Why You Should Ignore Your Previous Experience With Men


Hi, my name is Evan Marc Katz, Reverend of the Universal Life Church. Last year, I officiated the wedding of my little sister, Daryl, in San Francisco.

The event was incredibly meaningful to me for a number of reasons, but the story I want to share with you is how Daryl met her husband, Dave.

Daryl was in her 20’s, living and dating in New York City. She’s very bright, sarcastic, and intolerant of “games” and B.S. As a result, Daryl had a rough go with the lawyers and bankers available to her in NYC. She decided to branch out.

She dated a cute guy in Minnesota, followed by a charming guy in Chicago, followed by a separated heartbreaker in New York.

All were impressive men. None lasted. Daryl decided to go on “guyatus”, as she was burned out on both New York and long-distance love affairs.

It was around that time that I wrote my first book, “I Can’t Believe I’m Buying This Book: A Commonsense Guide to Successful Internet Dating”. Before I sent it to an agent, I wanted to get my bookish sister’s opinion on things.

The first thing Daryl said to me was, “Why would anybody read a book by YOU?”

The second thing she said to me was, “Online dating is creepy.”

I knew I‘d found my target audience.

Long story short:

Daryl enjoyed my book — even though she thought she wouldn’t.
She started dating online — even though she thought she wouldn’t.
After a few years of trial and error — and being thisclose to quitting — Daryl tried a different website I’d recommended, Nerve.com.
On a lark, she replied to a older, bald guy who wrote to her from San Francisco — even though she said she didn’t want to do long-distance again.
7 months later, she moved to San Francisco.

3 years later, they’re married.

I’m only sharing this with you because my extremely bright sister was WRONG about everything she firmly believed.

The only reason she is happily married and househunting today is because she was open to the possibility that her beliefs weren’t 100% foolproof.

Contrast Daryl’s story with Amy, a 42-year-old woman who reached out to me for dating coaching last week.

Amy believed — based on her experiences — that there was nothing she could do differently. The real problem is everyone else.

I like Amy. She’s successful, family-oriented, looks great for her age, and is an information seeker. After a few minutes of talking on the phone, it was clear that Amy had already read a lot of the books in my relationship book bibliography.

I LOVE clients like this.

Except Amy didn’t become a client.

She didn’t become a client because Amy believed — based on her experiences — that there was nothing she could do differently. The real problem, she claimed, is everyone else.

“I’ve used JDate for 10 years. There’s nobody on there for me.”

“It’s guys in Los Angeles. They’re Peter Pans who won’t settle down and are always looking for someone younger.”

“Men out here don’t appreciate someone with ethnic looks. They all want California blondes.”

“I keep meeting men who are so messed up. They’re all out for sex. They don’t have any money. I’m not going to support a man.”

Can you appreciate Amy’s point of view? I sure can. It’s built on years and years of failure, frustration and disappointment.

Amy’s experience is REAL. As real as the nose on her face. And because it’s real, she also believes that it’s TRUE.

Then again, my sister truly believed that no one would read a book by me, that online dating was creepy, that long-distance relationships were doomed, and that men were all heartbreakers. That was her experience before meeting Dave.

I could easily refute Amy’s point of view — but she would rather hold onto it, believing that she’s “right”— than open up to a new way of dating like my sister did.

And it’s a shame, because Amy has SO MUCH to give.

Amy’s experience is REAL. As real as the nose on her face. And because it’s real, she also believes that it’s TRUE.

As a result, she loses sight of the fact that I’M a guy who dated on JDate, I’M a guy who prefers older women to younger women, I’M a guy who prefers brunettes to blondes, I’M a guy who looks young for his age. I’M a guy who wants to be a good husband and father.

And if I’M that kind of guy, it only stands to reason that there are thousands of others like me in Southern California.

Amy’s just not meeting them. And she will continue not meeting them…

Because her online dating profile and communication need improving.
Because her attitude about men needs adjusting.
Because her radar for “quality men” is really off.
Because she would rather hold onto her glass half-empty worldview and be “right” than try my glass half-full worldview which will create better results.

Instead, Amy is going to keep reading my advice and hope that Mr. Right – an ethnic lover from another state, apparently – comes and fishes her out of her office.

I like Amy, but she’s going to be waiting for a while.

You don’t have to.

My question for you is whether you’re self-aware enough to know what disempowering and false beliefs that you hold to be true.

Have you had any experiences that have made you change your mind for the better about dating, online dating, men or relationships? Or do you have a negative attitude about the opposite sex that pervades your interactions. Don’t lie, regular posters. I know which of you are suspicious of men. And I know that you hate it when I point out that your attitude can change a lot more readily than men…

Join our conversation (45 Comments).
Click Here To Leave Your Comment Below.


