Believe The Negatives, Ignore The Positives

Believe The Negatives, Ignore The PositivesLast week, I thought of something that I’d never quite considered before.

It was in my Monday night Inner Circle and new member, Natalie, asked a question:

I went to visit a friend I’ve known for a while and we got involved. Over the next week we exchanged flirty emails and texts. Last week he ended up coming into town and he stayed with me, continuing the romance. He is hesitant about jumping into a relationship (i.e. not wanting to mess up our friendship, he said he’s a mess, he’s recovering from insane relationship, etc).

In general, I’m trying to give him sufficient space and no pressure. Aside from any general advice you have, how do I balance showing interest with giving sufficient space? –Natalie

Natalie’s question was a good one – but it was the wrong question. The real question is why she’d be so inclined to ignore all of this guy’s red flags.

This is like booking a seat on the Titanic AFTER you knew it was going to crash.

She shouldn’t be figuring out how to be the “cool girl.” She should be figuring out how to punch up her online dating profile to find a better man.

After all, would YOU feel encouraged if your date said any one of the following:

“I don’t want to ruin our friendship by experimenting with a relationship.”
“I’m really an emotional basket case right now.”
“I’m on the rebound from an absolutely insane relationship.”

Natalie feels chemistry, and, as I’ve pointed out before, chemistry is what allows you to overlook a man’s biggest flaws. Look at your past – when you’re hot for a guy, you just sweep the red flags under the rug as if they’re not even there, just so you can keep up that passionate feeling.

And where would that passionate feeling lead Natalie if she actually gets the guy?

Right into a relationship with an emotionally unavailable, messed-up man who is the first to say that he’s probably not ready to embark on something serious.

Can you say “huh?”

This is like booking a seat on the Titanic AFTER you knew it was going to crash.

My advice to Natalie was to tell her friend that she thinks he’s great, but this doesn’t appear to be the best timing. If and when he decides he’s ready, he can give her a call, and if Natalie’s available, she may consider going out with him again.

The end.

But Natalie’s story really got me thinking about how hard it is to read a man.

Contrary to what you might believe, most men do NOT lie to you.

Between your blind spots, your emotions, and most men’s communication styles, it might seem impossible to read between the lines.

Until right now.

After talking to Natalie, I hatched a very simple way to know where you stand with men. Write this down, put it on your mirror, and never forget this:

“Believe the negatives; ignore the positives.”

Contrary to what you might believe, most men do NOT lie to you.

That old wives’ tale about the guy who says he loves you in order to sleep with you doesn’t really happen anymore, because saying “I love you” creates FAR more complications than sex does.

So if most men have a measure of integrity and won’t straight-out lie to you about whether they love you or are seeing other women, what do they usually do?

They hint.

Natalie’s guy is a hinter – telling her all the reasons she should stay away from him after sleeping with him – all because he’s a decent guy who wants to feel that he gave her fair warning.

I did the exact same thing when I was single, and I’m POSITIVE you’ve had it happen to you as well.

The guy you’re seeing says some version of “I don’t know if I’m ready for a committed relationship right now,” and you act like he never said it at all.

Then in 6 months, when you’re still just “seeing” him and want to know where things are going, he says, “I TOLD you I wasn’t looking for a girlfriend.”

He feels he’s covered his ass. You feel that he’s lied. But he hasn’t. He just didn’t INSIST that you run away from him. You took your chances and you lost.

So, from now on, heed this policy.

>When a guy says something indicating that he doesn’t want a relationship with you – “I’m not ready,” “The timing is bad,” “I’m really busy at work,” “I’m not sure about my attraction to you,” or refuses to become your boyfriend in three months, guess what?

You should BELIEVE him.

And when a guy takes you on a great date, tells you you’re beautiful, makes love with you, and says he wants to take you to Cancun, you should NOT believe him.

Why?

Because it means NOTHING.

You’ve seen this yourself.

Men live in the moment.

If we are attracted to you, we’ll sleep with you first and figure out our feelings later.

You don’t operate this way, which is why you’re perpetually surprised that we do. But we do, and it’s nothing that you or I can change about men.

