Why Do Men Run From Me When I Act Too Emotional?


I am 39 and have been actively dating men in my age range. I am a single mom working 2 jobs and have 2 young kids. I don’t have a ton of time to date, but I like to have a person in my life to hang out with when I do get the chance. I tend to have 3-6 month relationships regularly.

I seem to attract a lot of men, and those that I actually date, say they were drawn to my confidence and my self reliance (of course the “hot body” is always mentioned too). Recently however, I have dated a few guys who said that I was “too emotional”. If I let my guard down and expressed myself regarding our relationship, or my bad day at work, or how my confidence was flagging, it was seen as a bad thing.

Do I hide my “real” self and only show guys what I know they want to see: unyielding confidence, no negativity, no neediness? Isn’t that fake? Showing that I am human and not an ice princess is part of the “getting to know you better” phase after the first 3 months. So why am I being made to feel wrong when I do step outside of my wall and try to show really what’s going on in my head?


Aw Rikki. I JUST answered a similar question recently, but felt there was a lot more to say. Truthfully, the real reason I chose to tackle your query was because of this one line: “Recently however, I have dated a few guys who said that I was ‘too emotional’.”

I’m not sure how you got this feedback, but such constructive criticism is INVALUABLE for a single person looking for answers. How else can we ever learn if we don’t know how we’re coming across to others? Yet most of us who get rejected prefer to assign blame to our dates, as if they were wrong for not wanting to see us again. Of course, there’s not always a reason. Sometimes there’s no chemistry. Sometimes there’s mutually awkward conversation. And in those instances, there’s nothing to learn. But if you’re seeing a pattern – “a few guys who said I was too emotional” – you’d be silly not to look a little deeper.

Now, of course, I don’t know you. I don’t know how you act on a date or in a relationship. And it’s no secret whatsoever that women can be emotional. So how does this keep coming up as a red flag to so many men? How do all these different individuals come to the same exact conclusion? Not that you’re emotional, but that you’re TOO emotional.

How do all these different individuals come to the same exact conclusion? Not that you’re emotional, but that you’re TOO emotional.

Sounds to me like you may be TOO emotional. Or at least more emotional than 80% of other women, which, apparently, causes men to want to up and flee. Those are the facts that you stated, not my opinion. So it’s no different than the guy who complained that women left him because he didn’t want to have sex, or the guy who couldn’t understand why women got creeped out when he bought them flowers on the first date. All of you are just being yourselves, yet are consternated that it’s not working. Which is why my advice to you will be the same as my advice to them. Either learn to control your emotions a bit better or accept the fact that your histrionics may be driving a lot of men away.

You’re not WRONG for being emotional, and they’re not WRONG for saying they want someone less emotional. But SOMETHING has to change if you’re going to get different results from your love life. Which is why I put the onus on you, as painful and unfair as that might seem….

All men realize that women need to be heard, that they need to vent, that they need to be held, that they need to cry. Nothing about this is unusual. Which is why I would guess that it’s not what you say to these men, it’s how you’re saying it. Maybe you’re crying over spilt milk. Maybe you scream when you don’t get your way. Maybe you’re obsessive about your problems and sound like a broken record. So while you’re “just being yourself”, you’re also being a person that a few reasonable men don’t want to be around.

So while you’re “just being yourself”, you’re also being a person that a few reasonable men don’t want to be around.

I’m not harshing on you, Rikki. You and I are two of a kind. I, too, am a complainer. I, too, am overly emotional. I, too, have driven away people who didn’t have a high tolerance for negativity. And I can bitch all I want about those who abandoned me when I was anxious and depressed in my 20’s – but the better course of action would have been for me to get my head on straight.

So it’s not that you need to keep up a perfect façade for your entire life. It’s that you need to make some improvements to yourself and the way you communicate, so that when you DO get emotional in the future, it’s rare and commands attention and respect.

My girlfriend, for example, is EXTREMELY sane, so when she cries to me, I take it very, very seriously. She earned that equity with me by being happy and easygoing for a long, long time. And in those rare instances when she loses it, I’m going to give her a wide berth to let her emotions out.

Whether it’s fair or not, most healthy, well-adjusted people don’t want to take on the problems of strangers. If they love you, they’ll do anything. But as you’ve seen, leading with your issues is a one-way ticket to singledom. My recommendation – presuming you left on decent terms with these guys – would be to send them sincere emails and ask for specific feedback on what you did that turned them off. Knowledge is power, and by reaching out to me (and them), you’re well on your way to turning this thing to your advantage. Good luck.

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  1. 1


    I think everything Evan had to write was good advice. Please forgive me if this comment sounds harsh as the result of being cryptic. I don’t want to needlessly repeat Evan’s good words.

    People date other people to enhance their lives, not to take on extra problems.

    If you overreact to things frequently it may be a sign that you have problems with the way you handle things..

    As Groucho Marx once said

    I resemble that remark

    Like Evan, when I was in my 20s I was always negative about something and I was always venting to my friends. I was angry at the friends who dropped me because of that. Years later, when I recognized the problems inside of myself and when I fixed them, I no longer had the need to vent emotions on a regular basis.

  2. 2

    Hey Rikki and Evan,

    I do agree with Evan’s premise that if we are consistently not getting the results we want, and/or being given the same or similar feedback, that it is a good idea to look at ourselves and see why this might be. And what we might modify or change about ourselves, to get what we really want.

    That said, I respectfully disagree with Evan’s use of the word “histrionics” here -” Either learn to control your emotions a bit better or accept the fact that your histrionics may be driving a lot of men away.”

