Your Man Doesn’t Have To Leave You Breathless

The longer I do this, the clearer it becomes.

What we think we want is often not good for us. What’s good for us is something we often pass up.

What’s good for us is something we often pass up.

I was musing out loud today to a client about how easy it would have been for me to pass up my own wife, who didn’t remotely fit the description of what I was looking for. This client really wanted to know how to avoid getting hurt – how to nip it in the bud when she’s involved with a high-risk player.

I told her that I had to give her the hardest lesson I have to teach: You Can’t Avoid Getting Hurt!

Because if I decided, after 14 months, that I just couldn’t pull the trigger on the 38-year-old Catholic divorcee with the heavy credit card debt, it wouldn’t have meant that my wife did anything WRONG…it wouldn’t have meant that I was a liar or a jerk or a player… the ONLY thing it would have meant is that I was too high and mighty to appreciate a good thing and hadn’t learned a goddamn thing from being a dating coach.

Really, there’s NOTHING to learn when the only problem is that your guy doesn’t want to marry you.

In that case, it’s him, not you. But if you always bail out – or avoid dating – to avoid getting hurt, you never reap the rewards.

Thankfully, my wife DID give me a shot – despite the fact that I was a flirt with a highly checkered dating history. And, for this, she actually got the man she wanted. If she’d broken up with me to “protect” herself from my potentially fleeing, we’d never be married.

As such, there’s a leap of faith that you have to make in any relationship.

The ones who leave you breathless… tend to be the ones who leave.

You make this leap of faith based on trust and character, not based on attraction or wealth. You make this leap of faith when you’ve found your best friend, who makes you laugh, who has your back, who values the same things in life, and, yes, who is on the same page sexually.

But most importantly, you make this leap of faith when you find the person who allows you to be yourself, to let down your guard, to feel SAFE.

Keep chasing partners who don’t make you feel safe, and you’ll always find yourself getting hurt.

So, please don’t think your partner has to leave you breathless.

The ones who leave you breathless – as you already know – tend to be the ones who leave.

Ready to find the guy who allows you to be yourself and makes you feel safe? Click here to learn how.

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  1. 31

    I think too many people get wrapped up in trying to find the perfect soulmate or person to spend thier lives with, but there is no perfect person in this world.  People find thier soulmate when they are least looking for it and it works. Finding that person who can love and respect you as a whole and allow you to be true.

  2. 32

    Karl R #29: your comment is an absolute poster-child for Evan’s earlier entry “Why don’t men like smart, strong, successful women?” 🙂 (not so much the title as the actual content of Evan’s entry)
    “She’s not talking to me right now”… I cracked up when reading this. Only once in 10 years of marriage was I ever in such a funk that I wouldn’t talk to hubby.  And he has never done that with me. H can’t keep doing that to men, or she will never last in a marriage. As starthrower68 #24 said, drama isn’t the same as passion. Drama gets incredibly annoying in a long-term relationship.

  3. 33
    Mica Ruiz

    I agree completely with Evan.  I went to see the Millionaire Matchmaker and then to another really good  matchmaker and they said the same thing!

  4. 35

    @ Helen: re: “Karl R # 29:  Your post is an absolute poster-child for Evan’s ealier entry ‘Why don’t men like smart, strong, successful women?” 

    ??????  The problem with H wasn’t that she was a smart, strong, successful woman.  The problem with H was that she was a colossal bitch.  (“Not talking to me right now” — LOL!)  The two do not go hand-in-hand, and the near-constant implication that they do irks me to no end.  I’m super-smart, strong, and successful, and I’ve never had any trouble attracting and being involved with decent men because I am also warm, thoughtful, and most importantly, I’ve always  treated the men in my life with respect, both in front of them, and when they’re not around to hear me.    (So why am I here, you ask, LOL??  Fair question — my social circumstances have changed rather dramatically, so for the first time ever, I’m pondering the on-line dating universe, and I felt like I needed some insight into that.  And I do enjoy reading all these questions, and everyone’s comments; good stuff here!) 

    Anyway.  Because of attitudes like this, I tend to reveal little of myself until people (potential female friends, too, not just men) have spent a little time around me.  For instance, I never voluntarily tell anyone that I am a lawyer when I first meet them.  The baggage associated with that revelation is quite negative — I watch carefully, and I can literally see people’s faces change expression.

    Funny, if I were a man, I’m betting that wouldn’t get quite the same reaction . . .      ;      🙂

  5. 36

    @ #34

    Starthrower that was hilarious!!!

