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. 61

    Tom10 #61
    Really only the first paragraph of my comments in #56 were directed at you. It doesn’t sound like you’re being manipulative. You’re young and not ready to settle down, I get that.
    Actually, the worst problems I’ve had have been with older player-types. These guys are set in their ways, and know how to play the game. Or think they do. And yes, they know very well how to manipulate in order to get what they want. It really has nothing to do with how special they think a woman is. You can “exercise your power as a woman.” and they will still try to take advantage of you. Trying to get these guys to tow a line involves a lot of energy, and not much pay-off. Since I’m looking for a serious relationship, why bother?

  2. 62

    I myself would get no satisfaction from reforming a player or being the right woman to make him marriage minded. I preferred someone who was already relationship ready and didnt require any kind of training, for want of a better term. I don,t do casual sex and I,m allergic to being charmed.  maybe we won,t be played if we don,t  play?
    and while it may take two years to decide on life long compatibility you would have to be very unlucky indeed or deliberately lying to yourself or very inexperienced or susceptible or dreaming not to know that you were dealing with a narcissist, in the true sense of the word, or a diehard player within a few months, tops.  Mind you, a lot of women fall into that category. I did (note past tense)

  3. 63

    We’ll just have to agree to disagree so. My conscience is clear because I take the utmost care with women and go to great lengths not to give them any wrong ideas or hurt them. In fact I consider my behaviour as significantly better than people who slide into lazy relationships without discussing their actual goals, thus wasting years of their partner’s lives: the people that Fusee warn of.

    Fusee and Ruby
    Sorry I was a bit cranky after a long day in work. I rolled all the comments into one as a swipe at me, which was lazy. Yes casual dater is probably more apt.

    Karmic Equation
    “Do you keep a harem or are you a serial dater like Evan was?

    I generally work intensely hard and do a lot of sport and music so I don’t really have the time or energy to maintain a harem; I tend to remain alone or maintain one casual, and use the weekends for one-offs. But at slack times of the year if I find I’ve got some spare time and energy I might put in a bit more effort and keep a few going for a while.

    I really enjoy your comments because they give me great hope that I will be able to change in a few years. I will probably want children so it’s good to know that men like me can reform when they meet the right person and are ready.

    I’m a little bit skeptical your boyfriend changed his game and ‘came to heel’ unknowingly. I’d say he knew what he was doing but let himself go with the flow because of how relaxed you are, and because you understand men so well maybe?

    Yes this societal / peer pressure does start to increase gradually for men too. I take particular delight in being anti-establishment, therefore I joyously celebrate being single.

  4. 64

    I personally think once a womanizer always a womanizer. That type of man never really changes and it is to just avoid them. 

    (Incorrect. Once a cheater always a cheater. That’s true. But a guy who likes to hook up with lots of women? He’s just known as a guy. – EMK)

  5. 65
    Karmic Equation

    @Ruby and @marymary

    To each her own. As I said, players have their uses as transitional men. After a distressing end to a loving relationship, I needed to be distracted without having to be emotionally vested. My player was just what the doctor ordered.

    I wasn’t aiming to reform him, I just wanted to practice my woman-power on him. It was definitely a journey of self-discovery. Now that I’ve traveled it, would I travel it again for another player? No. But I do feel the lessons learned in this journey were valuable and will do me well in future relationships, so my time was not wasted.

    The fact that he’s a reformed player bothers me less than the 13 yr age gap between us (I’m older). He could stay reformed to my happy surprise, but I will never be younger.

    Loving someone is never a waste of time as long as you learn something from the relationship.

  6. 66

    Karmic I think you will find that women who have the misfortune to get involved with men who are in effect totally worthless to them spend more time blaming themselves than the womanizer. Back when I was younger, more naive and looking for love and the good in all men, I got sucked in by a few of them, on each occasion being left feeling that I was worth nothing and had nothing to offer and usually staying away from other men for years at a time because I was so unworthy of love. Now I realise that I wasn’t the unworthy one. 

