I Keep Scaring Guys Away. What Am I Doing Wrong?

I Keep Scaring Guys Away. What Am I Doing Wrong?

I’ve tried going after guys I’m attracted to even if I don’t really know them. For instance, there was this guy in the gym. I guess I creeped him out. I don’t know why… maybe he found me unattractive… who knows? But I kept trying to talk to him and he would run away because we were on the running track. He was kind of a jerk and then I caught him near the barbells where the men work out and I said “Hey,” he seemed like he was nice because he smiled at me, took off his headphones and said “What’s up?” I asked him why he was running away from me. He didn’t give me a direct answer but he said “I can talk to you 20 minutes from now” with a smile and he said he was going to work out… Well, he ended up ditching me. He had me wait an entire hour and then he quickly walked past me without looking back at me.

Now I’m wondering… what did I do wrong? Was there something different I could have done when approaching him? Is he just a jerk (probably)? Next time I see him, should I talk to him again?

Also, I want to talk to this guy at my Church but I’ve had so many rejections that I’m wondering if I should even talk to this guy or if I will scare him away too. I’m not really confident that he will like me.


Stop being a guy.

Since third grade, boys are taught that if they like a girl, they have to ask her out.

Before you get defensive – or before any women get on my case for invoking more gender stereotypes, let’s establish that stereotypes are stereotypes for a reason.

Since third grade, boys are taught that if they like a girl, they have to ask her out. Or pull her hair. Or something like that.

It never ceases to be nerve wracking, but that, in fact, is the way a vast majority of the dating world works.

Man sees attractive woman, gets the nerve to talk to her, they have a nice conversation, he asks for her number, calls her, plans the date, picks her up, pays, drives her home, kisses her goodnight, and calls the next day to see if they can do it all over again.

I don’t see much room for disagreement with this one.

That doesn’t mean that it’s impossible for women to approach men, ask out men, offer sex to men, or propose to men; it’s just that it seems that most men and women are comfortable with these gender roles. And when they’re undermined, many people get a little ruffled.

Don’t women get upset when men don’t call after a date?
Don’t women get upset when men don’t pay?
Don’t women get upset when men don’t make plans?
Don’t women get upset when men don’t make the first move?

If so, you’re buying into these same stereotypes of what we expect from men.

As for what men expect from women?

We just want you to say yes.

Say yes to talking to us at the gym.
Say yes to agreeing to drinks on Friday.
Say yes when I insist on paying.
Say yes when I try to kiss you.
Say yes when I follow up for a second date.

This is the core message of my book, Why He Disappeared. It’s not that you’re “wrong” to approach men the way you have, Ashley. It’s that it hasn’t been proven to be particularly effective.

So why keep doing something that isn’t working for you?

Men do what we want – most of the time. There’s always going to be some guy who’s too shy to say hi or ask for your number, but most women don’t want a man with that little confidence anyway.

Your job is simply to put yourself in the position to be approached.

Cross the room near him. Plant yourself within eyeshot of him. Turn. Smile. Make eye contact. Look away. Flip your hair. You’re essentially giving him every opening to approach YOU. If he does, then YOU’RE in control. If he doesn’t, he’s not interested.


And if you really, really want to keep on approaching guys, click here, and scroll down to read Samantha Scholfield’s Screw Cupid which teaches women how to approach hot guys. For the more laid back system, which involves getting men to come to you, I’ve heard that Mama Gena’s School of Womanly Arts is a good read.

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  1. 61
    Karl R

    Amy, (#67)
    If anyone (male or female) wants to be successful at dating, they have to adapt to the opposite sex. It doesn’t matter how irrational the other person’s viewpoint is, you can either scream about how the opposite sex needs to change, or you can make a simple change to yourself.

    Something came up on the blog (a few years ago) indicating that some women make their first evaluation of a man by looking at his shoes. If he takes good care of his shoes, they believe he’ll take good care of his partner.

    That’s completely ludicrous. The two are completely unrelated. But (based on the responses) it appeared that a substantial number of women used shoes as one of their red flags.

    So I bought a nice pair of new shoes, and wore them exclusively on first and second dates. They stayed in great shape (barely ever worn). It didn’t hurt my chances with more rational women, and it helped with the ones who bought into that goofball theory. I’m still the exact same person, regardless of which shoes I’m wearing.

    You’re trying to convince everyone that ratty old shoes are perfectly acceptable. It doesn’t matter whether you’re right. You can’t change everybody. And given the way you express yourself, I’d be somewhat surprised if you converted anybody to your point of view.

  2. 62

    Karl R: seriously? I never notice men’s shoes, and rarely women’s, for that matter. However, it doesn’t seem that your particular anecdote refutes amy’s point. Don’t you only want to have LTRs with rational women (which you seem to define as those who don’t evaluate men based on shoes)? If so, you wouldn’t have lost anything by keeping to the regular shoes you wore. Doing so would have screened out silly girls.

    In that light, I think amy’s viewpoint is quite reasonable. It all depends on what the individual woman wants. She doesn’t need the majority of men to find her attractive; she only needs one (for an LTR, anyway). Such a woman is best served by being her natural self: approaching men if she wishes, or being coy if she wishes. That is how she would attract the most appropriate man for her personality. It only becomes an issue if a woman wants to be very generally attractive. Then she should behave in the way that is most attractive to the majority. Even then, however, I don’t see how it serves her or the men well to deviate very much from her natural behavior.

