Why Chasing Attraction is a Losing Strategy in Love

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I have a guy friend who is perpetually single. He’s got everything going for him. Advanced degree. Successful. Funny. Social. Ambitious. Good values.

And yet every time I talk with him, it’s the same old story.

Another woman just broke his heart.

When I ask him for the details of the latest debacle, it usually comes down to the fact that he’s a nice, relationship oriented man, who earnestly follows through and communicates his feelings… and she’s an aloof woman who tries to consider him as a romantic partner, but ultimately would rather chase an unattainable jerk.

It’s classic, really.

But when I ask my friend what makes him fall for these emotionally unavailable women, you know what he tells me?

“I like them because they’re smart and they’re hot.”

Got it.

You can’t help what you’re attracted to. But you can acknowledge that the men you’re attracted to aren’t always good long-term relationship partners.

Objectively, wouldn’t you tell this man that perhaps “smart” and “hot” aren’t necessarily the best criteria to evaluate a lifetime romantic partner?

Of course you would.

You’d tell him to appreciate her inner beauty, her warm smile, her generosity, her sense of humor. All the things you appreciate about your own girlfriends.

Yet when you look at your own life — at your consistent pining for tall, handsome, brilliant, fascinating men — you do the exact same thing.

Worse, you defend it in the same way that my friend does:

“I can’t help what I’m attracted to!”

You’re right. You can’t help what you’re attracted to.

But you can acknowledge that the men you’re attracted to aren’t always good long-term relationship partners.

You can acknowledge that attraction can be blinding and allow you to overlook a man’s flaws for way too long.

You can acknowledge that attraction isn’t either a “10” or a “1” — that there’s usually something in between.

And you can acknowledge that, for my guy friend, his addiction to smart, hot, aloof and inaccessible women isn’t really working for him.

By the way, I’m not telling you anything that I haven’t considered in my own life.

As a man who’s been married for three years, I’ve finally started to get into a rhythm with my wife.

We’ve got a house.

We’ve got a kid.

We both work from home and spend a lot of time together.

And unless something changes, you know what we spend most of our time doing?

Working.

When we’re not working, you know what we do?

We figure out how we’re going to decorate the house.

We plan weekends out of town to visit family.

We throw dinner parties, karaoke parties, and wine tastings.

We go food shopping and make chopped salads with beets.

If 95% of your life is spent on matters that are neither “brainy” nor “sexy”, wouldn’t it make sense to find a partner who is compatible in all those other areas?

We watch “Castle” and as many minutes of “Dancing with the Stars” as I can tolerate.

We retreat to our offices where she watches funny YouTube videos and I obsessively manage my fantasy football team.

We go upstairs, wash our faces, talk about our days, tell each other we love each other, and snuggle before drifting off to sleep.

It’s a WONDERFUL life.

You know how much time we spend having sex? A couple of hours a week.

You know how much time we spend talking about string theory, or Proust, or what happens to us when we die? A lot less.

So if 95% of your life is spent on matters that are neither “brainy” nor “sexy”, wouldn’t it make sense to find a partner who is compatible in all those other areas?

Rather than finding the smartest, hottest guy imaginable who doesn’t want to throw dinner parties, doesn’t want to see your mother, doesn’t want to let you choose the furniture you want, and doesn’t want to raise a family together?

I think so.

Naturally, you have to find your partner attractive and intelligent, but he doesn’t have to be THAT attractive or THAT intelligent to have a very happy life together.

As a dating coach for 8 years, I’ve long advocated for putting compatibility on the SAME level as chemistry, instead of making chemistry the most important factor in your decision-making.

Because, as you know, you can get the smartest, hottest, tallest, richest guy in the world… and you’ll most likely discover that he’s a selfish narcissist who’s just not that into you.

Thus, there is wisdom in compromising a little on looks and brains in order to find the HAPPINESS that has eluded you when you exalt “attraction” above all.

Believe me, I did not settle.

Neither should you.

Just consider the relative importance of a chiseled jawline and a Masters degree vs. the ability to love you unconditionally and the desire to make you happy.

I think it’s clear what should win out.

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Comments:

  1. 41
    H. Jackson

    Mutual attraction is THE most important aspect in order for a relationship to get started.   If you begin a relationship from your “head” with the internal script of “attraction will grow over time”, be prepared for a shallow relationship void of the heart to heart connection only mutual attraction can provide.   Mutual physical attraction is a wellspring both couples can go back to in the early stages of a relationship to keep them together on equal footing while they both decide if the other elements are present which will lead to a longer relationship.

    A different type of love certainly does evolve over time via mutually shared life experiences.   But it is extremely   important all of that is built on top of mutual physical attraction with a partner who is “your type”.

  2. 42
    MH

    Let me tell you a personal story.

