When Did Guys Lose All The Power In Dating?

Dear Evan,

I’ve been reading your blog for a long time now and most of the comments are great to read as well. The one thing that bothers me a little is the sense I get from your posts and the comments that men have all the power in the dating/relationship game and it’s always the woman chasing the man for a date/relationship/marriage/babies/etc.

As an early 30’s male, I struggle with dating. It hasn’t been all bad, nor am I saying that I’m unattractive or in some way undesirable enough that I can’t get any woman to like me. I’m an average-looking (perhaps above average-looking) guy who isn’t very tall (5’7”). I do like to think that I have a lot to offer, including a good overall personality and sense of humor, but for some reason I tend to go out with girls who are ‘masculine’ like in their dating personalities (afraid of commitment, wants to date multiple men, A-type personality.) A lot of times I can get a girl to be initially attracted to me, but for some reason it never lasts. The girl almost always ends up telling me that she “doesn’t know quite what it is, but it’s just not there.” This frustrates me because I’m left confused, not knowing what it is I’m doing – or not doing – to turn these women off. I don’t think I’m being too clingy or anything like that. I have this feeling, though, that I’m being too ‘nice’ and not having enough of a masculine energy to sustain attraction in these women. Btw – most of the girls I date are from JDate, and no – I don’t only go for 9’s and 10’s.

I can’t be the only guy who goes through this stuff and I’m kinda tired of this stereotype that guys have all the power in the dating world. Do you have any words of wisdom for me?



Dear Jay,

Even though I bill myself as “dating coach for smart, strong, successful women,” 25% of my clients were “nice guys” for the first six years of my practice.

Smart, strong, successful women need to soften up.

Nice guys need to man up.

In fact, if I were to think about it, I have a lot in common with both my male and female clients. I’m the “smart, strong, successful” type myself, and I have the flaws that often go with that archetype – I’m driven, opinionated, bossy, critical, and difficult. At the same time, I’m a nice guy. I was the lovelorn teenager who’d befriend all the pretty girls in high school but didn’t lose his virginity until sophomore year of college.

So I have a real understanding of both sides and how each needs to make a few subtle shifts to have more success in love.

Smart, strong, successful women need to soften up.


Nice guys need to man up.


But the prognosis is good for you, Jay. You’re easier to help than many of the women I work with. I’m not making any judgments, of course, but objectively, it’s easier to find a wife for a 32-year-old relationship-oriented man who doesn’t need to date 10’s than it is to find a husband for a 43-year-old woman who wants her own biological children.

Where to begin in the space of a 1000 word blog post?

Let’s start with your mindset.

You nailed it. You’re not giving off a lot of masculine energy. And women (especially smart, strong, successful ones) want a man who is MORE man than they are.

I hearken back to Dr. Pat Allen who said, “If you tell a man what to do and he listens, he isn’t a man.” This is not a call to arbitrarily be more obstinate, but rather to have your own opinions and convictions. Make decisions. Take control.

(To the women reading this and saying, “YES!”, that means you have to LET him take control and make decisions, not micromanage him to doing what YOU want. )

Once you put a woman up on a pedestal, she’s immediately looking down at you.

Next, Jay, I want you to check out a book. It’s called “No More Mr. Nice Guy” by Dr. Robert Glover. I read it to understand Nice Guy Syndrome and thought it was spot-on. He points out that being “nice” is a pathology and a form of martyrdom that is highly ineffective, and somewhat manipulative. As such, you can’t “nice” your way into a woman’s heart, but you can be a man and still be extremely nice.

I’d like to think that my wife thinks of me this way.

In any case, pick up a copy of the book here on my bibliography page.


Finally, I want you to keep in mind my Pedestal Principle, as outlined in my Finding the One Online audio series. It states:

“Once you put a woman up on a pedestal, she’s immediately looking down at you.”

And that’s the thing that nice guys don’t quite understand. You think you’re being good to her, but she loses respect for you because you have no balls whatsoever.

