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. 181
    Karl R

    Fusee said: (#190)
    “I may start a new job with the intention of finding a permanent position if this is my life goal, […]with such goal I would obviously only consider companies that would offer permanent positions, rather than wasting my energy on companies that only offer two-year contracts. “

    I’ve spent about 40% of my working life as a temp or contractor. It’s not my preference, but I don’t mind it terribly.

    No matter how much I want a long-term position, I want to eat and pay the rent even more. I’ve taken two week and two day jobs before.

    Seven years ago I was working two part-time temp jobs (supposedly 20 hours per week each, but it ended up being closer to 30 for one and 8 for the other). Neither employer expressed a desire for a full-time, permanent employee.

    One of them has been my full-time employer for the last 4 years, and I’m earning at least triple what I was from the two part-time temp jobs.

    Similarly, my marriage started out as a week-long fling.

    Neither my job nor my marriage started out with even the intention of being something permanent. They met short-term requirements … and with time everybody involved realized the relationship (business or personal) suited everybody’s needs perfectly.

    Ruby said: (#191)
    “I’m not referring to one month. The relationships where a man is stringing a woman along tend not to last for more than a few months or a year, in any case.”

    If you’re getting strung along, leave the relationship when it’s clear that it’s not meeting your needs/goals.

    You can’t be strung along if you take responsibility for making sure the relationship meets your own needs. At worst, you’ll have a period where you’ll be undecided as to whether it will meet your needs.

  2. 182

    Karmic 184: “The dream women have is to be married, be provided for (in most cases materially, but in your case emotionally) and have children. When a woman gets married, her dreams come true.”

    Um, no. For the longest time, I neither wanted to be married nor to have children. Now I’m married with children. Go figure. Hubby wanted both these things more than I.  You just can’t generalize by gender like you did above.

    Let’s not forget (and I hate to rehash, but apparently it’s necessary) the pan-European study that showed that married men live 1.7 years on average longer than single men, while married women live 1.4 years on average LESS than single women. 
    This study seems to make it clear from a health and quality of life standpoint that marriage is measurably better for men than for women. So again, to draw generalizations that marriage is good for women and bad for men is questionable, to say the very least.

    I agree with nathan that it isn’t the sole purpose of men to sleep with countless women.  

    1. 182.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      @Helen – No one is claiming that the “sole purpose of men is to sleep with countless women”. If Karmic either said or implied that, I would agree with you.

      But let’s not pretend that – on the whole – women desire casual sex as much as men do. Half of the posts on here are tales of heartbreak from women who slept with men and fell in love, even though the men were largely indifferent. So who is marriage a greater sacrifice for? Those men, or the women who want to be with them? That’s all Karmic and I are saying.

      Not that men are “all about sex”, but that, in general, men prefer variety and women prefer monogamy. Not sure how many times I have to post this, but I’ll do it again.

      To say that YOU’RE different because YOU never wanted marriage or kids or a man to support you doesn’t negate the greater point that women look for this more than men.

  3. 183

    Julia @ 187  Nathan wrote “I have to laugh at this idea that a “man’s dream” is to sleep with countless women. For some men, this may be the case. But I’d like to think that men are – on the whole – much more complicated than simply our sexual needs.”

    As a man, I agree with Nathan.  A variety of sexual partners is enjoyable, however it is not a goal of mine nor of any single men I know to have indiscriminate sex with as many women as possible.  That being said, when I do settle down I will be giving up the potential to have sex with many partners.  A small sacrifice but a sacrifice nonetheless.

     You stated “It might SEEM like a sacrifice to give up sleeping around but the truth is the vast majority of men don’t have the ability to sleep with hot chicks all the time and as they get older it dwindles. Men need to have realistic expectations just like women do.”  I have to disagree with your assessment.  I’m 50 years old and my last three dates were with women whose ages ranged from 32 – 40.  Each of the ladies was very attractive and I  slept with one of the three.  I anticipate sleeping with the second lady on our second date and I will probably not have a second date with the third woman.
    My realistic expectation is that I can go on dates every night of the week, if I choose to do so,  and based on my dating history I can expect to have sex with the the vast majority of my dates by the second or third time we go out.  Does this mean I have sex with a huge number of women?  No – I only ask 10-20% of women out for a second date.  If I wanted more sexual partners it would be easy – just ask more women out for a second date. I choose not to do so because if I’m not interested in a woman for a possible relationship, I’m not going to ask her out again just so I can get laid.
    BTW – I’ve never known a man, regardless of age, who had difficulty finding women to sleep with. 

