Am I Asking You to Change Your Personality Just to Catch a Man?

I launched Love U in June and it’s been an incredible success. 300 women are half-way through my six-month video curriculum, which walks you through everything you need to know to create lasting love: Confidence, Meeting Men, Dating, Understanding Men, Relationships and Commitment. The women who are currently in Love U also get access to weekly coaching calls and a private online community where I offer dating advice each day. The Community is a lovely, tight-knit place, and the women there are wonderfully transparent and vulnerable, which is about all I could ask from coaching clients.

But, like any relationship – especially one conducted virtually – there was a growing disconnect between me and one of my Love U students, which manifested itself in a long, respectful tirade posted a few weeks ago. I’ve seen criticism of my views from anonymous strangers before, but I’d never before had a client who expressed such great displeasure with her perception of my coaching philosophies.

With her permission, I’ve decided to share the transcript of our conversation, since I feel that it is relevant to anyone who regularly reads this space with the belief that I give men a free pass and try to “change” women. Maybe – just maybe – you’ll be able to see that pretty much all of my advice is universal and is only targeted to women because women are my paying customers. If men were my paying customers, they would get largely the same exact feedback. Anyway… please meet my friend, Olivia.

Evan, looking for guidance here. I feel like I’ve learned some good and helpful stuff in Love U:  moving on, not hanging around if a guy isn’t stepping up, not putting up with jerks, understanding that the guy who ditches me in fact, by definition, isn’t my guy at all, no matter what sort of moony thoughts I may have.

But I also feel like I’ve learned a lot of stuff that just feels almost insurmountable taken in total, and also…a huge amount of effort that will yield…what, I’m not sure.

What I’m saying and what you’re hearing are two very different things.

To wit (and hear this not as angry, but just incredibly overwhelmed):

  • I must be attractive, and this is a biologically driven need for men and something I can’t question.  I don’t know, a lot of people say that racism is evolutionary and biological, and aggression and violence are evolutionary and biological but no one says that we should just accept those things or that people shouldn’t be nudged to think a little differently…?
  • I’m supposed to not be insecure even though my husband will spend the rest of our married life checking out other women.
  • I’m supposed to be confident even though with each passing year I will have less of what he biologically must have to satisfy his drives.
  • I have to talk to men in a certain way or they won’t find me appealing.
  • I should praise them a lot, even if its stuff that doesn’t seem particularly praiseworthy.
  • I need to flirt even if that is unnatural for me.
  • I should know how to traverse the sexual tightrope between frustrating them inadvertently or giving them too much too soon inadvertently.
  • I have to control the pace of the relationship because they can’t do that.
  • I have to understand that whatever they say to me right now, in the moment, may change tomorrow, and that that is just how it is, and it shouldn’t hurt my feelings.
  • I should be empathic to their challenges, even if they aren’t empathic to mine.
  • I should change my physical parameters even though they’re unlikely to change theirs–because their parameters are evolutionary/biological in nature.
  • And I’ll need to keep this up for my married life if I want to remain married.

I’m not sure I can actually do all these things.

It looks exhausting, and no fun.  What is the upside, besides getting laid, since I earn my own living?  Is the man who requires all this care and feeding just to date me a man who can be emotionally supportive? If I have to do all these things to “catch” a man, will I really end up with someone I can be myself with?  Can I manage this without becoming someone I’m not, and without becoming resentful about the amount of effort required?  Its no one’s problem but my own and I know that Evan would say I’m free to give up if I want. I am actually a naturally nice, empathic, kind and supportive person, but it feels like I’m supposed to become the perfect reembodiment of Marabel Morgan, and that I’ll end up with a 3rd grader who wants sex all the time – to use an extreme representation of things that have been said here about men, not of things I actually had thought about men.

-Olivia

My response:

I am about to settle into a quiet evening with my wife but I could not go to bed with this hanging over my head.

First of all, Olivia, I’m really sorry you feel this way. I’ve heard this reaction before, and I will admit, it never ceases to surprise me. What I’m saying and what you’re hearing are two very different things. So let’s just acknowledge that what you feel is real and you’re entitled to it.

Next, you’re brighter than I am, so if I say anything that sounds like the tone is wrong, please forgive me. I’m not talking “down” in any way; just trying to respond quickly to all the things you wrote:

But I also feel like i’ve learned a lot of stuff that just feels almost insurmountable taken in total, and also…a huge amount of effort that will yield…what, I’m not sure.

We’ll tackle whether it’s insurmountable. We’ll also get to the point (love, marriage, happiness!)

I must be attractive, and this is a biologically driven need for men and something I can’t question.

Yes, that is correct. Similarly, women need to be attracted to their partners. That’s universal, not gender-specific.

I’m supposed to not be insecure even though my husband will spend the rest of our married life checking out other women.

That’s right, because he’s chosen you to marry. So why be threatened by the likes of Kim Kardashian on the Internet?

You should be the best person you can be, since you can’t control what anyone else does.

I’m supposed to be confident even though with each passing year I will have less of what he biologically must have to satisfy his drives.

You sort of make it sound like all men must date supermodels or be miserable. Go to a mall. Look around at the couples holding hands. How many look like supermodels? So evidently, people manage to pair up and stay married into old age even though pretty much all of us look worse as we get older. My wife and I are both 15lbs heavier than when we got married. Both of us can easily point to more attractive people. And yet neither of us would consider leaving because physical attraction is only a small (but important) part of marriage.

I have to talk to men in a certain way or they won’t find me appealing.

Yes. Then again, don’t men have to talk to you in a certain way as well? They can’t be arrogant, rude or condescending. They shouldn’t be negative or nakedly insecure. They shouldn’t blather on about themselves without taking an interest in you. It would seem that there are certain characteristics that make all people unappealing, no?

I should praise them a lot, even if its stuff that doesn’t seem particularly praiseworthy.

Yes. Just like you’d want your partner to tell you that you looked beautiful with no makeup. Or that he’s impressed with how you navigate university politics because he’s terrible at such things. Or because you’re better at color coordination than he is. PEOPLE like to be praised and appreciated.

I need to flirt even if that is unnatural for me.

I would think that men who don’t flirt are often considered awkward and Asperger’s-like. Maybe typical engineers or math nerds. Doesn’t mean they’re bad people or bad partners. Just means they’re not going to get as much female attention as a man who conducts himself with confidence and sexual energy. People who flirt are likely to appear more open, happy, engaging, charming, sexual, etc. As such, flirting is a good skill to have. Doesn’t mean you’re sunk without it.

I should know how to traverse the sexual tightrope between frustrating them inadvertently or giving them too much too soon inadvertently.

It’s not that you “should know”. It’s that I’ve attempted to explain how – in successful partnerships – BOTH parties get what they need at a reasonable pace. If a man demands sex on Date 1, he runs the risk of alienating you. If you demand that he put a ring on your finger before sex, you run the risk of losing him. My suggestion is to proceed slowly over a month before having intercourse and most men will stick around. You don’t have to follow this suggestion. It’s just a suggestion.

I have to control the pace of the relationship because they can’t do that.

I’m not sure if “they can’t do that” is the way I’d put it. I would just say that most men pursue sex before they know if they have feelings for you, and regardless of whether they’re looking for commitment, so it’s in your interest to manage things to your own favor.

I have to understand that whatever they say to me right now, in the moment, may change tomorrow, and that that is just how it is, and it shouldn’t hurt my feelings.

Anyone can say the same thing. Girlfriend told me she loved me on Week 2. Dumped me on Week 12. Being “in the moment” is what we all do. I’m just reminding you of this, so that you don’t get too surprised when things that seem promising don’t work out.

I should be empathic to their challenges, even if they aren’t empathic to mine.

You should be the best person you can be, since you can’t control what anyone else does.

I should change my physical parameters even though they’re unlikely to change theirs–because their parameters are evolutionary/biological in nature.

You should act in a way that is “effective” to getting the relationship you want. If you would rather be single for the rest of your life than date a guy less than six feet tall, for example, that’s your business. Just know that only 14% of men qualify. Furthermore, nobody said women don’t need attraction or that men’s parameters are evolutionary in nature. That’s your interpretation. Men are designed to reproduce and crave variety. So are women. But men have more testosterone so they seem to crave it more. Please don’t make attraction into some black and white thing I’ve never said.

And I’ll need to keep this up for my married life if I want to remain married.

Yes. You should keep up being a feminine, optimistic, confident, understanding, self-aware person for your married life – both for your sake and for his. And if you find that your man is not an equal partner, you should get rid of him, ASAP.

It looks exhausting, and no fun.  What is the upside, besides getting laid, since I earn my own living?  Is the man who requires all this care and  feeding just to date me a man who can be emotionally supportive? If I have to do all these things to “catch” a man, will I really end up with someone I can be myself with? 

Here’s the upside.

In other words, my dear Olivia, I have not asked you to do anything particularly unusual. I haven’t asked you to make any colossal shifts. I haven’t asked you to do anything that I wouldn’t tell men to do (if I coached men).

Confident beats insecure. Trusting beats jealous. Warm beats cold. Engaging beats shy. And so on and so forth. Not sure what there is to argue with.

As I’ve said, your reaction to me is somewhat common. It usually comes from strangers who hate me on the Internet, however, not from clients. It seems to me a very negative, glass half-empty, black and white, twisted reading of the coaching I offer, as if I’m asking women to contort themselves into a pretzel to “catch” a man, when, in fact, all I’m telling you to do is carry yourself with a deep reservoir of inner confidence. My guess is that this is the disconnect. If you’re really insecure and don’t think you’re “good enough/attractive enough” for a man, you’re going to have a very negative reaction to my stuff, which is benign at worst and incredibly empowering at best.

Reread everything you wrote and I wrote above. 90% of this applies to men as well. You’re just getting very angry/upset/overwhelmed that I’m telling YOU to be an amazing partner instead of telling it to MEN.

