How Do You Know If You Have Found The One?

Okay, Evan, I have stopped using chemistry, finance, and looks as an indicator of whether I want to pursue a relationship with a guy. I’ve also stopped looking for the alpha male with more masculine energy. As a result, I have met several great guys with many compatible qualities that would be conducive to forming a long lasting healthy relationship. But there’s just one problem. How do you know when to stop dating? I don’t feel that usual spark with these men. Although they are good to me and I like hanging out with them, I don’t have a desire to settle down with them and I don’t have an urge to stop dating even though a few of them have made it clear to me that they want to be exclusive. I guess what I’m asking is how am I to know when I’ve found THE ONE when I’m not going by the usual emotional cues? I just can’t help feeling these guys are a dime a dozen. Do I just pick one and see how it goes? I’m 31 and I’m ready to stop dating and be a part of a relationship. –Kimby

Dear Kimby,

I’m impressed.

You’ve been reading my stuff, internalizing it, and practicing it in real life.

And you’ve already seen the small hole in my business model:

If you’re not basing your relationship decisions on evanescent traits such as chemistry or shallow things such as money and looks, what ARE you going on? And how is it supposed to feel when you find your one and only?

All I’m saying is that if you’re constantly intoxicated with rich, charismatic, educated, successful alpha males…and every single one you’ve ever met has disappointed you, perhaps it’s time to consider using other criteria for choosing a mate.

Before I answer your question, I need to go back to clarify a few things to readers who aren’t as clear on what Kimby’s talking about:

1. Just because Kimby has stopped using chemistry, finance and looks as an indicator of future relationship success, does NOT mean that she entirely GIVES UP on those qualities. This is the fundamental way in which my advice gets misinterpreted and it drives me up a wall. All I’m saying is that if you’re constantly intoxicated with rich, charismatic, educated, successful alpha males…and every single one you’ve ever met has disappointed you, perhaps it’s time to consider using other criteria for choosing a mate. So instead of getting blinded by looks, money, and charisma, your future husband will still have these qualities, just in lesser degrees. What he lacks in those qualities, he will make up for with kindness, character, and consistency – which are imperative if you want to build a 40-year relationship.

2. A short-handed way of expressing the above sentiment is to trade out a man who is a “10” in looks/money/charisma for guy who maybe a 6 or a 7. Will you have the most intense chemistry of all time? No. Will you have sufficient chemistry that you can have a great sex life and happy marriage? Yes. (And in case you’re a woman who traded off poorly and made a mistake – that doesn’t invalidate my claim. Just because YOU gave up too much chemistry doesn’t mean that EVERY woman will have the same experience as you.)

However, Kimby, both of those paragraphs are largely theoretical – they’re made-up scales to measure qualities that aren’t always measurable. Which is why this concept of giving up the 10 in chemistry in exchange for a 10 in compatibility often feels remote.

So when you’re asking me what it’s supposed to feel like when you’ve found the one, here’s the best I can do:

In How We Decide, by Jonah Lehrer, he discusses the two tracks in our brain that are responsible for decision-making: one is emotional, one is rational, and they BOTH matter.

Since most people – especially women – are very in touch with their emotions, I stress a very rational approach to love, as exhibited by this blog, my newsletters and my books: If one thing isn’t working, try another thing. If men do X, you should do Y. It’s not about right and wrong; it’s about effective and ineffective, and so forth.

But despite this, you shouldn’t ignore a deep-seated emotion. If you get the feeling that a man is a creep, dump him. If you get the feeling that a man is unable to communicate in a way that satisfies you, dump him. If you get the feeling that he is not to be trusted with his word and commitment to you, dump him.

You have to listen to that loud voice that says NO.

The problem is: that voice isn’t there to tell you YES.

Every time you’ve heard the YES voice, you’ve been WRONG.

And that’s where the rational brain comes in.

The decision to marry my wife was a rational decision. That isn’t to say that I didn’t love her, but rather that I didn’t “just know.”

What I did know was that I’d dated 300 women before.

What I did know was that the girlfriends I loved in the past all dumped me.

