A Guy from College Is Warning My Boyfriend About Me. (How to Deal with Haters)

A Guy from College Is Warning My Boyfriend About Me

Should I be worried about a guy that messaged my boyfriend on Facebook? A guy that I may have met in college around 2008 or earlier messaged my boyfriend on Facebook. I have been with my boyfriend for three years, but we do not have the relationship listed on Facebook. It was kind of weird that this guy would have had to go through my page to find my boyfriend to warn him that I dated someone from another race in college. He also mentioned that I was slutty and could have STDs. He even said there was a video of me. I am not aware of any videos. My boyfriend told me about it and is choosing to ignore the message. I deleted the guy on Facebook and will not contact him. I just find it weird that I may have only met that guy once 9 years ago and do not remember him. Back then, I accepted anyone I met once. Should I be worried about my safety? What do you think this guy’s motive is?

Em

Thanks, Em, for the freakiest email of the month.

As a guy who’s experienced his share of cyberbullying, I’m really sorry you’re going through this.

And although you asked a very specific question (which I’ll get back to), I’m going to give you my own personal guide to handling haters.

Don’t feed your troll and hopefully, he’ll go away without further escalation.

I’ve tried them all:

    1. Fight back. An anti-Semitic man in Virginia wrote me some really nasty stuff on my blog. I escalated things with him, because he was, objectively, a fucking prick who defaced my (internet) home with his graffiti. My counter-attack didn’t go well for one obvious reason: fighting with an anti-Semite is like negotiating with a terrorist. Anyone who’d say such vile things is actually looking for a fight. There’s no point in adding fuel to the fire or bringing a pen to a nuclear war.

    2. Be ultra-reasonable. I thought this would work for the intelligent, radical left. I was wrong. After some folks at Jezebel thought it would be funny to create Facebook and Twitter accounts mocking me as a mansplainer, I wrote a long-thought out email, acknowledging their feelings, countering them with facts, offering to talk on the phone, and trying to appeal to the better angels of their nature. I got another year worth of mockery in return and radio silence towards my diplomatic pleas.

    3. Ignore. Unfortunately, this is the final resort after burning through options 1 and 2. I’ve approved over 100,000 comments on this blog, many of which disagree with my advice. I let them all through. The only time I ever delete a comment or block a commenter is when:

      a. The comment is no longer about the topic itself but a personal attack on me (or another commenter).
      b. The commenter has proven to be so unreasonable and impervious to warnings to be more civil that there is no point in giving him/her more oxygen to rant about how men/women/EMK are universally awful and unfair.

Freedom of speech means you’re free to say whatever you want; it doesn’t mean you’re free to rip me a new asshole on my own website. 🙂

Back to you, my dear, Em:

Your college acquaintance is clearly crazy. After dealing with many years of crazy on this blog, the best course of action is to block him on all social media and ignore him unless he pushes even further.

Then it’s time to call the authorities to look into his cyberstalking.

As to his motives? Frankly, it doesn’t matter. Like wondering why men disappear, wondering why some stranger is acting like a scary tool doesn’t change the fact that he’s acting like a scary tool.

Don’t feed your troll and hopefully, he’ll go away without further escalation.

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Comments:

  1. 1
    Adrian

    Hello EM,

    I don’t have facebook but I do know a thing or two about human behavior.

    First off I agree with Evan that motives don’t matter (in this case), what matters is how you handle it.

    However, since you wrote in about why I have a few theories based upon what I have witnessed from first and second hand accounts.

    EM said,

     A guy that I may have met in college 

    I may have only met that guy once 9 years ago and do not remember him.

    Basically there is a high chance that this is a guy who the interaction was not remarkable to you but very remarkable (hurtful) to him.

    It’s about perspective, any psychology book will tell you that negative emotions are about 8 times stronger than positive emotions. Negative interactions stay in our memory even when we don’t want them to, positive interactions don’t.

    For example you are more likely to remember the school bully that made you cry 10 years ago over the person last week who called you from behind to tell you that you dropped a $20 bill.

    This is why I believe that he is a guy whom you have hurt in the past, maybe rejection or maybe you belittled or teased him in-front of friends or behind his back and he found out.

    He remembers and you don’t, this is normal; because you probably did not see it as being mean he did.

    Everyone remembers their most painful rejection regardless of how many years have past.

    I would guess that the reason he chose to do it now is because he was going through some outside stresser or maybe even another rejection and with the aid of liquid courage you just happened to be his way of relieving stress.

     

    Outside of all this I agree with Evan’s advice. Any thing you do towards him in return will only feed the troll. Because honestly the mental and emotional state of a man who cares about something you did to him from over 10 years ago that has hunted him to the effect that he would contact your boyfriend is very telling.

    I have been publicly rejected in a humiliating way before when I was younger as well and it doesn’t make me want to even be around those women… Though being honest I remember their actions more than I remember their faces and I wouldn’t even think about that unless I saw them.

    Ultimately the you from 10 years ago is not the you of today, you have grown and matured he has not. So even if you were mean or hurtful to him back then, it is good to regret wrongs that we have done but not to dwell on them nor to beat ourselves up over them.

    …   …   …

    Other posters may disagree with me on this but I don’t think your boyfriends should have told you about this guy.

    If your boyfriend trust you than he would know you don’t have an STD (or that you would be responsible enough to tell him if you did).

    If your boyfriend trust you then he would not judge you for your past so it would not matter if you were “considered” a slut or not.

    And as far as dating people of other races, if that is something that bothers your boyfriend then YOU have to consider if that is someone you want to possible raise and share in teaching morals and values of your possible future children with.

    My guess EM is that your boyfriend told you because on some level the trolls words got to him and he wanted to see your reaction for himself.

    Maybe your 3 year old relationship is not as strong as you think…

    Though as I said, I am sure others will disagree with me.

    1. 1.1
      KK

      Hi Adrian,

      “Basically there is a high chance that this is a guy who the interaction was not remarkable to you but very remarkable (hurtful) to him”.

      Agreed.

      On another post, you mentioned some women put you on a pedestal. Is it possible that’s what happened here? Maybe she was never mean to him. Maybe he was interested and she simply wasn’t. For whatever reason, he’s held onto that for a looooong time. The guy is clearly nuts. Hopefully, she ignored him and both her and her boyfriend blocked him.

    2. 1.2
      Skaramouche

      Yes Adrian, vehement disagreement 😀 but not just for the sake of disagreeing.  My husband *would* share something like this with me but not because he doesn’t trust me.  He does, explicitly and implicitly.  But it’s unthinkable that he wouldn’t mention it.  In fact, I’d be upset if he kept it to himself.  If a crazy person is saying untrue things about me to near and dear ones, I’d want to know even though I might choose to do nothing about it.  Having said this, the boyfriend’s reaction will tell Em a lot about how it affected him.  “You’ll never guess what an insane message I got today, haha” is very different from “is there something you forgot to tell me because so-and-so is saying this about you”.

    3. 1.3
      Christine

      Wow, that was such a beautiful, thought-out reply it made Evan’s reply look paltry (sorry, Evan!). I think it’s so important to deeply consider the psychology of why people do these things to others and to understand it’s very often not about the troll Target at all, while being cautious if it continues.

       

      1. 1.3.1
        Katie

        I think it’s so important to deeply consider the psychology of why people do these things to others…

        Why? That’s brain power much better spent on important things.

        …and to understand it’s very often not about the troll Target at all.

        I can reach that conclusion without any deep thinking or psychological analysis of troll.

    4. 1.4
      SparklingEmerald

      Adrian

      My guess EM is that your boyfriend told you because on some level the trolls words got to him and he wanted to see your reaction for himself.

      Maybe your 3 year old relationship is not as strong as you think…

      This guy was on her friend’s list, and was using his FB connection with her to cyber stalk her.  Her boyfriend would be remiss to NOT tell her, so she could unfriend and block him.  This guy could be potentially dangerous.   I got a “group message” from someone on my friends list, and when I opened it, it was a graphic porn film.  I KNEW this friend would never send out something like this, but I IM’d him so he would KNOW that someone was using FB to defame him.  He reported to FB, and thanked me for telling him.   I didn’t mention it to him because on some level I thought he was spamming his friends with porn, I was WARNING him so he could protect himself.

      As to your assumption that she must have been mean to him, but just doesn’t remember . . . I think you are projecting your won past hurts onto the OP.  Rejection is inherently hurtful, no matter how it’s done.  His bad behavior says more about him than it does her or her relationship with her guy.

      I find it very interesting that you are using this forum to tell this person someone who has been on the receiving end of some very bad (and potentially dangerous) behavior that she probably did something to bring it on herself (she provoked him with her “meanness”) and that her relationship isn’t “as strong” as she thinks.

      What do you think your any pschycology book would say about your repsonse to this total stranger who has been mildly vicitmized who writes in and asks for advice ?

