Men Look for Sex and Find Love. Women Look for Love and Find Sex.

couple kissing on the beach

Hi Evan,

I’ve been online dating for a while now, and I’ve started to notice a trend with a lot of the men who have contacted me. By way of background, I just ended a three month relationship with a man whom I met online because he did not want to be exclusive. He claimed that he didn’t want to date other people but he was hurt several times in the past by cheating girlfriends and didn’t want me to go thru the hurt again. For my part, I realize I’m at fault for waiting three months before asking for some type of commitment.

Hindsight has pointed out that on his profile he listed he wanted a “casual relationship” as opposite to my listing of wanting a “serious relationship”. So now I’m back on the online dating scene and I’m paying better attention to what guys are saying they are looking for in their profile. Several guys put in their profile that they are looking for “friends” only, one guy even put that he’s too busy for a relationship right now.

Is this a case of semantics? Are these guys really just wanting to take it slow and be friends first? If they are really just looking for friends, why don’t they go on a free site like MySpace, Facebook, or Friendster? If it’s just a clever way to find booty calls, why don’t they go on Adultfriendfinder or Craigslist? If I want a bona fide relationship, should I just ignore these men when they contact me? Has looking for a relationship on a dating website become taboo?

Thanks for your insight,


Brace yourself for a shocking revelation!

Men very often don’t know what they want.

Just because he has fun with you doesn’t mean he wants you as his girlfriend

This shouldn’t come as a surprise to you. You could probably tell from our actions. But it’s true. Most men can tell a story about how they weren’t looking for anything serious and then fell in love. And most men can tell a story about how they were looking for love, but discovered they had a lot of fun being single. (Most women could probably say the same.)

Therefore, you have to take any information in an online dating profile with a grain of salt. It’s not that he DOESN’T mean what he wrote; it just means he meant it AT THAT MOMENT. This is in accordance with the way we act on a date as well. Just because we think you’re attractive and we show you a good time doesn’t mean we’re actually INTERESTED. It just means we’re being “in the moment”. Unfortunately, most women aren’t familiar with this concept until it’s much too late. That’s why half of my questions are versions of: “He sleeps with me, but-“, “He says he loves me, but-“, “We had an amazing date, but-“. One of the most important – and frustrating – concepts that women need to get about men is that most things have NO meaning, beyond what’s being conveyed in the moment. Just because he wants a serious relationship doesn’t mean he wants one with YOU. Just because he has fun with you doesn’t mean he wants you as his girlfriend. Just because he thinks you’re sexy doesn’t mean he wants to commit to only you. Each time you think this is the case, you’re setting yourself up for heartbreak.

And so we go back to Laura’s insightful question – what does it all MEAN?

Well, I can only speak for myself here by pretending to be a guy dating online (I know, it’s a reach. Bear with me).

Let’s say he’s serious about falling in love. He does onto a dating site and lists that he’s looking for marriage. Week after week, he dates a lot of attractive women, none of whom feel like they will be his future wife. Which leaves him a number of questions that I’d like you to consider:

  • 1) Is he supposed to NEVER hook up with any of them? No kissing, no foreplay, no sex with anyone that he doesn’t think he wants to marry? Do you think the standard should be: heavy petting is only in exclusive relationships, or not at all?
  • 2) If he DOES hook up but has no intention of committing to an individual woman, does that make him a bad guy?
  • 3) How should he notify a woman that he is not serious about her before they start a physical relationship? A written warning? Or perhaps a canned speech that while he finds his date attractive and will gladly sleep with her for a few weeks, he’s actively continuing to pursue other women in the meantime? How’s that gonna go over?
  • 4) Finally, if he does, in fact, want to hook up from time to time, does that, in any way, mean that he’s NOT looking for a serious relationship?

These are real considerations that go through the heads of real guys who want real relationships. But just because a man aspires to love doesn’t mean he’s above the lust and passion that comes from short-term flings.

So how are men supposed to navigate this space with any integrity?

Men look for sex and find love. Women look for love and find sex.

That’s right. We can’t. We’re damned if we do and damned if we don’t.

You may feel that: “I just want a guy to be honest with me. Believe me, I sometimes want to have sex, too, but I just want to know where I stand. I don’t want to get hurt. He should be man enough to tell me the truth.”

Sorry. We’ve got a different truth.

The truth is that we’re attracted to you in this moment.

The truth is that we’re not sure if we want a relationship with you.

The truth is that if we tell you that we don’t know what’s going to happen in the morning, nothing will ever happen.

So we say nothing. And hope that you don’t get too attached.

Why don’t we go to Adultfriendfinder for easy, no-strings-attached sex? Because it’s kind of skeezy. Because there’s no challenge and no human connection. Because we actually want someone that we can talk to, vent to, and hang out with.

So understand, Laura: while it might work for YOU if commitment-confused men restricted themselves exclusively to the “adult” personals, it doesn’t actually work for MEN.

Men look for sex and find love. Women look for love and find sex.

The exceptions don’t disprove the rule.

If you find this confusing and want to learn how to navigate this emotional minefield, I am here to help. There ARE good men out there. There are relationship-oriented men out there. And often the difference between the players and the committers is YOU. The right woman at the right time can make a man want to stop playing. I know. It happened to me.

So if you’re done spinning your wheels on the wrong men and want to get an edge with the right men, click here to learn more.

Warmest wishes,

Your friend,


Join our conversation (525 Comments).
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  1. 1

    One thing to know about men, is that we love the thrill of the hunt. And if women are being honest, they loved to be chased.

