5 Harsh Truths That’ll Help You Find Love This Year

5 Harsh Truths That'll Help You Find Love This Year

You’ve seen this before. But just because you’ve seen this before doesn’t mean you considered it in the context of dating and relationships.

The piece is called “Six Harsh Truths That Will Make You a Better Person” by David Wong and it’s been viewed nearly 24 million times.

Today, I want to take those (five of those) six truths and apply them to your love life. I may not be the most original writer, but no one is better at turning anything into a dating metaphor. 🙂

1. The World Only Cares About What It Gets From You

Feel free to substitute the gender of your choice for “the world.” Men and women constantly complain about being single, and, in particular, complain about the opposite sex. “Men are so shallow.” “Women are such golddiggers.” Well, guess what? Complaining about it doesn’t accomplish much of anything.

Your value in dating depends on what you OFFER to your partner.

Your value in dating depends on what you OFFER to your partner. If men want thin, warm, and easygoing partners, it sure helps to try to be thin, warm and easygoing. If women want men who are generous, successful, sensitive and communicative, it sure helps to be that way.

If you’re a female PhD who can speak 4 languages and remodel a kitchen yourself, you are certainly very impressive. But unless he’s looking for a dissertation on the Russian Revolution, a translator for trips to Portugal, or a general contractor, those things provide little value to men. Thus, your “being a catch” is really based on whether men value what you offer to them. And vice versa. All those older men who complain that younger women don’t want them don’t seem to understand that it doesn’t matter if you think you’re a catch for being rich and stable. She’s looking for a man who doesn’t look like her Dad. Case closed.

2. What You Produce Doesn’t Have to Make Money, But It Has to Benefit Other People

Wong did a great job with this in the original article, and he actually talked about dating. Nice guys complain that women like assholes, but never considers that those assholes are providing something that women want. Confidence. Competence. Uniqueness. Excitement. Sex appeal. Those are the things women put up with from assholes that you’re not providing.

Same goes for women as outlined in this famous blog post. Your boyfriend benefits when you make his life easier. How do you make his life easier? You ask him about his day. You laugh at his jokes. You accept him as he is without constantly complaining and micromanaging. You trust him implicitly. You appreciate the many things he does for you. You give him your time, your energy, your admiration, your body. And if you do those things, it doesn’t matter if you’re thin or fat or rich or poor or educated or uneducated – your behaviors are now a benefit to your partner.

3. You Hate Yourself Because You Don’t Do Anything

Says Wong, “In my non-expert opinion, you don’t hate yourself because you have low self-esteem, or because other people were mean to you. You hate yourself because you don’t do anything. Not even you can just “love you for you” — that’s why you’re miserable and sending me private messages asking me what I think you should do with your life.”

Yeah, that’s the harsh part of the 6 harsh truths, but he has a point. Any time someone comes here to yell at me (for being mean to men, for being mean to women, for being mean to you), it’s usually misguided. I’m sometimes snarky or sarcastic in my writing, but my advice is not “mean,” anymore than it’s “mean” to fire someone who isn’t performing at his job.

You want a different result? Do something different. Don’t complain that the rest of the world is unfair to you.

People come here because what they’re doing ISN’T working. I offer advice on how you could do it better. There is never any reason to shoot the messenger. If you don’t like the advice, it just means that you would rather do things your way – the same way that you complained wasn’t working. It’s like you’re burning your hands on the hot stove and I say, “Stop touching the hot stove! Use a glove!” and you say, “But I don’t want to use a glove! Don’t tell me to change!”

You want a different result? Do something different. Don’t complain that the rest of the world is unfair to you. If you ever find yourself in the “men sucks, women sucks, online dating sucks” crowd, the problem is with YOU, not with the rest of the world.

4. What You Are Inside Matters Because of What It Makes You Do

“How many of you are walking around right now saying, “She/he would love me if she/he only knew what an interesting person I am!” Really? How do all of your interesting thoughts and ideas manifest themselves in the world? What do they cause you to do? If your dream girl or guy had a hidden camera that followed you around for a month, would they be impressed with what they saw? Remember, they can’t read your mind — they can only observe. Would they want to be a part of that life?”

Men who drink beer and play video games. Women who horde cats and dogs. Men and women who work sixty hours a week and travel 20 weeks a year. Men and women who are relentlessly negative about dating, relationships and the opposite sex.

Why would anyone want to be a part of that life?

You may be a good person inside – I’m inclined to think that you are – even my most bitter detractors. But it doesn’t matter if you’re a good person who believes in God, loves her family, and is generally ethical. All of your goodness is irrelevant to someone who has to deal with a partner who is too busy or bitter to provide warmth, joy and quality time.

If you’re the CEO of your own love life and nobody has committed to you, you haven’t created a company where anyone would want to work full-time.

5. Everything Inside You Will Fight Self-Improvement

I’m going to just give you Wong’s text here. I couldn’t say it better myself.

So even now, some of you reading this are feeling your brain bombard you with knee-jerk reasons to reject it. From experience, I can say that these seem to come in the form of …

*Intentionally Interpreting Any Criticism as an Insult

“Who is he to call me lazy and worthless! A good person would never talk to me like this! He wrote this whole thing just to feel superior to me and to make me feel bad about my life! I’m going to think up my own insult to even the score!”

*Focusing on the Messenger to Avoid Hearing the Message

“Who is THIS guy to tell ME how to live? Oh, like he’s so high and mighty! It’s just some dumb writer on the Internet! I’m going to go dig up something on him that reassures me that he’s stupid, and that everything he’s saying is stupid! This guy is so pretentious, it makes me puke!