So take it from me – the next time you’re excited about a guy:

Ignore all the positives that come with your initial attraction. Great first dates. Big talk of a future. Hot sex. Just put them aside. They say nothing about his feelings for you.

What DOES mean something?

The negative red flags that you will now pay attention to.

And how quickly he follows up your date to say, “I want to see you again.”

That’s it.

Believe the negatives; ignore the positives.

Let me know if this makes sense to you and if you’ve ever ignored the negatives and had it come back to bite you.

Join our conversation (106 Comments).
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Comments:

  1. 31
    Ann

    Also confused about how this advice jibes with the “be open and positive to men” advice. Sounds like now this is saying to be closed to men who don’t say they’re completely into you right off the bat. But then we all know guys who say whatever just to lead you on. Which is why you aren’t open and positive toward just any and all guys to begin with–you want to see if they’re really into you or only into you if you’re “open” to whatever they have on their agenda. 

    Also, I think it’s funny how those guys who are “looking for something” but don’t back it up with actions come running once your status changes. Then they’re all hurt and suddenly you’re the one who got away.

    I think it’s easier than all of this makes it out to be. Some people are truthful and have integrity in all aspects of their life and others don’t. As [email protected] points out.   

  2. 32
    Joe

    @ Laya #16: As they say, timing is everything.

    @ Sassafrass #21: Not all people are the same.  Maybe she’s OK with the situation.

    @ Ann #31: I don’t see any disconnect between the two pieces of Evan’s advice.  Being open/positive, and being observant/sensible aren’t mutually exclusive.

  3. 33
    Laya

    Justme – I agree with your thought…that the actions should be aligned with what they say. I also think that at times guys don’t know what they want or think they don’t want a relationship but then fall in love. I think there are men who want a relationship but a girl can be a “good for now,” situation because they don’t see her as wife/girlfriend material. Complicated.

  4. 34
    Kay

    Evan, this is SPOT ON! When my 20 year marriage ended with my husband’s death, I re-entered the singles scene 2 years later, dating a friend for whom I had developed feelings. He was great “in the moment” on each of our 4 dates but I couldn’t ignore him both telling and hinting that he wasn’t ready, still getting over his ex, wanted us to be friends for now, bad timing… This was despite everything else being great when we were together. My desire for him made me want to continue but despite my relative inexperience at dating generally, I listened to my gut and ended it before it went any further. I am HUGELY proud of myself for avoiding all the pain that would have followed for sure. And had we continued, I would have had only myself to blame because he had always been honest about where he was at. I’m so grateful I didn’t ignore it…

  5. 35
    Susie

    I am interested to see what Evan has to say about Ann’s (#29) post.  What about the man who is coming out of a 25 year marriage (the divorce not yet finalized, but definite) who says he can’t yet commit to anything? But ALL of his actions speak otherwise.  He calls every day, is with me most days (all days not traveling for work), and otherwise treats me like a queen.  He makes plans in advance, and has introduced me to his family and friends.  Do you end a wonderful relationship because of his situation?  I understand where he is coming from, because I also came out of a long term marriage.  We are very compatible with similar life goals, kids the same age, etc.  It’s great.  I really hate the thought of giving that up!

    1. 35.1
      Divaani

      Susie, I personally don’t believe in dating men who is is the process of a getting a divorce.  Too much baggage!  Especially from a 25 year marriage.  From experience they may say and do everything right, treat you like a queen, but most likely that woman will be his validation that he’s still got it, his therapist, and his fill in the void woman because he doesn’t want to be alone.  Please be careful.  Your situation may be the exception, but that’s usually not the case. And no divorce is definite until you actually see divorce papers!!!  No matter how the marriage ended, it can be rekindled in a heartbeat!

  6. 36
    Hope

    I really do agree with the message of this post. I have dated a lot of guys who were hinters. For the longest time I didn’t get it. I kept trying to overanalyze what happened. But the common thread I found was every single one left hints. ALL of them. I got so wrapped up in my expectations and personal vision that I failed to see the red flags. I think a lot of guys don’t like to be confrontational so they drop hints. I may be wrong on this, but that’s been my observation.

