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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  1. 211
    Karmic Equation

    Tom10 says if he doesn’t get sex within 2-3 dates, he moves on. If a woman thinks a relationship is developing after 2-3 dates she is naive at best or delusional and/or unstable at worst.
    So if a woman has sex on the third date without declaring that she’s looking for a relationship and not sex, then she can only blame herself.
    No woman should have sex in an uncommitted relationship if she can’t handle the “hit and run”. And if you don’t know the guy well enough to know whether he will run on you or not, then you actually don’t know him well enough to have sex with him.

  2. 212

    Thanks for that – yes it can be difficult to imply or detect nuance sometimes.

    I suppose I should clarify, as some of my posts probably sounded a bit contradictory. I don’t push for sex first simply because I think it’s a poor strategy – it can seem needy, aggressive and desperate. I find that when women are ready they push for it themselves. Luckily where I live they seem to do that quite soon (by international standards anyway) – i.e. usually by the first or second date.  When I say ‘early’ I mean a few hours :)

    If I meet a girl in a bar and we go back to hers I don’t say anything because I think it’s reasonable for me to assume that she knows that it’s just a hook-up / ons, or possibly more if we both feel it (though statistically unlikely). In the past if I really liked her and the sex was good I would continue to meet her for a few weeks or months without saying anything, until she dumped me. Now I say that I don’t want more and it’s up to her if she wants to keep seeing me. My point was why didn’t she say she wanted more?

    If I meet someone in normal circumstances and we go on a regular date and I know it’s only going to be a fling, then I think your point is reasonable that I should say I don’t want anything serious, so I do say that upfront.

    I did hurt someone before, although inadvertently, because I assumed women didn’t get feelings until after it was declared ‘official’. How naïve was I before I came here!

    However, Evan’s motto that “men look for sex and find love” applies to me too. I once fell madly in love with a woman I had a fling with, but as luck would have it she didn’t feel the same way and faded me out. This could happen again, whereupon I’m sure I’d consider a relationship. However, having read this blog for a few months I know that that was just a chemical rush and a poor basis for forming a long-term relationship. That’s why I’m waiting until I’m ready.

    In spite of all that, I think Evan and Karmic’s point stands: that the obligation to state what people are looking for is equal, and that if a woman is liable to feel hurt and used after finding out that the man she’s with just wants casual, then she should take responsibility for those emotions and should state what she wants prior to having sex.

  3. 213
    Karmic Equation

    We’ve spent most of this thread talking about players, not narcissists. They’re not necessarily mutually inclusive, imo. My exhusband was a narcissist but not a player. He was almost puritanical. My current bf was a player and still a narcissist. LOL.

    What I find interesting they have in common is that they are both the youngest children in their family and their next closest siblings in age were 15 and 16 years older than they were. We all know about the father/daughter bond and mother/son bond, so I think that, basically, they were the center of the universe for their mothers and thus grew up thinking that the world revolved around them and that women were placed on this earth to cater to them.<roll eyes> They had no siblings close to their own age to “fight” with or learn to share with, etc.

    Do any of you know if the narcissists that you dated/married/divorced were the youngest (with no close-in-age siblings) or the only child in their family? Just curious.

  4. 214

    Unfortunately I think most women define ‘player’ as a man who dates them but decided HE doesn’t want it to go longer. Clearly we as men date women who decide after a date or a few or even  few months that we ‘aren’t a match’. Does that make them players? I mean heck not only did we end up w/o a relationship we probably spent $1000s in the process. Did we get ‘played’?

    I think women who complain about players are generally the ones who are chasing looks and clothes and cars and jobs.  Which doesn’t mean btw the men they are chasing are jerks or players. It means the men they are chasing have the things and qualities that mean they have more options. So they, just like attractive women have the opportunity to date more and be pickier about who they want to commit to.  If you  really want a man who is going to appreciate you and choose you, you are going to have to choose more average looking guys with more average jobs/finances.  Good chance you will end up with a man who really appreciates you but make no mistake it is in some part due to the fact he does NOT have many options so appreciates the one he has.

    It is no different then dating women; the younger/prettier/more well dressed/successful/educated/etc women I date, the greater the competition will be and the greater likelihood she will choose someone else if we date whether it is after 1 date or 1 year.