    So understanding that, know that men’s first prize is to have sex (I’m sure some guy out there will say “no”, but trust me, this applies to the other 99.9%). Once we’ve achieved that, you have to give us another hunt to go after. If you immediately go into relationship mode right after our first sexual encounter, we will have a tendency to lose interest. Why? Because there is nothing left to chase after.

    If however, after having sex with us, you pull away some, you’ll be surprised how hard we will try to earn your adoration. That’s something we want just as much as sex.

    Is it a game? Sure. But human attraction goes far beyond rational thinking and logic. You have to excite the animal within as well.

    1. 1.1

      True to a point. The thrill of the hunt is all part of the passion and equation, but what matters at the end of the day, regardless of pursuit methods or the games employed, is chemistry and connection. You can one, both or neither.

      The best case scenario for both men and women, are when both are present in any relationship.   If either of these are lacking, so then too, will any future relationship. Period.  

      Over-analyzing things   is what gets people caught in the whole relationship web. it isn’t rocket-science for either sex. Find chemistry, find a connection and enjoy.     

      1. 1.1.1
        Jenny Ravelo

        I agree. We might not be consciously aware of that but people, specially men, take little time to figure out if they are interested in a woman for LTR or not. Things not always work out with the women they really want but, when they see a woman for sex and nothing more, it’s very unlikely that they’ll change their priorities with her. Sad truth is that chasing can make a woman more interesting, but no amount of chasing can make interesting a woman that a man doesn’t like as a LTP.

      2. 1.1.2

        So if you love the thrill of hunt, that does mean we, women, can make men fall by not telling you guys that we want a relationship with you by the first weeks of sexual relationship? I mean, I am fwb with this guy. He does not see himself getting committed for now because he really wants to work har on his career, but is having fun with me in bed. Day by day I can observe him getting closer to me. He updates me. He asks me about my day, calls when he wants to talk to me. He actually admitted he gets jealous when I talk and go with other guys but but days passed he denied it. And there he does any other stuff that can make me feel wanted sometimes. I wanna know how can I get this man falling in love with me. I was planning to make him feel his is someone special but I dont know or not sure if it can have an effect? I really wanna know how can I get that goal, the goal of him falling in love with me. Thank you.

    2. 1.2

      Makes sense. Thanks for posting 🙂

    3. 1.3

      To Peter,
      I’ve know a guy a long time (20years or so) since my separation and divorce (after 3  years) we become great friends. Hes been divorced 3 times sorta in a bad relationship (not really sure kinda vague but they didn’t live together) and we chat a lot, hang out, innocent stuff on my part anyway (said there was a girlfriend). Fast forward a few more months and I get the sense hes flirting. Well we crossed the friend line and carried on for a few months.Ijust recently broke it off. He wants to remain friends. Not sure I can because I developed deep strong feelings for him but knew it was all wrong. He persued me then. You think he’ll persue me again because now I’m a challenge again? I’m just curious at anyones thoughts. My reasoning for breaking it off…..I’m not not anyones other. I didn’t go into this with that intention but we had a connection and we had tons of fun together.  

      1. 1.3.1

        Friendship is the most important part of any relationship really. If your friendship is not strong enough to survive the sex or no sex decision, then it isn’t strong enough. It is as simple as that.

        The fact he has been divorced three times tells me he is gun shy. No one gets married and divorced for fun. He was deadly serious each and every time. If you can’t understand that kind of trauma and aversion, then you aren’t much in the friend material department.

        If you can’t truly be this guy’s friend, then leave the poor guy alone, sex or no sex.

    4. 1.4

      I don’t know why some ladies have such a hard time finding commitment. Maybe I’ve been lucky, but I’ve always gotten commitment before sex. Go figure. Maybe I have a good lier radar, who knows. Before the sex comes into the picture I have formed some type of great connection with the guy over several dates. The way he treats me shows me he wants my company not just my…
      Of course, there’s not harm in playing around, flirting, feeling, you catch my drift

      1. 1.4.1

        @ Jess #1.4
        “Maybe I’ve been lucky, but I’ve always gotten commitment before sex. Go figure. Maybe I have a good lier radar, who knows”
        It’s not so much luck as biology: you’re simply not hypergamous.  

        1. Chelsea Maya

          So if you love the thrill of hunt, that does mean we, women, can make men fall by not telling you guys that we want a relationship with you by the first weeks of sexual relationship? I mean, I am fwb with this guy. He does not see himself getting committed for now because he really wants to work har on his career, but is having fun with me in bed. Day by day I can observe him getting closer to me. He updates me. He asks me about my day, calls when he wants to talk to me. He actually admitted he gets jealous when I talk and go with other guys but but days passed he denied it. And there he does any other stuff that can make me feel wanted sometimes. I wanna know how can I get this man falling in love with me. I was planning to make him feel his is someone special but I dont know or not sure if it can have an effect? I really wanna know how can I get that goal, the goal of him falling in love with me. Thank you.

    5. 1.5

      I’ve never had a problem finding a relationship. Maybe he wasn’t Mr Right, but he was Mr. Right now. Have fun! Do whats right for you. Have sex don’t have sex, you will figure it out. Sure you will make some mistakes along the way, that’s life. Just be smart and be able to look at yourself in the mirror. I found that the moment I was good with myself and did what was right for me along came Mr. Right. Funny how that works. Women and Men are different. Men are simple, they want light hearted   and fun and yes sex. Life is to stressful to then have a partner that puts all kinds of expectations on you. If you don’t like how he/she treats you, move on. Don’t marry the person for crying out loud. Not worth your time or heartache to try and change someone.