    5. 1.5
      Selena

      Adrian, I think it’s interesting that you speculate Em might have done something “mean” in college that provoked the guy to social media harassment years later.  When I read the letter I wondered if the fellow might have been a socially awkward guy who had a crush on her back in college. Perhaps envied her life in some way. She didn’t remember him, because he never really made himself known to her.  Maybe he was in one of her classes, or lived near her, or on the periphery of a group she belonged to.

      Sometimes a memory sparks enough curiosity in me to look up someone I knew “way back when” on Facebook. Perhaps that is what this fellow did? Only years later he is STILL socially awkward, and bitter and decides to mess with Em through her boyfriend.

      If someone were to trash me on social media or anywhere, I would expect anyone who cared about me to let me know about it. The fact you suggest Em’s bf telling her some dude was slandering her might indicate they don’t have a strong relationship is a very weird take Adrian.

       

  2. 2
    GoWiththeFlow

    Em,

    Wow!  That is really freaky and I’m sorry.  I think Evan’s advice to block and ignore are spot on.  Also report his abuse to Facebook admin.  They won’t to anything (FB admin is notorious for not dealing strongly with abuse and bullying) but if it gets to the point where you have to contact police, they will ask if you reported the person to Facebook, twitter, or whatever social media site you are using.

    I believe in proactive prevention.  I use Facebook to share photos, some family news, recipes, and sometimes some funny memes.  I keep strict privacy settings.  I don’t click on the quizzes that allow 3rd parties to access my content.  Over the past several months, I have whittled down the number of “friends” to people who are actually friends 😉  Occasionally someone I don’t know, who is maybe a friend of a friend, will send a friend request.  I used to ignore these until I realized that if you don’t accept or decline within a certain timeframe, FB will automatically add them to your friends.  I figure that my true friends wouldn’t do anything like your creepy contact from college did.

    I hope your “interaction” with the troll is passed and nothing further comes of it.

  3. 3
    Malika

    C-r-r-r-azy! I am glad you removed him from your Facebook and didn’t feed him on. A friend of mine stated a while ago ‘Often people change throughout the years, and sometimes not for the better.’ Wise words, and they have helped me end friendships that weren’t anything except depleting. Nearly everyone i know has matured and become a kinder and thoughtful person as the years have gone by. Unfortunately a small minority don’t. Sometimes mental issues creep up on them, sometimes they have let the inevitable disappointments in life get to them. While Facebook is a great medium for staying in touch with people you don’t interact with regularly, it can also feed the more ‘intense’ parts of ourselves. It used to be the that you only saw The Joneses intermittently, and that you knew precious little about their lives. Now we have 24/7 access to social media, and the inevitable comparisons everyone makes between their unfiltered 100% and others carefully curated 3%.  He might have been looking through his profiles in a moment when he was down, saw yours and decided that he would channel his misanthropic self hate into making someone else miserable. You have zero responsibility over him, and i’m glad you guys just thought ‘weirdo’ and moved on with your lives.

    1. 3.1
      Christine

      That’s a good point that social media nowadays intensifies comparisons and “keeping up with the Joneses” mindsets.

      It brings to mind this one girl I know, who I used to envy for being a young and beautiful model with a handsome boyfriend.  Years ago, back when I was single, I was so envious when I saw a post of hers about some gifts her boyfriend had given her.  I thought I’d give anything to be young and beautiful, with love like that.

      A few weeks after that, I saw her in person, at a mutual friend’s party.  Well, then she told us how he had given her those gifts after a HUGE fight! I think her “filtered” post was some desperate attempt to convince herself that things were better than they really were.

      As I got to know her better, I came to realize that their relationship wasn’t nearly as great as the carefully orchestrated social media would lead you to believe.  Now that I know the real story, I wouldn’t trade places with her.   I like having a man who is consistently kind to me–and doesn’t need to give me “apology” gifts.

      Fortunately I’m not crazy enough to have started cyberbullying her!  Social media really can distort reality and bring out our worst feelings, if we let it.  It’s just unfortunate he can’t channel those feelings in a more constructive way.

  4. 4
    Malika

    Evan, i’m sorry that you had to deal with anti-Semite bollocks or women telling you that you are a mansplainer. Because I live an anonymous life i would like to think it would roll off your back, but life is probably not that simple. I regularly read Jezebel and admire their non conformist attitude. I am therefore disappointed they would let members of the community put you in that box. While i don’t agree with everything you have said (when are we ever in total agreement with another person?) i feel that you explain how MEN work and what your observations are from watching other women struggle with their dating choices. You point out some uncomfortable truths and tell us to take back our control over our love life, and that has been very empowering.

    1. 4.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      The feminist stuff is the most upsetting. I don’t care about MGOTWs. I don’t care about anti-Semites. But when women choose to demonize an ally as an enemy, well, that’s when things go a bit awry for me. I would say that it’s like Bernie Sanders people making Obama/Hillary out to be evil, when, in fact, they are moderate, reality-based politicians. Flip it around and it’s like the Freedom Caucus shutting down the government because they don’t get their way and thinking everyone who disagrees with them is a Republican In Name Only. I’m a dating moderate. I’m not on the side of men or women. I’m on the side of truth and integrity. People on the extremes (who don’t think they’re extreme) tend to attack anyone who points out a flaw in their platform. Both men AND women are responsible for their own behaviors and blaming the opposite sex for everything rarely produces optimal results. All you need is a set of eyes to realize that the women who blame/hate men and the men who blame/hate women are among the most miserable people on the planet and that this is an “ineffective” stance. What man would want to date a woman who hates men? What woman would want to date a man who hates women? It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy if there ever was one.

      1. 4.1.1
        Evelyn

        Totally agree with everything you said there.  It sounds like what Jezebel did was completely inaccurate and unfair.  I don’t agree with everything you say, either, but I believe your intentions are to help women.  It frustrates me when people accuse others of being anti-feminists based on THEIR definition or beliefs of what makes someone a feminist.    The easy access of free speech on the internet is abused by millions daily.  Hopefully our writer never hears from that guy again.

        1. Evan Marc Katz

          It wasn’t ON Jezebel or ENDORSED by Jezebel. It was writers from Jezebel who decided to play a prank on me, which sincerely upset me to no end. As a super liberal man who believes wholeheartedly in feminism, I can’t, for the life of me, understand why someone like me would be the enemy, but hey, just look at who is in the White House. There’s a lot I don’t understand about how the world works. 🙂

        2. Stacy2

          Evan:

          I can’t, for the life of me, understand why someone like me would be the enemy

          I did not read jezebel’s attacks so I do not profess for them, but really i think it is easy to see why some feminists would have a bone to pick with you. You explain the status quo while they fight the status quo. It sometimes comes off as if you’re endorsing the status quo. I am not saying that you are, or that their attacks are justified, but that very well may be the perception.

          For example, one of the twitter memes that popped up on my feed said something along the lines of “men don’t care about how successful or educated you are, only about how you make them feel”. Without any additional context, do you realize how infuriating this message is? The only initial thought it produces in my head is “well fuck these men then”, etc. Again, i don’t disagree with the statement. I sadly know it to be mostly true. I still find it infuriating.

        3. Evan Marc Katz

          I get it. Really, I do. All the logic in the world will not change anyone’s emotions around such ideas.

          But as you acknowledged, this is pretty much a case of shooting the messenger.

          If I said that – all things remaining equal – women would rather be with a wealthy guy than a financially unstable guy, I would think that would be somewhat uncontroversial.

          But acknowledge that – as I wrote in Why He Disappeared – men are more concerned with FEELINGS than looks, and you’ll catch hell. Because how he FEELS around you is based on how sweet, supportive, fun, playful, trusting and happy you are in his presence – not based on your Masters, your job title or your wallet. I’ll fight that battle until the end, because I have truth on my side. If you’re a doctor making six figures, that’s a BONUS; but credentials and financial security are not why most men choose their wives.

        4. Stacy2

          Evan:

          If I said that – all things remaining equal – women would rather be with a wealthy guy than a financially unstable guy, I would think that would be somewhat uncontroversial.

          Well, not quite. I think whenever you attempt to reduce someone to just one quality you’d see a an angry blowback. We all want to be appreciated as a package, not for some one quality that the other person is going to  benefit from.

          An equivalent would be saying to men “women don’t care about how caring or kind or educated you are, only about how much money you make!” (the implication being that you should make a lot of money to attract women). If you said that, you’d face the unspeakable wrath of all men around you. Such women would be called gold diggers. But men who only care about how “sweet” you are, are just … well … men, and we need to deal with it or die alone.

          Again, i get the whole “don’t shoot the messenger”, but since your message extends beyond just acknowledging this fact but into how to deal with it (and to deal with it we need to morph into these effeminate creatures men allegedly desire), you get the angry resistance… some of us are fed up with it, sort of.

