Want the Man Who Wants You!

Want the Man Who Wants You!

Have you ever dated a man who fulfilled every quality on your mental checklist?

*           He’s tall.

*           He’s cute.

*           He’s intelligent.

*           He’s successful.

*           He’s funny.

*           He’s kind.

The feeling you get when you’re around this guy is amazing; you might even call it love.

In fact, let’s call it love.

Yes, let’s say that you are completely in love with this amazing man. To you, he is virtually flawless. And who am I to argue?

There’s only one nagging issue:

This man doesn’t love you back.

Time to let go of that man who has a hold on you, even though he doesn’t make any effort to make you feel special. Until you do, you’re emotionally hung up, and preventing yourself from finding true love — the kind where a man actually GIVES to you.

There’s no reason to wait for something that’s not happening.

The man who doesn’t love you the way you love him is WORTHLESS.

Don’t feel alone. Your condition is universal. Thousands of songs have been written about unrequited love, and they all have the same unhappy ending.

I’m just asking you to think about YOUR unrequited love.

Maybe he’s a co-worker whom you’ve had a crush on for the longest time.

Maybe he’s a friend who you’ve secretly been falling for.

Maybe he’s even your boyfriend — the man who’s been with you for 6 months.

Doesn’t matter.

The man who doesn’t love you the way you love him is WORTHLESS.

You KNOW you’re not getting as much love as you’re giving, but you put up with it anyway.


Because, to you, it beats the alternative: breaking up with him, feeling sad, and going back to the dating pool once again.

So even though you’re with a man who is essentially using you, you’re okay with it. Or you blind yourself to it, and pretend it’s not happening.

Oh, it’s happening.

Every day you spend with a man who doesn’t love you as you love him, you’re playing it safe, you’re playing it scared, and you’re wasting your precious time.

Somehow, you would rather give your love to a man who has no intentions of marrying you …than to free yourself up to search for the man who WILL one day marry you.

Doesn’t that sound just a bit “off” to you?

Sorry, but life is too short to spend getting the short end of the relationship stick.

It’s like a guy pining for that same woman who thinks of him as “just a friend” — spending years getting close to her, in hopes that one day, she changes her mind about him. If that man were your best friend, you’d tell him to move on to a woman who appreciated why he was amazing, instead of steadfastly waiting for her to recognize that he’s been the man of her dreams all along.

I love John Hughes and Judd Apatow movies, but that sweet, nerdy guy usually DOESN’T get the class princess, and should probably find the sweet, nerdy girl who thinks he’s amazing, wouldn’t you agree?

And that’s the unfortunate part about dating — it often creates a power dynamic that is unhealthy. You undoubtedly recognize it.

You like the man who is more unavailable. You respect him more. He’s more challenging. And yet you never know where you stand with him.

When you find the guy who instantly communicates to you that you’re the woman of his dreams, it’s way too easy. He bores you. He’s not challenging enough.

It works the same way for men. The woman who declares her love on date 1 will scare the hell out of him. The woman who makes him work for it a little bit will be the one who wins his heart.

As a result, you have this push-pull dynamic in dating where you’re supposed to be available, but not too available. Flirty but not too easy. Authentic but not saying everything on your mind. Relationship-oriented but not pushing for commitment too soon.

No wonder dating is so difficult!

You’ve probably heard that old adage that tells women to find a man who loves you more than you love him.

The idea behind this is not to create an unequal relationship where he praises the ground you walk on and you have absolutely no respect for him.

No, the idea behind “find a man who loves you more” is really about ensuring that he’s truly devoted to you.

And, if you’re like many of my amazing women clients, you always end up with really impressive men…who don’t make a really impressive effort to be devoted.

Sorry, but life is too short to spend getting the short end of the relationship stick.

My client, Melissa, is a thirtysomething doctor in South Florida. She came to me two months ago, burned out on dating, frustrated by Match.com, confused about what role she played in all of the frustrating results she was getting.

She kept ending up with attractive, fit, charismatic men who didn’t make her feel attractive, didn’t make her feel safe, didn’t make her feel loved.

Two months into coaching, she’s got a new boyfriend. They met on Match and have been together for about a month. He’s already cooked her dinner, brought her chicken soup when she got the flu, and stuck by her when her father had to go to the hospital.

Yet THAT’s the man that you very often lose respect for: the guy who treats you well, the guy who is emotionally available, the guy who earnestly tries to win you over.

He’s devoted, in every sense of the word.

It’s clear, from his actions, that he feels like HE’s the lucky one — and he’s doing everything in his power to prove to her that he’s worthy.

THAT’s the man you want in your life.

Yet THAT’s the man that you very often lose respect for: the guy who treats you well, the guy who is emotionally available, the guy who earnestly tries to win you over.

