The REAL Reason You’re Still Single

Red-haired woman lying in bed turning off alarm clock

There are two big problems in dating.

1) You don’t want the people who want you.
2) The people you want don’t want you in return.

Now, take a look at those two problems; which one do you think you can change?

Most of us take the futile route of trying to change the second one – “How do I MAKE him like me?” “I’m exactly what he’s looking for!” “He doesn’t know what’s good for him.” But, as we’ve established a few hundred times on this blog, you can’t change anyone else’s thinking.

What you can change is YOU.

To be fair, it’s possible to “make” someone like you by becoming a more desirable catch – there’s no doubt that a man who earns more money, gains more confidence, and gets more experience will have a more positive dating life. But he’s not actually CHANGING women. He’s only changing himself.

But increasing your dating options can be a risky proposition, at best. Men can’t always make more money. Women can’t always lose weight. And as easy as it is to talk about gaining confidence and experience, most folks would rather sit on the sidelines and complain that the people you want don’t want you in return.

This is a waste of time.

In fact, the easiest remedy for an ailing love life is to want the people who want you.

In fact, the easiest remedy for an ailing love life is to  want the people who want you.

It is anathema to suggest this, of course. Any conversation about opening up to more potential prospects leads us down the slippery slope to settling. And as the furor about Lori Gottlieb’s Marry Him proved, nothing pisses women off more than the suggestion that they may be somewhat responsible for being single.

But, to be crystal clear, it’s not just women.

There are tons of 38-year-old male Ivy-League educated lawyers who just can’t find a single woman good enough for him. These guys, who are, like me, probably 7’s in looks and 9’s in intelligence, just can’t help but to go for women who are 9’s in looks, but 5’s in emotional intelligence/compatibility.

One of the things that I’ve often thought is that none of these men would marry someone like my wife, even though my wife is – objectively – just about the coolest woman on the planet. They’d have the same objections I did: a little too old, not a Harvard grad, blahblahblah.

The reason I’m bringing this up is that I made a CHOICE to find an amazing partner and create an amazing life – and all I had to do was give up that IMAGE that I’d had of dating a woman who was Just. Like. Me.

If you’re single, and never find anybody “good enough,” chances are that you do the exact same thing.

Today, I’m calling you out.

Because if you’ve been dating this way for 5, 10 or 20 years, there’s something that you’re not seeing.

And that something is this:

If a 42-year-old man says that he’s ONLY attracted to 9’s and 10’s who are in their late 20’s, that’s fabulous. But if NONE of the 9’s and 10’s he covets are interested in him in return, it only makes sense that this man needs to recalibrate his dating options. 6’s and 7’s are readily interested in him, but he doesn’t find them attractive enough. Without knowing this man, I think it would be clear that he’s overestimating himself. If he can get only 6s and 7’s in looks, he’s probably a 6 or a 7 in looks himself. Therefore, if he ever wants to get married, it would probably make sense to start appreciating the 6s and 7’s and choose the one that he’s most attracted to, who shares the same values and can be his best friend for life.

I’d think it would be hard to argue with that logic.

So should it be any more controversial if we flip the genders around?

If you think you “deserve” a certain kind of partner … and yet you’ve NEVER gotten him, you need to start considering another kind of partner.

If the 38-year-old woman MBA who owns her own condo, runs marathons, and can complete the Sunday New York Times crossword only likes 9’s and 10’s… but those same men always a) prefer younger women or b) ultimately break her heart because they’re egotistical, selfish narcissists who only want younger women and aren’t ready to settle down… should she keep holding out for them? Wouldn’t it make much more sense to marry one of the devoted 7’s who think she’s the bee’s knees?

Apparently not.

Because that would be settling.

And settling is bad.

Therefore, all of these amazing men and women remain single indefinitely. Because They. Will. Not. Settle.

They would rather tilt at windmills, trying to acquire a partner who DOESN’T want them, instead of realizing that the BEST partner for them is the one who WANTS them and VALUES them and thinks THEY are a catch.

And the culprit in all this? Our unrealistic expectations – of how we see ourselves – and of what we expect of our partners.

If you price a candy bar at $100 and there are no buyers, you need to lower the price of the candy bar.

If you think you “deserve” a certain kind of partner – not just someone who is rich, hot, and brilliant, but a rich, hot, brilliant partner who STICKS AROUND – and yet you’ve NEVER gotten him, you need to start considering another kind of partner.