That’s what happens when you’re a pleaser and you’re not being pleased in return. A power imbalance results, and you never recover from it. I’m willing to guess that this has happened with most of your girlfriends who’ve dumped you. They had the power, you lost the control, and the rest is history.

In a healthy relationship, there’s a mutual respect – a respect that’s earned with having your own convictions. Men with convictions have a LOT of power in the dating game – as evidenced by the hundreds of thousands of heartbroken women who read this blog.

But you’re right about how frustrating it is – you watch a bunch of selfish tools use women for their short-term gain – and you wonder why they’re attracted to those men. It’s because they’re confident, unpredictable, and they don’t have all the control.

So what do you do now?

You make the immediate shift that SHE’S the lucky one in the relationship and that it’s up to YOU if you decide to be exclusive or get married. This is the exact same thing I tell my “nice women” who have given away their power to men.

And once you learn to say no and stand on conviction, you might be surprised when women start treating you differently – like a man, not a boy.

You’re the catch. You’re the commodity. And the right person is going to get that and hold onto you for dear life. If he/she doesn’t value you and want to commit? Fuck ‘em.

Move on.

It’s called the Power of No. And once you learn to say no and stand on conviction, you might be surprised when women start treating you differently – like a man, not a boy.

Good luck and thanks for the jolt of testosterone in today’s mailbag.

By the way, I do still work with a handful of motivated male clients.

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  1. 61

    @ Karl R #56

    I totally agree with you Karl,I was a Rock Star in the 80’s and a drummer since age 6. I tear it up in a dancing environment but in my late 40’s now there’s very few “target rich” places to go dancing in my area anymore especially since the recession hit.Before when there were(1997-2006) I used to meet 80% of the women I dated just going out dancing and 20% on the internet but now it’s closer to 95% internet 5% “in the field”.Quite a drastic turn around I’ve been forced into due to circumstances beyond my control.It’s a little tough to convey how great of a dancer you are in a profile…lol and when women are perusing profiles online I’m sure they could care less. Don’t even get me started on the”power” I had when I was Rock Star” because unless you been “there” you’d never understand…LOL Let’s just say I had “it” and used it and abused it.What the heck,I was young.

    I never said and I know we(men) aren’t competing AGAINST women we are competing against not only the other men online but every man these women see on soap opera’s,movies,music etc….because they literally think men like these are going to log on Match/POF etc…. and email them.And what’s worse is these women that are “5’s”(with their blurry headshot and 30 word profile) think they deserve them…lol

  2. 62

    J.A. 44
    you’re 5’11″” or below then you’re at a huuuuge disadvantage in the dating world
    Come again?  A man who is 5′ 11″ is short?

  3. 63
    Christie Hartman

    @JA (62): Yeah, seems pretty unlikely. Men 5’11” or below constitute about 80% of US men.
    Men fixate on height the way women fixate on age. Women may admire tall men the way men admire young women – but ultimately, unless you’re one of those people who live in Fantasy Land, what we admire and what we require aren’t the same thing.

  4. 64
    Karl R

    JB said: (#61)
    “we are competing against not only the other men online but every man these women see on soap opera’s,movies,music etc….because they literally think men like these are going to log on Match/POF etc…. and email them.”

    Could you give some examples? Of all the women I have talked to (who have done online dating), not one has expressed that expectation, or anything approaching it.

    The most unreasonable expectation a woman has expressed to me was an early-50s woman who abolutely refused to date any man who had a pot belly … even though she had a pot belly.

    JB said: (#61)
    “in my late 40′s now there’s very few ‘target rich’ places to go dancing in my area anymore especially since the recession hit.”

    I’d recommend most styles of swing dancing and country western to meet women around your age. The ballroom crowd tends to be much older.

    Find a dance studio in your area that teaches those styles. They tend to be well informed about where the dancers congregate outside of class.

