The One Thing You Should Absolutely NOT Do When Dating

The One Thing You Should Absolutely NOT Do When Dating
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Below is a copy of the newsletter that got emailed to thousands of women just this morning. I got a flurry of emails in response to it and would love to hear your feedback. This is long, so make sure you have 5 minutes to yourself. Ready?

Real only happens when it’s clear that a man is your committed boyfriend. Until then, it’s all speculation, hope, fantasy, desire, wishful thinking, and potential.

This email was called: The One Thing You Should Absolutely NOT Do When Dating

Have you ever had amazing chemistry with a guy?

Maybe you met in real life and flirted for two straight hours.

Maybe you’ve been emailing and talking on the phone every night for a week.

Maybe you had an effortless first date that lasted until 2am.

If you’ve been reading my newsletters long enough, you know that while such events are all encouraging, none of them qualify as “real”.

Real only happens when it’s clear that a man is your committed boyfriend.

Until then, it’s all speculation, hope, fantasy, desire, wishful thinking, and potential.

But that’s not what I’m writing about today.

What I’m writing about is what you make all of this dating stuff MEAN.

  • The guy who took your number and never called becomes the reason that you hate going to meet men out at parties and bars.
  • The guy who emailed and talked on the phone every night before fading into the distance becomes the reason that you give up on online dating.
  • The guy who took your breath away on date one and then bailed becomes the reason you are “taking a break” from dating.

See, you’re identifying each man as the problem here. But men aren’t the problem. After all, if 50% of all guys are going to disappoint, then this behavior is utterly predictable.

No, the problem is that you EXPECT anything different. As a result, you are continually derailed each time another guy fails to meet expectations.

Before you get angry at me, take a step back.

I am NOT forgiving men for being jerks.

I am NOT telling you to accept all their bad behavior.

I am NOT suggesting that you’re wrong to want guys to act with integrity.

All I AM saying is that based on your own experience, a high percentage of men disappoint.

Your solution is to understand that rejection and failure happens to EVERYONE. The people we like don’t like us. The people who like us, we don’t like.

Men should consider a new outlook as well.

After all, you ever have a good date with a guy but not feel strongly enough to see him again?

Too short, too fat, too old, too nice, too boring, not enough money, too many other dating options? There are literally dozens of legitimate reasons you could pass up a man.

So, if that’s the case, would you want each man to conclude that because of his rejection:

Women are fickle and shallow.
Women have no integrity.
Women give mixed signals.
Women don’t know what they want.
Women play games.
Women are trying to hurt men.
And, finally, “I should just give up on dating.”

A man could draw all those conclusions, but they would be patently false.

THIS is what I see over and over and over again

Your solution is not to change men.

Your solution is not to give up.

Your solution is to understand that rejection and failure happens to EVERYONE. The people we like don’t like us. The people who like us, we don’t like.

But if you stick around long enough, you can witness magic.

Just this morning, I got this email from a client.

Hi Evan!

I just had to give you this update . . . remember the phone session we had last month where we were looking at one of the guys who had written to me on Match. But then after exchanging several emails and a few phone conversations, he told me he was dating someone else and that he would call if things didn’t work out, and I was a bit upset by that. Well, 2 weeks or so after that conversation, he phoned me again, and told me that things didn’t work out with that other lady and asked me out. I agreed to a date (although I did kind of feel like an alternate, or runner up to his first choice). Nonetheless, we went out for drinks and dinner tonight.

Things seemed to go very well. Actually, for me there were fireworks (!) and we had a great evening. I rarely feel as comfortable on a first date as I did with him, like we really “clicked”. I know it’s too soon to say, since I know all too well that a great first date so often means not all that much.

So although we spent a long time getting to know one another and seemed to have mutual attraction, and rather powerful chemistry (ok, we kissed!), I will have to wait and see what happens next. But in this case, I would be REALLY surprised if we didn’t go out again. I’ll keep you posted.

Thanks again for all of your help and good advice!


Ask yourself if you’d be as positive, patient, forgiving and confident as she was.

What I love about this email is how it illustrates Lorraine’s growth as a single woman in the dating world.

She didn’t get derailed when the guy disappeared the first time. She didn’t take down her profile. She didn’t give up on She didn’t blame him for courting another woman. She gave him a second chance. She kept her expectations for the date modest. She doesn’t assume that they’re “together” because they kissed. And she has a really great chance of going on a second date with a man about whom she’s quite excited.

Ask yourself if you’d react the exact same way that Lorraine did.

Ask yourself if you’d be as positive, patient, forgiving and confident as she was.

If not – and if you’d like to approach dating like Lorraine, you can reach me here.

