A Few Tricks to Help You Bring out the Best in Your Man

For nearly a decade, I’ve tried to reverse engineer what my wife does that makes her such a spectacular partner. Today, I give away the secret sauce that makes me the happiest man I know and will make your future husband more devoted to you than you ever could have imagined.


Watch: YouTube

Enjoy the podcast? Please leave a short review on iTunes by clicking “View in iTunes” and then “Ratings and Reviews.”

Join our conversation (48 Comments).
Click Here To Leave Your Comment Below.

Comments:

  1. 1
    GoWiththeFlow

    Hi Evan,

    In the podcast, you mention a former client, Sally, who had a legitimate issue with her boyfriend.  But when she brought the issue up with him, she did it by “attacking” him.  I have had several women friends over many years discuss disagreements or arguments with boyfriends/husbands where the man says the woman attacked him and the girlfriends/wives insist they didn’t.

    Can you give some example of what a man would consider being attacked verbally?

    Thank you!

    1. 1.1
      Adrian

      Hi GoWithTheFlow,

      __In another post you asked about why men say they see career women as being masculine when you don’t see it in your everyday life.

      __I think that question and your question here have similar root problems. It’s the person and how they come across. Like you, I have seen smart, strong, successful women who are very feminine, and because of their femininity, they discuss things with men instead of attacking them because that is their natural default approach.

      __Then there are women who dress feminine but are masculine in their dealings with other people; both men and women. So when they have a disagreement, they aren’t “intentionally” attacking, they are just coming from a dominate position. And as Evan discussed in a previous podcast, dominance is generally a masculine energy trait (Helen Fisher also mentions this).

      __Always wanting to be right or win an argument instead of simply just wanting to come to a peaceful and mutual agreement is another form of dominance.

      __The thing is -in my opinion- neither the feminine nor the masculine women knows that she is coming off that way because both associate femininity with wearing dresses, make-up, and motherhood, not with strong domineering or soft manipulating energy.

      __Look at it like this, you have two martial artist, one goes head-on, giving direct hard blow for blows to bring down an enemy and the other slightly moves or dodges to redirect the enemies own momentum against them. Both achieve the same goal, but it is done in two completely different ways.

      __But you would look at the martial artist who just broke someone’s face in as delusional if he swore that he was a practitioner of the soft, non-aggressive style. Like a masculine energy woman who swears that she is very feminine.

      __Depending on how you say it, the phrase “Adrian why didn’t you take the trash out” could be seen as attacking or as just asking.

      …   …   …

      __GoWithTheFlow, you must also take into account the sensitivity of the man being spoken to. To a sensitive guy, you joking and telling him that he must be a blind because of a easy mistake he made, would be viewed as a direct attack on his abilities and on him as a man.

      __To a guy who has high self-esteem and confidence, but more importantly he knows you are not the kind of woman that would try to hurt people; that man will see it as a joke and may even joke back with you with something like “not too blind, or I wouldn’t have the pleasure of watching you from behind as you walk away.”

      __I have seen scenarios like this happen so many times, and one guy takes the ball and bounces it back flirtatiously and the other rolls up into a defensive ball.

      __So to answer your question from the other post, it is not that all these other men are seeing smart, strong, successful women as lacking feminine energy and you don’t; it is that most likely many of the men who are saying these things about the career woman is insecure himself.

      1. 1.1.1
        GoWiththeFlow

        Adrian,

        . . . strong domineering or soft manipulating energy.

        So THAT”S what it’s called?!?!

        I HATE arguing.  It makes me anxious, uncomfortable, upset, and I avoid it like the plague.

        At work, occasionally after talking with and examining a patient, checking vital signs, lab tests, etc., it’s clear that undergoing anesthesia and surgery would pose a risk to their health or life that isn’t warranted in a non-emergent situation.  When this happens, I don’t want to possibly argue with the (usually alpha male) surgeon by telling him I’m unilaterally cancelling the case.

        I typically will present the surgeon with the objective facts and discuss that I think it’s risky to continue under such circumstances.  I will offer an alternative if I can, i.e. “The patient had a Big Mac on the way to the surgery center.  I can do the case today at X o’clock when it’s safe to proceed if that works for you.”  Almost always, when approached in this manner, the surgeon agrees/decides to delay or cancel the surgery himself.

        In rare instances it’s happened where I wind up in an argument anyway using the “persuasive” (soft manipulating energy) approach.  It used to upset me a lot more earlier in my career, now I’m better at not letting it get to me. A few of my female and most of my male colleagues use the direct (strong domineering energy) “I’m cancelling the case” approach.

        What’s interesting is that an argument is more likely to happen when a woman uses the direct/masculine approach with a male surgeon than if it’s another man.  I think this is a subconscious manifestation of residual traditional gender role expectations.  Maybe the alpha male surgeon is experiencing it as an “attack” by a person he’s not expecting it from–he’s assuming a feminine energy woman–versus expecting an “attack” from another alpha male.

        I have mentioned before that I tend to wind up in relationships with very alpha men.  It would seem that is a yin-yang reciprocal energy match made in heaven.  But there is a potential downside to such a pairing.

        “Always wanting to be right or win an argument instead of simply just wanting to come to a peaceful and mutual agreement is another form of dominance.”

        It sure is.  And when you are on the receiving end of someone determined to win all of the arguments or always be right, it can be a very unhappy place to be.  Some times I find myself wanting to just make the arguing stop and that becomes my immediate in the moment priority.  The guy may walk away feeling he “won” or proved a point, where in reality my thoughts or view point hasn’t changed at all.  Over time this can make me feel unheard and belittled and like I’m not in a safe place.

