Hypersensitivity, Political Correctness and Agreeing to Disagree

Hypersensitivity, Political Correctness and Agreeing to Disagree

This article couldn’t have showed up at a better time.

It begins with some political stuff, but it really pertains to the comments section of this blog and dialogue on the internet, in general. As always, there’s enough in here to offend everybody (even though there’s nothing inherently offensive), because that’s what happens when one takes a centrist position, as I so often do in the “wars” between men and women.

Let me begin with a personal aside: I am consumed with the subject of liberal outrage.

Now, I am about as liberal as they come – a recent online quiz suggested that I was 91% aligned with Bernie Sanders politically – and yet, I have been incredibly alarmed that what was once the party of tolerance has shown itself to be remarkably intolerant of dissent.

Here are three things I’ve noticed about intolerance:

First of all, certain factions of the Republican Party have been known to be openly intolerant of women, gays, blacks, Latinos, Jews, etc. I’ve always said that “it’s not intolerant to be intolerant of intolerance.” Which is to say that outright bigotry – blatant discrimination against someone different than you should be called out and exposed.

Second, the Republicans have always seemed to be more intolerant of dissent and compromise than the Democrats. That’s where they came up with the idea of RINOs (Republicans in Name Only), where if you don’t toe the entire party line, you’re not really a Republican. President Reagan, for example, would be a RINO, just for raising taxes. This, too, seems incredibly limiting, to suggest that if you don’t agree with someone on every single thing, his/her opinion should be entirely dismissed or mocked.

Third, liberals may not have fully grabbed the intolerance torch from conservatives, but they’re definitely fighting hard for it. If you express an opinion that remotely questions (or jokes about) a far-left belief, you will be publicly shamed for it – as if no other opinions could possibly have merit. Insults and shaming are no way to discuss things in the marketplace of ideas. People should use facts, not straw man attacks or ad hominem slurs. To be fair, the right has engaged in smear tactics since I can remember. But – as we all know – two wrongs don’t make a right. That’s why I’m so disappointed that the left seems to have gone off the deep end in the Twitter age.

This is the culture we live in – one that has created the term “microaggressions” and then come up with a zero tolerance policy for such microaggressions.

Much has already been written about this subject. Here’s Jonathan Chait on how the language police are perverting liberalism. Here’s Chait again on the protests shutting down socialist Bernie Sanders stump speech for not being more aggressive in fighting for civil rights. And pretty much all of my favorite writers and comedians have been attacked by the PC police – Jerry Seinfeld, Stephen Colbert, Sam Harris, Andrew Sullivan, Bill MaherLaura Kipnis. Why? Because even though all of them have socially liberal worldviews, they either made jokes or spoke their minds – much to the chagrin of their critics. Critics with nothing but a blog or a Twitter account, writing the most twisted interpretations of their words. Gladly willing to try to tarnish their names or destroy their careers than to engage in an actual conversation that involves listening. Jon Ronson even wrote a book about this sort of outrage, called “So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed.”

This is the culture we live in – one that has created the term “microaggressions” and then come up with a zero tolerance policy for such microaggressions. Anyway, this article from the Atlantic about “trigger warnings” on college campuses is long and well-researched, but I’m just going to share the conclusion:

When the ideas, values, and speech of the other side are seen not just as wrong but as willfully aggressive toward innocent victims, it is hard to imagine the kind of mutual respect, negotiation, and compromise that are needed to make politics a positive-sum game.

Rather than trying to protect students from words and ideas that they will inevitably encounter, colleges should do all they can to equip students to thrive in a world full of words and ideas that they cannot control. One of the great truths taught by Buddhism (and Stoicism, Hinduism, and many other traditions) is that you can never achieve happiness by making the world conform to your desires. But you can master your desires and habits of thought.”

Okay, so why am I posting this on a blog about dating and relationships?

Well, because sometimes the rhetoric gets so heated in the comments section below that it threatens to overtake the value of the actual conversation. I have been giving free dating and relationship advice twice a week on this blog since 2007. I have approved 75,000 comments, thousands of which were vociferous criticisms of me and my advice. I’ve been blog trolled and Facebook trolled and Twitter trolled and comment trolled and email trolled. It doesn’t make me mad. It just makes me sad for those people who feel that the best form of debate is to create straw man arguments to attack me – all because I believe something different – something that is usually well-reasoned.

This post is not intended to fight with them. Facts rarely persuade people with strong feelings. I’m just going to use this space to add the postscript from the Atlantic article. Regular readers, have you ever seen the following arguments in the comments section below?

Common Cognitive Distortions

1. Mind reading. You assume that you know what people think without having sufficient evidence of their thoughts.

“Society judges women for being single. All Evan’s dating advice indicates is that he thinks we should just accept men as they are and that guys don’t need to change a thing.”

2. Fortune-telling. You predict the future negatively: things will get worse, or there is danger ahead.

“If I get on Match.com, I will be rejected by all the men I like the most and be hit on by a ton of losers. It’s a waste of time and anyone who says otherwise is selling you something.”

3. Catastrophizing. You believe that what has happened or will happen will be so awful and unbearable that you won’t be able to stand it.

“I can’t be vulnerable and trusting with a man. What if I get hurt again?”

Facts rarely persuade people with strong feelings.

4. Labeling. You assign global negative traits to yourself and others.

“I don’t agree with Evan’s advice on a specific topic, therefore, he’s a misogynist who has no respect for women and probably treats his wife like crap.”

5. Discounting positives. You claim that the positive things you or others do are trivial.

“Yes, he’s been a faithful husband for thirty years, but that pales in comparison to how much it hurt when I learned that he occasionally watched online porn.”

6. Negative filtering. You focus almost exclusively on the negatives and seldom notice the positives.

“Online dating sucks and everyone who dates online is a loser – yes, despite the fact that 50,000,000 Americans have tried it and one third of all marriages start online.”

7. Overgeneralizing. You perceive a global pattern of negatives on the basis of a single incident.

“All men cheat.”

8. Dichotomous thinking. You view events or people in all-or-nothing terms.

That nine-month relationship where I fell in love for the first time in five years was a complete waste of time because it didn’t last.”

9. Blaming. You focus on the other person as the source of your negative feelings, and you refuse to take responsibility for changing yourself.

“Men should not have sex with me if they are not 100% positive they want to marry me. They should let me know up front that they are unsure of our future.” 

10. What if? You keep asking a series of questions about “what if” something happens, and you fail to be satisfied with any of the answers.

“What if I marry him, and one day, in twenty years, the spark is gone?”

11. Emotional reasoning. You let your feelings guide your interpretation of reality.

“He told me that he didn’t want to marry me; therefore, no one will ever want to marry me.” 

12. Inability to disconfirm. You reject any evidence or arguments that might contradict your negative thoughts.

“Evan says that men prefer women who are feminine, optimistic, confident, understanding and self-aware. Since I am not all of those things, he’s telling me that I suck and that I’m doomed to be alone.”

We see a lot of this in the comments section, and let me tell you: it’s tiring, both to let untrue statements like this stand on my website, and to have to defend myself against cognitive distortions that I haven’t written nor thought. Take the last point, for example.

“Evan says that men prefer women who are feminine, optimistic, confident, understanding and self-aware. Since I am not all of those things, he’s telling me that I suck and that I’m doomed to be alone.”

I’ve never said that you suck. I’ve never said that you’re doomed to be alone. I simply pointed out that if you’re pessimistic, insecure and judgmental, you may not be particularly effective in dating. A man with those qualities wouldn’t be very effective either. Thus, you have two choices:

    1) Keep acting from a place of fear and insecurity, keep judging men for being different than you, and keep thinking the worst of the opposite sex. Or…
    2) Put yourself out there. Understand how men really think. Have fun. Trust. Don’t be too blinded by chemistry. Judge men on how they treat you. Be the benevolent CEO who rewards her committed intern by making him feel 100% appreciated, accepted and admired.

Which option sounds better to you?

Your thoughts – about liberal outrage, political correctness, trigger warnings, and cognitive distortions – are appreciated below.

Join our conversation (96 Comments).
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Comments:

  1. 1
    Fiona

    People criticizing Stephen Colbert are missing the point of the satire, which really speaks to how good he is at that character.

    But most of the other comics are being criticized because their humor is lame and dated and not funny. Jerry Seinfeld especially sounds like a grump dinosaur. The jokes people were criticizing were offensive-ish but they also weren’t funny.

    I think this is more an issue of older comedians not understanding the social climate than people being too PC. I loved Seinfeld, but the show has a lot of dated men vs. women humor that makes me cringe upon rewatching.

    People are afraid of opinions. But people with opinions are too afraid of criticism. Comics and columnists will always be criticized. In the past, the would ignore it, or find a clever way to address it. Now they blame it on people being PC. I’m not buying it.

    1. 1.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      1. You’re not buying it because you’re PC.

      2. Humor is subjective. You may not find things funny but I do. You may be offended but I’m not. The problem with the PC crowd is that they presume that everyone has to agree with them or they’re “wrong.” Your opinion doesn’t trump mine and you have no right to shame me for laughing at politically incorrect things. If you don’t want to watch Seinfeld anymore, that’s your right. I really don’t think it’s your right to yell at him on Twitter, or try to get his Comedians in Cars series cancelled, just because he offended you.

      3. The internet has enabled “critics” (ie millions of average folks) to talk directly to the comedians. In the past, you’d turn off the TV or refuse to buy tickets to a show. Now, people ATTACK. And that’s what this post and the articles I linked are all about. PC run amok – leaving no room for anyone else to have an opinion. When Sarah Silverman hosts “A Night of 1000 Vaginas” to raise money for reproductive rights and transgender people complain that she’s insensitive because not all women have vaginas, I think it’s obvious we’ve gone too far.

      4. Comedians SHOULDN’T censor themselves for the PC crowd or the social climate. It’s their job to surprise and potentially offend someone in order to make others laugh. You believe your sensitivities trump my right to laugh. I believe that we all have to understand other people’s opinions – and learn to laugh at ourselves. Seriously, can we NEVER make jokes about Jews, blacks, Asians, gays, women – unless we ourselves are of the same clan? To me, that’s a really sad world. The PC folks would have you believe this is a power thing. Except the power has been transferred.

      If you are Laverne Cox, you can say whatever you want about anyone because you’re black and transgender and therefore oppressed. You can make fun of anyone. No one can make fun of you. If you’re straight white male, you are, evidently, only allowed to make fun of straight white males, lest you create a hostile environment for the rest of the world. I’m not that old but when I find something I don’t like on TV, I turn it off. I don’t yell at the TV.

      This Internet culture is toxic – and I’ve thought of shutting down the comments a thousand times because of it.

      Just because my opinion disagrees with yours doesn’t mean I’m wrong or bad or an asshole – and yet, if you read comments sections anywhere, that’s all you hear. My skin is thick enough to take it. But that doesn’t mean I’m going to take it lying down. If I were Seinfeld, I’d stop performing at colleges. I have no choice but to continue to witness the deteriorating discourse of the Internet – and engage in fruitless conversations which change no one’s minds. 🙂

      I’m not mad at you, Fiona. But this subject is definitely a sore spot for me.

      1. 1.1.1
        Lucy

        “If you are Laverne Cox, you can say whatever you want about anyone because you’re black and transgender and therefore oppressed. You can make fun of anyone. No one can make fun of you. If you’re straight white male, you are, evidently, only allowed to make fun of straight white males, lest you create a hostile environment for the rest of the world.”

        aha completely true! And I agree. I don’t know what other quote I could use to sum up my own feelings on the matter.

        All I know is that some of the people I have met who claim to fly the flag of tolerance, can actually be quite intolerant. This is why I’m politically moderate. I don’t like how ideological people are getting.

      2. 1.1.2
        Kitty

        The most egregious repeat offenders didn’t even try to defend themselves.  Congrats!

      3. 1.1.3
        Fiona

        “The problem with the PC crowd is that they presume that everyone has to agree with them or they’re “wrong.” Your opinion doesn’t trump mine and you have no right to shame me for laughing at politically incorrect things.”

        By the same logic, your opinion doesn’t trump my right to express an opinion. Yes, Jerry Seinfeld has every right to make any kind of joke he wants. What he doesn’t have is the right to avoid criticism.

        The “anti-PC” crowd has somehow conflated criticism with hatred of free speech. IMO, criticism is a valid and important response to art/media. Roger Ebert is one of my heros.