  5. 215

    Karmic — men rarely disappear on me. And of the many men I also rejected, (after dates 1-3) I had real reasons for doing so that were not superficial, such as obvious incompatibility of life goals and lifestyle. Or kissing them repulsed me. I have dated enough and explored myself enough to get that for me personally, right now, being single and sustaining myself with a fun social life and casual dating and flings feels better than it would have to have a relationship with any of the men who wanted one. I get that there are consequences and frustrations to that but I’ll deal with them. My frustration in part was about the relative passivity encouraged of women in the dating game. Yes, it makes sense to lean back and let men pursue -I’ve done it many times – but there is something to be said for learning from what, say, pick up artists do and using game to build rapport and connection and use disqualifiers as well as have them qualify themsrlves to you, teasing, coming up with inside jokes, etc etc — all to be more proactive about making pursual happen.

  6. 216
    Karmic Equation


    Makes sense. All I’m saying is that if you’re looking and not finding what you’re looking for using your current mindset, which seeming denigrates the feminine quality of passivity into a negative rather than exalting in being feminine/passive — you’re inadvertently cosmically/karmically/male-female dynamically/what have you–driving away the guys who want the feminine/passive. In other words your masculine energy may be driving the most masculine minded men you really want away. The very masculine are attracted to the feminine, not to masculine. Strong, smart, successful women are looking for strong, smart, successful men, (commonly known as projection) but those men aren’t looking for strong, smart, successful, they’re looking for sweet, feminine, receptive.

    Just be aware that exalting in your feminine energy increases your choices, not diminishes them. Feminine energy attracts-and holds the attention of-both alpha and beta males. Masculine energy, for the most part, only holds the beta male’s attention. The alphas may be somewhat attracted for the ego-stroke, but ultimately, will walk away. I am a totally alpha female at work. But I’m a totally feminine woman away from work. My alpha-ness does sneak out every now and then, but that just adds to my charm rather than detracts…gives me an unexpected spicy edge. Were I always in my masculine energy, I’d lose my options. As a woman, your job is to have as many options as possible to choose from.

    That said, it appears you have a lot of choices, yet they’re not the choices that you really like, so you need to change your strategy to increase your options. Changing your mindset is free so why not try it? You’ll feel less frustrated and more relaxed when you let the men come to you and you know you’re attracting all types of men, not just one type. Being feminine doesn’t make you weak. If that is what you think, you need to stop thinking that.

    In the battle of the sexes, understanding and exalting in your femininity gives a woman an edge. The problem as I see it, is that most of the smart, successful women on this board have had so much success at work based on their alpha-ness, that they’ve either forgotten or never learned or are uncomfortable with their feminine side. Feminine doesn’t mean simpering and being vapid. Feminine means understanding the qualities that make a woman a woman and fully leveraging that when “on the hunt” (i.e., dating :))

    “Lead a man to chase you until you catch him.”

    Let a man think it’s all his idea. That’s how you get what you want.

  7. 217

    Karmic #226: My first husband was/is a narcissist and he WAS an only child…..

  8. 218
    Karl R

    Jenna said: (#228)
    “My frustration in part was about the relative passivity encouraged of women in the dating game.”

    I wouldn’t call it passive. It could be more accurately described as reactive (instead of proactive).

    “Mirroring” isn’t the only viable strategy. Evan recommends it because it applies well to his typical clients, the type of men they’re normally attracted to and the type of relationship they’re trying to get. Furthermore, it’s very easy to teach.

    Jenna said: (#228)
    “there is something to be said for learning from what, say, pick up artists do and using game to build rapport and connection and use disqualifiers as well as have them qualify themsrlves to you, teasing, coming up with inside jokes, etc etc — all to be more proactive about making pursual happen.”

    If you want to do something like that, go ahead. But you may have to be like the early PUAs who had to invent their own technique through experimentation, trial-and-error.

    I know there’s a dating expert who gives women advice on how to be more proactive. (I’m not sure which one, since I’ve never read the advice.) You might have to modify the advice, because it may be geared toward long-term relationships, not the shorter-term ones that you seem to be most interested in.

  9. 219
    Karmic Equation

    @Karl 231
    I wouldn’t call it passive. It could be more accurately described as reactive (instead of proactive).

    I agree. This is a much better description.

