How Do I Avoid Wasting Time on Players and Narcissists?

How Do I Avoid Wasting Time on Players and Narcissists?

Dear Evan,

I think your male point of view may help women spot the good guys. You advise us to be careful with the alphas and Mr. Know-it-all types. Well, it’s not always easy to spot them for women, especially for the attractive ones. It’s easier for men to know other men, you can easily say if such guy is a player or not; but it’s sometimes difficult for women due to the mixed signals. I’m physically a very attractive woman, and this is sometimes a real curse since a lot of men compete for my attention, and they all seem nice, compassionate, chivalrous, and generous at the beginning, even the alphas and know-it-alls. They keep a low profile, at least for a while. I never know their real faces until I’m invested.

I wish there was a way — a kind of test for women to figure out who can walk their talks, who is genuinely compassionate and kind, before we got emotionally invested. I’m an observant person. I observe how they treat waiters etc., yet some of men are really good at hiding their true selves for a long time (until they’re sure of you). It’s a very frustrating experience for me. I wish women could have practical tools to measure up men before they got involved and eliminate the narcissists/players.

I’m looking forward for your advice from the male perspective.


Dear Ashley,

You didn’t ask me a question. You made a statement:

“It’s hard to tell if a man is a good guy. I would love to have a magic wand that would let me know if I’m wasting my time.”

Well, you’re in luck, my friend.

If your biggest concern is that everyone puts on his best face for a long time, then the ONLY thing you can do is sit back and observe him.

You asked for a “test” that women can give to men to figure out which ones are truly kind and compassionate, instead of selfish players.

I’m not sure if you were looking for a physical object (like the aforementioned magic wand), a personality test (like the 436 questions on eHarmony’s profile), or maybe just a subtle series of questions that you can drop into every day conversation (ex. “Are you a player or are you a genuinely sincere guy?”)

If it sounds like I’m teasing you, Ashley, well, I am.

Because, no matter how important such “tests” are (and they are), and how much women want them (a lot), they all pale in comparison to the one test that I can offer that’s close to foolproof.

Yes, this is a test that everybody knows about and it’s FAR more effective than “So, where do you see yourself in five years?”. And yet somehow, it’s not considered very popular in the female community.

You ready for it?

It’s called “the test of time”.

If your biggest concern is that everyone puts on his best face for a long time, then the ONLY thing you can do is sit back and observe him.

Literally ANYTHING else you try to do to “weed him out” is going to be obvious, tone-deaf, and likely ineffective.

How do I know this? Because, by your logic, my wife would have weeded me out really early on. Check out these red flags.

– We hooked up (without sleeping together) for a month before I became her boyfriend.
– I didn’t see her six times a week; closer to 3 times.
– I was never “whipped” and never had the “you just know” feeling.
– I didn’t tell her I loved her for six months.
– I had never had a girlfriend for longer than 8 months before.
– She wasn’t my “type” — liberal, Ivy League, ambitious, East Coast.
– I was open about my confusion and ambivalence. After 16 months, I was either going to propose or break up and I didn’t know which.

So why did my wife keep me around?

Because she could tell that I was 100% authentic.

If a man wants to get married and start a family one day, he’ll bring it up. If he never brings it up, he probably doesn’t want it.

That I kept absolutely no secrets.

That I really did want to settle down and start a family.

That my moral code and integrity were my most valued traits.

So even though she could tell that I had a wide alpha-male, know-it-all streak, it was always tempered by the fact that I was sensitive, open and honest with her — even when I was confused about our future.

If she had pressed me after one month or three months as to whether I intended on marrying her, it would have been a mistake.

After six months, as I said, I loved her, but I didn’t KNOW anything for sure.

And that, to me, Ashley, is your blind spot. You seem to think that a man is a player if he doesn’t want to marry you. I’d say that there are definitely some bad apples out there, but that EVERY man is a player until he finds the woman with whom he wants to stop playing.

Who is that woman going to be?

Most likely, it’s going to be the one who is confident enough in herself and her judgment to not have to administer “tests” to her boyfriend, no matter how fearful you are about wasting your time.

So, to come full circle, let’s give you something you can take away from this article — apart from the concept of being cool and patient and letting the man reveal himself over time.

Pay attention to whether your boyfriend shares the same life goals as you. If a man wants to get married and start a family one day, he’ll bring it up. If he never brings it up, he probably doesn’t want it. And that will probably mean that you’re wasting your time.