Have an amazing day.

Warmest wishes and much love,


His biggest crime, apparently, was that he met another woman first and was honest enough to – gasp! – tell Lorraine the truth about why he couldn’t pursue her right now. Where I’m from, that’s called integrity.

P.S. While it sometimes takes a long time, here’s someone who instantly got lucky after using my e-Cyrano profile writing service:

I have found someone wonderful. We met on RebublicanPeopleMeet. He is in advertising, lives in Santa Barbara. He said it was my story about going to Dodger Stadium w/my Dad and seeing Sandy Koufax pitch a perfect game. He’s not into sports at all, it was that he liked THE STORY. I have you to thank for that, I would never have thought about that had I not listened to your advice.

Best regards,

Not surprisingly, I had a flurry of emails off of this email, including these three:

Like this one a lot.  Particularly timely given that dude that I had such a fun time with and am annoyingly so attracted to has yet to call again.  I’m still hormonal, cranky, and butt hurt about it, but I know that in time, I will return to a place more peaceful and will agree with everything that you’ve written below. -Amy

Your latest Newsletter was frickin BRILLIANT!!!!  I’m bookmarking it. -Melissa

How can you trust or respect the guy who was already dating another gal while corresponding with Lorraine? To top it all off, he said he would call Lorraine if things didn’t work out! How much time and effort did he really give his current relationship? Was it fair to that lady? And who in the world wants to be his sloppy second? I find this man incredibly shallow and disrespectful. Where is his integrity? Will he also do this to Lorraine (have a gal on the sidelines so to speak) in case Lorraine doesn’t work out to HIS expectations? Actions speak louder than words. With the comment he made “if things don’t work out, I will call you” would have most women thinking what a jerk! Conveniently, Lorraine was available-wonder how much respect for her is going on? Being a little hard to get certainly couldn’t hurt – instead, Lorraine appeared desperate? Was this guy leading her on and then dropped the bombshell that he was dating someone? Doesn’t sound like a very secure guy! -Kristy

As you know, reasonable people can agree to disagree.

But what Kristy fails to realize is that, if she were Lorraine, her pride would have prevented her from going on a lovely date with a man who did absolutely NOTHING wrong. His biggest crime, apparently, was that he met another woman first and was honest enough to – gasp! – tell Lorraine the truth about why he couldn’t pursue her right now. Where I’m from, that’s called integrity.

Yet Kristy views this through a prism of her own pain and mistrust. She forgets that EVERYONE online is dating someone else.

You can overrreact to each seemingly personal slight, or you can deal with it in a graceful and detached manner like Lorraine.

I know where I stand.

What about you? Would you rather be “right” like Kristy or would you rather “get what you want” like Lorraine?

Join our conversation (192 Comments).
Click Here To Leave Your Comment Below.


  1. 1

    I couldn’t disagree with Kristy more as far as her logic for not giving the guy Lorraine went on a date with a 2nd chance.
    I currently have 4 or 5 “backups” because I’m focusing most of my attention on one guy at the moment. I’ve told a couple prospects the honest truth of what my delay has been in scheduling a date, and they all take it in stride asking me to contact them if and when the guy I’m focusing on doesen’t work out. Why is it that men take this stuff objectively but often women tend to get “offended” at the same information?
    The only thing that guy is guilty of is being HONEST. If he had made up a lie and said “I can’t see you right now because I’m taking care of my sick mother”… he’d be a saint, but instead he chose to be honest. I think it shows a tremendous amount about his character that he’s focusing on one woman instead of trying to juggle 10… he’s giving her honesty on top of it. Why would we fault him for this?
    Waiting to see the outcome of a handful of dates with one guy or girl while still letting your “backups” know your interested, is not “sloppy seconds”; it’s common courtesy, respectful and being authentic.

    1. 1.1

      If I were in Lorraine’s position, I would probably have given the guy a second chance. 1) Sufficient compatibility and chemistry were already established 2) He was honest, yet respectful about his status and intentions, 3) He let her go instead of stringing her along, 4) He did come back!

      Now, if I messaged a guy and there’s no response and I know he read it – no second chances. It rarely happens that they’ll ever look you up again (happened once but statistically unlikely to go anywhere anyway). They ignored you because they too recognize you’re not the one for them and vice versa. They’re looking for someone different. Anyone who treated you poorly or was irresponsible towards your feelings should not get any second chances. There was not enough chemistry and interest, there isn’t sufficient basis for a relationship.

