The Secret to Keeping a Man: Forget the Future, Enjoy the Present

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When you’re on the phone with women for 4 hours a day, you tend to hear a lot of recurring themes.

One of the most prominent themes is a “high-class” problem; in other words, if you’re having this issue, it means you’re doing very well with men.

Maureen and Cassie could not be more different as people, but they both have the agonizing problem of finding a man who absolutely adores them after less than one month of one-on-one coaching.

Immediately, our conversations turn from, “Why are there no good men out there?!” to “How can I calm down and make sure I don’t ruin it with this great guy?”

Both of them, unfortunately, had it quite backwards.

Because of their own fear — of being abandoned, of being not-good-enough, of being too old, too rigid, too masculine — they seriously ran the risk of alienating their new men.

Until I reminded them of a core principle in “Why He Disappeared”: men do what they want to do.

If we want to call you, we’ll call you.

If we want to introduce you to our family, we’ll introduce you to our family.

If we want to take down our profiles and commit, we’ll do it.

Which is why, when Maureen and Cassie breathlessly asked me to tell them what to do next, the answer couldn’t be more simple: NOTHING!!!

“Doing something” means you’re trying to keep your emotional tether alive, to nudge him into calling you, seeing you, committing to you.

The great thing about men is this: We don’t need to be nudged!

But the great thing about men is this: We don’t need to be nudged!

So when it’s been 10 hours and you haven’t gotten a reply to his text, you let it go.

When it’s Thursday night and he hasn’t called to see you on Saturday, you let it go.

It’s three weeks into dating and his profile’s up, you let it go.

Why? Wouldn’t it make more sense to call him, text him, and see him so he doesn’t lose interest in you?

Nope. All you do when you “nudge” a man to take action is let him know that he’s in control, you’re desperate and needy, and that you don’t trust that he knows what’s good for him.

The truth is, if you’re the right woman for him, you don’t NEED to nudge him.

Remember what it’s like when a guy’s excited about you?

The RIGHT guy steps up to the plate and commits to you in the first couple of months. The WRONG guy never escalates his efforts.

He calls, he follows through, he’s thoughtful, he’s chivalrous, he’s gentlemanly, he WANTS a commitment with you.

But sometimes it takes a few weeks for us to figure all of that out for ourselves.

Remember, men like to “buy”. We don’t want to be “sold”.

Anything you do to amp up the pressure for him to make a decision is just going to drive him away — the exact OPPOSITE reaction you want from your man.

But that leaves you with the same burning question: “what should I DO, Evan?”

Ah, the answer couldn’t be simpler:

Make your PRESENT so amazing that he WANTS to have a FUTURE with you.

It’s not about finding out in week 1 whether he wants to live in the city or the country, or hoping he says “I love you” by week 4.

Those are things you’ll deal with later.

For now, just have fun.

Laugh. Say yes. Be easygoing. Smile. Fool around. Enjoy the moment.

You never have more leverage over a man than when he’s CHOSEN you of his own accord, when he’s EMOTIONALLY INVESTED in you because he FEELS so happy every time he’s around you.

And if he’s receiving texts that say, “Where are you?!” or late night calls that plead, “Where is this going?”, you’re not making him feel too good in the present.

My wife was ALWAYS in the present and that’s why she’s my wife. Because she enhances my life and doesn’t provide emotional drama when it’s unnecessary.

Since he CAN’T know after a few weeks whether you’re “the one”, just relax and enjoy the ride. The RIGHT guy steps up to the plate and commits to you in the first couple of months. The WRONG guy never escalates his efforts.

It’s REALLY easy to tell the difference so you don’t invest more than 8 weeks in a relationship that’s a dead-end.

But in order to get a relationship off the ground, you HAVE to put off all fears, all nudging, and all thoughts of your future and just ENJOY the present.

He’ll know what to do next. I promise.

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Comments:

  1. 41
    Karl R

    Jewel said: (#30)
    “Women have the power full stop, because women are the gatekeepers to sex. We are the ones who say yes or no to it. Men don’t.”

    Are you really that blind?

    Last night, when I got done working, I was mentally and physically exhausted. I didn’t feel like having sex, so I went to bed and fell asleep.

    That’s how men say “No” to sex.

    Daphne said: (#39)
    “I have nothing against people who are very involved w politics, or who go to church or temple- several of my best platonic friends are religious. But not for an LTR ! I don’t want constant disagreement, or constantly keeping quiet about my own opinions.”

