How Do I Make Sense of All The Different Dating Advice Out There?

woman lying on a sofa while thinking about different online dating advice

Evan, I have been reading a lot of different dating advice websites, especially the ones written for MEN. I have noticed a trend in telling men to get the women to chase THEM. (Ask Men is one example) I see a lot of advice to women about why men disappear, what to do when they disappear, etc., but it seems that men are being COACHED to disappear, as a power play, a way to get the upper hand, and to get the woman to chase THEM. So if women are being coached to play hard to get, and men are playing the same game, what does this mean for male/female relationships?

In this incarnation of my dating life I have decided that I am not going to chase men. (In my younger days I admit that I did, and no good ever came of it.) This time around I absolutely I will not chase men, nor be baited into chasing one. (Yes, men are advised to bait, hook, and then ignore a woman, to get her to do the chasing). BTW, I am not a “rules” girl, I read that book, and feel dumber for having read it. I do want a man to pursue me, but when he does, I will be increasingly receptive to him, and once a relationship has been established, I won’t mind taking the initiative when appropriate. I won’t wait 2 days to return his calls, or only see him 2 times a week, or play all the mysterious stuff that Rules promotes. (They call it mysterious, but I call it secretive & evasive.)

So while I am not a hardcore Rules girl, I am a little old fashioned and want a man to pursue me, not hand me his business card and expect me to call him. Or e-mail me endlessly on but never ask to meet me face to face. What do you think of the role reversal being promoted by sites such as Ask Men (they call it “The System”) Do you think many men are following that advice ? —S.E.

Hoo boy. I’m not sure where to begin.

I would guess you’d be more interested in how you can understand and land the confident, successful, happily married guy, as opposed to the weak, insecure, jealous, inexperienced guy.

I guess I’ll start with how I give dating advice, and how I think it’s different than many of the other sources out there.

Like many people, my perspective has been shaped by my own experience. However, unlike many people, I had a few unique things going for me.

1) I come from a happy and highly functional nuclear family, so I not only had a model of the kind of marriage I wanted, but I strove to emulate it. Many people who give advice come from broken homes, abusive relationships and unfortunate backgrounds, none of which are a crime. But I think my past is a strength, inasmuch as I have a very healthy outlook on marriage.

2) I am — at the risk of immodesty — very confident and flirtatious. Let’s just say I had considerable practice in online dating, dating and relationships. Many people who give dating advice have been married for 30 years and don’t know anything about dating. Many others (think pick-up artists) came to do so because they are shy, awkward and insecure. But unless you want to attract a guy like that, why would you care what such men think?

3) I am married and in an incredible relationship because I followed my own advice. And I would guess you’d be more interested in how you can understand and land the confident, successful, happily married guy, as opposed to the weak, insecure, jealous, inexperienced guy. Then again, I could be wrong. I’m always willing to risk being wrong by having opinions. What kind of coach would I be if I didn’t have opinions?

4) I’m not afraid to stand on principle. Other coaches are marketers — their only desire is to a) pray that you like them and b) convince you to buy their products. My loyalty is not to my own biases or my own bottom line, but to the truth. I don’t view the world based on how I’d LIKE it to be; I pay attention to how it IS and advise on how you can best react to reality.

And very often, reality isn’t pretty. Would I rather tell you the truth or validate your worldview so that you don’t shoot the messenger?

The answer should be obvious.

Real men don’t play games, use power plays, or try to get the woman to chase them.

People come here because they expect to be told the truth, rather than some rah-rah “all women are goddesses” bullshit that I don’t believe and I don’t expect you to believe.

Unless you believe the equivalent bullshit that “all men are noble studs”.

Which, of course, they’re not.

Now that I’m done tooting my own horn, let’s refocus on the advice you’ve chosen to cite, from

I just went to Alexa to check out the site’s demographics. What did I discover?

The target audience for AskMen is men 18-24, men without children, and men who live at home or are in school. When I clicked to see their income, most of these men didn’t even HAVE income. Compare that to Esquire readers, the majority of whom make six figures. Which kind of man are you looking for, S.E.?

Basically, I’m asking you what difference it makes if a website for boys is giving those boys advice that will work on insecure teenaged girls with low self-esteem?

That’s right. It doesn’t. Real men don’t read

Just as real men don’t play games, use power plays, or try to get the woman to chase them. This is run-of-the-mill pick-up artist advice for awkward teens, not advice that 40-year-old men and women are expected to utilize.

