Why It’s Hard to Be a Modern Man

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Believe me: I’m not shedding any tears for straight, white men like me. But I think it’s important to point out that straight, white men suffer too. Whether it’s trying to act more sensitive, more masculine, or feel more connected, guys constantly feel they’re falling short — and they have virtually no one to talk to about it.

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  1. 1

    This is such an important topic. The ability to see things from an alternate view point, empathize with, and validate those concerns is a valuable trait. Both men and women benefit from the ability to do so.

  2. 2

    I can’t believe there hasn’t been any other comments yet. Great podcast, Evan!

    1. 2.1

      I thought it was a very good podcast, too, and women could serve themselves well by applying the nuggets of insight into the male condition that he provided here.   I noticed the lack of comments just like you did.   However, I can very much believe it, and it is actually consistent with my expectations.


      I think the answer for why there haven’t really been any comments here is due to the title of the blog entry:   “Why It’s Hard to be a Modern Man”.   Yeah, generally speaking, women just don’t care.   For the ones who did care enough to listen, there are actually some valuable insights that went unadvertised in the short blog entry.

      1. 2.1.1

        Some of us listened, and even commented.

      2. 2.1.2

        Generally speaking, women have zero empathy for men as a group.


        Now that I have learned this lesson, I am happy to return the favor! 🙂

        1. SMC

          Oh McLovin, there you go again assuming the worst about women.   I myself haven’t listened yet because I haven’t been home to do so and won’t have a chance tonight or tomorrow night either.   Or over the weekend, for that matter, since I’ll be going out of town.   It’s possible that many women just haven’t been ABLE to listen yet.   It’s easier to read blog posts (while at work) than listen to podcasts.   Why do you need to bash us so quickly?   Good grief…

        2. Karl S

          McLovin said:

          Generally speaking, women have zero empathy for men as a group.
          Now that I have learned this lesson, I am happy to return the favor!

          What are you basing this statement on? Any links or studies? Personal experience doesn’t count because the sample size is too small.

          Also, even if you can back this up, aren’t you dealing women on an individual basis? And don’t you only need them to have empathy for you?  

      3. 2.1.3

        Chance, was there a narrow window of opportunity for women to listen and it’s now closed?   Do we ALL have to listen to podcasts the moment they come out?   Some of us have to wait until we’re at home, and if we’re not home that much, then it takes longer for us to get to them.   It’s much easier to read blog posts at work than to listen to them.   I’m looking forward to listening very much, but it’s not going to be for several days because I’m not going to be in the privacy of my home for more than a few minutes (except when sleeping) for the next several days.

      4. 2.1.4



        My comments rely on neither the contents of the podcast (although I did listen to it) nor the lack of comments.

        They are my general experience.

      5. 2.1.5

        Hi Chance,

        __This weekend while at my mother’s house, I watched an episode of a show called How I Met Your Mother  in which they were doing a sketch on what Evan calls the fake reach.

        __The guy planned to pay but he still wanted his date to do the fake reach, but she was looking at everything and everywhere except the bill; so he comically was trying to get her to notice the bill and reach for it.

        __I laughed my ass off at that, and you popped in my head (^_^)… It’s was all in good fun, I am not trying to be mean or anything. I think you popped in my head because I know how you feel about paying.

        1. Chance

          Ha, no offense taken.   I’m familiar with that sketch.   However, the fake reach is disingenuous and manipulative.   In fact, there is no fake reach in my world.   When I was dating, if it was after date #2 and she reached, she paid.

      6. 2.1.7

        My comment regarding the lack of comments wasn’t meant to be a criticism of anyone. I was genuinely curious about the lack of comments only toward those who had already had a chance to watch the podcast. Obviously it wasn’t towards anyone who hadn’t had a chance to see it yet. That said, I agree with what Adrian said earlier. Sometimes when the videos or blog posts are so well done, there doesn’t seem to be much to add to it.

        It’s a shame you had to put a negative spin on it, saying that women don’t care. If that were even remotely true, Evan wouldn’t have any clients and this blog wouldn’t exist. He has said more than once (to paraphrase) that women are much more concerned about understanding men than vice versa.

        1. KK

          This (2.1.7) was directed to Chance in response to his (2.1) comment.

  3. 3

    First off, ceos athletes and rock stars do well with women because they make a shit load of money. Regardless of their “energy.” Don’t believe me? Manly hot men who are broke don’t share in this success (or at least don’t attract the near the same caliber of women). If that   sensitive artist has a trust fund the size of Paris Hilton’s he’s got ladies trying to lock him down, believe that.

    Second, the relationship and marriage histories of most CEOs athletes and rock stars are complete train wrecks. Not helpful to non gold digging women who want a marriage that doesn’t end in a parade of skanky mistresses or a nasty divorce.

    Third the balance is not as hard to achieve as you say. It may not be what most men authentically want in their primate brain but if you never want to evolve and compromise to have a mature adult relationship, you should just stay single, male or female.

    Fourth, if you communicate like a woman how are you “alpha?” Just teasing….

  4. 4

    Great podcast, Evan! I think many woman are intellectually aware of the fact that men are socialized differently, but it’s very easy to forget during our actual daily interactions. Your podcast was a really good reminder. And I don’t think it means we have to let poor behavior slide, but rather just try to react with empathy rather than immediate judgment. (I have to “teach” empathy everyday, so it’s frequently on my mind – I’ll explain that further below). What you said about men and their social spheres is also very spot on, especially of the older generation. I saw it with my own father, who was also basically immersed in his career and family. He had a couple  good friends, but they pretty much took a backseat to being a husband, father, and provider. When, after 45 years of marriage, my mother passed away – he was lost. He was retired, didn’t really have hobbies, and literally didn’t know what to do with himself. He and I were very close (eldest daughter), and I became his lifeline to the outside world pretty much until his death a couple years later. Luckily I think this has changed somewhat for younger generations and men have more friends and interests these days, but your comment about their entire existence and identity being turned on its head and being left pretty much alone after say, a divorce, is still a reality for many men. I saw it firsthand with my dad, and to a lesser extent with my ex.
    “Emotional intelligence” and the ability to truly connect has definitely jumped to the top of my list when it comes to dating, as that emotional disconnect was a big factor in the demise of my own marriage. However, by the time we hit our 40s, our personalities are pretty entrenched. That’s not to say one can’t learn to listen better or be more empathetic with one’s partner, but if it doesn’t come naturally (or the person isn’t willing to really make an effort), it really can be an uphill battle.

    As fate would have it, I also happen to be mother to a sweet, intelligent, funny 11-year old boy with autism. The reason I bring this up is because empathy, and just social interaction in general, is one of the main things autistic individuals struggle with. Even though he’s only 11, I find myself thinking about his future a lot, and honestly worrying about him finding a girlfriend, and eventually a wife. If your average guy struggles to connect emotionally with women due to both upbringing and biology, can you imagine how tough it is for someone with an obvious handicap in this area? I know he’s still young, but I’d be lying if I said those concerns don’t come to mind more and more as he gets older. Obviously I want him to find love, have kids one day, and be able to share his life and love with another human being. So everyday is a lesson in empathy, thinking of others, and teaching the nuances of how to connect both socially and emotionally – basically all those things most of us simply learn by osmosis and by watching our parents and other people. I truly hope some future young woman won’t be too quick to judge and will take a chance on giving him her heart.  Anyway, kudos again, Evan, for bringing this complex subject to light!  

    1. 4.1

      Great insight Jenny. Thanks for sharing your story. I have two sons (18 and 27). It really is a big responsibility; kudos for being so present with your 11yo. I’m so grateful engaged in their lives (in a hands off way now) and to watch them put into action what they’ve been taught but finding their own way in the world. I do think in some ways it could be “simpler” for my generation because they still are emotionally attached to certain gender roles; but we (both genders) inevitably lose out if we stick too stringently to them. I’m so impressed with my sons, nieces and nephews who are “pioneering” their new roles. Most (not my kids) are married and are beautifully navigating life’s challenges (I have two married nieces who are the breadwinners of their little families who are also moms). It’s great to see the dads taking on more domestic needs and establishing a family dynamic of everyone pitching in where they can yet having careers they can find passion in. While I’m sure, it looks great on the outside; these partners have had trying times dividing parental roles, socializing and a relationship with their partner. I must give kudos to the majority of millennials who are embracing their lives and loves with empathy and understanding. The “gender war” seems to be for those who have never embraced a loving relationship. Like I think Evan said -it’s not give and take-its give and give. And of course, setting responsible empathetic boundaries for the few things everyone needs to embrace their own individuality.

      1. 4.1.1

        Thanks, Caroline! It was my very first post on this blog. I guess I chose a pretty contentious  topic to comment on, lol (based on some of the other responses I’m reading.) Kudos to you as well – you sound like a very engaged, caring mom. You sons are lucky to have you!

        Yes, I agree – think it is a bit easier for the millennials. As a whole their generation seems much more open to redefining gender roles. They’re just more accepting of differences in general.   Social media and the connectedness it brings has played  a big part in that I’m sure. The world has become a much smaller place – in a good way – and they’re able to see beyond their own backyards, their own way of life. Which of course creates empathy. (Always comes back round to empathy, doesn’t it? 🙂 When you can identify with another person and imagine living in their shoes,   your whole attitude changes. Anyway, I hope this will translate to lower divorce rates, as it really is encouraging to see young folks like your nieces and nephews redefining those marital roles and boundaries. And who doesn’t love a stay-at-home dad? 🙂 I think it’s awesome.

        1. Caroline

          I didn’t mean to imply either dad was a stay at home. But both are able to embrace their career passions because my nieces take on the high earner role:) I’ve never personally met a stay at home dad. It seems to take two incomes these days most the time when you start having kids:)

        2. JB

          Oh Jenny tell me you didn’t just say “And who doesn’t love a stay-at-home dad?…..LOL   You must have meant if a man is married, right? As a man try going on Match and putting in  his profile divorced/stay at home dad and see what happens…..(nothing) but even so I doubt very few married people would  respect a stay at home dad.

      2. 4.1.2

        Oh brother! Caroline you just ruined it for everyone by giving the answer away!

        … Though I may call you next time I need a partner for pictionary (^_^)


        __In all seriousness I think what you said “The “gender war” seems to be for those who have never embraced a loving relationship.”

        Is the reason behind EVERY negative commenter (male or female) on this site… EVER!

        __This was such a powerful yet simple statement. Also I believe that many of us believe that we are happy when in actuality we are just content. Two content people meeting, dating, then breaking up, don’t realize that they are no better than the same knowingly bitter and angry singles of either sex that they look down upon.

  5. 5

    After reading Jenny’s comment, I’m even more interested in listening to this podcast because empathy is THE reason why I broke up with my boyfriend of 14 months.   Or lack of empathy, to be more precise.   He had none.   We had a lot of fun, we did a lot of things, he stepped up in every way imaginable except there was no room in his life for any sort of conflict or negativity.   None.   He did certain things that hurt me every time, and most of the time I stuffed it down trying to be “easygoing” and calling them mulligans; however, every time I DID object, it was always met immediately with anger and accusations of trying to create drama, then the inner coldness came out and I’d get the silent treatment.   I loathe drama and conflict, and I eventually became tired of the anxiety and walking on eggshells, so the final minor-argument-turned-WWIII (over being criticized in public yet again) was when I collected my things and left.   Empathy needs to work both ways, and I just could never impress upon him to try to see things from my point of view.   EVER.   So yes, I’ll be interested in hearing this podcast.   Empathy and the ability to compromise is a MUST in any relationship.

    1. 5.1

      SMC-thank you for sharing. I’m glad you stood your ground after much trying to compromise. My 23 year marriage ended because a lack of mutual empathy. (Addicts and alcoholics are the most selfish folks on earth). The beginning years were definitely good. After so many years of drunken disregard I just couldn’t find the empathy inside of me to summon up any compromise to stay together. He only agreed to counseling once I was gone. Very sad all around for our whole little family. I regret not setting my personal boundaries earlier. I used to wonder if I had put my foot down 10 years earlier (following through with my sons and I leaving) if he would have gotten help and if course reducing the awful effects upon my children. I’m grateful I’ve been able to let go of my gut wrenching guilt to make a better life for myself and sons. Definitely good things ahead:)

      1. 5.1.1

        Caroline – don’t be too hard on yourself. Leaving a marriage when you have young children is very tough. Even tougher if you don’t have a strong support system. You’re out now and that’s what counts. I can tell you have a resilient spirit  (and great smile, btw!) and there are brighter things ahead for you!

        1. Caroline

          Jenny-thank you for the kind words.   It’s been over 7 years since I divorced and quite a journey. My ex and I smile when we realize how much better parents we are since we divorced. My ex has managed to reconnect with our oldest son and they’ve apparently mended much of the hurt. My ex and I have weathered a few pretty bad years together being parents to our youngest. Teens are tough years. I’m grateful we’ve been able to coparent. I met quite a few guys who’ve not been able to do such. I recall a first date where this guy I just met “b*tched” about his ex and told me how he’d been so wronged having to pay so much for his kid’s college tuition. That was a real eye opener! I get angry at times about all the child support my ex failed to pay and currently having to big him about his portion for legal fees (my youngest is a hellian-he’s gotta do everything the hard/stupid way). But I get it when he’s able to give it   and am grateful for his relationship with our sons-they need him. I’m the lucky one; I’ve managed to date and have meaningful romantic relationships.

      2. 5.1.2

        Caroline – I’m glad you and your ex are on better terms now.  Co-parenting is definitely tough sometimes but worth it. My ex and I are almost 6 years out and good friends thankfully. The issues with my son are different, obviously the autism (and ADHD) and we are just entering the teen years. Yikes! My ex was out of the picture for a while (his choice) and I’m so glad he’s back because I do recognize how very much sons need their fathers. I can play a lot of roles in my son’s like, but a father I cannot be, lol.   And when you’ve got additional parenting issues, as we both seem to, it is so much easier (and better for the kids) if you can work together as a team.

      3. 5.1.3

        Thanks for sharing Caroline.   Your story interested me because I know someone who is absolutely miserable in his marriage.   However, he is sticking out his marriage for the sake of his two young daughters.   He is concerned about the impact a divorce would have on those daughters (who he really loves more than life itself).

        That’s always a tough situation.   Should people stick out miserable marriages for the sake of their children?   I’m sure a divorce would negative impact children–but then, I’m not sure if a miserable marriage is great for them either.


        1. Christine

          oops typo–meant to say, “negatively impact”

        2. Jenny

          I think it depends on how “miserable” they are. I’ve known a few people in that situation as well. I was in it myself. We chose to split up, as I really do believe that the kids actually fare worse in an unhappy marriage. You think you’re hiding it   from them, but they know. Unfortunately what I’ve seen several times is that the couple decides to stay together, but because they’re miserable, they end up going outside the marriage for comfort anyway. In my mind, if it’s that bad, it’s better to end the marriage. Usually there’s a big sigh of relief on everyone’s part.

        3. Caroline

          Hi Christine, I don’t think there’s one answer. It was a poor choice I made staying in many ways. I had just had my youngest son and honestly had it planned to leave with both my sons. I “chickened” out because of the daunting obstacles. I was not financially situated to care for them in my own. I was ready to move us into my sisters basement (nice place) 10 hours away but I was silly to think I could have stayed initiating a change in him he had no desire to pursue. I made all the excuses, finances, being a burden on my sis, moving schools, their friends…blah, blah, blah. Well I put myself in a position to earn more (started my own design firm) and ultimately cut loose when my ex turned physically abusive. Such regrets, so many mistakes.