  2. 2

    Yes, it is a dent to the ego to hear that a guy does not have you as the sole object of his affections when you first meet/first make contact with each other online.
    But if you hardly know each other, how could you reasonably expect him to immediately discard his other female “friends”? Ditto it would be unreasonable of him to expect you to discard your male “friends” when you barely know him.

    The challenge here is to find a balance between being a convenient sloppy second (being content with being anyone & everyone’s 2nd or 3rd choice, regardless of how they treat you) and a prima-donna (insisting on being “the one and only” all the time from the get-go).
    And it is quite a challenge – in my experience anyway – especially when you’re female & north of 40 age-wise. Because there just aren’t as many single guys around as when you were 22, and it’s not as simple anymore (what with divorce, children, ex-wives etc. etc. – all that stuff they call “baggage”…). So – bluntly – you don’t have as many options…. but that doesn’t mean you drop all “standards” either.

    I’d rather have honesty from a man re: his intentions – whether there are other women in his life / he intends to continue keeping other women in his life. Then I know where I stand.

    1. 2.1

      Your right.. i broke off with a guy . I known for two years. How he left his former relatioships, i he doesnt want a commitment. He is seeing other women.  I just told him i cant do this any more it hurts. But i cannot live a lie, before i get in too deep. He has no discretion.  Some men sleep with anybody. Some men use discretion. He 65. Want to date all these women. I told him goodbye yes he treated  good. I hadvto put my foot down. He either does not know what he wants. I told him i am not the holla back girl. Or seconds.  So i went on dating site. Trying to meet other  men.  Plus this man is not streetwise. He allows women to take advantage of him. Financially.  Other  wise. Hes a freaking retired lawyer go figure. I cant grasp it.



  3. 3

    I think I’d be thrilled to know I stayed in the back of his mind long enough for him to get back to me even after having a potential bad dating experience. I don’t see why that’s a bad thing. I think even more so since he was honest about taking one date at a time. That’s a very respectable thing to do, and honestly, I think I would do the same thing if I was in his position.

  4. 4

    I’m in general agreement with this post. But I just wanted to say that you may want to double-check your mailing list, as I’ve gotten newsletters from you before (including after you redid your website, I believe) but I didn’t receive this one.Checked the spam folder and it wasn’t there either.

  5. 5

    Maybe it’s just my bad luck, but my personal experience has been that there are never any single guys around regardless of age.

  6. 6

    Plain and simple, I think Lorraine is a chump and she’s setting herself up to be played. Fine, he’s being honest, and he’s entitled to date other women. No problem there. But the whole “I’ll get back to you in case the person I really want doesn’t work out for me” thing really sticks in my throat. If someone said something like that to me I would have slammed the phone down before he could even finish the sentence. As another poster stated, he knows Lorraine is hot for him so he’s the one with all the power and control. I would be very surprised if he doesn’t proceed to jerk her around like a trained monkey. I hope I’m wrong, truly I do, but . . .

    1. 6.1

      That make sense, I’m in the same situation right now one of the reasons why I am reading and hearing this and with that I agreed with your point totally. Because now I’m enlightened that why would I let someone do something like this for me in the first place I know my worth and I know I deserve someone better that will give his effort and such although I’m not being a “primadonna” it’s just that I don’t see any point sticking to a guy that would make me an option ONLY! although being honest for his part is just good but the moment he started dating you or seeing you he should have just made you his priority he should haven’t seen any other girls and just make you stand by like seriously (He’s a jerk and scum on that part) I’am well aware that people online meet a lot of people at the same time but in my opinion I would higly respect a guy who knows to prioritize one girl at a time… 🙂 Cheers!
       and Good luck to Ms. Lorraine… well everything is just a matter of choice. 

    2. 6.2

      1. OK he’s online looking for potential others while he’s dating someone else. Once someone is into this habit, he or she will have it for the rest of  their lives (it’s addictive and it shows a high amount of insecurity). While I understand their existential, sexual need to feel “safe” and “nourished” at all times.
      2.  The author of this blog wants to make us believe once you give up your pride it opens more opportunities for you to find love or a relationship. In some scenarios this may be true, in others may be a recipe for disaster teaching you you should have taken care of your dignity no matter what. So I both agree and disagree with this part, and would advise readers not to digest it as some hard science like this article is suggesting. Each story is unique and must be interpreted in a unique way.

      3. The girl has been out on just one date, so what’s the hype? First dates are often fantasy.

      4. In the comments section, I have found some contradictory statements such as “I am focused on one guy but have 4 or 5 as backups”. If you have these backups then you are NOT focused on just one guy. It’s oxymoron.