        I had a boyfriend who was more politically and socially conservative than me.  As time went by, I began to feel like he saw me as a heathen that he HAD to bring over to the light.  My thought process, base assumptions, and conclusions were wrong.  He never said I was stupid but he sure didn’t hesitate to say that other people who held the same views I did were all manner of dumb.  While I didn’t agree with some of his life conclusions, I did understand why his upbringing (we were both raised in ethnic Catholic families) and life experience led him to where he wound up.  I understood that he could be intelligent and a good person who wanted what was best for the world even though I held differing opinions.

        When someone is always determined to win or it’s my way or the highway, the option to agree to disagree is not available.  (I commented on this below)  You can’t say to someone, “You’re reasoning is faulty, your conclusions are wrong, and everyone who thinks like you is selfish and stupid, so let’s agree to disagree.”  There has to be a base level of respect and acceptance of another’s autonomy to be able to agree to disagree. “I know you have given this a lot of thought, and you truly are concerned about this issue and you acknowledge some of my concerns.  Let’s agree to disagree on this one.”

        Now with my ex, 80-90% of the time we spent together was great.  I liked that he was proactive and confident.  Any negotiating over activities of daily life went very smoothly.  But that 10-20% of the time we were discussing certain issues or politics were highly fraught with anxiety for me.

        I know it is my responsibility to figure out how to speak up and not stuff all of my feelings to keep the peace.  (And I’ve found something that is working for me with friends and family)  But I also need a man who doesn’t have such an atavistic need to always “win” the argument.  Someone who can let me have my thoughts and feelings and agree to disagree when the time comes.

         

        1. Caroline

          Thanks for saying the above GWTF.

          I think maybe should read masculine “strong assertive reasoning” vs. female “persuasive reasoning”?

        2. Lisa

          Like your writing so much and I copied the last paragraph down. I am in the same boat, I am very soft and always present the facts to win the argument, and I can win in most of the time. But for that 10% difference that we cannot totally agree on, I can be very clear and present the compromise solution but my ex just cannot accept . We are still a god friend but we have to separate.

      2. 1.1.2
        Caroline

        Adrian-I generally agree with what you’re saying:)

        I just would like to express most women know their femininity isn’t wrapped up in their appearance. I doubt there is a woman who hasn’t felt the sting of either her personally or generally being called a bitch. 

        1. Lilith

          Caroline – just for clarification. Being in masculine is doing; being in feminine is being. Whether it is strong assertive reasoning or persuasive reasoning it is still doing. The point with being in the feminine is to not be doing, but to just be. It is what I found most profoundly problematic with GWTFs epistle above – it was all still about how she could convince someone she was correct, how she could subtly manipulate or control the situation. State the facts and quit talking and just listen. If you are asked your opinion state it, as your opinion only, stop there and once again just listen. To be in the feminine is not to solve problems, come up with solutions, or be persuasive – those are for the masculine.

        2. GoWiththeFlow

          Lilith,

          You clearly didn’t get the point of what I wrote.

          “it was all still about how she could convince someone she was correct, how she could subtly manipulate or control the situation”

          When I have attended women in medicine seminars and workshops, this style is referred to as a collaborative or inclusive effort and the gender relations and communication experts who run these seminars consider it a feminine way to problem solve in the work place. Try reading Feminine and Powerful by Rachel Jayne Groover.

          In my specialty, surgical and anesthesia safety guidelines are pretty uniform and well known to surgeons and anesthesiologists alike.  A typical conversation looks something like this:

          “Hey Dr. A, your next patient had a Big Mac an hour ago.”

          “Oh crap!  We’ll have to cancel and do it another day.  Thanks for letting me know.  (Name of nurse goes here) can you let pre-op know the case is cancelled.  Let the patient know I’ll be out there in a little bit to talk to them and get them rescheduled.”

          There is no manipulation needed because there is an obvious course of action and 99 times out of 100 we are all going to be on the same page.  The surgeon got to be the one to make the pronouncement and the nurses and other staff will follow his orders to discharge the patient and reschedule  the procedure.

          To be in the feminine is not to solve problems, come up with solutions, or be persuasive – those are for the masculine.”

          Bulls*t.  Problem solving, finding solutions, and being persuasive are not masculine in and of themselves.  It’s whether you channel feminine or masculine characteristics and behaviors in how you do it that counts.

          A mother who uses loving, affirmative statements to persuade her 4 year old to eat his vegetable is channeling her feminine nurturing energy:  “Sweetie, mama loves you and wants you to grow up to be big and strong, just like Superman!  Will you try a bite just for me?’

          Versus a mother channeling her authoritative masculine energy to achieve the same thing:  “If you don’t eat your vegetables, you won’t go to the park today.”

          Is the child being persuaded to eat his veggies because he feels cared for or because he is submitting to authority?  Your theory would say the mother is being masculine in both scenarios because she is persuading, the approach does not matter.

          “. . . being in the feminine is to not be doing, but to just be.”

          I disagree.  We are talking about feminine and masculine ENERGY.  And energy is active and dynamic. A woman’s feminine energy won’t have an effect on anyone unless she does something to channel it.  Being nurturing is doing.  It’s squeezing someone in a hug, encouraging someone who’s down with kind words, cooking and serving a meal to nourish the body.  Masculine men would say a woman who does these acts of love and nurturance is a feminine being.  Because she acts, she does.

          This statement: “Being in masculine is doing; being in feminine is being.” is way too broad to capture all of the degrees and nuances of feminine and masculine energy balance.  It’s like saying a man is a man because he has a penis, and a woman is a woman because she has a vagina.  There is way more to the story.

