Is Evan Marc Katz a Sexist Who Tells Women to Settle and Looks Down on His Wife?

Is Evan Marc Katz a Sexist Who Tells Women to Settle and Looks Down on His Wife?
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Dear Evan,

I was a close follower of your blog for a couple of years, and bought two products along the way. Unfortunately, I have to say I’m no longer a fan.

After reading advice from you (and I paraphrase here), to “be smart but not too smart, speak up but don’t speak too much, be funny but not funnier than him,” or something along those lines, I’m reminded of the movie “The Ugly Truth.” If you haven’t seen the movie, the Gerard Butler character advises a woman to toe the line in every way to get her man. But at the end of the movie, she realizes she has indeed gotten her man, but has been a fake the entire time.

Once you get the man, are you supposed to change your personality, wants, needs, in order to keep him?

I was also offended when you wrote recently about your current wife. You referred to “thinking you could do better” when you two were still dating. Does your wife read your blog? I cannot believe she could read some of the things you’ve written about her and not get her feelings hurt.

Here’s the thing. As I get older, I realize I would love to have a life partner. But what is equally important to me these days is creating a life I truly enjoy. And having to play an intricate game that seemingly doesn’t end even when you’ve “landed your man” is just not appealing to me.

Yes, I would be sad if I didn’t find the “one” and have a family. But I’m not willing to give up a sense of myself and look to the man as some kind of savior. I know many, many women give up a lot of themselves to get and stay married. I may be in the minority in not wanting to cut away pieces of myself to form a partnership, but I’m okay with that.

I think you have some intelligent things to say, but many of the things you say come across as downright sexist.

Sincerely,
A Former Reader

Dear Amy (my former reader, who may not be reading this),

Thanks for taking the time to write. I usually don’t respond to negative criticism because, as you know, there’s not much of a point. You’re entitled to your feelings and I do not assume that I will be able to change your mind. At the same time, if you’re voicing these feelings, I can only suppose you’re not the only one. So against my better judgment, I’m going to engage you on your claims and do my best to explain myself.

But first, I want to grant one thing. Everyone is entitled to her own feelings. I will never tell you that you’re “wrong” for feeling what you’re feeling. All I can attempt to do is clarify my language, express my intention, and hope that you can acknowledge the nuance between what you’re interpreting and what I’m actually saying.

You begin with an assertion, which I believe to be a false one, “After reading advice from you (and I paraphrase here), to “be smart but not too smart, speak up but don’t speak too much, be funny but not funnier than him,” or something along those lines.”

Who you think I am and who I really am are two different things.

I can understand why you’d feel that way about my work; it just isn’t something I’ve ever actually said. I have never told you to not be too smart and am candid about finding intelligence to be the greatest aphrodisiac. I have never told you to not speak, since I talk a lot and have a wife who talks just as much. I have never told you to not be funnier than him, since, as a former comedy writer, I value a sense of humor extremely highly, and tend to surround myself with funny women, including my wife, mom and sister. So before we go any further, let’s establish this: who you think I am and who I really am are two different things.

Your whole email stems from the premise that you are correct – that I, in fact, tell women to dumb it down, keep quiet, and not shine. This is an inaccurate representation of my philosophy, but it’s a very common one. I’ve often wondered how I could avoid being misinterpreted, but then, just this morning, I put a meme up on my Facebook page, which said, “If you’re interested in him, act interested.” The first comment was: “Why be fake?” as if I was telling you to act interested in a man you’re NOT interested in. So if I can be misunderstood in one simple, declarative sentence, I need to come to terms with the fact that I will be repeatedly misunderstood somewhere in my 1000 blog posts.

So why is it that, in my estimation, so many people aren’t understanding what I’m saying and meaning? Well, I have to take responsibility for that. I write quickly, and never revise. After all, I’m not a professional blogger; I’m a dating and relationship coach who has a blog. So if I wanted to spend more than a half-hour on any given blog post in order to be more subtle and clear, I probably could. But I don’t and I have to own that, because it’s the only thing I can control. What I can’t control is what you, the reader, bring to the table. And if you are listening to all the women’s magazines who are telling you that you have to change to find love, my message might sound really similar. Except it’s not. Here’s why:

My coaching philosophy is not about “right and wrong,” but rather about “effective and ineffective.” If what you’re doing is working for you, if you find that people of the opposite sex flock to you, and if you are in a safe, happy, long-term relationship of your own choosing, by all means, keep up the great work. I don’t know why you’d be reading this blog, which is intended for people who are looking for advice, but if you’re happy, I’m happy. That goes for everything under the sun. If you want to be single for the rest of your life, I’m fine with it. If you want to sleep with guys on the first date, I’m fine with it. If you want to write “I hate men” in your online dating profile, I’m fine with it. But let’s not pretend for a second that all behaviors – however well-intentioned – are equally effective.

It’s very easy for a woman to understand the concept of ineffective when she goes out with a bunch of dolts.

A guy who doesn’t pick up the check is ineffective. A guy who doesn’t ask any questions is ineffective. A guy who only communicates by text is ineffective. A guy who thinks he deserves to get laid on the first date is ineffective. A guy who wants to marry you on the first date is ineffective. And so on. This is so obvious that it doesn’t seem to be worthy of mention, and yet millions of men continue to behave as described above. Why? Because they’re doing what comes naturally. They are being themselves – a little selfish, a little insecure, a little clueless, a little tone-deaf. It’s not a crime, but it’s all too common. If I were a dating coach for men, I’d spend all my time trying to get those men to “change” their behaviors, not because their actions are inherently evil, but because, for the most part, women don’t respond to them.