From this paragraph, it sounds to me like you know what you’re doing:

I do want a man to pursue me, but when he does, I will be increasingly receptive to him, and once a relationship has been established, I won’t mind taking the initiative when appropriate. I won’t wait 2 days to return his calls, or only see him 2 times a week, or play all the mysterious stuff that Rules promotes.

And if you know what you’re doing, it doesn’t impact you one iota if some guy is running a game on you. Guys who play games just eliminate themselves from dating confident, secure women. Right, S.E.?

At the end of the day, whether it’s a man playing games or a woman playing games, one thing is for sure: everybody ends up losing.

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  1. 1

    As a guy who is actively looking for a relationship with the right woman (and who is on Match) and who is cute, successful, in shape, socially adept, and a nice guy (not to mention modest), I have a perspective on this that might be helpful to the women out there.
    The reason why there is so much advice out there for guys is because, well, women can be hard to date. Or at least it sure seems that way to most of us guys. It doesn’t seem to us that your expectations are at all realistic. And it is NOT in looks or income. Instead, our experience is that you have to be feeling “chemistry” on the first date (which has little to do with looks) or there just won’t be a second date. This despite the fact that YOU are the ones who have your guard up when we meet for the first time. So a lot of the advice that is out there for guys is how to spark that chemistry.
    I can’t tell you how many times I (and a couple guys I know) hear things like “you’re a great guy and I had a good time with you but no chemistry” after the first date. So we wonder what the hell that it is that you women are looking for.
    Something for some of you women to consider. If you are finding dating to be frustrating, are you really giving the guys you meet a fair shot?

    1. 1.1

      I can answer this confidently, since I went through this situation two months ago. A guy emailed me on Match who was a little outside my target age range. He was 11 years older than me; I really prefer men around my own age. But he wrote a really nice email and I haven’t had any really good date offers in a long time, so I met him. I did not feel instant chemistry, but I’ve made the mistake of writing men off prematurely before. So what did I do? I gave him three (yes, THREE) more dates. He was very nice, but never flirty, at least not from what I could tell. He never touched me on the first three dates at all, except to hug me goodbye and give me a peck on the cheek. He gave me compliments, but never anything flirty, it was always about how much he liked my positive attitude, my love of animals, blah blah, etc. He never made me feel sexy, or like he was really attracted to me. He waited until the third date to kiss me on the lips, after which I felt NOTHING. I went home crying from that date because finally, here was a guy who treated me exactly the way I want to be treated and what happens? I feel no spark at all! Just to be sure, I gave him one more try. We went to a movie, during which he spent the whole time trying to massage my arm through my puffy coat so hard that I actually felt mild pins and needles. It was incredibly awkward.
      I guess it’s true that sometimes attraction does need time to develop, but guys also need to strike while the iron is hot. Had he kissed me on our second date, when I was expecting it (and actually nervous about it!), things might have been different. But then he killed any challenge when he gave me Christmas gifts when it was only our third date and waited until our fourth to start trying to get flirty physically.  

      1. 1.1.1
        Deb Sarkar

        You got this whole thing wrong. I will tell you why you didn’t feel any chemistry. You may not agree with me but I know this is true. When you saw his online profile, he looked sweet to you in his profile pics. Hence no matter what email he wrote to you, it felt sweet to you because you liked him from his profile and you accepted his date even when you had no plans to date someone so older than you. When a woman’s interest is high, she breaks the rules, even those she makes! Then you met him and realized that in real life he is not the one whom you imagined from his profile pic. He looks different in real life. And that was what killed the chemistry, not his actions. But you have been brainwashed to believe (not by me) that if you give him some time, maybe your feelings will change. That never happens no matter how hard you convince yourself. Because he is a good guy but he is not the one you fancied about. You don’t even know this, he had no chance at all. Even if he had kissed you on the second date, you would still have not felt the chemistry and probably awkward. If he had really turned out to be the one whom you fancied, you would have been all over him even if he hadn’t kissed you on the 3rd date! I understand women because I grew up with them.

