Understanding the Male Dating Timetable

There’s how fast you want to go, how fast he wants to go, and what works best for healthy couples. Those timetables rarely align. In this thought-provoking Love U Podcast, learn how the pace of your relationship may actually determine the success of your relationship.

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Comments:

  1. 1
    S.

    I have never had a guy propose on the first date.  I don’t how I’d feel about that. What if we were childhood friends or something? I dunno. It’s weird to think that guys think of thinking of marriage on the first date and thinking of it at nine months is exactly the same thing.

    I have no where I am on a bell curve. Zero clue. So I’m not sure about that.

    Twelve weeks is stalling? So weird.  Stalling for what? It is interesting, I wonder what people think.

    2-3 years is a long time if you’re not with the right person.  If you date consistently, that’s five 2-year relationships in ten years.  That’s if you have no relationship shorter or longer (say you do get married) than that.   And that’s with no heartbreak breaks.  Logically, it could make sense.  Emotionally, I don’t understand that.  If only dating was a logic proof.  But alas.

    I had hoped this podcast would be examples from men on their timelines about when they want to make a commitment, propose, etc.  It’s mostly Evan’s timelines, which I have known for years so nothing new for me there.

    It’s only an 11-minute podcast, maybe other commenters will share.  And I don’t mind hearing from outliers.  Outliers get little love.  Hee, pun not intended but is funny. 🙂

  2. 2
    S.

    I should write about my own timeline but I’m not sure I have one. I do know I start to fall in love within two months.  Now, whether the process continues to real love is determined by many factors. But if that process hasn’t started in me emotionally at that time, it never will.   That person will probably not even be friend material, because even friends I’m pretty excited and happy with in the beginning, just no sexual attraction.  None of what I’m talking about here has to really do with sex.  Just whether I feel this person can make me happy.

    The process differs. I meet men in two ways. I meet them in real life and we are friends.  Not close friends, but in each other’s circle and usually do things around a hobby or interest.  But we don’t hang out one-on-one.  Or I meet them online. If I meet a guy as a friend, we can be friends for a year or more. I’ve seen him in many situations.  I may be slightly attracted to him but we don’t spend enough time together for me to get to know him and that attraction to grow.

    If I meet a man online? The online portion has its own timeline. But once we are offline and meeting, hmm.  That timeline is faster.  There is no hobby or interest to start off with getting to know this guy and see him in a variety of situations before you’re dating.  With online dating, that spending time together either leads to a relationship or it doesn’t.   Maybe you have interests you have in common will be present enough in person, maybe not.  It is an odd thing where you don’t know this guy from Adam, but he may be kissing you a few hours after you meet.  I’m not opposed to that, just it’s a lot of ground covered in a few hours.

    I find online dating efficient for meeting.  It’s pretty much do or die.  I’m pragmatic enough to appreciate the directness of that.  But since it starts that way, it just moves more determinedly than the friends-first model.  Now with the friends first model, once you start dating you are  moving forward too, but you have this whole vault of experiences with this person beforehand.  You might even have seen some of their negative qualities already and you still kept them in your circle anyway.  You may have also already interacted with his family, no, not as girlfriend, but you’ve gotten a glimpse into his life.   I’m not saying that glimpse moves things along quicker, but the experience is a bit slower-paced from the outset.

    Both can work. I think a couple has to figure out early on if they are on the same timetable.  Because that timetable determines their future.  When they become exclusive, when they have sex, when they marry, when they have kids, move, when they do whatever they decide to do together.  I sure wish people were upfront about their timelines early on!

    1. 2.1
      Clare

      S.,

       

      My experience mirrors yours. I also meet guys in pretty much only one of two ways – the same as yours, either they are part of my extended group of friends, or I meet them online. A few years ago, when I was still going out clubbing and to pubs sometimes, I’d sometimes meet guys on a night out. Those guys, however, were pretty much invariably non-committal or not relationship material.

       

      Like you, I find online dating to be an extremely efficient way to meet men if you want to have a relationship. As long as you are able to get a pretty clear sense of what the guy is looking for before you meet, I find that once you do meet and both like each other, it heads into relationship territory pretty quickly. Then again, as I’ve said, we don’t do casual dating here. You either want to be boyfriend/girlfriend, or you just don’t bother with seeing each other again.  The point with online dating (or apps like Tinder and Bumble), though, and what I like about it, is that it’s extremely focused. It takes the guesswork out of things, and I find that both people can be pretty upfront about what they want and are looking for. That saves a lot of time.

       

      Where you meet a guy who is part of your circle of friends, I agree with you S. that you can sometimes spend several months or even longer circling around each other, without any kind of time pressure to move towards the first date. It has the advantage of happening more naturally and organically, and the fact that you get to know each other without the pressure of dating first. In that way, I think it’s rather nice. I think the other nice thing about it is that you get to keep that person in your life even if you are in a relationship with someone else – kind of like someone you can come back to later if the first relationship doesn’t work out.

       

      I am currently in a situation where I’m able to compare these two scenarios. I’m dating a guy who I met on Bumble. He’s wonderful, and pretty much everything I am looking for in a guy, AND he made it clear on our very first date that he is looking to get married and settle down again. His life is a bit complicated in that he is still sorting out maintenance and custody arrangements with his ex-wife, but I think that once that is done and if things between us get more serious, I do not think I would have to wait too long for a proposal. And on the other hand, there is a guy in my wider circle of friends whom I think likes me, texts me occasionally, and I certainly would have gone out with him if he had asked, but he’s been single a very long time, is a bit more reserved and not as bold, and so he missed out. Timing is important.