Great partners are great partners, regardless of gender. Love U hopefully points out some of the blind spots and hypocrisies that I’ve observed from women who expect men to do everything perfectly, but aren’t always ideal partners themselves. But make no mistake, if I could make a living doing this for men, I’d do it. Sound advice is sound advice.

Confident beats insecure. Trusting beats jealous. Warm beats cold. Engaging beats shy. And so on and so forth. Not sure what there is to argue with.

Hope this helps reframe things – both for you and for all the women in here who agree with you. I am positive you are not alone, so I appreciate you bringing this up.

All my love,

Evan

Immediately, a few dozen other women replied to Olivia with similar posts.

Michelle:

Men are visual. If they see a pretty girl they will look. Men will approach the most attractive woman in the bar first. None of us can change this. Relationships begin and end. None of us can change this. But if you manage your life as though “Love, what is it good for?” then you will never find a man who will ever inspire you. Who will challenge you. Who will accept you as you are. Water sinks to it’s level. Meaning the men who will be on your level are out there. And no, you won’t have to play at being a Stepford wife in order to attract him and keep him interested. And I am pretty sure if I was a guy, I’d be pretty insulted.

A lot of what men need costs the independent woman so little, it begs the question…”Why are we fighting so hard to NOT give it to them?”…Basically, treat men as male friends and people.  Expect to be respected. Expect to be considered and if that isn’t happening after explaining your standards, you have the right to leave. 

Men have needs. Women have needs. All Evan is trying to teach us is how to communicate ours and listen to theirs. There is no one way street. You must remember this. It’s not us against them. We are all in this together. 

You will have interactions with men who don’t know what they want. You will have interactions with men whose emotional intelligence is extremely low. You will run into men who have no emotional intelligence at all. And you know what else? You will survive them. And meet the men who understand where you’re coming from and want to heal you as you heal them. And be better for it.

Tina:

I feel for you sister! I don’t want to address all your points except to say that men are NOT in LoveU. We are. They are not taking the time to improve their skills at dating. We are. They are not learning what to appreciate in a mate. We are. They are not learning to be better partners. We are.

There are just not enough men that are as self aware as women are. We can find fault in the whole gender, hold out for the “unicorn” of men that gets what we do, or we can accept it and work with what we have. I think we have to work with what we have. OR, we can decide that’s it’s not worth the effort…

Gem:

Think about it this way — you’ll give your ALL to him, and he’ll give his ALL to you. It’s a relationship of constant giving back and forth. A man who only considers his own needs isn’t a worthwhile partner for anyone. Reading Evan’s blog has shown me the number of women who “tolerate” this kind of man, and that’s very unfortunate.

Men looking for love are more accepting of imperfections than we think. Or you can say they’re as “equally limiting” as women, yet in other ways. With height, education, etc. requirements. Most of the population will get married at one point in their lives, so there is something happening, right? 😉

One thing about being around men is that they believe likewise with women. That women expect them to be an embodiment of perfection, and any guy who isn’t in the top 20% of looks, intellect, prestige, wealth, etc. can not find a suitable partner. I’ve met guys who are insecure and worried about not making “The Cut”. They’re not tall, built, handsome, charming, Alpha, etc. enough. And some are rightfully concerned.

What I have realized over time, is that regardless of gender, many are seeking the same thing — love, acceptance, and intimacy. Sometimes, I forget about this message, as I venture into more female-dominated spheres. But when I go back into male-dominated fields, I remember the men too are so incredibly human and diverse just like us.

They worry about their performance in the bedroom, their ability to provide and protect — however it means in modern times. When either of these factors come into question, they wonder if they’re enough to “catch” or please their woman. To find a sense of belonging. Or if they’re “man” enough to be respected.

Women can be a tough crowd to please, just in the same way that men are. Our mate standards for others can be impossibly high, yet we simultaneously hope that someone else can accept our characteristic flaws or imperfections. People — male or female — can struggle with setting reasonable expectations. But the ones who find a real love, are the ones who compromise. Everyone has to compromise in some shape or form.

Clara:

”Being nice is not incompatible with maintaining boundaries. Nice people can voice their opinions, stand up for their beliefs, and even disagree, but nice people do so with kindness and grace. Nice does not mean answering ‘yes’ to all requests. Rather, nice means turning down the requests you cannot meet respectfully.”

I know this is a lot of stuff, but I wanted to print this, in full, for those who were interested, to give some depth and breadth to this never-ending conversation.

I have been a full-time advocate for women for 13 years now, and it kills me when so much of my good-faith, commonsense wisdom is twisted into something sinister.

Admittedly, I only have two broad pieces of advice:

    • 1. If you don’t like the way he’s treating you, leave.  If he’s selfish, abusive, a terrible communicator, or commitmentphobic, dump him now, instead of staying, complaining and trying to change him.

2. If you’re concerned that you may be doing something “wrong” that is causing men to react negatively to you, there are some “best practices” that may serve you well. These “best practices” are consistent whether they’re applied to women or men. In short:

You will attract more flies with honey than vinegar. People want to be appreciated, accepted and admired. People want to feel safe, heard and understood. People like being trusted, not mistrusted. If you want to be understood, first seek to understand. Don’t make your partner “wrong” for having a different point of view. Don’t sweat the small stuff or make mountains out of molehills. Choose high-integrity, low-drama partners based on character, not chemistry.

I’m not exactly sure what’s controversial about that, but, sure enough, some of my own clients seem to think that I’m holding women to a higher standard than men.

It’s just not true.

I give advice on how women can be more effective in dating, for one reason and one reason only: because I am a coach for women.

If I were a coach for men, I’d say the exact same things (and more). But I’m not. So I don’t. Yelling at me for not giving men advice on how to change is like yelling at a vegetarian restaurant for not serving burgers. It’s just not what we do.

I give advice on how women can be more effective in dating, for one reason and one reason only: because I am a coach for women.

Listen, reasonable people can disagree and you are certainly allowed to ignore or dissent with anything you read on this blog. But please: don’t impugn my integrity, cast aspersions on my character, or willfully misinterpret things I’ve written. I work far too hard at providing rational, balanced, objective dating advice based on the Golden Rule than to have my own readers think that I’ve got an axe to grind against the very gender I’m trying to help.

If you made it this far, I appreciate it. You’re a champ. Thanks for listening to me vent. I appreciate your readership and hope that you continue to come back each week to contribute to the most intelligent relationship conversation on the entire Internet.

Your thoughts, below, are appreciated.

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Comments:

  1. 1
    Sophia

    As a long-time, female blog reader, who has remained silent until now, I am compelled to say that Evan’s advice is RIDICULOUSLY LOGICAL.   Seriously.  As I am also quite logical (helps tremendously in matters of the heart), I find that his advice is generally applicable- to life and all relationships!

    In other words, it’s generally a good idea to take care of oneself and be as attractive as WE can be (good for when looking in the mirror!).

    It’s generally a good idea to be secure with ourselves,  so that we can accept, without drama and hurt feelings, if , for example, we are not invited to a particular outing with a group of friends, or to a small party, or don’t get the sought-after job we hoped for.

    It’s generally a good idea to talk to people in a certain way, namely, kindly and respectfully.  It’s  generally a GREAT idea to compliment/praise people, sincerely of course! Easy way to foster good feelings and relationships!

    It’s generally a good idea to NOT try to “control” (big issue here, for women) the pace OR the outcome of the relationship, but to be true to oneself (i.e. values, timing of sex) and allow the relationship to unfold, as it may. Sit back a bit, “chillax” as my son says, and enjoy what you can.

    It’s generally a good idea  to acknowledge and accept that people will say things to you today and change their minds, perhaps, even later in the day! Life is not static, feelings and situations do change and, often, quite unpredictably!

    If it truly all looks exhausting and no fun and you don’t agree with Evan’s list of “upsides”, then stay single, it’s entirely your choice!

    But do enjoy life!

    Wishing all a good day and a big belly laugh or two!

     

     

    1. 1.1
      jon

      Both men and women need better training in social skills.  People who know how to flirt get more attraction and dates.  If someone is obnoxious, annoying, rude, or angry they are unattractive.  Women who lack social skills to attract men should attempt to improve them.  If you really don’t want to change, then it might be best to find a man who has a similar personality type, or is specifically geared towards your personality type.  A lot of people don’t like dating obnoxious lawyers, while some people like to have intense conversations.  Find the type of guy that you want and enjoys being around your personality.

      1. 1.1.1
        Jean

        Jon, you said, “Women who lack social skills to attract men should attempt to improve them.”

         

        Jon,

        Well, you forgot to apply this to men as well, men too, should improve their social skills on order to attract women.

        1. jon

          Jean, I did say that men also lack social skills, you should read my entire post.  Since, a woman is asking the question, then yes, she should learn or adapt in her social environment.  What if a woman wants to date a man with no social skills – should she even try?  In this scenario, a woman is asking for help with men.  So if a man asks for dating advice, then he is labeled a sleezy pickup artist because he wants to date women?  You seem to have a lot of animosity towards men.  On the other hand, if the writer Olivia doesn’t want to change or put work into attracting a man or keeping a man, then she should find an equally lazy and socially inept man who accepts her for the way she is and won’t leave her.  There are plenty of nerdy awkward men available to would be happy with socially awkward wives.

        2. olivia

          ahem, jon.

          I’m not at all awkward, and I’m not lazy.  Of the 40 or so dates i’ve been on in the last 2 years i’ve gotten asked on second dates in about 75% of the cases.  I’m quite charming and very good at putting people at ease, I just don’t flirt, it feels inauthentic to me.  There is a difference between not flirting and not being socially adept.

          But why would you infer that someone who is socially awkward and doesn’t change that is lazy?  What if I had an ASD?  What if I had a social anxiety disorder?  There’s no reason to make a value judgement about why people do or do not change.  Not all changes are possible for all people.  And yes people who are socially awkward may have to “settle” for a socially awkward partner, but whatever issue it is that someone has, if that person can’t change that issue, there’s no reason to judge him or her for it.  People, both male and female, who make more money are probably likely to get more dates, but i would hardly judge people for not being able to make more money.