        5. Evan Marc Katz

          No one wants to be told that he/she are “wrong” or, in my terms, “ineffective.” That makes sense. The hard part is facing up to reality. Either you’re happy with the quality of your love life or you’re not. What is always interesting – and irrational – is how people who are completely DISSATISFIED with the quality of their love lives see fit to tell me that I’m wrong or biased for pointing out the obvious: healthy people respond to warmth, playfulness, generosity, trust, kindness, honesty, selflessness, flexibility, sex appeal and confidence. Other qualities are mere bonuses. This is gender-neutral advice, but masculine women and feminine men have a particularly hard time accepting this, because they lack one or more of those qualities and think that their existing strengths should be enough. The nice guy thinks he can NICE his way into a woman’s heart. The brilliant, driven career woman thinks that her credentials are a big selling point for a wife. They’re both proven wrong by reality – and when they come here to challenge it, all they get from me is a “Yup, reality is a bitch.”

        6. Chance

          Stacy2,

           

          “An equivalent would be saying to men “women don’t care about how caring or kind or educated you are, only about how much money you make!”

           

           

          Not sure that’s a fair comparison…. I don’t think those two sayings would be remotely equivalent.  I believe the point of the meme was to remind women of a positive, behavioral characteristic that men value in a woman, which is completely under a woman’s control, and that women often forget is important to men.  A better equivalent would be “women don’t care about what kind of car you drive, six pack abs, or that you’re at least 6′ tall, only that you’re a nice guy w/balls”.  This would be reminding men of a positive, behavioral characteristics that women value in men, which is completely under a man’s control, and that men often forget is important to women.

           

          An equivalent to your example would be more like “men don’t care about how successful or educated you are, only that you look good.”

        7. Stacy2

          @Chance:

          Not sure that’s a fair comparison…

          It doesn’t even matter. You could even say the same exact thing toward men and have a reaction. “Women don’t care how successful or educated you are, only about how you make them feel” [which the infamous affairs with pool boys and the like could go to prove]. How does that sound to you? Like, may be, everything you worked for in life has suddenly been devalued, and you’re reduced to a tool to make a woman “feel” better?

          Personally, I am obviously not prepared to fight a gender perception revolution on the turf of my own short life. I get it. Men want “sweet and caring”, i will play a little miss sweet – until I get what i want (a baby) out of it, then they’re getting the real me cause it is freaking tiring. Like life is not hard enough for us to just be, there’s this constant neediness on the side of men, it’s like having a second full time job to keep a guy happy. But, since allegedly men don’t care about what I do – none of them will ever get access to my financial resources or assets. Nope. If it makes no difference whether a guy dates me, or a receptionist who makes 30K, then guess what, let’s pretend I make 30K and you pay for everything. After all, why should I get a different treatment from the same guy vs. another woman? It’s only fair. Now that is an effective strategy.

        8. Evan Marc Katz

          Woe to your husband. The point of this isn’t to PRETEND to be nice; it’s to BE NICE.

        9. Chance

          Stacy2,

           

          “Men want “sweet and caring”, i will play a little miss sweet – until I get what i want (a baby) out of it, then they’re getting the real me”

           

           

          Why don’t you just lie about being on the pill, and then steal a man’s money via child support?  It doesn’t seem like you have much of a moral compass anyways (at least, as it relates to the treatment of men), and since we live in a fem-centric society that rewards women for recognizing that this type of fraud is perfectly legal, this would seem like a logical avenue for you.

        10. Tron Swanson

          I’d respectfully disagree, Evan. The point of sex/relationships isn’t to “be nice,” it’s to get what we want.

          If you tell someone that their desired gender doesn’t want what they have to offer, you can’t be surprised if the person uses unconventional means or goes outside the norms in order to get what they want. Humans adapt, after all.

        11. Katie

          The point of sex/relationships isn’t to “be nice,” it’s to get what we want.

          For emotionally healthy people, these two things are not mutually exclusive.

        12. SparklingEmerald

          Stacy2. No snark intended, but have you considered artificial insemination ?  You can get the baby you want without being fake nice.

          Genl response on the subject of making men feel good.  Why all the anger from a small subset of women that men want to be with someone who makes them feel good ?  That’s pretty much my requirement for ALL my relationships, not just my marriage.  If I don’t feel good in someone’s presence, a friendship or romantic relationship is going to happen.  If it’s a family member or co worker or someone I can’t completely cut out of my life, I minimize our interactions and keep them at arms length.

          I love my husband, friends, son and most of my family of origin.  When the feelings are mutual, niceness and good feelings come naturally.  No faking necessary.  I don’t have to take making my hubby feel good.  Good feelings happen naturally between us because we Want to make each other feel good.

          Life is to short to hang with people who make you feel like crap !

           

        13. Callie

          SE – I think it’s a response to the idea that the advice comes across to some as “Women, it doesn’t matter who you are, what quality things you have going for you, if you are funny, or smart, or interesting. All that matters is how a man feels around you. It’s not about you at all, men don’t actually care about you, they care about how they feel.” And that, when you look at it that way, can feel pretty crappy. And definitely doesn’t make one feel special or loved for who they are.

          But that obviously is not the advice at all. The advice, yes, is men want to feel good in a relationship and that’s more important than a list of accomplishments. But the things that make a man feel good vary man to man. It might just be that your sense of humour is exactly the thing that makes him feel awesome and he loves that you can make him laugh etc.

          I think too because society has spent so much time telling women their only value is if they are attractive to men, as little more than objects to be used by men, framing the notion as “all that matters is how a man feels” can be a bit of the proverbial straw. Women have spent centuries catering to what men want, being told now that’s the only way to get a guy even in this time period can seem, superficially, like yet another dehumanizing instruction.

          That’s why I think it gets such a negative response from some women. Again, that’s not actually what Evan is saying, but I am merely explaining why I think some react how they do without taking the time to further investigate what he really means.

        14. Chance

          @SE-she wants a man to help pay for the kid.

        15. Tron Swanson

          Katie,

          I tried being nice, and it didn’t get me what I wanted. Now I’m trying something else, and it is. I’m utilitarian like that.

        16. Stacy2

          SE:

          Why all the anger from a small subset of women that men want to be with someone who makes them feel good

          I don’t think it’s about the concept, the devil is in the details. What is it exactly that makes men “feel good”? Haven’t you heard? They want to feel “admired” and “appreciated” and “manly” and “protectors and providers”, and you need to constantly make them feel like they’re your #1 priority, and that they’re loved, and cared for, and be nurturing towards them, they’re all sensitive and jappy and all that. It’s unbearable.  I must really be missing some “nurturing” gene  (and got a double dose of cynicism gene instead) but I find all of this so fake and tiring. American men are seriously most high maintenance creatures out there.

          I will give you an example based on my ex-husband because he provided just so many of these. He always felt not “loved” enough. So, one day he complained that  I never just go by myself to a grocery store (we used to always shop together). Why couldn’t I, he says, as a “good wife” for a change take care of her man and do it once myself? Okey. Comes weekend, I woke up went to yoga in my neighborhood and on my way back stopped at a farmers market and, remembering that conversation, got a hole bunch of stuff. I bring it home, he gets out of the shower, sees it and has a near meltdown – a good wife, as it turns out, should have waited for her husband and not gone alone (!!!) and I didn’t get some special kale he needed foe his green juice. True story, I swear that really happened. I am so sick and tired of men’s neediness. I really miss the men from my old country to be honest. Real men who all went to the army at 18, picked up body parts on the field at 19, can handle anything and everything, have no emotions and are so easy to make happy. And they don’t eat kale. I should get a mail order groom.

        17. Tron Swanson

          Stacy2,

          So, you want a military-hardened, traditionally-masculine guy…who’s modern and enlightened enough to appreciate you for your intellect and career? Unfortunately, for most men, those two traits are contradictory, and you’ll only get one of the two.

      2. 4.1.2
        Malika

        It hurts because you are on the side of men AND women. All your blog posts are about freeing women from harmful patterns and misconceptions that are holding them back. How much time do women have to fight the feminist cause if they are nursing hurt from their past or indulging unsatisfying relationships that deplete their energy? A whole lot less than when they are happy and empowered to pursue a realistic version of love and partnership.