What I did know was that my girlfriend made me laugh, she accepted me despite my faults, and that there was never any drama.

What I did know was that even if I didn’t have that “feeling,” I’d never before had such an easy, enjoyable relationship that brought out the best in me and made me feel loved.

So I proposed to her in 2008 – even though I wasn’t “positive.”

It was the best decision I’ve ever made. I’m reminded of it every day.

When you find a guy who could be “the one,” it’s not about the intensity of the feeling – as much as everyone wants to tell you that.

It’s about a) whether your life is better with him than it would be if you weren’t with him, and b) whether you can realistically have a better relationship with someone else.

If a man is a great boyfriend, I already know the answer to a).

As for the answer to b), you may think that you can find all the same great qualities in your man in a package that is taller, richer, smarter, or funnier.

Once I realized that I was comparing my girlfriend to a fantasy instead of comparing her to my very flawed past girlfriends, my decision became easy. It can be for you, too.

But you’ve gone 31 years and you haven’t done so yet. Why are you so sure you can do better than a great guy who wants to commit to you? Because of a “feeling” that’s always failed you in the past?

Once I realized that I was comparing my girlfriend to a fantasy instead of comparing her to my very flawed past girlfriends, my decision became easy. It can be for you, too.

So where do you begin?

Start with assessing whether you have fun with a guy on the first couple of dates.

Continue with how enthusiastic he is about being your boyfriend in the next few dates.

If both of those conditions are met, try an exclusive relationship. Not marriage. Just boyfriend/girlfriend. See what it feels like. After all, you can’t build anything if you’re always moving.

Then, just put one foot in front of the other, month after month, and see where the relationship goes.

Like me, you may find that the person who felt temporary at the beginning turns out to be the most permanent fixture in your entire life.

Good luck.

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  1. 1

    Great post Evan, thank you for providing strong clarity on what I really struggled with in 2011!  I’ve been taking your advice a lot in the last year, as well as growing myself and my love/relationship knowledge in MANY other ways.  And I’ll be the first to admit at times I’ve wrongly regarded your advice as black & white vs. general guidelines (as you hinted at when you mentioned 10 chemistry vs 0 chemistry).  Your advice on dating discernment, as far as having fun in first 2 dates, then measuring consistency, then considering bf/gf status, is extremely helpful, as searching for Mr. Right in the past year was really puzzling when trying to decide who to weed out, etc.  Thankfully, now I’ve gotten some good dating practice and a lot more clarity in what I really want and need in a man, and am excited and hopeful for the future.

    To be honest, I’ve dated very few men in my life who were strong alphas, simply because I didn’t feel confident or even worthy around them in the past (thankfully those issues are gone)…  However, of the 25+ men I’ve gone on dates with in the last year, there were 2 strong alphas, and I ended up having more successful dates with those 2 than with almost all of the other guys. While neither one worked out, I definitely felt the most like my normal funny self with them, had long meaningful conversations with each, and truly had the most relaxing fun on the dates.  I’m still single though, so the verdict is still out on whether or not an alpha is truly right for me. 

    To some extent, I still believe that each relationship story unfolds differently (including yours):  My best friend begged her now husband of 5+ years to sleep with her on the first date (he wouldn’t cuz he knew he had a good thing and didn’t want to ‘ruin it’) and was raving to him about having his babies by date 3 (a little crazy but they’re married now and he’s quite normal…so to each his own), My sister-in-law first approached my alpha brother in a bar, and I know a few married couples who knew within the first few dates or months that their partners were right for them.  By all means, I’m not pointing out these examples to fight your advice, stick up for the exception, or cause people to ignore red flags and/or devalue themselves.  What I do believe is that life’s journey is never certain nor known, and that great reward only comes with taking risks…a.k.a steps of faith.  

    Thanks and keep up the great work Evan!

  2. 2

    Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. Now I get it. Yes, this does add clarity to the overall message of accepting the 6 or 7 even though there’s not instant chemistry. Or being drawn in by the extroverted Alpha 10 guy who pushes all the right buttons but is ever elusive & in the end, commitment-phobic & all about himself & his drama. 

