4 Hot Tips on Confidence (#4 Will Make Every Man Fall for You!)

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Today’s post is going to be meaty – and I’m going to focus on straight-up dating advice.

These are three tips on confidence – as well as one bonus tip – that you need to live by, every day, if you want to attract a quality man.

Tip #1: You should stop settling on the wrong qualities.

I encourage you to distinguish between “attractive” qualities and “important” qualities and start valuing the “important” ones more. Important qualities include: easygoing, selfless, happy, supportive, fun, stable, honest and consistent.

Do those adjectives describe your exes? If not, perhaps that gives you some indication about what you SHOULD be looking for in a man.

Tip #2: You must be the CEO of your own love life.

A man can’t treat you in any way you don’t allow yourself to be treated. Instead of seeing yourself as a needy, unemployed intern, begging for the approval of rich, confident, handsome men, I want you to carry yourself like the CEO.

He’s auditioning to be YOUR boyfriend; if he doesn’t make a consistent effort to show up at work each day, he doesn’t get the job – no matter how impressive his resume.

Tip #3: You must act like a confident woman.

There’s a big difference between thinking you’re smart, pretty, and accomplished and carrying yourself like a confident woman with men.

Being attractive and impressive may get you in the door with a guy, but having healthy boundaries is what will make him respect you and want to commit to you.

Being attractive and impressive may get you in the door with a guy, but having healthy boundaries is what will make him respect you and want to commit to you.

Those three tips are important, and, properly implemented, they will make a considerable difference in how you see yourself, how men see you, and how you evaluate men.

But there’s one other tip I want to offer you.

When I stopped to think why I had success in getting women’s attention before I got married, despite my depression, anxiety, and financial instability, this was it:

Bonus Tip #4: Assume the answer is yes.

Call it the ego that comes with being raised in a doting Jewish family, but, in ten years of dating, it never once occurred to me that my dates could do better.

I know! It’s almost comical in its delusional self-confidence!

But the same way you should think you’re the best person when you’re interviewing for a job, you MUST think the same thing about yourself when it comes to dating.

So, from this moment forward, when you show up on a date, you assume the following things:

He likes you.
He wants to sleep with you.
He wants to date you.
He wants to commit to you.

The ONLY thing that’s left to decide is whether YOU’RE interested in him.

If he doesn’t follow up for a second date, you think: HIS LOSS!

That’s what it means to assume the answer is yes.

It’s a bottomless reservoir of confidence that carries you through rough patches and helps you soar when you’re seeing men you’re attracted to.

It’s a bottomless reservoir of confidence that carries you through rough patches and helps you soar when you’re seeing men you’re attracted to.

No more low-self-esteem.

No more late nights checking your phone or the dating site.

No more long breaks from dating.

All that matters is whether he’s making the effort to see you again.

If he doesn’t, he’s gone.

You’re the catch. You’re the prize.

If he’s too stupid to figure that out, that’s his problem.

Once you assume the answer is yes – and start acting like it – men will treat you accordingly.

By the way, if this sounds like some sort of mind trick, think of the men you find most attractive.

Do they act weak, needy, fearful or insecure?

No!

You ALSO like men who assume the answer is yes:

The man who picks up the phone to plan a date.
The man who calls the day after to ask you out again.
The man who makes a bold first move to kiss you.
The man who offers to take his profile down because he knows you’re into him.

Try it on for size. How does it feel to have supreme confidence at all times?

That’s what I want to instill in you when you join Love U.

In Love U, your success is all but guaranteed.

When you graduate from Love U, you’ll probably sound a lot like this:

Your coaching has completely changed my worldview and my behavior when it comes to men, dating and relationships. I tried online dating prior to finding your site and had a bunch of first dates and a handful of 3-5 month “relationships.” The lessons you taught me helped me be a more successful dater and, even more importantly, helped changed my perspective about the dating process. I learned that “no man is real until he’s your boyfriend” and “men do what they want.” Whereas I used to take it personally and really feel the sting of rejection when a guy I’d been emailing with or went on a first date with didn’t contact me again, you taught me that this is just part of the dating process and any number of factors could have contributed to his not continuing the conversation, it didn’t mean that I was a bad person, boring or unattractive, like I used to think.

I’m happy to say that after putting your principles into practice and changing my mindset, a little over a year ago, I met an amazing man through an online dating site. We enjoyed our time with each other from the beginning, but I kept reminding myself to lean back, have fun, and let things progress in a natural course so that I didn’t rush things like I had in the past. Now we’re deeply in love and planning our future together. I always thought that I’d have to settle for someone less than what I wanted or be alone. But he’s a better man than even I could have dreamed up, and even though on paper he isn’t exactly what I envisioned as my “perfect” man – he’s divorced with 3 children – he’s the kindest, most thoughtful, and attentive man I’ve ever dated. He truly loves me for me, accepts me just as I am and tells me and shows me so on a regular basis. And I feel exactly the same way about him!

Evan, I know that I could not have gotten here without your invaluable advice. The passion and caring that you put into Love U, the bonus calls, and your regular blog posts is incredible and I’m so thankful that I found you. You’ve made an immense impact on my life.

-Tiffany S.

This is what you get when you join Love U.

Joy. Love. Acceptance. A new reality to look forward to every day.

If you want it all, do not delay.

You deserve everything life has to offer.

It’s time for you to go out and get it.

Love U takes 5 minutes per day.

It costs $3 per day.

And it gets you the one thing you haven’t been able to get yourself:

A quality, commitment-oriented man who sees you at your best, accepts you at your worst and makes you feel safe, heard, and understood.

Click here to enroll now and get the unconditional love you crave.

Life is too short to spend without someone by your side.

Warmest wishes and much love,

Your friend,

Evan

P.S. The Love U Valentine’s sale ends tonight at 11:59 pm Pacific. Join now and save $300 from what this same course will cost tomorrow morning.

You get a 30-day-100% money back guarantee and lifetime access to everything you ever needed to know about dating, relationships, and men.

All for only $99/month, ending tonight.

Thanks for taking my free advice to heart, and thanks for trusting that the paid stuff is what will catapult you into the relationship you’ve always wanted by the end of 2018.

Join our conversation (97 Comments).
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Comments:

  1. 1
    Yet Another Guy

    @Evan

    The man who picks up the phone to plan a date.
    The man who calls the day after to ask you out again.
    The man who makes a bold first move to kiss you.
    The man who offers to take his profile down because he knows you’re into him.

    From my personal experience, attributes one and three strengthen a woman’s desire for a man whereas attributes two and four weaken desire.  Women do not want a man that they can have that easily, but I agree with you in that they should value a man who has all four attributes.  It is just that you are fighting the ingrained female belief that the only men worth having are those that a woman cannot possess. Men who demonstrate emotional indifference get what they want whereas those who do not get used/friend-zoned.

     

    1. 1.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      You keep saying this as if it’s a fact. It is not. I am living proof that a man who expresses consistency, kindness and desire does not automatically get friendzoned. Men who want women almost always pursue them, resulting in millions of marriages that contradict your central thesis that women are only turned on when they’re off balance. You are incorrect.

      1. 1.1.1
        Yet Another Guy

        I did not state that women do not wish to be pursued.  Attributes one and three are acts of pursuit.  What I am saying is that it takes getting burned quite a few times by bad boys to get a woman to appreciate attributes two and four.  I am on the playing field as a man.  I see this dysfunctional behavior every day.  Heck, we have women who post on this forum who validate my thesis.  That is why I never call the next day, make excuses like one of my daughters is texting me to hang up in the middle of telephone conversation just when things are starting to heat up, and never offer to take my profile down.  I can assure you that I am not remotely close to being the only guy who uses these tactics to keep women off-center.  A guy who does what you outlined is going to get burned more often than he is going to get what he desires.  There is just something inherent in the female mindset that makes a woman ask the question “What’s wrong with him?”

         

        1. Evan Marc Katz

          YAG, “That is why I never call the next day, make excuses like one of my daughters is texting me to hang up in the middle of telephone conversation just when things are starting to heat up, and never offer to take my profile down.”

          You are living a self-fulfilling prophecy. You play games and treat women poorly. The only ones who stick around have low self-esteem and weak expectations of men, otherwise they wouldn’t tolerate it.

          So when you say “a guy who does what you outline is going to get burned,” you’re wrong again. Men like me who pursue and don’t play games get happy marriages. You, on the other hand, get to play power games with women who don’t immediately realize you should be kicked to the curb.

          You are the embodiment of what my clients should avoid. Worse, you seem to think that women LIKE men like you. No, man. They PUT up with men like you until they meet men like me.

        2. Henriette

          @YAG.  I’m truly sorry that your experience has taught you that women will only value a man who keeps them off-centre.   I suggest that the women who respond well to this “push-pull” don’t have solid self-esteem and/or come from backgrounds that make them susceptible to this treatment.  And, I realise, some men find this appealing: women who are insecure are often (at least, initially) exciting, crazy, pliable.  However, a few months in, those same women are generally a nightmare to be in relationships with.  A woman who feels good about herself, is a kind person and has developed solid boundaries will not accept ambivalence for long.

        3. GoWiththeFlow

          YAG & Evan,

          YAG said, “That is why I never call the next day, make excuses like one of my daughters is texting me to hang up in the middle of telephone conversation just when things are starting to heat up, and never offer to take my profile down.”
          Evan replied, “You are living a self-fulfilling prophecy. You play games and treat women poorly. The only ones who stick around have low self-esteem and weak expectations of men, otherwise they wouldn’t tolerate it.”

          Right on Evan!  What YAG is doing is triggering protest/pursue behavior in women with anxious attachment styles.  Then he doesn’t like it when down the road they dump their emotions on him.  The PUA guys do this when they “neg” women.  Only those with an unhealthy attachment style respond.  And the nature of their response reinforces to the PUA guy that women are crazy.
          A woman with a secure attachment style who encounters a man who deploys YAG’s techniques will say to herself, “This guy is playing games.  NEXT!”

        4. Yet Another Guy

          @Evan

          To the contrary, if more women were like what you outlined in your blog entry, you would not have to lecture them on the value of these these qualities.  Yet, the majority of the women in the dating pool take men who exhibit all four attributes for granted, preferring men whose attention requires significant work.  Men adapt to the market place because they have to pursue; therefore, they make the changes necessary to be successful.  No man comes out of the womb employing the tactics that I outlined above.  They are learned behaviors that are rewarded for some strange reason.

        5. Sam

          @YAG. I’m a woman and I can tell you for sure that Evan is right. When a woman goes on a date, she will want you to follow up the next day. In fact, if a man doesn’t follow up with me the next day, it will do the opposite of make me like him more. I won’t hold it against him, per se, but I will be wary of going forward with him. In my opinion, the only two reasons a man wouldn’t follow up the next day is for lack of interest or lack of confidence, neither of which I am looking for in a potential partner.

          It is true that if an insecure woman is only moderately into you after a date, playing hard to get may make her temporarily think you’re more of a catch than she originally thought, but this will usually backfire on you eventually.

          Secure, emotionally healthy women, whether they are crazy about you or only moderately into you want you to follow up the next day and take down your profile when the time is right. It shows her that you are interested and that is a good thing. I’m not sure where you learned that showing interest is a negative thing but if you change your behaviors you’ll see quickly that the highest quality woman will react favorably to that.

        6. Mrs Happy

          I’ve just had a brainwave and realised that YAG is doing exactly the right thing – for him – because his aim is sex by date 2 or 3 or so, and statistically the women more likely to do that, are women who are not confident, and not secure in attachment style.  Therefore his behaviours will actually work for him – they’ll weed out secure women (who won’t sleep with him fast enough) (and won’t put up with him not taking his profile down, not committing, not finishing a telephone call, and so on) and leave him to choose from insecure, or vulnerable, anxiously-attached women, who see his unavailability as attractive.  This latter group of women contain those much more likely to quickly fall into bed with a man.  If all YAG wants is fast easy sexual activity, YAG is wise.  YAG, I have newfound respect for your ways, because they get you what you want.

          People on this blog who want or have secure relationships keep arguing that the way YAG is behaving doesn’t make sense – but it just doesn’t make sense to them, because it’s perplexing to them, that any woman would put up with his actions, or anyone wouldn’t want a long term secure relationship.  I’ve been guilty of this mismatched thought myself, because I’d have nixed him at the first sign of his game playing, during my dating years.  But that would’ve worked fine for YAG, because I wouldn’t have slept with him until I was in love, and he couldn’t have waited that long.