          The only “gem” I’d have for your friend is to seek outside emotional help. No matter his situation; a constructive outside opinion who has “no dog in the fight” will immensely help him to consider every facet of the situation. You are kind to be concerned for him and I wish him the strength to either improve his marriage or end it and successfully co parent his sweet children:)

        4. Caroline

          Oh and I was lucky my neurologist sent me to a therapist. He felt stress had induced my debilitating   daily migraines. I tried for over a year to get my ex to come to counseling as requested by the therapist. I recently found out from my doctor that my migraines were a precursor to the autoimmune disease I’m battling. The stress was just one thing contributing to the “perfect storm” to create this disease. If anything, he should do it for himself. He needs to do it for his kids and himself-what a miserable, depressing situation

        5. Christine

          Thanks for the replies Jenny and Caroline.   I think the best thing for him is to confer with a therapist, or someone admittedly more qualified to give advice on this than I am! It’s just an unfortunate situation all around but, I hope that he works out a solution that’s good for everyone, as you two apparently did.

          I agree Caroline he needs a neutral third party.   The problem with asking his own friends and family is that they’ll automatically take his side no matter what, and urge a divorce.   They have never liked his wife or approved of that marriage so, they have their own “agenda” so to speak.   I think he needs someone who actually doesn’t know him or his wife personally, so can be more objective.

    2. 5.2

      SMC – I’m so glad you got out of that relationship. While I’m all for trying our best to empathetic, that does not extend to putting up with mistreatment or abuse. If you’re walking on eggshells and being constantly criticized in public, that to me is a sign to get out. Which you did, thankfully. My ex couldn’t deal with conflict either. But his way of dealing with it was to just retreat. As the well-known marriage researcher, John Gottman, has found – conflict/arguments/fighting between couples isn’t actually bad. What counts (and what apparently is the best predictor of divorce) is HOW  you fight. If it devolves into “character assassination” (i.e. name calling, criticizing), the marriage/relationship isn’t going to last. Btw, I actually hate when I read “No Drama”   in men’s dating profiles. I’m sorry, but “drama” is a part of life. There will always be problems to overcome and situations to deal with. If you can’t manage or be bothered to work through life’s problems and challenges with your partner, you really don’t deserve the good times. So yes, empathy definitely needs to flow both ways.

    3. 5.3
      Karmic Equation

      Hi SMC,

      I’m glad to hear that you’re out of that relationship.

      He was not a good boyfriend and you mulliganed things that are not really mulligan-able.

      Being criticized in public is a big no-no in any relationship. If he found something you did objectionable, he should have brought it up in private. Not because of “empathy” but because of respect.

      A lot of women on this board accuse men of being “disrespectful” when the men fail to cater to their insecurities. Men should not cater to women’s insecurities. Just as women should not cater to men’s. However, when someone treats you poorly by being unkind, and public criticism is one of the unkindest act of all (except in professional sports haha) and the most disrespectful — that behavior is something you address, in private, by saying  “Don’t ever do that again. You disrespected me in front of our friends and I don’t deserve that. If you have a problem with what I do in public, you tell me that in private. Are we clear?” There is no negotiation.

      Never ever be afraid to lose a man who disrespects you (different than not catering to you), regardless of how he steps up elsewhere. State your boundaries and let the cards fall where they may.

      1. 5.3.1

        KE, Jenny, Caroline and Adrian,

        Thank you for the comments.   This post and all of the comments have been very enlightening.   My date tonight had to postpone an hour, so I’m taking some of that extra time to catch up here (since it was too busy at work to keep up).   And I’m hoping to watch the podcast later tonight.   As for the criticizing, it started out very subtly, masked as “coaching.”   It’s ridiculous, really, because it was mostly (though not always) centered on when we played pool with his friends in their weekly tournaments.   Wonderful people, I had so much fun with them.   He’s a much better player than I am, but I have been improving steadily, and it seemed the more I improved, the more critical he became until last Tuesday he suggested I make a particular shot but didn’t explain WHY, and to me, I couldn’t see how to make it successfully, so I didn’t take it and instead cleared the table of my four remaining balls and took a shot (and missed) on the 8 ball.   That, to me, is success, but he harped on and on for the rest of the evening about my not taking that one shot that he said would have won me the game, at which point I said “J., I feel I did well.   I cleared the table, and you need to turn the page.”   Even his friends kind of murmured when he stepped away, “What’s his problem?”   And that was it.   I brought it up in the course of conversation later, after we got back to his place, and it was ON.   His friends, all of whom are much better players than I, couldn’t even see what he was talking about re: the shot until he explained it AFTER I finished my run.   At any rate, something snapped and I collected all of my things from his house, packed my car up (it was midnight) and drove home.   Haven’t heard a word from him since.   I reached out on Saturday by text asking “Do you want to talk about it?” And nothing.   Sunday I said “I guess you don’t, I won’t be bothering you again, let me know when we can exchange our things.”   (I forgot quite a few things because it was late and I was tired.)

        It was a good 14 months, I don’t regret a thing about it, but you can be sure I’ll recognize avoidant behavior and won’t stand for any criticism in the future.   We had lots of adventures, and honestly, I wasn’t really looking for a LTR at the time, but I am now and things have changed.   I know we’ll run into each other at the dance club sooner or later and it’ll be fine, but no more mulliganing the non-mulligan-able things (thanks KE, you made me smile at that).   Now to get busy and read more super comments.   Jenny, welcome aboard!

        1. Jenny

          Good for you for leaving, SMC. It was the right thing to do. Don’t look back, just move forward. I always say  there are things to be learned from every relationship, both good and bad.

          And thanks for the welcome – appreciate it! 🙂

        2. Karmic Equation

          I’m glad I could make you smile, SMC.

          I thought he was criticizing you for chewing with your mouth open or something like that. That’s non-mulligan-able for sure. You don’t embarrass anyone like that if you care for them. Does he criticize you about other things than pool. If yes, then I stand by what I said. But if he only criticizes you during pool, then it is not so cut and dried.

          When it comes to men and anything competitive, we enter into a whole new realm of grey-area and what us mulligan-able. lol

          Here’s the analogy. You know how women get hormonal and emotional at “that time of the month”? Men get like that when they’re competing. It could be darts or hopscotch, watching sports or playing sports. They can end up unfathomably emotional and “not their real selves” when competition is involved.

          My guy and I have argued more over pool than anything else. Our worst fight was when he forced a coach on me when I felt I didn’t need it. Then I tried to execute what he said and ended up putting the cue ball the one place on the table where I had the most impossible angle shot on the 8-ball. I gave him a look that should have killed him dead on the spot because I blamed him for my loss. If he had left me alone to figure out the shot, I think I would have left myself an easy shot on the 8. I think that night I stormed out of the hall when the night was done.

          We never really talked about that night. But he’s not forced a coach on me again. So I guess problem solved.

          The point is that all 7s are divas and some are very strong in their conviction that their way is the ONLY way to win. They forget they’re 7s and can do things that non-7s can’t do. And they if they’re dating you, they feel your failure is their failure. If you lose, they lost.

          So, if you’re competitive and your guy is competitive and you’re both passionate about pool, you’re going to fight about it. It’s one area you both can agree to disagree and where if you don’t resolve it, it’s kind of ok. It’s the heat of competition thing. You probably remember more than he does.

          Criticism about shot selection or out pattern is not the same as criticizing you for how you dress or talk or other behavior that have nothing to do with sports and competition.

          So if your guy ONLY criticized you when you were playing pool, that COULD be mulligan-able, particularly IF he doesn’t criticize you in other areas of life. (My guy does not, thankfully, else we wouldn’t still be together).

          You seem like a rational person, SMC, so I’m thinking there were other aspects of his personality and other behaviors that had nothing to do with pool that made you angry and hurt enough to break up with him.

          If this is the case, don’t second guess yourself. You definitely did the right thing. OTOH, if pool is the only time he criticizes you, giving him another mulligan if he’s willing to talk things through may not be such a bad idea. Competition makes men a little hormonal. lol

      2. 5.3.2

        KE, he did not criticize me about anything other than pool.   And honestly, the criticism itself was forgivable (and thus, mulligan-able) because I understood that it was in the heat of the game.   Toward the end, though, he started saying things like, “She missed it because she wouldn’t listen to me” to his friends.   It made them uncomfortable and embarrassed the daylights out of me and made me want to just quit playing right then and there (though I always finished).   It was the WAY he refused to acknowledge that he had ANY part in ANY disagreement was what put me over the top.   He had a couple of other habits too that he knew bothered me (habits, thus changeable, not personality traits, thus unchangeable) but he continued to indulge in them, and it was when, after pushed too far, I’d take a stand that he’d unleash the vitriol on me with both barrels.   It was always shocking to me.   He’d say I needed to empathize with him and put myself in HIS shoes (when I’d ask why he couldn’t put himself in my shoes), but the thing is, he always said I never did anything wrong UNTIL we had an argument, and then the stuff would come out, which is completely unfair.   There was never any compromise.   I’d say “OK, what do I do that bothers you,” to which he’d reply, “You don’t do anything that bothers me.”   Wait, what??   So I’d stuff the aggravation and end the fight, completely unsatisfied that he really heard me.   He didn’t hear me.   He certainly didn’t understand me.   But I know he loved me.   He just couldn’t allow that he had any part in any argument, and thus never could apologize for anything.   There was a coldness in him that would extend to a long silent treatment and then he’d pretend the next day that nothing had happened.   And THAT’S what I finally had enough of.

        BTW, your tale of your guy forcing a coach on you?   Lord I can’t tell you how many times he’d do that, I’d listen to him, execute the shot poorly and then be mad as hell that I’d listened to him, which was why I didn’t listen to him that night, and I shot well because of it.   So HE was mad about it.   The thing is, I wasn’t even playing HIM, I was playing another gal on the team.   He just couldn’t stay out of it and started talking smack for the rest of the game.   Not cool.

        BTW, my date tonight was wonderful.   Easy, calm, lively conversation, complete gentlemanly behavior, sizzling at the end but with reserve.   Said he wasn’t in a rush (for that) and I could take all the time I wanted.

        1. Karmic Equation

          Hi SMC,

          Your guy had some insecurities and they came out in pool. (Frankly, I have the same issue with my guy, so I can very much relate).


          I think you had been dating your guy for over a year?

          And you went from him to dating a new guy in a few weeks?

          You might want to give yourself some time to grieve over your relationship. Or be extra vigilant on whether or not you’re rebounding with the current guy.

          Somewhere I read that for every year of a relationship, you need about 2  months  to “get over it” after it ends. When I ended a 6-year relationship, it took me almost a year to get back to normal, emotionally, as in being truly ready for another emotional commitment. And during that healing year, my heart was never in jeopardy. I found a bf  who  I could never fall in love with. And, luckily, he was not really a “good guy” so HIS heart wasn’t in jeopardy either. Just what the doctor ordered. A pseudo relationship 🙂

          So just be careful that you don’t hurt this guy inadvertently because you never let yourself grieve and heal properly after the end of your relationship.

          Best of luck.

    4. 5.4

      Hi SMC,

      Your comment/story reminds us that there is a difference between the Marlboro man and just a bad boyfriend

      1. 5.4.1


        After listening to this podcast (it’s 1:09 a.m. but I promised you I would listen to it no matter how late I got home) I find that Evan described my ex to a tee – he WAS the Marlboro man.   Tough, untouchable, uncommunicative, cold.   But lots and lots of fun.   Eh, ok.   It was a good time, but as many of his friends regularly told me, “He’s been single too long.”   I finally believed them.   And now he’s single again.   He had a heart of gold, but it was also a heart of ice.   I maintain, though, that he’s a good guy and I was glad to know him.   Still am.   He just, in the end, wasn’t the man for me who needs someone who can communicate, even if only a little.

        1. Christine

          SMC, I’m also glad you’re out of that relationship.   A good relationship brings out the best in you and makes you happy.   It sounds like yours stopped doing that.

          I think we both know this wasn’t really about pool–it sounds like it was that proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back.   It sounds like it was really about his ongoing lack of communication and unwillingness to take responsibility for his part in the relationship.

          Communicating honestly about issues doesn’t have to equal “conflict” or “negativity”. If anything, when I finally spoke up about the things that bothered me, it brought me and my guy closer together.   When he was so understanding about it, I saw that I can truly be myself around him, even my most vulnerable.   I thought, finally, I’ve found my safe place to land.

          I’m glad that you’re now free to find yours too.   Your date sounds promising and I’ll cross my fingers that he’s a better match!

        2. SMC

          Thanks Christine.   I remember you telling the story of how you finally spoke up about something that bothered you and how, if I remember correctly, your man told you to speak up WHENEVER something bothered you (paraphrasing here big time) and that it brought you closer together. That particular story stuck with me and I’ve thought about it many times since.   You’re absolutely right – the pool game itself was not the issue, it was the catalyst to the final breakdown.   I had already been planning the breakup, which I wish could have been done in a calmer fashion. As it was, I loved on him the whole time I was taking my things to the car, hoping against hope that he would soften up even a tiny bit.   One single word from him would have stopped me, but he was too cold and proud to do it. I didn’t want to leave and cried the entire time, but I knew I had to because I had set myself up to forever be the one who would give in to keep the peace.   Oh well, this next one is already promising.   Thank you for the good luck wishes!   🙂

        3. Christine

          SMC, I’m glad that story resonated with you.   My guy is also not generally the most expressive person in the world either (i.e. doesn’t like to go on and on about his feelings, etc.)   Yet he still encourages open communication about issues.   He was actually upset that I didn’t speak up sooner, and suffered in silence for as long as I did.   He told me he’s the person I should feel most comfortable speaking honestly with.

          I think you really did the right thing.   I’ve learned that sweeping things under the rug isn’t a real “peace” at all.   Pretending that problems aren’t there doesn’t really make them go away.

          Oh well, onwards and upwards to better things!   I’m glad you’re already on to a promising prospect already.

  6. 6
    Karmic Equation

    Except for two podcasts (the one on courting and the one on how fast men should go sexually), most do not generate more than a handful of comments.

    This podcast/video only had one comment:  (Video) Andrea Syrtash’s TEDx Talk — How to Make Love Outside the Bedroom

    I would say that, in general, the podcasts don’t get a lot of comments because it’s hard for us to comment specifically because, unless we take notes, we’re not going to remember the specific points to comment upon.

    There’s only so many times that one can say “Great podcast, Evan”. All his podcasts are great. But I don’t have time to relisten to comment specifically.

    The guys are just taking potshots at women for lack of empathy are just being opportunistic at sniping at us. I wouldn’t waste breath or time responding to them when they’re just being jerks.

    I must say though, men who go through life acting the victim when there is no victimization is just as unattractive as when women do it.

    When men play the victim like this, obviously it comes from a place of hurt and anger, but is expressed in such as way as to make women feel “less than”. When women play the victim, also coming from a place of hurt and anger, they make men the “bad guys” whether they are or not.

    An interesting display  of how the genders communicate the same feelings…and perhaps one reason for  our gender wars, eh?

    1. 6.1

      Hi Karmic Equation,

      __I disagree with your reasoning for why the podcasts have so few response (of course there is no simple right or wrong on this, just speculation).

      I think the reason Evan’s podcast get so few responses is because for one thing, he is much more thorough on the subjects. Also because we can hear his tone, inflection, and energy level as he speaks; this leaves little room for misunderstanding about his message. Then there is the fact that Evan is consistent and supports his arguments with real life examples-which I love!

      Finally, I think most of Evan’s podcast subjects are non-controversial (though Evan thinks they are), and a lack of controversy leads to much universal agreement, but also boredom in the comments section.

      1. 6.1.1
        Karmic Equation

        Hi Adrian,


        I agree with both your reasons as to why there tend to be fewer comments to his podcasts than to his responses to LWs.