  10. 220

    Karl and karmic, thanks for your insight. I have tons of experience dating and have usually played the feminine role and mirrored, though have tried other strategies as well. I was never one of those women who was aggressive and controllong as some of Evan’s clients are described. I’m now at the point where I’m willing to experiment a bit more and see in the field what is working for me. One’s technique should be tweaked depending on age, attractiveness, life goals, and personality type of you as well as the type of guy you are looking for. I don’t just do something bc dating experts say so, i just date lots of folks, try things, and observe for myself what is effective in my own life. While on one recent date that started off super awkward and I didn’t look all that good bc I was sick, I was able to totally turn things around by using some things puas taught me, such as teasing and coming up with inside jokes. I was proactive , yet got the guy to fall all over himself to pursue me that week for another date. Yet such advice is rarely mentioned in dating advice for women, which usually boils down to don’t act crazy/clingy , delay sex, and don’t initiate contact.

  11. 221

    Karl – also, I am looking for a ltr, just not celibate while I do so

  12. 222
    Karl R

    Jenna said: (#233)
    “I don’t just do something bc dating experts say so,”

    I don’t recommend that either. I only took dating advice that made sense.

    Examples of Evan’s advice that apply to men:
    1. I can’t change women. I can only change myself.
    2. Mirroring (if a woman isn’t mirroring me, she’s not interested).
    3. If I am willing to compromise on less important traits, I expand my options.
    4. Playing games will help you catch someone who is interested in playing games … which isn’t what I’m looking for.
    5. Neither men nor women have an advantage when it comes to dating.
    6. Having casual sex can slow the process of finding a long-term relationship (it clouds objectivity, impairs judgment and distracts people from the goal of a LTR).

    Examples of PUA advice (translated from PUA jargon into real English) which apply to women:
    1. Stand out from the crowd.
    2. Don’t be a suck-up.

    Jenna said: (#233)
    “I was able to totally turn things around by uusing some things puas taught me, such as teasing and coming up with inside jokes.”

    I don’t consider that to be a PUA technique. It’s called “flirting”, and that technique is older than my parents.

    Jenna said: (#233)
    “One’s technique should be tweaked depending on age, attractiveness, life goals, and personality type of you as well as the type of guy you are looking for.”

    PUA techniques are intended to allow beta males to convince more-attractive women that they are actually alpha males … with the goal of having a short-term sexual relationship.

    I didn’t bother with their advice because I wanted a long-term relationship, and I could see how those techniques would ultimately sabotage any long-term relationship.

  13. 223

    My last relationship was with a narcissist/player. He’s the oldest in family order. Something happens in childhood that creates an egocentric view of the world. Listen for the feel sorry for me ploy, there’s usually a sad story or excuse for inexcusable behavior. Run!

  14. 224

    Karl, I agree with much of what you said, and apologies to others on this blog for leading the comments a bit off topic. First, I don’t have sex with anyone who is a ltr prospect, or sex with more than one person at a time. Also, I don’t believe in playing games or manipulating, but if pua stuff helps me demonstrate higher value (of course, I’ve had to work on other areas of my personality and life to truly be higher value rather than just dupe someone into thinking I am such), learn to flirt better, show interest without putting pressure/expectations on the other person, check people who are trying to use or condescend me, and brush off rejection in a classy way then that’s a really positive thing. So many women (and men), regardless of whether they are following standard dating advice or not, act/think really beta. That would include some of Evan’s clients/commenters who are desperate for a relationship, who pressure men, or who do mirror but are inwardly doubtful and hung up on the guy, who think all men are bad or that dating is impossible, who put up with bad behavior, who try to control or tell the guy what to do, who play it so cool that they appear to have no backbone, etc, etc. I’m obviously guilty of beta behavior/thoughts myself and am trying to work on it, but I felt some of the pua stuff really spoke to me about these issues in a way that the traditional advice to just not be crazy, let the guy pursue you, etc., doesn’t entirely get at. Some of it is of course irrelevant or harmful to someone seeking an ltr.

  15. 225

    Reading these blog entries makes me feel that men are big babies that we have to coddle, and play along with so we won’t “scare them off.” What a joke!! I am so tired of worrying about what HE wants and needs while getting treating like crap that I decided to remain single for the rest of my life (I’m 48) after I dumped the last guy at 2 years in because he was “so confused” and “didn’t know what to do” and “was scared” about commitment or basically even figuring out what he was having for dinner. At 59, if you haven’t figured life out yet, you probably aren’t go to.  
    Proactive for me equals leaving the big babies to their binkies and diapers. Good riddance!! All of it — the dating, the game playing the stressing about things, reading websites like this, and trying to market oneself or whatever is so an over the top waste of time and energy. There are much better things in life than spending one more minute on finding a “relationship” — like making ourselves happy, forgetting about these losers and creating our lives the way we want them — alone if necessary. I don’t settle for the map instead of the territory and never will. 
    I feel worlds better after cutting off the dead wood and leaving it in the nursery to figure it out — or not!! Doesn’t matter because I am the architect, writer, creator of my own life, not any man.

