How Do I Avoid Wasting Time on Players and Narcissists?

How Do I Avoid Wasting Time on Players and Narcissists?

Dear Evan,

I think your male point of view may help women spot the good guys. You advise us to be careful with the alphas and Mr. Know-it-all types. Well, it’s not always easy to spot them for women, especially for the attractive ones. It’s easier for men to know other men, you can easily say if such guy is a player or not; but it’s sometimes difficult for women due to the mixed signals. I’m physically a very attractive woman, and this is sometimes a real curse since a lot of men compete for my attention, and they all seem nice, compassionate, chivalrous, and generous at the beginning, even the alphas and know-it-alls. They keep a low profile, at least for a while. I never know their real faces until I’m invested.

I wish there was a way – a kind of test for women to figure out who can walk their talks, who is genuinely compassionate and kind, before we got emotionally invested. I’m an observant person. I observe how they treat waiters etc., yet some of men are really good at hiding their true selves for a long time (until they’re sure of you). It’s a very frustrating experience for me. I wish women could have practical tools to measure up men before they got involved and eliminate the narcissists/players.

I’m looking forward for your advice from the male perspective. –Ashley

Dear Ashley,

You didn’t ask me a question. You made a statement:

“It’s hard to tell if a man is a good guy. I would love to have a magic wand that would let me know if I’m wasting my time.”

Well, you’re in luck, my friend.

If your biggest concern is that everyone puts on his best face for a long time, then the ONLY thing you can do is sit back and observe him.

You asked for a “test” that women can give to men to figure out which ones are truly kind and compassionate, instead of selfish players.

I’m not sure if you were looking for a physical object (like the aforementioned magic wand), a personality test (like the 436 questions on eHarmony’s profile), or maybe just a subtle series of questions that you can drop into every day conversation (ex. “Are you a player or are you a genuinely sincere guy?”)

If it sounds like I’m teasing you, Ashley, well, I am.

Because, no matter how important such “tests” are (and they are), and how much women want them (a lot), they all pale in comparison to the one test that I can offer that’s close to foolproof.

Yes, this is a test that everybody knows about and it’s FAR more effective than “So, where do you see yourself in five years?”. And yet somehow, it’s not considered very popular in the female community.

You ready for it?

It’s called “the test of time”.

If your biggest concern is that everyone puts on his best face for a long time, then the ONLY thing you can do is sit back and observe him.

Literally ANYTHING else you try to do to “weed him out” is going to be obvious, tone-deaf, and likely ineffective.

How do I know this? Because, by your logic, my wife would have weeded me out really early on. Check out these red flags.

• We hooked up (without sleeping together) for a month before I became her boyfriend.
• I didn’t see her six times a week; closer to 3 times.
• I was never “whipped” and never had the “you just know” feeling.
• I didn’t tell her I loved her for six months.
• I had never had a girlfriend for longer than 8 months before.
• She wasn’t my “type” – liberal, Ivy League, ambitious, East Coast.
• I was open about my confusion and ambivalence. After 16 months, I was either going to propose or break up and I didn’t know which.

So why did my wife keep me around?

Because she could tell that I was 100% authentic.

If a man wants to get married and start a family one day, he’ll bring it up. If he never brings it up, he probably doesn’t want it.

That I kept absolutely no secrets.

That I really did want to settle down and start a family.

That my moral code and integrity were my most valued traits.

So even though she could tell that I had a wide alpha-male, know-it-all streak, it was always tempered by the fact that I was sensitive, open and honest with her – even when I was confused about our future.

If she had pressed me after one month or three months as to whether I intended on marrying her, it would have been a mistake.

After six months, as I said, I loved her, but I didn’t KNOW anything for sure.

And that, to me, Ashley, is your blind spot. You seem to think that a man is a player if he doesn’t want to marry you. I’d say that there are definitely some bad apples out there, but that EVERY man is a player until he finds the woman with whom he wants to stop playing.

Who is that woman going to be?

Most likely, it’s going to be the one who is confident enough in herself and her judgment to not have to administer “tests” to her boyfriend, no matter how fearful you are about wasting your time.

So, to come full circle, let’s give you something you can take away from this article – apart from the concept of being cool and patient and letting the man reveal himself over time.

Pay attention to whether your boyfriend shares the same life goals as you. If a man wants to get married and start a family one day, he’ll bring it up. If he never brings it up, he probably doesn’t want it. And that will probably mean that you’re wasting your time.