This was the starting point of one of my more popular blog posts, “Why Men Don’t Like Smart, Strong, Successful Women.” It’s not that men don’t like smart, strong, successful women. We do. We don’t, however, like the negative qualities that often come with those positive traits. In that post, I used myself as an example of a smart, strong, successful guy who inadvertently alienated people with his honesty, his arrogance, his sarcasm, his impatience, etc. I simply posited what would seem to be empirically undeniable:

a) Just because you’re smart, strong, and successful doesn’t make you a great catch for everyone.

b) Good qualities often come with bad qualities.

c) What men value in a partner is often different from what women value in a partner.

And THAT is the thing that most of my detractors, including Amy, I’d assume, don’t want to admit. Many women (not all of them, of course), want men who are taller, smarter, richer, funnier, stronger, braver, more educated. On the other hand, while men very much appreciate impressive women; we have also concluded that impressive traits are secondary to one thing: how he FEELS around his partner. And if she’s so busy that she doesn’t have time for him, he’s not going to feel good. And if she’s so smart that she’s constantly second-guessing him and telling him how he can improve, he’s not going to feel good. And if she’s so strong that she seems invulnerable and he can’t find a way to contribute to her life, he’s not going to feel good. And so on.

So the crux of the disconnect between you and me, Amy, is that I’m not telling you to be stupid, weak and silent. I’m simply saying what lots of men haven’t been able to articulate on their own; your greater value to him comes in your ability to make him feel smart, funny, sexy, interesting, and loyal. Thus, it’s not that your ability to speak in French isn’t attractive; it’s that it’s largely irrelevant to why he wants to date you. Same with your summer home in the Hamptons or your ability to analyze the Middle East conflict. This isn’t about him being intimidated by you; this is simply about how he feels when he’s with you.

I am not telling you, or anyone else to be fake. I am showing you how to be effective, the same way you’d tell a guy friend to listen to his date and pick up the check.

Some people are naturally good at making others feel important. They are good listeners. They ask questions. They don’t look at their iPhones. They don’t make you feel like a low priority. They are available, emotionally and physically. They don’t criticize or micromanage. They assume the best rather than the worst in you. These are the women that men want to date – whether they work at Target or run a venture capital firm. Both women can be 100% themselves, as long as they are evoking these feelings in their partner.

Which is why when you accuse me of telling women to “change their personality, wants and needs,” I have to refute it, unequivocally. I am not telling you, or anyone else to be fake. I am showing you how to be effective, the same way you’d tell a guy friend to listen to his date and pick up the check.

Furthermore, what you seem to be very willing to overlook in your “sexist” criticism of me is my target audience: smart, strong, successful women. Check out this page of smiling women, a small sample of happy clients who have worked with me. Do you think that they’ve all been brainwashed? Do you think that all their smiles are fake? Do you think that they all lied in order to “land a guy”? Do you think that these grateful women hired a man whose whole business is centered on their happiness, but secretly hates women? C’mon. I love women. I love my clients. I love getting emails when they meet a great guy.

These women read the same stuff that you read, but instead of assuming that I want to subjugate women (which couldn’t be further from the truth), they were open to the idea that they weren’t very effective in their dating and relationship decisions. Did any of them change their personalities? Not one bit. They are the exact same women they were when they came to me. All that changed was their choice in men. Instead of deifying men who are taller, smarter, and richer, they’ve started to value consistency, kindness, communication and commitment. In doing so, they finally understood what I mean by compromising. Now, I’ve been at this long enough to know that when I say compromise, you hear “settle”. But here’s the difference between compromising and settling: People who compromise are happy. People who settle are not. I would never tell you to do something that made you unhappy. Yet some people – once again, my detractors – think that compromising will do just that.

My happiest clients – doctors, lawyers, CEOs, etc – came to terms with the idea that dominant, assertive, difficult, “masculine” energy is not appealing to traditionally masculine men, and if they wanted to continue to always get their way at home, they’d be better off choosing an easygoing guy who will not fight with them. He may not make as much money. He may not be as charismatic. But he will be the one guy who lets everything roll off his back. Easygoing is one of most valuable and underrated traits in a partner (not just according to me, but according to studies on marriage). Who is a better long-term partner – the one who fights you, tooth and nail, on everything? Or the one whose default setting is “Yes”? This brings me to your mention of my wife, who is, fundamentally, a yes person. By the way, this does not make her a doormat, as has been suggested by readers in the past. You’re a doormat if you’re unhappy. You’re a doormat if your husband doesn’t respect you. You’re a doormat if he walks all over you. You’re a doormat if you lack self-esteem and you never get your way. My wife ALWAYS gets her way, because I greatly appreciate her easygoing nature and therefore do everything in my power to make sure she’s happy. That’s how love works.

All men want is to be accepted for who they are. And if you can do that, you won’t have to change a single thing about your smart, strong, successful self.

My wife is beautiful. My wife is smart. My wife is funny. My wife is kind and selfless and an incredible mom. But the reason I married her is because I can be myself around her. There are no lies in our relationship. She doesn’t take offense at things that aren’t inherently offensive. Let’s be honest here – not everyone is equal at all things. I am argumentative. I am short-tempered. I have a low sex drive. I like to talk about myself a lot. So if my wife were to say to me that she’s dated men who were less argumentative, more easygoing, had a higher sex drive, and were better listeners, is that an insult to me? Or is it simply a fact? And if we’ve been happily married for six years now, should that fact undermine our relationship? Should I pick a fight with her to tell her that she SHOULD think that I’m the best guy she’s ever met in every category? Or would it make more sense to assume that if she chose me over all other men, has borne me two children, and spends every waking moment making my life better that she probably loves me and respects me, even if she thinks I’m less than perfect?

I think the answer is obvious. In strong relationships, two people can speak their truth without drama, without ego, and largely without conflict. In a weak relationship, you need your husband to either believe (or to lie) that you are the smartest woman he’s ever met, the nicest woman he’s ever met, the sexiest woman he’s ever met, and so on. Sorry, but that just sounds tiring. Reality is much easier to navigate. And that’s what I choose. Reality. Where I can own my strengths and weaknesses, my wife can own hers, and we don’t have to pretend that we’re perfect.