    I thought I had to accept the guy who has a lackluster personality, and who physically makes me cringe in order to have a successful, lasting relationship. Good to know that all the qualities of a 10 can still be present in a solid relationship, just to a lesser, more realistic degree. Thanks, Evan. I don’t always agree with you, but this is an area where your advice is without question very helpful.  

  3. 3

    I knew my husband was “the one” after about five months because everything was so EASY.  As Evan said, there was no drama.  He always had the next date lined up at the end of the current date (he knew I got booked up quickly) so I never had to wonder if he’d call, or whether he was interested.  He was, and he made sure I knew it.  He proposed at six months and although it seemed quick, I said yes – because it felt so right and was everything I’d been looking for in a relationship.  We were married at the 14-month mark, and just celebrated our sixth wedding anniversary yesterday.  The marriage just keeps getting better and stronger with each passing year.  “Easy” did not mean boring, by the way.  It was more about the lack of anything bad going on.  There wasn’t the yearning or the unrequited feelings or the ache that had accompanied former roller coaster relationships with unavailable men.  He was available, “head, heart and arms,” and continues to be to this day.  For once, my “little voice” that had screamed, “Are you CRAZY?!” so many times in the past was happily silent. 

  4. 4

    I understand not expecting to feel sparks with a man right off the bat. But feeling that all the guys she’s dating are a dime a dozen doesn’t sound so great to me. There’s more to dating than just a man who treats you well. I think there’s also a difference between deciding you want to marry someone and knowing when to stop dating, and get into a serious relationship. I’m wondering why, after dating these guys for a certain amount of time, maybe weeks or months, no one in particular is starting to emerge at the front of the pack as a serious contender.

  5. 5

    I think Evan’s advice to try dating based on different criteria is a very good idea, and I have been trying to do this myself for the past year or so, but I think its important to remember that even if you are choosing who to go on dates with based on arguably healthier criteria, at the end of the day, you STILL need to fall in love with them! The point of dating men based on criteria other than looks, money or lust is not to end up marrying someone you don’t love simply because they are a decent guy and are kind to you – that is essentially just as mercenary as marrying someone you don’t love because they are rich! By dating men for reasons other than looks, money etc… and using criteria such as consistency or shared goals, what you are doing is putting yourself in a POSITION to fall in love with a man of this sort – you are giving yourself the OPPORTUNITY to form a deep connection with one of these men by actually agreeing to go out with them and get to know them. But if you don’t begin to love him, if you don’t find him unique, if you don’t start thinking that losing him would be unbearable, then that simply means he’s not the right kind, decent guy for you.All the same, don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater – the next kind, decent guy you agree to go on a date with might be the one for you. Changing your criteria doesn’t guarantee instant success, it just places you in a different dating pool…..whuch you still have to wade through!

  6. 6

    This question was posted exactly when I was wondering the same thing myself. I find most guys to be nice and decent. I can have a fun time with any guy because I’ve learned to do so from decades of working with mostly men. So I was getting confused as to how you are suppose to pick one of these similar guys (yes “a dime a dozen” as the OP states) to actually make some sort of commitment with. While Evan is right that you have to just give it a try, I feel that approach can lead to trying out guys without rhyme or reason. I have decided for me that I am going to base my decision on how interesting I find the guy in addition to all the criteria Evan recommends. I want to be with someone that I am curious about; someone I want to get to know better. Not just someone I have a nice time hanging out with.

  7. 7

    I definiely understand where Evan is coming from but you have to began to truly value these other qualities.  As logical as  you can be Evan, the brains of women are different.  As a woman you need to feel it in your heart.  When I was younger I went for the cutest guy or the alpha jock.  I still like cute but I truly value/love being treated well.  It means alot to me.  If a woman does not value it emotionally, however logically it may be, she will not fall in love.   

    It’s like telling someone that the wine they are drinking that doesn’t satisfy them  and doesn’t appeal to themis the best quality. …..They have to develop a taste for it to appreciate it.

