Why Men Really Do Like The Cool Girl

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It’s been said that she’s a myth — an impossible image that no woman can actually live up to — and that women should stop worrying about being “cool.” I disagree. Men — the men you want — LOVE cool girls. In this podcast, we’re going to redefine cool and show you that in a committed relationship, both partners should be cool.

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  1. 1

    __We have actually had this conversation many times on this blog, so I will go ahead and try to stop the debate before it starts in the comments section by saying that the cool girl is the same as the nice guy with balls.

    __Just because you are a cool girl doesn’t mean that you can’t have boundaries or that you can’t tell a man no if you don’t like something.

    __Also I would add what Evans says about how to know if you are with a good partner. If you feel scared or anxious about how he will react to you telling him you don’t like something, then you chose the wrong partner-being cool is feeling safe and comfortable with your partner.

    Likewise, just because one man reacted badly or took advantage of you being the cool girl, doesn’t mean that all men will.

  2. 2

    I’m glad you addressed the “cool girl” Evan, especially after Gillian Flynn’s version!   I think all too often, the “cool girl” gets confused with “doormat” (and I admit I made that mistake for way too long).   To me, a real “cool girl” is the one who doesn’t sweat the small stuff, while having healthy boundaries on the big stuff.

    I’ve learned that being “cool” doesn’t mean pretending to be okay with something while secretly resenting him (as I’ve often done).   A cool girl can tell a man if she doesn’t like something he does–but is able to work out their differences in a calm and constructive manner.   Now that I finally found my nice guy with balls, I’m seeing that being “cool” really is possible.





  3. 3
    Karmic Equation

    If you want a “nice guy with edge”, you need to be a “cool girl with boundaries” — I agree with this equivalency. I believe nice guys with edge do end up in relationships with cool girls with boundaries. Like attracts like, after all.

    However, “good guy who is sensitive” does NOT equate to “cool girl with boundaries”, but rather to “good woman who is not over-sensitive”, aka, woman who has emotional self-control. In other words, if we women want men to change and behave with  MORE sensitivity to our feelings, WE women need to REACT to men  with LESS  sensitivity to their behaviors. To me those two qualities are the opposite sides of the same “sensitivity” coin.


    As to “cool” girls…as Evan, Christine, and Adrian have all mentioned, she’s not a “yes” girl who secretly resents saying yes to things she doesn’t want to say yes to.  A cool girl says yes only to things she won’t resent.

    When I start feeling resentment in my relationships, I always ask myself, if I had changed or if he had. If he hasn’t changed, and he’s doing the same thing he he’s done  from the very beginning and now I don’t like it, then, obviously I have changed. And the next question I ask myself is “Is what he’s doing objectively wrong, in that if the behavior was exhibited by women, would it be considered “wrong”?” If the answer is yes, like cheating, physical abuse, emotional abuse, addiction, lying, etc, then I dump him. If the answer is no, e.g., watching porn (which most men consider a non-event, but women find abhorrent), boring sex life, lack of romance, bad communications, etc., then you have to decide if this is something you can live with. If yes, let it go and forget about it. If no, try to address it with him, then dump him if it doesn’t get better after a reasonable  period of time.

    Being a cool girl means you know where to pick your battles. If you’re battling about EVERYTHING or you feel that you are unfairly burdened with choosing which battle you have to fight each day, then the relationship is not the right fit for you. Dump him.

    In a good relationship, you’re going to fight occasionally. It’s just par for the course. However, imho, you should not be fighting more than 3% of the time (approximately 11 fights/year — and this is still high imo as that roughly equates to one fight a month. I believe one fight every 2-3 months is normal in a healthy relationship). I term “fighting” as disagreements where voices are raised in anger.

    Anyway, as Evan says, it’s easy to be the cool girl with the right guy. However, if your anger and other negative emotions are easily triggered,  you need to learn to manage them. You can never exhibit enough positive emotions (joy, gratitude, empathy, etc.), so don’t worry about being “too happy”. Positive people aren’t biting their tongues all the time. So they don’t feel put upon for picking their battles. Work on controlling your negative emotions. Just like good cholesterol/bad cholesterol, the more good cholesterol you have, the less bad cholesterol you have 🙂 So cultivate positivity 🙂

    I guess you could say that the happy, rational women are naturally the “cool” girls.


    1. 3.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      Well said, as usual, Karmic. Still can’t believe you’re a Trump voter. XO 🙂

      1. 3.1.1
        Karmic Equation

        And I can’t believe you’re supporting Hillary.

        Agree to disagree 🙂

        1. Cinnamon

          I can’t believe that you equated a cool girl with Obama Evan… lol… Obama is hip, plays basketball with celebrities, etc… but he is an absolute and total failure at communication… so he is not a cool girl or a cool guy… more like and avoidant personality.   He has done almost nothing to heal the hearts of the people that are hurting from the racial divide in this country.   I voted hoping he would be like Martin Luther King and help to heal the country… but … he has been extremely disappointing.   I would be interested to know if you are aware of a person who is up for that job.   (Clearly Trump is divisive and not likely to heal the country’s sense of purpose… this has nothing to do with policies on either side… it has to do with leading and communicating and speaking to the heart of the purpose of the nation).   I say JFK was cool and said Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country.   A cool guy or girl in a relationship understands mutual giving and taking and putting the other first sometimes and wanting to please the other, and also receiving love.   If we are going to look to our leaders   as passionate people who convey a sense of country and purpose… by all means suggest someone up for the position.   I offer Meg Whitman.    I wish for the departed Steve Jobs.   I look to real leaders.   Don’t see that right now in this election to the level of inspiration I desire.

    2. 3.2


      “. . . if we women want men to change and behave with MORE sensitivity to our feelings, WE women need to REACT to men with LESS sensitivity to their behaviors.”

      “. . .  if your anger and other negative emotions are easily triggered, you need to learn to manage them.”

      One of the best things I ever learned was that in a heated moment, once you say something, you can’t take it back.   But if you refrain from saying something in the moment, you can always say it later if it’s still bothering you after you have mulled it over.   And when you say it, you can do it in a calm manner from a position of love.

      Works wonders, and not just for spouses and S.O.s but for kids, friends, and coworkers as well.

      1. 3.2.1

        Hi GoWithTheFlow,

        In your opinion, is it just as unhealthy to never fight? Like if you dated someone for a full year and you two did not argue once, is that healthy or unhealthy?

        1. GoWiththeFlow


          It depends.   Are you not fighting because you never bring up things that bother or hurt you, or never discuss controversial topics?   Or are you not fighting because you agree on most things and both partners are able to express themselves without turning up the temp?

        2. Christine

          That’s a good question–I can’t even count how many times I’ve known someone who said, “I can’t believe we broke up–we never fought!”

          I personally think “rarely fight” is more healthy than “never fight”.   I guess I have a difficult time believing that two different individuals can really think alike and agree on everything, at all times.   In all likelihood, I think the people who “never” fight are the ones where one person is unhappy about something, but clams up about it to avoid confrontation (but is secretly resentful about it)

          I’m in a happy relationship but even I can’t say that we’ve never had a disagreement.   Those disagreements are rare but they were still there.

          I don’t think it’s just the number of fights you have that determine the health of a relationship, but how you fight.   In some circumstances, fights can actually be constructive, in airing out differences and reaching a solution that works for both of you (it has been for me).

        3. Adrian

          Hi Christine,

          __That’s exactly what I thought! Or maybe I just was envious of all the bragging. I know of a couple who have been dating for about a year and they brag that they have never had a disagreement or fight once.

          __I was trying to find the balance between what Evan always says about relationships not being hard or requiring a lot of work, but at the same time I was wonder if this was healthy. Of course who knows what happens behind closed doors.

        4. Christine

          Adrian, I’d take that couple’s bragging with a grain of salt!   I’m personally in the happiest relationship I’ve ever known, with someone who feels tailor-made for me.   Yet even we have disagreements once in a while.

          The other day we had a silly disagreement over a text I had sent him, where I asked him what he wanted for dinner (so I would know what to prepare before he got home).   He thought it was more “terse” than usual and was bothered that it didn’t have my usual “honey” or “sweetie” endearments.

          But, we quickly got over it.   He admitted he overreacted a bit and read too much into it.   After all, I didn’t berate him or anything, but just asked what we’d have for dinner.

          At the same time, I could also see where he was coming from–it was shorter and more brusque than the messages I usually send.   I explained it was more fatigue than anything else.   We had just spent the night before watching a fireworks show with friends and family, while fighting massive crowds to do so (i.e. find parking, etc.)   With that, then work, I was too tired to be my usual chipper and verbose self in my text!   Once I had eaten and felt more rested, I was more my usual, affectionate self with him.

          Even an otherwise happy couple can get into silly disagreements!   I think the key is not so much never having disagreements, but quickly and constructively getting over them.

      2. 3.2.2
        Karmic Equation

        Great advice, GWTF.

        I’ve done that all my life on the big stuff, e.g., things that make me angry or hurt me.

        I lack that kind of self control on stuff that “irritates” me though.

        Luckily, this has never been an issue. I think guys naturally understand the difference.

    3. 3.3

      Hi Karmic Equation,

      __Why are certain things so abhorrent (as you said) to women? When my grandmothers says that porn is disgusting, I understand where she is coming from, but when I hear female co-workers say they feel betrayed, hurt, or heartbroken because their husbands were caught watching porn, I don’t understand?

      __Of course porn is only one of many issues, I don’t understand. Again, logically I understand the negative reactions of women who hate things like their boyfriends going to his best friends bachelor’s party; but I can’t understand the jealousy, insecurity or feelings that he cheated just by being there-I wouldn’t someone I was dating went to a friends bachelorette party, watched porn, etc.

      __I guess my question is, why do women get upset or feel   that their good husband or boyfriend cheated just by looking at a movie or attending a party? What separates a man lusting after some porn-star that he’ll forget that same night from the female celebrity who he only watches her movies because he thinks she is hot (I never hear women say they feel betrayed that their man watched a movie with Kate Upton)?

      1. 3.3.1

        Adrian, let me take a stab at this, since I’m the town prude over here. It’s not that going to a typical bachelor party would be cheating. Of course surrounding yourself with scores of temptation isn’t cheating. But it is something that I would want a man I was seriously dating to refuse to do, simply because I’d want him to have higher standards for himself than the typical guy. A man who willingly surrounds himself with sleaze through using porn, watching strippers, etc, even if it is only on a rare occasion, isn’t someone I’d be interested in as a life partner. Most women, deep down, want a man who they can trust implicitly to be a pillar of virtue, a good and faithful leader for their potential family. A man who chooses not to partake in sexual lasciviousness shows he not only respects the women he’s choosing not to lust after, but he respects himself enough not to want those images in his mind. I don’t believe the lie that men can’t help themselves, like they’re just hapless idiots being led around by the nose (or other body parts). All men have the ability to say no to temptation, to protect themselves and their relationships. Strong men rock, so I encourage all guys to be spiritually built. 😇 And I say, so what if your girlfriend or wife doesn’t seem to care about those things? At the end of your life it’s not gonna matter how she feels about the things you chose to do.

        1. Adrian

          Hello Jenn,

          Thanks for your input. Strip clubs don’t really do anything for me, bachelor parties I only attend to be their for my friend not to get a dance from a stranger; and porn is something that is fun occasionally but I don’t think I could ever choose it over the feel of a real woman.

          …    …    …

          __I do have a question for you about this statement you made,

          But it is something that I would want a man I was seriously dating to refuse to do, simply because I’d want him to have higher standards for himself than the typical guy. A man who willingly surrounds himself with sleaze through using porn, watching strippers, etc, even if it is only on a rare occasion, isn’t someone I’d be interested in as a life partner.”  

          __What do you mean by higher standards? What if he didn’t look at porn or go to strip clubs, would you accept him if you heard him telling his friends in a casual conversation, “Yeah, I just saw Star Wars and Daisy Ridley being in the movie was the only reason I stayed!” Would you dump him? Would his standards now be low in your eyes? Or is it okay to be attracted to celebrities, just not porn stars?

