Why Do Men Who Seem Like Promising Prospects End Up Breaking Up With Me?


I’m really excited to be here today, breaking out my new little FlipCam video just for you. The reason I’m doing this video blog is because after reading through nearly 1500 of your most intimate questions, some common themes became apparent.

And instead of waiting to complete my new book, I wanted to share the most powerful observations I had based on your survey answers.

The first big misunderstanding you have about men is a big one. In fact, if there’s one thing that you can take away from anything I write ever again, it’s this one.

Men Are About Feelings, Not About Looks

If you’ve ever been baffled at how men sometimes pull away from you, believe me, I understand. I’ve been dumped before and I remember the raw confusion, trying to reconcile how something so good could possibly go bad.

Now as a man, I don’t claim to speak for every guy, everywhere. I only speak for good, solid, relationship oriented men – the guys who are over the drama of dating hot, crazy women. Guys who want to date hot, crazy women aren’t really good relationship bets, so you shouldn’t worry too much when they disappear.

Anyway, every normal guy has had the experience of dating someone attractive and then breaking up with her. The physical is what pulls us in, but there’s a high price to pay for this kind of dysfunctional relationship.

You’ve probably done the same thing: been so drawn by attraction that you never looked up and considered that you’re always fighting, you’re always breaking up, and that, in between the great sex, there’s very little peace and contentment.

Are men drawn to smart, strong, successful women? You bet. The same way that you’re drawn to smart, strong, successful men. Really. Those characteristics are universally attractive and are considerable assets to you.

But where women and men often diverge is that we’re looking for different things. You’re looking for a man who is taller, stronger, smarter, funnier, wealthier.

We’re not. We’re looking for what we doesn’t have ourselves, what we can’t get at work, what we can’t get from our male friends: warmth, compassion, kindness, generosity, femininity.

Thus, your brains and beauty will always attract men, but they won’t keep them.

Thus, your brains and beauty will always attract men, but they won’t keep them.

Men may not even be able to articulate this themselves, but we want to feel needed, trusted, important, masculine, sexy, smart, funny, and heroic. In other words, we want you to see us the way we see ourselves. We want you to treat us the way you want to be treated. We want to feel unconditionally loved and accepted, despite our many flaws.

And if we don’t get all of that, we’re going to find a woman who does.

That’s why it doesn’t matter how impressive you are. You could be a Rhodes Scholar/TopChef/Supermodel, but if we constantly feel criticized, micromanaged, unattractive, emasculated, pressured and undermined, we’re gonna move on.

So when you’re trying to assess how to keep a guy around, remember:

Men are about feelings, not about looks.

Make us feel like a million bucks and we’re not going anywhere.

If you’ve struggled to understand and connect with the “right” men, do yourself a favor and put in your email address. That will put you on my priority mailing list so that you’ll get first notification when my new book comes out.

More importantly, it’ll take you to a special report I just created based on YOUR survey questions, called “The 3 Biggest Illusions You Have About Men”. This is some really valuable, challenging and eye opening stuff, and it’s all yours on the next page. Just put in your email, click submit, and stay tuned for more video updates in coming weeks…

Also be sure to offer your thoughts on my video in the comments section below and have an amazing week!

Join our conversation (73 Comments).
Click Here To Leave Your Comment Below.


  1. 31
    Karl R

    Casey asked: (#26)
    ” do these men you speak of just see themselves as needed, trusted, important, masculine, sexy, smart, funny, and heroic or are they really, in fact, needed, trusted, important, masculine, sexy, smart, funny, and heroic”

    My girlfriend thinks I’m an amazing boyfriend because I make her feel hot, sexy and feminine. My girlfriend is 56 and went through menopause more than a decade ago. She didn’t think of herself as being hot, sexy and feminine (until we started dating).

    I am smart. Everyone has been telling me that since I was a young child. My test scores have repeatedly demonstrated that this is true. It’s kind of nice when my girlfriend tells me I’m smart, but it’s nothing special.

    As a teenager I was a scrawny geek. My self-image (and my appearance) has improved since then, but I have no aspirations to be a model or movie star. When my girlfriend makes me feel like I’m a gorgeous casanova, that makes me feel incredible.

