Did I Choose a Loser? Or Am I Just Insecure?

Evan,
I’m 23 years old and I fear that I may be the product of my overly exploited-social media obsessed-generation. I’ve been following your blog for quite a while now and even share some of your tips on my radio show (I always credit and cite you). Yet, I still find myself confused sometimes.

I’m currently dating a bartender. Most people would view this as a faux pas and even cringe a little at this statement. I know I did when I first said it aloud. We’ve been dating for about a month and shortly after we first had sex I found him creating distance between us. This is not really what concerned me – in fact I expected that. What bothers me is that when I casually bring up the fact that it takes him 5 hours to text or call me back, he tells me I’m flipping out. I find that inaccurate since I don’t feel that I get overly upset or loud with him. Since the birth of social media sites and, in particular, Instagram, I know when and how long ago he was active and on his phone. I don’t mention this to him because I know this is somewhat insane behavior.

This really upset me, so I tried not to care or bring up it up. However, since we’ve been dating and I continue to frequent the bar, there have been some red flags. Given his current profession, there are always going to be women, flirting and all of the stuff that would drive a woman insane. On three separate occasions I felt disrespected. The one that sticks out and still bothers me is when one night I went to visit him and after a couple of drinks I decided to leave. Usually when I leave we kiss or do something sweet. This time when I went to kiss him goodbye, he pulled away from me like the plague and told me in this sort of coy and charming way to wait until I see him tomorrow. IMMEDIATELY, bells went off in my head. I felt like I was being tricked. I asked him what the problem was and finally he admitted that at the other end of the bar a woman he had hooked up with in the past was sitting amongst mutual friends and he didn’t want her to say anything.

I left the bar without saying a word to him. I felt humiliated and frankly pissed off.

Is it me or did I choose a loser? Am I being the stereotypical insecure woman or are my reasons for feeling uncomfortable just? Whether it’s him or anyone else, I tend to have this problem. – Kristina

His girlfriend is going to be the cool girl who makes him want to be a better man – not the one who spies on his Instagram account.

Yes and yes.

Yes, he’s a loser. Yes, you’re being the stereotypical insecure woman.

Wait, you want me to say more? Okay, twist my arm.

You were aware enough to realize that you’re dating a bartender. Bartenders are often cute guys who work late hours and pick up women at last call. They are around drunk women all the time and can often get together with whomever they want, at will. If that bartender is in his 20’s like you, it’s a really safe bet that he’s in no rush to get married, and so he will continue to keep a roster of women at his access. He can text any of them when he gets bored/horny/lonely and whoever responds, responds. That’s his desire.

This doesn’t mean that he is a jerk. This doesn’t mean that he can’t be nice to you. This doesn’t mean that he will not eventually end up with a girlfriend. It does mean however, that his girlfriend is going to be the cool girl who makes him want to be a better man – not the one who spies on his Instagram account.

And that’s where your tendencies – the ones you admitted in your last line – are going to trip you up. Doesn’t matter if you’re dating a bartender or a saint. You are acting from a place of fear and insecurity and you’re paying the price for it.

Therefore, you have two choices:

If you’re with a guy who does NOT really like you, does NOT want to be a boyfriend, and does NOT see himself as a husband one day, it doesn’t matter how cool you are or how jealous you are; you’re just wasting your time.

1. Find a guy who doesn’t have a profession which requires him to flirt and be surrounded by other women. An accountant. A contractor. A programmer. He may be less charismatic than your bartender, but he’ll be earnest, relationship-oriented, and single-minded in his attraction to you. This is the man you should probably date and marry based on your natural insecurities.

2. If you insist that you want to be with a confident, flirtatious, charismatic guy, you had better put all your fears aside and start trusting.

No getting on his case for flirting. That’s what he does.

No lectures for not replying to texts when you want him to. You’re not his boss.

No freaking out that he’s got a past with other women. Of course he does.

Now this does NOT mean that you should turn a blind eye to a man who is a player, a cheater, and a narcissistic jerk. Your bartender could very well be that man.

But I’m not.

And that’s the source of my advice – what kind of woman would I want to be with?