    I was in a 6 and a half year relationship with my ex fiancé. To me she was a 5 and I was an 8 but I didn’t care. I met her through beings friends for years and one day we just really clicked. She was never my type as she was a bigger woman and my type would be slim. But it was the companionship that made us special. I even got abused by  my friends (not friends anymore) because she wasn’t drop dead gorgeous. But as time went on everybody admitted to being jealous of our relationship or that we would be together forever. We went through so much together I honestly cannot give her enough respect or credit.

    But nearly a year ago I destroyed my life. Some super hot 10 started working at my place and started to try get involved with me. Iv had girls hit on me before and its not bothered me. Yes she was hot but  I wasn’t interested as I was with my fiancé. But then colleagues told me that I was stupid and they couldn’t believe how lucky I was that this woman fancied me. So I replied to one of her Facebook messages and tried to keep it as friendly as possible. BIGGEST MISTAKE EVER! I mean what the hell was I thinking this could only ever end badly.

    Why did I even message her. I had no intention of cheating or pursuing sex so there was no need (In hindsight it was probably an ego trip and I did like the attention).    I began to realise when she was messaging me everyday saying how much she liked me that this was getting out of hand. So I told her to stop messaging me (should of blocked her). Then a few weeks later I get a message saying she is in hospital. I couldn’t help but ask why. She told me she had dumped her fiancé because she loved me and she even told him she was messaging some other guy. He then put her in hospital. I got found out I was messaging with another girl and my fiancé split with me.

    So my head was a complete mess and I didn’t have a clue what to do so I did the worst thing possible. Yep you guessed it, I ended up dating this  complete psycho bitch.

    Not going to lie she turned out not to bad  although I   glossed over how we met and that she manipulated everyone to get what she wanted but I refused to see that because I was with a super sexy woman everyone fancied. I’m still with her but I have realised that I miss my ex more and more everyday (we still talk and remain best of friends as we have a beautiful son together). the feeling was good at first because it masked the pain of breaking up with my ex. Then it was good because a lot of guys were jealous of me. I loved it when she got attention off guys up town and she would turn and kiss me.

    But as time went on it becomes unbearable. I have a trophy girlfriend and that’s it. Nothing more. Nothing in common, don’t see eye to eye and no compromise. Her way or no way. For a long time  I have  wanted out but just couldn’t do it because of the fear of there is no one out there that looks like that. But I still miss my ex more than anything. It was never about looks it was about love and understanding. I could do my things and she could do hers. we always compromised. We hardly ever argued. We looked after each other and had each others back.

    Now I  am  under the thumb by a woman who I cannot see past her beauty ( I am by no means saying that all beautiful woman are like this). I cannot go out on my own or do anything without her approval. If I offend her some way she says its because I do not respect her. Tonight is the night I end all this and finally break up.

    Sorry for the long post but I lost what you had. I did not have the most attractive partner ever but we were perfect together and happy. I now have the attractive partner now and its hell. I miss the things that my ex had. The companionship the understanding and the love. Attraction does not hold a relationship together its the other stuff that does that. I am only young at 24 but I learnt the hard way. I miss my ex and I will struggle to find anyone that will understand me like she did and how happy she made me. Attraction is just that, it attracts us to one another and that’s it. It will not keep you together if you don’t have the more important stuff.

  3. 43
    Di

    I agree with you 100%, but and its a big but , in that circumstance I just don’t feel I’m being myself   or honest in that relationship, I think I’d always be looking for that spark or emotion of love and caring.

  4. 44
    shar

    Attraction was what led me to talking or dating them but sadly they never last. Don’t know if it’s me or them and to be honest, while all of this is confusing, when I do stop talking to them I feel like shit. But then I think that maybe there are other guys out there. I’m always stuck in this stage.

  5. 45
    Sal

    Tremendously depressing  in the name of finding “happiness” through a 95% life of non-brainy and non-sexy matters.

    Some of us aren’t built that way.

    Of course “compromising a little on looks and brains” isn’t settling–when a settled life is the desired outcome.

    But since when is this the definition of happiness that applies to all?

  6. 46
    Shelly

    I completely agree with this….my M.O. was to date guys that I was mainly physically attracted to….and my ex husband ended up cheating on me….he was hot….but not the brightest bulb and emotionally unavailable…. and insensitive…my daughter’s sperm donor was a narcissist….and I finally gave a good guy a chance….he is attractive but not my usual type….but he is smart, funny, and we have SO much in common and we genuinely have great conversations. I decided to go for it and I’m so glad I did! And, BTW…the sex is the best I have ever had….. just because a guy is “hot” doesn’t mean he can rock it in bed ladies…..TRUST ME…. you can have a  nice guy and a bad boy in bed 😉

  7. 47
    Alex

    What about being attracted to your partner mentally? I think liking someone’s character and personality traits, and the way one expresses them behaviorally is more important than physical aspects, which tend to fade with time. I felt emotional disconnect with my wife, for a variety of reasons, who I’ve been with for over 10 years, five of which were in marriage. I know she is a great person, and I like a lot of things we do together, but that was not enough for me to feel like I can spend the rest of my life with her, and now going through a painful breakup, which I have a hard time accepting myself, because intellectually I am trying to explain what the author of this article said on the “winning strategy”, but emotionally I feel like my heart is telling me to let it go…

  8. 48
    Raymond T.

