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).
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  1. 61

    Michael17 – physical attraction is actually very important for women, so impt that if we are in the rare position of being sexually attrracted we’ll want to date you. Since most men are ugly or average at best, we have to force ourselves to feel attraction to those we click with personality-wise. By the way , I don’t mind this or consider it settling at all; while there are certain looks that I could never be attracted to, the last guy I was crazy about, I was actually repulsed a few times looking at him but he had an amazing personality and was an amazing kisser. In contrast to the foolish male philosophy that a woman must fit his exact type, I have probably 10 different types, otherwise I’d limit myself.

    And men are WAY more chemistry driven than women — most women (often not the picky, entitled, past their prime chicks writing to Evan) are just happy to meet an ok looking guy she cam sleep with, can be herself with and have a free-flowing conversation with. That’s not enough for men – they MUST know on the first date that they will marry you, even if they don’t know she’s pdycho, has bad credit, etc; men with Evan’s approach are rare.

    1. 61.1
      Dina Strange

      Sooo very true!

  2. 62

    @ Fusee # 55

    I so agree with you.

    I think conventional dating culture can totally burn you out if you are sensitive. I am miserable in a scenario which tells me I have to keep my feelings to myself and avoid getting emotionally invested until certain pre-determined signs of commitment show themselves. Not that there isn’t merit in this, but for me you might as well be asking the sun not to rise.

    I think men are great, I genuinely love the way they are, and I wanted to keep this, and my warmth and vulnerability as a person intact. What worked for me, instead of filling my world with tons and tons of dates, was to pay attention to when I felt comfortable and pursue what I loved. I think that when you are your authentic self, and are in touch with that voice inside which tells you what’s right for you and what isn’t, more of the right people tend to be drawn to you.

    When I eventually did find a man who made me happy, who “fit” with me, it didn’t look at all like what I, or others, thought it would.

  3. 63

    Hi Kathleen #59: Okay, that paragraph you are refering was poorly written. Altough I’m not blaming the feminists (I’m thanking them), I connected unrelated facts in that one sentence. I’m going to reword that part. Unfortunately it might become a long rambling : )

    The correlation I’d rather make is that with the sexual revolution and all the activism of that time period, all kinds of societal pressures were removed, such as the expectation that you would get married after your education is completed (or even before), the pressure to keep sex within marriage, having children, etc. Let me clarify that I’m glad these expectations are gone and I find the (still relatively) new freedoms essential, as much for women as for men. I would not want to be a 1950s woman.

    However with these new freedoms something else was lost, and we have not yet replaced it. We lost the simple contentment of finding a decent companion to be married and have kids with as a life purpose. We lost the pressure to honor our marriage commitments no matter what. Instant gratification is the name of the game these days. We now want it all in a husband: the best friend, the great lover, the exceptional career man, the protector, the family man, the perfect listener, etc etc. Just a great companion to go through life with is not enough. And if we change our minds, we divorce because “we deserve immediate happiness”. This is what I deplore. No blaming of the courageous activists who fought for more freedom and equality, just looking forward to adding more personal morals to replace the generic societal values that were losts in the process.

    I think we now need to become mindful of our personal goals and develop carefully the character traits that would allow us to reach them. If we still want the commitment that the old norms were encouraging us to make (lot of people still do), we need to understand what the new marriage is (one that is not kept together by societal pressure but that relies completely on two people’s willigness to remain committed), and the understanding that western culture is now glorifying a “dating system” of instant gratification, self-serving attitudes, and poor personal morals, which is the opposite of what a marriage is all about.

  4. 64

    @SS #60, S #61, and Clare #63: thanks for your replies.

    I was a bit ambivalent about sharing experiences that do not quite fit with the official target audience of this blog, but I realized through reading comments that there were women like me here looking for more of a middle way.

    Yes, being content single is essential. Single is the default mode for women anyway since most women outlive their husbands and the divorce rate is at 50%. Let’s be realistic and focus on what we can control. Once it’s done, yes, making a man feel good is also essential. This is what love is all about. But making him feel good does not need to be at the expense of our personal goals, values, and morals. If the guy is on the same page and truly compatible at the level that matters, the “leverage” needed (to use one of Evan’s crucial words) for them to take us seriously must not be months or years of easy-goingness.

    Me too I love men. For me, it’s not a war of genders. It’s a meeting in the middle, asking “what are you looking for?”, “what are your dreams?”, and go from there. If you are looking for things that do not match my values and goals, no worries, keep going and have a good life. If you are compatible to my values and goals, how about we go for a little ride together and see what happens?