    To Ann (comment #29) I was in a similar situation once. The guy said he wasn’t ready for a committed relationship, but acted like he wanted to be together. He would call and text all the time, bring gifts, always want to hang out, ect. But a couple months later I got frustrated with it because the actions weren’t matching his words. I came to the conclusion that he enjoyed my company and wanted to be a nice guy, but really didn’t want to be my boyfriend. It wasn’t that he was being malicious or anything, he liked the attention and the company. But I was looking for a more committed relationship. I let him know that and stopped being so available to answer calls and hang out. Yes, it sucked because I enjoyed his company and was very interested in him. But why spend all this time with a man who wasn’t willing to make a committment to me? He wasn’t going to change, and could I blame him? Here was a woman willing to give him all this time and energy and he didn’t have to make a committment to her. That was a pretty sweet deal for him. I had to be the one to stand firm if I wasn’t getting what I wanted because he wasn’t going to do it for me. I think in these kind of situations you have to decide if you’re okay with the status quo, or stand up for yourself and what you want, and be willing to walk, especially if a guy has dropped hints that he’s not going to give you what you want.

    Again, really great post, and some really sound advice. Thank you, Evan! 

  7. 37
    Katarina Phang

    Oooooh….Hope, your story is like mine and that’s behind the inspiration of my book.

    I’ve been seeing this 8-year younger guy for 9 months, he’s not ready for relationship due to his life circumstances, yet he’s emotionally attached already.

    I don’t know what will come out of this relationship but this is much better than many well-labeled relationships out there.  And I will never regret anything.  This has been the greatest personal growth to me since my split from my ex.

    If he pursues you, I would suggest you to give him a chance.  You might be surprised at what you’re going to learn or get from the experience.  As long as you don’t invest any more than he does (I outline all of these in my book), you’ll be fine and mind you as long as you’re not official you can still date others if you’re so inclined.

    The less you aim for commitment, the better it works. Men are extremely drawn to women who don’t pressure them.

  8. 38
    Rochelle

    Laya,, 16.  yeah I’ve read that too, that a man can feel he is “unavailable” for a relationship and then the “right woman” comes along, he falls head over heels and it all goes out the door. I have seen it happen in real life as well. And I also agree with you that sometimes men don’t really know what they want. It doesn’t really dispute what EMK is saying so I think his view as well as RR and CC are all correct.

      And I do think it can sometimes be timing. Similar to how sometimes friendships turn into relationships later on. If a guy who really wasn’t “ready” at the time began to  feel on some level  that a woman he was right for him, he would come back to her later when he realized it and  just throw out the window what he was saying about not being ready–if the woman didn’t place that expectation on him. What  happens most of the time though, as EMK says, is that a woman will ignore this man saying to her “I don’t want anything serious”, then expect it to be serious anyway because he acts sort of like a boyfriend and then get mad him for lying..when he really didn’t lie.  There’s more of a chance that he’ll be “ready” for her if she doesn’t put that relationship expectation on him, doesn’t stick around and doesn’t keep being available to him, as if she’s already his girlfriend/wife.

  9. 39
    Katarina Phang

    I’m with Rochelle that guys in general aren’t always in tune with their emotions or know what they really want.  The attitude with them is almost always “let’s play it by ear.”  In fact I will go as far that these days in our age range, we should assume emotional unavailability when dating a guy until he proves otherwise.

    Let me explain.  Guys are gun shy about commitment unless they feel really compelled by a woman.  They don’t respond too well when they are feeling cornered to say what they’re going to do with a particular woman only after a short time knowing her.  A lot of women make that mistake by being pushy and impatient.  It’s a turn off.

    They are cautious, but to us it’s a sign of “emotional unavailability.”  Most guys will fall under that category if we expect them to emote the way we do.  There are many reasons why guys are cautious and it’s not because he’s not into her.  One of the main reasons is their innate fear of losing their freedom since freedom is the highest currency for them to function in the competitive world in which they live.

    This is why many guys are sooo okay to act like a bf, pursue a woman, call her everyday (like my guy) but they refuse to label the relationship. They’re obviously into her, they’re just not ready for whatever reason. They’re worried that as soon as the relationship is labeled, things change and she will demand and expect more. 