  16. 226

    I really sympathize with Ashley.

    The last guy I dated was most likely a Narcissist. He really broke my heart… In less than a year!

    This guy is quite shy and he is always kind to everyone – maybe he does that only when he can be seen by other people though.
    He even charmed a couple of friends of mine who now think I am crazy and want to stay in touch with him (I burnt all the bridges with those friends).

    I said from the beginning that I was after a relationship and he said he was too.
    He waited for more than 2 months for sex.
    He mentioned several times wanting to settle down.
    After a few months together he introduced me to his parents as his girlfriend to convince me that he was serious.
    He called me often and wanted to see me every weekend.

    Then he won me over.

    Shortly afterwards he started pulling away, even if I didn’t notice immediately because admittedly I started living in a dreamworld (or maybe in denial).
    He gave me so mixed messages that I felt like constantly walking on egg shells.
    He started being too busy (work, daughter, friends, even his allotment!) and sending me only a good night text before going to bed.
    In private he was so cold. He started subtly devaluing and blaming me for everything. But he always made sure that there was no way other people could find out (ie he made sure he wrote as little as possible by text or email and that I took responsibility for everything).
    When I started talking about a future together (mostly moving in together at the end of the year) he was avoiding the topic and I felt guilty for being too needy.
    He started behaving worse and worse: his words were still marvelous, even if more and more rare, but his actions were not following and in the end they became outrageous.
    I suffered like hell. I gave him a chance (asked him) to leave me twice but he never did. I eventually had to leave him by text (since he was avoiding me), taking once more full responsibility – he can now keep being a victim telling people I dumped him.

    I know it was the best thing to do, but after 5 months I am still shocked and hurt and more disheartened than ever.
    I understand there is no other way than waiting, but I wish there was a shortcut. It’s not just the time I spent trying to figure out what the hell my ex wanted from me, it’s also the time it’s taking me to heal.
    I’m now 35 and I can’t believe I have been manipulated like that by yet another narcissist :(

  17. 227
    Karl R

    Fran said: (#239)
    “I gave him a chance (asked him) to leave me twice but he never did. I eventually had to leave him by text (since he was avoiding me), taking once more full responsibility”
    Why is this important to you?
    When I was in a relationship, and I wanted it to end, I broke up with the woman. When I was in a relationship, and the woman wanted it to end, she broke up with me. I have never asked a girlfriend to initiate a breakup. I have never been asked by a girlfriend to initiate a breakup.
    When you want a relationship to end, you need to take responsibility, and you need to leave. That’s what mature adults do.
    Fran said: (#239)
    “he can now keep being a victim telling people I dumped him.”
    Who cares? Why is this important to you? Did you want to tell people that he dumped you so you could be the victim?
    You were in a relationship. You weren’t happy in that relationship. You left. That’s what normal people do. You don’t need to explain your decision any more than that.
    Fran said: (#239)
    “In private he was so cold. He started subtly devaluing and blaming me for everything. But he always made sure that there was no way other people could find out (ie he made sure he wrote as little as possible by text or email and that I took responsibility for everything).”
    Why is it important that other people find out? Normal people don’t broadcast their relationship troubles to the entire world.
    I’ve gotten the distinct impression that you want to prove to the world that you were in the right and your ex-boyfriend was in the wrong. Relationships don’t work that way. Either it’s a good relationship (so you stay in it), or it’s not a good relationship for you (and you leave). The opinion of other people is irrelevant.
    There’s something really strange about how you describe this relationship. I think you and I have fundamental differences in how we view relationships. I think that fundamental difference may be creating problems in your relationships. But I don’t understand your perspective enough to understand what’s wrong.