  5. 65

    sam #54,

    I am so sorry for your pain. That has to suck. I don’t have anything else to add than that, but what you wrote deserves a response….

  6. 66

    Hi Mia #62,

    See what you said doesn’t jibe with my experiences, or we are misinterpreting each other.

    We men are indeed very visual. For us to want to commit to a woman, we have to be into the way she looks. That doesn’t mean that personality doesn’t matter–it does, but if we aren’t really attracted to her physically, it’s not happening. Many of us guys, truth be told, will be willing to go on a second or third date with a girl who is really pretty even if the connection isn’t there.

    My experience is that women are less visual, in the sense that they will keep on going out with an an OK-looking guy, IF the chemistry is there. By “chemistry” I mean that invisible energy between two people that really doesn’t have much to do with what the guy has going for him “on paper” or even whether the guy is that good-looking (but it does have something to do with whether we find the girl good-looking because otherwise we guys won’t be attracted). Most women are NOT willing to go out with even a really good-looking guy if the chemistry (the way I defined it above) isn’t there.

    What am I basing this on: Well, truth be told, I’ve gotten plenty of first dates. So I had to be good-looking to get the first dates where the girl didn’t know too much about me and how we would get along. And yet I have had plenty of instances where the girl who went on the first date with me thought I was “nice” but was not willing to go on a second date. She didn’t want to go on the second date NOT due to me not being a nice guy or me not being good-looking enough. If I was good-looking enough for her to say yes to a first date, I was good-looking enough for a second date. Instead, she didn’t want to go on the second date because she didn’t feel chemistry with me–as I defined above. I wanted to go on a second date with her because I was physically attracted enough to see her again, and she seemed nice enough to not ruin it so to speak. I wasn’t too concerned about the chemistry so to speak.

    I’ve also had situations where the girl warmed up to me. Yet my looks stayed more or less the same. What changed? We eventually connected/found chemistry, and maybe because of that she might have actually ended up FINDING me better-looking.

    So to sum it up, men tend to go more by looks, while women tend to go much more by chemistry (as I defined above). This is what I’ve seen many many times IME.

  7. 67

    Mia again: You might have said this yourself in your post #62. The last guy you were really into was only average-looking to you but you fell for him due to his personality and his being an amazing kisser–Chemistry.

    I’m sure you’ve also gone out with some great-looking guys who were nice and who checked off all the right boxes on paper, but who you didn’t want to see a second or third time, right?

    As for men, we are much more into LOOKS and NOT chemistry. It can cause some of us to make rash decisions such as wanting to lock you down even not knowing much at all about the rest of you yet.

  8. 68

    Michael – I must be very different from the women you date! I still have a text I sent to a girl friend after my first date with the guy I mentioned in my comment, and it said something like, “He’s an okay guy, but I don’t feel anything for him romantically one way or another.” So I went on a second date with him, since he was decent enough, and only then did I feel attraction for him because we had such a wonderful time. If I don’t feel blatantly turned off by something the guy said or did, then I’ll generally go on a second date with him. I’ve only turned down a second date twice that I can remember – if someone likes me enough to keep asking me out, I’m going to give him real consideration.

    But I know plenty of pretty, normal twentysomething girls who have a hard time with guys, which has led me to believe that being cute and having an enjoyable conversation and having no dealbreakers is simply not enough for many men to even ask for a second date. They need to be bowed over by a head over heels feeling before appetizers have even arrived. Those things are enough for me and the girls I know, though, so even though I respect your comments and experiences, we must really be coming from different places here.

  9. 69

    Michael – also, I should add, it means very little if a girl accepts a first date with a guy. Just as guys will have sex with a broad segment of the population, a lot of girls will accept a date with a broad segment of the population – because we want to be open to something developing, and if not, it could be a new friend or at the very, very least, it’s a free meal or drink. And it’s not that my friends and I don’t rule out men because we have no connection, it’s just that we would wait until two dates or possibly three, and a kiss, to make a final decision on that – cutting someone off after one date is simply too little time to make the decision. In men’s defense, I guess I, too, would have stricter standards for a second date if I was the one who had to pay for stuff, though men who don’t want to spend too much money would do well to simply meet the girl in the park for a walk or grab drinks or dessert only instead of dinner.

