What You Can Do When Things Go Wrong In Love

What You Can Do When Things Go Wrong In LoveI know you don’t read this blog to hear about me or my family.

You read this blog to learn something about men. Something about the human condition. Something that explains why bad things happen to good people.

But to me, any story can be extrapolated to something universal. It doesn’t matter if it’s an anecdote about me, my wife, or my private coaching clients – it all has to do with YOU.

So ask yourself what you would do, say, or think after getting suddenly axed by the same guy who wanted to commit to you only 10 days earlier?

If you’re like ANYBODY, you’d be pretty darned surprised and disappointed.

Given that 99% of men are definitely NOT your future husband, getting upset when this proves to be true is like getting upset that you didn’t win the Powerball.

But if you’re me, a professional dating coach who sees this every day, you’re not at all surprised or disappointed by what happened.

Before you accuse me of being callous, allow me to explain:

How many times in your life have you been in love? Two? Three? Four?

How many of those relationships lasted? Um, zero. (Widows are excused from this exercise.)

What percent of men are cute, successful, smart, kind, funny, compatible and emotionally available for a relationship? (I’ll let you answer yourself.)

What percent of those amazing men also think YOU’RE cute, smart, kind, funny, compatible and emotionally available for a relationship? (Not as many as you’d like.)

When you look at all of these things together, without any emotion, you’ll see exactly what I see: the fact that ANY relationship gets off the ground is remarkable.

And, to the naked eye, FAILURE is the default setting in dating.

You heard me. Failure.

Now, to be clear: I’ve failed a LOT more than you have.

I’ve gone on over 300 dates and committed to probably fifteen “girlfriends” before getting married. Which is why I’m not too fazed by failure.

You shouldn’t be, either.

Given that 99% of men are definitely NOT your future husband, getting upset when this proves to be true is like getting upset that you didn’t win the Powerball. Yeah, it’s unfortunate, but it’s also quite predictable.

Which is why I want you to write this down on a post-it right this very second:

“No man is real until he’s your boyfriend.”

A cute photo, a winning profile, flirty emails, an incredible first date, intense chemistry, mind-blowing sex… NONE of these things mean he’s your boyfriend.

It’s not that you’re “wrong” to get excited about a promising man; it’s that, in 99% of instances, it’s premature and you set yourself up for heartbreak.

No man is real until he’s your boyfriend.

Your takeaway is to not get too emotionally involved when it comes to a guy with “potential”. Start getting excited when he’s taken his profile down, called you his girlfriend, met your family, and started making vacation plans for the summer.

The other bit of perspective I want to give you about the disappearing man is that his disappearance should not be all that disappointing.

a) This wasn’t personal
b) You didn’t lose your future husband, so why be disappointed?

Although your man initially pushed for immediate commitment, he had second thoughts. Reasonable second thoughts, I might add.

His flaking doesn’t mean he’s evil.

It means he leaped before he looked.

He shot first and asked questions later.

He over-promised and under-delivered.

In short, he screwed up and ended up hurting an innocent woman.

No one is at fault.

And if no one is at fault, there’s no value in beating yourself up about what you did “wrong”. The answer is nothing.

There’s no value in getting pissed at the disappearing man. He’s like a guy who was driving 90 mph on the freeway and missed his exit. He was so enthusiastic that he was oblivious to the fact that he wasn’t really ready to commit after 4 dates.

Finally, there’s no value in lamenting what “could have been”. It’s over. Move along.

The right guy will come along soon enough – and he will certainly not disappear the way the last guy did.

But the only way for this to happen is for my you to let go of your negativity, to let go of your fear of getting hurt, to let go of your frustration at the men who don’t write to you online, and to embrace the unknown of the dating process.

Put another way: if you quit dating, you don’t meet ANYBODY.

If you persevere, another cute man may waltz into your life this summer – and never want to leave.

“Never, never, never quit,” said Winston Churchill, and he’s 100% right.

The only thing you can do when things go wrong in love is to keep going.

Join our conversation (134 Comments).
Click Here To Leave Your Comment Below.


  1. 1

    This is what I love about Evan — he introduced me to something I never considered, as obvious as it seems: not wallowing in rejection and pressing on. However, I have not gotten anywhere since I started following his advice to be more proactive about dating 1 1/2 years ago ( with a 6 month break when i was planning a move). I’ve been out with 20 guys or so in that time, not counting the five or so I had impromptu dates with while traveling, not counting the two men who lived several hours away that I was exchanging emails with and then they vanished, not counting several one night hookups.