    Joe: I don’t know these studies. If you have any sources to share, that would be great. Thanks.

    1. 62.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      The terms I use, Helen, aren’t “right and wrong”, but “effective and ineffective”. Despite Amy’s hyperarticulate defense of her own behaviors, my guess is that she’s not very effective with men. Her defense is probably that she scares off the wrong men, leaving only the right ones.

      I’m in Karl’s camp: you hold a lot more cards in dating if every single person who meet you thinks you’re great than if you turn off 90% of them with your negativity, fearfulness, and brutal “honesty”. To certain people, putting on makeup or a dress (or a smile) is inauthentic – it’s just a game to fool stupid men into liking you. I would suggest that these folks, in their pure authenticity, will have a harder time of achieving a relationship because the thought of doing anything to please a man is anathema to her very soul.

      Any man who decides that he must be an artist – by not washing his hair, or having a day job, or paying his electric bill on time – will quickly find out how “being yourself” isn’t necessarily the best strategy for success.

  3. 63

    Evan 71, the good thing is that being yourself is not synonymous with being repulsive – not for the vast majority of people, anyway. Again, just as you say, it’s not black or white, right or wrong, conventionally attractive or disgusting.

    If I forced myself to wait quietly and coyly to be approached, I’d likely attract men who wouldn’t interest me and wouldn’t really be interested in me once they got to know the real woman. Instead, I’m cheerful, smiley, and almost always the one to approach others. I’ve never been lacking for men who find me attractive. And I’m like Karl R in not despising those who like me, but appreciating them. (Unless they stalk – but that’s thankfully rare.)

    There are so many different types of men and women. A lid for every pot. A fellow for (nearly) every woman, and vice versa.

    I’m not sure how much credence to put into this “men do this / women do that” approach. It seems that happiness with oneself and enjoyment of others’ company gets you amazingly far without having to hide your personality.

    Well, I’ve said enough here. Thanks for the debate – it is interesting to see the multitude of viewpoints.

    1. 63.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      Helen, since I can’t resist… you seem to be willfully misinterpreting my take on how women should meet men. I’ve never said quiet. I’ve never said coy. I’ve never said to give yourself a personality-ectomy or become a hollow, boring cipher. That’s YOUR twisted version of what I wrote. I just never wrote it.

      What I did say was that men like to win women over. Women like to be won over. Men know they’re supposed to do it. And if they’re afraid, you can give them a little positive reinforcement with a smile and some eye contact, encouraging him to approach you safely. Once he meets you, he’ll be well acquainted with your big personality and will probably love it.

      So please, stop turning my pro-women stance into something retro, 50’s, Stepford wife. Just because I don’t tell women to walk up to men and buy them drinks doesn’t mean that I think they should be shy, timid and retiring.

  4. 64
    Karl R

    Helen said: (#70)
    “Don’t you only want to have LTRs with rational women (which you seem to define as those who don’t evaluate men based on shoes)?”

    Everybody holds some irrational belief. Most women aren’t going to try to continue holding this belief if reality conflicts with it (i.e. they decide I’m a great guy, then they discover what the rest of my shoes look like). And in the grand scheme of things, this is too trivial to eliminate someone over.

    If a woman is bright, cute, funny, kind and generous, I’d like the option to pursue a relationship with her … even if she holds an irrational belief about shoes. But I might only get that chance by catering to the irrational belief.

  5. 65

    66. No, actually. Men were more likely to rate women realistically, but they primarily contacted the top third of women. Women’s ratings were less forgiving, but they contacted average men more often. That being said, women who initiate contact online are not going to be a representative sample of female online daters in general, because of many of the admonitions, worries and beliefs expressed in this very thread. Women who approach are going to have different traits from those who don’t. Those traits may include different preferences and expectations.


  6. 66

    @Evan: You say, “Being feminine still appeals to men, whether you like it or not.”

    Well…that’s groovy, Ev, but what I’m saying is that the definitions of “feminine” and “treated well” appear to be changing. I mean they have changed, considerably, since we were kids, but it appears that change isn’t finished yet. And men who don’t make the shift are not going to be invited home. They’re already having trouble, if the stats in the NYer story are accurate. I don’t think men live singly voluntarily for long. I know an awful lot of women, though, who just have no interest in sharing living quarters with a man. Too much trouble, not worth it; they make cozy homes of their own.

    You’re getting repeat “you’re disrespectful to women” messages on here from a rotating cast of people because…you’re being disrespectful to women. You can stand around insisting that you aren’t all you like, but I’d suggest you pay attention to the rabbi-and-the-drunk story. If what you’re saying works in your biz, and yet it’s also disrespectful to women…then you got a problem, and perhaps TIMTOWTDI. Boy, I haven’t used that acronym in a long time.

    If a man insisted on being the aggressor, and wanted to block out that space as his own, I wouldn’t regard that as his treating me well. The whole “you do what I want you to do, face facts, that’s what I like” attitude — no, I don’t see how it’s attractive, respectful, etc. My daughter’s generation appears to be even less susceptible.