        You’re not even pursuing a political agenda, you just want people to be happy in their private life. Happy people have the peace of mind and the room to give back to their community in a constructive manner. And if ever there was a time where we need people to be engaged with their community it is now! I know you run this platform and write books in order to earn a living, but there is also a very idealistic side to your work. You could have parlayed your talents onto an easier and maybe more lucrative path (though i’m sure you are doing very well with the latter!), but you chose the life of a dating coach, giving uncomfortable yet moderate advice to both genders, in a time where people seek out polarizing and self serving views. You couldn’t have built up this business to the level you have, if you hadn’t felt the burning need to empower women (and originally men too) to make better life choices. And you have succeeded! From my personal experience: In the two years i have read your blog i have ignored men who wanted me as a side piece, dumped a man who made disturbing remarks about women and migrants even though his surface was picture perfect, advised a friend to walk from her physically abusive relationship with quotes from your work, freed myself up to date quality men and pursue ambitions outside the dating realm. Heck, i have so many agony-free time and peace of mind on my hands i don’t know what to do with it! I’m sure many regular readers have similar stories. Trolls be damned, and keep up the good work.

      3. 4.1.3
        Dora

        Hi Evan, I Love ALL your down to earth,logical advices..!!Read your stuff years now..But, getting more and more passive.. Why “miserable”..?!! I can clearly state – I hate men – generalisation. because I do hate them and I don’t in little part of me still looking to prove “me” wrong.. Wrong that they are all arseholes one way or another.. I know how this sounds together with the statement that I love everything I read from you.. :)..lol

        My point is – i am Far from miserable. In fact I am more and more happy to be on my own,to do my own things ,to make my own decisions, most importantly to Count on myself only and to know,that I Won’t let me down..My auntie was telling me,that we people are not meant to be alone, we meant to live in couples,be with another.. I think now – this is the Conditioning, that Trap all of us /women and men may be/in So many ways…

        So, I am happy – very happy in my own human existence, living with many animals- mainly horses and dogs.. And realising more and more,that to even try cater for a man – is /will be/ Extremely hard work, which most likely will turn into Waste of time and neglect of my animals..We are what we are – women or men. It is hard to think and account how the other person “feels” around you and with you..

        I do believe much more in Compatibility and fate /may be/.. Compatibility in our way of life,thinking,doing and goals..Fate of meeting that similar person with similar …everything…

        As example- have this show on TV here – “Married at first sight”.They matched a Horseman from  a farm with a “townie” woman from big city.. The couple Loved each-other,clicked in Every way being together in the “bubble” set of the show for months…But,another participant summed it all up : “For him, his horses will Always come first-thats the way It IS”. For her, the shock of the farm life was Huge too.. Surely enough, they did not last and never will in Real life. Because of Compatibility. And neither of them was miserable in their own existence.

      4. 4.1.4
        Tron Swanson

        “I don’t care about MGTOWs.”

        That’s completely understandable. But please know that this MGTOW cares about you–as far as I’m concerned, you’re doing great work, here. You’re taking controversial truths and stating them in moderate, acceptable ways. (Sure, you’re doing the same thing with ideas that I don’t agree with, but hey, can’t win ’em all.)

        p.s.: I recently reconnected with one of my favorite FWBs, and part of the reason was because of my improved understanding of women, which I got from you and the commenters on this site.

        p.p.s.: I was actually miserable before this current phase of my life; I’m happier than I’ve been in years.

        1. Evan Marc Katz

          Well, that’s nice, Tron. Really. Just do yourself the service of being an ethical MGOTW. You can be happily (and selfishly) single without having callous disregard for women and their valid feelings and needs. Nothing wrong with that.

        2. Tron Swanson

          If you have time, Evan, I’m curious to hear more about that. It seems to me that being “selfishly single” and disregarding women would go hand in hand. But, apparently, you can have one without the other?

        3. Dora

          What is  MGOTW. ..???

        4. KK

          Dora, MGTOW = Men Going Their Own Way.

          It’s comprised of a group of men who have never had any success with women and are very bitter about it, men who feel they’ve somehow been burned by women without seeing how they’ve attributed to that, or men who truly have been burned by women and are bitter and furious with all women because of that.

          It’s essentially a hate group. They claim they’re going their own way, but they’re not going anywhere. They share they’re hatred for women but continue to pursue them only for sex. It’s pathetic but sad, honestly.

        5. KK

          Oops…excuse the typo.

          Their hatred.

        6. Tron Swanson

          Dora,

          As much as I appreciate KK telling someone what I believe, I’d rather do it myself, just to be safe.

          “MGTOW” is an extremely generic label that can mean anything from extreme woman-hater to serial monogamists who choose not to get married or have kids. In my own case, I had a surprising amount of success with women (especially considering my limitations), but I felt that the reward wasn’t worth the effort, so I’ve chosen to de-prioritize that aspect of my life.

          When women choose to focus on themselves and stop putting so much effort into the relationship game, they’re praised. When men do it, well…!

        7. KK

          “When women choose to focus on themselves and stop putting so much effort into the relationship game, they’re praised. When men do it, well…!”

          That’s false. I’ve known plenty of older ladies who are widows or never married that went on with their lives without the need to declare their hatred of men.

          If you think large numbers of women are upset that you’re going your own way, you’re completely mistaken. The most common sentiment I’ve heard is, “ha! I wish they’d go their own way”. In other words, if you want to opt out, do it, and quit complaining about it. But continuing to have sex with women isn’t opting out is it? LOL.

          And btw, it IS a hate group. If it doesn’t bother you that women are constantly demeaned and degraded on their websites and you choose to align yourself with that group, you are telling the world you hate women.

        8. Emily, the original

          Tron,

          When women choose to focus on themselves and stop putting so much effort into the relationship game, they’re praised. When men do it, well…!

          IDK. People are usually caught up in their own lives and responsibilities. When a few men drop out of the traditional mating game, I don’t think most people see it as cause for major alarm, especially when a majority of people will eventually get married and the divorce rate is down. Society keeps on moving forward.

        9. Tron Swanson

          “If you think large amounts of women are upset that you’re going your own way, you’re completely mistaken.”

          I don’t think that…and I don’t know why you’d think I would, because I don’t recall ever saying anything like that. I’m doing this for me, not anyone else. I don’t know or care if it’ll have any sort of effect beyond me. I tend to doubt it, though, because there are tons of desperate, sex-seeking guys out there, who will put up with just about anything in order to get laid. If I refuse to invest time or effort or money in an annoying, unattractive woman, well, the sad truth is that many other guys will, so the woman in question will never even notice that I’m gone.

          You’re absolutely correct that most women say “I wish they’d go their own way”–in many cases, we’re the “undesirable” men that never had much of a chance with women in the first place. So, at least from my POV, there isn’t much difference between “try really hard with women” and “don’t try hard at all with women,” because I get about the same results either way.

          As for it being a hate group…you know, I don’t see any difference between it and the way that the more extreme feminists talk about men.

          The best part about opting out is that there are so many different ways to do it. I know, women would rather just have guys like me shut up and go away, because our existence is problematic for many of the beliefs they claim to have…but I can have my cake and eat it too. I can choose to avoid commitment while also trying to get sex and being vocal about the issues that I care about.

          And I say again: when women decide to go it alone, it’s treated as an “empowering” thing, with lots of “you don’t need men” you-go-girl back-patting. When men do it, it must be because something is wrong with us…

      5. 4.1.5
        Shaukat

        “How does that sound to you? Like, may be, everything you worked for in life has suddenly been devalued, and you’re reduced to a tool to make a woman “feel” better?

        Actually, outside of a coterie of gold diggers, most women don’t care about a man’s education and success, if that’s all he’s offering. A shy beta who never builds the confidence to approach will not do well with the women he’s attracted to. An introvert who clams up in social settings or who can’t properly banter on a date won’t get very far with the women he’s interested in (I know, I used to be that type of introvert). These men could also act jaded and bitter, and moan about the priorities of the opposite sex, which prevent them from acting like their true selves.

        On a different thread you actually made one of your more astute comments, when you stated: “Rest assured, outside of parent/child relationships, none of us have very much intrinsic value. Our value is based on what we can offer.” It seems to really bother you, however, that what you think is your best asset on offer to the opposite sex, earning power and credentials, isn’t of much interest to most men. The inverse of your attitude on the male side is the ‘nice guy’ who complains that women don’t care about character, kindness, and decency, but only go for the alpha pricks.

        This is speculation on my part, but my hunch is that the reason it upsets you so much that men care more for the intangibles in a relationship than material goods is because traits like kindness, empathy, and the ability to show genuine affection are difficult for you to fake. Since being happy and generous don’t come naturally to you, it would be much easier if men just treated romantic relationships like a business transaction, then you could pool resources and never have to worry about being empathetic and kind.

      6. 4.1.6
        Shaukat

        And that, when you look at it that way, can feel pretty crappy. And definitely doesn’t make one feel special or loved for who they are.

        Callie, it works the exact same way for both men and women. Have you ever stuck around past a first date, when you weren’t feeling anything, simply because the guy was funny and accomplished and you were in the mood to be a little charitable? Without that ‘feeling,’ and the repeated stoking of that feeling, it never gets anywhere beyond friendship/acquaintance, regardless of how admirable the person’s traits happen to be. It has nothing to do with how men treat women.

