does not go away after orgasm).   While a lot of guys would not mind having an erection that will not go away after orgasm, lack of blood flow in an out of the penis can result in tissue damage/death due to lack of oxygen.

          Anxiety prevents a man from achieving an erection because it shuts down the process via a flood of the hormones epinephrine and norepinephrine.  In effect, a man is so afraid of not being able to perform that his body chooses flight in response to the stress.

        6. Yaya

          Yes! I’m so sick of western culture blaming the guy for bad sex or “not being able to give a women an orgasm.” Women need to take responsibility for their large role in their sexual gratification.

        7. Emily, the original

          Yaya

          Women need to take responsibility for their large role in their sexual gratification.

          I agree.

      2. 4.1.2
        Foxy Lady

        Of course it’s no one’s “job” to give their partner an orgasm, but isn’t that part of the fun, intimacy, and ultimate connection?

        1. Emily, the original

          Yes, to a certain extent. But if you are with someone whose ego  is attached to his giving you an orgasm, you feel like you are having to almost respond in a way that might not be authentic just to please him.

        2. Sum Guy

          Well it’s only a “job” if you get paid for it :). All kidding aside, it seems like there is more to the unsatisfactory sex than failure to orgasm.

        3. Sum Guy

          Hi Emily the Original,

          that’s certainly true, ego or not, a person thinking they may not be good or attractive if their partner doesn’t have an orgasm, men and women both think this and I wonder if it is hard wired into us

          i sometimes think women are even more susceptible to these thoughts of inadequacy if their partner doesn’t have a big o, even if they’ve been “fully attentive” for an hour

        4. Emily, the original

          SumGuy,

          i sometimes think women are even more susceptible to these thoughts of inadequacy if their partner doesn’t have a big o, even if they’ve been “fully attentive” for an hour

          That’s because we’ve been conditioned to believe the male orgasm is the event that ends the sex session. Also, physiologically, as a general rule, it’s easier for a man to achieve orgasm. Many women don’t orgasm through intercourse but many men do.

          It seems like there is more to the unsatisfactory sex than failure to orgasm.

          You can have an orgasm during boring, perfunctory sex.

        5. Yet Another Guy

          @Emily, the original

          Many women don’t orgasm through intercourse but many men do.

          I am no longer able to achieve orgasm through intercourse.  It was quite shocking to come face-to-face with that reality after being in a sexless marriage for so long.

        6. Emily, the original

          YAG,

          I am no longer able to achieve orgasm through intercourse.

          You wouldn’t have that problem if you went out with women your own age.  🙂  I kid, kid ….   I KNOW. They’ve never been younger than you by 7.6523 years ….

        7. Yet Another Guy

          @Emily, the orignal

          You wouldn’t have that problem if you went out with women your own age.  🙂  I kid, kid ….   I KNOW. They’ve never been younger than you by 7.6523 years

          I actually laughed at a comment for a change. 🙂

  5. 5
    Lisa

    You are not married and you do not have kids, leave don’t waste your time on a sex therapist. There are plenty of great men out there who will also please you in bed. Don’t sell yourself short because of your mastectomy.  You are clearly settling and should not be.  Suggest he see a sex therapist but I don’t see the need for you to invest so much in someone you barely know. He has serious issues, that you have to your credit tried to help him with but this is something he needs to address on his own. Tell him you are sorry but you are not sexually compatible and you think he could benefit from some counseling and move on. I see no need to tell him you were faking.   FYI as far as faking goes it’s understandable but it leads to a man continuing to do things you don’t like because he thinks they are making you orgasm.

  6. 6
    Marika

    Emily:

    You can have an orgasm during boring, perfunctory sex.

    When you say, you, do you mean the ‘royal you’ (everyone), men, or yourself?

    The reason I ask is that I personally can’t if it’s boring and perfunctory.

    I’ve been wondering about this lately as with my ex-husband it was very hit and miss, sometimes I couldn’t get there no matter what and sometimes I could go all night. Whereas with him, three minutes into it he was there. I always thought I was one of those women for whom it was all a bit elusive. It must have been on the other thread where Jeremy talks about meta-goals: with my ex I would’ve said something like emotional connection (can’t recall the list).

    With my new guy, it’s a completely different story, it’s actually the opposite. He gets me there every single time, multiple times without fail, whereas with him it’s hit & miss. So I’ve both been re-evaluating my meta-goals (now that I know such a thing exists), but also struggling with this new world of not being able to get a man there easily like I always could in the past. Sum Guy, this situation is definitely confronting for a woman.

    From a man’s perspective (and maybe this isn’t so much about gender as meta-goals?), why would he not provide more ‘guidance’? I said to Mr new guy (because he’s not always getting there and I’ve been very ‘attentive’): Tell me what you like. If you tell me, I’ll very likely do it (cue sexy voice). Wouldn’t that be a turn-on for a man? He said something like I had to discover for myself the way he did with me. Which is all well and good, but the difference is that his discovering is paying big, big dividends…it’s all very confusing!

    To the commenter who said it’s not the other person’s ‘job’ to get their partner there, I’m not so sure about that. If I wasn’t getting there, I would want the other person to be willing to keep trying new things or be open to discussing what I like, indulge in some fantasies etc, not just think ‘oh well, too bad for you’!

    1. 6.1
      Marika

      PS New guy is mid-30s and 10 years younger than my ex.

      1. 6.1.1
        Sum Guy

        Marika @6.1

        i’m 50 for what it is worth but what I describe has been me since my 20’s, but much more confident now with expressing my desires and eliciting those of others

    2. 6.2
      Jeremy

      Yes, I think it’s about meta-goals, Marika, though sorry to be constantly going there.  I’ll try to explain with a story about myself (btw, I tell stories about myself not because I am an exhibitionist, but rather because people tend to absorb messages better from stories rather than from the abstract, don’t you agree?   🙂

       

      My wife often asks me what I would like.  Not just sexually, but even when we are on vacation, she will ask me “what would you like to do today, we’ll do anything you want.”  I will usually mutter something about how we can do whatever she wants, or occasionally I’ll answer with some suggestion.  But when I’m feeling brutally honest, I’ll tell her the truth – that what I want is for her to not ask me what I want, but rather to just DO SOMETHING.  And that has everything to do with having validation as a meta-goal.

       

      Consider the concept of validation, for a moment – what does it mean?  It means that the person you desire is doing something for you because he/she knows you, understands you, and desires you – desires to do the thing you like because THEY LIKE DOING IT.  How can someone know and desire you if they don’t know what you want?  How validational are their actions if they are only following your instructions?  A woman who gives a man oral sex, for example, because she likes to do it for him is very different from a woman who does it because she is told to, even if she agrees because she wants to please him.  This is especially true after many years of a relationship – would you not know, by now, what I like?  Could you not intuit something that I might like based on what you know of me?  And could you not just do it, so that I can avoid having to take responsibility, and just enjoy the fact that you know what I want and like to do it?

       

      Consider a man who buys you flowers.  Is it the flowers you want, or the gesture?  Would you still value the gesture as much if the guy asked you what you wanted, you told him flowers, and he went and bought them for you?  Where’s the validation in that?

       

      So although asking someone what they want is very logical, especially at the beginning of a relationship, you might find that a validational person balks at telling you what he wants, because he wants you to take the initiative to intuit his desires.  He doesn’t always want to have to tell you.

      1. 6.2.1
        Marika

        I don’t mind personal stories at all, Jeremy! In fact, I like and appreciate them. They certainly help. Thank you ☺

        You may be right…this is the thing though, it’s a new relationship! We haven’t been married for x years & with a long history of knowing each other…

        I would also completely understand if I was lying there like a wet mop asking him to completely guide me. That’s a buzz kill. But, and not to get too crude, I’m absolutely not. I’m trying the extended version of everything! So, why wouldn’t you step in? Other guys know would guide my head or just push it down.

        That being said, my ex was controlling. This guy isn’t (I don’t think). So maybe he’s being nice? I do know he’s going through some stuff jobwise & money wise. If he’s a validation guy, could that affect his libido?

        PS he has told me this has happened before, so luckily, at least I know it’s not me (or us). I still would like him to experience the pleasure I am though. As much as I’m getting out of it, half the enjoyment is giving pleasure to your partner.

        1. Jeremy

          I hear you.  In many ways, giving is even more important than receiving.  I could tell you that there are many reasons why a man’s libido might decline – stress, medical/hormonal issues, psychological issues, or lack of meta-goals in the relationship – but you have no way of knowing which is the case unless he communicates with you.

           

          He might not want to guide you because he derives no validation from guiding.  Or because he might not know what he wants.  Or might be ashamed.  Or might feel that he is unlikely to climax and so what’s the point.

           

          To me, the question would be whether he seems satisfied.  If so, there’s no need to force the issue, just keep trying and enjoy yourself.  If he doesn’t, then a conversation needs to be had, which he is unlikely to enjoy.  And that’s when you’ll get to see how introspective he is or isn’t.