The key is in letting go of the image you’ve been holding onto. Because real relationships aren’t about credentials; they’re about connection. And I truly believe there are thousands of people you can potentially be happy with… if only you didn’t have such a rigid idea of what it looked like.

Last night, I was coaching a favorite client, Katie, who is part of Love U.

Katie is 58 and never married. Of course. She never wanted to settle.

After rebranding her on, she’s getting a ton of attention and is being chased down by two men simultaneously.

Tom is the brainy, charismatic one who talks about himself incessantly, sends template emails, and hasn’t followed up in a week.

Bill is a fun guy, makes her laugh, is a great kisser, and has followed up for four dates in two weeks.

Katie wanted to know how to make Tom like her and how to get rid of Bill. When we dug deeper, I learned that she was embarrassed at the thought of introducing her friends to Bob because he wasn’t as “sophisticated” as her other tony Connecticut friends.

I asked Katie, point-blank: Are you attracted to Bill? “Yes”

Real relationships aren’t about credentials; they’re about connection.

Do you have fun around Bill? “Oh, yes!”

Is he consistently good to you? “Absolutely. He’s crazy about me.”

So why are you trying so hard to run away? Because of what your friends think? Because Bill’s not what you’ve pictured in your head for 58 YEARS?

“Yeah, kind of.”

I’m delighted to report that Katie is going out with Bill again. And I wouldn’t be surprised if she “settled” her way into an amazing relationship.

By thinking you’re “better” than everyone who wants you, you’re eliminating the greatest source of love around – the person who wants you! And you may be surprised to find that you can be EXTREMELY happy with someone who doesn’t meet your preconceived image of your ideal mate.

I certainly have been.

Did you find this post thought-provoking? Challenging? Insightful? Then be sure to check out my eBook, “Why He Disappeared – the Smart, Strong, Successful Woman’s Guide to Understanding Men and Keeping the Right One Hooked Forever“.

Join our conversation (313 Comments).
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  1. 1

    Amen!   I wanted tall, dark, handsome, highly intelligent, sophisticated, cultured man…   and am falling in love with a short(ish), balding, red-haired guy (I always hated the idea of red headed men), who’s older than my target range and much shorter than I wanted. What I’m getting is the highly intelligent and the cultured part – and a guy who totally digs me and makes me happy!   What I gave up? Stuff that wasn’t that important, in the end. Me: 8. Him: 6.   It works!

    1. 1.1

      You miiiiight be a 6 too. 🙂

      1. 1.1.1
        Adam McCall

        So many are missing the point… THE BIG PICTURE IS THIS: 1) The main suggestion of this article is to take a more introspective and HONEST look at yourself and what you want, and what you have to offer in a relationship, physically and all other facets. This will allow you more potential for success long term with whom you decide to allow in your life as a partner. 2) This introspection is a step in the right direction, but it’s NOT a guarantee of long term success!! At the end of the day, you can’t control the actions of another human, and if they change for the better or worse, then so be it.

        1. Jesuisalisee

          Yes you are right.

          Just like the book <Who moved my cheese> want to told us.

          I test why I am still single, that quiz told me that I don’t want to get married.   

          Relationship is always easy to start but hard to keep. So it’s hard to get old together.



      2. 1.1.2

        Let’s look at your looks number system. A 10 is,julia,Roberts George Clooney the top actors. A 9 is the top male and female models in the world. An 8 is regular models, news anchors, show hosts. A 7 is the most beautiful,regular people. A 6 is the regular people who are easy on,the eyes. A 5 is 75 percent of all people in the United states. My,point is is the reason,why people don’t get,a companion is because they jump from,one 5 to another, once the novelty wears off they go to another 5. And so on,forever, when in reality, most looks are not a real,factor cause most everyone,is,a 6 or a,5. Get it?

        1. Paul

          No, that is not the case at all. You miss the entire point of this article, and it’s Truth.   Unfortunately, the reality is that most people start with looks and won’t go beyond that if the other person isn’t their idea of a 9 or a 10, thereby eliminating those who would truly be interested in them and would offer them love.