  4. 184

    @Karmic Equation #189: “And how do you distinguish between the two? The man who ends up marrying was “serious” and the man who decides “no, not you” was not serious?”
    Nope, it’s not a matter of outcome. Either party can end the relationship at any point and that does not make them less serious or even a jerk, a user, a manipulator, or whatever. The difference between someone who is really seriously assessing their partner for marriage and the one who is (deliberately or not) stringing them along is their willingness to progress.
    A relationship has to progress to stay alive. If the relationship has potential, both parties must find themselves further along in their level of intimacy, trust, and knowledge of each other a couple of months after their first date. They must have progressed further again a few months later. And they must know each other much better at the one-year mark. And after that it should keep progressing, and that will look differently depending on the people involved. Might look like talking about specific topics that one party might be nervous about for their future compatibility, might be living together, might be building their trust and love further, or resolving some conflicts, whatever. But it must progress, even if progress means bidding farewell at any point of the process, which will anyway be the most likely scenario given how few relationships have what it takes to progress towards marriage.
    When the relationship slides into a status-quo, a place of comfort with no further progress towards resolving the question of marriage in one way or the other, it’s trouble for the party who is the most interested in getting to the ultimate commitment. It can feel like being strung along even if there was no intention to do so. However as Karl R wrote @192: “You can’t be strung along if you take responsibility for making sure the relationship meets your own needs”. And this is the responsability of the party who wants the most out of the relationship because the one who wants the least will stop when they have just enough. Hence asserting/reminding your intentions and gently encouraging further progress when things stall is necessary when you date someone who stops progressing once they have reached their happy status-quo, if what you want is a bit more.
    Some men will lead their woman all the way from the first date to their wedding day with slow and steady progression. Evan did just that. Karl R seemed to have done just that as well, with a different timeline. Their women did not have to worry about their intention as they were crystal clear. If their ladies had brought anything up it would indeed have felt like unnecessary pressure. Unfortunately a decent number of men will stop leading as soon as the relationship meet their need, which usually is a sweet status-quo cohabitation, and forget about assessing their partner further. The guy might be open to more but not know how to get there, he might want to keep the status quo for a bit longer and get a feel for it before progressing further, or it might mean that there is no more on offer. Every option is legitimate but communication is needed to find out and respond accordingly.

  5. 185

    Evan, I am not interested in getting into a gender war here. You seem to be baiting me with the question of whom marriage is the greater sacrifice for, with the implication that the answer is men, because they desire casual sex more than women.

    I never disagreed that men like casual sex more than women. In fact, I said as much in an earlier comment, 132, in this exact same thread. In other words, we agree on that point.

    But that doesn’t mean that marriage is a greater sacrifice for men. Sex is not the be-all and end-all of life. The fact that married men live longer than single men bears that out more loudly than any proclamations about giving up casual sex.  Longevity is regarded by every health official in the world as a general proxy of quality of life.  This statistic is not meaningless.     

    But I will not be drawn into discussing what women sacrifice by becoming married, because it would be an argument in which sides are rushing to claim the role of “victim”, and would do credit to neither side. It seems that you missed the point of my earlier comment, which was a direct response to Karmic’s 184: “to draw generalizations that marriage is good for women and bad for men is questionable, to say the very least.”  Scientifically, I don’t see how anyone can argue with that.

  6. 186

    Helen, in today’s culture, I’m pretty sure sex is the end-all-be-all of life *wink and grin*.  But I get where you’re coming from.

  7. 187
    Evan Marc Katz

    Helen, your point is very strained.

    Do you think any women truly think, when getting married: “Married women live 1.4 years less than single women. I think I’m going to dump this guy and live a longer, happier life?” Of course not.

    So your point that marriage wears on women – and is therefore the cause of a premature demise, and, as such, should be a consideration for women’s “sacrifice” is kind of full of hot air.

    Everyone compromises and sacrifices in a marriage. If you choose your partner well, hopefully, the sacrifice doesn’t feel that significant. But on a very simple basis, by the very nature of a lifetime of monogamy, it would seem that the gender that values sexual variety more would be making a bigger sacrifice. I’m not sure why this would be so difficult to process.