           

           

        2. Sum Guy

          Marika @6.2.1

          if he knows your ex was controlling he may have a desire that he’s afraid will come off as controlling and put you off .  took a while for me to realize that the same physical act can be ardent passion in one case but controlling in another, all in the mood, trust, body language and a few words

      2. 6.2.2
        Sum Guy

        hi Jeremy @6.2

        isn’t this just what men complain about wanting women to read there minds?

        maybe what this guy is looking for is how you describe it

        I’d say there are other forms of validation as well, having someone offer to do what you want is very validating to me.  It certainly does not destroy the magic for me to tell someone what I want

        I very much know what you mean though, I’m pretty good at intuiting what a woman likes and how to explore that

    3. 6.3
      Emily, the original

      Marika

      You can have an orgasm during boring, perfunctory sex. When you say, you, do you mean the ‘royal you’ (everyone), men, or yourself? The reason I ask is that I personally can’t if it’s boring and perfunctory.

      The royal you is what I meant. I was thinking of a friend who had 2 husbands. The first was a high school boyfriend. They had grown up together and knew each others’ bodies well. She never had a problem having an orgasm with him. The second husband was her “first adult passion” (her words) and she had trouble getting off with him.

      I said to Mr new guy (because he’s not always getting there and I’ve been very ‘attentive’): Tell me what you like. If you tell me, I’ll very likely do it (cue sexy voice). Wouldn’t that be a turn-on for a man? He said something like I had to discover for myself the way he did with me.

      Well, it would have been nice if he had given you a little bit more information, but I have to be honest: I don’t like being asked, either, especially if the person is asking repeatedly (which one guy did). With him, it came off as insecurity and took the wind out of the sails.

      If I wasn’t getting there, I would want the other person to be willing to keep trying

      If you’re never getting there, it’s a problem. But if every now and then it doesn’t happen (or takes some time to get it right with a new person), the world isn’t going to shut down. I’ve had really hot moments with people and not gotten off. One of the hottest sexual moments of my life only involved a heavy make-out ass grab.

    4. 6.4
      Sum Guy

      Hi Marika @6

      i can only speak for myself, but yes it is very sexy when a woman says tell me what you want.  I’m very surprised he asked you to discover it, but wasn’t there so maybe it was playful or he had something he’s unsure you’d be into and hoping you’ll propose it   I’m 95% certain it’s the later

      on the why he may not get there easily, again just from my perspective, I have a harder time getting there after a certain point, usually if go more than half an hour or fifty five minutes.   I know this and don’t care because I really, really like the feeling of being on the edge of there and getting my partner there over and over.

      So my having a hard time getting there has nothing to do with lessened arousal or passion, very much the opposite

      From what I’ve read, desensitization and various competing chemical signals is the why.   Which I tend to believe because with a little rest, electrolytes n literally some cold water can reset and get there.

      you also have the right approach I believe as mental images and my partner sharing in my fantasies (even just verbalizing them) is a huge turn on and can really help get me there

    5. 6.5
      Danaellen

      Hi Marika,

      You mention meta-goals. Can you explain what meta-goals are or tell me where I can find more info about it? How do meta-goals  tie in with relationships? Thanks!

      1. 6.5.1
        Marika

        Hi Danaellen

        Sorry, I got my threads confused. There’s a really interesting discussion going on about meta goals in the 69% of men…post. Jeremy can explain it far better than me, but it’s the goal behind your goal. People who devote their life to charity for instance have a goal of social justice, but their meta goal could be validation that they are a worthy and good person, for instance.

        I crave a relationship, but tend to choose people who are bad long-term relationship partners, and find such people boring. So I must have a meta goal around relationships being a source of excitement.

        1. Jeremy

          Maybe excitement, Marika, but given all that you’ve written about your history it would make sense if validation features in your meta-goal list.

           

          A bad-boy, after all, is a man who is desired by other women, so landing one is very validating.  But more than that, a bad-boy who is emotionally damaged and needs the tender healing that only one special woman can give him to heal him and turn him into the amazing man he can otherwise be…..well, that would be validating indeed to that special woman (see 50 Shades of Grey for more on this).  A nice guy with his shit together?  Where’s the validation in that?  Guy like that is easy to land, what does he need you for, and where’s the challenge?

           

          Of course, I could be totally off here (since we’ve never met), but the theory stands even if it doesn’t apply here.  I know it applies to me, as a validationally-motivated person myself.

        2. Danaellen

          Thank you!  I would like to comment on your last paragraph in your above post. My most secure and stable relationships with reliable , successful and devoted men were all boring. My most “exciting”  and “romantic” relationships have been with men  who lacked character and could be called “bad” boys.  I will take the security and boredom over the “excitement ” any day of the week.  Just me, though.

          A meta-goal sounds like a hidden or not so hidden agenda.  Using your example,  a person who gives to charity but does it to make themselves feel important.  Another example, would be a woman who tells a guy she agrees to be friends with him but her meta-goal or deeper agenda is that she hopes he falls for her over time (usually doesn’t work).

          I know the other thread you were referring to (69%, Jeremy) and will find it for further clarification of meta-goal.

           

           

        3. Emily, the original

          Jeremy,

          A nice guy with his shit together?  Where’s the validation in that?  Guy like that is easy to land, what does he need you for, and where’s the challenge?

          I don’t know if all nice guys have their shit together. Some   come across as really needy. Some telegraph in their every movement that they want a girlfriend. Everything is so obvious. Everyone gets validation from something that isn’t immediately handed over to them.

        4. Jeremy

          Emily, you wrote, “Everyone gets validation from something that isn’t immediately handed to them.”

           

          You’re right, of course.  But that validation is more important to some than to others.  The type of validation I need is very different than the type I described above, with the woman who likes bad-boys.  But the common thread is the idea that affection must be EARNED in order to be valuable or deserved.  This notion is TOXIC, and I’ve been trying to root it out of myself for years, unsuccessfully.

           

          I see it in my 5 year old daughter – she comes over to me and starts scratching my back whenever she is in distress.  Took me a while to figure out what she was doing – she wants me to scratch her back, but doesn’t want to ask for it.  Feels the need to earn it by doing it for me first, without being asked.  And even when I intuit that she wants a back scratching and initiate it for her, she will rush over to start scratching mine first, because she can’t bear the idea of having something pleasurable without earning it first.  Toxic.  I wish I could say I didn’t know where she inherited that from.  Feeling the need to earn affection has caused me no end of trouble and disappointment.

           

          Because, as anyone will tell you, no matter what you do, you’re not entitled to affection.  There’s no way to earn it – it is either given or not given.  And when you feel you have to earn it and it isn’t given, it can mess with your whole world-view.

        5. Emily, the original

          The type of validation I need is very different than the type I described above, with the woman who likes bad-boys.  But the common thread is the idea that affection must be EARNED in order to be valuable or deserved.  This notion is TOXIC, and I’ve been trying to root it out of myself for years, unsuccessfully.

          It’s not a matter of having to earn it. It’s a matter of getting to know someone and slowly seeing who they are. If the person is honest, consistent, does what he/she says she will, the other party makes an investment, and over time that investment grows. But some nice guys act invested way too early. The woman hasn’t done anything for him to do that much for her. He’s dancing around to win her approval. When you do a bunch of things for someone, you get more invested in that person. That person doesn’t necessarily get more invested in you.

           

        6. Jeremy

          Emily, you wrote, “It’s not a matter of having to earn it.” Au contraire, it’s ALL about having to earn it.  The man who plans and pays for a date for the woman he’s never met – is dancing around like a monkey trying to earn her affection, even before he knows he wants it.  The nice guy who tries too hard – is doing so because he is trying to earn the woman’s affection.  The woman who has sex with a man before she might otherwise be ready is trying to earn his affection.  What all of these behaviors have in common is the notion that affection must be earned.

           

          The woman who isn’t into a man sees his behavior as cloying.  Even manipulative.  The woman who is into the man sees his behavior as charming.  Same behavior, different perspective.

           

          The person with an avoidant attachment system sees such behavior as manipulative and ridiculous.  The person with an anxious attachment system sees such behavior as natural.  The person with a secure attachment system might take either perspective….depending on whether he/she is interested.

        7. Jeremy

          As an addendum, though, I definitely agree with you that doing something for someone makes the doer more invested, but does not necessarily generate feeling in the recipient.  That is actually fairly well-established.  The only question for the recipient is whether she/he WANTS that sort of behavior or not and whether or not they want to reciprocate – and that will go back to the concept of priorities.

        8. Yet Another Guy

          @Emily, the original

          I don’t know if all nice guys have their shit together. Some   come across as really needy. Some telegraph in their every movement that they want a girlfriend.

          I have to agree with Jeremy on this topic.  You are displaying the classic “I am only interested in men who do not want me” response.   This type of woman has the mindset that she has to win a man.  She also tends to be drawn to bad boys.  As far as I am concerned, it is an unhealthy approach to dating that sets a woman up for being used.  If I had no conscious, I could use a few women that I have dated who will not take a hint.  I have told these women on several occasions that I am not interested in an LTR, but they all have that “I will make him mine” female fantasy going on.

          A nice guy may telegraph his moves, but at least he is demonstrating that he desires something real with you.  You are not left having to devise ways to get his attention.  A guy who is seriously interested in a woman is going to go “all in” before the woman.  It is just the way guys operate when the see something that they really want.  Women interpret this behavior as needy or lacking options; however, it is usually far from the truth.

        9. Emily, the original

          Jeremy,

          The woman who isn’t into a man sees his behavior as cloying.  Even manipulative.  The woman who is into the man sees his behavior as charming.  Same behavior, different perspective.