          __Would you rather be the type of girlfriend whose man did watch porn on rare occasions like when you were not in the mood for sex but he was, or would you rather be the type of girlfriend who would force men to lie about watching porn to be with her?

          __Before you answer the second question with, “I would just find a man who doesn’t watch porn…” okay, so if you happen to catch this man who swore to you that he never watches porn… masturbating to porn “only”because you two haven’t had sex for about three week or more due to you being sick and not in the mood, would you be angry and even disappointed in him; or would you give him a pass because he has been a great partner?

          __Most importantly, would you even consider that it is possible that YOU are the one who caused him to lie because of how much moral pressure you placed on him about being a man of high standards?

          __What do you think a cool chick would do in those situations?

      2. 3.3.2


        Get ready to duck!   You brought up both porn and bachelor parties at the same time 😉

        “. . . when I hear female co-workers say they feel betrayed, hurt, or heartbroken because their husbands were caught watching porn, I don’t understand?”

        “I can’t understand the jealousy, insecurity or feelings that he cheated just by being there [at a bachelor party]”

        Before I make a stab at trying to explain the above, let me start by disclosing that I have watched porn, by myself and with partners, and I have been at bachelorette parties where there have been male strippers.   I enjoyed it all.   I accept that I am a visual creature.   I believe women are visual creatures, it’s just that the higher level   No!   This is bad! internal censor areas of the brain are more continuously turned on in women than they are in men.   Probably because women throughout history have been judged harshly by society if they enjoy their sexuality or the sexual beauty of men too much.   But even back during medieval times, I’m sure the virginal highborn Lord’s daughter was sure hoping her arranged marriage would be with young lord-handsome-face-broad-shoulders and not old lord-pot-belly-bad-breath.

        Most women are aroused by a combo of attraction and responsiveness.   Responsive sexual arousal is when I’m not thinking of sex myself, but my guy has been real sweet, he complimented my dress this morning, and now he’s rubbing my back.   Aaaannnd now were kissing and this feels good!   Oh yeah, he just kissed that spot behind my ear, I’m totally in the mood now!

        The jealousy and insecurity you are seeing in some women in regards to their   S.O.s using porn or seeing a stripper show are because women know that men can easily do the mind switch from sex=love/desire/connection to sex=physical release/pleasure.   When you view porn or see a stripper or sex show, it is not like looking at art in a museum, it is being done to experience sexual arousal.   So as far as the women are thinking, aroused man who has mentally switched into sex=physical release/pleasure mode is infidelity waiting to happen.

        Many women don’t like or are uncomfortable with the disconnected sex-is-just-sex side of male sexuality.   And a man  going out to get sexually aroused in a venue that doesn’t include his girlfriend/wife  brings that all up into the forefront.   If you add in a woman’s body insecurities, relationship insecurities, or the possibility that her guy never lets her know he desires her, and well you’ve got an argument on your hands.

        A piece of advice here:   If your lady is unhappy about a bachelor party, don’t say any version of “But I’m coming home to you.”   Won’t work, and it will probably make things worse.   Acknowledge that she isn’t always comfortable with the side of your sexuality that can get aroused by an anonymous naked woman that you have no desire to connect with.   Tell her you’ve made a choice to be faithful and that you will remain faithful.   If going out, tell her about the precautions you take to make sure of it, i.e. you won’t get drunk.   Don’t stagger home at 3am and jump on her.   A pre-aroused woman may be your fantasy, it’s not necessarily hers.   Let her sleep and go rub one out in the bathroom.   Take a day or evening shortly before and after the party and spend time with her, let her know she’s attractive, trigger that responsive sexual arousal in her.

        1. Adrian

          Hi GoWithTheFlow,

          Have you gotten a new computer yet? Or are you still playing thumb wrestle with you phone? (^_^)

          …    …    …

          __I really enjoyed your comment (the part about ducking made me laugh out loud), but before I ask any follow up questions, first I would like to know how do you personally find the balance?

          __What is the balance between being the cool chick who knows that her man won’t cheat just because he watches porn “rarely” or he doesn’t like you mother, and the strong woman with standards? If you hate porn and love your mother, how do you compromise on something you both love and hate? How do you know the difference between placing their happiness over your hate and just being a doormat?

          __I knew a guy whose mother-in-law made his life hell, she even tried to get her daughter (his wife at the time) to go on a date with another man that she liked more. Fast forward a few years and now the mother is old, in poor health, and the daughter refuses to place her in a senior care center. She morally guilt the husband for not supporting her desire to let her mother move in.

          __Well in that story I guess he would be the cool not chick; but anyway, how do you find that balance between being cool, supportive, and over looking things that you can live with just to make your partner happy, and your own feelings?


        2. GoWiththeFlow


          Have I mentioned before that you don’t ask the easy questions 😉

          I think each man needs to decide for himself if the woman he is with has enough “coolness” to make the relationship comfortable and workable.   There are a lot of women and men who disagree about the issue of porn and bachelor parties yet a lot of them seem to get coupled up anyway, so I’m guessing this isn’t a major “cool” issue that’s a deal breaker for a lot  guys.   Probably because for most guys, a trip to a strip joint or a bachelor party is not a common occurrence and they keep the porn under wraps.

          Awhile back, I asked my brother what he thought was so special about his psycho-ex, outside of the “she’s hot” thing.   He said she was the first girl he could be “crass” around and it didn’t bother her.   (I didn’t ask him to define what his crass was)   So in a way you can say that she was “cool” that way.   However, it did turn out that she was a critical harpy who though my brother did a lot of other “terrible” things. So while his ex was cool about crassness, she was uncool in other areas to the extent that overall, it added up to her being WAY uncool.

          Now the whole deal about your friend’s MIL is on a whole other level.   I think at some point, especially when you are married, you just have to go with your spouse on things like this.   Your spouse and kids ARE your primary family now, and if there is tension with extended family members, you have to side with your primary family.

          My dad’s parents did not like my mom.   It wasn’t my mom’s fault, my grandma (who was worse about it than grandpa) didn’t like any of the people her kids married.   My parents met in grad school, got married soon after graduation, then moved out of state to put some distance between them and my dad’s parents.   One summer, us kids and my mom went to visit grandma and grandpa.   Grandma treated my mom horribly.   We left early and my mom told my dad she would never be around his parents if he wasn’t with her.   My dad backed my mom up 100% on that.

          As for myself, in any relationship you have to know where you boundaries are.   I don’t care about occasional porn or guys nights out as long as it’s not an addiction type issue.   I can also get along with people who are way more politically or socially conservative than me.   I live in a conservative area  and most of my family members are more conservative than me so if I couldn’t find it in myself to view them as good people who just think differently than I do, I would be a pretty lonely person!   As long as we can agree to disagree and I’m not belittled for my views or my boyfriend isn’t always trying to convert me (and I won’t try to convert him) then I’m good.

      3. 3.3.3

        @ Adrian
        “I guess my question is, why do women get upset or feel   that their good husband or boyfriend cheated just by looking at a movie or attending a party?”
        Some women are just like that about these things and no amount of reasoning will change the way they feel. But many, many women are cool about them so if it’s an issue for you, simply let her go and move onto a woman who doesn’t get upset about them.
        I just can’t fathom trying to explain myself or placate someone about such  trivial matters;  I’d simply listen to her, accept that she has a right to feel that way, and then move on to someone with values closer to mine.

      4. 3.3.4
        Emily, the original


        I’ve got a friend who goes with her husband to the strip bars. Also if a male strip group is doing a gig at a strip club, he’ll drive us and drop us off. It’s actually a cool attitude about it. They see it as entertainment.

        1. SMC

          Emil,, the original – Back when I was younger, I used to try to get my boyfriend to take me to a strip club.   Looked like fun at the time, but he never would.   (He didn’t go either.)   We also would look at porn together, though honestly, the titillation would wear off pretty quickly.   Still, it WAS entertaining for a bit.

          I drew the line, though, when my ex-husband (different guy) stopped having sex w/me after 6 months of marriage but I walked in on him looking at porn on the computer in our 3rd year of marriage.   Yep, hadn’t had sex in 2.5 years.   That marked the beginning of the end.   I don’t mind porn itself because I’m the gal who says “Mind if I look too?”   I mind it when it becomes a replacement of me.

        2. Emily, the original


          I don’t mind porn itself because I’m the gal who says “Mind if I look too?”   I mind it when it becomes a replacement of me.

          Totally get that. I had another friend whose husband hardly ever wanted to have sex. He refused to address the issue or get therapy. She found out he was live chatting with some strippers over the internet who had live cams. She was devastated, and I don’t blame her.

        3. GoWiththeFlow

          Emily & SMC,

          I typically don’t like linking to other people’s blog posts ON blog posts, but this is such a great piece for men on how to know if porn is affecting your life.   My son (who is a regular reader of the linked blog) sent it to me awhile back, and I have shared it extensively.


        4. Emily, the original


          “It activates the normal reward mechanisms in our brains, but it does so at such a high level that we perceive it to be way more pleasurable than the average arousing stimulus.”

          I have read similar articles. I grew up at a time when the most we could get our hands on was our dad’s Playboy. We’d giggle about lyrics in a Prince song, but we really had no idea what they meant. (I thought his reference to Trojans was about the Trojan War!)

          However, some of today’s young men had access to hardcore porn through the internet from a very young age. They started watching “vanilla” sex acts but, over time, they had to keep upping the ante to get aroused. So much so that an in-person encounter with a young woman doesn’t excite them.

      5. 3.3.5
        Karmic Equation

        Hi Adrian,

        Since I’m not one who gets upset when a guy wants to watch a movie with a hot chick, porn or R-rated movie, I’m not certain I’m going to give you the best answer. But I’ll give you my theories 🙂

        “I guess my question is, why do women get upset or feel   that their good husband or boyfriend cheated just by looking at a movie or attending a party?  What separates a man lusting after some porn-star that he’ll forget that same night from the female celebrity who he only watches her movies because he thinks she is hot (I never hear women say they feel betrayed that their man watched a movie with Kate Upton)?”

        I believe women who are insecure about their looks feel they are competing with those celebrities. Now here’s where it gets interesting. I’m guessing that the most attractive women (the 9-10s) have more issues with this than a 1-8 would. As a 7 woman, I recognize that there are plenty of women more attractive than I am. But also as a 7 woman, I know that I offer more to a relationship than just my beauty (I have to, lol). There are plenty of real-life competition without my obsessing over his obsession of a gorgeous starlet.

        So, a man who lusts after a woman on TV isn’t threatening to me. He might want them. But how is he going to meet them? Fly to California? Wouldn’t I be aware of this? And let’s say he does fly to California, what is the likelihood of him running into a celebrity he lusts after and would THEY reciprocate his attraction? Highly unlikely. So why get my panty in a twist over something that will never happen IRL?

        As to a guy attending a bachelor party? I have to trust that he’s smart enough to not cheat. Because if he cheats he loses me and what he has with me. If he believes gratifying a momentary lust with a stranger is worth more than our relationship, he’s not the kind of man I want to have a relationship with. I’m a big believer of karma. If he cheats, it’ll surface somehow. Good guys are often poor liars and will act guilty. I trust that I choose good guys to have relationships with. So either he never cheats or eventually he’ll give himself away if he does. So I’ll trust him until I can’t. That’s all a reasonable person can do.

        1. Karmic Equation

          I just realized that I didn’t quite answer your question on the “betrayal” part.

          That’s because it didn’t compute. lol

          To me a movie is a movie, whether it’s porn or G-rated.

          Except for the movies that are based on real events, most movies, including porn are for escapism or entertainment.

          Feeling “betrayed” because a man has a crush on a particular porn actress seems very silly to me. That reaction just creates unnecessary drama.

          That said,  I believe I have a natural way of “devaluing” porn for the guy. I do not do this on purpose, but very automatically. I ask questions or make incredulous comments.

          “You know women don’t blow dildos, right?”

          “Ok. If she’s in bootcamp, why is she wearing a half-shirt? Bootcamps don’t allow that.”

          “And why is an Army sergeant in a room  that can house a king-sized bed? This scenario doesn’t make sense.”

          “Ummm…she seems pretty young to be that roast-beefy. Don’t you think?”