  5. 65

    “…what we admire and what we require aren’t the same thing.”  I really like that Christie. And it seems to adroitly sum up the work Evan tries to do here. 🙂

  6. 66

    my applause to Ronnie Ann Ryan’s post……..you might want to rewrite that in capital letters……hhhmmmm..

  7. 67

    @ Karl R #64

    Of course when you ‘talk” to women they usually won’t come right out and say what may be their own delusional expectations.They’ll say the usual bulls**t of
    I want a guy who’s honest,caring with a good sense of humor who can make me laugh etc….”

    I live in a suburb of Chicago where the women I can assure you will have completely different expectations that those in Boise,ID or Wisconsin. in other words they may not “express it” but their actions show it and I’ve seen and proved it with dozens of “recon” profiles over the years.Of course a man can’t have a pot belly even if she has a big fat butt.Ya know why?Because she knows she has more options online where we can’t see it of course.

  8. 68

    jb- you’re totally right. what women say they want and what they actually go for/end up with are 2 totally different things in most cases…

  9. 69
    Karl R

    JB said: (#67)
    “Of course when you ‘talk” to women they usually won’t come right out and say what may be their own delusional expectations.”

    If they don’t tell you their expectations, then how would you know them? Do you read their minds? Do you steal their diaries?

    J.A. said: (#68)
    “what women say they want and what they actually go for/end up with are 2 totally different things in most cases…”

    This is a more reasonable assumption. If what you say you want, and what you actually go for are two totally different things, than it’s reasonable to assume that women will be equally guilty of that behavior.

    JB said: (#67)
    “I’ve seen and proved it with dozens of ‘recon’ profiles over the years.”

    You’re making your assumptions about women wanting “every man these women see on soap opera’s,movies,music etc…” because the women are contacting hotties who may be out of their league?

    In early 2009 I sent a message to a woman whose profile was on Match.com. Her last activity was “over three weeks” before, and since Match.com never deletes old profiles, that’s usually a good indicator that the person no longer uses Match.com. It’s quite possible that they may have deactivated their account years before.

    I had a very low expectation that the woman would ever see my email. If she did, I thought I had an above-average chance of making a connection through our shared interest in dancing. It was a long-shot, but it only cost me a few minutes of time.

    Three months ago I happened to meet the same woman through the dance community, and I eventually mentioned that I’d seen her profile on Match.com. As I suspected, she hadn’t been on Match.com since 2007.

    People will gamble on long-shots provided it doesn’t cost them much to do so. That doesn’t mean they expect to succeed. It doesn’t mean that they’re focusing all of their efforts on long-shots.

    JB said: (#67)
    “Of course a man can’t have a pot belly even if she has a big fat butt.Ya know why?Because she knows she has more options online where we can’t see it of course.”

    Do you have a recon profile that’s an older, overweight woman? Is she getting offers from men whom you consider to be better catches than you? (Or at least equal to you?)

    When women contacted me, I didn’t consider them to be an “option” if they were clearly unsuitable (for example, living in another country). I’m fairly certain most women feel the same way.

  10. 70

    I find it funny how ‘all women are X’, but there’s no mention of how ‘all men are Y’.  If we want to bash each sex, I’m sure the women here could come up with a multitude of things to say. 

    That’s not very productive though, it brings about negative energy and dwells on things we have no control over, which is suffering.

    I think Karl is giving really good answers in regard to focusing on the things you can control and accept each person for who and what they are.  

    Men are the SAME way in regard to looks as how women are being slammed for doing.  We all have preferences, there’s nothing wrong with that.  For those women and men who are unreasonable in their expectations and don’t understand reality, I wish them luck and say ‘next’.  For those men who pass by me on line (and there’s been plenty!), I say good luck to them too and maybe we’ll meet in real person some day :).