          Well, she may like him initially, but when his behavior telegraphs “stage-5 clinger,” she may change her mind.

          The thing that’s killed dating is the internet. It used to be that a guy would get your number, call a couple of days later, you’d go out, rinse and repeat. As you two got to know each other, over the course of at least a few weeks, if it was going to go anywhere, the level of communication and time spent together would ramp up. In the beginning, if he kept calling, you knew the man was interested but you had to discover the depth and extent of it. Now, people expect instant and constant communication. And people think the whole thing is over if the other party doesn’t respond in two hours. It’s not reasonable.

          I met one guy at a party and spoke to him briefly. He texted me from 8:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. ALL DAY LONG and we hadn’t even gone out yet. If me not liking that — if me thinking he went from attractive to super clingy — by his behavior makes me an avoidant, ok, fine.

           

        10. Emily, the original

          YAG,

          You are displaying the classic “I am only interested in men who do not want me” response. 

          Do you like all the women who have liked you? There seems to be this belief that a woman should like the men who show interest in her and that a man is the only one who gets to choose.

        11. Yet Another Guy

          @Emily, the original

          The crazy thing is that I see this behavior exhibited by women who were interested in me as well as women who were interested in other guys. Have you ever had a guy in whom you were interested go all-in early and then pull back? That is often because he has learned that going all-in early can lead to disastrous results. The woman is left with her spinning in this situation. One moment he is coming on too strong. The next minute she wonders where she stands with him. Richie Kotzen captured the confusion that a man’s experiences when he meets a woman for whom his rules do not apply, and with whom he cannot control his emotions in the second verse of the song entitled “I’m All In.”

          

”Keep on doing what your doing, go for what you know

          It ain’t sad enough for tear drops, but it’s sense overload

          I can wish I’d never seen her, but I’m wishing I was near her

          I’ve got to draw a line, but I’m over my head
”


          That verse captures exactly what happens when a man who usually has no problem meeting women encounters one for whom logic exits stage right. It is sense overload. He wishes that he had never seen her, but he wishes he was near her. He needs to draw the line, but he is over his head. That is why an experienced guy often pulls back when he goes all-in too early. It is an over correction that is necessary for a man to regain control of his emotions. Emotions are scary things for most guys.

        12. Emily, the original

          YAG,

          That verse captures exactly what happens when a man who usually has no problem meeting women encounters one for whom logic exits stage right. It is sense overload. He wishes that he had never seen her, but he wishes he was near her. He needs to draw the line, but he is over his head. That is why an experienced guy often pulls back when he goes all-in too early. It is an over correction that is necessary for a man to regain control of his emotions. Emotions are scary things for most guys.

          That perfectly describes how I felt about the last guy I really liked. I wanted to be around him but he scared the shit out of me. I’d see him walking down the hall (we worked together) and I’d literally go the other direction. He was a dizzying white light and it took me months to actually get a good look at him. Sound corny but that’s how it felt. Being all in is fine but you (men and women) have to temper that feeling in front of the other person or it comes off as too much. I’m sure that for the very lucky those feelings happen mutually but I think it’s rare. I think one person is usually completely besotted and the other one is either not interested or not interested as much.

  7. 7
    Marika

    Thank you all ☺

    Sum Guy, this rang true:  I know this and don’t care because I really, really like the feeling of being on the edge of there and getting my partner there over and over. 

    I think this is what’s happening. Well definitely the second part (lucky me!) and from what he’s said, the first too. I actually think I’m far more concerned with this situation than him. It’s just a. new ground, and b. seems somehow ‘unfair’ on him.

    I also think you’re right about not wanting to suggest things and hoping I will, but I only have sex in relationships, so have bad few partners. I’m unlikely to suggest much that’s all that kinky/adventurous! I am relatively open minded (within reason, as long as it doesn’t involve other people, or animals or whatever), which is what I was trying to communicate by saying I’ll try things he wants. I’ll drop that now, though, as on the basis of Jeremy’s advice, it’s not his thing.

    1. 7.1
      Emily, the original

      I also think you’re right about not wanting to suggest things and hoping I will, but I only have sex in relationships, so have bad few partners.

      So you’re rarely had bad sex while in a relationship? I certainly think you can have great sex within a relationship but also great sex without one. It’s disappointing when you discover there’s nothing else there with the person you’re having great sex with, but it happens. Sometimes you can really like someone and want to seriously date that person but … the sex ain’t all that great. It happens. That scenario stinks, too.

      1. 7.1.1
        Marika

        Haha. Typo! I’ve had few partners! I meant out of us both (and probably most people our age), I’m the less experienced.

    2. 7.2
      Sum Guy

      Hi Marika @7

      im with you on the open mindedness,  you said sometimes he does get there…any common thread?

      One thing that’s worked on me is flip the script, could give him ideas of things you find erotic, stories etc that you’ve wanted to try or find exciting and have him pick one.

      That way he knows it pre-approved so to speak.

      No need for it to be extreme or explicit, something like Outlander can be fine to get the vibe.

      1. 7.2.1
        Sum Guy

        PS you are setting it up to be things you’d like but since you give him a range (maybe 2 or 3) at a time he can give you a hint of his direction by what he picks

  8. 8
    Chris

    Does this guy think a woman should automatically climax just from him thrusting, and if she doesn’t its some sort of slight on his masculinity? Perhaps he just needs some (gentle) lessons on how female sexuality works.

  9. 9
    Yet Another Guy

    I cannot understand a grown man’s aversion to toys.  Heck, my attitude is that she can bring her entire toy box into bed with us if it makes her happy.  If she wants me to tie her to the bed with neck ties and drip hot candle wax on her body, I will do it (been there, done that).   Put her on top reverse cowgirl-style and let her service the other part of her female genitalia with her B.O.B. while you grab both of her butt cheeks and control the ride.  That maneuver almost always works. 🙂

  10. 10
    Elle

    In Evan’s recent Love U podcast with the “Breakup Doctor,” he talks about how a lot of couples keep on working at things way beyond the point at which they really ought to have gone their separate ways. He also mentioned that one big Aha moment for him was when he realized he was really tired of women wanting to change him, so his takeaway going forward was to find a woman who would accept him as he was. That decision ultimately led to him meeting the woman who would become his wife, who indeed accepted him as he was.

    So given the foregoing, I think the question about whether Monica should tell her partner that she has been faking it is a red herring. The real issue here is that there seems to be a core incompatibility, with respect to sex, between these two people. He is unable to feel comfortable sexually with her, and she is unable to achieve sexual satisfaction with him.

    There never has been, and likely never will be any kind of real sexual chemistry between them, personal issues aside. So after talking it to death and trying this, that and the other thing, very little progress has been made. If the chemistry isn’t there, all the sex toys and therapy in the world will not change that. Sometimes you just have to accept that this is not the right person for you, and move on.

    Monica has said that she has had amazing sex in the past and is having a really hard time not having that anymore. So, like Evan, her takeaway, her Aha moment, should be that a fulfilling sex life is vitally important to her, and she should go forth back into the dating pool with this understanding: a guy who is messed up sexually, no matter how much else is right, is simply not going to work for her.

    Couples cannot compromise or settle on core compatibility issues, like sexual incompatibility, and expect the relationship to last over the long term. Affairs or a divorce are a high probability down the road. Her next ethical question would likely be, “Is it okay if I have an affair without him knowing about it, if it keeps the relationship intact?”, because she is so starved for a healthy sex life.

    Sexual chemistry, and the whole experience of making love, is about so much more than the physical body. I understand Monica’s concerns about the mastectomies, but she is a whole package that is much more than the state of her chest. Men have fallen in love with women who have birth defects or are chronically ill, scarred from fires, or had amputations from car accidents or combat injuries. If anything, a disfigurement weeds out the more shallow men, setting the relationship on a higher plane from the beginning.

    I would be interested in reading posts from men who have had fulfilling sexual relationships with women who have had mastectomies. It would be helpful for Monica, and other women in her situation, to be reassured that for the right man, they will still be a sexually desirable woman.

    I hope Monica will then kindly break up with her boyfriend so they can each find more compatible relationship partners.

    1. 10.1
      Emily, the original

      Elle,

      There never has been, and likely never will be any kind of real sexual chemistry between them, personal issues aside. So after talking it to death and trying this, that and the other thing, very little progress has been made. If the chemistry isn’t there, all the sex toys and therapy in the world will not change that. Sometimes you just have to accept that this is not the right person for you, and move on.

      I agree. You can really like somebody, but that doesn’t necessarily mean the sex will be good. These two just aren’t sexually compatible.

  11. 11
    Marika

    Unfortunately, Jeremy (re the bad boy validation stuff), I think you’re spot on.

    Danaellen,

    I could be wrong, but I don’t think meta goals are devious. The charity one was perhaps a bad example, but humans are survival oriented. We rarely do anything where we get nothing for ourselves. It’s just about understanding why we do / want / need things. So we can have better relationships with ourselves and others. And ask for what we want. Self awareness is also really important. We all know people who are blindly ignorant to how pompous or critical or whatever they are, which is frustrating fie everyone. I could claim I pick damaged pple for relationships because I’m so kind, then keep doing it forever, never learning the real reason behind it (validation).

    That’s my understanding.

    1. 11.1
      Jeremy

      +1.