  18. 228

    Wow Karl R thanks so much for trying to understand. I am very interested in men’s honest opinions!
    I have just read what I wrote and I must say that I cannot blame you for not understanding. I didn’t want to write all the details but I appreciate that it does not make much sense as it is now.
    Also, a guy friend of mine who knows the whole story doesn’t understand my worries either.
    OK I’m still a bit messed up 😛
    First thing, I didn’t want to leave him! I thought I found the one and I was madly in love with him… now after reading so much I think I was addicted. Everything I say about him now is something I realized months after the breakup, after reading loads of self-help books and blog posts (how do you think I ended up here?) and 3 months of therapy.
    I felt like he was constantly playing mind games, and I asked him in two occasions to tell me clearly if he didn’t want to see me any more. In both occasions he told me that he still wanted to see me, but then he never wanted to discuss any problem. In the end, after the last straw I just sent him a text saying that I really didn’t deserve what he did and that I gave up. I have never heard from him since then (and it hurt like hell).
    It’s not as easy as you think for me. I asked him for a closure because I myself wanted to try and make the relationship work. If he had just told me clearly that he wanted to end it, I would have accepted it.

    Second thing, yes he spent most of his time complaining about his ‘bitchy’ ex, showing around her ‘crazy’ texts and emails, telling sob stories about how she deceived him into getting pregnant and how she and her family didn’t let him in the hospital when the baby was born (I found out later that he disappeared without an explanation a few months before the baby was due). I believed the ex was crazy, but I felt a bit uncomfortable with the whole situation… Now I think that he can do the same with my texts and emails, even though I don’t think I ever wrote anything that angry, and I am not happy about it.
    I must add that the people whose opinion I am concerned about are the hiking group where we met. I went out with this group for 3 years. He arrived only last year, but he is a group leader. I was very attached to this group, but since he arrived they all fell in love with him (95% of the group is women) and I decided to leave. It wasn’t easy for me.

    Last thing. No, I don’t want to prove he is wrong. Nobody is right or wrong. I went to the therapist desperately asking what I did so wrong that I ruined everything. After 3 months I still had no answer. She just told me: “He showed no respect to you and the relationship, just move on”.
    But you are right, I constantly need to remind myself that he is not the gentleman I think. I idealized him, and still now I keep remembering only the good moments and wondering if I made a mistake. So I constantly repeat that he wasn’t a nice person. Sorry for that, hopefully I’ll get over this.

    Good for you that you have a different way to view relationships, hopefully healthier than mine.
    After the breakup I internalized everything, like apparently most women do, and obsessed about what I could have done better to make it work. I wish I could just say: “it’s good for me, so I stay, it’s not good for me, so I leave”. I always think I should work harder.

    I found my relationship described surprisingly accurately in “Men Who Can’t Love: How to Recognize a Commitment-phobic Man before He Breaks Your Heart “. It mentions how often this kind of men just need to get out of the relationship when they get too close to their partner, but cannot do it themselves, so they make women leave them. I wish I had read this book before falling for my ex!

    ALso, this book was very helpful: “Attached: Identify your attachment style and find your perfect match”. Apparently mine was a typical case of anxious-avoidant trap, which basically had very few chances of success. Sad, but helped me a lot.

    Hope it makes a bit more sense, and thanks for your opinion.