    I think my girlfriend is attractive, and she thinks that I’m attractive. But the real reward in the relationship is that the other person sees us as being better than we see ourselves.

  2. 32

    It needs to be said – men rarely break up with particularly physically attractive women. It’s the women who break it off. However, things might be different prior to the “relationship” stage.

  3. 33
    Evan Marc Katz

    @JerseyGirl – Assume men understand nothing, want to understand nothing and are not going to change for you.

    Really. You’ve been reading here for years. You know that when I give advice it’s for the woman asking the question, not for the man who is the “problem”. So please stop asking me to give advice to someone who’s not reading my blog. As I’ve acknowledged 100 times, it’s not that you’re incorrect that men NEED to learn more. It’s that you can’t change them, and I can’t change them. Thus every woman who criticizes me for not telling men what to do is wasting her time. And mine.

    Listen to what the advice IS and figure out how to apply it to you, instead of trying to find fault in what the advice is NOT – and I think you’ll be a happier reader. And probably a happier person as well since that’s a pretty good philosophy of life, as well.

    Thanks for your patronage for these many years.

    Stay tuned for more in coming weeks.

    And where are the guys to comment on this video? Oh, yeah, guys don’t read my blog! 🙂

  4. 34

    Evan, love your advice! I have always held the philosophy that you communicated in your video. I don’t know if it was innate or if it was something I learned along the way, but when it comes to making the guys I dated feel special, I have always strived to do that because in my heart they always were. I know that I always did my best to be the best girlfriend – and if the guy I was dating did not want to play nice, I would kick him to the curb. More women need to learn how to do this and not waste so much time and energy trying to change the guy or wonder why the guy is not appreciating or reciprocating. Here’s the reason… He’s a jerk! Enuf said.
    P.S. I am now dating a wonderful man who appreciates being my sexy, masculine, smart, successful hero. He treats me like a goddess:-)

  5. 35

    Posted by mic(#33)

    It needs to be said men rarely break up with particularly physically attractive women. It’s the women who break it off. However, things might be different prior to the relationship stage.

    “For every hot, drop-dead gorgeous girl out there, there’s a guy that’s tired of effing her.”

    Guys are probably loathe to dump a hot girl because of the social status dating someone that attractive brings, so they hang on longer to a relationship that isn’t going to work.

  6. 36

    Evan does give out great advice where women have control. Looks may get you in the door, but getting in the door is half the battle. Otherwise, why does it getter harder for women to date as they age? A man will often give more room for the woman to be an “easy girlfriend” if she is good looking. But enough about stuff you can’t control. You can only realistically attract your equal. Most women, like men, overate themselves. Therefore when a perfectly fine guy who is your equal pursues you, there is a tendency for the woman to secretly think that she deserves better, hence her not being as nice as she could to the poor guy. I think what Evan is constantly trying to tell us is: be realistic; you are not that perfect either. Choose the men who choose you. You might be surprised to actually find love. Leave the Alpha males for the really hot women who can handle them.

  7. 37

    Joe, perhaps. One of the likely benefits is the higher appeal to women who see such a man with a beauty. In other cases, a major factor is pessimism about finding a replacement of comparable physical attractiveness.

    Characteristic tanget – there probably are certain types of men who won’t break it off even though they know they should. For example, the emotionally disconnected type who highly values sex.

  8. 38

    Evan very clever title. When I first read it my initial response was “your wrong” but you did a good job to conince other wise. Not sure I would have used the exact phrase, but love is loyalty for a man. And a flip cam? aww you should have gotten a kodak zi8, its way better.

  9. 39

    Well, that’s helpful to know that you interpret my questions and/or comments as “But what about men?” a lot of the time. And maybe they are to you. But, I don’t mean it that way or that I want you to give men advice. Sometimes they’re just comments. Sometimes they’re questions, which can include “But, what about men?” I’ve tried to say this in other posts, perhaps somewhat inarticulately, and got hammered…but I’m gonna try again any way because I gotta be me. 🙂
    I know what I think, and I’m pretty sure you can’t expand upon that – mostly because a majority of the time my posts get construed in a way that I didn’t mean…so I’m sure we there isn’t a meeting of the minds. I know what many women think, because I know many women and have discussed these very subjects with them. You do expand on what women think with examples quite often, many of which are quite helpful.