    Hedge your bet when dating this kind of guy but as long as he rows the boat, follow his lead.  If he likes you that much, likelihood is he won’t let you go, especially when he attaches emotionally on you already.  It’s emotional attraction that will keep a guy, each and every time.  

  10. 40
    Hope

    To Katarina ( #37) you have some really excellent points and thank you for taking the time to respond to my comment and give your insight. I have to agree with you that guys don’t like pressure, and they especially don’t like to be pressured into committment if that’s not what they’re wanting. I feel my choice to let him go was based off of two main reasons. The first one was both he and I had been honest with what we were looking for and our wants and goals didn’t allign. When he met me he knew I was looking for a committed relationship. I met him online and my profile was very clear that my goal was to find a committed relationship. I also told him point blank when he asked me what I was looking for. In the course of the first couple dates he let me know he wasn’t ready to be in a committed relationship. Initially I ignored what he said, thought I could change his mind. Then I realized I was, once again, making that mistake of expecting him to change when that’s not really a fair expectation for me to have when he already made it clear he wasn’t ready for a committed relationship. Even though he was a sweet guy, the entire relationship was on his terms. A relationship, whether committed or not, is about two people. I caught him several times on the same dating website we met on, so it would be foolish of me to assume he wasn’t talking to or dating other women. On the other hand, he became very envious whenever other men would speak to me. He became visibly angry once when a male waiter casually flirted with me even though I didn’t reciprocate the flirtation. Despite his attention, the gifts, and outings it was clear he had an expectation that he could date around while I needed to keep all of my attention on him. It felt like he had all the power and everything was on his terms.

    This leads me to the second reason I ended things with him. I needed to make my quest for love about me. What does that mean? It means I cannot control anything outside of myself. I cannot control whether a guy committs to me or not, his expectations, and his actions. But what I can control is me and I realized I needed to work on me. There’s a deeper reason why I kept attracting all these guys that didn’t committ, and a lot of it was because not only was I attracting that through my own lack of self worth, but also I was putting up with it. Here I was, constantly picking up pebbles, hanging out with the pebbles, but then complaining that I wasn’t getting gold. I realized that I needed to be the best me I could be. I needed to love me, see my self worth, and radiate love out into the world. Until I saw myself as a source of love, confidence, and all these other great qualities I know I have I would be going around the same circle, expecting different results.

    At the end of the day, it wasn’t so much the title of girlfriend I wanted as much as I wanted someone willing to be exclusive and committed. In my relationship with that guy the balance of power was all in his favor. He could date around, but he expected me to be exclusive to him. All the dates, phone calls, and interaction was on his terms. A relationship should have a better balance of power than that, at least the kind of relationship I want should. Yes, the attention was nice, but it wasn’t worth losing power over, and especially losing love for myself over. I felt like I was sacrificing all my wants for what he wanted. Basically he wanted me waiting in the wings, exclusive to him, for if and when he decided he was ready to settle for me. If he was looking for other women on the dating website then I clearly wasn’t what he wanted to committ to. I don’t want to be a woman a guy just settles for. Both he and I deserve better than that. Letting him go was a step of growth I needed to take for me. If he had been open to allowing me to also date around then maybe I wouldn’t have had to take such drastic action. But when it became a choice of either living in silent unhappiness and accepting his terms or moving on he choice was pretty clear.

  11. 41
    Michelle

    Hope, I love your thought process, self examination, honesty, courage and willingness to stick by what you want.   If you know what you want, and you’re not getting it, move on–don’t waste precious time. When your energy and space is taken up by men who right out tell you they don’t want what you want or aren’t worthy of you like this man was, then the right man has no space to move forward to you.  Believe me, when you and that man finally get together, you will see right away how differently he treats.   Hang in there, it will happen!!