      And further, if you understand your meta goals, you can get an idea of what challenges might lie ahead for you in a future  relationship. For example, someone who likes bad boys due to a need for validation might predictability lose desire for her former bad boy husband once he becomes a family man with a job and a mortgage and quits his rock band. As he becomes the man she thinks she wants, he moves away from the type of man who turns her on. And she might find herself without desire and not know why. Understanding her motivations will help her plan for this and devise strategies to maintain her goals with the man she loves

      1. 11.1.1
        Emily, the original

        Jeremy,

        For example, someone who likes bad boys due to a need for validation might predictability lose desire for her former bad boy husband once he becomes a family man with a job and a mortgage and quits his rock band.

        Wouldn’t she then be married to a totally different person? I thought that was one of the things women were to take away from this site — don’t try to change a man.

        1. Marika

          I don’t personally think it’s that simple, Emily. You shouldn’t try to change anyone, but over time and throughout relationships, people do change. For instance, I’m sure Jeremy didn’t marry a woman who was uninterested in sex.

          In my case, funnily enough, as my ‘bad boy’ husband started to get his shit together (he bought the place we were living in and got some advice about superannuation from a friend etc), I felt more happy and confident about our relationship. He still had enough of an edge that I was still very into him and I always had fun with him and found him incredibly interesting and desirable. So getting his shit together was the icing on the cake. But he became restless. I was his third wife and he’s probably remarried again by now. If he could see his meta goals were wrapped up in validation and variety, he could probably stop trying to search for that perfect person that he wouldn’t get sick of, and find ways to get the validation and variety he craved, without cheating.

          But I can’t do anything about that. I can see how my meta goal of validation is hurting me and my relationships and try to work on that.

          Case in point: I just had a conversation with the guy I’m seeing. He’s lovely, but I started seeing some similar issues that arose with my ex. His job is unstable and he has to move and other issues. He has responded to the stress by going into his cave, dropping the communication right down, he’s moody when we do communicate, and he won’t make a plan to catch up.

          Instead of seeking validation by putting aside my own needs to try to caretake him, I said (gently and lovingly) that I’d leave him to it & that he could let me know if he needed anything. But for now I’d leave him alone to sort it out. This is pretty groundbreaking for me, to be able to walk away (even temporarily) from a situation that’s not serving me.

          I want to thank you, Jeremy. You’ve really opened my eyes with this meta goal stuff and I’m so grateful.

        2. Jeremy

          Thank you, Marika, that’s very validating 😉

          May it be the beginning of a new era of relationship success for you.

        3. Emily, the original

          Marika,

          In my case, funnily enough, as my ‘bad boy’ husband started to get his shit together (he bought the place we were living in and got some advice about superannuation from a friend etc), I felt more happy and confident about our relationship.

          I understand what you are saying. But I think it would be difficult for a woman to remain interested in a man who, initially, had an edge and then became Ward Cleaver. Or expected her to direct, dictate and organize his life, when he was independent in the beginning.

  12. 12
    Marika

    Thank you for responding to my validation with some validation for me, Jeremy 😉

    I’ll save you a seat in Validations-Anonymous…

    PS your daughter sounds like me as a child!

  13. 13
    Marika

    Emily said:

    Or expected her to direct, dictate and organize his life, when he was independent in the beginning.

    This kind of thing does happen in relationships, though, reasonably often. I’m sure Evan was a independent guy. Now I’m sure his wife takes on a lot of organizing and directing of his life. My brother leaves most of the organization to his current (and previous) wife, whereas he was organized – to the point of being anal – when single. It just makes sense for division of labour purposes to change and manage different responsibilities as a couple, than you did when single. Particularly if you have kids. In my sister’s case, it’s her husband who does most of the organising, as she works and earns more than him.

    Entering a relationship expecting nothing will change at all over time and as life circumstances change, is setting yourself up for disappointment. But, equally, marrying a guy based on his potential and thinking you can change him into a good relationship partner when he’s never shown he is: also a bad idea.

    That’s why it’s so important to pick someone you really enjoy being with, you’re friends with, don’t argue too much with etc.  That’s what I need to keep reminding myself! For me, it will need to include sense of humour and fun (as I’m really scared of getting bored and tooo routinised), but I need to focus on qualities other than chemistry and certainly other than unpredictability, if I want long-term happiness.

    1. 13.1
      Emily, the original

      Marika,

      I think a relationship can be any way two people design it. I have two girlfriends in their 50s who are on match. They both would like to meet someone but they don’t want a complete immersion relationship. They both have homes are want to keep them. They both have friends/activities and want to continue to see them/socialize. When I mentioned that there was a thread on this site about how some wives arrange the social lives of their husbands, they both balked. Obviously, these women are past childbearing age, so kids aren’t a factor.

      but I need to focus on qualities other than chemistry and certainly other than unpredictability, if I want long-term happiness a factor.

      Intellectually, I get what you are saying. Obviously, that makes perfect sense, but how do you get to that point (a solid, stable ltr) without the initial shazam? Yes, I know the issue isn’t black or white. You aren’t either really attracted or really turned off. There is a middle ground, but that’s hard to see sometimes if you’ve had the intense 10 shazam. What motivates you to want to go on a date with a 5 shazam?

       

  14. 14
    Yet Another Guy

    @Emily, the original

    I think a relationship can be any way two people design it. I have two girlfriends in their 50s who are on match. They both would like to meet someone but they don’t want a complete immersion relationship.

    I met a woman last year who wanted this deal.  I refer to this mindset as “boyfriend in a box.”  Women who want this deal are better off with FWBs. No guy is going to enter a committed relationship with a woman who only wants to see him when she is not busy with her girlfriends and other activities.  If the guy in the relationship took this approach, the couple would never get together.

    1. 14.1
      Marika

      Wow, YAG, I agree with you!! I knew this day would come 🙂

      Although, I don’t think there are no guys in the world who would potentially be interested in  such an arrangement, I do think it would be rare, and sounds more like FWBs to me than a relationship.

      The whole point of a relationship is sharing your lives, IMHO. That doesn’t mean you have to wash the guys socks and organise his social calendar, but you do need to prioritise your partner over friends etc.

    2. 14.2
      Emily, the original

      YAG,

      No guy is going to enter a committed relationship with a woman who only wants to see him when she is not busy with her girlfriends and other activities. 

      I totally disagree with you on this. I didn’t say they were going to spend one day a week with a boyfriend, but that he wasn’t going to become their entire existence. It sounds healthy to me.

    3. 14.3
      Sum Guy

      Hi YAG @ 14

      great phrase…”boyfriend in a box”…seems pretty common approach where I live, when it’s a guy doing it, it’s called emotional unavailability.

      I can actually imagine some guys like being a boyfriend in the box (Strange dreams are made of this…who am I to disagree)

      though cannot imagine any high labido guy being exclusive in such an arrangement, and it seems to easily allow for much non-exclusivity

      1. 14.3.1
        Yet Another Guy

        @SG

        though cannot imagine any high labido guy being exclusive in such an arrangement, and it seems to easily allow for much non-exclusivity

        That is exactly my point.  If given that much freedom, even an older guy who no longer has a high libido is going to wander.  I have since exchanged messages with a few other fifty-something women who seek a boyfriend-in-a-box (BIAB) arrangement.  I have informed these ladies that what they need is an FWB.

  15. 15
    Marika

    Oh Emily, you’re asking the wrong person! I am drawn to the 10 shazam, as I’ve made it clear. I don’t think it’s about trying to force things with a 5 in chemistry, it’s about letting things go with the 10 chemistry if you feel like crap 50% of the time as you’re fundamentally a bad match (for instance). And not dumping a 7 chemistry who’s an amazing man who treats you well for a crazy making 10.

    Some people can handle a 5 chemistry, but I don’t think you’re one of them☺

    1. 15.1
      Emily, the original

      Marika,

      I have to be honest: I don’t know what a 7 is. What is a 5? That you feel neutral? And a 7 is … well, he’s kind of cute if he got a different haircut and some better clothes? I’m not being sarcastic. I just don’t understand the rating system other than to say that a 10 is a knock-me-over moment.

      1. 15.1.1
        Marika

        Again, I’m not the best person to ask, but if you have a 5 you can take them or leave them. For people like us, that’s not going to work.

        A 7 would be what I feel for the guy I’m seeing now (or maybe not seeing – as I mentioned he needs headspace atm so may go nowhere..! I digress..). I knew him as a friend before we became intimate, and I thought ‘he’s cute’. I could catch up with him as friends without wanting to jump his bones and without longing for him etc. (like I would with a 10), but I was more than happy to move things forward intimately once he made a move. And once we started, the chemistry grew even further. But now that things may be not going to work out, I’m not devastated and pining for him. I’ll miss him and I’m disappointed, but that’s it.

        There’s no rule book for this stuff, but that’s how I’d describe a 7. Similarly to how Evan described his feelings for his wife in the early days of their dating (obviously now it’s a different story, as these things can grow once you know and love the person).

        1. Emily, the original

          Marika,

          A 7 would be what I feel for the guy I’m seeing now (or maybe not seeing – as I mentioned he needs headspace atm so may go nowhere..! I digress..). I knew him as a friend before we became intimate, and I thought ‘he’s cute’. I could catch up with him as friends without wanting to jump his bones and without longing for him etc. (like I would with a 10), but I was more than happy to move things forward intimately once he made a move. And once we started, the chemistry grew even further. But now that things may be not going to work out, I’m not devastated and pining for him. I’ll miss him and I’m disappointed, but that’s it.