    As for how effective I am in dating (are we seeing the return of the ad-hominem?): well, when I find a guy I really want to be with, then we can judge. In the meantime, no, I have no trouble getting dates when I want them, and there’s no shortage of men trying to get my attention online, despite the fact that my profile’s no-photo and not especially flirty, I’m over 40, I live in the middle of nowhere, and I’ve got the usual custodial-single-mother constraints. I’d say about half the men I talk to online are willing to travel hundreds or thousands of miles to meet me, or will buy me plane tix. (It killed me to turn down the Sundance guy, but I can’t take off on no notice like that. That sounded like fun, though, esp. to go for pleasure & not work.) It surprises me, but apparently there’s a lot of non-thrilling competition.

    The strangest date? I got a Canadian concert pianist who says he’s flying to the major city nearest me & taking me to a bat mitzvah. And I’m thinking, okay, that’s weird, but sure, I was shul-shopping there anyway. Only after we hang up does it hit me: OMG, whose bat mitzvah is this? OMG! Do I have to eat gefilte fish and meet his parents before I fuck him? No!! (Turns out it’s the daughter of a hs friend, not his family. I’m still not eating gefilte fish, though.)

    1. 66.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      Actually, Amy, nobody said that I was being “disrespectful to women” until you did. I also didn’t realize that offering insight into how to better understand and connect with men was disrespectful. Is anything I say that remotely criticizes women’s behavior or beliefs disrespectful? Or is it anything that I say that you don’t agree with?

      Either way, this is my blog and I’m a pretty reasonable guy who has a decent tolerance for dissent and playful argument. But your frequent jabs at me are making our interplay a lot less fun. If you’d given me your regular email address, I’d have written to you privately, but you didn’t, so I can’t.

      Here’s the deal: stop insulting the host or you’re not going to be invited back to dinner.

      Clearly, I can take a difference in opinion. I will not take being slandered on my own website. No more than you’d like it if your boss put a Post-It on your desk telling you that you were a pain-in-the-ass, thinks-she’s-cleverer than she really is, know-it-all with a faulty grasp of logic and worse understanding of the opposite sex.

      That was disrespectful. Sorry. But you’re under an assumed name with a fake email address. This is my real name and I’m sick of having this conversation with you. Not when there are reasonable dissenters – on this thread even – who run no risk of being banned from this site.

      So either can the insults or find another blog to haunt with your “women rule the world and men better LIKE it” philosophy.

      It doesn’t play here, nor do I suspect it will play with most men – your protests about how popular you are notwithstanding. Part of the reason you can’t find any guy you like is because the really good guys – the ones who work hard, are emotionally available, and aren’t doormats – the guys like me, in other words, aren’t a good fit for you. In your mind, we’re not merely men. We’re misogynists. We’re pathetic. We’re needy. All because we prefer our women to be kind, feminine, optimistic, supportive, easygoing, patient, understanding, self-aware, loving and attractive.

      Sorry, but that’s no crime.

      Every man I know is looking for those qualities in a partner – and your refusal to understand and accept that is at the root of all of our conflict.

      I wish you the best of luck in life and love, Sparky – I mean, Amy. I just don’t think we’re meant to be. No hard feelings.

  7. 67
    Christie Hartman

    Amy (76): “You’re getting repeat “you’re disrespectful to women” messages on here from a rotating cast of people because…you’re being disrespectful to women.”

    I disagree. I can only think of one woman who ever said that, and she’s no longer commenting here. I don’t think Evan is disrespectful to women. If you want to see blogs that are, do some more searching on the web. They’re out there.

  8. 68

    @ 75

    “Women’s ratings were less forgiving, but they contacted average men more often.”

    Of course, what you failed to mention is that these “average” men weren’t average at all, considering this sample excluded %80 of men(which is the root of the problem in females rating male attractiveness – for women, the majority of men, simply don’t warrant a serious consideration).

  9. 69

    If they have average traits, they’re average. A minority doesn’t automatically constitute an elite. As I said, because so few women send messages, they may make different choices, and the traits of the women themselves may be different. There’s no proof that women who message first aren’t driven to do so by a lack of appeal/messages. The receptiveness of women to messages from men based on rating would need to be analyzed to get a bead on who the average woman is willing to consider, because the average woman is romantically passive. Luckily, that’s also in the blog post. Men of medium attractiveness level have a 50% rate of message success from women of medium attractiveness, while the most attractive men have a 65% rate from the same group. When an exceedingly attractive man messages a slightly less attractive woman than average, his success rate goes up precipitously to 80% success, and an average guy’s chances rise to 58% What about these results points to the exclusion of the majority of men by the majority of women?

  10. 70

    @75 Jadafish

    Yes there is a problem with the inference from the OKCupid research.
    In the similar study in freakonomics, we had exactly the same results with men. If you look at the graph you will see a straight line correlation of messages to attractiveness.

    This shows that virtually all women are approached, but the volume of messages will depend on level of attractiveness. Would you expect otherwise ?
    This is backed up by freakonomics and other studies. BUT the freakonomics study and other speed dating studies show that the women ONLY responded to the most attractive men. In other words reflecting the OKCupid finding that most men are not attractive to women. So there is something wrong here.