  19. 229
    Karl R

    Fran said: (#241)
    “I asked him in two occasions to tell me clearly if he didn’t want to see me any more. In both occasions he told me that he still wanted to see me, but then he never wanted to discuss any problem.”
    He did want to see you. He didn’t want to discuss any problems. Seeing you was probably rather pleasant. Discussing relationship problems was unpleasant.
    Objectively speaking, your boyfriend could justifiably accuse you of playing mind games with him. You said, “Tell me clearly if you don’t want to see me any more,” when you actually meant, “Tell me if you’re willing to sit down and discuss our relationship problems.”
    Why would you assume that your ex-boyfriend wanted to discuss relationship problems?
    To be fair, I’m sure that you see a connection between those two in your own mind. And if your ex-boyfriend could read minds, he would have realized that.
    If your communications require mind-reading, then your relationships are going to fail every single time. I don’t read minds. Evan doesn’t read minds. Your ex-boyfriend doesn’t read minds.
    Fran said: (#241)
    “I asked him for a closure because I myself wanted to try and make the relationship work.”
    Closure comes from within. If you require him to take action so you can get closure, you’ve just given your ex the power to deny you closure for the rest of your life.
    Fran said: (#241)
    “he spent most of his time complaining about his ‘bitchy’ ex, showing around her ‘crazy’ texts and emails, telling sob stories about how she deceived him into getting pregnant and how she and her family didn’t let him in the hospital when the baby was born”
    That’s three red flags in one sentence.
    If someone complains constantly about their ex, it means their not over them yet.
    If someone describes their previous exes as “bitchy”, “crazy”, “psycho”, etc., then it’s highly likely that’s how they’ll describe their next ex. And even if the ex really was that bad, it demonstrates that they’re a poor judge of character.
    If someone publicly displays private emails and texts, then it means that you can’t trust them enough to confide in them.
    Like a lot of learning experiences, this one is painful for you.
    Fran said: (#241)
    “I wish I could just say: ‘it’s good for me, so I stay, it’s not good for me, so I leave’.”
    If you want to be that way, you’ll get get off your ass and do it.
    I want to be that way, so I am. You want it to be easy … and that’s why you’re not that way.
    Fran said: (#241)
    “I always think I should work harder.”
    Good relationships are easy — by definition. If it’s not easy, it’s not good.
    I have a low-maintenance relationship. It doesn’t take a lot of effort. It takes a little bit of effort every single day. (Some people get into trouble because they assume low maintenance means no maintenance. That’s taking it too far the other way.)
    The next time you’re in a long-term relationship where it seems like a constant struggle, where you feeling like you’re constantly walking on eggshells, where you feel devalued and blamed for everything … maybe you’ll take some time and seriously consider whether it’s worth any effort to save.

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    Greg 12 – if someone wanted to marry me straight away like the ladies you mentioned, I would just run.  Having said that, I do know a couple (both in their early 20s) who knew each other for three months and got married and their marriage is very happy.
    “At our age” just made me laugh.  Thinking their argument over, maybe they need the “status symbol” wedding? I hope I’m going to live until my 80s at least, so what’s with the big rush??
    It strikes me that over the age of say, 55 or whatever, a man and woman should more or less know what they want – i.e. some kind of future together – but to get married before 1-2 years is just a bit crazy.
    On the other hand, as you get older, you do want to feel a bit more settled. 
    If a man was going out with me for three months and didn’t know his feelings for me, hm, I’d wait a bit (say to 6 months) but I’d probably go out with other men too.  (I wouldn’t ASK him his feelings – I should be able to feel them, right?)

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    Evan Marc Katz 80 – for Fiona.
    You date the man and you see how he treats you. 
    Why decide to feel worthless? Just don’t sleep with him until you’re ready.  And that could take some time.
    Sometimes, you’ll lose the man if you don’t have sex with him fast enough.  Sometimes, you’ll lose him anyway (sex or otherwise).
    But feeling worthless????? Na.

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    Wow Karl are you actually WHD staff? :)
    Thanks again for your reply.

    I appreciate your help and I agree with most things you say.

    I mentioned that I realized only later after the breakup that my last relationship was very likely based on addiction rather than love. I totally agree that I gave my ex way too much power over life and I am doing my best to stop this. But it’s not something I can do overnight. As I said, I went into therapy, I am reading as much as I can, I am keeping my busy life with gym, weekend trips and creative activities even thought I often feel like giving up everything. I am trying not to beat myself up too much. I want to get over it. It would have been faster if I had had this closure from him but you are right, I’ll have to give it to myself.

    Anyway, there are two more things I would like to ask you.

    1) What I don’t completely agree about is what you say about discussing problems. I know it’s not pleasant and most men (but also some women) want to avoid any confrontation, but is it possible to build a relationship without communicating? I have tried my best to be patient for months, supporting my ex while he was arguing constantly with his ex who refused to let him see the child. I almost never mentioned anything about my problems, just cheered him up and supported him unconditionally. I accepted things I would have never accepted by another person, like: every time he got angry he disappeared for 3 days and then came back as if nothing happened without any explanation. I was patient, because poor thing, he was going through a difficult time.
    I accepted that after the intense chase he now wanted all week days for himself, I didn’t call him or send him texts, and I accepted the fact that in the weekends if we were on a trip with the hiking group, we had to keep our relationship secret. He knew I wasn’t happy about that, but he said he wanted to be professional. Once I held him by the arm on a Easter trip where there happened to be a lot of women our age, and when we were alone he got mad at me telling me that I wanted to show off to the other women that he was mine! This was after 4 months together, in the same week when he introduced me to his parents over dinner!
    Then he finally won the fight with his ex, thanks to a letter from his lawyer, and his ex accepted to let him see the child on alternate weekends. I thought finally we could start organizing our time together. Instead he told me he doesn’t want his 1-year old to meet me for at least the next 2 years, and that from them on we would probably have only one weekend a month to see me.
    So no, I didn’t want to play mind games. I really meant it: do you still want to see me at all?
    You’re probably laughing and thinking it’s obvious that he didn’t need me anymore and he wanted to keep his options open, but I was shocked and couldn’t believe all of this. It took me about a month of trying to communicate with him until I found out accidentally that he organised a trip with his friends on a weekend where we were supposed to be finally together, and he kept it secret. So I gave up.