It’s not nearly as exciting as the man who keeps you on your toes because you never know where you stand. His very UNavailability is part of what makes him so attractive.

But boy, is it unfulfilling to invest so much time in a man who doesn’t give you the security you deserve.

The moral of the story is NOT to find some wishy-washy guy who puts you on a pedestal. Believe me, I appreciate it if you’re uncomfortable finding a man who loves you more.

Feel free to take off the last word if you want.

Just promise me you’ll “find a man who loves you”…not just a man whom you love.

It’s possible — but it takes an effort to do things differently. You’re not alone.

Join our conversation (114 Comments).
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  1. 1
    Katarina Phang

    Yeah very true.   All these contradictions in dating/relationship often hurt my head!!!

  2. 2

    Well said !

  3. 3

    You know I really love this blog but Evan, with this post, you seem to be feeding into the rhetoric I see posted all over relationship forums for men.   Women don’t automatically lose respect for men who treat us well!!! This is just another way of saying all women love BAD BOYS!   BUZZZ wrong answer.   The last two guys that treated me well I really would have loved for things to work out however, even though both showed devotion they also both had deal breakers that made me throw in the towel.
    The beginning section about wanting the man that wants you is on point 100%.

  4. 4

    Ouch. Point by point, I am this woman. Time to do some soul searching and then to update my profile, pic, and get back on Match. But still, ouch! Nothing like finding a mirror in a blog.   Nothing like being prodded out of a complicated safety found in hiding out, focusing on the wrong guy and spending so much time puzzling over how he could possibly let me get away.   Sheesh.   Time to start being the chooser instead of waiting to be chosen.

  5. 5

    Excellent post, Evan! I took your advice two months ago and walked away from a year long relationship with a guy who treated me well (I never found these type of guys boring), but didn’t feel strongly enough about to want to marry me. It hurt like hell, but I know my worth and wanted to make myself emotionally available for a guy who will see a future with me and want to marry me.  

    1. 5.1

      I agree with Wispera! Most women appreciate good men who treat them well, but have usually not been able to find a man that will make the effort to show her that she is important to him. The type of man that makes this type of effort to show a woman his appreciation is a rare find. A man who is emotionally available and not afraid to show it is the EXCEPTION and NOT the rule. This does Not mean that a woman should tolerate being disrespected by an emotionally unavailable man, but it may explain why SOME women unfortunately feel the need to hold on to whatever man they have. Perhaps more men would make a better effort to keep a good woman if people like Evan would not stereotype all women as shallow, immature girls who would prefer a “bad boy”.   Evan offers some good advice in this article about the type of standards a woman should have when choosing a man, but his is advice is overshadowed a bit, by what seems to be his own bitterness and hurt from bad experience he may have had by a woman that did not appreciate him at some point. All I’m saying is that real women appreciate real men…..We are Not all the same.

  6. 6

    Thanx Evan, I’ve started reading your posts a few days ago and a lot of things have changed in my dating life. I ditched a man who was never there for me, who loved me conditionally and now am meeting other people. I’m now looking for a man who loves me and am no longer looking for a challenge. I can look for a challenge elsewhere, in my career or personal life. But when it comes to dating I want a man who’s got my back and I’ll have his

    Thanx for sharing!

  7. 7

    Honesty is the best policy. I tell a guy straight up if I don’t want him (I do it nicely, and if I think we can be friends, I say something like “I think of you like a brother”. If they still want to be friends after that, fine. If not, no big deal.). If he doesn’t want me, I don’t stick around and try to be “friends” hoping that he will change his mind. Been there, done that in my 20s. My big problem is that I’m barely 30, have 2 kids, am already divorced and the only men that want to date me are nearly as old as my dad. It doesn’t help that I have a baby face, that just seems to attract them even more. I can’t tell you how many older men I’ve had come on to me and treat me like a little girl–EW. 40 would be ok if he had kids but 50? 65? No way! So, to end my ramble, I think this was a good article but I take it with a grain of salt that I ought to want back every man who’s wanted me.

  8. 8
    Karl R

    Wispera said: (#3)
    “Women don’t automatically lose respect for men who treat us well!!! This is just another way of saying all women love BAD BOYS!”

    You’re missing the point. This applies to good boys too.

    About 3 years ago I  dated an amazing woman: brilliant, successful, outgoing, a good dancer, sweet, friendly … and a good girl. For the first three weeks everything went like it should in a relationship. Then she stopped making time for dates. It started taking days for her to respond to emails and voicemails. After three weeks of this, it was obvious to me that she just  wasn’t that into me, so I ended it.