But IF he wants to one day get married and start a family, literally the ONLY thing you can do is sit back and watch him for two years to determine if you think HE’S worth of being your husband for the next FORTY years. If he passes that test, he may be worth your time.

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  1. 1
    Grace Pamer

    Great post Evan. It really is so tricky but as you say you really do need to invest some time in each person or you’ll never get to see their true colors. Even the best, most authentic, compassionate people can have periods of their lives (especially in their’s 20’s) where they don’t know what they want long term. The best you can do, as you clearly did Evan, is be honest and upfront. Love can grow stronger over time and it’s only when a shared vision of a couples future hones into view that some people will suddenly realize they want something they never knew they would have before.
    Have a great day

  2. 2

    You can weed out most time wasters in just a couple months by delaying sex for 2 months and exclusivity. Men are generally considerate in that if they know a girl is relationship oriented and not into sleeping around, they don’t try to waste anybody’s time. Beyond that, I wish Evan had more of a middle ground when it comes to making sure a guy you’re in a ltr with had the same goals beyond just playing it cool. If you’re six months in it seems reasonable to check in about longer term goals. Not saying either of you has answers at that point, but you can at least feel out whether you’re on the same page. I still do have great faith in men on this one – 90 percent of time wasters reveal themselves as such by the six week mark.  


  3. 3

    ” literally the ONLY thing you can do is sit back and watch him for two years to determine if you think HE’S worth of being your husband for the next FORTY years ”

    This is the key, although I would strongly argue it doesn’t take anywhere near 2 years to see if he’s worthy of being a good husband.   One easy test is to see how he reacts when you tell him “no”, and I don’t mean to sex.

    (Why is it so many women on this blog think they are cat’s ass in regard to their looks and bodies? Kindof tiresome since we all know looks have absolutely nothing to do with what kind of partner or person someone is.    I think I’m an average looking woman, and have never had a problem attracting and/or keeping quality men.)

    1. 3.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      @Michelle – You can get hints that someone is NOT a good husband while dating, but you’re taking a risk if you’re planning on getting married anytime before two years. I can’t tell you how many readers/clients have told me that their relationships were great for 1-2 years, then they got married and saw a different side of him.

      1. 3.1.1
        Sonia Ellem

        3 years is the timeframe for Australian men to hold it together … their “impress her” act, I mean. I do understand what Ashley is saying. So many guys are very good at “conning” women into long-term relationships by being someone they are not until the woman is comfortable … or, so I thought. Then I discovered Evan’s wonderful words of wisdom. You are like a sledge-hammer my man. Now I feel pretty stupid for not picking up on the the cues.  For ignoring the red flags. For accepting the unacceptable. And, for not treating the dating game as seriously as I treat my work related recruitment (best tip ever by the way). All I can say is “Thank-you Evan”. New confidence here. It’s onward and upward for me.

        1. CJ

          I’m Australian, I had NOT ONE indication prior to the wedding that he was an abuser.   The very day after the wedding, he tore a magazine out of my hands, threw it out of the window and called me a bitch. Totally out of the blue. I had paid for the wedding. I was stunned. I thought it was an anomaly. A once off. But no. It repeated intermittently with enough time in between to put it down to ‘stress’ or whatever other bullshit excuse he came up with. If he had done that prior to marriage, I would have walked away. Because of the dumb ‘save your marriage’, ‘never give up’ bullshit you only ever read 25 years ago, I kept at it.   Now, I know what to look for – they usually out themselves way before 3 years – usually on the first date. But then, I am now extremely stringent and NO exceptions, excuses or bending of boundaries.   I tell younger women to walk away now as soon as he messes up – he won’t change – he will only expect you to bend. I know this now. Finally, I have boundaries.

    2. 3.2

      The better u look the more players u attract Trying to compete with you in a hotness contest  

    3. 3.3

      Michelle, being very attractive is similar to being very wealthy, and it complicates things a lot. Does a prospective partner like you, or do they like your looks or money? Are they attracted to you for who you are, or because you’re a trophy? Some good people may even be intimidated and think they don’t stand a chance. So maybe having average looks weeds out more of the players and narcissists and leaves more of the “quality men.”

      1. 3.3.1

        I can agree. I am told that I am very attractive, and I have only found players that wanted me for my body. They didn’t care at all about my thoughts or personality.

