Do You Want Your Coupled Life To Look Like Your Single Life?

Are you an independent woman with a rich, full single life? Are you generally busy with your work, family, friends, hobbies, and travel? Does your vision of couple-hood look a lot like your life now – just with a man dropped in it? If that’s the case, we’ve gotta talk. If you’re going to partner with a man who is your equal, you’ve gotta make space for him – just like you want him to do for you.

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Are you an independent woman with a rich, full, single life? Are you generally busy with your work, your friends, your family, your hobbies and your travel? Does your vision of couplehood look a lot like your life now? Just with a man dropped in it, if that’s the case, We’ve got to talk. 

Hi, I’m Evan Marc Katz, Dating Coach for Smart, Strong, Successful Women, and your Personal Trainer for Love. Welcome to the Love U Podcast. Stick around to the end to discover how to make smart compromises in love so you could actually be happy. When we’re done I’ll let you know how you can apply to Love U to create a passionate relationship that makes you feel safe, heard, and understood. 

We’re going to begin today with a story. It’s always a story. Real people who’ve turned to me for love and have blind spots. In this case, the client’s name is Cindy. Cindy’s in her early 50s. She turned to me for Loving Masters coaching, which is private coaching. Her issue was that in her marriage for 20 years, she was kind of a doormat, even though she is an independent source. 

That’s the interesting thing, is that I deal with women who are smart, strong, successful, have all the competence in the world, but within the context of their relationship, they don’t carry themselves with confidence. 

So now that she’s divorced and she’s out there rebuilding her life from scratch, she’s discovered what makes her happy. And she’s really high on being single. And I hope that resonates with you. I want you to have an amazing time being single before your partner. 

So the issue is that Cindy didn’t want to compromise in her future relationships because she compromised so much in her prior relationship in her marriage. She’s basically come to the conclusion that all marriage is going to be like the one she had before, which isn’t true. But in her experience, when you have a husband, he bosses you around, his parents boss you around, they meddle in your business and suddenly you’ve got no say in your own life. So she does what most people do. She goes to the opposite end of the spectrum. She says, in my next marriage if I ever get married again, I’m not going to compromise. And I compromise like 90% of the time before. So now I’m going to compromise like 0% of the time. So what Cindy’s establishing is that she wants, when she gets married, her life to look exactly like the life she has when she’s single. She wants to be able to come and go as she pleases, someone who can go to the movies with her and snuggle, which basically leaves her alone. 

That’s not real intimacy.

By the way, this is exactly what men do. If you’ve ever been the woman who’s been with a guy like that. He wants his life. He’s got his work. He’s got the stuff going on. He calls you when he needs you. But mostly out of sight, out of mind. That’s a long-distance girlfriend. That’s not real intimacy. If he doesn’t let you in. He only calls you when he needs you. 

So my client’s justifying doing the exact same thing, keeping a guy at arm’s length. All right. I want to go to the movies with me. I want someone to travel with me. I want them to pay for my dinner and sleep with me and pretty much just stay out of my way otherwise. And that’s fine. The problem is just not gonna end up with a successful relationship with that philosophy because she’s reducing a man to a dog, maybe treat him like a throw pillow. He is there for convenience, some looks. But otherwise, he doesn’t take up much space in her life. So I can empathize with her and why she comes to this conclusion. But what we do here, let’s reverse it. 

Imagine the guy said the same thing as always. I’m going to pretend to be the guy who was my life until I was 35 and worked for like eleven hours from 9 in the morning to 8 at night as a small-time entrepreneur. That’s what I would do. Just put my head down to work and work and work and work, maybe get out of work, make myself a quick TV dinner, throw something in my mouth, before I put a total of zero seconds thinking about it, maybe go out, hang out with guy friends, grab a drink, go home, obsess about fantasy football and leave the weekends open for hanging out with my friends and watching sports. That was my life. 

So what my life looks like now, in five minutes, I am going to my wife’s best friend’s backyard for social distancing to watch our kids play in the pool. That’s my life right now. And so it’s a lot more yes, dear than my way or the highway because my goal is to be a good husband and father. Not just do things my way. So if you’ve ever been the doormat in a relationship and you’ve never had a boyfriend meet your emotional needs, “compromise” might be a scary word. 