       

      My point about timelines is that I think Evan’s opinions here are a good guideline, but there are so many things that can slow things down or speed things up. I think online dating speeds things up. I also think the personality of the guy in question plays a huge role. Some men are definitely more driven to seek stability and security, while others are more easygoing and not as goal-focused. Sometimes, like I’ve already pointed out, life circumstances can play a big role in when one gets married.

       

      Personally, I don’t fully understand people who push to get married within a particular timeline… or at least, that’s not how I am. I cannot think of anything worse than having to pressure someone into marrying me. I took the advice of someone here and went onto WeddingBee site and had a look at the “Waiting” forum. The arts and tricks which some of the women had to perform to try to get a proposal were truly mind-boggling. One woman had actually opened up an online account with Tiffany’s, added the ring she wanted to the shopping cart, and then sent the login name and password to her boyfriend. I kid you not. Others talked in all earnestness about having communicated their “timelines” to their boyfriends within the first few dates and seemed to spend an inordinate amount of time reassuring everyone on the forum and themselves that their boyfriends were “on the same page.” Ugh. No thanks.

       

      I’d rather have a guy who actually wanted to marry me, thanks. One tearful conversation about wanting marriage is one too many.

  3. 3
    Kath

    I’ve seen it both ways: whirlwind to the altar and long, 2-3 yr courtship. And I’ve seen both end in divorce. It’s not always a time factor. Every relationship has its unique interpersonal dynamics. Ultimately, it comes down to both people being on the same page. If you are too far apart in overall outlook and belief systems, it won’t matter if you dated three months or three years. Eventually, your differences will wedge a massive chasm between you that will drive you apart.

    1. 3.1
      Stacy

      @Kath

      True. BUT, the likelihood that you will find out whether you are truly compatible goes up the longer you date (and then levels off after awhile, I would guess between 2 and 3 years). I would also bet that the people who married after 2/3 months and stayed (voluntarily) married got unusually lucky. I think  a better bet is to really get to know a person (which you can’t possibly in 3 months) rather than dating for a couple of months, getting married and finding out later that it wasn’t meant to be.

  4. 4
    Stacy

    I don’t believe in whirlwind anything. I mean, what could possibly be the rush?  And, I am suspicious of men who fall too fast.  It never lasts and I feel like, barring very rare and extreme situations, whirlwind romances rarely work.  Reason? Well, I think most of them happen because of intense hyper chemistry that is not sustainable. Then, you really get to know the person and of course, you’re not as compatible as you thought.

    However, I am in my late 30s and I will NOT date a man for more than 2 years without engagement (at least). My current boyfriend knows this. I will not nag. I will just walk.  If a man claims to need to know me for more than 2 years to decide on marriage, then I have no problem making up his mind for him by walking away (this is non negotiable).

    I also will not be ” gung ho” about a man who takes more than 6 months to be ‘in love’.  If we are spending quality time week after week, sorry, I think something is wrong if you can’t grow to love me within that time. I will walk.

    1. 4.1
      Adrian

      Hi Stacy,

      Wow! We haven’t talked in a long while.

      I was hoping that you would not mind explaining your 6 month love you rule?

      I am struggling to understand your time-line on falling in love. I am assuming that in your fictitious scenario (I know that in reality you are in a happy relationship) he is doing and saying all the right things and he deeply cares for you but he just hasn’t reached the fallen in love with you phase yet but you will dump him anyway by the 6 months mark?

      Why?

      1. 4.1.1
        Stacy

        Hi Adrian *waving*

        Always good to see you around these parts.

        Yes, I will probably dump a man if he is not in love with me by the 6th month mark ASSUMIING that we are spending quality time together weekly.  Sorry, but I do not buy that it takes someone longer than 6 months to fall in love in a normal progressing relationship.  If he has not reached there yet, it’s because of a few possibilities.

        1. He does not feel enough chemistry (personally, I think this is the most popular reason)

        2.He is unsure about me for some reason or the other

        3.He has issues that prevent him from expressing himself that way

        4.He is not emotionally available

        No matter the reason, it’s not positive.  Have you EVER met someone that you were into both physically and emotionally? You would not be able to stop yourself from feeling love and it would never take half a year to get there. And no, I do not think there are exceptions.

        1. Adrian

          Thanks for answering Stacy

          I’ve only fallen in love once so that’s why I asked.

          Having a due date for my feelings is hard for me to understand but I have read about a lot of women saying similar things.

  5. 5
    Kath

    @Stacy

    You are very level headed and a lady of substance. Kudos! I wish you all the best.

    I am older than you are (50+), so I’m in a much different place than you. I was married for 18 years, after a whirlwind courtship of less than a year. Looking back at my 30-something self, I know now it was intense chemistry and not true compatibility that had me caught up in the fantasy of getting married, buying a house, and having two kids. I wound up leaving my ex for a variety of reasons; he is now on wife #3, after a whirlwind courtship similar to what I had with him. I should have been suspicious of his “love bombing” – always a red flag.

    I ‘ve been in a relationship for about 8 months now. Good guy, but no talk of the future and not a single “I love you”. While I’m in no hurry for another trip to the altar, at the same time I want a life partner. Not certain he’s the one. Following EMK to help figure it all out. Maybe I will walk too. After all, I still have my own life and interests.