          As you can see, when I watch porn with my guy, I don’t really pay attention to the action, but rather to the scenario. It’s hilarious what men come up with. Nothing realistic at all.

          I just can’t be threatened by that.

      6. 3.3.6

        Isn’t this fun? You have a bunch of people who don’t really know why since they themselves don’t have an issue with it, but who are trying to explain nonetheless. So now it’s my turn, lol!

        This is in addition to everything that’s been said which I think sounds pretty good to me:

        1. First of all women are not a monolith, as you can probably tell the answer to your question by all these women has been generally “I don’t get jealous but maybe because . . .” and as such no one, not even us women, can necessarily tell you why women do things. As a side note:  I would suggest maybe in future framing your question as “some women”. I think such framing also helps with the reminder that women are people too. Not that I think you dehumanize women at all, I just think it’s always important for people to remember: individuals first, gender second (I would feel the same if it was “men” vs “some men”)

        2. My addition to the conversation:

        I have a friend (an actual friend, I am not this person in disguise 😉 ) who came to me  extremely distraught a few years ago because for the first time in her life she was attracted to someone who wasn’t her boyfriend. I blinked a few times when she told me this. So she had to explain it. For her whole life of serial monogamy, my friend whenever she was in a relationship, was not attracted to people outside of it. This blew my mind as I just assumed one still was attracted to others they just didn’t act on it when one was monogamous. So she had always been very jealous when her boyfriends would be attracted to another girl, because to her you only feel attracted to other people if you aren’t attracted to your partner. Now that SHE was attracted to someone else, it totally shifted her world view. I think in the ensuing years it helped her grow and be healthier.

        But I do think that there are other people like my friend out there who think that noticing anyone else even a fictional someone else is a betrayal because if he was really into his partner why would he be attracted to someone else?? Is she not good enough for him? I think there’s this notion that the feeling of attraction is finite. There’s only so much to give out. So if one is attracted to someone else, then they can’t be attracted to their partner. It’s not rational. It’s not accurate. But I believe that’s a part of it sometimes.

      7. 3.3.7

        I did not like my ex husband watching porn because I felt like he was imagining himself with another woman instead of me and that he was comparing that woman on the screen against me . Those thoughts really did hurt. I mean yes he could be imagining these things without looking at porn  but  I wouldn’t have known that if it just stayed in his mind instead of manifesting itself into the action of watching porn. Now did my fears come true. Unfortunately yes. Was porn the root cause? I don’t believe so. I do believe most men probably watch porn. Some of those men actually cheat and some do not cheat. Some actually compare verbally to their partners and some do not. no matter how negatively I feel and fear about men who do watch it while in a monogamous relationship I feel like it’s one of those things that’s useless to fight. So I do have the mindset that my future man is probably going to do it and of course I’m not going to like it. but all I can do is trust and hope he doesn’t actually cheat or actually say something hurtful like comparing me to a porn star.

        1. Karmic Equation

          Hi Roxanne,

          Men who would OUT LOUD compare you to another woman, whether porn star or the woman walking in front of you at the mall, he is a total *sshole.

          However, if blurts out “on golly gee!” and you see is eyes fixated on another woman’s boobs or booty, just punch his arm (firmly but not too hard) and say, “Hey, don’t say that sh*t out loud, dummy. I don’t need to know what you’re thinking!” Be good humored about it. Or just roll your eyes and say “Drool is not a good look on you.”

          Acknowledge his looking, but don’t let it get to you.

          Because the truth is, he is NOT comparing you to her. You are the last thing on his mind. LOL. He’ll forget her as soon as he sees another fascinating rack or tush.

          It’s not worth getting jealous of. It would be like him worrying everytime you look in a jewelry shop at the $10,000k bracelet. You admire it when it’s in front of you. Out of sight, out of mind.

          You’ll remember that girl and tush much longer that does. And every time you bring it up, you help him remember. If you want a guy to forget something, don’t keep bringing it up. You’re doing something to bring about the opposite of what you want.

  4. 4

    Thank you Evan. Well said. I did the cool girl thing, but was a total doormat because of who i was dating.   Im so excited to have met a good guy with edge. I am still going to be cool, and im hoping that it pays off. Because of what i went through before, i know better than to ever put up with bad behavior again. But, i also know that you have to choose the hill you want to die on. A lot of stuff is just not worth being bothered over. I know you didnt mention this, but i have found that with age, i have become so much more cool. I used to let everything bother me.   Im not only cooler than i was, im also happier than i had been.

  5. 5
    Emily, the original

    What’s the difference between a nice guy and a nice guy with balls? I know a lot of seemingly nice guys who were very pleasant, almost overly so, and then revealed a side of their personality that was very ugly — they got passive-aggressively mean, particularly when a woman only saw them as a friend, even though they never made their intentions known and went through the side door and not the front.

    1. 5.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      A “nice guy” is the one who is in the friend zone. No attraction. No opinions. No backbone. No masculine energy. Nice guy with balls has opinions, backbone, masculine energy, and ALSO treats women well. Women often undervalue the nice guy with balls and go for guys with opinions, backbone and masculine energy who does NOT treat women well. Also known as: an asshole.

      1. 5.1.1

        Yup, that’s it in a nutshell–that makes me thankful for the nice guy with balls I’ve got now.

      2. 5.1.2
        Emily, the original

        Ok. I guess I don’t know any nice guys with balls. At least not currently.

    2. 5.2

      The guys you’re describing don’t sound like nice guys to me at all–they sound more like assholes in disguise!   I would think nice guys would respect a woman’s feelings enough not to get “mean” just because she doesn’t reciprocate their interest.   I don’t like the attitude behind that passive-aggressiveness–it’s like they’re assuming they’re somehow entitled to her interest.

      I’ve known some nice guys who were interested in me, but who I only liked as friends.   They were a bit disappointed, but never got “mean”.   In fact, we’re still good friends now and we were genuinely happy for each other when we found romantic partners.   To me, those are genuinely nice guys.


      1. 5.2.1
        Emily, the original


        I don’t like the attitude behind that passive-aggressiveness—it’s like they’re assuming they’re somehow entitled to her interest.

        That has actually happened to me a few times. I assumed we were just friends. We were both rambling on about other people we liked (something I would not do with a man I was interested in), but then I was accused of being shallow because I didn’t see them as potential romantic partners. I guess I am naive, but I never knew that was even on the table. Or maybe I am being selfish, perfectly ok being emotionally close as friends with no physical relationship. Is that not possible for a man? I’m to the point now where I don’t think men and women can be platonic friends.

        1. Christine

          Emily, I find that just as puzzling as you do–sorry but this is the case of the blind leading the blind!   I’ve never had a male friend do that with me.   Some of them were interested in me but didn’t accuse me of being shallow, just because I didn’t feel the same way. They were disappointed but accepted it–then found women who were interested in them.   In the meantime, we were able to still maintain our friendship.

          However, even those situations were few and far in between.   The vast majority of them are guys who also weren’t interested in me romantically either. We really are more like brother and sister.

          I absolutely do think men and women can be just friends. It’s possible to like someone very much as a person, without that romantic chemistry.

          In fact, one of my favorite movie scenes isn’t even a romantic one, but this scene from “Something Borrowed” between the platonic friends Ethan and Rachel.   He tells her how much he likes her, and how she just feels like “home” to him.   I always liked how that story line just had a special friendship, and didn’t end with them getting together romantically (no disrespect to “When Harry Met Sally” but I disagree with Harry that men and women can’t be friends!)


        2. Adrian

          Geez Emily! Don’t tell the whole world about how you rejected me! (^_^)

          …    …    …

          __Emily, I am curious, as much as you talk about the lack of desirable men around you, why don’t haven’t you tried online dating?

          __Have you decided if you are going to move to a larger city or not? If you do, how do you plan to meet men? Not only at your job again I hope… though a bigger city may have hotter printer repair men.

          __You know when you told that story I imagined some old potbellied guy with a greasy comb over and a gold tooth, spitting all kinds of game from the 70s in your ear (^_^)

        3. Adrian

          Hi Christine,

          __Personally I believe the only way that men and women can be just friends is if NO ONE finds the other attractive.

          __Or maybe I am just thinking as a man, because if I find a woman attractive I want her, so I try to get her; if she doesn’t want me and I am single, why would I place myself in a position to always want something that not only I can’t have, but doesn’t want me?!

          __At my job now, I currently work around all women. All married or have boyfriends (also most of them are old enough to be my mother), I do find many of them attractive, but keep our relationship strictly business.

          __I joke and have fun with them, but only around safe topics. A few of them have invited me to go out to dinner with them after work just the two of us, and I never do-even the ones that invite me to go out with her and her husband, I turn down. It’s strange because, personally I wouldn’t mind if my girlfriend or wife had dinner with a male co-worker alone after 7 (if I didn’t trust them, why would I be with them), but I wouldn’t want to do it myself.

        4. Christine

          Adrian, that’s interesting…maybe men and women think differently about platonic friendships with the opposite sex?

          I’ve always managed to have male friends I find physically attractive, yet am able to stay just friends with (and yes, actual friends, not “friends” while secretly hoping for something more).

          I have one male friend in particular who is very attractive and wealthy.   I know, I know, some women here may think I’m nuts for not ever wanting more with him LOL.   We’ve been friends for years (met him before getting into my relationship now).   I have fun hanging out with him but, for a variety of reasons–don’t think he’d be a good romantic partner for me.   I really am able to be just friends with him, even while recognizing he’s attractive.

          I’m just wondering, do you think men have a harder time being just friends with someone attractive, than women do?


        5. Emily, s the original

          Hi Adrian,

          Wish me luck. I have TWO interviews next week, both out of state, in much bigger cities. With the one job (it would be working for the city), I would be interacting with other departments and the public. Meaning: I’d be out and about, so maybe I’d meet more men that way.

          They’d have to be better than the ones I’m meeting now. Since word has gotten out that I may be leaving, two have appeared. One is a friend I haven’t heard from in a while whose idea of being bold is sending nonsensical, cryptic texts whining that he needs plastic surgery. Another (a casual work acquaintance) asked me how often I have sex and do I pick men up in clubs? I was like, “Huh?” This guy is married. The whole thing SKEEVED me out.

        6. CaliforniaGirl

          I heard a saying that friendship between man and woman could be only if they were lovers or they will be lovers. All of my guy friends tried to have sex with me at some point of time, with some I had and to some I wasn’t attracted, so I just said no but from time to time they still try. I don’t believe that a grown up man can form a friendship with a woman if he is not attracted to her. Exceptions only childhood/high school friends. The only guy friends where we don’t have any sexual tension are childhood friends. All men I met later tried to get sexual with me, so I don’t believe in such a friendship if it’s not a childhood friend. If my boyfriend wants to be friends with a woman from work, let’s say, I am not buying that he is not attracted to her.


        7. Emily, s the original


          The only guy friends where we don’t have any sexual tension are childhood friends.

          Or gay men. Those are the only guy friends I’ve had who didn’t try to make it sexual at some point. I pick male friends in part based on the fact that I don’t want to hook up with them. Do men pick female friends they want to hook up with? Maybe it’s selfish of me to share emotional closeness but withhold physical closeness   ? I’m just throwing ideas out there.

        8. CaliforniaGirl

          My ex boyfriend had a lot of female friends. All female friends were single with whom he slept before and I didn’t really like that but tried to be “cool”. Ha, right, one night he came home with the bite marks on his body from a very “platonic” female friend who tried to get physical with him.   He was “surprised” she tried anything because he thought they are strictly platonic. I felt like shit, because there was not really a reason to break up with him but I was pissed. He said he will talk to her but will continue to be friends with her. We broke up eventually and his female friends were partially a reason.

        9. Emily, the original


          Oh, yes, the bite marks would have bothered me. I don’t want to tell a man he can’t have female friends (because I don’t want to be told who I can be friends with), but if he’s hanging out with her one-on-one and I am never invited but I’m the girlfriend, something is off.

        10. Shaukat

          I’m just wondering, do you think men have a harder time being just friends with someone attractive, than women do?