But I got to caution you, you don’t want to overcorrect to the point that you think it’s normal or healthy to keep the exact same life as a couple that you have when you were single before you met your boyfriend. Because if you don’t make time for him as an individual and you think your life is going to look just like your single life right now, pick up and go to Bali on a dime with your girlfriends or take a yoga retreat. And you’re allowed to do all these things, no one is trying to restrict you. It’s just it is team decision-making. And if you don’t make it to a part of the relationship and his needs matter as much as yours, you’re going to end up in two places you don’t want to be. 

Number one, you’re going to be with a guy who has no opinions and no balls and no boundaries and no life. That’s your human throw pillow. And you could do whatever you want with him whenever you want because he’s going to let you get away with that. He doesn’t care. 

And if you end up with another guy who has balls, opinions and a life, you’re going to end up alone. Because any man worth his salt deserves to have a partner who wants him to be happy and is willing to build the life together, not just a life based on one person’s needs. 

In other words, don’t become the man that you don’t want to date. Be a team player, be a partner, and recognize that good compromise is one where both people win. That point on the Venn diagram where your needs are met and his meet needs are met. That’s the only way to have a successful relationship. 

I’m Evan Marc Katz, a Dating Coach for smart, strong, successful women and your personal trainer for love. 

For more episodes like this on YouTube, click the subscribe button. Ring the bell to ensure you get notified whenever new content comes out. 

If you’re listening to the audio podcast, please scroll down to the very bottom’ leave a review if you enjoy listening to me, I’m going to keep on putting out as much good content as I can, and help you feel good about your dating and relationship choices and confidence. 

And if you’re ready to find love now, you’re committed to creating an easy relationship that makes you feel safe, heard then apply for coaching with me in Love U. 

Thank you so much. 

I’ll talk to you soon. 

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Comments:

  1. 1
    Priscilla R

    Funnily enough you aren’t the only dating coach taking about this subject right now…
    The issue here is people are so afraid to be vulnerable. It seems you need to be too cool for school – not sure how ppl meet those days!

  2. 2
    L

    I’m 60 and still don’t know how much to compromise … he wants a giant house with a pool and 20 acres, I want a secure retirement without constant responsibilities …

    1. 2.1
      Lurking

      Do not compromise for a man at that age. Or any age, in my book. Baby rabies and crushing social pressures are thankfully behind mature women who no longer need to settle to excruciating degrees in order to ‘make it work” ha ha. Be prudent with your money and expenses for decades of hard work. He sounds high risk for carelessness- or frivolous- or parasitic? Check into his financial and personal background. Unless he is a financier with a solid history of wealth building, he sounds like a potential financial cat fisher, love fraud.

      1. 2.1.1
        Bbq

        Lurking

        This could be a new relationship, it could easily be written about an old one or a marriage too. Leaping to financial cat-fisher is a pretty cynical jump without more info,

        1. Lurking

          Maybe. However, most 60 (or even 50) yr. old guys want to ‘slow it down’ for retirement. No longer chasing kids or keeping up with the Jonses…they are looking for smaller house (to clean/heat/repair) rather than McMansion with big pool. It sounds odd. I know a lot of guys- from construction to finance…and it is not a typical age appropriate attitude or goal or realistic energy level (for maintenance). I’m in my forties, and I’m too tired for that much domestic responsibility.

    2. 2.2
      Noquay

      L
      Sounds like a classic case of incompatible values, something I often deal with. While I like being on acreage as I really need lots of unspoiled forest, I live very, very, simply and sustainably. Sadly, most men here are very into motorized recreation, TV, massive mowed lawns and do not take care of themselves.

  3. 3
    Rachel

    Hi Evan – I just wanted to say thanks for posting your transcripts here – I would rarely watch a video but am an avid reader and so appreciate still being able to access your stuff this way – thank you!

