What This Blog Is About

What This Blog Is About

For six years, I’ve been giving advice to women about understanding men and making healthy choices that lead to successful long-term relationships.

Every month, I get hundreds of questions from around the world. I choose to answer one per week on Monday mornings.

As you can imagine, the questions I choose are not generally ones where the original poster has it all figured out. The questions I choose are inherently ones where the OP has some sort of blind spot that she’s too close to see. If she didn’t have a blind spot, there wouldn’t be very much for me to write about, now would there?

So, if the questions I take are carefully selected to maximize the value of my advice – because validation doesn’t make for interesting reading – it should be somewhat predictable that my answers are often going to challenge the premise of the woman in question.

And if you’ve been reading awhile, you know that these answers fall into largely two broad camps:

1) Dump him
2) Accept him

My advice is ALWAYS going to tell the woman to stay or go. What it’s never going to do is tell the MAN (who did not ask the original question) what HE should be doing differently.

I have never, ever gotten any criticism upon telling a woman to dump a man. I’m not particularly surprised by this, first and foremost, because I think I give sound, logical advice. If a woman is being objectively mistreated, if a woman has spent a year as a booty call and is waiting for a commitment, if a woman is with a man who never wants to have sex with her, etc, the best thing for all parties to do is move along. Comments on these posts tend to be of the “Right on, Evan! Way to tell her to get rid of the bad guy!” variety. I sincerely appreciate the positive feedback and promise to continue helping women identify the bad men in their lives and cut them loose.

It’s the second category of advice upon which I get a considerable amount of blowback in the comments section. This continues to confuse me.

If I tell a woman to accept her man as he is…

Do you think I suddenly forgot how to give good advice?
Do you think I suddenly became a clueless, insensitive, misogynist who blindly defends all men?

I would think you’d concede that the reason I’m telling her to accept him is for a more practical reason: It’s the best available advice.

Let’s remember what the mandate of this blog is. I am a very experienced and devoted dater, blogger, coach, and husband who tries to explain why men do what they do and what you can do to better understand and connect with them. As such, my advice is ALWAYS going to tell the woman to stay or go. What it’s never going to do is tell the MAN (who did not ask the original question) what HE should be doing differently.

A question about the boyfriend who never calls will not be answered with “He should call more”.
A question about the guy who only texts will not be answered with “He should prefer the phone”.
A question about the guy who hasn’t proposed in five years will not be answered with “He should want to get married”.

Such answers are nothing more than validation for the original poster. It doesn’t teach her anything. Not about herself. Not about men. It’s not just poor reading, but it’s bad advice as well. As I’ve reiterated for six years on this blog, you have largely two choices with men: accept him or leave him. When he’s a bad guy, I say leave him.

The problem arises when you THINK men are “bad” when they’re NOT bad.

And how do I know they’re not bad? Because you’re describing ME. Devoted husband and father. Believer in equal rights. Advocate for women for ten years plus.

So when you go to my comments to tell me that my advice to the OP should be how her BOYFRIEND should change (even though that’s never what this blog is about), you’re pretty much telling me that I should change. And you know what? I went on 300 dates with women who told me that I should change. The woman I married is the one who accepts me as I am and sees me as honest, loyal, hardworking, ethical and noble. I’m going to go out on a limb and suggest that this is how EVERY man wants to feel with his wife.

But very few of men get this experience. Why? Because even sound, commonsense advice to women about accepting men gets twisted in the comments into “Why MEN have to change”.

Understand, if I had a blog devoted to turning boys into men (and oh, I could), my advice would be completely different. Men would ask me if they were being insensitive to their girlfriends by only texting them once a week and I would say, “Yes. Yes you are. If you really care about her, let her know she’s special. And if that takes five minutes at the end of the night to call her and say you love her, that’s all you need to do.” Hell, I HAVE written that here before. But this is not a blog for men. This is a blog for women. And I have no idea what there is to learn if women are never wrong and it’s always incumbent on men to change to cater to your every sensitivity. If you feel a certain way, that feeling needs to be validated. That’s simply not true. No more than it is if he tells you what you should wear to a club, which of your friends you’re “allowed” to see, or how much time you’re permitted to spend away from him.