        Now, I don’t personally criticize comedians, because it’s not something I follow. But when I say, watch a movie that strikes me as grossly sexist, I might post about it on Twitter or write a blog entry. That’s me expressing my opinion, critical as it may be. You have no right to take away my opinion, just as I have no right to tell you what to think.

        I’d compare Sarah Silverman or Margaret Cho to Jerry Seinfeld. Which of them is actually making edgy jokes? It’s not Seinfeld. He’s just making jokes that reinforce the status quo. But I’ve never seen or heard Margaret Cho (and I could be wrong, because I don’t follow this) complain that people are too PC. That’s the point I was trying to make. It’s not people making jokes about gun control and abortion and REAL political issues that complain about “PC culture.” It’s people making jokes about how men and women are different.

        1. Evan Marc Katz

          “The “anti-PC” crowd has somehow conflated criticism with hatred of free speech.”

          Actually, you’ve gotten it backwards. It’s one thing to offer criticism. It’s another thing to try to shut someone down or destroy someone’s livelihood. Example: I’m totally against hunting, but that Minnesota dentist who shot a lion on safari in Africa does not deserve to have his business shut down or receive death threats. All the people I cited in my article don’t just get criticism, they get hate mail and death threats as well. Thus, it’s the PC people who are the destroyers of free speech. That’s why I wrote this article. It’s the definition of irony. You get so caught up in toeing the politically correct line that you try to destroy and silence anyone who doesn’t do the same. Remember, it wasn’t #CriticizeColbert, it was #CancelColbert.

          You can dress it up however you want, but there’s valid constructive criticism, which is thought provoking and has literary merit; and then there’s internet hate speech. A lot of the far left crowd has turned as hateful as the far right crowd – and as a guy who’s pretty far left, I find that incredibly dispiriting. The fact that you haven’t even acknowledged my point sort of IS my point. It would be too painful for you to admit the reality of my observation because it would be personally indicting to you.

          Per your final comment – you’ve again reinforced my point: Sarah Silverman and Margaret Cho are allowed to make jokes that Seinfeld can’t, wouldn’t or couldn’t. Here’s a good piece on Amy Schumer – another comedienne who is pushing boundaries and is certainly not politically correct. She makes fun of women all the time in a way that if Seinfeld did, he’d be toast.

          Listen, I’m a former comedy writer and current dating coach. I know that what’s funny is what’s provocative and surprising, and almost never safe or expected. As the author of the above piece says in the last line: “It’s unfair and impossible to ask a comedian to push boundaries without also giving them room to write material that sometimes falls short, or pushes too hard.”

          And what I’m saying is that the self-proclaimed critics (namely, everybody with a pulse and a computer) have a little bit too much power for my taste as a semi-public figure. I repeat: if you don’t like what I say, go find someone else you like better. I’m not bothered in the least. What does bother me is when some yahoo writes that I’m a misogynist when my entire life is devoted to helping women. That’s someone’s “opinion” all right, but it’s not valid criticism, no more than it’s valid criticism when someone calls Obama a Kenyan socialist.

          Not all opinions are created equal. Sorry.

          Oh, and one final thing: men and women ARE different. If you don’t understand that, it would probably explain your frustration with comedy about how men and women are different. Men have testosterone. Testosterone changes the way people act. Go on. Look it up. You’ll see. It also explains why men are more violent, aggressive, prone to war, rape and cheating. Or do you disagree with that part, too? Do you think men and women are identical in only positive ways, but men are different and worse when it comes to negative characteristics? 🙂

        2. Fiona

          There’s really no need to be condescending. I’m a regular visitor and commenter, and I always try to be police and non-accusatory.  I think we’re discussing two different things– I am discussing people who use the internet to express criticism (however rude) and you’re discussing people who make threats. Which is taking us away from the main point of your article, but there you go. Threats and personal attacks are threats and personal attacks. You see them from MRAs and you see them from feminists. There’s nothing inherent about any position that includes trying to destroy people.

          Let’s look at a group I’m sure we both hate: One Million Moms, who tries to shut down media for including gay characters. Do I think they’re despicable? Absolutely. But it’s also their first amendment right to protest media for whatever reason they want. It’s obnoxious, but it’s their right, and it’s my right to say they’re obnoxious.

          Seinfeld is a bad example, because his comedy is really white bread (I’m also a former comedy writer). But take an edgy white male comedian, say Bill Mahr or Lewis Black. I never hear of them complaining about being PC. Because they know they are pushing buttons. It would be ridiculous for them to complain about people getting angry at their material, because the material is designed to provoke.

          To be honest, I don’t see why media creators are so obsessed with criticism. Who cares if someone insults their comedy, movie, book, whatever? That’s part of the price of admission for creating art (and I know it sucks, I’m a writer with books on Amazon, and I’ve had incredibly rude, hateful one-star reviews. But so what? It’s one person’s opinion. I’m not going to whine about a difference of opinion on twitter). You know. You have a blog and you express opinions. Part of that means people are going to disagree.

        3. Evan Marc Katz

          Thanks for responding. Sorry for the condescension. The internet brings that out in me.

          To your point, Bill Maher is one of the people I cited in my article. I, too, am a big fan. Here’s Maher earlier this summer on political correctness. If you watch his show regularly, you’ll hear him rail against it regularly.

          I didn’t know about Lewis Black’s stance, so I Googled it. Guess what?

          Seems like Seinfeld, Black, Maher and Katz all believe that people need to lighten the fuck up.

          Time for me to get out of work and play with the kids. Thanks for the conversation.

        4. Fiona

          And I do agree that men and women are different, but have you watched an early episode of Seinfeld lately? It’s mostly really played out comedy like men only want to get laid and women only want commitments. So, sure, some people still find that funny. But I think it’s hacky. I still like the show. I just don’t think that part of it has aged well.

        5. Not Jerry

          You’re talking about something I try hard to avoid.

          “Personal Attacks” and “Name Calling”.

          If I disagree with what someone says, like on the blog, I try hard to point out what they didn’t think of, what they misspoke about. It doesn’t happen often but sometimes I get someone who comes back and says “I hadn’t thought of that”.  You live for those moments!

          I am not always successful at avoiding personal attacks and name calling, but I do try hard.

          I hope you noticed that, because it’s the kind of person I want to be.  I have been blogging a long time, much longer than most.

          EMK, “not all women have vaginas”.  You were on fire there!  Great post.  I’m gonna be watching this thread.

          Perfect for the political season that is upon us.

        6. Holly

          Not all women have vaginas? Then what exactly do they have?

        7. Not Jerry

          Holly, read EMK’s 1.1 post, that is what I was referring to.  Funny.

        8. twinkle

          On the topic of Bill Maher (one of my favs) and overly-PC nonsense, one of his funniest and truest statements was “I’m sorry, I love the transgendered, but if you’re transgendered and you can’t handle ‘the Vagina Monologues,’ you don’t need a v*gina. You’re already a giant p*ssy.” That line was good. 🙂

           

          I agree wholeheartedly with almost every line of this article. Cognitive distortions abound. I’m reasonably self-aware and introspective, but I think I’m prone to no. 3 “Catastrophising” and being scared to love and commit as a result. The first step is recognising our biases and then we have to work to change them. It’s not always easy, because it’s more a matter of fundamental flaws in our thought process and not just a matter of faulty facts/knowledge, but it’s worth the effort. 🙂

      4. 1.1.4
        Cookie

        “People not understanding the social climate?” REALLY? Because I would like to think that society still includes me and my dinosauric generation. Fiona, maybe you should expand your circle of acqaintances. Ideas that differ from yours won’t hurt you, I promise. Evan, hopefully you know that not all conservatives think alike. In fact, they are famous for disagreeing with each other loudly and often. But there isn’t anything they are afraid to say out loud. I think that any effort to squelch the expression of any idea, no matter how distasteful that idea may be to me personally, is just plain intolerance, regardless of the political stripe of the person who wants to do the squelching. There IS no “good” intolerance when it comes to people’s right to say what they really believe. Their speech may not be entitled to public approval, but the speakers are entitled to tolerance in a free society. I guess in a better “social climate,” that would happen. And “Seinfeld” was genius, then and now. I tended to date apolitical guys back when I was single, and that was fine at the time. I guess it’s lucky for me that I met and married a guy with the same background and general political leanings as mine. The only real difference we have is that he is a Yankees fan (Bronx boy), while I favor the Mets (Queens girl).

  2. 2
    Kitty

    Phenomenal post, Evan.  You could, and should, write a book about how modern people’s inability to tolerate and work around differences of opinion is toxic not only to the democratic process but to lasting relationships and marriages.  My thoughts:

    1.  A lot of people who regularly comment at a dating blog will be people who are unhappy, for some reason or another, with their relationships.  I’m single at the moment though I’m working on changing that and your advice has been very helpful.  That said, People can be single or unhappy in their relationships for a wide variety of reasons but one of the overarching trends that you note in this post is that many unhappy people have self-defeating and stereotypical mentalities about life in general and especially about love.

    2.  Modern technologies have made it much easier for people to have nearly everything their way.  At 35 I can remember when I had to content myself with whatever clothes I could find at the local mall, whatever books, magazines movies I could find at local stores and whatever friends I could meet in my daily life.  Hell, I remember driving around listening to the radio and tolerating songs I didn’t like while waiting for a song I did like to play!  We don’t have to do that anymore.  With smart phones at our fingertips 24/7 we can buy almost anything we can imagine, get our news only from blogs and media we agree with, and never listen to a single song that we don’t care for.  Now I’m not blaming technology for all of our woes; it is simply exacerbating human nature’s tendency toward egotism ans intolerance.

    3.  We become used to having everything our way in terms of what we buy and what media we consume.  Look at all those people who spend so much of their lives plugged into their phones. For some particularly troubled and highly insecure people this extends to believing that they have the right to never hear speech or ideas which make them uncomfortable.   Essentially they want the real world to conform to the custom-designed fantasy world they’ve created on their phones.  Encouraged by a decadent form of liberalism which increasingly defines every one of life’s hiccups and problems as abuse or bigotry, they feel no need to distance themselves from speech or ideas they find offensive.  And the more they cocoon themselves the less tolerance they develop for being offended.  The MGTOW and PUA movements have more or less developed the same way.  No matter how odd or uncommon one’s opinions might be there are are at least one or two blogs somewhere which validate them

    4. This expectation of having everything custom designed to our every whim has made relationships particularly problematic.  Obviously there are many people in the world whose relationships and marriages are reasonably happy and don’t suffer from these difficulties.  But modern PC people, whether they’re on the feminist/trans left or the PUA/Kim Davis right want to do everything their own way and have a perfect, glove-fitting partner along for the ride.  And when that doesn’t work out they seek “advice” without really seeking advice.  By that I mean they don’t really want to change their behavior.  They want the opposite sex to change or they want the rest of the world to change so they come here and argue their dating philosophy with a strong personality like yours hoping that you’ll give them a pat on the head and tell them that they are right and the world is wrong.

    1. 2.1
      Christine

      Tell me about it with the technology.  I’m also in my mid-30s and feel like a dinosaur next to my three year old nephew, who is already fascinated by iphones.  At his age, I was content with a rag doll!  He loves fiddling with iphones in the Apple store, and is already pretty good at swiping, double clicking, etc.  A few times he’s even called my cell from my sister’s iphone (my sister got so confused when I asked her why she’d called and hung up on me!)  I’m sure that soon enough, he’ll want his own iphone, not just the toy cellphone and toy ipad he has now.  I also know a lot of other little kids who are also already so sophisticated with technology.  That’s the world we live in now, where people get glued to smart phones at younger and younger ages.  After getting so accustomed to ordering things according to our “specifications” (as we do with Amazon, Pandora, etc.) I suppose people expect to order partners the same way!

      1. 2.1.1
        Kitty

        Christine, I plugged my requirements for a man – from his job, height, eye color, favorite music and shoe size – into Match.  Yet Fed-Ex didn’t deposit him on my doorstep 48 hours later?  Why not???

        1. Christine

          Haha Kitty!  However, the scary thing is that some people really do approach online dating that way and expect that to happen.  That’s why we call a fantasy a “dream man” or “dream woman”–because those people only exist in our dreams!

           

        2. Not Jerry

          Kitty, I think Match ships USPS, so it may take a while. Haha. Great post.