    1. 69.1

      I am very selective about meeting a man in person. It took 100 meet n greets to find my last boyfriend, and I am getting much better at phone screening this time around.  I also ask the question during a phone call:  “so how old are you, really, and how tall are you, really?” If it is not too far off what they stated online, or even better yet, they told the truth on their profile, I will meet them. If they are on OKcupid, we have already covered most of the deal breakers, but if they are from match or pof, I ask some fairly pointed questions (I don’t have enough time to wait until the 4th date to find out they only give oral sex “on special occasions”!) I also pay close attention to how they speak about their ex’s. 

  10. 70

    This was a wonderful pep talk that I really needed this weekend. Thank you, Evan! 🙂

  11. 71

    ok i’ll admit it, i’m in the thrice bitten (minimum) now shy stage. I know the things I do ”wrong” in dating, but I’m really fighting the temptation to give it up all together.
    It’s just so freaking exhausting.

  12. 72

    So Mia, where are you and girls like you hiding? This guy wants to know! [laughs]

    I am surprised by your friends’ experiences though. Maybe they are dating the most chased-after guys? Most of us guys just want a nice girl who is easy on the eyes. We’re not concerned too much with chemistry or butterflies beyond the girl being pretty and interested (every guy has his own taste though). Age-wise, I’m well into my 30’s–past the partying phase many guys who are in their 20’s are in, which might color my perceptions a bit though.

    Anyway, your posts gave me some food for thought. I’ve had some dating success, but too many times I have gotten turned down for the second date, getting “you’re a nice guy but no chemistry”. And at the end of the day, right now I am still single. I have a lot going for me and the first-date conversation went well far as I could tell too (often ending in a kiss on the lips), so I’ve always chalked it up to women being obsessed with chemistry and butterflies and the stuff out of rom-coms.

    You’re saying that’s not the case. Thanks in part to your posts, I’m wondering what I could be doing better–either in the women I’m meeting or what is happening on the date.

  13. 73

    sam #54, realize this is a late response…so sorry that happened and wish I had words of wisdom there. I’m also trying to find faith that no matter how bleak things are in life right now, the future can hold better and brighter things. I try to have faith that while I’m unhappily single today, that doesn’t mean I necessarily will be tomorrow.

    Michael, I’m just curious about who these girls are who are apparently so obsessed with chemistry? Once again, it could easily be me saying the same thing, where the other party tells me that I’m really nice, but they’re just not feeling it and the chemistry isn’t there. It isn’t just the most chased-after guys who I’ve gotten this from either. I’ve dated everyone from the “nerdy” types to the “alpha males”–so I don’t think it’s me just chasing the most unattainable guys. I’m trying to think about what I could do to turn that around. I don’t think I’m doing anything that is an absolute deal-breaker, because these guys really do seem to mean it when they tell me I’m a sweet girl. Yet by the same token, for whatever reason I’m not inspiring anything more either. I’m the female equivalent of the “nice guy” who “finishes last”! However, I’m not sure what I could be doing to create that instant “wow” that guys want and expect. I’m really trying my best not to hate dating and all the snap judgments and pressure that come with it.

  14. 74
    Two of Us Dating

    Once again excellent words of advice.  As Evan says, there are far more people out there that aren’t right for me than there are “right” ones.  We all know that attraction is a split second decision and it’s what brings 2 people together.  They sit and talk, get to know each other and see if there is any “chemistry”.  If the attraction and chemistry is there for both parties then some exclusive dating begins, where we are overcome with all kinds of feelings and emotions, and typically says things based on the “energy” being generated by 2 people who are attracted to each other and have a lot of “chemistry” going on.  But as Evan points out, this really doesn’t mean much.  Attraction brings 2 people together and chemistry takes it to the next level, but these 2 things do not keep people together.  What keeps people together is compatibility, who they are on the inside and what they have to offer each other a human beings.  It’s an understanding that there are thousands of men you will find attractive and have chemistry with, but only a very small percentage of them are you actually compatible with.  But as Evan says, you must continue to participate in the dating game and eventually you will find that right person.  Persistence and belief is the key.