    I don’t personally feel like Nikki has said anything in her post that qualifies as histrionics –

    exaggerated dramatic behavior designed to attract attention; dramatic performance; theater


    1. theatrical performance: a performance of play
    2. a deliberate display of emotion for effect

    Is she being “too emotional” for most men? Yeah, I’d guess that you are Nikki, but do I believe you are “deliberately displaying emotions for effect”?

    No, I truly don’t. My guess is that you feel things very strongly and have likely struggled with this you whole life – how much is really you and being you and how much is “too much” or overreacting compared to other women, men, or the rest of the world at large.

    I would suggest both what Evan said – without the assumptions that you are running around having fits of emotions that draw attention to themselves and to you : ) – and also say to try to channel your emotions into a lot of outlets – many of which have nothing to do with the man in your life, or the one you hope to find.

    Easier said than done – I know, because like you and like Evan (as he states further in this blog entry – p.2), I over emote, feel things more strongly, am too emotional, or whatever you want to call it, too. To some extent, I feel like this actually is part of what makes me a good writer (I hope) and have empathy for other people. But it can work against you.

    Think you have to find a level, for the most part, that work FOR YOU rather than against you. Again, finding other things to put some of that into – exercise (UGH!), volunteer work, pets, friends, work, creative pursuits, helps use some of that up if you will so that it doesn’t all come out in one place nearly as often. And maybe, finding out why you are like that and what some of your triggers – good and bad – might be so that you can be self contained – WHEN YOU WANT TO BE.

    The more important something, or someone, is to me, the more likely I am to be like a faucet with a drip that is plugged, and eventually it blows and deluges everyone and everything in sight.

    I don’t know you Nikki, and I have the luxury of not assuming the possible worst (whereas if Evan is going to truly be of assistance to you without knowing you either – he does have to be more of a devil’s advocate and maybe not assume the worst, but certainly present extreme scenario to make his point), so am just passing along what is working for me.

    Am in no way saying that you shouldn’t be able to be yourself. Just suggesting to think about some ways you can still be you and also get more of what you want.

    Sometimes this works better than others and I don’t claim to not lose it (not so much in anger), but because something is so important to me that I feel strongly about it and sometimes this manifests itself too much for me. Don’t know if this is you as well…

    Maybe by being so self confident and centered and seemingly less emotional to begin with it comes as a shock to the guy when after the three months you mentioned has passed, he suddenly finds you very emotional and all that.

    Could make him panic that he didn’t really know you to begin with or that you are suddenly GETTING SERIOUS b/c you are putting all your emotional cards on the table and they are a Full House (or whatever is high in poker, etc. I don’t play poker). Or a Flush – something big. Maybe you can show your cards, so to speak, a little bit at a time, a bit earlier in the game (than around 3 mos.) so that it doesn’t all hit at once. I don’t think you have to keep “a Poker face” for so long, as long as you can be you in little bits all along. This leads up to stronger shows of emotion, but gives someone a hint of what is to come : ) Hopefully, as you get closer, they will want more too.

    I am also not assuming that what you are emoting about is negative. People who think you are “too much” of anything can wish you aren’t being negative, but when that same person (the one who is too much) is happy, people can find that off-putting as well or just scary because they can’t relate to it on your level. I know full well that you can have the absolute best of intentions and say you won’t cry, or get too nervous, or you won’t care so, or too, much about something and sometimes that isn’t the outcome.

    For me, the harder I try to hold something in, the more it wants to come out. This is often much to my chagrin. So if let it out in differrent ways and with lots of people spread out – particularly ones who very much want someone to show they care and welcome attention, affection (older people, dogs, people with special needs, and others) and see it more as a positive than a negative, it might make you more likely to be more like Evan’s girl friend the rest of the time. And only have the “too emotional” thing on occasion. And still be you.

    As I said further down, there are also people out there who will love you as you are and value that extra something, provided that it isn’t shown by screaming, being demanding or too needy or you know, pitching histrionics (again, as Evan said). Cultivate those people even as you work on reaching an optimal level of displaying of emotions.

    It is very hard for me to even keep something like a special gift a surprise ahead of time – because I get excited if I have something cool for someone, etc. Especially if buy it early ; )

    My father once said that “Your faults and/or weaknesses are your strengths taken too far.” This works well for me in that it means you can modify the intensity of something without having to change it or eradicate the trait, behavior, habit or whatever completely. You just have to also realize that different people will find something “too much” or erring towards fault at different places in the continuum – both theirs and yours.

    And sometimes you may have to modify something more than you totally feel comfortable with in certain situations or with certain people in your job or in life to be as successful as you want to be. You can also keep working to find people who don’t find you to be “too much”.

    There is a fear (at least, I have it) that if I am not “too much” which is how I have always been, that I might just not care and become “too little” or “not enough”.

    Am a work in progress, sometimes a “work in regress” too.

    I do hope that this helps you in some way. Sorry am not more coherent in my thinking this afternoon.

    In any case, find a way that lets you be you, still works for you and don’t give up what is an important part of your person at your expense just to please someone else. There should be a balance where you can find a happy medium for the most part. It sounds as if Evan was able to do so and find someone who complements him. Hopefully, that means the rest of us can too.

    Good luck in finding what you wish for Nikki, with losing yourself. I have faith in you! J

  3. 3

    Ok, just shoot me now! Rikki – my sincerest apologies for calling you “Nikki” !

    One of these days, I will figure out the gaff(s) before I hit send.

  4. 4

    But, relationships are all about emotions, and being loved for your true self!

    I just started a wonderful relationship with a man who led with his emotions (both positive and negative), and we have formed an close emotional bond. We have made a commitment to be open and honest with each other, even when this is risky or difficult. I would rather expose and be loved for my true self than a carefully constructed version of myself.