          Ok, thanks. I understand what you are saying. The 7 doesn’t have the longing feeling that you get with the 10. But what happens — and I’m asking you directly, Miss Marika, not a generalized “you”– if you are dating a 7 and an elusive 10 shows up and expresses interest? Maybe you’re at the place with the 7 where things are still good (and I hope it works out with your current guy). You’re starting to date a guy friend, as you described, and things are moving forward into a possible relationship. This is not a cheating question, but a how-would-you-feel-would-you-wrestle-with-what-to-do question.

        2. Evan Marc Katz

          The answer is that if you have a 7 in chemistry and a 10 in compatibility, you should know better than to leave your 7 in hopes that the 10 chemistry is ALSO a 10 compatibility. In my second book, I called it “Hitting on 20.” After years of experience, doesn’t take too much to realize when you have something good on your hands. Same way you’d choose a job or a home. Are there always improvements that can be made? Sure. Do you wake up every morning wanting to switch jobs or homes? I sure hope not.

        3. Emily, the original

          Do you wake up every morning wanting to switch jobs or homes? I sure hope not.

          I’m not sure my last comment went through. Actually, yes. I hated my job. Three weeks ago I quit and moved four hours away to take some college classes. It’s just for one semester to update my skills but I had to make a change. I’m going to go through most of my savings but I just couldn’t stay where I was. I’ll probably have to move again in January once I get a new job.

          Intellectually, I understand what you are saying about the 7 chemistry/10 compatibility but the rest of me isn’t there yet. I’m not a logical person like you are.

        4. Evan Marc Katz

          Emotions are important but they can’t be the whole story. Read How We Decide by Jonah Lehrer or Thinking Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman. I’ve never seen a 10 chemistry/10 compatibility couple. I believe it would be foolish to attempt to “hold out” for one.

        5. Jeremy

          Evan, you wrote, “I’ve never seen a 10 chemistry 10 compatibility couple.”

           

          Such a couple would be a disaster IMHO, hedonic adaptation being what it is.  If your normal is 10/10, any deviation from 10/10 would be considered unsatisfactory, bordering on disastrous.  And it will dip below 10/10 over the course of a marriage.
          When all you eat every day is filet mignon, anything less is a disappointment and the extraordinary is nothing special.

        6. Emily, the original

          I’ve never seen a 10 chemistry/10 compatibility couple. I believe it would be foolish to attempt to “hold out” for one.

          I’m not holding out for one. Just saying no to the obvious impossibilities.

        7. Sum Guy

          Marika @15.1.1

          I think this:

          “Similarly to how Evan described his feelings for his wife in the early days of their dating (obviously now it’s a different story, as these things can grow once you know and love the person).”

          is the key, if you have a high compatibility 9 or 10, the chemistry will only grow.  However, if you have a low compatibility that 10 chemistry will only fade.

        8. Sum Guy

          On the whole 10/10 thing, it happens but an 8/8 can be satisfying as well.

          My first relationship and second person I slept with, we had a 10/10 for a couple years…but we were young (barely 20-21) in the midst of life, foolish (a lot on my part), no experience of what we had and life took us far apart (we are still thousands of miles apart)…not until decades later did we reconnect (long story)…but friends again.  We take it as learning and  knowing what a relationship could be.  So just because things may be 10/10 doesn’t mean life is going to be perfect; and it didn’t start off 10/10; more like 8/8.

          I never thought it could happen again but was never holding out for a 10/10, an 8/8 would be great.

          On my current girlfriend, it’s pretty easy to tell on chemistry, at least a 9 or 10, can’t keep our hands off each other and we’ve taken each other to heights I never thought I would see again and higher (and on my end I can say it’s not just pillow talk).   We are certainly both high libido kind of people, but there is something else, and just because we are high libido doesn’t mean we aren’t picky, in fact in my experience and speaking for myself, high libido people are often extra picky as we know how a strong libido can get you to overvalue chemistry.

          Although too soon to really tell on compatibility all signs are my current girlfriend and I are at least an 8 in compatibility, most likely a 9 and maybe a 10…based on how we communicate, views on resolving differences, common life goals, share geeky passions, see eye-to-eye on politics, religion, etc.   It’s just as good as the stuff between the sheets, but it’s not separate from it at all; the compatibility pieces of it is a large part of what turns me on about her.

          There is a down side to this, things can be so good you might overthink them, we have to force ourselves not to spend all our time in bed (the anticipation is good), and we are so into each other time flies, we can literally spend 2 hours talking, 3 hours in bed, and another 2 hours talking, maybe another hour in bed, and not get to sleep until 2am.  Not so good for work life…but we have a solution…setting an alarm 🙂

          I say if you find an 8/8 count your self lucky and anything over an 8 in compatibility with a 7+ in chemistry is worth giving a chance.

    2. 15.2
      Sum Guy

      Think saw somewhere on here Evan was talking about better to have a 10 compatibility and 7 chemistry than a 10 chemistry and 5 compatibility.

      For me finding the chemistry (at least initial chemistry, aka lust) is the easy part, so I focus on the compatibility as the first “filter”, once past that onto the chemistry.

      1. 15.2.1
        Emily, the original

        Sum Guy,

        Think saw somewhere on here Evan was talking about better to have a 10 compatibility and 7 chemistry than a 10 chemistry and 5 compatibility.

        Yes, I know, but what is a 7 chemistry? What does it feel like? What do you think of in terms of the other person? That’s what I was asking.

        For me finding the chemistry (at least initial chemistry, aka lust) is the easy part,

        That’s because you’re a man. For a woman, finding chemistry is difficult. And if it’s mutual? We’ve hit the jackpot. That’s why we allow the guy to treat us so badly when we experience it. It’s rare. I actually think compatibility is easier to find. I’ve had several male friends whose company I really enjoyed but I didn’t have sexual feelings for them.

        1. Evan Marc Katz

          Avoiding comments generally, but have to point out to Emily that “enjoying one’s company” is not remotely akin to compatibility.

          I enjoy MOST people’s company – I can’t think of anyone I’d be more happily married to than my wife – because of our inherent compatibility. Compatibility is measured in many ways, but the most obvious one is how well you get along and can make 100 decisions, large and small, every day, as a team. Being attracted to someone or enjoying their personality has nothing to do with this component of compatibility. It relies on confidence, self-awareness, humility, kindness, selflessness, emotional IQ, honesty, patience, etc. You’re not a good partner because you’re cute and funny; you’re a good partner because…you’re a good partner.

          Are you on my mailing list? I’m doing a webinar on September 12th. I’d love to see you there and maybe in Love U afterward…

        2. Sum Guy

          Rating things on a scale of 1 to 10 is based on my personal experience and what I’m attracted to.   For chemistry the first is going to be looks and that je ne sais quoi on meeting.   That last part is certainly mental.

          It almost always is a 7 minimum to begin with, and includes us flirting and lining up on love language.  Hornieness can easily take a 5 to a 7 I think

          I consider 7 a  very high score, get turned on just thinking about you.  A 6 is I may have to be looking at you, touching you, and a 5 if the setting is just right it will happen otherwise not…it seems the stereotypical stale marriage is a 5.   Below 5 I would say is a no go zone, you regret the sex later and it was hornieness/alcohol that made you think the 4 chemistry was a 6 or 7

          This is from my perspective I realize for women character aspects of a man can be a turn on/off so those may add a lot of chemistry above sheer looks

          The aspects above 7 for me come in under the sheets.  There is the I feel great your good and we get there 7 to the I literally feel like I’m having an out of body experience 10 and didn’t know I could climax so many times.  A part of the difference is ability to pick up on pleasure ques and each give each other what they want, not a big part for me as I’m happy to be asked or ask.  I think there may be a pheromonal aspect as women I rate an 8+ literally smell and taste so good, and it has nothing to do with perfume.  The high chemistries for me are in a way just as much effort as lower, but in a good way as we have to work to keep our hands off each other it’s so good :).

          After a time, with an 8 chemistry willing to share some fantasies openly, a 9 willing to share all without reserve, and with a 10 it’s let’s make up new ones 🙂

          Compared to a 7 where tread lightly n slowly on fantasies but things are rarely awkward or s 6 where there is an underlying feeling of awkwardness most of the time

          Of course it’s all subjective and could all be in your head, due to lack of experience, bad experiences etc    The chemistry rating is certainly not etched in stone

          The above seems so analytical, it’s really not in life.  I don’t rate things in the moment but if I had to order them and describe them this is one way I’d do it.

        3. Emily, the original

          Sum Guy,

          I think there may be a pheromonal aspect as women I rate an 8+ literally smell and taste so good, and it has nothing to do with perfume.

          I was reading somewhere that hormones/pheromones have a lot to do with it.

          Thanks for your explanation of chemistry.

        4. Marika

          How can I not respond to a direct question from a lady who calls me Miss??😛

          Well, chica Emily, by now I’m familiar enough with the 10-chemistry dudes to know the following:

          They could be players

          They could not be able to hold a conversation about anything other than themselves/sex (went on one date with the hottest Brazilian man who ever existed – unfortunately his kissing ability was his only dating skill. Instead of feeling overwhelmed by his beautifulness, I felt sorry for him)

          I could turn into a blabbering fool who couldn’t put my best foot forward

          It could all go up in chemistry-fuelled flames in 2 months

          Etc etc

          If a guy showed up who was a 10/10, different story, but you can’t know someone’s a 10 compatibility without spending a lot of time with them. And why would I spend a lot of time with another guy if I had a boyfriend?