  1. 1

    Evan, I once read an article in More Magazine, written by a woman who went on a blind date set up by her friends.   She was a couple of years older than the guy, but he kept raving about “how  great she looked for her age”.   It totally got on her nerves and she’d never go out with him again.   Her point was, why couldn’t he just say that she looked great, period.    “For her age” assume that women are supposed to look bad at that age, and many of us don’t.   I agree, and  coming off that article, I notice it time and again when you say it.     

    1. 1.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      I don’t spend much time worrying about offending people, as you can tell, Donna. And I’m just using the same phrase that hundreds of women have used to describe themselves to me. Tell women to stop saying it and I’ll stop saying it, too. Thanks for your thoughtful commentary on the blog post itself.

  2. 2

    The Amys of the world, there are so many of them.   I am confounded by their circular logic.  

    It goes like this,   “All the men are Peter Pans looking for 18 year old blonde bimbos.”

    So look for serious men who like intelligent exotic women.

    “Those men aren’t my type.   Peter Pans are my TYPE.”

    I’ve always preferred tall men, 6 foot or better.     I’m only 5’4″    and I’m 53 years old.      This time around in the dating pool,   my criteria has considerably changed.     They must be gentlemen and not whack.  
    There is no competition for short men!   And you know what else? The chronic kink in my neck is gone.     🙂

  3. 3

    I think some people take things too seriously.   No negative thoughts towards men here.   I love em!    And, what’s wrong with being an older attractive woman?   People tell me all the time I don’t look my age.   I’m 49 and look like I’m in my 30’s.   When I can still attract 20 something year olds that hang out with my son, life ain’t too shabby!  

  4. 4

    #1 Donna
    Why couldn’t the guy just say she looked great period, without referring to her age?
    Well, it IS a common phrase, and often people just repeat things they’ve heard without thinking much about it.   It all depends if he meant it as an insult or not. Intention is everything.   If it is a basically caring, decent, honest, emotionally intelligent, well-adjusted man who is basically not abusive towards woman, then I would consider it an innocuous statement and not make a big deal about it.
    On the other hand, the fact that he kept repeating it could mean he has an issue with the age difference,  
    A man I was dating for almost a year, had met both my sisters who are younger than I am.   He said ‘both of your sisters are beautiful, but it’s a testament to the way you take care of yourself that you look younger than them.’   OK, nice compliment, but, it struck me that while he was able to say my sisters were beautiful, he had never told me that I was beautiful. Nor had he ever told me that he loved me.   So, I said something. ‘Ah, you say my sisters are beautiful, what about me?’   I got an answer that said ‘you’re beautiful when you (insert something sexual in here).   I am the first one to laugh things off, but I couldn’t.   He was never able to re-assure me, or smooth things over, without taking my little requests for affection as some kind of negative criticism of him.
    I know from what he has told me, that he still hates his ex-wife for being negative and criticizing him, so here is a case of the man not ignoring his previous experience with women.
    I recently had to let this guy go, because he always tried to turn everything back on me, even the fact that he put his dating profile back up without saying anything to me, when we both agreed to hide them. He said he’s just on there for entertainment.   My thinking is, if you’re gonna go shopping, eventually you are going to buy something.   The issue turned into how negative I am about everything, I say horrible things, I make accusations, and he never addressed the issue, even though I asked if he needed to keep his options open.   He wouldn’t answer, because he was afraid to lose me.   His theme from the beginning was lies of omission.   Well, he did lose me anyway.   His loss.   I am a gem.
    I understand full well the importance of not allowing my experience with this man to color all my future experiences, and have done a lot of inner work around this.
    Evan makes a great point in this article, and it’s a recurrent theme.
    You need to stay in a blank slate frame of mind when it comes to finding your One, challenge your own assumptions, beliefs and opinions, and give men a wide berth for their expression.

    1. 4.1


      Good for you, that guy just ain’t that into you and that is in no way shape of form a reflection of your intrinsic worth.

      Some people never get out of the shadows of the past and I have seen WAY too many people with baggage like this. Once that “turn it around” habit happens, he isn’t taking responsibility for his actions and more likely than not, his life in general.  

      What bugs me is that it is not that he cannot verbalise how hurt or caught up he is with the past so naturally I would think that such a person needs to take a break, heal and only date when the past hurt has lessen to a degree. I also think men that do date at this juncture want to find someone to rescue them and it just isn’t appealing.  

      I think even if I do meet a usually wonderful guy at certain junctures where I am still healing, my heart just cannot open to him.  I too have been hurt badly in the past and choose to remove myself from dating until I feel good about myself again and look forward to meeting people with an open heart.  What do you think?  