But IF he wants to one day get married and start a family, literally the ONLY thing you can do is sit back and watch him for two years to determine if you think HE’S worth of being your husband for the next FORTY years. If he passes that test, he may be worth your time.

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Comments:

  1. 151
    Joe

    It sounds to me like Fiona has trouble separating emotion and logic.

    Tom10 is a cad for telling women up front that he’s not looking for anything serious, and then having consensual sex with them?

    IIRC she told a story about a guy who liked both her and another woman, and she told him he should go with the other woman–and she was pissed at him when he did it.

  2. 152
    Ruby

    Sorry for the double posting, if Laya’s boyfriend really feels that he did nothing wrong, then he has nothing to feel bad or guilty about, right?

  3. 153
    Laya

    Ruby, I would have to disagree with you on your statement of…

    “but the fact that your boyfriend has had this issue with several women he’s dated says more about him than it does about the women, don’t you think?”

    I believe it’s a difference in how women and men interpret the dating events and how they make meaning of it. My boyfriend dated women seeking a relationship but when he didn’t feel that there was an emotional connection that would lead to love, he ended it. Could he have ended it sooner at times, probably. The woman he dated right before me accused him of using her. They dated her for over a month. He slept with her 3 times. They were not exclusive. He then met me. He ended it with her. Her version was that he used her. The reality was that he met someone (me) with whom he did feel the connection. A month into our relationship, we were exclusive – he took his profile down. She has checked on him on linked-in since probably seeing that soon after he took his profile down.

    I think women are quick to blame men for dating failures. It’s easier to say he’s a player, a jerk or user then to face the reality that he wasn’t that into your personality for some reason. I know that I have hurt men before too. Dating is a hurtful business, no doubt. Ultimately it’s imperative for women to gain insight to things about our personality that is hindering us from having the relationship we want instead of automatically blaming men as a whole. 

  4. 154
    Soul

    Evan:

    i do not know what you think, but I am curious… It seems to me that there should be 2 types of dating advice for women:
    Type A: One type for the women who do not mind having sex outside of an exclusive relationship
    Type B: Another type for women who need some type of commitment before having sex (exclusivity at the very minimum).

    It seems to me that your advice work perfectly for Type B (which I am), but now I am beginning to doubt? do you think there is a difference? Do you think type B is less likely to find Mr. Right altogether? I guess it is related to this thread, and to your thread “it is related to the men look for sex and find love”. Can men actually find love before having sex, even if they were indeed looking for sex in the first place?

    1. 154.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      @Soul – It’s really the same advice.

      If you can handle sex outside commitment, you’re increasing your odds of men disappearing. But if you can handle it, then handle it. Good for you.
      But since most women can’t handle the consequences of the “fuck and run” guy, I tell them to play it cool and see if he’s interested in being a boyfriend instead of just sex. This may happen in three dates or in six weeks, but by the time they have sex, he’s already offered to be exclusive. This advice works like a charm – weeding out the guys who think they deserve to get laid and ensuring that the right guys stick around.

  5. 155
    Laya

    Ruby, my boyfriend is a good guy who does not seek to hurt other people, intentionally or unintentionally. So when someone accuses him of maliciously using them, it seems natural that one would feel bad about that even if they don’t feel like they have done something wrong. He has a conscious. 

    I’ll be honest that after my original post, I was bracing myself for a thrashing from women on this board for using men in my own way. But what I did get was seeing the wrong with men (a confirmation that indeed my boyfriend is a user). I think if women are bent on thinking men are the enemy, I just don’t know what more to say. Women don’t have it easy but men sure don’t have it easy either. 

  6. 156
    Katarina Phang

    Fiona and other women who think like her, men eventually want what we want.  However, men are so different to women in that men will safeguard and enjoy their freedom first before settling down with anyone.  So, if a man isn’t in the headspace to look for love or be ready for relationship, it’s not gonna be the first and foremost in his mind and he is not necessarily bad for not having the same agenda as ours.

    He still wants and needs to date because he still needs female companionship.  And a lot of them will be very honest with you from the get-go.

    If a woman expects a man to think and act just like her and fault him when he doesn’t, she is adopting a victim mentality and as such she will never be able to learn the rope on how to inspire a man to commit.

