A Good Man Is Hard to Find. Only 35% of Men Are Emotionally Intelligent.

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If this was a blog for men, I would spend a whole lot more time talking about how men need to change. But since this is a blog for women, usually my focus is on women’s blind spots, what they can learn, how they can understand men and take responsibility for their piece of all relationships.

Today, we’re going to turn the tables and talk about one thing men really suck at:

De-escalating conflict.

Now, to be clear, there is a lot of complaining/nagging/attacking on the part of the fairer sex – a behavior that Dr. Jamie Turndorf ably outlined in her seminal book, “Kiss Your Fights Goodbye.” In short, if you attack your male partner, it’s either fight or flight. He’s either going to push back or pull away from the conflict.

Today’s post is courtesy of Dr. John Gottman, the Godfather of Couples Counseling.

If you attack your male partner, it’s either fight or flight. He’s either going to push back or pull away from the conflict.

In it, he talks about how insensitive men trigger their wives by INCREASING the negativity in a conflict instead of attempting to listen, validate and calm things down.

It’s not terribly surprising, but, for many couples, failure to de-escalate is like throwing a match onto a pile of kindling. Things blow up fast and get out of control.

The typical male response to female input: “You are not the boss of me!” is not the way women operate. Women actually take others opinions into account. The irony is that couples would be happier if men allowed their wives’ opinions to matter more.

The problem is that only  35% of men  are emotionally intelligent.

You ever wonder why I tell women to be the CEO and treat men like interns? That’s why. 65% of guys are incapable of being good partners.

“The husband who lacks emotional intelligence rejects his wife’s influence because he fears a loss of power. And because he is unwilling to accept influence, he will not be influential.

The emotionally intelligent husband is interested in his wife’s emotions because he honors and respects her. While this man may not express his emotions in the same way his wife does, he will learn how to better connect with her.

65% of guys are incapable of being good partners!

When she needs to talk, he’ll turn off the football game and listen. He will pick “we” over “me.” He will understand his wife’s inner world, continue to admire her, and communicate this respect by turning towards her. His relationship, sex life, and overall joy will be far greater than the man who lacks emotional intelligence.”

We can go on and on about how women need to be more patient, sensitive, understanding, easygoing, and supportive of their partners. It’s true.

But if anybody needs to take this advice to heart TWICE as much, it’s men.

Your thoughts, below, are greatly appreciated.

Join our conversation (289 Comments).
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Comments:

  1. 21
    Jeremy

    Marika, you wrote, “This particular article is directed to the type of man you aren’t but many of us have dealt with. It’s not about you. Maybe you don’t need to be so passionately involved in this discussion?”

     

    That’s fair, so this will be my last post on this topic.   A while back on another post, YAG made the assertion that men don’t come to love women until women have sex with them.   I responded at that time that of course men can love women before they have sex with them.   And the reason I was so passionate about making that claim was because if women come to believe that men arrive at love through sex, their logical course of action would be to try to have sex with a man to get him to love her.   And this will lead to heartbreak.   It isn’t that some men aren’t like YAG, but rather the actions resulting from this assumption will be harmful.

     

    Back to this topic – I KNOW that you and others here have had terrible experiences with men who lack EI.   I’m not minimizing that for an instant.   But if we assume that marital conflict is most often due to the man’s lack of compromise, it will lead (via availability bias) to the notion that each time an argument occurs, it is the man’s fault for not giving in.   It will also lead to the bias that because the woman believes she is honoring the man’s opinions, she is expressing it in a way that is meaningful to him.   That would not be good advice for women seeking relationship improvements.   Better advice would be:   Before engaging, consider whether the time and circumstances are optimal.   Consider whether you are actually taking his opinion into consideration, or are just standing on your prerogatives politely.   And the advice for men would be: check your ego, realize that withdrawal will not help you (so if you need to do it, explain it to her and set a time limit), and write down what your opinion is and how you feel, and then do an exercise in perspective taking by writing down what you think her opinion is and why she believes it.

    1. 21.1
      Adrian

      Hi Jeremy,

      You stated, “…this will be my last post on this topic.

      I just want you to know that I have followed this post all the way through and only because of my No debate rule did I not come to openly support you.

      I am not saying that you were 100% correct; I think many of the women here made some excellent points and the few men who did post (including/especially Evan) did nothing to help or just plainly sabotaged your points completely.

      BUT

      Though I agree with you tapping out of this debate logically-emotionally it saddens me.

      I will not say anything else on the matter because it is already taking extraordinary amount so self-control not to comment on Gottman’s statements, Evan’s statements, and some of the female commenters statements.

      So instead I would like to ask you something…

      …    …    …

      From reading your various post about your childhood, your relationship with your parents as a child, your adult life, and your romantic relationships I can kind of see you as an older (though smarter) version of myself; though you chose the field of academia and I chose to double major in science and business (Ha! Emily I bet you didn’t know that you’re not the only one with two bachelor’s degrees… and now with soon getting my masters I’ll be catching up with you (^_^).

      Anyway Jeremy I kind of see myself as a watered down version of you in many aspects especially when it comes to wanting to learn as much as I can about everything I can to better myself as well as simply for the love of understanding why everyone and thing do what they do. However, another of our most common shared traits is being a validation type personality and that is the subject of my question.

      In this debate I noticed (at least it seemed to me) that because of your desire to be liked you pulled a lot of punches and acquiesced or gave up a lot of hard won ground in this debate in the guise seeking peace or the middle ground but I think it was just so that you would not alienate the female commenters or lose their respe… admiration.

      Common Jeremy many of the female readers see you as a paragon of wisdom and understanding.

      I’m not saying I’m right I could be completely wrong that’s just how it looked to me. Nevertheless, I to have that problem as a validation person; I need to be liked. I want to say that in your position that I would not have backed down (and to be fair you single handedly debated every female commenter and a few males including the owner of the website alone) but I sadly realize that if it meant losing the level of praise, status, trust, and even somewhat reverent awe that you receive from many of the female commenters that I too would pull back.

      So taking yourself out of the equation (in case you disagree with everything I’ve said or and I apologize if you feel like I am insulting you…) what advice do you have for a validation person who has to tell someone things about themselves that are not good, knowing that it could lead to them not liking you as much or at all anymore?

      An additional sub question would be: As a man I find myself (I can’t speak for other) often in quandary when it comes to “balancing” my level of “action” in response to my emotional intelligence with women.

      What I mean is too little action in response to emotional intelligence for the feelings of a woman and you are seen as uncaring, unsupportive, selfish, etc. Too much action in response to emotional intelligence and you are seen as beta, soft, metro-sexual, more feminine, not masculine, etc.

      A good example of this is the post where I asked the men who felt that courting hurt men and benefited women to explain the reason they felt it hurt men. A few comments before my question I stated that I only had one long term partner and therefore I have only been sexually intimate with one person in my life, and I stated that I don’t have sex with, kiss, hold hands, etc with women that I don’t have a desire to date especially when I know that my doing any of those will result in her becoming emotionally attached to me because I don’t like playing with anyone’s heart.

      Anyway the following comments somehow degenerated into how I am afraid to kiss women and that is a turn off, that I just tell every new woman I date that I have only had sex with one woman and that is a turn off while YAG’s stoic sexual attitude is what I should follow because women find it sex. Heck! Even the very observant Tom10 asked me about my fingers size and if it was short because I probably lacked testosterone.

      My point and question is how do you as a man find that balance where you can still be perceived as masculine in the eyes of a woman while at the same time showing that you do have the emotional intelligence to understand how she feels and even show empathy through your actions for her feelings?

      1. 21.1.1
        Jeremy

        Thoughtful questions on a Monday morning, my friend.   I’ll give you my answer for whatever it might be worth to you:

         

        Years ago, when I was a university student, I got into a debate with another student about the nature of free will.   I was pretty enthusiastic about the debate, and eager to “win” my point, and so I threw everything I had at the other guy.   And when we were done and I had thoroughly trounced him, he looked up at me miserably and said, “you know, I’m not stupid.”   I was taken aback.   “Of course I know you’re not stupid,” I replied, “We were just having a debate.”   “It didn’t seem like that to me,” he replied, “It seemed like you were telling me I was wrong and dumb.”

         

        I realized at that point that although I had won the debate, I had lost it in a more meaningful way.   I proved a point and lost a friend.   I convinced myself I was right, and convinced another person that he was stupid or that I was conceited.   He forgot what we were arguing about almost immediately, but remembered how I made him feel for years later.

         

        What is our goal in communication?   Do we seek to win, or do we seek to reach accord?   Do we seek to demonstrate our prowess or demonstrate our empathy?   Sometimes you gotta let someone else win in order for your own victories to mean anything – otherwise instead of being smart, you’ll just be a smart ass.   That’s not just how others will see you, it’s what you’ll be – because you lost sight of what your point should have been – communication.

         

        I give not a single fuck about being seen as Beta, womanish, or metrosexual.   And ultimately, someone’s gonna accuse me of being selfish/conceited/biased too.   The minute I start caring too much about how others see me is the minute I let myself be controlled by their opinion.   I should be controlled primarily by MY opinion.   But that doesn’t mean that the opinions of others shouldn’t temper my actions, in light of my goals.   And it shouldn’t close me to the possibility that I might be wrong.

         

        I realize this response is abstract, but it should serve your purposes.

        1. Adrian

          Sight (-_-)… Hi Jeremy,

          Or course you are right; the goal should be winning the war not every single battle and as Abraham Lincoln is quoted saying “turning an enemy into a friend is how you defeat an enemy.”

          And again you are right; my goal here is to learn to communicate with women better, learn to understand them, and to ultimately better myself… attacking, alienating, or shoving it in the face of women that they are wrong about something would not accomplish any of that.

          …    …    …

          I think what really set me off in this post was when Evan stated,

          “You ever wonder why I tell women to be the CEO and treat men like interns? That’s why. 65% of guys are incapable of being good partners.”

          I have read almost everything Evan’s printed and most of his television, radio, and podcast interviews and I have NEVER heard him refer to any percentage of women as being “incapable” of being a good partner, nor have I ever heard him tell men to treat women as a inferior or subordinate; and he definitely never said almost 3/4th of all women would just be bad to date.