      2. 2.1.2
        Josie

        My experiences has been that the men who have highly specific criteria listed on the “what he’s looking for” section of their profile generally are very picky, self-centered and potentially narcissists.  Very often, you will meet them and they will not call or ask for a second date.   For example, one guy who had a max height (I was an inch taller than said max height) and specified his preferred hair colors and eye colors in detail.

        I have now decided to stop winking or emailing to those men.  You also want to avoid expressing interest in a man online who has an age preference you exceed (or even if you are 39 and his upper limited stated in his profile is 39).  Let him come to you and pursue YOU ,   if he feels that you warrant a waiver from his limited criteria. And even then , be very guarded because he is likely looking for a better option as he is dating you.

        1. Kitty

          Good tips, Josie.  Everyone I know who is long-term single allegedly because they want to be is picky to a fault.  Come to think of it all of my long term boyfriends had a trait that I wasn’t necessarily looking for but once I gave them a shot I was pleasantly surprised.

        2. Not Jerry

          Kitty, I’m dying to hear what that trait was.

  3. 3
    Christine

    Thanks for posting these distortions–which are equally as applicable to dating.  I admit I was probably most guilty of (2) and (3), when I first dated my boyfriend.  I had come off a relationship with a narcissistic player.  Because of that, I was initially afraid of really trusting and being vulnerable to my boyfriend, to avoid the possibility of getting hurt again.  However, it really didn’t feel so great to date with that negative mindset.  Deep down I sensed that I had a potentially good thing going and didn’t want to ruin that.  So then I committed to only judging him by what he actually does, not any assumptions, insecurities or fears of what I thought could happen.  Ever since then, he has shown me, time and time again, how loving and committed he is to me.  I’m so glad that I eventually got a hold of myself and didn’t let myself get overrun by those (unfounded) fears.

    I do see some of these distortions in the comments thread, especially the overgeneralization and blaming (from both men and women).  I sympathize because I also went through that, after a string of bad experiences.  However, I learned to overcome that and hope other people do as well, because it doesn’t actually serve anyone or get anyone closer to the relationships they want.

  4. 4
    Holly

    I think these are some very interesting observations. The one thing I truly will disagree with though, is that example of the “occasional porn user”. Even if a spouse never cheats physically, to indulge oneself in fantasy even occasionally, is being unfaithful in one’s heart. That said, no one is perfect and everyone falls into temptation. I’m Catholic so I’m most attuned to my own shortcomings in that area. Where the spouse would fail is in not recognizing the temptation each time it happens, not doing anything to stop the fantasizing and then not going to confession and trying to do better from that point on (even though they might fall again). We all fall short of the glory of God, but I would much rather know that my spouse at least realizes where he’s gone wrong and tries to prevent himself from making the same mistake, however minor it may seem to be. The onus would be on me to do the same, if the situation were reversed. I do think pornography use is hurtful, to the person using it, their spouse and to society. But it wouldn’t be worth breaking up an otherwise good marriage over. It’s important to be forgiving and accepting of people’s weaknesses, and to provide support where needed so that they can overcome sins. We all need to help each other on this journey. ☺

      1. 4.1.1
        Holly

        It is immoral, but I’m certainly guilty of succumbing to it myself. That’s why I would be hurt, but yet the bigger issue is whether or not my future spouse understands that it is a sin to engage in sexual behaviors outside of the martial embrace. That’s not God’s design for sex; as long as we’re at least on the same page with that, I don’t care if he slips occasionally so long as he knows it’s wrong.

        1. Holly

          Thank you for the link, too. I’m always interested in good articles from Christian sites. To be sure, it is an informative read; it’s also worth noting that while the authors report the findings of the study, they also emphasize methods to get away from using porn. It’s not written in a “hey guess what, Christians use porn as much as secular guys, so just deal with it” tone. It’s written more like, “Wow, this is really a problem if Christian guys are letting themselves fall prey to this temptation” kind of tone.

        2. Karmic Equation

          Marriage is a man-made institutional, by men who wanted power and adulation.

          God didn’t require that Adam and Eve marry in the Garden before they had sex. At least, I don’t ever recall seeing that little gem in the Bible.

        3. Holly

          Karmic,

          Then maybe read it again. It says that God made Eve for Adam, because it was “not good for man to be alone”. He would make Adam a “helper fit for him”. In that sense, God was the officiant and the bride was created for the groom. Maybe they didn’t have a ceremony akin to today’s weddings, but they didn’t need to.

        4. Evan Marc Katz

          Holly, if you’re going to take dating cues from a book written 2000 years ago, this is probably not the ideal site for you. Nothing personal, honestly. But let’s just say that there are significantly different gender dynamics and challenges here in the 21st century. If you disagree, that’s okay. I’m not trying to convince you otherwise. Just letting you know that you’ll find yourself very frustrated by my very modern, practical, effective approach to dating, which is based on what we observe here in real life, rather than adherence to the Bible.

        5. Holly

          Well, you and I have different ideologies for sure, but we do agree on a few things. I like this blog because the articles are relevant to my struggles in dating and you usually have a well-reasoned response to your readers. Maybe I frequently disagree with it, but if everyone always agreed on everything, the world would be quite a boring place. I think people need to hear from others of different backgrounds and faiths. It gives a different perspective and opens people up to the possibility that not everyone thinks the way they do. Would it really help you to hear nothing but “Oh, I totally agree, you’re so right!” on everything?

        6. Gabri'el

          Holly, I am responding to your last response to Evan about following dating advice from a book (the bible) written 2,000 years ago.

          So you say that the bible considers married men who watch porn sinning, okay, so would you be okay with those same married men getting a second wife? That is legal in the bible and many men in the bible didn’t have porn, why would he could get another wife.

          Now personally, I do agree that if watching porn hurts a man’s wife, then he should stop, but not because he is a bad person or because he is a sinner. I think he should stop out of love and respect for his wife.

        7. Holly

          There may be men in the Bible who had multiple wives, but that doesn’t mean God always endorsed it. Many times they may have been acting upon ungodly laws that were established in their land. I don’t know enough about what the Bible says about that situation to be able to expound further. I’m a Catholic and as such, I did not receive a thorough education on all things Bible-based.  Catholics don’t focus on the Bible as much as, say, evangelical Christian denominations. What I will say is this: the stories in the Bible are accounts of personal histories of the men who wrote them. Their stories pertaining to how God blessed them with His presence don’t negate them from being sinners (we are all sinners, after all – it’s a fact of life). They may well have acted outside the will of God by taking multiple wives. But I digress – my view of pornography wasn’t meant to turn into a debate about the Bible or my religion. I’m just starting to see how a secular culture has eroded pretty much all sense of God-given morality and I wanted to express my take on it.

    1. 4.2
      Karmic Equation

      Most porn doesn’t turn women on the same way they turn guys on. That’s why most women don’t get it. Plus most women are jealous of pornstar bods or insecure about their own bodies or both, so the porn is just rubbing her face in it, so to speak.

      Men don’t understand women’s fascination with “50 Shades of Grey”. Same reason. Why READ it when you can WATCH it?

      That said, if you can get over your own insecurities or judgmental-ness of porn and instead see it as a time-saving tool or even one that let’s you off the hook — when your guy is horny and you’re not — tell him to go watch some porn so you yourself don’t have to blow him if you’re to tired for that but don’t mind a quickie.

      Really. Porn is a great tool to help “fluff” the guy when you don’t feel like doing the fluffing. Or it’s great to help you speed things up when you’re too tired to help him get across the finish line.

      1. 4.2.1
        Joek

        I’m not being sarcastic when I say this, but it sounds like you’re saying there’s a double-standard at play for “acceptable” erotica?

         

        What I read was “men are ok with women’s erotica, but women aren’t ok with men’s”.  Or did I misread you there (I don’t want to put words in your mouth!).

         

        Thanks in advance for any clarification you can provide.

      2. 4.2.2
        Karmic Equation

        I think women need to overcome their insecurities and jealousies over porn. I don’t understand those feelings at all.

        Because the reality is this. Even if her bf/husband were to ever meet a porn star IRL, what are the odds that that porn would be into her bf/husband? I would say slim to none.

        That’s what women seem to forget. Just because her guy turns her on, doesn’t mean her guy is appealing to the porn star.

        I think my guy is hot. But I’m just as sure that those porn stars wouldn’t find him hot, because he doesn’t have money or status, and he’s balding, and he has a job those women would look down on.

        So if he were to meet a porn star who would have him, and he’d be willing to dump me and the relationship we have for her? I’d lose all my respect for him and say, “Fine. Have at her. Don’t let the door hit you on the way out.” Who wants to be with a guy who doesn’t want her?

        Doesn’t mean I wouldn’t be hurt. It would hurt like hell. My ego would take a beating. But I’ll survive, as would most women, if they stop and think logically instead of reacting out of fear of loss or abandonment.

      3. 4.2.3
        mal

        You should find a girl who not only doesn’t mind porn but will watch it too on occasion. There are more of us than you think.

      4. 4.2.4
        pat

        1/3 of porn consumers are women. imagine if more porn was made for women the number would be even higher

  5. 5
    Kitty

    “Even if a spouse never cheats physically, to indulge oneself in fantasy even occasionally, is being unfaithful in one’s heart.”

    Respectfully Holly, do you ever daydream about walking around Paris with Ryan Gosling or Robert Pattinson?  Would fantasizing about a relationship with your favorite actor be “infidelity of the heart” or just fantasizing about sex?

    1. 5.1
      Christine

      I was wondering the same thing. 90% of the time, me and my boyfriend really do focus on each other.  We constantly say “I love you”, go out of our way to do nice things for each other, and try to make each other happy.  We spend as much time together as our schedules allow and always have a great time when we do.

      But being human, yes, we’ve occasionally indulged in fantasies with “fantasy” figures 10% of the time.  Like one time, he fantasized about Angelina Jolie while we were watching “Wanted” (not that I blame him–hey, she’s hot and most men out there fantasize about her.  I’ll be alone forever if I discount every man who’s ever fantasized about Angelina Jolie).  Another time, I fantasized about being in “The Notebook” with Ryan Gosling in lieu of Rachel McAdams (again, he’d be alone forever if he discounted every woman who ever fantasized about Ryan Gosling).  Does that 10% count as being “unfaithful” and somehow erase (or detract from) all of the love we show each other the 90% of the time?  I mean no disrespect to Holly, but I can’t quite agree with her and think it’s harsh to equate occasional fantasy with being unfaithful.

    2. 5.2
      Holly

      I see your point, Kitty. I’ll admit that women aren’t off the hook here, either. No, I typically don’t fantasize about men I don’t know. I used to, in fact I was quite the teenybopper back in the day. But I’d say even that kind of fantasy isn’t exactly the same although it’s definitely going down a similar path. So to answer your question, yes, it would be unfaithful. Even if you know you’ll never meet the person, or act on the temptation, it’s always better to train yourself away from fantasizing. It can be done if it means enough to you.

  6. 6
    Lucy

    I’m not a fan of political correctness. I’m a fan of people doing their best not to offend someone for no good reason, but I feel like what everyone says is judged far too readily by people ready to see everything as offensive. This story is top news in the UK at the moment: Was the lawyer being sexist or not?

    I’ve noticed the cognitive distortion aspect when writing press releases and social media posts for work. Something said innocently can be interpreted wrongly and blown out of proportion so everything has to be worded very carefully to ward off the easily offended.

    Political correctness is actually enshrined in law here – I mean a person can be arrested and charged for something they post on social media that offends someone. I think  it’s gone too far. Politicians don’t help. Our Prime Minister got some media heat recently for describing the refugee crisis as a a ‘swarm’. I genuinely believe that it was a meaningless word  he used but the the ensuing public indignation over a word has been useful political capital for his opposition.

  7. 7
    SAL9000

    Hmmm. IMO a specious connection to use to justify going political. Kudos for recognizing the trend but the reason f0r it is the liberal mindset has its foundation in the state, and the state can have only voice, ergo, the current manifestation that is the hegemony of PC/intolerance (one that utterly steamrollers over that of the GOP).

     

    As to the advice/commentary regarding dating, I think it’s very good, thing is that stuff has always existed in very high volumes, it’s just that these days we get to hear about it morning/noon/night because everyone has access to post about it on innumerable forums and blogs. FWIW I’ve been guilty of #1, #3 and #5 tons in the past. I’ve mostly gotten over it now.