  8. 188
    Katarina Phang

    Helen, what Evan means is SUBJECTIVELY, since a woman’s natural goal is monogamy/commitment (she has dreamed about it since she was 5 or something) and a man’s natural goal is preserving his freedom (and sexual freedom is the biggest component of it), when commitment happens -again SUBJECTIVELY- a man might feel like he has sacrificed something huge, bigger than what a woman sacrificed (she got what she always wanted and sexual freedom is rarely high on the list of female priority).

    Objectively, though, we all know who benefits most from marriage. 🙂 

  9. 189

    There is a big sacrifice that women need to come to terms with and that,s expecting high romance and passion within a secure monogamous relationship.  I think this is huge. Huge like the iceberg that sank the Titanic.
    i never wanted to get married, it sounded boring to see the same person every day. I was very independent and a loner who valued my space. But I didn,t want casual either.  A dilemma that is often subconsciously resolved by getting into no hope relationships. They may not be rewarding but they hold no threat of permanence.
    i,m sure many would  like the benefits of singleness plus the benefits of marriage. 
    Well, you can,t have it all. every choice you make cuts down your options. And that applies to men and women. In the same way you can,t have two careers, or you can,t live in two places. Well, you could but it,s not worth the aggro.
    i don,t mean this to be negative. I think most go through it and most come out the other side happy. I did and am in a loving relationship.  people can and do change. I do maintain that we change ourselves though rather than others. I have no interest in having that much influence and control over another person. Maybe that lone wolf is still in me!

  10. 190

    Women make a BIG sacrifice to get married because men oftentimes (Evan’s story is unusual and doesn’t apply) get to be with the girl they want and chose, while the girl has to settle.

    It’s as Fiona said, that women have to marry down – men get to choose the girl they want, while women have to gingerly shudder at the unattractive, dweeby man who has chosen her and convince herself to like him because he’s a nice guy. Oftentimes, women will genuinely come to love the toad next to her; other times, she cheats or ends up a lousy gf/wife because she KNOWS he’s not the guy she wanted and she had to make a big sacrifice just to find commitment. I did that when I was younger, which was mean and irresponsible but a learning experience to never date down again.

    That sounds cruel and awful, sorry, but it’s just my observation. Just take a look at the advice in the comments here sometimes – even if a woman is attractive, sweet and accomplished, she’s urged to date men who are ugly, fat, poor, and old – 10, 20 years older – just because women are supposed to go out with kind men who pursue them.

    I understand you have to give people chances, and that no one should seek things in a mate they don’t have (average looking women can’t demand a cute guy), or can’t counter-balance with other important traits, but … women sacrifice an awful lot for commitment. Personally, I want commitment, but since getting it from any of the unattractive or incompatible or old men offering it is not worth it, I accept the consequences and will gladly stay single.

    1. 190.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      @Jenna – What pure, utter nonsense.

      “Marrying down” is entirely subjective. For many women, marrying down is choosing a man who makes less money. For many men, marrying down is choosing a woman who is less attractive. But, in real life, EVERYONE makes compromises. It would be literally IMPOSSIBLE for every person to marry someone “better” in looks, intelligence, education, kindness, money, etc.

      So we make compromises. People like me make them consciously. People like you and Fiona fight all of them – insisting that any compromise is “dating down”.

      Get over yourself.

      No one has encouraged women to date men who are ugly, fat, poor and old. You can literally show me NO post where I advocate that.

      So stop setting up straw man arguments, since they carry no weight here.

      Finally, the implication that I DIDN’T get the girl I want and choose is not only ridiculous but insulting. Not just to me, but to anyone else who is wise enough to calculate the tradeoffs one makes in marriage. It’s like you don’t even comprehend that the man who marries a “hot chick” often regrets it because she’s selfish, narcissistic, and temperamental. Or that the woman who chooses the rich man often finds herself at home alone, while he’s on the road traveling, making money, and cheating.

      Everyone makes tradeoffs, my dear. Not just women.

      The ones who make smart ones are extremely happy with our choices. The ones like you complain that the world favors men. I suggest you join my team.