          Yet when he does tell women they need to change something he always has the caveat of “and if a man isn’t doing the same or making you feel valued dump him!” But how does a man come back from “You need to change; she is the CEO because you are incapable of being a good partner… because it’s backed by science!”

          That just goes deep on so many levels of prejudice and sexism; it would take up an entire page just writing about the consequences of such a statement that is read by millions of women and that is supposedly backed by science! Lana’s comment # 4 litterally made me cringe!

           

          Jeremy you are in Academia so you know about the history of eugenics; how it was a very highly held belief here in the States and it was even in textbooks; it was literally taught in schools here in America and promoted as being scientifically proven-the number of forced sterilizations here in America (as well as the tuskegee experiments and the eventual justification for the Nazi internment camps) are all a result of that so called science is staggering. All the great mind of the time believed in it and promoted it as scientific fact.

          Okay that is an extreme and deep dark rabbit hole but the point is that whenever we say that science proves that one race or gender is inferior to another I personally think it is dangerous thinking and an evil thing.

           

          So of course when you said in the comments that “Hey! Both sexes lack emotional intelligence, one sex doesn’t own the monopoly when it comes to being a good partner in the relationship; there are just as many women who value their feelings over the feelings of their men JUST as there are men who do it to their women…”

          Or when you said that “many women think they are showing emotional intelligence toward their men but they are not, though of course they think they are right and the men are wrong BUT there is NO right or wrong just DIFFERENT ways of handling emotional issues and they both need to understand how the other sex handles emotional conflict”

          The push back you received from such benign reasoning just stunned me.

          As individuals we men can be exceedingly selfish emotionally and be very bad partners of course! But to see that women truly believe that almost three-fourth of all men are wired to be bad partners naturally and it is supposedly backed by Gottman’s scientific research and promoted by Evan is saddening.

        2. Jeremy

          Adrian, in my profession there is a concept called “over-correction.”   This is the idea that once you correct something, that something will tend to regress back to the mean.   So if you hope for any stability, you have to over-do it a bit, so that when things start to regress you don’t lose all your correction.   I think that’s what Evan is trying to do with the CEO thing.

           

          You basically have a group of women who tend to be overly empathetic.   Once they decide they like a guy, they’ll give him almost any benefit of the doubt no matter how heinous his actions, in the hope of a relationship.   If all Evan said was to be more careful, the regression to the mean would still bring women to the point of insufficient boundaries for their own emotional health.   Hence the CEO analogy which, if taken totally literally, I’d agree was not a good thing.   The eugenics thing is a total exaggeration, and I’m sure Evan would be both horrified and frustrated if someone understood his advice in that light.   You see it that way because you fear it might be applied that way…

           

          Guys like you and me, who ALSO tend to be overly empathetic, have a hard time with this because we already feel judged by women.   Most guys don’t, though, especially not the ones who are in high demand by women.   Guys like us should also follow the advice to be the CEO of our own love life.

           

          BTW, I am a practicing clinician, not an academic, though I am affiliated with my local university and teach there half a day per week at the post-graduate level.   One of the many things I teach is research analysis.   Which is why I get frustrated when I hear the question, “what difference does the methodology make?”

        3. Alex

          @Adrian

          I understand you’re fears here, but I second Jeremy’s response. Also, we have to remember, this blog is not for men and the vast majority of readers are women. If Evan were addressing men, I don’t think he would say a majority of them just suck no matter what they do.

          In fact, I don’t think he’s saying 65% of men are constitutionally incapable of being good partners, simply that 65% of men will probably never put in the effort to learn how to be a good one. A lot of women are probably in this boat as well, we just happen to be talking about men here. This fits in nicely with his “pick better partners” advice. Men can choose better partners as well, but they aren’t reading this blog.

          As Jeremy said, over-correction is important. It’s so easy as a woman in dating to feel terribly for breaking up with crappy partners, because it seems that’s all there is out there. The pressure to find someone and settle down is enormous sometimes. It’s very encouraging to hear that, at least some of the time, there’s nothing to learn from a bad relationships. There are lots of bad partners out there and it’s not your fault (as a woman) for not toughing out a bad relationship for the sake of having a relationship.

          Please don’t take this post as an indictment of men as a whole. The point is only that, in the context of dating, a high proportion will be bad at connecting with women. I don’t think this is your problem.

      2. 21.1.2
        Marika

        Adrian

        I know the post you’re referring to and I felt for you. The guys who weighed in were nasty as were the women who said your sexual history was a turn off. I hope you also recall, I said the opposite, so please know we don’t all think that way.

        In regard to Jeremy  , there was no similar person attack. Some people said less than pleasant things about his wife, but honestly, that was prompted by him making her out to be an illogical and emotive in arguments, and from him saying he typically has to be the one to apologize and acquiesce. Which I’m sure is only half the story.

        Jeremy, if you debate points so that we don’t take articles and people’s words   (like YAGs) as gospel, then run off and act on them, don’t worry, we don’t. In fact, this article balances out the majority of Evan’s advice telling us ladies what we could do better in relationships.

        Adrian if you felt you were holding back on this post, imagine being a woman, reading most posts and all the negative comments written on here by men about us! This is nuthin, kids!!

        1. Jeremy

          My worry is not about women taking YAG’s posts as gospel, Marika.   My worry is about confirmation and availability biases.   That worry is justified.

          How many women found it easy to believe that women take men’s opinions into account when arguing and do so naturally?   Might that be due, in part, to hearing over and over about women’s emotional intelligence and men’s lack thereof?   Every woman who, when arguing with her man, tells him to “grow up” because he doesn’t agree with her is making this mistake.   Men who withdraw are sabotaging their relationships.   Women who assume the moral superiority of their positions do the same.   No one talks about the latter.   So no one assumes it’s a problem.

        2. Emily, the original

          Jeremy,

          Every woman who, when arguing with her man, tells him to “grow up” because he doesn’t agree with her is making this mistake.   Men who withdraw are sabotaging their relationships.   Women who assume the moral superiority of their positions do the same.   No one talks about the latter.   So no one assumes it’s a problem.

          Telling someone to grow up is bitchy, but do you think maybe that sometimes women take a more authoritarian role because … somebody has to. I watched this with a friend of mine and her husband. She would literally list out all the options for him (and I mean with something as simple as where they would go for dinner) and he would just sit there blankly. She was trying to get his input. And years from now he may complain that she made all the decisions but part of it was she had to because he couldn’t.

        3. Adrian

          Hi Marika,

          Of course I remember you were different on that post! (^_^)

          Lately I have been commenting on this site less and less partly because of my busy schedule (school: going after my masters degree and work: very big promotion and position in the company, plus trying to make new friends and create a social life in a new city: moved here to take the new position in the company) but also to keep myself from succumbing to blog jadedness.

          So I have been reading all the comments from the past various post when they come to my email. Through reading and not commenting I have really really learned a lot about many of the regular commenters (was so shocked when Emily admitted that she is introverted); and I have especially come to love your personality (I can finally tell the difference between you and Malika (>’-‘)>…).

          As much as I love most of the other female commenters I never feel I could have a deep connection with them because they are so much more experienced and wiser when it comes to life, dating, relationships, and knowing what they want; I would feel like a kid around them even though I am 31 years old.

          … Though I must admit I am sooo in LOVE with GoWithTheFlow! She is my EMK blog crush! Her brain is just so juicy!… If I were a zombie her brain would be my big mac amoung happy meals!… though lately Jeremy’s brain has been looking pretty tasty (^_^)…

           

          But seriously with you I feel that we would be equals (I hope that you don’t find that insulting); you know that someone you could just talk to for hours about any and everything, be completely open about yourself without fear of judgment or rejection-a soul like yourself who doesn’t have it all figured out. Our dating backgrounds, beliefs, goals, and values when it comes to relationships are just so similar-Heck! Even how we interact on this blog and with other commenters is similar.

          This is also why it was/is so hard for me to remain silent when you spoke/speak about your new boyfriend, because I can see his red flags all the way over here in the U.S.

          So unfortunately I think you are like me in the bad ways also; being too nice, too understanding, and too forgiving when you should just cut the person loose (I’ve been getting lectured all week from various people about how I need to stop hurting myself to help others who don’t want to help themselves).

          Either way I’m still coming to Australia in December so tell that guy he had better find his rhythm quick or I’ll ask you to dance with me next! (^_^)

           

          Marika I say all this to show that you are one of the few commenters whose word I would take without question so when you say that a lot of what Evan says to women is painful to swallow I will believe that without doubt and try even harder to understand women’s’ viewpoints in the future.

          Because honestly in the past I always considered 99% of the things Evan said women had to do to be a good partner to men as something that a good man had to do naturally as well to be a good partner to women but from your statement I am obviously missing something or at the very least only looking at things from a male centric point of view.

          As far as the nasty, mean, or negative comments by many of the men on this blog just know that many men did not like or agree with those statements as well. But I honestly believe that most of the commenters (male and female) don’t come here to learn but to teach, vent, or just because they are bored so challenging most of the asinine statements would be telling a fish that he is wet… useless.

        4. Adrian

          Oh and Marika your explanation of how foreigners view Americans, how Americans view Americans, and the whole accent thing was so beautiful.

          I haven’t had an “Ah Ha’ moment like that in a long time; it just help explain so many things the European women use to say to me that I never could see when I lived in Europe briefly when I was younger.

      3. 21.1.3
        Theodora

        Evan’s point (if I understand it correctly, but I might be wrong) is not that 65% of men are horrible partners. The point is that some (many?) of the 35% of men who can fully meet women’s emotional needs are not necessarily the best on paper partners when it comes to meeting other women’s standards. Many of them are not tall, good-looking, high earners, confident, smooth talkers, socially skilled, alpha men. On the contrary.

        Well, it’s possible to meet a man with all these qualities who is also 100% emotionally available. That’s like the manosphere’s dream of the 18 yo hot virgin with the wisdom and sexual skills of a 40 yo. Possible on abstract, but unlikely.