  8. 8

    I totally second BeenThruTheWars # 3 – the man I am engaged to (as of Christmas Day night) pursued me pretty relentlessly from the time we met almost six months ago. He was fun, my age, and very different from whom I dated before.  I realized pretty quickly that I didn’t even want to continue dating any other men on but I waited until he had the same discussion with me.

    He was NOT like the countless commitment-phobic alpha males I had met in the past four years……..he called when he said he would, he always asked when he could see me next by the end of our date, and he walked “the talk”………..right down to his very romantic proposal……..

    I am so glad that I gave this wonderful, very kind, fun, intelligent, handsome man a chance – he makes all the others pale by comparison.   

  9. 9

    I appreciate this advice, Evan, and I think you’re absolutely right.  And it is tough, when you’re dating several bright, thoughtful, dedicated guys but don’t feel like you know them well enough to make a decision and all of them are pushing to be exclusive.  I guess the best we can do is take the meager information we have and just select one, not slamming the door TOO harshly on the others so that they might consider us in the future should our chosen boyfriend not work out. 

  10. 10

    Great advice Evan(as always).

    What about for men? are we in the same boat? Since we are not as focused on a women’s career, height etc..can we also dial it down to find a happy relationship? I feel that we have two “brains” that often sabotage our best interests. I’d love to marry a women that i wasn’t super attracted to, but made me laugh and had a great disposition, but i find it difficult to not compare her to other women i’ve been out with. I’m sure i could settle down with a 6 or  7, but would love to hear any helpful advice…

  11. 11

    I think Evan is saying that guys who are less than perfect in one category can make up for it in another.  Say you have 5 general criteria:


    An alpha may score a 10-10-10-4-4.  Call it a total of 38 “points”.
    Another guy may only score a 7-7-7 on the first three, but 9-9 on the last two, for a total of 39.

  12. 12

    Sounds like the LW has several men asking her to be exclusive, all of them are the type of guy EMK recommends, and she is not sure who to pick.  So I am not sure her question was answered.  Assuming you are being pursued by 3-5 average guys who are nice and commitment-minded, and you don’t feel strongly about ANY of them at the moment, who do you pick?  The most financially stable?  The first one who asked?  The first one you went on a date with?

    That’s how I read her question, at least.

    1. 12.1

      I think he did answer her question. She has made a mistake by completely trying to eliminate chemistry, looks, etc. So what she’s left with are nice guys who don’t really excite her. There is a happy compromise you’re looking to achieve. Someone who excites you (but not so much that you’re blinded to their faults, etc.) but also treats you well, respects you and is emotionally available.

  13. 13

    Joe #11 – great way to think about it!  Thanks!  That’s definitely what I am aiming for.

  14. 14


    I think that one way for someone to work out their preference between similar candidates is to toss a coin – heads Jim, tails Matthew. When the coin falls, you’ll either be secretly pleased it came out the way it did, or get a sudden feeling of disappointment it wasn’t the other one…. and you have your answer!

  15. 15

    I’m chatting with a couple but don’t see anything happening with either one. I initiated contact with one and while he’s said he’s like to meet me, I don’t think he’s that interested.  I guess I’ll go through with meeting him but because he doesn’t seem all that interested, I’m wishing for a way out and don’t really want to go through with it now.  On the one hand it might be good since I have no hopes of anything getting off the ground.  On the other, maybe my attitude needs adjusted.  I don’t know.

  16. 16

    I really like this post.  What keeps popping into my mind, is that according to this criteria, choosing a partner is a lot like choosing a friend.  We all meet new people all the time.  A lot of the people we meet are kind, generous and fun to be around.  That’s not enough though, to start a friendship.  The number of people you meet and start a friendship with is only a small percent of the total number of people you meet.  We are much easier on ourselves with friendships though.  There isn’t as much second guessing, I suppose because ultimately there isn’t as much at stake, we aren’t putting our hearts on the line in a new friendship, as we do in a new romantic relationship.  If we could pick relationships like we pick friends, we may have some more success.

