Why Men Need to Court Women Again

I’ve been a dating coach since 2003.

I’ve been a dating coach for smart, strong, successful women since 2010.

The only reason I focused on that very specific demographic is because they comprised 80% of my audience. I didn’t seek them. They found me, and I catered my offerings to empower them to understand men and make healthier relationship choices.

I get a lot of pushback from women who bristle at what I do. Their main complaint: MEN ARE THE PROBLEM. STOP TELLING ME WHAT I SHOULD DO DIFFERENTLY.

My reply is always the same: you’ll have a much greater success by changing your own beliefs, actions and reactions than by trying to change the male gender.

I mean that – but that doesn’t mean that men are off the hook, by any stretch of the imagination. A huge part of my business is simply telling women to avoid men who don’t treat them with proper respect and invest time only in relationship-oriented guys.

You’ll have a much greater success by changing your own beliefs, actions and reactions than by trying to change the male gender.

Does that leave a lot fewer men in the dating pool? Sure does. But there’s no point in trying to convince a man who doesn’t want to get married that he should or trying to convince a guy who thinks you should sleep with him on the first date that he should court you properly. Just throw those fish back in the sea.

Which is why I was heartened to read this blog post from Matt Walsh. In it, he implores men to “man up” and court women properly, with intention.

“If you’re hanging out with a woman and you feel like you might be into her, tell her. Call her on the phone. Take her out on a date. Say the words: “I’d like to take you out.” No ambiguity. Plan the date yourself. Women want you to be decisive. Lose the whole “so waddaya wanna do tonight?” schtick. Take charge. Pick her up at 7. Pay for the meal. Have a conversation with her. Go mini golfing or something. Go somewhere. Open the door for her. Put your phone away. Open up to her. Share your ideas, your dreams, your fears. Get to know her. Pursue her. Pursue her. Invest yourself in the process, as scary and unsure as it may seem. Take a risk, gentlemen. Go out on a limb for once. Be purposeful. Be desirable. Be a man.”

No argument here. If my business was to give advice to men, that’s what I’d be telling them. There is so little competition from men out there that it’s easy to stand out just by being a good guy who takes control, follows through, and does what he says.

Now the reason I don’t post things like this more is because there’s nothing for women to learn from “Yes! Men need to change!” You know what I mean? It may be true, it may be validating, but it’s not useful or transformational.

Your big takeaway from this is simply that you should hold out for a man who does (most of) the right things. If he doesn’t do the right things, he’s not your man.

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Comments:

  1. 1
    starthrower68

    Evan, I think the major challenge is in getting men and women to stop with the “well, we may do this but they do that” mindset.  Stepping up for change always starts within ourselves, as you say. I’d like to be more optimistic that it will happen but I think we’re too far down the rabbit hole.  

  2. 2
    starthrower68

    Btw, Evan, major Kudos to you for using Matt’s blog as your own. I am positive you would not see eye to eye with Matt on politics or faith but you are willing to use that upon which you do agree. There’s very little willingness to do that in this day and age. You are setting a wonderful example and I applaud you.

  3. 3
    Androgynous

    Personally, and this is just my opinion only. The horse has long bolted and the genie left the bottle a long time ago. Asking men to court women traditionally in this age of casual hook-ups, one night stands, f-buddies, Friends with benefits, No strings attached…….well you know. If men are given the option of not needing to put in any effort for sex and female companionship, why should they put in any effort ? And why should they take those women seriously, who now claim they want traditional courtship when they (the women) were perfectly happy with the free love lifestyle previously ?

    1. 3.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      I’m glad you said that. Here’s how it’s going to go:

      Women who read this blog are going to show men how to treat them and stop putting up with bullshit.
      Men who are not serious about relationships are going to bolt for women who have low self-esteem and no boundaries.
      That leaves the men who are serious about relationships courting my readers
      And it leaves all the women who refuse to have self-esteem and boundaries in the exact same place they are right now.

      My point: SOME women make men put in an effort and reap the rewards. The majority don’t and then complain that men have sex without any desire to commit. I’m doing my best to turn that ship around.

      1. 3.1.1
        Karmic Equation

        Delete “low self-esteem” from your answer and I’d agree with you 100%.
         
        It’s wrong to assume that women who have NSA sex have low self-esteem. Do you believe that men who have NSA sex have low self-esteem?
         
        It’s equivalent to the fallacy that only men who are “commitment-oriented” have good character. Wanting commitment or not, does not confer high-character or high self-esteem. It’s simply a lifestyle choice (or more accurately “phase”). An analogy that may resonate better is that those people who want children are not of higher character/have higher self-esteem than those who don’t want them. It’s a choice and not character- or esteem-defining.

        1. Evan Marc Katz

          The point – as you should know by now – is not that you have low self-esteem for having NSA sex, but rather that you have low self-esteem for having NSA sex when doing so DOESN’T MAKE YOU HAPPY.

          My entire business is based on women who are shocked that men can sleep with them without calling, caring, or committing.

        2. Karmic Equation

          “Naive” would be the more accurate adjective then.

        3. Samantha Riley

          Spot on Karmic Equation. I agree with Evan said perfectly except: where does low-self esteem come from? And do men who have NSA sex have low self-esteem? Couldn’t agree more with your post.

        4. Jenn

          Samantha,
          In this case, low self-esteem comes from a woman trying to have sex like a man, and then getting hurt because she develops an attachment to the men she has casual hookups with. She gets hurt because she doesn’t fully understand why they don’t reciprocate her feelings. Which then makes her question her worth.

      2. 3.1.2
        Noquay

        I think we teach others how to treat us. By settling for NSA, casual, partners that are financially or emotionally unstable, don’t take care of themselves, are just not into you, when such things go against your values, we are giving them a message that we are OK with their behavior. Most folk do not go through the process of self introspection, self improvement unless forced to do so by repeatedly being shown their behavior is not OK. We strong, smart, chix also have to understand that not everyone, in every place is going to be OK with our success and strength. There are places where women such as us will never find a partner and we need to either leave or be alone until we are in a place to leave. Really have learned this these past days following my dads passing. Thought I must be a horrid person here in my redneck mountain town but soon as I was in my home bioregion, was asked for a dinner date immediately. Not always us so much as our location.

        1. Henriette

          So sorry for the loss of your Dad, Noquay.

      3. 3.1.3
        ann

        thank you Evan!   :)   
         

      4. 3.1.4
        AmicusC

        that’s good that “women who read this blog are going to show men how to treat them and stop putting up with bullshit” but maybe these oh so successful independent women should have made finding a husband a priority sooner. 

        the problem with your theory is the demographic you are targeting. why are successful men going to waste time trying to court old women? they cant have kids, they are not as attractive as they once were. these women were fine when they were reaping the benefits of the new rules but now that they are old and undesirable they want to go back to the old rules. I don’t see what they have to offer that any self respecting man should forgo a younger more attractive fertile wife? 

        1. Julia

          Why do you assume that young and fertile women want old men?

          (most of us don’t) 

        2. Lynn (the other one!)

          Oh, Amicus. What a limited view you have of us older women! If all you’re interested in is fertility, then that sure makes your life easy. Anyone with those eggs still a-ripening will do. Compatibility, intelligence, morals, principles, character, wisdom, sense of humor –  chuck ‘em all, dude. Someone somewhere will appreciate your lack of standards.

    2. 3.2
      Julia

      I think its a really silly assumption that men only want sex and somehow “put up” with relationships in order to get it. In my experience there are plenty of men who are looking to be happily coupled, they still court women.

      1. 3.2.1
        Androgynous

        If you read my comments Julia, I never said that I assume all men just want sex. I mentioned companionsip as well. Those men you mentioned who still court women……the women they court are the ones who would not provide the kind of relationship a man wanted unless he proved his worth, or if that sounds too mercenary, proved his interest and committment to the idea of a relationship with her. These women are anything but inconsistent. In other words, they are not going to be a good girlfriend to any man who treats her in a casual perfuntory way. If a woman is willing to do that for one man but is not willing to do that for another, then it is hard for men to treat her requests seriously.

        1. Julia

          I guess I am not fully understanding your point. How does a man know how a woman has acted in relationships with other men in the past?

          The way I always proceeded in dating was to be warm and friendly and affectionate with any guy I was dating and interested in. If he stepped up, then great, if not there were more to come. I never with held any of the positive experiences he might get if we were in a committed relationship. You can’t just hold back and wait to be yourself. 

        2. Noquay

          Yep, a woman may treat one man a certain way and another completely differently although both court her. This is because she does not feel attracted to or compatible with one of them and no amount of courting will fix that.

      2. 3.2.2
        Androgynous

        Another clarification too. Men are either looking for just sex or sex within a relationship or a relationship involving sex. A relationship without the sex is just a friendship. In my experience and I’d expect the experience of many other people, men don’t actively go out of their way to cultivate just friendships with women. Friendships with women just happen and are often the result of circumstances.

        1. Jenn

          Androgynous,
          I understand your perspective, and wish to point out that it’s not true that a relationship which doesn’t involve sex is purely platonic. People do develop and sustain romantic feelings for each other without sex being a part of their relationship. True courtship is like that (courting is different than dating). Although I do agree that most opposite sex friendships don’t usually exist without at least one party feeling attracted to the other on some level.

    3. 3.3
      Fusee

      Androgynous, the average or median dating/mating behavior has changed, but it does not mean that other less popular behaviors and mindsets do not coexist simultaneously.
       
      When I was dating I was definitely in the minority with standards way more strict than “the local current average”, and yet it always worked fine for me. I’m not saying I never felt frustrated (I did!), but I progressively learned to assert my values and do a graceful exit when the behavior displayed did not impress me. I just had to become a little more patient and work on my communication style because it’s a little harder to assert your needs than to pretend to be the “cool” one who does not give a f*ck.
       
      Each time I upped my standards I ended up with a better man! It’s counter-intuitive, but I can guarantee you that it’s the reward for asking for (and giving) more. You do get more.
       
      I have several friends with even stricter standards (keeping sex for marriage) who also found great partners. The (non-religious, non-virgin) husband of one of them waited for three years to have sex with her on their wedding night. He loved her that much and knew it was that important to her.
       
      There will always be people – men and women – who will follow their own principles, regardless of what the crowd does, and regardless of the potential consequences, and there will always be people who will admire those who stick to their values. It’s true for just anything, not just intimate relationships.

      1. 3.3.1
        starthrower68

        Fusee, I would even take that one step further, in that if that is the value that you hold, you will feel better about yourself for standing even if it’s tough.  It’s not that one will never know disappointment, but the guy that isn’t interested in more than sex will bolt when you say no.  He’s gone, history. You never have to deal with him again. But you do have to live with you. And each time you stand for what you value, it gets a little easier. :-)

        1. Jenn

          I totally agree, Starthrower. It’s far better to stand on principle waiting for the one who will uphold your standards, and live a life that’s consistent with your values, even if it does take longer to find him! It’s so much better than just giving up.

      2. 3.3.2
        Jenn

        “I have several friends with even stricter standards (keeping sex for marriage) who also found great partners. The (non-religious, non-virgin) husband of one of them waited for three years to have sex with her on their wedding night. He loved her that much and knew it was that important to her.”
        This is exactly what I’m all about. Thank you, Fusee! :)
          

  4. 4
    Sunflower

    Thank you!  Thank you!  Thank you!  Every woman can relate to this.  Every woman wants to be valued and treated with respect.  It’s starts with us ladies!  Draw those lines in the sand.  

  5. 5
    Taylor

    Evan is right that when you make changes in your own decisions, turning the boat of the culture will become easier. I’ve followed a lot of his guidelines and meet good men; now some of them were dealing with bad separations, but they put in the effort. 

    There will also be women with low self esteem who tolerate bad men who run all over them. But you have to decide NOT to be one of them. That is our choice; bad men don’t do this. It’s not always easy and you may go dateless for a long time!  

    When you have boundaries for how you want to be treated in any situation, there will be people who respect them. That goes for dating and life in general. 

  6. 6
    starthrower68

    I think, often, we have a tendency to forget Evan is writing to women with a specific set of issues she wants to change. He writes in generalities for the sake of expediency.  In all the years I’ve been a reader, I have never seen Evan say that all women are a certain way or all men are a certain way.  It seems that would be inherently understood by the reader.  I’m guessing Evan understands that it is. I have seen him say more times than I can count that yes, there are good men who want actual relationships and there are women who are perfectly happy having NSA sex.   

    1. 6.1
      Gabri'el

      I completely agree and…
       
      THANK YOU Starthrower68, for always being a light of positivity on this blog. I’ve noticed that no matter how hard the angry and hurt men or women start throwing their bitterness and gender bashing around, you always keep the comments section from completely succumbing to just negativity, I can not speak for anyone else but I appreciate the light you bring to this blog. 
       

  7. 7
    Katt

    I have boundaries and standards and when guys don’t like it they disappear quickly.
    Good riddance is all I can say!
    Man up ladies, stop giving these NSA, FWB, ONS and F-buddy losers a free ride to nowhere.
    All you have to do is say NO. How hard is it really to have some healthy self respect and workable boundaries.

    Evan, your message has got through to this girl loud and clear. When more of the clueless women out there wake up and realise their own future and happiness is up to their own good choices they can turn their lives around. Its just too easy to take a month or two to see how a guy is treating you (without having to have to sex) and if he’s not stepping up to the plate, ‘bye bye, nice knowing you, no hard feelings but this isn’t working for me’.
    It’s not hard at all.

    1. 7.1
      Julia

      Sometimes a FWB does work for you though and you know what, sometimes they will even pseudo-court. I had men I was just seeing casually still take me away for the weekends, take me to nice restaurants. Not all FWB/NSA is just about late night hookup. So please don’t tell other women what to do, do what works for you.

      1. 7.1.1
        Jenn

        But that’s the point: those involvements don’t work for most women, because they get too attached. And many times, they don’t see that they are just FWB. Many of them think they are “dating” because the guy is seeing and contacting them regularly. And you’re right, not all FWB/hookups are about late-night booty calls and I think that’s where the confusion lies with a lot of women. They think that because they are hanging out at each other’s houses regularly, or occasionally going to get coffee or see a movie in addition to sex, that it’s more than just a casual thing and that it’s leading somewhere. Not all women are able to recognize a fling for what it is.

        1. Julia

          For me, the way I was able to make it work is that I would have to understand that I would not want to be in a relationship with this particular man. I was casually seeing a man last fall, before I met my boyfriend that worked simply too much to ever be in a relationship with. I am not entirely sure he understood that. So the way I saw it, if he called me on a wednesday or thursday for a saturday night date and I wasn’t already booked, might as well. I actually enjoyed his company, we had a good time together but he wasn’t going to be my boyfriend and I would never choose him over a suitor that was available for a relationship. This is why paying attention to a man and his actions is so very important. We are not at their mercy, we choose them. I was fine to keep him as an intern, I understood that it would be temporary and there was definitely a better candidate for the job at Julia LLC.

          It seems like a lot of the women here need to assign a value to other women based on their actions. They believe that value is what gets a woman a boyfriend or not. It sounds like many would call me low value but the only person who matter, my boyfriend, values me quite highly. Don’t worry about what other people think, know your value and find a man you values you. The rest is just details.

        2. Katt

          Jenn, 
          I agree, for a lot of women who like a guy its difficult to see that it is only a FWB relationship. Many women think they are in a relationship as the guy is doing most things a boyfriend does, treats you well, calls regularly, takes you out and can even introduce you to family and friends. I’m not saying these are bad men as most of them aren’t, they’re just looking to get their needs met (including having sex) with a nice, normal, fun, attractive girl and who wouldn’t want that!
          At this stage the FWB relationship looks like a duck, walks like a duck, quacks like a duck but it’s not a duck and you’ve just spent six months or more having great sex and a fun time with a guy who will never be your boyfriend and who already knows that it’s not going to lead to a future that includes marriage & kids.
          If the woman is fine with this and can separate her feelings and not get hurt when it ends, that’s good and she can move on to the next guy. 
          If, on the other hand the woman is looking for a boyfriend leading to marriage, waiting for a few months to see how you both feel before having sex is the best way to go. 
          Not getting emotionally or sexually involved for up to a couple of months is not a big deal in the long run and can save a lot of heartbreak.
          How much better are you going to feel if you can exercise a little restraint before jumping into something that, at the end of the day isn’t what you really want. 

        3. Jenn

          I totally agree with what you’re saying about not being at a guy’s mercy. You seem like a very self-aware person, and I think that’s the difference with you (and myself, too). Too many women are so desperate to be in a relationship that they accept the status quo, even if they’re not happy. You seem like you’re very aware of what you will and will not accept from a man (I’m that way, too). And I completely agree about watching what a man does rather than just listening to what he says! That is probably the single most important thing that women can’t always seem to wrap their heads around. Guys do sometimes send mixed signals, but for the most part they are pretty straightforward if you know what to look for.