    It probably helps to be middle aged, and to have had enough time and experience to know what works and doesn’t work in a relationship. It also helps to have enough self awareness to be able to point out and discuss the broken areas in your emotional make-up. That warns your partner to be careful, and enables us both to “work on it”. Yeah, I’m from California, and we all talk this way. 🙂

    However, my experience is that men who are willing to have a relationship like this are exceedingly rare. I’m glad I found one!

  5. 5

    Sorry, Evan, but DANG, this time you missed it by a mile. Rikki has written a thoughtful, articulate letter regarding a frustrating situation that I’ll bet many women can relate to — women with guts, facing adult life challenges as they’ve been handed to them, often without a partner to lean on, who are self-reliant, responsible, & great role models for their kids. The problem isn’t that Rikki is “too emotional.” It’s that she “has emotions,” and when she feels trusting enough to share some of them to a man, it’s a contrast to the outward confidence she’s been putting out there & it freaks the guy out, because he’s come to expect her to suck it up, hang tough, shake it of. In fact, that’s probably what attracted him to her in the first place, because he assumed her confidence meant she’d never have an emotional need where he’d be required to listen carefully or be supportive. So, instead of feeling fortunate to have her trust, he acts like he’s been betrayed. Sure, she may have listened to HIS endless drama, (women don’t have the market on drama, ya know) his emotions, but now that she has needs, he’s outta there. To Rikki I say: let them go. She sounds like she’s got her head on straight enough to know the difference between being a sobbing loose cannon with her hair on fire and simply wanting to share a bad day or a wounded ego once in a while. In fact, Evan, I suspect she is a lot like your girlfriend, as you’ve described her — sane, durable, patient, with a lot on her plate but still enough energy to seek intimate connection with a man. AND (as Evan has said many times in this column) most of the people we meet are going to be the wrong people for us. So, instead of wasting time trying to figure out why she’s too emotional or too ANYTHING, Rikki should put that energy into her pursuit of the right man, the guy who’s mature enough to know a complex woman of quality when he sees her. Good luck and stay strong.

  6. 6

    “Too emotional” is too vague. It might be helpful to look back at these instances when someone said this and identify what exactly were you emotional about? Your ex? Your job? Your kids? Politics? Religion? What?

    And along with looking for similarities in your own behavior, how about looking for similarities in the men who said this about you? I’m a BIG communicator. My most enjoyable relationships have been with men who are the same way. We talked about anything and everything when together–for hours, hours, time flew. By contrast, I’ve also dated some guys who were more the ‘strong silent’ type. They just weren’t into chatting the night away. And attracted as I might be to them, eventually I found them frustrating. Conversation seemed to become me interviewing them–I keep asking questions, they answer, not much in the way of give and take feedback. Dull. In two instances that I can think of, these guys dumped me before I got too bored with them. Perhaps they thought I was too emotional?

    Rikki, look at the men who told you you were too emotional. Were they un-talkative, less-emotional persons themselves? Or inclined to go on about themselves rather than converse in a manner more back and forth? Maybe it wasn’t about you being “too” anything, but rather they were quite different from you in personality? Just some things to consider.

  7. 7

    I have to back up my old pal Zann (Hi stranger):

    The player who broke my heart tried to pull the ‘too emotional’ card also. He even went as far as to say I wore my emotions on my sleeve! I sort of only wish that were true. Unfortunately, in my case, I never like to even cry in public and was always jealous at my girlfriends who could cry at even Lassie.
    Most people say I am more of the strong ‘survivor’ type, a bit sturdier from the roads I’ve traveled-one might even say! So when I hear ‘too emotional’ I’m hearing a guy who doesn’t even want to go there. He wants what he wants and no heart strings attached-get it?

  8. 8

    Rikki, I’ve got a few questions for you.

    Have there been any events or situations recently that have increased your stress level? You might want to think back to when you first started getting these “too emotional” complaints and see if something began affecting you that you weren’t totally aware of. I tend to have stress-related health issues and when I had a recent flareup I couldn’t think of any stressor. It was only a couple of months later when my mom reminded me of an issue that I had been very stressed over, but I had totally overlooked. It was just something totally different from what usually stresses me out (usually it has something to do with teaching in an inner-city school).

    If you’re still in contact with any of the men you dated prior to these “too emotional” men, you might ask them if they could see how that term would be applied to you. That way you may view their response as more unbiased, since that hadn’t been the excuse for your breakup. They can give you info either way that can help to clarify the situation for you.

    I think you should investigate these recent claims because these guys at least cared enough to give you a reason. Too often men wimp out instead (the fade away/avoid any communication route is my least favorite) so I’d see what I could do with the feedback I’ve been given. Once you evaluate if fully and you think it doesn’t hold water, feel free to continue being the way you have been. But if you think their claims might have some credibility then I’d follow some of the other advice already given here. I particularly like J’s idea of various outlets for your emotions.

    “So if let it out in differrent ways and with lots of people spread out – particularly ones who very much want someone to show they care and welcome attention, affection (older people, dogs, people with special needs, and others) and see it more as a positive than a negative, it might make you more likely to be more like Evan’s girl friend the rest of the time.”


    “Again, finding other things to put some of that into – exercise (UGH!), volunteer work, pets, friends, work, creative pursuits, helps use some of that up if you will so that it doesn’t all come out in one place nearly as often.”

    Just my $0.02

  9. 9

    Man. Commenters are batting, like, 10,000 today.

    I cannot top the profundity, but must state (and reiterate where others have embellished):

    “ALL men realize that women need to be heard, that they need to vent, that they need to be held, that they need to cry.”