    2. 1.2

      [email protected]“Something for some of you women to consider. If you are finding dating to be frustrating, are you really giving the guys you meet a fair shot?”
      But isn’t that leading a man on ?   Or isn’t that just going out with a man “to be nice”.   Guys, do you REALLY want a girl to give you a second or third date if she’s really just not into you ?
      And what about guys who don’t ask for a second date for petty reasons ?   Such as “she didn’t order her drink ‘confidently’ ”   or she didn’t let him order her meal for him, or she “peacocked” her accomplishments.   (IOW, he asked her what she did for a living, and she told him)   Or what about guys who go for sex on a first or second date and when they don’t get it, never call again ?  
      If guys don’t initially get a boner for a girl, there is no first date.   If they meet her online and her picture looks good, but they don’t get a boner when meeting her in person, there is no second date.   Are they really giving her a “fair shot” ?
      I would personally rather a guy “disappear” if he’s just not into me.   Better he just evaporate after date 1 or 2, before I get too attached or invested.  
      But for women, it’s damned if you do, damned if you don’t.   If we “give a guy a chance” we’re leading him on.   If we don’t feel that initial spark, and decline a second date, then we “didn’t give him a fair shot”.  
      I wonder what we women are supposed to do according to men   ?    I guess the answer is that we are supposed to feel attracted to every guy who is attracted to us.   (weather he’s just attracted to us in a booty call way, or attracted in a wants a relationship way)
      Women catch a lot of flack on this blog if they admit that they weren’t attracted to (or felt chemistry) for a guy.     There’s an undercurrent of     “you deserve to die lonely ” if you ever turned a guy down.

      1. 1.2.1
        Evan Marc Katz

        Sparkling Emerald: “There’s an undercurrent of “you deserve to die lonely ” if you ever turned a guy down.” Not from me. Seems like more hyperbole from you.

        1. SparklingEmerald

          EMK @1.2.1
                 No not from you EMK, from your male bloggers.   I was accused of “boasting” with “bravado” when I joined a blog discussion about not feeling chemistry, then he turned around and said we girls were probably making up stories because we were REALLY the ones getting rejected.   (whatever)       Male bloggers routinely make snotty remarks if a female poster shares that she wasn’t attracted to a good guy.   And oh boy, don’t DARE mention on this blog that you prefer men who are taller than you.   That brought on an onslaught of acrimony from your male posters.
          I get rejected about as often as I do the rejecting (and about as often as there is mutual disinterest)   According to some of your male bloggers, I’m getting rejected because I am defective, and when I reject a guy I’m being picky.   (I’ve even been falsely accused of holding out for a tall, rich, handsome man, and I never said anything remotely  like that.)
          I think I’ll just stick with only going out with/going out with guys who I at least feel a level 7 or 8 attraction for.   Anything higher, my judgement is too clouded, anything lower and I’m just trying to talk myself into something I’m not really into.   And if the nice guy that I just don’t feel chemistry for thinks I’m “not giving him a chance” that just too bad.   If he’s my age, I’m sure he’s handed out a rejection slip or two in his lifetime.

        2. SparklingEmerald

          @1.2.1 – Not you, but your male posters.   They get very hostile at the idea of a woman rejecting a man due to “lack of chemistry”.

    3. 1.3

      Haven’t you felt the same way about women?   You’ve gone on a date and had a good time, but there was no chemistry?   I think it works both ways.   Sometimes, there is something specific that men do, but the woman doesn’t want to tell them what it was so they will just say no chemistry.   
      I’ve declined second dates and said no chemistry when in fact the reasons were:
      1. Creepy/Desperate behavior — insisting   that we go back to his place for drinks.   I don’t mean asking once and letting it go, I mean insisting.    Or when a guy told me he hadn’t had sex in 10 years and he’d eat his right arm to get me into bed.     
      2.   Negative Disposition — this is probably the biggest reason, I don’t go on second dates.   I generally have a very positive   and upbeat outlook.    I’ve gone on dates with lots of guys who are so negative about life, relationships and women.   Sometimes I wonder if they ever like women as they talk about other women with such disdain.   I am often stunned when these guys want to go out again, but I say no way.   Being with a person who is so negative brings me down.   In fact, one of my requirements for a man is that he be happy with himself and his life.   I don’t care what he does (as long as it’s legal of course!), he just needs to feel good about himself and his contributions and he needs to feel good about relationships.   The thing is, really negative people often don’t know how negative they come across to others, but it is   real turn off.
      Men Who Don’t Really See You – this one is hard to explain but I think men feel it too. But sometimes you can tell, that the man is relating to you as you but as what his ideal woman is.   You notice he’s not really listening to your responses.    You get the feeling that you can’t really be yourself with this person because it’s not you he wants to get to know.
      Too Much Chemistry– Yes, I have actually declined a second date with a guy that I had too much chemistry with because I knew it would be a disaster for me.   I had only felt that way about one other guy and I was a wreck.   I never wanted to feel that way again.   So, I was honest and told the guy that I didn’t want to go out with him a second time because I felt too much chemistry and believe it or not, he was so gracious and said that he understood and he thought it was smart that I was taking care of myself.