    My parents were platonic friends two years before they discovered, one night, that they were in love. They were married for 42 years until my mom passed away. Both my mom and dad confessed to me that neither were “really” attracted to each other when they first met. They weren’t appalled by each other as well. They were just ordinary looking to each other.

    What this showed me is not that attraction is not important, but that people WAY overrate initial chemistry. Chemistry and attraction can develop over time.

    Unless you are appalled by someone’s looks on the first date, if your date has a great personality and a number of other great qualities, take a chance. I have developed massive crushes on women who I really wasn’t extremely attracted to. Personality makes a massive difference.

  9. 49
    Susan

    If you take having children out of the equation, it can change things.   As a middle aged woman, sex is of high importance to me in a relationship.   In fact if the sex isn’t there, neither am I.   The guy doesn’t have to be a male model, but I do have to find him sexy and he has to be all over me.   I’d love to remarry a man who wants tons of hot, adventurous sex with me, for the rest of our lives.   Maybe it wears off for other people, but I want sex all the time and would get bored of a man with a low libido.   I also want stimulating conversations, and maybe to travel together or do spontaneous things.   I want to settle down with an adventurer and go on adventures together.   Not everyone wants a life partner to have children with.   I want a best friend and lifelong lover.   I don’t want kids to get in the way of our fun.   I’ve tried having flings, but these men always break my heart and leave for hotter women.   I want the fun stuff hot women get.   Basically I’m like a female player I guess, who wants to marry a male player and play together for life, like proverbial children.

  10. 50
    Goran

    Evan, if I can be that bold and make a request for the sake of love science …

    just to better understand your standards for “THAT attractive or THAT intelligent” and insert that value into the picture while reading your article again, because while I am incredibly grateful for finding this post and reading all the comments from you guys, I mean you’re all really great in your own view and have wonderful arguments for what you stand for or advise, I’m wondering how your wife looks like and how funny/smart/practical she is …

     

    Cause what I wondered was what if there is quite a big difference in what someone perceives as average or good looking or smart and funny? I know men and women that have many unique ways of functioning and decision making, which is again based on their surrounding, their “fetish”, upbringing, education, looks, wisdom, etc. … and it is therefore very hard to understand and figure out a way of dealing with my situation …

    as I have  yesterday  suggested to my girlfriend that we should maybe brake up because the “mind fuck”(pardon my expression) is sort of gone and I am not as attracted to her any more(it turned out that I tend to be more relaxed, kinky, pervy and “into it” whet it comes to sex + I am more extroverted than she is, although she has done some non standard things in the past). I know for a fact that it is in a way my fault as I have not expressed my feelings totally honestly  about  things in our relationship(could have maybe saved us some time) as not to make a fuss and it will sort itself out by itself … nope, was not thinking clearly … but I, in a way, did it out of some kind of fear of making her anxious (she had chest pain and got pale like from seeing a ghost when I wanted to talk about something that bothered me for the first time, some 4 months into the relationship, we are now together for almost two years (both over 30yo) and fear of maybe loosing her in the process of my “complaint” as I was in 7th heaven for some half a year … oh it’s a big mish-mash of unnecessary silence on my part and maybe her slightly overblown   introduction when we first started dating … and me not having a clear idea of what I was looking for and was willing to “settle for” and letting that be heard so she could decide better if it was what she would be willing to “settle for” or was looking for … and so on. But we were both madly in love … with butterflies and the whole beautiful shabang.

    So I wonder … is it in the end all in how does one know when he/she is having to high standards or weird fetishes, doesn’t it all come down to honesty in communication in the beginning? And it is hard as we all have our own views on how to play things on the basis of our own experience and how we dealt with things that affected us emotionally or intellectually … and we all get our feelings hurt sometimes in our life. It so much depends on the character of the person. But we are just human and we pretend, lie to our self and the other person, we get horny, we get bored, we react … and it is that reaction that defines us in that moment, with THAT person and on that location … with all other details that make us so unique and diverse. So I say honesty and perseverance with a sense for the situation (and adventure) in which it all goes down … cause anyone gets horny sometimes and why not just do it if the other person is for it … or not, if the other person is for it. And then we come to the point that honesty tends to hurt and we all deal differently with the “pain” … oh, I think I could just talk and talk and in the end not say much anymore, so there I stop … will go back to reading.