      2. 3.3.2

        Yes the players are out there… So good at charming, doing and saying all the right things… to win you over. In my experience if I had waited on sex and never been generous (I like nice restaurants, he couldn’t afford)… I would have avoided much heart ache. Many lessons learned about dating closer to my financial status and looking at character and intregrity first… My “type” has changed dramatically…

    4. 3.4
      Jennifer G

      Michelle, I hope this doesn’t sound rude, but as a very attractive woman myself who is pursued by many men, your struggle is not the same as mine. I am finally realizing that when you’re a physically attractive person, when men see you, they instantly become interested sexually. They kind of turn into zombies. I dont think its anything they can really help, its a natural reaction just like it is for me when i see an attractive man. Although, because men and women are so very different, it doesn’t affect me the same as it does him. Somehow it’s a big distraction for men and it becomes their #1 goal to have sex with you. They then act accordingly to achieve their goal. When you are an “average looking” (your words) person, that distraction does not exist and it is much easier to tell what a man’s true intentions really are. I am not saying they dont want to have sex with the average looking but that distracting desire is not there. And it’s easier to have a real conversation with him, because he doesnt have his mind focused on how to get in your pants”‹ or what you look like naked or what it would be like to finally achieve that. He is focused on you. The real you. He is probably actually even listening to what you’re saying too. I know many average looking people who, just like you, do not have an issue with finding quality   people to date or get into a relationship. I envy  the average looking! Because this goal is pretty much all   they can think about, they have a hard time thinking of anything else and focusing on how to build something secure or connect in other ways. Like men do, if they achieve this goal too soon, they didnt have anything else to keep them around so they lose interest or only want sex afterward. I have actually found several articles and opinions about this and even discussed this with a close male friend. This is a real thing. I think it has a lot to do with why a lot of attractive people are single and confused as to why. I know not every single man can’t control himself. A real gentleman whose goal is a serious commitment may be able to control his desires because i had that once. Want to say i really think that especially for more attractive people, waiting for sex is definitely the best thing to do of you want a serious commitment, and to weed out the fakes. But a good rule for everyone, obviously.  I’d like to know Evan’s thoughts on this.

      1. 3.4.1

        so untrue. If you’re not an average looking woman then how on earth would you know if they get used for sex or not? I am considered “ugly” yet i can safely say that men still only want in my pants. They like you said will do anything to get it acting the nice guy. It doesn’t matter what you look like men will still want the goods.

        1. Yet Another Guy


          so untrue. If you’re not an average looking woman then how on earth would you know if they get used for sex or not?

          You are on the money.   Jennifer G does not have a clue as to how men operate.     Men sort women into three categories when it comes to being more than friends; namely, girlfriend material, just sex, and no, just no.   I can assure Jennifer G that the difference between “girlfriend material” and “just sex” has nothing to do with looks.   I can also assure Jennifer G that if a man is not thinking about what a woman looks like naked on the first date, there will be no second date.   I am willing to bet that the reason why Jennifer G falls into the “just sex” category is due to her personality and attitude.   I can also assure her that the distracting desire to just have sex exists for women who are not beautiful.   If a woman has a nice body and a sensual way, she will attract men who want to have sex.   Men have a saying about the desire to have sex with a woman having nothing to do with her face.

        2. Corinne M.

          I also am no femme fatale, yet I seem to attract narcissists and players who just want sex, but are not honest about anything.        The fact that I am full figured and very old fashioned seems to give them the impression that I have no standards or I am a challange.

          I just refuse to go out with players or take their requests seriously. Not worth my time. Not interested. Honesty and integrity are rare but I would rather spend my time on other things on my life until and unless I find someone who has both.

    5. 3.5

      Thanks for sharing this.


    6. 3.6

      YES, setting healthy boundaries and  having confidence is a great way to get a narcissistic to let his/her mask slip. They will feel the need to put you in your place or make you feel confused or less-confident. They don’t start with big red flags though, it’s little ones first to test what you will put up with in order to be with them. This is why Evan’s tried and true advice about checking in with yourself to see if you feel “safe, heard, and understood” is so solid. But you really have to be willing to listen to yourself and not sweep everything under the rug. And yes, time is the other key ingredient. If you find yourself going crazy, trying harder and harder to get back to what it felt like at the beginning of the relationship, it’s time to bounce.  