        3. Gem

          @Jon:

          The context has unfortunately gotten lost here, but Olivia is far from lazy. Had she been with another partner, she would have arrived at a different outcome. Evan has agreed that her ex-husband clocked out of the marriage, which is why she feels that way.

          If you have read her comments in this section, she has explained her background. She is a woman who experienced trauma, hence why she struggles with absorbing some of EMK’s material.

          Some women have discovered similar conclusions.

          – Gem

  2. 2
    AAORK

    This article recaps a lot of what I have read over the past year or so visiting the blog (along with women’s comments). As a man reading this, I would wish for only two things: 1) that more women took the advice herein, and 2) that there were an equivalent coaching service for quality men looking for a quality woman.

    1. 2.1
      Chester

      AAORK, you are right on. But we do not need a coaching service, just reading this blog and reverse engineering the advice for men works. Helped me understand women better and be a much better man. Prepared me for real commitment, and I am engaged now. I wonder how many men do read the blog regularly, probably a huge number.

      1. 2.1.1
        AAORK

        Chester, I do read the blog a lot and I even occasionally comment. I don’t totally agree that a coaching service for men is unnecessary (we all need help and I’m sensitive to the worn-out stereotype that men “don’t ask for directions”) but I  understand what you mean about the ‘reverse engineering’ aspect. The content herein really is for women so as a guy it’s irritating when these women have these default knee-jerk reactions (“Why do WE need to change? Nobody ever tells the men to change!”) whenever Evan remind the gals that they need to become the women that is desired by the man that they desire.

        I think that innately (for whatever reason) guys have a better understanding of this self-improvement concept (e.g. – “Be the man that is desired by the women you want”) probably because we approach challenges more rationally (e.g. – “Well, this isn’t working. What am I doing wrong?  What do I need to change to achieve my goals?”). We WANT to go out and “slay the dragon” everyday.  It’s what we do.

        I just wish more women would become more self-reflective and stop trying to shape and mold men to their specifications as they certainly wouldn’t appreciate that from men. In fact, the single major flaw I have seen in otherwise fabulous women is their inability to see outside of their own perspective and I think this is one of the biggest contributor to their problems.

        1. Chiquituno

          Amen, to all you’ve said AADRK. And thanks for clarifying Evan.

    2. 2.2
      ScottH

      I’m a regular reader and it’s helped me a lot.  My last gf told me that I did everything right but that didn’t stop her from suddenly changing her mind and dumping me (and I’m struggling to understand why, even though I should just let her go and move on, but that’s not human nature, or at least my nature).

      Evan- thanks for the blog.  It’s good stuff.

       

      1. 2.2.1
        ScottH

        And Evan’s comment about looking around the mall and seeing lots of (average looking, even below average looking) couples happily holding hands is profound.  I’ve noticed the same thing at concerts-  THERE IS A LID FOR EVERY FRIGGIN’ POT.  Go find your lid (as hard as it seems).  Once I was at a bar with some friends and one commented about “all the randy looking couples” that were dancing, to which I commented, “yeah, but they look happy.”  She was silent after my comment.

        1. Josie

          Not sure why viewing couples dancing or holding hands makes some profound statement to those single people out there in today’s dating arena.

          I guess I see your point, but the kicker is that those happily-coupled relationships are made up for folks who are not available on the dating market.  How many of those couples got together young?  The dating market for those of us in our late 30s and 40s seems to be filled with people who are narcissists, have avoidant attachment styles, are repeated cheaters, “pots” who are constantly looking for an “upgrade” to their existing “lid.”

          The fact that you can go to Applebees or the mall on any given night and see seemingly happy couples should not make 30s-40 something singles feel worse about their situation.  Some people will date others with little regard for serious deal breakers (for example, I won’t seriously date a man who has been through two or more failed marriages, or is financially irresponsible and in mounds of debt, which rules out a ton of guys in today’s world).

          This is not to dissuade anyone from listening to EMK’s advice, because I find that his recommendations on mirroring help me (a late 30s single lady) weed out the bad actors and focus on the solid citizens.

  3. 3
    Sami

    Evan,

    This comment is one of appreciation.

    I first discovered your blog back in Oct 2013. I then started to incorporate your advice into my dating life. And after 2 short relationships, several even shorter following flings- I am happy to report, I’ve met an amzing man who I would’ve EASILY overlooked had it not been for your wise words. He wasn’t my “usual type.” He never finished his BA degree while I did. He’s not outgoing; I am. He doesn’t care for long philosophical debates; I do.  And lets not get into the fact that I physically have always preferred dark featured men- my bf is a lively, freckled redheaded Irishman. However, he loves and accepts me as I am (even grouchy/hormonal time of the month me. Did I mention he buys me my fave candies and massages me during this time?). He notices when I’m upset and asks,”how can I support you?” He is open and comfortable talking about a shared future (wedding, marriage, kids).

    We’ve been together for over a year (16mos) and recently moved in together  with a shared desire and commitment to get engaged, married, and start a family in 2-3 years. Yes, we definitely discussed in length and in great detail what this next step means and represents to us and our relationship.

    Suffice to say, I got over my own BS, insecurities, and stubborness to find love. My bf inspires me to be a better person everyday and Evan, I must thank you for helping me open my mind.

     

    P.s.

    I made finding love in 2014 a part-time job. When I wasn’t working my actual job, I approached my love life like a dutiful employee wanting a promotion. When I had to let go of a guy, I kept pushing forward in the name of love. Unfortunately, I receieved a lot of flack and judgment from the women in my life…like it was disgrace to make my love life a priority. Fortunately, I met my now bf 5 months into 2014, less than 2 years after discovering your blog.

    P.s.s.

    These same women now ask me for love advice while always scoffing at the articles I forward to them from your blog. Yanno, the same blog that helped me.. Oh well.

     

    1. 3.1
      Christine

      Congratulations in finding a great and supportive guy–it sounds like he has everything you truly need, after you mentally let go of all the superficial characteristics you only thought you needed (but turns out you really don’t).  I went through the same thing myself and couldn’t be happier with the man I’m with now.

      Let those women scoff.  You’re the one who is in the happy relationship (sounds like they aren’t) so obviously what you’re doing is more effective.  I wonder where we get this idea not to prioritize love.  We don’t tell unemployed people not to prioritize their job searches.  We don’t tell people who need housing not to prioritize hunting for an apartment or house.  No one scoffs at them for looking at listings, going on interviews, going to open houses, etc.  (or for getting advice on those subjects).  Yet love is supposed to happen with no effort.

    2. 3.2
      Josie

      Sami – I am so pleased to hear that you are doing well with your new relationship.

      It’s a wonderful tribute to the good advice here.

  4. 4
    Christine

    Evan went through it all pretty thoroughly but I just wanted to add something in response to this: I’m supposed to be confident even though with each passing year I will have less of what he biologically must have to satisfy his drives.

    It’s true that with every passing year, physical attractiveness will (generally) decrease.  However, the emotional connection with your partner will also increase, as you keep spending time together and getting to know each other better.  Obviously you tend to be more emotionally invested in someone you’ve spent a few weeks, months or years with, than someone you’ve only just met. Not to mention, people will also tend to mature over time, learn from past mistakes and develop better relationship skills with every passing year too.  With every passing year you develop more of what he needs in terms of increased connection–which can offset the decrease in physical attractiveness (or else you would think no one would ever stay married into old age).

    For instance, look at men like Pierce Brosnan (whose wife no longer looks like the trim supermodel she once was) or Hugh Jackman (whose wife often gets belittled for not being good-looking enough for him).  As celebrities, they probably see younger and hotter starlets all the time, yet they haven’t actually left their wives to “upgrade”.  If that’s possible even in Hollywood, it should be even out in the “real world” where most men aren’t constantly surrounded by actresses and models.

     

     

    1. 4.1
      Holly

      I once read what I think is probably the best compliment an actor could give to his partner. Kurt Russell was asked in an interview why he’d never considered going after the younger and better-looking women (I’m just paraphrasing) surrounding him in Hollywood. His answer? “Because they’re not Goldie Hawn.”

      1. 4.1.1
        Christine

        Holly that’s really sweet!  That says it all.  I think it’s nice that even in show business, there are men who prioritize things besides youth and looks.  Youth and looks may initially get someone in the door but in the long run, I think there needs to be a lot more to sustain a relationship.

  5. 5
    Sunflower

    Evan, I have been reading your material for years and can appreciate what you have to offer.  That’s what keeps me coming back.  Your blog is the only one I will read and listen too and I think women who are open to learning and who really want to understand men respond positively.  People who respond negatively are obviously not in a good place.

  6. 6
    Nissa

    It looks exhausting, and no fun.  What is the upside? 

    All of the things Olivia listed will make her a better human being. Frankly, that’s the benefit, without regard to men at all. Being the best version of yourself will bring benefits like inner peace and reduce conflict in all your relationships, including family, friends and co-workers. The reason it feels like so much effort is because you are not seeing any benefit in it. It’s easy to do the work, any work, when you are also experiencing the benefits of it immediately. This is the same. If you do the above, it will immediately give you a more harmonious way to look at life, making life more easy. The easier it gets, the more you can give without feeling like you’ve given too much.

    The reason it’s exhausting is that you are fighting it. And partly you are fighting because you believe you will lose your self, ‘becoming someone you are not’. Not true. It’s growing to become a better version that is still you. If you just accepted that you’ve been a lesser version of yourself, and these ways of being will bring to you a greater, more loving and connected version of yourself, it becomes easy to let go of needing to be right. You are defending something that doesn’t need to be defended, because it was never ‘wrong’ – just less effective in bringing you what you have stated you want. No one is telling you to do these things because it benefits someone else. When you asked for suggestions, those suggestions were made as being very effective in bringing about what you want. The mindset of you losing out, being blamed, giving up what you want – all of that is just in your negative perception.