    It doesn’t matter whether you’re dating a saint or Satan … if that person doesn’t want/love you, you need to end the relationship and find someone else. (You should probably end relationships with Satan for other reasons, but that’s a separate topic.)

    If you think this just applies to bad boys, you’ll be caught off-guard when you fall for a really sweet guy who is disinterested or unavailable.

  9. 9

    Wow. That was weird. Evan, sometimes I think you’re inside my head.

  10. 10

    At Phobe 7, I agree that I could not want all the men that wanted me.   I don’t think that this is what Evan is saying.   I believe his point is that women should not be hung up on a man who does not want them.   I’ve been guilty of lusting over men who weren’t interested in a relationship thinking that they might change.   I’m not that woman anymore.   We need to focus our attention and energy on the men who we want, but that mutually want us back.   If that man cannot reciprocate the feelings, then it is pointless and a waste of your time.     

  11. 11

    What does that mean, want? I find that most of the men who I date who initially want me, want me more when I am a challenge. When I make myself more accessible the want wanes. I must say that in the 50 men I have dated in one year, they all seem to be either needy, weird, narcissistic, moody, arrogant or some form of entitled. Most are wonderful in the beginning, but that fades if they don’t get sex soon enough. There is too much choice on the internet and they know, if you won’t put out Match#345 will.

    And by accessible, I don’t mean for sex but emotionally.

    1. 11.1

      Nancy, you hit it dead on, they are very needy and insecure, a HUGE TURN OFF! they want sex the first day sorry not me.. water seeks it own level

  12. 12

    I have heard from a number of men and women – personally and professionally – that there is something so exciting about the challenge of “getting” someone and that often, the “having” is not as interesting as the getting.   The thrill of the hunt, the conquest and then moving on.
    We see so often in books and movies the steps that must be taken to achieve the objective of “winning” his or her heart.   This can frequently result in an emotional letdown for the one who plots and plans as opposed to one who allows the relationship to naturally progress.

    1. 12.1

      Yes. It can be difficult to learn from others’ mistakes, though. I heard from a woman who was so in love with an emotionally unavailable guy, that she tried for YEARS to win him over. She put all her energy into “getting” this guy, and only had eyes for him. Had no interest in anyone else. Eventually, he did marry her. Then shortly after the wedding, she “magically” lost interest. Like a spell was broken or something. She just didn’t want him anymore, but was now legally married to him, and was wondering what to do about it.

  13. 13
    Same Boat

    Nancy #11

    I hear ya, sister! Even if you do have sex, they can still show their “needy, weird, narcissistic, moody, arrogant” colors eventually.    I just figure that the vast majority of men I date aren’t going to become long-term boyfriends. Then again, I only need to meet the one who will.

  14. 14

    How do I want the man that wants me?   I have been in the  dating world for about 16 years now.   Never once engaged.   I have had many men want me, but I didn’t want them.   I wanted many men but they didn’t want me.   Looking back , I could have wanted  someone out of the bunch, but I wasn’t ready, or  not at the right  place in my life.   Now  I am ready and I know more of what I want in a man and know better what to compromise on.  
          I have been in the same  relationship for the last 5 years  with a  few months  of break up here and there.     This guy wanted me bad, so I thought I would give him a chance.   Now here we are and he doesn’t want  to get married.  ( He is 42 and also never married).      I have compromised alot and put alot of work into this relationship, as he has.   I didn’t really want him in the beginning.   But I needed to break my bad boy dating rut I was in and this guy was really sweet and unlike anyone I have ever dated .   I say was sweet because now it seems as if he is comfortable and doesn’t seem to try to be sweet anymore. I.E., he didn’t get me anything for my 35th birthday, not even a card.   He still wants me, but it’s like he has quit trying.   He doesn’t want me to be with anyone else though.   Maybe I don’t want him enough?   This topic sparked my interest…do I look for someonelse that wants me more, enough to marry me.

    1. 14.1
      Dina Strange

      You devalued yourself to him. Take a break, think it over. Make him appreciate you more.

  15. 15
    Karl R

    Nancy said: (#11)
    “I must say that in the 50 men I have dated in one year, they all seem to be either needy, weird, narcissistic, moody, arrogant or some form of entitled.”

    Of the hundreds or thousands of men in the dating pool, how are you consistently ending up with the muck at the bottom? Everyone is going to  end up with a bad date or two. That’s just the law of averages. But 50 losers in a row is too much to be a statistical anomoly.  You may want to reevaluate how you choose which men to date.

  16. 16

    Karl R – #8

    You make an excellent point.   I’ve had problems falling for “nice,” soft-spoken guys who might have appeared as saints to the world, but ended up not treating me well.   On the other hand, I’ve been put off by and often avoided socially aggressive men whom I instinctually mistrusted because of their personality style, but grew to respect and like them because of their kindness and authenticity that I saw evidenced over time.  