    I have come on this thread late, but a couple of points.
    I think Saint Stephen’s points are valid with regard to confidence, I don’t really agree with Karl here.
    If a young man is physically attractive, he will have success with females which will lead to greater confidence leading to even greater success. Positive feedback loop.
    A less attractive man will have a series of failures leading to a lack of confidence in a negative feedback loop.
    The “fake it to make it” approach works but a good proportion of men have trouble with the rejection, and just accept the first woman that says yes. Is that why divorce rates are so high ?
    A number of men in their 30s and up, overwhelmed by failure, just give up completely.

    On the approaching point, I think men will have little trouble with attractive women approaching them. It may however screw up the chances of an average woman who may become more attractive when you get to know her.

    In truth though, it is more natural for women to show they are available to be approached, and it is more natural for men to look for those signs before they approach.
    If a woman smiles, flirts and especially touches a man, the guy is going to have to be pretty dense not to know that he has a chance. If a man approaches a woman that is attracted to him, she will instinctively lower her eyes for a second. Its an evolved submissive gesture that says ” I am not going to scratch out your eyes !”
    Women do not need to approach if they are exhibiting “open for business signs”.
    Truth though is that women’s main problem is not that men do not approach, but it is the WRONG men. She is not selling what they want to buy.
    For men the problem can be women showing available signs when they are not actually interested.


  11. 71

    I’ve posted about this study before, but it seems relevant again here. In this study, a speed dating situation was set up. The researchers alternated having men approach women and then having women approach men. They found that whomever did the approaching was less choosy than the person who sat passively, whether male or female. Since men traditionally approach women, it would stand to reason that they would be less picky. Those who moved around approaching the opposite sex were also found to have more self-confidence.


  12. 72

    Evan, I think you are getting into a lot of strife with certain poster/s here due to your reference to “feminine power” and “feminine energy”. Absolutely no one who has bothered to read your post with an open mind would think for a second that you are disrespectful to women. However, your reference to certain terms are jumped upon by certain people very fixated in their views, and who would find words like “feminine” objectionable. These are the same people who would think a man who holds a door open for a woman without her permission is being “chauvinist” and presumptious. And a man who comes to a woman’s defence when she is being assaulted is fulfilling his male ego fantasies rather than genuinely trying to help someone in trouble. I really don’t think these people can be reasoned with since they will not be shaken from their views of the world. However, do realise that terms such as “feminine” is very loaded and can connote a lot of negative imagery in the minds of a number of fair minded people. Perhaps this may have arisen from the inverse of the word having been used to attack women who refuse to be bullied into submission, who refuse to keep silent in the face of injustice, who will not put up with abuse of themselves or others. I know your use of the word “feminine” has no ill intent but the word certainly is not as neutral as you may think.

  13. 73

    Evan, you routinely have to defend yourself here when it comes to, as you say, “turning my pro-women stance into something retro, 50′s, Stepford wife.” It’s routine to the point where you’ve had to address it in your blog rules.

    Why do you figure that is? Could you be missing something? You’re insisting you’re pro-woman, but you’ve got women coming on here and saying, yeah, no, those attitudes aren’t so pro-woman. Who do you figure knows more about it? Maybe that dialogue is “I don’t mean to be disrespectful, and by my rules it’s not disrespectful,” and the women are saying, one way or another, “But it is.”

    From the outside, this isn’t complicated. You serve what’s a shrunken, but still substantial, market segment: women who want so badly to get married that they’re willing to restyle their personalities and behavior to suit men, or at least to suit the men you define as “good guys” (meaning “guys like Evan”). Fine.

    What’s happening to that segment? Apparently it’s still shrinking, for reasons that have to do with changes in women’s status and girls’ education over the last 40 years. My guess is that a third of adults are not living alone because they’re so hapless they can’t get married without help; it’s because they prefer it, or because the people they’d have married 40 years ago prefer it.

    So then you gotta ask why. Obviously there’s a lot of dissatisfaction and loneliness; otherwise dating sites wouldn’t flourish. And yet a very large and growing minority of people still prefer loneliness to marriage, many of them after having been married. Your answer: They’re doing it wrong, and I can show them how to do it right. My reply: Maybe not. Maybe marriage, for a lot of people — women particularly — just isn’t such a hot deal.

    Here’s what I don’t get: Why you take this personally, even though you’re hanging out claiming title to the Reason Throne, and talking about how this is a business. Look, Evan, if a guy like you came around and begged to marry me today, I’d say no. Not because he’s a lousy guy. I’m just not interested. I don’t want to be a wife, I don’t want to disrupt my life and my kid’s, I don’t want to take care of a man. I don’t want to be what a man like you wants a woman to be. I’m looking for very specific things when it comes to the men I do want in my life, and…I’m sorry, but you don’t get there, and I find romance is kind of a drag with the guys who don’t ring that bell, not worth trying. I’m sorry.

    I’d be remarkably non-unique in saying these things.

    If you looked at a picture like that and said: Yeah fine, I wouldn’t go for you anyway, toots, but it’s a big world with a lot of man/woman business in it, and I got my slice of it — then fine. Makes sense.

    That’s not what you do, though. You go out attacking whatever doesn’t fit into that slice, and read dysfunction into what’s now a very large segment of the population. An unmarried woman’s busy with her career and has lots of friends, travels all over? My god, she must be miserable, or kidding herself! Now if that was just a matter of business – well, I’d find it offensive, and I’d still argue with it, but I’d get it. You want to defend and grow your market, who doesn’t.