        I know that I’ve agreed with most (if not all) of Evan’s podcasts. Yet, I haven’t commented on too many of them because I don’t remember all the specific points he made, but I know that I agreed with his perspective on those points.

        So perhaps your points are in addition to my point about lack of (my) brainpower to retain the points. lol

    2. 6.2

      Always good when I see your comments appear, Karmic. Evan’s site is one of many on my feed list so I read a lot of articles and comments about relationships and the male/female perceptions around them. Overall, your comments are constantly the most level-headed of all the women’s comments I read .. with only occasional exceptions. But hey, we’ll just call those ‘disagreements’ .. 😉

      1. 6.2.1
        Karmic Equation

        Thanks, AAORK.

        I feel your comments are usually balanced and come from a reasonable, unembittered perspective, even when we disagree.

        You posted after my comments about potshots, so I wasn’t referring to your comments as potshots. I don’t feel you take them.

        1. AAORK

          Yep no worries, I know. I think we’re both here to learn and educate (in contrast to so many just looking to vent  latent anger and frustrations)  which is why I usually read your responses more than once. Thnx.

  7. 7

    Hi, I’m musing on this video still. It left me wordless for many hours. I think it appeared to be a problem with no solution. Today, I think it is not a problem with no solution but it really is very very hard. Perhaps it is no less hard than women’s struggle to change their position in the society. It takes so much pain and pressure to want to change. It seems to me that men will be feeling some of this pain and pressure , especially now. Women have changed a great deal. change is not easy by a very long shot. I think you may lose your self before rediscovering it in a new and less painful way.

  8. 8

    As a guy, the podcast certainly resonates. But I also realize the intent here is to educate women and help them better understand what drives men, not to tell men things they already know. I would like to think that most women would pause, absorb and reflect on what Evan presents but experience would tell me otherwise. I’ve never experienced any real compassion from any women (other than my Mom of course) regarding the plight of men. And with today’s popular culture of devaluing the importance and value of men (especially fathers!) in society, along with a good dose of masculinity demonization in general, this won’t be changing anytime soon.

    The low comment count shouldn’t surprise anyone. It’s not like Evan’s talking about something of real importance to today’s women. You know, like .. “Why He Needs To Do More Housework!” or “Why He Needs To Buy Me An Engagement Ring!” … 🙂


    1. 8.1

      Interesting that you didn’t include your girlfriend in that list of women who show you compassion. I’d say that’s very telling.

      All I have to say as a new poster here is WOW. The overwhelming sentiment here is a very visible anger towards the female sex –  how self-centered we are or how big a ring we want. You obviously didn’t read MY  post.

      Keep up that attitude guys and you will all be single, bitter old men.

      1. 8.1.1

        Hi Jenny,

        __Don’t let a few negative comments from a niche group of men turn you off to this site. I love Evan’s teachings 100 times better than most dating or relationship experts even though he only focuses on women. Much of his wisdom is universal for both sexes.

        Also you will see that it is a mixed bag here. There are also many negative female commenters. Go back and read what Caroline wrote about the reason for gender wars. I pity both the men and women who are so negative more than I am angry at them.


        Oh I forgot to introduce myself. Hi I am Adrian, the meanest commenter on here, so you had better have your lunch money ready for me tomorrow or I will be throwing some silent vows at you (^_^), welcome to the site.

        1. Jenny

          Lol, Hi Adrian – and thanks for the warm welcome! 🙂   Lunch money, eh? Will you take payment in say,   gummy bears, instead? lol.

          Oh, I know ti’s a mixed bag. And I’m not going to let it turn me off the site. I listened to Evan long before I ever commented here, and will continue to do so.   I just find it interesting that men who are enlightened enough to listen to a dating coach, let alone a dating coach who focuses on women, would be  so disrespectful of women. And I know it comes from having had bad personal experiences, but to paint the entire female sex with the same tar brush is just unfair. But yeah, I can already spot those who are bitter, or just here to bait.

          Thank you again for your kindness 🙂

      2. 8.1.2

        {sigh ..} Equating an empirical observation (or seemingly in your case, reading something you don’t like) with “anger towards the female sex” really only speaks for you and your apparent tendency to project your own anger as someone else’s – I just don’t have any. And no, it’s not “interesting” that I excluded my GF (maybe to you). Again, my comments are just observations from a wealth of life experience and I accept the reality as it is; nothing more. Frankly, your reactive-style post reads like a carbon-copy response from the ‘male shaming’ crowd; transparent, shallow and easily dismissed. But since you’re ‘new’, I’ll overlook it this one time because once is a mistake, more than that is intent.   😉

        1. Jenny

          I’m sorry – your comments do not equal empirical data. SMC called you out below as well, and she’s been here far longer than I. You’re not worth the effort to even get into an argument with, lol.

    2. 8.2

      More potshots at women!   Thanks, AAORK!   Always a pleasure to have a grin at your (and the other women-haters’) expense.   And a big eye roll too.

      I think I’ll go slap my date (this is our second evening date) and demand to know when the big ring is coming.   Do you think it’s too soon?

      1. 8.2.1

        Haha! No, I think the second date is just about right 😉 Make sure he follows the 4 C’s though – none of that Cubic Zirconia crap! 😛

    3. 8.3

      Aaork-I’m curious. Why do you think, other than your mother, NO woman has showed you compassion? In terms if compassion, what is it you’re searching for? To be acknowledged for? I’m sincerely curious. I consider myself a survivor. Just because my ex was emotionally and physically abusive; I don’t think every man has nefarious intentions. In fact, its made me search deeper into myself and what i need to do to be a better partner. just because sone some guys acted poorly on dates, I don’t assume all men will. I do however believe, men generally will act along certain gender roles. I also think men believe generally that women will act within their gender roles. Btw-I could just as easily claimed I wasn’t surprised by how little thought men give to modern woman’s ever changing role in society. I could say, it would be wise for men to pause and take consideration also. By far, in my opinion, I see a much greater indication of women in general considering all aspects of dating. Their part in it, what men find attractive, how men feel, etc. whereas there is a preponderance of PUA sites which are geared toward manipulation. This in my opinion is akin to the “rules” crap spewed decades ago. The “men’s rights” seems to be akin to the extreme feminist view. And both these extremes polarize the genders. I believe the majority of folks fall within a general consensus where each considers their gender’s past and work together toward a compromise. This is of course if each party wants a living relationship.

      1. 8.3.1

        Hi Caroline – The reality is that I don’t precisely know why women in general don’t show compassion with the plight of men (I’m not a woman, how would I know?). And when I say “show” I mean physical, actionable affirmations, not just verbal assertions which cost nothing (and men get plenty of that). As to why, I have plausible explanations by observation and experience (mine and others) but I’ll leave that to the other guys here who will surely want to share their thoughts on this. I mentioned my Mom only as a contrast (due to her natural overriding maternal instincts; she didn’t grant my Father the same compassion she did for me).

        But in the end, what would it matter and what would it change? Hint: not much and nothing, respectively. I simply accept it, adjust accordingly, and move on. I do not seek compassion, sympathy, validation or whatever from women anyways (but what I do seek I usually get <grin>). This way of thinking is feminine-oriented and thus more associated with women (and effeminate men). There’s a saying that goes “Other people are just background actors in the stage of life. You are the master of your role”. It’s like that.

        To comment on the rest of your post would require an essay-style response and no one likes those, so hope I’ve answered your main inquiry. BTW, when I commented to Karmic about her levelheadedness in responses, I realized that I had recalled the same in your comments so thanks for your contributions as well.   😉


        1. Caroline

          Hi Aaork-while I’m grateful for your response; you actually didn’t answer my question. I asked why you personally didn’t feel women didnt show you empathy. Empathy is the ability to put yourself in someone else’s shoes. When Buck25 commented on the very same question posed; he explained how he personally was made to feel. It was a powerful explanation and I’m positive not just SMC and I were the only women to feel transcended into that powerful personal observation. He didn’t paint an entire gender with the broad brush of lack of understanding. I’d like to note also that the practice of being able to be empathetic is cultivated. The more you try doing it; the easier it is to do. Volunteering is one of the best ways to practice your ability to empathize.

  9. 9

    Evan this was such a great podcast and so timely, I was just thinking about this very subject.


    __I have a question for all the men here. How have you navigated the balance of coming off as masculine but also sensitive and caring? Anyone who has been on this site for a while have read comments by women that for a man to be human is such a turn off to them.

    __Of course they didn’t say it like that, it was usually he cried in front of me when his dog died, I lost attraction.

    * He was scared of a mouse, I lost attraction.

    * He is shy, I lost attraction.

    *He is too close to his mother, they talk on the phone all the time, I lost attraction

    *He can’t think of a fun date to impress me, I lost attraction.

    * He was too available,

    *He likes me too much, so he always wants to talk to me, I lost attraction.

    * He was too attracted to me, there was no challenge, I lost attraction.

    etc, etc, etc These are all real comments from this site.

    __I guess I would like to hear from some of the older male commenters how have you dealt with this? Did you just hide your fears and insecurities about life until a year into the relationship or do you still pretend?


    1. 9.1
      Karmic Equation

      Hi Adrian,

      Obviously, I’m not male but I’m going to comment from a female perspective.

      I think it’s really the overall package, and the timing, when guys do some of these things that determine when a woman might lose attraction.

      Some examples.

      When I bought my house 10 years ago, my boyfriend at the time and I had been going out for about 8 months. He took time off from work to do some demolition for me. I thought that was way awesome of him. About a month later, we got our first dog. He never told me he was afraid of dogs. Anyway he grew to love that dog and a second dog we got so much they preferred him over me. But this macho demolition, dog loving guy, dry heaved and gagged when I asked him to help pick up poop in the yard (I bought a special rake and container for this). — I already loved him a lot and I just teased the heck out of him for his gagging/dry heaving. Dead mice caught in traps? I got rid of them. He was also the most fashion conscious of the men I dated. He had more sneakers than I had shoes. And he would make sure he wore sneakers with trim that matched his outfit.  I didn’t lose attraction, but I teased him about these “feminine” qualities.

      Another boyfriend a few years ago was a man’s man. Men liked him and feared him and women were all over him. He and I had been dating about 6 months when his dad died. He was pretty stoic at the wake. But when we got back to his condo, he shed silent tears. I wanted to hold and console him. But he actually got mad at me when I tried, like he was ashamed I saw his tears. He was the reformed player bf who was my transition guy. His tears didn’t make me lose attraction but made me recognize his humanity.

      A guy friend (not bf) of mine currently goes through women like socks. I even said that to him and he laughed but didn’t disagree. I forgot what we were talking about, but he ending up blurting out, “Yeah, I’m the guy that cries at chick flicks.” And while I’ve never seen him do that, I could see how women would gravitate towards him rather than away. Because of the total package. He’s funny, happy-go-lucky. Crying at chick flicks  wouldn’t be a stretch.

      Anyway, I believe how much a woman loves the guy the first time he exhibits those “lose attraction qualities or behaviors” — and the degree to which he exhibits them — determine whether or not the girl loses attraction or not.

      If my gagging/dry-heaving bf did that in the first 2-3 months while we were  dating, before I had fallen in love, there’s a distinct possibility we wouldn’t have lasted much longer. Guy crying silent tears at his dad’s passing gets a pass from every woman. But I’m not sure how I would have handled it if he bawled his eyes out like women can instead of the silent tears. And the last guy, if he were less attractive, or more Marlboro-man like, and then cried at chick flicks? I’m not sure how I would feel, since there would be a reason why I’m dating the Marlboro man (which is the guy I’m dating now). With him,  silent tears I probably could deal. Bawling, maybe not so much. Quiet sobs depending on the circumstances or surreptiously wiping his eyes at chick flicks, yeah I think I’d be ok.

      Depends on the guy and my emotional investment at the time it first happens.

      So exhibiting  any of those lose-attraction behaviors/qualities before exclusivity is probably not a good idea…probably not a good idea until after “I love yous” have been exchanged.

      1. 9.1.1


        You post illustrates precisely why men are so afraid of being the person that they are.   Or who they would want to be.   Why would a man ever want to be vulnerable and emotional when we know that by doing so there is a good chance of being judged as ‘unmanly’ or too feminine by the very person they are letting themselves be vulnerable to?

      2. 9.1.2

        KE, I once dated (then married) a guy who used to tell people that I was the first woman he’d ever dated that got more attention than he did when walking into a room.   And he was PROUD of coming in second.   He was drop dead gorgeous, but his laser beam green eyes that could pierce steel when angered would look at me, go all soft and warm, and then he’d go all teary-eyed on me.   He’d get all flustered about it, but it made me about as soft and gooey inside as I’ve ever been.   I’ve never had a man get emotional like that about me before or since, and I’ve never forgotten how soft he made me feel whenever he’d do it.   If a man’s looking at me and getting gushy and teary, BRING IT ON.

        This was also the man who blushed furiously if you squeezed the last of the ketchup (or mustard, or anything else) out of the bottle and it made that sound.   Goodness he was modest.   A turnoff?   Not at ALL.   It was adorable.   He knew he could show his vulnerability and it would be received with love and affection.

      3. 9.1.3

        So, @MGM531:   You can either complain about the women who mock you for being vulnerable and spend your relationships pretending to be more “butch” than you are, or you can be who you are and focus your energies on the women who appreciate you.     Search first and foremost for kind women who aren’t turned off by your traits, and pick from them.   Too often, men make their selection based on the cutest smile or who appears most eager… then are shocked when she turns out to be disgusted and critical of parts of him.

        Evan freely admits that he is a “crier;” he was sobbing so hard, he had a hard time getting through his wedding vows!     He could’ve hunted for the hottest chick he could find, married her and always tried to hide his emotions so that she wouldn’t criticize.   Instead, he found a woman who accepted and loved him, as he is.   You should consider doing the same.

        1. SMC

          “Evan freely admits that he is a “crier;” he was sobbing so hard, he had a hard time getting through his wedding vows! “

          Henriette, I hadn’t yet learned that little tidbit about Evan.   THAT makes me go all soft and gooey inside too.   Who in her right mind WOULDN’T find that adorable?!?   Not only that he cried at his wedding but that he’s man enough to admit it!

        2. Henriette

          @SMC – It’s not a matter of being “in her right mind” or not.   Many   high-quality women find sobbing men repellent.   It doesn’t make them wrong, it simply means that they would be would be mad to date this kind of guy in hopes of changing him.

    2. 9.2


      I concur with much of what  Karmic Equation wrote. Now if a guy exhibited most or all of those traits you listed above (scared of mice, shy, too available, crying a lot), then yes, maybe it wouldn’t  be so attractive. But a good woman is not going to be turned off a man for exhibiting any one or two of those you mentioned. If she is, she’s honestly not worth his time.

      As far as the tears, I think a guy who can truly let himself cry is a gem. I’m not talking  about breaking down in sobs every 5 minutes, but I’ve seen grown men cry at the death of loved ones, or during really stressful times in their lives, and it didn’t make me feel any less attraction for them, or admire them any less. If anything, I was honestly happy to see that they were able to let themselves go there – and that they were comfortable crying in front of me. We are still far to tough on men for crying in this  society (and I say that too as the mother of a boy). I personally see it as a good thing and it shouldn’t have to be relegated to silent tears when no one’s looking.