    I am with Laya in my attitude about sex.  I never feel used just because I have sex with a guy and it doesn’t lead to relationship. 
     

  7. 157
    Soul

    I really appreciate that you took the time to answer me! Merci Evan :-)

  8. 158
    m

    @Rampiance 131 – 

    RW @ 111 and anyone else who has noticed that men (players or not) who are pushy are not good in bed ~~ the two observations are related.
     A man is pushy when he’s desperate or when he’s inconsiderate or when he’s out of sync with the woman. Desperation: it’s all about him and his gratification, not hers Inconsiderate: he doesn’t think about her satisfaction, maybe because it hasn’t occurred to him, maybe because he doesn’t care Out of sync: he doesn’t know how to connect with a woman at the level that it takes to be sexually satisfying to her, or he’s just not on the same wavelength she is 
    So I would recommend pushiness about sex as a signal to back away from a man.”

    If people — well, women in particular (although also men who are legitimately looking for a real relationship) — only take one thing from this looking-like-it-will-be-multiple-hundred-comment thread, imo it should be this. 

  9. 159
    Karmic Equation

    @Jenna

    Unfortunately, being cool is not the same as being so different as to be unforgettable, or

    key to being a girl a guy can’t leave. It can be a PART of being unforgettable, but it’s not

    the key.

    I think there are a few qualities that make me unique…

    1) I have no insecurities. I really love who I am. The worse things you can say about me is

    that I snore (I’m mortified by this, but nothing I can do about it, so I accept it) and am a

    lousy housekeeper.

    2) I have a benevolent view of men and genuinely like them as human beings. I don’t think

    that men are out to hurt us. They are thoughtless at times, but they are not consciously

    malevolent, imo. This benevolence and genuine goodwill comes through in my thoughts,

    actions, and conversations with men.

    3) At the beginning of a relationship, I NEVER EVER EVER initiate contact. When I was getting to know my bf, before any sex had taken place, but he was in hot pursuit, there was a day where I just longed to hear from him. I was literally sick with the desire to contact him. What did I do instead? I put my phone down, it was 6pm at night, and I made myself take a nap, because if I stayed up, I would have texted him for sure. Luckily, at 742pm I was wakened by a text, from him. We exchanged pleasantries, but I said I had plans that night (my plan was just to stay away from him!). He thought I probably had a hot date, I wanted him to think that. Most women would have made contact, justifying it as “I don’t want to play games.” Sounds like a good justification, but in my view, that’s just not exerting self-control that’s needed at that stage of the relationship to make a man “miss you.” This is really key to a man falling in love with you. “Women fall in love in a man’s presence but a man falls in love in a woman’s absence.” – This is so true. I did this all my life without knowing that’s what I was doing, creating that “missing you” feeling in a guy.

    4) Like Laya and Katarina, I never feel used if I have sex with a guy and it doesn’t turn into a relationship. In fact, I actually use sex to determine if a guy is “relationship-worthy.” In my opinion, sex is easy, relationships are hard. So why would I want to waste my relationship prowess on a guy who’s bad at sex. Lol.

  10. 160
    Fusee

    @Karmic Equation #136:
     
    Although as you know I operate differently than you regarding physical intimacy, exclusivity, and commitment, I completely agree with your message on how to relate to men in general. I think your advice is spot-on but got unfairly rejected because it was delivered together with your stated preference for uncommitted sex, which many women despise. I think that some of the women on this thread would benefit from suspending judgement on casual dating and adopt your recommendation, no matter what their preference is regarding when to engage in physical intimacy. Those two topics are unrelated.
     
    I personally do not date casually and would not choose for myself a life partner with too diverging values on this topic, but I find no need to pass judgement on people who have different preferences, who are honest about them, and choose compatible and consenting partners for their casual sexual activities. However as Tom10 wrote @126, women not having to understand men’s needs and dating tactics in their teens and twenties end up at a disadvantage in their thirties when they keep believing that men want the same thing they want. That’s why Evan’s service is priceless and that’s why we have a responsability to educate our younger and naive sisters before they miss their prime years to secure what they will eventually want for later in life.
     
    In any case, non-judgement, acceptance, treating people like human beings, etc, it sounds like a good foundation for any kind of relationship!
     
    “I do understand that most women can’t have sex without commitment. But for a lot of men, especially men with options, commitment without his devotion first won’t be long-lasting.”
     