        Evan also says that he has no illusions about what most women would choose between a good-on-paper partner and an emotionally pleasing man.

        Also, teaching good-on-paper men to be more emotionally pleasing is an exercise in futility. Why would they change their ways when they can get what they want the way they are?

         

      4. 21.1.4
        Nissa

        Adrian, I can only respond for myself, but perhaps this will help. When I was married, I never actually expected my husband to be my equal in emotional intelligence.   He was his own person – superior to me in some aspects and inferior in others. As I was more articulate and able to process my emotions, I took the lead in that aspect. What I often asked my husband was, “What do you need? What do you want? What, in your opinion, is the best way to make this better”.   I promise you, all I really needed was for him to answer those questions. It would have ok for him to say, “I don’t know right now, and I need X amount of time to think about it, but I’ll get back to you”. And then do it. My ex could sometimes get to the point where he could say “I’ll think about it” or “I’ll get back to you” but could not give a time frame, and mostly failed to bring up the point again.   When I asked, “What do you want?” he mostly answered, “I don’t know”.

        And that just killed it for me. I had no idea what to do with that. How was I supposed to honor his wants and needs if he wouldn’t tell me what they were….or even knew himself?   When he finally did come up with something, it was  along the lines of “You need to change X so that I can be comfortable”. But once I had something to work with, I was able to assess whether or not I was willing to do it. Is it possible that he wouldn’t make his request because he knew it was unreasonable? Possibly. But I would argue that in order to have appropriate boundaries, both parties need to have a regular practice of asking for what they want in explicit terms. That kind of self awareness and confidence is sexy in both genders.

  2. 22
    Marika

    Jeremy said:

    Women who assume the moral superiority of their positions do the same.   No one talks about the latter.   So no one assumes it’s a problem.

    I’m not sure you’re following Evan’s work closely enough. Evan definitely tells women not to be morally superior. He definitely doesn’t tell women we are perfect and we have to change nothing about our communication styles.

    That is what is so perplexing about your passionate arguments on this topic. Firstly, this is not directed at men like you, and secondly, this is one rare post of Evan’s where the responsibility for change is placed on the man. Why does that offend you so very much in the context of a blog where most of the posts are about how women can be doing things better in relationships?

  3. 23
    Marika

    Jeremy & Adrian

    Let’s start with what we can agree on?

    A certain percentage of men (not saying I know the stats specifically) are what we could call ’emotionally unavailable’, hopefully a less offensive term that emotionally intelligent.

    You two are not in that percentage of men.

    Many of us ladies know the pain of dealing with an emotionally unavailable man, something neither of you can fully appreciate. It’s tough. Hopefully you can sympathise with that.

    So when we come upon such men, we can either a. avoid them, b. try to teach them, or c. (and this would be our preferred option) hope they are open to reading advice about how they may be able to be better partners. My MO has usually been b. and I’m open to doing that, but it hasn’t worked out well for me in the past.

    This post is for unavailable men and is gratifying to read for women who have dealt with them, been hurt by them, and have wasted years of time trying to communicate with them. I understand the wording is controversial, but  if you can see it in that light, perhaps that will help.

    1. 23.1
      Theodora

      Emotionally unavailable men are a completely different breed from emotionally not so intelligent/unskilled men. Emotionally unavailable men never care about being taught or learning to please a particular woman because they don’t care too much about her anyway. Besides, the paradox is that emotionally unavailable men rarely have a shortage of willing partners, so they don’t see the necessity to learn how to be emotionally pleasing, because women line up for them anyway.

      Men like D_M above, who said that men should   be taught by women how to be “emotionally intelligent”, is the ideal beta partner, a man probably emotionally awkward, but esentially kind and with good intentions. Ironically but predictable, he was bashed by a couple of women for his honesty, when he was already placating women more than is necessary, in my opinion. He looked like a sinner confessing his sins (“I am an emotionally unintelligent man, so lead me to the right path, ye emotionally superior, flawless womenfolk!”), but the morally and emotionally superior priests decided that he has the original sin anyway, so redemption is not possible until he is born-again by embracing the faith (do your homework yourself!).

      If I was a man, I would certainly choose to be emotionally unavailable. Better results with minimum effort.

       

      1. 23.1.1
        Tron Swanson

        I feel like I’m emotionally unavailable and emotionally unintelligent (though I’d phrase the latter as “not having/caring about social skills”). That said, many women have accused me of being emotionally unavailable, but none have accused me of being emotionally unintelligent. That’s a lesser-known term, though.

        1. Alex

          @Tron Swanson

          Forgive me, but….aren’t you emotionally unavailable on purpose? I thought that was the point of MGTOW: to never engage in relationships?

           

          BTW, what are you hoping to get from this blog?

        2. Tron Swanson

          I was emotionally unavailable long before I gave up on relationships. To me, it’s a personality type, not a decision. I know a few “emotionally available” MGTOWs, so I don’t know if your definition really fits.

          As for what I’m getting from this blog: I read this site, and many others, in order to increase my understanding of humanity, and thus have a better chance of getting what I want.

        3. Alex

          @Tron Swanson

          “To me, it’s a personality type, not a decision.” – that’s interesting. I know I have been both emotionally available and unavailable in my life (also not by decision) but I don’t feel that either of these is part of my personality.

           

          So, what is it that you want?

    2. 23.2
      Tom10

      @ Marika #23
      “A certain percentage of men (not saying I know the stats specifically) are what we could call ’emotionally unavailable’, hopefully a less offensive term that emotionally intelligent.”
        
      I agree with Theodora #23 that emotionally unavailable men are totally different animals to low-emotional intelligence men.
        
      “So when we come upon such men, we can either a. avoid them, b. try to teach them, or c. (and this would be our preferred option) hope they are open to reading advice about how they may be able to be better partners. My MO has usually been b. and I’m open to doing that, but it hasn’t worked out well for me in the past.”
        
      Out of curiosity, when you come upon emotionally unavailable men why is c. [“hope they are open to reading advice about how they may be able to better partners”] your preferred option? Indeed, why is b [“try to teach them”] an option either.
        
       
      Surely when you come upon emotionally unavailable men your only real options (assuming a conventional emotionally committed relationship is your dating objective) are; a) avoid them, b) avoid them or c) avoid them? Lol.

      1. 23.2.1
        Theodora

        Because these non-commital emotionally unavailable men (usually men out of her league who are not that into her) are the most attractive and desirable partners.

        That’s why there is an abyss between what Evan said and some women understood.

        Evan: if you want men ready to completely fulfill your emotional needs, only 35% of them are willing to do so. Pay attention, in other aspects, they might not be the men with the alpha traits that you want

        What some women understood: Cool! So we can teach men with alpha traits about emotional intelligence or hope they would read advice about how to be better partners! Hooray!

        1. Callie

          It’s strange, you seem to disagree with what I said to D_M in another post and yet in this post support precisely my message: women seek out the 35%, which might mean they aren’t the typical alpha types indeed, and don’t waste precious time trying to teach men how to be better partners, especially not the kind of men who want you to do all the work to teach them and put in no proactive work to learn themselves.

        2. Theodora

          Or in other words, Tom10: if you ever read this guy John Gottman, would you read him for dating advice, or just with amused curiosity? Did he convince you to be more “emitionally intelligent” in your dating adventures?

        3. Marika

          Don’t answer for me, Theodora. You’ve got this wrong : “usually men out of her league who are not that into her”.

          You know nothing about me. Saying women are sometimes drawn to such men because of their ‘league’ is Pop Psychology 101. Humans are far more complex than that.

          I’m also using emotionally unavailable in order to lessen the offence taken to EI, so that a less debatey conversation can be had.

        4. Tom10

          @ Theodora
          “Or in other words, Tom10: if you ever read this guy John Gottman, would you read him for dating advice, or just with amused curiosity? Did he convince you to be more “emitionally intelligent” in your dating adventures?”
            
          I’d be unlikely to consider Gottman for dating advice as his perspective and viewpoints don’t really suit my personality-type.
            
          I think Gottman’s overall central premise is fundamentally flawed as, in my opinion,  he’s incorrectly equated natural biological imperatives with emotional intelligence. My opinion is that women, on balance, are more naturally drawn to relationships, compromise and resolving conflict than men, on balance, are (although many men get there eventually, in time).
            
          He bizarrely seems to equate a man “allowing his wife to influence him” with “emotionally intelligent” (the corollary being that men who don’t allow their wives to influence them are not emotionally intelligent).
            
          What Gottman considers are the 35% “emotionally intelligent” men I’d consider are the 35% “more naturally drawn to monogamous relationships” men. But he’s not gonna classify himself as anything other than “emotionally intelligent” is he?
            
          I know a few guys whose marriages are effectively a shambles, however, I’d still consider them emotionally intelligent guys as I’ve witnessed them in enough other environments (work, social, sporting) to see how they interact with and play people exactly how they want. In fact I’d consider their emotional intellect as razor-sharp — when it suits them. It’s just they’re not really naturally-monogamously-marriage-material, and  when they do enter into ltrs it’s often with a struggle (Mr. Clinton springs to mind; razor-sharp when it comes to politics, managing people, human-interactions etc., but perhaps lacking when it comes to his marriage).
            
          A quick anecdote; I was recently consoling a female college-mate who is broken-hearted once again; strung-along by a guy for a few months who “couldn’t commit” or “didn’t know what he wanted” etc. Now, I’ve no doubt that she would possibly classify him as having low emotional intelligence because he was wishy-washy, commitment-phobic and couldn’t articulate what it was he was looking for before unceremoniously dumping her rather than try communicate the issues and work things out. However, the way I interpreted the situation was that he knew exactly what he wanted (a few months of sex with little investment), and got it, from her, with no cost to him. I.e. his emotional intelligence was razor-sharp, and it was hers that was lacking.
            
           
          Therefore, I think Gottman’s advice is better suited toward women to find relationships with the 35% of men, and/or for men in the 65% want to become more like then 35% (apologies for such a simple binary classification but it’s the way his premise was set-up).