  2. 2
    roxanne

    Ok good podcast by the way but I want to comment about the looking at other women and commenting outloud about her beauty. My take is this. I am not naive to think my man is going to not recognize another woman’s beauty. We have eyes we all men and women both are going to recognize another persons attractiveness. But do we have to say it out loud in front of your significant other. Remember your Venn diagram? Why create opportunity to make your girl feel insecure and jealous by saying anything about another woman. I personally feel like the act of choosing to comment openly about another woman in front of their partner whether intentional or unintentional is just really inconsiderate. If she asks by all mean tell the truth but do you have to comment and ogle the girl in front of your partner? Now men are going to do what men do so if he does it a woman either accepts it or leaves. But I wish men who know better don’t try to make it a big head scratcher because if we do the same yall really wouldn’t like it. But I believe most women have more tact and don’t do it because they don’t want to make their guys mad or jealous. Remember the telling your friend if she looks fat in her jeans answer. Women don’t say off color things when not arguing lol. Now Remember what you said about men wanting women that make them feel good? We want to feel good too. People want a partner that makes them feel good too. and just as having a critical, angry, confrontational attitude makes a man or anybody not feel good about you or Playing on your phone on a date or acting like your careless about the person your with or being too busy also yield same results well for a lot of people commenting out loud about another woman or mans attractiveness in front of your woman or man gives a high probability (I believe) to do the same thing. Why do it if you know they won’t like it. Yea you can say they shouldn’t be insecure jealous or silly. But why create an opportunity and initiate saying anything at all? And if you continue to do it after your spouse expresses hurt Are you that prideful and stubborn and think the other person should be more forward thinking that your just going to do it anyway? don’t think it’s that big of a head scratcher when your well aware what’s effective and ineffective. Now if your with a spouse who is cool with it fine but Evan you said it himself she was different than other woman he experienced. So I just kind of wanted to give my point of view on that part of the podcast. But As always love 98% of the advice you give Evan.

    1. 2.1
      Adrian

      Hello Roxanne,

      __I am curious, why do you believe that this is a male issue and not a human character flaw issue?

      __A man who cared about his girlfriend would not just blurt out that another woman is hot, nor would he stare at another women with his girl around-regardless of how hot the other girl is.

      __In my opinion, Evan was just commenting about how many women on that post don’t differentiate between the man who openly stares and the man who glances subtly but is caught anyway by his woman. “Some” of the commenters were saying both men were equally bad, yet when the female commenters said that they look too! Just subtly, no male commenters were screaming she is just as bad as the woman who openly stares.

      __I once dated a girl who would always brag about how hot a celebrity was and how he was the sexiest man alive whenever a certain movie or song would come on (she said this about more than one celebrity). This girl never once complimented me on my looks, but the energy she had when she bragged about how sexy these men were was off the charts.

      __I also once dated a girl who on several different occasions said out loud while walking next to me “wow he’s cute!” Whenever I turned to her and calmly asked “what did you say?” she would always reply, “nothing.”

      …   …   …

      __Roxanne you commented many times in your post that men do this but women don’t do that, yet I know of men who are good boyfriend but their girlfriends still flirt or say things about other man being sexy in the presence of their boyfriends.

      __At my old job, there were many times when a older married man would avoid the new young hot associates who looked ten times better than their wives because those young girls would always flirt with them. Like wise, there were many married women who flirted back with the new young attractive male associates who looked times better than their husbands.

      __So I ask you again, why do you believe that this is a male issue and not a human with poor character issue?

      1. 2.1.1
        Roxanne

        My apologies. Women do gush about celebrities. I personally havent see them do it in front of their man. But I do see them do it in front of their girlfriends. I am seeing a guy that constantly talks about how fine Megan good is and he is definitely not the last. My main point to Evan specifically was that the act of gushing over the attractiveness of another person in front of your significant other is inconsiderate and how is it such a head scratcher to him when he is well aware of inconsiderate acts that has nothing to do with gender. If women did it to men men wouldn’t like just like women don’t like it. You would be an example of a man that experienced what women complains about. It’s inconsiderate. Just as inconsiderate as all the things he points out to women that if the shoe was on the other foot we wouldn’t like. So my question was more so to how he couldn’t seem to understand why women feel the way they feel about this topic is all. Now is it a character flaw….that is up for debate.

      2. 2.1.2
        Adrian

        Hi Roxanne,

        ___Please believe me and understand that everything I am about to say is in a conversational tone not an accusatory or argumentative tone. I do not intend to diminish nor belittle your concerns, feelings, or opinions.

        __With that being said, I get the feeling that you listened to me but you did not hear me.

        __Again, I can not speak for Evan, I can only interject my own understanding of what he meant, so I could be wrong. But, to me Evan was scratching his head over the fact that certain female commenters were seeing the man who subtly glances but still gets caught by his woman as being just like the man who openly stares at other women, regardless of his partner’s feelings.

        __You acknowledged my story about the ex girlfriend who had no problem boasting in front of me about the sexiness of celebrities but you ignored my story about the other ex who gushed about sexy non-celebrity men in front of me.

        __You also refuse to accept that this is a human character flaw and you want to label this as a male flaw. I know this to be true because in your follow up comment you stated

        “If women did it to men men wouldn’t like just like women don’t like it.”

        and

        “You would be an example of a man that experienced what women complains about.”

        __Each time you made it a male verse female character thing instead of a human thing. You say if women did this, but they DO! Good women don’t just like good men don’t. Both notice other attractive people, yet a good man and a good woman would not say or do anything to hurt their partner.

        __You said that I am an example of what women complain about, again not true! Both sexes complain about partners doing things to hurt them. And both sexes say their partner is great, so it is not a men or women thing, it is a thing of inconsiderate people.