  7. 67
    Some other Steve

    Player-ness is defined not by behavior, but by lack of disclosure, so one like our friend Tom — who is clear on what his intentions are — is more of a playboy than a player.
    And I gotta say that Evan’s webmaster picks the best stock photography!

  8. 68

    Sorry Evan but I don’t agree. Some men do have integrity and don’t mess around with lots of women. I don’t want a man like that even now! Why should I love someone  that has gone through his life being selfish and hurting scores of women? No thank you. I can accept a man who has had relationships that haven’t worked, not someone that has used women for sex. That guy doesn’t deserve love from me.

    1. 68.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      Fiona, you have the uncanny ability to make my points for me. You not only rule out men by occupation, education and income, but you rule out any man who had considerable sexual experience before he met you. Soon, there’ll be no one left!

  9. 69

    After reading more of these comments about men who go out with someone long term with no intention of true commitment, I thought of a male friend of mine who fits that bill precisely. He’s 29 and has for six months dated a girl who he’s quite ambivalent about, but does like her, and doesn’t have many friends in the new city he recently moved to and just kind of fell into it as, I think in part, a way to avoid the hard work of building a social life. This girl is clearly head over heels for him, even though I know from his comments to me that he’s probably not ready for marriage and doesn’t necessarily think she’s the one. I’ve given him a lot of shit about it, telling him not to waste this 28 year old girl’s time. But guess what? She initiated a lot of contact in the beginning and was okay with him splitting the bill with her (even on the first date!) and arranging dates via text. She always comes to him because he lives in the city and she lives in the burbs. She did delay sex til exclusivity, which took two months.

    But in my opinion, she could have averted the likely impending disappointment by allowing him to pursue her and show real interest from the outset. He wouldn’t have, because he’s one of those lazy guys that doesn’t do such things, but then she would have freed herself up to find someone better.

    And who’s a player, really? You have to know the context. A guy who from afar I thought of as a rampant womanizer recently expressed sincere interest in me as we shared a platonic weekend together, and after I expressed concerns about his serial dating, he shared with me that a lot of that was just because he got dumped and rejected a lot so what was he gonna do when he kept not being able to find a ltr, give up sex? I realized I am the same way … people who don’t know me very well think I’m a rampant serial dater, and it would appear that way, but the truth is I never find anyone in my own age and looks range who shares my values and wants a relationship with me and have gotten rejected a ton, so I have fun with the card I’ve been dealt and just keep trying.

  10. 70

    Evan I am ruling out the Toms of this world with very good reason. Any man who goes out there with the intention of having sex with as many women as possible and dismisses hundreds of perfectly good women who were looking for love as far as I am concerned gets what he deserves if, when he finally can be bothered to give someone the time of day, they tell him to take a hike. I’ve been hurt by men like that in the past. It isn’t for me to make them feel good about themselves now. I don’t see what benefit all their one night stands would bring to me. I would rather deal with a good man that has always been commitment minded and not treated women like worthless objects e.g divorced or widowed, than a womanizer. In my experience really good men look for both sex and love, not just sex.

    1. 70.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      @Fiona – You’re stuck in a black and white world where men who aren’t perpetually in a long term relationship are “bad” or treat women like they’re “worthless”. It’s not true.

      Every single man I know has had one night stands and short-term hookups in between relationships. In fact, so have most women I know. So either everyone I know is “bad” and treats the opposite sex like it’s “worthless”, or you’re assigning a little too much negative spin to those who participate in the hookup culture.

      Anytime a reader takes your stance, I know my argument is a valid one. I’m a good man, husband, father, brother, son and dating coach. And yet I have a lot of experience outside long-term relationships. You may choose to dismiss men like me, but once again, you’re unnecessarily narrowing your dating pool for some sort of foolish highground.

      You know who will be fine? The men who hook up before they get married. You know who will also be fine? The women who choose to marry them.

      You know who’s most likely to be left standing alone? The person who judges everyone as morally inferior.