        5. Evan Marc Katz

          That was a long dissertation about the semantics and definition of emotionally intelligent. For our purposes, all that matters is whether men are emotionally intelligent enough to be good partners. Donald Trump may be a genius at connecting with certain people; I would venture to guess he’s pretty miserable as a husband. You intentionally miss the point of Gottman…although I’m not sure what for.

        6. Tom10

          @ Evan
          “For our purposes, all that matters is whether men are emotionally intelligent enough to be good partners.”
            
          Good point. Noted.

        7. Sylvana

          That was very well put, Theodora. That seems to be exactly the problem.

      2. 23.2.2
        Jeremy

        Agree with Tom.   My brother is emotionally unintelligent – a result of genetics, temperament, and being spoiled his whole life.   Whenever a problem arises in life, it’s always someone else’s fault.   Give him a self-improvement book and he’ll either chuck it or peruse it and claim that the person “causing” the problem should read it.   I think that options b and c are only options if the man in question can admit that he might be wrong and be willing to perspective-take.   I often wonder whether, if I had grown up getting what I wanted most of the time I’d have ever developed the ability to perspective-take.   What would the impetus have been?

        1. Marika

          Jeremy, so your brother doesn’t deserve love?

        2. Jeremy

          What does it mean to “deserve love?”   The intention of my statement was that he makes a bad relationship partner.   What each of us deserves is hardly relevant.

        3. Jeremy

          Having said that, I do know what you mean.   Despite the fact that I know my brother is a terrible partner to his wife, I worry about him.   I try to nudge him in various ways to improve….and I can be pretty crafty.   Got him into therapy (only took 5 years and several failed attempts until I found the right psychological lever for that job).   Brokered some level of peace between him and his wife.   May not last.   Because, deep down, whether or not he “deserves” love, I’d like him to have it – to love and be loved, to experience what it can be like to let the anger go.   Sometimes helping a person like that can be very rewarding as well as frustrating, as I know that you know.

      3. 23.2.3
        Emily, the original

        Tom10,

        Surely when you come upon emotionally unavailable men your only real options (assuming a conventional emotionally committed relationship is your dating objective) are; a) avoid them, b) avoid them or c) avoid them? Lol.

        Unless they’re a 9, right Mr. Tom?     🙂

        Theodora sums it up well:
        The point is that some (many?) of the 35% of men who can fully meet women’s emotional needs are not necessarily the best on paper partners when it comes to meeting other women’s standards. Many of them are not tall, good-looking, high earners, confident, smooth talkers, socially skilled, alpha men. On the contrary.
        Well, it’s possible to meet a man with all these qualities who is also 100% emotionally available. Possible on abstract, but unlikely.
        You can’t have everything.

        1. Tom10

          @ Emily, the original # 23.2.3
          “Unless they’re a 9, right Mr. Tom?   🙂 “
            
          Hahaha, touché Emily.
            
          Yes, if Mr Emotionally Unavailable meets a 9 or 10 then odds are, yes, surprise surprise, he’ll suddenly become Mr. Emotional Available.
            
          Well…for a while at least 😉

        2. Emily, the original

          Tom10,

          Yes, if Mr Emotionally Unavailable meets a 9 or 10 then odds are, yes, surprise surprise, he’ll suddenly become Mr. Emotional Available.

          In your world, my friend. In your world     🙂

          Do you ever look at the engagement/wedding announcements in the New York Times? I do, and from what I’ve seen (and these couples are usually educated professionals), most people end up marrying someone with a comparable SMV.      Sometimes the couples even look alike. We marry ourselves!

        3. Tom10

          @ Emily, the original
          “In your world, my friend. In your world”
            
          Lol. 😉
            
          “Do you ever look at the engagement/wedding announcements in the New York Times?”  
            
          Perhaps somewhat surprisingly, Emily, I don’t.
            
          “most people end up marrying someone with a comparable SMV”  
            
          But I agree that, objectively, people generally marry those similar to themselves. You’d wonder why then, we make this dating game so difficult…

        4. Emily, the original

          Tom10,

          But I agree that, objectively, people generally marry those similar to themselves. You’d wonder why then, we make this dating game so difficult…

          All you have to do is want the people who want you. If people did that, every dating coach would be out of business. No more chasing the elusive unicorn.

      4. 23.2.4
        Marika

        Because I don’t think like a man, Tom 10 😉

        I’ve noticed you’re very black and white in these things. I envy that. It would make life easier.

        Also, you grew up in a Catholic family and don’t feel the need to put everyone else’s needs before yours??..

        1. Tom10

          @ Marika #23.2.4
          “Because I don’t think like a man”
            
          Ah.
            
          “Also, you grew up in a Catholic family and don’t feel the need to put everyone else’s needs before yours?”
            
          Well I was raised with two competing and, in my opinion, mutually exclusive value systems: reason-based education and faith-based religion. The former won out so I dropped all belief in the latter. Perhaps I threw the baby out with the bathwater though? 😉
            
          But point taken, perhaps there is value is seeing the good in people a bit more and giving the benefit of the doubt to emotionally-unavailable men.
            
          On balance, however, I thinking prioritizing your own needs, or being the CEO of your love-life, is a more effective dating technique.

  4. 24
    Marika

    Adrian

    Well, I’m very flattered, I have to say! Thanks for your kind words 🙂 To better explain, Evan’s advice sometimes irks some of us women who don’t find it easy to relate to men, or to be the easygoing, happy, relaxed, flexible people they want us to be.  Sometimes dates feel as hard as job interviews trying to remember everything we are/aren’t supposed to talk about and focus on! As inappropriate as Stacy2 often was, I sometimes felt her pain. It’s like being told, everything you’ve achieved to date won’t help at all in the dating world, as far as men are concerned, you’d have been better off leaving school in year 10 and working on your social skills, easygoing-ness, cooking, etc etc., as that’s what’s most important to men. Of course, I exaggerate.

    He doesn’t say anything offensive, at all, it just sometimes all feels so hard…

    And then we read in pretty much every thread some comment about how our looks have a shelf life, Western women are emasculating she-beasts, men only want sex etc. etc. I sort of felt like men get it relatively easy on this blog, but to be fair, I can see how the intern thing would be frustrating. I’m sure if Evan were a coach for men, he’d make a similar comment to men about women? Everyone, IMO, should be the CEO of their own love life.

    Please don’t hold back about the red flags, though, I need that stuff pointed out to me. I married a guy who was pretty much painted in red and running a red flag shop, so honestly, give it to me straight. Well, straight-ish, I’m not the least sensitive person on earth 🙂

    I hear you on the blog jadedness. My rule is I don’t look at the blog (or any social media or similar) on Sundays. Clearly, though, I make up for it on Mondays. Hehe.

    In terms of Australia, I very much hope you enjoy your time here. It will be a hot one, the weekend before last it got to 30 (not sure what that is in Fahrenheit), and it was September! (Spring). So bring your sunnies (sunglasses), cossies (swimming costume), thongs (not those – the feet ones!!) and of course the zinc (thick sunscreen). December is a great time here, kids are on school holidays and there is that lightness and relaxed-ness in the air as it’s the end of the year, hot and a lot of people take leave and either get outside to enjoy some summer fun, or go away. I guess maybe like August in America? But with the added bonus of Christmas.

  5. 25
    Sylvana

    Adrian,

    I’ve read a few of your posts now, and feel like you are a very gentle, caring person with a heart of gold. I can also imagine that you are in a very hard spot, being a validation person, how you call it.

    No matter which way you swing, there will always be people who agree with you and people who don’t. In the end, all that matters is that you are a good person. If you are, always keep in mind that for all those who might not validate your stand on something, there are plenty more who would. Do not lose sight of who you are and what is important to you just to please others.

    Opinions vary so much from person to person that it is near impossible for you to find guidelines to your own behavior/course of action through validation from others. At some point, you’ll have to decide what is most important to you, yourself, then seek the validation of only those who will keep you on course.   Or, at least, weigh their opinion/validation/approval more heavily than that of those who disagree.

    I know … easier said than done.

    Also realize that a mind looking for validation/approval tends to consider everything as either right or wrong (If I do this, is that the right thing to do or the wrong thing to do). In a lot of cases, however, this does not apply. Let’s say you don’t like eating fish. You’re sitting at a restaurant with two other people. One loves eating fish, the other hates eating fish. Does that make either of them right or wrong? No, of course not. And the validation/approval brain is ready to implode. If you agree that you don’t like fish either, you obviously won’t get validation from the fish eater. If you let your own opinion matter less than that of others, you can lie and agree with the one who likes fish. But then you won’t get the validation of the person who also doesn’t like fish. Either way you swing, you lose. Although neither party is right or wrong. But if both people you are there with are good people, you would likely still gain both of their approval/validation by not lying.   So honesty (the moral/value) weighs much more heavily than your taste buds (opinion). In this case, what is   right or wrong is not whether you like the fish, but whether you lie about liking the fish. And whether you can accept the person who does like it.

    So my advice to you in order to feel a little more confidence is to seek validation/approval for being a good person, rather than less important things, such as opinions, experience, etc.

    Here are some examples from what you have said:

    As much as I love most of the other female commenters I never feel I could have a deep connection with them because they are so much more experienced and wiser when it comes to life, dating, relationships, and knowing what they want; I would feel like a kid around them even though I am 31 years old.

    You are selling yourself way short. Let’s say there’s a woman who is absolutely passionate about history, wants to see the world and all its wonders, visit archeological sites. Yet she never had the chance to do so (for whatever reasons). She meets a man who shares the same passion, but has already travelled the world, seen all those places, maybe even works in archeology. One is highly experienced, the other has only dreamed of it. Do you honestly think those two couldn’t feel a deep connection with each other?

    And you’re looking at your experience from only one view. You feel like you’re lacking. I’d say you have way less baggage than others. That can have quite a few advantages. The other thing you need to remember is that the only way we gained experience is by making a LOT of mistakes. So we’re not perfect by any means. Some learn by doing, others by observing. Just by reading this blog you’re gaining a lot of experience. Give yourself some credit. And, once more, you are putting too much emphasis on experience versus what kind of person you are. If you are kind, loyal, supportive, that makes you much better than a man with plenty of experience who is selfish and inconsiderate.

    what advice do you have for a validation person who has to tell someone things about themselves that are not good, knowing that it could lead to them not liking you as much or at all anymore?

