Is Evan Marc Katz a Sexist Who Tells Women to Settle and Looks Down on His Wife?

Is Evan Marc Katz a sexist who tells women to settle and looks down on his wife

Dear Evan,

I was a close follower of your blog for a couple of years, and bought two products along the way. Unfortunately, I have to say I’m no longer a fan.

After reading advice from you (and I paraphrase here), to “be smart but not too smart, speak up but don’t speak too much, be funny but not funnier than him,” or something along those lines, I’m reminded of the movie “The Ugly Truth.” If you haven’t seen the movie, the Gerard Butler character advises a woman to toe the line in every way to get her man. But at the end of the movie, she realizes she has indeed gotten her man, but has been a fake the entire time.

Once you get the man, are you supposed to change your personality, wants, needs, in order to keep him?

I was also offended when you wrote recently about your current wife. You referred to “thinking you could do better” when you two were still dating. Does your wife read your blog? I cannot believe she could read some of the things you’ve written about her and not get her feelings hurt.

Here’s the thing. As I get older, I realize I would love to have a life partner. But what is equally important to me these days is creating a life I truly enjoy. And having to play an intricate game that seemingly doesn’t end even when you’ve “landed your man” is just not appealing to me.

Yes, I would be sad if I didn’t find the “one” and have a family. But I’m not willing to give up a sense of myself and look to the man as some kind of savior. I know many, many women give up a lot of themselves to get and stay married. I may be in the minority in not wanting to cut away pieces of myself to form a partnership, but I’m okay with that.

I think you have some intelligent things to say, but many of the things you say come across as downright sexist.

Sincerely,
A Former Reader

Dear Amy (my former reader, who may not be reading this),

Thanks for taking the time to write. I usually don’t respond to negative criticism because, as you know, there’s not much of a point. You’re entitled to your feelings and I do not assume that I will be able to change your mind. At the same time, if you’re voicing these feelings, I can only suppose you’re not the only one. So against my better judgment, I’m going to engage you on your claims and do my best to explain myself.

But first, I want to grant one thing. Everyone is entitled to her own feelings. I will never tell you that you’re “wrong” for feeling what you’re feeling. All I can attempt to do is clarify my language, express my intention, and hope that you can acknowledge the nuance between what you’re interpreting and what I’m actually saying.

You begin with an assertion, which I believe to be a false one, “After reading advice from you (and I paraphrase here), to “be smart but not too smart, speak up but don’t speak too much, be funny but not funnier than him,” or something along those lines.”

Who you think I am and who I really am are two different things.

I can understand why you’d feel that way about my work; it just isn’t something I’ve ever actually said. I have never told you to not be too smart and am candid about finding intelligence to be the greatest aphrodisiac. I have never told you to not speak, since I talk a lot and have a wife who talks just as much. I have never told you to not be funnier than him, since, as a former comedy writer, I value a sense of humor extremely highly, and tend to surround myself with funny women, including my wife, mom and sister. So before we go any further, let’s establish this: who you think I am and who I really am are two different things.

Your whole email stems from the premise that you are correct – that I, in fact, tell women to dumb it down, keep quiet, and not shine. This is an inaccurate representation of my philosophy, but it’s a very common one. I’ve often wondered how I could avoid being misinterpreted, but then, just this morning, I put a meme up on my Facebook page, which said, “If you’re interested in him, act interested.” The first comment was: “Why be fake?” as if I was telling you to act interested in a man you’re NOT interested in. So if I can be misunderstood in one simple, declarative sentence, I need to come to terms with the fact that I will be repeatedly misunderstood somewhere in my 1000 blog posts.

So why is it that, in my estimation, so many people aren’t understanding what I’m saying and meaning? Well, I have to take responsibility for that. I write quickly, and never revise. After all, I’m not a professional blogger; I’m a dating and relationship coach who has a blog. So if I wanted to spend more than a half-hour on any given blog post in order to be more subtle and clear, I probably could. But I don’t and I have to own that, because it’s the only thing I can control. What I can’t control is what you, the reader, bring to the table. And if you are listening to all the women’s magazines who are telling you that you have to change to find love, my message might sound really similar. Except it’s not. Here’s why:

My coaching philosophy is not about “right and wrong,” but rather about “effective and ineffective.” If what you’re doing is working for you, if you find that people of the opposite sex flock to you, and if you are in a safe, happy, long-term relationship of your own choosing, by all means, keep up the great work. I don’t know why you’d be reading this blog, which is intended for people who are looking for advice, but if you’re happy, I’m happy. That goes for everything under the sun. If you want to be single for the rest of your life, I’m fine with it. If you want to sleep with guys on the first date, I’m fine with it. If you want to write “I hate men” in your online dating profile, I’m fine with it. But let’s not pretend for a second that all behaviors – however well-intentioned – are equally effective.

It’s very easy for a woman to understand the concept of ineffective when she goes out with a bunch of dolts.

A guy who doesn’t pick up the check is ineffective. A guy who doesn’t ask any questions is ineffective. A guy who only communicates by text is ineffective. A guy who thinks he deserves to get laid on the first date is ineffective. A guy who wants to marry you on the first date is ineffective. And so on. This is so obvious that it doesn’t seem to be worthy of mention, and yet millions of men continue to behave as described above. Why? Because they’re doing what comes naturally. They are being themselves – a little selfish, a little insecure, a little clueless, a little tone-deaf. It’s not a crime, but it’s all too common. If I were a dating coach for men, I’d spend all my time trying to get those men to “change” their behaviors, not because their actions are inherently evil, but because, for the most part, women don’t respond to them.

This was the starting point of one of my more popular blog posts, “Why Men Don’t Like Smart, Strong, Successful Women.” It’s not that men don’t like smart, strong, successful women. We do. We don’t, however, like the negative qualities that often come with those positive traits. In that post, I used myself as an example of a smart, strong, successful guy who inadvertently alienated people with his honesty, his arrogance, his sarcasm, his impatience, etc. I simply posited what would seem to be empirically undeniable:

a) Just because you’re smart, strong, and successful doesn’t make you a great catch for everyone.

b) Good qualities often come with bad qualities.

c) What men value in a partner is often different from what women value in a partner.

And THAT is the thing that most of my detractors, including Amy, I’d assume, don’t want to admit. Many women (not all of them, of course), want men who are taller, smarter, richer, funnier, stronger, braver, more educated. On the other hand, while men very much appreciate impressive women; we have also concluded that impressive traits are secondary to one thing: how he FEELS around his partner. And if she’s so busy that she doesn’t have time for him, he’s not going to feel good. And if she’s so smart that she’s constantly second-guessing him and telling him how he can improve, he’s not going to feel good. And if she’s so strong that she seems invulnerable and he can’t find a way to contribute to her life, he’s not going to feel good. And so on.

So the crux of the disconnect between you and me, Amy, is that I’m not telling you to be stupid, weak and silent. I’m simply saying what lots of men haven’t been able to articulate on their own; your greater value to him comes in your ability to make him feel smart, funny, sexy, interesting, and loyal. Thus, it’s not that your ability to speak in French isn’t attractive; it’s that it’s largely irrelevant to why he wants to date you. Same with your summer home in the Hamptons or your ability to analyze the Middle East conflict. This isn’t about him being intimidated by you; this is simply about how he feels when he’s with you.

I am not telling you, or anyone else to be fake. I am showing you how to be effective, the same way you’d tell a guy friend to listen to his date and pick up the check.

Some people are naturally good at making others feel important. They are good listeners. They ask questions. They don’t look at their iPhones. They don’t make you feel like a low priority. They are available, emotionally and physically. They don’t criticize or micromanage. They assume the best rather than the worst in you. These are the women that men want to date – whether they work at Target or run a venture capital firm. Both women can be 100% themselves, as long as they are evoking these feelings in their partner.

Which is why when you accuse me of telling women to “change their personality, wants and needs,” I have to refute it, unequivocally. I am not telling you, or anyone else to be fake. I am showing you how to be effective, the same way you’d tell a guy friend to listen to his date and pick up the check.

Furthermore, what you seem to be very willing to overlook in your “sexist” criticism of me is my target audience: smart, strong, successful women. Check out this page of smiling women, a small sample of happy clients who have worked with me. Do you think that they’ve all been brainwashed? Do you think that all their smiles are fake? Do you think that they all lied in order to “land a guy”? Do you think that these grateful women hired a man whose whole business is centered on their happiness, but secretly hates women? C’mon. I love women. I love my clients. I love getting emails when they meet a great guy.

These women read the same stuff that you read, but instead of assuming that I want to subjugate women (which couldn’t be further from the truth), they were open to the idea that they weren’t very effective in their dating and relationship decisions. Did any of them change their personalities? Not one bit. They are the exact same women they were when they came to me. All that changed was their choice in men. Instead of deifying men who are taller, smarter, and richer, they’ve started to value consistency, kindness, communication and commitment. In doing so, they finally understood what I mean by compromising. Now, I’ve been at this long enough to know that when I say compromise, you hear “settle”. But here’s the difference between compromising and settling: People who compromise are happy. People who settle are not. I would never tell you to do something that made you unhappy. Yet some people – once again, my detractors – think that compromising will do just that.

My happiest clients – doctors, lawyers, CEOs, etc – came to terms with the idea that dominant, assertive, difficult, “masculine” energy is not appealing to traditionally masculine men, and if they wanted to continue to always get their way at home, they’d be better off choosing an easygoing guy who will not fight with them. He may not make as much money. He may not be as charismatic. But he will be the one guy who lets everything roll off his back. Easygoing is one of most valuable and underrated traits in a partner (not just according to me, but according to studies on marriage). Who is a better long-term partner – the one who fights you, tooth and nail, on everything? Or the one whose default setting is “Yes”? This brings me to your mention of my wife, who is, fundamentally, a yes person. By the way, this does not make her a doormat, as has been suggested by readers in the past. You’re a doormat if you’re unhappy. You’re a doormat if your husband doesn’t respect you. You’re a doormat if he walks all over you. You’re a doormat if you lack self-esteem and you never get your way. My wife ALWAYS gets her way, because I greatly appreciate her easygoing nature and therefore do everything in my power to make sure she’s happy. That’s how love works.

All men want is to be accepted for who they are. And if you can do that, you won’t have to change a single thing about your smart, strong, successful self.