    Last, it is very possible for you to do those things. No matter how long it does or doesn’t take, you will benefit. Whether you accomplish only some or all of those qualities, you will benefit. Only by failing to make the effort will you fail.

    1. 6.1
      Adrian

      This comment really helped me out a lot. I am struggling with the same issues Oliva have, watching most of the women I want (average women not supermodels),  walk past me to the hot guy even if she knows he is a player and somewhat a jerk, while I would treat her so great.

      The only way up I see is to constantly improve myself with extra education (I already have a bachelor’s) to increase my wealth, extra exercise (my body is average) to get in even better shape, new clothes and hairstyle to improve my look, and even possibly some plastic surgery to “enhance” my looks (one of the most painful things is to be in the company of a woman who you are attracted to and have her say how hot and sexy another guy is, or to hear how she wishes she could find a sexy, fun, smart guy, like you are invisible or gay).

      Like Oliva, I ask myself, with all these improvements, what’s the point? What would I gain in the end after doing all of this besides sex from a woman? Why am I fighting to date the same women who treat me like I am invisible now? Will I be happy with someone who “only” sees me as worth her time after all the improvements (this is similar to the post on this blog from the girl feeling resentful that all the men who walked by her when she was fat, now chase her because she just  lost a lot of weight)?

      This post was good for me, because it reminds me that we all struggle with feeling inadequate when it comes to attracting someone who we actually want. Again, not talking about being with the most attractive people, I am talking about attracting average looking (though there has to be some kind of physical attraction). In the world of dating, even average looking people will hold out for the hottest guys and girls, making trying to date them hard, because they think they “deserve” better, and while not trying to be mean, their rejection makes us feel unattractive…

      Thanks Evan, and Oliva, you are not alone

      1. 6.1.1
        Christine

        Adrian I just wanted to give you some encouragement that there are women out there, like me, who will look for a good guy, not just the “hottest” one they can find.  My boyfriend was really frustrated before meeting me, after seeing woman after woman wanting someone younger, taller, with more education (although he already has a bachelor’s), blah blah blah.  Of course, we both find each other attractive in our own ways (otherwise we wouldn’t be together).  But yeah, we would also both admit that objectively speaking, neither one of us would meet supermodel standards either (mostly from both of us being too short for that, among other things).  But so what?  We also couldn’t be happier with each other and feel incredibly lucky to be together.    In my social circle, I’ve seen girl friends of mine happily date “average” men all the time.  I know the frustration you’re going through, believe me (hey I went through three years of awful dates before meeting my boyfriend–after the 50th I stopped keeping count).  But finding the right person for you really is worth it!

         

        1. Adrian

          Thank you Christine. That’s why I love the comments section of this site, reading stories from both genders keeps me grounded in reality. It reminds me that we all struggle with dating, and I love Evan’s advice on every post.

           

  7. 7
    T-Cat

     

    At the end of the day, BOTH genders are faced with some form of sacrifice – that’s what relationships consist of. If a man makes the CHOICE to go all in, then a woman should be willing to make the CHOICE of becoming a better version of herself in order to better understand the male mind – if she truly desires a happy & stable relationship. Our ability to be desirable, kind & understanding with men, has been lost over the years. Women back in the days were more successful with men, because they did all of the things women are SUPPOSED to do. SO?? What’s the big deal?

    Woman are DESIGNED to be the perfect complimentary fit for man. It takes absolutely NO effort in choosing to improve your skills with men, but then again, learning & improving is my PASSION. Without being passionate about getting to know men on a deeper level & loving them in general, your motivation for learning being influenced by negative views, is inevitable. YOUR truth is not THE truth.

    This guy is actually the most GENUINE relationship coach I’ve ever come across, unlike all the “MAKE HIM FALL IN LOVE WITH YOU WITHIN 30 DAYS – MONEY BACK GUARANTEED!” nonsense.

            —IT DOES NOT WORK—

    You CANNOT “MAKE” a man do anything if he doesn’t WANT to do it!

    Being stubborn will get you absolutely NOWHERE with men & all aspects in life. Somewhere amongst all the controversy, you MUST be willing to COMPROMISE. Without it, you will gain NOTHING in life!!!

    1. 7.1
      Joek

      “You CANNOT “MAKE” a man do anything if he doesn’t WANT to do it!”

       

      Well, women like you can make a man want to do something…

       

      And that’s the key.

       

    2. 7.2
      Not Jerry

      It’s all so simple.

      Just be the very best version of *you* that you can. Be a better person!

      It’s a lifelong effort, yeah. You have to want it. It takes a vision of what you want.

      But that’s really all you have to do. It’s really all you *can* do.  Just make the effort to be the best *you*. Be a person that others admire. Be the best!

      Great post, EMK.

      Look at all the men that posted in the comments!  I am going to start coaching the men, since EMK doesn’t do that anymore.

    3. 7.3
      Jean

      TCat

      everything you just wrote, also applies to men.a man being stubborn, will get him nowhere also

      why in the world would you tell women to improve their skills with men? That is not our responsibility. You men have just as many responsibilities as you expect for us women to have. .

  8. 8
    Lauren

    There is no shame in remaining single, if you’d rather focus on other priorities or find your work or other activities fulfilling enough that relationships honestly feel like more of a burden than a source of positivity.  I know everyone says that people who make that decision are lying to themselves, but I don’t honestly believe it.  It is completely possible to lead a fulfilling life without marriage/LTR for a period of time or even for the duration; you just have to have the self-awareness required to know whether you are willing to make that tradeoff.  That said, it’s a tradeoff that most people apparently aren’t willing to make and it’s probably better to realize that you will never be happy without it sooner rather than later.

    I’d also add to this that some of this frustration and stress has to be self-imposed.  If most of us women didn’t have high expectations for the kind of men we would consider dating, all this self-improvement and investment might be less of an issue.  But as it stands, you get what you give.  Sometimes you don’t even get that.  How human, all too human.

    1. 8.1
      AAORK

      Lauren, while it is possible to lead a fulfilling life without marriage, it’s also possible to accomplish this without many other things as well. However, it doesn’t mean that the value of a great relationship is any less nor that people would desire them any less. Life just wouldn’t be as “fulfilling”, now would it? Look, humans are pack animals. Absent any serious socially-oriented mental issues, such as the inability to trust or bond with others, humans naturally crave the company and companionship of others, not to remain ‘single’ or solo. So when someone declares that they prefer to be single, deep down they know they are misleading themselves and avoiding the underlying causes. And most anyone hearing someone say this will innately assume that the person has social issues and are simply explaining this away as a conscious ‘choice’ (think “empowerment”) or reverting to often-stated rationalizations such as “He hasn’t found me yet” or “There are no good men left” instead of what it really is: a consequence of their previous actions and personal shortcomings.

      And while it’s true that most women have high expectations from men (men express this as women’s “endless list of must-haves”), I and others here often point out that a common mistake these same women make is never asking themselves what they have done to attract the ‘high standards’ man that they seek. Hint: it’s NOT the same thing as women want from men (career success, wealth, status, education, etc). This is another common blind spot I see with women.

      Finally, where any feelings of “shame” come into play, it’s mostly as a consequence of the judgements of other women, not men.

      1. 8.1.1
        TryingtoUnderstand

        AAORK – as to your HINT: it’s not same thing women want from men, please tell us what “high standards” men want from women?  I of course can guess, but would love to hear you explain.

        I get tired of men saying that women have endless lists, when in fact I am not seeking ANYTHING from a man that I haven’t already accomplished (looks, fitness, wealth, education).  There simply is a really small pond of such men, and a much larger pond of women who have take care of themselves as well as achieved success in life.

        1. AAORK

          Well, I’ll mention that your most revealing comment was “not seeking ANYTHING from a man that I haven’t already accomplished“. This kind of mind-think does you no favors. Keep in mind that if a man were to say this to you, you’d probably dis-qual him on the spot. To answer your question, that’s simple: good quality men seek women who are pleasant, easy-going, and not combative/argumentative. The rest is variable. 

  9. 9
    Dora

    I get really frustrated to communicate with Narrow tune minded people and also with people whom I have to Repeat over and over again and again.. I just have No idea how Evan keeps doing it.. And I Admire you for it, Evan. You just keep repeating and trying to make narrow minded women, See the “light” – what a exhausting job… And to “prove” your self over and over again – OMG…

    Yes,is good of that Olivia for raising ,again, those “hate Even” issues-to a point,…but… Why doesn’t she read All before, all writings before, instead of wasting everyones time with crap messages..??!!!

    Or may be she is real “men hater” – keyboard warrior , who decided to get into Evan’s circles and than attack him from within …!!! Uuuuhhhh….!!!

    Thats the typical mentality – “I am paying you to tell me  What I want to hear” – and No brains for anything else…!!!

     

    1. 9.1
      Sylvana

      Actually, I think you completely missed Olivia’s point. She did not criticize Evan. She never claimed he was wrong. She was merely pointing out that – to her – this type of effort to get into and maintain a relationship would lead to nothing but stress and frustration, rather than making her happy.

      With other words – if this is what it’ll take for her to be in a relationship, the relationship will not make her happy. Therefore, she is wondering if it wouldn’t be better for her to give up trying to be in a relationship, and accept that she isn’t cut out for it.

      She never said that it was Evan’s fault for pointing out reality. She merely pointed out that, now that she is aware of reality, what she needs from a relationship might not be met. And if it will not be met, and she still has to put in all that effort, that it might be easier focusing on life as a permanent single.

      She was not attacking Evan (although others before, I’m sure, have), and I don’t think attacking her helps.

      Take this away from dating and into hobbies/sports, for example. I can put in the hardest effort in the world to become one of the best surfers out there. And continue to do so for the rest of my life. If I work hard enough, I’ll likely achieve that goal. But if I still don’t enjoy the sport of surfing, shouldn’t it be time for me to consider giving it up?

