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

woman wondering if she is with a loser or just insecure
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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.

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Comments:

  1. 21
    Clare

    I couldn’t help noticing this line from the OP’s letter:
      
    “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.”
      
    Casually? People know that this is a loaded statement and that they are being moaned at, there is nothing casual about it.   Either decide that 5 hours to reply to a message is fine with you (5 hours really isn’t that long in boy time) or better yet, stop sending him messages unless he sends you one.
      
    If I were the OP, I would assume I was just casually dating this guy, because that seems to be how he is treating her.   I would start filling up my time with other things, maybe even accepting dates with other guys, but definitely not give my heart to this guy.   She is so young anyway!

  2. 22
    Joe

    @ Michelle #14:
      
    Katarina isn’t admonishing the LW for being human.   She’s admonishing her for weakness.   People who are in love with someone think about them often.   Weak people who are in love with someone think negative thoughts often.

  3. 23
    Tom10

    Michelle #14
    “So much advice…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…it doesn’t make a woman low value to want something more from a partner and feel unhappy when she doesn’t get it.”
      
    Let’s do Evan’s trick of flipping things around and see it from the other perspective. We accept that women look for love and guys look for sex. But men have to behave as if we’re not looking for sex. Are we fake and inauthentic for doing this? No, because we know that if we acted like that we wouldn’t get anywhere. To get sex we just have to accept how women work and then act accordingly.
      
    The same goes for women, they need to accept how men work and then act accordingly to get what they want (find love). There’s no use complaining about it. As Katarina Phang #9 said it’s all about mindset. Women have to see themselves as the prize that the guy should be pursuing. That means no snooping, no constantly checking your phone, no checking social media sites, no chasing etc. Women have to think: “I know I’m so good that of course he likes me.” And if he doesn’t? No problem, there are thousands of guys out there who do.
      
    I think that’s what Katarina meant by low value/high value women — it’s a function of mindset rather than a character judgement.
      
    Sally #13
    “I do have 2 handsome sons in their 20’s and they tell me everything. (I’m the cool mom.)…you’ve no idea how hard it was for him to find a girl who was not just into partying.
      
    Ha, I’d take everything they say to you with a pinch of salt. No matter how cool you are you’re still their mom — some things just aren’t appropriate for mom to know about 🙂

  4. 24
    LC

    The problem is that sex to this girl isn’t casual.   I don’t know how a guy putting his penis inside of a girl is considered casual in any context, but I guess that’s what dates me in this discussion.   Stop sleeping with these guys until you’re sure they have good intentions towards you.   It’s so sad that we women give men our bodies and hearts, and they don’t seem to want them at all.   Keep your heart and body to yourself.   Find someone worthy of you.   She’s not a crazy woman.   She’s being treated in a way that makes women crazy.   Whenever I start feeling insecure because of the way a man is treating me, I know it’s time to get away from him.   A good man would never want his girl to feel bad and insecure.

  5. 25
    Rose

    Katarina low value woman remark   has nothing to do with being pretending to be ‘cool’ and having casual sex pretending then not to care if a   man boy or woman is treating us how we want to be treated.  A woman is not of high value in my eyes and most high value women I know because she is ‘cool’ about having casual sex.
    The low valueless and low class to me is each of them not valuing their own bodies or their own hearts.
    It’s a lesson   for the op to learn to take care of her heart and body and treat them with more value in the future and not make the same mistake again. Everyone makes mistakes.
    If a monogamous loving relationship is what you want, build the love and relationship first before sharing your body.
    The key word here that the op used was ‘disrespect’. This was her key to take responsibility for her own feelings and take care of that feeling by walking away and getting some self respect back.
    It isn’t the op’s fault this happened it is the fault of how society has become not educating girls at a younger age to take care and treat themselves with the respect they want and desire.
    It is however now her responsibility to take care of herself and treat herself with more love   respect and value in the future. And that is what I hope she now learns to do.
      
