A Sad New Years Story with a Big Twist Ending

family wearing mask at home during corona pandemic

I have been posting blogs on Mondays and Thursdays for 10 years.

You have not received one from me since January 2nd.

That wasn’t me, taking a little holiday break.

That was me, getting sick on Christmas Eve, coughing my way through my wife’s latest 50th birthday party, laying lifeless on the couch for 7 hours on December 27th, going to urgent care that night, discovering I have Influenza A, passing it to my wife, taking the kids to the pediatrician to protect them, learning that I have an ear infection, dealing with the fact that I have intense tinnitus and have lost 50% of my hearing in my right ear, and staying at home 24/7 for the past 10 days.

Right before Christmas, I posted out a couple of blog posts to let you know about my $18,000 Love U Masters Scholarship. Nearly 200 applicants poured in. Yet, because of my health, I couldn’t get out of bed to read any of them until January 3rd.

When I finally did, I was touched in a unique way, that was perhaps intensified by the fact that I was feeling so poorly myself. I literally wanted to help EVERYONE.

Suddenly, I wasn’t sure what the scholarship criteria was. The woman with the saddest story? The woman with the least money? The woman who would be hardest to help? The woman who wrote the most? The woman who was the most coachable and self-aware?

After talking with 7 women in the past two days, I realized that whatever I did would almost seem arbitrary. Just like there is no one “best actress” for the Golden Globes, there is no one woman who is most worthy of a Love U Masters Scholarship.

In fact, everyone I connected with would be perfectly lovely candidates – motivated, appreciative, enthusiastic, ready for love.

But since it’s impossible to schedule 200 hours of private coaching clients a week, here’s what I’ve decided to do.

  1. I’ve announced a winner privately. She will remain anonymous for now and I will let her tell her own story when she’s completed her private coaching journey in June.
  2. Instead of wishing the other six candidates the best and encouraging them to stay positive in 2020, I’ve decided to enroll ALL of them into Love U group coachingThat’s $30,000 worth of scholarships that I wasn’t planning on giving – but was simply overcome with appreciation at a very emotional time.
  3. I’m rewarding the 200 women who applied for the scholarship with a free Q&A to answer your most pressing dating and relationship questions.

Yes, it’s a lot of work to create something just for 200 people on a mailing list of 50,000.

But I simply can’t explain how deeply these applications affected me.

It’s important to me to reward any brave woman who took the time to share her story and ask for guidance.

I am here for you and will do everything in my power to make sure you persevere and get the love you deserve.

I’m not going to give you a speech about New Year Resolutions; I’m only going to remind you that happy relationships – like the ones me, my sister and my Mom have – are all the result of a lot of trial, error, and failure that led to the ultimate success.

Happy New Year and stay tuned for more posts about how you can make this year the last new year you spend alone.

P.S. This is the Katz family right after the ball dropped on December 31st. Let’s just say that things can only get better from here on out…

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  1. 1

    Wishing you and your wife a speedy recovery, and good health and fortune for all your family in the year to come.

  2. 2

    Happy New Year!!!
    Hope all is good for you and the family in 2020!!!
    And also good health. 😉

  3. 3

    Considering I went through something similar in 2019, being very sick for a whole month, finally ending in urgent care, I hope a speedy recovery and know that as we get older, there’s nothing more important than good health. Here’s to a happy and healthy 2020 for you and your family.

  4. 4

    Evan, I’m very sorry to hear this – but happy on behalf of the women who benefit from your coaching. I hope your hearing loss is only temporary, and that your kids will stay well.

  5. 5

    Hope this finds you and your bride well on the mend! Wish you and your family a wonderful (and healthy) 2020!

    1. 5.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      Thanks. Amazing how regular readers can post dozens of comments on a single thread but how few take the time to issue a kind word on a post like this. Your words are greatly appreciated.

      1. 5.1.1

        Just saw this man. Hope you’ve recovered by now. Very cute kids!