    Oh yes, and we had “sex” the first time we got together at my place, after a dinner I cooked and a cake she brought … and a bottle of hard liquor, of which we drank half that evening, so honestly, there was not much actual sex as I was not feeling the force enough 😀 … but we corrected that the next time – although she was rarely the initiator or “sex MC”/”fire starter”/ fluffer that would get things going. We have seen each other twice before, both times she came with a friend to my place, just as a friend of that friend … and then she forgot the scarf under the table and I invited her to come pick it up … and the rest is history. She is a good and trustworthy person. I also must add that there are some character and physical traits that have sort of bothered me form the beginning, that I do not find so appealing, beautiful or sexy.

     

    … all this while reading just the first page of comments, still got lots to read, looking forward and I again thank you all for being so damn good to read. Hope I made some sense in this comment.

     

    Liked Sara, Michelle, Robbie and Gem’s comments the most.

  11. 51
    Blah Blah

    I think men are always in it for the short term fun. And they will always lie to get into your pants. In my experience everything has been lies. Often they lie to themselves. Once they have the cow (with false promises they thought were truth at the time) they don’t have to buy the milk. They’re even exploitative within marriage – now that a woman is in the bag, he doesn’t have to try any more. More time to go out with the boys.

    I am tired of reading all this relationship advice for women, but can’t find any similar advice anywhere on the internet for men. It’s more like how they need to go about getting more sex. I think it’s they who need to change. Not us.

    1. 51.1
      No Name To Give

      Blah Blah, maybe if I were a man, I would get it. I have enjoyed sex in my time and yes, good sex is a lovely thing. But for some reason, it seems to make people lose their minds. To the extent we will do stupid or dangerous things to get it. Maybe it’s age and having been out or dating for a while, but I don’t get it.

  12. 52
    Emily, to

    No name,  

    I have enjoyed sex in my time and yes, good sex is a lovely thing. But for some reason, it seems to make people lose their minds. To the extent we will do stupid or dangerous things to get it. Maybe it’s age and having been out or dating for a while, but I don’t get it.

    I agree. I think I’ve had really hot sex maybe about (collectively) 8 months of my life. (Really hot, as in lived up to the riot in my imagination.) But the time it took to get over those guys, the emotional turmoil, etc…. lasted a LOT longer. And you’re right: I did lose my mind. I’m not sure it was worth it.

    1. 52.1
      Adrian

      Hi Emily,

      In another post you recently said, “Do you know that my majors for both my undergraduate and graduate degrees are notoriously underpaid in terms of employment? And that I never gave any thought to what I could earn with either when deciding what interested me? Seems ridiculous, right? And boy am I feeling the consequence of those decisions right now, years later.

      Just out of curiosity if you were 25 or 30 years old again what would you do differently as far as dating? … No settling, or accepting someone whom you feel is good on paper but you have no desire for; I am talking about actions that would lead you to a happy long-term relationship.

      Lastly if you got a good income that gave you financial stability (the reason you gave “Evan” for not wanting to date), got your body back in shape (the reason you gave “Tom10” for not wanting to date), and got online to increase your access to a larger quantity of attractive men in the dating pool  (the reason you gave “Me” for not wanting to date )  , then Emily now in your 40’s would you start looking for a relationship?

      I ask because unlike “No Name To Give”, “Noone45”, and (maybe) “Sylvana” who all have said they have given up on finding a relationship completely due to their looks, weight, etc…  you don’t come off as someone who has given up. However, you do come off as someone who feels that she is not able to/worthy of attracting a guy she wants because of socioeconomic level, location, currently weight, and age???

      I have been observing the conversation between these women where YAG-of all people-is the one who is preaching against giving up… I’m curious to understand the difference between you and those other women; but more importantly I don’t want you to end up sounding like them in 10 years when you hit the age of 50.

      It’s like you are on the edge of crossing over and believing you’ll never find it whereas those women have already walked to the other side and given up.

      1. 52.1.1
        sylvana

        Adrian,

        So I’m not the only one who took a second look when YAG, of all people, was the one advocating for not giving up? lol

        You raised a very good question here, I think. I do feel a twinge of sadness whenever I hear someone (man or woman) say they’ve given up due to not being able to attract or worthy of attracting a partner (due to the circumstances you listed). In those cases, it seems as if they don’t so much choose not to be in (or looking for) a relationship. But rather are as if they have accepted that they don’t really have a choice.

        I really like your question because it can clearly show the difference. If the person’s circumstances (money, location, looks, age, etc.) were different, would they still make the choice not to date or be in relationship?

        I hope Emily, and maybe even Noone45 will answer this one.  It seemed that for No Name To Give, those circumstances are only part of the reason.

        To me, it’s a simple matter of not finding the cost/benefit analysis appealing at all. Being in a relationship feels like spending $1,000 to make $1. And not because I haven’t found a good man.