    What did you do? Murder, rape, cheat, steal? Torture some small animal or child?

    Keep in mind, nobody is perfect. And definitely not as perfect as you think they are. So let me ask you something — Does this thing about you that you consider not good make you a bad person? If somebody told you the same thing about themselves, would you (without the influence of others) consider what they told you to make them an overall bad person? Not a flawed person (because we all have flaws), but a BAD person (abusers, rapists, people with no conscience, etc.)?

    If yes, you better be ready to prove you are no longer that person. If no, refer to the above.

    A person’s character (and resulting actions/opinions) is truly the only thing that can be judged as good or bad.

    I know you received a lot of negative responses when you admitted you’ve only had one sexual partner in life. I fail to see why that would make you any less of a great potential partner at all.

    Let me put it to you straight and honestly: A man can have had sex with a thousand women, and still not know how to pleasure one. No offense to any men here, but some men end up sleeping around a lot because no woman wants to have sex with them twice.

    Truth is, most women are not easy to please. So, once more, a man’s character is way more important than his experience. If he wants to learn how to please his partner, he will make a great partner in bed. If he’s selfish (or easily fooled), all the experience in the world isn’t going to save him. And every time a couple comes together, they both have to learn what the other likes.

    While there are some men who truly know what they’re doing, they are very, very far and few in between. And the only reason they are good is because they were willing to learn from a woman who was actually willing to teach. Not to mention that each woman is different. One might like one thing another one hates or isn’t comfortable with. Styles and preferences come in an endless variety. So no matter how much experience you have, you’ll still have to learn how to please each new partner.

    I honestly do not see how not sleeping around should be considered a flaw. Some woman who puts great value in that is going to love you for it.  Just like I don’t consider the opposite a flaw (depending on the character of the person). And there are plenty of experienced women who wouldn’t mind either (we’ll have to teach most men how to please us personally anyway, just like we’ll have to learn what our partner prefers).

    Overall, find a way to focus more on receiving validation for what kind of person you are. That is what makes you good or bad. Nothing else.

     

  6. 27
    Marika

    Tom 10

    “On balance, however, I thinking prioritizing your own needs, or being the CEO of your love-life, is a more effective dating technique”

    Undoubtedly. That’s why I’m here.

    Tell you what, you teach me to be more cut & dried in dumping men who don’t step up and I’ll teach you to be less superficial 😊

    You talk about ‘leagues’ more so than anyone I’ve met. Have you really not yet experienced in your long & illustrous dating life that not all good looking people are confident daters who know their worth? Ireland must be less like Australia than I thought!

    1. 27.1
      Jeremy

      If a person craves validation from their relationship partner (as you know we both do), it is hard to be “confident” at dating.   Because we put our emotional eggs in the basket of the observer.   And we both know that we “shouldn’t,” but we do anyway.   So which is the better strategy – to tell ourselves not to do something we know we’ll do anyway, or to choose better onlookers who will be more willing to love us in the way we need to feel loved?   The strategy (IMHO) is not to tell ourselves not to need validation, but to have the ability to receive validation without feeling that we have to EARN it from someone who might otherwise be unwilling.

      Remember my daughter’s story.   BTW, a few weeks ago she approached me and instead of scratching my back and hoping for the best, she looked me in the eye and asked, “daddy, can you scratch my back?”   I was so proud of her.   And so ashamed of myself that a 5 year-old could do what I’ve not managed in all the many years of my life.

      1. 27.1.1
        Marika

        Yes, all very true, Jeremy.

        I’m exceedingly proud of your little girl!!

        I’m very close with my 6 year old nephew. He’s adorable and funny and good company. But I think the main reason I’m so besotted with him is how much I learn from him. For all his anxiety and insecurities, he never, ever has a problem telling me what he wants or needs. “I’m so angry at you!”, “Stop cuddling me”. That’s enough. No, I don’t want to do that. Etc etc And I love him all the more for it 😊

  7. 28
    Marika

    Tom 10

    This isn’t emotional intelligence: “see how they interact with and play people exactly how they want”

    Some of these guys you’re lauding as ’emotionally intelligent’ sound borderline sociopathic, using people (or at least women) as a means to an end.

    Also, you can’t fully appreciate John Gottman’s work from reading one brief article about one of the many concepts he discusses. Read his books then criticize him.

    I think in some respects you have thrown the baby out with the bathwater, drilling down complex concepts into black & white categories.

  8. 29
    Tom10

    @ Marika #28
    “This isn’t emotional intelligence…Some of these guys you’re lauding as ’emotionally intelligent’ sound borderline sociopathic”
      
    Hmm, actually on second thoughts it does a bit sociopathic; I just disagreed somewhat with Gottman’s explanation of why so many men are, admittedly, incapable of being good partners (I don’t think it’s related to emotional intelligence per se rather innately different biological programming). One thing I forgot though is that a key part of emotional intelligence is empathy with others rather than unilaterally manipulating emotions to achieve our own goals with no concern for others.
      
    And ultimately, as Evan pointed out, what actually matters here on this blog is learning to become more emotionally intelligent with the goal of becoming good partners.
      
    (I actually think I’m struggling a bit with some blog-jadedness at the moment Marika so I’m gonna take a break for a while, catch ya again 😉 ).  

    1. 29.1
      Marika

      Fair enough, Tom 10 and I hear you. I’m glad ScottH invented that term for us. It’s a good one to describe this first world problem of ours 🙂

      I’m a fan of John Gottman. I get how this particular article comes across, but he has some real gems. Not just for men, for  all of us  to relate better to each other in romantic relationships. When others were talking about ‘fair fighting’ and other things that only work in movies, he had some groundbreaking stuff about it doesn’t matter how you argue, how often you argue or even what you argue about, as long as you stay away from the 4 horseman of the apocalypse (contempt, criticism, defensiveness & stonewalling). Also that even in very happy marriages a lot of ‘issues’ never get resolved (e.g. Jeremy, his wife and the clean house thing) and that’s not relationship ending. Also having an ’emotional bank account’, 5 x (or some number, can’t remember) positive interactions for every negative interaction.

      Simple, helpful, realistic strategies to follow in romantic relationships, IMO. So it pains me that he’s copping so much flack when his stuff is really useful.

      Anyway, enough said. Enjoy the break.

      Evan, you’re creating a worldwide group of blog junkies, hope you realise. You better get that blog-jadedness support group off the ground 😉

      1. 29.1.1
        Jeremy

        Clean house thing got resolved long ago.   Hired a housekeeper.   80% of marital conflict resolved 🙂   I also like Gottman’s work, Marika.   His introduction of the notion of love languages gave couples an important tool to understand each other, and his work on predictors of divorce is also helpful.   His books were among the first I read when first researching the psychology of attraction/love, and while they were not the deepest or most comprehensive, they were very useful indeed, I agree.

         

        I hope things work out well for you, whether it works with this new guy or not.   It is hard for someone who is very emotionally aware to be with someone who is not – you feel like you’re doing all the heavy lifting yourself.   Sometimes that can be worth it, but only if everything else is really good.   Many years ago I was in a relationship with a woman I was crazy about, but we had so many compatibility issues that we argued all the time.   But when we weren’t low, we were very high indeed – and the highs were very addictive.   My mother gave me the following advice at that time – she said, “Jeremy, new relationships shouldn’t require a couples’ counsellor, that is for marriages.   A new relationship should be fun and easy.   If it’s not, things will only get worse.”

         

        She was right.

        1. Marika

          Thanks Jeremy. Your Mum’s a wise lady😊 Quick question, to clarify, though, that was pre-marriage, in your 20s she said that, correct? If you were to get divorced (as both my guy and I are) then get back out there, do you think any new relationship would be as easy as it was back then when you were younger with no baggage? I agree it shouldn’t be hard, but how realistic is it to expect people with money worries, ex-wives, job pressures etc etc to be light, fun, easy? Genuinely curious, as I would say the very small minority of guys I’ve met post divorce have the lightness & fun-ness of those I met in my 20s.

        2. Jeremy

          I think we might be talking about different types of “easiness.”   Sure, a man with a job, a mortgage, an ex-wife and kids, etc. has responsibilities and won’t have the lightness and flexibility of a 20-something university student.   But that isn’t what I’m talking about.   I’m talking about the relationship – the relationship should be easy.   It’s funny, I didn’t know what that meant until I met my wife.   With my previous girlfriends, there were always issues that came up – things that made compatibility difficult and arguments happen.   I just thought that was natural.

           

          I even remember after a huge fight with a previous girlfriend, when she was angry and wanted to break up, I told her this ridiculous rationalization (that I believed):   “When I was a child, the toy I wanted most in the world was a rock polisher.   It was basically a machine that you put rocks into with a bit of sandy grit, and the machine shakes the rocks for hours/days.   Rocks of low quality fall apart in the machine, but rocks of high quality become polished and turn into beautiful gemstones.   Our relationship is like a high-quality rock, and our argument is the polisher, and when we survive it we will be more beautiful still.”

           

          That story sounded good to me, and I believed it (she liked it too).   But it was bullshit.   Because if your relationship feels like it is shaking you around like a rock polisher, it is a shitty relationship.   When I first met my wife, we had smooth, easy conversation.   It wasn’t fiery sparks, it was mellow and comfortable.   I thought she was pretty and our conversation flowed.   We had similar values and lifestyle goals.   We simply did not have the compatibility issues that I had with my other girlfriends.   The relationship evolved naturally, like a growing tree which grows upward into more strength and beauty because that’s the natural way it grows.   Sure we occasionally argued and had some issues, but those issues (which I describe on this site, so you might think they are common) are RARE.

           

          We have 4 kids, a mortgage, full-time jobs, life stresses….and our relationship is EASY.   Not a rock polisher.

      2. 29.1.2
        ScottH

        I’m pretty sure that ScottH did not invent that term but he sure knows the meaning of it.

        1. Marika

          Really? Have been incorrectly crediting that to you for months!