          This statement perfectly highlights the massive disjuncture between men and women on this issue. Even in the movie When Harry Met Sally, which Christine alluded to above, the Meg Ryan character was completely oblivious to the fact, after it was pointed out to her by  Billy Crystal,  that all her guy friends wanted to sleep with her. In 98% of all such cases, if a guy is single and willing to hang out with you consistently on a one-on-one basis it means he wants to sleep with you. This doesn’t mean that he can’t also value the friendship, and it certainly doesn’t mean that all he wants is sex, but it does mean that the sexual urge is always there. I don’t have any close female friends at this point in my life, but back when I did I can say this with certainty: Even  though  I wasn’t actively trying to get with any of them I would have gladly hooked up with all of them if the opportunity arose. There are really only two exceptions to this rule (assuming the guy is straight): 1) If you’re both already in a relationship; and 2) If he’s not at all attracted to you but you’re such a cool girl that he enjoys your company regardless of this lack of attraction. The latter is very  rare I think, but it does happen. For those of you who haven’t already read The Ladder Theory, I suggest taking a look at it. It’s a little crude, but it’s quite funny and it perfectly captures the male/female dynamic when it comes to friendship:



        11. Adrian

          Hi Christine,

          __I saw something yesterday that made me laugh my butt off because of you.

          __When asked by a group of women to be friends, a guy yells back “I wasn’t born to be friends with ladies…. I was born to love them! (^_^)

        12. Emily, the original


          Also in When Harry Met Sally:

          Harry Burns: And was it worth it? The sacrifice for a friend you don’t even keep in touch with?

          Sally Albright: Harry, you might not believe this, but I never considered not sleeping with you a sacrifice.

          That pretty much sums up how women feel about a majority (or all) of their male friends. If they can talk to them like they would a close girlfriend, they aren’t seeing them as a romantic partner.


      2. 5.2.2


        A nice guy with balls is one you wouldn’t hesitate to set up your friend with if   there wasn’t anything going on between the two of you 😉

        1. Emily, the original


          No, no! If he was a nice guy with balls, I’d be trying to get up on that!   🙂

          If, however, he was just a “nice guy,” then, yes, she is welcome to him!

        2. Christine

          Touche, that is so true!   🙂 I really do hope my single friends find what I have.   Nice guys with balls do exist

      3. 5.2.3
        Emily, s the original


        I’m just wondering, do you think men have a harder time being just friends with someone attractive, than women do?

        I don’t know, but if I am friends with a man, I don’t find him appealing. I can let my guard down and be myself because seduction is not on the table. Like Adrian wrote, if I find the person appealing, I’m hoping something will happen. If it doesn’t, I’m not going to hang around platonically in the hopes he’ll change his mind.


    3. 5.3

      Adrian, LOL!   Wow, interesting discussion going on here.   I guess I’m really naive about male friends!

      My guy asked me if all those photos I post of us on Facebook will make my male (straight) friends jealous…and he only seemed half joking about it.   That never even crossed my mind.

  6. 6

    Evan’s last comment about nice guys with balls is 100% true.

    I am a nice guy with balls and at times I’m completely overlooked by women who only recognize only assholes and nice guys.

    Nice guys with balls are like dinner specials that are not on the menu.


    1. 6.1

      @ John:   “Nice guys with balls are like dinner specials that are not on the menu.” And only the smart diners have the inside scoop and know to ask for them specifically.   🙂   Hi John.   I hope you’re finding there are “smart diners” out there.   Yes?


      1. 6.1.1

        Yes SMC. There are some smart diners. One night I was out for a drink with friends and saw a group of women a few tables down. I went down and started a conversation with this group of about six women, who were in my town for a convention. Two were about 65 years old and the other four were in their thirties. After some conversation and dancing, one of the older ladies said to the thirty year old women, “this is the kind of guy you want to marry.” The thirty something women looked baffled and a bit confused by this assertion. Their boss went on to say, “he approached us, made us laugh, had differing opinions, and asked us to dance. Now that is a man!”   It was great to hear. Unfortunately, the thirty something women couldn’t grasp what their boss said. A masculine guy who has a spine and treats women well is a rare species that the thirty-something women had never encountered. I’m in my forties and my experience is that a lot of women who are at least 15 years older than me recognize a nice guy with balls and absolutely appreciate it.

        1. Emily, s the original


          I went down and started a conversation with this group of about six women

          That does take balls. Confidence and charm. Good for you.


        2. Mrs Happy

          Very sexy John. Very smooth.

        3. SMC

          Ditto what Emily, the O said – that DOES take balls!   Very impressive, and yes, we older gals recognize you nice guys with spines.   Excellent story, thanks for sharing!

        4. Adrian

          Hi John,

          __From what I have observed: young men and women are desired because of their physical beauty and older men and women are respected for their life experience and wisdom.

          __The problem occurs when-on average-people usually lose one to gain the other.

          __That 20 or 30 year old doesn’t have to worry as much about how to hunt (as Caroline and SMC spoke of in another post) a man or woman because their beauty makes them the treasure to be sought after

          __But as beauty fades both men and women realize that they need to compensate their lack of looks with kindness, wisdom and personality (as Karmic Equation and GoWithTheFlow have said many times <though most older men just try to compensate with money, something that doesn’t work for women>).

          __In my opinion, this is why many male play boys regret not getting married when they were younger, in better shape, and more attractive. This is also why many older women complain about the ageism that goes on with online dating.

          __So to that 30 year old in your story, the advice given by the older women makes sense logically but not emotionally; therefore it didn’t apply to her reality. Were you hot enough was what mattered to her at that point. None of us think we will ever lose our beauty and bodies to age, or at least not until we are already married first; so all the advice given to us by older people doesn’t really fit in with our reality.

          __If I have learned anything from this blog, it is to take advantage of my youth now, but forgo my ego and listen to the wisdom of those more experienced than I am.

          __Also I believe it was Chance and GoWithTheFlow… or maybe Henrietta speaking about something similar in another post. They cited a study that stated that people “shop” for mates based off of the level of attraction they believe their selves to be at (this is why Karmic Equations often warns of the dangers of over estimating our own sexual market values).

          __In other words, it is possible that the older women at that table were looking at your overall long-term mate value, while the younger girl was just looking at your sexual market value compared to hers… Basically no matter how much of a great catch you are, if the other person doesn’t find you attractive, all doors are closed! I doubt she was confused at all.

          …    …    …

          As a side note, the comment that made me fall in love with GoWithTheFlow’s brain was about this subject on another post. In it she speaks about the fallacy of men who wrongly judge women for shallow mating decisions they made when they were younger (choosing the hot bad boy over the cute nice guy with balls ) because they were still just learning about themselves and their characters were still developing, still growing.

    2. 6.2
      Just Saying

      John, the truth of the matter is women go for men they would like to boink. Not very different to men really. So if you are very physically appealing your so called “niceness” is not going to get the way of them (women) responding positively to you. If you are just average or even below average looks wise, your desirability will come down to how women think you will perform in bed. Being dominant and demanding in your dealings with women suggest you are like this with them in bed – which is something that gets women really hot for you

      1. 6.2.1

        “John, the truth of the matter is women go for men they would like to boink.”   So are you saying, Just Saying, that those women at the table of six (the older ones) couldn’t just appreciate John for the bold, assertive and FUN way he approached them and that they only enjoyed his company because they wanted to “boink” him?   I’m not trying to be rude, I’m just trying to figure out what you’re saying in relation to his story.

  7. 7

    Loved this podcast, though I was shocked to hear Gillian Flynn’s version – YUCK.   I never would have equated a cool girl with that kind of gal. I myself strive to be a cool girl, but I will say that, at least in my experience, it’s much easier to be so when I know that I’m Number One with my man.   A man in a committed relationship but who still acts like he’s single in various ways is bound to create a sense of insecurity which leads a woman into being NOT cool.   It’s easier to do the eye roll and brush the small stuff away when you know where you stand with him.   I struggled greatly with being the cool girl in my last relationship, and my version of cool was to pretend to brush things off while the resentment began to build (because talking things over sure didn’t solve anything).   I have high hopes for this next one, but only time will tell.

    Oh, and call me what you will, but IMO bodily noises aren’t “cool” in either gender (barring “accidents”).   🙂

    1. 7.1

      Hi SMC,

      __I think you hit the nail on the head-as they say. If you are with someone who makes you feel comfortable and you trust them, then it is easier to be a cool partner, but if you are doing all the right things and your partner still acts insecure around you or doesn’t trust you; than “they” are the one with the issue not you.

      __This is what many of us were trying to tell another female commenter on this blog-who I won’t name-about being the cool girl. It is not that being the cool girl or guy doesn’t work, it is just that no matter how cool and forgiving you are, a bad partner is a bad partner-so don’t let that one bad relationship turn you off to being the cool partner.

      __This is why I wouldn’t have a problem with a girlfriend going to strip clubs, bachelorette parties, meeting up with old boyfriends, being friends with old boyfriends, doing a all girls weekend in Los Vegas, watching porn, staying late after work with male co-workers, or her telling me that she finds a celebrity or co-worker attractive.

      __I want to be completely trusted, so I want to give complete trust; besides having desires, likes, friends, a past, etc doesn’t stop for a woman the moment she becomes my girlfriend.

      __I never understood the arrogance of people who demand that their boyfriend/girlfriend of 1 year stop being friends with someone that they have known for 5 years or more just because their past relationship makes them feel uncomfortable. Giving up a 5 year friendship over a person whom you don’t even know if you two will be still dating in another year is CRAZY to me!

      1. 7.1.1

        I never understood the arrogance of people who demand that their boyfriend/girlfriend of 1 year stop being friends with someone that they have known for 5 years or more just because their past relationship makes them feel uncomfortable. Giving up a 5 year friendship over a person whom you don’t even know if you two will be still dating in another year is CRAZY to me!”

        Exactly right, Adrian, and if a bf even  hinted at that, he’d be an ex-bf in a nanosecond, but I’m pretty clear up front about having guy friends, so it’s clear in the beginning from MY standpoint that my guy friends will remain in my life, the new bf can take it or leave it.   As it happens, I only have a couple of guy friends who I see once or twice a year for lunch, but still.   Had that conversation just last night with this budding relationship, though it wasn’t confrontational or anything, just very matter of fact and part of a general conversation. He hasn’t mentioned anything about gal pals, but of course I would be ok with it.   What’s good for the goose, after all.

        As for the porn issue, this thread has had me thinking.   We were talking about our respective ex-spouses last night and he revealed that they hadn’t had sex the last seven years of marriage.   Talk about a jaw-dropping disclosure.   I thought my 4 years of no sex was a world record, but evidently not.   With this thread and some of the comments in mind, I asked him how he managed to get through it.   “With porn?” which would have been totally reasonable, and he said no, he’s never ever looked at nor watched porn, he just adjusted to the idea that he’d never have sex again.   So that particular subject is now off the table.   Like I’d said earlier (and I told him last night) that if a guy wants to watch porn, he can expect me to join him for the entertainment factor, but I don’t think it’s even going to be a “situation” for us, should we develop into a couple.

        KE, your “devaluing” of porn made me laugh out loud.   Clever girl.   🙂

  8. 8

    The biggest problem with being “cool”  that I have is that I never ever seem to get any credit for being “cool”. And that is actually my natural disposition. I really do pick my fights. Porn, strip clubs, outing with male friends are non-events for me, I couldn’t care less about my guy doing any of that. In fact, I would enthusiastically arrange a girl’s night out or a spa weekend while he’s doing his thing. However, what would be nice to have is some acknowledgment from the guy for having this quality, but it just never happens.

    Men will readily acknowledge when you DO something for them (ie look beautiful, cook them a meal, shop for them etc.) but they will never acknowledge what you DON’T do (ie nag them over a strip club outing). In other words, if I go out and buy him a new workout outfit, I get a thank you and a brownie point, but if I don’t nag him over a strip club trip – I get a big fat nothing. It is taken for granted. So what is exactly the point in being “cool”? It is almost better to pretend you’re not cool and then get a brownie point for agreeing at the end (and may be get him to do something nice for you in return).

    1. 8.1

      I think the point of being “cool” for men and women alike is not so that you get to be rewarded for it, but so that there is an ease and lack of general conflict over little things in the relationship. The point is the healthy state of the relationship, not so you get praise.