Yes, I DID think I could do better when I was dating my wife. Why? Because I didn’t understand what was important. It wasn’t whether she read Philip Roth, whether she earned six figures, or whether she was a secular liberal. It was that she was the only person I’ve ever met that I didn’t make me bite my tongue, walk on eggshells, or apologize to her ten times a day. My wife accepts me, 100%, and for that, she gets the full-force of my love and devotion.

All men want is to be accepted for who they are.

And if you can do that, Amy, you won’t have to change a single thing about your smart, strong, successful self.

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Comments:

  1. 41
    Taylor

    It’s interesting that there are a few posters here, including me, who have given up on dating, at least temporarily. There isn’t a lid for every pot. You can try and make a lid fit, but sometimes the contents will still spill out. I agree that women should expand their scope and I’ve done that. I’ve met nice guys but haven’t had an ounce of attraction to them, even after giving it several dates. And I don’t want to lead them on. Sure, if I wanted to get married and have kids, I’ve met a lot of men with great jobs and probably great sperm ho’d fit that bill. But what if you’re in your 40s, don’t need to be married, but want to have an adventurous partner who takes care of themselves (I am talking polish here, not hotness) and has a sense of humour? Almost impossible to find.  

    1. 41.1
      ScottH

      For every woman who complains about not being able to find a suitable man, there is a suitable man complaining that it is almost impossible to find a suitable woman.   If only it was easier to find him/her….

  2. 42
    Jay

    Marriage is a complex ideal that means different things to women than men. Men want to get married for simpler reasons – having children, committed monogamy. Men have more independence and financial freedom with longer careers because they don’t have to take months off due to pregnancy.   For women, marriage has much higher expectations and also Patriarchal Expectations – meaning women expect her husband to make more money than her and to be Mr. Perfect, and also monogamous.   Monogamy is also a traditional patriarchal mindset. Nowadays, sexual freedom and sexual experimentation, open-mindedness and liberal thinking is encouraged.   There is a new marriage paradigm, and independent-thinking men and women no longer view marriage as a necessity for lifelong happiness.

    1. 42.1
      starthrower68

      Yes and more children are growing up without both parents in the home and the family is no longer a cornerstone of society.   Just because something is new does not make it beneficial.   It’s not a win for society as a whole.

  3. 43
    starthrower68

    Evan, here’s something that should give you a chuckle and not feel so alone with regard to being misunderstood: my 13 year old daughter was telling me about her current boy trouble, how her 12 year old crush was acting kind of distant and that one of her friends, a boy who is also friends with the crush is going to talk to the crush.   I explained to her, in an age-appropriate manner, that it’s probably just best to play it cool because it’s entirely normal for boys to pull away.   Her response? She jumped out of the car and ran into the house. She was mad at me.   So this messenger got shot too. ðŸ˜

  4. 44
    Me

    I  stumbled onto this blog when looking up info on  understanding men better, to add to my already happy 20+ year marriage. Until now I have stayed reading because I have found it intriguing to see how some men think, feel and live their lives.
    I don’t think Evan is misunderstood at all.
      I think women have a very good intuition and can see it for what it is. He says what he believes and reveals much about his own self and relationship through this blog. His intention is to be blunt and not hold back so he says what he  values, thinks and believes. If it’s offensive that is because it  reflects his perspective, personality and his  relationship’s dynamic.  Women are not misunderstanding his message., they just reflect it back.
        Probably good dating advice (I wouldn’t know as I’m not dating) but I just don’t think 6 years of marriage qualifies someone to be a relationship coach. I’d recommend women to look to qualified experienced  counsellors for that or those with long successful marriages that have weathered a few storms.
    Evan,
    Your blog reveals much.  I believe it  is  unhealthy relationship advice to women generally for long term successful marriages.  I don’t think you look down on your wife but you appear to have found ‘the One’  and fell in love  BECAUSE she is a ‘yes’ person and as you described it was very difficult to find someone so accommodating to you.  She is  described as a kind and selfless woman, a woman that accepts everything  and never appears to challenge you, a mirror to yourself.  I have seen many marriages like this finally become rocky as the wife ages and finally explodes as she finally  begins to grow and  assert her needs. You admit you give to her  BECAUSE of how she makes you feel, NOT because you give  love to her first  as an independent person who may challenge you at times. You appear to love her for what she gives you, this is very clear in your blog.  This is   an immature  ‘love’, a selfish kind of love. It is loving yourself,  with an audience to reflect it back. In fact  it is frequently mentioned that if a woman doesn’t do this through her behaviours you’d be out of there. I’m sure this keeps her on her toes! Evan, it is not healthy for a grown man to never hear ‘no’ or not have limits, to have a ‘yes’ woman will stunt his development and keep him in his  self-entitled nirvana.
    You reveal that you give conditionally only  because she gives first and  encourage this for others.  Over many   years this may change  if you work to develop and grow out of self entitlement but while operating in this dynamic any relationship advice may be skewed by this so  it may be  helpful to just  advise women on how to date since this is most of your experience. I am so thankful I have a mature husband who values authentic equality, which  we both  had to grow into over years of living with another authentic human being.  This is different to being ‘honest’ with one another to the point of insensitivity as you have described. I don’t get everything I want by manipulation, by  being a ‘yes’ woman to secure the commitment. I get much of what I want by  being respectful, genuine, myself and loving  as selflessly as possible  as has my husband.  Guess what? Sometimes we don’t get what we want and we are ok with it because we both don’t expect to get our own way all the time. He was a player before we met but wanted to learn to develop and truly love rather than seek a mirror to reflect his ego back to himself.
    I  do not  comment on other couples  relationships but will  when  it’s used publicly  as a template for the ideal while other’s  evaluation of it just get  blown off without self reflection. This is why I also have decided  not read the blog anymore. The dating advice is probably fine  but it appears to me that the relationship advice needs some more self development behind it before going public.
    I know you appreciate straight talk so that’s why I’ve been blunt. I wish you all the best in your future  endeavours.
      