  5. 5

    I have seen men whom I thought were boring, negative, rude, etc etc. But then they went ahead and gotten attached.

    So, it makes me think that they were not on their best behavior with me because they just were not interested in me. On the other hand, they have the capability to be the best they can be, or else how can they get attached to anybody?

    So, I just believe that fundamentally, men are all good or have the potential to be good. They just have to meet someone they like. Not me. So, no hard feelings and onward with the search!

    If I don’t think like that, dating would just be terrible.

  6. 6

    Ummm, I’m afraid I would disagree, Shay. There are some real sharks out in that sea. Yeah some of them went and got attached, but I pity the poor women they’re semi-attached to. I’ve met a few really awful, self-serving men on the dating market, men who will use you and not feel bad about it for a minute, and just move on to the next victim. They do exist. But, the way I look at it, they’re all the more reason to appreciate the decent guys (and there are a lot more of those).

  7. 7

    @Donna I picked up on that as well!   Lol   People age differently.   I have seen so many 20 and 30 years old with more lines and wrinkles in their face.   I have got to the point I have a hard time telling peoples ages.

    Regarding Amy some people look at life through that type of lenses.   It’s always someone else with the problem or issue.   Sometimes it’s hard to turn those kind of folks around.   They would have to change their whole perspective on life!

  8. 8

    @Tara But I believe that even if a person is not at fault for a relationship failing it is always good to see what you could have done differently.   Doesn’t change the outcome but improves yourself.     Yeah you needed to let that guy go but maybe you will be better at spotting his type and not wasting your time in the future.   Having to ask for affection and reassurances is a flag.   Your positive attitude about going forward is great!   Good luck

  9. 9

    Okay, how is this post just 7 comments in and has already been deluged with a bunch of 40 and 50 something women who think that they look 25.   

    Clearly people can post what the like, but doesn’t anyone have any stories that relate to the post and not the tired cliche that they are 50 but look 30?

    There is always some descriptive detail that people latch onto and that makes them totally forget the post.

    Look, a lot of people say that you look good for “X.”   Who cares? Is it b/c it shatters the myth in your head that you haven’t changed a bit since your 30th birthday?   Someone pays your a nice compliment and you are mad that they don’t think you are 18?   Really? I thought people hated liars.

  10. 10

    Saying you look great for your age is a compliment. Lol!!

    I don’t think you can help people who spend their lives blaming others for their problems. They most likely have some kind of personality disorder(such as Narcissistic personality disorder) and it feels far more comforting to them, to blame everyone else, than to look at themselves as being at least part of the problem.

  11. 11

    In defense of Amy, yeah dating is tough, and it can wear you out and make you say the things she does. Being in your 40s and having ethnic looks probably doesn’t help things. (not being born American is definitely a huge handicap, even for a blonde, trust me on that one.) And I’ve heard scary things about dating in LA! I have a male friend who lived in the area for about three years, and was single that whole time. Recently I was telling him about this blog, and mentioned that the author (aka Evan) had spent ~15 years dating in LA. All my friend could say was “Ouch!”
    With that said, negative attitude only makes things worse. You’ve got to do the best you can with what you’ve got. A lot people have it much worse than “40’s and ethnic looks”. And anyway, positive attitude attracts men a lot more than any model looks would. The right men, anyway!  
    Personally I’ve had a lot of guy friends all my life, and, after a period of trial and error, I learned to approach dating with the attitude of “well, worst case scenario, I’ll have gained a new friend”. Worked great for me. And you learn so much about people in the process. Even the most boring guy, by the time he’s 40, has some interesting life stories to tell. Meeting the right person is the icing on the cake.
    As for “looking great for her age” thing, one thing I’ve learned from reading the comments on this blog is that, apparently, there is no politically correct way to describe a good-looking woman. First “blonde” got the bum rap, now you cannot say someone looks great for their age. How about “Yesterday I talked to Amy. Amy is a human”? Is that a good enough description? Or is it still offensive? Come on, people. FTR I’m 44 and look great for my age 😛

  12. 12
    Ronnie Ann Ryan

    Evan, as a fellow dating coach, my target is similar to yours – women dating over 40. I am amazed that women will take the time to call  me, but, when they discover they might have to shift how their thinking or change their dating stratgy – they balk and run.

    Simple common sense points to the idea that if you aren’t getting the results you want, you probably have to do something differently.

    I had one woman say she’s read all the books and doesn’t want to hear that same information again from me. Hmmm – I guess she doesn’t like the truth because great minds think a like. She didn’t like my suggestions since they were more of the same. Well honey,these suggestions and strategies are proven and work.