        1. Callie

          I knew it! Lol. I even debated posting another post directly under the one I made saying “Just to make it very clear, just because I am explaining how some women might think, doesn’t mean I think like this nor agree with it.”

          I knew that if I wrote another empathy style post someone would assume that I was the one feeling that way. No matter how many times I said that the women who feel the way I described were wrong in their assumption or that Evan wasn’t saying that. What is up with people here?? Why can’t you guys understand that posting an explanation as to why someone may think a certain thing doesn’t mean that one agrees with it (especially when one is VERY CLEAR one does not agree with it)?

          In conclusion, no need to explain anything to me Shaukat. I don’t think men actually think like that, I don’t think Evan is advocating that, and I don’t think anyone should be with anyone that doesn’t make them feel that certain something. Also I tend to be the one here who says both men AND women are culprits of bad behaviour, so no need to tell me that women do things too. Trust me I know they do.

        2. KK

          “It has nothing to do with how men treat women”.

          Shaukat,

          How have you come to this conclusion? I agree that if that ‘feeling’ or ‘chemistry’ isn’t there, it doesn’t matter how nice a man is. The opposite is true as well, though. If a man isn’t kind and doesn’t treat you with respect, it doesn’t matter how great the chemistry is. That is, if we’re talking about relationships. How a man treats a woman AND how a man makes a woman feel in his presence are both equally important.

        3. Emily, the original

          KK,

          How a man treats a woman AND how a man makes a woman feel in his presence are both equally important.

          Also, women respect a man who “tcb”s — takes care of business. I have a new boss who has helped me more in the last month than the previous one did in four years. My new boss is decisive, takes responsibility and follows through. I was describing him to a friend of mine and she was practically giddy! A man who can tcb gives women ‘gina tingles!  🙂

      7. 4.1.7
        Shaukat

        KK, I think there’s a bit of a misunderstanding. I should have been much clearer. That statement I made was in response to the second part of Callie’s comment:

        I think too because society has spent so much time telling women their only value is if they are attractive to men, as little more than objects to be used by men, framing the notion as “all that matters is how a man feels” can be a bit of the proverbial straw.

        I should have written, ‘This issue has nothing to do with how men might have treated women historically.’ In a relationship, of course it matters how two people treat each other. In fact, I made that clear in response to Stacy2’s comment.

        @Callie,

        I understand you may not agree with the position you were giving voice to (though I’m not sure why you would repeatedly explain opposing viewpoints unless you have some sympathy for such beliefs), my only point was that even if the message from Evan is put forward in the manner in which you initially framed it, there shouldn’t be anything offensive or upsetting about it, at least not to anyone with some life experience.

        1. Callie

          Though I’m not sure why you would repeatedly explain opposing viewpoints unless you have some sympathy for such beliefs.

          Because in this particular case someone asked a question and I answered it. I like to help explain things for people, to make things a little clearer for them.

          But thank you for saying this because it actually helps me understand better why everyone makes such assumptions about me here. It seems that generally people here only come to support their own viewpoints and argue their own point of view. And to be fair, so do I, not going to deny it (would be silly of me to as it’s pretty obvious I do). But I also come here, and to other such blogs around the internet, to try to learn how others think, and attempt to help facilitate communication and conversation. Obviously such a motivation is the unusual one, I get that, but nonetheless, this is the truth. I really do like actually trying to help people understand, and since I’m pretty darn good at seeing multiple perspectives I like to try to articulate them for others as best I can.

        2. Jeremy

          @Callie, not that I think you need the validation, but I thought your comment was thoughtful.  Why should we only comment about our own perspectives if we can help others understand the perspectives of other people?  Isn’t that the point of being here – to learn about other perspectives, to help and be helped?

          I know that you’ve made constructive comments to me in the past that made me think.  So thanks for being thoughtful.

        3. Callie

          Thank you Jeremy, that is very kind of you to say. The feeling is mutual 🙂 .

          (and no I guess one doesn’t need the validation, but it doesn’t follow that the validation is unwelcome 🙂 )

      8. 4.1.8
        Shaukat

        You’re absolutely correct that most women say “I wish they’d go their own way”–in many cases, we’re the “undesirable” men that never had much of a chance with women in the first place.

        Hello Tron,

        I’m genuinely curious as to why you feel this way about yourself. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with your current strategy if it’s generating the desired results and if you’re happy with it. But you’ve stated a few times here that women view you as inadequate in some manner, and I would be interested in hearing why you think that is the case. Are you referring to sex appeal or personality (not alpha enough, not outgoing, etc)? You might be underestimating your appeal. After all, if you’ve never dated in your life, you might lack the necessary raw data to draw your conclusion.

        1. Tron Swanson

          Shaukat,

          It’s a mixture of things I can’t control and things I have no interest in changing. In terms of things I can’t control: well, I’m not tall. As for the rest: I’m not ambitious, and to use your terms, I’m not alpha or outgoing. Furthermore, I have no desire to be.

          I’m mostly happy with myself, my issue is that women aren’t happy with me. But I’ve learned to live with it.

        2. Emily, the original

          Tron,

          All any of us can do is pick from the people who want us. If everyone accepted this, the dating advice industry would cease to exist.

    2. 4.2
      SparklingEmerald

      Stacy 2 – Earlier I asked why you won’t consider using a sperm donor to have a baby, then I changed the subject to another topic, and you gave a rather lengthy answer to that, and completely ignored my question to you.

      So once again Stacy, why not just use an annonymous sperm donor ?

       

  5. 5
    Katie

    Cut him off.

    He even said there was a video of me. I am not aware of any videos.

    But first, I’d request a link to this video if I were you :/

  6. 6
    KK

    Em,

    I’m no longer on Facebook, but I’m pretty sure they still have custom privacy settings. You can make a list of your closest family and friends that see all your posts and a separate list of acquaintances that only see what you allow them to see.

    After blocking this guy, you might want to cull through your friends and ‘unfriend’ people that you really don’t want seeing what you’re up to and then customize your privacy settings.

  7. 7
    Stacy2

    The OP has a cookie cutter legal case for defamation. Implying unchastity to a woman or saying somebody have an STD is considered defamation/libel per se in all but a handful of states in the US. That means,  she doesn’t need to prove interpretation or damages. This is clear cut enough to deal with this person through a lawyer. Namely, the OP should get an injunction (also may be called restraining order), and if he pulls this off again he will be cooling off in jail for contempt of court.

    On the non-legal side, this is exactly why having a Facebook account once out of college is such a bad idea.

  8. 8
    John

    Evan said:

    As a super liberal man who believes wholeheartedly in feminism, I can’t, for the life of me, understand why someone like me would be the enemy, 

    If those women treated you like that then they would be considered radical feminist to me. Radical feminists will always treat you like the enemy, because you’re a man. Men are there enemies.

    If those ladies truly believe in equality, they wouldn’t of attacked you like that.

    The irony is that you’re trying to help women, which those women could not see or appreciate.

    Even if you saved 100 drowning women and paid the college tuition of every woman in all universities in the United States, those women would still hate you. Misandry and misogyny are alive and well.

     

  9. 9
    Stacy

    I have no facebook

    I have no instagram

    I have no twitter

    I have no snapchat account.

    I have never once felt that I was missing out.

     

    1. 9.1
      JB

      I only have a fake Facebook profile because you literally can’t chime in on many sites WITHOUT going through FB. So me and about 10 billion others do what we have to do.

    2. 9.2
      Katie

      I’ve never been to the dentist and I’ve never felt like I was missing out! Not once!!!!

       

      NOT involving yourself in modern conveniences is not an asset. It’s just a refusal to embrace changes.

      1. 9.2.1
        Stacy

        @Katie

        Why  is time spent on social media sites (usually a copious amount) considered a modern convenience? From my side of the fence, it actually seems highly Inconvenient. And, most people I know are literally addicted to these sites which tend to take up a ridiculous amount of time/personal attention so I am not sure how convenient that could be. I would go so far as to say, everyone I want to share information with, I am able to accomplish that without instagram and/or facebook.

         

        1. Stacy2

          What she said ^^

           

        2. Katie

          Modern convenience because it’s a socializing tool. You ARE missing out, even if you don’t know it.

          If everyone you know invests time into something, and you are not, what reason would you have for not a investigating it to see what the fuss is about? Are you afraid you’re going to turn into a raging “addict”?

        3. Callie

          Why  is time spent on social media sites (usually a copious amount) considered a modern convenience?

          For me it’s that I work from home alone. So social media acts as my water cooler. I can’t think how much more lonely I’d be, how isolated too. I am also able to advertise my work and use it as a promotional tool. I’m very grateful for social media, and yes it is sometimes distracting, lol, but it isn’t any more distracting, than, say, posting to a relationship blog comments section . . .