    2. 7.2
      AllisWell

      I have been reading/following Evans site for quite a while, but never commented until now. I agree with you Katt, Girls or rather LADIES- MAN Up!Any good dude would man up if they think you are worth it!
       Women who have set a standard would meet a guy who are up or willing to fill the standard you have set. There are guys who are always willing to pursue you. Trust me on this!
        I’d been pursued and pursued, I’d been chased and chased, hunted even stalked lol I’d been engaged twice both men I did not sleep with even though they slept with other women before me. (had lived in partners too)
       In my 20s guys who courted me and I dated me wants to marry me ( as if I have a stamp on my forehead that I want you to marry me!) which brought out a problem  for me cause I am only looking for a boyfriend during that time and I would not even want to hear the word marriage as it freezees my brain and I could not function very well upon hearing it. I don’t know why these men wants to marry me? I still don’t know why..(even on dating sites which scares me, one chat and they think I am the one for them. Crazy. Bad crazy).. maybe because I’d set a standard that I only date valuable men who are up to my standard ohh and they’re not plenty but they are around even those arseholes to other women would be a gentleman around a woman who has standard and values her self. I am one. I don’t tolerate bad behaviours and lack of manners. If they lack it I’m off. And no one can stop me from leaving. 
      I have nothing against those who sleep around. I think they’re cool.. they can do it. But its just not for me.  
      Note: I did not accept any gifts from the guys I dated or courted me. I always offered to share tabs whenever we are out on a date but they all declined, which I am glad. Since I can’t give these guys who courted me the marriage they were looking for.. I stayed single till my mid 20s until I felt ready to talk about marriage if ever it arises again. And it did! that is why I was engaged twice but since I don’t put up with bad behaviour I broke it off- one was prejudice- he hates Indians and Jews (I don’t think I’d like to raised children with a man who will teach my “own kids” intolerance) I only learned about it later in the relationship, and he’s jealous. I’m a Catholic by the way but I have great respect to other peoples belief or lack of it. Hence I demand it.
       I am inloved with these guys I was engaged with but they trying to change me which I don’t like. I accepted and learned to love their annoying habits and thier boringness- both  are wondering why I am constantly happy and both think I shoud lessen my cheekiness and fun ways, I am a light hearted gal who always is surprised why they are mad over small things that I think they should not get mad about. 

  8. 8
    Jane

    I just read Matt Walsh’s bog post, it almost brought me to tears! I am so happy that a MAN gets it and understands both women and men so perfectly. Thank you Evan!

  9. 9
    JB

    Let’s take a look at the last 3 women (all in their 40’s) I asked out on a dinner date and they ACCEPTED after an online “meet & greet” that I thought went well………. All 3 of these women I would of gladly courted btw.  2 of them canceled by text within 2 hrs before the date. 1 saying “she wasn’t going to be in the area”….lol Huh?? But you made a date and live 10 minutes from me!! The other canceled saying an 8p date for dinner & a movie was too late on a Friday night. Huh?? The third, bless her heart met me for dinner and tried to “friend zone” me by text the next day. At least she showed up. Hey, dinner is dinner! No, I’m going to be her “friend”. But I did (just to be funny) text her back and say “I don’t suppose there’s any “benefits” to being your “friend”.  I was of course kidding and she laughed.
    I’m fricken 50 yrs old. I don’t “hang out” with women. There’s no FWB’s, ONS’s or F-buddy’s in our age range believe me! The games are the same. I ask them out they either show up or they don’t. It doesn’t matter whether you call them or text them because 99% of the time when you actually DIAL the phone they don’t answer anyway or return the call with a text!! That’s “courting” for you in the 45-60 crowd……. just sayin…….

    1. 9.1
      Trixie

      Make better choices in women use criteria other than hotness and boob size.

      1. 9.1.1
        JB

        Ummmmm…… I don’t remember mentioning any of these women’s looks in my post? Are you saying that women that aren’t “hot” and have a flat chest don’t flake out on men and that’s who we all should be emailing. Because that’s what I got from that immature statement. For the record the 3 were varying degrees of attractiveness and “boob size”. I’m attracted to many different types of women so I don’t email just 1 type. I do however love a cute smile and that can be on ANY woman.

    2. 9.2
      Noquay

      JB
      Oh yes there are lots of dudes that want FWB and NSA non relationships. I am in my 50s and finally gave up on on line because I wasn’t meeting anyone that worked for me. Yep, two of those women were jerks, one wasn’t attracted. You dodged three bullets so pat yourself on the back. On line is 99% rejection/being rejected/blown off etc. Nature of the beast. I never blew anyone off , often drove up to 100 miles to meet as I live in a remote town with zero local dating prospects. What turned me off was the preponderance of guys totally dishonest about their appearance, state of health, and their lack of ability to maintain a long distance rship and often even support themselves. Most of these guys were in their 60s. Now, I focus my efforts on meeting IRL during the 3 months the racers/tourists are here. Meet fewer guys but also deal with less dishonesty. No ultra runner can lie about health, a tourist that is here for months can certainly support himself and what you see is what you get.

  10. 10
    Chance

    It sounds like the type of men this guy is describing are the ones who are insecure rather than the alphas who refuse to commit.  Many of these guys may have been burned when they tried to ask girls on formal, proper dates when they were in the 18-25 age range when, frankly, being forward and formal doesn’t really work any better than being noncommittal (in many cases, it hurts their chances).  This is why PUA tactics appeal so much to guys in that age range – because it works on women their age. 
     
    What these types of men fail to realize is that women’s preferences change as they enter their late 20’s, and these men don’t adjust to their changing preferences. 

  11. 11
    JennLee

    Evan, how does a woman know if it is genuine courtship? I saw you and some others discussing the PUA community once or twice, and I had never heard of it so I looked into it and to me it is frightening. At first I thought it would be so much BS, but I watched some videos, and followed links to message boards and blogs and lurked. What is frightening is that it is not BS. I had the impression that it would be cheesy one liners and that the guys would be coming off as greasy. but instead, I saw that instead they were all about being just the opposite. Very adept in being charming without being too nice was what I noticed. They were in fact being exactly the type that most women will respond to. I think most women will have the attitude I did when first looking into it. We like to think that a PUA would have no chance with us, and sure, if we knew for sure that a guy was a PUA, we could be more prepared for it. But how would you know, if you are invited to a friend’s party, and some guy just starts talking to you, and your brain is happy with the way he is treating you, and before you know it, you are thinking, “WOW, finally a guy I can really talk to and relate to.” That’s what I saw in many of the videos I was watching. Being totally honest, I could see how not always but often, I would enjoy talking with the guy and even consider going on a date.

    On the message boards and blogs, I did learn that the vast majority of this ‘community” is men in their 20s and 30s. It is also not a small community and I did see several threads on message boards saying that the PUA community was now too large.

    This got me to thinking about some other things that I may mention in another more appropriate topic. But here, I think it is relevant to ask how you can tell fairly quickly that the guy is just being a well schooled player, and when he is genuinely courting you with long term interest? It would be good to be able to spot the players as quickly as possible, and looking onto the PUA community, I realized that we women may think we are good at spotting them, but i think the truth is, we are absolutely horrible at spotting the well schooled, or naturally charming ones. We tend to recognize them for what they are only through 20/20 hindsight.

    1. 11.1
      Chance

      I know you directed your question at Evan, but I thought I’d give a quick answer.  I wouldn’t worry too much about whether a guy is part of the PUA community or not because any man who knows how to talk to women understands what is effective in triggering attraction.  It’s something we learn from a young age growing up.  It’s a learned skill regardless, even if the guy doesn’t realize it.  Remember, men look for sex and find love – PUA or no PUA.

      1. 11.1.1
        JennLee

        Thanks Chance. I agree that it can be a learned skill through life experience or learned through the PUA community. I think looking into it triggered a few things in me. First, it seems to give me some understanding why some women say they prefer younger guys based on their experiences while interacting with them. I think these women meet a lot of these younger PUA’s and have some fun interacting with them, and compare that to organic approach of men their own age who did not learn PUA. I would not have thought that until looking into it, because again, I didn’t know anything about it and when you here pickup artist, you think of some greasy fast talking con artist that you can spot coming and going. Also, a lot of the guys on the message boards talk about practicing their game on older women.

        But then it got me to thinking about how even a good looking man with a lot going for him may be good at picking up women, and the issue is that the clock is ticking, and ever second you waste with somebody who isn’t going to marry you is a second that can be spent finding the one who will. Men don’t want to waste their resources on a woman that is going to reject them, and we women are no different. We don’t want to waste time with men who will never commit.

        As to the men look for sex and find love, sure that may be true but it worked a lot better for women when sex wasn’t so freely available and women could hold out longer. Ultimately that theory works best when the man is made to wait for marriage. He will invest himself heavily in finding a woman he does love so that he can have sex. I don’t believe that men used to just marry the first woman who smiled at them, just to get sex. I think sex was just less readily available so men had to make more of an effort to find a woman he truly cared about. He had to make it a focus of his younger years. Now they don’t have to. They can find sex easily, and put finding love on the back burner. I mean, what’s the notion here, that you will screw him so good that he will fall in love?

        So all I am really asking is what things you can look for that can tip you off in the first few months that it is a PUA that is simply investing some time into getting you into bed. I’m not sure there are any. I do like the idea of things going back to a more traditional framework where we didn’t just hang out, and didn’t just assume. I like the idea of men actually manning up and saying, “I want you to be my girlfriend. I want us to be exclusive. I want to see where this can go.” I like the idea of men actually introducing me as his girlfriend. I like the idea of men not assuming it is cool to spend nearly the entire evening at a party talking to other women when he took me to the party as his date. Even if it is a first or second date. If I invite a guy to a party, I would expect to act like his date and not spend the whole evening talking to other guys I know, or getting to know the ones I don’t know. Maybe parties are a bad date idea unless you know that you are an actual couple, and the man actually wants you on his arm most of the time, at the party.

        Sorry I got off on this tangent but call me old fashioned. I do not expect a man to handcuff himself to me at a party, but then, why do we think that it has to be OK when you take a date to a party, or a girlfriend, but then spend a significant portion of the time off talking to other people, sometimes talking to somebody of the opposite sex. I know if I go to a party with a boyfriend, or a date I am very interested in, I feel it is only respectful to make the person I go with feel special, and make it very plain to the other men that I do have an escort for the evening. I am starting to feel like the older generations had it right. Not our parents but our grandparents, or great grandparents, when they felt it was inappropriate for somebody who is taken to be off talking to members of the opposite sex. It’s not about being independent or not, it’s about being respectful to your significant other. Seriously, what can’t an upstanding man say to another woman at a party that he can’t say in front of his girlfriend, date or wife? My feelings are that if he is above board, there is nothing he can’t say to her with his significant other there.

        Maybe along with bringing back courting, we can bring back the notion that you can’t really be independent and be in a relationship. That whole notion to me is absurd. There is a difference between having some freedom to do your own thing once in a while, like a man who enjoys baseball going to the game with some friends, but really, the whole point of getting into a relationship is just the opposite of being independent. To me wanting to truly be independent in a relationship is more like saying you want to be selfish. Wanting your cake and eating it too.

        Ok, I need to stop. Clearly this whole thing has triggered my emotions. I love the idea of this topic because I sooo want men to return to being men. I want men to know what they want, go after what they want, say what they mean and mean what they say. I want men like my grandfather who was very much a leader of our family, but he was never mean or bossy. He was just firm and resolute. You could talk to him and he listened and he would say the most amazing things that made you understand things. My grandmother loved him more than you can even imagine, and she was more often than not, a very very happy woman. I think men have been lied to. They think women don’t want leaders. I know I am not alone in saying that women are desperate to find a man who is. I think men have forgotten, or never learned how to be the kind of leader a woman wants. You don’t have to be the CEO to be that kind of leader.

        I think women need to learn that we can still have our careers, the vote and all of the other things that make us equals to men, and yet still benefit from a more traditional feeling relationship with a man who is more traditional in that sense. I don’t see traditional as being a man who wants his wife barefoot and in the kitchen.

        OK, need to stop!

        1. Julia

          JennLee tl,dr

          From the gist of what you are saying, how do you figure out if a man is really interested in you or just interested in some short term fun. Well we can never look into a glass ball and see the future but there are several things a man does that indicates his interest like:

           he contacts you frequently and gets to know you
          he asks you out on frequent dates
          he asks you to be his girlfriend
          he tells you he loves you
          he introduces you to his family and friends
          he travels with you
          he asks you to move in
          he asks you to marry him

          The concept that a woman must hold out till marriage to get all of these is absolute hogwash. If you have a religious reason to wait, by all means do so but know your pool is limited to other religious men who also want to wait. Most people consider sex an important part of an adult relationship. I have quite a few men in my life do most of these, only one I’ve moved in with and we have a timeline for marriage and children. I didn’t need to hold out to get these, it happened organically and we are quite happy. Other things my boyfriend did to let me know his interest were: he always picked me up from the train station when I got home from work, when I was sick in the middle of the night, he went and got me medicine. All of these things happened within a matter of weeks. The biggest thing that will hold you back from a real connection with another person though, is fear. If you allow fear to drive you, it will be harder to have the vulnerability one needs in order to have a deep connection. Be confident, observant and you will find your way.

        2. Jenn

          Julia,
          I agree with your points; I think you’re on the money for the most part. One thing I disagree with is your opinion that it is only religious people who will choose to wait. I am on a message board for waiters (that has atheists along with all other faiths) and have done much research on the Internet concerning couples who waited, and I can assure you that many non-religious, non-waiting spouses (men AND women) do choose to wait with their husbands or wives in spite of the fact that they themselves do not possess the same values. They love them enough to respect their wishes and to help them uphold the values their significant other holds dear. They are able to put their own desires aside in order to honor their partner, because they know that person is The One. Degree of religiosity doesn’t always matter – it’s the commitment one has toward their partner and whether or not they’re of a mind to marry that person. If all someone wants is a casual fling, they won’t bother to wait for someone who won’t put out, regardless of whether that person wants to wait all the way to marriage or just for a few months.

        3. Karmic Equation

          Jenn,
           
          That’s quite interesting. I wonder if those people have low physical attraction for their potential spouses. Or if those people have low sex drives. Or a combination of both. I have no doubt there is a lot of emotional love.
           
          However, I just cannot, for the life of me, imagine waiting 3 years to have sex with a man I love. Unless that love was entirely mental and the physical was unimportant to the both of us.
           
          Obviously those people exist. I’m glad they have a way to meet each other.

        4. JennLee

          @Karmic Equation

          Not at all Karmic. I read an article about a professional athlete who married for a 3rd time and this marriage lasted where others had failed. He said that the difference started immediately. Why? Because the woman made him wait. He said that she was the first to do so. He talked about how many women he had dated went to bed with him on the first night. He said that his experience with his present wife was an eye opening experience because they actually got to know each other, and became friends before they ever slept together. He said that the first time they had sex was the first time he ever truly made love to someone. He said that it was the first time that sex was about more than just physical gratification. Ho long did they wait? If I remember right, it was about 3 months, but it was 3 months of exclusive dating. I wonder if this woman was a client of Evan’s because according to the man, she basically told him that she would not sleep with him until they were in a committed relationship, and that would not happen until she knew him a little better. But she also let him know that she did want to get to know him better.

          He said that making love to her for the first time was spiritual to him. Why wouldn’t it be? She made him place more value on her than he has ever been made to do with other women. He was probably tired of women who fell on their back with their legs in the air.

        5. Jenn

          Karmic,
          LOL I can’t speak for every waiter on the planet, but I can assure you that for myself, and for the people in the online communities I’m part of, sexual attraction is very highly important. I could never date someone I wasn’t that attracted to, it just wouldn’t work. Interestingly enough, it is the opposite of what you say; if the physical wasn’t that important to me, I wouldn’t be waiting. Because I think of sex as something I only want to share with the person I marry, it is actually very important – that’s why I would never marry someone I wasn’t completely crazy about. As far as you saying you couldn’t wait, hmm, I just think maybe you haven’t met the right guy (if he were waiting, that is). If it was someone you knew you wanted to spend the rest of your life with, those few years beforehand would mostly seem like no time at all. Not that it wouldn’t be difficult a lot of the time, but in contrast to spending the rest of your life together? Yeah, that’s not a terribly long time.

    2. 11.2
      Fusee

      Jennlee, quick answer: TIME.
      Longer answer: you meet guy, you two have a good chat, guy asks number, you feel ok with the idea of going to a PROPER date so you give number, guy calls within two days, you schedule say PROPER date within the next few days, you go on the date, you have a good time, guy calls again within two days, and you repeat for a few more dates. If he does not call within a reasonnable time frame, stops calling, or you stop having a good time or realize that you two are not compatible, you kindly decline at the next invitation. If you two start having a emotional connection and open up to revealing more intimate information, you’ll know that you have something more promising developing. If the guy pushes for sex early on, and/or constantly redirect the conversation towards superficial stuff what you got is a player, someone who wants to date casually, or someone uninterested/unable to connect more intimately with someone. That’s when you do your graceful exit. Back to the short answer: TIME, CONSISTANCY, DEPTH.