So, Kristina, if you are with a guy who really likes you, who wants to be a boyfriend, and who sees himself as a husband one day – the ONLY way to deal with him is to trust him and not micromanage him.

If you’re with a guy who does NOT really like you, does NOT want to be a boyfriend, and does NOT see himself as a husband one day, it doesn’t matter how cool you are or how jealous you are; you’re just wasting your time.

This is almost the identical situation to this post from a few weeks back (What Is the Definition of Monogamy?)

In short, you’re wrong to spy on your bartender and get jealous that he has other women in his rotation. You’re not his girlfriend. You have no rights to his time.

But your bigger problem is that you’re dating a young bartender who doesn’t see you as anything serious and you’re expecting him to hop to attention when you call.

Don’t waste your time.

Join our conversation (76 Comments).
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Comments:

  1. 1
    John

    Wow. A guy is considered a loser because he doesn’t commit to one girl? If he acted like this and he was married then sure I would agree. I would agree he is not boyfriend material if he acts that way. But a loser? Tough crowd.
     
     
     

  2. 2
    Al

    I hate to see young women fawning after dudes that simply are not interested.  If a guy pulls away after sex.  Move on. Next.  Don’t waste your most eligible years on someone who isn’t excited to be with you.  I did, and I sorely regret it.
    This guy will most likely only gain respect for you when you calmly tell him you’re looking for something real, and this isn’t it.  goodbye.  end of all contact.  In this age of internet dating there is ALWAYS another guy around the corner- especially for a young, attractive female.  You’ll be over it in 2 weeks, tops.
    Good Luck!!

  3. 3
    richard hod

    Brilliant advice EMK! Best article I’ve seen i a while on such things. I don’t post often, as people will see… keep at it old pal 🙂

  4. 4
    LS

    Evan, I totally agree with your advice about not wasting time on a guy who is not putting forth the effort to be serious with you. However, as another 20-something who experiences the same types of scenarios as Kristina, I do agree that women of our generation fall into the “crazy and insecure” category easier than generations before.
    It didn’t sound like Kristina was being “that girl” and acting nosy. I think she probably saw a few notifications pop up on her newsfeed that gave her the answers she was looking for (that he clearly didn’t want to text/call her back). And in this case, she should move on.
    I wonder: were previous generations of daters just blissfully unaware of why someone wasn’t returning their calls? That mystery information is so accessible now, even if we don’t always want it to be … 
    Food for thought.

  5. 5
    Angie

    “Yes, he’s a loser. Yes, you’re being the stereotypical insecure woman.”
     
    Haha, I agree with Evan although I hate that this behavior is seen as “stereotypical” of women.  Men do this, too.  
     
    OP, I don’t think your problem is the fact that this guy is a bartender.  You are 23, and that’s a typical job at 23.  There definitely is a greater access to drunk, single women but do you remember Miranda and Steve from “Sex & The City”?  Steve was ALWAYS devoted to Miranda (up until the sequel).  So if your bartender likes having access to numerous women as a part of his job, then yes, that’s a problem.
     
    Also, I agree with John #1.  You’ve been dating for a month.  You shouldn’t even be out of the honeymoon period, but you are internet-stalking him and felt disrespected three times.  ONE MONTH???  That’s not a relationship.  That guy doesn’t owe you anything.  I don’t think his behavior shows he is boyfriend material, but these are way too much negativity for the first month of dating.

  6. 6
    Joe

    If it was clear from the letter I missed it, but was he behind the bar when she met him?  If so, she’s the type of girl she’s afraid he keeps at his fingertips.

  7. 7
    Maria

    So many times we turn a blind eye to situations like this. It is more than obvious that he is not boyfriend material for her. He is not interested in a relationship with her. I wa sher once and promise after that I wont be after a guy like this. There are really nice men out there who do want to pursue us and have a relationship. We have to be more open minded and realize when he is into us or not.

  8. 8
    Morris

    Don’t know why the guy is getting heat on this.  I’d like to hear his side of the story.  The way I see it she was coming on way too strong.  Internet stalking him.  Going to his place of work.  Wanting PDA from him at his place of work.  And “We’ve been dating for about a month and shortly after we first had sex I found him creating distance between us. This is not really what concerned me – in fact I expected that.”  Makes it clear that her actions drive men away.  Give the guy some space.