      Now that’s not to say it isn’t nice that we acknowledge the efforts of others, and I do think working to notice the small things and say thank you (again this is something both men and women should work on) is a really nice thing to do and another great way to maintain a healthy relationship. One does want to feel valued.

      But yeah, being cool the way Evan defines it is not about getting rewards. It’s about working with someone else to maintain a quality relationship.

      1. 8.1.1

        Hi Callie,

        You nailed it! Perfect answer… in fact so perfect, I think I’m going to copy it and past it the next time this subject comes up and take all the credit for it! (^_^)

        …    …    …

        In all seriousness, Great answer. Thank you for helping me understand that better and thank you for reminding me it’s not about getting praise for being kind toward a partner, but it is about making their life better, because it benefits the relationship as a whole, which in it’s own way benefits me.

        1. Callie

          Why thank you! 🙂

          And it’s my pleasure.

          I think sometimes with all this dating stuff, and with men and women both often feeling antagonised by the other, hurt by the other, it can feel like the end result is about winning some game. Being the victor. But the real victory is having a mutually stable, loving, satisfying relationship that is filled with kindness and respect. Doing good things in general ought to be because doing good is the right thing to do and benefits society as a whole, not because of brownie points.

          This though can be difficult to remember, and sometimes we do need to be a little selfish. Sometimes we do need praise and acknowledgment. But that can’t be the primary reason why we do something. At least in my opinion.

    2. 8.2
      Karmic Equation

      I agree with Callie.

      Also, being “cool” is a trait or characteristic. To be thanked for that would be like having your bf thank you for having big boobs or a great smile. You don’t get “thanks” for that.

      Do you thank your bf for listening to you chatter on when he wants peace? Do you thank him for going shopping with you instead of going drinking with his buddies or just simply staying home in bed?

      While being thanked (or given credit) for the good qualities we have would be nice, we should work to have good qualities regardless of the praise. If the only reason you’re good is because you want credit, then is your goodness  genuine?

      Your ex-husband was a loser, Stacy2. Accept that you made a bad choice instead of being angry that you got taken advantage of. Just make a better choice next time.

      But if you always start out looking for rich first, and good qualities 2nd, you may yet again find another loser, because rich does NOT equal “good quality”.

      Nobody’s asking you to date a pauper. Just suggesting you find a good guy first, and THEN decide whether or not you’re willing to compromise on his (lack of) wealth. As opposed to finding a rich guy first and then deciding whether or not you can find a compromise on his level of *ssholery.

      1. 8.2.2

        Also, being “cool” is a trait or characteristic. To be thanked for that would be like having your bf thank you for having big boobs or a great smile. You don’t get “thanks” for that.

        But you do get acknowledgment of that. You get complimented on that. I have never once been complimented by any man for being easygoing or “cool”. Not once in my entire life. Men do take it for granted, absolutely 100% of the time. I have heard many times that  I have a great smile or I look beautiful, never once did any man say “I really appreciate how easy going you are, my buddy’s wife gave him hell for going to this bachelor party and you’re so cool” – accompanied by a bouquet of flowers (or what the heck even without flowers). This is not happening. Being cool is the most under-appreciated trait there is.

        Do you thank your bf for listening to you chatter on when he wants peace? Do you thank him for going shopping with you instead of going drinking with his buddies or just simply staying home in bed?

        I do, actually. I do all the time. I give praise almost every time he’d do something nice and acknowledge what a good boyfriend he is.

        1. Karmic Equation

          You’re right, men do provide compliments for big boobs and nice smiles.


          Let’s try a different analogy.

          Do you compliment or acknowledge that your bf “has balls” or “has edge”? I know I don’t. But I wouldn’t be with him if he didn’t have that.

          Is his having balls or edge “underappreciated”? I don’t even think I’m taking it for granted that he has balls or edge. It’s who he is. It’s how he behaves. I don’t feel that I have to call attention to it. Or acknowledge it. Or appreciate it. It’s part of what makes him him.

          If you compliment your guy often on his edge, then great. But that is over-complimenting imo. He didn’t go out of his way to develop that edge. He’d be edgy with or without me. He’s not being edgy  specifically for me.


        2. Stacy2


          I think you’re overly complicating things. I don’t know what exactly is the definition of “edge” and how I would compliment someone for having it, but I do communicate to my b/f which qualities in him I find attractive. I don’t compliment him on it constantly  out of the blue  but when he displays  these qualities – absolutely. For example, my b/f is a  very calm and collected person and he never loses his sh#$t no matter what the situation is. One night we were sleeping in a hotel and the building caught on fire. He went outside to check on the commotion, came back and very calmly said “We have to go, the roof is on fire and they may begin evacuating soon, lets just get out now”. I was sort of dragging my feet getting ready and he again very calmly said “I think you should  hurry up”. Needless to say I had been with men in the past who would react to such situation very differently, there would be screaming and cursing and blaming etc. So yes I am with him because I value this quality, and after that I told him how I appreciated how calm he was and handled that situation. This is the exact analogy.

          The reverse, ie when I display a positive trait and get some sort of recognition, has never happened to me. May be men don’t care, may be they just don’t talk about it,  I don’t know I can’t read minds. either way IMO they’re taking it for granted.  I don’t feel like it does anything for me at all in my relationships. YMMV.

        3. Karmic Equation

          “I don’t feel like it <being cool> does  anything for me at all  in my relationships.”

          Are you sure? Do you really think your bf would enjoy your relationship if you made a big deal about everything?

          I suspect your bf would dump you if you became a harpy OR, more likely, your bf wouldn’t be your bf if you weren’t cool in the first place.

          We’ve all heard the “happy wife, happy life” sentiment.

          I think that “cool girl, cool relationship” (doesn’t rhyme, I know lol) – would be the correlating sentiment from the opposite perspective  🙂

          A cool girl makes a guy WANT to stay in the relationship, and makes the relationship easy for both people.

          But a genuinely cool girl would be cool about being cool. She doesn’t want/need/notice if her coolness is  acknowledged or not.

          I think the “boundaries” part is what might be hanging us up in this debate.

          A woman can be a cool girl with reasonable boundaries or she could be a cool girl with with unreasonable  boundaries or she could be a cool girl  who fails to enforce her reasonable boundaries.

          The first  won’t allow herself to be taken advantage of. She knows how to enforce her reasonable boundaries. Her coolness has nothing to do with her ability to enforce reasonable boundaries.

          The second is demanding and will eventually drive any quality guy away. I would say that this type of woman probably doesn’t exist. A cool girl with unreasonable boundaries is most likely not a genuinely cool girl.

          The third is a doormat. The fact that she’s cool is irrelevant.

        4. Stacy2


          You would think so, but I guess no. We were doing some kind of version of “30 questions to fall in love” one day, and one of the questions was what qualities/traits you like about your partner? Me being “cool” wasn’t even on his list! Me beingn attractive was. Some other personality qualities were. In fact my European accent was at the top of the list. Being cool? Nope. May be it is just “we don’t really know what we have till its gone”. I dunno. I have spent a lot of time contemplating this cool girl issue, because I’ve always thought that would be one of my “selling points” in relationships, considering how some other women treat their men. Not the case. Fascinating, really.

        5. Evan Marc Katz


          You seem hyperaware of what’s wrong with men and how they fail you. Fair. Can you shine the light on yourself? Can you tell me 10 reasons a man wouldn’t want to be with you? If you can’t, we’ve already identified a big source of the problem – a lack of humility. And that’s not an attack on you; I’d say the same thing to any man or women who continually finds wholesale fault with the opposite sex and doesn’t display any trace of self-awareness about how he has to put up with your imperfections as well.

        6. Karmic Equation

          You’re right in that “being cool” is not a selling point.

          I believe guys only notice the absence of it when they no longer have it OR if they’ve never had it and then found it.

          I’m thinking that most men lump “cool” into the same bucket as “nice” or “sweet”. They probably define  it more as “not demanding” and “no drama”, which are the results of being cool.

        7. Adrian

          Hi Stacy2,

          ___I can not do a better job than Karmic Equation or Evan, but I will just say that if you have ever read the book Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus, the author explains that men and women give and receive/desire gifts differently.

          __Men like to give big showy gifts, this could be jewelry, it could be complimenting you on your looks, or the nice dinner you made.

          __So in my opinion, it is not that these men are taking your cool girl vibe for granted, it is that they may just naturally see the cool “little” things you do as who you are as a whole. Men don’t normally look at small things, or read small subtle body langue, and we can’t use our peripheral vision as well as women; we are in constant tunnel vision-many studies back this up.

          __Have you tried talking to your boyfriend about complimenting you more? Because I don’t want to make excuses for, or try to justify what we men do. I acknowledge that we could make more small gestures; do like Karmic Equation said she does with her boyfriend and tell him you need him to compliment you on a cool girl gesture you did. If you aren’t satisfied with his answer, tell him to give you a better one.

          …    …    …

          __I though about myself during this conversation and I admit that I never used the words thank you for being a cool girl, but I have often thanked partners for being so understanding, or so kind, or so giving. I have thanked partners for seeing what I didn’t see in a person, or for over looking something that I would not have… Aren’t those all elements of a cool girl just without the title?

          __Since I know that I am not that unique, I know that I’m not the only guy who has done this. I have to agree with Evan and Karmic Equation, just try harder to choose guys of better character in the future.

          …    …    …

          __Also, what Evan said brought back memories of when I was 23 and just broke up with a girl. An older guy asked me why I was a great catch (I was whining that she would be sorry because I am such a great catch, she’ll never find another like me); I couldn’t answer the question.

          __Well I mean I answered it, but he calmly explained that every trait I mentioned is also highly possessed by other men. This began my long journey to realizing that I was not as great of a catch as I thought I was. This was really hard for me, because (though I didn’t realize it at the time) I was exceedingly arrogant because of my looks, my intelligence, and my social standing/popularity in my circle of friends.

          __I am not saying that you are not a great catch or that you are not a cool girl, I am just saying that if it is bothering you, tell your boyfriend that you wish he admired more about you than your looks or you smile… then kick him in the nuts! (^_^)

          _Sorry I just watched Jerry Maguire today… that break up scene with his first girlfriend.

      2. 8.2.3

        “…as opposed to finding a rich guy first, and then deciding whether or not you can find a compromise on his level of *ssholery.”

        Ouch! Karmic, that one kinda stung here! 🙂 I’m exaggerating a bit, but seriously, that brings up a question that bothers me. It’s a bit off the current topic (which I’d like to get back to in another post), but that comment brought it up, and I wonder if you and some of the other ladies here can help me out on this one.   Do women think that the terms “wealthy guy” and “asshole” always (or at least most of the time) go together? I ask, because I fit the first component, but hope I don’t fit the second.

        What I’ve found these last four years, is that being a “rich guy” is not quite the “woman magnet” a lot of guys think it is; in fact, I’m wondering if wealth, as in, well, a bit more   (ok, a lot more) than the top income listed on most dating sites, is actually a more a disadvantage than an advantage for a guy, when trying to date most women. Here’s my dilemma: I live in a medium size city, that has a small town feel to it. Any long-time local knows who’s who, especially if there’s anything conspicuous about them, especially owning a business or businesses, and they talk. So at least locally, even if I don’t mention it, make no real display of it, don’t disclose it in an online profile, or have any pictures with house or toys, as soon as   a woman I meet   (online or real world) knows my name, that cat is going to be out of the bag in 48 hours or less, guaranteed! If she doesn’t recognize it, she has a friend who does, or if not, one quick look on Linked-in, and she knows; her perception changes, and often not for the better; I’ve been told, more than once, some variant of “I’m not sure I’m comfortable dating someone who has that kind of money”. It would appear that successful women are not the only ones who have a problem with a potential partner being put off by their material success, and celebrities and lottery winners are not the only ones who have to deal with some sort of “fish bowl effect” in their lives. Color me surprised, and confused, but the view from the top of the hill is not what a lot of people think (or what I used to think before I got there). Thoughts, anyone?


        1. Stacy2

          Move to NY or LA where real power players congregate and you will be treated as the next Joe Schmo out there, problem solved.