My wife is beautiful. My wife is smart. My wife is funny. My wife is kind and selfless and an incredible mom. But the reason I married her is because I can be myself around her. There are no lies in our relationship. She doesn’t take offense at things that aren’t inherently offensive. Let’s be honest here – not everyone is equal at all things. I am argumentative. I am short-tempered. I have a low sex drive. I like to talk about myself a lot. So if my wife were to say to me that she’s dated men who were less argumentative, more easygoing, had a higher sex drive, and were better listeners, is that an insult to me? Or is it simply a fact? And if we’ve been happily married for six years now, should that fact undermine our relationship? Should I pick a fight with her to tell her that she SHOULD think that I’m the best guy she’s ever met in every category? Or would it make more sense to assume that if she chose me over all other men, has borne me two children, and spends every waking moment making my life better that she probably loves me and respects me, even if she thinks I’m less than perfect?

I think the answer is obvious. In strong relationships, two people can speak their truth without drama, without ego, and largely without conflict. In a weak relationship, you need your husband to either believe (or to lie) that you are the smartest woman he’s ever met, the nicest woman he’s ever met, the sexiest woman he’s ever met, and so on. Sorry, but that just sounds tiring. Reality is much easier to navigate. And that’s what I choose. Reality. Where I can own my strengths and weaknesses, my wife can own hers, and we don’t have to pretend that we’re perfect.

Yes, I DID think I could do better when I was dating my wife. Why? Because I didn’t understand what was important. It wasn’t whether she read Philip Roth, whether she earned six figures, or whether she was a secular liberal. It was that she was the only person I’ve ever met that I didn’t make me bite my tongue, walk on eggshells, or apologize to her ten times a day. My wife accepts me, 100%, and for that, she gets the full-force of my love and devotion.

All men want is to be accepted for who they are.

And if you can do that, Amy, you won’t have to change a single thing about your smart, strong, successful self.

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Comments:

  1. 1
    Dina Strange

    Evan is one of the few dating coaches, i actually take the time to read, and comment to. Surely, i don’t always agree or like what he says…but i do believe he has my best interests in heart, and manifests it in his writing.

    Basically, he speaks the truth as it is in his understanding, no matter how unpleasant or not fitting to whatever idealistic fantasy you created in your mind. By reading his blog I read his opinion, but that shouldn’t stop me from exercising my own critical thinking.

    Evan, i appreciate the work you do on this blog. Thank you. 

    1. 1.1
      Jay

      This question is really about communication skills. Don’t be rude, disrespectful, annoying, obnoxious, angry, condescending, patronizing, or confrontational with your spouse.  No wife wants to deal with a husband who is disrespectful of her; and likewise no husband wants to be around a wife who is annoying and disrespectful.  There’s a balance needed in relationships, and a person talks differently to children, co-workers, clients, and to your spouse.  You can be assertive, demanding, loud, and obnoxious at Work; but leave that personality at the door, and treat your spouse with affection.  Often times, its the Men who can’t separate their work personalities from their home personalities, and they treat their wives like employees to boss around and yell at.  But its also the same with women.  You don’t want to be constantly challenged and told you’re wrong, no one likes that or wants to spend time around people who are pain in the butts.  Men want affection and compliments just the same as women do.  If a woman wants a type A – Alpha man who is ambitious and successful, he’s not going to want a wife who disrespects him. 

      1. 1.1.1
        Blondie99

        See but the problem is a woman who is being an assertive take charge, leader, who is smart and confident, and does not lay down when challenged is seen as a obnoxious angry condescending rude disrespectful partronizing b word.  Whereas a man who displays those same qualities is not seem as the same in either a personal or work life.  Is a person going to act like that 24/7 in a relationship of course not no one does or wants that.  But when the situation calls for someone to step up and lead I will, or assert I will.  And I live in DC where people love to argue about politics I hate it but if you pester me I will and no I’m not going to lay down and die because you are a man and I should let you win but I’m seen as the b word when I argue back and you are seen as just a man.  The reason why some people men and women have a hard time transitioning from work to home personalities is because for many it’s their personality that made them good at their job it’s not their job that created their personality.  So it’s not just as simple as saying hey stop being your work persona because your work persona is you!  And I would never ask a man to do that which is why I am more comfortable with a career man because  theoretically he should understand that.

  2. 2
    starthrower68

    Seriously Evan? You have a low sex drive? I’d never have guessed that about you.  

    1. 2.1
      EmeraldDust

      Yes, really, when I first heard him say that about himself, (I believe when I was on the Focus Forum)  my draw dropped.  He does not come across as low sex drive at all.  Perhaps it’s a quality over quantity thing ?   But then again, I am pretty sure he rated his looks as a “7” on the scale of 1-10, and I think he was sand bagging on that number as well 🙂
       

      1. 2.1.1
        starthrower68

        Well what do I know? I’d put myself as a 3 or 4 tops. 😝

        1. EmeraldDust

          I put myself at 6 or 7, depending on:  if I am having a good hair day, if I am wearing make up, my weight (which has about a 10 pound fluctuation), what I’m wearing, how I’m feeling, etc. 
          I think men rank me between 2 and 10, depending on more factors than I can fathom.  I guess I have some sort of “niche look” that either attracts or repels men. 
          I have had so many women tell me that I am “gorgeous”, and not just close girl friends, but casual acquaintances, and even total strangers, all unprompted by me.  Sometimes I think if I could change my orientation, I would, because considering how many female friends I have, and how women in general seem to think I am very attractive.  However, I can’t change my orientation, and also women probably find me pretty, cute, gorgeous, beautiful or whatever, because they aren’t looking at me as a potential romantic partner.
          I’ve ditched the red hair though and am going back to my natural brunette color.  (ahem, what USED to be my natural color before it went salt & pepper)  I actually made the decision because it is a big expense as well as it takes ALOT of time.  However, apparently red hair is a “slut-tell” Seriously, I have seen several different statements associating red hair with either “sluttyness”  ( I dont’ like that term, but that is how it is put)  or a feisty personality. 
          I don’t know if going brunette will bump me up on the scale, or at least not put me in the “free spirited” (slutty)  category, guess I will see when I get a sufficient number of brunette pics of me if I go back online.

        2. Tim

          If youre a woman than a ‘low’ rating shouldn’t bother you. You don’t need to be conventionally attractive. You can still easily attract and date men who are 7-9 in looks.   

        3. starthrower68

          Probably as long as the “low rated” woman is content with FWB/NSA etc., I would agree. I’m not speaking of the higher value women who post on here who have no issue with such arrangements.  But it’s been said more than once here the low value woman can get sex, but commitment might be another story.

        4. Tim

          starthrower

          The low rated women can get commitment from *gasp* men who are near their own level of attractiveness. But please don’t get me wrong. I am in no way advocating for women to ‘lower their standards’. A 3/10 woman shouldn’t need to consider a 3-5/10 guy. 

        5. starthrower68

          I have said before that I have never had any illusions about landing a 8-10 guy.  Not really even sure about higher than a 4.  Even if I got all the weight off, had the hair, wardrobe, etc just right, I still don’t think I’d be trying to get that “high value” isn’t for me. Not because I want to “out man” him, but those men are not part of my world and never have been.  And since I don’t abhor being single, I’m not currently out there hoping or looking to attract anyone, be they a 1 or a 10.  I have enough on my plate as it is.

  3. 3
    Joe

    Great blog entry, Evan!

  4. 4
    EmeraldDust

    I can relate to much of this as a commenter.
    So if I can be misunderstood in one simple, declarative sentence, I need to come to terms with the fact that I will be repeatedly misunderstood somewhere in my 1000 blog posts.


    and . . .

     
    All I can attempt to do is clarify my language, express my intention, and hope that you can acknowledge the nuance between what you’re interpreting and what I’m actually saying.
     and . . .
    So if I can be misunderstood in one simple, declarative sentence, I need to come to terms with the fact that I will be repeatedly misunderstood somewhere in my 1000 blog posts.
    I find that when someone misinterprets what I said, the more I try to clarify it (or wonder where on earth they even got that idea) that none of my explanations or attempts at clarification will be accepted.  One person was dead set on the idea that I was holding out for someone 6 feet tall, and my counter point that both my ex husbands were about 5′ 7″ and most of my relationships were with men under 6 feet, I was basically called a liar and told to  “f” off.  (that post was later pulled) 
    Oh well, when people get an idea in their head, they tend to fight to keep it, despite any evidence to the contrary.  In the long run, if an embittered short man who is a stranger to me on the blog, wants to believe that every woman on the planet only dates 6 foot tall men, that won’t make it true.  It’s just HIS interpretation. 
    Also, sometimes all the voices of the dating advice universe get jumbled, it’s easy to think that an individual said or agrees with some idea, when in fact, perhaps they do not. 
    I saw the facebook post where EMK said , “If you’re interested in him, act interested.” The first comment was: “Why be fake?”  and I was really floored by that.  But then again, for as long as there have been “lonely heart advisers” women have been advised to play “hard to get” and many dating coaches still give out that advice.  I think this meme has been around so long, that many women feel that anything else is being fake, when in fact, “playing hard to get” if you like a guy is the fake behavior.  But I guess if a woman has been playing that game (and losing) her whole dating life, acting interested in a man she likes WILL feel fake to her, because that is how she has been operating for so long.
    My guess (and this is only a guess) that women who have played this silly game and “won”, have “won”  IN SPITE of their silly little games.  And perhaps, before they “won” this playing hard to get game, they “lost” out on other guys who would have made GREAT boyfriend/husbands etc., because those men read the game as “SJNITH” and moved on.  Also, many women mistakenly believe that there only 2 choices, play hard to get, or to chase a man.  I like EMK’s “do nothing” and “mirroring” advice.  It’s not playing hard to get and it’s not chasing either.  There’s a difference between RESPONDING to a man’s interest with warm counter interest, and aggressively pursuing a man.  I enjoy being a responder, not running in the other direction, or being the initiator. 



  5. 5
    Selena

    If Amy has been reading this blog for over two years, I’d think she’d know a little bit more about how Evan thinks and feels about his wife. Did she miss the posts where Evan describes her as “the coolest woman on the planet”?  The several where he admits he had *a list* prior to meeting her? A list by the way she did not meet. And how thankful he is that he didn’t stick to that list? How about the post where he says he has an idyllic marriage? How many people do you know who do, could, or would say that about their marriage?

    And then there are the many, many posts where he describes how secure his wife is. The pantie story  is a classic.  The guest post she wrote before they were married is wonderful – she’d make a terrific blogger herself if she were so inclined. I don’t know Mrs. Katz, but I think I would really like her as a friend based on what she and her husband have written.

