Are You Sick Of Being Told To Compromise For Men?

If you are, I don’t blame you one bit.

You don’t want to be told that you’re doing anything wrong.

You don’t want to be told that doing the same thing always yields the same results.

You don’t want to be told that you’re responsible for change when you’ve been hurt by so many bad men.

I hear you, loud and clear.

Men are a HUGE problem. I hear about it every single day from my coaching clients.

You’ve been reading my posts for awhile and you’ve been thinking to yourself:

“Yeah, this guy seems to know what he’s talking about, but something bugs me about him. All his advice is so practical. They always talk about compromise and realistic expectations and being patient. Sorry. I don’t want to compromise and have realistic expectations and be patient! I just want to find love naturally.”

I get it: you want to feel good, and my advice doesn’t always make you feel good.

Believe it or not, I even get it when you send me emails that chastise me:


You’re clearly smart, but when will you get to the real heart of the matter? There’s nothing to do when men are the problem here. They’re awkward, cheap, sex-obsessed and selfish. They think they deserve younger women when they don’t. They’re afraid of commitment and run when you start to care for them. This is why it’s frustrating to get your advice; it’s always telling me what I should do differently, but it doesn’t address the root cause of the problem: men.


Amen, Linda. You just spoke for thousands of women who are fed up with dating, online dating and the selfish idiosyncrasies and double standards of men.

Would it surprise you if I told you I agreed with Linda?

And not just a piece of what she wrote – every single word.

Men are a HUGE problem. I hear about it every single day from my coaching clients. I would not pretend for a second that you have it easy in trying to find a suitable lifelong partner. Dating is really tricky and I couldn’t be more sympathetic to your struggles.

Still, you have to admit, saying “Men are the problem” doesn’t begin to solve any problems. All it does is point fingers.

But let’s look at men another way – since that’s my job as a male dating coach who specializes in helping women. And let’s find agreement on all of these points:

You want to date a man, right? So if these awful creatures are the ones you’re attracted to, we have to figure out how to make the best of it. Your alternatives – dating women and giving up on love – are options, but I’m guessing they’re not Plan A.

You’ve met men before who aren’t awkward, cheap, sex-obsessed and selfish, right? You’ve met men who date women their own age. You’ve met men who are devoted companions, men who have been married for many years. If these men exist, it only stands to reason that they could make for an excellent partner. And before you exclaim that they’re all taken, that’s not true either. It makes no sense to think that the only kind, giving, relationship oriented people over the age of 35 are women.

You can’t change men. You can only change yourself.

If a man does prove to be of low character: stupid, selfish, abusive, addicted, inconsistent, and uninterested in a future with you, my advice has always been the same: leave him. We can agree on that, right?

I don’t have the power to change men. I don’t have the mandate to change men. Men don’t read this kind of dating advice, much less from a dating coach who works with “smart, strong, successful women.” As such, any blog post in which I write advice for men to change would be a big waste of space. Right?

You don’t have the power or mandate to change men either. Any man you respect will be quite resentful of the fact that you want to change him, as you’d have the right to resent any man who actively tried to change you. Change comes from within.

If you agree with all 5 bullet points, we’ve thereby concluded:

You want to date a man.
Some men are good potential partners.
Bad partners should be dumped.
I can’t change men.
You can’t change men. You can only change yourself.

And if that’s the case, you may understand why my posts never point the finger at men or focus on how men need to change. It’s not because they’re not partially “at fault” for things; it’s because they’re not reading my advice.

You are. You’re reading this because something’s not working. You’re reading this because you really do want to fall in love. You’re reading this because, deep down, you know that the only thing you can do is persevere and adjust – as opposed to changing the behavior of men.

So the next time I write a post that challenges you, or frustrates you, or asks you to do something different, please consider why I’m saying it.

I’m saying it because if blaming men is a waste of time, and your previous way of dating hasn’t worked, the ONLY way to get a new result is to open up to a NEW way.

Stick with me. Not because it always feels great. But because I have your back and I will always tell you the TRUTH about what’s going on with men.

The truth, as you know, isn’t always pretty.

But it will set you free.

Join our conversation (159 Comments).
Click Here To Leave Your Comment Below.


  1. 1

    I think another way of saying it is, who is the common denominator in serial failed relationships or dating dissatisfaction? If you do what you’ve always done, you’re going to get what you’ve always gotten. Nothing changes if nothing changes. 

  2. 2

    I think this is really important for women to understand, because the reality is it’s a lot easier to connect with a man and make a relationship work if one person (the woman) is willing to change and mold herself into what he wants in order to make it work. One of my married colleagues always tells me “Of course men want to get married, who wouldn’t want a wife?” I think it goes back to one of your earlier posts about men being more content in singleness than women.

    I think your sentiments are right on, but for today’s smart, successful woman it places her at a crossroads: be yourself and face being alone or change or fix something about your behavior so that a man will find you more acceptable. Much of the pain that women feel is a frustration and disappointment of giving up this person they’ve been, for however long, so that she can find love which leads to feelings of not being enough, for some women this is when bitterness sets in. And this wouldn’t be so bad if it disproportionally affect women. I don’t mean to sound fatalistic about relationships because I think love is so important, but this is why many women may end up alone, because they will not be willing to make these sacrifices.

    1. 2.1

      … it’s a lot easier to connect with a man and make a relationship work if one person (the woman) is willing to change and mold herself into what he wants in order to make it work.