    No. No, they do not.

    And must ask:
    J, where are you and how much must I pay you for you to offer me your nuanced advice on my love life? 😀

  10. 10

    Rikki, you said you’ve had this issue with guys you’ve been dating more recently – maybe you’re just attracting the wrong kind of guys for you.

    I dated a guy once who, on our fourth date, when I confided in him something that got me kind of choked up, asked me if it was ‘that time of the month’ because I just seemed more ’emotional’ than ‘usual’. Turns out this guy couldn’t handle the realities associated with being in a relationship and – I found out later – had a repultation for running away after 3 months.

    If a guy really cares about you he’ll be able to – no, willing to – put up with your ’emotions’.

    Have you been dating guys who are as emotional as you? Maybe go after guys who are more low-key, you can offset each other. Or find someone who is emotionally mature.

  11. 11

    Hey there to all –

    To M – Thank you so much for your comment, ‘J, where are you and how much must I pay you for you to offer me your nuanced advice on my love life? : )”…

    Wow, thank you so much for that! Glad I could help in some way by sharing what I’ve experienced and/or have learned.

    And having just gotten a “thanks but no thanks letter on a call back for a second job interview (for pt job, but one I really wanted and needed)”, I do have some free time available … ; )

    Seriously, Both your comment and those from A-L gave me a much needed boost of self confidence that all of the “thinking too much” and “feeling things too much” were not in vain. Did I leave out, “analyzing too much”, “caring too much”, “writing too much.” I know the last one is true.

    I’m getting a lot out of Evan’s blogs and the comments as well. Confirming some of what I feel or know to be true for me, learning new points of view and often agreeing with them, and also learning from the posts I am not in accord with as well.

    To Steve: I took your advice from another topic to heart. Steve said:
    “Only practice makes approaching attractive people will make that fear go away. However, there are two things, that if you repeat them to yourself often will help take a bit of the sting out:

    1. The truth.

    You have nothing to lose. If you get turned down the next day your friends will still be your friends. Small children will still smile at you. Cats and dogs will still nuzzle you. The things you enjoy in life will still enjoyable. You have nothing to lose and you can’t get hurt unless you chose to be hurt.

    2. Anytime you have a doubtful thought tell yourself
    I’m really excited for him to find out what a great gal I am, it would be such a shame for him if he misses out’

    So, this is probably a goofy way to go about it, but I baked pumpkin bread for a very attractive, and very kind, also I think, very over-worked pharmacist and took it to him. Also made another loaf for whomever he was working with that day. I doubt I would have normally approached this guy out in a club or elsewhere. But had gotten several prescriptions filled, spoken with him several times and he knows I have a Baking and Pastry Arts degree from the C.I.A. and he told me a friend of his had been graduated from Le Cordon Bleu here in Atlanta.

    I do this for people – elderly friends, the vet for my dog, friends and family.

    Was it overkill? Maybe, but he and the other guy seemed genuinely surprised and very pleased. It was still warm when I brought it to them : ) From scratch, too. So I was able to get a little bit more of his attention, but in a way that would hopefully make him feel good at the same time. Or would definitely be a nice thing to do, no matter what.

    And aside from him being very cute and seeming to be very kind, dedicated to his work and customers, and also, quite intelligent – he really is a good pharmacist and I think they tend to be a bit under appreciated.

    I didn’t worry (much) about what he would think and just did it. Nothing ventured, nothing gained. But more importantly, no positive something put out there either.

    Sometimes you grab the good for the moment or the enjoyment of the little things just for what they are right then. If it leads to more, well, I would certainly be quite happy if that happened.

    Back to this post – I think many of you have added a lot of great comments and perspective(s) and think Rikki will likely find much to fit her own unique circumstances and personality, etc.

  12. 12

    Romancing the pharmacist with homemade bread! Delightful. You know, we’ve all heard about random acts of kindness and now we have random acts of romance. And you combined them both! I like it. I like it alot.

    I don’t have anyone who catches my eye at the moment, but I’m going to have to remember this for when I do–Baked Goods, that’s the ticket. Thanks for sharing.


  13. 13
    Formerly J

    Not that it is of great import, but have changed my posting name from “J” to “Formerly J) after noting someone else had used the same moniker as mine under “If I Have Herpes, How Can I Tell The New Guy I’m Dating?” to post with on Feb. 7. That post, Comment #21, was not generated by me.

    While there is nothing wrong with it, if it is legitimate (my apologies if it is and you are just someone else who picked the same letter – J – to use – as I said, it wasn’t very creative on my part, so it could happen : ) ), it does not reflect my views or my current health status or bed mate/dating situation, so would prefer it not be construed or confused as having come from me.

    Take care all,
    Formerly J

  14. 14
    Formerly J

    Hey there, Selena –

    J writing now as “Formerly J” – Sheesh, silly name, but see reason for it posted above.

    Thank you for the vote of confidence on the pumpkin bread. Is something I do because it has almost always pleased the person it was intended for. Most of them, though, I knew well enough to be reasonably sure of a pleasant outcome.

    And then, on the more random note – if it didn’t go over well, I wasn’t too disappointed because this was not someone I knew and really care about that didn’t want it or thought it was strange that I baked for them.

    I think baked items can be a rather sticky one though – A lot of people who know you bake a lot frequently just kind of expect it from the get-go – or see it as nothing special if they know you do this anyway.

    If you bake someone too soon in a true dating or relating situation – it can become “too special” and it can be damn near disastrous. Because they then often panic and think you are very into them. Fine line between getting it that you did it for them because they are you and you wanted to make the time and effort to do something for them, and looking too invested in other or needy or God knows what else ; )

    I wouldn’t tell you not to do it – I took a calculated risk on this one because honestly, I didn’t have much to lose at this point except maybe a really good pharmacist with good generic drug prices : ) if it failed miserably.