    As far as Mrs. Katz getting offended about some of the things he writes…my guess would be she probably smiles if she reads them. 🙂

    Signed,

    Someone who’s been reading this blog for over 7 years.

     

    1. 5.1
      EmeraldDust

      Selena @ 5 – I was puzzled by that as well.  I have ALWAYS thought that EMK cherished and adored his wife and NEVER thought he felt otherwise.  Oh well, people’s INTERPRETATIONS of whats was said are often DEAD WRONG as to how the speaker (or blogger) actually feels.

  6. 6
    Pete

    OMFG. Dude. I am so stoked on this.
    I’ve read your blog for quite a while. I agree often. Disagree sometimes. I wish the world was one way. You tell me it’s another. Understanding women is a challenging thing…even for women.
    Still, it’s good stuff. Sometimes, it’s an obvious quick post. Phoning it in. Basic points. No passion.
    This post is awesome. She pissed you off and you came out swinging. In the process, you summed up so much. So much of what you say about women and men. So much about who we are.
    This is so good that I’ll be sharing it around.
    Thank you. Thank you.

  7. 7
    Sunflower

    Some people just can’t handle direct communication.  I have a tendency to be direct and not to sugar-coat.  As Evan said….”reality takes less work.”  I’m all about that and there are a lot of people I work with who do not respond well, appreciate it and criticize me for it.  Oh well!  I just align my self with people who appreciate me. Birds of a feather flock together.  I appreciate your candor Evan and have been a long time fan 🙂

  8. 8
    Marie

    Amy,
    If you are an overly sensitive person or overthinking sometimes some of what Evan says can come across as too opinionated and make one defensive.  But on the whole, I think Evan does a great job of holding up a mirror so that strong successful women can see their strengths and weaknesses in the dating world.  It is not always pleasant but I speak from experience when I say it’s highly effective.  As successful women, many of us have been through a lot of negativity to get to where we are in our careers and it can be difficult to have yet another weakness held out by a stranger for our inspection.  It’s easier to circle the wagons and say I’m fine, I’m not going to change, it’s all the other people who need to change.  But truth is, if you are trying to find that husband/life partner, have gone on thousands of dates and still haven’t found him, there is probably something you can stand to improve upon. No one is saying you have to become a radically different person, but there are probably many things you could do better.  And if you could have figured out what those things are on your own, you wouldn’t still be single, would you?  Those who are truly successful are those who can continually adapt and improve themselves.

    1. 8.1
      starthrower68

      I will say, though, just to play devil’s advocate, there’s not much positive reinforcement that goes on in the world. I don’t necessarily mean Evan or that he should change his style.  But it does often seem in most places in life we hear what’s wrong with us and never what’s right with us so change can come as a challenge.

      1. 8.1.1
        EmeraldDust

        There also seems to be a little bit of disconnect to me between the advice telling us “what women do wrong” and then saying “be yourself” and let him “be yourself”.  Evan candidly admits to being argumentative, opinionated and “low sex drive” (which I have a hard time believing but whatever)  and he found love.
        EVERYBODY is flawed, EVERYBODY does things wrong, NOBODY is perfect, so I really do think the trick is for 2 people to find each other where they can live with each other’s flaws.  And by flaws, I don’t mean things that weren’t on the check list.  Being short is not a flaw, having less than a Master’s Degree is not a flaw. 
        I don’t know why the flaws of single people are considered greater than the flaws of married people.   I see flawed people in relationships all the time.  (well, since we are all flawed, I guess that would stand to reason)  In fact, the number of people I see who treat their SO like SHIT, makes me wonder why I even want to get in a r’ship. 
         I also meet people (men and women, but mostly women)  who are attractive, sweet heart personality, fun to be with, who are not coupled up, and I wonder to myself, how it is that such a pretty, down to earth, sweet, caring woman have trouble finding love ? 
        There’s only so much self-improvement and self introspection one can do.  No one is perfect and reading all the self help books and taking all the “be perfect” advice is not going to help anyone.  Self awareness can turn to self loathing if you try to be all things to all people.  And taking on the attitude that being single is a definite sign of a terribly flawed person (while being in a shitty marriage is somehow redeeming)
        I think there are some people in the world who demand to be accepted “as is” but refuse to do the same in kind.
         

        1. Evan Marc Katz

          Emerald, I found love not when I stopped “being myself,” but when I changed my criteria in choosing a partner from “impressive/attractive” traits to “important/easy” traits. I don’t give any advice that I haven’t tried myself. Which is why it always strikes me as absurd when people tell me either that I’m telling them to settle, or implying that I’ve settled. I’m happy. I’m only trying to help you get happy, too. If you don’t want to compromise on anything on your path to love, so be it. Those who understand these compromises will have a much easier journey.

        2. EmeraldDust

          I agree with what you just said EMK, and I wasn’t referring to you with what I was saying about the “what women do wrong advice”.
           
          In fact I did say “I really do think the trick is for 2 people to find each other where they can live with each other’s flaws.  And by flaws, I don’t mean things that weren’t on the check list.  Being short is not a flaw, having less than a Master’s Degree is not a flaw. ”  is in agreement with your response to me.
          If my post made you think I was saying that you tell women to “settle” and that you’ve settled, either I didn’t make myself clear, you misunderstood me, or a little of each.

        3. Marie

          @starthrower and EmeraldDust:
          1) Who needs positive reinforcement? You chart your own course and if you have a growth mindset and are continuing to grow and evolve, your failures will turn into success and your success will speak for itself.  Those who are not successful are those who continue to do the same thing and fail over and over without learning anything, taking risks, or doing something new.
          2) The quest for perfection is useless.  Who defines perfect anyway?  It’s the desire for perfectionism women tend to display that actually hinders us from taking action, taking more risks, failing and then eventually succeeding.  There is, however, a better way to do something and a worse way.  Those who are successful figure out the better way and keep at it until they figure it out. 
           
          3)If the single person is dying to get coupled up and can’t, naturally society considers the flaws of that single person to be great because otherwise wouldn’t they have been able to find that one person or persons who could tolerate all their flaws?  But why haven’t they?  [insert all the 101 reasons I’m sure you can come up with, at the end of it, still same result)
           
          Look, comparing your situation to others is not going to help.  That sweet caring woman might have trouble because she lacks self-confidence, is horrible in bed, is indecisive and keeps letting moments of love pass her by.  Who knows. How do you know?  How well do you know anyone’s relationship ability from the outside anyways? The only kind of thinking that is going to get you somewhere is thinking that leads to action.

        4. EmeraldDust

          Marie – I have no idea why you posted that response to me.  I dont’ see how it relates to anything I have said. 

  9. 9
    Meryhady

    I think essentially both men and women wants the same thing: unconditional acceptance and support. It probably would help if you put it less like: woman is this and men is that. A lot of women are just not self aware enough to realize what they truly want in a partner. That’s why they list things like money and height. I think the key point here is acceptance simply means not criticizing. It does not mean condoning bad behaviours. Like when a guy disrespects you. The way to accept his occational flaw without criticizing is just to simply say it was disrespectful, then keep a distance by not responding or not go out with him again if he treats you that way again, until he inquire why and changes that behaviour. Criticizing, on the other hand, would be running after him and analyzing to him to the bone how wrong he is, while condoning would mean pretend nothing happen and secretly hope he changes. It is subtle however the difference is significant. Basically just do not embrace situations which does not align with your truth.

  10. 10
    Erica

    I am in a commited, long term relationship with my love and I still read this blog weekly. I love it! I still find plenty of wisdom that I can take with me and use towards building a stronger partnership. Thank you, Evan.

  11. 11
    Joy

    Evan – I first found your blog over three years ago when I was in so much pain from a break-up I couldn’t see straight.  I had googled “how to get over an ex” and “how to get an ex back” and eventually through various “dating” coaches I wound up on your site.  I initially bought “Why He Disappeared”, and I was not ready to hear yet that it didn’t matter why the ex disappeared.  I kept reading your blog, letting it sink in, and I have NEVER felt you have told women to “dumb down” or have insulted your wife.  You have changed my perspective so much regarding dating, what to appreciate in men, becoming the CEO of my dating life.  I have not met my future husband yet, but I soooooo look forward to the day when I can write you my success story.  In the meantime, I think you give valuable advice to women, and I wish I had found you years ago, but then I may not have been open to it at the time (like when I first found you). Another friend of mine reads your blog as well, and we will often say, “I think Evan would agree with us or what would Evan say to do”.  I believe you tell women to only accept good treatment without playing games.  I feel you have given me such great advice that I can feel confident that while I am not perfect and will still make mistakes, I will not accept bad treatment and will be able to walk away from men who do not want me.  It is such a freeing feeling.  Thanks for all you do!

  12. 12
    ScottH

    Evan-  All is can say, is keep it up (your work, that is).  I found you when I was trying to make sense of a relationship issue and I’ve been a steady reader (several times/day) ever since.  I usually but not always agree with you and I do appreciate your insightful comments and thoughts.  I also mention your blog to several of my friends.  
    Keep up the good work and thanks for writing a blog about one of my recent relationship issues.  I really enjoy coming to your site.
    Scott 

  13. 13
    Rachel

    I started reading Evan’s stuff a few years ago when I was at a very low point in my life after a breakup that left me feeling stripped of everything. My time, my self confidence, my faith in finding love again. Today I can say I’ve successfully gained all of that back and I owe a big part of that to Evan for his honest approach and eye opening words. I’ve dated quite a bit since, and got better at it with each try I think. Six months ago I met a man I may not have considered before, and now I’m in the most sane, secure, loving, and ultimately the EASIEST relationship I’ve ever experienced. The old me might have thought something must be missing and bailed for a riskier choice, but the new me gave him a try and is not disappointed one ounce. I’m not settling whatsoever. I’m just simply in love and happy and fulfilled everyday. Just want to say thanks for that Evan 🙂

  14. 14
    EB

    One of your best blog posts ever! However, I disagree with one point:
     
    “These women read the same stuff that you read, but instead of assuming that I want to subjugate women (which couldn’t be further from the truth), they were open to the idea that they weren’t very effective in their dating and relationship decisions. Did any of them change their personalities? Not one bit. They are the exact same women they were when they came to me. All that changed was their choice in men.”
     