    But I suspect that’s not all that’s going on, here. I think you really take this personally, as a rejection — of you, of a lovely (if expensive) simplicity you’ve found in how to make relationships work, of a life you find good — and of your business, which is your baby. And I’m saying, baby, open up. The world has changed around you, women’s sense of themselves has changed: respect that. Your vision of what marriage is, how relationships work, these things were forged in the middle of major changes. Increasing numbers of women just aren’t down for what you’re selling, because there are real problems with saying, “Men want X, so just do X.” Your “kind, feminine, optimistic, supportive, easygoing, patient, understanding, self-aware, loving and attractive,” reads to an awful lot of women these days as “willing to be a man’s sexy mother in exchange for…not much she wants or needs, and maybe a lot of financial/career damage”. Assailing them for that, implying they’re commitmentphobes or selfish or sadly deluded or self-defeating or whatever, this is not helpful.

    What it reminds me of: Print’s last gasp in the newspaper biz, back in the early ’00s when newspapers were attacking online culture: There’s no editors! It’s all garbage! Smart people would never get their news that way! An entire culture is at risk! Etc. And then, and then…they showed up online, they flailed around, they struggled with ways to monetize…and now I can’t remember the last time I bought a dead-tree newspaper, even though I read three papers daily.

    So maybe you’d do well to look into how men can adjust to the new realities of women’s independence. It’s germane, and monetizable, so long as men want to be fathers. (After all, women can have babies without men; men, not so much without women.) The grade schools are already doing some of the work for you — the “Shafted” generation is already headed for retirement, or late middle age, anyway.

    Just to recap some of the changes for women since you and I were kids:

    Women are close to outearning men in half of 2-income households, despite persistent wage and hiring discrimination, esp. against mothers.
    Women are better-educated than men.
    Women run the EU, State, governors’ mansions, the IMF; women occupy judicial benches, etc etc.
    Women have children on their own, from sperm banks, without shame.
    Women divorce and stay single without shame.
    Women stay childless without shame.
    Women play serious contact sports at high levels.
    Women play sports from toddlerhood into old age.
    Women are wresting the professions around to their own interests: medicine now takes account of women’s health, etc.
    Women look after their own money.

    That’s a lot of change in 40 years. A lot. The effects are profound, tough to overestimate.

    This thread was about who approaches whom and the effectiveness of that. You told Ashley — despite all the social changes above — to “stop being the man”. At least one other woman and I said, “Works for us, never had a problem with being bold, men dig it.” This is in-practice, man. Why argue with it? Why turn around and say, “That’s all wrong, and besides strong women don’t want men who have to be approached?” Hell, we approached them! Obviously we wanted them, or we wouldn’t have done that. I’ve had the actual sex, relationships, and marriage to prove it. I can point to many children who’re the result of such approaches. What’s the problem with saying, “Yeah, some men dig this, and some don’t”?

    Also, again, the personal attacks mid-debate aren’t cool. I’ll email you a real address if you like (you’ve got my real name).

    1. 73.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      Amy, darling – You’re an amateur provocateur. That’s what you do. That’s your prerogative. But as I told you in a previous post, you’re hanging out in the WRONG place. Like being a vegetarian on a steak blog, you’re simply barking up the wrong tree.

      This is a place for women who want to understand men, connect with men, be in relationships with men, and marry men. The fact that YOU don’t simply undercuts all the time you’re spending here, telling me that I’m wrong or missing something about the new world order. It makes absolutely no sense. You’re not gonna convince me that you’re right. You’re not going to convince the women who want to learn from me that you’re right. You’re just talking to hear yourself talk, to marvel at your own turns of phrase.

      You want to educate the masses about the new world order? Start your own blog! You clearly have the passion, the skills, and the time. I think that would be best. Teach men how to adapt to independent women who don’t want to care for them. Sounds like it should be a big hit.

      But as it stands, I feel like an abortion doctor who goes to work every day getting picketed by someone who would never use his services. Fine. I really don’t care. Just go away. Not because I’m threatened by you, afraid of you, intimidated by you, or can’t go toe-to-toe with you. But because it’s a waste of time. We’re talking over each other. You’re right for people like you. I’m right for the women who want to listen to me. And this ongoing thing has ceased being a pleasant diversion and has simply become a drain.

      Whether you like it or not, I’m about as pro-woman as you’re gonna get. I spend more time talking to women than anyone I know. My closest relatives are my Mom, wife and sister. And THAT’s the only reason that you hear my ire and exasperation – because I’ve devoted my life to helping women…and here you come, shitting on every word I say from your ivory tower, telling me that I’m a misogynist who doesn’t get it.

      I get it. But you don’t seem to. So I’m going to bid you adieu for the last time and hope that you let go of your anger as I continue to give advice for women who DO want to have happy relationships. There are plenty of awful men who make life miserable for women. I’m just not one of them. Goodbye.

  14. 74

    Androgynous, I appreciate it when a man holds a door for me. (Or rises when I come to the table, or takes off his hat, or whatever.) It comes across as everything from courteous and respectful to dead sexy. But that still doesn’t mean I want to take care of him, change my behavior for him, or risk my financial security for him.

    And I hold doors, too, because it seems rude not to. What I don’t like: when, at a double set of doors, the man holds the first one for me, then practically tackles me in an effort to get to the second door before I can reach for it myself.

