Why Would a Man Assume He Is My Perfect Match?

Why Would a Man Assume He Is My Perfect Match?

Evan, I’m one of your most loyal readers. I discovered you through a Swedish friend 5 years ago. Yes, we know you in Europe as well! Among my girlfriends we call you our “Love Guru”, and every time a girl tells me about a dating issue, I ALWAYS refer to your material and tell them to read you! And yes, although I’m not one of your private clients, I bought “Why He Disappeared” after my last boyfriend… disappeared. Because I’ve read all of your articles for the last 5 years (and that’s a lot of reading), I positively know that you have never answered this question.

In the last couple of years I’ve met a lot of guys, online and offline. I haven’t found the person yet, but I’ve learned something about men: they have a lot of faith in themselves. And here’s my question: how come guys always, always, always think they are the PERFECT match for you, without any self-awareness? I’m not talking about physical appearance; I’m talking more about this:

Girl: “I live in a big city, full of people. I would like a boyfriend that lives in the same area, so we can meet whenever we want to.”
Boy: “I live 400 miles away, but hey, that’s no problem, I’m your perfect match!”

Girl: “I want to marry through the Protestant Church, it’s very important for me that my future husband agrees so we can raise our kids that way.”
Boy: “I don’t want to get married, I’m not sure if want to have kids, and I’m definitely against the Protestant Church, but hey, that’s no problem, I’m your perfect match!”

Girl: “I don’t enjoy going out late. During the winter I prefer to stay at home and I don’t care what’s the coolest bar in town right now.”
Boy: “I love drinking alcohol, I can’t be in the same bar for more than 90 minutes, and if I stay at home one evening I can’t breathe, but hey, that’s no problem, I’m your perfect match!”

Girl: “I have a Master’s degree, I can quote French, English and Spanish literature, culture is a huge turn on for me, and intellectual chemistry is as important as physical chemistry for me.”
Boy: “I stopped studying when I was 18, I can’t remember the last book I read and I can talk to you about every reality show on TV if you need me to, but hey, that’s no problem, I’m your perfect match!”

Girl: “I’m in my early 30s, and I still believe I can find a guy who has never married before, no kids, so we can build a relationship with no complicated stuff from day 1. I want a simple thing.”
Boy: “I’m in my 50’s, divorced, one kid your age, no education, no shared background with you – social or cultural, I live far from you, but hey, that’s no problem, I’m your perfect match!”

You, my dear Evan, get the idea, but they don’t. Why do they always think they’re perfect for you? I know it when I’m not someone’s type! If I see that a guy is looking for this nurturing, low maintenance girl in her 20s I don’t lose my time, I’m not that girl. But men don’t, men will always try to convince you not to be “rigid”, when what’s happening here is that he’s not your type, you know it but he doesn’t stop for half a second to think about it.

Is it a biological reason? Social? Sexual? I don’t know, but you are the Love Guru, you must have the answer. And by the way, how do I respond to this kind of guy? I’ve tried it your way (online), and the prize that I get for answering is being insulted most of the time: “It’s amazing how rigid you are”, “You are wrong”, “It fascinates me, looking at your sweet face I would have never thought you could be this mean”, “I know what’s good for you”, “Oh please, don’t give me a lame excuse”.

I would looooove to hear your opinion.

— KC

I looooooved this email and printed it in its entirety for three reasons:

This has nothing to do with you. This is about them.

It’s funny, it’s true, and it makes it look like I’m huge in Europe.

And very much like the reader question about men who text photos of their penis, I don’t think that this is a particularly complicated question with a long, complex answer. So let’s get right down to it.

I agree that the men you’re alluding to are somewhat clueless. I agree that they’re wasting their time and barking up the wrong tree. I agree that it can be a bit frustrating in dealing with them when it’s so obvious to you that they’re not a good fit for your life. But here’s what you’re missing, KC:

This has nothing to do with you.

This is about them.

Contrary to your opinion, these men don’t think that they’re a perfect fit for you.

They may not score high in reading comprehension skills, but they know from your description that they’re not what you’re looking for.

What you don’t understand is that THEY DON’T CARE what you’re looking for!

You know what they care about? What THEY’RE looking for!

And what are they looking for?

An attractive woman your age. That’s about it.

Men do what THEY want. They don’t do what YOU want.

You think they’re reading your profile and concluding that you’re a perfect match. They’re not. They’re reading your profile and writing to you IN SPITE OF what you wrote.