    2. 190.2


      Jenna at 190, I agree 100% and also, many of these old, fat, ugly men are NOT nice.  They’re not or someone would happily date them.  Many women appreciate a guy that treats her well.  Many a man has won a woman over by consistently treating her well.  But you have to bring something to the table, if not looks, money, alpha, sense of humor, then something and I recommend that something to be warmth, which sorry, many of these men that complain about women do NOT have.

  11. 191

    It seems that we are still arguing past each other, so there is no point in continuing. Some believe that marriage is mostly about monogamy and sex, and I see marriage as the sum total of so much more. I can’t change how others feel about marriage. And as I also said earlier, I’m not interested in either bashing men or painting women as victims. So let’s leave it at that.

  12. 192
    Karmic Equation

    I love you. Thanks for the thoughtful reply, even though my question was meant to be sarcastic.

  13. 193

    Jenna 202,

    You’ve painted with too broad of a brush.  There’s a flip side to every coin and I’ll point out two things which shoot holes in your assertion that women are the ones forced to date down.

    First, it is women in fact who get to play out of their league much more than men do.  This is because men value casual sex much higher than do women.  Therefore, a more attractive man will sleeep with a woman he finds below his league just to get laid.  Woman do not do this nearly as often (if ever).

    Second, women from an evolutionary standpoint are programmed to be picky and most will not go on date 2 if they didn’t “feel it” with the guy, often leaving the guy to pursue his second or third choice.

    The larger point here is that if someone decides to date down they do so because they are conciously willing to do so to forge a relationship.  Gender is completely irelevant. 

    Then there’s the simple fact that if a man or woman feels as though he or she is forced to date below their league, it’s probably because that is all they can attract and they are probably overrating themself and their marketability.


  14. 194

    Fusee #196
    Great response, even if the question was meant sarcastically. The OP was talking about players and narcissists, and so am I. As we keep reading in this blog, there are way too many of them around. I’m not talking about average, nice guys, who I don’t believe fit the player/narcissist category even when they aren’t sure about a woman, and who are simply making an informed decision, and aren’t interested in leading anyone on.

  15. 195

    Yes poor choice of words on my part.
    We’ll just have to agree to disagree on being upfront so. I will continue to be upfront even though I think it’s being excessively considerate. You said that “the assumption…is that people are looking for relationships when dating”.

    Maybe it would be a better idea for all of us to assume that everyone is looking for casual only, unless explicitly stated otherwise? That would save a lot of heart-ache and confusion.

    Jenna and Fusee
    “Women have to marry down”

    As Barry said: so reality check.
    It’s not so much that women have to marry down; rather they manage to date up in their teens and 20’s because of the male / female dynamics at that age. Women can easily have casual sex with men far out of their league, thus giving them the false impression that they’re in that league. The realization only kicks in their late 20’s and early 30’s when they look for long-term, that the various men they’ve been sleeping with for the last ten years were hoping for better themselves when considering their long-term partner. 

    Married couples are usually equal when all things are considered.

    I paraphrase from “the rules revisited” that Karmic recommended:

    “It’s really hard for men to find women in their own league, because those women are busy f*cking the men in the league above them, hoping for those men to commit.”

  16. 196
    Karmic Equation


    It’s kind of no wonder you’re struggling to find a solid relationship. You’re misunderstanding the message.

    No one said to date/marry someone you’re not attracted to.

    We’re saying don’t be attracted SOLELY to exterior qualifications (income, looks, education, etc.) — but rather look for the interior qualities in a man you don’t find unattractive. There’s a subtle difference between “attractive” and “not unattractive” versus “not attractive” 🙂

    Give a guy a shot if he doesn’t give you the heebie jeebies. If he does, don’t go out with him. Just don’t focus solely on the guys who make you swoon when you look at him. You can bet other girls are swooning and chasing him…and unless you’re the kind of girl he finds special, no good will come of that attraction.

    I gave some thought to why I’m successful finding relationships with men. Wherever I go, I always notice men who notice me. Young, old, fat, bald, hot, not, I take note of all men who “notice” me. Then from the ones who notice me, I make eye contact with the ones that I find attractive. And it kind of goes from there.

    So notice the men who notice you and pick the most attractive ones from that pile. I’m a 7, my exhubby was a 9 (looked like Ryan O’Neal); ex bf was a 9 in looks, but because he was a tad insecure that knocked him to a 8; if he had been more confident, he would have been a 10. Current player bf – straight on looks, probably about an 7.5, but his confidence rachets him to 10+. It’s really weird, you see his confidence and not his looks. — But I noticed they noticed me and I noticed them back.

