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. 61
    justme

    Dear M

    I am a woman.   I would love a relationship.    However, it’s not the relationship that is the goal; it’s the  right man.   One  who is honorable, with integrity, who isn’t old enough to be  my father,  who is able to support himself.    

    the love of my life was my husband for 18 years.   I love my kids in a way that is incomprehesible.   But it was my husband who owned my heart.    He left for another woman, strangly one who sees his value in only what he provides and not in him.   I  believe the  true love of my  life is still coming.      My kids are almost grown  and will  be  gone soon.   I want a friend, playmate, confidant,      

    I fit NONE of your  views  about women and it makes  me sad that you would view me as  such a selfish, mean-spirited woman simply because of my  gender.  

    Oh well.
                     

  2. 62
    M

    Justme,

    Oh well. It makes me sad that  I have tried to initiate relationships with women throughout my life and have been kicked in the teeth again and again and again and again and again. I’ve been thoroughly, overwhelmingly beaten down and treated like dirt. I’ve had one, count ’em, one girlfriend ever, and that was over 25 years ago.

    I am sorry your marriage ended. At least you have kids, thank goodness for you. I never planned  or expected to go through life childless. With my family having been small to begin with, I will likely die alone some day.

    By the way for anyone reading this, when I said it  often seems to me that the amazing love of a woman’s life is her children, I am saying that  in a positive sense as obviously that is a wonderful thing and nothing takes a priority over the raising of one’s children and the joy and fulfillment that comes with that.

          

                

  3. 63
    Rebecca

    Broke my own rule and texted him this morning after a really fabulous first date, and a few days of him reliably texting me. Not surprisingly, I haven’t heard back from him yet. I’m going to read and reread this article and the comments whenever I get the urge to do that again…with this guy or with anyone. I’m kicking myself this morning.

  4. 64
    judy

    Rebecca 66 – try taping something on your portable phone.
    HE DOES THE CALLING.
    Yep.
    I did call a man and probably made a right arse of myself but that’s all right.   Lesson learned.

  5. 65
    Dawn

    Well, I recently had my first date with a great guy. It was wonderful. But, at the end of the night I suddenly got nervous about giving him that first kiss. Then I realized I was going to miss the last bus home and I ended the date by apologizing for having to run and I barely gave the guy a kiss.
    I’ve sent a couple of texts since, random conversation and he has replied. I finally left him a message saying that I wanted to just see how his weekend went and that i owe him an apology.
    Now I will follow the advice in this article and let go and see what falls into place.
    There are worse first date mistakes I could have made but, none the less…

  6. 66
    judy

    Jewel 43 – you are not correct. Sorry. If the man doesn’t want to have sex, he won’t have an erection, will he? (There are also some other situations – fatigue, inability to have sex, illness, stress, diabetes, etc.)

    No sweetie. They don’t always have what they want either!!! Neither do they always want it!

  7. 67
    Lisa

    This was the best article about dating men I have ever read. Very straight forward and to the point…I feel like I FINALLY get it. And I’m letting it go…no more nudging here. Thank you.

  8. 68
    Andrew

    Reading the posts it does sound like some sort of war between the sexes.
      
    One thing I will say as a guy is that I have been on plenty of dates that have gone well, have followed up with a phone call or text which has gone nowhere, then been left in the dark and scratching my head.   Now married for 14 years with a family so got there in the end, although my wife is far more straightforward than a lot of the opinions on this post (that is why we gel and are not both still single).
      
    Personally, in my own view, there are a lot of women waiting around for some guy to come along and sweep them off their feet, do all the hard work, risk the rejection, make all the effort etc.   I think the problem so many women have issues with dating is that they set their standard too high, fail to take 50% of the responsibility of a relationship and don’t take responsibility for what they want.   Instead of being clear on what they want and don’t, they wait in the wings passively hoping guys will pick them up (and this will happen) but often the chancers who are looking for nookie and not the better long term bets – the latter you will have to work at (they may be shyer).   No wonder if you are being pursued for sex you think this is all that is on men’s minds – as a guy it takes me several dates before I feel comfortable to get intimate – give guys a chance we probably want the same thing.   Really I can’t stress the point of giving your dates a chance and open your mind to more opportunities; the guys are out there (and waiting sometimes with incredible patience even when they feel jaded and hurt) – the reason you are not hitched is you – nobody else is responsible for this.
      
    If you are having problems getting a man please, please, stop blaming guys, take a long look at yourself and take some initiative and responsibility for your life.   If you like a guy, tell him, don’t expect him to be telepathic and expect him to pick up on mixed signals.   If you are too worried about being forward by calling a guy or asking him out; don’t, the converse is probably true, you are not putting yourself out there enough, taking risks and being honest enough – if you have confidence issues and get too nervous, then you will need to work on it, only you can do that – see http://www.girlschase.com/content/what-do-when-girl-doesnt-text-back (see reason 1).
      

    1. 68.1
      Rui

      I like to think about this by analogy. Dating is much like a game of tennis – the two player variety that is. Sometimes I am up for a game, sometimes not, but when I do play I like to get stuck in and do my best – but if not, I am clear that I don’t want to play.   As a man I usually invite a woman to a game but sometimes I get an invite (or a strong hint) which is awesome — I have no prejudgements here.   Whichever side starts the game has the same effect and I don’t play for power, only the end result of having a great game and seeing if it will go anywhere.   There are players everywhere, I don’t use a web site to find them, unfortunately so many of them have come to rely on somebody else making decisions on who to play.

      As the man I usually serve as well, I try to make this an easy ball which should be easily returned.   Since there are two players, the other side will need to return the ball, this might be right away or be in a couple of days — if it takes several days I might serve another ball and see if that one is returned.   If not, then I conclude that the other player does not understand the game, know that they are playing, is ignorantly playing a different game, is shy of playing, is playing with somebody else, just plain can’t be bothered, or simply plays the game to be able to whinge about it (you know who you are!).   At this point I give up and find a new player.

      It is very difficult to tell from the start if the other player is up for the full game – many of them fizzle out quickly, this is fine since it helps to weed out the timewasters as soon as possible.   If I keep serving balls to the other side of the court and the return is highly erratic I also stop the game, the other person is not engaged (or deranged) and it is no fun.   Often players have so many rules (that they have picked up from who knows where) and they are no longer playing an intuitive game, relying on their own judgement and instinct — they are reading endless advice columns — often with contradictory advice so wonder they don’t want to play, they feel under so much pressure – that can’t be fun.

      If the game goes really well, after a decent rally (no fixed duration) one of us might suggest going to the club-house and making that a longer-term fixture.   That is awesome, but there is usually no pressure from the start on that particular outcome — it is better just to enjoy the game and see where it goes.

      My central point is that it takes two to play and I think we are awash with advice which detracts from doing what we feel is right.   Since when did thing get so difficult?

      While I agree with the initial post in as much as it is not cool to be needy and insecure it is important to engage in the game — I don’t agree with the message about passivity — get stuck in!   Since when were women so depowered that they had to wait around for men to make all the moves?   If you have not received a response from a guy pick up the phone and arrange something!   As a guy there is nothing less sexy that a disengaged woman who can’t reciprocate.

      P.S.: I really like the video halfway down the first page: http://health.howstuffworks.com/relationships/dating/flirt-body-language.htm
      ..It has a lot of equality — both sides getting stuck in, very cool and a really pleasant coach.

  9. 69
    sonja

    Thank you, I never thought about just backing off and leaving things alone. My man knows what he’s doing. I had it in my mind that I was just free milk with all the benefits but that’s furthest from the truth.  

  10. 70
    Marla

    Excellent articulate clear as a bell article Evan! Thank you. Feels so dignified to let go, be aware of the time (8 weeks) and choose to leave him if he doesn’t take can action after that time period. Otherwise, enjoy the ride!! So liberating.

  11. 71
    kn

    This post is beautiful and exactly what I needed to hear right now. I know he does love me and he is committed but I want to be with him forever and want to be with him in my next life time. I adore him and feel like I can’t live without him, obsessed with him about his everything although I try not to show that most of the time. I can tell that he feels the same way about me and now after a year with this truly amazing human, I want him to want to marry me. But, I’ll just enjoy every moment with him, this blog reassured me, because last night, when I asked him if he wants to be with me forever like I do, he said to just enjoy the ride. Usually that answer would anger me if it came from someone else. But I get it. His happiness is my happiness and I hope we can make each other happy till the end of time. 🙂

  12. 72
    Brittany

    Evan,

    I think you make great points and will try to remember this for the future. I do have a question. How does this fit into some of your other posts on making him wait for sex? In there you suggest saying something to the effect of   that you will only sleep with someone who isn’t actively looking for other women on match.com. When we decide if this is a relationship worth pursuing then we can   have great sex. However here you say don’t worry about the future who cares if he still has his dating profile just live in the moment and give him a couple months. How do those two pieces of advice fit together? How do you do both, live in the moment not plan for the future don’t nudge him but mention the future as when you two will be having sex.

    1. 72.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      There’s no contradiction. You live in the moment. You see how he treats you. You enjoy dating and foreplay for six weeks. And, at that point, if you see him as a good boyfriend/potential husband candidate (and he makes the requisite effort), you commit to each other and start having great sex.

      1. 72.1.1
        Lisa

        It’s hard evan, when foreplay leads to sex, and sometimes, because of that, some men think no means yes.

        All of this leads to production of oxytocin. And there is heavy doses of oxytocin in men’s sperm. It is actally fact that women become more attached to men faster.

        Oxytocin, the bonding hormone, can make a woman insane with insecurity.

         

        But the reason I’m here. I gave up on love. I spent many years celibate and alone and my uterus is on the decline.

        I have attempted to date. I have heard lines from honest men, “I just got out of jail.”

        My ex husband,   a felon.

        Another man a boyfriend, not boyfriend for 2.5 years because he just wants someone to have sex with and told me (after we were friends  for a month, and then he got pushy, and we were intimate) that he didn’t want a girlfriend.

        My heart was broken.

        I wanted to keep the list of men I been with countable on my fingers, but with all this heartbreak, I’m running out of fingers.

        I met a man. He seems good. But now I’m cynical, and worry that he is a liar out to use me for sex like a pushy salesman.

        He texts me first, but how do I know he’s not playin’ me?

        I have taken so many risks with him already, and I’m not a risk taker. I’m an INTJ. I have to have everything all figured out.

        He texted me this morning asking to see me. I told him that I would love to. But I didn’t get off work til 5. He had a make up test for his BS to graduate this month. He was going to try and see me afterwards. I texted him to find out that he forgot about me, and his test was canceled on account of the storm cutting power.

        What hurt was that he forgot about me.

        1. Lisa

          I wanted to add, oxytocin effects men too, but differently.

  13. 73
    Lin

    I have been following these advise, doing nothing (text) but I do show interest during date, smiling, goodnight kiss.. When afterwards I don’t hear nothing I unmatch/unfriend them and move on. All the guys get mad and seek me again only to say that it was my fault also cause I did not make any effort… But I try not to be clingy and it blows in my face :-s Don’t get it.

    1. 73.1
      Karmic Equation

      How soon afterwards do you unmatch/unfriend? Hours? Days?

      1. 73.1.1
        Lin

        It depends Karmic

        one after one year, an other after a month, another recently after 3 days…Never after a few hours

  14. 74
    shantelle

    I believe that being yourself is the most attractive trait of a woman whether in dating or relationship meanwhile loving yourself that even if the first date with a guy doesn’t work out know that you have enough love to share with someone that deserve your time. Ladies there is nothing wrong with being emotional but not over emotional and there is nothing wrong showing that u care but when you do do it without expectation that’s where the I don’t care comes in. I’ve been in relationship and I always show the I don’t care attitude and guys always think I don’t love them and lock off and draw away. Yes you should do things without looking for expection that’s the key. When I start to be emotional and actually show that I care with love I get back great rewards. Love yourself ladies and man will become like nothing to you. Accept your flaws and don’t put yourself in a doormat position. Be you. And let go of wanting a relationship. Be fun and have integrity. Experience and learn. And work work on your self. No needy and desperate ladies around here

  15. 75
    kris

    This is very easy to do this with a guy you do not like very much but very difficult when you really like a guy. End result is you get a bunch of guys your not into paying lots of attention to you.