    This feels like an overload of men to me, and the rejection is getting very hard to take as a somewhat sensitive person, especially since I had a lot of rejection in dating before this time period as well. I mean, I could do this for one more year, maybe 2, but at what point is it just too much for too little return? Not one man asked me to be exclusive except a guy old enough to be my dad during this period. And all around me my 20something girlfriends are getting bfs and husbands while having put very minimal effort into dating ( nor are they above average looking).

    So how do you follow this advice while taking care of your emotional health?

    1. 1.1


      I am also a sensitive person,

      Some possible ways to avoid getting jaded.

      1. Re-evaluate what are your must-have,  don’t consider those outside that realm.

      2. If the men you dated fit the criteria,  if could be the way you are coming across. Ask those 20something girlfriends who they communicate and behave on dates.

      3. Don’t spread yourself too thin, we all have our individual threshold. More productive to invest only in the men who fit the above or interested in you.

      4. Don’t take it personally. People accept and reject each other, we all have to go through it.

      Hopes this helps, good luck!

  2. 2

    The thing is, not all men who disappear do so early on. We’ve all heard the stories about the guy who dated a woman for many months, was exclusive with her by his own choice, told her he was in love with her, met her family, took her away for weekends, etc. etc…. all the things You tell us to look for in a guy before we think of him as our boyfriend. And even these guys disappear. In those cases it isn’t always so easy, or even wise to just go back online the next morning and find someone else. Sometimes it’s good to take some time off and absorb what happened. I believe that some guys just love the chase, the courting, the wining and dining, the whole illusion that they have created this great relationship, but when they get that relationship and the woman is emotionally vested, it no longer holds any appeal for them, so they check out and move on. If a woman gets heartbroken in the process, oh well, c’est la vie. Kinda like that movie, In The Company of Men, wooing a woman is just for sport. For any woman who has encountered one of these guys, I am completely sympathetic and wouldn’t blame you if you bowed out of dating for a few weeks or months at least, to gather your wits if nothing else. Most women are not masochists! It’s like the old analogy, if you touch the stove and burn your fingers, you’ll be very careful before touching it again. That is a basic survival instinct. We also have instincts to survive emotionally. This doesn’t mean you quit dating altogether and hate men, not at all. I’m just saying that when you get burned, you need to re-group before getting out there again.

    1. 2.1
      Dina Strange

      Totally agree!

    2. 2.2

      Perfectly put Jane!

  3. 3

    Evan! 300 first dates and comitted to 15 “girlfriends” makes me feel a lot less alone! Thank you for that!

  4. 4

    Evan, you rock. Thank you for this post. I wish I had read it a few hours earlier as I’ve spent the first half of this day fretting over a guy who hasn’t called, but better late than never! Now that I am armed with your insight, I am lifting my chin and moving forward.

  5. 5
    Karl R

    This advice is equally applicable to men:
    Failure is the normal outcome.
    99% of women are definitely not our future wives.
    Don’t get too excited too soon.
    When a woman disappears or dumps you, it wasn’t personal.
    She wasn’t your future wife.
    It’s nobody’s fault.
    It doesn’t necessarily mean you did anything wrong.
    There’s no point in getting pissed at her.
    It’s over. Move along.
    There will be another opportunity with a different woman.
    Don’t get frustrated.
    Don’t quit.

    I got through the dating process without all the frustration and heartache that so many men and women on this blog face, despite facing nearly-identical circumstances. I didn’t get hurt because I had very different expectations and attitudes.

    1. 5.1

      Hi Karl,

      I agree, but when you hit it off with someone and they seem to be reciprocating in kind then start blowing you off, that is strange behaviour and hurtful. I believe some women and men have a hard time being truthful and in the end think that being nice is better than being honest.



      1. 5.1.1

        well of course Bill,

        No one wants to deal with the mess if they can help it. Again it is nothing personal, happens to everyone all the time. Better earlier than later if you ask me.



  6. 6

    I have encountered a man like what Jane describes. It’s been my experience that it was helpful to take some time to absorb the experience in order to carry on. Thanks for the practical words Evan 🙂

  7. 7

    So true! But how does one juggle the fact someone is a nice guy, great match, but its just not going to work because he is devastated from a prior relationship? I have ran into two such men in the last six months. Its normally at the 3 month mark you realize this. Part of you, knowing that 99.99% of men won’t work, thinks its childish to tell him you can’t be friends, because it isn’t his fault, yet another part of you wants to spend your time sifting through the 299 more dates it might take. 🙂 Oh what to do with these hurt men.

    1. 7.1


      Whether it is true or not, it is not your job to fix them. I just ended a relationship where I went out of my way to reassure and make someone who is devastated from a previous relationship feel secure. I wasted a year and found out there were massive commitment issues. The I was hurt was used to make me feel responsibility for all the emotions of the relationship. Point is I didn’t hurt you, someone else did. Any reason I should bear the blame?  When I asked why even ask to be exclusive when you are not committed? The reply was to tie you down.