        4. Stacy2

          Katie:

          I was on FB when I was in school. It had just came out and was all the rage, and I made a very conscious decision to take myself off of it years ago. Phones and emails are perfectly sufficient to communicate with my friends, and I don’t need to worry of accidentally hitting the wrong button and sharing it with the entire world, or that FB suddenly changes their privacy settings and my stuff becomes exposed. When it comes to privacy settings FB is a very unethical company that will attempt to trick you and steal your stuff. For example, my fake FB account which I use for logging in on some web sites once sucked in all of my contacts from my iPhone (!!) without me ever explicitly agreeing to it or opting in. It took me 30 min to take them off. I just simply don’t have the time to deal with these constant encroachment attempts, it’s like a virus.

      2. 9.2.2
        Stacy

        @Katie

        I responded here because there was no reply option to your last response.

        Actually most social media studies show that because of social media, people are more lonely, more unhappy and LESS social.

        And I did try Facebook for a couple of weeks before and I found it utterly exhausting. So I will go on with my life like we’ve done for centuries upon centuries where we had full lives before social media dependence. So while you are logging into Facebook or instagram and posting pictures of the food you eat, I will actually enjoy the experience at the actual restaurant in conversation with my man.:) And as far as me missing out?See, I think the same about you so it’s just a mAtter of perspective.

        1. Katie

          …instagram and posting pictures of the food you eat, I will actually enjoy the experience at the actual restaurant in conversation with my man.:) And as far as me missing out?See, I think the same about you so it’s just a mAtter of perspective.

          I can assure you with complete confidence that my use of social media has no negative affect at all on my enjoyment of my tiramisu.

          In fairness though, allow me to respond to the insinuations of your response. Your insinuation is basically that individuals who use social media are enjoying life less because they are so busy posting the schmillionth baby pic. This does not describe the majority of social media users. It’s a cliché stereotype that illustrates ineffective use of social media rather than effective use.

          Your argument is like saying I never take pseudoephedrine  because some people make meth from it.

        2. SparklingEmerald

          I think someone who has an axe to grind with social media will conduct a study to validate their view and some one who likes social media will conduct a study to validate their view.  It’s simply a tool.  Lonely and unhappy people existed before social media, so social media didn’t create the kinkiness or the social isolation, but it may be making it more visible.  Or people who are lonely a isolated or housebound might turn to social media to try and ease their situation.  It may or may not help, but blaming the media doesn’t help.   Suicides increase around Christmas time, but blaming Christmas doesn’t help.

           

          Social media has EXPANDED my social life, not diminished it.  I have reconnected with long lost friends, gotten small acting roles withOUT auditioning, and have found fun activities to go to and fun people to go with.  Facebook is merely a tool that can make it easier to connect and socialize offline.  Unfortunately, it can also make it easier to stalk and harass people as well.

          It’s not for everyone, but I enjoy it, and my experience with it has not been at ALL the dark, dismal experience painted by a biased study.

           

           

           

           

           

           

           

           

           

           

        3. SparklingEmerald

          Stupid spell check –.changed loneliness to kinkiness.

        4. Callie

          Stupid spell check –.changed loneliness to kinkiness.

          And yet it still kind of made sense . . . 🙂

    3. 9.3
      Nat

      Heh me neither. It really can be more trouble than it’s worth.

      In my case one determining factor is related to what the  poor OP is going thru. I had an ex who turned into a creepy stalker and I didn’t want him to be able to know where I went or be able to make trouble with my friends/bfs.

      A bonus though is (sorry to sound braggy lol) guys I date often gush about how rare/different/special I seem. Frankly some pple overuse social media and lose all mystery to them. They’re an open book.

      But some pple need Facebook for their career, or they stay far away from some family and it’s an easy way to stay in touch etc etc. Everyone’s cost-benefit analysis is different. Nonetheless I would be lying if I said I wasn’t happy and proud to not use social media. 🙂

       

  10. 10
    Marika

    I don’t think this is about social media. Social media is just a tool. Some people use it to post inspirational quotes, some use it to be nasty to others. The Internet has made hating publicly, from the comfort of your living room, easier, but it didn’t create the hating in the first place.

    I think this about losing humanity when we write/post things. It’s possible to have a discussion or to question something (even online), without criticizing the person, accusing them of all sorts of things, name calling etc. I get the importance of freedom of speech, but it can be taken too far.

  11. 11
    Clare

    Oh me oh my, there are many kinds of crazy in this world. Something like 3% of people are actually psychopaths. Trying to fathom why they are like they are and why they do what they do is like wondering why there’s a colour such as yellow.

     

    There usually is a reason why you are being targeted, but it usually has something to do with jealousy and deep insecurity on their part. Nothing you can do about that. Attempts to be diplomatic on your part usually make them feel even more insecure and like even more of a bad person. Not only that, they really ENJOY the drama. They are bored and attention-seeking, and the only time they feel alive is when they are getting into it with someone else. The good news is, they also have a short attention span, so if you ignore them and consistently starve the drama, they move on to someone else, because there’s no more mileage to be had out of you. I’ve learned this the hard way.

     

    I’ve been in the situation the OP is in. People who barely know me, but are monumental gossips, contacting the person I’m dating to “warn” them about me. It’s sad, and it used to make me extremely angry, especially since they NEVER had first hand knowledge of any wrongdoing on my part, but instead were part of a small, inbred community where not very much happens.

     

    Your best course of action is, like I said, to ignore, to act with class and dignity, and to move away from any communities where that kind of behavior takes place, whether it is online or in real life.

    1. 11.1
      Katie

      …is like wondering why there’s a colour such as yellow.

      Because we have photoreceptors that detect wavelengths in the 580ish range (which we have because 580ish is  within the wavelength range of the electromagnetic spectrum that manages to filter through the earths atmosphere) and the brain invents an experience for it so that we know about it.

      (This is irrelevant and beside the point and prob won’t get approved as a comment, but I’m a science teacher and couldn’t help myself. Heart you <3)

      1. 11.1.1
        Clare

        Haha, love it!

         

        Thank you!

  12. 12
    Stacy

    @Callie

    I never said social media wasn’t helpful especially in your case where you use it for work and work from home. Of course there are good aspects of it but it’s all about what works for the individual.

    1. 12.1
      Callie

      Absolutely, ultimately it’s just a tool and we can use it for good or ill depending (I also agree that it can and does contribute to depression in certain people). I was just answering your question as to why it was considered a modern convenience. The reasons I offered were why it is for me.  🙂

  13. 13
    Marika

    To the ladies who dislike or find the concept of ‘making a man feel good’ sexist or disingenuous, I think the idea is that everyone wants to be around people who make us feel good (e.g. we don’t choose our friends based on their professional qualifications), but that in general women often have more people in our lives who show us caring & warmth than men. So men especially appreciate getting that caring & warmth from women in dating & relationships. In general (of course this doesn’t apply to everyone).

    When I spend time with female friends, while we’ll chat about work, politics etc and make jokes we’ll also always show genuine care & interest in/about each other, our feelings & experiences. I can’t speak for men, but I get the feeling they’re far less likely to talk about feelings with friends & far more likely to make fun of each other. As those college humour videos parody.

    I could never understand why my brother chose women who were so unlike him. He’s very successful & runs his own company. Both his first & second wife were/are unambitious & not highly educated. But if I look at his experience just in family gatherings & only focusing on the positives: I will chat to my sisters about how they are, my nephew will crawl on my lap & cuddle, my parents will give me a kiss on the cheek etc. My brother is far more likely to do handshakes & football chat. Of course there’s more to it, but in general most of my brother’s good feelings come from his interactions with his wife.

    The point is, there’s no requirement to make men feel good in dating, but it’s effective. I would hope that once you’re in a relationship with someone, showing warmth & kindness would come naturally, but I get that in dating there can be some ‘faking’ until you develop real feelings.

    What I struggle with is men aren’t haters necessarily, but who get debaty on the first date. Early on in my dating days I would debate right back, but I found that was ineffective as we’d both leave feeling bad. Now I just say something jokey or noncommittal to try & shut it down (as I don’t enjoy debates with virtual strangers when we’re trying to form a connection), but it doesn’t always work.

    For instance, one guy who knew I worked with brain disorders from our initial phone chat wanted to debate the merits of artificial intelligence in brain research on our first date. He kept pushing it even when I said AI is not something I know anything about. Another guy kept criticising a mutual friend (who I really like) on our second date. He kept pushing the point until finally I responded by saying “well, would you prefer to be happy or right?”. By then I knew I didn’t want to see him again, so I didn’t really care. But what gives? It’s frustrating when you’re trying to be warm and the other person is making it hard!