      1. 11.2.1
        Jenn

        I agree with Fusee, and I’ll add that you can only control what you do, and how you react. You can’t control what men do, or how they think or what their feelings are toward you. If you establish and work within your own boundaries, whatever those may be, then the players and PUAs will soon weed themselves out. If all they want is sex, they’ll hightail it pretty quickly once they realize they’re not going to get it so easily. And don’t worry about whether or not a guy is using PUA techniques on you, or whether he’s a player. It doesn’t matter because it’s mainly about how you conduct yourself with him. If he really likes you, and you establish yourself as a woman with certain requirements, he will step up. If he doesn’t, you’ve lost nothing and you’ll have even saved yourself a lot of wasted time and heartache.

    3. 11.3
      tamara

      @JennLee: Btw, I’ve read Evan say that he doesn’t generally answer questions in the comment section. =) Those times that he does are exceptions.
       
      I agree with quite a lot of what u say. But I think u’re overthinking the PUA stuff a little bit. I don’t think I’ve ever dated a guy who learnt these methods, but even a guy I dated had studied that stuff, it wouldn’t really matter. If a guy treats u v well and loves u, what does the other stuff matter? Just look at his actions. I feel that a guy who really likes u doesn’t just have charm on dates, there r some Significant Sacrifices he makes–in time, money and effort. They will always be trying to give.
       
      Like u, I like the old-fashioned guys who use traditional courtship methods. There are plenty of such men out there. U’ll end up with one, if u want that :)
       
      “the issue is that the clock is ticking, and ever second you waste with somebody who isn’t going to marry you is a second that can be spent finding the one who will.” Relax, Jenn…Be a good person, educate urself on rship skills so that when u do end up with a great guy u can maintain that rship, and u’ll be fine. If u haven’t bought Why He Disappeared yet, I’d recommend it. I don’t wanna sound boastful, but dating goes well for me ( it’s the rest of my life that’s so messy sometimes). But although I thought i didn’t need help, I’ve started reading WHD, and I’ve already learnt some v valuable things I hadn’t known before. :)
       
      “The whole point of getting into a relationship is just the opposite of being independent. To me wanting to truly be independent in a relationship is more like saying you want to be selfish. Wanting your cake and eating it too.”
      That’s your view; perhaps u’re more extroverted, based on your MBTI? If u date an introvert, I think u should refrain from thinking him selfish for needing some space and freedom. I’m introverted and that’s how I am–but I’m not selfish. I want a partner who can love me but not stifle me, and I want to do the same for my partner. This is why personality compatibility is so important–clearly our ideal partners are quite different. :) Even though we both like traditional men.

      1. 11.3.1
        Evan Marc Katz

        “I’ve read Evan say that he doesn’t generally answer questions in the comment section. =) Those times that he does are exceptions.”

        Not only do I not answer questions in the comment section, no questions should even BE in the comment section, lest an individual hijack the conversation to ask about her own relationship. If one has gotten through, I need to screen more closely.

    4. 11.4
      Noquay

      JennLee
      Obviously I am not Evan either, but I am gonna answer your question too. Some PUAs are very, very good at hiding who they are. At first you’re not going to know his true motives. Some of these dudes are far more articulate, socially adept, look better than
      most
      men so yep, we are going to fall for them.
      People unfold over time and meeting new folk always will have some element of risk and time wastage. People’s ability and willingness to step up is totally
      independent of whatever impression they initially make, good or bad. Two really big warning signs are hot/cold behavior and/or any degree of ambivalence.

  12. 12
    Stephanie

    This is a great post, Evan, as always.  I would just like share my recent experiences with your audience, if I may.  I am a 44 year old women who has had only two relationships since re-entering the dating game within the last year.  I met both men on a very popular dating site.  I initiated contact both times.  I said no to about 80 men altogether.  Not that all of these guys were unsuitable.  Just not interested.
    I chose well.  Both men were exactly how they had portrayed themselves online. Smart, funny, thoughtful, passionate, sweet and a little on the geeky side.  Just right for me.  
    Guy number one and I dated for months.  We went from messaging on the site, to texting, to talking on the phone, to meeting for coffee about two weeks in.  He wasn’t necessarily my “type” physically.  First bald man I ever dated.  (I turned out to like it quite a bit.)  He was shorter than most men in my past.  He was, however, confident, direct, honest and kind.  We had a lot in common.  He texted me every day.  Called me every day.  Gave me his work number but I never used it.  He was the one who dialed my number every day.  He planned every date and gave a lot of attention to them.  He tailored them to things we liked with a definite focus on what would put a smile on my face.  He paid for every one of them.  I think he would have been offended if I tried to pay.  I  turn, I brought baked goods on movie nights and did small things to show him I wasn’t here to take anything. .Every time he saw me he smiled.  Every time our dates ended he didn’t want to let go.  He spoke of the future.  I let him and tried to assume nothing.  We chose to be exclusive and I never questioned it.  He was focused and made me feel special.  He told me to assume that if he had free time outside of work and his sons, it would be spent with me.  I was incredibly happy.   That is putting it mildly.  It was a relationship filled with great communication, similar interests, constant hearty laughter and powerful passion.  
    So, how is it that there is Guy #2?  Well… the one snag was Guy #1 wasn’t sure how to handle me meeting his young sons.  We spoke of them every single day.  He is a great father.  I understood that he needed to handle this his way with the kids first and foremost.  One night, though, a friend told me that he would have introduced me to family much sooner.  Planted seeds that I was being used or taken for a ride.  I don’t know why I let it affect me when I really had no real reason to panic.  I shot off a text in an emotional moment.  Read it back in horror.  It came off insecure and almost accusatory and with an ultimatum.  I was filled with instant regret.  I tried to take it back.  He said nothing.  For two agonizing days  Then he told me he needed more time to digest what I had said.  He called after that and I heard his voice shake as he told me that he couldn’t believe that I said the things I did. Did I realize that I had accused him of not caring for me, of coldness and arrogance and of being a user? It was like all of his efforts had been for naught.  Our relationship ended that night.  In retrospect, I see that we were well on our way to a very good relationship.  He was honest and moving at the right speed.  He was courting me and doing a fine job of it.  He was being mindful of his job as a father.
    It was very hard coming to terms with my part in this.  It is what led me to your posts, Evan.
    Ok…So…Guy #2 is my current guy.  And really, my number 1 guy.  He has a huge heart and is a wonderful man.  He even told me outloud last week that he believes men should court women.  He wanted to court me.  That’s exactly what he has been doing.  We speak every day, as well as texting. He prefers dates to phone calls to messages but he makes all three forms of communication lovely.
    We are moving very slowly but he is doing all the courtship things right,  He makes me feel desirable and wanted and cared for.  He wears his heart on his sleeve a lot more than the guys I m used to, who have been, I’ve realized, mostly aloof and emotionally unavailable.  My guy makes me feel like he would be nowhere else by choice and that he is lucky to have me.  I like and care about him more every day.  He is proof that a man can show his heart and take things slowly and still give a woman the incredible gift of desirability.  In return I am trying to to reciprocate and let him know I thankful for him.  
    Chivalry is not dead.  There are womderful men out there.  Men you can trust.  Men who really want to know a woman and be known by a woman.  Men who want you to be yourself.  Men that don’t play games.  Men that want to have something  real.  They will call.  They will call you every day and ask you about your day.  They will give thought to what makes you tick and try to provide it.  They will hold your hand and compliment you.  They will kiss you until your knees feel useless and they won’t do it to get you in bed a few moments later.  They will do it because they are into you.  You will be able to take a peek at that man when he is kissing you passionately and you will see him completely enthralled.  They will chase you and be happy when you let them catch you.
    I am sorry for the HUGE message but I want to give both men I met props for being real men, really great guys, for taking a chance and not falling for the casual sex, hookup game which is tempting.  
    I am goimg to continue appreciating my guy and reading Evan’s advice.  I am going to keep a cool head and a warm heart.  And I wish those of you looking for a real man all the happiness I have experienced even in the face of my social rustiness and rash behavior.  
    Let a man court you.  A good man will want to do just that.   Now I need to message my guy back because I think he might be wanting to see me tonight.  :)

    1. 12.1
      Helen

      Kat (7) and Stephanie (12). Thank you for sharing.  It gives us high value women hope and faith to continue and wait patiently for the same a man who steps up. Thank you. 

      1. 12.1.1
        Spoofer

        Stephanie, the man you just described (#1) is the exact man that I just recently started dating.  I know for a fact he is not the actual guy, b/c mine is recently divorced and just started dating.  But your description fits him to a T.  He is bald, shorter than what I am used to, listens to me, calls me, texts me, pays attention to the things that I am interested in, plans our dates around what my interests are, etc.  The only difference is we are not to the point of introducing our kids to each other yet.  Only 3 dates, a few weeks into meeting.  He never ends one date without asking for another.  Sends a quick text the morning of the date to confirm.  Other days, he either calls or texts or both.  When we first swapped phone numbers, I told him that I don’t really call guys unless I develop a good friendship or I enter into an exclusive relationship.  He totally understood that and has no problem stepping up and taking the lead.  He plans the dates so I don’t have to.  He will give me the option to being picked up at my house or meeting him somewhere.   Not once has the subject of sex come up yet.  He is just taking his time getting to know me. It’s almost too good to be true, and I know I deserve someone exactly like this.  I have old fashioned views and good morals.  I am just not used to this kind of treatment.  I’ve never been with anyone who has done what he is doing for me.  I am loving every bit of it and I can recognize a gem when I see it.   This is the guy I will hold out for.  The one I will appreciate.  The one who deserves another date.  The one that I think will earn my respect.  The one I will never regret dating, and will never forget.

    2. 12.2
      Anguished

      stephanie,
      sorry but I couldn’t finish reading your post but I was touched to send this your way and I hope it finds you. Regarding the first bf who was so great please let it go. It’s a fantasy, he wasn’t that great. How do I know that? to Love is a decision; granted we can’t love everyone because we are all different and have different primary needs. that’s why we have deal breakers; yours and mine might not be the same. Once you find that person who fulfils that primary love need, love then becomes a decision. If your relationship broke up because of a bad text you sent once, not that it’s a habit of yours. Sweetheart you dodged a huge one. Love includes forgiveness . The first time you messed up, he bolted and you think this could have been a long lasting relationship. Thank God he left you, saved you so much headache. I could go on and on but I hope you catch my drift.

  13. 13
    starthrower68

    May be easier said than done when attraction is high but if a woman stands firm on her values, she will act accordingly.  It depends on what her values are.  Some see value in waiting, others do not. We just have to be willing to accept a man’s response, good or bad, to standing for what we value.

  14. 14
    Dina Strange

    I honestly think all those women who are having NSA sex are screwing it up for girls like me who don’t want to have NSA sex. Most of guys are so used to easy sex they bluntly tell you if you won’t put up, somebody else will. Well, i usually tell those guys “bye, bye” but that’s not the point.

    Those same women who had NSA sex later come back and complain that men don’t treat them properly and expect NSA sex. Hello…that’s what you taught those men in the first place. Sometimes i think women want their cake and eat it too…and unfortunately it doesn’t always work that way. 

    1. 14.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      Nope, Dina. If a guy likes you, he’ll commit to you. Case closed. The fact that men are screwing women outside commitment has nothing to do with you. You want the man who wants you; not the one who prefers a booty call to your company.

      1. 14.1.1
        Jenn

        I agree with Evan and I’ll add that it doesn’t matter what other women do, because you’re not in a competition with them. They can be all about the NSA sex, but if what you want is a relationship, you’re going to do things differently. That’s a good thing!

  15. 15
    Isobel

    My STBX husband did all that, he was wonderful when we were courting; kind, considerate, loving, generous, caring, clever, funny, bought flowers/meals/hotel rooms etc, etc, etc. and so much more. Then, after we married he turned into a rude, boorish, farting, stingy, angry, drunk, controlling, smelly, sex pest who couldn’t cope with my independence or intellect or freedom or autonomy. Sorry, I won’t trust a man who puts it all out there to woo me ever again. I want warts and all from the get-go, and to decide for myself if it’s acceptable. No more lies.
    BTW Stephanie, if man#1 dumps you for something as simple as a misunderstanding over a crucial issue, you are well rid. Another example of someone saying one thing, doing another. Forget him.

  16. 16
    missy

    I was single for over a year I refused to be  a side chick, jump-off, or a run in. when you have standards, and stick to them real MEN will respect this, now I met a man that truly courts me and have meaningful conversations and he’s just as independent as I am. I  refuse to deal or date nothing less than that. Thanks this is your best post…Ladies it boils downs to standards, worth, and self respect…PERIOD!!!

  17. 17
    Karl R

    Men need to learn courting skills for their own benefit. Being confident, being decisive, coming up with a plan, following through … these improve a man’s odds of success. They certainly make him stand out.

    JB said: (#9)
    “Let’s take a look at the last 3 women (all in their 40′s) I asked out on a dinner date and they ACCEPTED [... full story cut out to save space ...] That’s “courting” for you in the 45-60 crowd……. just sayin…….” 

    Dating is never a 100% thing. It’s frequently not even a 10% thing. It doesn’t have to be. You only need to succeed once. Don’t let a string of unsuccessful dates get you down.

    But your post introduces one of the challenges with dating. Even when you do everything right, you will still rarely succeed. You’re improving your odds, but it may take a while before you see the results, just because the odds are still so low.

    Therefore, you have to be able to recognize the good advice and follow it, even when you’re not getting immediate feedback that it’s working.

    Dina Strange said: (#14)
    “I honestly think all those women who are having NSA sex are screwing it up for girls like me who don’t want to have NSA sex. Most of guys are so used to easy sex they bluntly tell you if you won’t put up, somebody else will.”

    That’s true … up to a point. If a guy wants NSA sex from you (and nothing more), he’s not likely to court you just to get it. He’s definitely not going to commit to you in order to get it. He can get sex without the effort.

    But the reason it’s true is because he does not want a relationship with you. His lack of effort is the result of that. There’s no point in putting in any effort to get into a relationship that he doesn’t want to be in.

    After a man has made that decision,  a man might try to find out whether he can get NSA sex. If you aren’t interested in NSA sex, then he’ll move on.

    Androgynous asked: (#3)
    “If men are given the option of not needing to put in any effort for sex and female companionship, why should they put in any effort ?”

    When I was dating, I would put in the effort if I wanted more than sex and a little female companionship. If I didn’t want a long-term relationship with that woman (or at all), I wouldn’t put in the effort.

    I don’t see any contradiction in treating one woman differently than another based upon what type of relationship I was seeking with her.

    Androgynous asked: (#3)
    “And why should they take those women seriously, who now claim they want traditional courtship when they (the women) were perfectly happy with the free love lifestyle previously ?

    I’m sure my wife has had a wide range of relationships, ranging from short, casual flings to a previous marriage. I’m absolutely positive that she would not have married me if I had treated our relationship like a short, casual fling.

    Give men some credit for intelligence. We’re perfectly capable of changing our opinion and our actions as circumstances change.

    My wife and I started out as a short, casual fling. That didn’t prevent either of us from shifting out of that mindset as we realized that we were quite compatible.

    JennLee said: (#11)
    It would be good to be able to spot the players as quickly as possible, and looking onto the PUA community, I realized that we women may think we are good at spotting them, but i think the truth is, we are absolutely horrible at spotting the well schooled, or naturally charming ones.

    The skills that the PUA community is developing are the same set that work for other men who are dating. Be confident. Stand out from the crowd. Be charming without seeming too interested. Appear to be the man that lots of women are interested in.

    Learning the skills doesn’t turn a man into a better partner, but it does make him more successful at dating. That’s why I recommend that guys develop these skills.

    Similarly, it’s why I recommend that women not place too much importance on those skills. They’re just skills that help a man get his foot in the door when dating. They don’t turn him into a better person.

    JennLee asked: (#11)
    “I think it is relevant to ask how you can tell fairly quickly that the guy is just being a well schooled player, and when he is genuinely courting you with long term interest?”

    It’s easy. Don’t try to find out quickly.

    If you wait long enough, then you will know for sure. People eventually show you who they really are.

    1. 17.1
      JB

      Oh Karl I know “Dating is never a 100% thing” I’ve been on this blog since the beginning. I win some and lose some. I was just giving a “snapshot” of my last few weeks of online dating and showing the point that some men actually try to “court” but to no avail. Many of the women online get 100’s of responses from men who would love to court them but they email back the “tall/good looking/successful/high status guy” who has many options and doesn’t have to court anybody to get his needs fulfilled. Then they say “no one wants to court me” when they really mean no one with many options wants to court them.