It’s incredibly obvious to me that love is real, love is worth it, and that there are best practices for pursuing love.

*Focusing on the Tone to Avoid Hearing the Content

“I’m going to dig through here until I find a joke that is offensive when taken out of context, and then talk and think only about that! I’ve heard that a single offensive word can render an entire book invisible!”

*Revising Your Own History

“Things aren’t so bad! I know that I was threatening suicide last month, but I’m feeling better now! It’s entirely possible that if I just keep doing exactly what I’m doing, eventually things will work out! I’ll get my big break, and if I keep doing favors for that pretty girl, eventually she’ll come around!”

*Pretending That Any Self-Improvement Would Somehow Be Selling Out Your True Self

“Oh, so I guess I’m supposed to get rid of all of my manga and instead go to the gym for six hours a day and get a spray tan like those Jersey Shore douchebags? Because THAT IS THE ONLY OTHER OPTION.”

And so on. Remember, misery is comfortable. It’s why so many people prefer it. Happiness takes effort.

Also, courage. It’s incredibly comforting to know that as long as you don’t create anything in your life, then nobody can attack the thing you created.

It’s so much easier to just sit back and criticize other people’s creations. This movie is stupid. That couple’s kids are brats. That other couple’s relationship is a mess. That rich guy is shallow. This restaurant sucks. This Internet writer is an asshole. I’d better leave a mean comment demanding that the website fire him. See, I created something.

Oh, wait, did I forget to mention that part? Yeah, whatever you try to build or create — be it a poem, or a new skill, or a new relationship — you will find yourself immediately surrounded by non-creators who trash it. Maybe not to your face, but they’ll do it. Your drunk friends do not want you to get sober. Your fat friends do not want you to start a fitness regimen. Your jobless friends do not want to see you embark on a career.

Just remember, they’re only expressing their own fear, since trashing other people’s work is another excuse to do nothing. 

Read our article comments — when they get nasty, it’s always from the same angle: Cracked needs to fire this columnist. This asshole needs to stop writing. Don’t make any more videos. It always boils down to “Stop creating. This is different from what I would have made, and the attention you’re getting is making me feel bad about myself.”

Don’t be that person. If you are that person, don’t be that person any more. This is what’s making people hate you. This is what’s making you hate yourself.

And this is why I preach positivity. This is why I run man-haters and women-haters off the boards here (while still allowing them to express their narrow, small-minded opinions.) This is why I have a happy marriage and surround myself with other happily-married people. This is why I have thousands of success stories and more emails than you can count. This is why this site had NINE MILLION readers last year and why I’m starting a podcast and YouTube channel this year.

It’s incredibly obvious to me that love is real, love is worth it, and that there are best practices for pursuing love. The fact that I have to continually bring this up is the only thing that’s surprising to me. So, in 2016, let’s try to see the big picture.

If you’re single and reading this blog, it’s because you need to change something. Choose different partners, give the opposite sex (or the same sex) more of what THEY want, open yourself up to a new way of doing things instead of complaining that things aren’t working the way they are now.

I challenge you to do just that and to insist on looking inward for success instead of casting outward blame. Yes it’s harder, but it works much, much better.

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  1. 1

    I’m definitely trying, I’ve been reading these blogs and comments and have learned so much after my last long term relationship ended a year and a half ago (I ended it because after four years we were clearly never going to build a life together and I was 37 at the time). I’ve since done a lot of work on myself and even moved to a new city halfway across the country because I wanted to, love still seems to elude me but I’m trying. I used to pursue and get clingy but I’ve stepped way off from that and let men lead, of course many disappear but they would have anyways. I actually met someone I really liked in my new city and we dated for about 6 weeks, he told me unfortunately he was still getting over someone and couldn’t commit to anything right now so I’ve let him go, as much as it sucked I knew I had to do that for me. No drama, no arguing I just told him I understood and wished him well. Back to square one, I’m optimistic but it definitely gets frustrating. Your advice has helped immensely to weed out the losers and get me to meeting better men overall. My ex (that we dated for four years) has recently been reaching out but I’ve shut him down, I KNOW I’m in a better place when I can do that!

      1. 1.1.1

        I’m really prioritizing finding love this year now that I’m getting settled in a city I’ve wanted to live in and feeling happy. I’ve mentioned this a few times to well meaning friends and keep getting the “it’ll happen when you least expect it” crap. So tired of hearing that, nothing wrong with actively pursuing opportunities for a relationship. I’m in a happy place, not desperate or needy, nothing wrong with waning to share your life with someone special!

        1. Christine

          I just wanted to encourage you that you’re absolutely on the right path, and I think it’ll pan out for you soon!  I was in that same life situation before meeting my boyfriend, settling into a new apartment and feeling generally happy.  I would just close my ears to those friends of yours. I think it’s great you’re working on yourself and pursuing your dream of love.

          I’m not surprised the ex contacted you again, considering that Valentine’s Day is coming up soon.  The last three years, I have always gotten at least one former flame contacting me again during the 1-2 weeks leading up to Valentine’s Day.  A lot of people just don’t want to be alone for that day and it seems to do weird things to their brains!




















        2. Kh77

          Thank you Christine! Glad to hear you were in a similar place in life and met someone. I was hurt for a bit when the last guy I dated didn’t turn out the way I wanted to but all I can do is dust myself off and try again. It really says volumes about the self improvement I’ve done that I can let someone go who clearly doesn’t want the same things. It leaves room for the right man to come along instead of chasing or pining. I will continue to make finding a relationship a priority and not be made to feel wrong for it, I certainly think love is worth the effort.