Every man EVERYWHERE – alpha or beta, tall or short, rich or poor – wants a woman to accept him as he is.

Remember, you applaud me when I tell women to dump men. You criticize me when I tell women to learn to accept men. That’s hypocrisy. Same as it would be if I were a coach for men who told them that women were always the problem and that women needed to change.

This brings me to my final point – a pithy thing I wrote on Twitter the other day – “The key to healthy relationships: men have to become more sensitive, women have to become less sensitive.” I immediately got a reply on Twitter that told me I was sexist. Ha. If the comments section of this blog is any indication, my tweet is as close to true as we’re going to get.

I 100% believe that men should SHOULD be more sensitive: call more, listen more, help more, make women feel safer, allude to a future, and do everything to make you feel loved and valued. I’m a coach for women. You DESERVE a man who does these things. I routinely tell women to break up with men who don’t exhibit this behavior.

At the same time, women really need to not let their insecurities affect the relationship. If you’re insecure about your body and he looks at Playboy, he’s not doing something wrong. If you’ve been cheated on before and he’s friends with his ex-girlfriend, he’s not doing something wrong. If you have a ticking clock, and he’s not sure he wants to marry you after a year, he’s not doing something wrong. My advice to insecure women is ALWAYS going to be for you to curb your insecurity instead of forcing him to change for you.

I’ve heard enough from commenters who dissent, who suggest that their boyfriends MAKE them insecure. If you have a boyfriend who MAKES you insecure, he’s either a) a guy you should immediately dump, or b) a perfectly normal guy with a very insecure girlfriend.

I’ve been the perfectly normal guy with the insecure girlfriend who freaked out if I talked to a checkout girl in a grocery store or to a pair of women at a party. She broke up with me three times in six months, even though I was completely devoted to her. Many readers would suggest that it would be MY job to change, to assuage her insecurities. But that would mean that I’d have to walk on eggshells for my entire life, in fear that I would inadvertently hurt her. The last time she broke up with me – and came back to reconcile – I told her it was over. She could find a guy who she trusts (even though I was completely trustworthy) and I would find a woman who didn’t want to change me so much.

Now that I have, I feel like I’ve seen the light.

Every man EVERYWHERE – alpha or beta, tall or short, rich or poor – wants a woman to accept him as he is. And as long as he is relationship-oriented, treats you with kindness and consistency, and is largely doing his best to please you, the most POWERFUL thing you can do is to accept him, in full.

If you do, you’ll be the first to do so, and the last woman he’ll ever want to be with.

But if you are the woman who writes in my comments section that the best advice for women is to tell MEN to change, you will find fewer and fewer men who feel they can be themselves around you due to your sensitivities, which will only reinforce your beliefs that men are jerks and players. Except it’s not remotely true.

We just want a partner who doesn’t want to change us.

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Comments:

  1. 1
    DinaStrange

    women are crazy because men are stupid….i used to think this sentence was far off but as i get older, i feel maybe there is true to it. maybe we are just FUNDAMENTALLY different.

  2. 2
    JustMe

    @1 – Neither one of those are true.
     
    Evan – I actually like how you keep it simple, acccept or dump.  Really, it’s a matter of knowing what are your deal breakers. 

    1. 2.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      Yeah, this blog post isn’t up for debate. This is how men think. We want to be accepted.

      If you can’t accept us as we are, then don’t date us. Just don’t date us and try to change us.

      Pay attention to what percentage of the comments are about how men need to change and you’ll see how epidemic this issue is. How the central mandate of my blog – understanding men – gets thrown out the window every time my advice to a woman gets deflected with “But MEN–”. No more.

      You don’t like what he does? Dump him. Problem solved. Just stop complaining that men – on an individual or societal basis – have to change. You’re on the wrong blog for that.