        …   …  …

        ___Again, I feel that Evan is scratching his head over the fact that “some” female commenters feel that their partner should not even notice other attractive women. Some feel that their partner should think that they are the most attractive women in the world and have no need to look at other women. Some feel that since they have no urge to look at other men when they are in love, their man should feel no urge to look at other women if he loves her; ignoring the preponderance of other female commenters who admit that they to notice other attractive men when they are in a loving relationship.

        __All that Evan is saying is that those thoughts are not realistic. And that those women need to understand the difference between a good man with human thoughts & desires, and a selfish jerk.

        __Roxanne if you are the type of person who believes any of what I wrote above, then you will struggle with most men or force them to lie to you.

        …   …   …

        __As far as your boyfriend, take it from a person who has been there. Talk to him about how this makes you feel, if he continues to do it after knowing that it hurts you, then dump him.

        __In your life you will date men who love porn and strip clubs, yet if you explain how it makes you feel, he WON’T stop loving these fetishes but he will terminate his use or at the very least, greatly cut down on them for you.

        __If he doesn’t recognize your feelings then you know his character. It is recognizing your partners feelings not losing attraction to other women that identifies a good partner.

        1. Evan Marc Katz

          Appreciate your replies, as always, Adrian. Saves me the trouble of doing it myself. 🙂

          From a visual standpoint, would you consider rethinking the _underscore/indenting thing? Somehow, it makes it even harder to read.

          Just regular paragraphs will do.

          If you need to paraphrase, “you can use quotes and italics.” If you need to address someone, you can use bold.

        2. Adrian

          Sure Evan I will stop using underscores.

          But just a heads up, when I try to indent, it will not allow me, and when I try to double space it doesn’t allow that also.This is why I always use to quadruple space, and once you told me to stop doing that, I started using the underscore to show indentation.

          The reason I do this is because long paragraphs are hard for me to read, due to it all just looking like one large on rambling paragraph from a book.  If you read about MLA, APA, and even Chicago writting formats all say that you should indent each new paragraph if you so it doesn’t appear to all run together

        3. Evan Marc Katz

          You don’t need to indent. You just press return to create a paragraph. I’m only accessing this from the backend of WordPress, but it seems that most people are able to figure this out. You can ultimately do what you want – I just know that I tend to skim super long paragraphs and paragraphs that are, in general, hard to read. Either way, appreciate your contributions to this dialogue.

        4. Adrian

          Opps sorry Evan, I wrote all that stuff about writing formats to a guy who majored in writing in college. My bad (^_^)

        5. Roxanne

          Let me clarify. My original post to Evan was to give my point of view of why women may feel strongly about a man commenting out loud about another womans attractiveness. I wasn’t trying to make it something that only women experience. The context was based off what he said about scratching his head over where these women were coming from and I was replying to that. It goes without saying if you took my same story and inserted man where I said woman and woman where I said man that the results would be the same. Many times when this topic comes up it is usually women complaining not men complaining. It was women who Evan mentioned. And I am a woman who wanted to respond and give my point of view as a woman. I wasn’t trying to take away from the fact that men experience it. I wasn’t trying to take away from the fact that you experienced it. I did however want to note that the act itself wasn’t really gender specific and that if both sexes experienced it that it would yield the same results. I thought I was a little clear on that and tried to make examples. Somehow this point I made got looked over by you because you seem to be stuck on my examples referring to women. I used women because that was the topic I was addressing. I mean I could re-write my post and make it about both sexes if it makes you happy but my post was originally to Evan in response to what he mentioned about women complaining about it. My main point was that the act of saying out loud to a significant other is inconsiderate and why would he feel the need to scratch his head and not understand where these women are coming from…..