        Evan’s blog is wonderful explaining what men are like, how they think, feel, and what they want when it comes to women and relationships. And so are some of the male commenters here. It very much confirms what I’ve learned in real life.

        That being said, the way the majority of men really are when it comes to relationships doesn’t appeal to me. Do I believe I can have a relationship with a good man who I’m reasonably attracted to? Absolutely. Will said relationship make me happy? Well, therein lies the problem. The effort, sacrifices, and things I would have to accept (the $1000) way overrule the little bit of extra joy (the $1).

        But I’m different from most women. My closest friends are all men. My extended friend circles and acquaintances are all men. My hobbies and interests are all male dominated. So I’m constantly surrounded by men I have a very close connection with. Likewise, I do not like mixing emotions and sex. The two are completely separate things for me. So I have no problem having casual sex with men I am actually extremely sexually compatible with. There’s no way no how this body is ever getting torn to shreds and permanently ruined by pregnancy and childbirth. Not happening. Likewise, I have no interest in children or even being around them. I am also able to support myself rather well. And I actually prefer living alone. My home is the safe haven where I don’t have to deal with anyone else.

        I actually stopped dating when I was twenty-seven. Kind of got browbeat into one more relationship when I was thirty-three (which lasted one year). I can’t do it. (In my case, looks or weight aren’t a problem. And although I’m now 43, I don’t consider age a problem either.)

        I’m all right with a casual, open relationship if the opportunity presents itself. But that’s it.

        I actually believe that there are men out there who would likely be a perfect match for me even in a serious relationship. But, as Evan always points out, certain criteria will narrow your options down to almost nothing.

        Since I’m pretty much a man stuck in a woman’s body (and attracted only to men – thanks universe), my main criteria alone rules out the majority of men. Add criteria 2 (sexual compatibility), and combined, I just about eliminated 99% of the world’s male population lol.

        But I do have to say that part of the reason I prefer being alone is that my need for emotional connection as well as non-sexual intimacy with men is being well met. Same goes for my sexual needs. And rather than sacrificing one area for another by sticking to one partner, I get all the benefits by utilizing multiple men.

         

         

         

         

         

         

         

        1. Adrian

          Hi Sylvana,

          You said, “So I’m not the only one who took a second look when YAG, of all people, was the one advocating for not giving up? lol

          I actually have a hypothesis on why YAG did this but I decided not to post it because I am striving to add more positivity to the blog.

          You said, “I do feel a twinge of sadness whenever I hear someone (man or woman) say they’ve given up due to not being worthy of attracting a partner

          This is one the the most frustrating things about the comments section to me. I HATE when people brag about looking 50 years younger than their actual age, or the back handed compliment some give themselves by saying “Though I would never call myself a model in looks I do get men/women always asking me out/messaging me.” Or I have this great body or make 66! Figures a year in income!

          I’m like “I get it you are the male/female demigod of desirability; so why are you on this blog seeking help like me?

          But then you hear someone who just trashes themselves and makes you feel sad and regret the bitter thoughts you had about the opposite gender, and want to tell them not to give up, they can have that great relationship.

          You said, “To me, it’s a simple matter of not finding the cost/benefit analysis appealing at all. Being in a relationship feels like spending $1,000 to make $1. And not because I haven’t found a good man

          Would you mind explaining this more? I understand what you are saying when you use numbers but not when you use people (O_o). I mean if you say you can easily find a good relationship then how is the return a lose for you?

          You said, “That being said, the way the majority of men really are when it comes to relationships doesn’t appeal to me.Do I believe I can have a relationship with a good man who I’m reasonably attracted to? Absolutely. Will said relationship make me happy? Well, therein lies the problem. The effort, sacrifices, and things I would have to accept (the $1000) way overrule the little bit of extra joy (the $1)…    I actually believe that there are men out there who would likely be a perfect match for me even in a serious relationship.  ”

          Again would you mind giving some examples so I can clearly see how a good relationship would be a lose for you? If you have to give up/compromise so much then how is it a perfect match for you?

          …     …     …

          Finally which commenter are you? Are you the commentor who is European? I ask because I mix-up you and the commentor who is living the the southern part of the U.S that dates a Hot Latina man (^_^).

          She also describes herself as having very masculine energy, so that is why I mix you two up. That’s why sometimes I’m like why did you say this when before you said that?… Now I realize I’m merging two different people. (^_^)

        2. sylvana

          Adrian,

          I actually have a hypothesis on why YAG did this but I decided not to post it because I am striving to add more positivity to the blog.

          Ouch!! lol. And now you have me bouncing in my chair with curiosity.

          I’m like “I get it you are the male/female demigod of desirability; so why are you on this blog seeking help like me?