    Bridget – #14

    Not acknowledging your girlfriend’s birthday is a huge sign of disrespect and one I would not take lightly.   It’s one thing to forget, but after you’ve called it to his attention, why couldn’t he have ran out and gotten you something?   That’s what you would do, isn’t it?   Just because *he* doesn’t want to break up with you doesn’t mean that you are in a positive relationship.   As a thirty five-year-old woman, your datability, fertility and “prospects” are dwindling by the month.   Not only that, it is likely that your self-esteem is, too, since your boyfriend seemingly couldn’t care less about you.   Although it often seems like we need a catalyzing event (catching him cheating, etc.) to motivate us to move on, it is often in our best interest when we do it sooner rather than later, especially at the pivotal age from about 34-40.   Best of luck to you.

    Karl R – #15

    While I think you are justified in questioning Nancy’s statistics, I have to wonder if you can fully appreciate what the dating pool looks like for women, especially women over 40.   Countless articles, including a few that Evan has linked to from OkCupid!, have shown that as men age they look for relatively younger and younger women.   This fact would seem to be evidence to me that, indeed, sometimes there is some “muck at the bottom” that older women are left with because they just don’t have as large a dating pool as men their same age.   To top it off, if Nancy is an African-American or a Euro-American, her chances of finding dates are even slimmer (again according to OkCupid! user data), because men message these women significantly less often than other groups of women.   If you are a white male, you have the advantage of being in the male racial group that is contacted the most –across all age groups.   As my mother used to say, don’t judge until you’ve walked a mile in someone’s moccasins.   🙂   P.S. — cool dancing video!  

  17. 17

    Karl 15
    “Of the hundreds or thousands of men in the dating pool, how are you consistently ending up with the muck at the bottom? Everyone is going to  end up with a bad date or two. That’s just the law of averages. But 50 losers in a row is too much to be a statistical anomoly.  You may want to reevaluate how you choose which men to date”
    First of all, all of the men I have dated,except for one, are divorced. One has to consider that I am dealing with a pool of men who have been in bad marriages, secondly, men are very drawn to me physically and they overreact. At least that has been my experience. So they come on strong and that reads as either needy, weird, cocky, etc. I tend to be very reserved, which they read as a challenge. I try to date at least three men at a time which is why the number is so high. I have only been in a relationship with one and he turned out to be pathological. So there you go. Makes me very pessimistic about finding the one.

  18. 18

    @Nancy Worry less about meeting “the one” for a while and simply have fun going out and doing things with men. Let go of that need for a while and enjoy yourself.   Spend some time that way without pressure and expectations on yourself, and maybe you will feel recharged after a while.

    1. 18.1

      I can’t, I always fall in love and them I lose them.

  19. 19

    Ahh… I dunno. The men that  are attracted to me  the most are so different from me in regards to the things that matter that  I couldn’t even befriend them.   On top of that, I don’t find them physically attractive at all. I didn’t date for years because the only  men who  showed interest in  me – usually based on my  appearance alone –  were either “bad boy” types or significantly older, and that’s still where the bulk of my most ardent  “fanbase” lies. Now,  I categorically  ignore them in lieu of men  who are  one one hand, moderately interested, but OTOH, actually appealing to me and  not painful to talk to. They are LTR material, but they typically  don’t want to have one with  me.  What does it mean if you generally  garner the attention of  guys who aren’t LTR material, and should you still entertain their advances because they’re really interested in pursuing you?

  20. 20

    RE: Bridget‘s #14
    The guy does nothing for your birthday?   Big red flag.   Even if he is a great guy, it doesn’t sound as though the two of you want the same things in life.   So which is more important to you.   Having him in your life, or being married?   Doesn’t sound like you can have both.
    RE:   Sarahrahrah‘s #16
    I think there is “muck at the bottom” of every dating pool, and I agree with you that as women age that pool becomes smaller (and the muck a larger percentage of it).   But I still wonder what’s going on that out of Nancy’s 50 dates, not one of them is a decent guy.   Perhaps the criteria being used are not the best?   For instance, if she’s dating the 50 best looking (or highest-earning or similar) ones then they may feel more latitude to act less than admirably because there they can always get a date with someone else.
    RE: Jadadisk‘s #19
    I’m not entirely sure what you mean by entertaining the advances of guys who are very interested in you.   But, e-mail with them?   Sure.   Go out on a date?   Sure.   Spend 6 months dating to see if they’ll grow on you?   Not so much.   As Sarahrahrah said in her #16, there have been several times when she’s been pleasantly surprised by guys of whom she had low expectations.

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