    This comment of Karmic Equation @136 especially resonates with me as I do not quite buy into the whole concept of getting attached/desperate for a request of exclusivity/commitment as if it was some kind of Holy Grail. I mean, I absolutely need it as a basis for entering an intimate relationship, but I also need more than a simple agreement to not see anyone else. As she eloquently wrote, an agreement without any “devotion”, which I would translate as a genuine feeling of connection to you based on facts and not just chemistry, is kind of a foundation built in the sand.
     
    I also agree with her comment on “being special”, and it connects really well with the new topic of “How do I stay sane while I wait for him to call”. It’s pretty obvious that we won’t bond emotionally with everyone, but I can’t recall any man that I have ever dated who did not want a relationship with me, even if in a couple of instances what was offered was going to be sex-based only and not very meaningful. I’ve never had only one or two dates, or even three. Can’t remember any man dating me for less than two months. So yes, I think women would also benefit from learning how to become One Of A Kind, and make men so attracted to them that they HAVE to see them again and get to know them. With or without sex, whatever float their boat. Such skill, ladies, give some serious leverage, to use Evan’s word.
     
    @Soul #157: Looks like we followed pretty much the same path and avoided the same detours : )

  11. 161
    Katarina Phang

    Karmic, you’re spot on!  Men connect emotionally on the right attitude, not on looks or sex (though sex does help too but guys won’t stick around just for sex if a woman doesn’t make him feel good being around her).

    A lot of women ruin the good things they have with a man who adores them -and whom they also adore- with an unrealistic expectation that he will know what to do with them only after a few months. Instead of enjoying the ride and the attention, their insecurities get the better of them and they begin to whine and nag about commitment as if the promise would make any different to the quality of the
    ir young relationship.

    They kill the blooming romance right of the bat and now what’s left?  Starting all over again with a new guy only to make the same mistake. Very soon they will experience a drought of eligible candidates and instead of the fun they could have had, they’re living the quiet miserable manless existence and blame the men for that.

    If you are not whole on your own (hence you need to hurry the men to commit), relationship won’t save you. Instead of one miserable person, there will be two now.
     

  12. 162
    Fusee

    Sorry for double-posting, but I have to highlight and confirm the following quotes from Karmic Equation’s comment @169:
     
    “Unfortunately, being cool is not the same as being so different as to be unforgettable.”
     
    “I have no insecurities. I really love who I am.”
     
    “I don’t think that men are out to hurt us. They are thoughtless at times, but they are not consciously malevolent”
     
    “Women fall in love in a man’s presence but a man falls in love in a woman’s absence.”
     
    AMEN!

  13. 163
    Tom10

    Soul
    I don’t expect you to admire me – religious people normally don’t.

    If I had daughters I would tell them to assume responsibility for their own sexuality – to enjoy it as part of life and to free themselves of all the societal, cultural, historical, and religious influences and just define it for themselves.

    With this attitude they won’t be able to be ‘played.’ Surprisingly enough not every woman I’ve ever been with is at home crying about feeling used. I’m still on good terms with the vast majority of them, and whenever I meet them again they normally greet me with a smile or a hug.

    I’m actually disappointed with you for stooping to insults.

    Jenna
    I feel really sorry for women in their late 20’s and early 30’s who are looking for serious relationships with men the same age. I have about 10 single male friends from 28 – 30 who are looking for serious relationships. They figure at our age that this will probably be the real deal – i.e. whatever woman they choose as a girlfriend now will probably be their wife in a few years time. Therefore as this might be the last woman they’ll ever have sex with again she has to be absolutely perfect. This distorted thinking puts undue pressure on them and they just end up saying ‘next’ again and again at the six-week mark.

    I should really recommend they start reading this blog.

  14. 164
    Michelle

    “If I had daughters I would tell them to assume responsibility for their own sexuality – to enjoy it as part of life and to free themselves of all the societal, cultural, historical, and religious influences and just define it for themselves.”

    Sounds good in theory…wait til you actually have daughters, then come back and tell us how you really feel when a boy comes to pick up your gorgeous daughter for a date.  I think fathers actually suffer more in this area because they know exactly what’s going on in that young man’s brain :)

    Off topic, I know…these kinds of statements make me chuckle, as a parent of teenagers, boys & girls.