    1. 5.1
      Stacy

      @Kath,

      Thank you. I think most of us have been there. I was married before in a whirlwind sort of way when I was in my 20s and we could not be more incompatible. However, when you have chemistry and you’re young, sometimes you see life through rose colored glasses. Then you realize that ‘love’ does not conquer ‘all’ and that chemistry is the last quality one should marry for. Many times while in the throes of the ‘feeling’, our minds trick us into thinking it is way more than it is.

      As for your relationship, as long as you’re content with the status quo, I think it’s fine.  Some men are a bit slower to get there and I would imagine that as we get a little older, that cautiousness can grow a bit.  But, I agree that since you’re looking for a life partner, it definitely is something to be aware of in your relationship. I think it also depends on how much time both of you have spent together. My question is, do you love him?

      1. 5.1.1
        Kath

        @Stacy

        No, I can’t say I love him. Just not feeling it, even though we spend weekends together and go out often. He’s a good guy, my family likes him, and I should be ecstatic to be with someone who treats me respectfully. Even so, after 8 months I would think I’d feel it by now. I’m evaluating what I should do; don’t want to stick around and just use him for lack of other companionship.

  6. 6
    Erin

    I have been on millions of first dates. A few second dates. Even fewer third dates. Once these men realize that I’m not having sex with them, they disappear. I figure I would get the same treatment if I did sleep with them.

    It’s so lonely and isolating to be the only person in my various friend groups who is always single. I recently dated an ex for a few weeks just because it was nice to be at dinner with someone who wasn’t s stranger. I have been on 2 dates with a man who is definitely ghosting me now because I didn’t sleep with him. Fine. See ya back on match in a few weeks….

    The holidays are here. It’s the lonliest time of year for me. Another year of holidays by myself.

    1. 6.1
      Linda

      Hi Erin,

      I am in a similar situation too.  Sending you positive thoughts.

      Right now I wished that I heard this two weeks ago. On this subject I messed up on my fourth date with a guy that I met online this past summer.   I cringe when I think about it and debating whether I should reestablish contact.

      1. 6.1.1
        Adrian

        Hi Linda,

        4 dates in is a long way to go for it all to just disappear so easily.

        If you don’t mind me asking what happened?

        How did you “mess up?”

        1. Linda

          Looking back, his talk about future plans, were good and valid, but silently irked me and prompted me to ask where I belonged in his plans.  (Not my best dating moment.)

          He told me that he did not know and was questioning whether he wanted to be in any relationship and gave me a couple of valid reasons. All the while, I am listening and asking the occasional question; feeling sorry for him and for me.)

          The next morning, after brunch, he reveals another reason and it goes downhill from there. At the end of the date, I am feeling sorry for him and for me, also a little irked and frustrated.

          Two weeks have passed since we last exchanged words.  Unsure in what I should do under the circumstances.

        2. Adrian

          Hi Linda,

          Sorry… maybe I missed it but…

          I can’t see anything that you did that was wrong or that was a mistake on your part.

           

          Sorry be blunt but… He doesn’t want you or at least not enough to put forth effort. Men only say things like he did to push women away when…

          These types of conversations are when men want to push women away (hoping they will take the hint) or because he doesn’t really want her and so he talks about things so that if she does get attached she can’t say he mislead her.

           

          Forget about this guy and find someone who does want you.

    2. 6.2
      J. Fox

      Erin, I totally understand what you are saying.  You are doing the right thing for yourself, only to be treated like you just don’t matter to anyone else because you won’t “give them what they are looking for”.  It makes you wonder if you will ever find someone who is actually interested in YOU instead of just getting laid.  I hope your soulmate finds you soon.  Best luck and blessings!

       

    3. 6.3
      Kenley

      Oh, Erin,

      I can soooo empathize  with you.  I too have been on  many first dates and the guy will basically ask if we are going to have sex on the second date.  What is this world that we live in that we can even get to know a person before we are expected to have sex with them? I am not looking for marriage and not even monogamy per se, but that doesn’t mean I want to have sex with a stranger!   Maybe it’s this instant gratification world that we live in.  We no longer have the patience to wait for anything.  Perhaps that’s it.  I don’t know.

      1. 6.3.1
        Kath

        It is this instant gratification world. But – those aren’t quality guys who deserve a quality woman with healthy boundaries- NEXT!

        1. Lisa

          Sadly Kath…there truly are NOT enough quality men for all of us to find out in Singledom. There are way more decent women than men in the dating world as I’m sure you have guessed by now…so there just are not going to be enough decent ones for all of us. Sorry…I’m a realist. I was 39 yrs old when my ex and I broke up. I am now 54. Hard to believe this is where I am…but it is. With the scumbags I have come across out there it’s no wonder I’m still alone and it’s not just that they ALL want sex like NOW (which is true)…but also many are truly messed up which is why they are single! Ever come across the ones where they truly have no clue even how to date…totally socially inept…rude, non chivalrous, expect you to pay for a date or part of it even though they asked you out? How about even further…like the guy I really liked who in the middle of the date told me his GF was moving in with him next weekend. When I asked him what were we doing here then…he told me he hoped he could have one last fling with me before she moved in. Really? I could go on! I hate being alone especially at the holidays. 15 years is truly a long time to have to be single and I don’t wish it on anyone, although it seems I’m not alone in my plight. Lots of women singing the same song huh? But I refuse to settle for one of these Ne’er Do Wells. We can settle for a man who is less than…if we don’t want to be alone anymore … which seems to me like you are doing right now with this man you are dating…and trust me, my advice would be to get out. Because if you aren’t feeling it after 8 months with this guy…not gonna happen. But then again…you will be alone. And who knows for how long. Could be a really long time like me. It takes a brave woman to be alone. It’s why so many do settle or stay in relationships they shouldn’t be in. But then…life is a gamble isn’t it? And so is love.