      Likewise, if you will not enjoy the kind of relationship you CAN have, will it be worth all that effort? That’s all Olivia was asking.

  10. 10
    BarbiJo

    EMK, I found your blog online 5 years ago when I was going through a divorce, and I subscribed because I liked your no nonsense straightforward honest advice, as I wanted to move on with my life, have more insight into men and relationships, learn and grow, and not repeat the same mistakes the second time around. Listening to and employing your wonderful insightful suggestions has helped me tremendously, as I am in a loving relationship with a great partner. Thank you for all you have done to help me get there again and for all you do for women in general in guiding them toward finding love! Don’t worry about all of those who do not agree with your philosophy – it is their prerogative, and best of luck to them in finding love with their own way of doing things. I am just grateful that I did trust and follow your logically sound advice! 🙂

  11. 11
    Joek

    Gem said: “A lot of what men need costs the independent woman so little, it begs the question…”Why are we fighting so hard to NOT give it to them?”

     

    As a man, this was a lesson I had to learn – what women want from me costs me so little, why am I fighting giving it to them?

     

    Learning this lesson was one of the big turning points in my dating life. Suddenly women I dated responded very differently to me.

     

    See…Evan’s advice works for us guys too!

    1. 11.1
      Rebecca

      I got this lovely piece of advice from one of Michele Wiener-Davis’ relationship books (and wish I could say it as eloquently as she does):

      When a partner asks something of you, you can choose to interpret it as an attempt to control you and change you into someone you’re not.  Or you can take it as an easy insight into what would make him happy, without all of the usual trial and error.  My boyfriend commented one time that he wanted to “do right by you,” and I feel the same toward him – not because either of us it domineering or threatening to leave, but just because it feels good to be good to someone who is good to you.

  12. 12
    Fiona

    I think Evan missed what is really bothering Olivia.

    She doesn’t want to surpress her desires and personality to land a man. She doesn’t she the point in being with someone who needs constant emotional caretaking, who needs her to be a cleanup version of herself.

    I have relationships (not romantic- I’m happily married) where I can never truly tell the other person how I feel and they are exhausting and not at all satisfying.

    It’s a tough line to walk with dating or making friends–you want to be effective and you want to be on your best behavior, bug you need someone who will love all of you, even the messy unsanitizes you.

    There’s a line where catching flies with honey becomes putting on an uncomfortable persona. It’s not easy for everyone to find their comfort level.

    1. 12.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      I addressed each of Olivia’s points and she acknowledged them privately. So nothing was missed. You are just saying that, like Olivia, you don’t seem to grasp what I’m talking about – and think that I’m still (despite this massive screed) trying to tell you to “suppress your desires and personality.”

      That’s absolutely what I’m not saying.

      Perhaps YOU’RE saying that your personality is brittle, combative, cold, and judgmental and you want the right to be that way. Anything else is considered “uncomfortable” to you. If so, I apologize. Because you’re right: I am actually asking you to change your personality, for you will likely be an unpleasant partner for anybody. By the same token, any man who has the same characteristics is equally unpleasant.

      You seem so adamant about not adjusting anything you’re doing, because that is “emotional caretaking,” but I’m positive you want a man who is willing to accept your myriad flaws and do a little emotional caretaking in your presence.

      All this adds up to is a stalemate, which doesn’t affect me, but leaves you in the exact same place: ignoring my basic message, ignoring your own flaws, and willfully misinterpreting the commonsense universal advice on how to be a better person/partner? I have never said anything about “never telling the person how you feel” or “pretending to be someone you’re not.” I kind of just said to be nice, patient, confident and flexible – which is good advice for ANYONE. Why are you so invested in making me wrong here?

      1. 12.1.1
        Marie

        Evan, having gone through your program (and quite successfully as you know) I do think your advice is clear and effective.  I think the people who have the fastest results and the biggest benefits are those who can quickly adapt your advice to their unique situation.  They may have to tweak it a bit to apply to them but usually the gist of it is still there.  There will always be those women who spend the entire coaching time not implementing or arguing with you.  I think these are the people who already have a hard time knowing how to date to b egin with and with that kind of stubbornness it’s not surprising.  Nevertheless I’m always amazed at how resistant people are to change or to take personal responsibility for their situation.  It’s always someone else’s fault. Sometimes you can’t win them all Evan even though I know it frustrates you and you try.

        As to the “benefit” of success I find it sad that some people don’t understand the benefit of finding your soulmate.  its not just sex. They may never have loved or been loved like that so it’s hard for them to grasp which ispy sad.  You and I both know the benefit of being married to the right person is incalculable both physically, emotionally, spiritually and yes even career wise.

      2. 12.1.2
        Jean

        AAORK,

        you say you wish women would stop trying to shape me

        Are you kidding? Are you serious? Men are the very ones who are always making man made doctrines where you all want women to stay young, blond, thin, and sexy. You all are the ones who tell women to don’t wear sweats and don’t have an opinion around your man and so on.

        You our are indeed hypocrital. Look in the mirror. Men want some to be porn stars and we women just accept you all with your fat, balding receding hairline. I don’t think men see how unattractive they are and yet they are always trying to remake women to satisfy their sinful lusts and desires.

        1. Evan Marc Katz

          Why are you here, Jean? You don’t seem to be open to any new information. You have a skewed view of society – as if men are the perpetrators of all shallowness. Have you ever looked at a women’s magazine? Finally, I encourage you to go through 1000 blog posts on here and show me the one where I stated that “women should not wear sweats or have opinions.”

          If anything, I’ve pointed out something that is obvious to anyone: PEOPLE who show up on dates wearing sweats are probably not doing so well and PEOPLE who are so opinionated that they have to be RIGHT every time are often going to alienate others with their opinions.

          In other words, stop yelling at the TV. The programming ain’t changing. But you can certainly change the channel if you don’t like it.

      3. 12.1.3
        Fiona

        Like I said, I’m happily married. So I don’t need to worry about doing anything to attract anyone. I like to think I’m pleasant and flexible, but that’s relative. Pleasant in NYC is different than pleasant in LA than pleasant in Portland, OR (the last three places I’ve lived).

        I expect that your natural personality is more brash and confrontational, and that you never feel like you need to suppress your desires to please other people.  Other people, especially women, do not always feel entitled to their opinions and their wants. They have a hard time expressing them or even feeling like they deserve to be honest about other people hurting them.

        If someone who already has a hard time expressing their displeasure hears that they need to be pleasant, accommodating, and attractive at all times, they are going to hear it differently than someone who is already outspoken and open.

        What I am suggesting, is that you listen to that person and truly hear where they are coming from before you tell them how they need to change.

        I had/have a not quite together mother, and I am not able to be honest with her without her jumping into I’m a victim mode. I have two choices– tell her how I really feel and cause a fight or silence my desires and avoid a fight. I can do the latter, but the relationship isn’t fulfilling. It is what it is. A lot of us have difficult parents. But for a while, I got so good at tip toeing around upsetting other people that I would let it slide when a friend consistently cancelled plans last minute or said something that hurt me. Sure, I kept my friend, but the relationship was empty.

        I expect that this is the kind of thing LW is trying to avoid.

        Yes, your advice is fine, but from a certain perspective, it DOES sound like “be pleasant at the sake of what you want.” You don’t do anyone any good by refusing to acknowledge that.

        There is a lot of room between “be pleasant and accommodating” and “be so pleasant and accommodating that you forsake what you want.” But it’s not easy for everyone to see that space.

      4. 12.1.4
        Gloria Render

        Evan,

        “Why are you so invested in making me wrong here?”

        It is not the messenger, you; it is the message which has touched a “nerve”.

        I think your blog is very helpful.

         

  13. 13
    John

    There was once a L.A radio podcast someone had me listen to a few weeks ago when I finally got back into dating (after years of rejection which lead to years intentional time off for self-improvements). The radio the show went like this:

     

    A woman called in stating that bad boys and players are losers, she use to only go after the hot guys when she was younger, but now that she is older and has kids that is not what she is looking for.

    The radio host asks the now 40 something female caller who is the BIGGER Loser?

    The hot bad boy who you chased after when you were younger, when you were at your physical peak, your most attractive, or the nerd who, now after high school and college, has money, has dropped the glasses, improved his wardrobe, and  gotten in shape, he is now a catch. This ex nerd now chases after you?

    Who is the BIGGEST LOSER?

    He answered her that the guy chasing her now is the loser, because if she was still at her most attractive, she would not have given the nerd the time of day, for being who he was, and now that he is actually attractive…, He is chasing after a woman whose sexual market value has dropped, instead of chasing hotter women.

     

    I know some people will agree (maybe not publicly) and some will disagree, but the two points I am making with this story, is that first, even when you make all the improvements to yourself to get the guy or girl you want, there will still be criticism.

    Secondly, the one that really hit home for me (and the point the person who had me listen wanted to make) was that, I need to realize that most women who want me now, would not have even looked at me before, am I okay with that? If it was just about sex, it wouldn’t be a problem, but courting a dating a person who would not have given you a chance when your sexual market values were reversed, am I okay with that.

    Following Evan’s advice I am courting women, the same women who I was invisible to back in college when they could have their pick of guys, but now most women in my age group are single moms, divorced, have gained weight or are overweight, have stretch marks and wrinkles, yet now they want me to chase them. Most guys in my age group have also let themselves go being overweight, don’t have college degrees and also have a few kids, guys like me are a catch.

    So Oliva, maybe the solution is to only go after the hottest people in our dating demographics, since we improved ourselves, if there is nothing to really gain from all the improvements besides sex (because we can all get someone, but most of us aren’t happy with the average guy or girl who does contact us online or in real life. If it was only about personality and character then  why do  women daily reject the thousands of fat, short guys online who contact them…, because we all want someone attractive, we just don’t want to admit it publicly)  the only benefit is to get the hottest person we can.