          I suppose the problem only comes when a man who is behaving the ‘YAG way’ wants a relationship, because if he doesn’t change behaviours, he’ll end up in a relationship with a woman who isn’t very stable, and that’ll be hard and have suffering.  But maybe such a man wanting marriage is as likely as me wanting a one-night stand (zero).

          It is so useful for women looking for marriage to have YAG’s comments to read.  YAG, I’m glad you’re on this blog.  Now if only Stacy (?2) from New York city and (?)was it Karl the very logical IT-type dancer would come back, my soap-opera-like enjoyment of these comments sections would be complete.

        7. Evan Marc Katz

          You’re right. YAG is doing the right thing for him. But, apart from “diversity of opinion,” men like him serve no purpose for my clients, except as an example of what not to want in a man. He has every right to do as he sees fit in the real world – there is no one size fits all lifestyle. However, there is nothing positive or productive about these comments, no more than if I were an atheist commenting on a religious blog just to get a rise out of the more devout readers.

          Any man whose primary view of women is that they are silly creatures who can’t resist bad boys, and therefore, the only way to succeed with them is to treat them badly… please, go your own way. Your worldview is valid but it’s poisonous for my life’s work: to help women choose men who want healthy, lasting, long-term relationships.

        8. Gala

          YAG:

          I can assure you that I am not remotely close to being the only guy who uses these tactics to keep women off-center.

          I always find your posts so entertaining! There’s something amusing about a guy in his 50-ies enthusiastically learning games most people play in high school and college. Others have already explained who you attract by playing this game. There’s just one more thing: women who stick around for a guy who’s playing Mr. Unavailable are, put simply, crazy. Emotionally un-centered, whether permanently or situationally (recent divorce etc.). When you keep them off-center for shits and giggles, you’re playing with fire. Keep that up, and I see a crazy stalker who slashes your tires, breaks into your email and sends your naked pics to your entire family and calls you 1000 times a month in your future. The cops are gonna have a lot of fun taking your statement when you go for a restraining order against that chick.

           

           

           

      2. 1.1.2
        Emily, the original

        Mrs. Happy, 

        Therefore his behaviours will actually work for him – they’ll weed out secure women (who won’t sleep with him fast enough) (and won’t put up with him not taking his profile down, not committing, not finishing a telephone call, and so on) and leave him to choose from insecure, or vulnerable, anxiously-attached women, who see his unavailability as attractive.  This latter group of women contain those much more likely to quickly fall into bed with a man.  

        The irony is that an anxiously attached woman attracted to his avoidant style will besiege him with  communication and interest … exactly what an avoidant doesn’t want.

         

        1. GoWiththeFlow

          Emily,

          “The irony is that an anxiously attached woman attracted to his avoidant style will besiege him with  communication and interest … exactly what an avoidant doesn’t want.”

          Exactly!  In previous comments, YAG has complained how he hates it when women “dump” their emotions on him.  He draws these women into his life then doesn’t like what he gets.  So he pushes them away.  He gets to say he successfully playing the game, but never really makes a deep connection with any of them.

        2. Mrs Happy

          Dear Evan,

          it really helps women, to be exposed to the points of view and behaviours of men like YAG.  I realise YAG isn’t your client base, but he helps your client base – he gives an honest story about how some men behave, date and experience women.  That’s what I think is incredibly useful for your clients.  Otherwise it’s too easy to assume others have the same views we do.  If the dating world was full of men wanting committed relationships, YAG’s information would serve no purpose here.  But actually it’s dating gold in what some women need to know about, so as to avoid.

          The comments section is richer when reasonable diversity is present.

        3. Evan Marc Katz

          I agree. Except, at a certain point, I find these men unreasonable, and to a degree, toxic. Good women have read the comments section and judged me because they think it’s representative of my worldview.

          Remember, this isnt Slate or Breitbart or Jezebel. This is a privately owned blog that is a marketing arm of my business. There are 120,000 comments in here and I’ve let the vast majority through. But I am under no obligation to air views that don’t contribute to a positive atmosphere for women. And I don’t mean a “safe space,” but rather, a supportive one that offers hope and constructive feedback. Jeremy is a great example, as was Karl R. These guys who like to hear themselves talk just to get a reaction are glorified trolls. They are not interested in helping women; they are participating in message board mental masturbation.

        4. Emily, the original

          GoWiththeFlow,

          He also doesn’t want to discover that the woman he is dating slept with another man sooner in the dating process. So he needs to focus on women who make ALL men wait and want a relationship. Only he doesn’t want to wait for sex or have a relationship. You can’t have it both ways.

    2. 1.2
      Laurie

      If a woman really likes a guy, she will want the guy to do all of those things listed.  Being emotionally manipulative isn’t the secret to getting women, it’s the secret to having an unhealthy dynamic.  I’ve been in unhealthy dynamics, but there was usually something ELSE about the guy that I liked as well (other than the push/pull of distance).  Plus, all of those relationships ended.  It seems like you enjoy the feeling of “being wanted” more than an actual relationship.  What if some woman really liked you no matter what? Then all of that nonsense is just a waste of time.

  2. 2
    McKiwi

    Yup.

    I used to think anxiety over a guy that didn’t really care was love and passion but I met a man like Evan is describing. My man is morally sound and decent and he is SO, so manly to me. I’m in awe of the way he keeps his inner moral compass steady. It’s a wonderful feeling; I get to keep my dignity (in fact he even fosters it) but I also know that my loyalty to him knows no bounds.

  3. 3
    AAORK

    Ultimately, #1 is most important. Unless a woman makes this attitude change first (and before her SMV falls below that threshold where her options become greatly limited), accomplishing #’s 2,3,4 wont matter. Ah, but what about “valuing the important qualities” like easygoing, selfless, happy, supportive, fun, stable, honest and consistent? For today’s “modern” (strong, smart and successful?) woman, a man with these qualities is just plain boring .. unless she also perceives him to be in high demand (e.g. – successful, confident, handsome, and don’t forget TALL). But these types of men by nature exhibit low agreeableness, high conscientiousness, and many other characteristics common to a man-in-demand. And these traits will naturally impinge on his ability (or willingness) to deliver on some or most of these qualities deemed “important”. What a predicament for women today!

    1. 3.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      Sigh. Here we go again:

      The references to SMV. The jabs at successful women. The overemphasis on women’s shallowness (TALL!) which ignores that men are even shallower (THIN! YOUNG!)

      The answer to all of you extremists who argue in bad faith with caricatures of the opposite sex is moderation.

      Women need “a nice guy with balls.”
      Men need a “cool girl with boundaries.”

      We ALL need to have confidence (and humility), success (without arrogance), attraction (without narcissism), agreeableness (without being a doormat), etc. This isn’t gender specific. It’s just good, commonsense advice. So stop attacking women for looking for their “nice guy with balls,” who is hard to find in the sea of boring nice guys and game-playing douchebags. And I’ll forgive you men for looking for your “cool girl with boundaries” when many of them are either too needy or too masculine for your tastes.

      This is a site for people who want to understand the opposite sex and make healthier choices, not a site to issue straw men arguments and half-baked ad hominem attacks on the other gender. I’ve largely tried to let the comments section police itself for awhile, but I’m pretty sick of men who come here to gloat about how selfish you are with women and how women only respect selfish men. Go to the Manosphere. They’ll eat it up. I abhor it.

      1. 3.1.1
        AAORK

        Your response is disappointing, but revealing nonetheless. “Sigh?” Yeah, the emotive genuflecting just distracts from the point (intended, I’m sure).

        Everyone, including presumably you, knows that perceived SMV has a very substantial influence to the choices people make in assertive mating. It’s not a controversial assertion. “Jabs at successful women”? “Overemphasis on women’s shallowness”? Did my wording hit a little too close for comfort? Responding with a grand leap of assumptive thinking has only led you to the same behavior you have frequently chastised others for; straw men arguments and half-baked ad-hominem attacks. But that’s your burden, not mine. I did no such thing and I think you know that.

        Allow me to clarify what you missed, or simply ignored. I and others reference women’s biological drivers because they are real, just as those for men are. I do not represent these as something evil nor do I use them as caricatures. Instead, I accept and embrace this reality and recommend it as an empowerment mechanism for any man who is strong enough to absorb and apply it. And I have repeated this in previous comments here, so you already know this.

        Acknowledging this reality does not make me or any other man “selfish”; it simply means we are aware. And you seem to have a real problem whenever observations of the Feminine Imperative are inserted into conversation. No, you must re-frame this as an “attack” and pile on a reference to a boogy-man (“manosphere”) to make your point. Atta boy! Hell, I’m mildly surprised you didn’t toss in MGTOW or “red pill” like so many other mini-grenades in your pocket. Hey, you can make aware guys like me out to be any caricature you like. I wont lose any sleep over it. My personal catharsis is in reading the comments here, yours included.

         

        1. Evan Marc Katz

          I will similarly lose no sleep if you refrain from reading or commenting. Good luck, man. It’s been a good run.

        2. Margo

          Looking at man/woman dynamics through the lens YAG and AAORK are using (however well or poorly grounded in objective facts that lens may be) is not an effective strategy for either a man or a woman to create genuine and lasting emotional intimacy in a sexually exclusive relationship. That’s really all we need to know. It makes the truth or falsehood of their personal views, which they are so eager to promulgate here, irrelevant.

      2. 3.1.2
        Tron Swanson

        Women can control their weight, men can’t control their height. And I’ve seen far more guys with overweight women than I have women with short guys.

        Also, weak-tea moderation isn’t something to strive for.

      3. 3.1.3
        Shaukat

        I agree with you on the futility and childishness of game playing, Evan.  Your point is similar to what Mark Manson has said on the subject, that when you feel the need to start playing games, you’ve already lost. That said, I think there’s a difference between game playing and understanding social dynamics. It’s not game playing if a guy realizes it’s not wise to show up on a first date with flowers, or blow up her phone in between dates with needy messages when they’ve just met. That’s called useful calibration. The PUAs got  a lot wrong, but one thing they were right about is that it is absolutely possible to kill attraction.

        Also, in my opinion there’s nothing superficial about wanting to date someone thin and fit, so long as you’re fit. Likewise, a woman isn’t shallow for wanting an in shape guy, if she also leads that lifestyle. I’ll have to take issue with your blanket statement that men are the more superficial gender though-I don’t think either gender really has a monopoly on that. It often appears that men are mores superficial because we’re far more vocal when it comes to sexual objectification. But last time I checked, it wasn’t men who had an attraction rating of the opposite gender that was J-shaped, bud.

        1. Yet Another Guy

          @Shaukat

          It’s not game playing if a guy realizes it’s not wise to show up on a first date with flowers, or blow up her phone in between dates with needy messages when they’ve just met. That’s called useful calibration. The PUAs got  a lot wrong, but one thing they were right about is that it is absolutely possible to kill attraction.

          Bingo! As I mentioned earlier, men do not come out of the womb employing the tactics that I outlined above.  They are behaviors that are learned via the school of hard knocks.  A man learns that maintaining emotional indifference works whereas doing exactly what Evan outlined will result in him being friend-zoned more often than being made a boyfriend.

          While we can discuss the merits of people with secure attachment styles, the majority of the women in the dating pool are there because they do not have secure attachment styles; otherwise, they would not be perpetually looking for the “one,” they would be partnered.  With these women, men who maintain at least a slight mystique of being unobtainable are more attractive than men a woman knows that she can easily obtain.  I do not know a single man who is willing to invest a significant amount of effort into a woman who is who appears unobtainable; hence, the almost universal establishment of an N as a man gains experience dating.

          While the female commenters who have commented about women who put up with games having self-esteem issues are correct, the percentage of women in the dating pool who have self-esteem issues dwarfs those with healthy self-esteem.  Heck, most women are self-conscious about getting naked with the lights on.

          I can assure you that if all women adopted the mindset Evan outlined above, I, as well as every other guy, would cease to employ guy dating survival dating tactics because that is exactly why they exist. Until that day, a guy who does what Evan outlined to the letter will come across as lacking patience or being anxious/needy.  The only time it will work with most women is when they are wowed, which means that a guy is almost assuredly dating down.

        2. Emily, the original

          Shakut,

          That said, I think there’s a difference between game playing and understanding social dynamics. It’s not game playing if a guy realizes it’s not wise to show up on a first date with flowers, or blow up her phone in between dates with needy messages when they’ve just met. That’s called useful calibration. The PUAs got  a lot wrong, but one thing they were right about is that it is absolutely possible to kill attraction.

          Yes. Nothing kills attraction like too much neediness or being obvious that you’re waging a campaign to win your date over (the flowers on a first date). There’s a fine line between showing interest and showing too much interest, and it can be confusing for both sexes to know where it is.

        3. Yet Another Guy

          @Emily, the original

          There’s a fine line between showing interest and showing too much interest, and it can be confusing for both sexes to know where it is.

          Therein lies the problem!   Since men have to pursue, a man has to deal with specter of over pursuit.  One woman’s just enough pursuit is another woman’s over pursuit.  If women had to deal with pursuing men, they would find that they would resort to the same tactics guys use to maintain attraction.

          Let’s stop beating around the bush.  Much of what Evan teaches is geared toward skewing control of a relationship in a woman’s favor. The whole do not sleep with him until he commits thing is about control.  It is a tactic (a.k.a. game) to achieve a desired result.  It is just a different kind of game, so let’s not start calling one game player immoral while calling another game player a saint.  The very presence of rules of engagement means that we are playing a game.

        4. Evan Marc Katz

          It is not about control. It’s about knowing yourself. It’s about self-respect and protecting your heart. It’s about not enjoying the feeling of the man you slept with actively looking for other women on Tinder the following morning.

          If you don’t understand that after all you’ve read here, you really have no idea what I’m doing here.

        5. Emily, the original

          YAG,

          If women had to deal with pursuing men, they would find that they would resort to the same tactics guys use to maintain attraction.

          Women don’t pursue but will often shoot a quick text after a date, or, as the dating progresses, call and send texts. There’s not a woman on the planet who hasn’t wondered at some point … am I doing too much or making it too obvious I’m into him, especially if things are going well and the man abruptly bails. Women are terrified that they’ll expect too much too early (or push for a relationship too early) and he’ll disappear.

        6. Yet Another Guy

          @Evan

          It’s about self-respect and protecting your heart.

          Let’s see, a woman holding out to “protect her heart” is okay, but a man employing emotional distance/indifference to protect his heart and dignity is not?  You cannot seriously believe that nonsense. What we are really discussing here is the desire to not be used by both sexes.  You are postulating that guys come out of the womb with the intention of using women for sex; therefore, only men need to prove that they are not users.  What men are doing to prevent being used is the male equivalent of what women are doing to prevent being used.

          Have you never been used by a woman?  If the answer to that question is “no,” you are either lying or very, very fortunate.  Most men learn to employ anti-use tactics after getting burned a few times (luckily, I learned this lesson at a relatively young age).  Men who do not learn to keep a woman at an emotional distance until they are certain that she is truly interested in more than a guy who will take her places and keep her from being bored either continue to get used or opt out of the game (e.g., MGTOW).

          While men will sleep with women they barely find to be attractive, most women will accept dates from men to whom they are only marginally attracted if there are no better options.  The guy in this situation continues to pursue because he foolishly believes that it will lead to sex, which is how men find love.  What he does not realize is that he is running head first into the friend-zone when he finally gets around to making a move.  I am willing to bet that there is not a single woman who contributes to this blog who has not pulled this stunt with at least one man.

          Since a man has to pursue, he is at a disadvantage going to into the social interaction, so, yes, the quote, un-quote unsavory practices that I have outlined are the male equivalent of holding out for a commitment before sex.  Sure, men use tactics like I  outlined above to get sex, but I can tell you from first-hand experience that these tactics are not necessary if a man only wants sex.  These tactics are necessary to see if a woman wants more than a man who will be her entertainment budget providing, no-sex BFF.  Women will counter that they can afford their own entertainment.  If that is indeed true, why do so many women continue to allow men in whom they have no sexual interest to continue to pursue, plan, and pay?  Could it be that they enjoy the game of being desired?

          In the end, if you examine the backstories almost all of the well-known PUAs, they all have one thing in common; namely, they were pretty much all decent men who got tired of being used by women.  Women are not without sin in the dating game.  Women start out with a significant emotional development advantage over men.   They date older men and mess with the emotions of men their age.  Men get tired of getting burned, so they adapt.

        7. Evan Marc Katz

          I reiterate – your approach to love is fear-based, dependent on old stories, power struggles and only perpetuates the cycle of short-term, conditional relationships.

          You – and your brethren – are settling for getting laid because you have not been able to forge a healthy, authentic relationship with a woman. If you ever want coaching on how to drop that tired act that women don’t like men who are consistent and kind, perhaps you’ll sound more like me, Jeremy and Karl than the various men who have retreated to the manosphere for validation of their half-true worldview.

        8. Buck25

          Shaukat,

          I mostly agree with you. I think the only thing I’d say, is that I see nothing inherently wrong with a little good humored teasing(NOT “negging”-there’s a distinct difference), a little  push-pull  and maintaining a little mystery to be gradually revealed (emphatically NOT trying to be “unobtainable”- in fact, I’d say any relatively sane secure woman over 30 will generally run from the latter). A lot of PUA as often practiced these days honestly appears mostly aimed at 18-25 year old women, from what I can see. A lot of this is, I think, a matter of degree and calibration, and the main thing I see YAG doing, is engaging in massive overkill. Might work for him individually (depending on which women he’s dealing with, and what his goals are, of course), but I can’t see going nearly that far as anything like a universal strategy. That said, it does seem to me, that there is a sort of dance involved in the flirting/dating/relationship progression, that seems to be part of a process of reconciling what are, in the beginning, adversarial goals (relationship, for women, sex, for men). There’s some subtlety that’s being lost here, I think; the idea that it’s either total agreeableness, or all out war from the outset, is a false dichotomy. I’d argue it’s actually neither. Between one side demonizing women as users, and the other seeing their own boogeymen (MRA, MGTOW, “manosphere”, and predatory misogynistic men) behind every male comment, no one seems to want to talk about how to handle the dance, with its rhythm that shifts with the ebb and flow of  a potential relationship as it develops. Seems to me, that it’s possible to be bold, confident and masculine, even to the point of being a little provocative and cheeky, without going so far as to actually hurt women, play on their insecurities, or try to somehow browbeat them into submission. The idea is to play with them, in a good-natured humorous way, so the woman gets her fun (and we get ours), enjoys the dance, and has a little thrill of discovery, with just enough uncertainty to keep the process intriguing to her (just a hint of it goes a long way). We hardly need to club them over the head, and drag them off by the hair, caveman style. So long as there’s an adequate level of attraction to begin with, I’ve found that approach works well for me. Women don’t want to jump through hoops (I get that, I don’t either), but I don’t think they want a relationship just handed to them all neatly boxed and tied in a bow, either. There’s a middle ground  in there somewhere, that lets us create and maintain just the right amount of sexual tension, until the relationship naturally evolves to the point of sex and exclusivity (if it in fact gets that far) which is usually the jumping off point to evolving into real commitment. No need to worry about the timing of when it goes sexual, within reason; in my experience that will happen of its own accord when it’s natural between that particular couple whether that’s at two week, four weeks, six weeks. If we as guys are uncomfortable with that, we have the option to simply leave, if we don’t see any progress. I don’t see that we can draw any really worthwhile conclusions just from how soon that happens, since that’s largely dependent on the unique dynamic between the individuals in question.

        9. Mrs Happy

          Dear YAG,

          regarding your comment “What he does not realize is that he is running head first into the friend-zone when he finally gets around to making a move.  I am willing to bet that there is not a single woman who contributes to this blog who has not pulled this stunt with at least one man.”,

          I want to explain something from my point of view.  This happened to me all through my teens and twenties when I socialised with men my age, but I really don’t think it was me pulling a stunt.  I’d think we were friends, for, take a number, 1, 2, 6, 10 (seriously) years, we’d be hanging out, going places, the whole thing felt platonic, then, when I was between boyfriends, fiances or husbands for a moment, they’d pull the “I’ve always liked you” move or speech.  WTF?  The only men who didn’t do that, were men much older (15+ years) than me who I dated, and men in America while I was there during my university years, until I hit my 30’s.  Then finally most Aussie men just made it clear from the start that they wanted to date me, not be wishy washy who-knows-what friends-or-not first-or-always.  The older guys – e.g. the men in their 30’s and 40’s with me in my 20’s, and the Americans of varied ages I met in Washington when I was 21, were the only men who clearly asked me out on a date right at the beginning of our interactions, until I hit 30+.  One memorable man in Washington asked me out with a bullet just shot into his thigh – now that’s impressive, that’s all man.  I should’ve said yes.  Ah the things we regret.

          I am sure this unclear antics behaviour from men happens in the Northern hemisphere.  I am sure I’m not the only women this happened to.  Some men – I bet a lot of the men disillusioned with women – behaved in this ‘sideways’ way in past years, then whinge that they got friend-zoned.  Well they were friend-zoned because the women thought they were friends.

          Now I don’t know whether this is an Australian boy/man thing, a youth/age thing, because I hung out with gentle boys as friends, because I wasn’t ever single for long so they had little opportunity to make a move, who knows and who cares now, but seriously, it wasn’t my fault. They did the “we’re friends” plays for a long time. Not once did they intimate something else for a very long time.  God forbid they’re now on red pill sites bitching about the Mrs Happy of 20 years ago and how she used them – I didn’t. In fact, looking back, I now feel pissed off with them, as though the friendships were a sham.

      4. 3.1.4
        Buck25

        Evan,

        A couple honest questions here. Would you acknowledge, that most women are in fact attracted to masculine energy displayed in a man’s personality and actions, and that your chief problem with this lies in how that energy is expressed (verbally and behaviorally), by some men  (think PUAs, brothers exhibiting /imitating “bad boy” behavior? Along with that, would you not acknowledge, that flirting, dating, and the beginning stages of a relationship are a sort of dance, of back and forth, giving and withholding (information/attention) , that gradually changes tempo and rhythm as we move from meeting to dating to budding relationship to exclusivity? If so, is that dance a “game” or is it in fact a courtship ritual? I ask, because if it’s the latter, is there something wrong in gradually building the sexual tension in the dance, by, for example, using some playful humor to both have fun and gauge the potential partner’s responses, or perhaps to “reward” display of interest with additional display of interest from oneself? In other words, where does the dance become a game? Is there, in your view, a bright line of demarcation between the two. Or, is it your view, that a man should not even engage in the dance at all? I ask, because I’m getting the impression, that you think some of the tactics I use for flirting/gauging and responding to interest   is manipulative game playing. Do I misunderstand your verbiage on this point?

        1. Evan Marc Katz

          Buck,

          1. Would you acknowledge, that most women are in fact attracted to masculine energy displayed in a man’s personality and actions, and that your chief problem with this lies in how that energy is expressed (verbally and behaviorally), by some men (think PUAs, brothers exhibiting /imitating “bad boy” behavior? Yes.

          2. Flirting, dating, and the beginning stages of a relationship are a sort of dance, of back and forth, giving and withholding (information/attention), that gradually changes tempo and rhythm as we move from meeting to dating to budding relationship to exclusivity? If so, is that dance a “game” or is it in fact a courtship ritual? Agreed. It’s a courtship ritual. Which is why I tell women not to play games, but rather, “do nothing” and wait to see how quickly a man follows up to see you as a measure of his interest.

          3. “is there something wrong in gradually building the sexual tension in the dance, by, for example, using some playful humor to both have fun and gauge the potential partner’s responses, or perhaps to “reward” display of interest with additional display of interest from oneself” Nope. That’s just called dating.

          The difference between the dance and the game are:

          a. Motivation – are you actively trying to manipulate someone or are you just cautious about not smothering? Those are different

          b. Confidence – what most of my detractors don’t seem to understand is that confidence is the X Factor. When I liked a woman and called the next day, she didn’t flee because she thought I was needy/smothering. She was excited that I was interested. If you’re a nice guy, you think that the CALL is what makes her opinion; in fact, her opinion of you was made on the DATE and so following up consistently afterwards will NOT scare her away.

          c. The Length of the Dance – After about a month or so, a man should know, sufficiently, that he wants to take her off the market and become a boyfriend. If he is not doing that, he is playing a selfish game and putting his emotional needs above her own – sleeping with her, keeping his distance, not minding that she’s falling for him. When a man continues to be inconsistent and unavailable – whether as the man she’s seeing or as a boyfriend, it’s all just shitty, manipulative behavior that doesn’t really have a defense.

          So, Buck, in my world, a confident man doesn’t need ANY games to participate in the dance. An insecure man thinks that showing sincere interest will scare her off. That’s the difference between my experience and so many of the men who rely on games – both during courtship, and, sadly, afterwards. Sounds to me like you’re a flirt, like I’m a flirt, which is healthy and normal. It’s when you really like someone and you don’t treat her that way… that’s what drives me nuts as a coach for women.

        2. Shaukat

          Buck, I agree with your entire comment. Also, with all due respect to Evan, and no offense to Jeremy, I don’t think the latter is the person I’d turn to for advice on modern dating, especially online dating. There’s a difference between having high intellectual capacity, emotional intelligence, and being a good husband vs knowing how to best navigate the dating landscape in the swiping era.

        3. Jeremy

          Agreed, Shaukat.  When did I ever claim to know anything about online dating?  That’s Evan’s thing.  I might know something about relationships, though.

        4. Buck25

          Evan,

          Thanks for your response; that did clarify some of what you’re saying, for me anyway. I don’t think we differ that much; mostly different perspectives largely due to different age, different life experiences.

          I think you touched here on what I think is the key difference between the dance of courtship/relationship (I do think that dance, albeit in slightly different form, continues into and throughout  our relationships-the good ones, anyway) and PUA (or “Rules Girl”) style game-playing. You got that into one word: MOTIVATION. We get to mid-life and beyond, and we all have accumulated some emotional bruises, scrapes, cuts and scars; it’s not whether we have some, or a lot of those, it’s what we do with them. We have a choice; come to the dating/relationship table from a place of hurt, grievance, bitterness, suspicion and distrust of the opposite sex, or come there with a sense of hope, openness, and a willingness to be patient, understand and discover (even when prior experience makes that somewhat counter-intuitive). The first leads down the path of manipulating the other’s vulnerabilities and insecurities, any means to the desired end, and making the opposite gender into things, rather than people; the battle of the sexes, waged as if it were holy war, where even the victories are hollow. The second, leads to a playful light-hearted dance with any prospective partner; and if in the beginning it isn’t all done out of love just yet, it’s done with affection, respect, and some degree of empathy for another on their own, sometimes difficult journey.

        5. Evan Marc Katz

          I wholeheartedly agree, Buck25. Thanks for coming back to share.

        6. Emily, the original

          Sounds to me like you’re a flirt, like I’m a flirt, which is healthy and normal. 

          To what extent, though? I mean that in all sincerity because I have struggled with this issue. I’m a woman and when men flirt with me, some of it lands. Certainly not all of it. I take 90% for what it is. But you won’t believe some of the blatantly sexual things married/unavailable men have said to me. That does make me mistrust men because I would not want my husband talking to another woman the way some of these guy talk to me, and it feels like a game to puff up their egos.

        7. Buck25

          I’m a woman, and when men flirt with me, some of it lands.I take 90% for what it is. But you won’t believe some of the blatantly sexual things married/unavailable men have said to me. That does make me mistrust men, because I would not want my husband talking to another woman the way some of these guys talk to me, and it feels like a game to puff up their egos.

          Emily,

          If these are men who are married, engaged, or otherwise “taken”, I’d guess your last sentence describes their intent. Now, since I know from some pretty frank discussions here that you could hardly be termed a prude, I take it these comments must have been pretty sexually explicit.

          As a man who can sometimes be pretty provocative with flirting when I am unattached, I’d find saying that sort of thing in the context you describe, inappropriate. If I’m married, engaged, or in an exclusive relationship, that’s not something I’d be comfortable with doing; it’s disrespectful to one’s SO, (whether she’s present or not), and in that context, equally disrespectful to the woman it’s being said to, and inconsiderate of her feelings. The idea of flirting, after all, is to leave the woman who is the object of the exercise with a warm feeling of being appreciated, not to place her in an awkward or uncomfortable position of receiving what amounts to a sexual advance from “someone else’s man”.

          When I’m unattached, and free to do so, I’d  of course make my intent more obvious, but even there, in the beginning, I’d stay away from the more blatant language, and let you know more from my facial expression, body language, and voice tone that my interest was frankly sexual. I’m pretty sure you ladies all know how to read those signals, so there’s no need for the words to be explicit; and doing it that way gives you at least the fig leaf of a sort of “plausible deniability” that lets you pass it off as innocuous, should you feel the need to do that. After all, I see a flirt or a compliment as my gift to you, a way of acknowledging you as a woman I find attractive and desirable, in a way that makes you feel good, and leaves you with a warm glow and a smile, whether you choose to respond to it, or not. If I do it right, I can be pretty forward, and still never make you feel awkward, and that’s the whole point in the first place.

           

        8. Emily, the original

          Hi Buck25,

          As a man who can sometimes be pretty provocative with flirting when I am unattached, I’d find saying that sort of thing in the context you describe, inappropriate. If I’m married, engaged, or in an exclusive relationship, that’s not something I’d be comfortable with doing; it’s disrespectful to one’s SO, (whether she’s present or not), and in that context, equally disrespectful to the woman it’s being said to, and inconsiderate of her feelings. The idea of flirting, after all, is to leave the woman who is the object of the exercise with a warm feeling of being appreciated, not to place her in an awkward or uncomfortable position of receiving what amounts to a sexual advance from “someone else’s man”

          Thanks for answering. It wasn’t so much that I was uncomfortable with the flirtations (as I will admit to being very flirtatious myself) as being dumb enough in the past to take them seriously. Well, I just took one person seriously, but I cannot tell you how long it took me to put up a coolly civil wall with him (I used to work with him). He obviously enjoyed the attention, was courting it and wouldn’t leave me entirely alone. And I felt used as some sort of entertainment. However, it’s good to know you tone down the flirtation when you are with someone. I certainly don’t think you have to nix all friendly interactions with the opposite sex when you are with someone, but there has to be some line you don’t cross, and making blatant sexual come-ons or asking someone to meet up one-on-one definitely fit in that category

  4. 4
    Gala

    Evan is it possible to give Love U as a gift to someone?

    1. 4.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      Yes, but she will need your credit card or you will need her email address to sign up.

  5. 5
    KayB

    Evan, thank you for being less tolerant of the trolls.

    “Diversity of opinion” is obviously valuable when offered in a constructive spirit, but some of these comments seem more appropriate for other forums (PUA, MGTOW, etc) on the web. (Rather than your own privately-owned blog.) If we want those kinds of opinion, we know where to go.

    Personally, I’m having to recalibrate my benchmark for what a functional relationship looks like. Basically, to learn a new “normal”. Your own blog posts have played a huge part in helping me even imagine what a healthy partnership could look like – thank you. It’s a shame the toxicity of some comments, as you say, does seem to undermine some of the amazing work you do.

     

     

  6. 6
    Theodora

    I think what happens here is that, unfortunately, both Evan and YAG are right.

    Evan is right in offering this kind of advice for women who want commitment: it’s just common sense that if commitment is your goal, you have to actively search men who are willing to offer it, and whose actions are consistent towards this goal.

    On the other hand though, I think the worst fate for a man’s love life is not being friend-zoned and going to sexless dates and paying for them. The worst fate, IMO, is ending up trapped in a loveless, sexless, unsupportive marriage where the woman stops making any effort once her commitment goals have been achieved. Take Jeremy, for example: one can hardly find a kinder, more patient, generous and down-to-earth man, yet he lived for years in this situation, to the point where he started a whole journey in finding answers, only to find out that women, his wife included, are attracted to arousing qualities, not comforting qualities.

    Ideally, in a better world, comforting qualities should be rewarded. But what happens in our real, imperfect world is that men like Jeremy and Adrian spend years in celibacy, and women line up for men like YAG and Tom10, not because they are “bad boys” (they are not), but because they know their interests and ruthlessly follow them.

    One can argue that these women are anxious or have low self-esteem or are “low quality”. I don’t think that’s very relevant. First, people are not so neatly divided into high and low self-esteem, and we can act very confidently with some people and less so with others (alas, the more we desire somebody, the less confident we become, even when our levels of self-confidence are normally very high). Secondly, if there was an inflation of self-confident, self-aware, high self-esteem women, the need for advice from a dating coach wouldn’t exist, because all women would go straight to the “nice guy with balls”. What happens too frequently is that the balls make us blind to the existence or non-existence of niceness, until we are burnt so many times that we suffer an epiphany of sort (sometimes too little, too late).

    Briefly: Evan’s advice is the ONLY way to go for women in search of a serious relationship leading to marriage. There is simply no other way unless you want drama, misery, pressure, ultimatums, begging and heart break. OTOH though, I’m not so sure the way of niceness and selflessness is the best dating and relationship strategy for men. While it might be ethical, I’m not so sure it’s effective. Maybe women and men indeed have conflicting and conflictual sexual/romantic interests, with brief, temporary periods of peace and cooperation in the honeymoon or raising small children phases. This is not negativity: just an attempt to put some order into a messy, chaotic reality.

    1. 6.1
      Jeremy

      I have no quarrel with your comment, Theodora.  I have written many times before that part of the problem is people not understanding themselves – thinking they want one thing while wanting another, conflating sexual goals with relationship goals.  YAG and Buck are not wrong – women (generally) ARE attracted to a push-pull dynamic.  The question is to what degree, and in what context.  My relationship needed a bit of that dynamic restored, but would have wilted like an over-watered plant if it had been done to the degree that YAG or Buck describe.  But I do personally find their commentary useful if kept in context.  If I were a woman who thought that women are attracted to men who are kind and respectful, I’d wonder why men everywhere are telling me that being kind and respectful doesn’t seem to work for them.  The answer, of course, is that kindness and respect are not sexual attractants for women.  Instead, women hope for those qualities in a man who DOES have other qualities to which they are attracted.  Marika wrote that she needs a man with “a bit of bastard in him.”  That is the common attitude.  Men don’t need any “bastard” in the women they date.  They may tolerate it, but don’t need it.  Women do.  They should understand that fact, why it exists, and consider whether they want it to continue existing.  Most do.

      1. 6.1.1
        Mrs Happy

        Dear Jeremy,

        some women prefer safety, security, a predictable nice partner, to a push-pull dynamic.  Some women have had enough uncertainty in their younger years and yearn for certainty.  Your relationship only needed your wife to be off balance because you wanted to reignite her sexual attraction; she was probably very happy with the status quo of the nice, caring, stable immediate family life she’d finally achieved.  You weren’t satisfied with that status quo, so you had to make her feel less secure.

        (Forgive me for being personal, and I’ve been careful to only conclude from assembled facts you’ve already made public.)

        The very term “settle down” embodies to me leaving behind those push-pull, be-uncertain, bit-of-a-bastard tricks; once we find someone to marry, we finally embrace stability and predictability in a partner for life.

        1. Jeremy

          Please forgive me, Mrs. Happy, but I believe you are quite incorrect here.  My wife was happy with the status quo, true, but only because I allowed the status quo to persist far longer than I should, with an astounding degree of self-effacement.   She would not have been happy if I had divorced her.  This is the point that I have been gently trying to get across in our conversations over the past few posts.  One can not have a happy marriage where one partner is miserable, no matter how happy the other partner is, Mrs. Happy.  One can not claim that a marriage is functional when the goals of only one partner are met.  My marriage needed the restoration of a push-pull dynamic because otherwise it was on the verge of total collapse.   Do not fool yourself into believing that a marriage where one spouse’s libido is intact while the other’s has evaporated will lead to positive outcomes in the end, regardless of whether the low libido spouse tells her partner that she is ok with his having an affair to let the steam out.  Men bond through sex.  It is the only oxytocin release we have.  Women need to understand that.

        2. Chance

          Hi Mrs. Happy,

           

          “some women prefer safety, security, a predictable nice partner, to a push-pull dynamic.  Some women have had enough uncertainty in their younger years and yearn for certainty.”

           

          Are these the same women you know who don’t want to have sex with their husbands?

           

          “Your relationship only needed your wife to be off balance because you wanted to reignite her sexual attraction; she was probably very happy with the status quo of the nice, caring, stable immediate family life she’d finally achieved.  You weren’t satisfied with that status quo, so you had to make her feel less secure.”

           

          That’s true, but honestly, there’s nothing wrong with what he did.  She was getting her needs met within the marriage, but he wasn’t getting his needs met.  I’ve noticed that most women around here seem to consider a man to be selfish, or even Machiavellian, to knowingly instill dread in his partner.  However, this isn’t always the case.  Women are responsible for managing their own feelings of dread in many cases… even when the man is deliberately taking action that he knows will activate this dread.  I’m not talking about overt game-playing to make a partner (or prospective partner ) feel insecure about her status with a man.  Rather, I’m talking about men taking subtle steps to reassert and improve themselves in a way that reminds their partners why they were sexually attracted to these men in the first place, reminds them that it isn’t to be taken for granted, reminds them that what these women have could be lost, and reminds them of what life can be like if it is lost.  I believe Rollo Tomassi calls it passive, or soft, dread in these cases….. and a man can activate it in his partner by simply hitting the gym.

        3. Emily, the original

          Chance,

          Rather, I’m talking about men taking subtle steps to reassert and improve themselves in a way that reminds their partners why they were sexually attracted to these men in the first place, reminds them that it isn’t to be taken for granted, reminds them that what these women have could be lost, and reminds them of what life can be like if it is lost.  

          I’m not being snarky, but how do you do that in a marriage? People go into a marriage thinking it will be a permanent relationship. Your entire financial and emotional life is tied to another person. In Jeremy’s case, his wife was ok without sex. I believe he mentioned on another post that he thought about leaving but realized he’d be living by himself in a small apartment. I have an older male friend who’s been saying he’s going to leave his wife … for the last 10 years. He’s not going anywhere, and his wife knows it, and they are locked in a weird dynamic where both aren’t happy in the relationship but nothing changes.

        4. Chance

          Hi Emily,

          “I’m not being snarky, but how do you do that in a marriage?”

          I’m really glad you asked this question because I considered addressing this in my prior post, but didn’t feel it was necessary at the time.  First, I’ll say that Jeremy managed to pull it off, and I believe he explained how he did it on here at some point in the past.  No small feat within the context of a marriage and the legal assurances that it provides women…. especially one with his apparent earnings imbalance.  But, I don’t want to speak for him so I’ll let him explain it again if he chooses to do so.

          I do think that it is a lot harder to pull this off within the context of a marriage.  Being in a lifelong partnership sans the legal assurances of a marriage contract enables a man to benefit from a built-in level of uncertainty so I think a woman’s baseline level of dread is probably quite a bit higher in these situations (Besides, I don’t really believe a woman loves a man if she isn’t willing to be with him without the condition of marriage, but that’s whole ‘nother conversation).  Especially as she ages and the prospect of hitting the market again later in life without the payoff can seem fairly daunting, I would imagine.

          However, the optimistic side of me clings to the idea that some women actually do like their husbands for more than the financial security that they provide.  Also, one has to consider that, while women who get married after 30 often do enjoy a sizeable financial benefit that generally enables them to be better off in the event of a divorce than what they would have been if they’ve never been married at all, their financial situation would still be worse in the event of a divorce than if they remain married.  So, if a woman finds her husband to be tolerable enough, she may still respond to his covert efforts to stimulate that dread.

        5. Mrs Happy

          Dear Jeremy,

          we are in agreement but you are disagreeing with me.

          “My wife was happy with the status quo, true, but only because I allowed the status quo to persist far longer than I should, with an astounding degree of self-effacement.”

          Your surmise is faulty. She was happy with the status quo because she liked the status quo.  Her being content with it was not because you allowed it.  She was just content in and of herself.

          “She would not have been happy if I had divorced her.”

          This is obvious and it was obvious to readers from the second time you explained you’d solved the sexual libido difference problem in your marriage; clearly, when faced with a choice to either become divorced or have more frequent sex, your wife chose the latter.  I appreciate you keep trying to convey this message, gently or otherwise;  I and others do understand it.  I like that you help women consider the man’s point of view in a polite logical way.  Also, I really do empathize with couples whose libidos are at variance, it is upsetting and frustrating.  My message to people has been, that this is quite common.

          “My marriage needed the restoration of a push-pull dynamic because otherwise it was on the verge of total collapse.”

          The push-pull dynamic was needed not for your wife, who was comfortable without it; it was needed for you, and the marriage.  The push-pull was needed only because you wanted to increase her motivation to have sex with you.  You had to make something not be on offer for her, to get her to change her behaviour, because she was very happy with how things were.

          I feel conflicted about this actually.  As you know I am all for keeping families involving children together even at significant adult-sacrifice cost, thus on one hand I understand a wife having sex basically for a husband, even though she doesn’t want to, as long as it’s not coercive by force, if that’s what it will take to keep the marriage together.  And I think this happens an awful lot, now and historically (hence the religious idea of duty sex, ‘marital duty’).  But there are various types of force, and physical is only one type of manipulation.  I don’t know that I feel comfortable enough trying to protect children from divorce, to advocate a wife being significantly pressured into having sex, for financial, emotional, abandonment, other, reasons.  At heart, I am sad this has to occur.

          “Men bond through sex.  It is the only oxytocin release we have.  Women need to understand that.”

          I believe women know how important sex is to men.  Sure a bit of simplified basic oxytocin biochemistry tuition is great for people to appreciate.  I think women do find your informing them of this useful, and it is very helpful to hear from married men, on this blog.  But all men don’t seem to bond terribly strongly just from sex, compared with women, so it’s easy to forget how important it can be for some men to bond this way.

           

        6. Mrs Happy

          Dear Chance,

          “Are these the same women you know who don’t want to have sex with their husbands?”

          I know lots of married women who don’t want sex as often as their husbands do.  Most of them just occasionally have sex for his sake, or the sake of the marriage.  I know of one married friend who has stopped having sex altogether because she has been putting more into the marriage than her husband for 20 years now, and she is completely over it.  He doesn’t talk with her, or want to spend any time with her, bar actual doing-the-sex time, no matter how much she tries to bond with him or make them closer via various means including sex.  After years of doing extra things for him she has decided she will no longer have sex, and she has told him that for her to feel in the mood, they’ll have to spend quality time together.  She told him this about 14 months ago – and you can guess what’s been happening over the last 14 months: not much.

          I suspect security, predictability, safety, and contentment in a relationship, almost always results in less sexual excitement.  It’s a trade-off most people somewhat knowingly make when they marry.  I think most married people (usually men) are surprised by the degree of libido drop in their partner, even though they knew it would/could happen.

          “I’ve noticed that most women around here seem to consider a man to be selfish, or even Machiavellian, to knowingly instill dread in his partner.”

          I’d consider this nasty.  It’s just not nice to do this to your spouse.  And to argue against the inevitable response of “It’s not nice to stop having sex”, that’s right too… but the low libido partner isn’t purposefully lowering their sex drive, it’s just happening.  The low libido partner isn’t knowingly instilling hurt in their spouse.

          “…a man can activate it in his partner by simply hitting the gym.”

          Ah, where do I start with this one.  Lots of wives would love a more muscular, fitter husband.  If it increased the wife’s libido the wife would probably be very happy.  I don’t know whether it would in a sustained way, it’d help increase sexiness, but I”ll leave it to Jeremy to chime in on this, maybe his personal meta-goal theories can help evaluate the statistics of significant sustained libido change.

          I took my little kids to Taronga Zoo a few years ago and during the lovely outdoor seal show I noticed a good-looking couple with one child, a very young baby, maybe 6-9 months old.  The man was incredibly cut, obviously as a result of 10-20 hours a week lifting weights, and very proud of his body.  I remember thinking – you dickhead.  Your wife has probably been home alone on maternity leave, relatively isolated, a first-time young mum, while you worked full time or more (census data shows most Australian men increase their hours at work by a few hours a week after the baby comes along), and then rather than come home to relieve her of a small portion of the never-ending baby-caring duties, you’ve then spent hours a day in the gym.  Chance, allow me to say that this man hitting the gym 10-20 hours a week, would’ve annoyed an average wife juggling young kid/s.  It basically equates to him saying, ‘my recreational activity time is more important than your health and sanity’.

          “Women are responsible for managing their own feelings of dread in many cases… even when the man is deliberately taking action that he knows will activate this dread.”

          Is the corollary, ‘Men are responsible for managing their own feelings of hurt in cases where their wife is purposefully doing something to be mean to them’?  Or, ‘When I am nasty to my wife by punching her up, she is responsible for managing her own feelings of terror’?

          Chance, normal loving people don’t go around purposefully being horrid to their spouse for their own gain.

          Guys, as I wrote to Buck25 last week, it’s just not supposed to be this hard.  A happy marriage is easier than all of this battling.  Seriously, put the gloves down.

           

        7. Jeremy

          Mrs Happy, you say we are agreeing but I’m not sure how, given what you wrote.  Perhaps I am not understanding you.  You wrote that the establishment of a push-pull dynamic was important for me and for my marriage, but not for my wife.  That is only true in the most short-sighted sense.  It was important to her because the outcome was important to her.  In the end, the reason any of us have sex is for the outcome, not for the sex.  We just aren’t usually conscious of that.

           

          Regarding the second half of your post – I don’t think any good man (or person) wants to pressure their spouse to have sex.  They want their spouse to WANT to have sex – therein lies the validation.  Just as no good woman wants a man to unwillingly court her – she wants him to want to court her.  To want to have children with her.  To want to talk with her at the end of the day.

           

          What if he doesn’t WANT to talk with her at the end of the day?  What if, after all the years and all the conversations, he just loses interest in the conversation?  At that point he has a choice – find a reason to want to talk again, or end the marriage.  All my efforts to get my wife to re-prioritize sex failed until I found a way to have her “get” what she wanted from it, as I’ve written so many times.  There was no coercion – even in the mildest sense – there.  The only coercion would have been the legal coercion applied against me if my marriage had ended.

        8. Jeremy

          Sorry for the second post, but I wanted to clarify one other thing.  Mrs. Happy, it was not that I offered my wife a choice between having sex or divorce.  That would have been obnoxious, coercive, and ultimately short-sighted.  It was that I stopped pursuing sex actively, increased my own personal sense of independence, and started prioritizing my own goals rather than hers.  Which spurred a mild sense of discomfort in her as it was a change from the status quo, and resulted in her having to take action to re-establish equilibrium rather than being passive with the status quo.

           

          An example – the norm for us would be that after the kids went to bed, we’d sit on the couch watching TV while I rubbed her shoulders.  So one day the kids were in bed, we were sitting on the couch, she presented her shoulders to me and I ignored her.  Pretended I didn’t see.  She looked at me sideways, then reached out and started rubbing MY shoulders.  And when she was done I said thanks but did not reciprocate.  She was VERY affectionate later.  There was not need for my asking or justifying.  I just needed to break the status quo.  No coercion was involved.

           

          Now, would I have preferred to not have to play that game?  To have us both give and get what we need naturally?  YES.  But as you have written so often, how often does that happen?

        9. Chance

          Hi Mrs. Happy,

           

          I disagree with your assessment that what I’m talking about is nasty or horrid because what Jeremy did is exactly what I am talking about.  There’s nothing wrong with improving yourself or asserting yourself…. even if you understand that your doing so is going to stoke dread in your partner.  In those instances, women are responsible for managing their own emotions, and it’s nothing like your straw-man example of a man who beats his partner.

           

          I also didn’t say anything about a man hitting the gym 10-20 hrs per week and ignoring his hypothetical wife and children in the process.  You constructed this hypothetical scenario around this man whom you saw in public with the purpose of making the man look like a “dickhead” as you put it.  There are plenty of men who hit the gym and still manage to be great fathers and husbands.

           

          Finally, I’ve also noticed that your anecdotes and hypothetical scenarios always seem to include these fantastic idealizations of women who work tirelessly to serve their husbands and children.  Most women don’t do all of these things, and some women don’t do much at all (i.e., they’re no different than men).

        10. Emily, the original

          Jeremy,
          It was that I stopped pursuing sex actively, increased my own personal sense of independence, and started prioritizing my own goals rather than hers.  Which spurred a mild sense of discomfort in her as it was a change from the status quo, and resulted in her having to take action to re-establish equilibrium rather than being passive with the status quo.
           An example – the norm for us would be that after the kids went to bed, we’d sit on the couch watching TV while I rubbed her shoulders.  So one day the kids were in bed, we were sitting on the couch, she presented her shoulders to me and I ignored her.  Pretended I didn’t see.  She looked at me sideways, then reached out and started rubbing MY shoulders.  And when she was done I said thanks but did not reciprocate.  She was VERY affectionate later.  There was not need for my asking or justifying.  I just needed to break the status quo.  No coercion was involved.
          In the simplest terms, it sounds like you were being too accommodating, too “nice.” And then you pulled back and stopped being so accommodating, making it subtly clear that she was going to have to step up a bit. That the situation wasn’t going to be so one-sided (in that example, that you were always rubbing her shoulders). Each partner has to invest in the other. 

        11. Mrs Happy

          Dear Chance,

          me giving examples does not constitute a straw man argument. Straw man is one type of logical fallacy. Straw man occurs when someone argues that a person holds a view that is actually not what the other person believes.

          You discussed knowingly instilling dread in a partner.  I discussed knowingly instilling terror or hurt in a partner.  Neither is a straw man argument.  All three are examples being used to illustrate our respective points.  For me, all are on a spectrum entitled ‘crappy ways to treat a person you love’.  For you, some seem much worse than others, so much so that you can’t put them in the same grouping. You being uncomfortable with the group I made, does not a straw man argument make.

          “…your anecdotes and hypothetical scenarios always seem to include these fantastic idealizations of women who work tirelessly to serve their husbands and children.  Most women don’t do all of these things, and some women don’t do much at all..”

          My examples are drawn from my life, and I am surrounded by families in which both the husband and wife work incredibly long hours and incredibly hard and (no surprise) are thus quite successful.  They divvy up paid work/household chores/childcare/volunteering in various ways, but these are not people who sit around daily sipping cocktails over long lunches.  People largely assortively mate in my world, thus the wives of successful men have strong work ethics and are hard workers, rather than possess covergirl looks (which is the stereotypical media tradeoff portrayed).

          Sure I could talk about my other life experiences which illustrate extremely crappy mothering and fathering.  I climb mountains in Nepal which unfortunately involves travelling via Kathmandu, so I’ve seen mothers who have chopped their baby’s arm off to improve begging yields.  I’ve worked in outback Australia and seen Aboriginal women too lazy to bother getting their kids into school uniform and packing a lunch by 9am, so the kids just don’t attend school.  Ever.  I’ve seen brain damaged kids after their father shook them so hard as a baby they’ll now never talk, let alone walk or toilet themselves.

          My examples I write on this comments section aren’t fantastic or idealised.  They are very real.. I choose not to associate with people who parent poorly or treat their spouse badly.  My anecdotes reflect my experience.

           

          I literally have a headache and feel the world has turned on its axis that I have to keep defending my point of – treat the people you love, well, and your happiness will increase.  Strong interpersonal connections are what matter.

           

        12. Shaukat

          I’ve worked in outback Australia and seen Aboriginal women too lazy to bother getting their kids into school uniform and packing a lunch by 9am, so the kids just don’t attend school.

          @Mrs. Happy,

          Strong race baiting. Surely you must be aware that no one race/ethnicity/religious group holds the monopoly on child abuse/neglect, etc?

        13. Buck25

          Mrs Happy,

          Let me get this straight. Are you implying that it was somehow wrong or selfish for Jeremy to do what he did (simply pull back a little of the extra affection he had been showing his wife- a pretty mild and reasonable response, I think)? do you be really believe he should have just continued to simply accept her “new attitude”because after all, according to you, “his wife was happy with the status quo…” ??? Really???  Are we to understand that according to you her need for comfort and “certainty” should trump his need for sex, validation (or pretty much anything else; at least that seems to be the tone of this and your subsequent posts)? I suppose a man in that position should simply lie down and take it,  like a whipped dog, since it wasn’t a conscious choice on her part, and again, her need for certainty and security is the only thing that “should” matter in a marriage(again, according to you)?

          It sure sounds that way to me, and I have to tell you, after a comment like that, I don’t think you have any room to call anyone here selfish, because that’s as completely a woman centric, one-sided, ” men and their desires do not matter ” view of marriage as I have ever had the displeasure to hear.  You’re “conflicted” about Jeremy doing what he did? Something that mild and inoffensive as simply holding back a fraction of what he offered before? Seriously?? Seems to me you think a man has no right to do anything for himself, or even the marriage, just satisfy whatever current whim his wife has today, all in the name of her absolute, unquestioned, unqualified right to martial certainty?  How far does a woman have to go to lose that “right”? Abuse (nah, probably not, I’m sure that’s ok with you, provided the wife does the abusing?) Adultery? I’d think so, but then…  Now I may be wrong, but that seems to be your POV, and from where I sit, I am not about to cosign on any such drivel as that, and you can flame me till hell freezes over before I ever do.  You probably think that “ugly”? Not as Ugly as your attitude, in my book! And you call ME “mean and selfish”??

        14. Chance

          Hi Mrs. Happy,

           

          “You being uncomfortable with the group I made, does not a straw man argument make.”

           

          I apologize.  When you presented your examples, I couldn’t possibly imagine how any rational person would view what I described as being worthy of inclusion in the same group as someone who beats his wife (I still can’t, actually.).  As a result, I took it as an attempt to distort my point by equating the two (i.e., if I support one, then it’s assumed that I probably support the other).

           

          I mean, I was about to point out that it’s like saying that neither brain freeze nor the killing fields are good things.  However, this is a bad analogy because – at the very least – these two things actually aren’t good.  In contrast, not only do your two examples fail to come even remotely close in terms of severity, but they don’t even meet your most basic criterion of “crappy ways to treat your partner” because what I initially proposed has nothing to do with treating one’s partner in a crappy fashion.  Your example is horrific, and mine is completely innocuous.   Lol what’s a guy supposed to do…. not try to lose weight because he knows that it might make his wife feel less secure?  Not stop asking his wife to have sex with him, despite repeated rejections, because it might stoke some form of passive dread?

        15. Jeremy

          Dear Mrs Happy, “Treat the people you love well, and your happiness will increase.”  I’m in complete agreement with you here.  The man in the example you gave – the one who is ignoring his wife so she decided to take sex off the table until he spends more time with her – is being a selfish jerk.  Of course, her solution is not much better (and surely you must see the power game she is playing, even with your disdain of thinking of it that way).  My suggestion to her (if she is interested in fixing her marriage) would be to first discern whether he is a reciprocating personality or a selfish personality.  In other words, is he ignoring her because he perceives she has slighted him, or is he ignoring her because he doesn’t see anything “in it” for him to pay attention to her?  If the former, she is doing exactly the wrong thing by playing power games.  The solution would be to speak to him generously in his love language and see if his behavior changes.  If it doesn’t, he is likely a selfish personality, in which case she has to decide whether to create an environment where there is something “in it” for him to treat her well, or she can ignore him and continue living parallel lives – which would be sad.  In such a case, I’d submit that BOTH partners are behaving badly, neither is treating the other well, and neither will be happy.

           

          You and I understand this.  Hopefully others do too.

           

          Oh, and Shaukat, you must know that Mrs. Happy’s comments had nothing to do with race.  She was simply giving examples from what she has seen – intended to be demonstrative for their content, not their context.

        16. Mrs Happy

          Dear Shaukat,

          mentioning an example of a Nepalese woman I’ve seen, and examples of Aborigines not getting their kids to school (a huge issue in Australia) is not intended as racial profiling.   A racist remark would be to state ‘all poverty-stricken Nepalese women or disadvantaged Aborigines do horrible parenting acts’, which I clearly didn’t say.

          Clearly child neglect or abuse is not confined to one race.  Nor is nasty behaviour towards a partner, or nitpicking.

        17. Shaukat

          @Jeremy and Mrs. Happy,

          I’ll have to disagree with the two of you on this point. Firstly, race-baiting doesn’t always follow the overt formula for racism-surely you’ve heard of the dog whistle phenomena?

          Secondly, in my view drawing attention to the racial status of the abusers without delving into their social context is highly problematic in this instance. At the very least, the effect, if not the intention, was to draw certain insinuations about the character of the perpetrators based on a specific association between their culture and behavior. This is especially problematic given the history of the Australian state’s treatment of the Aboriginals. It’s interesting that in that same paragraph Mrs. Happy noted that she also has witnessed fathers who had shaken their babies so hard as to render them permanently disabled, but apparently didn’t find it necessary to mention the race or ethnic background of these abusers.

          At any rate Mrs. Happy, I wasn’t at all calling you a racist because I don’t know you, I was simply pointing out that the statement was troubling.

      2. 6.1.2
        SparklingEmerald

        Hi Jeremy

        I have to agree with MrsHappy here.  I am turned OFF by games playing, uncertainty, ambiguity and the gen’l BS that PUA and other relationship”experts” spout.

        I think it is just a justification to treat women poorly.

        Believe me.  I am very happy with my marriage, and there is no doubt or push-pull games going on.

        And I don’t think I’m the only woman on the planet who prefers an honest to goodness, no games playing comitment over being played by a player.

        1. Jeremy

          Hi SE.  No one would be happier than I to avoid game-playing in a marriage.  I HATE dread game.  Applied against me, it fails completely because it is anathema to my personal sexual and relationship goals.  When marriage works as it should, it should be unnecessary.  But when things begin to skew and one partner needs to re-establish equilibrium, it is sometimes necessary (depending on the etiology of the problem).

        2. Yet Another Guy

          @SE

          I can assure you that we would not be having this discussion if all women were like you.  As I have mentioned many times, push-pull and other tactics that are used by men to keep women off-center are learned behaviors that are the result of being taken for granted or being outright treated poorly (i.e., used) by women. Men who behave this way are for the most part made over a long period of time by women.  We can argue the merits and mental health of these women, but the truth is that almost every women who is past the age of puberty has exploited at least one good and decent man’s interest.  If women believe that being used does leave an indelible mark on a man’s psyche, I have a nice plot of swampland to sell.  It is men with balls who finally say, “enough is enough, I am going to get mine via any means necessary.”  These guys turn into the men that women love to hate.

          Women desire two sets of behaviors in a man that are more often than not contradictory.  They want a “does not take any shit” man for a lover and a beta-type nice guy for a life partner.   I believe that it all comes down a woman’s basic primal need to feel safe and secure.  A man who does not take crap is sexually attractive because she knows that he will stand up to other people; therefore, making her feel safe.  However, such a man is difficult to have as a life partner because he usually has a non-negotiable, “my way of the highway” outlook on life. The beta-type man is a much better life partner because he is agreeable, wants to please, and is willing to provide; therefore, making her feel safe.  However, the problem with being a beta-type, nice guy is that such a man is just setting himself for disappointment at best and being cuckolded at worst.  That is why so many guys choose to become “my way or the highway” men.   This choice may not lead to a lifetime of happiness, but what it will not lead to abstinence or being a woman’s cuckold.

          In a perfect world full of men with balls and cool women, none of the crap that men and women pull would be necessary.   The rules of engagement that Evan outlined in the blog entry and the counter tactics that I outlined would be unnecessary.  However, we are dealing with an imperfect world full of flawed people who are perfectly imperfect.

        3. emily the original

          YAG,

          As I have mentioned many times, push-pull and other tactics that are used by men to keep women off-center are learned behaviors that are the result of being taken for granted or being outright treated poorly (i.e., used) by women. 

          I can guarantee you there are tons of women out there saying the same thing, that they’ve adopted self-protective, mercenary and manipulative tactics. That they are juggling multiple options to see which one sticks around. That they are actively doing a bait and switch sexually until they get married. It’s a cop out. It’s saying, “It’s people like you who have made me what I am today. “

        4. Yet Another Guy

          @Emily, the original

          I can guarantee you there are tons of women out there saying the same thing, that they’ve adopted self-protective, mercenary and manipulative tactics. That they are juggling multiple options to see which one sticks around. That they are actively doing a bait and switch sexually until they get married.

          And then they introduce the poor schmuck who takes the bait to a lifetime of abstinence. 🙂

          The fact remains that women start out in the game with at least a five-year advantage when it comes to emotional development.  Many women blow that advantage by dating much older boys/men who they believe are their emotional equals, but who, in reality, have more on the ground experience with respect to head games and manipulation.  Why? Because these boys/men were used by their female peers who dated older boys/men. These guys, still having an emotional maturity deficit with their female peers, extract their vengeance on inexperienced younger women who, in turn, take it out on their male peers.  It is a vicious feedback loop.

          Most women reach full emotional maturity by their early mid-twenties.  Most men do not reach the same level of emotional development a decade later, and many men never reach full emotional maturity.  Men are by far the easier gender  to manipulate emotionally up until they reach their mid-thirties.  It is not remotely a fair fight when we are talking about a woman with a peer-age man and an unbelievably unfair fight when talking about an older woman/younger man.

          The reality is that the men who women have to watch were groomed by other women who took advantage in the difference in the rates at which men and women reach emotional maturity.  The PUA communities and the manosphere as a whole are driven by male angst associated with being the slower gender to develop emotionally.  While misdirected, these men are entitled to feel that the deck is stacked against them emotionally because, for the most part, it is until most men reach their late thirties.

        5. Henriette

          Quick hello and virtual hug to you, my favourite green lady.   I’m rarely here these days and when I am, many new names.  Lovely to see an old (as in, from years passed rather than chronological age) pal, here, especially when You mention how happy you are in your marriage.  Xo

        6. Buck25

          Men are by far the easier gender to manipulate emotionally up until their mid-thirties. 

          YAG,

          That’s true….but we’re no longer in our mid-thirties now, are we? You know, I have a feeling a that a lot of the women who engaged in that sort of manipulation paid their own price for the behavior, sooner or later. A lot of them either lost the relationship they got “through any means necessary”, or eventually found out that it wasn’t so wonderful for them after all. As for the mercenary aspect, a very wise man once said that those who marry for money earn every penny of it, and I assume that applies to those who date for money as well; I’ve sure seen a few examples in my lifetime. Want proof? Look at some of those same woman now; single, alone, and many not very happy either. I’ve seen more than one whose beautiful home she got in the divorce has become a gilded cage for her. Some of them have wised up, some never will; and a lot of both groups won’t find another committed relationship again, at 60 and beyond.

          Now of course, you’re free to decide that in your eyes, all of them are equally to blame and equally worthless, and not worth even a chance at commitment from you-that’s your choice. You know though, I have met a few, that are alone now through no fault of their own; they didn’t wrong anyone, maybe just made a bad choice, or got unlucky-it happens. In any case, whether they ever wronged a man or not, I believe in second chances, for them as well as for me (it’s not as if I never made a mistake, or never did anything I shouldn’t have, back when). So I think I’ll pass on the “shock and awe” tactics, and just stay with something a lot milder, and see what happens. Sometimes it’s a delicate dance, and sometimes, it’s difficult to calibrate…but hey, it’s still basically a courtship dance, not WWIII, and there’s no reason to hit them with an emotional sledgehammer, when you can essentially tickle them with a feather and accomplish pretty much the same thing with a lot less damage. Revenge for what they did (or we think they did) in the past? What for? That’s over, man, it’s just plain over, and kicking them in the ass now won’t change a thing. It won’t fix the past.

          Women won’t fundamentally change YAG. A lot, if not most of them, have an inner struggle between their need for attraction and desire, and their need for safety, security and reassurance. Most will never find a man who completely fills all of those needs, and so they will struggle with reconciling those somehow, many of them for years, and then often struggle more with whether what they sacrificed was worth what they ended up with. The evidence of their struggles and frustrations with that duality of needs within them, and with dealing with men in light of all that, is all over their posts here every single day. The more I read, the more I don’t envy them. A lot that seems to come so easy to them, is not what they really want, and sometimes, I think many of them really deserve just a little empathy from us. After all they can be coming from their own places of pain and anger, sometimes mixed in with feelings of vulnerability and anxiety over things that wouldn’t matter to us, but can make them feel afraid and powerless, in a way we as men just don’t. If there are a lot of damaged, broken and wounded men out here, there are also a lot of damaged, broken and wounded women out here too ; can’t say I see much point in kicking them while they’re down, or leaving more carnage among them in my wake. Better to just dance with them, the best  I can and hope for the best; nothing to lose, and maybe the off chance of finding one where she and I both get lucky together. If not, well, just wasn’t meant to be…

        7. Emily, the original

          YAG and Buck25,

          Women won’t fundamentally change YAG. A lot, if not most of them, have an inner struggle between their need for attraction and desire, and their need for safety, security and reassurance. Most will never find a man who completely fills all of those needs, 

          No, but she can find TWO men who fill her needs. 🙂 (S0rry. Couldn’t help myself.)

          If there are a lot of damaged, broken and wounded men out here, there are also a lot of damaged, broken and wounded women out here too 

          Have you ever heard the adage “What you believe acts as true until you adopt a different belief”? You (I mean a generic you) ATTRACT what you believe is out there. If you think all women are manipulative and untrustworthy, you will subconsciously attract women who will reinforce that belief. We attract ourselves. If you don’t like what you’re attracting, well, you see where I am going with this. And anyone who goes out into the world with a guarded energy and distrust or outright disdain for the opposite sex will be greeted with that same energy. It’s up to US to change that. Not wage some all-out war on the opposite sex, which, frankly, couldn’t give two shits if we remove ourselves from the playing field.

           

           

        8. Evan Marc Katz

          You got it, Emily. YAG believes what he believes and has the kind of relationships he has with women. I believe what I believe and have the kind of relationship I have with women. The choice couldn’t be more stark. Empathy, like Buck and Jeremy have stated, go a long way in forging healthy, trusting relationships. Power does not.

        9. Emily, the original

          It’s my new theory of “what you put out into the universe comes back to you … tenfold.”

        10. Yet Another Guy

          @Buck25

          Women won’t fundamentally change YAG. A lot, if not most of them, have an inner struggle between their need for attraction and desire, and their need for safety, security and reassurance. Most will never find a man who completely fills all of those needs, and so they will struggle with reconciling those somehow, many of them for years, and then often struggle more with whether what they sacrificed was worth what they ended up with.

          I concur with your assessment.  I cannot fix what I see as irrational behavior, so I err on the side of being desired. In a perfect world, a man would not have to chose between being desired and being liked, but we live in an imperfect world.  All a man needs to do is read the comments posted by women on this blog and he knows that he has a tough row to hoe.  What a woman means when she wants a strong man who is nice is that she wants a guy who is strongly alpha romantically, strongly beta domestically, and can read her mind to determine when a change male behavior is necessary.  Most guys cannot pull that one off, and if they do manage to pull it off for a period of time, it is a non-sustainable act.  More often than not, women do in fact have sex with alpha males and marry beta males.  Many women who mistakenly marry alpha males end up reflexively marrying beta males the second time around only to live in sexless marriages as alpha widows pining for the touch and physical prowess of the bad alpha males they married during their first trip to the alter.

        11. Theodora

          Empathy, like Buck and Jeremy have stated, go a long way in forging healthy, trusting relationships. Power does not.

          Speaking of empathy, I am simply appalled by the lack of empathy displayed by Mrs. Happy’comments in this thread.

          Basically, her message is: “if the wife is happy and content in a marriage, what a husband feels doesn’t matter. His misery and depression is just a small price to pay for a nice, caring and stable family. And he is evil by trying to improve things for himself by causing the slightest discomfort to his wife”.

          It’s depressing, really. Imagine the outrage if the genders were reversed. It’s so much deficit of empathy and humanity that I’m not sure we deal with a human or a cyborg.

        12. Jeremy

          @Theodora, I hesitate to draw the conclusions you did here.  Based on all the comments I’ve read, I don’t think that Mrs. Happy lacks empathy – quite the contrary (and I don’t mean to speak for you, Mrs. Happy, so please correct me if I’ve mis-interpreted you).  It’s just about base assumptions.  If we assume that a woman is happy in a marriage without sex but the man is not, what is the logical and ethical course of action for the man?  Depends on our assumptions about what is ethical.  If we assume that pressuring a reluctant woman for sex is unethical, and if we assume that divorce is unethical (or at least undesirable), the logical course of action for such a man is to have an affair or see a prostitute.  As Mrs. Happy has suggested in past comments.  However, if we assume that having an affair and seeing a prostitute is unethical and ultimately unfulfilling or even psychologically harmful, then we are left with a true dilemma.  A set of irreconcilable desires.  It’s not about a lack of empathy, it’s about being caught in a logical model – one that seems logical until you bring in other information.

           

          My point – the other information I was trying to add – was that it is sometimes possible to restore desire in an ethical way.  And further, that the ethics of the low desire spouse changing the dynamics of a marriage post-fact are also highly questionable, regardless of whether those changes were intended.  We are all just trying to do the best we can, and I hate to see a commenter whose opinions I respect get pilloried here, even when we disagree.

        13. SparklingEmerald

          Henriette _ Quick hello and virtual hug to you, my favourite green lady.

          Thanks Henriette !  Hope things are going well for you.

      3. 6.1.3
        S.

        The push-pull thing makes me uncomfortable. Maybe it should,  I dunno. I think I need a leetle of it in courtship, but not as much as other women may.  Someone said courtship should be uncomfortable.  Maybe a wee bit for me.  I generally get attracted when I feel safe.  Yes, some basics have to be there beforehand but if that safe feeling doesn’t come right on the heels of that, my sexual attraction will vanish. Happened just last month with a man I had initiated with.  Attraction gone, baby, gone.

        We are out there, those who don’t fit into ‘generally’.  People ignore the exceptions, but I will always speak for us, even though people  don’t pay attention (online and off) to my sentiments.

      4. 6.1.4
        Nissa

        I agree with Emily TO on this one. It sounds to me (and I’m not claiming to know all, just that this is my impression given what Jeremy has said) that Jeremy tends to be a people pleaser, trying to get his needs met by being ‘nice’, then being surprised when his needs don’t get met. This is very typical when a person does not yet know how to self accept, love and validate.

        In cases such as that, when the real issue is that one partner (Jeremy) is giving more than the other partner wants (his wife), the way to restore balance is to do exactly as Jeremy did – pull back, offer less. I don’t see that as mean at all. In fact, I’d guess that his wife was probably thrilled  to have him stop pressuring her so much, and glad to have an opportunity to be the giver in the relationship. Jeremy’s ‘prioritizing his own goals’ is another way of saying, he learned to meet his own needs for validation and appreciation by giving them to himself ( a wonderful accomplishment!) and one that was very, very likely needed by him.

        I’ve experienced this myself – lived with a people pleaser who was constantly offering more than I wanted – did I want a drink, a snack, a hug, to see a movie, giving me unrequested gifts, touching me, sitting close.  Frankly, it made me want to run in the other direction, because inside I could very strongly feel that it had NOTHING TO DO WITH ME.

        That person wanted something for herself – to feel closeness, connection, appreciation, to be wanted. (All things we have heard Jeremy say he wanted, BTW). Let’s be clear – there is absolutely nothing wrong with those desires; they are natural, normal and understandable. I felt compassion for her even as I wanted to run from the person above. What felt horrible to me was the sensation that it had nothing to do with me personally – I was just someone who had what the other person needed and wanted, so she was doing her best to dig it out of my skin. Now, she was not a bad person at all. She was a person who had been treated very badly by her parents and who was never really loved as a child, so she had unmet needs going back decades. She was just trying to feel better – of course, who could fault her for that? But from her perspective, she was just a nice, loving person who gave and never got back. She could not see that her behavior was creating the opposite of what she wanted.

        In that case, having a partner learn to validate himself is exactly what a good marriage is supposed to do for the people in it – support each partner in becoming their best self in a safe space.

        1. Jeremy

          Hi Nissa.  Although there is some truth to what you say, there is an important element missing IMHO.  In a good marriage, both partners give the other what he/she needs.  Perhaps not always, but it must be a priority.  In cases where one person gives to get, the etiology is often the fact that the other person is not giving at all.  And that is because that person does not WANT to give.  It’s not that they feel pressure, even though that is the excuse they give.  It’s that they simply do not want to give the partner what that partner wants.  And if that partner would ask overtly they might acquiesce to avoid conflict, but would do so begrudgingly.  In those bad old days it was not that my wife would have been thrilled to be the giver, as you wrote.  It was that she did not want to give.  She felt that giving to the kids was all the giving she wanted/needed to do.  My pulling back did not motivate her because she wanted to be a giver or because she did not want to feel pressured (though, of course, she didn’t want to feel pressured).  It motivated her because it made her less happy/satisfied with the status quo.  And when a person is not satisfied with the status quo, they intuit ways to re-establish it.  And because the motivation and intuition is their own, desire is re-established – as it would not be if it was felt to be externally motivated.