  12. 42
    marymary

    Michelle
    I agree. I don’t have to think about whether he likes me, or who asks who out or who is calling who first or when or or how long, or whether I am his girlfriend or if we are committed or what men do or what women do, or if the moon is in Scorpio.
    I know he loves me because of how he treats me and no man  has treated me better. It’s not even about “better”, it’s another country.
    Not to render dating advice redundant, it is useful to have some touchstones and the no. 1 take away for me has been – ditch the lists. And be wary of alphas and of your “type”. If your type has never worked for you, maybe the universe is trying to tell you something.
    And no. 2 – don’t ignore  those red flags. I know women love to tell themselves and each other that their dynamic super hot sexiness and knowhow can bring any man to heel. When’s the last time you looked at Cheryl Cole, Halle Berry, Jennifer Aniston, Kylie, Jerry Hall (in her day and even now)? Are these women not hot enough or are they picking the wrong guys?

  13. 43
    Hope

    Michelle (comment #41) Thank you so much for your kind and encouraging words. I have made a lot of mistakes in my dating life. I really empathize with what a lot of women are going through because I have been there too. I’m still learning a lot and growing personally. I really appreciate Evan’s honesty and I respect him as a positive force in the dating advice world for sure. For a long time I tended to play victim and put all the blame on the guys I dated. Truth was, I was expecting a guy to fix my life and be my source of happiness. No wonder I was constantly being disappointed! If a guy tried to put those same hefty expectations on me I probably would have run for the hills. In addition to reading Evan’s blog I have also  been reading the blog here. Even if that guy and I never get back together, it’s okay. I feel confident now that I’m growing and taking care of me that eventually I will attract the right one for me.

  14. 44
    Onward!

    wow, this post rings true to my ears.
    ME: “We have to stop this. You’re not over your ex.”
    HIM: “You’re absolutely right. I’m not ready. I’m not in a good way.”
    A month later he convinced me he was ready:
    HIM: “Be my girlfriend! I love you. You make me happy. You have to take risks for love.”
    Sure enough, four months later he tells me he needs time to himself!

  15. 45
    Cat5

    “So if most men have a measure of integrity and won’t straight-out lie to you about whether they love you or are seeing other women, what do they usually do?
    They hint.
    Natalie’s guy is a hinter – telling her all the reasons she should stay away from him after sleeping with him – all because he’s a decent guy who wants to feel that he gave her fair warning.
    I did the exact same thing when I was single, and I’m POSITIVE you’ve had it happen to you as well.
    The guy you’re seeing says some version of “I don’t know if I’m ready for a committed relationship right now”, and you act like he never said it at all.
    Then in 6 months, when you’re still just “seeing” him and want to know where things are going, he says, “I TOLD you I wasn’t looking for a girlfriend.”
    He feels he’s covered his ass. You feel that he’s lied. But he hasn’t. He just didn’t INSIST that you run away from him. You took your chances and you lost.”
     
    Apparently, definitions of integrity, decent, and lies differ significantly.
     
    IMO, a good and decent person with integrity does not use another person for his/her own emotional, financial, or physical benefit, while making statements to cover his/her ass or pussy-footing around, and saying, “But, I told you how I am.  I didn’t lie.  You knew.”  That is questionable/sketchy behavior.
    When a good and decent person realizes he/she wants different things out of the relationship from the other person, he/she does the right thing, and breaks up with said other person.  He/she does not use/string the other person along for his/her own benefit. 

    1. 45.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      Cat5, it must be exhausting to blame men for all your relationship woes. Please read this article and let us know the answer to the below question:

      Is it the man’s fault when a woman completely ignores that he’s making no effort to be a boyfriend? Or is it the woman’s?

      I’m pretty sure you think it’s the man’s fault for not having integrity. But since you can’t control what men do, what CAN you control?

      You guessed it.

  16. 46
    Anais

    I agree with everything, but I would make a point here, about this so called men’s “fairness” feeling: men usually show these “red flags” (talking about bad timing, not wanting a relationship, etc) AFTER they have seduced you and when they see you already feel something for them, after having a first kiss or sleeping with them, so yes, of course they are lying. If a guy was honest, from the beginning he should say all these things, first coffee/drink you have with him. And guess what, they don’t do it because they KNOW it’s not what the woman wants. So they are LYING to get sex, but telling themselves this petty story about being fair so they don’t feel as the assholes they are. I don’t think is women’s fault, but for sure we have to be a lot more careful.
    Of course, this doesn’t apply to a woman that only wants sex, which I think is perfectly right as well, but with a woman like this, there would be no problem to confess your intentions from the very beginning, isn’t it?
    So dear men, if you don’t want to be called assholes and really want no misunderstandings, tell all these things about not wanting commitment, etc, the first date. This is what being honest looks like.