    3. 6.3
      April r

      But that isn’t what he said. You’re reading your own bias into it. He said he was currently pursuing another person. He was honest in saying if he wasn’t or if the current focus didn’t work out he’d like to pursue Lorriane. That’s pretty open, real, and upfront of him to not string multiple women along. Nothing he said indicated his pursuit was better than or more desirable than Lorriane, just happened to be going on before he met Lorriane.

    4. 6.4

      Your right.. i broke off with a guy . I known for two years. How he left his former relatioships, i he doesnt want a commitment. He is seeing other women.  I just told him i cant do this any more it hurts. But i cannot live a lie, before i get in too deep. He has no discretion.  Some men sleep with anybody. Some men use discretion. He 65. Want to date all these women. I told him goodbye yes he treated  good. I hadvto put my foot down. He either does not know what he wants. I told him i am not the holla back girl. Or seconds.  So i went on dating site. Trying to meet other  men.  Plus this man is not streetwise. He allows women to take advantage of him. Financially.  Other  wise. Hes a freaking retired lawyer go figure. I cant grasp it. Lorraine is a chump i would tell him to go to hell this is not Macy’s  you cant buy me and return me. After you worn me..


      Best to get out now!! Hes a wanna be. A loser  in my book.



    5. 6.5

      I’d be the same Jayne. I wouldn’t want to be made to feel like ‘sloppy seconds’. The type of guy that would say “I’ll get back to you if it doesn’t work out with my other dates” would seem like an egotistical jerk!

    6. 6.6

      I just did this to a woman.  I started seeing someone and then another contacted me.  I told her that I was getting to know someone and if it didn’t work out that I would contact her.  Things didn’t work out with the first person and now I’m happily seeing the 2nd one.  There was nothing personal about what I told her and I even apologized to her for it and she told me not to worry, that’s how it goes.  I thought it was pretty cool of her.  It’s not like I looked them both over and picked one over the other and then settled on the runner-up after the 1st place person didn’t work out.  Online dating is tough enough without letting a delicate ego get in the way.

      1. 6.6.1
        Emily, the original


        The order of things was different for your experience. You were already dating someone and another contacted you. It didn’t work out with the one you were ALREADY dating, so you contacted the other one.

        With the OP, she writes: But then after exchanging several emails and a few phone conversations, he told me he was dating someone else

        Why would it take several emails and a few phone conversations to tell her he was seeing someone else? Surely, he would have known that in their initial communication. It sounds like (though I’m not sure) he started corresponding with the other woman at the same time (or around the same time) of his initial communication with the OP. He chose to date the other woman first.


        1. ScottH

          maybe I didn’t explain it correctly but my experience was very similar to Lorraine’s.  The only difference is that we didn’t talk on the phone like she did.  We exchanged a few emails while I was seeing the first one.  I really like this 2nd one but it’s still very early.

        2. Emily, the original


          But why did he tell the OP about the other woman at all? He reconnected with the OP just 2 weeks later! Why did he chuck the OP for the other woman so early in the game? He had no idea if it would even go anywhere … and it didn’t. Why not just ask both the other woman and the OP out … and a few weeks into it determine which woman was a better fit … or maybe neither was, and move on. His announcement to the OP was premature and would have rubbed me the wrong way. I assume a man is dating other women. He doesn’t need to tell me unless he decides to get serious with one of them.

        3. danielle

          i agree with emily. why was ANYTHING necessary to say.  i mean did he become exclusive with this woman and then dump her in 2 weeks?! why did he have to mention anyone and why even reply to a message online if you are pursuing someone else and you are not interested in dating someone?? i would just not reply if i wasn’t looking!  it sounds like these men want to keep women on the back burner just in case and to me that is a turn off.  sounds weird as hell to me

      2. 6.6.2
        Emily, the original

        Also, we don’t know if he broke things off with the other woman or if she did. It puts a different spin on things if the other woman turned him down. Then the OP did kind of win by default.

    7. 6.7

      i agree with you jayne.  we would need to know how this relationship ended or progressed to really gauge this situation because from my view point, he’s arrogant as hell. no thanks.

  7. 7

    Seems obvious to me there is a huge difference between exchanging a few emails and phone calls with someone and dating them for months – a distinction Lorrain grasped, but Kristy apparantly doesn’t. The guy in question was completely honorable.

    Sloppy seconds? ?? How many times have you dated someone for a few weeks, couple months only to conclude they just aren’t for you? What is wrong with giving someone you “met” earlier a chance to get to know you if that were the case? I haven’t done internet dating, but I thought the presumption was anyone you met via that venue was dating others unless they said otherwise. And not to expect exclusivity from the start. Something to be aware of in offline dating as well.