        2. Buck25

          Stacy, Thanks (I think). Look, I don’t have to go that far. I’ve been around South Beach, and I don’t make so much as a ripple there; hell, even Harbor Town at Hilton Head is a place where I’m not overly conspicuous at all. The question is, do I actually want that particular lifestyle? If I’d been doing this at, say, 35, I might have liked either scene, but the rewards came much later for me. I grew up on a farm, not in some jet set household. I didn’t even set out to get to this point; I took over a struggling business, tried to make it go by offering more value than my competition, and…this just happened. I wish I could say I planned it, but that’s not true.

          I guess everyone has their own idea of what “the finer things in life” actually are. Some I like, some… I really don’t care. Just because I can afford something, doesn’t mean I want it. Just because I can fit in ok with a particular set, doesn’t mean that’s what I identify with most. You might not understand that, but tell me, should I do what other people think should make me happy, or should I do what I think makes me happy?

        3. Karl S


          I’ve been told, more than once, some variant of “I’m not sure I’m comfortable dating someone who has that kind of money”.

          Hey look, if you’re finding it all too much of a burden I’d be more than happy to take some off your hands.

          I’ve had some hilarious comments from the other side of the fence. I told a girl on Tinder once that I was an actor and instead of asking what I was up to she immediately explained that she wasn’t sure she could date someone whose career was so financially unstable. On Tinder! I thought, “Gee, I’m sorry I can’t afford to support our unborn children after conversing for only 30 seconds!”

          Anyway, I eventually found a woman who doesn’t care about my income. I’m sure you can too.

        4. SMC


          You should do what makes YOU happy (to answer your last question in your followup post).   As for being a “woman magnet,” I can only speak for myself, of course, but “wealthy guy” and “@$$h0le” are not synonymous.   Wealth does NOT draw me in, but it doesn’t make the guy a jerk, either.   I’ve been at both extremes with men, and the personal finances had little to nothing to do with my personal feelings for them.   Rich guy?   Been there, done that, got the 6 carat diamond ring to prove it.   I enjoyed the guy with less income than mine much more than I did the rich man because HE was the one who knew how to have a good time without it always costing an arm and a leg.   (6 carat guy was the one who stopped having sex six months into the marriage, too.)   On the other hand, you could tell me you were Donald Trump and I’d say, “Great, let’s go have a picnic, I’ll bring the chicken.” I’m sure there are plenty like me out there, too, and I hope there are some in your town.

          BTW, the guy I’ve just barely started dating is very well off and yes, we’re going on a picnic soon.   I like to see how the guys with money handle “cheap dates.”   🙂

        5. Karmic Equation

          LOL, Buck 🙂
          Glad to see you posting again. And, if I might be so bold, you’re much more eloquent and grounded in this second coming, it appears to me. Softer, kinder, more empathetic. What happened? (I mean this is a good way, not snarky way).
          Well, a few disclaimers. Since my divorce 10 years ago, I’ve never dated anyone who made more than me. Most guys I dated made about 1/3 what I make. Current guy is the only exception. He makes as much as I do. My best friend is a male lawyer. So he’s wealthy, however, he has a family of 4 to provide for, so per capita, I pretty sure I  make more. lol I have  several  pool friends who own  their own businesses, but they’ve never been romantic interests.  Thus my personal experience in  dating  “wealthy” men is non-existent. (My bf is well-to-do, but I wouldn’t consider him “wealthy”.)
          One of those friends had done jail time for drug dealing (over 30 years ago) and met his now wife (of over 20 years) a short time after he completed his sentence. He is the most  authentic  guy. He cherishes his wife and kids. My bf and I  adore  him. He’s a good guy with lots of edge. And wealthy. But I’m thinking his having done time would have been a  “level of *ssholery” most  women on this board would not compromise on.
          Another friend has two daughters the same age (about 10 now), by two different baby mamas. ‘Nuff said. He donates to charity and is generous with his friends. I consider him a good guy. Fair, honest, authentic. Again, his  past  level of *ssholery would probably be a dealbreaker for most women.
          Current bf led a rebellious youth with sex, drugs, alcohol. But went to AA and got clean and sober by his own will in his mid 20s. He only drinks Coca-cola now. No drugs. No cigarettes. Past *ssholery quite high. He’s a good man. But definitely rough around the edges (a low level of *ssholery). While he makes a great living running his own business, his business is quite blue collar (a mid-level *ssholery?). Dealbreaker for most women on this board.
          I guess I would say that wealth and *ssholery are not interdependent. Being wealthy does not mean that a guy will automatically be an *sshole. Or said another way, being wealthy does not exclude a guy from being a good guy, but does not guarantee it. However, let’s be honest. Just like there is some level of bitchiness to to every woman, there is some level of *ssholery in every guy. Thus if a woman filters for “good guys” first, she’s guaranteed a good guy who treats her well. If she makes good money herself, it should not be a dealbreaker if he makes less than she, because she can support herself and him also, if necessary. Both his wealth and his character are known variables. She may have to learn to be more generous with her money, but has limited or eliminated her need to compromise not on his level of *ssholery. Thus, she controls what she compromises on if she filters men based on goodness first. She controls her own fate and happiness.
          But if a woman filters on “wealth” first, the only thing she is guaranteed is that he can support himself. There is no guarantee that he would be a good guy and treat her well. There is no guarantee that he will be generous with his money to her. And because she didn’t filter for “goodness” first, his level of *ssholery is an unknown variable. If he turns out to be a big *sshole, her only recourse is to dump him or tolerate his behavior. Dumping him is not a compromise. It’s and end-game. Tolerating bad behavior in order to stay in a relationship is not a compromise. It is a sell out. When a woman filters on wealth first, she has no control over her fate.  

          Let’s make the argument that she found a wealthy guy, and then through dating him, found out he was a bad guy. So she dumps him. Then goes on to the next guy. And the next. And the next. Because they all had levels of *ssholery she couldn’t accept. Now contrast it to how it would work if she filtered on “good guy” first. He’s a good guy. She finds out he makes less than she does. She could dump him. But she doesn’t HAVE to dump him, unless she doesn’t want to be generous. She gets to choose her fate.

          I’m all about controlling my own destiny when it comes to relationships.
          As to why women wouldn’t want to date a wealthy man like you. This might be a new ouch (sorry in advance).
          Men like women with great bodies and may compromise on her face.
          Women like men with great faces and may compromise on his body type.
          I know you’re in good shape due to your daily exercise. However, if your face doesn’t please her…and she can support herself, she may not want to make the compromise on dating someone she doesn’t find handsome.
          And maybe you’re dating women who are “in your league”, so you feel they should find you attractive. Women tend to overestimate their league (don’t detract enough SMV for wrinkles and weight gain) — and men overestimate theirs by thinking “in shape” bolsters their SMV.
          You may both be overestimating your SMVs.
          This doesn’t resolve itself easily. Both sexes need to get objective ratings from a trusted (and unbiased) source, if they lack objectivity on evaluating themselves.

        6. Adrian

          Hello Buck25,

          __I agree with Stacy2. Most women that I have been around that have real money wouldn’t even flinch if you were wealthy.

          __Actually, when it comes to dating down, most women with money that I know don’t consider looks, they consider you making less then them as dating down.

          __You may have subconsciously made these women feel intimidated or you just may have met insecure women. Just as there are women out there for the Trumps of the world, there are also women out there for the Gates and Zuckerbergs of the world.

        7. Buck25

          Thank you all for your replies; lots of food for thought there. Now, in no particular order-

          @ Karl,

          🙂 Lol! I’ll bet you would! If it helps any, I heard some of those same things in my (much) younger days; hell, even when I was making a decent (but not fabulous) living, my second wife asked for a divorce, because I couldn’t give her enough “stuff” to keep up with her new crowd of status-seeking girlfriends. Her parting words, after I refused to give her an even bigger divorce settlement than she and her lawyer had agreed to: “You have to remember, I AM a material girl now!” In spite of that, I think the whole “women go for guys with money” thing is way, way overblown. Money (assuming a guy is financially stable) is no more than an add-on at best, for most women over 40, let alone most of those I date; they have other priorities (as they should).

          @ SMC,

          I hear you. Actually, I do ( or did) a lot of cheap dates, not to save money, but to have more fun. Let’s face it, there’s a boring sameness to most dinner dates; not very original, and they’re a bit much for a first date anyway. Unless it’s a first face to face meet up (as in online), where I like a relatively brief, very informal meeting for coffee or drinks, I’ll invite a woman to go boating, or if she’s an equestrian, riding; if she seems really adventurous, I might ask her to go zip lining; just relaxed, have fun things with some opportunity for conversation (plus the added bonus of letting her get to know me in my element, doing things I like anyway).

          @ Karmic,

          Yeah, there have been some changes; it’s a rather long story, too long for here. Let’s just say, I had an opportunity to go away for two months to try a treatment program that I knew had helped some younger vets with PTSD, when nothing else worked. ( You knew I’d been fighting my own battle with PTSD since 1971, right?). There is sort of a catch, though, The treatment (combination of neurofeedback and biofeedback) actually rearranges the electrical activity of your brain, like rebooting a computer that’s stuck in an endless loop. Your thought processes essentially go back to whatever they were, before you got messed up. Your memories remain intact, but the way you process them (and pretty much everything else) is changed. The result is variable depending on what you were like before, which is pretty hard to remember when nearly half a century has passed. What can come out the other end, is a version of you neither you, nor anyone around you remembers. From the outside, it can look like a personality change; from the inside, it can be a little disconcerting, and hard to describe. Think of it as being given a sort of second chance at life, emotionally speaking. Exciting, but more than a little scary, honestly, and after I had it explained to me, I thought about it long and hard, before finally going for it. It turned out to be, quite literally, life-changing. In the end your mind keeps working through all the changes, long after the treatment itself ends; it can go on for weeks, even months, before it all sorts itself out. That’s where I am now, still in the latter stages of the process. Bit by bit, the clouds keep lifting, and the lights keep coming on; it’s all still evolving. The world looks very different from this perspective. I though I knew before what it was to live in the present moment; I had no idea. There’s a focus, a clarity, and a peace, that wasn’t there before, and the memories that haunted me for so long are still there, but they don’t hurt me anymore; they can’t. It’s finally over.

          Anyway, life feels very different now. It’s new, and I’m not sure where it’s going yet; might take a while, before I know. It really feels like a brand-new life, with all sorts of possibilities,   (I guess this is as close as an old man can come to being 22 again) and I’m pretty sure that it’ll be ok, however it turns out.


        8. GoWiththeFlow


          FWIW I do find it odd that women react negatively to your wealth.   For me, I wouldn’t want a crazy celebrity type lifestyle where I would be expected to go to fancy events every night, wear “the right” clothes all the time, and travel and party a lot.   But that doesn’t sound like you so I don’t know what’s happening in your neck of the woods.

          I have a friend who works in PTSD and suicide prevention for the VA, so I’m aware what a huge challenge it is to treat it.   I’m glad you are feeling positive results from therapy and I hope you continue to make gains.   I’m just sorry it took so long for there to be effective treatment.

        9. SMC

          BUCK!   Can we have a date please??   The activities you said which might comprise a first date would be right up my alley!!   🙂

          My new fella (he’s not “my guy” yet, the jury’s still out with me) thinks expensive dinners are the way to go, though our first date was shooting pool at my favorite nice sports bar.   He did say the next day though that it wouldn’t have been HIS first choice, though he had given me the choice of pool or dancing (which he doesn’t know how to do, so of course I didn’t take him up on that one).   He was being a nice guy to give me that choice, and we had a lovely time.   We’ve been to dinner twice since then, and last night he cooked for me which was far more enjoyable   than the two expensive meals, probably because when a man spends $100+ on a single meal for me, especially more than once, it makes me a little nervous.   I’d rather see him in his element, and the kitchen is one of them.     I’m a “doer” in that I like to do things on dates, not just sit and eat, and he and I both enjoy going to baseball games, so hopefully there’ll be one in my future soon.   It’s so much easier to get to know someone else when actually doing something fun IMO.   So yeah, ask me out on a date, we’ll have a great time.   LOL!