  4. 4

    “EVERY man is a player until he finds the woman with whom he wants to stop playing.” I don’t see how a man can be a player and be “100% authentic” at the same time (not pointing the finger at EMK personally here). If a man is authentic, and does have integrity, then he’s not going to waste anyone’s time for more than a few dates. I think the OP is referring to men who are not like this, and more than a few of them exist, unfortunately.
    I’ve had to make a decision to trust my gut. if a man acts like a jerk in any way during the first few weeks of dating, I’d cut him loose, despite his protests for another chance. It might sound harsh, but I’d expect a man to be on his best behavior during the early weeks of dating.
    Ashley wrote, “…it’s sometimes difficult for women due to the mixed signals.” i’d argue that mixed signals are a red flag, a man’s way of keeping one foot out the door. At best, it’s a sign that a man is very ambivalent. A man doesn’t need to know that he wants a permanent relationship within the first couple of months of dating, but he has to see a woman as a serious prospect.

    I’d also argue that many men are not like EMK. If they are not feeling the “magic” from the get-go, they don’t stick around for the long haul.

    1. 4.1

      @Ruby – I agree with what you wrote, if a man is a player he isn’t being 100% authentic.   And I think the men who make the best husbands, the men I look at who are committed to their family and wives, well, sorry but they were NOT players before marriage.   Maybe they met women they weren’t interested in, but they were not players and I don’t believe they led the woman on, maybe they were confused or ambivalent, but that is different than being a player.   Players lie, cheat, manipulate, and typically want more than one woman.  My roommates friend nailed a player, real titles, boyfriend, girlfriend, he even talked of marriage and kids, and she ended it with him, but low and beyold the player that oh, so reformed, he had cheated and bragged about it several times.   So in my opinion, players real ones, don’t make good husbands.    

      And some men just sting women along who they know they don’t see a future with.   So women really do have a lot of responsiblity to weed  out men with poor  relationship  prospect  early on.    

      1. 4.1.1

        I’m a man, I have spoken with men of all sorts, all are players, all would like to ‘do’ as many girls/women they can get away with without getting caught either by being careless or finding a woman/person they cannot be without in what ever that is for them.


      2. 4.1.2

        I totally agree with you. I don’t think the statement that “every men are players before they get marry” is 100% true. A few  signs  of a player is that they are unauthentic, dishonest and manipulative. These men, even if they do end up marring someone down the road, will not be a good husband and probably will hurt or cheat on their spouse in the long run. At the end of the day a woman isn’t just looking for someone to marry but to have a loving, healthy and safe marriage. Getting marry isn’t the end goal but sharing a life with someone who’s righteous and healthy is key.

  5. 5

    Useful advice although I also think Evan you were lucky to find your wife. Having met enough player types in my life, I tend to write men off if they don’t show serious interest in me from the outset.

  6. 6


    A man could be a player and 100% authentic if he was upfront about his playah intentions!   I know it rarely works this way but in theory, I guess it’s possible.  


    Maybe they really are cat asses when it comes to looks 😛    You’re right that it doesn’t say a whit about what kind of people they are but all other things being equal, it should be easier to initiate the search for a mate the more attractive you are.   Are you annoyed that they think highly of themselves because it can’t be true or because it’s not relevant to the discussion?


    You mentioned that men don’t reveal their true colours until you’re invested.   Are we talking about an emotional investment?   Physical investment?   Or just a time investment?   I do agree that time is the best indicator but maybe there are steps you can take to guard yourself from the emotional trap until you’re more sure of the man and his intentions.   I’m also curious what you mean by “hiding their true selves”.   Is it generally that the man isn’t interested in anything long term?   Or that he is only interested in himself?   Does he cheat?


    1. 6.1

      @RW – “…it should be easier to initiate the search for a mate the more attractive you are.”.

      It is easier to find dates  the more attractive you are but I’ve never ever seen any evidence that more attractive people find better quality partners, who are compatible and where if they marry bliss is higher and divorce is lower.  

      Also,  the more attractive you are the more  frogs  and frogettes you will have to kiss before finding your truly compatible mate.    

      Superficial attraction may equal lots of dates but it never is a guarantee for true love.   Kim Kardashian is man’s ideal for looks and wow, what a success for true love, Jennifer Aniston got cheated on, supermodel Christy Brinlkly 3 kids and 5 divorces still looks hot, yeah that’s truel lasting love, —– so much for more mates.                      