    1. 46.1
      Tiffany

      Exactly, it would’nt be a lie if they didn’t wait until after you’ve waited months and given them sex. Then all of a sudden; it’s “I don’t want to be in a serious relationship right now,” “I’ve been hurt before,” “I’ll be whatever you want me to be,” blah, blah, blah. I swear sometimes dating grown men, feels like dating in high school all over again. Sick and tired of the games.

    2. 46.2
      Sue

      Totally agree. It is after they have wooed you and you have trusted enough to sleep with them that all of a sudden it’s ” I can’t be in a relationship.” Maybe they don’t see it as lying but it is definitely not being truthful. Now, no matter how great the chemistry, I say “no.” I feel bad that assholes have ruined it for the good guys which I am sure are out there. But I just can’t risk it anymore. I look back to when I first started dating  my ex-husband over 30 years ago. He was the first to say “I love you.” Then followed it with “but don’t get serious.”

      Yep, just tell me straight up that you are not looking for a committed relationship. Most guys don’t do this because they KNOW that a woman will not give them sex. Period.

       

  17. 47
    Sockpuppet

     
    This whole article is another way of saying what I learned from Hard Knocks U: don’t listen to what a man says; watch what he does.

  18. 48
    Gina

    Great post Evan 🙂 I had to learn the hard way. I now pay attention to the hints that men give me when they are EU (Emotionally Unavailable). I think that many of us women overlook red flags because we want to be in a relationship so badly. A girlfriend once told me (after listening to me cry my heart out over some guy who made it clear that he did not see a future with me, but was happy to continue sleeping with me)…
    “Never make someone a priority when they only see you as an option.”

  19. 49
    GL

    I put this into action! LOL I feel like because of this blog I am really going to find someone good. 

    This guy I met up with was kind of a DB, I thought he had a lot of good qualities and a nice body, but he made way too many assumptions about me. He actually said to me: “I am not looking for commitment right now, sorry.”  The way he said it was really cocky and irritating. I did mention I’m looking for something serious but all about taking time to find it. I don’t know why he thinks that I am in love with HIM on the first date.  He also thinks we’re going to become sexual because that’s what he suggests. 
    The fact he thought I wanted commitment with HIM like he’s the bees knees, and I didn’t know him, demonstrates his lack of maturity. I’ve encountered that before and it always ends up weird. Also his assumption that I’m going to race into bed with him is egotistical and wishful thinking. He really has it all planned out. He’s going to come to my house on Monday, we will play music, and we “can get it on, or not,” at 7 or 7:30 pm. He wants me to call him about it.

    He also interrupted me 200 times and seemed more interested in talking about himself and being so awesome.  So all this is a huge red flag to me, a self-centered, insecure person. I like to crack jokes and be witty and I hate it when guys take over the conversation like I’m supposed to just sit there, smile and nod like an ornament. I feel like a customer support agent inflating a man’s ego when the yammer on about their amazing success in life and how they do this and that,  and constantly interrupting.  I like the two-way conversations, where both people talk.

    On top of all this, he doesn’t want commitment. No thanks.

    I’m not calling him again. Another guy I’m talking to is letting me finish my sentences and responds like it’s a real conversation. He is just being himself and not trying to play the “inflate my ego” game. He wants something serious too. 

  20. 50
    maria

    I wish I had read this site and this article BEFORE I recently humiliated myself to a degree that is, in hindsight cringeworthy. I am a 50 year old woman who should know better. 

    He told me after four wonderful dates  (all in the same week) that he wasn’t looking for a relationship. Whilst his behaviour toward me when with me was demonstrating the opposite, the fact remained “He didn’t want a relationship”. He told me repeatedly. He then said he wanted to go slow. We then went very slow. He then reverse manouvered our going out dates to “we aren’t dating” hook-ups.