  17. 17

    @Erinlee, I would argue that most people don’t even consider friendship when choosing a boyfriend/husband (and the other way around).  People do things to their partner that we would never tolerate from our friends.  Physical attraction/friendship/commitment are the 3 legs of the stool…ALL three must be there,  or the relationship will crumble–sometimes  quickly, sometimes not until years later.

  18. 18

    JBL #10:
    This is my take: Looks are to men what “chemistry” is to women. Truth be told, too many of us will put up with a lot of crap from a woman if we think she is “hawt”. We will also pursue women whom we are intensely physically attracted to, without really considering of whether she truly would be compatible with or interested in us.

    So I think that Evan’s advice modified for guys, would be to go after the girls who are at least a  6 or a 7 in looks to you (instead of going after only those who are an 8 or higher) AND who are likely to be an 8 or higher in compatibility, and then when dating her, screen for character, compatibility, and interest. In other words, if you are a 40-year-old guy, consider dating women who are say in their late 30’s whose lifestyle seems to complement yours and who is physically attractive “enough”, INSTEAD OF going after say the girls who are in their 20’s who make your head swivel, but who don’t seem that interested in you or that compatible with you.

  19. 19

    I keep wondering this exact same thing.  I also took Evan’s advice and stopped trying to be with a guy that I was crazy about.  I’m in an exclusive relationship with a guy who has tons of great qualities, but I don’t feel any real “spark” for.  Even though I know the spark is fake … it is awfully enjoyable and made it much easier to make decisions.  I’m afraid that I will always wonder “what if” I had kept dating to look for someone else.  Evan, how do you know if you should stay with someone?  I’m doing the “day after day” and “foot after foot” approach, but what happens when I’m suddely 35+ and have many fewer prospects and I’m stuck with a guy, basically, because he picked me?

  20. 20

    This is what happens when we live a culture where marketing produces dissatisfaction because modern marketing promotes you can have it all but in reality you can not. 

    You either settle for how they treat you or you settle for high intense chemistry. Pick your poison!

  21. 21
    still looking

    JBL @ 10 & [email protected]

    As a 50 year old guy, I too have tried to figure out how EMK’s advice works out for the various demographics.

    For those men and women who strongly desire to be in a relationship I think  Evan’s advice is perfect.  You might emotionally want a Ferrari (alpha male, Victoria’s Secret model with a PhD, etc.) but then you realize you can’t afford or attract one, or you realize that a Ferrari is very high maintenance.  The logical choice is to focus on other important characteristics and while you won’t have the “chemistry” with a Honda or Toyota, eventually you’ll (hopefully) realize how wonderful, dependable, and pragmatic they are.

    At least for me this advice doesn’t work.  I don’t have a ticking clock or a deep emotional need to be in a relationship, even though one day I hope to find Ms. Right.  Without the initial chemistry I’d have a difficult time being in an exclusive relationship with a Toyota, waiting patiently for the love to develop, while I continue to see available BMWs and Porsches driving by.  Luckily I’ve learned my lesson to stay away from the Ferraris of of the world!

    Based on the comments on Evan’s various blogs I assume that many other readers are content to be single for as long as it takes.

    Hope I didn’t offend anyone with my car analogy 🙂


  22. 22

    Spot on Evan! Your advice is so straightforward and clear, I cannot understand why some of the wborax who post on your blog simply don’t get it. I listened to you and am now in a happily exclusive relationship with a wonderful man who treats me like gold. Thank you Evan! You are the best!