        6. Roxanne

           “__You acknowledged my story about the ex girlfriend who had no problem boasting in front of me about the sexiness of celebrities but you ignored my story about the other ex who gushed about sexy non-celebrity men in front of me.”
          I thought I acknowledged it by saying you were an example who experience the same thing that women experience. I wasn’t taking that away from you. I didn’t ignore it. I just chose not to comment on it because I didn’t feel the need to. What do you want me to say? Yea your right it can and does happen to men? Fine it can and does happen to men
          “__You also refuse to accept that this is a human character flaw and you want to label this as a male flaw. I know this to be true because in your follow up comment you stated” I know this to be true because in your follow up comment you stated “If women did it to men men wouldn’t like just like women don’t like it.”
          I wasn’t making it a flaw that ONLY men have. I was simply giving my point of view of an issue that women do complain about (Evan even brought it up that it was women complaining) and was pointing out to Evan that this issue isn’t much of a head scratcher and pointed to how he always says to women how if a man does these things you wouldn’t like it. I was trying to illustrate the same point that if women do these things men wouldn’t like it. That point doesn’t mean that I believe men don’t have those experiences sheesh. The point was to illustrate that all the things he says about women looking at a mans point of view applies to my point and that it shouldn’t be much of head scratcher. Nothing more nothing less. The act itself and the results it yields isn’t gender specific. What made it so gender heavy (which is why I think your so hung up on it and make it seem like I only see it as such) is that women was complaining and the examples I gave was as a women experiencing it. By the way I am a woman ya know. I thought it was totally appropriate and relevant to my response.
          “__Each time you made it a male verse female character thing instead of a human thing.”
          No. Your making what I said to be male versus female. I started my original quote by saying “We have eyes we all men and women both are going to recognize another persons attractiveness. But do we have to say it out loud in front of your significant other.”
          “You say if women did this, but they DO! Good women don’t just like good men don’t. Both notice other attractive people, yet a good man and a good woman would not say or do anything to hurt their partner.”
          I believe you. Do I personally see women doing this to a man. No I haven’t seen it. But that doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen. Do I see men complaining about this topic when they talk about the BS women do. No I haven’t before your example I admit. I do see men do it to women. Its been done to me many of times. And guess what? a man brought it up about a woman complaining about it. I responded as a woman. I thought I was on topic lol. But my response was not trying to take away from the fact that men experience it to.
          “__You said that I am an example of what women complain about, again not true! “
          So your not an example of how women feel about a man talking openly about another woman except you’re a man that experienced the same thing the women complain about?
          “Both sexes complain about partners doing things to hurt them. And both sexes say their partner is great, so it is not a men or women thing, it is a thing of inconsiderate people.”
          I agree. I am sorry if I didn’t give a unisex example. Based on the context of the conversation that I was trying to address to Evan I really didn’t feel I had to be that specific. I will try better next time
          “Again, I feel that Evan is scratching his head over the fact that “some” female commenters feel that their partner should not even notice other attractive women. Some feel that their partner should think that they are the most attractive women in the world and have no need to look at other women.”
          I simply wanted to give Evan my point of view on why some women feel strongly about it because I do feel some type of way about it. He mentioned kind of in a critical way that those women felt like there man shouldn’t notice the other woman and only think their girl is beautiful. That is a little extreme and I personally don’t think I am naïve and think like that. But I did want to give another point of view that was less extreme and try to get to the heart of why they may feel that way and point out that maybe choosing to do that in front of a significant other is plain inconsiderate.
          “__All that Evan is saying is that those thoughts are not realistic. And that those women need to understand the difference between a good man with human thoughts & desires, and a selfish jerk.”
          My issue with what he said is not the parts that were unrealistic. I agree his examples of how they thought was unrealistic. My point of my post was not to distinguish between good guys and bad guys. Which was why I said it can be up to debate. I feel like some guys who aren’t jerks can easily fall into this trap. Excuse me some people before you jump on me. Some people can openly say something and just not think. and Evan has commented about a woman in front of his wife/girlfriend. So assuming he is one of the good guys it does happen. Some guys I witness in my past wasn’t bad for doing it. I just wanted to give my point of view as to why choosing to say anything outloud to your partner is inconsiderate. That’s all.
          “__Roxanne if you are the type of person who believes any of what I wrote above, then you will struggle with most men or force them to lie to you.”
           
          *sigh* ok.

      3. 2.1.3
        CaliforniaGirl

        My ex-boyfriend would say about every good looking woman around something like “What a hottie” or “What a nice ass”. And when I told him that it doesn’t make me feel good, he replied that I have a low self-esteem. He, actually, ruined my self-esteem because I even stopped wanting to go out with him. A year after the break up I feel attractive again and will never tolerate anyone who will make me feel like he did.

      4. 2.1.4
        Christine

        Adrian, I’m just wondering, if that girl had complimented you on your looks too, or just toned it down a little when she said how sexy those celebrities were, would you have felt as offended by that?

        One time, me and my guy happened to see Chris Hemsworth on TV, in some movie ad.  I said, hey, that’s my friend’s fantasy boyfriend!  (A single friend of mine has a huge crush on him).  He joked and asked me who my fantasy boyfriend is.  I mentioned a few male celebrities I find attractive–but said that I don’t want any of them as a “fantasy” boyfriend because I have a real one I love.  He smiled and that was that.

        I don’t care who else he finds attractive either.  In fact, one time I joked that I should change my name to Natalie, to be consistent with his crushes (Natalie Dormer and Natalie Portman).  He just smiled and said, no, don’t do that–because those Natalies may be pretty, but he loves his Christine and wouldn’t change a thing about me.  Just being human and noticing other attractive people doesn’t have to be an issue, as long as your partner is validated that he/she is the one you actually love.

        Having said that, though, I agree that gushing and going over the top about other people’s attractiveness crosses a line.  In our case, we acknowledge other people are attractive–but also don’t go on and on about it either.

    2. 2.2
      Lilith

      Well, my brain hurts after reading all of what Roxanne said and Adrian answered. Bottom line is what exactly was said, how it was said, if it was even said. Someone (male or female) has a friend come up to them at a party and says, “Hi, you look great tonight.” Perfectly fine. Someone (male or female) gets caught “looking” – so what! People look. Now, mind you I didn’t say stare or drool. Now, if someone (male or female) in a cruel and spiteful manner points out every “hot” person at a party to make their partner feel unattractive or small – time to end the relationship. This is not tough. This is not a place where every man (or woman) on the face of the Earth is told who they can look at or what they can say. Someone can tell their partner that something is a “deal breaker” and if it happens again then either they don’t believe you, they’re testing you, they know you are a pushover, or they just don’t care. You make yourself clear and stick to your guns, but that being said, you cannot decide what is and isn’t a deal breaker for every other person on the face of the planet.

  3. 3
    tanisha

    I like your little stories .  I am attractive and a joy to be with, it’s only a matter of me choosing the right guy.

  4. 4
    Adrian

    __I have a question to all the male commentators…

    __Roxanne’s statement “Evan said it himself she was different than other woman he experienced” actually points out something that I have been thinking for a long time now but didn’t know how to broach the subject.

    __One of the common criticisms Evan has for his audience is the mistake of assuming our personal experiences as being the norm. Here’s one of many examples; the post on making men wait for sex. Evan’s advice was to make men wait for sex until he ask to be her boyfriend in a monogamous relationship. Yet many women and men were commenting that they had or knew of relationships that started off as a one night stand and ended in marriage.

    __Evan’s come back is always, “don’t mistake what a few hundred people do for what the majority of millions don’t!”

    __I won’t go into detail, but most marketing firms do the same thing. They focus their ads on what the majority wants not the minority (there are pocket niche groups but we are talking about niches of over hundred-thousands people). Evan does the same thing by trying to ensure his advice reaches the largest audiences.