    Have also baked “too early” or with a little implied “too much lovin’ from the oven” – not literally, but as far as coming across as “too emotional”/”too attached” compared to what guy wanted at the time.

    Only time will tell if this was “the ticket” in this case. I had to find a reason to go back to the store, and the pharmacy, to see if he liked it – after he had eaten some. Made myself wait four days before I dropped in. Still not sure if I can deal with it if he is interested, because am not in the best of places financially or body-wise at moment. As said otherwise, am still a work in progress (less so in regress now) and normally would have waited to even make anything remotely like a move until I felt better about myself.

    Much less about the possibility of being naked. Shoot, I don’t even want to see me in a mirror, but it is harder to get dressed and do your makeup in the dark than it is to fool around ; ).

    And I could be seeing things that aren’t there. But maybe I’m not …

    Even if it doesn’t pan out in a romantic way, I still feel really good about having taken a chance and having done it. I especially like to do for people who do a lot for others.

    I think it helped that I have had some interaction with him before and he knew a bit of my background and that I do that – maybe I had mentioned that I baked cookies for my neighbor (who along with her Great Pyrenese, Hadley just moved away). Otherwise it might have gone down a lot differently.

    I have read many of your posts and you seem like a fun, good natured, intelligent lady with a good head on her shoulders and a lot to offer a good man and hopefully, the right one as well. I think you would know whether it was a good idea to do this for someone or not based on the person and the situation. Just thought I’d put this out there just in case.
    : )

    Few people bake for anyone anymore- not for new neighbors in town, or the mail man, or for company when they come. My grandmother always did. Yesterday, a friend (whom have had for almost 24 yrs) showed up to our lunch date with muffins she had baked – for me! I was so tickled by this because no one ever bakes for me – save maybe my mother making me a cake on my b’day. Have made my own, too –

    Then too you have to be more careful about liability or people being afraid to eat it if they don’t know you – or if someone gets sick.

    It has even gotten difficult to be kind sometimes (especially if someone is in medical distress or crime victim, try to help and maybe get sued), but I still think it is worth it. Glad you do too, Selena – You are welcome and I hope you find a lucky guy who catches your eye soon. Happy baking!

    P.S. I think it is awesome that you raised a kid in your 20’s. And it sounds like at least part of that time, did it alone. My memory is flagging tonight. I can barely handle raising my self and a 10 pound Shih-Tzu and I am fast approaching 37.

  15. 15
    Formerly J

    Thank you all for being so gracious as to not call me out on my many typos (mostly left out words). Apparently stress causes me to lose word recall and ability to not transpose homophones and such. Even when I am succinct (yup, I know you are asking, “When is that …” : ) ), I still seem to suck in this regard lately, much to my chagrin. And I seem to see what I thought I typed, or what should be there instead of what is… I will quit taking up space apologizing for that. I just find it embarrassing when I see it too late to fix it.

  16. 16

    “If you bake someone too soon”


    Too cute.

    Also an excellent mnetonymic for any “random kindness” move that might be “too big” for the current level of relationship.

  17. 17

    Formerly J,

    I like to bake cookies–sometimes they turn out–and oh, sometimes not so much. But I enjoy ‘trying’ anyway. I tell you, I am captured by this ‘random act of romance’ idea. I look forward to trying it out one day.

    Why don’t you pick a new screen name besides Formerly J? Something more fitting to your personality? When I first wrote here I used my actual first name. Wouldn’t you know it, the very next day someone wrote in with the same name. Ah..dilema. I certainly did not want my opinions confused with someone else’s–being the very opinionated person that I am! So I feel for you. If someone else writes in with the name Selena it’s back to the drawing board for me. That’s okay. I get a kick out of reading other peoples screen names, kinda makes me wish I was more creative.

    See ya around the blog.

  18. 18
    Formerly J

    Hi M and Selena – evidently I am not the only night owl on the blog –

    Thank you, “M” for making me laugh with the “If you bake someone too soon … ” idea/comment.

    Selena – I bake cookies a lot too, and Baking and Pastry degree or not (sometimes I seriously wonder which one holds more weight {I say I have two} the one on paper, or the one on my butt – sometimes mine come out not so much as well. Doesn’t help that my gas oven jumps 50-75 degrees off what it is set for at random. Means seriously baby sitting anything I bake or cook (though I’m not much of a cook, actually) and constantly turning it down then up. Is not consistently off.

    I know that Random Acts of Kindness were called “RASK” I think by Oprah. Hmmm … Random Acts of Romance – Not sure RAR works – though if you read it pronounced like “rare” instead of “rar” like as in “are”…

    Trying still counts and has a great deal of value in and of itself.

    I agree with you, Selena, I get a kick out of creative screen names too. I do have one that I use on galleryoftheabsurd.com – amazing site with a hugely talented artist who calls herself “14” and does just spot on paintings and drawings involving celebs, gossip, and satire. There are some pretty cool comments on there too. Sometimes controversial ones as well.

    If someone is familiar with her site, using my “pen name” from that would identify me. It is also a name I use, or a variation of it, for sign in names on some other boards (health related ones) and another variation of that is my real email address – which eventually may be connected to a plays on words website/blog that I am toying with starting. I have the url, but am not so sure anyone really wants to read what I have to say that badly : ) and if I can generate enough to keep it up – under pressure.