    But what I don’t know is what men think…that’s where you could be really, really helpful. You are a man giving advice to women, and telling us what we should do and how we should do it…but I feel that you often leave out the part about what men think and why.

    I am a big picture kind of a person, and for me, I feel I am only getting part of the picture…what women should do. And I would like to get the whole picture.

    I, and perhaps other women, would find it useful to know more about what men think (cuz I’m assuming you know since you’re a man and probably talk with a lot of men about this stuff and they would tell you things they are unlikely to tell women)… and what kind of advice you would give to men.

    You might not agree, but that’s what I think. And as I’ve mentioned before, maybe bring it up once in a while in a blog post like every 3 months or so. It could be a very short, tiny, itty-bitty, little blog post. It’s just a suggestion of something I would find helpful and perhaps others would also…and has never been intended to imply in any way that you should write a entire book on the subject.


    P.S. “Casey, I love you, but….” Right back at you babe 😉 But I’m pretty sure if you met me…you’d be torn between wanting to hug me and wanting to strangle me. 🙂

  10. 40
    Evan Marc Katz

    Sweet Casey,

    Thanks for trying to clarify. It’s exhausting being misinterpreted, isn’t it? 🙂 I totally hear you about how you’re not getting the whole picture. You understand women; you’re here to understand men. Got it.

    Here’s my response:

    Every single word I write is telling you how men think. I don’t tell you what men should be doing different – since we agree that it doesn’t really matter, and that you already KNOW what men should be doing different. But if you really, truly, want to know what men think, then keep reading my point of view on this blog. I don’t speak for all men, but I speak for smart, kind, relationship oriented men, who still have a bit of selfishness, narcissism, and player in them.

    What I find is that when I explain how men think – and you don’t like it – I get yelled at for telling the truth. The proverbial “shooting of the messenger”. So when I say that you should put up with his flirting, or his friendship with his ex, or his penchant to make corny jokes, or his confusion about whether he wants to marry you… THAT’S what we’re thinking. We want to be ACCEPTED, not judged. And, in exchange for accepting us (which no other woman has done), we will pledge our love and devotion and treat you better than you’ve ever been treated before.

    That’s what this video’s about. Make him feel special, he’ll make you feel special. And if he fails, then dump his ass instead of waiting for him. He’ll get the message quick!

    Are our minds meeting yet? 🙂

  11. 41

    I hear you casey.

    Whenever I need to know the why, I ask a good mate of mine, whose a relationship councellor. It doesn’t change the man, or my acknowlegement of his behaviour(good or bad), but the why really does help me too.

  12. 42

    Ladies, I have to admit that Evan is right on. Yes the good looks do draw is in, but they won’t necessarily keep us. Here’s a good example. You see it all the time, the guy with the beautiful seemingly perfect wife that ends up cheating on her for what could be termed a less attractive woman. A woman would ask, “She’s so beautiful and perfect, why would he leave her for that other girl.” Very simple. A saying an old friend once told me. No matter how pretty a girl is, there’s a guy at home that’s tired up putting up with her shit. Love your man the way you want to be loved. Make him feel the way he makes you feel. And just let him be a man sometimes. Let him feel like the Han Solo to your Princess Leia.

  13. 44

    That’s hilarious!!

    Sadly- if it wasn’t for the twentysomething girls on that cam- the rest of the segment could actually be on a real news segment. ?