    2) Red flags. Yes, now I know. I guess I am really angry about myself because I didn’t see this coming. Someone who is always a victim and blames everybody else will not make an exception with me, will he?
    By the way, I was concerned too that my ex wasn’t over the mother of his child, but let me know what you think about this:
    They met on a trip abroad, she got pregnant something like the first night they slept together, and he was forced to move back to where this woman and I live, in order to be a father. He hates her and he is resentful. He is the one who ran away, and never wanted to get back together.
    A mutual friend told me that he believes that my ex never got over his girlfriend of 8 year, who dumped him more than 5 years ago! Since then, apparently my ex hasn’t had any long term relationship. And the funny thing is, my ex never mentioned this girlfriend of 8 years to me. When I eventually made him talk about this woman, he told me they are still in touch now and they even go out for a drink together, and even asked me defiantly if I had any problem with that. I was really hurt but didn’t say a word. I think this woman he never mentioned was much more to worry about than the more recent ex who got pregnant and about whom he complained relentlessly. Being you a man, what do you think? Is that possible?

    I met lots of men like my ex and probably I am attracted by the wrong kind of people. But this is the first time I have invested emotionally so much and let all the guard down. I guess I needed a lesson, though I have to overcome all this negativity I feel now.
    I bought Evan’s ebooks, I’m reading his posts and watching his videos, my only priority is overcoming this negativity and healing and making this bad experience an opportunity to learn and grow.
    Thanks a lot for your help.

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    A good friend of mine has found out the hard way – three times – why hurrying into marriage is not a good idea. He didn’t give himself ample time to see the true character of his exes. He’s paid dearly for those mistakes.

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    SO nice to find this blog today. I am in No Contact now for 1 month. I left him Chrismas Day after 3 years of hell….thankfully we’re not living together.
    I met him walking my dog. we walked every day together for 2 months so when it was my birthday he took me to dinner and we had sex (well kind of)  lots of chemistry and passion. That was the ONLY time that happened. now, 3 years later, I can count on one hand how many time we had sex since AND it was not sex it just a 5 minute quickey. But it wasn’t about the sex for me..i genuinely loved this guy..his mannerisms his coolnedd..his energy….there was something so different about him..i fell hard!
    He’d call 5-8x day, for 2 yrs we spent everyday together walking our dogs and having dinner. We became best friends so I thought, and I kept hoping it would evolve to a committed loving relationship. Now I know that was impossible.

    Things he got from me:
    I financed the home he built helping paint and decorate and landscape.. over time i could see i was walking his dogs for him..i was buying dinners all the time..i was the one doing all the work! While he was off seducing women.He never introduced me to friends or family as his girlfriend so he could keep his options open. He never did anything special for me…never sent flowers or gave me a personal, thoughtful gift. One year he put my gift on my credit card HA! His moods were high and minute whistling and happy then next screaming at me like whatever just happened was my fault ..but then he’d call with a sweet voice…such a trap. I was a prisoner. All my time and money spent on him and his dogs. I recognized his narcissism after the first year BUT he owed me a lot of money for the house and I was afraid he’d never pay me back if i left him. So i stayed with him until i finally got paid. But by then i was pulled back into his web. But then his interest in me tanked even lower…he mentioned other women who flirted him or how they were dressed and it was so painful to hear. He told me he calls all his “girlfriends” Honey and Babe when i thought it was just me…and YES he has more girlfriends than guy friends. He started putting me down not directly but by mentioning his ex and how much fun they ahd..then saygn I was no fun..or about how all his friends wives want to have sex with him..or always mention when a woman is dressed like a hooker which he apparently liked. He complained if I cooked something wrong, argued everything with me, ordered food at a restaurant for me. He basically treated me like his dogs actually he treated his dogs better..they got to cuddle on the couch with him but not me. Heres a good one: On 4 occasions he even left me in the car with them while he met with people…seriously WHAT WAS I THINKING???. I was in shock while it was happening…such dehumanizing experiences with this guy. One time he came out and told me he FORGOT I was in the car!If that didn’t tell me something well then I deserved what I got from him.