  15. 75

    Great concepts and advice, Evan, thank you.  I agree wholeheartedly. Unfortunately in the real world it can be challenging to put this philosophy into practice.  I can only speak from the female point of view, but being pursued by a man and then becoming sexually intimate, only to be dumped at the typical 3 month mark can be devastating, especially as you get older.  The last time it happened to me, I read all the uplifting books, did the positive affirmations, listened to my friends and family telling me he was a jerk and a loser and I could do so much better, and it was HIM, not ME.  I had to see him through a shared work/avocation thing (and still do) so yes, it was much harder and certainly it is easier to recover when you have complete no contact.  I did much self examination and acknowledged that I was 100% responsible for my actions in the relationship.  Yet the lesson I took from this is : It can be very difficult to *not* take it personally when the guy, as you said, “shot first and asked questions later” and after shooting a few times, decided to take his gun elsewhere (sorry for the tacky analogy…) 
    See, as a woman, I don’t just jump into bed with a man I don’t want to have a relationship with but as we all know, many men WILL and DO.  Why?  Because sex is much harder to come by for men (yes, I know I am again stating the OBVIOUS) so when it is available, it is very difficult for the average man to say “no” when the average woman has to say “no” or else she risks pregnancy, and due to the still existing double standard, risks being considered too “easy”, being labelled a slut, other social ridicule, etc. 
    I was 47 and he was 49 when he dumped me at 3 months after becoming sexually intimate, so it happens at any age.  It is encouraging and self preserving to keep thinking “it wasn’t personal, it was about him and not about me, it’s no one’s fault.”  Certainly all these things are true on paper but one still has one’s human emotions to deal with.  I know for a fact I was dumped because HE realized I was not his ideal woman and he could do “better”.  Why did he overpromise and underdeliver?  He wanted SEX.  Which he got, and then he realized he would have to give up his dream of his IDEAL woman, who is not just TWO years younger, but is TEN to TWENTY years younger, with a rock hard body, large breasts, long legs, smooth unlined ageless skin, petite features, silky long hair, and maybe even a trust fund. 
    The lesson I take away from my experiences, now at the tender age of 51, and this is not earth shattering news:  is that when you meet a man you really feel “it” for you have to behave exactly as Karmic Equation #42 said:  like you don’t care, hard to get and emotionally unavailable.  Otherwise, you are playing with fire and if you let a man know how you FEEL too early on in the relationship, this is a recipe for disaster.  Tricky navigating the mine field of emotions after sex when oxytocin comes on the scene, and as a woman, if the sex and “chemistry” were great, you just want MORE…meanwhile, the typical man (and yes, I am well are there ARE many exceptions to the rule) is terrified and looking for the nearest exit.  Karmic Equation is EXACTLY right.  Good advice for women.
    Since my last rejection at age 48, I have had men pursue me and I will hang out with them casually rather than go on a typical date.  If I don’t feel that proverbial chemistry thing after hanging out with them a few times and don’t feel a desire to kiss them, then what is the point?  Physical attraction and chemistry have always been important to me because that is what separates a friend from a lover, right?  So I’ve been alone for 3 years and it’s OK.  I’m used to it, yeah I get lonely from time to time but the thought of online dating (been there, done that)…well, I think about it…and then I just move on to something else more enjoyable. 
    Maybe I’ll meet someone organically, maybe I won’t.  What I can say is that at 51, despite now losing my power through my beauty and youth, what I do have is being comfortable in my own skin and comfortable being alone.  It’s OK.  It’s not the end of the world.  Much more tragic things happen to people. I know I have attracted men through the power of my personality, as well as my looks, and that feels good.
    And one final thought, Laura S. #29 pointed out a disturbing trend that I feel is the result of the relatively recent easy access to internet porn.  Twenty years ago, men could not see teenage girls having hard core sex with all kinds of men at the tip of their fingers.  Well, OK, all ages of women but mostly porn is young girls.  In fact, in the 80’s most porn stars were older women (meaning say, 30).  And none of these women in internet porn have pubic hair.  It’s GONE.  So the standard for women now, is complete removal of pubic hair.  I have a niece who had her pubic hair permanently lasered off – forever.  The idea that Laura S. met two men on the internet who on the first meeting wanted to know about her pubic hair is just appalling and is emblematic of the sad coarsening of the culture.  
    Sorry guys over 40 but for me, being bald “down there” is just not comfortable or practical, and if you don’t like some hair, then I guess we’ll just have to shake hands and call it a day.

  16. 76
    I thought it was me

    I am so glad I read this and each of your insightful comments. I am 42 and I have become so spastic about dating. I am fortunate to meet people both in person and on the internet but I find the internet to host more men seeking easy sex. Realizing this is a general statement I have almost given up on dating or at the very least taking a break.

    I too have life learned lessons about giving up the cookie to soon because I thought he was working on being my boyfriend but his profile remained strong on the site.