  11. 71

    The people of this world who have the sole ambition of sleeping with as many women as possible are making many women feel worthless Evan whether you want to acknowledge it or not. I spent years feeling like I was unlovable due to meeting men like that so have a lot of other women. It took me a long time to realise that there was nothing wrong with me – I wasn’t unlovable. I was just meeting men who didn’t care abour anyone but themselves. I don’t see that the onus is now on me to treat such men well just because all of a sudden they decide it is time to settle down. If I end up alone while the likes of Tom end up happily married I will just accept it is rough justice as I was ready to love, commit and settle down 17 years ago without the whole sleeping with hundreds of people for the hell of it thing. That’s life.

  12. 72
    Evan Marc Katz

    You’re not making rational arguments.

    1. A man can’t make you feel any way, my dear. If you feel worthless, you feel worthless. A man who isn’t interested in you is simply not interested in you – it’s not a comment on your self-worth. It stings for a second, then it’s over.

    2. Men who hook up aren’t evil. You still haven’t acknowledged this basic fact. Many women like hooking up. About 60% are hoping it turns into a relationship. But then, that’s only a few digits higher than the men who want a hookup to turn into a relationship. The knife cuts both ways. You just see yourself as a victim. And if you’re a victim, that means men are the criminals.

    3. “The onus isn’t on you to treat men well?” Really? Because if I go out with you, follow up the next day, and the next, and the next, for the rest of my life, I sort of expect you to treat me well. Yes, even if I hooked up a bunch in my 20’s.

    If you would spite yourself and break up with me to teach me a lesson, you are about the most emotionally immature woman I could imagine. Getting rid of an amazing boyfriend because he enjoyed sex. Talk about short sighted.

    Do some research, Fiona. You’ll discover that most men would like to have had more partners and experience, but even the ones who get it only sleep with, on average, 3 women a year. A few guys skew things higher, but most men simply don’t do as well as they’d want to. Your vigilance about men’s sexual past, regardless of how they treat you is something that should end tonight.

    You’re killing yourself with this Puritanical streak.

    Does any woman here have an answer to Fiona, who feels that when a woman sleeps with a man outside a relationship, the man is making her feel “worthless”?

    Karmic? Or are you tired of this dialogue as well?

    1. 72.1


      Sorry Evan, I’ll have to disagree.  I’ve had many guys pursue me purely to use me for sex and agressively lie and pursue me to meet their needs.  Everyone wants sex but some of these guys are straight up hunters (of women).  I’m no one’s victim but I hate it.  I’ve said no to many of these guys but a few got in and it’s painful in the aftermath.  I’ve always tried to learn and be wiser and I don’t have sex right away, usually a few months in and a title had been given and taken away in a weekend..   I’m trying so hard to be careful since everything is a woman’s fault/ responsibility that I’m paranoid.  I assume any man in my face for any reason wants sex and it’s mind boggling when guys are offended when I assume and treat them accordingly when that’s exactly why they’re in my face.  I would have a hard time marrying a man that hurt other women the way I’ve been hurt almost like finding out your future husband raped someone in college.  I wouldn’t be considerate or understanding.  I would drop him quick.

  13. 73

    My boyfriend doesn’t have the questionable past. I do. If he judged me in the same way that some of us are judging men, he wouldn,t be with me.
    men and women can change. What I question is that a certain person makes them change. I think they change and then the right person happens to comes along. Funny that. I am even so generously minded that I think a cheater can change. Not as many as some seem to want to believe though.
    of all the women Evan dated I don,t think it was only his wife who was suitable.  Yes, She is special. would he  have seen it if he had met her x years earlier?

    i get that you have high standards because you want to avoid being hurt. No one can guarantee that. It,s better to hone your powers to be able to make the judgement call that a man is good enough without having to meet a huge list of criteria.  no one is perfect and no relationship is. That,s why we keep saying compromise. Everyone compromises. Over a forty year marriage there are a LOT of compromises.

    I don,t give players a free pass. I think often they know the women are hurting but continue   to get their kicks. I don,t preach to them. It,s all working fine for them. Disengage and don,t waste your breath.