    However…

    __Now I am thinking that “maybe” it is Evan who is the victim of “the since it happens to me everyone does it” fallacy? The stories that Evan has told about his wife in post and emails over the years speaks of an incredible women, but could it be that Evan has found something rare and he is setting the bar too high for other women?

    __Just because Evan’s wife paid for him to have a exotic dancer for his birthday party, or took his word for it that he didn’t know how those panties ended up in his dresser drawer, or that she thought it was cute and laughed it off when he had a dream about another woman, or that she didn’t get insecure when he remarked that another woman was the sexiest women he knew, does not mean that all women are capable of that. These are all stories from old post and emails.

    …   …  …

    __Personally I would love to find a woman like Evan’s wife; in fact his advice about how to be a good girlfriend (though aimed at a female target audience) teaches me how to be a good boyfriend and what to look for in a good girlfriend; but Evan admits that he learns much of this from his wife.

    __Also when I was younger I thought I was a great catch, no one could tell me different; it took a walk down a long hard road to realize that I wasn’t as great of a catch as I thought I was. I am seeing that many men and women are the same way, we all think we are great catches, so me asking the female commenters this question wouldn’t give me as great of clarity as it would from men, since I think most of them see Evan’s wife as a good women but not a rarity or anyone more special than they themselves are.

    …   …   …

    __Anyway, I am curious to hear the opinions of other male commenters about this, because my experience with women is limited -due to my years- but I haven’t personally ever met a women as exceptional as the women in the stories who Evan writes about occasionally-his wife.

    1. 4.1
      GoWiththeFlow

      Hi Adrian,

      Reading your comments, I see an overarching theme with mine:  Two people can experience the same interaction or idea very differently.

      Take the scenario of a guy who falls into a trance like state when he gawks at other women while out with his girlfriend.  The girlfriend feels hurt and embarrassed and tells him to “be more respectful.”  The guy wonders what the big deal is and thinks his girlfriend needs to loosen up and says, “It’s you I’m with.”

      Coming to a point where this no longer is a negative interaction in a relationship means either one person is going to have to shift their emotion/mental thinking to align with their partner’s or they are both going to have to move to the middle ground.  I would say that both partners moving to the middle is the easiest way to resolve it.  He uses more subtly when checking other girls out, and when the girlfriend does see him glancing at another woman, she doesn’t say anything and keeps herself from mentally getting worked up.

      I think both people moving to the middle is how most couples navigate most issues.  You don’t hear about how they successfully solved it because they aren’t fighting over it.  It’s kind of like how businesses have suggestion boxes and they fill up with complaints, while they never hear from satisfied customers.  I think a lot of what we see in the comments on the blog is the opinions of “unsatisfied customers.”  The people who cannot or will not move towards the middle by examining their feelings and adjusting behavior.

      I think if two people are in a standoff, neither is willing to move, then it is worthwhile to try and understand if the inability to move to the middle is a can’t or a won’t.  I remember on another recent post, Adrian, where you asked about the strip club/bachelor party issue and the first commenter was a woman who was definitely not going to move to the middle because her beliefs on the issue are grounded in her religion.  She can’t move without changing her whole worldview.  If you are in a relationship with a woman who can’t move, you have to decide if that’s a deal breaker for you.  If she can move, then as Roxanne commented, understanding that her feelings may come from insecurities within her can give you an opening (reassure her you do find her attractive) to help her move to the middle.

      I recently realized that it’s important to be aware of exactly what it is you are asking someone for.  I had a recent experience on an old blog post where it struck me that what I was being asked to do wasn’t really what was wanted.  The ask was for understanding, empathy, and sympathy for men in a life altering situation.  I soon realized that what was really wanted was 100% agreement on a proposed solution.  Additionally, the posture of some was that if I didn’t agree I was ______ (insert negative descriptor of choice).  This completely took the agree to disagree option off the table.

      So if you are invited to your best friend’s bachelor party that’s being held at a “gentleman’s club” and you know your girlfriend thinks that the sex industry denigrates and exploits women, what is your ask going to be? What ask will most likely lead to a solution that is satisfactory to both people?  Telling your girlfriend that you want her to be excited for you and turned on by the fact you’re  getting lap dances, and you expect her to jump you the minute you get home (and she’s a frigid b*tch if she doesn’t agree) isn’t likely to get you anywhere.  Just like her saying you’re a pig or misogynist for participating in the exploitation of women and she forbids you to go isn’t going to get her anywhere.  An ask that can work would be based on if you can both agree to disagree on how you view strip clubs.  Hopefully you can move to a mid point where you are both okay that you may not like each other’s view points on strip clubs, but she won’t make a big deal out of his going if he doesn’t tell her she’s wrong for believing what she does.

      1. 4.1.1
        Adrian

        Hi GoWithTheFlow,

        __In an era of both men and women having dozens of multiple relationship and sex partners, I feel embarrassed to admit that I have only had 1 long-term relationships since graduating college -she passed away 3 years ago. So most of my ex stories and relationship experiences are from when I was in high school or college.

        __When I was finally ready, through a lot of trail and error, I found Evan’s site in my search to learn about dating as an adult before getting back out their. It amazed me how so many people are unwilling to budge on such ridiculous things.

        __Choosing porn, strip clubs, and the like over a real women is silly to me. But being judged as immoral for desiring such things is also silly to me.

        __Both men and women can still be good people and great partners though they have base desires and thoughts. If a girl that I was dating still had occasional thoughts about an ex who she hasn’t spoken to in years; it should not make me think she is a bad person or that all women just want to cheat.