      Which bodes the question, why is someone who needs to spend time healing even out dating? If someone can articulate it clearly to you, chances are he is either preying on your sympathy to get you in bed, making it your responsibility to heal him or he’s just not into you and it’s an excuse. If I am you, I will friend zone them, make it clear you are not looking to heal someone, it is our personal responsibility and observe carefully for the time being. Chance are they will get attached to someone else or try to make you into a booty call.

      Sorry to tell you this.

  8. 8

    I think this was one of your more depressing columns. Yes you have to work hard, except some people don’t have to work hard at all, it just happens. So there are two kinds of people, those who are lucky and those who need to work to make their luck. I just wish I wasn’t in the latter.

    1. 8.1

      I would argue, though, that for the people for whom it seems to “just happen” and “don’t have to work at all”…what hardships did they go through to reach this apparently “easy” situation? I will share that I “endured” an 18 year, unhappy marriage with an even more miserable divorce…then over a year of dating a variety unsuitable (to put it mildly) men, before meeting the man that I have been dating for over three months who has been better than any man I have known (including my ex-husband) and with whom it seems “easy”. I am not naive enough to believe that after three months of dating he is “the one”, but I feel more optimistic about this man than any other man that I have dated my entire life. My friends are happy for me and it did seem to “just happen”…but if you step back and look over the span of my adult, dating life…no, it didn’t “just happen”.

      Chin up, Julia. This is a lifetime of work. Our attitude can make it feel better or worst.

    2. 8.2

      Julia, I enjoyed your response. I am as well, in the latter. I’m in the process of trying to rework my entire psychology to make myself amenable to any behavior a man dishes out and see how that one plays out. Risky, but I’ve tried authenticity and showing up to the relationship, and get the impression all men really want is a woman that acts like their dog, happy to see them, never makes requests and happy with anything they get. Throw me a bone!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  9. 9

    Great advise, I agree. Love yourself first and keep on going, the reward is worth it!

  10. 10

    300 dates sure shows some tenacity. yikes!
    And to be fair I think it often far easier for MEN to do this than women, simply because of that emotional makeup.
    Whilst I agree that by and large men are not out there to hurt women (ie they are in the moment, not deliberately wanting to lead someone on) I also think that the average dating man has to have some kind of idea of how women think – surely?
    It is all too easy to excuse the disappear-er and bravely move to the next date.
    I know that my biggest challenge is learned to disconnect from the date – I think I probably do invest too early. On the other hand, surely if a man REALLY likes you – that is, it’s not just about the moment – is that really going to matter?

  11. 11

    @Liz #7:

    You’re not alone — this has happened to me recently as well! As nice a guy as he is, it’s usually not a good idea to wait around for him. I don’t think it’s childish at all to tell someone in this situation that you can’t be friends. I think trying to maintain a friendship would only hurt you, as there’s likely a part of you hoping that he’ll want to be with you once he’s processed through his devastation (I’m speaking in general terms, not specifically about you). As difficult as it may be, you just need to walk way from these hurt men.

    1. 11.1

      Agree.I ask men if they feel that they’re in a mindset for potential long term or still have some playing to get out of their system. Most will admit that they are still in play mode. If we have mutual friends or some interests, I don’t mind establishing a friendship with them. However, I won’t consider anything. I have two great guy friends that were that scenario. We dated, kissed, not sex. BOTH it’s now been OVER A YEAR. They’re still in play mode (as in both only pursue casual arrangements with women that are also not seeking anything remotely long term), so speaking from experience I am glad I continued dating (even though I am still single). One, actually, has broadened my social circles/networking and I’ve made several great friends through him.

  12. 12

    @Mia #1

    I’m pretty much in your same boat in the number of dates I go on and how frustrating I find the process to be. Here are some things that have helped me:

    -Are they all rejections of you? I think for me when I think about it most of the time we mutually don’t like each other. A small % are guys who reject me and a small % are guys I reject. Reminding myself that I have definitely disappointed a few guys as well over the last few years, makes me feel less like the victim. I’m assuming all 20 guys didn’t vanish on you. If so then I’m sorry that would be rough.

    -As far as how easy others have it, when I really think about it I wouldn’t pick the guys my friends pick. Some of them are always quick to find new bfs because they just want to be with someone. Others seem to have it easy, but then I see them go through breakups and realize that they just stay in relationships that I would have ran from on date 3.

    Dating is hard, but sometimes I make it harder in my head.