    1. 73.1

      “My boyfriend doesn’t have the questionable past. I do. If he judged me in the same way that some of us are judging men, he wouldn,t  be with me.”
      “I don’t give players a free pass”
      So let me get this straight. You spent your youth sleeping around (I’m inferring that’s what you mean by “questionable past” – correct me if I’m wrong), and now that you’re in a relationship you feel it’s your place to hand out morality passes to others who do the exact same thing?
      Do you know who I don’t give free passes to marymary? Pot. Kettle. Black.

  14. 74

    All I ever wated was to meet, fall in love with, sleep with and marry one single man and have a loving family. That was it. Being pursued constantly for sex made me feel unlovable and like an object. I had the misfortune to be pretty which meant frantically pursued by players every time I went out in my twenties. It did not make me feel good to be chased by predators every night I went out. If I wanted to I could have slept with hundreds of men but I didn’t and I didn’t want to put myself about. What I wasn’t meeting was a lot of nice men looking for commitment. Even at my age when I am well past it I still get players chasing me and I am far too old for it. It is exhausting. If some women like casual sex, fine. I don’t like casual sex, I don’t like being treated like an object and I genuinely don’t know any women in my life that do – I always wonder who these women actually are. The women I know that hook up get hurt.

    I wouldn’t go out with a player to try to hurt him or teach him a lesson. I’m just sick and tired of players anc prefer to avoid them.

    1. 74.1

      Thank you Fiona.  I feel the same way.  Thank you for giving a voice to a feeling that I was afraid to voice as it was my truth but I didn’t want to be braggadocious or dismissed as crazy and bitter but I’m tired of having my guard up when out because we don’t hold men’s behavior to a high standard so I’m constantly on guard as I don’t feel safe and if anything goes wrong, it’s the women’s fault. It’s tiring. I realize that I’ve been holding a higher impression of men then they even want for themselves and I need to stop taking men at their word as so many lie.  I hate to be bitter (hurt really).  I just wish I had different experiences.

  15. 75

    Well, Evan, I’ve been sleeping with men outside a relationship for 9 years, and I started doing that because I’d had such painful results with conventional relationships (exclusivity).  I felt like a total noob at dating, and I wanted to change that fast.  I used about half of Tom’s checklist as my own: maybe I’d be called a playgirl?
    I met and made love with some really awesome men and felt beloved and cherished, even though we were not exclusive and I was not aiming for marriage.  I felt quite the opposite of the conventional mindset at the time: that having no pre-conditions allowed our loving to be completely its own thing, to be only our expressions to each other of the beauty of the moment.  Many of the men felt the same way, and many continue to be friends long after we parted our sexual ways.
    I noticed that my self-love started to level up as I saw myself reflected in the eyes of men who enjoyed me and whom I enjoyed.  As I felt better about myself, I attracted men of higher and higher qualities, and now feel very much at peace with myself and with the world of men.  Men like Tom, who treat women with respect and decency, are a boon to many women of the world who want to experience lovely moments of tenderness and charm with a man who knows his way about her body.
    It seems to me that Fiona carries a chip on her shoulder after feeling deeply hurt.  However, her comments seem to indicate that she feels her mindset is keeping her on the right track now.  It’s a step further than she was before, Evan, when she submitted her will to someone else’s (reading between the lines).  Growth happens one step at a time, and she has already made some progress, so maybe that’s her quota for this lifetime.  We won’t all of us make as many strides as the most stride-lious of us do.  😉

  16. 76

    If you think about it all relationships start out casual. You don’t know each well -if at all – on a first date. And there is no way to predict how you will feel about each after one date, or one month, or one year.

    A situation I believe many of us have found ourselves in is not recognizing, or acknowledging when a dating relationship has failed to progress beyond the casual level. The guy were are dating, that we really like, may be doing some boyfriend-y things, but we are insecure and have doubts, we analyze his words and actions constantly. And when he ends it we may label him a player, or some other pejoritive term because we are hurt and angry he ended it. Serves as a bit of an ego balm rather than admitting the guy dated us long enough to decide we weren’t the woman for him. Or that the ‘relationship’ never progressed beyond casual even though we wanted it to.