    4. 1.4

      I’ve never posted here, but read everything everyone says and I really want to weigh in on this comment.

      The guy I’m currently seeing?   I had ZERO chemistry toward him for the first…3,4, maybe 5 dates?   I went on a second date with him only because our first date was fun and relaxed and interesting.   But there definitely weren’t any sparks for me.

      This went against everything in had always thought about dating which was that there should be chemistry from the get go.   And if there wasn’t then the relationship was destined to fail.

      I can honestly say now, after 7 months, he is the single most amazing man I’ve ever met and there is so much chemistry that I don’t know what to do with it half the time.

      Moral of my story:   don’t knock it til ya try it. Chemistry can develop and knock your socks off if you give it a chance to.

      1. 1.4.1

        BTDT – Just as people have different “attachment styles” and “love languages”, I think some (but very few) can “learn to feel attraction” and others’ cant.

        You said “Don’t knock it, til ya try it”.   Many of us have tried it many times, and just know it isn’t for us.

        Usually I just end up feeling guilty for leading a guy on, and have had some pretty angry responses.

        Also, with the 3 date rule, being pretty much the norm, trying to give it 5 or 6 dates is pretty unrealistic.   Once a guy that I am “giving a chance to”, starts pawing at me, the feeling goes from lukewarm, to YUCK !

        Since it is an unspoken rule that the 3rd date is the “sex date”, it is unrealistic for a woman to give a man 5-6 “chances” if she’s not attracted, unless of course she decides to have sex with him as part of giving him a chance.

        Of course there’s always the option of “giving him a chance” without giving him sex, and then he will dump YOU between dates 3-6.   Problem solved.

  2. 2

    Great answer Evan!!!!! Every time someone brings up what PUAs or manosphere bloggers have to say I simply say “Irrelevant. You don’t want to date those guys anyways, let them screen themselves out.”

  3. 3

    Evan is once again hard to disagree with. If you’re going to read dating advice for the opposite gender read the advice aimed at the ones you want to date. How do you think I ended up here?
    I also agree with Michael in #1.
    I would add that younger men are much more at the mercy of their urges and have neither the experience or means for the type of pursuit the romantic comedies push. They are much more prone to ‘puppy dog’ type behaviors that just don’t work on any women. At the risk of reducto ad absurdem the advice to get her to pursue you is essentially “be in control and don’t be needy.”

  4. 4

    I LOVE Doc Love on AskMen. (He’s the only dating columnist I read regularly, besides Evan’s blog).   The above synopsis of his dating advice is completely off.  He doesn’t tell men to disappear.   In fact, his advice is geared towards “nice guys” (and YES, young nice guys!) on how to be more successful with women.   It’s not The Game and it’s not meant to be a power play.
    He advises men to wait 10 days between getting a woman’s phone number/first meeting to ask her out, only because he believes most women will say yes and he often states that “Gold-diggers” (self-explanatory) and “Serial Daters” will have lost interest by this time, but a woman with actual interest will still be interested 10 days later.   He also takes about cues women make if they are interested, and that the ideal woman is a “Flexible Giver” (a woman who “gives” as much as she expects to receive), which I think Evan, you’d agree with.   He doesn’t advise men in relationships to disappear.   He advises men who have just met a desirable woman to not call the very next day and to play it cool at first, to save themselves both money and time on girls who aren’t interested.   (He has yelled at guys who said they waited 3 or 4 weeks b/c he said that by this point, those guys are being jerks who don’t seem interested.)   
    S.E. – Did you read through AskMen or did you just read a couple articles?
    And, yes, I think The System works if the man is the more interested party.   I think “be cool” is good advice if you are the MORE interested person, because Doc Love is telling guys: “If she isn’t interested, move on” and that the only way you can tell that is by being cool and seeing if she comes to meet you halfway and not overwhelming her in the process.
    Doc Love: Wait 10 days and ask her out.   If she says yes, take her on a nice date and be a gentleman.   Flirt.   If she’s into you, she will give you cues.   If she gives you the cues, walk her to the door.   Lean in to give her a good night kiss if you are feeling it.   If she likes you, she’ll give you her lips and kiss you back. If she doesn’t, she’ll give you the cheek.   If she kissed you, you’re in.   Call her for a second date.   No games there.   I think it’s relatively fair advice to young men who want to find a great girlfriend, the same way Evan’s advice is fair to women who want to find a great boyfriend.