    4. 6.4
      Chris

      I admit I don’t know that much about online dating. Do you want more old fashioned courting, with multiple dates with no sex and the man organizing and paying? (I think this is what Evan advocates) You’ll have to state this specifically on your profile. And maybe change what kind of man you go on dates with. But ultimately, online dating might not be the way to do if this is what you want.

    5. 6.5
      Stacia

      Erin, I feel for you, and I have the same thoughts myself sometimes.  Stay strong!

      Two suggestions for you, just things I happened to do on accident that had really positive results in this area:

      The first one was that I took all my “sexy” pics off my dating profile.  Honestly, they weren’t even that sexy, but I kept only photos that were of me wearing a shirt or sweater, none of tank tops or anything sleeveless or low-cut.  I look cute and approachable, but there is definitely nothing that says “sex” about the photos.  I did it as an experiment, and I mostly found that a better quality of dude started contacting me afterward–the kind that doesn’t even try to kiss you until a third date, instead of expecting to get laid.

      The second is that I got honest about it.  I created a quick Tinder profile about this time last year where I said that I was looking for a boyfriend to take to my office holiday party.  Hookups, please swipe left!  It worked pretty well.  I wound up dating a guy for a couple of months from that attempt, and he wasn’t the only one that contacted me in search of a relationship.  Many of them seemed relieved that I was honest about what I wanted, since they wanted the same (and that I was employed, which I found odd, but okay!).  That app, and Bumble, are so quick to set up, it’s worth a try. 🙂

    6. 6.6
      Adrian

      Hi Erin,

      I just commented on something similar on another post.

      If I may ask with these men that you don’t sleep with are you doing the other things that Evan and Jeremy mention?

      Are you showing these guys that you ARE physically attracted to them and that you DO find them sexually desirable BUT you just feel more comfortable getting to know them before having sex???

      If your answer is yes then what exactly are you doing to show these men this?

       

  7. 7
    Marie R Raymond

    I just met a guy online and on the first date, he said he fell in love with me. He texts me alot and calls me daily. He is looking forward to a future with me. I wonder if he is just super excited about me or if he is a narcissist. I searched online for the narcissist info and some of it could apply. But have I become so cynical of failed dating that I cannot trust this for what it is, maybe something sweet or not? We have date 2 coming up and he’s planning Thanksgiving together. It is nice but yet scary.

    1. 7.1
      Lisa

      Be careful of this one. There are men who come on really strong like this and as soon as you get intimate they are gone. Most men do NOT come on this strong. Not saying that he might really be feeling it for you…but I would be very careful. Take it slow. REALLY slow. There are also really needy lonely men out there too and you don’t want that!

  8. 8
    Jan

    Yes, I have had something similar several times on the first/second date! I was 67 yrs old, not a beauty but look good and a pretty awesome woman (I think!). I always talk a little on the phone before agreeing to a coffee/wine meeting. I had 3 guys in the space of 3 months declare themselves on the first real date we had! I always handled it well at first, saying I like you too, but it’s way too soon, let’s see how it goes, we don’t know each other yet, etc. These guys would keep pushing and all my attempts in the next week to slow down the tone of the texts failed. They seemed so needy and most important, they weren’t really wanting to really know ME. It felt like I should look behind me to see if it was really me he was talking to!

    1. 8.1
      Lisa

      And also remember Jan…when we get older a lot of men are looking for either a Nurse or a Purse! LOL!!!!! Be careful!

    2. 8.2
      Yet Another Guy

      @Jan

      I think that what you are experiencing is what I outlined in my post below.  A Guy usually feels it on the first date or he will never feel it to the level that you may eventually wish that he would feel it after you have finished qualifying him.  What often comes across as being needy is often just a guy who is emotionally out of his comfort zone.  While there are exceptions to every rule, any guy who can casually date you for a period of time without coming across that way is either not that into you or has another woman in his life with whom he is intimate.  The desire to nail you down as his romantic/sexual partner is often overwhelming for a guy.  Remember, guys almost always go “all in” before a woman.  Any guy who does not go “all in” before you do is not that into you, and you are wasting your time with him because he will always be emotionally unavailable to you.

  9. 9
    Kath

    @Lisa

    I sympathize with you. We’re both in a challenging demographic. But there will always be those less-than-desirable guys, regardless of age. It just seems like there ‘s an oversupply of them because online  dating provides opportunities to cross paths outside your everyday life and social circle. I won’t go into details of the creeps I’ve met. But I have met some nice men too; just no romantic potential.

    You are right, after 8 months I should feel something for the guy I’m seeing. I’m leaning towards breaking it off; not fair to either one of us.

  10. 10
    Evelyne

    I think your perspective is interesting in the sense that it is important to take the time to get to know someone. And, I agree, you don’t want to get too excited too soon because you might discover that you arr more infatuated than “in love” at the end. I have gone through that and I do agree completely. However, Evan, I would be curious to hear what timeline do you suggest for women in their late thirties or very early forties (I just turned 40) who also want to have children and, unfortunately, do not have the 2/3 year timeline in front of them to meet their goals.