          This just cracked me up! It is so true. Honestly, those are the ones who make me wonder why they’re here. Much more so than the ones who have given up. And yes, it is very sad to hear from people who have given up because they’ve been “defeated”. Because you can often tell that giving up was not what they wanted, but rather what they had to do in order to not endure any more pain.

          if you say you can easily find a good relationship then how is the return a lose for you?

          A good man and a good relationship. But not the RIGHT relationship for me. Does that make sense? The men were good partners, and treated me well. The relationships failed because I could not be what/who/how they needed me to be. But not in a bad way (they didn’t have unreasonable expectations). It was a matter of dynamics. And their needs (other than sexual) not being met. They were definitely not bad men, though. And the relationship itself wasn’t bad. We were good friends, took great care of each other, lots of kindness toward each other, etc. It just wasn’t enough.

          And yes, this is where the whole masculine energy thing comes into play. I’m the one originally from Europe 🙂 I also live in the south U.S. now (Florida), since things weren’t confusing enough… haha.   And how come I haven’t met this woman yet?

          But I’m not only just high masculine energy, I am also very high testosterone, with all the little joys that come with it (high dominance, physical strength and toughness, aggressiveness, sex drive, etc.). The universe’s idea of humor, I guess.

          A lot of men think I’m   the coolest thing there is: A person they understand, can totally relate to, only stuck in a woman’s body. Hot, desirable, but just like themselves personality wise. It’s like a best buddy, but you actually want to have sex with her. And then it all comes to a screeching halt when it comes to romance. Because men realize that they do need certain feminine traits to balance things out. And that fuckable buddy of theirs cannot just switch to feminine whenever it’s convenient. They understand it, because they can relate. They couldn’t do it themselves either. But it still doesn’t work.

          Again would you mind giving some examples so I can clearly see how a good relationship would be a lose for you? If you have to give up/compromise so much then how is it a perfect match for you?

          Considering the population of this world, it would be ridiculous to claim that there is not one single man out there who would be a perfect match for me. My three main criteria (overall compatibility, sexual compatibility, and being a good partner) alone, however, narrow the field down to probably around 5-10% of the male population. Add to that that he would have to be attracted to me and interested in me in return, be available, and looking for a long-term relationship, and the field narrows to at best 2% of the male population.

          Do those men exist? Certainly. That’s why I said I do believe they are out there. But the odds of us actually finding each other are slim to none. And I like my freedom too much to put in the endless hours required to so much as locate one.

          And, once again: A good man and good relationship does not equal the RIGHT relationship.

          That being said, I could compromise, and find another good man to have a good relationship with. The problem is that compromising means pretending to be who/how/what I’m not. Therefore, the cost (pretending to be someone I’m not, and all the stress associated with it) way outweighs the reward. The relationship might be good, but not right for me.

          Tron actually nailed this on the head in one of his recent comments:

          “I had to choose between being myself and being what they wanted me to be.”

          The problem is not so much finding a man who can give me what I need. But finding a man whose needs I can meet. I don’t know how to think/feel/act like a woman.

          Regular men are completely out. There’s no way I can appease their ego, no matter how hard I try. Men are really good at judging “opponents”. They can sense who and what I am no matter how I act/behave.

          Highly dominant men actually work, as long as they have proven that they will handle things in the same way or better than I can. But if I don’t agree with their actions, we will clash. And just one digression will mean I no longer trust him to be in charge. A more submissive, less masculine man will not work because I need my partner to at least be able to do what I can do.

          Which brings us to the unicorns: the highly masculine, high testosterone, yet mentally more submissive men. My perfect match. And before you think he is what most women want, he’s not. Most women admire a man’s mental strength (his confidence, his drive to succeed, his accomplishments, him taking charge, showing initiative, etc.). Way more than his physical strength (toughness, good dose of aggression, high sex drive, etc.).

          I’m the other way around. The mentally strong man is a threat to my dominance. Unles I agree with, like, and trust every single one of his decisions, I will not feel safe or comfortable. And if I don’t, a constant battle for dominance will ensue.

          Give me the low confidence, shy, non decision making guy who prefers the woman to lead and be in charge any day. As long as I can point toward a target he then destroys. We’re a match made in heaven (although between my temper and his brawns, we might end up a bit too close to going to jail from time to time). There is nothing I admire more in a man than his physicality and physical ability. Combine that with a good heart, and you have an absolutely marvelous creature 🙂 No matter how tough I am myself, that is one thing men will always have that is superior to me. And I find that fascinating.

          That combination of higher testosterone, lower dominance is rare, but it does exist. I’ve known a few of them in my life.

          So there is a type of man that I could have a good relationship with that would have more benefits than negatives. The perfect match.

          Likewise, there are a lot of good men who I could have a good relationship with, but the sacrifices I would have to make to be in it (being someone I’m not) would outweigh the benefits. The relationship itself is good, but the stress (cost) of being in it isn’t.