  7. 7

    I’m tired of men sometimes. I’ve experienced my fair share of players and narcissists. I’m better at figuring out the predatory types than I used to be but people can take you by surprise. I wouldn’t say I don’t believe good men are out there, because I really do. But I’ve revised down my standards i.e. I don’t expect much from men. I expect men to be like overgrown children because that’s what the men in my life have been like. It kind of jars with me. Should I put those standards back up again?

    1. 7.1

      I think you definitely should put those standards back up! From my experience I know – good men exist.The hard part is to meet one :).There is no perfect formula how to do it.Some people find their sole mates in high school and other might search for decades. There r a few things that help:
      – don’t settle till you’ll find the right guy.
      – go on as much dates as you can.
      – don’t have any expectations from any man.
      – don’t give them any credit either.
      – the more men you’ll meet – the more chances you can find the good person.

      1. 7.1.1
        Christine Fadgen

        I agree to not settle. Keep dating till you find someone who is husband material.

    2. 7.2

      I am with Yulia. Like you, I have experienced too many players and FAR too many narcissists (I do not use this term haphazardly) . EMK was spot on in my opinion, when he states that the only test is “the test of time”. As time passes, we all reveal our true selves. Once we, those in relationships, allow our character to unfold, then we have enough information, the honeymoon time has elapsed and now the responsibility is on us to decide what we will do with the information that this test of time has provided us. Is our self knowledge and self esteem aligned with using these metaphorical test results in such a way that we act as EMK puts it, as the successful CEO of our lives? As Yulia concurs, yes, you should hold your high standards up because you hold yourself to these same standards. As such, you deserve someone who treats you with the respect that you treat yourself.

  8. 8

    Ashley makes a good point that women are not as good as men  at judging a man’s character.   For women, chemistry can cloud the equation and blind us to their faults.   Even our female friends can be won over by the charm of a narcissist.  
    Look how this can be used in a positive way: MEN are generally not fooled. Sometime in those 6 weeks I bet there’s a party or perhaps he can meet you at happy hour with some work buddies. If there’s a male friend or colleague who cares about you, ask his opinion! Go on a double date with a friend and her BF or husband and then ask the  guy later  what he thought of your new date.
    Men will almost always be able to sniff out a guy who’s up to no good. They have a gut feeling about it. And generally speaking, they will tell you. That is,  if you’re “safe” to talk to….which means you’re genuinely interested in their opinion and don’t already have a right and wrong answer in your head.

  9. 9

    I really like what you say here:   “Because she could tell that I was 100% authentic.That I kept absolutely no secrets.   That I really did want to settle down and start a family.   That my moral code and integrity were my most valued traits.   So even though she could tell that I had a wide alpha-male, know-it-all streak, it was always tempered by the fact that I was sensitive, open and honest with her — even when I was confused about our future.”

    I struggle with the two year thing (yet I respectfully understand why you suggest it) but I certainly see the value in staying with a man longer (without any type of commitment) when the above qualities are there in the person you are (or are falling) in love with.  

    Nice article.

  10. 10

    I also wanted to add that I don’t think that the first 4 examples on EMK’s list of his early dating behaviors with his wife were red flags at all, but signs that he was being careful. #6 wouldn’t be a red flag unless he told his girlfriend that was how he felt. #5 might be a yellow flag. The most troubling point would be the last one, but fortunately for everyone, EMK made the right decision in the end. Many men just let their confusion and ambivalence will out.

  11. 11

    Evan, I have been ready your website for about a year now and have spent more than an few hrs reading old postings as well.   Your readers’ questions, your responses and their feedback have given me a new framework on meeting, greeting, dating and building relationships with women… and I am a professional divorced white male, 56 yrs old.

    However, in my ‘bracket’ does 1-2 years really work for people at this stage of life?. I have gone out with 46-67 year old women during the past 18 months.   Many DO want an answer at 30-90 days if you are now in an exclusive relationship..I get that, and think its reasonable.

      But many want to be close to arranging a wedding or move in date within 8-12 mths… not 2 years.   The re-occurring principle I hear is that at ‘our age’ life is too short to start over ever 1-2 years.   When I mention the divorce rate is even higher second time around… women generally wave the hand and tell me   this concern is overblown!!??    So how do your guidelines work for those over 50 whose ‘family’ days are more towards becoming   grandparent than an new father?