      1. 1.5.1

        Perfect Answer

      2. 1.5.2

        Well said ,Bravo…..



      3. 1.5.3

        most perfect answer


    6. 1.6

      Thank you. Just thank you. Big big Thank You!

  2. 2

    Your answer to “Men Look for Sex and find Love” is disheartening at best for all us ladies out there trying to find love and just being ourselves.

    So, if this is the REAL truth, then there is only one question for us: “How do we stop being women?” Most women I know develop feelings, they get attached, (even if the guy is a total jerk). I think it’s part of our DNA. The only way that poor Lauren and lots of others are going to avoid this tragic scenario is to stop being women and become like men (emotionally I mean). If we keep being sweet and loving, we continually get hurt. Men wonder why some women are so cold and calculating? Take a wild guess. Thanks for your column. I am a big fan.

    1. 2.1

      Robin~ Read the book, “Why Men Love Bitches” It’s my personal relationship bible! 😉

      1. 2.1.1

        GREAT BOOK!!!

    2. 2.2

      They can just be hard to get , not get physical easily, and they will never have to become men, a man who really want you and want a honest relationship with you will understand and take things slowly.     
      My Source: Im A Man.  

      1. 2.2.1

        This is what annoys me about the heterosexual power dynamic. That it is expected that women should get what they want and men should give it to them, because they are obviously the more deserving gender.

        Women can go without sex for years if they choose. No man would ever choose that, unless they were religious or castrated. Why do women assume that sex is an act of commitment? For me, commitment is huge. I would only do it with someone that I felt very comfortable with, sexually, emotionally and spiritually. So how do you do that without %^$ing someone first??  

        1. Liz

          Women who are looking for a LTR are afraid that the man is just looking at them as a vagina, for sex.   

          You’re only thinking about yourself. For  YOU commitment is huge.  Isn’t it for everyone?

          My advice to women, if you’re looking for LTR don’t rush into sex.  Get to know each other as human beings first. Hopefully the won’t fall “short” lol      

        2. starthrower68

          So it could be said in reply to your post that you think men should get what they want and women should give it to them. So don’t commit to a woman. Just be up front about it and stick to casual sex with woman who are fine with that. Problem solved.

        3. Michele

          Tristan that’s a load of s*** that you said. It is equally difficult for both genders to go without sex. And are you female do you know what it’s like to be female and go without sex. No you don’t. I would have sex if I can find a loving partner but I haven’t. And I refuse to be someone’s booty call and too good looking and intelligent for that

        4. Polly

          Okay that part about “women can go for years without sex” is totally untrue……and sexist. No one would ever go for years without sex by choice like it was no big loss unless they were either very very old, or asexual. Just pointing that one out.

        5. minny

          tristan       thanks for your honest comment Im a woman and I think that yes sometimes we women DO feel like we need to see the guy   cutting his arms off for us in order to enjoy sex with him. Its a shame it has to be like that….   BUT you could understand its because we women know  men and that our “goods”   are somthing we cant just throw to chance and then not be able to handle the emotions afterwards…..(the ones that we were created with unfortunatly)      we know that guys dont have to deal with emotional pain and disrespect………….we do.      THATS why we have to be careful

        6. Nicholette G

          Agreed, Tristan. I am one of those rare women who simply cannot go without sex and the affection that goes along with it for long, nor withhold it just to get what I want. I don’t feel I should have to.   And yet that is why literally screwed over time & time again by assholes. It’s the whole mindset & courtship that needs to change.

        7. sasha

          I am a woman and I can tell you I am tired of guys loving me and then they starve me for sex. We women crave and need sex but god forgive us if he said that. It is a myth that men are sex machines as they are always stressed and tired from work even when they do not even cheat on you. Guys aren’t kinky enough in my opinion.

        8. tieuro

          i will

        9. Nikki

          Sex is HUGE it creates PEOPLE… I only want to do that with someone who will commit to me…


          All women

    3. 2.3

      Online dating for me at most has been a disaster. Confusing. And, left me wondering if I saw or heard something that wasn’t even there. As my last online dating 3 month relationship came to a disappearing act recently,   I was given an assortment of excuses.   “I’m not ready for a relationship,   my divorce, my disfunctional childhood, we fight too much, it’s not you it’s US together…all of this after messages in the beginning “it’s me an you against the world.” “I am so lucky to have you.” When I asked him about this (when he would reply to my messages that is) his answer seemed innocent and harmless to himself, but just about killed me…”my feelings changed”. “I’m not in love with you.”
      Jerk. :/

      1. 2.3.1

        Does this behavior of men explain why most will always come back?? Not saying yes/no on taking them back,   but if their feelings are so fickle maybe this is why they re-appear again in the future.

        1. Liz

          If you’re looking for LTR get to know the guy before rushing into sex. You might realize from a few dates that you’re not compatible and then you avoid situations like these.

      2. 2.3.2

        Xxxxc I’m on my own looking for a discreet relationship and I think it should be agreed upon who’s your partner on the affair no feuding it’s supposed to be a time of all pleasure with that person it should be a time but both partners should relax and have fun what is no use even having sex if you can’t enjoy it keep it all real both Partners should come with a smile and go with a smile that’s my motto

    4. 2.4

      You seem to be discouraged by the fact that men are primarily looking for sex, not love. You probably feel that your own search for love is a long-shot given that men aren’t really looking for love, but sex. YOU HAVE BEEN LIED TO. Men ARE looking for love, but not in the way that you think. The reason for this is because men and women define love differently, they experience love differently, feel it differently.