    Given that I am pretty candid here – I thought it best not to be too easy to sus out as a poster on other boards, or to connect to my email and possibly invite spam out the wazoo. I also worry a bit about what would happen if an employer or date ever Googled me, or more specifically, my emails that contain screen name or whatever. Though I don’t think have posted anything that would specifically keep me from being hired. Forgot my Match.com name is also part of one of my email addresses too. So often would try something else to describe me, and it was already taken, so went with what I knew and what I thought was me.

    The closest I have come to being creative here is to post
    “Woe, Big Fella, is me” after he went after me in a couple of posts. Maybe I deserved it to some extent – jumping into the fray and in a very long winded way.

    I also am an aspiring author and am penning several romance novels – or trying valiantly to do so, anyway. And starting a business in addition to that.

    Do agree with you about not wanting your opinions confused with someone else’s. Or coming off possibly looking like “Eve” as in “The Many Faces of Eve” … if can’t tell which Selena or Steve or J (or whomever) has posted.

    In this particular instance, I couldn’t help but wonder, given what was written, if maybe someone did it on purpose to make people think it was me. I could be wrong, paranoid, and/or self-centered to think that – or maybe self aggrandizing? I kind of wonder if someone who has a beef with at least one other person on this board is doing it in that case too – though it could all be one person with that screen name (seems out of character for that though …) or two totally different people.

    So that is what really prompted the change.

    On the flipside – occasionally, you also might wish people did have another way to contact you. I have felt that way a couple of times – but I don’t think that is a) allowed and b) I’d also hesitate to do so, even if it were permissible, if it meant that anyone who vehemently disagreed with you or your posts would also be able to then find you, so to speak, in the real world.

    If I come up with something cool to use here, I’ll make sure to let you know it’s me…

    See you around the blog – : )

    Formerly J – at least for now

  19. 19

    As usual I have been learning a lot from the comments made by the women. LOL! Why can’t men and women be this frank in real life? 🙂

    I didn’t see Evan’s choice of words to be intentionally offensive or offensive at all. I can understand why some women are sensitive to all women being called overly sensitive, but all of the comments taken together seem to be contradictory. In other words the same people who seem to be upset with Evan because he is generalizing about women and being insulting in that generalization are generalizing about men by writing that men have no emotions and implying that is somehow a deficiency.

    I think we have all seen that men and women are just different and different in ways that do not compliment each others traits, but those differences are fine.

    Then individuals will be individuals. There will be men who are more emotional and women who will be less emotional…..both without being freaks.

  20. 20

    I’ve been using the internet since you had to be a geek to even know that it existed.

    I’ve learned that that, on the internet, the more you write, the less people read.

    No offense to anyone……I’m serious, no offense.

    It seems like a few regulars are intelligent and have useful messages, but they are sabotaging those messages from being read.

    There are different styles of writing for different venues and some styles do not work well in all situations.

    Again, no offense.

    1. 20.1

      Amen to that Steve,I love read I gathered Evan’s articles and the comments. I read the short to medium comments and avoid the long-winded ones. Why,i have already concluded the commentator talk too much and may be too dramatic and defensive. Secondly,I just don’t have the time or patience to read them.you are very correct Steve

  21. 21

    The other day Evan mentioned that his publisher asked him to leave a chapter out of his book “Why You Are Still Single”. The book was aimed primarily at single women. Evan’s chapter explored the idea that some single women can have some types of friends who inadvertently interfere with them getting un-single. Evan’s publisher felt that this idea would be so offensive to women, in general, that it would sabotage sales of the book.

    Information that could have been potentially useful to single people wanting to get un-single was lost.

    This is a bit ironic as the underlying theme for much of Evan’s advice seems to be that better results come from working with the way things are and that the feedback that makes this possible is often hard to come by.

    I see a similar thing happening on this blog. People will get upset with Evan’s choice of words, sometimes, even though they see the truth in where he is coming from and even if they endorse his advice. Instead of posting a note in the tone “Great advice, maybe it is me, but I think phrasing the same truth as ____ would be better” you get comments that have the tone “How dare you slam women!”.

    Without facial expressions and body language people often get mistaken about where people are coming from on the web. Maybe I am mistaken about where some of those commentators are coming from ( or they, where Evan is coming from ) when they bring up their issues with Evan’s choice of words.

    Leaving that point aside, I could see why Evan might never choose to publish that lost chapter.

    People ( men and women ), as a group, really do seem to be resistant to the idea that they might be at fault for their problems or that ideas they are attached to could be wrong. Rather than deal with that it seems like the thing to do is to attack the messenger.

    That doesn’t make sense. If what you believe to be true and if what you are doing is producing results for you then you don’t need advice. If not, it makes sense to be open to other people’s thoughts and it makes sense to be gracious about new ideas you don’t like as people will simply not offer you an opinion if they feel that it is going to be met with hostility.

  22. 22

    “That doesn’t make sense. If what you believe to be true and if what you are doing is producing results for you then you don’t need advice. If not, it makes sense to be open to other people’s thoughts and it makes sense to be gracious about new ideas you don’t like as people will simply not offer you an opinion if they feel that it is going to be met with hostility.”

    This? Is a great suggestion.

    But I don’t see any “attack language” here in the comments, Steve.

    Men are so sensitive! 😀

  23. 23

    I don’t have a problem with Evan’s wording, or advice per se. But I am curious as to the context in which these men told Rikki she was too emotional. That would seem to be something open to interpretation based on the subject matter and the own person’s level of emotion. Might we not consider others either too emotional, or less emotional in relation to ourselves? Perhaps we naturally have a built in bias in this regard.