    1. 11.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      @Greg – Your comment completely made my case.

      Yes, women do want to know within a month or two if you’re her boyfriend. I think this is completely fair and most men who are interested are eager to be exclusive at this point.

      Now that you’re exclusive, the next two years (or so) should be spent figuring out whether it’s a good idea to buy a ring, sell your home, sign a contract and merge lives forever.

      That’s no small undertaking, and yet when women are pushing to get this answer (so as to avoid wasting time/getting hurt) they often fail to grasp the gravity of the situation. Plus, the fail to consider the situation from your side.

      Your concern is not at all overblown, Greg. Neither is a woman who makes an eager man wait two years before engagement.

      “Life is too short” is, plain and simple, a shitty argument. If you’re happily dating for two years, what’s the rush to put a ring on it? Fear. Your life doesn’t become instantly superior with a ring on your finger. You’re just locked in permanently. The rewards for marriage build over time – and they’re more evident in five years than they are in two years.

      So hold your ground, my friend, and remind your girlfriends that the right man will choose her on HIS (reasonable) timetable. The more she pushes for a ring out of fear, the less likely she is to get one. I don’t care if every 60 year old wants to get married within a year. Most of them have the dating experience of 23-year-olds and don’t know any better.

      1. 11.1.1

        @Greg (and Evan) – while I fully agree with 60-90 days logic around getting exclusive and 2 year  or so  mark for deciding whether to take it to the next level, why it is framed that this is always women who push for the fast solution? In my experience, it is the opposite. The last gentleman I dated (54 y.o., and I am 45) in two weeks was already talking about introducing me to his family and everything else along those lines, which obviously scared me away very quickly. Another gentleman I dated previously within a few months was talking about moving together. Do not generalize please. There are a lot of lonely and needy people out there unfortunately, regardless of their gender.  But would you feel comfortable around a woman who is confident, independent, self-respectful and is choosing on HER (reasonable) timetable? Probably, not. Hence those ladies attracted to and sticking around the  alfa males are exactly who alfas attract…needy, insecure, clingy.    Am not criticizing; just saying. Think about it.

        1. Greg

          Cloe and Evan…This topic came up in facebook and then I found a comment I made two years ago on waiting.   Evan’s time and comments were generous   These issues have no age boundaries!

          Let me give you update.   I started dating a beautiful 53 year old woman four years ago (I am now 60).   The first two years were great. We took our time   as our houses were only a mile apart and kept everything on an even keel.    Two years ago, I made a career move to Houston and wanted her to join me.   She resisted which sort made sense a it was a startup compnay and risk is not alway well receved as you get older.   18 months after I bought a new house, settled in and got her to agree to move, my spidey sense told me my job was in a lurch.

          So I told her to put a hold on the move, etc until March or April  went budgets came out.   My concern played out and I was jobless in an Oil and Gas depressed economy here in Houston. All the time, while in Houston, I spent long weekend, holidays, and vacations with her and family, happily.   Due to job searching I even spent the   Thsgiving and Xmas (six weeks) with her.      Once my job landing is secured,   her relocation can be figured out or I can simply retire and return to Chicago and operate from there. Full transpancey and full intent detailed and agreed by both of us.

          Remember: four months to become a couple,   four years exclusive with intent for another 25 years in the works.   On Sunday she turned her phone off… goes dark vs 3 -4 chats a day to keep it flowing and connection.

          On monday,  I am told (via cell at 1030 PM) that she is lonely and is now turned off by my recent weight gain. So now she wants to start dating ‘again’ and finds me too unattactive to continue.   Regardless of my assurances that this speedbump can be fixed and we have another 25 years to go, she wants to be free. (Another guy?, she says no… but who knows).

          Botom line: Life will test your character and character is the final narrator of the next chapter in the Book of Life.    I am reeling but will regain my footing in due course.

  12. 12

    I generally agree with Evan, but understand the woman in a hurry ’cause of her biological clock.

    I did not have to worry about the latter; still, like the OP, I, despite great intuition, several times had a hard time getting at my date’s intentions, true personality, etc. Time reveals all, yes, but if you’ve slept with the man and bonded it becomes difficult to extricate oneself sometimes or make a speedy exit when necessary. Especially nowadays when so many relationships are “mini” or long distance or fairly casual weekend affairs only. Those can take months to play out fully, those can take weeks and months for the man to finally reveal himself one way or another.