    1. 4.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      Angie, sounds like Doc Love is right about many things – except for a few important ones:

      “Doc Love: Wait 10 days and ask her out”. Bullshit.

      Let’s play a game for a second, Angie. You had a great time talking to some guy for an hour at a party. He gets your number and calls you the next day to make plans. Do you suddenly like him less? Think he’s needy? No, you’re THRILLED that this guy for whom you felt great chemistry is a man of his word and is making the effort you hoped he would. His call to you doesn’t change your mind about him in the least.

      And that’s the thing about the 3 day rule or 10 day rule or any such arbitrary things – they are GAMES and they are INEFFECTIVE.

      If a woman likes you, you can call her the next day and it will be the best thing you ever did. If she DOESN’T like you, your next day call will make you look like a needy stalker. But then again, if she doesn’t like you, the call in 10 days won’t be very effective either.

      1. 4.1.1

        Doc Love didn’t make that rule for no reason. He understood that women desire what seems out of reach and devalue what seems easy.

        Evan, you counter with a scenario where a woman really likes a guy, but in that scenario, she’s excited to hear from him whether it’s one day or 100. The guy’s tactics don’t matter if the woman is enthralled.

        It’s the case where she’s on the fence that matters, and in that case, the experience of a lot of men says that patience pays.

        1. SparklingEmerald

          Hi JD – I’m the original letter writer (wrote this in about 2-3 years ago).

          I am now happily engaged, getting married next year !

          IMHO experience “on the fence” for me has meant “not really into him”.   I have NEVER gone from “Myeah” to “Yeah ! ” (but I have gone from “Yeah !” to “Myeah” )

          When I have been “on the fence” about a guy,   I never developed big feelings for him regardless of how he acted.   If he tried the cool, indifferent act, if he played the doting, smitten school boy, or if he tried some in between tactic.   I think that if some men lose out after being, attentive, thoughtful, chivalrous, etc.   they will blame the failure on THAT behavior, but if they act like a jerk, bad-boy, aloof dude   and THAT doesn’t work, they won’t attribute the failure to their stupid games playing, but just chalk it up to “women are bitches, women are irriational” etc.   Then they can justify future bad behavior.

          My advice to men, if a woman acts, on the fence, indifferent etc.,   MOVE ON !     If a woman acts interested, enthusiastic, etc.   DON’T play those stupid games.   Those stupid games don’t make dis-interested girls interested, they only make some INTERESTED girls lose interest.   (Or the really interested girl might stick around, but only because she REALLY IS INTO YOU, in SPITE of the stupid games, not BECAUSE of them, but she’ll end up being a drama queen because of your bad behavior)

          Remember earlier I told you I have never gone from “Myeah” to “Yeah” but is has gone in the opposite direction ?   I have started off VERY interested in some men, but jerk-like behavior is what made made me lose interest.

          My fiance pursued me with purpose from the very beginning. We met online.   He initially wrote to me online.   I responded right away, he replied back right away.   We enjoyed daily e-mail exchanges until the day we met face to face.   I was very excited about him BEFORE we met for the first time.   He led with confidence (without coming off as arrogant) and I responded to his every advance with immediate enthusiasm.

          I NEVER gave him any “Rules” BullShit (that bullshit book for women who tells women to manipulate men by playing stupid games), he never manipulated me with push-pull games, fake indifference, etc.   Neither one of us wondered where we stood for a single second.   I would even go as far to say that we became an “insta-couple”.   Even before he officially asked me to close my account (6 days after we met) we were an “un-official” couple.

          Yes, he is handsome.   Yes I was immediately attracted.   His direct pursuit of me made me want to be with him MORE, not less.   Besides being attracted to his raw physical features   (his nicely built up arms, his masculine facial features) what really drew me in was that warm, open, friendly countenance, the way his face absolutely lit up in that “I just can’t help myself” manner when he first laid eyes on me and that twinkle in his eye.   If he had tried to affect some cool, aloof, “I couldn’t care less” attitude, I would have been turned off, and not gone out with him again.   If he played hot and cold games, I’d be gone as soon as he went cold. I would have been disappointed, but I would have moved on if I got the faintest indication that he “just wasn’t that into me”

          Acting like an a-hole or a bitch rarely wins anyone over, who isn’t into you to begin with, but it can turn someone OFF, who started off really interested.