  3. 3
    Dave

    Well Dina #1… We are fundamentally different, and we (and I’m probably speaking for most guys out there, I’m guessing) are pretty content with our side.  A side that is pretty simple minded and one that doesn’t include over analyzing everything.  While that may not serve us well in many circumstances, in general we are A LOT happier that way.  I feel for Evan, trying so hard by giving good and simple straight forward (yes guy-like) advice to inquisitive women and constantly getting bashed for it.  Sure he gets a little touchy, but I probably would too if legions were flocking to me asking for help, i pass along the gospel, and then I get trashed for it.  The only problem is Evan is getting riled up over what I believe is the loud minority of his readership.  Just like it would get extremely tiresome if your eloquent speech each week to 500 in an auditorium was constantly riddled by 4 hecklers in the back.  But you can’t expect to be able to help everyone.  Evan, you are helping the majority.  There has to be some kind of solace in that, right?

  4. 4
    Cat5

    Just Me @ 2
     
    I agree.
     
    I think where the problem occurs when Evan tells women you have to accept men as they are to be the “cool girl” and find a relationship.
     
    Whether you are talking about men and women dating or just people in relationships in general – when you tell most people to accept someone else as he/she is, but you have to change in order for the other person to accept you (especially if it relates to a deeply held core belief) – it is going to cause some blowback and resistance.  To think otherwise, is not being realistic.
     
    So suck it up, put on your big girl panties Evan, and deal with it.  You’d have a lot less blog hits if women weren’t posting in your comments section, and you know that’s definitely to your advantage.  :D

  5. 5
    Karmic Equation

    Cat5,
     
    You’re not getting it. No one has to change under those circumstances. The person with the problem should just walk away. But, usually it’s the WOMAN who has the problem, and she DOESN’T want to do THAT–what she wants is the GUY TO CHANGE. That is problem.
     
    If accepting is a problem, then walk. That’s it. The complaints come from women who don’t want to do EITHER. Which is MOST women already in relationships with men, who are flawed, which are MOST men.

  6. 6
    Rose

    You don’t like what he does? Dump him. Problem solved.
    I agree 100% Let him be who he wants to be and do what he wants. You are either attracted to what he does or not. some small stuff will be tolerable and the biggies if they are not a core match will not.
    Sadly, a lot of the time the woman has become hormonally attached to  someone she has yet to find out who he really is and feels bonded to the wrong man for her  believing this hormonal addiction to be love. because she slept with him before she new who he was and if their inner core values are not a match. And then we here the reason she is not able to leave as, but I love him. Or she has children with him and the reality is not so easy to achieve. Or he kept things a secret, so are not even in a real honest relationship. It’s not always easy to just walk away on a whim, it takes time to get to the place to be able to be in the position to do it.
    So to me the obvious, clear and logical answer for most women would be don’t sleep with him until you have known him long enough to find out if your inner core values area a match. And if you start to believe they may now not be be because the real him is now showing. Stop sleeping with him so you are able to get a clearer picture of what you really want by breaking that hormonal bond. Then you may feel able to see things as they really are and to take action and leave.
     
    Everyone is flawed Karmic, men and women. we are all able to live with each others little flaws and tolerate them. It’s if something feels a big flaw and against our morals or values that it is intolerable to the individual. If it does then don’t get involved or too invested with them.
    Isn’t that what dating is supposed to be about finding out if your inner core values and morals are aligned? So automatically then if they are you are accepting of each other because you are aligned and then deciding if you are both able desire and want to be in and develop a relationship with each other.?