      This is the most important romance advice you will ever hear: To men, sex IS love. They are looking for love because to us men, love and sex are the SAME THING. The problem is not that you are too sweet and loving.  The problem is that you are too easy. I just saw a pop up on this website that said, “do you want a guaranteed way to get him to call you the day after sex?” Holy shit… If he is not already your man, there shouldn’t have even been sex.

      1. 2.4.1

        Theres nothing wrong with understanding that men find love via sex.   Once I figured I that out relationships became a whole lot easier and I stressed and stopped over analyzing their actions.   I just worried about being fun fabulous and intriguing and dating became enjoyable

      2. 2.4.2

        So if love and sex are the same does that mean you love every woman you have sex with? Also I dont mind that a guy would use sex to find love. Just dont have me thinking im the only one therefore I will know to date other men and enjoy my sex. Life with others as well.

        1. tieuro

          is ok

        2. Ravi

          I totally agree with you

      3. 2.4.3
        Not true!!!

        Andrew this is BS. Men have sex all the time without being in love. Men can separate sex from love, women have a harder time with it, hence why they get attached after being physical and “clingy”. Sex is love more to women than men, women just need sex to mean more and not feel like there a piece of meat being used.

      4. 2.4.4

        You make a good point I don’t know about you though everytime I have sex I making love that’s how your partner supposed to feel but I’m old school though that’s just the way I was brought up I know also you got to have the Trust before I do the sex that’s how get the love making part of it because discreet intimacy of your partner love come from the trust that you’re having with that partner and making them feel worthliness in the relationship that you’re having with that partner but that could be why I’m having hard time finding someone like that thats attractive and likes to keep things on the down low like me

    5. 2.5

      I agree that ‘women look for love and find sex’ is completely disheartening.

    6. 2.6

      Stop confusing attraction for love then.

      Love is independent from attraction and sex.



      1. 2.6.1
        Karmic Equation

        I agree.

    7. 2.7

      In my experience women are more into sex than a lot of people realise. Many of them cheat, theough they claim they want monogamous relationships. I have noticed that men who are deeply in love with their women generally come to grief. Those guys who stay emotionally aloof tend to have a better time. It’s as though women prefer men who are not vulnerable, and let me tell you, when you are in love it tends to make   you quite vulnerable. This could be dangerous for a man, because  if or when   (mostly when) it ends he is usually devastated and is too much of a wreck to get into a new relationship again. Women, on the other hand, can get into a new relationship quite easily, even when they are emotional wrecks, as it takes relatively little effort on their part. Don’t get me wrong  they can have difficulties too, but this is usually over a guy who was not in love with them (though the sex was great), as compared to  a guy who was totally into them, (but the sex was not so great).  In a nut shell, emotional distance (with great sex) is a defence mechanism that keeps experienced guys from getting badly burned, and women tend to find emotionally distant, good-in-bed men attracttive (or is that addictive?) .

    8. 2.8

      Exactly. I’m right at this point. I don’t care anymore. I just wna have fun. Can’t be bothered with who to end up with

    9. 2.9

      Don’t be disheartened. I develop VERY strong emotional attachments myself. Working on not doing this, as a man. Should I continue, or would ladies prefer I am as quickly and deeply attached as they?

      Going through a separation now (she decided she never really wanted me) after 11 years. It’s not been easy for me. She was my first (I gave her my virginity), and there’s this sense of trying to “do right” that I have to bust out of now.

      The deal is, women often say “I want a nice guy”, but really, I know they don’t respond well to that, at all. I want a woman that says “F*CK YEAH” about me, and I say “F*CK YEAH” about her. I want the whole package, for both of us.

      So, I’m trying to date now, yes, while separated. I am not built to be alone. I am 42 and I will not be alone.

    10. 2.10

      Interesting you say that.
      Expressions like cant blame a guy for trying etc. If men cant be blamed for what they are. Why should women be blamed for who they are. We can say no, and demand truth, they can lie and seek sex. Point being each one is free to do as they see fit. I wouldn’t want to be a man i like being a woman that makes me at times sensitive to certaon emotions and i will simply hold out for a man who can put up with that. Sexual gratification is just isnt as big a deal as emotional for me.

  3. 3

    I just read Peter’s comment (#1) above. Sure, he may not speak for all men, but I’ll bet he’s pretty damn close. And while I find that kind of honesty refreshing, all I can say is ……Wow. Admit it dudes, you are some pretty strange beings.

    1. 3.1

      You do realize that most people say what they think society expects them to say?

      I can tell you I feel demeaned by the entire process even if she is my qualified peer. If she isn’t doing it for me, its wrong to require it from me.

  4. 4

    Yeah, reading this is pretty damn depressing from a women’s point of view. What are we supposed to do? Guys will tell us what they think we want to hear because they “mean it at the time.” Great. So how to tell who’s a good guy?

    I realize that is just reality, but seriously, men just get everything they want and women just have to wait to get lucky?

    1. 4.1

      You don’t give sex unless you want to. Then you don’t feel used or lied to. A guy who sees you a valuable LTR material will not threaten to stop seeing you if you don’t put out.  
      It’s  hard  (no pun intended ha) for a  guy who is looking for a stable relationship, to find a compatible girl for him, so he will not mess it up by rushing you and risking  offending you.