    3. 9.3


      As a male in my mid 40’s that is slogging through a divorce that is now going on for 3 years I can tell you that throughout most of my life I had to hide my true identity to both men and women.   I was always an emotionally expressive person and highly empathetic.   This caused me to be teased and mocked by boys mercilessly when I kid, so much so that I purposely hid this side of my personality because I didn’t want to get hurt or humiliated as an adult, like I was a kid.   It also meant that I was very shy with girls and women and rarely went out on dates.   In fact I didn’t even have a girlfriend until I was in my early 20’s in college — and even that didn’t last very long.   When I finally did get married I eventually let down my guard and allowed myself to be vulnerable, only to be eventually mocked and humiliated by her as well.   After that painful experience I vowed to NEVER be put that situation again.   Now, I live as I want and don’t give a F*CK about what anyone says about who am and what I am.   But it’ll take a long time to trust anyone again with my feelings.

      1. 9.3.1

        Hi MGM-I really appreciated you sharing your feelings. It’s great to know you’ve come to terms and are embracing who you are:) kudos.

        I just wanted to give you a bit of food for thought. I once read that many a man thinks their ex is crazy because she lived a lie at first. She tried to be the “perfect” girlfriend; she suppressed her opinions, didnt speak out when she didn’t like how she was being treated, etc. So instead of expressing her opinion and suppressing her personality; she keeps holding it in and then kaboom! She explodes with anger. He never saw it coming. Hence, crazy girlfriend.He thought he was making her happy. I suspect your wife felt similarly. Now don’t get me wrong!! I’m not giving her a pass. It’s like deceptive advertising. You kinda sold her on this false “you”.   There’s lots of ladies who’d appreciate you for who you are out there. Be true to yourself

        1. mgm531


          Yeah, I guess you’re right.   It couldn’t possibly be that my soon-to-be-ex is a passive aggressive person that can’t take responsibility for any action in her life.   It couldn’t possibly be because this same person that I trusted implicitly with my emotions and vulnerability trashed me behind my back with her friends and questioned my ‘manhood’.   Nor could it possibly because she used the courts to try and deny my rights to see my only daughter and made an otherwise mundane divorce into a 3 slog fest that has cost me $60K (and counting) and nearly forced me to go bankrupt.   I guess you’re right that it’s somehow MY fault because she was pretending the be the ‘perfect’ girlfriend/wife.    No, somehow it has just got to be my fault because, you know, I’m a man.   M’kay…Gotcha.

          Here’s some food for thought for you to contemplate.   Bad behavior is not gender specific and while most women are not ‘crazy b*thes’ and most men are not a**holes, some are.   Sometimes some women are called crazy b*tches because they act like a b*tch and do crazy things.   Sometimes some men are called a**holes because they do things an a**hole does.   Doesn’t mean all men are a**holes and that all women are crazy b*tches, but it certainly doesn’t mean that there aren’t examples of each respective gender.

        2. Caroline

          MGM-ouch! Please re-read my message. I absolutely am not saying what you claim. I was saying you may have not revealed your true self to her. She thought she was marrying someone else. I’m not faulting you. I’m saying her poor behavior was spurred by this. You say you pretended to be someone else out of fear yes? You were bullied and hence curtailed showing your true self?   She reacted poorly while a more sound person could have compromised or ended the marriage on civil terms. I personally went through much unnecessary angst during my divorce. I paid dearly monetarily. It was drug out for years like yours. My ex succumbed to his alcoholism and spiraled further downward resulting in a dui, loss of most of his customers, and resulting in an inability not only to take care of the kids when he had them but himself. When he chose to help himself; he cleaned up his act and we eventually had a very amiable coparenting schedule with much room for variance. He loved coaching my youngest in baseball and I gladly relinquished any evenings and weekends he wanted to share this with our son. Did things always go well? No! Was I stubborn and at fault- absolutely! Goodness, it takes 2 to tango. The divorce is obviously fresh and you’re in survival mode. Practice self care but don’t retract into yourself. Things will evolve and can become more equitable when both sides stop blaming the other and come together to give your children the love they deserve from both parents. Best of luck to you.


        3. Caroline

          Mgm- I was saying you were the one who hid his true self in the beginning like the “crazy girlfriend” in my example. She’s NOT crazy! She just like YOU hid their true self. She fell in love with someone you were pretending to be.

    4. 9.4

      @ Adrian,

      A balancing act? For my generation of men (baby boomers) , this is akin to walking through a minefield without a map! First , some background You’ve been socialized differently (if memory serves, you’re not a Millennial, but the younger end of Gen Y),   AND you’ve grown up after gender roles and expectations had begun to shift. We were the kids of what you’d probably call “the bad old days” of the fifties.

      Here’s a taste of how we were socialized. We were mostly raised with a warrior mentality; aggressive, competitive, and by your standards, combative. We were more physical than cerebral; we played rough, and if we got hurt, were expected by our peers (and most adult males in our lives) to “take it like a man”; no crying, no whining. Showing emotions (other than anger), was unacceptable; it was called “Acting like a girl”, and a boy who did, was often derisively referred to as “She”.   Any boy who wan’t aggressive enough,   and tough enough, to fight, was usually considered weak, and effeminate. Corporal punishment was the norm, in school and at home. This was how we spent our preteen and early adolescent years. Quite violent, by what you’re used to. When we got older, we got introduced to an even harsher culture-the military of the day. We could expect to be conscripted; there was a draft, after all, and if our number came up we were expected to serve, and when Vietnam came along , to go to war, and a lot of us did. Everything was in black and white; there were few gray areas. Gender roles were well established; men worked and provided; women stayed home, kept the house and raised kids. If girls went to college, it was mostly to get the “Mrs. degree”; if they didn’t , and had to work, they were going to be teaching, waiting tables, or in the steno or secretary pool. There weren’t many other options for them. On reflection, it wasn’t idyllic for anyone, but at least the roles and expectations were clear. So that’s the backdrop we grew up against. As you might expect, we got pretty set in our ways. John Wayne and the Marlboro Man were our ideals; tough, stoic and mostly taciturn (if we did run our mouths, we had better be tough enough to back it up, and we often were). Feelings? We didn’t even learn the vocabulary for talking about those (if we even acknowledged any to   ourselves in the first place); we   learned to compartmentalize and bury them instead; easier that way.

      That’s pretty long I know,,   but it gives you some idea of the difference between your early socialization and ours, that may help you understand. If you think the things women want us to be today confuse you, well, most of it is utterly alien to us, and even with the best will in the world it’s damn hard for us to make sense of it.I guess the first real exposure I had to women wanting   what they called act the time “sensitive New Age Men”. I guess that might have been around the time you were born, so you’re used to hearing it ; to me, it was a novelty, and something of a joke in bad tastes far as I knew, women wanted John Wayne, or maybe James Bond; but certainly not some wimpy hypersensitive, effeminate New Age wuss who cried at the drop of a hat, and hemorrhaged his emotions all over the place. It was, I thought, just another case of women not really knowing what the hell they wanted, and this seemed to be confirmed, when a woman would occasionally find herself one of these unfortunate stray puppies, and promptly get rid of him, when he started acting so much like one of her girlfriends that she finally couldn’t stand him. Little did I know what this really   portended.

      Fast forward to today. I spent most of the intervening years married, got semi-domesticated, but never did change as much as what Evan describes, though it felt like a lot to me. Four years ago, I merged from divorce into a social landscape as alien to me and the dark side of the moon. Age aside, women were not what I remembered. Color me dazed and confused.   I feel damned if I do, and damned if I don’t. I do what always worked for me, and women call me “insensitive”. I try to open up (which I’m not sure I know how to do anyway) and I’m “being needy”. I do what I know, and I’m “a brute”. If I say I don’t understand, and I show any frustration, I’m either a “whiner” or “a bitter misogynist who hates women”. Then I see the guys who do what women say they want, and they get “friend zoned” every time; can anyone blame me for not wanting that? If I show real passion for a hobby or a cause, I’m called “emotionally unavailable”; if I don’t, I “don’t have a life”. From where I sit, it looks like women expect me to be   two totally different men, and to switch from one to the other, by magically knowing somehow (telepathy?) which one she wants at the moment (and switch back instantly when she wants that, as well). Navigating? I’m not navigating anything; hell, I’m body surfing a class 5 whitewater rapid, sans kayak or paddle, and trying to keep my head above water, while avoiding the worst of the jagged rocks.

      You DID ask.

      1. 9.4.1


        Nice to see you.   Even when you’re frustrated as hell, I always enjoy your comments.   I believe we’re of the same generation (or pretty close), and honestly I see very much where you’re coming from.   Your (our) generation of men, I think, has the hardest time of all, and you nailed it in your comment. Thanks for chiming in.

        I bet you and I would get along IRL.

        BTW, my guy in the story above who got teary-eyed when he looked at me on certain occasions was 13 years older than I was, the next generation up.   Tough as nails except with me.   He navigated the Great Divide between his generation and the New Age nicely.   I’m betting you did too.

        “Navigating? I’m not navigating anything; hell, I’m body surfing a class 5 whitewater rapid, sans kayak or paddle, and trying to keep my head above water, while avoiding the worst of the jagged rocks.”   I do love your writing style.   🙂

      2. 9.4.2

        Buck-thank you so much for your powerful personal journey. Wow. I could tell and even taste that it came genuinely. I also have felt that “damned if I do, damned if I don’t” feeling. I was leading the “I am woman ideal” where I not only brought home the bacon but fried it up in a pan, was sexy for my man, super mom to my kids, and quite frankly not just having a hard time juggling it all but failing at most of it. What you said was very powerful. Thank you for sharing:)

    5. 9.5

      “How have you navigated the balance of coming off as masculine but also sensitive and caring?”


      Never show weakness. That is what your male friends are for, Adrian.

      The only emotion to be displayed in the presence of any woman is anger. And it is to be displayed silently, unless the situation calls for violence.

      I’ll give you a tip. A lot of women say, “I want a sensitive and caring man who is not afraid to show his softer side and some vulnerability.”

      They’re lying. Perhaps not consciously, but they’re still lying.

      1. 9.5.1


        You’re a real piece of work.   I can only grin at such venom because to do otherwise would be pointless.   And I really don’t understand why you’re even here in the first place.

        Bless your heart…

        1. Jenny

          Wow, anger and violence. I can’t even grin at that. He’s obviously not learning anything from being on this forum.

  10. 10

    OK, after reading Adrian’s comment, I will DEFINITELY watch this podcast after my date tonight no matter HOW late I get home.   What the heck???

  11. 11

    This podcast reminded me both of Friedan’s The Feminine Mystique and Steve Martin’s 1984 movie, The Lonely Guy. It’s an interesting search for identity with a gender focus. I do think men have a harder time finding identity outside of individual roles, where women tend to have a continuity of identity based on the group/family unit. I think this lack of personal identity does tend to cause a lack of confidence that would breed needy behaviors.

    I’m a bit surprised at the definitions of the masculine & feminine though; I’ve previously heard masculine defined as ‘doing’ behaviors and feminine defined as ‘being’ behaviors. I am a bit hesitant to define masculine as ‘selfish’ and feminine as the natural opposite, ‘selfless’. Of course these are broad strokes, but I would more likely label feminine as ‘reflected identity’  rather than the more individual identity of the masculine.


      1. 11.1.1

        I’m not making you wrong :-).   I get that these are not your definitions, I’ve just heard it differently. I would hate for people to think that men are inherently selfish vs. that being an individual trait, and that’s why I was wary of that idea.

        1. Evan Marc Katz

          It’s not that men are inherently selfish. It’s that masculine energy is inherently selfish. I have many masculine energy clients who are all about their goals, egos, opinions, wants, needs, etc…and are not particularly good at making others feel important, prioritized and accepted. It’s an energy thing that just happens to have gender-based labels that adhere to stereotypes.

        2. Nissa

          I get what you are saying about masculine energy being a self oriented energy not specific to either gender. I’ve just heard a lot of women complain about men’s selfishness, and like you, I don’t think that’s a trait limited to men (lol). I promise I’m not twisting your words :-). People learn by talking about it *smile*

          I think I got my info from Dr Toni Grant’s Being A Woman , which talks a lot about feminine identity, and how learning how to be instead of do, can move people to be more accepting of others.

  12. 12

    So, after listening to the podcast……. Would any of the women like to share how they plan to be more sympathetic towards men, and as a result, improve their relations with men?

    1. 12.1


      After listening to this podcast, which frames women in a fairly negative light, I CAN share how I plan to be more sympathetic towards men, and that is…I’m already sympathetic towards them.   I realize that women can be a handful, they have their moods, they have their bad habits, quirks, what have you.   But we CAN sympathize and empathize, and many of us DO.   Karmic Equation was right, it’s hard to zero in on the finer points of a podcast without rewinding over and over, but many of us already know how to see it from the guy’s point of view.

      Evan, it was refreshing to hear your take as a newly-married guy going to your first party as a couple.   I trust that you didn’t go around scoping out the hotties, though you were clear that that was your given behavior up to that point.   My ex flirted with women, whether they were friends or complete strangers, every single time we went anywhere.   He didn’t coach women as a profession, he wasn’t surrounded by women and talked to them on the phone like you do as part of your job, he just had to have the female validation all the time, and I sucked it up, because that’s how he was and he always got so innocently offended when I’d have a problem with it, but when he’d do it on actual romantic dates, yep, that’s when I’d have a problem.   Was an ongoing thing, and I never felt really secure and safe in his heart because of it.   E.V.E.R.   Sympathetic to that?   Never again.

      Anyway, back to Chance, I don’t really plan on changing a thing.   I do see things from a man’s point of view, I know guys do things differently, I’m surrounded by a “frat pack” all day long and listen to their going on and on about their lives, wives, girlfriends, guy friends, etc.   I don’t bash men, I don’t paint them all with a negative brush, I LIKE men and I like how they do things, the ones that “get” women, and there are plenty that do.   My date tonight had three sisters, two daughter, and he knows how to be manly and masculine yet still has a soft side that has endeared him to every woman in the bank where I used to work.   Funny thing is, HE doesn’t flirt with them, though he makes each and every one feel special in their own way.   Because he’s that nice-guy-with-balls with a big, soft heart.   And tonight, I felt like the only woman in the room because he made me feel that way, yet I got a tiny peek at the sexy, exciting, MANLY part of his personality as well.   I’m looking forward to finding his vulnerabilities, and I have a feeling they will be endearing.   Sympathetic to his vulnerabilities and quirks?   Yes, I have a feeling I will be and I’m looking forward to getting to know him better.   It’s now 1:30 and I’m going to bed.

      Evan, thanks, I think.   It was…interesting.   Love your honesty, though, and that’s why I’m here on your blog and joined Love U.

      1. 12.1.1
        Evan Marc Katz

        Thanks. I think. Fascinating that out of that whole thing you viewed this podcast as “framing women in a fairly negative light,” when the entire thing was mostly explaining what’s wrong with men. Pretty much the ONLY “negative” thing I said about women is that they don’t always understand/empathize with what it’s like to be a man. Your post sounds like you get it more than most…but still, I’m confused at how you could view this innocuous half-hour brain dump about the male life experience as critical of women.

        1. SMC

          Evan, I do apologize. I hear what you’re saying, I really do, but look at the men in the comments – you opened a Pandora’s box of negativity in them and suddenly women bashing became the theme (or so it seemed to me) right off the bat before many of us even had a chance to view the podcast.   Perhaps my opinion was skewed and already defensive by the time I got there.   If so, that’s on me, my bad.   I GUESS what I’ve been trying to say is that I, personally, don’t see ANYTHING “wrong” with men.   I know I’m old school, I’m traditional, I want men to court, but I want to be the lady to the man courting me, etc. filling my appropriate role as such.   I guess I’m ignorant, but I don’t see the need or the sense in gender wars.   I keep hearing about them (I refuse to read anything of that nature, though, which is why I don’t read women’s magazines anymore), I grew up in the age of feminism, but good Lord – can’t we all just get along?!?   So I apologize if I hurt your feelings or caused you any angst, certainly wasn’t my intention.   I’m not nearly as articulate as many of the commenters and I guess that I can’t articulate  exactly what I took from the podcast, so I’m just going to shush and enjoy reading the rest of the comments and quit digging myself any deeper into this hole.