    1. 13.1
      Holly

      John,

      I lost around 80 pounds a year or two ago and my thoughts were much the same. It’s hard not to become resentful when you know that people who pay attention to you now would never have done so before. My epiphany after my weight loss was that I’d focused for way too long on external validation to determine my self-worth. Since then I’ve worked hard to reshape my mindset away from that, and away from what I supposedly “deserve” now that I’m thinner. I don’t “deserve” a hot guy any more than you’re entitled to a hot girl. The truth that I had to discover for myself is that most of them are too full of themselves to be good partners anyway. I want someone good-looking yes, but more important to me now is what their soul looks like.

      I also had to realize that no matter how much weight I lost, I would not be beautiful in a conventional sense. I do the best I can with what I have, and that’s enough. I am a beautiful child of God, as we all are, and I pray that someday soon a man will realize that and claim me as his own.

      I had to let go of the resentment I felt toward men. I can’t hold it against them for being brainwashed by a culture that says the only woman worth having is a 23 year old Megan Fox lookalike. I’m 34 now and I can get into better shape, but I can’t help my age. You know what though? I don’t want to. If my so-called sexual market value is lower now only because I have a 3 in front of my age instead of a 2, then so be it. I learned to accept the things I can’t change and I realized it doesn’t matter what guys think. If they’re going to reject me on the basis of my age alone, then they’re not who I want anyway. I say this not defiantly, but respectfully. I only want those who want me.

      It sounds like you view the women your age as being beneath you now that you’re in better shape. I pray that you’ll consider letting go of any resentment you may feel and give them a chance, as I had to learn to do. We’re all human and we’re apt to be superficial and selfish, that’s why we need to understand and forgive the limitations of others. Best of luck to you and I hope you find the right girl!

      1. 13.1.1
        Christine

        Holly, well said.  You sound like a very grounded person and I’m sure that somewhere, there’s a mature man who will appreciate what you have to offer.  Luckily, not all men have been brainwashed by the media’s messages that they must have a 20-something Megan Fox look-alike.  I kept myself going by telling myself that even if my “market value” (at age 35) was lower to a majority of men, that didn’t matter–because I didn’t want or need a majority of men, but only one good one who wanted my 35 year old self.  Then sure enough, I met my boyfriend (early 40s), who is a complete gem.  One night we were at a party with a lot of younger women in attendance, and even when one 20-something woman kept trying to flirt with him, he only had eyes for me.  🙂 I can also think of other examples.  My brother-in-law dated some cute 20-somethings before, but ended up marrying my 30-something sister.  He said those other girls were nice, but he just couldn’t relate to them on a deeper level the way he could with my sister.  I also know two women who really are 20-something and as hot as Megan Fox (one is an actress and the other has done some modeling).  I was very surprised when they got dumped by their older boyfriends, given all the brainwashing we go through about how hot younger women are more “valuable” than 30-somethings!  These may just be a few exceptions, but there are men out there who really are looking for peers.  Good luck to you in finding the right guy!

         

         

    2. 13.2
      Fiona

      The bigger loser is the woman married to the radio host because he’s a misogynist prick.

      1. 13.2.1
        Chance

        But, to use the reasoning so many women use when a man marries a misandrist twat:  she should know better, right?  It’s her fault because she knew what she was getting in to!  *smh*

  14. 14
    Nina

    Coming out of long time lurking to say thanks for your transparency, very interesting post!

  15. 15
    Lucy

    I like your eloquent responses to people who are getting the wrong idea from your advice. I can learn a lot from that. For the most part, I feel that most people in life are going about it with good intentions. I don’t like how the world has got now where people jump to conclusions and assume wrong in everything someone says. I can say something perfectly innocent and I get taken the wrong way because someone has a chip on their shoulder. Whoa! Sorry for the rant.

    Back to topic, I definitely don’t think myself that you would be implying a woman should change herself to get a man. But I wouldn’t mind if you did because I think your advice can be applied to anyone regardless of gender. I think it’s all give and take, and you can’t expect to get good from someone without doing something for them. Anyone who strives towards self-improvement is a good person. There is too much of this “accept me as I am. I am not changing for anyone” strand of thought. Trying to be the best person you can be doesn’t mean you are bending yourself out of shape or sacrificing your sense of self.

  16. 16
    Joe

    Hopefully, in her private correspondence with Evan, Olivia has come to realize how self-centered her original letter made her appear.  Me, me, me, it’s all about me and how I feel!

    1. 16.1
      Henriette

      I know Olivia in real life and she is not in the least bit self-centred; she is bright, kind and remarkably generous.  Her question does, indeed, address how she feels ~ don’t most of the questions on this site do the same? ~ but she is asking a very fair question about how to conduct herself in romantic relationships in a way that both appeals to men and is true to herself.  I wish that more people would have the good sense to ask the same question of themselves.

  17. 17
    Blondie99

    I am about halfway through why he disappeared and I can she what these women are saying.  The biggest problem I have is that by nature I am a very aggressive, take charge, leader. From a very early age I was like this.  Add in a high powered job as a litigation lawyer and it has only gotten worse.   Evan you say I should sit back and let the men take control, set up dates, text first, initiate sex, and not let them know I am interested until they do so.    That is not my personality at all.  To do that I would have to pretend to be someone that I am not.   That does not sound fun at all.  I cannot imagine doing it for the rest of my life should I marry this person.   And eventually I will slip up and show who I am and then it would not be fair for the guy because he thought he was dating someone totally different. I think I have decided if I have to pretend then I am happier being forever single.  Ever seen gone girl?   You are asking women to be the “cool girl,” but just long enough to get the man.   That’s not okay.

    1. 17.1
      olivia

      Actually all of last night’s phone with Evan discussion addressed this very issue.  It depends on what kind of a guy you think you’re a match with.  If you’re a go getter, you may work better with a guy who is low key.  There are a lot of women in the love U who are real go getters.  Evan isn’t suggesting that they try to hide their light under a bushel, he knows that’s a fools errand.  He wants them to be true to themselves and connect with someone who will accept them for who they are.  He’s not suggesting that they become passive wet blankets at all.

      He’s just suggesting that if you’re a go getter, it may work better if you don’t approach potential dates like you’re arguing for a business proposal at a board meeting.

       

    2. 17.2
      Not Jerry

      Blondie,

      I think you have to be the “cool girl” forever. Be the best version of yourself you can manage.  Be playful if you can manage it.

      Unfortunately the contentious type of fighting that attorneys do all day, if carried through into your relationships- well, no one wants to fight all the time.

      Lots of attorneys end up marrying other attorneys.  Kind of goes with the territory.

       

    3. 17.3
      Karmic Equation

      “The biggest problem I have is that by nature I am a very aggressive, take charge, leader.”

      Why do you think that being an aggressive, take charge, leader means that you can’t also be kind, thoughtful, radiant, and sweet? 

      I’m a bitch at work. I’ve made a vendor cry (unintentionally).

      I’m a total sweetheart with my guy. He sees the bitch in me occasionally, but it has yet to be directed at him as he has yet to give me cause to be bitchy with him. There was the one time when he asked what was bothering me (it wasn’t about him) so I told him at length and in great detail. After hearing me rant about the situation for about 15 minutes, he says “I don’t want to hear it anymore.”

      Me: Hey, but you asked me!

      Him: Well I didn’t want to hear about it for 20 minutes.

      Me (poutingly): Well, I don’t bitch or rant very often. This is the first time in the 5 months we’ve been together that I’ve ranted. The least you can do is let me rant until I’m done.

      We were in bed, and I was in his arms, in that half-asleep mode when he asked me what was bothering me. I had become quite animated when ranting.

      After he told me to be quiet, and I told him what I needed from him, he just stroked my back in a comforting manner and I quieted down and fell asleep.

      I could have made this into a fight, but I didn’t.

      Because if I had, in his mind he would have associated asking me what was bothering me with ending up in a fight, so to avoid a fight with me in the future, he would avoid asking what was bothering me again. This is the way men think. lol

      And I don’t want him to stop asking.

      So it’s up to me to communicate what I want without making him wrong.

      1. 17.3.1
        Not Jerry

        Wow, Karmic. A great story.

        Not everyone can turn their “nature” on and off.

        I always said you were an outlier.  Heh.

        1. Lisa

          I totally agree with what you are saying on the man wanting the woman to be passive and let him be the leader and that’s why I either have to change who I am significantly or decide to be single. d I should mention I was mostly born this way and these traits are what drew me to my job.  It is not the case that I developed this traits later in life as part of my job.  I think the latter would be easier to change.  And pretending is just so exhausting!  I want an equal and I cannot be passive.  So I think I need to just be single.

        2. Evan Marc Katz

          No! Just choose a more easygoing guy instead of a similarly opinionated alpha guy. No need to be alone. No need to change your personality. Just choose different men.

      2. 17.3.2
        Blondie99

        I am all those things as well thoughtful radiant and sweet.   I think it’s funny how you associate the characteristics that I listed as being a bitch.  I don’t see it that way at all.   And if we were describing a man with those qualities I can guarantee no one would say he was a bitch, in fact they would be positive qualities.  This is exactly what I am saying.

        1. Not Jerry

          Blondie,

          You described your nature.  I think we all assumed a type-A hostile/aggressive demeanor.  If that’s not the case, OK.  Glad you can be sweet and radiant. That will serve you well.  Uh, it might, you complained. So I just dunno.

          But between men and women in relationships, the man has to step up and lead the relationship.  If he won’t, there’s not gonna be a relationship.

          This sounds so non-PC but this is  how it has to be, not that a woman can’t lead, but it usually doesn’t work out. Or not well, so I have heard.

          Women have to follow, and there is a submission dynamic that has to take place.

          Women have to be willing to follow, and to ultimately submit to the man.

          If you are ultra strong, and like most attorneys have to fight and argue all day, well, you can’t bring that home. Or you will be stuck dating other attorneys.