      A guy who knows he wants sex very soon, or  you won’t have the immense pleasure of his company, will manipulate you, pressure you constantly.  This guy probably  just wants to play the field, is happy playing the field and you’re the field to him.

      Sometimes a guy who is just looking for sex will meet a  woman who he values greatly for  LTR material. This guy will treat the  woman well, will wait  until she’s ready to have sex, for  fear of  losing her. This doesn’t happen as often, beware.


  5. 5

    I was the BF’s first date after he got out of a 4-year relationship, and he was moving 120 miles away within a week. I e-mailed him on myspace and he went out with me purely because 1) I seemed attractive and interesting, 2) he needed some practice before moving to a new city and REALLY dating.

    We had sex that first night and are still together 2.5 years later, living together and trying to save up for engagement and a wedding.

    So anything can happen at any time…Evan’s right I think, that most people if they found something that would work perfectly for them long-term will turn the interaction into a LTR even if they SAID that’s not what they were looking for. Similarly, even someone who explicitly states they are looking for a LTR will turn things into a booty call, friendship, or nothing at all if the situation warrants it. It’s less about what someone says they are looking for (though you do get some extremes where people absolutely won’t consider anything but a booty call or a serious relationship) and more about how the two of you mesh.

    And because I thought this was a little disturbing, I wanted to say–I think 3 months is EXACTLY about when you can expect to find out if a relationship’s heading in a serious direction or not. 3 months is about when we had the boyfriend/girlfriend talk (though we were exclusive before that because we wanted to have sex but didn’t want to use condoms) and about the time he moved back to my city.


    1. 5.1

      Uh, you should use condoms any time you have sex, are you nuts? Unless you’re married, please do not think that birth control is enough to stop unwanted pregnancies. It’s not 100% effective by any means, so be smart and if you’re going to have sex outside of marriage, use every bit of prevention available.

      1. 5.1.1

        UhI (and most men) hate condoms.   They take away the sensation and really, are putting a barrier between the two of us that ruins the intimacy (obviously, they are barriers).   Go on the pill.   Get a vasectomy if he’s done having kids, use an IUD.   There are options.   I respect using condoms until we get to know each other and get tested and get reliable protection in place, but beyond that, you have emotional problems.   And the only thing worse than using condoms is the woman getting upset because the man couldn’t finish with a condom (because he couldn’t feel anything).

        1. Jackie

          Having unprotected sex is not just about getting pregnant. Hello!!!! Diseases. A woman should never put herself in that position and trust a man until marriage. I once was involved with boyfriends and the condoms NEVER impacted our sex life. Plus, we had peace of mind. People cheat all the time so if he can’t commit to marriage. I would not risk getting pregnant or an unwanted disease from him.  

        2. Liz

          In an ideal world there isn’t a need for condoms. In an ideal world the pill doesn’t mess up some women’s health.

          In a perfect world men and women  in  “committed” relationships are always faithful to eachother.

          In a perfect  world  people don’t transfer stds to each other, some of them extremely serious stds          

    2. 5.2

      People don’t realize this. If you could manage responsible casual sex frequently with different partners with no preconceptions or much strings beyond responsibility, your odds of actually getting what you want are better. The problem is people have to invest huge quantities of time and effort just to find out the sex is lame.


      If you ask me, if people were honest with themselves, 50% would get sterilized or equivalent and not worry about all the BS of finding a perfect monogamous mate.

  6. 6

    Yeah, it’s like we are from different planets in this regard.

    I remember talking to a guy friend who said that what he likes best in a woman is if she is not particularly interested in him. And I was like, “wha…?” If I am attracted to a guy, obviously I want him to be interested, I want him to be as interested as he is capable of!

    Go figure. =)

    1. 6.1

      This is called ‘wouldn’t belong to a club which would have me as a member’ syndrome, otherwise known as Low Self-Esteem.   Avoid people (men and women) with this problem. They will never be happy with themselves (except after extensive therapy), and consequently will never be happy with you (at least not for long).  

      1. 6.1.1

        @ JuJu #6
        “I remember talking to a guy friend who said that what he likes best in a woman is if she is not particularly interested in him”
        @ Mark #6
        “This is called ‘wouldn’t belong to a club which would have me as a member’ syndrome, otherwise known as Low Self-Esteem”
        I don’t agree that people who are only attracted to people who reciprocate ambivalence necessarily have low self-esteem; rather that they are maximizers (people who want to make the best possible choice).
        We are often repulsed by people who act too keenly, as such behavior implies that they view us as being of much higher-value than those they would normally meet (leading us to sub-consciously infer that surely we could do better). Conversely, when someone acts uninterested towards us, we sometimes infer that such behavior implies that they view themselves as being of higher value than us. As maximizers want to get the best possible; they will be attracted to those whose behavior indicates that they are of higher value.
        I do agree, however, that maximizers struggle to be happy in relationships as they are always thinking of greener grass. As you say they need to acknowledge this part of their personality and work on it before entering a relationship (I say that being an entrenched maximizer myself).

        1. Liz

          Your “maximizer” sounds more like a loser, no offense. I’d never date a man like that.   The word “maximizer” seem to have been chosen to hide the fact that this man/woman lacks self-esteem, self-love, self-respect.   This person even lacks respect for the fact that the other person is not interested. The “loser” despite knowing this person is not  interested in him/her  AT ALL,  keeps on persuing them. This sounds also like  the motivation behind stalker behavior.    