  18. 18
    Erin

    I saw that Matt Walsh post somewhere and I loved it, which surprised me – I’m usually not one to love Matt Walsh’s musings. Which brings me up to now….I’ve done everything – mirroring, leaning back, letting him pick me, staying busy and dating a few at a time. I had my profile rewritten by the eCyrano service. I am a confident articulate and educated 36 year old woman who can only seem to land men who are interested in casual sex or a completely chaste relationship that bores me to bits. I have graciously thanked men for our time together and moved on if thfor pressure me for sex before I’m in a committed relationship wIth them, which only makes them mad. Fine. I’m feeling like at least I would be getting laid once in a while if I wasn’t holding out for Mr. Right, who I’m feeling like is just not going to show up. It’s just such a catch 22, and these techniques do not seem to be working for me. 
     

    1. 18.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      @Erin “I have graciously thanked men for our time together and moved on if they pressure me for sex before I’m in a committed relationship wIth them, which only makes them mad.”

      Since I’m not in the bedroom with you, Erin, I can’t say what’s actually going on. But you don’t have to move on because the guy wants to have sex. It’s ASSUMED that a guy wants to have sex. You don’t have to break up with him for this reason. You have to suggest what I suggested in Why He Disappeared, “I’m attracted to you, I’d love to have sex, but I don’t sleep with men who are actively looking for other women on Match.com. You can understand that, right, Derek? I only sleep with guys that are my boyfriends. And since I don’t know and you don’t know if that’s what the future holds, let’s continue to have some fun, fool around, and if we both realize we want to be together in a few weeks, you’re in for the night of your life…”

      If you’re not saying some version of that, it may explain why everything is falling apart. If you are doing exactly that, and the men aren’t sticking around, it just means those men aren’t that into you. And if you decide you want to get laid once in awhile, you can go back to sleeping with men who have made no effort to commit to you – just don’t complain when those men disappear, only text, or are actively looking for other women online.

  19. 19
    Karmic Equation

     
    JennLee 11.1.1 wrote:
     
    “I like the idea of men not assuming it is cool to spend nearly the entire evening at a party talking to other women when he took me to the party as his date…If I invite a guy to a party, I would expect to act like his date and not spend the whole evening talking to other guys I know, or getting to know the ones I don’t know. Maybe parties are a bad date idea unless you know that you are an actual couple, and the man actually wants you on his arm most of the time, at the party.”

    “I know if I go to a party with a boyfriend, or a date I am very interested in, I feel it is only respectful to make the person I go with feel special, and make it very plain to the other men that I do have an escort for the evening.”

     
    My first date with my ex-husband lasted about 12 hours. We met at his friend’s cookout and he spent the majority of his time chatting with his friends. I spent the majority of my time making new ones and getting reacquainted with some of the friends we had in common, of which the host was one. We probably spent less than 2-hours total with each other in that 12-hour period. But I had a blast. I got to watch him interact laugh, enjoy himself. I got to see how his friends treated him. I got a LOT of information, and part of the reason why I married him. He was (and still is) a very good man. 
     
    Another boyfriend invited me to a cookout after we had been dating about 4 months. He spent the majority of his time chatting with his friends and would every now and then come back to make sure I was fed. He was somewhat nurturing like that. That night I didn’t feel like making new friends so I parked myself in a lounge chair in the backyard and played games on my phone. Every now and then looking up to see where he was. I was kind of alone in my own world with all these other people around me. That was fine too. I found some me time when surrounded by boatloads of people.
     
    I guess the point of the two stories above is that if you’re secure in your relationship, or at the very least secure of your own worth, you don’t need to have your man at your beck and call and around to show that he has “claimed” you. Moreover, watching a new man in your life interact with other people gives you a lot of data. And, if the man IS already your significant other, odds are he spends the MARJORITY of his spare time with you, so when you’re at parties, THAT’s when he reconnects with his old buddies. You should be happy he’s having a good time. Not worried about how it looks that you’re not on his arm. If you’re shy and don’t like socializing and NEED a man by your side, well, you can either decline going to the cookout but send him off with your blessing or try to come out of your shell. He shouldn’t need to cater to your shyness.
     
    Now neither of those guys above spent the majority of the night talking to women. Both chatted primarily with men. Had they been chatting primarily with women, odds are that my ex-husband would never have gotten to the husband part and my 4 month bf wouldn’t have remained my bf for another 10 months or so. 
     
    If you feel a man is disrespecting you, you are disrespecting yourself by starting or remaining in a relationship with that man. All on you. Not on the guy.
     
    Dump incompatible guys faster. I usually figure it out by date 3. If the guy makes it past date 3, our relationship has a good chance of lasting. 
     
    Since you’re not having sex with your guy, you can’t blame oxytocin for making you stay with an incompatible or disrespectful man. You’re staying with that guy for some psychological need that you need to either come to terms with or learn to overcome. Again, all on you. Not the guy.
     
    As for courting, I like it when I get it, but I’d rather “hang out” — not alone, but with groups. My reformed ex-player bf (the one that lasted about a year) — I got to know him by hanging out at the VFW post that he bartended at and hung out at during his off time. All his friends were there, so he spent his spare time there. And I spent my time there because, at first the pool table and the cheap drinks drew me :) But later it was HIM, the pool table, and the new friends that I made there. Two of my first three dates with my ex-husband could be considered “hang out” dates. First date was the cookout; third date was a dinner party where he invited his best friends. Like 20 of them…all because I told him I wanted to meet his friends. I was thinking double date or something. The organized dinner blew me away. Can you blame me for marrying him? lol
     
    Anyway, perhaps women who don’t know HOW to hang out with men have would prefer the 1:1 courting at the beginning of the relationship, during the dating and get the “hang out” afterwards. I usually get the “hanging out” dates first and then get the courting AFTER we’re a couple. Is it me or is it the men I choose?

     

  20. 20
    Nathan

    The reality is that the make up of “relationship-oriented men” is as diverse as the women they seek or have. Some will court you furiously. Some will meet you half way, seeking balance and equality. And some will be more shy or passive, and might not “man up” in the stereotypical ways.
     
    While much of this discussion is focused on courtship methods, I’d argue that the methods themselves aren’t nearly as important as the values underneath. Relationship-oriented men will demonstrate respect for women from the get go. They will not attempt to override emotional or sexual boundaries, they will show interest in a woman as a whole person, and will through their actions seek to get to know her more, whether or not they “get” sex in the process.
     
    In other words, since women keep bringing up having “standards” and sticking to them, relationship-oriented men have standards and stick with them as well. But how this looks – in terms of their approaches to dating – isn’t the same. When I was in the dating market, I never assumed women wanted me to be decisive and to take the lead. And frankly, I didn’t want to do that all the time anyway. A mixed approach of leading enough to get things going, but collaborating on planning dates and the rest, worked just fine for me. I rarely had long “dry spells,” and now am happily in the third year of a wonderful relationship.
     
    Being confident and secure in yourself tends to be universally sexy, whereas taking charge of the whole dating process is only sexy to women who want that. Determining which men are serious about commitment, and which are not is more about paying attention to signs of their underlying values – how they respond to your boundaries and needs, how much depth of interest they show in you as a PERSON, and how they handle conflicts with you. Although all of this tends to take some time, it’s also the case that players and non-serious types usually will seriously fail in one or more of these three areas fairly quickly. Skillful attention to details, as opposed to seeking a checklist of completed actions (he called me, bought dinner, called me again, etc), makes all the difference in my opinion.
     
     

    1. 20.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      Nathan, good to see you. Your contributions are always valuable. I see and acknowledge your point. Yes, there are lots of types of high character men out there. They are not all decisive leaders. Your blind spot – or, rather, our one main difference over the years – is that all methods of dating are equally effective. They’re not. They’re equally valid, but not equally effective. So a woman who aggressively asks out men, follows up with him after the first date, and initiates sex may not fare as well a woman who lets the man initiate. And a man who doesn’t take charge of the dating process – the guy who is waiting by the phone for her to call because he’s too nice, insecure, or beta – well, he might not do as well with most women, who want more clarity and enthusiasm from their men. Neither of these folks are “wrong” or “bad” for being on the broad spectrum of human beings with different personalities and methods. But just as you think it’s dangerous for me to generalize “what men want” and “what women want” (when in fact, not all men and women are the same), I think it’s dangerous to suggest that a passive man who doesn’t initiate will fare as well (in general) as a confident man who follows through with clarity and purpose. Purposeful men are not remotely better partners, but they tend to be more attractive to women overall. Does that make sense? I don’t want to disparage those nice guys; only point out what they already know – women tend to like guys who can make decisions and assume that their advances will be well-received, as opposed to men who are sitting back waiting for her to initiate.

      1. 20.1.1
        Nathan

        “So a woman who aggressively asks out men, follows up with him after the first date, and initiates sex may not fare as well a woman who lets the man initiate. And a man who doesn’t take charge of the dating process – the guy who is waiting by the phone for her to call because he’s too nice, insecure, or beta – well, he might not do as well with most women, who want more clarity and enthusiasm from their men.” Evan, these are the extremes. I spoke of a spectrum, which in my view is more representative not only of men, but also women. I’ll readily agree with you that the guy who never initiates and doesn’t lead some of the time isn’t going to fair well. And I’d also agree that the woman who takes charge of the whole process is probably going to experience challenge and resistance. In fact, I’d even agree with you that it’s a good rule for men to just step up and get the first date arranged, because that’s probably the most effective thing to do.

        From what I see, though, when it comes to preferred dating styles over a longer period – there is no “most women.” I’ve read and participated in a diverse range of dating and relationship forums over the years, as well as went on over 100 dates during the time I was doing online dating. For every women saying she wants a man to set up all the dates, lead, and court her, there’s another who says she wants to be treated as an independent, free thinking partner with equal say in the process from the beginning.

        And actually, if you think about it, these are the women who either have figured out what it is that they really want, or think they have. Many women don’t really have a clear sense that they actually want a man to court them, or to have a man treat them as an equal, or something else. And I’d bet that this is the group that most suffers from “getting burned” by the casual crowd, because they don’t have a clear enough sense of self to either detect and reject causal offers, or separate causal from relationship-oriented. The same is basically true of men as far as I’m concerned, with many guys muddling through as best they can, but not really knowing who they are and what they actually want. The confident one’s might have more success in the short term than passive guys, but because they don’t have much clarity on values and long term desires, that success is fleeting.
         
        Basically, we’re both speaking mostly to the folks who aren’t quite sure what they want or how they want it to happen. You’re offering that men should court women as a successful strategy to take up, and I’m suggesting that this will work great – for those who want that. If you stick this blog post on half a dozen other dating blogs with markedly different audiences, I’m betting you’d get a real mixed bag when it comes to responses. Even here, amongst readers who generally agree with your point of view, you have a diversity of opinions. I know women who would pull their hair out reading comments like JennLee’s, while I know others who would generally agree with her.
         
        Overall, I think once you have the first date out of the way, it’s a pretty wide open field. Men are wise to learn to step up to get the ball rolling, but after that, I’d argue that it’s your ability to pay close attention, be confident, but also flexible, and know who you are that will most determine long term success. This might mean leading all or most of the dating process, and it might mean something more mixed or shared.
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         

        1. Speed

          No, Nathan, that just hasn’t been my experience or that of anyone I know. You are just projecting your ideology and agenda (an androgynous world where all gender roles are blurred or nonexistent) into your dating advice. If this androgynous world ever comes, your kind of advice might be useful, but it is not useful in our present world.
          Or just look at all the female commenters on this blog. Most of them seem to be the “strong, successful, confident type,” yet none of them write, “I wish men would let me take charge of the dating and relationship process.”  If anything, they consistently complain that we men are taking half-steps in everything we do, and seem disengaged or disinterested.
          It’s terribly fatal advice to tell a guy that he should be open to a “range of courting styles,” from hyper-aggressive Alpha to extremely passive beta. That is not effective advice. Exceptions aside (yes, there always exceptions), a guy has to sort of take charge and lead in the courting phase.
          And even beyond that, women seem to really like a confident, successful guy, even in the relationship or marriage phase. Women who prefer their men to be passive and beta are probably a niche market.
           
          The “anything goes, all dating methods are equally effective” is not true in my experience, observation reading. This is why I strongly agree with Evan on this point. 

        2. Nathan

          “It’s terribly fatal advice to tell a guy that he should be open to a “range of courting styles,” from hyper-aggressive Alpha to extremely passive beta. That is not effective advice. Exceptions aside (yes, there always exceptions), a guy has to sort of take charge and lead in the courting phase.” Speed, instead of reading what I wrote closely, as well as how I responded to Evan’s comment, you chose to see me advocating for an anything goes approach. Something I never did, nor would advocate for.
           
          What I am arguing is that there isn’t any single, most effective way to handle the early part of the dating process. The self-selected,  female commenters here aren’t even in agreement, and if you go read other dating blogs talking about these issues, you’d see far more of a range of views than you see here. I think there is a general consensus in rejecting the passive, beta dudes that never step up or initiate anything. However, between those guys and the power alpha dude that takes control of everything is a diverse range of men who are either muddling along the best they can, or are mixing responses based upon how a woman reacts or what seems to be working.

          When I was actively dating online, I met a wide gamut of women. Some wanted a more old fashioned approach, including having a man hold doors open for them, pay for dates long after the first one, and generally have the man lead. Others were almost the exact opposite, seeing things like that as oppressive and limiting. Still others wanted something in between – some blend of “traditional courtship” and modern sensibilities. And some just wanted everything to be casual with little or no expectations, or concerns about dating approach beyond “be kind and respectful to me.” Now, I did a few stints of more casual dating after long term relationships ended, but for the most part, would move on when I found women who didn’t really have any clear long term goals around dating (and contrary to the views often expressed here, there are plenty of women who date casually – maybe not as many as men, but far more than a few outliers). And when it came to the other women I dated, after muddling through in the early years of my online dating experience, trying to either be the deliberate, courting type guy, or trying to be the feminist guy who respected women’s independence (which usually meant me being more passive than I wanted to be), I learned to pay closer attention.

          In other words, I made decisions about how to approach dates (especially after the 1st one) based upon what seemed most effective for the particular women. If I liked her, and she seemed to like more courting type behavior, I might offer a bit more of that. If she seemed to desire equality and a share in the decision making, I’d offer some of that. It was easy enough for me to do this because I have always been a blend of “traditional” and new, so I was basically showing more of one side or another earlier on.

          The period in which I dated in this way, offering something of what a particular seemed to want in a man, while also not selling the rest of myself short was the most successful dating period of my life. I got to date and enjoy time with a wide variety of women, and I ended up with two long term relationships (including my current one) in the process.  The reality is that no one dates a “pure type” of person – we’re all making micro-shifts of various kinds while on dates and during the early dating process. It’s just that some folks are much more on one end of the spectrum or the other.

  21. 21
    JennLee

    Thank you for your post Karmic Equation. I’ll try to keep this one short. I think I gave the impression that I need a man to have me on his arm the whole party, maybe I even said that by mistake. I too agree that there is value in watching how he interacts with other people, including women. I often get the feeling that most men are clueless about how to act in social settings.

    For instance, you see he is standing with 3 women having a good conversation. Whether or no they are attracted to him is irrelevant. I don’t care if they are, and in fact I would expect them to be. It’s his actions and intentions that matter. So you walk up to the group and place yourself at his side. Does he introduce you or not? If he does, how does he introduce you? I’ve had guys to mental gymnastics trying to introduce me without giving any hint that we are together. Major turn off. And of course when you try to say something about it later, you are made out to be the bad one, accused of making something out of nothing. I don’t think so. I think men should learn how to handle situations like that. I personally take it as a sign of their commitment to the future of the relationship. I see it as a tell. Does he go out of his way to make sure people know that we are together? That is how I personally judge the way he acts with his friends and people he just met. Does he act differently when he is talking with other guys and I walk up? Does he lay claim to me, letting the other guys know in a subtle, or humorous way, that I am taken? But when I walk up and he is talking to one or more attractive women, does he go out of his way to make that fact a question? When a guy does that, I see it as being a player. He wants to leave an open pathway with these women. A guy friend once told me that a player would like that I come up and try to lay claim to him because that makes him look desirable to the other women, but that the player won’t actually acknowledge that you are laying claim to him. He will want the other women to see it as you being very interested in him, but him not feeling the same way. Frankly, I think women should learn to clue into a man doing that. You can also learn very valuable information about a man you meet at a party who went there with a date. I don’t care if it is serious or not. He needs to be making her feel special, and if he can’t do it for her, why should I believe he will do it for me?