          I’m glad you are getting treatment for the PTSD.   I didn’t really get to see many of your earlier posts as I’ve only been here for about 6 months, but as I’d said in another post, I love your writing style and the intelligent, empathetic way you speak to others here.   Always good reading and very insightful.   Your comments inspire me to think about the topics at hand.   So…thanks for that.

        10. JB

          Karl S ”  I  told a girl on Tinder once that I was an actor and instead of asking what I was up to she immediately explained that she wasn’t sure she could date someone whose career was so financially unstable.

          You were lucky she was at least honest and said SOMETHING Karl. If I had a buck for every woman that I never heard from again after telling them what I do for a living I’d be Bill Gates….lol Those women are NOT “cool”.


        11. Karmic Equation


          No, I don’t think you mentioned your PTSD in your other posts. I think you were too busy defending your need to make women briskly walk 5 miles with you on a first date 😉

          I’m sorry you suffer from that but am glad that treatment has worked.

          I like this kinder, gentler, empathetic Buck much more. Especially since that change seemed to have added eloquence to your writing.

          I feel that this iteration of you will help you find a mate faster than the former version of you.

          Good luck!

        12. Nissa

          I can’t speak for other gals, but for myself, I don’t have a problem with a man who is financially settled. But I think that is because I prefer men who are in general sensible, who have a long term vision of the life he wants for himself, and who has goals that reflect that. Those traits (and my age) tend to steer me toward men that are more well off rather than the ones that are less well off. However, I don’t see a correlation of wealth = jerk traits. I would expect to see more of that with guys that inherited their wealth rather than those who built it, but even that must be tested with each individual.

    3. 8.3
      Evan Marc Katz

      “So what is exactly the point in being “cool”? It is almost better to pretend you’re not cool and then get a brownie point for agreeing at the end (and may be get him to do something nice for you in return).”

      This is about the most unhealthy statement I’ve seen on these boards. Instead of being a cool, patient, flexible (good) partner for the sake of your overall relationship (and because it makes you partner happy), you should criticize him regularly so he can be relieved when you finally give in? Maybe even extort another favor from him afterwards? My mind is exploding at how ass-backwards that is.

      The first way, you have a smooth, giving, happy relationship; the second, you create unnecessary drama, play games and keep score. It’s far easier to get a guy to be nice and generous to you by being nice and generous with him than whatever you were proposing. You only disagree because you chose some schmuck who didn’t appreciate your easygoing ways. Change your choice of men and you will never again think of extorting a man for favors. Holy shit.

    4. 8.4

      Eh, I can easily identify why some men wouldn’t want to be with me. I am high maintenance. I am not the kind of gal who would go camping. I am opinionated and I can be stubborn. When something is really really important to me I won’t compromise easily (I may give in but I will be resentful. I like to think that I compensate for that by having very very few issues that are so important). I am politically conservative. Etc.

      To be fair, I am not trying to indite the opposite sex. Do men love cool girls? Sure they do. But is this the quality that gets appreciated? My experience says no.

      1. 8.4.1
        Evan Marc Katz

        a) If you’re high maintenance, you may not be as cool as you think. Cool is easygoing, accepting, patient, flexible. I haven’t seen all that much evidence of that on these boards (to be fair, I’m not all that easygoing or patient, either).

        b) Thus, your experience as a cool girl may be misleading. Men marry cool girls. All of my (happily married) friends chose wives like this. It is not a coincidence. May have taken them 35-40 years to figure it out, but they did. Start with the coolest/sanest woman you can find and work backwards – hot, intelligent, common interests… all place a distant second behind the woman who fundamentally accepts you without a constant barrage of criticism.

        1. Stacy2

          a) kind of walked in to that, didn’t I? LOL.   I am high-maintenance lifestyle-wise for some men, but definitely not the ones I chose to date.

          b) Men marry all kind of girls. They marry cool girls, real bitches, crazies, nags, etc. And based on my not so small sample, I would say being “cool” in no way predicts the probability of a divorce. I know women who are real bitches and by that I mean they could give their husband a week-long silent treatment for buying a wrong type of ice cream – and they remain married. Something made these men chose these women over “cool” girls, marry them and continue to be married to them.

          The bottomline is, in relationships nothing is that simple.

    5. 8.5
      Karl S


      Men will readily acknowledge when you DO something for them (ie look beautiful, cook them a meal, shop for them etc.) but they will never acknowledge what you DON’T do (ie nag them over a strip club outing).  

      The number one reason I’ve been with my girlfriend for over a year now is because of what she doesn’t do. She doesn’t ever get upset at me or pick at me for unreasonable things (unless I eat all the pizza. Still, not unreasonable). I actually wrote this to her in her birthday card – that her kindness and her patience are what I most value.

      But see, I’ve been in a toxic relationship before. I’ve experienced the highly critical, overly emotional, upset at totally-unexpected-trivial-things type, so I am very aware of how utterly remarkable it is to find someone who is the complete opposite.

      The fact that my radar is highly attuned to red-flags of that sort these days makes me appreciate her coolness. Maybe that’s the difference.

    6. 8.6
      Evan Marc Katz

      Your “credit” for being cool is that he loves you more than life itself. You sound like George Constanza wanting to get credit for the Big Salad and getting upset when it doesn’t come. The fact that you even said – sarcastically or not – “it’s almost better pretend you’re not cool,” means that you are thinking of cool as some way of denying yourself and being manipulative, instead of what it really is: accepting your partner as he is without constantly trying to change him.

    7. 8.7
      Karl R

      Stacy2 said:

      “Men will readily acknowledge when you DO something for them (ie look beautiful, cook them a meal, shop for them etc.) but they will never acknowledge what you DON’T do (ie nag them over a strip club outing). In other words, if I go out and buy him a new workout outfit, I get a thank you and a brownie point, but if I don’t nag him over a strip club trip — I get a big fat nothing.”

      Wow. You are so right!

      I put up   with my wife running late every day, and she never thanks me for that.

      Her dog sheds on my clothes. She doesn’t thank me for not complaining.

      I put up with her parrot screaming. I don’t get brownie points for that.

      I calmly listen as she vents about her day at work. That  never gets acknowledged.

      I don’t make fun of my wife when she passes gas. Where’s my thanks?

      The times  she accidentally set the alarm for the middle of the night, she didn’t thank me for going back to sleep without complaining about the interruption.

      My wife never thanks me for not nagging her. She never thanks me for not insulting her. She never thanks me for not yelling at her. She never acknowledges any of that stuff.

      You’re right! Be a normal, decent human being is such a thankless job.



      When I spent several sentences agreeing with you, how did I come across? Did I come across like an egocentric, entitled, whining brat? (That’s how I sounded to me, but I’m not sure how I sounded to others.)

      If you expect praise, thanks and acknowledgement for doing the things that most people do … the things that make people tolerable to be around … the things that everyone takes for granted as normal, socially acceptable behavior….

      I think you’re going to spend your life feeling underappreciated.

      1. 8.7.1

        Karl- I just wanted to thank you for that response.

  9. 9

    I wish there’s a video or article addressing things in the date world you should not accept. I know big things such as cheating and drugs but I mean those things that a guy would want a girl to do that even cool girl should say no thank you.

    1. 9.1
      Karmic Equation

      Hi Roxanne,

      It’s pretty simple, really. You shouldn’t do anything that’s counter to your values or morals. For example, if he wants to rob a bank, and you’re a law-abiding citizen, then you say no. And you dump him pronto! However, if you’re not law-abiding, and robbing a bank sounds like something you’d like to do, then you do it. And you can keep the guy. But you’ll probably have a pretty stressful life running from the law 🙂

      Anything else, you give it a college try. If you don’t like it, don’t do it again. If he presses you to do what you know you don’t like, you enforce the boundary. If you say no, you have to mean no. But you don’t have to be a bitch about it. “I’m sorry. I just didn’t like doing that so I can’t do it again.”

    2. 9.2


      Karmic said it before, (and has some excellent advice on in her last post) but let me reinforce this as a man; most of us men do not want a doormat for a partner. The girl who “can’t say no” may be   an alluring concept, especially to guys who have heard way too much carping and criticism, but in reality, that’s not what we want. You need to have boundaries, and so do we. Sure, we hope you’ll bend, accept and tolerate where you can, but we don’t expect you to suffer in silent resentment, when we ask you to accept what you just can’t. Just tell us where your boundaries are, and be consistent; if you’re ok with something this week, but you aren’t next week, we’re going to wonder why; we need to know the difference between a hard boundary, and a whim. By the same token, we don’t want you to make the welkin ring with criticism and complaints over virtually everything we think, say and do. Boundaries are for things that really hurt you or make you really uncomfortable, not minor irritants and petty annoyances.   Chances are you have a few little quirks/behaviors that annoy us too; we’ll usually try to accept this, if you accept ours. Most of us understand that you’re not perfect, and neither are we.

  10. 10

    Let’s make the argument that she found a wealthy guy, and then through dating him, found out he was a bad guy. So she dumps him. Then goes on to the next guy. And the next. And the next. Because they all had levels of *ssholery she couldn’t accept. Now contrast it to how it would work if she filtered on “good guy” first. He’s a good guy. She finds out he makes less than she does. She could dump him. But she doesn’t HAVE to dump him, unless she doesn’t want to be generous. She gets to choose her fate.

    I’m all about controlling my own destiny when it comes to relationships.


    This is truly coming from a place of power. This strategy may be counter intuitive, but a good relationship is likely to occur if the above plan is followed.





    1. 10.1
      Karmic Equation

      Thanks, John.

      This strategy has always worked for me. With the exception of one guy, all my bf’s (and one ex-husband) are  good guys.

      “Well, if they were all good guys, why did the relationships end?”

      People grow up and can grow apart as well as grow together.

      My partners and I grew apart. All my relationships ended amicably (except for one, and it wasn’t the one with the “bad guy”).

      Once you find a good guy, who treats you well, whom you trust, who is reliable, kind — all the good qualities we value in a partner — it’s easier to make the compromises on wealth, maturity, communication style, and accept nominal levels of *ssholery. Just as it is easier for him to make similar compromises (I’m messy, tend to to 15 minutes late for everything, drive too fast – according to him, but I think he drives faster than I do!)

      I believe women make wealth or some other non-essential attribute (like college degree) dealbreakers, have a tougher time finding “good men”. Good men can have college degrees. Good men can be wealthy. And  if she  meets a good man who isn’t wealthy or doesn’t have a college degree, she  can still dump him, but she  doesn’t HAVE to dump him if she feels his “goodness” and other qualities offsets his lack of degree or wealth. She gets to choose. If he’s a bad guy who’s wealthy or a bad guy who has a degree, she has no choice but to dump him if she wants to be happy in a good relationship. You cannot have a good or happy relationship with a bad guy.

      1. 10.1.1


        Thanks for your thoughtful response to my comments. Your philosophy on men is wise and practical. I’ve experienced quite a few women who wouldn’t give me a chance because I didn’t have a college degree or didn’t have lots of money. That’s their choice. I’m finacially stable, but certainly not wealthy. When women go into interview mode on the first date to “save time,” I do not answer their questions. I simply say “Look, if you want to hire me as your boyfriend, I’m not interested. If you want to see if we have a connection, common interests and values, I’m all in.” They usually feel a bit embarrassed, but they get the message. Of course, I say it with a slight grin on my face.

        I have a similar strategy to yours when I am looking for a girlfriend. I chose women based on character, personality, and her ability to roll with the difficulties of life. I’ve had the hot model girlfriends in my 20s and realized they were not worth the trouble. Most of my gfs have been average to above average in looks and lower maintenance. They were sweet, emotionally mature, and enthusiastic. They didn’t focus on my faults and I didn’t focus on theirs.

        I sat next to a 5’2″ tall woman who was a successful lawyer and gorgeous on a flight I took recently. She said she married a 6’5″ electrician with a GED and a bald head 3 years ago. She said on paper he wasn’t what she was looking for in a husband, but she said he was a great guy whom she adored. She understood that her list of qualities and physical characteristics she wanted in a man were just preferences. Preferences, if taken too seriously, will keep a person single for a long time. Thanks for your sage insights KE. I hope the women here take it to heart. I look forward to reading more of your comments.