They’re trying to convince you to overlook your own criteria and give them a chance. Not because it’s in your best interests. But because it’s in THEIRS.

Predictably, when you point out that it’s not a good fit, they get defensive and try to convince you that you’re wrong.

It’s not that they actually believe that they’ll convince you.

It’s that they’ve been ignored by everyone else and you’re the first person to write back a rejection letter.

So they double down on their original email — piling on a little bit of guilt and aggression — to let you know that you’re making a huge mistake by passing him up — yes, the same man who is nothing like the man you’re looking to marry.

They’re just venting. It has nothing to do with you.

You can’t change it. You can’t worry about it. But you can make sense of it.

Men do what THEY want. They don’t do what YOU want.

You can spend your whole life getting frustrated or you can observe it dispassionately.

You can spend your whole life getting frustrated or you can observe it dispassionately.

Somewhere, there’s a subpar student trying to get into Harvard.

Somewhere, there’s a barely literate person applying for a copywriter job.

And somewhere, there’s an older, slightly overweight woman who is writing to the George Clooney clone on Match, even though he specified his age range was 27-32.

Does Clooney get upset at these women? Nope. He just smiles and deletes them.

Why don’t you try that on for size and see how it fits, KC?

Join our conversation (89 Comments).
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  1. 1

    This had to be one of my favourites. I had to laugh! So funny and true.

  2. 2

    Very funny and sounds about right. Pleased to read that I am not the only one experiencing this. Irritatingly, the types of men the OP describes seem to be the only men that have been contacting me online over the last year. I can only hope that others are faring better.

    1. 2.1
      helen schirmer

      That is my same sentiment. I have so many men tell me I am really sexually attractive right out of the shoot on seeing my picture only. They tell me what their sexual desires are in regard to me. Do they think they are impressing me or winning me over by saying these things? They tend to not post recent pictures, or even pictures at all. It is pretty dismal. Why do they want to hide their looks? Are they obese, have bad teeth, or other unattractive looks? It sure seems like all the good ones are already taken and their women are hanging on tight to them. Only the desperate and needy ones are left. Maybe they cannot find high value women in real life. They show disrespect for women who are total strangers. They must have not had any good make role models and are so self focused, they think women are non discriminating with men.   It is a big waste of time. The potential ones with good personality, health, decent looks, and financial prosperity are reluctant to pursue.   I almost think arranged marriages by families would be better. I hate to think I now have to pay to find good men in my area and spend alot of time trying to find out who has potential and who is subpar. When and why did dating change and get so difficult?

  3. 3

    So… does “delete” mean completely ignore their messages (don’t even reply/respond at all, even to the first message)?
    Or should one be “polite” and send them a single “Sorry I don’t think we’re a match & good luck in your search” message?
    There’s a part of me that says that it’s good manners to send the polite “no thanks” message but if that is likely to cause the “agressive re-attempt” reaction as described above, then I’d rather be seen as impolite &  simply ignore messages/winks from totally unsuitable men.

    1. 3.1

      Hey Robyn,
      I believed that, since I don’t like to be ignored, it was best to simply say no thank you and wish them well with their search. And thinking I could stop the onslaught of long distance searchers, I used to have the disclaimer “I’M NOT INTERESTED IN LONG DISTANCE RELATIONSHIPS” written at the top of my profile. I was, and still am, continuously contacted by men who live hundreds and thousands of miles away, INSISTING that we become friends. THEY REALLY DON’T CARE WHAT YOU WANT.

      So I’ve always tried to be polite, thanked them for contacting me and wished them luck on their search but it doesn’t matter. Their mission is to convince you to do what they want (I also believe that 90% of the guys who contact me are scammers) and they don’t, for a minute, consider that someone who forces their way into your space isn’t attractive. In my case there has been and continues to be the hard core aggression making me wrong about what I where long distance relationships are concerned (which is my big issue). AND, get this, just recently a “military man” (to be read big fat SCAMMER) wrote that I was a mother fucker, a bitch and an asshole for not wanting to communicate with him.

      So … if the specs don’t fit … DO NOT ENGAGE, AT ALL. DELETE. You’re impoliteness is far less inflammatory than theirs will be.