    I’m a theologically liberal Christian. My fiancée would probably best be described as a deist. In the past I have dated:
    a Jewish atheist
    an agnostic
    a secular humanist
    two neo-Pagans (both could be described as Wiccans)
    a mainstream Protestant
    a conservative Protestant
    a theologically liberal Roman Catholic
    a liberal Sikh
    several others where the topic didn’t come up enough for me to recall

    As long as you’re not trying to convert the other person to your belief system (or vice versa), there’s really no reason to disagree. The people who are most likely to try to convert you are Christians, Muslims and atheists. Even within those groups, most individuals won’t try.

    I have an interest in comparitive theology. This interest was shared by the Roman Catholic, the Sikh and one of the Pagans, so it was a common topic of conversation. The rest of the women didn’t find the topic particularly interesting, so I didn’t try to bore them with my hobby.

    The key is believing that the other person has intelligent reasons for believing what they believe. Religious beliefs are inherently unprovable. (If it was provable, it would be science.) Therefore, your beliefs are as likely to be wrong as mine are. Beliefs are heavily influenced by personal experience. Nobody else on this planet has the exact same experiences that I have. Why would I expect their religious beliefs to match mine?

    Respect for the other person is the key to making it work.

  2. 42
    Karl R

    JB said: (#40)
    “One of the risks of dating is the monster of you developing deep feelings for someone that has little or none for you.”

    You can only develop deep feelings for someone you know well. If you are developing deep feelings for someone you don’t know well, these feelings are an illusion. You don’t have feelings for that person. Your feelings are actually for an imaginary fantasy woman that you’ve substituted in her place.

    So this trap is easily avoided. If I found a woman interesting and attractive, I asked her out. If I got turned down, I was turned down by a stranger who I barely had feelings for. It’s hard to get worked up over that.

    If you get hurt when a stranger turns you down, then you haven’t been turned down enough. Go out and get snubbed until it’s no longer scary.

    JB said: (#40)
    “The power I’m talking about is the ‘power to hurt’ someone not so much the power in dating in general.”

    If a relationship fails, there’s a fair chance you’ll get hurt. If a relationship succeeds, you’ll definitely get hurt.

    If you want to avoid getting hurt, stay out of relationships.

    I’m engaged. When I get married (the successful outcome of an engagement), there are three possible ways for the relationship to end: with me being a widower, a divorcee, or a corpse. Do *any* of those options sound appealing to you?

  3. 43
    Jewel

    Karl @41. Whether you feel like having sex, or you don’t feel like having sex, you will STILL only have sex if the woman wants to.

  4. 44
    Daphne

    #41 Karl R, you’re very open minded ! The people you dated, I would have wanted to have interesting conversations with, go to lunch, etc. I could not imagine marrying someone who never stops talking politics, or who is sincerely religious. I wouldn’t go on a date w such a person because there’s zero chance of an LTR.

  5. 45
    Daphne

    #41 and, Karl R: I majored in religion and political science at college (two majors). But these are intellectual interests, not my personal beliefs.

  6. 46
    Saint Stephen

    @Jewel (#43)
    You’re not getting Karl’s point. What i think he’s saying is that even if the woman want’s to have sex, if he’s tired or disinterested… then guess what, the sex won’t be happening either.
    Sex has to be mutually consensual because anything other than that is rape.

  7. 47
    Heather

    This is by far the BEST relationship information I’ve read online. It really put it into perspective for me, even though I’ve read through Steve Harvey’s book a zillion times, lol.

    A guy I worked with asked me out (out of the blue) last December, as his date to the city holiday party. I freaked out. I’ve been through the ringer with relationships, divorced twice…I basically swore off relationships and I still am  very timid about  the topic.

    I  was very vocal about this with him at the beginning, and it was actually me who didn’t want to commit. He has amazing patience and persistence, and kept asking me out, taking me out, kept in constant contact  with me,  paying, all the things you say above a man who wants to commit will do. We never kissed or slept together until a week ago. Honestly, at 33 yo, I have NEVER had a real man in my life, until now. No guy ever treated me with such respect, and certainly never went out of his way to show his interest and care before.