    I’d say the one thing you should absolutely not do when dating is to assume your particular expectations are the same as someone elses without them being verbalized.

  8. 8
    Sam P.

    I’m with everyone else on the subject of giving someone a second chance who at one point had to put you on hold for another relationship. Sometimes you might meet a great person a week after another great person. If you have integrity, and you want to watch out for your own self-interest too in case the first relationship ends after a few weeks, you don’t date two people simultaneously. If you’ve said no to someone after a first date because you met somebody else that person is going to have a harder time forgiving you than if you put him or her on hold a few days before a date was supposed to take place. A rejection hurts worse after you’ve gotten dressed for, invested hope in, driven, and possibly paid for a first date than it hurts if it’s just phone correspondence that’s being suspended.

    I email multiple girls at a time, but only date one, so sometimes I have to suspend things. I don’t like doing it, but I think I’m doing the right thing for them, me, and the girl I actually am seeing.

  9. 9

    When you’re online dating, it’s always best to have a pair and a spare. I don’t know where I heard that line–it might have been here. But the point is that we all need two or three irons in the fire in case one doesn’t work out. And then if it doesn’t, the rejection doesn’t hurt so much knowing you have two other guys in the wings!
    Maybe people don’t like being thought of that way. But I once told a guy who emailed me that I was seeing someone, and if he didn’t mind, I would write to him if the other fella didn’t pan out. The other fella didn’t pan out, and guy #2 and I went out on two dates.
    He didn’t pan out either. But, it was good to know that option exists.
    Whenever I get rejected by someone I really like, I remind myself how nice it is to feel those sparkly feelings for someone else, even if they don’t return them. How often does that happen? Not often enough.

    1. 9.1

      What a very positive spin.  “Sparkly Feelings.”  Haha. Well done. 🙂

  10. 10

    =( Jayne. You sound like you’ve had some bad experiences, but you could just use your instinct after a first date to really determine if it was a bad idea. Why not? Give it a try. If he’s nice, great. If he’s what you said he could be, then let him go.

  11. 11

    Jayne- #6-

    You said it perfectly. I’m in total agreement…I’d rather be a nun than someone’s backup. (At this point, I’m closer to the first one anyway….LOL ).

    1. 11.1

      Theres not honey they are either dead. Druggies or viagra taking old farts. Really. Or gay . Im like jerry Seinfeld.. what is the deal?

  12. 12

    I think it’s important to delineate between whether or not the two of you have actually met in-person and gone out, and whether or not this has just been a phone/internet experience. If the latter, I definitely think it’s okay to be put on hold. Maybe I started corresponding with a guy earlier and so we went on a date earlier. Or the correspondence with both guys began around the same time but one guy asked me out sooner. If I was the type of person who only went out with 1 person at a time and asked to put the 2nd guy on hold, it had nothing to do with the 2nd person at all, and only timing. Now if you’ve actually been on a date with the person, you are clearly their second choice and timing didn’t have much to do with it. In this case I can understand why some people would rather not date the person again in the future.

  13. 13

    I agree w Jayne #6. Though it’s true, you meet someone like this and you don’t know each other and most people DO do this, there’s something to be said about being classy when handing the situation.

    Women like a guy who makes them feel special, especially at the beginning, as the man is the one who should be trying to impress the woman. Letting her know she’s on your B list won’t cut it.

    Besides, I don’t meet up w a guy and tell him how I’ve been dating numerous others from Match so let’s see how he stacks up – I concentrate on my time w him.

    Honesty schmonesty – this guy should have kept his mouth shut then asked her out when appropriate. And then said, “sorry I’ve been out of touch, was caught up w things but was wondering if you’d like to go out sometime”. Then, if things go well, tell her once they get to know each other.

  14. 14

    Even though that sentence “I’ll get back to you if things dont work out” does seem a bit disrespectful, i guess its only the way you say it makes it so. I have told men i cant date them because i am dating someone else. Only i don’t say i will get back to them. Its upto them if they are still available. (I guess saying i’ll get back to you if it does not work out seems like the guy does not expect you to be with anyone else.)
    But still there is nothing wrong with forgiving people and giving them a second chance. They might surprise you… Keeping grudges never gives good results. You are the only one who ends up hurt in the end with no real mistake of the other person if you think about it objectively.

  15. 15

    Dating is sort of like business, as illustrated by this email. Sometimes the timing isn’t right, but if you keep the connection alive and stay open minded the opportunity can happen later on with all the fireworks you want. Bravo to Lorraine for sticking with it.