    I would say that I am NOT the same person I was when I first found your content! I am thousands of times more confident, self-aware, thoughtful, and the way I carry myself has totally changed. Based on a thread from a little while ago about the non-dating things we’ve learned through you, I’d say many other ladies on here agree. Working through EMK methods has been a transformative process that has taught me to value myself, and in turn to attract a quality guy…but that wouldn’t have happened if I were the same person, because that girl wasn’t ready for a real relationship. I’m of the opinion that learning to change choice in men requires a very fundamental life shift, as well.
     
    I also LOVE what you wrote about your relationship with your wife. It’s very similar to my relationship with my boyfriend, with the genders reversed. I’m the type-A, difficult one, and he is so easygoing and so agreeable that we balance each other out very well. He makes plans and calls me every night and initiates intimacy, and I get to nitpick about where we eat and who drives and what movie we see. And he’s anything BUT a doormat – he definitely does speak up when something isn’t agreeable to him, and brings me down to earth when I get too wound up. He tells me all the time that he’s just happy he gets to spend time with me and the details don’t matter to him. It feels SO GOOD to feel like I’m not settling OR dumbing myself down OR keeping my light from shining to make him like me – we just fit. Let’s hear it for the beta partner!!!

  15. 15
    Karl S

    It was that she was the only person I’ve ever met that I didn’t make me bite my tongue, walk on eggshells, or apologize to her ten times a day. My wife accepts me, 100%, and for that, she gets the full-force of my love and devotion.

    I once lived with a partner who made me feel exactly like this. I was literally apologizing for something everyday. After the breakup I became a lot more aware of which qualities I need to prioritize in a partner, and easygoing is right at the top of the list now.

    1. 15.1
      EmeraldDust

      Yes, exactly.  Didn’t start out that way with my ex.  After a very nice 10 or so years, he gradually became critical.  I gave up a big part of who I was trying to appease him, and not incur his foul moods towards me.  I jokingly told someone that he really only disliked 2 things about me:  Everything I said, and everything I did.  Pretty soon,  I was just a mouse, a shadow of my former self.  I didn’t even know how much of myself I lost, until he finally moved out. 
      Funny thing, as my old self started coming back, I started having more friends.  More co-workers started inviting me to lunch.  My old friends started seeking me out more.  New friends came into my life, and more and more people just plain old started liking me.  Unfortunately, this new found popularity has not extended into romantic relationships yet, but I have more friends, now that I am not under this black cloud and walking on egg shells.

    2. 15.2
      Mary

      Evan. Thanks so much for setting things straight somerimes; especially for me as a woman.  I have turned my life around completely and now can easily feel myself in a dating situation; thanks to your help.  It always makes sense even though sometimes it’s an awakening

  16. 16
    Henriette

    No doubt many of you are familiar with Sonnet 130, “My Mistress’ Eyes are Nothing Like the Sun.”  In it, Shakespeare lists off the perfect woman’s traits, as laid out by his contemporaries, and also explains how his lady fails to live up to any of them.  At first it seems insulting, but by the end of the sonnet we understand that he sees his woman clearly and loves her as she actually is, not requiring any of the artificial comparisons used by other poets.   We aren’t left with the impression that he feels like he “settled” but rather, that his feelings are so profound that idealising her would be shallow and unnecessary.
     
    Evan had a “wish list.”  His mate should be INTJ, East Coast, liberal, a member of The Tribe, a quoter of Portnoy’s Complaint.   Instead, he found his joy with a woman is none of these things.   Evan doesn’t lie and tell us that his wife possesses any of these qualities; in fact, to do so would be insulting.   In his posts and emails, he tells who she is, how she differs from what he once wanted and then, always, how remarkably happy he is with her.
     
    Evan tries to teach his blog readers this lesson he learned (and lives).  To the women who write complaining, “Ugh, like, my boyfriend doesn’t think I’m, like, the hottest chick on the planet,” he asks us to understand the gift that it is to be seen clearly by a man and then loved for who we truly are.  And he urges us, in turn, to look at good guys in all their flawed, porn-watching, need-to-be-needed imperfection and just cherish them.   None of this sounds like an “Ugly Truth” to me.

    1. 16.1
      EmeraldDust

      Actually, that is how I felt about my second ex-hubby.  I never thought I would fall for an unemployed carpenter, going back to school to get a degree. Never thought I would marry a guy younger than me.  He was a little on the shy side too.  Never thought a shy guy would float my boat.  Not so much a check list, but more of my imaginings about who I would marry, and then I was pleasantly surprised when I fell for a young, out of work, soon to be student.  (actually, he wasn’t unemployed when I met him, but became so shortly thereafter) 
      But I didn’t think I settled or sacrificed or gave up on any big qualities.  He treated me well, I was attracted (started off a little bit mild, but soared up to wild the first time we kissed)  and he was commitment oriented. 
      In fact, he was very similar to many “nice guys” I had turned down.  Never could quite put my finger on why I wasn’t feeling it for some of those “nice guys”, and never could quite put my finger on why I fell hard for this nice guy.  Sure, he was cute, but so were the other “nice guys”.  Guess that’s why they call it ” je ne sais quoi”
      There were 5 years between hubby #1 & #2.  5 years of meeting guys that were good guys that I just didn’t feel it for, and vice-versa.  5 years of wondering if there was something wrong with me that I couldn’t just will myself to be attracted to a guy who was good to me.  Then I met the 2nd ex and things were good for approx 10 years.  And made me glad that I didn’t try to force myself to love someone I couldn’t.
      So I still think it’s just a matter of trying to find my match, but with a 2:1 ratio in my age group, the possibility that I won’t find my match is a very real possibility no matter what I do. With a 2:1 ratio in the 60 + group, there is a mathematical explanation why all women over 60 aren’t coupled up.    They could all be good relationship partners, but if there aren’t enough men to go around, someone’s going to be left out. 

      1. 16.1.1
        Joe

        US Census Bureau estimates for 2013 indicate:
        males over 60 = 28,274,314
        females over 60 = 34,551,761

        Not exactly 2:1…more like 1.2:1.

        1. Tre

          These are for the total not the numbers for available and straight men

        2. Joe

          Perhaps you can provide those figures to prove the 2:1 ratio…

        3. Evan Marc Katz

          There’s contradictory information out there:

          http://www.huffingtonpost.com/renee-fisher/dating-over-50_b_4084398.html – makes it seem really dire.

          http://web.archive.org/web/20170202062002/http://www.census.gov/prod/cen2010/briefs/c2010br-09.pdf – suggests that there are 90 men for every 100 women, which isn’t a big difference. The problem with this census study is that it doesn’t break down the percentage that are single. Because if we start with fewer men – then we figure that they die sooner – then we figure that they have fewer friends and are less likely to be content remaining single – then we figure that they want to get remarried really fast – then we factor in that many of them won’t date women their own age – and we have a more dire picture of what it looks like to be a 65-year-old single woman…

      2. 16.1.2
        EmeraldDust

        Joe – I read the 2:1 here on this site.  I’m pretty sure EMK provided it. (EMK, correct me if I’m wrong)
        Of course the only number that matters is the number of AVAILABLE men.  Since there are more widows than widowers, it only stands to reason that the numbers get tilted towards men. If a couple DIVORCES, that puts one male and one female back in the game.  If one partner dies, that puts only one person back in the game.  If men die sooner that women (and most marriages tend to have the older hubby) then those marriages that end in death, are putting one extra female in the game.  With each decade the # grows.  Of course being a woman, being open to dating a slightly younger guy (if you can find one who is willing) could increase those odds.
        I’m 59, so maybe the 2:1 doesn’t apply to me yet.

        1. EmeraldDust

          EMK – Thanks for the follow up.  In my 2nd incarnation of being single, there were  tons and tons of articles on the great American man shortage.  The whole idea seemed geared toward scaring women into getting married at 18 and pumping out babies at 20.  This was before the internet, but magazines, newspapers, talk show hosts were pushing the idea of a big “man shortage”  (and not in the older group but in the younger, typical looking for a spouse demographic)  Finally someone analyzed the figures and said that there was only a shortage if women kept to the tradition of marrying a man a few years older, but if women were willing to expand their dating pool to a few years YOUNGER also, that there was a reasonable pool of  men.  (this was around the early to mid 80’s)  As it turns out, I married slightly younger and so did the MOST of my friends.  Problem solved.

    2. 16.2
      Evan Marc Katz

      Thank you, Henriette, and thank you to all the regular readers who have chimed in so far. I think there’s always the temptation to only pipe up on the internet when you’re angry, but it’s nice to hear that my central message is getting through. And I think the most eloquent defender of that message is not me, but the women who are happily living it. Far from being an “Ugly Truth,” I find each and every unique success story to be quite beautiful.

  17. 17
    Noemi

    This is simply about how he feels when he’s with you. This. This is all we women need to ingrain in our minds. It’s Evan’s message to women in < 15 words. No need to refute it. No need to overthink it. No need to justify otherwise. Case in point: Meet “Olivia” a strong, successful woman with a masters degree, a solid credit score, and a pocket full of cash. She loves to brag about her accomplishments and, frankly, being a bitch. When she sets a goal, she is on fire. She is not only ambitious and independent, but has the looks to accompany her drive. She has no trouble meeting men, but they never seem to stick around. Meet “Daphne” her sister. Not only is she beautiful, but she has a heart of gold. She is the most genuine and easygoing person you will ever meet. Daphne has not fared so well academically and financially–she dropped out of high school because she never cared for Algebra or Biology. She has never been financially stable–every job she had was boring because she was chasing her dream of becoming an actress…until she met Jason. Jason is a great guy. He knows what he wants in a gal! So, two years after they meet, he proposes to Daphne. Every time I talk to her, she tells me how much she loves being married. Of course, Jason treats her like a queen. He would do anything for her. It makes me so jealous! Take what you want from this, but the message is clear! P.S. These two girls are my sisters, by the way. Both are wonderful women, but one can’t seem to understand that her ambition or her M.S. doesn’t matter to her future husband. 

  18. 18
    Barbigirl

    EMK, you have so gotten it right, and could not have explained this any better! After going through a divorce, I found and started reading your blog, and it has given me tremendous insight into dating (especially in today’s world), relationships, understanding men, learning from my previous relationship mistakes in my marriage, and has taught me to strive to be the best authentic version of myself. I have been in a happily committed relationship with a wonderful man for over 3 years now, and I keep reading your blog as your advice has been and still is invaluable to me. Thank you for all you do to help women find love, and I appreciate your honesty, candor, and straightforwardness along with it as well! You rock! Keep up the awesome work, and don’t worry about all of those who disagree – we are all entitled to our opinions, so hopefully those others’ opinions work out for them in the end. 
     