    1. 44.1
      JoeK

      Let me be the first to say “thanks for leaving”. Your repeated misrepresenting what Evan (and others) say is tiresome (as you do in this last comment). Very “mature” of you (to use your own words) to attempt to get in the “last word”.
        
      Bye.

      1. 44.1.1
        PK

        JoeK

        What is it with you and a few others who keep   jumping in to defend Evan, while you make blanket statements about women and men and what they are supposed to want?

        Along with that you were rude to the commentor. Not too mature and not really necessary?

        1. Evan Marc Katz

          Perhaps he agrees with me as much as you disagree with me. Doesn’t he have an equal right to express his opinion?

    2. 44.2
      Evan Marc Katz

      Hey, Me. Obviously, I let your comment through because – even though it breaks the house rules of not insulting your host – I felt it would add to the discussion. I can see why you draw the conclusions that you’ve drawn. You’re only working on available evidence – what you read on this blog, and what you bring to the table in terms of your own life experience. Fair. But here’s what you’re missing:

      1. If you are offended by my perspective, that doesn’t mean I’m inherently offensive. If a comedian makes a joke and 99 people laugh and 1 person is offended, that doesn’t mean the comedian is wrong or should stop making his joke. If you disagree, that’s fair. Just know there’d be a lot less comedy in the world. Similarly, I am paid to offer my opinion – and my opinion is formed by my observation of reality. Not how I want things to be, but, rather, how they are. A virgin wants to stay celibate before marriage? Fine by me. She’s just eliminated 97% of her dating pool? A 50-year-old man wants to date a 25-year-old? Fine, but such marriages only account for 1% of all relationships. A woman wants to “know” a man is going to propose to her after three month? Sorry, but that’s not how it works in most healthy relationships. Most of my detractors complain to me that I’m too blunt. For what? Reporting on reality? Really, you’re just shooting the messenger.

      2. Next, you act like you have some sort of insider knowledge of me and my wife. Correction: you don’t know me. You don’t know her. You’re just speculating and filling in the gaps.

      3. I cite many studies on this blog. You want to know what all of them report? The best qualities in a spouse are: supportive, agreeable, flexible, lack of neuroticism, lack of seeking novelty, sensitive to others’ emotional cues. You know who that describes? My wife. I love her because she is the best person I know and easily the best spouse I can imagine. She is not a doormat. She is not a Stepford Wife. She is not boiling inside while I run roughshod over her. This is what you are presuming because there are relationships like that in existence. So you fill in the blanks and assume (easygoing = resentful doormat of a wife, opinionated = insensitive dick of a husband). Again, that’s fair of you to leap to that conclusion. And it’s equally fair to point out that you couldn’t be more mistaken.

      4. It is not faint praise to talk about my wife accepting me in full for who I am. That IS why I’m with her. Not because of her degree from the University of San Diego. Or because she’s Catholic. Or because she is borderline OCD. I’m with her because she gets me and sees me the way I see myself. And because this kind of unconditional love and acceptance is so rare, I am an over-the-top doting husband. Like, if you heard the things I do for my wife and say to my wife, your husband would be like, “Shit, I’ve gotta up my game.” In good relationships, both husband and wife say “yes” 95% of the time because it makes their spouse happy. The 5% is negotiable. My wife is certainly not put upon. If anything, she’s put upon a pedestal. Why? Because my alternative was to date women like you, self-righteous, critical, and holier-than-thou. And I know how exhausting that can be.

      5. So yes, Me, I do consider myself an expert after doing this for 11 years and helping many thousands of people, and yes, I do consider my relationship to be a healthy template for others’ success. Successful, intelligent, sensitive, generous, ethical husband and happy, easygoing, patient, confident wife works EXTREMELY well for us. Whether or not you can see that from this blog is not my concern, because we’re happy and helping others get happy. If you are already happy and find my brand of reality-based relationship advice not to your liking, that’s your prerogative. Best of luck either way.

  5. 45
    starthrower68

    Evan, in the event you are not aware, Matt Walsh has just come out with his blog giving equal time to women on where we’re missing it in relationships.   That should be quite the conversation starter.

  6. 46
    jeremy

    Hmm.   Interesting discussion.   What is the line between advice that is sexist versus advice that is simply a reflection of how reality may differ from our idealizations?   I think each of us might set that line in a different place, based on our own beliefs and pre-conceptions, and that might be to our disadvantage.   After all, the reality of what others find attractive depends on them, not on us.
      
    Using myself as an example, in my youth I was thoroughly indoctrinated with the concept of gender equality.   So it really never occurred to me that I was the one expected to always ask a girl out (after all, if she liked me she SHOULD be just as likely to ask as me, right?), or pay for a date, or initiate the first physical move.   I thought that if a woman didn’t express overt interest in me, that meant she didn’t like me and there was no point in initiating/pursuing anything further.   As you might expect, this resulted in a very lonely adolescence 🙂
      
    Is it sexist to say that women generally like men to initiate contact, pay for dates (at least at first), and initiate physicality?   YES.   That is sexist.   It is also reality for a majority of people, and it is better to understand reality than to hope reality will change for our benefit.
      
    Is it sexist to say that women, generally, are attracted to men who are taller, stronger, richer, more educated, funnier, and better-looking than they are?   YES.   That is sexist.   It is also reality for a large swath of the population.
      
    Is it sexist to say that men, generally, are not attracted to a woman based on her education, career, or personal hobbies?   That men are mainly attracted to women based on emotional receptivity (and, yes, physical appearance), and would prefer a friendly, easy-going woman to a high-strung, challenging one?   YES.   That is sexist, but it is also reality.
      