    What I did when really befuddled was run the man’s astrological chart (time of birth is key). To that end I recommend Carol Allen’s “Right Man Report” at I think the url is…..Three times the man’s chart was fairly dire or selfish or just plain negative but I hung on a little longer anyway. ALWAYS regretted it.

    Carol is unique imo in that she gets into Vedic astrology moon subsigns  or Nakshatras. I am Krittika and my bf is Pushya, a very good nurturing placement.

    I also am a pretty good student of psychology now and pay particular attention to what the man talks about routinely and the type of projection he does. We all do it, but few are aware they do it (project). Google.

    Also, harder to get at is his “attachment” style and “love personality”. But it helps to have this conversation. Now I just routinely tell the man I need to hear words of encouragement and love and that acts/gifts are far less important to me. But here’s the crux: Men are more adept at doing things, running errands, fixing things  etc. to show their love  rather than emote. It can be a dilemma so you have to be very clear as to what you need this way. Very clear.  

    No, imo  too many men  will inveigle himself into a  woman’s heart and/or stick around for the sex only- so the woman has to be extra vigilant. The integrity just isn’t there often. Me, if I honestly feel I won’t feel it for the man after 2-3 dates, I cut him loose, no matter how lonely I am.        

    Nonetheless, I agree with Evan that two full years are needed to see the man in every circumstance. But not every woman has two years to “sit back and see what develops”.    To return to astrology, my moon is in Aries (the bull), so I am a take charge type (quietly as possible! lol) in romance and in life in general. I’ve had to teach myself to relax and to go with the flow. To be patient.       


  13. 13

    To add, I certainly agree that women pushing prematurely for answers are often driven by fear and insecurity and a lack of confidence that even if this one man falls through good things await in the end. I was recently shocked to hear from a match date that so many women he goes out with are pushing him for answers and intentions, even his salary, on DATE ONE, and he really liked me because I was so no-pressure.

    However, the advice to play it cool can also backfire and end up as a fear based approach as well  if it’s not coupled with strong self esteem and other inner work. That’s why, though I appreciate Evan’s blog a great deal, I’ve gotten a bit more out of following Rori Raye because she does focus on how to raise concerns and needs in a non-threatening way to show you’re not a doormat either. I used to play it cool but feel like I had to sit around waiting to be chosen and have no control over anything, as many women do, and that’s not good either. (I realize that’s not the intention of Evan’s advice, but it can work out that way depending on one’s own issues.) I used to follow all of Evan’s mirroring advice, delayed sex,  dated multiple people at once, etc.,  and it was still not working, because it wasn’t coupled with true, deep confidence that I was capable of getting a good man and that I had just as much power as any man in the dating scene. I decided to turn around all the negative thoughts I had about men because when I kept voicing worry in my head along the lines of this poster (I’m attractive, so a lot of guys have this superficial interest in me, how do I ever tell who really likes me, guys are good at hiding their true intentions) I just kept getting guys who had superficial interest. I decided to turn it around in my head as a compliment that because I’m attractive and interesting I’m going to get more superficial attention than others, and there’s a slight downside to that but ultimately many good men are interested in a relationship with me and I’m going to keep having a great time dating until something works out for me very shortly.

  14. 14

    I’m not sure I agree. As I mentioned in a prior post, I’m convinced now more than ever that most women have low tolerance for, and even lower expectations the male of the species. So, I find it hard to believe that there are so many women out there looking for a long term relationship, or even marriage when too many are convinced that men are worthless without trying to give them a fair shot.

    As one poster mentioned to me not too long ago, “this is a world of opportunity, not scarcity.” Could have fooled me.

  15. 15

    The post is really nice but when a woman is over 35 years old her biological clock is ticking really hard. We don’t feel we have the luxury of time and our desire to have a kid is really stressful. What do you think about us Evan?
    Maybe consider becoming single mothers? Time passes so fast for us unfortunately..

    1. 15.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      It doesn’t matter if you’re 35, Nikoletta. If a man wants kids, he has as much at stake as you do.

      You have to let a marriage/children-oriented man choose you when he’s ready. You can’t push him to move faster than he’s ready – unless you want to scare him away.

      1. 15.1.1

        ‘It doesn’t matter if you’re 35, Nikoletta. If a man wants kids, he has as much at stake as you do.”

        This statement is totally untrue, Evan. Shame on you.   