    P.S. Your wife is a lucky woman. 😊

  19. 19
    Gina

    I have always understood Evan’s message and can/could not understand those who do not. In fact, his message is the same message that my mom and grandmother used to give me when I was a young girl. In my opinion, it’s simply common sense. 

     

  20. 20
    Erin

    I’m a little surprised to read validation of Amy’s perspective on your blog posts. One reason I have strayed from your advice is that I don’t find you to validate different perspectives if they are not aligned with your own. I’ve been reading your blog/purchasing your works for a couple of years now. I’ve gotten involved with blog comments a bit, but I’ve been shut down by you via telling me basically “dating: you’re doing it wrong, and it doesn’t matter what your reality is because you are doing it wrong”. Um, ok. Insult added to injury. I find Rori Raye to be from another planet and Christian Carter to be too wordy. I like your directness. However, when I’m feeling like a terminal loser due to my romantic life, I don’t need to be kicked in the teeth. I’m glad I read this post from Amy and your response. Both validated my perspective on your method. 

    1. 20.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      Thanks, Erin. I hear you. And here’s the hard part about validation: it takes up a lot of time. Sounds terrible, but it’s true.

      Now I know that no one wants to be told that he/she is “wrong,” and in order to get people to listen to you, you must validate their opinion first, but boy, does that slow me down when I’m trying to crank out these blogs in between my paid coaching/writing endeavors. It would be like someone asks you for the time, and although the easiest thing to do is say “12:30,” I’d have to first ask her what her name is, how her day is going, and where she’s off to.

      So you are certainly not wrong to suggest that I often fail in the validation department. And if this stops you from reading, I have to own that as well. But really, it becomes impossible to give advice if, in every single post, I have to take the time to check off all of the variables that could possibly offend anyone. I’d be like a politician, censoring my answers based on fear. “Can I say something about women? No, she’ll attack me because she’ll say I meant all women, when, of course, nothing applies to everyone. Should I acknowledge the exceptions to the rule? How one can send him a dozen needy texts and he’ll still love you? How one can spy on his phone and he’ll gladly put up with it? No, that simply takes too much time.” I’m just going to give the rules. Don’t act needy. Don’t spy. Trust. Don’t fixate on his flaws. Don’t overrely on chemistry. Etc, etc.

      So we’re right back where we started. You ask a question. I give a direct answer without having to apologize for every variable and interpretation. And readers continue to get disproportionately angry because I negated their worldview – even though I give advice to the masses and don’t care if you follow my advice or not. If YOU want to hold out for Clooney, go ahead. IF YOU want to quit online dating, go ahead. If YOU think that the right man will put up with being consistently criticized and second-guessed, go ahead. I will continue to speak my truth and deal with the consequences, including the possibility that some people don’t understand/get/like me. It’s a big world out there. And, as you pointed out, if you want lengthy marketing messages, go to Rori and Christian. If you want inside knowledge of what (many) smart, confident, relationship-oriented guys are thinking, you couldn’t have a better advocate.

      Best wishes, either way…

      Evan

  21. 21
    Ben Iyyar

    I wonder why it is okay for us to change our physical appearance, like straightening our teeth, a nose job for purely esthetic reasons, laser surgery to get rid of glasses, or even losing weight to make ourselves more attractive, but making our personality less abrasive to others or questioning our “absolute” ideals to make ourselves more open to potential partners is somehow morally wrong?  Evan, even if you are advising women to “settle” so what?  Every person grows and changes over time, as do our values and those attributes we consider essential in an intimate or married partner, so what exactly is “settling?”  Making a mature and hopefully more informed choice for a partner is my take, but if that is abhorrent to others, you don’t have to “settle!” You can do whatever makes you happy, just like Evan says!

    1. 21.1
      Noquay

      Ben, I think we all are a work in progress. Because I am a serious, pretty successful sort of type A chick in a region where same aged men are much less educated and ambitious, I am constantly checking who I am at the door. Not fun. I cannot speak my truth about who I am, my strong environmental beliefs. We women are told, in order to have the man WE are attracted to and who share our values, that yep, our bodies must be near perfect, that we not only have to have a high income, our own home,
      but

      also do all the”women” stuff such as keep a clean, pleasing, household and cook good meals. I make very mature, informed choices of partners and reject those I can see have serious red flags and for this I am called too picky and elitist. I was married to an incredible man, for twelve awesome years who was in every way my equal and it was great. In many areas Ben, more successful women are unfortunately held to a very unequal double
      standard. Just tried hard to make it work with a very beta, unambitious man who told me I do “too much” in life. I felt he did too little. At this point, I am seriously considering bailing on mortgage and career, going back to my place in the north woods, just living totally alone and according to the dictates of the natural world. Constantly being forced to deny who you are, your truth, in order to”land” a guy is becoming too stressful and depressing, especially when one knows what a good rship SHOULD look and feel like.  Hey, Ben, hope you’re doing OK.

      1. 21.1.1
        starthrower68

        Noquay, nobody could certainly fault you for choosing that option.  It’s just living according to what you value most.  I’m not trying to influence you either way.  But rather whichever path you believe is best for you is the one you should choose. I spent a lot of years living by everybody’s “shoulds” but mine.  

      2. 21.1.2
        Tim

        Men who are successful, ambitious have relationships with and marry women who are ‘beta’ and unambitious. They aren’t obsessed with finding someone who ‘measures’ up to them in those aspects.

        Why cant women do the same?   Don’t worry, I don’t expect an answer from you or any other woman. Just a simple question that popped in my head.

        1. starthrower68

          Well if a woman has that awareness, doesn’t seek a man out to try to change, and instead chooses to remain single and unattached, it’s not an issue. If she tried to change a man into something he’s not and/or doesn’t want to be, then it’s an issue.

        2. starthrower68

          I would also say the same about men who choose not to marry for various reasons.

        3. Tim

          See, such a difficult question to understand.

        4. starthrower68

          Evidently. I mean, is it a rhetorical question, or do you think women should be like men in this regard?

        5. EmeraldDust

          I think the problem with successful, ambitious women is that men who are the same way don’t want them because of the constant friction, and less successful men don’t want them because they feel inferior in these situations, even if the woman isn’t actively belittling him for say, being a teacher or a plumber, while she is a powerful CEO.  (If she is belittling him for that, than shame on her) So truth is, “alpha” men and “beta” men both have problems with successful, ambitious women.
          There was a study that was referenced on this blog about how a man’s IMPLICIT self esteem goes down if he becomes aware of his woman’s success.  He finds this out through a 3rd party, not because she is rubbing her nose in it. And it’s not his EXPLICIT self esteem that becomes eroded, but his IMPLICIT self esteem. 
          So these men aren’t intentionally pouting over having a more successful partner.  Since it is their IMPLICIT self esteem that is being impacted, they are not even aware of it.  I guess they just experience some gnawing dis-satisfaction, and they can’t quite put their finger on it. 
          As for me, maybe I am a square peg in a round hole on this blog, because I am a smart, strong, UNDERACHIEVER.  I do not have a  big deal career, and manage to live on a rather low income.  I am good at what I do, but I am not in management or a leadership position, so I don’t have a “bossy hat” that I have to take off when I get home. In fact, much of what I do could be considered “customer service” so I actually do a lot of butt kissing on the job.   So almost any man I date is going to have a better career, make more money, etc.  Heck, some of the retired men I have met probably make more on their retirement incomes than I made working TWO jobs.  Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy my work, but I am not the typical career woman that makes up EMK target audience.  I am just a woman with a job.  (we are not all powerful career women, but that does seem to be the bulk of his female audience and to whom most of his advice is directed)
          So no, I don’t expect a man who “measures up” to me, as almost any man will be my “superior” in as far as career success and making money goes, without any special searching or check listing on my part. 

        6. Tim

          Evidently. I mean, is it a rhetorical question, or do you think women should be like men in this regard?

          Only if they aren’t more shallow and self-centered than men.  

        7. Henriette

          @Tim – more shallow & self-centred than men?  Or perhaps aware of human behaviour! 
          As Emerald stated, research shows that many men cannot help but feel diminished by a woman’s success.  And husbands are more likely to cheat if their woman out-earn them than if their wives earn less.  So, maybe women have always intuitively understood that one way to protect fragile male egos from being bruised is to only go for guys with greater success/ money?!  Just one theory…
           

        8. Noquay

          Tim
          Because we arent men and men arent women. Yep, there are a good many men here with little ambition that are more than willing to let me raise them up to my standard of living; then they resent you. I’ve tried to do just that and it just does not work. You feel like you are doing all the work and getting little in return and because they, as men biologically want to be the providers yet are unable to be so they resent you. Relationships should be give and take. A good many of the men I refer to here would be considered almost gold diggers if they were female and I doubt few men would enjoy that. The other are men that, for whatever reason, really cannot be present for a relationship due to their own issues; a man would not want that either in a woman. 

        9. Lau_ra

          Yes, its indeed simple. Every man wants to feel “the man” in a relationship, even that beta guy, so he will resent womans’ success, even if she couldn’t care less about whether he has a masters degree, earns n-figures and etc. In most cases a woman has to walk on eggshells in order not to destroy a mans fragile ego if she happens to do better. Women are happy about their spouses success usually, which, unfortunately, is not the same with men.

    2. 21.2
      EmeraldDust

      [email protected] 21
       
      I wonder why it is okay for us to change our physical appearance, like straightening our teeth, a nose job for purely esthetic reasons, laser surgery to get rid of glasses, or even losing weight to make ourselves more attractive, but making our personality less abrasive to others or questioning our “absolute” ideals to make ourselves more open to potential partners is somehow morally wrong?


      Nothing wrong with trying to improve your looks or disposition, as both will make us more attractive to the other.  Adopting a healthier life style is always good, even if it doesn’t result in a huge weight loss or bring hordes of suitors to your door.
       
       
      As for the “absolute” ideals ?  I can’t answer that unless I know what ideal you are talking about. Lets talk about a 30 year old woman who “absolutely” wants children.  Should she sacrifice that if she falls head over heels for a man who won’t have children ?  What about a man who CAN’T have children ?   What if he already has children, and is capable of having more, but says he doesn’t want any more ?  Now change 30 year old woman to 38 year old woman and imagine the same scenarios.  Now same scenarios and 30 year old man.  40 year old man.  50 year old man.  I don’t know if it is, as you say “morally wrong” for someone reject a potential romantic partner over the children issue, but depending on their ages, it could be unrealistic.  But a 28 year old woman refusing to date a 35 year old man with 3 children and a vasectemy ?  Is she being unrealistic ?  Is she somehow “morally wrong” for refusing to “settle” for a ready made family that offers her no chance for her own biological children ?  I don’t have really have the answers to these rhetorical questions, and neither does anyone else but the 2 people involved for that matter.  (and sometimes the answers don’t come that easily to them)
       
      You asked . . .
       
      so what exactly is “settling?”