  24. 24
    Formerly J

    Addressing Steve’s comments in #20 and #21

    I will agree that comment #2 I left mostly for Rikki was excessively long. I just wrote it and didn’t look over the whole thing to see how much was there. I didn’t say anyone was right or wrong, said I have been in the same boat and gave Rikki, and others like us some constructive ways to spread out the emotions if we can’t always get them to a level that works for other people.

    But some of my other posts are only a touch longer than your three back to back posts, Steve.

    Have never said or implied that Evan was slamming woman – I have for the most part agreed with his advice and when I haven’t, I have bent over backwards to make sure I said so in a constructive, tactful manner. Sometimes using to many words to either back myself up with personal experience so it is clear I am not just being judgmental, or using more words to try to make sure it isn’t misconstrued in any way.

    As to not agreeing with a word choice – I said how I feel – I thought that histrionics was too strong a word here given what was stated in the OP’s letter. I still think/feel that. I backed it up with a definition and said I didn’t feel she qualified. I even pointed out that I don’t have to make as strong a case as Evan and in doing so, he uses stronger examples to make such – that may or may not always be that person (OP) to a tee, but they do always make his point.

    Because people do get mistaken about where people are coming from without visual cues, some of us probably use too many words trying not to be misread. Well, it happens anyway to all of us – whether we write a little or a lot.

    There are people on this board who do make personal attacks – men and women – and most people are not going to be able to not respond if they feel someone has directed one at them. Not saying I condone this. It happens. I try not to do it – but I can’t say that I have never commented on something I thought was particularly harsh – whether it was directed at me or someone else. I do my best to just not address those, but on occasion I do.

    This board is not a major “kill the messenger” one, imo. When Evan posted on Yahoo, people made really vicious comments, usually squarely directed at him and his advice. I even mentioned in another post that I thought that was appalling and I didn’t understand where they were coming from.

    We all come here to learn and to be allowed to post our opinions and/ or our experiences. Whether you believe we have learned from it or not, is also your opinion, and a judgment call. I don’t come here to tell you that I don’t think you are learning enough. Nor do I tell you how long your comments should be or what you should say or how you should express yourself. I am not being snarky. I hope it isn’t read that way because I am not angry or looking to pick on you – just leaving a reply.

    Since you mentioned the “word choice” thing and since I leave long posts -many of which were longer because I took time to point out a point of yours in quotes and expound on why I agreed with you, I feel it was reasonable to conclude you were partially talking to me.

    I do totally agree that being gracious and open to other peoples’ comments and ideas, etc. is what we should all be striving to do – on a message board and in life too.

    I can certainly do better about writing shorter posts, but I can’t change how people see or take what I think, write, and feel. Nor am I trying to do that. Just exercising my rights to be heard, to freedom of speech, and to being able to learn and grow from other people doing the same – from both Evan to the bloggers.

    Instead of telling us how we would be more effective (though I don’t necessarily disagree with you on the length thing) – skip through our comments if they are too long or you think we aren’t learning enough. If you already think that about the learning enough thing, nothing we have written is likely to sway you anyway. Yeah, is a pain to scroll through long stuff, but at least you will get your Evan blog fix a lot faster.

    Just because someone posts an opinion about what they believe to be true or about past experience DOES NOT mean we think we don’t need advice. And frankly, it is up to us to decide if we need advice or not, whether we read this board and comment, etc. I have posted what I knew to be true in the past or what has been my experience – not saying I haven’t come to different conclusions or done things differently. I even posted that I had taken you advice (which I appreciated, btw) – though I am not sure I did what you intended the way you might have intended it – because I did it my way.

    In your own way, you too are attacking the messenger – us. I know you did it politely, but I am still a little surprised and again, frankly a touch hurt.

  25. 25
    Formerly J

    As mentioned am the first “J” posting under different name –

    You know, I never said or implied that men were lacking in emotion or were at fault for thinking we were “too emotional” either.

    “I didn’t see Evan’s choice of words to be intentionally offensive or offensive at all. I can understand why some women are sensitive to all women being called overly sensitive, but all of the comments taken together seem to be contradictory. In other words the same people who seem to be upset with Evan because he is generalizing about women and being insulting in that generalization are generalizing about men by writing that men have no emotions and implying that is somehow a deficiency.”

    All the comments one person made together seem to be contradictory, or all the womens’ comments taken together?

    Generally, I have been taught to state positive with potential negatives to make them less well, negative. And if I agree with most of Evan’s post, but not all of it, I specify what/why.

    If I agreed with everything he or anyone else said, that would also make me a sheep : ) and in that case, it would also probably mean that “what you believe to be true and if what you are doing is producing results for you then you don’t need advice.” would actually be the case for me – and that I was only coming here to always have someone tell me that I was right. ; )

    I would agree with you in that instance, I wouldn’t have a real need to be here.

  26. 26
    Formerly J

    Whether someone “needs” advice is totally different from whether they “want” it and also, whether the are able to actually take it and then put it into action in their own lives and relationships.

    I think everyone NEEDS advice at times from different sources. I do agree, Steve, though that people are very resistant to change – all people – and that practicing what we preach and walking the talk is very hard – even when we truly want to do so. And pretty difficult to impossible if we don’t really want to but think we should.

  27. 27
    Formerly J

    Last thing, in this string of comments in a row –

    I left this off –

    Please Steve, asking in the nicest way possible, a favor:
    – please don’t presume to tell me what I do or don’t need or how I should be in a specific way and I will make certain to afford you the same courtesy – will do my best to not do so anyway. And if you think I am going against that where it concerns you specifically, then please tell me.

    Please do keep offering your insights, opinions, feelings and thoughts as well as experiences as food for thought. Because a lot of us do get something from them or learn – as we have told you that we did.