          It’s true you don’t want someone who treats you as if you’re up on a pedestal, and them way below you. But you’re taking it to the other extreme here. If you feel this way quite a bit you should look into psychological help


        2. I love you EMK

          So a Maximiser is a euphemism for a hypergamous person or a term used for a man always looking for better?

          This person sounds like they are more likely living out a childhood issue of a parent who neglected them or stone walled them.   It reeks of some serious emotional problems not someone who aims for the best. That’s likely the reason for being so unhappy.

          Sometimes the people who are attracted to you are not your type. It’s not just a lack of interest because of their interest. Sometimes it’s hard to find someone who meets your standards. Not impossible but difficult and any person who shows interest isn’t enough to light your fire.

          Sometimes it is Low Self Esteem.

          I believe it’s more so a personality disorder because of emotional abuse. It happens more so in men than women.   Many men have an emotionally avoidant personality (most players above the age of 26.5 years of age or commitment phobes in their 50’s). This is due to a relationship with an emotionally abusive parent or caregiver.

          Now for the good news, a secure woman can fix this problem, if only that men would let them in. I think women intuitively know this and that’s why you have the “Florence Nightingale Female Warriors” who try to change the bad boy. It takes years to build the trust and by then most women have been burned or lost their strength and as a result these men lose respect for these once were Warriors.   These men who fight like an animal cornered before they allow anyone to be warm and affectionate towards them for   fear of intimacy. Unfortunately, they miss out on the best experience life has to offer.   Many fall on the spectrum of narcissism because they create a different personality to protect themselves.

          You should pity men like this not chase them and certainly not fall into their trap of devaluing you after sex. Help them as friends, never get sexually involved because they disrespect women who are poor gatekeepers of sex. They will love you endlessly if you dont bang them.

          The symptom of too much attention freaks them out, they need to be mistreated to feel a familiar sense of love.

        3. bongstar420

          Why should you worry about status just to have sex and hang out with someone?

      2. 6.1.2

        Well said, Mark. Also known as ‘I am yet…too immature or too screwed up (or BOTH), to have or enjoy a committed relationship.’  

  7. 7

    I dated a guy once who told me on our first date he was the kind of man who usually dated more than one woman at a time, how did I feel about that?

    I considered it. At that moment I wasn’t particularly looking for something serious. In fact in the year before I met him, I hadn’t been “looking” for anything at all. I told him I’d give it a try. I warned him if I started falling in love with him I’d want to renogotiate. I also told him that I would either fall in love with him within 3 months or I wouldn’t at all. On that note of complete honesty, we began a casual dating relationship.

    It lasted 2.5 months and it was fine for what it was. I enjoyed his company, but I never did fall in love with him and after a time I decided I wanted more in the way of a relationship…just not with him. I ended it and it was the most painless breakup I’ve ever had. He told me he understood, but could we still keep seeing each other until I fell in love with someone else. I had to laugh. I also said “no”.

    His honesty was so refreshing. And it is something I’ve carried with me since. When another relationship opportunity presented itself later in the year I put the exclusivity card on the table up front. I had decided I didn’t want to sleep with someone who was also playing the field, I was looking for something that might become more than casual. And I got it. No hemming and hawing around about it. I wish all men could be so forthright.

    I get it that men don’t want to be honest for fear of missing out on sex. Unfortunately, that puts us women in the often uncomfortable position of stalling them longer than we would wish to. It becomes a fine line between waiting long enough that we have some confidence they won’t just bail after getting sex, and hoping they won’t bail before because they get tired of waiting and write us off as frigid. It’s a wonder that people are actually able to form significant relationships at all given the subtrafuge.

    1. 7.1

      If women had sex with a man because ” SHE ” wants to have sex then there would be no way for women to feel used or have a guy tell her what she wants to hear to get her to have sex with him.   Also the reality of relationships Is that 99% of all of them fail . Even half off the ones that succeed ” marriage ” fail.   It takes a lot of hard work and luck to find the person you grow old and die with.

      1. 7.1.1

        Women looking for LTR want to have sex with a man who is thinking of them as LTR material.

        The problem happens when the woman doesn’t say what  she is looking for, asks of him what he is looking for, or maybe she does do  these things but he’s a skimming jerk who lies  just to get sex      

    2. 7.2

      OMG Selena. So true. And sad?

    3. 7.3

      Men with experience have come to realise that too many women cheat, even those “good girls” who swear by exclusivity. There are just too many offers,   too many tempations, and so many ways for them to get away with it for the women to resist. The safest postion for a man these days is to spin plates, focus on sex, not on love,  as women don’t really go for that  (they really prefer very good sex instead), and hope for the bet but prepare for the worst. Women  are extremely hypocritical when it comes to sex, many of them end up doing things and people they swear they wouldn’t do. Many older men who have had extensive experience with women, unfortunately know them  too well.

  8. 8

    @xpuff, #4: what makes him a bad guy for being honest at the time? Why does the fact that it turns out to not be the case in perpetuity somehow make him a villain? It could be disappointing for you, yes, but I’m not sure that it says anything negative about his character.

  9. 9
    Karl R

    I agree with Evan, men don’t always know what they want. And even when they do, how they handle the (often contradictory) things they want doesn’t always make sense.

    I’ll use my own life as an example. I would like a long term, exclusive relationship. Lately I’ve been dating a couple women. I don’t intend to date either exclusively.