    I allowed this. I told him how wonderful he was (he was very insecure). I gave him it all,  he came along for the ride. ( Who can blame him? I don’t. ) He reminded me at every opportunity that he did not want a relationship. I asked for MORE of his time. It ended. I then texted lengthy essays of wonderful prose in an attempt to ” get him back ? and to get him thinking about me ?  Madness, sheer madness.  The relationship was in my head not his. 

    I am ashamed of my multiple text messages since. He is persistent in his non responsiveness… HE DID NOT WANT A RELATIONSHIP. HE SAID IT LOUD  – HE SAID IT CLEAR.    I DIDN’T LISTEN and then felt nothing but sadness when he acted on what he told me….

    I focussed on all the positives and IGNORED all the negatives…. He wanted his time to do his thing. He was emotionally unavailable. He ran to his cave at every opportunity. He DID NOT WANT A RELATIONSHIP….

    Are you hearing it now Maria – Are you hearing it now ?

    Blimey. I have been dating for over 30 years … You would think I would have learnt something? Clearly not… Thanks for the lesson my darling DC.   Thanks for the Education Evan  ! I wish I had read your site before I let myself down.
     

  21. 51
    katja

    wow, thank you! I HAD to read this article and I will save it and look at it whenever I am ignoring red flags again. I am just right now in a huge “ignoring red flags” situation and the guy I am dating keeps on saying I should focus on the positive and obviously ignore all the negative stuff he is doing. Thank you, I am so glad I read this article this is really going to help me and the section with Cancun just made me laugh out loud.

  22. 52
    D

     Been dating my guy for 6 months.  He continually shows me with words, and actions consistently that he respects and cares for me, he initiated the ‘exclusive’ talk two months ago, introduces me as his ‘gfriend’, to friends/family… and wants to meet everyone in my life.  It just keeps getting better.  Whereas, in past relationships it would ‘seem’ great in the beginning (chemistry), ignoring red flags, trying to be ‘good enough’ to GET him, and they’ve ended badly.  My new guy means what he says, he really is the total package.  Finally happy :).  Sorry I wasted my time and energy on men that I knew (but never wanted to admit) were no good.  Don’t settle ladies… He’s out there! 

  23. 53
    Suzi

    “I’m so glad I’ve started listening to what a guy says in those areas, and also watching what he does.  Guys who aren’t interested in committing won’t call, won’t plan dates, won’t try to see you.  It’s made dating less painful. ”

    Not always true, I have just walked away from a guy who said he wasn’t ready, but he did call, he did plan dates, wanted to see me regularly, talked about all the things we would do together.  The problem was the tone of his texts went hot and cold, he had a female “friend” who he wouldn’t introduce me to and then I found his new profile on a dating site.

    it hurts, it sucks that we have to believe the negatives, I find it all quite despairing.  

  24. 54
    nicola

    Wise advice thank you Evan. Yes a man can say anything, it what he does that really matters. For example will he stand by me when we hit a bump in the road? Does he care about my feelings enough to communicate with me as a mature adult when we have different boundaries and expectations? Is he in it for the long term or is he in it for what he can get, and then just get out quick?

  25. 55
    Lucy Watson

    Wow … you have described my situation completely.
    I met up with a friend again after 11 years, previously we had never done anything other than kiss.  We had both come out of very long relationships and both have children.
    Anyway … whirlwind few weeks, where we clicked totally in every sense…even thought he was my soul mate
    I fell for him totally, hook line and sinker … he then says he doesn’t think he can commit to kids, but he’s always going to be here for me, got my back as it were
    We have stopped making love, but whenever I see him, I can’t stop the feelings rush over me
    I have never felt this way before, I really feel that we would be great together, but this is obviously one way traffic.
    I have just txt him to say we need to have a break from seeing each other, because it hurts me every time, he is very clinical about feelings to be honest…not had a reply yet
    I know he enjoys spending time with me and sex isn’t the pull tbh, but whenever I see him, I just wonder what is wrong with me! Why can he not just like me enough to accept my kids and move forward?
    I guess he wasn’t the one … very sad, but true
     

  26. 56
    J

    This is such great advice because we women tend to be hopeful and assume men will change and they don’t. If you had a great date, he keeps in just enough contact to keep you on the string but doesn’t follow through for date 2 he’s just not interested enough. We should cut our losses and move on. 