      This will not make very many women happy I suspect. We are not living in the 1950s. We are not dependent on men anymore. We are earning our own money. We are having children outside of relationships. We may want men but we do not actually need them. So we can change it up. We can expect and demand more. If the object of our affection is “awkward, cheap, sex-obsessed and selfish” (well put Linda) and wants to stay this way? Ciao baby.

    2. 2.2
      mean mandy

      There are more men that end up alone than women, why should only women change? A woman can bring money into her home, she can take care of kids and she can have kids alone, where does the men fit into this? they should be the ones who need to change their behaviour otherwise they will end up lone virgin losers.

  3. 3

    Compromises are necessary in all relationships – between friends as well as in dating relationships.
    What I have found is that in order for a relationship to last, not only must we love or like traits and behaviors of our mate, but we must be able to tolerate those that we do not like.  These nagging little ( or not so little) things that are inevitable in our loved one must not bother us enough to cause grinding of teeth or stomach knots.
    A close friend was dating a much older and sophisticated man who had really “been around”.  He had a habit that used to irritate many of his friends.  (Prefer not to say what it was.)  She found it amusing and even endearing!  They could have married and probably been very happy but he died of a heart attack.  I knew him and liked him very much.

  4. 4

    I think a big part of the problem is that many women are notactually attracted to men. We THINK we are attracted to men, but what we are attracted to is a big strong caring committed movie hero type man, not the creatures we actually have around us. Women have evolved a lot in the last few decades, more quickly than a lot of men have, and the regular guys around us (who were attractive to our mothers and grandmothers) are not actually that attractive to us. Many of our mothers and grandmothers were happy enough to marry emotionally distant, housework-shy sexually inept men, or men who thought nothing of carrying on with other women, because from their perspective, they got something out of it: they got out from their parents homw, they received financial support and they got to have children and be part of normal adult society. For many of us today, these things are not what we want men for….but the men around are still the same!
    Speaking for myself, I like men in general, and the things I like about them are: they are less two faced than women – if a man likes you, he talks to you. If he doesn’t like you, he ignores you. He doesn’t tell you he loves your shoes then bitches about you behind your back. Also, they’re good at fixing things, and love taking the car to the garage when it needs done. They are good at carrying heavy bags. They give good hugs. You can have sex with them. Sometimes they buy you things or take you places or let you have a go on their motorbike. They are good at sorting out problems on the PC. Some of them even cook. They smell nice. They tell you you look cute. They adore your boobs. They are less emotional than women froiends, which I find relaxing. I think it helps, on the whole, if you consider them like some sort of exotic pet…. like a giraffe. If you like giraffes, you like giraffes. But it would be absurd to expect them to stop being giraffes.They eat all the high leaves off all of your plants and they shit when they feel like it, they don’t say much and no, they will never “get” the importance of pot pourri. But that’s just them. If you don’t like them, that’s fair enough, but tha5t it what they are like.

    1. 4.1

      The real problem is that you have all become the chauvinists and your just mad that men wont play that game…that we are not going to become narcissistically critical of ourselves and just like you dont want to be treated like a house hold appliance we dont. Your comic book caricature of what men act like is staight out of an archy comic and not at all what REAL(and not boys in mens bodies) men are like.

    2. 4.2


    3. 4.3
      Siobhan Downes

      Love it Helene x x 

    4. 4.4

      Helene, so many of the pointers you raised here connected women-are evolving exponentially and the men are well, well men… can I ask you where did you meet the man the fixes your PC? 😊 That is a Giraffe I could possibly date.

    5. 4.5

      “Women have evolved a lot in the last few decades, more quickly than a lot of men have”


      Are you kidding me? Such drivel.


      I’ll grant you the giraffe though – just another way of saying what Evan does.



    6. 4.6

      Great response! I just laughed out loud in my cubical at work. I think I will secretly start calling all men giraffes from now on. I used to call them PDBs, Poor Dumb Bastards, but giraffe is better. Thanks for the giggle 🙂

  5. 5
    Lisa M.

    I totally agree. Women are the ones asking for advice on this site so the onus is on us to make some adjustments to find love. I don’t think Evan is saying that we should twist ourselves in a pretzel in order to appease jerks and a-holes. It’s simple; if a guy doesn’t possess the qualities you are seeking in a mate make no attempts to change him because it’s a colossal waste of time and energy, just simply move on. I know that’s hard for many women. But to be honest I don’t understand why exactly, I never really got that. The moment a guy shows himself to be unworthy; I’m done.
    I’m certainly not perfect. Like I mentioned, when I first posted here; I have never been in a long-term relationship and I’m 36 years-old. And I’m well aware of what the problem is; I’m commitment phobic. I’ve known this for over a year now and I know I have to make some adjustments in my attitude towards relationships and commitment. However, the men I’ve met over the years haven’t helped to make commitment appealing to me but I still want to fall in love and I know the onus is on me if that’s going to happen.

    1. 5.1

      It’s simple; if a guy doesn’t possess the qualities you are seeking in a mate make no attempts to change him because it’s a colossal waste of time and energy, just simply move on. … But to be honest I don’t understand why exactly, I never really got that. 

      I’d like to offer a reason. It’s because the men in question have SOME of the qualities, or MOST of the qualities MOST of the time. Let’s say you want a man who is honest, helps at home, wants a family, and is loving.