  4. 4
    sylvana

    Guilty as charged. A friend (or two or three) with benefits is perfect. You get to hang out when you want, do things together, have fun together, have sex, be there for each other when you need it, help each other out, But don’t expect me to spend every minute of my spare time for the next few months helping your mother arrange your sister’s wedding. I don’t mind lending a hand, but I don’t know the first thing about dresses and colors (and care less about all that girly stuff), and is she seriously going to spend that much money on some frilly things that go around glasses??? I can buy a new car for the price of that dinner. What’s wrong with throwing some steaks on the grill? Then there’s the 200 people family Christmas dinner affair. Have fun. I’m going to be at the barn. Same goes for all the other family events, which are a constant occurrence. I love my family, but there’s a reason I moved across an ocean from them. Family obligations are not my thing. And exactly why do I have to come with your every single time you head to a bar with your friends?

    Now, if you’re too drunk to drive home from said bar in the middle of the night, by all means, call me, I’ll come get you. And you won’t hear me complain. If you have trouble or a tragic event, let me know what you need, and I’ll do it. If you just need to vent, I’ll listen. But my house looks the way I want, I sleep when and for however long I want, I spend my money how I want, and if I want to be at the horse show all weekend, I will be. Go get a hobby that doesn’t involve me.

    And that’s the reason I decided to stop dating over ten years ago. I have no problem admitting I’m way too selfish. I don’t mind being a good friend. I do hate compromising (it’s an Aries thing), but I will to a point. But just about everything in a relationship is a compromise. That exceeds my level of tolerance.

    And I can honestly say out of all the people I’ve known in life, I rarely see couples where both people win when it comes to compromise. It’s usually either the woman or the man doing most of the compromising.

    1. 4.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      You speak eloquently about your life choices. Surprising that you’d be so solipsistic to not consider the millions of happily married people as part of the spectrum of life choices. It’s like a Clinton voter saying she doesn’t know anyone who voted for Trump – it says more about your company than it does about reality.

      1. 4.1.1
        sylvana

        I agree. It might just be luck of the draw that I haven’t encountered many happily married people in my life. A lot of married ones, and a lot of temporarily happy then later divorced ones. But not many long-term happily married ones. Then again, I’ve only lived around, worked with, been friends or acquaintances with only a few thousand people in my life. So the sample isn’t that big. I do have to say that the ones who are happy leave a lasting impression. It’s nice to see. Same online, whenever you see one of the rare comments from happily married people.

        I don’t doubt that there are millions of happily married couples in the world. I still think they’re the minority. As you said, ability and willingness to compromise without giving up too much make all the difference. And I fully admit that that is the one aspect I’m completely lacking in.

        1. Evan Marc Katz

          We ARE in the minority but that’s why I do this job. Happy marriage is a real thing…if you choose wisely.

        2. Bbq

          Sylvana

          Perhaps your standard for happiness is impossibly high if you really haven’t encountered any happily married couples. Happily married compared to what? The honeymoon? A teenage fantasy?
          If their life Is good enough their not actively looking to run from, abuse or sabatoge their partner, if they enjoy life sometimes and enjoy the things that marriage has brought – social, comfort and children wise, then they’re happily married. Most people aren’t incredibly happy and fulfilled all the time, why should they be any different after marriage?

          It seems some women have confused themselves that happily married means ecstatically married, when the reality is it can only really mean satisfactorily married, when you take the inevitable highs and low into account.

          It’s funny how a lot of people seem to understand this till they forget it. I Know some women who divorced their husband in middle age or a little later (and I think this is common) and tho we can’t say what goes on behind closed doors, often the reason seems to be a growing sense of of annoyance/want to be away from the husband and little else. Though their lives haven’t gone to hell, they now have a slightly less happy relationship with their kids, have lost a lot of their social circle, and for the most part live in smaller houses and likely always will. Most of them don’t seem any happier now than during marriage. And all for what? A growing sense of annoyance and dissatisfaction with their husband/situation, the catalyst for which is often vague or an excuse after the fact.

        3. jo

          Sylvana (and others), you are not alone. If complaints about one’s spouse or one’s state of marriage are indicators of not being happily married, then I too have seen and heard a lot of that. But it’s more complicated than marriage itself being a bad thing, and maybe that’s where we can talk about how marriage could evolve (or go extinct in the future, as YAG once said).