  8. 8
    Elizabeth

    Evan,

    What’s with GOP hate?  Seriously, you can make a point about political correctness taking over modern day ideology without throwing Republicans under the bus.  And on top of that you’re wrong!

    Second, the Republicans have always seemed to be more intolerant of dissent and compromise than the Democrats. That’s where they came up with the idea of RINOs (Republicans in Name Only), where if you don’t toe the entire party line, you’re not really a Republican. President Reagan, for example, would be a RINO, just for raising taxes. This, too, seems incredibly limiting, to suggest that if you don’t agree with someone on every single thing, his/her opinion should be entirely dismissed or mocked.”  

    Do you even know what a RINO is?  Step away from the NPR definition and I’ll help you.  (Btw, the new, trending term is Cuckservative.)  Similar to how you were suggested to vote for Bernie Sanders and not Hillary,  the populist right no longer wants to vote for establishment candidates like Jeb Bush.   Trump’s success as a politically incorrect alternative to the bought-and-paid-for Democrat-lite candidate that the right has been serving up for years disproves your initial talking points.  True Conservatives are fed up with PC politics as well and they have Trump as a financially-independent, straight-talking beacon of hope to “save” the party.  You may see it as “intolerance,” they see him as their savior with a no-holds-barred, George Carlin delivery.  Recent history also supports this logic: In 2009 the Tea Party was to the right what the Occupy Movement was to the left.  You should get a copy of Nader’s book: “Unstoppable: The Emerging Left-Right Alliance To Dismantle The Corporate State” to give you a glimpse as to why Sanders and Trump are surging in polls with fed up Americans from both sides of the aisle.

    I don’t know what this has to do with modern dating but OK, I’ll go with it. 

     

    1. 8.1
      Shaukat

      This comment actually demonstrates the manner in which the term ‘political correctness’ has been effectively hijacked by right wing reactionaries. The term used to refer to ideas that could potentially destabilize dominant political and economic elites. In the 1980s and 90s it was appropriated by the right to disparage anyone who might be offended by genuine racism, sexism or homophobia. There is a world of difference between Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump, as well as the occupy movement and the tea party crowd. Left-wing candidates and activists direct their anger and dissatisfaction at economic elites and the policies which privilege them while attempting to forge solidarity among all marginalized groups. Right wing populists, on the other hand, including Trump, cynically attempt to tap into political anger by demonizing and scapegoating vulnerable groups and pitting the middle class against the lower class and the latter against foreigners. And then, anyone who might object to someone referring to Mexicans as rapists is labelled ‘politically correct.’

      On the other issue, I must say that I am a huge fan of genuine politically incorrect and irreverent humour. Two of my favourite comedians, not mentioned by EMK, are Seth Macfarlane and Anthony Jeselnik, both of whom roasted Donald Trump. Both comedians make jokes which are grounded in misogyny and racism, but in a satirical and clever fashion, and both are white males. Family Guy still contains some of the most irreverent and cutting edge humour on television. When Macfarlane was attacked for his ‘sexist’ jokes at the Oscars, he simply chose not to accept the next year’s invitation to perform there. Freedom of speech doesn’t guarantee anyone a platform, and average individuals have every right to get offended and tweet angry comments at comedians who offend them (though of course they have no right to make any threats or even insinuate violence). The comedians and artists who bend in the face of such criticism are, in my opinion at least, the ones with little artistic integrity.

      1. 8.1.1
        Elizabeth

        Shaukat, what a politically correct answer to an anti-politically correct discussion.  Let us dive deeper to what political correctness truly is that coincidentally ties into the original school article Evan posted about.  From   the Wikipedia page:

        Accusations of bias in academia and education were core to Dinesh D’Souza’s arguments when he initially pushed the term into public discourse, and conservatives have used it as a major line of attack since.[5] University of Pennsylvania professor Alan Charles Kors and lawyer Harvey A. Silverglate connect political correctness to philosopher Herbert Marcuse. They claim that speech codes in US universities create a “climate of repression”, arguing that they are based on “Marcusean logic”. The speech codes, “mandate a redefined notion of “freedom,” based on the belief that the imposition of a moral agenda on a community is justified”, a view which, “requires less emphasis on individual rights and more on assuring “historically oppressed” persons the means of achieving equal rights.” They claim:

        Our colleges and universities do not offer the protection of fair rules, equal justice, and consistent standards to the generation that finds itself on our campuses. They encourage students to bring charges of harassment against those whose opinions or expressions “offend” them. At almost every college and university, students deemed members of “historically oppressed groups”–above all, women, blacks, gays, and Hispanics–are informed during orientation that their campuses are teeming with illegal or intolerable violations of their “right” not to be offended. Judging from these warnings, there is a racial or sexual bigot, to borrow the mocking phrase of McCarthy’s critics, “under every bed.”[28]

        Herbert Marcuse was actively involved in The Frankfurt School, a group of philosophers made up of self-proclaimed Marxists.  So as we can see the term and theory behind Political Correctness was created by the extreme left. Faulting conservatives for “hijacking” the term for their benefit seems disingenuous on your part.  Someone has to call out the Emperor for not wearing clothes and in this case the right is bringing attention to what has become mainstream discrimination in and of itself.  Must I remind you Republicans aren’t to blame for silencing Sanders on a Seattle platform.
        You mention Political Correcteness as a tool to “disparage anyone who might be offended by genuine racism, sexism, and homophobia.”  Are you referring to authentic discrimination or just name calling? And there, my friends, lies the heart of the matter.  “Hate” speech IS free speech.  When comics have a tough time being called out for “hate” speech at college campuses, freedom of expression is in danger.  Once you go down the slippery slope of what is permissible to say and what is not do we have an infringement of rights and a culture of tyranny.  It may be true saying unpopular things may not land you in prison (like in Europe) but you will be forced to resign your professional post and submit to public shame for the rest of your life. All for saying  anything remotely taboo.   So in essence, mouthing inpolitically correct phrases can be a cultural death sentence.
        Now let’s talk about the Trumppening… Yes, there is a vast world of difference politically between Presidential candidates Sanders and Trump, but the grassroots supporters on both the right and left are driven by the same populist angst. Trump is not creating class warfare as you might suggest since he appeals to both the upper class by his wealth and lower class by sticking up for them when it comes to illegal immigrant labor hijacking (I like your term!) nativist jobs thus creating a new slave labor class for big business moguls who control this country.  Am I not mistaken that Sanders has also said immigration hurts wages and jobs?
         “Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passions, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence.”  -John Adams
        One last thing for someone who calls out racism when he sees it, you seemed to be very proud of yourself for enjoying politically incorrect humor from white male comics.  If you were truly racially unbiased in your thinking, why bother identifying the color of the comics’ skin?

        1. Shaukat

          Hi Elizabeth,

          One last thing for someone who calls out racism when he sees it, you seemed to be very proud of yourself for enjoying politically incorrect humor from white male comics.  If you were truly racially unbiased in your thinking, why bother identifying the color of the comicsskin?

          Because I was responding to a point made by EMK that white male comics are unable to make ‘politically incorrect’ jokes based on race and gender. The two examples I offered, Macfarlane and Jeselnik, show that such comics are indeed able to do so as long as their jokes are clever and satirical and they don’t care about the mainstream limelight. Someone like Seinfeld is more likely to tailor his jokes based on backlash, because he is far more interested in appealing to a safe, upper middle class crowd (dare I say, his audience is probably comprised of the same people who watch Oprah and Dr. Phil).

           

          Regarding your other points, quickly, I absolutely believe in unrestricted freedom of speech (with very few exceptions, such as corporate false advertising) which includes hate speech. I haven’t said otherwise. On migrant labour, even the Wall Street Journal, not a bastion of left wing activism, has pointed out that these labourers take jobs that nativists are, for the most part, not willing to do.

           

        2. Elizabeth

          Not willing to do?

          From the right-wing NYT:
          “Until 15 or 20 years ago, meatpacking plants in the United States were staffed by highly paid, unionized employees who earned about $18 an hour, adjusted for inflation. Today, the processing and packing plants are largely staffed by low-paid non-union workers from places like Mexico and Guatemala. Many of them start at $6 an hour. ”
          http://www.nytimes.com/2001/12/21/us/meatpackers-profits-hinge-on-pool-of-immigrant-labor.html

           

        3. Not Jerry

          Exactly right.

          Skilled americans are not willing to do a skilled job in a skilled way with the lifestyle of an American for the wages that poor untrained illegal immigrants are.

          No surprise there. Something the left always fails to mention.

           

        4. Shaukat

          Yes, granted there has been a general trend toward rationalizing, shedding and outsourcing in the US since the 1970s. My point was simply that shipping out all the illegal labourers won’t automatically result in higher wages and better conditions:

          Since the raids, African-Americans have made up about 65% of Crider’s work force, while whites are 30% and Hispanics 5%, according to the company. Turnover has been high. The population of workers hired since last September’s immigration raids has turned over three times, according to Crider.

          http://www.wsj.com/article_email/SB116898113191477989-lMyQjAxMDE3NjE4NzkxODcxWj.html

           

  9. 9
    Sasha

    I used to consider myself liberal. I used to equate liberalism with open mindedness, thoughtfulness, and a commitment to free speech. I used to think of conservatives as close minded, demogogic, and anti intellectual. But then I went to college, and those assumptions of mine were dashed. I had to attend and pay for classes whose purpose was to indoctrinate me with the belief that “the white race is the oppressor race and the non white races are the oppressed races” (one of my professor’s exact words on the first day of her class). I had one professor that admitted to my class that she sometimes feels guilty for being white. Another teacher told my class the story of how the feminist professors implied that he was sexist because he voted for Barack Obama instead of hillary clinton. So my impression now is that there are just as many crazy, close minded liberals as there are conservatives. Its just that the media only makes us aware of the conservative crazy people, while giving the liberal crazy people a free pass, even as they’re given free reign to indoctrinate students at taxpayer funded colleges. 

  10. 10
    Sabine

    I believe in free speech and I believe in truth. I’m moderate (leaning a bit more to the right).  I won’t get into religion or politics here. If I continue to not agree with an opinion, I just stop reading that writer’s opinion. I like the commentary about men from Evan’s perspective b/c it’s honest. Honesty is a big, big thing for me. Ladies, whether you agree or not, all romantic relationships result in sex.  If a guy can’t wait and you want to, move on. Seven billion people on our planet….Mr. SuperSpecial is out there. Whatever your story is, move on far far from that stuff. If your looking for love,  your opinions aren’t what attracts you to others,  it’s your loving, kind and open heart.

  11. 11
    guest

    According to the OP, apparently only women commit cognitive distortions. Fascinating distortion in itself, not at all indicative of the author’s mindset, I’m sure.

    1. 11.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      I am a dating coach who works exclusively with women, if you hadn’t noticed. It’s not my mindset; it’s my JOB.

      1. 11.1.1
        Not Jerry

        EMK, you said once you occasionally work with men.

        1. Evan Marc Katz

          I worked with men until 2010. Since then, I’ve been a dating coach for smart, strong, successful women who want to understand men and find love. Thus, anyone expecting me to give advice to men will usually leave here sorely disappointed.

        2. Not Jerry

          Well, you screwed up. I am not disappointed.  Har.

           

  12. 12
    Josie

    Great post.  I am quite liberal with my politics , and love to keep up with and debate politics and current affairs,  but I am fully open to dating someone with different views. However, the tone that many men take in discussing politics is very uncivil, argumentative and ignorant.  I will agree to a date with a conservative man as long as he is not openly argumentative on the phone or otherwise bigoted.  Some men really have no filter between mouth and brain.

    I spoke On the phone with one guy last week who managed to degrade both African Americans while using a nasty pejorative for women.  This was an educated professional man!   Those guys are pretty easy to cull out.

    However, once on a date, a normal seeming guy will show himself as a wing nut.   One date went south when I innocently mentioned attending a Bruce Springsteen concert and the guy started in on Springsteen’s political views, leading into a whole right wing diatribe that culminated in his stating that he would love to move out west and live as a “free American.”