          As to why I generally don’t like men in dating and relationships:

          Like Evan often points out, there is fair, and there is effective. I care less about how effective something is if it isn’t fair. A woman can either accept that there are certain double standards and that things aren’t fair, or she can remain single. Ok. Easy choice. Why would you want to be with someone who doesn’t hold you to the same standards as himself? And if you did, how would that make you happy?

          It comes down to this: You can be perfectly happy and have the relationship you want… as long as you totally change who you are, what you believe, and what you stand for. Um…

          The countless double standards and huge differences in give and take when it comes to sex is another one. From courtship all the way through marriage. Once again, a woman can either accept these or stay single. Another easy choice. In general, the entire attitude toward sex is absolutely ridiculous. And men do not like it one bit when they’re on the receiving end of it.

          Men’s obsession with other women. Worse yet, the absolute refusal to accommodate your partners’ feelings in this. As well as the refusal to acknowledge that your partner is the same way, but does tone it down in order not to hurt you. I swear, if a lot of you guys spent half the time fantasizing about your partners and paying attention to them as you’re doing to and about other women, your sex lives would greatly approve.

          I’m not talking about the occasional foray or fantasy. A lot of women (including on this blog) are complaining about constant occurrences.

          I get it, I really do. I’m the same way myself (and so are a lot of other women, contrary to what men believe). The difference is that a lot of women will actually make conscious changes to their reactions an behavior to avoid hurting their partners. Most men think women need to just suck it up because it’s “natural” for men. (And will likely throw a hiss fit when she does the same in turn).

          Speaking of changing behaviors. Another one of women’s big complaints. Since women are the ones who tend to seek help, they are the ones being told to change and adjust. With other words: You can’t change men, so you’ll have to accept them for who they are, and then learn to be happy with it. Might work for a lot of women. Not this one. I’m too much of an early Aries. If the door doesn’t open, I’ll bang my head against it until it breaks or until my skull breaks. Teaching myself to be happy about things I dislike is not going to happen.

          A relatively modern and cultural problem: A lot of men expect a woman to be a man and a woman. Carry her own weight, go to work, yet still retain all the feminine qualities he values. It doesn’t work that way. (Note I said expect, not “allow”).

          Men want women to be independent. But not too much. And only in certain ways. Feel needed, but not necessarily be needed.

          Men want women to be the “cool” girlfriend while at the same time expecting her to be open, vulnerable, and emotionally invested so he can take his sweet time deciding whether he actually wants to make a true commitment (marriage) to her. That’s an oxymoron, people. A person is “cool”, because they don’t really care. Or at least not very attached to the outcome. So you don’t want her to BE cool, but act cool. But you do want her to feel attached to you long before you’re willing to prove to her that it is worth it for her to become attached.

          Because openness and vulnerability are feminine traits that appeal to you and you highly value. But, on the other hand, do not respect enough to treat as the gift that they are. You want them to be displayed without offering their counterbalance: Safety and security. That’s the equivalent of expecting a lamb to walk up to a predator and expose its throat, then pray he decides not to rip it open. Also known as sheer stupidity.

          In general, men still want a lot of the feminine to show up without providing the masculine counterbalance.  Also, men tend to expect the feminine to show up first, then respond with the masculine. That doesn’t work. Reduced to simplest terms, the masculine ensures safety and survival. That’s why women can utilize it so well and easily. It is always present. Expecting the feminine to show up first is asking a person to go against any and all survival instincts.

          A lot of this doesn’t apply to you, Adrian. And obviously not to all men.

          But general double standards; sexual double standards and uneven give and take; me having to change while he gets to blame everything on the way nature made him; and women having to swing back and forth between masculine and feminine like a pendulum while he gets to just be who he is: Not appealing to me. That doesn’t mean men are bad. Those are simply not qualities that appeal to me in a partner.

          That being said, there are obviously women who do not have a problem with it, and find the cost well worth the gain.

          I think I have a bigger issue with the double standards because I’m too much like a man. A lot of women can accept the differences because they actually ARE different from men. I’ll totally admit that I have a lot of the negative aspects of a man that I listed myself. But that makes it that much harder when I’m expected to change them while he gets to be who he is.

      2. 52.1.2
        Emily, to

        Hi Adrian,

        How are you? How’s the new job?
        Just out of curiosity if you were 25 or 30 years old again what would you do differently as far as dating?  
        Probably not much.  I’ve only been really interested in men I was totally besotted with. Of the six men I’ve felt that way about, 3 were available and I got involved with them. I think they were into me, but the intensity of the feeling was not equal. And who wants to jump over the cliff by herself? One wanted something serious, but he was in panic mode because he was going though a divorce so his ardor had more to do with that than with me.