  11. 11

    My last girlfriend made 100K and I made about 50K. She was fine with it and never gave me grief. The reason I made an average income is that I chose to work less to increase my skills in other areas. I also traveled quite a bit because I had more time than money and learned how to travel on a budget. I developed myself intentionally to be a better human being and to be a better man. I did retreats, learned to meditate and got therapy for my childhood issues. I felt that self-development was more important than having a large income and I knew intuitively I could not develop myself and put in the hours I needed at work to become wealthy. You could say my soft skills were highly developed and I could be present with her and fully engaged in the relationship and I could still pay my own way.

  12. 12

    Here is a question

    ___In the podcast Evan has talked about, and in the comments everyone has talked about things that women can let slide that “good” men do to be the cool chick,

    __So my question is, what are things that men should let slide that women do to be the cool guy?

    __Or is there no female equivalent to strippers, porn, etc…?

    1. 12.1


      “So my question is, what are things that men should let slide that women do to be the cool guy?”

      What are common things a lot of women do that either makes a man feel insecure, or makes him feel unappreciated, or irritates him?

      P.S.   Yes Adrian, I have a new laptop.   Hanging out online while I’m on the phone with big corporation customer service getting bounced around the automated call system and being repeatedly transferred and put on hold.   Grrrr!

  13. 13


    Things guys let slide to be the cool guy:

    1. Gossip/gossip show obsession, Housewives of Beverly Hills, chick flicks, 50 Shades of Gray ( lady porn)

    2. Irrational emotional outbursts

    3. Comments were you lose no matter what you say. i.e. Do I look fat in these jeans. Do you think she’s hotter than me.

    4. PMS


    1. 13.1


      Usually #2 is due to #4   One reason being with a woman past a certain age may be a positive thing?

      #1–What cha got against 50 Shades?   I bet a lot of guys got some action because of Christian.   Personally I would rather watch Game of Thrones or one of the Marvel movies.   The action hero male actors are better looking than the rom-com guys.

      1. 13.1.1
        Emily, the original


        What cha got against 50 Shades?   I bet a lot of guys got some action because of Christian.

        Yes, this is so true! A friend of mine at work left the 50 Shades DVD in the DVD player. She went home for lunch to find her husband (a truck driver) unexpectedly home and roarin’ to go. He had watched the DVD and ambushed her when she walked in the door. Let’s just say … She did not make it back to work that day!

      2. 13.1.2
        Emily, the original


        Personally, I prefer “Secretary” with the luscious James Spader.

        1. GoWiththeFlow


          If you wind up moving to my town, we will have to go out.   We totally have different types of men we are attracted too.   We wouldn’t be competing over the same guys, LOL!

        2. Emily, the original


          You don’t like James Spader? Even though he’s gained some weight, that voice!   He could get a woman out of her pants just by saying about five words …. 🙂

          In terms of hanging out … Yes, I’m in!   I can always use a new cruising chick !     🙂

    2. 13.2

      Hello John,

      __In my personal opinion your #’s 1-3 don’t count because those are vices that man have as well.

      __That is why I did not mention for example, tolerating your man remaining friends with an ex as an example of being a cool chick, because this is something that women do also. Were as something like porn and strip clubs -though women also use these outlets- it is not as frequent for the average woman as it is for the average man.

      1. 13.2.1
        Karmic Equation

        What cool chicks will tolerate that guys (usually) don’t have to:

        #1 Obsession with fantasy football during football season

        #2 Obsession with owning and riding a Harley as he nears middle-age

        #3 Forgetting birthdays, valentines, anniversaries, or other events planned a few months ahead

        1. Karmic Equation


          What cool guys will tolerate that women don’t have to:

          #1 Hours long phone conversations with family and friends

          #2 Demanding a woman end whatever outing she’s on to come back home and do X with him. (Just happened to a friend of mine this weekend. He was playing in a pool qualifier to qualify for a main event with a $5k payout for first place. He’s undefeated and needs one more match to qualify. His girl is blowing up his phone demanding he go home pronto because her brother has an engagement party at 5:30. He forfeited his match and went home.)

          #3 Too messy a house if he’s a neatnik. Women either clean it or complain about it. Men will just live within the mess without complaint.

    3. 13.3

      Good to know, John.

      1) OK, I do love a good chick flick from time to time, but I’m fine watching them by myself.   “Legally Blonde” anyone?   But after a good dose of estrogen, I’m ready for action/adventure.   “Con Air.”   “White House Down.” “The Day After Tomorrow.”

      2) As GWTF mentioned, that can go away past a particular age, though then we get to deal with the other end of the spectrum, i.e. hot flashes, night sweats, etc.   Thankfully there’s a little white pill that can counteract it.   <yes, it’s worth it :)>

      3) I’m not sure which of those questions irritates me more, but IMO anybody who asks them deserves what she gets.   PERIOD.

      4) Back to #2.   🙂

      1. 13.3.1


        First of all, re your reply to 8.2.3, – Anytime darlin’, if you happen to get down my way…assuming of course, that you’re old enough to date me.   🙂

        BTW, a baseball game is a great date idea! The action is slow enough to allow plenty of time to for conversation. Major league tickets can be a little pricy, but, if there’s a minor league team in town, it’s every bit as entertaining, and you can spend an afternoon or evening eating hot dogs and peanuts, drinking beer, and having some good conversation while watching the action for a lot less than a typical dinner out. And, a little earlier   in the spring and summer, there’s college baseball, which is really big in my neck of the woods-gotta slip in a quick commercial here for the greatest little baseball state in America, home to my University of South Carolina Gamecocks, NCAA National Champions, 2010 and 2011, AND the Coastal Carolina Chanticleers, 2016 NCAA National Champions! Anyway, next time your current guy is around, just start whistling,”Take Me Out to the Ball Game”…he should get the hint.

        Now that we have that out of the way, back to John’s “list”. Lemme see, number 1, “Chick Flicks “. No big deal on that one: I’ll even watch “em with you, just not for the same reason you do. Pure comic relief, watching incongruous male actions and reactions that are the stuff of female fantasy….but rarely happen that way in the real world. I promise not to say anything out loud, or laugh (much); just don’t look at the knowing smirk on my face, and it’ll be fine. As for 50 Shades,the movie was mostly forgettable ( except someone, please, feed that poor girl! I mean, there’s thin, and there’s….well, not to my personal taste). Erotic? I’ve seen better, but your mileage may vary. The books, bad writing style and all, were much better (Yes, ladies, I read this stuff , and the occasional “bodice ripper”on occasion; doesn’t do much for me, but…it does give me some insight into the sort of stuff you fantasize about; the better to seduce you with, my dear! Never let it be said that I am not a man of honest , ah, “evil intentions”). Moving on..number 2, “emotional outbursts” . I agree, frequently (albeit not always, I’ll talk about “venting” later) associated with Number 4, “PMS”…and here, my fellow guys, (GWTF and SMC nailed this one!), is one of the best (not the only) reasons to date post menopausal women! Number 3. “No win questions”. Hmmm, I really think we should be able to take the fifth, or something, on these, but of course, the sort of woman who asks won’t allow that. I think we had best consider that, gentlemen, as the price of dating insecure women, ( which is, after all, a choice) and make allowances accordingly.

        That takes care of John’s list. I think the only one we get any   “cool guy” points for letting slide is a subset of number 2. “Venting”; specifically, what a woman does when pissed off or otherwise upset by something we (a) had nothing to do with and (b) are neither required nor desired to fix. Yes, ladies, I know your girlfriends understand perfectly, but really, a guy’s usual reaction after a couple of hours of this is something along the lines of “If   I didn’t cause it, and you don’t even want me to actually do anything about it, why am I hearing about it? WHY?” Followed closely by, “Dear God, please, make it stop!” You heard right; that one will make even me invoke the name of a deity! You “just want to be heard”? You want us to “feel your pain”?, Oh believe me, we do, at least I certainly do, on both counts! My head hurts, from just thinking about it, thank you! We better get “cool guy” points for suffering this in silence!

        Last but not least, here’s my number 1, “guys should get cool guy points for   doing this” thing…clothes shopping with you ladies. Do you have any idea how we feel standing there in the ladies department of whatever, looking completely lost (and we are!), holding your purse, while you try on outfit after outfit? Here’s a hint- it’s about as much fun for most guys as…oh,   I don’t know, maybe a root canal, no,   make that a root canal AND a wisdom tooth extraction…without anesthesia! Extra “cool guy” points for any guy who gets through an afternoon of this without complaining, for sure!


        1. SMC

          Laughing out loud here, Buck – you guys get lots and lots of cool guy points for going shopping with the ladies.   Since I hate clothes and shoe shopping anyway, any guy in my life never has to worry about such a thing because I prefer doing it alone and getting it over with as quickly as possible, but I recognize that I’m something of an anomaly, so yes for the rest, you get major cool guy points for it.   You get double cool guy points for holding a purse, and TRIPLE points for buying feminine products.

          As for venting, well, yeah, guilty as charged on occasion.   You get cool guy points there too.   “Dear God, please, make it stop!” OMG you did make me laugh though.

          As for am I old enough to date you, yep, I think I am.   My new “friend” is 64,   I’m 57, and I think it’s a perfect spread.   Thanks for the big grins all around.   🙂

        2. SMC

          And oh yes, we have the minor league team for the Texas Rangers just a couple of miles up the highway from where I live, and in fact I had tickets for us to go Saturday night but he had already made other plans.   So maybe next time!   Because you’re right, major league tickets are not only pricey, our team plays several cities away and it’s a giant hassle getting there, parking, leaving…you know.

        3. Buck25


          Glory be! One of the few woman I’ve ever known who hates shopping (most are addicted to it, as you know). You did bring up one thing that has puzzled me for a long time, though. I never understood why it is that so many guys, even guys married for years, cringe at the thought of going to the store to get pads, tampons, etc, for their girlfriends/wives. I mean, I found it a little strange, when I was really young, but by the time I was 25, I’d been married for a while and no longer gave it a second thought. C’mon, guys, what are you, fifteen? You know they use them, you know what for, and I think it safe to say that unless you happen to look like a female dressed as a man, EVERYONE knows you’re not buying these for yourself, OK?   Nor is it “unmanly” of you to know what this stuff is. No one is going to take away your man card for this, I promise! So if she’s indisposed, or even just feeling lazy, go get what she says she needs. Just make sure you write down the exact size package of the exact style and brand she requested, and all will be well. Trust me. Hell, SMC already told you that you get TRIPLE “cool guy” points for this. Speaking of which, SMC, tell us what we get for picking up lipstick, eyeshadow, mascara, etc. for you (assuming you trust us to do so, that is)?

        4. SMC

          @ Buck,

          No, you never have to worry about buying makeup for us (or at least for me).   I do all that on my own too, though at least I DO enjoy shopping for that.   THANK YOU for the comments on buying feminine products though!   I myself don’t understand the look of sheer terror in a guy’s eyes if you ask them to go pick up such things.   For me, it was always in a dire emergency.   Some would do it, some wouldn’t, and you can bet I showed my appreciation to the ones that did.   One even went so far as to carry them through a packed Vegas casino because I was caught completely unprepared on a vacation there and couldn’t go to the casino drugstore myself.   He was a big burly bodybuilder type, and I’m betting NO ONE looked askance at him when he strolled through the slot machine casino floor with the biggest boxes of each that he could find, one in each hand.   No bag, either.   Now THAT was a secure man.

  14. 14
    Tanya O'Connor

    You first change the definition of ‘cool’ to suit your taste and then, based on this, try to refute others by saying that ‘cool girls’ do exist.   Huh?   That’s totally illogical.   You can’t arbitrarily change the definition of something and then carry on the argument based on your new definition, especially since you understand clearly the type (conceptual or otherwise) of women they are describing.   Interestingly by doing so, you are actually affirming the position you say you don’t agree with–that, in fact, ‘cool girls’ (according to their defintion, since this was the topic at hand) don’t exist.

    Logic aside, your viewpoint on the type of woman that men want (regardless of what we call her), is very helpful.   Thank you.

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