  28. 28

    Hi All! I only got to read about half of the responses…when I realized I needed to comment.

    1. Yes, Evan, there are many “too emotional” women…but also applies to “over-emotional” men too…but that is another article for another day. And in those cases (as we all have been at some point) we DO HAVE TO MAKE CHANGES.

    2. However, I didn’t hear that from Rikki’s question. And that is because on occasion I have had a similar experience. Let me share:

    I have been a single mom for 7 years. I spent the first 3 years working on myself and getting a solid job and adjusting my household to be a healthy home for my two boys. I work hard and provide the physical and emotional needs for my children. Therefore, I have become a strong person, less emotional and more balanced with logical processing (quote from my therapist 5 years ago).

    I noticed that on dating profiles, men will state they are looking for a strong and independent woman. Well, since I fit that qualification, we may chat and eventually go out. However, I have also noticed that as time goes along and we are getting to know one another more to where we can share about our day (as Rikki mentioned)…the first time that I make a statement that “whew, this has been a long week” or “this was just a crappy day” about work or the car (anything), then all of a sudden I am labled as “emotional” or “weak” and how they thought I was different from the other women and they really thought I was strong and independent. MIND YOU, I did NOT CRY…I did NOT stop doing any of the tasks that are my responsibility! I made a statement that expressed AN emotion – tired/exhausted/frustrated. But for some reason it was seen more as a flaw, that I could possibly have a bad day.

    I really hope that Evan is reading his comments, because I read his articles every day and have learned a lot. Most of it fortifies what I already know when it comes to the dating scene, but some of it gives me a new perspective.

    In respect, I totally see where he was coming from in giving his advice/response…having been given just an email question, but I think if you really listen to the words that were chosen and written…you will find she is not “too emotional” but rather allowing herself some feeling of emotion (since we are still human even though we have to “function/act/work” like we are superhuman as a full-time single parent)…and its that tidbit of humanness that distorts the men’s view of us that we are “strong and independent”. That in itself is not fair.

    To quote Evan from the other day…”we attract many people…not all people are right for us…” I am searching for the man that can appreciate my ability to be strong and independent but also realize that I am still a human…a woman…that sometimes does need to snuggle up together and watch a movie!

  29. 29
    Evan Marc Katz

    Sometimes I read the comments. When they’re longer than my original post, however, I tend to skip them. Brevity, people! Love ya. Mean it!

    Anyway, there’s been a little talk about how I was wrong for telling this woman that she’s too emotional. Apparently, you were able to tell from her original email that this woman is a perfectly normal woman and merely misunderstood by men. May I suggest that you’re feeling personally indicted by the words “too emotional” and therefore jumping to her defense? Good. I’ll suggest it.

    See, I never said she was too emotional. SHE said that MULTIPLE men told her she was too emotional. Which means that she can write a very measured, level-headed, even-tempered email, and, guess what – be TOO EMOTIONAL when she’s in a relationship with a man. Just because Rikki articulates herself well and doesn’t slander these men doesn’t mean that the feedback she’s gotten is invalid. Can men be heartless, emotionless pigs? Sure. But if a bunch of them are telling her independently that she’s got an issue? She’s probably got an issue. And it’s poor advice on the part of women to tell her otherwise.

    We have to adjust to the world around us, not tell the world around us to change. Good luck and Godspeed.

  30. 30

    I’ve been reading comments on this website for quite a while and the original question along with lots of others has made me realize — sadly so — that in the world of on-line dating, one has to be perfect — the perfect man or woman the person you are dating wants you to be. You have a very short leash. One false move and it’s onto the next man or woman who is just a mouse click away. Given these rules, I honestly don’t know how people actually get into relationships. I’m not even sure why people want to get into relationships if they can’t ever just be.

    1. 30.1

      So very true! Just recently had an issue with a guy I was dating for a few months who started ignoring me. It’s been fun, lots of joking, and great sex…up until I started to open up to him and there was a very huge shift in his behavior. It started with me talking about my work stressing me out and having a rough day. He texted me 2 hours later saying, “life is tough sometimes.” I was kind of hurt by the response but decided to ignore it. Then his behavior just got weirder and he was noticeably emotionally distant. We used to say good morning and good night every day and he started ignoring it. I asked him why and he said made it seem like I was overreacting that I needed to focus on other things besides telling him good night and good morning. I called him out on his coldness towards me and guess what….he started ignoring me and stopped talking to me entirely! Basically, as soon as I did anything that required some level of emotional intimacy he shut down and shut off. He also made me feel like I was always overacting. I don’t understand how men like that can possibly have relationships with women at all. Yes, we can be calm, cool, and collected but at some point we will show our human side, our vulnerable side. Our emotional side is apart of being with us. People don’t want relationships if they can’t deal with that.

      1. 30.1.1

        The same thing happened to me. I could have written your post. We had a soulmate relationship. Totally compatible, same life style, humor, interests. THE ONE. And then I showed my vulnerable side and talked about my fears and insecurities, basically opened up. And gone he was. Told me that I am under too much stress and as new relationships are stressful he wanted to remove some stress from me by leaving. Some logic. Instead of providing comfort and support he left. My strength, humor, kindness, warmth counted nothing. He ran from my vulnerable side.

        1. Emily, the original

          Ashleigh and Gaia,

          It sounds like in both situations neither man wanted a full relationship. Everything was fine — the sex, companionship, fun, laughs — until things got heavier emotionally and you expected something from them. Things moved away from an entertainment level. So either they don’t like heavy relationships (at this time in their lives or ever) or they are emotionally shallow.

    2. 30.2

      I could not agree more. And in the end they are alone because perfect does not exist.

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