      -There’s the guy who is honest…except with his family…or when he wants to say no.

      -There’s the guy who fixes your car, helps you move, or cooks dinner for you and your kids….but when you argue, he yells and slams doors.

      -There’s the guy who wants a family, but insists that 90% of child related activities are “mom duties”.

      -There’s the guy who is loving….when you do what he wants to do, instead of being unconditional.

      Men, like women, are flawed human beings with many wonderful and some not-so-wonderful traits.

      It’s wishful thinking that this person, who has so many great qualities, did not have the awful ones as well. A lot of people just can’t let go of the fantasy that the awful qualities are often permanent parts of that person’s character, as opposed to one-time-only actions unrelated to who that person is or what they value.

      It takes knowing yourself better to determine if those awful qualities are deal breakers for you or not. Typically, if these flaws are character or value based, they are usually deal breakers. Non character flaws might be open for negotiation with those individuals, and should fall into the ‘loving them unconditionally’ category.

      1. 5.1.1

        typo – the awful qualities are *not* permanent parts of that person’s character

  6. 6

    To Helene who posted above….you are a HOOT !!  Thanks for making me smile, and very astute also !

  7. 7
    Lisa M.

    I get what you’re saying about men but as women we need to be much more discriminating when it comes to men. We let them get away with way too much shit.  I think as women we put way too much importance on being with them.  I’m a recovering commitment probe and my biggest fear in getting involved with a man was that I believed I would lose my independence and autonomy.  So, I never made men a big priority in my life (I’m not saying it was a healthy choice. And yes, I’m heterosexual).  As a result, I often see them for exactly who they are and not for whom I would like for them to be and I have very little tolerance for them when they are not treating me right because I don’t need them to validate me. But I am open to meeting a man to love and share my life with. Not because I’m afraid of being alone or care what people think (and I’m talking about women in general not you).
    We just need to put less value on them and more on ourselves, that’s all I’m saying.

    1. 7.1
      Siobhan Downes

      So true Lisa…..nowadays we dont NEED them as much, so we are less willing to put up with crap…. im very independent and will not tolerate being badly treated. But it amazes me how selfish some are and how much they try to get away with….i just walk! I love my freedom to b honest, dont know if i will ever settle 

    2. 7.2
      Marcy B.

      Lisa, I agree with you. As an avid romance novel reader, I recently questioned where all the male romance writer are. The gist of my findings were that while men write about romance, the romance is something that happens as part of a larger plot (usually some major event in which the man gets to show off is abilities). Women romance writers, however, make the interaction between the man and woman the theme of the book. Understanding that men and women are different, I was nevertheless concerned about this difference. It brought to mind a bible scripture in the Book of Genesis (Her desire shall be toward her husband (the male), and he shall rule over her.) Here, was a prediction that the woman would be obsessed with having the presence of a man in her life. And he would rule over her. I think the rulership of the man occurs because of her obsession with having his presence. And her obsession was the result of her need. In the time this prediction was made, major hardship was going to come upon the earth (particularly the soil), and because of the man’s superior physique and perhaps the woman’s weaker one, she had to depend on him for food (survival). This need persisted for centuries, and still exists in many of us as females because that was how we were socialized. For us, subconsciously, men are still the presence we must have. We actually need to adopt the way of men, assigning them the place of being part of our stories should we meet a please one along with way, rather than the focal point or aim of our story. A note: rulership here, refers here refers not only to what he demands of her, but also what he offers in return, and the attention he gives to her. 

  8. 8

    You are right! Men are NOT reading this stuff and it only makes sense to give advice to the ones who ARE reading it. I would bring home printouts for my ex to read, written BY men, FOR men, and he wouldn’t read him.  Hence, he’s my EX. LOL.  And this site isn’t for us to bitch and complain about how stupid men are, or how they don’t get it. I don’t think Evan is ever disagreeing with that, so let’s take the advice we are given, use what we can, and discard the rest. Change does come from within. We are very powerful……….over ourselves.

  9. 9

    Yes, there are good men out there, but few and far between.  In general, women want and need relationship more than men do (Read Evan’s recent post “Why don’t men hate being single as much as women do?).  Men don’t seek relationship advice, men don’t improve.  Because there are far fewer relationship-oriented men than women, the numerical odds are against women.  Women also have shorter youth, so yes we have the short end of the stick.  But we can’t change any of that.  The only sane advice one can give is “date actively, choose wisely, choose only the good men.”

    1. 9.1

      Hypothetically, if more women are taking advice to better themselves in order to find a happy relationship, and more women want a happy relationship to begin with, then there are simply not enough of the “good guys” to go around. I think this is where the seeming “bitterness” comes in…. You can apply all the advice, but that will not magically produce more quality men. There will still be a lower percentage of quality men in proportion to women when it comes to relationships.

      1. 9.1.1

        “There will still be a lower percentage of quality men in proportion to women when it comes to relationships.”


        Aye, when with this old gem die.


        Men have different relationship needs from women – that you odn’t understand this difference/can’t grasp it, doesn’t make men “lesser” at relationships.


        It makes them different.

        1. Echoes

          Strawman. I was exploring the premise the author presented. I didn’t say it was true, hence the word “hypothetically”.