    I have tried to manuever past my own chemistry to men I have met that are extremely charming and seeming so interested but seem to want to squeeze my goods like I am fresh fruit that is ripe. That part sucks sometimes because I may want them to but I am over the “Hit and Go” era.

    So I have take Evan’s advice and I mirror behavior. If he calls I call. If he wants to see me he will and so on. I have to admit its tough when you really want the other person to call immediately.

    I instead try to remain focused on healing of self. Enjoying life and getting past the rejection. Most times I remove myself from a situation seeing that it is going nowhere.

    I wonder if men recycle women as they date. Realizing the last one was as bad then call to see how they are doing. I have that happen allot since I am not nasty or crazy when its decided not to hang out any more.
    Most men in my age group have already been married once or in a long relationship. They act like they have been freed from peril and have the capacity to spend money on nice dates but don’t really want to be with the woman outside of the physical.  Or they are looking for women that are 5 to 10 years younger.  Thanks for letting me vent.

  17. 77

    I thought it was me @77–no, it’s clearly not just you. A lot of us are here to vent!  It makes me feel better knowing I’m not alone in these dating struggles, so it isn’t that the universe somehow just has it out for me.  I’m in my 30s but it could have been me writing that exact same post.  No matter where you are along the age spectrum I think dating has challenges.  As I’ve said many men my age want women in their 20s. I’ve been through the same thing, where men reject me, then try to move on to greener pastures because they think they can do “better” (i.e. some 25 year old version of me, or some version of me who lives closer to their city).  However, I’ve also had a lot of them come back to me when they realize that there really aren’t greener pastures on the other side.  By then, I have lost interest in them and don’t hesitate to cut the cord.  I’m also like that with friends who I no longer want to be with (in fact, I recently decided to cut things off with a so-called “friend” who constantly gave me backhanded comments and unsolicited criticism).  Life is too short to be around people who don’t bring out the best in you.  I am looking for that special man who loves me unconditionally, who sticks with me through thick and thin. If I can’t even count on him to stick with me when times were good, how will I through life’s challenges? I also just don’t think your future soul mate is the one who sees you as some “plan B” for lack of something better, but who knows a great thing when he sees it and never wants to let go.

  18. 78

    @ Mia
    “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.”
    This assumes a *receptive market* for any given male, and such an assumption is *not* justified(see below).
    “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.”
    Because, this is speaking to an imbalance of opportunities for casual sex – if these imbalances of supply and demand did not exist, men would not feel compelled to bait sex through furtive measures.
    “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.”
    Of course it doesn’t – you take a wealth of sexual options for granted.
    “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.”
    Tell-tale signs of men who are re-evaluating their options.
    And if this seems a double-standard, then it exits *only* through the complicity of women(ie. if a large population of women are fixating on a relatively small population of men, the men will tend to have more options than the females they pair with, making them less likely to invest in any particular female, and more prone to detachment).
    “And men are WAY more chemistry driven than women — most women (often not the picky, entitled, past their prime chicks writing to Evan) are just happy to meet an ok looking guy”  
    “Since most men are ugly or average at best”
    Yeah, but if most guys are unattractive(as you are implying), then isn’t chemistry *still* going to be the limiting factor?
    “But I know plenty of pretty, normal twentysomething girls who have a hard time with guys, which has led me to believe that being cute and having an enjoyable conversation and having no dealbreakers is simply not enough for many men to even ask for a second date. They need to be bowed over by a head over heels feeling before appetizers have even arrived.”
    There can be only one reason for this – these men have better options(which implies that these women are grasping outside their LTR league).
    @ Michael17
    “My experience is that women are less visual, in the sense that they will keep on going out with an an OK-looking guy, IF the chemistry is there. By “chemistry” I mean that invisible energy between two people that really doesn’t have much to do with what the guy has going for him “on paper” or even whether the guy is that good-looking (but it does have something to do with whether we find the girl good-looking because otherwise we guys won’t be attracted). Most women are NOT willing to go out with even a really good-looking guy if the chemistry (the way I defined it above) isn’t there.”
    It occurs that there is frequent male confusion over what constitutes a ‘good-looking guy’, from the typical female perspective.
    But, ‘chemistry’ is a popular euphemism for sexual chemistry(acutely induced by sensory stimuli).    
    “What am I basing this on: Well, truth be told, I’ve gotten plenty of first dates. So I had to be good-looking to get the first dates where the girl didn’t know too much about me and how we would get along.”
    Going on a date with a woman says only that you are presentable enough to be seen in public with her.
    The thing to remember is that females hold different attractiveness thresholds, given their relationship goals.
    For sex, females are sensitive to *high* attractiveness thresholds(much higher than males).
    For a date, they may merely be concerned that he look presentable.
    “And yet I have had plenty of instances where the girl who went on the first date with me thought I was “nice” but was not willing to go on a second date. She didn’t want to go on the second date NOT due to me not being a nice guy or me not being good-looking enough.”
    How do you know?
    One thing you should reasonably conclude, is that you (obviously) were not deemed attractive enough for her to sleep with(assuming you wanted to).
    “If I was good-looking enough for her to say yes to a first date, I was good-looking enough for a second date.”
    Maybe better options presented themselves in the interim.
    Or perhaps her goal was the dinner, and not the date at all(I’m afraid Mia gave it to you ‘straight’ when she alluded to that possibility)?
    In general, females incur less liability from dating, and thus there is always an element of moral hazard obscuring their true motives.
    “Instead, she didn’t want to go on the second date because she didn’t feel chemistry with me–as I defined above.”
    Again, ‘chemistry’ is chick-code for physical attractiveness. 