          Evan’s message and history is particularly relevant to maximisers like us. If we keep searching for that elusive 10/10, we could find them in our nursing home on our deathbed. We can also be so distracted on dates (oh he’s too x or not y enough) to not recognize a gem in front of us.

          Also, I personally think it’s more important to ask about & delve into the compatibility question. Speaking only for myself, while I could describe a 7 to you in perfect detail, I actually don’t know how to describe a 6,7,8,9,10 in compatibility. I have spent far too long chasing the chemistry high and not long enough figuring out what a compatible partner looks like.

        5. Emily, the original

          Marika,

          If a guy showed up who was a 10/10, different story, but you can’t know someone’s a 10 compatibility without spending a lot of time with them.

          I meant a 10 chemistry.

          And why would I spend a lot of time with another guy if I had a boyfriend?

          I didn’t mean to imply that you had a boyfriend (and certainly not a spouse) in this scenario. I should have been clearer. I meant you started dating a guy who had been a friend (similar to how you described your current situation). You already knew him well, you trusted him and you’d always thought he was kind of cute. Things were going well (idk, for a month or so), but then Mr. Ten Chemistry shows up.

           

           If we keep searching for that elusive 10/10, we could find them in our nursing home on our deathbed.

          Oh, no, we can’t wait that long! The odds keep getting worse for us women the older we get! I’ve never searched for a 10 compatibility. Just a 10 chemistry.

          Speaking only for myself, while I could describe a 7 to you in perfect detail, I actually don’t know how to describe a 6,7,8,9,10 in compatibility.

          Me, neither.

        6. Marika

          But why keep searching / aiming for the 10 chemistry, Emily? Has it ever worked out?

        7. Emily, the original

          Marika,

          But why keep searching / aiming for the 10 chemistry, Emily? Has it ever worked out?

          No, but it hasn’t worked out with the lower-level chemistry people, either. I’m not really searching for anything right now but am thinking about what I might want in the future. Now … if it fell into my lap …

      2. 15.2.2
        Yet Another Guy

        @Sum Guy

        I have the exact opposite problem.  Finding a woman with whom I am compatible is not terribly difficult; however, I have yet to find one that truly lights my fire since re-entering the dating pool.  Heck, to be completely honest, I have not found a woman who truly lights my fire since my early thirties.  I have friend-zoned quite a few good women since re-entering the dating pool.  We enjoyed each other’s company; however, there was zero sexual desire on my part, and I could not force it like I used to be able to do as a younger man.  It is a shame because they were good women with a lot to offer the right man.

        1. Sum Guy

          YAG @15.2.2

          I’m assuming it’s mental, but do you know what does light your fire?  That is you can think of someone or something you’ve seen and say yah that does it?  I’m assuming it’s not physical as one can readily self check if the plumbing works.

          It sounds like, and I apologize up front if wrong, that you may be a low libido person.  So have you considered being up-front with a woman you connect with, and if she is low libido as well it could work out.  You may just need the right mood and setting and comfort level for both of you and no expectations that both of you get there every time.

        2. Yet Another Guy

          @Sum Guy

          It sounds like, and I apologize up front if wrong, that you may be a low libido person. 

          I can assure you that it is not a low libido thing.  My libido is not what it used to be when I was younger (thankfully), but I still have healthy a sex drive.  It is just that I had my fair share of smoking hot women when I was younger.  I was a gym rat from my teens through my mid-thirties.  I then married a woman with whom I was compatible, but with whom I had weak chemistry.  I spent the better part of two decades in that marriage, ten of which were spent in an intimate contact-free zone.

          I know that we are all older; however, it is difficult for me to get sexually excited by women my age, and I am not chasing inappropriately young women.  I like women my age. I can relate to them much better than younger women, but I have yet to find one that truly spins me up sexually, which is why it is easier for me to find compatibility than chemistry.   I have been searching for some other less shallow attribute to light my fire, but I have yet to find it.

  16. 16
    Marika

    YAG said:

    That is why an experienced guy often pulls back when he goes all-in too early. It is an over correction that is necessary for a man to regain control of his emotions. Emotions are scary things for most guys.

    I think you’re making an important point here. It certainly happens to me with guys (my friends have mentioned it too). Can you explain it in a bit more detail, as well as this bit:

    Richie Kotzen captured the confusion that a man’s experiences when he meets a woman for whom his rules do not apply, and with whom he cannot control his emotions. 

    You said in an earlier post a guy who’s into you will go all in. But then they won’t and they’ll pull back? This is very confusing for women, but not an uncommon experience for us to have with men. If you can explain this a bit more, I’d be really appreciative.

    1. 16.1
      Sum Guy

      Hi Marika @16

      not to answer for YAG but I’ve done what he describes as going all in too soon, and pulled back.    I only became fairly distant when I thought I had put her off so didn’t want to bother her.   I’m sure I was wrong on that. This was in my 20s when you’re both just figuring this stuff out and too afraid and immature to just talk about it

      There is a line between a guy’s normal exuberance, jump in head first, damn the consequences mentality (hence extreme sports) which can be both attractive n scary, to pestering n stalker like behavior that crosses the line from I’m so into you that i feel the need to be with you to a neediness that sucks the life out of you.

      The former guy doesn’t rely on you reciprocating to the same degree to feel self worth (though man it’s wanted) and if denied he will try but not force it; the later does rely on you forth his self worth and he can get really psycho and will try “force” usually through angry words (this is also player behavior which to me is just a needy guy who acts the opposite extreme, emphasis on act, as you wouldn’t need “coaching” “scripts” “lines” and “game” if it was real, rather it’s just real denial)

      For a woman it can be very hard to tell the difference between wow he is just really exuberant and into me but not needy (he just “needs,” read greatly desires, to be with you) to the guy is looking for an emotional care taker or a player.

      In my experience it also depends on how the woman views herself, the woman who has it together but has more negative views about her relationship desirability (looks, age, baggage etc), or just is not an emotionally exuberant person herself, the more she is going to think exuberance is neediness or playing.  Likewise, there are women who will think neediness is chivalry/exuberance

      In really just describing how the sexs often do t get each other when a good part of it is how we observe and interpret behavior not so much objectively but through a filter of our preconceptions

      Alas like many things in life, getting it just right comes with experience and also maturity.

      Maturity means to me you are not afraid to use your words.   I think the idea that if you “have” to talk about it that it wasn’t meant to be is a BS cop out to avoid rejection or facing yourself…especially when you can’t articulate what you deep down want because you don’t consciously know.  So people just hope stuff happens (like in a movie) and say it was never meant to be when it doesn’t to avoid taking responsibility when in reality they didn’t even try.

      My advice then is if you encounter the coming on too strong then pulls back man, talk to the guy if you like him.  See if he got the wrong signal, you can readily let him know you are flattered by the all in and maybe he picked up on the pace not being right for you, but you still want to keep seeing him.   Basically an open honest conversation.  If he can’t have that kind of conversation I wouldn’t call him relationship or even FWB material.

      1. 16.1.1
        Marika

        Thanks Sum Guy!

        I think what you’re saying is that the come on strong-pull back guy pulls back because he senses it was too strong for the woman? Maybe that’s not what you meant, but if so, unless men are actually really good at reading some very subtle signals we don’t even know we’re giving, that doesn’t really ring true. In fact, they seem to pull back when we start to get invested. So, IMHO, there’s more to it than that.

        I’m not talking about ‘needy’ guys here. I’m rarely one to get embroiled with a needy guy.

        I do take your point on using your words. I was taught to be subtle and hint at things, particularly with men, but I give myself permission next time a guy’s behaviour is confusing, to ask him about it!

        1. Sum Guy

          @16.1.1

          Hi Marika,

          you’re right I did mean pulling back after getting reluctant behavior

          i don’t know what to make of guys like this “In fact, they seem to pull back when we start to get invested. So, IMHO, there’s more to it than that. ”

          Seems like fear, avoidance don’t know what…maybe they thought they wanted closeness and a serious relationship but when finally got it they freaked out…a case (for them) of be careful what you ask for you may get it.

    2. 16.2
      Yet Another Guy

      @Marika

      A guy learns through experience that he needs to remain centered and in control of his emotions if he is going to successfully lead a woman into a relationship. Most men pretty much know within thirty seconds of meeting a woman if there is a possibility of going all-in. From personal experience, women appear to need time to “proof” a guy before they will open up emotionally. Proofing is necessary to see if a man is trustworthy. I believe that the proofing period is due to the female primal need for safety and security. Remaining centered and in control of his emotions until she is ready to submit emotionally to him is a large part of how a man proves his trustworthiness. However, there is a fine line between a man being in control of his emotions and being emotionally unavailable.

      Regardless of what women say, they all seem to want a man who they have to win. It is the craziest thing. A guy can be the total package, but if he plays his hand to early, the probability of being friend-zoned can go to almost 100%. The overcorrection is due to fear of being friend-zoned by a woman who has a this much control over his emotions. Men hate being vulnerable, so they pull back, usually abruptly enough to make a woman’s head spin. It is a critical point in the courting dance. A man has to chose between flight or fight, that is, he will either decide to move onto another woman who has less control over his emotions or he will get back in the game and fight for her love.