    2. 3.2

      I feel if a man has not read in my profile what I am looking for, or has deliberately ignored what I am looking for, it is not rude to just delete his email. If he genuinely fits my criteria but I still don’t see interest, then I will send a polite “no thank you.” I received many out-of-state notes when I clearly said no to that. To me, that warrants no response.

  4. 4

    This was so funny!

    Evan, I loved this one because you illustrated  so clearly an important point – Men pursue you because you’re what THEY want, what you want is almost entirely irrelevant.   Expecting them to factor that into the equation is almost unrealistic.

    I do feel sad for them though; because I’m sure we’d see a lot less of the pain of rejection of some men, some of whom comment here at times, if they  paid attention to the signs.   

  5. 5

    I have  the same opinion  as Robyn (#3).   When I first got into online dating, I thought that I should be polite and respond to every man who wrote to me, even if that meant saying, “Thanks for your message.   However, I don’t see that we have a lot in common.”   Like the OP, I would get aggressive, often insulting messages in return.   Finally, I decided that replying would only encourage these men and that no response was the best policy.

  6. 6

    I talked to my best friend about this phenomena recently. Her experience of straight guys online was basically the same as my experience of tranny chasers online (I’m transgender).
    Both groups of men seemed utterly incapable of either reading a profile text or qualifying women on what they actually wanted.
    The thought (?) process seems to be “I like your photos. You have the kind of genitalia that I prefer. Lets get married/move in together/have sex/get naughty on video chat [delete as applicable]”
    Evan’s concluding advise (delete/block) is definitely the most time effective way of dealing with these clowns.
    But just for amusement, I used to engage men in conversation and *force* them to say what they wanted in a partner (serious or casual). It was incredibly difficult to pin them down on anything!
    One of the first things that pick up artists learn is to qualify women. It doesn’t matter if the qualifiers are bogus.
    Merely by qualifying a woman, he sets himself above the thirsty, desperate pack of horndogs that surround him.
    The sad irony is that the very men who appear to have no standards whatsoever will eventually discover what they don’t want once they are involved with someone who doesn’t satisfy them.

    1. 6.1

      Wow!! Your comment is dead on true for me, very well said! I did not know about the effect of “qualifying women” but it’s totally true for me! When I meet a guy online with no standards, I don’t feel as special, and I immediately think he’s desperate and tell him I’m not interested.

      It’s scary to know that pick up artists or playboys can abuse this psychological behavior of women! Do only con artists do this or can good men do it subconsciously too when they are genuinely attracted to the woman?

  7. 7

    Just to balance out the to email a response or not to email a response, I usually do and I have received many responses back thanking me for being thoughtful.   I guess it just depends on how uncivil a guy is… sure makes it easy to make them off the list.   

    As to our presenting problem of the day, I could not concur more.   I have found it mostly when a guy really wants to ignore an age difference because he feels young inside…. and thinks he is still “with it.”   And he is neither youthful nor with it.   Nothing can alter age!   I have to face it. I hope I do it more gracefully than they!     

  8. 8

    …or perhaps these men fit KC’s ideal in other ways, and she simply elects to focus on the one thing that doesn’t fit her ideal?

    I mean,  say she wants a guy who:
    1) is white
    2) is 6’4″
    3) has an athletic build
    4) is alpha
    5) makes $150k/yr
    6)  speaks French
    7) likes to cook
    8) is clean shaven
    9) has all his teeth
    10) likes romcoms
    11) is not bald
    12) went to an Ivy.

    Suppose  a guy who was all those thing messages her, but he happened to  graduate from  Stanford–would you say he was still close enough to her idea of perfect that he could reasonably claim to be perfect for her?

  9. 9

    A single, quick polite “no thanks” can be followed up by silence. Especially if the initial e-mail was friendly or inquiring. When I was doing online dating, I almost always responded, even if it was just to say no thank you. And I got plenty of e-mails from women who were poor matches. It’s not just an issue with men.
    I’m aware women often face different challenges around this. But I find it interesting how some women seem to feel the need to keep engaging men they have zero interest in, and will probably never meet in person. There’s no rule saying you have to say anything if the guy gets obnoxious, or fails to listen the first time around. In fact, you don’t even have to open the second e-mail, which frankly would save a lot of trouble. Why look at it, if you’ve already said “no thanks.” That’s exactly what delete and ignore are for.
    As Evan points out, you have the power to decide how to respond. Those of you with a history of getting into long winded arguments with men you’ve already rejected online are choosing to do so. You can also choose to never respond to anyone who writes you, waiting for that “perfect match” e-mail to land in your box. However, if you choose to do that, then don’t complain about how impersonal and uncaring the whole process is. And don’t complain about how men never respond to your e-mails.
    There’s at least a little truth to the idea that what you give, is what you’ll get in return. A little bit of kindness, coupled with the dispassionate observation Evan advocates for, goes a long way.

    1. 9.1

      Think about this though if all these guys message me that have total deal breakers for me and I have to sift through 30 emails a day(true story) from men 25 of which I would never date then you are right I will never find my match because they are clogging my inbox.   I am not going to date someone who is 20 years older than me!

  10. 10
    Michelle Beth

    The kicker to me is women like the one who posted the question tend to think they are really really special.
    No need to over analyze. The simple answer is the men think this woman is poke-able. They couldn’t care less if they are the perfect match for her or not. They just want to poke her.

  11. 11

    I think it is cute that they are optimistic.   I have to admire them for taking the risk and putting themselves out there.

  12. 12

    Just don’t respond-men don’t respond to me if they aren’t interested. This is just how it goes on dating sites.

  13. 13

    @ Joe #8, no one is that picky. Contrary to popular opinion, most women I know set the bar pretty low and only want a few basic things, and they usually end up being messaged by a guy that is none of those things. I had a guy go off on me (he went so far as typing a slew of insults into Google Translator and translating them into my native language, badly), because I told him I wasn’t interested. Never mind that he was 11 years older than me and five years older than my age cutoff, lived in another state when I looked for someone in a 40 mile radius, and all around gave off a weird vibe. He said I’d led him on, because my profile said I liked geeks, and, wouldn’t you know, he is a geek, so we’re a perfect match!
    @ Nathan, I used to look over a man’s profile and then, on a case-by-case basis, decide whether to reply or not. (I didn’t reply to “Hi”, “Hey beautiful”, “How ya doing” and other online-dating equivalents of cold calls, for same reason that I do not talk to telemarketers.) If a person sounded nice enough, normal enough, and sounded like he’d put enough work into his email, I’d send him a quick “thanks, but no thanks”. But, as my above example shows, some guys interpret any reply as a sign of attention. Then they complain the woman had lied to them and led them on. If I sensed any such weirdness in a profile, I chose not to reply at all.  
    I’ve had men not respond to my emails, as well. It didn’t offend me. It’s business. Nothing personal.

  14. 14

    Men are told since they first get interested in girls to try. “Go talk to her.” “She’s not out of your league.” “Be confident.”
    If men didn’t talk to women who were likely to reject them men wouldn’t talk to women at all. Getting dates is a lot like other kinds of selling. The person with the most ‘no’s’ wins. You aren’t going to close many so you’d better be talking to many, many, more than that.  

  15. 15
    Karl S

    I once wrote to this girl who was studying science.

    I told her “Whilst I am not studying any of the sciences myself, I have always had an appreciation for the rigorous application of observation and testing that goes into unlocking the mysteries of our universe.” I then mentioned the layman books of science factoids I’d been reading by authors such as Bill Bryson and Neil deGrasse Tyson.

      Her reply was this –

    “i find it really strange when people message me on here and say “i dont like science myself….but i’m glad you do this makes us a good match, etcetera”
    i’m spending the next 5 years of my life, and i’ve already spent 2 years of my life with 8 months a year, 23 hours a week, learning and obsessing about maths, astronomy, physics, and engineering. having an appreciation for what i do makes you a nice person, it doesnt mean we’d be a good match. its not like i could sit down with you and talk about plans and designs for different mars rovers and missions, or talk about the space programs in terms of engineering design, maybe you’d have a grasp of the general astronomical theories, but could we have a conversation about the different theories for solar system mass accretion, or galactic rotation patterns and behaviors? This kind of science is pretty much my life atm, and I find it a bit rude and patronizing, when its something i’m going to have a $30000 hecs debt from studying, and spend my life doing when people who aren’t really interested in science like that use it as a pick up line kind of thing..no offence meant, thats just the opinion i kind of built with what you started your message with, and it’s kind of the straw that broke the camel’s back with this kind of stuff and these kinds of messages from guys.”

    Now tell me, am I once of those clueless guys described by the original poster? What’s the difference between that and trying to show an interest?

    1. 15.1

      Evan is right of course….but I would’ve at least started a conversation with you about Bill Bryson’s books. 🙂

  16. 16

    Evan said   And somewhere, there’s an older, slightly overweight woman who is writing to the George Clooney clone on Match, even though he specified his age range was 27-32.”

    That’s right ladies it goes both ways every day for men on the internet as well. I have women older than my desired range (43-54) by 5-8 yrs that obviously aren’t physically active or in shape and look like Aunt Bea from Mayberry (or worse Bea Arthur) that email me and wink at me on a daily basis. Btw I look more like Mitt Romney than George Clooney but I’m certainly active and in good physical shape like my profile says. Now I know if they had a brain in their head and really read my profile they would know they weren’t what I was looking for but it actually doesn’t bother me a bit and I get a laugh or 2  everyday. I ignore them and delete them just like they all do hundreds of times a week to men. That’s online dating and it will never change so just have fun with it.

  17. 17
    Evan Marc Katz

    @Karl – I don’t like answering questions here, but…

    You’re not clueless for the reason that woman suggests you are.

    She was very rude and verbose in her response to you. All she had to do was delete your email if she wasn’t interested.

    However, where you ARE clueless is in thinking that this is a good pickup line:

    “Whilst I am not studying any of the sciences myself, I have always had an appreciation for the rigorous application of observation and testing that goes into unlocking the mysteries of our universe.”

    I fell asleep somewhere around “whilst”.

    Your first email should be a funny observation, not a “me, too, I agree with you, look at how much we have in common” query.

    If you know how to do it, you’re gonna rock.

    If you don’t know how to do this, click here.

    And if you click here and choose not to buy my product, then don’t complain that online dating doesn’t work for you. Seriously.

  18. 18

    Funny email! It looks like the OP isn’t taking this too terribly seriously, but a lot of people do. In fact, I was just writing about this myself. Why are people so offended at expressions of interest? Unless the message is offensive outright, what is so upsetting about being contacted by someone you don’t find interesting or attractive?  

    If you’re a reasonably appealing person, you’re going to get online attention from all sorts. You don’t have to respond or engage. But why be upset?   

  19. 19

    @Karl S #15: “Now tell me, am I once of those clueless guys described by the original poster? What’s the difference between that and trying to show an interest?”
    You were not clueless. She was. Another person who is looking for a clone of themselves and believe that their “match” must be enjoying the same thing that they do. For all that scientific banter that she so desperately need, there are coworkers, friends, and online forums. No need for the boyfriend to be that passionate and knowledgeable about it. Your willingness to show basic curiosity is plenty.
    My boyfriend does not need to share all my passions. Just a couple of commons interests are enough to bond. I’d rather keep my compatibility chips for important stuff such as long-term life goals and common values. If that lady has so few (or none) other interests that she needs her “match” to share her science obsession, she really is the clueless one. And to my opinion those people would never do well in a long-term relationship anyway because they are too close-minded and elitist for the level of flexibility and acceptance that relationships require.

  20. 20

    I know why men do this.   Because, ALL.   THE.   TIME. women and men state that they need a mate with traits that are actually nothing more than “nice to haves” and then find themselves falling deeply in love with someone who does not resemble their online ideal.   

    Evan, himself, admits that he wouldn’t have written to his lovely wife had he seen her profile online and yet is now deeply in love and eternally thankful that he wed her.   Catholic, Republican, non-East Coast… these would have seemed like deal-breakers yet Mrs. Evan has turned out to be a far better match for him than any of the ladies who fit his stated criteria.   

    Another example: one of my best friends, an MD, would screen for graduate degrees, athletic competitiveness (marathoners, extreme racers, ironmen, etc) and professional ambition (a “regular” engineer wouldn’t suffice unless he was also planning to get his MBA and someday run the engineering firm).   You know who she’s been happily dating since the summer?    A cable guy who never went to college, cooks her dinner most nights and accepts her in ways that her Type As never did.   

    So, it seems like plenty of KC’s admirers know that they don’t win out on many “ideal qualities” lists but hope that they might just be able to make a pretty, accomplished woman happy, anyway.   

    As for writing back to people in order to reject them; I do.   Sure – some of the guys get rude & snarky but some are touched and thank me for my consideration.   And you know what?   I don’t care that the rude ones are hurt but I’m delighted that the polite ones feel respected and affirmed even as I say no.   I’d rather do my wee part to make the world a kind and civil place than succumb to brusqueness.  

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