  5. 5

    I agree with Evan @ 5
    If a guy takes 10 days to ask me out, I’d already have assumed that he isn’t interested, or that maybe I’m his backup girl – maybe his other dates from Days 1 to 9 didn’t work out and I’m next up on the roster. Also, the longer the wait, the more interest and attraction fades…
    “If a woman likes you, you can call her the next day and it will be the best thing you ever did. If she DOESN’T like you, your next day call will make you look like a needy stalker. But then again, if she doesn’t like you, the call in 10 days won’t be very effective either.”

  6. 6

    “If a woman likes you, you can call her the next day and it will be the best thing you ever did. If she DOESN’T like you, your next day call will make you look like a needy stalker”
    Hence the problem, most men cannot discern whether a woman is romantically interested or just being nice.  

    Most young men and women (and lots of olders ones too!) haven’t strengthened their boundaries and therefore maturity levels.   If ‘rules’ help guide them to do that, what’s the harm?   10 days seems awfully long though, and not sure, but I think  a lot of women know about the 3 day rule, so buck the system and call in 2 or 4 days, haha…

    Frankly, all the ‘advice’ is the same in the big picture, it’s just packaged in different ways with different emphasis on different aspects and different styles.    I think it’s a matter of who resonates most with each individual person’s preferences.  

    1. 6.1

      [email protected]
      It’s true that men have the dilemma of not knowing if a girl is into them or just “being nice”.   To add to the confusion, women are encouraged to go out with a man even if they don’t feel instant chemistry.   This isn’t to “be nice” but there is a school of thought that a woman can develop attraction for a man over time (as long as she isn’t utterly repulsed by him to begin with) whereas a man can not.
      The above article asked men and women this question about attraction growing over time, and according to the answers given 85% of the   women asked, were able to develop attraction over time vs just 5% of the men.   I must say, I doubt that this “survey” was conducted with any sort of scientific vigor, so I will have to take the results with a grain of salt.   I have met women who claimed to not be initially attracted to their husbands/significant other, but I have never heard a man say that.   I have heard many men claim that when they met the woman who is now their wife, that they knew immediately that they wanted to marry her.   (My female friends who claimed to “learn to love” a man really seemed to be settling to me)
      I don’t doubt that only 5% of men had attraction grow over time.   (the only doubt that I would have is that even 5% of men really felt that way, my guess would have been zero)   I struggle with the 85% of women and that is based solely on my limited experience, mine, and what has been reported to me by GF’s.  
      I decided to give a guy 3 dates to become attracted to him.   He treated me like a princess.   Eventually he asked me to be exclusive, and my attraction did grow a bit, but it was a pretty fragile attraction.   One that could fade quite easily at the slightest annoyance.   I felt bad about the whole thing.   We broke up, he contacted me months later and and asked to try again.   We went out, and we were back to ground zero as far as attraction was concerned.   He wanted me to decide then and there that we were a couple again, and at first I wanted to say, let’s start over, and go out for awhile before we decide, but I just didn’t want to be that girl.   The girl who strings a “nice guy” along, and ends up feeling no chemistry.   Or the girl who agrees to be his girlfriend, but because it is such a fragile attraction becomes a bitchy, critical girlfriend.   So it was a no go.   I know I made him feel bad AGAIN.   And that in turn made me feel bad.
      I also started feeling a surge of attraction for someone on date 3.   (I decided to let it grow)   He pulled back. He started being the guy who texts me occasionally, and asks me out once in a blue moon.   Attraction faded again, because he pulled back.  
      I am really beginning to think that there needs to be fairly strong mutual initial attraction –not neccesarily a Tsunami wave, but I should at least be excited to see him again, and not thinking “maybe I should give him a chance”.
      Sigh, too much attraction and I let the guy treat me like crap.   Too little initial attraction, it grows just enough so I get into a relationship, then I become the crappy girlfriend.  
      I feel like Goldilocks, except that I never get that “just right” initial feeling.   It’s either too hot, or too cold.

  7. 7

    I would also add KUDO’S to anyone that is curious enough to seek out information to learn and/or do better.  

  8. 8
    Jackie H.

    It is hard to wade through all of the advice, but my rule of thumb is actually having an “AHA” moment when I read advice…like it’s the answer to some questions that I have been asking if that makes sense….