  13. 13
    Evan Marc Katz

    O,

    I considered ignoring you because of how you’ve continued to trash me on other sites way after I ended the conversation, but I will take the bait once again. Briefly:

    1. “Why is it so very important that men be held to ethical standards in dating, but women are not?” Who said that? Certainly not me. I teach all of my clients to understand men, appreciate men, be warm, open, patient, and generous with men. Does that mean she has to call, plan, pay, and put out? No. That’s still your job. But it does mean she should respond quickly and eagerly. It does mean she should be agreeable and go with the flow on the date. It does mean she should reserve judgment. It does mean she should not be a slave to chemistry and value men who treat her well. That seems to be where we differ. You accuse women of wanting something for nothing. I’ll point out that there’s a lot of talk about giving women nothing (because that’s all they deserve/respect) and expecting to get laid. I push back pretty firmly on that exchange. Treat women well. If you feel good in their presence – appreciated, accepted, admired – then keep doing it. If you don’t, then bail. Simple.

    2. “Women cannot have it both ways: egalitarian when it suits them, traditional when it suits them.” Why not? Why is it so bad for there to be things like chivalry where men make an effort to woo a woman? By removing courtship, you have your egalitarian relationship…but you still complain that you don’t like feminism and changing gender roles. So which is it? Do you want women who are “equals”? Or women who are submissive and take care of you? The answer, of course, is both. And once again, we’ve seen into your blind spot: you want the OLD 50’s roles of women but you want them to call/plan/pay for you like 21st century women. In other words, you have the exact same inconsistency. You just don’t focus on it. My solution: embrace BOTH ideas. Men: court women (even if they are fully capable of doing these things). Women: make men feel good about courting you (even if you can do these things yourself). Everybody wins. Or, try it your way, and yell at women for wanting men to make an effort beyond texting and hooking up. My way works better.

    3. “You fail to admit that there is such a thing as bad actors in the dating game who just happen to be women.” You have clearly not read this website, which is filled with criticisms of individual women. Women who are too busy for love, too closed to love, too snobby for love, too selfish for love, too hypocritical for love, etc. You’ve created a strawman Evan because it suits your purposes. The real Evan is the real red piller – doling out objective advice to both genders, but particularly women.

    “You presume that all men will have the same success you will have.” No, I don’t. I do think I have a decent model for what’s successful. So if we can agree that the ideal women is feminine, optimistic, confident, understanding and self-aware – she lets you be yourself, doesn’t criticize you all the time, appreciates how much you do for her, etc…Can we also agree that the ideal man is the one who is confident, generous, opinionated, generous, and willing to compromise – a man who makes women feel safe, heard, and understood? A nice guy with BALLS? You’re damn right. Does height matter? Sure. Money? Sure. Education? Sure. No one is saying otherwise. But you know what matters most? Confidence. If you like yourself, if you’re a positive person, if you have the guts to call and plan and pay and be a leader and make decisions and make the first move – while still caring about women and being sensitive to THEIR needs, you will do GREAT with women. That’s not news. That’s not exclusive to upper middle class white guys. That’s Dale Carnegie advice that still applies today.

    In other words, women want the nice guy with balls. Men want the cool girl with boundaries. My advice is consistent. I tell men how to be the nice guy with balls. I tell women how to be the cool girl with boundaries. When I tell men that they are not treating women with proper respect, they get mad. When I tell women that they are not treating men with proper respect, they get mad. But that doesn’t mean that either of them are right; only that they feel personally indicted when they know the problem resides within them, as opposed to blaming the opposite sex.

    You can choose to opt out of dating. You can continue to rant about me on other sites. You can continue to blame the opposite sex. You can refuse to participate in courtship behavior because you don’t think it’s worth it. I’m not sure how any of this will lead you to lasting love, however. And since that’s my business, that’s what I choose to talk about. Seems patently obvious that my way is not “White Knight” but common sense, the same way you’d want a girl to thank you for picking up dinner, make out with you in the car afterwards, and answer the phone when you called her the next day. Good advice is good advice, regardless of gender, and, whether you like it or not, I give good advice that is consistent across the board.

    1. 13.1
      SparklingEmerald

      Angry women-hating MGTOW men will opt out of dating and so will their female counterparts, men-hating angry femnists. And that is a GOOD THING.  These men think they’ve been “played” if they buy a woman a cup of coffee and she doesn’t pay for that coffee by giving him sex or a BJ aren’t exactly on most women’s radar.  A man who thinks a woman owes him sex because he bought her a meal isn’t most women’s dream guy. And a woman who thinks that what to most women is considered basic grooming and hygiene is sexist and oppressive and that doing ANYTHING nice for a man makes her a doormat aren’t most men’s idea of a dream girl.

      So, yes the mysogynists and misandrists (women haters, men haters) dropping out of the dating game is a GOOD THING, because all that leaves are the people who honestly like the opposite sex, and put in effort (on both sides) to find a suitable mate, but also understand that if 2 people aren’t a match,  it doesn’t mean that anyone was using or abusing the other.  They date with integrity, and set appropriate boundries to avoid being “used” for either material goods or sex.  (Men can set financial boundaries by making those first dates free or low cost and women can set sexual boundaries by not putting out on a first date)

      So basically cheap lazy guys who hate women, and poorly groomed angry- at- men women are dropping out of dating.  Why is that bad thing ?  Why is that comparable to Rome.

  14. 14
    McLovin

    Very interesting posts, Obsidian. I think you do a pretty good takedown of Evan’s blindspots.

     

    Evan very cleverly avoids the “right/wrong/unfair/pick-and-choose-your-gender-role” conundrum that men face by claiming to stick to the metric of “effective.” His blog itself is a case study of the problems in the modern-day Western dating/relationship market. To wit, you have high-earning women who have taken every advantage given to them by feminism to attain the highest levels of career achievement, while at the same time demanding to be properly “courted” like Victorian debutantes by a man who make 50% more than what she does.

     

    For the last 50 years, it has gotten harder and harder for a man to “measure up” while the women simultaneously decline in quality. For 50 years, we’ve been told more and more things that we have to do to attract and keep a woman, as our incentives to enter a relationship in the first place have rapidly disappeared, all the while the female, still, has to do little more than show up so that we may lay down our $50 as entry fee to dance for the approval of a strong, smart, independent woman who don’t need no man.

     

    Obsidian raised an interesting point, Evan. How many $50 dates should the average guy expect to man up and pay for before he should be deigned to receive a second date? How many before he should expect to be in a relationship?

     

    Leave aside that as the AFC (average frustrated chump) gallantly courts m’lady, she probably has an FWB arrangement with an investment banker or a minor-league hockey player while she auditions her beta males for commitment and provisioning.

     

    And we need to look no further than SpaklingEmerald to see how women perceive this: with absolute disdain. No empathy whatsoever. Any man who points this out this dynamic of taking the advantages of feminism but none of the responsibilities is nothing more than a cheap, lazy misogynist.

     

    Thankfully, it seems like men are waking up to this, and it doesn’t take a “movement” for them to do so. It only takes a couple of spins through the “modern, empowered female” cement mixer to get the idea. The millenials are in for one wild ride.

    1. 14.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      Tiring. As I’ve stated repeatedly, you can feel free to opt out of dating if you feel that the price is too rich to pay. It just seems obvious that your straw man arguments (“women probably have a FWB on the side with an investment banker”) and emotion-driven nonsense (“How many dates should he pay for until he gets a second date”??) are attempts to justify your position. This really ain’t that hard. Act with confidence. Plan and pay for dates. See what kind of woman you have on your hands. If she seems entitled, leave. If she doesn’t, you’ll be glad you courted. That’s it. This is no different than me telling women that men look for sex – but that the right man is willing to wait for it instead of demanding it. You seem to demand that women pay for you quickly, plan for your quickly, put out quickly and get into a relationship with you quickly. You are fighting extremely hard to justify this position, even though it’s clearly a losing one (otherwise you wouldn’t be so frustrated and angry). Yelling at me and yelling at women doesn’t change the end result. So, once again, you’re left with the same dilemma as everyone who fights with me on these boards: be “right” or be “effective”. Have it your way, man.

      1. 14.1.1
        McLovin

        I laid out a very specific question, Evan, and you declined to answer it.

         

        How many unproductive $50 dates should a man expect before entering a satisfying relationship?

         

        And a follow on, since you pointed it out: should I, as a man, still court women who are dating and perhaps sleeping with other men? Why or why not?

         

        This is at the crux of your theory of dating and courtship, and where I happen to think your theory falls apart. Firstly, it excuses supposedly “equal” women of any responsibility, while simultaneously not acknowledging many, many factors present in the real world. Namely, that men should be willing to continually dash their boats against the rocks until a strong, independent woman accepts them with a gentle waft of her hand.

         

        You do get some points from a lot of men for taking women to task (sometimes) with regard to their “lists,” but other than that, it’s the pretty standard feminist advice.

         

        I am neither angry nor frustrated, but I understand why you need me to be, so that you and SparklingEmerald can place me in the tidy box of “lazy, cheap misogynist.” I retired from your model of “dating” quite some time ago and have since dated on my terms…a much better proposition.

        1. Evan Marc Katz

          How many unproductive $50 dates should a man expect before entering a satisfying relationship?

          What kind of ridiculous question is this? If you have a bad date, don’t go again! If you have a good date, come back for more. That’s all there is to it. You’re the one putting the word “unproductive” in. What makes a date “unproductive” anyway? Do you think it’s a good idea to go on 2 dates with someone and call her a girlfriend because that’s “productive”? You’re so focused on your financial losses that you don’t seem to see any value in dating. Now who does that sound like? You guessed it: the women who complain about dating because “men”. The secret to dating is to not think of it as transactional. Yet that’s the way you see it. People who thrive in dating are going out to have fun, connect and see if they want to do it again. That’s it. It’s not your job to get in her pants on Date 2 or get her to be exclusive with you on Date 2. It’s your job to be confident, generous, chivalrous and make a consistent effort…in doing so, you’ll get more out of dating than if you act insecure, cheap, lazy, and try to keep score.

          Literally everything you say is said by similarly confused and frustrated women, “Should I, as a man, still court women who are dating and perhaps sleeping with other men?” Yes! Yes, you should! You seem to think that someone owes you something after a few dates. She doesn’t. Similarly, men don’t owe women anything after a few dates. This is reality-based dating, where both genders make a time investment for 6 weeks or so to figure out if they want to become a couple. If a man or a woman chooses not to do that because he/she thinks the opposite sex is “using” them for that time, it just reveals a lack of understanding about how humans and dating actually work.

          I am a dating moderate. I play both sides of the fence and call out flawed, illogical thinking when I see it. If you think that my feminist advice is anti-man, and some radical feminists think my advice is anti-woman, it makes me even more confident that I’m speaking a more objective truth that neither side wants to acknowledge.

        2. N

          “I retired from your model of “dating” quite some time ago and have since dated on my terms…a much better proposition.”

          If dating on your terms is proven effective and a much better proposition, then by all means keep doing what you’re doing.

          This blog are for self-aware individuals who are willing to take suggestions, put them into action to see if they get a different result– not just in dating but in all areas of life.  Nic

           

        3. pat

          if all you want is sex prostitues charge less than $50 and its legal in nevada and your don’t even have to take a shower and put on clean clothes have at it bro

    2. 14.2
      Karl R

      McLovin asked: (#15.1.1)

      “How many unproductive $50 dates should a man expect before entering a satisfying relationship?”

      How do you define “unproductive”?

       

      In July 2009 I went on a first date.  It probably cost about $80 (tickets, food & drinks) for a live gig at a local pub.  There was no second date.

      You (and Obsidian) would probably describe the date as unproductive.  It cost money.  It went nowhere.

      I don’t see it that way.  I went to see a band that I gladly pay to see under any circumstances.  I enjoy myself at least twice as much if I have female companionship.  Therefore, I was getting exactly what I paid $80 for.

       

      Arrange better dates.  Ones that you you find fun (regardless of whether a relationship ensues).  And if you’re on a budget, arrange less expensive, but still interesting, dates.

      Instead of treating at it as a sunk cost of courting, treat it as part of your weekly entertainment budget.

       

      Increasing your productivity:

      Network – I was introduced to my wife by a woman I dated.  I had another woman (who turned me down for a date) tell a girlfriend what a wonderful guy I was.

      Learn something – During 2007 I went from being extremely nervous on first dates to being completely relaxed on first dates (as a byproduct of a number of first dates that didn’t turn into second dates).  That relaxed demeanor came across as confidence … which served me well in December 2007, and has served me well since.

       

      How many dates does it take?

      That’s like asking how many applications you need to fill out, or how many resumes you need to submit, or how many interviews you need to go on to land a job.