        I know this will be unpopular, but at the end of the day, I always had more fun with my female or gay male friends than I did with boyfriends. The guy thing opens you up for expectations and hopes. If it doesn’t happen, you’re so disappointed. And I’m at a point now where I’d just really like to be having some fun. No trauma.

        1. Adrian

          Hi Emily,

          I was just curious, wasn’t trying to judge. I also know that opening up for you emotionally (at least on here) isn’t easy so I won’t push. Thank you for answering. (^_^)

          If I could go back I would actual NOT listen to my parents and grandparents about seeking love, romance, and courting.

          I would have more fun (not sex) and learn to just enjoy the moment with a women without making plans for a long-term future with her because we had a great date. I honestly believe that the people who are really good at dating are the people who had lots of practice when they were young.

          I loved my deceased ex but I feel like I was too young to be thinking about happy ever after when I wasn’t even old enough to know what it really meant to be a good partner or to be in a good relationship. Being a husband, father, etc sounds great on paper but first you need to know what it means to be YOU, your wants and desires.

          I’m trying to make changes now but it feels like learning to walk for the first time; personality isn’t easy to change. I still struggle with going out with multiple women at once, or not planning some kind of extravagant first date.

          …     …     …

          As far as work… Hmmm… like I said I’m the only male at my level and all the female big bosses are 50+. So when this IT guy got a temporary contract to re-fit our entire system I was happy. He is about 40 and… … … he is an archetypal charismatic jerk.

          You know the type, with only shallow interactions he is the person everyone wants to be around, but since I was going out to lunch with him everyday and even hung out at his home a few times, I got to see the side of him that isn’t professional. Sadly everyone at the job loves him, so who am I to tell them that he looks down on all them as being inferior because of he thinks none of “us” are as smart as him.

          And yes I agree with you and disagree with Jeremy completely. It’s not normal for men to be emotionally dependent on women for companionship. That would be so draining to me. That’s why I will keep trying to make friends and date here in my new city. (^_^)

        2. sylvana

          Emily,

          Definitely thank you so much for answering that 🙂

          I fully understand what you’re saying and your reasoning. And I also don’t think your opinion will be unpopular. I think a lot of women are actually in the same boat and can relate.

          I can also relate to you when it comes to being interested. I can count the men I have been interested in/overall attracted to in an intimate/relationship way on one hand. And those, I had a very strong attraction/draw to. I don’t really have a scale. It’s either yes or no. The no doesn’t change or improve/grow over time. The yes is a “most definitely” kind of yes. Same goes for sexual attraction. I’m either strongly attracted or not at all. There’s no scale, and no changing it.

          Then again I’ve learned long ago that, to me, attraction is solely based on compatibility.

           

        3. Emily, to

          Hi Sylvana,
          I fully understand what you’re saying and your reasoning. And I also don’t think your opinion will be unpopular. I think a lot of women are actually in the same boat and can relate.
          What are you referring to, that you’ve had more fun with friends than boyfriends?
          I don’t really have a scale. It’s either yes or no. The no doesn’t change or improve/grow over time. …  There’s no scale, and no changing it.
          I’m much the same way.

          Then again I’ve learned long ago that, to me, attraction is solely based on compatibility.  

          Maybe you could elaborate on that. So you don’t feel the attraction until you get to know the guy and learn you were compatible?

        4. Emily, to

          Hi Adrian,
          I would have more fun (not sex) and learn to just enjoy the moment with a women without making plans for a long-term future with her because we had a great date.
          Do men do that? In all seriousness, I thought only women did that.
          I still struggle with going out with multiple women at once
          Do you meet these women online? Do you chat with them on the phone and then meet them in person? Do you have trouble remembering their details? (No sarcasm intended.)

          or not planning some kind of extravagant first date.

          I’m one person, and it’s just my opinion, but planning an elaborate date (I’m assuming you mean in the early stages of dating) is not a good idea. It comes off as trying too hard. Something simple is fine.
          So when this IT guy got a temporary contract to re-fit our entire system I was happy. He is about 40 and… … … he is an archetypal charismatic jerk. …    Sadly everyone at the job loves him, so who am I to tell them that he looks down on all them as being inferior because of he thinks none of “us” are as smart as him.
          Interesting. I’ve met few IT people who were liked by everybody. 🙂 Well, maybe one, but he wasn’t your typical IT guy. He was good ole boy. I mean that as a compliment.

  13. 53
    Cathalei

    sylvana,  

    It works the same way for me. I don’t get this attraction scale thing, because when it’s “yes”, it’s a definite “yes” for me. I’m either “fully in it” in attraction or not. It works like an electric key. I have attributed that to my dating primarily (though not exclusively) with same sex, but now I’m glad to see that I’m not alone.

    By the way are you the same Sylvana that writes the name with a capital S? Or is there another sylvana around? You and I seem to be much in common as far as I read what you say.

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