    I’ve had guys do both. The bottom line is that a guy should intuitively know that he should be elevating you above the others. People should never leave the party wondering if we are together, or whether we even came together.

    I think this is why I was so triggered by this topic. I want men like my Grandfather. He was such a leader, people always knew where he stood on everything. I watched how he treated people, and how he treated my Grandmother. Granted, I never got to watch him court her, but I trust her word on the fact that he did go out of his way to make her know know that he only had eyes for her. By that I mean that if she were in another area and a group of women were talking with him, and she walked up, he would say something like, “Ladies, I would like you to meet my lovely date.” Even if they already knew her, he would in some way acknowledge that she was special to him. Maybe I am chasing ghosts. Maybe men like that don’t exist anymore. For me it is as simple as, say what you mean and mean what you say. Sometimes it’s also what you don’t say.

    You could turn it around on me and say that I am just insecure. I don’t think so. I think I am observant and notice small details. I think men do telegraph their intentions, but I also think a lot of men are confused, and or, inept in social settings. Be a leader. When I walk up, make a small gesture. Put your arm around me, pull me to your side, and say something, anything that indicates that there is something that elevates me above everybody else. If I don’t know these ladies, simply do the same thing you did for the guys I did not know, right? Pull me in and say, “Ladies, this is my (date/girlfriend) Jenny.

    This goes hand in hand with this topic. To me it is part of courting. If I have agreed to go on a date, I am interested so it is time for the games to stop. Now it is time to learn if there are things in common, and look for red flags. This is part of courting. How a man treats you in public, how he acts with his friends with you there, that is a huge part of courting. That is what is being stated in the OP. Men…be men. Make your intentions clear.

    I’ll end it with this little tidbit from a male friend who was into history. He said that what is so attractive about traditional courtship is that it is like the old way of warfare. Two armies approach each other on the battlefield, in the open and line up opposite each other, both wearing bright distinguishable colors. Modern courtship resembles modern warfare. The rules of engagement are always in question, or are negotiable, and the armies are hiding out of site, wearing camouflage. He says that the traditional method makes it easier to judge intentions and because it has more structured rules, it makes people accountable.

    I feel I am not alone. I feel like many women are tired of thinking there is something there, only to have the guy go on a date with another woman, and then act like you are crazy by saying, “I never said we were exclusive.” That is what is attractive about traditional courtship. Be up front, not like like a slimy snake in the grass, showing all the signs of being in a relationship, but then saying you aren’t when somebody sees you on that date.

    I feel I will be happy if a man simply tells me, after a few dates, “Look, there is still a lot I don’t know about you, and it is too early for some things to be said, but I really like you and would like to see where this can go. I would like to do so in an atmosphere free from confusion and second guessing, so until we agree otherwise, I would like for us to be exclusive while we get to know each other better.” I might marry a man on the spot that could be say something like that. Men who know what they want are very sexy to me. Yes the third date is too early to say, I love you.” Way too early. But it is not too early to say, “I want to see where this can go. I want us to be exclusive.”

    My problem is that I have waited for men to lead the way in this, but the seem incapable of it. I guess I don’t blame them. The new way allows them an easy out. I think I will simply try to find a gracious way to work it into the conversation that I do assume anything in a relationship. I don’t assume that we are exclusive until a man asks me to be. I will also work in Evan’s awesome advice to tell them that without exclusivity, there will be no sex.

    Guys! You want to be leaders, so lead. Make your intentions known. That’s sexy! Acting aloof is not sexy. Are we women judging you? Of course we are. Step up to the challenge. Show us that you are kind, gentle, unselfish leaders. After 3 days, especially in a short period of time, it is totally appropriate to ask for exclusivity. It’s not saying you are in love. It is saying that you are smitten, and like the idea of seeing if it can go deeper than that. If she declines, then thank her for not wasting your time. I feel confident that if she is giving you a 3rd date, and is marriage minded, she is open to the idea of exclusivity.

    Tried to keep it short and failed. :-) you can tell if something is triggering me. I get wordy. haha

    1. 21.1
      SparklingEmerald

      JennLee – I agree with all you say about wanting men to lead the relationship.  I too, can not stand the ambiguity,  passiveness, indecisiveness, &  evasiveness. 
      Some websites are actually TELLING men to behave this way.  There are websites devoted to men on how to get women to CHASE THEM.  One old fart of a dating guru lectures men that SHE should bring up the relationship talk, and that ALL touch be initiated by the woman.
      I don’t know how many of today’s men take the ambiguous, wishy-washy, hanging out and hooking up way of doing things of their own volition, and how many (if any) are being schooled in the art of lazy dating in the  manosphere, but I seem to be a magnet for these lazy boys online.   Let me tell you, when a man DOES contact me online and calls me and says  “Let’s go and do “X, Y & Z” this Saturday, I am THRILLED, because it’s such a rare change of pace from being stuck in “What do YOU want to do, where do YOU want to go, ” hell.  Extra points if “X,Y or Z” is something I mentioned in my profile.
      However, I just want to add (and these are my own thoughts, not anything triggered by your posts)  is that while I would like a guy to lead the RELATIONSHIP, I don’t want him lording over ME or MY LIFE, and dominating and dictating who I am, every breath I take etc.    I do think SOME men think leading the relationship gives them right to be the dictator over every aspect of the woman’s life, and I think some women fear that, and shun many aspects of chivalry, because they are afraid that it will lead to loss of autonomy.   I have a friend like that.  She is very fearful of being bossed and controlled by a man.  She won’t even let a man pay for her on a date, because she doesn’t want him “buying” her, and she thinks men opening doors for women is lame, because we women are perfectly capable of opening our own door.

      1. 21.1.1
        Jenn

        I don’t know if it’s necessarily always laziness that causes men not to step up. I do think that happens, but I also know that in today’s dating landscape, a lot of guys are not sure what to do. There’s no real way to suss out how a girl is going to react to things like him planning dates, paying for things and opening doors. Some women don’t like those things, so it seems that rather than take the chance of ruffling feathers, guys just choose to leave the details up to the woman. Now, if you’re a woman like me who prefers the man to act like a man, it’s up to you to show him, through your words and your actions, how you want to be treated. If you like the guy to plan dates, for example, don’t help him out by offering unsolicited suggestions for activities/places to go. Tell him when he asks, that time/place/activity is up to him. Just keep lobbing the ball back in his court. Most guys, when given the chance, like to make decisions and take control of things. Unless the date won’t work for me for whatever reason, I let the guy do the planning. If you set the tone for how you want things to go early on, it makes it easier for them to fall into certain good habits over time. That doesn’t mean you can’t have a say, it just means you allow him to lead. Most guys will ask for your input anyway, because they want to feel assured that you’ll enjoy yourself, and that’s fine. But if you want a guy to step up, then you’ve got to take a step back and let him. That’s just my take on things!

        1. Nathan

          “I do think SOME men think leading the relationship gives them right to be the dictator over every aspect of the woman’s life, and I think some women fear that, and shun many aspects of chivalry, because they are afraid that it will lead to loss of autonomy.   I have a friend like that.  She is very fearful of being bossed and controlled by a man. ” This is a valid concern, and although your friend’s concerns might be a bit extreme, I think it’s worth considering the long term patterns that can develop with asking one person to lead all or most of the time. 

          Let’s stick with it being the man in the lead. If he isn’t really observant and inclusive, it’s likely that much of what you do/and or how you do it as a couple will be “what he wants” by default. Although some men are simply controlling and lousy partners, some of this has nothing to do with character. It’s just habits that get set, which are difficult to shift after months or years. 

          In the early stages, it certainly is easier to us guys arrange all the dates and details. You feel cared for and supported because we’re “stepping up.” Maybe we even ask for your input some of the time, and includes that in our decisions. This might be enough for some women, regardless of the length of the relationship. In other cases, the same woman who wanted to be courted wakes up one day and realizes she wants more of a say over the couple’s activities, or sex lives, or finances, or any number of other issues. And depending upon how all this comes up, it’s really easy for these desired changes to become conflict points. Because the guy thinks his efforts are being criticized, or because he’s uncomfortable letting go of leading, or she feels like the guy doesn’t respect her autonomy, or any number of other issues. 
           
          I’ve noticed that there are no shortage of women in my age bracket 35-45 who married or dated men who mostly or solely led the relationship for 5, 10, 15 years. At the time, this is what they wanted, or thought they wanted. And then something changed, and what once felt like caring, supportive behavior now felt limiting and suffocating. Which is totally understandable, but could have been avoided if decisions in the relationship were a little more shared from the start. Or near the start.
           
          The final point I’ll make is that there are different ways to lead. Unlike Jenn, I don’t think that “most guys” will ask for a woman’s input. Some will and make a point to. Some will seek input indirectly in ways that might not even look like asking. And some will think that they’ve been given the green light to make decisions, and will mostly go with that. The thing is, all of these men might value the women in their lives, but their leadership styles have different results in a relationship. So, just finding a man who leads well in the beginning doesn’t really guarantee anything.
           
           

        2. Jenn

          Nathan,

          I see the point you seem to be making: that some men, if given an inch will take a mile. While I’m sure that can happen, I see it differently. Letting a man lead isn’t about allowing him carte blanche to make all decisions with no regard for the woman’s feelings. She still has a say, and if something doesn’t work for her, she nicely lets him know. He then has the opportunity to come up with acceptable alternatives. He may be the captain in the relationship,  but the captain does his job best by listening to his copilot (or first mate, whichever you prefer lol) and taking her point of view into consideration. 

      2. 21.1.2
        SparklingEmerald

        Hi Nathan at … Thanks for your response.  Basically, what I want is a guy who leads in the sense of establishing the relationship.  Two different posters have posted an article about why it is a bad idea for women to chase men, and the basic reason is, if a woman chases a man, he might not really be into her, but he won’t pass up the opportunity for some easy nookie.  I posted an article too, about how men try get women to chase them, then they lose their attraction for the woman, and wonder why.   So by leading the relationship I mean, I want HIM to approach me and ask me for a date,  if after dating a while, and we are getting along, I want HIM to bring up being exclusive, I want HIM to initiate physical intimacy (first kiss, etc)  After a relationship has been established, of course he won’t have to plan and lead all of our together activities (including intimacy).
        Most women want men to lead, because if we lead, we can never be sure if they were really into us.  I don’t think men have that worry.  I can’t imagine a man thinking  “She must not really like me, she didn’t ask me out for a date”.    If he thinks that I have to chase him to prove that  I like him, then he’s not the man for me,  and he would be better off with a woman who enjoys or doesn’t mind taking the lead.
        In the workplace, business world etc. I do believe in gender equality, however in relationships, I prefer POLARITY.  I’ve heard it described as “equal, but opposite”.

        1. Gabri'el

          Hi, S.E
           
          I always love reading y0ur advice/comments. I just had to comment on your statement ” I can’t imagine a man thinking:  “She must not really like me”. The reason this statement stood out to me was not because I’m taking sides in this very good debate, but because of the comments and following debate Evan had on the Post http://www.evanmarckatz.com/blog/understanding-men/how-do-i-make-sense-of-all-the-different-dating-advice-out-there/
           
          I’ll never forget that Thread because it’s the one that got me to actually start reading the comments section on this site. I only read that one because it’s one of the rare Post where Evan is really active in the comments section, but after that Post, I’ve been hooked on reading the comments because they always bring out something I’ve never thought of, or a prospective I’ve never considered.
           
           Anyway, the debate was about some of the male posters  being unsure if the woman liked him, so they wanted the women to do more and Evan was saying that’s what men have to do. So as you’ve said, women are scared the guy might not be really into her, but is just going through the motions to get sex from her, I think many of the men who don’t want to put too much work are also afraid that the women is just using him (while he plans and pays for everything) until someone better comes along -I THINK?- Again my point isn’t to take sides in the debate, I was just surprised by your comment since I thought it was you who wrote that question in to Evan

        2. SparklingEmerald

          Hi Gabri’el – Yes it was me that wrote the question in to EMK about all the dating advice.  I’m not quite sure why you are surprised that I commented that I can’t imagine men thinking that a girl isn’t into them because she’s not the one calling and asking him out.
          I have also debated until I’m blue in the face, that if a guy is worried about spending tons of money for a dead-end, keep those first dates no cost or low cost.  There are plenty of FUN things to do that are free or very nearly so. I actually prefer early dating to be low cost or no cost.  I feel bad enough when I’m the one who decides we’re not a match.  I don’t need the extra guilt of knowing that a guy spent tons of money on me, just to be rejected by me.  (I’ve rejected and been rejected in about equal measure BTW, so I’m not here trying to convince anyone that I’m some sort of heart breaking femme fatale)  By keeping those first dates no cost or low cost, at least for me, the pressure is off of me, and I can evaluate this person for who he is, not the size of his wallet.
          Also, if a woman decides that the two of you aren’t a match, it doesn’t necessarily mean she was “using” you.  Some women like to give men a chance if they don’t feel chemistry on a first date.  (and we are often advised to do so).  So really, she wasn’t using you, she was still making up her mind, and the answer ended up being no.  So if you are that worried about it, keep the costs low, until you know where you stand. As for the time, well you can’t get back “wasted time”, so try to make it a good time, so even if things don’t work out, at least you had fun.
          Keeping those first dates low or no cost accomplishes many things.  It screens out the gold diggers in a similar fashion that refraining from sex very early on can screen out most players for women. 
          If you take a girl for a walk through a free gallery opening, and she acts warm and enthusiastic in your presence, and accepts a second date to the free Sunday concert coming up, then you’ll have a hint that she likes you for YOU, and not because you are dropping truck loads of cash on her.  If she says YES, that’s your clue that she likes you.  If she doesn’t call YOU up and ask for a second date, it’s not because she doesn’t like you, it’s because she enjoys the traditionally feminine role.
          I really don’t understand why men think a woman has to initiate to show interest.  But maybe that’s because I’m not a man.  And maybe it’s a generational thing. 

  22. 22
    tamara

    I was reading the NYT Digital version just now, and guess who I saw? Everyone’s favourite dating coach. :)
     
    I think this is why some women prefer guys a bit older. Now that I’ve gotten a bit older, the guys my age are also maturing and learning how to ‘court’ a woman and really treating her like a lady. But in my early 20s, most guys that age were too casual about the dating process. They’d rarely make reservations and open doors for me. And they–especially if we’d started out as childhood friends–would be very shy and hesitant about declaring their feelings.
     
    When guys are like that, even when u can feel their love, u appreciate how sweet they are–but it’s not sexy. I know that in the end, what matters is the heart, though. But often, immature young women get swept off their feet by the suave older guy who’s bold, decisive, manly and sophisticated. And the shy but loving guy gets overlooked.

  23. 23
    Fusee

    I agree with Karmic Equation (3.1.1) and Julia (7.1.1.1) on the fact that casual dating/NSA sex does not reflect on someone’s character, self-esteem, or value. The problem is not what we choose to do/not to do (yay for freedom of choice!), but the lack of self-awareness and intention in what we do. 
     
    Women get hurt when they tell themselves that they are in a serious relationship whereas the situation looks like a casual fling or a FWB arrangement. They also get disappointed when after having willingly entered a casual affair they progressively become ready for more and expect their “friend” to want more (and give more) as well.
     
    The solution is: 1. Know what you want at this given time and monitor how your needs change, and 2. Follow a dating method and fish in the dating pool that fit your intention. When what you want changes, say goodbye to whoever you are with at that time, and follow the method most effective for your new goal. Looks like Julia has been navigating these various situations successfully, so it looks like it can be done with some self-awareness and clear intentions.
     
    Now I just have to add a little bit to what I wrote at 3.3. Sure men will accomodate the needs of the woman they are interested in… but only to some extent. The husband of a friend of mine indeed waited for three years to have sex with her, but I would not equate how long a man will “wait” to how much he loves his partner, at least past a certain time of “waiting”. For example I needed more time than my husband, which created some tension because no woman had ever needed more than a week to have sex with him before me. After a month he was genuinely worried about me maybe having been traumatized or potentially lacking attraction (I was also not fooling around, just hand holding and kissing so the poor man was quite deprived : ). I came to realize that Physical Touch is his first or second preferred Love Language, so it was really hard on him to not be able to be more intimate with me. He obviously needed more physical intimacy for the relationship to continue its development. I compromized and adjusted to the situation because I indeed had got/learned what I needed by that point (exclusivity and commitment, great emotional connection, common goals and values, and a good sense of his character, plenty of attraction). He sure would have waited a bit longer, but there is no way that he would have waited for a year, nevermind three. He liked me a lot, but he was not going to sacrifice his own needs for months for someone he had been with for a relatively short time. And that makes sense too. Each partner comes with their own standards and needs and a successful relationship will only blossom if they can compromize on their differences.
     