  13. 13

    After getting the I can’t give you 100% right now, I am heading to a counselor to deal with my past relationship, but can we be friends for now speech, I at first agreed. Then no contact for a week, followed by a strange email asking for help from him on something trivial, to which I responded: I really do like you, had fun, but please call me when everything works itself out for you. It just seems strange that we are to write these people off to me for some arbitrary no contact rule of a month or two. But if the alternative is being an emotional buffer, perhaps my instincts are right, keep it moving. 🙂

  14. 14

    Good post Evan, my response here is also related to the previous “why are you not yet married” entry. To begin: I am a fifty something, highly educated, left wing, professor, organic gardener, environmental activist, and ultramarathon runner. I agree, one has to understand that things do not always work. That’s normal. My experience w/dating in the past was much different than yours, Evan. Back East, I didn’t date many men but never had a problem finding someone compatable so long as I did the work involved. I had a wonderful partner of 12 years in a great relationship that I had to leave because I had to take a job out West. He did not wish to go, wanting to stay near family. As he was much older than I and his siblings had health issues, it was understandable. Plus, he suffers from altitude sickness and I live at 10,000′. It was like the rules out here changed dramatically. Since coming West, two men in my life have disappeared after more than a years involvement; one man that I worked with pursued me for two years before I found out that he was involved with someone else; I still have to deal with him during the school year and it hurts like hell. When I cut contact quickly with one man that gave off tons of red flags, I was stalked. Some men acted as though they wanted a real relationship but really wanted casual. It seems as though there is a culture of self absorption coupled with a complete lack of taking responsibility for ones actions, not caring about how ones actions affects another. Back East, although I met a bad apple on occasion, I never, ever, had to deal with this sort of behavior. You were accountable, if not, people talked, word got around, you no longer got dates. I have done the same hard work of “getting out there” here but men in this region that are educated, emotionally and physically healthy, and willing to spend at least some time in my small mountain town are seemingly impossible to find. Let me add that to quit my job now and move means to bail on my mortgage, lose my retirement (collateral for the home loan), and not be able to support my remaining parent, none of which are ethical options although it would make sense from a relationship standpoint. It is as though by investing in this community, trying to be positive about dating and relationships here, I am now trapped and feel punished for something I did not do. I have been told by another dating coach that due to my geographic and financial realities, I am probably SOL until I can get out. It is incredibly hard to not take this personally, to feel negative, very sad, to begin to doubt yourself. Apart from my very emotionally distant parent, there is no family or other support network. I deal with this solo. I do intend to retire at age 60, regardless of finances, in order to get out. 8 more years is a long time to be totally alone. I do look on line, but again my values and those of most of the men in this region do not jibe. I keep an air of complete detachment towards on line non-relationships. It is easy because most of these men are very obviously wrong for me and I for them. As starved both intellectually and emotionally as I often feel, I do walk away because keeping someone around for companionship when you know it is not/will not work is just plain cruel to that person. Nathan, in a previous post was right; sometimes one is just in the wrong place to find love. I understand that this is not my fault, that I am not an awful, ugly person, that it’s no ones fault; it just is. However, yep, it still hurts.

    1. 14.1

      Wow, you did a great job of illustrating how circumstances can set you up for loneliness! And I appreciate how you illustrated the regional differences that sometimes are overlooked by some on this blog share. I live in the wine country, N.Calif, and it has become so pretentious, self impresses and snobby that getting past people’s own amazement of themselves makes it difficult for an emotional connection. Their resume of what they own and who they know in the wine business is oppressive and leaves little room for nuanced connection about who we really are and what we value (which usually comes in an expensive bottle). I’m exhausted with pretentious conversation and bragging. Montana is looking better and better.

      1. 14.1.1


        To some extent you find that everywhere. I’m here in Montana now. I’ve run across of what you speak. I will say true outdoor people do not act this way and are more grounded.

        Good Luck,


  15. 15
    Julia (from the past few blog posts)

    I have a name twin 😀 #8!
    I couldn’t figure out how to separate us so forgive my lack of creativity.

    I would disagree about this being sad. It was inspiring! I realize that in the past 6 months I’ve quit dating. Now, I’ve been on an online dating site in that time (didn’t take it seriously and deactivated it) and I’ve met guys I was attracted to.

    But no dates.

    Between me not liking them or just no one asking me out, it’s been quiet for the past 6 months.

    Yet I realize that while I am doing the best I can in being positive, looking great, and being a friendly, welcoming person…. I am not TRYING to find love. I’m just expecting a guy to waltz up to me and take it from there. 🙂

    Sometimes I get frustrated from the lack of dates but then I realize that I’m not trying to get them either. As Evan said if you spend 30 minutes a day investing in love, you will find it within a year. I’m summing that up but it holds true.