  16. 16

    I personally think that Lorraine’s kind of desperate. Sadly, a lot of women in this country are, right now, because of the lack (whether it’s true or a result of the media circus is another topic) of eligible men. So, when people are desperate, they hold on to crumbs. And I think being someone’s backup is crumbs, regardless of whether you’ve met them, etc. And of course, the way the guy explained it to her was completely insulting, imho. If he’s talking to her like this now, what kind of stuff is he going to be saying if they get more deeply involved?

    I know everyone talks about compromise as a necessary part of dating, but there’s compromise, and there’s behavior that smacks of low self-worth (or fear that no other man is going to come along). I think this is more of the latter.

    1. 16.1

      So right!!

  17. 17

    @ Downtowngirl #13

    How should he have kept his mouth shut and asked her out when it was appropriate? They had exchanged a few emails and calls – should he have abrubtly ceased all contact with her without explanation when he decided to focus on someone else? Only to call her out of the blue for a date weeks later when he realized that relationship wasn’t going to work out?

    The disappearing, then reappearing act would have put me off much more than the honesty this guy showed. He DID ask her out when it was appropriate and I imagine he did so knowing that she might have found someone else herself during the interval they weren’t communication.

    Really what is to be pissed off about? They hadn’t even met in person yet for Pete’s sake.

  18. 18

    I think the people (including Lorraine) who are offended by the idea of being “sloppy seconds” need to get a grip. Should Evan’s wife be angry that she’s “sloppy 318th”? Solipsism much?
    Guess what, every time you meet someone new, both you and that other person have dated LOTS of other people. And since the whole point of online dating is to be able to meet a bunch of people at once so you can get through the numbers game faster, you can’t blame the guy for corresponding with – or even going out casually – with more than one person at once.
    It’s a little shocking to me that people are actually suggesting that he be disingenuous with her in order to protect her feelings. It seems to me that the guy did her a favor, both by being honest and by putting her in a situation that highlights her own self-centeredness, because if she doesn’t get over that she’s never going to be a great partner for anyone.

  19. 19

    @A-L #12- I agree with you.
    If Lorraine and the guy had already met and he decided to pick woman X over her, then clearly she came up a bit short in his eyes and it would be reasonable for her to feel slighted.
    But since they only had phone and email correspondance his decision to continue dating the woman he had already met, in order to see if it went anywhere, doesn’t seem strange to me at all. And Lorraine’s acceptance of a date with him after the fact doesn’t automatically make her desperate in my eyes.

  20. 20

    How do you know Lorraine wasn’t trolling for guys herself during the time in between the guy’s “you’re my backup” call and his “wanna go out” call? Would that be dishonest or desperate? I don’t think so.

  21. 21

    1) Where do you find all these guys to date – so that you have back-ups and spares and all that?
    2) How can you have such high expectations for a FIRST date? You don’t even know the guy, let alone hold some special place in your heart for him! Why should you expect him to feel anything for you, given the same set of facts.

    I can relate to this a bit – but I usually wait until the third date to decide if the guy is worth my while. I guess that’s way too fast and maybe I should be totally open to other options and uncommitted in my affections until I get an engagement ring (?) Being that I don’t even seem to be getting to the first date anymore that seems like a long way off.

    I did that one thing you say I should absolutely not do – I pretty much gave up on dating – online or otherwise. I became cynical and hopeless. Not because the few guys I went out with rejected me but because nobody but old men, horny 23-year-olds, bitter bearded men, and creepy foreigners ask me out anymore. I’m not going to go out on a date with someone who isn’t right for me or turns me off from the very beginning. What’s the point?

    When women are giving up on love – believe me, there’s good reason for it!

    1. 21.1

      So, how old are you?

      1. 21.1.1
        Karl R


        This thread is about seven years old.  However, on the next page Heather implied that she was in her mid-to-late thirties (at that time).

  22. 22
    Karl R

    Jayne said: (#6)
    “I think Lorraine is a chump and she’s setting herself up to be played. […] If someone said something like that to me I would have slammed the phone down before he could even finish the sentence.”
    Sayanta said: (#11)
    “I’d rather be a nun than someone’s backup.”

    You two really sound like you have low self-esteem. If I buy a couple books from the bookstore, I’m going to read the one that seems most interesting first (based on the description on the back, the cover illustration, the author). I won’t know which one is my favorite book until I read both of them.

    And if someone decides to bypass me when all they’ve done is glanced at the cover, read the back and skimmed the table of contents, why should that affect my self-esteem? They clearly haven’t taken the time to get to know me. And I think my best qualities are the internal ones.

    If they decide to come back and get to know me better at a later date, that’s fine … if I’m still available.

    Sayanta said: (#16)
    “when people are desperate, they hold on to crumbs. And I think being someone’s backup is crumbs,”

    Do you realize the easiest way to avoid holding onto crumbs? It’s to have a backup (of some sort). I’m in an exclusive relationship right now, and I have no expectation that it will end anytime soon. But if it does, I know who I will ask out next. She doesn’t know that I would ask her out; so even if events do transpire that way, she might not see herself as a backup.

    And it’s largely an accident of timing that I ended up dating my girlfriend instead of this other woman. I had been planning to ask the other woman out, but decided to postpone doing so for a few weeks. (I was about to go on a cruise, and wanted to avoid any ethical dilemmas if I met someone on the cruise. I started dating my girlfriend on that cruise.)

    If my current relationship becomes toxic for some reason, there’s no reason for me to cling to the crumbs of that relationship. I have another option (and another option after that, and so on). When a previous girlfriend pulled a two week vanishing act, I exercised that option.

    And this other woman might not be available in the future. That’s a possibility I chose to accept when I decided to pursue a serious relationship with my girlfriend.

    I’ve been on both sides of this situation, and I don’t have a problem with it either way.

    Jayne said: (#6)
    “he knows Lorraine is hot for him so he’s the one with all the power and control.”

    How do people dream up these crazy ideas? It’s dating, not a wrestling match.

    If I’m attracted to a lady, I let her know. If she feels the same way, she’ll let me know. If she doesn’t, I’ll find someone else I’m attracted to. (See my previous comments about options.)

    A woman can’t control me just because I find her attractive. She can’t even influence me until I trust her … and that trust has to be earned over time. Until then, there has to be a certain degree of quid pro quo. If there’s not, then it has the makings of a toxic relationship, so I exercise my other options.

    Lorraine said: (original post)
    “he told me he was dating someone else and that he would call if things didn’t work out,”
    Sayanta said: (#16)
    “the way the guy explained it to her was completely insulting, imho.”

    Essentially the man was saying that it was his responsibility to initiate the next contact. What should he have done instead? Asked her to check back with him every few weeks to see whether he was available? Only someone truly desperate would agree to do that.

    1. 22.1

      The man insulted her. Men think with their penis. Bottom line. Playa, some men are ho’s thats it. People make things complicated. This whole dating thing can suck really. Women are not settling  anymore. But you still have the vulnerable  ones out there. A  man is better than no man. Give me a break!!. Im not happy with the man i was with.. in my heart. We had good dates . But he has a issue i cant fix. Its called sex addiction.  See ya!.

  23. 23

    @Shalini #14 — my point exactly. It’s not the fact that he chose to date someone else that is disrespectful. It’s the fact that he presumed that Lorraine would have no other prospects so of course she would wait around to see if he came back. And lucky her, he did. (Insert sarcasm here.) If he had just said “I’ve met someone else, I’m sorry, ” that would have been an entirely different story. Hurtful, maybe, but not disrespectful. THEN if things hadn’t worked out with the first woman and he wanted to take a chance on whether Lorraine was still available, he could give her a call. And she would accept. Or not. But this assumption of “I’ve got Lorraine as backup” is just rude and arrogant. Then again, he DID have Lorraine as backup, so what do I know?

  24. 24

    Ok so since he was dating someone before her, we should expect him to to just lie and say he wasn’t dating someone else or just let the one he was dating before her go? Or are you all assuming that because she wasn’t immediately chosen over the other woman that she wasn’t as “good?” Judging by the intelligence of the people that seem to post here regularly, I know that you all understand that no one really expects to be “exclusive” directly after a first date. Dating in the first 1-2 weeks is pretty much fair game and even then, it depends. He could’ve taken on two women at one time, but instead he devoted his attention to one of them. AND he was *gasp* honest about it. We never would’ve even heard this story if he hadn’t come forward and said something. If there is a better way of telling someone “thanks, but no thanks” why not just come right out and say it? I thought it may have seemed harsh, but if you think about it. How else could you really say it? I thought about it for a while, but I tend to be a pretty straight forward person. So that seemed like the best way in my opinion. Sometimes you can’t sugarcoat things, and we really should be encouraging people to be honest not the other way around. I don’t mean to sound rude, but I am really confused as to which alternative would be better! >.<

  25. 25

    ALSO, wouldn’t you be pretty thrilled if you were in the other woman’s position?(the woman he was currently dating) Maybe she didn’t know, but if she did know that he turned down other dates because he wanted to try with her only? That’s the risk you take when you date someone online. The whole principle is to find people to date, but to actually find a man that accepts one date at a time?! Or knowing that you constantly have competition, which you probably do anyways. But at least it’s not as cut throat. And REALISTICALLY… do you really think you’ve never dated a guy that was secretly dating other women? really? REALLY? And you couldn’t be guilty of the same thing? If you’re not the type to date two people at a time (I’m not either. People drive me insane as it is.) then how would you tell another man/woman that you like them but you’re kind of already dating one person? Ok… I fail to see the down side here. I’ve tried. What is it just, ladies?! Again,… not trying to be rude. so… breathe. vielen danken!

  26. 26

    Nonsense with this “sloppy seconds” garbage this is DATING. A couple of years ago I was supposed to meet an online woman for an initial meeting drink and in the meantime a woman that I had met at a singles event a year earlier and I ran into each other and started to date. So I was honest with the online gal because I don’t date more than 1 woman at a time for logical reasons that are too numerous to name here (ie: time,money,scheduling conflicts, I just told her “I want to see where this other thing goes” and when it didn’t after a few weeks the online gal still had her profile up so I called her and we dated a couple times.The point is why should MY or anyone’s value be lowered for being honest. You “sloppy seconds” people have to get with the program and learn how dating,especially online dating works and be a little more open minded.

  27. 27

    I reiterate: WHERE do you find these backup people?

    This is what I have never understood about dating. My grandmother got on my case once for complaining that a guy rejected me after I made it known to him that I was interested. She said I should be letting the men court me. My sister, listening in on this, looked at her with a very straight face and said, “Yeah, but, where are all these men?” My grandmother had no response.

    There are certain limitations for a woman when she has to bide her time and wait for the men to do the asking out. For me that limitation has meant I don’t date a lot when I’m single. For the lack of ‘back up’ dates, I have become something of a serial monogamist without dating skills, since I have gotten the clear impression that I don’t have a lot of options.

    I think what’s rubbing women the wrong way on this topic is applying our point of view to the subject. Men tend to have the back up dates, we don’t, or perceive that we don’t because we aren’t in control of the first stage of courtship. We don’t do the initial selection – we have to wait to see who will ask us out and go from there. It may be nature, but that doesn’t make it fair, and that’s what ticks us off and makes us insecure.

    1. 27.1

      “WHERE do you find these backup people”

      Uh, maybe the same place you found the first one? Or maybe, in the real world? Seriously, if you want options, you have to expend your horizons. Dating online? Try another site, or maybe date and socialize in the real world too. Dating real world only? Try putting a profile on an online site. It pays to have options, not only as to individuals, but in dating marketplaces as well. You’ll met different groups of people on different sites  online, or in different real world venues. If you’re gonna put all your eggs in one basket, you better be real happy with that basket. Otherwise, just like playing the stock market, it pays to diversify. 🙂

    2. 27.2

      Based on my experience, I meet single men at work, gym, local park where I run, dating app, yoga class, ashram, Whole Foods, lakes/rivers/ocean where I kayak, bike trail, The Rockies or towns where I climb/camp. I was in Boulder over the 4th of July holiday and met a guy I shared pizza with. They are everywhere. Be your authentic, gorgeous self and men will show up. 🙂 Have a great summer. N.

  28. 28

    I still don’t see how this is offensive, Jayne. I understand what you’re saying, and I have to tell you. I don’t think he meant it that way. It’s not going to kill her to go out on one date to find out what he’s really like. You couldn’t make that judgement based on a sentence. Maybe he did…. but MAYBE HE DIDN’T. There’s no way to be certain. (unless you give him a shot 😉 ) Don’t be so hard on guys, Jayne! Give a guy a chance. 🙂

  29. 29

    What, in that brief letter leads some of you to believe he presumed Lorraine had no other prospects and would anxiously be waiting for him to pop back into her life for crumbs? Why should he presume such a thing? Wouldn’t it be more logical for him to wonder if she found someone else while he was unavailable? (And took a chance she hadn’t?) What makes you think Lorraine was sitting around hoping he would call? Why don’t you think she might have been communicating with other men? After all, she’d never even gone out with the guy.

    Re-read her letter. I think some of you are projecting big time on this.

  30. 30

    Generally, when a man says he’s met someone else, he’s letting you down gently.

    On the other hand, I’ve dated people who continued to date others while seeing me, and men who focused on me exclusively. I’d prefer the latter, even if things don’t work out. And most dates/relationships don’t.

    I doubt that Lorraine’s friend assumed that she would automatically be available. He just wanted to know if it would be ok to contact her in case things didn’t work out with the other person.That’s what dating is for, right? She could easily have met someone else or changed her mind in the interim and it would have been his loss.

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