  9. 9

    I do want a man to pursue me, but when he does, I will be increasingly receptive to him, and once a relationship has been established, I won’t mind taking the initiative when appropriate.
    On the surface this sounds like a good theory. But reality speaks differently. The competition  amongst women for men is another woman who doesn’t need to be in a relationship in order take the initiative. There are other women who will pursue the guy from the start. There are women who will do the things the OP mentions right from the get go and not 4 weeks in when they are in a relationship. Merely being receptive to  a guys advances is just not enough. You need to bring more to the table immediately  because there are other  women who surely do.
    As a guy, who the heck do you think I will be more likely to commit to- the OP or another woman who shows some fortitude and goes for it? The degree of difficulty and return on investment are alive and well in the dating world. If a woman thinks she can wait until she is in a relationship in order to do these things, she will lose out to the woman who does this upfront.

    1. 9.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      @John – You go out on a great first date. It lasts for four hours. You kiss at the end of the night.

      I’m guessing you call her the next day to say, “I had a great time. Let’s do that again.” She says yes.

      You have a great second date. It lasts four hours. You mess around back at your place for an hour.

      I’m guessing you call her the next day to say, “I had a great time. Let’s do that again.” She says yes.

      You have a great third date. It lasts four hours. You spend the night at her place, but don’t have sex.

      I’m guessing you call her the next day to say, “I had a great time. Let’s do that again.” She says yes.

      You have a great fourth date. It lasts four hours. You want to have sex. She says that she only sleeps with men who are her boyfriends. You realize that you like her more than any woman you’ve met in the past two years and agree to become exclusive with her. You have sex, spend the night, have breakfast the next day, and call her as soon as you leave her to say how happy you are.

      Where’s the part where she has to call you?

      That’s right. She doesn’t. If you like her, you’ll follow up with her – as long as she’s warm, flirty, receptive, and fun.

  10. 10

    Keep in mind that a lot of the PUA advice out there is “newbie” advice. Guys who are making horrible mistakes with women (being too giving or complimentary towards women before it is warranted and hoping that it leads to a relationship with them) are being told to do the opposite. The hope is that the advice will stop this guy from making the mistakes he has been making, and that the guy will eventually reach a balance.
    In reality S.E., most of the men you want to date want a girl who makes it clear that she likes him. If he takes you out on a date, express your enthusiasm. Return his calls and texts promptly. And every guy wants to date women who treat him with respect. If a guy goes through the trouble of taking you out and you’re not interested after, don’t just ignore him. Kindly get back to him instead. That type of decency from women unfortunately seems to be less common than not. We men are taught to shrug being ignored off, take the high road, and move on, but that type of behavior does get old.
    Meanwhile though, I do hope (for selfish reasons too) that women will consider their own dating strategies. One reason why EMK does so well (besides that he gives good advice), is that many women do have these huge blind spots, such as not really giving guys a chance (i.e., putting too much emphasis on first-date chemistry) and expecting the relationship they end up in to be like it is in the rom-coms.
    PS: I have a rule, and it is called The 24-Hour Rule. If you get a girl’s number you need to call within 24 hours. I am thinking of revising that rule though, to the 12-Hour Rule. Haha.

  11. 11

    When doing it on your own,  it can be like drinking out of fire hydrant.   A lot goes over your head until you run into the situation, different  things resonate at different times of our life.
    That’s probably the advantage of a coach,  they  can  give you the advice you need at the time you need it without being overwhelmed by other stuff that doesn’t really apply at that time.  

  12. 12

    Spot on, as usual!
    Years ago I also came across all this “advice”, as I was confused about dating in the US, and painfully trying to understand what was going on here. What all the advice showed me is that molding a behavior based on “rules” or cultural expectations was not going to work for me. I am not a sheep, I have my own values and principles, and I was looking for someone likely-minded.
    I decided to behave in dating as I was planning on behaving in marriage. And conversely I decided to only accept dating behaviors that I was going to be willing to accept in marriage. So I ditched the guy who did not return calls or emails. I ditched the guy who could not wait a few weeks for sex (well, he kindly selcted himself out : ). I ditched the desperate clingy one who said “I love you” after two weeks. And I ditched the controling one as well.
    After all, if I wanted a husband who will be communicative, patient, interdependent, and fair, why would I date the opposite? Yes, I do not care for men who follow “rules” about making you wait for a call, then rush you for sex. As a commenter on another thread last year had nicely put it: if you have a 3-date rule, I have a no-second-date rule : )
    I found a man who never read that BS, and who treated me the way he wanted to be treated from the very first meeting: with respect and trust. At the end of our first date, he told me he would call the next day, and guess what? He called the next day. Now that we’re planning our wedding, guess what? He continues to do what he says he will do. This is how mature men behave.