    Overall, I think understanding and coming to terms with how man and how they think, and creating strong boundaries is the key.  MOST men are not out to hurt anyone else, they are just living their lives to the best of their ability, just like women are.  Relax and enjoy live, rather than getting all tied up in what hapeens if and in making a mistake.  This is what life is all about, and playing it super safe is, well, boring.

  15. 165
    Mickey

    Tom 10:

    As long as you are up front about your intentions, I don’t see why anyone should have a problem with that.

    If the situation were reversed, and a woman was up front with the same intentions, I don’t think anyone should have a problem with that, either.

    If people disagree with your life choices, that’s one thing. But some of the vitriol thrown your way is uncalled for. 

    In the final analysis, doesn’t openness and honesty count for anything, or am I completely missing something?

  16. 166
    Soul

    @Tom10:

    1) I am not religious
    2) I did not mean to insult you, I am sorry.

  17. 167
    Tom10

    Thanks Mickey and Joe.
    Although I think everyone here is getting a bit hung up on the ‘upfront’ thing. Evan, Karmic and I all think that my obligation to be upfront about casual is equal to a woman’s obligation to be upfront about her intentions. I.e. if she doesn’t say she wants a relationship then I shouldn’t have to say I don’t; I just happen to be a very conscientious individual. Women should just be aware that many men like me see life as a party to be enjoyed, not necessarily a journey to be explored with someone.

    Michelle
    I realize I sound naïvely idealistic, but I’m determined to stick to this principle should the situation arise – the caveat being that they are over the age of consent of course. The closest I can apply this principle at the moment is with my younger sister: my friends always jokingly ask me if they can date her casually to see how I would feel. I tell them to go ahead as she’s an adult, is fully capable of making her own decisions and will have to deal with the consequences (she’s too clever for them anyway).

    Soul
    I inferred when you said ‘I will pray’ (#157) that you are religious. My bad.

    As nathan (#130) said there is absolutely nothing noble – or ignoble – about remaining celibate for 5 years.

  18. 168
    RW

    @Tom

    You said “ignoble” and know what it means.  <3 <3 <3  Hehehe…

    Also respectfully disagree about your obligation to be upfront.  The assumption, by public majority, is that people are looking for relationships when dating; that the purpose is to evaluate each other as long term mates.  That is, unless otherwise stated, of course.  I realize this is changing and the day may come very soon when the majority will prefer to remain single and use dating as a means to enjoy the company of the other sex for the short term.  Until that day comes though most people operate under the assumption that the other party (man or woman) is looking for a relationship if things go well.  If this is not the case, he/she should be disabused of that notion as early as possible.  We’re not talking about compatibility here.  She could be an amazing woman who would make a great wife but you’re simply not looking for a wife, no matter how perfect.  Very fair as long as she knows that too.  Same applies to women not looking for anything serious….I said “she” because I was speaking in the context of women you date.

     

  19. 169
    Ruby

    Sure, people should be clear and upfront about their intentions. But the problem is that many people are deliberately vague about them. I’m talking about the guy who claims he wasn’t really looking for a serious relationship, but wants to see where things go with you because you’re such an amazing woman. Or the man  (or woman) who isn’t sure of his feelings for you yet, but acknowledges that the best relationships can build slowly, and wants to explore things with you because you are so wonderful. Likewise, the woman (or man) who wants a serious relationship, but hopes that once you spend more time with her and get to know her better, you’ll become equally smitten with her.
     
    One party is paying lip service to the desire to see things evolve and develop in the long-term, but really wants things to stay exactly as they are. The other is ready to accept the status quo in the short term, while hoping for a change in long-term potential. It seems to me that acting as much clarity and integrity as possible, whether it’s in your own personal best interests or not, is the key.

  20. 170
    Karmic Equation

    @RW 178

    Totally disagree. You need to re-read EMK #52 on this thread. You’re abdicating your own responsibility when you put the onus on the man to disclose; you have equal opportunity and responsibility to disclose, especially if you’re expecting a relationship to result from the sex..

    @Ruby

    Not sure where I read this, but it sure made me think differently about men and commitment…(Paraphrased)

    “When a man marries, he’s giving up his dream so that a woman can realize hers.”

    Think about that. When a man marries, he’s giving up his dream to have sex with lots of women AND he is inheriting a great responsibility, to provide for his wife and future children. This is a big thing. That’s why men take their time to find the right one. He’s giving up a lot and GAINING responsibility when he marries/commits.