  9. 30
    Marika

    Jeremy

    Thank you and I really want to understand this. I’m a deep person who’s been over a 100 first dates (actually probably closer to 200) in 3   1/2 years since my divorce. I want a relationship, not just to continually meet people & have shallow conversations. Yes, it’s wrong to push a relationship that’s not working and I do have a history of putting up with crap I shouldn’t, but where do you draw the line?

    Hopefully by prefacing it this way you’ll forgive me for what I’m about to say. Your comments, particularly on this post, as well as the issue that lead you to develop meta goals (for which I’m grateful, btw, as that’s really helped me understand myself and my relationships), do not to me paint a picture of a man happily enjoying an easy marriage, like, for instance, Evan. Unless I’ve missed something. Petty disagreements aside (fact of life), having to apologise for everything? Your partner withdrawing from sex? You having to do research to get her to re-prioritise you? None of that sounds easy to me. And why do you get so fired up about these things if your relationship is so easy? I’m confused…

    I’m honestly not trying to be judgemental, please know that. I don’t know you, your wife or your marriage. I’m just not wanting to keep going on more and more dates and never settling on a relationship, because a person is, for instance having a rough stint in their life, or needs cave time, or is a bit scarred from their ex-wife, or is struggling with child support, or whatever other very real thing I have and will continue to come across dating men between 35-45 (my preferred age range). My current guy is not ‘easy’ because of him, not because of us (or me). It may well not work out, but I can see that the next guy I date could very well have some similar stuff going on. Do I dump everyone who’s not easygoing? Or run as soon as things get tricky?

    I’ve now developed to a place where I’m a good date & a good partner, but, honestly, almost too good. M ost men don’t read Evan’s blog and haven’t done any kind of relationship work. In Sydney, most of them are rocking up to dates in t-shirts running 10 minutes late and being a bit distracted. What kind of standard can I realistically hold them up to? My current guy at the beginning was great, the most attentive date I’ve had in a long time, the most planned, generous and gentlemanly (opening doors, picking me up from my house, the whole lot). So I want to be really, really sure before breaking this off and getting back on the t-shirt bandwagon 🙂

    1. 30.1
      Mrs Happy

      Dear Marika @ 30,

      I’m answering Jeremy’s question too.

      1. Jeremy describes a normal, good, relatively easy marriage. Almost every married couple has disappointments about sexual frequency, and general fights, and a pattern where one person usually mostly apologises. Most women after 4 children (no TV available at night in your area Jeremy?) don’t prioritise their husbands at all.   Jeremy researched (therefore showing he is above 99%) and solved the problem most couples find no satisfactory solution to.

      2. When you meet someone you will click with, and have a good long-term relationship with, it’s just easy. I never knew easy during my 30’s until I met my now-husband, who in the midst of a whole lot of other suboptimal dates, was easy to be with, played no games, didn’t over-react including withdraw from life’s stressors, and was enjoyable to be with.

      3. Marika I have dated most of my life in Sydney, with a few stints elsewhere in Australia, New Zealand and the USA. Seriously unless we were meeting for the 1st time at Balmoral Beach in December, no date has shown up in a crumpled T-shirt. Either initially cull men better, or meet evenings at bars at Circular Quay or in the city – you work in the city, right?

      4. Holding the door open doesn’t matter anywhere near as much as being able to be present through the bad times.

      1. 30.1.1
        Marika

        Good points and well taken, Mrs Happy. Thank you.

        You’re right, I have no idea what easy is, so hopefully I know when I find it (and clearly, this isn’t it!).

        I’m exaggerating about the t-shirt thing, those guys are just the ones who stand out. But it is very common (IME), that they aren’t putting a particular amount of effort into their dress, organising a good date, coming up with interesting topics of conversation etc. Maybe my culling does need to be better. At one point there I was going on at least a date a week and only culling the guys who were clearly creepy/inappropriate on the phone.

        Were you online dating? How long ago? I honestly think the standards and effort have declined in the age of Tinder. Why be a thoughtful date when you can swipe right and have sex?

        I will take your points on board, though, and be on the lookout for easy (with an ironed shirt 🙂 )

      2. 30.1.2
        Stacy

        @Mrs Happy,

         

        Very good points.   I thank the good Lord that I have an emotionally intelligent, excellent communicator of a man in my life. And yes, it is EASY. I did  not think  easy was possible in a relationship but NOW I  get it.    The media feeds us high energy, high stressed, high  drama relationships that are dysfunctional to the core. So when that is all you see, that is sometimes all you expect.

        With my ex husband, there was always high anxiety because he was unpredictable. I thought it was love because there were so many highs and lows and it was like being on a rollercoaster…so very exciting and so very painful.   I did not know at the time that this is not normal. When I met my current, I almost didn’t know what to make of it.   And while there are sometimes disagreements etc., (very rare), I never feel anxious, never wonder where he is or who he has been with, never have to wait anxiously by the phone for his call, never have to guess about his infidelity, and he even cleans and cooks for me way more than I do for him.   What a treasure – to experience this divinity.

        I read somewhere where someone asked if it is worth it…when you’ve found it, it is SOOOOO worth it.   Trust me on this.

    2. 30.2
      Nissa

      My solution to that was to change the attire in all my online pictures. Since I’m not interested in T-shirt guys, all my pics are of me in Ralph Lauren  / Calvin Klein dresses, or tops from  Alfani, Anne Klein or Eliza J.  It’s a visual representation that deliberately leaves out  any T-shirt like clothing.

    3. 30.3
      Jeremy

      It’s what I wrote about at the end of the “My boyfriend expressed doubts” post – the “happily ever after fallacy.”   Conflict will arise in any relationship, and you can’t always predict whether it will happen or when.   But a relationship will never be as conflict-free as it is in the dating stage.   If a couple is constantly bickering in the dating stage, or if significant compatibility issues arise then, the couple should realize that things will only get worse.   The dating stage should be easy in terms of compatibility.

       

      Now marriage and kids, that’s another story.   No one ever said that was supposed to be easy.   But it can be made easier by minimizing the number of arguments by maximizing compatibility, and helping to resolve the arguments by being aware of common negative trends.   Men tend to go into their caves.   Women tend to believe their perspective is the mature one.   I’m not suggesting you dump a man because he needs to go into his cave, but rather observe how long he spends in there and what he’s like once he comes out.

       

      In terms of my own marriage, we did not experience the difficulties I’ve described until years into marriage with kids.   Our dating and early married lives were very easy indeed, compatibility-wise.   The problems we had were very typical – as Mrs. Happy writes – which does not make them any less serious.   Knowing then what I know now, I would not have chosen a different spouse (I chose very well, thankfully), but I would have known which problems to expect based on personality trends and how to resolve them with a knowledge of psychology and meta-goals.   It is the knowledge I hope to pass on here.

      1. 30.3.1
        Jeremy

        I was also thinking about what you wrote, Marika, about my being triggered by certain points of discussion.   I think you’re right that, in spite of my being happy in my marriage now, certain topics bring me back to my unhappy years and drudge up the old feelings of anger and frustration.   In particular, the notion of women’s opinion being more mature than men’s, or women being better at handling conflict.

         

        I think that if you ask most women they will tell you that they don’t believe their opinions to be more mature.   They will tell you that they value the opinion of their men and try to reach a compromise.   They will say it and believe it, yet many will not live it in practice.   When sex was an issue in my marriage, the most frustrating part wasn’t the lack of affection – it was the fact that my wife could/would not admit that there was a problem, in spite of my telling her over and over that there was.   I would explain how I felt, and her response was a combination of recrimination of all the things she does that I don’t appreciate and accusations of a lack of maturity that I couldn’t accept that this is just how things are for now.   The notion that I was miserable and she was happy, and that if only I could see things as she does, I should be happy too.   It is gaslighting in the most classic sense – yet in her mind I was the immature one, and she was the one trying to ‘compromise.” Years later, she was able to see the problem in a new light with a combination of my psych tactics and changes in our own circumstances, but that problem persisted for years.

         

        So that is why this particular topic triggers me so much.   Whether the women here agree with me or not, whether they can look into their own past and identify this behavior or not, I would advise them to be vigilant against it.   Because honouring the perspective of one’s partner does not mean being polite as you stand on your own prerogatives, nor does reaching a fair compromise mean that you get your way 9 times out of 10.   Sounds obvious, I know.

        1. Emily, the original

          Jeremy,

          When sex was an issue in my marriage, the most frustrating part wasn’t the lack of affection

          I hope you don’t mind me asking, but how does a man define a “sex issue”? I’m not being sarcastic; I’m just curious how a man defines it. It’s happening once a week? Or once a month? Or once every few months? Or when it does happen, the woman seems half-interested?

          I ask because I was talking with two girlfriends this weekend. One had just broken up with a man she’d been dating because he lived 90 minutes away and could only get together with her once a week due to his job. (For my friend, this was not a sex issue but a relationship issue, although if you’re only seeing each other once a week, you’re only having sex once a week.) However, my other friend and I both said we would have been ok with that arrangement.

        2. Jeremy

          Hi Emily.   The answer will vary from man to man, as you know.   The main thing to note is that a “sex issue” IS a relationship issue.   If sex is a person’s love language, then having a poor quality or quantity of sex is no different than having a lack of conversation for the person whose love language is words of affirmation.

          The ONLY difference is that while most people, men and women, will agree that a person who restricts conversation because he doesn’t want to talk is probably a selfish relationship partner, most people don’t feel that way about someone who  declines sex.   A man who doesn’t want to talk because he’s busy in his man-cave is emotionally unintelligent.   But a woman who doesn’t want to have sex because she’s busy in her woman-cave (which is a different sort of cave, but functionally the same as far as her partner is concerned) is someone who needs her partner to compromise, to show his emotional intelligence.

        3. Emily, the original

          Jeremy,

          Thanks for answering.