    1. 10.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      I think you have to be REALLY careful about rushing to have a baby with a guy when you’re 39, only to discover when that baby is 1 that you guys are not compatible partners. I married my 39 year old wife after 20 months. It was at least six months too soon and I was agitated for the first six months of our marriage when we were trying to get pregnant. Just because two people are in love and want to make babies doesn’t mean they’re a healthy couple. I got lucky. Many people don’t. Be as patient as you can instead of doing anything out of panic.

      1. 10.1.1
        Evelyne

        @Evan

        Evan, Thanks for your quick reply. Indeed, I do agree with you “in theory”. Everything you say and explain in your newsletters, podcasts etc…(which I follow-up even now living in Europe) is true and, ideally, as more “mature” women, we would like to relax and take the time to “enjoy the ride” of the dating process. However, and unfortunately the reality is that we DO NOT have the same biological clock that men and it would be stupid not to take that into account while dating and being in a relationship; when we reach a certain age. I can testify on this because; when I was 37 and while in a relationship with my boyfriend at the time, I was told by many doctors that I would never be able to have my own biological children! I was in shock! Long story short, and thanks to an amazing fertility doctor, I finally was able to get pregnant and my daughter was born in Mars 2017; although my relationship with her dad ended up pretty much at the same time. Now, I am a 40 years-old single mom. It is hard sometimes and, trust me, I would have LOVED to raise my child with a partner next to me. But, I am also so happy and relieved to have my daughter in my life! The reality is that I HAD to take a quick decision: either trying to get pregnant NOW or taking a huge risk to start all over with someone else at almost 40 and probably never having been able to have my baby!

        Sorry for the long reply, I wanted to hear your personal feedback and also to share with you my personal story because I have been reading and listening to all your advic; and I just think that the only thing which is missing is a lil sense of the rough reality for women closer to the conception age limit. Maybe, this is due to a lack of communication and the mass media makes us believe that we could be mothers up to 45!

        I have learned my lesson. I enjoyed my fun time while living in Miami and NYC for 15 years but I also got “lost in translation” somehow and forgot that time was flying by… The reality is that it is much more challenging to get pregnant after 35/36. I will be careful to teach my daughter later on not to wait too long if she wants to have her own biological children.

        Evan, you got lucky and your wife was extremely lucky also to have been able to get pregnant twice after age 40!

        To end on a smiley note, maybe my case is not a complete “lost one” and you will be able, Evan, to teach me now how to “take the time” to find a suitable man to share my life with (now that I have “jumped” from the world of professional singles to the one of professional divorced :))

        Evelyne (a french-american in Paris)

      2. 10.1.2
        Dana

        Unfortunately though the alternative is that you might never have children. The choice can feel like-wait until it’s right (which we ultimately never know) or have a baby and hope it works out but at least you’re a mom. I️ have several friends who didn’t rush their guys to marriage-they are now 38, 40, and can’t get pregnant. This has caused relationship problems and stress in many ways. (Ex. One husband wants her to do a sixth IVF cycle while she’s ready to stop trying. Another’s husband is having trouble accepting that he will never have biological children.) I think Evan and his wife were lucky but rare to have healthy kids. I feel as though they’re the exception not the rule.

        I️ should note too that age is not the only factor in infertility. PCOS and endometriosis both cause infertility and they’re present in 20% of females. The combination of age and those diseases makes it very likely that those females will never have children.

  11. 11
    Yet Another Guy

    @Evan

    What you covered in the podcast sounds fantastic on paper.  I would love to take the slow and steady approach to dating. The problem I find with the approach is that if I am into a woman, I only want to date her, and I know that after the first date.   Having to hold back my desire to date exclusively after the first date is often stressful enough that I pass on a woman who makes me feel this way.

    A lot of women apparently want to take the friends-first approach to dating, as that phrase appears in an amazing number of online profile narratives.  It highlights a huge disconnect between how men and women approach dating in general (yes, there are exceptions to every rule on both sides of the gender divide).  Unless a man is seriously looking to settle down and start family, few men approach each date with a new woman as a possible long-term relationship, which is why separated women receive a pass on online dating sites whereas most separated men might as well have leprosy.  The average guy is just looking for a woman with whom he can have fun and possibly get laid.  For a large percentage of the male population, a relationship is more of a side effect of finding a woman who uniquely adds value to a man’s life than a desired outcome.

    I personally find that any woman who I can casually date for a period of discovery usually ends up in the friend zone because sexual desire is low to non-existent, and that is not something that grows over time with me.  There is absolutely nothing that a woman for whom sexual desire is low from the beginning can do to increase her sexual desirability to me (she can only lessen it).  I made that compromise in my marriage, and it is not a mistake that I am willing to repeat.  I would rather spend the rest of my life alone than be in another sexless marriage or relationship.

     

    1. 11.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      You have created a false dichotomy, predicated on the ideas that if you’re attracted to someone, you can’t wait a month (you can) and that I’m asking you to date someone you’re not attracted to (I’m not).

      1. 11.1.1
        Yet Another Guy

        It is not a false dichotomy.  What I am saying is that I cannot casually date a woman in whom I am seriously interested.  The overwhelming majority of the women I date are one-and-done because if I am not feeling sexual and intellectual desire on the first date, there will be no second date.  If I strongly feel both of these desires on the first date, I do not want to continue to date other women because that happens so rarely that I am not going to risk being derailed by a more promiscuous woman.