     

    1. 23.1
      Jenn

      I can see where you’re coming from Fusee. I’d just like to point out that it is true that compromise is indeed very important in all aspects of human relations. However, where core values are concerned, it would be selfish to demand that your partner do something that serves you when you know it conflicts with their dearly held beliefs of what is right and wrong. Sometimes truly loving someone means putting your own needs on the back burner for a while for the greater good of the relationship. 

      1. 23.1.1
        Karmic Equation

         
        Instead of forcing a man you consider suitable to change to suit your needs, you should just find another suitable man who can easily or naturally do what you want.Why should a man change for you and you not change for him?A good compromise is when neither party feels they have “won” but can accept the solution with good grace because it’s fair. Life isn’t fair. But relationships should be, particularly when we have the ability to adapt our behavior to make it so.There’s a fine line between “commanding” a man’s respect and neediness. When you “need” a man to behave in a certain way for you to be happy (don’t talk to other women at parties, must introduce you to other people, must be a leader, must court a certain way, must have sex on your timetable, even if that timetable is unnaturally long for most people, etc.) — you may think you’re setting standards, when in fact you’re trying to control him to force him to demonstrate he values you. When a person tries to control another, that’s an outcome of neediness.
        A man who really cares for you demonstrates he values you without being forced to do so. If you find you “need” him to behave in a certain way in order for you not to be angry or upset, you need to first evaluate how truly critical your “need” is for that behavior to change, and if what he’s doing IS a dealbreaker, break up with him. Otherwise, accept his behavior and forget about it. If you have a lot of dealbreakers, then the problem is you, and you need to drop the non-essential ones. If the man is a bad man, then you need to make better choices in men. You have the power. But the power is in dumping unsuitable men as fast as you can. It’s not in forcing someone to change non-essential behaviors. And if the behavior is essential to you but not to him, that’s basic incompatibility. Dump him. You will fight about similar issues in the future.

        During the “dating” phase, before exclusivity, both parties should be finding out about compatibility and chemistry. Not trying change the other person to suit our needs. AFTER exclusivity, when both parties have admitted they value each other, that’s when conversations about compromises start. Be PICKY when you’re dating. And only go exclusive when you know the man you’re being exclusive with have no dealbreakers. Don’t go exclusive first and then try to break him of his dealbreaking habits. That’s making a bad choice in men. And that’s on you and he’s not at fault.

        1. Gabri'el

          Ohhh… If I was a teenage fan girl and you  were a boy band, Karmic I would have the biggest crush on you! (^_^)
           
          “There’s a fine line between “commanding” a man’s respect and neediness. When you “need” a man to behave in a certain way for you to be happy (don’t talk to other women at parties, must introduce you to other people, must be a leader, must court a certain way, must have sex on your timetable, even if that timetable is unnaturally long for most people, etc.) — you may think you’re setting standards, when in fact you’re trying to control him to force him to demonstrate he values you.
           
          THIS IS SUCH GOOD “FREAKING” ADVICE! For both us men and women, everything you wrote was great! But I couldn’t just repost your entire comment lol.  Maybe this stuff seems so profound only to me because the other commenter have more age, and dating experiences then me??? Either way this is one of your songs that I would just play on repeat (^_^).

        2. Jenn

          Karmic,
          Having certain values and morals is not about controlling anyone, nor is it about forcing anyone to behave in a way that they do not want to behave. If a man doesn’t consider my standards to be worth his effort to meet, then he doesn’t have to be with me. I’ll happily give him up so that the guy who does want me can get me.

  24. 24
    MilkyMae

    I think courtship is the process of meeting each others’ family and friends along with process of aligning each others’ goals.  The act asking for, planning, and paying for a date is a minor issue.    I’m more impressed with redbox and a pizza than a fancy date especially if the guy spends half night the courting(aka bragging).

    1. 24.1
      Jenn

      Hmm, I’ll agree and disagree with that.  :) To me,  courting is definitely important (ie. men planning, executing and paying for dates – and not bragging about it lol) because it’s about him allowing me to be receptive and appreciate his efforts. His treating me like a lady makes me feel more feminine and he feels more manly when he is allowed to take the reins. I’m equally happy with “Redbox and pizza” nights too,  but only after the relationship is more established. I like a man who has the presence of mind to treat me well and who also wants to take me out and show me off! LOL Might as well enjoy the “going out” phase while you can! All too soon, Redbox and pizza are the norm and before long, you’re wearing holey sweats and no makeup and he’s burping and farting like it’s going out of style. 
       

  25. 25
    GL

    “There is so little competition from men out there that it’s easy to stand out just by being a good guy who takes control, follows through, and does what he says.”

    EXACTLY. Those guys are gems, we take notice. 

  26. 26
    GL

    I keep thinking about the men who ‘don’t want relationships right now,’ and what a big waste of time that is. I have an ex who decided he didn’t want a relationship to solve his life problems. We’re staying friends but I said no sex, ever, and I’m sticking to that and continuing to date. I went out with another guy recently who said he didn’t want a relationship and tried to slime himself all over me. I felt so cheap! We bellied up at the bar and I kept scooting back and he kept coming forward, and touching me. Slimy touches. He even tried to engulf me with his legs. I think he took it personally that I wasn’t responding to his advances. GROSS. If he texts me again I’m going to tell him that it’s a waste of my time. Can’t y’all just get a hooker? Stay at the bar until 2 am and get a drunken girl looking for a one night stand? I’m not kidding! I keep meeting these douchebags who ‘don’t want a relationship.’  When I feel used I start thinking about what free crap I can get out of that guy…I got free drinks from Slimy Touch Guy. I think the next time I hear that phrase, I’m going to cut the date short and leave, the free stuff ain’t worth it.

    1. 26.1
      sandra

      So true!  I have been complaining about this exact same behavior to some of my friends.  And these are all men well into their 40`s and older. 

      1. 26.1.1
        GL

        Would it be wrong to slut shame them?

        1. sandra

          sorry, don`t know what that means!

    2. 26.2
      Julia

      maybe you need to learn to screen better. Men like this show their true selves pretty quickly. If you are just exchanging 1-2 messages on a dating site before meeting, don’t be surprised when lots of the guys you go out with act like this.

  27. 27
    Ciaran

    Having read this post and most of the comments, what I’m impressed with is the degree of entitlement expressed by the women here.

    I understand that women want to be courted and made to feel desirable and special and wanted and cared for.  And perhaps Evan’s advice of setting standards is one element to achieving that.  But I think both he and the commenters are missing something much more important, and that is reciprocity.  Because what neither Evan nor most of the commenters mention is the idea that women should be doing something for the men.  One exception was one woman who made bake goods for movie night – big friggin deal.

    No, the emphasis here is entirely on what men should do for women – how they should act, how they should perform, how they should make her feel.  Men’s value, apparently, is in their utility.  No wonder the lot of you are unsuccessful in relationships with men.   

     What might you do for a man?  I’m not talking sex.  Make him feel valued, respected, and honored – as a man.  Then, show you care in a more tangible way.  Make him dinner. 

    You see, the biggest reason that men won’t court is that they just aren’t convinced that women are worth the effort.  And often they’re right – women who display the type of entitlement on display here aren’t worth the effort.  So stop thinking about what men should be doing for you, and think instead what you can do for a man.  If you want a man to put in the effort, show him that you’re worth it.

    1. 27.1
      Jenn

      Men feel more like men when they step up. When a woman allows a man to act like a man, that is how she gives him what he needs. Most men feel better when they are allowed to do things like plan and pay for dates, as long as women show their appreciation by being enthusiastic, grateful and fun to be with. That is how I honor a man and show him respect. I say nice things about the restaurant he chooses. I thank him for the meal when he pays, and am fun and engaging on dates. I make him feel valued by letting him do things for me. Because I understand that men are action-oriented, and get more out of the experience of “doing”, they often do feel good around me because I’m not trying to take over their role. 

      1. 27.1.1
        NASHWC

        Jenn – Ciaran wrote a very detailed response that can be summarized as: “Women should be asking: What do YOU bring to the table, other than just a {*}” and, no surprise, you totally missed it. While you claim that you “show appreciation by being enthusiastic, grateful and fun to be with” and you’re “fun and engaging on dates”, this is precisely what women also expect from men. So again, just what exactly do you bring to the table? No worries, it’s a rhetorical question .. Oh, but to top this off, you then proceed to tell men what WE want and feel, tossing aside what a real man accurately summarized. Hint: it’s “valued, respected, honored, loved, supported, and encouraged”. See? No charge for this valuable advise! But I suspect it’s certain to be ignored by most of the commentators here; the Rationalization Hamster wins all arguments, you see … 
         

        1. Evan Marc Katz

          Hey NASHWC, I believe you are the rationalization hamster. Because you are so blinded by your own anger and self-righteousness, you completely missed that Jenn is giving you EXACTLY what you want.

          Her gifts: Appreciative, enthusiastic, grateful, fun, engaging.

          Your wants: valued, respected, honored, loved, supported, encouraged. (many of which can’t really be experienced on Date 1)

          Either way, you’re saying the same thing, bro. She wants a thoughtful, chivalrous, consistent, kind, respectful man to take her out. You expect to feel trusted, attractive, interesting, and appreciated on the date. That’s my advice to women. That’s Jenn’s take above. And you shot it down, all because you are predisposed to shooting it down. Welcome to advice outside the manosphere – it’s actually fair and balanced in here.

        2. Jenn

          Nash,
          What Evan said. And to further illustrate my point, I’ll use a quote from Ciaran’s post: “Men’s value is in their utility.” This is true because men feel more valued BY their utility. I know that isn’t how Ciaran meant it, but nonetheless it is the truth. If men are not allowed to do anything for a woman, they feel useless (and as a result, will not care as much or be as invested in the outcome of the date).
          Your post is completely one-sided and missed the point of what I said entirely. I’d venture a guess that the reason you’re so angry with women as a gender, is because you have yet to realize some very basic truths about male and female nature. Men and women both have a responsibility to show their quality. They just do it in different ways.

        3. NASHWC

          Evan, attaching a non-existent emotional context to another man’s comment plays well to your target audience and is probably smart business to keep them coming back, but it only distracts from the real conversation and doesn’t get us any closer to addressing the root issues regarding why so many men no longer participate in “courting” most woman. But then again, addressing the real issue was not the goal of your post. BTW, I’m not sure where or how the ‘manosphere’ comes into this, so I’m guessing you’re using it as some sort of ‘trigger’ word, accompanied with a disparaging remark, to be well received in the estrogen ocean that is your blog. Having read your material for a while (allot of it good stuff), you are mostly spot on. However, it’s always disservice to just tell your women readers what they want to hear and to disparage those who tell them what they need to hear. I would not be surprised to be hereafter blocked from further commenting; not for using foul language or for name-calling (i.e. – ‘blind anger’ and ‘self-righteousness’), but just for disagreeing with you or one of your ‘kindred spirit’ female readers … :( 

        4. Evan Marc Katz

          If you’ve been reading for awhile, NASH, you know that I don’t block anyone who engages in debate on the topic at hand. There’s TONS of dissent on these message boards. And, out of everyone who gives advice to women, I would think I provide the LEAST validation to those women. There’s no telling women what they want to hear. And that’s what upsets me so much about the MRA/RedPill/Manosphere guys – you have some good ideas, but lose the humanity and sympathy with women. Same as feminists who tar and feather men. So feel free to continue to debate, my friend. As long as you know who you’re debating with; a guy whose first loyalty is to truth, not to women, and not to sales.

      2. 27.1.2
        Chance

        Jenn,

        With respect, I don’t believe most men like to court, especially as it relates to paying for dates.  At least, I would say that is the case with most younger men.  Men largely court because it is effective.  They feel like they have to do it in order to have any success with dating.  That said, they will never let on that they don’t like to court.  Most men will act like they enjoy it when they are on a date with you.  

        1. Jenn

          Chance,
          LOL I don’t mean to imply that guys who treat women well are all falling on their knees, shouting “YES! She lets me shell out money on her and shower her with attention!”. I just mean that it affects men on a visceral level when a woman tries to take over the man’s role and doesn’t allow him to demonstrate a willingness to see that she’s taken care of.

      3. 27.1.3
        Ciaran

        Jenn,

        You misunderstand my comment.  Most men do not receive any intrinsic thrill from paying for dates and doing things for women, although a few may.  They do those things because they want something else – something more significant than a thank you. 

        When I courted my wife, I pulled out all the stops because I wanted a family, and she was a smart, attractive, well educated woman from good stock who wanted 3 kids and to be a SAHM to raise them.  Those were things of high value to me, so I was very willing to put in the effort.

        I am still happily married 21 years later, so any thought of dating is purely hypothetical.   But if I were dating I doubt I would find a woman who thought making me feel valued meant letting me do things for her to be a compelling proposition.  My time might be more enjoyably and economically spent going out with the guys.

        1. Evan Marc Katz

          Then what do you propose, Ciaran. That is, if you don’t want to take a woman out and court her in any way. What’s the solution? A genderless dating situation? She calls him. Plans the date. Picks up the check. He gets to hook up with her and maybe call her or maybe not. It feels like you want women to take more of a sexual risk (as a “reward” for your dinner), but you don’t want to plan or pay for the dinner itself. What am I missing here? What are you actually advocating?

    2. 27.2
      Gabri'el

      Hi, Ciaran, I’m not jumping into this debate, I just wanted t0 ask (Evan I know y0u hate question… hopefully I can slip this one by you (>’-‘)>, Ciaran did you actually even read what Evan wrote in this post above the comments section? Because he explains why he mainly address women and why he focuses on what they can do, trust me, this is one of the rare Post where Evan talks just to men, he mainly focuses on women or both men and women, but rarely just on the male readers, and before you fire back at me with a reply, just read some of Evan’s previous topics to see what I mean, he address both man and women or just women, telling them what they can do to improve themselves

      1. 27.2.1
        Ciaran

        Yes I did, and I found what I read to be both foolish and insulting.  I think Evan has a poor understanding of what value a man brings to the relationship, and what he should expect for it in return.  His is the male equivalent of “giving the cow away for free”.

    3. 27.3
      SparklingEmerald

      Ciaran – What you are seeing is not a sense of entitlement, but a blog post about a single topic, and that is , men courting women.  Women are joining in an ongoing discussion about the topic at hand, not just coming here out of the blue, and demanding a night out on the town.   If you had been reading this blog for any decent amount of time, you would see that EMK MOSTLY tailors his advice TO WOMEN, telling them how to understand men,  how to please men etc.  (because it is mostly women, not men who ask for such advice)  Also, we can’t change men who treat women badly or in indifferantly, but we can sure avoid them.  And yes, we are entitled to shun men who can’t or won’t court us properly, and who refuse to appreciate our reciprocal efforts.  That frees us up to be with the man who WILL court us properly, and will appreciate our feminine receptivity and reciprocity.
      You don’t see anyone commenting here about the plight of starving children in 3rd world countries either, but that doesn’t mean we are callous to such things, but that is just not what THIS PARTICULAR discussion is about.
      Your statement “One exception was one woman who made bake goods for movie night – big friggin deal.”  is very telling.  Women do reciprocate in a myriad of ways, but very often a woman’s reciprocity is overlooked, un noticed, or dismissed as not such a big friggin deal.  You just demonstrated how unappreciative you are of the little things women do for men.  Sure, giving birth to their babies is THE BIGGIE, but there are tons of little things along the way prior, and there are still some people in the world who appreciate the little things along the way.
      Why would a woman want to do anything special for a man, if he thinks it is no big whoop ?
      Women do a lot of nice things for men, they just aren’t noticing it.  (not all men, but many)
       

      1. 27.3.1
        Ciaran

        @SparklingEmerald,

        You are right in that I am interpreting this post with a limited understanding of its context, and my opinion is possibly skewed as a result.

        “You just demonstrated how unappreciative you are of the little things women do for men.  ” 

        What I pointed out is the disparity between some very big things and one very little thing.  In a reply to comment #28.1.1, commenter Sp provided a much more extensive list of ways a woman can reciprocate.  Those things are great – however, I am dubious, based on what I observe around me, that very many women are willing to do many of them.  

  28. 28
    Ciaran

    Evan: I have explicitly not been talking about sex.  I’ve been talking about what value a woman might bring to the table that would motivate and justify a man’s courting efforts.

    In my example courting my wife, her value was very clear (and very high): the potential mother of my children.  And as the actual mother of my children, she retains that value to me.

    But many of your clients aren’t offering anything so compelling.  Suppose I were dating a 47 year old divorcee now, what would motivate me to court her like I did my wife when we were in our 20’s?  I can’t think of anything.  Can you?  I imagine I would prefer a more egalitarian companionship where the woman puts in as much effort and initiative as I do.