  10. 31
    Stacy

    ‘never have to guess about his fidelity’

  11. 32
    Adrianz

    Hi Jeremy,

    I am currently in the process of fading away from this blog for awhile (blog jadedness) like Tom10, and a few others…

    However I had to comment about what you said in your last post. In your last post you said,
    In particular, the notion of women’s opinion being more mature than men’s, or women being better at handling conflict…  I think that if you ask most women they will tell you that they don’t believe their opinions to be more mature.   They will tell you that they value the opinion of their men and try to reach a compromise.   They will say it and believe it, yet many will not live it in practice…    — yet in <their> mind(S) <men are> the immature one(s), and <women are> the one(s) trying to ‘compromise.

    I was trying to decide which part to highlight but to me it is all GOLDEN! I can’t speak as to why others are taking a break from this blog but what you wrote easily defines why I am (though I think both sides do this not just women-yet to be fair the female commenters on this blog and their views greatly outnumber the male).

    Anyway forget about the comments section on this blog, I am curious as to what you did in real life to battle this situation? I honestly hope that I am never in this type of situation but from reading the comments on here I don’t doubt that it will possibly happen to me some day as well (I’m not just talking about sex but being unhappy and unheard in a relationship in general)…
    Also I don’t want to be the one doing it myself to my future partner so my follow-up question would be how did you monitor yourself to be assured that it was her and not you that had the problem?

    And on the subject of sex I can’t speak much from personal experience only lots of observation but it seems to me when it comes to “most” sexual issues many women feel that as long as they are giving the man sex he should be happy and especially THANKFUL. It’s almost as if they see us as one dimensional beings who can’t be faithful and yet still want variety, desirability, and affection from his girlfriend or wife. Yet when she does give one or all three to him it’s almost as if he should be thanking her for giving him a treat or doing something special and not something a wife or girlfriend should be willing to do to make him happy because he is always ready to give her that pleasure back and more.
    I can’t remember the title but if you do a search in Evan’s archives he wrote about a research study that concluded that on average men like to give pleasure sexually and women like to receive pleasure sexually. I never understood why this mattered until I heard men speaking about how they wanted their girlfriends and wives to show she wanted him sexually; that she craved his body like he did hers; etc etc etc…

    My last statement does come with a great caveat: because it is true that I have seen many women act as if by giving their boyfriend or husband something beyond vanilla or showing any signs that she thinks he is sexy in the bedroom she feels that she deserves a HUGE IOU from him but I must also state I have observed that this seems to only exist in long-term couples. In new couples it is the opposite (I must shamefully admit). Women are the ones who (from my observation) give more, compromise their wants more, and go the extra mile more for their boyfriend or husband, make more sacrifices for him and the relationship, and even place him and the relationship over friends and family more than a man does.
    A great example of this would be women having sex with a man they barely know and are not yet completely comfortable with or trusting of just because he seems unhappy about having to wait a few weeks or months until she feels that bond. I would never want a women to do anything for me sexual or otherwise if she didn’t want to regardless of my feelings.

    I have seen and heard about a lot of women in new relationships or marriages doing things that they did not think of themselves or that they were not comfortable with just to please or make their guy happy; in extreme yet not at all rare cases I have seen and heard of women forgoing their own integrity to fulfill the wants of a new boyfriend and husband.
    …    …    …

    And finally since this will probably be my last time commenting for a while I have to ask “Jeremy did I miss something?”
    You always say that a woman has to respect a man to feel attraction to him and all the commenters were like “oooh and aaah!!!” So I keep trying to get it-I kept trying to see the eureka of your statement like others… I really did but I… well I just don’t (O_o).

    Personally I can not date a women regardless of how attractive or sexy she is if I don’t respect her; in fact not respecting a woman that looks like a model will only cause me to admire her beauty pragmatically like a person would a well made statue or painting but there will be no desire for her or her beauty in my life…
    And to be honest Jermey everyone in my circle of family and friends-both male and female-are all the same. I’m not talking about a bad person or someone who has a character flaw; so not someone a person would dislike or hate. No, just a simple core part of an attractive woman’s character which causes me to not respect her and therefore not desire her emotionally or sexually.
    So could you please explain your whole “A women needs to respect a man to be attracted to him” explication? Because one human needing to respect another to want to share their life with them seems so simple to me that I clearly had to have missed something…
    Thank you (^_^)

    1. 32.1
      Marika

      Adrian with a z

      I know this was for Jeremy, but one thing I would say is ‘don’t believe everything you hear’. A lot of your concerns raised above seem to relate to things you’ve heard from other people, not personally experienced. If you’re hearing something second-hand from a man/woman around the water cooler, it may be a version of the truth, it may be exaggerated, it may be coming from a place of pain etc. People  often talk themselves up, talk others down or say things that aren’t entirely true to make a point or fit in. You never know what really happens between two people behind closed doors (unless you’re a peeping Adrian 😉 ).

      I do  know there are women who think that men are less mature, and that’s a shame. I’m not one of them, but for those who do feel this way, I have to say, the men in their lives weren’t particularly great role models of emotional openness & intelligence. My mother feels this way very strongly and she’s 100% correct that in fights my father completely shuts down and has a really hard time seeing anything from her perspective (obviously she’s not blameless either!). He’s very emotionally withholding, speaks without thinking & doesn’t follow through on doing things he said he would. Her father was the same. My uncle is the same. I’m not like my mother as I’ve seen first hand how damaging it is  to allow this dynamic to play out (man emotionally withholds, woman says he’s immature) and I want something different for myself.

      There was a time (not too long ago) when a man was not expected to have good emotional intelligence, that wasn’t his role. And that you had to stay married no matter what. So a lot of women were raised with the old idea that men are clueless or whatever, and women have the market cornered on maturity and there’s nothing that can be done about it. That’s changing now, though, and knowing what I do of you, if a woman ever thinks that of you, it’s coming from her past experiences (perhaps her mother has been in her ear!), nothing to do with you or your behaviour. But it’s less likely if she’s 30 or younger.

      If respecting a woman and what she does for a living is important to you, then that’s great and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. Live by what is important to you, don’t worry about what is important to other people. I do get what Jeremy means when he says that, but I’m not sure it’s that important to break it down and explore it. If it doesn’t apply to you, disregard 🙂

      If you are really interested in male/female differences, the MarsVenus blog is pretty much all about that. And written by someone much older and much more conventional in his views. He really helped me understand why women do x when men do y and to not be upset by it. You can’t take it all as gospel and his advice is more esoteric than Evan’s (and a bit old fashioned), but between this and that blog, I think it’s a good mix.

      1. 32.1.1
        Jeremy

        As someone who has read the Mars/Venus blog, I understand why many women like it and find it helpful.   But I’d advise a man to be careful with that site.   I’ve written often about “bad advice” that people offer with the best of intentions – advice to  generate  comfort when what you want is arousal.   That site is absolutely full of such advice – conflation of comfort with arousal, assumption that emotional connection is the sexual goal for women.   It was among the first things I tried (given the fame of the author), and it failed miserably and made ME miserable because I was so sure it should work.   The advice *sounded* so good….

        1. Marika

          Hmm, maybe Jeremy, but something tells me Adrian may like it & find at least parts of it useful. Let’s let him be the judge. The guy’s (Dr Gray) happily married himself, so he has some credibility.

          I don’t love all the claims he makes about women and some parts aren’t useful. But some of the explanations about gender differences are. Particularly for a ‘why’ person.

          I could be wrong, of course, just a suggestion..

        2. Emily, the original

          Jeremy,

          As someone who has read the Mars/Venus blog,

          I haven’t read John Gray’s blog, but I read “Mars and Venus on a Date” and I found it helpful. The description of men as rubber bands (stretching from points of intimacy to autonomy) helped me. Also his descriptions of the stages of dating. I’m paraphrasing but they are: Attraction, Uncertainty, Exclusivity, Intimacy and Commitment. If you jump from Attraction to Intimacy and skip the stages in between, the man will often pull back afterward. Gray’s explanation of the rubber band made sense. The man will pull back and if there isn’t a strong enough foundation of a relationship, he pulls so far back the rubber band breaks and it’s over. I think most women probably have experienced this situation before and been very confused by it.

        3. Callie

          Jeremy – also remember not everyone is you and your wife. Sometimes advice for other couples works for them when it doesn’t work for you. I know, for example, that around 70% of advice out there in general does not work for me and my BF because there is a lot of rather unique qualities we both possess. But I don’t therefore dismiss the advice as being bad. Just not for me. I think a well rounded understanding of lots of various techniques is the way to go. The more tools we have at our disposal, in my opinion, the better. And I have found (with other places I’ve visited online  especially when it comes to writing advice) that those who struggle the most are the ones looking for the magic wand or the one right way to do things. People who are more open to trying various solutions until they find the one that works for them tend to succeed the most.

        4. Jeremy

          Hi Marika.   It’s not that I’m suggesting that Adrian (or anyone) not read the blog.   I think people should gather all the information they can.   Nor do I think the advice is never useful, or that it wouldn’t be helpful in many marriages.   But here’s an observation – the type of marriage that his advice to men would work best for is one where the woman is already aroused enough by the man, but she is frustrated by a lack of comfort.   He doesn’t listen enough to her, he withdraws too much, he doesn’t share in the chores, etc.   If only he would give her more comfort, she would be incredibly happy in the relationship.     Problem is, that type of guy is the last one to ever read relationship blogs or books.

           

          The other type of marriage, though, where the wife is awash in comfort and lacks arousal but won’t admit as much to herself so she claims to need more comfort – that is the type where the husband is most likely to seek advice, and this type of advice will fail him.   And  Gray makes absolutely NO provision for it. He makes no distinction between comfort and arousal, he just assumes that what women need is more and more comfort. He makes no provision for women whose meta-goal is not emotional connection, having never considered that women’s sexual goals are not always uniform.   As a man, any advice that prioritizes comfort but does not also mention arousal is not useful advice.   It’s like trying to clap with only one hand.

        5. Jeremy

          There’s no magic wand, Callie, but there are algorithms.   If…then statements based on an understanding of psychology.   They won’t always work, but they should work most of the time if based on sound principles and if not mis-applied to any given individual.   The best advice, IMHO, is based on such an algorithmic approach rather than a shotgun – “this is what men need, this is what women need” approach.