  6. 6

    Dear Evan ~ Thank you for the update and I hope you and your wife recover soon. May you and your family feel blessed with the huge transformations that are coming this year! Great big changes often begin with a healing crisis that feels like something is dying … and it is. The old stuff dies and then new stuff prevails. You have my warmest wishes for a happy, healthy, wholesome new year.

  7. 7

    Evan, I am glad that you are on the mend. I write this from my bed on my fourth day home sick with my own bout with the flu/bad cold. I’m feeling much better today but reading your story I’m glad for modern medicine. I hope you make a full recovery. I hope you recover your hearing, if possible. I have ear issues as well and realized how scared I was of exacerbating that this whole time. Fortunately, they both seem fine this time.

    I learned a new thing during this illness. The mitzvah of bikur cholim. A co-worker asked if I needed anything and I said I needed medicine and she brought it to my building. This was a great kindness to me and you all know how important kindness is to me. ☺ We aren’t particularly close, but she offered and I really needed to stay indoors. You never know who will be the one to offer help. Usually, I decline. This time I accepted. It was also nice to see a familiar face, though the exchange was brief.

    Evan, there is no official name for it, but you are doing a kindness for these women. Really meant a lot to me to read this today. I hope your children (they are so big!) remain well and your family has a great 2020!

  8. 8

    Gosh, haven’t been in the loop here in quite awhile but ended up reading this–glad to hear your family is on the mend, and I hope that continues in a smooth upward trajectory–and I was touched that your personal experience opened your heart in a way that will hopefully bring others a better new year along with your family. Be well everyone and as is modeled here, may this new year bring folks into more community that lifts each other up unconditionally and gifts us all with a better, more connected and human/e world xoxo

  9. 9
    Malika with an L

    Hello Evan:

    So sorry you had to go through this Christmas incapacitated. I hoe you and your family were able to have some light moments in between all the hospital visits!
    We had a bit of a S-itty Christmas ourselves, for very different and more mundane reasons. My partner was told hours before the Christmas holidays that his all but guaranteed promotion was off the table. Note to any and all managers: do no tell employees such news before they go into the Xmas holidays, it does not make for a happy holiday. Anyway, thanks to your advice i managed to be a supporting girlfriend and had to think of you when he said that he valued my emotional support and that it helped him bounce back. Thanks for developing this!

    Have a good rest and i hope this soon passes and you can walk round the house without a mouth cap on.

  10. 10

    Evan, Adding my wishes to all the rest for a happy and healthy 2020 for you and yours. Hoping your hearing loss, like your holiday illness, is only temporary.

    What a kind and generous gift your are giving these women! It may be valued at $30,000, but, for those who are receiving it, it is truly priceless.

    And thank you from the bottom of my heart for all the time an energy you put into writing and maintaining this blog! I don’t comment often–and I don’t always agree with you–but I have found your advice invaluable.

  11. 11
    La Miss

    I hope that you and your family are all doing much better. Wish you a happy and healthy 2020. Thank you for all that you do Evan.

  12. 12

    Evan, what a generous gift you gave to the applicants! Thanks for letting us know about your health challenge–very frightening for you and your family. Take care of yourselves. Love and and healing thoughts headed your way.

  13. 13


    I will be praying intensely that you are restored to perfect health! This latest flu bug is a MENACE. Both my daughter and I had it, and I am still coughing a month later.

    Yes, you will be in my prayers for healing of your hearing. Thank you for your generous gift to all the women. Your advice on dating is clear and very helpful to so many of us. I have learned an awful lot.

  14. 14
    Mrs Happy

    I am so glad you and your family survived.

    1. 14.1

      Hmm. When my sister became ill, I struggled with how best to support her. Because I knew that, just as with romantic love, different people receive supportive love best in different ways. Some, through acts of service, some with quality time, some with gifts, some with touch, and some with words. But even for those who prioritize words, care must be taken. Because knowing that a person needs words doesn’t necessarily tell you which words they need to hear.