      Very good question !  In fact, this whole “settling” debate seem to be EVERYWHERE in the Dating Advice Universe, and I am including the DAU that existed long before the internet and professional dating coaches.  (that would consist of family & friends in the real world, busy body strangers and Dear Abby)  So I finally decided to “settle” the question about “settling” and tried an online dictionary.  The few definitions I read didn’t really have a definition that fit in the sense of how it is used in the DAU. The closest was “settling down” as in getting married, but that doesn’t necessarily mean “settle”. So I have concluded that “settling” is some sort of colloquialism that has slightly different meanings to each person. 

       

      Another widely accepted “fact” in the DAU is that ONLY women use the term or even have such a concept.  I must admit I do hear the term used more in regards to women, but the very first person I ever heard use this term was A MAN.  He was very adamant that he wasn’t going to “settle” when he married, that he was going to have to be head over heels in love, or he wasn’t going to tie the knot.  He was very tall, very well built, very attractive, etc.   and very much a player.  (he was a friend of my brother’s this is how I knew him)  A man like him would never have to settle any way.  However, he was in his 50’s when he got married.  He does seem head over heels, and they do now have 2 boys, and they seem healthy.  Of course, I am only getting a superficial glance at his life through facebook.  He found me on FB through my brother, he is someone who otherwise would have disappeared completely off my radar if it wasn’t for the wonders of the internet and social media.  However, as good looking, charming, etc.  as he is, the number of women that he has dated, related and FWB’d etc, makes me think that a lot of very good women had their hearts broken by him, by his refusal to “settle”. (which is his right)  Maybe his refusal to “settle” was really, “I am going to play as long as I possibly can, because, well, because I CAN”.  That top 1% of men can and do.

       
      When I use the word “settle” I mean to get into an unsatisfying relationship because it’s better than being alone.  That’s it !  That’s my definition.  A woman who marries a man who she’s not attracted to because he is so good to her is “settling”.  A woman who marries a man who she has a level 10 attraction to, but he cheats on her & she accepts it, because she figures a guy this hot will always cheat, is “settling.”   A woman who marries a man who mistreats her, but she figures this is the best she can get is “settling”.  You could switch the genders here, and by my definition a man would be settling if he married a really hot 10, who was a high maintainence, ball busting, drama queen with a hot temper.  Etc.  He might not call it “settling”, and maybe he doesn’t mind the broken dishes, the stormy arguments, etc. in the beginning when the sex is smokin’ hot, but can he live with that for 40 years ?

      Someone who has always dated men with a 6 figure income and at least 6 feet tall is NOT settling if she falls in love with a man who doesn’t meet one or both of these criteria.  As I use the term it’s only settling if the RELATIONSHIP is unsatisfying in some way (no attraction, mistreatment by the partner, and in some cases, giving up on parenthood) Discovering that you can fall in love with and have a good relationship with someone who is Less than a “10”, works a blue collar job, only has an AA degree, is a meat & potatoes man (and you are a vegan) etc., etc. is a GOOD thing, and I don’t consider that settling at all.  

      And that’s seems to be what fuels the “settling” debate.  There is no “exact” definition to begin with.  One person uses it to mean one thing, and someone else understands it to mean another thing. 

       
       

      1. 21.2.1
        Ben Iyyar

        Like I said before, do what makes you happy.  By all means stand on your principles but you seem to disparage those who make compromises to find happiness.  I suggest that they have just as much right to their search for happiness as you do, but I also feel that those of us who compromise have a far greater chance of happiness than those who stick to their guns. After thirty four years of marriage I am even more in love with my beautiful wife than ever, and I am happier than ever with her, and our four sons.  Again though, do what makes you happy, that is what I did!

        1. starthrower68

          I don’t see where ED is disagreeing with you.  Mature, healthy people get that compromise is needed to have the same sort of relationship.  There are also people who will “get kidnapped” the minute they get into a relationship, i.e. they give up friends, family, hobbies, themselves, etc. to please the other person.  I don’t think that helps anyone.  I think ED was only pointing out “settling” has positive or negative connotations, depending on the person.  And if you were not responding to her, I apologize in advance. 😊

        2. EmeraldDust

          Ben, are you talking to me when you say that I am “disparaging” those who make compromises to find happiness.  Did you miss this part of my post where I said . . .
           
          Discovering that you can fall in love with and have a good relationship with someone who is Less than a “10”, works a blue collar job, only has an AA degree, is a meat & potatoes man (and you are a vegan) etc., etc. is a GOOD thing, and I don’t consider that settling at all. 

          Could you please tell me where I am “disparaging” in that paragraph ?  Could you please re-read my ENTIRE post, put everything I said in the CONTEXT of the ENTIRE post, and let me know EXACTLY where I “disparaged” people who compromise.  I also stated that I PERSONALLY do not consider “compromising” to be settling, and that I only consider it “settling” if the RELATIONSHIP is unsatsifactory, not if someone discovers that they CAN fall in love with someone who doesn’t fit their original template of who they thought they would marry.
          I understand EMK’s frustration, he tries very hard to explain a concept, and it gets COMPLETELY mis interpreted.  My post was NOT meant to be a dispargement to anyone, so obviously I did not do a very good job of explaining my self  (although StarThrower seem to perfectly understand my gist).
           
          So please, explain to me EXACTLY what was disparging in my post.  Thanks in advance, and if you were talking to another poster, I apologize in advance, but your comment appeared directly under mine.


      2. 21.2.2
        Ben Iyyar

        Emerald Dust 21.2.1 writes, “As I use the term it’s only settling if the RELATIONSHIP is unsatisfying in some way” seems disparaging to me in that it implies that only the weak and fearful “settle.”  Besides, in the dating context the connotation of “settling” is overwhelmingly negative.  My point is that in my experience every relationship is unsatisfying in some ways and it is more about how we react to that dissatisfaction than the fact that it exists.  Everybody has problems, and most of us make compromises, not out of weakness or lack of self assurance, but because we understand that any relationship between two intimate partners will always have some friction but we feel our relationship is more important to us than some minor and probably passing dissatisfaction.  We compromise, i.e., “settle”, because we care deeply about our partners and we want our relationship to succeed.  Well, anyway, I love my wife and I feel happily married, so it at least worked for me.

        1. EmeraldDust

          Ben said “Emerald Dust 21.2.1 writes, “As I use the term it’s only settling if the RELATIONSHIP is unsatisfying in some way” seems disparaging to me in that it implies that only the weak and fearful “settle.”
           
          – Thanks for proving how easily things can be misunderstood, which is the topic of this post. Not what I meant at all, never used the word “weak” or “fearful”.  Just because you “inferred” it from my text doesn’t mean I “implied” it.
          I thought I clearly outlined what I think the difference between “compromising” and “settling” is, but you have dug in your heels and are insisting that I am stating that “weak and fearful” people make reasonable compromises to be in relationships.
           
          I never used the words “weak” or “fearful” and the examples I gave of “settling” was not about minor annoyances, unless you think my example of a man who “settles” for a hot 10, who breaks dishes, and is a high maintenance drama queen, is a petty little annoyance that should be compromised on.  Or the woman who “settles” for a man that cheats is just making a reasonable compromise.
           
          I think I will have to come up with a different word for “settle”.  In other dating forums, it is commonly used to mean people who would rather be in a REALLY HIGHLY UNSATISFACTORY relationship than be alone.  Examples are putting up with a non-stop stream of criticism, cheating, physical abuse, sexless relationships, giving up on children at a fairly young age, etc.  Because no matter how carefully I try to describe the difference between  how I use the word “compromise” and “settle” on THIS blog at least everyone insists that the 2 words are SYNOMOUS.
           
          Oh forget it, if Webster’s came out with a single word that meant PRECISELY what I talked about, I would still be misunderstood. I swear, I could give an example of settling as being married to a serial killer, and someone would be sure to respond with “tsk, tsk, Emerald, every woman needs to learn to compromise”
           
          Sometimes I wonder if you even read me ENTIRE post Ben.  Or perhaps you read my entire post, but not with the intent to try and understand what I was ACTUALLY trying to convey, but with an eye toward “proving” that I was disparaging people who compromise.
          So for the record, when I say “compromise” that’s a good thing, I won’t use the term “settle” because to me it’s a BAD thing, but you and so many others seem to think that “settle” and “compromise” mean the EXACT SAME THING, and therefore are both good, and you won’t even consider how I and many other’s use the term.
           
          So the next time I want to describe a situation that involves the dreaded “s” word, I’ll simply say “someone entered into a toxic relationship, fraught with major problems” because they thought it was better than being alone.
          OK BEN ????
           
          And if you are so happily married to your beautiful wife, why are you here ?
           
          And now I question if your beautiful wife is the high drama, high maintanence drama queen I used in  my example, since you obviously think things like cheating, no sexual attraction, and breaking dishes, are no big deal, and are just something that everyone should “compromise” on.

        2. starthrower68

          Isn’t funny how we get caught up in semantics?

        3. Selena

          Emerald,

          I never cared for the term “settling” and it’s beyond me why it continues to be so popular so many years after Ms. Gottlieb’s book was published. The term “Settling Down” has been around for god knows how long, and it merely meant one found someone they loved enough so they felt they didn’t need to date anymore. A positive thing.

          I’m not to keen on the word “compromising” as a toned down synonym for “settling” either.  Compromising is what people do when they are in relationship OFTEN. They make compromises on which family to spent this years holidays with; where to go on vacation; which restaurant to go to; whether to have steak or chicken for dinner.  Some couples may have to make very big compromises…leaving a job/home/family/friends they love because their partner was offered an opportunity they wanted to take which involved relocating. OR, a person might turn down an opportunity they would have liked to take because they DIDN’T want their partner to have to leave the job/home/family/friends they loved. That to me is what real compromise is.

          Years ago on a different advice blog, I read a post that went something like this: You really only need to have one thing on your list. Do you feel good being with this man? When he is around? And when he’s not?