  15. 75

    There’s definitely something wrong here, that’s for sure. Any delivery nurse, any teacher or pediatrician can tell you that most people born these days have average fathers. We’re not all the children of about 100,000 sexually promiscuous and indiscriminate modern day Ghengis Khans, left to be raised by Average Joes with a striking resemblance to us. The Okc study says that even the least attractive men have a one out of 10 chance of getting a reply from the most attractive women, and it only goes up from there for less disparate cases.

  16. 76

    Evan, I get what you are saying and I believe it and live it. A lot of what you write is about the polarity and attraction of male/female energy. I had a male friend recently argue with me that he loves it when women approach him. But when I asked him if he fell in love with any of these women, the answer was a no and then a wry smile. He no doubt believes what you write as well 🙂

  17. 77

    @ 80

    You’re correct – it was late, and I apparently misread something.

    But, I concede my error.

    However, I should add that the results are suprising, and inconsistent with other findings.

    Also, context is everything – so it would be interesting to speculate on how the movations of female messagers were distributed(ie. genuine to their stated goals, boredom, or perhaps looking for a free dinner, lol).

    I expect in the context of ‘intimate encounters’, the data would play out *very* differently.

  18. 78

    Amy, what you fail to realize is that your liberated female utopia is nothing near a stable trend, and thus, far from the
    way of the future.

    In fact, if one considers the apparent correlation between developed world populations( and sub replacement fertility(and the American exception – being at replacement – is hardly compelling, without being able to control for generational shifts in fertility – the so called tempo effect), the evidence suggests evolutionarily *instability*, and in such terms, it doesn’t speak particularly well of the femles who are representative of such a dynamic(hence the dysfunctional characterization).

    Thus, I am happy to report that females residing in non-western populations really *do* tend to justify a reputation for being loyal, selfless and more agreeable than their western counterparts – if only because their socialization has its basis in less personal/economic freedom for women.

    Lastly, I will repeat, that rank apologists such as yourself are *not* representative of his target demographic – individuals
    who have reconciled that appealing to remote probability is *not* a reasonable strategy.

    But rather, that one must take personal responsibility in influencing what dependent variables we can.

    I would further like to add that anecdotes speaking to your self-professed market value are far from plausible, and reek of so much unjustified internet bravado.

    So, I would give it a rest, as no one is buying it, and neither does it lend anything to your arguments.

    @ 86

    “There’s definitely something wrong here, that’s for sure. Any delivery nurse, any teacher or pediatrician can tell you that most people born these days have average fathers. ”

    They can tell you anything, but it wouldn’t make them credible, without paternity tests across a sizable sample.

    “he Okc study says that even the least attractive men have a one out of 10 chance of getting a reply from the most attractive women, and it only goes up from there for less disparate cases.”

    Which means nothing, when taken outside a context of mating.

    Further, it disagrees not only with other *independent*(ie. more credible) studies have found, but also with what one should expect given our understanding of how sexual evolution has shaped mating behaviors to be (predictably) sexually dimorphic.

  19. 79

    Paragon 90: whoa, WTF?

    “it doesn’t speak particularly well of the females who are representative of such a dynamic (hence the dysfunctional characterization).”

    Since when is it women’s duty to have more than 2.1 children (the replacement rate)? One could argue that women who don’t have that many are doing the world a favor, as there is a real danger of overpopulation and dwindling natural resources. Your comment shows a remarkable ignorance of the global ecological system, juxtaposed with irrational notions of what constitutes “right” or “wrong” in reproduction. It isn’t the moral duty of humans to reproduce exponentially. To do so, when we’re saving more infant and childhood lives than ever (a good and humane thing), is irresponsible.

    “Thus, I am happy to report that females residing in non-western populations really *do* justify a repuation for being loyal, selfless” blah blah blah

    “Happy to report”? Clearly you have no first-hand knowledge. Women in many of these countries endure forced sex and rape, lack of access to birth control, low education, high maternal and infant mortality rates… need we go on? Hardly an ideal situation for women anywhere in the world. The fact that they have more children is certainly no proof that they are more loyal and selfless – what an idiotic notion. They are more powerless. But maybe that’s how you like your women.

  20. 80

    “Since when is it women’s duty to have more than 2.1 children (the replacement rate)?”

    Who’s saying that?

    Besides,it may be of interest, that when controlled for immigration, and downward age trends in fertility, even the US is predicted to fall into the sub-replacement zone.

    “One could argue that women who don’t have that many are doing the world a favor, as there is a real danger of overpopulation and dwindling natural resources.”

    It would make for a poor argument, as female fertility trends are mediated by selfish evolutionary concerns(not selfless ones – read the selfish gene).

    “It isn’t the moral duty of humans to reproduce exponentially.”


    ““Happy to report”? Clearly you have no first-hand knowledge. Women in many of these countries endure forced sex and rape, lack of access to birth control, low education, high maternal and infant mortality rates… need we go on?”

    Sure, indulge yourself with non-sequiturs.

    “Hardly an ideal situation for women anywhere in the world.”

    Which wasn’t the argument, now was it?

    Please remember that because of the nature of sexual evolution, males and females do tend to have conflicting evolutionary goals, despite that margin where they find some necessary agreement.

    “The fact that they have more children is certainly no proof that they are more loyal and selfless – what an idiotic notion.”