          This is not about needs or what one seeks, but what one can offer. The author states men are not likely to read self help material to become better partners and he seems to imply they are less driven to self-improvement as it relates to relationships (ie be able and willing to give what the other person needs/wants). If this is not true, fine, but explain why instead of needlessly taking offense at an idea I never stated.

        2. Echoes

          One more thing…. If the different things most men seek in “relationships” are inherently incompatible with what most women seek, then again we have a numbers issue.

    2. 9.2

      I’m still trying to figure out if it’s true that we women have the short end of this stick. I do believe that there are as many good men out there as there as there are good women, but that doesn’t translate into good relationships unfortunately.

      I think there are a couple of aspects to our current predicament. One is the biological clock, which puts us at a disadvantage. Just as greater physical strength (in most cases) is the origin of men’s dominance over women in the patriarchal system, men’s ability to reproduce much later into life is the basis of their upper-hand in the dating/relationship game today.  So we get the shorter end of the stick on a biological plane. However, we get longer end of the stick these days in that we can have children without a partner – which most men still can’t do.

      I don’t know that I believe that women are more evolved than men, but I do believe we are more involved in our personal development – as it’s only really been an option for us for the last 70 years or so, whereas men have been able to pursue their personal development for centuries. I do think there is a lag time for development involved, with men being a little slower on the uptake (as it is on the physical front with child development and puberty). This is not meant as an insult. I’m suggesting that as far as personal evolution is concerned, it may happen later in life for men than it does for many women. What that means is that we are finding less compatibility with men in the same age-group and may need to go up a decade if we want to be on the same page.

      The other thing is that one of the down-sides of marriage no longer being socially required is that a lot of men who are more freedom-oriented than commitment-oriented no longer need to marry to live socially acceptable lives. And sex is now freely available with no strings attached and no payment required – other than a few drinks or a dinner. That means less unhappy marriages, but it also means less marriages. Only men who want to commit need to these days. And I would say there are more women than men with a desire for commitment. And on the whole, men who come around to the idea of commitment, come around a lot later.

      So where does that leave us….

  10. 10
    Charles J. Orlando

    I would agree. As I’ve written: “Is the problem with women… men? Yes, however women need to apply the brakes on how men are allowed to treat them MUCH earlier in their relationships. Men can only treat women the way it is ALLOWED. Women can avoid many damaging relationship issues by demanding more, and by not sacrificing their self-esteem and self-worth in an effort to “contribute” to their relationships by placating the man in their life.”  —Charles J. Orlando, author of The Problem with Women… is Men

  11. 11

    I think a lot of the problem is women ruling men out, often for very silly reasons. The other issue is treating every man who is single as a potential partner, and coming across as desperate.

    Let me know what you think, I’d love to have some feedback on my site!

    1. 11.1

      But, I know a lot of men who think that EVERY woman who they meet think they want them or are their wife too. It ruins the whole relationship and makes them appear arrogant.

  12. 12

    I think the female readers agree with Evan more than we realize.  And while we certainly don’t want to constantly be male-bashing, sometimes it feels good to vent.  It doesn’t mean we’ve stopped agreeing, it means we need to get something out of our system so we can move on.  Sometimes we just want to be heard.

  13. 13

    Thank you for the acknowledgment of bad male behavior, Evan.   It seems to me that half of the “discussions” happening in the comments section could be solved by simply acknowledging the other’s perspective and experience.  More than that, I think that we still live live in a sexist society and women deal with this on a daily basis and frustration builds up from that, too.  I had to laugh recently when I read a slanted article about Maria Shriver, accusatorialy claiming that she “had to have known” that her husband was nailing the housekeeper.  I wondered to myself if women — especially those over 35 — ever catch a break.  Luckily, i stay away from commercial media as much as possible, so I don’t regularly expose myself to that sort of regular frustration.
    Despite these things going on at a societal level and what I’ve experienced as an individual, I still had to come to some sort of reckoning with myself after two marriages to abusive men.  Nobody held a gun to my head and forced me to marry these men… though I know that being desperate circumstances definitely contributed to one marriage.  The common denominator was *me*.
    For my new dating path, I’m taking things very slowly, investing a lot in myself in terms of my career, health and activities, and keeping high standards for myself and anyone I date.  I realize that this post is about learning to compromise, but in my case, I’ve learned that the compromise that I most need to keep making is learning to give less and let the man be a man more often.  If he is not up for that, then I realize that this is a sign and he is probably someone who still has some growing to do… and that is a sign to move on.  As a natural nurturer this is really tough, but by having high standards, I end up wasting less time and having higher quality interactions when they do happen.  So far, I’m very satisfied with this approach.
    Why do you think that women who flirt with single men seem “desperate?”  I am confused by this because women are encouraged to flirt, but when they do it, it seems like there is someone accusing them of acting “desperate.”  I wonder if this is an ageist criticism — like if it was a 25-year-old flirting with a guy she wouldn’t likely be accused of acting “desperate,”  right?  I would like to know your thoughts on this.

  14. 14

    I think the big issue is WHEN are you “compromising”, or WHEN are you being foolhardy?

    I can remember being younger and dating people simply because it was another person to have involved in my life.  I’d honestly tell guys I was dating in my early 20s “I can’t see myself marrying you… or getting married at all” just b/c of my age and maturity.  This didn’t mean “I don’t find you attractive” or “I dislike you”.  It just meant “I am not emotionally or mentally ready to say I know what I want forever”.