    1. 13.1
      Callie

      Oh I feel you so much with the debate-y dudes. I think maybe it comes from realising the woman they are with can give as good as they can and they really enjoy it. At least it’s been that way with me. Which I suppose is flattering in its own way but also exhausting. There was one guy I was seeing, great guy, who just wanted to debate everything, never wanted to just have a chill conversation. We’re friends now, but we definitely don’t date anymore. I discovered in my late twenties that while I definitely didn’t want anyone to just roll over and agree with me (especially when they didn’t), I actually found someone able to be chill and ultimately say “Agree to disagree” and move on to another subject really really attractive. It actually taught me how to do likewise.

    2. 13.2
      Jeremy

      Hi Marika, great comment/question.  Regarding men who get argumentative, I think there are 2 types of men that do this.  One type  (and I find myself in this category) is a man who considers himself intelligent and legitimately wants an intelligent woman.  In spite of all the talk of how men are not attracted to women’s intelligence, some men are (though intelligence in and of itself is not enough).  If a guy is searching for a mind-mate, he wants a woman who can debate with him, and actually gets more turned on when she makes good arguments (and especially if she can convince him of something he did not know before).  Suuuper hot (IMHO).  Such men are the minority, though.

       

      The greater majority (IMHO) are the men who communicate in order to establish their position in a hierarchy.  Deborah Tannen explains this well in her book “you just don’t understand”  (sorry to be constantly quoting books – I do this not to be pretentious, but just to indicate that I’m not just making stuff up).   These guys often ego-invest their sense of masculinity in their intelligence and so they want to use it to impress women.  Their goal of the argument is not to come to mutual understanding (as is the goal for most women in conversation), but to establish superiority so that the woman can admire him for his masculine qualities as he admires her for her feminine ones (as he sees them).

       

      So what’s a woman to do?  Should she argue or should she just give the guy the validation he is seeking?  The answer depends on whether the woman likes the guy in spite of his argumentativeness.  If she knows he is of the second type and otherwise likes him, she would be wise to just give him the validation he craves.  If she doesn’t like him, she’s better off not arguing and just walking.  And if she is uncertain which type of guy he is but hopes he is the first type of guy, she should argue intelligently and gauge his reaction.

      1. 13.2.1
        Stacy2

         If she knows he is of the second type and otherwise likes him, she would be wise to just give him the validation he craves.  

        …and be prepared to do it over, and over, and over again as he will feel challenged and needy every time she disagrees with him

        1. CaliforniaGirl

          ..and you can never just be yourself because you might bruise his fragile ego and then he won’t feel good around you. I played dumb so many times in my life with great success, the dumber you are, the more success you have with men.

    3. 13.3
      Malika

      Hi Marika:

      The debate-y type of person is not to everyone’s taste, and if you just find it draining, then you are well within your right to exclusively date the more chill type of guy that likes a good conversation but doesn’t feel the need to pounce on everything you say and nitpick at it as if you are on a political chat show.

      Jeremy makes great observations regarding the different kind of debaters. Some just love the intellectual stimulation and actually like the fact that you disagree with them! They may not state it, but they find the other side of the story genuinely revelatory and their questioning of it is just their showing their interest. Others just can’t stand to not have the upper hand in conversation and seek to protect their ego with any means they can. I have a few friends like this, and while they are great at friendships, they would never be anyone i could have a romantic relationship with. A relationship should feel like coming home to a comfortable home whereby you feel supported, not like the five millionth competition as to whose opinion is superior. I find in the initial stages that it’s very difficult to tell the difference between the two, and so it can be a pink flag for me. Subsequent conversations (if i am interested in them) either turn into a red flag or make it disappear altogether. If someone dismisses my side of the story as stupid or as of possesing a moral flaw i usually skeddadle, but these type of guys are very much in the minority.

      1. 13.3.1
        Marika

        Thanks Callie, Jeremy & Malika,

        Really interesting points of view. So glad I’m not alone! I suppose it’s confusing because I didn’t get why they were actively trying to make the date less fun & potentially more uncomfortable. Jeremy’s description of the two types makes a lot of sense. Bring on the type 1s! I love intellectual stimulation, but as Malika explained, I don’t want to feel like my relationship will be a daily battle or verbal sparring match!

        Jeremy, how could I politely explain to the type 1s that while I can hold my own in a battle of the minds, I’d prefer the date not to turn into a debate-a-thon with me taking the case for the affirmative 😀

        The other thing is, most men (at least in my country) aren’t going to any real effort to impress. It’s like they just throw on any outfit, want to meet somewhere close by and say whatever comes to mind! This felt like an extension of that, but maybe they are trying to impress with their debate skills! I often find myself actually dressing down for a date, as I know invariably I’ll be far better dressed than the guy, which can feel weird – like I’m trying to hard. Sigh! Is this just an Aussie thing? It’s hard to be your best self when you’re hanging out with a guy in shorts who’s debating you!

        1. Jeremy

          Marika, you asked “how could I politely explain to the type 1s that while I can hold my own in a battle of the minds, I’d prefer the date not to turn into a debate-a-thon?

           

          I think the answer to this depends on the guy’s emotional maturity.  It is often difficult for a type 1 guy to understand why a woman might not want to enter into an intellectual sparring match with him.  After all, that type of debate is akin to foreplay for us.  My wife has often been mystified by the “dumbass grin” on my face as we debate, when she makes an excellent point and I get turned on.  But I digress…

           

          I noticed early on in my relationship that my wife did not enjoy intellectual debates, and often ended the discussions early in a bad mood or even in tears.  I could not understand why she was affected in that way – to me, we were discussing ideas and having fun.  But I could see that to her we were doing something else.  It was not until I read the book I mentioned above that I discovered that most women communicate for the purpose of “rapport.”  The basic goal is to establish interpersonal connection – discussion of facts and ideas is of secondary importance, and disagreement indicates lack of rapport.  To my wife, my disagreeing with her indicated (on some level) that our rapport was out of sync, leading to a lack of comfort on her part.  When I realized this, I understood the problem and made the decision to only debate when necessary.  And she understood that I like debates, so she still initiates them occasionally as a way to make me happy.

           

          So the bottom-line answer to your question, Marika, is that if you don’t love debates and the guy you are with does, he needs to have the emotional maturity to understand you and meet you half-way (assuming you do the same).  Explain how you feel to him and see how he responds.

        2. Jeremy

          Sorry for the second post, but one other thing.  You brought up a good point about how female friendships offer more emotional support than male ones, in general.  For many men, friendship is all about one-upsmanship.  With the relative lack of emotional support in their lives, the only validation that many boys/men ever get  is occasionally hearing the words “you are right.”  Listen to little boys talking (I do this with my kids) and you’ll hear report-speaking – competitions of who knows the most about sports, current events, other topics.  Winning an argument is the way boys/men get respect, which is their avenue to emotional validation.
          So the guys who are debating with you are likely type 2, especially if they leave the date with bad feelings if you argue with them.  They are DEFINITELY trying to impress you with their debating skills, as they would try to impress another man (who would not care about their wearing shorts).  Understanding their psychology will help you understand how you want to respond to them.

        3. KK

          Marika & Jeremy,

          Your conversation reminded me of Evan’s post on who’s the difficult one in the relationship. I love intellectual debates. I love when someone has a completely different outlook on a particular topic and I learn something new or when someone else says, “wow, I never though about it that way”.

          I have a relative that loves to share his knowledge. About everything. Yes, he literally knows everything. Lol. I usually only see him around the holidays and I can tell you it feels like an endurance test. It has nothing to do with the fact he likes to talk incessantly (although that can be annoying too). It’s that he seems to have a need for everyone to agree with him without ever considering anyone else’s viewpoint. Someone like this would be intolerable to me.

  14. 14
    Stacy

    @Sparking Emerald

    No one implied that Social Media does not enhance some people’s lives. And, I am happy it added to yours. In fact, I told Callie that I am happy it works for her. But originally Katie told me that I am deprived/missing out because I am not on it and doing what everyone else does. So if some people’s lives are enhanced by social media. It goes without saying that some people’s lives are NOT. It’s not about an axe to grind. Each person is an individual and should know/and appreciate what works for them. It does not work for me (or Stacy2 and a couple of people who responded in agreement that they don’t use it). It works for you (and Katie and Callie) and either way is fine.

    1. 14.1
      Katie

      @Stacy

      Stacy #14 “No one implied that Social Media does not enhance some people’s lives.”

      Ignoring implications, you stated that you believed it had a negative effect on most peoples lives.

      Stacy #9.2.2 “Actually most social media studies show that because of social media, people are more lonely, more unhappy and LESS social.”

      Moving on…

      Stacy #14 “But originally Katie told me that I am deprived/missing out because I am not on it and doing what everyone else does.”

      Well when you’re not involved in something you ARE missing out. The value of what you’re missing out on is what’s debatable. I’m wasn’t involved in the cheerleading squad in high school, so essentially I was missing out on that.

      Stacy #14 “So if some people’s lives are enhanced by social media. It goes without saying that some people’s lives are NOT.”