  13. 13

    @ John 10
    as a guy, who the heck do you think I will be more likely to commit to- the OP or another woman who shows some fortitude and goes for it? The degree of difficulty and return on investment are alive and well in the dating world. If a woman thinks she can wait until she is in a relationship in order to do these things, she will lose out to the woman who does this upfront”
    my comment:
    it’s not a matter of chosing the woman who is in for everything first (before other women)
    it all depends on the way a woman presents herself. If she shows  her feminine side, her self-Worth and interest in the guy, I think that – if the guy is looking for  a serious relationship – he may want to pursue her at least at the beginning.
    I know many women – who in desperate search for a boyfriend – do “everything” upfront just in a very insecure way to “secure” the guy. But  it will just work for a short time if the guy is merely looking for   a fling.

  14. 14

    @ Michael17 11
    I agree with the fact that women shall be less superficial when they chose to dismiss a guy after one date because of lack of chemistry.
    But in any case, if a girl acts like this, in the end, you would not like to date a woman acting  so  shallow , right?!
    so, if we are all adults who  wish to date people mature enough to understand that chemistry on the first date is not a predictor of a healthy relationship or of real compatibility, then, we shall take into account that those (women or men) who act superficially are not the kind of people we wish to have a relationship with.

  15. 15

    Michael17 #11
    ” One reason why EMK does so well (besides that he gives good advice), is that many women do have these huge blind spots, such as not really giving guys a chance (i.e., putting too much emphasis on first-date chemistry) and expecting the relationship they end up in to be like it is in the rom-coms.”
    Men, of course, do this too, although they are not expecting the “rom-com” as much as they are the sexual fireworks.
    Dating advice is helpful, but the best advice always comes from one’s own gut, kind of like Jackie H said about the “AHA moment.” I do think that good dating advice helps you to find that.

  16. 16
    Karmic Equation

    @John 10
    I usually see the man’s POV, but on this I will have to disagree with you. This guy explains my reasoning better than I can, on why a girl shouldn’t initiate or pursue:
    I’m already going to spoil the guy with my uncanny understanding and tolerance of their guy-ness. The least my guy is going to do is going to pursue to keep me happy 😉 I don’t think that is too much to ask. In the long run, we both have more fun that way, in the beginning. And as the OP writes, once the relationship is agreed to, I don’t have any problems initiating.
    I’m one of those women for whom online dating would not work as you indicate, because while I’m attractive IRL, I’m very unphotogenic. All the stats that I have to put on the site would filter me out of most men’s filters. I look younger than my age and I weigh more than I look, so much so I was hit on a mid-20’s guy last weekend while shooting pool. That would NEVER happen to me online, sad to say.
    I would say if online dating doesn’t work for you, you might want to try dating IRL. Be authentic and vulnerable (read this article: . Easier said than done. But the take away is that a guy who is unafraid to show his vulnerability is a confident man. That’s a turn on to most women.

  17. 17

    I agree with Evans posts 5 and 12.
    Re instant   chemistry. Well how has that worked for you so far?

  18. 18
    Karmic Equation

    Oops. Tim response should have gone to the other post on Online Dating. My allergies are messing with my mind! Sorry!

  19. 19

    I just took a glance at AskMen, and that site is filled with a bunch of garbage. It just turns awkward and shy men into sulry and rude people most women really don’t want to deal with.
    @Michael: It’s just you. Online dating was easy, if not addicting. If women have their guard up, it’s you.   I had a lot of success and enjoyed the experience up until I met the woman who was right for me and I married.
    I think most dating advice sites are BS. You’re not going to learn how to be anyone other than yourself by reading a few words on a screen or out of a book. Whatever charade you concoct will be short lived as the real you comes out over time.
    The reason why I enjoyed reading EMK blog (and still do) is because it doesn’t tell you how to “double your dating” or “be irrestible to the other sex”. It usually just gives you different perspectives, shines the light down all the available paths, and tells you to go down the one that’s best for you.  
    Makes for quality reading.

  20. 20

    John, you may well go for and like it when the other women shows fortitude   That will only ever get you   FWB or she will end up being the leader and social director of the realtionship. If what you want is FWB or to be led around by a woman and that works for you then keep doing what your doing as that is obviously working for you. Only you know what you want and what is or has worked for you.

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