    I had a boyfriend move cities for me (after I said “Don’t do that, I can’t see myself marrying you”) and blowing up b/c he made all of these “compromises”.

    Was the problem “me”?  For him, yes, but the problem was also him not accepting what was plain as day – I didn’t want to think about long-term commitment.

    It is very easy for me to understand men might be this same way (or instead of “not ready for marriage”… wanting to date a model, whatever).  But “awkward”… yes, I’ve been around some awkward men.  Cheap… yup.  Definitely a few of those.  Sex-obsessed… who isn’t (unless it’s like the previous OP’s boyfriend)?

    But SELFISH???  The best way I heard “selfish” described is not someone who does what they want to do.  It’s someone who expects others to do what they want.  Of course, a man should step up if he is being a husband and a father.  Other people are dependent on him.  But a single guy playing the field…

    Evan is right.  Dump him if he’s not willing to compromise. 

  15. 15

    The only way for women to change men is to constantly, all the time, always refuse to put up with not being treated right.  We all need to go back to some “old fashioned” standards, that often need to be relearned.  Now a days men don’t even seem to remember what treating a woman well means, and a lot of women don’t remember either.  Even older men don’t know.  And in some ways I can’t blame them.  A lot women have taught men that it’s okay to treat women badly.  Men can be as sloppy as they want and many, many women will just accept that behavior as fine because they don’t want to be alone.  Women need to be willing to say NO to bad behaviour and if it means they are alone they need to realize being alone is way better than being treated badly.

    I really believe that if ALL women refused bad behavior from the men that they date, things would turn around fast.  Men would have to change if they could no longer get what they want no matter how they acted.  Come on women – that’s the real power that we possess.   We need to stand up to bad behavior and enjoy being alone if being with a man means being treated badly.  No man is worth bad behavior – none.  And being alone, standing up for yourself, is truly liberating!

    1. 15.1

      Well said, Claudia! I couldn’t have said it better myself…and, in fact, I have both thought and said these very words to myself and to my female counterparts in the past. I realize it’s idealistic and unrealistic in this sex-crazed pornographic society where women will get naked for a tee-shirt but, it’s true. If every woman realized how she deserves to be treated and acted like it, we wouldn’t have this problem of men being idiots….at least not to this extent. They’d shape up real quick because their options would be to turn gay or be alone. It’s simple economics that operate under the principle of scarcity…plain and simple. But, as you said, Claudia…it only works if ALL women do it and start to understand this principle. Because if not, the same problem will continue to exist because what men can’t get cheaply with one woman is no big deal…all they have to do is turn on their porn or go to a bar for a one night stand or find a needy woman somewhere who doesn’t know her worth and they will settle for that to get what they want in the moment. Problem solved… for them. Unfortunately, it hurts all women everywhere every time this happens.

  16. 16

    No one has ever mentioned this, but you know men have mothers.  Why aren’t mothers teaching their sons how to treat women?  I know that when my father was growing up, my grandmother wouldn’t allow him to be disrespectful to his girlfriends and then ultimately his wife.  I am just asking a question so I hope the mothers on here don’t get angry, but it really is something I wonder about.

    1. 16.1

      I wonder about it, too, Kenley.

  17. 17

    We as women can solve this problem if someone would only write a book about how to change Men!!  Well, you know, not entirely, just their bad habits.  :- )

  18. 18

    This sort of victim mentality poisons relationships before they even start.  Women who come to a first date with the mindset that men in general are uncouth lowlifes will be defensive, which translates into being unfun.  When there’s no second date, they probably blame me.  Make sure you’re judging each man on his own merits.
    That’s one piece of the puzzle.  The other problem is that dating is a low feedback environment.  I’ve had women freeze me out after a date, and I’m always left wondering if my behavior was too awkward, cheap, sex-obsessed or selfish, among other things.  If it was, I’ll never know, and carry that behavior over to the next woman.  One of the first principles of behavior modification is that the target behavior needs to be well-defined, so if you’re serious about changing a man’s behavior, point  out exactly what’s wrong as soon as it happens (immediacy is also a core component of behavior modification).  Many men will probably surprise you by at least making an effort to shape up.
    Last, make sure your expectations are reasonable.  The inclusion of “cheap” in the letter writer’s list of faults throws up red flags for me.  She may be one of those “Buy me stuff or I’ll leave” types.  Stuff isn’t really that important, especially if you haven’t been dating long, so focus on more important traits like emotional maturity and faithfulness, which pay off in the long run.

  19. 19

    If you feel you are compromising too much, then you are with the wrong man. Get out!

  20. 20

    I somewhat disagree, saying that men are the problem is a bit of a general statement, and not all men are as linda puts it are “awkward, cheap, sex-obsessed and selfish and think they deserve a younger woman”

    I am a man and I fall into non of those categories, I think (and I risk being persecuted) that women have to accept some responsibility, if you agree to have a relationship with a man that will treat you like rubbish then dont be angry with him, you are the one that agreed to be with him.

    Women always complain about “nice guys” but then go for someone that treats them rubbish – then they point the finger at all men and say we are all dogs.

    Well I’m a nice guy – a married one for that matter and my wife loves me just that way – and I dont fall in the category of cheap, awkward, selfish or sex obsessed.

  21. 21

    I mostly agree, we can’t blame things outside ourselves, it’s truly hard for anyone to find someone that matches them, but we can’t start blaming the opposite sex for everything…

  22. 22
    Lisa M.

    “Why aren’t mothers teaching their sons how to treat women?  I know that when my father was growing up, my grandmother wouldn’t allow him to be disrespectful to his girlfriends and then ultimately his wife.”


    Great question, I often ask this question myself.  My theory is: My generation(X) is the generation that has been raised by a lot of single women.  I have found from own observations that men that were raised by single mothers tend to be more sexist and misogynistic. As we know, as women we’re not exactly big fans of one another and my feeling is that we just don’t care about how our sons treat other women. And feminism may also play a part in this as well, where they are probably being taught that men and women are equal, therefore, women shouldn’t be treated differently or better.
    It seems that men that come from two parent homes where there is a strong male presence tend to be less disrespectful towards women.  Fathers want their sons to do well with women and they are probably coming from a generation where men were expected to treat women well. In my opinion, these men also tend to be more confident when interacting with women. Your grandmother was most likely from this generation as well where the male and female roles were more traditional.
    The men of my generation seem really confused, socially awkward and feminized when interacting with women. Sorry but that’s how I see most of you. More and more men are getting away from traditional social behavior and I find it very disturbing.  That’s why the study, Evan, (and I’m not accusing him of anything because that study has been posted on many other sites lately) recently posted bothered me so much. It’s as if men are at the point where they  don’t even want to take any risk when it comes to getting a woman anymore.  They have become so overly sensitive to rejection that they rather not even attempt to just smile.  I’m a shy and highly sensitive person and there are times when I’m out and about and I see an attractive guy, I want to smile at him but then there is this fear in the mind that he may not smile back, so I don’t.  But, I’m a woman so I don’t see it a big deal.   This may also be the reason why there are so many PUA sites and books that cater to men these days on how to approach and interact with women because clearly it isn’t being taught early at home.
    Just my two cents.

    1. 22.1

      You are not the only one with this theory. I have been hearing this a lot lately and is probably the root cause to all of this mess. It makes a lot of sense! 

      1. 22.1.1
        Marcy B.

        I disagree. This problem has been occurring before feminism became popular. The differences? Once upon a time, if you did not marry the daughter, the father would come after you with a shot-gun. And, the bad behavior happens within the marriage, rather than before the marriage. 

      2. 22.1.2
        Marcy B.

        See comment below. In writing “You,” I was referring to the single man. 

  23. 23
    Lisa M.

    “One of the first principles of behavior modification is that the target behavior needs to be well-defined, so if you’re serious about changing a man’s behavior, point out exactly what’s wrong as soon as it happens (immediacy is also a core component of behavior modification). Many men will probably surprise you by at least making an effort to shape up.”


    This is very interesting. So, you feel that women are the ones that should police or correct bad male behavior. Really? Why should any women waste her precious time teaching a grown man how to behave? I mean, I don’t know much about how men think but I have observed that men rarely take responsibility for or internalize their negative behavior. It’s always someone else’s fault when they are behaving badly.

    What most of you should start doing is getting help from professionals but before that at least try doing some introspection once in a while.

    We as woman do it all the time. We don’t go around blaming others for our issues or expecting men to fix them. We either talk about it or get professional help.

    I guess since we live in patriarchal society men are pretty much allowed running a mock without very little consequence.

    What a wonderful privilege you all have as men.

    1. 23.1

      Amen Lisa!!

    2. 23.2

      Well, your choice is either to inform a guy when he crosses a boundary or just walk away.


      Which one has any chance of getting you what you want?

      1. 23.2.1

        I agree that this is an issue of appropriate boundaries. On one hand, no one likes unasked for criticism, even if it’s spot on. On the other hand, most people don’t ask for feedback because there’s an assumption that the person won’t respond or be honest. Rachel Greenwald has a whole book about it, Have Him At Hello.

        A middle option is ‘the ouch’. Meaning, when someone does something we don’t like, instead of offering criticism, we can offer our heartfelt feelings about that. As in, “Ouch / Wow! / Oy Vey!  That comment you made hurt my feelings / made me uncomfortable / isn’t what I was expecting”. This opens the door for discussion of what you WOULD like to have / see / do without blame or judgment of the other person.

  24. 24

    I have to disagree with your assessment about single parent families. Growing up with both parents doesn’t guarantee crap.
    My parents divorced when I was 9 years old, and it was better for both of them and for my sister and I over the long run. My father wasn’t going to be the one who was active in teaching his son about relationships because he couldn’t deal with his own. And when I look back at my male friends as a teenager, most of them had two parent families, and yet none of them were receiving any decent advice about girls or relationships. We we all pretty clueless, and resorted to unsavory sources of information (older friends, porn mags. etc).
    It was only later, during my college days, that I realized that I had to grow up and act more respectful and assertive at the same time. You blame feminism, but it was through reading feminist literature, as well as having countless discussions with friends, classmates and girlfriends – often about that very same literature – that I came to have a better sense of what I actually wanted in a relationship, but also how damaging some of the old norms have been for both genders.
    Which is why I completely agree with your assessment of Node’s comment above. Expecting women to police bad male behavior is both privileged and irresponsible. Sure, I’d like a woman I’m dating to be more upfront about any issues she’s having, but it’s my responsibility to pay attention, watch boundaries, and not act like an ass.
    But the thing is, Lisa, you seem to want both “traditional behavior” from men, and also to break down patriarchy. That’s pretty damned impossible if you ask me.
    You talk about men not wanting to take risks anymore. Well, I have to put myself out there all the time because most women are still not going to make the first move.

  25. 25

    Cont. from above –
    As a man, I find myself constantly walking the line between some of that traditional behavior and the fact that what I want is a more equal partnership. It’s not easy. I don’t find a lot of clarity on either end. My experience has been that women who claim to want more traditional behavior from men grow tired of it after a while because with the good stuff comes a fair amount of sexist baggage. The man who is expected to lead a relationship all the time, and who wants to do that, is often the same man who – after 10 years of marriage, is considered “controlling,” “arrogant,” and “uncaring.”
    I just think in general, things are pretty muddled for everyone these days. And so the more we admit that we aren’t sure what to do, and the less we expect people to fall in line to some old, bullshit norms that aren’t gonna function in the long run, the better.

  26. 26

    @Lisa M, I don’t think you can generalize about why men treat women the way that they do.

    Some men treat women poorly BECAUSE they spent childhood watching their dads mistreat their moms and don’t know any other way to act.  And some men treat women really well b/c they had single moms that struggled and that they feel protective of, and they extend that treatment to all of the women that they know. And some men are just jerks, and others are just nice guys because that is how they are wired.

    I don’t think that it’s fair to generalize all men OR women as one way or another.  We are all individuals, and a lot of things occurs in our lives as we develop that makes us do what we do.

    I think that we should know that we cannot change men.  And they cannot change us.  The point is not to change, but to be more open-minded and admit when something really isn’t working.  If you bought a pair of new shoes that looked really pretty but that didn’t fit and gave you blisters, hopefully you’d return them for something that worked for you better.  The problem is of course, that everyone wants the Louboutins even though they cost an arm and a leg and are hard to walk in, when in reality, the less glamorous moccasin is probably a better long term choice. 

    Men don’t ask for help but the answers for their issues with women would be the same if they ever bothered to ask.  Too many of us pick the wrong person (usually for superficial reasons) and then want to mold him or her into that perfect thing.  There is someone out there who is right for you just the way that he is.  Don’t complain that a man doesn’t buy you flowers and won’t hold open the door for you-there is a guy out there who will do that.  But a guy who has never done that for anyone is probably not going to start doing it for you. I think it’s ridiculous to think that you can manipulate or blackmail someone into being something that he is not.  And men who let you do that are weak, and why would you want someone like that?

    I can be honest and say that in college, for example, there were lots of nice, average guys who were perfect gentlemen and 90% of girls would not look twice at them because they were not tall, athletic, or conventionally attractive.  And mind you, this was a very elite school-all of these guys were winners and were going on to great careers.   Yet at that age, picking one of them would have felt like an unfathomable compromise.

    We all need to do it and no one denies it, but it only feels like we are getting preached at exclusively because we talk about it more and ask all of the questions.

    Not saying I like it, just being objectively honest.

  27. 27

    Lisa M #22

    “My generation(X) is the generation that has been raised by a lot of single women.  I have found from own observations that men that were raised by single mothers tend to be more sexist and misogynistic. As we know, as women we’re not exactly big fans of one another and my feeling is that we just don’t care about how our sons treat other women. And feminism may also play a part in this as well, where they are probably being taught that men and women are equal, therefore, women shouldn’t be treated differently or better.” 

    “I guess since we live in patriarchal society men are pretty much allowed running a mock without very little consequence.” 

    I’m confused, is it single mothers who are the problem, or patriarchal society?  I completely disagree with your startement “As we know, as women we’re not exactly big fans of one another and my feeling is that we just don’t care about how our sons treat other women.” I’ve dated men who were products of single parent homes and those from two-parent households, and I haven’t noticed a significant difference. But I have noticed that single moms rely heavily on other women in their families for help (mothers, sisters, even girlfriends). Usually, the father isn’t even in the picture. Kids from single-parent households tend to have greater exposure to women as caregivers than to men. 

    I recently dated a man who was the prime custodial parent of two older sons. I didn’t think he treated me all that well, and I felt he set a surprisingly bad example for his boys. I’ve noticed that some men with sons are completely clueless when it comes to teaching them respectful ways to treat women, either that or it’s a question of “do as I say, not as I actually do.”

  28. 28

    @ Node 3

    The other side of that coin is that men in general don’t want to be told that they should change. Imagine being told by your date (a woman that you do not know) that your behavior was too awkward, cheap, sex obsessed, selfish etc. Would you see that person again? No… you would write her off as a bitch and move on to the next. In a worst case scenario a woman passing along that helpful information to the wrong man can have dire results.

    Just because your date has decided that she won’t see you again does not mean she wants to be placed in the unpleasant and awkward position of being your dating therapist. She may fume and internalize her dissatisfaction about something you did or said, but it is simply in bad form to lash out or to offer friendly “fix yourself” advice to someone you hardly know.

    Evan is right. There really is no easy solution here. If a guy has predominantly good qualities and shows potential as a long term prospect, its best to overlook the bad initially (if these are not deal breakers) and work on a satisfactory middle ground. Perhaps over time that individual would be willing to make changes to appease their mate, but to expect change at the outset is unrealistic.