    I think it is important for people to understand the fundamental ways in which the sexes differ – the qualities that we find attractive and the ones that may contribute to personal value but not to sexual value in the eyes of the opposite gender.   And that, I think, is the main value of blogs like this one.
      
    I don’t think anyone here is advising women to not be themselves, to “dumb it down”, or to be falsely giving – I fully agree that falseness is unfair to both people and un-sustainable in the long-term.   But it is one thing for a woman to want a man who values her for who she is – for her intelligence, humor, personality, etc.   This is very reasonable.   It is another thing for a woman to want a man to find her attractive BECAUSE of those qualities, and to ignore other qualities she may have that most men find un-attractive (like being overly critical and argumentative), and then wonder why she can’t keep a man.

    This is no different than a man who tries incessantly to be the “nice guy” to attract women.   Women are attracted to the things they are attracted to, and generally hate obsequious men.   Women like men who are attractive, and once they are attracted to those men they appreciate niceness.   But niceness is not an attractant in and of itself.   Understanding this would help men do better with women.  
      
    Don’t change who you are, fundamentally.   But emphasize your strengths (as seen by the opposite gender) to your best advantage while remaining genuine to yourself.   That is the fundamental advice offered here, I think.
      

    1. 46.1
      Jay

      I think that successful women fear being used for their money, so they avoid Matriarchal relationships, where the woman is the breadwinner, and its also difficult for some men to put their ego aside and accept that.   Also, the aggressive traits that help career success, are often not sexually appealing to men.   I suppose Equal Marriages is the ideal, but it often emasculates the man if she wants a lapdog.   In the end, its not about the size of the paycheck, but the personality of the woman and how she can interact in the role of wife/partner/friend to her husband.   Can she be sexually appealing and supportive?   I think the mistake women make in dating is because they look at the man’s career/paycheck and physical traits, but don’t look at the personality of the man, that can lead to a long-lasting supportive relationship.

    2. 46.2
      PK

      Jeremy,

      stop whining and stop defending Evan.

  7. 47
    Me

    Evan,
    Fair enough and it was not my intention to insult you or come across as ‘holier than thou’ just to give an opinion in the same style and tone as the blog delivers to it’s readers. You said yourself you write quickly and do not edit your blog. You are right,  I am only going off what is presented and perhaps it would be different if presented to reveal the balance   you describe in your reply. I do have the qualities you describe and perhaps that is partly what has helped my marriage but the thing is my husband  has them  too and I think that is what is missing in the blog because it  APPEARS one sided and maybe that’s it. Maybe if  female readers are shown  the balance you described in your replay  it would reduce the misunderstandings. I’m sorry for being offensive as being blunt is not my usual style, I’m sure it was rude.

    1. 47.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      Thanks, Me. I give advice to others. While it is entirely possible that if I wrote posts that were twice as long – and talked extensively about the relationship between me and my wife, I would be less misunderstood – I still choose to give the shortest, most direct advice possible. Everything has nuance and it would be impossible to cover my ass on every angle that someone wants to attack me. All I know is that I have a great marriage, I’m a highly ethical person, my clients get results, and a bunch of people don’t fully understand me because all they know is the free advice I give a couple times a week. I don’t like being disliked or misunderstood, but it comes with the territory. Generally, people who attack me feel personally indicted by my advice, and their default setting is to lash out. I don’t take it personally; I also don’t take it very seriously. There are exceptions to every rule. My job is to know the rules. You had unprotected sex with your husband in a bathroom stall on the first date? Good for you. But when I tell my readers that this isn’t the optimal way to start a relationship, it doesn’t mean I’m slutshaming you, it doesn’t mean I’m not sex positive, it doesn’t mean I’m judgmental, it doesn’t mean I’m conservative or prudish or condescending. All it means is that you’re more likely to get into a long-lasting relationship with someone if you get to know him organically, if you vet him as a human being and boyfriend candidate before you hop into bed, and if you are not blinded by chemistry, which often allows us to stay in dissatisfying relationships.

      Again, none of that is my personal opinion. Those are facts. But the woman who fucked a stranger and married him will verbally assault me and tell me I’m wrong because the implication is that she was “wrong” in how she started her relationship. That’s why I rarely say right and wrong and instead use effective/ineffective. CAN you fuck a stranger and marry him? Sure. Happens all the time. Is it the BEST way to start a relationship. Probably not.

      Pretty much every argument on this blog starts with someone feeling that my advice doesn’t apply to them, therefore it’s bullshit, I’m bullshit, and everything I say is thereby invalidated. Not quite. The only thing that’s happened is that you took something personally. In other words, I could give a crap whether you follow my advice. I just hate illogical arguments and personal attacks.

      1. 47.1.1
        PK

        Evan, it seems that you are sensitive and get offended too easily when people disagree with you. You are probably going to delete me for saying this. But, why not allow women’s   perspectives as long as they do not use bad language and not talk about your family? Have you ever thought about asking women what their experiences are and how they feel after you have written your post?   Remember, no matter how many degrees or titles a man has, he can never   speak of a woman’s experience. No woman can speak of a man’s experience as a man. Agree?

        Dont get angry at what I just wrote. It is what I see as a woman.

        1. Evan Marc Katz

          a) I’m not offended when people disagree with me. I’m offended when people misrepresent me, fail to understand nuance, or insult me directly. Read 1000 blog posts. There is a LOT of disagreement. I only jump in when something is egregious.

          b) “Why not allow women’s perspectives?” See the comments section. Tell me if there are women’s perspectives available to read.

          c) I don’t have degrees or titles, but I do have a bone to pick with your assertion that a man can’t speak of a woman’s experience at all. I think it’s more accurate to say that a man can’t speak to EVERY woman’s experience. Listen, I’ve been doing this job since 2003. Writing for women. Talking on the phone. Listening. Advising. Absorbing. If you think I haven’t learned anything about women in that time, you don’t give me very much credit. I literally could not do this job effectively if I didn’t understand women’s experience. Usually, if someone disagrees with me, it’s because you don’t think I’m describing YOU or YOUR experience – and that’s fair. But that doesn’t invalidate that my advice is applicable to many, many other women – based on how her behavior would be received by a man.