        2. Emily, the original

          Nissa,

          I’ve experienced this myself – lived with a people pleaser who was constantly offering more than I wanted – did I want a drink, a snack, a hug, to see a movie, giving me unrequested gifts, touching me, sitting close.  Frankly, it made me want to run in the other direction, because inside I could very strongly feel that it had NOTHING TO DO WITH ME

          I had one like that. I felt pressured to respond in a certain way because he so clearly wanted a different response from me. But it felt like he was waging a campaign to win me over. Like you wrote, this had nothing to do with me and everything to do with his panic at going through a divorce and worry that he’d be alone. The more he pushed, the more I retreated. In the very beginning, I was really into him, until he transferred the totality of his expectations from his estranged spouse to me. Did he see us as two different people? I’m not sure. 🙂

        3. Nissa

          Hey Jeremy,

          What you say is interesting and I want to listen to your experience. When you say, in a good marriage, both partners give the other what he/she needs – I understand what you are saying but that is not my experience.

          In my experience, each of us is responsible for what we receive. For example, I imagine that certain male posters might meet a woman who was willing to call him, plan dates and pay for them,  but wanted to wait until he was her boyfriend to have sex with him – would he feel special? Could he even receive that attention, appreciation – or would he be unable to feel it even if it was offered?

          Reality is often something outside of what each party is feeling. Person A might feel she is showing loving behavior that must make Person B feel special. Person B might feel that it should be obvious that without a specific behavior (such as sex) that Person A doesn’t consider him special. In my previous example, I was giving this person more than I wanted to give – I spent some time with her. I felt like I was giving way more than I wanted – and she felt I was giving nothing at all. “At all” often is a statement of perception rather than X time/money/effort.

          Now, in a less extreme example, I can agree that it’s wonderful when each partner wants to give what the other needs and is willing to give that, but that the giving is required – that’s a hard no for me. Unconditional love, to me, means they can say no and I fully accept their no. I honor their need by accepting that their need is valid, but am not required to fill that need. I might decide that I am unable to give that, and it might be a deal-breaker for that person to have a partner that won’t give that, but to me the requirement to give changes the love from unconditional to forced.

          I think we are in agreement on this, since you say ‘perhaps not always’, which makes me think that you are talking about people who mostly agree. Yet when I think of my previously mentioned relationship, if you had asked her if we mostly agreed, she would have said yes – and I would have said no. I know that I became silent over the years as I became less and less tolerant of her desires. I would not have gotten to the ‘thrilled to give’ point either, because I didn’t want to give to her. I had become no longer willing to give to her, period, because I had realized that wasn’t what I wanted. Even when I began to avoid her and reject her requests, it never dawned on her that I did not share her desires. I can’t fault her for that, because I did the same thing with my dear ex husband. I took his silence for consent, which in retrospect it was not; it was avoidance of conflict. (But if your wife stated she didn’t want to give to you ‘at all’ – that seems like grounds to end the relationship, since consent under duress is no real consent).

          In both of those relationships of mine, they ended because there really wasn’t a good middle ground – one party wanted a great deal more than the other. Which makes me feel that perhaps you deserve more, a person who wants to give to you.

        4. Jeremy

          Hi Nissa.  It’s funny – we all have our deeply held beliefs about how relationships should be.  I know, from reading your posts in the past, that boundaries are very important to you.  That is your belief, and your challenge will be to find a partner who is ok with your boundaries and beliefs.  My own personal belief is that boundaries have little place within a marriage.  Dating is, perhaps, another story.  The boundaries a person has in the context of marriage, though, are for the benefit of the person, not the benefit of the marriage.  To me, being married is all about meeting each other’s needs.  If a particular boundary gets in the way of that, we really need to evaluate just how important that boundary is relative to the subjective importance of the need to the individual.

           

          Regarding your example of the relationship with your room mate (girlfriend?), you said it quite clearly yourself, “I was giving way more than I wanted.”  The problem was not that she was giving to get.  We ALL give to get.  What we get may vary – from something tangible to something emotional – be we all give to get something.  In the example of the “nice guy,” the thing that makes him creepy is not that he gives to get, it’s that the woman isn’t interested.  If she was interested, his giving would be called “courtship” and regardless of the fact that he gives courtship to get something in return, she is ok with that because she wants him to give it and she wants to give in return.  The difference is in HER desire, not his motivation.  In the example of your relationship, she wanted more interdependence and you wanted more independence.  Her actions toward you made you feel obligated and that creeped you out because you didn’t want to reciprocate.  So you left.  As you should have.  You were not married.  You had no children.

           

          But I think we need to be really, really careful before dispensing advice on leaving marriages for this reason.  As Mrs. Happy correctly wrote, the problems I experienced in my marriage are ubiquitous in the population.  If all men followed advice to abandon their wives when the act this way, the overwhelming majority of marriages would break down and family life would be destroyed.  A balance needs to be struck.  Compromises need to be made – equal compromises, not horribly skewed ones.  And strategies need to be employed to make relationships better.  Strategies that have a chance of working – not strategies that we advise because we believe they “should” work.

  7. 7
    Chelsea

    I love this advice, Evan: ‘assume the answer is yes’! Random thought: would you ever do a podcast where you interview some of your clients who started out single/or in bad relationships, followed what you teach, and are now in happy relationships? I think a lot of people (mainly me) would really like to hear that on a future podcast! 🙂

  8. 8
    Kitty

    Don’t feed the trolls, Evan! You are 100% right and some of the guys in these comments just don’t get it. Keep up with the great, honest posts!

  9. 9
    xxxxxxxxxx

    There are a lot of damaged men and women out there, and they are the one playing all these stupid games with each other because they have some sort of score they want to make against the opposite gender, as revenge for real or perceived slights and injustices against them, past and present. As women, we need to understand (and maybe have it in our hearts to sympathise) what drives men to these stupid acts and acknowledge that some of our  own poor behaviour may have contributed to it.

    Having followed Evan’s blog for a couple of years now, I know he wants women to give positve re-enforcement for male good behaviour. Even it we aare not attracted to these good men, we still need to be gracious and appreciative of their efforts rather than being dismissive and callous. We also need to have our words consistent with our actions – no saying we will only have sex in committed relationships, only to then jump into the bed of the next man we find attractive.  Sending out these mixed messages only enforces the idea in men’s minds that we are playing games with them and saying one thing while meaning another.

    And yes, men who really really like a woman will never play stupid games with her because he likes and respects her too much for that. So yes, if a man starts doing this, you know he is really not that into you, or he is seriously damaged – probably both. Just move on and don’t keep feeding this negative cycle.

  10. 10
    John

    Jeremy saved his marriage by discerning what the problem was and fixing it. THAT’S LEADERSHIP!!!

    Jeremy didn’t act passively aggressive or sulk like a little, powerless victim when he was not getting sex.

    He quietly took care of business and saved his marriage. To say what he did was manipulative would be naive at best. If he didn’t get some training and stopped being s typical “nice guy without balls,” he probably would have been divorced by now.

    When I was young, my father did things  for me that saved me a lot of heartache. How? He saw what I was doing that was bad for me and corrected my course without me knowing he was doing it. It is a way to really love a person. I only realized this after his death and I wish I could tell him “thank you” in person.

    Even as an adult, I had amazing bosses who did the same thing for me that my dad did. I’m not sure if I’m getting across what I’m trying to say, but I applaud Jeremy for saving his marriage. Your kids are fortunate to have you as a father.

     

    1. 10.1
      Jeremy

      Thanks for the kind words, John, though truth be told I did my fair share of acting passively and sulking over the course of the years.  I think that when difficult things happen, when we are emotionally shaken, it is natural for us to go through the 5 stages of grief.  I went through them over and over again, and made lots of mistakes while in denial, angry, bargaining, and depressed.  But once we reach the acceptance stage, we can either diagnose and fix the problem or live with the problem.  Most of us would rather do the former, but we often lack the skills.  Look at Mrs. Happy’s example of the woman whose husband spends no time with her, so she cut him off from sex.  Like cutting off your nose to spite your face.  Solving the problem requires us to cut to the heart of the problem, which often requires us to negate a lifetime of conditioning and cherished beliefs.  How many of the women, here or elsewhere, are willing to admit that while they desire comfort in a relationship, too much of that comfort will kill their sexual desire?  How many of them refuse to acknowledge men’s lived experience – that when a woman is slightly uncomfortable she’ll jump on top of you at the end of the evening, but when she feels too comfortable she’ll tell you she has a headache?  This doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t give our wives comfort.  It just means that when we find ourselves with wives who have a permanent case of what I call 7-o’clock-itis (some minor malady – headache, stomach ache, etc – that seems to crop up only after 7 o’clock every day, not enough to stop any activity other than sex), the solution is not to make them more comfortable.

  11. 11
    Jeremy

    I was thinking a lot about the conversation we had on this post, and wanted to write one more thought.  I think there is a critical failure of empathy that so many of us are guilty of, but don’t see in ourselves.  It involves failure to understand that our spouses are not us.

     

    A person might have an adventurous youth.  Spend years exploring exotic locales, climbing mountains, zip-lining through rainforests, having diverse sexual experiences.  And then, at some point, that person might say, “Well, that was fun, but now I really need to settle down because what I want is children and a stable family life.”  And although that person’s personality definitely has a dopaminergic side to it that is stimulated by novelty and experience, they are perfectly ok with sacrificing all of that for stability.  And they turn to their partner and say, “I’m ok with this sacrifice, you should be too.”

     

    That last statement, the bolded one, that is the critical and common failure.  “You should be too.”  The word “should” is what kills marriages.  And it’s not just the reformed dopaminergic personality that does this.  The Guardian-type person who once prioritized her boyfriend/husband more than anything and then had kids and re-shuffled her priorities – not just putting the kids above the husband, but putting him below everyone and everything – does this.  The man who gets married to a woman and then decides he’d rather be married to his work – thinking that as long as he provides, he is doing all he needs to do.  All of these people turn to their spouse and say “I’m ok with this, you should be too.”
    We all need to stop asking ourselves what our spouses “should” be ok with, and instead ask what they “are” ok with.  The women Mrs. Happy describes are not doing this.  The men that Mrs. Happy describes aren’t doing this either.  We all need to try not to be shitty spouses.  And we all need to stop encouraging each other to BE shitty spouses by telling our friends their behavior is ok.

  12. 12
    Yet Another Guy

    I stumbled across a book by Suzanne Venker entitled “The Alpha Female’s Guide to Men and Marriage: How Love Works.”  I am not that far into the book, but it has been an epiphany.  I finally realized what I am doing wrong.  Apparently, I am alpha female bait.  I was shocked to discover how many of the women I have dated test positive for being an alpha female.  I started by answering the alpha female test using my ex.  I was shocked to discover that a woman only needs to answer “yes” to three of the questions to be considered an alpha female.  With my ex, I could honestly answer “yes” to almost every question.  All of the other challenging women I have dated tested positive for being alpha, but not to that extreme.  My problem is that I clearly do not like having to fight with a woman to be the alpha in a relationship.  While I acquiesced to my ex for a long time in order to save my family, I have reached a point in my life where I am willing to do whatever it takes to maintain alpha status, including engaging in psychological/emotional warfare.  The correct answer to the problem is to just say “no” to alpha females.  🙂

    1. 12.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      I know Venker, I’ve read the book and your experience with women is largely reflected in what you wrote above. There’s nothing “wrong” with women. You just choose incompatible ones with similar personalities to you and wonder why there’s no ease or peace. Choose different women and maybe (just maybe) you’ll sound more like me one day (if, you know, happiness and love are appealing to you).

  13. 13
    Adam Smith

    The disagreement between guys/gals here isn’t so much, it seems to me, a difference of opinion as it is a slight difference of perspective (what else would you expect, right?). Remember guys, the advice here is FOR WOMEN. If you accept that you can see that objecions on the grounds on ineffeciveness FOR MEN are sort of missing the point. We’re assuming here that its a man that the woman is already attracted to. Of course as a man you have to do what you need to do to make a woman attracted. But like it or loathe women are imagining this hypothetical guy as that 1% guy who is undeniably high value. Here’s a thought I replay to myself when struggling to empathize with women: if there’s this huge area of dating women seem to have no insight into (ie what men have to actually do to make women even interact wih them), perhaps there are equally huge areas for women wherein we have no experience/insight? I know its a cliche but its always important to try to see things from other persepctives.

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