    2. 1.2

      Hello everyone, I been in relationship before for 5 years those 5 years married for 1 year and got divorce because he just keep cheating,so my heart got tired of hurting over and over so I packed my clothes and my son and run .And after that have relationship for 2 year’s. But this is one no different than the other one. When he propose to marry me I turn it down and breakup with him.After what I been through I promise my self I well never be with the relationship again. But those promise was broken. I got married again .He got my heart . after bugging so many times his different than the other men’s .Well I’m kinda person who loves give everyone a chance. So I said to my self, well maybe his really different ??? After 8 months we got married .We been married now for 13 miserable years. His been taking different kinds of pain medication anything that makes him high 1 year we got married.I leave him after 3 years , but we got it’s other after 3 weeks after his promise his going to stop.he told me he than it before we got married.Im the person always think positive in life always something good to happen, before God take my life back.But my husband is very opposite .His very negative in life .I mean everything .Don’t believe in God, very judgmental to people, animals, jobs, Doesn’t like to work, he always yelling everyday, his like really Mad at the world. I try to understand him cause we only human after all.But my body, heart, brain and my soul are very tired. I keep telling him to go to the church so it well take all the pain away and just talk to God just open his heart and god well guide him.he won’t do it.I don’t think he needs me until he loves him self.I I’m sooo ready to give up.My heart is always open to everything, But I just want to be break free and just stay single forever.

      1. 1.2.1


        People are animals….

      2. 1.2.2

        me tool i get what you mean

      3. 1.2.3

        Hey my mom went through the same thing with my dad he was a dick and sometimes people just won’t change because they either don’t want to put in the time or there lying about wanting to change if your tired of being miserable, life’s short get a divorce it’s not worth living the rest of your life miserably he sounds like he doesn’t deserve you so leave him, there’s someone out there who will love you so much more 🙂

      4. 1.2.4

        I’m su  sorry u have been thru this but u don’t have to stay around. 13 miserable years is a lot. Be happy. B free

      5. 1.2.5

        Sometimes single is better than together.

        If he is not the right one, life is very hard and tired.

        I did not get married, but sometimes I always want to single forever.

  2. 2

    I hope someone can explain this to me – the underlying theme of this blog appears to be that we need to, well, settle. Here’s what I don’t understand. For those of us that have already been in a marriage/LTR, seems to me that we have already settled at least once. That we settled in the past, is actually the reason why we are here right now – back on the market, after spending huge amounts of time and energy to get out of a miserable relationship.
    What are the benefits of doing it again? I am honestly trying to understand and coming up with nothing.
    Is being single so bad that it has to be avoided at all costs? Personally, I rank being single probably lower than being in a good, fullfilling relationship, but way higher than being in a bad one. If we need to settle for a bad relationship, then why did we get out of our previous ones in the first place? Just so we can get back to square one, except with a different person? What’s the point? Am I missing something?

    1. 2.1

      I agree completely. The author seems to be talking about superficial preferences, but what if you prefer a person without kids, baggage and bad habits? Should we settle then? Should we settle for someone who thinks a job at a fast food restaurant is “moving on up”? Or for someone who doesn’t have your same beliefs and values? The above is the reason why I tend to pass on those who seemingly are interested in me. I rather be single and wondering where is my happy ending than married wondering the same thing.

      1. 2.1.1

        I agree. I settled and that is why I am here. I almost worked myself to death providing for us. I became too tired to enjoy life while he enjoyed it every day doing nothing buy enjoying the provisions at my expense.

        1. jakki

          I want to add that marriage lasted 22 yrs plus

        2. Paul

          In that case, the problem is with YOU, not with your lazy husband. Not everything in life works out, that is why divorce exists.

          You kept yourself in that problem, not him.

      2. 2.1.2

        some of you have misinterpreted what the author is tryin to bring across. he did emphasize that relationships are based on connections not credentials. he stated that we should like back the person that actually digs us and stop chasin those who couldn’t care less. he never said we should settle for every and anythin

      3. 2.1.3

        I used to fight this concept hard as well. No I will not settle.   I make six figures, I am good looking, I have a lot to offer and I want X and X and X and if I do not get it I am fine being single, and single was what I was.    I think it is okay to have some must haves.    For me, I would not date a smoker and I wanted someone who had a job, and did not do drugs.   Those were my must haves. Other than that I told myself I would be open to anyone else that I could carry a conversation on and enjoy it on the first date.      In the past I would dismiss men who I did not immediately feel like I wanted to rip their clothes off, or they did not have a degree, or did not meet any of the myriad of criteria that I had and that’s how i met my fiance who I would have never given a second date before.   Depending on your age, at a certain point in life it is unrealistic to expect to have someone who does not have kids or has never been married.   And honestly I have found that men older than 40 who have never been married have baggage far beyond having kids or being divorced.      Most of the men I was aspiring to at 35 were interested in 20 somethings.      You have to be realistic.    Will you find your needle in a haystack your unicorn?   Maybe, but that’s unlikely and people REALLY don’t want to hear this.      So if you are okay being single then be single and live your life.    But be open to other people being part of your love life.    Don’t immediately discount people.   EMK is right no matter how much you dislike it, he is.   He does not make things that way, it’s just how they are.

      4. 2.1.4

        OK Kas, so instead of “settling” you get what you wanted! A fiinancially well off and “moving upwards” man.

        Everything seems so wonderful. Personality, etc….

        Later, he drinks himself silly because of stress, or starts looking at other women, or makes a bad finacial mistake and goes.l….eegads!…bankrupt!!!!

        So, you going to divorce him because of the bankruptcy? Because the money is no longer there like before?

        “For better or for worse” did you promise? Because if you did promise that and now you abandon him because things got “rough”, I’d say HE settled for you and he made the bad decision.

        Always depends on which side of the fence one is on, huh?

        You define “settle” incorrectly and miss the point of this article as well.

    2. 2.2

      I don’t think he meant settling as in lower all expectations. He meant being realistic about the people that are interested in us and treat us right. Instead of being rigid about everything, look within the pool that IS available. If your pool is big, great! You can now be more selective.  

      This pool isn’t an indication of self-worth or value  at all. Finding the right person depends so much on happenstance anyway.  

    3. 2.3

      ahahaha, you can tell your a womanby the “previous relationships” … this article isn’t for women, its for men that cant get any women ever, he is saying the reason men are loanly is because they don’t take an ugily woman ! you don’t have to worry about getting dates and beoing alone cuz your aa woman your biggest problems are “he stuttered when he asked me out so I said no even though I liked him” or ” I like him and was going to out with hi but he failed the 5th test I frew at him so….” .

    4. 2.4

      Yes, you are mssing the FACT that you define “to settle” as having to make do with someone who is not able to be a part of a wholesome relationship. Just because you believe at first someone will make a great partner (not based on supericiality but by character and personality) and it turns out they weren’t a great partner does NOT mean you “settled for whatever you could get”. People DO CHANGE sometimes for the worse after you are married. For example. for whatever easons, they begin to drink and then drink heavily and beome an alcoholic, but they practically never drank when you married them. See? It doesn’t matter if you found someone who was everything on your “checklist”, it can STILL happen regardless.
      In fact, it happens oftentimes.

      Using that as an excuse to define “settle” as “bad” is absurd.

  3. 3

    Ellen, that’s awesome!

    Goldie, Evan didn’t tell you to settle for a miserable relationship! He didn’t tell you that you can’t be happy single. But the majority of people visit this blog because they want to be in a relationship. Read Ellen’s comment to see a perfect example of what Evan is telling people to do!

  4. 4

    I agree with Goldie.
    Evan always talks how we should lower our standards – but I disagree, since one of the most important standard that I have is  “I find man sexually interesting” – and that is where men who are interested in me fail consistantly.
    If I’m indifferent or disgusted when I am close to him, it just won’t work, so that is something I just DO NOT settle.

    1. 4.1

      I totally agree NN. I was with a guy for 3 years who was very overweight- which I honestly don’t mind if he is handsome, funny, good kisser etc. But, he got so big that he became very lazy in bed and I had to do everything- if you know what I mean. it made me resentful and I became disinterested in sex with him. So, yes I can look past certain things of course. I am far from perfect in every way, but when attraction and the sex are non existent or miserable, then it can’t work for me.

      1. 4.1.1

        NN and Blonde — I think you’re misunderstanding the article. He says to LOWER expectations to  become REALISTIC. This means that you shouldn’t expect to date only “10’s”. But just because the men you date aren’t “10’s”, that shouldn’t have to mean you can only date  “0’s” or “1’s”! Go for “7’s” — the premise is having realistic expectations, not having no expectations at all.

  5. 5

    Goldie–I totally agree with you. I have come to the conclusion that I would rather  stay single than “settle” into a relationship.      Mainly  because I had a 15 year marriage. I think people like us are less willing to “settle”.   We view singlehood as so much better than “settling”.

  6. 6

    As a long time reader of this blog, the message I get is not to settle for someone just to have a relationship – but rather, good relationships are based on more than superficial characteristics. Example: How someone treats you is more important than how tall they are.

    Evan is a dating coach, so his focus is on that, not in teaching people how to be happy single.   Though as a happy single person, I’ve found many of the premises work for this lifestyle as well.

    1. 6.1

      SO well said thank you

  7. 7


    I agree with Cat.     He’s not asking us to settle for something bad, but rather to look at what we are asking for.   Are our expectations too high?   Are we short changinging ourselves by not being willing to consider a man who’s a little shorter, makes a little less money, has a differernt hair or eye color, or whatever else is on our own personal lists of must haves.   I’ve never been married, but have had a few long term relationships.  Are there  things that  I absolutley won’t tolerate  ? Oh yeah, but it’s stuff like abusiveness towards other people and animals,  racial and religlious intolerance, current drug use, etc.    Since I’ve read most of Evan’s stuff I’ve learned to not be so stringent in my “musts” requirements   as far as physical characteristics, salary, type of job, etc.   That is not as important to me as the other stuff and so I’ve learned to let a lot of it go.   At the moment I am literally to busy to put the time and effort I need to into finding a great guy, but I do know my great guy doesn’t necessarily have to be   6’0′ tall, with six-pack abs, blond hair and blue-eyed, make 75K, have a PhD, and a vacation home in Colorado.   (I’ve actually never been that rigid)     but he does need to treat others right, he needs to have a decent sense of humor, and he needs to be able to at least tolerate dogs.  

  8. 8

    Cat, from what Ellen is telling us, she settled for the looks and age group, i.e. things that are more or less superficial. She did not compromise on what’s important – intellect, culture and personality. I’m mature enough not to put much value on looks. What got me in Evan’s example was that he, the way I saw it, advised his client (and, by extension, his readers) to compromise on intellect and culture, unless I’m misunderstanding what “less sophisticated” means.
    I’d like to be in a relationship – heck, I’d like to see firsthand what being in a really good relationship is like – never been in one! What I don’t want to do is be in any relationship at any cost, been there done that.

  9. 9

    I get what Evan is trying to tell us picky women. What’s really hard for me to swallow is that I have a ton of friends who think I’m a GREAT catch and have eagerly introduced me to guys they know who are also GREAT catches ( successful, good looking, charming), but unfortunately none of these men have been interested in me.   These guys were 7 in looks, 9 in intelligence/charm, 10 in success.   I am an 8.5 in looks, 9 in intelligence/charm, 10 in success. These guys all want the 9/10 in looks. period.   So, as an intelligent woman, I need to accept that guy who is an 8/9 in charm, 8/9 in success and a 6 in looks.   If I was less intelligent, it would be easier to find a solid 8 across the board.   This is really hard to accept because I have a few very attractive girlfriends who are 9/10 in looks and these men who reject me are hot after them, even though they are less accomplished or intelligent than I am.   No, I’m no overrating myself – I didn’t chase after these men – they were introduced to me by other who thought that I was good enough for them.   Yes, I have tried very hard to give the “less impressive guys” a chance, but somehow that doesn’t work either.   I think Evan is giving good, practical advice, but at the end of the day, intelligent women do get   a bum deal.   Otherwise there wouldn’t be a need for the kind of services that Evan provides.

    1. 9.1
      John Smith

      Hello Karrie,

      Perhaps you don’t offer what these men are looking for. A 9 in intelligence and 10 in success (like my self) will not necessary find someone of my equal resume attractive. I want someone that complements me not the same as me. Also most men/women with 9 in intelligence and 10 in success have put the hard work in in the past and just want the 9’s and 10’s in looks that seems unattainable in the past. This is the biggest prank feminist played on women. Your best choice is to find a man that complement you. I will suggest you compromise on success but not intelligence.

    2. 9.2

      You lost me hard in all of the numbers.   Maybe stop rating people using a scale, including yourself and look at people overall?    What is a 9 to me may be a 7 to you.   And likewise what is a 10 when you first meet someone could end up being a 5 based on the way they treat you or how you click and a 5 could become a 9.   Just give others a chance and don’t worry about who your friends are dating, what does that matter?       I was like you for a long long time.       It got me nowhere.   Guess what, most alpha men do not care that I have a law degree and outearn them?    They may hit on me because I am a 9 or 10, but as soon as they find out I am a lawyer, they go for other types of women.   So do I want to change myself or do I want to find a man that loves me for who I am?

  10. 10

    Hi… It completely makes sense, but I cannot apply it to my situation. See, I’ve settled before, twice, once with a lawyer, hot, intelligent… second with a guy who was even hotter, richer, his family adored me, and he was heartbroken when I ended it 2 yrs later. The lawyer still tries time to time to get back together with me.
    Now I am crazy for this guy for about 10 months, relatively poor, not better looking than me (I give him a 7 and me too, others would give me an 8, my former two long-terms were 8 and 9) working on a helpdesk while I am a manager. So it just doesn’t make sense why it’s not happening when I read this post. Also I read the other posts about mistakes I might have made, and cannot really relate…. except for one mistake I know I made. We were close, I was the one there when he cried over a heartbreak and other stuff, then we got closer, and I said if it increases his problems than rather think it didn’t happen. I wanted him, I said this cos I didn’t want him to hurt because of me too. It was a huge mistake. But I don’t remember any other mistakes Evan mentions in his posts. So what is wrong? And why did my 7-guy settle for a 4 half yr now? Yes, 4! While he also had a 9 before, a smart blond model…. probably low self-esteem? Scared of heartbreak? Satisfies his control-freakness? He’s a scorpion after all…. I went out with other guys, lower rating than me but they annoyed me, though I gave the chance to each on multiple dates.

  11. 11

    What I don’t understand, is why Evan thinks wanting to be attracted to your partner is being rigid. I’m not personally looking for anyone who’s a 10, or even a 7 or an 8. But I do want to date someone that I actually am interested in kissing or having sex with. If not, what am I getting into the relationship for? Because he called me back after the date? Is that the only criteria for a long-term mate? I want to get married and have a family, but not just for the sake of getting married and having a family. This to me is settling and Evan can pretty it up all he wants to make it sound like something else, but it’s settling for the sake of not being alone. He’s being talking this way since he got married… no offense, Evan. I love your advice and I think you’re spot on most of the time, but in this area… I can’t really get on board with you. I’m just not grasping whatever you’re trying to say.

    1. 11.1

      I agree with Patty

      I do understand what Evan is saying…. About opening your choices up – But things change a lot as you get older… First there are many women in their 40’s who chose to take care of themselves and look great – men not so much…. And most men want 10 years younger… So what does that leave me with a 50 year old who didn’t keep in shape?… Sex only once in a while and taking care of him?…. I’ve tried dating guys I wasn’t physically attracted to… We’re still just friends…. Maybe I’ll just be a cougar… NOT….

    2. 11.2

      I agree with Patty as well. I did this when I was younger around 27 and went for a guy who liked me and who I was not attracted to, to see what it would be like.   Later I became repelled by him. We even got engaged, I realized after living together, I made excuses to sleep on the floor. I was not attracted to him, I vowed I would never do this to myself again.

      1. 11.2.1

        I have also done this. I was 23, he was 25. He treated me amazing, ACTUALLY WANTED A RELATIONSHIP and wasn’t trying to play me, took me everywhere, was proud and considered himself very lucky to be with a girl like me. I would say I’m about an 8 in looks, he was like a 5.5, but he was   incredibly smart,   came from an amazing family, very caring and respectful so that’s why I decided to “settle” for him and stop chasing after the 8’s and 9’s who all treated me like shit (but I had amazing sex with). So my relationship with this guy was a total disaster, I was NOT physically attracted to him AT ALL, sex was soooo awful, our personalities, interests and goals in life didn’t match at all, but he treated me amazing so I continued to date him even though i had started to feel repulsed by him, when he would try to make me happy I would almost get angry because I kept thinking why him…. I don’t want him to do these things for me, I want a new boyfriend. We’re not together anymore and I don’t miss him, I really don’t even think about him, I think about my first boyfriend from when I was like 19 more than I do about this guy. My advice is, please don’t settle, being single is SOO MUCH better than being miserable with someone who you feel nothing for and have nothing in common with.

        1. Yohali

          Very true. I can’t even imagine dating guys I’m not attracted to- and it’s not even a physical attraction per se, I’ve had sexual relations with guys who weren’t even beaming 6s but that I had other connections to. The guys that treat u good and all that, and h have fun with them, and they keep u on a pedastal etc, if there’s no connection, there’s no connection.

          Im just glad I haven’t dated any like u have because it would have ended up in heartbreak for them and apathy from me.


          Dating a guy 15 years my senior now. Only found issues of why he “is single at that age” when people started making it an issue; before that it wasn’t an issue for me. We had a connection and I ran with it. Now deliberating what to do :/

  12. 12


    I think it might be hard for anyone to swallow that they might not really be a 9 or 10 in anything. 😉

    PS- I don’t believe in a ‘number’ system anyway, so this isn’t a slam.

    1. 12.1
      Tim Gordon

      Amen to that! Assigning numbers in a futile attempt to quantify another person’s traits is so subjective as to essentially be meaningless. I mean, hey, is there a book full of check lists out there that we can refer to in order to establish what is a ‘7’, and ‘8’, a ‘9’, or a ’10’? I’d be very curious to see it!  

      Now, such things do exist elsewhere. In some cases, it’s about animals, or maybe collectible antique automobiles. In competition, the judges will apply those accepted standards when deciding how to rate participants. There’s two things about that, though. 1) is that those judges are experts on what they’re judging.   That could be an AKC registered breed of dog, or it could be Ford Mustangs. A breed of dog has a fairly strict definition of what traits are ‘ideal’ for that breed, and Ford Mustangs were pretty much a certain way when they were brand new and that’s the standards they’re judged by. What about you or me? No such guidelines ever written, I’m afraid. Even if there were, who would even know them? It’d have to be ourselves, if anyone. So, a stranger, or basically any other person, trying to assign a numerical value to our various characteristics is pretty much 100% conjectural, which brings us to 2), and that’s that even judges evaluating criteria that are well defined end up having to make a judgement call when they decide that a dog or a car gets a certain score in a given area. Being human, examining the same exhibit at any other time could easily result in a number that is slightly higher or lower, just depending on what kind of day the judge is having.

      If credentialed officials who are the ‘pros’ have that much trouble assigning numbers to things that are based largely on appearance only, how can amateurs expect to put values on the many nuances of a person?  

    2. 12.2

      Being low on those scales certainly takes the pressure off. 😜

  13. 13

    Veronika – I think you’re confused about the term “settling.” Or am I missing how you settled on hot, rich lawyer #1 and hotter, richer, more besotted lawyer #2? 🙂 Perhaps the poor “7” thought that the “4” was a 9 in areas that you’re a 4 in… Perhaps she treated him like a rich 9 rather than a poor 7?

    Maybe it’s because I don’t like math, but I honestly don’t go around attaching a numerical rating to every man I meet! Usually their attractiveness to me rises or falls as I discover their inner qualities (or lack thereof…)

  14. 14


    Has it ever occurred to you that your compulsion to rank everyone you know/meet on 1 to 10 scales may be part of the problem? I’m serious. For me, I either connect with someone or I don’t. I’m baffled by people who go through life operating on a ranking system. Does the ranking system alter with passing decades? Because intelligence/ charm (odd grouping) may remain the same, but you can’t count on it for looks and definition of success.

    1. 14.1

      I agree.   I never learned to count this way.    Is this  a big city thing (?)

    2. 14.2
      Tim Gordon

      I suspect that this may be done strictly as a matter of convenience, or else it’s just how Karrie’s mind works. Some people really do numbers in life, and some of us have different methods of sizing things up.  

      I’m like you, where it’s more or less of a ‘pass/fail’ kind of thing. Describing it as connecting with someone or not is a great way of expressing it! I’d say that if you’re ignored or blown off when you’re around someone else, they didn’t connect with you, or vice versa, hence they earn a ‘fail’.

      To be fair, I will say that if I can’t connect with someone, they’re not worth knowing. If I walk past and they seem completely unaware of my presence, that’s virtually a guaranteed tipoff that they have some very severe personality disorders. Most of the time you’ll find these folks just have no time or new people in their little world and most of the people in that little world of theirs often find themselves wishing they weren’t!

      One can at least establish a rapport with others who are different in the extreme. You may not be able to relate to or identify with them very well, and you may not ever connect well enough to really be friends with them, but you can at least make acquaintances with them! It’s the people who are lost right where they’re standing that I’m talking about, and unfortunately, there only seems to be more and more of them as time passes.

  15. 15

    Re:  #13
    ” Usually their attractiveness to me rises or falls as I discover their inner qualities (or lack thereof..)

    Exactly!   Me too Cat.

  16. 16

    I’ve seen pics of Evan’s wife on Facebook, although I’m not sure he has them up still, but she is a 10.

    Second, I gave a 4-month chance to a guy that was not all this or not all that; it felt like a chore to date him.   I don’t look for the 10’s or even 8’s.   If I’m into him, that will make him better looking to me.   But intelligence is not there, there is just no way I will feel chemistry.   I’ve read inteviews with Brad Pitt, and he doesn’t do it for me either.

  17. 17

    I’m only using the ranking system because Evan used it in the article. From my experience, I’ve connected really well with a lot of different men, but have noticed that the more “successful guys” generally prefer prettier women. I’m aware that Evan wishes to inform us that “Men are more about FEELING not LOOKS”, but my experience tells me this is not entirely true. It is possible that you can connect very well with a person , BUT,   because he has plenty of options, will choose to let you go in search of greener pastures.
    To sayanta @12, I could be overrating myself. I ask that myself everyday that I look for love.   But other people regularly set me up with very successful, charming men close to my age, thinking it would be a match, so it’s not really my own opinion.
    Basically, I’ve come to the realization that I’m not good looking enough for a man my own age who is as successful as me, so my only chance of finding love is to try for an older, successful guy or a younger, less successful guy who is kind.   I think that is what Evan is trying to tell us.

    1. 17.1

      I think thru the insanity spurred   by the modern society. Most successful and not ugly people are mentally ill and out of touch, and have abandoned the wonderful life offered to those who have life companions. It’s beyond looks beyond money, and pleasant but boring to today’s standards of instant gratification


  18. 18

    @ #7
    ITA about not being hung up on the man’s looks. It really is a non-issue to me. I’ve been around IT professionals all my life. “No paper bag required” is good-looking enough in my book. I’m seriously way, way past worrying about looks. In my generation, I’ve seen too many good-looking kids in their late teens/early 20s marry each other, only to split up later. A lot of us went by the looks, then proceeded to have miserable marriages. That’s a pretty impressive life lesson, so I just don’t care about looks anymore. I don’t know how commenters on this thread can even tell who’s an 8, who’s a 6 and so on. There’s probably a lower limit for me, but it’s probably fairly low. If the guy looks slightly better than Freddy Krueger, that to me is good enough. (Actually come to think of it, Robert Englund is really cute!)
    Now intelligence, cultural background, educational background, that is where I draw the line. Salary, even – not in and of itself, but as an indicator of one’s social standing. In my opinion, if a woman makes more than her partner, is more sucessful, has a higher social standing than her partner, then he feels intimidated. And if a man feels intimidated by his woman, no one is having a good time. That’s from my limited experience.

    1. 18.1

      Goldie, #17 You spoke a lot of truth concerning the man feeling intimidated if the woman’s salary was higher than his salary. That plague my marriage for over 22 yrs. My spouse quit his job and told me I should be glad to take care of him while he enjoyed life on the computer, lounging around the house & hanging out with his family and friends…NOT!

    2. 18.2

      Really good point, never thought of arranging standards in this way. Very wise

  19. 19

    I think what Evan’s talking about is DATING, not relationships per se.   It’s a question of giving yourself a chance to fall in love with a guy you wouldn’t have thought met your criteria.   If you don’t fall in love, you don’t fall in love, but if you don’t give that “6” a chance, you’ll never know…

    1. 19.1

      YES this is exactly what he is saying.    Don’t not give a guy a second date, because he does not check all your boxes.   If you enjoy his conversation and are not physically repulsed give him a chance.    You may be surprised.   This is what worked for me.

  20. 20

    As I said and several others have as well, no one least of all Evan, is asking us to settle.   Go back and take a look at what he wrote about what his client wanted…basically she wanted to get the self-absorbed (talks about himself incessantly), uninterested (hasn’t followed up in   a week) guy to like her and get rid of the guy who makes her laugh and is a great kisser (sounds like chemistry and sexual attraction are there to me) and is totally into her (has followed up for 4 dates in two weeks).   Read further and she admits she’s attracted to him.   Where’s the problem here?      How is Evan asking her to settle or lower her standards?       I dont’t think anyone would disagree that sexual attraction is important but as Cat pointed out a guy can gain or lose attractiveness to me based upon their character or lack of.   I think what Evan is asking  you  and me  to do maybe give a guy a chance if, like his client’s  Bill, the guy is totally into  you, is a great kisser, you are attracted to, but maybe he lacks one or two minor things that we think we  want.    

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