        1. Evan Marc Katz

          And I’m telling you that hopping into a relationship with a stranger based on desire is often a bad idea and you may be served well by exercising some willpower when you find yourself strongly drawn to someone. When you’re driving 90mph on the freeway, you’re bound to miss your exit. So describes most of my relationships when I operated the same way you did. I grew up and learned to evaluate women as relationship partners rather than thinking that we’re compatible because they’re hot/smart. Doesn’t sound like you’re learning anything; just digging into a method that hasn’t produced long-term results.

        2. Yet Another Guy

          @Evan

          Au contraire!  That approach worked for you.  It did not work for me.  I selected my ex based on criteria with which you would not find fault and wound in miserable marriage that was loveless and sexless.   What I seek is an intellectual equal who I physically desire.  That is not asking for much in my book.  I am not seeking the smartest or the hottest woman that I can find.  She just needs to be on the same intellectual plane and I have to have a strong physical desire for her.  Everything else is negotiable at my age.  I am not a complete neophyte when it comes to marriage.  I spent the better part of twenty years with a very challenging woman.  My marriage pushed me to the edge.  I endured hardship for my children that you cannot begin to imagine.  When you have lived with woman as challenging as my ex for as I long as I lived with her, we can talk.  On paper, we were a perfect fit based on compatibility as well as a shared cultural background and a shared set of values.  In practice, it became a nightmare because people change after they marry, especially after children arrive.  Nothing is guaranteed in love.  We can attempt to steer things, but cannot control it.

        3. Evan Marc Katz

          You married the wrong woman. Period. That has nothing to do with any other woman. Nor does it negate my advice.

          YAG, you WILL find an intelligent, attractive woman like every other happily married man I know.

          But perhaps, by frequenting this site, you will ALSO learn that intelligent/attractive does not have anything to do with long-term compatibility AND you’ll make a better girlfriend choice after 5 weeks than 1 date AND a better marriage choice after 2-3 years than 1 year. We’re not arguing. We’re just talking past each other.

    2. 11.2
      Emily, the original

      I would love to take the slow and steady approach to dating. The problem I find with the approach is that if I am into a woman, I only want to date her, and I know that after the first date.   Having to hold back my desire to date exclusively after the first date is often stressful enough that I pass on a woman who makes me feel this way.

      YAG,

      Do you tell these women you want to date them exclusively after the first date? That might be a bit fast, but can’t you  (over a few weeks) increase the level of contact and time spent together so that being exclusive seems more natural? It doesn’t have to take more than a few weeks to get to exclusivity. You’ll be able to tell if she doesn’t want to date just you, and you’ll be able to tell pretty quickly. Is she spacing out the calls? Spacing out the texts? Not make a big effort to see you? Has she gone out with you only  a couple of times in a month or is she calling and texting every day and you’ve spent each weekend with at least one date?

      I would not date anyone who put up the “friends first” parameter but I would be creeped out by someone who wanted exclusivity after one date.

      1. 11.2.1
        Yet Another Guy

        @Emily, the original

        To be completely honest, I never broach the subject of exclusivity when I encounter a woman for whom I feel strong sexual and intellectual desire these days.  It does not happen very often, but when it does, I usually just fade away after the first date.  It is not a complete ghosting, but not far from it.  Sticking around while waiting for a woman for whom I have strong sexual and intellectual desire can cause me to lose focus in life, and that is not something that I can afford to have happen to me.  The only way that I could do it is if I had a regular sex partner to take my mind off of her; however, I would then risk being derailed because I become indifferent to a woman’s advances when I am having sex with another woman.

         

        1. Stacy

          @YAG

          Why do you even date?

        2. Nissa

          YAG,

          I’m a lot like you in some respects. I am looking for someone that I can marry and have no interest in casual dating. I think people mean very different things when they say “friends first”.  When women say it, they often mean “I want to get to know you before we have sex”. When men say it they often mean “let’s just have sex and be casual, and see what happens”. When I met my ex, he was dating someone else, and he said “we could be friends” and I immediately shot that down, saying “I could never just be friends with you, I’d always want something more”. So, like you, I know right away if I have a larger interest in someone. I understand the ‘losing focus’ a little bit, but letting it bother you to the degree that you don’t date the one you want, seems weird. When I’m with the person I like, knowing I want more with them does not stop me from spending more non-sexual time with them. Getting to know them serves any potential relationship and will induce most women to open the door sexually. So being frustrated is understandable, but being derailed is outside of the norm. You still have hands, and to delay your sexual needs in the short term, to serve them in the long term, is still prudent.

  12. 12
    Emily, the original

    YAG,

    Sticking around while waiting for a woman for whom I have strong sexual and intellectual desire can cause me to lose focus in life, 

    Ah, so that does happen to men. Some seem they could be equally happy with any number of women. You can feel it, a kind of generic, vanilla non-specific interest.

    I personally find that any woman who I can casually date for a period of discovery usually ends up in the friend zone because sexual desire is low to non-existent, 

    I would not want to be on the receiving end of this. Why bother dating someone you have no desire for?

    1. 12.1
      Yet Another Guy

      @Emily, the orignal

      Why bother dating someone you have no desire for?