  19. 79

    Dearest Evan
    Can it not go wrong even if he is the future husband?Can it not happen that he changes his mind and realizes that I am the one and comes back?Did you hear any storys like that,or is it just never the case?
    I mean.I thought that happened too,but I cant remember hearing about it.Another dating coach says things like Mr Right wont leave you.He will not give up.Is it that easy?Do you men know when you met the One?How does it feel?Couldn’t it be possible you say those things and dissappear and after one year uou medt the girl again and feel Oh,It is her after all? 

  20. 80
    hippie va

    the whole “it’s not your fault if he disappears” is actually untrue according to your own book!  your book says a man disappears because she didn’t make him feel good about himself (her fault) and moreover the book your protege wrote (have him at hello) noted that in eighty five percent of cases, the reason a woman didn’t get a callback was because of something she said or did, not because he was simply unavailable.
    good advice generally, but this is a real contradiction here…

  21. 81
    Sparkling Emerald

    @hippie va 81
    I think there are multiple reasons why men disappear.  Sometimes it is NOT anyone’s fault, & sometimes there is behavior that could drive the disappearance. At least that’s what I got out of the “Why he disappeared book”. 
    As for the “Have him @ Hello Book”, well from what little bit I read online, it just seemed the men were being petty.  I actually think their initial, “no chemistry” response was right, but the author basically needled and badgered the men to give a concrete reason, so after “leading the witness” they came up with the answer the author wanted to hear, that the woman did something “wrong”. 
    If someone really likes you, the slightest imperfection isn’t going to send them running for the hills, if it just doesn’t click, a black belt in charm school and being the perfect date won’t change that either.

  22. 82

    @Hippie Va
    That’s an interpretation that blames the woman rather than what Evan is pointing out – a woman can’t control what a man thinks or does, so when he “disappears” it’s a result of his own thinking and choices.
    Since blaming isn’t useful (“effective” in Evan’s terms), it’s better to just acknowledge that the man left because he wasn’t getting what he wanted from the relationship, rather than the woman failing in some way. In this way, it’s about the individuals not being what the other needs.
    As for callbacks, of course he didn’t call back because of “something she said”…that’s the whole point of talking to people, to determine if you want to continue. This doesn’t mean she did anything wrong – perhaps she mentioned she couldn’t imagine having more than one child, and he wanted to have a large family…or she was agnostic/atheist and he was strongly religious (or the reverse). In the early stages it doesn’t take much to disqualify someone, as little is yet invested.
    In no way does this mean that the women failed in any way. If anything, consider it a good thing that he left early rather than waste her time, since it’s clear they weren’t a good match.
    Evan is just advising that women don’t take a man’s disappearance personally – who knows what his reasons are, and in the end they don’t really matter anyway.

  23. 83

    I got broken up with by my ex-boyfriend due to a betrayal of trust on my side. He was devastated and yes, he did jump into a rebound relationship with his ex. As I suspected, he used her as a distraction and to soften the blow of our break up. Now we are trying to pick up the pieces of this mess and it has not been good. I did him wrong, he reacted with a rebound, and now there are multiple casualties and nobody wins!