      1. 16.2.1
        Emily, the original

        YAG,

        Regardless of what women say, they all seem to want a man who they have to win. It is the craziest thing.

        It isn’t. Do you like women who are at your beck and call? Who may it very clear at the outset that they really like you and are available anytime? Do you find that behavior attractive? Any self-respecting woman wouldn’t do that. She may make it clear she’s interested but she has some boundaries and isn’t dancing around trying to win you over.

        1. Yet Another Guy

          @Emily, that original

          She … isn’t dancing around trying to win you over.

          I beg to differ.  That is exactly what women have done when I have demonstrated indifference to being an item.   Women are addicted to anticipation-based oxytocin release.  All a man has to do is breadcrumb a woman who is interested in him, and she will knock herself out for his attention.  Everyone of those breadcrumbs results in a release of oxytocin, resulting in her bonding more deeply with the guy.  Guys who are experienced daters know how to work anticipation-based oxytocin release.

          Truth be told, one of the members of a couple has to be willing to forgo setting boundaries for a relationship to get off of the ground. If both people set boundaries, most attempts at establishing a relationship will fizzle.

        2. Emily, the original

          YAG,

          All a man has to do is breadcrumb a woman who is interested in him, and she will knock herself out for his attention.

          But you didn’t answer my question. You didn’t find the behavior appealing, did you?

          Women are addicted to anticipation-based oxytocin release.

          I stand by my statement. Any self-respecting woman doesn’t dance around trying to get a man’s attention. Yes, she may still want him, but once she’s honest with herself and realizes he’s not stepping up, she stops herself from trying to do more.

        3. Yet Another Guy

          @Emily, the original

          But you didn’t answer my question. You didn’t find the behavior appealing, did you?

          No, I do not have a problem with the behavior.  I prefer it to a woman playing coy or some other game in an attempt to keep me pursuing.  I tend to avoid women who are challenges.  I do not have time for challenging women.  I learned a long time ago that these women are a complete waste of effort.

          You do know that what you wrote above is contradictory? On one hand you agree that women want a man they have to win, but on the other hand, you say that self-respecting women set boundaries.  In essence, a woman wants a man who she has to win, but only on her terms.  It is this kind of logic that leads men to believe that all women are at least a 4 on the crazy scale.

        4. Emily, the original

          YAG,

          On one hand you agree that women want a man they have to win, but on the other hand, you say that self-respecting women set boundaries

          I never wrote the word “win.”  In early romantic interactions, I look at the situation much as I do a new friendship. If I met a new friend, for example, at a meetup,  and agreed Monday to a lunch on Saturday for our first time hanging out outside the group  (and we did not know each other well but enjoyed meeting each other and wanted to get together again), and then she called me Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday  and Friday (or texted me several times a day, each day), I wouldn’t want to go. I’d think she was a bit much. If she’s a secure person, though, she texts me on Saturday to confirm the lunch and leaves it at that. There needs to be a steadied pace to these things.

          You wrote it yourself in your post to Marika: A guy learns through experience that he needs to remain centered and in control of his emotions if he is going to successfully lead a woman into a relationship.

          In terms of boundaries, a woman would set them for her own behavior and what she was willing to do. If the guy’s not into her, there isn’t much she can do, and she’s drawing the line at hunting him down. What do you do if a woman isn’t into you? Continue to pursue her?

          It is this kind of logic that leads men to believe that all women are at least a 4 on the crazy scale.

          That comment was unnecessary.

           

      2. 16.2.2
        Marika

        Thank you for your reply, YAG.

        I do understand what your saying and for some women (me included), it certainly does ring true.

        It is a shame, though, as shown in your replies to Emily, that your default is always to criticize and insult women. I wondered if, because I was asking for your help in understanding something, you’d reply in good faith, or I’d end up regretting asking. Thanks to your replies to Emily, particularly the crazy scale thing, unfortunately it’s the latter. To you, women will always be the bad ‘guy’.

        1. Yet Another Guy

          @Marika

          I do not consider women to be the bad guy. I do not hate women. I just think that many women are their own worst enemies.  Dating does not have to be difficult.

  17. 17
    Jeremy

    Emily and Marika, just to address your conversation above about 10s (and sorry for the long post):

     

    People suck at making decisions – especially because we believe we’re so good at it.  We believe that if we make a bad choice, it was more about bad luck than about our using the wrong criteria.  Case in point – I overheard a conversation between a mother and her teenage son the other day.  He was asking for advice choosing a career.  Her advice was, “just think about what you like, honey, and choose a job you’ll love.”  This advice, along with “pick something you’re good at” is parroted by parents and guidance counselors around the world, and it is TERRIBLE advice.  You want rational advice?  Think about what type of lifestyle you’re going to want.  Will you want kids?  Where will you want to live?  Will you want to send your kids to private schools?  Will you want to travel?  What sort of hours will you want to work – will you prioritize income or flexibility?  And once you’ve decided what lifestyle you’ll want, make a list of jobs that will provide it.  And OF THOSE, choose the one you like the best.  And if that job doesn’t fulfill every single desire you have, remember that’s what hobbies are for.

     

    Relationship advice is much the same.  “Choose a person you love.”  “Choose someone who makes you happy.”  Terrible advice, because it doesn’t consider the future.  First, decide what lifestyle you are going to want – will you want kids?  Will you want to be a breadwinner or have flexibility to parent?  What priorities will you prioritize in your FUTURE together, both before kids, during child rearing, and after?  And once you’ve decided that, date people who fulfill those criteria, and choose the one you like the best and who likes you the best.

     

    Why am I rambling on about this, when the discussion was about chemistry?  I had more physical chemistry with my first girlfriend than I ever had with anyone else.  10 in chemistry, for sure.  4 in compatibility.  She was what I thought I wanted – fun, popular, pretty, exciting – everything I wasn’t.  We went out to clubs and bars, and all the places I thought “normal” people go, and although it felt unnatural to me, I thought that if only I could be more normal, I’d like all these normal things.  In the end, she broke up with me because I was too boring for her.  Did me a huge favour.  Because when you lack compatibility, the chemistry is just a hit of crack to the addict, keeping him in a terrible lifestyle.  Think about the future, and remember what Evan wrote about compatibility – not the same as affability!

    1. 17.1
      Mrs Happy

      Jeremy,

      I agree with you and really like your post @17. I have long been bewildered by the career, subject, + university/college course choice advice of “do what you love”. Are you kidding? I’d love to study a whole list of things, and work in various enjoyable jobs, none of which would pay for my cripplingly expensive lifestyle. I knew this at 18 and can’t understand why others don’t consider it.

      Most of the women I associate with, either earn a fortune themselves, or are married to men who do, and these women DID review life aims much less impulsively, and much more rationally, than average people do. They purposefully decided on what sort of lifestyle they wanted, and by one means or another (training and career, or financially advantageous marriage) obtained it. They didn’t “do what they loved” – which would’ve been the hot pool boy, and years slothing at the beach instead of university.

  18. 18
    Sum Guy

    Hi Evan,

    i think I’ll have to use another term as what you describe in large part as compatability I usually think of as part of character, that is, how you disagree and resolve differences.   Which hands down is the most fundamental thing for any relationship to last.

    Of course I’ve never taken one of your courses so may be getting only a piece of the puzzle

    Maybe when I say comparability it is more connectivity.  Do you share life goals that are compatible, do you share compatible life styles, are your spiritual, political and economic views compatible, how much do you have in common with the ideas and activities that inspire and give you joy…basically how close to potentially being your best friend are they.

    As much as physicality and chemistry is important to me, at the end of the day want to find someone to grow old with. So the physical will fade.   I want a person who I can sit on a porch with and just talk for hours, who shares in the things of the mind and soul.

    So with connectivity you have fun, it can increase chemistry, if you have compatibility/character there’s trust which allows for vulnerability (increasing connectivity and chemistry).

    So as I think you may say, chemistry may be our first reaction but it is fleeting without connection/ compatibility but connection/ compatibility maintains chemistry and can increase it.

  19. 19
    Adrian

    Hi Marika (^_^),

    Marika asked, “a guy who’s into you will go all in. But then they won’t and they’ll pull back? This is very confusing for women, but not an uncommon experience for us to have with men. If you can explain this a bit more, I’d be really appreciative… … … I’m not talking about ‘needy’ guys here. I’m rarely one to get embroiled with a needy guy.

    I believe that you are talking about guys who seem normal not needy and court you yet once you finally start to develop feelings for him because of what he has shown you (and brought out of you); then he doesn’t just back off but he ghosts on you or fades away… Am I correct about this being what you meant?

     

    As I have said many times before I have read all of Evan’s post on this blog as well as the stuff he wrote for other sites and listened to/watched all his interviews (okay now I feel like a stalker but this was back when I was seriously contemplating hiring him).

    Anyway not to disagree with Sum Guy or Yet Another Guy but I like Evan’s explanation of why guys in the situation you describe disappears best.