      Because they do not make me ride an emotional roller coaster.  I do not like the feeling of uncertainty that accompanies a situation where I have strong sexual and intellectual desire for a woman, but have to play it cool until she catches up emotionally or decides that she does not feel the same way.   It is just too emotionally destabilizing.   I want to lay claim, but I cannot, so I do what 99.9% of men do when emotionally stressed; namely, remove the stressor.   Men do not talk things out.  They remove the stressor, and go on with their lives (John Gottman has good example of this type of emotional stress response when he compares the difference between how girls and boys deal with emotional distress in “A Man’s Guide to Women”).

      If this kind of thing ever happens to you, you now know why he chose to jettison you instead of waiting for you to catch up.  Men who are not players that come on strong do so because they are emotionally overwhelmed. They are attempting to resolve the emotional stress caused by uncertainty.  They cannot talk to too you about it because it comes off as being emotionally needy.  Men are not as well equipped to deal with their emotions as women.  Men lack the emotional support networks that women enjoy; therefore, they are left with fight or flight, and many will chose flight, especially if they broach the subject and your response is less than positive.

       

      1. 12.1.1
        Emily, the original

        YAG,

        I do not like the feeling of uncertainty that accompanies a situation where I have strong sexual and intellectual desire for a woman, but have to play it cool until she catches up emotionally or decides that she does not feel the same way.   It is just too emotionally destabilizing.   I want to lay claim, but I cannot, so I do what 99.9% 

        You may do that, but I highly doubt all men do that. And you can’t complain anymore about not meaning any women who move you if you RUN from the opportunity.

        That being said, I know well the feeling you are describing. It’s one of the reasons I left my job three months ago. I had to get away from someone I felt that way about, who I allowed to mess with me for far too long to get an ego boost. He was never going to do anything … and it pains me to write that, but such as it is.

        1. Yet Another Guy

          @Emily, the original

          That is the danger when you feel that way about a person.  I do not like not being in control of my emotions.  I keep dating option B (period of discovery women) hoping that some miracle will occur, but it never does because sexual desire is either there from the start or it is never going to be there for me.

          I recently started having casual sex with a woman I met on a dating site who had wanted me to be her FWB for over a year.  We had never met in person before we had sex. We just exchanged messages and spoke on the telephone periodically. I finally broke down when she texted a photo of her on the beach this summer.  There are not a many fiftysomething women who can pull off the teeny weeny binkini, especially women who have given birth, but this woman is an exception to the rule.  The sex is meaningless and empty, but I am back in the saddle.  It is strictly a she shows up with an overnight bag full of sexy lingerie and other sexual goodies, we have hot, steamy sex, and she goes home, no strings attached affair.  She is only 5’1″ and a little over 100lbs. I am just under 6′ and 215lbs of muscle, so I can manhandle her in bed, and she loves it.  I do not see it being a long-term thing, but it will do for now.

        2. Emily, the original

          YAG,

           I do not like not being in control of my emotions.

          Really? I love it. I am drawn to the feeling although it can scare the shit out of me. It’s one of the few times I feel like I’m not acting. That my responses are authentic. But it happens rarely. Most of life is a series of appropriate interactions with appropriate people.

      2. 12.1.2
        Nissa

        YAG,

        I was re-reading your remarks to understand better, but I still don’t agree. You say, “because I can’t lay claim, but I cannot”. Claiming can be done no matter what. England did it several times with a flag. People do it with married co-workers all the time. You may not have the label, but you can claim them in your words (” I know you will be mine, it’s just a matter of time”), and mostly they will allow you to lay claim to their time, their energy, their consent and their physical proximity. Sex is a higher claim, but there are many moments of claiming prior to that.

  13. 13
    Adrian

    So Yet Another Guy,

    If I understand you correctly… You are unhappy when you are with a women who you have little to no sexual desire for

    BUT

    You run when you are with a women who you have strong sexual desire for…

     

    You intentionally date women who have a lower SMV value than you because you have more control over them

    BUT

    You disdain these same women for not being attractive or having a great body…

     

    Hmmm…

    I remember when you first started commenting on this site you have really changed my friend; you said a few weeks ago it is because of the female commentors on this site giving you a first hand view of how women truly are that you now say the things you say.

    How can we both read the same comments and get such diametrically different views on women? Even when I am suffering from high levels of blog jadedness I still don’t see what you see in women as a whole.

  14. 14
    Erin

    Thanks to everyone who commented and empathized with my thoughts on this topic. It seems to be a tricky part for a lot of us!

    @Linda, I so feel you! However, if this man wanted to clarify things and make you part of his life, he would. Stay busy and positive, and know that he’s not the last man on earth. If/when he contacts you in the future, and you are available and want to pursue something with him, cool. Otherwise, let him figure his head/heart out while you continue to date (I know, it sucks bigtime to shut down a seemingly good budding relationship. Buuuut it wasn’t all that great if he could just shut it down and give a litany of excuses of why he isn’t in the market for a relationship. You deserve more. We all do)

    @j.fox & @kenley – exactly!! Thank you and sending good vibes to both of you!!

    @chris – I truly won’t meet anyone “the old fashioned way” (whatever that is anyway?) so I find online dating kind of a necessity. I do state in my profile that I’m looking for a relationship.

    @stacia – my profile is actually not all that sexy. The photos are definitely not super sexed up, but, that’s such a subjective thing. I have mainly shots of me in a variety of moods/venues from dolled up with friends to muddy/no makeup warrior dash.

    @adrian – I am very physically affectionate with the men that I’m attracted to. I am touchy/feely by nature and I’m totally into PDA. I’ll engage in a hot makeout sesh after a couple of dates if I’m feeling it. Hell, I’ll makeout a little on the first date if I’m feeling it. However, I’m also clear with my boundaries and I express them by some combination of moving hands out of my pants (what is that anyway?) and some variation of a gentle but firm “no, no, we’re not doing that tonight”. Wow that is difficult to describe, lol.