        2. Fiona

          One place where I do really agree with Evan, is that women with strong personalities are better off with easy going guys. When I was a teenager, I always figured I’d end up alone (seriously, I wanted to be this badass career woman and never wanted to get married) or with an equally strong, aggressive man (very screwball comedy Cary Grant/ Kat Hepburn). But my husband is way more low key. He’s not always super easy going, but he’s certainly more comfortable letting me lead. I think, in real relationships, you trade off who “wears the pants,” but I am the one who wears them most of the time. I’m the alpha if you buy into such a thing. Our relationship works best when I make a point of taking charge, even when it is taking charge to delegate a decision or task to him.

          Fire + fire is too much fire. You need someone who will compliment you.

        3. Karmic Equation

          I don’t mind men with hairy armpits. While I don’t date women, I think women with hairy armpits are unattractive.

          Does that mean hairy armpits are bad?

          No. Just means that it’s perceived differently on different genders.

          It’s not wrong to be assertive at work. Nor is it wrong to be assertive with your guy. However, you shouldn’t talk to the man you love like the way to you talk to a vendor you do business with.

          Context and DELIVERY is everything.

          You can be directly assertive with vendors, but to be effective with a man, you should be sweetly assertive…unless he’s totally clueless and then you might need to be directly assertive.

          My guy acknowledges that I’m laid back and sweet most times EXCEPT when it comes to pool…and then he calls me stubborn. That’s just the one area where I feel as passionately about certain things as he does, so much so that I’ll risk confrontation and not care about his feelings on the matter.

          That’s why he calls me stubborn, because in pool, I won’t say “Whatever you want” or “No problem” or “I understand”. When a guy likes you and you challenge him, he’ll call you “stubborn” when you challenge him instead of going with the flow. I was like this on certain topics about personal training when I was dating a personal trainer. He called me “very stubborn” on a few things.

          IMO, if a guy doesn’t like you, he’ll characterize that challenging behavior as bitchy. If he likes you, he just accepts that you’re “stubborn” on those issues.

      3. 17.3.3
        Joek

        “he would have associated asking me what was bothering me with ending up in a fight, so to avoid a fight with me in the future, he would avoid asking what was bothering me again. This is the way men think. lol”

         

        Going to differ with you just a little on this one KE…

         

        Your BF won’t associate “asking what’s bothering you” with getting in a fight, instead has already associated with getting a long, drawn-out blabfest.

         

        Most of us learn to avoid asking this question. It’s just not worth the headache of the excessively-detailed ranting that’s bound to come forth (rather than a summary of the problem which we can then help with).

        1. Not Jerry

          Joek,

          The difference between men and women, and the source of much conflict.

          Men want to solve problems.

          Women just want to be heard.

          They don’t necessarily want the problems solved.

          As a man, I don’t really understand it.

          Maybe one of the ladies will be able to explain this, I would sure like to hear.  For my own personal growth.

           

        2. Karmic Equation

          Not sure about other women, Not Jerry, but for me, when I’m really upset or angry about something. Just verbalizing the issues (over and over again, lol) is cathartic. That venting just gets the issue out of head and off my chest, so that I can go back to be being unstressed. I don’t need a solution because the problem isn’t the problem that I’m verbalizing, the problem is the FEELING that the problem caused (anger, anxiety, sadness, etc) and I need to vent/verbalize to diminish the feeling.

          So, JoeK, I agree. I totally blabfested my guy. He probably listened to me 10 more minutes than he wanted to. lol. I’m aware that he may avoid the “what’s bothering you” question because he doesn’t want to be blabbed at again. However, the first time he asked that question, I gave him a two sentence answer.

          Maybe he’ll remember that and will not be afraid to ask me again in the future what’s bothering me. We’ll see.

        3. olivia

          to not jerry, maybe i can help a bit with your question.

          Coping literature suggests there are two constructive ways to deal with a problem:  change the situation (active problem solving) or change how you feel about it (reframing).  Most men and women do some combination of both.   (there is destructive coping too, of course).

          When doing the second (reframing) people may find it helpful just to describe the problem, and get validation that they aren’t crazy to view it as a problem.  Once they have that validation, they may feel freed up to reframe how they are thinking about the problem.

          E.g. if  person A offends person B.  Person B has hurt feelings.  Person B vents to person C, looking for validation.  Person C says “yeah, that sounded kind of out of line.”  Person B now feeling validated, can say “well, yeah, it was, it hurt at the time, but I guess its not a big deal, A is still a good friend.”   If people feel supported in their emotional experience it can empower them to take a step back and look at it and change how they proceed.  Of course there is a distinction between supporting someone “yeah, that sounded out of line.” and egging them on “yeah, A sounds like such a monster, you should totally ditch that friendship.”

          Often when people (both male and female) vent or just want to describe something unpleasant, they are just looking for another person to say, wow, that sounds lousy, that must have been painful, so they can let it go and move on.  going right for a solution doesn’t address how the event felt, which is what the person is looking for.  Men and women both do this.  I’ve seen men do it a lot when talking about job related stress, being angry with a boss, etc.  They just want to describe how insulted and offended they felt, get it off their chests, etc.

          One place where i’ve noticed guys talk about feelings A LOT is in sports commentary.  Watch any sunday morning sports show.  So much commentary about feelings, pride, hurt feelings between players and coaches, insults, etc.  Like discussing how the pitcher threw the batter a little chin music one time too many because of friction between when they were on a previous team together, or what it means when the star QB skips practice because he’s sending a message that he feels dissed for being taken off the starting line up for the next game.

          dudes have a lot of feelings too and also like to be heard, which is a positive thing.  🙂

  18. 18
    olivia

    Hi all, I am “olivia.”  I appreciate the comments.  I know tone gets lost in posts and blogs, so to be clear my tone here isn’t irritable, just explanatory, wistful, sad.  Maybe  a little hopeful.

    I’m learning a lot from Evan’s course, and am profoundly grateful for his patience, and was happy that he asked if he could share this post, in hopes that it would answer questions other people have along these same lines.  My questions came from a place of very genuine pain, loss, confusion, frustration, not knowing how to make it work, wanting someone to hear what was really really hard about this and help me through it…not from anger.

    For those of you assuming I’m a man hater, or selfish, I’m neither.  My 17 year marriage, during which I followed my spouse from one job to another, and gave up many jobs and damaged my own career, gave up my chance to have kids, and relocated so many times I felt like I was in 8th grade every year…ended when my husband got the job he wanted and then cheated on me and left me for someone young enough to be my daughter.  To be clear, I’m the same dress size I was when I married, if you’re wondering if I had let myself go.

    So I’m exhausted, and damaged.  People who know me well have told me that I’ve experienced a trauma.  Yes, it was traumatic to find that my husband was cheating on me 3 days after my very romantic 16th wedding anniversary, to stand in the middle of your dining room at 9 a.m., holding a packaged condom that you accidentally ran across looking for something else (I was looking in my own bookbag, which he had started using for himself, for an old thumbdrive) …catching your breath…not understanding….what is this for….what is this for?  Yes, it was traumatic to find that though we were still having sex two or three times a week, he was still finding time to cheat on me.  Yes, it was traumatic to suddenly be on my own after 20 years cheek by jowl with my best friend.  I’m not hateful or selfish, I’ve been through the wringer, and am having trouble getting back to the really giving and empathic person i was in my marriage.

    There is a context for everything.  Evan knows my context.  He also knows that I respect him and value him and like him, and that that is why I feel comfortable arguing with him and questioning him–in a respectful way.   My life trajectory is why I find it hard to find a way forward, and why I can’t simply absorb this material and be brand new.  It takes time.

    1. 18.1
      Christine

      Thanks for posting Olivia to give us more context.  I’m so sorry you went through that and wish I knew something else to say that would make you feel better. It sounds like it was just your misfortune to be with a bad guy.  There are other people out there (like Evan’s wife) who find love again after infidelity, and I hope you will join those ranks.  I know you’ll need time to heal from what you’ve been through, and that it won’t happen overnight.  Once you do, though, I really do hope you find love, because I would hate for you to miss out on it because of your ex.  I can tell you that a good man is worth the time and effort.  Big hugs to you and hope Evan helps you find what you’re looking for.

      1. 18.1.1
        olivia

        Thanks Christine.  🙂

        Whether or not I end up in love again, the course has helped me a lot to understand men, the social dynamics, what to focus on, etc.  If I decide I really want to start looking, I’ll have a good idea of how to proceed thanks to the course and Evan’s very useful words of wisdom.

    2. 18.2
      Chiquituno

      Olivia,

      Thank you for posting and giving this context. Your experience does make a difference. My ex of 20 years was a cheater, not as blatant as yours though. My ex fiancé of 2 years was verbally abusive. There is trauma. Be easy on yourself. What happened to you and me was not about us, it was about them and their wounds. Doesn’t help repair the career sacrifices or financial and emotional damage, but knowing we can’t control others, only how we react or act (take responsibility for ourselves – which I think is what Evan’s advice boils down to) helps us be better to ourselves and to our next partners. I had to go through both of these experiences to grow and evolve, to realize I deserve better, and become better in relationships for the right guy.

      We see Evan’s advice from a different perspective and lens then other women who haven’t, and we are trying to make sense of it as we try to make sense of what happened in our past traumatic relationships. (Which by the way, I’d

      say stop trying to make sense of it right now! It’s a total waste

      of time and energy you need for yourself) I think that is normal for those who have gone through relationships that have knocked  self esteem to the floor by someone who was simultaneously telling us they loved us, but at the same time not good enough. It is normal for us to interpret Evan’s advise as him telling us we should change for a man, because isn’t that essentially what cheaters and abusers told us? There’s another woman out there better than us, or by verbally critizing us? Our sense of security and trust has been wiped out. It’s

      not easy being on our own without the support of that partner we thought would be there.