  16. 76
    shelley

    we both have power
    its just that we dont realize it because of our expectations from the relationship,in most cases we allow ourselves to be the weaker ones

  17. 77
    Kacee

    omg…really?!

    i dont do the who chases who thing or pull away thing, and if youre going to pull away, give me some consideration and let me know when youre gonna come back! yes u need to have fun, but it takes 2 people to make dating work so that it can grow into a healthy, successful relationship! im saying this bcuz i am not the dating type, i am a relationship girl. i would honestly rather have my heart broken in a committed relationship then have him make me second best or have options, im not freakin kidding u. why people casually date a ton of people at once is beyond me, i think its tacky. im 36 and still have never had a ton of options at once. never. i think if i did id have a meltdown, im a one man woman type of chick!

    there needs to be an equal balance of give and take! i  am not going to let the guy call the shots with every single aspect…and im not talking about where its “going”: why do i have to always wait around for him to make plans? i have no problem once in awhile saying hey, u wanna hang this wknd or go to the beach? both people need to show each other that they r both into one another! this is gen y, a different mentality, no one wants to waste their time, thats why i ALWAYS tell them on the FIRST DATE: look, i am looking for a relationship, not a hook up or something casual – bcuz if they r lookin for somethin casual, its a waste of my time and their time. u need to have fun and let it grow, but i like gettin to the point asap! if 2 people have a connection and chemistry, im not gonna wanna “just date,” im gonna see where it might possibly lead and how we can make it grow – its different than “pushing” a guy into a relationship.

    for u gals who want him to call the shots and listen to evans advice, go for it, its not for me, but it really does take 2 people to make it grow.

  18. 78
    La Reyna

    Too funny – I guess it’s different strokes for different folks.   I wonder if things change as we age and what we want for a lifetime partnership changes.

    I’ve “nudged” my boyfriend twice, very tiny nudges.   One was in the beginning, when I guessed that he was simply clueless from being out of the dating game for so long.   Turns out I was mistaken, and the timing wasn’t right so I moved on for a few months.   The next time, was after we met up again and had been dating for a while, and I told him, with a sincere and playful spirit, he should make me his girlfriend- and he did…in grand style, complete with a serenade on his knees with a bouquet of roses on Valentine’s day.   Other than that – he handles everything.   Trips to Europe, road trips along the coast, hiking dates, whatever.   He cooks for me, makes sure I have everything I need, looks out for me, provides for me, totally dotes on me and I feel certain he never does anything for me because I expect it or ask for it, but only because it’s what HE wants to do.

    I think this speaks for compatibility.

    It TURNS HIM ON  that I can be so bold and confident – he didn’t see the nudges as being ‘desperate’ or ‘insecure’, he is under no illusion that he has all the power, lol.   We both feel well-met and equally matched.

  19. 79
    Chrissy

    Evan, any time im in a pickle, I’ll jump online and either check your recent email newsletter, your site, or Facebook and somehow whatever you’ve posted is totally relevant in that point of time!

    THANK YOU!

    ive found a great guy online after years of dating and he ticks many boxes and is all the things listed below and as hinted plans for the future, and this post reminds me to enjoy the Now, getting to know each other and not rush a man or take the Masculine lead.

    I’m quite happy to relax and be the woman and have him direct this relationship.. he’s always saying ‘let it flow, let it take its course, or it’ll happen when I’ve ready..’ which is all positive because you know when a man has made the decision, and not when a woman wants it, or ‘nagged’ for it.

    rhank you for always being there.

    ive started the day on a positive step and will keep it in mind !

    keep sending great advice ! We love you!

    Chrissy from Sydney, Australia (pls visit!)

     

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