  7. 7
    Lucy

    I agree with what you said. Sometimes other women claim I’m betraying my own gender. I occasionally infuriate my friends by suggesting that they walk away from someone who doesn’t treat them right. Now what I’ve learnt from that, a)Don’t butt in, and b)some people don’t want to hear the truth. The truth is pretty difficult to deal with because it has caused some tension but I’d rather give someone good advice than soothe their ego. Somehow women expect that from men but not from other women so I wind up getting less respected by some people. Then again, I’d rather stick to my values.
    I won’t deny that I’ve been with bad guys in the past. I held onto that fact and was frequently depressed about it. But I know I didn’t walk away for whatever reason and so I’m as culpable as they were. That isn’t to justify their behaviour at all (Actually that’s partly why I think you get so much criticism, Evan. Some think you’re standing up for the bad guys). 
    Realising that makes me more emotionally mature than I was prior. I also know that sometimes you can’t settle the score. The world keeps on turning. I gave up on trying to feel like some guys should pay for treating me badly. Really I can’t be bothered with that. I’d rather go and find a good guy when I’m ready.
    Some people think giving up is a weakness, but it can be powerful. I consider it powerful to walk away from a situation which is dis-empowering  to me. Others don’t get that. I just know the limits of what I can put up with.
    Why stick with a relationship which isn’t working for you to see through the commitment? That’s the most unromantic act I think anyone can do. Because when you do that it’s about ‘winning’, about planting up your ego. So friends might say “Well you’re not romantic, Lucy”. But I know what I’m talking about.

  8. 8
    Lucy

    I think it’s worth noting when giving this type of “no holds barred” type of advice that some people will vent from the spleen at first, but eventually they’ll take it in. I love my female friends dearly but the expectation is to always soothe the other person so it seems like if you don’t only do that, you don’t care about the other person. I care about people the way I only know how – and that is to tell them what’s what (but not forcefully and only when asked). I’m pretty loving in other ways and very affectionate. But recently a friend has stopped talking to me just because I gave her advice she didn’t want to hear. And I never suggested she had to listen to it.
    I don’t think this is a gender thing either because I’ve experienced that type of reaction from some men. 

  9. 9
    Karmic Equation

    Rose, I”m not really sure what you’re saying. But I think we agree? Although I can’t really tell for sure.

    If the guy isn’t what you want him to be, then either accept him or walk away. Of course we’re talking about deal-breaker issues. But the problem is that most women think what “hurts” them require the man to change, without any decision-making on her part.

    Whereas I’m saying the woman ought to decide if what hurts her is a deal-breaker or not first. And THEN if it’s NOT, then accept the behavior (e.g., going to strip clubs). She doesn’t have to like it. She just has to accept it. And it’s also her prerogative to tell him every time he does this that she doesn’t like it.

    Then the MAN can decide if he’d rather continue to go the strip clubs and incur her displeaure; or he can decide that he’d rather have peace and stop going; or he can continue to go, but lie to her; OR HE can decide he’d rather have a more compatible girl-friend and dump HER.

    But if it is against her core values and, therefore, should be a deal-breaker, then she needs to BREAK THE DEAL and walk away.

  10. 10
    C Wong

    I love your blog Evan and I trust your opinion! Whenever I get doubts I always refer back to your blog and emails. As a strong, successful woman I am in complete agreement with acceptance of your man provided he treats you well, puts in an effort consistently, commits and alludes to a future. I’ve seen it pan out in my current relationship with my man and it’s going great! Keep up the great work on the blog to challenge our thinking and help us understand men better.

  11. 11
    Senior Lady Vibe

    Some men think like EMK, some men think like themselves and or somebody else. There are other male dating coaches with different descriptions of how all men think.
    My take is men think a whole lot of ways.

  12. 12
    Rose

    Yes Karmic. I agree. :But if it is against her core values and, therefore, should be a deal-breaker, then she needs to BREAK THE DEAL and walk away.”
    The sad fact in the previous thread is that the girl didn’t even KNOW that there would be strippers there in the first place. So wasn’t even given the choice to say or decide if it was a deal breaker for her and what she wanted in her marriage individually for her or not. This is what she needs guidance with deciding. It feels bad and harmful to me to hear her being told to accept it because that is what men do and if she doesn’t she is oversensitive and silly. Neither of those things are the truth. It was kept from her a secret and now the damage has been done.
     Being a dealbreaker for her does not make her an ‘uncool’ wife by either definition  cool as in chilled about it or cool as in awesome.  It means for him she is not a cool wife and for her he is not a cool husband. They are not a match. And just means there is a better match for her out there.
    To not bring this topic out into the open before you sleep with a man is risking heartache which hurts and with the wrong partner for you.
     Bringing inner core beliefs and morals out into the open and discussing them without belittling yourself and calling yourself names is.is not interrogating a man it’s how healthy adults communicate.Belittling your own feelings, morals and calling yourself names just smacks of low self worth and self esteem and is not healthy in the slightest to call yourself silly and oversensitive.
    If it bothers you own it and be honest and if it’s not that much of a problem why bring it up?
     