    You need to invest in love, in whatever way that means to you. And even when you do his techniques, you go through the motions, and it doesn’t work? You keep going. The return is when you DO find that great guy or gal, you realize that all the other dates led you to accepting and loving the right man or woman for you.

  16. 16

    @ Liz #7 and B. #11; nice guys who say at ‘the three month mark’ that they’re too hurt from a previous relationship to continue sound suspiciously like they’re using poor excuses to break it off. I’m ashamed to say that I’ve used that line a few times (at the same point) when I couldn’t think of anything else to say so as not to hurt a girl’s feelings. Admittedly it’s a bit cowardly.

    As regards people ‘disappearing’ it seems to be how casual break-ups are done these days rather than being gender specific: i.e. girls usually dump me by just not replying to my messages. I know these are generally decent women but they find it easier to do that (rather than saying in a couched language; ’I don’t like you enough’).

    Although dealing with constant rejection is tough; remaining positive and perseverance are crucial to success. Every night I go to a bar I might get rejected by 5, 10, 15 women a night, however, if I get upset or annoyed with them knocking me back I’ve no chance. I understand that these women might be having a bad day, or dealing with a break-up / family / work situation etc. and it’s not necessarily something about me.

    1. 16.1

      Tom, Thank you so much for admitting that the 3 month “I realized I’m still hurt by past relationships” is the convenient out for: thanks for all the sex and the interview, I’ll be moving on now moment. I keep having these. I should feel flattered guys want to nail be, but I’ve got a lot or to offer, wish they would stick around to find that out. 🙁  It really helped to hear a guy admit that and I can now stop wondering why my last boyfriend suddenly got cold feet surrounding feels about his wife, yeah right.

      1. 16.1.1

        HIs ex wife. Either way.

  17. 17

    I wouldn’t pretend to know “why” I try not to concern myself with that too much. No doubt that they are breaking it off, but I do believe that genuinely great guys can come off a long term relationship and throw themselves into internet dating when they are just not ready for it (out of being lonely, a defense mechanism of subduing the pain, and/or because they don’t have the social network a women have).

    They are like Evan says, showing all the signs we look for, that get us excited, because they aren’t prolific daters, and they desperately want love and to be loved in a relationship. Then when emotions start running deep, sex is on the horizon with the “talk” coming sooner or later about exclusivity, rather than take the leap fear creeps in (not literally– they afford you a phone call, try to keep in touch, ect). I don’t know what do with these men. Because we don’t make it to being intimate, I don’t feel used, taken advantage of, or hurt. Little let down, yes. But life is funny, so it pains me to just send these men on their way, not take their text, phone calls or emails for some mandatory time.

  18. 18

    I’m 25, Af Am, NYC resident, smart, fit, attractive, funny, and broken down by the harsh dating reality in this city and in general.
    When I read these boards and see how tough other people are having it out there I don’t know whether to feel less alone about struggling the same way or utterly hopeless about the reality of the 99% failure rate in dating. It’s easy to tell your self to perk up and move on, but realistically dealing with the raw pain isn’t something you can push yourself out of simply with effort. You have to sit with it, day in and day out.
    If anything, my heartache has made me more committed to my Buddhist practices which aim at absorbing, embracing, and healthily processing the suffering inherent in life. It’s no quick fix or band aid, but it has helped change the way I think about the pain I constantly live with because of my failures and disappointments in love.
    K #12 said something valuable about looking at other people’s apparent ease and success at love and realizing that just because others find themselves coming across relationships initially without much work, doesn’t mean they necessarily find themselves in great and lasting relationships just as easily. All relationships become hard work at some point.
    To wrap this up, I know I still have some time to find something good, but ultimately accept that the guy I find who is both a quality person and someone who actually wants me, isn’t likely to be physically attractive or someone I’d be to proud to show to others as my partner. Trust me I know what matters most and am far from shallow, but I’m having a hard time giving up hope for that guy Evan constantly reminds us is too hard to pin down. Cute, successful, fun, and in to you as much as you are him.