          Having kids is a big stressor on relationships, and married people are more likely to have kids than single people. It seems to stress my married friends even when their kids are nice, and the kids who are trouble are a HUGE source of stress on the parents!

          Many of my female friends complain about not wanting to have sex with their husbands. Meanwhile, there seems to be a disconnect with many husbands, who think that because their wives put out, they’re enjoying it… but they’re not. A lot of faking and delusion going on, on both the parts of the wives and husbands (‘When Harry Met Sally’ summarises this well in that fake orgasm scene, but still, every man thinks he’s the exception). That’s why I actually appreciated Jeremy being honest about his marital struggles in this area, for all we sparred in earlier threads. Very few men will be open and honest about this.

          What I think would help those unhappily married people (aside from maybe co-parenting in a larger support circle or thinking twice, thrice, 100 times before having kids) is to be honest about whether they’re being pleased or feeling used in sex, or removing stigmas about affairs. As I’ve heard, the French do it, and don’t make a big stink or public display about it. Over-analysing it or attaching moral burdens on it is what prevents other cultures from following this path, yet it could make things happier for both husbands and wives if there didn’t have to be all this extra manufactured burden and shame.

          Just throwing these ideas out. I don’t have a stake one way or the other, just saying that I agree with you that most of the marriages around me don’t seem that happy. Of course, there is also the possibility that just growing older and taking on adult burdens contributes to that unhappiness, even if one is a responsible person. That would affect singles and marrieds alike, except that marrieds have more people to take care of (kids, in-laws, etc).

        4. Bbq

          Jo

          I could be wrong but I don’t think marriage is going to go extinct or evolve that much too soon (maybe devolve). I feel like your missing one huge thing, that is – sure the women may not be happy and may grow tired of their husband and sex with them,but to think that is all that can influence a change in marriage is female centric and mistaken. You may well ask too – will the husbands grow tired of being left at a greater rate than their wives and upon being left, being forced by law to co parent with her (and possibly another man) at best, and will they be happy to have their (mutual) assets split when they don’t desire it to be so. Will they be happy with these things happening knowing that there is a greater chance their wife will make them happen and for no fault reasons? And will they be happy with the law enforcing that on them in perpetuity? Because for that to happen the police and custody officers and such who will have to be men(at least a large number of them) who would also be effected by this would have to enforce this state for ever and ever. And why would they do this forever expecting that it will also happen to them?

          It was only generations ago where the train of thought on this was – yes you can leave me, but you’ll leave with nothing and definitely not the children. I’m not saying that was right, but I don’t see whats going to stop things going back that way if men and women become truly disconnected on the matter.

          Men have gone from that way of thinking, to divorcing (and consequences to parenting and finances) being uncommon but happening to some in some circumstances, to divorcing being commonplace but men thinking it wouldn’t happen to them, to now divorce (and said consequences) being common and men thinking it likely will happen to them and at their wife’s insistence. All this has happened within about a 70 or 80 year time frame. Women have driven this for their benifet and out of their want (no saying that isn’t sexist it’s the truth), will they keep driving the direction of this now men are excepting a undesirable outcome for themselves? It remains to be seen.

          In going along with the current state of laws surrounding this, many men (and based on the whole argument about paying on dates I won’t say all and will only speak for the youngerish generations) have the feeling of an executioner enforcing some oppressive law, all while knowing it may be their head next on the chopping block. That might seem dramatic but when one side of society (women) wants the other side (men) to enforce laws they don’t desire onto themselves its an apt comparison. There is a lot of talk of men’s violence to women (as well there shouldn’t be) but current marriage and custody laws are an obvious example of women’s societal violence (and the threat of it) toward men en masse via the force of the law.

          This may seem hyperbolic but I think this issue is going to be one of the greatest drivers of social change in the future, far more so than any outside of climate change that’s currently discussed in the mainstream.

          I do somewhat agree with you on affairs tho. It probably is best for all concerned (and society) in a lot of circumstances. The old saying “don’t embarrass me” is the only philosophy that really need be applied here.