    Now that the fog has cleared I feel so embarrassed and used. I am a college educated, self-employed woman who is attractive. I am healthy and financially independent yet I somehow let this slime mesmorise me. I loved that the could build things, was artistic and  was hot and sexy and i told him all the time…for a year..No wonder i am hurt..I did it to myself…I allowed him to devalue me so much my own sense of self was gone..i became a different person, physically, emotionally financially!
    One day I just had enough..I guess I have a high tolerance… I cut the cord. .He still owes me $1500 but I consider it payment for him to stay away from me. 
    I do hope the girl he’s with now catches on sooner or maybe he will have met his match.

    Okay so now I am much much better and  am with an awesome guy. Someone I could never have dreamed up so I am in heaven now…love passions finically stable committed FUTURE with someone I am so in love with. I didm;t think this was possible but I happened to me so ladies there is hope.  Life if good!

    I wish all of you in a NARC relationship to know time heals so the sooner you leave it the better for YOU.

  25. 235
    Single & Playful

    Evan is right!! Time reveals all!! I’ve been “friends” with this guy for over a year now & even though the sexual attraction seemed to be there & we spent lots of time together I still doubted his feelings for me after knowing him for so long. I prayed for God to reveal his heart last Thursday & later that same day, he tells me he’s coming over but never showed up or called (mind you we talk & txt everyday.) The next day he shows up with no notice or apology. I was very angry, he apologized but the next day I asked him to “Stay away.” Nothing made sense anymore. Even though the charm, flirting & chemistry was intense he was still having sex with other “bitches” (he calls ’em) & I noticed even though he admitted I was “different” he almost never asked me questions about myself or “us,” he just mostly ranted about other women, his ex, & sports. I asked Google if some men hate women, & after much research I’ve found out he’s a narcissist! He would even smack my thigh playfully on some occasions but when I caressed him it’s like he would push me away (in my head I thought he was being a gentleman. Ha!) One day he left me a t-shirt of his but when I asked him why he left it he said “I was probably drunk but you can keep it.” (Sick.) I definitely advise EVERY woman to educate themselves on this disorder (& codependency) & wait til you’re 124% sure about a guy before you give him your goodies. The signs are very obvious unless you CHOOSE not to see them. 

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    Thank you for the insight Evan! And all of the comments too. I am 27 years old woman who find it frustrating that I keep attracting (and being attracted to) guys who just want a casual thing, while I want a full-fledged relationship. I somehow think that the guys are the guilty ones, they are wrong for toying with me, and then I will start the vicious circle again. It is hard to kill the bad habit of shooting expectations and brimming with eagerness once I meet a guy. But I am learning and trying to level up with this. A lot of articles in this site have been helping me to realize what could I do to attract the right guy and keep him. And not to mention, gaining more self respect as well.

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    I am very glad I stumble across this article. I have met my Houdini 4 months ago. I am sure there were and probably will be more women that this guy would date but I hope people would be smarter to not fall for someone like that. If you just want to hook up with him then that’s fine. But if you are like me who’s looking for a serious committed relationship please be careful with your heart.

    1. 238.1

      Unfortunately we can’t completely eliminate being played for a fool, especially if we reach out in good faith. If we treat others with respect, kindness, and dignity, and they do not treat us in kind, that’s on them not us. We should use wisdom and not be careless with our hearts but their bad behavior is on them.

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    I have a 100% full proof plan to avoiding players. Don’t sleep with anyone you are not married to. It weeds out the players like nothing else.

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    I know what you mean,when it comes to guys that try to impress you with the little comments and jokes about others ,the guy im with now often he will use me as the joke for entertaining his friends,and when his exgirl whom he had a child comes to visit he will do it to her as if trying to impress me like he must think if he switches up the belittling direspectful jokes it is a proof he likes me more,but all i am thinking is dam hes a total disrespectful arogant manchild. If he doesnt like what a woman has to say in return to his, jokes ,as he calls them,he will threaten to cause some form of harm,either physical or financial or damage property or say he will have others do it for him

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