  14. 45

    Hi Evan,
    I really enjoy reading your blogs/emails/columns because I do find them quite enlightening, for the most part, and I try to take encouragement from your advice, where possible.
    This is from my own personal observation and experience: I believe that what you say has validity for the nice woman who is also quite pretty, but not for the “plain Jane.” Most men (yourself included) freely admit that it is looks that draws them in, initially. To coin a phrase, “there’s the rub!” Men may leave a woman who is beautiful, but mean, but will they ever date a woman who is kind, but ugly?
    So, if a girl doesn’t look really good to start with, how will she ever get the chance to prove to a guy that she’s worth investing in, and that she will treat him well? We may very well be intelligent, kind, sensitive, loving, devoted women, but if we are not also “hot,” men won’t give us the time of day, relationship-wise. We might become their buddies – their confidantes – the girls they go to for advice or a shoulder to cry on? – but we are never seen as serious “girlfriend” material, because we don’t measure up to their minimum standards in the looks department. How can a woman overcome this??? If the guy won’t even consider going out with us to begin with, it doesn’t matter how sweet we are capable of being, because we are never given the chance to take your advice. This is what I find to be so discouraging.
    Evan, how many girls have you dated that you didn’t also find to be pretty? Would you ever have even considered going out with a sweet, kind, loving, devoted woman with the proverbial “heart of gold,” who was average-looking, or, heaven forbid, wasn’t particularly attractive? Would you have dated her anyway? How many of your buddies would ever consider it? I would really be interested to know,? but I suspect that I already know the answer. And, even if, in your particular case, you WOULD have dated someone like that, can you honestly tell me that this is the case with the vast majority of modern men? Am I wrong here?
    What strategy would you suggest for dealing with physical disadvantages in the way we look (assuming that we’re not willing or able to undergo plastic surgery)? How can a woman overcome what they’re born with?

  15. 46

    Claire @ 45
    I believe beauty is pretty much in the eye of the beholder. Maybe it’s a naive thing to say, I don’t know. Every guy will have their different standards of what who they think is physically attractive to them. Just take a look around the next time you’re out. All the couples out there.. not all of them will be what you think are physically attractive (according to one’s own measurement of what is physically attractive). Yet they managed to find partners didn’t they? I’ve known “plain jane’s” and they managed to have a boyfriend when I didn’t. So they are doing something right.

  16. 47

    Yes. I second that plain janes are able to find boyfriends because they are doing something right.

    When I see couples on the train, not all of them are attractive. There’s beauty and the beast everywhere. Some girls are not pretty, some girls are way fat. But they do managed to get boyfriends.

    When I see them, I say to myself: if they can do it, I can do it too!

    I’m on the dating scene for more than a year. I was commented to have fat arms by a guy on our first date. Check out the blog post from Evan.? Not many dates in between, but?had been?on our?4th date over the last?weekend with a skinny intellectual?guy. I’m quite happy with our progress. 😀

  17. 48
    Karl R

    Claire said: (#45)
    “Men may leave a woman who is beautiful, but mean, but will they ever date a woman who is kind, but ugly?”

    Look around. There are lots of unattractive women with boyfriends, fiancees and husbands.

    In some cases, certain men find those women attractive. In other cases, the men focus on one feature that they find attractive and ignore the parts of the visual package that they’re not as attracted to.

    If an unattractive woman is trying to get a gorgeous guy, she’ll probably have about as much luck as an unattractive man trying to get a gorgeous woman. If she tries to get someone closer to the same level of attractiveness, she’ll be more successful.

    Most importantly, don’t let a poor self-image cripple you. There’s a girl in my dance class (I’ll call her Wallflower). Wallflower is about average attractiveness, but she radiates that she has low self-esteem and a horrible self-image. If she had a positive self-image, a substantial number of men would be attracted to her. As it is, the only men who approach her are the desperate ones … or ones who seek to take advantage of her.

    There are less attractive women (older, heavier, worse facial features) that I find much more attractive than wallflower, because these women radiate self-confidence.

  18. 49

    Claire, if you don’t think you’re attractive, how?can you expect someone else to?? Go get your own “extreme makeover” or have someone do a “what not to wear” session for you.? I’ve seen women who were, shall we say, “a little dumpy” change something like their hair, or lose a little weight, and they shifted their level of attractiveness–shifted from not attractive to attractive (to me, that is–eye of the beholder and all).