          Very simple. If you don’t feel good being with someone, whether they are around or not, something is not right.  If you stop focusing on things like height, income, professional titles, etc., etc. and focus instead on how you feel when you are with that person…those other things you thought were so necessary no longer seem important. You don’t feel you settled or compromised – you just feel happy you found someone you feel good being with.

           

      3. 21.2.3
        Blondie99

        Hi Emerald. I know the study you are referring to and I am going to link to an article that discusses it at the end of this post.  It just came out in November of 2015.  What it showed is that when men were asked if they found smart women attractive the majority of them said yes.  But I’m real life after meeting the women whom they were initally physically attracted to they were told that these women had out performed them on IQ tests or were better at them at tasks almost every man in the test group physically moved away from the women that he was told were smarter.  None of those women belittled the men or were argumentative they did not even have time to!   So what you are saying is correct Emerald very few women that I know that are successful uber smart professionals belittle men, but it is the man’s own insecurity before we even open our mouths that makes us unattractive to them in the long term so we already have one strike against us and a perception that we are going to belittle them or be condescending so anything that we say is going to be perceived as such.  It is not just the plumbers or the less educated men, it is also our equals.  Honestly I find that our equals are more insecure.  Make no mistake men want smart women just not women smarter than them. I’m a lawyer when I’ve dated other lawyers they always wanted to argue cases with me or who made more money or who made partner first. I never brought it up.  I was raised with no money my parents were poor, we collected food stamps and I put myself through school.  My Dad worked in a factory and my mom was a secretary I would never belittle anyone!   I read Evans book and I read it the same way this writer did.  Many of the commenters here repeat what the underlying issue is well that’s the same advice my grandma gave me and men want to see your femine energy and he does not care about your career or how many hours you billed it’s how you make him feel.  And you need to be more feminine at home and don’t ask men out don’t call him first let him lead you, let him make the moves,etc and like this writer says that would be me playing a game to get a man and I’m not willing to do that.  It’s not fair to him or me.  And if I changed my personality to get that man I would no longer be good at my job a job I worked my entire life for.

        Someone mentioned straightening your teeth or having plastic surgery etc well first of all I think that’s easier.  Second, I would never do that just for a man.  I am willing to make positive changes in my life overall appearance, personality behavior that will also help my dating life.  If my teeth are crooked and I don’t like it then sure I will change them, but I won’t change them for the sole reason to get a man.  But taking Evans advice in that book about embracing my feminine and acting less masculine is not a positive change for me and for many women it is what makes me a kick ass trial attorney.  Being a trial attorney has not given me this personality I’ve always had it so no I can’t turn it off.  So Evan is asking me and the writer to chose between my career and a relationship and that’s not a fair choice and I’m hopeful there is another answer.  The problem with your suggestion to date more easy going men is I have yet to find one that is not just as intimidated by me, meaning only alpha men will even ask me out and Evan says don’t ask men out and the ones I have dated are doormats.  I think that the advice Evan is giving career women like me is correct and I think the way the letter writer reads it is correct but I understand why she’s angry a lot of us are angry and upset.  Part of me wonders too if Evan is like the men in the study?Does he not see because of his biology the inherent insecurity or bias he holds with regard to highly educated women despite the fact that he’s a great dating coach?   We were raised as little girls that we could have it all and we worked hard to get it and would be accepted for who we are and now all we are being told is to change.  We just want one dating coach, just one book to tell is something different.   http://www.chicagotribune.com/lifestyles/health/sc-men-and-smart-women-health-1202-20151124-story.html

    3. 21.3
      Fiona

      Who do you know that believes it’s cool to get a nose job to attract the opposite sex. People (especially women) who get plastic surgery are usually considered vain and pathetic.

  22. 22
    Kareen

    Wow, what a blog. Didn’t read all of the responses but some. Sometimes you might be misinterpreted for true Evan, but I know you mean women well. I bought one of your products some time ago. As a matter of fact, I was a part of your focus coaching, but haD to close my account due to the expense-I live overseas where my currency is weak and the rate of one US to my dollar is ridiculously high so I often have to watch overseas purchases. I enjoyed the first product I bought from you and laughed in delight when u spoke some truths. I read and enjoy your newsletters a whole lot and what u write on your facebook page. Like some women, I still haven’t found Mr Right yet, but I know I will, one day.

  23. 23
    Julia

    I started reading Evan 2.5 years ago after getting out of a terrible relationship. At 30 I never felt like I really dated and I had no idea what I was doing. He helped me in many ways from understanding the basics of online dating, to understanding when a man actually wants to be your boyfriend and the big one, how I can show appreciation and make him feel wanted. For awhile, I went after the Alpha males who were interested in me. In many ways it made sense, just as Evan stated above if you have a strong personality someone with an equally strong personality can be quite intoxicating. But many of them had serious flaws. I would try to go out with the nice guys but found the utterly boring. Then I met my fiance, a very nice, introverted man. In many ways he is quite beta, I will always take the stage when we are out in public but he was alpha in the ways that really count. He cares for me more than anyone who isn’t my parents ever have. He is giving in bed, he is affectionate, he shows his appreciation towards me. We are both yes people to one another, I don’t know if I could have gotten to this place without the work I did because of him.

    I think its easy to look at the many negative comments on this blog and get upset that if he isn’t disagreeing, that he agrees. I must point out though that I felt very disheartened after a post a couple weeks ago about how Smart, Strong, Successful women will ultimately leave their very nice husbands they have equal relationships with. I felt the post was a stark contrast to everything you teach.  

    1. 23.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      If I recall, Julia, that post was a link to an article that suggested it. And since I know you, you are bright enough to understand that just because an article refers to the Eat, Pray, Love phenomenon, where women, wanting to be inspired, leave their perfectly good, albeit flawed, husbands, doesn’t mean that YOU will. That post was food for thought and was consistent with what I share here – which is that you can look for the greener grass, but you may not be happier when you get it.

      When I see really bright people who get angry at me or take offense to articles/studies, it always baffles me. If I read a study that said 82% of Jewish atheists cheat on their wives, I’d find it surprising and alarming, but it wouldn’t make me think that I was going to be one of them. Nor would I attack the study if it was by a legitimate organization with a big sample size.

  24. 24
    Cassie

    I think this all comes down to one thing: are your “ineffective” behaviors, as Evan characterizes them, somehow tied to your identity? For ladies who don’t feel that they have anything to lose by changing their ineffective behaviors (or adding effective ones) Evan’s advice makes total sense. However, some people tie those behaviors in with their identity. For example, Evan mentioned women whose intelligence causes them to second guess/ correct everything their partner does. If you tell a woman she should stop correcting her partner at every turn, she can take this to mean that she should think harder about how what she say effects her partner and work on trying to word things differently or refrain from correcting when its not really needed. OR, she can take that suggestion as a criticism of her personality. If she thinks “Well, but that’s who I am. I don’t like it when people are wrong. I think they should be told the right way to do things. And if he doesn’t like it then that’s his problem,” then she is not going to like Evan’s advice. And, as Evan often says, that’s fine. If she wants to keep correcting away, then she certainly can. But she might be scaring away great partners with that attitude. Moral of the story, there is a big difference between improving how you treat and communicate with other people and changing who you are. If you think that changing how you treat and communicate with people will change who you are, then you’re pretty much stuck. You might find someone great who doesn’t mind those things, but you might not. 

  25. 25
    starthrower68

    I would have greatly appreciated having Evan’s advice 20 years ago.  I was married at 23 and a mom at 24. My ex was only the 2nd boy I ever dated.  When I divorced at 34, I was quite naive to say the least.  The truth will set you free.  It might make you miserable at first, but when you get it, it’s a game changer.

  26. 26
    Morris

    Although I’m not the target demographic in any way. I’ve enjoyed reading Evan’s blogs. I don’t always agree with what he says but no advice applies to all people all the time. But I do know his message rings true and is generally great advice.

    I think part of the problem, for men and women, is we hate to admit we are the one constant in all previous failed relationships. And since we can’t change others.(At least not long term.) Our options become 1) change the way we approach relationships or 2) don’t change and hope, against all past experience, that results won’t be the same next time.

  27. 27
    Shepherd

    I started reading this blog about a year and a half ago when I began what has been basically my first romantic relationship. Having spent my entire adult life focusing on career and establishing a life, I found myself very excited but also overwhelmed at the idea of being someone’s girlfriend. I was concerned that my intense independence and typically very emotional personality style would eventually ruin everything and I began studying up on the dos and don’ts of dating. When I found Evan’s website I was super relieved. Although I don’t agree with everything he says, I have overall found his advice incredibly helpful. I feel like there are many hard lessons that I won’t have to personally learn and a lot of drama I can simply skip because of this blog. I’ve learned that what is truly important in a relationship. Seriously, Evan, I can’t even articulate how much you have helped me. There is SO much I didn’t know. There’s a feminist book called the Mismeasure Of Woman by Carol Tavris and in a chapter the author discusses communication and stuff. She tells a little story about a wife and husband who sit together in the mornings and read the paper. The husband also likes to have a music or radio program on as well. One morning, the wife doesn’t feel like hearing the music and she gets up to move to a quieter room. The husband is like, “Where are you going?!” And she simply says she would rather not have the radio on but he should enjoy it and she will go to another area of the house. He then irritatedly turns the radio off. The wife is annoyed by him a bit but realizes that her husband would rather spend his morning with her than his radio program and she sits back down. Before reading your blog, if I were that wife, my reaction would have been to started crying and take his mild irritation personally and perhaps a big fight would happen. After reading your blog, I am like the fortunate woman in that story. So I totally just paraphrased that whole thing probably really badly but I kept thinking about it and wanted to share it. Again, this blog has helped me have a very happy relationship, in ways that I have trouble even articulating! Thanks, Evan! 

    1. 27.1
      Shepherd

      Excuse the typos, I’m bit short on time! 

  28. 28
    Amy

    Hi Evan,

    I’m the writer of the original email. After writing it, and reading that you’d be responding to it on your blog, I thought about it a lot (and hoped you, and those who left comments, wouldn’t blast me TOO much). My email to you was sparked, in part, by a couple of articles I’d seen recently on “why smart women often stay single.” 

    To the guy who wrote that I am oversensitive, just know that that is a remark made universally by people who are verbally and/or physically abusive. I have done a lot of work with adults and children who have emotional disturbance and also in domestic abuse.  