      

  6. 26
    Rose

    Also re how attraction works. katarina I believe
    If want is to be treated with love, value. kindness, compassion and respect when we start treating ourselves this way the then are are attracted to and attract the same back,
      
      

  7. 27
    Nicole

    The two things that jump out at me with this post are the age of the letter writer and the duration of the supposed relationship.
    While it is great that she is seeking advice on dating, and she sounds like she wants a real relationship (even if she’s years away from marriage), it doesn’t sound like she has a boyfriend AND she is coming across as kind of paranoid and insecure to boot.
    There are a LOT of posts here that talk about not getting made at people for continuing to be the people that you were attracted to.   You can’t be made at the charismatic flirt for continuing to be a charismatic flirt, esp. if that personality helps line his pockets (as it does with a bartender).   And you can’t get mad if the lady you picked in the tight clothes continues to wear them.
    I think the letter writer is asking the write questions, but she skipped over a lot of other advice that would have helped her understand that she’s likely not a girlfriend yet, and in these stages of her dating experience, she’ll need to let him be who he is and whether or not he wants to be her boyfriend.   
    Social media and technology has changed people’s expectations regarding communication, and it’s also made people kind of crazy with the social media stalking (so getting mad at someone for being online but not answering your FB/Twitter/text/email).   Once upon a time, we had no expectation that all correspondence would be answered immediately but you know what, people are busy, people are working, people are eating lunch and I personally dislike socializing with the people who are pulling their phones out ever minute to check FB or their texts or their email.   
    My personal rule is to put my phone away if I’m out with friends.   I might glance when you go to the bathroom or if I step away but in the presence of other people, I make them my priority, so my main point is that if I’m having a busy or active day, no, you won’t get an email or text response from me in 5 hours either, and it has nothing to do with how I feel about you.   
    People need to chill out in general with the expectation that technology means all messages should be answered instantly.   And don’t expect a non-BF to drop everything for you on a moment’s notice.   
    Of course, this is just re-hashing the advice given, which is that this guy isn’t being a boyfriend and that she’s being paraonid and insecure, which is not how you make someone want to be your boyfriend.   Snooping on phones or tracking on FB should not be considered normal or good behavior.

  8. 28
    Katarina Phang

    Rose, in my opinion sex has nothing to do with it.   How you act after sex is.   And in his eyes he’s just doing his normal stuff but he’s feeling that she’s on his back 24/7 now.   It’s not good.   Nobody likes to feel being monitored by a parole officer (that’s how she acts).
      
    Back off.   Lean way back.   That’s how she’s going to make him want to come closer, not by hounding him with texts and pouty attitude.
      
    It’s only one month, like someone said he doesn’t owe her anything.   She’s drowned by her expectations.   Many women do that and they come to me for help.   Once I told them to remove expectations, it’s like removing the roots of cancer.   Guys don’t respond to expectations and punishment.   They respond to rewards and compliments and feminine joyfulness.
      
    When I first met my boyfriend, the first thing he told me was “I don’t want a relationship.” I wasn’t fazed by it. In a way, I kinda expected it (hey, I wrote a book on dating an EUM after all and I wrote it for a reason). Instead of getting all huffed out I calmly told him, “Don’t worry, I don’t want a relationship with you either.”
      
    And I leaned back, didn’t text/call left and right.   So now it was him who was wondering why I was so cool.   I intrigued him so much cause he had to initiate most of the time.   It ignited his romantic feeling.

    The next thing I knew he was courting me. Pretty paradoxical, isn’t it?

    And I was telling him the truth. I didn’t think he was boyfriend material at first. And even if he had been, I would have always stuck to this principle: I don’t want a relationship with a guy who doesn’t want a relationship with me. That’s how I protect myself, not by holding out on sex.

  9. 29
    Barbara

    Sex is not a weapon, nor is it a negotiating or bargaining tool to secure a relationship.
    If a woman wants to have sex with a man, it’s her choice.   However, she needs to be honest with herself as to what she is expecting from that encounter.   The writer of this letter said she expected this man to withdraw after she gave herself to him, so it stands to reason she has had this happen in the past.   If that’s not what she wants to happen, then she needs to approach dating differently.   And set some boundaries for herself and be clear and concise about them with her potential suitors.
    This is more about what she is looking for than the guy she is experiencing the problem with currently.  
    While I see no issues if someone wants to have casual sex with another person, the mindset has to be that it is “casual” and not the start of a great committed relationship.   Can a great relationship be formed after just going into something casually?   Sure it can.   But you can’t “expect” it and forcing it with any guy is going to make the opposite happen 99% of the time.
    I also believe this “checking up” on someone you are dating through social media is not only a product of our technological times, but also our own insecurities from  our past.   I never check up on anything that my current boyfriend is doing or has done.   If I can’t trust him without checking up on him, I don’t need to be with him.   And I was with a chronic cheater for four years, so it’s not like I’ve never been lied to or deceived.  
    A friend recently presented me with the ridiculous complaint about a guy that she’s been dating for a couple weeks which she became intimate with immediately.   She’s done with him because she saw him online on Match last night after telling him that she’s only seeing him and expects the same.   How would she know that he’s online if she’s not online?   Now granted, she was online checking up on him, and she felt he was online looking still.   But still, they were both online, as they both have the right to be until a dialog regarding committment is initiated.   And you can’t just blame this mentality on youth (the writer being 23), as this is a woman who is approaching 50 that I’m talking about.
    In dating whether online or in person, you have to have the proper mindset.   Evan’s material Finding the One Online goes into this indepth and it’s very valuable information.
    I’m wondering if the writer has invested in any of Evan’s programs?   I’d say that would be a great starting point for her.