        2. Evan Marc Katz

          Honestly, man, who has the time to read someone’s senior thesis? We get it. You are finding evidence to support your views. You are continuing to present that evidence as indicative of 100% of women. You are telling your happily married and sensitive host (and) all of his happily married) friends that women are not to be trusted, that they don’t like nice guys, that they’re golddiggers and whores. You are ignoring the hundreds of success stories on my website and in my newsletters with couples who chose kind, consistent, communicative, commitment oriented partners.

          You are like one of those people who thinks Obama is an African socialist who secretly hates America, our freedoms, and is trying to hurt our economy and our place in the world, although there is ample evidence that none of those is remotely true.

          I am now formally encouraging you to discontinue posting on this board – the same way I told Obsidian. You’re an angry man who contributes little to the conversation except what women should NOT be looking for in a partner, but most importantly, because you post so frequently and at length, you are a waste of my time and my readers’ time. Go back to your more friendly environs with all the angry men who think so little of the opposite sex and get that positive reinforcement you need to stay in your bubble. The rest of us will be outside your bubble, listening to each other and maybe even falling in love.

        3. McLovin

          You’re white knighting again.

          Actually Evan, you’d probably be surprised to hear that I am currently pursuing a woman in a more traditional fashion, with an eye to an LTR.


          She currently has a boyfriend, but I think she is preparing to make a branch swing, because I’m better than him. It’s been ongoing for a long time, almost a year.

          And really, I comment on maybe 1/10 entries on this blog, maybe once a week tops. Sorry to be such a bee in your bonnet.

        4. Evan Marc Katz

          “White knighting”: A person (usually a male) who sees the typical maiden in distress, and believes that he can help her. A male version of the “mother figure” that some girls become.

          Such a term implies that I’m defending the defenseless (not true). That I’m trying to show off around women (not true). That I’m trying to curry favor with women (not true). That I’m saying something inauthentic that I don’t believe for effect (not true).

          The only way that I’m a white knight is not thru my words on this page, but through my actions: I care about women, coach women, believe in women, am sympathetic to women, want to help women, am happily married to a woman, have a lot of women friends, have a daughter, mother and sister – and think that anyone with such a negative view of women has some therapy to do instead of projecting his negativity on an entire gender.

          It’s the EXACT same thing I’d say to a woman who was a man hater – who thought all men were pigs and cheaters and liars. You are exactly what you hate. It’s just shocking to me that you can’t see it despite how bright you are.

    2. 12.2

      Oh my gosh did I get here in time to comment? You ladies realize there’s a rule established where you have “x” amount of time to comment!! Lol

      In all sincerity Chance, this topic is one which I personally need to give some head space to, time to mull over. It deserves it. I believe concepts which challenge beliefs which one has taken for granted are usually absorbed over time. This is how we advance as a society.

      Adrian-I liked the questions you posed:). I just want to add from my personal experience-being shy is not attractive no matter what your gender. I can unfortunately vouch for it:). One is not truly living if they only engage in a place of fear/rebuke.

      Have a great holiday everyone. Life is pretty damn good:)

      1. 12.2.1

        Yes Caroline, life IS “pretty damn good.”   Have a wonderful holiday weekend, sweetie!

      2. 12.2.2

        Yep Caroline, I missed this mysterious commenting deadline, too, which means I hate men and am unempathetic. . . or something like that 😉

        I want to point out that it can be harder to find the time to listen to or watch a podcast than it can be to read a blog post.   I can quietly read on my phone during a break at work or while sitting on the couch with the kids while they watch Inside Out for the millionth time.   To listen or watch a podcast, I need a 30 minute time block where I won’t disturb someone with audio, or where it’s not inappropriate to pop in ear buds.   There are just fewer opportunities to squeeze it in, even though I often get much more out of the podcasts than the blog posts.

        And hello, it’s summer!   Kids are out of school, people are on vacation, and people have visitors from out of town.   It’s the week before an “official” Monday holiday which means ALOT of people took this week or part of it off work.   That means those that are left have to work longer days to cover everything.

        So please, no passing judgement on a whole gender because comments didn’t appear as quickly as they have on other posts.

    3. 12.3

      Chance — I think you mean empathy not sympathy.

      Men want empathy from women? Really?

      Most times that I’ve tried to express empathy towards men I get stomped on and told flat out “men don’t want your empathy.” As if it makes them feel weak and just doing so triggers anger and insults.

      So Chance maybe you can tell us what men do want?

      1. 12.3.1

        SQ, empathy could be a more appropriate term.   I just used “sympathy” because I realize it’s almost impossible to be able to truly understand the full experience of the opposite sex, but I don’t expect anyone to feel pity or sorrow for the opposite sex.


        I don’t know where exactly you’ve had these experiences, but they sound like the kind of reaction a bitter MGTOW would have, or maybe they were very insecure and it made them feel weak (their problem, not yours).


        I don’t think that I want anything from women on these boards, and I certainly don’t expect them to show empathy.   I was just pointing out that women, generally speaking, don’t show empathy towards men.   You show empathy.   Henriette shows empathy, but I can’t think of many others.   Probably the best example of this lack of empathy is illustrated on Evan’s blog entry about should a man be forced to pay for a child that he didn’t want.

        1. SQ

          Chance — you and I see eye to eye on a lot of things. But just peruse this thread and take a moment to take it in. What I see here is men claiming women don’t care about their struggles, can’t show them empathy, etc yet when we try — and admittedly we don’t always phrase things in the right way — they don’t hesitate to pounce on us.

          So maybe men have a different idea of what showing empathy means? What’s your definition?

        2. Chance

          Hi SQ, I would say that my idea of empathy is pretty much in line with the dictionary’s definition.   I perused this entire thread, and to be honest, I didn’t see very much in the way of empathy towards men.   There was some empathy, to be sure, but I didn’t see anyone pounce on these women for showing empathy.   I don’t know if you were referring to HSimmons’ original comment or not.   She showed some empathy in her original comment, and a few men objected to her comment (myself included).   However, the general theme of about 80% of her comment was that of negativity towards men so it can’t come as a big surprise if she received some push-back.

      2. 12.3.2

        As a man, accepting empathy from a woman is dangerous. Most men who have had any sort of varied experience with the opposite sex have learned this…usually the hard way.

        1. Evan Marc Katz

          You live in a completely different universe than I do. You’re also a completely different man who has completely different experiences with women.

          I cried about my deceased father on a first date back in the summer of 2000. It was the most attractive woman I’d ever dated. She not only had sympathy for me, but she came home with me that night and became my girlfriend a few weeks later. Pretty much every woman I’ve ever met has appreciated my emotional connectedness, vulnerability and authenticity. Those who didn’t, well, they didn’t matter very much. You really gotta kick this “woe-is-me, men-good, women-bad” act. It’s tiresome everywhere except when you’re talking to a bunch of men who think like you.

        2. McLovin

          I don’t think anyone is good or bad…just different. And it’s helpful as a man to understand the differences because nobody is going to help you. And I’m sort of surprised to hear that you take my comments from a “woe is me” perspective.


          Very much the opposite, I’m doing just fine thankyouverymuch. Better than ever, actually.


          I’ve just learned a lot of things WRT the opposite sex the hard way.

        3. Evan Marc Katz

          Put it this way, McLovin. Happy, well-adjusted men do not invest this much time trying to convince a whole bunch of non-believers to believe.

          I’m an atheist. You would never catch me on a Christian website with the intention of convincing them that their beliefs are wrong – even though I have more than enough evidence on my side. It’s a waste of time and if anything, it makes me look meanspirited – as if I can’t just accept other people’s beliefs.

          You have a one-sided point of view that is debunked by my mere presence and career: nice guys can’t do well with women, women don’t respond to nice guys who are in touch with their feelings, you have to be an asshole to get by with women, women are all selfish, critical, golddiggers who only give a chance to alpha males with money, and so on. You are entitled to keep believing these things and live your life that way. But they are in no way true, the way it’s true that I have two arms and legs. You’re speaking about your individual experience and surrounding yourself by other average frustrated chumps who don’t see the nuance between being the nice guy in the friend zone and a selfish asshole. My entire job is teaching women to become the “cool girl with boundaries” and if I wanted to coach men, I’d teach them to be the “nice guy with balls.” Women LOVE him since he’s so rare and are incredibly loyal to him because he treats them so well and STILL has his own backbone and opinion. But you don’t want to hear about that nuance. You’d rather live in your black and white world and justify your opinions to an audience that can only roll its collective eyes at your remarks.

          You are the Donald Trump of the message boards – you may have some point buried in there, but your lack of nuance and respect for smart people with different point of views renders you pretty much a joke to anyone who sees the world in shades of grey.

  13. 13

    I have no idea if anyone will respond to this but here goes.

    Here’s what I find interesting about “why it’s so hard to be a modern man.”

    Since the dawn of time, men in power have set up cultures in such a way that women have been totally dependent on them. We now live in a time, the first time in the history of the world, that women don’t need a man for survival. Women (in developing countries anyway) are fully capable of supporting  themsleves yet are still choosing to have men in their lives.

    In other words women today don’t need men but we want men. The fact that this site exists and is so popular is a testament to that. Yet never before have men been so angry at women, particularly those who are successful, or found it “so hard to be a man.”

    We listen to men complain about gold diggers and women who only value them for their money who will turn on a dime and trash a woman for being independent. Men  complain on one hand about marriage and family court being inherently unfair to men yet balk at the idea of having relationships that are more egalitarian.

    Am I wrong in inferring from all of this that for all their big talk, men would still rather be needed than wanted?

    I’m sympathetic to the many problems men face today. Disappearing jobs, stagnant economic mobility, poor health outcomes, homelessness, lack of funding and attention for how these issues affect men.

    What I am not sympathetic to is the idea that my ability to exercise my right to the same opportunities as a woman is a threat to men and that I should feel bad becuase you know it’s just so hard when we don’t have you women to oppress anymore.


    1. 13.1

      Your whole argument is invalid because it is based on the false premises that men don’t like independent or successful women and don’t want an egalitarian relationship.   Men are not threatened by this.


      However, you did sympathize with men for a moment in your post so I have to give credit where it’s due.

      1. 13.1.1

        That’s 100% false Chance. I know that you are well aware than men prefer to date and marry women who make less than them, that there is no shortage of men who want no parts of an egalitarian relationship and even believe independent women are emasculating and unfeminine. I can search this very blog and find many posts on why men are threatened by successful women — and this is a blog targeting successful women.

        Personal experience? I’ve got decades of it to share. How much time you got?

        Seriously I’m happy to have a discussion with you on this but not if you’re going to start from a place of flat out denial.

        1. Chance

          I’m sincerely not aware at all that men didn’t want to marry or date “up”.   However, there could be a quite a few men out there who are afraid that women won’t be attracted to them for making less, or afraid that they will be criticized for making less, because these men have seen that many times before.   However, these men aren’t “threatened” by such women.   Please share your experiences.

        2. Karl S

          HSimmons said:  

          Men prefer to date and marry women who make less than them, that there is no shortage of men who want no parts of an egalitarian relationship and even believe independent women are emasculating and unfeminine.

          This is entirely socialized. Men’s attitudes towards women are shaped by their families, their communities, their cultural providers, their peer-groups, their workplace and so-on and so-forth. If you’re surrounded by economic status focused people in male-dominated environments, of course you’ll hold those attitudes.

          I’m one of those men who is perfectly happy to have a girlfriend who makes more money than me and has a higher status job. I’m surrounded by people who feel the same.

          If you don’t believe it’s a socialized phenomenon, just look at were we were historically and some of the attitudes we held about women’s abilities and “rightful place” in the past. Ideas that we might find utterly laughable and repugnant through today’s lens were seen as the serious discourse of the day.

    2. 13.2

      Meant to ask a follow-up question:   what personal experiences have you had that has made you believe that men are threatened by independent or successful women and egalitarian relationships?

    3. 13.3


      Who said anything about taking away the right for women to compete for the same opportunities as men?   As a man I certainly haven’t suggested that and neither, I believe, has Evan and this podcast.   What I find interesting about the response from a lot of women have to podcasts like this that simply make an effort to relate to women what it’s like be a modern man — and why that can be challenging — is akin to ‘grow up and be a man’.    The message we often receive when we try and relate what it’s like to be a man in the modern world is that we, as men, have no right to complain because the world is supposedly our oyster, so to speak.   Yes, it can be argued that certain men in certain positions of power have an unfair advantage over women.   Yes it can be argued that society as whole can be viewed as being biased towards a male dominated power structure.   But that doesn’t mean that the world is easy for all men and that are lives are cakewalks.   A lot of men, just like a lot of women, get a pretty sh*tty deal in life.   When women complain and do something about the raw deal they get it’s called empowerment and standing up for their rights.   When men complain and try to do something about the raw deal they get they are labeled as whiners and told to ‘man up’.

      1. 13.3.1

        mgm531, that is a false analogy because those who are screaming man up the loudest are other men. Men policing each other, not women, is what’s kept toxic masculinity thriving.

        1. Chance

          Way off base.   Not true at all.   I think every time I have heard “man up”, it has come from a woman.

    4. 13.4

      “We now live in a time, the first time in the history of the world, that women don’t need a man for survival.”


      Your opening premise is false. Women still do very much need men for survival. It’s just that now men’s labors, provision and protection is given for free without any reciprocation.

      It’s why a lot of men, myself included, don’t see any reason to be in relationships anymore.

      1. 13.4.1

        Oh give me a break McLovin. Women labor, provide, and protect (in case you were unaware of the millions of women in military and police departments all over the country) for their families and communities every day.

        Chance, The response by McLovin shows exactly what I mean. What he wants is not empathy or to be understood, what he wants is to be reinforced in his belief that men are superior and women are heartless bitches and it’s our fault their lives are hard.

        1. Buck25

          @ Simmons,

          I wasn’t going to engage you here, since you and McLovin are more alike than you’d like to believe-you both like to reason from the particular to the general, you both tend to overstate everything, and neither of you likes to be confused with facts.Other than that, you’re as different as night and day.

          Case in point, your assertion of “millions” of American women in the military and law enforcement. I thought your numbers sounded a little off so I checked. The real number is about 230,000 women in the U.S. Armed Forces(all branches combined) and about 100,000 women as sworn Law enforcement officers(federal, state and local). We might add about another 200,000 women firefighter and EMS personnel to the mix while we’re at it. Actually, this is not new; they’ve been there for years. Having been both military and a first responder I’ve worked with some highly qualified and dedicated women in both capacities. I certainly don’t wish to diminish their contributions in any way, but the numbers are a bit over half-a million at best, not “Millions”, and these professions are overwhelmingly still manned by…wait for it…MEN. You might want to check your facts before you post, and in any event, I do not believe we have reached the point just yet where we can count on defending America with an all (or even predominately) female military. It’s ok; that’s a responsibility many men (and yes, SOME women) are willing to embrace. But if you intended that to prove some point that women “don’t need men” for anything at all, I think you’ve failed. FWIW I consider your tone almost as patronizing, condescending, and arrogantly dogmatic as McLovin’s. Doesn’t look good on either of you, honestly.