  8. 48
    Me

    Fair enough Evan. I sincerely apologise for my tone and get what you’re saying.

  9. 49
    Tamaran

    I love your response. Amen. Your gift of dating coaching is a true gift and I’m so thankful.  

  10. 50
    Angela

    I have only recently discovered you Evan and am finding your blogs and refreshingly honest insights and advice very helpful and thought provoking to say the least.   Thank you.

  11. 51
    Louise

    I love love loooooove you EMK ! I’ve been reading your advice for… almost five years now. I don’t think I have ever disagreed with anything you ever said. (except maybe about porn-watching being so inconsequential, to me a common blind spot for Americans – maybe stop watching it and see the results on your libido.. ? I’m referring to your “low sex drive”…? ;p)

    On the contrary, I’m quite addicted to reading your advice, it has helped me soooo much ! Seriously !

    My boyfriend/father of my 2 year old child very much is a beta guy, very quiet in public, not tall by American standards (my size exactly)(not that I cared about size in the first place, because even though I’m tall, I actually have always liked regular sized-borderline small frame guys), but I find him so handsome and attractive I cannot get enough of him! My own black haired Jewish atheist! 😉 And he’s so crazy about our son, whom, to my happiness, resembles his father in his very calm reflective ways. Even though the pregnancy was not planned and came after only nine months of relationship…. Which means, we became parents before having the chance to build our couple. Of course I didn’t realize this at the time, because I was completely in the honeymoon phase. But we had some strengths to begin with, were a good team from the start, and he was very good father material (otherwise I wouldn’t have kept the baby).

    Well today I feel like I’m in the phase where we are very much working towards communicating better, understanding each other and still learning to live together well. It’s a skill… I try hard (I have a strong personality and I’m quite an intense person, not so easy for me to be easygoing) and I hope it’s working, because he and our family is a treasure that I cherish and that I want to preserve.

     

    Initially I wanted to write this comment because I wanted to congratulate you Evan on your skills as a writer and as a debater. I always admire how smartly you are able to defend yourself and your work. I think it requires a lot of emotional intelligence combined with solid rationality. Which is universally hard a balance to acquire…

    Love to all, et vive l’Amérique

  12. 52
    jANINE PLATMAN

    What you are saying is men want qualities in women that sometimes don’t make women happy. I want a man who values my achievements as he wants me to value his. I find it upsetting that men don’t feel good because a women might be smarter than him and he doesn’t value any qualities except that he feels good. Yes she is funny and airy but maybe has not depth. I want a man who wants a women with depth and that seems to be what is missing when what makes him feel good is, in most cases, is not really a relationship of equals.   I want a man that doesn’t mind being wrong and doesn’t feel hurt or insignificant if he is.

    So, it seems like I am at odds with what men want. The statistical men. It is the rare man I am looking for the one that values more than one dimension of me and feels good being around me because I do challenge him and he finds that intriguing alluring and sexy.

    I do want a man to be happy being around me but I also want to be happy being around them.

     

    1. 52.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      “What you are saying is men want qualities in women that sometimes don’t make women happy.”

      What quality doesn’t make you happy, Janine? Being warm? Positive? Supportive? Interested? Vulnerable? Which of those traits are mutually exclusive with being accomplished?

      That’s right. None of them. Men love intelligent women with depth. We don’t like women who are negative, critical, selfish, insecure or difficult. Nothing surprising about that. Nor is it unique or gender specific. It’s just something worth stating since most women think their “credentials” (job, $, looks) are enough to be in a happy relationship and they’re not. It’s how you treat someone and how you make him feel that makes all the difference; and it should be the same thing you look for in a man, by the way…

      1. 52.1.1
        jANINE PLATMAN

        I think you misunderstood my statement. I am not talking about being emotional bad to a man so they aren’t happy. If men don’t want qualities of accomplishment in a women then that might not make the women happy, is my point.

        Men want women to be “interested”, in their careers, the things they have attained, what accomplishments they have done. Why would you think an accomplished women wouldn’t want the same from a man?   I don’t think a man would be happy with a women if she didn’t show interest in his career give him praise for his accomplishments. Why should a women be happy with a man that doesn’t show interest in what is important to her. Even if it is knitting.

        A relationship works when both parties try to meet the others needs and in turn their own. I believe in the 5 Love Languages and I try to give to a person accordingly but I have needs as well and I won’t be in a relationship that is one dimensional. That would be stupid of me.

        Obviously, from you prior statements, men aren’t asking what they need to do to make a relationship better, so you talk to women (some women beside themselves in need of the elusive relationship). All I am saying, that to think that I could be in a long term relationship with someone who doesn’t give me praise for what I have accomplished in my life because it isn’t part of what “makes them feel good” and therefore they aren’t cognizant of paying attention to those traits is not satisfactory to me as it isn’t satisfactory to them.

        If you put 2 women side by side and one is very accomplished maybe not as pretty as the first but is just as nice and loving, my problem is the man would choose the prettier one because ,as you say, to most men accomplishments don’t have any weight or little weight to men. That is what I see as sad.

        Thankfully, I am considered by men a very pretty women and I have dates all the time, what I don’t have is someone that can make me feel fully dimensional. Not that they don’t like me. I apparently make them feel good enough to go on multiple dates. I am nice and fun with men. But I am looking to see that they want not just the attractive women and the fun women but the women who has depth herself. When I don’t see them interested in more than the basics I walk because in the end I am not going to be happy.

        I am not trying to give you a hard time but just give you food for thought and maybe some women too. Great relationships are wonderful but those where you are not really getting your needs meet will only last so long and then end in failure for both parties.