  24. 84

    I know that the right man will come along… But am having issues letting the old one go. I dated an emotionally unavailable man for 1.5 years. He kept coming back… Hoping that he would have the feelings for me that he needs to be in love again. He found the kind of connection with a woman that he didn’t even know existed a few years back, and it blew up in his face. He’s been emotionally unavailable of it ever since, and is fully aware of this fact. Funny thing is, he’s stated point blank that he was hoping that something would happen with us, that I would do something to make this change. We all know, if someone is going to change, they will do it on their own. There is no hot button you can push to make a man open up and be the love you want… HE has to want it.
    We had a good relationship but not the best relationship. One thing I can say is that he taught me a great deal, cares for me in a way no man has before, and has always been able to explain things to me in a very calm and understanding fashion. But the communication was never really there. The way he held back any form of genuine openness when things were “good” was frustrating to the point of being maddening. We both agreed that otherwise we are each the textbook case of the perfect “type” of person we would each like a relationship with in regards to values, interests, and attraction. Really… except for our complete breakdown of proper communication from the start… I do see it. On paper we’re perfect for each other.
    Each of us has had personal issues and struggles in our lives hold us back as well. But every time he has come back to me he has literally given me the greatest compliments of my life. That I’m the perfect woman, a woman like me is a gift, that he knows my value, things like that. But as he put it, it’s like sitting around a campfire at the end of the night… It feels amazing to sit around it & enjoy, and if you kick the ashes every now and again some flames rise up, but you can’t keep it going without more wood.
    So here I am trying to let go of someone I became very attached to. I had the talk with him a week ago. No tears. I told him that I felt completely shut out and that after he had progressed our relationship forward once again, we have once again felt a period of withdrawl and this is not what I pictured in a relationship. But why is this so hard? Maybe because he tried so hard twice now to win me back and started putting so much effort into being sensitive to my feelings and needs. But every time he withdraws again when we get to close, when anything happens that he doesn’t want to deal with.
    I suppose I’m just wondering what it would have been like if he was emotionally available. If I liked him this much at his worst…. What would he have been like at his best? I can say that I tried. And to a point, he did too. I just don’t understand what he was expecting me to do to “fix” him… and I don’t understand why he is so complacent to not want to open up and fix himself. He says he wants the kind of love that songs are written about, and yet does nothing to effect this change in himself. I, on the other hand… have been on my own journey the last year to focus on myself and effect my own changes. I have been the one becoming more emotionally available, sane, happy, and well balanced. I wish that he would find that path too. Even if he doesn’t end up with me in the end, I do want to see him happy again, not retreated to his cave. His emotionally unavailable nature is even carrying over into how his daughter feels  when she’s around him. It’s effecting his entire world. I just wish he could see the beauty and love around him.

  25. 85

    Confused-By-Distance,    It’s tough to feel so much and want it to be so much more (knowing how amazing it can be), yet it never gets to the place you think it will.  I hope you take comfort that where you want things to be will happen with the RIGHT guy. It will! Waiting for it for it to happen with a man who isn’t there emotionally and may never be there takes up your valuable time; find the man where you can have your dream life! You have so much to offer the right guy, don’t waste it on the wrong one.
    I’m in a similar spot and I really feel your pain. I was moving toward a great relationship (at least I thought). Something really romantic happened at a party we were attending. It was like movie love! Confirmation, right? Nope. The “moment” did not occur under movie-love circumstances but the “moment” really happened. You know those moments where the relationship crosses some sort of barrier? The moment where you cannot believe it is happening to you? 
    The post-party drama (we work together and adults can be such children) of rumors and lies has me in a tailspin. So, I have to move on. My heart aches b/c it doesn’t seem fair. I didn’t think it would end so suddenly but I have to let it go. Some things are not meant to be. He is not emotionally available and that is just the truth. I asked myself  if all of this drama is worth it and when I answered no, I realized I have to move on…yup, it stings but a huge weight has been lifted…my heart is ready for someone deserving 🙂

  26. 86

    Wow. I wish I had read this 15 years ago!  Evan, I have been reading your advice over the weekend, and it has been very refreshing.  You make a lot of sense. I’m 42 and have had disastrous attempts at relationships since breaking up with a wonderful solid guy when I was 27 because I thought I could do better….  Most of the time I haven’t even bothered with dating as I didn’t want to make another mistake of ending up with a guy with issues (which I seemed to find plenty of after breaking up with the great guy), and other times I got so down by the quality of guys contacting me on-line it just put me right off (I hear all those women who want to find a guy of a similar age but end up with guys 10-15 years plus only contacting them), so yes, most of the last 15 years I have been single.  But your website has made me think that I really ought to get back out there, keeping my expectations realistic, and this blog was another healthy dose of good sense from you to take with me. Thank you.