          BTW, re your assertion in your initial post here that men (implication, ALL men)” find successful women emasculating and unfeminine”, I beg to differ. I see nothing at all unfeminine or emasculating about successful women, UNLESS they bring the masculine energy that works so well for both men and women in the workplace rat race, into a romantic relationship. THAT, I find to be very unfeminine and unattractive, and I am not about to lie or sugar-coat that for you in the name of political correctness. As for emasculating, my dear, NO reasonably emotionally secure, truly masculine adult male will allow you to do that to him (though I do get the feeling from the tone of your posts that you’d like to try anyway, just because…).

          Not that I mean to pick on you. I hope you’ll note that I have not blamed you for all the problems men face today, or suggested that all of you ladies are heartless, uncaring bitches. I don’t think that’s true at all. What I think is true, is that just like men, you can’t empathize with problems you don’t really see or understand.   On that point I’ll respond as I would to what SQ said above. I don’t think women are mean; I think that because of differing perspective, different socialization and different emotional responses, they have some blind spots as to how some of women’s wants leave men feeling conflicted and confused in trying to meet them.

      2. 13.4.2

        “Women still do very much need men for survival.”   We do? I had two husbands take me to the brink of bankruptcy and both times I crawled out with my own two hands.   On my hands and knees, no less.   If anyone should mistrust men, it should be me, but I don’t because I recognize that they were not representative of all men.   I’m a lot more careful these days and I’m pret-t-ty sure I’ll never mingle finances again, but I like like men.   I still see what men have to offer and I still want to enjoy a good man’s company.   Not a bitter, selfish entitled man but a good, decent man who can relate to me but still stand up for himself and not let me run over him. He doesn’t have to make more than I do, either.   My recent ex made far less than I do yet we had the greatest fun that I’ve had in years.   Current new prospect makes far more than I do, yet we looking forward to a picnic soon (I’m making the dessert) and some good, simple, non-expensive times.   So I do disagree with you completely – women do NOT “need” a man for survival, but many of us sure do like their company.

        1. SMC

          Oh gosh, three typos in there.   Ugh. It’s dead quiet at the office and I’m indulging in this blog today but am typing way too quickly, and the font is too small.   Sorry all!

  14. 14

    In a conversation such as this one, it is helpful to acknowledge a couple of things. Why don’t women have much empathy for men? Because they don’t have to.

    Men want women far more than women want men. This is the universal truth that sets up the fundamental imbalance in the dating world. It’s why despite 50+ years of social engineering, the dating/mating market still operates much the way it always has: men as pursuers, women as choosers. Women will never give up that power, again, because they don’t have to.

    It’s also the reason that modern women react so well to the aloof a-hole type such as myself. In a sea of thirsty, clingy and unmanly just-be-yourselfers excitedly pulling their wallets out to buy m’lady a drink, the stoic man with the IDGAF attitude stands out.

    1. 14.1

      Oh sweetie, you couldn’t be more unattractive if you, well…I’m a lady so I won’t say it.   And you’re hanging on the sidelines for the “lady” you’re pursuing while she’s still in a relationship?

      “In a sea of thirsty, clingy and unmanly just-be-yourselfers excitedly pulling their wallets out to buy m’lady a drink, the stoic man with the IDGAF attitude stands out.”   Stoic?   Stoic?   The first definition of stoic is: a person who can endure pain or hardship without showing their feelings or complaining. I wouldn’t call you stoic.   Precious maybe, but not stoic.   McLovin, I hope you have a good weekend and can relax a bit.   You’ve been entertaining, to say the least.

      1. 14.1.1

        Hahaha. No, I’m not hanging on the sidelines. I’ve got plenty of other rackets going on, and she knows it. She’s just the only one I would consider being in a relationship with right now.


        As far as stoicism, if you think my word vomit thoughts on a blog are how I act or talk in real life, you’re more naive than I thought.


        Also predictably, you didn’t answer any of the points I raised, more picked out things to nitpick and argue about…pretty typical.

        1. Evan Marc Katz

          Bye, McLovin. Your services are no longer needed here. Like Obsidian, no one here is intimidated by your superior intellect or keen insight into how the world works. I, personally, am just tired of the long-winded trolling. Ignoring you doesn’t work. Responding to you doesn’t work. So I’m left with telling you not to waste your time here and choose a place with other men who dislike women. This ain’t it. Take care.

    2. 14.2


      Whatever else you are, you are most definitely NOT “stoic”; not when it comes to women. I mean, all of us get frustrated with women at times, but you come in here, and make the welkin ring with your lamentations as to how unreasonable, unfair, and mean they ALL are, until you sound like some girl venting about all men being assholes. I’m not sure why you bother, unless it somehow makes you feel better, ’cause I don’t think you’re exactly winning any hearts and minds here. On the whole (with occasional conspicuous exceptions), I don’t think most women are evil, or out to get us; I just think they sometimes have as much trouble understanding us, as we do understanding them; we’re not exactly wired the same, after all.

      Tell you what; it’s Friday night, so instead of arguing here, maybe you could take your spiffy, nonchalant, IDGAF self down to your local bar, check out the hotties, and see if you get lucky. I sure hope you do; maybe you can even get laid (which I suspect would improve your present disposition immensely. Usually works for me, anyway). I’m really not qualified to diagnose, but in my thoroughly unprofessional opinion, your current irritability level may be a warning sign; might indicate a fulminating case of Lakanuki fever.:)

      1. 14.2.1

        Hahaha, thanks Buck. I appreciate your thoughts. As far as stoicism goes, the way I vomit my thoughts into the comments section here is not the way I act in real life.

        This weekend at the bar I got a woman who is hopelessly out of my league (think mid 20’s, stauesque blonde) to buy me drinks all night. I’m kind of a schlubby, mid-30’s dirtbag with money (compared to the local economy.)

        You should have seen the look on her face when she suggested she come home with me, and I told her ‘no’ because she had gotten me too drunk and I just wanted to sleep. Baahahaha.

        Getting laid? Meh, I get laid all the time. The situation at the bar, now that improves my disposition. 🙂

        By the way, I’d like to hear your thoughts on the main premise of my post above. To wit: that men want women far more than women want men and this fact creates the fundamental imbalance in the dating realm.

    3. 14.3

      Men want women far more than women want men. This is the universal truth that sets up the fundamental imbalance in the dating world. It’s why despite 50+ years of social engineering, the dating/mating market still operates much the way it always has: men as pursuers, women as choosers. Women will never give up that power, again, because they don’t have to.

      I’m not sure what you mean by ‘want,’ but I’ll assume you’re referring purely to casual sexual relations, since there is no evidence, and not even a small scholarly consensus, that women desire romantic relationships less than men. If we’re talking solely about sexual desire, then evolutionary  biologists and psychologists theorize that the fundamental difference in mating strategies you’re alluding to has its roots in an evolutionary process that selected for more indiscriminate male sexual  behavior since this tended to generate higher rates of reproductive success–so long as the benefits outweighed the costs. Since pregnancy requires a  greater long-term investment, women would have evolved to be more selective.

      However, many social scientists argue that this difference is solely a product of socialization, and the legacy of centuries of male policing of female sexual behavior (think of  the witch hunts). My own opinion is that it’s a combination of both biology and socialization, but either way, I’m scratching my head wondering why this bothers you so much.

      It seems that the inference you’d like everyone to draw is that because women are not as indiscriminate as men when it comes to casual sex, and since women don’t approach men with nearly the same frequency that men approach women,   they should therefore  be treated with contempt as a group. However, a woman with your mind set could just flip this and state that because men are generally more indiscriminate in seeking casual sex, and since this trait sometimes manifests as unwanted sexual attention and at times even aggression, then men in general should be treated with contempt and scorn. I would disagree with both views.

      As per your claim that women don’t show much empathy for the problems men face when it comes to dating, I think this is largely true, but it’s not because women are malicious. They simply don’t have much experience with rejection (in the context of approaching) and so they don’t give it much thought. In fact, one thing I’ve noted on this site is that even on the rare occasions when women do share their stories of approaching and getting rejected, they immediately blame it on the  legacy of rigid gender roles (‘I guess men don’t like to be pursued’) rather than face the unpleasant possibility that maybe the guy just wasn’t into them.

      However, men aren’t always immune to this kind of solipsism either. I remember once when I was on a date and she mentioned to me that she’d inwardly cringes every time she had to walk by a busy construction site. It’s not something I’d given much thought to, and to be honest I still don’t, but it’s not because I’m evil. It just doesn’t form part of my reality.

      Having said all that McLovin, for what it’s worth I actually enjoy reading your posts, even if I don’t agree with your general worldview. You strike me as a humorous guy with a sharp wit who, for  whatever reason, has a big chip on his shoulder.  It’s obviously not my blog, but I don’t think Evan should run you off, if for no other reason then because some of your posts force those who disagree with you to refine their own arguments and views.


      1. 14.3.1

        Hi Shaukat

        This was a Great point!
        As per your claim that women don’t show much empathy for the problems men face when it comes to dating, I think this is largely true, but it’s not because women are malicious. They simply don’t have much experience with rejection (in the context of approaching) and so they don’t give it much thought. In fact, one thing I’ve noted on this site is that even on the rare occasions when women do share their stories of approaching and getting rejected, they immediately blame it on the  legacy of rigid gender roles (‘I guess men don’t like to be pursued’) rather than face the unpleasant possibility that maybe the guy just wasn’t into them.
        However, men aren’t always immune to this kind of solipsism either. I remember once when I was on a date and she mentioned to me that she’d inwardly cringes every time she had to walk by a busy construction site. It’s not something I’d given much thought to, and to be honest I still don’t, but it’s not because I’m evil. It just doesn’t form part of my reality.

        1. Shaukat

          Thanks Adrian!

      2. 14.3.2
        Emily, the original


        In fact, one thing I’ve noted on this site is that even on the rare occasions when women do share their stories of approaching and getting rejected, they immediately blame it on the  legacy of rigid gender roles (‘I guess men don’t like to be pursued’) rather than face the unpleasant possibility that maybe the guy just wasn’t into them.

        Not true, at least in my case. If I approach and don’t get much back (the man is polite but giving me no flirtatious “energy”), I assume he is either with someone, not interested or both.

        I was on a date and she mentioned to me that she’d inwardly cringes every time she had to walk by a busy construction site. It’s not something I’d given much thought to.

        I have a male friend who was on match. He said he would get excited when he saw someone had messsaged him, but that feeling would evaporate as soon as he looked at the women’s profiles. They were at least 10 years older than him. “Biker chicks” is how he described them. A bit hard-looking. I said, “Now you know what it is to be a woman.” He looked at me a little puzzled but said nothing. “A good portion of the attention you get won’t be wanted,” I said.

        1. Caroline

          Thank you Emily for making the point about much of the attention being unwanted. I’ll repeat my personal experience of approaching even though I’ve been thrown under the bus for doing so by other female commenters on this blog. I actually approached my guy. I had noticed him several times at a place where my girlfriends and I frequented. He was always alone. I went over and introduced myself one night because I noticed his boots. I was looking fir a pair for my sons birthday. We chatted about the boots, how we felt a bit silly being amongst such a younger crowd, work, etc. I told him I enjoyed talking with him and excused myself. It didn’t take but a few minutes and I saw him circling the venue toward me. He asked me for my nimber; and we’ve been “dating” for over 5 years.   I was immediately told the reason why I was just dating was because I had approached him. So even if I’m in a happy commited relationship because I initially talked him up; he obviously hasn’t put a ring on it because I approached? Believe me, relationships are complicated but I seriously doubt I destroyed gender roles by doing so. I didn’t get into the relationship initially as something long term, I had kids at home and quite frankly they were my focus. I intentionally kept my dating from my youngest because he got attached to a guy who disappeared on me. I didn’t want to put him through anything like it again.

        2. Emily, the original


          I think what you did to meet your guy was great! It’s not like you went over to him and sexually propositioned him! You didn’t even give him your number. You just got the ball rolling. He picked up on your ques and threw the ball back at you! Sounds like a successful interaction to me.

          And you’re really not “dating” him. You guys are together, in a serious, long-term relationship, regardless of what anyone else says.

        3. SMC

          Caroline, I LOVE your story that you approached your man.   I did the same to my recent ex, J.   I was visiting my mother in her town 3 hours from my own, and he was on his way to visit his daughter a few states away, and we both happened to be in the same dance club that night, and in the course of conversation while dancing discovered we lived only an hour apart and frequented the same local dance club.   He asked me to dance, he was by FAR the best dancer of the evening, and for the first time ever, I approached him, a complete stranger, as my mother and I were leaving   and told him he was the best dancer I’d ever danced with and hoped I’d run into him again someday.   3 weeks later, we did run into each other at our local club (I had only just started going), and we danced nearly every Wednesday night together for the next 14 months, plus many, many more times.   Dancing was our “thing.”   It was wonderful, that part, and approaching him was the perfect lead-in to a great-for-a-time relationship.   And I never regretted doing it.   Good for your for approaching.   Sometimes it just WORKS.

          Having said that, in years past I asked guys at that same out-of-town dance club to dance and was turned down quite a few times.   Oh WELL.   Sometimes a girl’s gotta ask if she wants to dance and nobody is asking HER.   🙂   (Lots of great stories were tied up in that club.)

        4. Caroline

          I forgot to thank you Emily and SMC for the kind words. I always figured it was more like “advanced” flirting! I remember pretty vividly when I was a kid my BFF moved away and I complained to my mom that Kathryn never wrote! She simply said. Well honey you gotta write a letter to get one:)

        5. Caroline

          Thanks for the kind words Emily and SMC.   I never looked at is pursuing. It’s kinda like advanced flirting!   I remember vividly when my BFF moved away as a child and I moaned that she never wrote:(. My ever wise mom said well, you gotta write one to receive one!

      3. 14.3.3

        “I’m not sure what you mean by ‘want,’ but I’ll assume you’re referring purely to casual sexual relations, since there is no evidence, and not even a small scholarly consensus, that women desire romantic relationships less than men.”


        Actually no I was talking about sex, relationships and interactions with the opposite sex at large.

        Men want women far more than women want men. Period. There’s no modulation to be done with it. The proof of it is all around you. Like I stated in the initial posts, the fact that the ‘male pursuer, female chooser’ dynamic is still the dominant narrative despite the disintegration of gender roles ought to be proof enough.

        The existence of this blog is proof of it.

  15. 15

    Well as one of the only “older male commenters” on here as Adrian put it……I’ve been busy working this week so it took me til this morning to listen to this (twice) and be able to comment properly. I knew I was going to like it by the title. 🙂

    First off as a 55 yr. old man let me thank you Evan as this one of the best podcasts you have ever done! The women come here to learn and that was a perfect teaching tool as to the insight of an older (35 and up) man’s possible life and how SOME men’s lives are post divorce. I find myself   constantly on meet & greets defensively explaining to women why I don’t have tons of “friends” to hang out with at age 55 even though THEY DO.  The main reasons being that single men of our age range don’t cultivate new or maintain personal emotional relationships with each other and  the very few  men I DO have that with are married men I work with. Which brings us to the topic of the possible role a dating relationship takes in our lives which is it becomes more important even appearing much more needy/clingy in some cases because like Evan said some men have no lives outside of work and what little family they MAY have. I don’t really put myself in that category, being in the service industry I have good “people skills”,   on most nights or weekends  when I don’t have a date etc…. I  DO have hobbies(biking, tennis,  golf)  I have places to go where I can easily mingle with people my age who are more acquaintances but not close friends. That keeps me from becoming  the needy clingy “you’re my world” guy. That does not mean I don’t occasionally get lonely.