  23. 23

    Still looking @21

    I think your car analogy is actually a pretty good one! A great car – especially for men – makes you feel good just looking at it, driving it, knowing its YOURS. Its a status symbol, a pleasure …but also a method of transportation. The point, for me, is this – once you have realised you simply can’t have a porsche or a ferrari, once you have truly internalised that, what do you do? its all very well to say you’re happy to keep walking to work “for now” and you’re in no hurry and won’t settle for just any car, but do you really want to walk to work FOREVER?? Saying you’re “in no hurry” doesn’t change the fact that if you can’t afford a porsche,you can’t afford a porsche. However long you wait,unless you win the lottery  that’s not going to change. I think that the feeling that you’re in no hurry often muddys the waters, because you don’t feel that urgency that compels you to coldly assess the situation. Accepting that the best you can  – ever – afford is a (small) BMW is the hard part, so hard that many of us put off accepting it, magically thinking that if we give it enough time the perfect (but affordable) porsche will come along. If you truly think you have a chance of getting a porsche, then get yourself in gear because the best time to do it is now! Although they don’t like to think so, men do have a “sell-by” date as well – as a woman in her forties, I have to say that one of the things I’m conscious of when approched by men substantially older than me, however wealthy or handsome, is ” how many sexually active years will this guy have left?” He may be ok right now, but in 5-10 years time? For that reason alone, I will choose to date a less tall, less good looking guy who is closer to my own age than a taller better looking guy over 52. Time does run out….don’t waste it – unless you want to walk to work for the rest of your life!

    1. 23.1

      Terrible advice Helene. No one knows what the future holds. That younger stud you’re holding out for might get prostate cancer and there goes that hot sex you’re dreaming of. You’ve got menopause coming up fast….you might not be so hot to trot in a few years.

      Also….there are many ways to sexually pleasure a woman that don’t involve rock hard erections. Don’t think so narrowly. And truly the most intense part of sex is always ‘afterwords’, the feeling of connection, the feeling of closeness, the sense of feeling safe and secure wrapped in the arms of your lover.

  24. 24
    Katarina Phang

    Pineapple, if you put it quite like that, it means your heart is not in it.  You’re settling.  Give it some time, if after a few months it doesn’t get better, let him go.

  25. 25
    still looking

    Helene @ 23
    Thanks for some great advice! 🙂 

  26. 26
    Karl R

    JBL asked: (#10)
    “What about for men? are we in the same boat?”


    JBL said: (#10)
    “I’d love to marry a women that i wasn’t super attracted to, but made me laugh and had a great disposition, but i find it difficult to not compare her to other women i’ve been out with.”

    Go ahead and compare … but make certain that it’s a fair comparison.

    My fiancée isn’t the hottest woman I’ve ever dated. She’s not the smartest woman I’ve ever dated. She’s not the youngest woman I’ve ever dated.

    Don’t get me wrong. She’s cute, she’s bright, she looks great for her age. But I’ve proven that I can attract younger, hotter, smarter women. I’ve done it before; I can do it again.

    But if I’m going to be fair, I can’t just look at the best traits of these other women.

    The hottest woman I ever dated was as dumb as a box of rocks.
    The most intelligent woman I ever dated was so absorbed in her career that she wouldn’t make enough time for a relationship.
    The youngest woman I dated wanted lots of kids (and I wanted none).

    Most importantly, my fiancée is the easiest to get along with of any woman I’ve dated. She has also proven (from the beginning of our relationship) that she was as interested in me as I was in her.

    You can’t help comparing … but you can be intelligent enough to look at the whole picture.

    still looking said: (#21)
    “Without the initial chemistry I’d have a difficult time being in an exclusive relationship with a Toyota, waiting patiently for the love to develop, while I continue to see available BMWs and Porsches driving by.”

    To paraphrase helene (#23), are you able to get a Ferrari, Porsche or BMW?

    Or to put it another way, if these women aren’t interested in a long-term relationship with you, they’re not “available”.

    Furthermore, I could go chasing after other women who are younger or better looking than my fiancée. But I wouldn’t be trading her her for someone better. I would just be trading her for someone different. Someone else who has her own drawbacks.

    I don’t think it’s smart for me to spend years finding woman after woman who is different but equivalent. If that pattern sounds appealing, then I’m clearly not interested in settling down.