      Doesn’t that depend on your qualifications?  The job(s) you’re applying for?  Your job-hunting skills?  The market you’re hunting in?

      It’s going to take a lot of dates.  Real world dating takes fewer than online dating (you tend to know the women a little better before the first date), but it’s still a lot.  So a lot of your success is going to be based on your ability to embody what Winston Churchill said (here).

       

      McLovin asked: (#15.1.1)

      “should I, as a man, still court women who are dating and perhaps sleeping with other men? Why or why not?”

      That’s a personal decision.  I would.  I have.  And I usually recommend other men do the same.

       

      Why:

      1. It expanded my options.  There are lots of women who are dating multiple men simultaneously.  If I was unwilling to date them, I was cutting out at least 1/3 of my potential dates.

      2. I’m not hypocritical.  I was non-exclusively dating multiple women.  (I generally wasn’t sleeping with them, but that was my personal choice.)  If it was okay for me to non-exclusively date, then it was okay for my dates to do it.

      3. It was simpler.  In most cases, it would have taken a bunch of jealous-sounding questions or stalker-type investigations to determine whether a woman was dating other men.  It was easier to assume that the women probably were.

       

      Why not:

      1. If you’re the jealous type.  If it absolutely eats you alive that the woman that you’re seeing a show with might be dating or sleeping with another man, then this probably isn’t an option.  If this is the case, you have to follow the same rule of never dating multiple women simultaneously.

      2. If you morally object to it.  If you believe that it’s morally wrong, and you would never enter a relationship with a woman who engages in this behavior, then you should probably save yourself the trouble and weed them out fairly early.  Again, you have to abide by the same standards that you hold women to.

       

      In August 2009, I dated a woman n0n-exclusively.  She explicitly made it clear that she had been sporadically dating another man (he lived out of town), so I inferred that she would continue doing so.

      About 2-3 months later we started dating exclusively.

      About three years later we got married.

      Your mileage may vary.

      1. 14.2.1
        Karl R

        Obsidian said:

        “The only reason why I’m taking the time to respond here, is because you brought my name up in the discussion;”

        Really?  It looks to me like the only reason you took the time to respond was to shamelessly plug four episodes of your podcast.

        Very subtle.

         

        Obsidian said:

        “I followed up the above with a two-part podcast show discussing an interesting infographic by the Business Insider website, that details the cost of a night out on the town in fifteen cities around the world”

        When I find an infographic or article interesting, I provide a link to it, rather than a link to me talking about it.

        For those who would prefer to read the link, rather than listen to Obsidian’s take on it, click here.

         

        First, let me point out that the cost of a “cheap date” includes the delivery of a dozen roses.  On average, that’s 73% of the cost of the date.  As Evan has previously discussed, if you’re sending a dozen roses to someone for a first date, then that’s probably causing your lack of success.

        Second, someone did sloppy research into the cost of a dozen roses.  A dozen roses cost exactly $111.52 in Tokyo, London, NYC, San Francisco and Chicago.  Based on this, it appears that there’s a worldwide cartel of florists with rigid price controls.  I may not be a business insider, but this seems a little fishy to me.  Especially since the cost of a movie (which has much more central control) is all over the map.

         

        Obsidian said:

        “Although the infographic doesn’t cover my hometown of Philly, it’s close enough to NYC to surmise that it’s not that far off from a night out on the town – about $150 or so, which sounds about right.”

        I got online to see how much it would cost to send a dozen red roses to a friend in Philadelphia (not far from Rittenhouse Square).  It would cost me $30 for the flowers, and $15 for delivery.

        Apparently the business insiders are getting gouged.

         

        Obsidian asked:

        “just how many of these nights out should a man go out on before he meets the one? Ten? Five? Twenty?”

        I have purchased flowers for two women.  One of them being my wife.  In both cases, the flowers were for special occasions (birthday or anniversary).

        I take that back.  I also bought flowers for my sister once, but that was a gag gift for her 40th birthday.

        My first date with my wife cost about $15.  (The show was free.  The drinks cost money.)  So you may want to consider spending less on your dates.  The amount spent seems completely disconnected from the ultimate success of the relationship.

         

        Evan went on 300 dates (across 10 years).  I went on far fewer (primarily because I figured out much sooner that I shouldn’t dump good partners for irrelevant reasons).  Neither of us averaged $150 per date … probably because we didn’t buy a dozen roses for each date … or spend over $100 for a dozen roses.

        But even if you assume 300 dates (which is high) and $50 for every date (which is more than you need to spend on a successful date), that adds up to $15,000.

        The average cost of a wedding & reception is $25,000.  (I paid less than 1/10 of that.)  The average cost of a child is $245,000.

        In general, I think you’re paying too much for the wrong things, and worrying too much about the wrong costs.

        1. Evan Marc Katz

          Agreed. I dated prolifically when I was a barely employed writers’ assistant, agent’s assistant, customer service rep, and phone salesman. Never made more than $32K a year. It certainly got easier to date in my mid-30’s when I started making money, but if one is creative, confident, charming, and generous of spirit, it goes a long way.

      2. 14.2.2
        Karl R

        Obsidian asked:

        “So, right off the bat, you (and Evan) are assuming that what works for you two, will automatically work for me, too – right?”

        Actually, I’m going to assume that the things that don’t work for me, will also fail for you.

        Or do you think you’re so special that a piss-poor strategy will somehow magically become a winner when you try it?

         

        Obsidian said:

        “Back when I was in  highschool and had asked out something like a dozen hotties out on the senior prom (and was promptly turned down/rejected, LOL),”

        And if I had asked a dozen hotties out to prom, I would have been shot down a dozen times too.

        I was smart enough to figure out that I wasn’t that good looking … and I was likely to have better luck with girls closer to my attractiveness level.

         

        Obsidian said:

        “You’re both college educated”

        “you Karl, and Evan, are among the highest educated men in the country”

        I don’t have a degree.  And that matters a lot to some women.  So I didn’t date those women.  But I have also dated women who had advanced degrees.

        With the exception of online dating (where there’s a check box), women assume that I have a degree … then find out a few months later that their assumption was wrong.

        If I’m in a conversation with someone who has an advanced degree, I treat them as my equal.  And they reflexively mirror that behavior.

        If someone directly asks me about my degree, I tell them I don’t have one.  I don’t act embarrassed, or defensive, or start offering excuses for why I don’t have a degree.  When people finally find out, they’re already accustomed to treating me like an equal.

         

        Obsidian said:

        “You’re both at least nominally middle class, if not upper middle class”

        Evan started dating when he was earning $30,000 per year.  I had one serious relationship while unemployed.  (I had been earning about $30,000 at the job I lost.)  I had another relationship while earning $17,000.  I also got laid quite a bit while at that income level (largely because that was what I was earning during my more promiscuous early 20s).

         

        Obsidian said:

        “The last flick I went to see in theaters was Chris Rock’s ‘Top Five’ – which cost me about $10 a ticket. Buying popcorn, drinks and the like is another $20, so right there we’re talking $40. Dinner and dessert? Another $50 or so.”

        The last flick I went to see (finally got the chance 2 weeks ago) was “Star Wars, the Force Awakens.”  Two IMAX 3D tickets were $28.  We didn’t get popcorn or soft drinks.  We hit a hole-in-the-wall Arabic restaurant/bakery on the way home for dinner and dessert … $13 for the two of us.

        Your last date cost $90.  Mine cost $41.  The main difference seems to be popcorn, soft drinks, and the willingness to try a restaurant that caters to working-class immigrants.

        I’m not willing to pay an extra $50, just so I have something to complain about later.

        Good, cheap dates take more time to plan.  If you’re paying $90 for dinner and a movie, then you’re putting the least possible research into your dates.  I can’t help you with that.

        Actually I could … but I won’t.  If you’re interested in dating, it’s on you to do your own damn research (just like ScottH does his).

         

        Obsidian said:

        “Now, to the pink elephant in the middle of the room: Essence, and the Steve Harvey Show.”

        “I noticed, with some interest I might add, that neither you nor Evan addressed what I have said in this regard. “

        You hadn’t posted a link to either of those previously.  Now you have.

         

        In the Essence link, it appears that their clients are successful, professional, black women. Is that the group of women you typically date?  If so, you might have had better luck if you had branched out and dated a bit more broadly.  (Or maybe you’re still pursuing hotties, like you did in high school.)

        There are definitely some women like the ones described in that article.  And their pickiness causes them no end of frustration when dating.  And if you pursue those women, you will have an equal amount of frustration.

        Date the exceptions.

         

        The Steve Harvey show cracked me up.  That date conversation sounded like a job interview, not a date … just like one of my dates from Match.com.

        “What do you see as your biggest accomplishment?”

        “Where do you see yourself in five years?”

        This woman was white, brunette, an artist, but she seemed equally impressed with herself.  (And considerably less impressed with me.)

        Why would I want to be in a relationship with someone like that?  Why would I even want to be on another date like that?

         

        Obsidian said:

        “Black women, far and away moreso than women of other racial and ethnic groups – select for physical attractiveness in (Black) men FIRST AND FOREMOST. Character, integrity, work ethic and ambition/industriousness…all of these things are at best, “second order” concerns.”

        Let me clarify something.  Are you saying all black women are alike?  Because if I said something like that, everyone would say that it was a racist and sexist remark.

        I’m willing to bet that single, black women in Philadelphia are not some monolithic bloc that all think and act in the same way.  They are a disparate collection of individuals.  You can find a large number that share the same traits (since there’s a large pool of them), but there are many who don’t share those traits.

        And I can say that with confidence, because they’re people.  And that’s the way people are.  They’re different from each other.  (Or are you going to claim that you’re exactly like all black tradesmen who lack a college education.)

        If someone chooses physical attractiveness over character and integrity, then it’s fairly safe to say that that person lacks character and integrity.

         

        I have sometimes ended up on dates with women who similarly lacked integrity or character, but I have never gotten upset that I was unable to date them.

         

        Obsidian,

        You believe that you are at a distinct disadvantage in the dating market.  You believe that Evan and I don’t share those disadvantages.

        Fair enough.

        Find a a black man in Philly who is 5’7″ or shorter.  Who earns the same as you, or less.  Who has no degree.  Who is uglier than you.  And who is married or in a relationship.  There are thousands of men like this in Philly.  Find some of them.

        Find the man who should be more disadvantaged than you … but who still succeeded anyway.  Find those men’s secret.

         

        I strongly suspect that you’re not interested in learning from these men.  You’re not interested in finding a relationship.  You’re seeking confirmation that you’re right.  That’s why you’ve chosen examples that show that dating can be extremely hard, and that there are truly unreasonable women (and men) in the dating pool.

        Those shorter, poorer, uglier, married black men faced the same difficulties.  They were in the same dating pool.  But they still succeeded.

        So they’re not going to confirm what you want to hear.  They’re going to provide evidence which is an open challenge refuting what you believe.

         

        Evidence is important.  And you’re choosing to ignore the evidence that would help you … because it doesn’t support your world view.  That is your big blind spot.

      3. 14.2.3
        Karl R

        Obsidian said:

        “I take beauty very seriously, and have never made any apologies for it, even to the point of going without before settling for much less”

         “I do not wish to mate with Black women who are markedly less attractive than myself (the Black woman featured in the Steve Harvey Show clip linked to above looks like a frog to me),”

        Having seen her picture and yours, I thought she was better looking than you.  Granted, I’m hardly the relevant demographic to be making that determination.

        But you may want to consider the likelihood that you’ve overestimated your own attractiveness -and- that you’re hypercritical of the attractiveness of members of the opposite sex.

         

        Obsidian quoting Fisher:

        “We found that as opposed to the White clients that we’ve had, Black women are usually looking for physical attributes first. We look for someone who is attractive to us”

        Obsidian quoting Rom Willis:

        “There’s not enough of the sexually attractive Black men that these Black women desire.”

        Obsidian said:

        “The Obsidian Media Network  Sistas are not going to be honest about their desires because they would look like hypocrites.   How often do sistas complain about brothas going for pretty women with tight bodies?”

        So these women select first for beauty … just like you do.  They complain that they aren’t able to get attractive members of the opposite sex … just like you do.  They complain that the members of the opposite sex go for hotties with tight bodies … just like you do.

        And you’re complaining that these women are hypocritesjust like you are.