    1. 18.1

      Hello Michelle,

      As a fifty seven year old, it’s ironic that a young women faces many of the same challenges women over fifty face. Thank you for sharing your experiences. You experience affirms what my experiences have been in the past. I have had so many failed relationships/marriages and heartbreaks, I really had to take a step back and seek therapy; not to say that is what you need but that is what I needed to find out why I was in a pattern of so many failed relationships. I discovered, I was dating or attracted to the wrong type of men; handsome, charming, seems to have it all together but emotionally unavailable; many making promises they could not deliver in actions.
      I’m happy to say I have changed my “standard” as far a physical attraction and am now dating a wonderful spirit. I hope the same for you 🙂

      1. 18.1.1

        Dumb question, but is it true our standards of beauty change as we get older?
        I remember when I was younger I wanted the whole package, an attractive, kind hearted funny man.  Now I’ve found that humor is one of the most important things in a partner, kind heartedness and then the physical attraction develops later on.
        As a 37 year old reluctantly getting on the dating scene it seems very daunting.  Especially when you add the risk involved (he could disappear at any given time sometimes without any warning)

        1. ThrowtheLemonsBack

          I’ll answer this one. Hello Flounie!  At 48 I truly am finding that men I wouldn’t have looked at twice years ago are more attractive. The reason for me is that I’m no longer looking for those OH WOW men that I always went for and hurt me like crazy.  I’m looking at the men who believe in themselves and have a great life, are happy, without vanity and selfishness.  Stable, with character, and have patience… looking for the same things I am.  These guys grow on you and the next thing you know there is something that attracts you wildly.  Yes, pretty sure there are a lot of us.  I’m getting back into dating very slowly and oh my gosh these men are way more attractive than the “pretty boys” that got me wanting to never try again.

    2. 18.2

      I am in a very similiar situation. Black woman, 25 years old but I reside in Southern California where many of the men are just out here trying to “make it” in the entertainment industry which means I come across many men  who I simply cannot take seriously. Although I’ve never officially had a bf, I definitely have had my fair share of pain. My mind will tell me, if no man committed in the past, why would he now? And then I go into a pit of hopelessness questioning if I should just give up on love.

      Thankfully, my latest heartbreak led me to a couple of sites, this one included, all about love from the male perspective and I resonate with the words these men write. I like looking at the comments more so than anything because like you, it brings me comfort but I won’t lie, sometimes when the commenters are in their 40s or 50s and still having trouble with love I freak out and worry that, that will be me. I’d hate to imagine my life never finding a partner and although I’m fulfilled on my own, there’s something taboo about saying I want a man.

  19. 19

    I think the one case where it would be okay to keep in touch with a hurt man is if – and only if – you would be okay having a strictly platonic relationship with him, and have absolutely no hope or expectation that it could blossom into something more. If you even have a fraction of hope, I think you’d be doing yourself a great disservice to continue emailing/texting/etc.

    They’re not bad men, but the point is making sure you’re doing what is best for you…not for them!

  20. 20

    Glad to hear other people are having the same problems with online dating that I have had. Most of the men I have gone out with wanted sex on about the third (first, second)date. When I tell them I want sex in a committed monogamous relationship they are suddenly not interested anymore. Really? I have been online dating on and off for the last six years. Is it me or the people on the site? It is hard not to take it personally. Just keep leading an interesting life and don’t settle for anything less then what you want out of life.

    1. 20.1

      thank you for sharing, as I too go thru what you go thru.   I am a doctor in my early 50s and yet all the professional decent men still are either flaky,  or just want to have sex,  or text and act like immature men!!!!
      thank you for being a fellow sister in this experience

      1. 20.1.1

        Yes.. and websites like Askmen.com promote studies that show that women are having sex on average – 5th date (you can Google this). I’ve experienced where men will attempt to accelerate multiple dates within a 2 week period of time, to create false sense of emotional intimacy and then suggest the ‘cook dinner at their house’ date around 4/5. Boy, if we as women were following that cycle, we’d have an incredible number of partners in any given calendar year. No thanks. I play that carefully and avoid going to men’s homes (or having them in mine) at night until I am honestly ready to have sex with them, because I’ve found the ones I’ve dated assume around that timeframe that will happen or they’d like for it to happen. OkCupid for my age bracket, the majority of men also select – 5-6 dates as when they’d like to have sex to happen. Okay, actually, more are closer to 2-3. Of course, that’s their preference! What man would not like to have sex? However, adding to the mix the fact that women may actually be putting out around that timeframe makes it interesting (I’d like to know if that breaks down to exclusivity) Before I became educated about dating, I fell into that twice and mistook having sex for commitment. Pure ignorance from not dating at all in my adult life (I married when I was 18 to my high school sweetheart). I’m now well versed and maintain a boundary physical intimacy wise until there’s commitment. And even with that, it’s still going to only happen when I’m ready.The men that have had an issue with this, are welcome to disappear. It’s my sexual health and body!

    2. 20.2

      SJZ, it’s not you. And guess what>…..if you sleep with them on the third date, after 3-5 months, they disappear anyway. I personally would rather get the sex if I’m gonna waste my time on them, but if you will be more hurt after sex, or don’t want the risk of multiple partners, you are doing it right. Regardless of what anyone says: the internet is a hookup culture.

  21. 21
    Laura S.