    Who said it was?

    It is only proof that they are not a factor in sub-replacement fertility.

    “They are more powerless. But maybe that’s how you like your women.”

    No, I merely want my women to be less like you.

  21. 81

    I’ve never commented here but I’ve been thinking about your blog entry for a few days so here goes. I think that I don’t really understand your advice, Evan. I willingly admit I don’t understand it. I thought I knew what it meant when you say, “Cross the room near him. Plant yourself within eyeshot of him. Turn. Smile. Make eye contact. Look away. Flip your hair. You’re essentially giving him every opening to approach YOU. If he does, then YOU’RE in control. If he doesn’t, he’s not interested.” But upon reading again, I’m not really sure.

    I don’t feel powerful when I do it this artificially. I don’t flip hair. My hair doesn’t flip. I smile at people sometimes but not men I don’t know. I live in a big city and well, I learned early on not to smile at men you don’t know unless I wanted them following me home. My point: The way you put it would make me feel like an actress playing a part. It wouldn’t feel powerful to me at all because it’s just not my normal way of being in the world. It would just feel awkward and fake. What about the women where this doesn’t feel fun or natural? Would you still advise us to do this anyway? Wouldn’t it just make things worse if you’re uncomfortable with it?

    You ask in your article: Why do something that isn’t working for you?

    Well, the alternative you suggest just feels weird to some women. There’s just this visceral thing in me that says, “No!” to some of your advice. I know you are trying to help women. I truly feel you only mean to help. Is there other advice for women who feel this visceral reaction? You meet a lot of different kinds of women, right? Am I the only one resistant to this kind of change? Why can’t women just ‘not like it’ the way you describe in comments men not liking women to approach them? What if some women don’t always like or understand this way of being approachable? I understand the alternative, but still. If you don’t like something and do it anyway, that’s false, no?

    I guess your advice is by displaying these behaviors as a woman, you cast a wide net, in the hopes that someone compatible is attracted to you by your being approachable. But for me in the meantime I’m doing something awkward, attracting a lot of men I don’t want, and feeling pretty foolish and not myself while doing all this. That’s what I’m risking by just deciding to do any of this. It’s not as simple for me to do as it may seem. I wish men understood this. I’m not trying to be disrespectful or deliberately obtuse or anything here in my comment. For me it’s just really is not always simple or fun to do this. I’m just a random, confused reader here. I am probably not your ‘target audience’ but I do read your blog and for all you know could become your client tomorrow. (I’d never mention this comment, though. ;-)) I hope by writing this someone will really understand what I’m trying to say.

    1. 81.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      Okay, S. Don’t do it. It’s just my advice, that’s all. Not everyone has to like it, agree with it, or use it. My suggestion is simply that it’s usually effective. I didn’t invent it. I’ve read it. I’ve seen it. I’ve been drawn in by it. If you find another way of attracting men that’s more effective, by all means, let me know what it is and I’ll be glad to share it with women who also feel that my advice doesn’t work for them. Personally, I don’t think directly approaching a guy is the answer, but who knows, that might work for you… Sounds to me like online dating might be your ticket, just like it was mine. Unless there’s something about that that isn’t “natural” to you either.

  22. 82

    “Further, it disagrees not only with other *independent*(ie. more credible) studies have found”

    Can you cite me? I’d like to check it out.

    Results from a collection of studies measuring paternity discrepancy (whether people’s fathers are indeed genetically theirs) give a median of 3.7%.

  23. 83
    Karl R

    S. said: (#93)
    “I smile at people sometimes but not men I don’t know. I live in a big city and well, I learned early on not to smile at men you don’t know unless I wanted them following me home.”

    Practice. Practice making eye contact and smiling at people (men and women). Practice smiling until it feels completely natural and unforced.

    I live in a large city, and women make eye contact and smile at me. I’ve never followed one home just because she smiled at me once.

    I have followed a couple home eventually, but that was with a direct invitation.

    If you’re serious about dating, you want a man to eventually come home with you (or vice versa). Smiling at him keeps that option open.

    S. said: (#93)
    “But for me in the meantime I’m doing something awkward, attracting a lot of men I don’t want, and feeling pretty foolish and not myself while doing all this.”

    You will always attract men that you don’t want.

    Example: I only find 5% of women to be interesting. Therefore, I don’t want 95% of the women whom I attract. If I attract 10 women, I won’t want 9 or 10 of them. If I attract 100 women, I won’t want 95 of them.

    But by attracting 95 women that I don’t want, I’ve attracted about 5 women that I do want. If I only attract 10 women, there’s a strong possibility that I didn’t attract any that I want.

    In the long run, which is worse: attracting more men that you don’t want, or never attracting the man that you do want?

    I felt really awkward and foolish the first time I asked a woman for her phone number. (I’d never done it before.) It became easier with practice. That’s true of everything.

    Click on the link in my name. It pulls up a YouTube video of me dancing with my fiancée. Every time I learn a new dance move, I have to practice it about 50 times before it stops looking awkward and clumsy. Some dancers try to avoid looking awkward and clumsy (and feeling foolish for being awkward and clumsy). In dance class, we call these people “slow learners.”

    I’ll make it even simpler. Find one man per day that you find attractive, make eye contact with him, and smile. You don’t need to approach him. Come back in two months and tell me if it still feels awkward and unnatural.