    I know I’m an alpha male and I’ve always considered myself the “nice guy with an edge” long before the term was coined but I also know over my 35 yrs of dating I’ve went through peaks and valleys with my confidence etc…. depending on what might be going on in my life. Unlike Evan there are a couple of men I know where I can talk about the football game last night and turn it a minute later with “did you see what that goofball on The Bachelorette did last night?” but we don’t “talk like chicks”….lol I can assure you.  We don’t say “how can she hurt his feelings like that, she’s so mean”. And not in the MIDDLE of the game Evan….LOL I did ask  that friend yesterday “how’s your wife feeling about you telling her you don’t want to go to that concert tomorrow night” and we chatted about it. He’s going…..LOL

    To answer your question Adrian: How have you navigated the balance of coming off as masculine but also sensitive and caring?   I think over the years I’ve done it as good as I could. I think it’s different for every man depending  on how their personality actually is. You still have to be who your are but still have a flexible personality enough to be vulnerable and have empathy all while maintaining strength and confidence. Not caving in to that “inner wussy”  on the surface most of the time.   Many things can cause both sexes to lose attraction for someone that was once there  that’s a whole different topic.

    1. 15.1
      Emily, the original

      Hi JB,

      After listening to the podcast, I was going to comment on a point you raised: ” … single men of our age range don’t cultivate new or maintain personal emotional relationships with each other.”

      Married men don’t seem to cultivate or maintain friendships, either. Several of the married men I work with dropped all their friends once they got married, but they seem ok with that. They don’t seem to have any interest in friendship. Why? Do their wives prefer they not have friends? Even supposed “close”friends are contacted once or twice a year, but friendship, like any relationship, takes maintenance and continuity.

      Which brings us to the topic of the possible role a dating relationship takes in our lives which is it becomes more important even appearing much more needy/clingy in some cases because like Evan said some men have no lives outside of work and what little family they MAY have.

      Isn’t that a heavy burden to place on one person? To make a woman the center of your entire emotional support system? I pointed this out to a male friend of mine (single, 62 years old). After his wife died, he spent all his time looking for women. He spent no time developing hobbies or making friends. He didn’t care about either. The only thing he wanted to fill his life with was a new partner.

      None of this is meant as a criticism. I am just curious about the reasons for it.

      1. 15.1.1

        Yes it is a heavy burden and like Evan would probably say that’s only some men that do it but not all men. That’s just how men are. Women have to find one that fits what they’re looking for. I personally have other things in my life and I’ve always been very independent so I don’t think I place any massive emotional burden on a woman to be my everything certainly not intentionally.

        1. Emily, the original


          I personally have other things in my life and I’ve always been very independent so I don’t think I place any massive emotional burden on a woman to be my everything certainly not intentionally.

          I am independent, too. Probably too much, but I noticed a lot of men want their wives to be what I call their “cruise director” and dictate what they should do in terms of filling their time when they aren’t sleeping or at work. I find it slightly creepy and, well, rather emasculating.

        2. JB

          Well Emily I’ve never had a “cruise director” in my entire life…LOL even when I’m in a relationship I come up with plans 90% of the time but of course I’m open to and welcome suggestions.   I’m also the “captain” of the “SS JB” cruise ship and when I don’t have a date I sail wherever I want and I have plenty of places to go.

        3. Emily, the original


          I’ve never had a “cruise director” in my entire life … even when I’m in a relationship I come up with plans 90% of the time but of course I’m open to and welcome suggestions.

          I meant that the girlfriend/wife was giving him a list of tasks to complete the minute he gets off work. But he’s not complaining. He wouldn’t know what to do with himself if she wasn’t dictating to him. He’s a rudderless ship without her.

  16. 16

    Hi, Emily,

    As a guy who’s definitely been there, done that, got the T-shirt, let me take a stab at your question. The simple answer is,   that several things happen when we settle into married life. Most of our same-sex friends were single, and we now have less uncommon with them (the friendships themselves usually didn’t have the level of emotional bonding/involvement that a woman’s same-sex friendships do, so it’s easier for us to let them go, when the pressures of work, marriage, and ,maybe family too, increase. We might be at the peak of our job our career; if we really like that,and /or it’s really demanding, it may consume a lot of our time. Our wife wants our attention too. The time and energy to focus on other aspects of our lives can easily slip away from us.. Then the marriage ends, through death or divorce. If that and work were all we had, all we can think of is trying to replace the lost relationship, by looking for another woman. So that’s what we do, instead of focusing on building a life that includes hobbies and activities we can enjoy with or without a partner. What happens after that is all too predictable. It’s harder for us to finish healing from the loss, it’s often harder to find a new relationship, we tend to put too many expectations on a new partner too fast. Women sense this; as you say, it’s a heavy and rather unfair burden to place on many potential new partner; and most women will back away, if not outright run, from such a situation. For the guy, that makes his situation even more frustrating, as he finds he has neither a relationship, nor a life outside one. It’s an insidious down hill spiral, and hard to recognize when you’re in it, because all the energy is focused on finding someone. In my case, the illness I went through last year finally forced me to take a break, and that turned out to be a turning point. In my case, I actually DID have hobbies and friends and a social life apart from dating; it’s just that I wan’t putting much effort or energy into those. The forced hiatus brought that from and center, but also pointed to the solution-focus first on the rest of your life, THEN on dating and finding a relationship. So I rearranged my life a bit; more time in the garden tending my roses, more time and effort   experimenting in the kitchen, which I enjoy; more time socializing with my friends, without actually trying to meet anyone. Finally I decided to step away from the dating game altogether for a while, and just enjoy everything else that was available (turned out to be quite a lot, actually). That process is ongoing as I write this, but life is much better. I’m having fun, and really enjoying my new life for the first time since my divorce. Without putting pressure on myself, I’m actually out there having fun, without a partner, to the point that I think I just want to enjoy that for a while. The garden is looking great, I have plenty of time for me, I’m enjoying eating the meals I fix, I’m enjoying the company of old friends and meeting new ones, without trying to make anything more out of it, for now. If I do eventually meet someone I’m really interested in, I’ll be starting whatever comes of it from a much better (and I think much healthier) place, where I have a life a woman might actually want to share. In any event, I think I’ll be ok now, whether I find someone or not. Sometimes, we have to take whatever wake-up call life gives us.

    1. 16.1

      Thank you for sharing that. Very well put – you are very wise. And I’m glad to hear you’re doing better after your illness and happy 🙂   I can only speak for myself, but I’d love to meet a man like you who has gained the insights you shared above. And as you wrote, sometimes life forces us to stop and re-evaluate (been through that myself).

    2. 16.2
      Emily, the original

      Hi Buck25,

      If I do eventually meet someone I’m really interested in, I’ll be starting whatever comes of it from a much better (and I think much healthier) place, where I have a life a woman might actually want to share.

      Bingo. You have to have a life someone would want to be a part of.

      When I thought back on my original post, I realized there are a lot of women who do the same thing — give up all their friends and only focus on the spouse and family. Also, if you have a large extended family, a lot of people don’t go outside of that for friendship. It just seems a little insular to me.

      Glad you’re feeling better. You are a self-aware and reflective person. Not to worry. You will meet a woman who appreciates that. It’s rare!

    3. 16.3

      Buck25, very nicely written with much wisdom here. Love that you have these hobbies/pastimes – gardening, cooking, plus a healthy social life.   It’s CRITICAL to have these when one finds oneself   living solo.   (Do you grow antique roses?) Again, I always enjoy your posts and come away feeling good about what I’ve read. Thank you for sharing.

      1. 16.3.1

        Jenny, Emily, and SMC,

        Thank you all for the kind words on my comments above. As I indicated, it’s an evolving process, with evolving implications. It occurs to me, that there are many adventures and experiences I might yet have, that I’ve put off for too long. I’ve got the time, and frankly the means, to take off for wherever, whenever; and there’s a lot of world out there that I know only from books; maybe it’s time to experience it first hand. You know, after whatever youthful adventures we can manage, most of us live adult lives of   obligation and responsibility; work, family, community; it’s rare to be able to experience life as a free spirit with a clean conscience, beholden to no one, not tied to any agenda or schedule. Perhaps, in exchange for what life hasn’t brought me at this stage, it’s given me the opportunity to do just that. Maybe not such a bad bargain, at that…

  17. 17
    Karl S

    @ McLovin.

    So I read the study you linked me to. It finds that women do have an automatic in-group bias towards other women when compared to men.

    However, the study also suggests that this may be due to factors like men’s fear of being perceived as homosexual. Or, because women have a collective “underdog” group binding mentality as the historically oppressed gender. There is also the implicit fear of men, physically.

    The thing is there have been numerous other studies that show how such automatic responses to in-groups/out-groups can be altered through experiences and association shaping. The study you linked mentions that  exposing people to violent rap music enhanced the positive relationship between automatic negative Black stereotypes and pro-White bias.

    In Malcolm Gladwell’s book Blink, people’s results on the race IAT (Implicit Assocaition Test) change if they expose themselves to images and verbal information about black people with positive connotations prior to taking the test. People who look at a picture or read a story about Martin Luther King, Jr. right before taking the IAT, for example, register much less implicit racial prejudice than other test takers.

    What we need to take away from this is that socially progressive policies that encourage greater empathy between races/genders/sexual orientation do affect our automatic responses. That’s why feminism is important. That’s why Evan’s blog is important. He’s helping women to understand men better. Isn’t that what you want too? Isn’t that your major beef? Its not an intractable essential to our biological nature. We may have predispositions, yes, but they are alterable and changeable.

    That’s why offering an olive branch to someone else and making yourself vulnerable to hurt is important. It’s the only way to win big in the empathy game and have it truly reciprocated.  

    1. 17.1
      Karl S

      edit – It’s not an intractable problem, essential…

    2. 17.2

      Hey Karl,

      Yesterday was a hurry-up-and-wait kind of day at work so I too read the study McLovin linked to.   The study had no relation at all to McLovin’s assertion that, “Generally speaking, women have zero empathy for men as a group.”   The purpose of the study was not to measure empathy.   In fact the word empathy did not appear once in the whole 17 page study write up.

      For those who didn’t or don’t want to read the study, the title is:   Gender Differences in Automatic In Group Bias:   Why Do Women Like Women More Than Men Like Men?

      The foundational assumptions of the study are  that men are a more high status, high power, privileged, culturally dominant group than women.   (Don’t think McLovin would agree with that!)   That privileged groups i.e. Whites, Christians, show a stronger unconscious preference for people within their own group, in-group bias, than members of less privileged groups do for fellow members.   That previous studies have established that this does not hold true for the genders:   Women (the low status group) have a strong in-group bias and men (the high status group) do not, they show neutral preference.   The study consisted of a series of 4 experiments that tested 4 different “potential sources of implicit attitudes”   that might account for this difference.

      Findings in experiment #1 showed women had cognitive balance.   That is . . .”women preferred women to the extent that they liked themselves and were female identified.”   On the other hand, men had high self-esteem and were strongly masculine identified, but they did not show an automatic preference  for their own gender.   The researchers theorized that. . . “men lack a mechanism that bolsters automatic own group preference.”

      Findings in experiment #2 showed that participants who were primarily raised by their mothers showed a strong pro-female bias.   This was due to emotional learning in early development, the   maternal bonding that both males and females experience.

      Experiment #3 studied how associations between male gender and violence, the “male intimidation factor” led to an implicit preference for women in both genders.

      Experiment #4 sought to discover whether men’s greater “enthusiasm” for sex, relative to women’s, could explain differences in men’s lack of in-group bias.   From the authors:
      Thus, men supported our  expectation that if they associated women with sex (through sexual  encounters that likely lead to emotional conditioning), they would  prefer women to the extent they liked sex. By contrast, men low on  sexual experience implicitly disliked women to the extent they liked sex.
      Although we did not expect the latter result, in hindsight it  supports emotional conditioning as a source for implicit attitudes.  A plausible interpretation is that men who like sex and have their  sexual needs fulfilled by women tend to automatically favor  women, whereas men who want but are deprived of sex may  implicitly resent women.
      I assume that the reason McLovin cited this study in support of his assertion that women don’t have empathy for men is that  the study affirms that, subconsciously, women like women more than men subconsciously like men, i.e. they show greater in-group bias, and that this means women don’t like men.   However, this is not a direct line or causal relationship.   Also, if you want to show that women don’t empathize with men, why wouldn’t you just look for studies that measured empathy as it relates to gender?   When I googled this I found  numerous studies that show women to be more empathetic that men in general.

      1. 17.2.1
        Karl S

        Hmm, that’s interesting. I followed along with the idea that an in-group bias would lead to greater empathy and an out-group bias would lead to effects of  othering –  making empathy more difficult. I’m reading a book called The Angels of Our Better Nature at the moment which suggests something along those lines and how we’ve progressed towards greater empathy and understanding while reducing violence on all counts in the last few hundred years (even if the media would have you believe otherwise).

        I suppose women could show greater empathy towards men while also having an in-group bias. I wonder if anyone has written about why the relationship isn’t casual when it intuitively seems it should be (at least to me).

        Regardless, automatic biases are shown to be mostly conditioned, and they can be unconditioned. McLovin’s conclusions fall down either way.

        1. GoWiththeFlow


          The study authors made a point of saying that men and women’s lives are intimately intertwined with each other like no other power group/non power group and this undoubtedly affected group dynamics.

          “I followed along with the idea that an in-group bias would lead to greater empathy and an out-group bias would lead to effects of othering — making empathy more difficult.”

          I think your statement holds true for most high in-bias groups.   For instance that Whites, as a group, have a tendency to “other” racial minorities and thus lack empathy for their struggles.   But if Whites were mostly raised by Black mothers, if they ate dinner with Hispanics every night, and formed romantic pair bonds with Asians, then those close cross group ties would mess with the whole in-bias dynamic.

  18. 18


    Thank you for the thought provoking podcast!   I only wish there was more time to dive deeper into what is hard about being a modern man when young, when single (pre-marriage or divorce), at work, etc.

    My mother died when I was a teenager and it was a horror show for me and my siblings to watch our Dad desperately jump into dating searching for a woman, any woman, to attach himself to.   He wound up marrying a woman that was self-centered, domineering, and manipulative.   The results were disastrous.

    Now that I am the age at which that all happened, I can see where my Dad was doomed to wind up with such a woman, he was a broken man.   An emotionally healthy woman would have run screaming the other way!   I wonder if he had had more of a support system or a few close friends if he wouldn’t have been so overwhelmed with loneliness.   Most of the socializing my parents had done was with other couples and my dad didn’t have any separate friends.

    I wonder if this dynamic is changing for younger men.   Do millennials maintain individual friendships with other men (women too) after they pair up and marry?   My brother, a Gen-Xer, has formed and maintained friendships, and manages to spend some time every week with a friend/friends outside of his relationship with his live-in fiance.

    If all the eggs are in one basket and the basket disappears, what is left?

    1. 18.1

      GWTF, I liked your comment.   Thanks.   An astute observation that you brought up that I would like to touch on:


      “Most of the socializing my parents had done was with other couples and my dad didn’t have any separate friends.


      …I wonder if this dynamic is changing for younger men.   Do millennials maintain individual friendships with other men (women too) after they pair up and marry?”


      They do to a point, but I also see the situation that you noted among my peers as well (where the men no longer maintain the friendships that they had before they married).   I think, often times, the wife becomes more of the social organizer for the couple, and it’s common to see the wife seek to socialize with other couples so everything can be done as a group comprised of couples.   Due to a combination of laziness and acquiescence, the husband goes along with this new social dynamic (from his frame of reference), and as a result, his pre-marital friendships begin to erode.