  27. 27

    How does one determine the difference between a non-alpha guy who exhibits the kind, committment-oriented, good friend, etc. traits honestly and a non-alpha guy who is a people-pleaser because of insecurity issues (i.e., ultimately NOT a genuine nice guy)?
    I have been burned recently (actually 3 times) by non-alphas in this way.  While they appeared to be what Evan suggests we look for, in the end, their insecurities really hurt me in the end.  For all 3 of these guys, anyone who knew them would say that they are generally the nicest men you’d ever meet.  Most of them I didn’t see the insecurity with – or when I did, I didn’t think it was any worse than in most people (everyone has insecurities).
    I thought these were really, really great men:  committment oriented, definitely not alpha, called when they said they would, etc., kind, funny, chivalrous, nice, we matched on faith-based areas… basically what EMK says we should be looking for.
    But they either had deep-seated insecurities or a need to seek validation from an ex who hurt them and this MADE them just as unavailable and bad for me as the alphas had been.  But at least with the alphas, they were upfront and honest about what they would and wouldn’t do.  But the “nice” guys couldn’t even be honest with themselves – so how could they be totally honest with me?
    Evan – do you have any advice on how to ferret out THOSE nice guys?  I am normally drawn to “nice” guys – my ex-fiance was a “nice guy” but it turned out he was only “nice” to gain favor from people.  He tended to harbor secret resentment towards me and others because he couldn’t say “no”.  He ended up cheating.  The next “nice” guy wasn’t very emotionally aware – even though he claimed he was over his ex, he wasn’t and ended up cheating on me with his ex.  The last “nice” guy had insecurities that prevented any relationship from ever developing – he sabotaged it himself.  And I’d known him long enough to see the insecurities but never even guessed at how deep the issues were.
    How do we tell the difference between nice guys who are truly nice from their core and nice guys who are nice “by default” because they are too insecure to be an alpha or even a confident non-alpha?

  28. 28

    Karl said (#26):

    To paraphrase helene (#23), are you able to get a Ferrari, Porsche or BMW?

    The car analogy is quite apt here.  If you have enough money, you can get the Ferrari, Porsche, BMW–whether you’re speaking literally (buying a car) or figuratively (getting a woman).

    On the other hand, there’s the whole luxury car ownership issue where you rarely drive your Ferrari, or drive like your grandmother in your Porsche because you’re afraid to get in an accident, or scratch the paint.

  29. 29


    Good points.  There is a difference between being nice and being a passive-aggressive doormat.  Nice has different definitions, but I think it should really mean kind, considerate, respectful and unselfish.  People who are “nice” just to gain favors or get what they want are actually being manipulative and that is not nice at all.  That’s why its important to take time to get to know people and not overlook red flags.  

    I met a “nice” girl once.  She was shy, and didn’t like to argue or nag and seemed to be very agreeable.  However, I came to find out that she only seemed to be agreeable because she couldn’t set boundaries or express her feelings.  One big red flag was that she told me that she didn’t believe in compromise because she felt that it meant not getting what she wanted.  She would agree to things she hated and then harbor deep resentment.  She always wanted to have her way, though she didn’t verbally express it. This would eventually explode in the form of unexpected moodiness, cutting remarks or silent treatment, which is a form of manipulation.  She was a nightmare, but only a few people close to her and myself knew this.  Even her mother admitted that this girl was unpredictable.  To everyone else though she was just a sweet, shy “nice” girl.  Avoid these kinds of people because they are actually not “nice.”
    I now know how to tell the difference between a genuinely nice person and a fake one.  But I can only do so after getting to know the person through intimate interaction.  Nice people are not manipulative, and do not do “nice” things just so they can have their way.  Nice people do nice thing because they genuinely care about other people, and they hold no resentment if the other person doesn’t notice or respond the way they want. Genuine nice people also set boundaries and know how to express their feelings and stand up for themselves.  That’s why you should always take your time to get to know someone and not ignore red flags. 

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    I like the car analogy. Here’s my take on it. Say you think you want a Ferrari and cannot settle for a Toyota. At the same time, your lifestyle is such that you use your car to take your three kids and two dogs on camping trips, or commute to work an hour one way in an area where it snows five months out of the year, or drive to the middle of nowhere for weekends of rock-climbing or extreme wilderness races… you get the general idea. Assuming you like your lifestyle and don’t want to change it, what the heck would you do with a Ferrari? It is completely unusable for your way of life. In fact, with a Ferrari, you would be settling. You would be canceling your favorite activities just to accommodate your Ferrari. Are you sure you want that?

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