        You have to let a marriage/children-oriented man choose you when he’s ready. You can’t push him to move faster than he’s ready — unless you want to scare him away.”

        And this statement is true.   

  16. 16

    Evan, very sensical advice as usual. Let’s say I’m a woman who agrees with you and takes your advice, plays it cool, doesn’t put pressure on the relationship and doesn’t want to rush into marriage because I want to increase the odds of making the right decision. But let’s also say that my boyfriend, who meets all my needs and is a great fit for me, didn’t read your advice and believes he just KNOWS I’m the woman for him, and he proposes before 2 years. What does a woman do? Say yes and use the engagement period to further evaluate the relationship? I don’t want to rush into marriage, but I do believe I am dating my future husband right now (your great advice is what helped me see that!)

  17. 17

    I agree, the test of time is the only way to really know.   I’d also like to add that you have to take a certain degree of risk that someone may not turn out like you had originally thought.   The test of time only works if you are open and fully participating in the relationship- you may very well end up with a broken heart- or you may very well end up in the relationship you’ve always wanted.   Either way, at some point you just have to jump in and proceed with the assumption things will work out for the best.

  18. 18

    Honesty, I think we all know. I don’t think we need any test to determine if a man is genuine or not.   The truth is that most women refuse to acknowledge that little flag that goes up…We all want to be desired, we want to believe they are really interested in us, we don’t want to be alone.   So when they do or say something that may be small, but makes you pause for even just a tiny moment, we brush it off.   Then we say we didn’t know, or he was so good at hiding it.
    I really believe that we know, we just don’t trust.   We want something in your face obvious, when the cues are there the whole time.
    Maybe that’s why she didn’t really ask you the point blank question.   IMO it’s because it would mean we have to admit we ignored our gut on the hopes that we are wrong.  
    I wish more women would just trust themselves and stop blaming men for playing games.   Stop blaming all together and honor your gut feelings.   It is a RARE occasion that we really didn’t see anything, and that is usually because we don’t want to.

    1. 18.1

      Dawn – this is so TRUE! Thank you!

    2. 18.2

      Dawn – you’re so right. Excellent post. Thank you!

    3. 18.3

      Right on!

    4. 18.4
      Kai Webster

      Thank you Dawn.
      Thank you, so much, for reiterating my thoughts.
      I’ve been taking all of the dating advice, for years now and, when meeting new women, the things you have pointed out seem to be what pushes them away. And I end up, “ghosted.”
      I just needed to know why; and not because there’s something wrong with me. (I’ve heard this all too often; men you’re doing this, men you’re doing that)
      All I’ve done is live my life in congruence with my core values, and treat people accordingly. Eg; I treat each moment uniquely, I’m an open book of honesty, I am future-minded, I am family-minded, I repeat and offer my thoughts while listening, I genuinely love and commit myself to my friends and family, I maintain hobbies that keep me happy regardless of relation status, I maintain full-time employment, I exercise, I cook (well), I eat healthy, I state, “Please, ask me any questions,” because I genuinely enjoy listening and helping others and I genuinely have sensitive/strong empathy neurons, I study daily, and I’ve earned a collegiate degree.
      Now, I understand that, generally, no person wants to hear/read, “I this, I that. Me, me me.” That’s not what I’m about. I embrace my insignificance, but cling to my values for their ultimate support.
      I give myself… but 99% of the time, women aren’t mutually giving themselves. And, I truthfully believe it is because they are not listening, at least initially, to their gut.
      Do you think, that a question such as, “Do you think intuitively and listen to your gut,” would be a good question for me to introduce early-on, in hopes of saving me some time and hassle?
      I’m a great person, and I’m fed up with being treated like waste-bin remnants.
      I’m not above the notion that I may be ignoring cues or am just ignorant when it comes to Women and gut reactions. I truly want a mutually benefiting relationship and to give and receive unconditional love.

  19. 19

    Unfortunately only time will tell how well two people get along.   But I do echo what Jenna said.   If you want to weed out the players just don’t have sex for a couple of months.   It really does work.   There are too many easy women for players to have sex with.   He’s not going to waste that much effort for someone when there are other women out there.

  20. 20

    Alexandra- What you could say is that you love them, but feel it is too early for you to make a marriage committment at this stage, you want to be exlusive with them and continue to explore and grow together. Give him an indication of the time frame you are needing.

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