      The danger with this social dynamic begins to manifest when a marriage breaks down.   I’ve often seen, in the event of a divorce, the men in the social circle stay out of the conflict in an attempt to remain neutral (and probably also to selfishly avoid the drama).   On the contrary, the women often tend to unconditionally support the wife – even in   situations where the breakdown in the marriage was caused by the wife’s infidelity.   These women also don’t want their husbands to talk to the jilted husband anymore, and the men capitulate (which, to be fair, was probably easy for these men because they weren’t friends of the husband before he married his wife anyway).   As a result, the husband often finds himself on an island.


      This is why I’ve always advised my male friends to keep and maintain their own friends that are separate from their marital social circle.   It’s actually much more important for a man to do this than it is for a woman for the reasoning I’ve noted above.

      1. 18.1.1

        It all sounds good in theory, but reality is usually much different. With marriage, prioririties change. Add kids to the mix and they change even more. It would be unwise to go into a marriage with the attitude of, “I’m going to keep my friends and hobbies as a top priority in case this doesn’t work out”. I think it’s much wiser to go into a marriage believing it will last and making it a priority. Some friends will fall by the wayside and you might have less time to devote to all the things you enjoyed as a single person, but… if you’re in a happy marriage and balance your free time with friendships, I think it’s a much better route. It’s also important to talk about these things with the person you plan on marrying and making sure your ideas on these issues are compatible. A close friend who recently divorced said that one of their main arguments was over the fact that he spent so much time with friends away from the family and she was much more family oriented, wanting to spend the majority of their time together.

      2. 18.1.2

        A lot of truth here Chance, though as I said I think men less and less are failing victim to this, maybe because they’ve seen exactly what you describe happen to friends and family and know the importance of a support network outside the marriage.

        Could this also be the reason men generally get coupled up/married again much sooner than women? GWTF touched on this.

      3. 18.1.3


        It’s well established that having close friendships is an important contributor to mental well being.   It is a shame that men drift away from individual friendships when they begin to pair bond with a woman.

        In stark contrast to my father’s situation, a very good female friend of mine was able to reach out to and be supported by her individual women friends when her husband of 25 years passed away.   She eventually remarried, a man who was a widower after a 30+ year marriage.   After his wife passed, he moved to a new state for work and made a huge effort to make his own friends before he started dating as he realized he had been entirely dependent upon his wife for emotional support and companionship.

        Now that he and my friend are married (going on 5 years now) they both agree that it is important for hubby to maintain his individual friendships since they are both have health issues and are more than familiar with what it means to lose a spouse.

        1. Chance

          GWTF, women could improve their relations with men by understanding their role in contributing to this phenomenon.   If they become more cognizant of things that they might be doing such as discouraging men to maintain prior friendships to spend more time with new “friends” she has picked out for him, or wanting him to join her in spending a lot of time with her family, it could help to prevent these kinds of situations.   Ultimately, it’s on men, but women can help themselves and their husbands by being more understanding of how they are contributing to this.   I think SQ’s illustration of how she encourages her husband to maintain friendships is a good example to follow.

      4. 18.1.4

        @Chance-infidelity is most often a symptom of other problems. Oftentimes, it results in the end of the relationship. Usually the “straw that broke the camel’s back”.

        1. Chance

          That’s an excuse people give themselves for cheating.   Don’t want to be with someone?   Leave them, and then find someone else.

        2. Caroline

          Chance-you mistake my remark for condoning the action. Many a man/woman has felt stifled and at their wits end in a relationship. Unfortunately, they succumb to seeking what is missing from their relationship. While I don’t condone it I realize others are human and don’t always make the best choice.

    2. 18.2
      Emily, the original


      My mother died when I was a teenager and it was a horror show for me and my siblings to watch our Dad desperately jump into dating searching for a woman, any woman, to attach himself to.   He wound up marrying a woman that was self-centered, domineering, and manipulative.   The results were disastrous.

      The exact same thing happened when my mother died. My father grabbed the first woman who said yes. She was pushy, invasive and selfish and she bulldozed her way into our lives … while he just stood there, too passive to set boundaries because he was terrified of being alone.

      1. 18.2.1


        Yep, it was like us three kids lost both our mother and our father in close succession.   Our Dad didn’t do a lot of hands on childcare when we were little.   Our mom was home from work for about 12 years, but even after she went back, she still was the one to take us to activities and Dr’s appointments.   My Dad did stuff with us as a family, but not as individuals.

        In contrast my BIL spent a lot of time with my 3 nieces and my son is a hands on dad with his two.   My grandkids are more emotionally bonded to their dad than their mom.   My son is going through a divorce and he asked for, and his soon to be ex-wife agreed that he would have primary custody of the kids.

        Very important for dads:   Spend time caring for your kids.   They need to trust in you that you can take care of their basic physical and emotional needs should the shit hit the fan.

        1. Emily, the original


          Our Dad didn’t do a lot of hands on childcare when we were little …   she still was the one to take us to activities and Dr’s appointments.

          My mother worked–she was a professor–but she scheduled her classes so she was home when I got home from school. She was always the dominant parent. My dad was the guy in the background, changing the light bulb or mowing the grass. He was present but distant.

          In contrast my BIL spent a lot of time with my 3 nieces and my son is a hands on dad with his two.

          The new generation of dads (in their 40s and younger) seem to be much more engaged with their kids, which is really nice to see.

    3. 18.3


      I’m not a millennial (tail end of Gen X) but I do think men my age (at least in my circles) are more apt to maintain friendships than men in the past, but still not as much as women. So I think it’s getting better but still not where it should be.

      My husband is a bit of a homebody so I’ve had to strongly encourage him to make/keep regular plans with his friends, boys nights out etc. We have a lot of mutual friends (which is how we met) but I think it’s important that we both have a few friends of our own who share our interests and provide an objective ear. It goes back to understanding that one person cannot be everything to you.

      1. 18.3.1


        Siblings can be a source of friendship and support to adult men, too.   My brother and I bonded as teens when we went through the process of grieving the loss of our mom and dad.   Our older sister went off to college shortly after mom died, so she missed a lot of the ugly stuff.   I would be there for my brother 100% if his fiancé/wife left him or passed away, and I know he would be there for me.


        1. SQ

          GWTF, that’s great that you had a close relationship with your brother and are able to help each other through difficult times. My brother and I despite fighting like cats and dogs as kids have developed a very close relationship as adults.

          I think the other thing about friendships and close family relationships that benefits your marriage is the reminder that unconditional acceptance can be quite healthy. Your friends and family may be flawed and drive you crazy but you accept them for who they are. If we were able to do the same with our spouses, i think it would go a long way. I’m not there yet but I’m trying 🙂

  19. 19

    As far as the male having individual friends issue,

    __Would women be okay if they boyfriend or husband had a majority of attractive single female friends? Can he keep them and hang out with them without his wife/girlfriend?   Are women saying they want their men to have more friends OR are they saying they want their men to have more “male” friends?


    A sub question to that is, does the type of male or female friend matter?

    __If the majority of his male friends were single guys who loved to party, meet women, and sleep with them, would all the women who see their guy not having individual friends still want him to hang with them? Do women “just” want their guys to have friends outside of them, or do they want their guys to only hang out with certain type of friends when she is not around?

    __If his friends were female, would she have to be married or have a boyfriend? If she was single and was an ex or had a crush on him would it still be okay? Because he does have someone outside of you to hang with?


    1. 19.1

      Adrian, yes I would be fine with my husband having attractive female friends, married or single. Yes I would be fine with my husband having male friends who are essentially as you describe sluts.

      At the end of the day, there are beautiful women everywhere, and me preventing him from being friends with any of them doesn’t change that fact. If he cheats it’s a choice he makes.

      To argue otherwise is suggesting that men inherently can’t be trusted and can’t control their impulses.


      1. 19.1.1

        I totally agree. I never felt threatened by my ex’s friends who were female. Because we trusted each other. I had quite a few male friends – and he was cool with that. It all comes down to trust at the end of the day.

    2. 19.2


      I agree with SQ and Jenny.   If a man is going to cheat on you, he can find an attractive woman anywhere, because they are everywhere.   It’s about trust and being secure in your relationship.

    3. 19.3

      Absolutely no on single female friends, sorry. People are vile, you never know what kind of an agenda they may have. Exceptions apply if there are deep family connections (like they grew up together) and even still I would not be ok with them socializing without me. And yes, I pretty much lost all of my male friends when I got married.

      1. 19.3.1

        Absolutely no on single female friends, sorry. People are vile, you never know what kind of an agenda they may have.

        That’s what psychologists would refer to as a textbook case of “projection.”

        1. Stacy2

          Really, Dr. Shaukat? How about a simple “observation”?

  20. 20

    Hi GoWithTheFlow,

    I asked you this in another post, but I think it fits better her, since I love hearing your take on things.

    __What actions/roles do you consider masculine or famine in dating/courting? Do you believe that the things men and women do or are expected to do during courting, dating, and marriage are because of nature or nurture?

    __I am a 30 years old, so I’m at the tail end of the millennials. In your opinion, do you see any big changes in the way that modern men and women act toward dating than say older generations?

    1. 20.1


      LOL!   I just went back and answered your questions on the other post.

      To expand a little further on what I said about changing roles.   I think there are feminine and masculine characteristics, that will always provide the polarity that draws men and women to each other.   The obvious ones are physical; the hourglass shape of a woman’s body and the “V” shape of a man’s torso; the deeper pitch of a man’s voice and the sound of the higher pitched, softer woman voice.   Then there are masculine and feminine personality characteristics that Evan posted a link to above.

      The challenge will be how do men and women adjust roles to compensate for changes in the family, economy and society.   A big one here:   guaranteed employment is a thing of the past.   Companies aren’t loyal to good employees anymore (they’re a cost center) and career paths seem to emerge and disappear rapidly.   A friend’s husband who is in risk management was laid off a year ago and can’t find a new job in the field.   What he does is now done by computer algorithms, so he will have to retrain for a new field.   In the meantime, he and his wife decided to go with the change and he is a stay at home dad and student.   I think men and women in marriages will trade off bread winning and child caring roles more in the future instead of sticking in the same roles for the duration of their marriages.

      1. 20.1.1

        Thanks GoWithTheFlow (^_^),

        __So I guess my follow-up question would be -as it relates to Evan’s topic- what is your opinion of what women and men really want from a partner verse what they say they want (especially with online dating) from a partner? Are people really that picky?

        __For example, like Evan described in the podcast, women say they want a man who is strong and stoic (marlboro man), but who is also sensitive and open to sharing his feelings (the sensitive artist); a blending of two different type of men.

        __Do you think people are just as picky in real life as they are online or do you believe that people are only really picky in online dating? And if so why do you believe people are this way?

        __For both men and women, do you feel that being raised by a single parent effects how masculine or feminine he or she acts in a relationship? A long time ago when I was young -before you were born (^_^)- people would say that fathers taught sons how to be men and was an example to daughters of a good man. So maybe it is not so hard to be a modern man, perhaps both genders just lacked positive role models as kids.


        ___I guess another the reason I am somewhat confused by the topic is because online people say one thing, but in my everyday life I see women with men all the time who are in the middle. Maybe he leans a little more toward marlboro or a little more toward sensitive artist, but I rarely see a man who is 100% either type. A man who is all emotional won’t keep a women, and a man who can’t open up and share how he feels can’t keep a woman.

        __So perhaps if men just stayed offline for dating, we wouldn’t have to worry about Evan’s subject The Hardships of Modern Man in Dating...

        1. Jenny

          Adrian –

          Thought I’d just chime in with my thoughts on your questions.

          Re online dating, what I’ve found is that people essentially put up their “wishlists” – a description of their perfect mate. But do they truly expect to get every quality and every trait they’re asking for in a partner? Of course not. And those that do, well they’re just deluded – because those “perfect” people don’t exist. When I read a dating profile, I look to see if our core values match. I don’t sweat a lot of the other stuff, because honestly, those things don’t matter.

          And the second part of that question – are people as picky in real life? Most people, no. (Yes there are always exceptions to the rule. Usually the same folks you find online who are looking for something that doesn’t exist.) What I’ve found with online dating vs real life is that online dating approximates shopping from a catalog. People skim profiles and are quick to toss out a person and move on to the next profile – because they can. There is a seemingly never-ending array of choices. (There’s a great book called “The Paradox of Choice” by Barry Schwartz, which basically argues that consumers actually have a harder time choosing when presented with too many options. That’s what’s happening with online dating. (And that is why Costco does so well! Limited items to choose from in each category).

          This, however, is actually the death knell for a lot of people. Because what happens is that no one is ever good enough. If your thinking becomes “why bother with this one, when there’s a better match around the corner,” then you are quicker to write people off (perhaps for minor stuff) and not give a chance to someone who might turn out to be a great partner. This doesn’t happen in real life. People are much more apt to see a person as a human being if they’re standing right in front of them, then if they are just an image and some text on a screen. And I think there’s also the sense that when you meet someone in person, you see that as an opportunity that you don’t want to let slip by. So you make the effort to engage with that person, even if they may not meet every item on your checklist. You can also argue that in-person chemistry plays a part, which is far more of a factor than looking at a still photograph.

          As to being raised by a single parent – as most kids are raised by single moms (I don’t know the stats, and though the number of single fathers raising kids is on the rise, most single households are still headed by women) – I would not say that the children act more feminine as a result. What I would say is that the boys raised by single moms, by and large, seem to have more empathy for women. And if they grow up with  sisters as well, it’s even more so.

          I think you answered your own question pretty well in the last paragraph – and that is, no one wants a partner who is at either end of the spectrum. I think most women today would like a partner who is definitely a man and who has those qualities we admire in men, but would hope that they can access their emotional side as well. As several of the wise men have described in their comments, how they were raised as men in previous generations was more due to social conventions and pressures of the time,   and is not inherent to their biology as men. I truly believe you can raise a boy  to be strong, courageous, respectful of women, and also be comfortable with showing emotion. That’s what I’m aiming for with my son anyway. Hope those insights are helpful 🙂

        2. SQ

          I was reading an article the other day about how the digital age has ruined relations between people (not just romantic; it’s affected all human interaction). Ruined is a subjective term. Perhaps it’s just our continuous evolving and it’s neither good nor bad. But it certainly has changed the way we interact.

          Re online vs in person, I don’t know if you ever have the occasion through your work to interview candidates for jobs. But if so have you ever seen a resume that was spectacular only to have the person come in and you are thoroughly unimpressed. And vice versa, the person may not be your top choice based on their resume but during the interview something just clicks and you really like that person for the job, even though they may not check off all the boxes on your wish list.

          Isn’t online dating the same thing? You’re judging based off a superficial presentation of everyone’s best foot forward. Your dream guy on paper may IRL be rude, boring, dishonest, chew with his mouth open, etc. and you can’t end the date fast enough.

          One just has to be open minded enough to realize that as much as OLD services pretend to be able to screen for the “perfect match” for you, you have to realize you still have to do your own screening. OLD is merely just one more way to meet people in a busy, disconnected world. It’s not a magic bullet.

          just my opinion.

        3. Chance

          Lol I lose my shit when people chew with their mouths open.   I have to leave the room. Gum smacking is the worst.

        4. Adrian

          Hi Jenny and SQ,

          __I agree, that is why now I am thinking that most of the problems that many of us complain about in dating are equivalent to what is called “first world problems.”

          __I had been out of the dating scene for a few years before I came upon this site, and I must admit, my head was spinning at most of the comments and complaints by the men and women on here. What I was seeing everyday verse what the commenters and Evan were saying seemed like two different worlds.  I felt like the slow kid in the class room always asking questions that others thought were simple, just so that I could catch up to be last in class.

          __That being said, I do feel that many of us guys do fumble through dating. Most men are simple and straight forward, but women are not as cookie cutter as we are; social economic background, racial background, and age all determine what a women expects.


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