        3. Christine

          I really think you’re headed in the right direction, all you need to do is just keep walking! I eventually found someone but it certainly did not happen when I “least expected it”.  We both put in a lot of effort to find love.  It was more than worth it! Those friends might also be saying that to justify their own inertia.  I’m glad you’re not letting them dissuade you because as well-intentioned as I’m sure they are, I don’t think you can just leave it to fate.



  2. 2

    “If you’re the CEO of your own love life and nobody has committed to you, you haven’t created a company where anyone would want to work full time.”


    That hit harder than I expected. My stomach hurts now. I’ve been working on this but never heard it put that way.  This actually makes so much sense.

    1. 2.1

      I agree Mary. I have to say that I acknowledge that I am not perfect but having spent quite a bit of time on this subject not sure why I’m not getting full time employees

    2. 2.2

      Eh, that’s a bit harsh. And not entirely true. I don’t think that Evan meant to imply that any woman who doesn’t have a husband has been empirically proven to be a piece of crap. The fact that no one out of the handful of people you’ve dated has married you doesn’t mean that no one would ever want you. That’s absurd.

      1. 2.2.1


        I don’t think Mary was criticizing Evan, I think she meant that his words made her realize some ugly truths about herself and why she is really single.


        At least his words helped me to see some ugly things about myself. The moment you realize you aren’t as great of a catch as you thought you were is hard (at least it was for me) to accept.

        1. Marie

          I know, but it makes me ill at ease to see great women making themselves heartsick because they aren’t paired off. Plenty of otherwise high-quality men of a certain age (18-30, essentially) are out there moving heaven and earth to keep women around who are demanding, emotionally volatile, and impossible to please while ignoring the warm, loving, generous women who aren’t enough of a challenge to get them excited. I think that women in that age range need to hold on for a bit and be patient as men their age run through a few hot-but-toxic/vapid women, find out how exhausting and unrewarding it is, and start valuing warmth, kindness, and consistent affection in their partners.

          I personally had a really hard time dating in my 20s and didn’t take it well. I thought I wasn’t smart enough, pretty enough, skinny enough, whatever. I started creeping up on 30 and guys were all over me–and begging me for commitment. At 33, I’m 15 lbs heavier than I was at 25 and have a few gray hairs and the beginnings of crow’s feet, and men who would have considered me beneath their notice when we were 25 now think I’m fantastic. The woman who was sadly alone and unloved at her physical peak has been proposed to twice since turning 30. Go figure. I didn’t change–certainly not in a good way–but the market sure did. Not to confuse the metaphor here, but if you’re a loving person and you’re consistently undervalued, maybe you’re selling yourself to the wrong guys. Definitely a more productive way to look at it than to assume that because you aren’t valued by the men you are currently meeting, you have no value.

        2. Adrian


          I completely… Ur… well… mostly agree with everything you said.


          Like 99.8% agree. But anyway, I think you and Evan’s post are talking about two different subjects. I believe Mary was responding more to what WE as daters are doing wrong,


          Not what the opposite sex is doing wrong or should be doing. Your points are very valid, but they aren’t the lesson the article focuses on.


          Besides, why do you think being single is the reason Mary said her stomach hurt? Did you read something I missed?


          I took it to mean that she realized that she was not “as” great of a catch as she thought she was in the dating world, NOT that she thought she was worthless or undateable.

    3. 2.3

      I’d be ok with some part-time employees.   🙂

      1. 2.3.1

        Okay, that did make me laugh! 🙂 Hey, whatever floats your boat.  As long as both sides are on the same page (and one doesn’t somehow expect to give/receive full time benefits), people can do what they want.

        1. Emily

          I was kidding, but a part-time applicant is MUCH easier to find. A full-time worker takes a lot of vetting!

      2. 2.3.2


        I love your comments, they always make me picture you as a fun person to be around.


        This comment was no exception, it actually made me laugh out loud.

        1. Emily


          Thank you. I enjoy reading your comments as well. They are thoughtfully worded and phrased and thought-provoking. They have challenged some of my old (tired) ways of thinking.

        2. Adrian


          But you would have been around today when I was shopping with my sister for dinner, you would think I was five year old (^_^).


          My sister keep suggesting things to make for my three year old niece and I keep saying, “But I don’t like that” or “I don’t want that”. Haha.


          See, my niece never finishes her food, and I hate trashing food, so whenever I let her stay with me for the weekend, I always end up finishing her plate.


          So, even though you are sweet to say I’m sometimes sage like on this form, seeing me being out negotiated by a three year old would probably have you placing my comments to the bottom of the stack, (^_^).


          I can’t help it, toddlers are just so cute.

        3. Adrian


          I meant “If”

          If you would have been around today to hear my sister as she had to keep repeating to me, “but it’s not for you”! (^_^)

        4. Emily

          I can be easily charmed by children, too. And I know they are manipulating the hell out of me, but I let them do it, anyway. 🙂

    4. 2.4

      I am the CEO of my company.

      But not of my love life. Point taken. I will look into that.

      CEOs do work 60 hours a week and travel, but I am not giving up my company. And so it goes again, successful = busy = not marriage material = more focus on work = more success.

      1. 2.4.1

        For the record there are more than one Marie on this blog. Hollytx – I had the same problem until I made the decision to focus 6 months solely on finding a husband, put everything else on the back burner or just maintain mode and put all of that energy into dating a la Evan. It worked and I did find my husband and have been happily married for a couple of years now. I went through 45 men in that period before finding the right person.  I applied the same laser focus on finding my soulmate that I did to everything else.  Now I’m successful AND married.  It’s possible it just takes a lot of time, organization and effort.  It’s like a founding a start up – for your own love life. And I would argue that it was the most important “company” that I ever did.