  9. 9
    Katarina Phang

    “This doesn’t mean that he is a jerk. This doesn’t mean that he can’t be nice to you. This doesn’t mean that he will not eventually end up with a girlfriend. It does mean however, that his girlfriend is going to be the cool girl who makes him want to be a better man – not the one who spies on his Instagram account.”
     
    I love that, Evan!
     

    If only women knew the secret of attraction.  It’s none of what she showed above.  Acting needy after sex, glued to the cell 24/7, overthinking and overanalyzing, stalking the social media, expecting a guy to be a certain way (after sex) and get all pissy when it’s not met and in general chasing…chasing…chasing….those are number one attraction killers.  
     
    Those are signs of a low-value woman that guys run away from.  And I have had so much fun writing about those in my blog.
     
    Be a classy woman who is absorbed in her own fabulous life, your air of self-confidence and mystery will mesmerize any man.

  10. 10
    Barbara

    I realize the guy works in a bar and she said she still frequents that bar, but seems like after only a month of dating, showing up frequently at his work place is chasing.  And it would have to be frequent if she’s felt disrespected three times by him and the “relationship” has only been for about a month. 
    I’ve been dating a guy for four months and I know the town he works in, but not the actual address of his work place.  It’s irrelevent because I’m not just going to stop by his work……ever.  And I do not expect him to stop by mine either. 
    A lot of information has been left out of the equation too.  Has there been a talk about dating exclusively before or even after sex?  Are they actually going on dates, or is she just showing up at his work and occassionally going home with him.
    Seems to me that she might think they are dating, when in actuality he might see it as hooking up, just like he does with the other women at the bar that he finallly admitted he had hooked up with.
    Don’t necessarily agree that the guy is a loser, Evan…..it depends on what he told her about their relationship.  If he said they were exclusive, he’s a loser.  If he never said that and she’s created an instant relationship, he’s just a guy that is not in an exclusive or committed relationship doing what normal single guys do. 
    My advice….find a new bar, find a new guy, and let him lead next time……and for Pete’s sake don’t check up on him.  Not every man is out to screw you over and if you go into something thinking they are, you’re gonna look for signs that they are and create you’re own self fulfilling prophecy.

  11. 11
    Amelia2.0

    I echo the advice to accept or even reinforce the distance this guy is creating.  Obviously “dating” to Kristina is not the same as “dating” to him, and it makes me wonder if she made the mistake of assuming they were on the same page just because they went home together one night.  Yeah, I’ve been there, sister.  Best to just cut bait and try to do better next time.  Might make things a little awkward at the watering hole for a while, but I recommend chatting up other men there in order to take your mind off of the disappointment and rebuild some self-esteem.

  12. 12
    Michelle

    Most of Evans advice was appropriately stern and on the mark, she has to learn her lesson at some point about picking better men, but I deeply resent this BS stereotyping of normal human behavior as a typical “woman” thing. This is part of what harms women emotionally, being made to think that  normal human feelings and behaviors are “crazy”. Insecurity in general is not just a girl thing, and while chronic, deep insecurity can be a real flaw, what this girl exhibits is perfectly within the normal bounds of what anyone would feel or be compelled to do with a love interest who isn’t handling them well, especially if a particular scenario – dating a bartender- is new to them and they don’t know any better. Lay off of her a little. Checking someones public Instagram account isn’t spying for christs sake. It doesn’t matter that her intent was to find out what’s going on with him, she was curious about why he wasn’t engaging her and getting info where it’s openly and freely displayed. That’s OK. it’s fine. She’s not a psycho. People, please stop pretending that we don’t all go to these lengths sometimes when we’re hopeful about someone we like. 

  13. 13
    Sally

    At 53, I may be far removed from my 20’s, but I do have 2 handsome sons in their 20’s and they tell me everything. (I’m the cool mom.)
    There ARE 20 something guys who want to just have a special commitment, no games, no players. My sons are, and so are most of their friends. My older son has been like that since age 20! And you have no idea how hard it was for him to find a girl who was not just into partying. He felt pressured to have sex in a relationship before he was ready to, and was even accused of being gay! Without fail, the girls that they choose to date (and my older son to marry) are laid back, relaxed, ready to just let things unfold, and here is the clincher, don’t jump into sex right away. So the take away lesson for women, whether you are 23 or 53: Don’t treat the guy like he is your boyfriend until he is. That includes sex. (I also learned this the hard way.)