    I live in an isolated TinyTown, disappearing isn’t an option for anyone. Remaining friends is mandatory. I have a wide circle of friends I casually date and 1 special man. He loves me and I love him, and no commitment yet. None of them are from the internet or the bar.

    Men who are infatuated and want to furiously pursue are slowed down and put in line. I’m not putting out to anybody. I am protecting my heart. When men care about my heart, I know. My special man cares about my heart.

    I haven’t gone past first meet with internet men. It feels too put-on and creepy to me. The men don’t behave the same way the guys I meet in person do, and their expectations are different.

    1. 21.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      Sounds like there’s a LOT of misunderstanding about how to effectively date online. All this talk and fear of men who are interested in sex. Remember, men look for sex and find love. Don’t expect them to fall in love with your character on Date 1. Your job is to make it fun for him to pursue sex for a month or so, until he realizes he wants to be in an exclusive relationship with you. It’s not your job to tell him, “I don’t have sex until we’re in a relationship” on Date 1. That’s the fear speaking, and it’s certainly no man’s idea of a fun first date. So there’s nothing wrong with holding out for commitment before intercourse, but if you tell men, point blank, things like “my special man cares about my heart,” and “online daters are creepy,” you can’t be too surprised that men aren’t feeling a connection.

    2. 21.2


      To that I would just contribute that the men that you’re meeting online ARE the men that you then would potentially meet in person. In my particular area, many singles are turning to supplement connecting through dating websites. The man that you think is creepy online could be the one that you bump into at the TinyTown cafe and festival. Food for thought. In fact, I have a third date tonight with a man that I crossed paths with ONLINE over a year ago, then reconnected with organically through a party that my friend hosted! He pursued me and then asked for my phone number. Has called three times to ask me out. These are the same men that are out there walking around in TinyTown…. so the expectations that they have online are not going to be any different. That guy you met at the grocery store just doesn’t have it printed on his chest for you to see.

  22. 22

    I don’t say anything about wanting sex in a monogamous relationship on any of the initial dates. It just seems like the men I have dated assumed that it was going to happen on the first, second, or third date without any discussion at all. I suppose there is a better way of saying what I want. It is just sad that it is expected so soon in the dating venue.

    1. 22.1

      I agree. I think it doesn’t need to be stated. You show this by NOT having sex or putting yourself in a position early on where sex may happen. If they’re bold about it and plain out ask, then roll into your no casual sex/commitment only speech. Be prepared to handle if they suddenly want to call you their girlfriend, though, as that may be a ploy to have sex.

  23. 23

    Sjz, who are you going out with? No guy has ever pushed me for sex on dates 1-3- they might ask to come up, but nothing pushy.

    There are several factors at play that make dating more difficult for women than men. Let’s say that men are looking for sex – well, most single women are going to have sex with 2-3 new guys a year because we have sexual needs too, and waiting for a bf every time would mean going years without it. HOWEVER, most men are not inclined to want to seek a relationship with 2-3 women a year– it might be 3 in their entire adulthood. So men automatically have a greater market for what they want.

    Second, like many women, if I don’t like a guy I’m not sleeping with him, going on more than 3 dates with him, not mentioning the future or making big promises, not smiling, flirting, etc. I’m rarely pursued by men I don’t like bc they get the strong friend vibe from me right away if I don’t like them – nobody is being led on. The opposite happens all the time to girls.

    Yes , Ive rejected a number of men, but hardly any when there was an emotional investment. I’m rejecting guys I don’t know who hassle me at bars or in the street, and the reason is often that they make me extremely uncomfortable with overt sexual neediness, the types that tell me I’m hot and make no effort to see me as a human being. If a man considers THAT rejection that hurts , I’m shocked – it doesn’t count in my mind.

    Meanwhile, I’M dealing with guys who wait til the 9 th date to mention they don’t want anything serious, who wait til the sixth date to say they don’t believe in sex before marriage but then ask for a bj, who after eight dates go on vacation for 2 weeks without calling or mentioning it beforehand, and kind of fade out.

    Men who think cute younger girls have it easy in dating should consider this : think of the hottest girl you’ve seen out at a bar. Let’s even say she’s a nice girl. Chances are, even if you could get her, you’d enjoy seeing her and sleeping with her for 1-2 months, rather than wanting to commit to her forever. You get my drift?