      But it is now up to us to change

      that voice in our heads. Slowly find our confidence and self worth from within. Be ourselves, the best we can be, first for ourselves, and as we gain that, all the advise Evan gives will make sense and one by one you will see yourself practicing them with other men.

      1. 18.2.1
        Adrian

        Hey Chiquituno,

        I loved your statement, “someone who was simultaneously telling us they loved us, but at the same time say we are not good enough

        That is so painful, you blame yourself, and tell yourself that this is a good person, so some of what they say must be right. I don’t know about you, but I did want to change, to keep them, everyone on the outside would always say how lucky I was to have such women. It never occurred to me that it was never about me, it was their issues.

        I remember one of the older commenters of this blog, Karl R, wrote that this was one of the signs of someone who was cheating on you, they were feeling guilty and trying to justify their cheating by making you into a bad partner.

    3. 18.3
      Adrian

      Oliva, it is sad that you had such a horrible thing happen to you. All of us look toward marriage as the happy ending and as a new wonderful beginning with someone we can completely trust and grow old with.

      I just want to thank you for your question, because I am currently feeling the same as you (I am a straight male), and I struggle with all that is said a man desired by women should have.

      I am curious Oliva, after hearing your story, what did Evan advise you?

      I am not sure how long ago this happened to you, but are you sure you are ready to date? It sounds like you could be rebounding.

      I unfortunately fell in love “twice” with two different women in the past, both had just gotten out of long-term relationships, but I didn’t know at the time. Both still loved the guys, though the first woman was cheated on and the second women was emotionally abused. When I met them, both felt that they were ready to move on.

      Anyway, long story short, both ended up breaking my heart after months of dating, one went back to her ex and the other was just too emotionally damaged to trust her heart to someone again.

      But I am sure Evan took your story into consideration, he doesn’t seem like the type to tell you to just date to have fun, knowing that you could possible have a future guy fall in love with you while you aren’t ready for anything serious, but I guess it could work if you stated that you didn’t want anything serious on your profile.

      1. 18.3.1
        olivia

        Hi Adrian.

        Yes, I’m not ready to seriously date.  Its taken a while to understand that.

        It’s been about 3 years since things came apart. Which I realize may sound like a long time, like hey, why aren’t I over it…but standing in my dining room with that condom sometimes feels like yesterday.

        Year one was me trying to work on the marriage, to understand what had gone wrong, he was claiming to do the same thing and mostly still seeing her.  He literally could not choose between us and wasn’t working on the marriage at all.  So finally I chose.

        Year two was post divorce (very simple, no lawyers).  I started dating right away, or trying to.  I was 50, afraid noone would want me anymore who I actually found attractive, afraid I’d never have sex again.  I started out, or tried to, with a very much “hey, i had a good marriage, things come to an end, here I am, lets go for it…” not realizing or wanting to realize that I was actually really fucked up.  All I could see was me getting older and time slipping away so I just felt like I had to date.  Dating came unraveled in year two and I began to realize things were not so good.

        Year three (last year), was nightmarish.  It hurt more as it got further away.  i suppose as it got further away I could feel it more.  I don’t mind being alone.  But sorting out what had happened more clearly, understanding my own real role in the trajectory, what it meant about me as a person, and my real options going forward was painful.

        All along I was still trying to date, wondering why”nothing was working” doubting my own attractiveness to a dysmorphic degree…doubting if men were good people capable of having relationships and liking women, doubting if we lived in a society where a smart woman could be herself and find a mate…

        Finally i realized all that doubt about external things was really just a way of saying I’m really ambivalent about dating, not because of men, but because of me.  Hopefully time will rub that away.

        Being in the course really helped me understand that.  You do need to be in a healthy place to date.  I don’t know if that day will really truly come for me in the future, but at least I have a clearer idea of the distinction between what is going on with me and what are the challenges of dating.

        I’ve tried altering my profile to reflect a more casual approach, it has its plusses and minuses, as you might imagine.

        Evan in his responses to me has been clear about what dating is, and how to approach it, supportive, suggested therapy, since he understands that coaching is not therapy, and reminded me to be optimistic.

        One thing I’ve realized very clearly is that I AM the poster child for  Evan’s advice on “if its not working walk away. don’t think that things will change”  Very early in our marriage my husband took out a lot of emotional loans from me, so to speak.  It was very hard for me to give up job after job, and home after home.  We both knew that. We both knew I was doing it for the good of the marriage, or thought that.  We both thought that there would be a time when he would stop asking me to give things up for his career.  And he couldn’t, even after he got the job he’d aimed for.  He just couldn’t settle, and it meant more and more uncertainty, pressure on me to compromise the jobs i’d managed to land, and so on, and I was getting older and more nervous about my career–for financial reasons, not ambition.  Finally I stopped being nice.  I couldn’t keep going along.   I got angry. I was tired.  And he couldn’t help himself, and I couldn’t go along anymore, and there we were.  I was tired and angry, he was alienated and found someone who would make him happy.  I think we both thought at the start it would come out differently.  Pay attention to what happens at the start…don’t give more than you can give thinking it will inspire someone to give back.  I’m sure he wanted to, he just couldn’t.

    4. 18.4
      Kristyn - with a Y

      Hi Olivia

       

      Your story resonated with me as well.

       

      My marriage fell apart due to cheating; it was on our 18th anniversary that he said he wanted a divorce.  Like you, I had not let myself go;  and I was a little bigger than when we married but I weighed 115 lbs.  I am also the laid back type of person in all my relationships; overlooking the little things because life is ENTIRELY TOO SHORT to nit pick.

       

      Sometimes when Evan gives his advice, I want to call him out and say that what he says is not true because I am that way and I am divorced.  But I realized (as other posters have said) that this was about him, what type of person he is, his values, etc.  So every time I type out an angry comment, I come to me senses and realize that because what Evan says is true and it won’t backfire on you if you choose someone better.

       

      The other feeling I have battled is not wanting to invest in my relationships as much as I did in my marriage, where I was the giver and he was the taker.  But I also know that I don’t really want to take that mentality with me into the future.  I want to be myself, someone who willing gives to those that I love without a scorecard or expectation of return.  Having already been burned, this, for me, was the hardest thing to find again.  But I think I have gotten to a point where I am free from the past and able to look to the future, ready to give.

       

      Thank you to others who have also commented on their spouses cheating; it is nice to know that you and I are not alone.

      1. 18.4.1
        olivia

        thank you so much Kristy, I really appreciate it.

        And yes, I’m right there with you on the investment issue, that is exactly how I feel.  I hope one day to get to the point of being ready to give again.  The analogy I sometimes think to myself is when you pump a well dry…you have to wait a while before enough water seeps back in to do anything with.

    5. 18.5
      Genevieve

      Olivia,

      I’ve been a lurker on Evan’s site for a month or two now and, after following a few other dating coaches online, I’ve found him to be the most down-to-earth and realistic coach out there.

      I wanted to reply to you personally though to thank you for sharing your email and for allowing yourself to be vulnerable about your situation. You’ve said the things that deep down I, too, was feeling about myself and was afraid to admit. Hearing your fears and frustrations and seeing how similar they were to mine in the dating world has a made a world of difference in validating my own emotions.

      The last 2 years I’ve found myself in a string of disastrous flings that never turned into the relationships I wanted them to be. My self esteem has become so low because I see all these “non relationships” as failures on my part. Like I could have done something more to keep these men (who were initially very enthusiastic about me) from losing interest in me. And after reading some other dating advice online, the idea was reinforced that I really do need to “change myself” if I wanted to stop driving men away. But your open-hearted email and Evan’s clarification has really helped me gain some perspective about what “change” means.

      I’ve still got a ways to go in building my self-esteem, but this was an excellent start. Thank you for sharing your story and I wish you so much love and luck as you journey on!

      1. 18.5.1
        olivia

        thank you so much!  I’m glad you got something out of reading it!

        Change takes time…sigh.

  19. 19
    olivia

    Thanks Chiquitino.  I appreciate it, and you are on the mark.

    Its more difficult, I guess, in some way, because my ex is not a bad person, at all.  He had his issues, its just the person he was…I just didn’t see it coming at all, and didn’t realize how it would play out.  I just kept thinking through my whole marriage well if I give some more then he’ll start giving too…and he just couldn’t, for his own very real reasons.

  20. 20
    Kate

    Evan, I think you’re great.  You do great work.  It frustrated me sometimes when women are willfully obtuse to your perfectly sound advice (I can’t imagine how that makes you feel!) but I guess you can’t win them all.  Just wanted to let you know that you have helped me immensely.

    1. 20.1
      olivia

      Kate, I’m not willfully obtuse.  I don’t know if you read my other posts about my situation.  Everyone comes to this advice from different perspectives and life experiences that color how the advice seems, and how hard it may be to accomplish, whether someone can imagine doing these things, and how painful it may be to consider attempting these things.  My questions to Evan were genuine, not willful or obtuse.  That’s why I gave him permission to post the exchange, because I thought it would help other people who may also have difficulty contemplating this, and because I found Evan’s responses helpful.

      1. 20.1.1
        Kate

        Hey Olivia- I just wanted to apologize.  I didn’t mean to call YOU obtuse, you seem very thoughtful and logical and I think your letter was important.  Thank you for sharing it because I think Evan’s response is some of his best work yet.

        My comment was directed at some of Evan’s many regular commenters (some on the blog, but they’re mostly on his Facebook page, the “strangers who hate him on the internet” ) who seem to live to post love is dead, why should I change, I’ve given up on love,  all men are jerks etc. on a dating advice website!

        I would hope that after reading the response to your letter they reconsider their position but we’ll see 🙂

        1. Alice

          many thanks kate for your kind response!

          I hope evan’s answers to me help.  Dating is a very intimate act, and for people who have something they need to get past, it may be hard to see the advice for what it is, and not react angrily or defensively.  “men are jerks…love is dead…i give up…” is a terrible and sad place to live in.

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