    The problem is, that I’m not sure what to do from here, because  he has really toned down all the stuff he started in the beginning. I think a lot of it has to do with me saying I don’t want a relationship and  not really giving much in that way, and after  4 months has he given up, or is he waiting for me to figure it out in my own time. He has never pressured me, but always made it known that he wants a relationship.

    He is still always in touch daily, just not like he was at first.  I am now at the point where I have really put him through the tests and he truly has passed every one of them. Hes honest, hard working and a great dad, and he’s never treated me  with anything but respect. He  asks me how my day is going, and tells me about his.   Now that we’ve slept together it seems like there is an elephant in the room, so to speak. I’ve been out of this so long I don’t know how to bring up the commitment now. I’m well beyond 15 so the fb status deal isnt going to fly, lol.

    I thought a relationship/commitment was pretty much implied after almost 6 months of exclusive dating (I know neither of  us has seen  other people during this time) and now sex.        

  8. 48
    nathan

    Heather, if I were you, I’d talk with him. Tell him how much you have appreciated his patience, interest, and kindness. Tell him that you don’t know what to do now, because you’ve been out of the commitment loop for so long. Just be honest, instead of sliding along, thinking time together will deal with it all. He may have given up. I actually went through a relationship recently where I was put through endless tests, and essentially was exhausted in the end. After a certain point, I realized that no amount of effort and patience on my part mattered if she didn’t want to give some level of commitment a try. So, if you do want to give some form of commitment a try with him, you better let him know before it’s too late.
      

  9. 49
    Karl R

    Jewel: (#43)
    “Whether you feel like having sex, or you don’t feel like having sex, you will STILL only have sex if the woman wants to.”

    Whether the woman feels like  having sex, or the woman doesn’t feel like having  the woman STILL  only has sex if I want to have sex.

    I just turned your sentence around, and the turned around statement is equally true. By your logic, that means that I am the gatekeeper of sex in the relationship, and I have all the power.

    If you’re dating a man, and he doesn’t want to have sex, are you claiming that you have some ability to force him? If not, how can you claim that he is not the gatekeeper to sex?

    This power that you think you have, it only exists in your mind.

    Daphne said: (#45)
    “I could not imagine marrying someone who never stops talking politics, or who is sincerely religious.”

    For the U.S. population (adults only):
    1.6% is atheistic.
    2.4% is agnostic.
    6.3% is secular, unaffiliated
    5.8% is religious, unaffiliated.
    for a total of 16.1% of the population who might meet your qualifications.

    So you’ve ruled out 84% of all men before considering looks, intellect, income, personality….

    That’s going to make it difficult for you to find someone. It’s not going to be impossible, but it’s probably going to take you longer than you expect.

    Heather said: (#47)
    “I thought a relationship/commitment was pretty much implied after almost 6 months of exclusive dating (I know neither of  us has seen  other people during this time) and now sex.”

    Unless you monitor his activities 24/7, you don’t know that he hasn’t seen other women.

    Unless he monitors your activities 24/7, he doesn’t know that you haven’t seen other men.

    Heather said: (#47)
    “I basically swore off relationships and I still am  very timid about  the topic.
    I  was very vocal about this with him at the beginning, and it was actually me who didn’t want to commit.”

    The last time I told a woman that I didn’t want a relationship and didn’t want to commit to her, I meant exactly what I said.

    Therefore, if a woman tells me that she’s sworn off relationships and doesn’t want to commit, I believe her.

    If she dates me for six months, that implies she hasn’t found someone better … yet. If she has sex with me, that implies she wanted to have sex with me.

    The ball is in your court. You told him you didn’t want a relationship. He hasn’t pressured you. He’s waiting for you to tell him you’ve changed your mind (or for you to dump him, whichever comes first).

    Heather said: (#47)
    “I’ve been out of this so long I don’t know how to bring up the commitment now.”

    You sound like a high school boy who doesn’t know how to ask a girl to homecoming dance.

    Say this:
    “I’ve changed my mind. I want to have a relationship with you.”

  10. 50
    M

    To Jewel re 43: And you will still have sex only if the man wants to. Guess what? If the world’s men go on a sex strike, that means no more heterosexual sex for women.

    There is a familiar refrain running through these threads about the man wanting to get laid, doing anything to get laid, the only thing on his mind is getting laid, getting laid, getting laid. Enough! It seems women have so decided what men want that why do you even bother with us? The attitude is a complete turn off and makes me less inclined to want to date at all.

    And what is all this about who has the power? So if a woman has the power and proceeds to ignore my texts, never call me and generally act ambivalent without any needs for me during the early stages of a courtship, this is supposed to spur me on to chase her more? Why? I have utterly no desire to be treated like garbage and ignored any more than a woman does.

    Women’s interest in men seems to be so “whatever” and conditional. Frankly it’s sickening. I wish men had a third gender they could turn their attention to and maybe receive some appreciation and respect.

  11. 51
    Michael17

    Heather #47: You need to take responsibility. You said one thing and now you are “assuming” something else to be true because that’s what you now believe. That’s how little kids act, to be frank.
      
    First of all, you need to explain to him that your feelings about commitment have changed. It is going to involve putting yourself out there.

  12. 52
    Anonymous

    I think these things are ok after only a few weeks but there has to be a point that the person begins to show you that you are becoming more of a priority. If this is still going on after 3 months, 6 months, one year, you should be talking about it, asking for whatever it is you want and if they don’t get it, either because they’re married to their work, or their parents or they are just that self absorbed, you need to move on.

  13. 53
    Jewel

    Karl, I guess your reasoning explains why  the male of the species  has felt it necessary to force themselves sexually on women, without consent,  for the past several thousand years of history, whether in times of peace or war.
    And as for you M, why you are bringing up a ridiculous premise that is never likely to happen,   it just   reinforces the fact that you have no case to defend.
    You both might as well try and convince all the female bloggers on here that  men   have nothing to do with starting all the wars on the planet either.

  14. 54
    M

    Jewel, I don’t really understand your point.

    In general in this world, I think women so take men for granted and exhibit so much contempt for us that I wish we would return the favor and ignore you.    

  15. 55
    Karl R

    Jewel said: (#53)
    “Karl, I guess your reasoning explains why  the male of the species  has felt it necessary to force themselves sexually on women, without consent,  for the past several thousand years of history, whether in times of peace or war.”
    “You both might as well try and convince all the female bloggers on here that  men   have nothing to do with starting all the wars on the planet either.”

    You’re attempting to make  a straw man argument (and for a straw man argument, it’s rather poorly made).

    You claimed women had all the power in relationships, because women were the gatekeepers of sex. I claimed that men and women have equal power in relationships (at least in modern, American society), and men and women are equally gatekeepers of sex.

    Please explain how your statements above support your point, or how they refute mine, or how they even remotely  relate to the point we were debating.

    M said: (#54)
    “In general in this world, I think women so take men for granted and exhibit so much contempt for us that I wish we would return the favor and ignore you.”

    If that’s your overwhelming experience, I would recommend hanging out with different women.

    People often take other people for granted. People often show lots of contempt for other people. If you are only seeing this as something women do to men, then you must be viewing things from a very egocentric perspective. (Egocentrism may be a natural human trait, but it’s going to hamper your personal relations, including your love life.)

    If a person treats others with contempt, they end up gradually being ostracized. This isn’t some mystic karmic justice at work. This is merely human nature: we avoid unpleasant people.

  16. 56
    M

    Karl, I have a sense you are overcomplicating my statements. And I am not “hanging out” with any women. They don’t want to hang out with me and have made that abundantly clear throughout my lifetime.

    I stand  by  my general belief. I believe that IN GENERAL, NOT IN EVERY CASE, that single men treat single women far better than the other way around. And I don’t think it’s complicated why. We want to be with them far more than they want to be with us. Therefore, we walk on eggshells and they can treat us like crap.    

    1. 56.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      M – You’re wrong. I’m not even going to try to be subtle about it. Karl’s point is that you’re viewing it only through your prism. You’re a single guy, you date single women, as a result, you’re highly attuned to how single women mistreat you. Most of my readers are single women who get mistreated by single men. I could come to the conclusion – like many of my readers do – that MEN mistreat women more because WOMEN want to be in relationships more. But I don’t do that either. This is a PEOPLE thing, not a man or woman thing. That’s what Karl is saying, and that’s what you don’t seem to get.

      Any reader who thinks that the opposite sex is “worse” does not have a very balanced worldview and it will impact the way you’re received by members of the opposite sex. That’s exactly what you’re seeing, M.

  17. 57
    M

    Evan – You’re wrong. Now we’re tied 1-1.

    Is it true or is it not true that  many, many women on online dating sites get their mailboxes flooded with messages from  hopeful suitors? Is it true or not true that many, many men send out message after message on such sites  and are grateful and excited  when one or two  ladies do them the favor of a reply? This demonstrates to me that men are more desirous of  a connection and a relationship.

    Is it true or not true that men ask women for a date far, far more often than the other way around? This demonstrates to me that men are more desirous of a connection  and a relationship. I could try flipping my hair and smiling  but something tells me that won’t get me anywhere.              

    1. 57.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      M,

      You’re arguing with the wrong guy. Especially since you’re on my home turf, this is my area of expertise, and you can’t declare that you’re right because you say so. Only I can do that. 🙂

      So, to your point that more men write to women online? Yeah, so what? That’s biology, that’s history, that’s sociology. Men ask out women because women will generally not ask out men. This doesn’t remotely mean that men want connection more than women.

      Put another way: individuals apply for lots of jobs that they don’t get. It’s a competitive job market out there. Does that mean that companies are not interested in having any employees? No, it just means that the best companies with the highest paying jobs have the most competition.

      Women AND men want love and connection. Your suggestion that women hold all the cards because they have to say yes when you ask them out is as inane as a woman saying that a man has all the power when it comes to getting married because he has to ask her, while she sits there and powerlessly waits.

      You’ve conflated the idea that attractive women have 100 emails to your 3 emails as indicative that they want a relationship less…and it’s simply not true. They just don’t seem to want one with you. Maybe it’s because you believe that you’re so weak in relation to them.

  18. 58
    M

    Evan, I appreciate your responses and as I wrote elsewhere your efforts to help all sorts of people on here.

    We must simply agree to disagree.    

    1. 58.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      M – I don’t agree to disagree. Just witness the last comment on this blog as evidence that women get just as hurt as men: “I am however just tired of the dating game right now — people who set up dates and cancel at the last minute, men who mess me around by being dishonest. It is just very disheartening at this age because I know the pool of suitable men is smaller than the women but I guess I am just going to have to hope for the best and get back out there much as the thought of corresponding with some of these men online sends a shudder down my spine!”

      Do you think that this is “evidence” that women want relationships more than men? Or do you think that this is just her emotional reaction to the people who hurt her, who just happen to be men?

  19. 59
    M

    OK, then I agree to disagree, and you don’t. Sorry that I presumed otherwise.

    Yes, I believe men want to be in relationships more than women do. There is no doubt in my mind that an unattached single woman who wants to be attached can, in the overwhelming number of cases, find a welcoming single man fast. There are millions of lonely guys out here, guys who work, aren’t on drugs, blah blah blah.

    I am sorry for her in her individual situation and I hope it gets better. She uses the word “suitable” men.  Is she ultra picky? I have no clue.

    I get shudders down my spine thinking about writing to women on online dating sites  because I no longer do it. I used to write long, detailed  efforts and then send them off into cyberspace,  never to be acknowledged. On the rare occasions they were answered, the women might write two sentences. I became  exhausted and  disgusted with that and stopped.

    Women are different biologically. I’ve never been one and I can’t get inside their thinking. It seems obvious to me that men have a much higher sex drive, even though  when that’s said some women seem  to want to get all bent out of shape and insist theirs is every bit as high. It often seems to me that though many women love their husbands, the amazing love of their life is their children.

    I often think that even wealthy men who are “suitable” to women must feel empty sometimes when thinking that but for that bank account she has no interest in them as a person.

    I don’t want to get too worked up  and bash women or anybody else though. For one, I’m just one person with only my experience, and for another, it’s not in my nature to be highly critical. I get a little more pointed in my remarks on here because it’s anonymous and I’m frustrated. My  No. 1 target of criticism is in the mirror.

  20. 60
    nathan

    M – I have to agree with Karl and Evan. I understand your frustration. Certainly online dating can be a drag for men. And I’d even agree that some women display a lot of contempt towards men. However, as a man who has never had an attractive income, nor is very flashy, I have had a pretty rich dating life overall. Get dates through online sites became fairly easy once I stopped trying so hard, and simply put up an honest profile, and sent short e-mails with one or two specific questions about a woman’s profile content. Other women I have dated I met through friends, doing shared activities, or even at work a few times. In addition, having spent the last year and a half writing a dating blog and reading others, I have no doubt that women want relationships as much as men. They get frustrated and pissed off just like we do, but there isn’t some war of guys happening.

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