  27. 57
    flonie

    Can someone give me an opinion on this.
     
    What if the guy you’re interested in says he needs space.  Ok…So you say, whenever you’re ready and if I’m single, then maybe we can explore this again….
    Doesn’t this mean you are his rebound?  I mean, some people take a very long time to get over someone and since this guy was involved in a insane relationship, it will take time.  So the fact that they met under these conditions, does it mean its’ doomed from the start?
    I’ve found myself in a situation with a guy who was really torn over a ex that left him a few years back.  He’s carried the baggage all this time…Imagine us meeting in a rehab type of setting…
    Soon after we began talking (he never said he was still hung up on her, he was dealing with the emotional baggage from all those years), he found me interesting.  One thing lead to another. 
    Now, I’m no expert.  He says he cares for me alot, but am I just setting myself up for a broken heart? 

  28. 58
    flonie

     
    If you were Natalie’s friend and told the guy, look me up when you’re ready for a relationship.  Wouldn’t she be setting herself to be a rebound?  
     
    We met on a site where you deal with past broken relationships.  Soon after we began talking, he seemed interested in me.  His ex did a number on him years ago and he carried that with him until recently.  He says he wasn’t ready for a relationshp in the past, but he posted something (at the beginning when we didn’t really start talking yet) he doesn’t know how his next relationship is going to compare to that of an idol.  He knew it was a unhealthy relationship and they weren’t meant to be
    I’m stuck between leaving and staying.  I’ve examined sunk costs and well…at what point do you give someone the benefit of the doubt?  He doesn’t talk about her, but he keeps her pictures on facebook.  I’ve told him before it bothers me, and I obessed over her and the way she looked for a while. 
    On some levels, I’d like to think that he thinks I”m very special, although he told me at the beginning that he hadn’t met anyone like me before.  I am needy, I admit it.  I need confirmation of feelings on a regular basis.  Sometimes I get that, at one point it sort of subsided and I had to tell him about it.  After a few talks, he seems ok with it now but even then.
     
    The fact that we met under such bad conditions (we were confessing broken hearts, mine wasn’t really a broken heart, I was dealing with rejection from a guy I’d met online but didn’t really know) are we doomed from the get go…
     

  29. 59
    STUPIDME

    She told me that she sabotages relationships, among other things.
    I thought I would be the exception.
    I was stupid. 
    I spent the last year trying to get her craziness out of my head.
    Don’t be stupid like I was. 

  30. 60
    Kim

    Thank you, thank you, thank you Evan!!! You just saved me from a moment of weakness. I recently ended a 4-month-long relationship with a man that you just described in this post. He is a good guy, and honest, and the chemistry between us was off the charts. However, he told me from the beginning that he didn’t want a girlfriend because he was only 3 months out from a divorce and still needed time to sort things out. I did break it off in November because of this (and a couple of booty calls), but then he called me 2 weeks later, right before Thanksgiving, telling me that he wanted me to be his girlfriend, he wanted me to be a part of his life, meet his kids, his dad … blah, blah, blah … so … I thought he was stepping up to the plate. Things were going well and seemed to be progressing, even though he insisted that he wanted to “live in the moment and not put timelines on anything” (as if I was …). Then last week, everything changed … the man his ex-wife left him for died suddenly. When I found out, I knew that this was a game changer because I suspected he was not quite over his ex. And sure enough, only two days after this poor guy died, “my guy” starting talking about how his ex needed him, and that maybe she could move back in with him while she got back on her feet. I broke it off immediately because I wanted no part of this drama, but in the last few days, I have been missing him a lot. I almost called him tonight, but then I read this post and I was brought back to my senses. I made the right decision, and I need to WALK AWAY. I’m polishing up my Match profile and looking for Mr. Right, not Mr. Right Now.

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