    How about for a woman? When she marries, she gets to have that special day she’s dreamed of all her life. She gets the house and the picket fence (figuratively if not literally). She GAINS the choice to not work. Have you ever heard a guy asking his buddy if he plans to keep on working after he gets married? NO. Because not working after marrying is not a choice for men.

    Of course YOU want commitment as soon as possible, you get to realize your dreams. Asking a man to give up his is already a big sacrifice, and now you want himto do it on YOUR schedule, too? Really?

    So please, give guys a break if they have a different timeline than you for commitment.

  21. 171
    Ruby

    Karmic #180
     
    Sorry, but i don’t think either sex “sacrifices” more after marriage.  Women gain just as much responsibility after marriage. It’s not just about having a “special day”, and “white picket fence”. They often gain the responsibility of children as well, and most women today have to work outside the home, in addition to housekeeping responsibilities. Plus, increasingly, men do have the house-husband option, but taking care of the home and kids is still work.
     
    I’m also not referring to the normal decision making process that both genders go through when choosing a partner. I’m talking about the problems that arise when both parties aren’t clear about their needs and desires, all too often deliberately so, or even with the intent to mislead.
     
     

    1. 171.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      @Ruby - You’re having a hard time acknowledging that there’s a difference between men and women. We see it here all the time.

      If men have partially defined themselves by their ability to sleep around with attractive women, asking them to give that up IS a bigger sacrifice.

      It’s not that marriage is less responsibility for women than men. It’s that monogamy, for men, is usually a greater sacrifice for them than to a woman whose entire life goal has been monogamy.

      This is something Karmic points out that you should calculate when you ask why he’s not settling down faster. He doesn’t WANT to. He ENJOYS his untethered single life. So for him to give up sex with a variety of women, it has to be a pretty special woman, and he has to be pretty darned sure. That’s why giving him 2-3 years to decide is reasonable.

      Do you STILL disagree with me? Even though I’m TELLING you that this is true for a number of men?

  22. 172
    Fusee

    @Karmic Equation #180:
     
    I strongly believe indeed that for most men, offering a life-long commitment is a sacrificial gift. Therefore a man’s willingness to provide it deserves a special acknowledgement and the understanding that this (sadly, now rare) generosity deserves flexibility on a whole lot of “nice to have’s” that women may feel entitled to. Women who have a whole list of irrelevant requirements do not get it that if they want a man to ultimately marry them they will likely have to “marry down” (I do not like the expression but it’s to make a point) given the fact that the man already offers her the most precious gift ever: a life-long commitment.
     
    This being said, let’s not make it look like men who eventually marry are heroes that deserve women to kneel at their feet in gratitude. First some men do desire commitment, even early on in their dating life, while some women resist it all their life. Maybe 10% of each gender do not follow their stereotype. Then, while it might be a big sacrifice for most men to make that special commitment, if they do end up making it to the right woman (an equally self-sacrificial woman), they will be benefiting a lot from the marriage, and become happier than if they had kept running on the dating hamster wheel.
     
    So yes, most women instinctively desire commitment and get there very naturally, while most men do not, and therefore feel the need to date around until they find a deserving woman, and still work hard mentally and emotionally to get to a place of comfort around the idea of marriage. But when the pairing is solid, healthy, and compatible, their initial sacrifice pays off big time for men as well. There is a reason why men like Evan made the sacrifice, and why Tom10 will likely make it too when he will be ready to turn the sex diversity page of his life. When you want children, and when you want companionship in old age, a solid, healthy, and happy marriage is the path to joy for both genders.
     
    “When a man marries, he’s giving up his dream so that a woman can realize hers.”
     
    Might be true for the stereotypical american marriage to a stereotypical American woman, such as the kind of relationships portrayed in rom-com’s. But this quote could not be further from the truth as far as I’m concerned. My man will not give up any of dream on my behalf should he choose to marry me. If anything, in the last 17 months I’ve been supporting him on his path to realizing his life goals, and I’m preparing myself to huge sacrifices for him to progress further. He has indeed realized that life would be much harder without me in it. And since I do not dream of marriage or anything that ultimately depends on him, he does not have to take any responsability in realizing my dreams. His support will suffice. Similarly there is no expectation/sense of entitlement about stopping working and becoming some kind of spoiled princess. If we do choose to marry, we will both take a huge responsability in committing to the well-being of each other and we will both make serious sacrifices for one another. They will just be of different natures.