         

        Hypocrisy doesn’t look good on anyone … regardless of their race, sex, geographic location, income, intelligence or education level.

        And I don’t care how many (more) thousand word essays you write to pretty it up … it still stinks like shit.

         

        Obsidian said:

        “So, it seems that you’re saying that I simply need to accept any woman who is willing to accept me”

        Nope. You got that completely wrong.

         

        If you want to be in a relationship, you have to accept just one woman who is willing to accept you.  And if you choose not to do that, your failure is on younot the women.

         

        Several years ago, I pointed out to a picky woman that the most important trait in a partner is that partner’s willingness to accept her just as she was.  And I further pointed out to that woman that she did not have that most important trait.

        Neither do you.

         

        Read Mathew 7:3-5.   You’ve made a lifestyle out of pointing out the speck in women’s eyes, while ignoring the planks in your own.

        You’ve made a hobby of blaming everyone else (particularly black women) for the situation that you are most responsible for creating.

         

        Obsidian said:

        “I am not a fan of the ‘Dating by Osmosis’ model – you  know, the taking up of hobbies and activities that will just so happen to put you in a position to find a mate and so forth. If I am going to a hip hop, jazz or R&B concert, I am not going to meet someone, I am going to listen to the music. I do not wish to take up rock climbing, or a cooking class, etc., with the ‘side benefit possibility’ that I might meet someone. My way of doing things is much more focused and specific – for example, I don’t go to the store to ‘window shop’ – I know specifically what I have in mind, and if they don’t have it, I’m out, end of.”

        So, when it comes to dating, how is your way working out for you?

        Yeah.  About that well.

         

        When you take a martial arts class, do you walk into a class with a preconceived idea of how fighting should work, and then stubbornly stick with that strategy regardless of how badly you’re getting beaten?  Or do you watch and listen to the people who are beating you like a drum, and start adopting a “whatever works” strategy?

        The history of combat is full of examples of people (and armies) getting their asses handed to them … because they stuck with their way of fighting, rather than adapting to the realities of the situation they found themselves in.

         

        Typically, when people get tired of getting their ass handed to them on a plate, they decide that they’re willing to be a bit more flexible and try a different way of doing things.

        Even though you claim you’re tired of getting your ass handed to you in the dating scene, you’re not yet willing to try a different approach.

        So … go ahead.  Get your ass handed to you a few dozen (or a few hundred) more times.  How ever many times it takes.

        Don’t come back when you’re tired of it.  Come back when you’re sufficiently tired of it that you’re willing to learn something.

        1. Evan Marc Katz

          Karl,

          He IS trying a different approach. It’s called MGOTW – men going their own way. These men talk about how unfair the world is to men, how women are always in the wrong, and make it very clear that the only thing that needs to change is women to appreciate these men. Until these women change, they will remain single and or/celibate. And then come to sites like this to tell you that you married people don’t really get how bad it is. They are no different than the women who complain about men, but the irony is that they can’t even see it. I think Obsidian is a bright guy, but I’ve learned not to engage, because it’s a colossal waste of time. You ask him to acknowledge a point and he tells you that you haven’t acknowledged his points, and around and around we go. Mental masturbation at its finest.

          Thanks for fighting the good fight, but you may be better served by engaging with the women here who are open to your logical feedback.

      4. 14.2.4
        Karl R

        Evan said:

        “He IS trying a different approach. It’s called MGOTW – men going their own way. […] And then come to sites like this to tell you that you married people don’t really get how bad it is.”

        Talk about a misnomer.

        He’s not going his own way.  If he truly believed in his choice to go his own way, he’d stop coming here and trying to get us to validate his decision.

         

        I took a four year break from dating in my 20s.  I took another 4 year break in my 30s.  And when I took a break, I didn’t feel the need to justify my decision to thousands of strangers (or even to the people I knew).  I didn’t need to get them to agree with me.

        It was the right decision for me, regardless of whether anyone else agreed.

         

        Obsidian,

        You’re a grown up.  You can go your own way.

        You don’t need us to agree with you.  You don’t need us to validate your decision.  You don’t need to prove your right.  You don’t need to prove women are wrong.  You don’t need a MGTOW movement to support your decision.  You don’t need to spend every day of every week of every year explaining and defending your decision.

        You can make a choice for yourself, and then just quietly follow through on that choice.  Because that’s what adults do.

    3. 14.3
      ScottH

      I got really tired of paying $50+ on first dates and decided that I would have much better AND much lower cost dates.  Instead of the conventional first dates (and coffee dates), I would take them for ice cream and a walk.  I found that some kind of physical activity, even just a walk, gets the creative juices flowing and makes for a real good foundation for getting to know someone.  I might also take someone to happy hour at a real nice restaurant like Ruth’s Chris where you can get a decent meal for $8 each plus drinks.  They’re impressed by the place and I like impressing them at a low price.   I always strive to get better results at a lower price (my job and the way I am).

      1. 14.3.1
        Penny

        Those types of dates can be fun with the right person.

        My 2nd date with my now husband was a museum (an exhibit i had told him i wanted to see was in town) and a relatively inexpensive meal at a casual but really fun Indian restaurant with Bollywood videos playing on big screens through the restaurant.

        3rd date he cooked dinner at his place. I made dessert and brought the wine. 4the date I made dinner at my place. We dated for 18 months before getting engaged and much of that time was spent on picnics, hikes, camping, driving to quaint little towns to stroll along the streets and eat at small family owned restaurants, movie binging, cooking together, and a lot of other activities that didn’t cost a lot. Not because he couldn’t afford fancier dates. It just never occurred to me to care about how much he was spending when we were having so much fun.

        There will  always be women who expect to be wined and dined in style but they’re honestly not that hard to weed out if spending money is a problem.

        It sounds to me like Mr McLovin up there is mad because a$50 date doesn’t automatically result in a roll in the sack.

         

      2. 14.3.2
        SparklingEmerald

        Thanks for getting in ScottH !  I and other female bloggers have been saying it until we are blue in the face, if you don’t want to spend a ton of money on first dates, then DON’T.  There have been men on this blog who insist that women demand pricey first dates.  I say, then you are dating the WRONG girls.  A girl who likes YOU and not for your wallet, would be glad to spend time with you on something fun and very low cost or no cost. A walk in the park and an ice cream cone is a LOVELY way to get to know someone, and will weed out the gold diggers !   In my locale there are plenty of FREE things to do, outdoor concerts, art museums have free nights, plenty of pretty parks to walk through, nature trails, mountain hikes etc. !

        The guy who complains that he spent $200 on a first date that went nowhere to me, is the equivalent of the girl who sleeps with a guy she just met and then complains that he didn’t call her.  Guys, stop shelling out the big bucks on a first date, if you can’t handle it not leading to a second date (or sex) !  Girls, stop putting out with a stranger if you can’t handle never hearing back from him !

        My boyfriend and I had our first meeting at a coffee shop.  (his idea)  I got there early so I was already drinking a cup of coffee, but he did offer to buy me a breakfast pastry.  First date, the price of his coffee and scone, my blueberry muffin.  Followed by a walk to the labyrinth, (my suggestion) and then I showed him the mountain in my neighborhood that I like to hike.  He asked me to hike it with him the following weekend, I accepted.  Cost of a hike, ZERO.  We ended up extending our “coffee date”,  we walked to a restaurant for wine and appetizers (which he willingly paid for) and then we went to the dollar movie theater  (which he gladly paid for, but I suggested the theater)  Point is, I was already “into” him and even if that date ended with him asking me to go hiking with him,  I wouldn’t have liked him any less.  It isn’t his money that I love, it’s HIM.  And “no” as so many men have insisted, him buying me a pastry, appetizers and a dollar movie ticket, didn’t lead to a relationship of me mooching off of him.  In our early days of dating, he did treat for our dates, even though I offered many times, but now a little over a year later, things have evened out.  And we enjoy each other’s company weather we are out a nice nice restaurant, at home playing card games, or in the park listening to a free concert.

        The fun on a first date/first meeting should come from each other’s company, not from the ATM.

        1. ScottH

          Thanks SE!

          I’m with someone now who tries to pay half the time and sometimes I let her.  Sometimes I have no choice since she grabs the bill before I get a chance.  And I have to say that I find it so endearing that she does so.  Also, we make about the same salaries.  Contrast that with my previous gf who made at least 2x what I did  and only occasionally picked up some of the cheap dates (movies and occasional lunch) and made it seem like she was doing something great.  I thought it was crappy of her to be so stingy when she had so much money.  Another woman I had a first date with at happy hour but she kept ordering after the HH hours ended and the bill got pretty large.  Being the gentleman, I picked up the tab without any hesitation.  Then she suggested getting ice cream.  When it came time to pay for that, I reached for my wallet but was watching to see if she was going to at least make an effort to pay.  She did not and that was the final nail in that coffin (I wasn’t into her anyway).  Ladies- we’re watching for stuff like that.  At least I am.  Paying (or at least trying to pay) for at least nominal items is a very good investment on your end, as far as I’m concerned.  I want someone who is thoughtful, kind, and generous.  If you equate paying with masculine or feminine energy and discount a guy for letting you pay up to half of the time when you offer, I guess you’re not my type.

  15. 15
    McLovin

    Ok, you answered my question, and again it’s the standard feminist line: women have choices, men have obligations, and this is to be labeled “equality.”

     

    Your advocacy of courting and chivalry just boggle my mind. Courting was from a time when women were expected to be chaste until marriage. But here above you just instructed me to court a woman who has FWB arrangements with other men.

     

    So basically you’d like to see a man be held to an archaic Victorian gender role, while women are held to absolutely no standard at all. And this is a “moderate” position.

     

    I couldn’t be more glad that this entire ridiculous model is falling apart.

    1. 15.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      The people for whom this is falling apart are the MGTOWs. So I repeat: Go your own way. The rest of us happy couples will be just fine, I assure you.

      1. 15.1.1
        McLovin

        I’m disappointed, Evan. I really am. Your last couple of responses are little more than sticking your fingers in your ears and screaming “LA LA LA LA LA LA,”

         

        It should be simple for you to defend and/or justify the double standards you advocate, or failing that, at least acknowledge them. It seems that you’re unwilling to do any of the above.

        1. Evan Marc Katz

          See my conversation with Cat5. I’m sure you’re a fine person, but you’re not MY people. I write for people who are receptive to my advice, worldview and experience. I don’t write for men who see women as the problem or women who see men as the problem. I’m not avoiding you. I’m not scared of you. I’m not intimidated by your superior intellect.

          I’m over this conversation. It’s fruitless, like a Catholic and an atheist arguing the existence of God. For sport over a beer, it’s fine. For my daytime hours? Holy shit, there’s nothing I’d rather do less. So here’s what’s going to happen: you will either stop baiting me, you will leave this blog for greener pastures, or you will expect that if you do bait me, I’m not going to reply because it’s fruitless.

          Take care of yourself, man. Hope you are happy going your own way. If you are, I see no reason for you to return here.

    2. 15.2
      Karmic Equation

      McLovin,

      If you can get women to sleep with you and commit to you without courting, then good for you. Keep on keeping on.

      Why rail against a system (e.g., courting) that you don’t have to abide by to get what you want?

      Women want and need to be courted to feel sexually giving at some future point. Whether that courting comes with a monetary value is often negotiable. There are plenty of women on this board who have said they’d go on low- to-no-cost dates with a guy they were interested in. In that event, you’d actually have to use some imagination (e.g., free local concerts on a common) or put forth some effort (e.g., picnic in the park).

      Nothing worth having is free. Not sex. Not relationships.

      Women pay a price AFTER she emotionally invests in a man; men pay a price BEFORE a woman emotionally invests in him. So men may get rejected by a hundred woman before he gets to sleep with one. And women can get rejected by a 100 men after she sleeps with him before she finds one who’ll stick around. Who do you think pays a higher price in self-esteem and second guessing? That’s right, women. Because most women can’t handle being pumped and dumped.

      Money can be re-earned. Knocks to self-esteem and self-confidence can take a long time to get over. Much longer than it takes to re-earn $50.

      So please, stop it with the cash-flow argument.

      Very very few women date men to get free meals. I’m sure some do, but “smart, strong, successful” women who can often dine at 5-star restaurants alone or on company expense reports, aren’t putting themselves out in the dating world solely for the purpose to eat at 5-star restaurants on a man’s dime.