  27. 87
    Dina Strange

    “He over-promised and under-delivered. In short, he screwed up and ended up hurting an innocent woman. No one is at fault.”

    I wonder if I by mistake charge more on his credit card, will he say….no one is at fault. Btw, what happened to personal responsibility and men who know how to keep a promise or at least be faithful to their own words. Are we dating kids, here? 

    1. 87.1

      ohhh well said Dina!    If the guy is an adult, a grown man,  he SHOULD be more honest, clear and responsible and not  ‘overpromised and under-deliver ‘ !    
      thank you for being a fellow sister in this dating experience

  28. 88

    A fabulous article Evan. It is so true, like why be so attached to the outcome and be disappointed and annoyed when the odds of success are pretty low. May as well just have fun and even be thankful that he left to make way for the one true beloved or many beloveds to come our way 🙂
    I get that on a thinking level I just wish my heart wouldn’t be so darn sensitive as I seem to cry after every guy. I need to toughen up a bit or perhaps a lot I think <3

  29. 89

    I will admit right now, I have a pathological fear of being hurt. Suffice to say I have dated two men for a duration of six months to a little over 2 years.  Both ended in complete disaster.
    In hindsight, I knew the six month was doomed from the get go.  He was clearly looking just for a gf and I was more than willing to oblige (stupid I know).  He wasn’t a good catch on a physical or emotional level, so that tells you I wasn’t thinking with my head.  I was very young at the time, 17 so what did I know.
    To make a long story short, I stayed single for a long time and now at 37 I’m getting back into the dating scene after talking to someone who rekindled feelings of intimacy.  He “disappeared” early on and I was left with a broken heart.  Found myself on a broken hearts forum and I met a guy.  Now before anyone starts saying “What were you thinking” let me first say.
    I avoided dating sites because I didn’t want to meet someone that was looking for a relationship.  In my past experience, this means that people go in with preconceived notions and you end up settling for something or becoming infatuated with someone based on personal ideology.
    With the new guy it was diffeernt, there was banter going back and forth and we began sharing about our past failed relationships.  He told me it’d been three years since the demise of his relationship but that he still nursed wounds. Within a week or so of talking, he remarked how he hadn’t met anyone like me before, I was very carefree in the way I communciated with him but I also put up alot of barriers and refused to let him in.
    Over time I brought those walls down and I think he is being honest with me when he says he has feelings for me.  He’s supposed to come visit me in a few months…but I can’t stop this nagging feeling and self sabatoging thinking that the more I reveal of my true self (including my insecurities) he will leave like the others. 
    The cards are stacked against us already:
    He has pictures of his ex on his facebook page (I’ve mentioned I’ve seen them, but he just says he hasn’t updated his page in a long time, nor do I think I have a right to ask him to take them down when we haven’t met)
    He lives halfway around the world
    I will never move to his country and I couldn’t ask him to move for me (he has a good paying job with guaranteed salary till retirement)
    I’ve tried to walk away a few times but it’s very hard each time.  I’ve even gotten into rows with him in an effort to convince myself that it’d be better to break away.
    He’s been very honest with me and I trust him.  I don’t pick fights anymore and try to be mindful of my own behavior with him.
    It doesn’t compare to the 300 dates you’ve gone on Evan, but some of us aren’t as strong as you to risk your heart so many times.  I wish I was, but my self esteem couldn’t take that kind of rejection…

  30. 90

    This was a hilarious read and I LOVED it!!! Evan, thank you so much! I feel better after reading this. I was involved with a man for three months that said he wanted to take things slow and still kept his profile up on Match. Even though he told me there was no one else and he was not going to message other women I found his profile had been revamped after 3 months of seeing him. I ended it and it hurt me badly. He did have real potential and I was falling for him. Even after I told him that, he still kept coming around and dating me. I thought any decent man that wasn’t open to love would let me go— but he stuck around. After ending things I was distraught and he played games with FB – adding all kinds of tramps. So I unfriended him. I will never understand why he treated me like that and it made me feel unworthy…  and not good enough.
    After reading this article though it helps me understand that I am worthy of love- he just wasn’t right for me. Your article brought a smile to my face!

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