        🙂

         

         

         

         

         

         

        1. Evan Marc Katz

          You said: “If men don’t want qualities of accomplishment in a woman then that might not make the women happy.”

          The problem is that I’ve never said this. Men DO want accomplished women. Intelligence is a turn on. Passion is a turn on. Achievement is a turn on. Thus, I am unable to offer a defense of smart men not desiring accomplished women. What I AM saying is that all the accomplishment in the world doesn’t make a difference if he doesn’t feel good around you.

        2. Janine

          I hope that maybe my chat below will elucidate my feelings better.

          Let me ask you a question, do you think a man if he found out the sweet women he was with is only interested in because he made her feel good by buying her stuff all the time or her ability to stay at his expensive place and if he didn’t have those things she wouldn’t be there would feel good when he finds out that he has been living a canard?

          Do you judge a car only by the fact it can get you to one place or another? Most people look for a car that can do that (the base) and then look for other qualities and those qualities are important in the whole determination of what to choose. Though humans are by no means cars, I don’t want to be chosen just because I make a man happy because to me that is the base that I offer. I want to be chosen because I have so much more to offer than just to make a man happy on the base level, but if I can tell that the other qualities I have are not needed or are thought of as irrelevant that would be like giving a  Lamborghini  to a person who is happy with a Ford Focus, they don’t care/appreciate the other qualities and therefore it is a waste.

          In the end I like my men evolved and they are on the left side of the bell curve. There are less of them, yes, but way worth it.

          Wishing you all the best.

           

           

        3. Evan Marc Katz

          Janine,

          You seem to focus very much on WHY a man chooses you instead of realizing that if a man chooses you, he’s doing it over all other women for a wide variety of reasons.

          People don’t make simply binary choices in life. I don’t expect my wife to think I’m the tallest man, richest man, most brilliant man, or sexiest man she’s ever met. All I know is that I’m her husband and that I seem to make her happy. Your focus on a man wanting you for your accomplishments (instead of thinking of them as secondary bonuses, which they are) is, at best, misguided, and at worst, actively harmful to your long term prospects. Find a guy you like, treat him like gold, and enjoy being together. I can assure you that he’ll think you’re impressive, but it’s not the main reason he’s with you.

        4. Marika

          Janine

          Evan talks about being kind and loving (a cool girl), but also with boundaries.  In my experience, guys want you are around if you’re fun, kind and giving, but boundaries help inspire attraction. I actually had a guy tell me that me starting to say no to things made him pay more attention to me.

          So it’s not just about being nice and sweet and standing around looking pretty. Guys want to respect their girlfriend, and stating who you are and want you want builds respect. Accomplishments are part of that.

        5. Karl R

          Janine said:

          “I want to be chosen because I have so much more to offer than just to make a man happy on the base level, but if I can tell that the other qualities I have are not needed or are thought of as irrelevant that would be like giving a Lamborghini to a person who is happy with a Ford Focus, they don’t care/appreciate the other qualities and therefore it is a waste.”

          That’s an interesting point.   My wife has no appreciation for my incredible skills with computer games.   Do you think I ought to go find a different wife?

           

          Don’t get me wrong.   My wife appreciates the way I make her feel.   She married me because I’m far more easy-going than any of her previous boyfriends.   She appreciates how I always have her back.   The sex is great.   Et cetera, et cetera.   But I have a substantial set of qualities that she’s never going to care about.

          Janine … just to be clear … you think I ought to ditch my wife?

        6. Emily the original

          Karl R,

          My wife appreciates the way I make her feel.  

          Isn’t that how everyone picks someone? Even friends. You don’t pick them because they have a nice car or the right job or can type 60 wpm or are well-read. That’s all secondary. You pick them because you like them and connect with them. What else is there?

  13. 53
    Helen

    Bravo Evan! A wise, balanced, detailed response. Keep up the good work. Your insights are valuable and thought-provoking.

  14. 54
    Ellen

    I have   been   in a successful relationship for almost 7 years. We met when I was just shy of 60. We have been a faithful , effective and loving couple . I credit the advice, and work of Evan for opening my eyes to a different type of man given my personality.   I believe in Evan’s approach and the no-nonsense truth he bravely shares.   He was. And is right –I needed to stop chasing a clone of myself. I usually ended up with a strong guy who needed my attention but failed when my needs were expressed.

    Long story short, my guy has been my comfort and partner through the deaths of loved ones, and serious illness.   We share children, grandchildren, friends and everyday life. He doesn’t want to sit through a production of Hamlet. If that’s the biggest complaint I can raise, my coupledom is pretty darn near perfect.

    Thanks Evan.

     

  15. 55
    Stinger

    Folks, coming from a man … Evan is absolutely 100% correct. It’s a balancing act. You can’t be someone that you’re not nor alter who you are materially. But everyone is capable of making minor “adjustments” or tweaks in their behavior. We have to. We do it every day with our friends, with our jobs. And it is necessary in dating and relationships. It just takes work.

    Women, as well as men, must take responsibility for relationships and the ability to cultivate them. Women, IMO, especially in the post-childbearing age group, have become just as picky and fussy as they accuse men of being. If you want to be in a long-term relationship with a quality man … you may have to reassess what initially attracts you to someone.

    It’s always nice to have your knees wobble on that first date, and in recent years … I have heard the incessant chant that there “must be chemistry”. Yet, years ago … when the divorce rate was much lower … society was much less reliant on instant chemistry. We are all watching too much “The Bachelor” and thinking that it is reality. Look up how many couples from The Bachelor are still together – it’s an easy google search. Most of us “quality guys” don’t have that charisma. Some of us are not 6’2″.It doesn’t mean we don’t have backbones and it doesn’t mean we can’t be successful in a relationship. But you have to give things (chemistry) time to develop sometimes.