      2. 2.4.2


        I do not believe the point of this post was that high powered women like you are not marriage material, I believe it was that love has to “also” be a top priority like being proficient in your position at work, it’s possible to prioritize both.


        I honestly know countless women who are very high ranking in their fields or companies and most are very busy, very successful, and very single-getting the next promotion always seemed more important than love. So I always told myself that I would never date someone who was very busy (what is the point of being with someone in name <boyfriend/girlfriend> if you are hardly ever physically with them? You are just a single person with the title of girlfriend/boyfriend).


        But guess what? I thought like that until I met a much older woman who was very successful and very busy, but also very happily married. From her I learned that it’s not the position or the endless meeting across the globe that was keeping many of the professional women I knew single. These women said that love was a priority to them in name only, not in actions.


        In my opinion when women listen to someone saying, “love should be one of their top priorities”, what they hear is, “don’t be strong, independent, successful, smart, accomplished, or excel at work. Because your “only” real job or goal in life should be to find a husband”. A man or woman saying finding love is one of their top priorities in life, is now equated to being weak.


        Love has to be a priority if you are tired of being single. Almost all of us say that, but I wonder how many of us truly knows what that means.

  3. 3

    “See feedback as giving you information about the person giving it—not as giving you information about yourself. Perhaps your boss has given you the feedback that your work on a recent project is “bad.” So here’s the question: Does that give you any facts about your work, your talent? I’d argue it doesn’t. But it does tell you something about your boss’ preferences and taste.”

    I recently read this on an articled A Toolkit for Unhooking from Criticism. I thought it also provided some good thinking for personal relationships as well.


    1. 3.1

      Hi Sara-

      I want to say thank you for that tip on Uhooking Criticism.  I found went to go look for in on the net.  Very good approach that along with Evan has made me self improve and change while not allowing the self critic in my own head to talk too much.

      I found the article to be good for my careee and dating life.

      I hope all is working out for you!

  4. 4

    Yep.  Before I found Evan’s blog, I knew for some time that I had done some things wrong to be  where I am at with my love life.  But getting the tough-love slap across the face is what I needed to go from knowing things needed to change to actually changing.  The “harshness” is really a gift, because it gets your attention, and becomes the thing your brain wants to mull over.

    The one thing I definitely knew before I began seeking out answers was that I spent way too many years thinking I had all the time in the world to find someone and have a family.  And then the years just start flying by.  I can’t change that part of my past, but I realize now that I need to overcome my own inertia and not keep sitting on the sidelines.

    Before I found Evan’s work, I just knew that when men thought about getting married, they didn’t think about me.  Well now I know why.  I didn’t realize what men valued and were looking for in women;  an easygoing happy disposition, femininity, being appreciative.  And at first that really pissed me off!  I had to consciously decide to shift my focus from expecting men to value and appreciate my education and my job (and feeling hurt that they didn’t) to being content and confident enough to value it for myself, i.e. not expecting external praise from anyone.  The thing that is kind of sad is I know that I am warm, generally happy, affectionate, and have a pretty low threshold for finding jokes funny, (and I’m a dam good cook to boot) but I thought that was something a man had to discover about me over time, that a woman shouldn’t give too much of herself until the man invested in her first.

    On a happier note, I realize there were some things I did figure out on my own that will serve me well as I go forward.  1)  When a relationship ends, I make a clean break.  None of the trying to be friends drama.  Frankly, some reasons for breaking up with a guy, like finding out they are racist (that really happened) disqualify them from being my friend anyway.   2)  Having an interest in and being able to discuss politics, what history means, and current events in the world is a must have for me.  I broke up with a very serious boyfriend in my early 20s because when I would bring such a subject up, his answer was, “I don’t know, I don’t care.”  Not caring about what is going on in the world = deal breaker.  3) Lastly, I was in a writing group when the book “Eat, Pray, Love” was flying off book store shelves.  Since I was working on a memoir piece, some group members recommended that I read it.  I never finished the book:  I hated it!  I bailed near the beginning of India because I couldn’t take the author’s incessant whining and moping about her flash-in-the-pan dumb ex boyfriend.  I thought, if I wanted to “hear” that, I could listen to my girlfriends complain about the men who disappointed or hurt them.  Or I could listen to myself do the same darn thing.  I made a decision at that point to never be the person who relentlessly dumps ex-relationship garbage people.  (Seriously, that poor guy Richard at the yoga retreat in India just meets EG and she starts spewing!) Now, I let myself have a little time limited pity party, and then I move on.  The fake-it-until-you-make-it technique works really well for this.  Pretend you’re centered and happy, do all of the things you do when centered and happy, and you will heal and truly be centered and happy.

    Thank you for all of the help, Evan!

    1. 4.1


      This is not a criticism, just an observation/suggestion.


      First, I love how you speak about your journey and how you have learned so much more about being a good partner and what to look for in a good partner.




      Your second must have, is it really worth turning down a guy who you find attractive, funny, supportive, loyal, and accomplished? You want him, he wants you, and he wants to make you happy, but he would rather talk about sports and doesn’t care to learn anything about politics, history, or current events (though he patiently listens when you bring it up because these are things important to YOU). You would dump this guy? If so, what exactly have you learned from Evan?


      I was the male equivalent of you, but after reading Evan’s many personal stories in his new letters, about his over 300 dates with smart, accomplished, and conversationally deep women that lead to nowhere,


      and his true love, now wife, ending up being a woman who though not his intellectual equal, she was his superior in so many other facets of life, and he was happy with that.


      From Evan, I realized that a woman being able to discuss issues I find intellectually stimulating isn’t as important as someone who wants to make me feel happy, loved and desired.


      The “I don’t know, I don’t care” or the “I don’t care, whatever you want to do, or what ever you like, or whatever you suggest, etc” used to drive me crazy. But now I see those were symptoms of our long-term goals being different not our intellectual compatibility.


      What I mean by that is, we were not putting the same amount of effort into the relationship. So even if she was a published scholar, if she didn’t want to try to make the relationship work as much as I tried to, it wouldn’t work.


      I have had great hour long conversations with cleaning ladies about seemingly mundane things, and I have had strained 5 minute conversations with women who held Ph.D’s.




      Do you believe that you and your boyfriend will spend innumerable hours, days, weeks, and even months just having thought provoking conversations?


      If you both agree on most issues, then what? How will you squeeze 3 days worth of conversation about an intellectual subject that you and he both agreed upon and dissected within the first hour of your bringing up the subject?


      I’m not sure how old you are, or how much dating experience you have (that is not meant as an insult); but every old couple I have talked to, tells me, they spend more time discussing what color to paint the kitchen, who their sister’s dog tried to hump this time, or what that lazy Pat from work didn’t want to do this time that caused them to have to do twice as much work; than they do discussing how to end world hunger and establish world peace.

      1. 4.1.1
        Karl S

        Adrian Said:

        From Evan, I realized that a woman being able to discuss issues I find intellectually stimulating isn’t as important as someone who wants to make me feel happy, loved and desired.

        As a counter-argument, I’d say you’re half right. But I think you can also meet people who make you feel happy, loved and desired because you find each other intellectually stimulating.

        In my case, I’m really happy to have found a person I can date who likes hearing about all the interesting things I read in books about human behavior, philosophy, cosmology, quantum physics, etc.

        She doesn’t read the same books as me, but she does read. She talks to me about all the political goings-on that she keeps up with, while my interests are a bit more to do with big-data or abstract/existential. Obviously we aren’t mirrors of each other, but there is some overlapping base knowledge of things that we both share which allows us to bounce of each other with different stories, facts or observations that can trigger from one partner explaining a concept to the other.

        I mean, it’s possible that I could find a partner who doesn’t read and isn’t interested in anything remotely academic or intellectual. And we could connect over more of life’s domestic elements, but I’d probably feel like I wasn’t sharing my full self with them or the interests that are really particular to me. I certainly don’t spend all my time talking about Big Stuff either, but it slides in and out during conversation very comfortably and I like that my girlfriend grasps what I’m talking about as I explain it.

        I’m sure I read somewhere that couples, on the whole, are generally of equal intelligence. Or at least the most satisfied couples were.

        1. Adrian

          Ah, but Karl S,

          What you wrote though very true can’t be a counter argument to what I said.


          Because I never said or implied that having someone whom you could share views about things that interest you was a bad thing. Nor did I say that you shouldn’t look for those things in a partner, I just said that they shouldn’t be the only reason to eliminate a otherwise great partner.


          GoWithTheFlow, said that those things were non-negotiables for her, all I was trying to say was that, you can find love and happiness without those things.


          Go back and just read the part you quoted. Notice the word “as”. I said those things are not as important. I did not say those things are not important.


          But Karl S, of course if you can find someone who wants to make you happy, and they love talking about all the things of interest to you, that person is a great catch.


      2. 4.1.2

        Adrian, I have to agree with you there, at least from my experiences.  Me and my boyfriend don’t spend a ton of time on thought provoking conversations.  After spending all day at work engaging in those conversations with our colleagues–we’re just too tired for any more of those by the time we get home, and want to relax.

        One of the last things I talked to my boyfriend about was the hand jive!  He laughed when he saw me doing the hand jive, as we watched Grease: Live!  (I once did a ’50s style dance number for my 4th grade talent show, so it was fun to do that and mentally go back to my childhood for a moment).  Now he wants me to teach him how to do it.  It’s silly, but we had a great time laughing together over that. 🙂

        Other couples I know have similar stories.  One of my happily engaged friends also shares silly activities with her fiancee, like putting together a “useless box” (look it up on Amazon–it is truly useless!)  Even useless activity can bring a couple together.  🙂 Our partners respect our intelligence, but I think they love us for making them laugh.

        1. Adrian

          Okay Christine,

          Just remember you started it not me.


          I just googled the scene of them doing the hand jive in the movie, so now I will be in line behind your boyfriend waiting for you to teach me (^_^).

        2. Christine

          Adrian LOL!  You do so at your own risk.  Let’s just say that lesson was….interesting.  Either I’m a lousy teacher or my boyfriend has zero coordination. Or both. 🙂 Maybe it’s harder than I thought!


    2. 4.2
      Karl R

      GoWithTheFlow said:

      “I broke up with a very serious boyfriend in my early 20s because when I would bring such a subject up, his answer was, “I don’t know, I don’t care.”  Not caring about what is going on in the world = deal breaker.”

      I’m going to follow up on Adrian’s observation.

      Unless you’re a politician, a lobbyist or an activist getting personally involved in changing the world, your “caring” has the impact of one vote per candidate per election.

      I voted in every election last year (including local runoffs) and most years before that.  I make certain that I’m an informed voter.  But I would argue that my charitable contributions last year (International Red Cross, Doctors Without Borders, End7) had a far greater beneficial effect in the world.

      I care about what happens in the world.  I don’t just pay lip service to that idea.  I put my money where my mouth is.

      But I’m not particularly interested in hearing someone spew about their personal political views.  Like that boyfriend, “I don’t care.”


      GoWithTheFlow said:

      “Having an interest in and being able to discuss politics, what history means, and current events in the world is a must have for me.”


      I have a few interests that very few people share.  And most of those few people are men.  (For work-related topics, most of those people are coworkers.)

      If I want to discuss those topics, I get onto forums and discuss it with people who are interested.  I don’t need my wife to provide those conversations.  I can take care of that outside of our marriage.


      You can hold out for someone who shares your passion for history, politics and current events.  It will make your search much longer and more difficult.

      You can also hold onto the belief that the people who don’t share your passion “don’t care about the world.”  But you may get along a little better with boyfriends (and other people) if you recognize that the person who helps out at the soup kitchen, or the person who cleans up trash on the beach, or the person who participates in Big Brothers … they all care about what’s going on in their world.  And they’re all doing something about it.  And their contributions may (in the grand scheme of things) may be more valuable than what you or I are doing.

      Give it some thought.

      1. 4.2.1

        Hello Karl & Adrian!

        When I say having a partner who is willing and able to talk and think about social and political issues is a must have, I don’t mean someone has to share my exact political or social leanings, or even a big interest in the exact subjects that I’m interested in.  (Geez, I wouldn’t have any friends if I expected that, LOL!!!)   And I certainly don’t expect to talk about it every day, or even every week or every month.  But, for instance, since we will vote for a new President in ten months, I want to be able to talk about the pros and cons of the candidates and important issues.  I appreciate it when someone can bring a different focus and perspective to the table, since I tend to learn the most from these conversations.

        My married until-death-did-they-part parents were teachers who spent 90% of their time talking about household and kid related tasks and issues (whether to buy a new car was a subject that would go on for months before they did it) and another 8% of the time talking about their jobs.  But they also talked about candidates in election years, what they though about the Vietnam war, the energy crisis, etc.

        When my mom would say something to my dad like, “I talked with Sally today and she said their son is having a very hard time after coming home from Vietnam.  He is having night terrors, and is withdrawn, and spends most of his time in the basement, and the VA has been no help.   It seems like there are a lot of young vets that are having these issues, something needs to be done to help them.”  My dad didn’t say, “I don’t care.”  He was concerned and had an opinion about what was happening.  Or my mom might say, “I’m drawn to most of the ideas that candidate X has, but I’m concerned about his/her position on issue Y.  What do you think.”  My dad would share his perspective on it, or if he hadn’t formed an opinion on it yet he would tell her so.  But he never said, “I don’t know.  I don’t care.”

        As far as the thought I put into this being a “must have,”  I am very aware that Evan decided, for himself, that he could have his need for deep involved conversations about the existential meaning of life met by talking with his friends, and many others feel the same way.  I have put many years of thought into this, not to mention have dated some happy-go-lucky guys who’s innate nature wasn’t to have serious discussions, and decided that I felt restless and unfulfilled if I wasn’t getting little shots of that from my partner.  I will trade some happy-go-lucky attitude for the ability to be thoughtful and serious at times.  And I have evolved significantly to be more open in other areas.  For instance, it doesn’t matter to me if the man I’m having these convos with every now and then is an electrician or an attorney.  What matters is that he has a mind and cares about the world around him.

        I am 48 and have never been married.  I had one son when I was very young–he’s married and has two kids–and I adopted two children in my early forties after I had burned out on dating and came to the conclusion that it was now or never for a much desired 2nd child, and the husband was not happening.  I do realize that decisions I made when I was in my 20s and early 30s directly resulted in me being at a big fork in the road at age 39, realizing that my chances of having a husband and biological child were slim, and that pursuing the adoption of a child would shut that door completely.  But, even given all of that, going ahead and marrying the serious boyfriend I mentioned in my post above would have been a serious mistake that would have ended in divorce.  I do not regret breaking up with him, and don’t regret the reasons for doing so.  The regrets are for other things, and lately, I have been trying to use examples from my life to help my 3 nieces (23 to 27) make better decisions than I did.

        BTW, this post concludes my serious “life issues” conversation for the week.  I’m getting ready to take the kids on their first hike.  Then I’m coming home to make homemade chicken soup, clean the house a little, and I have an evening phone date with a friend.  Tomorrow we’re headed to a free movie showing in the morning, and we will be watching the Superbowl in the afternoon.  My team, the Cardinals, got knocked out by my brother’s team, the Panthers, but I’m still going to pull for Carolina because Cam Newton is awesome and Manning already has Super Bowl rings, he doesn’t need another 😉

      2. 4.2.2

        Karl R.,

        “You can also hold onto the belief that the people who don’t share your passion “don’t care about the world.”  But you may get along a little better with boyfriends (and other people) if you recognize that the person who helps out at the soup kitchen, or the person who cleans up trash on the beach, or the person who participates in Big Brothers … they all care about what’s going on in their world.  And they’re all doing something about it.  And their contributions may (in the grand scheme of things) may be more valuable than what you or I are doing.”

        Yes! That is what I’m talking about!  Caring and being engaged in the world around you!  My ex-boyfriend would say “I don’t know.  I don’t care.”  to the simple question, “What do you think of Perot possibly running for President.”  On top of that  he was not involved in any charities or organizations that involved caring about something bigger or giving of himself.

        My ex had a sense of humor, was fun to be around, intelligent, and I found his looks pleasing enough when I met him.  I think it was Adrian who mentioned why could I not overlook the I-don’t-care issue if we got along and I found him attractive.  Well my ex’s all encompassing  I-don’t-care attitude eventually made him unattractive to me.  When I left that relationship, I was relieved.

  5. 5

    Evan, I LOVE WHAT YOU HAVE SAID HERE!!!  AWESOME!!!  Sometimes you write things that make me want to not read you again, ha ha!  But I am always glad I do.  You are a first class person, whether people agree or disagree with your views.  Can’t find anything to disagree with you on, on this one.  Through out all of your writings, I am always impressed at how graceful and intelligent you carry yourself.  Thanks for all you do.

  6. 6

    This blog has definitely changed how I view men and approach dating. Its helped me grow, and I’m guilty of embittered “man-hater” spiel…but overall I am really grateful for all of the great advice. It’s helping me now in my current dating situation. Loving someone is not about ME, it’s about loving them for who they are, accepting their flaws, as well as simply being kind.

  7. 7

    Another exceptional blog post, one that should be printed and taped up where I can see it every day.  Evan, I almost have no words for how you and your products have jolted me into reality for the first time in my LIFE where men are concerned.  I’ve subscribed to Love U (though haven’t been able to really take advantage of it yet due to time constraints), and I recently purchase WHD with the added bonus interviews (got the hard copy in the mail yesterday!) and I’ve practically gobbled them up every time I have some down time or am in my car.  What an eye opener you have been.  I had purchased materials from a female dating coach before I discovered you, but YOUR material is what women really need – the MALE perspective.  I wasn’t in the dating ring, I’m in a 9-month (and counting) relationship, but he started to become a little distant a few months ago and I knew it was something I was doing but just didn’t know what it was, and I was on the verge of committing one of your biggest no-no’s, talking about where this relationship was going, when I bought WHD in the nick of time and discovered how that was the very WORST thing I could do.  I’m not a CEO, lawyer, or doctor (your usual clientele), I work for someone, no one works for me, yet I still consider myself successful and I know I’m smart and strong, and most of all, I’m willing to listen and LEARN.  Your advice has some hard truths in it, but wow, the difference it has made in my relationship is astounding.  I’ve never felt better about us and I’m enjoying what we have day by day and not looking toward how we’ll be in the future.  I’m giving you the credit.  However, if I should find myself in the dating pool down the road I will be well-equipped with the tools I will need to empathize with men and do the things I need to be doing to make THEM feel good.

    “A guy wants to be with someone who makes him feel good.”  It’s BRILLIANT, but so many of us have no idea that THAT’S what it takes, and not fancy credentials.

    I could go on and on but suffice it to say, you have opened my eyes and given my heart a new lease on relationship life.  I’ve been married more than once, my kids are grown and gone, and I’m in my 50’s and having the time of my life, so marriage per se isn’t necessarily my end goal, but a long-term, loving, committed and fun relationship is.  Think Kurt Russel/Goldie Hawn.  Thank you, Evan, for your honesty and no-bull approach to how men think.  That is what I’ve needed to know pretty much my entire adult life.

    1. 7.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      A lovely way to start my day. Thank you, SMC. And best of luck with your relationship. I don’t think you’ll need it.

  8. 8
    Karl R

    Evan said: (original post)

    “If you’re the CEO of your own love life and nobody has committed to you, you haven’t created a company where anyone would want to work full-time.”

    That’s not quite true, even though there is some truth in that statement.

    You certainly lack evidence that you’re on the right track.

    One of the biggest challenges (for me) in dating was the lack of immediate feedback.  Changing some aspect of my dating process might improve my success rate from 5% to 15% (or decrease my success rate by that amount).  Either way, it took repeated efforts to see whether a change made a difference, and whether that difference was positive or negative.


    Look for evidence that you’re on the right track (or off it):

    I can’t think of any change that I made during the last year of dating before I started dating my wife.  But I was getting a lot of feedback that I was doing better than before.  I was meeting women that I would never have met before.  I was getting dates with them.  Many of the women I was dating were generally the kind of women I was looking for.


    KH77 said: (#1)

    “Back to square one, I’m optimistic but it definitely gets frustrating.”

    From my perspective, it’s not square one.

    If you learned something, or developed any of your dating skills, then you have made progress.  That’s progress that may help you find (or keep) the person you end up with.


    A little less than seven years ago, I saw a couple pretty ladies (complete strangers) sitting at a table in a bar.  I went over, flirted with them, and ended up going out on a date with one of them.  Unless I made a move that evening, my window of opportunity would have been completely gone.  Carpe diem.

    She was a sweet lady, but we had nothing in common.  About 20 minutes in, I was wishing I’d arranged a shorter date.

    Fast forward two months.  I was on a cruise with a bunch of people from the dance studio.  I decided that I wanted to ask one of the ladies to a show that evening, so I wandered around the ship to see if I could run into her.  (Only 2,700 passengers on board.  How hard could it be?)

    When I ran across her, she was having a conversation with another man from our group (who was clearly interested in her).  I walked up, politely asked if I could interrupt their conversation for a minute, and asked the lady out.

    The other man was waiting for the right moment to ask her out.  I took the only moment I had, and made use of it.

    She agreed.  We went to the show that night.  And that was my first date with my wife.

    The relationship skill you learn or practice with one person, may become the one you need when you meet the right person.

    When I had gotten back into the dating scene a few years earlier, I never would have had the moxie to take advantage of that moment.


    If you learned or practiced a dating/relationship skill, you’re not going back to square one.  You’ve acquired something that puts you ahead of where you were before.

    1. 8.1

      Whoa! Karl R,


      I usually love your insight, but this story of you walking in between the woman you wanted and another man who was flirting with her, blew me away.


      Balls! How did you develop your iron pair?


      That story seems like more than just practiced skills to me.

      1. 8.1.1

        Karl and Adrian,

        Yeah. That story impressed me, too. I would have left with you for our date right that minute.

      2. 8.1.2
        Karl R

        Adrian asked:

        “Balls! How did you develop your iron pair?”

        Acting confident while dating is a learned skill.  A lot of the skill is acting.  You’re not going to be confident that you’ll succeed.  (Reality will reinforce the perception that dating is, at best, a numbers game … where there are multiple failures for every success.)  So learning to act confident (particularly since you’re not) is an extremely helpful skill.

        The other definition of acting (taking action, doing something) is also critical, but that’s less of a skill and more of a decision.


        The other skill that I taught myself was how to become less invested in the outcome.

        There seems to be a natural tendency (in dating) to fantasize about where the relationship might go.  That puts a lot of extra anxiety into dating, since it creates something that we can lose (the fantasy).  By teaching myself not to do that (or at least not to do that too early in the dating process), I lowered my investment in the outcome.

        Q: What happens if I ask her out and she says no?

        A: Nothing … which is the exact same thing that happens if I never ask her out.


        I also found that it was easier to stay less invested if I asked women out before I got to know them well.


        Karl S said: (#9)

        “I’ve probably lost out on many a good date for being so timid too. I’ve only find boldness through online dating, where I know for sure the other person is there to see me.”

        I started out as a rather timid dater.  I turned into a rather fearless one.

        As I stated above, I taught myself to become less invested in the outcome.  I also taught myself to become more invested in my actions.

        I knew that there was a certain percentage of women out there who were interested in me.  Therefore, dating them was just a numbers game.  Ask enough women, and I would find one that would say yes.


        The biggest obstacle was my fear of rejection.  So I tried to become more invested in overcoming that fear.  Every time that I couldn’t get a phone number, or I was turned down for a first date (or second date, or third date), it was still a victory.  I had won a battle against my fear.

        I got to the point where I was happier to take the risk and get a “No thanks” than avoiding the risk altogether.


        Take a hard look at Harsh Truth #4.  Based on my experience, what’s inside matters far less than what you do.  Being afraid inside was an inconvenience … as long as I took the same actions as I would have if I was fearless.

        1. Emily

          Karl R.,

          “The biggest obstacle was my fear of rejection.  So I tried to become more invested in overcoming that fear.  Every time that I couldn’t get a phone number, or I was turned down for a first date (or second date, or third date), it was still a victory.  I had won a battle against my fear.”

          I love this. This should be mantra not just for dating but for living.


        2. AllHeart81

          Karl – This was one stellar post. I learned a lot from it.

    2. 8.2

      Thank you, it was an exercise in letting go gracefully actually, hopefully I won’t have to use that too often in dating but it is a fact that the vast vast majority of your dates or relationships will not be the “one”.  You can either make a dignified exit or make a fool of yourself when that happens.

    3. 8.3

      Wow Karl!

      That story needs to go under the example section for the phrase, “Nothing ventured, nothing gained.”


  9. 9
    Karl S

    @Adrian – too true. It wasn’t really a counter argument. You’re right in that such things shouldn’t be total deal breakers, and while it seems intuitive to seek commonality in a partner, it does not equate to compatibility.

    How Important Are Common Interests in a Relationship?

    @Karl R

    I was also super-impressed by your story. I usually walk away when I see another guy trying his luck with a woman I’m interested. I’ve probably lost out on many a good date for being so timid too. I’ve only find boldness through online dating, where I know for sure the other person is there to see me. Kudos to you.


    1. 9.1
      Karl S

      *trying his luck with a woman I’m interested in.

  10. 10

    Hello Evan,


    My name is Michael. I am a twenty-three year-old recent college graduate from the East Coast. I’ve been reading your blog since I was about 19 or 20. I’ve known about you for years, and I’ve read about your interactions with Lori Gottlieb in her book “Marry Him.” This is the first comment I’ll ever be leaving on your blog – I’m one of those people who lurked but never said anything. I hope you read this: I just want to say thank you so much for all the work you’ve done. I know that you get letters like this constantly, but I feel it wouldn’t be right to never share my gratitude for all the content you’ve provided for me to consume over the years. I’ve been reading about your advice and trying different things to find a mate for years now. I have a life story, just like everyone else who visits this blog. I won’t go into specifics, but I’ll just say that I have everything in life except the most important thing (or at least what “I” consider to be the most important thing). I would say that through my own years of hard work, I’ve been very successful educationally, professionally and financially. I have a great family and live in an amazing home. I’ve got a nice small group of close friends. But I don’t have a girlfriend, though. Its like a giant black hole that no amount of success could ever fill or satisfy. Its like each new successful thing that happens in my life is a reminder that I don’t have the one thing that will make me truly happy. I feel I have so much love to give and so much to offer. Why has everything else in my life fallen into place except this? There’s so much more that I can say, and I know that my comment doesn’t really have much to do with the original post…but I just wanted to tell someone how I felt.


    To all of the people who visit and comment on this blog, I wish you all the best of luck and the happiest of lives. Keep trying, press on, never give up. And thank you for the insight and opinions you provide in the comments section below. It is often just as insightful as Evan’s posts.


    Thanks again, Evan.

  11. 11

    Wow one of the best most important things I’ve read for a long time, especially the first few points on the list. Thanks.

  12. 12

    I certainly known my own flaws but I will be steadily improving on them, rather than changing overnight. I think it’s important to be aware of your own flaws and to date a self-aware person otherwise as arguments naturally occur, people won’t admit fault and it will always be framed against the other person. It just doesn’t favour good communication. Also sometimes pride stops you from helping yourself and I’ve certainly been there. Now I feel mature enough that I do what I need to do to help myself even if it means changing certain qualities about myself. I like to hear tough advice now as it helps me the most.

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