      However, how many men out there do sleep with women only with the intention of conquest and not “relationship”? Many many men. Maybe even MOST men. So which gender gets the raw end of the deal? The few men who were blinded by lust to a gold-digger’s intent? Or the many women who sleep with men who acted like he liked her and then dumped her as soon as he made the conquest?

      You think a few good meals at a 5-star restaurant is worth that heartache for most women? Really?

      1. 15.2.1
        LC2

        Spot on Karmic!!  Perfect analogy 🙂

      2. 15.2.2
        McLovin

        First off, everyone here seems to think I’m hung up on the money. I’m not. I care far less about money than it seems most career women do when I’m on and interview…er I mean date with one. I’m just trying to close the disconnect between a strong, smart, successful woman who doesn’t need a man and the reason that all of the initial investment (please note that I said investment, not money) is laid at my feet.

         

        Ok, Karmic, I’ll bite even though I find your premise preposterous. How does a woman pay a higher price to be in a relationship than a man does trying to find a relationship? Explain that to me, please.

         

        Also, I would like your opinion on the wisdom of courting a female who is currently entertaining one or more FWB’s. Wise choice?

        1. Evan Marc Katz

          Since you won’t go away, I’ll answer:

          Dating is “don’t ask/don’t tell”. You should have no idea who else she’s dating. She should have no idea who else you’re dating. If/when your relationship progresses and you make an effort to push for commitment, you will both know how you feel. You make it sound like women are fucking everything that walks while you pay for dinners. In fact, it’s more likely that HE’s fucking everything that walks while she’s waiting for him to commit. Your unwillingness to concede this point is staggering.

        2. Karmic Equation

          Evan answered.

          But I’ll give you a woman’s take on this.

          “I would like your opinion on the wisdom of courting a female who is currently entertaining one or more FWB’s. Wise choice?”

          Why does that matter to you if you’re not offering to be her boyfriend? Why should she give you fidelity just because you’re “courting” her? Are you promising by virtue or courting her that she’s the ONLY one you’re courting?

          Men get rejected up front. Often brutally if you hear tell. All those men invested was the “approach”.

          Women get rejected AFTER they have chosen. Most women have only one sexual partner at a time. And often, when she has decided to sleep with him, she WANTS to have a relationship with him. In fact, if you read any of the comments, you’ll note that MOST women think “sleeping with guy” means SHE’s in a relationship and she’s absolutely SHOCKED and hurt when she finds out that she’s just another lay for him and he DOESN’T consider that they’re “in a relationship” because they’re sleeping together.

          For most women, sleeping with a man is a gift and she bestows it on a guy she really likes and wants to have a relationship with. To be REJECTED as girlfriend material by the guy she’s sleeping with, e.g., he refuses to commit to her, is a MUCH higher price to pay psychologicially, than being told “Buzz off” by a stranger who’s name you don’t even know.

          Ok, so a guy pays for a couple of extravagant dates. And she decides she doesn’t like him enough to sleep with him, so she dumps him. What has the guy lost? A few hundred bucks? Maybe 20 hours of his life? If he’s fallen in love with her, sure that sucks, but how many men fall in love during the courting process? How many women fall in love after sex? To hear tell, they ALL do (yours truly excepting).

          So that’s a double whammy. The guy she thought was special doesn’t think she’s special AND she’s bonded with him during sex.

          Men get off lightly, because — now you can put monetary value on it — he only loses a few hundred bucks (maybe) — but it would take most women a lot longer to get over “feeling used” than a man to re-earn a few hundred bucks.

      3. 15.2.3
        Shaukat

        Women pay a price AFTER she emotionally invests in a man; men pay a price BEFORE a woman emotionally invests in him. So men may get rejected by a hundred woman before he gets to sleep with one. And women can get rejected by a 100 men after she sleeps with him before she finds one who’ll stick around. Who do you think pays a higher price in self-esteem and second guessing?

        @Karmic,

        I understand the logic here, but I think you are grossly exaggerating the frequency of this scenario  as it applies to women. The women I’ve known, who I’ve dated or been friends with, have had this happen to them maybe once or twice out of the guys they’ve slept with in the expectation of a relationship. In other words, the vast majority of women are not going to have to fuck a hundred men in order to find one who actually sticks around afterwards. Even semi-attractive women can avoid this fate, since they likely have a number of suitors who want to enter into a relationship with them. On the other hand, most men will have to go through dozens and dozens of approaches and failed first dates before finding a woman who they click with (and vice versa). I’m obviously not comparing the two scenarios, since the investment required for an approach or a first date is clearly less than the emotional investment of sex for women, but I think what you’re referring to only happens to a small subset of women who are either below average looking or who have low self-esteem and think that they need to sleep with a man ASAP in order to keep him.

        1. Karmic Equation

          “…but I think what you’re referring to only happens to a small subset of women who are either below average looking or who have low self-esteem and think that they need to sleep with a man ASAP in order to keep him.”

          I’ve probably read every post on this blog since I joined 2 years ago. And it seems a majority of women have had this happen to them (guys disappearing after sex). So, unless MOST of the women on this board are either average looking or of low self-esteem, I don’t believe that what I stated (women being shocked at men not committing to a relationship after sex) only happens to a small subset of women. I believe this happens to the majority of women, at least the majority of women on this board.

          And yes, I was exaggerating about women sleeping with 100 men to find one who’ll stick around. That said, even if a woman only sleeps with three men in her lifetime and all three disappear after sex, that is still a greater investment than say 30 rejected approaches to a man.

          And I would submit that if a man goes 0-for-30 on a regular basis, he needs to re-evaluate his approach, his targets, his presentation, or all of the above and then some. So HE does have control of his dating outcomes if he changes his criteria…much like women may have more successful relationship outcomes if she modifies HER criteria.

        2. Shaukat

          “I don’t believe that what I stated (women being shocked at men not committing to a relationship after sex) only happens to a small subset of women.”

          I don’t believe that either, as I said I believe many women experience it once or a few times. I was responding to your claim that it could happen a hundred times. I know your posts well enough to know that you were probably exaggerating, but the way you framed it, comparing to something which happens more frequently, rejected approaches and failed first dates, didn’t make your rhetorical device obvious.

          At any rate, I disagree with the notion that even if a woman experiences that only three times it is a greater emotional burden than what men have to experience in dating. Both genders have to deal with failed relationships and disappearing acts, and both men and women experience someone who they feel strongly about suddenly pulling away.

        3. Evan Marc Katz

          It’s a far bigger deal emotionally for a woman to fall for a man emotionally and physically after a few dates and be ghosted than it is for a man to spend $50 ten times a year on a woman who doesn’t want to see him again. In my opinion.

  16. 16
    McLovin

    Fair enough, Evan. I’ll saunter off again even though at my last post you asked me not to.

     

    You’re correct, this conversation is fruitless, but not for the reason of intractable points of view, as that of a Catholic and an atheist. I have a very good friend and coworker who is an evangelical Christian while I am an atheist. I assure you that we have many fruitful conversations on a variety of topics.

     

    Our conversation is fruitless because you simply refuse to engage in it.

     

    What if I am coming around to your point of view on things?

     

    I would just like a solid answer on this one. Even if it’s something as pithy as “Because life ain’t fair.”

     

    That question, again, is: Why should I, as a man,  follow the terms of a social contract that has been relegated to the dustbin of history, when women declare themselves under no such obligations?

    1. 16.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      “Why should I, as a man, follow the terms of a social contract that has been relegated to the dustbin of history, when women declare themselves under no such obligations?”

      Your question is so clouded by your own judgment that it’s not even a fair question.

      Chivalry is, in fact, outdated, in that it exists from a time from before women worked. I have written about this extensively, particularly in terms of trying to level the playing field and encourage women to date men who may make less money, and within a relationship, encourage people to pay proportionately based on their respective incomes. Contrary to your false accusations, my default setting is to find solutions that are fair. I’m also a big proponent of working within reality.

      And reality says that since most women tend to look askance at men who don’t pay for the first few dates, it’s in your best interest to pay for the first few dates, all the while getting the sense of whether she’s a good fit for your life. If you determine she’s out for a free dinner (this is a TINY minority of women), then dump her. Chances are, she’s feeling you out at the same time you’re feeling her out. This is called dating. You are so busy keeping score that you lose sight of the fact that the best daters and partners are the ones who are trying to please their partners, not the ones who try to get the most for the least. Would you want an employee who was trying to get as much money for as little work as possible? That’s you.

      “when women declare themselves under no such obligations”? I’m not even sure what to say to that. Their obligation is to be a great date for you – warm, appreciative, interested. Should they fail to do so, they don’t get asked out again. There’s not much more to it. You make it sound like women are routinely dating you for months – you’re paying thousands of dollars for their company, but they’re awful people who are cold and unappreciative, who don’t make you feel good in their presence. One question: WHY ARE YOU STILL GOING OUT WITH THEM? That’s on YOU.

      Dating offers no one any guarantees. Women run the risk of having sex with men who have zero interest in commitment. Men run the risk of spending a month courting someone who, ultimately isn’t interested in committing to him. You are very attuned to the latter, ignorant of the former, and unable to see the obvious connection. PEOPLE have to take risks in dating. Those who choose to shut down and take no risks are likely to be alone forever.

      So while YOU can claim that chivalry and courtship are dead (and are free to opt out of it), I don’t see how it is going to be very effective in your interactions with women. That’s why I offer you the same advice that I offer women repeatedly on this site since 2003; you are more likely to succeed by going with the flow than trying to change the behaviors and beliefs of an entire gender. If you think it’s ineffective for women to tell men to change, I’m surprised you are so invested in trying to tell women to do so.

      Thus, McLovin, chivalry and courtship are NOT dead, nor relegated to the dustbin of history because a) women like it and b) if you want to date women, it’s smart to engage in behaviors that they like. It’s common sense. Women, similarly, should do more of what men like. It’s why I have a job – to remind them, in a more compassionate and artful way, that if they are not open, warm, vulnerable and authentic, they will not do very well with men. More common sense.

      Your method of expecting women to call you and chase you and split the check with you to demonstrate their investment is pure beta and will leave you with the minority of women who don’t like being courted. It’s a smaller pool, but have at it.

      You’ve made it clear: you’d rather be “right” than be “effective”. Go get ’em, tiger.

  17. 17
    Evan Marc Katz

    I ignored you because this “conversation” is a waste of my time and I don’t enjoy it. Good luck to you wherever you may go.

    1. 17.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      Don’t flatter yourself, O.

      You know the feminists that you roll your eyes at? The ones who don’t see your reality? The ones who don’t get it? The ones who are so bitter and negative about the opposite sex? The ones that are so intent on being understood that they fail to understand the opposite sex?

      That’s the way I see you.

      So let me make this crystal clear, so it can’t be misinterpreted:

      I’ve tried engaging you and found it to be a fruitless endeavor. You get to throw my name around, get some freelance work, and get some catharsis out of venting your spleen. What do I get out of it? A drain on my time? Strangers trashing me on MRA blogs? The emotional equivalent of banging my head against the wall?

      As my wife has wisely told me: you don’t have to go to every fight you’re invited to.

      Not fighting with you is not remotely the equivalent of being afraid of you. It’s certainly not because I lack in facts or the ability to think logically. In fact, it’s about one thing and one thing only: I don’t want to ever have to talk to you again. I’m sure you’re a nice person. You’re clearly bright. But you’re not my friend. You’re not my client. You’re not in my social circles. You don’t agree with me on some important stuff. Our relationship just isn’t working, O. It’s not you, it’s me.

      You’ve noticed I’ve let your insulting comments through because I’m a believer in fairness and open dialogue. So please honor my request: go away to your corner of the internet. Talk to the men who agree with you. Rage at the women who don’t. Just leave me out of it.

      If I know you, you’ll consider this some sort of victory and will frame it as such when you offer your version of events to the MGOTW gang.

      Trust me. It’s not. I’m dumping you because you are tiresome – so confident in your superiority, so blind as to how you sound exactly like the women you decry.

      I really wish you all the best and hope that you find happiness in whatever form that takes. Take care of yourself.

      -Evan

  18. 18
    mal

    are you for real? LOL

  19. 19
    Irina

    Obsidian,

    Just reading your comments has inspired me to go out and get 5 cats.

    If men are really the way you describe them to be, kitties are definately a better choice.

    I think you could do great things for animal welfare, by doing promotional work for animal shelters!

     

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