    1. 28.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      That’s where we disagree. My wife is going to be 45 this year. If I met her and wanted to be in a relationship with her, I would make the necessary effort to treat her well. So really all you’re saying is that because you don’t see older women as valuable, then they should be treated worse? There’s a lid for every pot. Treat her right, she’ll treat you right. Treat her as if she’s disposable – or what you call “egalitarian” – then she has every right to leave and find a man who treats her better. That’s what I advocate. I’m still failing to see your point. You want respect, affection, warmth, nurturing, love, laughter, support – and you’re saying that a 27 year old is more capable of giving it? Or that you will only be generous to someone who is fertile and you have no incentive to be generous to someone who is infertile? Again, help me understand what you’re advocating. Because all I hear are excuses to treat women poorly unless you get something in return. So what do you want in return?

      1. 28.1.1
        Ciaran

        You are exhibiting poor reading comprehension, Evan.  No where have I advocated treating a woman poorly.  That’s all your own projection.

        But I am discussing something transactional, because that’s what traditional courtship is all about – it’s a procreative deal.  The man is proposing “If you have my babies I will protect and provide and take care of you and be faithful to you.”  That was the deal I proposed to my wife, she accepted, and we’ve faithfully followed all the years hence.

        Now, if I were to date a woman who is post fertile, I can imagine a deep friendship and even romance.  But I do not see any reason why I should be demonstrating my ability and willingness to protect and provide.  I am not looking for that sort of deal anymore, and she is not offering anything to justify it.

        That’s why I mentioned an equitable relationship, where she would demonstrate a willingness to carry her share of the load.  How you twisted that into treating her badly escapes me. 

        1. Evan Marc Katz

          This is nonsense. Let’s look at the transaction from another side: If you’re not willing to protect and provide for her, what does SHE get out of the relationship? You’re just justifying why men should make less of an effort for older women. Step out of your shoes. Now you’re an older woman. Why on earth would you spend any time with a man who thought so little of you when you can instead choose a man who doesn’t see you as a “transaction?” You’re a great advocate for your own needs, Ciaran. But you seem to offer little to women whom you theoretically hope will love you in return.

        2. Sp

          I don’t think you are advocating treating women “badly” but you do advocate treating women with indifference, which is not much better.  There’s also a cold calculating transactional attitude, as well as a mistrustfulness, that if you pay for and plan those early dates, that the woman will take you for a ride, and never do one nice thing for you EVER.  I’m sure you do love your wife beyond her role as a mother, but your post makes it sound like you got a great “deal” on a prize brood mare, and not like a deep and abiding love of your life.
          By your logic, if post fertile women bring nothing to the table for men, then post fertile women should consider all men the same way, because a man can’t give an infertile woman a child either.
          Since post fertile women still want to be in a loving relationship with men, and don’t just view them as sperm donors, it stands to reason that there are men who value women as more than brood mares.
          Here are some things that many women can  and often do offer to men that have nothing to do with fertility:
          1 -Take care of you when you are sick.
          2 -Cook you a nice meal, even better, cook you a nice meal and not always  insist  you reciprocate by cleaning up afterwards.  (I find that insistence  somewhat along the lines of men insisting on dutch treat every time.)  Also, I have never cooked a meal for a boyfriend and handed him grocery receipt and expected him to cough up half in the interest of acting “equitable”.  I don’t even ask him to bring the wine or dessert, although most men I have cooked for in the early courtship phase still insist on helping out with the meal in some way.  (Which I politely tell them I have it all taken care of, but usually wine, flowers or a dessert are brought anyway) 
          3 – Allowing you a better life style if you move in/get married when she contributes proportionately to living expenses.   (Most women do contribute FINANCIALLY to relationships, despite tall tales to the contrary )
          4 – Offer any skills she may have,  that you don’t have, that you are weaker in, are less interested in doing : perhaps help with a resume, helping you clothes shop for special occasions (big job interview, special occasions), hemming your pants, sewing a button on your shirt.
          5 – Being a gracious hostess.  At some point, you may want to have friends, family and or  colleagues over, and offer a more “grown up” gathering than  pizza and a keg.  Women often LOVE to entertain, and take pride in making special meals for guests, and setting an elegant table and making every guest feel welcome and special.
          6 – Being a gracious guest.  Isn’t it nice to have a plus one for weddings, special occasion parties, etc. ?  Isn’t it nice when she takes your suit to the dry cleaners for you, checks the bridal registry, handles the gift, etc.  Isn’t it more fun when invited to a pot luck, instead of bringing a bucket of the Colonel’s chicken, your woman brings her specialty dish that the other guests quickly devour and rave about ?
          7 – Many post fertile women have grown children, grandchildren, etc., as do the men they date.  Even if a woman can’t give you children , hopefully, she can develop an affectionate relationship with your grown children, their kids, your grand nieces and nephews.  Not all blended families can achieve this, but many people do.  I know many people who do not differentiate between step relatives and their own flesh and blood.  Families are not always defined by blood lines, sometimes they are defined by love lines.
          8 – Give you a nice massage when you are tired, or stressed, or just because.
          9 – Look nice for you.  Most men enjoy it when their women put effort into their appearance.  I don’t think it’s just because it’s easy on the eyes, but because they know we are putting in that extra special effort just for you.  Even women who routinely dress up for work and life, will go a little extra mile for a special date with their man.  Don’t most men love it when they notice that the make up is a tad more exotic, the heels a little bit higher, the dress is a bit sexier and she smells a little sweeter for a night out on the town with her man ?  Don’t most men appreciate a sexy night time wardrobe as well ?  Do you think many single girls wear a silk cami & tap pants to bed ?  Doesn’t that beat a ratty old t-shirt ?
          10 – And of course, there is the sex.  A post fertile woman has many more years of experience than a young fertile woman.   She can even try something new, even if it’s seems a little weird to her, if she knows it will make her man happy.   And once you are done having children, don’t you value a woman who will pleasure you in bed, and you don’t have to WORRY that she’s just trying to trap you with an “accidental” pregnancy ?  She’s sharing her body with you for the sheer joy of it,  not with a pro-creational desire behind it. (Not that there’s anything wrong with wanting children)    No more fumbling with condoms, diaphragms, spermicide.  No more wondering if she remembered to take her pill everyday.  
           
          So there you go, 10 things women are good for, besides their wombs.
          And you know what, I’m sure I could come up with 10 things that men are good for that have nothing to do with their wallets or their sperm.
          There’s a lot to be said for the comfort and companionship of being coupled up in the golden years.  It can’t really be measured and quantified, and you can’t put a price on it either.
           

        3. Ciaran

          “Let’s look at the transaction from another side: If you’re not willing to protect and provide for her, what does SHE get out of the relationship?”

          Yes, let’s look at from that side.  I would expect she would value the same things that I would in that situation – sincere companionship, loyal friendship, affection, and understanding.  Maybe even sex.  From my sample size of one, I conclude that middle age women like sex a lot!

          And why would a strong, independent woman need a protector and provider?  In my hypothetical scenario, I will be looking for real strength and independence from a woman, not a fake puffed up facsimile.

        4. Ciaran

          @SP,

          Thank you.  That’s a very nice list of ways a woman can reciprocate.  That is exactly what I was looking for in #27 when I said “But I think both he and the commenters are missing something much more important, and that is reciprocity” in my first comment here.

          Evan,

          Read SP’s list.  That’s what this conversation is about – you’ve been missing the point entirely.   I think the fact that you, the dating coach, couldn’t think of those ways an older woman can add value but chose to attack me instead reveals some of your own limitations.  

        5. Evan Marc Katz

          I could think of ways. I didn’t feel the need to come up with a list justifying older women’s value because women are women – regardless of age. If anything, they get BETTER when they get older. The fact that you haven’t figured that out yourself reveals YOUR limitations.

        6. SparklingEmerald

          Ciara – Thanks for your response to my list.  (I am “Sp”. Sometimes my computer jumps before I can finish putting in my entire screen name)
          Are you new to EMK’s blog ?  Because most of what he blogs about is about what WE women can do to please men.  Some women bristle at that, because they take it as criticism of how “wrong” we are, and letting men off the hook.  HOWEVER, the MOST important part of his advice, is to only do all these things for a man who values us.  That means dumping the players, the “emotionally unavailable”, the abusers, the booty callers, etc.  Once we find a relationship oriented man who treats us well, Evan absolutely does NOT advise us to act like a spoiled entitled princess and do absolutely nothing in return. 
          If you peruse through his articles, you will see the “balance” you are looking for.  So don’t just focus on this ONE article.  EMK advocates holding out for a good man who makes us feel emotionally safe, and then keep him interested by being good to him.  (let him be himself, make him feel like a man, don’t criticize or belittle him)
          In one article he told women to make him feel special by making him a nice meal and giving him a BJ.  (yes he said that)  So he doesn’t advocate that women not reciprocate.
          However he does advocate male led relationships.  For the few men who don’t like it, I believe there’s a pot for every lid, and the men who prefer a woman to lead the relationship can probably find that.
          I think many men on an INTELLECTUAL level say they want this supposed equality.  They want a woman to go dutch treat from date one.  They might be willing to ask her out first to get the ball rolling, but they expect her to ask out for the second date, pick him up, etc.  They might want her to initiate physical intimacy.  On an INTELLECTUAL level they are claiming they want equality.  Then they find that any attraction they may have had starts to fade.  They shrug and say they don’t know why they aren’t feeling it.  I think that what happens is they are too much in their heads trying to artificially construct a 50/50 androgenous relationship, but at a biological level, they are emasculating themselves and the woman is stepping into the male role to fill that vacuum, and that is what is turning him off.  But he doesn’t see it.
          I came of age in the 70’s and I used to bristle when Ann Landers and her ilk said thing like “Guy don’t like agressive chicks” and we were told to not chase boys.  Yes, I thought that stuff was sexist in my much younger days.  50 years later I  see that while we are all human, and we are more alike than different, those differences between males and females are very important in the mating process, and I believe is part of what makes it fun (and frustrating at the same time)  I enjoy the polarity of the interplay between masculine/feminine energy.  An androgenous, relationship with absolutely no distinction between the genders is a big turn off to me.  If I have missed out on some second or third dates because I didn’t pick up the phone and call HIM up and ask for a date, then so be it.  He wouldn’t be the man for me. 
          So yes, there are some guys who want a woman to woo them, and there are some women who are willing to that.  (They usually end up being the couple that his guy friends snicker about him being PWd) 
          But MOST women want to be pursued and to be made to feel like a woman.  That is EMK’s target audience.
          It’s kind of amusing to me.  EMK and most dating coaching write article after article telling women to do this, that and the other, and don’t do so and so and such and such a thing in order to find love.  But the minute they write that one in one hundred article telling men to court women, the men get all up in arms about it.   I guess that is the reason why 99.9999% of the relationship advice is directed at women.  (Most advice to men about women isn’t about how to get into a relationship with women, but how to get her into bed for NSA sex) 

        7. Ciaran

          @Evan,

          “I didn’t feel the need to come up with a list justifying older women’s value because women are women – regardless of age.”

          “Women are women” is a tautology and adds nothing.   The question is how women act, not what they are.  Women can be kind and generous towards men, or they can not.  And their value to a prospective suitor is highly dependent on how they act.

          Your tautology is highly revealing, however, because it is based on the notion that a woman’s value is intrinsic and doesn’t have to be earned or justified, so is independent of her actions.  Therefore a woman should be courted regardless of her behavior; i.e. what value she brings to the relationship.  

          This is both foolish and insulting to men, because it suggests that the value they bring can’t be compared to a woman’s worth.  This is wrong – a good man does bring enormous value to a relationship.  It is foolish for him to trade his value for anything less from a woman, and it is foolish to advise him to do so, as you seem to be doing here.  A man’s courting behavior is something that a woman must demonstrate that she is worthy of, not something that is her due based solely on her sex.  It is insulting to men to so overvalue women while undervaluing men. 

        8. Ciaran

          @SparklingEmerald (aka Sp)
          I agree with much of your latest comment.
          “I think many men on an INTELLECTUAL level say they want this supposed equality.”
          I think this is because men, like women, want to avoid getting played by a dating partner.  A man’s fear is that the women he dates are not kind and generous, as another commenter put it.  He fears entitled, self centered, manipulative and exploitative behavior in women.  “Equality” reduces the man’s risks because it reduces his investment.  An investment that he thinks is unlikely to provide returns.
          My relationship with dating is entirely hypothetical or historical, but my comments are motivated by this fear.  My fear, in turn, is a response to much of what I see around me.  Nearly all the discussion of male/female relationships in the mainstream media is solely focused on the needs and desires of women.  These narratives cultivate and encourage self centered and entitled behavior among women with respect to men, because they elevate female needs and desires while dismissing or even demonizing male needs and desires.  Furthermore (and contrary to your ten-part list of kind and generous things women can do for men) the common narrative is that such actions are demeaning to a woman, as they put her in the role of the subservient 1950’s housewife.  Make him dinner?  Hem his trousers?  (What’s next, iron his shirts?) ;-)  How many women would be willing (or even know how) to do these things?  My impression is, not many.
          So when men like me come to places like this and ask “Where’s the reciprocity?  What are women expected to do for men in exchange for all this courting?” they are expressing their fear that women will be unkind and selfish.  Maybe men will tolerate that from a woman who’s having their babies if they want to procreate badly enough, but not otherwise.  And perhaps these fears are exaggerated.  But women won’t overcome men’s reluctance to court without addressing them.

        9. SparklingEmerald

          Somewhere in this thread and numbered  . . . Ciaran said
           
          ” Furthermore (and contrary to your ten-part list of kind and generous things women can do for men) the common narrative is that such actions are demeaning to a woman, as they put her in the role of the subservient 1950′s housewife.  Make him dinner?  Hem his trousers?  (What’s next, iron his shirts?)  How many women would be willing (or even know how) to do these things?  My impression is, not many.”



          Ciaran – I agree with you on this.  I don’t consider myself an anti-femnist, but I don’t like to label myself as a femnist either, because it conjures up images of what you just said above. (and yes, I used to iron my ex-hubbies shirts when he had important job interviews to go to, and I LOVED doing it for him)
           
          It just drives me CRAZY when women expect men to pay their way, set up their computers, install their satellite dish, diagnose the funny noise in their car engine, and then they can’t even make him a measly grill cheese sandwich ????????????
          C’mon ladies, learn how to make a hot meal, it’s not that hard !  And it will make a guy literally eat out of the palm of your hand.  All this talk of “empowerment” and some women act like if they ever step foot in the kitchen, they’ll end up opressed and in a burka.   If you have been living on your own for ahwile YOU HAVE TO EAT.  If you eat all your meals out, that expensive an unhealthy !  How hard is it to make a salad ?  How hard is it to whip up some chicken and peppers in a skillet ?
          I commented on my facebook once about the meal I made, and one of my friends commented “Your hubby is a lucky man” and other friends commented on how yummy my new recipe sounded etc.  and one of my NEWLYWED gf’s commented “LADIES, I am NOT the cook at my house !’  like we were all supposed to suddenly feel opressed and ashamed of knowing what an oven is and how to use it.
           
          Maybe other women feel it is “beneath” them to cook or sew a button on a shirt (for a man who might kill bugs, mow your lawn & treat you to a nice restaurant) but I don’t. 
           
          EMK says to make a nice meal for a man  and give him a BJ. 
           
          Don’t think that is really an unreasonable relationship request, considering all that we would like men to do for us.

    2. 28.2
      Adrian

      But Sp, I think you’re missing the point Ciaran is trying to make: 

      -Men are expected to a show they are interested in women first, so she knows that he’s interested in her but she gets to sit back watch and judge him before she decides to  show that she’s interested in him… If she is interested in him at all that is… Hey! It’s a saturday night she has nothing else to do and she’s bored, so why not let this guy take her out and entertain her even though she’s not interested in him at the very least the date gets her out of the house on the weekend

      -Men are expected to take all the emotional risk first:

      1) Men are expected to approach women first, not matter how many times he’s rejected, he is just suppose to brush it off and move on to the next girl, I mean if he truly were an alpha male, if he truly were the type of man she really wanted, then all those rejections before her wouldn’t affect his self-esteem at all and if he does have a timid level of confidence because of all those NO’s or dates that he paid for that led to nothing, then instead of understanding him, women just say he’s beta, and he’s not what I’m looking for

      2) Men are expected to be the one to bring up monogamy first, and if she’s not ready then he has to do more to prove himself to convince her that he’s worthy of her, after all he is the lowly intern trying to gain her approval

      3)  Men have to say I love you first, if she doesn’t feel the same way -at least at that moment- then he is stuck with his heart out in the open once again she retains the power. But if he takes too long to tell her he loves her then she is justified in leaving, yet most women would not risk saying it first

      4) Men are expected to initiate all intimacy first, hand holding, kisses, sex etc., if she’s not ready at that time then if he is a real man he supposed to wait for her to be ready if he does not want to wait (and I’m not talking about in a few weeks but within a reasonable amount of time) then she is justified and dumping him

      5) And of course man are expected to ask her to marry him, if he does not ask her within a amount of time that she feels is reasonable again she is justified in leaving him 

      -Men are expected to pay for everything in the beginning, if she dumps him oh well… It was just money lost… Spending time being judged by her was worth it right?