      Some people’s needs are overt. When ill, they reach out for support and want exactly what they appear to want. To be asked how they are doing, to have people express interest, sympathy. To be shown that they matter. But for other people, those same words are anathema. Because their meta-emotions – how they feel about how they feel – get in the way. For instance, one might feel guilty about making others upset, and the guilt makes the ill person feel even worse, such that they’d rather others not know. One might want some modicum of support but not too much, and then feel guilty about feeling irate at the well-meaning visitors who bother them with the best of intentions. But worse than that, worse than the guilt, is the feeling of shame. Shame at being needy, becoming the opposite of everything one has invested one’s ego into NOT being over one’s lifetime. Shame at being needy – and worse, shame at the sparks of happiness that one feels when others express interest – shame at feeling the feelings one believes one shouldn’t be feeling if one is to be the person one wants to be. At least, that’s how my sister feels.

      And so, for her, my solution was to just be normal while also being present. To not express interest in her illness, but to indeed express interest in HER. To be unflappably normal in the face of her emotions, to show her that her cries will not disgust me, nor will her outbursts of anger frighten me off. That I will be quietly here, and quietly normal – for her, in the face of the non-normalcy, whether it lasts a day, a month, or a week. Perhaps tell her a joke.
      Like, “What’s red and bad for your teeth? – A brick.”
      Or, “What’s the difference between a dirty transit stop and a lobster with breast implants? – One’s a busty crustacean, the other’s a crusty bus station.”
      Or perhaps “People think the last four letters of ‘queue’ are silent, but they’re not. They’re just waiting their turn.”

      She’ll always laugh. Not necessarily at the jokes, but knowing that I’m laughing like a spazz when I tell them. Regardless of knowing, on some level, that that’s why I’m doing it. It’s enough of an obfuscation to obscure the meta-emotions and allow the pure emotions their freedom.

      Which is, I guess, the value of words. Not in what they say, but in what they convey. The sun will rise, and the sun will set, and tomorrow will be a new day, full of possibility.

      1. 14.1.1
        Mrs Happy

        Yes. So why the “hmm”?

        1. Jeremy

          Because I don’t always know how best to respond. Sometimes I have to think about it. Sometimes I’m wrong, in my assumptions or my conclusions. Sometimes it’s to let the person know that I’m not sure, and am just doing the best I can, a request to be judged for my motivations if all else fails.

      2. 14.1.2

        Jeremy, that’s a pretty long response to a 9-word comment. 🙂 Is the pretext that you didn’t find Mrs Happy’s statement appropriately worded?

        In the past when people expressed condolences to me for various reasons, I tried to consider the intention along with the words. Yes, some people are far better at expressing condolences sensitively. But even those expressions that had irked me – usually they came from caring people, so I took a step back and tried to see it from their viewpoint. In the end, the only responses I judged negatively were those that were purely selfish: if, for example, I was sick with something that may not have even been infectious, and instead of saying that they wished me well, they’d say ‘Ew, stay away from me. I don’t want to get sick [or] you might be bad luck.’

        That said, I agree with you that we should try to show our caring in the way the suffering person finds most comforting. We shouldn’t assume that they have the energy or bandwidth to reinterpret our words positively. But I didn’t think Mrs Happy’s words were too bad. Personally I’ve been on the receiving end of much worse!

        1. Mrs Happy

          My head is spinning.
          This section is meant to be about Evan and his family and being sick, so I don’t know Evan would appreciate us delving into this side issue too much here, but …. I’m seriously at a loss here.

          I mean I can come up with a number of reasons J wrote all that, but I truly, truly didn’t realise my comment to Evan, about surviving an illness that KILLS PEOPLE, and his little kids being safe and okay, could be interpreted badly.
          What am I missing? What the fish just happened?

        2. Jeremy

          I was not judging you badly. I was trying to empathize with your mindset. May have been way off. If so, my above comment will stand simply as good general advice in an awkward location.

        3. jo

          Mrs Happy, you may not be missing anything – sorry to cause your head to spin! I may be completely off about why Jeremy wrote that long comment.

          To Evan: I hope you and your family are back in full health, and that your hearing is 100% recovered!

      3. 14.1.3
        Mrs Happy

        What was my mindset?

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