    I met one lady through dancing; I thought there was some long-term potential, but the age difference has turned out to be too much for me. I met the other lady when I sat near her at a restaurant. She’s a hot foreigner, but she doesn’t seem sufficiently interested in me. It’s possible that she’s just playing hard to get, but unlike Peter (#1), I don’t pursue women unless they’re interested in me.

    To complicate things further, I don’t have sex with a woman unless we’re exclusive. So even though I’d really like to have sex with either one of these ladies, I won’t.

    So why do I continue to go out with both of these ladies? Because sometimes I like to spend an evening with an attractive lady. Because I like to spend time with women who are cute and fun. And because it usually doesn’t interfere with my normal activities … where I meet other attractive, single women who might be long term relationship material.

    Basically, I’m performing a balancing act between my desires and my standards, between my short term goals and my long term goals. And as Evan indicated, I spend a lot of my time living in the moment.

  10. 10

    Some guys fear intimacy and look for mother substitutes their whole life. The more the merrier! Sometimes guys look for that one woman who will show they value themselves enough say no they won’t settle for a non-exclusive relationship like all the others, and stick to it.

    But yes this has to be established up front or forget it! However, if they can get you to compromise on this issue, they tend to loose all respect, (you loose all the power), and they feel free to come and go and see and sleep with whomever whenever…no matter how attached you get. Because hey it’s not a real relationship to them is it?

  11. 11

    I have to say that this article hit home. This is the exact issue that i deal with and some of my girlfriends deal with. I am starting to sort of get the whole mechanics of attraction and how men see things and how women see things. There is not guarantee in life about anything and it seems you have to pay to play. Selena particulary hit the nail on the head when she said there is basically that fine line where you straddle that I don’t want him to get frustrated and leave but I don’t want to give it all up the first night. Thanks for the article

    1. 11.1

      I’m with you here. And with Selena. Thanks, you two.

    2. 11.2

      If he gets frustrated because you didn’t put out quickly, he didn’t see you with more potential than a casual fling. If he was intrigued by you in some way, he wouldn’t act this way.

      Personal experience.  

  12. 12

    I sort of understand this concept of men, though at the same time I think there are the guys that are very LTR/marriage-minded, perhaps because of their own desire to have kids or settle down by a certain age. I think many of these guys don’t necessarily hide their intentions when on an online dating site. That being said, however, I think Evan’s right about most guys.

    In terms of how girls should react, I don’t think it’s necessary to put your heart out there to be trampled on. Sex (well orgasms, however they’re produced) creates the incredibly bonding oxytocin which causes women to latch on to the guy. By abstaining until exclusivity then the woman is much better able to just hang out with the guy, enjoy his company, and see where things go without becoming totally neurotic about it.

    Also, if you find yourself obsessing about a guy, go out and date other guys. You won’t have the time to obsess about him as much (a little bit is inevitable, I admit it), it gives you more options, and it also helps the guy realize that you aren’t always going to be there at his beck and call.

    Recently, I was in a phase where there were three guys in the picture. One I agonized over mentally and had explosive chemistry with. Another I enjoyed his company and had some chemistry with, but was fine when we weren’t hanging out. And the third was uber-nice and had the same interests and sense of humor but little in the way of sparkage. But because I was seeing these different guys, I didn’t let any one tip me too far over the edge, because I was just enjoying myself and not feeling the need to pin anything down. Guys 1 and 3 are pretty much out of the romantic picture now, but things are going along rather swimmingly with guy #2. But if he’d been the only one in the picture from the get to, I may have obsessed about things too much and ruined it. At least now there’s the possibility of this turning into something more serious.

    1. 12.1

      A-L, your situation reminds me a lot of mine, except at one point I was dating two men who I was extremely attracted to. I wish from the get-go I had not put so much pressure on myself to stop dating both and choose one. The choosing was agonizing, but in hindsight it was self-induced. The first guy I went on a date with we had great conversational chemistry, and didn’t kiss til our second. After that things became increasingly more physical. I then met up with guy #2 “just as friends”, because I was so close-minded I thought dating two people would be not a bad plan. I ended up having conversational chemistry with this guy to, but no real sparks (it was early on, so okay). Long story short, I stressed over who should be the one I would continue to date. Guy #2 dipped out of the scene as he was not over his ex, and Guy #1 has kind of slowly dipped out of the scene as well. I’d like something to continue, but am not gonna stress on as we both live our lives; if it’s meant to be it will transpire.

      Evan, the “I just want a guy to be honest with me. Believe me, I sometimes want to have sex too, but I just want to know where I stand. I don’t wan’t to get hurt. He should be man enough to tell the truth. ”

      rings true,

      except for the “I don’t want to get hurt part”. Only because I think that is a given for most humans of both sexes. Guys may disagree – and think when I ask for your honesty, I really want it diluted – but I’d much rather take being hurt early on then traveling down a path of false hope. Regarding spelling out intentions – I don’t think anyone I’m dating should have to spell it out or make what they’re looking for into a huge declaration, but if one party brings up the topic of exclusivity (or non-exclusivity) in a direct, but non-threatening way somewhat early on, the ideal thing is just be honest. I think people’s fear of hurting others gets in the way of truth. Only if you’re being outright deceptive does being hurt occur, in my opinion.

      1. 12.1.1

        Sorry, that was supposed to read as “thought dating two people would be a bad plan”, not “not a bad plan” in the first paragraph.

    2. 12.2

      This is spot on and totally works for me too! So glad to read your post!