    I know that I am intelligent. I am considered attractive. When I was a reader of Evan’s blog, I actively dated and began a couple of relationships that did not end in marriage. I tend to seek my equal: men who are smart, driven, happy at work, and embrace life. I was previously married and, because we married so young, over the years we grew up and found we didn’t have a lot in common. That marriage ended when I was 27.

    I suppose a lot of why I feel snarky towards Evan right now is because I’m just plain tired. I’m taking a break from dating because of a number of factors, mostly because I’m exhausted by the idea of going on another date. This period is temporary, and I know it, but reading articles about who to look for, how to behave, what to do, what to say/not say on the first few dates, how to let things evolve, how to not be abrasive… I’m just done right now.

    Evan, I may have misinterpreted what you said about your wife. Yes, I read the many posts where you wrote that she is “the coolest.” And kudos to you two that you are able to laughingly talk about past relationships in which the partners were smarter, more attractive, had a higher sex drive, etc. etc. I guess your driving point in writing that she did not fit your list was to not have a list? I’m confused by that, but your wife may be more secure than the average person. I know many people whose feelings would be hurt if they were compared unfavorably to past persons, myself included. No, I don’t expect to be the queen of the world, but I’d like to think the partner I build a happy and healthy relationship with would think I was the best choice, and vice versa. 

    I referred to you advising women to be smart/not too smart, outspoken/not too etc etc because I remembered reading an article in which you advised such things. Without being able to refer to the article directly, it is taken out of context. Maybe it was your advice on first date behavior? Who knows?

    I have not seen many examples of good marriages. I am glad that you are in a good one, Evan. At the same time, I think there is a certain amount of luck involved. Personal histories, socioeconomic factors, history of abuse, mental health, on and on… there are so many reasons why some manage to find good partnerships and why others do not. I know a lot of married people. Happily married? Not so much.

    I currently work in holistic health and work with clients who suffer from a variety of physical and emotional ailments. I was also a special education teacher for several years. We are not all created equal. And please do not misinterpret what I say here: I believe we are all worthwhile human beings. I believe that so strongly that I chose to work with people to help them specifically because I believe we all can change, grow, and become happier and healthier people. But some of us struggle more than others in life. It’s just a fact.  

    Yes, in my heart, I would love to find a wonderful partner, be a wonderful partner to him, and settle down and raise a family. But I have also accepted that this may or may not happen, and I’m at peace with that, because I find a lot of joy and adventure in my daily (and very single) life. 

    Thank you for your thoughtful response.

    Amy 

    1. 28.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      Thanks for the reply, Amy. I don’t want to go back and forth, but just want to acknowledge the conciliatory tone of your letter. I much prefer getting along than fighting over misinterpretations of my words.

      Anyway, there’s one line I’d like to call attention to: “I’d like to think the partner I build a happy and healthy relationship with would think I was the best choice, and vice versa.”

      You said this in reference to my wife, and, in my opinion, this is another blind spot. To wit: My wife IS the best choice. By far. Not even close. I’ve built my entire life around her and spend every spare second in her presence. So to acknowledge that I dated some women who were younger, prettier, smarter, or more accomplished? Entirely irrelevant. I didn’t marry THEM. I married my wife. She married me. Obviously, we’re each other’s top choices overall, even if we’re not at the top of every single category. Once again, this is a mere observation, not an insult. In other words, if you want to take offense that your boyfriend has dated more attractive women, you may, but, statistically speaking, it’s highly likely that he has. So now you’re asking for him to lie to you because you’re insecure if he tells you the truth – even though he’s with you and NOT with his beautiful ex. You see the madness of that insecurity? That’s what I rail against on this blog; hypersensitive people who take offense when something objective is pointed out: sleeping with men is no guarantee of a relationship, cute guys online have a lot of options besides you, chemistry is not a great predictor of future compatibility. I hope that, however blunt and impassive I sound about presenting these observations, you understand my motive is to help and not hurt. My wife understands that when I talk about her in this fashion, it’s to help women in their relationships – it’s not to hurt her in a public fashion

    2. 28.2
      Henriette

      Hello @Amy28 – I’m glad you came back for a follow-up.  Some points in your letter resonated with me and if you’re the same Amy who used to post here a few years back (there’s a reason I picked “Henriette” ~ my childhood dog ~ as my online sobriquet: scant chance of being confused with others of the same name 🙂 ), I recall a few articulate, negative 🙂 comments you  submitted that had me nodding in agreement.  (Sorry EMK: it happens!) 
       
      Dating certainly can be disheartening.  After several failed LTRs, I ran out of time (biologically speaking) so had a baby on my own; I am currently on a Romance Hiatus.  And even reading about dating can prove upsetting; I took a brief “mental health break” from this blog over the summer bc the comment section took such an ugly turn.   
       
      And yet…  here I am.  I return time and again because much (note: I did not write “all”)  of what Evan writes makes sense.  Like you, I think that remaining contentedly single beats miserably wed and like you, I’m familiar with few happy marriages.  But the good ones I’ve witnessed make me long for one of my own.  Honestly, I doubt it’ll ever happen for me.  But I’ll be [email protected] if I don’t get back in the game, at some point, and give it my best shot.  
       
      I hope you’ll keep coming ’round here.  Often, argumentative posters are just pains in the a$$ but some bring up valid points that lead to thought-provoking discussions.  We’re all struggling to make peace with where we are as well as figure out how to reach a better place.  It would be great if you’d join us.

      1. 28.2.1
        Evan Marc Katz

        FWIW – that was a different Amy – that one was the worst – she’s continued slandering me all over the internet since she left here.

        1. Henriette

          Shoot- sorry, Evan.  In that case, I certainly don’t want THAT Amy back here (even though she did bring up a minor point or two I agreed upon).

      2. 28.2.2
        EmeraldDust

        Henriette – I think you must be my “sister from another Mr. ”  Your whole post could have been written by me, except for having a baby on my own. (in my case, I thought I found the man of my dreams before my bio clock ran out, and my dream turned into a night mare)
        Thanks for this, at least I’m not the only one who feels the way I do.

    3. 28.3
      Taylor

      Hi Amy, 

      I too have read Evan’s blog for a few years, finding in almost the same manner you did, after a terrible breakup that took me a few years (too long) to get over.

      I’ve been seriously working on dating for almost two years now, but am also taking a break. Evan’s advice did work, but there were other circumstances that got in the way. I am in my mid 40s with a kid and a busy job, the same as the men I’ve met. ALL were good men. With some there just wasn’t chemistry even though I tried. But still with others, there was just too much baggage. For example, the most recent man I met was great; sweet, funny, great job, kind. And also fresh out of rehab. Now, everyone has their challenges, but this is a tough one and I told him he should have a year of sobriety under his belt before he started dating.

      Clearly, that is at the extreme of the stories, but yet many of the other men I met were seriously damaged from their failed marriages. Some of their spouses cheated. Still others were taking them through the ringer with alimony and child support. And they weren’t ready to really give much in a relationship with another woman.

      I find these issues aren’t addressed often anywhere, not really in the nitty gritty way they should be. It really is the reality of dating when you’re over 40 and have a lot of life under your belt. I don’t think it’s hopeless; it’s just exhausting and sometimes you have to call it quits for awhile.

       

  29. 29
    EmeraldDust

    IRT the question  “Is EMK sexist”, I would like to say, that question would be moot if he was a columnist on gardening advice or some other gender neutral topic.
     
    However, since there ARE some general differences between men & women (despite it being risky to say that these days)  some of the advice will come off as sexist.  Some people are still very touchy about reporting some general differences between the genders, even if it is padded with all the disclaimers, that this isn’t true across the board, but this is how it is for most, and YMMV, etc. etc.  
     
     
    In the “Why Women Should Wait” Part 1 and Part 2, I have never seen such howling from the mere suggestion that women are more likely than men to have sexual regret if no relationship forms.  He didn’t say ALL women, and he even said if a woman is OK with NSA sex, she should definitely go for it.  He repeatedly said that his advice was FOR WOMEN WHO CAN’T HANDLE CASUAL SEX.  If you are cool with casual, the advice doesn’t apply to you.
     
     
    Another post about male/female promiscuity brought up the same howling.  One woman tried to “prove” that men and women all had an equal number of sexual partners because of some convoluted law of averages.  She was outraged at the idea that more men on average had more sexual partners than women. 
     
    And he never spoke to how women SHOULD feel about casual sex, he was just reporting the fact that more women are dissatisfied with casual sex.  
     
    Of course there were all the anecdotal “But I am a woman, and I LOVE casual sex” and “I met a woman who ONLY wanted casual sex” and “my sister NEVER wants to get married and her goal is 200 sex partners by the time she is 40,”  blah, blah, blah.”
     
    And yet, the MAJORITY of women who write to EMK, don’t want advice on the care and feeding of their harem of casual sex boy toys.  They aren’t complaining that their boyfriend wants to get married after 5 years of living together & she’s just ‘not ready’ yet.  But without fail, eventually someone will come over here and complain that EMK is a “sexist” because he gives women advice on how to find a HUSBAND.  (my personal favorite, a commenter who said “Ugh, why assume that all women want to get married ?) 
     
    However, if you want to see a REAL s—storm of controversy on this blog, let EMK write ONE column addressing men on how to court women.  An alarm must have gone off in the manosphere, because they all came slithering over here to call us a bunch of worthless, spoiled entitled women.  Suddenly he goes from being a mysogynist to a mangina. 

    1. 29.1
      starthrower68

      ED, your third win of the Internet! 😄

  30. 30
    Dian

    Hi Evan, the truth about the whole is pretence. The term is short and simple. If they do not lik ur blog,posts and all sorts, what are they doin here ? Why are they here ? Pls they are just haters.Pls do not alwz take ur time to answer some fraustrated ones that just want to pour everything on u and spoil your great work. Words can’t express how ur wonderful advices and work uplifted me was I was in my lowest ‘. I found u , I found u here, u  did not only gave my confidenc back but also my dignity.  Thank u Evan. 
    Now back on those who critize u. If they are happy,  they ll definitely not looking for something better , they ll rather not be here,  perhaps somewhere else, definitely not here ! And it’s so sad to see how some comment negatively about u opening while they go about in private to praise u, so sad no one knows who is who. But I do know some are just full of pretence cos I read ur posts a lot which ‘ public and hardly come across people appreciating ur works , but rather sees appreciating comments on posts that doesn’t really review the latter. 
    Evan, u r intelligent, so intelligent, unique  and brilliantly good at what u r doin- ur work ! And u know what, that is the reason why we are here, u r here- even those who can’t stop critizing ur great work- even u Emy.

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