  5. 5
    SparklingEmerald

    I find my husband and I (of 3 years) starting to slip into separate lives. You would think the opposite with this COVID, but it seems not to be the case. 95% the stuff we used to do together is off limits due to the pandemic. Road trips, live theater, outdoor concerts, trying new restaurants, game nights with friends, etc. Finding movies and concerts on TV to watch not the same as going out for entertainment. Trying a new recipe at home is not the same as going to a fave restaurant or brew pub Our very rare “socially distant” visits with friends or families (masked unless eating) sitting outside, 6 feet apart feels very stifled. Our together time almost seems like parallel time. Time to think of new ways to engage each other indoors, watching TV and eating together is getting stale, because basically it is all we can do.

    1. 5.1
      Bbq

      SparklingEmerald

      Your describing the changes in most people’s lives right now. They get better when you get out of the need for the hard lockdown stage – at least when it comes to visiting friends that is, tho the other things may remain undesirable if not impossible. Watching movies or concerts at home (perhaps with a few friends of family depending where your at) is just what you’ll have to accept as the same as going out for them for now and perhaps for a fair while. Honestly I think you just need to accept and be happy with that. I wouldn’t believe that people are becoming are great deal closer than they were before this started either. There’s always been time for deep emotional connection, but for most people it isn’t require 24/7.

      It actually doesn’t sound like your living seperate lives at all, it sounds more like your becoming bored with the monotony of home life and need a few more hobbies or interests. In any relationship that lasts a long time there a periods of either monotony or less than daily connection when it comes to your relationship, accepting that is a neccissity.
      Are you sure your husband feel that your leading seperate lives as well?

      1. 5.1.1
        SparklingEmerald

        Hi BBQ – We’re doing OK, just a bit down over this pandemic. Also, we’ve been together a little over 5 years now, so the new love buzz has worn off, and the hum-drum has set in, and then this pandemic on top of it. We live in a so called hot-spot, and while we are “allowed” out, and many things are open, I just feel really nervous about it. Outdoor concert series cancelled, our regularly scheduled volunteer work cancelled, live theater cancelled. Bars were opened, but ordered to close up again. While they were open, never did feel comfortable going, so we didn’t. Had my son and his girlfriend over, sat at opposite ends of the room, wearing masks, except for eating. Visit with my hubby’s family, ate outside, opposite ends of the patio, wearing masks except when eating. No hugs. 🙁 We were occasionally going out to dinner where outdoor dining available, now it’s too hot. Many states, won’t let people from our state in without a 14 day quarantine, cuz our state is so bad. 🙁 Really hoping that in the fall, they don’t cancel the car shows. They are outside, it should be fairly safe if we wear a mask. Just feeling a bit out of sorts. I have been withdrawing a bit, but try to snap out of it. Hubby did complain a few months back that I ignore him, so I am trying to do better. He hasn’t complained since and we’ve been very affectionate.

        I just want to be very mindful not to slip into separate lives. I went online looking for resources for couples games. Maybe break out the board games, take an online painting class together or something. We had many plans that have all fallen through, two trips back east, a trip to Italy, all fell through. Time to re-group and find new ways of being. Have a feeling this pandemic isn’t going away anytime soon, and since we are in that “vulnerable” age group, sure as s#!+ don’t want to catch it. Until this is over, I guess it’s Netflix and chill.

        1. Bbq

          Sparkling Emerald

          Good luck to you if your in North America or the Uk it must be a nightmare in some places. I’m in Oz and there’s currently a second wave in another state but it’s more or less suppressed everywhere else. It’s never been widespread where I am thankfully.

        2. Noquay

          Sparkling Emerald
          Your situation makes me realize how lucky I am to live in da far North in serious forest. Being cooped up indoors sounds awful. Don’t know where you live but some things I have done during the pandemic are to work on fixing up my house and outbuildings, hiking/running/ biking on trails and logging roads, expanding my garden space. Anything done outside and by hand would be a good thing for a couple to work on and is much less boring than Netflix and chill.

        3. SparklingEmerald

          BBQ – Here in North America.