        1. GoWiththeFlow

          Adrian,

          I feel embarrassed to admit that I have only had 1 long-term relationships since graduating college -she passed away 3 years ago.”

          Oh my goodness!  Please do not feel embarrassed. I’m so sorry for your loss.  That’s a traumatic thing to go through at such a young age.

          “In an era of both men and women having dozens of multiple relationship and sex partners. . .”

          Actually about 10-15% of the population that is getting most of the action.  The author of Erotic Capitol talks about this and Susan Walsh at HUS has a great post on this–most college students actually have less than one hookup a year 😉

          I know several porn-and-strip-clubs-are-bad women who are married or in LTRs with porn-and-strip-clubs-are-good-clean-fun men.  Most seem to have negotiated a middle ground on this so that it doesn’t affect the overall health of their relationships.  I think it’s safe to say that the typical American man doesn’t see any harm in porn or strip clubs, while concurrently many women are uncomfortable with it.

          What this means for you is that you may be unable to find the sweet, smart, beautiful dream girl that you have amazing sex with and that your mother loves, who also is enthusiastic about porn and strip clubs.  If you can come to a what-you-do-with-the-laptop-while-I’m-not-home-is-your-business middle ground, it can work out 😉

      2. 4.1.2
        Emily, the original

        GoWiththeFlow,

        Take the scenario of a guy who falls into a trance like state when he gawks at other women while out with his girlfriend.

        I have witnessed this scenario. Or he cranes his neck very obviously to look at other women. Or little pockets of drool start to form at the corners of his mouth …. Is it not possible to do cruise people SUBTLY? I can cruise men all day and they don’t know it and neither do the people around me.

        1. GoWiththeFlow

          Emily, TO

          “Is it not possible to do cruise people SUBTLY?”

          Thank you for allowing me a chance to expand on my point about shifting emotional/mental thinking.

          If a guy is a bug-eyed gawker version of feminine beauty and his woman requests, “Dude, can you tone it down a bit?”  She is asking him to shift his thinking and behavior to a compromise point. She is not saying “If you really loved me you wouldn’t ever look at another woman.”  That would be asking him to adopt a worldview he doesn’t believe in.  A woman asking a guy to be more subtle in his public admiration of feminine beauty is not making an outrageous request that warrants demotion to uncool girl status.

           

        2. Caroline

          Hi Emily, I always wondered about how obvious some guys are about looking at women in your presence. I remember reading somewhere that it was based in our beginnings. Men have “hunt vision”. They see better at long distances and actually move their heads to take everything in. Women naturally have much better peripheral vision. They learned to stay still and scope the situation so they weren’t the prey. All that being said, although it may be “natural” for guys to crane their necks to get a good view of a “hottie”; we’ve evolved enough that he oughtta keep it under wraps so as not to hurt another’s feelings.

      3. 4.1.3
        Caroline

        @gwtf and Adrian-very good point on the 100% agreement. Btw, that post frustrated the heck out of me too. This reminds me of the American life ? Podcast. Recently they reported on LL Bean’s 100% satisfaction guarantee. Pretty eye opening. Many of the “daters” /commenters on this site are the all or nothing types. They want to be 100% satisfied no matter if its reasonable or fair.  This attitude is quite pervasive in American culture no matter if its politics, racism, personal safety, etc.  There seems to be, IMHO, no coming to center no matter  which “camp” you’re in. I don’t believe that’s the reality most of us live in everyday. The world is rather grey. Most of us navigate life’s decisions daily by compromising.

        @gwtf-you made a comment about an ex and his need to always be right especially politically. I lean liberal also and live in a very red state. I’ve recently realized how important it is to speak up. People just assume I’m in agreement with them here. Being transparent especially to your friends about this is do important. Otherwise. They continue to make the assumption that most are in agreement with them. This just breeds polarization. Whereas, thoughtfully speaking up helps bridge the gap in our diversity.

        1. GoWiththeFlow

          Hi Caroline,

          After the “can’t be wrong” guy and I broke up, I wound up dating another conservative man.  (I live in a very red area of a red state so it’s inevitable)  Because of my recent experience, I went into that relationship with the mindset that I was going to be more careful about discussing social and political views.  The new guy, while conservative, didn’t initiate these types discussions nearly as often as the previous boyfriend did.  Because of that and my over-caution, I’m sure he assumed I though like hime more than I really did.

          Virtually all of my friends know exactly where I stand and I know where they stand, too.  It’s kind of surprising the things we do agree on sometimes!  So I am able to get to a satisfactory point with people I care about over social issues and political differences without the relationship blowing apart.

    2. 4.2
      Lilith

      You know, the general consensus is that a one-night stand will not lead to a relationship and the statistics pretty much show this to be true. Each woman, though, has to decide what it is she wants and above all else be comfortable in her own skin including her sexuality. Women teach men how to view them and treat them by how they view and treat themselves. There is no correct timing for every single person. Men and woman alike sometimes do not want a committed relationship and, frankly, (speaking from experience) having a monogamous partner who is married to you for a number of years does not, in fact, guarantee that you will have an actual good, viable relationship. Likewise, being asked to be someone’s wife doesn’t guarantee they will be faithful past the wedding night. When to sleep with someone is the least of a woman’s concerns when it comes to dating.

  5. 5
    Evan Marc Katz

    An excellent point, Adrian. And I agree – with a caveat. My wife may be my north star, but I presume that she would also be a LOT of men’s North Star.

    Thus, my advice to “be cool and trusting” like my wife is aspirational. Which, of course, is the nature of coaching. When a coach tells a basketball player how to shoot with perfect form; it’s not an insult to his current form. It’s designed to get better results. My terminology is effective vs. ineffective, not right vs. wrong.