  13. 13
    Angie

    @12  I agree. We are all special snowflakes :-).
     
    I do agree men want to be accepted, but there are a whole litany of reasons why men will break up with you other than because you don’t accept them.  Granted, I’m not really in the target demographic of women who use your services. (I know a few friends like them, but most of those women’s dating attitudes shock me).
     
    I usually do date stereotypical “nice guys” (no, not those wannabe “nice guys”, real nice guys)… These nice guys have issues, too!  (Many of which are over-idealize their ex or women in general or have no clue what they want in a relationship, but believe in monogamy over playing the field so lead women on inadvertantly).
     
    But I don’t argue with you: Dump him or Accept him. :-)

  14. 14
    Karmic Equation

    @Rose
     
    Usually the best man arranges the bachelor party and the groom knows little to nothing about what was arranged. I know this was the case for my ex-hubby. And there was a video tape (they went to a Foxy Lady) – which he destroyed before I had a chance to look at it. And he wouldn’t tell me what went on either. I heard tell he had to participate in jello wrestling with some of the women. I’ll never know. I just let it go.
     
    The husband in the other thread might have been just as surprised as she. Unlikely, but possibly as I’m pretty sure MOST of us have heard about strippers at bachelor parties and nowadays strippers at bachelorette parties, so it really shouldn’t have come as a surprise to the wife.
     
    And honestly, suppose your maid of honor hired male strippers for YOUR bachelorette party, would you have walked out and embarrassed your friend and ruined the party? Would you have called your fiance to let him know? Really, what would have been the correct etiquette?
     
    She may not like it, and she can’t change the past. So stewing about just does no good. She has to accept it. But regarding the upcoming bachelor party, she can discuss that and do something about that. And the solution she came up with was NOT discussion about boundaries and she’s not contemplating divorce, instead she wanted input on her tit-for-tat idea, so his attending a bachelor party is not a deal-breaker apparently, which means she should accept that he’s going to go. But I would suggest she organize a girl’s night out to a Chippendales. That would be equivalent. If the hubby doesn’t like that idea, he’ll probably decide he should stay home with his wife instead.

  15. 15
    Di

    Evan, I love your advice.  I’ve *never* “dated” before.  I’ve had only one real relationship and that was an office romance that lasted nearly three years.  I realized he simply wasn’t the right guy for me.  After that, I moved a lot and never met anyone who I was attracted to.  Now, I really want to meet someone (and the clock is ticking), so I tried online dating.  Finally, I really am dating someone, but he is a busy someone who may only text me once per week.  Mind you, it hasn’t even been three weeks, but we’ve had three dates. 
    I have to say, I am scared because I am falling for this guy, but I’m trying really hard to follow your advice.  I really want to invite him over for dinner, but instead, I’m contacting other men online to see if I can start something while making other plans for Friday–by myself–but they’re at least plans.  Basically, I’m expecting him not to call (I know that’s bad, but I’ve already had a heavy dose of heartbreak from a true loser within the past year, and I just don’t need that right now), so my reaction is now to set myself up for success. 

    What gives me hope is what you said in this post:  “Yes. Yes you are. If you really care about her, let her know she’s special. And if that takes five minutes at the end of the night to call her and say you love her, that’s all you need to do.”  This tells me that this guy is probably just fine, and that I need to chill…while making other plans.  ;-)
    I hate to say it, but as a woman who has *always* hung out with the guys (even before kindergarten) and is generally liked by the guys for being direct and cool, I do fight flakiness when I’m falling for a guy.  It’s the way we’re wired.  But, as you allude to, we can only change ourselves.  Thank you for being the voice of reason.