    I pulled this list off a video EMK did 3 years ago.

    8 Things Your Boyfriend Must Do To Be Your Boyfriend

    1. He calls you to say “When can I see you again?”
    2. He reserves plans with you every Friday and Saturday night.
    3. He calls, or texts, or emails you every day.
    4. He calls himself your boyfriend.
    5. He wants to make it clear you are not seeing anyone else.
    6. He sleeps with you regularly.
    7. He talks about a future.
    8. He tells you he loves you.

    “If he’s not doing these things he’s not that into you.”

    Contrast this list with the one casual dater Tom10 provided in #45.

    The difference is very obvious isn’t it?

    If you are a person who has difficulty distinguishing when someone is genuinely interested opposed to casually interested, if you get emotionally invested quickly and easily and are often disappointed because the other person doesn’t…these two lists might be worth printing out to refer to as needed.

  17. 77

    @Fiona – I know what you mean. I think there are plenty of shady characters out there which doesn’t correlate with how often they sleep around but it can be a warning sign depending on the context. I think the hook-up culture is greatly exaggerated and that people talk about sex more than they actually do it. I wouldn’t judge someone on their past but if recent patterns seemed to suggest heaps of bed hopping with no commitment (’cause you don’t need sex every day of the week), then I’d be warned off. Again, I don’t think this about sex. You can discern a person’s behaviour without looking at that part of the equation but it will become part of your considerations according to how/why they do it.

  18. 78

    We’re actually not that different; we both want to live as interesting, varied and complete a life as possible.  To achieve this we both set out our notional life-paths at the age of 18. Mine goes like this: degree by 20, then masters, then travel the world, then complete professional exams, buy a house before 30, start my own business by 35, retire at 65 and enjoy my old age. I’m on track so far. You (and most of the women on this blog), probably have a similar plan. In parallel to my career plan I have a personal plan; have lots of sex with lots of women until I’m 35, then maybe find a suitable woman and have two children at about 40. You just want to cut out the ‘lots of sex bit’. I bear you no ill-will for your dreams and ambitions so it’s unfortunate that you judge mine.

    I don’t like taking shots at anyone, particularly women, and as I said before I think you’re a nice woman. But I reckon I have a better chance of completing my life goals than you, because I never judge anyone, and I know which criteria are important and which aren’t for specific goals. I don’t judge women for their sexual past, for their education, for their income or any other (what I consider) irrelevant criteria. I don’t care if a woman has slept with 1, 10, or 100 men because it’s none of my business.

    “The misfortune to get involved with men who are in effect totally worthless to them”

    This is a good point; guess what type of woman is normally into me? Intelligent, professional, driven women who want me for the wrong reasons. They want me because I’m also a professional, 6’3”, have my own house yada yada. They don’t ask if I even want a relationship because they’re thinking of their own agenda, their own life plan and are so convinced that they’re such a great catch that how could I possibly not want to keep them?! But I’m worthless to them if I don’t want what they want.

    I only want casual now so I choose the hottest and most sexual women I possibly can. In a few years when I want more I’ll adjust my criteria to that which Evan, Fusee and all the other wise contributors here speak of. Looks won’t be as important, but character and fortitude will.

    “he gets what he deserves if, when he finally can be bothered to give someone the time of they tell him to take a hike”

    No problem, I’m not into judgemental people anyway. I’ve been dumped and rejected countless times so I don’t take it personally and it has no affect on my self-esteem. My self-esteem is based on my behaviour not on someone else’s. As you say if it happens; ‘that’s life’.

  19. 79

    Tom at the end of the day you may well get what you want. You don’t care about collateral damage on the way. That is your prorogative. Just be aware that girls like me that don’t believe in treating other people shabbily don’t want the older you. I don’t think people who think it is ok to treat people they don’t love shabbily have sufficient character for me and I don’t want such a person in my life.  If you can find a woman that doesn’t care that is how you see fit to treat people you don’t love then I would say you are a lucky man who is fortunate not to reap the pain you happily dish out to others for years. I for one get a glimpse into the shabby treatment I will get if such a type decides he does love me any more too. No thanks.

    As for Evan’s argument that women’s self esteem should not be affected by shabby treatement, nice sentiment but that argument can be used to excuse all manner of shoddy behaviour but is unrealistic as we are all feeling creatures at the end of the day. I remember years ago freaking out when I found that the woman at the post office  had sent my masters dissertation to the wrong country and I therefore missed the deadline for submission. She was actually crying. I still feel terrible about it now. Did I ‘make’ her feel bad? Well in theory land no-one can make anyone else feel anything. In reality if you treat people shabbily they would be inhuman to be immune to feeling upset at all so sorry Evan but I don’t see that argument as a justification for shady players.

    Rampiance, I have no desire to go in for what you want – I do not consider sleeping around to be growth in any shape or form. If it work for to be sharing your body with a host of random men, fine. I believe you are in a minority.


  20. 80

    Again, there’s a difference, in my mind, between a young man, like Tom10, who isn’t ready to settle down yet, and the older “players” I’ve encountered, who are pretty hardened at their game. We expect young men to want to sow their wild oats, but I’m guessing that the exhaustion that Fiona feels its due to the men her age and older who are still engaging in their bad behavior. The older they get, the worse they get. These are the true committment-phobes who really do know how to manipulate in order to get what they want. I’m talking about the over-40 men who are happy to be your “boyfriend” for a few months of NSA sex. 
    Women tend to be at a disadvantage here, because we do bond more easily, and many of us can’t adopt the casual attitudes of Tom10 or Rampiance. One of my favorite EMK quotes is, “Believe the negatives, ignore the positives.” As much as I do believe that everyone should behave with integrity, it’s an unfortunate reality that we can’t expect that. It is up to women to evaluate the guy.
    On that note, I’d like to add another point to EMK’s list, posted by Selena (#84): 9. He introduces you to his friends.

  21. 81

    I am saddened so much by the blame game that has gone on in this post.
    Players come on both sides.
    You cannot blame an entire sex for the bad behavior of a few.
    Again, I go back to MY original statement which I’m sure has been lost in the sea of finger pointing here.
    Most often we ignore the signs in order to be in a relationship.  There are RARE occasions where there was not one sign, but most often we choose to ignore things that are right in our face.
    I’m now going to unsubscribe to these comments.  It’s lost it’s productive feed and turned into a bashing

  22. 82

    #Fiona, and Tom:

    Your exchange of opinion is very interesting, because both of you speak from the heart and both of you are sincere… 

    To soothe your soul (maybe), keep in mind that if you believe that you deserve it, the right man WILL come along. Just keep on trying to be the right woman. And if you keep the introspective work that you are doing, you will be able to recognize him….

    Of course, you might (and certainly will) be hurt, because it is part of life… but it also helps you to grow as a human being…Just be assured that even if you get hurt, you will find the strength within you (or with the help of God if you believe in god) to survive and go on…

    Even Mr. Right wil hurt you, you know…. And you him. As a psychanalyst said, when you meet Mr. Right, the question you need to ask yourself is: “is this the person I want to hurt me (at times) for the rest of my life?”….

    On the other hand, and just to tease Tom10 a little bit, keep in mind that most people don’t really know what they want, or need (it is true for most people, including me). What they say they want is not what they really want, deep inside. Tom10  might think he is happy with his plan… as a woman however, I know he NEEDS a good woman and would be much happier if he was sharing a real connection with someone right now. We, woman, just know this for a fact and we are right ahahahahha  

  23. 83

    Fiona, where do you see Tom treating women shabbily? He doesn’t lie about wanting exclusivity. He doesn’t try to trick women by doing ‘boyfriendy’ things- no Saturday night dates, no meeting friends or family. Tom seems to be pretty straightforward to me- where is the manipulation? I understand you not liking men that treat women carelessly, i dont either, but where in Tom’s posts does he describe doing that?
    And while Rampaince’s view is different than yours and your friends, why does that make it a minority view?