        6. Callie

          Jeremy – I agree (to an extent – psychology isn’t some fixed thing, ultimately while it is a science, like all sciences it continues to evolve as we learn more, which is what makes science so fantastic. It doesn’t claim absolute knowledge, but knowledge to a degree with the facts as we have them now and a willingness to change should new facts present themselves). But it does seem to me while you say on the one hand things oughtn’t be black and white with “this is what men need this is what women need”, you on the other hand do tend to speak in absolutes quite often yourself about just that. I’m not sure if you are aware but often the advice you offer here is very “this is what works”, and “this is what men think” vs “this can work” and “this is what some men like me think”. Which is why you find me responding as I do to your comments, asking for you to clarify your points a bit. Especially when your point essentially is to dismiss another resource that might be of some help to people with different personalities to your own.

        7. Jeremy

          Callie, you wrote, “Which is why you find me responding as I do to your comments…especially when your point essentially is to dismiss another resource that might be of some help to people with different personalities to your own.”

           

          It’s not about dismissing advice for other personalities.   I am all for tailoring advice to personality, as you know from many of my posts.   My problem with Gray’s stuff is the LACK of tailoring!   His  advice to prioritize comfort corresponds well with mainstream relationship advice – the kind of advice that thousands of men on the manosphere and elsewhere have tried and had it not work, while I’m sure it has worked for many other men.   To contrast, the Red-Pill advice  to prioritize arousal works for some men, but not others. The question is, WHY does  one set of advice work in some cases and not others?   Which advice should a given man follow?   What should he do if it fails?   Neither conventional advice nor manospherian advice takes the other side into account.   Comfort and arousal – each one is a hand, and you need BOTH to clap.   So if a man can’t clap, which one is he missing?

           

          My advice is not a panacea, but at least it accounts for both.   And as you say, if something new comes to light, I’ll modify my opinion since I’m always looking for a bigger, better idea.   I’m hypergamous that way 🙂

    2. 32.2
      Adrian

      Oops… I don’t know how I did not notice that z behind my name… Anyway the question is from me Adrian (^_^)

    3. 32.3
      Jeremy

      Adrian, years ago when I was on the manosphere, the guys there were having a fit about something that Susan Walsh wrote on her blog, Hooking Up Smart.   She was describing ways to filter out men who would make bad relationship partners early on in the dating process, and one of the filters was whether the guy thought much about divorce and its legal injustices to men.   The guys on the manosphere were incredulous because they believed that every man should be aware of these injustices and only naive men (like they themselves were in their youth) would be unaware of this.   At that time, I agreed with them.   Now, I’m not so sure.   Because, you see, you can’t skip from the first date to divorce in your mind.   You can’t skip from the “getting to know you” stage of a relationship to the “fighting about sexual frequency” stage.   If you think too much about what *might* go wrong, you’ll prime yourself to those things and create a self-fulfilling prophecy.   I worry about the same for you, with the concerns you raise here.   You are over-thinking – and buddy, that’s coming from ME, the self-proclaimed king of over-thinking.   Use your keen intellect to filter out the best potential partners, enjoy your relationship in the present, plan for the future, and be aware of what the red flags should be for you – and leave it at that.

       

      Regarding the perception of sex as women doing a “favour” for men – yes, I’ve definitely seen lots of this.   I think it is because women, in general, are more attuned to the balance of power in relationships than men.   If a woman perceives that  her man enjoys sex more than she does, she will (on some level) begin to perceive sex as something she does FOR HIM, even if she enjoys it too.   And after a while, on some level, she will begin to feel that here she is, doing so much for him, what is he doing in return?   And if she can’t find something that he does for her that she enjoys to balance out what she is doing by giving him sex, she will perceive injustice in her sex life – even as the man remains oblivious to this because he thinks she enjoys the sex.   Very, very common.   Can lead to all sorts of resentment, and when the guy asks her what the problem is, she will invent all sorts of hoops for him to jump through to balance out the power…..yet every time the sex happens, she once again feels the injustice.   This is a very difficult pattern to break once it sets in.

       

      What can you do about this?   You can be the best relationship partner you can be.   You can understand your partner – what she needs from you and what she wants from you.   What she perceives your ROLE to be in the relationship – so that she can respect you (and remain attracted to you), and what she perceives as “romantic” so that she can feel that you are making an effort to give her what she wants as well as what she needs.   You can understand her sexual meta-goals so that when she has sex with you she feels there’s something “in it” for her, not just you.   And you can be cognizant that her meta-goal is not necessarily the same as yours, so that even if you give her an orgasm and you perceive that she has enjoyed herself, you realize that the orgasm isn’t necessarily what she wanted.

       

      Finally, you requested another explanation of the whole respect thing.    Honestly, I’ve described this in great detail on the “Gender Feminists” post.   In a nutshell, most men DO need to respect a woman to want to pursue marriage with her, but that is different from needing to respect her to be attracted to her.   Never mind how this concept affects your own attraction – you know what works for you and what doesn’t.   Just be cognizant that women need to respect a man, not just to want to marry him, but to be attracted to him.   And if they lose respect, they also lose attraction.   Not so for most men, hence most men’s lack of understanding of this concept.

       

       

  12. 33
    Marika

    Jeremy

    You appear to be assuming Adrian will run into the exact same issues you did…

    The advice he gives is far more than just ‘give your wife comfort’. And he certainly doesn’t suggest pandering to your wife. In the daily show podcast he talked about a time his wife corrected him on something and wanted an apology and he said to her ‘sorry, you only get 3 apologies a day’. That’s fantastic! Boundaries & making a point in a fun way. A nice guy with balls.

    If you do check it out, Adrian, also listen to his daughter’s stuff. She answers readers questions in a fun way then does ‘bloopers’ at the end. Cute!!

    1. 33.1
      Jeremy

      “You appear to be assuming Adrian will run into the exact same issues you did…”

       

      No Marika, I am not.

      1. 33.1.1
        Jeremy

        I am providing for the provision that he *might.*

        Read the post on the mars/venus blog about “How to have more sex and less porn” in his video blog section.   A reader asks how to get his wife to want to have more sex.   His response is romance and communication.   He claims that doing things for his wife will increase his wife’s desire.   Reading it makes me want to bang my head against a wall.   The advice sounds so good.   Millions of women will read it and nod, thinking that it’s EXACTLY what they need, and they’ll tell their husbands as much – not understanding themselves at all, wondering what is wrong with them when what “should” work doesn’t.

         

        It’s like going to a doctor who prescribes antibiotics for every ailment, then posts success stories about how he cured the most gruesome illnesses.   Then someone discovers that hey, many illnesses are viral and antibiotics will not work for them.   In light of such a discovery, advice to treat illness with antibiotics will only remain good advice with the provision that you gotta know whether the disease is bacterial before you use them!

        1. Marika

          Jeremy

          A lot of advice out there is American-centric. So us non north Americans are no strangers to modifying good advice to our situation. Or trying things then trying something else if it doesn’t work. I don’t think any expert claims their advice works for every person in every situation.

          I think your aversion to Gray and Gottman is a tad extreme. Many of their concepts are useful and interesting. As long as (as I said), you don’t take everything as gospel and go for a mix.

  13. 34
    Mr.Goose

    Apart from the occasional futile act of defiance, I find it’s generally best to do whatever the boss thinks I should do. Otherwise she wanders about the place muttering and making this sort of squeaky “didly dumpty” noise. Hard to tell exactly what shes talking about, especially when I’m busy doing something more interesting. But I can definitely tell when she is displeased about something.

    Occasionally we have to discuss her feelings too. When this thorny subject first reared its ugly head, I suggested that we should start by discussing something simpler, such as quantum physics. But she gave me one of her piercing stares and snapped that she’s not interested in physics. Worse, sometimes she asks me questions about what she just said and I’m expected to respond with an intelligent answer. These days, seems it’s not enough simply to agree with her about everything. I have to say why I agree with her – and she expects a better answer than, “Because you told me to.”

    And her questions are definitely getting harder. The other day she asked me to tell her honestly about my feelings. “Well, in all honesty”, I said. “I feel hungry and a bit bored. Any chance of a beer and a cheese and pickle sandwich please?”

    Apparently that was the wrong answer. Hmm… I don’t think I’ll ever get the hang of this emotional intelligence lark… 🙂

  14. 35
    Sum Guy

    Good advice and kind  of a no-brainer:   If you listen to and respect your partner your relationship is much more likely to  last.

    Part that is missing: Different people have different languages they use to listen to you and show their love, a good man will seek to understand his woman’s language and not impose his own, likewise a good woman will do the same for her man.

    Good advice: Value how a person treats you and their character  don’t just  value  than their looks, money, etc.

    Bad advice if taken too far:   Acting like you are a CEO and the men in your life are interns.     Good if it helps you focus on character and being treated with respect; very bad if you start  treating him unequally based on such thoughts   (perhaps only a master-slave is a more unequal dynamic than the  CEO-intern dynamic).     That is, if you really want a relationship of mutual respect and equality with a man you can respect, and you are looking for a self-confident man who wants the same, don’t treat him like an intern and don’t put up with being treated like an intern.

    I think a better mythical business world analogy is to know you are a “CEO” and so is the man you want, you should both be treating each other like “CEOs”   Mutual respect and both recognizing you both bring great, if different, things to the table and in good faith seeing if you are right for each other.

     

     

  15. 36
    Ton

    People who say dumb stuff like only 35% of men are emotionally intelligent are operating from one of two false perspectives

    False perspective #1 is the blank slate nonsense of men and women are the same

    False perspective #2 is the feminist theology of all men are defective women.

    Both false perspectives are popular in the here and now.   Men and women are different. Most relationship woe’s I see stem from either or both of those false perspectives.

    When men get this wrong is when they think women are defective men but mostly I see that coming from educated city slicks.

     

    Either way, anyone dumb enough to operate from either is unworthy of serious consideration but women and feminists eat that stuff up as it shifts the blame for their unhappiness from themselves on to all the emotionally unintelligent men out here

    1. 36.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      Or, you can read the original article instead of trying to refute it because you don’t like the title.

  16. 37
    loubelle

    my ex was emotionally intelligent enough to feign unintelligence. lol work that one out.

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