  10. 30
    Fusee

    To my opinion, he is not a loser, and she is not a crazy insecure woman.
      
    A loser is someone who fails, blame others for their failures while doing nothing to improve. The bartender seems pretty successful at his trade, and seems to enjoy the great opportunities to flirt and hook up.
      
    Similarly the Letter Writer does not seem insecure to me. Maybe a bit inexperienced, but not insecure. You’re insecure when you let other people’s words and behaviors make you feel “less than” and define you in negative ways. I don’t think she is letting this situation define her negatively, although like many inexperienced women, she is trying to fold reality into a pretzel to make it look like her dream scenario.
      
    I agree with Michelle @12: it’s getting annoying than any negative feeling triggered by someone’s disappointing behavior results in the person being labeled “insecure”. Feelings are spontaneous, natural, and human. But yes, emotions (the way we express our feelings) and behaviors can be controlled, and this is what life experience and education can do: teach us how to be authentic in our feelings while also being effective in our social intereactions.
      
    In this situation, there simply is a clash of goals and intentions. The Letter Writer is assuming that she got something more serious than what is being offered. She is seeing him as a boyfriend while he is treating her as a casual hook-up. If she can take a step back and look at the reality of her situation instead of inventing a reality that does not exist, she will realize that they’re not on the same page, give herself the respect that she needs, and move on to a more suitable prospect.
      
    Now, I obviously agree with the concept that “being the cool woman”, “making feel good”, and “accepting him” is the way to go to inspire a man to step up, commit, and be the best partner he can be. She (or another woman) could be all these things to the bartender, and as a result *might* get him to commit to her. But given this bartender’s current priorities, it does not look like he is really ready to give up playing the field any time soon, and to my opinion the most she would get with such guy is some sort of short-term exclusivity where he would just take a break from playing around. After all, what player would not enjoy a nice break once in a while with an easy-going woman who provide good sex and fun company while not complaining about his flirty ways with other women. It does not mean the guy CAN commit and be a QUALITY long-term partner. He would soon end up tired of monogamy and his instincts would bring him back to the playing field. For such men to move on to the next stage of their lives, and choose a woman to marry, I think it takes much more than a cool woman that accepts him: he must be determined to build a family and be completely done with p*ssy-chasing.
      
    Therefore, I’m all for being accepting and making feel good, but I’d suggest the Latter Writer to invest her energy with someone more likely to be able to go the distance. Going for flirty bartenders is fighting a losing battle when you want a serious relationship.
      
    Evan says “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.”
      
    Amen! I’m just that lucky woman who is naturally attracted by those types, and I just snatched a good one for myself : ) When I happen to admire the nice *ss of a good-looking woman passing by, guess what? He drools at her… dog! Now that’s the kind of guy that is easy to accept, to make feel good, and to forgive when he does something less than ideal. Less headache! More fun!

  11. 31
    Katarina Phang

    I want to address two things here:
      
    1.   How we feel is the result of how we perceive the external world.   If we use broken colored glasses (expectations), yeah sure we will feel lousy more often than not because more often than not our expectations aren’t going to be met.   So to be at peace with oneself, replace those broken glasses with a new pair that works better.
      
    2.   There is no guarantee either way in dating: sex, or no sex, pre-sex agreement or not.   The need for guarantee and security is why you are insecure in the first place. And this is why you’re not going to get the result you want as you plan it. The only way of being secure is by embracing insecurity….and the impermanence that life is.   And love can’t be planned, targeted, hurried….it happens when you least expect it when the connection you cement in every moment you’re together naturally evolves to something deeper.

  12. 32
    Karl T

    LC#24,
    You sound extremely narrow-minded.   You say “I don’t know how a guy putting his penis inside of a girl is considered casual in any context”
    Really?   Your mind can not fathom that?  
    Then you say “It’s so sad that we women give men our bodies and hearts, and they don’t seem to want them at all.”
    You speak like women are this precious jewel and men are privileged to have sex with them.   Wake up!!   Are you living in a cave?   I’ve met women before who have sex with you and then dump you in a heartbeat without half a care in the world.   Neither gender is some precious gift to the other one.   Get a clue.