    And with regards to strong women, of course we want intelligent capable women. I think it’s great that women have come so far, and I look forward to seeing a higher and higher percentage of women in executive and leadership positions … and for gosh sakes, the gender salary gap should be closed once and for all! But you have to realize that for most men, when you take that domineering, pushy, strength into a romantic relationship … it’s a real turnoff. We need to see your sweet side. It doesn’t mean we want you to roll over and lay on the floor completely. It just means that the “non-domineering side” contributes significantly to attraction for a man.

    All in all, it is disappointing to us “good guys” that you so often choose the 6’2″ charismatic guy who we know is going to sleep with you and leave … and who we know you are going to end up complaining about after it ends. We see it over and over again and we shake our heads over and over again. Please look deeper and please be more patient and you will be happier for it in the long run.

  16. 56
    Angela

    So sorry but the best thing I’ve read in ages. I have no idea why I’m even on a dating advice page as I’ve been with my fella 20 years..but I read it .1 I’ve been with him so long because unlike my ex friends who wanted the taller, richer more handsome good job etc. I didn’t need a man to make my life better. I have loads of male friend due to my love of football. I owned my own house car etc and a decent job..I wanted ..not needed someone who would care and love me as much as I would do for them support each other through thick and thin financial stuff   too..so all the dreamers who are waiting for a prince charming..and it doesn’t mean you have to try them all out..I wouldn’t even comment on stuff but the one thing that gets on my nerves ..is the guy gets the cheque / bill ..ie if he takes you out for meals cinema etc he foots the bill ..I’m not religious really. but did I miss the 11th Commandment ..Men will pay for women’s food, drink way of life and women get to save and spend their money on themselves..I would be so annoyed if a man thought he had to buy my dinner .I’m eating it not him .if I’m out with my hubby I get a round he gets a round he pays for dinner out ..next time I pay..I go out with my mates ( male ) I take my turn in paying for rounds..I’ve seen so many times whilst out and never seen hardly a woman get her purse out to go buy drinks / pay for meals ..but   get lipstick maybe..so your post is fine and funny but all I can add is please advice men to Man Up..just cause you take someone out its not always your time to pay..as it happens along with my fella being loving and caring he’s also 13 years younger than me and now earns 5 times what he did when we met as I supported him so he could get a better job ..he’s just got promotion I bought him a   new car.and with his bonus from work he’s surprised me with a fortnight holiday abroad..he’s 6 ‘4 so I wasn’t looking for a prince charming I ended up with one. Anyway..when it comes to dating I think it’s time some women looked themselves in the mirror and get off the pedestal they’ve put themselves on and maybe men would stay a bit longer if weren’t made to feel like theyre gonna be the breadwinner / bill payer for life instead of a life partner..there’s so many decent men out there but don’t get a fair go cause women ain’t doing it right

  17. 57
    IHearYou

    Long time reader, 1st time commenter.

    Evan, I fully understand your indignation and sense of cognitive dissonance.

    It is amazing how many people do not understand the concepts of statistics.

    Maybe add a disclamer to each post: “statistically speaking” or “there are exceptions which only prove the (statistical) rules”.

    Wish you and your wonderful family love and prosperity.

     

  18. 58
    Gala

    I really don’t understand what is here to argue about. OF COURSE enybody can be in a relationship if they lower (or “adjust” if you want a positive spin) their standards enough. I have dated many high rollers but somehow never had the happily ever after with any of them. Came close once and that blew up in my face. I am now living with a guy who makes half of what I do, has never been to the Bahamas, didn’t know the difference between negiri   and sashimi and has never owned a pair of shoes over $100. That is before he met me, this is a freaking cindirella in reverse story. But he takes care of my little needs and generally goes with what I say, doesn’t argue and is malleable so he’s almost at a point where i can be seen in public with him. And with his drive and ambition who the heck knows may be one day he will make enough to be the primary breadwinner. I sure hope that happens as I am sick and tired of busting my chops at work. So, happy ending? In a way, yes.   We have a nice life, we have enough money, we don’t argue and when we do I always win, our personalities mesh well, much better than any of my previous relationship. There’s no drama. It’s comfortable. But … every time we are at a restaurant or out elsewhere, and i see a couple across the room where a woman is clearly with some high powered man, polished, sophisticated, exuding power, I feel regret. A pinch of jealousy. Why wasn’t it me? Why can’t i have a guy like that? Why couldn’t i make it work? Was i two inches too short and 10 pounds too heavy? Was my jar line not strong enough? Something wrong with my vagina? Why do all these other women end up with the men i really wanted, and i had to settle? There’s that. A lot of those feelings too. So yes, for sure if you follow Evan’s advice you will land a man, ladies. Whether you will be happy with that or not is a whole different question altogether.

     

    1. 58.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      Spoken like a woman who feels she’s settled not like a woman slated for a happy marriage. Alas, that’s not what I advise.

  19. 59
    Butterduck

    My husband and I celebrated our 30th wedding anniversary last month. Okay, we were crazy about each other, but I was a VERY insecure pain in the butt who kept waiting for the other shoe to drop in the relationship. But he took me as I was.

    There is a LOT to be said for the virtue of easygoing-ness. My husband is a million times more easy-going than I am; if he hadn’t been, I doubt we ever would have gotten married, let alone still be married . Over the years it rubbed off on me.

    Now he’s 78 and getting a little crabby;   he has a lot of aches and pains from PAD.   But the foundation is there. He’s the guy for me.

     

  20. 60
    Sarina

    I love your blog, Evan – I am a regular reader even though I’ve been in the best relationship of my life for the past three years! Your advice is spot on 98% of the time and entertaining to boot. The only time I disagree with you is when I can tell by your answers you have no experience with men who are perpetrators of domestic violence and/or coercive control (those guys are the subject of a whole other blog). Keep up the good work. It IS effective! I quote you all the time to my single friends and you do a great job; you share so much for free, and that is really wonderful. You are making a positive difference in many people’s lives, don’t let the critics get you down. â¤ï¸

     

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