    Anyway, notice the men who notice you and you should have better results.

    1. 196.1

      Hi Karmic,

      While I appreciate your wisdom, I agree with Jenna somewhat.  Many women are criticized for what they want in a guy even when it may be more practical. I’m not meeting this woman that supposedly wants a 6’6″ man that looks hot and makes $1M a year.  I wouldn’t even date him if magically the opportunity presents itself because he’s getting more ass than a toilet seat and I don’t want to deal with that. I feel like the women in my circle have always been pragmatic and dated from there.  I would say the successful ones of my circle were more proactive about meeting men.  They had no problem walking up to men at a party and saying something witty or funny or lightly complement the guy and because they may have talked to everyone at the party by the end of the evening, nothing felt unusual but they were choosing men that they liked in a cool, chill way.

  17. 197

    Right on Karmic, you and I have had a similar approach…partly because Evan convinced me to be open to all kinds of men, and more importantly, to give men a chance.  I left on line dating and started to meet men in real life, for those that noticed me, I noticed them and went on a date with them or even started a relationship.   The  men went from my age (48) up to 60, every physical example from shorter to taller, slight to bigger build, blue collar to very professional, no money to more than enough.  And each time it didn’t work out, I chalked it up to experience, what I learned and got back on the horse. 

    The result of all that was so educational.  I really learned what I appreciated about a potential partner, really helped me to come up with a thoughtful, relevant ‘non negotiables’ list, and to recognize that man when he entered my life (I knew on our first phone call he met almost every entry on my list).   I’m in a great relationship with an awesome man, who treats me very well, adjusts to make me happy, wants to know what makes me happy, does what he says he will do, and who I never have to wonder where he stands and that he will cheat on me.  If I wouldn’t have done all that dating/relationships, I woundn’t have recogized my good fortune!   


  18. 198


    If a girl is dating a guy do you think they should they be upfront about what they want if they do just want a relationship or just casual sex?

    Karmic, Denise

    Wish I had known about multiple dating 10 years ago. LoL. I am in my early 30’s now and still get the same shit from guys I meet. Even from the current ex. A 35 year old. By the way. Would expect that from a guy in their 20’s. Not mid 30’s. Roll eyes.

    But yes have to change my approach to dating and see how that goes…

  19. 199

    Whoa, whoa, I did not mean to insult anybody here. I posted that in a very grumpy mood about being single. I did not mean to imply that Evan did not choose the woman he wanted, but rather, a lot of men *do* have an idea of the woman they want in their heads, pursue that “just know” feeling, and then get married. Evan didn’t do it that way, he was more deliberative. With the remarks about women being urged to date unattractive and old men, I was referring to some of the male commenters on here, not Evan’s advice.

    I’ve been open to many types of men for years and that has taught me many things but not lead to luck. I have never had a type or a checklist. The thing I learned from dating so much and such a variety is that I was not selective enough, that I would date men who I blatantly was not likely to be compatible with, or who were too far down in looks and didn’t even treat me well enough to compensate for it – not that that is the intention of Evan’s advice, it was just an issue I was encountering. To me, referring to marrying down has nothing to do with money. I’m an accomplished, intelligent woman who knows if she wants money, she’s going to go out and earn it herself, not rely on a man to spend money on her like he’s her daddy. Referring to marrying down is just a reference to not really getting the guy you want, who’s a 6 or 7 in looks, makes your heart sing, and shares a really deep, personal connection with you – and no, I never thought that needed to be highly apparent on dates 1, 2, 3, or 4, trust me.

    I know so many men who just get the girl they want, they go out and pursue her, and we women have to choose from a selection offered to us rather than go out and win over the people we want.

    But that’s my grumpy attitude rearing it’s ugly head again, I regret that after trying so hard to be positive that’s wearing down in the face of a string of mediocre dates.

  20. 200

    Better snatch up those nerds before it’s too late 😉

  21. 201

    To me, marrying down (or dating down) means going with someone who treats me with less respect and adoration than I feel about myself.   Some men have told me that I’m the only woman they have opened car doors for or done other chivalrous things for.   Not because I expect it or wait for them to do it.   They said it was because it made them feel like The Man: my queen brought out their king, and they loved it.
    Marrying down or dating down also means going with someone who puts less energy into our interactions — so much less that I feel drained or feel that I have to muster up my energy from reserves in order to get to a level of energy that feels right to me.   I’ll put in extra energy for a short while, in case there’s an anomaly, but I’d rather synergize with someone so our energies make more together than either do separately.

  22. 202

    “If a girl is dating a guy do you think they should they be upfront about what they want if they do just want a relationship or just casual sex?”

    Well it’s not gender specific: I think the onus is on whichever party is unhappy with the status quo to discuss their unhappiness with the other party, and until then assume that the status quo is all that’s on offer. I.e. if it’s only casual at the moment, the onus is on whichever party that wants a relationship to say that’s what they want. If they’re a couple but one party wants to get married and is unhappy simply being in a relationship, then they should voice that concern.

    I think relying on a societal ‘assumption’ that it will progress to an ltr and eventually marriage is a poor strategy.


    I employ the same strategy: I notice the women who notice me, then make eye contact and smile at the ones I’m attracted to before approaching. It almost always works, and when it doesn’t at the very least I’ll enjoy an interesting conversation.

    I like your advice to observe, observe, observe. We should all be observing the interactions of others and rigorously analyzing what works and what doesn’t work, then applying the lesson learnt to our own interactions.

  23. 203
    Karl R

    Jenna stated: (#212)
    “I know so many men who just get the girl they want, they go out and pursue her, and we women have to choose from a selection offered to us rather than go out and win over the people we want.”
    If it’s that easy, do what men do. When you walk into a social situation, find the man who you’re most attracted to and ask him out.

    After you’ve tried that a few dozen times, you’ll discover a pattern. Either you’re rejected immediately, or you’re rejected after a short-term relationship where his interest in you ends at physical gratification.

    I can’t “win over” a woman who doesn’t want me. Of the women I was attracted to, I didn’t waste my time with 90% to 95% of them … because they’d given no indication that they were interested in me. Of the ones who seemed interested, about 50% declined a first date. (And that 50% acceptance rate is higher than most men see … largely because I became rather attuned to whether women were interested,)

    A man’s options are down to a few percent just getting to the first date. It’s only looks easier to you because you haven’t thought about (or experienced) the reality of it.

    Karisma asked: (#215)
    If a girl is dating a guy do you think they should they be upfront about what they want if they do just want a relationship or just casual sex?”   

    I don’t think that’s a fist date conversation. If a man or a woman implies that they’re interested in a long-term relationship too soon, they’re likely to scare off a partner who is undecided. Most of us (men and women) start the dating process attracted to our date (on some level), but not knowing whether that person has any long-term potential. For the men (at least), it’s highly likely that we’re still interested in casual sex regardless of the long-term potential.

    If you know a way to express that desire without sounding desperate or crude, there’s no harm in saying so up front. Most people aren’t sufficiently eloquent to pull that off.

  24. 204

    Karl R

    I did not think it was a first date conversation either but you also don’t want to be strung along.

    Sometimes guys don’t bring up their intentions until you notice certain things while you are dating them and have to voice your concerns yourself months later if you do end up seeing a few red flags when you have already developed feelings for them.

    One of my friends mentioned to me don’t be afraid to loose him, if it is not what you want.

    I wish I had taken her advice earlier with the last guy and ended it a month into it. When he had just told me ‘I will see how it goes’ realising how much of a vague, non answer that is and questioning that more, would have probably saved me a fair bit of grief.

  25. 205
    Karl R

    Karisma, (#217)
    If your goal is to avoid pain, frustration and spending months in relationships that ultimately end … stop dating. Period.

    I’ve operated under the assumption that my odds of getting hurt in an unsuccessful relationship were a little over 50% … and my odds of getting hurt in a successful relationship were 100%.

    Karisma said: (#217)
    “I wish I had taken her advice earlier with the last guy and ended it a month into it. When he had just told me ‘I will see how it goes’ realising how much of a vague, non answer that is”

    That’s a normal comment that is said by many men (and women) who are interested in a serious relationship … but aren’t certain if the person they’ve been dating is the person they want a long commitment to.

    My wife and I were saying “let’s see how things go,” for at least the first five months of our relationship.

    If you think you’re getting strung along just because the guy doesn’t know whether you’re a potential wife at the one-month mark (or the six-month mark), you really aren’t ready for dating.

    Karisma said: (#217)
    “One of my friends mentioned to me don’t be afraid to loose him, if it is not what you want.”

    That’s true.

    But, you only want men who know they want to spend the rest of your lives with you after only the first month?

    Most women avoid those obsessed men. They even file restraining orders against some of them.

  26. 206

    @Karl: Congratulations on your wedding and the start of your marriage! I wish you a lot of happiness, and as little hurt as possible : ) Nice to read your great comments again!

  27. 207


    Wow, I wasn’t being sarcastic!  How poorly sarcasm (or lack thereof) translates over this form of communication.  Sorry you thought that.  I just meant that “ignoble” is a rarely used word these days and its meaning has gotten lost.  It is refreshing to see someone use it.

  28. 208

    I second what Karl R wrote re: options.  Dating for the majority of folks (even the good-looking ones) is about creating options and maintaining those options to see if a LTR (if that’s what you want) develops.  We can’t always create the option and most of the time we can’t maintain the option.

    As the options fall away, we’re left with what’s left.  Most of the time, both men and women can’t get what they want when they want it.  For women, it’s a result of who’s approaching you, for men it’s a result of who’s receptive to being approached.  Both genders arrive at the same opportunities and at the same closed doors, albeit in different ways.

  29. 209
    Karmic Equation

    If you’re only attracted to men you have to “win over”, you’re going to to be in world of hurt. They’re all going to dump you eventually. Guaranteed. You need to be a prize that men have to win over. If the only men that want you are ones you aren’t attracted to, you have to figure out why. I wonder if this is your problem. Also, I’m thinking you sometimes say things that come out the wrong way (like the post that Evan replied to–I felt and reacted to the same undercurrents he did) – Guys care how you talk. If you do this alot…say something that you have to backtrack on, I suspect that this could be a reason guys disappear on you.
    Listen to Karl R. I would add that once you had sex, you lost leverage in the relationship, especially if what you wanted was a relationship and not just fun. Do what Evan says: Don’t have sex with a guy until he’s your boyfriend.

    1. 209.1

      First of all Evan i just stumbled on your blog and i have spent days catching up on all the wisdom i have missed. it truly feels like i am church and the sermon is being is read!Thank you!

      KARMIC EQUATION! I think you are pretty AWESOME! Reading all of your comments all i get is that you have a healthy SELF ESTEEM which i think is very crucial for women to have to survive in the dating world. I truly believe you when you say ” I really love who i am” you seem like you truly believe you are WORTHFULL ( Pardon me i truly believe it should be the opposite of worthless) and that you truly feel WHOLE by yourself. When a woman has a healthy sense of self, and self worth, when she doesn’t need a man to validate her existence on earth, she begins to view men as human beings FIRST and not boyfriend or husband. This is crucial because men don’t need women to validate their existence, we GIVE THEM THE POWER. A healthy self esteem is also why you are able to have sex with a guy and not have your self esteem crumbled if it doesn’t lead to a relationship, because you are so fucking SECURE in who your are and this is what i call SPARTAN behaviour! 

  30. 210


    Haven’t read many of the other posts yet but I think it’s possible you and I are talking about slightly different things.  I’m not saying Tom should walk into his first dates and proclaim at the beginning that he’s not looking for anything serious.  That would be like asking a woman to tell her first date she wants exactly two children and the proverbial white picket fence.  If a woman agrees to a one night stand or a date develops into that I agree that the woman allowed it to happen and that she should take responsibility.  But I think he mentioned at some point that he does not push for sex early.  I could be wrong about that in which case this whole discussion is moot and I apologize.  But if dates two, three, four or however many pass with escalating physical intimacy and Tom and his date appear to get along well, it would seem to most that it is the start of a possible relationship.  Of course there is no guarantee that it will last but there is the possibility of something more.  For Tom, if I understand correctly, there is not, at least at this moment.  He is not looking for anything serious. All I am saying is that it is the nice thing to do to let his date know that earlier rather than later.  In any case it sounds like it’s not a problem.  He says he hasn’t hurt anyone and he sounds like a nice dude so he’s probably dating like minded women 😉

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