  16. 16
    Valery North

    I’ve got a slightly different take on the framing of the OP, which is this.   EMK, I think you do say that men should change, but it’s not framed that way – it’s framed on what a person in a relationship can do about changing their partner.   Which is, ultimately, get a different partner.   (I think this is true regardless of the genders of the partners involved.)
    So, “A question about the boyfriend who never calls will not be answered with ‘He should call more’.”   But that answer does appear, in the form of “find someone who will call more”.
    “A question about the guy who only texts will not be answered with ‘He should prefer the phone’.”   But that answer does appear, in the form, “find someone who prefers the phone”.

    “A question about the guy who hasn’t proposed in five years will not be answered with ‘He should want to get married’.”   But that answer appears in the form, “find someone who will want to get married after 5 years”.
    My favourite prayer is the one that goes:
    “LORD, Grant me the Serenity to accept the things I cannot change;
    Courage to change the things I can;
    And Wisdom, to know the difference.”
    ***
    I want to add that:
    Every man EVERYWHERE – alpha or beta, tall or short, rich or poor – wants a woman to accept him as he is. And as long as he is relationship-oriented, treats you with kindness and consistency, and is largely doing his best to please you, the most POWERFUL thing you can do is to accept him, in full.
    Is true only because it is true for all genders.   All people want someone who will accept them as they are, for whom they do not need to perform in a certain way in order to feel valued and can instead be “themselves”.

  17. 17
    Rose

    Karmic.
    My friends and my husbands friends new us well enough to not do something like that as that is not who either of us are or what we wanted.
    So it just would not have come up.Karmic.
    Neither of us felt the need or wanted strippers. Even though when I got married it was a lot tamer. It was not what either of us wanted..
    I personally have been to male dance acts twice only with work colleges and they were not what I was expecting as what they really were was strippers not dancers. I like sensual dance acts like Flavia and Vincent doing tango  not sleaze. Not my cup of tea at all. I naively thought I was going to see a classy dance act which it was not. It was sleazy and yes some of the girls slept with the men afterwards. Not for me. up to others what they do, it turns me off though not on. It feels repulsive to me to see some strange man flop his bits around a  random womans face, however hot looking he is and have simulated sex with her in-front of drunk loud grabby screaming women having oil rubbed into his body by them. The men were gorgeous Adonis looking, so physically before they got their bits out yes I thought they were hot. totally repulsed and turned off with the act though.
    At least they didn’t start using dildos on each other or on the woman, thank God for that.

  18. 18
    Kathleen

    As Dave #4   pointed out there are readers like me who learn from the information and are too busy putting concepts into practice to heckle.  Ive been very successful in my life but always have been open to learning and improving .
    When I read what Evan said about how to develop a user name and write a profile I got 24 quality emails the next day. Not bad for a 54 year old chic  
    I got the words on how to dump a fuck buddy from a topic, and I got the perspective to appreciate  a guy who made less money and was less educated than me, but was the most loving man Ive ever been with.
    I also have friends who read the blog who are silent, who learn from the topics which we sometimes discuss.  We realize arguing over the way men should be is futile. 

  19. 19
    WaterDragon

    I’ve not posted before, but have been reading at least a year.  As I read the OP, my thought was, “But the comments are not a scientific sampling. I bet most of the readers get it. I do.”
    Dave @ 4 said it better: “…the loud minority…”
    I’m a twice-divorced baby boomer.  I wish I’d had information like this when I was younger.  Nonetheless, I’m benefiting from it now.  It’s quite empowering, actually.  Thanks Evan.

  20. 20
    Evan Marc Katz

    Thank you, WaterDragon. Thank you, Kathleen. Thank you, Valery. Thank you, Di. Thank you, Karmic. Thank you, Angie. Thank you, C Wong. Thank you, Lucy. Thank you, Dave. Thank you, JustMe. Thank you, Dina.

    And thanks to the silent majority of readers who understand that giving advice is never about telling someone else to change.

    Now, if you could stop being so silent, I’d greatly appreciate it!

     

     

     

  21. 21
    Mimi

    Evan, I have been reading your blog and emails for almost two years now.  I have to say, without a doubt, YOU are the reason why the quality of my dates has been steadily improving.  Sure, I STILL make dating mistakes, but at least, because of you, I am learning from those mistakes. Thank you!

  22. 22
    Sparkling Emerald

    Well, I just bought some of EMK’s material. 
    I changed my profile per his suggestions, and WOW, what a difference it made. 
    A 57 year old, married twice, currently separated, is not the most sought after category, but after I changed my profile, I got lots more e-mails from guys who actually wanted to meet me in person, and not these marathon go nowhere e-mail exchanges.
    And now the men who contact me, don’t just say stuff about my looks, they really PRAISE my profile.  One told me he could tell I was really smart and that he “wouldn’t be able to pull anything over on me”.  Others say they LOVED my sense of humor, and others have said they can tell that I am a kind person. I have a 3rd date with someone who told my that my profile was EXCELLENT and the BEST he has seen on POF.  Funny, I used to use a list of adjectives to describe myself (booooooooooring), now I leave the adjectives out, and just SHOW these qualities in my profile.
    Now I have a different problem, I have hidden both my profiles, from having too many men to juggle.  I have become the disappearing woman to some.  (I feel bad saying that, but at least now I understand why men disappear online)
    Problem is, I haven’t finished ALL of the material, and I feel like I got on an airplane, after only having read the part about how to take off, and now I’m flying high and don’t know how to land. 
    This weekend, I am going to go through EMK’s material, so I’ll know how to land this plane :)

  23. 23
    Theresa Haupl

    A man who loves a woman truly and deeply will “change” for her in certain ways if there are things that make her distinctly unhappy or frustrated but the all over relationship is excellent.  (I.e. his traveling often for business and deciding to take her along from time to time where possible; or his watching pornographic movies and deciding to curb it a bit for her sake).
    In the right relationship, the other person inspires you to become a better person.  In the right relationship you are constantly thinking of ways to improve yourself that you are ever more attractive.
    I am quite uncomfortable with the whole  ”I am me and that’s that, babe” attitude, whether from a man or for a woman. YES, you accept the person for what they are in terms of personality quirks, temperament, idiosyncracies and all the quirky things that define individuality and talent.  For example, if EMK is “moody” or “touchy” , that comes with the territoriy of his being a writer, a counselor; of giving advice that is sensitive-controversial in nature; of having to swim through mounds of letters describing irrational behaviors in relationships in order to offer sane advice.  So his “temper” in this respect should be accepted.
    However, when it comes to things like–for example–his wife “having” to put up with flirtations with the girl at the pool party, or his possibly keeping nude photos of an ex (again, using an example from a recent post) or keeping friendships with many exes….there can be a problem here.  No one is totally secure.  Even the most self assured man or woman can be thrown off by insecurity and anxiety…why feed into it?  So yes, there are times when “I am cool with it”  is just not cool at all, but depressing.  For the rest of it, however, that one must accept the essential personality, nature and style of the person one loves–is spot on.

  24. 24
    Bella

    Evan, you’re one of the good guys. I’m one of the silent majority here, and I want to say, keep telling us! I love your straightforward, consistent, well-written and very clearly expressed insights into how men, in general, think. 
    Those who are open to change, to recognising what isn’t working in their lives, to creating change for themselves, to experimenting with new ways of relating, get it.  And will get it more thoroughly. Sometimes we do need to hear the same point put in many different ways, with lots of examples of how it works. I am very glad of your advice.
    Now dating again post-divorce, you’ve helped me walk away from men who weren’t going to make me happy, without hanging in there, hoping for change, relying on their potential (and everyone has potential) rather than the reality of now.  Like many women though, I get confused once the oxytocin bonding kicks in with a man. It throws a sparkly veil over the man in question, making it hard to notice and easy to ignore the red flags and warning bells.  But I’m learning. I’m learning that if someone makes me feel bad, that it’s not worth clinging on for the good bits in the relationship.
    Evan’s advice also helped me figure out which of my girlfriends were on my side, and weed out a few of the takers and users there as well. I decided that I would  only have people in my inner circle who were able to listen, support, laugh with me and respect me.  As I do with them.  I want people around me who help me feel my best self – happy and confident, liked and wanted as I am.
    None of us likes it when others try to force change upon us. None of us likes the feeling that we are not accepted by the people in our personal lives.
    We do have the power to say no, to walk away from people and situations that drag us down and make us feel bad. We can only change ourselves.  
    Thank you Evan, again, for patiently re-inforcing this, over and over. xx