      This statement is meaningless. You could literally replace “social media” with any other noun and it still applies. Doggy bags. Cell phones. Aromatherapy.

      Moving on.

      Speaking for myself, the statement of yours that I have metaphorical beef with is the following.

      Stacy #14 “So I will go on with my life like we’ve done for centuries upon centuries where we had full lives before social media dependence. So while you are logging into Facebook or instagram and posting pictures of the food you eat, I will actually enjoy the experience at the actual restaurant in conversation with my man.:)”

      This is the sentiment of yours that I’ve been addressing – The sentiment that because you choose to exclude yourself from social media, you earn a benefit of greater enjoyment in life. A logically unfounded opinion that it seems you’ve tried to pass off as fact with your use vaguely referenced and obscure research studies.

      Just my humble opinion.

       

      1. 14.1.1
        Stacy

        @Katie

        Yes,because I am not involved with social media, I do earn a greater enjoyment with life because when I tried it, it was exhausting for me and took away from my life.This applies to ME. If I quote the actual statistic on how much the average person is on social media daily, you will probably call that study bs so I am not gonna go there.But I find for ME that I enjoy life more when I am not stuck to a social platform.

        And yes, I find that the world is worst off because social media has taken the place of modes of communication that I hold dear. So yes, I believe it is more if a negative than positive effect just as you think the opposite.Doesnt mean this applies to everyone.But that is what I believe just as you choose to not believe the study that more people are lonely because of it…eh.

        And please don’t be coy…your statement that I am missing out implies that my life would be better with it.That is also an unfounded opinion since you don’t know me and can have no idea on what fulfils my life.

         

        1. Katie

          If I quote the actual statistic on how much the average person is on social media daily, you will probably call that study bs so I am not gonna go there.

          I reserve the right to criticize a study that fails to make logical conclusions from it’s data.

          On the other hand, I also reserve the right to change my mind on an issue if evidence is provided that supports an opposing viewpoint.

          People change my mind on issues. I’m not stubborn and I’m proud of not being stubborn.

          But this is an imaginary study so all this is beside the point.

          But I find for ME that I enjoy life more when I am not stuck to a social platform. And yes, I find that the world is worst off because social media has taken the place of modes of communication that I hold dear.

          I understand.

          …But that is what I believe just as you choose to not believe the study that more people are lonely because of it…eh.

          The imaginary study you mean?

          …your statement that I am missing out implies that my life would be better with it.

          Your assumption is incorrect. When I made that statement I was suggesting that it was worth trying.

          That is also an unfounded opinion since you don’t know me and can have no idea on what fulfils my life.

          Not at the time the statement was made it was not unfounded. I made that statement before you stated that you tried it and it wasn’t for you.

          Thank you for the debate. You keep doing you, lovely lady <3

           

        2. Marika

          You make a good point, Stacy. As I said before, social media is just a tool and it certainly didn’t create hating, which I’m sure has existed as long as people have existed, but it can certainly get addictive and feed our need for instant gratification. I don’t mind FB so much as it introduces me to events I may like and people create groups chats around topics of interest to me and I use it for my business. I’ve also never had any bad experiences.

          What I do dislike (no studies and no one has to agree here) are things like Whatsapp. The online, double blue tick options – arrgghhh. TMI. There are entire chat rooms where people try to figure out if they’ve been blocked on WA or how to block someone else. My friend recently got told by her boyfriend (of 5 months), that he needed a ‘break’ (reading between the lines, its essentially a break up) over Whatsapp. Not cool! It’s entirely too convenient to be heartless & lazy on apps etc. People can say anything and don’t have to deal with seeing the person’s facial expression.

          This year I decided to get on the phone asap with guys rather than text until we’re blue in the face. The response has been mixed. Some acted like a phone call was akin to a marriage proposal, some are fine with it, but still rely mostly on texting, some are excited about it but then disappear…it’s sad that a phone call has become such a massive deal.

          This is where ‘convenience’ & ‘moving with the times’ actually takes us backwards, if we’re trying to form actual connections, IMHO.

  15. 15
    Stacy

    Excuse the many typos…phone and all.

  16. 16
    Stacy

    @Katie,

    Thanks for the well wishes. I wish you the same. But I don’t do imaginary studies. Social media can be a good thing or a bad thing…depends on the person and what you use it for and how much you use it, etc.
    http://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2017/03/06/518362255/feeling-lonely-too-much-time-on-social-media-may-be-why

    https://socialmediaweek.org/blog/2015/06/social-media-even-lonely/

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2419419/All-lonely-Facebook-friends-Study-shows-social-media-makes-MORE-lonely-unhappy-LESS-sociable.html

     http://cultureandyouth.org/social-media/research-social-media/social-media-and-depression/
     

    1. 16.1
      Katie

      I reviewed these. The studies mentioned in these blogs show correlations between high rates of social media usage and loneliness. Basically, it seems that the people who use social media are often lonely people.

      But this is only a correlation, and correlation is not causation. That I can read here, there is no evidence that the loneliness is caused by social media. According to the studies here, it’s just as likely that the loneliest people seek out social media as a kind of crutch.

      To be clear, I’m not demanding proof and I’m not trying to nitpick your argument. Assuming causation from correlation is a common logical fallacy.

      There is still no evidence to support the claim that social media has a negative affect on an individuals interpersonal relations.

       

      1. 16.1.1
        Katie

        MAJOR EDIT! Basically, it seems that the people who use social media THE MOST are often lonely people.

  17. 17
    Marika

    Thanks again Jeremy, that makes a lot of sense. Both date-wise and even as to why this blog gets so debate-y! I’m like your wife, debating with someone I like (and definitely with someone I love) creates distance for me, it definitely doesn’t bring me closer to them or turn me on. I’m relieved that they are trying to impress, though, so I’ll be more mindful of that from now on on my dates.

    The thing is, though, I’m really trying to implement Evan’s advice about being warm & fun on dates. I do tend to choose guys who are intelligent & professional (& probably somewhat serious). Is it possible to indulge their debate = arousal need while also being warm & fun? Aren’t the two mutually exclusive?

    You’re so right about boys. My 6 year old nephew thinks he knows everything. His friends also seem to think they know everything. They spend their time knowing everything at each other or shooting / wrestling each other! Luckily he’s young enough that I can still (semi-forcibly!) kiss and hug him despite all the bravado, but in a few years that will stop.

    So, men don’t get enough debating with their friends and still want more on dates?! Men are so from Mars to me…😁

    1. 17.1
      Jeremy

      Marika, you wrote, “So, men don’t get enough debating with their friends and still want more on dates?! Men are so from Mars to me…

       

      No, men don’t get enough VALIDATION from their friends, so they want some from women.  Especially women whom they find attractive.  Men invest their sexuality in certain qualities and then consider those qualities “masculine”.  They obtain admiration from women by being admired for those qualities.  Just as many women obtain validation from being admired for feminine qualities.  These guys you describe (the type 2 guys) get validation from being admired for their intelligence.  The only question is whether you like them enough to put up with that form of validation.  Same way that men have to like women enough to put up with the “do these pants make my butt look fat?” validation 🙂

       

      Oh, and re: your question about being warm while still providing arousal by debating – only relevant for type 1 guys.  Be warm and engaging before the debate and especially after it by being gracious in victory or defeat.  But type 2 guys don’t want you to debate with them.  They want you to tell them they are right, while being warm and engaging.

    2. 17.2
      Malika

      Hi Marika:

      Regarding Jeremy’s comments, i can totally relate to the admiration and validation part of it, i see it with some of my male friends all the time. One of them has even stated that he likes to take the ‘professor’ role in the relationship! This is why he likes to pursue women who are way younger than him, even though he also finds women his age attractive. He wants to be deeply admired, and thinks substantially younger women will be far more willing to do this on a regular basis. Having dated older men in the past, i can state from experience that the pedestal usually wears off after a while, if it was even there in the first place, but he is stubborn and wants what he wants so i’ll just let him find that bit out by himself.

      1. 17.2.1
        Marika

        I can definitely relate to that, Malika. My ex husband was a lot older than me and that exact thing happened. I did put him on a pedestal early on, and he needed that because his self esteem wasn’t great. I didn’t really understand the dynamic until after we broke up, but I now recall him asking why I didn’t say x or y down the track like I did at the beginning. I didn’t understand the problem at the time, as relationships evolve and change, and I thought it was a good thing when I was less starry eyed and it was a more even relationship. He ended up cheating with a younger woman than me who treated him like a god. Wonder if that lasted.

        That being said, I certainly don’t mind giving validation. In a relationship where both people are getting their needs met, I see nothing wrong with providing a man with validation. I’m sure they find some of the things we like silly or unnecessary , but if we both refuse to meet each other’s needs if we don’t fully understand their importance, where does that get us?

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