    So it is easy or natural for all women to act like my wife? Not at all. Does being insecure and jealous work effectively in a relationship? Hell no.

    1. 5.1
      Adrian

      Thanks Evan,

      __Just so you know… you also set a high bar also.

      __When I first came to your site, I wanted to be like the Evan who got 300 dates with beautiful women, now I want to be like the Evan whose wife can be gone for three days hanging out with friends without calling him, or whose wife goes and hangs out for a weekend and a handsome younger guy dances with her and you doesn’t get insecure or jealous.

      __The Evan who does things that he doesn’t like to make her happy because he doesn’t see it as being a beta male but as an investment in his own future happiness. I would have never looked at it that way if not for your examples of yourself.

      __I know this may be hard to believe, but being a nice guy with ball is not easy. It is a balancing act. Come off as too hard and you are seen as an insensitive selfish jerk, come off as too nice and you are seen as an insecure push-over.

      __Anyway, thanks for the blogs, emails, and podcasts Evan!

  6. 6
    A

    Adrian,

    This is just my opinion, I think Evan’s wife sees him as a great catch. She views herself very fortunate for having someone like him for a husband. He’s younger, smart, hardworking. She’s able to be a stay at home mom and focus on her kids. I can see myself doing everything she’s done and more if I end up with my dream man. And she trusts him. She’s a good woman who was lucky to find exactly what she wanted in a man! Most men bend over backwards when dating that elusive 10 too. Not all women want the same things. She was fortunate to find what she wanted in him.

    1. 6.1
      Christine

      To be fair, Evan sees his wife as a great catch too.  I’ve seen pictures of her and she’s one very attractive lady!  Evan freely admits he’s not always perfect either, but is lucky to have such a cool, trusting wife who accepts him as he is, warts and all.  From how he describes her, she’d be a great catch for just about any man (luckily for Evan, she also wanted him).

    2. 6.2
      GoWiththeFlow

      A,

      I also think that Evan and his wife have a decade long history together and have built up a well of trust that they can comfortably dip into.

      1. 6.2.1
        Lilith

        Building a “well of trust” doesn’t have to take a decade. There are people who build that well of trust in a short time and there are people who spend lifetimes without ever building a “well of trust.”

  7. 7
    Stacy2

    Adrian:

    I agree with Roxanne’s comment above. I am not sure how this is even controversial. I think it is extremely rude to be commenting on someone else’s attractiveness in front of your significant other, for either gender.

    That said, there’s generally less societal pressure on men to be handsome than on women to be beautiful. I mean there’re whole industries that primarily revolve around making women look more beautiful (hair salons, manicure-pedicure salons, waxing salons, cosmetic surgery, makeup, beauty products, fitness, fashion, etc… ) The pressure to be thin, groomed, dressed well etc. is enormous. So with all that said, can you see why a woman may be more invested in her appearance and be more upset over such comments than if tables were turned?

  8. 8
    amanda

    Happy Birthday Evan! And thanks for the podcast, I listen every week 😀

    1. 8.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      Thank you, Amanda. Your gift to me would be to tell your friends! 🙂

  9. 9
    Lilith

    Have to say after reading the comments I now have a headache. The distinction between masculine energy and feminine energy is clear and easy, except for women who operate in the masculine a good deal of the time. It appears that the thinking is if you use an abundance of words you are “feminine” – not so as you can be just as much coming from the dominator with lots of words as with being succinct. Well, all I can say is good luck with being in your masculine energy with your thinking and thinking you are in your feminine energy because you can word people to death with how you think you are “feminine.” (Note I didn’t say “in the feminine.”)

  10. 10
    Lilith

    One huge thing people seem to forget is body language – your tone, your eyes, your posture, etc. Even if you say the “perfect” words if it is obvious you don’t believe yourself you will come across badly – a doormat pretending to be assertive, a whiner pretending they aren’t, someone always in their masculine pretending they can come from the feminine. A perfect example – when growing up my mother would say in the sweetest voice ever imaginable (so she wouldn’t upset the baby – literally an infant), “Gary” (brother), “if you don’t stop that right now you are in big trouble!” He knew she meant it; baby thought it was “sweet talk.”

  11. 11
    Lilith

    As regards a female or a male approaching someone with the same problem or dilemma and the male being listened to and the female not, what I have noticed about males is they give a list of facts and leave the ultimate decision with the other man. They don’t have this heavy burden to convince them so they say only what is pertinent knowing the facts speak for themselves. A female often, even if supposedly not attempting to manipulate, actually is invested in the outcome, in proving she is correct. This would lead me to wonder if a woman being in her masculine approaching a situation as a male would might have better results than a woman wanting to be in her feminine but still having the bottom line be proving that she is right. Having more pertinent information than someone else has only  means you have more information. How you share that information decides if someone will receive it. Not being invested in the outcome allows what should happen to happen, because nobody’s ego is in the way.

  12. 12
    Lilith

    Evan – Happy birthday and thank you so very much for a “right-on-the-money” podcast. Appreciate your insight and expertise immensely.

  13. 13
    Jo

    Great podcast! The golden rule is so simple – yet you’re right – it’s really easy to focus on your own feelings and neglect your man’s.

  14. 14
    rhoda

    I wish you happy birthday!thanks for the podcast that was amazing

  15. 15
    Jennifer N

    Evan,  thank you for the information you put out there on how to understand and communicate with men.  Perhaps if I had this knowledge years ago, I could have had a great marriage the first time around.  It is just so hard to really communicate on an equal basis, when you grow up with dysfunctional role models.  You give me hope for a better future with a new partner!  Here’s to understanding the strengths and weaknesses of the opposite sex, and learning to become a team, rather than an adversary.

    Keep spreading this hopeful message to the eager masses!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *