Why You’re a Hypocrite, I’m a Hypocrite, and We Both Have to Change

a man playing the guitar under the heat of the sun

I was once asked by a website called 43Things to offer my shortest relationship advice. To the best of my recollection, I said something to the effect of:

“Single people should put 30 minutes a day into finding love. Couples should put 5 minutes a day into gratitude for their partners. If you do this, you WILL have love this year.”

Simple. Truthful. Effective.

“Single people should put 30 minutes a day into finding love. Couples should put 5 minutes a day into gratitude for their partners. If you do this, you WILL have love this year.”

And yet this made me incredibly conscious of my own hypocrisy.

Last year, I was taking guitar lessons and practicing twice a week.

No longer.

Last year, I was swimming twice a week for cardio.

No longer.

Last year, I was reading books for pleasure.

No longer.


Because I bought a house and have been busy furnishing and fixing it up.

Because I run a small business and have a lot of projects on my plate.

Because I have a wife and baby who need time and attention.

This is all true. And it’s all a big, lame excuse for my lack of discipline.

Fact: I don’t start work until 9am. I can still work out in the mornings.

Fact: I don’t coach past 5pm. I have plenty of time for guitar at the end of the day.

Fact: My wife is the coolest person on earth who will always give me “me time”.

As a result, I have to recognize and own that I haven’t been doing what’s “best” for me, I’m merely been doing what comes “easiest”.

It’s easier to throw myself into fantasy football than it is to start a 600-page novel or drag myself out of bed at 7am to go to the gym.

Yet I’d be happier if I took on the hard task of plugging in my amp or hiring a personal trainer or cracking open a book.

There are no legitimate excuses. Instead of prioritizing productivity and future satisfaction, I’ve taken the easy way out, eating dinner at 8:30pm and watching Modern Family on the couch with my wife.

Until today.

Today, I found a new gym that’s 12 minutes from my house and got a 3-day guest pass to try it out.

Today, I went on Craigslist to look for guitar teachers in the San Fernando Valley.

Today, I bought my next big novel, “Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell”.

So what are YOU going to do today? Are you going to claim to want to find love, but not subscribe to a dating site? Are you going to claim to want to find love, but not go on any dates?

So what are YOU going to do today?

Are you going to claim to want to find love, but not subscribe to a dating site?

Are you going to claim to want to find love, but not go on any dates?

Are you going to claim to want to find love, but not give any guys a chance?

Are you going to claim to want to find love, but not try ANY of the things I’m telling you to try?

If so, you’re a hypocrite, plain and simple.

I don’t blame you. After all, I’m JUST LIKE you.

But I’m changing my ways because I’ve got to. I will NOT be in shape, play guitar or become a better writer by sitting on my ass watching TV.

And YOU will not find love if you keep doing what you’re doing.

Take a look at your life.

How many dates have you gone on in the past 3 months?

How many third dates have you gone on in the past 3 months?

How many committed relationships have you found in the past 3 years?

If you’re not satisfied with your love life, it’s time to do something different.

And all I ask is 30 minutes a day — the same amount of time you spend putting on makeup, commuting to work, watching TV, reading InStyle magazine, whatever.

I’ve staked my entire livelihood on the premise that ANYONE can have success online, thereby avoiding matchmakers, blind date set-ups, and praying for divine intervention.

Just know that change happens when you want it to happen.

Until then, you can tell yourself you’re too busy. But you and I both know better.

You’re probably not in love right now because you don’t want it bad enough.

Join our conversation (33 Comments).
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  1. 21

    In the end I think it is really about prioritizing what is most important to you. If you really want to succeed at something challenging, it takes hard work. It boils down to how badly you want it and what you are willing to do to achieve it.

  2. 22

    Evan –  

    “dating sucks, men suck, and it’s all doomed to failure” – I certainly didn’t start out with that attitude, on the contrary I approached it with the same “if you make the effort you will get the results ” attitude that I apply to other things..
    .”Half the population is male!” I used to declare to the “there-are- no-good-men-
    out-there” brigade, “How difficult can it be??!” I maintained this attitude for a long time, but have reluctantly had to face the fact that there is more to it than effort…

    What’s my part in this? Well, I’m a woman over 40! I am also not prepared to relocate for a  man AGAIN so can only search within my local area. I want to date some one within my own age group, not someone who looks and behaves like my dad.   

    I have bought ” why he disappeared” and “finding the one online, have redone my profile with a “show don’t tell” approach and have accepted dates with anyone who can spell who meets at least SOME of my criteria.

    I’m not perfect, but I’m certainly doing my part….and yet, still single… All this effort in ary other field and I’d be sorted by now.

  3. 23

    Can someone explain to me what  makes a man  “emotionally unavailable”?

  4. 24

    “I have had some heart pounding make out sessions       but I don’t feel an urge to see them when we are not together.   I don’t have that “I really want to hang out with XXX” at all.   I keep going on more dates to see if that will happen, and it doesn’t.”

    That is a natural response of the body to emotional experiences. It is similar to the law of diminishing returns in economics. And to the term tachyphylaxis in medicine. Or physiologic dependence in psychiatry. Those terms describe a natural phenomenon. Your emotional or physical response to any stimuli tend to diminish over time even if the same quantity of stimuli continue to be applied.  When you talk to those who are addicted to drugs, their experiences are very similar.  It   explains they need higher doses of the drugs over time to produce the same amount of lift.  
    I am not in any way suggesting that you addicted, but just making an observation that it is natural to have a reduced response to any stimuli over time.  
    The cause? You’re focusing on the wrong things. A relationship is not meant to be to give us a high. It should, first and foremost, be a companionship thing.
    Solution? Look for a man who possesses character, not merely excite your senses, and commit to him.     

  5. 25

    I’m not sure if Evan will allow this, given some of his replies, but for Zann and Margaret — I just wanted to say that, though I’m only 36, I’m at the same place as you because I don’t want kids.   There’s some general sense (because of our culture?) that I should be looking, so I come here, am on some sites, try to meet guys, etc, but I don’t think I want it bad enough.

    And that’s OK.   Evan may not agree, given his area of expertise, but for some of us it is OK.   (Though he may wonder why we’re here…)
    I just thought I’d mention the Living Single blog at Psychology Today, since you may fall into the “single-at-heart” category Bella DePaulo talks about.

    1. 25.1

      That’s my thing, not wanting it badly enough. I don’t know how to change that. I have always been the lone wolf type. That may just be hard-wired into my nature and not something I can change, even if I do get lonely at times.

  6. 26

    helene 22 & 26
    Something to consider, I had to and I think probably most people have to at some point: The thing about dating is that unfortunately, it’s not all about the external effort.   Those other things you mentioned – buying a house, being successful at work, losing weight – have very little to do with what is going on inside you, and what kind of a person you are.   Are you processing feedback that you are getting from men, and even friends and family, honestly?   I find that what people who are furiously putting effort into finding someone miss is that: feedback. Inner work that could make you someone people want to be in a relationship with.
    I have found that, in general, if you are sexy, fun to be around, easygoing and appreciative of him, good men can’t get enough of you.

  7. 27

    Well… Got the message… And the last three sentences are exactly what I am going to tell him!

    He can’t always be so busy… What I do not understand is why he encouraged me…? It must be more spectacular to be grounded when you are lifted on the second layer of atmoshpere…

  8. 28

    I think the difference between those other types of activities and actively dating, at least for me, is that dating has been emotionally exhausting, not the act of dating and meeting new men, but the disappointments. I have to step back every few months and take a break, but when I’m in the mode of dating I approach is very strongly, when I’m on dating websites I have at least 3-4 dates per week and I do this for about a month before it just feel wiped out again. I have lost three sizes and am making myself a professional artist so I certainly have the drive but I also don’t find either of those things emotionally taxing. Dating is also dependent on another person to be successful so in that part putting yourself out there is the best you can do but ultimately it depends on someone else to make it a successful venture. I got out of a four year relationship a little over a year aj because he would not commit to a real future. Of course he finds a girlfriend three months later and I’m stuck in dating hell with nothing but disappointments. I’ve opened myself up to men outside my usual preferences, and have had a number of dates with men I meet in person but they all seem to disappear after a few dates or just one. It’s been exhausting.

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