    In one of Evan’s very very old blog post-back when he was still single- he explained that the non-needy, non-clingy guy who comes on strong in the beginning (not strong as in stalkerish or Emily’s favorite example of the guy who is in love with you half-way through the first date, but strong as in he is consistent, he is patient, and when the woman is not sure about her feelings for him-he doesn’t negatively overreact emotionally, he just continues to court and win her over), but then he begins to pull back emotionally calling and going out less and less.

    Evan basically said that the reason the guys in these type of scenarios pull back/do the slow fade-away/ ghost is because… They were never really attracted to you in the first place.

    It was the attention that you were giving them (or as Jeremy would say the validation) that they wanted and though they would prefer getting it from a woman they were really attracted it, they accepted it from any woman willing to give it. Evan gave a few reasons why but I only remember the one about the guy being lonely around the time he met the woman so basically it was her or no one and he chose her. But seeing someone fall in love with you whom you do not even have attraction for is very guilt inducing so the guy pulls back for her sake (and to ease his own conscience ).

    Evan can articulate it better than I can, I paraphrased a lot of that but you get the point; I can’t remember the name of the blog post it was from.

    …   …   …

    Marika I am extremely happy that you let the guy go, just make sure that when he comes back it is because he wants you not because he is lonely for the attention of a woman.

    I have a lot of questions about your sex topic especially about how a guy can have intercourse (so he had to be hard) but not reach orgasm; how is that even possible… but I fear it may be to personal or at least to indecent for this blog so I will refrain.

    …  …   …

    Oh and Jeremy blow my mind with his meta-goals. I love the fact that he uses stories and not dry stats or facts, so I understood immediately what he means. I would fall into the validation category (loving family, many close friends, great childhood overall but my parents were both very successful workaholics who were not around much).

    I like Jeremy HATE when a person who should know me (within a reasonable amount of time) needs me to tell them what I want for a gift (I think sex is also a gift).

    I was one of those waiting until marriage before having sex people even after I seriously started dating my deceased ex (though of course I am not like that now), so I have very little advice to give on the sex thing since I have only had one partner but I will say this; I would not date someone who I could not please sexually even if they were rocking my world every night in bed-it would destroy my confidence knowing I could not make them happy in bed.

    Plus is this the same guy who you said told you stories about how he was rude to other people? Either he is too comfortable with you too soon or he meant for his stories to impress you but they just showed a nasty part of his character; red flags either way.

    Have you thought about the possibility that maybe you just really liked him because unlike with your ex the sex with this new guy was consistently really good for YOU. What I have learned from reading Emily’s post is that people overlook things and tolerate things they normally would not for good sex… apparently it is really rare (O_o)

     

    1. 19.1
      Emily, the original

      Hi Adrian,

      How are you? I’m in school now. OMG I had forgotten how much WORK it is!  I’m am bogged down with reading.

      Evan basically said that the reason the guys in these type of scenarios pull back/do the slow fade-away/ ghost is because… They were never really attracted to you in the first place.

      If you’re not that attracted, don’t go all in. What I think can happen, too, is that he is attracted in the beginning and dives in head first … and then about a month later says to himself: OMG, she thinks I’m her boyfriend. He doesn’t want that much investment and pulls back.

      Evan gave a few reasons why but I only remember the one about the guy being lonely around the time he met the woman so basically it was her or no one and he chose her.

      Choose no one. Better that than leading someone on and using them.

      But seeing someone fall in love with you whom you do not even have attraction for is very guilt inducing so the guy pulls back for her sake (and to ease his own conscience ).

      He pulls back for himself because can’t keep up with the facade anymore. I can’t understand going out with someone repeatedly who you aren’t really into.

      1. 19.1.1
        Evan Marc Katz

        Then you’re not really doing a very good job of trying to put yourself in someone else’s shoes.

        PEOPLE have sex with strangers.
        PEOPLE dive into relationships without full information.
        PEOPLE make emotional decisions that are irrational.
        PEOPLE act in their own self interests, whether that means sleeping with a woman who is open to it or dating a guy for a month when you’re not really sure how you feel about him.

        All you seem to focus on is how someone who is ambivalent/confused should protect your feelings, while the smarter bet would be to stop investing too much hope in each ambivalent stranger who shows a few positive signs at the beginning. Stop blaming and start paying attention to predictable human behavior.

        1. Emily, the original

          I simply said that it’s selfish for a man or a woman to date someone repeatedly who they know aren’t really into and are only dating because no one else is around. Hooking up for a night with a stranger is totally different. No one has any expectations. But showing someone you are interested by calling and taking them out and spending time with them when you know you aren’t that into them — when you know you’d jump at the chance if a better prospect showed up — is selfish.

        2. ScottH

          “PEOPLE ACT IN THEIR OWN SELF INTERESTS”

          This cannot be emphasized enough.

          I’m going to write this on my bathroom mirror.

          Thanks Evan.

    2. 19.2
      Marika

      Hi Adrian,

      Good to have you back. I appreciate the concern about my welfare, as well as the level of self-reflection put into responding, thank you. To answer your questions:

      In terms of the push-pull thing: needy guys aside (who you can spot a mile off), it’s not unusual for non-needy guys to be more into it from the get-go than women (in my experience, and understandable given traditional courtship rituals) and then just at the time when the woman decides she’s really into it too (not that she wasn’t before, she just wanted to wait to get to know him a bit better), that’s when he pulls back. Not necessarily ghosts, but is less engaged, suddenly needs ‘space’ or whatever. That’s the dynamic I was trying to understand.

      In terms of my guy: no, it’s not about the sex. My sexual history is quite similar to yours, so I don’t have a lot of experience, I never thought the sex with my ex was ‘bad’, sex is the ‘icing on the cake’ not the cake to me, I think sex can be ‘worked on’ if needed in a good relationship between giving people, new guy and I were friends for a year before we even kissed (so we have non-sexual history) and I have never had casual sex or FWB. So I’m not blinded by good sex.

      In terms of red flags: yes, there are red flags. He did come back and I’ll chat to him tonight and see where we are. The thing is, though, there are no ‘deal breakers’ for me, yet. Reading this blog has really opened my eyes: both Evan and Karl R (and probably others) had what I’d consider serious red flags (Karl’s girlfriend introduced him to other people as a ‘friend’ early on in their relationship, didn’t want anything serious and was interested in another guy, and Evan wasn’t sure he wanted to marry his wife almost 2 years in), and they are now both happily married. People aren’t perfect and won’t always act the way I like.

      Talking about being nasty to other people (which I’ve never witnessed) and needing space to clear his head because of serious issues with his job and living situation aren’t great, but they aren’t deal breakers. It’s more about me trying to figure out if I can be happy with someone who is clearly quite moody. And I’m not sure about that yet. I’m reading both this blog and Dr John Gray’s blog. He talks a lot about men needing ‘cave time’. That doesn’t really come up with Evan, so maybe it’s less necessary that Dr Gray thinks? Anyway, I’m interpreting this ‘space’ thing as cave time. Unless other guys think that’s not the case. In the other blog, it’s written as though it’s inevitable.

      Hopefully that clarifies things 🙂

      How are you? How’s dating?

      1. 19.2.1
        Jeremy

        Hi Marika.  I’ve written several posts about men wanting to be left alone.  The problem is they are scattered around the blog.  It is very natural for men to want to be left alone when they are under stress – it is the “flight” part of the fight-or-flight stress response.  Problem is that being left alone won’t make a man happier – it will just provide him with the opportunity to work things out for himself, which he may or may not do.

         

        IMHO the questions to ask yourself (based on your observations) are: 1) When he needs to be left alone, does it actually help him?  2) How long does it take him to overcome his funk?  3) How do you feel about him when he needs to be left alone?  4) How does he interact with you once the funk is over?  5) Does his general opinion of himself and the world improve after he gets over it, or is he chronically dysthymic?

         

        In this case, it’s not the meta-goal that is important, but rather the meta-result 🙂   The result of his being left alone is that he can quietly work out his emotional state.  But the result of the result should be that he becomes happier and a better partner.  Not more miserable and a worse partner.

  20. 20
    Sum Guy

    I will give it 3 dates to figure out if I’m attracted to this person, although most times it takes only 1 or 2.   If get to the 4th date it means I am and won’t just fade or disappear.   Not that this is any guarantee things will last.

  21. 21
    Marika

    And yet another negative blanket statement about women from the “I don’t think women are the enemy” YAG!

    I think people who sneakily Google stalk people before a first date, aren’t sure they actually even want to date, pick people based on superficial qualities that in no way align with being a good partner, give advice they won’t take themselves, think 3.5 billion people are all the same and can only see things from their own biased perspective, are their own worst enemy. But that’s just me.

    1. 21.1
      Emily, the original

      Marika,

      It is this kind of logic that leads men to believe that all women are at least a 4 on the crazy scale.

      This is the equivalent of women saying men are sex-obsessed, emotionally clueless clods.

      1. 21.1.1
        Marika

        Yep! I’m giving up. Numerous commenters, including a few men (and including Evan) have tried to get him to see how biased he is against women, but it makes no difference. Some people are more comfortable blaming others than taking any personal responsibility for their own mindset & life choices.

        1. Clare

          Marika,

           

          Well put. It has occurred to me recently that people who cannot self-reflect and are quick to point out what they perceive to be the flaws in others are suffering from those very same flaws themselves. It’s called projection. They cannot own the realisation for themselves yet, so they project it out onto others. Such people are invariably defensive as their default response. I’ve seen it time and time again.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *