Another VDay Without True Love (Princess Bride Edition!)

This is a special post with a special Valentine’s Day offer, so make sure you read to the end.

I just finished reading “The Princess Bride” to my kids.

You may think of it as a beloved Rob Reiner movie from 1987, but in fact, it started as a 1973 novel by William Goldman that runs nearly 500 pages.

If you’ve seen the movie, you know the theme: how deeply Princess Buttercup loves Westley, and how Westley battles giants, rats, swordsmen, and torture chambers to return to his beloved.

What you may not know – unless you recently read the book – is how highly dysfunctional their relationship is.

On the surface, it’s all about longing, passion, and the willingness to die for love. But the author subtly mocks the characters throughout as foolish, star-crossed lovers – not unlike the tragic teens in Romeo and Juliet.

Furthermore, they’re painted as immature game-players:

Buttercup gives Westley the silent treatment.

Westley abandons her to make his fortune.

Buttercup tests his love by seeing if he returns for her.

Westley lies to Buttercup about his identity.

Can you say dysfunctional? Immature? Terrible communicators?

THAT’s the central relationship in “The Princess Bride.”

It’s easy to say “true love” as the movie does, quite memorably.

But true love isn’t what Buttercup and Westley have.

They have infatuation.

You’ve had it, too, and while it felt great, it didn’t lead you to long-term happiness.

Which is challenging, because if incredible chemistry isn’t “true love,” what is?

I’ve got your answer below, and I want you to think about it before you react.

True love is when you feel a lack of anxiety in your relationship.

True love is when you feel a lack of anxiety in your relationship.

Love isn’t intoxicating. It’s the exact opposite.

For most of your life, you’ve associated love with anxiety – never feeling safe, heard and understood, when, in fact, love is the most comforting feeling in the world.

A good relationship is EASY. If it’s not easy, it’s not that good. If that comes as a big surprise, you’re not alone.

Most of us remain convinced that Westley and Buttercup are an ideal couple, when in fact, they’ll probably end up breaking up in a few months.

And because passion doesn’t predict a successful long-term relationship and because it’s hard to meet a good man who treats you right, you need a new paradigm for meeting, screening and relating to men.

But you don’t even know where to begin. Questions abound:

  • What do you do if your confidence is shattered?
  • What if you’re out of practice?
  • What if you’re burned out on dating?
  • What if you’ve struggled with online dating?
  • What if you don’t get the attention you used to?
  • What if you can’t find men you’re attracted to?
  • What if you can’t get the attractive men to commit?
  • What if you don’t even trust your judgment anymore?

This is why I created Love U, my signature course that teaches you everything you need to know about dating, relationships, and men in less than 5 minutes per day.

Thousands of women have already completed Love U with sky-high confidence, soaring self-awareness, and yes, boyfriends and husbands as well.

Right now, you get to join them.

Generally, I launch Love U every six months with a wealth of content over 2 weeks – videos, webinars and a bunch of emails explaining how Love U will change your life.

Not this time.

Starting today, I’m offering Love U on my website ALL the time.

The price of that will be $149/month for six months – an incredible deal that will change your life forever.

But for the next three days – through 11:59 pm on Valentine’s Day, you can enroll in Love U for only:

$99/month

That’s literally $3 per day to attain life’s greatest pleasure: a happy, passionate relationship that makes you feel like the best version of yourself: beautiful, confident, and cherished.

Click here to enroll now.

Right after Valentine’s Day, Love U returns to the price of $149 per month, or 50% more than you can get it for today.

Be smart. Join now and save $300 on Love U.

Of course, this isn’t about money.

This is about love – and how badly you want it.

For less than a cup of Starbucks per day, you can get the man of your dreams.

You asked for me to make Love U available all the time.

“As you wish,” I replied.

Click here to enroll now and save 50% before this Valentine’s Day sale ends on Wednesday.

Warmest wishes and much love,

Your friend,

Evan

P.S. Teresa is a Love U Graduate who got engaged last summer.

I wanted to write and tell you that on August 16th, 2017, I received a wedding proposal from my best friend!  I’m not sure if I am the first engaged from the original Love U group, but I bet I’m the happiest!!

George and I have gone through so very much this year! I had a pretty significant health scare, we’ve blended families and have been patient as my ex husband separated from his new wife of only eight months. All in all it has been QUITE the year!

Through it all, George has been steadfast, strong, eager to please. Everything you said about the “right” kind of guy has been spot on target. This man has made me incredibly, blissfully happy despite the road hazards along the way! 😉  He consistently looks for ways to make me happy, communicates effectively and continues to let his walls down for me.

I originally came to you to learn how to date wisely via online dating. Had it not been for you, I never would have continued online and may have missed out on this love of a lifetime!

I can’t believe that I have at last met a man who I honestly want to spend the rest of my life with, the man who is so consistent and reliable, who continues to provide the best possible relationship for us both to grow and flourish.

Thank you Evan, for the role you played getting me comfortable with dating! Despite the obstacles we have faced this past year, or perhaps because of them, we have fused our love and feel completely bonded in a way that neither of us has ever been before. We’ve lived many years in this one year and it has made our relationship the rock solid masterpiece that we both truly deserve!

I have everything I could want and it is in large part due to you. Thank you for encouraging me and always doing your best to support me along the way. Thanks to you, love has never been sweeter!

All my best to you and your family,

Teresa

You deserve to have this, too, and so much more.

Click here to enroll in Love U (and save $300!) because today is the first day of the rest of your life.

Join our conversation (111 Comments).
Click Here To Leave Your Comment Below.

Comments:

  1. 1
    Emily, the original

    Love isn’t intoxicating. It’s the exact opposite.

    This makes perfectly logical sense, but it is another example in a long list of examples in which the “healthiest” choice is always … the dullest. Like when a diet includes unlimited non-starchy vegetables. Mmmm, I can’t wait to dig into a steaming pile of broccoli. Forget cheese sauce or butter.  Dairy is bad for you. How about we get a little crazy and add some pepper?

    1. 1.1
      Yet Another Guy

      @Emily, the original

      Mmmm, I can’t wait to dig into a steaming pile of broccoli. Forget cheese sauce or butter.  Dairy is bad for you. How about we get a little crazy and add some pepper?

      I love plain steamed broccoli. Heck, I eat broccoli on pasta with just a little garlic and olive oil.

      1. 1.1.1
        Emily, the original

        I love plain steamed broccoli. Heck, I eat broccoli on pasta with just a little garlic and olive oil.

        Admittedly, you feel better when you eat more healthfully, but it sure isn’t as much fun as eating as going face forward in the brownie pan.

  2. 2
    Clare

    I actually love this concept:

    Love isn’t intoxicating. It’s the exact opposite.”

    As I read it, I was thinking about all my past relationships. And how all of them, every single one, began with that intoxicating / can’t think / can’t breathe / I wonder if he likes me / unsettled feeling to some degree or other. With the guys I felt chemistry for, this chemistry sustained me and made me keep going, even though I felt some level of anxiety in the relationship.

    Once the chemistry started to wear off, I would see the guy for who he really was, and most of the time, I would come to the conclusion that he wasn’t that great. This has been my pattern over and over again. Some degree of anxiety + chemistry = underwhelming relationship which didn’t make me that happy.

    I have just ended a relationship which was on & off for about two and a half months. I couldn’t figure out how I felt about him. He was handsome and had a stable career, he was intelligent and seemed really sweet and thoughtful in the beginning. But it wasn’t easy for me being around him, like Evan describes. I felt drained in his presence. He talked incessantly to the point of lecturing me, he interrupted me, dominated our time together, and recently, I saw that he had a nasty temper. I was forced to realise that, despite how sweet and caring and thoughtful he had seemed in the beginning, my instincts which told me “this guy is not easy to be around, I feel annoyed and verging on anxious in his presence” were right all along.

    This relationship got me to realise that what Evan says is true. A truly good relationship is just easy. There’s no anxiety. It works, it feels right, and it’s comforting. It fits in your life properly.

    I actually felt so good reading these words of Evan. They felt so right.

    I compare it to my search for the right job. I spent years in unsatisfying jobs – needing the money, but never really happy in any of the jobs I worked in. Some were better than others, and I always tried to make them work, but ultimately I felt unhappy, drained and like I desperately wanted to be doing something else with my life. Fast forward to a year ago, and a chance connection through a distant family member led me to a lead which I followed up on, and I am now doing the job of my dreams. I LOVE my work, and what’s more, I get to work from home and my own hours. I never spend a single moment resenting my job; in fact, it never even crosses my mind because it is just right for me. It just fits with my life and my personality.

    I often think this is how the right relationship will be. I will meet a guy and I will finally know how different it is from years of trying to fit a square peg into a round hole. All these relationships which just caused pain and anxiety will reveal themselves for the poor fit that they actually were, and I will find someone who is easy for me to be with. I can’t wait for that day.

    1. 2.1
      Marika

      I’m sorry to hear your relationship didn’t work out, Clare. I remember it had such promise and you liked him so much in the beginning. At least you’ve made your decision now. I hope you find someone amazing soon ☺

      1. 2.1.1
        Clare

        Marika,

        Thank you, that’s so thoughtful of you.

        I’m not sure if this most recent guy was the one I mentioned on here, or the previous one. The previous guy was great… fit my personality like a glove. We got on extremely well. However, he was separated and still very much in the thick of battling it out with his ex-wife and custody arrangements. He asked for a “break” to sort his stuff out, and when he texted me one day to tell me that his ex-wife wanted to “talk about being a family again,” I knew it was time to jump ship. I always had a rule about not dating separated men, and I will absolutely adhere to that in future.

         

        This most recent guy actually came straight after the other one. He was single, available, and seemed great in paper. But in reality rather bad-tempered and controlling. It was interesting to watch how this side of his personality came through little by little more and more, the more time I spent with him. One of my guy friends reminded me that a guy puts his best foot forward at the beginning so you won’t truly know who they are until a few weeks/months in.

         

        Thank you though. I have total faith. I know it will happen. It might just take a little while.

        1. Nissa

          Clare, I really liked how you talked about ‘the change’. No, not menopause – the other change – the one that happens after we’ve been dating someone for a while. Unlike you, I don’t think this happens because you feel chemistry. I think it’s literally a personality change that happens when the guy sees that we have let down our guard, have decided to be ‘all in’ and he stops putting his best foot forward – and his real self shows up.

          Unfortunately, most women start having sex within those first few weeks or months in. By the time we actually start to see their real personality, we have already put our hearts and bodies on the line.

          Honestly, reading this blog has crushed my hopes of dating again. Not because of Evan at all – but because of how most of the men commenting have gone on and on about how important sex is to them (not in general, which is fine) but in the first stages of dating. On first dates, third dates, way before even Evan’s recommendation of ‘only foreplay before commitment’. The problem with that, really, is that my heart makes no such distinctions. When I allow intimacy of any kind, my heart becomes engaged. Even more so if the intimacy is physical. I just don’t have a ‘stop’ button. I can’t open my heart and hold myself separate from that person. It’s not even a ‘sensitive person’ thing, because I know quite a few empaths who don’t seem to have issues with that.

          I get it. Men are wired to want sex. I’m not making them wrong for wanting it. I just can’t offer it, knowing that it has almost nothing to do with me, my self, my soul. Knowing that my face and body are interchangeable with scores of others, that I will be a barely remembered encounter.

          One of the things I loved about my first boyfriend was that he used to call me up and say “I have errands, want to come?” He would pick me up and we would do things like pick up his sister’s soccer uniforms, go to Home Depot for wood for some project he was doing, go to Pep Boys and he would get oil, then we’d go back to his house and I’d watch while he changed the oil in his mom’s car. The whole time, we would talk – mostly him. He told me about his wants, his hopes, his dreams. One of the best dates I ever had with the man I married was when he invited me to help him put up a fence at his mother’s house. I’m not much with the power tools but I’m a dab hand at digging post holes, mixing concrete and holding crossbars steady. I loved making those memories with the men I came to love.

          Those are the kind of dates I would love to have again. Dates that aren’t tied up in ‘who is paying’, where we are going and how fast it gets physical. Just dates to share our selves. I want a man who will show me (because words tend to be just empty promises) that he is spending time with me because it feels good to him, because being with me makes him happier than not being with me.

          But I’m not holding my breath.

        2. Clare

          Nissa,

          I get you. I truly do. I don’t think it’s necessarily a sensitive person or empath thing, but I do think it affects a small proportion of empaths.

          I suffer terrible pain and heartbreak every time a relationship ends where I’ve been at all intimate with that person. I’ve spent a whole day crying over a “relationship” that lasted 3 dates just because we slept together. I’ve felt deep sadness over a second date that didn’t pan out just because we kissed. 2 years ago, I was in terrible pain for weeks over the break up of a relationship which lasted a month. Sometimes, it’s not the length of the heartbreak, but the intensity. Other times, I’m left with a painful residue for months or even years because I truly opened myself up to someone. I truly do know what you are talking about, and I don’t think this sort of response that you and I have is usual or common at all. I’d say it’s very rare among people.

          For instance, I was out for a first date for Valentine’s Day last night. It was a very hum-ho date. He was sweet, fairly ok looking, gentlemanly (he planned and paid) and intelligent. But he openly admitted to smoking weed every day (yawn, what the heck is it with guys in their thirties needing to smoke weed regularly?), having ADD and not having had a relationship in 8 years. I felt very little spark. Anyway, he mentioned something about people who “date for the sake of dating, but don’t really care about the person they’re dating.” My jaw just about hit the floor. I have no idea what that’s like. When I spend any kind of intimate time with someone, I open up my heart to someone, I give my feelings, and I make my best effort to get to know their heart as well, to the point that it is physically painful for me when the relationship works out. I have no concept of being with someone and not caring for them or opening myself up to them. It has literally never happened to me. I’m incapable of it. I’m not able to get to know someone on any kind of intimate level and then simply detach from them if it doesn’t work out. It’s not possible. It takes Herculean effort and great ripping on my part.

          I’m aware of a little voice inside myself that tries to protect me from this kind of pain. It tells me early on, very early on, if a guy is not for me and not to get involved. This year, my resolution is to listen more to that voice, no matter what other people say about giving a guy a chance. I think for people like you and me, the price of a failed relationship is far too high to pay over and over again, which is something I found out with my most recent break up. For a relationship which lasted only two months, and which I knew fairly early on was not going to lead to marriage, I should never have experienced the pain I did for it to end.

        3. Nissa

          Thank you so much for your kind words, Clare.  I appreciate your understanding more than I can say.

          I realized something last night – that I have tried to change myself into what is expected, instead of accepting myself as I am. I know that I treat my dates as special, so if others don’t see it, it shouldn’t matter. And that sometimes, even when we treat people as special (like your ho-hum valentine) they still can’t feel it.

          So I am appreciating this post and resulting thread as being genuinely helpful to me in showing me where I needed to accept this part of myself, that I’m different from others, and that’s ok.

    2. 2.2
      Jeremy

      Clare, “I often think this is how the right relationship will be. I will meet a guy and I will finally know how different it is from years of trying to fit a square peg into a round hole.

      Yes.  Though one thing to be careful of is the feeling that something is missing when this happens.  Missing a feeling that you identify as chemistry but is actually an activated attachment system.  Missing a feeling of excitement that is actually uncertainty.  Missing a feeling that the guy is challenging, stimulating you to grow – when in fact the feeling is having to jump through hoops to earn love (which, of course, can’t be earned).  I don’t mean to be the one lecturing, or to be directing this comment to you, Clare, as opposed to anyone else. It’s just that the epiphany of easy relationships isn’t always easy to achieve in reality for someone who hasn’t done so before.  It takes a certain amount of self-awareness that has to be thoughtfully developed – the same as it takes us to recognize when we are hungry as opposed to angry, scared as opposed to excited, and lonely as opposed to horny.

      1. 2.2.1
        Clare

        Jeremy,

        I hear you. I too sometimes worry that after a lifetime of relationships which had that element of anxiety/excitement/butterflies, which I now recognise simply meant that the relationship wasn’t right, I will not recognise a relationship which is easy and calm.

        However, I have to trust that, much like I was able to feel that my current job, while not pressured and exciting and adrenaline-filled, was really good and right for me, I will be able to trust the guy who comes along and just calmly makes me feel that life will be a lot smoother and easier from now on. I suspect I will miss that excitement in the beginning. But then again, maybe I won’t. I am very nearly at the point where I have had enough of it. The constant pain and upheaval of investing your emotions in someone who turns out to be not such a great guy take their toll. I’d like to feel I can pass all of that excitement/pain/upheaval up for a man who simply makes me content, who makes my life easier.

      2. 2.2.2
        Buck25

        Jeremy,

        Ok, let me play devil’s advocate for a minute. Since I know, from empirical observation, both my own and that of others, that a great many women (even those supposedly “old enough to know better”), respond to drama, uncertainty, mixed messages, a push-pull dynamic, and all those other signs of “an activated attachment system” (I really do not care about the psycho-babble terminology, only the result I get), why should I as a man not provide them with that which they crave (assuming I can easily do so, without any real effort on my part)? After all, it gets me what I want-more dates, more options, less work on my part; and since I didn’t win the genetic lottery, what’s wrong with using whatever intelligence and adaptability I have to improve my odds in playing the hand I was dealt? Before you start attacking me for not playing “fair” (“fair” by whose rules, exactly-what actually works for men, or what women wish men would somehow “have to do”?), just remember that I am (1) a lot more action-oriented than you, (2) a lot less liberal PC  than you, (3) a lot more interested than you in practical results  rather than nice theories about meta-goals and the like, and (4) last but not least, you’re an academic by nature; I’m a warrior, and I do not give a tinker’s damn for discussing the finer points of touch-feely psychobabble, as it usually emanates from the ivy halls of academia, or that bastion of weirdness known in my area as the People’s Republic of California; all I care about is results, period!  Also bear in mind that this game is  (again, in the beginning stages) both fundamentally selfish, and largely adversarial, in that in the beginning, women want one thing and men another. While the ultimate goal is a win-win, there  is the matter of getting there, past that original adversarial resistance.

        Also do bear in mind, that a man starts with a considerable handicap, in that women are socialized from a very young age to fight with words, emotions and manipulation, and they are for the most part quite expert (and often totally ruthless) at doing just that. When it comes to game playing in dating/mating, nothing I could do as a male comes even remotely close to the sheer, calculated, rather cynical, deliberate emotional manipulation of “Circular Dating” and “The Rules” as practiced by so many women; in that regard I fail to see how any man can be faulted for fighting fire with fire, as it were. Beating them at their own game(no small achievement at that) by turning their own strategy, tactics and instincts against them  is quite satisfying, in my experience, and ofter the only way to get them  to that point where we get to choose whether or not to commit to them. Note that I AM NOT advocating putting this to nefarious use (such as “pumping and dumping”-that’s out and out using them, and is decidedly NOT sporting or ethical), but simply as a way to get an opportunity to decide if a given woman has that “something more” that might lead one to want a committed relationship with her. After all, women most assuredly test us, repeatedly and often sometimes consciously, sometimes instinctively: why then is it “unfair” to test them?

        This isn’t going to endear me to the distaff set here (very little I say does), but the reason for using those tactics is, *drumroll, please*…because it works, and until the  ladies figure out a way around the more primitive instincts in their psyche, it will continue to work, for me and a lot of other guys; the basic information is now quite widely disseminated, and if the skills to apply it are less so, any intelligent man can develop those once he has the concept. I note parenthetically, that I experienced a remarkable change of fortune, once I took the gloves off and went back to my old ways, instead of playing by some “Sensitive New Age” bravo sierra ( I never liked that namby-pamby crap to begin with; it’s just not me, and if somebody is going to jump through hoops and pass tests to get love, that someone is not going to be me!).

        Call me a villain if you like, but as I see it, why not give women what they actually desire, instead of what they say they want, but actually are bored by?Is it anywhere written that men must protect an adult woman from her own emotions, and the decisions that flow from them? Somehow, I don’t feel responsible for that; the 55 and up women I customarily date are hardly children, after all. When you look at it that way, it could be construed as doing them a service, and besides, if I don’t, there’s always another guy who will,  and he might well be a bigger jerk than I am.

        So tell me, Jeremy, just why I shouldn’t use that hardcore, unapologetic masculinity that comes pretty naturally to me, to help generate that initial attraction, and save the compassion and empathy for later, when I have more reason to give it, and she has more reason to actually appreciate it. I eagerly await your thoughts on the matter.

        1. Jeremy

          A few short points to answer your post, Buck.

          1) My theories are ALL about results.  I care not a fig for building theoretical models if they have no direct, life-changing application.  The reason to think about goals and meta-goals is so that yours (and your partner’s) can get MET.  Not thinking about them tends to lead to them NOT getting met – hence divorces, mid-life crises, etc.  It ain’t about the psychobabble, my friend.  And I am not an academic.

           

          2) You ask “why shouldn’t I use that hardcore, unapologetic masculinity to generate [the results I want]?”  I’m going to tell you what I tell my residents when they try to apply dogmatic approaches to real-life problems:  You have a variety of tools at your disposal.  But the tools you choose (and the order in which you use them) should not be dictated by dogma, nor by short-term goals.  Instead, it should be dictated by your ultimate goal.  Envision your goal and work backwards.  In our case, sex is not the goal.  Friendship is not the goal.  Marriage is not the goal.  The goal is happiness – hopefully mutual happiness.  Envision the goal, realize what it takes to get there, and work backwards.

           

          When I learned how to best generate female attraction by being (essentially) a selfish bastard – when I tried it and saw that it worked – I chose to not employ that particular tool more than I absolutely had to.  Because maintaining my own self-respect was more important to my personal happiness than getting sex on any particular night.  I can’t tell you how to maintain your own self-respect – you may well be doing so already.  But when you ask why one “shouldn’t” do something that works, the answer is because that thing “working” may not be the only (or the most) important factor in determining whether to use it.  Does it meet the ultimate goal?  Does it make you happy?  Does it add or detract from the meaning in your life, from your sense of self-respect?  Does it make you look back on your actions and be proud of the person you are?

        2. Nissa

          I’m a little unclear on what it is you think women desire, as opposed to what they say they want? While I agree that people in general don’t seem to know themselves well (or sometimes, at all), I’m curious to know what you think that is.

          From my perspective, PUA style tactics work for one big reason – the tactics mirror the actions of a man with confidence. People in general are attracted to confidence, and when it’s combined with the actions of being proactive – asking for a number, calling, planning and paying – it’s very effective. I don’t have difficulty with any of the above, so long as it is coupled with respect for me as a person.

          Having experienced a few of these – negging, dates where they change location, pushing the touch barrier – I didn’t enjoy them, and they resulted in my declining further interaction. So I don’t think they work as well with someone who has definite ideas in the opposite direction. This makes me think that those tactics are working partially because they are being used with people who don’t in fact know what they want. But I don’t think that you, Buck25, can be made responsible for that. I do think you are responsible for treating them with as much respect and honor as you would like to receive. So long as that is true, I don’t think tactic much matters.

        3. Marika

          Buck said 

          Women are socialized from a very young age to fight with words, emotions and manipulation

          Some men use a LOT more words, including emotive and manipulative words, than women….

        4. Yet Another Guy

          @Marika

          Some men use a LOT more words, including emotive and manipulative words, than women….

          However, it is not a remotely a fair fight until a man wises up spends a little time learning about emotional intelligence and female psychology.  For example, men are told by women on a regular basis when they are young that women want a nice guy, but no woman wants a truly nice guy.   Nice guys get crapped on by women.  Women want a masculine guy with solid boundaries who knows how to employ just enough kindness at the right time.  A man needs to be a little self-focused if he wants a woman.  As Dr. Glover highlights, a man has to see a woman as icing on his cake, not his cake.

          Buck25 is on the money with respect to push-pull.  It makes women go crazy (one of the women I was dating referred to me as the “rubber band man”).  If a man pulls a woman in and then pushes her away, she will kill herself attempting to regain the level of intimacy she had before he pulled away. However, if he continues to pull her in, she will pull away because it feels needy to her.  Guys who are successful with women learn these tactics via the school of hard knocks.  I can assure you that men are at a major disadvantage social skills-wise when they are young.  That is why their female peers date older men, which is also why older women have no right to complain when men want to date women their junior.  They have paid their dues.

        5. Mrs Happy

          Dear Buck25 @ 2.2.2,

          you make it sound like a war. I am perplexed just reading about your methods.  Who dates like this? Who operates in the world, like this, and has successful connections with stable people?  It sounds dysfunctional, and like something only emotionally vulnerable, damaged, or immature inexperienced people would accept.

          I have never interacted with people, with anyone, in such a sustained adversarial way – and I am wondering whether the outcome is worth the sustained effort and work?

          Also, do you think these behaviours stack the deck with people who behave this way or tolerate such from others? – e.g. if I in my dating years would have immediately walked away from such a battle, or feelings of an ‘activated attachment system’, you’d have lost the opportunity to be with someone nice, co-operative, amenable.

          Instead you end up with a woman or group of women who will battle, engage in drama, be emotionally labile and unpredictable, respond to emotional manipulation, probably themselves have a host of immature if not psychotic defense mechanisms and behaviours, and be in relationships where things aren’t easy and enjoyable and nice.  If your goal is sex, and/or relationships, with females, why on earth would you choose from a group of women who accepted this sort of battleground behaviour, over those who just interacted normally, like sane emotionally secure logical human beings?

          Years ago I read in the local Sydney newspaper that around 45% of Australian women believed in angels.  Apart from immediately massively resenting my substantial tax dollars going to freely available national secondary and tertiary education in this country, if angel belief was going to be the outcome of 13-20+ years of formal education, I felt sorry for Australian heterosexual men.  I felt sad they had to choose from a group in which almost 50% were so gullible, illogical, immature, childish, that they believed in angels.

          In a similar way, I feel bad for people who date by playing games and battling as though it’s a war – they end up choosing partners from a selected dysfunctional group, just by virtue of those being the only people who will put up with the fighting manipulating tactics.  Buck25, it might work for some outcomes, like sex for the night (maybe), but is it working to help you be with anyone you actually like enough to keep around past the whole 5 minutes the median sexual encounter takes?

        6. ScottH

          YAG-  Steven Kalas wrote a column about Glover’s women being the icing on the cake.  You might find it interesting.

          I’d pick out some salient quotes but then I would end up quoting the whole thing.  However, I will share one line from the column:  “My critique is simply this, Dr. Glover: You have overstated your case.”

          I believe there is another excellent comment on Glover’s original blog from another incredibly insightful reader who also disagrees with Glover.  Don’t get me wrong about Glover- I read his book years before I came upon Evan’s blog and found that it has value but, IMO, he does go too far in some instances.  Swallowing whole his philosophies could be a problem.

          Human Matters: Sharing life’s kitchen, baking a cake called ‘we’

        7. Jeremy

          @ScottH, I totally agree with you.  I read Glover’s book and was slightly underwhelmed.  Don’t get me wrong, I think his ideas are useful to men who are overly “nice,” but applying his philosophies too directly can lead to problems.

           

          I remember when commenter Adrian asked about Evan’s advice for women to be the CEO of their love lives.  Adrian worried that if women applied this advice literally, bad things could happen.  I agreed with him, but wrote that this advice is to push women who would otherwise be too accommodating to unworthy men to have more boundaries.  It was never intended to be applied literally, but rather as a push in the right direction.  I see Glover’s advice the same way – a push.  Applied to directly, a man would be a total selfish a-hole.  I would not want to associate myself with a man who puts his own desires at the centre of everything.  Too many men – 0n the manosphere and elsewhere – believe that that is what they need to do.

           

          No good man married to a woman sees her as the icing on his cake.

        8. Yet Another Guy

          @ScottH

          I believe the point at which Dr. Glover is driving with the cake analogy is that a man needs to have his own life apart from the woman in it.  Let’s compare and contrast social networks.  The average man’s social network all but evaporates when he marries.  The same is not true for married women.  A large part of the problem is that women see a man’s unattached male friends as relationship threats.  After all, a married or otherwise attached man should not be out cavorting with his unattached male friends.   Married women are not held to the same standard when they socialize with their non-attached female friends.  This mindset leads to attached men only being allowed to socialize with other attached men, often the husbands of their wives’ friends.  If a married man does not play golf, tennis, or poker,  he usually does not have a social life outside of his relationship.  While I own golf clubs, I would rather have my teeth drilled without novocaine than spend an afternoon on a golf course. I cannot think of a more mind numbing activity.

          I do not know about you, but I had an extensive network of male friends and acquaintances before I married.  The only male friends I had after divorce were from my childhood and the time that I spent in the military.  These are friends that will be with me until the day I pass from this place.  I did not manage to make a single lasting friendship after marrying.  Why? Because the men to whom a man extends friendship after he is attached have to pass muster with the woman in his life, and she applies the same criteria to them as she did to him.  Any character flaws, lack of ambition, or other normal male traits that women do not like are automatic disqualifiers, and if mama is not happy, no one is happy, so most men go without male companionship while married.

          Anyone who doubts what I am saying only needs to visit meetup.com.  There are large numbers of groups in which  married women can mingle with other married and non-married women.  Searching for groups for married men returns the null set.  Why is this so?  It is not because men are anti-social.   Most men have male social networks before they marry.

          In the end, I concur with Dr. Glover’s assessment that a man should have his own cake because a man who makes the woman in his life his cake ends up being dependent on her, especially when it comes to having a social life.  A man should also set boundaries for the behavior he will accept from a woman when it comes to his friends.  She does not have to like his friends, but she has to respect his desire to maintain those friendships without making his life miserable.  I absolutely hated some of my ex-wife’s friends, but I never attempted to stop her from being friends with these women.

        9. Yet Another Guy

          @Jeremy

          No good man married to a woman sees her as the icing on his cake.

          I disagree with you, Jeremy.  Making your wife the center of your universe led to abstinence.  It was not until you started to push back that things improved.  A married man without his own cake deserves what he gets from his wife. A woman will absolutely take a man who does not have his own life and friends for granted. That does not mean that he has to treat the women in his life poorly, but it does mean that he has to establish firm boundaries beyond she dare not tread, boundaries he is strong enough to enforce.  I have played the game both ways, and I have always been treated better by women who were my icing than those who were my cake.  A woman will absolutely stop working for the attention of the man with whom she shares her life when she is his cake.  The relationship becomes one sided with him giving and her taking.  There is a reason why women like bad boys.

        10. Evan Marc Katz

          YAG, you don’t get it, man. My wife is the center of my universe, I treat her like gold, and I am not a bad boy. I’m a guy with opinions, boundaries, ambition and communication skills. Any guy who thinks he has to be inconsistent with his own wife – so she doesn’t feel too safe or important – REALLY doesn’t understand relationships.

        11. Jeremy

          I see your point YAG, but I think that it all depends on our definitions of cakes and icings.  It is one thing not to let your wife be your entire universe – I’ll agree with you there.  But there’s a big span between that and treating her like she’s on the periphery of your attention – that she’s your last priority after the kids, the house, the job, the friends, the gym, the facebook account and the dog.  That goes for both spouses.

           

          Any guy who thinks he has to be inconsistent with his own wife – so she doesn’t feel too safe or important – REALLY doesn’t understand relationships.”  ……….this is true in most circumstances.  I’ve described ones where it isn’t.

        12. ScottH

          Here is a quote from the column (highlighting is mine):   “You are absolutely right, of course, to say that healthy women are attracted to a man who has a well-developed sense of self. A man with layers. A man who chooses a rich, full, multidimensional life. A man with a dynamic fraternity — an inner circle of close guy friends with whom he regular connects and enjoys being a guy. A man with a vocation — a meaningful and faithful way that he shares his gifts with the world. A man with hobbies, interests, perhaps an art form.”

          You are talking about unhealthy women.  Yes, there are plenty of them to be avoided but to treat a healthy woman like an unhealthy one is wrong on your part.  I’ve read profiles where the woman states that she wants her man to have his own circle of guy friends.  I’ve heard women complain that men don’t have their own friends and rely too much on the woman.  And yes, I think it is very common to lose friends when you get married and have kids and become focused on your family.  It’s too easy for that to happen.  More from Kalas:
          “Although it is literally true that only I am responsible for my own happiness, it’s erroneous to think my happiness will ultimately be located anywhere other than in the joy of interdependent intimacy — finding the one person upon whom I can absolutely rely.
          And considering it an honor that she thus relies on me.
          I am not responsible for my mate’s happiness. But I’m damn well responsible to her happiness.
          Our current culture is replete with conversation about how we cannot love anyone until we love ourselves. We keep talking as if “I” and “We” can be reduced to dichotomy.
          It can’t. The only way to be happy in life partnership is to cultivate a solid selfhood (differentiation). But the only way to have real progress in the journey of differentiation is to throw yourself headlong into the mystery of intimacy. Relationship!
          I want to be in a life partnership where I bring my cake, such as it is. She brings hers. But, at the center of the table, you will see the cake we bake together.And every day, the best “I” that I have will be found in service to “We.””

        13. Evan Marc Katz

          Very well said, Scott. Sounds like certain men have avoidant attachment styles which are not congruent with healthy intimate relationships – yet defend them as the way to be, simply because that’s the way they are. I have a secure attachment style and teach other people to conduct relationships in that fashion. I hate to say this, but you really have to consider the source of advice. Is the person trying to teach you to have power and freedom like MGTOWs or are they trying to help you have a healthy long-term relationship where there is no concept of power, but rather, the “we” you referred to?

        14. Yet Another Guy

          @Evan

          I did not say that a man has to be inconsistent.  Establishing boundaries that he will enforce is about being consistent.  The problem is that many men give up their social lives in the name of maintaining marital harmony.  Yet, their wives are allowed to maintain a social life outside of the marriage.  In essence, women are allowed to keep their cake while men are required to forfeit it.

          I will give you an example of something that has always baffled me with respect to this topic.  I have lost track of the number of times I have encountered mixed tables of married and single women in a dance club.  While married women mostly dance with other women, it is not uncommon for married women to dance with single men at a dance club.  I did it many times when I was younger.  If a group of married men did the same thing, their wives would burn the club to the ground. Married men are only allowed to go to places where alcohol is served without their wives if, and only if, there is a very high male to female ratio.

          Now, you can say that women are a lot less likely to cheat, but you would be wrong.  Why? Because the guys who are asking these married women to dance are often looking for weaknesses to exploit.  There is a reason why I refer to these men as “wolves.”  The cold, hard truth is that married women do in fact end up in bed with single men that they meet at dance clubs.  I know because I was once one of these relationship boundary non-acknowledging scumbags.  It usually starts out harmlessly enough.  A married woman who has a little too much to drink allows the exuberance of being desired by an attractive stranger who can dance well get the best of her.  He reads her body language and kisses her.  Discovering that she responds favorably, he escalates touch. Before she knows it, she is doing the mad dash to put her clothes back on and get home to husband after waking up at his place.  This woman did not intend to cheat on her husband.  She merely put herself in a position for it to occur and the law of attraction did the rest.

        15. Evan Marc Katz

          Talk about a tangent, man. Most women maintain social lives outside marriage in a way that men don’t – not because men aren’t “allowed” but because men don’t give as much to their friendships. They work. They spend time with their wives and kids. That’s it. If he has a regular basketball game or poker game, great for everybody involved. The number of times I’ve ever been at a dance club as a married guy? Zero. It’s like you’re looking for tiny threads to pick at instead of acknowledging the broader truth: there are tons of good, trusting marriages out there who spend no time whatsoever contemplating their power dynamics or keeping score of who gets to flirt with whom.

        16. ScottH

          Evan- just to be clear, those words are from Kalas, not me.  I wish I was that smart.

        17. Yet Another Guy

          @Evan

          I am not picking at threads.  I have numerous examples of where men are not allowed maintain the friendships that they had before they married, but the same rule does not apply to their wives.  It is not because these men want it to be that way.  It is because they want to maintain marital harmony.  Have you ever heard the term “kitchen pass” used by a married woman when she is out with her friends? I personally have never heard it used by a woman.  Yet, I hear the phrase used all of the time by married men.  Heck, I used the term when I was married.  The fact is that married women do not have to ask permission from their husbands to socialize with their girlfriends.  They merely inform their husbands of their plans.  On the other hand, a married man knows better than to not ask for permission to spend time with his friends.

        18. Evan Marc Katz

          Oy. All you guys married the wrong women and extrapolate that to mean all women. In a marriage, permission is nominal. I “ask” my wife if I can play poker or go to a Lakers game to be polite. With the right woman, the answer is always yes. It’s called good communication, not a loss of freedom.

        19. Emily, the original

          YAG,

          I have numerous examples of where men are not allowed maintain the friendships that they had before they married, but the same rule does not apply to their wives.  

          Those are controlling women and the men are complicit in that they is accepting that.

        20. Mrs Happy

          On the issue YAG raises regarding social circles I agree with him and from my observations see married men as much more socially narrowed than women.  It drives some wives crazy, especially once the men retire and want to join their retired wife, in her Monday bridge club, Tuesday tennis outing, Wednesday lunch with ladies, etc schedule; the men have almost no separate life.  It gives rise to the bittersweet proverb “I married him for better or worse, but not for lunch”.

          The question is why don’t men maintain social lives.  Obviously the answers will be many and varied, and only a small minority of those will include something along YAG’s position of ‘I married an insecure needy woman who didn’t LET me have friendships’, though those certainly exist, including in my best friend of almost 30 years whose wife has culled almost every one of his friendships over 20 years.  But insecure or controlling partners do that routinely, and some people put up with it.

          I think the other reasons men don’t maintain friendships include limited spare time, altered priorities, and also possibly the emotional changes which occur in married men with children. Maybe they’re getting most of their connection-with-others needs met by their immediate family and aren’t as driven to work at maintaining friendships.   It is work, as I’ve posted previously, friendships require give and take, and time.  Lowered cognitive bandwidth and energy are also a reality – on the days I work (part-time) I’ve no desire to socialise that night, my mind is fried, I have over-reached my decision making capacity, and I’m tired with just work, kids, bedtime, and maybe a little exercise at the most; and most men work full time not part time.

          The dancing in nightclubs I’ve never seen in my circles – seriously, who goes to dance clubs past 21? – but my guess is, spouse acceptance differs in this, because the married men dancing are thinking of sex with the women they are dancing with, and that just won’t happen anywhere near as often, when a married woman dances with a random man, so their respective spouses have very different degrees of comfort with this outing.

        21. Emily, the original

          Mrs. Happy,

          I think the other reasons men don’t maintain friendships include limited spare time, altered priorities, and also possibly the emotional changes which occur in married men with children. Maybe they’re getting most of their connection-with-others needs met by their immediate family and aren’t as driven to work at maintaining friendships. 

          The few married men I’ve talked to on this issue who have no outside friendships don’t seem to want them. One said, “I’d rather talk to my wife than anyone else.” But she has outside friendships and gets together with other women. She invites him, but he doesn’t want to go. He interacts with his immediate family (they have grown children and grandchildren) and a small number of people at work.

        22. Buck25

          I see my comments above generated some discussion…and a few knee-jerk reactions. Let me respond to a few points, in no particular order. First of all,  Jeremy, this is not about any “dogma”;  it’s about what I naturally tend to do, which is why I framed it as a series of questions as to whether you (or others here) found it ethical or not, and whether you found it harmful to women, helpful to them, or neutral. Second, it’s not about long term vs. short term goals; it’s about the short term goal being a necessary step toward the long term goal. It is self-evident (I thought) that to get to a relationship, you first have to have to meet a woman, then generate enough attraction to get her to date you, then get her to want to continue to date you, and so on. Now, it’s true you might get lucky and get a viable relationship on the first try , but more often, the more options you have, the better the of odds that one of them will be the right one (for you AND her, BTW). Third, I have no problem with maintaining my self-respect (as well as my respect for women) while being what you call a “selfish bastard”-I prefer to think of it as enlightened self-interest. In my earlier years, when I was first figuring out what part of my personality worked with (most) women, and what didn’t, I naturally made some “mistakes in calibration” that I don’t doubt offended some women, and hurt others; but this was unintentional, and part of a learning process. This was decades before the internet, the manosphere, ” The Game” and PUA strategy and “dogma”. Those of us who weren’t complete “naturals” at the dating game learned by trial and error. I’m sure I still offend some women (it’s ok, some women offend me too, but so what?), but I certainly don’t set out to hurt any of them.

          Nissa, PUA as we know it today is aimed at giving today’s young men a shortcut to what us old fossils had to learn on our own, (on the job training, as it were). In the old days, if we weren’t naturally so confident socially, we had to draw on our confidence in other areas of life, and learn how to project it there. PUA as usually taught, is a crash course in doing that, a sort of “fake it til you make it” path. Consequently, some of the techniques are exaggerated,  and some are misused or misapplied by guys who are still learning. I think of it as like thinking you understand the novel, because you read the Cliff’s Notes (do high school kids still use those?).  What I think I know, is that with many (emphatically not ALL) women, a high confidence, extroverted, somewhat cocky style, combined with humor and a quick wit, seems to work well, but with a couple of caveats: it has to be natural and comfortable to the man using it, AND most importantly, it has to be done with a genuine affection and respect for women, not with contempt, or a desire to use them. It’s ok to challenge a woman, play with her and tease her a bit, even push at her boundaries a bit; but things like excessive “negging”, (the kind that really digs at a woman’s insecurities) or deliberately disrespecting a woman’s boundaries aren’t acceptable, in my book. There’s a line between being a bold, somewhat brash, “captain of my own damn ship”, and even somewhat transgressive, personality (I have zero problem tweaking the nose of convention, when I think it’s out of joint), and being an irresponsible, sociopathic jerk with a misogynistic, “use “em and lose ’em” attitude. Good men, Nissa, know where that line is. Another thing I’ve learned, is that we all have our moments (maybe after a series of interactions with the wrong women, or a painful breakup), when we are frustrated, burned out, feeling misunderstood and under appreciated; and in those times, need to remember to just take a break, rather than take it out on the next woman we encounter, until we can once again hear the voice of “the better angels of our nature.” As for knowing “what women want”, of course I don’t totally understand that… BUT, I can get some clues, less from what most of you say, than by what most of you demonstrate an attraction to. One can get some clues by some posts in this thread right here, for example. Also, I can glean a lot from the typical formulaic characters and plot of the “bodice ripper” romance novels so many women enjoy; the personas of the lead male characters in those, reveal quite a bit about male personality traits/behaviors that help trigger the romantic/sexual fantasies of many (again, not ALL) women. I don’t believe that many women would be buying and reading this stuff for its dubious literary merit, if it didn’t turn them on. As an aside, I think every guy should try to read a couple of those novels (it’s a struggle; rather boring to us, frankly) just to have some insight into the fantasy lives of many women.

          Mrs. Happy, I haven’t forgotten your commentary, but this is getting long and I’ll return to your comments in another post, ok?

  3. 3
    Alex

    “Love isn’t intoxicating. It’s the exact opposite”

     

    I know why this is supposed to be helpful, but it just isn’t helping me. I’ve completed Love U. I’ve been online dating for 6 years, I used E-Cyrano to write my profile, I update my pictures regularly.

    I go out with the guys who message me, follow up, pick a date and pay. I just cannot get myself excited about any of them. I get 3 or 4 or 5 dates into a relationship but I just cannot feel any butterflies in my stomach.

    Surely a little bit of excitement will come along at some point? Is five dates not enough time for that to build up?does anyone else have this problem?

    1. 3.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      I think there is a VAST middle ground between having fun/being attracted (healthy and important) and butterflies (irrelevant and unimportant). I’ve always been attracted to my wife. I never had butterflies. If I dumped her because of the lack of butterflies, I would not have this career or this life. So let’s get crystal clear on this: attraction is essential but “excitement” is not really a great measure of your future – as you already know.

      1. 3.1.1
        Alex

        @Evan

        But shouldn’t I be at least excited to see them again? Excited when they call? Something?

        By excited I just mean happy or looking forward to it. I find myself forgetting to return  their calls or text messages because I simply don’t like them enough to remember. I hope that doesn’t sound overly mean or self centered… and I never do that to friends or family. I just can’t manage to work up any feelings for these guys. And they’re great on paper! There’s nothing wrong with them! They’re all just a little…forgettable?

         

        How do you screen for a little more chemistry when dates are always just polite and pleasant? I’ve never felt wild, out of control chemistry with someone, so I’m not sure what I’m missing here, but I’m positive that what I’m finding is not enough.

        1. Evan Marc Katz

          Okay, if what you’re not finding is not enough, then keep on going. You shouldn’t have to talk yourself into another date. If you did Love U, you know the 3 criteria for getting a second date. Use them and you won’t go wrong.

        2. Margo

          I’ve been meeting men through Match on and off since 2015, and have had many experiences like the ones Alex describes. I’d been in a long, unhealthy marriage, done a lot of work, and knew what kind of relationship I wanted (and what kind I didn’t want). I went on a fair number of first dates, some of which progressed to second dates and beyond. Yet, though the men I was meeting were good, smart, interesting people, I wasn’t feeling any excitement about being with them. Like Alex, I was wondering whether this was it, or if something would be different with a man who was right for me.

          Just after New Year’s this year I went on yet another first date. There wasn’t anything in his profile that pointed to his being “the one,” though I did really like his opening message to me. We’d had a better-than-usual phone conversation the day before, and I was feeling hopeful; but I’d felt hopeful before meeting plenty of other people, as well. However, the date was indeed different. I had great fun – dinner with my best friend kind of fun. I was totally relaxed and my best self – he just naturally brought out the things about me I like most. I enjoyed his company immensely, and by the end of the evening I knew I wanted to see where things between us might go – not just “I ought to give it a chance”. When he asked if he could kiss me while we were still sitting at the table, I knew we were both feeling pretty much the same way.

          I wasn’t bowled over by his looks, his status, his talent, his impressive intellect or his suave manners. I found him pleasant looking (though he definitely looked sexier and sexier to me as the evening went on), smart enough, etc, etc. I was aware of some reservations and doubts. On my drive home I wasn’t thinking: “I’ve got to be with him!” It was more like: “I feel so warm toward him. He really seems like someone I’m compatible with. I think I could see being happy with him.”

          In my twenties, I think I would have dismissed this relationship as being too unadventurous, maybe, and probably too “safe.” And there is something “missing” with him that I had always gravitated towards before. That thing, as Jeremy put it, is uncertainty (or the “activated attachment system”): Will he love me? Will I be able to attract him? Will he accept me as I am? If he pulls away, will he come back? Am I enough to win his continued attention and attraction? (YMMV)

          I don’t have to doubt any of those things with this man. And there are brief moments when I feel disoriented because of this. In the first couple of weeks, I asked myself once or twice if this relationship would have enough passion. Interestingly enough, I have found that the passion keeps building steadily each time we see each other, rather than having been off the charts at the start. I have never felt as good about being with someone as I do with him.

          As I celebrated New Year’s Eve six weeks ago, single in a sea of couples, I certainly did not expect that this was just around the corner for me. I finally feel like I have experienced first-hand what Evan has been talking about for so long. It didn’t begin with a “beige” date. (I agree with Evan that if you don’t feel any excitement when he calls or texts, move on.) But it didn’t begin with fireworks either. For me, it’s been more like the warmth and comfort of sitting in front of a fire on a winter evening.

           
          Keep looking, Alex. I’m so glad I did. I believe you will feel real attraction (just not the can’t-think-straight kind) when someone is truly a possibility for you.

        3. Malika

          Oh, I remember this phase very well! In my case it took two years of going on good-on-paper dates to wean me off the men i was instinctively attracted to because they would push the neglect and need to jump through hoops buttons. There does come a point when you start enjoying the dates more, also when you start selecting more without going back to your old type. I would say screen more, not less. In the end, what helped me, was really taking the time for each profile and assessing my initial reaction to their photo. Would they get a second glance from me if i walked past them on the street? Then i click ‘like’. If not, i pass (YMMV, i find physical attraction very important and is something i cannot compromise on, and lord knows i tried).

          If you don’t want a second date with them, don’t bother, as you are just wasting everyone’s time. But do keep the faith, as dating does get better with practice.

        4. Alex

          @Evan I had a feeling you would say something of this nature 😉

           

          @Margo thanks for the encouragement. I’m glad things have worked out for you. I think part of my problem is feelings of guilt over not liking someone who is a really great person. I keep saying I want to find love and look! Here’s someone who is great who wants a relationship with me! But if I’m not into them I feel guilty for those feelings. Something to sort through on my own I suppose.

        5. Jeremy

          @Alex, no sense feeling too guilty if you don’t reciprocate a guy’s feelings (though we’re all human and we all have guilt).  Just one thing to look out for is not reciprocating a guy’s feelings BECAUSE he expresses them.  Feeling no chemistry because it is too easy – and if it is easy it has no value.  As long as you know that you wouldn’t feel more chemistry for any of these guys if they were more aloof and didn’t call you so fast after the date.

        6. Alex

          Thanks Jeremy.

           

          I generally don’t find aloofness attractive. I think it has taken a long time for me to realize that wanting someone who doesn’t want me is not my central problem. I know I’m lucky in that regard, but it is also hard to navigate. Grass is always greener I suppose.

           

          I think I somehow internalized the idea that if I’m not excited about someone, that must be good, because then I’m not at risk of falling for the wrong person. Of course, I’ve never fallen for someone who treats me poorly or doesn’t reciprocate feelings, so this is probably the opposite of what I should be doing. It’s nice to know I can talk to all sorts of people and still enjoy myself, but it doesn’t seem to be serving me well on dates to assume a good conversation without any real chemistry is going to eventually lead to love.

        7. Margo

          @Alex

          If you’re not feeling any excitement at all about anyone you’ve met, is it possible you’re actively choosing people you won’t be interested in, and completely – perhaps even unconsciously – overlooking or ruling out those you might actually like? Just a thought. (I’m pretty sure I used this strategy when I applied to college.)

          You could always try contacting a few people who are clearly out of your comfort zone and see what happens. Might make for some memorable dates, at least! 🙂

           

        8. Alex

          @Margo

          That is definitely a factor. I don’t usually get responses from guys when I initiate. If I do, they typically won’t ask me out. I thought it was more efficient to just work with the guys who picked me out of the bunch and already liked me, rather than go on fewer dates all around. I’m beginning to think maybe one new date every other month would be better than once a week if it’s someone I think is really attractive.

        9. Emily, the original

          YAG,

          However, sex is so ridiculously easy for women to obtain that a woman really does not have settle for a guy to whom she is not attracted. 

          Fast sex is the same for men as it is for women — they aren’t all first draft pics. Sometimes you get lucky and they are, but sometimes you pick the best choice in front of you.

  4. 4
    AdaGrace

    My peer group in college were incredulous that I disliked The Princess Bride and thought the central couple were immature idiots.  Thanks for the validation decades later, Evan 🙂

    1. 4.1
      Emily, the original

      AdaGrace,

      My peer group in college were incredulous that I disliked The Princess Bride and thought the central couple were immature idiots. 

      Is the movie cheesy? I’ve never seen it. I know it’s not a romantic comedy, but I don’t care for most romantic comedies. But I love “Gone With the Wind.”

      1. 4.1.1
        Malika

        Clark Gable/Rhett Butler! The personification of everything that Evan advises us against! In real life he would drive you nuts, but what a great movie character.

        The princess Bride was fun but rather arch and obvious, you are not missing out on much. Better of rewatching Gone with the wind.

         

        1. Emily, the original

          Malika,

          Clark Gable/Rhett Butler! The personification of everything that Evan advises us against! In real life he would drive you nuts, but what a great movie character

          When Scarlet O’Hara says to Rhett Butler, “Another dance and my reputation will be lost forever,” and he replies, “With enough courage, you can do without a reputation” … how could you resist that? If someone talked that way to me (and it has never happened), I’d do whatever he wanted. At least for a few hours.  🙂

      2. 4.1.2
        mgm531

        Yes, the movie is a bit cheesy, but in a tonge-in-cheek sort of way.  The movie is very self aware that it is walking cliche, but it doesn’t parody itself.  That’s what makes it so humorous, yet still charming.

      3. 4.1.3
        AdaGrace

        @EmilyTO: Yes, cheesy.  And the book annoyed me so much I couldn’t even stand to finish it.  Almost unthinkable to say such things in geek circles in the late 80s/early 90s! 🙂

         

  5. 5
    Marika

    Love these stories, Margo, thanks so much for sharing yours ☺

  6. 6
    Yet Another Guy

    @Evan

    “Love isn’t intoxicating. It’s the exact opposite”

    How many potential couples take a pass because one or both do not feel an intoxicating level of chemistry on the first date?  I do not believe that chemistry is as important to men as it is to women.  Attraction is all most men need, and attraction is not chemistry.

    1. 6.2
      Emily, the original

      YAG, 

      Attraction is all most men need, and attraction is not chemistry.

      What’s the difference between the two? I’ve always thought of them as the same thing. There are men I enjoy talking to/flirting with/think are attractive, but there’s an element missing in that I don’t feel much motivation to do anything about it. And then there are the guys I meet who I am immediately plotting ways to get them alone in a room. Is the first example attraction and the second example chemistry?

      1. 6.2.1
        Yet Another Guy

        @Emily, the original

        For me, chemistry is a feeling.  I do not need that feeling to find a woman attractive enough to date.  I have had chemistry with women I will not date because I do not find them attractive.  I recently broke up with the woman I was dating because even though we had solid chemistry and a lot of fun, I was not all that physically attracted to her.

  7. 7
    Marika

    Nissa

    Not all men are trying to bed you immediately. A few I’ve dated moved very slowly (in fact, some too slowly for me). One guy wanted to wait for marriage.

    Remember people commenting here often have their own, not always pure, motivations both for being here and the underlying reasons for making a particular comment. Some try to stir, to insult the opposite sex, big note themselves, make others feel as bad as them..etc

    I also think your money thing isn’t helping. Men probably see money a bit like you see physical intimacy. They don’t want to be played or used. I know you’re sticking to your guns on this, but as most dates beyond age 20 involve money, if you never offer to pay, how do you think that comes across to a man?

    1. 7.1
      Nissa

      To be honest, it rarely comes up. Most of the time men end up offering to take me to dinner, etc and I turn them down. It never gets to the point of me even having that conversation with them. So, no, I don’t see the money thing as being an issue at all.

      1. 7.1.1
        Marika

        Okay, but if you’re turning them down for dinner, isn’t that the money thing getting in the way? Aren’t they seeing it as rejection?

        1. Nissa

          Well, it is a rejection, so yes they see it that way. But it’s a rejection based on the two of us not being a match. It has nothing to do with money. In the past, I’d offer to pay, and if they accepted I would pay what they asked. But it was not my preference. But since I didn’t bring it up on those dates, it was not discussed, I just didn’t go out with them again.

    2. 7.2
      Nissa

      I certainly get the impression that most of them are willing to have sex with me pretty much from the first date. It’s why I won’t go anywhere private on dates anymore. They seem to see it as a green light.

      Do I worry about what a man will think when I don’t offer to pay? No, because I’m assuming that he already did a visual assessment and HE decided it was worth his time and money. Do I expect a man to offer to buy me a car on the first date? No, because it is out of proportion. But a drink or dinner is very much within proportion. If he gets to know me a little and decides that his initial assessment was too generous, then he doesn’t ask for another date. I fail to see how any of this is outside of his control or takes advantage of him. How is that being played? If I don’t have a genuine interest in a man, I don’t date him. If he doesn’t think what I’m offering is worth it, then he doesn’t date me.

      Besides, if the man is planning the date, he has total control over whether or not he spends money. If he doesn’t want to, then he doesn’t. Saying most dates involve money is like wearing a T-shirt and shorts on 50F degree days and saying, “Most days I’m cold”. The effect one is experiencing is directly related to one’s choices. If you don’t like that effect, make a different choice. Men can be masculine in lots of ways. Money is just the easiest. And if a man chooses money as his way of being masculine, he can hardly be angry with me for using that same metric.

      That’s why dating is different from prostitution. If men just want sex, it’s far more simple to just go to a prostitute. But I would guess that most men, most of the time, want more than that. They want companionship, genuine appreciation, to be liked for themselves. They want to find someone who might love them, with whom they might share a life. They want the feminine behavior.

      Providing a date is masculine behavior that will draw in a feminine woman. That is why paying for a date is effective. The money is irrelevant. Buying a woman a cup of coffee, a glass of wine or scoop of ice cream isn’t going to break anyone. But if a man wants to offer masculine behavior that doesn’t involve money, that is fine also. Men have the benefit of being able to look at a woman from across the room and see the passive feminine expression (hair, makeup, jewelry, clothing that fits) from 50 feet away, whereas since the masculine behavior is an action, the woman must wait for the man to take action. The man already knows what he’s getting – there’s a visual representation of the feminine receptivity.

      In the same vein, if a woman offers feminine behavior of receptivity of listening with genuine interest, showing devotion by putting down your phone, acting as if he is the only man in the room, showing him your pleasure at being in his presence, at your appreciation of the sensual by having pleasure in the moment, letting him watch as you touch yourself (rubbing your arms, lips or hair) or enjoying your ice cream. Offering the feminine behavior in a non sexual way should then be equally valid and acceptable.

      Granted, I think most women don’t act in such feminine ways and so men have begun to think of this as one sided. But since I do offer those things, I won’t date a man who does not offer me the masculine behavior in one of those ways. Paying for a date is literally less time and effort, so when men default to that, I don’t hold it against them. But if they don’t offer one of them, I won’t continue to offer myself.

      1. 7.2.1
        Marika

        Nissa

        I’m reminded of Evan talking about overlapping Venn diagrams of what you want v’s what your date wants. You have very clear wants and lots of ‘shoulds’ as well as plenty of justifications for them. But if your Venn diagram overlaps with no one, where does that leave you?

        You want: dates in public, no physical intimacy, the man to plan and pay, and/or running errands together or walking in the park and spending no money. For the whole courting period. You think men should want that too. But not many people (let alone men) want exactly that. I understand not wanting to compromise on the physical intimacy bit, but if you’re unwilling to compromise on any of it, you’re not being feminine and receptive. You’re trying to dictate how men act and how they should be and what they should want.

        1. S.

          But if your Venn diagram overlaps with no one, where does that leave you?

          I don’t exactly think it would be ‘no one’ as I don’t believe in a scarcity mindset. It just might not be the majority.

          I have found men who do exactly what Nissa wanted.  One guy only took me to the park.  Though our first date was a play and then the park afterward. I was fine with it until I was recovering from a fever and he still wanted to go to the park. It was too cool outside and too bright for me.  What turned me off wasn’t about money, just he didn’t seem to realize I was still recovering might want something different.  He wasn’t reading my cues that I had been sick.

          if you’re unwilling to compromise on any of it, you’re not being feminine and receptive.

          I think a woman has to have her standards.  Standards she’s thought deeply about and lives by.  Those standards can differ from woman to woman.  I don’t think being feminine means compromising on your standards, especially if you’ve done the soul-searching, the therapy, the dating against your standards, etc., and came out on the other side with these things you live by. And honestly, unless a person really changes from within–which takes a long, long time–she wouldn’t be really herself if she compromised anyway.

          I think there is a lid for every pot.  But it may take decades to find that lid.  And that lid may not come in the package you might think it would.  Might come from a different background where these dating habits are more valued.  This blog skews very much toward Western dating, but that’s not everyone in th world.  And you may not be the same woman when you find your lid.  But there are millions and millions of men. One just has to be really focused and diligent in finding one.

          But yeah, I meet men who do these things.  Some I date for a while, some it doesn’t work out.  I don’t know if they are majority but it’s not no one, either.

          Sometimes, sigh, I write these things and I think: am I the only one reading this that knows wonderful men like this? (I think they are great men even if not always great for me.)  I stop writing here sometimes because the things I read here aren’t what I experience in real life.  I definitely want to talk to more men in real life about this stuff, not because I want to date them.  But just to appreciate them.

          No offense meant at all to different types of men out there.  Different strokes. I just need to appreciate my strokes, lol. And my folks.  🙂

      2. 7.2.2
        Yet Another Guy

        @Nissa

        That’s why dating is different from prostitution. If men just want sex, it’s far more simple to just go to a prostitute. But I would guess that most men, most of the time, want more than that. They want companionship, genuine appreciation, to be liked for themselves. They want to find someone who might love them, with whom they might share a life. They want the feminine behavior.

        You still do not understand male behavior.  Men are not driven by anything of those things at first.  Men are driven solely by the primal urge to pursue and conquer a woman as a sexual partner at first.  Men choose to attempt to get sex from their dates instead of prostitutes because they want the validation that comes from being sexually desired.  That is why men have what I refer to as an “N.”  That count is established through experience.  It protects a man from being used by a woman who does not sexually desire him.  It is also why the time delta between meeting a woman and coitus is important to men.  A man does not consider himself to be special if a woman makes him wait.  A man considers himself special if a woman gives him a rapid green light to sex while making other men wait.

        I spent over $8K during my first year of dating post-marriage.  I could have had sex with top-shelf escorts for that amount.  However, sex with an escort would never be equal to sex with a reasonably attractive woman who desired me as only a woman can desire a man.  It is the feeling of being sexually desired by a woman a man sexually desires that drives him to continue to pursue her.  Everything else is a side effect of that drive.  That is why men break pursuit when obtaining that goal starts to appear like a losing proposition (a.k.a. the reason for an “N”).  As Evan has mentioned numerous times, men look for sex and find love.

        1. KK

          “Men choose to attempt to get sex from their dates instead of prostitutes because they want the validation that comes from being sexually desired.  That is why men have what I refer to as an “N.”  

          That’s not how it works though, YAG. I’d be willing to bet you that 90% of the women that have slept with you by your “N”, (date # 2 or 3, if I remember correctly) have slept with every other man within the same time frame. Therefore, you’re not selecting from the group of women who desire you most. You’re really just selecting from the group of women that are the easiest.

          Every woman I’ve ever known that sleeps with guys fairly soon, lies to the current guy about how special he is. Your “N” is literally assuring you that you’ll only ever deal with the group of women that are most likely to lie and manipulate you.

        2. S.

          A man considers himself special if a woman gives him a rapid green light to sex while making other men wait.

          Could you define ‘special’?  It doesn’t mean he’ll necessarily stay with this woman so what does special mean here? I think of it more as an ego boost, really.

          When a woman considers a man ‘special’ it’s not–at least for me–about boosting my ego.  I’m thinking seriously about a future with this dude, maybe introducing him to my family. Permanence.

          That said, I understand that men need this ego boost, this momentary feeling of feeling special.  This woman has literally accepted him into her body for the main reason that she wanted him there. Not someone else.  Him.  I understand that there isn’t another feeling that can really match that literal acceptance.

          Men and women just see things differently.  It’s a wonder people end up together at all.  But they do.  Men don’t want to be used.  Women also don’t want to be used.  For many women accepting a man into her body is a HUGE thing. Doesn’t have to be but it is.  And while a man feels special then, she honestly doesn’t know–even at that moment–if she’s truly special in the long run until hours, days, weeks later.

          I’ve been friendzoned and it sucked. Had unrequited love.   It actually was quite painful, especially when I was younger.  So much time hoping.  Watching men I wanted from afar (or aclose) date other women can really mess with your sense of being desirable.  That pain isn’t like the pain of opening up body, heart, and soul to a man who decides you aren’t special enough to pursue later on down the line. It’s not that one pain is bigger or lesser.  Pain is pain.  I don’t think one should stop having sex because it is fun and pleasurable, but this is why women delay it sometimes.  I don’t know if men understand that pain.  Do they open up that fully during sex?  Perhaps they do and just don’t share about it.  I wish they would share about it.  Each gender is in their own pain and no one seems to really know how to reach past theirs to the other’s.

          It sometimes is really sad. 🙁

        3. Shaukat

          @KK

          I’d be willing to bet you that 90% of the women that have slept with you by your “N”, (date # 2 or 3, if I remember correctly) have slept with every other man within the same time frame…

          The crucial, missing portion of that statement is…who they found sexually attractive.

          Very few women will sleep with every single man they go on a date with, irrespective of chemistry and the degree of sexual attraction, and the ones who do are usually 3/10s anyway. Very few modern men feel special because a woman made them wait and pay for x number of dates before sex. It is the strength of the physical/sexual attraction plus the speed with which she has sex that validates a man and makes him feel attractive.

        4. Emily, the original

          YAG,

          A man considers himself special if a woman gives him a rapid green light to sex while making other men wait.

          We’ve covered this issue before on other posts, but a woman hooking up quickly with a man is NOT necessarily an indication of strong sexual interest. It can be, but it can also be for a variety of reasons — he’s making an effort to take her out while her #1 choice didn’t; it’s an opportunity. why not?; i need the practice, etc.

        5. Yet Another Guy

          @Shaukat

          Very few women will sleep with every single man they go on a date with, irrespective of chemistry and the degree of sexual attraction, and the ones who do are usually 3/10s anyway.

          Bingo!  The number of desirable women who sleep with every guy they date is very small, at least in my age cohort.  The reason being is that sex is incredibly cheap for a woman, so why sleep with a man that she does not desire?   Any desirable woman who cannot easily get sex from a desirable, non-attached man is doing something wrong.  The reverse is not remotely true.

          Very few modern men feel special because a woman made them wait and pay for x number of dates before sex. It is the strength of the physical/sexual attraction plus the speed with which she has sex that validates a man and makes him feel attractive.

          Bingo #2!  Women will never accept this aspect of male behavior.  Men never feel special when they are made to wait.  A desirable man will only do it when he feels like he is dealing with a special snowflake (i.e., a woman who makes every man wait, which is rare).  We have covered this ground several times.  Men and women have competing interests when it comes to sex because the primary driver to couple for men is sex, which is why men who become sexually dysfunctional lose interest in coupling (the same cannot be said for women who become sexually dysfunctional).  The primary driver for women to couple is safety/security, even strong, successful women; otherwise, male height would not factor into the equation.  Male height is a female safety/security primal trigger.  Women use the promise of sex to gain to safety/security.  Men use the promise of safety/security to gain access to sex. Any woman who takes the possibility of sex off of the table will see her desirable prospects drop to near zero.  It is an easy test to run.  All a woman needs to do is tell the men she dates that she will not have sex until marriage, which will result in nearly 100% of the desirable men she meets saying goodbye.

        6. Emily, the original

          Shaukut,

          The crucial, missing portion of that statement is…who they found sexually attractive.

          Again, women have sex quickly with a man for a variety of reasons. Some of them are sexual attraction. However, not all. Have you never slept with a woman early in the dating process and then she broke things off?

          Potential reasons to agree to sex:

          1.)He’s doing all the work –planning and paying for dates–and she thinks: Why not?

          2.) It’s been forever and an opportunity presents itself.

          3.) It’s been forever and she needs the practice.

          4.) Revenge against someone who dumped her.

          I could go on …

        7. Yet Another Guy

          @Emily, the original

          However, sex is so ridiculously easy for women to obtain that a woman really does not have settle for a guy to whom she is not attracted.  Here is an experiment.  Walk up to a non-attached guy who you find be attractive and offer no effort, NSA sex.  I guarantee that he will go for it.  The only way a guy stands a chance of hearing “yes” under the same circumstances is if the women has a significantly lower SMV.

        8. Shaukat

          Have you never slept with a woman early in the dating process and then she broke things off?

          Yes, but that’s not because of weak sexual attraction/chemistry. Clearly, women consider other factors when looking for a relationship, or sometimes they don’t even want the latter.

          Also, regarding your point #1, honestly, how often do you think that happens? If that scenario took place with any frequency, men wouldn’t complain about the paying aspect of courting. They’d be getting their ROI, so to speak. I agree that your other points can be motivating factors, but none of them would have much strength in my opinion in the absence of sexual attraction. In other words, at any given moment they might be necessary, but not sufficient, conditions.

        9. Emily, the original

          Shaukat,

          I agree that your other points can be motivating factors, but none of them would have much strength in my opinion in the absence of sexual attraction. In other words, at any given moment they might be necessary, but not sufficient, conditions.

          I guess if you need to tell yourself that, but statistically speaking, if a woman does not require a relationship to have sex with a man, how many of partners do you think she was really attracted to? I’ve had THREE. The rest were varying levels of attraction, from mid-level on down to none. I had sex with an older man when I was in my 20s to see if they did it differently. That was the only reason. I also lived with 7 other women in college, and I can assure you that they had sex with men they weren’t all that into. I had a friend who had no sexual interest in her guy friend, but she let him do stuff to her. Some women go through an experimental phase when they are young.

          The only way to know if a woman is into you is to watch for her level of investment, the same as it is a woman wondering about a man’s level of interest.

        10. Henriette

          Definitely, Emily. Another possibility, which I’ve seen with numerous female friends:  some women feel that sleeping quickly with a guy they’re not madly attracted to is a danger-free way to scratch an itch.  If he calls/ doesn’t call afterwards… meh, it’s not going to upset them either way.  A guy they’re crazy about, on the other hand? They know if they screw him on the second date, there’s a strong possibility it’ll mess with their head.  So, men, do not for a moment believe that if a woman sleeps with you fast it’s a sure sign that the chemistry for you was overwhelming.  By all means, enjoy the ride, but realise you might be nothing more than a mediocre release and ego boost while she takes her time to assess the guy she really wants.

        11. Emily, the original

          Henriette,

          Definitely, Emily. Another possibility, which I’ve seen with numerous female friends:  some women feel that sleeping quickly with a guy they’re not madly attracted to is a danger-free way to scratch an itch.  If he calls/ doesn’t call afterwards… meh, 

          I was just going to add that. The more attracted/interested you are, the more you risk. Of course, the irony is that, yes, you can leave without a scratch if you’re not interested, but the sex isn’t all that great because you aren’t particularly interested.

          When my gay best male friend in my 20s explained to me that men can hook up with women they aren’t attracted to, my ego was a bit shattered, too, but … it is what it is.

        12. Shaukat

          @Emily and Henriette,

          I understand what the two of you are saying, but it doesn’t at all negate my broader point. Yes, sometimes women, for a variety of emotional and social reasons, will have sex with a man who they are not that crazy about, and who is not the most attractive man they have been with; however, the fact remains that the man still has to break her looks/attraction threshold, and, generally speaking, that threshold is much higher for women than it is for men.

          If what you’re insinuating were generally true, a number of observable implications would follow. You would expect to see, for example, the same level of sexual activity among men and women in hetero bars/clubs that you see among men in gay bars/clubs. Prostitution would not exist as an industry. Sexual assault rates would likely be lower. I’m not saying any of this to make myself feel better, believe me, I’d be perfectly happy if women approached sex with the same reckless abandon as men;)

          Also Emily, regarding your point about fast sex and how the same rules apply to men as women, no, they don’t. An average woman can easily get sex from an average and even above average guy with relative ease, an average guy cannot. I’ve seen average guys leave bars at last call with, I’m not exaggerating, morbidly obese women. I’ve never once seen the opposite.

        13. Emily, the original

          Shakuat,

          however, the fact remains that the man still has to break her looks/attraction threshold, and, generally speaking, that threshold is much higher for women than it is for men.

          Perhaps it is higher for women, but they are willing to lower it for fast sex, just as men do. I’m just saying that this idea that women have to be very attracted to a man to hook up quickly is not true of all women. It’s true of some women, just as some women never agree to fast sex. Henriette is right about a woman scratching an itch with one man while possibly waiting for the one she really wants. I watched a friend do that. She hooked up with one guy who was so unmemorable, I don’t think she remembered his name.

        14. Tom10

          @ Emily, the original
          “Perhaps it is higher for women, but they are willing to lower it for fast sex, just as men do. I’m just saying that this idea that women have to be very attracted to a man to hook up quickly is not true of all women.”
           
          So, Ms. Emily, should a woman, who hook-ups with a man she’s not attracted to, inform him in advance that she’s not attracted to him and is only using him for sex? 😉

        15. Shaukat

          Perhaps it is higher for women, but they are willing to lower it for fast sex, just as men do.

          If data shows that many women consider 80% of men to be below average in terms of sheer looks, and you’re saying they’re willing to lower their threshold slightly from that for fast sex, well…that doesn’t mean much. Also, Emily, your comments on this blog have demonstrated that you’re a bit of an anomaly in this area. I say that in the nicest way, I think it’s a good thing:)

        16. Yet Another Guy

          @Shaukat

          Also Emily, regarding your point about fast sex and how the same rules apply to men as women, no, they don’t. An average woman can easily get sex from an average and even above average guy with relative ease, an average guy cannot. I’ve seen average guys leave bars at last call with, I’m not exaggerating, morbidly obese women. I’ve never once seen the opposite.

          Absolutely!  I have never seen a woman leave a bar with such a man.  Men do in fact go home with women with whom they would not be seen in public.  Heck, men will even have sex with women they abhor.  I did it a few times when I was younger.   For the average man, no woman is too ugly or too nasty to bed after 2AM.  Men will often throw in the towel early in the night and go ugly.  Have you ever hear the saying, “go ugly early?”

          http://psciencelove.blogspot.com/2007/06/go-ugly-early.html

          Emily, no matter how much you want to equate female dating down to male dating down, it is not even a remotely close comparison.  Women have standards.  The guy with whom a woman decides to have one-night stand may not be the best looking man in the lot, but he is definitely not the ugliest. The same cannot be said for men who are only interested in sex.

          Plus, here is the thing.  A man does not care if you sleep with him early just to scratch an itch because he achieved his primary objective, which was to have sex with you.  A man cannot be used sexually.  A man is used via his wallet.  That is why most men will not pay full price for what another guy was able to obtain at a discount.  It does not matter that a woman slept with the other guy just to scratch an itch.  A man is not going to go through an elaborate courting process and the expense that it entails to achieve his primary goal of obtaining sex in this case because he will feel used, not special, a chump, so to speak.  Why? Because a woman uses a man via his wallet.

        17. Emily, the original

          Mr. Thomas,

          Ms. Emily, should a woman, who hook-ups with a man she’s not attracted to, inform him in advance that she’s not attracted to him and is only using him for sex?

          No, Mr. Thomas. Why on earth would she tell him she’s not attracted to him? Talk about a boner crusher. In a one-nighter or sex-only interaction, both parties are using each other.  But if they are dating for several weeks–spending time together, talking on the phone, actually interacting as people–and she asks what he wants and he KNOWS he wants something casual … yes, he should be honest.

        18. Yet Another Guy

          @Emily, the original

          You may not be the best women to whom to propose this scenario, but what the heck.  You are dating a guy that you really like who pursues, plans, and pays.  He does it for a couple of months without attempting to bed you, claiming that he wants it to be special.  You learn that he is dating a new woman with whom he slept very quickly.  How would you feel?  I suspect that most women would be upset, but not devastated in this scenario.  Most would be more hurt over the fact that he is dating a new woman than the fact that he slept with her quickly.

          Now, let’s reverse the genders. A guy pursues a woman who he really likes, planning activities that he believes she will enjoy, and covering all of the associated costs.  She tells him for months that she wants to wait because he is special.  He goes along with it because he believes that she is the special snowflake he has been seeking only to discover that she is dating someone new with whom she slept very quickly.  I can assure you that the guy in this scenario would be devastated.  We are talking about falling down drunk in an attempt to kill the pain devastated.  We are talking about the highest form of rejection that a man can receive.  Here is a case where a woman has messed with a man’s manhood. Most men have lived through a scenario like this one at least one time.  It is this kind of event that is the genesis of men establishing an N, if not becoming players or full-on macks.  All of these changes are defense mechanisms that are put into place to prevent being used.

          So, in the end, women are making men wait to be prevent being used and men are establishing an N to prevent being used.  What we have here are opposing interests that require establishing a level of trust that neither person is going to get burnt.  Establishing this level of trust becomes more difficult as people get older due to baggage, so there has to be compromise where the risk of getting burnt is shared by both sides of the gender divide.

        19. Evan Marc Katz

          You MGOTWs are so tiring. There’s no trust. No vulnerability. No authentic communication. Only fear, posturing, self-loathing and exaggerated claims about the opposite sex. It’s kind of like the Trump administration – so paranoid about “losing” a deal that you’re unable or unwilling to lower your fighting stance to shake hands in trust.

          I have literally NEVER worried about a woman’s “N,” nor spent a millisecond thinking about whether she fucked some guy faster than she fucked me.

          If you do think about that stuff, that is some high-level insecure bullshit ruling your life. So, I were a coach for men, here’s what I’d tell you.

          Drop the games.
          Drop the power struggles.
          Drop the false narrative about women liking assholes.
          When you meet a woman and you like her, follow up with her the next day.
          If she likes you back, she’ll be thrilled. If she’s ambivalent, she won’t. The answer speaks for itself.
          With the woman who is excited that you followed up, keep following up and asking to see her.
          Do this again and again for a month until you’ve built up enough trust to become boyfriend/girlfriend.
          Once you’ve made that commitment, THEN sleep together, knowing that you can both feel safe that the other will still be interested tomorrow.
          Date for 2 years to make sure things are still good before you get engaged.

          This is a formula for successful relationships. If you’re doing anything else, you’re probably not in a happy, secure long-term relationship. This advice – of course – goes for both women and men. If you think you have to play games to fare well with the opposite sex, you’ll end up dating people who play games.

          If you are secure and confident, you’ll have no tolerance for anyone except secure and confident people.

          I am finding myself exceptionally intolerant of the insecure, game-playing men who feel it’s a successful dating strategy to be inconsistent. It’s not. The only thing it gets you is sex with insecure women with anxious attachment styles who are willing to put up with bullshit because they don’t know better. It NEVER results in long-term happiness, which, for most people, MGTOWs included, is generally the long term goal. You live by the sword, you die by the sword.

          Your advice will get you laid. My advice will get you laid and loved by an amazing partner for the rest of your life. Have it your way.

        20. Emily, the original

          YAG,

          All I wrote was that a man should not assume a woman is ga ga attracted to him simply because she hooks up with him quickly or is down for a one-nighter/sex-only arrangement. BTW, you are fixated on this timing of sex issue. But while she is trying to catch the eye of someone she wants to date, yes, why not have a hookup with someone else? I have never advocated waiting long periods of time to have sex in a dating situation. Probably not the first or second date (and I think date three is even maybe a bit soon), but sometime after that.  I have never platonically dated a guy I really liked while hooking up with another. I think most women would be THRILLED if they were dating a guy they really liked. There’d be no reason to have a side piece.

        21. S.

          I can assure you that the guy in this scenario would be devastated.  We are talking about falling down drunk in an attempt to kill the pain devastated.  We are talking about the highest form of rejection that a man can receive.  Here is a case where a woman has messed with a man’s manhood. Most men have lived through a scenario like this one at least one time.  It is this kind of event that is the genesis of men establishing an N, if not becoming players or full-on macks.  All of these changes are defense mechanisms that are put into place to prevent being used.

          I do want to acknowledge that there is a lot of pain in this paragraph.  To whomever this happened to.  And while everyone wants to avoid future pain, is that the place we always want to operate from?  Where is the healing? Defense mechanisms are just that, mechanisms.   They’re not true healing.

          One has to heal from the painful event, and move forward from it.  I wish this person some healing, dating aside.  I wish this person some true happiness.

          I feel we all want to make our points, but it’s important to acknowledge pain sometimes. Not stay there indefinitely but to acknowledge it.

        22. Emily, the original

          Shaukat,

          If data shows that many women consider 80% of men to be below average in terms of sheer looks, and you’re saying they’re willing to lower their threshold slightly from that for fast sex, well…that doesn’t mean much.

          I don’t consider 80% of men below average. That doesn’t even make sense. By “lower their standards,” I mean that they’re not going home with their first choice, or maybe even their second. Don’t get me wrong: I have hooked up with guys I was really attracted to quickly. I just haven’t been highly attracted to all of them.

          Also, Emily, your comments on this blog have demonstrated that you’re a bit of an anomaly in this area. I say that in the nicest way, I think it’s a good thing:)

          Well, thank you.

      3. 7.2.3
        AdaGrace

        @Nissa:

        Men can be masculine in lots of ways. Money is just the easiest.

        Bingo — I’ve always seen “man pays for date” as being symbolic of “I’m open to becoming your protector/mate/teammate.”  I’m happy to accept some other symbol in lieu of that one (prefer it, in fact),  but as you point out, paying for the date is a pretty easy symbol for most people to offer and interpret.

        1. S.

          I sometimes wish men would experiment with other ways of being masculine.

          For example, when I’m walking on a city street, every man I know–friend, relative, lover, gay, straight, young, or old–usually ends up walking on the street side.   They may start out on the inside but then they double-back behind me to walk on that side.  It’s their way of trying to protect me.  From what? A car running up on the street?  I don’t know.  But I find it very endearing and very masculine.  And I do kinda feel protected.  Just the act of them doing it means they are looking out for me and ready to step into harm’s way for me.

          Gestures like that go a long way for  me and make me feel more feminine.  It’s subtle but it works. I miss those things.  A man opening a car door.  When a man kind of guides you gently on the small of your back.   I hope we don’t lose these gestures in lieu of only paying for things.  The paying is nice and these gestures mean a lot to me as well.

  8. 8
    Marika

    KK

    Both of these points of view are not that different, in that in both cases they want their dates to do exactly what works best for them. Nissa can’t see that a man isn’t going to be satisfied for long walking in parks and watching her eat ice creams and YAG can’t see that a woman isn’t going to necessarily work to the sexual timetable that works best for him (or as you say, she may just lie to keep him happy).

    Dating can be tricky. But if you approach it with a set of very specific, fixed, pre-determined expectations, it must be a nightmare. It actually seems pretty controlling to me.

    1. 8.1
      Yet Another Guy

      @Marika

      YAG can’t see that a woman isn’t going to necessarily work to the sexual timetable that works best for him (or as you say, she may just lie to keep him happy).

      I am under no illusion that a woman is going to work to my sexual timetable; however, it will not stop me from imposing limits. I am also completely aware that women lie.  Women and men have lied to each other since the beginning of time, which is why I always do due diligence when meeting someone outside of my circle and so should anyone who is getting involved with another person the he/she does not know.

    2. 8.2
      S.

      This has been an interesting discussion.  Could men and women so far apart in opinions ever date?  I was thinking they (generally, not any specific person) could find someone who is similar to them in standards and values.  Not sure if that’s possible.

      I wish people could just meet in the middle, but it always seems like someone is giving up something vital to them and their lived experience.  In my opinion we are always growing, always have something to learn and work out.  I hope that one can still date while in that process. No one is perfect, but hopefully one can be happy with someone as they move forward in their journey.

    3. 8.3
      Nissa

      I hear what you are saying, Marika.  I actually very much agree with you about having’ shoulds’ and how they are seriously counterproductive. I do genuinely think about those things. I do understand that men might not want those things, and that’s ok!

      Men are of course allowed to want what they want. My way of compromise is to let men tell me what they want, and then I decide if I can go along with that or not. If not, I don’t yell at them, berate them or make them feel bad for asking for what they want. I firmly believe that it is super important for all of us to be able to ask for what we want, and if I made someone feel shame for asking for what they want, I would feel very bad about that, as it is never intended. If a man stops dating me because he feels my company without sex is not valuable to him, then I understand. I might feel hurt, but I don’t think he’s wrong for doing that. I do expect him to do what is right for him, and if we are not on the same wavelength or timeline, that’s fair.

      It’s like the money thing. I never come out and say “this is my preference”. I don’t ask men to pay for anything. If they ask me on a date, I go. I bring enough money to pay for whatever I get, and I don’t get the most pricey thing available – just like I wouldn’t if my good friend were treating me. I prefer a free, activity based date – but I don’t tell my date what to do, because I want a man who will come up with ideas of his own. It’s counterproductive to want a man who plans, but then to tell him what he should be doing. At the end of the first date, I ask ‘what is my part?” and I’m willing to actually pay. But – I also take that as information about how my date plans to proceed. If he asks me for suggestions, I give him 2-3 ideas of free/lost cost activity dates that I think he would enjoy and ask him to pick  from those(see, Jeremy, some of us are paying attention to what you gents want) . If I find I am not into him, I gently decline further dates, because I would never want to hurt someone by leading them on.

      At the end of the day, I want my date to be satisfied. During the date, I am actively engaged in responding to my date, and asking him about his life, his passions and hopes. I genuinely believe that a man who is on a date with me, knows that for me he is the only man in the room. My phone is in my pocket or purse, not in my hand. I am looking him in the eye and sharing my self with him, doing my best to be present in that moment. If I felt my date was not satisfied, I would be open to hearing that and knowing what I can do to remedy it. Hopefully, we can find a way that meets the need and boundaries for both of us – I’m actually very good at that. But if not, I would understand it and not blame him for feeling that way. I hope that makes my words a little more understandable. I know that not everyone dates that way, and if I’m not someone’s cup of tea, it’s fair for them to move on to someone who is.

  9. 9
    Marika

    S

    You can have standards and boundaries about what you want. That’s fine. But if they are so specific that the other person has to jump through hoops for you and there’s zero flexibility on your part, sorry but I just think that’s both selfish and making dating incredibly difficult. It also doesn’t at all take into account what the other person wants.

    You can only control yourself. A lot of these very specific expectations that some people have are all about how the other person has to act to keep them happy. Which you have zero control over. Better to work on your own expectations and flexibility than expect a person or entire gender to bend to your will.

    1. 9.1
      S.

      Better to work on your own expectations and flexibility than expect a person or entire gender to bend to your will.

      I agree in part.  As I said in my comment, one can change.  But it takes a long time and usually comes from within.  Years of work.  Not saying it can’t or won’t happen, just that it’s simpler to find someone who likes you as you are right now.

      It’s not bending anyone to anyone’s will.  People out there do exist.  This is the part that I think gets lost.  They exist!  No bending, no hoops. One just might not find them in the time or in the package one wants or even in the culture one expects.  And there may not be a lot of them to find.   That’s also where the flexibility may come in.  Being open to the circumstances one might meet this person.  In this case, a person is meeting someone who does want the same things.  I think that makes dating a bit easier, but again, I agree that flexibility in other areas is very helpful.

  10. 10
    John

    About Dr. Glover’s Cake/Icing analogy.

    He is speaking to guys with Nice Guy Syndrome. Nice Guys tend to make their wife the center of their universe and have no life of their own and act like a sycophant.. Women have ZERO respect for a guy who has no life and is stuck in a people pleasing pattern that makes her the Goddess . He also will play passive-aggressive games and he will get angry when she doesn’t follow his covert contracts. That is the point.

  11. 11
    Jeremy

    Regarding the issue of social lives in thread 2, Mrs. Happy wrote something that I’d like to explore, “I married him for better or worse, not for lunch.”  I know we had a long conversation about the topic of men’s friendships on Evan’s “I’m a little lonely, most men are really lonely” post.  We talked about the fact that most married men don’t maintain friendships while most married women do.  And while I agree with Mrs. Happy’s ideas that part of the reason is reduced bandwidth after a long day at work, this isn’t the whole story because most of the women I know who work full-time still maintain friendships (and the men don’t).  As I wrote on that other thread, I believe it is because men lack the “tend and befriend” stress response that women were lucky enough to evolve.

     

    A story – my parents have a traditional marriage where my mother stayed home and my father was the full-time breadwinner.  Every day he went to work to eek out a living while my mother puttered around, exploring her hobbies and getting together with her friends (she certainly wasn’t interested in parenthood or housework).  And while my father thought the situation was somewhat unfair for him, he thought that in the end it was ok because she was keeping the home for him, and that one day when he would be working less, he would get to spend more time with her and enjoy the home she made.  Well, when he was 65 and had to have a hernia operation, he was home convalescing for a week or two and he was surprised to discover that my mother’s attitude wasn’t what he hoped it would be.  Rather, it matched Mrs. Happy’s statement – for better or worse, but not for lunch.  My mother couldn’t wait to get him out of the house so she could go on with her regular routine without him.  She didn’t want to have lunch with him, didn’t want to be with him during the day.  That was the first time he seriously considered divorce.  Not for years of working in an unfair arrangement while she had free time, but rather when he discovered that her attitude toward him didn’t match his toward her.

     

    The point of my story is to ask a question – wherein lies the problem?  Is the problem that men don’t cultivate friendships, or is the problem that spouses’ attitudes toward each other don’t always match?  The obvious answer is both.  The man who has no friends outside of his wife is asking for problems.  The woman whose attitude is “for better or worse but not for lunch” is a shitty wife.

    1. 11.1
      Emily, the original

      jeremy,

      Is the problem that men don’t cultivate friendships, 

      I don’t completely agree with this. My father makes very little effort to maintain contact with his family or the 1 or 2 friends he has. However, when he decided he wanted to go looking for wife #3, he devoted all his energies to it, finally meeting some woman online who, despite his lack of “tend and befriend,” he was calling every night. He chose to put his emotional energies into a romantic relationship because that is what he valued. He is quite capable of forming relationships … if he wants to.

      And in terms of your parents relationship … I watched that happen to a married couple who are friends of my dad. The wife is very social and extroverted. The husband is the opposite, and after he retired, he would literally follow her around the house. He didn’t know what to do with himself, and while she certainly could have offered some suggestions for possible volunteer work or activities he may enjoy to help ease his transition, it was ultimately his job to figure out what he wanted to do next. (And they spent a lot of time with their children and grandchildren, so they did spend time together. She just didn’t want to spend ALL their time together.)

    2. 11.2
      Mrs Happy

      Dear Jeremy and Emily the original,

      all good points.  I’d add that it seems to me men don’t value or prioritise social capital like women do.  A while ago Evan wrote some person information about his wife’s obsessionality (hours spent doing housework etc) in a post, and he felt hurt by the barrage of comments he received about this.  Some were critical but a lot I saw as coming from a place of trying to help him.  It was identical to the hundreds of times I’ve sat in mothers’ group, and the women have discussed a problem then the whole group has made a myriad of suggestions.  In Australia after having a baby the local community baby health nurses place new mums + bubs in a group together for some lectures, then the women continue to meet weekly, usually at least for the first 12 months of maternity leave, then after for years sometimes, it’s a great social and practical support network.  The women (and some men) on this blog did exactly that,  trying to help with suggestions, after Evan posted something personal.

      One of the many reasons I put effort into maintaining friendships with other mums is the social capital this creates – a support network of people in similar situations who can help one another out, especially when things aren’t going perfectly.

      Emily the original’s father won’t have that social capital, but I don’t think he cares.  I can’t imagine coping happily without it.

      1. 11.2.1
        Emily, the original

        Mrs. Happy,

        Mrs. Happy,

        Emily the original’s father won’t have that social capital, but I don’t think he cares.  

        Yes, you are right. He doesn’t care until he is without a spouse. The behavior, at least to me, is disgusting.

        But on another front, what about a marriage where the wife has friends but the husband doesn’t. And, like Jeremy’s example, the husband retires. I’m assuming disparity can cause issues, particularly if the husband doesn’t have any interest in relationships beyond his wife and immediate family.

        1. Mrs Happy

          Dear Emily the original,

          I think a really common pairing, when people are choosing spouses during their 20’s, is a socially able, somewhat extroverted, energetic, maybe a bit frippery woman, with a more staid, introverted, even dull man.  Each is attracted to the other in part because each complements the other, pulling each towards the median on behaviours or traits like life stability, sensible financial management, socialising, excitement.

          Throughout their marriage, by a decade or more in, the differences are marked and can lead to a fissure – she wants to keep going out, travelling, and doing stuff, he wants to work and come home weeknights to sit in front of a screen until bed (when after not talking with her all evening/week/month, he wants sex).  He wants to stay in on the weekends, she doesn’t.  She cultivates friendships, he not so much.  What initially attracted each to the other now seems too opposite.  Look at any number of examples of this in literature – look at Austen’s perfect descriptions of Mr and Mrs Bennet – these characters are drawn from life.

          Fast forward 30-40 years and retirement brings these differences into full view, because for the first prolonged time since courtship, the spouses are with each other a lot.

          Because by one’s 30’s and 40’s a person knows themselves better, I suspect later marriages have less frequent incompatible pairings. Still happens though.

          The men who don’t want to invest in friendships don’t, and I think it’s fruitless to judge them negatively.  It is what it is.  When they finally get to a place where friends would be good, I feel sorry for them, because for some of them it seems like they don’t even have the skills to create a social circle.

          There is a view that most men are somewhere on the autism-Aspergers spectrum and it’s just a matter of degree.  I don’t believe that, but I do think that generally, males aren’t as interested in, or as good at, forming lots of friendships, as females; women take this ability for granted and can’t even always see what a struggle it all is for some men.  I’ve also noticed that the men who are good at friendships, have lots of female friends, so women don’t even realise all the impaired men out there bar a few close family examples.

          Lonely isolated older men are an at-risk group for all sorts of health and other disadvantage. In Australia there is a whole movement called “Men’s sheds” to assist these men and help minimise rates of depression and suicide in this group, and it is founded on the premise that men just don’t have much in the way of social networks.

          Emily the original,  I would think that if your dad wants to utilise wife #3 to be his care network, or create a support system, at least he is doing something positive for himself.  Though it does hurt to be the daughter of a man who only puts effort into relationships when there is something clear and immediate for him.

        2. Emily, the original

          Mrs. Happy,

          I think a really common pairing, when people are choosing spouses during their 20’s, is a socially able, somewhat extroverted, energetic, maybe a bit frippery woman, with a more staid, introverted, even dull man

          That perfectly describes the couple I referred to. She is an attractive, charming, genteel Southern belle and he is a science-engineer type.

          I’ve also noticed that the men who are good at friendships, have lots of female friends, 

          Ah … that can get tricky if you are dating a man with lots of female friends in that he’s probably wanted to or has hooked up with them at some point. I have male friends but I don’t want to have sex with any of them.

           In Australia there is a whole movement called “Men’s sheds” to assist these men and help minimise rates of depression and suicide in this group, and it is founded on the premise that men just don’t have much in the way of social networks.

          I also think older people who can’t drive anymore get very isolated in their homes. My grandfather did meals-on-wheels and he was often the only person some of the meal recipients would talk to all day.

           Though it does hurt to be the daughter of a man who only puts effort into relationships when there is something clear and immediate for him.

          He’s hurt other family members, too. His sister-in-law from wife #2 lives within walking distance of him, and after wife #2 died (a 30-year marriage), he completely fell off the planet. She was very hurt, but of course she didn’t own a va-jay-jay he wanted to get into.

        3. Jeremy

          (Dear) Mrs Happy, I agree with your comment here.  I think that most men, when looking for a wife, are looking for complimentarity.  I know my own strengths and weaknesses, and wanted a partner whose strengths made up for my weaknesses and vice-versa.  That’s why I had no interest in marrying my colleagues who would make lots of money, work long hours, and basically bring to the table exactly what I did, leaving us both to somehow scrounge to make up for what we both would lack – time and emotional energy.  That way, we would both benefit – I, to have the family and social life I’d otherwise lack, and she to have the freedom to build that family and social life and not waste her life away in an office that she would hate (though she does have a career she loves, she can do it half-time and make her own hours).  So I think it is important to note that while the wife in our example is definitely doing the emotional labour in creating social networks, she is also on the receiving end of her husband’s efforts in other ways.  It is not an unfair arrangement for either.

           

          One other point.  I found it interesting in your example that you mentioned a man who, after not speaking to his wife “all evening/week/month, he wants sex.”  This particular denigrating thought about men is very common among women – “he didn’t talk to me all night, but he wants sex when we go to bed, WTF?”  I wanted to add a bit of perspective.  I understand women’s complaint here – women need to feel bonded in order to want to have sex.  Given this, how would they want sex if their husband hasn’t said a word to them all evening?   But here’s the often-ignored thing: Men feel bonded by having sex, not by talking.  A man could just as easily say, “How would she think I want to talk when we haven’t had sex all evening/week/month?”  I say this to bring perspective to the women on this site – all of whom know that men want sex, but most of whom don’t understand why.  You bond through talking and extrapolate that men should do the same.  Men bond through sex, and think that women should do the same.  Neither do.  In a good marriage, split the difference 50/50.  Not 90/10.

        4. Buck25

          Ah, that can get tricky when you’re dating a man with a lot of female friends, in that he’s probably wanted to or has hooked up with them at some point.

          Emily,

          I’m surprised at you! I don’t know whether it’s a majority sentiment or not, but I and quite a few other guys I know have a number of platonic female friends that we have never even considered “hooking up with”, to use your phrase. I can’t even remember a time in my adult life, when I didn’t have not one, but several female friends like that in my life (yes, when I was married, as well as when I was single; my wives knew about them, in most cases had met them, understood what those relationships were, and knew I would not drop them). It’s still that way. I’ve known many of them for years; I was an only child, so the ones I’m closest to are like the sisters I never had. “Hooking up” with any of them would feel like sleeping with my sister, literally; not exactly something I’d care to even contemplate. Most have boyfriends, and a couple are now married themselves, anyway. Every woman I get into an exclusive relationship with, gets introduced to them; they’re family, not some dirty little secret.

          I thought you were smart enough not to stereotype like that; guess I was wrong.

        5. Buck25

          You bond through talking, and extrapolate that men should do the same. Men bond through sex, and think women should do the same. Neither do.

          Jeremy,

          There are individual exceptions, but in general, that’s very true.

          There is a view that most men are somewhere on the autism-Aspergers spectrum, and it’s just a matter of degree

          Mrs Happy,

          That’s a pretty ugly stereotype (I realize you’re not advocating for it, or defending it, but it’s still ugly, and misandrist). I’ll grant that could describe a lot of men,  but certainly not a majority. (All I can say is, if that’s the prevailing view held by women Down Under, I’m glad I’m not there….)

        6. Yet Another Guy

          @Emily, the original

          Ah … that can get tricky if you are dating a man with lots of female friends in that he’s probably wanted to or has hooked up with them at some point. I have male friends but I don’t want to have sex with any of them.

          While it may come as a surprise to the women who read this blog, I have a lot of female friends; however, then again, I grew up with all sisters. I have dated a few, sleep with a few from time to time, but I have female  friends that have always just been friends.  Granted, the purely platonic female friends are outnumbered by the women I have either dated or know in a biblical way. My ex was not happy with me having female friends.

           

        7. Emily, the original

          Mr. Buck25,

          I’m surprised at you! I don’t know whether it’s a majority sentiment or not, but I and quite a few other guys I know have a number of platonic female friends that we have never even considered “hooking up with”, 

          Well, ok. Your situations sound like they are on the up and up. Several male commenters posted about the high number of women they found attractive. Thirty-five percent was the lowest percentage, and if I find 1 out of 3 men in my immediate vicinity attractive, I must be at a strip club! So I just assumed men would find their female friends attractive. Also, with one exception in high school, all of my male friends have at some point passive-aggressively started making rather flaccid sexual comments/attempts at me. But if there’s no sexual interest on your part, then having female friends is not a problem.

        8. Emily, the original

          YAG,

          I have a lot of female friends; however, then again, I grew up with all sisters. I have dated a few, sleep with a few from time to time, but I have female  friends that have always just been friends.  

          I don’t have sexual interest in my male friends. If I did, I’d be trying to seduce them. My male friends are men I’m not attracted to or they are gay.

  12. 12
    Jeremy

    I never wrote that men can’t cultivate relationships – whether romantic or friendship – we can.  I wrote that women have a “tend and befriend” stress response while men have a “fight/flight/freeze” stress response.  This means that while a woman might live a stressful life, her brain’s natural response to stress it to build social networks.  Men’s natural response is to retreat from social networks.  A stressed-out woman will naturally be inclined to call a female friend/relative, share feelings, and feel better for having done so.  A stressed-out man will naturally be inclined to sequester himself, and NOT feel better for having done so – and further, also not necessarily feel any better for speaking to a friend/relative either because (unlike women) his brain does not release oxytocin during conversation.  This is a major biological disadvantage of men in this day and age – as big and deadly as women’s lack of muscle was in the past.  When DO men’s brains release oxytocin?  Romantic/sexual relationships.  Hence your father’s seeking of wife #3.  Why do more divorced men seek to remarry vs women?  Because women can relieve their stress in a myriad of other ways.  Men can’t.  This is something that I wish more women would understand about men.

     

    And regarding your comment about the wife not wanting to spend ALL her time with her husband – I can see both perspectives.  Certainly I get that she’d want some time apart to do other things/see other people.  Yet in a traditional marriage where one spouse spent years working away from home while the other cultivated relationships, it is common that the newly retired spouse should want to reconnect with his partner and spend more time with her – otherwise, what was he working for all those years?  To find, after all that, that your wife sees you as one of many acquaintances on her long list of friends/priorities would be disappointing to say the least.

    1. 12.1
      Emily, the original

      Jeremy,

      To find, after all that, that your wife sees you as one of many acquaintances on her long list of friends/priorities would be disappointing to say the least.

      Yes, that  would be disappointing, but in the example I used, she doesn’t see him as an acquaintance. She just doesn’t want to direct his life for him now that he’s retired,  and he seems to be making little effort on his own. His expectations of her are not reasonable.

      When DO men’s brains release oxytocin?  Romantic/sexual relationships.  Hence your father’s seeking of wife #3.  

      Well, ok, but he needs to stop reappearing in between wives and expecting everyone to support him. There are some friends he attempted to reconnect with after 20 years. Once he remarried, he made no effort. That’s selfish.

    2. 12.2
      Yet Another Guy

      @Jeremy

      Why do more divorced men seek to remarry vs women?  Because women can relieve their stress in a myriad of other ways.  Men can’t.  This is something that I wish more women would understand about men.

      That is enlightening.

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