  13. 33
    Rose

    Fusse
      
    “Evan says “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.”
      
    Amen! I’m just that lucky woman who is naturally attracted by those types, and I just snatched a good one for myself : ) When I happen to admire the nice *ss of a good-looking woman passing by, guess what? He drools at her… dog! Now that’s the kind of guy that is easy to accept, to make feel good, and to forgive when he does something less than ideal. Less headache! More fun!”
      
    Exactly, negative feelings are a gift so if you are feeling insecure it is a gift saying hey listen you are doing something that isn’t good for you. Which in this case is getting involved with the wrong kind of man for you.
      Date the right kind of man for you as Evan says. One who will treat you how you want to be treated, take it slower to observe if you are both on the same page and   to see if caring mutual   feelings develop first before investing your heart and time and then you won’t feel insecure you will be with a better match for you.

    1. 33.1
      Lisa

      Maybe.   But a guy that’s a flirt is a flirt and will do so no matter the profession.

  14. 34
    Rose

    One other things that springs to mind is trust.
    Trust comes from a deep place in you, it’s about trusting your gut trusting yourself to know what is right you you not him. Which it appears in this case you had but chose to ignore

  15. 35
    Michelle

    Thank you Fusee30 for understanding. I’m on board with all great advice for women about the right way to think about and approach dating and relationships, but I just can’t stand the naive and myopic judgements about how women naturally feel sometimes in response to disappointment, rejection, confusion…you’re needy, you’re insecure, you’re bitter..YES we’re all those things because we’re HUMAN.  

  16. 36
    Shelagh

    Sounds like the OP is an admirer of Evan, and seems as though she knows what she’s doing is wrong. Sometimes you need to hear it from someone else. I think it’s safe to say that we’ve all taken part in childish behavior when it comes to dating. We are reading a blog for dating advice. Evans blog, btw. I feel like I’m reading a bunch of comments that are people pretending they’re experts in dating. Can we leave that to Evan? Simple request. Some of these remarks make my eyes hurt, and some of us also want advice from ONE person.(Evan) K thx.

  17. 37
    Joe

    Shelagh: then don’t read the fkin comments!

  18. 38
    Scaramouche

    @Shelagh
      
    *chuckle*
      
    @Karl T 32
    ———————————————————————————-
    LC#24,You sound extremely narrow-minded.   You say “I don’t know how a guy putting his penis inside of a girl is considered casual in any context”Really?   Your mind can not fathom that?  
    ———————————————————————————-
      
    No, Karl T, mine can’t either.   That’s a difference of opinion, not narrow-mindedness.   I’m not asking you to change your opinion, only stating that in my world that makes no sense.   That is why LC followed her comment with “but I guess that’s what dates me in this discussion.”   This is an indirect acknowledgement of the fact that others may believe something different.   You, on the other hand, seem to think that casual sex should be “fathomable” to everybody.   Sorry, dude.

  19. 39
    Karl T

    Scaramouche #38,
    Wrong!   I didn’t ask if she agreed with it (casual sex) or shared the same point-of-view about it.   I asked how her mind couldn’t possibly fathom how 2 people might want to have causal sex.   That IS narrow-mindedness.   Expand your mind just slightly and maybe you will comprehend how two people might get horny and want to bring pleasure to each other.  Gee, that is tough to imagine, isn’t it??   I’m not gay, but I can fathom that gay people get the same feeling of arousal that I get when I look at the opposite sex and I can understand that even though I don’t get the same arousal from looking at the same sex.   Narrow minded people can’t think outside their own train of thought.  
    Apparently, you are narrow minded as well.   Sorry dudette.

  20. 40
    Rose

    Karl T. She didn’t say how she couldn’t fathom how two people might want to have casual sex.
    She said “I don’t know how a guy putting his penis inside of a girl is considered casual in any context.”
    I interpret this as her meaning that she doesn’t understand how another person can consider such an intimate act as casual
    .
    subtle miscommunication and understanding. Although my interpenetration may be wrong.
    Happens a lot between people I believe.

    1. 40.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      @Rose, @KarlT, @Scaramouche, @LC, @Shelagh – to clarify on behalf of men:

      To the question of “I don’t know how a guy putting his penis inside of a girl is consider casual in any context”. This is a failure of imagination on your part. Just because YOU can’t fathom that such an act is casual, BILLIONS of men (and women!) have had a different sentiment. We are all well-served to understand how other people think. I very much understand and respect how you think. You would be wise to appreciate that for many people, sex does not have to do with love or emotion, just lust.

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