How to Know If You’re Wasting Time on the Wrong Men


One of the most common things I hear from my clients is this: “I understand that I have to compromise on some things to be in a relationship, but how do I know WHAT I should compromise on?”

If you’ve ever asked yourself the same question, I understand.

There have been a number of times in your past when you thought you met the “right” man…and yet he turned out, like all the others, to be WRONG.

The entire time I was dating my wife, I wasn’t sure whether I was making the right decision.

I wanted to be sure in my heart.
I wanted to feel that sense of blind confidence.
I wanted to “just know” that she was the “right” person for me.

But as you know, there have been a number of times in your past when you thought you met the “right” man…and yet he turned out, like all the others, to be WRONG.

So much for “knowing”.

As a dating coach, I’m constantly working with you to refine your choices — to ensure that you don’t waste time on the wrong men, and learn to invest in the good ones.

It’s not easy. It doesn’t always come naturally. But it has some incredible rewards.

Which is why I want to tell you what REALLY matters in a man…

Yesterday, I was instant messaging an old friend on Facebook. Tami’s a delightful person whom I’ve known since early childhood — attractive, athletic, intelligent, funny, successful, and the mother of two beautiful children.

She also told me that she’s getting divorced.

Her husband cheated on her multiple times — and Tami’s rightfully furious.

She’s questioning the meaning of her entire relationship.
She’s questioning how she’s ever going to find love again in the future.
Most of all, she’s questioning her own judgment, which is the hardest thing to do when you pride yourself on being intelligent and rational.

From what little I learned about Tami and her husband, it seemed clear that she willfully ignored his selfish, narcissistic tendencies because of what came with the rest of the package — cute, smart, successful, etc.

Have you ever done the same thing? I’m betting you have. And I’m betting that you’re a lot better off without that guy than you are with him.

Which brings me to the crux of today’s post: how do you KNOW if someone is a good guy or a bad guy?

For this answer, I want to enlist another story — that of Jean-Dominique Bauby — the former editor of French Elle magazine, who, after suffering from a stroke, became completely paralyzed, except for his left eyelid.

Bauby’s story was immortalized in the movie, “The Diving Bell and the Butterfly”, but it really got me to thinking:

If you had EVERYTHING taken away from you — your body, your job, your whole self-definition — what would you be left with?

You’d be left with your mind.
You’d be left with your heart.
You’d be left with your spirit.
You’d be left with your kindness.
You’d be left with your generosity.
You’d be left with your sense of humor.

Strip away your looks, your home, your career, your money and you’d be left with everything that’s on the INSIDE.

The guy who doesn’t prioritize you now is NEVER going to prioritize you.

So if Tami wants to know where she went wrong in choosing her husband…

…or if you’ve struggled for years to figure out why you choose the wrong men…

Your answer is right here in front of you.

You’ve been investing in the least important qualities.

Looks come and go. Jobs come and go.

Money comes and goes.

What lasts forever is CHARACTER.

I’ve already acknowledged that I’ve dated younger women, smarter women, more successful women, and so on… but I never met a BETTER woman than my wife.

I’m telling you, if I were hit by a bus tomorrow, she’d push me around in a wheelchair for the next 40 years.

That’s what I mean by character.

There are no shortage of impressive men out there who make you tingle every time you think of them — but they’re WORTHLESS if they don’t put YOU first.

So the next time you’re dating a guy, don’t get too sucked in by his charm or his wit or his looks or his money…

Instead, learn to appreciate the guy who does what he says, who says what he means, who makes it clear that you’re a priority to him.

After all, the guy who doesn’t prioritize you now is NEVER going to prioritize you.

Cut him loose and choose the man who loves you for what’s INSIDE.

Because what’s inside never goes away.

What do you think? Am I just a big sap for thinking that character is a better predictor of relationship stability than chemistry? Let me know your thoughts below…

Join our conversation (252 Comments).
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  1. 181

    Just what I needed to realize what I’ve been doing wrong al my life. An eye opener for my life..need to work on this to give the best od me to the girl that I love.

  2. 182

    My problem is that I keep falling in love with men who are in love with something else or their mother or whatever and for some reason I don’t recognize that aspect about them. I dated my partner for 6 months before we move in with each other and only after about a year his mother moved in next door to us and I was in denial for years. Now I’m bitter and coming to the realization I have to move on. I still don’t know why I can’t see another person’s priorities until too late. I feel deficient in this aspect of human relationships. Guess I need to google this.

  3. 183

    A while back I was told by my councilor that it takes at least 2 years of seeing someone in many situations to be able to understand who they are and how they relate to people. This sounds right to me. This is to keep you out of bed with them to know if they appreciate you for who you are or just an easy lay. People have depth and our layers can be hard to decipher without the experiences shared with them. If you are with someone who is false or desperate then those indications will show up over time and you will be able to see and believe what you feel and see. To me this makes sense.

  4. 184

    So right on

  5. 185

    Only meaningful article I’ve read on the topic. 100% on the ball. I’ve married the best man I know – and I am ridiculously happy.

  6. 186

    You wrote a very good and important article and you got right to the point, it hit home!

    Thank you 🙂


  7. 187

    Thank you for this!! It has helped me a lot!!!

  8. 188

    Thank you so much for this post. I will read and re-read.

  9. 189

    May I make a comment? ha,ha.

    28 years of marriage, 4 kids and being a care giver for 1.5 years am here to say…..

    It’s charater, compatibilty, interests. My late husband pursued,(adored, cherished and put me first) me as a friend for year.

    His character, values, shared joys of hiking, biking, boating and gardening. He wasn’t HOT , but best friend. Now that he’s died, and I cherish the memories , miss someone in my corner , has my back and best friend to share THE first thing in the morning at end of my day.

    Everyone has to chose for them selves what works for them. I have many divorced girlfriends searching,(in their 50’s-60’s for the hot, rich man,(3-9 yrs.) . They’ll figure it out….All I know I hope I find the one who will be   feeding, diapering like I had to do for a 58 year old husband withering away.


  10. 190

    I love this post.   You are absolutely right about character.   Thank you.

  11. 191
    Brenda Windhausen


  12. 192

    For me character is at the heart of chemistry! No character , no chemistry!!

  13. 193
    Nakale Ayovunefe

    Mr. Katz, I am a chronic lurker and first time commenter. As usual, you did not fail to disappoint to share your hard won wisdom. I have never dated a man based on chemistry, looks, or accomplishment; the man’s personality and level of intelligence were my deciding factors. Somehow, I have not found the right man. This is paramount, because I am turning 40 this summer. Therefore, I am saving my money to hire you as my dating coach.

  14. 194

    Spot on, Evan! Thanks for sharing your valuable guidance. Love it! 🙂

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