    A certain amount of rejection is expected on the dating scene. But if you find that women consistently freeze you out after the first date you may want to enlist the assistance of a female friend (or professional) to provide feedback on what might be causing this. Further, there are well known first date faux pas that all men should avoid. Find out what those are.

    1. 28.1

      I agree @ Venus…@ Node 3, your comment bothered me also. I admit, I am more direct than most women when something rubs me the wrong way that a man does. I usually do it a. because I feel disrespected, unappreciated, insulted, offended or all of the above and b. because I genuinely want to think the best about the person I’m seeing and I want to help them either get it right with me or get it right for someone they might date in the future. It never goes over well but, what can I say, I’m an eternal optimist when it come to speaking my mind. That said, what @Venus said it spot on, MOST women won’t say anything…they will either not go out with you again (if she knows her worth) OR she will stay with you and be miserable (if she doesn’t know her worth). Either way, you aren’t doing her or yourself any favors by not engaging with a little female coaching if you find yourself continually dating women who feel this way about you.

    2. 28.2
      Marcy B.

      Perhaps the measure of “mate material” is not the one who has arrived (after all, none of us has), but rather the one who knows he/she hasn’t, and has made inner growth through self-reflection and considering the advise of others an important part of his/her life. Accept the unteachable person as he/ she, is or move on. You can also maintain a relationship with an unteachable person. But you must be aware of the things with which he/she is untrustworthy. Or you must be so rich in what which would blunt his/her flaw that its effect upon you would result in little or no loss.  Some unteachable persons are unteachable are open to being taught by some, but not by others. For example, in many cultures and religions, men consider that a woman should not correct/teach them. This perhaps explains why many men behave as they do when a woman highlights a growth area. Wealth, social status, caste, race, age, title/job position. are some other things individuals consciously or unconsciously consider when determining whether to be teachable in any instance. One question I ask a man if our communications progress far enough is “How have you grown or changed spiritually over the last year or so.” The response so far has been interesting but saddening. All of them provided a response which demonstrated that they had become more self-protective with regard to the world. None of the responses included a story where they had become more patient, loving, giving, etc. 

      1. 28.2.1
        Marcy B.

        A few things I forgot to include in my comment above with regard to individuals who are teachable by some but not by other. Aside from settling, or moving on, an option is to communicate your concerns to someone by whom that person is teachable, and then have that person communicate your concerns. It is not the ideal way, and should be considered together with the entire relationship, rather than by itself.  I also wanted to add that a person may be teachable with regard to some things but not with regard to others. And finally, sometimes a person may be unteachable with regard to a defined group or status because of personal experience (perhaps one or more). It all creates interesting life situations which reminds us that we all are, in some way, imperfect, broken, possessing of room for improvement, etc.

  29. 29

    I agree with one of the posters who said if all of us women insisted upon respect, bailed consistently if we didn’t get it, maybe even withheld sex, men would finally wake up and change. I do think it’s coming based on what I’m seeing maybe. Evan and Oprah and self-help books & Millionaire Matchmaker (she counsels men to “shape up ’cause women tend to move on quickly now”) are leading the way.

    I raised my son, 26, to be very respectful of women. I’m sure his Dad, my ex, counselled him as well.

    In my experience I tend to prefer men who grew up with sisters AND Moms they adored. If either one or both conditions are absent I just try to steer clear of the man. Ditto the man who blames his ex-wife for every single thing that went wrong in their marriage…..

    In two yrs. of online dating I’ve found that men would rather watch Espn for days altogether than spend 10 minutes in quiet introspection about themselves or their behavior. They are hopelessly clueless about how they come across to women. And 95% of the men I date are control freaks and incapable of compromise where my scheduling/emotional needs are concerned. They just don’t give them a second thought after, say, the first week or month of near constant, artificial and self-serving wooing on their part. I just resent it. But at least I now know their pattern and can anticipate with incredible accuracy which way the relationship is heading….

    In a sentence: Men prevail because they are BULLDOGS about control. Women are more passive. End of story…..Maybe in their minds if there’s compromise they feel emasculated.

    Nonetheless, I have tons of self esteem, and what I’m finding is that I tend to bail on 95% of relationships. But in nearly every case after the guy has had some time to reflect and/or miss me, they are always back in touch (’cause I’m a friggin geisha to men- kind, sweet, good listener, supportive, etc., etc. It’s just my nature.).

    I secretly LOVE the look and/or reaction of total surprise when I drop out of sight or say goodbye ’cause NONE of them ever see it coming. Men seem blind to the initial hints, then repeated direct requests (for compromise). It’s gotten so bad I read a sort of riot act to them early what I want out of the relationship, what I expect and that I tend to bail on 95% of relationships. I’m sure it scares off a few, but I no longer care. Despite the warnings, and Lord, even occasional pleading, they keep right on being men. They will be men to the end of time! Unless we as a group show them we mean business finally! lol

    So ladies, be strong, be clear, be ready to walk. The good guys are out there, but not always packaged the way we want them to be.

  30. 30


    I’ve finally, after two yrs., reached date #20 or 21, not sure, so maybe I’m getting closer? And I’ve only finally decided I wanted a true commited relationship (but not marriage or living together) in the last 6-8 months so I’m hoping I’m overdue for some luck here. Previously I think I just wanted to have fun, affairs maybe. I KNOW I was dating all the wrong men, or figured out I was after a while. Evan’s been a big help. Thank you Evan!!!!

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