    @Yet Another Guy – I typically find your perspective to be refreshing. However, I really can’t understand why you date at all, or at least what your issue is with it. From what I can tell, you reject women that you find to be physically/emotionally/intellectually stimulating and satisfying……all to keep dating women that you don’t quite mesh with.

     

    1. 14.1
      Adrian

      Hi Erin,

      Okay you are giving the men attention so do you think they are misinterpreting your physical attention with your words?

      I mean could it be that they see you as a tease?

       

      How long after your first date do you usually take to have a heavy makeout session with a guy? I know you said that you do it sometimes on the first date but I mean on average how many dates does it take for you to make out heavy with a guy?

      How long do you make men wait for sex?… 3 weeks, 6 weeks, 12 weeks… Again on average.

      If I may ask what age range are you and these men in?

      Do they have white collar or blue collar jobs?

      Would you consider these the type of men who could find another girl easily if you refused them? Just going off their looks and status would they struggle attracting women?

      How do you tell them no sex pragmatically, with humor, or bluntly?

       

      I am asking because besides the obvious answer of all these guys are just jerks who don’t want something serious, I am also thinking that there may be a disconnect between your two actions (physically liberal but sexually conservative); so I am trying to get a view of your profile and he profile of the men you date.

  15. 15
    Erin

    @Adrian,

    I have been called a tease because I’ll engage in a heavy makeout that does not result in sex.

    The men I date tend to be anywhere from 35-50, white collar men. As far as their market value, I would hedge my bets that they don’t have problems lining up their week with dates. However, I also do not struggle to fill my week with dates (I just don’t want to go on endless first dates with a rotating cast of characters).

    I have sex only in a committed relationship. I don’t want a FWB, and my actions are reflective of that. A heavy makeout could happen as soon as date 2 or 3, and I’m pretty upfront about my boundaries. The first time I turn a man down for sex is sweet/playful. Does this stop him? Of course not. So, each time he pushes the boundaries of my comfort zone, I get a little more matter-of-fact. I’ve left several situations that my boundaries have not been respected (thank you, Uber).

    A typical pattern is that I will go on a 1-2 dates with a man and date #3 is him cooking me dinner at his place. I’m convinced that “let me cook for you” is code for “let me have sex with you”. When he doesn’t get the sex he wants, I can count on one of two things happening: he ghosts or he txts the next day that I’m awesome but blah blah blah. A few weeks pass, and, what do you know? He can’t stop thinking about how amazing I am blah blah blah. By that point, I have an insider perspective on how I will likely be treated if I pursue things with him. Sometimes I respond, sometimes I don’t. It’s really not worth my energy to respond to fickle BS like that.

    1. 15.1
      Emily, the original

      Erin,

      A typical pattern is that I will go on a 1-2 dates with a man and date #3 is him cooking me dinner at his place. I’m convinced that “let me cook for you” is code for “let me have sex with you”.

      Yeah, that’s exactly what it means. Why go to his house, knowing that’s what’s expected and not what you are prepared to do? Why not say you’re not comfortable yet having a date at his home and suggest something else to do? That makes your boundaries clear without putting yourself in the uncomfortable position of having to say no during the middle of a clothed bump and grind session?

  16. 16
    Erin

    @Emily, the original

    First, thank you for your response!

    The crazy part is that I do make my boundary on sex clear on those first couple of dates. The men seem to respect my stance on those dates and in those moments. Then the third date of “Let Me Cook For You” comes up and I (mistakenly) think that he’s attempting to invite me into his home and do something for me. I also want a little bump & grind when we have gotten to this point in the dating. I like discovering a new partner’s intimate side, and laying some groundwork for future intimate situations that will build up to sex. I find it incredibly sexy to create desire and have s slow, steady build to having sex. Plus, it gives me an opportunity to decide if I feel like we aren’t going to be sexually compatible.

    I guess I need to reiterate that I’m not having sex before the “Let Me Cook For You” date, and see how that plays out? If I recall the situations from the past year, I’m certain that I had told each of the men that I don’t have sex outside of a relationship before we got to the “Let Me Cook For You” date. If feels like I’m honest with them but they don’t believe me until I’m really not having sex with them, and then they feel pissed/slighted/lied to/etc

    Ugh. Why is it so hard??!! Thanks again!

    1. 16.1
      Emily, the original

      Hi Erin,
      I also want a little bump & grind when we have gotten to this point in the dating. I like discovering a new partner’s intimate side, and laying some groundwork for future intimate situations that will build up to sex.
      I think that’s fine, and I certainly wouldn’t advocate doing anything you aren’t comfortable with, but how many times do these bump and grind sessions occur before you have sex? I mean, I think it’s good you’ve made it clear ahead of time the whole 9 is off the table, but maybe they think once they get you over to their house and the physical things start happening, they can change your mind. I would think that putting the brakes on the situation too many times would get frustrating. If a guy came over my apartment and didn’t seal the deal by the latest the second time, I’d wonder what the problem was. That’s why it gets tricky if you go over their houses to either eat dinner or “watch a movie.” Nobody ever watches the whole movie.
      Plus, it gives me an opportunity to decide if I feel like we aren’t going to be sexually compatible.
      I agree. It gives you a taste of what’s to come.

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