      -Men have to plan everything in the beginning, which sounds fun right? Nope! Not if you are always trying to plan the dates around what she like, making sure she’ll enjoy herself and have fun, because you’re just a intern being interviewed remember.  Sure she may cook him a meal, but most men either pay or help pay for the ingredients, help cook or later reciprocate by making her dinner also (along with all the times he paid for her to eat out), or at the very least bring dessert and wine

      Then once you’re in a relationship with a man, a good man, all the ten things that you listed he would gladly do and more. He would treat you kindly, buy things for you, make things for you, support you, help you out financially, help you when you’re sick, even if you have children he’ll help with them. A good guy does all these things and more.

      I think what Ciaran, Nathan, Chance, and all the other men are saying that many of the female posters don’t understand is that men do so much to win a woman in the beginning of the relationship, but once they are in the relationship, it’s not like he can just stop doing all those things, he has to remain a desirable, understanding, giving boyfriend/husband. WOMEN DON’T GIVE MEN ANYTHING THAT THEY THEMSELVES AREN’T GIVEN BACK IN THE RELATIONSHIP! So I believe their point is, we men do so much in the beginning to only gain what ever other guy with a girlfriend/wife has. 

      Mostly all women regardless of looks or body type will treat him good, make him things, help him, and when she trust him, share her body. A few hundred years ago when most women were virgins guarded by their parents, a man had to do all these things in the beginning, but when a man puts in all the work now… He isn’t gaining  nothing that she hasn’t shared with another man before (I not judging, nor am I just talking about sex). 

      1. 28.2.1
        Jenn

        Adrian, some counter points so that you can possibly see this from a woman’s perspective:
        “Men are expected to approach women first, no matter how many times he’s rejected, he is just suppose to brush it off and move on to the next girl.”
        Did you ever stop to consider how a woman feels when she does everything she possibly can to make herself physically attractive to men (including, but not limited to: weight loss, cosmetic procedures, regular salon visits, sexy clothes, makeup and hairdo’s, etc) and men STILL ignore her? Imagine how it feels to be passed over because the guys are too busy salivating over the hot chicks who won’t give them the time of day.
         “Men are expected to be the one to bring up monogamy first.” Exactly. Because if the woman jumps the gun and asks for exclusivity, 9 times out of 10, the guy will bolt.
         “Men have to say I love you first.” Same as above.
         “Men are expected to initiate all intimacy first.” Yes, because women are far more sensitive to our advances being rebuffed. A guy who tries to hold hands with a girl who drops his hand might not think much of it at first. But if she reaches out to him, just one time, and gets rebuffed she immediately thinks “Oh my gosh, why doesn’t he want to hold my hand? Doesn’t he like me? Or maybe he likes me but he doesn’t want it to look like he’s taken. Oh my gosh, what if he doesn’t want to BE taken by me and he’s just biding his time until the girl he really likes comes along. Why wouldn’t he want to be seen with me? Does he think I’m not that attractive?” And on. And on. And on.
        “Men are expected to pay for everything in the beginning, if she dumps him oh well… It was just money lost… Spending time being judged by her was worth it right?” I have had the experience of going out four times with a very sweet guy whom I ultimately could not develop feelings of attraction toward. I wanted to very badly, for a host of reasons. One was that he was a total sweetheart and a gentleman and I could see what a great catch he was. Two is that I’m so sick of being single and I want to fall in love and get married already. I was most definitely agonizing over my choice to break things off. I left our third date (when we finally kissed) crying my eyes out in the car on the way home because I had wanted so badly for it to work out. But I felt nothing when we kissed. Words cannot express how disappointed I felt. I gave it one more shot and went to the movies with him the next week, just to be sure. If you think that was me just “sitting back and judging” him, you are very, very wrong. I gave it every chance I could because I badly wanted to feel something for him, but I just didn’t.
         “Men have to plan everything in the beginning, which sounds fun right? Nope! Not if you are always trying to plan the dates around what she like, making sure she’ll enjoy herself and have fun, because you’re just a intern being interviewed.” Well, who said every part of dating is always fun? Do you think it’s fun for a woman who wants to get married to go out with each promising new guy she meets, hoping (but trying very hard to suppress it) that this one, THIS one, might be the one who finally saves her from singledom, sweeps her off her feet and eventually marries her? You might have to work to get her, but people always value something more when they work hard to achieve it.
         
         
         

        1. SparklingEmerald

          Jenn @ 28.2.1.
          Excellent point by point response to Adrian !
          And I just went through what you did in regards to meeting a GREAT guy who on paper, is a very good match for me.  Unfortunately, we are not made out of paper, and I just didn’t feel it for him.  I WANTED to feel it for him.  There was a part of me that wanted to give it a little more time, but he was going way overboard for me and since I really couldn’t be sure any attraction would grow, I didn’t want to hurt him any more than I already did.  (Yes, he was very hurt, and I feel guilty because by giving him a chance, I just led him on and gave him false hope.)
          This followed on the heels of a very short lived “relationship” that didn’t work out because the guy changed his mind. And yes, I felt very dissappointed that we didn’t work out.
          Guess which time made me feel worse ? I actually felt WORSE being the rejector than the rejectee. 

        2. Adrian

          First I would like to say thank you Jenn for you reply, I’ve read many of your comments on this post and ours and I appreciate the opportunity to have this friendly discussion with you.

          Your first rebuttal toward my statement doesn’t support any argument against what is stated. Your reasoning and justification of men always taking the risk (only in regards to the beginning of the relationship, I want to make that point clear, once they are actually in a relationship both parties take many forms of risk) would only be valid if you were to assume that men don’t try to make themselves physically attractive to women or that there are no cases were a men will confess his love for a woman first, or try to kiss her first and he isn’t rejected for it and the woman doesn’t sometimes disappear afterwords.

          I offer the same counter argument for your second rebuttal in regards to men paying for everything in the beginning. Though I would like to acknowledge your story and say thank you for sharing it with us on Evan’s site; yet do you honestly believe that men don’t also face that very same struggle? I can’t speak for other adult men, but myself have many a times tried to force myself to make it work with the great woman “on paper”, yet no matter how hard I tried, I just couldn’t feel anything for her. So what was I do? Let her continually fall deeper in love while I tried to fake a smile or let her go, so that her heart could be open to a future men that would love every part of her? Since I’m still single I believe you can ascertain which answer I chose. Contrary to what some women may believe, many men find no joy in breaking someone’s heart.

          As to your last rebuttal, again I’ll use the same counter argument and the same level of reasoning; Men also aren’t elated to go on a myriad of dead end dates, because Yes! Many of us want more than just sex.

          Hopefully what am about to divulge next will help bridge the gap in understanding in regards to men paying for dates. Most men like myself don’t have a problem spending money on women or paying for cheap or even relatively expense dates. If I took 3 women out a week and only spent $30 per date, well that’s only $360 a month, that’s nothing. What men do have a problem with is taking $360 and just tossing it in the trash or out of the window just because. This is how many men feel who have to constantly pay for everything first, because Jenn we to have to go on a lot of dead end first dates that end without there ever being a second date. 

          Women believe they are worth such sacrifices, which brings me to the comment Sparkling Emerald made regarding “it will all even out in the long run”, to her I offer the same answer I’ve been consistently presenting to you. But before I go any further, I would like to clearly state: “I personally don’t believe you should keep score of what you or your partner do for each other, nor should you only give if you receive. My sole purpose is just to gain a better understanding on the subject by questioning why? In return I hope to help both the male and female readers better understand the struggles of the opposite sex”. 

          S.E. It will only even out in the long run if the woman does more or the man does less once they both agree to enter into a monogamous relationship, but if both partners a consistent, then over all the man would have done more to win a prize that is really no different than any other -Unless you bring in looks and body type into the picture-  but if we are just talking about core things, then I believe that most women will treat her boyfriend/husband as good as she can and do all she can to make him feel loved, wanted, and secure, so in this day and age, what special or unique does a man gain from one woman to warrant all the addition sacrifices and efforts he put in to winning her?

        3. Jenn

          Adrian,
          The point of my post was not to refute your perspective, but to point out to you what women typically go through in those scenarios.  I acknowledge that men take a significant risk in the dating process. I was trying to help you see that men aren’t the only ones. In my opinion, it is pointless for men and women to whine about who has more to give or to lose. In the end, if you make the effort and find your one true love, then that makes it all worthwhile. 

        4. SparklingEmerald

          Adrian asked – “but if we are just talking about core things, then I believe that most women will treat her boyfriend/husband as good as she can and do all she can to make him feel loved, wanted, and secure, so in this day and age, what special or unique does a man gain from one woman to warrant all the addition sacrifices and efforts he put in to winning her?”
          That’s one of the questions that, if you have to ask, there is no question that will satisfy you.   If you don’t think loving and being loved by a good woman is worth it, there’s nothing I can say that will convince you that love is worth it. 
          I will however say, that I have seen many women acting as long time care providers for their seriously ill husbands (I know men do this too, but more often I see women in this role,  women who fall very ill seem to me to be more often cared for by daughters, sisters or other females, perhaps because they have outlived their hubbies or perhaps because their hubbies leave when the wife gets ill, or just neglects her) 
          I’m not saying that people should marry solely to get a nursemaid for the golden years, but honestly, when I see a woman who has been tenderly caring for her hubby with Alzheimers for years on end, does it really matter that he paid for the first 3 dates while courting her ?
          And no man has directly answered this question. If you hate paying for those early dates so much, why not make those first dates freebies ?  There are plenty of fun things to do that don’t cost anything.
          It seems to me that you just want to make change for a dollar.  You give a dollar, get back 4 quarters.  Even Steven, right down the middle, 50/50.  You say couples shouldn’t keep score, but clearly you do.  You even count the scores with prior women against the current woman.
          You clearly don’t see much value in a woman’s love, since you resent having to shell out the price for 2 ice cream cones in the beginning, and make the first phone call.   Why would any woman WANT you to win her heart, since you don’t seem to value it all ?

    3. 28.3
      Jenn

      I’m sure your wife would love to hear you describe her like you would a prize Jersey cow. The way you say it, your decision to marry her would seem to have been entirely based on nothing more than her ability to bear your offspring. What if she’d been barren? Would you still have married her?

  29. 29
    Marie

    Ugh, it never ceases to amaze me every time I read this type of article how much confusion, hostility, apathy, and anger exists towards the courting process in American dating culture.  Some anthropologist somewhere should write about gender confusion in the U.S.  Frankly, we can argue endlessly but there really is no circumventing this horrendous mess.  My solution was just to bypass the whole damn thing and date and marry my husband, who is a Frenchman (I am American).  Thank god, what a breath of fresh air, I guy who loves to court and knows what it means to romance.  He grew up that way, where men are taught to be men and to value women.  We get each other and are very happy.  He still courts me and is romantic even though we are already married.  Tongue in cheek, I guess my advice to women here would be just to abandon ship and go date Europeans who aren’t confused or resentful about courtship and actually have fun with it. I’m sure I’m going to get flamed for this, but reading some of the self-righteous male commentators here saying men don’t like to court just makes me ill.  Maybe in a culture where the art and fun of courting just isn’t taught from father to son, it’s viewed as a pain, something that can be easily dispensed with.  And women don’t know what it’s like to be properly courted because the men don’t know how to do it.  Properly knowing how to court (and be courted) is damn fun and I have the evidence to back it up.

    1. 29.1
      Chance

      Not sure how stating an observation about how men don’t like to court equates to being self-righteous lol.  At any rate, a lot of men know how to court, but they don’t like it.  The only reason they do it is because it is effective.  It’s really more of a fairness issue.  It has nothing to do with how much men value women.  Most women my age seem to take pride in not adhering to traditional gender roles.  As a result, to many men my age, it seems reasonable that they wouldn’t have to adhere to traditional gender roles either.
       
      On a side note, I especially loved your comment about dating European men.  It reminds me of the men who constantly warn against dating American women :)

    2. 29.2
      Ciaran

      “He grew up that way, where men are taught to be men and to value women. ”

      Also where women are taught to be women and value men.  Which is more to the point, because it wasn’t the men of America who started the deprecations of the opposite sex. 

      1. 29.2.1
        Jenn

        Right, Ciaran. It’s all women’s fault. As usual. When are people going to realize that placing generalized blame does nothing to further their arguments? We are ALL a part of the society in which we live, and we ALL have a responsibility for the way we’re treated. If I don’t want a guy to treat me like the casual weekend hookup girl, I don’t act in ways that encourage that. Same is true for men: if a guy isn’t happy with the women he dates for whatever reason, maybe he should reevaluate how he chooses them.

    3. 29.3
      SparklingEmerald

      I too once thought that dating foreign men might be the answer, but it didn’t work that way for me.
      My post divorce foreign re-bound guy wooed and courted me, but the MINUTE I agreed to be an exclusive couple with him, he turned into a total flake.  And when I broke up with him, he wanted me back.  And when I (foolishly) gave him another chance, he flaked again.  He occasionally sends me a “let’s try again” text and even stalks me sometimes on meet-up (but he’s harmless, I have no physical fear of him) So much for the chivalrous foreign guy theory. He only seems to want me, when I don’t want him.
      I dated one other foreigner after that.  Very handsome, but kind of a weird whiny voice and the attraction just wasn’t there for me. (sometimes I think attraction is so shallow, but some things can’t be forced) 
      Not saying that I will never date another foreigner again.  Just saying that I will date a man who looks promising regardless of his nationality.  If it works out great, I’ll go for it, whether he is American born or foreign born.  
      These men who think the answer lies in a woman from another country crack me up.   As if a foreign woman can do no wrong, and an American woman can do nothing right. 
      Time to look beyond superficialities such as nationality, income, boob size, job status, etc.  and look at the PERSON, their CHARACTER, and how you feel when you are around them.

    4. 29.4
      Rachel

      Marie, your right but don’t forget the Australian men! I’m dating one right now and he is a gentleman who knows how to court! I myself tend not to prefer Europeans because they’re so elegant and I’m so laidback but I have nothing against them and I’m glad you love your Frenchman! (I dated Americans and Europeans too and they’re all ok to me.)

      Chance, men like you are making your life difficult, why don’t you just court already? It’s fun, it’s manly,  it’s cosmopolitan. Why don’t you find a woman who does adhere to traditional gender roles and court her and see if you like it? I bet you’ll love it!

  30. 30
    Lynn (the other one!)

    Great timing to find this. I’ve been pondering how to articulate the differences between the guy I’ve been exclusively dating for a couple of months and those who kinda flickered through by either their choice or mine. And why each of us very early on were game for exclusivity. 

    He courted. He was decisive. He’s a nurturer. But if I had to sum it up I’d say he has a team/partnership mentality.

    We’re in our mid-50’s with a couple of marriages each behind us. On the surface we’re an odd match. He’s a lifelong blue-collar guy who hunts and fishes while I’m the bleeding heart white collar professional  and he’s not quite sure what it is I do :-) (But he’s interested and learning.) I’m a long-time meditator. One of the first things he asked me is if I’d teach him how and he’s totally unconcerned that his hard-core guy friends might make fun of him for it.  

    I’m a little taller than him. He’s balding and very cute, is scarcely computer literate while I’m a technophile, can fix anything but is dyslexic and thus doesn’t read much while I’m a voracious reader. He’s a bit of a control freak yet when I poke fun and tell him it’s a good thing I’m a recovering not active control addict, he just laughs and isn’t offended. We get along really well. Recently we hit a bump over the issue of pets, and I’ll find out if we can work our way through it.  I’ll be sad if we don’t. He’s a really good man, kind, caring, funny, smart, sexy and very relationship oriented. In his mind we were a couple right from the get go. It took me a couple of weeks to get my head around it. 

    He calls me every day. He leaves me sweet video messages on Skype. He often texts funny, loving messages. The other night he showed up at my place for a surprise visit and to make sure he got dinner for me, as he knew I’m just coming off a long tiring stretch of launching a new business and am worn out.

    The thing is, I’m thrilled to do as much as I can for him. It’s two-way. I have a history of over-giving to distant men so I watch myself. It’s no exaggeration to say the reciprocity is a delight and unlike anything I’ve experienced. And it’s a delight precisely because it’s mutual and not one-sided.

    Even if this doesn’t last for the long term, I realized recently that I’ll be very grateful for the experience. Thanks Evan and everyone who’s taken the time to comment. I learned a lot from this blog, WHD, and FTOO. Full kudos to you for helping me get my relationship shit together. I did, and the great guy appeared. Amazing! 

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