  25. 25
    Robyn

    Evan, you said it right. When push comes to shove, broadly speaking, there are only two viable options: Accept a man “as is”, or leave.
    Staying in a relationship and praying (or bitching) for a man to change is an option that is available -but it’s unviable (a recipe for unhappiness & misery for both parties involved).
    It’s not that men (or women) are incapable of change. It’s a case of whether they want to / will change – if it is in their best interest to modify their behavior in a particular situation, they will. But they cannot be “forced” or “commanded” to change their behavior.
    Reminds me of the old lightbulb joke: “How many psychologists does it take to change a lightbulb? Only one – but the lightbulb must want to change…”

  26. 26
    Cat

    I do appreciate EMKs advice as well. I read it & take it in as a woman though. I think I would be much better off had I started reading it before I got married though honestly. I love my husband but we went through a lot of stuff that I should not have went through & had I been reading Evan’s advice then, I would have dumped him. So now, I try to accept him for how he is which is hard, especially when we are still building trust. Evan’s moral of the story is women shouldn’t be with men they don’t trust. Period. Before you get to a point where I am, dump him. Then you don’t have to go through all the B.S. I have.  It’s extremely difficult to build trust.

  27. 27
    marymary

    My boyfriend’s ex was very jealous and gave him a hard time for being nice to her sister, singing in a mixed choir and talking to a museum coat check girl. I thought that was ridiculous but I WAS jumpy that he has quite a few female friends. Checking in here I saw it’s nothing to be insecure about, and that men can have female friends without being jerks or players.
    My ex was not faithful and had a lot of female “friends”.  My current boyfriend is NOT that guy. It would have done be no good to tell my ex to drop his female friends as he wouldn’t have done it, and even if he did it wouldn’t have changed his fundamental character.  There is no point telling my current boyfriend to drop his female friends as he isn’t doing anything wrong and I do trust him.  And I don’t want to boss him about.
    Yes, you might be able to get him to eat more vegetables (success!) but nothing major.   If he really has a deep flaw (addiction, cheating, abuse, or just a crap boyfriend) you cannot make him change.  In fact, sticking around just tells him that’s okay.
    And, in agreement with Kathleen at 19,  my other big takeaway from this blog is that it’s perfectly fine to have a boyfriend that earns less, 

  28. 28
    Julia

    EMK’s dating advice has also changed my life. I might argue with some other commenters but just because I like to argue :P
     
    Getting to know someone and understanding what you can accept and what’s you can’t is key. From him I learned that some of my boyfriend’s quirks are not a reason to reject him because the man genuinely treats me good and I am happy (even when I wish he would get his hair cut several weeks before he does!)
     
    But the key to all of this is knowing yourself and what you truly won’t tolerate. Men who don’t treat you well, become exclusive but also don’t have goals that compliment yours in the long term.

  29. 29
    Julia

    *or don’t want to become exclusive

  30. 30
    Sparkling Emerald

    The other side of this ladies, is if a man is constantly trying to change YOU, dump him.  If he doesn’t accept you as you are, DUMP him.  I have sadly seen some of my girlfriends change into a shadow of their former self, trying to please narcissistic control freak men.  If he doesn’t love you for you, dump him. 
    I am not talking about the positive changes we might voluntarily make to become a better partner and a better person in general.  I am talking about change a man may try and force on you, expecting you account to him for your whereabouts 24/7, account for every penny you spend, even tho you work hard for your paycheck, micro-manage your wardrobe, tell you who you can be friends with, etc. 
     

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