    (There are inherent traits in men and women that are not going away any time soon, they’ve been there for millions of years.  We can ‘suffer’ over why men/women can’t be more like the opposite sex, or we can understand the biological reasons each sex is as they are, accept it and have a couple of laughs about it.    Learning about women would give men a leg up in regard to relating to them and create/maintain attraction.  It’s not that difficult to learn either.)

  11. 71

    Re:# 69

    And if this blog is any indication, many of the “options” women have are with men old enough to be their fathers. 🙂

  12. 72

    Haha, ouch Selena! Although for those women in their mid 40’s, it’s all relative 🙂

  13. 73

    Hello Evan Katz,i have been following blogs for some time. First time , I am commenting.I have been noticing from so many blogs that men has all power in the online dating / relationships. But as more and more women are becoming independent and powerful in work and business environment, men are slipping that stigma.Ladies having more upper hand in dating / relationships ,some men are becoming passive on many dating web sites. This trend is rising and still men are noticing it.Instead of  women chasing men. now it is all the way around.

  14. 74
    Christie Hartman

    Thanks, Selena! (65)
    I agree with Denise’s points (70). I’ve found, in my work, the there are ALWAYS certain men who complain about women and think women have all the power in dating, and there are women who complain about men and believe men have all the power. These are the ones who’ve been hit hardest by the trials of dating and relationships. It’s not that the other sex has the power, it’s that these people have forgotten their own power.

  15. 75

    When people speak of “power” in dating, I wonder if they are not acknowledging their own power of choice. We all choose who we intitially go out with; who makes the cut to a serious relationship; who we choose to stay with.

    On this blog Evan has a clip “You aren’t attracting the wrong men, you are accepting the wrong men.”  Very insightful. And could be applied to men in how they choose women as well.

  16. 76

    Christie #74

    I believe it’s because they have poor boundaries.  If they worked on their own boundary, it becomes easier to accept reality, stop the suffering, and keep the focus and positive (like Karl R. gets us to do).

    I would also say it’s because of people’s beliefs.  Beliefs are very powerful and reflect our world back to us.  They can be changed though.

    Would you agree with that?

  17. 77

    #75 Selena Right on! Exactly! Speaks directly to our boundaries and what we choose to accept or not accept in our lives.  This is not only in romantic relationships, but friendships, work situations, etc.

  18. 78
    Christie Hartman

    Denise (76): I would definitely agree with that, wholeheartedly. Beliefs are huge; if you believe women (or men) are jerks, then that’s what you will find. Bad experiences can create those beliefs, but the beliefs can create bad experiences too.

  19. 79
    Carrie Knight

    Power and dating don’t belong in the same sentence.  Power is the rate at which we work or convert energy.  Dating shouldn’t take energy.  It should be sweet, silly, and innocent.  Screwing – that takes energy. Relationships, now there’s a damn energy vacuum.
    However, if the question is ‘why do women have so much instantaneous power?’
    Meaning, the power that seems to evaporate as the clock chimes twelve… it’s because you think we’re pretty, we smell good, and you have no idea what we are thinking… yet.
    Dating, mating, and conjugating are the cornerstone of recreation and survival.
    Keep it Simple, Dude.
    If you’re thinking about asking her out before you get her name and number – your rushing.
    If you’re thinking about where to take her before you ask her out – your rushing.
    IF for some magical fairytale reason you get a date – and if you’re on this date and you’re having a good time and you look over at her – quietly – and in the moment just say what you’re really thinking out loud but can’t muster the strength to say “you” “you look beautiful”…
    Start wondering how to say goodnight or if you should hug, or kiss, or WORST OPTION EVER – high five or bust it out…or if you even let it cross your mind while on this FIRST date that maybe next time you’re out together you could do something more exciting that what you doing on the date your actually on… and if you’re sitting there (staring at her) blah blah blahing in your head to yourself about what she does or doesn’t want to do or might like to do… instead of having an easy meaningless conversation along the lines of what’s your favorite season and do you like windy Sunday mornings or who is your favorite movie star or American President or show on Adult Swim… then…
    Girls just wanna have fun – traditionally, if you make us feel like we have somehow caused you any irritation, hesitation, or frustration – or nervousness – simply because we AGREED to go out with you…we’ll probably avoid you like the swine flu for as long as we possibly can while pretending there is nothing awkward about the fact that we are avoiding you…
    So dude – chill out… you will be shorter than some women. Yes. The average woman is 5’8”… Some women will think this is a turn on. Seriously – women are weird. What keeps a woman around has much more to do with how you make her feel about herself. I for one – refuse to have a man in my life with prettier nails than mine OR better hair. That’s just the way it is. I can think of a few dudes that probably think I didn’t return their call because they were too odd, too short, worked too much, worked out too little, said too much, said too little, didn’t have enough education, had two children… blah blah blah.
    Chances are that’s not it. I’ve done the same thing. I used to KNOW (not think – know) that every time it didn’t work out with a dude it was because I was too chunky. Honestly those men probably did not even considering my weight an issue… but probably really considered my insecurity about my weight an issue.
    I BET YOU $100
    These “aggressive, flighty, type A’s” that you’re describing (in a somewhat insulting tone btw – you might want to cushion that a little – I don’t many women describe you as “short”) – have the following conversation about you with their friends:
    Friend: You still going out with Jay?
    Miss A: No, not any more?
    Friend: Why not? What happened?
    Miss A: Nothing happened, I just wasn’t feeling it.
    Friend: Why not? Was he weird?
    Miss A: No. He’s a really nice guy. We just didn’t have much to talk about. We didn’t have fun.
    Friend: Oh, I thought he was taking you out a lot…
    Miss A: He was but he couldn’t relax.
    Dating is not supposed to be a pain in the ass. That’s what marriage is for – I’m kidding… but isn’t the purpose of courtship to learn how to play and dote and be sweet and do all the stupid little cute things that couples do together that lead into a fun and rewarding relationship so that for whatever reason later on we can fool ourselves into believing that kids are a good idea?
    KIDDING… of course they’re a great idea…
    Just saying – it has nothing to do with the fact that your short, or a janitor, or a liar – sorry I mean a lawyer or anything else…
    I would skip hot rocks on a lake of fire with a dude if I knew I would have a good time doing it…
    Only reason to date is to go out and have a good time. If you want to control how someone responds to you – your shit out of luck. The only person you have power over is yourself…

  20. 80

    Carrie, do you mean that the average MAN is 5’8″? Because the average American woman is actually about 5’4″, and the average American man is about 5’9 1/2″.
    The report, Mean Body Weight, Height, and Body Mass Index (BMI) 1960-2002: United States, shows that the average height of a man aged 20-74 years increased from just over 5’8″ in 1960 to 5’9½” in 2002, while the average height of a woman the same age increased from slightly over 5’3″ 1960 to 5’4″ in 2002.
    The funny thing to me about the whole height issue in dating, I’ve found, is that most people clearly have no idea of what the American average is… and the men that many women consider to be short really are “average height,” if not taller. My husband is 5’10 1/2″, and he was frequently put in the short category. Maybe if he was trying to play basketball, sure, but in reality, he’s an inch taller than the average American man.
    (Not that it mattered to me, but for women who turned him and other men of similar height down because they weren’t 6′, I wonder if they knew how few men are actually taller than 6′ in this country.)
    In general, most men are going to be taller than most women.

  21. 81

    @Ronnie Ann Ryan:

    You’ve got to be kidding!!!

    You said: “There’s someone for everyone.”  I have just one question: WHAT PLANET IS THAT??? It sure as hell AIN”T this one!!!

    How much money have you made robbing people with that phony BS???  

  22. 82

    I agree with Evan.  If a man or woman can’t be bothered, stuff them and next!

  23. 83

    I am going to be honest and perhaps a bit of a prick (but honest) and say that the majority of men and women on this forum and in the world are idiots. We must live in a fucked up world indeed, if the only way to impress a lady is to act like a prick or act like someone you’re not. I am one of the unlucky ones who suffer from this so called nice syndrome, but I was led to believe, that in order to succeed in relationships and indeed life in general, is to be YOURSELF. I am slim, fairly good looking have a stable job and only 155cm tall. Yet for some reason, I cannot get a date, which is quite frustrating. I am going assume that the reason that I can’t attract women is because I am small. I have read lots of online dating profiles as well as many discussions about this topic, and the one thing that many women have in common, is that they would never date men who are short because they find it unattractive. I keep hearing women bitching on TV and in online forums, how that there is no decent men out there. But that is incorrect, we are there, but the problem is, they are setting the bar way to high. They all seem to have an inflated view of themselves, and that they deserve nothing but perfection in a partner. Like I said, I have read many profiles and the standards are by far ridiculous. Frankly I am surprised that women have not included ‘must shit roses’ to the list of desirable qualities. Believe it or not, I am actually a very nice person, who has a lot of positive energy, but the way the dating world is set up these days, as well as women’s attitudes, just makes my blood boil. Evan, I do not agree with anything you have said, except this; if women can’t see what a catch I am, If they can’t see what I have too offer as a potential life partner, because of their prejudices, or ludicrous standards, well fuck them. They deserve to be alone, they deserve to be with the arseholes that they seem to attract.

    1. 83.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      Sorry you don’t agree, Aaron, but maybe you’d have more success with the opposite sex if you listened to what others had to say. Your problem isn’t your height. It’s your lack of confidence, your negativity, and your destructive worldview. A woman’s bar isn’t too high if she doesn’t want to date you; there are lots of decent looking stable men who ALSO have confidence, self-awareness, and no victim complex.

      1. 83.1.1

        Hey Evan. I think that you have the wrong idea about me. Firstly, I am very frustrating with the whole dating scene and what I said, I just had to get of my chest. Secondly, (believe it or not) I have a lot of respect and confidence towards women and people in general. I’ve tried dating sites and I socialise quite a bit. I have on many occasions approached women to conversed with and to ask them out on a date. But they all turned me down. I am an intelligent, confident, kind-hearted, down to earth bloke and yet, women won’t give me the time of day. And yet, women our complaining that they can’t seem to find any decent guys. I don’t expect for every woman that I meet should want to go out with me or fall madly in love with me, but it would be nice if some of them would give me a chance. All I was trying to say in my last post, is that maybe, just maybe, their standards are too high. I really do believe that people in general, need to have a hard look at themselves and realise that they are not perfect and that they should not expect their potential partners to be perfect either.

        1. Evan Marc Katz

          We agree that people need to look in the mirror. The difference is that I tell that to both genders. You’re saying it to women but not doing it yourself.

      2. 83.1.2

        I am glad we both agree that people need to look themselves in the mirror. I am talking about my own personal experiences, which is why I say that women should wake up to themselves. I have no doubt that men are just as shallow as women are. You were right in your previous posts, in that once upon a time I used to have confidence, and self image issues. But I looked myself in the mirror along time ago and realised my true potential and self worth. I know that I am not perfect, which is why I focus on someone’s good qualities rather than superficial appearances. I just wish everyone else did this as well. And I know that I am not special, I know that there are many men and women out there who are in the same situation as me and are finding it difficult and frustrating trying to find a partner. My first post was more of a rant because I was angry, and I apologise for that. But the message that I hope to get across to people reading this, is that it is ok to have standards. If you know what you want, there go out and get what you want. But I think it is important for men and women to be realistic and not set the bar too high, otherwise they might miss out on meeting someone truly remarkable.

  24. 84

    I think it’s generally true that women prefer guys to be confident, assertive and to exude a more masculine energy. However, there are a minority of women who prefer more submissive guys and men who prefer more dominant women (both in terms of overall personality and also sexually).

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