  14. 14
    Michelle

    @Katarina 9. You’re not wrong, but you’re also not right. It’s true that chasing and neediness is a turn off, but so much advice like that seems to endorse an inauthenticity and fakeness in women where they have to pretend like they’re not looking for love, so they don’t risk not seeming like that “cool girl” who doesn’t want or need love. Y’know what, even if I’m not physically checking my phone every five minutes, if I have my hopes up about someone, and I want to hear from them, I’m going to have them on my mind every 5 minutes, I’m going to be really bummed out when I don’t hear from them, I’m going to feel hurt, invalidated, and eventually pissy if they ghost on me after sex. Because IT HURTS. I really wish people who stop telling women that they’re WRONG for being HUMAN. It’s possible to act out of your feelings in a wrong way of course if it comes as some sort of attack or demand on another person, but it doesn’t make a woman low value to want something more from a partner and feel unhappy when she doesn’t get it. 

  15. 15
    Ruby

    Kristin wrote: “Whether it’s him or anyone else, I tend to have this problem.”
     
    If you can’t handle the consequences of casual sex, then wait longer before having sex, or wait until you’re actually in a relationship. Longer than a week or two. That way, you won’t be freaking out when you discover he’s not your boyfriend after one month of dating.
     
    I’m currently dating a bartender. Most people would view this as a faux pas and even cringe a little at this statement. I know I did when I first said it aloud.”
     
    If you don’t respect what a man does for a living, that’s another reason not to date him. Ditto if you don’t trust him.

  16. 16
    Katarina Phang

    Michelle, it’s not about right or wrong/fake or authentic.  It’s about what works and what doesn’t.  Acting needy, insecure and controlling has been proven time and again to work against women.  You can call it being authentic or whatever, fact is it is a turn off for most men (and vice versa of course).
     
    There are better ways of approaching these things, you don’t have to be victim of a mindset that doesn’t work and blame other people for the situation that you are in (he’s a jerk/loser, etc). You have complete control over your own feelings and emotions, you can grow out of that immaturity and insecurities.
     
    I teach that every day to hundreds of women who follow my writing religiously.  It’s about undoing your destructive habits and conditioning.  It’s about consciously choosing a new paradigm that transforms you.  I used to be that needy, insecure, pushy, impatient, controlling, man-chasing girl so I know how blind these women are as how they come across as I once was.
     
    There is a place for vulnerability, but being ruled by your vulnerability and nerves 24/7 is a losing strategy.  It doesn’t have to be black and white that if you are secure and not needy, thus you are pretending that you are “cool” or don’t want/need love.  
     
    If a woman wants to be successful in love and in relationship with men, it’s about time they change the ways that have been proven time and again as never working.
     
    Lure with honey, not vinegar.  What she is doing is luring with vinegar.

  17. 17
    Rachael Dez

    loser alert! Run from him as fast as you can !!

  18. 18
    starthrower68

    As someone who was married at 23, I would not recommended being so caught up in one guy anyway.

  19. 19
    marymary

    I’m quite a “cool” person myself. I don’t do drama. I don’t snoop and I’m missing the jealousy gene (though I don’t see anything wrong with jealousy when it’s founded).   The explayer said I was the “perfect girlfriend”.   But that still didn’t make him any readier to settle down (he was a bartender too, but before I met him).  If he’s not ready or just doesn’t have it in him, move along. The best you can do is extend the relationship beyond it’s natural sellby date and I don’ think it’s worth it.
    I don’t think he’a a loser but I think you may also be insecure in holding onto something that isn’t that valuable. (I’m not questioning his value as a human being, but the relationship).

  20. 20
    Diane

    Kristina,
    I think you are aware of the bad choices you make and your own insecurities. You just needed them your validating by writing on Evan’s blog.
    You can make your dating and relationship experiences better by self analyzing your faults as well as good points.
    One thing is for sure, you do need to make radical changes even if it’s just for your self esteem.

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