    One of those fellows bears an uncanny resemblance to a former bf of mine. Yep, explains why I’m not so discontent being single. 🙂

  6. 37

    The “she’s not talking to me right now” made me laugh, too.  Jake’s GF immediately prior to me was always picking fights with him.  He told a friend once, “we’re having a fight” and the friend’s reaction was, “when AREN’T you having a fight?”  No, thanks.

  7. 38


    Actually, the “pole dancer” wasn’t that bad. LOL!!!!

  8. 39


    I’m a lawyer too! I’ve never directly told anyone that (except at bar association meetings, of course) until first chatting with them for a lengthy amount of time. In fact, I think it’s the first time I’m saying it on this blog. I totally hear where you’re coming from. 😀

    For me, some people just don’t believe me when I tell them I’m a lawyer. They say I’m ‘too nice.” whatever that means…

  9. 40

    sayanta —

    🙂    Yeah, for the people who have gotten to know me a little bit, the reaction is invariably — “Really????”  Sometimes followed by “You don’t *seem* like a lawyer . . . ”   LOL!

  10. 41

    Wow!  Once again, thank you for another excellent article.  This one, along with few others, really opened my eyes — and may have lost EMK a gig!  😉
    I’ve been casually dating a man for nearly a year now.  We both have a lot going on in our lives, but he has been very patient with me.  Specifically, he tells me that he thinks that I’m worth waiting for and has been a friend to me during difficult times.  He is a wonderful father, a professional and keeps in touch with his loved ones.  In addition, he is open-minded, a “self actualizer,” maintains his health and has good hygiene.
    The only drawback to this guy is that he is not attractive in the tradition sense.  I’ve done a lot of thinking, reading and soul searching about this and, until discovering EMK’s blog, haven’t come up with a lot of favorable answers.  I’ve seen the wonderful aspects of this relationship, but so much of what is published regarding “love” has to do with superficial nonessentials.  After all, does is really matter if your future spouse can bench press 200 lbs if he is an accountant???
    While I still believe that there has to be some kind of chemistry in a relationship, my guy has passed the “sniff test,” so I don’t think there is any problem with compatibility between us.   I feel like I’ve been holding back in this relationship because I don’t want to wake up horrified some day, but thinking about this from a pragmatic viewpoint, I now believe that it shouldn’t be a problem.
    Since I’ve taken an objective look at my relationship, I see how wonderful it is; I am prompted to invest in and fully commit to it.
    Thanks again, Evan Marc Katz, for opening my eyes and talking sense in a media sea of Disney-esque conceptions of love.

  11. 42

    Sayanta and TripleM-

    If it means anything to you girls I would totally date you knowing you’re a lawyer and not judge you at all about it!  I would probably actually be turned on about it because I respect and am attracted to girls with good jobs like that.  I can’t understand why any guy would be intimidated by female lawyers.  I don’t believe the stereotypes about lawyers, although there are some who do fit it, most don’t.  Those ones that do are mostly men lol!  The only thing I’d be worried about if I were interested in a lawyer is that she would judge me because my profession isn’t as ‘prestigious’ as hers and I probably don’t make as much money.  (I’m currently a real estate agent…used to be an elementary teacher)

  12. 43


    “Too nice” tells me you just do your job ethically….

  13. 44

    LOL- just for the record, the ‘too nice’ comment actually came from mostly women. Go figure.

  14. 45

    Sarah (#41), is it really important to you that the man be conventionally attractive, or is all that matters – that he is attractive to you?

  15. 46

    Sayanta and TripleM – Just move to DC, where everyone is a lawyer!  I actually just assume that anyone I meet here is a lawyer, male or female.   I really enjoy going to some other city where people actually have some reaction, negative or positive, to my profession, other than a bored sigh and some desultory questions about your kind of practice you get here in DC.
    Other unique DC dating quirks — it’s a total given that you’ll discuss politics on a first date and your politics may be described in detail in your online profile.  To some DCers, political orientation is just as important as sexual orientation.   I myself think it’s boring to date people with 100% the same politics as me.  I’ve had some fantastic dates with improbably conservative guys  who are part of the vast right-wing conspiracy here in town.  As long as they’re not serious social conservatives (e.g. hate gay people and birth control), they’re a lot more fun to talk to than yet ANOTHER dutiful democrat.