  19. 50

    Casey post #39:?
    But what I don?t know is what men think..that?s where you could be really, really helpful. You are a man giving advice to women, and telling us what we should do and how we should do it?but I feel that you often leave out the part about what men think and why.
    I will second this and is infact? a point I’ve made to Evan before as well as one I tried to make in this topic but Evan didn’t see fit to post my last response. We all get that Evan doesn’t give advice to other men. However, it is still helpful to know what men are thinking and why.
    I don?t speak for all men, but I speak for smart, kind , relationship oriented men, who still have a bit of selfishness, narcissism, and player in them. ? So when I say that you should put up with his flirting, or his friendship with his ex, or his penchant to make corny jokes, or his confusion about whether he wants to marry you?THAT?S what we?re thinking. We want to be ACCPETED, not judged. And in exchange for accepting us (which no other women has done), we will pledge our love and devotion and treat you better than you?ve ever been treated before.
    Women want to be accepted for who they are as well. The difference is that sometimes, some of the things men do can make a woman feel unaccepted even if it isn?t what would make a man feel unaccepted. Sometimes it?s that selfish, narcissistic, player attitude that can turn a woman off or make her feel unaccepted. ?You tell us that women should be kind, honest, vulnerable and make a guy feel good, and I agree. But then you say things like men still want to ?have a bit of selfishness, narcissism, and player in them??and this is suppose to be motivations on why we should treat men like heroes and kings and give him what he wants while assuming men understand nothing. It?s very confusing. Do all the work, don?t have expectations that he understands anything, and coddle him when he flirts or acts selfish. What I think is being left out is that a man who likes to flirt can make a woman feel unaccepted just as a woman getting shrill over him flirting with another woman can make him feel unaccepted. Are these both huge transgressions? No but it?s enough to cause distance on both sides. It seems that you think women should make more of the concessions out of the theory that men like to be indulged, selfish and be a bit of a player that still feels like he could leave you at anytime because of all the other options out there.

  20. 51
    Karl R

    JerseyGirl said: (#50)
    “It seems that you think women should make more of the concessions”

    Either person (male or female) can choose to make more of the concessions in a relationship.

    But you can’t make choices for your partner. You can’t make them choose to make more of the concessions. He/she might choose to do so … or maybe not. But it’s not in your control.

    You can refuse to be in a relationship where you have to make more than 50% of the concessions. You can refuse to be in a relationship where you have to be making any concessions at all. Your chances of having a successful relationhip will drop, so you need to decide whether that’s an acceptable consequence of not conceding anything to your boyfriend.

    Important note:
    You’re a lot more likely to notice when you’re making a concession than when someone else is … so you might be counting 100% of the times you concede and only 50% of the times he concedes.

  21. 52

    I’m gonna try a new different tact today!? :-)? This question is for Evan and the men who post on this blog:? When you say you want to be your wife/girlfriend’s hero, what exactly does that mean to you?? Specific examples would be helpful.? 🙂

  22. 53

    I’m a girl…but I think I will respond to?Casey’s qn (#52).

    On my first date with a guy at an exhibition:
    Me: “Oh, some people are so inquisitive. They ask questions and all that, blah blah.”
    Date (ask qns to next available staff): “How does this work? Is this a model XXX?”
    Staff:”Yeah. That’s right. It does precisely what it is named for.”
    Date (to me): “That staff is unfriendly. I feel stupid.”
    Me: “Naw. Its just not his day.” (big smile and got big smile in return)

    After that, he told me about some?technical stuff which I totally have no idea. Just Oooh and Ahhh over?them and?keep the smile. Needless to say, I’ve got subsequent dates.?

  23. 54

    Enjoyed this video Evan. I have personally found that it is very true not only of what a man wants to feel from his woman, but what a woman wants to feel from her man. When that special thoughtful focus is not there, relationships fall apart. Thanks for reinforcing the point, that strong intimate positive focus on your partner, is what keeps all of us interested….and sometimes it may seem like both an effort and a challenge, but then again if we find the right partner he is focusing similarly on us.

  24. 55

    I agree and understand the points that you make about men wanting to feel special in a way that only a woman in their life can provide. When you stop doing this, he stops being there. Whilst I also agree that men are attracted to smart, confident and successful women, if these women do not switch into their 'feminine energy' soft, gentle, kind, nurturing etc then men are also likely to walk away.  

  25. 56

    I’m having trouble reconciling this advice (i.e. make a man feel loved, wanted, needed) with the seemingly strict “don’t chase” rule, especially early on in the dating process. I try hard to mirror and not chase, but I worry that I come off as indifferent about the guy as a result. How do I make him feel needed without looking needy? It seems that there’s a middle ground somewhere…I just don’t know where it is, or how to achieve it.

    1. 56.1

      Great question!   I have found it hard to strike a balance between over-eager and uninterested.  And sometimes guys have come on strong at the beginning and I can’t mirror their enthusiasm bc I just don’t know them well enough to feel anything but mild interest, at that point.  By the time I can honestly mirror their excitement, they have given up/ lost interest.  *sigh*

  26. 57

    I was reading Kasey’s comments above and for me, it’s not so much the “but men do this too” argument, it’s that women cannot possibly read a man’s mind. Of course,we can ask, but sometimes that gets us in trouble. I’m sure there are general things that mostU men want, but not each individual man. We can do our best, but the man can still run. At that point, it really is on him. Maybe we did something that hurt his ego, maybe he’s in love with his ex, maybe a 24 year old turned his head. Unless you could pinpoint when a man decided to go in a different direction, it’s more a matter of options. He just chose a different option that he preferred.

    Yes, we can control what we do, but we really don’t bear that much responsibility for a man running off, in the same way a man can’t be responsible for a woman’s decision to flee. None of us is a psychic. Some men like to be coddled, some tolerate a shit load of bitchiness.

    I believe in treating my man the best I can, but we can’t possibly control everything that comes out of my mouth and walk on eggshells because I haven’t made him my hero. He still is in control of his feelings. It’s a matter of communication.

    We can’t change men. After having been married to a man for over 20 years I know that. I tried and failed during the first few years and then gave up. I did accept him and his inability to communicate for years. I might have caused it, but there’s another adult who has a role in it – him. I’m not a puppeteer. The whole point is that we are not in control of a guy’s feelings. At some point, if he gets butt-hurt,clams up and refuses to communicate, you have to just let him go.

    The only reason to be your best is to have the best time with the man you’re with for as long as it’s equally enjoyable for both people and when things break down, you can walk away with a clear conscience.

    You’re never ever in control of a man’s feelings. It really is him.

  27. 58

    I was just thinking about what Evan said that it doesn’t make sense to try to change men – I definitely agree. We have to change ourselves. Still, we can’t obsess on what might’ve done wrong or said to make a guy run. It’s a shame that men are usually obsessed with immediate self-gratification.

    HOWEVER, I used to attend an excellent relationship meet-up. The attendees were generally older 50s-60s, I am one of the younger ones (40s). The group isn’t geared to older people – anyone can come. Most of the people are men in their late 50s and 60s who want to know how to connect with women their own age in a meaningful way. They’re not trying to jump young women’s bones. And no, these aren’t beta males – they’re execs, small business owners, etc. There is one young man in his 30s, a good looking, alpha-male cop (always brags about all the women who want him). He’s trying to learn about women because he said that as a cop his behavior is scrutinized and he doesn’t want any misunderstandings in his relationships with women.

    So, eventually, men realize that they can’t bang every woman. The finally realized it’s a waste of time and now they want to understand how to relate to women their own age because the young’uns just aren’t biting anymore.

    If you just wait long enough, a man will come around . . . sigh In any case, I’m not waiting or expecting. I accept and move on.

  28. 59

    Some men don’t expect anything and don’t want you to expect anything from them. Just live the life as it goes. They believe people don’t “need” one another but choose to be together. Sounds somewhat right but at the end I think this kind of relationship is going to lead to friendship. Maybe that’s what marriage is at the end after many years being together but I somehow disagree with this by nature and think it’s important to keep feelings alive as long as you can by being caring and supportive, making gestures for one another. But not all men need this. Oh and some men definitely don’t like to feel needed also because they want an independent partner.

  29. 60

    I loved this video.. I have been struggling since my divorce a few years ago.  I have had no trouble getting a date, the problem is getting them to stick around.  I feel like I bring a lot to the table and the men I date actually mention dating women like myself who are independant , strong, and successful and attractive.  Everything seems perfect, but somewhere along the way they disappear, and I am left picking up the pieces and feeling confused.  When I try to figure out what went wrong it seems almost like I have offended them in some way by not being sensitive enough or not needing them for something.  Evan I thought I was reading that wrong, and I thought well certainly they don’t want someone who is clingy or all needy.  Oh my gosh, I have just had such a revelation I can look back at 3 failed relationships over the last few years, quality guys, truly connected or so I thought and they could mark off all the boxes on their list when we dated.  Except, not everything was on the list.  I had no idea they really wanted these things from women,  I could have saved myself and them so much heart ache.  I don’t know if I feel better or worse, but I feel informed with regards to the future.  Thanks

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