    1. 23.1

      Mia, I think you totally got it right. SEx for 3-4 months then a break up is a success story for most guys. Women count this in the failure category. The last guy I dated (slept with), well, actually the guy before the one I’m with now who will break up with me when he gets the email I sent because he told me to “relax” when I was totally relaxed about some issue I am having with my roommate……Anyway, the guy before the current guy who I was totally smitten with even thought he kept telling me stories about   his problems with alcohol……he wanted me to keep sleeping with him without a “relationship” because he said it was the best sex he ever had……I broke up with him but told him to contact me if he ever wanted to give it a real try. Then met someone else who I don’t really care that much about but refuse to spend all kinds of time alone and without (mediocre) sex at LEAST, and like I said, that is probably on the dump heap. I wonder if the guy I had a crush on will ever contact me? I told him to F off when he went to a party that he didn’t invite me to, but got on the phone and told me all about it, after forgetting my upcoming (within a week ) birthday. I realized i should crazy, but I’m not and I like I said, I’d rather have this stupid crap going on than spend night after night alone or on the internet. DATING SUCKS

      1. 23.1.1

        I meant: sound crazy. But I”m not. The odds are just so low if you are normal

  24. 24

    @Evan 22

    Not all men look for sex and find love. I know you coach to what is effective with _most_ men, so I will keep that in mind.

    You talk about men not feeling a connection early on because of what we say. So are they looking for sex or a connection and love? Or is it not as black and white as _any_ man “looking for sex and finding love” ? I think for most men it is both.

    1. 24.1

      SalsaQ: I think they are looking for what we tell me to be looking for, like their mommies did, and its up to us to manipulate them into a relationship. Problem: intelligent authentic women resent this and want a man who wants a relationship. I’m going to try the latter and throw my integrity under the bus. I bet it works!

  25. 25

    Thanks Evan !!I found the article encouraging and realistic. The timing is great since I was disappointed and bummed out recently but Im learning with each dating experience. I sure hope the guy is looking for sex otherwise Im not interested.LOL!! I get it about making it fun in the meantime…

    1. 25.1

      Yeah, well it doesn’t help to “learn” about this. It’s like learning about hummingbirds and thinking that will help you “catch” one.

  26. 26

    Sometimes you know exactly what to say at the exact right time. The “what’s wrong with me?”‘s have been crossing my mind and I read this and know “nothing”. So thank you once again for setting me straight.

  27. 27

    Thanks Evan, I really needed that today. I’ve been feeling really down lately after just having a birthday and turning 33–I guess I had a mid-life crisis. There are many times I doubt that I can find love at this stage of my life. However, I’m just going to keep dusting myself off and trying again! The only other alternative is to resign ourselves to lives of quiet desperation (to paraphrase Thoreau) and that is simply too depressing to contemplate. I do know some women (like my own sister) who found love late in life (was 33 when she met my brother-in-law) and I’m going to keep on trying until I join them.

  28. 28
    Laura S.

    I don’t say anything about sex and I don’t operate in any fears. I have, however, had two internet men ask me if I shaved my bush and stated their preference during the intitial meeting. Both times I picked up my sandwich and walked out.

    I date to have fun, enjoy the companionship of my friends and get to know them better. I have no idea what the internet thing is, but they haven’t been enjoyable.

    1. 28.1
      Dina Strange

      Wow, this is so incredibly rude of them. U should have asked them if they prefer to give you 4K by check on in cash, and THEN walk out.

      But on a serious note…you are so much better off without those morons. 

    2. 28.2

      Ew! I think I would have lost my appetite. Good for you that you walked out. I think even *most men would find that disgusting to talk about at lunch.

    3. 28.3

      Holy COW! bush maintenance requests on a sandwich date. I hope there were no sprouts in that sandwich. Thank you for sharing, it helps to know there is something worse than the guy who asked me my name on a coffee date….”You’re Beth, right?””. No. And….it’s not that forgetting the name is bad, (I’ve done it), but I wasn’t such a moron that I asked! I walked out too.

      1. 28.3.1

        OH….and…..the problem is there is no revenge, because if you ask a guy if he shaves his B***s on a first date, he’s totally into it! I had a guy ask me in text message if we were going to have sex on our first date, and it was a coffee date. He wanted to know how much time to allocate. What, like… do it in the restroom of the local Starbucks? It’s a nice restroom, granted, lovely time work, but….are we missing something? Are we supposed to be hooking online and no one told us? Evan, are you messing with us here?

  29. 29

    Christine — how is 33 old?!? Are you joking? Nothing 34 and under strikes me as too old as long as the woman is still attractive, but maybe I’m missing something.

  30. 30
    David T

    @Christine28 33 is ‘late in life”? Now *I* am depressed. 🙂

    There is another alternative to being in a couple and ‘living quiet desperation going to our graves with our songs still in us.’ I live my song both within me and without.

    A partner’s song to hear and celebrate; someone to hear mine; creating a new song between us would make life sweeter. Still, mine is lovely on its own and I hold onto that.

    @Laura29 You were still hungry after that?

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