  23. 173
    Karmic Equation

    @Fusee

    First section, totally with you!

    Second section. We’ll have to agree to disagree, yet again. Surprise, huh? LOL

    The dream women have is to be married, be provided for (in most cases materially, but in your case emotionally) and have children. When a woman gets married, her dreams come true.

    When a man marries, he kisses his dreams of varietal sex goodbye. He kisses his “unfettered” (love this term Evan!) life goodbye. Women want fetters, men don’t.

    Upon marriage, tabula rasa to both parties. But up until that point, the men do the sacrificing and the women are getting exactly what they dreamed of.

  24. 174
    Ruby

    EMK #182
     
    But I’m not referring to any specific time frame, or saying that 2-3 years is wrong. I’m referring to both parties being honest with themselves and with each other. I’m talking more about the men who say they are seriously considering a woman, when they are really just stringing her along, not the men who do have serious intentions, but need time to process their feelings.
     
    I agree with Fusee (#183).

  25. 175
    Karmic Equation

    Sorry – need to amend my phrasing in 184
     
    Upon marriage, tabula rasa to both parties. But up until that point, the men *are making the bigger sacrifice* and the women are getting exactly what they dreamed of.

  26. 176
    Julia

    @Evan, I have to disagree with you. It might SEEM like a sacrifice to give up sleeping around but the truth is the vast majority of men don’t have the ability to sleep with hot chicks all the time and as they get older it dwindles. Men need to have realistic expectations just like women do.

  27. 177
    nathan

    I have to laugh at this idea that a “man’s dream” is to sleep with countless women. For some men, this may be the case. But I’d like to think that men are – on the whole – much more complicated than simply our sexual needs. Entering a partnership tends to involve many dreams coming together. Some may not match up. Some may be sacrificed for the good of the partnership. But really, it’s about more than sex, usually a lot more. Sex is just an easy target in conversations like this, but staying fixated on differing sexual needs really doesn’t get at whether or not you and someone else are good partnership material or not.
     
    Ruby, while I appreciate your desire for clearly stated intentions, I have to wonder if you want such things on YOUR timeline, as opposed to when they come more naturally. Which can be more nerve racking, but ultimately is the only true clarity. I notice that some women press really quickly for answers to questions that they’d never expect in other areas of their lives. After a month at a new job, would you truly say (and believe it for certain) “This is it! My lifelong career and workplace!” You might believe it, and then a year or two later, after you’ve gotten to know your co-workers and the organization, think completely differently. Happens all the time. I’ve falling in lust with several women in the course of my life. And the truth of the matter is that every long term relationship I have ever been in started off without that, with questions, uncertainty, and not a lot of clarity. I know I’m not alone. You can’t expect the truth to be revealed in a matter of weeks when the evidence is that it rarely happens that way.
     

  28. 178
    Karmic Equation

    @Ruby 185
     
    I’m talking more about the men who say they are seriously considering a woman, when they are really just stringing her along, not the men who do have serious intentions, but need time to process their feelings.



    And how do you distinguish between the two? The man who ends up marrying was “serious” and the man who decides “no, not you” was not serious?

  29. 179
    Fusee

    @nathan #188:
     
    The blind spot about “intention” is that some people hear “expectation”. It’s not the same! Someone can have the intention to explore a dating prospect with the goal of discovering if the relationship has a chance to evolve towards marriage in a reasonnable timeframe, and it’s very different than expecting that person to marry them, regardless of the timeline.
     
    Along the lines of your career analogy, I may start a new job with the intention of finding a permanent position if this is my life goal, and it does not mean I have the expectation that the company will offer me a permanent position or even that the job in question is pleasant enough for me to consider it for the longer term. However with such goal I would obviously only consider companies that would offer permanent positions, rather than wasting my energy on companies that only offer two-year contracts. Or internships : )
     
    See the difference? An intention should not feel threatening to someone who has the same but needs plenty of time and experiences to know if it’s going to happen with that specific person. And the timeline is a question of compatibility, and ultimately of compromise.

  30. 180
    Ruby

    Nathan
     
    No, I’m not referring to one month. The relationships where a man is stringing a woman along tend not to last for more than a few months or a year, in any case.

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