  24. 84
    Soul Sister

    This has been a very interesting thread although it’s been a while since I visited..why? Because I followed Evan’s advice and I am busy with MY BOYFRIEND! I am 50, I am a feminist, I make 6 figures, I am attractive (for a 50 yr old!), and I prided myself on men telling me I was “Too much woman for them” right before they dumped me.
    Something had to change. I bought Evan’s ebook, and actually put in my on-line profile “I make a mean clam sauce liguine” instead of “I will kick your ass in poker” (thanks Evan, that tidbit from your blog increased my hits tenfold!). I stopped approaching men and let them approach me. I indicated interest and then stepped back. I finally accepted that “you are too much woman for me” meant “you are too much MAN for me”. I knocked the feminist chip off my shoulder and found out…..

    That more men liked me when I was more feminine, less aggressive….my pool just got larger.
    That I liked it when I was more feminine and gave them more control! I have enough areas of my life where I am 100% in control.
    That I can still perform and kick ass at my job every day (but my job doesn’t sleep with its arms around me at night).
    That I don’t have to defer to a man to be in a committed, respectful relationship, I just have to let him be the man.
    That I can have my cake and eat it too! I just had to quit trying to make sure it knew every moment that “you’re not the boss of me”.
    My friends love when I go out with them occasionally; I was their “man magnet”. Note: I am not more attractive than they are. I just finally got better results. I did not approach men, but I did draw them to me. I did exactly as Evan says. I walk in with confidence, I make sure I look positive and happy, and I am very mindful of the men in the room. When one catches my attention, I see if I can catch his eye. Then I hold his gaze for a moment or two, I give him a smile, and I look away. About half the time, here he comes with all his friends and the party starts. The other half of the time, he looks away and that is that. I don’t worry about whether or not he rejected me, I am too busy getting to know the ones that hightailed it over to me! And now I have the confidence to know if we break up, I can repeat the same results and have a blast doing it! It is much more fun being a man magnet than a man repellent….just saying!

  25. 85

    “Can you cite me? I’d like to check it out.”

    You’re already familiar with the freakanomics data, no?

    Predictably, studies showing the skewed nature of online dating are hard to come by, as there is little incentive to promote such findings.

    Thus, I think the best way to reach reliable conclusions, is to unify independent data, with personal observation(including some impromptu control group studies using your service of choice), and intuition.

    “Results from a collection of studies measuring paternity discrepancy (whether people’s fathers are indeed genetically theirs) give a median of 3.7%.”

    Yes, I’m familiar with that: “A 2005 scientific review of international published studies of paternal discrepancy found a range in incidence from 0.8% to 30% – median 3.7%”

    But, I’m not sure what you’re trying to say here.

    That it doesn’t happen enough to be concerned about?

  26. 86

    From the perspective of “Women are naturally inclined towards this mating strategy?” Yes. Where’s the cuckoldry, if it’s not in the kids? What significant evolutionary impact could it actually make if women aren’t having offspring with these superior specimens at a rate any higher than 4%?

  27. 87

    Thank you Karl.

    I’m shy to the bone. People who meet me now never think of me as shy and it is because I practiced talking to people. However the shy me is still alive and well and I frequently feel awkward and clumsy. I always think about going to a group event and I see myself being smooth, graceful. I have anxiety and crowds bring it out so when I go, I am NEVER smooth or graceful. I’m stilted, uncomfortable. I recognize myself in your “slow learner”. I will follow your advice and start practicing today to smile at people. Thank you again.

  28. 88

    “From the perspective of “Women are naturally inclined towards this mating strategy?” Yes. Where’s the cuckoldry, if it’s not in the kids? What significant evolutionary impact could it actually make if women aren’t having offspring with these superior specimens at a rate any higher than 4%?”

    It is significant, and varyingly so(look at the spread) – and, at the moment, we can only speculate on some of the contributing factors.

  29. 89

    Believe me, I see the spread – I also see where the preponderance of data lies is if the median is 3.7%, as opposed to 15%. What rate would you have to see to concede the absence of significant levels of genetically based desire among women to have the offspring of a “better” man than the one they chose for life (I’ll let you have the unfounded assumption that ALL of these outside guys are indeed titans of industry and underwear instead of contemporaries in mediocrity), and their effectiveness at clandestinely having sexual liaisons with these men on a regular basis <b>in order to specifically bear their progeny.</b> Because if they’re doing their damndest, they’re absolutely horrible at it as it stands – how much less effective would they have to be? Would that median rate have to be .8% for you to believe that it’s not a habit?

  30. 90

    It is seriously unfortunate that Ashley has been unsuccessful in the specific efforts she describes. That is true for both genders and she has experienced what millions and millions of men experience constantly – rejection.

    If she tries the get close, smile, flip hair, look away routine and the guy does not ask her out, by no means does that establish he’s not interested. He may not be, or he may be. But in the latter case what he really may not be interested in is getting rejected. This may come as a shock to some women but some men get really, really tired of rejection and can only take so much of it.

    Hair flipping and other “signals” are completely unreadable, a guarantee of nothing to a man and not a substitute for saying actual words that come out of your mouth to the effect of hey, let’s get together.

    I commend Ashley for taking the adult, head-on approach and I am sorry it didn’t work out.

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