    Truthfully, when I encounter someone like Amy, I feel sad – I know she is suffering and that I cannot help her until she is willing to consider her part in why she hasn’t found the love she longs for. This was true for me when I turned 40 and was still single and its the work I had to do to date 30 men in 15 months to meet my wonderful husband.

  13. 13

    OK, in answer to Evan’s tongue-in-check last sentence, I can, in all sincerity, tell you that your  writing has almost single-handedly helped me get my head straight about relationships and dating, not just post-divorce and for middle-aged women (and men), but for people of all ages.   Without you I might have been beaten down, but instead I do quite well.   You are astute, funny, real, well-read, open minded, and you care. I read every post, take it all in, and about 80% of the time it was exactly what I needed to hear when I needed to hear it.   I always recommend you to every unattached woman I know.  What you do matters.  

  14. 14

    Nicole- great observation about word twisting. Sometimes I wonder what reality some people live in

  15. 15

    One person’s perspective is going to be a lot to different to another’s simply because people have different experiences in life which shape their views, opinions and thoughts. Someone cannot be criticised for their point of view as it has been created by previous experiences within that individual’s life. It takes a new, different experience in order to reform a person’s view as points of view are always subject to change even if the person is adamant that their beliefs are set in stone.

  16. 16


    I think   2 or 3 women said that – hardly a deluge. And I take it you are under 40.

    Women – and many men, too – are pretty sensitive about age. When you’re not getting the results you want, it’s easy to chalk it up to something obvious like that, especially since there is so much age bias out there. So try to reserve a bit of sympathy for your older sisters. And if you’ve got any dating stories of your own that relate to the post, please do share them!


  17. 17

    Previous post should have started:

    Nicole #10

    <<Okay, how is this post just 7 comments in and has already been deluged with a bunch of 40 and 50 something women who think that they look 25. >>

  18. 18

    I lived in Los Angeles for eight years. I always said, “it’s either them or it’s me.” Some days I felt it was all them, some days me. In the end, I got the feeling I wasn’t going to meet my husband there because insanity is doing the same thing over again and expecting the same results. I moved as a trial back to New York, and then met someone who two years later became my husband.
    In retrospect do I think that there was NO ONE in Los Angeles for me? I know that can’t be true. I probably passed up on a lot of great guys, picked the wrong guys, etc. I also probably felt more comfortable in New York, surrounded by family and people who knew me, which led to better choices for me.
    For Amy and people like her who complain about all the guys in a particular city, I say if that’s the case, then leave that city or go where you feel most comfortable and effervescent.
    Really, I mean, for a 39 year old to move to NYC is crazy. But it worked for me.
    If you’re not willing to move, then change the way you date.

  19. 19

    @Sherell   Yes to what you said in 9.
    I do feel very empowered and grateful for what I have learned from being in this relationship.   I feel clear as a bell about everything.
    I knew what I was getting into.   I’m a late bloomer and I wanted my younger studly handyman guy and overlooked many red flags to have it, yet was also hoping that he might turn out to be good partner material too.   I gave him the benefit of the doubt and lots of time.   It was fun while it lasted.   He said being in relationship changed him in many ways, so that is good.
    Thankfully, I was not ‘in love’ with him.   As a woman, I can’t fall in love with a man who doesn’t fall in love with me first, or that I feel sure that it is happening for both of us.   I think I could have fallen in love if the values and the emotional availability were there.   Dishonesty is a deal breaker. I won’t go into the events, but he always tried to gaslight me and make me think it was me. Crazy-making.   That’s a tough one, for me at least, because I am a person of integrity and am always looking at my part in things.
    Also, I believe it was Evan who wrote, paraphrased, ‘The guy that doesn’t prioritize you now isn’t very likely to priortize you ever.’
    As Demi Moore said about choosing to divorce Ashton Kutcher,
    “As a woman, a mother and a wife there are certain values and vows that I hold sacred, and it is in this spirit that I have chosen to move forward with my life.”
    We may not have been married, but there were certain agreements that were broken, and he was not willing to address them honestly, and that tells me a lot.   Mainly, that I won’t sign up for another round.
    Anyway, I feel great about the future, and I give much credit to Evan for being a touchstone and the voice of stability for me during the past couple of years!

  20. 20

    Goldie @7 writes: Ummm, I’m afraid I would disagree, Shay. There are some real sharks out in that sea. Yeah some of them went and got attached, but I pity the poor women they’re semi-attached to. I’ve met a few really awful, self-serving men on the dating market, men who will use you and not feel bad about it for a minute, and just move on to the next victim. They do exist. But, the way I look at it, they’re all the more reason to appreciate the decent guys (and there are a lot more of those).”
    Yes.   “just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean they’re not out to get you”   woody allen
    I very much agree that experiencing the self-serving ones makes you appreciate the decent ones that much more.  

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