    3. 12.3

      The moron ubernice guy was focusing too much on love and not enough on sex.All of my posts stress focusing a onlot of sex when dealing with women. You don’t have to be overt about it, but maintaining  a subliminally, sexually confident, indifferent vibe is the way to go. I found this out the hard way. Once the sex in the relationship is very good and the man is cool but a little distant, women tend to fall for him. You can’t express too much love or emotion when dealing with a woman or she  will get turned off.I know this sounds all wrong, but if a guy doesn’t have options (as in having many “friends”) and is not superman in bed, though he might be great in all other areas, he WILL come to grief, no matter what you women say. You ALL say one thing but react in a totally different way   when the guy is too happy to be there.

  13. 13

    to Karl R on post 9,

    I agree with what you say. Most men are contradictory, because, I think, most of us, we don’t really know what we are doing.(lack of experience)hhmmhh…LOL!…yes….

    Most men don’t know, we can look for a long term relationship, get into a long term relationship, three or six months into it,(or sooner or later) change our minds,(for whatever reason) and get out of it, if that is what we want to do. “I can’t be the man you want me to be.” “I am going back to my old girlfriend.”

    Your two friendships won’t get complicated, until, you have sex with them.

  14. 14

    I really wanted to believe that most men were good guys who didn’t knowingly and willingly hurt women. Evan’s response was very sad to me because it suggests that men want sex first and foremost and they don’t care who they hurt to get it. In order to avoid getting hurt, women can’t trust not only what men say but what they do as well. However, I am having a difficult reconciling this post with the one where Evan says that we have to be generous and kind and accepting in order to find love. I don’t really understand how a woman can be generous and loving if at the same time, she can’t trust a man.

    Honey, you are very fortunate to have a great relationship with boyfriend, but you should realize that men who sleep with women on the first date rarely have any thing to do with them again. Like you, when I met my boyfriend of 17 years, we had sex on the first date. And he was pretty much devoted to me. When we broke up, I thought sleeping with a guy on the first date was a good thing. Boy was I wrong! I slept with a number of men on the first date — ones that I really liked and thought liked me — and I never made it to a second date with any of them! I was shocked, but I learned my lesson. So, my own personal experience plus the stuff I’ve read from other dating experts indicates that it is extremely rare that a long term relationship blossoms when a couple has sex on the first date. So, while I agree what ultimately determines what people will do is based on how they mesh, the odds aren’t in favor of people meshing when they sleep with each other on day one. You were one of the rare and lucky ones.

    1. 14.1

      How could you really like someone or think he really likes you after 1 date ?    How many of the first nighters did you have sex with just because you wanted to have sex and you were sexually attracted to him ?    You should only have sex with someone because “YOU” want to have sex .  
      Men look for sex and find love because a love and relationships take allot longer to find than sex does .  

    2. 14.2

      Having sex on the first date is one of the worst ideas ever if you’re looking for a relationship, but it’s also a terrible idea for any woman because of physical safety. I can’t believe it when women risk themselves like that.  

      At least give it a few to several dates before bumping uglies won’t  you?      


  15. 15

    What happened to integrity? What happened to communicating like a grown-up? What happened to any kind of accountability? Did all of this get thrown out the window when women achieved equal rights? Now it sounds like women can expect nothing from men and be happy if they get anything, even honesty. Maybe I am just having a bad week, Evan, but it seems like this post acknowledges the fact that men are wielding all the power out there over women, and if we want to play, it’s the luck of the draw.

    1. 15.1

      Women have the same power men do . You have the power to decide when , why , and with who you have sex with . What you are and are not looking for in a potential relationship.  

      1. 15.1.1
        Sunisa Yupasee

        Ok i understandd

      2. 15.1.2

        The problem is that not every man you know is going to be honest with you. Keep in mind that he’s a stranger. He might even be married and has 3 kids at home for all you know. This is why women need to stop being so darn naive. Get to know him. He might be a lier or the great guy you’re looking for.

        You don’t have to put out quickly if you don’t want to. Wait to make  sure he is seeing you the way you want him to. He might just be interested in you sexually, but not on a personal level to date you long term.       

  16. 16

    If any men are “wielding all the power,” it’s the especially good-looking men. Less attractive men probably have less power than they used to.

    The key line in Laura’s letter:
    Hindsight has pointed out that on his profile he listed he wanted a casual relationship as opposite to my listing of wanting a serious relationship.
    Educated guess: she liked his picture(s).

  17. 17

    “The truth is that if we tell you that we don’t know what’s going to happen in the morning, nothing will ever happen.”
    Boo hoo if he gets no sex that night! So basically the guy has to be dishonest in order to get sex from a girl. Unfortunately, we cannot change the behavior of people, but I feel that we’re all adults and should be able to communicate honestly with each other. I know the guys speak and act out of the moment and you have to take what they say with a grain of salt sometimes. However, when it comes down to the act of sex, there really should not be game playing.

  18. 18

    to Mic on post #16

    How true!…yet, we can still enjoy the feminine graces of women in other categories.

  19. 19

    to Jojo on post #17

    Most nice guys are honest communicators, I don’t think they earn time in the “sack”, that is why they are called “nice” guys.

    1. 19.1

      I think you’re mistaking a nice guy for a “dull” guy.

      I only date nice guys.    

  20. 20

    Honey, I guess what I meant by “good” guy is “good for me”, not good in an absolute-morality-of-the-universe way. I understand guys wanting the things that they want at the time, I’ve been there myself. However when I was dating, it was extremely frustrating to encounter this sort of behavior. The guys weren’t bad guys necessarily, just not good for me.

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