  24. 84
    Some other Steve

    @Fiona – how is a man who is up front about his desire for a casual relationship treating anybody “shabbily”? If the potential partner is in the same place, then the two can share some time together. If they’re not, then not. There are plenty of women who are fine with a casual relationship.
    I certainly understand why you’d not be interested in such a relationship, but why is this any different than (say) you being a jock and him being a bookworm, and you deciding that it’s just not a good fit without making a moral judgement about it?

  25. 85

    I don’t see Tom treating women shabbily either.  He doesn’t want a commitment at this particular point in his life. That doesn’t make him a bad person. He’s not promising the women he dates anything. He’s not telling them he loves them just to get/keep sex. He doesn’t pretend there is more there than there actually is.

    And he’s right Fiona – not every woman wants commitment every time she goes out on a date. Some do enjoy dating casually. Some see sex as part of getting to know someone – not something that automatically means commitment. A lot of us are just happy to do what we feel comfortable doing and see what unfolds.

  26. 86

    Ruby, some people have no problem introducing a person they are dating casually to friends, even family should the occasion arise. It’s just not a big deal to them.

    If I were dating someone who DIDN’T introduce me to his friends after a month or so of steady dating, I would start to wonder though. But along with that there would most likely be many of the other not-a-boyfriend signs going on.

  27. 87

    Ruby I agree the young players often become the older players. They don’t just turn into players when they get to 40. By late 20s commitment minded men are often looking for a wife/getting married. If they are still playing around into their 30s without looking for something serious that isn’t a good sign in my view. 

    Jennifer, maybe Tom has improved if he is being that up front now. I still think that seeing no value in people other than for sex is pretty shallow. I also don’t see how an older version has much to offer me given that a man like that has by choice had no previous relationships to learn from. I don’t believe I am more special than the hundred or so that went before me either…I know I am not. Rampiance’s view I am absolutely sure is a minority view of women in their 30s. I move in pretty wide social circles. Plenty of women struggling to find a husband, very few looking to spend the of their lives without love and engaging in casual sex. Pretty sure this is the norm pretty much everywhere which is why blogs like this exist and there aren’t lots of blogs teaching women how to become pick up artists.

    Steve, I am not sleeping with men I am not interested in or encouraging them in any way which would be unfair so I really don’t see the comparison. I am conscious of not leading people on if I have nothing to offer them.

  28. 88

    Fiona, my understanding of Rampiance’s situation is very different than what you’ve described. She’d like an LTR and is open to the right man for that. In the meantime, until she and that man cross paths, she’s not living a life of celibacy. Based on my experience ( and even reading this blog) that is not atall an uncommon position for men or women.

  29. 89


    I don’t think Fiona is being puritanical.  Difference of opinion?  Definitely.  Not in accordance with popular opinion?  Also definitely.  But not puritanical.

    Your point that such thoughts will seriously limit the number of available men is well taken.  But when it comes to morals, just because something is done by the masses doesn’t make it right.  Just makes it popular.  I don’t judge people for sleeping with whoever they want to sleep with.  As long as they are happy and not hurting anyone, it is no one else’s business but theirs.  BUT, I do sincerely believe that by definition sex is not without emotional attachment and unnecessarily complicates things that would otherwise be clear.  I, personally, would not have accepted a man who had indulged in hookups.  But then he probably wouldn’t have wanted me either.  I believe that sex belongs in a long term relationship and that one should wait until it has been established that the relationship is likely to be long term and not just a short term deal.  It’s not a popular view and and I don’t suggest that others make it their own but we can agree to disagree without you calling me a puritan 🙂

    I understand that your ire was directed at the comments that appeared to take a moral high ground but I find nothing wrong with the essence of the post.  That doesn’t make her, or me, puritanical.

  30. 90

    Just read Rampaince’s comment again. I may well be misinterpreting her pov, she’d have to clear that up. But i do believe the attitude I described, look for the right one but no vow of celibacy in the meantime, is quite common for both sexes, though some, wrongly in my opinion, label this as ‘player’ or otherwise immoral behavior.

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