  16. 47

    RE: Sayanta’s #3: So glad you read (and enjoyed) First Comes Marriage!  As far as Evan’s best friend line, I think he’s talking about someone who you feel emotionally close to, safe with, comfortable talking about intimate subjects, someone who understands you (for the most part).  I don’t think he’s talking about someone who will always accompany you to go shopping, hit gallery openings, the opera, etc.  And I think that’s where Reva was operating from.  Don’t expect your guy to be your best bud that you do everything with.  Have different sets of friends to do different things.  Evan also wrote a post on that about how men compartmentalize better than women in this regard.

    RE: Moon’s #15: Hilarious!  Though there was a time while I was online dating where I could totally relate to being breathless at correct punctuation and capitalization. 

    RE: Sayanta’s #26: Don’t worry about how to “be” with a guy.  It will develop naturally.  It’s pretty much like how you’re with your friends.  You treat him nicely.  He treats  you nicely.  You get to know one another and spend more time together and integrate your lives, gradually.  And this is coming from someone who was very much a late bloomer in terms of dating.  Who didn’t have her first boyfriend until her late 20s.  And who is now engaged.  So don’t give up hope!

    Karl’s #29: So glad that things are working out with your girlfriend!  Though we’ve never met, I feel like it couldn’t have happened to a more deserving guy.

  17. 48

    Congratulations on your engagement, A-L!!

  18. 49


    Good to see you back! We’ve missed you. Actually, your story inspired me to join Match. lol. We’ll see how it goes. And thanks again for your (as usual) insightful advice about my relationship questions. 

  19. 50

    Oh, congratulations A-L! Your fiance’s very lucky. 🙂

  20. 51
    Karl R

    A-L, (#47)
    Welcome back. We’ve missed you. Thanks for the kind words.
    And congratulations on your engagement. Since I like and respect you, I’m glad to see you’ve succeeded.

  21. 52


    Me again…I hope you don’t mind me asking personal question (which I’ve always asked anyway LOL). How long were you on Match? Is the whole online exp. (especially when most guys want sex after the first couple of dates) kind of like running a marathon? That is, lots of stamina required?

  22. 53

    Wonderful news about your engagement A-L!  And echoing the others, it’s good to see you on the blog again.  Looking  forward to hearing your perspectives from a no-longer-single position. 🙂

  23. 54

    BTDT, Sayanta, and Karl: Thanks for the congratulations!
    Sayanta’s #52: I started online dating around October or November of ’06.  I continued off and on until around December ’08/January ’09.  During that time I probably had dates with about 30-35 guys.  About 20%  got to 3 dates, and of those only half made it past a month (though not long past a month).  My fiance was the only one who made it more than 2 months (we’ve been together for about 18 months, though it was about 13 months when he proposed).    So I don’t know if you consider that a marathon or not.  I know there were times when there was a lot of action and communication going on and I’d get a bit burned out and had to take a break from the online dating bit.  But then I’d start back up again.
    As far as the whole sex thing goes, most got nixed before it even came up as an issue (maybe southerners are a bit slower on that front than in other parts of the country? ).  There was only one guy of the remainder for whom it was a dealbreaker.  So I think if you’re finding guys who are compatible with you (including your values) then they’re more accepting on the sexual front (even if they haven’t abstained from sex in the past).  Anyway, hope that helps, and good luck with match!

  24. 56

    The men who left me breathless did leave. I was also the most heartbroken by them because I now realize how hopeless I was and how desperate to find someone that when they came around and promised me the world and I let my guard down they up and left and I was shattered. It took me a long time to get over. I look back and also see how they were wrong for me.. And I was impressed with things about them that did not matter or truly make me happy.
    My current boyfriend of 5 months is exactly what I wanted and was surprised you said it the same, he is my best friend who makes me laugh and we have great sex.. and above all.. I am 100% myself with him. I felt bad when telling friends about him because I was/am never ranting about how he takes my breath away.. Thinking this was a bad thing. I knew I had never been happier but he didn’t do anything “amazing”.
    However, it suddenly made sense… You know how you go on vacation and its amazing and OMG the bungalows, the beach, the cocktails, the hotel…
    But then again.. (in the words of Dorothy Gale/Judy Garland) There is no place like home. At some point we all want to be home…
    Because home is where the heart is.
    Now to tie it all together (in the lyrics of Owl City) if my heart was a house you’d be home“..
    My boyfriend makes me feel at home. Because that is where my heart is. And nothing can compare to that.

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