          Planning a road trip to cooler temps. Going to rent an individual cabin so no shared air space in hotel lobbies or hallways. Cabins have a kitchen, so we will prep our own food or pick up carry out at local restaurants and picnic. This trip will consist of hiking and scenic drives as most indoor attractions will be closed, and even if open, we do not feel safe patronising them.

          Even if we just end up netflix and chilling in the cabin, it will be a bit of change of pace. 🙂

  6. 6
    Starr Cruise

    I second Rachel’s comment about the pdf. I have hearing loss and do much better if I can read, or watch and read (because I love Evan’s energy). I also want to say I have done much reading, studying, soul-searching about relationships from sources I believe extremely qualified, but Evan is so spot on. And he never plays on the fear of being alone that many people have. He just almost scientifically states…do this…get this, not complicated. I have not been in a relationship in 8-9 years, although one almost but was long distance. I have been reading Evan’s emails for years, and his books, and watched some youtube, and so appreciate all of it, especially when he rolls out his “faults”. I know deep in my heart that my desire is to have an intimate healthy relationship, something I have never experienced in my life, although I have numerous friends who do. I just don’t feel ready yet, I’m just not there yet. And I realized one of the ways I keep a relationship out of the picture is exactly what Evan talks about in this podcast, work, work, work. and not making any space for a man or a relationship. And I enjoy doing things alone. But ultimately, I know that staying alone to stay safe does not call me to be a bigger, higher version of myself. And that is my true desire, to continue to be a bigger, better, happier version of myself. So when I get ready, it is Evan I am signing up with. In the meantime, thank you, Evan, for all you contribute to our lives, as everything you talk about with relationships applies to all relationships, especially the one with ourselves. You’re awesome.

  7. 7
    Hairy Palms

    Interesting topic. Psychology Today featured an article that discusses the spectrum between codependency and narcissism that singles sit on somewhere.

    Newly single folks may struggle with codependency as they navigate being alone again, versus someone who has figured out how to be happy single, yet doesn’t know how to be in a relationship anymore.

    I think a lot of aging singles have established routines and are reluctant to compromise. Especially if you’re older, you might have your established a ‘world view’ of how things work. God forbid anyone challenge that.

  8. 8
    Hairy Palms

    An article in Psychology Today suggests that singles fall on a spectrum between codependency and narcissism.

    Newly single are trying to navigate being single while those being single for a long time are reluctant to compromise and are content being alone.

    When 2 folks meet, where they fall on this spectrum can really have some interesting results.

  9. 9
    Rafiq

    What differences are there between the kind of behaviour from a woman that will keep a man attracted and the kind of behaviour from a man that will keep a woman attracted?

    Also, What differences are there between the kind of behaviour from a woman that will push a man away and the kind of behaviour from a man that will push a woman away?

  10. 10
    Tamika Thompson-Burke

    I was married for 13 years. After my divorce I rebuilt my life alone. It was rocky at first, but I love it. I’m 41. I know 100% I never wish to have a live-in partner or marry, ever again.

    1. 10.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      Fair enough. Then what brings you to a site designed to help women develop happy, healthy relationships?

      1. 10.1.1
        Tamika Thompson-Burke

        I’ve commented on your site before. I didn’t realize sharing my opinion- on this topic bothered others? Happy and healthy relationships- never said I did not want that. It’s your page, delete it.

        1. Evan Marc Katz

          No one’s bothered. I just wonder why someone who doesn’t desire an LTR comes to a site design to help women get LTRs. It’s a little like being a vegetarian on a meat-lovers site, but then, hey, maybe they’re just curious about how other people cook meat.

  11. 11
    Jel.

    I am here for the same reason as Tamika.I went through a difficult separation and found happiness in my single life now and I don’t want to change it any further. I was coming to this site because I found support in the fact that many other people here went through similar situations and survived and found happiness- regardless coupled again or single- which kept me in the way.

  12. 12
    Andi

    Same here as Tamika and Jel.
    I am looking for a partner but it’s not my biggest priority at the moment, I am busy with being a better version of me.
    But i am following this community because i love the debates that are starting in the comments section of the articles.
    And lol, I am a guy. 😀

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